Freeholder Director Tom Arnone said he will announce a plan to restart the Shark River dredging project Wednesday morning at the Shark River Marina in Neptune Township.
The project, which had restarted on schedule on July 1 was halted at midnight on July 8 when Governor Christie’s executive order halting projects funded by the Transportation Trust Fund took effect.
The legislature failed to pass TTF funding with a $.23 per gallon gas tax on June 30th. The Senate’s plan was to increase the gas tax while phasing out the estate tax and reducing income taxes on retirees. Christie and the Assembly agreed on a bill that would have raised the gas tax and reduced the sales tax from 7% to 6%. Senate President Steve Sweeny and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto agreed to pass a revised version of the Senate’s original bill last week. Yesterday, Christie said the Democrats plan is “dead on arrival.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), the leading opponent of a gas tax increase in the legislature, announced her opposition to the compromise legislation out forth by Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. Beck says the Sweeney/Prieto plan is just as bad for taxpayers as the Senate plan that failed last month.
“The tax plan announced by Democrats today would still raise the gas tax by 23 cents per gallon, just as the last failed plan would have,” said Beck. “The cosmetic changes that the Senate President and Assembly Speaker have agreed to are just window dressing on the core $1.2 billion tax increase on drivers that remains largely unchanged from the previous version of the legislation.”
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, speaking at his “Chairman’s Ball” fundraiser in Neptune last night, declared that he is targeting every Monmouth County Republican seat in the legislature in the 2017 election, according to a report on PolitickerNJ.
Gopal singled out Senator Joe Kyrillos, Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblymen Declan O’Scanlon and Dave Rible in his remarks.
TRENTON — A key state Senate committee on Thursday approved legislation to ask voters to revise the New Jersey constitution to require the state ratchet up contributions to the public pension system. The constitutional amendment relies on a big economic unknown: That the state’s natural growth will drum up at least $600 million a year in… Read the rest of this entry »
Long hailed as one of the most talented up and comers in New Jersey politics, the Monmouth County Democratic Chairman from Long Branch appears poised to run against state Senator Jen Beck (D-11) in 2017. Beck will be a very tough out, but Gopal is a unique politician now emboldened by the loses last night of Beck’s running mates Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande.
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.