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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RED BANK: WHERE IS THE EMAIL LEAK PROBE?

Councilman Ed Zipprich during a council meeting via Zoom in May. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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More than eight months after the Red Bank council hired a lawyer to advise it on how to deal with an explosive email leak…

Crickets.

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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: LINE BREAK INTERRUPTS POWER

A power line that came down on Newman Springs Road caused hundreds of Red Bank residents to lose full or partial electrical service Tuesday night.

The incident also interrupted some Gabbagools hard at work across the street.

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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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RED BANK: AGENCY CALLS FOR $9.3M YARD

A Google Maps satellite view of the public works yard and adjoining property to the east, roughly outlined in red. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank should move quickly to bond for an overhauled public works facility, according to a recommendation adopted by the Redevelopment Agency Tuesday evening.

Estimated cost, including the acquisition of property adjacent to the Chestnut Street site: $9.3 million.

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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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RED BANK: EMAIL LEAK OPINION EXPECTED

Councilman Ed Zipprich in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Eight months after a leak of explosive emails, the Red Bank council is expected to finally get some guidance on how to proceed later this month.

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FAIR HAVEN: PLAN AIMS TO CUT GRIND WORK

fair haven brush truck bike 052920A truck preparing to back into the brush-grinding site as a child rode a bike nearby last May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

A brush-grinding facility that has irked Fair Haven neighbors for nearly a decade will see a 60-plus percent reduction in activity under a plan officials unveiled Monday night.

But one council member pressed for a permanent solution: moving it out of the residential area.

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RED BANK: TEMPERS BOIL OVER WATER JOB

Neighbors John Shepherd, left, and Charlie Oliver, on the grassy island between East and West Lake roads. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicThe temporary takeover of a block-long island of grass and trees that spans the Red Bank-Little Silver border has neighbors furious.

Red Bank officials said they had no advance notice of the New Jersey American Water Company project, and only learned last week, months into the project, that it had camped out on borough property.

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FAIR HAVEN: PETERS BLASTS JCP&L ON LAMPS

An easterly view along River Road from Cedar Street earlier this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATES below]

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njElectricity supplier JCP&L may be unplugging itself from an agreement to install low-energy streetlamps in Fair Haven, Environmental Commission Chairman Ralph Wyndrum said Wednesday night.

That prompted some choice words about the utility from commission member and former councilman Jon Peters. Among them: “They are the princes and princesses of darkness.”

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RED BANK: RIVERVIEW WATER DEAL DETAILED

red bank riverview 032020 2The agreement ends a lawsuit alleging the hospital illegally connected its Blaisdell Pavilion to the borough water system. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njUnder a “confidential” settlement approved by the borough council last week, Riverview Medical Center will pay Red Bank just $850,000 for water and sewer usage the town contended in a lawsuit was worth at least $5.3 million.

The hospital also will get 10 more years to pay off the obligation, some of which dates to 1984.

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RED BANK: WATER SERVICE AFFECTED

After spending much of a cold day fixing a sewer issue on Broad Street, a crew from Red Bank’s big-plumbing-job contractor, Mark Woszcak Mechanical, was called to the scene of a water line break at South Street and Madison Avenue at about 6 p.m. Friday.

Water pressure was expected to be reduced or cut off for several hours in the immediate area for several hours while repairs were made, said Rich Hardy, a supervisor in the borough’s public works department. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: LOOSE LIPS AT COUNCIL SESSION

Mayor Pasquale Menna, upper left, and Councilman Ed Zipprich, center left, seen on Zoom during Wednesday’s council session Attorney Greg Cannon is in second row, third from left. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe final Red Bank council meeting of 2020 included a couple of apparent cases of loose lips.

In one, Mayor Pasquale Menna revealed more than the borough attorney thought he should about the settlement of a lawsuit over Riverview Medical Center’s water bill.

In another, Councilman Ed Zipprich  questioned the qualifications of a newly hired official.

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RED BANK: THREE-WEEK DETOUR PLANNED

Yes, the flashing sign shown above has a typo. But starting Friday, the eastbound lane of East Bergen Place from Broad Street to South Street in Red Bank will be closed for utility work, the borough announced Wednesday.

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RED BANK: SUIT SEEKS $5.3M FROM RIVERVIEW

red bank riverview 032020A lawsuit filed by the borough alleges an illegal water connection to the Blaisdell Pavilion, at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRiverview Medical Center owes Red Bank $5.3 million for at least half a billion gallons of water consumed over a 33-year period, the borough alleges in a lawsuit.

In its January, 2019 complaint, the town contends the hospital hid an illegal connection and meter when it built the Blaisdell Pavilion wing in 1984.

The East Front Street hospital denies the allegations, and the dispute appears headed to mediation.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

Borough hall remains closed for public meetings to limit the spread of COVID-19, so the council will again meet via Zoom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMissing, once again, from the agenda for the Red Bank council session Wednesday are dueling versions of a resolution calling for an investigation.

 

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON AGENDA… AND NOT

Councilman Ed Zipprich in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMissing from the agenda for the Red Bank council session scheduled for Wednesday night: clashing demands for investigations.

But the probes – one focused on the source of an email leak, and the other on alleged conduct exposed by the emails – may still get an airing.

Here’s a look-ahead at the agenda for the session.

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FAIR HAVEN: TRAIL FUNDING SOUGHT

The proposed trail would run between the cherry blossom trees lining Fair Haven Road and the eastern edge of Fair Haven Fields. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven officials have dusted off a three-year-old proposal that would add a stone-dust trail to the roadside portions of Fair Haven Fields.

It would also cut the cost of removing excess vegetation from McCarter Pond, they said.

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RED BANK: POWER BACK ON AS HEAT DIALS UP

Six days after Tropical Storm Isaias, electrical service was almost fully restored on the Greater Green early Monday, just in time for some uncomfortably hot weather.

As of 6 a.m., 11 homes and businesses in Fair Haven were awaiting restoration of power from First Energy/JCP&L, down from more than 2,300 at the peak, according to the utility’s outage map. Fewer than 5 each in Red Bank and Little Silver were still without service, the map indicated.

Ambient temperatures and humidity will combine to create feels-like peaks to nearly 100 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. The extended forecast for the Greater Green is below.

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