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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS STEP ON PARKING

rb white st 070915 3The planning board was directed to evaluate the borough-owned White Street lot for its “suitability” for a parking garage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1

After months of silence on the issue, a possible parking garage in downtown Red Bank finally got its wheels on what could be a long up-ramp to reality Wednesday night.

Despite misgivings voiced by Councilwoman Cindy Burnham that doing so might attract “an overload of engineers,” the borough council unanimously agreed to have the the planning board determine whether the municipal lot on White Street “satisfies the criteria for designation as a noncondemnation redevelopment area.”

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LINCROFT: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME WINTER?

winterfestWhen life gives you winter, make Winterfest — the second annual edition of which returns to Lincroft’s Thompson Park this Saturday afternoon (pictured is a scene from the inaugural, snow-free Fest in 2015).

Winter may have made a much-delayed appearance, all at once and with a vengeance, in a way that immediately overstayed its welcome. But to the good people of the Monmouth County Parks System, the season of bare trees and bundled-up people is something to celebrate in all its sleek and spartan beauty. So when the low winter sun comes up on Thompson Park in Lincroft this Saturday, it will look down on the newly minted ritual known as Winterfest.

Going on between the hours of 1 to 5 pm, it’s the second annual edition of the event that’s designed to “banish the winter blues,” while spotlighting the many features and assets of the county’s flagship recreational facility — and this time, they’ve remembered to bring the snow.

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RED BANK: TWO WATER BONDS ON AGENDA

rb water meter 120815 2A wireless water meter installed on a newly constructed home on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

With two clocks ticking down to the same deadline, Red Bank officials expect to introduce a pair of bond ordinances Wednesday night in hopes of avoiding restrictions on water usage and new connections to the water system.

One would authorize $1.9 million in new debt to replace nearly every water meter in town. The other would bond $1.83 million pay for a new water well to supply the borough-owned water utility.

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FAIR HAVEN: POND DEAL ON COUNCIL AGENDA

schwenker's 012315Schwenker’s Pond, on River Road. The long-vacant Doremus house, below, which overlooked the pond, was demolished in late 2013. Two new homes are planned for the site. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

doremus-houseAfter years of limbo, a deal that would transfer ownership of Schwenker’s Pond in Fair Haven to the borough is expected to be sealed Monday night.

On the council’s agenda is a proposed developer’s agreement that Mayor Ben Lucarelli said will add to the town’s waterfront and open-space holdings.

“I’m of the belief that you only get one chance to make a piece of property public,” Lucarelli told redbankgreen last week.

Well, in this case, two.

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LINCROFT: SNOW DAY IN THE PARK

Snow Park SystemWith a belated blast of white stuff in the forecast — anywhere from an inch to two feet, depending on which social media pal you trust about such things — the folks at the Monmouth County Park System have issued a reminder that our many nearby public facilities are standing by for snowy-weather service over the coming days, “whether you’re looking to fly down the sledding hill, strap on your cross-country skis, or lace up your ice skates.”

The groomed trails at the county’s flagship Thompson Park in Lincroft are open to cross-country skiers as weather permits — and marked, ungroomed trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at three county locales in Middletown Township: Hartshorne Woods Park, Huber Woods Park, and Tatum Park.

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RED BANK: MEET THE NEW DEPARTMENT HEADS

cliff keen 122315Cliff Keen, above, is the new director of public utilities, and Charlie Hoffmann, below, runs parks and rec. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

charlie hoffmann 122115Recent months have brought some new faces to Red Bank government.

In particular, three departments that residents have regular interaction with, and occasional strong opinions about, are under new leadership: parks and recreation; planning and zoning; and public utilities.

Here’s a quick intro to the new directors.

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MIDDLETOWN PL HOSTS ‘TRASH TO TREASURE’

Press release from Friends of the Middletown Township Public Library

Trash_To_Treasure_SaleOn Saturday, February 6, Middletown Township Public Library will be the setting for a First Annual “Trash To Treasure” Sale event, hosted by the Friends of MTPL inside the library’s Community Room. Going on between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the event is open to the public and will feature over 20 tables of eclectic merchandise, including attic treasures, collectibles, jewelry, antiques, clothing, art, novelty items, baked goods and much more.

Tables are available for $25 to Middletown residents and to cardholders of the library who would like to sell merchandise. Table fees will benefit the non-profit organization Friends of the Middletown Township Public Library. There are a limited number of tables available, and registration must be completed with payment made by January 21. Registration is available by visiting the reference desk of the library., and more information is available by calling the library at (732)671-3700 or by emailing Friends of MTPL president Lori Anne Oliwa at LoriAnne@TheWriteAngles.com.

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RED BANK/MIDDLETOWN: BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

hubbard's bridge 121015hubbard 091615 1After serving as the “temporary” Hubbard’s Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown for 11 years, the modular structure had been completely dismantled Thursday. The span, seen during deconstruction in September above right, was replaced earlier this year by a new one at a cost of $21.9 million. 

Monmouth County officials have previously said the modular structure may be reassembled elsewhere. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

SHREWSBURY: BOROUGH’S ‘STORY’ UPDATED

burden gefken 112315 3Mayor Don Burden and co-author Rick Geffken at the Shrewsbury Municipal Complex. The Bonanno Farm on Sycamore Avenue, preserved under an easement, is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

story of shrewsbury 112315 2The 350-year history of Shrewsbury Borough, a vestige of a vast township that once extended from Raritan Bay to Little Egg Harbor, has a new chapter.

With the tiny borough getting ready to celebrate the 90th anniversary of its incorporation in 2016, two avid amateur historians — Rick Geffken and Mayor Don Burden — last month debuted a new edition to the definitive history of the town, adding in information on the past half-century of rapid transformation.

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SEA BRIGHT: ALL-WELCOME WEEKEND AT UMC

Sea Bright United MethodistSea Bright United Methodist is the place to be this weekend for the official dedication of the relocated Sea Bright Public Library on Saturday, plus a Christmas Cantata and free community dinner on Sunday. 

Even as the people of Sea Bright got to work putting their beloved borough back together in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the loss of the town’s permanent public library continued to leave a hole in the heart of community life.

While the library’s circa-1976 J.W. Ross Cultural Arts Center building — razed amid some controversy in early 2014, as reported here on redbankgreen — sustained relatively light damage in comparison to other hard-hit neighboring structures, the decision was made to temporarily relocate rather than restore. This past summer saw the “small, friendly” Sea Bright Library open its doors inside the host walls of United Methodist Church at 1104 Ocean Avenue — and this Saturday, the borough officially cuts the ribbon, in an all-welcome event that boasts a bonus helping of seasonal cheer.

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RED BANK: WELL ADVANCES; T&M MAY NOT

rb water plant 102215Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels, center, and DPU supervisor Bob Holiday check out construction on a lime feeder room at the DPU complex on Chestnut Street in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Working against a ticking clock, Red Bank’s engineering consultant got the go-ahead Monday night to design a new backup supply well for the borough-owned water utility at the Chestnut Street public works complex.

But the $82,500 contract was authorized amid rumblings that it may be among the last granted to T&M Associates under the Democratic majority that has controlled the borough council for a generation.

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RED BANK: BACKUP WATER SUPPLY ON TABLE

rb water well 102215 1Construction underway last month on a lime feeder room at the DPU complex on Chestnut Street. The new well would be to located at the building’s far corner. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank may soon be getting a new water source, though officials hope not to need it.

The borough council has scheduled a single-issue special meeting Monday night to consider whether to authorize its engineering consultant, T&M Associates, to draw up plans for a new, 750-foot well at the Chestnut Street public utilities complex.

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RED BANK: YOUR 15 MINUTES HAVE ARRIVED

rb white meter 112415One of the new 15-minute meters on Broad Street, near White Street(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Street meters, off-street meters, permits, kiosks, an app: now, add one more element to the Red Bank parking mix.

The borough recently installed nine white meters on downtown streets to enable shoppers to park for just 15 minutes, at 25 cents a pop.

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RED BANK: TREE GETS PARKED & TRIMMED

rb christmas tree 112215rb tree 112315A crane lowered this year’s Red Bank Town Tree into place in Riverside Gardens Park Saturday, as seen in this reader photo taken from the Riverview Towers high-rise.

At right, trimming of the tree got underway Monday morning.

The 30-foot tree was donated by the D’Innocenzio family of Middletown, according to Red Bank RiverCenter, which arranged for the donation and installation.  (Photo at right by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

MIDDLETOWN: DIG DEEP FOR PHOTO SHOW

pattywhelanImages of Deep Cut Gardens, such as Patty Whelan’s AFTER THE RAIN, are welcomed for the County Park System’s annual photo show, going up in January 2016 (with a submission deadline of November 20).

Press release from Monmouth County Park System

Calling all nature photographers: The Monmouth County Park System is looking for entries for its Weather or Not photography exhibit, to be presented in January 2016 at Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown. The exhibit will look at some of the many ways the weather transforms Deep Cut’s gardens and its elements, whether it be the glistening rays of sunshine or the raindrops falling. Professional and amateur photographers 18 years and older are invited to submit images for consideration into the show. The cost to enter is $10 per person; maximum of two entries (acceptance into the show is not guaranteed, and if selected, only one piece will be exhibited in the show).  All entries must be submitted on CD with completed entry form and fee by November 20, 2015. Rules and entry form are available here  and at the site.

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