Council Minutes from 9/25/2002
 
REGULAR MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNESDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 25, 2002.  COUNCIL PRESIDENT ED GALASSO PRESIDED.

ROLL CALL

Roll Call at 8:00 P.M. showed the following Council Members present:  Gregg David, Richard Falcetano, Kathi Fiamingo, Ed Galasso, and Robert Taylor.  Mayor Tripodi and Council Member

Carmela Colosimo were absent.

Council President Galasso read the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act.

The Salute to the Flag was led by Council President Galasso.

MINUTES

It was moved by Falcetano, seconded by Fiamingo and carried, that the minutes of the Work Session Meeting of September 10th and the Regular Meeting of September 10, 2002 be dispensed with and approved as submitted.  (Copies furnished each Council Member prior to the meeting.)

COMMUNICATIONS AND PETITIONS

  1. Letter from Ernie Hammer, President of the Senior Citizens Club, thanking Mayor and Council for the use of the 16th Street Park for their Annual Field Day.
  2. Letter from David and Debra Vanek, 642 Fairfield Avenue, expressing their concerns about the reactivation of the rail line near their home.
  3. Letter from Toni-Ann Martello, 639 Newark Avenue, requesting permission for a Block Party on Newark Avenue from 23rd Street to Orange Avenue on Saturday, October 12, 2002.
  4. Letter from Mayor Tripodi to our legislators regarding the proposed reactivation of the railroad by Morristown & Erie Railway, Inc., and asking for their support to oppose the reactivation.

REPORTS

  1. Municipal Court Report for the month of August, 2002.
  2. Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority Meeting Minutes of August 15, 2002.

It was moved by Falcetano, seconded by Fiamingo and carried, that the above communications be received and filed and any money amounts indicated be spread over the minutes.

REPORT OF COMMITTEES

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Councilwoman Fiamingo reported that the Finance Committee met prior to the Council meeting this evening and they will report to the full Council at the next Work Session meeting.  She also announced the second reading on tonight’s agenda of a Bond Ordinance authorizing various improvements.

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilman Galasso reported that they will be changing some parking during school hours on Coolidge Drive, westerly side, which will provide the students a safer walk to school, and also they will be initiating some alternate side of the street parking on North 10th and 11th Streets, two days a week for the street sweeper.  Councilman Galasso reminded the residents that school is open and to drive carefully.

DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, ZONING AND ORDINANCES

Councilman David said he had nothing to report.

DEPARTMENT OF FIRE, RECREATION, LIGHTING AND ECOLOGY

Councilman Falcetano thanked Councilwoman Fiamingo for her efforts in investigating the Pocket Parks Grant and said we are now closer to finding out if what we want to do is acceptable. He reported that the Recreation Committee is reviewing a proposed ordinance  which pertains to the usage of the parks.  Councilman Falcetano read the following into the minutes:

            Dear Mr. Jankunas:

                The David Brearley Girls Basketball Team would like to thank you for letting us participate in the carnival

                this year.  The donation that you made to the girls team will enable them to buy shirts for the entire team

                to wear in December to the Kaylee-Holiday Scholarship Tournament in Walt Disney World, Florida. 

                Thank you again for making this possible and if the girls or parents can ever help again, please let us know. 

                We really had a great time helping our community.

                Sincerely,

                Ed Murray, Varsity Girls Coach             Terry Sues, Fundraising Coordinator

                                                     

Dear Chief Giordino:

                On behalf of the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth and myself, I would like to extend our

                thanks to you for making the “National Night Out Against Crime” kick-off party held on Monday,

                August 5th 2002, a huge success.  Without your help, this would not have been possible.  It was

                extremely gratifying to see that various local businesses and local agencies were able to work so

                closely together to make this 2nd annual event an overwhelming success.  This unique relationship makes

                Kenilworth a great place to live and work. The Kenilworth Police Department is not only dedicated to

fighting and solving crimes that occur in our jurisdiction, but we are also involved in many proactive

approaches such as educating the public to protect themselves.  With your help we were able to accomplish

what we set out to do and were able to maintain a strong bond between the police and our community.

                Again, thank you for your participation and we look forward to working with you in the future.

                Sincerely,

                William Dowd, Chief of Police

REPORT OF COMMITTEES (CONT.)

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE

Councilman Taylor announced that he attended the Library Board meeting on Sept. 12th, the Local Assistance Board meeting on Sept. 18th, and the Board of Health meeting on Sept. 19th, 2002.  He reported that there is only currently one case on the Welfare rolls and that the Library Board discussed the replacement and repair of the ramp and was hoping that the Council could take action on this at the next meeting. Councilman Taylor said that Dale Spindel thanked the DPW for removing the graffiti found on the Library steps. 

BILLS

Consolidated Bill List appears on the following pages.

CONSENT AGENDA

Resolutions No. 1 through No. 11 are listed under Consent Agenda and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed below.

Council Member Fiamingo moved that all items under Consent Agenda be approved, seconded by Council Member Falcetano.  Upon roll call the vote was unanimous.

RESOLUTION NO. 1

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That all bills be paid when properly audited and funds are available.

RESOLUTION NO. 2

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Tax Collector authorized to adjust tax amounts due

                                                                        for Fourth Quarter 2002 taxes on properties listed

                                                                        due to deductions for Veteran/Widow of Veteran

                                                                        and Senior Citizens)

RESOLUTION NO. 3

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Tax Collector authorized to remove deductions and

                                                                        to further bill the properties listed for Senior

                                                                        Citizen/Surviving Spouse deductions as they no

                                                                        longer qualify)

RESOLUTION NO. 4

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Resolution assessing property owners on Lafayette

                                                                        Avenue from North 14th Street to North 17th Street

                                                                        for the cost of curbing)

CONSENT AGENDA (CONT.)

RESOLUTION NO. 5

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Resolution assessing property owners on Lee

                                                                        Terrace from Hemlock Street to Coolidge

                                                                        Drive for the cost of curbing)

RESOLUTION NO. 6

Be It Hereby Resolved:   Authorizing the Mayor to sign the Agreement with Gateway Institute

for professional services regarding the Smart Growth Planning Grant.

RESOLUTION NO. 7

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Proclaiming the week of October 23rd to

October 31st, 2002 as “Red Ribbon Week”)

RESOLUTION NO. 8

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Resolution objecting to the reactivation of the

                                                                        railroad by the Morristown and Erie Railway)

RESOLUTION NO. 9

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Resolution authorizing the Mayor and Borough

                                                                        Clerk to execute an agreement with the County

                                                                        of Union to modify the Interlocal Services

                                                                        Agreement dated December 15, 1974 and as

                                                                        amended)

RESOLUTION NO. 10

Be It Hereby Resolved:   Whereas,  the following property was issued a permit, and fees were

received by the Building Department;

                                         Whereas,  it has been determined that it  was a duplicate permit.

                                         Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved  that the Treasurer be and is hereby

authorized to draw a warrant to refund the following amount to:

                        Timothy Murphy

                        47 Park Drive

                        Kenilworth, NJ  07033              Permit #02-0292 / Alarm Permit

Amount of $47.00 refunded to homeowner.

CONSENT AGENDA (CONT.)

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 11

Be It Hereby Resolved:   Whereas, the following attorney paid for discovery (review of DWI video-tape) and fees were received by the Kenilworth Police Department;

                                         Whereas, it has been determined that the video-tape was invalid, and

no review was done. 

                                         Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved  that the Treasurer be and is hereby

authorized to draw a warrant to refund the following amount to:

                        Amount of $30.00 refunded to Attorney Michael Reilly:

                                    Mr. Michael Reilly

                                    618 Newark Avenue

                                    Jersey City, NJ 07306

For police case number 02-08292

Council President Galasso read Resolution No. 8 in full into the minutes.  (see attached copy)

Councilman David added that Councilwoman Colosimo personally reached out to our state assemblymen, Neil Cohen and Joe Cryan who both assured her that they vehemently oppose

the reactivation of the railroad.  He added that although she was not able to speak to him personally, Councilwoman Colosimo has heard that state senator Lesniak also opposes the reactivation.  Councilman David said if anyone knows where he lives, knows that he grew up

next to the railroad and is familiar of what it is like having it come through his yard every day of the week and although there are now houses built on this property and he does not have to worry about his house, he is still vehemently opposed to it.

Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-15 was read for a second reading as follows:  (copy appears in the

                                                                                                              minutes of August 28, 2002)

                                                            ORDINANCE NO. 2002-15

A BOND ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING VARIOUS IMPROVEMENTS IN, BY AND FOR THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH, IN THE COUNTY OF UNION, NEW JERSEY, APPROPRIATING AN AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF $217,000 THEREFORE AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF NOT EXCEEDING $47,500 IN AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF BONDS OR NOTES TO FINANCE PART OF THE COST THEREOF 

Council President Galasso opened the meeting to the public for any questions or comments on Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-15.

No one desiring to be heard, Council President Galasso closed the meeting to the public.

PROPOSED ORDINANCE NO. 2002-15 (CONT.)

 

RESOLUTION NO. 12

Introduced by Fiamingo who also moved its adoption.

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-15, be and the same is hereby passed on second and final reading and ordered published according to law.

Seconded by Galasso and on roll call unanimously carried.

GENERAL BUSINESS

Councilwoman Fiamingo said she attended a meeting on Monday at the Library, along with most of the residents who are here this evening and hoped she made it clear that she is opposed to the reactivation also.  She said it  is not something that the Borough needs, wants, or will benefit from in any way.  Councilwoman Fiamingo said they will do as much as they can to make this not happen.  She said she was very impressed with the presentation by Mr. Vanek and Mr. Westervelt as it was very informative and helped to educate the Council. 

Councilman David said although he cannot promise anything, he will contact our representatives and see if he can get any of them to attend the next meeting so that they can speak to the public and tell them what is being done.

Council President Galasso said he can assure the residents that this governing body will do everything that is humanly possible to stop the reactivation.  He said he walked the railway last Saturday and took pictures and wholeheartedly agrees with the residents.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Livio Mancino, North 24th Street, said he chairs the Union County Planning Board and the matter of the railroad has not yet come before them.  He suggested to Councilman Galasso that a delayed green light be put in at the intersection of 21st Street and the Boulevard, added that he already called the state and they said it should be no problem.

Council President Galasso advised Mr. Mancino that every intersection in town, except Michigan Avenue, is being redone by the County.

Mr. Mancino said today was the town-wide clean up and he commented that although the flyer has restrictions on what can and cannot be picked up, it seems as though this company will pick up anything, adding to the cost because the Borough is charged by the amount of weight.  They should be held to the rules and regulations.  Mr. Mancino said he is putting this Council “on notice” in the case that we have a repeat of last year’s Octoberfest financial statement and he will probably cause this Council to answer questions by the State as to why they are expending tax

payer’s money to pay for the Department of Public Works and Police coverage which amounted to about $7,000.   In turn, the profit went to the Chamber of Commerce and into a special fund.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

Mr. Mancino thanked Councilman Galasso and Councilman David for their participation in his effort to start the Kenilworth Sports Hall of Fame.  He said he always puts out a financial statement.

Bob Singler, Fairfield Avenue, wanted to make the Council aware that they have begun to cut down the trees along the rail line.  He spoke to the man who was doing this and he warned him that they will soon be using herbicides and said specifically whatever it touches will die, implying that it could blow on to the surrounding properties and affect the children and animals in the area.  He was wondering if the Health Department or EPA could be contacted for more information.

Council President Galasso asked Borough attorney Tom Vitale if there was anything that could be done to stop this?

Attorney Tom Vitale said he has not seen anything regarding this, however, he feels that the application of any herbicide would have Board of Health jurisdiction.

Councilman Taylor said he will contact our Board of Health and report back to Mr. Singler at the next meeting.

Bree Helm, South Michigan Avenue, said she and other teenagers really need a place to go and would like the Council to reconsider putting a skate park in town.  She said her friends and herself have been picked up for sitting on the benches.  She said her mother and her friend’s parents have said that they would be glad to volunteer their time to chaperone a skate park at night.  She said she knows that the insurance would be a lot of money, but suggested a “skate at your own risk” sign and allow it to be open to only Kenilworth residents and kids from the “choice” program. Bree asked that if a skate park is not possible, then to consider putting up something else that they can do so they have somewhere to go and will not get arrested.

Councilman Falcetano said he would forward her request to the Recreation Director.

Joe D’Innocenzio, Newark Avenue, said he is building a house on South 17th Street and requested a street opening permit to run a gas line into the house from Borough Engineer Mike Disko who said he should submit the request to the Mayor and Council in writing.  Mr. D’Innocenzio said he did this in July and was told today that the permit was denied.  He asked why it took 2 months for a reply and why, another house on the other end of the street was

granted permission?

Council President Galasso explained that the Council only meets twice during the summer which is why he did not get a reply in a timely manner.  He then explained that the request was not denied, the Council is just requesting additional information as to the reason for the gas line.

Mr. D’Innocenzio said the reason is that he needs gas in the house.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

Council President Galasso explained that there is a 5 year moratorium on street openings after a street has been paved. 

Attorney Vitale explained the ordinance and said this was recently amended to provide a one year window, providing special circumstances.  Mr. Vitale said he does not know the circumstances that would have allowed the other resident to open his street.  He also explained that when permission is granted, the street must be resurfaced from curb to curb and not just patched. 

Mr. D’Innocenzio said the moratorium in question ends either this month or next month.

Attorney Vitale said that is not a special circumstance.  He said the other side of this argument is the fact that he can wait a month or so and then be ok with just a patch on the street and not

curb to curb resurfacing.

Mrs. D’Innocenzio said that she was not informed that a reason was needed, prior to this evening.

Councilman Falcetano asked the Council President, if since Mr. D’Innocenzio is here and has explained the reason, could permission be granted this evening?

Councilman Galasso, after conferring with Attorney Vitale, said when the “Open to the Public” portion of the meeting is over, they can go back into General Business at which time a motion can be made.

Robert Fisher, Lee Terrace, asked, in reference to Resolution No. 5, if he was ever previously notified that the construction costs were going to be passed on to the homeowner?

Councilman Falcetano said yes, he was notified, and explained that the homeowner is assessed based on the amount of linear footing by their house.  He explained that the homeowner is given the option of paying this within 30 days, or over a 5 year period without interest.

Mr. Fisher asked if he lost any property due to the installation of curbing?

Councilman Galasso said he should have not lost any, as this is the Borough right-of-way.

Mr. Fisher asked if someone could survey his property for him?

Councilwoman Fiamingo asked if Mr. Fisher was notified of the scheduled hearing with Dr. Disko, the Borough Engineer, which was held last night for the purpose of answering residents’

questions about the curbs?

Mr. Fisher said he was, but thought he would get better answers at tonight’s meeting.  He then asked if he will be compensated if any property was lost?

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

Councilman Galasso explained again that this was Borough right-a-way.

 

Mr. Fisher said that during the paving and curb installation process, for at least 8 days he lost the use of his driveway and was forced to park a half of a block away and had to walk over a trench that was at least a foot and a half to 2 feet deep.  He asked if he could deduct this inconvenience

from the bill?

Councilman Galasso said no.

Mr. Fisher asked why he should be inconvenienced and then billed for work done to his street that he did not want?

Councilman David explained that before the work was done, he was notified by certified letter of the proposed project and also of a hearing date where Mr. Fisher and his neighbors could have come to and together voice their opinion on why they do not want their street paved.  He added that most residents are thrilled that their streets are paved and curbing is put in.

Council President Galasso suggests that Mr. Fisher contact the Borough Engineer.

Attorney Vitale recommended that Mr. Fisher speak to the Borough Engineer, on the property questions, not the Borough’s right to assess the residents.

David Vanek, Fairfield Avenue, on behalf of the dozens of concerned Kenilworth residents, thanked the Council and the Mayor for what has been done so far in their efforts to oppose

the reactivation of the rail line.  He also presented petitions with over 200 signatures so far and said they are still trying to get the word out.  They plan on going to the Union County Freeholders and said they appreciate anything that the governing body can do.  Mr. Vanek said he feels part of the plan is to come in like a steamroller and put the rail road in before any of the residents know what has hit them. 

Council President Galasso accepted the petitions and said he will attach them to the letter that the Borough is sending to the Freeholders.

Don Kuwalski, Lafayette Avenue, asked why, if his street was repaved in 1995, he is just being assessed now? He said he purchased the house in 1999 and asked why the previous owner did not pay it?

Council President Galasso said he hates to blame someone who is not here, but the engineer just assessed it.

Councilwoman Fiamingo explained that a title search is done at the time of the closing and it should have showed an unconfirmed assessment.  She suggested Mr. Kuwalski speak to his attorney.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

Robert Colandra, North 17th Street, said he has owned his house for 4 years and cannot believe he is just getting a bill now for work done before he even purchased his home.

Attorney Vitale explained that they are being billed at the cost it would have been in 1995, not current rates.  He added that at the time of their closing, when the unconfirmed assessment came

up in the title search, provisions should have been made at that time.

Rudy Cammarota, Red Maple Lane, asked the governing body how they came to prepare the resolution which opposed the reactivation of the rail line?

Councilman David said that they were unaware of the movement until the residents brought it to their attention.

Mr. Cammarota asked if it was originally supposed to be a passenger line, not freight?

Council President Galasso said there had been talk about it.

GENERAL BUSINESS (REOPENED)

Councilman Falcetano made a motion to allow the request for a street opening prior to the moratorium on South 17th Street, based on the fact that the special conditions were explained to the Council tonight and assuming that it will be done in accordance with the ordinance.

Councilman David seconded the motion and Councilwoman Fiamingo wished to clarify that there is an issue of water running off into the basement and the homeowner is in need of correcting the drainage at which time they would like to add a gas line, while the ground is dug up. 

Upon roll call the motion was unanimously carried.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Council, it was moved by David, seconded by Fiamingo and carried, that the meeting be adjourned to the call of the chair.

9:15 P.M.

                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                    Hedy Lipke

                                                                                    Borough Clerk



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