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: 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: BELLHAVEN GETS HOSED AGAIN

Bellhaven Wetland Map 1Critics contend the Bellhaven sprayground has little popular support.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03It wasn’t on the agenda, but a proposed water playground on Red Bank’s West Side spewed back to the fore Wednesday night.

At issue: whether to keep spending money on prep work for the controversial four-year-old project, which has been temporarily derailed by the discovery of heating oil in the soil.

Counting at least three prospective “no” votes on the six-member council, Republican Cindy Burnham asked: “Why do we continue to use taxpayer money to pay [engineering consultant] T&M Associates for soil testing and permits?”

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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: TENNIS, TRESTLE, PARKING & DOGS

rb tennis 102912The Red Bank clay courts during Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, above. Below, a truck stuck under the West Front Street railroad trestle last week. (Photos by Peter Lindner and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb stuck truck 052314 2Tennis enthusiasts pelted the Red Bank council over the lack of progress on rebuilding the town’s cherished clay courts Wednesday night.

At its bimonthly meeting – conducted over the loud hum of temporary air conditioners while the borough hall HVAC system gets an upgrade – the governing body also took up issues ranging from the vexing train trestle on West Front Street to beagle rights.

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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)

MENNA: GIVE PARKING WAIVER MORE TIME

A fee moratorium has helped fill vacant spaces downtown, and should remain in effect through the rest of the year, the mayor says. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Four months after proclaiming that a waiver on fees for new businesses with parking shortfalls had done its job and should be allowed to expire, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale says he has changed his mind.

Menna led a move at Wednesday night’s borough council meeting to extend the moratorium by six more months, through December 31. The motion passed on a unanimous vote.

“I’m not infallible,” Menna said afterward, when asked about his changed view. “I’ve listened to people who are trying to come in and genuinely improve our business climate.”

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MENNA: CLOCK TICKING ON PARKING WAIVER

By JOHN T. WARD

A measure to boost business development in downtown Red Bank has had its intended effect and should probably end this summer, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

The temporary ordinance repeal, adopted in August, 2010, has helped spark a burst of activity so strong that “we may have a parking deficiency again soon,” Menna said.

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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)