WOODBURY — Gloucester County residents will enjoy even more access to affordable and quality education, the forward movement of the Port of Paulsboro and improvements to many busy roadways in 2015,  announced Freeholder Director Robert Damminger Wednesday as he delivered the annual State of the County address.

Damminger, who was unanimously voted director by his six freeholder colleagues on Jan.
2, said he was honored to lead the Board that works tirelessly to make Gloucester County a great place to live.

“We are a leader in the state in so many areas and shared services is one that stands out,” said Director Damminger.  “Regionalized emergency medical services, countywide assessing, 911 dispatching, stormwater management, and trash disposal are just some of the services available to Gloucester County’s 24 municipalities.”

Damminger said that in total, the savings the municipalities achieve from the services provided by Gloucester County are in excess of $27 million annually.  This represents an average $0.15 saved on each town’s local purpose tax.

“In 2015 residents can expect the new Nursing and Allied Health Building at Rowan College at Gloucester County to open, the new Adult Center for Transition, and a renovated and expanded Law and Justice Center,” Damminger said.

The investments in RCGC were funded through the state’s Higher Education Bond and county funds.  

“We will be able to increase the number of students who can access Rowan College at Gloucester County and that will enable more residents to take advantage of our seamless four-year degree programs, saving them thousands of dollars in tuition,” said Damminger.

The Division of Nursing and Allied Health at RCGC encompasses over 21% of the student population. According to the US Department of Labor it is estimated that the health care industry will grow faster than any other in the United States, by roughly 22% by 2018.

Damminger said that the Port of Paulsboro will be a new economic hub and by the end of 2015.  

“With cargo flowing in and out the Port will bring more jobs for our residents,” he said.

Damminger said that the reconstruction of Jessup Mill Road Bridge, Hendrickson Mill Road Bridge and Egg Harbor Road, the resurfacing of Mantua Grove Road, Blackwood Barnsboro Road, Woodbury Glassboro Road, North Main Street in Harrison and Tuckahoe Road in Franklin are just some of the projects that will be completed in 2015.

“When all of the projects have been awarded and are under construction the county will have over  $12.8 million of construction work underway in 2015.  The best part, these are all federally and state aid funded projects and they will address many of our worst roadway and bridge needs in the County,” said Damminger.

Other important milestones slated for 2015 include marking the permanent preservation of 20,000 acres of farmland and open space and preservation of Maple Ridge as a state park should be completed.  

This year will mark the 25th Anniversary of the Gloucester County Animal Shelter and a new spay and neuter clinic should be open at that site.  

By the end of 2015 the county will complete the $16 million capital investment to upgrade the county’s communications system to 700 megahertz – an essential upgrade to keep all of its police, fire, EMS and first responders safe.