M I N U T E S
March 28, 2000
A Regular Meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights was held on Tuesday, March 28, 2000 at 8:00 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 200 Division Avenue, corner of the Boulevard, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey.
Council President John Wassberg opened the meeting as Mayor Torre had left briefly to present a proclamation to the Board of Education at their public meeting.
Council President Wassberg stated that the meeting complied with the Sunshine Law, adequate notice of this meeting having been made to all members of the Council by personal service on December 28, 1999 and transmitted to The Observer, The Record and The Herald News on December 28, 1999.
ROLL CALL: Present: Mayor William J. Torre, Councilman Andrew Link, Councilman Herbert D. Heeren, Councilman Justin DiPisa, Councilman Garrett R. Pepe, Councilwoman Marlene Verrastro, Councilman John Wassberg
SALUTE TO THE FLAG AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Council President Wassberg led in the Salute to the Flag and Pledge of Allegiance.
BE IT RESOLVED that the claims and accounts amounting to $375,298.00 specified in the schedule hereto annexed, having been examined and approved by the Finance Commissioner, or his Deputy, be paid and that warrants be issued therefore.
Signed Andrew Link III
Commissioner of Finance
On motion by Councilwoman Verrastro, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolution was adopted.
FINANCE , STREETS and TRANSPORTATION:
Under Finance, Councilman Link stated that a full report including the Budget would be given later when Mayor Torre returned. Under Streets, he reported that during the month of March two dead trees were removed and 38 stumps. The DPW has received 105 trees for Spring planting which has started and will be completed in the next couple of weeks. Species are Crimson King, October Glory Maple and Yoshino Cherry with the Cherry trees planted at the Circle and Woodland Park. Two of those trees were planted at the small park on Terrace Avenue, between Harrison and Cleveland Avenues. Twenty-five trees were received from Bergen County which will be planted along County roads. All trees will be planted in a manner guaranteeing full life cycle and shade growth. The DPW will water when planted, but instructions will be left with each resident who receives a tree to continue watering.
Commissioner Heeren reported the police were working closely with the youth during the month of February. DARE Graduation ceremonies were held at the high school with each student presented with a medallion by Sergeant DeLorenzo. Chief Colaneri and he conducted a reading program for elementary students and are making preliminary plans for the Bicycle Marathon which will be held late in May. With the warmer weather coming, everyone was asked to give extra care with more traffic, people, especially children, walking. The Police Department is in 100% operation, including 9-1-1 service. About 30 Stop signs will be replaced. The first 2000 Chevrolet to be delivered in the state of New Jersey was delivered to the Hasbrouck Heights Police Department which will be ready to go on the road tomorrow morning. This car is supposed to get much better gas mileage. During the month of February they answered 825 requests for service, 130 were accidents, only 15 were 911 calls, 335 parking tickets were issued, a drop of 125 from last February, with 281 for overnight parking. Letters received by the Police Department was one from the Mayor of Saddle Brook who thanked the Police Chief for the departments representation at the funeral services for Saddle Brooks Deputy Chief. A resident of Longview Avenue wrote a letter to the Traffic Department thanking them for their assistance.
At this point Mayor Torre took over the meeting.
Councilman DiPisa reported that as of February the number of Hasbrouck Heights fire alarms were 36, year to date 121; Teterboro, 12, year to date 29; mutual aid, 2, year to date 3; for a total of 50 in February, year to date 153. Ambulance calls were 32, year to date 122; paramedic assisted 28, year to date 92; Teterboro 8, year to date 10; paramedic assisted 6, year to date 11; mutual aid 8, year to date 10; paramedic assisted year to date 1; for a total of 82, year to date 246. He commended Fire Chiefs Monahan, Knobloch and Thomasey and the Fire Department and Ambulance Auxiliary for continuing to respond to emergencies quickly and effectively in spite of obstacles. He also thanked William Kundert for extending his welcome to the Fire Department and for his generosity and concern for the Borough in housing the Fire equipment. Under Recreation, registration for Girls Softball was held with 130 registering, grades 3 through 8. Practices will begin this week. Saturday clinics are also being held which will focus on safety, skills, and strategies. Plans for Summer Camp Rec Trek are underway with camp starting on June 26 and ending on Aug,. 11. Applications for staff age 15 and older, are now available in the Borough Clerks office. Biddy basketball is completed and all who helped out were thanked. Senior Citizen Olympics is scheduled for June 8, with a rain date of June 9, including the towns of Randolph, Sparta, Rutherford, Pequannock, and West Milford with Hasbrouck Heights hosting. Hasbrouck Heights seniors were asked to contact Recreation after April 17. Volunteers were also asked to call Recreation. Danielle Scipioni has been appointed as Acting Director of Recreation. He congratulated her and the Recreation Commission for continuing the program without hesitation. The American Heart Association will be presenting a replacement plaque for the one burned in about three weeks. Recreation is now accessible on the Hasbrouck Heights website, www.hasbrouck-heights.nj.us.
SANITATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES:
Under Recycling, Councilman Pepe reported that the Garden State Paper Recycling Corporation sent a letter requesting the following items not be included with bottles and cans: containers containing chemicals, aerosol cans, large items such as laundry baskets, pails, pots and toys, plastic bags, full paint cans, ceramics, cookware, light bulbs, windows and mirrors as they pose a serious safety hazard to their employees. The Recycling Tonnage Grant is in the application process. Deadline is May 1. Total tonnage for 1999 was branches/leaves/grass, 2127.98 tons newspapers/cardboard/junk mail, 797.66 tons; bottles/cans/plastics, 393.15 tons; white goods and metal, 62.90 tons; tires, 10.81 tons; used motor oil, 4.20 tons; for a total of 3396.70 tons. The BCUA, Bergen County Girl Scout Council and Bergen County Parks Dept. are jointly sponsoring a 2-day Earth Day 2000 celebration at Campgaw Mountain Reservation Ski Area on May 6 and 7. Under Buildings and Grounds, a new Fire Department door was installed at the temporary headquarters. The Building Committee consisting of himself, Councilman DiPisa, Mayor Torre and Michael Kronyak have been meeting regularly at least once or twice a week to discuss the state of affairs of the Municipal Building.
They attended a meeting at the Borough Engineers office with Borough Attorney Chandless, DPW Supt. Heck, insurance representatives, claims adjusters, architect, civil engineer, structural engineer where a preliminary report was given.
LAND USE AND WELFARE:
Under Welfare, Councilwoman Verrastro reported cases in the month of February were eight, new cases one, cases interviewed 12, cases pending three, four conference and meetings were attended, five families received food from the pantry and two families received Shop Rite certificates. Money expended was $1,470. Home investigations were six. Euclid School donated food items and Corpus Christi CYO members made soup for the clients and they were graciously thanked. The Welfare Director is still awaiting word of training from the State. Under Building Department Terry Naletko issued the following report for the month of March: Permits issued were 2 additions, 52 alterations, 4 demolitions, electrical 18, plumbing 17, fire 4. Total value for construction for the month was $352,334. She reminded the residents to check with the Building Department before beginning any work on their homes and to inform contractors of no signs placed on lawns of homes they are working on. She also issued a reminder that no trash is to be placed on the curb before 7 p.m. of the night before pick up.
HEALTH AND PARKS:
Councilman Wassberg reported that for the month of February the Health Department statistics were births 8; burial permits issued 70, 67 out of town, certified transcripts, 494; dog licenses, 91; food licenses, 3; vending machine, 27; marriage licenses, 3. Collected in fees: $4,539.50. A total of 106 calls were made to the Board of Health for information and assistance. Under Parks, he announced that signs would be placed in Woodland Park asking residents to keep off the field area until the fall to allow the grass to come up properly. The Boy Scout Troop will be conducting a clean-up of Myers Park and the Route 46 overpasses.
REPORT OF MAYOR: The Mayor announced that the Budget for the year 2000 would be introduced. Total appropriations are $11,313,715.39 and the amount to be raised for municipal purposes is $7,884,576.00. Public hearing is scheduled for April 25, 2000, at 8 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge. The 2000 Municipal Tax Rate introduced is 0.915 per $100 of assessed valuation which represents a one point increase over the 1999 Local Tax Rate. The projected total tax rate was not available because of the uncertainty of the school and county requirements. The one point increase he said is directly and approximately caused by the fire to the Municipal Building as an emergency appropriation had to be made. State and federal legislators and the office of the Governor would be approached for help in getting this money back. He said the budget also was set up with goals to be reached, in particular this year with many long range plans at stake. The budget makes provisions in the Operating and Capital section for the construction of the new Municipal complex along with the planned Library and Senior Citizens Center. The Capital Budget also includes streets and numerous public safety equipment. In 1999 the Borough generated approximately $1 million in surplus and realized a tax collection rate of 98.39%. This combined with other sources of revenue in an overall conservative approach, insures that in spite of the adversities faced, this tax years tax rate is only increased by one point. He read the tax rate on an average house assessed at $195,000 over the past five years: 1995, $1,673.10; 1996, $1,645.80;1997, $1,688.00; 1998, $1,760.00; 1999, $1,764.00; 2000, estimated would be $1,784.00. This increase over six years was about 1.1% per year, well below the inflation rate.
The resignation of George Schmitt from the Fire Department Engine Company No. 2 was announced.
On motion by Councilman DiPisa, seconded by Councilman Pepe, and unanimously carried, the foregoing resignation was accepted with regret.
PRESENTATIONS: Mayor Torre called on Douglas Lanzo to come forward. They were joined by Councilmen DiPisa and Pepe and Chief Michael Colaneri. Councilman Pepe gave a history of the Ralph J. Pepe Memorial Fund and the importance of police vests. He said the life expectancy is only 8-10 years. Ralph Pepe had started the program in the 1970s, and after his death, the Fund was started. Chief Colaneri said new vests were now needed and he approached Councilman Pepe. All members of the Police Department have been measured for vests, and the program is well on its way to outfitting the members. A vest costs $800 and donations have been coming in. Lanzo announced that they were purchasing a vest for Daniel Kroncke. The owners of the Heights Saloon were next introduced who donated a check for a vest as well. Mayor Torre asked that Gilbert Hunt and Robert Searle come forward to accept a presentation for the Masonic Lodge for the use of their facilities without cost to the taxpayer. Mayor Torre would make this presentation at a formal meeting of the Lodge.
CONSENT AGENDA: None.
66. Authorizing Change Order No. 1 for 1999 Borough of Hasbrouck Heights Road Program
67. Authorizing Changes in the Regulations Governing the Operation of Joint Insurance Funds
68. Authorizing Redemption of Tax Sale Certificate No. 99-03 for Gregory Thompson
69. Introduction of 2000 Municipal Budget
70. Payment to Hearing Officers for Property Condemnation
71. Authorizing Reimbursement to Kundert Volvo for Utilities Relating to Fire Department Temporary Headquarters
72. Authorizing Treasurer to Sell a Bond Anticipation Note of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights
On motion by Councilman Pepe, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolutions were adopted. (Resolutions attached)
ORDINANCES ON INTRODUCTION:
ORDINANCE NO. 1893:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled "AN ORDINANCE TO SUPPLEMENT THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS SO AS TO INCLUDE THEREIN A NEW CHAPTER TO BE KNOWN AS "CHAPTER 133, FEES," WHICH SHALL SET FORTH IN ONE CHAPTER THE VARIOUS FEES CURRENTLY PROVIDED THROUGHOUT THE EXISTING CODE" introduced this date be and the same is hereby passed on first reading and the Acting Borough Clerk be directed to advertise notice of public hearing on said Ordinance to be held at the regular meeting of the Borough Council on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 at 8:00 p.m.
On a motion by Councilman Wassberg, seconded by Councilwoman Verrastro, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Ordinance on Introduction was approved.
ORDINANCE ON PUBLIC HEARING:
Mayor Torre opened the meeting to the public for anyone wishing to speak on Ordinance No. 1892. There being no one wishing to speak, Mayor Torre closed the public hearing on said ordinance.
ORDINANCE NO. 1892:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled "AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND AND SUPPLEMENT ARTICLE III ENTITLED "CIVILIAN DISPATCHERS" OF CHAPTER 55 ENTITLED "POLICE DEPARTMENT" OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS" be now passed on second and final reading and the Acting Borough Clerk be and is hereby authorized and directed to publish said Ordinance, same to be published in The Observer, a newspaper circulating in the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights.
On a motion by Councilman Link, seconded by Councilman Wassberg, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Ordinance on public hearing was adopted.
MISCELLANEOUS FROM PUBLIC:
Mayor Torre opened the meeting for anyone wishing to speak.
Ray Espinosa, 427 Terrace Avenue, came forward regarding the letter he received regarding the widening of Williams and Terrace Avenue. Borough Attorney Chandless said he could address the questions Espinosa had. Mayor Torre explained that property owners had been approached by the borough who wanted to acquire a small portion of property to widen the roadway. Espinosa was concerned as his property was graded. Discussion continued on the feasibility of such an undertaking, if it would help, and that the lights were in definite need of replacement. Residents would be kept abreast of ongoing information.
Gilbert Hunt, Raymond Street, commended the Mayor and Council on the past five months, with the decisions that must be made, and with the work they have before them and how well it is being handled.
There being no further business to come before the Mayor and Council, the public portion of the meeting was adjourned.
Rose Marie Sees