I’d like to take a few moments to talk about recent matters involving the re-development of Fort Monmouth. In particular the move of CommVault from Oceanport to Tinton Falls
While there are many out there praising CommVault's move, I have no praise for this move at all. Simply speaking, taking jobs from Oceanport and relocating them to Tinton Falls leaves Oceanport short 550 jobs. It also leaves our second largest taxpayer with an empty building to fill and, it takes the consumer dollars of 550 employees from our local economy. Relocating the 550 workers who currently work at CommVault in Oceanport is just that – RELOCATION of jobs, not job creation.
According to press releases by local politicians and FMERA, representations have been made that up to 2,500 new jobs could be created in Tinton Falls by virtue of CommVault’s move. The definitive word here is “could.” Simply speaking, if it could lead to 2,500 jobs, there is also the possibility that it could lead to no jobs at all.
As we suspected, the devil is in the details. Since the move was announced, we have learned that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority awarded CommVault two financial incentives to facilitate this move. According to NJEDA board memos, $7.2 million was awarded under the Business Employment Incentive Program to create 250 jobs. They were also granted $1.35 million for Business Retention and Relocation Assistance to keep 300 employees in Fort Monmouth Municipalities. In total, there are 550 jobs that will be affected by NJEDA funds. Currently, there are 550 CommVault employees working in Oceanport. Not only is Oceanport losing 550 jobs but the net job gain to the Fort Monmouth area: NONE.
There are still many unknowns about this move. How much is CommVault paying for the property? How much of our tax dollars are being used to fund this move in the form of additional federal and state grants, tax abatements, tax credits etc? What it the time frame for job creation? And, what are the consequences for not creating jobs as promised?
While NJEDA is shelling out no less than $8.55 million, none of this money will go toward new job creation. There is no mention of 2,500 jobs that FMERA and our politicians have been fawning over. As a matter of fact, CommVault only has 1,600 employees WORLDWIDE today. Talking about creating up to 2,500 jobs is not only disingenuous but when facts are presented, unrealistic.
Some have said that the move is the result of a CommVaults's need to expand its operations. While there may not be 55 acres upon which CommVault can expand at their current location, there certainly is 55 acres available on Oceanport's portion of Fort Monmouth. Once again, Oceanport gets the short end of the stick.
The Borough of Oceanport supports the re-development endeavors of the Fort Monmouth Economic Redevelopment Authority 100 percent -- just not at our own expense.