BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 Work Session Minutes
Council President Mrozinski 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.”
Council President Mrozinski asked the Clerk for roll call.
Under roll call, Councilwomen Griffith, Madden and Valvardi were present as well as Councilman Schreiber. Borough Solicitor Howard Long, Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso, Deputy Clerk Katie Compton, CFO Christie Ehret and Superintendent Dave Taraschi were also present. Mayor Merryfield was absent but excused.
Kathleen Franklin, 1604 Chestnut Avenue – Ms. Franklin addressed Council saying that she was unable to make the HHYA meeting last week but asked Councilwoman Madden what occurred. Councilwoman Madden explained that it was a great meeting and was very productive. The group went through the old ordinance and discussed what changes should be made. The new ordinance will include some type of financial disclosure regulation from the athletic organizations. She said the meeting was productive and collaborative. Ms. Franklin said her initial inquiry related not to the creation of an ordinance but she is glad that something good will come out of her concerns.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
WORK SESSION DISCUSSIONS:
5 Yr. Capital Improvement Plan
Councilman Schreiber explained that since he has been on Council, he has discussed the need to improve the infrastructure in Haddon Heights. He has presented Council with the grants to help the town achieve these improvements. He said he has worked with the CFO to compile a gross list of the 5 year capital needs of the Borough. He handed out packet which listed the 5 year needs from each Department, the infrastructure improvement priority list from the engineer, and the current debt service and anticipated debt service. Schreiber explained that we will experience a debt service decline in 2022 and that this would be a good time apply for these grants. He said that the goal of this discussion is to ask Council to authorize via resolution an application to the NJEIT Bank for a certain amount of money which the state will match. This application does not commit us to doing any work but that we have a placeholder to do it.
Council President Mrozinski complimented Councilman Schreiber, Engineer Steve Bach and CFO Christie Ehret’s work on this project.
Councilman Schreiber said there is another component, we have secured the $100,000 Asset Management Plan grant and with this comes a pledge to spend $250,000 worth of capital work after the plan is completed.
Schreiber and Steve Bach explained that the Borough should move on this sooner rather than later because there is no guarantee that the money will still be there in a few months. By passing the resolution and the application, we will be able to hold our place in line. All expenditures will be contingent upon the entire councils say.
Solicitor Howard Long asked Engineer Steve Bach if his priority list was based off of an eyeball of the system. Bach responded that it is based off of both an eyeball of the system and his firsthand experience with the system.
All of council was in consensus to put a resolution authorizing the application to the NJEIT.
Councilman Schreiber explained that through his tenure on Council, he has realized that we are in an interesting predicament with our tree situation. He explains that there are four main problems with the tree situation: the tree waiting list, the budgetary confines we are in for tree maintenance, the lack of tree maintenance equipment in our Department of Public Works, and the Shade Tree Commission adds another level of bureaucracy and has not met with a quorum all year. We need a solution to this problem.
Councilwoman Griffith suggested we invite the Shade Tree Commission chair to discuss the situation. The Commission is holding a public meeting in the auditorium tomorrow night at 7 pm to discuss the proposed tree removals on the 600 Block of W. High Street.
Councilwoman Madden explained that if a residents wants to pay for the maintenance of a Borough tree, we should allow them. Discussion ensued about our current tree ordinance and what we might consider to alleviate some of the issues.
Councilman Schreiber reiterated that there are safety, financial, and insurance perspectives to look at this.
Dave Taraschi, Superintendent of Public Works described his experiences with residents who indicate that they have gotten commitments from the Borough, some going back years, to perform tree maintenance. Deputy Clerk Compton commented that most of our claims are related to trees.
Council requested a list of the current trees that need maintenance and to invite the Shade Tree Commission to the October work session meeting to discuss.
Councilman Mrozinski read a letter from Councilman Bryan Schroeder announcing his resignation from Council effective today, September 4, 2018. Councilwoman Madden said she will miss his presence here as he was hardworking and diligent. She said she will take over as Director of Parks and Recreation.
Councilwoman Madden said that she attended a meeting about the Tennis Courts. The high school tennis coaches, Athletic Director of the High School Joe Cramp, Steve Bach, and Trish Sheilds were all in attendance. She explained that the Courts are in disrepair and have been an ongoing problem which resulted in us having to be close them to the public by recommendation of our insurance company. We are now at a point where we have to figure out how to move forward. Engineer Steve Bach looked provided a report of the soil boring testing and the cost to repair the courts. He came up with a plan for the resurfacing paint and new fencing and parking lot. It will really give us an excellent facility, which is approximately $300,000. She explained that the Board of Education uses the courts approximately 75% of the time and it’s important that we have coordination with the school board to assist with funding of this project. Madden explained that this will not happen this year but it is a process that we can get moving to hopefully open them next spring or summer. The lesson in all of this is the courts fell into disrepair because they were not maintained over the course of their lives. Going forward we have to be sure of the maintenance and work out who will do the maintenance and pay for the maintenance.
Steve Bach said Councilman Schroeder accelerated the process after we had to lock down of the courts. The Borough has provided all of the framework for the process so now it is just a matter of procedure and dollar amount. He noted that the project will not be done before boy’s tennis and depending on the timing it may or may not be done for girls tennis.
Councilwoman Susan Griffith thanked Councilman Schreoder for his service and work for the town.
Class III School Security Officer Haddon Heights School District
Councilwoman Griffith explained that Chief Scardino has been in close contact with Superintendent Mike Adams to discuss the increase of school security in the elementary schools. The School Board has budgeted for a Special Law Enforcement Officer (SLEO) Class III which they hope to hire for this year.
Chief Scardino explained that this employee would report to him but be paid from the School District. This employee would move from elementary school to elementary school during the day. Scardino described the SLEO Class III requirements, explaining that this position is strictly for school security and must be an officer who has been retired for no less than three years. The long-term goal is to have a SLEO III in each school full time.
Chief Scardino is looking for council’s permission to advertise for this position tomorrow as we are already into the school year and there may not be many of these certified candidates available. Scardino explains that he hopes to have this person start in the beginning of November.
Council is in full support to advertise tomorrow.
Barrington Ambulance Shared Service Agreement
Councilwoman Griffith explained that the agreement that we currently have with Barrington is expiring December 31st of this year. She reached out to Barb Willson to set up a meeting between her and her director to move forward to see if we can mutually agree for another contract. Under this agreement, Haddon Heights currently pays Barrington $5,000/year. She has received no complaints about the service and the response time is great. Council approves of Councilwoman Griffith to go forward with discussions with Barrington.
Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso asked Council to take a final look through the Purchasing Manual she distributed at the last council meeting and let her know of any question or changes. She said we are hoping to be introducing as ordinance at the September 18th Council Meeting.
NJ League of Municipalities Conference: November 13-15 2018 in Atlantic City
Borough Clerk Santosusso told Council that the 2018 Conference information is available. If anyone on Council is interested in attending, she asked to let her or Deputy Clerk Compton know and we can get them registered.
Council President Mrozinski went around table to ask Council if there was anything else they wanted to discuss that was not on the agenda.
Councilman Schreiber was saddened to see Councilman Schroeder resign as he brought a great deal of intelligence and work ethic to the Governing Body.
Councilwoman Valvardi and Council President Griffith echoed Schreiber’s sentiments about Councilman Schroeder’s resignation.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Council President Mrozinski asked for a motion to approve the August 7, 2018 Council Meeting Minutes. A motion was made by Councilwoman Griffith and seconded by Councilwoman Madden. All members were in favor with the exception of Councilwoman Valvardi and Councilman Schreiber who abstained.
Resolution 2018:156A – Resolution Of The Borough Of Haddon Heights, County Of Camden, State Of New Jersey Designating Certain Property Within The Borough Of Haddon Heights As A Condemnation Area In Need Of Redevelopment In Accordance With The Local Redevelopment And Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq. (Block 29, Lot 4)
Resolution 2018:157A – Resolution Of The Borough Of Haddon Heights, County Of Camden, State Of New Jersey Designating Certain Property Within The Borough Of Haddon Heights As An Area In Need Of Redevelopment In Accordance With The Local Redevelopment And Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq. (Block 80, Lots 1, 2, 2.01, and 2.03)
Resolution 2018:197 – Resolution Authorizing a One Day Social Affair Permit for St. Rose of Lima – Wine and Cheese September 19, 2018
Resolution 2018:198 – 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) – NJ DOT Grant for Reconstruction of W. High Street, Phase IV
Resolution 2018:199 – Resolution Authorizing Acceptance Of A Maintenance Surety For Glover Mill Village, Block 62, Lot 2 & 6, Bob Meyers Communities
Resolution 2018:200 – 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 Shared Services Agreement between the Boroughs of Audubon and Haddon Heights. Discussion is expected to be one ½ hr. in duration. Formal Action May be Taken.
Resolution 2018:201 – Resolution Authorizing Payment Of Bills & Claims For the first Half of September
A motion to adopt Resolutions 2018:156A through 2018:201 was made by Councilman Schreiber and seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor with the exception of Councilwoman Valvardi who abstained from Resolution 2018:197 and payments to Horizon Blue Cross, Bollinger, Southern New Jersey Regional Benefit Fund, and VSP on Resolution 2018:201. Councilwoman Griffith also abstained from payments to Horizon Blue Cross, Bollinger, Southern New Jersey Regional Benefit Fund, and VSP on Resolution 2018:201. Councilwoman Madden abstained to the payment to Camden County related to Officer Megan Propati on Resolution 2018:201.
Council President Mrozinski announced that Council will be going to go into Executive Session.
Following executive session, a motion to open the meeting was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilwoman Madden. All members voted in favor.
Kelly Santosusso, RMC