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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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: AGENCY TO SEEK COUNCIL INPUT

Executive director Cherron Rountree, outlined in yellow, addresses the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency during its virtual meeting Tuesday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s Redevelopment Agency needs to do more to educate the public about its work, its new executive director told members Tuesday evening.

At the same time, the agency will be looking for guidance from the borough council on what that work should be, Chairman David Huber said.

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RED BANK: DOGS AGAIN FROLIC IN PARK

Like a dog aroused by the smell of food, Red Bank’s pandemic-interrupted Dog Days of Summer series snapped back to life in Marine Park Saturday. 

The gathering, organized by the borough’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, featured live music by the Wag, displays by pet care organizations and several hundred wet noses.

Check out redbankgreen‘s photos from the event below.

(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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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: BALLARD TOUTS NEW FEE LAW

Part of a recent building boom, 170 Monmouth Street is being converted from offices to residences, as seen in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard says a newly enacted ordinance will help address the impact of “explosive development” on borough infrastructure and taxes.

But only if it doesn’t get thrown out by a judge, says Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT HEARING SLATED

Outline indicates the properties under consideration for “area in need of redevelopment” designation. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA possible zoning reclassification for the site of an approved 210-unit apartment project is scheduled go to the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

The review will offer the first public airing of a request by would-be developer Saxum Real Estate for tax breaks in order to proceed with the project.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SEEKS TAX BREAKS

A long-idle gas station at Riverside Avenue and Bridge Avenue will be included in a second review of the designation for the former VNA headquarters, at left above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe would-be developer of a massive apartment complex at Red Bank’s northern tip is now angling for tax relief in order to build the project.

Consultant Ken DeRoberts told the borough  redevelopment agency Tuesday that Saxum Real Estate has submitted a new plan for the former Visiting Nurse Association property that’s driven by a need for a PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes agreement.

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RED BANK: ROUNTREE OK’D OVER OBJECTIONS

Cherron Rountree, bottom left, during the Redevelopment Agency’s June 22 meeting Tuesday. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s council hired a new executive director for the borough redevelopment agency Wednesday night over objections based on her inclusion in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The dispute highlighted competing interpretations of who should get the benefit of doubt in a so-called “me-too” case.

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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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RED BANK: RAIL PROJECT NEARS COMPLETION

red bank what's going on hereA view of the Rail project from Chestnut Street, with the existing office building at right and the new residential portion at left. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By CHRIS ERN

For nearly four years, it’s been slowly emerging from the ground alongside the Red Bank train station. Now, most of the block bounded by Bridge Avenue, Chestnut and Oakland streets is a teeming site of construction activity.

So What’s Going On Here? Here’s the latest.

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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 & 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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FAIR HAVEN: FIREMEN’S FAIR BACK ON TRACK

The fair will return in August, said Councilman Mike McCue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The summer-ending food-and-fun extravaganza known as the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair will return in August, borough Councilman Mike McCue said Monday night.

That sparkler of news, another sign of the waning COVID-19 pandemic, came amid council action on the budget, cannabis, waterfront property and more.

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RED BANK: PARK PULSES WITH LBGTQ PRIDE

Vivid color brightened up Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park under gray skies for the second LGBTQ Pride event Saturday.

Organized by the borough’s Parks and Rec department, the gathering featured line dancing, hula-hooping, juggling and tons of love. Check out additional photos below. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: PRIDE RETURNS TO PARK

red bank, nj, pride, lgbtqFor the second time in three years, Red Bank’s Parks & Rec department hosts a free Pride event in Riverside Gardens Park Saturday, featuring a DJ, family activities and more in celebration of LGBTQ pride. Check out details here.

As in 2019, the colorful logo on the park lawn was created by the public utilities department. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS

Closed since early in the pandemic, Fair Haven’s borough hall and library will reopen June 7, administrator says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new council member, a call for budget cuts, a planned reopening of borough hall and a pandemic ponytail were among the topics at what might have been the last Fair Haven council meeting of the pandemic Monday night.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN UPDATE BEGINS

A southward view of Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank embarked on a full-scale rewriting of its Master Plan for the first time in 25 years Monday night.

At a meeting via Zoom that lasted less than 12 minutes, the planning board initiated what could be a two-year process of rethinking the town’s zoning for the next generation.

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