REGULAR MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH HELD ON WEDNESDAY EVENING, APRIL 11, 2007. MAYOR DAVID PRESIDED.
Roll Call at 8:00 P.M. showed the following Council Members present: Lawrence Clementi, Peter Corvelli, Anthony DeLuca, Kathi Fiamingo, Robert Taylor and Fred Pugliese.
Mayor David read the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act.
The Salute to the Flag was led by Mayor David.
It was moved by Councilman Taylor , seconded by Councilman Clementi, and carried that the Work Session Meeting of March 27, 2007 and the Regular Meeting of March 28, 2007 be dispensed with and approved as submitted. (Copies furnished each Council Member prior to the meeting.)
COMMUNICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. Letter from Comcast regarding cable television franchises.
2. Letter from Heinz Stahl, Jr., 46 North 10th Street, asking that Kenilworth work with surrounding towns to keep Union Hospital open.
3. Letter from Margaret Malesz, 129 Park Drive, requesting permission to remove a borough tree as it is in the way of a new driveway.
4. Letter from Mayor David to Borough Clerk Lipke appointing Livio Mancino to the Kenilworth Planning Board as Alternate No. 4 for a two year term.
5. The Little League Parade will be this Saturday, April 14, 15 1:00 P.M.
It was moved by Councilwoman Fiamingo, seconded by Councilman DeLuca and carried that the above communications be received and filed and any money amounts indicated be spread over the minutes.
Mayor David read part of a letter from Overlook Hospital stating that Atlantic Health is very proud of their mission in community service. Overlook Hospital offers a wide array of health, education, support programs and health screening programs at little or no cost to members of the community. These programs are designed to benefit the community at large while also reaching those members of the community who would not otherwise have direct access to quality health care. These programs provide the patients in our shared communities access to care at convenient locations close to their homes. Some of the programs that are offered are:
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stroke screening, body fat analysis, blood pressure, hearing and diabetes screening, derma scan for skin cancer. The stroke screening will take place in Kenilworth at the Senior Citizen Bldg. on May 21, 2007 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Anyone interested in any of these programs should call Overlook Hospital directly or come to the Borough Clerk’s office for a list of times and dates.
Mayor David also read the first paragraph of a letter he received from Elizabethtown Gas which stated the following. Customer service is very important to how Elizabethtown Gas measures their success. They have made a number of improvements and investments in customer service in their system since they acquired the company in 2004. They understand that customer service is very important to the Mayor and his constituents and they thought residents might appreciate an update. Their 2007 initiatives are to replace 4”, 6” and 8” elevated pressure cast iron mains, completing installation of electronic remote reading devices on all meters, replacing a 20 year old billing system with a new customer management system and handling routine customer calls at a new call center.
Mayor David reported that last night the Governing Body received (RFP’s) Requests for Proposals from the Borough Attorney. The Governing Body has a proposal from a developer who owns property on North Michigan Avenue. His proposal is that he would provide land to the Borough at no cost, provided he was allowed to build age-restricted condominiums on that location. The current proposal is requesting permission for a six story building. The Governing Body has not made a decision on this proposal. We are diligently trying to see if it will work in that location. There are two requests for proposals; 1) For engineering services to conduct our own traffic study. The developer has provided a traffic study at his expense which is probably slanted to his point of view. The Governing Body will be hiring our own engineers to provide us with a traffic safety study. 2) A request for a proposal for a planner who will also evaluate North Michigan Avenue for this type of development. In order to pay for these services, the Borough plans to use part of a $190,000 grant the Borough received from the State for a new public safety building. We received the grant over one year ago and if we do not start using the money, the State will take it back. The Governing Body feels this is a worthwhile purpose to use part of the funds for these studies and it will provide us with information we need to make an intelligent decision on the proposals. Everyone on the Governing Body was in agreement that we should move forward with conducting these studies.
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
Councilwoman Fiamingo reported the Finance Committee met this week to work on reducing the budget that was introduced and they will be meeting with Council in the near future regarding Capital Projects. The budget will not be adopted until there is an answer from the State as to the request for aid. We are also going to schedule a meeting shortly with the committee to review employee policies.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Councilman Pugliese reported the DPW has been repairing potholes, conducting curb side brush removal, cleaning sanitary sewer lines, repairing street and traffic signs, landscaping and generally cleaning borough properties, parks, paths and dead ends. There was vandalism at the playground at North 9th Street. The slide was set on fire and the park will be closed until the slide can be replaced. There is also graffiti on the jungle gym and Councilman Pugliese has
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requested the police department to keep an eye on the parks. There is also a swing that needs to be replaced. Superintendent Ryan attended a recycling meeting at the County and it was suggested at that meeting that an Ordinance be passed in Municipalities requiring recycling of construction material. We have asked our Borough Attorney to draft an Ordinance on recycling construction material. David Gassmann is the new street sweeper driver for the DPW and he is doing a good job. We are waiting to hear from our engineer, Dan Swayze, regarding the cleaning of the machines at the DPW yard. We have submitted to the County a list of streets that have double yellow lines, the County repaints the lines at a cost of ten cents per linear foot.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Councilman Clementi read the highlights from Police Chief Dowd’s March monthly report. On March 29, 2007, Officer Glen Sandull was involved in a MVA on the corner of Michigan Avenue and the Boulevard while responding to a medical emergency call. Officer Sandull and the other vehicle operator were taken to the hospital, treated and released with minor injuries. The patrol vehicle is being repaired and the driver of the other vehicle was issued a summons for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. Police Chief Dowd received two thank you letters one from Steven and Audry Byers, 635 Bloomingdale Avenue thanking the department for replacing a Yield sign with a Stop sign at Trenton and Bloomingdale. The other letter was from an out of state motorist who was helped by Officer Campanelli when she locked her keys in her car. This person donated $50.00 to the Kenilworth Police Department.
DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, ZONING & ORDINANCES
Councilman DeLuca reported the Library elevator has board approval and the bids are going to start as soon as possible. A change order was put in place to make 25th Street wider to 28 feet. This will make parking easier and will not limit parking to one side. We went back to the Planning Board and we are going to let the Air Conditioning Ordinance stand as is. This allows residents who have more than 5 feet on their side yard set backs the ability to not have to come up before the Planning Board to get their air conditioners. This Ordinance does not help everyone but it helps some people be able to put an air conditioner on their side yard. They have done some grading at DiMario Park and they now have to reseed. It was recommended that the field not be used until late summer. A contractor will be giving us a price on the scoreboard.
DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND FIRE
Councilman Corvelli reported spring sports are in full swing at the Recreation Department. The elevator is almost complete at the Fire Department. The Fire Department handled 49 incidents last month, utilized 402 man hours and traveled 154 miles. The Rescue Squad answered 75 calls, 157 man hours and traveled 690 miles.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION & WELFARE
Councilman Taylor reported that at last nights meeting he presented guide lines for the Boroughs role in running the public access channel. The proposed guidelines will mirror those passed by the Board of Education. The Library Board Meeting is tomorrow at 7:00 and the Board of Health meeting is next week.
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Consolidated Bill List appears on the following pages. (copy attached)
Resolutions No. 1 thru 13 are listed on Consent Agenda and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed below. All items will be recorded individually in full in the minutes.
Councilwoman Fiamingo moved that all items under Consent Agenda be approved, seconded by Councilman Clementi. Upon roll call the vote was unanimous.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION NO. 1
Be It Hereby Resolved: That all bills be paid when properly audited and funds are available.
RESOLUTION NO. 2
Whereas, the Borough of Kenilworth held a Tax Sale on June 7, 2006 for delinquent 2005 taxes, and a tax lien was purchased by Wachovia-Cuts/Sass Muni IV on property located at 43 So. 19th Street and known as Block 113 Lot 25, in the Borough of Kenilworth, County of Union,
Whereas, the owner of said property has satisfied said lien, together with interest and costs by payment of amount due at the office of the collector of taxes, and
Now therefore be it resolved, that the Treasurer be and is hereby authorized to draw a warrant to the named lien holder as follows to be refunded upon receipt of the original Certificate of Sale #05-0006 by the collector of taxes.
Wachovia-Cust/Sass Muni IV
U.S. Bank – 2 Liberty Place – TLSG
50 So. 16th Street, Suite 1950
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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RESOLUTION NO. 3
Be It Hereby Resolved:
That the Borough Clerk be authorized to issue the following Raffle Licenses:
#893 Kenilworth Rotary Club on May 18, 2007 at 33 South 21st Street, Kenilworth, NJ 07033 for an 50/50 On-Premise Raffle.
#894 Kenilworth Rotary Club on May 18, 2007 at 33 South 21st Street Kenilworth, NJ for an On-Premise Casino Night.
RESOLUTION NO. 4
WHEREAS, The Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act, P.L. 1987, c.102, has established a recycling fund from which tonnage grants may be made to municipalities in order to encourage local source separation an recycling programs; and
WHEREAS, It is the intent and the spirit of the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act to use the tonnage grants to develop new municipal recycling programs and to continue and expand existing programs; and
WHEREAS, The New Jersey Department of Environment Protection has promulgated recycling regulations to implement the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act; and
WHEREAS, The recycling regulations impose on municipalities certain requirements as a condition for applying for tonnage grants, including but not limited to, making and keeping accurate, verifiable records of materials collected and claimed by the municipality; and
WHEREAS, A resolution authorizing this municipality to apply for such tonnage grants for 2006 will memorialize the commitment of this municipality to recycling and to indicate the assent of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Kenilworth to the efforts undertaken by the municipality and the requirements contained in the Recycling Act and recycling regulations; and
WHEREAS, Such a resolution should designate the individual authorized to ensure the application is properly completed and timely filed.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Kenilworth that the Borough of Kenilworth hereby endorses the submission of the recycling tonnage grant application to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and designates Public Works Superintendent Daniel Ryan to ensure that the application is properly filed; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that monies received from the recycling tonnage grants be deposited in a dedicated recycling trust fund to be used solely for the purposes of recycling.
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RESOLUTION NO. 5
WHEREAS, the Borough of Kenilworth is a member of the Union County Co-Operative Pricing System; and
WHEREAS, Union County serves as lead agency in the procurement of bids for natural gas; and
WHEREAS, the current contract with Woodruff Energy for natural gas will be expiring; and
WHEREAS, the Union County Co-Op will be extending the current contract with Woodruff Energy for a two month period; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the Borough of Kenilworth to join with the Union County Co-Op in the two month extension of the natural gas contract for the Borough.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth do hereby approve a two month extension of the contract for natural gas with Woodruff Energy.
RESOLUTION NO. 6
WHEREAS, unintentional injury is the number one killer of children 14 and under; and
WHEREAS, each year, more than 5,000 children 14 and under die from unintentional injuries; and
WHEREAS, emergency rooms experience nearly 2.4 million visits from children 14 and under each summer; and
WHEREAS, 90 percent of these injuries and deaths are preventable; and
WHEREAS, 41 percent of these deaths occur during “Trauma Season:, the months of May, June, July and August; and
WHEREAS, the risk areas that show the greatest seasonal surge in deaths and injuries is between May and August compared to the rest of the year are biking, drowning, pedestrian, motor vehicle occupants and falls; and
WHEREAS, Safe Kids Worldwide and Safe Kids New Jersey, led by the New Jersey State Safety Council promote childhood injury prevention by uniting diverse groups into local and state coalitions, developing innovative educational tools and strategies initiating public policy changes, promoting new technology and raising awareness through the media; and
WHEREAS, Safe Kids worldwide, with the support of founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson, launches Safe Kids Week 2007, “Make it a Safe Kids Summer,” which focuses on five of the deadliest warm-weather risk areas of motor vehicles, drowning, pedestrians, biking and falls; and
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WHEREAS, Safe Kids New Jersey has planned special childhood injury prevention activities and community-based events for Safe Kids Week 2007 in an effort to educate families about summer safety.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gregg F. David, Mayor of the Borough of Kenilworth do hereby proclaim April 28 – May 6, 2007.
NATIONAL SAFE KIDS WEEK
in New Jersey and call upon all the residents of Kenilworth to join with me in supporting the efforts and activities of Safe Kids New Jersey to prevent childhood injury.
RESOLUTION NO. 7
RESOLUTION NO. 8
WHEREAS, the Borough of Kenilworth advertised for the receipt of bids for the
2006 Curb Replacement Program, and Topline Construction, 22 Fifth Street, Somerville, NJ 08876 having submitted the lowest responsible bid as follows:
TOTAL BID: $67,680.00
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the contract for 2006 Curb Replacement Program, is awarded to Topline Construction, 22 Fifth Street, Somerville, NJ 08876 and the Borough Attorney is authorized to draw up the necessary contract and the Mayor and Borough Clerk are authorized to sign said contract.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:34-5.1 et seq. Local
Public Contracts Law, the required Certificate of Availability of Funds has been obtained
from the Finance Officer of the Borough of Kenilworth.
RESOLUTION NO. 9
Be It Hereby Resolved: That the Contract for “2006 Roadway Improvements” awarded to Topline Construction Company, is hereby amended as per a Change Order to add the amount of $33,000. for the Widening of 25th Street and $33,100. for the Reconstruction of the South 21st Street Municipal Parking Lot (total amount of Change Order: $66,100) as recommended by Borough Engineers PMK Group. The total contract amount will now be $647,083.00.
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BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor be authorized to sign and Change Order
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:34-5.1 et seq., Local Public Contracts Law, the required Certificate of Availability of Funds in attached.
RESOLUTION NO. 10
WHEREAS, the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth wishes to express its wholehearted opposition to the closure of Union Hospital; and
WHEREAS, Union Hospital, a community teaching hospital and 174 bed acute care facility that has been providing area residents with high quality medical services for over 60 years, will no longer be an acute care facility; and
WHEREAS, more than 65, people annually have been served and the hospital employs approximately 850 employees with almost 50 interns and residents participating in the medical education program; and
WHEREAS, the hospital runs educational seminars, fitness classes and health screenings open to the public and hosts a volunteer program which consists of over 300 volunteers who donate more than 50,000 hours of their time to assist with patients needs; and
WHEREAS, Union Hospital has been affiliated with St. Barnabas Health Care Systems for many years and there has been internal communication about too much money being lost by the functioning of the hospital for St. Barnabas to want to continue the management of it as an acute care facility; and
WHEREAS, the hospital will be closed or sold to Trinitas Hospital to be kept open as an emergency room and outpatient surgery center. If the hospital were to close its doors, it would be a huge disservice to the community, numerous employees would be out of jobs and neighboring businesses would also feel the negative impact;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth that it hereby opposes the closure of Union Hospital; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution, suitably prepared be forwarded to St. Barnabas and Union Hospital; Governor Jon Corzine; Senators Raymond Lesniak, Thomas Kean, Sharpe James and Nicholas Scutari; Assemblymen Neil Cohen, Joseph Cryan, Joe Bramnick, Eric Munoz, William Payne, Wilfredo Caraballo, Jerry Green, Assemblywoman Linda Stender; the governing bodies of all 21 municipalities.
RESOLUTION NO. 11
WHEREAS, Senate Bill S-457 is intended to modify the “time of decision” rule which currently allows municipalities to change the zoning regulations during the pendency of an application for development; and
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WHEREAS, under Senate Bill S-457 the ordinances in effect at the time of an application is submitted shall govern the review of that application, and any decision made following upon that review; and
WHEREAS, the “time of decision” rule is a judicially recognized principle that decisions are to be made on the basis of laws, ordinances and regulations in effect at the time the decision is rendered; and
WHEREAS, courts have applied the “time of decision” rule has permitted a municipality to give additional legislative consideration to serious and substantial land use planning concerns that, for whatever reason, had not been previously addressed in the ordinance; and
WHEREAS, application and zoning changes require public discussion and hearings, and Senate Bill S-457 would permit developers to “beat the clock” by filing applications and freezing the ability of local officials to act;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Borough Council of the Borough of Kenilworth urges our State Legislators to oppose Senate Bill S-457; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to members of the Legislature, Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, the New Jersey League of Municipalities and the Office of the Governor.
RESOLUTION NO. 12
WHEREAS, ensuring the residents can live and work in a safe and healthy environment is one of the highest priorities that municipalities have; and
WHEREAS, in order for local emergency personnel to be the first to respond to a terrorist-based attack or a natural disaster, local elected officials must ensure there is full federal funding for both traditional public safety programs and homeland security activities; and
WHEREAS, the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) program has been hailed as a proven success and recent studies show that COPS grants played a critical role in the crime drop of the ‘90s; and
WHEREAS, since 1988, the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant Program (Byrne Formula Grant Program) has been a partnership among federal, state, and local governments to create safer communities to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system—with emphasis on violent crime and serious offenders-and enforce state and local laws that establish offenses similar to those in the federal Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(6) et seq.); and
WHEREAS, the Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced legislation to enhance the funding and effectiveness of these programs, the bills being: S. 368, the COPS Improvements Act of 2007, which would provide $1.15 billion to continue the COPS program, which was created through the 1994 Crime Bill, and funding for the COPS School Resource Officer program which is aimed at combating violence in schools and would fund the COPS program through 2011,
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authorizing the hiring of 50,000 new police officers assistance for police departments to purchase high-tech crime fighting tools such as cameras in patrol cars and DNA analysis equipment; and funding for community prosecutors; and S. 231, to authorize the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program at fiscal year 2006 levels through 2012 to provide grants for criminal justice enforcement to focus on violent crime and serious offenders and authorize almost $1.1 billion annually through fiscal 2012; Now Therefore Be It Hereby
RESOLVED, by the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth, that we do support and urge passage of S.368 and S.231, to enhance the safety and security of the residents of Kenilworth and that of our many neighbors and visitors; And Be It Further
RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be forwarded to Congressman Ferguson and to Senators Lautenberg and Menendez, as well as to the New Jersey League of Municipalities,
with our gratitude for all their past service to our fellow citizens and with hope of their support of these initiatives.
RESOLUTION NO. 13
Be It Hereby Resolved: That Ordinance No 2007-01 entitled “AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 197 OF THE BOROUGH CODE SO AS TO PERMIT THE PLACEMENT OF AIR CONDITIONING UNITS IN SIDE YARDS IN ALL RESIDENTIAL ZONES OF THE BOROUGH” , which was passed on First Reading on January 10, 2007, be re-advertised for a Second Reading and Hearing on May 9, 2007.
Proposed Ordinance No. 2007-04 was read for the second and final reading as follows: (Copy appears in minutes of March 14, 2007)
ORDINANCE TO EXCEED THE 2007 MUNICIPAL BUDGET APPROPRIATION LIMITS AND TO ESTABLISH A CAP BANK
Mayor David advised this Ordinance relates to the State Cap Law. The State allows us to increase out budget by 2 ½ %. If we pass an Ordinance we can increase that by an extra 1%. which the Governing Body has decided to do. This Ordinance allows us to increase the cap restriction from 2 ½ % to 3 ½ %. Mayor David stated that since this a second reading he will open the meeting to the public. No one desiring to be heard, the meeting was closed to the public
RESOLUTION NO. 14
Introduced by Kathi Fiamingo who also moved its adoption.
Be It Hereby Resolved: That Proposed Ordinance No. 2007-04 be and the same is hereby passed on second and final reading and order published according to law.
Seconded by Lawrence Clementi and upon roll call unanimously carried.
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Mayor David reported he recently had his picture taken with the Borough’s new ambulance. This ambulance was recently purchased without taxpayer dollars due to the extreme generosity of Schering-Plough. Schering Plough originally contributed $50,000.00 to the cost of a new ambulance and matched another $50,000.00 to the $50,000.00 that the Rescue Squad raised through private donations. Two thirds of the cost was absorbed by Schering-Plough and the rest was raised through private donations. The entire cost of the ambulance was purchased without taxpayer money. I would like to thank Schering-Plough for their extreme generosity.
Councilman Corvelli thanked the Governing Body and residents for their support for his family during their time of loss. All their thoughts and prayers were greatly appreciated.
Councilwoman Fiamingo stated she will be attending a work shop/seminar on May 15, 2007, hosted by the Department of Commerce regarding the upcoming 2010 census. She will report back to Council after the meeting.
OPENED TO THE PUBLIC
Kenilworth Police Chief Dowd read the following statement: “I would like to sincerely thank the Governing Body for your recent vote to move forward with the proposed Public Safety Building. Your unanimous decision to expend grant money for the purpose of conducting various studies is a gigantic move forward in this project. For those who do not know, this building that houses the Police Department was built in 1963. The Police Department had doubled in size since then and has not had any expansion or improvements in 44 years. The Union County Prosecutor made an inspection of the police facility and called it a “disgrace”. Prosecutor Romankow strongly recommended the Borough provide a better facility so the police department can serve the citizens of Kenilworth in a safe and efficient manner. They have consistently inquired about the plans to build a new facility. There are detectives working in a trailer and a tiny locker room that is shared by male and female officers. These are unsafe working conditions for the officers. I could go on about the need for a new facility but I do not think anyone doubts that fact. If anyone would like a tour of police headquarters to see for yourself, please contact me at anytime, I will be here tonight if anyone wishes to view the facility. The question before us right now is whether the Borough should accept a 40,000 square foot piece of property, at no cost, to build a public safety building. This would be in return for the land owner to be given permission to build an age restricted building to the rear of this 40,000 square foot piece of property. There is no doubt what so ever that something has to be done to rectify the serious overcrowding of not only the Police Department but all the borough offices in
Borough Hall. I am asking everyone to place partisan politics and personal agendas aside to move forward with this project. The taxpayers of this town must be our first concern. To turn down this piece of property and spend well over one million dollars for another piece of property is not in the taxpayers best interest”.
Frank Brandofino – 672 Summit Avenue – Mr. Brandofino stated he was at a council meeting in January and asked the council to look into his curb assessment that was done ten years ago. Mayor David stated he expected Mr. Brandofino and he stated that the clerk has all the documentation that should answer his questions in her office. Mr. Brandofino asked if the documentation accounts for the $90,000.00 grant. Ms. Lipke stated that she believes the paperwork has all the documentation that is on the record and that Mr. Brandofino should look
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at the documentation. Mr. Brandofino stated he believes the Borough received a $90,000.00 grant for the Summit Avenue project and approximately $70,000.00 was spent on the sewers and according to the previous Governing Body, the other $20,000.00 paid for the curbing. Mayor David stated that Mr. Brandofino should review the paperwork but the Mayor does not believe that any money was spent on curbs. Ms. Lipke stated that there was not a grant for $90,000.00 for Summit Avenue curbs and Mr. Brandofino may be referring to the $78,000.00 grant.
John Genega, 537 Quinton Avenue – Mr. Genega asked the location of the six story apartment building? Mayor David replied that the property in question is on North Michigan Avenue between Washington and Monroe Avenues. Mr. Genega asked how many apartments there would be and would people be able to rent them? The Mayor replied that the developers proposal is for approximately 80 apartments and the proposal is not for people to rent but rather buy the condominiums. Mr. Genega stated he thought the building was far from the center of town. Mayor David responded he thought is was about ½ mile from the current building. Mayor David stated the Governing Body has hired professionals to study the location and there has been no decision by the Governing Body.
Brian Joho, 190 Boulevard – Mr. Joho stated the police department needs better accommodations then they currently have. Mr. Joho stated the Mayor and Council is being held hostage by a developer that is dangling a carrot in front of them stating that if the town lets him develop a six story structure, which is totally out of the character of the town, they can get free land for a police department. Mr. Joho stated it would lessen the towns standards to take this proposition. Mr. Joho stated at the last council meeting there was a first reading for an Ordinance repealing an Ordinance that was just passed nine months prior, the Ordinance was 2006-12 prohibiting duplex houses. Mr. Joho asked why the Mayor and Council changed their minds. Mayor David referred the question to the Borough attorney. Mr. McCarthy stated the matter is in litigation and is front of Judge Barrisonic in Superior Court, he will be filing papers this week and once the litigation is over he will be able to comment.
Livio Mancino, 102 North 24th Street – Mr. Mancino stated that the residents elected the officials and they are going to do the right thing for this community but they do not let residents know what they do. Mr. Livio stated he feels there is no doubt the community needs a facility for the police department, where exactly the police department is going to end up is in the council’s hands. The Council needs to find the best possible place at the best possible price so that the community is protected by the 28 or 30 of the finest men. Once that has been established the Council needs to consider if that is in the best interest of the community. Once the decision is made the residents have to pay for it. The Council should keep the residents appraised at public meetings continuously over the next year so that everyone will understand
where they are going with this matter. Before the developer can build a six story building he needs to go before the planning board.
Carmel Colosimo, 22 North 19th Street – Ms. Colosimo commended the Mayor, Council and the Facilities Committee for having the courage to proceed with the new safety building. Ms. Colosimo encouraged everyone to take the Chiefs suggestion to go downstairs and tour the police department. Ms. Colosimo stated that this project has been on-going for well over a year. The council has looked into many different sites and they are continuing to search for the perfect site.
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Robert Schielke, 37 North 23rd Street – Mr. Schielke commended the Mayor and Council for moving forward with the Public Safety Building. Mr. Schielke stated that he attended a Council Work Session Meeting a few weeks ago and saw the plan and he also observed all the council members agreeing to move forward with the next step of this project so that they can make an informed decision. Mr. Schielke encouraged the Mayor and Council to move forward with this project which is good for the police department as well as the Borough.
Mayor David clarified to the audience that so far this is only a proposal and the Governing Body is doing the appropriate due diligence to research and determine if the proposal would be worthwhile for the community. Mayor David stated he did not want anyone leaving tonight thinking that a decision has been made on that proposal.
Mr. Schielke stated he showed up at a public meeting and was able to see first hand how the Governing Body is proceeding slowly and cautiously and the facts were right there for him, or anyone else, to see what was happening with this project.
Councilman Pugliese commented that the Governing Body has been considering this and it has been presented to them by Mr. Abrams. Most people know that nothing in life is free and he has agreed to go to the next step to review and see if it is feasible to put it there so that we can then make an educated decision one way or another. We also have to keep in mind it is not whether we want free land, we also want to decide if we want a seven story building in town, along with the manner in which it is going to be built. I agreed to go to the next step so that no matter what way I decide, it will be an informed decision and I will have all the facts before me.
Gertrude Neuhauser, 45 South 17th Street – Ms. Neuhauser stated that Ms. Colosimo stated that they have been working on this project for over one year and she would like to know why the citizens have not been made aware of this project? Ms. Neuhauser also asked why the information cannot be put into the newspaper?
Mayor David stated he feels the citizens have been made aware, there has been nothing done in secret. There are members of the Facilities in the audience, the minutes have been posted on the web page and he has spoken about the project at public meetings. Unfortunately not may citizens show up at our public meetings and the newspapers don’t generally attend the meetings to report on what they are doing. Mayor David also stated that other than to say that we all agree that we need a public safety building…there has been nothing to report on because we have not come up with location, we haven’t decided on an architect or a design of the building and without that information we have no way of knowing exactly how much it is going to cost. Until those things are done, we are proceeding cautiously and trying to make the appropriate decisions and as they are made we will try to provide that information to the public. Tonight we
mentioned that we decided last night to put out RFP’s to hire engineers and a planner to provide us with information to see if this particular proposal would be feasible for our
community. When we get those reports back, everyone can make an informed decision on whether that is the most appropriate location. There will be input from the public if and when it is decided that this is the appropriate location. Mayor David reported that he cannot control what goes in the newspaper. Dan McCarthy, the Borough Attorney stated the Star Ledger does not take articles written by members of the Governing Body, they have reporters that do that kind of work.
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Grace Brasser, 144 South Michigan Avenue – Ms. Brasser commented that the State has mandated that we have a new police building. It has been known for years that we needed a new building years before our present Mayor and Council.
Jerry Ramos, 337 North 19th Street – Mr. Ramos commented that it was obvious to him that the silly season of politics has started. Mr. Ramos stated that from his observation it is obvious that the Republicans are against the new building and the Democrats are for the new building.
Mr. Ramos stated that one of the candidates that was just named as a Republican candidate got up and spoke tonight and if it weren’t for election time, he would never have been up here.. Mr. Ramos stated the public safety building has become a political football and the citizens of Kenilworth should know that if the majority of the government changes there will not be a new police building. The republicans are looking to put road blocks up because they want to add on to the present building. They do not want to see a new building put up under a Democratic administration.
Mayor David reiterated that no decision has been made by the Governing Body as to how they are going to proceed other than the need for a public safety building and an expansion of the present building, meaning the departments that remain in this building can expand into the police space, it is justified, necessary and has to be addressed. Mayor & Council will do the due diligence, get the experts opinion and make an informed, intelligent decision once they have that information.
Carmela Colosimo, 22 North 19th Street – Ms. Colosimo stated that this should be a bi partisan issue and not a Democratic or Republican issue. She hoped everyone will make their decision based on the need for a new safety building and not what party they are affiliated with. She encouraged all the council members to base their decision on what is best for the town and what is best for this town is that we need a new facility.
Mary Michitsch, 725 Monmouth Avenue – Ms. Michitsch stated that she agreed with Ms. Colosimo and this is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it is for all the people of this town.
Councilwoman Fiamingo commented that the Republican party is not opposed to a public safety building and they have made it very clear that they believe that one is needed and it must be done. We may disagree on certain issues but we do not disagree on the need for a public safety building.
Brian Joho, 190 Boulevard – Mr. Joho stated he has been a resident and taxpayer for eight years and if you listen to his words before, he did not disagree with the need for an improved
police facility, what he did say was he did not agree with a developer holding a six story building over our heads.
Jerry Ramos, 337 North 19th Street – Mr. Ramos stated that this was nothing more than delay tactics on the part of the Republicans and this building will never get done if they are in power here.
Fred Soos, 18 Epping Drive – Mr. Soos stated he would like to correct a few things that were said tonight. The first is someone said this has been going on for a year, it has not been going on for a year…it has been going on for three years. Mr. Soos stated he is a member of the Facilities Committee and it has been a bi partisan committee. The committee spent a lot of time
Regular Council Meeting April 11, 2007 Page 16
on this project such as looking into the Methodist Church on the Boulevard as a site because they thought the Church wanted to sell the property and after waiting a long, long time for an answer, the answer was no. There was also another piece of property in town that we thought we could bid on. We should thank Schering-Plough for devoting a lot of their time to look at plans to renovate the building and also plans for obtaining another building. The Facilities Committee has done everything they could possibly do to come up with the best possible plan for the good of this community without costing to much. We are at the point where we now have another piece of property and it is going to take time to make the right decision. We would have liked to have the public safety building on the Boulevard but we have exhausted all the possibilities. If someone comes to us and tells us where we could build on the Boulevard, we would gladly look into it, but the next option is a main street and that could be Michigan Avenue.
Mayor David reminded everyone that next week is the school board elections and please go out and vote on April 17, 2007.
There being no further business to come before the Council, it was moved by Councilman Clementi, seconded by Councilman Taylor and carried, that the meeting be adjourned to the call of the chair.
8:55 P.M. Respectfully submitted,
Hedy Lipke, Borough Clerk
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