img_5919120809By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s municipal court will be adding to its caseload, albeit lightly, beginning next month.

Under a deal finalized by the Red Bank council last night, the borough court will handle all cases for Shrewsbury Township — a landlocked three-street residential development  originally established in support of Fort Monmouth, Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels said.

Until recently, the township, with a population of just 1,068, was in an agreement with Eatontown for court services, but rising costs pushed officials to see if Red Bank would partner with the tiny municipality. There’s anywhere between 20 and 40 cases a year generate from the township, Sickles said.

“We can do that in a day,” he said.

The township is patroled by State Police, and has a code enforcement officer, who will be present as needed for cases. Township cases will be handled by Red Bank’s prosecutor, James Butler.

Red Bank stands to benefit, officials say. Under the four-year deal, the township will pay Red Bank a base fee of $8,500 to send its violators before Judge William Himelman, plus court costs per case. Any fines collected, up to $2,000, Shrewsbury pockets; anything over $2,000 is split 50-50 with Red Bank.

No additional personnel or other costs will be incurred by the borough, said Mayor Pasquale Menna. The cases will be heard on Thursday mornings, when Red Bank cases are also heard.

“It really doesn’t entail us to do anything,” he said. “It’s really a good thing for us and it’s really a good thing for Shrewsbury Township and it shouldn’t result in any inconvenience to anybody in Red Bank.”

Shrewsbury Township also wanted to share trash pickup services with Red Bank, but Sickels said it didn’t make any sense economically. However, Menna said this could, and likely will be, just one step toward more shared services with other towns.

“It’s a plus and hopefully it’s a harbinger of other local agreements,” he said.