Mayor Rose Heck
Excerpts from the Mayors Annual Message
January 1, 2013

 

Annual Report To The People of Hasbrouck Heights
For the Year ending December 31, 2012

Super Storm Sandy hit with a vengeance here in New Jersey. Hasbrouck Heights suffered inconveniences but no devastation as we saw with neighboring communities of Little Ferry and Moonachie. I called a Special Meeting on Dec. 11th and reports were given by Borough Administrator Michael Kronyak, Police Chief Michael Colaneri, D.P.W. Supt. Bill Spindler and Recreation/Senior Director Robert Brady. The public gave input and we heard the need for better communication and are in the process of addressing same.

I have again asked the Council Members to assist in the giving of the information I was afforded by various departments under their commissionerships. I have also shortened those reports from the 22 pages we gave last year to this year’s 10 pages.

The Borough settled the Police Contract for 2013 and 2014 without going through Arbitration. Salaries will increase by 1 % for 2013 and 2% for 2014. Steps were increased to 8.

 

BOROUGH CLERK'S OFFICE
The Borough Clerk's office continues to serve the Borough with various permits and licenses, as well as payroll, paying of bills, and answering the many calls and visits of residents. Personnel include Jean Curci who handles payroll, personnel and workmen's compensation insurance and Cindy Palmieri, Violations Clerk and Louise Balsamo, Police Secretary, who spend part of their working days in the Clerk's office as well. They also assist Borough Clerk Ro Sees and CFO/Administrator Michael Kronyak.

 

MUNICIPAL BUILDING USE
The Municipal Building continues to be very well utilized by many organizations for various meetings and gatherings. Very often every available room is occupied with several requests for the same room taking place in one day at different times. This past year the Caucus Room was used for 70 events; there were 165 events in the Community Room; the Council Chamber was used for 60 meetings, the first floor Hallway was used for 8 sign-up events this year (when all other rooms were not available) and the Senior Center 46. This was in addition to the regular Senior Citizen events that occur on a daily basis, and does not take into account the Recreation Center/Community Room nights. The Borough Clerk's office keeps a calendar to insure that each event is recorded and there is no double booking.

 

PERMITS ISSUED
The Borough Clerk's office issues many permits on a daily basis. Here are some of the breakdowns for 2012.Garage Sales - 131 permits issued (not including Town Wide Garage Sale). Woodland Park - 31 permits issued. Open House signs - 6 permits issued. New Merchant - 2 permits issued. Peddlar/Solicitor licenses - 36 permits issued. Burglar Alarm - 468 permits issued.

 

OPRA REQUESTS
For the year 2012, there were 72 requests for public records which were processed in the allotted time. As per new regulations, the cost per page for Open Public Records requests was reduced from 75 cents for the first 10 pages, 50 cents for the next 10 pages and 25 cents for the remainder of pages to 5 cents for 8 2 x 11 paper and 7 cents for 8/1/2 x 14 paper -- per page. Requests may also be faxed or e-mailed with no charge to the requestor.

 

AUTO WHOLESALERS LICENSES
In 2012 there were 63 applications received for auto wholesaler licenses in the Industrial Zone. Renewal notices for 2013 will go out in January.

 

TAX COLLECTIONS AND TAX RATES
The 2011 Collection rate is on target to meet prior year collection rate of 98.80%. This collection rate has been very consistent and stable over the past 10 years and is anticipated to continue to be stable.

 

Police Commissioner Justin DiPisa will give the Police Dept. Report

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS POLICE DEPARTMENT

Patrol
The Police Department not only answered over 11,000 calls for service but they also provided security and traffic control for many Borough events, including:

Borough’s Street Fair; Memorial Day Parade; Town Day; Halloween in the Park and the Holiday Parade.

Police Officers provided security at numerous school events at no cost to the Board of Education.

DMV checkpoints were held on Feb. 16, 2012 – 17 summonses issued and on April 3, 2012 – 22 summonses were issued.

In 2012- 50 DWI arrests made.

Detective Bureau

Currently assigned to the Detective Bureau are Detective Michael Colaneri, Jr., Detective Alan Baker and Detective Jeff Werner.

200 criminal cases were opened this year. Approximately 100 arrests have been made.

The Hasbrouck Heights Police have confiscated over $100,000 from arrested persons convicted of drug offenses or criminal activity in the Borough.

Equipment

A portable surveillance camera was purchased using confiscated funds and was installed at the children’s play area and parking lot on Central Avenue.

Watch Guard Mobile DVR Systems were installed in all patrol cars. Department members were trained in the new state of the art high definition system.

Electronic ticket, known as E-Ticket, was installed March of 2012. This system saves time for Officers on motor vehicle stops. The system enters the info directly into the court system saving time for court personnel. The registration information is taken from DMV; therefore, eliminating errors and a higher fine collection rate. The time saved in record keeping allows for the secretary to share her service to assist at Borough Hall.

Since the inception of charging private contractors (PSEG, Verizon, United Water and paving companies) a fee ($50 for the first four hours, $10 each additional hour) for using Police Vehicles for traffic control a total of $245,263 has been paid to the Boro of Hasbrouck Heights. Monies have been used for the purchase of new police vehicles, laptops for cars, video cameras, light bars and cages. In 2012 Three new vehicles and equipment were purchased using these funds saving over $80,000 to the tax payer

Personnel

Capt. DeLorenzo retired 11/01/2012 after 25 years of service; Lt. Thomas Archer retired 02/01/2012 after 26 years of service to the department; Lt. Thomas Tozzi retired 07/01/2012 after 25 years of service to the department. We thank them for their service and wish them well in the future.

Officers Ian Robertson and Scott Adamo were assigned to the Traffic Bureau.

Ptl. Jeffrey Werner was assigned to Detective Bureau.

A Police Exam was held with over 50 local residents taking part in the written exam, physical fitness test and interviews; a detailed background on all finalists was conducted.

Miscellaneous

As part of our phone alerting system, residents can register a secondary number to our system by going to www.bcoem.org and click on Swift 911 Emergency notification service link and follow the prompts. Residents can also sign up for email and text alerts at Nixle.com.

The 13th Jr. Police Academy was held from June 23-29, 2012. Fifty 8th graders attended the program, which included training in fitness, self-defense, motor vehicle stops and more.

DARE Family Night at Space Odyssey was held on March 27, 2012. Over 180 DARE students attended

The 8th grade DARE Swim Party was held in June at the Hasbrouck Heights Swim Club.

The Torch Run for Special Olympics was held June 8, 2012. Hasbrouck Heights Police Department raised over $23,000 for Special Olympics. For more detailed information check the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights official website: hasbrouck-heights.nj.us..

Thank you Justin.

 

Mayor Heck takes over to introduces Fire Commissioner David Gonzalez to give the Fire Dept. Report

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS FIRE DEPARTMENT

Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department: After a 14 month absence for repairs complicated by insurance matters, The ladder truck was put back in service in January 2012. The ladder truck was tested and certified for service. Members of the Ladder Company put the Ladder truck through many tests to ensure everything was in working order and that all repairs were complete

  • Vehicles
    • Bonded $75,000 for repairs to the ladder track to insure it would pass certification safety testing.
    • Remaining vehicles were repaired by the DPW and / or outside vendors (doing it on – site).
    • Purchase of new chief’s vehicle, replacing a 15 year old Suburban which was beyond repair.
  • Personnel
    • Training records for all members were updated; assuring that each member is qualified for the rank held.
  • Equipment
    • Purchased three (3) sets of much needed turnout gear.
    • 2013 budget includes money needed for ten (10) additional sets (turn out gear)
    • Programmed radios purchased in 2011, making them compliant with new narrow – band mandatory upgrade
    • Ordered thirty (30) new SCBA bottles, replacing old ones.
  • "Happenings"Major fire incident – Saturday, July 28th, 2012
      • At commercial building located at 500 Route 17 South: tractor – trailer crashed into building, bursting into flames.
      • First Assistant Chief, Patrick Hayes commanded scene with one fatality, with possible hazmat load. Chief Hayes requested second alarm at scene, with third alarm to stand – by at fire headquarters for protection and safety throughout the borough
    • "Super storm" Sandy – October 2012
    • Fire Department responded to twenty (20) calls.
      • One call: extraction of two (2) victims from building. Building exits were impassable due to fallen trees and downed wires.
  • Department Responds
    • Eight – hundred (800) fire calls for both Hasbrouck Heights and
    • Teterboro Fourteen hundred (1,400) ambulance calls

Events involving HHFD

  • Easter Egg Hunt; Memorial Day Parade; Street Fair; Relay for Life; HHFD Annual Inspection; Fourth of July Fireworks; Wings & Wheels Expo; 9/11 Ceremony; Special Olympics Run; Health Fair; HH Town Day; Halloween in the Park; Visited all schools during Fire Prevention Week; Ragamuffin Parade; Holiday Parade and Santa around Town

Thank you Dave.

 

Commissioner Sonya Buckman will give the Recreation Dept. Report

RECREATION DEPARTMENT

Submitted By: Robert Brady, Director of Recreation
Senior Citizens Director

In 2012 our department offered 12 different programs for the children of our community, 6 different programs for the adults in town, and 11 different programs for our senior citizen community. The recreation department also runs the many different community events that the entire family can enjoy, such as Town Day and Halloween in the Park. The Hasbrouck Heights Recreation 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 department has given over 1,150 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 residents: either in our summer camp, recreation center, or our many sporting events.

2012-Year Highlights

  • Recreation Softball, 2012 was the best year ever for recreation softball we enjoyed having two teams win the South Bergen Recreation Softball League. Then in the very competitive UGALS Travel League Coach Gasparino’s team of U12 girls reached perfection by having 23 wins and 0 losses for the season winning the league championship and the tournament championship. We also enjoyed Coach Bothe’s U10 team finishing 3rd for the UGALS travel season.
  • Continuing a partnership with 24 Hour Fitness for the benefit of our Recreation Youth Basketball Program, holding our 1st & 2nd grade clinics at 24-hour fitness with certified basketball instructors.
  • Organizing, staffing, and hosting Halloween in the Park for over 500 residents and children.
  • Recreation wrestling hosting two major events, the Hasbrouck Heights Invitational Tournament and the Andy Feintuch Memorial District 5 Championship Tournament.
  • In 2012 we had our largest summer camp registration for our "Camp Rec Trek".
  • Recreation Traveling Basketball girls 7th 8th grade team teams winning the championship in the very competitive South Bergen League. This was the first travel championship in our department’s history! We thank Steve Pikowski, Robert Faussette, Kevin Owens, John Capozzi, Al DeAngelo, Ken Partyka, and Mike Blanco for volunteering their time to coach our traveling teams.
  • Recreation Summer Camp having another great summer with our largest enrollment ever! The campers also enjoyed 3 new, and fun day trips in 2012. The camp also crowned another ping pong champion this year, Robert Schroback.

Our thanks to our many great volunteer coaches and programs advisors who 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.

Parks and Playgrounds

The Borough has within its boundaries several parks, Woodland, Veterans, Polifly, Miers and Central Avenue that the DPW maintains. There are also many other areas that are also maintained such as Policeman’s Memorial, Fireman’s Memorial, Little League, and 32 other locations throughout the town. Woodland Park was filled with 36 picnics this year for picnics. The DPW performs services for picnics such as cleaning restrooms, turning on water, and electric, and removing trash. Some of our maintenance duties are seeding, fertilizing, watering, grass cutting, weeding, and planting of flowers.

That concludes the Recreation Dept. and Parks Report.

Thank you Councilwoman Buckman

Mayor Heck thanks Nick Melfi for the following Building Dept. Report

BUILDING DEPARTMENT

Total income for Building Permits for the past 12 months was $193,782. This is roughly $40,000 above the department’s 2011 income.

Our inspectors have been busy this year. The Fire Inspector completed 61; Plumbing Inspector completed 306 inspections; Electrical Inspector completed 287 and the Building Inspector completed 567. Of the total 1221 inspections 31 failed for a passing rate of 88.21%. The inspectors also went out on 86 inspections which were not ready and 20 where the contractor or the resident was not home.

Property Maintenance has continued to respond to complaints. The inspector’s goal was to get residents to comply and keep our town looking proud. It is neighbors that make Hasbrouck Heights the special place it is and this year, it was rewarding to get neighbors to cooperate in making necessary repairs that were for the safety of the community. The inspector made 355 inspections, made 110 follow up phone calls and took 35 violation photos.

Hours and work information for this department may be found on the Web Site.

The following Board reports were given by Dorothy Bernice, secretary to both boards.

Planning Board
The Planning Board met four times this year. One site plan application was heard. The Board approved that application which was for the renovation of an existing office building into a hotel. The board also reviewed a zoning ordinance change.

Last month there was a discussion of the soil movement ordinance which will be continued in January. Since the ordinance gives the Planning Board jurisdiction over these applications, there is the possibility of the board meeting more frequently in the future.

Zoning Board of Adjustment
The Board met 11 times this year. It heard six commercial applications and nine residential. Joseph Rotolo has been the Board Attorney since it was reestablished in 2006.

The applications heard by the Board were varied. The variances requested were: eight with side yard and/or front yard deficiencies; one that wanted to exceed maximum lot coverage; one driveway widening; one buffer zone deficiency; and four use variances. In light of the fact that four of the applications were denied, no change in ordinances seems to be needed.

 

Commissioner Russell Lipari will now give the Health Dept. Annual Report as prepared by Secretary/Registrar Laura French

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Fees Collected for 2012: $75,333.50

Health Inspections: 484 of various natures, by Mid-Bergen Health Commission

Dog Licenses: 1210 licenses

Dog License Fees: $17,361.00

Animal Control Services: 734 responses of various natures

Births Recorded: 82 babies born to town residents.

Town Resident Deaths: 107 residents

Total Deaths Recorded: 903 Deaths

Marriage Licenses Issued: 53 Applied

Civil Union: 2 Applied

Certified Transcripts: 1,977 issued (Death, Marriage & Birth)

The Health Dept. published educating articles about the "NJ’s Pet Purchase Protection Law," "Is It a Cold or the Flu" and "Carpenter Bee Removal Tips."

The first "Free Vision Screening" for Adults and children was held on Tuesday, Sept. 11th. Adults were screened for glaucoma, and tested for blur and common eye diseases. Children were screened for muscle coordination and blur vision.

Other programs which are designed to educate the public were held such as the AARP Safe Driver Program offers a refresher course teaching safe driving techniques and is open to all ages; The Blood Screening Program, which is offered twice a year and is an excellent opportunity to check on your body’s internal wellness; and the Family & Friends CPR Course helps families learn specific CPR skills for an adult/child and infant. The Annual Senior Wellness Luncheon is always a well informative event. After a delicious lunch donated by Care-One of Wellington of Hackensack, our nurses from H.A.R.P. gave a presentation on the importance of adult immunizations, including the pneumonia, shingles and flu vaccine.

This years Health Fair Expo took place Saturday, April 28th in the Senior Center. There were 22 vendors who offered services such as blood screenings, audiology, blood pressure checks, and information on dentistry, physical therapy and disability awareness.

The Board of Health is also pleased to announce the first annual "Board of Health 5 K Run and Health Fair.". For more detailed information check the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights official website: hasbrouck-heights.nj.us

A new program offered this year was "Take Control of Your Health". Participants learn strategies for managing symptoms, working with health care professionals, problem solving, and relaxation techniques.

The Registered Environmental Health Specialist provided by the Mid-Bergen Regional Health Commission continued to provide many inspections of various natures of food surveillance to assure that wholesome foods are being prepared and sold in Hasbrouck Heights. The Board of Health has also added to the Sanitary Code annual health inspections to all 22 Personal Grooming Establishments.

The Health Department continues to conduct "Grease Trap" inspections to specific Food Establishments. The inspections have been periodic and unannounced with the intent of preventing any future buildup and blockages, which may compromise the efficiency of flow through the borough’s wastewater disposal system. 63 Grease Trap inspections were held during the course of the year.

The Health Department issued over 1200 dog licenses the highest ever recorded. The Annual Dog Census Program was very successful. The Crossing Guards reported 96 unlicensed dogs. With Bergen County with the highest number of confirmed cases of rabies in the state it is important that every dog and cat in Hasbrouck Heights receive a rabies vaccine.

During the course of the year the Board of Health has been working to gather information about the on going problem with the domestic and feral cat population in town. The Board of Health has conducted property investigations, generated new ordinances, contacted various agencies and met with members of the Bergen County Animal Control. The Board Members invited the public to their Board of Health meetings to express their complaint or possible solutions.

This concludes the Board of Health Report

 

Thank you Russell and now I will give the Annual Library Report prepared by Director Mimi Hui.

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Free Public Library of Hasbrouck Heights continues its resource sharing among 73 member libraries of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS). Our community has access to over 6 million items.

Annual Circulation Stats (as of December 26th)

* 124,253 items circulated to date. A 2% increase from last year’s total circulation of 121,857.

This figure is the highest number recorded in the history of this Library.

* 435 people use the computers each week.

* 112,430 people walked through the doors of our library.

* 5,914 residents have a Hasbrouck Heights library card.

* 4,989 reference questions were answered.

Library services include circulating a variety of books and media to the public, educational programs for residents, professional research help, out-of-state interlibrary loans, free internet access, delivery to the homebound, notary public service, proctoring of exams and computer training classes. We keep abreast of current trends and cutting edge technology. We offer free support and downloading of audiobooks and e-books.

Programming
Our library programs draw in people of all ages. To date, 5,382 people attended 337 library sponsored activities. We have book discussion groups for children, teens, and adults. We offer a variety of self-help and educational seminars, music concerts, job search assistance, and cross generational craft programs during the year.

Our popular Crafts-to-Share Club draws a dedicated following under the direction of Head of Reference 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 be donated to the Hackensack University Medical Center and support our soldiers in Afghanistan. A total of 5,460 hours of donated time was given in 2012.

The attendance for the Young Adult Programs continues to grow under the care of Teen Services Librarian Claire Santoro. We invite authors throughout the year to drop in and talk about their craft with the young adults in hopes of nurturing future writers. Using the current technology we have, the teens conducted a live chat with a well known published teen author through Skype this summer.

Our children’s activities draw in high attendance. There are always exciting and creative year round programs being sponsored in the Children’s Area starting at birth through 6th grade. Our Children’s Librarian Marie Joyce is always hard at work trying to cultivate the love of reading. She has given 14 class tours, worked with 5 Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops to help them earn their badges, and has visited the classrooms at the elementary public schools and Corpus Christi.

In one year, the Library has supervised and helped more than 60 students complete their community service requirements.

The Library facilities continue to offer a haven for local organizations to meet – 145 groups used the meeting rooms this year. A total of 2,000 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

2012 Memorable Moments
The Library had the great pleasure to entertain Mary Rodgers, the famous author of "Freaky Friday" and daughter of composer Richard Rodgers of American composer duo Rodgers & Hammerstein. About 60 people were in attendance for a "once in a lifetime" meet and greet opportunity. Mayor Rose Heck presented our special guest with a proclamation in recognition of all of her accomplishments. Mrs. Rodgers was also given an honorary membership to the Junior Friends of the Library from Chairman Justin Watrel.

In August, the Library held its annual family summer bash. This year’s theme was called – A Midsummer Night’s 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. 350 people attended. We had about 35 families spend the night. There were free movie screenings, "Just Dance" Wii competitions, costumed characters, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, special performances and speakers, and storytelling around an indoor camp fire.

Friends Of The Library
The Library receives steadfast support from the Friends of the Library, presided over by Judy Mascis. The Friends help finance all programs (including the summer bash), and pay for all the refreshments and prizes. Only one book sale was held this year. The Fall Book Sale was postponed due to Superstorm Sandy. To date, about $ 8,500 has been donated to support ongoing programs. This year, the Friends of the Library purchased movie licenses for the Library to have public movie screenings.

Funding

The Library received the following grant used for operating expenses:

Per Capita State Aid -- $ 5,241.

In conclusion, the Library continues to provide the community with outstanding public service. Your local public library is a community center where there is a wealth of resources being offered and an opportunity for lifetime learning. For More information Check Borough of Hasbrouck Heights official website: hasbrouck-heights.nj.us.

 

Commissioner Gonzalez will now give the D.P.W. Report

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

The Department of Public Works provides a variety of services to our Borough residents all year long. The department is comprised of DPW Superintendent William Spindler, DPW Assistant Superintendent James Schneider, and Administrative Support Judy Deitchman along with 19 members on our Road Crew and nine members of our Sanitation/Recycling Department.

The DPW Office located at 1 Plant Road, 201-288-1072, is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Recycling Center is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Bill, Jim, or Judy are available to answer any of your questions regarding streets, sewers, recycling, sanitation, and/or trees. To contact the DPW office, please call 201-288-1072 during hours of operation.

The Department of Public Works provides many services under several different headings such as Buildings & Grounds, Shade Tree, Leaf Removal, Recycling, Road Repairs/Maintenance, Garbage and Trash Collection, Sewer Maintenance, Parks and Playgrounds. Detailed information as to each of these areas may be found on the Borough Web Site: hasbrouck-heights.nj.us.

On October 29, Hurricane Sandy tore through our Borough toppling trees and flooding our DPW facility. The DPW responded by removing a total of 85 trees that were uprooted, 27 involving Public Service electrical wires, and eight (8) that fell onto the homes. 2000 cubic yards of tree limbs and branches was removed and is being staged at the DPW facility.

Reporting on the Recycling Program to date for the Year of 2011 our Borough has filled the Recycling Tonnage Report to the State of New Jersey – Department of Environmental Protection on April 25 that indicates the total monetary generated items in the amount of 1,052.66 tons. Funds received from recycling vendors for 2011 was Atlantic Coast Fibers (ACF) and Cinelli Iron & Metal Co. in the amount of $58,192.00. Avoided costs of Solid Waste due to recycling for 2011 was $70,286.11. A total savings of $128,478.11.

Vehicles and Equipment purchased with Recycling funds:

2013– GMC 4WD Truck with Utility Dump Body $ 41,219

2012 – 2.5 Yard Grapple Bucket $ 13,500

Total $ 54,719

Funding from a State grant has allowed the Borough to mill and resurface Collins Avenue from Rt. 46 East to Williams Avenue and Burton Avenue from Rt. 46 E to Williams Avenue. Thermoplastic crosswalks and stop bars have been applied at all locations on these roadways under the inspection of Ken Job, Borough Engineer.

The following roads will be resurfaced as part of the Road Resurfacing Plan:

Bell Avenue from Oak Grove Avenue to Terrace Avenue, Springfield Avenue from Wood Street to East to Dead End, Walter Avenue from Boulevard to Oak Grove Avenue, Burr Place from Henry Street to Cul-de-Sac, Harrison Avenue from Boulevard to Summit Avenue, and DPW Recycling area.

Garbage and Trash
Garbage and trash is picked up twice a week with a backyard pick up of household garbage only. Trash is collected by placing items at the curb. We also provide grass and brush pick up. No more than eight items on each pick up day. (Refer to the Recycling Calendar.) Construction and demolition materials will not be collected and must be disposed of privately. Please separate and remove any items that can be recycled in order to save taxpayer dollars.

The Borough purchased a 2013 Mack Garbage Truck to add to the fleet. It replaced a 1979 Mack Garbage Truck that has been taken out of service due to age and safety issues.

Garbage/trash is not collected on Holidays. Please refer to the Recycling Calendar that is mailed to your home for details.

Environmental Report
The DPW facility is in compliance for year 2012 by installing a "Truck Wash" station. This is an area that captures the run-off of oil, grease, and/or salt from our vehicles that could seep into the water ways. The mandate under the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Stormwater Division, was approved by the Bergen County Sewage Commission approximately five (5) years ago.

The Hasbrouck Heights Environmental Commission along with the Hasbrouck Heights Recycling Program and the combined efforts of the New Jersey Clean Community Council and Bergen County Utilities Authority has organized several items to give away at Town Day on September 29 at Woodland Park. Some of the give away items are grocery bags, clips, key chains, coloring books, pencils and leaf bags.

This year two mulching movers were raffled off for free as part of the Recycling Program to bring awareness to mulching your grass. A banner with "Mulch the Mover" who says, "Cut it and Leave it" was displayed. The raffle was for Hasbrouck Heights residents only.

The Hasbrouck Heights Clean Communities Alliance in conjunction with New Jersey Clean Community Council sponsored a "Litter Free" event on Saturday, April 14. Over 100 student athletes from the Hasbrouck Heights High School wrestling and track teams participated in successfully cleaning up Polifly Road off ramp from Rt. 17 South. 160 bags of litter and trash were collected from that area including a variety of automobile parts. The Hasbrouck Heights Environmental Commission was at the Central Avenue Municipal Parking Lot to send off the all the students.

This concludes my report. A detailed report may be found on the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights official website: hasbrouck-heights.nj.us.

Thank you Dave

Finance Commissioner Pamela J. Link will now give the year-end report submitted by Borough Administrator/Finance Officer Michael Kronyak and the Annual Food Pantry Report

FOOD PANTRY
The Hasbrouck Heights Food Pantry is open on Monday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the entire year. This year the pantry has helped 76 families in need, totaling 1,358 visits to the pantry to obtain food and if available food store gift cards.

The pantry is operational only because of the generous donations both monetary and in grocery items received on a continuing basis from all the local churches, civic organizations, local Boys and Girls Scout Troops, School and PTA food and gift card drives, and many, many generous residents. We are also most thankful to the many volunteers who religiously come to supervise the food pantry on Monday mornings.

The pantry was overwhelmed with the generosity of our residents and local organizations this past Holiday Season. Each family in need was able to receive a turkey or gift card to purchase groceries for a Thanksgiving dinner, as well as holiday gift baskets and presents for all ages for Christmas.

Anyone who would like to volunteer to work the pantry or to organize a donation please call Robert Brady at the Recreation Department at (201) 288-4143

STREETSCAPE REPORT
To date the Borough has been awarded $736,500.00 under the Municipal Aid Program for phases I, II, III, IV and V of the Boulevard Streetscape Improvements. Phase I thru IV have been substantially completed and the plans for Phase V are being formulated. The Borough has recently submitted an application seeking funding for Phase VI of the streetscape program which would cover the Boulevard from Walter Avenue to Division Avenue. Hopefully we will be successful in our application for future funding and the improvement plan can continue.

FINANCE

Grant Applications
The following grants were utilized in the 2012 operating budget to pay for services that would otherwise have to be funded by your tax dollars:

Governors Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse 10,356.00

Clean Communities Program 16,816.39

Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund 6,264.56

Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund 539.35

Recycling Tonnage Grant 17,271.90

Body Armor Replacement Fund 2,885.81

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 2012 as a result of grants received:

Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Phase I & II 300,000.00

Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Phase III & IV 290,000.00

Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Phase V 146,500.00

Safe Routes to Schools Program 173,000.00

Installation of a New Pavilion at Woodland Park 69,500.00

Additional Improvements to Depken Field 75,000.00

Side/Curb Replacement along Terrace, Boulevard

And Passaic 135,000.00

Improvements to Burton and Collins Avenues 81,000.00

Improvements to Firemen’s Memorial/9-11 Memorial

Park at the Boulevard Circle 18,000.00

Improvements to Veteran’s Memorial Park 32,000.00

Barrier Free Curb Ramps along Burton Avenue 140,400.00

In addition to the above, the Mayor and Council have already applied for grants

to fund projects such as:

Boulevard Streetscape Improvements Phase VI

Barrier Free Curb Ramps along Burton Avenue and Summit Avenue

Improvements to Polifly Park

Tax Collections and Tax Rates
The 2012 tax collection rate should remain relatively stable at approximately 98%. The Borough has suffered a loss in ratables and collections over the past few years due to increased tax appeals as a result of the economic downturn. In response to the economic conditions the Mayor and Council authorized and completed a town wide reassessment of real property for 2012. The intent of this program was twofold. First, to bring the assessed values more in line with current market conditions and second to help control further loss of ratables due to tax appeals.

Borough Debt
As of the end of 2012 the Borough’s Net Debt was $8,960,318.00, or approximately 0.49% of Net Assessed Valuation, well below the allowable limit of 3.5% of Net Assessed Valuation. The Borough paid off $1,027,300.00 of Bonds and Notes in 2012 and incurred additional debt in the amount of $1,115,500.00, a net increase in debt in the amount of $88,200.00 for the year ended December 31, 2012. We have asked our Bonding Attorney to explore and advise us on the feasibility of refinancing our outstanding bonds and we will have a report in January.

Budget and Finance Committee
2012 Municipal Budget was as difficult as any in recent memory. 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. As required by State Statute, the 2012 Municipal Budget was required to comply with both the 2% Tax Levy Cap and the Budget Appropriation Cap, our budget met both requirements.

Recent legislation has brought about some changes to the pension funding formula as well as employee contributions towards health benefits. These changes require employees to contribute a higher percentage of their compensation towards their pensions and also pay a greater amount towards their health insurance costs. The increase in contributions towards health insurance costs has a four year phase in period.

The Budget is comprised of two parts, revenues and appropriations. Total 2012 anticipated revenues, those are the revenues other than taxes, remained at essentially the same levels as 2011. The lack of growth in other revenues continues to be as much a problem as increased costs. Total appropriations, which represents the spending portion of the budget, increased by $128,730.00. The final budget as adopted resulted in an increase in Local Municipal Taxes in the amount of $161,019.66, a little more than 1%.

The Finance Committee always considers all options when looking for cost reductions within the operating budget. Previous budgets brought about some changes in staffing levels within the administration of the Borough. The committee had formulated a staff restructuring plan in 2011 that ultimately resulted in a staff reduction of three positions. The full cost savings resulting from this restructuring was realized in the 2012 budget.

The plan also required that some employees would be required to work in multiple departments during specific periods. With the cooperation of all departments this plan is working quite well and will be expanded in 2013.

The finance committee will continue to work with the same dedication as in the past in an effort to formulate a 2013 budget that meets the needs of the residents with a watchful eye on the tax rate.

 

Court stats for 2012 up to the end of November...

Parking Tixs         2949

Moving violations               2212

DWI                       65

                       5226

Court Revenue (Jan.-Nov.)     $199,241.27

Thank you Councilwoman Link. . .

 

I will now give Senior Citizens Director Rob Brady’s Report for 2012

SENIOR CITIZENS

The Hasbrouck Heights Senior Center is a wonderful place for our Senior residents to enjoy many organized town programs, socialize with friends, play games, enjoy a snack or a cup of coffee, and come out to meet new friends in a fun atmosphere. The center is open every business day from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and in the summer it is open from 8 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

The Senior Center is known as a the hub of great town events like the Health Fair, the Senior Picnic, Leisure Club monthly meetings, the Senior Halloween Party, the Line Dancing Christmas Party, and many more.

2012 Highlights:

  • Opening of the new Senior Lounge
  • New Zumba Gold dance classes
  • New senior stretch and flex aerobics
  • Largest Senior Picnic attended since the center was open in 2003
  • Halloween Costume Party held in October
  • The Health Expo

 

Coming in 2013:

  • 2013 marks our 10 year anniversary that the center has been open. So we are going to celebrate with a party for all of our town seniors to come out and experience what their center has to offer them. We will also be hosting a Senior Center Open House, where all interested residents can come out and meet our senior program instructors, pick up a monthly schedule, enjoy some refreshments, and see what our center has to offer. Check our Borough of Hasbrouck Heights official website: hasbrouck-heights.nj.us.

To find out what is going on in the senior center just stop in and pick up a monthly calendar of activities. Or call the recreation department at (201) 288-4143 and press the #3 button on your phone to listen to the schedule for the week.

My sincere thanks to all who serve in every department, and especially to the volunteers on all of the following important committees and boards:

Planning and Zoning Board Members

Board of Health Members

Library Board Members

Recreation Program Advisory Committee Members

Food Pantry Staff Members

Ethical Standards Board Members

Local Assistance Board Members

Rent Leveling Board Members

Members of the Environmental and Transportation Commission

Members of the Community Awareness Access for All Committee

The Mayor’s Community Celebrations Committee Members

The Mayor’s Research Committee Members

The Mayor’s Senior Citizens Committee Members

The Mayor’s Youth Committee Members

The Mayor’s Business Community Committee Members

Mayor’s Liaisons

Garrett Pepe - the D.P.W.

Tom Meli - the Fire Dept.

Steve Pikowski - the Finance Dept.

Ron Kistner - the Recreation Dept.

The Annual Report gives each of us just some idea of what it takes for the Borough to be the best it can be.

We have wonderful people heading each of our departments and we are blessed with a hard working group of Borough Employees who care for us and about us 24-7. I want to thank each and every one of you.

I will be looking for more volunteers in 2013 to become part of the Office of Emergency Management. These volunteers will help us communicate with our residents during times of emergencies, such as occurred during Super Storm Sandy. If anyone is interested in joining in this work please contact me. I will continue my Saturday mornings in the Library from 10 a.m. till noon. Stop in to say hello, ask me for information, share your ideas or let me know if you would like to volunteer on one of the committees.

"I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all."
– Leo Rosten

Come see me in the Library on Saturday mornings between the hours of 10 am to noon. You can just say hello, ask me for information, and share your ideas, of if you would like to serve on a committee, please let me know.

My thanks to the members of the Council and all of you for being here and I wish you a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year. That concludes my report.

The President of the Council invited everyone into the Senior Center for light refreshments.

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