BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Governing Body Meeting Minutes
Mayor Merryfield called the meeting to Order at 7:00 p.m. He 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 7, 2017.”
Mayor Merryfield asked the Clerk for the roll call.
Under roll call, Councilwomen Kathy Lange and Jackie Valvardi were present as well as Councilmen Schroeder and Mrozinski. Solicitor Albert J. Olizi, Jr., Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Deputy Clerk Katie Compton and CFO Christie Ehret and were also present. Council President Griffith was excused. Councilman DiRenzo was not present.
Mayor Merryfield asked each Councilmember if they had anything they wished to discuss.
Councilman DiRenzo arrived at 7:05 p.m.
New Jersey Local Government Energy Audit (LGEA) Program
Councilman Schroeder said he wanted to address the Local Government Energy Audit Program that was brought to the Environmental Commission by member and resident Justin Yuhaze. He said board of public utilities. This is a free audit up to $100,000.00. Clean energy program and Board of Public Utilities. He said that future capital projects may be covered through this program and that once the audit is complete, there will be multiple ways to finance proposed projects. This program provides incentives, finance and direct install options. He said that this would provide documentation to fund future projects. Schroeder described a scenario in Hamilton Township in Mercer County where a project was estimated at $125,000. He said the Clean Energy Program provided $87,000 of the total cost of the project. He said that Yuhaze and John Ellis are working on the application and that Resolution 2017:157 supporting the application process has been added to this evening’s Agenda. Councilwoman Lange mentioned that we did a few direct install projects on our buildings with Justin Yuhaze a couple of years ago. Councilman Mrozinski asked how long it would take to receive the report. Schroeder said approximately three months.
Mayor Merryfield said that he would like to go around the table for Councilmembers to ask questions.
Lange said she wanted to address the vacant properties ordinance during the Business Session.
Councilman DiRenzo asked about the Duane Morris bill. Olizi said it was pulled from the bill list so that he can review it. DiRenzo then asked about the Solicitor’s invoice. Olizi said this covered three months. DiRenzo asked to see both bills. Santosusso said she would provide.
Councilman DiRenzo asked Councilman Schroeder if there would be any additional costs associated with the energy audit. Schroeder responded no.
Councilwoman Lange discussed a proposed memorial bench in Lois Cuthberth’s memory. She said the cost would be covered by the Women’s Club.
With no further caucus items to address, Mayor Merryfield concluded the Caucus session and announced that the Business Session will convene downstairs at 7:30 p.m.
Mayor Merryfield called the Business Session to order at 7:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE:
All stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON CAUCUS AND AGENDA ITEMS ONLY:
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on Caucus and Agenda items only. Seeing no movement, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members present were in favor.
PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION TO Barbara Hoff-Robinson
Mayor Merryfield and Councilwoman Lange asked Mrs. Robinson to step forward. Lange read the Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the summer recreation program from 1957 through 1980.
Mrs. Robinson thanked Mayor and Council. All posted for a photo for the RETROSPECT.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the Minutes of the July 18, 2017.
A motion to approve the Minutes of the July 18, 2017 Council meeting was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Schroeder. All members present were in favor with the exception of Councilman Mrozinski who abstained.
Councilman DiRenzo had no report.
Councilwoman Valvardi had no report.
Councilwoman Lange thanked the Department of Public Works for cooperating with the Rotary Club for the planting of 16 trees. Rotary donated the trees and DPW planted them.
Lange said that the five (5) week summer rec program has concluded. All sessions remained sold out; those on the waiting lists were accommodated. She reported that Items in shed were inventoried, keys returned to Borough Hall and the key for the 7th Avenue School Multi-Purpose room was returned to the Board of Education. Thanked the Police and Fire Departments, EMS and the Department of Public Works. She said that the Summer Rec staff was great and the eight (8) Junior high students in the Cadet program provided 45 hours of service. She said that she is waiting for two final invoices to be processed through Finance and she will then report on the profit.
Lange went on to report that the Parks and Rec Committee meet on July 20th. She said she spoke with Kelly Ferrante, a grass roots organizer for the high school Lacrosse program. Nothing has been formalized.
Councilwoman Lange then reported on the Small Explorer’s Park Kindness Garden saying that the willow tunnel is being watered daily by the Department of Public Works. She said she gave a figure for the playground equipment for the Park at the last meeting; she said she is working on locking in the price through the next year.
The Board of Education will meet next Tuesday, August 8th at 7:30 at the 7th Avenue Multi-Purpose Room. She said they have a new website where all information on the budget can be found
Councilman Mrozinski thanked Council for the opportunity to work together over the remainder of the year and said he appreciated the warm welcome from the Borough and Council over the past two (2) weeks.
Councilman Schroeder reported HIP meeting is next Monday, August 7th at 7:00 pm. He said that the HH Business and Professional Association has no meeting in August. He said that that the Shade Tree Commission meeting was rescheduled. He said we have not heard whether we will receive Community Stewardship Incentive Program grant. He said we are hoping to hear within two weeks and we hope that receive the grant. At this time, the Shade Tree Commission will meet to assess how grant monies will be spent.
He said that the Environmental Commission met two weeks ago. Permission for the planting of trees at Cedar and Bellmawr was received. The tree line is being restored and they will continue to plant more trees each year.
Councilman Schroeder said he attended the Camden County Improvement Authority meeting where discussion was held regarding converting part of Haddon Lake Park into a Dog Park. They will continue to work with Audubon and Mt. Ephraim on this initiative. They are also working with Audubon for possible signage at the crosswalk on Kings Highway between Haddon Lake Park and Audubon Lake Park. He said that Captain Scardino is working on this.
Schroeder said that he discussed the New Jersey Local Government Energy Audit program up in the Caucus session. He said that the program is run through the Public Board of Utilities. He further explained the program and explained that an energy audit would be provided to determine what monies the Borough might be able to utilize. He explained some of the larger scale programs. He said he is hoping to have the audit conducted over the next few months. He added that Resolution 2017:157 has been added to the Agenda this evening in support of the application.
Public Hearing and Final Adoption of Bond Ordinance 2017:1443 – Ordinance Reappropriating $32,000.00 Proceeds of Obligations Not Needed for their Original Purposes in Order to Provide for the Purchase of a Police Vehicle by the Borough of Haddon Heights
Mayor Merryfield opened the Public Hearing on Bond Ordinance 2017:1443. Seeing no movement, a motion to adopt Bond Ordinance 2017:1443 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi and seconded by Councilwoman Lange. Councilman DiRenzo expressed that he feels the $32,000.00 should remain with the Fire Department. Upon a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor with the exception of Councilman DiRenzo who voted no.
Public Hearing and Final Adoption of Ordinance 2017:1444 – An Ordinance Repealing Ordinance 2016-1429 and Providing for Registration, Maintenance and Management of Certain Properties and Providing for Penalties, Enforcement and Regulation to Reduce Registrable Real Property Within the Borough of Haddon Heights
Mayor Merryfield asked opened the Public Hearing on Ordinance 2017:1444. Seeing no movement, a motion to close the public hearing was made by Councilman Mrozinski and was seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi.
Councilwoman Lange asked what towns in the area adopted this Ordinance. Olizi said that Barrington has adopted it and is unaware if Haddonfield has. Solicitor Olizi said this is the first step in creating a Shared Service with the County with a company Champion. Councilwoman Lange said that she wanted to clarify Section 6 of the Ordinance. She wanted to be assured that residents who have maintained their property with taxes current would not be assessed the bi annual registration fee. Lange said that she was also concerned about the size of the sign that would be posted on the property. Discussion ensued with clarification being made by the Solicitor that only homes in foreclosure, vacant and abandoned and taxes unpaid would be subject to the bi-annual registration fee. Lange said she was in favor of supporting the Ordinance and thanked all for the explanation.
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance 2017:1444. A motion to adopt was made by Councilman Schroeder and was seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Upon a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:149 – Resolution Extending Grace Period for Third Quarter Taxes
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:149 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilwoman Lange. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2017: 150 – Resolution Authorizing Tax Collector to Cancel Taxes
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:150 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Schroeder. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:151 – Resolution Authorizing Tax Collector to Cancel Taxes
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:151 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Mrozinski. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:152 – Resolution Authorizing Payment of Bills and Claims for First Half of August
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:152 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilwoman Lange. All members present voted in favor. Abstention Horizon Blue Cross and the VSP.
Resolution 2017:153 – Resolution Authorizing the Refund of a Summer Program Fees Payment
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:153 was made by Councilwoman Lange, seconded by Councilman Valvardi. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:154 – Resolution Authorizing Purchase of a 2017 Police Interceptor Utility Vehicle for the Police Department
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:154 was made by Councilwoman Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members present voted in favor with the exception of Councilman DiRenzo who abstained. He said that he believes the vehicle will not be part of the state contract because it has been extended through 2018. He then asked what vehicles were going out of service. Chief Koch responded to all questions posed by Councilman DiRenzo.
Resolution 2017:155 – Resolution Requesting the Insertion of a Special Item of Revenue in the Budget of Any County or Municipality Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:4-87 (Chapter 159 P.L. 1948)
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:155 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilwoman Lange. All members present voted in favor with the exception of Councilman Mrozinski who abstained.
Resolution 2017:156 – Resolution Requesting the Insertion of a Special Item of Revenue in the Budget of Any County or Municipality Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:4-87 (Chapter 159 P.L. 1948)
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:156 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Schroeder. All members present voted in favor with the exception of Councilman Mrozinski who abstained.
Resolution 2017:157 – Resolution Memorializing the Commitment to the New Jersey Local Energy Audit Program.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:156
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on any topic anyone may wish to address.
Brett Harrison, 516 Station Avenue – Mr. Harrison addressed his concern as President of the HH Business and Professional Association, that a vendor on Station Avenue utilized a location at the Fall Festival without paying the required fee. He said that HH Business and Professional Association. He said that an unregistered vendor set up two carts. Discussion ensued between Mayor Merryfield and Mr. Harrison. Councilwoman Lange said that she thought that at an HHBPA meeting, Margaret Westfield stated that she invited the person to join the festival on the day of the event. Harrison said he wanted to know what Council can do to address the situation. Further discussion ensued and Mayor Merryfield suggested that Mr. Harrison consult the Zoning Officer to determine how this situation might be addressed. Chief Koch stepped forward and stated that this is not a police matter.
Audrey DiRenzo, 2nd Avenue – Mrs. DiRenzo addressed her comments toward Councilwoman Lange saying that Ms. Westfield did not invite the vendor to participate.
Joseph Gentile, 1410 Sycamore Street – Mr. Gentile said that he is the vendor being spoken of and said that there was not a second cart. Upon reviewing the diagram, he said that the other location was a pretzel box. He said that Mrs. Westfield did ask him to participate because some vendors did not show due to the weather. He said that this somehow has been misconstrued. He said he was on the sidewalk and not in the street. Discussion ensued regarding past coordination of the Fall Festival. Gentile apologized for the situation.
Joseph Gentile, Jr. – 1410 Sycamore Street – Joseph Gentile, Jr. said that he wanted to thank Councilwoman Kathy Lange for all she has done for the Summer Recreation Program. He said “us kids enjoyed the fun!” Councilwoman Lange thanked JP.
Fire Chief Michael Kinky, 608 Station Avenue – Chief Kinky said that he wanted to clarify in the earlier comments that the cart would have to be in the street as it must be ten (10) feet from the building. He said that a Type I permit may have been required. He said event permits have nothing to do with the Fire Department.
He went on to say that as a public official, he is open to criticism and scruitiny and understands that but said that he draws the line when people question the integrity of his staff. He said that Mario Scullan, fire marshall and Joe Hales, fire inspector have never had any formal complaints against them. He said they are simply doing their jobs, enforcing the NJ Uniform Fire Code. He added that these rules are in place not to give anyone a hard time, they are enforced for the safety of the public. He said that his door is always open and his phone is always on to discuss any issues with the Fire Department and expressed his disappointment that he was never directly contacted regarding the recent event in question. Chief Kinky concluded by saying that the Fire Department is willing to help in any way they can. He said that he worries that if appropriate channels are not followed, borough officials and administration being undermined will create chaos. He would like all to respect the fact that they will enforce the NJ Uniform Fire Code for the safety of the public.
Seeing no further movement, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Lange and was seconded by Councilman Mrozinski. All members present were in favor.
Kelly Santosusso, RMC