RED BANK: MARINE PARK SESSIONS SLATED

First came new restrooms (above), sewer pumps and lighting. Up next in Red Bank’s Marine Park Improvement Project is an evening of public input sessions on what to do with the 2.2-acre facility on the Navesink River.

A satellite view of the park. (Photo at top by John T. Ward; satellite image above by Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

The council’s parks and rec committee has scheduled the two public-input workshops to solicit ideas on what should be done to improve the park. They’re slated for  Monday, April 9, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at borough hall to accommodate as many residents as possible, said Councilman Erik Yngstrom, who heads the committee.

The sessions were originally scheduled for March 21, but we postponed because of a snowstorm.

Leading the brainstorming sessions will be representatives of Kimley-Horn, a planning firm hired by the council in December under a $41,000 contract to develop a concept plan. Suggestions concerning amenities, signage, parking, layout, activities and more are all on the table, Yngstrom said.

The aim of the two-part session is to ask the public “what do you guys want down there?” he said.

The park, “hasn’t been the center of our town the way it was before Hurricane Sandy” in October, 2012, Yngstrom said. “We want to make it the center of town again.”

Kimley-Horn is expected to hold three more rounds of public hearings as the concept plan advances, though none have yet been scheduled. Yngstrom said he’s hoping one of the meetings can be held in the park itself.

Meantime, the park’s vaunted clay tennis courts, which were damaged by the hurricane, have not reopened since.

Two years ago, the council rejected three private-sector proposals for the park, two of which called for development, while the third was an offer of funding to preserve the courts.