ROOSEVELT, NJ – The Monmouth County Planning Board will hold its second and final public information session on the Draft Panhandle Region Plan at 7 p.m. Monday, June 21 in the Roosevelt Public School, 2a School Lane, here.

Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public.

This informational session is designed to further engage the public on the future development, preservation and conservation of the county’s Panhandle Region. Attendees will learn about the Draft Plan, hear about the progress to date, have an opportunity to voice concerns and submit comments, or provide additional suggestions on the Draft Panhandle Region Plan.

The Panhandle Region is in the western-most portion of Monmouth County that includes Allentown, Roosevelt, Millstone and Upper Freehold. The area consists of 20 percent of the county’s land area and is bounded by Burlington, Middlesex, Mercer, and Ocean counties.

“The goal of the Panhandle Region Plan is to help communities prepare both collectively and individually for sustainable growth, while preserving their environmental resources and farmlands and to maintain their unique history and local character,” Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry said. “The draft plan focuses on natural resources, agriculture, historic and cultural resources, transportation, regional cooperation, economy and marketing, and housing and development issues.”

“The plan also offers an overview of the planning process and implementation strategies for the various focus areas,” Freeholder John D’Amico said. “We look forward to hearing from residents who may have additional ideas, are interested in the draft plan, or seek more information on the next steps of the process.”

The Panhandle Regional Plan was prepared by the Maser Consulting firm, the Monmouth County Planning Board staff and the Panhandle Regional Collaborative. The Collaborative is comprised of representatives from each panhandle municipality and various county and state officials and community stakeholder groups – chambers of commerce, environmental groups, historic and agricultural commissions and cultural organizations. The Panhandle Region Plan is funded by a 2006 Smart Future Planning Grant awarded by the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth. The target date for completion of the Panhandle Region Plan study is the fall of 2010.

A copy of the Draft Panhandle Region Plan and other information about the plan is available on the Monmouth County website at www.visitmonmouth.com under the Planning Board section on long range planning.

Please contact the Monmouth County Planning Board project manager, Zunilda Rodriguez, with any questions at (732) 431-7460.