RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank nj riverisde gardens parkThe council is looking  for Green Acres grants to make improvements to Riverside Gardens Park, above, and Bellhaven Natural Area, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank bellhaven natureAppointments to a new redevelopment agency and grants for improvements to two parks highlight a relatively quiet lineup for the Red Bank council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: LAUNDROMAT & APARTMENTS OK’D

The new structure would be built between a six-unit apartment building, at left, and Juanito’s Market, at right, with all three properties sharing parking in back. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank zoning board approved the creation of a new laundromat and four apartments on a vacant Shrewsbury Avenue lot Thursday night.

But before the project can get underway, grocer and restaurateur Juan Torres will have to reduce a possible tab for water and sewer hookups that could total $562,000.

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RED BANK: NO LEAD IN WATER, OFFICIAL SAYS

al larotonda 011117Alberto Larotonda brought his ruptured water line, complete with a connector made of lead, to the council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Extensive testing of Red Bank water has found no evidence of lead contamination, despite the presence of lead pipes serving some homes, a borough official said Wednesday night.

The remarks by public utilities Director Cliff Keen, made during the council’s first semimonthly meeting of 2017, came after a resident showed off  a water service line with a lead connector that was recently excavated outside his Spring Street home.

“For more than 20 years, I’ve been drinking out of a lead straw,” Alberto Larotonda told the council.

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BOATHOUSE STALLED BY HYDRANT ISSUE

foundationGeoff Johnson’s unfinished Boathouse at Red Bank, and a rendering of what it’s to look like, below. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

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While the Red Bank government is working to show that the town is “open for business,” a West Side property owner is among those who say the door still isn’t open wide enough.

“I would have to agree with everyone who’s ever said Red Bank is difficult to do business with,” said Geoff Johnson, who has approved plans to build a kayak and canoe rental and boat club on the banks of the Swimming River, at the north end of Shrewsbury Avenue.

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M’TOWN SEEKS SHADOW LAKE DREDGE MONEY

shadow-lakeMiddletown is hopeful it can get permission and funds to dredge Shadow Lake. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Austin Canade regularly swims in Shadow Lake, but since the lake is in desperate need of dredging, the experience has become more of a drag for him than anything else.

“When I swim, I feel the growth,” Canade said. “I feel like it’s going to take me under one of these days.”

Before he gets sucked under, the township has what it believes is its best chance in years to dredge the shrinking lake, which has also seen rising contamination levels, and bring it back to a healthier state.

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SEEKING A SOLUTION FOR SHADOW LAKE

shadow-lakeMiddletown and DEP officials will meet today to discuss problems at Shadow Lake. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Middletown and state Department of Environmental Protection officials are expected to meet in Senator Joe Kyrilos‘s office today to try and work out an agreement to rectify the township’s longstanding problems at Shadow Lake.

Overgrowth and contamination have built up that last couple years while local and state officials have danced between possible solutions. But with the new state administration, Middletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger says he’s hopeful that, with the help of Kyrillos, the two sides can agree on one of two possible solutions that have, in the past, caused a stalemate.

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POND DREDGING SLATED TO BEGIN TODAY

pomphreys-pondHeavy machinery on-scene at Pomphrey’s Pond yesterday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Something to be filed in the skinny folder labeled “On-Time Promises From Government?”

When a state Department of Environmental Protection rep came to Rumson in July and promised frustrated residents the agency would be back in September to dredge a needed-to-be-dredged pond, it might have been taken as a brush-off.

But the DEP is there, on the exact day local officials said it would be, ready to dredge Pomphrey’s Pond.

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POND DREDGING DELAYS RILE RUMSONITES

pomphreys-pondState officials say Pomphrey’s Pond, across East River Road from borough hall, will get its long-awaited dredging later this year. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

After a series of near-misses and a mechanical breakdown that pushed neighbors over the edge of patience, a pond across the street from Rumson Borough Hall will get a dredging that has been planned for four years later this summer, officials said Tuesday.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has guaranteed that Pomphrey’s Pond is a top priority to get permission for the maintenance — but not just yet.

To residents’ chagrin, DEP representative Cindy Randazzo said that the pond cannot be dredged before September because the warm weather will have negative effects on the wildlife. A survey taken Monday showed that there are sunfish living in the pond, she said.

“Come September, you’ll be first on the list to be dredged,” Randazzo said. “That’s a promise from me.”

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OIL LEAK PROMPTS HOUSE-RAISING

169-river-rdThe Red Bank home of the late Florence Forgotson has become a remediation site due to oil contamination. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s not an illusion: the house is not floating in mid-air.

Hard as it is to tell by casual glance from River Road, the home of the late Florence Forgotson Adams, who made her name as the county’s first female attorney, has been unexpectedly uprooted and placed on blocks a few feet above ground to clean up an oil leak discovered in December.

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