The Arnone Report

By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

Recently a Mayor’s Luncheon was held in Belmar for the purpose of giving Belmar businesses a forum to meet and discuss tourism and how it benefits businesses at the Jersey Shore. I was happy to attend and join Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty in greeting the local business owners and to share with them what the County Tourism Division does to promote the industry. The luncheon was held at Ollie Klein’s Waterside Café located on River Road in Belmar.

Additionally, we are currently working toward entering into a shared services agreement with Hightstown to utilize the Monmouth County Vehicle Wash facilities. This is yet another approach to help reduce costs and redundancies in the delivery of public services, while adding some additional revenue for the county to help offset our operational costs. Because Hightstown already has a shared services agreement with Roosevelt Borough for trash collection which is hauled to the Monmouth County Reclamation Center, it makes good sense for them to utilize the county vehicle wash facilities as a value added shared services while they are in the area. Howell Township has just been added to our MODIV property tax assessment shared services system. This system has been recognized for innovation and excellence in public service by the Harvard Kennedy School and Moody’s Investor’s Service for its role in streamlining the delivery and implementation of the tax assessment process. Certain municipalities have seen savings of up to 65% through this shared service.

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Posted: August 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Christie: Shark River Dredging Delayed By County and Municipalities

Beck: Federal and State Agencies Haven’t Approved Drying Sites

CaptureGovernor 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.

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Posted: July 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Belmar, Chris Christie, Jennifer Beck, Monmouth County, Shark River | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Arnone Report

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone

 

At the last meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Board authorized an award of bid for an asphalt recycler for the Department of Public Works and Engineering. This equipment will allow the Divisions of Bridge and Highway to take waste asphalt from construction projects throughout the year and turn it into high quality hot mix, re-using it for road repairs. This will reduce our disposal and operating costs, along with being environmentally friendly. The cost of the recycled material is 75% less than the cost for new material.

Last year the county spent over $150,000.00 for cold mix, base material and disposal of waste material. As an added benefit, every ton of asphalt the county recycles will benefit Freehold Township in the amount received from the State of New Jersey in their tonnage grant.

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Posted: July 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

All Aboard! Take the train to the beach

Dinah blow your horn!  NJ Transit offering express trains to Monmouth County beaches

Starting Saturday June 28, New York and Northern Jersey day trippers will have an alternative to the Garden State Parkway for getting to the beach in Monmouth County.

#118335168 / gettyimages.com

Freeholder Tom Arnone announced today that NJ Transit is offering express train service to Monmouth County on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, starting tomorrow and continuing through September 1.

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Posted: June 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Jersey Shore, Monmouth County, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Booker coming to Wall Township to raise funds for Monmouth Dems

photo via facebook

photo via facebook

Senator Cory Booker is lending his star power and fund raising prowess to the Democratic Freeholder candidates who are looking to unseat Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich in November.

Booker is headlining  a July 25 fundraiser for Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo at the Wall Township home of Gary and Linda Faraci.

All of Monmouth County’s Democratic mayors, including Tinton Falls Mayor Gerry Turning are listed as hosts of the fundraiser on the event’s invitation.

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Posted: June 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Cory Booker, Monmouth Democrats, News, Tinton Falls, Wall Township | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Arnone Report: Keeping our roads safe and affordable

By Freeholder Tom Arnone

 

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

TRAFFIC SIGNALS are of great significance in that they help to control the flow of traffic as well as helping to ensure the safety of our residents. Recently, there was a traffic signal activation ceremony held on the corner of Locust Avenue and Parker Roadin the Borough of West Long Branch. This project came about as a result of Mayor Tucci requesting that the County study this intersection to allow better traffic flow from Parker Road onto County Route 15 (Locust Avenue) and to improve safety and access for the Frank Antonides Middle School and the West Long Branch Community Center. Based on the County’s study our in-house County engineers designed this state of the art traffic signal which has dedicated turn lanes, improved crosswalks and push-button control pedestrian signals. The traffic signal uses LED lights that costs less to operate and is eco-friendly.

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Posted: June 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Arnone Report: Update on Shark River Fish Kill

By Freeholder Tom Arnone

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

On May 12, 2014, a massive fish kill began in the Shark River.  Over the next 10 days, 310 tons of fish would die and wash ashore.  According to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, the cause of the fish kill was due to a large number of bait fish entering the river to seek refuge from bluefish and bass.  The concentration of fish, coupled with warm and shallow waters, depleted the dissolved oxygen levels, resulting in the die-off.  Despite that this event appeared to be a naturally occurring phenomenon, the die-off was a wake-up call that we should not take the health of the River for granted.  While a number of factors working together may have contributed to the event, there are some people that believe this devastating ecological event could have been avoided with preventative maintenance, or more specifically, the long-overdue dredging of the Shark River.

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Posted: May 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Arnone Report — 2014 Summer Kickoff!

By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

With summer right around the corner The Monmouth Ocean Development Council is preparing for the 2014 Summer Kickoff to the Jersey Shore. It will be Wednesday, May 21, 2014 on the boardwalk in Asbury outside McLoone’s Supper Club. I will be joining Grace Hanlon, Executive Director of Travel & Tourism State of NJ and Freeholder Joe Vicari of Ocean County as the guest speakers.

Monmouth County 2014 Tourism Season/Arts Partnership are true partners in that they both support businesses large and small in Monmouth County. They play an important role in building and sustaining our economic vibrancy. The Arts and Tourism partnership helps to enhance the quality of life throughout Monmouth County. Monmouth County is home to 2,080 arts related businesses. These businesses employ 5,803 people.

The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders supports the MOCO Arts and Tourism partnership. We encourage our visitors and residents to visit our museums, theaters and our film, architecture and design companies as well as our beaches, boardwalks, historic sites, parks and attractions.

Visitors to Monmouth County spent $2.2 billion in 2013, up 5% over visitor spending in 2012, with Monmouth County seeing about 5 million visitors a year. There are over 32,000 people employed in tourism related jobs in Monmouth County.

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Posted: May 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

The Arnone Report

ZERO PERCENT TAX INCREASE

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone

 

For the fourth straight year in a row The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has had a 0% tax increase. I am pleased that I have been able to be a part of this budget especially in the hard economic times we are faced with. It has been and always will be a priority of mine as well as the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders to continue this trend of savings to our Monmouth County residents.

Additionally, The Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to report we have collected over $1 Million (Actual is $1,022,976.56) in revenues at this early stage in the year from our 911 communications shared service. This amount is based on revenue received from 21 towns. This is a vast increase from prior years where the invoice and revenue collection process typically began in April. This year, the Freeholders in conjunction with the Sheriff through the Office of Shared Services began the process at a much earlier date. The result has been beneficial to all parties as the county has earlier use of funds to help offset our expenses which allows for efficient budgeting for the county as well as for our municipalities. The Board of Chosen Freeholders is extremely pleased with these figures and anticipates the numbers to continue to increase as we receive revenue from the remaining municipalities. The revenue the County receives that is generated through shared services offers relief to the municipalities that translates to lower costs for the services being performed.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and at the last meeting of The Board of Chosen Freeholders a Proclamation was presented to Dr. David Abbott, Superintendent of Schools, for The Shore Center for Students with Autism located in Tinton Falls,. The Proclamation was presented to commemorate Autism Awareness Month in hopes of raising awareness of Autism.

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Posted: April 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Budget, Property Taxes, Taxes, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Monmouth County Freeholders Adopt Budget With Zero Tax Increase

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry

For the fourth straight year, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted a county budget with no tax increase.

At their meeting April 10 meeting the Freeholder Board, comprised of 5 Republicans, adopted $480.9 million budget, a $100,000 spending reduction from last year’s budget.  The amount raised through property taxes is $302,475,000, the same amount raised every year since 2010.

“It is a challenge every year to try to cut spending without impacting the level of services our taxpayers have come to expect,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “This process is not something that is done in haste. This budget reflects the months of work that has gotten us to a flat tax rate for the fourth year in a row.”

“This year, an internal budget subcommittee met with each department to look for duplicative services and identify areas for consolidation and savings,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr., liaison to the Finance Department. “This process has yielded savings in the areas of information technology, finance, human resources, building maintenance and legal services.”

Monmouth County relies less on taxes than most other New Jersey counties. As a percentage of the overall budget, Monmouth County’s taxes comprise 62 percent of the total budget, historically behind Union, Hudson and Essex counties.

“The department heads deserve a lot of credit for their hard work in paring down the budget,” said Rich. “This is the fifth year in which we asked for concessions from the departments and, as a result, this is the fourth year in which the tax levy has remained the same.”

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Posted: April 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off