M I N U T E S
April 25, 2000
A Regular Meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights was held on Tuesday, April 25, 2000 at 8:00 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 200 Division Avenue, corner of the Boulevard, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey.
Mayor Torre 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
Councilman Wassberg arrived late as he went to Paramus first to present a proclamation to the Paramus Rescue Squad for their assistance during the Municipal Building Fire.
SALUTE TO THE FLAG AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Mayor Torre led in the Salute to the Flag and Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Torre welcomed the large crowd and announced that their would be the Budget adoption hearing and anyone would have a chance to speak at the Public Portion.
PETITIONS: Residents of Raymond Street Regarding Commuter Parking
Mayor requested that this Petition be referred to the Police Committee.
On a motion by Councilman Pepe, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Petition was accepted (copy of Petition attached).
BE IT RESOLVED that the claims and accounts amounting to $89,953.12 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 the Current Fund Balance as of March 31 was $1,297,000 and that on February 29 was $2,857,000, a decrease of $1,560,000 for the month. The entire balance was invested and earning approximately 6% interest. Cash receipts for the month of March totaled $253,000 of which $97,000 was for current taxes, $63,000 was delinquent taxes, $15,000 was grants and state aid, and $76,000 was miscellaneous revenues. Cash Disbursements for the month of March totaled $2,166,000 of which $1,039,000 was Local School Taxes, $527,000 was Salaries, $600,000 was for Other Expenses. Approval from the Division of Local Government Services has been received on the 2000 Budget and the public hearing and adoption will be tonight. The Tax Collectors office will be open on Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon for the collection of second quarter taxes due May 1. Under Streets, he reported that a total of 130 trees were planted by the DPW. The Superintendent and Councilman Link requested that the residents who received new trees to please water twice a week during the summer. A fall planting is also planned. Striping of all crosswalks, stop bars and parking spaces along the Boulevard will be completed by the end of this week. Thermoplastic strips were used instead of paint.
Commissioner Heeren reported the Police department is gearing up for the sixth annual Bicycle Marathon to be held over Memorial weekend. Bill Kundert of Kundert Volvo and Nick DelCalzo of the Hasbrouck Heights Jr./Sr. High School will be assisting. On April 17 the Police Department hosted a seminar at the high school auditorium for parents to explain "Club Drugs." There was discussion and videos were shown. Unfortunately there was a meager attendance. He reported that in the last couple of years, Fords were used for police cars, now Chevrolet has made a police car again, our Police Department was the first in New Jersey to receive the Chevy police car, which was now on the road and working very favorably. During the month of March there were 886 requests for service to the police desk, 74 were 9-1-1, (which is now back in full service) 177 were relative to Rt. 17 and Rt. 46 incidents, 21 were calls to Shop-Rite, 13 to the Heights Hilton, and 29 to other communities. Regarding the accident in Carlstadt on April 24, two Hasbrouck Heights police were in pursuit of the truck and were at the scene. There were 677 summonses issued, 361 were for parking violations, 238 were overnight parking summonses, an improvement from last year when there were 350 for the month of March. Police cars traveled over 11,000 miles over the month of March. He read several letters of appreciation to the Police Department, one from the Euclid PTA to Chief Colaneri and Capt. Castiglione who had attended the Drug Rally at the school; another from a restaurant in Ramsey who commended Kevin Corbliss who performed the Heimlich maneuver on a restaurant patron; and the last from Mrs. White of Springfield Avenue whose furnace was leaking and flooding her basement who thanked Officer Netelkos for stopping the problem.
Councilman DiPisa reported that on Thursday, April 20, a large sinkhole developed under the Hook and Ladder truck at the temporary headquarters at Kundert. The concrete cracked and required the truck to be moved to the west side bays of the old Municipal Building. A concrete slab will be poured to repair the flooring shortly. The two ambulances, the Rescue Truck and Pumper will remain at the Terrace Avenue site temporarily. Chief Monahan will facilitate continued good coverage for the Borough out of both sites and he commended Chiefs Monahan, Knobloch and Thomasey for working so expeditiously to make sure that the vehicles and personnel were kept safe and secure. CFO Kronyak, DPW Supt. Heck, and Deputy Fire Commissioner Pepe, averted any potentially dangerous situation quickly and safely. The Fire committee is in the process, along with architects Arcari and Iovino for arranging construction of a sturdy metal building on the east parking lot of the old Municipal Building to house a Pumper and Rescue Truck and across the street in the area previously reserved for parking spaces, another structure will be erected to house two ambulances. All vehicles will be kept together, protected from the elements, and the Fire Department and Ambulance Squad will be able to respond from one location. In the future, It is planned to reuse these erector-type buildings at the DPW to protect other borough equipment. Funds for these buildings are being sought through the insurance carrier. This large undertaking has required much time and planning. On April 13, the Fire Department responded to a house fire on Berkshire Road and because of their quick action extensive damage was prevented. Reportedly the fire started in the furnace area and Councilman DiPisa wished to remind everyone that during Spring clean up to remove any items close to the furnace area. He also commended the Little League for their manicured baseball fields. Under Recreation, Girls Softball is underway. Sixth, seventh and eighth grades have begun, and third, fourth and fifth grades will begin May 1. All trips have been booked for the summer program and special days are planned. Camp will run from Monday, June 26 to Friday, April 11. Two registration days planned are May 20 and June 3 at Woodland Park. Applications for summer employment are still available. Plans for the Seniors Olympics for June 8, with a rain date of June 9, hosted by Hasbrouck Heights is underway, with entertainment by Uncle Floyd and a disc jockey. Volunteers should contact the Recreation Department. He reported that the Public Health Service is advocating using only glass and ceramic containers in all microwaves, as plastic and styrofoam leach out certain molecules into the food or fluids.
SANITATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES:
Under Sanitation, the Bergen Counties Utilities Authority is currently under an administrative consent order with the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection because occasional sanitary sewer overflows occur from the BCUAs trunk and interceptor sewer system. An aggressive program to eliminate the overflow is underway but requires investigations, maintenance, and possible rehabilitation work to the 115 miles of BCUA sewer system and approximately 1,900 miles of municipal system tributaries that go into the BCUA. One of the BCUAs milestone tasks is training programs for the municipalities. Overall reduction of extraneous flow through a 5 year pro-active operation and maintenance program throughout the BCUA service area is proposed. DPW Supt. Heck has completed this program. Sewer inspections which accurately rate the condition of the existing sanitary sewers, available repair options should be selected and evaluated and finally rehabilitation and cost factors need to be assessed in determining the cost effective options. The DPW has been investigating this flow problem since 1996 with all 688 manholes inspected. It was found that 102 manholes needed repair, to date 60 have been repaired with an estimated 900,000 gallons per year removed from the system. In April four separate spot repairs were done on the sanitary line located on Route 17 with approximately 3,500,000 gallons of water per year saved. On April 12, a 24 inch sanitary sewer line along Burr Place was relined. A 12 foot section along the top of the line had deteriorated and the line had infiltration in numerous areas. Instead of excavating the line which would have taken weeks, it was opted to put a liner in the pipe that was successfully installed within 36 hours. He commended the DPW for their efforts on this project which saved $10,000 on the overall budget by doing it themselves. A letter from the Borough Engineer commended the DPW for their assistance by assembling, operating and dismantling the bypass pumping equipment for the piping project. They executed their duties flawlessly and assisted if needed. Under Buildings and Grounds, he reiterated what Commissioner DiPisa said regarding the Fire Department relocation. Because this was an emergency situation, it is outside the public bidding law and could be expedited quickly with completion hopefully by July. He reported that he had attended the Drug Seminar at the high school and said it was excellent and was also disappointed with the poor attendance.
LAND USE AND WELFARE:
Under Welfare, Councilwoman Verrastro reported cases in the month of March were cases at the beginning of the month, 8; new cases 2; cases pending 1; cases denied, 2; 9 families received food from the pantry. Money expended was $2,121. Unemployable residents, seven; awaiting SSI, four; awaiting citizenship, 2; referrals from other agencies, 8; conferences and home visits, 10. She thanked the Girl Scouts of Hasbrouck Heights for layout items from donations from Bundles for Babies and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus of Corpus Christi Church supplied the remaining needs. The director had attended a workshop of the Bergen Hudson Directory Association and obtained the new regulations and manuals. She is still waiting for the state training for computers. Councilwoman Verrastro had attended the April welfare meeting and afterwards all completed the Easter baskets for needy families and she thanked the committee. Under Building, 67 permits were issued; 66 were for alterations and 1 for a new building. A total value of construction was $2,442,955. She reminded the residents to check with the Building Department before beginning any work on their homes.
HEALTH AND PARKS:
Councilman Wassberg had not returned as yet from Paramus and there was no report on Health and Parks.
REPORT OF MAYOR:
The Mayor began his report by announcing that there was to be a presentation from the Knights of Columbus to the Ralph J. Pepe Memorial Fund and he asked those present to come forward. Andrew Papparozzi introduced Mark Cricco who made the presentation of a check for $1,000 to Garrett Pepe.
Helen OShea and Christine OShea Canetti to the Mayors Committee on Community Celebrations
A motion was made by Councilman DiPisa, seconded by Councilwoman Verrastro, and unanimously approved, the foregoing Appointments were accepted.
Mayor Torre thanked the Mayors Celebrations Committee for their two attempts to hold the Easter Egg Hunt which had to be canceled due to inclement weather. He commended the DPW Supt., his department and all those who participated in relining the Burr Place Sewer on a professional and fantastic job. He reported on what had been going on with regard to the Municipal Building Fire. He said the Committee was working on a three prong process. 1. Get the government back in operation, which was done almost immediately. 2. Work on the insurance claim with the insurance company, commenting that the Borough was lucky as we are stockholders in a municipal insurance pool and he believed that a settlement with the insurance company was eminent. 3. Assessing the Boroughs needs both present and future noting that this is a monumental time in the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights as never before has there been such a disaster in the Borough that has affected so many people and the literal life of government. He continued this Council has been working as hard as possible, retaining professionals, architects, planners, engineers to work with the Council on this claim to look at present and future needs. He gave an example of the Court, which was not up to code, and this must be looked at; is the existing location adequate to satisfy the needs for the future. The Committee is looking at other locations as well. As a large part of the audience had come to hear about the Library/Senior Center, the Mayor noted that a request has been made to Community Development to extend the grant for the Senior Center which was okayed. A line item in the Capital Budget is reserved for the Library/Senior Center. He concluded by asking for everyones patience in going through this process.
Mayor Torre discussed Resolution
No. 79, Adoption of 2000 Municipal Budget, reiterating that the 1% increase was a direct
result of the Municipal Building Fire, and that this Council will proceed to obtain that
money back through the help of the State Legislators. He also discussed Resolution No. 82,
regarding defeat of Propositions No. 2 and 3 which appeared on the Board of Education
Election, April 18, 2000. By law if they proceed, these questions have to come before this
body for reconsideration, and since the Board of Education will not proceed, we will not
do so either.
CONSENT AGENDA: None.
79. Adoption of 2000 Municipal Budget
The Mayor interrupted the meeting to ask for anyone wishing to speak on the 2000 Municipal Budget to come forward now. As no one stepped forward, the public hearing was closed.
On a motion by Councilman Wassberg, seconded by Councilwoman Verrastro, and unanimously carried, Resolution No. 79 on Adoption of 2000 Municipal Budget was approved.
80. Endorsing Assembly Resolution No. 97 Memorializing Port Authority of NY and NJ to cease flights between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. Except Medical Emergencies
81. Ratifying and Confirming the Sale of a Bond Anticipation Note of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights in the County of Bergen, New Jersey
82. Regarding Defeat of Propositions No. 2 and 3 which Appeared on the Board of Education Election, April 18, 2000
On motion by Councilman Pepe, seconded by Councilman Heeren, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolutions were adopted. (Resolutions attached)
ORDINANCES ON INTRODUCTION: None
ORDINANCE ON PUBLIC HEARING:
Mayor Torre opened the meeting to the public for anyone wishing to speak on Ordinance No. 1894. There being no one wishing to speak, Mayor Torre closed the public hearing on said ordinance.
ORDINANCE NO. 1894:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled "AN ORDINANCE TO STABILIZE AND REGULATE RENTS WITHIN THE BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS AND TO ESTABLISH A RENT BOARD, WHICH ORDINANCE IS TO BE COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE "2000 RENT LEVELING ORDINANCE" 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 Heeren, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Ordinance on public hearing was adopted.
MISCELLANEOUS FROM PUBLIC:
Mayor Torre opened the meeting for anyone wishing to speak.
Rose Mulle, 321 Kipp Avenue, commended the Governing Body on a fine job, and thanked all the Seniors for coming out at night to attend this meeting. She said that the Leisure Club had received a memo dated March 6, 2000 from the Library to all Steering Committee Members regarding the delay in the building of the Senior Center. Seniors are patient people she said, but she wondered if the Governing Body was aware of their concerns. On April 5 she had written a letter to the Mayor and Council stating the lack of information on the proposed Senior Center. She had not received a reply to date, and any past communications have been received from the Library only and wondered why as they are a separate organization. She questioned the amount of the grant, how long it would it be in effect, who is working on the Senior Center, decisions are being made by the Council with no communication from the Seniors, and had questions on where the Senior Center was to be, a part of the Library, a part of the new Municipal Building? She presented Observer articles dating back to August 1999 and felt they were not being kept abreast of what was happening over these past months.
Mayor Torre said Mrs. Mulles letter was received and in the process of being drafted. He said that at this time there is not enough information to give a definitive plan of where the new Municipal Building will be going and the Mayor and Council is looking at various possibilities. It has been discussed to possibly form an Advisory committee in the future taking representatives from different areas. The money in place in the Capital Budget is for the full amount of the Library/Sr. Center, and if by some chance CD walks away, the funds have already been allocated in the budget. The grant was for approximately $280,000, which included the original $245,000 plus an elevator for the Senior Center and the extension has been granted by CD basically as long as we need it. He continued that regarding communication, since the planning could incur litigation, it cannot be discussed publicly at this time. He said that everyone involved is working as hard as they can to get this resolved.
Robert Francis Zappatelli, 1 Lincoln Street, pointed out that the Leisure Club has been cooperative with the community and feels that the burning of the Municipal Building has nothing to do with the building of the Senior Center and as the Senior Center was set in place why is it being held up for the past eight months. The Mayor said the fire opened up a whole new decision process, and what is best and cost effective for the town is what is being looked at. Conversation continued back and forth regarding the building and the Fire Department.
Rose Mulle spoke again regarding the architects plans she had seen in December, and the Mayor told her that it was a conceptual design and that this same firm, Arcari and Iovino, are working on the new plans as well.
John Shustyk, 120 Field Avenue, has lived in town 35 years and questioned Municipal Parking Lots. Is there grant money available for parking lots, he asked? The Mayor told him that a Master Plan is being done zeroing in on the Business area and targeting on potential parking lots by purchasing lands and that grant money is always being looked for. The Planner has already met with the Chamber of Commerce.
Arthur Abel, 465 Collins Avenue, has lived in town over 50 years and directed his question to Longworth and the Boulevard and what is being done about it, and being such an eyesore, could a fence be put around it. The mayor told him there is an environmental problem and the property is in the process of being sold. It would be referred to Property Maintenance. He then asked about Williams and Terrace, if obtaining property would affect taxes. He was told by the Mayor that the traffic light pole needs to be replaced.
Joseph Bombacie, 423 Madison Avenue, had a complaint about the mess made by the water company and Public Service in front of his home. He said there is a mud hole there and the street has to be paved.
Martha Holowinski, 137 Boulevard, regarding the Petition read previously, asked where it would be directed and was told by the Mayor that it would be given to the Chief of Police, the Commissioner and Deputy Police Commissioner and himself to discuss what action could be taken and they would then be informed.
The Mayor asked the council members for comments. Councilman Link asked about the two pieces of Fire apparatus on the east parking area, and whether the fumes and noise would prove a problem to neighbors. Councilman Heeren apologized for not having more definitive answers, but hopefully what will resolve is the best for Hasbrouck Heights. Councilman DiPisa hoped that no one leaves this meeting misreading what the Mayor said, that he is protecting the Borough and that everyone is working very hard and as fast as they can to come to some decision. Councilman Pepe reiterated what Councilman DiPisa said, continuing that everyone has been working diligently and nothing has taken a back seat these past five or six months. A lot has to do with litigation, a lot has to do with potential purchases of property. He said the committee has compiled two thick binders of information which has to be disseminated. He asked everyone to be patient. Councilwoman Verrastro said it is just as frustrating for the council who would like to see everything done tomorrow, but they dont want to see tax dollars go up. Councilman Wassberg said it is line item by line item and if a low ball price is accepted by the insurance company, then taxes will be affected. He also said the Seniors are not being forgotten. If the fire did not happen, this would not be a problem.
The Chamber of Commerce came forward to report on the Farmers Market, with member Tom Mele, 50 Central Avenue speaking. He was at the meeting with President of the Chamber, Vince Kane and Ray Vorisek who would be making a presentation on May 10 to the Leisure Club, but was here tonight to address the mayor and council. Posters on the Farmers Market were being distributed announcing that it would be held on Tuesday afternoons at the corner of Washington Place and the Boulevard from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. starting June 20. George Aspercolis of Robbinsville is the farmer and he is growing specifically for Hasbrouck Heights. It is a full service farm with fruits and vegetables. He told Leisure Club members that they would be receiving their own official bag that he displayed. He thanked Councilwoman Verrastro for all her help. June 20 and 27 would be dry run days. The farmer would be selling only his produce. The Grand Opening would be July 4.
Mayor Torre commended the Chamber for their hard work.
There being no further business to come before the Mayor and Council, the public portion of the meeting was adjourned and closed for litigation and personnel.
I, ROSE MARIE SEES, Acting Borough Clerk of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes are to the best of my knowledge a true account of the Regular Meeting held on April 25, 2000.
Rose Marie Sees