Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.


Our community pillars help us carry out our 100-Year Vision

Check it out

Health and Wellness

Red Bank YMCA

At the heart of the Red Bank community since 1874, our Red Bank Family YMCA is here to support health and well-being for all. We’re a special place where people of all ages, interests and backgrounds gather to grow in spirit, mind and body.

Learn More
organization-banner
organization-banner

RED BANK: PUSHBACK OVER REDEV CONTRACT

deroberts-massey-082719-500x332-4351334Commissioner Megan Massey pressed agency manager Ken DeRoberts on differences in prices quoted for a contract. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-220x138-7378486Red Bank’s new Redevelopment Agency began doling out work to professionals Tueday, and one member immediately tapped the brakes on spending.

At its monthly meeting Tuesday, Commissioner Megan Massey signaled a reluctance to approve a contract that had been recommended by the agency’s manager.

At issue was a contract calling for an overview of the town in terms of areas deemed in need of either “redevelopment” or “rehabilitation” — terms of art used in state law.

Agency manager Ken DeRoberts recommended the award of a contract to ARH Associates to conduct what he called a “threshold conformance analysis,” which he described as “an evaluation of the entire borough [to] identify areas that could qualify either as in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation.”

The study “is the beginning phase” of a process under which the agency will eventually recommend to the borough council that areas be so designated in order to proceed with possible real estate makeovers, DeRoberts told the panel.

In a town that’s “two square miles, 99-percent developed, I think there are pockets of areas that could qualify,” he said. Cataloging those sites “proactively,” he said, would help keep the borough out of a situation in which it has to react to a large-scale plan by a developer, he said.

ARH, with a not-to-exceed price of about $56,000, was one of two planning firms that responded to the agency’s request for proposals to do the analysis, he said. Heyer Gruel & Associates, which is based on Broad Street, came in with a bid of $8,000.

DeRoberts said he was “surprised that Heyer Gruel came in at such a low amount.” Still, in reviewing both proposals with agency executive director (and borough business administrator) Ziad Shehady and the agency’s attorney, “the comprehensive nature of the proposal of ARH versus Heyer Gruel was very noticeable,” he said.

“ARH came very close to meeting what our expectations and needs are,” he said.

But Massey, a planner whose day job is in capital planning with New Jersey Transit, questioned why the cheaper offer was being rejected. In terms of the scope of work to be performed, the proposals were “very similar,” she said. “If you can get the same product for a ton less, why not?”

She also cited the fact that Heyer Gruel “has a presence in Red Bank, and so already has a background knowledge.”

Agency attorney Walter Denson, sitting in for partner Louis Rainone, said that based on his experience with other municipalities, he was was “very concerned” that Heyer Gruel was offering to do a comprehensive study in just 30 days.

“That’s why we felt there was a difference between the two,” he said, without mentioning how long ARH said it would take. “We felt like ARH would give us a more comprehensive look.”

Massey, though, said the difference may be that “Heyer and Gruel does a ton of this work. You can crank these out pretty quickly.” ARH, she noted, was asking the borough to provide parcel data that Heyer Gruel might already have, she said.

“That’s a huge discrepancy, between eight thousand and fifty-six,” she said.

After further discussion, the commission agreed to have DeRoberts, Denson and Massey go back to Heyer Gruel for clarification.

The nine-member agency was created earlier this year in response to a 2018 Management Enhancement Report written by DeRoberts’ consulting firm, Government Strategy Group, which found in part that borough assets were not being adequately managed and that redevelopment possibilities were being left unexplored.

The agency’s next scheduled meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 25, in the council chamber at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
HOMEBOUND? READ ON…
RED BANK: Can't get to the public library? It's now offering free delivery and pickups for homebound borough residents.
TAMING A BEAST OF A WEEK
RED BANK: After the second snowfall of the week, a borough family finds the perfect use for it – a Godzilla snow sculpture.
RED BANK: LIBRARY CLOSED, BUT THE HILL’S OPEN
RED BANK: Though the library was closed by a snowstorm, kids got to enjoy the riverfront property's steep slope Tuesday.
LIGHT(HOUSE) MAKEOVER
This year, getting ready for spring means a midwinter makeover for Strollo's Lighthouse in Red Bank.
TODAY: LOCAL PUPPY COMPETES ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “PUPPY BOWL”
Red Bank’s very own rescue puppy, Biscuit, is set to compete in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl this Sunday, February 11, at 2 PM. Th ...
WHAT? NO redbankgreen NEWSLETTER?
Apologies to redbankgreen newsletter subscribers: the daily email hasn’t gone out for two days because of technical issues.
RED BANK: TIRED OF SKEETERS?
RED BANK: Tired of mosquito bites every summer? Monmouth County has a free program to help eliminate skeeter breeding grounds.
SEA BRIGHT: POLAR PLUNGE FOR ST. JAMES, OTHERS
Hundreds braved the wind and sea on Sunday at 1PM in support of St. James Elementary School, and other Catholic schools in the area. The eve ...
RED BANK: RBR CLAIMS TITLE
RED BANK: Watch pure joy as the RBR boys basketball team celebrates its first B North championship in 17 years.
RED BANK: FORGET-IT FRIDAY
RED BANK: Train Station can be a lonely place Friday mornings, especially with cold rain in the forecast.
RED BANK: CROONING YOUR LOVE
RED BANK: Imagine a quartet of impeccably dressed gentlemen showing up at your beloved's workplace, singing of your love.
RED BANK: BLACK RIVER ROLLS ON
RED BANK: A 68-year-old rail freight engine can still be counted on to draw a trainspotting fan or two when it rolls through town.
RED BANK: ‘MONDAY SWEAT’ MEETS
RED BANK: Joined by the Hazlet Running Club, members of the Red Bank Run Club met for their "Monday Sweat" at Count Basie Field.
RED BANK: CARD SALE BOOSTS GYM DRIVE
RED BANK: Charter School Foundation offers student-deisgned Valentines cards to help raise funds for a gymnasium.
RED BANK: LOVE IS IN THE… WINDOW
RED BANK: Up next: Valentine's Day, and Partyline finds the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe getting ready for a surge of love and craving.
CLOSING THE BOOK ON A GREAT CAREER
The Red Bank mayor and council honored with a resolution Linda Hewitt (in red) on her retirement from the Red Bank Public Library at Thursda ...
RED BANK: RAIL COMMUTER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of the Route 35 Cooper's Bridge over the Navesink River, as seen from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank F ...
RED BANK: PROMISING PROMS
RED BANK: Prom season approaches, and Lunch Break once again steps up with its 8th annual Prom Giveaway of donated dresses.
RED BANK: DOWN BY THE RIVER
RED BANK: Partyline contributor Karly Swaim captured a gloomy mood in Riverside Gardens Park Wednesday evening.
[GIF] FRIDAY NIGHT SLEDDING DOWN TOWER HILL
Tower Hill was in the right condition for sledding on Friday night, and with forecasted highs to stay below freezing temperature for the wee ...