Regionalization- Is Atlantic In or Out?



Borough Council indicated at its workshop meeting this morning that regardless of whether Atlantic Highlands is going to pass a resolution on regionalization, it intends to continue to pursue options for a K-12 educational regionalization for children in their borough. Including a two town regional school district between this borough and Highlands.

Borough Administrator Joseph Verroni said Sea Bright is awaiting the completion of a second feasibility study they have requested. This study includes the possibility of regionalizing Sea Bright and Highlands in the event Atlantic Highlands does not approve a tri-town question. That study is expected back by next week, possibly in time for action at next week’s regular meeting of the Sea Bright council.

Council members and proponents of this borough regionalizing with Highlands and Atlantic Highlands have registered frustration at the Atlantic Highlands Mayor and Council’s lack of action on a resolution asking the Commissioner of Education to put the question of a tri-town regionalization to let residents of all three towns decide by ballot whether they think it is a good idea. Atlantic Highlands is delaying any action until a second study report requested by the tri-district board of education is completed, reviewed and released to the public. This is expected back, sometime in May, originally expected to be released earlier this month. Proponents of a new tri-town regionalization fear is Atlantic Highlands does not pass a resolution soon, the process will take too long and not enable the presentation of that question on a ballot in time to meet the Aug. 15 deadline for such action.

At this morning’s workshop council meeting, the Sea Bright governing body said they are continuing exploration of the of Highlands and Sea Bright regionalizing. That would create a regional board that includes Henry Hudson and Highlands Public schools; Atlantic Highlands students could then continue attending that borough’s K-6 school and their 7-12 students become tuition students at the regional high school of Highlands and Sea Bright.

Council also indicated they had discussed in the past a regional question with Rumson Fair Haven Regional district, but there did not appear to be any interest on that proposal.

In other business, a straw vote of council members indicated that at present the governing body approves pursuing further information on allowing one cannabis dispensary business in the borough, but would look at a series of issues, including whether it would realize in the area of $200,000 income for the borough, whether zoning changes would be needed to accommodate some reports of odor emanation from a dispensary, and signage and location advertising the new business. Council members are in favor of RFQs, request for qualifications, of business people applying for a dispensary license, and the short term availability of the product.

Council is also exploring ways to ease the problems residents on Church and Center streets are experiencing with mail and package deliveries. At present there are Church and Center streets in both this borough and Rumson, and both towns share a single zip code. Changing the names of the streets would need to be approved by every resident of each street inasmuch as it then means residents have considerable paperwork they have to complete for their own communications once a street name is changed.

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