RED BANK: COUNCIL MUM ON GARAGE PLANS

A lawsuit claims the redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot ignores the town’s Master Plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Would-be developers in downtown Red Bank will no longer have to pay fees for failing to provide enough parking, following action by the borough council Wednesday night.

But progress toward a public garage on White Street — a partial solution to what many business owners consider a parking crisis — may have hit a legal speed bump.

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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: PARKING CHANGES ON AGENDA

rb plow 021314On the agenda: a change to the ordinance on overnight street parking in winter. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1A possible 773-vehicle garage on White Street isn’t the only parking issue on the Red Bank council’s agenda Wednesday night.

At its semimonthly meeting, the governing body is expected to take action on a number of matters that would tweak parking downtown as well as in residential neighborhoods.

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RED BANK: PARKING NEWS

rb broad st 011217Under a recommendation of the council parking committee, the left-turn lane from Broad Street into Linden Lane would be eliminated, restoring three parking spaces on the west side of Broad. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1For the first time in recent months, the clamor for and against a new parking garage in downtown Red Bank was absent at the first regular council meeting of 2017 Wednesday night.

Still, there was a smattering of parking-related news.

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RED BANK: FREE HOLIDAY PARKING IN EFFECT

rb-free-parking-121416LicPlate1A merchant we spoke to at the Galleria of Red Bank didn’t know this, so redbankgreen offers this reminder to all would-be shoppers: parking is free in all municipal spots, both on the street and in the lots, through December 25. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: PILLAR WORK PROMPTS CLOSURE

english plaza 081315english plaza 081215Work to replace the two crumbling, 1930s-era peanut-stone pillars flanking the West Front Street entrance to the English Plaza parking lot in Red Bank will result in daytime closures of that driveway beginning Tuesday, the borough announced.

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RED BANK: TAX HIKE TRIMMED ON A TWEAK

rb parking 041316 2A recent deal allowing the Count Basie Theatre to sell parking spots at borough hall on specified dates paved the way to a new budget.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesThe owner of a typical Red Bank home will pay $35 more in local property taxes this year, rather than $40, following passage of the first Republican-led budget in a generation Wednesday night.

The borough council’s unanimous approval of the 2016 spending plan marked the anticlimax to a brief standoff that began when Democrats raised eleventh-hour objections to  what they later called “‘fluff and ‘slush funds” in the GOP budget.

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RED BANK: DEMS TARGET ‘SLUSH FUNDS’

horgan schwabenbauer 101815Council members Kathy Horgan, left, and Linda Schwabenbauer, seen at last year’s Halloween parade, are now at odds over the budget. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesTwo weeks after it was shot down on the mayor’s tiebreaking vote, Red Bank’s first Republican-led budget in a generation faces its next test on Wednesday.

That’s when council members will square off over cuts suggested by Democrats to what they called “‘fluff’ and ‘slush funds.'”

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RED BANK: BUDGET FAILS ON TIEBREAKER VOTE

schwabenbauer menna 052516Mayor Pasquale Menna confers with Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer during the council’s budget deliberation Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesRed Bank’s first Republican-led budget in a generation failed to win approval when Mayor Pasquale Menna cast a tiebreaking vote at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council meeting.

His vote against the spending plan followed a 3-3 deadlock that included a “no” by a member of the budget-crafting finance committee, Democrat Kathy Horgan, whose caught committee chairwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, a Republican, by surprise.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE REDUCED

rb budget q&A 051816 1A half-dozen or so residents, outnumbered by borough employees and officials, attended the budget session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Update, May 20: Visuals from this presentation are now available online here.]

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesA controversial increase in parking fees will trim the local property tax increase to less than half that previously anticipated, Red Bank officials said Wednesday.

At the annual informal budget presentation, held at borough hall, Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer said the spending plan scheduled for adoption next week calls for a two-percent tax increase, or about $35 for the year for the owner of a home assessed at the town-average $354,006. Read More »

RED BANK: ‘COMPROMISE’ PARKING HIKE OK’D

rb parking 051116 1Fees for parking in downtown lots would double, to $1 per hour, while metered spots on the street would rise 50 percent, to $1.50 an hour. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Red Bank’s parking fees are going up.

The borough council approved rate increases Wednesday night, billing the action as a “compromise” with downtown business owners.

Still, merchants decried the hikes, which they said will further alienate potential visitors already turned off by metering, aggressive enforcement and costly tickets. Read More »

RED BANK: STREETSCAPE PROJECTS PLANNED

rb schiff lot 081315The fence and sign bordering the onetime Steinbach’s department store parking lot on Broad Street, above, will be transformed into a landscaped seating area, shown in an aerial concept drawing below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

133 broad 081215Two Red Bank parking lots are in for some dolling-up.

RiverCenter, the downtown promotion agency, plans to spruce up the former Steinbach’s parking lot on Broad Street with landscaping and benches, and to replace two stone pillars at the north entrance to the English Plaza lot, officials said in a presentation to the borough council Wednesday night.

And RiverCenter is working on a streetscape plan for a portion of White Street, including the southern entrance to English Plaza, said executive director Jim Scavone.

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RED BANK TO BARRICADE DOWNTOWN STREETS

RB ENGLISH PLAZA 122810For days after the December 26, 2010 blizzard, the English Plaza parking lot in Red Bank, above and below, remained closed, in part because of vehicle strandings. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

RB ENGLISH PL 122910Apparently hoping to head off a repeat of problems seen in the 2010 blizzard, Red Bank officials said they would barricade downtown streets to traffic Monday night.

According to an alert issued by the borough early Monday afternoon, officials plan to seal off the English Plaza and White Street municipal lots at 10 p.m. and to shut down Broad Street at 1 a.m. Tuesday, early into a storm that forecasters expect to last about 30 hours and drop more than two feet of snow on much of the Northeastern United States.

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RED BANK: HOLIDAY PARKING FREE IN LOTS

Shoppers can ignore those pay stations and meters in Red Bank’s downtown lots through Christmas day, as the borough’s customary parking-fee moratorium is in effect for the holiday shopping season. No so for the street meters, though. Those, you’ve still got to feed – or risk getting a chunk of coal in your stocking in the form of a $38 ticket. (Click to enlarge)

NEW PARKING PAY SYSTEM PULLS IN MONDAY

A borough employee working on the installation of a new parking kiosk at Maple Cove Friday. (Photo below by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

Green-vested greeters were expected to be on hand at a half-dozen locations in downtown Red Bank Monday, when newly installed parking pay stations were set to replace standard meters, officials said.

The old coin–and-Smart Card-activated meters will be covered with a red bag instructing people to go to the nearest pay station, said Parking Director Gary Watson.

The new machines will accept Smart Cards, debit and credit cards, one-dollar bills and all coins except pennies. Credit card can “feed the meter” from anywhere via cellphone.

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FREE HOLIDAY PARKING TAKES EFFECT

rb-meterRed Bank has waived fees for parking in municipal lots through December 26, as per a request from RiverCenter, and the traditional moratorium went into effect Friday afternoon. Let the shopping begin! (Click to enlarge)

METER RATE TO DOUBLE AT CURB, NOT IN LOTS

Meter1_1

Following through on complaints about downtown employees hogging primo parking spaces all day, Red Bank officials last night moved to double the hourly fee for metered parking on the street.

The measure, which also increases annual charges for permits used by business owners but leaves the rate for metered parking in municipal lots unchanged, is also intended to replenish coffers hit hard when the town started giving away Saturday parking a year ago, they acknowledge.

“The other reason, frankly, is that because of the elimination of Saturdays, we do have a substantial shortfall,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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