Two bridges that have been closed for a year causing traffic to be redirected coming into and out of Asbury Park’s north end will be officially opened Fri., May 27.
The dedication of the Main Street Bridge will be at 8 a.m. with the dedication of the Sunset Avenue Bridge following at 8:30 a.m. Both bridges run across Deal Lake.
Mayor John Moor and council members will hold ribbon cuttings ceremonies at both locations.
Also at Monday’s workshop council agreed they will reject the Request for Proposal for a parking consultant at Wednesday’s meeting and instead take care of parking meter management in-house as a cost saving measure.
City Manager Michael Capabianco said by hiring a parking consultant, a full-time mechanic to service the machines and maybe a part time employee the city will have more control over the parking meters and their maintenance.
He estimated the cost of keeping parking management in house at $125,000 and said the consultant position will be advertised within seven days.
Capabianco also reported on the Set-Aside Ordinance governing small and minority businesses.
Capabianco said the ordinance needs updating because it stipulates certain duties to the affirmative action officer. The city, however, does not have an affirmative action officer.
There are many discrepancies in the ordinance such as having the city setting business costs and having two sections referencing women, one as 5 percent for women and one 5 percent female owned businesses.
The ordinance also stipulates that there should be 25 percent minority businesses in the city.
Capabianco said the major change is that the city would not be qualifying the businesses, something which is stated in the ordinance but has not been carried out.
He said once passed the ordinance would allow the city to join the state data base, NJSAVI, which opens up opportunities for business owners.
“The state has a data base for who qualifies,” he said.
Business owners will be able to reference that data base, opening up opportunities statewide for businesses located in Asbury Park.
“The state would do the work, which Asbury Park should have been doing, but wasn’t doing anyway,” Capabianco said.
NJSAVI identifies businesses that are registered as a Small Business Enterprise and/or certified as a Minority/Women Business Enterprise with the State of New Jersey, through the Division of Revenue.
The NJSAVI marketplace identifies businesses eligible for mandated state programs such as the NJ Small Business Set-Aside program, and aids in matching buyers and vendors for private contracting opportunities.
During public comments, Jan Sparrow, owner of Words Bookstore on Cookman Avenue commended the police presence downtown over the weekend, saying it was a quiet weekend and she noted an increase in police patrols.
“Kudos, public works did a great job cleaning up, I saw a great police presence Saturday and Sunday. It sends a strong signal that the city is paying attention. Our city is really moving forward in some positive ways,” she said.