If you live east of the parkway, the county says you will see your roads plowed quicker this winter.
That's because the county's Department of Public Works is set to move into a former Fort Monmouth facility in Eatontown. When snowplows leave the facility en route to county roads and bridges, County DPW director John Tobia says, plows stay down the whole way. That means more municipal roads cleared sooner.
Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon said at a recent meeting regarding the move, "The location of this facility in inclement weather is absolutely critical... It's presence is going to be crucial. The timing is going to be critical."
Currently the county's Tinton Falls location is the only county public works facility to house two public works districts and as a result, it has outgrown the space. The reuse of the fort's motor pool will allow it to expand its services without building a new site, Tobia said, saving the county an estimated $15 million that it would cost to build a new facility.
The Fort Monmouth location is almost move-in ready and only requires the upgrading of vehicle wash to state environmental standards.
The move has been a controversial one for Eatontown residents, who feel the DPW site will be a source of noise and air pollution.
Not so, says Tobia.
"Movements at the site will be drastically reduced from what they were when Fort Monmouth was open," he told Patch this week.
According to Tobia, the county will operate 13 vehicles out of the property with care given to noise and frequency of use. During normal situations, he said, trucks will leave the site once in the morning and return in the afternoon. Two of the 13 vehicles will not be housed at the site, as they go home with the supervisors.
Click here for more details on site restrictions, some of which were added after Eatontown expressed concern over the plan.
The new DPW will also have a green truck wash for small trucks like pick-ups and mason dump trucks, which will be available for Eatontown and Oceanport municipal use. It will not be open to commercial use.
Vehicles are kept indoors, he said, and so don't need to idle outside. Since trucks are loaded the day prior, he said, "All the guys need to do is open the garage doors, get in the truck and go."
Tobia also said that the county structures its facilities so trucks coming in make a loop to pick up their salt and don't need to back up. This is done for safety purposes, but has the effect of eliminating back up noises.
Some Eatontown residents, including the chairman of its environmental commission, continue to be suspect of the deal, partly because it is located next to a contaminated landfill property. By law the Army is required to clean-up any contamination it caused. However, the residents believe the Army will not accurately report to the Department of Environmental Protection on areas of contamination.