Rivercenter_sign_2RiverCenter’s office is at 20 Broad Street.

Last week, Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Nancy Adams presented the business-promotion organization’s budget to the borough council. The spending plan, totalling $624,052, is 3.3 percent larger than the 2007 version.

(Alas, RiverCenter doesn’t present its budget with comparative figures from the prior year. So here’s the budget from 2007 Download RiverCenter2007budget.jpg, and here’s the 2008 spending plan Download RiverCenter2008budget.jpg.)

Via email, redbankgreen interviewed Adams about the budget last week. Here’s the exchange:

Your budget for administrative costs this year is up $23,810, or 11 percent, to $232,580. What’s driving that?

A change in staffing. Our Director of Operations has gone to part-time, with appropriate salary cut, and we hired a Program Manager to take over event planning and management, and work with me on marketing, a full time position. Thus the increase.

Does any of that reflect a bump in the executive director’s salary?
LOL, always looking for controversy… No, it does not.

Who is the new program manager? Is he or she working part-time? So you’re now a staff of one full-timer and two part-timers, with one of the part-timers having reduced her hours — is that correct?

Explained in question above. The Program Manager is full-time and her name is Valerie Ryan… She is working out very well in the position and has smoothly transitioned our busy office into a 3-person working group. She is very organized; something that is very important in coordinating all the numerous details of organizing events.


Under the heading Broad Street debt service, what is the “St. James payment?”

The St. James payment of $2,500 per year for ten years is their portion of the Broad Street streetscape improvement. As a church, they do not pay a regular assessment, but an agreement was made (long before I got here) for basically a payment in lieu.

How many years of repayment remain, and what is the principal balance on the Broad and Monmouth streetscape loans?

This is the last year for the Broad Street streetscape loan repayment. The principal was $1.3 million. The Monmouth Streetscape payments are for 15 years, from 2004-2018. This loan came from the state of New Jersey at no interest.

Are there any plans this year for new streetscape upgrades? If so, where? If not, why not?

This is going to be discussed within the Visual Improvement Committee. No decisions have been made as yet.

What expenditures does “parking/capital improvements’ include? How was the $75,000 budgeted for this line used last year? Do you expect to do the same this year?

The money was not used last year and is in an account that is set aside for use on potential parking and other capital improvements.

It appears RiverCenter is doubling its advertising expenditures this year, to $18,000. What’s driving that — the need to drum up traffic in the face of a sagging economy? Does the expansion of the zone affect that cost?

Yes. And yes. Also, since I’ve been here, the number one thing I’ve heard from the businesses is that they want more promotion of Red Bank. So, that’s a large part of our work.

Finally, it appears the Visual Improvement Committee façade grants are back in the budget after several years absence. Can you explain that program for those who are unfamiliar with it? Will preference be given to businesses in the expansion zone?

The grant program will be only for businesses in the expanded district. The exact guidelines for the program are still being finalized by the Visual Improvement Committee (VIC), but we hope to have them done soon. Basically, the grant program will give small matching grants to businesses that want to improve their façades, whether with a new sign or awning, or new painting or lighting. The grants will be smaller, intended for small businesses to use for minor improvements that cumulatively go a long way to improving the overall look of the streetwall. We hope to entice some businesses that need a facelift to do the improvements necessary with help from the matching grant.

Anything you’d like to add?

I’ve really enjoyed my brief tenure here in Red Bank. We are constantly busy with the many projects and work we do daily, but as past experience has proven out, this work is hard and won’t make us rich, but it is often rewarding and never boring. And, to me that’s most important.

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