count-basie-fieldsRed Bank Catholic will pay more for its use of Count Basie Fields to help defray the cost of the turf upgrades. (Click to enlarge)


Red Bank Catholic‘s rent is going up.

The borough council Wednesday night voted to amend the parochial school’s annual lease of Count Basie Fields in order to help cover the $878,000 cost of a recent artificial turf job. Most of the cost — $537,500 — was covered by two grants, said borough Administrator Stanley Sickels said.

RBC will now pay $80,000 a year for use of the fields for the next 15 years, up from $55,000. It will also contribute $50,000 a year over the next three years into the field’s capital improvement fund, Sickels said.

Here’s the resolution on the agreement: 10-255draftresolution

Here’s a rundown of other happenings from Wednesday night’s council meeting:

• The council amended its sandwich board ordinance to continue to allow the signs to be placed on sidewalks until the end of 2011. Implemented as a trial last summer, the ordinance was set to expire on December 31, 2010. Council members had concerns that allowing the signs would equate to borough streets getting cluttered, but Councilman Ed Zipprich said that hasn’t been the case, making it an easy decision to extend the sunset provision through 2011.”

“If everybody applies next year, we’re going to let that sun set,” he said.

• After months of back and forth with the planning board over a design issue, the council withdrew a proposed ordinance change. The idea was to “encourage desirable development in areas of the borough which posses unique cultural and historical character and to further enhance, promote and expand the identity and environment of such areas to be modified or erected and/or sites to be improved,” according to the amendment. In simpler terms, all minor or major site plan applications within the train station overlay district would have had to include plans to fit in with the historical nature of the area. No aluminum siding, no glazed tile, no concrete block. The council withdrew the proposed changes because RiverCenter, the independent agency that promotes downtown and the West Side, did not submit its recommendations, Zipprich said.

“We’ll revisit it again next year,” he said.

• The borough also received funding for various police programs. As usual, there will be extra DUI patrols and checkpoints at the end of the year. A $6,500 state grant covers the cost of police overtime so the borough doesn’t have to pay for it, Council President Art Murphy said. The program will run from now until January 2. The department also got another $6,500 from the state to fund its Cops in Shops operation, in which undercover cops patrol liquor stores to catch underage buyers or people buying alcohol for somebody underage. A third grant, for $3,700, will pay for new bulletproof vests.

The council will meet again in two weeks, at 6:30p on December 22, for its final session of the year.