BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Governing Body Meeting Minutes
Mayor Merryfield called the meeting to Order at 7:00 p.m. and then read the following statement:
“In accordance with Section 5 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975, notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board designed for that purpose and notice was transmitted to the official newspapers provided by Resolution adopted January 2, 2016.”
Mayor Merryfield asked Borough Clerk Santosusso for the roll call.
Under roll call the following members were present: Councilmen Stephen D. Berryhill and Earl R. Miller, Jr, Councilwoman Susan R. Griffith, Council President Kathy Lange, Councilwoman Jacqueline E. Valvardi, were present as well as Brian Lozouk, Esq., Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Deputy Clerk Katilyn Compton. Councilman Richard DiRenzo was absent.
Vacant Property Ordinance
Mayor Merryfield tabled this discussion until February 2, 2016 Council Meeting.
Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso explained that over the last two (2) years we have had a contract with Networks Plus to provide Network and IT services to the borough. The company’s responsibilities have been increased with the addition of them hosting, coding, and maintaining the borough’s website. We had Networks Plus take over because our previous host and webmaster was not able to provide the necessary upkeep. Jerry Caruso from Networks Plus has approached Kelly and stated that the flat fee of $1,000/mo. Is no longer a sufficient monthly payment because of the newly added responsibilities. He has asked for an increase of $1,200/mo. For unlimited services. We either need to move forward with this company or go out to bid again. Councilwoman Griffith asked if we are satisfied with the quality of work that this company provides. Santosusso said generally speaking, we are happy with the service and her recommendation would be to stay with them. Councilman Miller asked what our term of contract is now. Santosusso responded that our contract had expired and we are now working month-to-month. Miller asked if Jerry would be willing to lock that price in for three (3) years with an exit clause included in the contract.
Out of Service Police Vehicle
Councilwoman Griffith explained she received a phone call from the Fire Chief about a week ago. We have an out of service 1996 Crown Victoria that was used as a Police Vehicle. We tried to auction it off in our most recent GovDeals auction and were unable to. The Fire Department would like to use this vehicle for the inspectors to use around town for inspections. The vehicle does need some front end work however we do not know the extent of the work needed. We are going to get it looked at and if the cost of repair is too significant then we will put it back up for auction. If not, they would like to repair it and use it for the fire department. Council advised that we should find out the cost of repair first and then make a decision. There is a SUV that the Fire Department uses for this purpose, however an additional vehicle is needed for when there are multiple inspectors and officials working simultaneously.
Superintendent John Ellis explained that this vehicle is serviceable and capable of meeting the needs of the Fire Department. We just want to ensure that this vehicle will not be in need of continuous work.
Fourth of July Rain Date
Councilwoman Griffith stated that Fourth of July falls on a Monday this year. She proposed that the rain date of the parade be on the following Saturday, July 9th, 2016. Council agreed.
Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) East/West Atlantic Avenue Corridor Multi-Use Improvement Study
Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso reported that she and John Ellis attended a meeting along with Craig Reilly from Bach Associates regarding TCDI for the East/West Atlantic Avenue Corridor Multi-Use Improvement Study. She explained that the corridor will run through Haddon Heights, Audubon, and into Oaklyn. It will be like a bike path. They are in the initial stages of the study. They held this meeting with the intent of representatives from each municipality could give any points of interest or concern about the project. She reiterated that this was the initial meeting and there will be more in the future. Santosusso passed around the agenda and a map from the meeting. She explained that this project also helps Sustainable Haddon Heights received points towards their certifications.
Mayor Merryfield asked if any other council members had questions about the agenda.
Council President Lange wanted to confirm that Special Law Enforcement Officer being appointed at tonight’s meeting was the officer that works in the schools. Kelly Santosusso confirmed that Lange was correct.
Councilwoman Griffith pointed out a typo in Councilman Berryhill’s report on the last minutes. Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso said that she will fix that.
Councilman Berryhill said that Trish Sheilds asked her last night regarding Resolution 2016. She stated that it should read “2017 Budget” rather than “2016 Budget.” Kelly Santosusso said that she will confirm that with her.
Deputy Borough Clerk Katie Compton gave an update on the new phone system implementation. She explained that they conducted another walkthrough on Friday and recognized each phone that will need the update to Cat5 Cabling. The borough is in possession of a plethora of this cabling so we will use what we have in inventory to keep the costs down. They are estimating mid-February for installation. They will back out do the re-cabling, installation, and training for all departments.
Councilman Miller gave an update on the borough-wide copier situation. He explains that he has reviewed the entire contract. He said there is an opportunity that we can reduce our expenditures and have working units throughout the borough buildings. He is looking forward to presenting the information to everybody.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE
Mayor Merryfield asked all to stand for a moment of silence and then led the meeting in the Pledge of
Council called for Public Comment on Caucus and Agenda items only.
Chris Mrozinski, 109 Third Avenue- Asked about the Vacant Property discussion that was on the agenda. Mayor Merryfield responded that because the solicitor is not present this evening, it was tabled to the next meeting. Brian Lozouk explained that purpose of the ordinance is to put the burden of vacant properties on the owners and banks. The borough is following other towns by identifying individual properties and register these vacant properties with the town. Mr. Mrozinski asked what the current procedure is for vacant properties. Mayor Merryfield said that we survey them and send our requests directly to the banks, but usually get ignored. Mayor Merryfield explained that we are trying to get a better grip on these properties.
Councilman Berryhill explained that last year, when he became director of Construction and Zoning, he was given a list of every vacant property in town. He said he is in the process of driving by each property and taking notes. Berryhill spoke about a solicitor in another town that has gone to superior court and filed a claim against the bank that owns a specific property in his municipality. He explained that with this case, the town can perform work and maintenance on the property. He would like to see these properties have movement and not bring down property value.
Mr. Mrozinski said that 240 Kings Highway has been vacant for almost 2 years and he has tried to contact the zoning office about it with no response. He expressed that he is glad to hear that things are moving. Councilman Berryhill asked him to send him the information and he will help.
Seeing no one else come forward, a motion to close the public comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members present were in favor.
PRESENTATION OF COMMENDATION FOR OFFICER OF THE YEAR 2015:
Mayor Merryfield asked Councilwoman Griffith, Director of Public Safety to come down to present a commendation to Patrolman Selby for Officer of the Year 2015. Councilman Griffith read the Commendation. Patrolman Selby said that he is thankful and appreciates the nomination from administration. Chief Kinkler said it is not easy to get this nomination. Kinkler went on to say it means a lot when a guy beats someone else out. Patrolman Selby had about 50 proactive arrests and summonses. Kinkler said he is good to have on the force. He knows when to treat someone appropriately. He thanked Patrolman Scardino for doing a great job and thanked him for his work on the force in the future.
PRESENTATION OF ‘WINTER LIGHTS CONTEST’ TROPHIES
Councilwoman Griffith presented a trophy to the 2015 Winter Lights Contest First Place Winners- the Montone Family, 1012 Kings Highway. Griffith congratulated the Montone’s on their trophy and complimented their beautiful decorations. Chief Kinkler expressed his love for the town and explained that one of his favorite things is to as a police officer is to drive around at night when everyone is sleeping to see the lights. This makes him take pride in their neighborhood. He said that their house was great, even the shed was decorated. He appreciates the pride he takes in their house.
Councilwoman Griffith read names of the Second Place Winners- the McKane family and Third Place Winners- the Rutna family. She thanked everyone for their decorations, dedication and pride. Council appreciates everyone’s efforts.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the Council meeting minutes of the December 15, 2015 Council meeting. A motion was made by Councilman Berryhill and seconded by Council President Lange. All members present were in favor.
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the January 2, 2016 Reorganization Meeting. A motion was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilman Miller. All members present were in favor.
Councilman Berryhill reported that the Environmental Commission has found a program with PSE&G where they audit the buildings in a town and come up with cost to make the building more energy efficient. PSE&G will pay 70% of the cost of the work and bill borough for rest of 30% over two years along with decreasing the overall usage costs. For example, the total cost of the project at Borough Hall is estimated at $17,419.00. PSE&G will pay $12,193.00 upfront. The borough will finance the other 30% with 0% interest over two years. The cost to the borough will be $5,225.00 which will increase the utility bill $145.16 a month. However, the borough will be saving $423 per month in usage fees. They will be doing this for all of the buildings in town. They are expecting to receive a bid on the Library and Fire Department soon. Councilman Berryhill explained that Justin Yuhaze and John Ellis have been the brains behind this project. They will both be here at the next council meeting to explain it more. Berryhill said he will make a copy of the informational packet that he has regarding the project. Mayor Merryfield asked if this was for lighting. Councilman Berryhill responded and said that for Borough hall it is mostly or all lighting and for the Library and Fire Department, it will be the replacement of boilers.
Berryhill reporting on Project SAVE. This initiative started in Superior Court, where there is a drug court for people who have drug problems that result in criminal activities. They are moving this down to municipal courts. Gloucester Township is taking the lead on this. What Gloucester Township is doing is having a Drug and Alcohol Counselor at court hearings. This person will recognize a person with an addiction issue and allow him/her to enroll in a program for monitoring and to make sure they get help for their problem. They will be able to return to court after their therapy and if it looks like this person is recovered then they will not be fined or have to plead guilty in the crime. Berryhill recites a statistic that startled him: in 2014, there were 781 heroin overdoses in New Jersey. Of the 21 counties in the state, 10% of these overdoses were in Camden County. He makes it clear that this is not just in the City of Camden, as we have already had one (1) heroin related death in Haddon Heights this year. Another part of this project is related to the Police Officers in town. If an officer goes to a home of a person with a drug problem, they will give them a card that lists a number of services that can provide this person help.
Berryhill said that the Municipal Alliance Commission will have a Special Meeting in February to see if we can get this program up and running. He said it will cost some money. He said that Collingswood just started this program and he will find out what they are spending on it. He will have more to report about it in the near future.
Berryhill said that at the reorganization meeting, he thanked everyone who are on the committees for their service but forgot to thank the borough clerks, Kelly Santosusso and Katie Compton. He thanked them for always helping to get things done for him and for the town.
Councilwoman Griffith reported that she is meeting with Chief Kinkler and Barb Willson of the Barrington Ambulance Co. this week and Fire Department next week to get a grasp on her new role as director of Public Safety.
Council President Lange reported that programs are generating revenue and they are up at least $2,000 from last year. She said she does not have the rental figures from 2015 but will report on that at the next meeting. She said there will be no Parks and Rec Committee meeting this month. She will meet with the representatives of the Haddon Heights Soccer Club for next round of discussions for lighting at the Devon Avenue fields. Mayor Merryfield and Councilman Miller will also be attendance. That meeting will be 7:30 p.m. on January 21, 2016. Lange notes that Haddonfield Memorial High School had to get their poles taken down at their field last week. We are not the only entity with this issue. Audubon Wave Park also has a similar issue. We want to maintain borough asset that children and visitors enjoy. She has reached out to Haddonfield to see if they have any hints for us what to do. The Board of Education had their meeting last week. She encourages all to look on their website for information.
Councilwoman Valvardi report that she has met with Kelly Santosusso twice to go over her new role and expectations as Director of Administration. She and Kelly have agreed that a weekly meeting would be beneficial. Valvardi reported that our Rentals Facility Custodian has left the job without notice. She and Kelly decided that immediate posting was best. Patrick Crilly will be doing the rentals within his hours already set forth so it is important that we hire someone soon. Kelly provided her a key to the conference room and brought her up to speed with personnel matters in the administration offices. She explains that we have received six (6) applications so far. The job was posted at $15/ hr. and the applications are due on Thursday. January 21, 2015. We are hoping to have a hire by next meeting.
Valvardi also reported that she has attended the Haddon heights Business and Professionals Meeting that was held last week. She was introduced to the eight members present. She made suggestions about scholarships that were being offered to students of the High Schools in town.
Councilman Miller explained that will be meeting with John Ellis on Monday for introduction to his new duties as Director of Public Works. He also reported on the Department of Public Works. A formal report is attached to these minutes. Miller also explained that we are advanced in the preparation of the budget. He will be having meetings with the Department Heads to go over their budgets.
Craig Reilly from Bach Associates distributed a written report and said that he will rely on the report unless there were any questions. There were no questions.
Introduction of Ordinance 2016:1427 – Ordinance Of The Borough Of Haddon Heights, County Of Camden, New Jersey, Re-Appropriating Certain Funded Appropriation Balances Heretofore Provided For
Various Capital Projects And Re-Appropriating Such Funded Appropriation Balances For Other Capital
Public Hearing and Final Adoption of Ordinance 2016:1427 is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium of Borough Hall, 625 Station Avenue, Haddon Heights, New Jersey.
A motion to introduce Ordinance 2016:1427 was made by Councilman Miller, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:37 – Resolution Combining the Responsibilities of the Streetscape Committee and the Neighbors Night Out Committee and Memorializing the Mayor’s 2016 Appointments to the Neighbors Night Out Committee
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:37 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:38 – Resolution Amending Resolution 2016:25 Resolution Concerning Appointments
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:38 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:39 – Resolution Appointing Acting Fire Officials DePierri, Ernie Busch & Jim Burleigh
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:39 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Miller. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:40 – Resolution Authorizing the Approval of Bills and Claims for the First Half of January 2016
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:40 was made by Councilman Miller, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted yes.
Resolution 2016:41 – Resolution Approving a Social Affair Permit for the Village Cheese Shop for the Purpose of a Haddonfield Adult School Class on Belgian Beers
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:41 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Council President Lange. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:42 – Resolution Approving a Social Affair Permit for the Village Cheese Shop for the Purpose of a Haddonfield Adult School Class on Bourbon
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:42 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Council President Lange. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:43 – Resolution Approving a One day Social Affair Permit for St. Rose of Lima for the Purpose of a Beef and Beer Fundraiser
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:43 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilman Miller. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:44 – Resolution Authorizing The Mayor to Execute An Agreement Between the Borough of
Haddon Heights and Phoenix Advisors, LLC, Independent Registered Municipal Advisor Of Record For The Purpose of Providing Continuing Disclosure Agent Services
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:44 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted yes.
Resolution 2016:45 – Resolution Appointing Special Law Enforcement Officer for the Haddon Heights Police Department
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:45 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:46 – Resolution Authorizing Submission of a Grant Application for Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:37 was made by Councilman Miller, seconded by Council President Lange. All members present voted in favor.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment.
Seeing none, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members present were in favor.
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to adjourn. A motion to adjourn was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members present were in favor. 8:01 p.m.
Katilyn Compton, Deputy Borough Clerk