Special Meeting Council Minutes from 5/7/2008
 

SPECIAL MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH FOR CURB ASSESSMENTS HELD ON WEDNESDAY EVENING, MAY 7, 2008.  MAYOR KATHI FIAMINGO PRESIDED.

ROLL CALL

Roll Call at 8:00 P.M. showed the following Council Members present: Sal Candarella,  Lawrence Clementi, Brian Joho, Fred Pugliese and Toni Sosnosky.  Anthony DeLuca was absent.

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

The Salute to the Flag was led by Mayor Fiamingo

Mayor Fiamingo stated the purpose of this special meeting was to permit a hearing on curb assessment on the noticed properties.  She stated that residents will be able to speak with the Engineer if they had concerns or problems with respect to how many linear feet that their property may have. She said if you do not own the property you should not be assessed for curbing.  You are entitled to pay the curb assessment over a period of five years.  She said that as far as why we do it this way it is because the Borough has done road projects this way for many years.  She said when the road is repaved, one of the concessions is that the residents have to pay for the Belgium block curbing in front of their property.  The price is based on what the Borough pays the contractor. Residents pay the linear foot price times what it costs us.  At the time the roads were done residents received notice of curb assessments.  The price was $14-$16 per foot but when the work was done the cost was  $21.00. She said the cost is what the Borough paid and we are not making money. 

Ralph Ehmann, 119 North 24th Street – Mr. Ehmann said that it states in the letter that the Borough is billing residents between Center Street and Washington Avenue. He said he has no further questions because he is between Washington and Monroe and Monroe is not stated on the letter so he does not have to pay.  Mayor asked if his street was done. He said yes. He asked the Mayor that since the letter did not mention Monroe Avenue then he should not have to pay? The Mayor stated that if/when he receives proper notice he will have to pay. She referred the question to  Borough Council.  The Attorney said that a resident would have to receive proper notice before paying.  Mayor Fiamingo clarified that she was not sure what Mr. Ehmann was referring to whether he was referring to the notice that was posted or advertised or the individual notice that the residents received.  She said that if he received a notice that referenced his property then he has been properly noticed. 

Mr. Del Campo, 144 Boulevard & Dorset Drive – Mr. Del Campo stated he received a notice for the curbing and is not disputing fees.  He said that if the Borough is charging him premium price and he is paying for the job then the job should have been done correctly.  He said when they came they destroyed the sidewalk and he had to repair it himself.  They were supposed to backfill and that was not done properly because they did not use regular topsoil, they used whatever fill they had and that contained rocks, bottles, etc.  He said you can go up and down the Boulevard and you will still see people trying to fix the bad backfill they used.  He said he spent about 25 hours of his time and about $350.00 of his own money to correct the problem. He said he is being charged and he is willing to pay but like any other consumer he should get what he paid for.  He said they broke the utility gas cut off. He spoke with Topline and they were very condescending and he did not get results so he went to the Gas Company and that took four months and about 4-5 hours of his time on the phone.  He said he will pay for the curbing

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but the person who was overseeing the job did a terrible job.  The Mayor asked when was the construction done?  He said last year. He said it is costing him $3,363.23 and for that amount of money he got nothing. He said we are paying whoever did this job with our taxpayer money and they did not do a good job. He said they broke the downspouts for the gutters coming out to the street and they were not pitched properly. He said the contractor stated they only go back 4 ft. He said if four ft. is not enough they should have made modifications because the water does not go out to the street because it is running up hill.  He said when they came to fix his shut off they put in a sewer clean out.  He said that was illegal and the Gas Company was going to fine the contractor $2500.

Cynthia Goldrick, 31 Commonwealth – Mrs. Goldrick stated they sent her a letter stating they were going to be doing work and it was going to be paid for by the Town.  She said they stopped in front of her house.  After months of the work not being done she was told they ran out of grant money. She said they did the circle with beautiful cobblestones. She said  water kept pooling in front of her house and when she called the engineers they tried to correct the problem by slopping it and adding some tar. She said one of the other major problems is that they put 4 drains around the circle and water collects and the mosquito  problem is horrendous to the point where she cannot sit in the backyard.  She said her complaint is that half the street got paved and they stopped in front of her house and now she has to pay.  

Dave Hennigan, 50 Arbor Street – Mr. Hennigan stated he was assessed on a corner lot for $2469.95.  His asked if anyone did a survey of what work was actually done?  He spoke with the Borough Engineer before the meeting and he told him that he was billed on his entire liner footage of his property.  He said they did not do his entire property, they stopped and left an 8 ft. section.  Mayor Fiamingo stated that they engineer computed his assessment based on what he believed was done.  Mr. Hennigan asked if he was being charged per foot on  the Belgium block for the drainage areas? Mayor Fiamingo responded yes and the Borough Engineer also said yes he is being charged for the entire frontage of his property per the tax map. Mr. Hennigan stated he is being charged for the area that was not done.  Mr. O’Connor stated he is being assessed for the Borough costs divided by what was paid to the contractor by the linier foot of the lot.  Mr. Henningan asked if he was paying for his entire lot, including the part that was not done? Mr. O’Connor said yes.  Mayor Fiamingo stated they were going to pull his record and take a look at it.

David Gonos, 212 North 22nd Street – Mr. Gonos stated that the original paper work stated the Belgium block would be $14.00 - $16.00. He said now it is $21.00 and he asked why?  Mayor Fiamingo stated she did not know how they original estimate was computed or what was sent to  him or why. She asked Mr. Gonos when was his street done? He responded October, 2006.  The Mayor said she does not know why he was given the range of $14.00-$16.00. He asked the Mayor if she would look into a discrepancy like this? She said yes, if it were her she would question it.  He said when he got the letter the estimate was between $14-$16 dollars and now the bill comes in for $21.00 and that is 33% more.  The Mayor asked to see the letter and said the letter states the actual cost is unknown but recently was about $14-$16.  She said she cannot account for the discrepancy.  Mr. Gonos said if his company did business like this he would be out of business.

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The Borough Attorney said that in 2003 the Borough Council passed a Bond Assessment Ordinance which provided for a maximum amount for the curing of $23,500.00 which included the curb design and everything else that goes with it.  The actual construction cost, certification

and advertisement is being divided by the total frontage came out to $14,077.00 which was less then the amount. Mr. Gonos said they should have sent a letter out with the increase.

John Lobianco, Monroe & North 22nd Street – Mr. Lobianco stated that he received the letter with the unknown figure on July 18, 2005. He said three months later the project was started. He said the Borough had the quote and the figures were set.  He said at that time a letter should have been sent out saying it is not going to be between $14-$16 dollars and is going to be 1/3 more at $21.00 per foot. 

Curtis Dick, 133 North 24th Street – Mr. Dick said if residents are going to pay a bill then they should be able to see how they came up with the figures.  He stated his issue is with the quality of workmanship.  He said he complained when the work was being done. He said they did not flare out the aprons on the curbs, they were straight on one side and flared on the other side. He said he brought it to the attention of Fred Soos and an engineer came back but did not correct the problem correctly.  They flared out the driveway edging, not the curb and now he has a big bump on one side of the curb. He said if he was the Borough he would not have paid the contractor until he did the job correctly.  He said he also had to redo his sprinklers because he was not watching how the guys did the work.  He said they used the same crew to dig up the street, paved & graded the street, put in the drainage and the landscaping. He said other towns have had landscapers do the final trim. He said somewhere along the line they ran 6 inches of PVC  drainpipe with no cleanout under where the sidewalk would normally be along the street. He said the pipes were buried and he brought that to the attention of the engineer. He said he is concerned about the drains clogging up. He asked when the water does not go down who should he contact, the town?  Mayor asked the Borough Engineer for clarification. Mr. O’Connor said he was not here for the design of that system and he does not know what the contractor was asked to provide. Mr. Dick stated he complained as the job was being done and still nothing was done. Mr. Dick asked who is the final person who signs off on a project?  Mr. Dick asked why grant money is not spread out for all the streets?  Mayor Fiamingo stated that the DOT funds some streets if they are major thorough fares or they connect to state highways.  Those grants are still available but they are far and few between.  The grants we got were through the County Community Block Grants which are funded by the federal government grants.  Since the 2000 Census Kenilworth does not qualify for any grants. Mr. Dick asked why should the people who get their street paved by a grant get a free ride, he feels the money should be spread out and used for the everyone.  Mr. Dick said municipalities are supposed to be bonded and they should not pay the contractor if the work is not done properly. 

Mr. O’Connor said there are two separate issues.  When a contract goes out the contractor posts a bond at the time of his bid and when he receives the contract from the Borough he posts another bond for material and payment to guarantee that the work is going to be completed.  At the time the work is completed they post another bond for maintenance for a time period of either one or two years.   He said if a contract was done in 2004, there is no bond left at this point in time for us to go after.  He said once the Council releases those bonds it is no longer possible to go after a contractor. In  this particular instance the contractor went out of business and the partners are deceased.    

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George Ladato, 437 North 15th Street – Mr. Ladato asked why some residents do not have to pay for curbing and he does.  If there were grants put in from the DOT or the County, all the money should be put into the budget and equally divided between the residents. He said no resident should have to pay when others are getting things for free.  He said they poured a new sidewalk over his old sidewalk and when he asked the contractor why the old sidewalk was not removed, he did not get an answer. He said when the water gets between the two slabs of concrete and it starts to lift in a couple of years will he have to pay for that because the bond time runs out?

Gladys Caniero, 425 North 15th St. – Mrs. Canerio said that her house almost went on fire because the workers broke a gas pipe.   She also said she lost a lot of parking spaces on her street because they did the street to narrow.  She said the planning was very bad.

Angela ? , 308 Roosevelt Lane – Angela said the backfill the contractors used was full of rocks and the quality of their work was not good.  She said according to her property survey she does not own the property.  Rich O’Connor, the Borough Engineer stated the curb is in the municipal right of way.  He said by Borough Ordinance, Chapter 150 states all residents are required to construct, maintain, repair, etc. all of the sidewalk and curb area that is within the Borough right of way.  Angela said that when the tree that is in the right of way has a limb that is falling she has to wait four months for them to come and cut the limb and when her driveway had potholes in it she had to wait two months for them to come and fix it because the ice was damming so bad she could not get her four-wheel truck into her driveway.  She said the grade in front of her house is all wrong and it floods.  She said when she tried to put a front porch on they told her she did not own enough property to go out to her property line.  She said her front walkway goes over the property line so the stairs that are on her walkway are the Town’s and if there is a problem with the stairs she will be calling the Town. She said she does not own that property and does not pay taxes on that property. She said this is not her bill.  Mr. O’Connor stated that under Section 150-12.1 of the Ordinances, the Borough of Kenilworth “the owner and/or occupants shall be responsible for the maintenance in the area abutting such property between the street property line and pavement or roadway including landscape, ground cover, construction of curbing and/or sidewalks and reconstruction and/or replacement of defective or hazardous conditions of walkways”.  He said this Ordinance was recodified in early January but the previous section has been in place for quite some time.  Angela asked how she can look up the one that was in effect in 2004? Mr. O’Connor advised she may fill out an OPRA request.  Angela stated she feels it is not her property because, according to the Town, she cannot put a sidewalk in, it’s not her tree, it’s not her driveway apron and it’s not her curb. 

Joe Caterina, 622 Quinton Avenue – Mr. Caterina asked why they had to tear out all the curbing on his street and redo it.  Mr. O’Connor stated that if the work was not properly performed, the contractor would have had to remove and replace it at his cost.  Councilman Pugliese stated the decision to make the road wider was not the contractors but the Governing Body’s.  He said they realized there was a mistake the way the plans were originally authorized and they went back and repaired the situation.  Mr. Caterina said he was assessed in 2002 for the front property on Quinton Avenue and it cost $1,000.00.  He said now the bill comes in at $2300.00.  He said the lot is 70 x 100 and the numbers don’t work, it is triple the amount. He said he was charged $7.00 per foot in 2002.  Mr. O’Connor said his prior assessment was for the 70 ft. frontage and the cost was $7.00 per foot for curbing and now he is being assessed for 100 ft. and the cost is $2,300.00.  Mayor Fiamingo stated the cost of curbing has gone up since 2002.

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Carl Vitale, 441 North 15th Street – Mr. Vitale stated he does not have a problem with being assessed for the curbing but 1 ˝ years after they put the curbs in they put up “No Parking” signs on his side of the street.  He said he cannot understand why the town improves his property and then takes away his parking.  He asked if they could put the no parking signs on the other side of the street that is the owned by the town.  He said there will be plenty of room for the garbage trucks and emergency vehicles.  Mayor Fiamingo said she was told that you could never park there and they just recently put the signs up so that people had fair warning not to park within 25 ft. of an intersection.  Mr. Vitale said it is not an intersection he said it goes from 14th Street to Lafayette St.  He said he has parked in front of his house for 45 years and now because of an engineering mistake of making the road narrower he is paying because the town wanted to save money and it is costing him parking in front of his house.  Mayor Fiamingo stated that was not her understanding but she will find out from the Police Chief.  Mr. Vitale asked her what was her understanding. Mayor replied that the reason he can not park there is not because it is to narrow it just because you cannot park there.  Mr. Vitale stated it is to narrow and the emergency vehicles cannot get up the street but it is actually the garbage trucks who have been taking about this for a long time.  He said there was never any problem before. He said there were mistakes on 17th Street and Sheridan Avenue where they made it to narrow and they have problems and now it is happening to him.  He said he is the only one on his street that does not have parking.  He has one vehicle that parks in the County parking and supposedly you are not suppose to park there after dark. Mayor Fiamingo stated that the Chief informed her that the reason for the no parking signs is because you are not suppose to park within 25 ft. of the intersection.  She said it is a State Statute not an Ordinance.  Mr. Vitale said he has been in the house for 47 years and there has not been a sign there.  Mr. Vitale asked if the town was going to make the road wider so that he can park on the street.  The Mayor said that she was informed by the Chief that regardless of how wide the street is you cannot park within 25 ft. of an intersection.  Mr. Vitale said he came here for a simple answer and he is getting nothing.  Mayor Fiamingo stated she will go back to the Chief and ask again, she will ask the Chief to get in touch with Mr. Vitale. 

Ray ? 260 North 22nd Street – He asked if contractors bid on jobs?  He said his street was bid on and they said between $14 and $16 for curbing and now it’s $21.  He said if it was bidded on the for $14-$16 then that is what it should be.  Mayor Fiamingo the bid had not been taken when the letter was sent out.  She said that the letter said that recent streets were done for $14-$16.  He asked if there was another piece of paper with the final cost?  The Mayor stated the final cost is in the letter that was sent out.

Angel Walters, 10 Washington Avenue – Ms. Walters said she was assessed for 100 ft. and 30-35 ft. of that was existing curbs that they took out and replaced all over again. She questioned the contractor at the time and he said he was trying to make the curb even.  She said the curb was even to start with.  She said now she is being assessed for an extra 30-35 feet.

Janet Murphy, 740 Summit Avenue – Ms. Murphy stated there is some part of her property that belongs to the parkway and she is being assessed on it.  The Mayor asked Mrs. Murphy to give the survey to the Engineer so that they can look into it.

Agnes Hoffman ? – Ms. Hoffman asked if the bill for curbing was interest free?  She asked where was the money paid for the interest on the bond? The Mayor said the interest  money was in the General Budget and residents are not being charged. 

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? 35 Commonwealth Drive- He stated most of Commonwealth was done with grant money and there are only 10 houses left that have to pay for curbing.  The Mayor said that since 2000 the Borough has not received grant money.  He asked  how come the work was done after 2000?  The Mayor stated she does not know and as far as she knows the Borough has not received a grant.  She said the only way that could have been done was if the grant was approved in 1999 and the work, for some reason,  was not done until 2000. He asked if the money he is paying for the curbs can be put on his income tax?  The Mayor said yes. 

Susan Pazienza, 20 Sherwood Rd. – Mrs. Pazienza said she is on a corner. She said there is a storm drain in front of her house and when it rains the street floods and goes up her driveway.  The engineers lowered the level in front of her house and now she has a smaller drain and the street floods faster. 

No one else desires to be heard, the meeting was closed to the public.

RESOLUTION NO. 1

Introduced by Sal Candarella, adoption by same

Seconded by Brian Joho

Be It Hereby Resolved:  

WHEREAS, Richard O’ Connor, Borough Engineer, has submitted his report to the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth certifying the cost of construction of the curbs, on both sides of Commonwealth Road, in the Borough of Kenilworth and assessing the cost thereof upon the property benefiting therefrom in proportion to and not in excess of the peculiar benefit, advantage or increase in value which the property is seemed to received by reason of the improvement.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth that the total assessment as set forth in the Affidavit of Richard O’Connor, dated March 31, 2008, is hereby confirmed and that the amount of each assessment as set forth therein shall become a lien on said property, in accordance with the law, and may be paid by said property owner in a lump sum payment without interest or may be paid by said property owner in equal annual installments over five years, with the first payment being due on June 6, 2008 and if unpaid by above date, the entire amount becomes due with the same penalties and interest or late payments as other unpaid taxes in the municipality. Related to Ordinance 2003-10.

Roll Call:  Candarella voted yes, Clementi voted yes, Joho voted yes, Pugliese voted yes and Sosnosky voted yes.

 

 

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RESOLUTION NO. 2

Introduced by Sal Candarella, adoption by same

Seconded by Brian Joho

Be It Hereby Resolved:  

WHEREAS, Richard O’ Connor, Borough Engineer, has submitted his report to the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth certifying the cost of construction of the curbs, on both sides of North 21st Street from Washington Avenue to Monroe Avenue, Halsey Street from North 12th Street to North 13th Street, Fairfield Avenue from Michigan Avenue to Faitoute Avenue, Sherwood Road from Wilshire Drive to Pembrook Drive, North 24th St. from Center Street to Washington Avenue and Roosevelt Lane from Lincoln Drive to Lot 3 in Blo9ck 99, in the Borough of Kenilworth and assessing the cost thereof upon the property benefiting therefrom in proportion to and not in excess of the peculiar benefit, advantage or increase in value which the property is seemed to received by reason of the improvement.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth that the total assessment as set forth in the Affidavit of Richard O’Connor, dated March 31, 2008, is hereby confirmed and that the amount of each assessment as set forth therein shall become a lien on said property, in accordance with the law, and may be paid by said property owner in a lump sum payment without interest or may be paid by said property owner in equal annual installments over five years, with the first payment being due on June 6, 2008 and if unpaid by above date, the entire amount becomes due with the same penalties and interest or late payments as other unpaid taxes in the municipality. Related to Ordinance 2004-14 & 2004-16.

Roll Call:  Candarella voted yes, Clementi voted yes, Joho voted yes, Pugliese voted yes and Sosnosky voted yes.

RESOLUTION NO. 3

Introduced by Sal Candarella, adoption by same

Seconded by Brian Joho

Be It Hereby Resolved:  

WHEREAS, Richard O’ Connor, Borough Engineer, has submitted his report to the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth certifying the cost of construction of the curbs, on both sides of North 15th Street from North 14th Street to Lafayette Avenue, Commonwealth Road from Park Drive to the new construction limit, North 22nd Street from Oak Street to Monroe Avenue, and Pembrook Drive from Sherwood Road to new construction limit, in the Borough of Kenilworth and assessing the cost thereof upon the property benefiting therefrom in proportion to and not in excess of the peculiar benefit, advantage or increase in value which the property is seemed to received by reason of the improvement.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth that the total assessment as set forth in the Affidavit of Richard O’Connor, dated March 31, 2008, is hereby confirmed and that the amount of each assessment as set forth therein shall

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become a lien on said property, in accordance with the law, and may be paid by said property owner in a lump sum payment without interest or may be paid by said property owner in equal annual installments over five years, with the first payment being due on June 6, 2008 and if unpaid by above date, the entire amount becomes due with the same penalties and interest or late payments as other unpaid taxes in the municipality. Related to Ordinance 2005-12.

Roll Call:  Candarella voted yes, Clementi voted yes, Joho voted yes, Pugliese voted yes and Sosnosky voted yes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4

Introduced by Sal Candarella, adoption by same

Seconded by Brian Joho

Be It Hereby Resolved:  

WHEREAS, Richard O’ Connor, Borough Engineer, has submitted his report to the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth certifying the cost of construction of the curbs, on both sides of Dorset Drive from Boulevard to Epping Drive, Union Avenue from Bloomingdale Avenue to Faitoute Avenue, 25th Street from Passaic Avenue to Richfield Avenue, Summit Avenue from Michigan Avenue to dead end, and 12th Street North of Sheridan Avenue in the Borough of Kenilworth and assessing the cost thereof upon the property benefiting therefrom in proportion to and not in excess of the peculiar benefit, advantage or increase in value which the property is seemed to received by reason of the improvement.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth that the total assessment as set forth in the Affidavit of Richard O’Connor, dated March 31, 2008, is hereby confirmed and that the amount of each assessment as set forth therein shall become a lien on said property, in accordance with the law, and may be paid by said property owner in a lump sum payment without interest or may be paid by said property owner in equal annual installments over five years, with the first payment being due on June 6, 2008 and if unpaid by above date, the entire amount becomes due with the same penalties and interest or late payments as other unpaid taxes in the municipality. Related to Ordinance 2006-16.

Roll Call:  Candarella voted yes, Clementi voted yes, Joho voted yes, Pugliese voted yes and Sosnosky voted yes.

There being no further business to come before the Council it was moved by Councilwoman Sosnosky, seconded by Councilman Joho  and carried, that the meeting be adjourned to the call of the chair. All in favor.

8:40 P.M.                                                                                 Respectfully submitted,

                        Hedy Lipke, Borough Clerk  



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