RED BANK, NJ: The Red Bank Redevelopment Agency (RBRA), held their monthly meeting yesterday afternoon in borough hall and heard from a number of consultants.

The RBRA is headed by Ken Roberts, CEO of the Government Strategy Group (GSA), a consulting firm hired by the borough.  GSA that produced the Management Enhancement Report, and was highly critical of the borough’s practices.

The initial focus of the RBRA is to review the borough’s facilities that are in urgent need of repair or replacement. 

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The consultants provided an overview of what their mission is for the borough:

Mike Hanley of NW Financial Group, a financial advisory and municipal underwriting firm whose job is to analyze the financial numbers that come in from developers. “When developers make proposals, we review costs, revenues, extraordinary items and community benefits that are associated with the project, and try to do the best deal on behalf of the municipality,” said Hanley.

From the law firm of McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, Matt Jessup is consulting as the RBRA counsel.  Their charge is to take a look at the myriad of issues that face the borough such as; affordable housing, environmental and financing.  Their firm will negotiate with the redevelopers on their plans and escrow accounts.  Jessup said, “We bring to the table all of the legal expertise that you need in connection with those projects.”

Maser Consulting, a Red Bank engineering firm was represented by Mark Lescavage, Senior Project Manager.  The firm will focus on site development work.  Lescavage said they have confirmed, “The various owned properties by the borough, categorized them, looked at the constraints in terms of land area, existing use, site access, current zoning and other issues that could come up with site development, such as a CAFRA zone or wetlands on the property,” said Lescavage.

Pradeep Kapoor, a Partner with DMR Architects, have met with the borough’s building department heads and having them complete a questionnaire.  “The first step is to analyze what you have and what your needs are.  The next step be to analyze the number of people you have and future projections.  Following that, we will bring in Maser (Consulting) to start the concept design,” said Kapoor.

Shannon Warner, Business and Client Development Manager with ARH Associates, a civil engineering firm that provides geographic information systems (GIS).  GIS enables engineers to capture and analyze spatial data.  Warner said, “We are putting a threshold analysis report to determine what properties might qualify for redevelopment or rehabilitation.  The report will guide the policymakers in determining what sections of the borough you should focus your redevelopment efforts on.”

All the consulates agreed that their projects would take four to six months to complete.

Ken Roberts, who is managing these consultants, said, “We’re doing fact finding.  When the data comes in, we’ll digest it and see what direction we want to go.”

To read the Goals and Objectives of the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency, click HERE.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 26th, 4:30pm, at Borough Hall.

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