Search Results for: "stanley sickels"

RED BANK: PARKING PLANS GET FIRST AIRING

A standing-room crowd stuck around after the hourlong council meeting for nearly two hours of parking presentations. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

At an event with no equal in recent memory, and possibly in the 109-year history of the borough, five would-be developers trotted out plans to remake a large swath of downtown Red Bank Wednesday night.

Mixing elements of beauty pageant and planning board meeting, the special session of the borough parking committee drew a standing-room crowd to hear would-be builders tout their visions for massive parking and housing projects, some with retail thrown in as well.

The event was notable also for who was not there.

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RED BANK: AIR RAID SIRENS SILENCED AT LAST

Civil Defense sirens atop a pole on Branch Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

First came the spoken warning of a test, and then, the extended, ear-piercing blare.

During the chilliest part of the Cold War, the weekly tests of the Civil Defense air raid sirens mounted on utility poles across town served as a weekly reminder to Red Bank residents and visitors that the potential for nuclear catastrophe was real, imminent, and that they should be ready for it.

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RED BANK: RESIDENTS RESIST DUMP-SITE PARK

The audience at the Celestial Lodge Friday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents delivered a message to borough officials Friday night about a new park proposed at the town’s long-closed landfill site: not everyone wants it.

At a town-hall-style meeting held at the Celestial Lodge #36 on Drs. James Parker Boulevard, area residents expressed concerns that the dump might never be made safe for public use.

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RED BANK: PLANTING SEEDS FOR FUTURE PARK

A map showing the extended former landfill site outlined in green. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

We need a skatepark. We need a playgrounds for West Side kids. We need to remember that this is a neighborhood that can’t handle throngs of out-of-town visitors.

Red Bank residents offered those and other suggestions as the process of shaping a new waterfront park out of the former town dump got underway with a community brainstorming session last Thursday night.

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RED BANK: FIVE INJURED IN DOGGED BLAZE

The front of the house was ablaze when passerby Paul McCue shot this video. Authorities said the fire appears to have started on the front porch. Below, the house after the fire. (Video by Paul McCue. Photo below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Four volunteer firefighters and one resident suffered non-life-threatening injuries in a house fire that officials called one of the most challenging in recent Red Bank history Thursday.

By early evening, with heavy equipment standing by to demolish the burned hulk of 16 Leonard Street, fire officials had made a preliminary determination that a cigarette or something similar ignited the front porch, triggering the blaze.

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RED BANK: TAX BILLS TO RISE 2.9 PERCENT

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, a CPA who heads the finance committee. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxes

Typical Red Bank homeowners would see a $x increase in the borough portion of their 2017 property tax bills under a budget introduced at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

For the owner of a home assessed at the town-average $362,342, that means an increase of $57.25 for the year.

 

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN APARTMENTS OK’D

Mayor Pasquale Menna explains his vote to approve the project, a rendering of which is seen on a computer screen in the foreground. At left is board Engineer Ed Herrman. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank won unanimous planning board approval Monday night.

First, however, several critics, including two board members, took parting shots at a process that kept the controversial plan alive for a year after it was rejected by the zoning board.

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RED BANK: HAMPTON INN WINS APPROVAL

Peter Steck, a planner hired by an opponent of the proposed hotel, testified that the developer was “stuffing” the one-acre site. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After nearly seven years of battles, a proposed hotel at the northernmost entrance to Red Bank won approval Monday night.

The planning board’s OK of a six-story, 76-room Hampton Inn at the foot of the Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge came after a last-minute concession by the developer.

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RED BANK: GUT JOB, BUT NO EATERY FOR NOW

39 e front 011817Architect Jim Monteforte details proposed facade changes to 39 East Front Street, seen below, at Wednesday night’s planning board meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Rendering below by Monteforte Architects. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

39 e front 071514A proposed makeover of a bunker-like building in downtown Red Bank won unanimous approval from the borough planning board Wednesday night.

But the board held off on allowing the building’s new owners to create a restaurant on the ground floor.

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RED BANK: DEMOCRATS REASSERT CONTROL

yvonne-erik-yngstrom-010116Erik Yngstrom embraces his mother, Yvonne Yngstrom, after giving his oath as councilman. Below, Kathy Horgan began her fourth term on the council and was elected its president. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

kathy-horgan-010117Red Bank’s first Republican majority in a generation ended after just a year Sunday, when Democrats regained control of the borough council.

With the addition of political newcomer Erik Yngstrom to the governing body, the Democrats now share 3-3 parity with the GOP on the council. But with the support of three-term Mayor Pasquale Menna as the tiebreaker to any potential deadlock, the Democrats wasted no time in doling out key jobs to partisans.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM CASTS FINAL ‘NO’ VOTE

cindy-burnham-122816Council President Cindy Burnham at her final meeting as a member of the governing body Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Firebrand activist Cindy Burnham ended her  term on Red Bank’s council Wednesday night vowing to continue the work that made her its most consistent contrarian.

On her way out, she cast the last in a long series of “no” votes in which she was the lone dissenter.

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RED BANK: PAYOUTS WILL DEPLETE FUND

rb-borough-hall-111316-2Red Bank’s borough hall during a roof replacement job in November. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesRetirements by three senior employees in coming months won’t put an immediate squeeze on Red Bank taxpayers, two municipal officials said Tuesday.

But the departures will all but deplete a rainy day fund created to cushion the blow of outsized payouts for unused sick and vacation time, said Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who heads the finance committee.

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RED BANK: SICKELS TO RETIRE AT END OF 2017

mancuso-sickels-101716Stanley Sickels, right, with fellow planning board member Dan Mancuso at a meeting in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s top unelected official is hanging up his hat at the end of 2017.

Make that hats. The departure of Stanley Sickels, who serves as the borough government’s administrator, purchasing agent and construction code official, may test a long-debated premise: that replacing him would require more than one hire, at a cost far exceeding his combined salary.

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RED BANK: TURF HOLDING UP, SAYS SICKELS

rb-basie-turf-120516-5Rubber-crumb exposure at midfield and the sidelines, below, of the football field at Count Basie Fields is not indicative of the type of turf failure reported elsewhere, says the borough administrator. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb-basie-turf-120516-6Failing artificial-turf playing fields made by an industry-leading manufacturer are not an issue in Red Bank, according to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

three-day investigative exposé by NJ.com earlier this week reported that hundreds of turf fields across the United States were beginning to deteriorate long before the eight-to-ten-year life expectancy touted by the Canadian manufacturer, FieldTurf. The company knew about the failures but hid them as it continued to sell the fields, at prices often exceeding $500,000, the report alleged.

But the fields installed by the company at Count Basie Fields here are holding up well, Sickels told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: SITE IDEAL FOR HOTEL, SAYS MENNA

vna-176-riverside-120716The VNA’s departure could put its headquarters building on the tax rolls. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The VNA Health Group is quitting Red Bank, leaving behind a large empty building that could wind up on the tax rolls of a borough whose officials complain often about the high number of nonprofits.

Heck, it would even make a great hotel, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: STINKY WATER PROMPTS CHANGE

water faucet dripRed Bank reversed its seasonal water supply arrangement after complaints about taste and odor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

After a burst of complaints about stinky, foul-tasting water, Red Bank officials reverted to the municipal water supply earlier this week, redbankgreen has learned.

Now, those officials are waiting for New Jersey American Water Company, which supplies the borough’s water for six months of the year, to clear up an algae problem at the Swimming River Reservoir before resuming the flow, they said.

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RED BANK: STATION COMPLEX WINS APPROVAL

denholtz-101716-5An architectural rendering shows the Oakland Street side of the proposed project, to be built on the present site of a taxi stand. The existing San Remo restaurant and vacant former Racioppi’s building are in the foreground. (Rendering by Monteforte Architectural Studio. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03An ambitious mixed-use project with 45 apartments and its own parking garage alongside the Red Bank train station won unanimous approval by the planning board Monday night.

Board members praised the plan, by Matawan-based Denholtz Associates, as one that fulfills the vision of the “train station overlay” zone to a tee.

“It seems to me the first project to really take advantage of that designation and be creative,” said board member and borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

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RED BANK: 5-4 BOARD VOTE ADVANCES PLAN

55-w-front-aerial-101716A Google Maps sky view of the vacant lot at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park. (Photo by Google. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03By a 5-4 vote, the Red Bank planning board advanced a proposed ordinance that would give a  a thwarted developer another shot at building on a downtown lot.

The issue, concerning a former nursing home site at 55 West Street, prompted sharp disagreement among board members that mirrored divisions at recent council meetings, with proponents arguing the measure is needed to end a long vacancy and opponents calling it an “end-around” to a zoning board decision.

“It just stinks,” planning board member and former Councilman Art Murphy said of the measure.

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RED BANK: WATER METER SWAPS BEGIN

rb-water-meter-092816The Navesink Hose firehouse on Mechanic Street got its first-ever water meter Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Red Bank’s townwide water-meter replacement project has begun, with homeowners about to get involved starting in mid-October, redbankgreen has learned.

The heavily debated program mandates that every address served by the municipal water utility get a new, remotely read meter, a process that began in recent days with the metering of borough hall, firehouses and other public structures that never had any. Read More »

RED BANK: ACCESS AGREEMENT UNDER FIRE

riverwalk 070512Riverwalk, seen below in a 2012 rendering, would replace the building at 24-30 Mechanic Street, above. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

riverwalk 100412A plan to give tenants access to a yet-to-be built Red Bank apartment building via a borough parking lot came under fire Wednesday night, 10 years after it cleared its first hurdle.

At issue: whether the town had boxed itself in legally, getting nothing in return.

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RED BANK: TOP BID $392,587 FOR FIREHOUSE

RB independent engine 93 061016 1The Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_02

Red Bank ‘s second firehouse auction in two years attracted four times the number of bidders as the first one, but ended at a lower top bid.

David Glassberg of Little Silver was the apparent bid winner of the Independent Engine Company, at 32 Mechanic Street opposite Globe Court.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS SIGNS, SEWER FIX

sidewalk sale 3 072712A properly displayed sandwich board sign on Broad Street. Too many others, however, impede pedestrians, a downtown building owner said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank borough council took action on a number of matters involving borough parks, sidewalks and sewers at its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

Here’s a bullet-point rundown.
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RED BANK: SICKELS FACING HEAVY DEBT WOES

stanley sickels 050115Stanley Sickels at the Mayor’s Ball in May, 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s top unelected official may lose the home he’s lived in all his life.

The McLaren Street residence of borough Administrator Stanley Sickels has been listed for a Monmouth County sheriff’s sale August 29 to resolve a previously unreported foreclosure and bankruptcy, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: GOP TIES RIVER WOES TO SEWER

Kellie O’Bosky Colwell 042716Council candidate Kellie O’Bosky Colwell says the borough sewer needs an “overhaul” in light of reported bacteria levels in the Navesink. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainCalling for an “emergency” weekend council meeting, the two Republican candidates for Red Bank council suggested Friday that poor upkeep of the borough sewer system was to blame for elevated levels of harmful bacteria in the Navesink River.

The meeting didn’t happen, and it’s not clear who, if anyone, candidates Kellie O’Bosky Colwell and Brian Hanlon asked to schedule one.

Meantime, incumbent Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, a former Republican now running as an independent, blasted the pair for “egregious” politicizing of the issue.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLAN ADVANCES, BARELY

rb white st lot 071916 1A divided council gave the go-ahead for a consultant to develop a concept plan for the White Street parking lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Red Bank moved another step toward a possible answer to its chronic parking woes Wednesday night, but only after Mayor Pasquale Menna cast a pair of tiebreakers that put him at odds with fellow Democrats.

Menna’s votes were necessary after the council’s two lone Democrats joined with its sole independent in raising objections to a $6,500 contract for a concept plan covering the borough-owned White Street parking lot, where merchants and town officials envision a parking garage.

The debate also exposed rare friction between Menna and Red Bank RiverCenter, the semi-authonomous agency that promotes downtown business interests.

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