CRDA Needs to Invest More in Atlantic County

The Republican legislative ticket in Atlantic County said today that, when elected, they will work as a team to direct the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to undertake greater investment in infrastructure improvements in the immediate Atlantic County region rather than contribute millions of dollars to unrelated projects throughout the state.

?When the CRDA was created in 1984, it was as a response to the clearly understood need to assist the Atlantic City and County area to cope with the impact of casino development,? said Sen. Sonny McCullough and his Assembly running mates, Vince Polistina and John Amodeo.

?The pressure on our infrastructure — roads, bridges, overpasses and sanitary sewage systems, for instance — as well as the need to provide adequate housing was enormous and there was a broad recognition that a substantial commitment of financial resources would be necessary,? they said. ?A stable source of funds to be allocated locally is essential if we are to assure the safety of our bridges now and into the future.?

While investments in the area have been made, ?the Authority has funded a great many projects totally unrelated to its core mission and initial priorities as spelled out by the Legislature,? the Republicans said. ?It is our firm belief that more of what is generated here should remain here.?

?Authority funding for such things as the Yogi Berra Museum in Passaic County, or the Community Theater in Morristown, or a supermarket in Hudson County, or a parking garage in Newark, for instance, represents an expenditure of millions of dollars which more properly should have been committed to projects in Atlantic County,? they said.

?It is Atlantic County which must provide the transportation networks to handle 37 million visitors each year; to address the public safety needs which this level of tourism demands; to provide adequate services to the 45,000 people employed by the casino industry,? they said. ?This region is unlike any other area of the state in being called upon to meet these demands and the enormous expense involved in doing so.?

?The taxpayers in every community in the County should not be called upon to shoulder this burden when an established agency — the CRDA — was created expressly to deal with it,? they said. ?It is our pledge to work tirelessly in the Legislature to assure that the promises made to our people are kept.?

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