Search Results for: red bank natural gas regulator

RED BANK: PEDESTRIAN HIT IN CAR CURB-JUMP

rb crash 121815 2The scene on Wallace Street shortly after the accident, above. The vehicle also hit a gas regulator valve, seen below, though no leak was immediately detected. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb crash 121815 1A campaign worker for an outlier presidential candidate was injured when a car jumped a curb in downtown Red Bank Friday afternoon.

The vehicle also struck a storefont natural gas regulator that had been moved above-ground three years ago, over the vehement objections by town officials that doing so created a safety hazard.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS NEW HIRE

e mcdermott 042215 2In a budget presentation, library director Elizabeth McDermott said the institution had recovered from events that “devastated” it in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

At Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the borough council, Red Bank officials authorized a new hire, passed a passel of bond ordinances and got an update on the public library’s finances a year after a mass resignation of board members.

Those agenda items and more get the bullet-point treatment below…

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RED BANK: POWER BACK ON AFTER EXPLOSIONS

rb explosion 010515 2A JCP&L crew working outside RBC at about 4:35 Monday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Utility workers restored electrical power to downtown Red Bank Sunday night following a series of underground transformer explosions that sent manhole covers and bricks flying at mid-afternoon.

No one was reported injured in the blasts, which occurred in two curbside service pits located about 100 feet apart outside the Red Bank Catholic High School/Saint James Church complex on Broad Street, with the first of four explosions reported at about 3:06 p.m.

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RED BANK SCORES IN GAS VALVE BATTLE

An NJNG crew packs it in after being ordered by police to stop work on a nearly completed gas regulator valve replacement on Monmouth Street in October, 2012. Below, a Monmouth Street valve that was struck by a falling tree during Hurricane Sandy. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb gas valve 103112Remember the flap over the regulator valves that New Jersey Natural Gas Company moved above-ground along storefronts over the objections of Red Bank officials and merchants two years ago?

They’re unsafe, borough officials said. They’re ugly, too, said business owners and officials at RiverCenter, the downtown promotion agency. Mayor Pasquale Menna called them “monstrous carbuncles” forced upon the town by an “arrogant” utility company.

They’re also illegal, according to a state appellate panel ruing issued Tuesday.

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RED BANK FIRM SMACKED FOR TRICKERY

A Rumson commodities trader and his Red Bank firm have been slapped with nearly $6 million in fines and paybacks orders by United States and British regulators for an alleged scheme to manipulate prices for oil, agricultural products and more, according to various media reports Monday.

According to a report by Bloomberg News carried on the Star-Ledger website, NJ.com, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged Michael Coscia and his firm, Panther Energy Trading, with market ‘spoofing,’ in which bids and offers in futures contracts for crude oil, metals and other commodities were made anD quickly withdrawn to create the illusion of market demand.

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RED BANK: NEW YEAR, FAMILIAR FACES

The young son of new fire department Chief TD Doremus makes a beeline for his dad at Tuesday’s swearing-in. Below, Councilman Mike DuPont takes the oath of office, administered by former mayor Ben Nicosia, left, and joined by his mom, one of his children and former mayor Ed McKenna. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An air of status quo dominated as Red Bank officials completed their annual reorganization of the borough government on New Year’s Day.

“Art and I ran to continue the progress you’re seeing,” Councilman Mike DuPont told a packed council chambers, referring to fellow council member and 2012 running mate Art Murphy, after each was sworn into office.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, too, spoke of continuing to build on what he characterized as improvements in the town’s economic foundation, arts profile, recreation facilities and more.

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RED BANK COPS HALT GAS VALVE WORK

An NJNG crew packs it in after being ordered by police to stop work on a nearly completed gas regulator valve replacement on Monmouth Street Friday morning. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The dispute over natural gas valves in downtown Red Bank grew more heated Friday morning, as Mayor Pasquale Menna directed the police chief to pull cops off traffic duty at New Jersey Natural Gas worksites and to order the construction halted.

Menna and downtown business interests, already blowing a gasket over what they have termed the company’s “medieval,” “spiteful” and “arrogant” displays of power, said NJNG has visibly ramped up its efforts to move gas valves from sub-sidewalk pits to above-ground spots adjacent to storefronts. And it is doing so without obtaining necessary construction permits, they said.

Based on that failure, Menna said he consulted with borough Attorney Dan O’Hern before asking police Chief Steve McCarthy to yank officers from site work and to have cops order the workers to pack it in.

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RED BANK: GAS VALVE BATTLE EXPANDS

A gas regulator valve outside the Ebner’s rug store on East Front Street that borough officials said was the subject of a summons. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A legal and PR battle pitting Red Bank government and business interests against the region’s dominant natural gas distributor is about to move into a new arena.

Borough officials, having lost round one in court, voted Monday night to file an appeal that they hope will stop New Jersey Natural Gas from relocating gas regulator valves from sub-sidewalk boxes to storefronts downtown.

Meantime, the town has begun issuing summonses charging the utility with doing construction work without obtaining necessary permits.

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TOWN FIRES BACK IN GAS EQUIPMENT SPAT

Gas utility crews have been working downtown this week to replace gas regulators in pits beneath sidewalks without moving them. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Escalating a dispute over who gets to determine where utility equipment can be installed, Red Bank officials threw another obstacle in the way of a New Jersey Natural Gas plan to relocate unsightly gas regulators from beneath downtown sidewalks to above-ground sites.

A pair of ordinance amendments adopted by the borough council Wednesday night would require the utility, and any other developer, to obtain planning or zoning board approval for any installation that “may impact” a sidewalk.

The changes, officials insisted, were aimed at squaring the language of existing ordinances, and do not create any new hurdles. But the move comes amid a pending lawsuit and other actions in a back-and-forth that pits the borough government and business interests against the gas company.

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RED BANK SCORES FIRST IN GAS METER SUIT

New Jersey Natural Gas says it needs to install 88 pressure-relief regulators above ground, and has filed suit to force the borough to issue permits. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank won the first round in a legal battle with a natural gas provider over unsightly valves the utility insists must be installed along storefronts downtown for safety reasons.

In a decision issued in Freehold Monday, state Superior Court Judge Lawrence Lawson rejected New Jersey Natural Gas Company’s request for an order requiring the borough to immediately issue permits for the replacement work.

The ruling comes despite written testimony by NJNG employees that two underground regulators were found to have been leaking beneath sidewalks on Broad Street just last week.

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RED BANK GAS SPAT MOVES TO STATEHOUSE

Red Bank wants the regulators, below, enclosed beneath sidewalks, like one outside 26 Monmouth Street, above.  (Click to enlarge)

Three months after Red Bank borough and New Jersey Natural Gas publicly clashed over the gas company’s plan to install pressure-regulating valves in front of more than 80 borough businesses, the fight has moved to Trenton.

After a hearing over proposed legislation that would limit the utility’s ability to unilaterally locate emergency venting equipment was postponed Monday, representatives of the two sides aired their cases on the Statehouse steps, the Asbury Park Press reports.

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OFFICIALS BLAST NJNG OVER GAS VALVES

State Senator Jennifer Beck with the offending gas pressure valve on Broad Street Wednesday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[SEE UPDATE TO THIS STORY AT THE BOTTOM]

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna and 11th-District state Senator Jennifer Beck teed up New Jersey Natural Gas Wednesday for a plan to install emergency venting devices in front of downtown storefronts.

Labeling them “Visigoths, Ostrogoths and Vandals,” the historically inclined mayor blasted unnamed NJNG officials for a “tyrannical decision to put in these horse hitches,” he said at a midday press conference outside Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash on Broad Street, where one of the offending valves was installed a year ago.

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MENNA GASSED UP OVER REGULATOR PLAN

gas-regulatorImagine 80 more of these downtown. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mayor Pasquale Menna can’t say enough how much he objects to a plan by New Jersey Natural Gas to replace aging equipment in town, although he’s trying his best.

“New Jersey Natural Gas decided they wanted to be modern day Vandals of Red Bank,” he said of the company’s proposed “gas pressure regulator relocation project,” which “sounds very fancy but it’s very ugly.”

The plan, to open up downtown sidewalks and remove old gas regulators, then install new ones above ground, has sent Menna into a whirling tirade against the company, saying it’s acting out of corporate greed and counteracting years of work to preserve the historic downtown.

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UTILITY WANTS MORE TO GIVE USERS GAS

New Jersey Natural Gas is asking state utilities regulators to approve a 7.5-percent increase in distribution charges, which would boost the average customer’s monthly bill by $11.35 a month, the Asbury Park Press is reporting.

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It’s the first time the Wall Township-based company has asked for an increase in delivery fees in 14 years, the paper’s David Willis reports.

From the story:

The rate proposal, filed today with the state Board of Public Utilities, could take as long as a year to wind through the regulatory process, so any increase would not affect this winter’s heating season.

Now, the good news: In a separate filing, the utility notified regulators that it would
dole out a one-time refund next month, which for a typical residential customer will amount to about $70, because it spent less on natural gas costs.

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NJNG TO REPLACE ALL SIDEWALK VALVES

The disputed gas pressure regulators are beneath steel covers like this one outside 12 Broad Street. The utility contends they should be above ground for safety, like the one outside Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

New Jersey Natural Gas, locked in a lawsuit with Red Bank over unsightly gas valves, plans to replace 88 such devices in their existing sidewalk pits downtown beginning Monday, the company announced Friday afternoon.

Citing the “potential threat of harm” posed by corroded and leaking gas pressure regulators, the company said it would take unilateral action to temporarily replace the equipment in a way that does not require borough permits – the sticking point in the pending litigation.

Mayor Pasquale Menna called the action a publicity stunt.

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THE WEEK IN REARVIEW

hyde-pierce-geoffrey-owensActors David Hyde Pierce (of TV’s ‘Frazier’ fame) and Geoffrey Owens (‘The Cosby Show’) ran into one another at the March 26 opening of ‘Candida’ at the Red Bank’s Two River Theater. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Good morning, readers.

Before you dig into the day’s news, here’s a rundown of last week’s happenings on redbankgreen, an easily digestible compendium of the week that was.

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