Mayor Rose Marie Heck
Excerpts from the Mayors Annual Message
January 1, 2009
I am pleased to
present the Mayors End of the Year Report. It has been a very productive year and I
extend my thanks to all of the Departments for their exceptional work.
Police Department Report:
2008 was a very active and busy year for the Police Department. We again answered over 12,000 calls for service, which is the most ever. Listed below are some highlights of programs, equipment and activities by the department that are in addition to our calls for service:
Traffic Bureau: Traffic continues to be one of our toughest challenges. We are constantly looking at ways to improve traffic flow, improve pedestrian safety and manage parking issues.
AAA recognized the department with their awards of excellence for our efforts. (One of only a few in North Jersey)
Participated in nationwide Click It or Ticket, over 150 summons issued.
Two DWI checkpoints conducted this year, one in May and one in October with 18 DWI arrests (including 2 for CDS). Numerous summonses issued.
Car seat installation
Honor Guard: The departments Honor Guard was busy attending many Borough events/Parades as well as County and State Police Memorial Services. The members of the Honor Guard volunteer for this assignment.
DARE: The DARE Program again did a great job educating the children of all of our schools K-12 on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and violence. Members of the Police Department participated in Anti Drug Week which was held January 14 28, 2008.
Space Odyssey trip was held in February and was a success.
8th grade swim party was held in June at the Swim Club.
The Jr. Class was shown the effects of drinking and driving utilizing golf carts and goggles that give the effect of being drunk.
5th grade parents night was held and well attended.
Community Policing: Our Community Policing Programs have continued and we are always looking for ways to improve our relationship and be part of our community. Community Safety office is now located at Boro Hall near the east entrance of building. handouts on many topics are available.
Special Olympics beefsteak and Torch Run were held with The Police Department raising over $30,000 and being #2 in the entire state.
Jr. Police Academy was held for our 8th graders who then become Jr. Auxiliary members and assisted at Town Day and other Borough functions.
8th grade Washington trip was chaperoned and the BADGE program continued.
Equipment: 2 new cars were ordered and received through the State contract. New breathalyzer received. Received $2,817.94 from NJ Division of Criminal Justice under the 2008 State Body Armor Replacement Fund Program.
The HHPD received 2 ballistic shields from the Bergen County Prosecutors Office. The shields cost over $1,100 each.
The Walking School Bus was implemented this year. It is in operation every school day. The Borough was recently notified that it received a $23,000 grant through the filing of the Safe Routes to School Program, thanks to the efforts of the Traffic Bureau, Ken Job Engineering, in conjunction with the cooperation of all of the schools in the Borough.
Police Memorial was unveiled May of 2008.
The Police Department continues to
be available to give safety programs to local groups. The Department itself will sponsor
such programs for the residents to be announced in 2009. My thanks to the men and women of
the department for all of their dedication and diligence in keeping our community a safe
place in which to live and to work.
Fire Department Report
As of Firematic Year ending 11-30-08:
Number of EMS Calls --- 1,500 Number of Fire Calls --- 575
Equipment Purchased in year 2008:
I personally want to acknowledge not only their outstanding volunteer fire and rescue work but the time they contribute to so many Borough activities during the holiday season and certainly during Fire Prevention Month. They are always visible at sports events and have a strong presence on Town Day and numerous volunteer activities. Thanks to each and every one of you on behalf of all of us who have experienced your help and will do so in the future. Great Job!
Thanks to Lori French for submitted the 2008 report as follows:
Fees Collected for 2008: $137,111.50 (18% increase over 2007)
Health Inspections: 1,008 of
various natures, by B.C. Health Specialist
The Annual Flu Vaccine Program was
held on Friday, November 7th. 2008. The Health Department registered over 150 residents.
Heights Food Pantry
A most heartfelt thank you to all
who have kept the shelves stocked throughout the year or made donations for the holidays.
Gifts of cash, food store gift cards, grocery items, toiletries, turkeys, hams, gifts for
all ages and toys were donated by many including the local Churches, local organizations,
schools, Brownie, Daisy and Girl Scout Troops, Boy Scouts, local businesses, and many
caring residents. There were almost 200 donations received over the year. Hasbrouck
Heights is most definitely a giving town.
George M. Reggo
of Public Works
The Department of Public Works
report on the progress of its services and expansion of certain programs slated for 2009
was compiled by Superintendent William Spindler.
For many years the DPW garage has had leaking roofs. The extent of the damage was to large to repair in house therefore quotes were sought and repairs were completed with funds allocated by a local ordinance passed by the Mayor and Council.
OSHA performed an inspection of all DPW related areas in 2008. Improvements were required to the overhead storage areas at the facility. The DPW mechanics followed an engineers blueprint and completed all improvements in house. Upon re-inspection, the DPW facilities are in compliance with all OSHA regulations.
A new computer system was installed to update and operate our Gas and Diesel Fuel System. A state of the art program records all transactions and distributes the information in a report format.
A new surveillance system was also installed at the DPW facility to prevent illegal entry and dumping.
A heating and air-conditioning duct system was installed at the Firehouse garage. Through a series of many change orders during the construction of that building, the systems did not provide adequate ventilation in the bathroom facilities in the garage. The DPW completed the project.
Many other services are performed
to our facilities such as landscaping, painting, cleaning, HVAC maintenance along with
many inspections each year which include Fire alarms and sprinkler systems, elevators, and
emergency generator systems.
Another important road program is our snow plowing and snow removal programs. The DPW attended to four snow storms in 2008. Snow removal was performed twice at the Boulevard, schools, and churches throughout the town for each storm.
There were five other storms in which severe wind and flooding occurred and the Borough sustained heavy amounts of damage to trees and public service wires. The DPW continues to serve the residents of Hasbrouck Heights by responding to these emergencies in all types of weather.
Of course, pothole repairs of our streets continue. It is an on going process and is addressed when visually spotted by DPW or a resident call to report them. 80 tons of asphalt was used in 2008 for pothole repair.
Our trim list is very long and the DPW always conveys a message of patience to our residents. Our first priority is to remove any large tree that is considered a hazard. Last year we planted 60 trees as part of our Tree Replanting Program which continues every year.
The crew of the DPW also constructed a handicapped access for all ramps at the new Central Avenue playground along with a pathway. A weed barrier was put in place and certified playground mulch was distributed throughout the playground. All of the work was completed in house for a considerable saving to the Borough. Department of Public Works
Sanitary Sewer Maintenance
DPW Superintendent, William Spindler, often collaborates with the Borough Engineer, Ken Job, on many sanitary sewer issues. Last years projects were 24 Hour Fitness Clubs connection in the Borough system, Route 17 NJ DOT improvements and several residential related projects.
The 24 Hour Fitness Club project entailed the calculation of volume per minute of discharge that could be allowed from its spa into the sewer system without impacting other residents.
The Route 17 project was to ensure
the integrity of a large trunk line pipe that is in the area of construction at Franklin
Avenue and Route 17 South.
Clean Communities Program
Hasbrouck Heights participated in an Earth Day Clean-Up Project in conjunction with the Wood-Ridge DPW, Teterboro Airport,and NJ Transit and the Port Authority. The clean up site was located on Railroad Avenue which borders all of the towns listed above and the agencies properties. 90 cubic yards of trash was removed along with 30 cubic yards of discarded tires.
The Railroad Avenue area also borders Risers Ditch in which the Borough and Wood-Ridge discharge its storm water run-off.
These programs are on-going and future events will be publicized.
The program also created a
satellite drop-off center located at the Central Avenue parking lot on the first Saturday
of every month. Information on hours and items that may be dropped can be found in our
The E-Waste Program will provide a curbside collection this year. Items can be placed at the curb on Newspaper Recycling Day and will be collected after the newspaper route.
The entire program saves on taxpayer dollars every year. With minimal effort everyone can help keep the costs of our budget down. Please recycle, its the Law! We were able to purchase $96,000 worth of new equipment for the Department through that program and save approximately $150,000 in garbage tonnage charges.
TOTAL VALUE OF CONSTRUCTION $8,153,372.00.
TOTAL PERMIT FEES COLLECTED $ 266,354.00.
TOTAL INSPECTIONS by the Building Department were 1,647.
The Planning Board has heard 4 applications.
Twenty-six letters of denial were written. 15 of these chose to make application which were heard by the Board of Adjustment.
Property Maintenance has continued to respond to complaints and insure compliance was achieved. Necessary legal action was taken when required.
To better serve the community in
2008 some of the Building Deprtments accomplishments have been:
Mimi Hui submitted the following Annual Report
Under the direction of the Board of
Trustees, headed by Lisa Traina, the Library continues to serve and meet the needs of the
community. It was another exciting year and I am proud to share with you some of the
wonderful highlights that took place.
Library services include circulating a variety of books and media to our patrons, programs for residents of all ages, and interpersonal services such as reference and referral, material loans, free internet access, proctoring exams and computer training classes. We try to anticipate our patrons needs by keeping an eye on current trends and cutting edge technology. We plan for the coming year to expand our collection of DVDs, music CDs, and books-on-CD collection.
Our wildly popular Crafts-to-Share
and Clutter Clubs draw a dedicated following under the direction of Reference Librarian
Melissa Singlevich. The ladies from the Craft-to-Share program have continued to volunteer
their time, materials, and talent to knit and crochet blankets, hats and other items to
donate to the Hackensack Medical Center. To date, a total of 4,650 hours of donated time
was given in 2008.
Under the direction of Childrens Librarian Rosalie Nickles, the childrens activities continue to bring in high attendance. There are always wonderful and creative year round programs being sponsored for all age groups. We held our 19th Annual Lego Night with over 115 people in attendance.
One of the best memorable moments took place this summer when the Library held its first Family Camp-In (Sleepover). Special thanks to all the borough agencies and individuals involved in making it a success. This event was held to promote and to encourage families to spend quality time together. 120 people were in attendance. We had 80 guests stay overnight at the Library. The Mayor and Council read stories to the children at midnight. There was quality family entertainment, games and food served. A wonderful time was had by all.
The Library facilities continue to offer a haven for local organizations to meet -- 125 groups used the meeting rooms this year. A total of 2,021 people met at the Library for meetings.
The public can register for various
library programs from the comfort of their homes by going to the librarys website
The Hasbrouck Heights Lions Club donated a LCD magnifying reading machine for the purpose to give aid to anyone who has problems with low vision. This machine is user friendly and capable of magnifying print up to 82 times the actual size. This timely gift helps the Library to further its outreach to the community.
Besides their ongoing support, the Hasbrouck Heights Kiwanis Club purchased a scanner for the Librarys Heritage Room to help preserve the history of our town and assist with organizing the historical files. The Library has collections of postcards, newspaper clippings and photos that will greatly benefit in being saved and will be accessible for the public to view in the near future.
The Junior Womans Club continues to offer their services and support in many ways throughout the year. They have worked closely with Childrens Librarian Rosalie Nickles in offering special storytime programs. They recently funded a project where copies of nursery rhymes were transferred onto large poster boards used to decorate the Childrens Area.
Friends Of The Library
Through the generous donations of community minded individuals, the Friends Endowment Fund, whose mission is to provide for the Childrens Room and to keep the Library on the cutting edge of technology, paid for the following:
63 Flat Screen Plasma
Television with Surround Sound
Robert Brady, Director of Recreation submitted the following report
The Hasbrouck Heights Recreation Department has had another fun-filled exciting year, thanks to the Hasbrouck Heights Mayor & Council, all of our great volunteers, and of course our many participants in our recreation programs. The goal for our recreation department is and always will be: to include as many participants that we can safely accommodate into every single program that we offer, also to offer the most organized and fulfilling programs to our citizens and their families.
In 2008 The Recreation Department offered 12 different programs for the children, 5 different programs for adults, and 9 different programs for our senior citizens. The department also runs the many different community events that the entire family can enjoy, such as Town Day, Halloween in the Park, and the free summer concert series. The Department does not operate but contributes funds to these other great town organizations: Little League, Junior Football/Cheering, Mens Softball, The Leisure Club, Hasbrouck Heights Soccer Association, Aviator Soccer Club, and Senior Babe Ruth.
This past year the recreation department has given over 1,000 children a safe place to play, run, shoot a basketball, wrestle, or hit a softball with their friends and families watching and cheering them on. The recreation department also offers a great working environment for many high school and college age citizens: either in our summer camp, recreation center, or our many sporting events.
The board met 11 times this year
and heard 15 new applications.
The remaining 12 applications were bulk variance approvals. The Board also considered a resident request for a change in commercial vehicle parking. Although not in their purview, the board did recommend that the change be enacted.
Two applications missed the
December deadline and will be heard in January.
Revenue - $216,376
DWI Special Sessions 5 for
Central Avenue Parking Lot
Depken Field and Ravine Avenue
In addition the Mayor and Council
used approximately $35,000.00 in grant funds from the Statewide Livable Communities Grant
Program to install new dugouts, backstops and aluminum bleachers at the Little League
Acquisition of a New Garbage Truck and Dump Truck with Salt Spreader and Plow for the DPW in the amount of $225,000.00.
Phase I of the Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Project in the amount of $200,000.00 with $150,000.00 provided by Department of Transportation Grant Funds. We have recently been notified the Borough has been awarded an additional $150,000.00 in DOT Grant Funds for Phase II. This will all be combined so that both phases can be bid and awarded at the same time.
Acquisition of a New Alcohol Breath Testing System for the Police Department in the amount of $15,000.00.
Renovations of the Department of Public Works Department Buildings in the amount of $55,000.00.
Grants are also sought for the
funding of Capital Projects. These grants help us complete large projects, which do not
fall within the operating budget, without incurring additional debt. The following
projects are either completed or in progress in 2008 as a result of grants received:
In addition to the above, the Mayor
and Council have already applied for grants to fund projects such as:
Budget and Finance Committee
For 2008 the Borough lost $156,132.00 in formula State Aid. We were pleased to be awarded $200,000.00 in Extraordinary Aid, $50,000.00 more than we received last year, but we still experienced a net loss in State Aid $106,132.00.
The total Borough Budget increased by $806,901.02 in 2008. This includes all salary increases as well as increases in utilities, fuel and all other expenses. Many appropriations are not within the control of the Mayor and Council such as; Pension Contributions which increased by $399,000.00 this year; Sanitary Landfill Costs which increased by $47,000.00 this year; and Bergen County Utilities Authority Sewer Charges which increased by $81,750.00 this year. These amounted to $527,750.00 of the $806,901.02 increase in the 2008 budget.
The Finance Committee also had to handle the additional task of recommending cuts to the School Budget that was defeated by the voters. The Finance Committee met with representatives of the Board of Education and the joint recommendation was to cut $277,500.00 from the 2008-2009 School Budget. The Mayor and Council pledged to cut the same amount out of the Amount to be Raised by Taxation for Municipal Purposes and the final Municipal Budget actually required taxes for municipal purposes in an amount approximately $600,000.00 less than would have been required when the budget was first prepared.
The Borough owes a debt of gratitude to Borough Administrator Michael Kronyak for keeping us on track financially. He is a remarkable keeper of our finances and continues with the long established history of prudent handling of the Boroughs assets and finances. He has done this even during some trying times in the recent past. Thank you so much Mike.
As I close the Annual Report I also want to note the exceptional work done by the Borough Clerk who is the glue that holds much of the Boroughs day to day work together. Always dependable in pulling together the Council Agendas and insuring that everyone has their Resolution information together. Rose Marie Sees is a multi-tasker who does an amazing job. She, along with Mike Kronyak, can be found here coming to work early and leaving past regular hours. Ro also juggles the use of all the rooms in the Building and keeps everything running smoothly with little or no problem whatsoever.
TheBorough Clerk also helped me pull together the Boroughs first Borough Business Bulletin, the newspaper that was sent to everyone in the borough. We have already alerted all the departments to begin putting information together for us to use in the Second Annual Borough Business Bulletin. It was my intention to share with residents all of the wonderful work done by those working and volunteering for the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights. Thank you Ro and thanks to all who helped accomplish so much this year.
We have many plans for the coming year, including holding more informational forums on a variety of topics.
Good news for Senior Citizens, You will recall the Forum we sponsored on the Senior Citizens Property Tax that I helped get on the books when I was in the Assembly, well The Governor recently signed some changes to that Freeze that will enable many more seniors to avail themselves of that program. The maximum income allowed for the 2007 tax year rose to $60,000; $70,000 for 2008 and $80,000 for 2009, regardless of marital status. Mike Kronyak and I will be working with Conchita Parker to set up a Forum to address those new rules. Many more seniors will be able to get some help with their property taxes in 2008 by filing the new forms.
My thanks to all who chose to be with us today and who have agreed to again volunteer for the many Volunteer Committees. My thanks to all of the Departments for their great work in 2008 and you know I will be meeting with you again on a regular basis in the New Year. Your work is important to all of us here in town and it is my hope that we can again increase our productivity; seek grants; investigate more shared services to save dollars; come up with new ideas to encourage business in town; continue to increase ratables; introduce needed new maintenance programs such as curbing and much needed tree maintenance; add to beautification and clean streets and sidewalk programs and last but not least, strive to increase the our recycling numbers townwide thus giving us more money to purchase needed equipment and to save money in garbage tonnage.
Happy New Year and God Bless us one and all!