RED BANK: ANGLE SPOTS, NEW KIOSKS COMING

red bank white st.The sidewalk along the south side of White Street, at left, would be removed to allow for head-in angled parking on that side. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn old-school approach to parking may soon return to one street in downtown Red Bank: angled parking.

The borough council informally agreed last week to remake a portion of White Street for angled parking on one side.

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RED BANK: SECOND-METER ISSUE RETURNS

 Action has been delayed on water meters that would allow Red Bankers to avoid sewerage charges for watering lawns and washing cars, according to the borough administrator. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Where are the water meters that would let Red Bank homeowners irrigate their lawns without incurring sewer charges?

The secondary meters were a hot topic leading up to the borough council’s approval 18 months ago of $3.7 million in bonds to install new primary meters in every home and business, and to cover other upgrades to the municipal water utility.

Since then, though, there’s been little said about the meters — until last week, when the issue sputtered back to life.

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RED BANK: UPDATES ON WATER

rb-meter-swap-110216-1An installer with National Metering Services installing a new wireless meter in a Red Bank home earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Some quick updates on Red Bank water…

The stinky, dirty water that affected some customers earlier this month has been corrected, borough officials tell redbankgreen. But they’re being cautious about turning on the tap too quickly.

And with the townwide water-meter replacement project underway, users should be alert to a change in their billing.

Details on both below.

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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: COUNCIL TAPS METER INSTALLER

rb water meter 120815 1Existing water meters are to be replaced with new technology that includes radio transmitters for remote reading, like one already in use on this new house on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Red Bank’s townwide water-meter replacement project, an effort that prompted complaints about unnecessary spending, went from proposal to reality without so much as a peep Wednesday night.

At a semimonthly meeting, the borough council awarded a contract for the work, which calls for replacing some 3,800 residential meters, and hundreds more non-residential devices, with technology that will enable borough officials to get a read on usage without leaving their desks.

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RED BANK: GOP HOSED ON WATER VOTES

cindy burnham 021016Council President Cindy Burnham, sitting in for the absent mayor for the first time, recused herself from the meter bond vote on advice from borough Attorney Jean Cipriani, right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Amid criticism by taxpayers, the new Republican-led Red Bank council approved two bonds totaling $3.7 million to pay for a municipal well and water meters for every property in town Wednesday night.

Both bonds won unanimous approval, though Council President Cindy Burnham, who recused herself over what was described as a potential conflict of interest, said she would have voted no on the meter issue.

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RED BANK: WATER BONDS UP FOR VOTE

rb water 102215Two bonds totaling $3.7 million in debt for a new well and water meters are up for possible adoption vote. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Two bond ordinances and a plan to buy new water meters for nearly all Red Bank properties dominate the agenda for Wednesday night’s council meeting.

Facing a deadline for action, the council is expected to hold an adotion vote on two bonds totaling $3.7 million to pay for upgrades they say will help the town avoid  restrictions on water usage and new connections to the water system.

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RED BANK: TWO WATER BONDS ON AGENDA

rb water meter 120815 2A wireless water meter installed on a newly constructed home on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

With two clocks ticking down to the same deadline, Red Bank officials expect to introduce a pair of bond ordinances Wednesday night in hopes of avoiding restrictions on water usage and new connections to the water system.

One would authorize $1.9 million in new debt to replace nearly every water meter in town. The other would bond $1.83 million pay for a new water well to supply the borough-owned water utility.

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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: FREE PARKING, STROLLING SANTAS

rb parking 121112Kiss the kiosks goodbye for the next two weeks:. Visitors to downtown Red Bank will get a pass on having to pay for parking starting Thursday and running through December 25. The annual moratorium applies to lot and curb spaces, according to Red Bank RiverCenter.

The downtown promotion agency will host an “open house” throughout the business district Thursday night, featuring store sales, refreshments, carolers, and the Barbizon Holiday Mannequins. New this year: strolling Santas, available to grace your selfies. (Photo by John T. Ward; click to enlarge)

TEXT ALERT: TIME RUNNING OUT FOR METERS

The centralized pay stations replaced coin-operated meters in several downtown lots last summer, and could displace all remaining meters in a few months, the Press reports. (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday’s Asbury Park Press has some news about Red Bank’s new pay-for-parking system:

• that users can now get text alerts when their allotted time is about to run out

• and that borough officials plan to replace all the old coin-operated meters with the new technology by summer.

Well, at least one of those two is news. Though the article quotes Mayor Pasquale Menna as saying the text alerts went live “a couple of weeks ago,” the text option has been operational since the stations were installed last June. redbankgreen has been using the option since last August, as the dates on the screen grab at right show.

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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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DAYS ARE NUMBERED FOR RED BANK METERS

Red Bank’s council introduced an ordinance Wednesday night that will allow it to spend up to $350,000 from a dedicated parking fund on new pay stations. The stations, expected to debut in mid-June, will replace meters in the lots at White Street, English Plaza, Maple Cove and Marine Park, and along Wharf Avenue north of Union Street, according to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels. Meantime, borough workers have begun numbering spots and building concrete pads for the stations. (Click to enlarge)

ON DECK, MAYBE: NEW DOWNTOWN GARAGE

menna-010111Mayor Pasquale Menna says Red Bank has an “extraordinary” parking shortage that is crimping downtown businesses. (Click to enlarge)

After idling for several years, the possibility that Red Bank may get a second downtown parking garage is back in gear.

Though he never mentioned the word “garage” or “deck,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said Saturday that he would appoint a committee to explore ways to address what he called a perennial problem: “surface parking.”

“Everybody talks about parking, and they all say the mayor doesn’t talk about it enough, so let me stick my neck out,” he told an audience that packed the council chambers for the annual borough government reorganization . “Beginning this year, the council will be discussing initiatives that will carve out initiatives for parking on borough-owned properties in the business district.”

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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)

SECOND TIME A CHARM FOR FREE PARKING

metersThe Red Bank council approved a request from RiverCenter to offer free holiday parking, but not at curbside meters like these on Monmouth Street. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Two weeks after narrowly shooting down a perfunctory request from RiverCenter to offer free holiday parking downtown, the Red Bank borough council reversed its position Monday night.

“What’s changed?” Branch Avenue’s Stephen Hecht asked.

In addition to a minor tweak to RiverCenter’s request, Councilman Michael DuPont’s thinking, apparently.

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BOROUGH HAS NO METER-REVENUE FORECASTS

white-st-lotMeter rates in the White Street and other municipal lots won’t be affected by the doubling of fees for curbside parking, but lot-permit fees are scheduled to soar by 33 percent. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In the absence of projections, forecasts or even conservative estimates, Red Bank officials appear to be going on hope when it comes to a plan to compensate for a shortfall in parking revenue.

Contrary to a claim by Mayor Pasquale Menna that borough Chief Financial Officer Frank Mason had worked up projected revenue gains from a proposed doubling of fees for street meters downtown, Mason says he has not yet made such forecasts.

As the Borough Council moves forward with a plan to boost non-lot parking to $1 an hour, and jack up yearly parking permit fees to $800, from $600, the only figure that’s clear is how much money has been lost since lifting Saturday parking fees a year ago. Mayor Pasquale Menna says it’s about $10,000 a month, or $120,000 a year.

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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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MENNA PUSHES EXTENDED METER HOURS

meters_irMeters would have to be fed for two additional hours on weekdays under the plan.

With the clock running down on his decree of free Saturday parking downtown, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna is proposing to add two additional hours of meter enforcement from Monday to Friday.

The move, which comes even as Menna is also urging retailers to keep their doors open later, is prompted by a sharp drop in parking revenue, he tells redbankgreen.

“We’ve eliminated revenues on Saturday and Sunday, and there’s a shortfall,” Menna says. “We have to equalize it by extending hours into the evening.”

The idea, like many proposed tinkerings with parking rates here, is likely to engender heated debate as a public hearing on the matter scheduled for next Monday approaches. Many downtown merchants blame $38 overtime parking fines for driving away customers.

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