RED BANK: COURT NIXES TAX ACTION

The borough’s attempt to revoke Riverview’s tax exemption for two years amounted to a “fishing expedition” in search of justification, the court ruled.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank can’t retroactively revoke the tax-exemption for Riverview Medical Center, New Jersey’s tax court ruled last week.

In attempting to do so, the borough was improperly hoping that a “fishing expedition” in the form of legal action would turn up evidence that the hospital, owned by Hackensack Meridian Health, was being used as a for-profit facility, the court ruled. Read More »

RED BANK: SITE IDEAL FOR HOTEL, SAYS MENNA

vna-176-riverside-120716The VNA’s departure could put its headquarters building on the tax rolls. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The VNA Health Group is quitting Red Bank, leaving behind a large empty building that could wind up on the tax rolls of a borough whose officials complain often about the high number of nonprofits.

Heck, it would even make a great hotel, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: HOSPITAL EYES MORE REAL ESTATE

rb 91 & 95 e front 041515Riverciew has deals to buy 91 East Front Street, at left above, and 95 East Front, center. It already owns 103 East Front, seen at far right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesRiverview Medical Center is planning to increase its holdings of Red Bank real estate, redbankgreen has learned.

The expected acquisition by the hospital of two East Front street buildings could lead to growth in the roster of untaxed property in a borough where officials have complained the burden is unfairly falling on homeowners and other property owners.

Because of that possibility, Mayor Pasquale Menna said the deal means borough and hospital officials need to talk.

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SEA BRIGHT: LIFELONG HOME REBUILT

20140617-181947.jpgDesiree Pierce, who lost her lifelong Sea Bright home to Hurricane Sandy, celebrated the completion of its rebuilding by volunteers Tuesday. Pierce, at center above with son Junior, helped Shareefah Taylor of Americorps, one of the volunteer organizations involved in restoring the New Street house, move a cake to the fridge. (Photo by John T. Ward. )

SEA BRIGHT: VOLUNTEERS START HOME REHABS

sb st bernard 1 032614Americorps volunteers painting the framework of Desiree Pierce’s home Wednesday to encapsulate any lingering mold. Below, Pierce and daughter, Gigi Burke, have been displaced from their home since Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb gigi desiree 032614People who’ve never been through something like Hurricane Sandy don’t understand, says Gigi Burke.

“They don’t understand losing everything,” the 23-year-old Sea Bright resident said. “And then, they don’t understand the process and steps it takes to get back into your home.”

In the 500-plus days since Burke, her two siblings and their mother lost use of their New Street home to the surging Shrewsbury River and Atlantic Ocean, she’s heard “the question” from people who’ve temporarily put her up more than once.

“It was basically, ‘when are you leaving?’ but in a nice way,” she said Wednesday, amid of a flurry of rebuilding activity finally getting underway at her home.

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SEA BRIGHT RISING TO HELP REBUILD HOMES

sb elevations 4 060513Sea Bright homes being elevated last June. Officials estimate 80 percent of the town’s homes are still vacant. Below, Chris Wood, flanked by Pete Forlenza and Zack Rosenburg, addresses a gathering in Rumson Tuesday night. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb rising 022514Sixteen months after the churning Atlantic Ocean and the Shrewsbury River met on Sea Bright’s streets in the fury of a hurricane, the borough is still something of a ghost town, said Chris Wood.

Yes, the business district has seen a welcome comeback. “But 80 percent of the homes on the side streets of Sea Bright are still vacant,” said Wood, a co-founder of Sea Bright Rising, a nonprofit that has raised and distributed close to $1.3 million in donated funds to some 300 families and 17 businesses in town since Hurricane Sandy hit.

Now, though, Sea Bright Rising is partnering with another nonprofit born in the aftermath of a hurricane, with the goal of rebuilding as many as 100 homes in Sea Bright, Rumson and Highlands – at no charge to those homeowners.

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LITTLE SILVER: FUNDING ARM FOR HOMESTEAD

parker-homestead-2007A nonprofit organization will serve as the fundraising arm for the historic site, which dates back almost 350 years. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

A charitable corporation has been formed to help carry out plans to run Little Silver’s historic Parker Homestead as an educational facility, according to borough officials.

The plan is for a foundation to raise funds to carry out the Parker Homestead mission, said Councilman Dan O’Hern.

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BOYS & GIRLS CLUB, STRAPPED, SEEKS HELP

Kids in the after-school Child Care program play a game at the Red Bank unit of the Boys & Girls Club Wednesday. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

On a typical weekday afternoon, a visitor to the Boys & Girls Club in Red Bank might find a handful of kids keeping happily busy inside the modest building on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. This is their after-school hangout, where they play games, get homework help, and relax before their parents pick them up after work.

Many families in the borough depend on this program, especially in these hard economic times, to keep their kids off the streets and engage their minds. But the club, which took over the borough-owned building – formerly Bizarro’s bar  – at the corner of Bridge Avenue just three years ago, is struggling, say club officials and supporters. They’re making the financial situation the focal point of the year’s programming plans.

“There are so many lucky people in Monmouth County with really comfortable lives, but others are far less fortunate,” said Nicole Corre, a borough resident who is raising money for the club through her participation in this year’s New York City Marathon. “So many kids get to spend their summers at beach clubs or nice sleep-away camps, but the small respite these kids have at the Boys & Girls Club is fading away. Where do they have to go?”

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KABOOM: NO, WE’RE NOT GIVING IT AWAY

kaboometer-061410With less than three weeks to go, Kaboom has quite a financial gap to fill, as indicated by this sign at Riverside Gardens Park on Monday. (Click to enlarge)

KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink, faced with a steep fundraising challenge this year because of the elimination of a Red Bank government subsidy, gave away $5,000 Monday.

It’s not what you think, though, organizers insist. Rather than coming out of the coffers of the nonprofit organization that hosts the annual fireworks show, the prize money for an essay contest in which schoolchildren competed was put up by a donor, Investors Savings Bank, says KaBoom chairman Peter Reinhart.

Moreover, he said, the “Tough Times Can’t Take Away Our Sparkle & Shine” contest, co-sponsored by the United Way of Monmouth County, took shape before Red Bank pulled the plug on free police protection and street cleanup following the annual event, forcing organizers to find some $60,000 they hadn’t had to raise in the past.

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