RED BANK: BROKEN PIPE BLAMED FOR SEWAGE

The house at 251 Drs. Parker Boulevard had human waste spilling into the side yard from a pipe through the basement wall for at least two years, a neighbor said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A routine Red Bank zoning board hearing took disturbing turn last week.

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RUMSON: MARINE SCIENCE CENTER PLANNED

A concept drawing of the proposed Monmouth Marine and Environmental Field Station, which would be built atop the existing sanitary sewer pump station in the background. The red star on the satellite photo below indicates the location. (Photo by John T. Ward, map by Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A sewage pump station on the Navesink River in Rumson would serve as the foundation, literally, for an ambitious new marine science center announced in Rumson Tuesday.

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RED BANK: SEWER LINE BREAK CLOSES ROAD

Work to repair an overnight sewer line break forced the closure of Shrewsbury Avenue between West Front and Oakland streets in Red Bank early Friday morning. There was no immediate estimate on when the busy stretch of road might reopen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: LAUNDROMAT & APARTMENTS OK’D

The new structure would be built between a six-unit apartment building, at left, and Juanito’s Market, at right, with all three properties sharing parking in back. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank zoning board approved the creation of a new laundromat and four apartments on a vacant Shrewsbury Avenue lot Thursday night.

But before the project can get underway, grocer and restaurateur Juan Torres will have to reduce a possible tab for water and sewer hookups that could total $562,000.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS SIGNS, SEWER FIX

sidewalk sale 3 072712A properly displayed sandwich board sign on Broad Street. Too many others, however, impede pedestrians, a downtown building owner said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank borough council took action on a number of matters involving borough parks, sidewalks and sewers at its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

Here’s a bullet-point rundown.
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RED BANK: LEAK CLOSES MONMOUTH ST.

rb leak 032916 1A block of Monmouth Street in Red Bank was closed in the eastbound direction Tuesday afternoon as workers sought the source of an unsurfaced water leak discovered when the street was opened for scheduled sewer repairs Monday night.

Public utilities Director Cliff Keen told redbankgreen that a contractor was “chasing the leak” to find its source and could not immediately estimate when the street would be fully reopened between Maple Avenue and Drummond Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MEET THE NEW DEPARTMENT HEADS

cliff keen 122315Cliff Keen, above, is the new director of public utilities, and Charlie Hoffmann, below, runs parks and rec. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

charlie hoffmann 122115Recent months have brought some new faces to Red Bank government.

In particular, three departments that residents have regular interaction with, and occasional strong opinions about, are under new leadership: parks and recreation; planning and zoning; and public utilities.

Here’s a quick intro to the new directors.

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LITTLE SILVER: STRETCH OF HARDING TO CLOSE

ls harding rd 122814ls harding rd 122814 2Harding Road between Prospect Avenue and Ridge Road in Little Silver was expected to be closed starting at 8 a.m. Monday for sewer work, according to the borough website. The roadway is expected to reopen in the mid-afternoon Wednesday. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: WATER METER FAQ POSTED

rb water meter 120414 1The project would replace more than 3,800 residential water meters by the end of 2015, officials have said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank officials have responded to a demand for transparency into a proposed $2.2 million water meter replacement program by posting a list of frequently-asked-questions on the borough website.

At the December 3 meeting of the council, Mayor Pasquale Menna instructed Administrator Stanley Sickels to post “whatever information” he had on the topic by noon Friday after complaints that the borough was rushing the matter through to a vote.

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RED BANK: BOND INTRO LEGIT, O’HERN SAYS

menna o'hern seal 010114Borough Attorney Dan O’Hern, right, with Mayor Pasquale Menna earlier this year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A push by Red Bank’s Democrat-controlled council to pass a $2.2 million water-meter-replacement bond by the end of the year can move forward, according to borough Attorney Dan O’Hern.

O’Hern tells redbankgreen that Mayor Pasquale Menna’s belated “tiebreaker” vote to introduce the bond last week was permissible, even though the mayor is allowed under state law to vote only in the event of a council tie. The council vote was two in favor and one opposed, with one abstention.

But the abstention, by soon-to-depart Councilwoman Juanita Lewis, was tantamount to a “no,” O’Hern said Monday, citing recent cases involving Newark and Hoboken.

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RED BANK: METER BOND INTRODUCED… MAYBE

rb water meter 120414 2New metering technology would use telemetry, replacing the current system, which requires a borough employee to touch a reading device to puck-shaped interface. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s council barely mustered enough votes to introduce an ordinance for a $2.2 million bond to pay for new water meters throughout town Wednesday night.

Or did it?

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RED BANK: $2.2M METER BOND ON AGENDA

water faucet dripNew metering technology would be more precise than the current system, enabling homeowners to better detect bill-boosting leaks, proponents say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank officials plan to issue $2.2 million in debt to replace water meters in the borough’s 4,000-plus homes and other properties.

The agenda for Wednesday night’s meeting of the mayor and council includes the introduction of an ordinance to authorize a bond to cover the cost of the new technology.

Proponents, including Councilman Mike DuPont and Administrator Stanley Sickels, contend the existing meters are part of a  system that is inefficient and costly to the town. The devices used for the past 25 or so years are also no longer manufactured, they said.

But the council’s lone Republican, Cindy Burnham, says the bond is being fast-tracked for approval by the end of the year in order to head off possible no vote next year, when she’s joined on the dais by councilwoman-elect and fellow Republican Linda Schwabenbauer. Read More »

RED BANK: FLUSHING AWAY TAX DOLLARS

HOT-TOPIC_03Somebody flushed a mop head down a toilet.

That feat of hydraulic waste removal and others, including the flushing of a towel, led to a three-day crash of a Red Bank sanitary sewer pump earlier this week that will cost taxpayers at least $30,000, officials said Wednesday night.

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WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE

manhole1A Red Bank public works employee assists in sewer line maintenance work at the intersection of Broad and Wallace streets late Sunday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

COUNCIL PLANS WATER/SEWER RATE BOOST

toiletIt’ll cost more per flush if the proposed increase passes.

Seven months after Red Bank officials siphoned off $270,000 from the borough-owned water utility to keep a lid on municipal taxes, they’re planning to jack up water and sewer rates by 10 percent.

An ordinance changing the rate, which was quietly introduced at the last borough council meeting, is up for public hearing and possible adoption Monday night.

The increase follows a 10-percent increase in 2008 that was said to be necessary to offset the costs of infrastructure repairs. The pending boost was proposed by the council’s finance committee, says Mayor Pasquale Menna. The committee is headed by Councilman Mike DuPont, who was not immediately available for comment this morning.

What’s the rationale?

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SEA BRIGHT MIFFED BY SEWER RATE HIKE

read-murphyCouncilman Read Murphy announced to the council Tuesday night that the borough’s sewer rate is increasing by 23 percent. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Sea Bright Borough Council was anticipating a four- or five-percent increase in this year’s sewer bill. Turns out they should’ve multiplied that estimate by four or five.

Councilman Read Murphy reported at Tuesday night’s meeting that the borough had just received a letter from The Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority stating that the municipal sewer bill would increase by 23 percent for the year.

“It’s unconscionable, but it’s also the most inexplicable,” Murphy said.”That’s a heck of an increase.”

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MANHOLE WORK MAY SHUT BUSY STREET

just_in1A stretch of Red Bank’s Monmouth Street, which was closed Wednesday evening for a sewer repair job, is open again today. But borough officials plan to shut it again Friday for further work.

Public utilities acting director Gary Watson tells redbankgreen that the collapse of a manhole opposite the Dublin House Pub could result in the street being closed between Broad Street and Drummond Place for up to half a day.

The timing of the shutdown all depends on a contractor’s ability to quickly obtain a precast manhole liner, Watson says.

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REPAIR FORCES MONMOUTH STREET CLOSING

just_in1Red Bank police have closed Monmouth Street between Broad Street and Drummond Place to address a sewer issue, according to a notice issued by the town this afternoon.

The closing is in effect until further notice.