Dear Monmouth County Residents,

I hope everyone stayed safe and warm during last week’s snow and ice storm. We anticipate more inclement weather this week and as always, the County is prepared for whatever comes our way.

I’d like to thank our department of public works employees for working throughout this recent storm to clear our roads and county-owned properties. As always, these employees did a great job. I’d also like to thank our first responders who were also out working throughout the storm in difficult weather conditions.

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Speaking of our public works and engineering departments, I recently announced that the County is currently in design development to upgrade the intersection at County Route 520 (Newman Springs Road) and Conover Road/Boundary Road in Marlboro.

The intent of this project was to provide for safety enhancements at the intersection, by improving the vertical and horizontal alignments; however, the geometry improvements were limited by the proximity of an existing residential structure at the southwest corner. When the property at the southwest corner came up for sale in the winter of 2020, Monmouth County purchased the property, which will allow for us to adjust the roadway alignments and improve the safety enhancements as originally intended.

The new intersection will have dedicated left turn lanes on County Route 520 to provide safe turning movement onto Conover Road and Boundary Road. A modern fully actuated traffic signal is proposed along with pedestrian crosswalks and American with Disabilities Act compliant curb ramps. Conover Road and Boundary Road will be realigned, eliminating the existing roadway offset.

In total, the County maintains approximately 1,000 lane miles of roads, 924 bridges and culverts and 239 traffic signals and beacons.

On another note, my fellow Commissioner and I announced our partnership with the Parker Family Health Center and Pilgrim Baptist Church to offer COVID-19 vaccinations in Red Bank which began on Thursday, Feb. 4.

We are grateful for the partnership with the Parker Family Health Center and Pilgrim Baptist Church and their ability to assist with distributing vaccines to residents in Red Bank and the surrounding communities. The Board hopes that, through our community partnerships, we will be able to offer vaccines in locations that are convenient for all of our Monmouth County residents, many of whom rely on public transportation or walking to get where they need to go.

The Parker Family Health Center will distribute 100 vaccines per week, which will be given by appointment only.

The County will continue to offer vaccines at the Monmouth County Agricultural Building in Freehold and at Brookdale Community College. The Board will continue to work tirelessly to distribute all vaccines as soon as they are received by the State and continue to advocate for more vaccines to be given to Monmouth County residents.

To schedule an appointment for a vaccine, residents may call the Parker Family Health Center at 732-212-0777 or Pilgrim Baptist Church at 732-747-2348.

Residents who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can also go to the County’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com and use the Monmouth County COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist to be placed on the waitlist for an appointment for a vaccine at the County’s vaccine sites in Freehold and Lincroft.

Speaking of the COVID-19 vaccine, I am proud to say that Monmouth County is ranked 3rd in the State for vaccine distribution of first doses, behind only Cape May County and Morris County. It is important to note that Morris County host one of the State-run mega-sites. Additionally, Monmouth County is also ranked 3rd in the State for vaccine distribution of the second doses, behind only Essex County and Bergen County, both of which host State-run mega-sites.

On a separate note, the County has launched floodplain management software for all 17 towns participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). In 2020 the County was awarded a $125,000 New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA) LEAP Challenge Grant for CRS management software.

The Commissioner’s utilized the grant money, along with $104,000 through CARES Act funding, to acquire the Forerunner’s Floodplain Management Platform, which is designed to manage the floodplain compliance and outreach in communities. Forerunner was created as a tool to help plan for resiliency, create a more effective workflow for planners in municipalities and reduce flood insurance premiums for residents.

Through receiving the LEAP Challenge Grant and utilizing CARES Act funds, Monmouth County was able to procure the Forerunner CRS management software. Through shared service agreements, the County has been able to offer the Forerunner software to the 17 participating towns at no cost for three years, saving taxpayer dollars. The Forerunner software program will be a great asset for our municipalities.

Residents that have questions or need additional information about CRS should contact their local Floodplain Administrator through their municipal office. For more information about the Monmouth County CRS Assistance Program, go to www.visitmonmouth.com.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone that our Takeout in Monmouth initiative is back. We have once again purchased thousands of takeout bags to provide to our Monmouth County businesses, for free, as takeout orders again increase.

Since our Takeout in Monmouth initiative began at the beginning of the pandemic, we have provided businesses with over 25,000 bags for free. To request bags please email, TakeOutInMonmouth@VisitMonmouth.com .

As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Commissioner Director.

Sincerely,

Tom Arnone
Commissioner Director, Monmouth County