Council Minutes from 10/09/2002
 

REGULAR MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNESDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 9, 2002.  MAYOR MICHAEL TRIPODI PRESIDED.

ROLL CALL

Roll Call at 8:03 P.M. showed the following Council Members present:  Carmela Colosimo, Gregg David, Richard Falcetano, Kathi Fiamingo, Ed Galasso, and Robert Taylor.

Mayor Tripodi read the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act.

The Salute to the Flag was led by Mayor Tripodi.

MINUTES

It was moved by Falcetano, seconded by Galasso and carried, that the minutes of the Work Session Meeting of September 24th and the Regular Meeting of September 25, 2002 be dispensed with and approved as submitted.

COMMUNICATIONS AND PETITIONS

  1. Notice from Verizon advising that they will be removing the pay phones located at the North 21st Street Municipal Parking Lot and at the South 21st Street Municipal Parking Lot since they do not meet their minimum revenue requirements.
  2. Notice from Comcast of changes in various equipment, installation and service charges.
  3. Letter from a resident complaining about the Recreation Department.

REPORTS

  1. Police Department Report for the month of September, 2002.
  2. Construction Department Report for the month of September, 2002.
  3. Borough Clerk’s Report for the month of September, 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

MAYOR’S REPORT

Mayor Tripodi reminded the residents that we are having the Octoberfest Street Fair on Saturday, October 20th along the Boulevard from 18th Street to 23rd Street, from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M.  He announced that the Smart Growth Committee will be meeting on Monday, October 14th at Percup at 6:30 PM.  He said that he hopes to be able to, within a month, present to the Council a Smart Growth plan for the central business district for adoption.  Mayor Tripodi also announced the Pride in Kenilworth Committee will again be sponsoring the Halloween House Decorating Contest and will be judging homes on the weekend of October 26th.  He noted that any

REPORT OF COMMITTEES (CONT.)

MAYOR’S REPORT (CONT.)

winners from last year are not eligible this year.  Mayor Tripodi announced that there were some guests in the audience this evening, referring to Freeholders Scutari, Proctor, and Estrada, along with Assemblyman Cryan, who were here to discuss the possible reactivation of the railroad through the Borough of Kenilworth.

Assemblyman Joseph Cryan thanked the Mayor for the opportunity to come before the Governing Body to address a concern that he has heard so much about.  He wished to share, on behalf of Senator Lesniak, Assemblyman Cohen and himself, their views on where they stand from a statewide presence.  He said he is receipt of the resolution from the Borough of Kenilworth which makes their opposition very clear. He said he has never heard of an idea more stupid than having a train cross Route 22.  He said their position is very clear, that there is no

possible benefit realized from the reactivation of this rail line that could possible outweigh the

impact of the quality of life for the residents of the 20th Legislative district and all of the residents of Union County.  He said as a legislative group, they have met with the M&E folks

(Morristown & Erie) who are quite simply, just interested in making money.  Their data shows that only 15 residential homes in Kenilworth that are actually on the rail line.  They have in fact in the past, received state monies for this project.  Assemblyman Cryan said, “I can assure you, from a state level, from literally August forward which is when they became aware of this project, that any funding from the state has been cut off at its knees.  Clearly, and unequivocally there will not be another dollar allocated or utilized for this process.”  Assemblyman Cryan said he has Commissioner of Transportation Jamie Fox’s word on this.  He said he will be meeting with the Commissioner, Mayor Tripodi, and other Mayors next week to reiterate their position.  He said, from a statewide standpoint, this road is now leased to the County, so that there is not much that the Commissioner can do but to ensure that no more dollars will be spent and also to adhere, should in the case that the line is reactivated, ensure that the highest standards are met from grades to safety procedures.  Assemblyman Cryan said hopefully we will not get to that point.  He said he has been assured that the new ties which are being laid are maintenance ties and they are no way able to move freight.  He said, on behalf of Senator Lesniak, Assemblyman Cohen, and himself, he came tonight to offer his unfailing support in any way, shape or form that he can, and to put on this on the record.

Mayor Tripodi thanked Assemblyman Cryan for coming today.  Mayor Tripodi announced, for the record, that Freeholders Scutari, Estrada, and Proctor are also present this evening.

REPORT OF COMMITTEES (CONT.)

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Councilwoman Fiamingo announced that the Finance Committee met to discuss increases for the non-union employees.  She said they made a recommendation to the Council which they will be considering for action later on in the month, however, in the meantime the salary ordinance is on the agenda for first reading so that when everyone is in agreement, it can be implemented.  Councilwoman Fiamingo, in regards to the Pocket Parks Grant, said Mr. Travisano has spoken to Dianne and advised her he will be getting back to her soon.  In regards to the potential deficit in the Celebration of Public Events account, she said it is not a concern and there should be enough

money to transfer.  Councilwoman Fiamingo reported that in regards to the Board of Health’s question about the sanitarian’s salary, this is under their budget and Dianne checked it and said

there should be enough money for them to do what they want.

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

Councilwoman Colosimo referred to the resolution on the agenda which pertains to the interlocal

service agreement that hopefully will be passed between the City of Rahway and the Borough of Kenilworth for bulky-waste collection for the year 2003.  She explained that this is a cost cutting effort because of the “over 200% increase” we were hit with this year from our current company.

She said it will cost us for 2003 what we paid for only one pick up during 2002.

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilman Galasso read the following highlights from the Chief’s report for the month of September:  Sgt. Hannon attended UCERT Training, the department participated in the annual Health Fair at Schering Plough, the members successfully requalified with their duty weapons at the County range in Springfield, and Sgt. Hannon attended a Hostage Crisis Negotiation course. 

Councilman Galasso reported that after an investigation by our detective bureau, the department arrested a 59 year old male from Monroe Avenue for aggravated sexual assault of a 10 year old boy.  He said this all took place between August of 1998 and December of 1999 and this individual is currently lodged at the Union County Jail in lieu of $75,000. bail. 

DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, ZONING AND ORDINANCES

Councilman David announced that he was in receipt of the Zoning Officer’s report for the month of September which shows 11 complaints, 5 approvals, 2 denials, and 4 correspondences.  He was also in receipt of the Construction Official’s report which showed $14,084. in receipts, with the building fees broken down as follows: fees: $12,159., trust: $545., smoke detectors: $160., and elevator fees: $1,220.  In regards to the Historical Society, Councilman David announced that they are sponsoring a dinner-theater who dun nit on November 2nd at the Kenilworth Inn.  He said it is entitled “Kenilworth, Some History and Mystery” and will begin with a wine and cheese reception, followed by a full course dinner.  He said admission is $40. and anyone who is interested may obtain tickets by calling 245-0861, or stop in at the Kenilworth Library or Perqup.

REPORT OF COMMITTEES (CONT.)

DEPARTMENT OF FIRE, RECREATION, LIGHTING AND ECOLOGY

Councilman Falcetano said he had no report this evening.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE

Councilman Taylor reported that the Library will be meeting on Thursday to discuss the repair vs the replacement of the ramp behind the Library.  He said the Board of Health and the Borough are currently coordinating the annual dog and cat canvass of the town regarding licensing of these pets, as is required by statute.  Councilman Taylor also announced that Paulette Drogon

has been nominated for Vice President in Central New Jersey of the New Jersey Municipal Welfare Association, saying that speaking on behalf of the Council, they are very proud of Paulette Drogon’s work every day for the Borough.

BILLS

Consolidated Bill List appears on the following pages.

CONSENT AGENDA

Resolutions No. 1 through 6 are listed under Consent Agenda and will be enacted by one motion

in the form listed below.

Council Member Galasso moved that all items under Consent Agenda be approved, seconded by Council Member Taylor.  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

Be It Hereby Resolved:   Whereas, the following property was issued an electrical and fire permit, and fees were received by the Building Department;

                                         Whereas, there was a change in contractor and duplicate permits issued.

                                         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 $92.00 refunded to contractor:            Peter Papic

                                                                                                1215 Kirkman Place

                                                                                                Union, NJ  07083

                        For property located at: 421 No. 15th Street

                                                               Kenilworth, NJ  07033

                                                               Block 4, Lot 29, Permit #02-0295

CONSENT AGENDA (CONT.)

RESOLUTION NO. 3

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That the Borough Clerk be authorized to issue the following Raffle Licenses:

            #763 – To the David Brearley Middle/High School PTO for an Off-Premise 50/50 to

                         be held on May 12, 2003

            #764 – To the Kenilworth Rotary Club for an On-Premise 50/50 to be held on

                        November 1, 2002

            #765 -             To the Kenilworth Rotary Club for two On-Premise Merchandise Raffles

                        to be held on November 1, 2002

RESOLUTION NO. 4

Be It Hereby Resolved:   Whereas, the Assessor of Taxes has determined that William E. Lueddeke, Sr. who owns property located at 762 Vernon Avenue and known as Block 157 Lot 9 in the Borough of Kenilworth, County of Union, NJ  qualifies for full tax exemption as a 100%

disabled veteran, and

                                         Whereas, this property was billed for Final 2002 taxes prior to this determination,

                                         Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved  that taxes in the amount of $2,806.62 billed for the year 2002 and 2003 preliminary tax of $1403.31 be and are hereby cancelled, and

                                         Be It Further Resolved  that the Collector of Taxes make said adjustment on the tax record of Block 157 Lot 9 for the 2002 taxes billed and 2003 preliminary taxes billed.

RESOLUTION NO. 5

Be It Hereby Resolved:   Whereas, an overpayment has occurred on property located at 762 Vernon Avenue and known as Block 157 Lot 9 in the Borough of Kenilworth, County of Union, NJ due to exemption for 100% disable veteran status, and

                                        Whereas,  this overpayment was made by the property owners William E., Sr. & Mary Ann Lueddeke,

                                         Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved  that the treasurer after proper notation by the Collector of Taxes on the tax account record be and is hereby authorized to issue a warrant for refund of overpayment as stated below.

            Payable to:  William E. & Mary Ann Lueddeke              2002  1st Quarter $650.53

       2002 2nd Quarter   650.52

       2002  3rd Quarter   743.23

Total to refund      $2,044.28

CONSENT AGENDA (CONT.)

 

RESOLUTION NO. 6

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth approve the

Interlocal Services Agreement for Bulky Waste Collection for Year 2003 between the City of Rahway and the Borough of Kenilworth, as attached, and that the Mayor be authorized to sign said Agreement.

Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-16 was read for a first reading as follows:  (copy attached)                                                                       ORDINANCE NO. 2002-16

ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 190 SECTION 39 OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH – SCHEDULE – TRUCKS OVER 7,800 POUNDS EXCLUDED

Mayor Tripodi explained that this is in regards to commercial vehicles weighing over 7800 lbs.,

that they are hereby excluded from all Borough streets except for those listed in 190-40.

RESOLUTION NO. 7

Introduced by Galasso who also moved its adoption.

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That Proposed Ordinance No 2002-16, be and the same is hereby passed on first reading and ordered published for final hearing on November 13, 2002.

Seconded by Taylor and on roll call unanimously carried.

Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-17 was read for a first reading as follows:  (copy attached)

                                                            ORDINANCE NO. 2002-17

ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 190 SECTION 34 OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH – SCHEDULE – NO PARKING CERTAIN HOURS

Mayor Tripodi explained that this is an amendment to our parking ordinance, and addresses several issues, one being no parking west on Coolidge Drive during school hours which will allow the children to walk along side of the curb because there are no sidewalks and it has been a problem with the cars parking and the children having to walk around them.  He said the other two streets will provide for alternate side of the street parking, allowing the street sweeper to get through as these are residential and industrial areas.

 

 

RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES (CONT.)

 

RESOLUTION NO. 8

Introduced by Galasso who also moved its adoption.

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-17, be and the same is hereby passed on first reading and ordered published for final hearing on November 13, 2002.

Seconded by Taylor and on roll call unanimously carried.

Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-18 was read for a first reading as follows:  (copy attached)

                                                            ORDINANCE NO. 2002-18

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 2001-18 PROVIDING FOR COMPENSATION FOR BOROUGH EMPLOYEES OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH

Mayor Tripodi explained that the Governing Body will acting in the future to establish specific salaries and this ordinance is just clerical to establish ranges.

RESOLUTION NO. 9

Introduced by Fiamingo who also moved its adoption.

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-18, be and the same is hereby passed on first reading and ordered published for final hearing on November 13, 2002.

Seconded by Falcetano and on roll call unanimously carried.

GENERAL BUSINESS

Mayor Tripodi thanked Assemblyman Cryan and our Freeholders for being here this evening, saying that hopefully we will be able to put this railroad issue to rest.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Freeholder Scutari commented in regards to the reactivation of the rail line, saying that County’s position has been unwavering on this matter in that they do not support it and through an intergovernmental local agreement they have given this local Council and Mayor their own power and ability to reactivate those tracks if they see fit to do so.  He said his office, for many years has been begging them to come out and maintain the tracks just for the purpose of maintenance and safety, and finally something is being done, however, something which started out to be a positive has quickly grown into a negative, as rumors are running rampant.  Freeholder Scutari said something which he sees as a non-issue is now a big issue.  He said he cannot speak for what the railroad intends to do in the future with these tracks, however, the County’s official position is that they do not and are not supporting the reactivation

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

of these tracks, but have given this authority to the local members to adopt resolutions either for or against and they will deal with it on that basis. He said he will gladly answer any questions, as he felt it was important that they come here this evening and will probably be going to other town meetings as well.

Rudy Cammarota, Red Maple Lane, said he was confused because the last thing he had knowledge of is that the State of NJ purchased the Rahway Valley Railroad tracks from Roselle to Summit, then he said he heard they are going to reactivate it and they signed their rights to the County of Union, and then the County of Union called upon Baltimore and Erie of Morristown to run the railroad for them and it was going to be a freight line and in return the County would be getting the revenue from it.  Mr. Cammarota asked the Freeholders if all of this information was false?

Freeholder Scutari asked Mayor Tripodi if this was a proper forum?

Mayor Tripodi said he would like to ask the Freeholders to stay after the meeting because he did not want to get into a public dialog.

Mr. Cammarota said he thought this was information for the people of Kenilworth, adding that if we speak to the Freeholders after the meeting, it is not a public record.  Mr. Cammarota said he also heard that the Railroad was going to hold a forum in each community, however, the Freeholders say they are leaving it up to each individual community.  He asked if anyone knew if a contract has been signed between the Baltimore and Erie Railroad and the other party?  He asked who exactly owns the Railroad?

Mayor Tripodi said there were two contracts and the first was from June, 2000 between the DOT and the County.

Mr. Cammarota asked what that was about?

Mayor Tripodi said it was basically an assignment for a right of way to allow the County to negotiate with the railroad. Mayor Tripodi said he can give Mr. Cammarota a copy of it.

Mr. Cammarota said this was not for his personal information, it is for the residents.

Councilman David and Councilwoman Colosimo said they would like to hear it, also.

Freeholder Scutari said there was a contract between the County and the DOT, but as part of that contract, there was an Interlocal agreement in which activation was to be acted upon by the local bodies that the track ran through, therefore, that authority has been given to the individual city councils and mayors, so any activation would have to be authorized pursuant to that contract.

He added that since they did receive a resolution from the Borough of Kenilworth objecting

MEETING OPEN THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

to the reactivation, they (the Freeholders) are objecting and that is their position. He said he cannot comment as to what will happen in the future as to this particular operator, but their position with respect to regulating the operation of this track is that they will not authorize the operation of this track through any communities who reject it.  He said he cannot talk about every different type of scenario that may come up in the future. 

Mayor Tripodi said in the event that any other action is taken, the towns would appreciate prior notification, as this was a concern of our residents.

Freeholder Scutari said they set policy, they do not run the day to day operations.

Attorney Vitale said he has not read the operating agreement, but asked if he was correct to assume that this is the entire agreement?

Freeholder Scutari said he did not know what Attorney Vitale was looking at and although he is an attorney, he is not an attorney for the County.  He said he cannot comment if that is the entire agreement or not.

Mr. Cammarota said he does not know of any governing body that would enter a contract contingent upon six of the communities agreeing to it.  He asked what it means if one community objects, do the others have to object also?  Mr. Cammarota said it sounds like a circus to him and this is not good government.  He said he was not satisfied with the Freeholder’s explanation.  He said he thought he would find out exactly what was going on tonight because somebody does know.

Mayor Tripodi said there is a Freeholder’s meeting on Thursday and the County’s counsel will be there, along with our residents and this would be the best place to hear it from.

Attorney Vitale asked if the M&E Railroad understands the agreement, referring to the part that states if a community objects to it, that it will not go through?

Freeholder Scutari said he cannot speak for the railroad, just for the Freeholder Board.

Councilwoman Fiamingo asked what the date of the contract was?

Attorney Vitale said the contract was dated May 9th, 2002.

Mayor Tripodi explained that that was the date of the operating agreement and the date of the contract between the County and the DOT was from 2000.

Councilwoman Fiamingo asked Freeholder Scutari if she heard correctly when he said that he is unwavering in his position and if the town is opposed than he is opposed?

Freeholder Scutari said that was correct.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

Mr. Westervelt, Faitoute Avenue, said he was gratified that the state and the county are “on board”, however, he is very uneasy about this.  He said we have an operator, M&E Railroad

that has a connection in Summit, a main line in Cranford that is operated mainly by Conrail which CSX (a very large operator) , Norfolk & Southern are involved in shipping over the Lehigh Valley Line and on the other end there is the chemical coast line.  He said the Port Authority said, yes we have a deal right now with the City of Elizabeth and will be putting in this north/south interchange which  may take 5 or 10 years to complete.  He said on the other end we have Staten Island with Howland Hook.  He said if we have an operator that gets all the way from Howland Hook to Summit, why do they want to get to Summit as Summit is their territory.

He said they have 150 miles of track and right of way over NJ Transit.  He said also up there is the old Lackawanna Railroad, and asked, who operates there- Conrail; who is buying out Conrail-CSX, Norfolk and Southern.  Mr. Westervelt said we have to watch this very, very carefully.  He said he hopes the state and the county understands.

Freeholder Scutari said they are watching it just as carefully as everyone else and their position is the same, that they do not want to see this railway reactivated, which is the reason he believes the agreement was made with the railroad so they can gain and garner some control.  He said Federal

regulations generally govern the use of railroads through  interstate commerce and sometimes they do not have control over that. 

ADJOURNMENT

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

8:45 P.M.                                                                                 Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                Hedy Lipke, Borough Clerk



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