BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS
Tuesday, March 15, 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 Vincent Ceroli. Solicitor Albert J. Olizi, Jr., Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Deputy Borough Clerk Katilyn Compton. Councilman DiRenzo was absent.
Mayor Merryfield asked if any council members had any questions about the evening’s Agenda. There were none.
Fire Department Vehicle Utility
Susan Griffith said that Fire Chief Scardino has been working a proposal between Bellmawr and Haddon Heights for a trade of Utility 216 truck. Chief Scardino proposed transfer of ownership of the 1993 Ford in exchange for the $10,000 which is the estimated value of the vehicle. He said that the he believes the average rate of $60 per hour to work off the value up to $10,000. Councilwoman Griffith said she received feedback from the Mayor and Solicitor who said that they would rather sell the vehicle. Mayor Merryfield said that he was reassured following a conversation with Chief Scardino that this agreement would benefit us. Solicitor Olizi responded that his concern was that a Borough asset that was paid for out of the general current fund was being traded for $10,000 in services for the Fire Department only; he said he was unsure that the auditor would permit this. Olizi directed the CFO to check with the auditor to determine if this type of agreement would be permissible. Griffith asked if Councilmembers were agreeable with this arrangement should the auditor approve. Fire Chief Scardino pointed out that the normal procedure in disposing of the vehicle would be to put it up for auction. He said that there is no guarantee that the vehicle would be sold for the value which is estimated at $10,000 but he said, what is certain, is that maintenance on the emergency apparatus must be done every year through the Borough of Bellmawr. He said that this proposal would reduce the operating expense in the budget. Lastly, Chief Scardino said that whatever the decision, we need to act as the vehicle being stored outside will ensure depreciation.
Local Evaluation of the 2016 Municipal Budget
CFO Christie Ehret explained that every three years the state allows for the local examination of the budget (self examination) for municipalities who are in good financial standing. Ehret said that this is the first year in many years that the Borough has been eligible for local examination noting that this is a positive direction; she said that she and the Borough’s auditor highly recommended taking advantage of the opportunity to do local examination of the 2016 budget as the process will be smoother. She noted that we will have a resolution on the Agenda prior to the adoption of the budget. Councilwoman Griffith commented that this is a positive development for the Borough.
Update on Lighting at McCullough Field at Devon Avenue
Council President reported that she, the Mayor and the Solicitor have held two joint meetings with Haddon Heights Soccer Club to discuss the lighting situation and to review the specs to determine if anything in the specs could be reviewed to possibly provide a significant savings. She said there has been no resolution as to how to proceed but we need to make a decision following discussion with the financial advisor.
She said that she is hoping to have a Resolution on the next Agenda but said that the rebid of the project will not happen until funding is in place. She said that the HH Soccer Club has agreed to contribute to the project in some way. She said that HHSC spent approximately 20K last season on renting lighting but they would rather be putting that money toward the replacement of the lighting. They are hoping to have the lighting in place for the fall season so time is a concern as the project needs to begin soon for lighting to be in place by fall.
Lange said that any questions on the grant application for the Haddon Heights Soccer Club
Solicitor Olizi said that he did sit with the CFO to come up with some ways in which to finance the project. He said that he has to speak with the auditor to determine if one of the methods would be permissible. He said that he also discussed phases of the project with the borough engineer which he does not think will be an option. He said that we have to come up with a creative way to finance.
Ancero Phone Installation
Santosusso said that she wanted to thank Deputy Clerk Compton for overseeing the project of the installation of a new Borough wide phone system. She said that the project was quite cumbersome and detail oriented. Katilyn worked well with all Departments and with Ancero to ensure a smooth transition. Santosusso said that a few items are to be addressed which is to be expected. Chief Kinkler reiterated that he thought Deputy Compton did a great job as well.
Santosusso asked Council if they wished their new phone extension would be the number they would like the public to have versus personal cells or home numbers. She said that all messages would go directly to their respective email accounts. She explained that Council would have the capability to listen to the messages in their email accounts. She asked that everyone respond tomorrow by the end of the day as to what they would like posted on the website and in the new edition of the HEIGHTS REPORT for contact numbers. Santosusso said that Council members will receive information from Deputy Compton as to how to set up their voice mail.
Griffith said that she had no problem with listing her new extension. Many councilmembers agreed. Lange asked if they would all receive the new extensions. Santosusso said that the contact sheet would be updated and redistributed with all recent changes.
Mayor Merryfield then asked if anyone had any questions on this evening’s Council Agenda.
Councilwoman Griffith said that she wanted to call attention to Resolution 2016:68 Resolution Ratifying Camden County Uniformed Fire Fighters Association International Association of Fire Fighters Local #3249, A.F.L. C.I.O. C.L.C. Contract for the Period January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019. She said that the proposed contract that was discussed in the last Executive Session was agreeable with the union representative from the International Association of Fire Fighters.
Solicitor Olizi explained that the Haddon Heights Soccer Club (HHSC) is applying for the same County Open Space Grants that the HH High School Baseball Booster Club and Haddon Heights Youth Athletics Association have applied for. He explained that should HHSC receive the grant, they are planning to upgrade the sprinkler system at McCullough Field on Devon Avenue.
Mayor Merryfield announced that we would reconvene at 7:30 p.m. downstairs.
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.
SWEARING IN OF COUNCILMAN VINCENT M. CEROLI – Mayor Jack D. Merryfield
Mayor Merryfield asked Councilman Ceroli to come forward to receive the Oath of Office. Mayor Merryfield administered the Oath of Office and then asked Councilman Ceroli if he would like to make any comments.
Councilman Ceroli commented that serving the town is something he has wanted to do as a way of giving back to the town. He said that he is honored to have this opportunity. Ceroli said said he promises to serve the people of Haddon Heights to the best of his ability and is looking forward to it.
Mayor Merryfield said that there is an opening on the Planning Board and that he will be appointing Michael Gatti to the position.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on Caucus and Agenda items only.
Seeing no one come forward, a motion was made to close Public Comment by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members present were in favor.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the Minutes of the March 1, 2016. A motion was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members present were in favor with the exception of Councilman Ceroli who abstained.
Councilman Berryhill reported that he will serve on the Planning Board as Council liaison but will resign from the Environmental Commission. He said that he believed Councilwoman Susan Griffith was being appointed to the Environmental Commission to replace him. Berryhill said that an Alternate member needs to be appointed to the Environmental Commission as well.
Berryhill then reported that Municipal Alliance is putting aside $5,000 to administer Project SAVE. He explained that the program diverts individuals who have drug and alcohol problems from Municipal Court into programs to assist them with these dependencies by being referred to Genesis Counseling Center. He said that he will work with the Solicitor on an Agreement with Genesis. The commitment of the defendant of participation in the Project SAVE program may give them the opportunity to have criminal charges dismissed. Berryhill said that this will be funded by the Municipal Alliance Trust Fund and not grant monies.
Councilman announced that the Municipal Alliance will also provide Haddon Heights Agenda books that will include an anti-drug message to the High School. He said they are also planning a Senior Luncheon in May to address prescription drug abuse and other types of drug abuse. They will also be providing some funding for the High School Teen Pep Program which helps teens make healthy decisions. He noted that all of the above will be paid for utilizing grant monies.
Councilman Berryhill addressed the vacant and abandoned properties issue explaining that he has heard from many residents regarding the problems we have with vacant and abandoned properties in town. He noted that he was working with our Tax Collector to provide a listing of all properties with pertinent information which he hopes to have at the next meeting. He said that he would like to have the Ordinance that Solicitor Olizi drafted on the subject at the next meeting. He asked that all Councilmembers review and provide comments to him.
He said that the adoption of this Ordinance will allow the Borough to collect a registration fee to be utilized for the purpose of the maintenance of these properties. He said that he will be diligent in this effort.
Councilwoman Griffith read a Letter of Commendation signed by the Mayor that was prepared for officers Patrolman Brett Lightner and Patrolman Michael Famular who responded to a call for assistance for a female who had overdosed. They were able to administer the drug Narcan and the woman was revived. She said that there are good police officers serving our town.
Griffith then provided the Police Department statistics report:
8,200 miles driven on patrol
962 calls for service
42 ACS complaints
501 motor vehicle summonses.
Councilwoman Griffith said the PD has purchased a vehicle off of state contract for a ford vehicle which we are waiting for delivery (sometime this month.) She announced that the Police Department will update their facebook page on a regular basis. She urged residents to “like” the Police Department on Facebook.
Council President Lange said that the five year Capital Budget Plan was submitted as was requested by the CFO. The Opening Day Parade is scheduled for Saturday, April 2 with all meeting at Carole’s Candy. She said that Mayor Merryfield will be throwing out the first pitch. She asked that all of Council respond to the organizer so that he knows who will be attending.
She communicated with the HH Athletic Director and the HHYA President for the opening of the fields for spring. She said we received a complimentary email from HHYA on the job done by the Department of Public Works.
Lange announced that the Haddon Heights Programs Coordinator will be providing information in the next Programs Brochure regarding the Red Cross Baby Sitting Certification classes which are being offered again due to high demand.
Lange reported that she would be advertising for the Summer Rec Counselor positions in the near future.
Lange said she also attended the Haddon Heights and Business and Professional Association Meeting as well as met with the Heights in Progress leader to discuss Down by the Station Day.
Council President said she attended the March Board of Education meeting and spoke to Mr. Green, the buildings and grounds representative. She said that if anyone has any questions regarding the BOE meeting, please see the BOE website.
Councilwoman Valvardi reported that all is going well in the administrative offices at Borough Hall. She thanked Chief Kinkler as his facebook postings reminded her of her intergovernmental role as a council member. She said that if anyone comes across potholes on county roads, they must provide the County with the exact address and the County route number to be submitted to them. She said there is also a phone number you can call. She said that the bridge over Creek Road in Bellmawr will be closed temporarily due to construction and they have posted alternate routes.
Valvardi reported that she also attended the Haddon Heights Business and Professional Association meeting and said that their Bowling Night was a success and they thanked all who participated; Down by the Station Day will be held on Saturday, May 12th, Cruse Heights will be held on Saturday, April 30th with a raindate of May 1st and the Fall Festival has been scheduled for Saturday, October 1st.
She said as a member of the Haddon Heights Field Hockey Club thanking the Department of Public Works for the job done on cleaning up the fields. She said that it helped them all tremendously and it allowed the parents and coaches to get things done they don’t typically get to do that day.
Councilman Ceroli had no report this evening.
Steve Bach, Borough Engineer said that he has distributed his monthly report to everyone and will rely on this report unless anyone has any questions. This report is attached to these minutes.
Ordinance 2016:1428 – An Ordinance to Exceed the 2016 Municipal Budget Appropriation Limits and to Establish A Cap Bank (N.J.S.A. 40A: 4-45.14)
Public Hearing and Final Adoption is scheduled for April 5, 2016 in the Municipal Building, 625 Station Avenue, Haddon Heights, New Jersey
A motion to introduce Ordinance 2016:1428 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Council President Lange. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:78 – Resolution Approving Introduction and Providing Notice for Public Hearing and Public Inspection of 2016 Municipal Budget
Public Hearing and Final Adoption is scheduled for Tuesday, April 19, 2016 in the Municipal Building, 625 Station Avenue, Haddon Heights, New Jersey
A motion to introduce Resolution 2016:78 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:79 – Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills and Claims for the Second Half of March
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:68 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi.
All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:80 – Authorizing Solicitation of Bids for Temporary Workers for the Borough of Haddon Heights
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:80 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith.
Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:81 – Resolution Approving a One Day Social Affair Permit for Heights In Progress for the Purpose of a Beer Garden for the Event, Rhythm and Brews – April 23, 2016, Rain Date, April 24, 2016
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:81 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill
All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:82 – Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to Execute a Camden Improvement Authority
Development Grant Agreement for Year 38 (2016-2017)
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:82 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:83 – Resolution Authorizing Refund of Program Fees
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:83 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:84 – Resolution Authorizing Refund of Cabin Rental Fee
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:68 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:85 – Resolution Authorizing Refund of a Parking Permit Fee
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:85 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.
Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:86 – Resolution Approving Active Membership of Stephen DiRenzo in the Haddon Heights Fire Department
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:86 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith.
All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:87 – Resolution Approving a Raffle License for St. Rose of Lima Parish for the Purpose of a 50/50
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:87 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith.
All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:88 – Resolution In Support of and Commendation of Law Enforcement and an Expression of Sympathy
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:88 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Council President Lange. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:89 – Resolution Amending Directorship Appointments
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:89 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith.
All members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:90 – Resolution Authorizing Refund of a Police Report Fee
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:90 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith.
All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:91 – Resolution Authorizing the Haddon Heights Soccer Club to Make Improvements to the McCullough Athletic Complex Located at Devon Avenue
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:91 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:92 – Resolution Supporting the Submission of an Application to the Camden County Open Space, Farmland, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund for Enhancements To McCullough Field at Devon Avenue by the Haddon Heights Soccer Club
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:92 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:93 – Resolution Respecting the Composition of the Historic Preservation Review Commission
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:93 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:94 – Resolution Amending 2016 Membership of the Planning and Zoning Board
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:94 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members present voted in favor.
* Resolution 2016:68 – Resolution Ratifying Camden County Uniformed Fire Fighters Association International Association of Fire Fighters Local #3249, A.F.L. C.I.O. C.L.C. Contract for the Period of January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:68 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.
Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment.
Keith Speyer, 1825 S. Park Avenue – Mr. Speyer asked about the vacant properties ordinance and where it can be reviewed. Councilman Berryhill said that it should be online it was discussed about a month or so ago in Caucus session. Councilman Berryhill explained the process that many New Jersey towns are going in which includes a registration fee to be collected by the municipality which can then be utilized by the town to have maintenance done on the vacant properties in an effort to address the problems that can develop from a home being vacant and/or abandoned. He explained what Somerdale is doing is allowing a contractor to come in and perform work on the homes to restore them to saleable condition. Mr. Speyer asked where the money would be coming from. Olizi said that they would be working on a contingency basis. Olizi said that the neglect of these homes is becoming a quality of life issue for the neighboring residents. Mr. Speyer said he is concerned at the lack of statistics that would show the success of something like this. Conversation ensued between Mr. Speyer and several members of Council. Mr. Speyer thanked Council for taking the time to explain.
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.
A motion to adjourn was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members
present were in favor. 8:21 p.m.
Kelly Santosusso, RMC, Borough Clerk