BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS
Tuesday, March 1, 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, Council President Kathy Lange, Councilwomen Susan Griffith and Jackie Valvardi were present as well as Councilmen Stephen Berryhill and Rick DiRenzo. Solicitor Albert J. Olizi, Jr., Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Administrative Assistant Marian Hauser.
Mayor Merryfield asked if any council member had any questions about the evening’s Agenda.
Solicitor Olizi said that two organizations were applying for open space grant funding these evening. He said that both the HH Booster Baseball Club and the HH Youth Athletics Association should be aware that any work completed on the Borough owned fields is subject to the provisions in the local public contracts law following the approval of the HH Construction office and the Borough Engineer.
Replacement of Open Council Seat
Solicitor Albert Olizi explained that three names were submitted to the Mayor and Council in consideration of filling the vacancy on Council. He said that a nomination can be made by a Councilmember and then a vote can take place on Resolution 2016:73. He asked if there were any questions; there were none.
Upgrade of Lighting in Service Operations Facility
Councilwoman Griffith said that we received another proposal for the Direct Install program sponsored by PSE&G. This one was provided for the Service Operations Facility. John Ellis explained that this would represent considerable savings to the Borough. Santosusso added this is the same agreement that we just passed for the upgrade in lighting for the Municipal Building. PSE&G pays 70% and the Borough pays 30% over a 36 month period. Councilman DiRenzo pointed out errors in the Resolution. Clerk Santosusso said she will make the changes. Mayor Merryfield said the resolution would be adopted as amended.
Temporary Workers vs. Part Time Labor Workers in DPW
Councilwoman Griffith proposed hiring part time laborers vs. temporary workers. She said she and John Ellis discussed the advantages to the Department of Public Works. She said that this issue was raised last year and there was some concern regarding workmen’s comp and insurance. John Ellis checked with CFO Christie Ehret who advised that the Borough would save money. Solicitor Olizi said that this issue should be revisited following union negotiations. He said that the current membership of AFSCME has organized under another union and negotiations are on hold until a vote takes place among the membership.
CDBG Funds for Year 38
Councilwoman Griffith reported on a meeting with the Camden County Improvement Authority regarding annual CDBG funding. She said that she along with Clerk Santosusso, Craig Reilly of Bach Associates and John Ellis met with representatives from the Improvement Authority to discuss alternative uses of the annual allotment of money for consideration of projects other than curb cuts. Although many of the ideas seemed interesting, it was clear that a considerable amount of administrative oversight would be required to carry out any of the ideas that were discussed. Griffith said that, following discussion with our Borough Engineer, it was decided that we would utilize Year 38 funding by doing additional curb cuts.
Financial Advisor for Structuring of Debt
Christie Ehret, CFO explained that Bond Counsel advised that we consider the services of a financial consultant to provide a plan for the structuring of our debt service. She explained that the Borough is currently in a position where we will have a significant jump in the amount of our debt service payments. Ehret explained that she has had experience with the company proposed in Resolution 2016: Councilman DiRenzo asked why we did not put out a RFP for these services. Santosusso explained that the fees that will be incurred are well below the threshold and therefore, the need for RFP/RFQ process is not required; although she said they sought two quotes. DiRenzo asked who made the decision to use Acacia. Olizi explained that we sought two quotes and made a determination based on prior positive experience by the CFO with Acacia.
Lighting on Three Street Lamp Poles on Kings Highway in Business District
Councilwoman Griffith reported on the status of getting three lamp posts on Kings Highway in the business district equipped with electrical outlets so that lighting can be placed on the poles for the holiday season. She said that she has spoken to Brett Harrison of the Haddon Heights Business and Professional Association when he asked that a $750 donation from the HHBPA toward this purpose be returned if the Borough did not plan to carry out the project. Griffith indicated that it is the Borough’s intention to complete the project and asked if would be included in the budget so the project can be completed in time for the holiday season. No members expressed disapproval.
Mayor Merryfield announced that we will reconvene downstairs in the auditorium for the Business Session.
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 Allegiance.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on Caucus and Agenda items only.
Jen Hammill, 807 Station Avenue – Ms. Hammill said that she and Emily Givens were here this evening on behalf of the HH Booster Club to discuss the improvements to the Cervino Field. She said they were able to confirm that the bleachers will be located between first and third base. She thanked Councilwoman Valvardi and Councilwoman Griffith for coming to see the fields to answer the questions that Council had. She said these improvements take into account the location of the dugouts which allow for the coaches and players to be in the same location as well as to maximize functionality.
Councilwoman Griffith thanked Emily and Don from the HH Booster Club who took the time to review the plans and walk the field. She added our town is lucky to have such dedicated volunteers.
Councilwoman Valvardi also thanked Emily, Don and Joe Cramp from the High School. She thanked the volunteers as well. She noted that she went to the fields on a separate day and noted the willingness of all to adjust their schedules to show her the fields and the plans.
Jen Hammill mentioned that the grant application is available for review.
Solicitor Olizi added that both organizations, HH Baseball Booster Club and Haddon Heights Youth Athletics Association suggesting modifications to Borough owned fields must to go through the Construction and Zoning Office and will require the Borough Engineer’s approval. He added that any expenditures for improvements are subject to the provisions in the New Jersey local public contracts law.
Seeing no one come forward, a motion was made to close Public Comment by Councilman, seconded by Council President Lange. All members present were in favor.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the Minutes of the February 16, 2016. A motion was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Council President Lange. All members were in favor.
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the SPECIAL MEETING Minutes of the January 29, 2016. A motion was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members were in favor with the exception of Councilwoman Valvardi and Councilman DiRenzo who abstained.
Councilman Berryhill reported on the Environmental Commission saying that they have been given money by Sustainable Haddon Heights from a grant to develop a Recreation National Resource Map for the town. He said that Council President Lange has been very helpful from the Parks and Rec standpoint. They have hired a graphic designer who has provided a first draft. He said that it should be done in April and will be distributed then. He thanked Council President for her help.
Councilman Berryhill then reported on the HH Green Team He said that the Chair of the Environmental Commission, John Babcock, was inadvertently left off of the Green Team; John Babcock will be added to the Green Team
Berryhill said that Eric Fitzgerald, Tax Collector, is working on compiling information of the ownership on the vacant property ordinance.
He then reported on the Municipal Alliance is meeting on March 14 to discuss Project SAVE. He explains that they try to divert people who have drug and alcohol problems from Municipal Court into programs to help them with these problems. The Municipal Alliance has the money to utilize for this purpose. He said they will decide on whether funds will be used for Project Save.
Councilman DiRenzo mentioned that the Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force is having an event March 9, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at Highland High School. He said a representative from Kennedy Hospital will be speaking on pediatric and adolescent psychological care and the effects of drug and alcohol use.
Councilwoman Griffith reported the February, 2016 numbers for the Ambulance services – 63 calls, 40 people were transported. Average response time was 1 min., 31 seconds. Average on location time was 4 mins, 80 seconds. She said the report was submitted by Barbara Willson of the Barrington Ambulance Association.
Councilwoman reported on the Neighbors Night Out Committee meeting. She said they have decided on their next event, Murder Mystery Themed Fiesta on May 6th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are expected to be $40 per person. Tickets may be less depending on matters that will be decided about the event, such as food and entertainment.
The Committee has also decided the groups and/or events they are going to sponsor this year: Hoots n Howls, the Farmers Market, the Library, the Egg Hunt, HHYA, Soccer Club and the Haddon Heights High School Theatre Club.
She said there was also discussion regarding the Kings Highway Welcome sign (across from Audubon Park). She said the Committee was advised from the County that the sign should be moved to where the old Window Factory where the old pump station was located. She said the County will be doing some landscaping and will attend a meeting to discuss in March or April to advise us of same.
She said that the Fountain refurbishment is moving along. They are seeking some quotes for this. She said that the above referenced projects are all hoped to be completed this year. She said they will continue to do fundraising for various projects as well as considering sponsorships.
Council President Lange said that recent Council meetings have involved field improvement proposals and said she wanted to thank the Councilwomen who came out to view Cervino field.
She reported that new classes in the Community Center and Cabin have begun. Lange then reported that the Summer Rec is at 2/3 registration capacity. She said this is ahead of previous years. She thanked John Ellis for spring preseason field prep work.
Lange said that the Athletic groups should be aware that the water will remain off until a decision is made as to when they will open. She said the bathrooms will be professionally cleaned.
Lastly, Council President reported that the Board of Education will meet Tuesday, March 8th at 7:30 p.m. at the Seventh Avenue School, Multi-purpose Room and their agenda will be posted on their website.
Councilwoman Valvardi had no report this evening.
Councilman DiRenzo had no report.
Resolution 2016:64 – Resolution Amending Resolution 2016:56 – Resolution Supporting the Submission of an Application to the Camden County Open Space, Farmland, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund for Enhancements to the Cervino Baseball Field at Eighth and High Street, Haddon Heights High School Baseball Booster Club to be Retitled Resolution 2016:56A
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:64 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:56A – Resolution Supporting the Submission of an Application to the Camden County Open Space, Farmland, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund for Enhancements to the Cervino Baseball Field at Eighth and High Street, Haddon Heights High School Baseball Booster Club
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:56A was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:63 – A Resolution Authorizing the Haddon Heights High School Baseball Booster Club, Inc. to Make Improvements to Cervino Field Located at Eighth Avenue and W. High Street
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:63 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:65 – Resolution Authorizing PSE&G Direct Install Program Through Green Tech Energy Services for the Purpose of Energy Efficiency Upgrade for Lighting in the Service Operations Facility at 514 W. Atlantic Avenue
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:65 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Kathy Lange. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:66 – Resolution Authorizing the Hiring of a Financial Advisor Services for the Purpose of Consideration of Future Debt Restructuring
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:66 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Lange. Under a roll call vote, all voted in favor with the exception of Councilman DiRenzo who voted no.
Councilman DiRenzo said that he is voting no due to our debt service; he said he feels we should be going with
Resolution 2016:67 – Resolution Authorizing the Approval of Bills and Claims for the First Half of March, 2016
Councilman DiRenzo asked why Ron Newell, Zoning Officer had a reimbursement on the bill list for mileage. Clerk Santosusso responded that the vehicle the Zoning Officer was using is no longer operational. The Zoning Officer will be receiving a vehicle from the Fire Department once they have delivery of the new vehicle they have purchased. She said that Mr. Newell has been using his own vehicle and is therefore entitled to reimbursement for his mileage.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:67 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Lange. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:69 – A Resolution Providing for a Meeting Not to Open to the Public in Accordance with the Provisions of the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-12. Matter related to collective bargaining negotiations with the International Association of Firefighters ; Discussion expected to be ½ hr. in duration. Formal Action May be Taken. Matter related to Police Department Special Law Enforcement Officers (Class II) hourly rate. Discussion is expected to be ½ hr. in duration. Formal Action May be Taken.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:69 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Kathy Lange. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:70 – Resolution Approving Certified List of Fire Department Volunteers Eligible for Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) for the Year 2015
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:70 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:71 – Resolution Authorizing Payments to be Made to the County of Camden In Accordance With A Shared Services Agreement Between the County of Camden and the Borough of Haddon Heights for Animal Control Services for The Period January 1, 2016 Through December 31, 2016
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:71 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:72 – Resolution Authorizing Transfers of Appropriation Reserves
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:72 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Lange. Councilman DiRenzo asked why a transfer was being made from general liability to solid waste.
Santosusso explained that the account was overexpended and that transfers are permitted in the first few months of the year.
Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:73 – Resolution Filling Vacancy on Council
Councilwoman Griffith made a motion to nominate Vincent Ceroli to fill the vacancy on Council, Councilwoman Valvardi seconded the motion.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:73 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor with the exception of Councilman DiRenzo who abstained.
Resolution 2016:74 – A Resolution Authorizing Haddon Heights Youth Athletics Association to Make Improvements to the Barr Complex Located at West Atlantic Avenue
Council President said that all should review the packet that was presented this evening, not the previous packet.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:74 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Kathy Lange. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Councilman DiRenzo mentioned that Jim Bruno did a good job with the plans and submission.
Resolution 2016:75 – Resolution Supporting the Submission of an Application to the Camden County Open Space, Farmland, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund for Enhancements to the Barr Baseball/Softball Complex, West Atlantic Avenue, by Haddon Heights Youth Athletics Association
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:76 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill Lange. All members were in favor.
Resolution 2016:76 – Resolution Appointing Chair of Environmental Commission to the Haddon Heights Green Team
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:76 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith.
All members voted in favor.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment.
Karyn Errington, 1645 Sycamore Street – Ms. Errington asked what the genesis of the debt service payment was. Solicitor Olizi said that former Councilman Earl Miller did an analysis of the debt structuring mentioning callable bonds and others that were more recent that were non-callable. Former Councilman Miller was looking at a way to restructure that debt but was unable to do due to the fact that recent bonds were non-callable. Ms. Errington asked if the recent bonds were regarding the former Mayor’s bonding and said that there was always concern about when this “balloon” would come due.
Ms. Errington asked Mayor Merryfield if he would be voting upon the Fair Share Affordable Housing Submission. Mayor Merryfield responded that he would vote only in the event of a tie. Ms. Errington said that she reviewed the plan and referenced page 21 where the Window Factory Property is listed; she said that as he is the owner of the property, he should not vote. Mayor Merryfield responded that he is not and never has been the owner of the Window Factory on Kings Highway.
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 were in favor.
Mayor Merryfield announced that Council was going into Executive Session.
Following Executive Session, Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to adjourn. A motion to adjourn was made
by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members were in favor. 8:15 p.m.
Kelly Santosusso, RMC, Borough Clerk