The Stimulus Funds Transportation Fiasco

Four southern NJ counties — Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Ocean — were allocated $169 million in stimulus money through July 20.  Cumberland received the smallest amount — $22.2 million.  Most of the money coming into Cumberland, $12.1 million, is for education.  The second largest amount, $3.3 million, is for housing and urban development.

Again and again, over many years, every needs survey of Cumberland County has show that our most critical need is transportation.  What did we receive in that category?  A big zero.  Compare that to $72.5 million for transportation in Cape May.

When the news first came out that Cumberland was receiving nothing for transportation, Big Lou got the state to come up with funding for the Route 49/55 intersection.  Interestingly, the state was prepared to spend something like $28 million on the project, when a few years ago, its cost was projected at around half that amount.  Hard to believe there was that much inflation.  Maybe the ballooned amount had something to do with union jobs for Camden County workers.

Anyhow, as we know, the neighborhood outcry has resulted in the state taking another look at this project.  The neighbors say the congestion problems at the intersection were pretty well solved by retiming of traffic lights.

The bigger question is, “Is this the only shovel-ready transportation project in a county whose biggest problem is transportation?”

Here’s one take on the issue by an astute observer:

The real issue is the lack of transportation funds. I understand we did not get any  money because Cumberland County did not have any shovel ready projects. We used to have three engineers in the Public Works Department.

One of them worked to make sure we were way ahead on engineered road projects. We always had a couple fully designed and waiting for funding. We often got projects because other counties could not use the money by the end of a funding cycle. The money would be made available to any county that was fully designed and  ready to go to bids. We picked up millions and millions in road money because of this.

Now, because of the failure to properly staff the Engineering Dept. at Public Works, we miss out on the stimulus money for transportation. We have probably have 25-50 million in road needs.

So much for Lou’s leadership on the transportation issue.  He’s bumbling around holding meetings to develop his pie-in-the-sky ten year plan (his big announcement is reportedly imminent) while, due to his poor leadership, our most critical need is going unmet.

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25 Responses to The Stimulus Funds Transportation Fiasco

  1. tryagain says:

    Just yet ANOTHER unconfirmed report from some “astute” observer!! Is the yet ANOTHER source who won’t come forward out of fear of the Boogey man Magazzu? And what do you have against union workers? Seems the renegades took FULL advantage of union workers and union money when they ran in their other campaigns! Guess you would want the County to hire many more workers for engineering work at taxpayers expense just in case more stimulus money becomes available. Mango is a fruit isn’t it?

  2. Rev. Higgs Boson says:

    Name calling and miss direction doesn’t chance that under magazzu’s leadership, Cumberland County only received a fraction of the stimulus funds other South Jersey Counties received.

    Hey lou, why don’t you go to Cape May Co. and find out how they manage to be so productive.

  3. whoknew says:

    Why don’t we ask the county administrator how much we’ve already spent for engineering work? The non-existing prosecutors office took a big chunk of money. I heard it was over $1 million and there is nothing to show for it. Again, Lou could have avoided the prosecutors Bigley suit if he would have hired the two employees Casella wanted. That was the year Rainear was running for office and wanted to show a ZERO budget. His Zero budget resulted in expenses that were never anticipated. What a waste of taxpayers money.

  4. vinelandvisitor says:

    Notice how tryagain links union workers with EVERY single issue. Proves to me that he is still paying Norcross back for all of the unethical contributions he has and will receive.

    Lou is a USER and a LOSER.

  5. Union Man says:

    Lou uses labor for money and workers and screws us out of work. A $12,000,000 prosecutor building ready to go. Lou kills the job when most of us have no work.
    He wastes money with architects to design another building when the interest rates and the bids have never been lower. Then he screws our kids out of the full time Tech-Ed center. Our boy Nelson Thompson is sitting on his ass and helping Lou screw us again.

  6. vinelandvisitor says:

    Union Man is correct and one can only hope that he will talk to all of his union brothers to dump Lou, Nelson and their running mate who operates a non-union shop on their collective asses.

  7. tryagain says:

    WOW!! Would be nice if just once this crap site used some real facts other than rumors and speculation. What about the millions Magazzu ALONE because of his influence in Trento brought to Cumberland for the 55/47 project? And now that certain folks in Millville no longer want any improvements there the monies are likely to be used to improve the 55/49 intersection! No good deed goes unpunished especially on this site!! Union Worker couldn’t be FURTHER from the truth!! Most on here criticze Magazzu and Thompson for being so pro-union!!!

  8. Apparently Lou was the ONLY person, other than Camden County interests, that wanted 55/49. I know the city of Millville has been trying to get the county to cooperate on several different road projects to no avail. How does Lou justify that the only shovel-ready project was 12 years old?

    On April 21, 2009 in a Millville City commission meeting, Louis Magazzu REFUSED to promise that any of the “UNION” jobs created would go to Cumberland County residents.

  9. James R. Sauro says:

    Cowardagain: Lou has no influence in Trenton. I’m still waiting for you to come forth like you calling everyone else to do. It is true that when I was on the board, Jack Feltes the department head had Dick Gardella have at least 3 projects ready to go at any given time. That was one of the reasons the County got a lot of grant money for road work. Who’s in charge of public works now.

  10. Union Man says:

    JAMES. It is Nelson Thompson. He is there almost everyday meddleing in the day to day operations of the Public Works dept. He does not seem to know that he is a freeholder and not a commissioner.

  11. slappythedoorman says:

    Yup. This transportation issue has been cited over and over again as stunting Cumberland County’s growth.
    It took a private citizen to get NJ Transit to increase the buses. There are alot of folks who do have cars and they need to get to work

  12. WaterLou says:

    The only “Influence” Lou had in Trenton left the Governor’s Office in SHAME. And the only way Lou had any influence with McGreevey was by naming him Godfather to his kids. Damn, I would hate to have my father name a slime ball like McGreevey as my godfather. Godmother, maybe – NAH not even that.

  13. vineland visitor says:

    Union Man – you are correct, but how do you think Nelson learned the ropes of micro managing? From the king of meddlers – Lou the Maggot. Soon he will be able to manage his way to a new job – IF he finds someone to hire him.

  14. tryagain says:

    Yeah Plumber and you have NO influence ANYWHERE!! Your own Republican party shuns you and no one wants to run with you! The people of Cumberland have rejected you over and over! When will you get it? Seems from what I’ve read and heard when you were on the Board it was a complete disaster. Stick to doing what you do best, plumbing! Weren’t you responsible for the infamous raid at the CountyJail where County Corrections officers were held against their will by other County emploees including Sheriff’s officers? What a complete and total fiasco that must heave been!

  15. Rev. Higgs Boson says:

    Are you serious? You’re saying lou magazzu named Jim McGreevey as a Godparent? Are there no depths lou will not sink to in order to further his political career? Obviously, it’s not what lou can do for Cumberland County, it’s what Cumberland County can do for lou.

    Utterly shameless. How can you stand to look at yourself in the mirror, louagain?

  16. James R. Sauro says:

    Well cowardagain you still don’t know your history or your facts. I didn’t call for the jail raid the prosecutor did. The freeholder director can’t stop him from doing it. The director has no authority. Also the idea for the raid started in 2001 when Lou Magazzu was the director and Jeff Trout was the Person in charge of public safety. Cowardagain you still love to change the subject because you can’t defend the issue that is being talked about. Still waiting for you to come out from behind your cover. But I figure you’ll still be a coward and sign with a pretend name.

  17. JC says:

    Aw come on Jim, just because you’re dumb enough to use your real name doesn’t mean that everyone that doesn’t is a coward. Hell, any county employee would be a fool to use his/her real name: What a vendetta it would create. I can appreciate bravado, but I suspect it’s really just bombast and bull—-. Enough with your threats. You’re beginning to sound like a thug and lord knows we have enough of them involved already. Go fix a toilet or something.

  18. tryagain says:

    Don’t fret JC., it’s a simple case of a Napoleon complex. Be careful though he’ll be challenging you to aduel at 30 paces next! Not to worry he can’t throw his plunger that far!

  19. JC – the fact is Lou Magazzu is the real coward – he posts here under three different names and is still not enough of a man to post under his real name. Lou does not have to fear for his job like any county employee that he would throw under the bus, or violate the Rice Act with in a freeholder meeting.

  20. DEEP THROAT says:

    Cryagain is avioding the topic again. Sauro is correct that the county always had road projects designed in advance. The county gained miilions in road projects by having them shovel ready. Magazzu has no respect for the professional staff (management) in the county. The loss of stimulus money for road projects is directly related to his intentional understaffing of the engineering dept. He just cost us millions in road improvements.

  21. tryagain says:

    Sauro is incorrect again!! But I’d better be careful he will challenge me to another duel. Looking for my new plunger right away! Sauro was a complete and utter disaster as Director. I remember watching him try to run meetings on TV. It was the best sitcom on TV, that’s the only thing I miss about Mr. Plumber. If it wasn’t so sad for the County during the Sauro YEAR it would have been even funnier. Now to listen to this banty hen toot his horn is even comical. No wonder his own Republican Party runs away when he says he wants to run for office?

  22. AMUSED says:

    And the only reason Magazzu continues to be on the ticket is because of his years of manipulating the political system. Stacking the county boards, executive committees,etc. with his blind followers. After all he is not only the Freeholder director(boy oh boy has he worked hours and hours to maintain that position) but also the county Democratic chair. Funny how only certain members of the executive committee recieve proper notification when there is a vote for candidates on the agenda. We all know how it works, Lou! Oh, and I wouldn’t throw stones at Sauro’s conduct when he was on the board. Maybe we should revisit some of the old Freeholder tapes to see your behaviour.

  23. tryagain says:

    The Great Sorrow has been rejected by the voters of the County over and over. Members of his OWN Republican Party don’t want to run with him on the ticket!! When will he ever get it? Even I’m beginning to feel Sauroful for him! Hope he doesn’t take it out on his plungers!

  24. AMUSED says:

    Sociopaths aren’t capable of feeling sorry for anyone!

  25. Deep Throat says:

    Still cannot admit you blew it for transportation money because you did not have projects designed in advance since you became director. YOU COST THE COUNTY BIG TIME THIS TIME LOU Cryagain.

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