Search Results for: halfacre denormandie

BREAKING PLEDGE, HALFACRE SEEKS 2ND TERM

halfacre-tatCan he leap his own pledge in a single bound? Mayor Mike Halfacre’s calf tattoo, bearing his initials and those of his wife and children. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mike Halfacre’s days in politics aren’t over yet. And he’s willing to break a longtime pledge to prove it.

just_in1Following his withdrawal from the District 12 Congressional race last week, the Republican tells redbankgreen that he’s running for a second term as mayor of Fair Haven in November.

“Yes I am,” he said. “I’m running for mayor in 2010.”

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FAIR HAVEN: PARK OPENS ON OLD HOUSE SITE

fair haven williams albert robards park Local officials lined the shoreline of the Navesink River for the park opening. Below, the house that formerly stood on the site, as seen in 2009. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fh-williams-backMore than a decade after it began, an effort to turn prime riverfront property in Fair Haven into a park ended with a ribbon-cutting Tuesday evening.

Dubbed “Williams, Albert and Robards Park” for the successive generations of the family that lived there, the site at the northern end of Denormandie Avenue will now serve as a place for “contemplation,” Mayor Ben Lucarelli told several dozen onlookers at a brief ceremony.

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MAYOR ‘FALLING OUT OF LOVE’ WITH PARK

The Charles Williams estate overlooking the Navesink has fallen into disrepair while borough officials await a resolution of title issues, says the mayor. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A plan for Fair Haven’s first and only waterfront park, to be created on the site of a pre-Civil War home built by an African-American, is “not dead,” says Mayor Mike Halfacre.

“But it may be on life support,” he adds.

Halfacre and the borough council are scheduled to convene behind closed doors later this month to get an update from town Attorney Sal Alfieri on legal matters that have held up the town’s acquisition of the Charles Williams estate, at the Navesink River end of DeNormandie Avenue.

Meantime, however, Halfacre admits to redbankgreen that he’s “falling out of love” with the plan.

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PRESS: FAIR HAVEN LAND DEAL STALLED

fh-williams-house-061610The Charles Williams house, built in 1855, would be demolished to make way for a pocket park. (Click to enlarge)

A plan by Fair Haven to acquire a riverfront residential property for use as a passive park has gotten snagged in ownership questions, the Asbury Park Press reported Tuesday.

As a result of delays, funding for the proposed purchase of the one-acre parcel at the foot of DeNormandie Avenue is in danger of vanishing, Mayor Mike Halfacre tells the newspaper.

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RIVER PARK PLAN TAKES SHAPE IN FAIR HAVEN

robards-park1An informal committee met at the former Charles Williams estate Monday to discuss its future. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s a simple plan, with details yet to be worked out through a process that will carry through the biting days of fall and winter. But once the shoreline has thawed, Fair Haven officials are intent on having a beachfront park that gives locals something to be proud of.

At its second meeting for what is expected to be called Robards Park, at the site of the former Charles Williams estate on DeNormandie Avenue, borough leaders laid out a basic vision for the two-thirds-of-an-acre parcel that hugs the Navesink River. It’s going to be a passive park, with as much of its native, natural features retained as possible, said Mayor Mike Halfacre.

But to make that happen, there are some points that need to be marked off the to-do list, and will happen within the next month, he said.

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DRAWING A PLAN FOR A WATERFRONT FUTURE

fh-williams-house-061610Unclaimed boats and kayaks will be removed next month from the beach at the former Charles Williams estate, Fair Haven officials say. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

By this time next year, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre anticipates that the borough’s prized beachfront property at 78 DeNormandie Ave. will be open for public use.

First, though, a few things need to happen — including the demolition of the house that’s been on the property for 150 years, for one.

A formal naming, too, although the working title is “Robards Park,” in honor of the last resident of the house, Winifred Julia Decatur Robards.

Town officials also hope to answer the abiding question of what exactly to do with the property.

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FAIR HAVEN REDUCES TAXES… AGAIN

halfacre-1Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre, shown here at a December council meeting, introduced a  smaller 2010 budget that shrinks taxes on Monday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven has accomplished an improbable feat in today’s fiscal climate.

While most towns, including Red Bank, are jumping on the panic button to balance budgets over cuts in state aid and a dormant economy, borough officials on Monday night introduced a 2010 budget that reduces taxes.

Mayor Mike Halfacre, who’s vying for the Republican nomination to challenge 12th-district Congressman Rush Holt in November, was quick to tout the achievement as evidence of his GOP tax-cutting credentials.

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FAIR HAVEN MAY FORGO GRANTS FOR PARK

fh-robards-houseThe property, seen here from the river beach, is at the foot of narrow DeNormandie Avenue, right. (Click to enlarge)

Amid concerns from some residents that Fair Haven is about to create a riverfront park with access issues, borough officials last night forged ahead while throwing a late wrinkle into the plan.

The newest twist: closing on the $1.2 million deal whether or not $500,000 in offsetting grant money comes through first, if at all.

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FAIR HAVEN TO SEEK GREEN ACRES FUNDS

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Residents of DeNormandie Avenue have raised traffic and parking concerns about the proposed conversion of the riverfront residence to a park.

In response to concerns raised by neighbors, Fair Haven officials last night put off voting on a plan to fund the $1.2 million purchase of a one-acre parcel on the Navesink River, according to a report in today’s Asbury Park Press.

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CENTURY HOUSE EYED FOR POCKET PARK

fh-williamshouseWith its million-dollar view of the Navesink, the Charles Williams house would be razed sooner or later, locals appear to agree. Below, a weathered medallion on the doorframe marks the structure as a Century House.
(Click to enlarge)

It’s a homestead that links Fair Haven not only to its roots as a riverfront village, but to the bedrock of its identity as a place where African Americans made their homes even in the days of slavery.

The Charles Williams house, built overlooking the Navesink River in 1855, has remained in the same family without interruption, pre-Emancipation right through the death of its most recent occupant, who lived there for 90 years.

Her name was Winifred Julia Decatur Robards, and she died one year ago this week at the age of 92, adding to the rapid erosion of the borough’s small black community.

But years before her death, she and her two sons saw the end of the line coming, and planned to put the house up for sale. And now, it appears the Williams house will indeed fall to a bulldozer at the behest of its next owner: the borough of Fair Haven itself.

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FOR YOUR SAFETY, IF YOU CAN AVOID THEM

Fh signage By SUE MORGAN

They’re a little large, and tend to crowd the sidewalk. Mayor Mike Halfacre says he lost a “$1.79 cup of coffee” when he accidentally collided with one.

The six vivid yellow pedestrian-crossing signs recently installed on Fair Haven’s main drag by Monmouth County also add to a “cluttered” look on River Road, which already has its share of county-mandated signage, locals say.

Still, the borough officially welcomes the signs. Its governing body said so at a recent meeting.

Also welcome: moveable signs placed on the center line of River Road and Hance Road advising motorists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

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STRAW POLL CRUSHES BRICK WALKWAYS

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An eleventh-hour move by the owners of a handful of properties in the historic downtown district of Fair Haven to opt out of the sidewalk reconstruction project that begins this week failed last night.

Led by attorneys Brooks Van Arx, whose own office is in the district, and Roger Foss, the property owners asked the council for an exemption from a plan to replace all the walkways in the district with a stamped concrete material starting tomorrow. The aim, the lawyers said, was to preserve existing brick sidewalks at no cost to tbe borough.

“We believe it adds an historical flavor,” Von Arx said of the brick along River Road in the vicinity of DeNormandie Place. “It makes a beautiful, beautiful corner for that historic section of Fair Haven, and we think it’s worth preserving.”

But after borough engineer Rich Moralle (that’s him at the easel in the photo) raised issues of cost, timing, contract law and aesthetics, Mayor Mike Halfacre — who opposed the last-minute changes — called for a straw poll of the council that appeared to kill the alterations.

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LAST-MINUTE BRICK THROWN INTO PLAN

Sidewalks1

By LINDA G. RASTELLI
When you’re redoing a downtown, as rookie Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre is discovering, you can’t please everyone.

Exhibit A: the borough’s streetscape plan, which calls for the sidewalks from Memorial Park to Oak Place to be redone in white concrete stamped with a herringbone pattern, and for the installation of faux Victorian light fixtures. River Road in the vicinity of Fair Haven Road will be repaved.

Everyone agrees the sidewalks need replacing “They’re in terrible condition,” says Halfacre, “like downtown Beirut in some places.”

But now, at the eleventh hour, some business owners are pushing for brick instead of concrete. On Monday night, hours after construction on the job is scheduled to start, they plan to ask the Borough Council to allow them to opt out of the concrete solution, at their own expense.

It could be a tough sell. If construction is delayed by plan changes, finishing the work for Memorial Day weekend as other merchants insist may not be possible. Retailers are still smarting over the 2005 reconstruction of the bridge over Fourth Creek, just a few hundred feet west of the intersection, which all but shut off downtown traffic for months.

“The business owners are very sensitive about traffic flow,” says Halfacre. “They’re afraid [if construction impedes access again] their customers won’t come back this time.”

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