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: CRITICS HOSE SPRAYGROUND PLAN

gasienica 081314Kathleen Gasienica, an environmentalist and next-door neighbor to the nature area, brought a boatload of visuals to bolster her critique of the plan. Borough Engineer Christine Ballard showed a photo of a similar sprayground in Middlesex County.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb spray park 081314A steady stream of critics blasted a plan for a sprayground at Red Bank’s Bellhaven Nature Area Wednesday night, citing environmental, economic and safety issues.

The controversial project, in the works for nearly three years, divided backers and opponents along familiar lines at a bimonthly borough council meeting, where Engineer Christine Ballard unveiled the most detailed plan yet for the Locust Avenue facility.

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RED BANK: BELLHAVEN PLAN TO GET AIRING

Bellhaven Wetland Map 1Bellhaven is located on the Swimming River, at the western terminus of Locust Avenue.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03After several months of quiet, a controversial project originally proposed as a children’s “sprayground” returns to the  Red Bank borough council Wednesday night.

What the plan calls for and might cost, however, is known only to a small circle of people. Mayor Pasquale Menna said Monday that even he had not gotten a peek at the revised proposal, which is slated to to be outlined at the council’s the regular bimonthly meeting.

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RED BANK: SPRAYGROUND RETURNS

Critics contend the sprayground would be built in an environmentally sensitive wetland.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposed children’s “sprayground” installation that environmentalists say would encroach on wetlands and a bald-eagle foraging area could get a double green light from the Red Bank borough council Wednesday night.

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TOWN WILL PURSUE SPRAYGROUND FUNDS

kramer-ballardLocust Avenue resident Leigh Kremer addresses the council as borough Engineer Christine Ballard listens. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Over the concerns of environmentalists, Red Bank will pursue grant funding for a ‘sprayground‘ in a riverside marsh that could end up costing $500,000.

A vote by the borough council Wednesday night to authorize a bid for a Monmouth County Open Spaces grant of $250,000, which the town would have to match, followed heartfelt appeals by West Side parents for a place for children to play and by others concerned about illicit activity in the overgrown Bellhaven Nature Area, at the western end of Locust Avenue.

“Our children on the West Side have nowhere to go,” River Street’s Rose Sestito, a mother of five and foster mother of three, told the governing body during a public hearing on the grant question. “Please consider the children.”

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