August 7, 2018

                                                                            BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS

                                                                                               Tuesday, August 7, 2018

                                                                                                         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 6, 2018.”

ROLL CALL:

Mayor Merryfield asked the Clerk for roll call.

Under roll call, Councilwomen Griffith and Madden were present as well as Council President Mrozinski.  Borough Solicitor Howard Long, Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Administrative Assistant Marian Hauser were also present.  Councilwoman Valvardi and Councilmen Schroeder & Schreiber are absent but excused.  A quorum exists.

CAUCUS SESSION:

Tennis Courts

Solicitor Howard Long explained that he received an e-mail from our insurance carrier who is tasked to do inspections of our facilities as part of our insurance coverage and had the opportunity to inspect our tennis courts.  He said that our engineer can explain further the conditions but from his perspective, his concern is that Mr. Strauss from our insurance company concluded that given potential hazards located there, the courts should be closed.  He explained further that public entities are granted sovereign immunity from lawsuits, however, the NJ Tort Claims Act would allow for a lawsuit to be filed if the municipality had actual or constructive notice in advance of a potential accident or injury and had time to take remedial action.  Long said that the due to the notification to the borough by our insurance group, this creates not only a liability issue but also a coverage issue.  We would not be covered by insurance if any accident were to occur there if we allowed it to remain open.  Had we not taken action, we would be opening ourselves up to major liability and thereby exposing our tax payers to direct liability.  Long said that he spoke extensively to both Councilman Schroeder and Councilwoman Madden to discuss.  He said that both councilmembers being attorneys, they fully understood the position the Borough has taken.  Discussion ensued as to making alternate arrangements for the high school. 

Councilwoman Madden said that as the Assistant Director to Parks and Rec, we have known that the tennis courts are an issue we need to address.  She said we created a tennis working group to address the concerns.  Unfortunately, we are beyond the point where patching can resolve the issue.  She said that we fully understand and appreciate that this creates problems for the high school tennis teams.  Madden said she spoke to both Superintendent Mike Adams and Athletic Director Joe Cramp to discuss alternate arrangements.  She said she is confident that we can work out a short term solution.  Councilman Schroeder and Councilwoman Madden said they are committed to working with the school board to come up with a long term plan.  Our Engineer will discuss what needs to occur prior to the repair of the courts.  She said that due to the school being the primary users of the courts, she is confident that we can work together toward a long term solution.  Safety is all of our priority. 

Steve Bach said based on his review of the report the surfaces are cracking over the length of the courts.  He said the cracks have been filled several times with the repairs never lasting beyond two years.  He said there is now a wholesale failure of the surface.  We would be throwing money away in just filling the cracks and he thinks the Insurance Company would not approve of such a solution.  Soil boring testing has been approved so that a long term solution can be considered.  Filling in the cracks will not resolve the issue and tripping hazards will still exist.

Purchasing Manual

Clerk Santosusso said that she has provided a draft of the Borough Purchasing Manual to all Councilmembers.  She explained that upon approval by Council, the purchasing manual will be distributed to all Department Heads to ensure adherence to all proper purchasing guidelines.  She asked that all review and direct any comments and/or suggestions to her.  She said we are hoping to adopt this at the next meeting. 

Mayor asked Council if there were any questions on these evening’s Agenda.  There were none.  Mayor Merryfield said that Caucus has ended and we will recess downstairs for the business session.

BUSINESS SESSION:

Mayor Merryfield called the Business Session to order at 7:30 p.m. 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE:

Mayor Merryfield asked all to stand 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. 

Nicole Angelo, Barrington – asked whether Haddon Heights High School can do some fundraising to assist with the reconstruction of the tennis courts.  Long responded yes and explained further that the soil boring testing costs will be split with the school district.  He said any private funds will certainly assist.  He said that once we get the testing results back, we will announce the cost.  She asked how long do we think it will take for the courts to be ready for play.  Any repairs will not be completed during this season.  

Seeing no further movement, Mayor Merryfield called for a motion to close this portion of the meeting.  A motion was made by Councilwoman Madden, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith.  All members present voted in favor.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES:

Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the Council Meeting Minutes of July 3, 2018.  A motion was made by Councilwoman Madden seconded by Councilwoman Griffith.  All members present voted in favor.

Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the Council Meeting Minutes of July 17, 2018.  A motion was made by Councilwoman Madden seconded by Councilwoman Griffith.  All members present voted in favor.

COUNCILMEMBER REPORTS:

Councilwoman Madden reported that she attended the Heights in Progress (HIP) meeting last night.  She said the main focus of the meeting was trying to promote the Farmers Market.  Tomorrow evening is the Board of Education meeting.

Councilwoman Griffith relayed the Barrington Ambulance report for July (attached to these minutes).  She also noted that the Board of Health has recommended that during election season, that any candidates running for office knocking on doors to take note of numbers of cats and dogs in homes and possibly report back to them as they are aware that the numbers of pets are not accurately reflected with the number of licensed animals through the borough.

Council President Mrozinski reported on the Economic Development Advisory Board meeting in which they discussed additional bike racks. They received some of feedback and he is currently working with Steve Bach regarding placement.  He said that funding would come from the business associations and that a report should be provided in September.  He said that additional parking and directional signs as well as business district signage.  He said that the hope is that both business associations will assist in the funding of the signage.

Mrozinski said that at the suggestion of the Construction Office, some permitting fees will be reviewed in bringing us comparable to some of the surrounding municipalities.

Solicitor Howard Long said he consulted with the Clerk on correspondence received from Citizens Improving Affordable Housing who requested that two letters be shared with the public.  He said he is passing these along to the Clerk’s office will be on file should anyone from the public wish to review.

ENGINEER’S REPORT:

Steve Bach, 304 White Horse Pike – Bach updated Council on the status of the Station Avenue and Atlantic Avenue pedestrian improvements.  He said unfortunately, the County did not receive any bids for the project.  The County will re-advertise this Friday to hopefully receive bids before the next September meeting.  No passing zones through the County have been completed.

Bach noted that a resolution is on this evening’s agenda awarding a contract to Landberg Construction for Reconstruction of W. High Street, Phase IV to be paid for from the Municipal Aid funding from the DOT.  He said they are fully aware of our expectations and expects the project to run smoothly.

Pre-construction meeting is scheduled for this coming Wednesday for the Roof Replacement at the Service Operations Facility.  This should be done early fall.

ADA Improvements to Borough Hall – Bach explained that we have had the preconstruction meeting with that the contractor has to fabricate the railings over at the Library as they are no longer available.  We wanted to make sure the railings match with the Library.  He noted that they cannot begin until all materials are onsite. He said we will coordinate with the Clerk for an alternate entrance to Borough Hall during the 30 day construction period.  He said the project should be completed prior to the Fall Festival. 

Beginning August 13th handicapped ramps throughout town will be completed prior to the first day of school.  

NEW BUSINESS:

Introduction of Ordinance 2018:1457 – Ordinance Authorizing The Borough Of Haddon Heights To Acquire A Certain Parcel Of Real Property From The New Jersey Department Of Transportation (“NJDOT”) Identified As Parcel VX36G2 On A Map Entitled New Jersey State Highway Department General Property Parcel Map, FAI 108-2-(1), North-South Freeway (F.A.I. 109), For The Sum Of Three Thousand ($3,000) Dollars Subject To Certain Terms And Conditions Set Forth In The Agreement Of Sale Between The Parties

A motion to introduce Ordinance 2018:1457 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

Introduction of Ordinance 2018:1458 – Ordinance Appropriating $3,000 Available In The Capital Improvement Fund To Provide For The Acquisition By The Borough Of Haddon Heights Of A Certain Parcel Of Real Property From The New Jersey Depa1iment Of Transportation, Identified As Parcel VX36G2 On A Map Entitled New Jersey State Highway Department General Property Parcel Map, F.A.I. 108-2-(1), North-South Freeway (F.A.I. 109)

A motion to introduce Ordinance 2018:1458 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

Introduction of Ordinance 2018:1459 – Ordinance Reappropriating $26,655.15 Proceeds Of Obligations Not Needed For Their Original Purposes In Order To Provide For Milling And Resurfacing Of Various Streets And Roads

A motion to introduce Ordinance 2018:1459 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:179 – Resolution Awarding A Contract To Municipal Code Corporation For The Purpose Of Providing Website Redesign, Hosting, And Support Services For The Borough Of Haddon Heights

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:179 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:180 – Resolution Amending Resolution 2018:130 Resolution Authorizing Salaries, Wages and Reimbursements to Be Paid to Non-Contractual Employees of the Borough of Haddon Heights

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:180 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:181 – Approving a Raffle License Marine Corps Detachment 1775 Wagon of Cheer­ December 12, 2018

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:181 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:182 – Resolution Authorizing Turnover of Municipal Court Uncashed Checks for the Year 2017

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:182 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:183 – Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills and Claims for the Month of August

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:183 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor with the exception of Councilwoman Griffith who abstained from payments to Horizon, Southern New Jersey Regional Benefits Fund, VSP, and Bollinger.

Resolution 2018:184 – Resolution Extending Grace Period For Payment Of Third Quarter 2018 Taxes

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:184 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:185 – Resolution Authorizing Refund Of A Program Fee

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:185 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:186 – Resolution Authorizing Tax Collector To Cancel Taxes – Shissler

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:186 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:187 – Resolution Authorizing Tax Collector To Cancel Taxes – Carman

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:187 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:188 – Resolution Authorizing The Acceptance Of Performance Surety Bond No. 60125725 From FDA Investments, LLC Issued By Capitol Indemnity Corporation For The Construction Of Dietz Dental Office

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:188 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:189 – Resolution Providing For a Meeting Not Open To The Public In Accordance With The Provisions Of The New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-12. 1.) Matter related to Personnel in the Police Department. Discussion is expected to be ½ hr. in duration. Formal action may be taken.

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:189 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:190 – 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) -Alcohol Education Rehabilitation and Enforcement Grant

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:190 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:191 – 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) – Clean Communities Grant

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:191 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:192 – 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) – Distracted Driving Grant

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:192 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:193 – Resolution Endorsing The Submission Of A Transportation Alternatives Program (Tap) Grant For The Construction Of A Multi-Use Trail Segment Along Atlantic Avenue Within The Borough Of Haddon Heights By Rails To Trails Conservancy And The County Of Camden

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:193 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:194 – Resolution Awarding A Contract To Landberg Construction, LLC In The Amount Of $219,037.10 For The FY 2018 NJDOT Trust Fund Reconstruction Of West High Street- Phase IV

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:194 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:195 – Resolution Approving Change Order#1 For The Reconstruction Of Crest Avenue And Intersection Improvements At Second Avenue And High Street

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:195 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2018:196 – Resolution Awarding a Contract to Hyperion Tree Service of Moorestown, New Jersey For The Purpose Of Providing Emergency And Non-Emergency Tree Removal Services In The Borough Of Haddon Heights

A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:196 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on any topic anyone may wish to address. 

Kathleen Franklin, 1604 Oak Avenue – Ms. Franklin commended Officer Selby for his actions during an incident she was in need of police help.  She said she is continuing to work with him and couldn’t say enough about how professional and helpful he was.  She said she wished to attend the HHYA meeting on Monday.  Councilwoman Madden said a meeting was confirmed for attendance by she and Councilman Schroeder and all of the athletic associations is scheduled on August 29th here at borough hall at 6 p.m.  Madden said that she and Councilman Schroeder wanted to be sure that everyone will be able provide some feedback prior to the borough passing and ordinance.  Franklin reiterated that she will be attending the meeting.

David Sampieri, 1700 Maple Avenue – Mr. Sampieri said he has been talking to a representative from the school board regarding the donating of school supplies.  He said that he and his wife have been donating supplies for many years and is aware of that teachers put money out of their pockets regularly.  He provided a document from the U.S. Department of Education that on average teachers spend $500 a year on school supplies.  He said he wanted to bring this to Council’s attention and hopes that those who can afford to donate should be able to.  He and his wife are coordinating with the school and the principal to set up a way for people to donate.  He thanked Council for their time.   

Inga Lawyer, 1945 S. Park – Ms. Lawyer said she wished to discuss the tree maintenance.  She expressed her frustration regarding a tree in front of her home that is just half cut down and said it has been this way since 2016.  She said that the tree is ugly and she is embarrassed that it is here in front of her house.  Lawyer expressed frustration about the calls she regularly places to the Department of Public Works and is told that we will get to it and that you are on the list.  She explained that she knows of others who have been on a list.  She said she wants to see where she is on her list.  Mayor asked Dave Taraschi regarding the tree.  He said that he spoke to PSE&G regarding the wiring in the trunk.  She said that she wants something in writing.  Taraschi said that he can give her the number for Public Service.  Councilman Mrozinski said that there are a number of trees that cannot be addressed because PSE&G has to do work prior to us being able to address.  He said that this tree is complicated due to the utility line remaining in the tree.

Rebecca McGuckin, 607 High Street – Ms. McGuckin explained that she has been calling about a tree. She explained that a branch hit her son’s car.  She said the stump is rotting and is full of bugs.  She said that she is frustrated by this and finds it unacceptable to her as a resident.  She said she and her neighbors are unhappy about this.  Bach explained that five trees are in need of being taken down due to the replacement of the curbs because the roots are damaging the sidewalks.  He said it should be completed before the end of September.  Bach provided his contact information to Ms. McGuckin.  Councilwoman Griffith asked if the trees will be replaced.  Bach responded that they will work with the Shade Tree Commission to determine what kind of trees should be planted.  Councilwoman Madden said that Councilman Schreiber responded to Ms. McGuckin’s e-mail and further explained that trees overall have presented many challenges to us.  Madden we are fortunate to have Dave Taraschi in the role of Superintendent and we look forward to long term strategies regarding our tree infrastructure.  She said wished to reassure her that we intend to improve this issue. 

Nicole Hernandez, 209 Kingston Avenue, Barrington – Ms. Hernandez asked who does she follow-up with regarding the tennis courts.  Mayor Merryfield advised that she can contact the Borough Clerk for updates.  She said she is concerned about a location for players when college recruiters come out to see the kids play.  She said we have other types of athletic fields but we have not had adequate courts.  Mayor Merryfield explained that we want to be sure the tennis courts are repaired properly.  Councilwoman Madden added that we will make sure that coaches and the school are informed every step of the way. 

Seeing no more movement, Mayor Merryfield called for a motion to close this portion of the meeting.  A motion was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Madden. All members present voted in favor.

Mayor Merryfield announced that council will be going upstairs to go into executive session.   8:13 p.m.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Following executive session, a motion to open the meeting was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present voted in favor. 

ADJOURNMENT:

A motion to adjourn was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden.  All members present were in favor.

8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted: 

 

Kelly Santosusso, RMC

Borough Clerk

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