May 28, 2002

A Regular Meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights was held on Thursday, May 28, 2002 at 8:00 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 200 Division Avenue, corner of the Boulevard, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey.

Mayor Torre stated that the meeting complied with the Sunshine Law, adequate notice of this meeting having been made to all members of the Council by personal service on January 1, 2002 and transmitted to The Observer, The Record and The Herald News on January 1, 2002.

ROLL CALL: Present: Councilman Andrew Link III, Mayor William J. Torre, Councilman Herbert D. Heeren, Councilman Justin A. DiPisa, Councilman Garrett R. Pepe, Councilwoman Marlene Verrastro, Councilman John Wassberg


SALUTE TO THE FLAG AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Mayor Torre led in the Salute to the Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance.


PROCLAMATION: Helen M. Holmes as a Veteran of World War II

Mayor Torre invited Mrs. Holmes to come forward to receive the proclamation and asked Councilman Link and Councilman DiPisa to join him in the presentation. The proclamation was read into the record by Councilman Link (copy attached).






BE IT RESOLVED that the claims and accounts amounting to $141,631.52 specified in the schedule hereto annexed, 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 a motion by Councilman Pepe seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously carried, the foregoing Resolution was adopted.




Under Finance, Commissioner Link reported that the Current Fund cash balance as of April 30, 2002 was $482,532 and at March 31, 2002 was $1,409,965, a decrease of $927,432. The entire balance was invested and earning approximately 1.85%. Cash receipts for April totaled $2,000,488 of which $1,892,545 was for Current Taxes, $20,350 was Delinquent Taxes, $7,500 was Grants and Aid and $80,093 was Miscellaneous Revenues. Cash Disbursements for April totaled $2,127,917 of which $1,134,249 was Local School Taxes, $442,920 was Salaries, and $550,747 was Other Expenses. He continued that the Extraordinary Aid application submitted on March 12 should be decided on in June, with the budget being adopted after that. The finance committee is continually reviewing each line item to make modifications that would result in any tax savings.

Under Sanitation, Commissioner Link reported that recent inspection of sanitary lines revealed severe sags and a collapsed pipe at Boulevard and Roosevelt and Boulevard and Harrison. Probable cause was attributed to faulty backfill caused when Bergen County installed a storm water line down the center of the Boulevard. The DPW removed and replaced 24 feet of clay line with iron pipe at each intersection. Another detected collapsed area at Lincoln and Boulevard is scheduled for excavation as soon as possible. The Clean Communities grant program expired in December 2000 and attempts to reinstate in the state legislature have failed thus far. Funding for 2002 programs for litter control programs was provided by remaining fees collected last year. A grant of $2,600 was received this year, when $15,000 was received last year.



Under Health, Commissioner Heeren reported they were reviewing their rules and regulations on who may be required to take food handlers courses. He gave the following report for April: 7 births recorded, 4 male, 3 female; burial permits 66, out of town 65, in town 1; certified transcripts 492, marriage 14; death, 20; funeral directors requests 458; Fees collected: dog licenses, $946 of which $500 was late fees; burial permits, $65; certified transcripts, $2,460; food licenses and late fees, $360; marriage licenses, $168; vending machines, $50, with total fees collected $3,704. Total deaths recorded, 74, residents in town 2, residents out of town 5; non resident 67. Food licenses issued 4, vending licenses issued 1, marriage licenses 6, marriages recorded 12; and a total of 136 calls to the office. The registrar had attended a re-certification course and attended a State registrars meeting to learn of new changes in certified transcripts.

Under Streets, Commissioner Heeren reported the DPW was planning a Fall planting. Any interested resident can contact the DPW if they would like a tree. They had removed 12 dead trees, trimmed 85 and removed 36 stumps. Next month, PSE&G will be removing eight dead trees.

Under Social Services, he reported the director had been hospitalized and would be returning to work shortly. She worked from home providing assistance for a burial of a client, she referred clients to the County for welfare needs, and placed people in temporary housing through Shelter Our Sisters.



Under Recreation, Commissioner DiPisa reported Girls Softball 6th through 8th grades would be starting playoff games, and the 3rd through 5th teams would be winding down their season. The teams and coaches were congratulated. The Youth Track and Field Program has over 80 children registered and several meets will be held in June. Adult Co-Ed Volleyball would finish on May 29, but a net would be set up in Woodland Park for summer play. Men’s Over-30 Basketball would end on June 3. Senior Olympics is June 5 in Rutherford. The commissioner had met with senior citizens to discuss concerns regarding the senior center and organizational structure which would be part of the Recreation Department. He attended the opening ceremonies of the Bicycle Marathon and congratulated the Police Department on an outstanding project, as well as Bill Kundert for his continued generosity.

Mayor Torre also added his favorable comments and congratulations on the very successful Bicycle Marathon.



Commissioner Pepe gave the Fire report for April: Fire Alarms: Hasbrouck Heights, 43 calls, year to date 170; Teterboro 5, year to date 40; mutual aid 2, year to date 6; total for the month 50, year to date 216. Ambulance calls for April: Hasbrouck Heights, 20, year to date 373; paramedic assisted calls 20, year to date 131; Teterboro, 8, year to date 60; paramedic assisted 6, year to date 27 mutual aid, 7, year to date 35; paramedic assisted 1, year to date 9; total 62, year to date 635. He commended the Fire Department on their annual inspection with the new engine on display for the first time. He also thanked the department for their volunteer hours at the Bicycle Marathon. He then gave the Fire Prevention report for April: 55 local inspections and 7 LHU inspections. There were three miscellaneous permits for a total of $105. There were 68 letters sent out, 22 for violations, 42 certificates of inspections, two notice of violations and one new business registration form.

Under Public Facilities, he continued that an informal information meeting had been held this evening with residents within 200 feet of the Public Safety Complex, which was well attended. Bids for the demolition of the old building would be held on June 4. Relocation of the fire department would take place the beginning of July. Progress was on time, on plan and on budget on the Municipal Building Complex.



Under Land Use, Commissioner Verrastro reminded contractors to get a permit before starting any project and contractor signs are not allowed on front lawns. Complaints were being made from residents of garbage placed at curb before 7 p.m. and on weekends, and fines would be issued.

Under Police, 967 calls were received for the month of April. The police department will begin the bike safety program again, whereby if a child is wearing a helmet and riding his/her bicycle, they will receive a gift certificate for pizza and the parents will receive a commendation letter from the police department. Once a month a drawing for a new helmet will be held. She congratulated Lt. Jeff Smith on his retirement on May 1, after 28 years of service. She thanked Chief Colaneri, Capt. Castiglione, Lt. DeLorenzo and Sgt. Mullins on an absolutely wonderful Bicycle Marathon. Over 200 children participated. Bill Kundert was also commended. She continued that the Torch Run will be held Friday morning, May 31.



Under Parks, Commissioner Wassberg reported that only perennial flowers were planted at the Circle, as they require less water. He commended the DPW on the condition of the parks. The Borough Engineer is in the process of lying out a play area and basketball court for the Borough owned property adjacent to the Swim Club.



Mayor Torre began his report by asking for a moment of silence for the passing of two dedicated community servants, Doris Bruno, who served as Committeewoman for over 25 years, and Lillie Eckert, a lifelong resident. Referring to Councilman Link’s report, the bad news is that the interest rate is only1.89%, but in going out to bond for capital projects, the good news is that the interest is 4%. He continued that the bond rates would be locked into soon on capital construction projects beginning now. He also congratulated the Fire Department on their Inspection. The Memorial Day Parade was very well attended and a great tribute to veterans. He was happy to see the community together, especially in light of 9-11. He referred to a letter regarding Teterboro Airport, noting that Hasbrouck Heights has been an active participant in the Teterboro Airport Noise Commission which met monthly regarding the monitoring of noise from the airport. He, Assemblywoman Rose Heck and Councilman Heeren had attended many meetings which had addressed many problems to this effect. An additional committee was created to address other problems such as pollution, volume of flights, crashes, etc. which the borough joined to form a Coalition and sued the Port Authority and the airport. A letter came back from the Port Authority and Teterboro Airport that they are now ceasing any airport noise monitoring and disbanding the noise committee on the advice of legal counsel because they were sued on other issues. A response will be made. He continued his report, that a free concert will be held on June 21 at the Athletic Field sponsored by the Anti Drug Council. He discussed the report of the Acceptance of the 2001 Audit Report, which indicates no negative findings for this or last year, and congratulated the entire staff of the borough. The Euclid Lodge has set aside Sunday, March 2, 2003 at 2 p.m. to have a cornerstone laying for the new Municipal Complex on the Boulevard. He thanked the Lodge members for this great event. On July 11 the second annual Senior Citizens Picnic will be held in Woodland Park. He publicly thanked the 3rd grade of Euclid School who invited him to talk about borough government, who then on his invitation came to the council meeting that same evening.






92. Authorizing Checks for Mary B. Quigg Scholarship Awards

93. Acceptance of 2001 Audit

94. Authorizing Inclusion in the Bergen County Community Development Program

95. Authorizing Check for Savings Bond for Mayor's Award Recipient.

On a motion by Councilman Wassberg, seconded by Councilman DiPisa, and unanimously accepted, the foregoing Resolutions were approved. (Copies attached)





At this point the meeting was open for comments from the public.

Douglas Lanzo, 80 La Salle Avenue had several questions for the mayor and council. Firstly, he asked if the Franklin School gym would be turned over to a parking lot. He was told there were no specific plans to that effect. He asked if there were any negotiations with the Board of Education. He asked if there would be enough parking for the Public Safety Complex and was told similar parking would be available as had been for the previous municipal purposes. He questioned the funds for the originally proposed senior center and if the money was actually there and was told it had been projected into the capital budget but an ordinance was not introduced before the scope of the project changed. He questioned the police contract and arbitration and was told that the council was projecting the budget to keep the taxes stable and skyrocketing police salaries and certain aspects of the police contract needed negotiation. He questioned if additional monies would be received from contractors for police overtime when the new salaries would go into effect. He was told the police contract would be retroactive to January 1. He asked about a baseball field at Woodland Park proposed previously and was told that the grant received was used for a field at the Athletic Field instead. He asked about the time spent by the council at the building site, and asked several personal questions of Councilman Pepe and this line of questioning was halted. He then asked about a proposed application for a 12 story high rise building, and was told this was brought to the planning board, and that past history shows this has been denied.

Carol Skiba, 191 Field Avenue, presented letters and petitions regarding Mt. Fuji parking and remedying the excessive speeding on Field Avenue which were accepted. She questioned why Field Avenue flooded with no heavy rain storm, that a driver of a vehicle got stuck in the puddle, falling into it, and that a lot of the surrounding basements had water by the next morning, and was very concerned, commenting that with all the new restaurants could the sewer lines accommodate all this. The Riser Ditch was discussed, the problems with the cleaning, and Assemblywoman Heck who had been working on this for a long time also spoke on this project and would hope to have a status report at the next council meeting. The mayor reported that an engineering firm was also addressing this problem for the borough. The sanitary sewer was a separate problem, there had been a blockage that was cleaned up the past week, and there was a dip that would not allow a natural flow which needed to be addressed. He talked about the grease traps ordinance that allowed for a log to be kept by the businesses on cleaning the traps. It was noted that the when the highway was expanded, the sewer lines came under the highway line.

Frank Musarra, 195 Field Avenue, asked if the county could not budget the program (for Riser Ditch) and if there was a price to fix both problems. He pressed for an answer and a heated discussion ensued, with the outcome that a simple answer was not that easy.

Cyndi Schwab, 167 Field Avenue, with regards to the flooding problem, how long would it take as it was now a constant worry to these residents.

Joel Ford, 163 Field Avenue regarding check valves, and how to get one, and if it was an existing condition, it was recommended to put in a check valve.

Lisa Hodulik, 33 La Salle Avenue, asked about the ball field at Woodland Park, and if a practice baseball diamond could be put in. She was advised that it was a large project with a grading problem and trees needed to be removed.

Carol Skiba, 191 Field Avenue, asked what was being done to develop zoning ordinances with respect to the type of facility that was trying to come into the Ground Round. She was advised that the planner and Planning Board attorney were reviewing Route 17 along that corridor and what zoning changes could be made to eliminate that use forever and bring in new tax ratables and will make their recommendations to the mayor and council, that the Planning Board and Borough Attorneys were also discussing options.

Audrey Ryan, 309 Kipp Avenue regarding a cat that was found dead and the body was not picked up until the next morning, and that the Animal Shelter was remiss.



The meeting was closed for any pending or anticipated litigation or contract negotiation or any matter involving the employment, appointment, termination of employment, disciplinary action unless individual requests a public meeting.



There being no further business to be conducted by the Mayor and Council, the meeting was adjourned.

I, ROSE MARIE SEES, 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 May 28, 2002.

Rose Marie Sees, RMC
Borough Clerk

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