By JOHN T. WARD
The Red Bank council has a packed agenda for its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, including possible progress toward a long-dreamed-of new park on the West Side and some bad news for landlords who neglect vacant properties.
Among the topics on the council’s agenda: a proposed new policy limiting the amount of time commenters get at the microphone during the public comment session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
On the agenda:
• The council may hire T&M Associates to work up a preliminary concept plan to turn the former landfill and incinerator site at the western end of West Sunset Avenue into a park, to be dubbed Sunset Park.
Among the elements to be included: waterfront access to the Swimming River, playing fields and a dog park.
Here’s a letter from T&M outlining the work, for which the council’s being asked to authorize a payment of $47,000: RB T&M Sunset Park 111616
• Landlords who don’t keep up their vacant properties could face steeply escalating fees, if a proposed amendment to the property maintenance law is adopted.
Here’s the new language, up for introduction, which defines “vacant” properties and requires their owners to register them as such, for a first-year fee of $500. The fee increases in annual increments, topping out at $2,000. And failure to maintain a vacant site could result in fines of $200 to $1,000 per day.
• Councilman Mark Taylor has been pushing a proposal to limit comments at council meetings to five minutes, and gives the mayor the option to cut that down to three minutes if more than 15 people rise to speak and the council doesn’t object.
Here’ the proposed policy, which also requires speakers who have questions to direct them to the mayor, rather than individual council members, and directs council members “not to engage in dialogue or debate with the speaker.”
• A new policy would eliminate “longevity” bonuses paid to full-time borough employees. They currently get $400 annually for each five years of service. Here’s the proposed change.
• The public works yard on Chestnut Street would get a “facilities assessment and concept plan” if a contract with the engineering firm CME Associates wins approval.
A letter from CME Associates outlines the work, for which it wants to charge the town $28,000.
• A previously reported change in parking rules to facilitate snow-plowing is up for final adoption.
Here’s the full meeting agenda.