The trade group is grateful to State Senator Jeff VanDrew and Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak for their leadership
Three years ago Money Island Marina joined the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTANJ) with a considerable investment of time and money. Few south Jersey marinas are active in this professional group and none of the other businesses in the Delaware Bay region are represented. It was a frustrating experience at first since relatively few people from the northern part of the state are even aware of our existence nor the severe challenges faced by the Delaware Bay communities and businesses. We quickly became aware how insignificant the south-west region is to the state’s overall economy and how unfair and devastating a “one size fits all” government can be to our sustainability. But over the course of three years Tony built relationships that appear to be leading toward recovery paths for the marina.
Last night in a rare meeting in South Jersey, the group gathered in Somers Point to celebrate recent successes. It is close to a miracle that NJ government approved the 3.5% sales tax reduction for boats in the State of New Jersey. The law passed in December and already became effective last month. Association members met with representatives of the Division of Taxation to work out the details in January. The association praised our State Senator Jeff VanDrew and Assemblyman Rob Andre for their leadership on the project.
Over the next year I expect that Money Island Marina will be involved in several more public/private partnership projects to improve our docks, boat ramp and land-based facilities to enhance public access to the waterways. We will upgrade our waste water treatment to meet the latest standards. Our electric supply will continue to transition toward solar, wind and other sustainable and renewable sources. Our well and pump house may soon be approved as the only fully permitted privately owned multi-dwelling water system in the entire state of New Jersey! Melissa Danko, Executive Director has been a big help already. Her husband Mike visited us at Money Island last summer in his official capacity with SeaGrant but has been equally helpful in an informal capacity with introductions to others who may play an important role in our recovery plans.
Yet none of these recovery projects are cheap. The cost of these projects is far beyond the economic value of the marina’s holding or income capacity. We can’t possibly do it alone. Yet it appears that we now have the verbal support of federal, state and county government officials as well as a number of non-profit organizations who want to see the marina remain in operation and succeed for the overall benefit of the community. We are grateful to MTANJ for all its help and guidance over the past three years. We expect to announce further progress in the near future.
I encourage other area businesses to consider joining and supporting this effective trade organization. – Tony