After a very long period time and with many notable road blocks and obstacles, I, along with a great team of my colleagues, including Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11), and Neptune Committeeman Randy Bishop, am so happy to announce that the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT’s) Office of Maritime Resources has awarded the bid to complete the Shark River dredging project. The project’s contract was awarded to Mobile Pumping & Dredging Co., of Chester, PA.
This huge step forward is a result of years of work coordinating with the many agencies that have authority over this project. After being involved in this project for more than fifteen years as Mayor of Neptune City and now as a member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, I am personally very happy to see this project finally begin. I have worked with other officials throughout the years whom were also very passionate about this project, including Tom Catley, former Mayor of Neptune Township, as well as other past mayors of the surrounding towns and those in office today. The County has long continued to work cooperatively with these local officials, as well as state and government agencies to move this dredging project forward.
This is a large project, with approximately 106,000 cubic yards of material to be dredged. With cooperation from the Monmouth County Reclamation Center, which is able to accept and reuse the dredged material, and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders providing funding, we have made this project a reality. Not one part of the Shark River project was easy or simple, but we found a way to accomplish this.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Maritime Resources has awarded the bid to complete the long awaited Shark River and Shark River Spur Dredging Project to the low bidder, Mobile Pumping & Dredging Co., of Chester, PA. MPD’s bid of $7,649,817.50 was $1.8 million lower than the next closest bidder.
The State of New Jersey will contribute over $5 million to the project. Monmouth County will contribute $1.1 million and Neptune Township has committed $450,000. Belmar, Neptune City and Wall Township are expected to share the remaining costs of the project, according to a statement isssued by Senator Jennifer Beck, Freeholder Tom Arnone and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop. Beck said the project will start this year, “if all the stars align,” and will be completed by the end of 2016.
“After over two decades, there has finally been a bid awarded to dredge Shark River. Notably, The National Marine Fisheries only allows dredging work from July 1st to December 31st, so I’m happy to see this monumental step taken forward, which, if all the stars align, will allow dredging to begin this year. None of this could have been possible without the work of Freeholder Tom Arnone and Committeeman Randy Bishop, working together in a bipartisan fashion with every state, county, and local stakeholder to make this project happen. While the State is investing more than $5 million, the project couldn’t have moved forward without the assistance of Monmouth County, which is accepting the material at its landfill and helping to fund the trucking. In addition, a number of surrounding municipalities have preliminary agreed to share in the cost of the project” said Beck.
Summer is in full swing and I hope everyone is out there enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve been having. An annual tradition here in Monmouth County is the County Fair. The 41st Monmouth County Fair was a huge success with thousands of residents attending over the five days it was held at the East Freehold Fairgrounds on Kozloski Road.
Monmouth County is the gateway to the Jersey Shore, and you will find more than 50 miles of beaches, revolutionary history sites, nationally recognized parks and golf courses, outdoor dining experiences for all tastes and plenty of places to spend the night. The Monmouth Park System offers over 30 park areas to explore, please go out and enjoy all our beautiful county has to offer.
While we are on the topic of outdoor activities you can enjoy throughout our County, I would like to take a moment to address several concerns within different regions, including the Shark River dredging and the two-river area bike path.
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone, and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop offered the following statement Monday to update residents on the progress being made in the effort to dredge Shark River state navigation channels:
“This project is closer to reality than ever before. This is a result of years of work coordinating with the many agencies that have authority over this project. This project focuses on what we can do, dredge the state navigation channels of the river” Arnone explained, a former Neptune City Mayor. “A project like this has to have full cooperation from the federal, state, county, and municipal governments. It has been a long process, but one that is moving forward”.
There are two permits necessary to move forward with the project: one from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the second from the US Army Corps of Engineers. NJ DOT has submitted applications for both permits. The State hopes to bid this project in time for a late-summer project award. If a responsive bid is received, and the selected contractor chooses, dredging could potentially begin later this year. The contractor may be given the option to conduct the work over two dredging seasons if necessary.
Bids expected in late summer. Award anticipated in Fall of 2015
The long delayed dredging of the Shark River Channels is finally moving forward, according to a statement released today by State Senator Jennifer Beck, Freeholder Tom Arnone and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Maritime Resources has provided a working timeline for dredging the channels. Requests for proposals (RFP) will be released by DOT in August or September, according to Arnone, and a contract for the project is expected to be awarded in late October.
As home to one of the handful of international airports through which travelers from Ebola-stricken countries must enter the United States, New Jersey has screened more than a thousand passengers and monitored the health of more than 600 people in their homes. In documents submitted to the Office of Legislative Services, the N.J. Department of Health… Read the rest of this entry »
The 11th and 13th district legislators representing much of Monmouth County including the communities host Fort Monmouth sent a letter to Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Valez Esq. this afternoon asking for the legal and practical justification for quarantining individuals that may have been exposed to the Ebola virus at Fort Monmouth at a time when New Jersey is marketing the property as a place for businesses to grow, create jobs and to serve as an area for new housing opportunities for people who have not been exposed to Ebola.
The letter signed by State Senators Joseph Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck and Assembly Members Amy Handlin, Declan O’Scanlon, Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande was printed on Kyrillos’s letterhead. The letter can be viewed here.
Rita Dentino, Executive Director of Casa Freehold said her comments reported in the Sentinel and other Greater Media newspapers regarding a steady stream of unaccompanied Central American Youth arriving in Freehold Borough were not reported accurately. MMM relied on those reports earlier this week when reporting on the situation and State Senator Jennifer Beck’s response.
During an interview in her Freehold office, Dentino said that to her knowledge there has been only one refugee child, a 16 year old boy, that has arrived in Freehold from Central America since the first of the year and that there is no parade of children arriving at a rate of one per day. The Sentinel reported that Dentino said there were 5-10 young refugees in the Borough and that more were arriving daily. Denton told MMM that the 5-10 figure represents all young Central American youth that have come to Freehold over the last 11 years that she has worked at Casa Freehold, not a recent influx due to the situation on the United States’ southern border.
Senator Jennifer Beck working with federal officials and Governor to handle the crisis
Between 5 and 10 Central American children, ages 11-16, who have crossed our borders without adults have found their way to Freehold Borough, according to a statement by Rita Dentino, Director of Casa Freehold, an immigrants rights organization that helps newly arrived immigrants integrate into the community.
Dentino said that more children are arriving everyday, according to a report in the Sentinal.
State Senator Jennifer Beck issued a statement today saying she is working with federal and state officials to secure funding to deal with the situation and to evaluate New Jersey’s legal options and obligations.
“This is an issue with far ranging implications that is being experienced all across the country. I am working closely with federal representatives and the Governor’s Office to fully understand our legal options and obligations. I am hopeful that money will come from the federal government as part of an overall response to this issue. There are real humanitarian, fiscal and capacity concerns so all decisions must be fully vetted. I will continue to communicate openly with local officials to keep all appraised of our progress.”
Published reports indicate that over 1,500 Central American children have arrived in New Jersey. The federal government operates only one 10 bed facility in the State, and none of the children are housed there.
Dentino told the Sentinal that she would be contacting DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services) to begin the process of finding the children guardians.
Beck: Federal and State Agencies Haven’t Approved Drying Sites
Governor Chris Christie told his Town Hall gathering in Belmar yesterday afternoon that the dredging of Shark River is being held up because the municipalities along the river and Monmouth County can not agree on a destination for the dredge spoils to be dumped.
The issue has gathered increased public attention in recent months due to a massive fish kill in the river last May. 310 tons of dead fish were removed from the shoreline of the estuary that feeds into the Atlantic through the inlet between Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea and extents 11 miles through Neptune and Wall Townships.
In answering a question from a man who identified himself as Bob from Wall, Christie said that he supports the dredging, fought for money from FEMA to pay for the dredging and would impose a solution on the county and municipalities if he had the authority to do so. He said he had been briefed on the issue three weeks ago.
Maybe the Governor remembered a briefing from a different dredging project when answering Bob’s question.
Both the Monmouth County and Neptune landfills are willing to take the dredge spoils, according to Senator Jennifer Beck. The river hasn’t been dredged, Beck said in a phone interview last night, because over the last two decades various federal and state agencies have rejected every proposed location for the dredged materials to dry before being moved to their final disposal site.