M I N U T E S
July 28, 1998
A Regular Meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights was held on July 28, 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: (January 27, 1998, February 10, 1998, February 24, 1998 & July 14, 1998)
On motion by Councilman Heeren, seconded by Councilman Link, and unanimously carried, the Minutes of the foregoing meeting dates were approved.
BE IT RESOLVED that the claims and accounts amounting to $323,879.21 specified in the schedule, having been examined and approved by the Finance Commissioner, or his Deputy, be paid and that warrants be issued therefore.
Signed Andrew Link III/Commissioner of Finance
On motion by Councilman DiPisa, seconded by Councilman Pepe, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolution was approved.
FINANCE & LAND USE:
Councilman Link reported that he was in receipt of an opinion from the Borough Attorney in reference to a recently constructed deck located behind a house on the northwest corner of Walter and Burton. The Borough Attorney has concluded that the construction should not have been permitted under the current ordinances as it has reduced the rear yard to such an extent that the existing garage now exceeds the 15% limit in relation to the area of the rear yard, however, the Borough Attorney has also concluded that the failure to impose this restriction was the result of a legitimate interpretation of the zoning ordinance in respect to the minimum area of a rear yard in relation to an accessory structure. The Zoning Enforcement Officer mistakenly applied only the limitations specifically referring to garages instead of also applying the limitations governing all accessory structures in rear yards. The error was not an unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious act and therefore, the construction permit is not void and the deck may remain. Councilman Link said the Mayor, Borough Attorney and himself have been examining several alternatives to make the enforcement of zoning more efficient and more effective. They will propose a reorganization of the Building Inspection office to accomplish these goals. He reported that total fees collected by the Building Department for the month of June was $10,700 for the value of construction of $669,000. 47 permits were issued for building, 15 for plumbing, 22 for electric, 5 for fire, 10 for driveways and 6 for fences, totalling 105 permits being issued. 35 certificates of zoning compliance were issued, 27 for one family homes, 2 for two family homes and 6 for commercial properties. There were 10 contractor registrations/renewals and 52 building and 41 zoning inspections made. Under Finance, the current fund cash balance as of June 30th was $637,000 all of which was invested earning approximately 5.5%. Cash receipts for the month totalled $374,000 of which $94,000 was from current taxes, $104,000 from prior year's taxes, $26,000 from state aid and grants and $121,000 from miscellaneous revenues. Cash disbursements totalled $1,568,000 of which $983,000 was for local school taxes, $364,000 for salaries and $220,000 for other expenses. Mayor Torre commended Councilman Link on an outstanding job as Commissioner of Land Use.
Councilman Heeren reported that June 30th was the last working day of Police Chief Bruce Werner who will now be on terminal leave until his retirement takes effect. On July 1st, Michael Colaneri was sworn in as Acting Police Chief. The painting of parking stalls and crosswalks has been done along the Boulevard. A new replacement police car was received in June. A new bicycle safety program has begun, whereas if a child is seen riding a bicycle with a helmet, the child will be commended and given a coupon for a free slice of pizza and soda or an ice-cream. The parents of the children will also be notified and commended. During the month there were 915 calls received by the police desk, 98 via 911. There were 528 summonses issued of which 388 were for parking violations with 343 being for overnight parking. There were 140 moving violations. During the months of April, May and June, approximately 100 calls were made by residents to the Teterboro Airport noise complaint line.
FIRE & PUBLIC FACILITIES:
Under Fire, Councilman DiPisa reported that for the month of June there were 49 calls for the Borough, 249 year-to-date, 17 for Teterboro, 73 year-to-date, and 2 mutual aid, 29 year-to-date, totalling 68 calls for the month and 351 year-to-date. There were 16 rescue calls for the Borough, 72 year-to-date, 4 for Teterboro, 19 year-to-date and 0 mutual aid, totalling 20 calls for the month and 91 year-to-date. The painted "senior mile" stripe on Burton Ave. will not be able to be placed as of yet since Burton Ave. will be repaved soon. Under Public Facilities, 18 new double paned windows were installed in the Municipal Building, completing the project of 88 windows in the building being replaced. New lighting fixtures have been ordered for the building. A total of 14 new fixtures will be replaced. The Department of Public Works had to cut an opening in the foundation of the Library to make an entry way into a crawl space underneath the front entrance. It was necessary to allow for proper ventilation.
SANITATION & WELFARE:
Under Sanitation, Councilman Pepe reminded residents that there will be an additional trash pickup beginning in August. Trash will be picked up twice a week. The Bergen County Utilities Authority has released the 1998 second quarter flow report for the Borough showing the Borough's sewage flow going to the BCUA. Last year's flow for the two quarters was 269 million gallons. This year's flow is 270 million gallons. The increase in flow is directly related to the increase of rainfall during the early part of this year. 10 additional manhole sewer guards have been ordered to protect the sanitary sewer system from the inflow of rain water, bringing the total number of sewer guards installed to 275.
HEALTH & RECREATION:
Under Health, Councilwoman Verrastro reported that for the month of June there were 14 births reported, 7 males and 7 females, 48 burial permits issued, 327 certified transcripts, 16 dog licenses sold, 54 deaths reported, 4 being residents, 58 food licenses issued, 9 marriage licenses issued and 10 marriages recorded. A total of 184 calls were received by the Department. The dog census was done by the crossing guards. The census indicated that 47 residents did not license their dogs. Under Recreation, the summer program is coming to a close with approximately 300 children participating.
STREETS, TRANSPORTATION & PARKS:
The Department of Public Works is in the process of painting crosswalks and yellow curbing throughout the Borough. When the process is completed, 125 gallons of paint will have been used. The resurfacing of Burton Ave. has been funded through the State at no cost to the residents. Two stormwater catch basins on Industrial Ave. have deteriorated to the point that they were caving in, therefore they were rebuilt by the Department. For the month of June, the Department removed 28 dead trees and 67 trees were trimmed. 11 sidewalk and 3 dumpster permits were issued for the month.
REPORT OF MAYOR:
Mayor Torre commended the Lions Club for the spectacular display of fireworks for the 4th of July. He said they are trying to slow traffic down and ensure the safety of pedestrians in the Borough. They have already posted new signage and pedestrian crosswalks. The resurfacing of Burton Ave. should begin prior to schools opening to avoid any inconveniences. If for some reason there are delays, every effort will be made so as not to interfere with the schools. There has been a strong interest by seniors in the lower rental increase ordinance for seniors.
On motion by Councilman Pepe, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolution on the Consent Agenda was adopted. (Resolution attached)
109. Award of Bid for Garbage Truck - Cambria Automotive Companies
110. Interfund Transfer
111. Request of NJ DOT to Grant Extension of Time for Award of Contract for Improvement of Burton Ave.
112. Award of Bid for Improvement of Burton Ave.
113. Endorsement of Funding for Open Space, Farmland & Historic Preservation
114. Endorsement of Renewed Transportation Trust Fund
115. Capital Budget Amendment
116. Refund of Taxes Overpaid - United Wire Hangar
117. Authorizing Boro Engineer to Prepare Plans & Specs. for Burr Pl. Sewer Rehabilitation
On motion by Councilman Wassberg, seconded by Councilwoman Verrastro, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolutions were adopted. (Resolutions attached)
ORDINANCE(S) ON INTRODUCTION:
ORDINANCE NO. 1831:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled "AN ORDINANCE TO SUPPLEMENT THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS SO AS TO INCLUDE THEREIN A NEW SECTION NUMBERED SECTION 45-12A, ENTITLED "PURCHASING AGENT", ESTABLISHED SUCH BOROUGH OFFICE, FIXING THE DUTIES THEREOF AND PROVIDING THE COMPENSATION THEREFOR, ALL PURSUANT TO AND AS REQUIRED BY N.J.S.A. 40A:11-9" introduced this date be and the same is hereby passed on first reading and the Borough Clerk be directed to advertise notice of public hearing on said Ordinance to be held at the regular meeting of the Borough Council on August 11, 1998 at 8:00 p.m.
ORDINANCE NO. 1832:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled "AN ORDINANCE TO PROVIDE FOR THE REHABILITATION OF CERTAIN SANITARY SEWER MAINS WITHIN THIS BOROUGH FOUND OR TO BE FOUND IN NEED OF THE SAME BEGINNING WITH THE BURR PLACE SANITARY SEWER MAIN BETWEEN DIVISION AVENUE AND HENRY STREET, TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $80,000.00 FOR THAT PURPOSE AND TO AUTHORIZE THE FINANCE OF THE COST THEREOF IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE LOCAL BOND LAW BY THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS OR NOTES NOT TO EXCEED THE SUM OF $76,000.00" introduced this date be and the same is hereby passed on first reading and the Borough Clerk be directed to advertise notice of public hearing on said Ordinance to be held at the regular meeting of the Borough Council on August 11, 1998 at 8:00 p.m.
Motion to adopt the foregoing Ordinances on Introduction were entertained, motioned, seconded and carried.
ORDINANCE(S) FOR PUBLIC HEARING:
Mayor Torre opened the meeting to the public for anyone wishing to speak on Ordinance Nos. 1826 and 1830. There being no one wishing to speak, Mayor Torre closed the public hearing on said Ordinances.
ORDINANCE NO. 1826:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled "AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE TO FIX THE SALARY AND COMPENSATION MEMBERS OF THE HASBROUCK HEIGHTS POLICE DEPARTMENT 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 the 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.
ORDINANCE NO. 1830:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled "AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND AN ORDINANCE ENTITLE "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 the 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 Heeren, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Ordinances for Public Hearing were adopted.
MISCELLANEOUS FROM PUBLIC:
Angelo Talignani, 146 Burr Pl., came forward and asked if lining the sewer with insituform was all that was going to be done.
Mayor Torre said the line has been cleaned and a major obstruction was removed. The line needs to be repaired in four to five places and the Council has given authorization to reline the line as opposed to digging it up and tearing up the street. Mr. Talignani asked about the other proposal of putting in a second line. Mayor Torre said the Borough Engineer has recommended we proceed with relining the line first. He said that even if a second line was put it, the first line must be repaired. He explained that a liner called insituform will be placed in the line so as it will not leak any sewage out of the line. Mr. Talignani asked that if this doesn't work, will a separate second line be put in. Mayor Torre said they are not precluded from doing that. Right now they are taking the first step. Mr. Chandless said that the Borough Engineer has advised him that relining the line is the fastest and cleanest way to repair the line. He said that the City of Hackensack had it done and it has proved to be very effective. Councilman Pepe said that if the relining was not done and the digging had to be done, many front yards, fences, etc. would have to be moved about because of the locations of the line.
Former Mayor/Assemblywoman Rose Heck came forward and added that insituform has been used in many areas successfully and commended the Mayor and Council for the action taken.
Lynn Masopust, 155 Burr Pl., came forward and said that the relining will help residents who have water coming in through the foundation but it still will not solve the problem of those who get water coming in through their fixtures. She asked what type of solution they would get. Mayor Torre said the Borough Attorney is working with the Borough Engineer to determine if putting in a new line would be the proper action to take. He said they do not want to spend $500,000 if it will not help them. At this time, they don't know if a new line will help them. Mayor Torre said they are acting as fast as they can and have been at the site of the pipe during all hours of the night taking readings. He said the Council and himself do not have the expertise and need to rely on their professionals. He said they are continuing their program to seek out illegal sump pumps, a major problem.
Leonard Altamura, 137 Burr Pl., came forward and said he believes some of the problems are caused from Berkshire. He said there are gullys coming through his yard and other yards. Mayor Torre said that the only problem they can address is sewage seeping in, not natural water flowing from the ground. Mr. Altamura said it is not natural water. Water from underground gutters from the back of homes on Berkshire is coming down the hill. If the gutters were placed on the homeowners' properties, there would be less water. Councilman Pepe said this should be referred to the Building Department.
Joanne Raleigh, 142 Burr Place, came forward and said she felt the relining just sounded cosmetic. She felt there are too many houses on one line. She said she does not get water into her home through cracks in the floor. She gets raw sewage through her pipes. Mayor Torre said the Engineer has advised that the line should be able to handle the amount of sewage going through it. He said the flow could be increased through illegal flow into the line. They have been monitoring houses and issuing summonses to those putting water into the line illegally.
Ron Ellis, Paterson Ave., came forward and said he was pleased to see the painted parking stall outlines along the commercial area of the Boulevard. He requested that parking stall outlines be extended to the northern border of the Borough to deter speeding and stop vehicles from passing on the right. Mayor Torre said there will be added enforcement and they will be addressing the problems at the northern end of town. Acting Police Chief Michael Colaneri said that vehicles passing on the right side of other vehicles is a major problem. Drivers need to be made aware that the Boulevard is only one lane. He also reiterated that enforcement will be increased.
Al Gunnell, 175 Field Ave., came forward and said there was an article recently in the newspaper about towns passing ordinances to waive construction permit fees for disabled individuals. He asked if the Borough would consider doing the same. Councilman DiPisa said that the Borough would be remiss not to address this issue. He said that any Borough residents who have any disabled persons in their home are entitled to not only make renovations to make life easier, but also should not be penalized in any way with a fee. He said he would like to see the fee waived for any residential reconstruction or construction for disabled persons in the Borough. The entire Governing Body was in favor of the same. The Borough Attorney said he already has a draft ordinance drawn up and will distribute it by the next meeting.
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 Personnel; 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 Private Session was entertained, motioned, seconded and carried.
There being no further business to come before the Mayor and Council, the public portion of the meeting was adjourned.
I, BARBARA MALDONADO, Borough Clerk of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes are to the best of my knowledge a true account of the Regular Meeting held on July 28, 1998.
Barbara Maldonado, RMC