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, RIDGEWOOD, NEW JERSEY ON JULY 10, 2019 AT 7:30 P.M.
- 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 Heather Mailander, Village Manager/Village Clerk; Donna Jackson, Deputy 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.
- COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC
Siobhan Winograd, 274 Ivy Place, stated that last July 18th she was disappointed to see the Village Council reinstate the Board of Education budget vote. At that meeting there was a chart with numbers regarding voter turnout in comparison to off-cycle April and May and that chart was missing a lot of data, and some of the information was incorrect. She was extremely concerned with the chart and a year later, the chart is circulating and just last week the Patch quoted those numbers. She asked who made the chart and where it came from. Ms. Winograd added that for the Board of Education, they break out the binary budget, yes or no, up or down, and the candidacy. With regards to the chart, she knows that some people say that regardless of voter turnout, they would have reinstated the vote. She doesn’t really feel that’s fair to the discussion because while this Village Council can decide, so can the BOE and they were here when the numbers were presented.
Ms. Winograd asked if anyone from the Village Council had reached out to the BOE and said that the numbers on the chart had been called into question and may have been incorrect. She added that Ms. Jackson has numbers that may appear more accurate and she is also a part of One Village, One Vote and their numbers appear more accurate. She stated that it is so disappointing to see these off-cycle elections that yield such low voter turnout can produce such critical decisions within our community.
Ms. Winograd stated that with all these decisions that need to be made, we all need to be looking at the same information but she really feels that the chart needs to be updated. The numbers need to be publicly presented here again to reissue voter turnout and make sure that it is transparent and true. She also feels that the BOE should be notified that there were some errors and issues on the chart from last July, and the press should be notified because the old numbers are still showing up. Going forward, how Ridgewood residents vote is important to Ridgewood and it would be awesome on the website if there was a Ridgewood voter turnout tab where there could be some history.
Jan Philips, 234 Union Street, stated that she wanted to talk about Boards and Committees. She looked at the 17 Boards and Committees and the two Commissions associated with each member of the Village Council and created a scoring system based on criteria that she had because she had been on a Committee with Councilwoman Knudsen who deemed these essential. The criteria were attendance of committee members and Councilmembers; clear identification on the website of mission and committee members; clear identification on the website of committee minutes and terms of offices for all members.
Ms. Philips stated that she started with Mayor Hache, but nobody got a passing grade based on that criteria and the takeaway for her was that Project Pride which seems to gather a lot of interest. She added that there are members that had not been residents for a very long period of time, and that families are on that list. She asked what the budget is for the committee, and it doesn’t list the correct Village Councilmember. She added a comment that the Ridgewood Environmental Action Committee and the Green Team are now the same.
Scott Muller, 118 John Street, stated that he is the President of Ridgewood Baseball and Softball Association and they would like to make a gift to the Village of $16,200 for the repair of Upper Hawes Field, which is also referred to as Upper Pleasant. The reason for the repair is to fix the field from all of the rain in the spring that drained from the school to the lower field and the baseball field clay washed away. He added that they have shut the field down for the kids’ use because it is unsafe. They are going to have to take out the whole infield, put down new dirt, clay and sod. This is a two day project that won’t impact anyone. Then it will be graded with lasers to make it pitch right and bring it up to level. He asked for a resolution to have the Village Council authorize acceptance of the gift.
Councilwoman Walsh asked if Lower Hawes was owned by the Board of Education or the Village. Ms. Mailander stated that she didn’t know off-hand. Mr. Muller stated that the Lower field is owned by the Board of Education, and the Upper field is owned by the Village.
There were no additional comments from the public.
Mayor Hache asked Ms. Mailander about the chart that was circulated regarding voter turnout and where the information was from. Ms. Mailander stated that she provided it to the Village Council. She took the bottom numbers where the Board of Education (BOE) is and then determined the percentage. The information that Ms. Winograd received from an OPRA request was the overall voter turnout with the bottom portion, because they found that people vote the top of the ballot and not the bottom. Ms. Mailander acknowledged that the numbers would be different, as they were looking to find out how many people voted for the BOE in the General Election. She determined it in consultation with Mr. Rooney, and it showed that the voter turnout was higher and people didn’t vote as much at the bottom as they did at the top.
Mayor Hache stated that people shouldn’t contact the Board of Education regarding the accuracy of those numbers, because the BOE looks to the Village for the tabulation of those numbers. Ms. Mailander stated that she hadn’t contacted them. Mayor Hache confirmed that the BOE usually gets the numbers from the Village.
Councilwoman Knudsen stated that as a reminder regarding voter turnout, because they can play with numbers and percentages and statistics, but the bottom line is that zero percent of the registered voters can vote on a budget if there is only a November election. Removing an April election, zero percent of the registered voters can vote on the election. With an April election, 100% of the registered voters have the opportunity to vote on the BOE budget.
Councilman Voigt asked Mr. Rogers if that was correct. Mr. Rogers stated that they have had this conversation a number of times and in June the Village Council asked him to find some information regarding the 2% cap. He added that was what they would report back to the Village Council about. He spoke with Mr. Rooney and the Village Auditor and there is a budget guideline that he circulated around with some comment with regard to how they are going to do this when the Auditor comes to speak about the annual audit. They will force him to give them some answers with regard to the BOE budget when that comes up in August or September.
Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the last November budget vote for the BOE was in November 2017 or 2018, and the BOE increase was 3.62% and there was no budget vote in November even though the budget exceeded the cap, there was no vote. This goes to that point as to whether or not an increase over the 2% cap necessarily goes to a vote to the people; there are a lot of exceptions. Councilman Voigt added that he wasn’t going to argue about it anymore, but there is the opportunity to vote in November if it exceeds the cap and some of the exemptions. Councilwoman Knudsen added that it can easily substantially exceed the 2% cap, and not result in a vote.
Councilwoman Knudsen added that should you read information published on social media or on One Village, One Vote, she asked residents to email the Village Council and to understand that not necessarily everything that you read is accurate. Councilman Voigt asked if Councilwoman Knudsen was saying that One Village, One Vote was inaccurate. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was suggesting that posts on social media that suggested there was a vote and anything that exceeds 2% there is a vote on November and she stated so on social media.
Mayor Hache asked Mr. Rogers when this discussion was going to happen. Mr. Rogers stated that when Bud Jones, the Village Auditor, comes here to discuss the annual audit in August or September, they will piggyback that issue in his presence that night.
- MANAGERS REPORT
Fourth of July Celebration – Ms. Mailander stated that July 4th was spectacular. The weather cooperated this year, and they are grateful to all volunteer committee members led by Tara Masterson and Leigh Gilsenan. She also thanked all Village employees who helped out that day.
Village Council Public Meeting – Ms. Mailander stated that the next Village Council Public Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday July 17th. After that the Village Council Meetings are August 7th and August 14th because there is a reduced meeting schedule during the summer.
Zabriskie-Schedler House – Ms. Mailander stated that the first three bid submissions were rejected because of compliance issues. The Historic Architectural Consultants met with their engineers to identify areas of cost savings. They are fine-tuning the requirements and will put out the bid in the next few days. At the August 7th Work Session they will discuss the award of the contract and possibly have a Special Public Meeting that evening so that they can award the contract.
Hunter Research performed an archaeological assessment at the Zabriskie-Schedler House and property to define areas of likely archaeological sensitivity within the property and to provide recommendations for archaeological resource management procedures, in particular for the Revolutionary War related archaeology on the property. Due to its proximity to the Paramus Reformed Church and that the property was apparently an underdeveloped part of the church’s land, it is considered likely that some of these wartime activities extended onto the Zabriskie-Schedler property. The first historic occupation of the property is considered to have taken place is 1825. There are potentially historic objects related to the 200 year occupation of the house, and a moderate potential that remnants of the outbuilding survived. An archaeological survey of the property is recommended if significant ground disturbance is planned. There may be further investigation during the next few months during the rehabilitation and restoration.
Healthbarn – Ms. Mailander stated that Tracy and her staff at the Healthbarn painted the interior of their space and the paint supplies and staff time equate to approximately two thousand seven hundred dollars in improvements to this Village-owned property which was completed free of charge.
Bergen Bites Back – Ms. Mailander stated that Bergen Bites Back is a mosquito protection initiative. Bergen County Mosquito Control recommends emptying any containers that hold water, clean drains and gutters, and keep swimming pools adequately treated with necessary products. It only takes seven days for mosquitos to grow and by taking these efforts it would make a difference for all of us.
Ridgewood Guild Art in the Park – Ms. Mailander stated that the Ridgewood Guild is sponsoring Art in the Park Friday evenings, July 12th and August 2nd. Take a stroll in Memorial Park at Van Neste Square and enjoy music and artwork displayed by local artists. Art is for sale those evenings with proceeds benefitting the Ridgewood Guild.
Graydon Pool – Ms. Mailander reminded everyone that Graydon Pool is open for the summer season, with hours from 10:00 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. Residents can purchase memberships in person at the pool office or at ridgewoodnj.net/communitypass. Various program offerings and amenities include spray fountains, Adirondack chairs, a shade system, recreational game area, picnic area with tables and charcoal grills Wi-Fi accessibility, the Waterside Café from noon to 7:00 P.M., swim lessons, story time under the pavilion, a lending library, and special events include movie nights, concerts and more.
Kasschau Memorial Shell – Ms. Mailander stated that the Kasschau Memorial Shell located on Veterans Field behind the Library, provides free live concert popular music concerts on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8:30 P.M. in June, July and August. Bring a chair or a blanket and enjoy these concerts under the stars. This program is presented due to the generous sponsorship of several local businesses and the Village of Ridgewood. The Senior Bus will be available for transportation to several of these performances. If you are an older resident and wish to go to one of these performances, please call 201-670-5500 extension 203 for details and for which performances they will have the bus available. Front row lawn chairs are provided by Age Friendly Ridgewood for the bus riders.
Ridgewood Guild – Ms. Mailander stated that the Ridgewood Guild provides Movies under the Stars on Wednesday nights twice a month in July, and August in Memorial Park at Van Neste Square at sundown. This summer they will be showing Sleepless in Seattle on July 24th, The Sixth Sense on August 7th and ET on August 21st. Bring a chair or a blanket and enjoy the show.
Farmers Market – Ms. Mailander stated that the Farmers Market is open every Sunday through October 27th on the West Side of the Train Station from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. He encouraged people to come and meet the farmers, in addition there is a Jam Man, Bella Mozzarella, Pickle Licious, and Bounty Bakery. The Ridgewood Farmers Market is a real farmers market and is brought to us by the members of the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce.
Parking in Village-Owned Lots after 3:00 P.M. – Ms. Mailander reminded residents that parking in all Village-owned parking lots after 3:00 P.M. does not require a permit. There are still time restrictions of three hours and parking fees are still in effect.
Mayors Wellness Festival – Ms. Mailander stated that the Mayors Wellness Festival is slated for Sunday, September 22nd from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. in Memorial Park at Van Neste Square. All local health, fitness and wellness providers are welcome. Contact the Parks and Recreation office for further information.
Safe Streets to Transit Grant – Ms. Mailander stated that the Village would be submitting for a grant for Safe Streets to Transit for age friendly sidewalk improvements to Ridge Road, next to Ridgecrest and going down to the Train Station. They are hopeful that they will be successful. The deadline is July 19th, so the Village Council needs to do a resolution to apply for that grant.
- COUNCIL REPORTS
Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee and The Green Team – Councilman Sedon stated that the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee and the Green Team are well underway to putting together an awareness plan for the upcoming implementation of the plastic bag ban that will happen in January. They will have some reusable shopping bags to give out to residents towards the end of the summer and into the fall.
Shade Tree Commission – Councilman Sedon stated that the Shade Tree Commission met last night and some members expressed an interest in helping the Village to communicate the immediate next steps at the Schedler Property. So, he wanted to get some information to them so they could get some information out to the neighborhood.
Councilman Sedon added that he noticed during the Fourth of July Parade that a lot of people were congregating under big giant shade trees and trying to get out of the sun. He pointed out that they need to keep up with the canopy in the Village because if they don’t have trees then watching the parade is going to be less enjoyable for a lot of people. They are making an effort to get as many trees planted as they can.
Security Reminder – Councilman Sedon stated that as a reminder, a couple of people that he has spoken to have had their cars were broken into. So, residents should lock their car doors and not leave valuables in them.
Planning Board – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that Planning Board met last week for the reorganization. Richard Joel will continue as Chairman, and Joel Torrielli as Vice-Chairman. Chris Martin was reappointed as the Attorney for the Planning Board, along with their new Planner. She added that the Mayor administered the oath of office to new members and members that are being reappointed.
Stigma Free Task Force – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Stigma Free Task Force met yesterday. The initiative is to destigmatize mental health issues and they are trying to advance an initiative to make information available for crisis interventions and easily accessible information and numbers for emergency situations. They are working on a placemat that will be available at the Daily Treat which is being funded through the Ridgewood FMBA Local 47 and the Mayors Wellness Campaign. She added that they have been fortunate to have Dawn Cetrulo leading this charge and the Stigma Free Committee marched in the Fourth of July Parade. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that they are fortunate to have Sheila Brogan as the BOE representation on the Task Force, and as a licensed social worker it is great to have her in the room.
Historic Preservation Commission – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Historic Preservation Commission meets tomorrow at 8:00 P.M.
Fourth of July – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that it was an amazing event and day. The parade and bands were incredible. The amount of planning that goes into the all-day programming is difficult to imagine. They are very fortunate to have Tara Masterson, Leigh Gilsenan, and Chris Raimundi leading the charge. It is a 501(c)(3) organization that is self-funded and receives no funding from the Village. The entire day went off perfectly, and the evening events entertainment was incredible. There was a mishap with the fireworks. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Fourth of July Committee meets with Fire, Police, EMS, and the amount of meetings and making sure that every effort is made to ensure public safety. When that mishap occurred they owed a debt of gratitude to the emergency responders which reinforced that their effort paid off.
Councilwoman Walsh stated that in regard to the public comment that was made earlier about the acceptable ratings for the Boards and Committees that the Village Councilmembers are on and participate in, and she disagreed with that comment. They heard from two Councilmembers this evening on their processes and what they do with their Committees. The Committees are members of the public, all volunteers, and they as a Council are on different Committees but also support each other’s Committees.
Library – Councilwoman Walsh stated that the Library has the paperwork from the State and is reviewing everything and will hopefully come up with some questions if need be, but will also be working on any type of an application that is done.
Chamber of Commerce – Councilwoman Walsh stated that the Chamber of Commerce has 14 new members. The Car Show is on September 6th. There were some questions about the tree wells and what the process is in terms of Project Pride and the expectation of the property owners or business owners on what REAC or Shade Tree does. Some of the business owners take pride and dress them up and weed them on a regular basis and then there are others that don’t. If they don’t, does it then fall on the Village to maintain them. The other question was about the blocks and drainage and how that process would move forward.
Councilman Sedon stated that Engineering is working on a spec to do one side of Chestnut Street, because individual test pits gets very expensive, so if they can do several it may be less expensive. They are working on a bid to go out to see what it would cost to do one side of Chestnut Street.
Councilwoman Walsh stated that regarding parking, because they would be shifting parking from Hudson to the Train Station lot, the point came up again that the employee spaces are remaining vacant. She tasked the Chamber of Commerce to talk among them to see if they want to turn all of those spaces into flex spaces and to see if it hurts both them and the Village. They also wanted to know if the Village is planning any special celebration for Shovels in the Ground, and they wanted to be part of it and to be able to celebrate with the Village.
Mayor Hache stated that the Shovels in the Ground happens in August and they are planning a ceremonial event after everyone returns after Labor Day. Councilwoman Walsh stated that the Chamber would like to participate and offered the use of their scissors.
Councilwoman Knudsen asked about the area from the sidewalk to the curb, because as a homeowner, it is her responsibility to maintain that. She asked if that same rule extended to the CBD. Ms. Mailander stated that she would have Councilman Sedon respond to that as they went through and did a cleaning a couple of years ago. Councilman Sedon stated that the first year he was on Council they went through the summer and every Monday weeded the tree wells downtown. They then had a landscaping committee where they discussed small gardens and whose responsibility it was. So, they amended the snow removal ordinance for downtown and also included the tree wells so they would have a contractor go through and weed and mulch the tree wells. After that it was supposed to be the store owners’ or landlords’ responsibility to pull the weeds. That amendment was made and is on the books. So, it is just a matter of enforcement.
Councilwoman Knudsen added that she was talking about the weeds that are coming up from the sidewalk and elsewhere. She added that Project Pride sends out a notice asking everyone to clean up in front of their buildings before the Fourth of July. The weeds sometimes undermined the integrity of the concrete and masonry work. Mr. Rogers added that they deal with that regularly and it is the responsibility of the property owner.
Citizen Safety – Councilman Voigt stated that the Sherman Place update, regarding excessive parking on the northern end behind 88 West Ridgewood Avenue. The Mayor, Councilman Voigt, Chief Luthcke, Captain Amoroso, Sergeant Chuck, Ms. Mailander, and Mr. Rutishauser met with residents to discuss parking issues on July 1st. They discussed various possibilities with the residents, who added that they were concerned with speeding on Washington Place. Over the summer they would evaluate the usage of metered spaces on West Ridgewood Avenue and talk to the owners of the building to seek their input, and they will reconvene in September and monitor speeds on Washington Place.
Mayors Summit – Mayor Hache stated that July 18th from 9:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. is the Mayors Summit regarding PFAS and recovering the cost of removing drinking water contaminants. This will take place at Middlesex Community College and is being sponsored by the Association of Environmental Authorities and the Drinking Water Coalition of New Jersey.
125th Anniversary – Mayor Hache stated that regarding the 125th Anniversary, they would be hosting a Gala Dinner at Felina. The original discussion was to have it on Village property and to have a taste of Ridgewood, but Felina offered to open their doors to allow restaurants to bring in their catering. That will take place November 2nd and they were going to send out more details in weeks to follow. The next meeting is scheduled for next Monday.
- Presentation – Kensington Senior Living
Michael Rafeedie, a development partner, presented the potential preliminary plans for Kensington Senior Living, an assisted living community in Ridgewood. Kensington was started formally in 2010 by a few principal partners who were former executives of one of the nation’s largest assisted living companies. They have built and managed over 400 assisted living communities and financed over $6 billion in real estate across the United States and into Europe. He added that they are a developer owner-operator assisted living community, and are their own developer owner-operator assisted living community, internally funded, and have no intent to sell. They don’t take any money from Wall Street, pension funds, or life companies which allows them to make decisions quickly without any bureaucracy and allows them to do the best thing for their residents and communities.
Mr. Rafeedie stated that today they have seven built properties with another under zoning. They have a property in White Plains, New York; Falls Church, Virginia; and are under construction in Weston, Virginia. They also purchased in Kensington, Maryland. They are concurrently attaining zoning approvals in Verona, New Jersey. They own a property in Redwood City, California, and have a building in Sierra Madre, California, and opened yesterday in Redondo Beach, California.
Mr. Rafeedie stated that they are the contract purchasers of 246, 256, and 264 South Broad Street adjacent to the West Bergen Mental Health. It is 1.8 contiguous acres zoned R-3, and the auto body shops are a non-conforming use. He added that there is a variety of uses in this specific area. There are institutional uses in the surrounding churches, there is residential in the single family homes, and multi-family use. He stated that they believe the use fits into the corridor as there is not one specific use that dominates the corridor. Mr. Rafeedie stated that the existing conditions are that the auto body shop is non-conforming uses. The area and the site is somewhat of an eye-sore and is the blight in the area as the buildings are likely non-complaint with current code, and a recent environmental study that they conducted showed that the site is likely contaminated.
Mr. Rafeedie stated that Kensington was proposing 90 plus or minus units of assisted living with up to 130 state licensed residents. They are proposing six stories of living over a parking garage at grade, hidden behind the facade. The architecture is historically inspired and is a custom tailored design to fit Ridgewood. Varied rooflines with dormers and varied high end materials in the façade, a combination of a secure garage and outdoor parking spaces. The conceptual site plan is that the building wraps a central courtyard with each level having its own outdoor space in the center. The building is set back from South Broad which creates a promenade. There is a full 360 degree egress access around the site with two entrances on either side for garage access. There is loading in the rear and the setbacks and parking spaces create a setback to adjacent properties.
Mr. Rafeedie displayed some the projects that they have recently built, showing the one in Virginia that was built two years ago on a downtown busy road in an urban area. He displayed the building in White Plains, which was not representative to the architectural style or height of the building in Ridgewood, and he showed it to display that each building is custom to the site and thoughtfully inspired by the exact site. The location in Verona is on Bloomfield Avenue, and in California he displayed those locations as well.
Mr. Rafeedie talked about what they were proposing in Ridgewood, and showed photos of the interior that they were proposing from a Falls Church property. He showed an entry foyer, and the quality was representative of what they would do here in Ridgewood. Today, if a senior needs help with daily activities they must leave Ridgewood, and it is their belief that folks who need assistance should be able to stay, live and thrive in the town they helped build and where their kids went to school and today they cannot do that in Ridgewood. Additionally, 10% of the beds will be in accordance with the State Medicaid program which qualifies as affordable housing.
Mr. Rafeedie stated that they are proposing to invest and continue the revitalization of the South Broad Street corridor. He added that every time they erect a building they get involved in the fabric of the community and partner with various groups. He stated that he has been in contact with Reverend Brandon and Reverend Brown from local churches, and Age Friendly Ridgewood and they have had good open productive discussions on how they could partner together. There are many more stakeholders that they plan to meet with to establish true partnerships with various groups in town.
Mr. Rafeedie stated that they sponsor many local events such as food drives and clothing drives. Additionally where the site is located, he believes that local businesses will benefit from employees, residents, and visitors. He added that assisted living is a benign use with increased tax revenues with very little expenditure. The residents don’t drive and they have zero school district expenditures. They will create about 120 full time jobs and 50 part time jobs. The building itself spends a lot of money locally as each building has hundreds of different vendors. They serve nearly 500 meals a day and get food delivered constantly which could be a great source of revenue to local suppliers. Mr. Rafeedie added that they would love to partner locally with businesses inside of Ridgewood if the services are available.
Mr. Rafeedie stated that there are a few different avenues to helping this property get into Ridgewood, and the most appropriate would be through a redevelopment designation. A redevelopment designation allows Ridgewood to work closely with Kensington to come up with an acceptable design, bulk design list of uses, to have more control over the process and what gets built there. Tax abatements can be granted which gives the Village more control over where the revenue goes and how it is shared. Additionally, this site is likely contaminated and redevelopment areas can be eligible for funding from the state. Affordable housing in a redevelopment area can also be eligible for credits as well. He added that they are excited about this potential project and opened it up for questions.
Councilwoman Walsh stated that the corridor is going to have increased capacity with the development going in there and the parking garage. So, with 120 employees and 50 part time employees, how many on-site parking spots are they talking about at grade and then built above for the employees. Mr. Rafeedie stated that they will have roughly 70 parking spaces which encompass staff, employees, and residents although the residents typically don’t drive. The State requirement is 0.5 per unit, so they are proposing 70 spaces. Councilwoman Walsh asked how much would be affordable housing. Mr. Rafeedie stated that it would be 13 plus or minus beds.
Councilman Voigt asked if they are going to do a traffic study and will it provide some information on the level of in and out at that particular location. He added that he assumes it is going to be low based on the types of people that are going to be there. Mr. Rafeedie agreed. Councilman Voigt asked about the types of jobs that were going to be created and asked if there would be any preference for Village residents. Mr. Rafeedie stated that they typically find that employees come from the town or closer to where they live so that naturally happens. They advertise and do job fairs locally. They have jobs from 10 to 15 management level, to dining staff, caregivers, housekeeping, drivers, nurses, LPNs. Councilman Voigt asked if the 10% of units being Medicaid was by State law. Mr. Rafeedie stated that was correct. Councilman Voigt asked if there was any inclination to make it higher than that. Mr. Rafeedie stated they could talk about that.
Councilman Voigt asked if they would be paying taxes there. Mr. Rafeedie state that it would be a redevelopment area pilot, but yes. Councilman Voigt asked if he could provide the information as to what those taxes might be. He asked about the types of residents that would be there from activity levels to things they would be doing in town. Mr. Rafeedie stated that the majority of residents are non-independent and the units are 300 to 600 feet with a kitchenette and it is true assisted living. Some need lighter care and some are there because their spouses are there. There are folks in the late stages of dementia. The encourage activities they have a bus and take the residents to shows and games, and facilitate the residents going out and bring folks in for music and shows. Councilman Voigt asked if there was any thought about how they would incorporate this with Age Friendly Ridgewood. Mr. Rafeedie stated that they spoke with Sheila Brogan and Beth Abbott and there is a lot of education, and there is an option today that doesn’t currently exist, so there is a referral there too.
Councilman Voigt asked how big their bus was. Mr. Rafeedie stated that it probably holds about 50 people at any given point. Councilman Voigt asked if there were any thoughts about using the bus with other senior housing in the area. Mr. Rafeedie stated that was definitely possible.
Councilwoman Knudsen stated that her questions were similar to those of Councilwoman Walsh and her questions regarding employment opportunities as they relate to the number of parking spaces. Also, the obvious is the width of the street, and Bloomfield Avenue is a much busier, wider, more traveled route, so it is very different. Clearly Broad Street has its challenges, and it’s a narrow corridor, so she was concerned about that. She thinks that they were here years ago when Kensington first approached them and some of the questions that were raised then were the number of emergency vehicles that come and go. There are delivery trucks, laundry services, and a tremendous amount of activity that comes along with this type of facility, so those were her concerns. Mr. Rafeedie stated that they did a survey regarding the ambulance and it is about six to eight visits per month per property. They are typically not emergencies, which count people coming from or going to rehab or the hospital.
Councilwoman Knudsen stated that several times Mr. Rafeedie stated that the site was likely contaminated and she said that she thought they did some work but that term seemed non-committal. Mr. Rafeedie stated that they did a Phase I which does not involve digging and it came back and said that it was likely contaminated for a few reasons. Councilwoman Knudsen asked if the Village Council had a copy of the presentation and the report that he was speaking about.
Mayor Hache stated that in terms of the communities where they currently operate, they are very different from each other, and asked how they typically measure the impact of the relationship within the communities and what is typically the feedback that they get in terms of the quality and the impact on these communities. Mr. Rafeedie stated that it is typically more than what they thought than during the zoning process. When it is built they receive letters from Councilmen, the Mayor, or Planning Board members thanking them for being there. Mayor Hache asked if there was any plan for any sort of exit or was the plan to keep this a multi-generational type of business. Mr. Rafeedie stated that to his knowledge they are generational assets and they have no intent at this point to sell or capitalize as they are 95% owned by three individuals.
Councilwoman Knudsen asked if they were looking to have this redesignated as an area in need of redevelopment. Mr. Rafeedie stated that was correct. Councilwoman Knudsen asked about the grant monies available for an area in need of redevelopment and for an area in need if remediation. Mr. Rafeedie stated that he believes there is money available for redevelopment areas for sites that are contaminated. He wasn’t sure how much or the extent of the contamination. Mayor Hache stated that all they were waiting for now was just the report of the contamination.
- Ridgewood Water
- Award Contract – State Cooperative Purchase – Service Truck Western Star Chassis and Reading Utility Body
Ms. Mailander stated that due to the ongoing equipment replacement program, they identified vehicle #97 needs replacement. It is a 2004 service truck that is used daily by the Distribution Division at Glen Avenue. It is a mobile water main repair vehicle housing all parts and tolls to repair 24/7 throughout the service area. This truck is vital to Ridgewood Water’s operation and key to successful water main repairs. The truck has over 52,912 miles and over 12,209 engine hours. Major repairs have been completed including a rebuilt engine; the most problematic issue has been the onboard generator compressor. When the onboard generator fails, the truck has to be sent out for repairs and they cannot remove the generator from the truck for service. So, it causes excessive downtime of a vehicle that is needed to perform emergency repairs. They are replacing the truck with one that affords reliability and efficiency needed to maintain the water distribution system. It is a 2020 Western Star steel utility body and a detachable air compressor/generator. This will allow Ridgewood Water to remove parts for repair and allow the vehicle to remain in service. The cost is $286,469. Western Star is from Cliffside Body and the air compressor is from Vanair. Ms. Mailander stated that funding is in the Water Capital Budget.
- Award Contract – Additional Award for Resurfacing and Repair of Water Utility Locations
Ms. Mailander stated that this was an additional award for the Ridgewood Water Company. Earlier this year they awarded a paving bid, the low bid was from American Asphalt and Milling Services of Kearny. At this time, Ridgewood Water has miscellaneous locations throughout its service districts that need milling and paving work, so they would like to award an additional amount of $40,000 to do the minor paving and concrete work. This is being paid for out of the Ridgewood Water budget.
- Award Professional Services Contract – Engineering Consultant for Farview and Eastside Station Improvements
Ms. Mailander stated that this is a Professional Engineering service. On June 20th they received proposals from three pre-qualified engineering firms, Boswell Engineering, Arcadia U.S., Inc., and Suburban Consulting Engineers. Boswell Engineering, Inc. providing the lowest cost at $150,000 is being recommended to be awarded and will be paid for out of the Ridgewood Water Capital Budget. The improvements are necessary to correct building, electrical, mechanical, site and system deficiencies such as replacing old pumps, installing new variable frequency drives, replacing old HVAC systems, upgrading and consolidating electric components, and things of that nature. This will require a pay to play, so as long as we have that, we can award it next week.
- Award Contract – Infrared Asphalt Surface Repair, Asphalt Trench Patching, and Miscellaneous Curb and Sidewalk Repair
Ms. Mailander stated that the Village received bids on July 2nd for infrared asphalt surface repair, asphalt trench patching, and miscellaneous curb and sidewalk repairs at various locations. There are six plan holders and they received three bid packages. J. Fletcher Creamer Construction was the apparent low bidder at $1,165 for the aggregate amount of all the unit items. The bid will be shared by the Village of Ridgewood with Ridgewood Water Company, and other interested communities, as they have expressed an interest in using the low bidder for their pavement/concrete restoration work in the past.
The intent of this contract is to have available means to restore Village streets to a “new condition” after an excavation has been made. The contract will also be used to repair excavations done under Village street opening permits where the contractor failed to satisfactorily restore the street. Funds for this award are available in the Ridgewood Water budget account and from permit fees for street opening permits. The Ridgewood Water Company recommends award of a contract in an amount not to exceed $150,000.
Councilwoman Walsh asked why the contract was $150,000 when the bid was only $1,165. Ms. Mailander stated that these are the unit prices and then they use it as needed, so the total to be used between now and next June is anticipated to be approximately $150,000. Councilwoman Walsh asked how many units that was. Ms. Mailander stated that she didn’t know as it depends on what they use, what size the opening was, and what type of material they need to close it up.
- Designate Parking Spaces in Train Station Lot for Hudson Street Lot Permit Holders
Ms. Mailander stated that the people who had Hudson street permits were going to participate in a rideshare program when the Hudson Lot closed. Due to the reconfiguration of the Train Station with approximately 35 additional spaces and the fact that they only sold 12 of those Hudson Street permits it has worked out well. They are going to designate 12 spots for Hudson Street permit holders, so they will have spots available at the Train Station. She added that they have to create an ordinance to allow for this. Mr. Rutishauser reviewed this and there were 12 spots right when you pull in to be all Hudson Street permit holders and it would be easy for the PEO’s.
Councilwoman Walsh asked if there was a default in the process, and why they would get a premium amount. Ms. Mailander stated that they paid premium prices, and they were going to provide a rideshare service taking them directly to the train station and at this point they were going to give them spaces at the train station to park in. Councilwoman Knudsen added that they were being displaced. Councilwoman Walsh stated that they were being displaced, but it wasn’t different than anyone else as they didn’t pay any more than the holders who are first come first serve. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that those tags are specific to Hudson Street. Councilwoman Walsh stated that the cost is the same as the ones that can park anywhere at the Train Station. Because there was never an agreement that they would get premium spots there, wouldn’t they get passes like everyone else. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she thought it was an administrative effort to make it easier for the PEO’s because those tags are different. There was additional discussion with Mayor Hache saying that normally they wouldn’t give anyone special designation but because of the construction they were going to designate the spaces for the Hudson Street permit holder.
Ms. Mailander added that going into 2020 they will be able to sell more Premium Parking Permits, and perhaps they won’t sell out as quickly because there will be more spots available at the Train Station. Councilwoman Walsh stated that technically they would have to decrease it by 12 for the remainder of this year. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the timing worked out and that was the reason they weren’t doing the rideshare. Councilwoman Walsh added that she thought there would be a default if enough passes weren’t sold and it wouldn’t be feasible. Ms. Mailander stated that there was no default.
- Award Contract – National Cooperative Purchase – 2019 Ford F350 Pickup – Signal Division
Ms. Mailander stated that this was for the furnishing and delivering of a new Ford F-350 pickup for the Division of Traffic and Signal and was a replacement of a vehicle a 2001 Ford F-250 pickup with 63,680 miles. The National Cooperative Purchasing Program is Sourcewell, and as in the past they will buy the plow separately because the local supplier has a cheaper price. The award of the contract is to National Auto Fleet Group in Watsonville, California, in an amount not to exceed $52,226. This will provide more reliable service than the vehicle it replaces and will also be added to snow plowing operations.
- Resolution to Reject All Bids – Zabriskie-Schedler House Rehabilitation
Ms. Mailander stated that the Village received bids from three qualified bidders on June 4th. They received two bids on time and the third bidder got lost in Village Hall and was late for the bid opening. The circumstances were reviewed with Mr. Rogers. The lost bidder’s bid was never opened on June 4th, and upon the advice of Mr. Rogers a second opening was conducted on June 19th. The three bids range from a low of $1,141,900 to a high of $1,249,697. All three bids exceeded the architects’ estimate which was at $784,800. The architects are currently talking to the prequalified bidders and have recommended rejecting all bids. They have identified some cost savings which will be incorporated into the new RFP. Three of the five prequalified bidders sent a proposal but it is likely that they might have all five bidding in this round because the other two might have bid on projects that they didn’t get. So, the architects are hopeful that they will get bids from all five.
The proposed schedule for bidding is that on July 15th the RFP will be made available to the prequalified bidders, due on August 1st, they will be discussed August 7th, and then with the permission of the Village Council they will have a Special Public Meeting on August 7th. Connolly and Hickey said that they find the cost differences between the bids stem from the construction industries’ increasing costs for materials and labor. The increase in both labor prevailing wages and material costs has increased year after year. Ms. Mailander stated that contractors used to see an 8% increase in profit and it is now closer to a 15% increase, which is also due to the new tariffs that have been implemented.
Councilman Voigt stated that the initial estimate was $785,000 and these are $1.14 million to $1.25 million so they are over by $700,000 on the low end. He asked if that also included the remediation. Ms. Mailander stated that would be discussed next. Councilman Voigt stated that they were looking at about $450,000 to $600,000 over what they initially estimated. Ms. Mailander stated that was correct.
Councilwoman Knudsen asked when the Connolly and Hickey estimate was completed. Ms. Mailander stated that they originally went out some time in January just for the roof and then they decided to combine all of the bids together in the spring, so she thought that the estimate was from sometime last fall. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that was a pretty big increase in that period of time, and it was interesting because she pulled up the documents today regarding the Certificate of Eligibility from the State Preservation Office which predates everyone here. The importance of preserving history is important but there is a cost and she would like to see the original documents again because the number is just significantly higher.
- Award Contract – Zabriskie-Schedler House Hazardous Materials Removal
Ms. Mailander stated that the bids were opened June 4th, and there were seven bids ranging from a low of $90,240 to a high of $257,475. The low bid was received from Unicorn Contracting Corp. of Woodland Park. They are recommending the award of this contract. This remediation has to take place first anyway before any other work is done. They will hopefully be able to get it all on track in August and this one can be awarded next week and can hopefully begin soon.
- Award Contract – National Cooperative Purchase – 2020 Kenworth Packer Body Truck – Division of Solid Waste
Ms. Mailander stated that this is award of contract under Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing for a 2020 Kenworth Packer Body Truck for the Division of Solid Waste, in the amount of $195,752.20. This replaces a 2003 Crane Carrier Truck which has 124,286 miles and 25,430 engine hours. Most garbage trucks have a life span of ten years, and this was 16 years. There are currently issues getting parts for this make of truck so when it does break down it is very difficult to repair.
- Purchase of Fire Engine – Correction of Resolution
Ms. Mailander stated that this was the correction of a resolution that was adopted June 12th. There is a new Pierce Saber Fire Engine through the Houston-Galveston Area Cooperative Purchasing in an amount not to exceed $478,703.15. That resolution incorrectly listed Pierce Manufacturing as the vendor, which should actually be Fire and Safety Services out of South Plainfield. This resolution will correct the June 12th resolution with the correct vendor and also rescind the original resolution.
- Declare Property Surplus – Fire Engine
Ms. Mailander stated that this resolution declares the 2000 Pierce Dash Fire Engine surplus. It has reached the end of its useful life and is not needed for public use. By declaring it surplus it will be used as a trade in for this Pierce 2020 Fire Engine in the amount of $28,000 which will be applied to the purchase of the 2020 Pierce Saber Fire Engine.
- 2018 Annual and 2019 Quarterly Financial Statements
Mr. Rooney stated that he presented two sets of Financial Statements to the Village Council. One is the assets revenue expenses as of year-end for three funds, and the other is the revenue expense as of April 30, 2019 against the 2019 budget. The 2018 information, most of which they discussed during the budget process, but he would go through that first. On page 1 of the assets for the current fund, there is a significant decrease in the assets primarily due to the cash that was collected in 2017 for the pre-paid taxes. That also has a slight impact on delinquent property taxes increasing in 2018, the way some of the taxpayer’s request refunds after the first of the year.
Mr. Rooney stated that the grant fund was relatively flat with the elimination of the interfunds in the prior year and the slight increase in the grant’s receivable. In liabilities and fund balance, they noticed an increase in the encumbered amounts which basically are reservation of funds during the year and unspent monies during the year as well. Of that $2.4 million unencumbered, 25-30% is paid down in 2019 for those items that should have been encumbered but were not. There is a decrease in fund balance overall of roughly 5%. The grant fund is consistent pretty much with the prior year.
Mr. Rooney stated that revenues showed a slight increase of 1.7% compared to the prior year and appropriations showed a roughly 2% increase that resulted in approximately a 5% reduction in fund balance because of the increase in utilization of fund balance utilized in 2018 compared to 2017 and the slight decrease compared to expenditures for income over expenditures.
Mr. Rooney stated that the Water Utility operating fund has a slight decrease in cash offset by available reserves which are down in the liabilities. The fund balance showed an 8% increase over the prior year, that is primarily a result of unexpended balance for appropriation reserves of almost $2 million over prior year. This was to offset the shortfall in revenues that they had because of the rainy season. So they canceled appropriations to balance that out which resulted in approximately 8% increase in fund balance.
Mr. Rooney stated that the Parking Utility operating fund has a slight increase in cash due to the timing of payments and also the rate increase that went into effect in September. This resulted in approximately 6% increase in fund balance which results in the lack of funds that were available at the time when they did the budget in 2018 to pay over to the current fund to pay for prior year operating losses, so that is what generated the increase in fund balance at the end of 2018. The increase in parking lot fees and permits as a result of the rate increase that went into effect in the last quarter and the timing and amount of budget in the fund balance reduction $300,000 in the expenditures which contributed to the increase in fund balance.
Councilwoman Walsh asked about 3,002.19% unexpended balance of appropriation reserves. Mr. Rooney stated that in 2017 only $4,000 lapsed and in 2018 some of the money was paid out in 2019 but it was $125,000 at the end of the year which is a 3,000% increase.
Mr. Rooney stated that the current fund revenues as of April 30, 2019 which shows the budget that was adopted during the year. He doesn’t do these in March or quarterly because he needs the budget to be adopted before he can reflect comparison. They use 33% as criteria for discussing any fluctuation. Most of the revenue items that have exceeded or have come short are the result of timing. A significant portion is revenues not billed out until June on a cash basis that can’t be reflected until the money is collected. Grant funds are realized 100% and in the maintenance and support of education vehicles that is only 20% and has increased significantly in the past two months. The State distribution they only get in September so that was at 0%. Everything through the rest of the general revenues is pretty much on target and there are one or two items because of timing but overall the actual to budget is approximately 32% so it’s right where they expect it to be.
Councilwoman Walsh stated that in the budget process they talked about them changing the building codes, and she asked what line item that was where the fees that they had been able to charge and weren’t going to be able to anymore. Mr. Rooney stated that it was page 8, uniform construction code fees, and they are slightly behind right now at 26% but according to Tom Yotka, the developments are going through and they are collecting more and more money and in the past two weeks they made $150,000 and it seems like it is where it should be. Councilwoman Knudsen asked when the change in the Uniform Construction Code fees went into effect. Mr. Rooney stated that started in September last year when they eliminated the certain fees that they could charge.
Councilman Voigt asked about ambulance billing and timing affecting that. Mr. Rooney stated that it is on a cash basis and the month of April may not have been received until May. Councilman Voigt asked from a billing standpoint if they were on track and if they were just waiting for the cash. Mr. Rooney agreed that was the problem that they can only show the cash. Councilman Voigt asked about the cellular tower and $180,000 for the year, with $85,000 so far and if he thought it was going to be higher. Mr. Rooney stated that if they did, it wouldn’t be by much as these are determined at the beginning of the year by contract.
Mr. Rooney stated that there wasn’t anything in the appropriations that was outlandish or anything to be concerned about. Councilman Voigt asked about other insurance, and Mr. Rooney stated that it was all due to timing of the bills, and in some cases they pay premiums in February/March for the whole year. He stated that they have 47% of all expenses for Police, which is quite high however they have put in a lot of blanket orders for expenses that they expect to incur and 9/10 times those blanket orders are less when the actual comes in so they are not concerned. Councilman Voigt asked what the other expenses represented. Mr. Rooney stated for example: ammunition; which they anticipate spending $500,000 for the year and will put a blanket order in for $500,000. So, they can’t spend that money because they anticipate spending that amount. When they get to the end of the year they may have only spent $350,000 so there is excess money there that goes back into the balance. He added that these are for known items that they are purchasing year after year, which they also do in Public Works for tires so that money won’t get spent on something else.
Councilman Voigt asked where overtime was in that. Mr. Rooney stated that it was in salaries and wages. Councilman Voigt asked how they were doing with that. Mr. Rooney stated that they were on track for what has been budgeted.
Mr. Rooney stated they have one or two encumbrances where they accrued excess time because of snow removal in the beginning of the year and they deal with that when they come into November if they need funds to transfer to cover any overages. They pay the whole year pension out up front, so that takes 100% of the appropriation. He added that some things are contractual and they make payments for six months so that counts for higher than 33% of the budget. Mr. Rooney said that debt service is affected by time and when maturities are due, overall the appropriations were on target.
Mr. Rooney stated that water rent is about 26% of the budget so that is slightly down from what they anticipate as they have had a rainy season and will pick up the $157,000 water rents that will be billed in July. Fire hydrant service is a third quarter billing and miscellaneous is paid contractually for cell tower rents. Appropriations, to offset the shortage in revenue they have less money spent in other expenses for the purchase of water so that balances it out and is the same as what they had in 2018 where they adjusted their spend to offset any shortfalls in revenue. Councilman Voigt asked about capital improvements and if they anticipated that was going to go over. Mr. Rooney stated that they were on target with spending.
Mr. Rooney stated that the parking meters increases the result of the rate increase that they put through last year and he was glad to see that they were moving forward with that so when the time comes to analyze rate increases they can take a look and see where they are and how to postpone that fee. Councilwoman Knudsen asked if some of that was captured lost revenue. Mr. Rooney stated it wasn’t on that line as it was straight revenue from meters, kiosks, and Parkmobile. On the appropriations side the money was going over to the General Fund for operating losses that they had in the past. The surplus to General Budget is down $300,000 to what it was last year and that is where they were paying back to the General Fund. Councilman Voigt asked about the parking meters, as after four months it looks like they would be well above and if that was just due to the increase. Mr. Rooney stated that it was primarily due to the increase. He added that when you budget the revenue you can only budget as much as you realized in the prior year, and since they didn’t have that increase last year he couldn’t anticipate it this year. Councilman Voigt stated that it looks like about $150,000 to $500,000 over for this year. Mr. Rooney stated that you would lose some parking this year due to the construction of the garage.
Councilwoman Knudsen stated that even though they lose those spaces because of the garage, they are making up spaces elsewhere. So, based on the usage in the rent past, they might not really be using as much as they think. Mr. Rooney stated that he agrees 100% but the thing that they can’t gauge is when there is construction-related street closure. On the appropriations side, salaries and wages are down because they lost a couple of PEO’s and are looking to hire four slots.
- Award Contract – Recycling Disposal Contract
Ms. Mailander stated that the recycling industry has changed and it has been dictated by the situation in China and the enforcement of quality standards which has changed the entire industry. Due to this downturn, the traditional floor price contract has been replaced with a Revenue Share model. This model is new to the Village of Ridgewood. The Village recycling processor, Atlantic Coast Fibers has chosen to exercise their contractual right and did not permit the next annual extension of our floor price contract. Due to the change in market conditions, ACF has requested that the Village move into the new Revenue Share contract.
Ed Bethune, Supervisor of Recycling, sought out alternatives for disposal and revaluated the details of the new contract. In his research, he found it was most secure for the Village to contract with one of the big two receiving facilities, ACF or Waste Management. They are the two largest and most reputable recycling processors of municipal material. It would not be in the Village’s interest to entertain proposals from smaller, unstable firms that may not be able to stay afloat during this turbulent time in the industry.
Based on this research, and with the concurrence of Mr. Calbi, they have decided to pursue a contract with ACF. They presented the Village with a more advantageous pricing model for Revenue Share, based on the quality of our material and were favorable when compared to the cost share proposed by Waste Management. Therefore, Mr. Calbi recommends awarding a three year contract with two one-year options with ACF out of Passaic. In accordance with statute the marketing of recyclable materials recovered through a recycling program, can be negotiated and awarded without public advertising for bids.
Councilman Sedon asked if there were any projections about the change in revenue. Mr. Calbi stated that it is definitely going to affect the revenue stream. There may even be months where the Village has to pay, but they have to realize that recycling keeps the waste out of the solid waste stream and that has a much higher cost to dispose. They did an analysis over the past few years of what they saved through recycling as opposed to putting it in the waste stream and over those years they have saved $1.7 million in five years by recycling in the Village. Although they may be negative in this revenue share a few months they are saving in the end because it’s not going into garbage. This Revenue Share model means they will give the Village the actual price that they are getting or paying and then subtract out of that a processing fee. Because of our quality of recycling, percentages in each basket, they are beneficial to the Village in terms of percentages. Compared to the other municipalities, the Village’s percentages are better and the advantage of ACF is that they allow a percentage of waste as opposed to refusing a load and charging a surcharge. Mr. Calbi added that they have been talking about this for four years and it is up to the national leaders as to how they are going to negotiate those contracts.
Mr. Bethune stated that there is a misconception that recycling was meant to be a revenue maker, it was meant to pull monies away from the solid waste stream to cut back on solid waste. Recyclables are solid waste but they found ways to reuse recyclables and over the years it has been a very valid commodity, but that has changed. We have to change our mindset, so to pay a little now to get rid of recycling. Councilman Sedon stated that he agreed with that, but after so many years you get used to the revenue stream so that was one of the concerns. He asked when the contract would go into effect. Mr. Bethune stated August 1st. Councilman Sedon asked if that would impact this year’s budget or did they project less based on what they felt was coming. Mr. Bethune stated that they are still ahead of the game and it isn’t going to be that detrimental because the products are very clean and that is the main staple to make sure that we stay ahead of the contamination. Waste Management looks for zero contamination in the recyclables and there is no such thing, whereas ACF offers 5% contamination and we can deal with that.
Councilman Voigt asked if they anticipated a huge deviation from what was projected in the budget. Mr. Calbi stated that what would be most likely affected is what is in the recycling trust and they would gain or lose on what comes out of this contract. Councilman Voigt asked for an approximation of what was in that trust. Mr. Calbi stated that he guesses it was about $100,000, which is a surplus but is also part of their grant funding from the State. Councilman Voigt asked if it would affect the budget. Mr. Calbi stated that he would consult Mr. Rooney and get an answer for next week.
Mr. Bethune shared an article with the Village Council. Councilwoman Knudsen asked about the acceptable comingled common contents and the dual stream recycling, if that changes the items going into recycling from this company and if there was anything to get out to the public. Mr. Bethune stated that every day is a constant reeducation. Councilwoman Knudsen asked if there was any information to get out regarding the new vendor. Mr. Bethune stated that they have the recycle app which they try to keep current with the market, they keep the calendar, and when you come to the recycling center there is a big sign with green for yes and red for no, so they are trying to send out flyers and stay on top of things. Mr. Calbi stated that they need the public to keep the quality high, keeping it clean and dry as the moisture factor of paper and cardboard is important. The processors at the facility check the moisture content, and he asked if they can wait for the next pickup or bring it to the recycling center on a day that is raining it would be beneficial. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that was important, as if it was raining her whole neighborhood could be effect. Mr. Bethune stated that not necessarily, as they probe the moisture and there might be a certain percentage that they would have to be charged and it might not be the whole load, but these are new things that they are just finding out and they are coming up with ways to get it out to the public. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that education is important as she might not necessarily think of that.
Councilman Sedon stated that regarding REAC or any group to help out, to let them know. Mr. Calbi stated that they need a champion and someone to help out because they have the app and did a newsletter in addition to the green guide and need more avenues to get out to the public and the businesses downtown. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that social media is the place to be with this as so many people are following this and they get information out to thousands of people in seconds, so maybe that is a place that they need to look. Mr. Bethune stated that they have a Facebook page, to which Mr. Calbi added that there are less than 100 followers so they need to find a way to get that out more.
- Planning Board Proposed Ordinance to Amend Code – Swimming Pools
Ms. Mailander stated that Chapter 190 of The Code of the Village of Ridgewood references Chapter 251. Chapter 251 is actually reserved and there is nothing there. The new ordinance would amend the Village Code to remove all references to Chapter 251 and replace it with the appropriate reference.
- Planning Board Proposed Ordinance to Amend Code – Permit Real Estate Open House Signs
Ms. Mailander stated that this would allow under Chapter 190 at Section 190-122H(7)(h) to permit a free standing real estate open house sign for a period not to exceed five days, which they don’t permit right now.
- Calendar Themes
Ms. Mailander stated that in June they brought two possible calendar themes, one was “Hidden and Not So Hidden Treasures of the Village of Ridgewood” and the other was line artwork for native species throughout the Village. The Village Council was provided examples of each.
Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she has no opinion about this, other than the effort to have the calendar done by June so that they don’t have errors and omissions. She added that her only motivation is to have this done for proofreading.
Councilwoman Walsh stated that she liked the “Hidden and Not So Hidden Treasures of the Village of Ridgewood” as it was a great way for people to see something and to go visit it and it gives them an idea. Mayor Hache and Councilman Voigt were in agreement. Councilman Sedon stated that the picture quality is probably going to be similar to what was provided so he liked the idea of having information and the line art. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that short of taking the photos out, they are always going to look muddy in this which was the reasoning behind the line art. Councilman Sedon added that his concern was getting it done right. Mayor Hache added that he liked the “Hidden and Not So Hidden Treasures of the Village of Ridgewood” idea.
Ms. Mailander stated that they would do the “Hidden and Not So Hidden Treasures of the Village of Ridgewood” so anyone who was listening let them know as soon as possible if they have any treasures in Ridgewood and they can highlight them in a particular month. Councilman Voigt asked if they wanted them to send pictures. Ms. Mailander stated that would be fine but they could also just share the location.
- Proposed Encroachment Agreement – Minor Retaining Wall
Ms. Mailander stated that a resident on East Ridgewood Avenue wanted to repair a low retaining wall, but as they went through the permitting process it was discovered to be in the Village’s right of way. It is a very minimal encroachment so a resolution of approval is needed.
- Memorandum of Understanding – Childhood Lead Program – Health Department
Ms. Mailander stated that the State of New Jersey has recently lowered the action level for lead poisoning investigation from 10 ug/dl to 5 ug/dl which has caused an increase in lead investigation cases. The Bergen County Department of Health Services was able to obtain a grant from the state which enables the County to provide lead poisoning services to all 70 towns within the County. This agreement is valid for 24 months, from 07/01/2019 to 06/30/2022. If the County is successful in meeting the goals of the grant requirements, it will likely continue.
The County has drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for all Bergen County towns. They ask that it be signed within 30 days of the original agreement which is July 1, 2019. They need a resolution to sign that memorandum. The Village used to have an MOU with the Paterson Health Department, and those cases will continue until close out, but all other cases will go to Bergen County.
- Request for Emergency Grant for Community Development – SHARE House
Ms. Mailander stated that this was a request for an emergency Community Development Block Grant for the replacement of two central air conditioning units at the Prospect Street SHARE House, which requires an endorsing resolution from the Village Council. The cost is $22,700. This confirms endorsing of the project and doesn’t obligate any of the Village’s funds.
- Authorize Shared Services Agreement – Intersection Improvements (Bergen County)
Ms. Mailander stated that she received an email last week that indicated that Bergen County is willing to move forward with a Shared Services Agreement to improve the intersections of North Maple and Franklin, Franklin and Oak, and Franklin and Walnut, and Broad. They are going to move forward with that and pass this resolution. The Freeholders have adopted a resolution already; will prepare a Shared Services Agreement, and then move forward from there. The County indicated that the faster that the Village can complete its requirements, the more likely that it will get done. Their goal is to move forward to get these improvements to the intersections done.
- REVIEW OF JULY 17, 2019 PUBLIC MEETING AGENDA
Ms. Mailander stated that this was a review of the July 17, 2019 Public Meeting Agenda.
There are no Proclamations.
There are no ordinances for introduction or public hearing for Ridgewood Water.
Resolutions for Ridgewood Water include: Title 59 Approval – Infrared Asphalt Surface Repair, Trench Patching, and Miscellaneous Curb and Sidewalk Repair; Award Contract – Infrared Asphalt Surface Repair, Trench Patching, and Miscellaneous Curb and Sidewalk Repair; Award Contract Under State Contract – Service Truck Chassis; Award Contract Under State Contract Utility Body; Authorize Additional Award of Contract – Resurfacing and Repair at Water Utility Locations; Award Professional Engineering Services Contract – Farview and Eastside Station Improvements; Award Change Order #1 – Professional Services Contract – Engineering Services – Eder, Lakeview and Southside Pump Station; Award Change Order #1 – Professional Engineering Services – Passaic Valley Water Commission Pipeline Project; Authorize Additional Award of Contract – Line Stop and Valve Insertion; and Declare Property Surplus – Water Department.
The following ordinances are scheduled for introduction: 3728 - Designate Parking Spaces in Train Station Lot for Hudson Street Lot Permit Holders; 3729 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use Development – Swimming Pools; 3730 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Permit Real Estate Open House Signs.
The scheduled public hearings include: 3723 – Amend Outdoor Café Fees – 2019 & 2020; 3724 – Amend Chapter 154 – Update FEMA/FIRM Maps – Flood Damage Prevention; 3725 – Reappropriate Funding in Capital Ordinance – Renovation of Tree Wells in Central Business District to Conducting a Tree Inventory; 3726 – Ridgewood Parking Permits for Building Owners with Offices in Central Business District; and 3727 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Ridgewood Parking Permits.
Resolutions include: Award Contract – Vehicle Tracking Equipment; Title 59 Approval – Hazardous Material Remediation – Zabriskie Schedler House; Award Contract – Hazardous Material Remediation – Zabriskie Schedler House; Award Contract Under Sourcewell National Cooperative Purchasing Program – 2019 Ford F350 Pickup Truck – Signal Division; Award Contract Under Sourcewell National Cooperative Purchasing Program – 2020 Kenworth Packer Body Truck – Division of Solid Waste; Award Contract – Recycling Disposal Contract; Award Professional Services Contract – Planner for Affordable Housing Matters; Award Professional Services Contract – Village Auditor; Amend Resolution for Award of Contract Under Houston-Galveston Area Council Cooperative Purchasing Program – 2020 Pierce Saber Pumper; Reject Bids – Restoration and Renovation of Zabriskie Schedler House; Authorize Shared Services Agreement – Snowplowing (Bergen County); Authorize Shared Services Agreement – Intersection Improvements (Bergen County); Establish Annual Service Charge and Payment for Guarantee Bond for Ridgewood Senior Citizen Housing Corporation and Guaranty of Payment of Revenue Bonds; Endorse Community Development Block Grant – SHARE, Inc. – Prospect Street House – Emergency Repair to Central Air Conditioning Units; Authorize Minor Encroachment Agreement – 970 East Ridgewood Avenue; Authorize Release of Escrow – Flo’s Market; Authorize Execution of NJDEP Permits – Drainage of Kings Pond; Declare Property Surplus – Department of Public Works; Declare Property Surplus – Fire Department; Authorize Memorandum of Understanding with Bergen County Department of Health Services – Childhood Lead Program; and Authorize Removal of Diseased Trees at Memorial Park at Van Neste Square.
The Village Council was in favor of accepting the RBSA donation at Upper Hawes that was discussed this evening.
- COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC
Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that he spoke about this last year, but the subject came up again that although Graydon is wonderful, an improvement could be made when the pool is closed so people could be notified before having to drive over. Last year he asked about the control panel to the Lightening Detection System or if a notice could be put on the Village website, but Mr. Hansen indicated that was not possible. He asked if a cheap webcam could be put outside Graydon pointed at the flagpole so that you could look from your home on the website and get a visual of what flag is flying. For parents or grandparents with children it is difficult to pile everyone in the car and get there to find out that the flag is red because the detection system has gone off.
Mr. Loving stated that he had some of the same concerns regarding Kensington as some of the Village Council. The gentlemen asked if the Village could consider a pilot program, which seemed like something for a hospital or not for profit. He didn’t understand what benefit this company brings to the Village that they would want to enter into a pilot program rather than pay the taxes that are due based on the building.
Mr. Loving added that he is not a fan of these open house signs, and asked why they should be out for five days. Generally they have open houses on Sunday, so a sign could be placed the Monday prior. He added that it is visual pollution that we just don’t need. He added that an ordinance would have to word carefully as some corners are going to have multiple signs up every day of the week.
There were no additional comments from the public.
Mayor Hache stated that regarding the open house signs, the ordinance doesn’t contemplate the signs on the right of way but on the property themselves. Councilwoman Knudsen added that most of those are the top pieces on the property, not in the right of way. That rider increased the actual size of the sign. Ms. Mailander stated that the ordinance states that a sign saying open house could be added onto the top of the sign, however, it also says that it cannot exceed five days in total during the time of the sign permit which is 30 days. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that it was discussed last year if Graydon is closed, could they have a banner on the website or something if Parks and Recreation knows that Graydon is closing for the day it should be easy enough to post that on the website to alert people. Ms. Mailander stated that she would talk to Dylan Hansen. She added that she thought there were emails sent out to members, but apparently it’s not if they are closed during the day due to lightening. Councilwoman Knudsen suggested a text message. Ms. Mailander stated that she would find out.
There being no further business to come before the Village Council, on a motion by Councilwoman Knudsen, seconded by Councilman Voigt, and carried unanimously by voice vote, the Village Council’s Work Session was adjourned at 9:53 P.M.
Ramon M. Hache, Sr.
Donna M. Jackson
Deputy Village Clerk
- Hits: 306