SCHARFENBERGER SHOWS HIS GREEN SIDE

Scharfenberger_100407Middletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger makes the case for environmental conservation last Thursday night.

By LINDA G. RASTELLI

Some political opponents have characterized him as an “environmental wacko,” says Middletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger.

He’s initiated a free “Dock & Roll” shuttle bus route between the Bayshore Ferry Terminal and the Middletown train station, with stops at shopping centers. He’s pursuing what he calls a “very aggressive” open space program. He’s overseeing a switch to green cleaning products in town facilities, bringing hybrid vehicles into the town’s fleet, and installed a methane-burning water heater that saves $40,000 a year for the township sewer authority.

And he’s thinking bigger. Scharfenberger says he hopes to put five or six wind turbines in an open area in Belford. “It’s the cleanest energy you can imagine, and it will pay for itself,” he says.

Green and proud of it, Scharfenberger last Thursday hosted a presentation on climate change that attracted a small yet vocal group of about 20 local residents.

Read More »

FLEET’S IN, AND IT PLUGS IN

Kurrant1

Is Red Bank about to start buzzing with funny-looking little electric cars?

Could be, if early adapters follow the leads of two trendsetters.

One is a furniture store known for impeccable taste in modern design. The other, as unlikely as it may sound, is the Borough of Red Bank itself.

Read More »

SEEING BULBS IN A NEW LIGHT

Bulb1

The Red Bank Environmental Commission is making a push to get residents to enroll in a statewide program aimed at promoting the development of alternative energy sources, including wind and solar power.

As an enticement, the commission is giving away compact fluorescent lightbulbs, which are significantly less power-consuming than conventional incandescent bulbs.

The group has set an initial target goal of 100 borough households for enrollment in the CleanPower Choice program run by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. [When redbankgreen tried accessing the CleanPower Choice links in this story this morning, we failed, but the site may have been down for maintenance.]

Read More »

ADD-ONS EXPAND COSTS IN TINTON FALLS

Img_8653Add-ons to the heating and cooling system at the new Tinton Falls municipal complex (seen here last April) will further boost the project’s cost, which is already well over budget.

Through gritted teeth, apparently, the Tinton Falls Borough Council last night approved another change order to the design of the new municipal center, which at last count was already more than 70 percent over budget.

The Asbury Park Press reports today that the council OK’d the installation of a $125,000 computerized monitoring package for the heating and air-conditioning system to help pinpoint problems in the equipment when they arise.

The monitoring system had previously been eliminated from the $6.8 million budget for the center, where costs have now swollen to about $11.6 million.

From the story:

The council for more than a month had discussed the merits of the new system following a host of problems that arose just after the new building opened in June. Each problem required an on-site visit by a technician to diagnose each time there was a glitch. And finding the source of a problem with the current system was akin to “finding a needle in a haystack,” Borough Administrator W. Bryan Dempsey has said.

Read More »

THIS TIME, REAL ELECTRIC CARS FOR BORO

Img_8123David Larotonda checks out a GEM electric car on Madison Avenue earlier this year. Yes, the borough vehicles will have doors.

After a short-circuited bid last spring, the Borough of Red Bank is back on the fast track to energy efficient transportation with the purchase of three low-speed electric vehicles for use by parking enforcement.

And this time, the cars are latest-generation design and styling, not merely spruced-up golf carts.

The borough council Monday night awarded a contract to the sole bidder, Remsen Dodge of Hazlet, which will supply a trio of GEM eS vehicles at a cost to the town $11,809 each, for a total of $35,427.

A fourth, identical vehicle is to be acquired by the borough at the same price later this year under the agreement.

Read More »

$20 MILLION BAIL FOR RUMSON OIL HAULER

Shortly before his client was scheduled to be released on a stunning $20 million bail posting, a lawyer for Tonino Solimine of Rumson told a federal judge on Long Island yesterday that the oil-trucking company owner was shutting the business down, Newsday is reporting.

Call_in_the_authorities

Solimine, owner of T&S Trucking of Brooklyn, was indicted last month on federal charges othat he was involved in a $75 million scheme to cheat heating oil customers through rigged meters on delivery trucks.

The disclosure that Solimine was planning to close his company’s doors came during a hearing in federal court on Long Island that also yielded some colorful details about Solimine’s arrest.

Read More »