Red Bank’s borough hall as storm clouds rolled in from the west Saturday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


hot topic red bank njAt its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the Red Bank council is expected to take up financing the Master Plan, selling a brand-new vehicle, filling a job vacancy and more.

Here’s some of what’s on the agenda:

A new, never-used animal control van, not the one shown here, is to be sold at cost. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

• Adoption vote on an ordinance authorizing a “special emergency appropriation” of $160,000 for consultant fees for the an anticipated update of the borough’s Master Plan.

A subcommittee of the planning board has recommended the borough contract with BFJ Planning of New York City to rewrite the plan.

Councilmen Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich have opposed using longterm financing for the expense, favoring a direct payment from borough funds.

“We have money in our capital fund balance to cover $160,000,” Zipprich said at the council workshop on October 6. “There’s a lot of money there. I don’t understand why we would go out to finance another note on the backs of the taxpayers.”

Councilwoman Kate Triggiano countered that financing the master plan with debt was “typical” practice. “Saying ‘on the backs of taxpayers’ is a little bit funky,” she said.

At the council’s September 22 meeting, acting Business Administrator Darren McConnell said using emergency appropriations followed by rolling the cost into a later bond with other projects was “the most common way towns pay for” master plans.

While the borough has enough to cover the expense, “my thought was not to touch that capital fund so we have that money there in case we have an emergency, such as a major sewer repair, a major roadway repair, that we need the money for an couldn’t go out to bond quickly enough,” McConnell said.

• Authorizing the sale of the borough’s animal control van to the Monmouth County SPCA.

The move follows the elimination of the borough’s animal control officer position, held for years by Henry Perez, and the start of a contract with the MCSPCA for response to animal-related emergencies.

The council authorized the purchase of the Ford Transit 250 cargo van in August, 2020 for the same price being paid by the MCSPCA: $36,997. Because of production delays, the van was not delivered until June of this year, and was never put into service, McConnell tells redbankgreen.

The borough had hoped to repurpose the vehicle for another use, but none was found, he said.

“The SPCA is in need of a vehicle of this type for their functions and are also having trouble obtaining one due to production delays,” McConnell said via email.  “Therefore, it was in the best interest of both the Borough and the SPCA to transfer the vehicle to the SPCA and they were willing to pay the full purchase price as it was competitive pricing and the vehicle was never utilized.”

Settlement of an Open Public Records Act dispute with a payment of $4,275 to attorney Rotimi Owoh.

Hiring ChrisAnn DeGenaro as full-time administrative assistant in the planning and zoning office.

DeGenaro would succeed Maria Graziano, who resigned in September.

• Approving Christopher Terhune and Salvador Tecalero-Arenas for membership in the Navesink Hose and Independent Engine companies, respectively, of the volunteer fire department.

• Reading a proclamation recognizing Alyssa Geary, a Red Bank Middle School special education teacher who was named Monmouth County Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for the same title statewide.

• Approving the annual Halloween curfew, this year in effect for October 30 and 31 from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

• This meeting replaces one originally scheduled for October 13; the second semimonthly session of the month, slated for October 27, has been canceled.

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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