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RED BANK: BUDGET FAILS ON TIEBREAKER VOTE

schwabenbauer menna 052516Mayor Pasquale Menna confers with Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer during the council’s budget deliberation Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesRed Bank’s first Republican-led budget in a generation failed to win approval when Mayor Pasquale Menna cast a tiebreaking vote at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council meeting.

His vote against the spending plan followed a 3-3 deadlock that included a “no” by a member of the budget-crafting finance committee, Democrat Kathy Horgan, whose caught committee chairwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, a Republican, by surprise.

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RED BANK: STEELWORKERS TOP OFF GALLERY

 Furnari sculpture 052116 2A pickup truck carrying the mobile version of the sculpture, and the newly installed replica atop the Detour Gallery, as seen Saturday. Below, artist Sergio Furnari. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sergio furnari 052116Sure to prompt double-takes, Red Bank’s newest piece of outdoor art brings an iconic American photograph to three dimensions.

If the image looks familiar, that’s because it’s based on a famous 1932 photograph of steelworkers taking a lunch break on a steel beam 850 feet above the ground at Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, then under construction. Read More »

RED BANK: TAX INCREASE REDUCED

rb budget q&A 051816 1A half-dozen or so residents, outnumbered by borough employees and officials, attended the budget session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Update, May 20: Visuals from this presentation are now available online here.]

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesA controversial increase in parking fees will trim the local property tax increase to less than half that previously anticipated, Red Bank officials said Wednesday.

At the annual informal budget presentation, held at borough hall, Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer said the spending plan scheduled for adoption next week calls for a two-percent tax increase, or about $35 for the year for the owner of a home assessed at the town-average $354,006. Read More »

RED BANK: ANOTHER RESTAURANT APPROVED

132 broad 040416The Red Lantern restaurant won clearance to open at 132 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The dizzying transformation of downtown Red Bank into a place to dine, for those who can find parking, got another boost Monday night.

The borough planning board approved a plan to convert retail space at 132 Broad Street to a restaurant, despite a shortfall of 25 parking spots.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OK’S BASIE PARKING DEAL

rb parking 041316 2The Count Basie Theatre, seen at right above, will be allowed to charge patrons park in the Red Bank two areas of the borough hall lot, including the new section, above, with the town getting half the revenue.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1It’s a scenario all too familiar to civically minded citizens and, ahem, the occasional reporter: you arrive at Red Bank’s borough hall as much as an hour ahead of a government meeting, and already the parking lot is packed with cars belonging to patrons of the Count Basie Theatre across the street. And good luck finding a space nearby.

But now, borough officials say they’ve resolved the turf war that flares up whenever the Basie has an event at the same time as a municipal meeting.

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RED BANK: ‘COMPROMISE’ PARKING HIKE OK’D

rb parking 051116 1Fees for parking in downtown lots would double, to $1 per hour, while metered spots on the street would rise 50 percent, to $1.50 an hour. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Red Bank’s parking fees are going up.

The borough council approved rate increases Wednesday night, billing the action as a “compromise” with downtown business owners.

Still, merchants decried the hikes, which they said will further alienate potential visitors already turned off by metering, aggressive enforcement and costly tickets. Read More »

RUMSON: SPRINGSTEEN TOSSING KEYS TO FOYE

SPRINGSTEEN signsBruce Springsteen signs autographs outside the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank in 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE: Monmouth County records show the deed to the property described in this article was transferred on March 2, when Foye paid the Springsteen trust $1.737 million.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Bruce Springsteen is selling one of two neighboring homes in Rumson, and the buyer is a pro basketball player with New Jersey roots, redbankgreen has learned.

According to a contract filed with the Monmouth County Clerk, Springsteen has agreed to sell a Bellevue Avenue property he owns through a trust to Oklahoma City Thunder guard Randy Foye.

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FAIR HAVEN: SKEPTICISM OVER BANK PLAN

fh bank plan 051016 1An architectural rendering of the bank, proposed for the former site of a Sunoco station.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fh bank plan 051016 2Like a customer at a balky ATM, a regional bank will have to try again after Fair Haven’s planning board raised numerous objections to a proposed bank branch Tuesday night.

Though the matter didn’t go to a vote, all but one board member cited misgivings about Investors Savings Bank’s plan for a branch on the site of a former River Road filling station.

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RED BANK: TAXPAYER BUDGET Q&A SLATED

rb boro hall 041416taxesFor the 10th year in a row, Red Bank borough government department heads are scheduled to offer presentations on their 2016 budget proposals at a public information session scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 at at borough hall.

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RED BANK: WEST SIDE HOMES NEARLY READY

riversedge 042716 3Several units at River’s Edge, like the one above at the western end of Bank Street, offer expansive views of the Swimming River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

riversedge 042716 4A long wait is about to an end as builder Charlie Farkouh puts the finishing touches on the most ambitious housing development Red Bank’s West Side has seen in years.

Farkouh tells redbankgreen he’s nearing completion on the 15-unit River’s Edge project, replacing several derelict houses at the western ends of Bank Street and Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

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SEA BRIGHT: RUM RUNNER RESURRECTED

rum runner 050316 2The bar in a glass-walled room one patron called “the aquarium” offers panoramic views of the Shrewsbury River. Below right, restaurant principal Tim McLoone with an opening-night guest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tim mcloone 050316Three and a half years after the original was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy, McLoone’s Rum Runner reopened Tuesday night in the form of dazzling behemoth of a “jewel box” beside the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright.

Above the river, actually. Unlike its modest predecessor, which sat barely above high-tide, the new one is elevated to keep all but the lowest part of a stairwell dry even during the worst storm surge, and provide parking underneath at other times, said its designers.

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RED BANK: PAZZO FRIDGE GETS COOL WELCOME

pazzo 050216 1An illegal expansion into a breezeway beside Pazzo Restaurant drew criticism, but won planning board approval. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank restaurant’s request for permission to keep an already-built extension drew pointed criticism from borough planning board members Monday night.

“I hate it,” board vice chairman Dan Mancuso told an owner of Pazzo Restaurant.

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RED BANK: LIQUOR STORE TO REOPEN

228 drs. parker 042816 2Closed for two years, paperwork filed in connection with the sale of the former Yogi’s Liquors license indicates the store will also offer groceries and deli products. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A liquor store on Red Bank’s West Side that’s been closed for two years appears to be gearing up to reopen.

The borough council last week approved the sale of packaged-goods license of Yogi’s Liquors, at Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Leighton Avenue, and documents on file indicate the new owner intends to reopen the business there.

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