BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS
Tuesday, March 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 Council President Chris Mrozinski, and Councilmen Schroeder and Schreiber. Solicitor Howard Long, Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Deputy Clerk Katie Compton were also present.
2018 Primary/General Elections, District 1 Polling Location – Kelly Santosusso, Borough Clerk
Santosusso reported that the VFW officially approved the use of their facility for a possible polling location for District 1. She said she was to meet with Board of Elections at the VFW tomorrow but it was rescheduled due to snow. She explained that the location would be two blocks outside of District 1 but because we have been asked by the Board of Elections to make every effort to come out of schools, the location may be approved. Councilwoman Madden expressed her concern that the location is obscure and was concerned that residents may not be able to find it. She asked if other sites had been considered. Santosusso said that she looked into other locations with the most promising option being Evoy-Banasz Funeral Home. She explained the problem there was that the County could not ensure a specific time frame in which the voting machines would be removed from the location; posing a problem for the Funeral Home’s operations. Discussion ensued regarding not being out of all of the schools for all polling locations. Santosusso said that the High School’s classroom location for the actual voting posed some concern for safety as school is in session for the Primary election. The entrance allows for access to classrooms whereas the location for Districts 6 & 7, Glenview School, is more suitable due to the layout of the building. The classrooms are completely cut off from the entrance for voters. Council President Mrozinski asked what the next steps would be. Santosusso explained that the site will be visited by representatives from the Board of Elections and should they approve, they make a recommendation to the Board which meets monthly. They would then vote on the proposed change in location. Santosusso said that every effort would be made to inform voters of the change in location should the Board approve. Councilwoman Madden asked Santosusso to please keep Council updated.
Proposed Amendments to Rentals Ordinance – Councilman Bryan Schroeder
Councilman Schroeder said he is following up from the last meeting where we discussed modifications to the to rentals ordinance for the Community Center and the Cabin. He reviewed the proposed amendments: Increase due date for payments to 30 days prior to rental. Cancellation fees – currently no cancellation fee however, we are proposing cancellation within 15 days within the event $150 for Community Center and $75 for the Cabin. An excessive cleaning fee – $75/hr. for the Community Center and $30/hr. for the Cabin maxing out at $250 which is the deposit. Councilman Schroeder asked that if there are no other questions, he will speak with the Solicitor regarding drafting the ordinance. There were no questions.
Proposed Amendments to Zoning Code – Council President Chris Mrozinski & Zoning Officer, Ron Newell
Councilman Mrozinski said that he invited Zoning Officer Ron Newell this evening as there are a few ordinance changes that would provide the Zoning Official more possibilities to enforce continuous issues we have been experiencing. He reviewed the following:
1 – The maximum fine for zoning code violations is currently $1,250, some surrounding towns have it to $2,000. The suggestion is to raise it to $2,000. Mrozinski said this is rarely used but can help us with more persistent issues that we have been presented with.
2 – Multi-family homes that are not registered – Fire Department currently does a Certificate of Occupancy inspections but we would do a zoning/construction CO inspection, confirm use and sidewalks, etc. most surrounding towns do this.
3 – Annual inspection for multi-family
Council President said that these are to address issues we have heard at Planning Board and Council. Mayor Merryfield asked who would be doing this inspections. Council President Mrozinski said it depends on how we want to do it. He said this would be an additional inspection that would be performed by the Zoning officer. He said that for further discussion would be additional hours for the Zoning Officer to complete these inspections. He said that the fees would cover this additional expense.
Councilman Schroeder asked if this is something that is done in other towns. Solicitor Howard Long said yes, this is becoming more common and helps to keep the character and integrity of the town and is called a Certificate of Conformance.
Zoning Officer Ron Newell said that sidewalks part of the code is difficult to enforce because there is no such thing as just a sidewalk inspection but if we could do at the time of sale of the home, sidewalks could be addressed through attrition.
Employer Practices Liability & Ethics Training – Kelly Santosusso, Borough Clerk
Santosusso reminded all of Council that the Garden State Municipal Joint Insurance Fund will be conducting Employer Practices and Liability and Ethics training on April 3rd at 5:00 pm in the Conference Room prior to the Council meeting. She said the training will be held for all borough staff earlier that day.
Camden County Open Space Grants – Councilman Bryan Schroeder
Councilman Schroeder said Resolutions 2018:89 and 2018:90 on this evening’s Agenda are for the Haddon Heights Soccer Club grant application. He said he had presented Council with a draft application at the last council meeting and they are still waiting on letters of support. The project is for the 1st and 2nd floor addition to the current snack stand at Devon Avenue with an exterior stairwell. The project is roughly priced $65,000 with the grant of $25, the remaining $40,000 would come from HHSC funding. The third resolution is 2018:91 and is regarding the supporting of a grant application for the Small Explorers Playground. Schroeder said that Councilwoman Valvardi spoke at the last meeting indicating that the CFO would assist in the preparation of the grant application. Councilman Schroeder said that former Councilwoman Lange and Jillian Soriano provided a handout out this evening and noted that that if we receive the grant for $25,000 we would could then assess the additional $35,000 or in looking at the soft numbers it may be just an additional $15,000 which could come from another grant next year. Councilman Schroeder said he endorses both applications and said he would be happy to answer any questions. Councilman Schreiber asked which groups applied for this grant last year. Schroeder responded the Soccer Club. Council President Mrozinski thanked Councilman Schroeder for his work with the organizations on getting the applications submitted.
Signage Ordinance Review – Council President Christopher Mrozinski
Council President Mrozinski informed Council that Committee on Signage has been formed at the last Planning and Zoning Board meeting. The Planning Board Chair requested a closer look at the entire code. No information at this time other than the desire by the Chair to make sure that all of council is aware that a committee has been set up and that updates will be forthcoming.
Update on Traffic Calming – Council President Christopher Mrozinski & Councilwoman Madden
Council President said the borough engineer has met with a variety of different people and different pieces of issues that were brought up at the last meeting with respect to striping on Station Avenue, 10th Avenue as well as Atlantic and Station Avenues. Bach is working on some updates and some sketches. He then asked Councilwoman Madden to speak.
Councilwoman Madden said the county engineer laid out an entire report that encompasses all areas of the town including 10th and Station. She said we will be able to move forward with some nice changes.
Mayor said that he requests that caucus items are limited to five items per Caucus agenda. He said he does not want council to feel rushed or unable to ask questions. Councilwoman Griffith agreed. All were in agreement.
Solicitor Howard Long asked if we can verbalize a CDBG block grant that we do every year; he said this is standard operating procedure to authorize the Mayor to execute since we could not add it to the agenda in time. All were in agreement.
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 this portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Madden. All members present were in favor.
Councilwoman Madden reported on the Civic Events Committee’s upcoming Easter Egg Hunt which she explained will be on March 31st, rain or shine. The event is for children 12 years of age and under. Madden thanked Trish Sheilds for her hard work in planning this event. Donations for the event were made by the Haddon Heights Business and Professional Association and the Haddon Heights Neighbors.
Madden said there was a Municipal Alliance meeting last night and the main focus was the Firecracker 5k Race held on July 4th. Hopefully with some more marketing tactics, they will increase their registration numbers from 300 for this year’s race. She encouraged local businesses to sponsor this event.
Councilwoman Griffith read the Police Department report for the month of February. A copy of this report is attached to these minutes. She also explained that the Hens in Heights Committee wanted to thank council for everything they did to amend the pilot program to increase the maximum number of hens to eight (8) allowed per household.
Council President Mrozinski reported that the Economic Development Committee will meet on March 27th and he will come back to Council in early April to give an update on their progress of their concepts.
Mrozinski gave an update for the Construction Department, stating that they have done 133 inspections and brought in $11,223 in permit fees in February. He also gave an update on the Foreclosed/Vacant Home Registry, stating that there have been 2 properties added and 4 properties deregistered since his last report. We have brought in $3,800 in foreclosure registration fees in February.
Councilman Schreiber said that the American Society of Civil Engineers gives NJ infrastructure a D+ grade rating. After meeting with John Ellis and Steve Bach, it is found that the infrastructure in Haddon Heights is not an A. We will be delivering a plan and a comprehensive evaluation of our roads and sewer to council within the next few months and a funding plan to go with it.
Councilwoman Valvardi announced that the Haddon Heights Neighbors meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. however, the weather may cause the meeting to be rescheduled.
Valvardi also announced the Civic Events Committee is always looking for more volunteers, specifically for Down By The Station Day. The date of this event is May 12th.
Councilman Schroeder reported he had spoken in the Caucus Session about amending the Rental Facilities Ordinance to reflect changes in payment due dates and the addition of cancellation fees and excess cleaning charges.
Schroeder also discussed the Camden County Open Space Grant, explaining that there are three (3) resolutions on the agenda that supports two (2) grant applications. One of the groups applying is the Haddon Heights Soccer Club for improvements at the McCullough Field Complex. The other group that is applying is the Borough for the Small Explorers playground at Hoff’s Park.
Schroeder said he attended the Haddon Heights Business and Professionals (HHBPA) meeting on March 14th. The Bowling Night sponsored by the HHBPA was a success. Thanks to the Police Department. The Train Club applied for a grant but did not receive it. The Association is sponsoring one entry (1) boy and one (1) girl for Girls and Boys State American Legion. They are also updating their website which should be rolled out this month.
Schroeder also reported that over the weekend, there was a soccer event in Marlton where some Haddon Heights teams participated in. Prior to their game, the Referee of the event had a heart attack on the field. Schroeder explained that a player’s mother, resident Kristin Foreman, ran out onto the field and helped save the man’s life.
Public Hearing and Final Adoption 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 opened the Public Hearing on Ordinance 2018:1447. Seeing no movement, a motion to close the public hearing was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Madden. Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance 2018:1447. A motion to adopt Ordinance 2018:1447 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Schroeder. All members were in favor.
Mayor Merryfield called for the Introduction of Ordinance 2018:1448 – An Ordinance to Exceed the 2018 Municipal Budget Appropriation Limits and to Establish A Cap Bank (N.J.S.A. 40A: 4-45.14)
Mayor Merryfield announced Public Hearing and Final Adoption of Ordinance 2018:1448 will be held on April 3, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building located at 625 Station Avenue, Haddon Heights, New Jersey.
A motion to introduce Ordinance 2018:1448 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilwoman Madden. Upon a roll call vote, all members were in favor.
Resolution 2018:82 – Resolution Approving Introduction and Providing Notice for Public Hearing and Public Inspection of the 2018 Municipal Budget
Public Hearing and Final Adoption is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17th at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building
located at 625 Station Avenue, Haddon Heights, New Jersey.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:82 was made by Councilman Schreiber and seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Upon a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:83 – Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills and Claims for the Second Half of March
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:83 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden. Upon a roll call vote, all members voted in favor with the exceptions of Councilwoman Griffith and Councilwoman Valvardi who both abstained on payments to Bollinger Prescription and Southern NJ Regional Benefits Fund.
Resolution 2018:84 – 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.) Personnel matter in the Service Operations Facility. 2.) Personnel matter in the Police Department. Discussion is expected to be approximately 1 hr. in duration. Formal action may be taken.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:84 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi and seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members were in favor.
Resolution 2018:85 – Resolution Authorizing Refund of a Dumpster Permit Fee
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:85 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Upon a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:86 – Resolution Authorizing Tax Collector to Cancel Taxes
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:86 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Upon a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:87 – Resolution Appointing Municipal Court Judge
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:87 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi and seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Upon a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:88 – Resolution Approving a Raffle License for St. Rose of Lima Parish for the Purpose of Conducting A Summer Jackpot 50/50 Raffle – July 2, 2018
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:88 was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilman Schreiber. Upon a roll call vote, all members voted in favor with the exception of Councilwoman Valvardi who abstained.
Resolution 2018:89 – Resolution Authorizing The Haddon Heights Soccer Club To Make Improvements to the Building Structure Located At The McCullough Complex At Devon Avenue
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:89 was made by Councilwoman Madden and seconded by Councilman Schroeder. Upon a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:90 – Resolution Supporting the Submission Of An Application To The Camden County Open Space, Farmland, Recreation And Historic Preservation Trust Fund For Improvements To The Building Structure Located At The McCullough Complex by the Haddon Heights Soccer Club
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:90 was made by Councilman Schreiber and seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Upon a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:91 – Resolution Supporting the Submission of an Application to the Camden County Open Space, Farmland, Recreation And Historic Preservation Trust Fund For Enhancements to Hoff’s Park
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:91 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Schreiber. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2018:92 – Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to Execute Shared Services Agreement Between the County of Camden Community Development Block Grant Program and the Borough of Haddon Heights for FY 2017/2018.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2018:92 was made by Councilman Schreiber, seconded by Councilman Schreiber, seconded by Councilman Schroeder. All members were in favor.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on any topic anyone may wish to address.
Erin Miller, 1818 Maple Avenue – Ms. Miller commented on an incident at the soccer fields in Marlton where a referee collapsed of a heart attack with the children watching. She said that Kristin Foreman, in combination with an AED, saved the man’s life. She said that if this had happened at Devon Avenue, perhaps the situation may have ended differently due to her unfamiliarity with any AED device being located at that complex. Councilman Schroeder responded that he had conversations with the Athletic Director at the high school as well as the various sport organizations. He indicated that all fields have AEDs and they will ensure that all are accessible. He said that coaches must be CPR trained and trained to use the AEDs. He said communication and proper signage will be addressed. Councilwoman Griffith said that she will follow-up with Fire Chief Kinky about conducting training on AEDs for all of the sport organizations.
Lee Griffith, 1600 Sycamore Street – Mr. Griffith, president of HHSC said that he has been speaking with both Councilman Schroeder and Joe Cramp, Athletic Director for Haddon Heights High School. He said that they have been assured they will have access to the AED within the week. He said that there will be a need for coordination
Seeing no more movement, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Schreiber. All members voted in favor.
Solicitor Long announced that Council will now be adjourning and going into Executive Session at approximately 8:00 p.m. and will remain in executive session for approximately a ½ hour.
Following Executive Session, a motion to open the meeting was made by Councilman Schroeder, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members were in favor.
A motion to adjourn was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Madden. All members were in favor.
Kelly Santosusso, RMC