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Montclair Township

Council Minutes 02-14-06

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MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY February 14, 2006

The Council of the Township of Montclair, in the County of Essex, met in the Conference Room in the Municipal Building, 205 Claremont Avenue, for a pre-meeting conference at 7:08 P.M.

Present: Mayor Remsen, Deputy Mayor Michaelson and Councilors Lang, Mattox, Schlager and Tobin.

Absent: Councilor Freier

STATEMENT OF SUNSHINE NOTICE

Review of agenda for Regular Meeting.

***

SISTER CITIES PROGRAM ANNUAL BUDGET:

Councilor Lang gave an historical background of the Sister Cities programs and visiting dignitaries coming to Montclair on official visits.

***

Councilor Freier joined the meeting.

***

She suggested that money be allocated in the budget to spend on expenses incurred when the dignitaries visit Montclair, i.e., dinners, etc. Councilor Freier suggested $2,500.

Deputy Mayor Michaelson suggested that the Township Manager or the Township Clerk put $2,500. in their budgets for this purpose. She suggested input from the Manager and Clerk regarding same and she asked when the next official delegation is scheduled to be coming to Montclair.

***

CURB REPAIR POLICY:

Councilor Freier suggested a new curb repair policy be instituted. Presently the policy is that curb repair is scheduled according to a timetable maintained by the Engineering Department. As a means of accelerating timing of curb repair to Montclair’s streets, he suggested that when 60% of residents on a certain street agree to pay for curb repair through an added assessment, curb repair can be scheduled. Therefore, they would not have to wait for their scheduled repair.

Mayor Remsen suggested that Councilors Freier and Tobin, Township Attorney Alan Trembulak and Township Engineer Kimberli Craft study the policies of other towns, and how many homeowners want to pay a special assessment to have their curbs repaired sooner rather than wait for their scheduled time.

***

PRESENTATION ON PURCHASE OF A NEW FIRE TRUCK:

Guests: Fire Chief Kevin Allen and Deputy Chiefs John Herrmann and Jarvis Hawley.

Deputy Chief Herrmann explained that the past practice has been to buy a new fire truck every three years. Last year was the expected year; however, the decision was made at that time not to buy a new truck. The fire department is requesting that the Council consider the purchase in this year’s budget. They are appealing to the Council at this time since it takes nine months to build a truck. The cost would be $450,000.00. This truck would be replacing a 1991 engine which is housed at the Fire Department headquarters on Pine Street.

The Council thanked the Chiefs for their presentation and will be discussing this issue at a later date.

***

At 8:00 P.M., on motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the pre-meeting conference was adjourned by unanimous vote.

***

The Council of the Township of Montclair, in the County of Essex, met in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 205 Claremont Avenue, for a Regular Meeting at 8:05 P.M.

Present: Mayor Remsen, Deputy Mayor Michaelson and Councilors Freier, Lang, Mattox, Schlager and Tobin.

Absent: None

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STATEMENT OF SUNSHINE NOTICE

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

On motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the minutes of January 24, 2006 were approved by unanimous vote.

***

PRESENTATION BY NORTH MOUNTAIN AVENUE RESIDENTS

Mr. Cary Chevat, 205 North Mountain Avenue, asked the Council to please explain the process in which the residents can get a solution to their traffic and speeding problem which has been an existing one for a long time. The residents are being given conflicting information from various departments within the Township.

Mr. Hartnett explained that the procedure is to have the work go out for bid and to perform the work in the warm weather. He feels that there has been miscommunication and a breakdown in information. He suggested another meeting to put plans before the neighbors.

Ms. Susan Yew, North Mountain Avenue resident, also expressed her frustration with the problems experienced by the residents on this street.

Mr. Steven Goodman, 22 Berkeley Place, asked the Council to curtail speeding on local streets by instituting the traffic calming plan and by stricter enforcement of the speed limits. He feels it is a safety and a quality of life issue.

Mr. Theodore Allen, 109 North Mountain Avenue, also asked the Council to curtail speeding on North Mountain Avenue and to implement an effective traffic calming plan.

Mr. Dave Templeton, 143 North Mountain Avenue, a 6 year resident, asked the Council to not repave the street and to not repair the potholes unless speeding is addressed first. He also asked for stricter enforcement of the speed limits.

Ms. Jeanine Cox, 108 North Mountain Avenue, between Berkeley and Van Vleck Street, thanked Mr. Hartnett for the recent meeting with the residents and asked him to also address speeding.

Mr. Hartnett informed the Council that the Township has drafted a 26 page traffic report which will be available shortly and that there is presently a Senate Bill sponsoring legislation to make cameras legal for speeding enforcement. He also stated that traffic advisory signals can be done immediately; however traffic control requires State Department of Transportation approval. He announced that the Violations Bureau has been tracking speeding tickets and that 48.7% are issued to Montclair residents.

***

PENDING ORDINANCES

The pending ordinance entitled: “BOND ORDINANCE PROVIDING A SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000 FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE CRESCENT PARKING DECK REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN AND BY THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTCLAIR, IN THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW JERSEY AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $1,000,000 BONDS OR NOTES OF THE TOWNSHIP FOR FINANCING PART OF THE APPROPRIATION” (05-53) passed first reading September 27, 2005 and upon second reading the title thereof was read by the Clerk who then reported that it had been published and posted and copies had been made available to the public as required by law and that an affidavit to that effect was on file in the office of the Municipal Clerk. The hearing was held and the ordinance was adopted on October 11, 2005. Another vote required.

On motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the ordinance was adopted by unanimous vote.

***

The pending ordinance entitled: “ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ZONING ORDINANCE—CHAPTER 347 OF THE CODE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTCLAIR” (05-60) passed first reading October 25, 2005 and upon second reading the title thereof was read by the Clerk who then reported that it had been published and posted and copies had been made available to the public as required by law and that an affidavit to that effect was on file in the office of the Municipal Clerk. The public hearing was held and the ordinance was TABLED on November 14, 2005.

Mayor Remsen asked whether anyone present wished to address the Councilors regarding the proposed ordinance.

On motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the ordinance was adopted by the following vote: “Ayes” Mayor Remsen, Deputy Mayor Michaelson and Councilors Freier, Lang, Schlager and Tobin.

“Nay” Councilor Mattox.

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The pending ordinance entitled: “ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 347-12 OF THE CODE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTCLAIR (05-73 the “School Ordinance”) passed first reading December 27, 2005, the public hearing was held on January 24, 2006 and upon second reading the title thereof was read by the Clerk who then reported that it had been published and posted and copies had been made available to the public as required by law and that an affidavit to that effect was on file in the office of the Municipal Clerk. The ordinance was TABLED on January 31, 2006. It was now being introduced as amended.

Mayor Remsen asked whether anyone present wished to address the Councilors regarding the proposed ordinance.

There being no one wishing to be heard, Mayor Remsen closed the hearing.

On motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the amendment to the ordinance was adopted by the following vote: “Ayes” Mayor Remsen, Deputy Mayor Michaelson and Councilors Freier, Lang, Schlager and Tobin. “Nay” Councilor Mattox.

***

The pending ordinance entitled: “BOND ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO VARIOUS PARKS AND BASEBALL FIELDS IN AND BY THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTCLAIR, IN THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW JERSEY, APPROPRIATING $525,000 THREFOR, INCLUDING THE AMOUNT OF $250,000 EXPECTED TO BE RECEIVED FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY GREEN ACRES TRUST FUND THEREFOR, AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $500,000 BONDS OR NOTES OF THE TOWNSHIP TO FINANCE PART OF THE COST THEREOF” (06-1) passed first reading January 31, 2006 and upon second reading the title thereof was read by the Clerk who then reported that it had been published and posted and copies had been made available to the public as required by law and that an affidavit to that effect was on file in the office of the Municipal Clerk.

Mayor Remsen asked whether anyone present wished to address the Councilors regarding the proposed ordinance.

There being no one wishing to be heard, Mayor Remsen closed the hearing.

On motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the ordinance was adopted by unanimous vote.

***

The pending ordinance entitled: “ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING SECTION 327-20 OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE” (06-2 Limiting parking on portions of Upper Mountain Avenue and Mt. Hebron Road to 2 hours) passed first reading January 31, 2006 and upon second reading the title thereof was read by the Clerk who then reported that it had been published and posted and copies had been made available to the public as required by law and that an affidavit to that effect was on file in the office of the Municipal Clerk.

Mayor Remsen asked whether anyone present wished to address the Councilors regarding the proposed ordinance.

Ms. Louise Maxwell, 559 Upper Mountain Avenue, expressed her concerns with the time limit hours being 2 hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. She requested that the Council change them to 2 hours between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Ms. Jane Berra, 576 Upper Mountain Avenue, also was in favor of the time being extended to 6 p.m.

Ms. Helen Fallon, 541 Upper Mountain Avenue, had the same concerns and also asked for the Council to adopt a resolution directing the placement of lines or markings on the curb and/or street so as to prohibit parking within four feet of driveways on portions of Upper Mountain Avenue and Mt. Hebron Road.

The Council stated that such a resolution will be on the agenda for the meeting of February 21, 2006.

There being no one else wishing to be heard, Mayor Remsen closed the hearing.

On motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the ordinance was adopted by unanimous vote.

***

NEW BUSINESS

Mayor Remsen introduced the following ordinance and made a motion which was duly seconded, that it pass first reading and be further considered for final passage at a regular meeting of the Township Council to be held on February 28, 2006.

“ORDINANCE PROHIBITING THE FEEDING OF WILDLIFE IN PUBLIC PARKS AND OTHER PROPERTY OWNED OR OPERATED BY THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTCLAIR.” (06-4).

The motion was adopted by unanimous vote.

***

Councilor Schlager introduced the following ordinance and made a motion which was duly seconded, that it pass first reading and be further considered for final passage at a regular meeting of the Township Council to be held on February 28, 2006.

“ORDINANCE PROHIBITING THE IMPROPER DISPOSAL OF MATERIALS INTO THE TOWNSHIP STORM SEWER SYSTEM.” (06-5)

The motion was adopted by unanimous vote.

***

Councilor Schlager introduced the following ordinance and made a motion which was duly seconded, that it pass first reading and be further considered for final passage at a regular meeting of the Township Council to be held on February 28, 2006.

“ORDINANCE PROHIBITING ILLICIT CONNECTIONS TO THE MUNICIPAL STORM SEWER SYSTEM.” (06-6).

The motion was adopted by unanimous vote.

***

On motion made by Deputy Mayor Michaelson and duly seconded, the following resolution was adopted by unanimous vote:

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:4-20 provides for emergency temporary appropriations necessary for the period prior to adoption of the budget; and

WHEREAS, an additional appropriation is required to provide for the period until the adoption of the budget; and

WHEREAS, the total temporary appropriations adopted in the year 2006 pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:4-19 and 40A:4-20 including this resolution total:

General $13,288,422.03

Water $ 1,077,500.00

and WHEREAS, 26.25 percent of the total appropriations in the 2005 budget less appropriations made for capital improvement fund, debt service and relief of the poor (public assistance) in said 2006 budget are as follows:

General $14,746,880.32

Water $ 1,327,468.81

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Montclair, in the County of Essex (not less than two-thirds of all members thereof affirmatively concurring) that in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:4-20 said amounts are hereby appropriated in the temporary budget;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that said amounts shall be included under the correct headings in the budget when adopted; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Montclair, in the County of Essex, that the following list of appropriations be made and that a certified copy of this resolution be filed with the Director of the Division of Local Government Services.

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On motion made by Councilor Tobin and duly seconded, the following resolution was adopted by unanimous vote:

WHEREAS, the Bellevue Avenue Train Station recently suffered extensive fire damage; and

WHEREAS, as a result of said fire damage careful planning for the future of the station is needed; and

WHEREAS, the Township Council is desirous of receiving as much input as possible regarding a future course of action for said station; now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the Council hereby establishes a task force to advise the Council regarding the future of the station, said task force to include representatives of the following:

Montclair Historic Preservation Commission

Upper Montclair Business Association

New Jersey Transit

Montclair Township Transportation Advisory Committee

The Ward Council representative

Representatives of Township departments and staff as designated by the

Township Manager; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor is hereby requested to appoint the aforesaid

representatives as applicable in consultation with the Council.

***

On motion made by Councilor Mattox and duly seconded, the following resolution was adopted by unanimous vote:

WHEREAS, the Township of Montclair is a party to a cooperative purchasing agreement with the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council, a cooperative purchasing program organized pursuant to the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-10; and

WHEREAS, the Local Public Contracts Law authorizes a municipality to purchase goods and services through a duly-formed cooperative purchasing system without advertising for bids; and

WHEREAS, the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council has awarded a contract for the Purchase of Water Meters, Data Recorders and Radio Frequency Meter Interface Units (Contract #47) to S.L.C. METER EAST, INC., 407 Bloomfield Drive, Unit #3, West Berlin, New Jersey 08091; and

WHEREAS, the procurement of goods and services through a cooperative purchasing program is considered to be an “open and fair process” under the New Jersey Pay-to-Play Law, N.J.S.A. 19:44A‑20.4, et seq.; and

WHEREAS, the Water Bureau--Operating Division is in need of purchasing water meters and radio frequency meter interface units which will be installed in Montclair residences; now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Montclair, in the County of Essex, that the Township of Montclair enter into an agreement with S.L.C. METER EAST, INC. for the Purchase and Delivery of Water Meters and Radio Frequency Meter Interface Units R900 in accordance with the aforementioned Contract #47, in an amount not to exceed $552,000.00; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that funds for this purchase have been appropriated in the following Water Bureau Capital Budget Account:

Ordinance. 05-39 (a) C-07-05-039-000-210 $552,000.00

“Various Water Improvements and Repairs - Water Meter Replacement Program”

Complete details of the contract are attached hereto and made a part hereof.

***

On motion made by Councilor Freier and duly seconded, the following resolution was adopted by unanimous vote:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Montclair, in the County of Essex, that said bills be and they are hereby ordered paid and that warrants be drawn on the Treasurer to the order of such persons for the amount respectively as hereinafter stated to wit: $938,107.61.

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REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

The Municipal Clerk reported that she had filed in her office a list of reports and communications received since the last meeting.

On motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the following reports and communications were accepted and ordered to be made part of the minutes of this meeting.

FILED: One fully executed copy of the Amendment to the Agreement with the Township of Wayne in connection with furnishing of health services of a technical and professional nature by Montclair to Wayne.

Oaths of Office:

Ramil Carandang, Regular Police Officer in the Township of Montclair.

Michael Luzzi, Regular Police Officer in the Township of Montclair

Letter from Carmen Montessino regarding speed humps on North Mountain Avenue.

***

Councilor Lang had no report.

Councilor Freier gave an update on the progress made by Tax Assessor Joan Kozeniesky and the Fair Valuation Task Force regarding the revaluation process. He reported that this process is heavily regulated by the County and the State.

Councilor Mattox had no report.

Mayor Remsen reported on various topics discussed at the pre-meeting conference held earlier in the evening including: curb policies, expenses incurred when dignitaries from our Sister Cities come for official visits and the possible purchase of a new fire truck for the fire department.

Deputy Mayor Michaelson stated that the recent snowstorm removal efforts were very good.

She expressed her sadness on the passing of Marjorie Baskerville.

Councilor Schlager stated that she had recently attended a meeting of the MCIA where the congregating of Middle School age children at the Upper Montclair Village was discussed. The need for a community center becomes more apparent.

She also recently attended a meeting with the Chief of Police, staff and residents of Christopher Street, Montclair Avenue and Essex Avenue to discuss the rash of robberies in that area. The importance of the neighborhood watch program and the reporting of any suspicious people or anything unusual to the police was stressed.

Councilor Tobin also commended the snow removal efforts and he commended Joseph Hartnett on communication with the Council and working on the Bellevue Avenue train station fire.

Township Manager Joseph Hartnett stated that he had met with the Environmental Commission regarding refuse. He also thanked Township workers on their snow removal efforts and for their dedication to the task at hand. His office had not received any complaints regarding snow removal during this recent storm.

Mr. Hartnett reported on the recent fire at the Bellevue Avenue train station and commented on the personal attention that the President of N.J. Transit and County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo have given to the Township regarding this disaster. He also thanked Township Attorney Alan Trembulak for his efforts in dealing with a myriad of issues regarding the train station fire; i.e., safety, insurance, etc.

Mr. Hartnett reiterated that NJ Transit owns the station and the tracks and has shown a real spirit of cooperation and are willing to participate in the Task Force created earlier this evening.

***

PUBLIC HEARING

Mayor Remsen stated that the meeting was now open to the public and asked if there was anyone present who wished to address the Council regarding any matters of interest or importance:

Mr. Gregg Sozek, 6 Oakcroft Avenue, addressed the Council regarding his concerns with the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance; specifically, that the developers will bear the burden.

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Ms. Cindy Furlong, 4 The Fairway, spoke about her concerns with the “School Ordinance,” and her thoughts that the ordinance is too onerous. She asked the Council to scrutinize the ordinance in detail, and to create a Task Force to discuss bigger issues, i.e., traffic, safety, parking.

She also asked about the Woodman Field House project and asked for clarification on some of her concerns.

There being no one else wishing to be heard, Mayor Remsen closed the hearing.

***

CELL PHONE SITES:

Mr. Hartnett discussed the placement of cell phone sites within the Township. He discussed the possible placement at the Public Works and the Public Safety Buildings. The Council asked him to be respectful of the look when and where they are placed. He went over the fact that he would accept proposals and hold hearings. They would, of course, be in compliance with all zoning ordinances.

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At 10:31 P.M., on motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the following resolution was adopted by unanimous vote:

WHEREAS, Section 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975, permits the exclusion of the public from a meeting in certain circumstances; and

WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Montclair, in the County of Essex, as follows:

1. The public shall be excluded from discussion of and action upon the hereinafter specified subject matters.

2. The general nature of the subject matters to be discussed are as follows: Advice of Counsel.

3. We do not anticipate that the matters discussed will be made public.

4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

At 10:50 P.M., on motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the Executive Session was adjourned by unanimous vote.

***

At 10:51 P.M., on motion made by Mayor Remsen and duly seconded, the meeting was adjourned by unanimous vote.

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EDWARD REMSEN MAYOR

ATTEST:

_______________________________________________

EVELYN A. OSTELLA DEPUTY MUNICIPAL CLERK