FAIR HAVEN: NEW MAYOR FINDS COMPROMISE

Mayor Joshua Halpern, second from left in top row, as seen during Monday’s virtual council meeting. (Screengrab from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFive days into the job, Fair Haven’s new mayor forged a “compromise” Monday night in an effort to preserve funding for a road project that appeared dead a week ago.

“We’re looking for progress here,” Mayor Joshua Halpern said during a 47-minute special council meeting, his first as a public official.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Red Bank’s borough hall as storm clouds rolled in from the west Saturday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAt its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the Red Bank council is expected to take up financing the Master Plan, selling a brand-new vehicle, filling a job vacancy and more.

Here’s some of what’s on the agenda:

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FAIR HAVEN: NEW MAYOR REVIVES ROAD PLAN

Cooney Terrace, above, and part of Hance Road would remain sidewalk-free, and possibly curb-free, under a proposal up for a vote Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Se UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Fair Haven road project that appeared dead Tuesday may have been revived by the man who was named mayor that night.

Mayor Joshua Halpern on Friday called a special meeting of the council for Monday night to consider a plan to repave the northern end of Hance Road – but without sidewalks and maybe without curbs.

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RED BANK: EBANKS OFFERS PLANNING PRIMER

Community planning director Shawna Ebanks speaking at the library Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAbout 15 Red Bank residents got a brief seminar in municipal planning and zoning at the public library Thursday night.

But presenter Shawna Ebanks, the borough’s director of community development, steered clear of third-rail issues such as tax abatements.

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FAIR HAVEN: SIDEWALK PLAN HITS DEAD END

Delivery trucks and tree-removal equipment narrowed a stretch of Hance Road Wednesday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter seven years of planning, and months of intense pushback, Fair Haven’s council killed a plan to install sidewalks and curbs in an area that residents likened to a “country lane” Tuesday night.

The action, on a 3-3 vote without a mayor in place to cast a tiebreaker, left unanswered what to do about streets that still need repaving, and whether to waive a $350,000 grant to pay for it.

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RED BANK: LGBTQ+ SAFETY PLAN LAUNCHES

Mayor Pasquale Menna and Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey at Red Bank’s National Night Out in August. Below, the decal to be displayed under the Safe Spaces program. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank businesses will soon be able to proclaim their spaces as havens for individuals targeted in bias crimes.

Under a new program unveiled Wednesday by Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey and local law enforcement officials, the borough will begin offering businesses and institutions decals that designate their workplaces as places of temporary refuge to anyone threatened with a hate crime.

 

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RED BANK: BROADWALK BEGINS EXTRA MONTH

Temporary barriers at the south end of Broadwalk last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOriginally slated to end its second season this week, Red Bank’s ‘Broadwalk‘ begins a one-month extension Friday.

But while Red Bank RiverCenter and many business owners say the mid-street, car-free promenade has succeeded in attracting customers over 18 months of pandemic, others say it has hurt them.

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RED BANK: TREES BOOST TAB FOR ROADWORK

The work to preserve trees on Hudson Avenue included bumping out curbs and extending driveway aprons. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mid-project changes to preserve trees helped boost the tab for road work in Red Bank by more than $227,000 to this summer, officials said.

And the added expenses came in one penny below the threshold at which the entire $1.14 million project would have had to be re-bid.

RED BANK: DAL PRA PUTS ‘OUR KIDS’ FIRST

Del Dal Pra at Count Basie Park, where the stadium football field was prepped for installation of a new surface last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njEarly on in his new job as Red Bank parks and recreation director, Louis ‘Del’ Dal Pra suspected he’d have to make changes that would tick some people off.

Two encounters this spring convinced him he had no choice.

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RED BANK: COPTER STARS AT NIGHT OUT

Hundreds of Red Bank residents turned out for the annual police-sponsored National Night Out Against Crime festival at Count Basie Park Tuesday night.

In addition to free food and games, this years’s edition featured the dramatic arrival of a New Jersey National Guard Black Hawk helicopter, which kids of all ages swarmed over.

The stop was the second of the night on the Greater Red Bank Green for the Lakehurst-based chopper, following an appearance at Little Silver’s National Night Out at Markham Fields.

Check out the photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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ON THE GREEN: TAX DUE DATES EXTENDED

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesRed Bank and Fair Haven property owners who pay their taxes directly, rather than through an escrow account, can hold off on pulling out their checkbooks for a few more weeks.

Bills have yet to be sent out for taxes normally due August 1.

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RED BANK: CENTER PLANS TO COST $96K

Costs associated with planned repairs to the shuttered Senior Center delayed adoption of the borough budget. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesConstruction plans for repairs to Red Bank’s water-damaged and long-closed Senior Center will cost $96,000, borough officials said Wednesday.

Accommodating that expense into the municipal budget will require a budget amendment and special meeting of the council. But they won’t slow the repair efforts, said acting Business Administrator Darren McConnell.

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RED BANK: SPEED, POT & BUDGET ON AGENDA

The speed limit on the full length of Front Street/River Road through town would be reduced to 25 miles per hour under a Monmouth County proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA ban on fireworks, a new executive director for the redevelopment agency, a reduced speed limit and more crowd a busy agenda when the Red Bank council holds its only regular session of July Wednesday night.

 

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LITTLE SILVER: O’SCANLON DEMANDS APOLOGY

State Senator Declan O’Scanlon in Red Bank in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03New Jersey state Senator Declan O’Scanlon accused Twitter of “Orwellian” behavior after the social media giant banned him over a three-week-old tweet Saturday.

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FAIR HAVEN: LIMITS ON SPEED & 5G ENDORSED

A view east along River Road from 2016. Below, a 5G repeater atop a pole alongside Route 35 in Shrewsbury in 2018. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s council took two steps to slow things down on River Road Monday night.

One measure would reduce the vehicular speed limit on the road for the full width of town. Another would tap the brakes on an anticipated proliferation of wireless telecom infrastructure on utility poles along that road and and elsewhere in the borough.

The council also took action on upgrades to the historic Bicentennial Hall.

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RED BANK: CAR SHOW MARKS EVENT REVIVAL

After a year up on blocks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Doc Holiday Classic Car Show returned to Red Bank’s White Street parking lot Sunday.

With 270 vehicles on display and hundreds of car lovers admiring them, the event marked the return of large-scale public events following months of restrictions on gatherings. It was also the first in the lot since a makeover of the parking facility, which also hosts major spring-and-fall food festivals per year. One, the Guinness Oyster Festival, is scheduled to return September 26.

The car show, a scholarship fundraiser named for a late fire chief, is hosted by volunteer firefighters from the borough’s Liberty Hose company. Check out additional photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK & FAIR HAVEN: SPCA TAKES OVER

His position eliminated, Red Bank Animal Control Officer Henry Perez has been reassigned to a new job, says McConnell. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Effective Thursday, calls for animal control services from Red Bank and Fair Haven are being handled by the Monmouth County SPCA, acting Red Bank business administrator Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: SIDEWALK PLAN GETS PUSHBACK

Pedestrians on Grange Avenue Monday evening. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Residents of a Fair Haven neighborhood on the Navesink River told the borough council Monday night they don’t want sidewalks installed on their “bucolic” streets, even if a $350,000 grant has to be abandoned.

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RED BANK: AGENCY APPOINTEE SILENT

Cherron Rountree, bottom left, during the agency’s meeting Tuesday. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe prospective new manager of the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency appeared onscreen without introduction during its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

Cherron Rountree, who now serves as township administrator in Holmdel, also did not speak, even as former council member Cindy Burnham said her appointment should be halted by a pending sexual harassment lawsuit in which Rountree is a defendant.

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