Judge Dismisses 51 Monmouth Suit
Lawsuit attempting to block the sale of a historic borough property thrown out in Superior Court.
A Monmouth County Superior Court judge has tossed out a suit brought against Red Bank and the Community YMCA by two borough property owners seeking to halt the sale of a historic borough landmark.
Judge Patricia Del Bueno Cleary was the first to hear the case after two other judges were forced to recuse themselves from the case regarding the property on 51 Monmouth Street because of potential conflicts. Quickly during the first day of court action in Freehold, however, Del Bueno Cleary issued a summary judgment dismissing all of the allegations brought by borough landowners Cindy Burnham and Bill Meyers.
The move seemingly allows the YMCA, which has been in control of the more than a century-old former borough hall for nearly a decade, to continue with its plan to sell the property to St. James Catholic Church. Prior to the filing of the suit, the Y had attempted to sell the property for $1.2 million to the church to be used by Red Bank Catholic High School for education and public uses. St. James has been renting the building as it’s waited for a resolution to the suit.
Community YMCA Interim President and CEO Richard Ayres lauded the judge’s decision in a statement and said the move allows all parties to move forward with their plans.
“The Community YMCA is pleased with the judge’s ruling,” he said “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the borough of Red Bank and Red Bank Catholic on providing programs that benefit the community at this historic building.”
In its suit, Burnham and Meyers, a lawyer who practices in Red Bank, alleged several improprieties with how the borough handled the transfer of the historic building, which was built 121 year ago, before Red Bank became independent from Shrewsbury.
The property was transferred to a non-profit organization called Kidsbridge in 1999 for the purpose of developing a children’s cultural center, which was later absorbed in a merger by the YMCA in 2002. Earlier this year, Red Bank Council approved a resolution that signaled the end of another lawsuit, this one brought by the Y against Red Bank, that would allow the Y to sell the property, which it claimed it had invested several hundred thousands dollars in restoring.