RP M&C Meeting (August 2, 2007)

On August 2, 2007, in Mayor & Council, Video, by RP Citizens

Mayor and all council members were in attendance with councilmen Badillo and Matarante arriving during the report of Councilman Harms. Kenneth Blum, Doreen Cali, Nick Villano, and William Lane were the remaining attendees.

The meeting opened with a moment of silence for Laura Lyle and Philip “Skip” Kreie.

A request from West End Community Center to hold an Annual Family Picnic on August 25th was moved and approved.

Report and Recommendation of the Mayor

The mayor made a public statement regarding the June 20th incident with Ms. Monica Montoya. The mayor also stated that the Union County Prosecutor’s office is investigating the incident. William Lane spoke and recommended that any and all council members refrain from making comments regarding the incident until the investigation is completed since there may be a hearing and if disciplinary action is taken the assumption could be made that statements made to the public would taint any proceedings.

The Special Improvement District (SID) elections took place and the results will be released tomorrow by the borough clerk.

The mayor mentioned that Chestnut Street is continuing its face-lift. The County will return to complete the culvert work needed between Westfield Avenue and Williams. The crosswalks will be returned. $5,000 was donated from Schering-Plough for banners for the town. The tree wells were being installed. Parking meters will be painted black to go along with the old-time lampposts downtown. Mello Contractors have loaned the borough a power cleaner to clean areas downtown. New benches are being installed.

A meeting will take palce on August 22nd to bring the residents up to date on redevelopment efforts. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at borough hall.

An amendment is being considered to make it easier to have resident install solar panels on their property.

National Night Out will be on August 7th. Fireworks will be included but a proposed movie will not be shown due to the fact that Pop Warner practice will be held until 8 p.m. A “Movie Night” will be attempted again before school starts.

The council received a report regarding the closing/re-changing of Union Hospital. A meeting on it will be held on August 16th at the Union High School. The borough clerk can be called for more information.

Governor Corzine extended the deadline for the Homestead Rebate and Senior Tax Freeze Program until October 31st. The borough clerk can be reached for any more information.

Report of Standing Committees and other Mayor and Council Committees

Councilman Yakubov

  • Neighborhood Watch Program will set up another meeting.
  • Carl Pluccino and Councilman Yakubov cleaned up the Grove area and had graffiti cleaned up. The Grove needs more supervision and more lighting.
  • A meeting will be attended tomorrow regarding the Woodside Apartments and Webster Gardens
  • Speeding needs to b e addressed.

Councilman Rubilla

  • A copy of a letter of thanks was sent to council and police department regarding the quick action to place a “No Turn On Red” sign at the corner of Westfield Avenue and Colfax Avenue.

Council Matarante

  • A meeting for the potential renovations for Acker Park will take placeon August 15th at 6 p.m. It will be a public forum where the residents can give input and see the proposed areas of renovation.
  • One item was set aside for closed with an issue that requires the labor attorney’s presence due to possible litigation.
  • The mayor stated that the Acker Park renovation will be inline with grant approval.
  • The application for extraordinary aid was denied. Kenilworth and Fanwood were the only two Union County municipalities that received aid. Out of those two, Kenilworth received aid last year.

Councilman Harms

  • No report

Councilman Badillo

  • Residents should be aware that Pop Warner practice is taking place between 6p.m. and 8 p.m. in August while driving home at night.
  • Hemlock Street had their tenth annual block party. The mayor mentioned that some people have complained about a certain block, not Hemlock, is having multiple block parties. The borough clerk should keep in mind when requests are made of blocks making multiple requests. If residents have any questions about block parties, they can contact the borough clerk.
  • A copy of Hillside’s illegal apartment ordinance was received and will be referred to Municipal Service. The ordinance should be put on for this month’s meeting.

Councilman Dinardo

  • A Neighborhood Watch meeting will be scheduled for September.
  • The sewer sinkhole on Grant & Pershing Avenue is holding a lot of water when it rains. Councilman Dinardo asked if anything can be done for the time being – having the blacktop raised, for example – to alleviate the situation.
  • The councilman wanted to confirm if certain streets in his district are schedule for repair that were budgeted last year.

Nick Villano / Engineer’s Report

  • Chestnut Street – The contractor has had problems in starting but said he should start next week. If he does not, the borough attorney should send a letter of notice.
  • Madison Street work should start in a week of two.
  • Westbrook Stream work is ready to go. All that is needed is a check for $600 and the approved application to the DEP. The timetable back from the DEP is up to 90 days. The bid will go out when the permit comes back and the estimate for construction work is 60 working days or about three months.
  • Webster Avenue Sanitary Sewer Replacement
  • First Aid Squad Generator. The cost for purchase and installation is $20,300. The estimated time for the project is a couple of week or a month tops.
  • Lincoln Avenue train station. Set aside for closed session due to possible litigation.
  • Union Avenue storm sewer design is almost done needs to go to DEP. Councilman Badillo stated he would like the residents continuously informed of the progress. The mayor stated that the public has been sent one letter and a second one is ready to be sent but was being held until council could talk about the project so the letter could be changed to include any discussions. The project was moved to go out for bid and passed. Nick was authorized to put out the bid.
  • The Fire Department bathroom quotes were submitted. The lowest bidder did not have all the related paperwork so the second lowest bidder was awarded. The bid is being split into two parts. The council authorized the go ahead with the project.
  • Chestnut Street crosswalk imprints. The county recommended that the borough directly bid the job out because there was no provision in the contract with the county to include imprints. There would need to be a change order and it would be easier to have Roselle Park deal directly with a contractor. Councilman Harms stated that when council approved the project , he was under the impression that the crosswalk imprint/stamping was part of the contract because the money was appropriated with the understanding that crosswalk imprinting would be done. It appears that the county did not include it in the contract. councilman Matarante stated he would like to revisit the crosswalk stamping because the money could be used in other areas, seeing now that the cost may go above the budgeted cost assigned to the project since a contract will be have to be bid out. Councilman Harms stated that if the project is going to cost more than alloted, he agrees. Matarante asked that the monies be pulled out and put into a bond ordinance before finalizing the budget. The mayor suggested that the bid could be put out on a per-crosswalk basis so that if the entire bid is more than the budgeted cost, the project could be pared down to meet the budgeted expense.

Certificates

A certificate was awarded to Maria DelRio for her volunteering efforts for cancer awareness, particularly the Union County Relay for Life.

A certificate was awarded to Luigi Falco from Funtime America for his work with Project Graduation. Mr. Falco was not present.

Public Comment

Jacob Magiera

  • NJCAAN has filed a lawsuit against the FAA for the new proposed flight patterns which would affect Roselle Park. Mr. Magiera asked if the borough would take part in the lawsuit. The borough said they would review it and may take part in it.
  • Mr. Magiera stated he would not talk about undocumented workers, dirty streets, clogged storm sewer basins, speeding, parking meters not working, $2,000 pay cut, Yield to Pedestrian signs, street numbers required on houses and businesses, and inventory of borough assets. He did want to know want percentage of Roselle Park utilizes the Raritan Valley Sewerage Authority (RVSA). The mayor stated he did not know specifically but estimated about 50%. Mr. Mageiera wanted to confirm that the west side of Roselle Park fell within RVSA. That was confirmed.
  • Acker Park renovations. In June Mr Magiera brought up issues with the installation of slide play set in the park, the non-use of the basketball courts, and other matters. He wanted to know what happened to make the borough propose renovations to the park. Additionally, he wanted to know why the borough was going to use Green Acres money, which would mean anyone from anywhere could come in and utilize Acker Park instead of having it simply for Roselle Park residents. The mayor responded by stating that through the efforts of the borough engineer, the Union County freeholders’ Open Space grant and the Green Acres fund, the money for the proposed renovations would not cost the borough money. The mayor stated that a New Jersey court decision prevents Roselle Park, or any borough, from restricting use of its public parks to only borough residents. Using green Acres funding would not alter the use of the Park since any public park must be open to the public, regardless of residency. The proposal is just an idea that is being presented to the public for their input. Mr. Magiera asked why a sketch was presented before the public forum meeting. The counil stated that presenting the plan drawing was needed to give the freeholders an idea before they can approve grant funding and also to have a starting point for the residents to discuss. Mr. Magiera asked if the county has money alloted for the grant for parks. The mayor responded that yes, it does.
  • Councilman Matarante gave Mr. Magiera figures for 2006-2007 on the payments to RVSA, stating that the information is based on usage, not percentage of borough utilizing RVSA. For 2006, the figures were $384,000 for RVSA and $24,000 for Joint Meeting. In 2007, the figures were $407,000 for RVSA and $281,000 for Joint Meeting.

Glen Marchesky

  • The street on Sherman Avenue has cracks and potholes, and those repaired potholes are filled with Sakrete. The street is in need of repair. Additionally, there are trees on the block that are dead or half-dead which are not being maintained. The mayor stated that every year streets are taken into consideration for repair when budgets are being made. Next year, Sherman Street will be taken into consideration. Glen stated that his street has not been done while Chestnut Street and Locust Street have been done twice. the mayor stated that he would provide a list of streets that have been repaired in the past couple of years.
  • If Acker Park gets renovated, the borough should be aware that a report was made that some rubber matting used in parks have burned children when they have heated up due to temperatures in the summer.

Gerhardt Sanchez

  • Basketball coach for Roselle Park. In the past there used to be five basketball courts open in the borough and presently there are only two. The basketball team repainted and fixed the courts at the high school. Mr. Sanchez wanted to know what plans there were for Acker Park’s basketball courts. The courts have not been used for three years and now there is a proposal that does not include the courts for the proposed renovations. Council told Mr. Sanchez that the court rims were taken down because of issues residents called about regarding older teenagers who were not from Roselle Park, coming into the courts and being unruly and disruptive (urinating, making noise, cursing, etc.) making the park unsafe for children and families. A volunteer who would lock up the park had incidents which included having his house vandalized. The nets were taken down after numerous incidents of disruptive behavior. Since the nets have been taken down, there have been zero complaints about the park. The courts at the high school are back up and the borough said that it should see how that goes. the mayor asked Mr. Sanchez if he would like to work with the committee to renovate Acker Park to see what ideas he could contributed. Mr. Sanchez stated he would like to take a part in it. Mr. Sanchez then asked if anything has been tried at Acker Park like half-courts. Councilman Matarante stated that the last straw for him was when a resident called him stated that they had their child shot with a paint gun. Sinze the nets have been done these three years, the park has been trouble free. Mr. Sanchez asked if it was hearsay or documented complaints. Councilman Badillo stated that he personally had incidents with people misusing the basketball courts and area. Mr. Sanchez wanted to know if there was a plan other than removing the nets. The council stated that removing the nets was the plan to keep the park safe. An option was presented to perhaps have a way of having the nets put up during a sporting event that has been scheduled then taken down after they are done.

Bob Kluge

  • Graffiti was noticed around Sherman School in his neighborhood. It is a small percentage now but should be nipped in the bud.
  • The trash receptacles on school grounds are smaller than the one across the street from the school and he was wondering if they can or should be switched.

Public section was closed at 9:05 p.m.

Nick Villano / Engineer’s Report

  • East Clay Avenue Re-surfacing
  • Acker Park
  • Various small projects on Hazel Street, East Grant, and the Union Avenue storm sewer replacements.

Bill Lane / Attorney’s Report

  • The ordinance of solar panels needs to be refined. There is concern that aesthetic problems might arise without addressing requirements. The same module for satellite dishes might be used. A list of municipalities that address solar panels was given to Mr. Lane for his review.
  • The train station renovation was moved to closed session.

Doreen Cali / Borough Clerk’s Report

  • The borough clerk report was submitted.

Kenneth Blum / Chief Financial Officer’s Report

  • The fire department is asking for funds through Homeland Security for four (4) full-time employees.
  • Fire prevention is asking for funds for three (3) inspectors.
  • The budget needs to be amended to address the denial of extraordinary aid to the borough. The amendment to the budget requires a public portion for the amendment only. Council recommended a special meeting that will be scheduled for budget finalization with the mayor and all council present.
  • Two matters were moved to closed session.

Frank Wirzbicki / Public Works’ Report

  • Report was submitted.
  • Chestnut Street wells have been set.
  • The parking meters need to be fixed and cut so they all can be the same height.
  • Street signs have been ordered with the same size font and colors of the borough through the county.
  • DPW has hired a new tree guy and is taking care of the list of complaints.
  • The school trash receptacles are put out by the school district and cannot be exchanged. The DPW will write a letter to the school board to have the graffiti on school grounds removed.
  • A question was brought up about applying weed killer in the tree wells before mulch can be applied. The DPW has done that and will periodically apply more after the mulch has been set.
  • The DPW, with a full staff of 12, presently has six employees out, four of them due to injuries. the DPW is working at half capacity at the moment.

Police Department’s Report

  • Lt. Apul Morrison stated that the police chief did not leave anything of note to report to the council.
  • Councilman Matarante stated that if any resident sees any graffiti, to report it to the borough or, more importantly, the police so that is can be documented and addressed. The police representative stated that as of yet, although it has documented graffiti, it has not uncovered any gang-related graffiti.
  • Radar has been used more this year than last year. This was in response to Councilman Yakubov’s request on handling speeding problems in his ward.

Minutes to Be Approved, Motion that Bills & Payrolls not be read, and motion that bills and payrolls be passed were all voted on and approved.

Ordinances

  • Ordinance 2214 was open to the public portion, voted on, and passed.
  • Ordinance 2215 was requested to be read out loud by Mr. Jacob Magiera. It was read, voted on, and passed.
  • Ordinance 2216 was open to the public. Mr. Magiera stated that the ordinance was missing from the agenda. Mrs. Cali stated it was an oversight on her part and read the first part of the ordinance. It clarified a section of a previous ordinance, which now ill prohibit public consumption of alcohol at all times. Mr. Magiera asked how someone would know if alcohol was being consumed within a paper bag. He was told that would be up to the law enforcement official but there would probable cause to suspect alcohol consumption. The ordinance was voted on and passed.

Resolutions

  • Resolutions 182-07 through 188-07 were presented. Resolution 188-07 was set aside. The other resolutions was voted on and approved.
  • Resolution 188-07 rescinded a previous resolution which now corrects state figures for computer equipment. the resolution was votedon and passed.

Mention was made that the Casano Center is renovating its grounds on the inside and outside. The borough is looking for volunteers for painting. Anyone interested should contact the borough clerk.

The council went into closed session and the meeting was then adjourned.