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RED BANK: SNACK BAR, SCREENS ON AGENDA

rb-riverside-062016-2-500x375-4478272The council won’t renew the lease on the snack stand at Riverside Gardens Park under a measure on Wednesday’s agenda. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After several years as a seasonal commercial operation, the concession stand in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park has proven to be a fiscal dud.

So suggests a proposal to nix an extension of the soon-to-expire lease on the building. That, along with an ordinance tightening up the property maintenance law governing lawns and window screens, is among the items of interest up for consider at for the council’s regular session Wednesday.

Here’s a quick rundown.

• A resolution would terminate the lease on the Riverside Gardens Park concession stand on West Front Street. The stand was built along with the park in the mid-90s, but was rarely used.

That changed in in 2016, after Mayor Pasquale Menna called the stand a “wasted resource” and the council granted ice cream vendor Gracie and the Dudes a two-year lease in a bidding competition.

Most recently, with Park Jam, Steve Farley and Bill Huwyler brought a gourmet fast-food approach to the spot, opening in mid-2018.

That lease is up May 19, and Park Jam’s parent, Endeavour Provisions LLC,  holds an option for a three-year extension, under which it submitted a bid for a renewal. But the offer “failed to provide sufficient income to the Borough to justify the continuation and/or extension of the respective concession licenses,” the resolution reads.

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told redbankgreen that the offer was “much less” than the $10,000 Park Jam paid in each of the prior two years.

The current plan is to use the facility for borough purposes, but Shehady said he couldn’t yet disclose details.

• An amendment to the property maintenance ordinance up for introduction would make it as violation to allow grass and weeds to grow higher than 10 inches.

It would also mandate that “insect screens be installed and secured in windows at all times.”

redbankgreen asked Shehady for an explanation of the public interest in that one. Here’s his emailed reply:

“This ordinance is actually just a clarification of the International Property Maintenance Code which the Borough has adopted by reference in the past and adheres to. These two new sections are just “fill in the blanks” in the IPMC – presumably because different locations around the world have different considerations.  We needed to fill in the blanks in the IPMC for these two sections (height for the first part, and time range for the second part dealing with screens).  Screens serve many purposes but the main intent of this section where this is enforced is for multi-unit residential properties – to ensure that tenants have access to a safe, functional screen when they occupy a new unit.  It allows them to enjoy having the window open.  Someone can remove it easily but when an inspection of a rental unit is performed for a Certificate of Occupancy, the landlord/owner needs to ensure their tenants are provided screens that are in good shape.  This is primarily to advocate tenants who many not have the best landlord.”

Here’s the amendment.

• The council is expected to accept the retirement of police Captain Mike Clay after a 33-year career in the department, effective March 1.

Here’s the resolution.

• Also retiring: planning and zoning director Glenn Carter, who departs March 31 after four years with the borough.

Here’s the resolution.

• Here’s the full agenda. The council meets at 6:30 p.m. in the council chamber at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street.

Mayor Pasquale Menna plans to hold an informal open-door session in his borough hall office for the hour preceding the council meeting. No appointments needed.  Here’s some background.

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