RED BANK — Red Bank Borough Council members are taking the long view on municipal planning.
At the Jan. 1 borough reorganization meeting, Councilman Edward Zipprich made reference to a proposed five-year plan to improve quality of life in the borough and streamline services without offering any specifics.
Zipprich this week elaborated on what he and fellow members of the governing body are hoping to accomplish in the next few years. “We need to bring Red Bank further along into the 21st century,” he said on Tuesday.
Back in the fall, he and fellow council members Kathy Horgan and Juašita Lewis proposed using existing borough committees to create a plan for improving the borough.
Zipprich chairs the public works committee, kk,Horgan is responsible for education and technology, Lewis heads up parks and recreation. Along with those, other committees include finance, parking, and there is the historic preservation and environmental committees. And the council members serve on any number of these, Zipprich noted, and hopefully could draw experiences from each that would benefit. “It’s a collaborative effort, a team effort,” he said.
While the initiative is at a very embryonic stage, Zipprich acknowledged, the plan is to use available resources withinšthe different departments to make them more efficient, and to adopt some additional environmentally friendly policies that make green and good financial sense for the long run. As a case in point, Zipprich said, there has been discussions about the Monmouth Street corridor redevelopment plan that may mean creating some parking spaces intended for electric cars, that would be tethered to recharging stations, as well as possibly looking at solar energy parking meters as an alternative. Those ideas, he said, grew out of a council parking committee meeting.
These initiatives could make the borough eligible for some grant money from government or the private sector, helping to nudge it along, he explained.
Other municipalities have adopted long-range plans, and the county has instituted its own formal multi-year strategic plan, too. This wouldn’t be so formal—especially given the borough pocketbook wouldn’t make allowances for such a strategic plan—but it would be a jumping off point, whether it takes five years, less or longer, Zipprich said, adding that, “If we don’t’ start it, if we don’t take that leap of faith, then we’ll never know.”