RED BANK, NJ: The Red Bank Redevelopment Agency (RBRA) held their monthly meeting yesterday afternoon.  The Agency was formed back in February of 2018.

The RBRA was suggested by the Government Strategy Group (GSG), a consulting firm hired by Red Bank to provide municipal management services.  GSG wrote the severely negative Management Enhancement Review that was submitted to the Borough last May.  Ken DeRoberts, CEO of the Government Strategy Group, (GSG) also heads the RBRA.

To read the (Management Enhancement Report) report, click HERE.

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To read the RBRA’s goals and objectives, click HERE.

Ziad “Z’ Shehady, Business Administrator for Red Bank, provided a recap of a $100k state grant for an Opportunity Zone Challenge Grant.  The NJ Economic Development Authority states that this grant is, “Designed to focus capital flows and economic investment into communities that have historically faced economic challenges, long-term investment scarcity and strained local governments have made it difficult for many of the communities most in need to develop and capitalize critical projects…, by encouraging communities to develop specific plans to guide their pursuit of Opportunity Zone-based investments.”

Z discussed the Municipal Facilities Project which will provide the borough an extensive report of the municipal assets, that are in dire need of rebuilding.  

In a previous meeting, two contracts were awarded for the project: a $39,300 fee to Maser Consulting to provide “Conceptional Engineering Site Review.”  They are charged to perform site and structural reviews to identify opportunities for potential locations for (borough) facilities.  DMR Architects was signed on for $41,000 for a “Conceptional Architectural Planning Review for Municipal Operations.”  DeRoberts explained that this was to, “Guide us in a needs assessment, for office space, facilities, etc.,” saying that Maser and DMR will be working together.

On the Municipal Facilities Project, Z said they held the, “First kick off meeting Ken (DeRoberts), was there, our DPW Director and a borough construction official,” along with the Maser and DMR team.  

“They outlined the process, the datasets that they’ll need, what the vision would be, who would be involved,” said Shehady.  Z related how the consultants had sent out questionnaires to the borough’s department heads, “To assist an understanding the needs of the borough, each individual department, (to determine), what we really need in the future.”

Ken DeRoberts of GSG said, “both firms are hitting the ground running.  We’ll get regular progress reports and updates, have monthly meetings a week prior to the (RBRA) meetings so that we can provide accurate and timely updates.

David Huber, Committee Chairman of the RBRA brought up a motion that was approved for an RFP for a Project Management Consultant, informing that Ken DeRobert’s GSG contract will be ending.  “Government Strategies has done an excellent job, but it is time to put this out to bid and see who responds,” said Huber. 

Lastly a resolution was brought up about consultant fees, which on the advice of Mayor Pat Menna, asked that the summary memo the RBRA had on this issue be explained. 

Ziad Shehady stepped up saying, “We requested the respondents provide a break down of their estimated hours allocated, timelines, materials needed.  It did illuminate how much is actually possible to complete within the number of hours that were specified.  “We looked to reduce hours in certain areas, including decreasing the billing hours of senior members at those firms.” 

The next meeting will be Tuesday, October 22nd, 4:30pm, at Borough Hall.

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