In 2010 Asbury Park needed $11 million in state aid to help fill a budget deficit. Today, the city has reached the point where it can balance the budget without any supplemental aid.
“This is something we have been working toward for a long time,” Mayor John Moor said. “I have to give the majority of the credit to our staff.”
In releasing the information state officials praised city officials for their work to revitalize the city.
Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) said, “We acknowledge and commend the hard work Mayor John Moor, the City Council, and their dedicated staff have done. Our work together has led to a revitalized Asbury Park,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA)
DCA’s Director of Local Government Services, Tim Cunningham, who helped oversee the administration of transitional aid echoed this sentiment saying, “Asbury Park’s cohesive vision for development paired with their leadership’s dedication to the city’s revitalization has made it possible for them to make such progress.”
In 2010 Asbury Park needed and was granted over $11 million dollars from the state to help fill its’ structural budget deficit with technical assistance, budget development, procurement, staffing and contract negotiations. Over the course of the next seven years, these efforts helped bring fiscal stability, the local economy improved and Asbury’s tax base rebounded. With determination and problem-solving skills, the city took advantage of their economic development assets and focused their attention on the boardwalk. By 2018, Asbury managed to steadily decrease the assistance it received to the point where it could balance its budget without supplemental aid.
Residents and visitors witnessed the transformation first-hand as boarded up buildings became thriving new niche businesses popping up in and around the boardwalk – from a trendy historic hotel and bowling alley to new restaurants and cafes.
The proof of the revitalization was also in the data – from 2010 to 2016, the number of receipts from beach passes rose 163 percent marking Asbury Park’s beaches as a popular destination for Shore tourists. Overall, there was a 10 percent jump in the number of businesses established during this same transitional period, resulting in an impressive 40 percent increase in the number of jobs in the town.
In addition to being transitioned off the additional aid, Asbury Park received a three-level credit rating increase from Moody’s and introduced a budget with no municipal tax increase this year.
The city recently adopted a Workforce Designation Plan, secured a HUD CHOICE neighborhood designation for its West Side, and is working on a long-term fiscal plan.