Mayor Rose Marie Heck
Excerpts from the Mayors Annual Message
January 1, 2009

I am pleased to present the Mayor’s 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:
The following Police Department Report was given to me by Police Chief Michael Colaneri:

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 department’s 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 Prosecutor’s 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
The following information was submitted by Chief Michael Ratkowski

As of Firematic Year ending 11-30-08:

Number of EMS Calls --- 1,500 Number of Fire Calls --- 575

Equipment Purchased in year 2008:
25 Pagers
3 Chiefs’ Radios
1 Thermal Imaging Cameras
Upgraded equipment on Rescue
1 Rescue Stabilization Kit
800 ft. of 2” Handline
500 ft. of 5” Supply Line

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!


Health Department Report
I will ask Council DiPisa to present the end of the year HEALTH DEPARTMENT –Report

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
Dog Licenses: 1141 licenses, most issued in 32 years.
Dog License Fees: $16,553.00
Animal Control Services: Stray animal intake and disposition, 172 responses.
Births Recorded: 98 babies born to town residents.
Town Resident Deaths: 89 residents
Total Deaths Recorded: 823 Deaths
Marriage Licenses Issued: 62 Applied
Civil Union: 0 Applied
Domestic Partnerships: 0 Applied
Certified Transcripts: 6,707 issued (Death, Marriage & Birth)

The Sixth Annual Health Fair was held in Saturday, October 18th. Over 200 residents enjoyed the Fair. 32 local vendors participated in this very informative program. The goal of the Health Department is to provide services & information to all of our residents. Many donated prizes were awarded through a free raffle.
This year the Board of Health sponsored the first annual Senior Wellness Luncheon, which was held on Thursday, August 21st. 2008. Many seniors enjoyed the complimentary lunch donated by Wellington Health Care of Hackensack.
Board of Health President, Pam Link spoke during the luncheon about all the programs and accessible projects the Community Awareness Access for all Committee has completed throughout the year.

The Annual Flu Vaccine Program was held on Friday, November 7th. 2008. The Health Department registered over 150 residents.
The free Health Consultation Program has always been a very successful program throughout the years. Consultations take place on the fourth Thursday of each month here in Borough Hall. No appointment is needed.

Services include:
• Health history evaluation
• Blood pressure screening, height and weight measurements
• Individualized counseling and education
• Referral and follow-up
• Confidential consultation with a Public Health Nurse

The Department has done a very good job in all areas and has done an excellent job in keeping us well informed and educated in numerous areas of health.

 

Hasbrouck Heights Food Pantry
The Hasbrouck Heights Food Pantry continues to be open on a weekly basis every Monday (with the exception of holidays which fall on a Monday, then it is open on Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Over 800 bags of food were distributed to Hasbrouck Heights residents. There are now 22 volunteers who graciously donate their time and talent to insure that this happens. Thank you all very much for all your time and efforts.

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.


Municipal Building
The Municipal Building continues to be well utilized by many organizations for various meetings and gatherings. Very often every available room is occupied and we cannnot fill all the requests at times. This past year the Caucus Room was used for 102 meetings, with 62 in 2007; the Community Room scheduled 194 events, sometimes two or three overlapping in one day, compared to 200 in 2007;Council Chambers for 58 meetings, 58 in 2007; and the Senior Center 58 events, 74 in 2007. This was in addition to the regular Senior events that occur on a daily basis, and does not take into account the Recreation Center/Community Room nights. There were four soccer registrations held in the hallway, as all rooms were in use.


Tax Collections and Tax Rates
The 2008 Collection rate is on target to meet prior year collection rate of 99.01%. This collection rate has been very consistent and stable over the 10 years and is anticipated to continue to be stable. There were four residents who were granted a 100% veterans exemption on their property taxes this year.


Tax Assessor's Report
The Ratables for the year 2008 were $1,855,597,600. The ratables for the 2009 year thus far have increased to $1,866,613,100 or an increase of $11,015,500.

George M. Reggo

 

Department of Public Works
Councilman Gonzalez would you please present the DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS end of the year report for me.

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.

Public Facilities
Besides the normal services of attending to the Borough buildings, many improvements were completed at the DPW facility and the Public Safety Building.

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 engineer’s 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.

Road Maintenance/Resurfacing Program
Several programs were completed in 2008 starting with the Borough’s road resurfacing program. Four (4) streets were milled and resurfaced that had been on a list since 2005. The list of streets continues to grow each year. It is submitted by DPW Superintendent and Borough Engineer to the Mayor and Council for their evaluation annually.

Storm water regulations mandated by the NJ DEP were implemented and the DPW passed its State inspection for 2008. Part of the responsibilities of the regulations are leaf collection, street sweeping, and storm water catch basin inspections and cleaning, of which, the Borough has 144 basins not including those on county roads.

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.

Shade Tree
The Shade Tree Department continues to trim and remove all diseased trees throughout the town with the aid of PSE&G and the Bergen County Shade Tree Department.

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.

Parks
The DPW aided in the construction of the newly dedicated Policeman’s Memorial last year. From digging the footings for the foundation to setting the statue, the DPW responded to any request from the Police Department in order to complete this very deserving memorial.

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
The DPW maintains the three (3) sewer pumping facilities and main sewer pipes throughout the infrastructure of the town.

DPW Superintendent, William Spindler, often collaborates with the Borough Engineer, Ken Job, on many sanitary sewer issues. Last year’s projects were 24 Hour Fitness Club’s 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.

The residential projects were performed on local streets with two areas in need of improvement slated for 2009.

Clean Communities Program
Two events were held last year with great support from local Boy Scouts, High School students, and many residents to help rid 1.600 lbs. of trash and litter that is discarded throughout the Borough each year.

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.

Recycling
Last but certainly not least is our Recycling Program. Last year a highly successful program that ensured grass would be separated from going into the solid waste steam was instituted.

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 Recycling Calendar.

In 2009 the Recycling Program will be expanded by recycling E-Waste. E-Waste is all computer products, all types of television sets, stereos, telephones, and many other electronics. Information can also be found in the Recycling Calendar.

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, it’s 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.


Building Department Report
Building Inspector Nick Melfi has been exceptionally busy this year and I commend him for all the work he has done on behalf of the Borough.


The Building Department has issued 825 permits as of December 15, for 2008.

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 Deprtment’s accomplishments have been:
I. This department researched other towns to recommend the changing of the parking of commercial vehicles.
II. Building inspections are done on a daily basis which has eliminated projects being delayed due to inspection waiting time.
III. Cataloging of the archives was completed.
IV. We have written news releases to help residents understand the building and zoning ordinances.
V. To better serve the community, the Secretary completed coursework and was awarded certification as Zoning/Planning Secretary.

All of these steps been have made to make homeowners happier with this department and make information readily available to the general public.

It is our goal to continue to keep this department running efficiently and help the residents of Hasbrouck Heights. In September of this year our fee schedule was updated as a way to increase revenue to cover costs of the department’s operations.


Hasbrouck Heights Free Public Library
Library Director Mimi Hui and her staff have done an outstanding job this year and I have received many compliments from the residents as to all their good work. My thanks to all.

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.

Circulation
As of mid-December, we have circulated a record breaking number of over 94,530 items. This is the highest figure ever recorded in the last 7 years. An average of 492 people uses our computers each week. And over 67,468 people walked through the doors of our library to use one or more of our library services this past year.

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.

Programming
Our programs continue to flourish and draw people of all ages. To date, 4,761 people attended 274 library programs. We have book discussion groups for children and teens, a variety of self-help seminars for adults, and craft programs.

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.

The attendance for the Young Adult Programs continues to grow under the care and direction of Reference/Young Adult Librarian Catherine Dodwell. We have innovative and successful cross generational craft programs where teens and adults are in one room as they learn from one another. The results are heartwarming and enduring.

Under the direction of Children’s Librarian Rosalie Nickles, the children’s 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 library’s website – http://hasbrouckheights.bccls.org

Funding
The Library has received the following grant:
Per Capita State Aid $ 11,826 Used for Operating Expenses

Gifts Received
Three Hasbrouck Heights service organizations generously presented the Library with the following gifts:

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 Library’s 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 Woman’s Club continues to offer their services and support in many ways throughout the year. They have worked closely with Children’s 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 Children’s Area.

Friends Of The Library
The Library receives steadfast support from the Friends of the Library, presided over by Susanne Kepsel. The Friends help finance all children’s and young adult programs, and pay for all the refreshments and prizes. They have been diligent in planning their fundraisers throughout the year in order to ensure the success of library activities. Besides having two book sales, they also held an Afternoon Tea, a Wine & Delights event in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, and participated in the Outdoor Mall as a food vendor.

Through the generous donations of community minded individuals, the Friends’ Endowment Fund, whose mission is to provide for the Children’s Room and to keep the Library on the cutting edge of technology, paid for the following:

63” Flat Screen Plasma Television with Surround Sound
Upgrade of Wi-Fi System
Purchase of 6 brand new Toshiba Laptops
A Laptop for the Heritage Room
Memory Upgrade of 13 Dell Laptops
A Canon Digital Camera

In conclusion, the Library continues to provide the community with outstanding public service. The local public library has a wealth of resources and services to offer and an opportunity for lifetime learning. Thank you so much

Recreation Department Report
The RECREATION DEPARTMENT End of the Year Report Will be presented by Councilwoman Sonya Buckman: Sonya:

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, Men’s 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.

2008-Year Highlights
• Mr. Partyka’s 3rd 4th grade Girls Softball team finishing 2nd in the Bergen UGALS Tournament
• Starting the first recreation cross-country team for 6th 7th & 8th grade boys and girls.
• Being involved with many great town events like the “Outdoor Mall” and the town wide talent show.
• Recreation Wrestling hosted the Hasbrouck Heights Invitational Tournament and District 5 Championship Tournament.
• Recreation Track & Field hosted the first Invitational Recreation Track Meet in Hasbrouck Heights.
• Started its Wrestlastics Program, an introduction to wrestling for boys that are just a little too young to join the wrestling program.
• Assisted the Mayor & Council in completing the construction of three new playgrounds in town; Central Avenue Playground, Depken Playground & the Depken Fitness Park.
• Worked with the Borough Administrator Mike Kronyak and Borough Clerk in completing the the installation and operation of the digital message board located at the Municipal Building.

On behalf of Rob Brady I want to thank our many great volunteer coaches and programs advisors that give up so much time from their family to make sure the children and adults in our community have a safe and fun experience in our recreation programs. These volunteers make Hasbrouck Heights Recreation Department the best it can be.

Rob has done an outstanding job and is to be highly commended for his numerous and diversified programs. Thank you Rob.


Planning Board Report:
Chairman Henry Dobbelaar, Jr. reported that the Planning Board met 11 times during the year and heard and approved five site plan applications.
Reviewed and recommended to the Mayor and Council changes to Zoining Ordinances regarding bulk yard requirements and storage of garbage, trash refuse and recyclables.
Reviewed and recommended ot he Mayor and Council changes to theZoning Ordinances concerning parking and storage of over size motor vehicles.
The Billboard Site Plan Application for 342 Rte 17 N. was continued from 2007 awaiting arrival of proper NJDOT permits. This application was withdrawn in July 2008 by the applicant since said NJDOT permits could not be secured.
Reviewed and recommended the Mayor and Council approve the recently drafted Housing Element and Fair Share Plan in order that the Borough be in compliance with the Dec. 31, 2008 COAH deadline.

As noted by Chairman Dobbelaar, the Board’s work has been down significantly since many applications for use variances are directed correctly to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.


Zoning Board of Adjustment
William Kremer, Chairman

The board met 11 times this year and heard 15 new applications.

Three of these applications were for use variances: Metro PCS, 24 Hour Fitness Trailer and Sonic Restaurant were approved.

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.


Municipal Court
1/8/08 through 11/08
Tickets issued: Parking – 4,253; Moving – 2,029; DWI – 64 for a total of
Total: 6,346

Revenue - $216,376

DWI Special Sessions – 5 for the year


I.D. Personnel Program
I want to give special thanks to Dr. Roger J. Szanto, who instituted the Borough’s Employee Identification System in 2008. In the interest of public safety and security, I
requested that the Borough implement a system which provides for positive identification of all Borough employees. With the numerous scams being perpetrated on the public in today’s world it was important that all Heights employees be easily and readily identified by our residents and anyone else with whom they may have to interact.
Our Borough Identification Officer Dr. Roger Szanto, who also serves as the Borough’s Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator designed, coordinated and implemented exactly that. The system Roger put together includes numerous security features found in many commercially available systems, including holographic images, multi-dimensional bar codes, biometrics as well as others which he specifically designed and included in the Borough system. The best part, the entire process cost taxpayers under $300 since he had the equipment needed to perform this task. In order to provide for the safety of all children who attended the Summer Camp program, all paid and volunteer Recreation Department Counselors were included in the identification process.


Year End Summary Report
From: Michael Kronyak
Date: December 26, 2008

Capital Improvements

Central Avenue Parking Lot
The construction of a parking lot and pocket park adjacent to the Municipal Building which was started in 2007 was fully completed in early 2008. This project has provided 41 parking spaces and a pocket park; $54,000.00 of the cost was funded by an Open Space Trust Fund Grant. The corner of Central Avenue and the Boulevard is also the home of a new Police Memorial honoring those who serve and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. A parcel of land the size of a building lot will be left undeveloped and for future use.

Depken Field and Ravine Avenue
The Improvement of Depken Field and the surrounding areas continued in 2008 with the completion of the construction of Parks at Depken Field. The total budget for this portion of the project was $335,000.00 with $177,500.00 being funded by a Bergen County Open Space Grant and the balance coming from available funds and proceeds from the sale of borough property adjacent to the Swim Club. The park improvements included the construction of a Tot Park and Fitness Park as well as installation of perimeter fencing. Also, the much needed railings down the center of the bleachers were installed and concrete slabs were installed at the top of the bleachers to provide areas accessible to those with trouble negotiating the bleachers.

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 Field.

The Central Avenue Parking Lot, Depken Field Improvements and Ravine Avenue Improvement and Little League Field Improvements were all projects requiring the cooperation of many entities. The Municipality, Board of Education, Swim Club and Little League all worked hand-in-hand for the good of the residents.

Road Improvements
The 2008 Road Improvement program provided $250,000.00 for the following road resurfacing projects:
Cleveland Avenue from Wood Street to Woodland Drive
Washington Place from Boulevard to Woodside Avenue
Railroad Street from Plant Road to Moonachie Border
Oldfield Avenue from Franklin Avenue to Passaic Avenue

Other Ordinances
Acquisition of a New Senior Citizens Bus in the amount of $60,000.00 with $54,000.00 provided by a Community Development Block Grant.

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.

Grant Applications
The following grants were either utilized in the 2008 operating budget or have been awarded this year for use in 2009. Grant Funds are used to pay for services that would otherwise have to be funded by tax dollars:
Governors Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse 11,500.00
Clean Communities Program 26,253.86
Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund 11,016.16
Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund 1,296.75
Recycling Tonnage Grant 14,008.21
Extraordinary Aid 200,000.00
Body Armor Fund 3,011.42
Municipal Storm Water Regulation Program 10,207.00

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:
Construction of Parks 177,500.00
Improvements to the Comfort Station in Woodland Park 116,800.00
Improvements to Woodland Park and the
Little League Field 40,000.00
Acquisition of a New Senior Citizen Bus 54,000.00
Boulevard Streetscape Improvement 300,000.00
Safe Routes to Schools 23,000.00

In addition to the above, the Mayor and Council have already applied for grants to fund projects such as:
Resurfacing of a portion of Division Avenue
Resurfacing of a portion of Jefferson Avenue
Acquisition of Gear and Equipment for the Fire Department

Tax Collections and Tax Rates
The 2008 Collection rate is on target to meet prior year collection rate of 98.68%. This collection rate has been very consistent and stable over the 10 years and is anticipated to continue to be stable.

Budget and Finance Committee
The Budget and Finance Committee worked very hard to formulate a Budget that both met the needs of the residents and minimized the impact on taxes.

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 Borough’s 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 Borough’s 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 Borough’s 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!


Rose Marie Heck
Mayor

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