red bank saxum 176 riverside aveA rendering of Saxum Real Estate’s approved but not-yet-built plan for 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


hot topic red bank njA controversial plan to job out Red Bank’s in-house animal control service is expected to be tabled Wednesday night.

Here’s what’s on the agenda for the semimonthly meeting of the mayor and council.

• Mayor Pasquale Menna confirmed Tuesday that a proposed resolution to eliminate the position of animal control officer, and another to contract with the Monmouth County SPCA for the service through the end of the year, will not go to a vote.

Instead, they’ll be held for “discussions and further information-gathering so that a recommendation can be presented” at the council’s monthly workshop session, scheduled for June 9, he told redbankgreen.

The plan to remove Henry Perez, who’s had the job for about 18 years, has sparked outrage among some pet and wildlife advocates. They contend his knowledge of the town and rapid response to emergencies cannot be matched by the volunteer SPCA, which covers some 15 towns in the county.

Borough officials have pitched the change as a cost-saver.

• The introduction of an ordinance to place a referendum on the November ballot asking whether a commission should be created to review the borough’s 113-year-old form of government, and if so, who should serve on it.

The so-called charter study question obtained informal, unanimous agreement at the council’s May 6 workshop. Full passage, after two hearings, would enable candidates for the commission to begin soliciting petition signatures required for inclusion on the ballot.

• A resolution directing the planning board to review a request by Saxum Real Estate for a re-designation of the former VNA headquarters site on Riverside Avenue.

After months of negotiation with the council, Saxum obtained an “area in need of rehabilitation” designation for the site, which it bought from the Visiting Nurse Association. It later won planning board approval to build 210 apartments there, but never started construction.

As previously reported, Saxum now seeks a change under state law to an “area in need of redevelopment.”

Here’s redbankgreen’s most recent article on the topic.

• A measure authorizing contract engineer CME Associates to prepare plans for improvements to Spring Street.

Spending $472,000 for synthetic turf at Count Basie Fields, and seeking a $500,000 grant for repairs to the bleachers there.

• Approving the $564,970 annual budget of Red Bank RiverCenter, which is funded through a surtax on commercial properties in the downtown special improvement district.

Here’s the full agenda. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., and will be conducted via Zoom. Access and participation details can be found here.

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