BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS
Tuesday, February 20, 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.”
Mayor Merryfield asked the Clerk for the roll call.
Under roll call, Councilwomen Griffith, Valvardi and Madden were present as well as Councilmen Schroeder. Solicitor Howard Long, Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Deputy Clerk Katie Compton were also present. Council President Chris Mrozinski was absent but excused and Councilman Scott Schreiber was absent but will be present for Business Session.
Safe Routes to School – Councilman Bryan Schroeder
Councilman Schroeder called Kate Russo up to give an update an update on the status of this program. Russo explained that in September, Council and the Board of Education offered a resolution of support of the Safe Routes to Schools program. Russo explained that the Borough has satisfied the program requirements for the three (3) public elementary schools. The next step is to coordinate a travel plan, which is administered by Cross County Connections (CCC) and the TMA. Based on their backlog, we are in a holding pattern. She reported that she has received communication from them and the first meeting on this will be in March. After the meeting with CCC, she explained we should see more progress. Councilman Schroeder asked Russo to give Council a refresher on what a Travel Plan is. Russo explained this is an assessment of the problems in town and existing conditions.
4th of July Update – Councilman Bryan Schroeder
Councilman Schroeder explained the 4th of July Committee was formed last year to review options for the Parade and festivities for the holiday. He said the committee has compiled their findings and information for distribution. Schroeder invited Rich Kinkler, chair of the Committee to address Council. Kinkler thanked Councilwoman Griffith, Councilman Schroeder and Councilwoman Valvardi for helping him with the process. He said that from the beginning, the main question from the public was regarding fireworks.
Kinkler explained that the JIF had come out to a committee meeting last year and they provided good information. He also explained that he has spoken with the Kitchmire family in town who had organized the firework festivities in Haddon Heights in past years. They said the book fundraiser was key.
After reaching out to multiple municipalities who offer fireworks for the July 4th holiday, Monroe Township referred the committee to their fireworks vendor, Pyrotechnico. Kinkler explained that he and representatives from the Fire Department met with Pyrotechnico. They researched locations within the borough to determine if it would be feasible to bring a fireworks display back to town. These sites included: Station Avenue, the Camden County Park, 8th and High, Memorial Field and Haddon Heights High School. Ken Furstoss, from Pyrotechnico, said that the High School was the most feasible option but only for a 2” mortar display. Kinkler explained that he has already been in contact with representatives from the High School who provided him with a maximum estimated amount of spectators for the proposed event: 1000, not including vendors.
Kinkler said the cost for an 8-9 minute show is about $5,000. The cost for a 20-25 minute show on the 3rd or the 4th would be approximately $15,000.
He said the question he would like to ask council is should we have a small fireworks display that may be disappointing to spectators or just have other exciting events after the Parade.
Beth Borchers and Kate Winton commended Rich Kinkler for his research and work on the Committee. Ms. Borchers said that she wanted fireworks but facts are facts and she thinks it would be hard to fundraise for just a Parade and not fireworks.
Councilman Schreiber arrived at 7:22 p.m.
Caucus session concluded at 7:29 p.m.
Mayor Merryfield called the Business Session to order at 7:32 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. Seeing no movement, Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to close this portion of the meeting.
A motion to close Public Comment was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Madden. All members present were in favor.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the Minutes of the February 6, 2018 Council meeting.
A motion to approve the minutes was made by Councilman Schreiber and seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members present were in favor.
Councilwoman Madden reported that on Monday, February 12th she attended the Heights In Progress meeting. They addressed the Farmer’s Market that will commence on April 29th for its 8th year. They have 30 vendors who are interested or committed. They also discussed the Rhythm and Brews festival which will be held on April 21st at 3:00 to 9:00 pm. They will be needing volunteers.
On Tuesday, February 13th, Madden attended the Board of Education meeting. At that point, Superintendent Adams gave updates on improvements in technology and expressed concerns regarding excessive screen times for students. The various committees gave updates and the finance committee will be having a public hearing on their budget in May. A group of parents came up and addressed the fact that there are no libraries in the elementary schools. A few years ago, due to budget concerns, the media specialist was taken out of the schools. They are hoping to address this in the upcoming months and particularly they will need money in the budget to try to create a new library space. Finally, Mr. Adams addressed the idea of moving to grade level schools. They have been doing a close investigation into this and at this point, there are two main issues: bathroom allocations Pre K to grade 2 schools and the need for additional staff. They will be discussing this at greater length in the future.
She also said there will be a Civic Events Committee meeting on February 26th.
Councilwoman Griffith gave the Police Department Report for the month of January. A copy of which is attached to these minutes.
Griffith also followed up on a Cancer Awareness Fundraiser that was brought to a Caucus Meeting in January by Brett Harrison. There will be an Emergency Management meeting to discuss this event and the plans to execute it.
Councilman Schreiber reported that Sustainable Haddon Heights is applying for funding/Grants for the sidewalk in front of the Devon Avenue Soccer Fields. A Resolution is on the agenda for this application. He has also been working with the Department of Public Works and the Engineer’s office on the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Grant.
Schreiber announced there is an Environmental Commission meeting tomorrow and the Shade Tree Commission will be meeting on February 26th.
Councilwoman Valvardi reported that she along with CFO Christie Ehret and Council President Mrozinski met with all Department Heads this past Friday to discuss their budget requests for 2018. She appreciates the time it took the employees to prepare and explains their requests. She said the finance department is currently working on the 2018 Budget. She will have update at the next meeting.
Valvardi reported that the next Haddon Heights Neighbors meeting is tomorrow Wednesday, February 21st at Borough Hall. There is also Civic Events Meeting on February 27th if anyone is interested please come out and join us.
Councilman Schroeder attended the Haddon Heights Business and Professionals Association (HHBPA) last Wednesday the 14th to go over their annual Calendar. The Association also made a donation to the Delaware and Susquehanna Train Club in the amount of $500. Down By the Station Day is scheduled for May 12th. He will be discussing this event with the Civic Events Committee for planning purposes. The HHBPA’s Bowl the Night Away Event is this Saturday, February 24th. The Cruise De Heights is scheduled for April 28th. The Fall Festival is scheduled for October 6th. The Shop Small Saturday will be held on November 24th. The Association is reaching out to Haddon Heights High School and Baptist Regional High School regarding their scholarships that they provide seniors with on an annual basis. The Ronald McDonald fundraiser that Councilwoman Griffith discuss is tentatively scheduled for May 29th and a meeting is scheduled for the Emergency Management team.
Schroeder announced there was a Parks and Rec Committee meeting on February 15th where two major points were discussed: strategic planning for field and parks usage (short term long term and midterm needs) and Camden County Open Space Grant (2 available). A Resolution for this grant will be on the March 6th Council Meeting. The deadline for grant is April 2nd.
Schroeder explained that the Safe Routes to Schools gave a presentation today at the Caucus Meeting and there should be a work meeting within the next few weeks to go forward with this project.
Finally, Schroeder said that Council President Mrozinski asked him to give the Vacant and Foreclosure Registry update for February. There are 35 total homes on the registry, seven (7) properties that are non-compliant, two (2) deregistered properties and two (2) new registered properties since the last report. This month, the borough received $900 in fees back from Community Champions for January.
Council President also asked Schroeder to give an update on traffic safety, he wants to improve safety on county roads. We are looking at what can be done in the short-term and long-term to improve the safety on these roads. It is important that the county, Police Department, Department of Public Works, and Council works collaboratively on this project.
BOROUGH ENGINEER’S REPORT:
Steve Bach, Bach Associations – Mr. Bach submitted a written report but wants to highlight a few items. Bach announced that we have partially submitted the NJEIT grant and we are now working on finishing a full and exact scope of work by the March 6th meeting. The Mayor received phone call from the Governor’s office that we received a grant in the amount of $250,000 for continuing the work on W. High Street. Councilwoman Griffith and Mayor Merryfield told Steve Bach that there is a bad dip at 11th Avenue and W. High Street where they repaved it from the last W. High project. They would like to see “Dip” Sign. Bach will follow up with John Ellis.
Mayor Merryfield announced the introduction of Ordinance 2018:1447 as follows: Introduction of Ordinance 2018:1447 – Ordinance Amending Ordinance 2017:1442 Entitled – Establishing A Pilot Program For Keeping Backyard Hens In The Borough Of Haddon Heights
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to introduce Ordinance 2018:1447. A motion was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members present voted in favor.
Public Hearing and Final Adoption is scheduled for March 6, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building located at 625 Station Avenue, Haddon Heights, New Jersey.
Resolution 2018:70 – Resolution Authorizing The Payment Of Bills And Claims For The First Half Of February
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:70 was made by Councilman Schreiber, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor with the exception of Councilwomen Griffith and Valvardi who both abstained on payments to Bollinger and Southern New Jersey Regional Benefits Fund, and Councilman Schroeder who abstained from a payment to Jacqueline Schroeder.
Resolution 2018:71 – Resolution Adopting A Three Year Cooperation Agreement With The County Of Camden
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:71 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:72 – Resolution Amending the Borough Of Haddon Heights Personnel Policies And Procedures Manual Dated December 2014 To Include An Employee Dating Policy
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:72 was made by Councilwoman Madden and seconded by Councilman Schroeder. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:73 – A Resolution Supporting The Submission Of A Sustainable Jersey Grant Application
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:73 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi and seconded by Councilman Schreiber. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:74 – A Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of a 2018 125kw Trailer Mounter Generator For The Service Operations Facility Through The National Joint Powers Alliance Cooperative Purchasing Program As Amended
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:74 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilman Schreiber. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:75 – A 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 Litigation In The Matter Of Glover Mill v. Borough of Haddon Heights. Discussion is expected to be approximately ½ hr. in duration. 2.) Matter related to personnel transfers. Discussion is expected to be ½ hr. in duration. Formal action may be taken.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:75 was made by Councilman Schroeder and seconded by Councilwoman Madden. All members present voted in favor.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on any topic anyone may wish to address.
Engineer Steve Bach came back up to the microphone to correct his previous report, stating that the application total was 1.9 million dollars, not 1 million as previously stated.
Seeing no more movement, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilman Schreiber, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members present voted in favor.
Solicitor Long announced that Council will now be adjourning and going into Executive Session at approximately 7:38 and will remain in executive session for about a half hour.
Following Executive Session, a motion to open the meeting was made by Councilman Schroeder, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members present were in favor.
Resolution 2018:76 – A Resolution Authorizing The Execution Of A Settlement Agreement And General Release Of Claims By And Between Bob Meyers Communities, Inc., Glover Mill, LLC, And The Borough Of Haddon Heights, County Of Camden And State Of New Jersey
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to adopt Resolution 2018:76. A motion was made by Councilman Schroeder, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted yes.
A motion to adjourn was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Madden. All members present were in favor.
Kelly Santosusso, RMC