PAPERWORK PUTS FAIR HAVEN PLANS ON HOLD

rvr-rd-westThe River Road west streetscape is holding up a line of other projects in the borough. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mike Halfacre, Fair Haven’s mayor, one-time Congressional hopeful and triathlete may add another exploit to his list: author.

No, not really. But, more than a year after pulling in big bucks – under a stimulus program whose existence he opposed – from the federal government for a major facelift to the west side of River Road, Halfacre says he’s got plenty of material for one.

“I will write a book someday about shovel-ready projects,” he said.

Perhaps it can be a Bildungsroman on working with the federal government, one that Halfacre said has produced small mountains of paperwork – and a backlog of other projects “all being held up by trying to do River Road west.”

“I cannot tell you how frustrating it is,” Halfacre said. “It’s a mess. I mean, even our president laughed at the shovel-ready projects a couple weeks ago.”

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IT’S LIGHTS OUT ON RIVER ROAD, EVENTUALLY

river-road-lightsOlder lights on River Road in Fair Haven will come down on an as-needed basis. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

River Road in Fair Haven is lit up like a runway now that new streetlights have been installed on both sides of the thoroughfare.

You may have noticed, as well, that still stationed on the stretch through downtown are the old lights, casting pallid halogen beams down over the new, old-look fixtures.

Those aren’t coming down any time soon, although they will be shut off, making for a uniform glow down the renovated streetscape of the busy road, officials say.

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FAIR HAVEN: GO SLOW ON SIGNS & PLANTERS

ped-signThe Fair Haven council wants fewer ped x-ing signs on River Road. Complaints have also been made about the number of planters and trash cans along sidewalks, below. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

plantersOn River Road heading through Fair Haven heading toward Rumson, the signs are hard to miss: large, yellow warnings of pedestrian crossings, many bunched together.

The neon-bright clusters, while clearly there for safety purposes, might be a little much. Borough leadership certainly thinks so.

“There are just so many of them, I think you could make the argument that they lose their effectiveness,” Administrator Theresa Casagrande said. “Not only is there a sign, there’s a sign saying there’s a sign coming up.”

Mayor Mike Halfacre said the signs have been there for years, but complaints have been coming in to borough hall for just as long, and the council wants Monmouth County, which is responsible for River Road, to consider reducing the number. There are at least six on each side of the road through the business district, and another four or so just before the Rumson border.

“It’s reached a point where we need to do something about it,” he said.

You might say the council needs to do something about another clutter problem in town, not far from those big, honking signs.

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BONUS FOR CHIEF, TRASH JOBBED OUT

darryl-breckenridge-010108By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge got his annual attaboy from the borough council last night in the form of a $3,000 bonus.

This is not unusual in Fair Haven. Employees do well, they get compensated, Mayor Mike Halfacre said.

And even though Breckenridge is part of the police department, he is not a member of a union, making him eligible for a performance-based bonus, like all other non-union workers, Halfacre said.

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PRE-CHRISTMAS ACCIDENT KILLED WOMAN

river-rd-accidentThe accident occurred on River Road in front of Acme. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

An Eatontown woman died after being struck by a vehicle on River Road in Fair Haven almost two weeks ago, authorities confirmed.

No charges have been filed against the driver, Mohsen Sarraf, of Rumson, who hit 52-year-old Keri Lee on December 20, Assistant Prosecutor Peter Warshaw said.

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IN FAIR HAVEN, YET ANOTHER ROADBLOCK

rvr-rdMonmouth County unexpectedly shut down a major portion of River Road Tuesday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Once again, a road improvement project along River Road in Fair Haven is causing business disruptions, and a growing number of merchants is voicing frustration over a lack of communication and coordination between the Monmouth County and the borough.

Store owners say they took an unexpected hit in sales when most of River Road was closed to traffic Tuesday, a move made, apparently unannounced, by the county, which is overseeing the $886,000, federally-funded streetscape makeover.

Coming at the peak of a cut-throat holiday season, the timing of the shutdown was “terrible,” said Dean Ross, owner of the Doc Shoppe.

“Four days before Christmas, you count on it,” Ross said. “Retail’s tough enough. You need everything.”

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FAIR HAVEN COUNCIL WRAP-UP

fh-councilThe Fair Haven council held its annual meeting in front of Knollwood School students Monday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For the second straight year, the Fair Haven council moved its end-of-year meeting out of the basement of borough hall and into the library at Knollwood School to give students a chance to find out how local government works.

Few topics were untouched. More than a dozen students asked about the construction on River Road, leaf collection and speeding problems in town, while getting explanations on the nuances of a government, like the difference between a resolution and an ordinance.

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WITHOUT NOTICE, KRAUSZER’S GETS CURBED

tony-akbarKrauszer’s owner Tony Akbar near the curb where there used to be a driveway apron to his store’s parking lot. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

An $886,000 sprucing-up of River Road in Fair Haven has left a convenience store owner feeling mighty inconvenienced.

Krauszer’s owner Tony Akbar says the borough closed off one of the two curb cuts into his busy parking lot without telling him in advance.

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