M I N U T E S
June 23, 1998
A Regular Meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights we held on June 23, 1998 at 8:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 248 Hamilton Avenue, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey.
Mayor Torre stated that the meeting complied with the Sunshine Law, due notice having been made to all members of the Council by personal service on January 1, 1998 and transmitted to The Observer, The Record and the Herald News by mail on January 2, 1998.
ROLL CALL: Present: Mayor William J. Torre, Councilman Andrew Link III, Councilman Herbert D. Heeren, Councilman Justin A. DiPisa, Councilman Garrett R. Pepe, Councilwoman Marlene Verrastro, Councilman John Wassberg
SALUTE TO FLAG: Mayor Torre led in the Salute to the Flag.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: None
BE IT RESOLVED that the claims and accounts amounting to $82,996.12 specified in the schedule, having been examined and approved by the Finance Commissioner, or his Deputy, be paid and that warrants be issued therefor.
Signed Andrew Link III/Commissioner of Finance
On motion by Councilman DiPisa, seconded by Councilman Wassberg, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolution was approved.
FINANCE & LAND USE:
Under Land Use, for the month of May there was a value of $340,000 in construction with $8,006 collected in fees. 75 permits were issued, 36 for building, 8 for fences and various permits issued for electric, plumbing and driveways. 13 certificates of zoning compliance for one family homes were issued and 2 for commercial properties. There were 8 contractor registrations. There were 73 inspections made, 54 for permits and 19 for zoning. Door-to-door inspections were made on Burr Pl. and Oldfield Ave. concerning problems with sump pumps. There was no report under Finance.
Councilman Heeren reported that a number of new traffic signs have been ordered to replace older signs. During the month of May, there were 803 requests for service, 96 via 911. There were 447 summonses issued, 126 being for moving violations and 321 for parking violations. The majority of parking violations, 269, were for overnight parking. A total of 2,216 tickets have been issued year-to-date. With mixed emotions, he announced that Chief of Police Bruce Werner will be retiring. He wished Chief Werner the best of luck. In cooperation with the Police Department and Board of Health, school crossing guards will be canvassing door-to-door checking for unlicensed dogs.
FIRE & PUBLIC FACILITIES:
Under Fire, Councilman DiPisa reported that for the month of May there were 34 fire calls in the Borough, 200 year-to-date, 12 for Teterboro, 56 year-to-date, and 2 for mutual aid, 27 year-to-date, totalling 48 calls, 283 year-to-date. There were 11 rescue calls in the Borough, 56 year-to-date, 4 for Teterboro, 15 year-to-date, and 0 for mutual aid, totalling 15 rescue calls, 71 year-to-date. The two, five and ten year committee will be reestablished to plan two, five and ten years ahead for capital investments in order to keep the Fire Department's equipment up-to-date. The committee will consist of the three fire chiefs and five Fire Department members. He announced that there are four new emergency management trainees who have graduated from the Bergen County Emergency Management School, bringing the total number of EMT's to 20. Under Public Facilities, 18 new thermal paned windows have been ordered for the Municipal Building, bringing the total numbers of windows replaced in the building to 88 and completing the project. New lighting fixtures have also been ordered to replace old and unrepairable lighting fixtures in the Municipal Building. To commemorate the seniors in town, the "Senior Mile" will be marked on the corner of Passaic and Burton to the corner of Williams and Burton in July to designate a one mile walking path. He said that the length is not exactly one mile, otherwise the words would have to be painted in the middle of a street possibly causing confusion to drivers.
SANITATION & WELFARE:
Under Welfare, Councilman Pepe reported that for the month of May there were 10 cases at the beginning of the month, 1 new case, 1 case closed, 1 case pending, 3 cases denied, 5 food distributions from the pantry, 2 referrals to the homeless shelter, 3 referrals to the County Welfare, 3 referrals for rent subsidiary, 19 cases interviewed and total monies expended was $1,540. Under Sanitation, he announced the date of the next household hazardous waste program sponsored by the Bergen County Utilities Authority giving residents the opportunity to properly dispose of their household hazardous waste free of charge. Beginning in January, 1999, aerosol cans will no longer be collected with recyclables. Recycling and market users have requested they no longer be collected. The aerosol cans may be included with the regular trash. A good will box is located at the recycling center giving residents the opportunity to donate clothing for the disabled and disadvantaged. Councilman Pepe congratulated Chief Werner on his retirement and wished him the best of success and health.
HEALTH & RECREATION:
Under Health, Councilwoman Verrastro reported that for the month of May there were 6 births, 8 deaths, 4 marriages, 23 death certificates issued and 143 calls received by the Department. A food handlers course was held for anyone who handles food in the Borough, i.e. restaurants, supermarkets. Under Recreation, the summer program began with close to 300 children participating. She announced the registration dates for upcoming programs. She congratulated the 24 senior residents who participated in the Senior Citizen Olympics.
STREETS, TRANSPORTATION & PARKS:
Under Streets, Councilman Wassberg reported that the paving of the 400 block of Jefferson Ave. has been completed. The Department of Public Works has cleaned the catch basins on the block which were littered with debris. Under Parks, Girl Scout Troop 519 planted flowers at the Boulevard circle. Cub Pack 17 and Den 7 planted flowers at Polifly Park. Boy Scout Troop 17 held two clean up events at Woodland Park. He thanked all the Scouts and Scout Leaders for their willingness to get involved in the community. For the month of May, the DPW removed 6 dead trees, trimmed 94 trees and removed 8 stumps. 5 sidewalks permits were issued for the month.
REPORT OF MAYOR:
Mayor Torre commended Chief Werner for serving the Borough honorably and justly for at least 30 years. He thanked him for his service. He mentioned another longtime server of the Borough Catherine Passaro, who is also retiring. He thanked her for her years of service to the Borough as a School Crossing Guard and for promoting the safety of the children.
Retirement: Chief of Police Bruce Werner
On motion by Councilman Heeren, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Retirement was accepted with regret.
Retirement: Catherine Passaro - School Crossing Guard
On motion by Councilwoman Verrastro, seconded by Councilman Pepe, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Retirement was accepted with regret.
Resignation: Carmella DiMeo - Free Public Library Trustee
On motion by Councilman Link, seconded by Councilman Heeren, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resignation was accepted with regret.
Appointments: Michael Colaneri as Acting Chief of Police
On motion by Councilman DiPisa, seconded by Councilman Heeren, and unanimously carried, the foregoing appointment was made.
Mayor Torre asked for confirmation of his appointment of Rose Heck and Councilman Herbert Heeren, as the alternate, as Representatives to the Community Development Regional Committee.
Councilman DiPisa motioned, seconded by Councilman Pepe, and unanimously carried, to confirm the Mayor's said appointments.
James W. Mason - Free Public Library Trustee
On motion by Councilman Pepe, seconded by Councilwoman Verrastro, and unanimously carried, the foregoing appointment was made.
Mayor Torre said that in response to complaints of vehicles speeding and not recognizing crossing walks, crossing walks were painted with parallel lines across the Boulevard at various intersections to slow traffic. They are also looking into the posting of additional signage. A new crosswalk will be placed at the north end of town on the Boulevard, a recommendation made by the Traffic Department. Also in an effort to prevent speeding on the Boulevard, the Borough will be increasing its use of the Bergen County radar trailer, increase of our own radar and the possible purchase of additional radar units.
Mayor Torre, along with Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Recreation Councilwoman Verrastro and Councilman DiPisa, presented each member of the Borough's Senior Citizen Olympics Team with the Mayor's Achievements Award.
91. Adoption of 1998 By-Laws
On motion by Councilwoman Verrastro, seconded by Councilman Wassberg, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolutions on the Consent Agenda were approved. (Resolutions attached)
93. Council's Appointment of Representatives to Community Development Regional Committee
94. Authorizing Retirement Agreement with Police Chief Bruce Werner
On motion by Councilman Pepe, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolutions were adopted. (Resolutions attached)
ORDINANCE(S) ON INTRODUCTION: None
ORDINANCE(S) ON PUBLIC HEARING:
Mayor Torre opened the meeting to the public for anyone wishing to speak on Ordinance No. 1824. There being no one wishing to speak, Mayor Torre closed the meeting to the public on said Ordinance.
ORDINANCE NO. 1824:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled "AN ORDINANCE TO FIX THE SALARY AND COMPENSATION OF CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS OF THE BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY FOR THE YEAR 1998" be now passed on second and final reading and the Borough Clerk be and is hereby authorized and directed to publish said Ordinance according to law, together with notice of final passage and approval of said Ordinance, same to be published in The Observer, a newspaper circulating and published in the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights.
On motion by Councilman Link, seconded by Councilman Pepe, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Ordinance on Public Hearing was adopted.
MISCELLANEOUS FROM PUBLIC:
Ron Billetz, 236 Division Ave., came forward
and congratulated and wished the best of luck to Chief Werner. Mr. Billetz complained
about the procedures of the Property Maintenance Department and not being efficient enough
in having violations being corrected in a timely fashion. Councilman Link said he was only
aware of two cases pending. He said there have been cases where a situation was taken care
of with the assistance of the Borough Attorney. There have been times where if there was a
situation that grounds were not properly being maintained after a warning was already
given, the DPW did the work and billed the estate of the property. Mr. Billetz commented
that the intersection of Williams and Route 17 is a major location for accidents. He said
that approximately eight to ten years ago, while he was a Borough police officer, he did a
report on the idea of closing the section behind the Bendix diner, preventing vehicles
heading north from making a left turn and preventing vehicles from making illegal left
turns onto the Route 46 east ramp. He asked if this idea could be resurrected to save on
police and ambulance man hours. He said that at the time, the Department of Transportation
agreed with the idea. Mayor Torre asked Chief Werner to locate the survey.
Harry Maisch, 150 Burr Pl., came forward and asked what the status was on the Burr Pl. sewer. Mayor Torre said that almost a mile of pipe on the street was cleaned. A very large obstruction was found and removed from one of the smaller pipes. This obstruction blocked approximately 1/3 of the line. They are in receipt of a report from the Borough Engineer giving two options which they may consider to fix the line. Both options will stop sewage from coming through basement floors but will not stop it from coming in through fixtures. A third option, installing a new line, was also submitted by the engineer. The Governing Body will be discussing all the options and decide what is feasible.
He told Mr. Maisch that it was originally thought that an emergency patch could be put on the line in front of Mr. Maisch's home but the DPW Superintendent claims that he does not have the necessary equipment or expertise to make the kind of patch necessary. They hope to make a decision by the next Caucus meeting.
Louise Davenport, 237 Division Ave., gave her regrets on the retirement of Chief Werner and gave her best to him. She complained of the construction of a large deck on the property located at the corner of Walter and Burton being a zoning violation. She said she checked with the Building Department and a permit was issued. She said she reported it also to the Borough Administrator who inspected the site and agreed with her. She asked what the status was on the situation. Borough Attorney Ralph Chandless said he inspected the site and reviewed the Building Inspector's response to the Borough Administrator who questioned the issuance of the permit. Mr. Chandless felt the Building Inspector's response did not change the situation and the property owner should have applied for a variance. He is waiting to discuss the matter with the Board of Adjustment Attorney.
Former Mayor/Assemblywoman Rose Heck came forward and thanked the Mayor for her reappointment to Community Development. She congratulated and commended Chief Werner.
Ron Kistner, 75 Oak Grove Ave., came forward as a member of the Mayor's Beautification Committee and thanked the Girl Scouts for the planting of flowers at the Boulevard circle. He also thanked Chief Werner and DPW Superintendent Robert Heck for their assistance.
Audrey Ryan, 309 Kipp Ave., came forward and reiterated the sentiments about Chief Werner. She complained about a tree in front of 305 Kipp Ave. She said the tree is almost hollow. She said the DPW was notified about the tree by her neighbors and was told they could not do anything about the tree because it was too close to a PSE & G pole and wires, therefore it would be PSE & G's responsibility. PSE & G was contacted and said it was the Borough's responsibility. She was concerned with a person being injured by the tree or the tree falling on a house. Mayor Torre asked Mr. Heck to address this matter.
There being no one else wishing to speak, Mayor Torre closed the meeting to the public.
CLOSE FOR PERSONNEL:
WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council desire to meet for the purpose of a Closed Session; and
WHEREAS, the Open Public Meeting Law does specifically authorize a public body to exclude the public from a meeting for certain specified purposes;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights that a closed meeting shall take place immediately and said meeting shall be closed to the public and to the press. The results of the discussion of the closed meeting will be released to the public when the reasons for discussing and acting on the subject matter set forth above no longer exists.
Motion to go into Closed Session was entertained, motioned, seconded and carried.
There being no further business to come before the Mayor and Council, the meeting was adjourned.
I, BARBARA MALDONADO, Borough Clerk of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, to hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes are to the best of my knowledge a true account of the Regular Meeting held on June 23, 1998.
Barbara Maldonado, RMC