RED BANK: NEW LOT, HOURS ON AGENDA

The plan calls for a new parking lot on the former site of the Marine Park tennis courts. (Image by CME Associates. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020A new parking lot in Red Bank’s Marine Park is among the topics slated for discussion by the council Wednesday night.

So is an issue put on hold five months ago: increasing the hours of paid parking downtown.

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RED BANK: BUDGET Q&A SLATED AFTER ALL

red bank, nj, ed zipprich, michael ballard, ziad shehadyCouncilman Michael Ballard, center, with Councilman Ed Zipprich, left, and Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in December, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Almost two months later than promised, Red Bank residents will get a detailed explanation next week of a borough budget that would increase property taxes by 2.8 percent.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL REOPENING PLANS AIRED

red bank middle school 032220Students would receive in-school instruction just two days a week under the plan unveiled Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank school officials have begun nailing down a COVID-19-era reopening plan while “standing on shifting ground,” in the words of a board of education member.

On Wednesday, the district unveiled “the most likely scenario for September” in the form of a plan that calls for a mix of classroom and at-home learning.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE AT 2.8 PERCENT

A screengrab from Wednesday’s virtual meeting, with Councilman Michael Ballard at top center and Business Administrator Ziad Shehady at center right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

Red Bank property owners would pay 2.8 percent more in municipal taxes this year, under a budget advanced by the borough council Wednesday night.

The still-evolving $22.4 million spending plan was the centerpiece of a nearly three-hour online council meeting that left viewers with a lot to unpack.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE ON AGENDA

michael ballard 051320Councilman Michael Ballard during an online meeting in May. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesDelayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s proposed budget for 2020 would boost the amount to be raised from local property owners by 5.4 percent.

But heading into the final stretch, it’s not clear that the chairman of the finance committee will support the spending plan if it goes to a vote Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: PLAZA LIMITS IRK OUTSIDERS

red bank broad street plazaAbutting restaurant setups at the north end of Broad Street have created an atmosphere that’s drawing customers away from other restaurants, some owners say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See CORRECTION below]

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIs a north-south divide developing on Broad Street in Red Bank?

Owners of some businesses located just south of the month-old Broadwalk street plaza say they’re being unfairly cut out of a boom in downtown visitors.

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FAIR HAVEN: PURCHASE PLAN SCRAPPED

fair haven 623 river 022120 4The proposal called for a $3.4 million purchase of the office complex at 623 River Road, followed by an estimated $9.6 million in site redevelopment. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicFair Haven’s council has scrapped a controversial plan to buy a River Road office building for $3.4 million.

Monday’s action marked the second time plans for a proposed home for a new borough hall and police station have fallen through, and left officials turning to plan C.

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RED BANK: PLAZA PLANS REWORKED

princeton parklet 2018 2.jpegA public parklet on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. Red Bank officials plan to allow parklets for designated restaurant use. (Photo courtesy of Planet Princeton. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAmong a series of adjustments, Red Bank’s economic reopening committee has scrapped the Sunday pedestrian plaza on Monmouth Street.

Instead, the Broad Street plaza, which has drawn large turnouts three nights a week since debuting June 18, will become a four-day affair with the addition of Sunday operations starting this weekend, Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Laura Kirkpatrick tells redbankgreen.

At the same time, plans are in the works for “parklets,” or temporary seating structures, to be built in parking spots outside a handful of downtown restaurants, including three that participated in the aborted Monmouth Street plaza effort.

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ON THE GREEN: ONE POLLING PLACE PER TOWN

red bank, nj, voting boothTowns on the Greater Red Bank Green and beyond won’t see much in the way of traditional voting Tuesday.

With the Democratic and Republican primaries occurring during a pandemic, voters have been encouraged by election officials to cast ballots by mail.

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RED BANK: MENNA ADMITS FOOD TRUCK ERROR

pasquale menna 031120Mayor Pasquale Menna on Locust Avenue in March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna says he will recuse himself from future discussions of food trucks following questions raised by redbankgreen about work he did for the owner of a proposed site of a mobile eatery.

Menna, a private practice lawyer, did not disclose his connections to the property owner during Wednesday night’s council workshop meeting, when he revived the dormant issue of food trucks. But he said the omission was unintentional.

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RED BANK: NEARLY NEW CALLS IT QUITS

After 27 years in business, Janice Brown has closed the Nearly Newly clothing store on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAfter a career as a Pan Am stewardess, Janice Brown found her second act in 1993 as a Red Bank retailer, selling stylish vintage clothing.

But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown has decided to close the shop.

Read all about the end of the Nearly New Shop and other changes downtown in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: PLAZAS RETURN FOR WEEK TWO

red bank broad street plazared bank broad street plazaAfter a widely praised start last week, pedestrian plaza dining and shopping on Broad Street in Red Bank returns for week two starting Thursday night.

Under the economic restart effort, Broad Street between West Front and Wallace streets is closed to vehicles from 3 p.m to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday evenings, and Monmouth Street between Broad and Maple Avenue is closed all day Sunday.

But after daytime sunshine, the weather forecast for Thursday evening is iffy, with evening showers possible, according to the National Weather Service.

What happens if it rains? Does the street reopen to vehicular traffic? No, and merchants make the call for themselves whether open, close or resume operations when passing summer showers threaten, as detailed by redbankgreen here.

Here’s the extended forecast for the Greater Red Bank Green.

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RED BANK: SALONS REOPEN

With the restoration of some personal-care services after three months, hair growers and stylists in Red Bank were eager to get back together Monday.

Gus Carter, owner of Gus’ Barber Shop on Shrewsbury Avenue, took it down to the scalp for customer Jimmy (last name withheld), above, and Tiffany Colelli at Hair & Co. on Monmouth Street, freshened up the color of Tricia Nelson’s locks.

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