By Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
While I could say the last few weeks have been very busy, the truth of the matter is that the County stays busy around the year with ongoing projects and initiatives.
I would like to provide a few updates from the departments I oversee, including the County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. I’m proud to serve as the liaison to this department and cannot praise enough the tremendous work these – and all – County employees do on a daily basis to maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in Monmouth County.
At our workshop meeting on February 27th, the Board voted on a resolution approving plans and specs for a significant rehabilitation project for the Bridge structure designated O-21 on Ocean Avenue over Lake Takanassee in the City of Long Branch.
The bridge rehabilitation includes adding new light fixtures with energy efficient LED bulbs; concrete repairs to the deck, sidewalks and railings, and then sealing and waterproofing the entire bridge deck and railing elements.
The rehabilitation of this bridge is a proactive maintenance project and a great investment because it will avoid a more expensive replacement of the bridge in the future. The salt water and high winds take a toll on this bridge’s light fixtures which need to be replaced. The waterproofing of the bridge deck will extend the life of the bridge in the long run.
This project is being completed in close cooperation with the City of Long Branch, a town with long and rich history on the east coast. I will make every effort to ensure that this work is completed as quickly as possible and that the bridge is fully operational prior to the summer season.
Additionally, I will continue my efforts to work closely with all municipalities in our county to restore and maintain the beautiful and historic aspects of our infrastructure as well as keep them in a state of good repair.
Another department I would like to update you on is the Monmouth County Improvement Authority. In 2019, the MCIA completed five financings totaling $221.785 million. Three of these were pooled financings which are expected to save $4.957 million on behalf of 26 Monmouth County municipalities, school districts and local authorities. These savings are primarily attributed to the AAA/AAA/AAA credit ratings generated by the use of the County’s credit ratings through a county guaranty.
The MCIA also completed a refunding of outstanding bonds for Brookdale Community College. The Lease Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2019 continued the history of support for Brookdale by generating savings for the College. MCIA and Brookdale achieved an attractive True Interest Cost of 2.08% for the 12 year refinancing of outstanding 2009 debt.
The refunding transaction generated Present Value Savings of $638,278.49 or 8.30% of the bonds refunded and a gross budgetary savings of $672,416.67. The Bonds were structured to provide savings in every year with the bulk of the savings being provided in fiscal years 2021-2025 at the request of Brookdale. The average annual savings in these years was $128,900.
The Monmouth County Improvement Authority has been an integral part of maintaining the high quality of life Monmouth County residents have enjoyed and the capital projects it has financed will continue to serve generations to come.
Lastly, I want remind everyone that our Annual Made in Monmouth will be returning on April 18th from 10am-4pm at Monmouth University. As liaison to the department of Economic Development I would like to encourage all residents and visitors to take advantage of this free event that features hundreds of consumer products made right here in Monmouth County.
To register, please visit www.madeinmonmouth.com or call Monmouth County Division of Economic Development at 732-431-7470.
As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Freeholder Director.