RED BANK: COUNCIL ADVANCES RIVER CRUISES

The Red Bank Primary School Chorus entertained the council audience with two songs, including this variation on a Woody Guthrie tune. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Red Bank’s Marine Park could once again be the point of departure for commercial cruises on the Navesink River, following council action Wednesday night.

Details on that action, and other news from the council’s semimonthly meeting, are just around the read more corner.

rb marine park 033116The cruise vessel would berth at the promenade in Marine Park. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

• Following through on a plan unveiled in March, the council voted to issue a request for proposals for the operation of a river cruise attraction based at Marine Park.

The wining bidder would be allowed to dock at the borough promenade, and would be responsible for all costs associated with making the the vessel accessible, such as construction of ramps and alterations to the railings for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, said Sickels.

No restrooms would be needed on land for the operation because cruise customers would use onboard facilities, he said.

The contract would run for five years with an option for a five-year extension.

The aim, Mayor Pasquale Menna said in March, is to revive an attraction ended in the 1990s, when a vessel known as the Big Kahuna offered river rides and catered cruises out of the adjoining Irwin’s Marina. The business ended only when the owners sold the vessel, Menna said.

“It’s going to be wonderful to have some life there in Marine Park,” said Council President Cindy Burnham, who has pushed, unsuccessfully so far, for a restoration of the park’s Hurricane Sandy-damaged red clay tennis courts.

Here’s the bid request: Marine Park bid proposal 061716 Bids will be opened July 19.

• Red Bank RiverCenter presented a $15,000 check to the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation, a nonprofit fundraising arm of the public schools. The funds represented a portion of the proceeds from the April 24 Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest held in the White Street parking lot, which the foundation mustered about 100 volunteers to help manage, said RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone.

As part of the presentation, the Red Bank Primary School Chorus sang two songs for the council and audience, including a one set to the tune of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” and reworked to include references to the borough.

• Dogs will once again have dominion over a downtown block with the return of the Dog Days of Summer series for its fourth year starting next Tuesday night from 6 to 9 p.m.

Monmouth Street between Broad Street and Drummond Place will be closed to vehicle traffic for canine socializing and vendor displays. The rain date is Tuesday, July 12.