Arnone Report: Recycling Rocky, Education Excellence, Road Improvements and Support for Small Businesses
By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
Happy December! I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving with their family and friends!
The month of November was very busy for me and I would like to share what I have been up to around the County.
You may recall, last year we invited all fourth-grade students in Monmouth County to participate in an essay contest to help name our very own Monmouth County Recycling Mascot. Last April, we announced the first, second and third place winners of the contest. First place was awarded to Kiernan Turbitt of St. Leo the Great School in Lincroft. Kiernan got to name our first-ever recycling mascot, Recycling Rocky!
Additionally, my fellow Freeholders and I announced the launch of “Rocky’s Rules for Recycling,” a video series that seeks to educate residents about sorting mandated recyclable materials in Monmouth County. We are very excited about sharing ‘Rocky’s Rules for Recycling’ through this video series where residents can watch and learn what should be recycled in Monmouth County. As the liaison to the County’s Recycling and Solid Waste Planning Department, I feel that it is important to keep our residents up to date on the ever-changing recycling rules. Our hope is that these short videos will educate in a fun and memorable way.
On another school-related note, last week my fellow Freeholders and I attended an event at the Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School, where the school received the prestigious Program of Distinction for Counseling & Support Services for Post-Secondary Career and Technical Institutions by the Middle States Association Commission on Secondary Schools.
The Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School is the first school in the nation to receive this prestigious award and my fellow Freeholders and I could not be more proud of their administration, staff and students. Congratulations to Frank A. Preston, President of ACI Medical & Dental School on this outstanding accomplishment!
On a separate note, I would like to mention that our Department of Public Works and Engineering is gearing up for another winter season and potential storms. By preparing now, and over the last few weeks, we are making sure we are ready for whatever comes our way. As always, our main priority is the safety of our residents and those who travel through the County. As liaison to this department, I personally can say how proud I am to have such an excellent team of dedicated employees who work hard to keep all of us safe during inclement weather.
In keeping with the topic of Public Works and Engineering, I want to update residents on road improvement projects that are taking place throughout the County.
I am happy to report that one of our most eagerly awaited improvement projects moved to the final phase of construction at the intersection of S.R. 34 and C.R. 537 in Colts Neck. The new traffic signal is now fully operational in its final configuration and all lanes are open to traffic, however, the final paving is not yet complete.
The project is advancing ahead of schedule, but the project is not yet completed as final paving, drainage and landscaping remain. This work is weather sensitive and will be completed next spring when temperatures warm up.
In addition, I am pleased to announce that we have recently completed the intersection improvement project at County Route 524 Spur (Atlantic Avenue), County Route 21 (Allenwood-Lakewood Road) and Ramshorn Drive in the Township of Wall. The traffic signal activationtook place onTuesday November 26th.
The improvements include a state of the art traffic signal, decorative cast iron bollards, minor roadway widenings, concrete sidewalk and curbing, a new storm drainage system, ADA compliant curb ramps, pedestrian crosswalks and solar powered flashing trail beacons at the Edward Felix trail crossings at County Route 21 and at Ramshorn Drive. Additionally, the traffic signal controller has a battery back-up that will keep the intersection operational for a minimum of eight hours in the event of a power outage.
I want to thank the parties that have worked with the County to advance this important project including, Wall Township Officials, The Wall Township Police Department and local business and property owners. I also want to commend the Public Works and Engineering Department for its dedicated and diligent work in advancing this important infrastructure improvement project.
Lastly, I would like to remind everyone about our upcoming Mini Made in Monmouth. The annual event returns from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 8th at Covered Bridge Ballroom, located at 1 Amberly Drive in Manalapan. This is a great opportunity to come out and holiday shop all while supporting local vendors!
As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Freeholder Director.