29190508 - Village Council Public Meeting

A REGULAR PUBLIC MEETING OF THE VILLAGE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD HELD IN THE SYDNEY V. STOLDT, JR. COURT ROOM OF THE RID           GEWOOD VILLAGE HALL, 131 NORTH MAPLE AVENUE, RIDGEWOD, NEW JERSEY ON MAY 8, 2019 AT 8:00 P.M.

 

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

Mayor Hache called the meeting to order at 8:00 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 Heather Mailander, Village Manager/Village Clerk; and Matthew Rogers, Village Attorney. 

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. ACCEPTANCE OF FINANCIAL REPORTS

Mayor Hache moved the Bills, Claims, and Vouchers, and Statement of Funds on Hand as of April 30, 2019, be accepted as submitted.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

  1. ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES

Mayor Hache moved that the Village Council minutes of February 6, February 27, March 6, and April 10, 2019 having been reviewed by the Village Council and now available in the Village Clerk’s Office be approved as submitted.  Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Representatives of Apricot Lane Boutique were present.  This is a women’s boutique franchise that is more of a mid-range price with approachable customer service, and a place where mothers and daughters can shop together.  They are targeting the 20 to 30 age range, and will be located at 111 East Ridgewood Avenue.  They are hoping to open on August 8th and look forward to integrating themselves into Ridgewood.

  1. PROCLAMATIONS
  1. PROCLAIM MAY 19-25, 2019 AS EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES WEEK

 

Councilwoman Knudsen read the following proclamation:

  1. PROCLAIM MAY 20 THROUGH JUNE 2, 2019 CLICK IT OR TICKET CAMPAIGN

 

Councilman Sedon read the following proclamation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. PROCLAIM MAY AS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH

 

Councilwoman Walsh read the following proclamation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. PROCLAIM JUNE AS GAY PRIDE MONTH

 

Councilman Voigt read the following proclamation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. PROCLAIM JUNE 2, 2019 AS NATIONAL CANCER SURVIVORS DAY

 

Mayor Hache read the following proclamation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. PROCLAIM JUNE 2, 2019 AS NATIONAL GUN VIOLENCE AWARENESS DAY

 

Councilwoman Walsh read the following proclamation:

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that he sent an email to Mayor Hache on Monday concerning the website, and he questioned Councilwoman Knudsen’s response to his comments.  He provided a copy to Ms. Mailander at the meeting.  He added that upon opening the Village website, front and center is the announcement for the Estate Visa Prepaid Card, and he asked how many people are using the card to get a rebate on their property taxes.  He believes that the card does not appear to make much financial sense, and wondered why the Village keeps pushing it.  He asked if anyone on the Village Council or in Village Hall have any vested interest, financial or otherwise, in the success of the Estate Card. 

Mary Davey, Outpatient Director, West Bergen Mental Healthcare, stated that she wanted to offer their thanks for the proclamation that was given today for May being Mental Health Month, as it provides recognition and acknowledgement of the needs for mental health.  She personally thanked the Village Council for the on-going support and collaboration that they have with many of the Departments within the Village, as it is both an honor and a privilege to work with them.  Councilwoman Knudsen thanked Ms. Davey for being one of the newest members of the Stigma Free Task Force in Ridgewood, and emphasized that the Village is grateful for her time, talent and energy.

Jen Allen, stated that she has lived in Ridgewood since 1991 and her two children graduated from Ridgewood High School.  She has volunteered with the community and was a public defender once for the Village who is currently in her twelfth year as a public school teacher.  As a person who has coached the youth of Ridgewood and is now teaching them, she thinks it is imperative that the Village Council approve the flying of an official LGBTQ flag at Village Hall.  Other towns are doing this with no hesitation.  The New Jersey Department of Education has requested and mandated that in the core curriculum, history teachers must teach the history of the LGBTQ community civil rights.  She asked for it to be posted on the flagpole this June, outside of Village Hall, but as an alternative she suggested flying the flag at Memorial Park at Van Neste Square. Ms. Allen added that she would support the proposition of banning plastic bags as well.

Jeanne Harris, 625 Hillcrest Road, stated that she would support the plastic bag ban.  Suffolk County, New York just recently banned it, and within a year they have gotten 1.1 billion plastic bags out of circulation.  It is a five cent charge for the paper bags there. 

Ms. Harris requested that the Village Council fly the LGBTQ Pride flag at Village Hall this year.  She feels it is very important to show support to all people in the community which makes everyone much stronger.  Something as simple as flying a flag can make such a tremendous difference.  She has worked with a special education attorney and advocate, and this is a component that she has seen over the last eight years.  She read a passage from the Biden Foundation, that transgender youth experience less anxiety and depression when they are accepted and affirmed at home, in school, and in their community.  Family and community relations, coupled with a lack of legal protections and a lack of anti-discrimination and anti-bullying protections in schools, mean LGBTQ youth continue to be among the most at risk youth populations in America.  LGBTQ young people, specifically transgender youth, are disproportionately more likely to experience homelessness, discrimination and bullying in schools, suffer from depression, experience suicidal ideation, and these risks are exacerbated the more transgender youth experience rejection.  However, through family and community acceptance and support, nurturing strong connections to people who care, and establishing a positive sense of identity, means parents and communities can help foster and strengthen resilience.

Ms. Harris stated that the Institute of Medicine found that these negative experiences include high rates of physical and emotional violence, rejection by families and peers, and inadequate support in schools, employment, and communities because of their sexual orientation and gender identity expression.  She added that there are so many negatives and she feels that flying the pride flag at Village Hall can be such a positive thing, for so many people in our community, especially our young people.

Kelly Keane, 368 Vesta Court, stated that she is a long time resident of Ridgewood and is a 19 year teacher at Bergen Community College.  She thanked the Village Council for recognizing June as Pride Month, as she thinks it’s the right thing to do, but also she thinks they should raise the pride flag at Village Hall, so that everyone in Ridgewood feels welcome and a part of this wonderful community.  She added that they should follow in the steps of Glen Rock which flies the pride flag.  If it is not possible this year, she asked that they fly the pride flag in a prominent position in Memorial Park at Van Neste Square.  She added that she supports the plastic bag ban.

Natasha, a Junior at Ridgewood High School and member of the school’s Gay/Straight Alliance, stated that as a community they are dismayed that they are not able to fly the Pride flag proudly in town.  The community and the Pride flag itself, embodies love and acceptance to everyone, no matter who you are.  It shows that the Ridgewood community supports acceptance and supports its LGBTQ citizens.  In her personal opinion, not flying the pride flag sends a message at the High School and Middle School, that they are not supported and accepted.  The LGBTQ students feel invisible and rejected for just being themselves.  Flying the Pride flag in town shows all members of the queer community that the Ridgewood community supports them, that they are visible, and they are heard.

Philip, a Junior at Ridgewood High School and member of the school’s Gay/Straight Alliance, stated that he is asking for the Pride flag to be flown at Memorial Park at Van Neste Square so that every citizen in this town can be confident that they have the full ability to express themselves freely, as well as enjoy equal protection under the law.

Steve Kim, 291 Highland Avenue, stated that the Village has an enviable public library, and it is probably one of the best in the region.  He agrees that it needs to be updated, but it shouldn’t be upended.  Carpet replacement is an update, putting a circular staircase is an upend.  He added that the Library never sought the insight or opinion of the residents.  The residents never got to say what they wanted, he knows this because he put in an OPRA request for the library surveys in the past, and he looked through 250 pages of this and there was nothing that truly asked what residents wanted.  Mr. Kim stated that he has been a reader for 50 years, and has been using the Library for many years.  Residents have been taken out of this process, which is so important to the community.

Mr. Kim stated from his OPRA request, the surveys showed that people are generally happy with the Library, and that people are never given a choice to choose.  In terms of funding, the Ridgewood Library’s main consultant is the person who led the recent renovation of the Princeton Library.  For the Princeton Library, 96% of the cost was done with private capital, which is the model that the Ridgewood Library should follow.

Resident who wasn’t speaking into microphone, unintelligible, but did hear “Pride.”  She turned on the microphone, stating that there is a history of oppression in our country against LGBTQ people, and the statement that all people are created equally and are entitled to pursue life, liberty and happiness.  Flying the Pride flag at Village Hall would show that Ridgewood stands for the protection and the constitutional rights of all of its citizens.  She added that if they can’t fly the pride flag at Village Hall, it should be flown at Memorial Park at Van Neste Square.  She added that she supported the plastic bag ban, and it was great that the Village was doing this.

Denise Fabiano, 618 Spring Avenue, thanked the Village Council for declaring June Pride Month, and asked them to fly the Pride flag at Village Hall to give the full weight to the message of inclusiveness that it is meant to send.  Far from being a political message, it would be a representation of the Village’s position on the full inclusion and support of the LGBTQ community.  The history of discrimination and violence against this group, which was recognized in a Proclamation, is that the suicide attempts by LGBTQ kids are four times more frequent than straight kids.  Flying the flag at Village Hall will tell the LGBTQ kids that they have the full support of a town that stands with them, not as a political statement, but because of who we are as a community.  It tells them that they are accepted.  Ms. Fabiano asked that the Village Council encourage full inclusion.  She added that she was grateful for the Gun Violence Proclamation, and that she was also against plastic bags.

Julie Berry, 348 South Irving Street, asked that the Village Council fly the LGBTQ flag at Village Hall.  She added that she is an elementary school teacher in the Village and by fifth grade she is seeing students starting to test their sexuality and she has witnessed bullying.  Flying the pride flag at Village Hall would help these students feel included in the community.

Ms. Berry stated that she supports the plastic bag ban, as they are spending so much time in their science lessons talking about how much plastic is found in the oceans, and the students are so upset by it.

There were no additional comments from the public.

Mayor Hache stated that regarding the Estate Card, the Village and the Village Council aren’t making money off of this.  The intent of the program was to provide a way to put some purchase credits that a resident would get from a vendor, towards their property tax billing.  It doesn’t cost the Village any money to keep the information about the Estate Card on the website.

Councilwoman Knudsen said that some speakers indicated that the pride banner was displayed upside down at Memorial Park at Van Neste Square in previous years.  She asked if anyone had been notified about it.  Ms. Mailander stated that she was not personally notified, as she would have rectified that and this was the first she was hearing of it.

  1. Presentation by Bob Zoeller, from Musco Lighting – Permanent Lighting at Maple Park Field

Nancy Bigos, Director of Parks and Recreation, stated that she wanted to address the concept of permanent lighting at Maple Park East, adding that at last week’s Work Session they were talking about the goals of the Parks and Recreation Department.  One of the goals is to take a serious look at the infrastructure within the park systems, and to restore and enhance certain park properties including, Kings Pond Park, restoring the North Monroe and the Bellair Tennis Courts, installing the new turf at Maple Park Field, installation of six new water fountains, and working with myriad service groups in the restoration of gardens and park properties.  Most recently, they have focused their attention on Maple Park East, which has new turf as of Spring 2018.  Ms. Bigos stated that this evening, they are looking for consideration to eliminate the seven light towers, and those temporary light structures that are there, and to eliminate the noise, fumes, and the spillage of light at Maple Park Turf Field.  This concept has been over a year in the works, has been discussed at the Field Committee meetings, of the Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Board meetings, internally with various Departments, and with the Village Manager as well.

Ms. Bigos stated that moving forward, the project estimate and financial package show that the project is approximately $430,000.  They have obtained $140,000 with the support of the Ridgewood youth sports groups.  This evening, they hope to seek the Village Council’s approval for a Bergen County Open Space grant for $145,000, and to be able to submit that grant as our 2019 submission.  The Village will also contribute $145,000 to this project.  Within the process, as of last week, they have notified the residents within 200 feet of the site.  Thirty-five letters were mailed to residents within 200 feet of Maple Park East.  Ms. Bigos stated that the park has evolved since it was first dedicated.  There are trees where there were just shrubs, and there is a beautiful new entrance to Maple Park.

Ms. Bigos introduced Bob Zoeller, Technical Consultant from Musco Lighting.  Mr. Zoeller stated that he has been involved in the sports lighting field for the past 20 years, and has been involved in over 3,000 sports lighting projects throughout the Northeastern United States.  They have been able to provide sports lighting solutions that meet the needs of the athletes on the field, as well as being sensitive to those who are adjacent residents to the field.

Mr. Zoeller showed an image of Maple Park, which consists of a baseball diamond that overlays a multi-purpose field.  It borders Northern Parkway to the east and Meadowbrook Avenue to the north.  The field is currently being illuminated by a set of portable light towers that can be raised and lowered, however, these are not designed to light a sports field but rather for construction applications.  He drew on this layout a rough location of the seven light towers.  There is one tower on the first base line, third base line, midsection of the soccer field, at the corner of the soccer field, western side of the field, on the northern side approximately halfway across the soccer field, and the seventh is on the western corner of the soccer field.  He added that two of the existing light towers were not operational at the time he visited the field.

Mr. Zoeller stated that he did a lighting audit of the field with his meter, at the home plate there is 1.5 footcandles, 2.9 footcandles at the pitcher’s mound.  Along the soccer field it varies from 13 footcandles in the western/southwestern corner in front of tower number 4, and in the northwestern corner there is 20 footcandles.  In the center of the field there are values from 2 footcandles to 0.7 footcandles.  There is a very dark center down the field, and bright spots where the crank up towers are.  Looking toward Meadowbrook Avenue, there is one street light where the value is 0.7 footcandles.  Mr. Zoeller displayed a photo standing at the eastern soccer goal, where there are bright areas under the towers and down the center of the field, it is basically dark.

Mr. Zoeller stated that the height of the poles is important, and he showed that with the proper height the lighting fixture is aimed downward.  The lighting that goes down to the middle of the field shows that a ball is illuminated as it flies in the air, ensuring safety and playability for the participants.  The light beam is cutoff before it gets to the property line.  Going lower on the pole, the light begins to pass beyond the edge of the field.  In addition, the ball is traveling above the lighting, which can produce a safety factor.  With a  very short pole, there is a considerable amount of light going beyond the edge of the field.  Mr. Zoeller stated that the Illumination Engineering Society, which they utilize as their guideline for sports lighting, indicates in their publication LM33, under section 10 Sports Lighting, the minimal pole height for aerial sports is 70 feet.

Mr. Zoeller stated that lighting control is taken care of by the technology of the reflector.  In 1977, there was the pure floodlight which is the construction light with light going in all directions.  In 1988, there is a faceted visor attached to the fixture.  Moving along, they added different visors to reduce the amount of glare and redirect the light.  In 2005, the lighting technology is what is currently used at the High School.  The 2013 technology is LED technology, and the first full kind of sports lighting fixture that was available in this application.  The LEDs themselves are recessed inside the fixture, and there is a large shield that covers the LEDs.  The lighting source in the fixture isn’t seen, and there is no glare from the bottom of the fixture.  A 30 footcandle soccer field is being proposed, which will require four light poles: two on the north side, and two on the south side.  Mr. Zoeller stated that the lights will provide 30 footcandles which will permit any age, from the young athletes all the way up to and including high school level play.  The lights will be seen, but there will not be any glare issues.

Mr. Zoeller stated that the baseball field will be able to be illuminated with four poles, the first baseline pole and the one on the northwest corner are common with the soccer field.  The field will be illuminated to 50 footcandles on the infield and 30 footcandles on the outfield, which incorporates play for all levels.  He displayed an image showing the cutoff of the light around the field.  He also showed the proposed LED technology compared to another without LED technology.  Benefits of the LED are instant on and instant off.  Mr. Zoeller displayed a picture from Meadowbrook Avenue showing one of the towers that he was able to see through the trees, to give an idea of the floodlight and its impact, as opposed to what he showed in the previous pictures.

Mr. Zoeller stated that he calculated the horizontal footcandles along Meadowbrook Avenue on the neighbor side, and along Northern Parkway and Rose Court.  Looking at the values, the green value which is directly above the central line of the soccer field is 0.1 footcandles, which is basically moonlight.  These values are calculated without taking into account any tree buffer.  There are a couple values at 0.1 footcandles, and the rest of the values are 0.0 footcandles.  The light reading of the existing tower along Meadowbrook Avenue is 0.09 footcandles.  He stated that they are going to be able to increase the light level 30 times on the field with this technology, with no glare, decreased light spillage, and reduced impact, especially to the most adjacent residents.

Mr. Zoeller stated that in addition to horizontal footcandles, which is the standard, light traveling from the field towards the adjacent neighbors is really not traveling horizontally, but vertically.  If the meter is oriented vertically to the field, they see 0.2 footcandles, one tenth of a footcandle more.  There are a few values along Meadowbrook Avenue at 0.1 footcandles, with no tree blockage or anything else considered, the rest of the values are 0.0 footcandles.  He added that the cost to operate the lights, includes the energy costs for the electricity to power the lights, which will be about ten cents per kilowatt, per hour, that a utility is going to charge.  The second cost is the demand charge, which is a single charge based upon the peak usage in a given month.  Mr. Zoeller stated that he was going to assume $5 per kilowatt, as he has seen $6 as the highest value.  Looking at soccer only, it would utilize 30 kilowatts to operate the lights, the hourly cost to operate those lights is $3 per hour, and the demand cost is a one time cost per month of $150 in a given month.  Baseball only, 26 kilowatts, $2.60 per hour and $130 for demand.  Mr. Zoeller stated that worst case, when all of the lights are on, it is 56 kilowatts, with an hourly cost of $5.60 per hour, and a demand cost of $280 per month.

Mr. Zoeller provided as an example, if the soccer field was used for 100 hours in a given month, that would be 100 times the $3 per hour charge for energy or $300, plus the one time demand charge of $150.  The total cost would be $450 per month, or $4.50 per hour to operate those lights.  He didn’t include maintenance costs, because the lighting system comes with a 25 year parts and labor warranty along with it.  For 25 years, if anything fails on the lighting system, it is covered by warranty and is replaced, parts and labor complete, at no cost to the Village.  Lastly, it comes with wireless controls like they have at the High School.  The lights can be set automatically through a wireless system and go off when they are supposed to go off.

Councilman Sedon stated that a lot of his questions were answered about spillage and the height of the lights.  He asked Ms. Bigos how tall the trees were around the field.  Councilman Sedon stated that he thought they were around 60 to 80 feet.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she had the same question as Councilman Sedon.  Mr. Zoeller stated that the tallest of the portable lights is 30 feet, so he would say the trees were probably about 60 to 70 feet.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that her recollection was that the portable lights were 40 feet, which was conveyed at the last meeting.  She added that the lights being 30 feet is actually exacerbating the height of the lights even more. Councilwoman Knudsen asked on the Meadowbrook Avenue side, when Mr. Zoeller talks about lighting being equal to moonlight or less, what type of moon is that.  Mr. Zoeller stated that it would be a full moon, and when he was out there taking the measurements, he had to look to make sure that he got his meter aimed back at the streetlights because he couldn’t read the meter to see that value.  Typically, the safety factor for light is 0.5 footcandles, as if it is less there is a good chance that you would trip over something in front of you.  He added that was why streetlights are typically illuminated to 0.7 footcandles.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that outside Village Hall, it is quite dark, but people across the field can see that this room is lit up.  Her question was if the lights are on Monday through Saturday, and people still see the light and see a glow regardless of that definitive point where the light no longer spills beyond that point, if the light would be disturbing to nearby residents.  Mr. Zoeller stated that there would not be a glow above the field, because these lights are full cutoff lights.  His opinion is that it is going to be better for the neighbors, because the tree buffer stays the same, and as he walked along the tree buffer, there were not a lot of places where he could see light coming through the trees.  He can say that in places where light did come through, the measurement should be equal or less, which would make it better, because the shielded fixtures are not going to have a glare coming through the trees.  They are directing the light down instead of across, so he believes it would be better.  Mr. Zoeller stated this would be a beneficial condition for both the athletes and the neighbors.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the impact won’t be known without knowing the height of the existing tree line.  Mr. Zoeller stated that the Village has a very good condition, in that the biggest home on Meadowbrook Avenue is two stories, with the highest window about 20 feet above the ground.  The tree line is the distance of the front yard and the roadway, which is approximately 30 to 40 feet.  If you have a tree that’s 50 to 60 feet and a house is 30 feet away, a person would have to be looking up very high, over the trees, just because they are so close to one another.  He stated that because the house is so close, and the tree line is so high compared to where the house is located, which is such a short distance, it is beneficial.  From that line of sight, the house 30 feet away would be looking at the poles at the opposite sides of the field.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked if somebody was laying in their bed, with the blinds open, wouldn’t they see the light.  Mr. Zoeller stated that they would have to look through the trees, and the lights would not be seen above the trees.

Councilwoman Walsh asked if Mr. Zoeller could go back to the slide with the illuminated fields.  She asked how tall the lights stantions are.  Mr. Zoeller stated that they are 70 feet.  Councilwoman Walsh asked if that was the height they were suggesting for the poles at Maple Park Field.  Mr. Zoeller stated that there would be five 70 feet poles and one 80 foot pole.  The only reason for the one 80 foot pole is to spread the light a much greater distance while maintaining the shielding angles of the fixtures, with regard to lighting control. 

Councilwoman Walsh asked when the 35 letters were sent out to the residents within 200 feet of Maple Park East.  Ms. Bigos stated that the letters went out on Friday.  Councilwoman Walsh asked if everyone received them, adding that she knows that Councilwoman Knudsen had wanted to make sure that everyone was notified.  Ms. Bigos stated that she has a list that came from Michael Barker, the Village Tax Assessor.  Councilwoman Walsh asked if the Village received any responses from those letters.  Ms. Bigos stated that she received a telephone call from a neighbor, received a couple of visits from neighbors, and there are residents that are here to speak at tonight’s meeting.  Councilwoman Walsh added that she wanted to make sure, because that was a big question from last week.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that Meadowbrook Avenue that has the trees, so she understands the analysis.  In going to Rose Court, which is further away with no growth in the middle, and then there is a parking lot with a couple of trees.  It seems like Rose Court would be impacted by the lights more than Meadowbrook Avenue.  Mr. Zoeller stated that they have no values horizontally or vertically at Rose Court, because looking at the orientation of the field in relationship to Rose Court, Rose Court parallels the short side of the soccer field, so basically it is traveling North-South.  The field lights themselves on the two poles that are adjacent to Meadowbrook Avenue are aimed on the field to the South, and the two poles that are on the long side of the field furthest away from Meadowbrook are aimed to the north.  The two poles that are adjacent to the baseball infield are aimed down to the baseball infield, and the one pole that is on the short side of the soccer field is aimed toward the west.  There are actually no lights on Maple Park Field that are aimed in the direction of Northern Parkway, and when they get to Rose Court they are even further away.  Councilwoman Walsh asked if there was any other illumination on the parking lot that would add to this lighting.  Ms. Bigos stated that she didn’t believe so.

Councilman Voigt stated that based on the estimates for the electricity costs, it looks like this is going to be an additional cost to the Village of $5,000 to $6,000 per year.  Mayor Hache asked if it was additional or total cost, because the lights now are not free, so this would be the expected cost of the lights but not additional.  He added that the generators currently have a cost.  Councilman Voigt asked what the generators were costing us per year.  Ms. Bigos stated that she didn’t know, but she would get that answer for them.  Councilman Voigt stated that the resolution says if they don’t get the $145,000 match from the County, that the Village will secure the balance.  Worst case scenario, supposing they get nothing, the Village is on the hook for $290,000.  Ms. Bigos stated that was correct.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked Ms. Bigos if it was $140,000 from each of those entities, but the resolution says $145,000. Ms. Bigos stated that in the memo she sent, the project estimate is $430,000 and the funding arrangement consist of $140,000 from the youth sports groups, $145,000 application to the Bergen County Open Space Grant, and $145,000 from the Village of Ridgewood.

Mayor Hache stated that he has driven up to Maple Park Field at night, and the benefit of having the spillage from the lights that are there now, is that he can see what is happening in the parking lot.  He asked without the light spillage, would it require some more lighting in that parking lot or would the parking lot be completely dark?  Mr. Zoeller stated that they could do a quick study of that and see how much light they are getting into the parking lot. 

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that lighting in the parking lot would add to the overall cost of the project.  Ms. Bigos stated that there is no light there now, and that would be a consideration for another park improvement as they move forward or a discussion at a later date.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that this is an important conversation now, because they notified the neighbors that they are looking at these lights and if it is accurate to state that the current lighting is spilling into the parking lot and is allowing people to go safely to their vehicles, and now there is lighting being proposed with no spillage, they have to look at something else that would impact the neighbors.  Ms. Bigos stated that in the past, the athletes are finished and the coaches wait until all athletes are off of the field and with their parents, before the lights are turned off.  That would have to be a similar situation now, so the game would end at 8:45 P.M. with lights off at 9:00 P.M.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that with no spillage there wouldn’t be any light in the parking lot.  Ms. Bigos stated that there would be enough.  Mr. Zoeller stated that that streetlight at Meadowbrook is 0.7 but he didn’t look at the light in the parking lot.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that looking at the baseball and soccer field and the proximity to the parking lot, based on what Mr. Zoeller is saying about there being no spillage into the parking lot, in theory there shouldn’t be any light for people to get to their cars in the parking lot. 

Mr. Zoeller stated that he hasn’t looked at that, but when he went into the parking lot last night there are some larger gaps in the tree buffer along the parking lot, and what they do in a lot of cases, they have two lighting poles that are in relative proximity to the parking lot and they can look at the potential of using the same full cutoff technology on those poles to project just enough light into the parking lot.  It would be a relatively small cost to add a small lighting fixture to those poles on the east side to put some light into the parking lot and the area where someone would walk into the field.  Mayor Hache stated that it is a narrow parking lot, so it probably wouldn’t be a 70 foot fixture.  Mr. Zoeller stated that the lighting fixture would be much lower on the pole, and would be designed to be low enough so that it is illuminating the area that they are trying to illuminate, as the visual task is about six feet above the ground.  

Councilwoman Knudsen asked about adding lights to a 70 foot pole at a lower level, in order to have light at the parking lot, will cause the footcandles to change because the distance from the homes would cause them to be illuminated more. Mr. Zoeller stated that if you were looking at the vertical spill drawing, there are two poles on the east side, one midway on the soccer field and one on the first base side of the baseball field, and they would look to add a fixture that is directed into the parking lot which would be able to capture the brick pathway, to provide safety in that area.  He added that they would make sure that there was no impact to Rose Court, but it would be calculated and generated just like they have done everything else.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that it seems that in order to reach those distances, the fixture would have to be up higher.  Mr. Zoeller stated that the height of the fixture would be determined by the distance to and the area that they wanted to illuminate.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that would then extend the footcandles out.  Mayor Hache stated no, because the lights were still facing down.  Mr. Zoeller stated that it would still be a full cutoff fixture.  You would see the illumination on the parking lot and you might get some spillage into Northern Parkway, but it would end in that area.  They are trying to eliminate putting another pole up, and taking advantage of the two 70 foot poles that are there already.

Mayor Hache stated that it seems like it is a lot of field for a few poles, but if they went for shorter poles, it would require many more poles.  Mr. Zoeller stated that if they went with shorter poles, the middle of the field would be dark, because the shorter poles wouldn’t be able to light it.

Changing the subject, Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she emailed earlier today asking for the scheduling of the fields in 2015 and in 2019.  Ms. Bigos stated that was sent to Ms. Mailander at 4:00 P.M. today.  Ms. Mailander indicated she has one copy with her tonight, but can send it out to all Councilmembers tomorrow.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that the Graydon Lot is lit, so maybe she is thinking of the spillover from that lot, for the middle part of the parking lot.  Instead of putting higher lights, perhaps they could put the streetlights that they have in the CBD at the walkway to Maple Park Field.  Councilwoman Walsh asked if this would sufficiently illuminate the Maple Park parking lot.  Ms. Bigos stated that was something that the Village Engineer should look at, as this is his area of expertise.  She added that she needed to go there at night and study the security lighting as she hasn’t focused on that, because they have been focused on the sporting aspect.  Councilwoman Walsh stated that the Graydon lighting spills over, so it might be more cost effective to put another decorative street lamp just past the walkway to light that area and be more ambient.  Ms. Bigos stated those were installed by the Signal Division and they would look into that.

Ms. Mailander asked if the new lights would cause the scheduling at Maple Park Field to change from what it is now, as right now the fields are full at night.  There really is no other time to schedule other sports at Maple Park Field because lights are out at 9:00 P.M.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she asked for that because she went through the 2004 and 2006 meeting minutes and there was a representation that the scheduling wouldn’t increase due to field improvements, and that the only reason there would be any additional scheduling was in the event of inclement weather prohibiting the use of another field.  She was interested if over the years, the field use has or hasn’t increased and if it was kept to that statement.  Ms. Mailander stated that she has a copy that she would share with Councilwoman Knudsen.  Ms. Bigos stated that the way that the scheduling works is that those time periods are blocked, so whether it is lacrosse or soccer, they are given out in time blocks.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the representation that usage of Maple Park Field won’t increase is accurate, because they are already at maximum usage.

Ms. Mailander asked if the generator is a gas generator.  Ms. Bigos stated that it is a diesel generator.  Ms. Mailander stated that putting the fuel in would be a cost, and in addition they have a noise from the generator.  She asked if the new lights have any noise.  Mr. Zoeller stated that with the LED lights, it is basically a computer drive on the pole, so there is no mechanical component and no noise.  Ms. Mailander asked if there was a smell coming from the generator, adding that she would assume that the LEDs have no smell.  Ms. Bigos stated that was correct.

 

  1. Public Hearing on Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund Grant Application for Permanent Lighting at Maple Park Field

 

Mayor Hache stated that the proposed permanent lighting at Maple Park Field was discussed at both the May 1, 2019 Work Session and this evening.  A Public Hearing on the permanent lighting at Maple Park Field is required due to the fact that the Village is submitting a grant application for this project to the Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund.  The Public Hearing this evening is specifically on the improvements to the permanent lighting at Maple Park Field and the Village Council will listen to comments from the public specifically on this matter.  The Public Hearing is now open.

Glen Moscowitz, 257 Rose Court, stated that he has lived on that street for 29 years, and looks directly across from Rose Court to Leuning Park and Maple Park Field.  He conceded that the light will probably be improved by increasing the height of these light fixtures and that he would not see as much light at night coming from those fixtures.  He stated that one thing he can’t get a grasp on is that he has to see the light fixtures and however large the lights are, he will see them when he is gardening and looks across the park.  He added that he doesn’t see the lights that are currently there at all, even though he does see them during the night with the light.  He questioned the size of the light fixtures and how much he would see during the daytime, not just at night.  Mr. Moscowitz added that there are street lights on Northern Parkway that illuminate that parking area, and he also believes that at the end of the pathways, there are some stantions with light fixtures on top of them that illuminate the parking area.  He doubted that they needed additional lighting in the parking lot, and that the light that is currently illuminating the parking area is coming from the streetlights on Northern Parkway.

Mr. Moscowitz stated that the idea of multiple 70 foot towers with large fixtures on top of them is something that upsets him.  He added that he realizes there is a problem with illuminating the center of the field, but something that is less visible than these huge poles should be considered.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked if they knew the physical dimensions of the light fixtures.  Mr. Zoeller stated that on Rose Court he would be looking at the side of the pole.  The lighting fixture itself is 2.5 feet wide by a foot deep, by about six inches in height.  There are gaps in between each fixture that are attached to a bar.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that there are multiple fixtures on one pole, and asked how many fixtures are on one pole.  Mr. Zoeller stated that the maximum size of the number of fixtures is five and five, so that would be 2.5 times 5, so 10 feet wide by two feet tall.

Jacqueline Crane, 257 Rose Court, lifelong resident of Ridgewood, stated that she appreciated Councilwoman Knudsen’s comment, adding that she thought these poles would be smaller, and she was confused about the actual depiction of the fixtures on the poles.  She added that they were there when the turf was being changed from grass to turf and she had a big paper arguing the pros and cons.  They were promised by the Village Council at the time that there would never be permanent lighting put on that field.  The cost of changing that field to turf was going to be borne by the sports groups in its entirety.  She is now finding out that rules have changed, they might have permanent lighting, and there is a portion of this cost that they are asking the taxpayers to bear.  Ms. Crane added that the sports groups have fundraisers and they should be the ones bearing the cost for these improvements and not the Village or the taxpayers.

Ms. Crane asked about the 80 foot pole, and which one it was, as it is more than twice the height of the existing generator lights.  Mr. Zoeller stated that it is on the third base line.  Ms. Crane asked if that was as high as a cell tower.  Mr. Zoeller replied that it wasn’t as tall as a cell tower, as those are usually 110 to 120 feet.  Ms. Crane stated that cell towers aren’t placed in residential neighborhoods.  Mr. Zoeller added that the diameter of the pole is 14 inches, and cell towers are 36 to 42 inches in diameter.

Ms. Crane stated that the maximum tree heights in that area are about 50 to 60 feet, but some of the evergreens may be significantly taller.  She stated that she understands the more focused beam of light, but the poles are going to be almost twice as tall as the current lights.  She added that she understands that the current lights smell and generate noise, so she sees the benefits with the LED lights. From her vantage point, the greater angle if the lights were mounted lower would be blocked by the plantings, and allow the height of the poles to be reduced 10 to 15 feet, but they may need more poles.  The idea is if they don’t have to look up and see these tall poles during the daylight hours, they may be able to be as conservative as they can with additional poles.  It won’t be quite as eye-catchingly high and it may still provide lights that the sports teams need.

John Powers, 313 Vesta Court, stated that his house is at the southeastern corner of Vesta Court and is directly across from Maple Park.  He is a former Parks and Recreation Board Member and is a retired public school Principal.  He stated that he is very much in favor of having lights at Maple Park, no matter what kind of lights they are, however, the portable lights currently in use are far from ideal.  He added that they are loud, they smell, and produce a great deal of glare.  They are also potentially dangerous, given that they are diesel powered.  He fully supports the proposed permanent system, as these lights produce no noise or odor and little or no light spillage.  Mr. Powers thanked the Village Council for the opportunity to address this issue.

Dave O’Shea, 241 Northern Parkway, stated that he may have the closest proximity to the new lights and he has no problem with any lights at Maple Park Field as it lights up his front yard and he doesn’t mind that.  He takes issue with the fact that his house and Graydon Terrace sit much higher than the parking lot at Maple and the example with the vantage of the lights doesn’t necessarily apply.  He added that he is all for the improved lights, but he has a bit of an issue with an 80 foot lightpole at home plate, as he thinks those trees are at best 40 feet tall.

Ed Seavers, 168 North Maple Avenue, is Treasurer of the Ridgewood Baseball and Softball Association, the largest youth sports group in Ridgewood.  He stated that back when they initially came before the Village Council for the turf field, there were light towers that were being used in connection with the grass field that was there and were purchased in the late 1990s.  Some of those light towers that are 20 plus years old are being maintained at the cost of the sports groups in order to keep them working.  When Maple Park field was converted to turf, the project cost $750,000 and the sports group fundraised $850,000 with the additional $100,000 going towards improvements between the parking lot and the field.  The sports groups wish to improve the light situation on the field, and they stand behind it with the money that they have pledged towards the new lighting.  Mr. Seavers added that they are not strangers to donating, as they have put in irrigation systems around town and $160,000 towards the large 90 foot baseball field at Veterans Field.

Mr. Seavers stated that he has a vantage point to look towards the High School, where Stevens Field and the Ridgewood High School stadium field have lights that are the older style, and he sees that halo glow over the field.  The trees along the right of way, which is what would block his view and continue all the way up the right of way along Maple, are going to provide that same blocking of the view, without the halo. 

Richard Brooks, 777 East Ridgewood Avenue, stated that he is the Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board, and they make sure that the parks are optimized and can provide the most benefits to the most citizens of Ridgewood.  He added that on behalf of the Board, he wrote a letter to the Village Council on April 28th in support of the Parks and Recreation Department’s plan to construct a state of the art lighting system at Maple Park East, located at the intersection of Northern Parkway and Meadowbrook Road.  The lighting plan is an evolutionary next step in this space that is currently one of the most heavily used sports facilities in town.  At present, Maple Park Field is used for soccer, lacrosse, football, baseball, and softball throughout the year.  In addition, Maple Park Field also supports summer youth camps and participants in the Parks and Recreation Department’s summer day camp program, and on occasion physical education classes from Ridgewood elementary schools.  In the summer of 2018, the artificial surface was replaced by the Village after exceeding its normal life expectancy.  Since that project was completed, the popularity of Maple Park Field has expanded to unprecedented levels.  Mr. Brooks stated that it is routinely called the best field in town.  Illuminating the field with a system that takes advantage of the latest technology is a logical enhancement.

Mr. Brooks stated that Ridgewood sports teams have been using portable lighting systems for nighttime play for as long as the park has been used.  The diesel generators are an inefficient way to light the fields, and he cited cost and smell of the noxious diesel fuel fumes while they are operational.  Following extensive conversations between sports organizations and Parks and Recreation professionals, a plan was developed to construct a new electrical lighting system that would provide complete illumination and eliminate the generator noise and inefficiencies.  He added that the plan commenced approximately three months ago, when professionals from the Village Engineering, Signal, and Parks and Recreation Departments have been involved since the earliest stages.  The plan has been submitted and approved by the Field Committee and the Parks, Recreation and Conservation (PRC) Board.  Mr. Brooks stated that the project will be managed by the Village Engineering Department, costs will be shared by the sports organizations, and targeted grant funds from Bergen County.  The lighting plan was presented to the PRC Board and they supported the project.  He added that on behalf of the PRC Board, he looked forward to working on this project and respectfully requested the permission of the Village Council to move forward.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked Mr. Brooks about his charge to optimize the land to maximize the use of the land to accommodate the most people.  She asked how that reconciled with the third word in the Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Board and how does optimizing property for the use by the most people reconcile with the word, “conservation”.  Mr. Brooks stated that the conservation piece of their Department is the conservation of the environment is taken into consideration with every project that they are involved with, so this one would be no different.  Getting rid of the diesel fumes and not having kids playing around diesel engines would be in line with conservation.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that would be environment, not conservation of public lands, adding that she would imagine that the conservation piece is different.  Mr. Brooks stated that they have a park that is being used as much as it can be at the present time, and they won’t be creating any new parks to accommodate the programs that currently use Maple Park field. 

Councilman Voigt suggested that they were conserving other properties in the Village’s public lands, through their use of Maple Park Field.  By using Maple Park Field, they use others less and are conserving those other lands.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she wasn’t looking for an explanation from Councilman Voigt.  Mr. Brooks stated that he misunderstood the question.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she wanted to understand how the maximum use reconciled with the conservation piece.  Mr. Brooks stated that they wouldn’t be destroying any resources.

Lucia Donahue, 41 Walthery Avenue, a 19-year resident, stated that she found the presentation to be forthright, and she had some questions that were asked by the Village Council which were answered for her.  As a consumer and a resident it is a win-win.  Her 12 year old plays soccer and in the spring he is relegated to playing soccer on the side of the basketball court of BF at night, and there is no good area to stop your car and pick up your child safely there.  She gets out of her car and makes sure he gets to the parking lot because it is dark by then.  She added that the field is overused by other soccer teams.  Her son also practices in the spring across from the police car parking area.  Ms. Donahue stated that having Maple Park Field utilized at night would be fantastic, and by the descriptions everything is being done possible to minimize the intrusion on residents who live nearby.  She thinks it is a great thing, so she is in favor of it and wanted to represent that.

Glen Moscowitz, 257 Rose Court, stated that he isn’t opposed to improving the lighting system as he thinks it is a great idea to do it, but he was hoping that a photograph of the fixture could be furnished.  He realized it is an awesome responsibility that the Board has to balance the parks.  He added that he only sees one plan being proposed and he doesn’t know what the criteria was, in terms of economics or aesthetic.  He asked what criteria was looked at to come up with this proposal.  Mr. Moscowitz added that you get what you pay for and he wants to make sure that the best proposal is the one that the Village Council is considering, and what criteria were involved in that.  The fumes aren’t good, the noise isn’t great, and he wanted to make sure that this was the best possible solution, not necessarily the least expensive.

Mayor Hache asked Mr. Zoeller to go back to the slide that shows what the lighting fixture looks like.  He added that talking about the actual grouping, he is worried about the side profile of those lights from Rose Court.  Mr. Zoeller stated that there would be two bars at the top of the pole.  The fixtures themselves are spaced across the bar and looking at the side profile, a triangle is seen.  Mayor Hache clarified that from the side profile you are looking at two triangles.

Mayor Hache asked what the task was, to optimize the most amount of light to cover that distance or cost or by the number of installations.  Mr. Zoeller stated that the number one priority was to provide a safe and playable environment for the ball players which goes into the design criteria.  They then follow the recommendation of the Engineering Society regarding lighting levels, heights of poles, and locations of poles.  They have very thorough guidelines for every sport.  The second criteria that was equally important, was that they had to make sure that they were not imposing any additional impact on the neighbors with the new lighting system.  He added that third priority was the economical conditions to be sure that they were being wise stewards of the funds that are available.  Not only the initial phase of the project, but also for the operation and the lifetime of the project, which is where the warranty and controls come into play.  Safety and playability, minimal impact, and cost.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked Mr. Zoeller to go back to the slide where he is showing his depiction of the field with the lights on it.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked when looking at the tree line, if those lights were the proper size scale to the tree line or were they looking at something that’s not accurate.  Mr. Zoeller stated that it was a field that they photographed to show a 30 footcandle field and he wasn’t sure what the exact height of the trees were, but the purpose was to show field illumination and the ability to control glare from the two poles.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked for the height of the poles in the photo.  Mr. Zoeller stated those poles were 70 feet.

Florian Weispfenning, 763 Upper Boulevard, stated that he is on the Board of the Ridgewood Soccer Association, and the adult league was told that they couldn’t get any space at Maple Field as it was so busy. They fully support this project and absolutely stand by their financial commitment.  He added that he is proud that all of the sports teams have collaborated on the funding for this project, and he would like to have the Village Council move forward in approving it.

Sandy Bernhardt, 209 Avondale Road, stated that he is President of the Ridgewood Lacrosse Association, and when he moved to Ridgewood 12 years ago, his first athletic experience was on Maple Park Field and the conversation was about permanent lights on that field.  This led to the next time he had that discussion when he joined the Board and Paul Sheridan who was president at the time, said that the Ridgewood Lacrosse Association should save money to support the idea of permanent lightning on Maple Park Field.  Mr. Bernhardt stated it has been his goal since he has been president of Ridgewood Lacrosse Association, to continue that endeavor and they have been setting money aside solely for this purpose. 

Mr. Bernhardt stated that their season is 10 weeks, and the first two weeks it is too cold to play.  The middle of their season is incredibly rainy, and in an effort to save their grass space and conserve town fields, they spend as much time as they possibly can on turf.  They are unable to use Maple Park field from 7:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. because they can’t see the ball under the lights.  He wants this project because their sport is growing rapidly and they have lost a number of games and practices this season because of the rain and conserving the grass fields.  He added that they would love to have access to Maple Park Field at night, as it is the best field in town, but they don’t get the opportunity to spend the evening on it.

Mr. Bernhardt stated that when they leave at 7:30 P.M. he watches the soccer players huddle around the lights, adding that they aren’t maximizing the use of the field properly.  He added that the tall towers wouldn’t be a big deal to him, because the surrounding trees will continue to grow.  It is time, and they have the demand, as youth sports are an important component of this town and it would be a good thing for the town sports programs.

Lauren Cuneo, 373 Mountain Avenue, stated that she has three elementary school children and is a Maroons Soccer Club Board Member and a Coach of Maroons soccer, as well as spectator for RBA and RLA.  The Maroons Soccer Club strongly supports the proposed plan.  As a coach of 8 to 9 and 11 to 12 year old players, in the fall and spring when they have practice from 5:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M., she is usually the one turning on the lights which is challenging and loud.  There have been multiple times where the lights haven’t turned on, so there is a safety concern.  When the field is not entirely lit, there is also a safety concern and they are working in a small area.  The schedule probably wouldn’t change in terms of timing, but the amount of teams that could actually utilize the field to the best of their ability would change.  At night there is a soccer team in one corner or another, and not even half the field is being used.  The grass fields in Ridgewood are terrible, and if they were able to bring the players onto the turf, it would alleviate the stress that the grass fields endure in the spring.

Skip Cox, 279 Bellair Road, stated that throughout his time in town, he has been a parent, coach, and Board member of the RSA, and is currently a coach and Board member for the Maroons Soccer Club.  He is also involved with the Rugby club.  The bottom line as to why the Maroons particularly support this proposal is that there just isn’t enough light on Maple Park Field to make it usable in darkness.  The whole middle of the field is unusable.  He stated that it is about $1,800 in fuel costs to fuel the lights, and there are about 40 to 60 man hours moving the lights into place, putting them back, fueling them, setting them up and raising and lowering them is something that he does personally.  The towers are old, finicky, loud, and have diesel fumes.  If they aren’t turned off properly in the right sequence, they may not work.  Mr. Cox stated that sometimes there are two towers that are working, and with six teams scheduled to practice, 70% to 80% of that field is unusable.

Mr. Cox stated that Maple Park Field is the premier field in town, and it is underutilized because there isn’t enough light to play any kind of actual game on the field.  He added that the Maroons Soccer Club wholeheartedly supports this proposal.

Jacqueline Crane, 257 Rose Court, stated that it was obvious she was the minority here tonight by a long shot and she wanted to make it clear that she loves Ridgewood.  She added that the letter she received came Monday through the regular mail.  She appreciated the fact that there are trees that diminish the light, but as a matter of nature, certain trees reach a maximum height and will never grow to 70 feet.  Obviously there is a shortage of field space, so she would like the Parks and Recreation Department to create more desirable fields for our children to play on.  If permanent lighting is added, it sounds like traffic could be increased which would be worse for their neighborhood.  She asked to see a depiction of what that field is going to look like from her vantage point.

Mr. Zoeller stated that one of the closest fields is Alps Road Park in Wayne, which is similar to Maple Park Field.  It is the same proposed lighting.

Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that he wanted to clarify the resolution with respect to cost.  He stated that the sports groups will contribute $140,000 and there is a grant application that is going to be filed, which if authorized, the maximum amount would be $145,000.  If the maximum amount of the grant is awarded then the Village would be responsible for $145,000, and is the resolution written that if no grant money is available the Village would be responsible for $290,000.  He doesn’t understand that, because the sports groups who are the primary proponents of this and the Village could be on the hook for as much as $290,000.  He added that he didn’t understand why the wording of the resolution didn’t state that they could go back to the sports groups and ask them for more money.

Ms. Mailander stated that it is the standard wording for grants.  Mr. Loving stated that the taxpayers have a risk factor here, which is the same situation that is going on with the Library.  He added that it annoys him that they are speculating that they may get $145,000 but they may get zero.  If no grant money comes available they should go back to the sports groups and ask for more money.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the resolution doesn’t mention the sports groups and their part of it.  Ms. Mailander stated this is just for the grant application.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the only piece in the resolution is the Village’s and the County’s portion but if there is zero money from the County the Village would have to come back and decide whether or not they want to move forward.  The hearing is solely for the approval of the grant application, and technically if they were to receive the grant money they are not even committed to moving forward with the project.  Ms. Mailander stated that was correct, as the Village could refuse to accept the grant if it wanted to do so.

Mr. Loving asked if the new lighting would light up the restroom area.  He added that there is a porta john on the property and when The Stable was remodeled there was a clause that the building would be open when Maple Park Field was open.  Ms. Bigos stated that the restrooms are open at The Stable, and contrary to comment on public media this week, she inspected the porta john at Maple Park Field two days ago, and it was serviced on May 1, 2019, so it is having its weekly service.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked if they keep the porta john there even if folks are using the other bathroom.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that if they were to advance this, it is the only piece that allows them to advance the application for the grant monies.  She asked about the height of the fixtures over the tree line, and if it was something that they should go back and ask for additional information and if there is a Plan B lighting plan, that doesn’t give that visual impact.  Dr. Crane mentioned that the trees biologically can’t grow any higher.  She asked if an alternative should be developed that maybe adds more poles.  Mr. Zoeller stated that the High School is almost twice the light level and there are four 80 foot poles.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that they were talking about the physical fixtures.  Mr. Zoeller stated that these will be smaller than the High School.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked if they could establish the height of the trees in that area.  Ms. Bigos stated that she would have the arborist go out and measure.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked how that would physically look with the lights coming out over the top of the trees and then move forward from there, to see if they have to come up with an alternative plan.  Passing the resolution doesn’t commit them to the details of the plan, just a plan for permanent lighting.

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that a 180 degree point of view and 200 yards away from a lamppost, it doesn’t make any difference of the height as you can hardly see.  Mr. Zoeller stated that what Mr. Halaby was saying is correct, because if you were looking at different poles at different heights, depending on how far away you are, unless you have a standard guide it would not be possible to tell the difference in the heights.  Mr. Halaby stated that nothing pleases him more than to see kids playing in these fields, and we need to maximize the use of these fields.  To play a game with conservation versus usage, is a terrible thing to do.  He added that his vote as a taxpayer is to go ahead and do it.  If one couple is against it, so be it.

There were no additional comments from the public, and Mayor Hache moved the Public Hearing be closed.  Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

  1. RESOLUTION #19-130

 

THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION, NUMBERED 19-130, WAS CONSIDERED SEPARATELY AND READ IN FULL:

 

Prior to the vote on Resolution #19-130, Councilwoman Knudsen stated that this is a great proposal but we need to be cognizant of what our residents are saying.

Councilman Voigt stated that he was concerned about the language that the Village would have to pay the full amount if the grant money was less than requested.  Ms. Mailander stated that if they get the grant amount and it is less than the expected amount, they can choose not to move forward with the grant.

Mayor Hache stated that this has been discussed for some time and he appreciated the amount of work and the thought that has gone into this.  The first concerns were the safety and consideration for the neighbors, and the technology is leaps and bounds beyond anything else in town.  He added that it is a great step forward.  At the end of the day, he appreciated the lengths that the sports organizations have gone to, by providing the funding.  The amount that the Village was supposed to have saved in a sinking fund didn’t happen, so that is why the Village had to step up and fund the field.

 

  1. MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the final Voter Registration Night for the Primary Election is Tuesday, May 13th.  Registration will take place in the Village Clerks Office from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., and then from 4:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. in the Ridgewood Public Library Lobby.

Saturday, May 11th from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., the Bergen County Utilities Authority will collect Household Hazardous Waste at Campgaw Mountain Reservation in Mahwah, rain or shine.   Bergen County residency is required.

A Free Dog Rabies Clinic will be held at the Graydon Pool Parking Lot on Wednesday, May 15th from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.  Microchipping will also be available.  Dogs must be registered in the month of June; late fees begin July 1st.  Ms. Mailander reminded everyone that new dog license reminders have been sent out to residents.

Ms. Mailander stated that the Schedler House update is that six contractors have been approved as qualified to work on the restoration and rehabilitation of the Schedler House.  The contractors have bene invited to a walk through of the house and will submit their bids in early June.

Village residents are invited to view the presentation of the Hudson Street Parking Garage, showing the outside materials and finishes on Wednesday May 22nd at 7:00 P.M.  There will be a representative from the architects that evening.  There will also be a short presentation during the Village Council Work Session.

The Parks and Recreation Department is selling annual Graydon Pool memberships.  Graydon Pool opens Saturday, June 1st.  There will be registration on Saturdays, May 11th and May 18th at the Graydon Pool Badge Office from 10:00 A.M. to noon.

Ms. Mailander stated that registration for Summer Day Camp has started and is open until June 10th.

The Train Station Parking Lot construction continues.  Parking for those who have Premium Parking Permits or Hudson Street Parking Permits and shoppers and diners may park in the last three rows of the Hudson Street parking lot.  For those who pay by Parkmobile, Cottage Place has open spots.  Parking in all Village-owned parking lots after 3:00 P.M. does not require a permit, parking limitations for three hours and parking fees are still in effect.

 

  1. COUNCIL REPORTS

 

Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee (REAC) – Councilman Sedon stated that there will be a Styrofoam Recycling Drive, on Saturday, May 18th, from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. in the Graydon Pool Parking Lot.

Ridgewood Fourth of July – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that they had a meeting that morning with Village Staff for the Ridgewood Fourth of July event.  As a reminder, visit RidgewoodJulyFourth.net and consider making a donation to help save the tradition.

Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that HPC meets tomorrow evening at 8:00 P.M.

Planning Board –  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Planning Board will be meeting Tuesday at 7:30 P.M.  They have had no applications for quite some time.

Master Plan Sub-Committee – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Master Plan Sub-Committee is concluding the Vision Survey effective tonight.  They had an amazing response with well over 2,000 respondents.  The consultant will calculate those surveys and that will become the basis for the future Master Plan.  They will start to schedule programs to have a different kind of community conversation.  They are at about a 22% response rate and are quite happy with that number, as they exceeded what typical responses would be for other municipalities.

125th Anniversary Celebration Committee – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the 125th Anniversary Celebration met Monday evening and they continue to look for volunteers.  They meet next Monday at 6:30 P.M. and everyone is welcome to help organize the events for the anniversary of the Village of Ridgewood.  The Committee is planning the Village events, and other groups in town can plan events around the anniversary.  The events that the Village is focused on are those that would be run by this Committee and the Village of Ridgewood.  They are tentatively scheduled for October 4th, 5th, 6th.  Some ideas are talent show, children’s programs, historic story time, a gala event with a vintage photobooth as one component, and possibly historic tours.

American Legion – Councilwoman Walsh stated that this past Saturday she worked with the American Legion at Valleau Cemetery placing American flags at the headstones of veterans.  She added this was originally an Eagle Scout project and it is currently in its 19th year.

Chamber of Commerce – Councilwoman Walsh stated that next week is “Touch a Truck” on May 16th.  Ridgewood Sale Days are going to be the 16th, 17th and 18th.  She encouraged everyone to get some sale items in the CBD.  There are 42 new members into the Chamber of Commerce year to date.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that there still seem to be individuals who are having challenges with using the parking kiosk so the recommendation is to see if they can have larger lettering or a more user friendly signage for people to use it.  It seems that individuals are getting frustrated and subsequently getting tickets, because they are not putting their money into the kiosk.  She recommended that the Village take a look and see how they can do better signage.  She added that the kiosks have been breaking down on a regular basis, and people are not sure what to do if the kiosk is broken.  Councilwoman Walsh stated that in terms of the ordinance for the kiosks, it states that if you are in a zone you can repeat park.  It is not prohibited to repeat park if you are paying at the kiosk in that zone, so they will have to either update the ordinance to enforce repeat parking or make some other kind of change to capture that issue.

Ms. Mailander stated that Broad Street is all one zone, so feasibly you could be on Broad Street then come back and find another spot on Broad Street.  When it goes to court the Judge says that it is possible that the person parked and left, and then came back and were able to find parking on Broad Street again.  She added that they are going to look at this and come back at the May 22nd or June 5th Work Session.  Mayor Hache suggested making opposite sides of the street different zones.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that if she was there in the morning and parked in the same vicinity later in the day that isn’t repeat parking, as repeat parking means you are in the same space.  Councilwoman Walsh stated that unless a parking enforcement officer is watching your car and making sure that it is moving, that person could say that they went around the block and parked back in the same spot.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that the challenge they are having with the kiosk is that individuals don’t remember their license plate number, are putting it in incorrectly, or are not feeding the kiosk because they don’t want to walk all the way back to their car.  The suggestion from the parking enforcement officer is to number the spots, because in most towns the parking kiosk uses the spot number.  She brought up the suggestion of taking away the Central Business District (CBD) employee spaces because she observed this weekend, all of the CBD employee spaces in the Cottage Place lot were empty a majority of the day.  The Chamber of Commerce did not feel at this point that they should take those spaces from the employees, because they feel that with the increased enforcement and some changes to the enforcement that would be a positive thing, and would get employees to those CBD employee parking spaces.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that she did a ride-a-long with the Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) on Friday, and encouraged the Village Council to do the same.  She added that there are lots of different challenges and they have to see from the PEO’s point of view as to how the tickets are given and what tickets are given.  A lot of the tickets are because of the kiosk.  Ms. Mailander stated that she talked to the Police Chief who is willing to allow the Village Councilmembers to do a ride along with a Parking Enforcement Officer.  They can make an appointment with Sergeant Jay Chuck to ride-a-long with our fulltime PEO, and he recommended a Thursday or Friday because it is busier in the CBD on those days.  Councilwoman Walsh stated that their meeting was over at 10:15 A.M. and the Parking Enforcement Officer had already given 18 tickets.  Mayor Hache asked if the purpose was for the PEO to relay the challenges they are facing.  Councilwoman Walsh stated that it was for the Village Council to get an understanding of what is happening at the different locations and the challenges they are having with people understanding how the kiosks work.  She added that a majority of the tickets were people not even attempting the kiosk. 

Councilwoman Walsh added that a comment was made at the Chamber of Commerce meeting that 80% of individuals coming into the CBD are outside of our community and they wanted to know if the Visioning Survey took that into account and how broad of a sampling is being done, because opinions from non-residents may have been valuable.  Mayor Hache stated that was the intention of meeting with the business owners so that they could relay those opinions.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that regarding the businesses, the survey was set up in the outreach to include individuals who don’t live or work in the Village as well, which was part of the outreach to the business community.  That was part of the reason they reached out to the Chamber of Commerce and the Ridgewood Guild.

Ridgecrest Ice Cream Social – Mayor Hache stated that on Wednesday, May 1st he attended the Ridgecrest Ice Cream Social celebrating their 35th anniversary.  The ice cream was donated by Ben and Jerrys.  He toured the new serenity garden, that was built from the existing garden by the residents, and they made a lovely place.  Proclamations from Bergen County and the Board of Chosen Freeholders were presented by Jim Thieberry, from the Bergen County Division of Disability Services.

 

Holocaust Remembrance Service – On May 1st, Mayor Hache attended the 33rd Annual Holocaust Remembrance Service sponsored by Ridgewood’s Interfaith Council.  It was held at West Side Presbyterian Church; the speaker was Rabbi Noah Marans.  He read a proclamation from the Village and Freeholder Zur shared a personal family story.  It was a very moving service and he was fortunate to attend.

Ridgewood Art Institute – Mayor Hache stated that Friday, May 3rd was the 67th annual sponsor show, which is their most popular annual event and biggest fundraiser.  Framed original paintings donated by artists and the instructors are available for purchase by residents.  He drew the names of the sponsors randomly, to choose their painting.  He thanked Barbara Johansen, Elena Taylor, and the Institute’s president, Carl Holst.

New Jersey AIDS Walk – Mayor Hache stated that Saturday, May 4th he was at the AIDS Walk and he thanked Ray Welles with Buddies of New Jersey for making the event possible.  It was a rainy day, but it was for a great cause.  Funds were raised for HIV services and prevention and most importantly, the event raised awareness.  Buddies of New Jersey helps individuals in Bergen and Passaic County with medical services, counseling, transportation, food bank, case management, and work with corporate sponsors and drug companies to provide treatment.  There are over 1 million people living with HIV and AIDS in the U.S., and they are finding ways for folks to be able to survive and live with the disease.

Rite Aid – Mayor Hache stated that Rite Aid in Ridgewood received a large shipment of the measles vaccine and are welcoming everyone to stop by and get a shot, or are looking to set up clinics to go out.

 

Central Business District Advisory Committee (CBDAC) – Mayor Hache stated that the CBDAC meets tomorrow morning at 8:30 A.M.

Ms. Mailander announced that the Chamber of Commerce is having their annual spring sidewalk sale on May 16th, 17th, and 18th.  Touch a Truck co-sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Ridgewood will be at Van Neste Square on Thursday, May 16th from 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., weather permitting.

 

  1. ORDINANCES – RIDGEWOOD WATER

None.

 

  1. RESOLUTIONS – RIDGEWOOD WATER

 

THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS, NUMBERED 19-131 THROUGH 19-132, WERE ADOPTED BY A CONSENT AGENDA WITH ONE VOTE BY THE VILLAGE COUNCIL, AND WERE READ BY TITLE ONLY:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. ORDINANCES
  1. INTRODUCTION - #3722 – Prohibit Use of Single Use Plastic Carry-Out Bags

 

Mayor Hache moved the first reading of ordinance 3722.  Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3722 by title:

AN ORDINANCE ADDING A NEW SECTION TO THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD ENTITLED “SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAG REDUCTION”

           

Councilwoman Knudsen moved that ordinance 3722 be adopted on first reading and that June 12, 2019 be fixed as the date for the hearing thereon.  Councilman Sedon seconded the motion. 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

  1. PUBLIC HEARING - #3720 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Police Department Fees

 

Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3720 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3720 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 145 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, FEES, AT SECTION 145-4, “DEPARTMENTAL FEES”

Mayor Hache announced that the Public Hearing was open.  There were no comments from the public, and he moved the Public Hearing be closed.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Councilman Sedon moved that ordinance 3720 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

  1. PUBLIC HEARING - #3721 – Amend Chapter 212, Article VII – Dogs in Parks

 

Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3721 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3721 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ARTICLE VIII OF CHAPTER 212 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS, AT ARTICLE VII, SECTION 212-29, “DOGS”

Mayor Hache stated that the Village Council discussed Ordinance 3721 at the April 24, 2019 Work Session and unanimously agreed that North Road Park will be added to Section C, permitting dogs on a leash, no longer than six feet in length, with an adequate collar.  He will take a motion to amend Ordinance 3721, to include North Road Park in Section C of Ordinance 3721.

Councilwoman Knudsen moved that Ordinance 3721 be amended to include North Road Park in Section C of the ordinance.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Mayor Hache announced that the Public Hearing on Ordinance 3721, as amended, was open. 

Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that he fully supported the amended ordinance and was grateful for the Village Council moving forward with this, despite the roadblocks that have occurred.  He was somewhat shocked that somebody who is employed by the Village, but doesn’t live in the Village, showed up at a previous Village Council meeting and made some negative comments about the ordinance.  It disappointed him that somebody who is under contract and is paid by the Village of Ridgewood, came and made negative comments about the Village Council moving forward with this ordinance.  He asked that some investigation be done to see if this person was asked to speak at the meeting.

Mr. Loving added that it seemed that the Village Council was given some incorrect information about North Road Park, that it was land-locked, and he was appreciative that Councilwoman Knudsen went out and looked at the property to determine that it is not landlocked.  If this ordinance passes tonight, he will be able to take his dog there on a leash.  He is appreciative that they moved forward despite those obstacles, corrected those immediately, and he looked forward to bringing his dog to parks where he is currently not able to do so.

There were no additional comments from the public, and Mayor Hache moved the Public Hearing be closed.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Councilwoman Knudsen moved that ordinance 3721, as amended, be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

Prior to his vote on ordinance 3721, Councilman Voigt stated that he was still concerned about having dogs on leashes on the Veterans Field path, because that it is an accident waiting to happen.  Therefore, his vote was no.

 

 

 

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            Councilman Voigt

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

  1. RESOLUTIONS

 

THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS, NUMBERED 19-133 THROUGH 19-151, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF RESOLUTION 19-139, WHICH WAS READ IN FULL AND CONSIDERED SEPARATELY, AND RESOLUTION 19-148, WHICH WAS REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA, WERE ADOPTED BY A CONSENT AGENDA WITH ONE VOTE BY THE VILLAGE COUNCIL, AND WERE READ BY TITLE ONLY:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION, NUMBERED 19-139, WAS CONSIDERED SEPARATELY AND READ IN FULL:

Prior to his vote, Councilman Voigt stated that he has been against the Train Station Parking Lot this whole time as well as the fact that the trees were taken down and the pocket park was ruined.

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

 

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that regarding the parking kiosk idea should go back to the drawing board because it just doesn’t make sense.  His favorite eatery is Bagelicious and Parkmobile works perfectly, but then you are paying more on the app and he doesn’t know why they ever introduced the parking kiosk.  He suggested they go back to parking meters and Parkmobile which work perfectly.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked Ms. Mailander if they have had any complaints from the PEOs, Police Department, or emails regarding the kiosks.  Ms. Mailander stated that she has not had any emails but has had one call about the person using the kiosk not knowing exactly what they were supposed to do.  The PEOs have mentioned that they find that people are confused sometimes as to how to proceed.  The current vendor may have a more intuitive type of kiosk, so Mr. Rooney will look at that and see if it is possible to make it easier.  She added that they would bring it to the Vilage Council if they decide to do this, but personally she has had minimal complaints.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked about any complaints about them being down.  Ms. Mailander stated that she spoke with the Traffic and Signal Division, who stated that sometimes the kiosk is not working for 15 or 20 minutes because it runs out of receipts and they have to put in new paper, or sometimes it is jammed and then the kiosk has to be cleared.  This does not happen very often and is usually cleared within an hour.

Mayor Hache stated that the technology with the standard meters is very old technology and the Signal Department has worked to repair what they can, on the existing meters.  The other challenge is that the moment that the parking rate was increased, the cup in the meter for the coins is filled up in half the time, so this requires more manual intervention.  He added that a lot of municipalities have moved to these types of kiosks to have less human hand interaction with money.  It also gives a better way to track the actual revenue.  Mayor Hache added that the cost to replace meter heads on North Broad Street for example, would be $1,400 a meter, and the kiosk is $13,000, which is more cost efficient.  From a revenue standpoint, the kiosk increases the efficiency of collecting the revenues, because the time starts every time a car pulls out, and there isn’t any time left on the meter for the next car.  He added that parking kiosks have worked very well in other municipalities. Mayor Hache added that if they move forward with the license plate reader, the kiosk makes ticketing easier, because they do it by zone and not by individual spots.

There were no additional comments from the public, and Mayor Hache closed public comment.

  1. RESOLUTION TO GO INTO CLOSED SESSION

 

Ms. Mailander read Resolution #19-152 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 Walsh, and carried unanimously by voice vote, the Village Council’s Regular Public Meeting was adjourned at 11:26 P.M.

______________________________

                                                                                                      Ramon M. Hache, Sr.                              

Mayor                        

______________________________

              Heather A. Mailander

      Village Manager/Village Clerk

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