FORT MONMOUTH ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION AUTHORITY MARKS NEW BEGINNING
Christie Administration Reaffirms its Commitment to Economic Development for the Fort Property
Eatontown, NJ (September 15, 2011) – The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) will pause this afternoon to mark the end of an era. At 4:30 p.m. today the American flag will be taken down from its flagpole at Fort Monmouth for one last time as a military installation during the final daily retreat ceremony. Staff will honor this solemn event with reflection and admiration for all that has occurred on these grounds. FMERA staff will then return to work and move forward with the unprecedented opportunity that lies ahead. FMERA’s focus continues to be centered on creating an atmosphere that is conducive to investment and redevelopment.
“There are three priorities at the Fort, jobs, jobs and jobs,” FMERA Board Chair James Gorman said. “This Board has the needs of the community at the forefront of every decision it makes and we have already begun marketing the Fort property to employers and investors, with a high degree of interest from prospective tenants so far.”
Currently, staff members at FMERA are holding regular meetings with the Army to ensure a smooth transition once the flag comes down. From Fort security to environmental issues, detailed plans are being prepared with specific actions being taken to minimize any negative impacts on the community’s health and vitality through the transition period. Following the post’s closure, the Army will retain a small caretaker workforce, including contractors who will handle building and grounds maintenance and other upkeep activities.
“FMERA recognizes the tremendous assets available at the Fort,” noted FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman. “We want to make it crystal clear to the surrounding community, potential investors, and employers that there will be a 24/7 police presence and that those assets will be protected and maintained as of September 16, after the Army leaves. Having the New Jersey State Police provide law enforcement protection on the Fort only reinforces FMERA’s strong commitment to ensuring a secure environment.”
“The New Jersey State Police are ready to provide law enforcement protection for the Fort. Having a high level of security at the Fort is a key FMERA priority. The partnership between FMERA and the New Jersey State Police has been a great one and we look forward to continuing our work together in furtherance of the redevelopment effort,” said Major Louis Klock, Acting Deputy Superintendent of Operations.
Signed into law by Governor Chris Christie on August 17, 2010, FMERA was created to provide investment, continuity and economic growth to the communities impacted by the federal government’s decision to close Fort Monmouth. FMERA replaces the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority and advances that entity’s Reuse and Redevelopment Plan for economic development, growth and planning, with a focus on technology-based industries, for the 1,126-acres of real estate at Fort Monmouth following the base closure on September 15, 2011. Chaired by James Gorman, FMERA Board members include EDA Chairman Alfred Koeppe, Governor’s Authorities Unit Director Deborah Gramiccioni, Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry, Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo, Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon, Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Harold Wirths, New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson, and Public Members Michael Pane, Esq. and Dr. Robert Lucky.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 21, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the Freehold Agricultural Building, Freehold, NJ.
For more information, please visit us at www.fortmonmouthredevelopment.com.