RED BANK: FIVE UNITE AS CHARTER SLATE

Running as a team, clockwise from upper left: Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Mark Taylor, Kate Okeson, Scott Broschart and Ben Forest. (Photos by John T. Ward and Chris Ern. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Five self-described “forward-thinking” Red Bank activists have united in pursuit of seats on Red Bank’s charter study commission in the November election.

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RED BANK: TAX BREAK CLOUDS SAXUM HEARING

Saxum’s project would replace the former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters at 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s planning board kicked off a process Monday night that could result in a rezoning of prime real estate.

But while the ultimate goal of the effort – a tax break for a developer – was not under immediate consideration, it was clearly on the minds of objectors, including at least one board member.

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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: 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: 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: SURPLUS KEEPS TAX RATE LEVEL

A new trash contract and landfill fees increased waste removal costs by $318,000 this year, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxes

Facing large increases in debt financing and trash costs, Red Bank officials dodged a tax rate increase thanks in part to a surplus from 2020, they said Tuesday night.

At a 45-minute information session by the borough finance committee, held via Zoom, Councilman Hazim Yassin called the outcome “phenomenal.”

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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: 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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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: COUNCIL TO HOSE FIREWORKS

“If you can hear it, and you can see it over the trees in your backyard, it’s not permitted,” said Fire Marshal Tommy Welsh. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDays after a booming Fourth of July weekend, Red Bank officials said they’re ready to enforce a ban on unauthorized fireworks.

At their monthly workshop session Wednesday night, Mayor Pasquale Menna and council members outlined a proposed ordinance aimed at boosting enforcement of state law.

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FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL TO MEET IN-PERSON

A view of the Fair Haven council chamber in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

After 15 months of meeting via technology, the Fair Haven mayor and council plan to enter the post-pandemic era with an in-person meeting Monday night.

On the agenda: honors for three Eagle Scouts; a ban on cannabis businesses; discussion of 5G telecommunications and more.

Here’s the full agenda. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at borough hall, 748 River Road.

RED BANK: NO LOCAL TAX INCREASE IN BUDGET

A screengrab from Wednesday’s virtual meeting, which was chaired by  Councilman Hazim Yassin, top right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxes

Red Bank property owners will see no increase in the local tax rate under the budget introduced by the borough council Wednesday night.

The governing body also finalized a plan for a charter study referendum that several commenters referred to as “historic;” eliminated the job of animal control officer to make way for the Monmouth SPCA; and tabled the hiring of a new executive director of the Redevelopment Agency.

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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: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank east side lots 040820The East Side parking lots would get a makeover under an engineering contract on the agenda. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council has some weighty spending and hiring matters on its agenda when it meets this week.

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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: ANIMAL JOB ENDANGERED

Henry Perez with a ferret owner during a census of cats and dogs in 2008. (Photo by Colleen Curry. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njHenry Perez thinks maybe he’s dropped the ball, given that his bosses – the Red Bank mayor and council – appear determined to eliminate his job.

“I totally blame myself, because my residents know more about what I do than my superiors,” the borough’s animal control officer told the the council during its monthly workshop meeting Wednesday.

Still, over the pleas of residents, the governing body showed no sign of halting a plan to sign a six-month contract with the Monmouth County SPCA.

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RED BANK: WOMEN IN LEAD AS DEMS SPLIT

Kate Triggiano at her January, 2019 swearing-in with husband, David, son, Otto, and former Assemblyman John Wisniewski. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two women on competing tickets moved closer to claiming wins in the Red Bank Democratic primary election for council Wednesday.

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RED BANK: ONE PRIMARY CONTESTED, ONE NOT

By JOHN T. WARD

Four Red Bank Democrats square off Tuesday in a rare primary election for two spots on the November ballot for borough council.

Meantime, the borough’s Republicans have two “placeholder” candidates on the primary ballot.

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RED BANK: ANIMAL SERVICE BACK ON AGENDA

Debbie Nagel, the animal control supervisor for Long Branch who serves as backup for Red Bank, with an orphaned raccoon pup rescued from a tree on Brown Place last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSquirrels in the attic? Bats in the bathroom?

Red Bank residents would have to pay $90 an hour to have wild animals removed from their homes under a plan that returns for discussion Wednesday night.

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