Category Archives: Lincroft NJ

Sierra Club Director Tittel to Lecture January 23 at Brookdale

Lincroft, NJ – Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club will discuss the systematic political assault on both the state and nation’s environmental rules and regulations by radical conservative politicians at the January 23 combined general membership meetings of the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of Sierra and the NJ Friends of Clearwater at the Brookdale Community College Lincroft main campus, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft. It will be held from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the Warner Student Life Center, lower level, Twin Lights rooms. Community is encouraged to attend the free event sponsored by Brookdale’s Environmental Field Station at Sandy Hook. Light refreshments will be available beginning at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting to start at 6:30 p.m.

A life-long Jerseyan, Tittel worked in political consulting prior to consulting for environmental activism. He now spends much of his time working behind the scenes battling businesses, developers, bureaucrats and politicians.

According to Tittel, since the radical conservatives captured the U.S. House of Representatives, there have been about 190 votes against environmental regulations on the House Floor with about 85 targeting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – and more expected.

Tittle is critical of Governor Chris Christie in his opposition to many environmental bills. Christi’s environmental commissioner has insisted that any evaluation of new regulations must be balanced by their impact on economic growth.

Tittel will explain how pro-development opponents to environmental controls falsely blame the controls for the nation’s economic stagnation. He will conclude with the possible positive directions that can be taken to protect the environment.
Groups are welcome. Please advise to request any special needs seating. More information is available by calling 732-857-5305.

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Filed under Brookdale Community College, environmentalists, EPA, Jeff Tittel, Lincroft NJ, NJ Friends of Clearwater, press release, Sandy Hook, Sierra club

Grammy-Award Winning Singer To Perform Free Concert on the Lincroft Village Green Oct. 2nd

(Click image to enlarge)

LincroftTom Chapin, the Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter, returns to Lincroft for a free concert on Sunday, October 2 at 1 pm at the Lincroft Village Green, located at the corner of Newman Springs Road (CR520) & Phalanx Road, approximately one mile west of Garden State Parkway Exit 109.

Tom Chapin, whose catchy tunes are infused with family-friendly themes, is enjoyed by children and adults alike. A generation of kids grew-up tapping their toes to “Good Garbage” and other beloved Chapin songs which share messages of respect, tolerance and environmental conservation. The event is a free public service sponsored by the Lincroft Village Green Association (LVGA).
LVGA Director Abe Littenberg comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Tom Chapin back to our community. He first performed on the Lincroft Village Green a few years ago to perform on the green space that the LVGA saved from commercial development. He was an giant hit with families who came from all over to hear their favorite children’s songwriter perform live and to sing along to their favorite songs . This event is offered free to the public in keeping with the LVGA mission to enhance life in our village.”
The general public is welcome. General parking is available at the adjacent Lincroft Elementary school with handicapped parking located at the Lincroft Village Green. Should it rain, the show will go on, but at an alternate location which will be announced on the LVGA website and Facebook page.
The Lincroft Village Green Association is a civic association of community volunteers who, since 1999, have been committed to quality of life issues in the village of Lincroft, including traffic calming, safer vehicular and pedestrian circulation, historic preservation and beautification. For more information on the LVGA and the Tom Chapin concert please visit our website at www.lincroftvillagegreen.org

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Filed under folk singer, free concert, free picnic, Lincroft NJ, lincroft village green association, Middletown NJ, Tom Chapin

Monmouth Girls Academy Launching Feasibility Study September

I’m posting this press release from the Monmouth Girls Academy because this all girl academy was rumored to be interested in obtaining the Avaya site in Lincroft and using it as their campus.

This rumor had been floated by members of the Middletown governing body when questions started being asked by members of the Lincroft Village Greens Association(LVGA) and SONIC about the Four Ponds Redevelopment housing project set to be built at the Avaya site. The intention of the rumor was to deflect criticism away from the rezoning of the property from industrial usage to high density residential.

I have been told that mayor Tony Fiore, has recently been making the rounds telling residents in the Lincroft area that the Four Ponds development won’t be built and that there is a potential commercial buyer in the background that would save the area from this housing project. I think however Fiore’s assurances are nothing more than political electioneering on his park to sure up the voter base in Lincroft.

Of course however, if you are interested in finding out more about the Monmouth Girls Academy and participating in it’s feasibility study, by all means go to their website and do so. I think the Academy is a worthy institution to support.

Local Families and Interested Individuals Invited to Participate in Feasibility Study – available at http://www.monmouthgirlsacademy.org

Rumson, NJ – (September 2011) – What do these prominent women have in common: Condoleeza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir and Carley Fiorina? Each attended an all-girls school. A number of national studies indicate a pattern of strong, successful careers for girls who attend single-sex schools, which has lead a group of local parents and educators to investigate the feasibility of opening an all-girls high school in Monmouth County.

The steering committee has engaged Wisconsin-based Meitler Consultants, a firm that specializes in school strategic planning, to study and analyze the feasibility of opening a centrally located all-girls Catholic college preparatory high school in Monmouth County, tentatively called The Monmouth Girls Academy (http://www.monmouthgirlsacademy.org).

The feasibility study will be conducted online from September 12 to 28, 2011. Families interested in participating in the study should visit: http://www.monmouthgirlsacademy.org

“The purpose of the study is to evaluate the feasibility of establishing an all-girls high school in Monmouth County and the potential impact on existing schools in the area as well as to establish open communication with all interested residents, educators and community leaders”, notes Victoria Gmelich, High School Study Steering Committee Co-Chair. “We encourage the community to participate in the study to help guide the decision-making process.”

Mairead Clifford, who also co-chairs the High School Study Steering Committee, says “from the beginning of the process, our group has sought to keep an open line of communication with the Diocese of Trenton as well as members of local Catholic, private and public school communities.”

What Does the Feasibility Study Ask?

The Monmouth Girls Academy Feasibility Study conducted by Meitler Consultants will include such questions as:

– number of girls in the family

– high school enrollment intentions

– factors/hurdles in selecting a high school

– factors/hurdles in selecting a parochial/Catholic school

– parental participation/support of an all-girls school

– open-ended questions such as why the study participant would enroll their daughter in an all-girls Catholic high school

– demographic information

Mission and Vision of the Monmouth Girls Academy

The Monmouth Girls Academy mission:

Objective is to establish a private, Catholic all-girls college preparatory high school in Monmouth County.
Academics will reflect our goal to inspire a lifelong thirst for knowledge through a rigorous, comprehensive and challenging approach to learning uniquely tailored to nurture the intellectual, spiritual, social and physical gifts of each individual.
A rigorous program which is developmentally appropriate for young women to achieve and reach their fullest potential.
To welcome students and families of different faiths and diverse backgrounds and value the uniqueness of each individual.

This all-girls high school, with an anticipated initial enrollment of 500-600 students, will serve a need currently unmet by existing parochial, private and public high schools in Monmouth County. The school would be accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, offer academics that exceed state standards, and welcome students of all faiths. The anticipated annual tuition is $13,000, with the support of financial aid for families with demonstrated need along with some academic scholarships. The site for the school will be centrally located in Monmouth County but will be based the feasibility study results.

Statistics about All Girls Schools

– Girls who attend single-sex schools outscore their co-ed counterparts on the SAT by an average of 28 to 43 points

– Three times as many alumnae of single-sex schools plan to become engineers

– Girls’ school students spend more hours per week doing homework, attending study groups, tutoring others and working with their teachers than co-ed students

– Nearly 100% of girls’ school grads go on to college.

To learn more about the Monmouth Girls Academy and to register for the study, please go to: http://www.monmouthgirlsacademy.org.

Like and share us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monmouth-Girls-Academy/232994200076529?sk=wall&filter=2

Christine Burke or Judy Musa, Full Circle Communications
Judy@fullcirclecommunications.net or 732-688-8079, 732-687-1556

Communications, Public Relations and Event Planning
Full Circle Communications

Phone: 732.688.8079
Fax: 732-747-5292

cburkeassociates@verizon.net
16 William Street
Red Bank NJ 07701

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Filed under Avaya, Feasibility study, Four Ponds Housing Development, Lincroft NJ, LVGA, Middletown NJ, Monmouth Girls Academy, Sonic

Carol Fowler: I am running in this year’s election because it’s time to depart from "politics as usual."

Two weeks ago, I accepted the Middletown Democrats’ offer to join their ticket and seek a seat on the Township Committee. All my life, I’ve considered myself a Republican. However, the reckless policies of the local GOP majority led me to conclude that my conservative views on taxes, spending, and borrowing were not being represented by the all Republican Township Committee.

I am not a politician. I am a wife, mother, and longtime volunteer with Lincroft First Aid. I am running in this year’s election because it’s time to depart from “politics as usual.” I oppose handing no bid contracts to politically connected friends. I favor increased transparency and believe there is a way to cut spending without jeopardizing our first class police department and parks programs. Unless we pay closer attention to our municipal expenses, we may one day find ourselves asking where we were when things went off track, where did the money go, and when did the quality of life in Middletown begin to slip? By that time, it will be too late.

In the months ahead, I look forward to meeting with as many residents as I can. I believe the surest way to understanding the concerns of working families and seniors is to knock on doors and listen first hand. My running mate Jim Grenafege and I intend to do just that.

Sincerely,

Carol Fowler
Candidate for Middletown Township Committee

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Filed under Candidates for Township Committee, Carol Fowler, Democratic Candidate, letter to the editor, Lincroft NJ, Middletown Township Committee, politics as usual

Subject of Latest Robo-Call From Concerned Citizens Deals With AVAYA and COAH

Earlier today I received yet another robo-call from the group calling themselves Concerned Citizens of Middletown.

The content of this robo- call that was left on my answering machine ~1:30 pm, seems to be geared towards what is going on in Lincroft concerning the redevelopment of the AVAYA sight that will consist of 342 units of high density housing if built.

The timing of this latest robo-call seems to have been planned to correspond with the next Middletown Planning Board meeting scheduled for tomorrow night, where according to the agenda for the meeting, approval of the project may be finalized.

I’m sure that this call (the 5th) will be just as controversial as the others that have gone out in the past by the group Concerned Citizens of Middletown.
Tony Fiore and others associated with the Middletown GOP swear that Concerned Citizens of Middletown is nothing more than the a front name used by the Middletown Democrats to stir up trouble and controversy, which as far as I know, is not the case.
I am sure that one day soon the mystery of who is behind the group will be answered, but until then I’m going to sit back and enjoy the speculation. It’s fun to see Fiore and the others squirm a bit and point fingers while trying to explain that the messages being left on answering machines all around town have no merit and shouldn’t be paid attention to.

Below is the message that I recorded again off of my answering machine followed by a transcript of the call:

http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf

Have you heard? Because The Middletown Township Committee failed to fulfill it’s COAH obligations, the Township had to solicit bids to develop housing projects throughout Middletown?

As a result the AVAYA site in Lincroft will become a multi-family housing project that will impact the residents of Lincroft and the Township.

The influx of new residents will have an adverse affect; roads will need to be widened, sewer and water lines will need to be installed and over crowding of local schools will take place, all at a cost to our quality of life.

Paid for by
Concerned Citizens of Middletown.

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Filed under Avaya, COAH, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Four Ponds Housing Development, Lincroft NJ, Middletown GOP, Middletown Planning Board, Middletown Township Committee, Robo-calls, Tony Fiore

Video: Meet Carol Fowler, Democratic Candidate for Middletown Township Committee

This video was taken on June 30th, 2011 while Carol Fowler was introducing herself to members of the the Middletown Township Democratic Executive Committee shortly before receiving the approval of the Committee to become the Party’s candidate for this year’s November 8th election for Township Committee.

If you have never met Carol Fowler and want to know a little bit about her for yourself, here’s your chance.

I find it interesting that after posting this video to youtube on Friday and not making any announcement of it’s existence before now, the video has already had 40 hits. I guess some people are interested in seeing who is the person replacing Alex Desevo and what kind of candidate she will make.

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Filed under Alex Desevo, Carol Fowler, Democratic Candidate, Lincroft NJ, Middletown Democratic Executive Committee, Middletown Democrats, Middletown Township Committee, video, YouTube

>Lincroft Resident Carol Fowler To Replace Desevo on Middletown Democratic Ticket

>At last nights meeting of the Middletown Democratic Executive Committee, held at the American Legion post 338 in Leonardo, the members of the Executive Committee were introduced to the candidate that Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo and members of the screening committee had chosen to replace Alex Desevo as a candidate for Middletown Township Committee.

After being introduced by Chairman Caliendo, Lincroft resident Carol Fowler stood before the Executive Committee and spoke a few words about herself and the reasons why she was looking forward to running for Township Committee.
(Carol Fowler, Candidate for Middletown
Township Committee )
Many of the members in the room, myself included, had never met or spoken to Carol Fowler before tonight so we were eager to hear about her background.
Carol Fowler has been a Lincroft resident for over 25 years, graduating from St. Leo’s Elementary School and Red Bank Catholic High School. She has been a member of the Lincroft First Aid and Rescue Squad 28 years, serving as an executive officer for 20 years. She earned a B.S degree in Biology /Pre-Med, from the college of St. Elizabeth Convent Station (Morristown). She was a former substitute teacher and Special Ed classroom aid for the Middletown school system back a number of years ago. Currently she works as the Director of the Center for US War Veterans for the National Guard Museum in Sea Girt NJ. She also fills the roll of Assistant Curator of Oral History at the museum,having interviewed over 400 veterans for the museum.
Her son is a 4th generation Volunteer Fireman in Middletown who’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather have all served as Middletown Fire Chiefs.
Ms. Fowler stated that she is highly insulted about the way that tax dollars are spent in Middletown and about how so much money has been borrowed through bonding over the years that it will take many many years to pay down the debt. She stated that she would like to see the Township Committee meetings televised and is also highly insulted at being told that the township will not spend any money to televise them after bonding so much money over the years, it’s like being hit by a stone wall.
She said that she wants to serve the community and inform the residents of what is really going on in Middletown.
After hearing Carol Fowler speak, the members of the Executive Committee were highly impressed with her. Her service to the community, deep roots in Middletown and the passion with which she spoke, convinced all in the room to give unanimous approval to her candidacy.
So it is now onto November with a full ticket, Jim Grenafege and Carol Fowler will be this years Democratic candidates for Middletown Township Committee.

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Filed under Democratic Candidate, Lincroft NJ, Middletown First Aid and Rescue Squad, Middletown school system, Middletown Township Committee, National Guard Museum, Sea Girt NJ, Volunteer Firemen

>Crime Scene Middletown: Car Thief Caught In The Act

>PREPARED BY DETECTIVE LIEUTENANT STEPHEN DOLLINGER

On June 29, 2011 at approximately 6:10 am Patrolman Felipe Benedit and Patrolman Anthony Gigante responded to the area of Antonia Court in reference to a report of a car burglary in progress. Patrol officers were advised that a home owner was currently involved in a struggle with the suspect.

Patrolman Benedit arrived on scene and engaged in a foot pursuit with the actor, identified as Matthew Drury, age 25, from Emory Drive in Lincroft, NJ, who had broken away from the home owner. Officer Benedit and Officer Gigante were able to apprehend Drury and take him into custody. Police say the home owner was awoken by his dog barking and observed Drury inside his neighbor’s car. The homeowner then confronted Drury and tried to detain him for the police.

Drury was charged with four counts of Burglary, Simple Assault, Receiving Stolen Property, Resisting Arrest, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Unlawful Possession of Prescription Medication. Drury was found in possession of Xanax and Soboxin at the time of his arrest. He was being held on $52,000.00 bail with no 10% option set by Judge Thompson. Police are investigating whether Drury may be connected to other car burglaries in the area.

** This information was supplied by the Middletown Township Police Department. It does not indicate convictions.

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Filed under burglary, car theft, Crime Scene Middletown, drug possession, Lincroft NJ, Middletown Police, simple assalt

>After A Rash Of Criminal Mischief At Middletown Parks Police Are Asking Residents For Information

>I have received the following request from Middletown Deputy Police Chief Craig Weber, asking residents for information regarding a rash of vandalism at neighborhood parks around town. Any information that can be provided would be greatly appreciated:

Middletown Police report that a number of Parks and Recreation facilities have been damaged and vandalized during the past week. Among the damaged facilities were two baseball fields at Middletown Thompson Park including the Challenger Youth baseball field, which is intended for the use of athletes with special needs. Middletown Thompson Park is located on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft. Newly-sodded soccer fields at the Fairview Soccer Fields on Oak Hill Rd. were extensively damaged by unknown persons joy riding on the fields. Baseball and softball fields at Normandy Park on Nut Swamp Rd., and Applebrook Park on Iler Drive, were also damaged by unknown vehicles being driven on the fields. In addition, a portable outdoor bathroom located at Lincroft Acres Park on Orchard Hill Drive, Lincroft was damaged after it was intentionally struck by a vehicle and knocked over. A park bench, concrete steps and hand railing in Tindall Park, Tindall Road have also been destroyed.

Parks in Middletown are generally closed to the public at dusk, unless permission is obtained from the Parks and Recreation Dept. or the facility is lighted and specifically designated for after hour use. Police are asking citizens to call and report any suspicious activities or incidents of people misusing or damaging Township Parks and Recreation facilities or property. The Middletown Policemen’s Benevolent Association is offering a reward of $ 500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for damaging the Parks. Call 732-615-2100.

Deputy Chief R. Craig Weber
Technical Services Division
Middletown Township Police Dept
1 Kings Highway
Middletown, NJ 07748
office 732-615-2054
fax 732-615-2051
email cweber@middletownnj.org

(Tindal Park Steps)

(Thompson Park)

(Normandy Park)

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Filed under Criminal Mischief, Fairview Soccer Fields, Lincroft NJ, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Middletown Police, Normandy Park, Oak Hill, park vandalism, Thompson Park, Tindall Park

>What You Missed at the Middletown Library Board’s June 15th Meeting

>by guest blogger Linda Baum

It was just me again Wednesday night, a little discouraged that more people didn’t show up to support the library. Anyway, here’s what you missed in those 3 hours.

First, an update on the $500K transfer. Scheduled for this meeting was final review of the strategic plan and annual report to be submitted to the State Librarian, plus a required second vote by the Board as to whether or not to proceed with the transfer.

The Board’s review of the budget forecast began with Ms. O’Neal pointing out the obvious, that library funding would be painfully low for years to come. Ms. Miloscia asked, since they would be giving up a lot, if the town would recognize that gesture in the future when the library needs assistance as well. Initially, this struck me as a silly question because I think the town committee has made it clear in which direction they expect money to flow. But it has since occurred to me the Board has a perfect right to know what the arrangement with the town will be. Committeeman Settembrino gave a well rehearsed response free of promises. He said that he didn’t see why not, but mentioned non-starters like the tax cap and the changing leadership on the committee (which will still be republican-controlled next year, by the way). And as evidence of the town’s concern for the library, he pointed out that the town’s 2012 capital improvement plan already includes them (under this plan, the town issues the debt and the library pays the debt service). Ms. O’Neal asked if the Board would be forced to proceed, and she may have meant proceed with the lot construction, the funding arrangement, or both. No to all. The Board has the option to pay cash outright for the work, which presumably would allow them to make their own arrangements except for having to use T&M as engineer. Ms. Miloscia asked, “What if we don’t have the money to pay for it?” Kevin replied, “[That] will be a discussion for next year’s committee, but at this point I would say it doesn’t get accomplished unless it’s funded in accordance with the resolution.” Translation: The Board has 2 options, to make payments on the debt or pay cash for the work, but they should not expect the town to pay for it. For now, the parking lot expansion is a dead issue.

If you read my last post, you know that at the May Board meeting, Ms. O’Neal mentioned that the Board had not been satisfied with prior work done by T&M, who has been sanctioned by the town committee as the one-and-only engineer for all library capital improvements. I asked about that – i.e., what work was done by T&M and when was it done? Only Ms. O’Neal and Mr. Gabrielan spoke and they declined to discuss it, saying it was long ago and they have been assured that T&M would do a fine job. Needless to say, everyone seemed acutely aware that Committeeman Settembrino was in the room. Susan glanced often in his direction as she spoke. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see what kind of looks were being exchanged because my view of Kevin was blocked by the sound equipment.

Review of the Board’s strategic goals led to a discussion about the library in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was at one time among the best funded professional-level libraries in the country, but which had to close branches following a loss of funding and the leadership of its long-time director.

The plight of the Charlotte Library demonstrates why improving library volunteerism is an important goal. Public advocacy – our time and our money – becomes increasingly important when political advocacy and funding fall short. Got some free time? Or college-bound and looking for community service credit? Contact your local library.

The strategic plan and annual report were unanimously adopted by a vote of 7-0 (Resolution 2011-32).

When it came time to vote on the transfer itself (Resolution 2011-33), only Board president Randy Gabrielan took the opportunity to condemn the self-serving, deceptive tactics used by the town committee and to voice his frustration with his fellow trustees. It deserves repeat here:

“We saw the evolving fiscal condition of the library in March and it is here in clear black and white in the strategic plan. We would be imperiling the fiscal well being of this library over the next couple of years if we gave this money away. As far as I personally am concerned, the giveaway is tantamount to the township committee declaring war on its own library. The whole process as I see it is one of the mayor seeking to fulfill his short term political goals, the mayor and the committee not having done what they could have done with respect to cap exceptions and an exemption to meet their budgetary requirements, and they are putting their obligations on us. They did it by various threats, including holding hostage police jobs. Then after we passed our preliminary resolution in March, they’re going to other meetings still holding the same jobs at risk. I was against this in March. I’m against it now. I would have strongly counseled that we rescind our prior passage and vote this down, but unfortunately on the advice of counsel, it seems that our hands are tied. …but I insist that if we as a body don’t recognize what this is doing to the financial well being of the library, that at least the record demonstrates that.”

There was a full 15 seconds of silence after that. It felt like a memorial.

“It’s too much water under the bridge at this point to undo what’s been done.…This Board made a commitment to the township to do this,” said Mr. Milne. There was tacit agreement, and a roomful of downcast eyes. After hearing from Ms. O’Neal that even the Board’s lawyers thought that the Board did not have good legal standing at this point to back off, it was clear that the pending vote was little more than a formality. Resolution 2011-33 passed 6-1, with only Mr. Gabrielan dissenting.

I have to wonder if the town committee knew early on that the effect of railroading the Library Board into what was initially billed as non-binding negotiation would be to obligate them legally. Think back to the February Board meeting when Committeeman Settembrino pressed for a resolution to arrive at a number. The Board passed that resolution because they thought there was no harm in talking….

So now the matter will be passed along to the State Librarian, Norma Blake, for review. I heard somewhere that it could take up to 45 days for her decision. That doesn’t jive with the town committee’s plan to finalize their 2011 budget in early July. I asked Committeeman Settembrino how they expected to do that if the State Librarian hadn’t yet approved the transfer. The Board agreed with his assessment that all the documents were in order and that a quick response was expected from the State. Unfortunately, in line with regulations, the State Librarian reviews only the current year’s finances. Thus it is expected that the library’s budget shortfall for subsequent years will be ignored.

I asked Mr. Settembrino how the town would plug the $500K budget hole in the unlikely event the transfer was disapproved. He replied that the library board meeting wasn’t the right forum for that discussion, but he did clarify that the 2.99% tax hike (he said 2.99, not 2.9) reflects the 2% maximum increase within the cap.

Other business discussed at the meeting is as follows:

There was a slideshow presented by Dennis Kowal Architects, who recently completed a feasibility study for the renovation of the Lincroft branch, originally a 2-room schoolhouse built in 1906. The presentation was so packed with photos and sketches that if you’ve never been to the Lincroft branch, you’ll feel like you have. You can view the slideshow by clicking HERE

The good news is that the original structure is sound and can therefore be renovated. There is also ample parking since an overflow lot was added not long back. The renovation would include lots of energy efficiency upgrades while retaining existing wood floors and original hardware. A drawing of the architect’s proposed design is attached to this post. It includes a charming outdoor plaza-lounge created by sandwiching the front walkway between an existing structure and a new addition that would house new ADA-compliant bathrooms and an entry foyer. There is also a magazine lounge, a quiet study area, a contained children’s room (draft-free and no more runaways), and a fireside reading area complete with a gas-burning fireplace. If you live in Lincroft, you are probably filled with a sense of longing right now.

The project would cost roughly $650,000, not including new furniture, security and communication systems, architectural fees, or renovation to the basement storage area (filled with old municipal and police records). Add it all up, and the project budget would need to be in the range of $800 to $900K. And a caveat that the final design could change based on location of underground lines (the architect could not obtain a copy of the property survey).

The renovation probably won’t happen anytime soon because library funds are low for reasons we are all well aware of. The project might qualify for a matching New Jersey Historic Trust grant, but there is stiff competition for these grants, and Mr. Gabrielan, who is town historian in addition to being Library Board president, feels that the chance of getting the grant is slim. No decision has been made yet about how to proceed. The topic is slated for further discussion next month.

Ms. Cavalier asked if they knew how much financial support could be expected from the community. Susan said that $713K was donated for the 2004 renovation of the main branch, but only a small part of that was from Lincroft residents, who may be much more inclined to help fund their local branch. So be on the lookout for fundraisers!

If you are concerned about donating for fear your dollars will end up in the hands of the town, don’t worry. The Board was very clear that Library Foundation money is protected and is not part of the $500K transfer.

You may recall from a prior post that the Lincroft branch has termite damage in the entryway and is believed to have asbestos in the walls as well as lead-based paint. The architect didn’t test for hazardous materials and cautioned the board that if testing for hazmats is done, there is a legal requirement to remediate in line with test results. Susan advised that all paintable surfaces in the Lincroft branch were painted with latex paint in the last decade, so the lead-based paint poses no immediate concern. As for the termites, damage is supposedly concentrated in trim moulding rather than structural beams. The Board opted to wait and address these issues as part of the renovation.

Congratulations to Library Director Susan O’Neal, who is the NJ Library Association’s president-elect for coming fiscal year. “This is both a high honor and an awesome responsibility,” to quote Mr. Gabrielan. Susan’s name will be engraved on one of the silver-toned pages of a book-shaped locket to mark her achievement. The locket, a heavy piece made of gold and faience (tin-glazed ceramic), is the badge of office for NJLA presidents. Susan noted that the locket is actually too heavy to comfortably wear and reasoned that it was designed for a time when ladies wore much heavier clothing. A picture and history of the locket may soon appear on the library’s website.

In accordance with the Conover Whitol Scholarship guidelines, two graduate students enrolled in Rutgers’ library science program will receive $900 each toward the September term. Congratulations to recipients Debra Bodofsky and Elizabeth Edwards. (Resolution 2011-34, 7-0)

The Library welcomes back college student Stephanie Chadwick, who worked at the library last summer and is being re-hired part time for this year’s busy summer season. As a trained page, she is a valuable addition who can “hit the ground running”. (Resolution 2011-31, 7-0)

There was a first-time-ever theft of petty cash recently from the library’s Bayshore branch. The thief scored a negligible amount, and a lock-box will be added to deter future attempts. Yet another sign of the times.

Another topic concerned bill payments that have been held up by town administrator Tony Mercantante. In one instance, the requisition was for the payment of registration fees for a June conference that would provide training for five library assistants at a cost of $100 per person. The payment delay resulted in the registration deadline being missed, so the individuals couldn’t attend and will have to wait a year for the next conference. In another case, payment was denied for food expenses as part of conference attendance by a member of the library’s IT staff. Tony said the town doesn’t reimburse for food. However, the Library does. The Board felt this was unwarranted interference with Library operations. Mr. Gabrielan pointed out that the costs in question are normal outlays for staff development, benefit the library, and have been approved and budgeted for by the Board. Ms. Cavalier wondered if the problem was just ignorance (her word, not mine) on the part of the administrator.

In an effort to address the delays, Susan has contacted Mr. Mercantante, who feels he is within his authority. About a year ago, per Susan, Tony began asking for a written explanation for requisitions over $1000, but Susan said that the voucher, which is attached to the requisition, already lists that information, so to write it again is a duplication of effort for her. She said, “Anything over $1000 he sits on.” Part of the problem, Susan said, is that no one from the town contacts her when there is a question about an expense, so it doesn’t get addressed until she calls the town after there has already been a long delay. She’s wondered if maybe the slowness has to do with cash flow……

This was all news to Kevin, who said he’d look into it.

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Filed under ADA compliance, Board of Trustees, budget surplus, Lincroft branch, Lincroft NJ, Linda Baum, Middletown Library Feasibility study, Middletown NJ, restricted funds, slideshow, Susan O'Neal