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RED BANK: SICKELS SENDOFF, H2O ON AGENDA

stanley-sickels-1-102113-500x375-7175166Stanley Sickels at a planning board meeting in 2013. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s most powerful unelected official is slated to get an official sendoff at the semimonthly council meeting Wednesday night.

Also on the agenda: the town’s heaviest water users would be subject to higher minimum charges under a measure slated for introduction.

rb-water-plant-012909-3-500x375-9173859The borough’s water plant on Chestnut Street, as seen in 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Here’s some of what’s on the agenda:

• Mayor Pasquale Menna and the six-member council plan to adopt a commendation for borough Administrator Stanley Sickels, who’s slated to retire December 31. Sickels, who also serves as fire marshal and construction official, is wrapping up more than 38 years as as borough employee.

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who’s leading the search committee that expects to recommend a new administrator, could not be reached Tuesday morning for a status update on the hunt.

• Customers of the municipal water utility served by meters connected to service lines of four inches or more in diameter could see an increase in the minimum quarterly charge, under a proposed ordinance change.

Homeowners, typically served by five-eighths and three-quarter-inch lines, are familiar with the fee as a $44 item on their quarterly water bills. That won’t change. Customers with one-, one-and-a-half, two- and three-inch service also won’t see an increase: they pay, respectively, $88, $132, $220 and $352 per quarter for the meter charge.

What’s now categorized as “three inch and larger” meters will instead be broken into additional size groups, with graduated quarterly fees, according to the draft of the amendment:

Three-inch: $352 (unchanged)

Four-inch: $572

Six-inch: $924

Eight-inch and larger: $1,496

Borough officials said Monday they did not have data available on the number, or identities, of customers affected by the change, nor did they immediately have a revenue projection available. Public utilities Director Cliff Keen told redbankgreen he expects to have that data available before Wednesday,

Here’s the proposed amendment.

• The agenda includes several measures that remove the borough fire marshal from the supervision of the construction official, and make the job a direct report to the business administrator. There’s no immediate indication on the agenda of the reason for the change.

Last month, the council approved the appointment of John Drucker as acting construction official until a permanent replacement for Sickels is named to that post. It also named Tommy Welsh as acting fire marshal. Both had previously been the top assistants in their respective agencies.

Here are the proposed changes:

2017-41

2017-42

2017-43

• As part of one of the above measures (2017-42), the town is also instituting new fees for certifications of smoke or carbon monoxide compliance, ranging from $45 for a request received more than 10 days prior to a change in occupancy, to $161 for one made fewer than four business days before the new occupancy.

• Missing from the agenda, as of Tuesday morning, is any indication that the council will select a redeveloper for the White Street parking lot.  Councilman Mike Whelan, who heads the parking committee, said earlier this month that the selection was possible at the  December 13 meeting.

Still in the running are borough-based Yellow Brook Properties, owned by Roger Mumford, and BNE Real Estate Group, based in Livingston.

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