BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS
M I N U T E S
September 28, 1999
A Regular Meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough
of Hasbrouck Heights was held on September 28, 1999 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, 1999 and transmitted to The Observer, The Record and the Herald News
on January 4, 1999.
Present: Mayor William J. Torre, Councilman Andrew Link III, Councilman Herbert D. Heeren,
Councilman Justin A. DiPisa, Councilwoman Marlene Verrastro, Councilman John Wassberg
Absent: Councilman Garret R. Pepe
SALUTE TO FLAG:
Mayor Torre led in the Salute to the Flag.
Awarding of Plaques:
Before getting into the Regular Agenda, the Mayor and Council wanted to memorialize and
perpetualize all those who have attained the rank of Eagle Scout and rank of Gold in Girl
Scouts. About six months previously, they asked for a list of these individuals, and two
plaques were made up to memorialize them forever. He invited all those Scouts present to
come forward, and the plaques were dedicated and the names read into the record:
"The Borough of Hasbrouck Heights hereby honors all those who have achieved the
Girl Scouts of America Gold Award":
Jennifer Marie Knobloch, Kerri Ann Mc Dowell, and Teresa Linda Sterlacci.
"The Borough of Hasbrouck Heights hereby honors all those who have obtained the
Rank of Eagle Scout":
Wilbur Kupfrian, Clifford Saratso, Evertt Kopp, Frank Keil, Kenneth Gebler, Alfred
Johansen, Warren Riel, Robert Goldemberg, John Lincoln, Arthur Bickhardt, Paul Uster,
William Cobb, Thomas Martin, George Mercer, Richard Caldwell, Robert Erlandson, Richard
Menzer, Thomas Macy, Oscar Huh, Thomas Lobue, Michael Schimente, Stuart Howell, Thomas Van
Dam, Kurt Willcox, Keith Hettel, Greg Van Dam, Steven Willcox, Donald Hall, William Imken,
Florio Kasmiersky, Daniel Drecksage, Michael Hall, David Van Dam, Howard Clarke, Stephen
Maisch, William Wallace, Kenneth Wilk, Peter Hettel, Kevin Basralian, Michael Rista, Harry
Maisch III, Donald Rista, Steven Clarke, Robert Wilk, Kurt Spindler, George Happe, Robert
Happe, William Happe, Walter M. Arsenault, Jay Cotter, Frederick Eigenraugh, Raymond
Gasnick, Thomas Harabedian, Thomas Moriarty, Frank Nicotra, William Reed, Christian
Semenecz, James E. Taranto, James Du Vernay, James Di Guglielmo, Michael Gray, Edward
Terragni, Steven Segda, John Harabedian, Daniel Cotter, John Reuter, Sean J. Hall, Robert
Wright, Mark Hund, Jack W. Hemmert Sr., Jack W. Hemmert Jr., and Eric D. Hemmert.
Councilman Heeren, a former Scoutmaster, added his congratulations.
Proclamations were given to Ed Rose and James Taranto for their many years in service to
the Boy Scouts, and Sidney Parker was acknowledged for his many years of service to the
Letter to Mayor and Council regarding Hurricane Floyd from Kenneth G. Job, P.E. (copy
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
(August 24, 1999 and September 14, 1999 Regular Meetings)
On motion by Councilman Link, seconded by Councilman Wassberg, and unanimously carried,
the Minutes of the foregoing meetings were approved.
BE IT RESOLVED
that the claims and accounts amounting to $66,928.23 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 Herbert D. Heeren
Commissioner of Finance
On motion by Councilwoman Verrastro, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously
carried, the foregoing Resolution was adopted.
STREETS, TRANSPORTATION & LAND USE:
Commissioner Link reported that under Streets, all streets are intact in the Borough. The
Boulevard from the circle going south to Wood-Ridge was repaved, making some of the side
streets look in need of repair, some of which will be done in the near future. No major
damage to streets occurred from the hurricane. Under Trees, the Borough has applied for
the 2000 Green Communities Challenge Permit. This grant is funded through the U.S. Forest
Service and administered by the N.J. Forest Service Community Forestry Program. Funding
will provide matching dollars to municipalities and counties to develop a comprehensive
tree management plan. The borough has had a tree program for many years, where 150 to 200
trees are replaced each year. Leaves may be raked into the curb starting on Oct. 17
through Dec. 5. They may also be placed in paper sacks and placed at the curb to be picked
up by the Leaf Collection Crews. At no time will leaves be picked up in plastic or brown
shopping bags. Leaves can also be brought to the DPW Garage.
FINANCE & RECREATION:
Under Finance, Councilman Heeren reported that the cash fund balance at the end of August
was $3,031,000, an increase of $167,000 for the month. The entire balance was temporarily
invested and earned approximately 5.00% interest. Cash receipts for the month of August
were $3,025,000 of which $2,785,000 was current taxes, $5,000 were prepaid taxes, $176,000
was from State aid and another $58,000 was miscellaneous revenues. Cash disbursements for
August totalled $2,366,000 of which $1,293,000 was Local School Taxes, $1,265,000 went to
County Taxes, $344,000 was for Salaries, $20,000 was interfund transfers, and $125,000
other miscellaneous expenses. Under Recreation, the Department is in transition from
summer to winter activities. Halloween in the Park event to be held Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. with
two hay wagons going through the park until about 9:30 p.m. Tickets will be on sale at
Town Day, Oct. 2. $5/each, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
Prefaced with sincere thanks to various departments for the way they handled emergencies
caused by Hurricane Floyd, Commissioner DiPisa said that for those residents who did not
know, tap water is now safe. A communication was received from Chief Colaneri
congratulating Det. Lt. Bill Castiglione, Det. Sgt. Jeff Smith, Det. Sgt. Jack DeLorenzo,
Det. James Miller and Patrolman Charles Lesho for their investigative work on a recent
assault. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brasco sent a letter thanking Officers Kroncke and Sisto for
their assistance. The Police Department made changes in scheduling and asked parents to
park only in designated areas at schools. Councilman DiPisa reported the August statistics
were 1,003 calls for service, 149 for 911 emergency calls, 3 by mail, 32 in person, 272 by
radio, 504 by telephone and 52 walk-ins. Regarding traffic activity, there were 50
apprehensions, 24 no insurance, one for failure to have car inspected, 312 overnight
parking, 29 parking in prohibited zones. Total receipts for the month of August $531.50.
FIRE & PUBLIC FACILITIES:
In Councilman Pepe's absence, Councilman DiPisa read the Fire Department report. Fire
Alarms for the month of August were 42, with a year to date (Fire Dept.fiscal year is Dec.
1) total of 312, 9 in Teterboro, 91 year-to-date and 6 for mutual aid, 40 year-to-date,
totalling 443 year-to-date. There were 50 ambulance calls for the Borough, 502
year-to-date, 36 paramedic assisted calls, 236 year-to-date, 5 for Teterboro, 60
year-to-date, 2 paramedic assisted calls, 28 year-to-date and 9 for mutual aid, 96
year-to-date, 1 paramedic assisted calls, 19 year-to-date, 103 ambulance calls, totalling
941 ambulance calls.
HEALTH & WELFARE:
Under Welfare, Councilwoman Verrastro reported that according to Welfare Director Lee
Kulakowski the software program must be in tact by Dec. 1 in order for a grant to be
received. She thanked the Junior Woman's Club for using the proceeds of the Beautiful Baby
Contest to clothe five children for school this year. Under Health, there were 6
statistics reports, 12 births, 9 males and 3 females; 48 burial permits issued, 27 dog
licenses issued, 43 deaths reported, 8 food licenses issued, 13 marriage licenses issued.
There were 123 phone calls received by the Department. She thanked the health inspectors,
who ordered Shop-Rite to clean out their refrigerator cases because their refrigeration
was off more than six hours. They also went around to different restaurants.
SANITATION & PARKS:
Under Sanitation, Councilman Wassberg reported that due to the storm the Sanitation
Department picked up an extra three or four tons of Type 10 and Type 13 garbage. Type 10
is food scraps. Type 13 is trash, along with an extra 350 cubic yards of tree parts. Under
Parks, Miers Park new playground equipment has been installed. He reminded everyone of
Town Day on Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Woodland Park. He also thanked all the
various departments during the storm, the Police, Fire, Emergency Management, Health,
those who answered the phone, all who worked hard during severe circumstances and thanked
Mayor Torre and the Emergency Management for notifying all about the drinking water
problem. He also thanked the Health Department for being there when the supermarket opened
up to insure health safety.
REPORT OF MAYOR:
Mayor Torre began with how proud he is of every department in the Borough of Hasbrouck
Heights, the Fire, Police, Ambulance Squad, and the DPW, especially the Fire Department
who are professionals, not paid. Many of them risked their lives not only helping
Hasbrouck Heights, but Rochelle Park and Lodi as well, for 24 hours, some having to get
Tetanus shots. Again on Saturday they were called out again along with the Police
Department to get word out to the townspeople about the water emergency. DPW was out
before, during and after the storm. He thanked all for their help, and asked the clerk to
read the following Resolution No. 165:
WHEREAS, Tropical Storm Floyd struck New Jersey and Hasbrouck Heights with a
vengeance on Thursday, Sept. 16 dropping nine inches of rain in 18 hours, and has been
classified over a 100-year storm by numerous authorities; and
WHEREAS, members of the Hasbrouck Heights Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance
Squad, Police Department and Department of Public Works worked valiantly to lessen the
affects of this devastating storm; and
WHEREAS, the Fire Department was called to other neighboring towns to assist in
whatever way they could with their disasters and was instrumental in helping to save many
lives in their endeavors;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck
Heights, County of Bergen, State of New Jersey, that the Fire Department, Department of
Public Works, Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management be commended for
their heroic efforts during this natural disaster with appreciation for their dedication
and perseverance in performing their tasks to the best of their ability.
s/William J. Torre
On motion by Councilman Wassberg, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried,
the foregoing Resolution was adopted.
He continued his report regarding the storm. On Saturday before the storm the DPW was out
clearing out catch basins, preparing in advance for impending disaster, making sure the
pump stations were operational. On Sept. 16, the Mayor called a meeting for all
departments, and a plan was mapped out as to how to fight this storm. At 9:30 everyone
went out into action. He continued, of course there were problems, but all did their best
to prepare and protect life and property in town. Mutual aid calls were received from
Lodi, Rochelle Park and South Hackensack. Phone service outside of town was cut off and
many did not have phone service at all. Some power outages occurred for two and three days
at a time. Two police officers manned the Police Desk, some officers worked double shifts.
The DPW sent six crews out to clean up after the storm, making sure the catch basins
remained clear. An additional crew was in charge of monitoring the pump stations and
sanitary flow. Flooding occurred at various locations, such as Field, Terrace, and the
Public Works yard and various other sections of Route 17. The sanitary line on Burr Place
and the main line at Public Works overflowed due to problems with the volume of water at
the BCUA, At the Route 17 pump station all three pumps were running constantly. It was
found later that the BCUA was shut down and our pumps were pumping to nowhere. OEM
processed damage assessment to FEMA. A meeting was held with FEMA and they tried to
address as many residents concerns and attended this meeting as well. Every resident in
Hasbrouck Heights received information on how to apply to FEMA by mail.
155. Granting of Raffle License - H.H. Elks Lodge No. 1962
156. Authorizing support of Assembly Bill No. 1013 which would require all entities which
use or store environmentally hazardous substances to post standardized informational
warning placards at these facilities to alert responding firefighters and other emergency
service personnel of potential dangers
157. N.J. Transit Bus Stop Proposal On motion by Councilwoman Verrastro, seconded by
Councilman Link, and unanimously carried, the foregoing consent agenda resolution was
158. Appoint Mayor William Torre as Representative to the Open Space Trust Regional
159. Authorizing payment to Bergen County Soil Conservation District for Soil
Erosion/Sediment Control Plan
160. Resolution Endorsing Year 2000 CD Application #1 - Barrier Free Restrooms at Athletic
161. Resolution Endorsing Year 2000 CD Application #2 - Barrier Free Curb Cuts
162. Awarding of Bid for State Aid Improvement of Hamilton Avenue
163. Authorizing payment to Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education for escrow deposit for
use of fields and schools
164. Authorizing payment to Postmaster for postage incurred in mailing FEMA Disaster
Assistance notice to all residents of Hasbrouck Heights
165. Commending Borough Departments regarding Tropical Storm Floyd
166. Overpaid taxes on properties where homeowners have moved with no forwarding address
On motion by Councilman Wassberg, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried,
the foregoing Resolutions were adopted. (Resolutions attached)
ORDINANCES ON INTRODUCTION: None
ORDINANCE(S) ON PUBLIC HEARING:
Mayor Torre opened the meeting to the public for anyone wishing to speak on Ordinances No.
1871 and 1874. There being no one wishing to speak, Mayor Torre closed the meeting to the
ORDINANCE NO. 1871:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled: "AN ORDINANCE TO AUTHORIZE THE SALE
PURSUANT TO N.J.S.A. 40A:12-13 OF LANDS AND PREMISES APPEARING ON THE CURRENT ASSESSMENT
MAP OF THE BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS AS LOT 24.01 IN BLOCK 161 BEING AN IRREGULARLY
SHAPED TRACT OF LAND LYING IN THE SOUTHWEST CORNER FORMED BY THE INTERSECTION OF THE
WESTERLY SIDELINE OF NEW JERSEY STATE HIGHWAY ROUTE 17 AND THE SOUTHERLY SIDELINE OF
LONGWORTH AVENUE, UNIMPROVED, HAVING A FRONTAGE OF AN IMPROVABLE STREET OF ONLY 25.36
FEET" be now passed on second and final reading and the Borough Clerk be and is
hereby authorized and directed to publish said Ordinance, same to be published in The
Observer, a newspaper circulating and published in the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights.
ORDINANCE NO. 1874:
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled: "AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE
BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE COUNTY OF BERGEN TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE BERGEN COUNTY OPEN SPACE, RECREATION, FARMLAND, AND HISTORIC
PRESERVATION TRUST FUND" be now passed on second and final reading and the
Borough Clerk be and is hereby authorized and directed to publish said Ordinance, same to
be published in The Observer, a newspaper circulating and published in the Borough of
On motion by Councilwoman Verrastro, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously
carried, the foregoing Ordinances on Public Hearing was adopted.
MISCELLANEOUS FROM PUBLIC:
Bob Thomasey, 307 Franklin Avenue, addressed several issues regarding the storm: where to
send people who had to be removed from flooding conditions and lack of notification of
clean water available. He was advised that the shelters were notified. He was also advised
that water was made available to the schools and public buildings and that 911 could be
called if there was a water emergency. He also made reference to some problems with
liability and fire equipment but would not get specific and that these should be addressed
by the Mayor and Council.
Ann Mc Gill of 139 Field Avenue, asked if the Fire Department could tell the residents to
boil water, why couldn't they tell them clean water was available. She said no one knew
about it. She was told that there were a lot of emergency procedures that would be looked
at to be handled better in the future.
Al Gunnell, 175 Field Avenue, addressed some of the flood problems on Field Avenue. He
said the services did respond, however, there have been problems for several years which
are getting progressively worse. There was sewerage backup in people's homes that he feels
there was no excuse. He incurred many losses, wheelchair, sewing machine, bedroom and
living room sets, chairs, kitchen cabinets and their contents, bathroom fixtures, walls,
floors, etc. He enumerated various bills that resulted. He blamed the office buildings,
food establishments along Rt 17 for the added sewerage and water. He feels the town is
responsible and is looking for financial assistance for his tremendous losses. Mayor Torre
said he was at his house and saw all the damage, understands the devastation. He called on
FEMA representatives Bill Coffee and Darlene Pyle who wanted to notify the people of the
Hot Line Number and introduced other FEMA personnel, Ken Schumann from small business
administration, and Hargate Colon and John Spickers of Human Services who she thought
could address Gunnell's problems. The Mayor also introduced Barry Leventhal and Sergeant
Steve Hoptay with the State Office of Emergency Management.
Spickers informed residents to register with FEMA's Disaster Housing Program which
provides dollars for necessary repairs to make a home livable through a grant up to
$10,000 (which does not have to be paid back). He enumerated the steps to take. Some
members of the audience were concerned with what the town was going to do for them.
Steven Hoptay said the problems that seemed to be brought up here could be covered under
Hazard Mitigation Claims that will be offered to municipalities and counties. He
recommended to Mayor and Council, OEM and county to come up with a grant proposal problem.
He said there would be monies available for this program. He answered yes that the town
could submit for all residents.
Linda Rinaldi (for parents at 175 Field Avenue) asked would it have to be proven that the
county system was not working. She had called the state who told her it was a local
problem. She also asked if there was a blockage. This has happened three times and she
felt it was a health hazard and that it should be determined what is causing the problem.
She was advised by Hoptay to call the registration number and that there are a couple of
different options. Mayor Torre told her that the town is trying to address the problem. He
said that Burr Place sewer will be relined and he asked Bob Heck about Field Avenue, who
said the line had been cleaned up 1 and 1/2 years ago. They planned to start the next
night to clean the line and check for any breaks and repair them.
FEMA representatives: Spickers again reiterated that they were there to help and would
answer any questions. Ken Schumann explained further, that for business owners, there is
assistance in the form of loans at 4% and he explained the guidelines and limits.
Chris Semenecz, 415 Jefferson Avenue, said council did not act responsibly in addressing
Tropical Storm Floyd regarding emergency procedures and clean water. With dialogue back
and forth between himself and Mayor Torre, Barry Leventhal stated that the whole state was
affected with water problems and that the H.H. OEM was ready to roll and on standby.
Joyce Cacciatore of 180 Field Avenue asked that as a precaution catch basins were cleaned
out on Field Avenue, shouldn't it have been a priority.
Robert Schwab, 167 Field Avenue, brought pictures from two years ago of a normal rain
showing flooding, which he said happens five to six times a year and wanted to know what
the council is doing about this problem. He was told by Bob Heck that it's a separate
sanitary line that crosses Rt. 17 to Riser Ditch which is over 200 years old which doesn't
Ann McGill asked another question, can the ditch be dug deeper? She was told it's county
property, but the responsibility of taking care of it is in question.
Gina DeFlorio, 148 Field Avenue, was extremely upset with having water in her basement at
different times, and now for the first time sewerage.
Grace Gunnell, 175 Field Avenue, thought Tetanus shots should have been offered to the
residents with sewerage problems. Mayor Torre said this can be arranged through the Board
Harry Maisch, Burr Place, thanked the Mayor for addressing the problem on Burr Place, but
said the sewer line cannot handle the capacity when it rains and should be corrected. He
was told by Mayor Torre that this problem is being addressed with utmost attention.
Robert Schwab, 167 Field Avenue, can the radar speed check be placed on Field Avenue to
slow down traffic and was told yes.
There being no one else wishing to speak, Mayor Torre closed the meeting to the public.
There being no further business to come before the Governing Body, the meeting was
I, ROSE MARIE SEES, Acting 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 September 28, 1999.
Rose Marie Sees
Acting Borough Clerk
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