RED BANK: SIGNAGE MARKS COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank sandwich board signsThe council plans to allow sandwich-board signs on downtown sidewalks through 2021. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council is expected to take up a number of housekeeping measures concerning signs, false alarms and more Wednesday night.

Here are the highlights.

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RED BANK: ROAD AND PARK WORK UPDATED

Work underway on East Bergen Place last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A messy road project in Red Bank will cost more and take longer to complete than originally anticipated, officials said last week.

Also, the borough plans to seek $250,000 in Monmouth County funding to cover half the cost of a series of improvements to borough parks.

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SEA BRIGHT: TOWN HALL ON REFERENDUM

sb parking 081916 3BOROUGH of SEA BRIGHT Library + Beach PavilionSea Bright residents are scheduled to gather for a town hall meeting Tuesday night to discuss a referendum on whether to bond for new public facilities to replace those destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012.

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RED BANK: DuPONT LOSES BELMAR JOB

dupont-010111Red Bank Councilman Mike DuPont was squeezed out of his post as Belmar’s borough attorney Tuesday, four days after a court ruling found shortcomings in his handling of a ballot question there, APP.com reported Tuesday.

The website of the Asbury Park Press reported that DuPont resigned at the request of Mayor Matthew Doherty, “after a Superior Court judge ruled that the borough didn’t properly vote on placing an explanatory statement for a bond question on the Nov. 3 ballot.”

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAP-UP

rbcs 061015Seventh-graders from the Red Bank Charter School presented a report on “serving a healthy town,” and Mayor Pasquale Menna, below, returned to the dais after heart surgery. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pasquale menna 061015Here’s some of what went on at the semimonthly meeting of the Red Bank council Wednesday night:

• Mayor Pasqule Menna presided over his first meeting following a month away following open-heart surgery. He thanked Council President Art Murphy for filling in for him at various events, and for “chauffering me around – ‘Driving Mr. Daisy,’ I suppose,” he said.

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RED BANK: WATER METERS TO GO WIRELESS

rb water meter 120414 1The borough-owned water utility would replace every meter in town – more than 3,800 of them – under the proposal.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

water faucet dripA plan for a wholesale modernization of Red Bank’s water-metering technology is back, as promised, after getting tabled late last year.

A $2.2 million bond to pay for the replacement of every water meter in town is slated for introduction next week.

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RED BANK: BUDGET, BONDS & A NEW HIRE

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesA first look at this year’s budget, and public confusion over the impact of a series of proposed bonds, dominated Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the Red Bank council.

The governing body also moved toward the creation of a new $90,000-a-year job at borough hall: information technology director.

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RED BANK: PAID PARKING PLAN TABLED

rb council 031115Business owner David Prown pleads his case to Councilman Art Murphy Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank council put off a vote on a plan to expand the paid parking zone in the central business district after calls by merchants and residents for enforcement of existing law Wednesday night.

The objections to the expansion plan came despite a move by the council to enable 15-minute parking in the expansion district west of Maple Avenue.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLAN MAY BE TWEAKED

rb monmouth st 031015An ordinance scheduled for a vote Wednesday night would expand paid parking on Monmouth Street and part of Bridge Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Following objections by merchants, a proposed expansion of Red Bank’s paid parking zone may be modified, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

The plan, scheduled for an adoption vote Wednesday evening, could be altered to include some short-term parking spaces for customers of stores and other businesses west of Maple Avenue, Menna told redbankgreen Tuesday.

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RED BANK AGENDA: CABS, DOGS & PARKING

rb monmouth 022415 2Parking in front of these businesses and others on Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue would no longer be free if an ordinance up for introduction Wednesday wins approval. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[This article has been updated since it was originally posted to reflect the contents of proposed ordinances.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The agenda for Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the Red Bank Council is a busy one, with a handful of proposed changes to borough laws.

Here’s what’s on the draft agenda.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL BUSILY CLOSES OUT YEAR

jane eigenrauch 121714Retired librarian Jane Eigenrauch gets a goodbye hug, above, and Councilwoman Juanita Lewis reacts to a tribute at her final meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

juanita lewis 121714At its final scheduled meeting of 2014, the Red Bank council killed a $2.2 million bond ordinance to pay for new water meters amid warnings that a shortage of existing devices could delay new construction in 2015.

The council also:

• approved a new labor agreement covering nearly half the municipal workforce

• extended a moratorium on fees some developers have to pay for parking deficiencies.

• bid adieu to one of its own members

• and honored a newly-retired librarian who had been the borough government’s longest-serving employee.

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RED BANK: BULKHEAD, BELLHAVEN DEBATED

rb bulkhead 041314The council approved a bond to pay for a bulkhead to halt erosion at North Prospect Avenue, above. A change to another bond, for a possible spray park at Bellhaven Natural Area, below, drew criticism. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

bellhaven-parkNot for the first time and almost certainly not for the last, Red Bankers picked over a pair of big-ticket projects at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

One was a bond ordinance council members were in a hurry to approve in order to save two Navesink River yards from severe erosion.

The other: A possible spray park at Bellhaven Natural Area that has pitted environmental activists against West Siders desperate for a playground.

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RED BANK PLANS $600K BULKHEAD BOND

Borough officials maintain the language of a 1937 deed requires that the existing bulkhead be maintained. (File photo. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Though there’s a dirt-cheap alternative that would never need repairs, Red Bank officials plan to spend nearly $600,000 to replace two decrepit Navesink River bulkheads, including one at the public library.

The first hearing on a $596,000 bond ordinance to cover the costs of the work is scheduled for Wednesday night’s council meeting.

The move has been opposed for two years by environmentalists, who have urged elected officials to instead allow for a natural, “living” shoreline to reestablish itself at the library site, on West Front Street.

“It’s so disappointing,” said Kathleen Gasienica. “You can’t get grants for bulkheads, but there are plenty of grants for a living shoreline,” which relies on the stabilizing effects of plant life to minimize erosion.

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RED BANK: ROBOCALLER DIALS UP TENSION

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank man who tried to rally last-minute opposition to a bond vote engaged elected officials in a tense exchange over taxes and debt Wednesday night, but got no vocal backing from the audience.

Sean Di Somma, 31, of Morford Place, had robocalled an unspecified number of residents just hours before the bimonthly borough council meeting with a pre-recorded message warning that the governing body was about to “ram through” a $500,000 bond ordinance “to continue their own reckless and out-of-control spending.”

Di Somma did not speak during the public comment session prior to the vote on the bond, which won unanimous approval. Afterward, though, he engaged in an increasingly sharp exchange with Councilman Mike DuPont, each interrupting and telling the other to “hold on.”

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RED BANK: MOODY’S LIFTS NEGATIVE OUTLOOK

By JOHN T. WARD

Nearly a year after Moody’s went negative on Red Bank, the Wall Street debt rater has reversed course, borough officials said.

The credit research firm told town officials by email Friday morning that it has affirmed the town’s debt Aa3 rating and removed the “negative outlook” imposed last November over concerns about a shrinking surplus, said Councilman Mike DuPont, who heads up the governing body’s finance committee.

“There’s no Moody blues today,” DuPont told redbankgreen

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ON THE AGENDA: PITCHFORKS, TURF & MORE

Proponents of a Red Bank community garden try for another bite of the apple with their request to farm a portion of the public library property, above. (Click to enlarge)

The agenda for the bimonthly meeting of Red Bank’s council Wednesday night is a busy one.

On the docket:

• Red Bank RiverCenter comes in for approval of its annual budget. No details have yet been provided. Last year’s spending plan, like the two that preceded it, totaled $512,000. The business promotion agency, which manages the borough’s state-chartered Special Improvement District, is funded by a surtax on commercial properties within a defined zone and gets no money from borough coffers.

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LITTLE SILVER TO VOTE ON ALL-DAY-K FUNDS

Two classrooms would be added to the Point Road School to accommodate the program. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After almost four years of study and discussion, a proposed full-day kindergarten program goes before Little Silver voters next month in the form of a funding referendum.

On the ballot: a $750,000 bond to pay for a two-classroom addition to the pre-k-to-fourth-grade Point Road School.

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RED BANK: BOATS, BONDS & BUREAUCRACY

boat-slipsThe newly rebuilt marina at Marine Park will no longer be reserved exclusively for Red Bank residents. (Click to enlarge)

Boat slips at Marine Park, a bond to cover pension costs and the red tape involved in opening a new business were among the topics tackled by Red Bank’s elected officials earlier this week.

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RUMSON PLANS TO RAZE FORMER POLICE HQ

rumson-pd-0707101The property will be sold as two building lots, officials say. (Click to enlarge)

By EVAN SOLTAS

With its new municipal complex completed, Rumson plans to demolish its historic Center Street police station and sell the land as two residential lots, borough officials say.

The borough intends to raze the now-vacant station, which has long stood out among its residential neighbors, and sell the land as building lots that conform to residential zoning law, according to Mayor John Ekdahl.

In the process, the town hopes to pocket as much as $400,000 from each, and use the proceeds to pay down debt incurred from relocating police headquarters, officials said.

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