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RED BANK: SUNSETS ON AGENDA

red-bank-horgan-menna-102622-500x375-2160645Mayor Pasquale Menna and Councilwoman Kathy Horgan are slated to attend their final session as elected officials. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-9108919Red Bank may inch closer to turning its onetime landfill on the Swimming River into an eight-acre park under a proposed action on the agenda Wednesday night.

The session, which marks the sunset of Mayor Pasquale Menna‘s 16-year tenure, also includes potential action on short-term rentals.

tm-sunset-park-041017-2-500x315-9230010Existing conditions at the former incinerator and landfill site as of 2017. (Image by T&M Associates. Click to enlarge.)

On the agenda:

• Awarding the planning firm FHI Studio a $6,000 contract to pursue a federal EPA grant to assess the landfill site, located at the westerly ends of West Sunset and West Westside avenues.

The resolution refers to “the the project here forward known as “Sunset Park,” an apparent first official acknowledgment of the plan to redevelop the site as a park.

It also says the borough “is partnering with Monmouth Conservation Foundation to apply for the EPA Area Wide Assessment Grant.”

FHI is already engaged via the planning board on the update of the borough Master Plan, in which it is creating three “small area plans,” one of which is focused on the riverfront site.

• Introduction of an ordinance setting the terms for short-term rentals such as AirBnBs.

• The meeting is the last scheduled for 2022, and the last of hundreds for Menna, a Democrat who has served as mayor since January 1, 2007. That ties him with his predecessor, Ed McKenna, as the second-longest-serving mayor in borough history. [CORRECTION: The original version of this story mistakenly reported that Menna and McKenna were the longest-serving. That distinction belongs to Charles R. English, who was mayor for 20 years, from January 1931 to December 1950.]

Menna, who previously served 18 years as a councilman, is to be succeeded at noon, January 1, by Billy Portman, a political newcomer elected in November.

The session is also to be the last for Councilwoman Kathy Horgan, a Democrat who was first elected in 2008 and then won four more three-year terms. She opted not to seek a sixth term this year; her seat is to be filled by John Jackson.

• The council will first hold its monthly workshop session at 6:30 p.m., followed immediately by the regular session. Both will be accessible in-person, at 90 Monmouth Street, and viewable on Facebook and via Zoom.

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