REGULAR MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH HELD ON WEDNESDAY EVENING, MAY 9, 2007. MAYOR DAVID PRESIDED.
Roll Call at 8:00 P.M. showed the following Council Members present: Peter Corvelli, Lawrence Clementi, Anthony DeLuca, Kathi Fiamingo, Robert Taylor and Fred Pugliese.
Mayor David read the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act.
The Salute to the Flag was led by Mayor David.
It was moved by Councilman Clementi , seconded by Councilman Taylor, and carried that the Work Session Meeting of April 24, 2007 and the Regular Meeting of April 25, 2007 be dispensed with and approved as submitted. (Copies furnished each Council Member prior to the meeting.)
Mayor David and Paulette Drogan presented a check in the amount of $1425.00 to David Brearley High School Project Graduation.
COMMUNICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. Letter from Stefanie Loneker, 590 Passaic Avenue, requesting permission for a Block Party on Passaic Avenue from South 23rd Street to South 25th Street on Saturday, July 21, 2007.
2. Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority has sent a copy of their 2006 Audit Report which is on file in the Borough Clerk’s Office.
3. Youth in Government Day will be observed at the next Council Meeting on May 23rd.
1. Police Department Report for the month of April, 2007.
2. Construction Department Report for the month of April, 2007.
3. Borough Clerk’s Report for the month of April, 2007.
4. Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority Meeting Minutes of March 15, 2007.
It was moved by Councilman DeLuca, seconded by Councilwoman Fiamingo and carried that the above communications be received and filed and any money amounts indicated be spread over the minutes.
Mayor David reported he received a letter from Comcast announcing new channels on or about May 8, 2007.
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Mayor David also received a memo from the County of Union advising they are celebrating their 150th Anniversary on Saturday, May 19, 2007. A number of public events are planned to mark the occasion. The program begins at 10:00.
The Centennial Committee and the Kenilworth Police Department are celebrating National Police Week on May 19, 2007 from 10 am to 2 pm. at Borough Hall. The event will have exhibits of police vehicles and all aspects of police work.
Mayor David advised the Governing Body will be going into a Work Session after the public portion of tonight’s meeting to discuss the defeated school budget.
Mayor David stated that at the last public meeting there was a petition presented to the Governing Body about a potential referendum. We accepted that petition and our Borough Attorney was asked to review it and make sure it complied with the appropriate State Statutes. The Governing Body received a written opinion last evening. Anyone in the audience who wishes to view the legal opinion they can obtain a copy at the Clerk’s Office. The attorney’s opinion is that the petition be rejected as it did not comply with any of the statutes that allow for the referendum. In conjunction with that, it was the Mayors decision last night to approach the Union County Improvement Authority and ask if the Borough can rescind the contract. It is the Mayors intention to remove the Union County Improvement Authority from the debate about whether or not we need a new public safety building or not. The Mayor stated that the Borough needs a new public safety building but they also need an expansion of the existing Municipal Building. Most of the departments that occupy the current building do not have enough space. A prime example of needing a new building is the fact that our Welfare Director office is basically the size of a closet. Mayor David stated that he has approached the Union County Improvement Authority, through the Borough Attorney, to rescind the contract in order to move forward with the public safety building. The Mayor stated that he felt the Improvement Authority was the right way to go for the project for financing, we would have received a good rate for oversight of the project. The Borough did not relinquish any of it’s approval authority over anything that the Union County Improvement Authority was going to do. The Facilities Committee as well as the Governing Body unanimously endorsed and approved the use of the Improvement Authority. For the sake of moving forward with the project and to end the debate of the use of the Authority, we have asked the Borough Attorney to reach out to the Union County Improvement Authority to rescind the agreement. Mayor David stated that it was time to take politics out of the equation and try to move forward with the public safety building. Mayor David asked Dan McCarthy if he had an update from the Union County Improvement Authority.
Dan McCarthy replied that counsel for the UCIA informed him that they would be willing to allow the Borough to rescind the contract. He also stated that based on his conversations with the UCIA they are extremely cooperative. They need to decide what expenses, if any, the Borough is responsible for. Mr. McCarthy has asked them for an amount so that the Mayor and Council can make a determination as to how they want to proceed. The Union County Improvement Authority is interested in doing what is in the best interest of the Borough.
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DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
Councilwoman Fiamingo reported the Borough has received several proposals from engineers regarding the Sewer Utility Authority. The Finance Committee will be reviewing those proposals to determine which to award. The Governing Body will meet tonight with the Borough Auditor to discuss the failed Board of Education Budget.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Councilman Pugliese reported that the DPW is still working to repair the tire swing and tube slide at 9th Street Park. Dan Ryan submitted the requisition to the recreation company for the parts and it will cost approximately $1600.00 to repair. He is waiting for Scott Pentz, from the Recreation Department to sign off on the form so that payment can be submitted. The spring bulk clean up is complete. Rahway did a good job and picked up approximately 200 tons of waste. Sanitation Truck #25 has transmission problems and has been sent to International Trucking for repair. The 1979 Sewer Jet Truck needs either a new pump or a new power head. Mr. Ryan believes the price will be approximately $7,000.00 to $16,000.00 to repair. Councilman Pugliese stated that the DPW will need a new truck either this year or next year. Mr. Ryan also met with an engineer regarding the creek on Brasser Lane. The engineer advised that to alleviate some of the problems with creek we need to pull out the vegetation from the creek and the area surrounding the creek. Mr. Ryan is sending a crew to remove the vegetation and that should alleviate the rat problem.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Councilman Clementi read Police Chief Dowd’s monthly report for April. There was a total of 146 hours of training on street encounter survival, document fraud, horizontal gaze, U-Cert Swat and Active Shooter Response. On April 15th and 16th the area was impacted by a major storm. Three officers were called into work on over time to assist in the closing of roadways. The Chief will be attending a meeting for FEMA this week to determine if we are eligible to receive any funding for the money the Borough spent due to the storm. Chief Dowd praised the Kenilworth Fire Department for their extraordinary job during the storm. The Fire Department worked all day Sunday throughout Sunday night and into the next day assisting residents with pumping out their basements. The Fire Department deserves praise for their dedication to duty. On April 30, 2007 the Kenilworth Police Department and Detective Jim Grady, our school resource officer, were honored by the Prevention Links of Union County for their work in the area of drug and alcohol abuse prevention. The dinner ceremony was held at the Westwood where Detective Grady and Chief Dowd accepted the awards. The week of May 19th is National Police Week. Councilman Clementi read a letter from John and Agnes Grimmer praising Detective Soos for helping them retrieve their money.
DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, ZONING & ORDINANCES
Councilman DeLuca reported that the 2006 Roads are almost complete. There was a small problem on Summit Avenue. The sub surface needed to be upgraded and the Borough Engineer was there last night and we are putting in a change order for the repair. Our contractor is still doing the work under budget. The Municipal Parking Lot is going to be stripped this week or next. Councilman DeLuca showed a graph of the observation well which
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shows the effect of what ground water does and how it causes flooding. Councilman DeLuca stated that FEMA has awarded New Jersey with 7.9 million for flood damages and he urged residents to call 1-800-621-FEMA or go on their web site at www.fema.gov.com .
DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND FIRE
Councilman Corvelli reported there were several letters praising the Fire Department for their excellent work during the storm. There is a Recreation Meeting tomorrow at the Rec Center. We received a bid for installing electric at DiMario Park for the scoreboard. We think the bid is high and are working on getting a lower bid.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION & WELFARE
Councilman Taylor reported he is meeting with the Library Board tomorrow. There is a special meeting with a consultant regarding space utilization next Monday. The first phase of cleaning r Brasser Lane brook is going to be done by our DPW and the second phase will be done by the County.
Consolidated Bill List appears on the following pages. (copy attached)
Resolutions No. 1 thru 6 are listed on Consent Agenda and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed below. All items will be recorded individually in full in the minutes.
Councilman Clementi moved that all items under Consent Agenda be approved, seconded by Councilman DeLuca. Upon roll call the vote was unanimous.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
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 two (2) permits and fees were received by the Building Department;
WHEREAS, it has been determined that the homeowner is a senior citizen, and is entitled to a reduced fee as per Borough Ordinance No. 99-5.
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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 $250.00 to be refunded to the homeowner:
Dale J. Mohn
239 North 22nd St.
Kenilworth, NJ 07033
For the following permits: Dale J. Mohn
239 North 22nd Street
Block #19, Lot #22
Permit #06-0209 & 07-0100
RESOLUTION NO. 3
BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH
COUNTY OF UNION, NEW JERSEY
WHEREAS, Myasthenia Gravis is a neuromuscular disease striking children and adults, affecting control of voluntary muscles and afflicting several hundred of our fellow New Jerseyans; and
WHEREAS, the symptoms of this disorder include, but are not limited to, difficulty moving,, breathing, swallowing, speaking and seeing; and
WHEREAS, the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded, “to facilitate the timely diagnosis and optimal care of individuals affected by myasthenia gravis and closely related disorders, and to improve their lives through programs of patient services, public information, medical research, professional education, advocacy, and patient care”; and
WHEREAS, Myasthenia Gravis is the most common neuromuscular disorder affecting the residents of New Jersey; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting to recognize the many physicians who demonstrate an untiring effort to treat this disease and search for a cure;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MAYOR G REGG F. DAVID, Mayor of the Borough of Kenilworth, do hereby proclaim
MYASTHENIA GRAVIS AWARENESS MONTH
in the Borough of Kenilworth.
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RESOLUTION NO. 4
Be It Hereby Resolved: That Michael Perise be appointed as a probationary member of the Rescue Squad.
RESOLUTION NO. 5
RESOLUTION NO. 6
That the Borough Clerk be authorized to issue the following Raffle Licenses:
#896 Runnells Specialized Hospital Foundation for a 50/50 On-Premise Raffle on June 2, 2007 to be held at Kenilworth VFW, 33 South 21st St., Kenilworth, NJ.
#897 Runnells Specialized 7 to be held at Kenilworth VFW, 22 South 21st Street, Kenilworth, NJ.
#898 Kenilworth Historical Society for an On-Premise 50/50 raffle on June 9, 2007 on North 22nd Street, Kenilworth, NJ.
Proposed Ordinance No. 2007-01 was read for the second reading as follows: (Copy appears in the minutes of January 10, 2007)
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 197 OF THE BOROUGH CODE, SO AS TO PERMIT THE PLACEMENT OF AIR CONDITIONING UNITS IN SIDE-YARDS IN ALL RESIDENTIAL ZONES OF THE BOROUGH
Mayor David advises this Ordinance will allow central air conditioning units to be placed in the side yard set back under certain conditions. The current code does not allow central air conditioning units anywhere on the side yard under any circumstances. Residents would need a variance to put an air conditioning unit in their side yard. Mayor David stated that since this is a second reading he will open the meeting to the public.
Bob Herbert, 363 Coolidge Drive – Mr. Herbert asked the Mayor and Council to look at Section I, Article B which states that no air conditioning unit shall be placed in such manner that would violate the side yard set back requirement. Mr. Herbert asked if the Ordinance was supposed to stipulate some kind of footage, like 2 ft or 3 ft.? Mr. Herbert interpreted the Ordinance to say that residents still have to go through a variance. Councilman DeLuca stated that was correct and that the Planning Boards intention was to help the residents who already have 5 ft. set back to put in an air conditioner without going for a variance. Residents who do not have the 5 ft. set back would need to apply for a variance.
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Livio Mancino, 102 North 24th Street – Mr. Mancino stated that the Ordinance the Planning Board passed said that if you had more than 5 ft. on the side yard, you could put the air conditioner in and not need a variance. The Ordinance gives more latitude to the residents who have more than 5 ft. Mayor David stated that just this last month a resident who had more than the 5 ft. set back still had to come for the variance because this Ordinance was not in place yet. There are residents who will benefit from this Ordinance.
MEETING OPENED TO THE PUBLIC
Rudy Cammarota, 1 Red Maple Lane – Mr. Cammarota asked the Mayor if the petition was accepted by the Council and rejected for legal matters. Mayor David stated that is correct. Mr. Cammarota stated that the residents of Kenilworth have the right to file suit against the Mayor and Council but they do not want to just for the sake of interpretation of an Ordinance. His attorneys stated that the petition was submitted properly under the Ordinance. Mr. Cammarota asked what was wrong with the submission.
Mayor David stated that anyone who would like a copy of the legal written opinion can do so and if need be our Borough Attorney can explain it. Mayor David stated that if we rescind the contract with the Union County Improvement Authority it makes the petition moot. The intent as we move forward with the project is not to do this in a vacuum. When we have information or we are trying to decide them the public will be made aware. At the present time there is nothing that has been decided other than we want to move forward with a new public safety building. There has not been a decision on the cost of the building, the plans for the building or the location. The public has not been left out of the process because there have been no decisions made.
Mr. Cammarota asked if the reason the contract was rescinded was because of the petition and the Mayor replied yes. Mr. Cammarota stated that he hoped the Mayor and Council would keep their word and keep the public informed and let them have some input on where the building will be and the cost. The Mayor gave his word that he would keep everyone informed.
Livio Mancino, 102 North 24th Street – Mr. Mancino stated that he attended a Planning Board Meeting at the County. The Nitschke Building has been evaluated and made a permanent historical site in the State of New Jersey and also on the Federal level. This is a tremendous accolade to the efforts of the Historical Society. Mr. Mancino stated the Mayor and Council should keep the residents informed regarding the public safety building.
Carmel Colosimo, 22 North 19th Street – Ms. Colosimo commented that she had the privilege of working with the Mayor for 12 years and she knows his word is his bond. For the people who have not attended past meetings she advised that nothing was ever kept in secret about the public safety building, the public has always been informed. She advised that people should look at the public records. Ms. Colosimo stated she was on Council during the time when this was first discussed and everything relating to the new building has always been made available to the public. If the people that are in the audience tonight attended the meetings during the past few years, they would have been well informed on the progress of the building. Ms. Colosimo stated this is not a political issue and it should only be what is best for Kenilworth.
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Mr. Cammarota stated that we should put the political issue to sleep. As far as he is concerned when people run on the Republican, Democratic or Independent ticket and get elected, they should leave their party behind and be councilman at large and represent the people of Kenilworth.
Resident of 744 Woodland Avenue - A resident advised that a house was knocked down at 738 Woodland Avenue. The contractor who ripped out the shrubs damaged his property at 744 Woodland Avenue. The resident asked what action should be taken so that he can be reimbursed for the damage to his fence. Mayor David stated the Borough will send the
Enforcement Officer to the property to address any issues that in violation of the Zoning Code. Mayor David asked Councilman DeLuca to contact Mr. Lima.
Grace Brasser, 144 South Michigan Avenue – Ms. Brasser asked Councilwoman Fiamingo if she has applied for, or intends to apply for, Extraordinary Aid. Councilwoman Fiamingo replied yes. Ms. Brasser stated that in the past Councilwoman Fiamingo was against applying for Extraordinary Aid because it put Kenilworth in the same category as less affluent towns. She asked Councilwoman Fiamingo if she still felt the same. Councilwoman Fiamingo stated the issue was brought up during the campaign and yes she does feel the same way but the Council has made the decision to apply for Extraordinary Aid.
Bob Herbert stated that the Beautification Committee is getting positive responses from the Kenilworth residents for volunteer clean-up day on June 3, 2007. Anyone interested should come to the Recreation Center at 8:00 am on Sunday, June 3rd. The Beautification Committee is trying to clean up the Boulevard for the Centennial Parade. If the day is a success he would like to make it an annual event and on Arbor Day each year.
Mayor David advised that a press release with all the pertinent information has been sent to the newspapers.
Councilman Taylor made a motion to go into closed session to discuss the defeated school board budget. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Fiamingo. All in favor.
Council members returned to Public Session
There being no further business to come before the Council, it was moved by Councilman Taylor, seconded by Councilman Corvelli and carried, that the meeting be adjourned to the call of the chair. All in favor
8:45 P.M. Respectfully submitted,
Hedy Lipke, Borough Clerk
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