By JOHN T. WARD
The creation of a redevelopment agency for Red Bank is among the items on the borough council’s agenda Wednesday night.
Also up for consideration at the semimonthly meeting: a smoking ban, and the closing of a driveway onto a busy street.
The agency is expected to focus initially on borough facilities such as the public works yard on Chestnut Street, that are considered in need of immediate TLC. That focus was recommended recently by Ken DeRoberts, who heads a consulting firm that’s overseeing the agency’s creation.
A Management Enhancement Report written last year by DeRoberts’ firm, Government Strategy Group, found that “one of the reasons… Red Bank seems to have become paralyzed in addressing its redevelopment issues is that the community has no person, office, or entity to provide leadership, focus, and drive to get things done.”
When the ordinance was introduced earlier this month, Councilman Michael Ballard was the sole ‘no’ vote. He has previously argued that redevelopment oversight should be managed in-house by Business Administrator Ziad Shehady.
• The alleyway known as Emanuel Court, which connects West Front Street to English Plaza, would be closed to vehicular traffic under an ordinance up for introduction.
The change was requested by downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter, which has a $500,000 zero-interest loan from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to make English Plaza safer for pedestrians and motorists alike. The narrow alleyway presents a potential hazard to pedestrians, the document says.
Plans call for the English Plaza lot to do double duty for occasional special events, such as farm markets, RiverCenter officials said at a presentation last September.
Also on the agenda:
• A ban on smoking in public places. Here’s the ordinance.
Here’s the full agenda. The council meets at 6:30 p.m. in the first-floor council chamber at 90 Monmouth Street.