January is closing in and February is fast upon us. Good news for the survivors of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey.  You now have until March 1, 2013, to register for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Monmouth County residents as well as all residents in New Jersey can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smart phone or tablet at m.fema.gov. Registration is also available by calling 800-621-3362. The toll free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week. The deadline was extended one month at the request of the State of New Jersey. Through Wednesday, January 23rd, more than 57,500 storm survivors have been approved for help through FEMA’s Individual Assistance program in New Jersey. FEMA disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance. Additionally, the Small Business Association has also set March 1st as the date for homeowners, renters and business owners to complete and return SBA disaster loan applications. Visit www.sba.gov for more information. SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program provides long term, low interest loans to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.

Did you know that February is American Heart Month? In recognition of this and as a means to raise awareness of the importance of the ongoing fight against heart disease and stroke particularly in women, The Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a resolution at their January 24, 2013 meeting declaring February 1, 2013 as WEAR RED DAY in the County of Monmouth. The Board strongly urges all Monmouth County residents to show their support for women and the fight against heart disease by commemorating this day by wearing the color red. Please join our efforts and help us raise awareness so that all residents can become more educated in the warning signs of heart disease and stroke and take preventative measures against heart disease; the nation’s leading cause of death.

The Board is also pleased to announce we will be providing Tax Assessment services through a new shared services agreement with Wall Township. Wall Township is one of our largest municipalities and was hard hit during the recent storm. This new shared service will be a great benefit to the municipality, businesses and residents of Wall Township as they work through their recovery efforts. Additionally, we are increasing our shared services activity with Keyport wherein we are now providing street sweeping as a shared service for the borough through our Department of Public Works and Engineering. This is just one example of a small thing that can save a municipality a great deal of money in time, administration and equipment costs.

Lastly, the repair work at Sea Bright – Rumson Bridge over Shrewsbury River began on Monday, January 28, 2013. The repair work will include an upgrade of the traffic gates and live load anchors. Due to successful negotiations with the contractor in light of the devastation to business owners in that area the bridge will be open to traffic on weekends. The Board is grateful to the contractor for his responsiveness to the needs of the Sea Bright community. The completion date for the repairs on this bridge is scheduled for February 15, 2013. The Board of Chosen Freeholders sympathizes with those businesses and individuals that have been impacted by the super storm Sandy. Please be assured the Board of Chosen Freeholders is committed to offer the County’s assistance to help rebuild Sea Bright and other shore communities impacted by Sandy.

           

  • Thomas A. Arnone is Freeholder Director of Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders