20181003 Village Council Workshop Minutes

A REGULAR WORK SESSION OF THE VILLAGE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD HELD IN THE SYDNEY V. STOLDT, JR. COURT ROOM OF THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE HALL, 131 NORTH MAPLE AVENUE, RIDGEWOD, NEW JERSEY ON OCTOBER 3, 2018 AT 7:30 P.M.

 

  1. CALL TO ORDER – OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT – ROLL CALL – FLAG     SALUTE

Mayor Hache called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. and read the Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act. At roll call the following were present: Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache.  Also present were Matthew Rogers, Village Attorney; Heather Mailander, Village Manager/Village Clerk; and Donna Jackson, Deputy Village Clerk. 

Mayor Hache led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag as well as in a Moment of Silence to honor the brave men and women serving in our armed forces and all our first responders.

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Jeanne Johnson, 325 Masten Place, stated that she wanted to thank the Village Manager and the Village Council for their support of Ridgewood Walks, the Walktoberfest event. She added that several Council members have volunteered to lead free guided theme tours of the Village. Ms. Johnson stated that she and Gail are thankful for the Council’s support of this worthwhile mission. She stated that for anyone unfamiliar, Ridgewood Walks provides free guided themed walking tours of our Village. The goal is to provide a more vibrant and connected community, they also want people to recognize how easy, efficient, and fun it is to walk around town. She added that after all, Ridgewood was designed to be a walking community. Ms. Johnson stated that somehow, through the years, we have lost sign of that and she believes it is time to take back our streets and sidewalks, so that everyone will be much safer as fewer vehicles means greater safety.

Ms. Johnson stated that in 2006 there were a lot of pedestrian instances in town, twenty-one to be exact. A bunch of people were concerned, and started the ‘Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25’ campaign. She stated that the results were remarkable, speeding decreased and by 2007 pedestrian instances were reduced by 25%. During that same time, the ‘Walk to School’ month started with more pedestrians and fewer incidences.

She added that to ensure that everyone stayed safe, about one hundred people gathered together and held a crosswalk rally, carrying signs and balloons and made noise as they walked through every crosswalk in the downtown on a busy weekday morning. Ms. Johnson stated that their goal was to remind motorists that we are a walking community and to watch out for pedestrians. The initiatives were coupled with numerous pedestrian safety campaigns; the ‘Stop, Look, and Wait’ Campaign, the ‘Be Safe, Be Seen’ Campaign, and ‘Crosswalk Safety is a Two Way Street, Walk Safely, Drive Safely.’

Ms. Johnson stated that it was time to revise some of these initiatives, as there have been multiple pedestrian safety instances recently and she feels there will be more with the pending construction projects. She took it upon herself to purchase 100 ‘Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25’ lawn signs, and stated that if anyone was interested in purchasing one they can contact her and she will deliver them right to their door. Ms. Johnson stated that her information can be found in the same place as the Walktoberfest Walking Tour Signup, which is RidgewoodWalk.com. She added that she would like to organize another crosswalk rally, but it is a lot of work, so if the Council or anyone listening is interested in lending a hand to help the greater good, please drop her a note.

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that he has a feeling that there has never been a report on Schedler or a plan. There is no plan, and now people are scurrying around trying to put together a plan. He suggests to Mr. Rogers that when he leads a session afterwards to sit down with the Village Manager and the Deputy Mayor to find out what is going on, that he does not scurry around and make a plan at the last minute just to say they have one. Mr. Halaby offered to the Deputy Mayor that he would support the expenditure of $300,000 on Schedler be it for a gilded copper gutters or whatever else, because he knows it means to much to her. Having said that, a quid pro quo would be that the Deputy Mayor reverses her vote on the train station parking lot. He stated that it was a despicable, cowardly vote where they are killing a beautiful open park.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked for Mr. Halaby to clarify what he was saying.

Mr. Halaby stated that the train station decision was a terrible decision, but added that he thinks that what is happening with Schedler is even worse as there is no plan and the Village is beginning to spend money on this which is a terrible waste of time.

Louis Lembo, 721 Albert Place, stated that he didn’t know if the Village Council was aware of what was going on with the telephone system in the Village. He stated that he has been a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the phone calls go unanswered. He asked if anyone was looking into as to why phone calls were not getting through to The Stable.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked how long he felt this was going on for as she had called twice a few weeks ago and got through. Mr. Lembo stated that he had to go there, adding that this has been a problem for a while.

Ms. Mailander stated that there was an issue over the summer with the phones, however that has been corrected. Mr. Lembo stated that it was this week and last week. Ms. Mailander stated that she would look into it, because her understating was that it was fixed.

Joe Basralian, Farmstead Capital, 7 North Broad Street, stated that his company has ten Central Business District parkers, who were formerly at the Ken Smith lot and are now at the Walnut Street lot. He stated that they would come and go to meetings throughout the day, and would always get a spot at the Ken Smith lot, however, now when they come back from mid-morning and mid-afternoon meetings there aren’t any spots. He stated that their request is that some extra spots be allocated to CBD parkers, and if possible somewhere closer to Broad Street. Mr. Basralian stated that they are all very happy in Ridgewood, and are active contributors to the downtown economy.

Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that he was appreciative that there was an item on closed session for this evening to discuss the Board of Education elections. He added that he fully supports the Council’s decision that was made to move the election from November to April and he is appreciative that he will now, hopefully, have the opportunity to vote on the budget. Mr. Loving added that he was appreciative that the Council was going to be discussing perhaps legal action to be taken tonight to prevent the BOE from their plan to move the elections back to November. He stated that social media is very active with this topic, and he was surprised to find today that one of the members of the BOE has written a letter to one of the social media editors claiming that the date of the election is no longer an issue. However, that same person is also quoted in an article written by Ms. Grant saying that in fact the date is an issue. Mr. Loving stated that he hoped that the Council could get to the bottom of this and stop it.

  1. MANAGERS REPORT

Water Forums – Ms. Mailander stated that Ridgewood Water and the League of Women Voters are working together to bring the NJDEP Deputy Director Debbie Mans to a Water Forum on October 17th at 7:30 P.M. in the Ridgewood Library Auditorium. In addition, Ridgewood Water will be hosting a series Community Open Houses to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about Ridgewood Water and to educate them about PFAS. There will be professional staff and technical experts there to handle a variety of requests such as questions about water bills, and to ask verbal inquiries. Last night, October 2nd, was the first Open House at the Midland Park Fire House. There was a good amount of elected officials and approximately ten others who showed up. She added that it was a beneficial time for people to come in, and she encouraged anyone from any of the towns that Ridgewood Water serves to go to any of these Open Houses. The next one will be October 4th from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at the Wyckoff Public Library, then on October 11th at Ridgewood Village Hall, and October 15th at the Glen Rock Borough Hall.

 

Leaf Season – Ms. Mailander stated that the collection for leaf season begins on October 16th. Residents should be receiving a postcard by the beginning of next week. She reminded everyone that the schedule lists the placement dates, and then once those dates have passed the crews come through and pick up the leaves. After that street is done, a picture is taken, which is how they record that the street has been done. If anyone puts leaves out before the next set of placement dates, that is when summonses may be issued.

Zabriskie-Schedler House – Ms. Mailander stated that the nomination of the Zabriskie-Schedler House to be listed in the State Register for Historic Places has been reviewed and will be on SHPO’s agenda for approval in March 2019, which only meets three times a year to review nominations.

Ms. Mailander stated that in response to the questions that were posed, and the Mayor’s request, she would go over the total cost for the improvement, restoration, and rehabilitation. In 2016, Phase 1 was roof stabilization and planning documents, for a total of $233,450 which is split half and half between the Village of Ridgewood and the Bergen County Historic Preservation Grant, which is $116,725 each. In 2017 it was Phase 2A, which is the exterior stabilization and the interior rehabilitation which includes all the operating systems for a total of $400,000 which is split $200,000 from the Bergen County Grant and $200,000 from the Village of Ridgewood. Both of those grants have been approved and are in the process of being used.

Ms. Mailander stated that the 2018 Phase 2B is a continuation of the interior rehabilitation for $131,350 which is $75,650 for the Bergen County Grant and $75,700 for the Village of Ridgewood. This is a pending grant and the Freeholders will probably approve it sometime next year. The total is $784,800, which is $392,375 for the Bergen County Grant and $392,425 for the Village of Ridgewood. There is additional partially due because in the plaster there was asbestos, and in addition there may be some additional items.

Ms. Mailander stated that the historic significance of the Zabriskie-Schedler House, according to the State Historic Preservation Office, the House is eligible for listing in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places as an example of a third period Dutch framed house. The Jersey Dutch house can be identified because they exhibit a preponderance of the following characteristics: construction date of 1752 to 1840, with the Zabriskie-Schedler House being built in 1825; built by the Dutch Cultural Group; adherence to the Dutch framing tradition; a gamble roof; a main block; gable roofs on wings; native sandstone as wall or foundation materials; wide exposure clapboard rather than shingle cladding; oak timbers for heavy members; poplar for lighter members; south facing interior gable; fireplaces are the norm; and interior woodwork that follows period trends.

Ms. Mailander stated that the third period is further characterized by the symmetry, plaster ceilings, shallow gamble roof, and high brick frames. She added that the Zabriskie-Schedler House survives as one of the few remaining 19th century frame homes in its immediate setting on a somewhat large property in what is basically a developed suburb. It was originally owned by the farmer John A.L. Zabriskie.

Ms. Mailander stated that the Zabriskie-Schedler House will be a Village-owned facility much like the Gatehouse or The Stable. The proposed uses include but are not limited to: on the first floor small meeting or lecture space for local community groups, possibly a rental space for a small wedding, baby shower, bridal shower, or luncheon for approximately thirty people or less. It is envisioned that the first floor will have period-type furnishings in order to remain functional yet accommodate small groups of thirty or less. The kitchen will be used as a catering kitchen and not a preparation kitchen. She added that the proposed use for the second floor will be preparation spaces and meeting rooms for local committees and sports groups so that materials are organized in one place and are available to all members when preparing community activities. It would not require significant upgrades to the second floor other than adequate heat, electrical, lighting, and locks on the doors.

Ms. Mailander stated that this building will be under the Department of Recreation, who will be responsible for staffing, security, maintenance, and supervision. There may be an office space for members of the Recreation Department as is done at the Gatehouse. The maximum capacity will be forty-nine people and there will need to be one men’s and one ladies’ room constructed.

Ms. Mailander stated that the estimated maintenance costs are being based on The Lester Stable, which was approximately $15,346 in 2017 for utilities and phone, and approximately $25,000 for Village custodial services. That is a total of $40,346. There will be other maintenance costs, as with any home, such as lawn care which would be provided by the Village Parks Department, and over time, there will be repair and replacement of various items over the years.

Ridgewood Events – Ms. Mailander stated that the annual Chamber of Commerce “Blowout” Sale Days runs October 4th, 5th and 6th. She encouraged everyone to come shop and dine in Ridgewood. She added that tomorrow is Ladies Night Out from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., and they can check in at Shoe-Inn on East Ridgewood Avenue, or Olive R Twist to get a map that shows the participating locations.

Columbus Day – Ms. Mailander stated that October 8th the Village Office’s will be closed in observance of Columbus Day. There will be no sanitation or recycling collection. The Recycling Center will be open this coming Saturday, October 6th.

Register to Vote – Ms. Mailander reminded everyone who moved recently to Ridgewood that the deadline to register to vote in the General Election is October 16th for the November 6th General Election.

Ms. Mailander stated that for anyone who has requested mail-in ballots, if you have received them you may vote with those right now and will receive an addendum with just the Sheriff on it. For anyone who requested mail-in ballots after September 26th, they are going to hold them about a week so that by October 22nd, everyone should have the full, complete mail-in ballot.

  1. COUNCIL REPORTS

 

Water Forums Councilman Sedon stated that he attended the Ridgewood Water Forum in Midland Park yesterday and it was really a lot of good work and coordination, and he commended the employees and everyone for putting it together. He added that there were two hours to walk around and people were encouraged to go and ask whatever questions they have.

Access Ridgewood 2018Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Village of Ridgewood and the Ridgewood Public Library presents ‘Access Ridgewood 2018.’ This is the Ridgewood Community Access Network embracing our communities’ special gifts and special needs. Friday, October 12th, Saturday October 13th, and Sunday, October 14th. On the agenda they have school programs for all Village schools. Elementary, middle and high school teachers will be offering films and discussions all day on October 12th. They have a Senior Program on Aging Smartly: Planning Do’s and Don’ts as You’re Aging in Place at 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. in the Community Center. Family Fun with Marcia Matthews and Jester Jim, Saturday, October 13th, Marlene Pillow in concert from 10:30 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. There will be a Community Fair in the Village Hall Courtyard from noon to 1:00 P.M., live music and dance from 1:00 P.M. to 1:30 P.M., and the fashion show where the special needs community really rallies, followed by food and music in the courtyard. Then, from 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. the Ridgewood Soccer Association’s special players and RHS girls’ soccer competing against the Ridgewood Police and Fire Departments.

Councilwoman Knudsen added that on Sunday, October 14th, there is an Interfaith Fair and Dinner at Friends to Friends Community Church at 303 Prospect Street. Following the fair and dinner is the interfaith service from 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Master Plan Advisory Committee – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Master Plan Advisory Committee met last evening with NV5 to discuss the current website, upgrades as they move forward into the big kickoff. They will be distributing mailers, flyers, and other materials through all community events throughout the Village over the next couple of months. They will be upgrading the website to include a downloadable ‘Meeting in a Box’ for facilitators who will sign up and assist throughout the visioning process. They have a tentative date for a volunteer meeting, and are also preparing a list of organizations and groups throughout the Village that will be able to disseminate this information. This will provide them with a good cross section of residents and stakeholders so that the final product will really represent what the community desires for the final Master Plan.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that they were asking the Village Council to share information with the Boards and Committees that they are liaisons to so that they are actively engaged in this process. Also, they will have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram presence. They are hoping to get a 30% participation rate with their public outreach. She added that the materials produced by NV5 for promotion were index cards, business cards, mailers, posters, and lawn signs, and were done in the colors of maroon and white which are actually the school colors rather than the Village colors. She posed the question to her Council colleagues as to whether or not the materials that are produced for promotional and public engagement should be maroon and white or adhere to the Village colors of blue, gold and white.

Good Life Ridgewood – Mayor Hache stated that this past weekend, Good Life Ridgewood brought together residents, businesses and professionals in town to show what the Village has to offer. He added that it was a wonderful event, that it was self-funded, and all funds received go towards funding capital projects to promote healthy living in the Village. He commended the Good Life Ridgewood planning committee: Janna Diorio, Gwenn Hauck, Nancy Bigos, Jeanne Placier, Michael Pickholz, Shelley Cohen Frank, Dawn Cetrulo, and Lindita Limani for all of their hard work.

Gold Star Mothers Mayor Hache stated that the 8th Annual Gold Star Mothers Ceremony was also this past Saturday and hosted by the American Legion. It is one of his favorite events because of its simplicity as the luminaries in the park are beautiful. This year marked 100 years from the date the tradition of the gold star representing a service member who died in service began, even though it was formally adopted in 1928. He extended special thanks to Commander Bob Paoli with American Legion Post 53 as the emcee for the evening, as well as Maria Bombace who is a resident and the person we owe for bringing this wonderful event to our community. He added that it was well-attended by the Village Council and the Village Manager as well as a number of elected officials who came in to join as well as a few troops of boy scouts.

Ridgecrest Garden’s of Hope – Mayor Hache stated that Ridgecrest Garden’s of Hope will be this Saturday, October 6th at Christ Church from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Admission is $5 per person which includes rock painting, mini pumpkin decorating, craft fair, and so much more. He had the privilege of visiting Ridgecrest and he encouraged everyone to come out and support the community.

Interfaith Monthly Meeting Mayor Hache stated that yesterday he attended his first interfaith monthly meeting, hosted at Temple Israel. He thanked Rabbi Fein for hosting. He was grateful that everyone was so welcoming, adding that a lot of good ideas were being exchanged and it was nice to have everyone at the table.

Grosso Family Fundraiser Mayor Hache stated that less than two months ago the Ridgewood community lost one of its beloved members, Jim Grosso, who died on August 10th following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Park West is now putting together a fundraiser for the Grosso family, with 100% of proceeds being donated to the family. The event will take place on Thursday, October 18th from 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. and it will be at Park West Tavern and Park West Loft. Both venues will be closed to the public to maximize funds raised, and only ticket holders will be able to attend. The cost is $80 for adults and $60 for anyone under the age of 21. Due to the anticipated demand, tickets will be sold in advance, and can be reserved by calling Park West directly.

Ms. Mailander added that regarding the fatality that occurred recently in Ridgewood, with a pedestrian being killed by a motor vehicle, she wanted to thank the Police Department Detective Bureau for the long, hard hours that they put in to try to find the suspect. She also thanked the Traffic and Signal Division for sitting with the Police Department to review the tapes to try to find the vehicle. She added that she was appreciative for the time spent trying to find the suspect.

  1. DISCUSSION
  1. Ridgewood Water

 

  1. Award Change Order #1 – Granular Activated Carbon Treatment System

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this change order is for the design and construction administration of the granular activated carbon treatment system at the Carr Treatment Facility. This contract was initially awarded in June of 2017 for $303,400. At this time an additional $41,030 is required, which includes: clean out of solidified carbon and evaluation of same; architectural changes and associated work for Village Planning Board meeting and review; design clarifications on sewer capacity and addition of raw water pipeline; costs for rebid and document printing; and evaluation of design for the provision of resin instead of GAC, in the future. It will be awarded to the original vendor which is Arcadis U.S. Inc, located in Fair Lawn. The funding is in the Ridgewood Water Capital Improvement Budget.

Councilman Voigt asked whether the overage was part of the original quote or if it was something that Ridgewood Water asked for additionally. Ms. Mailander stated that it was additional and outside the scope of the original work, and was required once they got in there.

Councilman Sedon stated that the Director of the Water Department came up with the thought that they could reactivate the Twinney Pond and put a resin in the cylinders that are already there but that happened after the contract was already awarded. Ms. Mailander agreed that thought was after the fact and thus it was added on.

 

  1. Award State Contract – Safety Lighting for New Ford F350

 

Ms. Mailander stated that in March the Village Council awarded to buy a Ford F350 for the Water Department. At this time, an additional $9,425.61 is required for the purchase of safety lighting for the vehicle which was not anticipated at the time. This includes lights so that the vehicle can be seen in all types of weather or times of day.

Mayor Hache stated that when the truck was ordered, he assumes they knew what they needed the truck for but it says that the lighting wasn’t anticipated even though all Village vehicles must have appropriate lighting for safety purposes. Ms. Mailander stated that she would have Mr. Calbi explain it. Mr. Calbi stated that the item was missed and should have been included in the original quote, so now they are asking for the lighting to be included as part of that package. Mayor Hache questioned the cost of the vehicle. Mr. Calbi stated that it was $40,000.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked if ordering the lighting afterwards effected the cost of the lighting package. Mr. Calbi stated that not that he knew of, as it was a State Contract Purchase and in some cases they try to do the lighting purchase in house but this is a prefabricated body so it makes sense to do the lighting in the shop instead of bringing it to the Village and then having to cut into the body.

Mayor Hache asked if that was usual that 25% of the cost went into lighting. Mr. Calbi stated that he wasn’t sure but he could look into, but that this was service lighting so that when they work at night they could provide lighting on the scene as this is the on-call truck and the first that arrives on the scene to turn off a hydrant valve.

Councilman Voigt asked what Ridgewood Water have a quality control so that when they look at something like this before it goes out. He asked if they could put together a quality control system so that they don’t have to keep coming back asking for more. Mr. Calbi stated that he thought this was unique from any other one and that the lighting should have been included, but stated that perhaps they could create a checklist when they order a vehicle, but every vehicle is unique and in some cases they do the lighting in house.

  1. Parking

 

  1. Cottage Place Flex Parking Spaces

 

Ms. Mailander stated that last week there was the suggestion of adding 16 more parking spaces to the Cottage Place parking lot for CBD employees, however, there was the concern it was possible that if it was allocated to just CBD employees perhaps it would be empty and shoppers and diners would be finding spots they couldn’t use. Councilwoman Knudsen recommended these be flexible spots that can be CBD employee or shopper/diner spots which would be on a first come first serve basis throughout the day. Mr. Rutishauser created the ordinance and indicated that a flex parking spot is either CBD employee or a shopper/diner on a first come first serve basis throughout the day.

Councilman Sedon asked how the spots were going to be identified. Ms. Mailander stated that it would be the same way that CBD spots are now, with two signs at either end of the 16 spaces that say CBD employees or shoppers/diners.

 

  1. 2019 Parking Permits

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village Council needs to introduce an ordinance next week so that it can be adopted in November and be effective before the end of the year. Currently, the Ridgewood premium parking permit is for the train station, Hudson, Prospect, the Park and Ride, all lots. Then when the Hudson Street does close down, whatever the alternative lot is, that permit will also be good in that lot. This is for Ridgewood residents only and has a maximum of 210 and is first come, first serve. Currently it is $1,000 and the recommendation is $1,300.

Ms. Mailander stated that the Ridgewood parking permit for Ridgewood residents only for Chestnut, Walnut, Cottage Place, and the Park and Ride. This is $700 currently, and they are recommending $975.

The Ridgewood resident sticker is free and anyone who purchases the Ridgewood parking permit must have a sticker. These will continue as free.

Ms. Mailander stated that a non-resident permit for the Park and Ride is currently $750, which would go up to $975. A non-resident parking permit for Cottage Place is currently at $1,500 and they are recommending $1,950.

The CBD employee hang-tags at Walnut and Cottage Place for spaces marked for CBD employees is currently $80 per month or $40 after the 15th of the month. They are recommending $100 per month and $50 after the 15th of the month.

Ms. Mailander stated that the CBD employee stickers are required for anyone who wishes to park in the CBD spots are currently $20 and they are recommending $25.

This is a 30% increase, and the cost to pay with coins every day at seventy-five cents an hour for 260 days a year would actually be $2,730. The hangtag is about half the price. Six days a week, which is 312 days a year, would be $3,042.

Mayor Hache stated that if you assume someone gets the premium parking and parks for 14 hours a day it is the equivalent of about thirty-five cents an hour, and extending to Saturday privileges it ends up twenty-nine cents an hour.

Councilman Voigt stated that he was in favor of increasing the parking at the train station to $1,500 as a suggestion. They sold out of these in February, so there is high demand for these spots. He added that increasing these rates, he asked what the revenue realized would be. Mayor Hache stated that going to $1,500 is forty-one cents an hour.

Mr. Rooney stated that the projection with the increase in rates and the revenue generated from increasing the hours is roughly $1.9 million for 2019 combined, including coins, and parking permits. Just figuring parking permits, for the premium is $273,000 and the non-premium is about $157,000.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that since they are adding so many spaces to the parking lot, should they be adding to the 210. Ms. Mailander stated that they could, she just didn’t know how quickly they could get the lot configured and done, as it may not be until the Spring. Councilwoman Walsh added that they could still use Parkmobile to park there for those that don’t want to buy the annual pass.

Mayor Hache stated that they should also consider some of the new spaces being added as parking for shoppers and diners on the west side of the track as they have no parking there. Councilman Sedon stated that they could probably sell the premium passes for half of the year, as in the Spring they could have some additional passes printed up and sold if people are so inclined. Mr. Rooney stated that they pro-rate the cost based on when the permit is purchased.

Councilman Voigt questioned the revenue amount for 2019, which Mr. Rooney clarified for him.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the increase percentage-wise is consistent with the increase in the hourly rate and asked if that was how it was formulated. Mr. Rooney agreed and compared it to what the hourly savings would be and it was a good deal. Mayor Hache asked what the net incremental revenue was for 2019. Mr. Rooney stated that it was about $550,000.

Councilman Sedon stated that he was in favor of going with the recommendation, as he didn’t know if he was in favor of jumping the cost another 50% after they just did it a year ago. Councilwoman Knudsen asked if there was a big demand for non-resident. Ms. Mailander stated that there wasn’t one for Cottage Place, but there was for the Park and Ride.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked why they wouldn’t do some non-resident parking permits into the train station, Hudson Street, and the garage to take non residents and put a group into the train station or the garage because they could actually add a premium to that because those people would be interested in paying. She stated that if they could do the $1,300 and take some of the non-resident parking permits and put them into the garage or Hudson Street they could have that as a higher premium. Ms. Mailander stated that they would have to reduce the number of premium permits that are sold from the 210. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that to Councilwoman Walsh’s point, if they were going to at some point increase the 2019 number, if they allocate a certain number of those to non-residents at a higher rate to make up the difference on the $200 that Councilman Voigt wants to increase without impacting Ridgewood residents.

Councilman Sedon agreed with Councilwoman Knudsen but felt that they should hold off until they have the parking garage because it seems like they have a demand from Ridgewood residents to fill up the train station and he wouldn’t like to take away spaces from residents to put non-residents there. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was projecting into the future. Mayor Hache agreed with Councilman Sedon and he was willing to forgo a little more revenue to provide more parking for residents.

Councilman Sedon suggested that perhaps the parking permit numbers were meeting demand because they were selling out in February as opposed to January 1st. Ms. Mailander stated that there were more people looking for the parking permits, especially people who move to the Village over the summer and want to park at the train station. Councilman Sedon stated that in that case he was definitely in favor of keeping the 210 permits for Ridgewood residents.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that they could also sell the non-resident permit giving them the ability to park at the train station but they would have to pay the hourly rate. Councilman Sedon stated that they would then have to adjust the number of hangtags that they sell. Councilwoman Walsh stated that they would limit the number to ten or twenty. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that why don’t they keep it as a placeholder for the future, but the question would be $1,300 or $1,500. Ms. Mailander stated that as they get to the reconfiguration of the train station they could review an ordinance to perhaps have those spots allocated differently. She added, however, that in the time she has been in the Village those spots have only ever been for residents at the train station.

Ms. Mailander questioned whether the Village Council was fine with the amounts. There was an agreement among the Council.

 

  1. Budget

 

  1. Professional Services Contract – Grant Writer

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village Council authorized hiring Millennium Strategies as a grant writer for the Village of Ridgewood, at an annual cost of $36,000 for the year. The contract will expire on October 31, 2018, and it has a one-year renewal option at the same price. The Council was provided with an annual report that outlines the grant awarded; grant applications in process; grant applications submitted and pending review; grant applications submitted, with funding not awarded; and other grant opportunities recommended. She added that the Village is unique in that they prepare their own grants for the NJDOT paving grants for the Community Development Block grants, Open Space grants, and the Police Department Campaign grants. The Village currently has grants pending approval in the amount of $359,656, and other grant applications which are in process.

Ms. Mailander stated that although the number of grants awarded has been small, what must be remembered is that the Village would not have been able to apply for the additional ten grants that were applied for through Millennium Strategies. One of the biggest was the US DOJ School Violence Prevention Program, which unfortunately the Village did not receive an award for.   There were several others that were submitted in excess of $1 million which the Village did not receive.

Ms. Mailander stated that she would recommend continuing with Millennium Strategies, adding that she asked them for a lower cost since the Village already prepares a number of the grants that they usually prepare for other municipalities. They will get back to her sometime next week. There is a Special Public Meeting on October 24th, and they can vote on this then. She was hopeful that they would reduce their cost.

Mayor Hache asked if Millennium Strategies was able to get the Village $3,855 in awards as it stated in the provided documentation. Ms. Mailander stated that the Village currently has some grants pending which is another $24,100 and grant applications in process with one up to $1 million and another that varies. Councilman Voigt asked whether they could find out why they didn’t get the ones that Millennium Strategies applied for as it would be helpful to understand. Ms. Mailander stated that they indicated that they would reach out to the USDOJ grant to see how they could improve the grant application in future years, however, they were under the impression that it would be going to the State and big cities. She stated that everyone that the they apply for they try to determine how to improve their application in the future. Councilman Voigt stated that it would be helpful to know the reasons why the five that the Village didn’t receive weren’t awarded. Councilman Sedon stated that he had a similar request especially regarding the Sustainable Jersey grants.

Mayor Hache added that it would be helpful to understand from Millennium Strategies, other than the physical work of writing the grant, to advise the Village as to how grant-worthy they are. Ms. Mailander stated that they provide the Village with various grants, and some of them the Village doesn’t apply for for various reasons. She reiterated that the Village knows the grants that they apply for, and the grants that Millennium brings include grants coming from alternative sources that the Village is not at all aware of.

Councilman Voigt asked whether Millennium Strategies was going to apply for the other grant opportunities recommended that they listed. Ms. Mailander stated that those were the ones that they provided to her which she disseminated to the Department Head or Committee and then they decide if it is worthwhile or not.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked based on the total number of grants that Millennium Strategies brought forward, how many the Village actually applied for. Ms. Mailander stated that they were the ones on the first two pages that were provided. She added that she wanted to see what amount they came forward with for the next contract and she would let the Council know. She reiterated that there were a number of grants that the Village would not have applied for or known about without Millennium’s assistance.

 

  1. 2017 Audit and Corrective Action Plan

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village Council has received the 2017 audit and Mr. Rooney has crafted the corrective action plan. As a reminder, all Council will be required to sign an affidavit that as a minimum, they have read the General Comments and Recommendations sections of the audit.

Bob Rooney, Village Chief Financial Officer, stated that as required by State law the Village is required to have an annual audit by a registered municipal accountant. Bud Jones, who represents Mr. Bosch will make a brief presentation.

Mr. Jones stated that he previously met with the administration and talked about the audit draft before finalizing the report. He cited the locations of the financial statements in the final report provided to the Village Council. There was an increase in the fund balance for the current utility fund of about $165,000, and a planned decrease in the fund balance for utility operating fund of about $2.3 million. The statutory debt condition of the Village shows a statutory net debt of under $50 million with a borrowing capacity in total of about $226 million, and a remaining borrowing power of $176 million. Currently the Village is using roughly 20% of its borrowing capacity.

Mr. Jones stated that the tax collection percentage over the last three years shows an increase from 2016 to 2017, which was an excellent tax collection percentage. Lastly, the summary of recommendations are on the last page and lower in severity than they have been previously.

Councilman Sedon stated that he made the same observation that the recommendations are less intense and involved than in the past. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was looking forward to the recommendations page being blank next year.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that she was noticing in the recommendations that perhaps they need to be more timely in the Departments as there are a number of comments that things are coming in the mail or being held, probably due to activity within the offices, but that seems to be the recommendation in a couple different instances. She added that on the first page of the recommendations, did it mean that the tax appeals are coming in or was it the amount paid back. Mr. Jones stated that was updating the general entry balances from what appeals occurred during 2017. Councilwoman Walsh stated that it sounded like they were being rolled over and then paid retroactively. Mr. Jones stated that part of that is eliminating some of the older items and also updating the current records for the appeals that occurred. Mr. Rooney stated that in this case specifically, when Mr. Jones comes in and does the audit, if they have any audit adjustments they give it to him and then it is posted to the ledger, from the 2016 audits they were given the adjustments, those were posted, and didn’t get reflected into the details. As a result when they got to the end of the year to do the reconciliation for prepaid taxes the Village was off from this number and it went back, but it has been taken care of and it’s a timing thing.

Councilman Voigt stated that in looking at some of the findings it appears that some of the record keeping is not up to snuff. Mr. Rooney stated that it can happen sometimes, but for the most part they get it done. Councilman Voigt asked about the borrowing capacity of the Village. Mr. Jones stated that the legal borrowing capacity is $226 million, but the self-liquidating utilities does not count against the Village’s debt borrowing capacity. Councilman Voigt asked how Mr. Jones got that number for the borrowing capacity. Mr. Jones stated that there was a formula that the State puts out, and that was the calculation. Councilman Voigt asked if historically the amount has been 20% that the Village borrows. Mr. Jones stated that it has.

Councilman Voigt asked how the Village would benchmark against other similar municipalities as it relates to borrowing and its capacity to borrow. Mr. Rooney stated that over the last ten years the Village probably has a better rate than other municipalities, but you cant look at it year to year as it depends on the circumstances. Councilman Voigt questioned that if the Village started to borrow more would the AAA rating remain. Mr. Jones stated that it would depend on a number of factors as the AAA rating is based upon the ability to prepay, the debt burden of residents, the governing body managing of the entity and the wealth of the community. There are a number of factors, but debt capacity and ability to pay it back is part of that. Councilman Voigt asked if the Village could or should borrow more. Mr. Rooney stated that it was up to the Council, and they did put a debt management plan in place to give guidelines as to what the Village should and shouldn’t do.

Mayor Hache stated that if he tries to equate debt usage, at which levels in terms of percentages, does that start to impact from an upper to a lower tier in terms of indebtedness. Mr. Jones stated that it was only one of the factors, including formal factors, and he thinks it probably wouldn’t be only one factor that would reduce the rating. The ability to repay is big as they look at the burden, but it is not only the Village, but the school district, the County, and the overlapping debt that they look at in relation to residents as well. Mr. Jones added that he wouldn’t peg a percentage to a decrease in the rating. Mayor Hache stated that in theory the Village could hold out borrowing flat or even lower, but the school system could be bonding for a significant amount of money and that would have a significant impact on the ratings. Mr. Rooney stated that not on the Village necessarily, but when they look at the school district.

Councilman Voigt stated that it sounds like the Village has the capacity to borrow more if it needs to, and asked what they thought the borrowing capacity is that is still comfortable for the Village to be able to handle. Mr. Rooney stated that he used the debt management guidelines of 2%, and if it goes over that they need to have conversations about those capital purchases or bonding and it depends on the circumstances. If there is significant surplus built up every year and it shows more of an ability to pay down debt, or refunding issues which the Village can’t do much of any more, that shows capacity to reissue at lower interest rates. Mr. Rooney stated that at the conference last week, the bond companies are coming up with different scenarios as to how to go back to refunding issues to see if they qualify with the Federal law, so there will be other types of funding that will be available that will minimize any impact that it has on the Village.

 

  1. Award State Contract – Purchase of Ammunition – Police Department

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this purchase is required for the Police Department mandatory training and duty use, which is purchased under State Contract.

 

  1. Bond Ordinance – Renovation and Restoration of Zabriskie-Schedler House

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village Council will need to introduce a bond ordinance next week for $200,000 for the Zabriskie-Schedler Phase 2A which was put in the capital budget. The Village has to bond for $400,000 because that is what it gets reimbursed. There was an error made, so now the Village is going to bond the additional $200,000 plus Phase 2B, so that the funds are available.

  1. Policy

 

  1. Rate Increase for Recreation Fees

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the rates have not been increased in four years. Right now the proposal is for the Day Camp fee from $550 to $600. They did at one point allow non-residents and there weren’t many, however, they could offer it at $850 for the season, and a late fee after June 10th of $50 because they have a lot of people signing up very late in the season and then they are trying to process it in time for them to start camp which would encourage people to register by June 10th.

Ms. Mailander stated that the current fees for adult residents is $120 at Graydon Pool and the proposal is to go to $130. For children, it is $110 and the recommendation is to go to $120. The early bird discount is a 10% discount, so it would be $117 for adults and $108 for children. This would be for 2019 and 2020. For senior residents there would be no change, or for disabled patrons. The non-resident adult would increase $20 from $200 to $220. Non-resident child would increase from $175 to $195. Residents guest pass would go from $10 to $15, and a non-resident guest pass would be $20. The reason for this increase is that they have found that people tend to join, and then just buy day passes and so they are not getting full membership fees from people.

Ms. Mailander stated that for the late season fees they are recommending a $5 increase from $60 to $65 for adults and from $55 to $60 for children from August 1 to Labor Day.

Ms. Mailander stated that there was a $5 increase for tennis badges, for adults from $35 to $40, and for children from $30 to $35. Guest passes will remain at $5, senior residents 62 and over are free, and non-resident adults $45 to $50, and non-resident children from $40 to $45.

Ms. Mailander stated that regarding the Day Camp fees, it is the best deal in town as it is a great program and is very cheap for a six week program which includes arts and crafts and swimming. For the resident memberships for Graydon Pool, the Council was fine with the increase. Councilwoman Knudsen asked whether the Village Council could see a spreadsheet on the number of residents that registered early bird, to put it in perspective as she would imagine that based on how many signed up August 1 through Labor Day they may have a different view of that price versus the regular price.

Nancy Bigos, Director of Parks and Recreation, stated that there were twenty adults and twenty children who paid for the late registration, whereas the year before there were eight adults and eleven children. Councilwoman Knudsen asked how many residents took advantage of the early discount. Ms. Bigos stated that early discount was something that she would have to get back to the Council about. Ms. Mailander stated that they would like to introduce this, however, they can wait until November as there was no rush. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she wanted to see the numbers surrounding memberships and whether the rates were appropriate for the late season versus the regular season pass.

Ms. Bigos stated that there were 615 adult memberships and 983 children. In 2017 there were 686 adult memberships and 1,058 child memberships. The senior citizen and disabled group stayed flat. The non-residents was 159, and last year was 152. There were 71 non-resident child passes, whereas last year they sold 67. There were 440 children in the summer Day Camp this year, and the previous year there were 455 children.

Ms. Bigos stated that this year they sold 88 tennis badges for adults and 98 for children. Last year there were 102 for adults and 77 for children. Ms. Mailander stated that they would get the additional information and then bring it back on October 24th.

Mayor Hache stated that since they were seeing a drop-off across the board, raising the fees wasn’t going to get people excited to go and join and they should think of ways to get more people to sign up. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she imagined that they want increased participation because that adds more excitement and she was concerned similarly about the reason for the drop off and if increasing the rates would cause further drop off as less people might just be a wash.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that some of the drop offs are also cyclical to the grades in her opinion, as some kids age out and then the next class is just a smaller class. Ms. Bigos stated that she agrees with Councilwoman Walsh as there are many variables that go into is, especially the weather. With a very wet spring, there were 50 inclement weather days out of the 94 days.

Mayor Hache stated that there may be a lag and maybe they’ll see the benefit next year, as he got so many emails regarding the water quality this year. Hopefully, that will increase excitement for next year.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that relative to the grade and the drop off, wouldn’t they see that in the day camp registrations in theory. Ms. Bigos stated that with summer Day Camp, they are seeing that the community is seeing a great deal of competition as private nursery schools are holding full day Day Camp. So are some churches and the program at the Board of Education, which wasn’t that case many years ago. They have more competition and children are looking for a full day opportunity whereas our program runs to 1:30 P.M. Some people require indoor and a permanent setting, whereas she appreciates the outdoor component. Mayor Hache stated that they should look at the prices for those programs and the competitiveness. Ms. Bigos stated that it depends on what you are looking for for the child.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that they could do an early bird on the camp registration as well.

Councilman Voigt asked how long ago they began the non-resident program at the pool. Ms. Bigos stated that it has been about twenty years, as they started off with the neighbors that did not have aquatic facilities such as Midland Park and Ho-Ho-Kus. Councilman Voigt asked how the Village markets to those municipalities that don’t have a facility. Ms. Bigos stated that many of the Village residents are in cement bottom pools elsewhere, and almost 200 people are choosing Graydon Pool over any other facility in the neighborhood. Councilman Voigt asked if they could find out where most of the non-residents are coming from. Ms. Bigos stated that she would go through and get that information.

 

  1. Tree Ordinance

 

Ms. Mailander stated that in 2017 the Village Council adopted Ordinance 3599 which is the law, and then Ordinance 3605 attempted to amend that but it was defeated. In looking at the code book, Mr. Rutishauser found that what is in the code book, and what was adopted, listed the tree species that had to be used, requires a permit, and the requirement for replacement of a tree on private property. Mr. Rutishauser has created an ordinance which removes the requirement for a permit or to replace a removed tree. Ms. Mailander stated that her recommendation is to get this adopted so that it follows what the Village practice is.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she agreed with the changes. Councilman Sedon stated that it gives the arborist the authority to say whether a tree in the right of way can be cut down during the sidewalk replacement project as well.

                                                                                                       

  1. Operations

 

  1. Preparation of Flood Plan for Ridgewood

 

Ms. Mailander stated that she, Mayor Hache, and Chris Rutishauser met with The Land Conservancy of New Jersey Vice President, Barbara Heskins Davis, as well as Evan Sherval from Bergen County Open Space. It has been shown that Ridgewood is in the top tier flood plains in Bergen County along with places like Hackensack, Hillsdale and Westwood. There have been 103 claims, with nearly $2.5 million in property damage from storms in Ridgewood. The Bergen County Division of Open Space will fund the entire cost of completing a flood plan for Ridgewood through the Land Conservancy of New Jersey. They work with Rutgers University for the conceptual design and what the land will be used for. This is for homes that have repeated insurance claims due to flooding and allows the purchase of the property through Bergen County Open Space funding.

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village would apply for that because this is an actual program to purchase and then demolish the homes and make it into open space. Some of this open space that is created may be adjacent to park space. This delineates those properties that have the highest claims and then indicates a plan to move forward. It is all voluntary where there are two green acres appraisers to determine the value of the property. If the Village Council approved moving forward with this, it becomes a Shared Services Agreement with Bergen County who then moves forward with the flood plan. Once completed the Council adopts the flood plan and then there will be a conservation easement put onto the purchased properties which will say there will be no buildings or hard services and it brings back nature.

Mayor Hache stated that those properties would come off the tax roll, so there would be a loss in their tax revenues and one where they have had communities where the homeowners have used this plan, because of the repeated flooding of these properties the marketability had decreased significantly. One of his concerns was the anticipated increase of flood insurance costs which would create a hardship for the owners.

Councilman Voigt asked if there were a lot of homes that were in flood plains. Ms. Mailander stated that there were. Councilman Voigt asked if a home is on a flood plain do they tell the resident that they can’t build anymore on their property. Ms. Mailander stated that this was to purchase the homes, by identifying those homes that have had repeated losses through flooding. Rutgers University is to help the municipality come up with a conceptual plan of what might be created after these homes are purchased.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that for clarification there would be a deed on conservation applied to a property. Ms. Mailander stated that it would be attached after purchase by the Village through County funding. Her concern was how many properties the Village has that fall into that category, as many times those become entry level homes into the Village. The offset of those homes is sometimes due to the cost of flood insurance, and if people were to take advantage of that they further deplete their entry level starter homes and lower priced homes. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that herself and Councilman Voigt have seen a lot of depletion of the value of those homes on the Board of Adjustment. Mr. Rogers stated that it wasn’t an eminent domain action, but it was a home that had repeated flooding it was an opportunity. Ms. Mailander added that it was not an obligation for them to sell or for the Village to go after it. The plan itself is free, and certainly there are homes that have repeated losses through flooding. There are currently eight towns which have plans, and Oakland is in the process of purchasing their ninth home. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was concerned about the lost revenue.

Councilman Voigt stated that he thought it was a good idea, it was just a matter of what to do after the plan is created. Mayor Hache stated that if they look at what the plan could potentially be, it would be a good exercise. Councilwoman Knudsen asked whether the properties on the map in to 100-year flood plain were subject to this. Mayor Hache stated that it wouldn’t be all, but just the ones with repeated claims. Mr. Rogers stated that there are records available from the government. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she needed to study the whole thing as it looks like there is a lot of area that could be effected. Councilman Sedon clarified that there was no commitment, but if the homeowners come to the Village and say that they have repeated claims and can’t sell it because of the cost of insurance, and taxes, and are in that group and would like the Village to consider purchasing it. He added that if it was a young family who wanted to buy a starter home but if the cost of flood insurance goes up two or three times the current costs people might not want to buy it.

Mayor Hache stated that if it was flood insurance, it is only homes that have financing. Mr. Rogers stated that it was the flood map that would determine if it was part of the property or the actual building that would be in the flood plain. Councilman Sedon stated that someone who flooding in the corner of their yard, the option to sell wouldn’t be available to them. Mr. Rogers stated that the plan is to design the criteria. Ms. Mailander stated that it doesn’t obligate the Village to do anything, but reiterated that it was just a plan. Councilwoman Walsh stated that this was similar to Blue Acres, this was just identifying the properties in Ridgewood. She asked if the Blue Acres program was defunct. Ms. Mailander stated that it still existed but it was a State program.

 

  1. Installation of Stop Signs – Fairfield Avenue

 

Mr. Rutishauser stated that the ordinance is to create Fairfield Avenue as a through street which is through Chapter 265 which designates principal streets and also on a side street if a condition warrants the need for a traffic control device a separate ordinance does not need to be adopted by the Council. He stated that on Fairfield Avenue the current intersection that has stop signs is the cross intersection of Ponfield Place. He added that while he was checking for the rendering that was provided, he did it when school was letting out. Fairfield Avenue has sidewalks on both sides and there are a lot of children that are walking up and down that street. They would work with the Police Department to see anywhere that they recommend any additional traffic control devices.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked whether this ordinance would allow the Engineering Department to go out and place signs at other intersections. Mr. Rutishauser stated that they were not going to run out and put stop signs everywhere, but that this gives them the ability that if they start to see a heavy walking pattern that it would be better for a large movement of children to have a stop sign installed. They would be able to install it without having to come to the Council for an ordinance.

 

  1. Leaf Collection

 

Ms. Mailander stated that leaf collection begins October 16th. Area A, B, C and D which are the yard waste areas, and then Area D has additional load as they have in the past. The Village has a contractor for one area, as it has in the past. She stressed that at any time residents may bring their leaves to the recycling center from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, they may also be placed in paper biodegradable bags which are available at the Recycling Center first come first served. Make sure they are placed on the curb itself and not in the street and do not place leaves in the street until the active leaf placement dates. She added that every area will have three pickups, and they will use the Streets Department as well as personnel from other Departments and permanent part time employees who also help out with this.

Ms. Mailander urged everyone that has landscapers to make them aware of their pickup times. After a street is completed, a picture is taken that is date and time stamped and those will be used if need be, if a summons is written. If you have any questions, call the Streets Division, the Village Manager’s Office, or the Village Clerk’s Office.

 

  1. Habernickel Park Driveway – No Stopping or Standing

 

Ms. Mailander stated that at Habernickel Park during the time that sports take place, people are parking along the entrance driveway instead of going into the parking lot or parking on the street or a side street. They would like to designate this as a no parking zone which will memorialize a stop sign at the parks exit onto Hillcrest Road. Mr. Rutishauser is recommending it as this will allow the Police Department to enforce if anyone is parking there and also if anyone runs the stop sign onto Hillcrest Road.

 

  1. Authorize Execution of Bergen County Open Space Grant – Maple Park Turf Field

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village received $100,000 for the Maple Park turf field through Open Space and this will allow the execution of the contract so that the Village can get that grant money.

 

  1. Girl Scout Gold Award Acceptance of Donation – Water Bottle Filling Station

 

Councilwoman Walsh stated that she was speaking on behalf of Celeste Walsh, one of her Girl Scouts who is away at College, but she had to get her paperwork in by October 1st. Her project was “Awareness of Sustainability and Promoting the Water Bottle Refilling Stations in Ridgewood.” Her donation is going to the Parks and Recreation Department towards the further installation. It takes six to eight weeks for Girl Scouts to review all of the documents, and she wanted to thank Ms. Bigos and the League of Women Voters Water Committee and their ‘Take Back the Tap’ campaign that she used for the idea of the refillable water bottles and using the stations in Ridgewood.

  1. REVIEW OF OCTOBER 10, 2018 PUBLIC MEETING AGENDA

Ms. Mailander stated that this was a review of the October 10, 2018 Public Meeting Agenda.

Proclamations include: National Diabetes Awareness Month, and Recognition of “The Spirit of America’s Story – The Wall” Traveling Exhibit in Ridgewood.

Presentation of Certificates of Recognition: 2018 U.S. National Taekwondo Championship Team.

Resolution for Ridgewood Water: Award Contract – Carr GAC Treatment System; Authorize Change Order #1 – GAC Treatment System; and Authorize Change Order #2 – Distribution Improvements and Lakeview Extension Study.

The following ordinances are scheduled for introduction: 3674 – Amend Chapter 105 Animals – Poultry and Fowl; 3675 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Recreation Fees; 3676 – Amend Chapter 260 – Trees and Shrubs; 3677 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – Designate Flexible Parking Spaces for Central Business District Employee/General Public Parking – Cottage Place Parking Lot; 3678 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – Designate Fairfield Avenue as Through Street; and 3679 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – No Stopping or Standing – Driveway into Irene Habernickel Family Park.

Ordinances for Public Hearing include: 3672 – Amend Chapter 3, Administration of Government – Article VIII – Residency Requirements for Civilian Titles; and 3673 – Amend Chapter 244 – Smoking.

Resolutions include: Award Contract Under State Contract – Portable Radio – Police Department; Award Contract Under State Contract – Purchase of Ammunition – Police Department; Award Contract Under Houston-Galveston Area Council Cooperative Purchasing Contract – 2019 Heavy Duty Rescue Fire Truck; Award Professional Services Contract – Grant Writing and Consulting Services; Declare Property Surplus – 1999 Autocar Tanker Truck; Accept 2017 Annual Audit Report; Accept 2017 Corrective Action Plan; Approve Submission of 2019 NJDOT Paving Grant Application – Spring Avenue; Approve Submission of 2019 NJDOT Paving Grant Application – Franklin Avenue Streetscape; Authorize Preparation of Flood Plan for Ridgewood; Request Assistance for Bergen County for Franklin Avenue Intersection/Traffic Control Device Improvements, Execution of the Bergen County Open Space Grant for Maple Park Turf Field; and Accepting the Donation of the Water Bottle Refilling Station.

 

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

 

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that he would like a copy of the report that Ms. Mailander gave regarding Zabriskie-Schedler House. He added that he was disturbed this evening regarding the creeping taxation, including parking fees, usage fees, and he doesn’t like that. Some people cannot afford to do that, adding that it was a cowardly way to tax people without looking them in the eye. Mr. Halaby complimented Councilman Voigt for the questions that he had to the auditor, as he thinks the Village has to be very careful with the amount of borrowing that it has. He added that he doesn’t feel optimistic in the coming years, as he sent an email to the Village Council about interest rates going up. He urged the Council to not take the easy way out by raising usage fees.

Anne Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that regarding the restrooms at Schedler, Ms. Mailander mentioned a men’s and women’s room, and she was wondering if that was the law or if they could have a gender neutral single commode room, especially if it would save money. She also stated that regarding the increase in the rates at Graydon Pool, she thinks it is a great idea as the Day Camp is a great bargain, and she also thinks that the rates at the pool are a fantastic bargain and she support increasing those rates. Ms. Loving stated that she did hope that the bathrooms would be improved at Graydon Pool.

Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that a way to improve Graydon Pool, and perhaps get more participation, is to fix the bathrooms, which they have been talking about for two years. The improvement would offer a great deal to the patrons of Graydon. Regarding the Library presentation, he thinks that $7.7 million is a lot of money and the Village Hall building, after suffering a massive flood destruction, was completely redone for something in that range. The Library is a fine building currently, in his opinion, and stated that maybe they could add better lighting and painting but needing to spend that much money seems over the top.

Mr. Loving stated that it was mentioned that the Maplewood Public Library is going to be undergoing a renovation and he just looked online and saw that the last time it was remodeled was in 1969, whereas the Ridgewood Library was in 1998. He added that there was some mention about Paramus having just undergone a major renovation and a concern as to whether Ridgewood patrons would flee to Paramus, and having lived in Bergen County all his life, if he doesn’t have to cross Route 17, he doesn’t. Mr. Loving stated that he didn’t think there would be many people from Ridgewood who would decide to use the Paramus Library just because it is a newer facility.

He added that he shares some of the same concerns with Councilwoman Knudsen regarding the size of the proposed building and the seating in the auditorium. There is a parking problem in the lot, and the Director stated that regarding the problem they have to tell people using the athletic facilities that they can’t use the lot there. Mr. Loving remembers a conversation stating that wasn’t going to happen, and he remembers the suggestion that a Police Officer would be in the lot directing traffic to the Graydon South Lot, which fortunately didn’t happen. He stated that parking was a major issue and having an auditorium that doubles the capacity is going to create major problems. He added that it is speculative in that they don’t know if they are going to get a State grant. So, to build a plan for a $7.7 million renovation in hopes that the State will give them half the money, what would happen if they didn’t get half of the money from the State.

  1. RESOLUTION TO GO INTO CLOSED SESSION

 

Deputy Village Clerk, Donna Jackson read Resolution #18-295 to go into Closed Session as follows:

  1. ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to come before the Village Council, on a motion by Councilman Sedon, seconded by Councilwoman Knudsen, and carried unanimously by voice vote, the Village Council’s Work Session was adjourned at 9:50 P.M.

______________________________

                                                                                                   Ramon M. Hache, Sr.                               

                                                                                                            Mayor                                     

______________________________

              Donna M. Jackson

           Deputy Village Clerk

A REGULAR WORK SESSION OF THE VILLAGE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD HELD IN THE SYDNEY V. STOLDT, JR. COURT ROOM OF THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE HALL, 131 NORTH MAPLE AVENUE, RIDGEWOD, NEW JERSEY ON OCTOBER 3, 2018 AT 7:30 P.M.

 

  1. CALL TO ORDER – OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT – ROLL CALL – FLAG     SALUTE

Mayor Hache called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. and read the Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act. At roll call the following were present: Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache.  Also present were Matthew Rogers, Village Attorney; Heather Mailander, Village Manager/Village Clerk; and Donna Jackson, Deputy Village Clerk. 

Mayor Hache led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag as well as in a Moment of Silence to honor the brave men and women serving in our armed forces and all our first responders.

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Jeanne Johnson, 325 Masten Place, stated that she wanted to thank the Village Manager and the Village Council for their support of Ridgewood Walks, the Walktoberfest event. She added that several Council members have volunteered to lead free guided theme tours of the Village. Ms. Johnson stated that she and Gail are thankful for the Council’s support of this worthwhile mission. She stated that for anyone unfamiliar, Ridgewood Walks provides free guided themed walking tours of our Village. The goal is to provide a more vibrant and connected community, they also want people to recognize how easy, efficient, and fun it is to walk around town. She added that after all, Ridgewood was designed to be a walking community. Ms. Johnson stated that somehow, through the years, we have lost sign of that and she believes it is time to take back our streets and sidewalks, so that everyone will be much safer as fewer vehicles means greater safety.

Ms. Johnson stated that in 2006 there were a lot of pedestrian instances in town, twenty-one to be exact. A bunch of people were concerned, and started the ‘Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25’ campaign. She stated that the results were remarkable, speeding decreased and by 2007 pedestrian instances were reduced by 25%. During that same time, the ‘Walk to School’ month started with more pedestrians and fewer incidences.

She added that to ensure that everyone stayed safe, about one hundred people gathered together and held a crosswalk rally, carrying signs and balloons and made noise as they walked through every crosswalk in the downtown on a busy weekday morning. Ms. Johnson stated that their goal was to remind motorists that we are a walking community and to watch out for pedestrians. The initiatives were coupled with numerous pedestrian safety campaigns; the ‘Stop, Look, and Wait’ Campaign, the ‘Be Safe, Be Seen’ Campaign, and ‘Crosswalk Safety is a Two Way Street, Walk Safely, Drive Safely.’

Ms. Johnson stated that it was time to revise some of these initiatives, as there have been multiple pedestrian safety instances recently and she feels there will be more with the pending construction projects. She took it upon herself to purchase 100 ‘Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25’ lawn signs, and stated that if anyone was interested in purchasing one they can contact her and she will deliver them right to their door. Ms. Johnson stated that her information can be found in the same place as the Walktoberfest Walking Tour Signup, which is RidgewoodWalk.com. She added that she would like to organize another crosswalk rally, but it is a lot of work, so if the Council or anyone listening is interested in lending a hand to help the greater good, please drop her a note.

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that he has a feeling that there has never been a report on Schedler or a plan. There is no plan, and now people are scurrying around trying to put together a plan. He suggests to Mr. Rogers that when he leads a session afterwards to sit down with the Village Manager and the Deputy Mayor to find out what is going on, that he does not scurry around and make a plan at the last minute just to say they have one. Mr. Halaby offered to the Deputy Mayor that he would support the expenditure of $300,000 on Schedler be it for a gilded copper gutters or whatever else, because he knows it means to much to her. Having said that, a quid pro quo would be that the Deputy Mayor reverses her vote on the train station parking lot. He stated that it was a despicable, cowardly vote where they are killing a beautiful open park.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked for Mr. Halaby to clarify what he was saying.

Mr. Halaby stated that the train station decision was a terrible decision, but added that he thinks that what is happening with Schedler is even worse as there is no plan and the Village is beginning to spend money on this which is a terrible waste of time.

Louis Lembo, 721 Albert Place, stated that he didn’t know if the Village Council was aware of what was going on with the telephone system in the Village. He stated that he has been a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the phone calls go unanswered. He asked if anyone was looking into as to why phone calls were not getting through to The Stable.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked how long he felt this was going on for as she had called twice a few weeks ago and got through. Mr. Lembo stated that he had to go there, adding that this has been a problem for a while.

Ms. Mailander stated that there was an issue over the summer with the phones, however that has been corrected. Mr. Lembo stated that it was this week and last week. Ms. Mailander stated that she would look into it, because her understating was that it was fixed.

Joe Basralian, Farmstead Capital, 7 North Broad Street, stated that his company has ten Central Business District parkers, who were formerly at the Ken Smith lot and are now at the Walnut Street lot. He stated that they would come and go to meetings throughout the day, and would always get a spot at the Ken Smith lot, however, now when they come back from mid-morning and mid-afternoon meetings there aren’t any spots. He stated that their request is that some extra spots be allocated to CBD parkers, and if possible somewhere closer to Broad Street. Mr. Basralian stated that they are all very happy in Ridgewood, and are active contributors to the downtown economy.

Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that he was appreciative that there was an item on closed session for this evening to discuss the Board of Education elections. He added that he fully supports the Council’s decision that was made to move the election from November to April and he is appreciative that he will now, hopefully, have the opportunity to vote on the budget. Mr. Loving added that he was appreciative that the Council was going to be discussing perhaps legal action to be taken tonight to prevent the BOE from their plan to move the elections back to November. He stated that social media is very active with this topic, and he was surprised to find today that one of the members of the BOE has written a letter to one of the social media editors claiming that the date of the election is no longer an issue. However, that same person is also quoted in an article written by Ms. Grant saying that in fact the date is an issue. Mr. Loving stated that he hoped that the Council could get to the bottom of this and stop it.

  1. MANAGERS REPORT

Water Forums – Ms. Mailander stated that Ridgewood Water and the League of Women Voters are working together to bring the NJDEP Deputy Director Debbie Mans to a Water Forum on October 17th at 7:30 P.M. in the Ridgewood Library Auditorium. In addition, Ridgewood Water will be hosting a series Community Open Houses to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about Ridgewood Water and to educate them about PFAS. There will be professional staff and technical experts there to handle a variety of requests such as questions about water bills, and to ask verbal inquiries. Last night, October 2nd, was the first Open House at the Midland Park Fire House. There was a good amount of elected officials and approximately ten others who showed up. She added that it was a beneficial time for people to come in, and she encouraged anyone from any of the towns that Ridgewood Water serves to go to any of these Open Houses. The next one will be October 4th from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at the Wyckoff Public Library, then on October 11th at Ridgewood Village Hall, and October 15th at the Glen Rock Borough Hall.

 

Leaf Season – Ms. Mailander stated that the collection for leaf season begins on October 16th. Residents should be receiving a postcard by the beginning of next week. She reminded everyone that the schedule lists the placement dates, and then once those dates have passed the crews come through and pick up the leaves. After that street is done, a picture is taken, which is how they record that the street has been done. If anyone puts leaves out before the next set of placement dates, that is when summonses may be issued.

Zabriskie-Schedler House – Ms. Mailander stated that the nomination of the Zabriskie-Schedler House to be listed in the State Register for Historic Places has been reviewed and will be on SHPO’s agenda for approval in March 2019, which only meets three times a year to review nominations.

Ms. Mailander stated that in response to the questions that were posed, and the Mayor’s request, she would go over the total cost for the improvement, restoration, and rehabilitation. In 2016, Phase 1 was roof stabilization and planning documents, for a total of $233,450 which is split half and half between the Village of Ridgewood and the Bergen County Historic Preservation Grant, which is $116,725 each. In 2017 it was Phase 2A, which is the exterior stabilization and the interior rehabilitation which includes all the operating systems for a total of $400,000 which is split $200,000 from the Bergen County Grant and $200,000 from the Village of Ridgewood. Both of those grants have been approved and are in the process of being used.

Ms. Mailander stated that the 2018 Phase 2B is a continuation of the interior rehabilitation for $131,350 which is $75,650 for the Bergen County Grant and $75,700 for the Village of Ridgewood. This is a pending grant and the Freeholders will probably approve it sometime next year. The total is $784,800, which is $392,375 for the Bergen County Grant and $392,425 for the Village of Ridgewood. There is additional partially due because in the plaster there was asbestos, and in addition there may be some additional items.

Ms. Mailander stated that the historic significance of the Zabriskie-Schedler House, according to the State Historic Preservation Office, the House is eligible for listing in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places as an example of a third period Dutch framed house. The Jersey Dutch house can be identified because they exhibit a preponderance of the following characteristics: construction date of 1752 to 1840, with the Zabriskie-Schedler House being built in 1825; built by the Dutch Cultural Group; adherence to the Dutch framing tradition; a gamble roof; a main block; gable roofs on wings; native sandstone as wall or foundation materials; wide exposure clapboard rather than shingle cladding; oak timbers for heavy members; poplar for lighter members; south facing interior gable; fireplaces are the norm; and interior woodwork that follows period trends.

Ms. Mailander stated that the third period is further characterized by the symmetry, plaster ceilings, shallow gamble roof, and high brick frames. She added that the Zabriskie-Schedler House survives as one of the few remaining 19th century frame homes in its immediate setting on a somewhat large property in what is basically a developed suburb. It was originally owned by the farmer John A.L. Zabriskie.

Ms. Mailander stated that the Zabriskie-Schedler House will be a Village-owned facility much like the Gatehouse or The Stable. The proposed uses include but are not limited to: on the first floor small meeting or lecture space for local community groups, possibly a rental space for a small wedding, baby shower, bridal shower, or luncheon for approximately thirty people or less. It is envisioned that the first floor will have period-type furnishings in order to remain functional yet accommodate small groups of thirty or less. The kitchen will be used as a catering kitchen and not a preparation kitchen. She added that the proposed use for the second floor will be preparation spaces and meeting rooms for local committees and sports groups so that materials are organized in one place and are available to all members when preparing community activities. It would not require significant upgrades to the second floor other than adequate heat, electrical, lighting, and locks on the doors.

Ms. Mailander stated that this building will be under the Department of Recreation, who will be responsible for staffing, security, maintenance, and supervision. There may be an office space for members of the Recreation Department as is done at the Gatehouse. The maximum capacity will be forty-nine people and there will need to be one men’s and one ladies’ room constructed.

Ms. Mailander stated that the estimated maintenance costs are being based on The Lester Stable, which was approximately $15,346 in 2017 for utilities and phone, and approximately $25,000 for Village custodial services. That is a total of $40,346. There will be other maintenance costs, as with any home, such as lawn care which would be provided by the Village Parks Department, and over time, there will be repair and replacement of various items over the years.

Ridgewood Events – Ms. Mailander stated that the annual Chamber of Commerce “Blowout” Sale Days runs October 4th, 5th and 6th. She encouraged everyone to come shop and dine in Ridgewood. She added that tomorrow is Ladies Night Out from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., and they can check in at Shoe-Inn on East Ridgewood Avenue, or Olive R Twist to get a map that shows the participating locations.

Columbus Day – Ms. Mailander stated that October 8th the Village Office’s will be closed in observance of Columbus Day. There will be no sanitation or recycling collection. The Recycling Center will be open this coming Saturday, October 6th.

Register to Vote – Ms. Mailander reminded everyone who moved recently to Ridgewood that the deadline to register to vote in the General Election is October 16th for the November 6th General Election.

Ms. Mailander stated that for anyone who has requested mail-in ballots, if you have received them you may vote with those right now and will receive an addendum with just the Sheriff on it. For anyone who requested mail-in ballots after September 26th, they are going to hold them about a week so that by October 22nd, everyone should have the full, complete mail-in ballot.

  1. COUNCIL REPORTS

 

Water Forums Councilman Sedon stated that he attended the Ridgewood Water Forum in Midland Park yesterday and it was really a lot of good work and coordination, and he commended the employees and everyone for putting it together. He added that there were two hours to walk around and people were encouraged to go and ask whatever questions they have.

Access Ridgewood 2018Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Village of Ridgewood and the Ridgewood Public Library presents ‘Access Ridgewood 2018.’ This is the Ridgewood Community Access Network embracing our communities’ special gifts and special needs. Friday, October 12th, Saturday October 13th, and Sunday, October 14th. On the agenda they have school programs for all Village schools. Elementary, middle and high school teachers will be offering films and discussions all day on October 12th. They have a Senior Program on Aging Smartly: Planning Do’s and Don’ts as You’re Aging in Place at 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. in the Community Center. Family Fun with Marcia Matthews and Jester Jim, Saturday, October 13th, Marlene Pillow in concert from 10:30 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. There will be a Community Fair in the Village Hall Courtyard from noon to 1:00 P.M., live music and dance from 1:00 P.M. to 1:30 P.M., and the fashion show where the special needs community really rallies, followed by food and music in the courtyard. Then, from 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. the Ridgewood Soccer Association’s special players and RHS girls’ soccer competing against the Ridgewood Police and Fire Departments.

Councilwoman Knudsen added that on Sunday, October 14th, there is an Interfaith Fair and Dinner at Friends to Friends Community Church at 303 Prospect Street. Following the fair and dinner is the interfaith service from 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Master Plan Advisory Committee – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Master Plan Advisory Committee met last evening with NV5 to discuss the current website, upgrades as they move forward into the big kickoff. They will be distributing mailers, flyers, and other materials through all community events throughout the Village over the next couple of months. They will be upgrading the website to include a downloadable ‘Meeting in a Box’ for facilitators who will sign up and assist throughout the visioning process. They have a tentative date for a volunteer meeting, and are also preparing a list of organizations and groups throughout the Village that will be able to disseminate this information. This will provide them with a good cross section of residents and stakeholders so that the final product will really represent what the community desires for the final Master Plan.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that they were asking the Village Council to share information with the Boards and Committees that they are liaisons to so that they are actively engaged in this process. Also, they will have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram presence. They are hoping to get a 30% participation rate with their public outreach. She added that the materials produced by NV5 for promotion were index cards, business cards, mailers, posters, and lawn signs, and were done in the colors of maroon and white which are actually the school colors rather than the Village colors. She posed the question to her Council colleagues as to whether or not the materials that are produced for promotional and public engagement should be maroon and white or adhere to the Village colors of blue, gold and white.

Good Life Ridgewood – Mayor Hache stated that this past weekend, Good Life Ridgewood brought together residents, businesses and professionals in town to show what the Village has to offer. He added that it was a wonderful event, that it was self-funded, and all funds received go towards funding capital projects to promote healthy living in the Village. He commended the Good Life Ridgewood planning committee: Janna Diorio, Gwenn Hauck, Nancy Bigos, Jeanne Placier, Michael Pickholz, Shelley Cohen Frank, Dawn Cetrulo, and Lindita Limani for all of their hard work.

Gold Star Mothers Mayor Hache stated that the 8th Annual Gold Star Mothers Ceremony was also this past Saturday and hosted by the American Legion. It is one of his favorite events because of its simplicity as the luminaries in the park are beautiful. This year marked 100 years from the date the tradition of the gold star representing a service member who died in service began, even though it was formally adopted in 1928. He extended special thanks to Commander Bob Paoli with American Legion Post 53 as the emcee for the evening, as well as Maria Bombace who is a resident and the person we owe for bringing this wonderful event to our community. He added that it was well-attended by the Village Council and the Village Manager as well as a number of elected officials who came in to join as well as a few troops of boy scouts.

Ridgecrest Garden’s of Hope – Mayor Hache stated that Ridgecrest Garden’s of Hope will be this Saturday, October 6th at Christ Church from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Admission is $5 per person which includes rock painting, mini pumpkin decorating, craft fair, and so much more. He had the privilege of visiting Ridgecrest and he encouraged everyone to come out and support the community.

Interfaith Monthly Meeting Mayor Hache stated that yesterday he attended his first interfaith monthly meeting, hosted at Temple Israel. He thanked Rabbi Fein for hosting. He was grateful that everyone was so welcoming, adding that a lot of good ideas were being exchanged and it was nice to have everyone at the table.

Grosso Family Fundraiser Mayor Hache stated that less than two months ago the Ridgewood community lost one of its beloved members, Jim Grosso, who died on August 10th following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Park West is now putting together a fundraiser for the Grosso family, with 100% of proceeds being donated to the family. The event will take place on Thursday, October 18th from 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. and it will be at Park West Tavern and Park West Loft. Both venues will be closed to the public to maximize funds raised, and only ticket holders will be able to attend. The cost is $80 for adults and $60 for anyone under the age of 21. Due to the anticipated demand, tickets will be sold in advance, and can be reserved by calling Park West directly.

Ms. Mailander added that regarding the fatality that occurred recently in Ridgewood, with a pedestrian being killed by a motor vehicle, she wanted to thank the Police Department Detective Bureau for the long, hard hours that they put in to try to find the suspect. She also thanked the Traffic and Signal Division for sitting with the Police Department to review the tapes to try to find the vehicle. She added that she was appreciative for the time spent trying to find the suspect.

  1. DISCUSSION
  1. Ridgewood Water

 

  1. Award Change Order #1 – Granular Activated Carbon Treatment System

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this change order is for the design and construction administration of the granular activated carbon treatment system at the Carr Treatment Facility. This contract was initially awarded in June of 2017 for $303,400. At this time an additional $41,030 is required, which includes: clean out of solidified carbon and evaluation of same; architectural changes and associated work for Village Planning Board meeting and review; design clarifications on sewer capacity and addition of raw water pipeline; costs for rebid and document printing; and evaluation of design for the provision of resin instead of GAC, in the future. It will be awarded to the original vendor which is Arcadis U.S. Inc, located in Fair Lawn. The funding is in the Ridgewood Water Capital Improvement Budget.

Councilman Voigt asked whether the overage was part of the original quote or if it was something that Ridgewood Water asked for additionally. Ms. Mailander stated that it was additional and outside the scope of the original work, and was required once they got in there.

Councilman Sedon stated that the Director of the Water Department came up with the thought that they could reactivate the Twinney Pond and put a resin in the cylinders that are already there but that happened after the contract was already awarded. Ms. Mailander agreed that thought was after the fact and thus it was added on.

 

  1. Award State Contract – Safety Lighting for New Ford F350

 

Ms. Mailander stated that in March the Village Council awarded to buy a Ford F350 for the Water Department. At this time, an additional $9,425.61 is required for the purchase of safety lighting for the vehicle which was not anticipated at the time. This includes lights so that the vehicle can be seen in all types of weather or times of day.

Mayor Hache stated that when the truck was ordered, he assumes they knew what they needed the truck for but it says that the lighting wasn’t anticipated even though all Village vehicles must have appropriate lighting for safety purposes. Ms. Mailander stated that she would have Mr. Calbi explain it. Mr. Calbi stated that the item was missed and should have been included in the original quote, so now they are asking for the lighting to be included as part of that package. Mayor Hache questioned the cost of the vehicle. Mr. Calbi stated that it was $40,000.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked if ordering the lighting afterwards effected the cost of the lighting package. Mr. Calbi stated that not that he knew of, as it was a State Contract Purchase and in some cases they try to do the lighting purchase in house but this is a prefabricated body so it makes sense to do the lighting in the shop instead of bringing it to the Village and then having to cut into the body.

Mayor Hache asked if that was usual that 25% of the cost went into lighting. Mr. Calbi stated that he wasn’t sure but he could look into, but that this was service lighting so that when they work at night they could provide lighting on the scene as this is the on-call truck and the first that arrives on the scene to turn off a hydrant valve.

Councilman Voigt asked what Ridgewood Water have a quality control so that when they look at something like this before it goes out. He asked if they could put together a quality control system so that they don’t have to keep coming back asking for more. Mr. Calbi stated that he thought this was unique from any other one and that the lighting should have been included, but stated that perhaps they could create a checklist when they order a vehicle, but every vehicle is unique and in some cases they do the lighting in house.

  1. Parking

 

  1. Cottage Place Flex Parking Spaces

 

Ms. Mailander stated that last week there was the suggestion of adding 16 more parking spaces to the Cottage Place parking lot for CBD employees, however, there was the concern it was possible that if it was allocated to just CBD employees perhaps it would be empty and shoppers and diners would be finding spots they couldn’t use. Councilwoman Knudsen recommended these be flexible spots that can be CBD employee or shopper/diner spots which would be on a first come first serve basis throughout the day. Mr. Rutishauser created the ordinance and indicated that a flex parking spot is either CBD employee or a shopper/diner on a first come first serve basis throughout the day.

Councilman Sedon asked how the spots were going to be identified. Ms. Mailander stated that it would be the same way that CBD spots are now, with two signs at either end of the 16 spaces that say CBD employees or shoppers/diners.

 

  1. 2019 Parking Permits

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village Council needs to introduce an ordinance next week so that it can be adopted in November and be effective before the end of the year. Currently, the Ridgewood premium parking permit is for the train station, Hudson, Prospect, the Park and Ride, all lots. Then when the Hudson Street does close down, whatever the alternative lot is, that permit will also be good in that lot. This is for Ridgewood residents only and has a maximum of 210 and is first come, first serve. Currently it is $1,000 and the recommendation is $1,300.

Ms. Mailander stated that the Ridgewood parking permit for Ridgewood residents only for Chestnut, Walnut, Cottage Place, and the Park and Ride. This is $700 currently, and they are recommending $975.

The Ridgewood resident sticker is free and anyone who purchases the Ridgewood parking permit must have a sticker. These will continue as free.

Ms. Mailander stated that a non-resident permit for the Park and Ride is currently $750, which would go up to $975. A non-resident parking permit for Cottage Place is currently at $1,500 and they are recommending $1,950.

The CBD employee hang-tags at Walnut and Cottage Place for spaces marked for CBD employees is currently $80 per month or $40 after the 15th of the month. They are recommending $100 per month and $50 after the 15th of the month.

Ms. Mailander stated that the CBD employee stickers are required for anyone who wishes to park in the CBD spots are currently $20 and they are recommending $25.

This is a 30% increase, and the cost to pay with coins every day at seventy-five cents an hour for 260 days a year would actually be $2,730. The hangtag is about half the price. Six days a week, which is 312 days a year, would be $3,042.

Mayor Hache stated that if you assume someone gets the premium parking and parks for 14 hours a day it is the equivalent of about thirty-five cents an hour, and extending to Saturday privileges it ends up twenty-nine cents an hour.

Councilman Voigt stated that he was in favor of increasing the parking at the train station to $1,500 as a suggestion. They sold out of these in February, so there is high demand for these spots. He added that increasing these rates, he asked what the revenue realized would be. Mayor Hache stated that going to $1,500 is forty-one cents an hour.

Mr. Rooney stated that the projection with the increase in rates and the revenue generated from increasing the hours is roughly $1.9 million for 2019 combined, including coins, and parking permits. Just figuring parking permits, for the premium is $273,000 and the non-premium is about $157,000.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that since they are adding so many spaces to the parking lot, should they be adding to the 210. Ms. Mailander stated that they could, she just didn’t know how quickly they could get the lot configured and done, as it may not be until the Spring. Councilwoman Walsh added that they could still use Parkmobile to park there for those that don’t want to buy the annual pass.

Mayor Hache stated that they should also consider some of the new spaces being added as parking for shoppers and diners on the west side of the track as they have no parking there. Councilman Sedon stated that they could probably sell the premium passes for half of the year, as in the Spring they could have some additional passes printed up and sold if people are so inclined. Mr. Rooney stated that they pro-rate the cost based on when the permit is purchased.

Councilman Voigt questioned the revenue amount for 2019, which Mr. Rooney clarified for him.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the increase percentage-wise is consistent with the increase in the hourly rate and asked if that was how it was formulated. Mr. Rooney agreed and compared it to what the hourly savings would be and it was a good deal. Mayor Hache asked what the net incremental revenue was for 2019. Mr. Rooney stated that it was about $550,000.

Councilman Sedon stated that he was in favor of going with the recommendation, as he didn’t know if he was in favor of jumping the cost another 50% after they just did it a year ago. Councilwoman Knudsen asked if there was a big demand for non-resident. Ms. Mailander stated that there wasn’t one for Cottage Place, but there was for the Park and Ride.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked why they wouldn’t do some non-resident parking permits into the train station, Hudson Street, and the garage to take non residents and put a group into the train station or the garage because they could actually add a premium to that because those people would be interested in paying. She stated that if they could do the $1,300 and take some of the non-resident parking permits and put them into the garage or Hudson Street they could have that as a higher premium. Ms. Mailander stated that they would have to reduce the number of premium permits that are sold from the 210. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that to Councilwoman Walsh’s point, if they were going to at some point increase the 2019 number, if they allocate a certain number of those to non-residents at a higher rate to make up the difference on the $200 that Councilman Voigt wants to increase without impacting Ridgewood residents.

Councilman Sedon agreed with Councilwoman Knudsen but felt that they should hold off until they have the parking garage because it seems like they have a demand from Ridgewood residents to fill up the train station and he wouldn’t like to take away spaces from residents to put non-residents there. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was projecting into the future. Mayor Hache agreed with Councilman Sedon and he was willing to forgo a little more revenue to provide more parking for residents.

Councilman Sedon suggested that perhaps the parking permit numbers were meeting demand because they were selling out in February as opposed to January 1st. Ms. Mailander stated that there were more people looking for the parking permits, especially people who move to the Village over the summer and want to park at the train station. Councilman Sedon stated that in that case he was definitely in favor of keeping the 210 permits for Ridgewood residents.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that they could also sell the non-resident permit giving them the ability to park at the train station but they would have to pay the hourly rate. Councilman Sedon stated that they would then have to adjust the number of hangtags that they sell. Councilwoman Walsh stated that they would limit the number to ten or twenty. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that why don’t they keep it as a placeholder for the future, but the question would be $1,300 or $1,500. Ms. Mailander stated that as they get to the reconfiguration of the train station they could review an ordinance to perhaps have those spots allocated differently. She added, however, that in the time she has been in the Village those spots have only ever been for residents at the train station.

Ms. Mailander questioned whether the Village Council was fine with the amounts. There was an agreement among the Council.

 

  1. Budget

 

  1. Professional Services Contract – Grant Writer

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village Council authorized hiring Millennium Strategies as a grant writer for the Village of Ridgewood, at an annual cost of $36,000 for the year. The contract will expire on October 31, 2018, and it has a one-year renewal option at the same price. The Council was provided with an annual report that outlines the grant awarded; grant applications in process; grant applications submitted and pending review; grant applications submitted, with funding not awarded; and other grant opportunities recommended. She added that the Village is unique in that they prepare their own grants for the NJDOT paving grants for the Community Development Block grants, Open Space grants, and the Police Department Campaign grants. The Village currently has grants pending approval in the amount of $359,656, and other grant applications which are in process.

Ms. Mailander stated that although the number of grants awarded has been small, what must be remembered is that the Village would not have been able to apply for the additional ten grants that were applied for through Millennium Strategies. One of the biggest was the US DOJ School Violence Prevention Program, which unfortunately the Village did not receive an award for.   There were several others that were submitted in excess of $1 million which the Village did not receive.

Ms. Mailander stated that she would recommend continuing with Millennium Strategies, adding that she asked them for a lower cost since the Village already prepares a number of the grants that they usually prepare for other municipalities. They will get back to her sometime next week. There is a Special Public Meeting on October 24th, and they can vote on this then. She was hopeful that they would reduce their cost.

Mayor Hache asked if Millennium Strategies was able to get the Village $3,855 in awards as it stated in the provided documentation. Ms. Mailander stated that the Village currently has some grants pending which is another $24,100 and grant applications in process with one up to $1 million and another that varies. Councilman Voigt asked whether they could find out why they didn’t get the ones that Millennium Strategies applied for as it would be helpful to understand. Ms. Mailander stated that they indicated that they would reach out to the USDOJ grant to see how they could improve the grant application in future years, however, they were under the impression that it would be going to the State and big cities. She stated that everyone that the they apply for they try to determine how to improve their application in the future. Councilman Voigt stated that it would be helpful to know the reasons why the five that the Village didn’t receive weren’t awarded. Councilman Sedon stated that he had a similar request especially regarding the Sustainable Jersey grants.

Mayor Hache added that it would be helpful to understand from Millennium Strategies, other than the physical work of writing the grant, to advise the Village as to how grant-worthy they are. Ms. Mailander stated that they provide the Village with various grants, and some of them the Village doesn’t apply for for various reasons. She reiterated that the Village knows the grants that they apply for, and the grants that Millennium brings include grants coming from alternative sources that the Village is not at all aware of.

Councilman Voigt asked whether Millennium Strategies was going to apply for the other grant opportunities recommended that they listed. Ms. Mailander stated that those were the ones that they provided to her which she disseminated to the Department Head or Committee and then they decide if it is worthwhile or not.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked based on the total number of grants that Millennium Strategies brought forward, how many the Village actually applied for. Ms. Mailander stated that they were the ones on the first two pages that were provided. She added that she wanted to see what amount they came forward with for the next contract and she would let the Council know. She reiterated that there were a number of grants that the Village would not have applied for or known about without Millennium’s assistance.

 

  1. 2017 Audit and Corrective Action Plan

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village Council has received the 2017 audit and Mr. Rooney has crafted the corrective action plan. As a reminder, all Council will be required to sign an affidavit that as a minimum, they have read the General Comments and Recommendations sections of the audit.

Bob Rooney, Village Chief Financial Officer, stated that as required by State law the Village is required to have an annual audit by a registered municipal accountant. Bud Jones, who represents Mr. Bosch will make a brief presentation.

Mr. Jones stated that he previously met with the administration and talked about the audit draft before finalizing the report. He cited the locations of the financial statements in the final report provided to the Village Council. There was an increase in the fund balance for the current utility fund of about $165,000, and a planned decrease in the fund balance for utility operating fund of about $2.3 million. The statutory debt condition of the Village shows a statutory net debt of under $50 million with a borrowing capacity in total of about $226 million, and a remaining borrowing power of $176 million. Currently the Village is using roughly 20% of its borrowing capacity.

Mr. Jones stated that the tax collection percentage over the last three years shows an increase from 2016 to 2017, which was an excellent tax collection percentage. Lastly, the summary of recommendations are on the last page and lower in severity than they have been previously.

Councilman Sedon stated that he made the same observation that the recommendations are less intense and involved than in the past. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was looking forward to the recommendations page being blank next year.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that she was noticing in the recommendations that perhaps they need to be more timely in the Departments as there are a number of comments that things are coming in the mail or being held, probably due to activity within the offices, but that seems to be the recommendation in a couple different instances. She added that on the first page of the recommendations, did it mean that the tax appeals are coming in or was it the amount paid back. Mr. Jones stated that was updating the general entry balances from what appeals occurred during 2017. Councilwoman Walsh stated that it sounded like they were being rolled over and then paid retroactively. Mr. Jones stated that part of that is eliminating some of the older items and also updating the current records for the appeals that occurred. Mr. Rooney stated that in this case specifically, when Mr. Jones comes in and does the audit, if they have any audit adjustments they give it to him and then it is posted to the ledger, from the 2016 audits they were given the adjustments, those were posted, and didn’t get reflected into the details. As a result when they got to the end of the year to do the reconciliation for prepaid taxes the Village was off from this number and it went back, but it has been taken care of and it’s a timing thing.

Councilman Voigt stated that in looking at some of the findings it appears that some of the record keeping is not up to snuff. Mr. Rooney stated that it can happen sometimes, but for the most part they get it done. Councilman Voigt asked about the borrowing capacity of the Village. Mr. Jones stated that the legal borrowing capacity is $226 million, but the self-liquidating utilities does not count against the Village’s debt borrowing capacity. Councilman Voigt asked how Mr. Jones got that number for the borrowing capacity. Mr. Jones stated that there was a formula that the State puts out, and that was the calculation. Councilman Voigt asked if historically the amount has been 20% that the Village borrows. Mr. Jones stated that it has.

Councilman Voigt asked how the Village would benchmark against other similar municipalities as it relates to borrowing and its capacity to borrow. Mr. Rooney stated that over the last ten years the Village probably has a better rate than other municipalities, but you cant look at it year to year as it depends on the circumstances. Councilman Voigt questioned that if the Village started to borrow more would the AAA rating remain. Mr. Jones stated that it would depend on a number of factors as the AAA rating is based upon the ability to prepay, the debt burden of residents, the governing body managing of the entity and the wealth of the community. There are a number of factors, but debt capacity and ability to pay it back is part of that. Councilman Voigt asked if the Village could or should borrow more. Mr. Rooney stated that it was up to the Council, and they did put a debt management plan in place to give guidelines as to what the Village should and shouldn’t do.

Mayor Hache stated that if he tries to equate debt usage, at which levels in terms of percentages, does that start to impact from an upper to a lower tier in terms of indebtedness. Mr. Jones stated that it was only one of the factors, including formal factors, and he thinks it probably wouldn’t be only one factor that would reduce the rating. The ability to repay is big as they look at the burden, but it is not only the Village, but the school district, the County, and the overlapping debt that they look at in relation to residents as well. Mr. Jones added that he wouldn’t peg a percentage to a decrease in the rating. Mayor Hache stated that in theory the Village could hold out borrowing flat or even lower, but the school system could be bonding for a significant amount of money and that would have a significant impact on the ratings. Mr. Rooney stated that not on the Village necessarily, but when they look at the school district.

Councilman Voigt stated that it sounds like the Village has the capacity to borrow more if it needs to, and asked what they thought the borrowing capacity is that is still comfortable for the Village to be able to handle. Mr. Rooney stated that he used the debt management guidelines of 2%, and if it goes over that they need to have conversations about those capital purchases or bonding and it depends on the circumstances. If there is significant surplus built up every year and it shows more of an ability to pay down debt, or refunding issues which the Village can’t do much of any more, that shows capacity to reissue at lower interest rates. Mr. Rooney stated that at the conference last week, the bond companies are coming up with different scenarios as to how to go back to refunding issues to see if they qualify with the Federal law, so there will be other types of funding that will be available that will minimize any impact that it has on the Village.

 

  1. Award State Contract – Purchase of Ammunition – Police Department

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this purchase is required for the Police Department mandatory training and duty use, which is purchased under State Contract.

 

  1. Bond Ordinance – Renovation and Restoration of Zabriskie-Schedler House

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village Council will need to introduce a bond ordinance next week for $200,000 for the Zabriskie-Schedler Phase 2A which was put in the capital budget. The Village has to bond for $400,000 because that is what it gets reimbursed. There was an error made, so now the Village is going to bond the additional $200,000 plus Phase 2B, so that the funds are available.

  1. Policy

 

  1. Rate Increase for Recreation Fees

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the rates have not been increased in four years. Right now the proposal is for the Day Camp fee from $550 to $600. They did at one point allow non-residents and there weren’t many, however, they could offer it at $850 for the season, and a late fee after June 10th of $50 because they have a lot of people signing up very late in the season and then they are trying to process it in time for them to start camp which would encourage people to register by June 10th.

Ms. Mailander stated that the current fees for adult residents is $120 at Graydon Pool and the proposal is to go to $130. For children, it is $110 and the recommendation is to go to $120. The early bird discount is a 10% discount, so it would be $117 for adults and $108 for children. This would be for 2019 and 2020. For senior residents there would be no change, or for disabled patrons. The non-resident adult would increase $20 from $200 to $220. Non-resident child would increase from $175 to $195. Residents guest pass would go from $10 to $15, and a non-resident guest pass would be $20. The reason for this increase is that they have found that people tend to join, and then just buy day passes and so they are not getting full membership fees from people.

Ms. Mailander stated that for the late season fees they are recommending a $5 increase from $60 to $65 for adults and from $55 to $60 for children from August 1 to Labor Day.

Ms. Mailander stated that there was a $5 increase for tennis badges, for adults from $35 to $40, and for children from $30 to $35. Guest passes will remain at $5, senior residents 62 and over are free, and non-resident adults $45 to $50, and non-resident children from $40 to $45.

Ms. Mailander stated that regarding the Day Camp fees, it is the best deal in town as it is a great program and is very cheap for a six week program which includes arts and crafts and swimming. For the resident memberships for Graydon Pool, the Council was fine with the increase. Councilwoman Knudsen asked whether the Village Council could see a spreadsheet on the number of residents that registered early bird, to put it in perspective as she would imagine that based on how many signed up August 1 through Labor Day they may have a different view of that price versus the regular price.

Nancy Bigos, Director of Parks and Recreation, stated that there were twenty adults and twenty children who paid for the late registration, whereas the year before there were eight adults and eleven children. Councilwoman Knudsen asked how many residents took advantage of the early discount. Ms. Bigos stated that early discount was something that she would have to get back to the Council about. Ms. Mailander stated that they would like to introduce this, however, they can wait until November as there was no rush. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she wanted to see the numbers surrounding memberships and whether the rates were appropriate for the late season versus the regular season pass.

Ms. Bigos stated that there were 615 adult memberships and 983 children. In 2017 there were 686 adult memberships and 1,058 child memberships. The senior citizen and disabled group stayed flat. The non-residents was 159, and last year was 152. There were 71 non-resident child passes, whereas last year they sold 67. There were 440 children in the summer Day Camp this year, and the previous year there were 455 children.

Ms. Bigos stated that this year they sold 88 tennis badges for adults and 98 for children. Last year there were 102 for adults and 77 for children. Ms. Mailander stated that they would get the additional information and then bring it back on October 24th.

Mayor Hache stated that since they were seeing a drop-off across the board, raising the fees wasn’t going to get people excited to go and join and they should think of ways to get more people to sign up. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she imagined that they want increased participation because that adds more excitement and she was concerned similarly about the reason for the drop off and if increasing the rates would cause further drop off as less people might just be a wash.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that some of the drop offs are also cyclical to the grades in her opinion, as some kids age out and then the next class is just a smaller class. Ms. Bigos stated that she agrees with Councilwoman Walsh as there are many variables that go into is, especially the weather. With a very wet spring, there were 50 inclement weather days out of the 94 days.

Mayor Hache stated that there may be a lag and maybe they’ll see the benefit next year, as he got so many emails regarding the water quality this year. Hopefully, that will increase excitement for next year.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that relative to the grade and the drop off, wouldn’t they see that in the day camp registrations in theory. Ms. Bigos stated that with summer Day Camp, they are seeing that the community is seeing a great deal of competition as private nursery schools are holding full day Day Camp. So are some churches and the program at the Board of Education, which wasn’t that case many years ago. They have more competition and children are looking for a full day opportunity whereas our program runs to 1:30 P.M. Some people require indoor and a permanent setting, whereas she appreciates the outdoor component. Mayor Hache stated that they should look at the prices for those programs and the competitiveness. Ms. Bigos stated that it depends on what you are looking for for the child.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that they could do an early bird on the camp registration as well.

Councilman Voigt asked how long ago they began the non-resident program at the pool. Ms. Bigos stated that it has been about twenty years, as they started off with the neighbors that did not have aquatic facilities such as Midland Park and Ho-Ho-Kus. Councilman Voigt asked how the Village markets to those municipalities that don’t have a facility. Ms. Bigos stated that many of the Village residents are in cement bottom pools elsewhere, and almost 200 people are choosing Graydon Pool over any other facility in the neighborhood. Councilman Voigt asked if they could find out where most of the non-residents are coming from. Ms. Bigos stated that she would go through and get that information.

 

  1. Tree Ordinance

 

Ms. Mailander stated that in 2017 the Village Council adopted Ordinance 3599 which is the law, and then Ordinance 3605 attempted to amend that but it was defeated. In looking at the code book, Mr. Rutishauser found that what is in the code book, and what was adopted, listed the tree species that had to be used, requires a permit, and the requirement for replacement of a tree on private property. Mr. Rutishauser has created an ordinance which removes the requirement for a permit or to replace a removed tree. Ms. Mailander stated that her recommendation is to get this adopted so that it follows what the Village practice is.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she agreed with the changes. Councilman Sedon stated that it gives the arborist the authority to say whether a tree in the right of way can be cut down during the sidewalk replacement project as well.

                                                                                                       

  1. Operations

 

  1. Preparation of Flood Plan for Ridgewood

 

Ms. Mailander stated that she, Mayor Hache, and Chris Rutishauser met with The Land Conservancy of New Jersey Vice President, Barbara Heskins Davis, as well as Evan Sherval from Bergen County Open Space. It has been shown that Ridgewood is in the top tier flood plains in Bergen County along with places like Hackensack, Hillsdale and Westwood. There have been 103 claims, with nearly $2.5 million in property damage from storms in Ridgewood. The Bergen County Division of Open Space will fund the entire cost of completing a flood plan for Ridgewood through the Land Conservancy of New Jersey. They work with Rutgers University for the conceptual design and what the land will be used for. This is for homes that have repeated insurance claims due to flooding and allows the purchase of the property through Bergen County Open Space funding.

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village would apply for that because this is an actual program to purchase and then demolish the homes and make it into open space. Some of this open space that is created may be adjacent to park space. This delineates those properties that have the highest claims and then indicates a plan to move forward. It is all voluntary where there are two green acres appraisers to determine the value of the property. If the Village Council approved moving forward with this, it becomes a Shared Services Agreement with Bergen County who then moves forward with the flood plan. Once completed the Council adopts the flood plan and then there will be a conservation easement put onto the purchased properties which will say there will be no buildings or hard services and it brings back nature.

Mayor Hache stated that those properties would come off the tax roll, so there would be a loss in their tax revenues and one where they have had communities where the homeowners have used this plan, because of the repeated flooding of these properties the marketability had decreased significantly. One of his concerns was the anticipated increase of flood insurance costs which would create a hardship for the owners.

Councilman Voigt asked if there were a lot of homes that were in flood plains. Ms. Mailander stated that there were. Councilman Voigt asked if a home is on a flood plain do they tell the resident that they can’t build anymore on their property. Ms. Mailander stated that this was to purchase the homes, by identifying those homes that have had repeated losses through flooding. Rutgers University is to help the municipality come up with a conceptual plan of what might be created after these homes are purchased.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that for clarification there would be a deed on conservation applied to a property. Ms. Mailander stated that it would be attached after purchase by the Village through County funding. Her concern was how many properties the Village has that fall into that category, as many times those become entry level homes into the Village. The offset of those homes is sometimes due to the cost of flood insurance, and if people were to take advantage of that they further deplete their entry level starter homes and lower priced homes. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that herself and Councilman Voigt have seen a lot of depletion of the value of those homes on the Board of Adjustment. Mr. Rogers stated that it wasn’t an eminent domain action, but it was a home that had repeated flooding it was an opportunity. Ms. Mailander added that it was not an obligation for them to sell or for the Village to go after it. The plan itself is free, and certainly there are homes that have repeated losses through flooding. There are currently eight towns which have plans, and Oakland is in the process of purchasing their ninth home. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was concerned about the lost revenue.

Councilman Voigt stated that he thought it was a good idea, it was just a matter of what to do after the plan is created. Mayor Hache stated that if they look at what the plan could potentially be, it would be a good exercise. Councilwoman Knudsen asked whether the properties on the map in to 100-year flood plain were subject to this. Mayor Hache stated that it wouldn’t be all, but just the ones with repeated claims. Mr. Rogers stated that there are records available from the government. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she needed to study the whole thing as it looks like there is a lot of area that could be effected. Councilman Sedon clarified that there was no commitment, but if the homeowners come to the Village and say that they have repeated claims and can’t sell it because of the cost of insurance, and taxes, and are in that group and would like the Village to consider purchasing it. He added that if it was a young family who wanted to buy a starter home but if the cost of flood insurance goes up two or three times the current costs people might not want to buy it.

Mayor Hache stated that if it was flood insurance, it is only homes that have financing. Mr. Rogers stated that it was the flood map that would determine if it was part of the property or the actual building that would be in the flood plain. Councilman Sedon stated that someone who flooding in the corner of their yard, the option to sell wouldn’t be available to them. Mr. Rogers stated that the plan is to design the criteria. Ms. Mailander stated that it doesn’t obligate the Village to do anything, but reiterated that it was just a plan. Councilwoman Walsh stated that this was similar to Blue Acres, this was just identifying the properties in Ridgewood. She asked if the Blue Acres program was defunct. Ms. Mailander stated that it still existed but it was a State program.

 

  1. Installation of Stop Signs – Fairfield Avenue

 

Mr. Rutishauser stated that the ordinance is to create Fairfield Avenue as a through street which is through Chapter 265 which designates principal streets and also on a side street if a condition warrants the need for a traffic control device a separate ordinance does not need to be adopted by the Council. He stated that on Fairfield Avenue the current intersection that has stop signs is the cross intersection of Ponfield Place. He added that while he was checking for the rendering that was provided, he did it when school was letting out. Fairfield Avenue has sidewalks on both sides and there are a lot of children that are walking up and down that street. They would work with the Police Department to see anywhere that they recommend any additional traffic control devices.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked whether this ordinance would allow the Engineering Department to go out and place signs at other intersections. Mr. Rutishauser stated that they were not going to run out and put stop signs everywhere, but that this gives them the ability that if they start to see a heavy walking pattern that it would be better for a large movement of children to have a stop sign installed. They would be able to install it without having to come to the Council for an ordinance.

 

  1. Leaf Collection

 

Ms. Mailander stated that leaf collection begins October 16th. Area A, B, C and D which are the yard waste areas, and then Area D has additional load as they have in the past. The Village has a contractor for one area, as it has in the past. She stressed that at any time residents may bring their leaves to the recycling center from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, they may also be placed in paper biodegradable bags which are available at the Recycling Center first come first served. Make sure they are placed on the curb itself and not in the street and do not place leaves in the street until the active leaf placement dates. She added that every area will have three pickups, and they will use the Streets Department as well as personnel from other Departments and permanent part time employees who also help out with this.

Ms. Mailander urged everyone that has landscapers to make them aware of their pickup times. After a street is completed, a picture is taken that is date and time stamped and those will be used if need be, if a summons is written. If you have any questions, call the Streets Division, the Village Manager’s Office, or the Village Clerk’s Office.

 

  1. Habernickel Park Driveway – No Stopping or Standing

 

Ms. Mailander stated that at Habernickel Park during the time that sports take place, people are parking along the entrance driveway instead of going into the parking lot or parking on the street or a side street. They would like to designate this as a no parking zone which will memorialize a stop sign at the parks exit onto Hillcrest Road. Mr. Rutishauser is recommending it as this will allow the Police Department to enforce if anyone is parking there and also if anyone runs the stop sign onto Hillcrest Road.

 

  1. Authorize Execution of Bergen County Open Space Grant – Maple Park Turf Field

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village received $100,000 for the Maple Park turf field through Open Space and this will allow the execution of the contract so that the Village can get that grant money.

 

  1. Girl Scout Gold Award Acceptance of Donation – Water Bottle Filling Station

 

Councilwoman Walsh stated that she was speaking on behalf of Celeste Walsh, one of her Girl Scouts who is away at College, but she had to get her paperwork in by October 1st. Her project was “Awareness of Sustainability and Promoting the Water Bottle Refilling Stations in Ridgewood.” Her donation is going to the Parks and Recreation Department towards the further installation. It takes six to eight weeks for Girl Scouts to review all of the documents, and she wanted to thank Ms. Bigos and the League of Women Voters Water Committee and their ‘Take Back the Tap’ campaign that she used for the idea of the refillable water bottles and using the stations in Ridgewood.

  1. REVIEW OF OCTOBER 10, 2018 PUBLIC MEETING AGENDA

Ms. Mailander stated that this was a review of the October 10, 2018 Public Meeting Agenda.

Proclamations include: National Diabetes Awareness Month, and Recognition of “The Spirit of America’s Story – The Wall” Traveling Exhibit in Ridgewood.

Presentation of Certificates of Recognition: 2018 U.S. National Taekwondo Championship Team.

Resolution for Ridgewood Water: Award Contract – Carr GAC Treatment System; Authorize Change Order #1 – GAC Treatment System; and Authorize Change Order #2 – Distribution Improvements and Lakeview Extension Study.

The following ordinances are scheduled for introduction: 3674 – Amend Chapter 105 Animals – Poultry and Fowl; 3675 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Recreation Fees; 3676 – Amend Chapter 260 – Trees and Shrubs; 3677 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – Designate Flexible Parking Spaces for Central Business District Employee/General Public Parking – Cottage Place Parking Lot; 3678 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – Designate Fairfield Avenue as Through Street; and 3679 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – No Stopping or Standing – Driveway into Irene Habernickel Family Park.

Ordinances for Public Hearing include: 3672 – Amend Chapter 3, Administration of Government – Article VIII – Residency Requirements for Civilian Titles; and 3673 – Amend Chapter 244 – Smoking.

Resolutions include: Award Contract Under State Contract – Portable Radio – Police Department; Award Contract Under State Contract – Purchase of Ammunition – Police Department; Award Contract Under Houston-Galveston Area Council Cooperative Purchasing Contract – 2019 Heavy Duty Rescue Fire Truck; Award Professional Services Contract – Grant Writing and Consulting Services; Declare Property Surplus – 1999 Autocar Tanker Truck; Accept 2017 Annual Audit Report; Accept 2017 Corrective Action Plan; Approve Submission of 2019 NJDOT Paving Grant Application – Spring Avenue; Approve Submission of 2019 NJDOT Paving Grant Application – Franklin Avenue Streetscape; Authorize Preparation of Flood Plan for Ridgewood; Request Assistance for Bergen County for Franklin Avenue Intersection/Traffic Control Device Improvements, Execution of the Bergen County Open Space Grant for Maple Park Turf Field; and Accepting the Donation of the Water Bottle Refilling Station.

 

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

 

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that he would like a copy of the report that Ms. Mailander gave regarding Zabriskie-Schedler House. He added that he was disturbed this evening regarding the creeping taxation, including parking fees, usage fees, and he doesn’t like that. Some people cannot afford to do that, adding that it was a cowardly way to tax people without looking them in the eye. Mr. Halaby complimented Councilman Voigt for the questions that he had to the auditor, as he thinks the Village has to be very careful with the amount of borrowing that it has. He added that he doesn’t feel optimistic in the coming years, as he sent an email to the Village Council about interest rates going up. He urged the Council to not take the easy way out by raising usage fees.

Anne Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that regarding the restrooms at Schedler, Ms. Mailander mentioned a men’s and women’s room, and she was wondering if that was the law or if they could have a gender neutral single commode room, especially if it would save money. She also stated that regarding the increase in the rates at Graydon Pool, she thinks it is a great idea as the Day Camp is a great bargain, and she also thinks that the rates at the pool are a fantastic bargain and she support increasing those rates. Ms. Loving stated that she did hope that the bathrooms would be improved at Graydon Pool.

Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that a way to improve Graydon Pool, and perhaps get more participation, is to fix the bathrooms, which they have been talking about for two years. The improvement would offer a great deal to the patrons of Graydon. Regarding the Library presentation, he thinks that $7.7 million is a lot of money and the Village Hall building, after suffering a massive flood destruction, was completely redone for something in that range. The Library is a fine building currently, in his opinion, and stated that maybe they could add better lighting and painting but needing to spend that much money seems over the top.

Mr. Loving stated that it was mentioned that the Maplewood Public Library is going to be undergoing a renovation and he just looked online and saw that the last time it was remodeled was in 1969, whereas the Ridgewood Library was in 1998. He added that there was some mention about Paramus having just undergone a major renovation and a concern as to whether Ridgewood patrons would flee to Paramus, and having lived in Bergen County all his life, if he doesn’t have to cross Route 17, he doesn’t. Mr. Loving stated that he didn’t think there would be many people from Ridgewood who would decide to use the Paramus Library just because it is a newer facility.

He added that he shares some of the same concerns with Councilwoman Knudsen regarding the size of the proposed building and the seating in the auditorium. There is a parking problem in the lot, and the Director stated that regarding the problem they have to tell people using the athletic facilities that they can’t use the lot there. Mr. Loving remembers a conversation stating that wasn’t going to happen, and he remembers the suggestion that a Police Officer would be in the lot directing traffic to the Graydon South Lot, which fortunately didn’t happen. He stated that parking was a major issue and having an auditorium that doubles the capacity is going to create major problems. He added that it is speculative in that they don’t know if they are going to get a State grant. So, to build a plan for a $7.7 million renovation in hopes that the State will give them half the money, what would happen if they didn’t get half of the money from the State.

  1. RESOLUTION TO GO INTO CLOSED SESSION

 

Deputy Village Clerk, Donna Jackson read Resolution #18-295 to go into Closed Session as follows:

  1. ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to come before the Village Council, on a motion by Councilman Sedon, seconded by Councilwoman Knudsen, and carried unanimously by voice vote, the Village Council’s Work Session was adjourned at 9:50 P.M.

______________________________

                                                                                                   Ramon M. Hache, Sr.                               

                                                                                                            Mayor                                     

______________________________

              Donna M. Jackson

           Deputy Village Clerk

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