VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE COUNCIL SPECIAL PUBLIC BUDGET MEETING
February 17, 2016
Village Hall 131 North Maple Avenue
Ridgewood, New Jersey 07451
ROBERTA SONENFELD, Village Manager | ROBERT ROONEY, Chief Financial Officer | TIMOTHY CRONIN, Director of Parks and Recreation | RICHARD CALBI, Director of Operations | CHRISTOPHER RUTISHAUSER, Village Engineer | NANCY GREENE, Director of Library | GAIL CAMPBELL, Library Board President | SHARYN MATTHEWS, Director of Human Resources
PAUL S. ARONSOHN, Mayor | ALBERT PUCCIARELLI, Deputy Mayor | GWENN HAUCK, Councilwoman | SUSAN KNUDSEN, Councilwoman | MICHAEL SEDON, Councilman |
HEATHER A. MAILANDER, Village Clerk | MATTHEW ROGERS, ESQ., Village Attorney
Jessica Robinson, AOC #581 King Transcription Services 3 South Corporate Dr., Suite 203 Riverdale, N.J. 07457
Audio Recorded By: Unknown
I N D E X PROCEEDING PAGE
1. Call to order, Open Public Meetings Act, 3 Roll call, Flag Salute & Moment of silence
2. Public Comments 4
3. Discussion Items 18
a. Review of Department Budgets
1. Village Council 19
2. Village Attorney 20
3. Village Manager 21
4. Parks Department 31
5. Recreation Department 50 6. Engineering 64
7. Traffic and Signal 72
8. Property Maintenance 87
9. Water Pollution 88
10. Ridgewood Public Library 99
11. Central Garage/Fleet Services 112
12. Recycling 122
13. Sanitation 132
14. Yard Waste 137
15. Streets and Roads 151
4. Wrap up and Next steps 148
5. Public Comments (none) 151
6. Adjournment 151
**Transcriber notes: Those items bolded are not of the verbatim record and are merely inputted intothe transcript for index purposes.**Transcriber notes: Certain microphones werenot working properly at time making it difficult tohear certain parties throughout the proceeding.
A SPECIAL PUBLIC BUDGET MEETING OF THE VILLAGE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD HELD IN THE SYDNEY
V. STOLDT, JR., COURTROOM OF THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE HALL, 131 NORTH MAPLE AVENUE, RIDGEWOOD, NEW JERSEY, ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2016, AT 5:00 P.M.
1. CALL TO ORDER - OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT - ROLL CALL - FLAG SALUTE - MOMENT OF SILENCE
Mayor Aronsohn called the meeting to order at 5:06 P.M., and read the Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act. At roll call, the following were present: Councilmembers Hauck, Knudsen, Pucciarelli, Sedon, and Mayor Aronsohn. Also present were Roberta Sonenfeld, Village Manager; Heather Mailander, Village Clerk; and Matthew Rogers, Village Attorney.
Mayor Aronsohn led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and asked for a moment of silence in Honor of the American men and women serving in our Armed Forces, as well as those who serve as first responders in Ridgewood and throughout the United States.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Great, thank you everybody. Good evening, welcome. This is our third budget
hearing, I think.
VILLAGE CLERK: Yes.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: So welcome. We're supposed to be -- I think we're here until 9 o'clock tonight, but according to Albert no later.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: No later.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Right, he's got a basketball game.
All right, we've got a lot of departments, so we've got a lot of work to do. Before we do that Public comments. Is anybody here from the public? please, I guess sort of just stand in the middle of the room. State your name.
2. Public Comments.
VILLAGE CLERK: Use the -- use the microphone.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: I have a microphone.
MS. VALCRY: Thank you.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: State your name and address please.
MS. VALCRY: Sure, I'm Linda Valcry (phonetic), I live at 460 Alpine Terrace in Ridgewood. I'm here as a member of the Open Space Committee. Just to make a comment on the budget, I think you might recall a few months back Roth Curry (phonetic) and Jim
Bosland (phonetic) and I were here -- to talk to you about a survey that we had crafted to get a better fix on the village's open space needs, their awareness of residents of various facilities that we currently own and maintain, what the residents think of those facilities, et cetera, et cetera. And at that time we prepared a budget which we needed to implement this survey and I think at that point it was $1,032. And there wasn't room in last year's budget to pay for the survey.
I understand from Tim Cronin that he requested $1100 again this year for the survey. It's printing and mailing -- survey, just our -- just to update you it's a random sample survey. So, it's not to the entire village, it's -- and it's been very carefully designed with the help of the market research individual who volunteered her time to Jim Bosland.
So, anyway I'm here to advocate to have that money returned to the budget. The Green Acres fundings requires that every year -- every five years we update our open space plan. The last time we updated I believe was 2010. This would be a vital component of that. A vital component of that. And a lot of volunteer time get into this. If we don't get the money for the postage and the printing it just simply is not going to happen.
Now, if -- if you can't find the funds in, you know, your general budget to cover this, I'm wondering if perhaps the Open Space Trust would be able to help out in some regard with funds. So I'm -- I'm putting that forward at this time for consideration.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Great, thanks Linda, appreciate it.
VILLAGE CLERK: Any questions? Anyone else?
MS. HALIBY: All right, good evening I'm Cynthia Haliby (Phonetic) 374 Evergreen Place and I'm wearing two hats tonight -- still the afternoon. One is the -- Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands and the other is a laborer for the Women Gardeners of Ridgewood. And I'm here to urge you to add more staff members to the parks department. I remember last year you added two seasonal workers and they did not have much experience. At one point I know they tore out a whole lot of very good plantings at VanNess, so be it. So I'm hoping that you would add some more experienced workers as well. The two seasonal, plus hopefully a couple of more with some experience.
I have to say, I think first impressions count a lot and it's important that CBD area be looking as it nice as it can with the beauty of VanNess right in the center. And we do work hard volunteering to keep the beds in order, but we need some more help.
The Conservancy has invested a lot of money in a lot of shrubs along North Broad and with 14 Dogwood trees and what have you and the 19,000 daffodil bulbs. But we spend time and money on fundraising. And a lot of people do not want to contribute to us, because they feel that this should be included in their taxes.
Last year in the summer VanNess was -- weeded and pruned only once, I believe, that was because they had no man power and the weeds and the vines were rampant in July. The tree wells were full of weeds for July 4th and the little pocket gardens were full of thistles and vines. So we really need much more man power to keep this up, we can't do it.
Since I'm here, I'd also like to suggest that another arborist be put on the staff, or maybe a contract. Many of the trees in town, particularly in the CBD area need to be trimmed, they need to be pruned they need to be kept health. And there are trees up at the train station at VanNess the weeping cherries along the memorial -- need to be lifted. And Mr. Gary Cerulo (phonetic) last year said there's much, too much shade at Graydon, many of those trees need to be pruned. So my suggestion is to add staff for that purpose also.
So thank you. Thank you for your listening to me and I'm looking forward to spring.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Great thank you.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Could I ask one question again Cynthia, I think I asked it last year as well. The work by the Conservancy For Public Lands and the Women's Gardeners to beautify Ridgewood, through your private efforts, about how much money do you think your projects save the village?
MS. HALIBY: The Conservancy --
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Microphone.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: I'll let you use my microphone.
MS. HALIBY: Thank you. The I'd really have to look it up. But I'm -- I'm guessing that in plantings alone and in some man power for adding some mulch we probably spent about $10,000. And manpower, I mean I -- I -- you know that's very difficult. We do have groups that go out. It's really more with the Women Gardeners that we have maybe 6 or 8 people working, maybe 4 times a year at VanNess. And then the Ridgewood Garden Club probably give us about -- an average of $500 a year to buy shrubs.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Good evening, welcome.
MR. UBECK: Good evening I’m Don Ubeck
(Phonetic) 219 Hope Street. I'd like to talk in support of Parks and Recreation and the work they do with the -- organization and the community center organization that I'm associated with. In the last year, due to budget adjustments we -- Parks and Recreation provides a full-time manager for the community center which makes is much more acceptable and usable for those organizations within Ridgewood and the special -- organization. And the cooperation the council has appreciate giving us permission to go ahead and applying for the foundation -- the 501c classification for any donations made to the community center of Ridgewood. And we're proceeding with that and we'll be making some changes within the next six months.
Also, the council has been very cooperative in approving the over 55 survey which allowed us to gather information almost 600 replies have been submitted which -- handled by the volunteers on the community center board, and has applied for a grant from the -foundation and we were awarded $22,000 to continue our work in this area to better identify the senior needs in --
So, I submit Tim Cronin is doing a great job with the funding that you provided last year and I
request that you continue with so we can achieve more in 2016 and on for the year. Thank you.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Okay, great Don, appreciate it.
MR. BROOKS: My name is Richard Brooks, I live at 777 East Ridgewood Avenue. I am the chair of the Parks and Rec -- Recreation Conservation Committee Board and have been that for a couple of years. I've been a member for longer than I've been chair. I -frankly, I forget how many years.
I stand in support of the great men and women who work at Parks and Rec and who we work with, almost on a daily basis, certainly weekly and we meet once a month. Our job, really is to make sure that the investments that the village has made in the Parks and Recreation facilities in town are well care for and utilized. Utilized in a way that benefit all citizens of Ridgewood. In addition, there are programs that Parks and Rec -- not only sponsors, but actually creates to make sure that the large variety of interest that people in Ridgewood have are met, satisfied and in most cases people are thrilled with them.
If you would probably -- and -- and again, not saving members, but if you were going to look at this antidotal the bulk of the programs that Parks and Rec would probably -- supported, would probably satisfy the youngest members of our town. Okay, so it would look somewhat like a ski -- a ski jump, high up here and go down. Okay, now it looks through the research that we've done and the audits of the various programs it looks like a big U. Because there's a lot of people at the younger end and a lot of people at the older end, a lot of seniors who are using Parks and Rec, not only facilities but programs.
And what we're seeing, and this is really exciting is that it's starting to get straight. Which means that all age groups are finding Parks and Rec to be a legitimate and fun alternative for their recreation time. That's a neat place to be. And the only reason it's there is because this department, these professionals, have done such a great job over the years of being creative, doing whatever they can in working so hard to getting the most out of the least amount of funds.
Obviously Graydon is one place where, you know, we need to some work, we need to attract more people there. But the way that we use our parks it's so exciting because the technologies that are available to make those parks great places to be on the weekend, on a week night, any time during the day, to hang out, to see a program, to take part in a program. Those alternatives will become greater and greater if we support these people.
So, I'm not going to sand to -- stand here and say that I supports all the members of the board, I think I do. We have great meetings, they're exciting, because we talk about fun stuff. There are some challenges, we -- we address them every month. But as a chair, this is a great department to support. I'm proud and honored to be a member of the Parks and Rec group and I hope that you'll support them as well. Thank you.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Great, thanks Rich. Good evening, welcome.
MS. BUESER: Good evening, my name is Monica Bueser (phonetic) I am the chairman of the Shade Tree Commission and I live at 492 Northern Parkway.
I'd like to ask everyone to continue supporting the trees in -- in Ridgewood. We have planted them last year for the first time in five years or so, the shade trees on the street. And we'd like to continue doing that, especially since we've lost so many trees in -- in the past.
I'd also ask to continue the funding for training because to be a certified Shade Tree
Commission we have to have two people trained in core and we have to have eight CEUs total. I think by at least two different people. So that's one of the things that the state requires of a Shade Tree Commission.
And the core training stays with the individual so that if that individual would happen to leave we wouldn't have the training necessary. So core training is something that should be done every year, by at least two individuals on the Shade Tree Commission.
And the CEUs are something that we have to do every year, that stays with the community. There are several different ways you can get CEUs but the Shade Tree Federation has a big convention in October that we -- Mike and I attended this year and got training. That's one way to do it that does entail some cost. But other ways you can do training is actually have an individual who's trained come here and do a training and have that training for all individuals in the town.
We also want to start a tree warden unit, with the Shade Tree Commission. And they would actually help us count the trees, which is one of the necessary things we need to do to get our certification. We need to have an inventory of trees in town. And this would also help the town, because if there's another disaster -- say another hurricane or flood or something that affects the street trees that we have paid to put in. If we have an inventory, theoretically we can get disaster relief to replace those trees, which we couldn't do with Sandy, because we didn't have an inventory.
So there is a benefit to having the Shade Tree Commission more than just keeping the trees and keeping the village looking beautiful and in the way that people want to come here and stay here.
And we also are going to try and expand our Adopt-A-Tree program, which we had 10 residents participate in this year. Hopefully next year we'll have a thousand. But we need to replace that many trees. If we can at least keep the funding steady, which this year we replaced 25 street trees. We would of course like to replace hundreds. But if we can keep the funding steady for the replacement of street trees and also for the training, which is necessary for our -- our continued -- for the State to see us as a true Shade Tree Commission. And that's it. Thank you.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Great, thanks Monica, appreciate it. (Pause in Proceeding)
MAYOR ARONSOHN: You can just sit there, that's fine --good evening, welcome.
MR. WOLFSON: Thank you -- be here. George Wolfson 212 Schuyler Avenue. A member of the Shade Tree Commission, the Green Team and REAC. Here primarily to second what Monica has just said relative to the Shade Tree Commission. Usually I'm at this meeting every year to talk about the quality of life programming through the Parks and Rec department. It's still important, but Shade Tree issues, I think for me at least, take a little bit of precedence.
To review quickly the Shade Tree Commission over the last two years has basically had three major accomplishments. We focused the planting of trees in the Central Business District. The two years ago we commenced the planting of trees in the right of way in the village after a five year hiatus. And this year we did the 25 trees that Monica talked about.
We did that through an outsourcing program. It was done, both trees and labor were provided by a vendor that went through a bidding process. So it was outside of village labor and that was very successful. We added to that, those 25 with 10 more that came through a volunteer program from residents which we call Adopt-A-Tree, which allows a resident to plant a tree in the village right of way.
So, the -- we feel that there's a lot of accomplishment but we have a long way to go and part of that is our need to be qualified under the New Jersey State law -- the assistance law, New Jersey State Shade Tree assistance law, which requires that we certification core training, CEU training as Monica just laid out.
To put some numbers to that, the total training package for certification for core and for membership in the Shade Tree organization comes to $1,000 basically. It's not a lot of money because in order to be eligible for any other grants we need to meet the certification requirements. Without that there's really no need to move on. It's a small amount of money, but we have accomplished quite a lot in the short period of time, but we do need your support. It was in last year's budget, we need to make sure that it stays in -- in to this year's budget.
So, that's really the focus for us. We have a small amount of money in the budget for the actual purchase of some trees, total comes to about $8,250. That includes, again, the planting and the tree itself. And we have $4,000 to pay a consultant to do the study that's necessary to be compliant put forward a five year management plan. This is a plan that the State requires, it's also part -- one of the rewards if we're into Sustainable New Jersey, we get additional points for that.
If we're going to have a real tree program in town, if we're going to maintain ourselves as a tree city, it would be important for us to show that we are, in fact in complaint with the rules and regulations off the State.
That's it for me.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Thanks George, appreciate it. Any other public comments? Good evening, welcome.
MS. SUMMERS: Hi, I'm Lisa Summers from 183 Catherine Road, and this isn't my chance to get pity but I did rise myself from the couch where I've been for four days, with a really bad cold. So -- but I thought it was really important to be here and I'm a new member for the Shade Tree Commission and I wanted to reinforce what's been said already about the need for funding.
I would love to take the training, I think it's really important to do it. And I also think it's just really important for funding that helps us move forward in reforesting in terms of trees that have been lost in some of the really bad storms that we've had.
As an environmentalist I know how it is important it is for the ecosystem for us to think about our trees, but also in terms of property values as well. I mean if you look at the studies of what matters to people, leafy trees and shaded streets makes a big difference to people.
So I think it counts in terms of what makes Ridgewood Ridgewood. So, I hope you'll take that into consideration of the funding. Thanks. And I don't think I'm infectious so.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Thank you. Any other public comments? All right. All right, going to you Roberta.
3. Discussion Items
MS. SONENFELD: Okay, all right. Okay, good evening everybody. So, we have a very big agenda tonight a lot of complex conversations around things. Some strategic some practical. So we are going to do Parks and Rec.
It's always -- it's always interesting in these budget reviews, the folks that come out, because we had nobody last night, are always Parks and Recs people. So it always -- it always impresses me. So we're going to do recreation, Graydon Pool. We have some large discussion around Graydon Pool to have.
We'll then do Chris's area, which is
engineering, property maintenance, sludge, traffic and signal, WPC.
a. Review of Departmental Budgets.
1. Village Council
We're actually going to start with 19 -- tab 19, Village Attorney, Council Manager's office, because I'd like Sharyn to provide an update and she has a child care issue tonight. We'll take a break and then we'll do the library will be coming to present their numbers and then we'll have Rich and John work on central garage/recycling. There's some interesting issues around recycling that we need to kind of share with you from a strategic view point, and that's it.
So, with that I think if you could all go to tab 19, we're going to go slightly out of order and then Tim and Nancy will be up after that. Okay, so we're going to start with the village council, I just want to note -- note for the record that the village council is up 181 percent year over year. Maybe the worst --
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah, who got the raise?
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Are we getting overtime?
MS. SONENFELD: Okay, so what we put in here are the four multifamily studies That's why in fact you
see that. We weren't sure -- that's my pen. We weren't sure where else to put -- I think it belongs there and so that's really accounting for the very large excess. What is not here is really legal fees that have anything to do with potential Valley Hospital issues, if in fact we have two litigations going on simultaneously one would think that the village -- part of that would be in this budget. So right now I would say it's a risk. We have not built it in.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: How much do the impact studies total?
MS. SONENFELD: The impact studies are about 50 -- we're estimating $50,000. Now if we decide we're going to add to them, which they seem pretty thorough at this point, but it's about 50,000 for all four.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: All right, any questions or comments there?
2. Village Attorney
MS. SONENFELD: All right so the next -- the next subject we have here is in fact, this is the village attorney. This budget is basically flat year over year, flat to budget. It's about $100,000 less than last year's actual. So again I would say you know Valley Litigation comes in here. You know there could be a potential risk to this number as well. But I
think we all said the other night that to the extent that we have some extraordinary legal bills that we would, in fact, handle them kind of as emergency appropriations during the year rather than, you know, put them up front and then, you know, potentially impact the tax base, so.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: All right, any questions? All right.
3. Village Manager
MS. SONENFELD: No, okay. All right, the village manager budget as far as highlights go, as we did last year they're generally contained within each of the individual departments. When we publically introduced the 2016 budget we will summarize, as we did last year, key village 2015 highlights across various departments and divisions.
I would say that in the highlights in this year budget we do have the full year impact of the human resources director. We also have leadership development in this number. We also have leadership development in this number, we have one Bergen Leads candidate as well as the CPM program. So we're holding that at top level rather than putting it out to the departments.
So, with that I'm going to ask Sharyn to
provide an update on HR.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Good evening, welcome.
MS. MATTHEWS: Okay, last year -- last year's human resources was only -- in 2014 human resources only been in -- in effect for three months of 2014. So for 2015 there was a full year impact for what was done through the function. Why is this --
MAYOR ARONSOHN: You want to try the other microphone?
MS. SONENFELD: Try the other one.
MS. MATTHEWS: Much better. Is that better? Okay, it's better.
MS. SONENFELD: Go ahead.
MS. MATTHEWS: So just a couple of highlights, where the focus was for human resources in 2015. I think one of the biggest areas that we're working on and that there's a lot of work with a lot of departments was on -- issue.
I think that over the past year we had a much more consistent and fair approach to employee relations across the village, whether it be disciplinary actions or counseling issues, or just regular issues on a daily basis. We're able to be much more consistent and fair in having an essential area to have that going through.
Over the past months -- particularly over the past, I would say three or four months, we have really addressed some very longstanding issues in the village that related greatly to our employees' safety and wellbeing to the attendance of our employees as well -- as well as to the performance of our employees. And that was really a big focus for us as well.
Tying into both of the above we have as a village prevailed in every Office of Administrative Law hearing that we were brought to by the unions in terms of any disciplinary actions that went that far. But for the most part we've been successfully work with all of the unions to prevent issues from even going that far. Whether it be through -- resolution or through meetings that -- that the union and management have been able to accomplish before going to -- Office of Administrative Law.
All of these accomplishments in the employee relations -- alone have greatly reduced the risks of any action taken to the village by employees or by those impacted by these actions of the employees, so there really was a benefit to that.
In terms of management development. Last year when I was here we talked about a goals and objectives program that we were going to implemented for all of the senior staff in the village. We did implement that
this year. I think that the goals and objectives assisted in communicating the priorities of each department to Roberta and myself and to make sure that everybody was really working within the same goals that the village had and to have a focus on -- on what our goals were.
Going forward we're going to be using these goals and objectives and update -- regular basis so that in the future we can use them as part of a performance evaluation process.
In terms of day to day operations. We really worked to centralize the employment -- information, into the human resources department. It's sort of the hub there where an employee will call. I may not have their answer for the, I might, but at least they have somewhere to call where I can get them to a resource which will give them their answers. Have a central area for all -- all of that, and as well answer day to day questions that were in the past handled by legal question, are handled here more on a day to day basis.
On a -- on a weekly basis I would say, I would speak to -- 15 people a week for individual questions alone; benefits, employee relations issues, hiring issues. Anything like that. That's in addition to things that we see on a department wide training issues
and things like that.
And you -- with a continued interaction with staff and assisting the directors, the focus in 2015 as I mentioned earlier, was really resolving a lot of employee issues that had been outstanding for a while. Most of the focus had been in water, in sanitation and in the revitalization of the building department and working with the staffing there and helping to insure that the right staff, were in the right places there to help the building department go along.
In addition, key staff were recruited in terms of -- like I just said revitalizing the -- the department and a number of key senior management team positions were filled 2015 as well.
Going forward, in addition to all of that, I said before, that's going to continue. I want to continue to become more relevant to the employees as a resource of their questions. I think as more and more people are coming to human resources and realizing that there is a place for somebody to come to. It has been said in many meetings, you know this -- is somebody who is not my direct supervisor, who I don't have go directly to the village manager to, who will listen to my issues and who will address my issues. So I plan on continuing that as well, building upon the positive relations with all of the unions in the village, playing a key role actively in the PBA contract that we are working on now, and in 2015 as well three other contracts expired on December 31st, the blue, white and supervisor contracts will all be negotiated in 2016. So I plan on playing a role in that as well. And working with senior management regarding strategy objectives on an ongoing basis.
Again, whether it be staffing, whether it be organizing management staff in that -- in those departments or working on other issues that have been outstanding for a while there.
MS. MATTHEWS: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I know that you have been working on at least one of the -- policies and procedures.
MS. MATTHEWS: Uh huh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because in the past we've seen that there are, you know, too many -- one of -and the -- has more regularized policies and procedures -- employees.
MS. MATTHEWS: Yes, uh huh.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Is that -- that is something still on your --
MS. MATTHEWS: Well yeah, I mean our -- our human resources policies and procedure manual has -was reviewed in 2014 right before I came here in May of 2014. As policies change, as the law change, obviously I am updating that as well.
What -- what you pointed out as well is very important is sticking to the human resources policy, there is a procedure. You know which -- and I have been working on this, you know, very very closely in terms of there's a procedure, let's follow it. It's not a runoff, everything is here and that's why I said it's more of a consistent and fair application of that policy. As we see things that need to be changed to updated or addressed, absolutely, that's part of my plan as well.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Well, I see that it is. I think that, you know, you shouldn't be shy about leaving -- objectors. Keep policies and procedures --
MS. MATTHEWS: Absolutely.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Thank you.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Great, thank you. Any other questions or comments?
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Yeah, I just -- I have one. Is there -- do you have a number that basically say how much human resources has -- has saved tax payers versus
not having human resources or anything like that? Is there any kind of like way to quantify that?
MS. MATTHEWS: Well there's not really a way to quantify it, because there's -- there's a savings. Human resources is -- is never -- it's seen as -center, but you're saving in terms of actions that could have been taken if things weren't done. There was some huge issues that were addressed this year that I think really could have resulted in some problems down the road.
One of the things I do see, and I think we talked about it last year, too is we are not contacting our legal counsel on the basics, on investigations, on disciplinary actions that we were doing on a more regular basis before human resources was implemented here.
MS. SONENFELD: Mike it's a good question. -- you know we had struggled with that because it's really hard to tell how much legal fees we're really saving. Only by speaking to some of our -- you know, lawyers who say they're being -- you know they're being contacted less. You all know that we have one big HR issue last year that we successfully went through the Officer of Administrative Law on. It was 30 boxes of discovery. We prevailed. We prevailed at the appeal.
So, you know that kind of -- kind of makes the numbers a little hard to kind of -- to kind of compare. But I would say in supporting what Sharyn said, if you -- you know reading the record you can tell what happens if you handle a -- mishandle a human resources issue. And we have had at least one or two cases that I would say we could have -- the organization could have been put at risk. And I can't really say much more than -- than that.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Thank you. If -- if I could add to that. You know, it's -- in just the work you do, I think, is invaluable and I say that to you specifically as well as in terms of the function.
MS. MATTHEWS: Thank you.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: You know there's a lot of the day to day stuff and you talked about that. But some of the bigger, more important, more un-attackable issues, the public doesn't even know about and you work on them. And I know you've worked on some of them this year and brought to a very good resolution. And people may not realize it, but thank you. I know how hard that is.
You know I work -- my day job is -- I work -I work for a global corporation, Bristol Myers Squib, and you know a major corporation. We do a lot of work in oncology, we do a lot of work in other therapeutic areas. But one of our four goals is about, you know about our culture, about -- about our people and -- and the need to develop them, need to create an environment where people can work and grow and -- and feel comfortable, and -- and that just underscores how important the human resource function is. And so again as I've said in the past I'm glad to have you here, I'm glad to --
MS. MATTHEWS: Thank you.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: -- I appreciate the work your doing. And it is invaluable, it's hard to quantify but it's -- it's important. And I'm sure no one knows that more than your colleagues. So -- so thank you.
MS. SONENFELD: So on the numbers, you know, basically there's a difference of about $18,000 on salaries. That's just the difference between basically some increases that we had. We had a promotion. Some Sharyn, but not all of Sharyn. And, you know the budget on OOE is less than last year's budget and it includes Bergen Leads, CPM, recognition. And we've also put some money in here to do consulting studies, if needed.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: We have one our Bergen Lead students here.
MS. SONENFELD: Oh, yes, Jackie is -- Captain Lefky (phonetic) is currently a Bergen Leads student.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Student.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, it's a great program. Okay.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Great, thanks.
MS. SONENFELD: Thank you. Okay, so with that I guess we're back to tab -- I have to -- back. Okay, so we're on the long awaited Rec -- Parks and Rec, so that's tab 15. And I'll hand it off to Tim and Nancy and we will -- we will have a discussion around Graydon, I think, in depth, so.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Are we going to all -- all three of them first for the presentation and then go for the discussion?
MS. SONENFELD: I think -- Tim, I think wanted to go through the entire highlights first and then -right?
MR. CRONIN: Correct.
MS. SONENFELD: Okay.
4. Parks Department
MR. CRONIN: Okay, thank you. I would like to thank a few people first, which I have to. One is this group as a whole. I think we work together well. Everything starts and begins with council and in
between we try to do the best with the funds and the staff that we have and I think we've put out a good product across the board.
Secondly I'd like to thank the other departments that we work well with, and they are all here and we couldn't probably survive with what we do without them, and we do a lot of things in house, that again has bottom line on the -- the cost of a project, the cost of the program, the bottom line cost to the -to the residents in town.
And lastly -- well not lastly, but I would like to thank Nancy and her staff, and the park staff as programs grow and as the width of the programs grow they put in more and more time that you will never see. It's the after hours, it's the before hours, it's the weekends. Because everybody knows we don't recreate 9 to 5. It just doesn't happen that way. So, I would like to thank them.
And then those people who came to the microphone we couldn't work without them either. I mean Cynthia and her group and the Conservancy and the Wildscape Association, Grace Church, we all went out and weeded various parks in town this past year, just to keep up with the work load, and I would like to thank them. And there's a myriad of other groups, Open
Space, the Shade Tree Commission for the -- I think we had a great year, Shade Tree Commission for our first year. We reinstituted the planting program which hasn't happened in five or six years. The website and all that.
So field committee who does a fabulous job scheduling all the fields in town for all the programs across the board, so I would like to thank all those people, for the record.
Going into the 2015 highlights which there were a bunch. We dedicated the new addition to the stable and I think it blended in seamlessly of the character of the building. And if you haven't been there I'd invite you to come over, because it came out beautifully.
I'd like to thank the Bulger Foundation (Phonetic) for that donation. That includes accessible rest rooms -- expanded accessible rest rooms, which you, as you know we run a really big day camp out there and it was badly needed. There's meeting room, an activity room. He also redid the existing kitchen for us. Storage and there's an outside patio now in the back. It all came out beautifully. If you haven't been there please stop by.
The other -- one of the other big things is through the community relations advisory board -- I'm sorry the community center advisory board, they obtained a 501c -- 501(3)c status, which is saving them money. They purchased the new seating, the rugs, the furniture, the baby grand piano and the update on the media equipment downstairs. The purchase and installation of the news skateboard park equipment, which we got for a dynamite price from the Borough Affair went to a cooperative effort. And that was used for the first time this year.
The municipal alliance program that we do, which is a grant, we do that in partnership with the Ridgewood Public schools and put out the Parents Who Host Lose The Most, and that's about hosting alcohol and after hours parties, which was a dynamite program if anybody was there.
The Shade Tree Commission we implemented the Adopt-A-Tree program working with them, educate the community on the importance of trees which Monica had mentioned, the replacement tree program, and we outsourced that. So we kept our Shade Tree on point and we still got those trees in through an outside source.
We work with the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts. One of the -- or two of the big projects they did was the installation of -- and dedication of the new flag pole up at the Irene Habernickel Family Park. I think some of you were there for the dedication. I think the Mayor was and maybe Gwenn. It came out beautiful. And the other was the enhancement of the existing trail, that is on the backside of the property up there and they successfully got their Eagle rank as a result of that.
Nancy and her staff expanded the programs by networking and -- and researching. Some of them include the academic enrichment program, the equestrian program, which is really cool if you haven't seen it, it's actually live horses -- program, the cooking, the art program and a new pickle ball program, which we are actually in negotiations now and just finishing up doing a program in cooperation with Upper Ridgewood Tennis Club and using their facilities. So, that should be very interesting.
The goals for the department for 2016 would be the enhancement of the community center. We have some more things downstairs that we would like to do. Needs assessment, the community center advisory board, the subcommittee, that is -- is we're trying to conduct a community based survey for our residents 55 and older. With the results of the survey, you know,
desires in regard to housing, transportation, community supports, services, health services, medical services, socialization, and financial concerns. So again, that -- that should -- the -- the information coming back on that I would think would be very interesting.
The volunteer -- the volunteer corps in town would like to increase the number of adults and high school volunteers that we could assist people through there. The mission is civic renewal, public engagement and connecting these volunteers are a valuable resource to pool from for the after school programs, evening and weekend events that I mentioned before that we put a lot of time in on.
Online registration for village programs. The village residents have increased the use of the Community Pass system, which is the online registration system that we instituted nine years ago. And by the way Ridgewood was one of the first in the state to -to do that. In fact we were the pilot program for -for that and they are now in the tristate -- that program I so popular it's in the tristate area now.
We initiated a -- tennis court use and security through one of our staff is doing double duty and going around and actually checking to make sure people have -- have the tennis to try to increase that revenue.
We have further park adoptment needs, use of the municipal park, recreation -- special events, park use, -- facility requests, the demand of park use escalates as we know. Professional department is eager to further develop and enhance amenities at various parking locations. Citizens, Habernickel Family Park as you know, Maple Park, Veterans Field. These are all discussions that we've either had had or will be having.
A request from outside groups. We'd like to prioritize and streamline that because those requests are getting larger and larger every year, for the municipal services and determine financial obligation as it relates to billing out these groups. And we've had discussions on that for many years, Fourth of July, Backwards Dance, Car Shows, things like that. To make sure that the village is being reimbursed for those items and materials that they use.
We would like to conduct a customer satisfaction survey through Survey Monkey, I'm sure you've all heard of that. There's currently an evaluation in process for seasonal staff and program offerings. It's a priority to ascertain comments on the areas of other problems such as the Graydon Pool, which we'll get into later, the overall department service, maintain the current -- as far as Graydon Pool, we're suggesting maintain the current fee schedule for this year. Normally every two years we reevaluate that. We'd like to keep the Graydon Pool and tennis membership badges current level.
Graydon Pool resident membership has been steadily declining, as we know, in the last five years in certain categories. Department staff would like to strategize and implement a multifaceted approach to optimizing marketing potential of the favorable attributes, amenities and benefits of seasonal membership to the Graydon Pool facilities. These individual points would include a dedicated separate brochure, which is in this current budget, a survey that we would like to do of current members and past member, even including those that no longer belong. And that would include customer service, cleanliness of the facility and program offerings that maybe we do and don't have, -- the amenities of the physical nature, research option to partner with the Board of Education in the backpack program, that's a way of getting information out that we don't currently use. And enhance the social media regarding information dissemination to all the residence and streamline the
registration process, swipe of badges and so forth so there's no line waiting to get in and out of the facility.
In the Parks division the one item which we'll be talking about later is the additional request for laborers and that would be the title laborer in -- in replacing the tree climber position, which is currently advertised. That was for one person who left us.
And then the last thing is to research optimal computer technology and social media to enhance everything I just said, which is a big thing nowadays. I think our CFO actually mentioned that last night at the previous budget hearing.
With that --
MS. SONENFELD: So I guess -- if you look at the next -- I think on your next page, this is the issue, I think we wanted to bring to the council. If you look at, for example, resident adult badges that were sold between 2011 and 2015 you see a drop from 1200 to 665. Now, there's not an common drop in the revenue. The revenue is coming down a little less because other sales is going up.
You do have that, right? Does everybody have
MS. SONENFELD: So, you know that's -- it's concerning. And as we talked about, whether or not it made sense to raise the prices up for -- for these badges, we came to the conclusion that we don't know whether or not that would either further impact demand. So decided not to do that.
And I think that there's -- there's some issue -- I think it's important that -- and we talked about this, going out to the 665 folks that were here last year and maybe even the 810 that were here the year before and find out you know are they coming back, are they planning on coming back? I know Nancy and Tim feel that we could be aging out, in a sense, that the folks are getting older. So I guess the point that Tim and Nancy are making in the presentation is that we need to somehow market maybe to new families and younger families that are coming in -- into Ridgewood.
In general, there have been articles in the press that suggest municipal pools in general have been under some amount of duress. Whether or not that's true for natural pools, versus concrete pools it's unclear, because Glen Rock and -- Rich goes to the Glen Rock, because he's a Glen Rock resident, they're saying to us they haven't seen this kind of -- you know a drop in their -- in their volume.
So, I think this is -- it's concerning and we have to be proactive in how we address it.
MR. CRONIN: One of the other things I asked the building department to look at was how many built-in pools there are in town now. There are 795 built-in pools in Ridgewood. Built in. Not above ground, built in. It's considerable I would think.
MS. SONENFELD: The question -- the question though and we don't know this answer, was it the same in 2011?
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Right, that's what --
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah, I think -- I think -yes, you know you put the finger on the issue that we really need to focus on. I think marketing is absolutely something we can do a lot more in and we can, maybe brainstorm some ideas. I think surveying, like you said, current members but also those that have left would be really instructive. And really getting a sense of what is happening in other pools, other communities, whether they're seeing a similar decline or not or somewhat of a decline. My sense is this -this is an issue we can easily tackle and sort of drive those numbers up together, so --
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: I would definitely not say it's an easy thing to tackle, though I would like to be optimistic about it and there's certainly things you could do. I -- I've read all the pools around Bergen County and Union County as far away as Pennsylvania. The thing is that municipal pools are facing some -- some -- most of them are facing big revenue drops and membership drops and I -- I don't know why.
There's one that was really successful, I think it was Union. Is that -- is that a town? Anyway they had to close it to the town next door because they had received Green Acres funds to do like a big renovation, and it was so successful but then they had to open up the pool to other -- to other towns. And until they get the grant money they're trying to keep the other towns out, because it hasn't actually been awarded yet. And it's just like the old days of Coney Island.
I mean it -- most of the pools, including Mahwah and Ramsey, they got like 2 million dollars for upgrading their facilities and then they're -- they're still waiting to see results. They aren't really necessarily yielding immediate results.
So, my feeling about Graydon Pool is that it's one of -- it's not -- not ever going to be a revenue generator, we'll be really lucky if we break even. And we can do that with special events and things like that.
But Graydon Pool is an asset to our community and it's an asset -- it enhances property values. And we have to look at it as a -- as a net zero because it's -- it -- it just enhances our quality of life. think other things around Parks and Rec need enhancement in terms of staffing and -- and what it could do for the village. But Graydon Pool we just have to keep it sort of the close to the -- keep the needle in the middle.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: I would -- I would say two things in that. One is, I would never look at it as sort of -- a place to generate revenue, or necessarily that we're going to generate profit. That's not the issue. The issue is its utilization by residents in this community.
COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: You're right.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: You know if the numbers are dropping it's -- we're not talking -- it's not even a question of revenue it's okay are we meeting the needs of the community and how can we do it differently. And I think we can take a page -- and this is a suggestion if nobody's thought of it. But take a page from like the library. Because the library -- like the changing -- you know people use libraries for different reasons these days than they did, let's say, 20 years ago. What -- you know by doing the survey as Tim suggested, you know, what are people looking for in terms of recreation? What can we do that's different? You know it's -- is it having bands? Is it having some other kind of recreation thing there?
I don't know what the answer is. But my -- my sense is this is a nut we can crack. And we've got a, you know, a great resource there and the question is, you know, just how could we put it to better use and get people interested in it. So --
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Yeah, I -- I agree with what the -- with what the Mayor is saying. Because I know some years ago there was a -- a big drop in revenue versus expenses. I think Graydon was in the hole something like $140,000 at one point and it's really come back from then, because the water quality has come up. It's -- it's got people there, it's really a great place to go. And it looks like the expense -- the total expenses are about $256,000 and last year it brought it like $251,000. So it doesn't seem like it's -- it's -- it's not so much as a crisis as it was in the past.
So, I'd like to maybe look at some -- some less expensive options. Like maybe put together a -like a new resident package, or something, to highlight some -- some things for Graydon and get that out to people who move into town and see if there's any kind of way to contact them and put something together so they know it's there and they can make the decision whether or not.
I don't know if you guys do that now or if there's something we can do. But you know it might -there might be something that wouldn't be that expensive because there's not -- there's not much turnover. There's thousands of people moving into town, you get, you know a few dozen residents to go and you can get those numbers up a little bit more, but --
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, that's part of our goal Mike.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Okay.
MR. CRONIN: We -- one of the numbers that doesn't show on here, I don't think you -- if you have it is the point of sale. The point of sale is your guest passes, just so you know. It's interesting to me, if you go back five years -- and I don't want to spend a lot of time on it because we delved into this, you know, in the parking lot so to speak, went from 53,000 up to 82,000 last year. Now, I don't know, does that mean people are switching to guest passes from seasonal as they're aging out?
MR. CRONIN: It'll -- it'll come out in the survey -- it'll come out in the survey, but I mean if you add in the 82,000 you're even higher than the number you gave.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: And then maybe even do like monthly passes so somebody -- want to see -- you know -- option.
MR. CRONIN: But it will be interesting the information that comes out of it. It'll be interesting.
COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: You know just -- a point that -- it would be curious to see 2008 to 2000 -- 2009 to 2010 because the increase going over that $100 mark and the 30 percent increase over, I guess, 4 or 5 years is pretty significant and there might be just a break point of where that $100 psychological is a point where somebody says I'm not going to spend that and it's easier to pay just for the day pass --
MR. CRONIN: That's what I'm saying.
COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: -- rather than -- you know so I think that -- that it's -- you know, just an important thing to look at. Maybe -- the parties -
back. I mean --
COUNCILMAN SEDON: And also --
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, but I would say, I think -- when I -- when I spoke to Glen Rock I think they're the same -- aren't they the same price point, or even higher, right? The Glen Rock, they're higher, they're like 130 or something, right? Yeah. So, Glen Rock pricing is high -- you know they don't have sand, they don't have kind of the area we have.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Maybe you charge more, people will think there's more -- go. (Indiscernible Conversation)
MS. SONENFELD: And you know the thing -- the thing you have to be careful about is if you look at the expenses, which are a page later, you know we've worked hard to try to bring them down because of the revenue challenge. But in here is not fully loaded --
MS. SONENFELD: If you go -- you have to go one, two, three, four, five pages after the revenue page. We were going to go back and do expenses one at a time, but you'll see that the expenses are coming in a little lower than budget, and they're lower than revenue. But these are not fully loaded, they don't have -- they don't have the FAC sheets yet behind them, right. And it really doesn't represent capital. Right, so you know we don't have the -- the --
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: It probably is coming -- first of its coming --
MS. SONENFELD: Right.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: -- it's better and it looks better now --
MS. SONENFELD: Then ever.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: -- then ever --
MS. SONENFELD: True.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Even it's not -even if you don't go swimming in it, it's a wonderful park. It isn't just during the swimming season but the fall and the spring and --
MS. SONENFELD: Beautiful.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: So as the parks go there's a -- park in the middle of the town and you can't forget that because there's an amenity available to the whole town. But it looks as if -- being covered by revenue. And it's only because you're allocating financial overhead and the like --
MS. SONENFELD: Right.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: -- shouldn't. That's the portion that I see the tax payers, in a
sense, might be -- and even -- not all -- this appears as an excess -- covering expenses.
So I -- to me it's probably -- an amenity that we have in the town, it's available to the people and I don't know -- make use -- swimming in --
MR. CRONIN: -- people still come into the office and ask for, you know, -- information on it, so they can pass it along to their perspective buyers. It is a facet of the community and is valued by the real estate industry in town.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: And it's location. I mean it's right in the center of town. We're right near the village complex an -- so I -- again, it's a wonderful amenity that was being made available. We have no expectation of it being a profit --
MS. SONENFELD: Sure.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: -- and as a plus side -- it's not. It doesn't strike me as -- whatever it's urgency it isn't a lot -- if anything. We don't even --
MS. SONENFELD: It may.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: It may.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: The one last thing I'd like to throw out there is something we've kicked around for
years. I'm sure you've kicked around even longer, is doing something in the off season. And I don't know -I know we did the fire and ice, you guys did that and that was fantastic.
MS. SONENFELD: Right.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: That was big. I don't know there's smaller things we can do in the off season. know it requires staff, it requires resources. But, you know it's something maybe we can look at. I'm going to have some free time after June, so maybe I can help in that regard.
MS. SONENFELD: So Tim as you go through the expense pages, starting with Parks, you might want to, at the same time respond to some of the residents' questions as to whether things are included or not included in the current budget.
MR. CRONIN: Is that in here?
MAYOR ARONSOHN: What came up before.
MS. SONENFELD: I said as we start with the Park's budget and go through the numbers a little bit. I think we should try to respond to questions that residents have raised prior. So for example in the Parks budget we do have two extra laborers that are added into this budget. Those kinds of things. And when we get to Shade Tree and the others, did we include the stuff or is it coming out of a different fund? Okay.
MR. CRONIN: You have the cover sheets for --
MS. SONENFELD: Yes, they have the -- the next page they have is parks -- the parks number -- the 738,000.
MR. CRONIN: The salaries, the upper portion is up by a percent. The -- as Roberta said the two requested laborer positions and they would be laborer title. Director of Operations and I have talked about that, that fits us best because they would then be utility people, since this is a civil service town.
The total for -- for the upper portion salary, is 634,080 is what I have, which represents a 1 percent increase, bottom line. The requested two individuals -- two laborers we are trying, as we always do, to make use as opportunity comes along, I'll say. We had a gentleman leave village service who was an 80,000 a year position. We are downgrading that position to a labor, which would be $40,000. That's the open Shade Tree position. There's a three member -- three man Shade Tree, they're working shorthanded, two man right now. We're going to downgrade that to $40,000 and he would be a forestry aid position. Sorry, I was trying to think at the title at 40, $42,000. The other half of that would pay for one of the laborer positions, because they start at 40,000.
So the best way I can explain is the head count is up two, financially it's up one. If that makes sense to you.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, and also we didn't have a full year impact with the person that we --
MR. CRONIN: Correct.
MS. SONENFELD: -- handled.
MR. CRONIN: We -- we worked shorthanded since sometime in June. So -- it also addresses the needs, thank you, Nancy of the Conservancy that -- Cynthia's not here -- brought up. So, mainly they would be doing the things that we don't do well, and we don't do well because we don't have the time or the staff. There are three park maintenance individuals left within the parks division. That's at three -- Al's looking at me like am I crazy, but that's three. We haven't hired a Park's labor position in 20 years. The supervisor there now is the last person hired.
And we have been combining titles and taking advantage of opportunities as they had come along, like I said. We used to have two supervisors, we combined that into one. And those are kind of opportunities of people left. So, we're down to what it is three people now and two men in the Shade Tree, which hopefully will be three shortly. That's being advertised, but that's where we are with this request.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: In line -- in line 29, other contractual services there's a substantial increase, is that tree maintenance service? You see it has other contractual services. You went from 17 to 36?
MR. CRONIN: It's not tree maintenance services there -- the only thing of a tree nature in there, councilman, is the roll offs to transport the trees that we take down out of town.
MS. SONENFELD: And also if you look at the actuals from last year, actual to actual the delta is not huge.
MR. CRONIN: The big thing there, Nancy pointed out to me, is our irrigation maintenance and repair, which is farmed out every year. We don't have a person on staff who does that. It's a bid program, it's in the second year of the bid. We have over the last, I'll say, four years increased gardens as a result increased irrigation systems, i.e. the taxi stand -- from the Christmas Tree location down to the
taxi stand, the front of VanNess.
Engineering put in the beautiful traffic island at the end of Grove Street, that's all irrigated. So, the Stable has been reinstated after a two year hiatus. We even replaced that when we did the ramp, was it. And we reinstituted when we completed the addition this year.
So, the more and more gardens you put in the more and more irrigation systems that -- that line item goes up. And in that particular item that's what's driving that.
The only two things -- to answer your question in there that's truly relating to -- the cleaning service, because we do all our own cleaning, and the roll offs.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Yes, I saw the increase and I was wondering A, what it was for and B, whether it addressed some of the comments that were made.
MR. CRONIN: The only thing that's in there is the -- as our friends from Shade Tree Commission pointed out is the community forestry management program is in there. But that's a grant and I'm not sure if that's 100 percent reimbursable or 50/50. I'm not sure at this point, but that -- that 4,000 is
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Yeah, I mean I -- if you want I can speak to that. That's -- yeah the -- it's basically a 50/50 grant but it covers the cost of the five year forestry management plan, which is $4,000 that we would put out. We were going to do it last year, last year's budget, but we're -- you know hopefully going to do it in this year's budget.
And then there's also the time of the -- of the volunteers. So the -- the Shade Tree -- the Shade Tree members who actually helped work to take inventory to go out and count the trees and do everything else. The -- the state gives them -- you know allows them to have $23 or $22 for their work. Which comes out to about 7 hours a month that they might have to put in. It's about $2,000. So it gets us close to about $6,000 total between the volunteer time and the actual cost for the management plan for the consultant to put I together.
The grant as applied -- the volunteer time that -- the volunteers actually wouldn't get paid because they're volunteers, so the -- the $3,000 would go basically towards covering most of the grant. The 3 of the $4,000 and the volunteer time would just go towards bringing that total up, which is allowable and that's -- that's how the grant's administered and how it was explained to me. So -- and again that would help with going forward with tree maintenance and getting grants and being certified as a Shade Tree Commission.
So all of that is -- is, you know, basically a long term benefit for the Village of Ridgewood.
MR. CRONIN: The overall of the OE portion is at 7 percent, but the total budget for the Parks division is up 2 percent.
MS. SONENFELD: Yes, so to answer a couple of questions. We -- we have added laborers, because we've also added gardens and because we also recognize that we could do better at that stuff. We have not added an arborist to the budget. And answering some questions relative to the training and the CEUs and stuff, I think they're either in the expense side or they're -they're being taken out of trust.
MR. CRONIN: Out of trust. They're all out of trust, yes.
MS. SONENFELD: So it's covered. But it may not be covered in the expense budget.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: So, you know people keep talking about well we added this little garden and that little garden and irrigation is, you know, driving
costs up. But the one thing that resonates with me is how many cuts this department's had since 2010. So if you look back at the 2010 org chart you had something like 15 or 16 -- I don't know, how many more people did you have in 2010 then you have now?
MR. CRONIN: I can't remember which year it was, but at one point there was 15 people in Parks.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: And now you -- counting
MR. CRONIN: Now if -- if we fill the Shade Tree position there will be -- and -- and we fill the two requested there will be ten. But right now there is seven.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: And some of these -- I mean, positions are really one part-time in the Parks division and one part-time in the recreation division who make full-time through two part-timers, and I mean it's a really, you know, chiseling, chiseling, chiseling to make it as cost effective as possible to the village. But also isn't really the best for productivity or even, you know, knowing your job, being able to do your job, investing in the future and having consistent development of -- of staff.
I mean this is really just piecemeal and I -I feel bad that we don't have more money to give more back to the Parks and Rec -- and Recreation department, because -- well my feeling is that, it's not just Graydon Pool that improves our property value. If you think about what makes Ridgewood Ridgewood, it's really the open space, the green, the blue sky, the parks, the sidewalks, the social aspect, the recreational aspect, the cleanliness, the peacefulness. Why else would anybody move to Ridgewood? Because you could live in another more congested town with a lot less care for those kinds of things that we -- we prioritize in this town. And if we don't have the manpower to take care of the parks or run the programs I -- I just think -it's a shame that we have all this space and we aren't able to use -- utilize it as well as -- as we could.
MR. CRONIN: I mean that goes back to what I said earlier in my thank yous. And we couldn't keep it up as good as we do now and there are people out there who say we can do better. We can all do better at whatever we do, but we couldn't keep it up not without the Wildscape Association, the churches that we've tapped -- knock on their door, you know the Conservancy who is actually planting these flowers for us and weeding. Grace Church sent their congregation down and did Maple Park for us. You don't see -- on a Saturday this past fall and we weeded and reestablished the
I don't know how much longer that can go on, but -- I ain't getting any younger.
MS. SONENFELD: So do you -- do we want to move on to the Rec budget or do you want to stay with Parks?
MAYOR ARONSOHN: I'm just going to just kind of add to the point that Gwenn was making. I mean -you know it struck me recently because I was looking through the list of committees that we have. And the breadth of your work -- you know if you think about how many committees, sort of relate to the work with the Open Space, Shade Tree, Parks and Rec, obviously fields committee. I mean it's amazing the breadth of the work you do with the limited staff, with the limited resources. I mean you really touch everybody's life in some way. We didn't talk about the seniors and the camp. I mean just -- it really is pretty remarkable.
MR. CRONIN: I mean -- and the Rec division with Nancy and her staff, they've taken over a lot of large programs that used to be run by other people. For instance the swim team. We didn't run that, that was run by the Graydon Pool Swim Team Parents Association, which doesn't exist anymore. So the staff absorbed that. The staff absorbed the swim lesson
program, which is still in existence, but the Y didn't -- doesn't run it anymore. We absorbed that. We absorbed the diving team, that used to be run by the parents association, we absorbed that.
So, like I said before the more the base grows, the more time that's put in, the more demands on the staff. And we're just lucky we have a staff who are not clock watchers. Or I'm lucky, you know. And the hours that you don't see before 8:30 and after 5 o'clock, and on Saturdays and Sundays and holidays. Because that's when people recreate and we understand that.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Well, it's appreciated, you should know that and I hope you know that.
MS. SONENFELD: Move on to Rec? Yeah?
5. Recreation Department.
MR. CRONIN: Recreation is in pretty good shape. The -- of ages is up 5 percent and I have to defer to either Bob or Steve, our CFO or our Treasurer. The full-time salaries is up 7 percent. We -- anybody from last year to this year. So, I don't know if that's the incorporation of possible raises with white collar contracts and -- I don't know, but --
MS. SONENFELD: The overall number's up 3 percent.
MR. CRONIN: So -- Right.
MS. SONENFELD: For salaries and wages. So we reviewed this during the budget discussions. So, Steve can answer -- Steve and Bob can answer that.
MR. ROONEY: Yeah, I think it's contractual.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, I do too. So overall net net, you know we're up 2 percent over budget and one percent over actual for total expenses in recreation.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Questions?
MS. SONENFELD: Staffing is flat. Yeah, Graydon is next, we kind of covered it, I think before. I don't know if there are any other questions.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: So, again this is without any allocations, again.
MS. SONENFELD: No. I guess community center we talked about earlier. It's basic -- basically flat. Well there's a raise for the person is the full-timer as was pointed out earlier. We invested in that last year if you recall. That was an --
MAYOR ARONSOHN: It's a great investment.
MS. SONENFELD: -- investment we made.
I think it was worthwhile. It's a vibrant community center, so.
MR. CRONIN: Committee we work with -- small
budgets, but there are two, it's Project Pride and its beautification -- up in the central business district. That is a flat request for 15,000.
MS. SONENFELD: Right.
MR. CRONIN: And the last is the Kasschau Shell, which as you know runs a summer entertainment program at the Kasschau Memorial Shell outside, 19 to 22 concerts they put on depending on what year it is.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, I think -- I think the Kasschau Shell may not be everybody's package, but it's flat.
MR. CRONIN: It's flat, yes. It's $9,000 I believe.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, 9,000 right.
MR. CRONIN: They fundraise for the rest. Their normal budget is around 22 to 24, depending upon the year. So from 9 to the rest the knock on doors. So, last year they had $18,000 worth of sponsors, so --
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: I missed this question. I guess it could be addressed to councilman Sedon or to -- or to you Tim. In the -- in the past there was always a question, perennial question, no pun intended about the -- the planters downtown. Who was responsible for them? Has that issue been resolved? Who's responsible for maintaining the CBD planters?
MR. CRONIN: The beatification of downtown, the planters that you see seasonally, go up in May when we have Project Pride Day. That's falls under Project Pride. If there's something that they can't handle, a car accident blew one up, Parks Division will be notified via the chair and we will go and remove that. So, 99 percent of it is done by Project Pride. Situations like that would be handled by that.
The tree wells, which we instituted the cleanup with the assistance of the Shade Tree commission that last year was 32 or $3300, 120 -- in town and they were all weeded and mulched by an outside vendor for an unbelievable price. And that's in the budget this year also.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: But it's now on somebody's list of responsibilities, because again we had complaints in the past about, you know, who's in charge.
MR. CRONIN: And that works to be basically -goes in at our expense, because you approved the funding for it. We clean them out, mulch them in the beginning and then the Shade Tree Commission came up, with the assistance of, I got to say, with Chris in Engineering and came up with a -- believe it's an
ordinance or resolution that we now have that a
property owner has to maintain the well. Similar to they have to maintain their sidewalk for snow removal. So we'll clean it out for them once a year, and get them off to a good start and they have to maintain it.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Thank you.
MS. SONENFELD: Okay.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Thank you very much.
MS. SONENFELD: Thanks guys. So we move on to Chris. I guess he can do it from where he is.
6. Engineering Division
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Good evening Mayor and Council. I'll start off with the engineering division. We had a very busy year last year. We had a record amount of paving thanks to the financial support of the village council. We also completed two NJDOT grant funded paving projects. We also won an additional NJDOT municipal aid grant, which will be applied to resurfacing Morningside Road.
2015 we implemented a program of increased notification to residence of defective sidewalks. That's part of a pedestrian safety program. What we've done is we utilized crossing guards in the summer to inspect sidewalks. These are crossing guards that the police departments offers to various departments for filling up -- for doing tasks in lieu of paying medical.
MS. SONENFELD: No, I was just going to say Chris that you're not in the same order as the book is.
MR. ROONEY: Yeah, it's the third entry in Tab 16.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Okay.
MS. SONENFELD: So it's the third -- the book is --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I never got a book so I'm just going off my notes.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, -- yeah. This is the order that everybody was -- so --
MR. ROONEY: But it's within -- it's within 16.
MS. SONENFELD: It's within 16, but you need to go to the third --
MR. ROONEY: Third section.
MS. SONENFELD: -- one.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Would you like me to start with another department?
MR. ROONEY: No -- no -- no.
MS. SONENFELD: Why don't you do that and then we'll go back to the first one and I'll tell you what it is when we -- when you finish engineering.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Okay.
MS. SONENFELD: Okay, good thank you.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Like I said we used crossing guards that normally would be laid off in the summer to inspect sidewalks. I think that saves the village some money, because if they're laid off we have to contribute to their unemployment payments. We've had -- we've been doing this for several years not, it's worked quite well.
We've been tracking -- engineering has taken the lead in tracking costs and expenses for FEMA declared disasters. That's where we eventually get a reimbursement for the costs that the village has incurred. We manage to clean up last year with the assistance of Senator Menendez's office. A lot of our claims are related to Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene and even some older snowstorms that went back -- six years. The federal government doesn't move quickly and the senator was invaluable in his help.
In response to complaints in December, we rapidly repaired the sidewalk on the Glenwood Road that leads from the Heights area down to the Hohokus Train Station. We got a number of complaints from residents, we assessed the condition and concurred with their complaints and with council funding we managed to get that done before the snows hit.
The department bid out a number -- a record number of projects and purchases this year -- this past year, for various departments. We also had a busy year issuing permits. We issued 434 sidewalk permits, 38 storm water permits, 24 soil moving permits, and we had 43 -- permits.
We also recertified the village's CRS rating, that relates to flood insurance. We maintain the rating we have of seven. That generally entitles residence to a 15 percent premium reduction on their flood insurance policy. In the coming year we hope to get the new FEMA firm maps from the federal government and once those are officially issue we anticipate having to answer a lot of questions from residents who live in flood zones. There will be people that may be negatively affected. We'll try to help them through the process as best as we can.
In 2016 we had a number of goals, one of them was to hire a public works inspector, which we have. We have a candidate, that's an intergovernmental transfer from another municipality. This individual will be very helpful with our paving. Last year we incurred a lot of overtime, as you may see in the budget, for paving because we did not have a qualified capable public works inspector.
In 2016 we're going to continue our sidewalk safety program. We have a number of other projects we'd like to wrap up. We'd like to finish up a subdivision of the West Glen Avenue Firehouse. This is because the firehouse itself is on Green Acres property and we've been in discussion with DEP that they've suggested that we do a subdivision to separate it out so it's much cleaner on their inventory.
We also have to work on resolving the villages NJDEP divergence issues for those that are familiar with it. The village, a long time ago about 30 years ago, took a public park and transferred to become affordable housing. Unfortunately the computer age caught up with the village and this is an issue that we have to address.
We'll look -- engineering looks forward to developing of passive and non-passive recreational areas -- opportunities at the Schedler (phonetic) property. Once a couple of the major projects the village is facing have moved along we hope to get on to that.
We look forward to assisting in the construction of a parking structure on the Hudson Street lot. Currently we have a desilting and
desnagging program that is actually working right now, the contractor may be wrapping that up in the next couple of weeks. You may have seen some of the machinery in the Hohokus Brook. We removed a number of sandbars. Most of the sandbars that we removed are the same ones we removed just before we got hit with Hurricane Sandy. So, it's -- basically it's a continual maintenance of the water courses. This work that we are doing has been funded by the DEP, through our grant program.
In 2016 we're looking at addressing the underground storage tanks and contamination issues at the North Walnut Street parking lot. That is a backburner issue and at some point in time the village will have to address it.
We also have to finish off our Saddle River bank restoration. This is related to the Hurricane Irene project where a 16 inch sanitary sewer line was ripped out by the storm flows. We finally got the permitting done last year, only four years later. And we still have some restoration work to satisfy DEP.
On an upbeat note, last year Yohan Mehansig (phonetic) the assistant engineer got his certified public works manager license. It's a big step in his professional development, congratulate him.
We're looking forward to working with the operations division on considering privatizing the Lakeview Compost facility operations. We think that may be an opportunity to gain some benefit for the village. But we don't know until we try and until we find out what the market's going to tell us.
We recently had an intensive meeting with the Department of Homeland Security regarding the waste water treatment plant and we have a number of things we have to implement and upgrades we have to do. It's a very interesting report that I got, I'll be forwarding it over to the village manager as soon as I get to open it up.
In 2016 we looked at number of risks and opportunities. Basically FEMA declared events are a risk. We may have one with the current winter storm Johanis (Phonetic). We've had some discussion as to whether that's going to be a declared event with the potential for reimbursement to the village for the cost expended.
Other risk we have is working with contractors and scheduling the various projects.
One budget item that we think is going to be improved over last year in 2016, is for the overtime, because we've now retained a new public works
If there's any questions on engineering I'll be happy to answer them.
MS. SONENFELD: All right, so if you just want to talk to them, maybe Chris do the top line -- the top line numbers and why the delta is over 2 percent. So, 11 and 5, 10 and 5.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Oh, one of the reasons is we -- last year we had a -- I don't know how to best characterize. We had an individual that we had to select as a public works inspector. It could be -- it could be charitably said he was an exercise in failure. And --
MS. SONENFELD: We took -- we took --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: There's your quote.
MS. SONENFELD: We took care of it.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes, we did take care of it when it became apparent that he was woefully inadequately prepared for the position, documentation started immediately. We worked with HR and after about three months he took the initiative on himself to resign.
MS. SONENFELD: So, you know it's -- it's a -it's a civil service challenge. I mean we're a civil service town and as a result you're forced into certain
people you have to take at times. And as a result we don't have the full year impact of the replacement of our former person. So -- so the whole -- the whole delta here and Chris's numbers really is that, basically.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes.
MS. SONENFELD: And you see that overtime, this year was a whopping 24,000. I mean this is, you know, a result of -- we were handling two contractors simultaneously for paving. It's a lot of overtime.
Any questions on engineering? So Chris if you want to go back, the first thing that everybody has in their package is department of public works Division of Traffic and signal.
7. Traffic & Signal
MR. RUTISHAUSER: All right, Traffic and Signal, one of my favorite departments. That's only because the supervisor's present. Just kidding Jim.
The signal division, for those who may not be familiar with them, they're kind of the fix it group. They try to fix and repair and maintain our infra -our physical plan, our buildings as best as they can. They're very knowledgeable group of individuals. They save us a lot of money by doing it in-house rather than doing -- using an outside vendor. When an issue
requires an outside vendor they are honest and straight up and says we can't do this, we need somebody else. Recent example that was last year, we had to replace some air conditioner compressors on village hall.
The signal division has been working with the fiber optic network. Their individuals are trained in doing the splicing and the installations. We are working also with the -- we are also the maintainer of the Board of Ed's fiber optic network. That is part of our arrangement we have with the Board of Ed to gain access to their fiber network. That has benefited the village in better communications between department, outside of just the village hall, and from outlying pump stations and -- for both water and waste water. We can connect into the fiber optic network and then we can drop what is known as the Verizon tie line, so we don't have a pay a monthly fee to Verizon for communications with that station.
Signal has worked to improve coin collection and accountability for the parking utility. We just required a new mini excavator that will greatly assist with tasks that require digging a hole. And again thank you for the funding from the village council.
We've implemented some traffic signal timing changes for pedestrian safety at the high school and to
produce improved vehicle flow. Working with the police department, came up with a solution that was implemented and it appears to be working.
Signal replaced an employee last year. The previous employee was hired by the police department, he's now one of our law enforcement officers. We hired a replacement employee, also for one that retired.
For those that are not familiar all the fire extinguishers in this -- in the village are inspected by the signal division. Jim happens to be the licensed inspector for those, and that again keeps it in-house, keeps it current and makes sure all of our inspections are up to date.
In 2016 we have a number of goals. We're going to continue with the fiber optic network installation to connect more of our facilities. We're, I would guess, maybe 70 percent of our facilities -facilities are connected. I'd like to get that remainder connected. We'd like to continue training our new staff members so they're all familiar with all things in the village, particularly in fiber optic work.
Maintain our buildings as best as we can. We're looking at purchasing a replacement bucket truck for fiber optic work and the communications cable plan.
We're looking at implementing additional parking spaces at Park-And-Ride and the central business district. This is a little bit of a repeat, but the Park-And-Ride has been kind of tied up because we have an ownership share with New Jersey Transit and the Department of Transportation. We've met with those individuals five months ago, and let's just say it's moving at glacial pace with them.
In 2016 we're looking at a number of opportunities and a number risks. We have a lot of faded and non-compliant traffic signs. We'd like to replace them as best as our funding permits. A sign film product that we used in the past developed an extremely short lifespan and the signs are fading quickly. So if you see a faded traffic sign, we're probably aware of it and we're trying to get the replacement as soon as we can. We know what caused the problem, we've addressed it and going forward we hope our signs will be having a much more -- a much longer lifespan.
We're also going to continue the retro -reflectivity compliance program for traffic signs. That's a Federal Highway Administration standard that traffic signs have to have a certain level of reflectivity, particularly at night, so motorists can see them. We're also looking to upgrade our pedestrian walk/don't walk signals and our old electromechanical traffic signal controllers. That's going to be tricky because as we upgrade intersections we're have to stay below a certain threshold otherwise we have to do a full upgrade and that may require property and land takings.
In 2016 we have a few budget items that will may -- may be a problem for the department. We have an interlocal arrangement with Glen Rock. We maintain their fiber optic line and they've just installed -they just had PSE and G install a lot of 65 foot polls. Signal is going to have to transfer that fiber. We're going to have to work with Glen Rock on how to get that done without impacting their duties for the village.
We're also looking at considering hiring an additional person -- person for the signal division to help with repairs, try to bring the department back up to some of level of staffing it had in years past.
And if there's any questions.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: I have a stupid question.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: There are no stupid questions.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: How come when signal works on the streets they don't have any public safety protection. I see your trucks so vulnerable? I --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: A lot of times it's a short duration event. We do communicate with the police department. If we have to retain a traffic officer we have to pay him, and --
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: I know.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: -- that becomes an additional budget item. I think we have a discounted rate but I think $89 an hour with a four hour minimum. So, if we're just putting up a -- a -- say a kissing ball on a decorative street light in the CBD we try to do that without a traffic officer to save money.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: I appreciate it, but I -I -- I just want to say thank you. I see the guys up there fixing telephone poles outside Stable for some reason often. And it just looks like there's nothing there for them, and I -- it's heroic really. Thank you.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yeah, it's -- we try to balance and we do work with the police department and if -- you know if an officer comes by the scene and says listen you really need an officer, we'll work with them and schedule accordingly.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: And I want to complement Jim for his leadership. Because you are a mentor and an inspiration and you're everywhere and I -- I'm so glad you're still year. Last -- I thought last year there was some talk about there was some talk about retiring or something and I'm just so grateful to you for still leading that department. It's ever present. It really is.
MS. SONENFELD: Yup, ditto. So in -- in the numbers here is a half of year of an additional person that, you know we'll bring back and see if we should hold on to, because we have a couple of additions to staff across the whole group. So we need to really evaluate that.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Great.
MS. SONENFELD: Okay, so I --
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: On -- on the question of signals are we still not buying new -- new traffic meters -- new parking meters and no longer -we're not investing in parking meters, are we?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Well, we are buying them. For example the plowing efforts in the snow, because of visibility, we lost maybe half a dozen meters, those have to be replaced. We're only purchasing meters and meter housings to replace what is damaged or stolen. We get a couple of meters disappear every year. People like to pull them out. They like to take them with them. Those have to be replaced.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: I thought the plan was to harvest meters from Park-And-Ride and --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: That is the plan.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: And -- and --
MS. SONENFELD: yes.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: -- you know over time there'll be no meters -- years --
MS. SONENFELD: And we just discussed that last week.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: It's still a goal, but again we're -- we're working with the DOT, New Jersey Transit partnership and it's a very slow process with them, very slow.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: It remains on our list of objectives.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Oh, yes. We'd like to get away from the meters. The village implemented Park Mobile. A lot of customers, patrons like it, but there are some people who don't like it. As that gets adopted more and more we can see what locations maybe the users are only using Park Mobile and we can consider and discuss with you folks and the council whether we'd want to make that location a Park Mobile only, eliminating meters. We do have the Chestnut
Street lot as Park Mobile only. That can be considered for some of the street meters. Again, if we see there -- that Park Mobile is the only pay -- payment method being utilized.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Uh huh.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: We don't have that data yet.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Yeah, and I understand the Park Mobile subscriptions continue to increase.
MS. SONENFELD: Yes, they do.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Greatly.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: So you know over time it will be the, you know, sort of the currency or the realm will be Park Mobile.
MS. SONENFELD: Every month --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: We hope so.
MS. SONENFELD: Every month they've been going -- every month they've been going up from 8 to -- from 6, to 8 to 10,000 which as I pointed out once before it's like 40,000 quarters when you think about it in terms handling.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Right, that we're not handling.
MS. SONENFELD: That we're not handling.
Yeah, we do. We do. I don't have it off the top of my head. Okay.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Chris I just wanted to thank you and not -- and not just you, but through you, your entire team. You guys wear a lot of important hats and do a lot of important work, just the way you catalogued it here, it's just pretty extraordinary. I just want to personally thank you for three -- three particular things. First of all the paving you guys did was just extraordinary and so important. That's one of those issues, again, that sort of is both a quality of life and a public safety issue. And you guys did a really -- work last year.
Second, the work you've been doing, you know the desilting and the desnagging. And I remember a few years ago when we had all these floods and it was a real problem and you've been maintaining it throughout and I want to thank you for that. I know a lot of homeowners want to thank you for that too.
And the last thing is the work you done on -on the parking deck and this whole initiative, getting us to this point. We're very close and I too hope that one of your goals, it will sort of work on the construction of the parking deck this year.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I definitely look forward to that.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: But you -- you know you've been -- you've been instrumental in getting us to this point, and I want to thank you for that.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Thank you.
MS. SONENFELD: So now we have two more expense codes for Chris. So we have -- the next one is the -- building maintenance -- the infamous building maintenance budget which is -- it says Division of Traffic and Signal building maintenance. And we also have the all-important water pollution control, which is at the end. So --
8. Property Maintenance
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Building maintenance is a moderate budget. It's the upkeep of our buildings. The line items you'll see under other expenses, those are accounts that the signal division uses to purchase material to fix things. If a light switch goes bad, if a light balance is inoperable that's where it would get charged to that building's account and they would do the installation.
A big salary and wage item in this is the janitorial staff that we have in the village. They're principally in Village Hall and in the Stable. There's been some thought looking to going forward that we
should consider outsourcing it. We're going to take a look at that this year, as with Lakeview Compost, we're not going to know any benefits of it unless we bid it out and see what kind of numbers or prices the market presents to us.
For 2015 we waxed the village hall floors in-house instead of using a contractor, that worked out quite well. We coordinate that with the Park and Rec department. Usually do it after the summer day camp on level one. I guess the kids in the summer do put a lot of wear on the floors so we try to get them spiffed up so when the fall programs downstairs occur, they have a nice environment.
I mentioned the repairs. In 2016 number of goals, try to get a more timely cleaning of Village Hall. We're also looking at upgrading Village Hall security, working with Dylan in the IT department and with representatives from the police department as to how we could best do that. I don't know if Chief Ward touched on some of the security issues. We're happy to assist him and we have some ideas we're going to work together on implementing those.
MS. SONENFELD: All right.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: 2016 the big opportunities and risks are the fact most of our building and
facilities are aging we're trying to maintain them as best as we can, but there is a continual greater demand for repairs and maintenance services.
MS. SONENFELD: So, I guess if you look at the numbers one of the thing you'll see and I remember 2014 we spent a lot of money. I mean we were -- we had $184,000 versus the budget of this year of 157 and it's really hard to estimate what we're going to need and what's going to break and what we're going to have to fix. So that's why you see this kind of vagary between the different years. Because it directly is related to what we have to fix.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes, that's -- that's true. Just in the last couple of days we got notified of a leaking faucet. We have to find it and fix it. We also found out that the signal building had a leak in it from the driven rain yesterday. We have to find out what the cause is. Unfortunately the roof on that building is now outside of the warranty period. So we'll see -- have to see how to fix that.
Council heard last night from Chief Van Goor he knows he has an ailing roof. We know very well he has an ailing roof. This -- when it leaks we try to fix it as best we can, but it's coming to the point where it may need to be replaced.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Roberta this is
maintenance, does this include custodial services? MS. SONENFELD: Yes. MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes it does. MS. SONENFELD: Yes. MR. RUTISHAUSER: Janitorial custodial
services. MS. SONENFELD: Yes, uh huh. DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: And that's all they
spend? And I see one and a half people. MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes we have one full-time
and one part-time individual. DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: At --COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: I don't want to call
attention -- I'm sorry I interrupted you. DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: No -- no --COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: I thought you were
finished. DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: -- I'm just struck that maintenance and custodial --
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Yeah, I -- I -- yeah, I'm looking at my community center line item, I don't understand what you guys do there. It's just a concrete square. What -- it costs $14,000 a year?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: That's the amount we have
budgeted. That's for like -- balance. But I also know that the community center had been discussing with me in the early part of last year sound baffling and insulation because of the echo in the --
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Oh, good that's what that is?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: It may be. I just don't have the individual breakdown on that.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Yeah, because it really is nothing more than a bunker right now and yet we have thousands of people who, you know, use it. Not thousands, but almost. So if that's what that line item is for I --I would applaud that.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I'm thinking it is, but I'm not a hundred percent certain because I don't have my individual breakdowns on that with me.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Thank you.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, I think -- I think the thing to look at in this budget actually is the bottom line.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Yeah.
MS. SONENFELD: Because things just are so -they move around. You know, things break outside.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: I'm surprised at how low it is. I've got to believe we have fireman and
firewomen -- fire personnel cleaning their own facility to some degree. I mean it has to be the case. We can't be doing all that.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: You do, yeah.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, EMS -- EMS has a service, actually.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Most departments and outlying buildings are responsible for their own janitorial efforts in house. Water pollution has the third shift guy. Part of his duties clean the place. Same thing with the street division, sanitation, they also have to take care of it themselves.
MS. SONENFELD: Right.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: That -- that explains it.
MS. SONENFELD: So we're looking at all of this because I think -- I'm not criticizing staff here. I'm just saying that if you even look at the floor right now it hasn't been vacuumed. You know, it's just one and a half people and you just can't get to everything in the building. So, I know you were complaining about -- somebody was complaining about soap in the men's room, that nobody put the soap in the
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Not with a number like this, I would not complain.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Well, for example our regular full-time janitorial person was off today because he had a death in the family, so he attended the funeral, that's why he couldn't get to this.
In the past we had two and a half people on the janitorial staff. That, over the years, has been shrunk down to our current one and a half.
MS. SONENFELD: So the -- are we done, because we have one more to do. Okay so the last one is at the end of your -- of this tab, so this is WPC.
9. Water Pollution Control Facility
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yeah, Water Pollution Control facility. Our water pollution control long time superintendent Bob Geller (phonetic) retired last year and I think the best quote from him that I can give everyone here is, we're at the end of the pipe. Whatever Rich Calbi and his colleagues put out we get it at the end.
In 2015 we hired a new superintendent, John Spurber (phonetic). He's starting to fit in good. He's getting a good understanding of what we have to do and what he has to do. He's working out quite nicely. We bid out sludge hauling, instead of buying a new
truck. We're going to have to reassess that, because some issues have developed.
Our combined heat and power program is producing more and more power. Matter of fact the program was recently featured in an article Effluence Magazine. I don't know how many of you get Effluence.
MS. SONENFELD: No.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: I do not. How could I?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: And that is really the name of the magazine. It is -- it is an industry publication geared towards waste water professionals, the end of the pipe gang.
In 2016 we're going to have a major accomplishment, our lab manager Yagnis Voss (phonetic) is going to be awarded the Rowe Award for Laboratory Analysis Excellence from the New Jersey Water Environment Association. He'll be honored in Atlantic City later this year for this accomplishment. He runs our lab, he does done a very good job at it. He always passes his recertification exams for the lab and he's been a big asset in running the plant.
In 2016 we have a number of goals. We'd like to continue to optimize the sustainable energy program, like to do a cost benefit analysis of that program to see how much it really has helped the village. We'd also like to get an energy audit performed at the plant funded by the New Jersey Clean Energy Program. We have an outstanding air quality permit issue, with the plants auto-control system that we also have to resolve.
The big project we have at the plant will be to bid out the digester rehabilitation. We have to take the anaerobic digesters off line, clean out the crap, for lack of a better word, in them and get them back running because they've been a little bit clogged up. Eighteen months ago they had a -- they were upset and they burped. And if you've ever seen a digester burp, it's not pretty. You saw it.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: We also are currently working on emergency repairs to the Bel Air pump station. I haven't submitted the extraordinary unspecified services resolution to the council yet, because we're still tallying up the cost. But the pump station has three pumps. Two of those three pumps failed within a matter of days. They did give us a decent lifespan they were installed in 1991. Unfortunately now we have to replace them and there's a lot of work involved. We anticipate that will be somewhere in the order of 300,000 or so.
In 2016 we have a number of opportunities and risk. We'd like to start to initiate a cure in place pipe program, that's effectually known by the acronym CIPP, it's a pipe rehabilitation methodology. It's a no dig methodology. It lines the pipe from access ports and holes. We hope this could bring our pipe system more up to date in terms in I and I, inflow and infiltration, and add some strength to the existing pipe.
We also worry -- I worry very much about our operating permit. We started the renewal in 2014. We were approved in like June or July of 2014 and we still have not heard anything on our operating permit. The reason I'm concerned is if they spring something on us in terms of a new treatment methodology or a greater level of treatment.
There's a lot -- been in the media lately about water quality, mostly on the potable end, but all of that eventually comes down to us on the treatment end also.
In the Homeland Security audit for the facility, I mentioned that earlier. We're going to have to address some of the critical security issues. In 2016 some of the decisions we're going to have to look at, potential privatizing plant operations. Again this
is a discussion item. Don't know how it's going to go. May need some time and thought to it.
We may want to look at our sludge system. Our current sludge truck was just up at the fleet services because we needed it for the Bel Air pump station project and unfortunately the prognosis was very poor. It's probably not worthwhile repairing. So we have to look at what we're going to do in -- in lieu of it.
Budget variances of 2016 for water pollution is increased cost for treatment chemicals. We now have to purchase polymer for dewatering, we're increasing our use of a bioorganic catalyst. We're also looking at -- possible increased cost in the -- dewater sludge. Our sludge volume from the digest is its increasing. We also have to truck it down to Passaic Valley and that is another cost.
Our equipment, the wear and tear on the equipment has been considerable. The plant upgrade was last -- I think it was finished 10 years ago. Time does fly. The pumps and operating systems are starting to wear out, we're going to have to look at replacing it.
Our SCADA, our computerized operation control system, I have to thank our consultant Keystone they've held it together, the question will be for how long. Any questions?
MAYOR ARONSOHN: I have a very specific question. I really don't want to ask but I'm just curious.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Go ahead.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: The sludge volume is increasing? Is that --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Is there any reason for that? Does that have to anything with restaurants, or is that just --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: No, it's nothing to do with the restaurants. It has to do a little bit with our liquid waste acceptance program. But what we're looking -- when we look at the sludge after we dewater it, before we truck it out, we're looking at and we're thinking we're not getting a complete digestion by the bacteria. That's another reason why I really want to get these digesters clean that we have. I think the reduction volume we have in the digesters is not allowing us to have the complete digestion of our organics and is increasing our sludge volume. We're also seeing a little bit of other bypass or pass through products.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Sorry I asked. Thank you.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Really, I was happy to answer that.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: That was between interesting and kind of gross.
MS. SONENFELD: I -- you know you can see -you can really see analogy here between that and water and the fact that we have two very capital intensive businesses that are old --
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah, that's true.
MS. SONENFELD: -- and that you know are kind of dying here and there. And what I said to Chris was this was the year of water, and hopefully we can make next year the year of sewer.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Sludge? MS. SONENFELD: Sludge. But if you look at the overall numbers --(Indiscernible Conversation)
MS. SONENFELD: If you look at Chris's overall numbers, you know, he's not coming up that much higher. And actually with the reduced sewer -- sewage disposal charges in one area, he's actually pretty flat year over year budget to budget at this point. But again, as is the case with water to a degree, you know there's risk.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Okay, all right thank you.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: No more questions?
MAYOR ARONSOHN: They're afraid to ask.
MS. SONENFELD: That was very edifying. Okay so we're ready for --
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: I -- I -- I guess -- I'm sorry I will ask one quick question.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Oh goody.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: The list you had of 46 tasks you know pending or whatever 48, how do you feel about your staffing? I mean --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: In engineering?
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Overall.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: With the additional public works inspector, I think it will improve. There will be a training period. I'd like to get him up to speed. One of the reasons I want to get him up to speed is that on the outside construction projects I no long have to put the assistant engineer on them, I can keep him in the office for his design skills and his AutoCAD skills.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Right.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Another big thing, we're hoping, that's our -- keep our fingers crossed -- that we don't have any FEMA events because that takes a lot of our staff to address those on behalf of the village.
If it's nice and quiet for another couple of years, we'll be very happy with the weather.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, so Chris and I discussed this a little bit, because they have -- there are more than 47 projects that he has on his plate. We thought that the conservative thing to do for this year is to get this person on board, see how it goes and see whether or not we think we need to add somebody else to engineering at some point. But right now in the budget that's not -- that's not there.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: No. Thank you.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: I know last year came up briefly that maybe for capital expense we put out some -- some sort of money to maybe hire some outside consultants to tackle some of the issues or some of the different projects on this list. And I was just -- I was going to ask maybe during the capital budget discussion, but I guess since Councilwoman Hauck brought it up. I'll just ask now if that was a consideration?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: We've actually done that, the digester rehabilitation program is being done. The plans and specs are being by Bergen Consulting Engineers. We selected them through the RFP process. It look like it's working out good, because we -- we felt that we just did not have the time, as you correctly surmised to get that done. There's something else, I just can't remember what we also subbed out.
We have -- we have issued RFPs for consultants to address tasks that we feel we just don't have the time to get to properly. And we're going to continue to do that going forward.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: And is that through the operating budget or is that a -- a capital expense?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Usually that can be charged to a capital account.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Okay.
MS. SONENFELD: If it's part of an overall project. If it's just staff expenses. Some -- it can sometimes and sometimes it can't.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Okay.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: So -- yeah, so we have started to do that and we will continue to do that if that's the best way to go forward for the village.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Okay, so then that would be something to discuss, I guess, as the year progresses. You wouldn't have to really have to wait until the budget process. If there is -- you know if residents came up with some -- some project or if, you know, there was a need in the village that they had to
prioritize. That -- that can be -- I guess that's a
discussion that can happen throughout the year?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Okay.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, and also when we discuss capital, capital's tomorrow night. Some of Chris's projects will be specific. Will be in the capital discussion as well. So okay so we are due for -- I think we could cut the break to 10 minutes.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yes.
MS. SONENFELD: 7:15 the library comes up.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Exciting.
(Off The Record, On The Record)
MS. SONENFELD: Okay, so I'd like to welcome our library friends. We have handed out your package. We didn't realize at first that they were personalized yesterday, so everybody was getting everybody else's, but we got it straight.
VILLAGE CLERK: Did not have that -- does everybody have one?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
VILLAGE CLERK: You mean like Susan might have got Paul's.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah.
VILLAGE CLERK: They're all the same. They're all the same. They're all the same.
MS. SONENFELD: Okay, so I'll turn it over to you Nancy and that's --
10. Ridgewood Public Library
MS. GREENE: Hi everybody. Thank you for --
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Hi Nancy, hello.
MS. GREENE: -- today. Thank you very much.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: I don't think --
MS. SONENFELD: Mike.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Nancy we're not -we're not hearing you.
MS. GREENE: Oh, that's a --
MAYOR ARONSOHN: You've got to turn it up.
MS. GREENE: is that on?
MS. SONENFELD: Yes, great.
MS. GREENE: That's the only time I've heard that -- hearing me.
All right, I really haven't had much of a chance to look over your packet, but I just -- I'm going to talk briefly about the library and things that we have done along this year, and things that we're looking ahead. And this is our board treasure -- board president Gail Campbell and she's going to describe the budget for us. And we also have here tonight Judy Cleary (phonetic) who's on the Library Board of
Trustees and Tony Nafis (phonetic) our business manager. So thank you everybody.
Well, first off in the packet we're having a kickoff event featuring none other than Jim Griffith (phonetic). We wrote and received a grant from the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic -- to do an oral history program which we've been wanting to do for a very long time. Which -- which I wish we did that when -- in town, but the next generation -- the generation after that, anyway. And a program that's called -- at Ridgewood Public Library.
So they're going to interview -- they're going to start with Jim, interview him in the auditorium, along the lines of -- I told him, I'll be David Floss and you be Richard Nixon. It wasn't exactly like that. But we're going to get started with that and do about a 20 minute you know -- 20 minute interviews. Now we're going to have podcasts available at the library so that -- on our website. So anybody that wants to listen to, you know, how somebody explains life in Ridgewood can tune in and listen. So, that was a grant that we got this year that we're very happy about.
A print out our computer class schedule here which I'm very proud of. We started a number of new classes here, we're teaching -- with word press. We now have the Adobe Creative Suite, so we can teach in design and we can illustrative, we can teach Photoshop and we're doing all of that. We're teaching website design, advance Excel. Starting a newsletter. We have a photography day for people to update their LinkedIn profiles. Any -- just for Ridgewood residents we have teenagers come on Tuesday afternoons and residents can bring anything that they want from, you know, an IPod to a camera, anything at all and the teens will help them figure out how to get better use of it. That's one of our Ridgewood only services.
We also -- I hate to sound crass, but we charge non-residents a dollar an hour to use internet computers and we brought in $3100 this year by -- by doing that. So these little nickel and dime things help us with our -- with our user fees.
Another big initiative that we're doing this year to save money is we're cross-training our staff. You probably all know that basically libraries have a children's desk, a circulation desk and a reference desk. And this year we're having four big retirements. We're having June Migdale (phonetic) our -- adult library is retiring. Irene Collier (phonetic) our adult services librarian and two people from circulation. So we're trying to figure out how can we provide the same level service and reduce the number of staff that we have. So we're in a cross-training program where people who work at the circulation desk are trained to be able to assist at the reference desk too and -- and reference to circulation and -- of course everybody's scared to take over in children's, but -- but that -- trained in children's.
And -- and there was a little, I think, reluctance at first. But now the people that are doing it are really enjoying it and circulation could get reference questions anyway. So we -- anyway we think that this is going to be very successful. It's going to give the staff more interesting jobs, and it's going to let us operate a little more economically. So we'll be replacing June and Irene with new full-time librarians with their masters degrees. But the two people who circulation Karen and Margaret we're going to replace -- they were both full-time -- we're going to replace both of them with part-time people. And so we're going to see how this works out. We've got about a $40,000 dip in our salaries budget this year as a -as a result. So, so we'll see how this goes.
Let's see I -- oh -- okay, all right. We've got -- we've got about 23 people on the staff that lead programs and they're not just arrange for speakers to come in. A lot of the staff delivers content. We have staff members that teach creative writing, that teach memoir writing. That hold book discussion groups and foreign film discussion group. I lead a foreign film discussion group about two weeks ago -- beautiful Italian movie about a -- life and people stayed for 45 minutes afterward. They were so interested in -- in -in -- in intellectual content, I think.
I think people in Ridgewood are coming to more programs then they ever did before. That's one of many of our services. Physical circulation is dipping slightly about 3 percent of -- of physical items. But program attendance is going up. And I think that's because we can offer the face-to-face services.
And I just wanted to mention also that we partnered with about 25 committee organizations including REAC, the Ridgewood Gild, the Chamber of Social Services, the scouts share house, Christian Healthcare Center West Bergen, Ridgewood Schools and of course Parks and Rec. So we're very glad to reach out to other organizations and do everything we can as well and as economically as we can. Thank you.
MS. CAMPBELL: Thank you again for inviting us here. I had the less glamorous part. I'm just going to talk about the numbers very quickly with you.
You should have the budget proposal in your packet. If you take a look at the column that says 2016 request I'm going to be discussing that column and the budget to actual numbers for the most part.
You can see that this year we're requesting that the village approve an appropriation of approximately $2,375,000 which is an increase of 1.5 percent over last year or $35,107. The total proposed budget is $2,659,427.
I'd like to point out that the overall library budget is only increasing by $6400 from last year. The reason though that we're increasing our -- we're asking for 35,000 more from the village is basically because patron service fees have continued to decline and that's largely due to advances in technology.
In 2012, for instance, the library received $198,000 in patron service fees, whereas in 2015 we received only a 143,000.
The second thing that I'd like to point out that our expense in salaries in the proposed budget is less than years -- last year's actual number, $34,100 less. And as Nancy said we are replacing four employees who retired with only full-time employees and only one has been hired so far. One is going to be hired in the future. And we've added some hours for
As Nancy said we're cross-training our staff so they become more versatile. And the other thing I'd like to point about -- point out about salaries is that the staff is picking up more of the healthcare expenses in 2016 from 31,900 to 47,200 or about $15,000 more.
So -- and the expense on the expense side, the other two items that I'd like to point out are -- we've budgeted a little bit more for books and media and buildings and grounds. We've budgeted about 70 -17,000 more than last year for books and media. Basically because Buckles (phontic) has raised the charge for our online databases by about 21 percent and that's something we've already had to pay for. That's the majority of the increase there.
And then with respect to building and grounds, we've increased the budget of an amount by about $12,700 for a lot of different things. As you know the age of our building is one reason and also just for something that have to be serviced, like the elevator that wasn't done last year. And then we also need to replace some furnishing that had been broken.
So that's about it. Before I go to the capital budget are there any questions? No, question okay. Yes, I'm sorry?
COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: --
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, Susan was asking about the Buckles increase. What part of that line item is Buckles increase. Which is the books and media I think you were saying that.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Books and media was the increase.
MS. CAMPBELL: It's in the -- that -- hold on -- do you know what --
MS. GREENE: Yeah, with our Buckles fees -- we are the high -- Ridgewood residents are the highest usable of downloadables in Bergen County and Buckles has changed their formula for charging libraries to include how heavily the people in that town use the service. So our cost for database services went up -went up $7,000 this year.
COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: From 13,358 to 20,253.
MS. SONENFELD: So it's up 7,000.
COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: I just wanted to ask if it was related -- if there was a relationship to how much it was being used by our --
MS. GREENE: Yeah.
MS. CAMPBELL: Okay --
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Before you get to capital budget I just want to comment -- I'm sorry were
MS. CAMPBELL: No, go ahead.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: I wanted to comment that, you know, I have the privilege of attending your trustee meetings and I know what careful stewards you are of the money that you do have and -- and you're always -- at those meetings you're always looking at the budget on a regular, you know, monthly basis like -- like a business looks at its P and L, and it's a very highly disciplined process. I can certainly, you know, attest to that.
I guess I -- a question for the trustees that I wish I had thought about at the meeting. We're looking at a decline in revenue for fewer video rentals in the non-resident pay carts. I'm not exactly sure what the non-resident pay carts are. But do you anticipate being able to replace those sources of revenues? You have so many programs that you offer and I know you charge minimally for the video -- the movies on, you know, Friday night, there's a small entrance fee.
MS. CAMPBELL: So not -- well we haven't been able to do that. We have increased our -- the amount that we've received for things like room rentals. And some -- like you know people using the copy machine, things like that. But we haven't really been able to replace, because that was -- the videos was bringing us such a large amount of money.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Yeah.
MS. CAMPBELL: We really have no way of replacing that. And we're not -- you know we're restricted by Buckles rules on -- on what kind of, you know, fees that we charge. So we have to very careful with that.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Uh huh.
MS. GREENE: Also, if I could say, new services that we require more staff. We -- one of the services that we offer is one to one computer classes. It's $55 for a resident and $85 for -- no $55 for, you know, a basic class and $85 for an expert class. And Ridgewood residents get 20 off on those. We could -we could sell those classes, you know, into 2017 but we don't have the staff on. It doesn't make sense to have the staff for it. You know, it would cost us more than we would make.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: So the -- you know the video rentals, obviously that's going to continue to decline, probably to zero at some point. Anyway and we have to face -- just face that.
MS. CAMPBELL: Yes, exactly. So you should also have a proposed preliminary capital budget in your packet. The total that we're requesting is $41,700. We've broken down the request into three categories. The first is an upgrade to the HVAC system. This is essential because the current system isn't functioning properly. The parts that regulate the heating and cooling have been failing and must be replaced. And that's in the process, actually.
The second request is for $6550 for a new server. Again, this is essential because the older server is eight years old and it's no longer supported by Microsoft Tech assistance. It has already crashed once and had to be rebuilt.
And finally we're asking for $8,000 for some new technology. We need to replace some of our computers for our staff, some keyboards, mice, locks, things like that. In general a lot of our computers are outdated and require excessive repair time.
So those are the items that we're requesting in the capital budget. And I believe that we have about $6100 that we haven't used in prior years budgets that won't be needed.
MS. SONENFELD: Okay, thank you. Any -- any questions?
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Anybody have questions? Well let me say, as I always do, you know first of all thank you to you and your -- all the folks, and that includes the trustees, it includes the professionals that work at the library and all the volunteers that you have at the library. You know, the library is a community space, unlike any other and we talk about this through the year. And the reason it is, because you continue to evolve and you continue to sort of meet the needs -the changing needs of this community. And just looking at some of this stuff, you know the technology training. The idea that you're going to have a day when you do the LinkedIn profiles. I mean it's really meeting the needs and sort of changing with the time. And it's not only a question of staying relevant, it's actually playing a great deal -- offering value to people's lives here and I -- I thank you for that.
The -- you know I always love these, sort of the library by the numbers. It's just amazing, 3,940 cultural/educational programs. That's extraordinary. I remember you had the foreign affairs discussion group. I remember stepping into that a few years ago, thinking oh it will be a nice light conversation. It's one of the most intense conversations and it's -- it's thoughtful and a lot of intelligent people participate in it. And it's just one of the many, many things that
you guys do and it's just -- it really is wonderful.
And the last thing I wanted to say is you have, under Community Affairs, support access civility, Robin Ritter (Phonetic) and you folks just don't support those initiatives they actually are leaders those initiatives. And I thank you for that -- thank them for that, so --
MS. GREENE: We have -- we have a great outreach team, Karen and Robin.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah, Karen too. Really plays a leadership role, yeah.
MS. GREENE: Yeah, they're terrific.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: So thank you. Thanks.
MS. SONENFELD: Thank you, great. We've met before this. So, we'll take this into the context of the whole budget request, get back to everybody and have you back probably.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah, thank you.
MS. GREENE: Anything -- okay, thank you.
MS. SONENFELD: Thank you. Thank you. Okay, so Rich and John are up to talk about the central garage, recycling, streets and roads and yard waste. So we're in -- this is our last topic tonight since we did topic 19. And I just want to give you a preview of tomorrow and after that. But we're in tab 18.
MR. CALBI: Okay, thank you. Feeling the pressure, I'm the head liner tonight.
MS. SONENFELD: No -- no slide show, none -none of that.
11. Central Garage/Fleet Services
MR. CALBI: I'm going to run through a little intro, this isn't in your packets just bear with me. And then if you -- if you can I think you have two sheets that are our highlights and goals. If you can kind of pull them out of your binder, because we're going to -- we're going to kind of go through each division and highlight those goals and, you know important accomplishments as we go through each part rather than do it all at once. Because I think it's kind of important to kind of break down each division and talk about, you know, what the parts are, what we've done, where we're going and what some of the risk factors are and issues out there.
But just to start, you know, thank you again Mayor and Counsel and everybody here. This presentation will be a little bit less dramatic when compared to the water budget, but yet equally important. Divisions of fleet, recycling, sanitation, yard waste and streets provide essential services to the community. Whether it's cleaning catch basins to avoid flooding, collecting garbage and recycling or clearing the streets of leaves and snow, the employees of these public works division insure the expectations that the communities has for these services are met every day.
Behinds the scenes of these services the division of fleet is there to insure that the vehicles and equipment required for all operations, over 200 pieces of equipment are available and in working condition for the staff every day.
In the order of agenda fleet will be our first division to discuss, followed by recycling, sanitation, yard waste and then streets. And I'll walk thorough each division, you know, accomplishments, highlights and so on.
But first let's look at the overall picture. I think you have a sheet that says summary and DPW 2016. That's an all total, encompassing for all the divisions. You know the five division exclusive of fuel and garbage disposal fees, which are at the bottom of the sheet, total an overall proposed budget of 4.28 million dollars, which is flat when you compare it to 2015 budget and is up only 2 percent compared to actual in 2015. When you add in fuel and garbage disposal fees, then we're up to a 5.24 million dollar budget. Still only up by one and a half percent compared to last year's budget. But going up by 5.8 percent to actual.
The increases in the budget are mainly the result of three things. Our dumping fees have increased. We have a new two year contract. So we're paying an additional $4 a ton for garbage that's dispose outside at an offsite facility.
There's also increases in the cost of rock salt. We're paying an extra $4.09 for a ton of rock salt. And now we have a huge reduction in the recycling budget credits in excess of $100,000 and we'll highlight that a little bit when we get into recycling.
Additionally, I want to note why the actual increase is up by 5.8 percent. And you know as part of last year's budget we had a bit of a crisis at the end and we had to free spending. So as a result you're seeing a huge -- bigger difference then typically would have been there when you compare it to actual, because there were things that we just didn't buy at the end of the year because we were frozen across the board. You know a lot of that was needs that we had in fleet division and other departments throughout the village last year.
So to start with fleet, last year's budget presentation I -- I think fleet was highlighted and was one of the top things discussed and -- the topic was, was evaluating and transitioning from an in-house division to outsourcing.
MS. SONENFELD: Right, and this is the last page. This is the last page in your handout. Fleet is at the end of the -- at the end of the tab. I'm sorry. Go ahead, I'm sorry Rich.
MR. CALBI: So you know with that in mind, with last year's discussion we set out to meet that goal and begin that transition. We initiated the rebuilding of the fleet division and successfully filled the positions that we felt were the minimum required to keep our in house presence. Because regardless of any type of outsourcing we going with we need people here. In -- in the morning when we start the garbage trucks we need somebody here to jump on it. We can't rely on having to drive it to Paramus or to the county to get fixed.
So we felt at the minimum we felt we needed two full-time mechanics and at this time we have two full-time and one part-time employee that service all of our equipment because we're not relying on Paramus at the moment and we're waiting, in the midst for the county to come up with a solution to accommodate us and -- and take care of our needs.
So, as a result of what we're doing we've received kudos from all department staff, particularly police and fire department. I think it was mentioned in some of their presentations and the work place has seen an overall improvement in morale and open communication between the fleet staff and staff members throughout all the divisions.
This year fleet is to me our biggest success story, moving into the year. The budget is down 17 percent from last year budget and 27 percent from actual. In 2015 with only three mechanics for half of the year we serviced the same amount of vehicles that the staff of six mechanics completed in 2014. Of those 910 vehicles that were serviced in 2015, 41 of them were outsourced. Paramus handling 41 of them for a total cost of $155,000.
In 2016 our goals is to complete this restructuring of the fleet division. This will include consideration to outsourcing it at the new Bergen County facility, any opportunities that yield cost benefits. Additionally, we be looking to leverage technology to enter service calls, diagnose vehicles, track repairs in and out of house and keep track of our
So any question on fleet numbers or anything I -- I said in terms of highlights?
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Yeah, it's remarkable and the restructuring certainly has accomplished a lot already. I guess I -- I just want to ask a question and maybe a question that's probably more rhetorical at this point, because I'm sure you don't really have the answer.
You know, at what point do two mechanics who are there, sort of on the -- you know as the, let's get the trucks started in the morning basis, but they wouldn't be changing a transmission on a garbage truck, I assume. I imagine the heavy lifting is going -- is now being outsourced? I don't know if that's entirely true.
MR. CALBI: I think it's yes and no. Our -our hope is -- and this year is going to be a tell all for us. Our hope is going to try to do as much as we can in-house, with half of the staff then we were doing it with for 30 years.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Okay, well then -then the question still -- that I was leading to is still applicable. At what point would those three individuals -- three or two, I'm not --
MR. CALBI: It's two full-time and one part-time.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Two full-time, one part-time, be more efficient if they were working with, you know, different tools on a different location. mean I've got to believe the location that they're now in is not efficient for two and a half people to be working in. They can -- there's an awful lot of moving of stuff around and the building itself is -- you know is -- is clumsy. It's just very clumsy from what I've seen.
MR. CALBI: I'm going to -- I'm going to leave that question to be answered, if I can, to the footprint study.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Yeah.
MR. CALBI: Because that's -- that's one of the buildings that are in the study and that's a major part of the evaluation and -- and telling to where things kind of go in the future.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Yeah, I guess I just couldn't imagine two and a half, you know, mechanics who are really skilled being in a -- a leaner facility with modern equipment and, you know, less of a clumsy leaky building around them.
MR. CALBI: There's a lot of efficiencies to
be said to what you're telling --
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: Okay, thank you.
MR. CALBI: Definitely.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: So, I see the overall budget is down, I can see that. But I thought we outsourced more car -- I thought the whole thing was we were surprised by what it cost to send the cars to Paramus and we kind of got smacked.
MR. CALBI: Yes we did.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: So where is that in this?
MR. CALBI: If you look at other contractual and you --
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Yeah, that's what I thought, okay.
MR. CALBI: And you look at actual as compared to budget in 2015, we spent an extra $186,000.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Right, thank you.
MR. CALBI: Of those 41 vehicles I spoke of that went to Paramus, if you look at some of the individual bills, you know, and compare them. We would believe the typical cost they were outrageous.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah --
MR. CALBI: And we have --
MS. SONENFELD: I was going to say, which is why as we deal with the county in trying to put an
outsourcing agreement together, we don't want an outsourcing agreement that's parts and labor for each specific item. We could be going more for a package.
And I guess Rich, you might want to -- because you had the last conversations with the shared services guy, Tom. You might want to give a little update as to
MR. CALBI: Yeah, it wasn't encouraging because the -- you know I attended a meeting of, you know managers of, I guess it's West Bergen area.
MS. SONENFELD: Northwest Bergen --
MR. CALBI: And the county was there to present their new facility and talk about shared services and they came up about fleet and that they're looking to add a second shift, which is what they need to accommodate us and others. So, I asked a question, when would you be thinking of adding that shift and I was told in another year.
So, you know again, as I said year it's really going to be a tell all for us. I'm out to set the goal for John to really make this work, with what we have and the budget we have. You know, but I can't guarantee that. But we'll see how it goes.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Yeah, I just wanted to ask if it turns out that a partnership with the county shared service might be more expensive doing things in house. Would you see maybe rebuilding the fleet staff in years to come if that's -- if -- if it's just not economically feasible to go with the county?
MR. CALBI: Yes. You know we'd have to look at the capabilities to do some of the bigger things, like the councilwoman spoke of transmissions and rebuilding motors and -- you know because in the best world we want to be able to do everything. Because every time we go out of house we're paying premium.
Okay, move on to recycling.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Actually just one -- one more follow up on that.
MR. CALBI: Yes.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: So, aside from the county are there any other potential shared services, partnership that you're looking at. At one point we talked about Glen Rock. Is there anything else that sort of -- that you -- that's on your radar?
MR. CALBI: Nothing that I've thought of. It's a good question. Probably something that we should be looking at. I'll add to my equivalent of Chris's list of 50 some-odd things.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Only 47.
MR. CALBI: But very good point, yes.
MS. SONENFELD: I mean I guess again we're -we're really looking at this foot print study to see what they come up with, vis-a-vis that building. Because one of the things we have to think about is how huge of a capital expenditure is this. So, it's not the expense side of the equation, it's also the capital investment side, you know, so.
MR. CALBI: All right recycling. Just starting with the highlights from last year. In 2015 we provided residents with an new and improved green guide. The redesigned guide received a positive response from residents and was featured on a national webinar, as an impressive rework of public communication materials. So kudos to our team on that. And in the spring we became aware of an elementary school in Ridgewood that had stopped recycling. By working closely with the home and school association and our recycling program we were able -- able to successfully relaunch and implement that system in the fall of 2015.
Moving on, this year recycling looks to be what's going to be our biggest challenge of the year. News of the continuing China Green Fence, the skids and
oil prices and we all know fuel prices are down significantly. And the closing of recycling facilities nationwide has caused our local facilities and vendors to express concern and warn us of major price restrictions a result of these market changes. The overall budget is up 42 percent to budget and 40 percent to actual. And this is predominantly due to the reduction in the budget credits of about $105,000. It's a direct result of the recycling trust balance reaching depletion due to reduced revenues.
In 2016 should our annual grant and revenues be further reduced we may be in an emergency budget crisis when it comes to recycling. In this regard we're going to need to evaluate other options and determine if the cost for those options have any savings on the other side of our stream in terms of solid wastes and the personnel we use to pick up recycling.
So in other words, if we move to something like single stream is there a possibility that people would put more in the recycling and less in the garbage. So we might see less cost on the disposal side in terms of solid waste and some savings on that end. But at the same time we'll be paying more of to dispose that single stream, you know, load or tonnage. So, we have to start evaluating these different alternatives.
You know with keeping all that in mind our other goals, which are -- blend all into all of this. We have to get out there and communicate. We want to leverage social media, initiate a seasonal recycling newsletter. We want clear communications at the curbside, whether it's a hang tag or sticker. We want to let people know and we want to motivate them to recycle. We want to tell them when they've made a mistake. You know give them a warning and tell them how to correct it and why -- how it's affecting, you know the budget and the recycling stream.
You know we want to clean up the recycling quality. You know right now there's garbage that gets mixed in with our recycling. There's plastics and other items that shouldn't be in there. People really need to refer to our green guide, there's clear concise photos that show what items are allowed and which ones aren't. So when I got that -- get out that and communicate that better, you know, to the residents and kick start, you know, a new program in terms of recycling and enforcement.
You know and this will aid us with this whole green fence issues. Because essentially what's
happening to market is China said we're not going to take your garbage with the recycling it anymore. So we're going to pick through it and charge you more or not take it. So, we need to attack that from our end and send, you know, a clean waste stream, out to the facilities that we send the material to. And that's -that’s up to us in the community.
Equipment wise, I know many of you have probably been in the recycling yard. Right now we utilize our trucks to dispose of a lot of the recycling in yard. We want to move the container and maybe a compactor for cardboard, so we can get those trucks out on the road. You know often times we have trucks that are down during the day. It affects sanitation, it affects recycling pick up. At times we've had to borrow trucks from Glen Rock, Fairlawn, other municipalities. You know we have trucks literally sitting in that yard to serve the purpose for the residents to drop off their recycling. It'll be better served in the type of old dumpster or compactor to save space and put the -- those wheels on the road.
And lastly was want to get out to the public areas more recycling options. You know we need to choose better functional and retractive container, you know that has signage and can be placed out in maybe the CBD and the parks, you know to get people and promote more recycling from, you, know the residents and the visitors that come to the village every day.
So any -- any questions on recycling numbers?
MS. SONENFELD: It's a challenge.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: I -- I had a question about the -- what we're getting per ton of recycling and has that gone down and how much has that gone down?
MR. CALBI: We -- we're currently at the floor prices and we've actually been contacted by the vendors asking us to renegotiate and they actually want to give us zero.
In some cases for items that we used to receive money for, like electronics, we're now paying to dispose of each dumpster of electronics. So, that's -- that's partially why the budget is up in disposal fees. For those little things included. We're seeing a total turn around in the industry. There's other municipalities that are already paying to dispose of their recycling as opposed to getting the money. You know it was a great industry for a long time, but you know now it's taking a turn for the worse, unfortunately. And I came here just in time for it.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Welcome. And -- and on a slightly happier note a lot of the issues that you
brought up about recycling we deal with at the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee. So, if you ever want to come to one of the meetings or send a representative or send somebody down there, it's the second Tuesday at 6 o'clock we're downstairs in the garden room. And I'm sure the committee has -- has already been working with -- with you on several initiatives and you know I'm sure a lots of, you know, the people would be excited to try and help to educate the public and get out to the community. So please leverage REAC as a resource if you -- you --
MR. CALBI: We definitely will and we have started to -- one -- one of the things we're trying to get out there and do, we've been communicating with the Board of Ed on, you know Roberta and I. We want to go out and just a walk through the school. Just to make sure, you know, they're adhering to what policies they're -- they're saying they have. And I want to do the same thing for all of our buildings and for the library.
We want to make sure -- before we go out there and tell the public what they need to do that we're doing it first. You know, so I think REAC helped in that matter. The put out a questionnaire to the Board of Ed, the Board of Ed responded to let us know what facilities they had, what they're doing. Now we actually want to go out there and do maybe a half hour walk through of each building to verify, you know are there recycling containers in the classroom. What's available in the hallway or the lunch room. Because you know then if there's things that are lacking we have the resources to help them get what they need. You know we've already done that. We've helped them buy the crates and recycling containers that they have in some of the schools.
MS. SONENFELD: So this is like a double whammy if you look at it. One, the recycling trust is just plummeting, and you know Steve says it'll probably -- could go to zero. Where in the past it's been as high as $500,000 to offset your expense. So that's a problem.
And the other problem is, you know, we might have to pay people now on top of this to take the recycling. So it's kind of a -- and I was talking to Rich today and one of the reasons -- you know this whole single stream concept, which is something that's an anathema to us in a way, because we really don't want to do that. It's not good recycling. But for example Wyckoff does that and the reason they do that is they feel that it's less expensive. They're not getting money for it anyhow. And -- and it's just -it's just easier. And -- and it goes into rubbish or whatever and may be cheaper.
MR. CALBI: Yeah, supposedly they see less on the solid waste side because of it.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, as a result. Because people just throw everything into recycling all smooshed together.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Well, it disincentivizes recycling a little bit when the cost of -- of getting rid of it is more and -- and they're not -- no one's interested in buying it. So, you have to do all this separating in order to get pennies, shekels. But -and it's a shame because obviously it's better for the environment so I don't know -- even the whole system was out of whack before, I guess. But it was -- it was helping with recycling efforts.
MS. SONENFELD: Well, it could get separated at their next stop, right? Like in Florida -- in my place in Florida it's -- so everybody recycles because all you do is throw everything into one -- you just go downstairs and throw everything into one. You don't have to separate plastics from glass, from paper, and as a result there's more being recycled. But -- but you can't sell it.
MR. CALBI: No, there's a lot to look at and
-- and hopefully at some point the -- the state or county will get involved, because the regulations are that we have to recycle. We have no choice. You know, but knowing what's going to happening in the future of this, you know, it's going to affect everybody's budget.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Just going back a second to what you were talking about with your work with the REAC and the Board of Ed. It might be an opportunity and I think this is what Mike was leading to with respect to communication, maybe in the public space of recycling, to get some students involved and to get REAC involved and help sort of get out the word. I know there's at least one environmental group in high school.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Yeah, Alison Regg (phonetic) and she comes to our meetings so often. And I guess every school is kind of different and so some -- some have stronger recycling program and some have like an environmental club and some -- some might not. So, it's -- you know we're trying to reach out to the -- to the schools.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: But maybe the -- groups can actually sort of drive that initiative.
COUNCILMAN SEDON: Yeah.
MR. CALBI: That would be great. Yeah once everyone's a go I'm going to tell the parents.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, great.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: So, did you explain the bump up in the salary and wages yet? I mean --
MR. CALBI: That -- that bump up is predominantly because of the reduction in the budget credit.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Oh.
MR. CALBI: We went from $280,000 to 181,000 credit.
MS. SONENFELD: That's what I was trying to --
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Oh, I -- I see that, okay.
MS. SONENFELD: -- 500,000 in previous years.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: But temporary and seasonal were up 8 percent and full-time's up 8 percent those are the contractual or --
MR. CALBI: Contractual and we also need to appoint a recycling coordinator. So, that's actually a good question. Glad you brought that up. You know currently John's serving as the interim recycling coordinator but we need to get a licensed person on staff to -- to have that position. And then the money in here is not to hire another person, but it's to have somebody on staff get that certification and be recognized for it, so.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Thanks.
MR. CALBI: Good question.
MS. SONENFELD: So you know this is -- this is a 40 percent -- this is big, this is a 40 percent increase year over year and it's -- it's not something we at the moment control.
MR. CALBI: Okay, move onto something better.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah, please.
MS. SONENFELD: Let's -- let's try for something positive.
MR. CALBI: Okay, solid waste. Maybe not much better, but -- so in 2015 we increased our special pickups and accommodated all of the, you know for residents that requested them. On the job injuries decreased as a result of further training. And with the assistance of human resources we initiated a plan to reduce lost time and met with all staff to discuss this issue and other related village policies. That was -- that was a key issue that came up, I think, in one of my first months here and it was brought to us by
the staff themselves, you know, that whenever people are out it -- it affects their ability to get the job done because they're riding three men on a truck and if there are four people out on a given day, you know then they're down two men a truck and they're doing alternate routes they're not familiar with.
So -- so we had a sit down, you know, with a group and then with individuals about how they were handling their time. And in some cases there was discipline as well that went with that. So overall we're seeing a huge increase in efficiency and moral as a result of that. You know and the HR department was huge on that.
For -- for this year the division is down 2 percent from budget and it's up 1 percent from actual, that's all exclusive of dumping fees.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, that's the problem.
MR. CALBI: When you add in the disposal fees the 2015 budget is up 24 percent the budget and 32 percent to actual. And that's because the increased disposal fee that I talked about earlier in the introduction an extra 4,000 -- $4 a ton.
There may be room here to adjust the tonnage based on, you know, what we feel we're going to do with recycling and you know what we could forecast, you
know, for this time in terms of waste. But, you know, that's a discussion to have later on in the -- in the budget.
Our goal this year is to continue managing -managing the lost time, stay in close communication with all staff, utilize discipline when appropriate. We're going to approve oversight on -- and complaints. Specifically to that cause we're looking to add one part-time aid position to assist on monitoring all complaints and this say public communication and more.
Essentially you need somebody to man phone in the office. With only one administrative staff member in the DPW office it's difficult to answer every call while that person's completing their daily work required of the other divisions. And when that person's on vacation the phone often has to be staffed by a supervisor, and some cases John, whose time is better spent on the road overseeing other daily work tasks.
So, you know part of this salary wage increase in sanitation is the result of that position. But overall it's still down because we did have a position that turned over and was replaced with a lower level position. So net there is a savings there even though we would be adding a part-time person.
MS. SONENFELD: And honestly this is a -- this is a customer service issue that we get complaints on that the phone doesn't get answered, in this particular area.
MR. CALBI: Yes.
MS. SONENFELD: And it's nobody's fault, because there's nobody there at times, you know.
MR. CALBI: And to the point, this is another thing that the Footprint study could tell in the future because right now we're just spread out, all these different island, you know if certain divisions work together we could have more efficiencies in terms of administrative staff. But right now in -- in John's office there's literally just one person. So when they're not there John's pretty much it.
Any other questions on the sanitation, solid waste?
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Can I give praise to?
MR. CALBI: Please.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Because ever since I
moved here and it's -- well anecdotal, but my garbage backyard pickup is -- is -- is -- like was the brightest part of my day. Because they would come in there smiling every single day while they're carrying my crap, you know, to the curb for me. It was just interaction with a human being when you're at home. And they always have a great attitude when they serve our residents. I mean I don't know what kind of discipline problems you have internally, but they -they put a good faith on the village. And I'm not sure whether rear yard pick up is a cost, that -- you know is eventually going to have to be analyzed but it sure is a pleasant thing and -- and they're great --
MR. CALBI: And as --
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: -- they're great individuals, really good staff.
MR. CALBI: Yeah, putting the displace thing in perspective, it's only a small percentage. The overall group is -- is very ambitious and they love what they do and that's why you see them with a smile. You know, I think they know almost everybody on their route, which is amazing. You know they know what people's special needs are, where they put their trash. You know on a certain day if something might change. You know, so it's amazing how they could know ahead of time what might happen.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: And it's -- it's a dangerous job too. I mean we all --
MR. CALBI: Yes.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: -- know what the risks
are walking through ice and snow and up and down driveways and being out in the street. It's probably the most dangerous job in the village.
MR. CALBI: Yesterday morning is a good example. We had -- John actually held them back an hour in the yard, because we were just afraid of that. And we were at that point where it was still cold enough and that driveways that weren't shoveled, you know, could haven't been shoveled, you know, could have been a big problem. So maybe their day took them a little bit longer, but we kept them from getting hurt, so -- okay yard waste. This will be our last waste category. In 2000 -- and this is mostly what we're talking about here is Lakeview, you know, and processing the leaves.
14. Yard Waste
In 2015 we completed installation of an onsite trailer at Lakeview. And the real purpose there was to aiding compliance with our requirements in terms of record keeping, while we're doing processing there and dumping off leaves. But more particularly aid in security and to approve working conditions.
We also creating higher berms on the perimeter of the site to reduce noise complaints and with the engineering department's assistance a large portion of the site was paved. And what's that's done is it's improved on dust conditions as well as our ability to move equipment more efficiently, we no longer get stuck in the mud.
Overall this budget is up 1 percent to last year's budget and 3 percent to actual. And the majority of that is the result of the cost for the trailer. It's a rather small budget compared to the -to the others.
You know, moving forward. I look at yard waste as kind of being our fleet story for this year. As Chris mentioned earlier we're going to be evaluating privatization options and procuring bids for the operation of Lakeview. This outsourcing, if we're successful, eliminate our need to invest major capital for the replacement equipment that we used to process the leaves.
Right now our tub grinder and -- drill, our scour machine that process the piles of leaves are getting beyond their useful life. You know we invest a lot of money in them every year and to replace them outright we're talking about over a million dollars. So we -- we're very interested to see what opportunities we have in outsourcing this so we eliminate that -- that future capital investment.
Additionally we're looking to maintain compliance with our DEP Regulations, as mentioned with the trailer, improve on our security and record -record keeping.
So any questions on yard waste.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: It looks like the dumping fees we had an increase from 14 to 15, but they're holding, unlike the solid waste.
MR. CALBI: Correct, yes. I mean here's where we may see some savings with the outsourcing as well. Because right now, a good part of that disposal fee is for disposing of grass clippings. Which is something we used to process on the site and then maybe if some new vendor comes in they might have some other means that they use it at one of their other facilities. You know and we can eliminate some that -- that cost.
MS. SONENFELD: It's still a lot -- it's a lot of money for grass clippings.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Well in '14 it was --
MS. SONENFELD: 65,000.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: -- 65,000, yeah.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah.
MR. CALBI: One thing that's not represented here, because it's a bit of unknown, Glen Rock does pay us every year for part of the repairs to the equipment.
For this year we anticipated -- it might be in the around of $8,000 so that would offset some of this budget as well.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: And the outsourcing opportunity I assume is just to manage, operate the facility, not to pick up yard waste.
MR. CALBI: Correct, no pickup but we're -we're playing around with a couple of options in terms of operating the facility. You know, one is it do they operate and process and then sell? You do they do some other type of processing and marketing like colored mulch or -- you know any other opportunity that we hope won't affect -- or you know we're looking at the affect will be to the community there because there's only one way in or out.
You know but if we're able to make that work and not affect traffic or those impact, might be on the other side of this where maybe we make some money.
You know, so we're kind of putting it all out there. You know let's see what the different options are and what prices we get and then we can evaluate what their potential effects are.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: I did have -- I just had something quick about this, because I know the tub grinder is like -- I guess it's a shared service with glen Rock. So if moving forward if we get away from that would they still be involved with the shared service deal of -- you know they continue to contribute for management and operation of the site or would we give them that option or, you know, what's happening there?
MR. CALBI: It -- it's something we'll have to discuss with the vendor. Right now our agreement with Glen Rock is up and hasn't been renewed. So we're going to need to consider some language in there that kind of falls back into what we're considering.
You know maybe the company we'll get would still provide that service to Glen Rock or maybe they don't need the tub grinder and we can sell it to Glen Rock. You know so there -- I think there's a lot of opportunities with this whole -- option that we're doing to see where we go with things. It's exciting.
MR. CALBI: Oh, good thank you.
MS. SONENFELD: It's mulch. It's mulch and sludge.
MR. CALBI: We've got one more to go, streets. Probably the biggest division of the bunch. In 2015 streets increase its response and accountability on pothole repairs, via the creation of the app on the village website. A total of 4,010 potholes were filled in 2015. That's quite an accomplishment.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: What did you say that number?
MR. CALBI: 4,010 potholes were filled in 2015. We also improved ditch maintenance and catch basin vacuuming, which resulted in less localize flooding of roadways and hopefully less debris of getting into the streams that, you know, Chris is maintaining.
With the addition of a claw attachment for our loader we improved on leaf collection and leaf processing. We found that this claw actually had multipurpose abilities. We used it to -- to load our tub grinder at Lakeview. And believe it or not we may even use it in the future to clear corners of snow. So one piece of equipment has multi-functions.
The overall budget here is flat as compared to 2015, but is up to actual. You know, again as I highlighted earlier. A lot of that is a result of our freezing and spending and lot of the categories, you know for this particular division.
Our main goal in 2016 is to successfully integrate the position of a superintendent of public works into the staff hierarchy. This new position will
prepare the division for managerial succession and afford the supervision necessary across all division, specifically fleet, streets, park, Shade Tree. This new position will not increase head count and would result in no -- increase to public works management staff costs. Because we had a person leave streets and that person was not replaced. Additionally, we had a superintendent in fleet leave as well and that was not replaced. And in the long term this position will save even more money as the real succession takes fault.
We're trying to look forward and -- and use this chance to get someone in there so they could take a lot of the institutional knowledge and move forward with it. I think the only way we're going to succeed in all of these divisions in the future is to work together. And right now, as mentioned, we are in a lot of island and the hope is with position is to bring somebody who at the point in time when it happens, and we need to succeed a lot of positions, because there is a lot of the superintendents that we have, that this person can take hold of it and really intertwine things and as the library mentioned cross-training is a huge part of that.
And we want to make every bit of any -- any laborer that come into the village to give them the ability to do anything across the Board. Not just make them specific to a streets division or a parks division or a sanitation division. We're going to have to attack that with our negotiations issues with the union, but I think it's key to our -- to our success in the future. Because otherwise these divisions are just not going to be able to function on their own or we're going to be relying on more outsourcing in the future that may or may not cost more money. But we will have evaluate that all.
MS. SONENFELD: So this is a -- I mean we feel strongly. Rich and I and John have been talking about this for months and with Sharon. We feel strongly that this is a very important position. Sharyn is working with Rich on an ordinance change to add this position, which hopefully we'll bring to counsel on Wednesday.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: What's the name of the position?
MR. CALBI: Superintendent of Public Works.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Oh.
MR. CALBI: Would work directly under John's position as superintendent of operations and myself. You know, and they're responsible for all -- all the divisions. You know we're looking to get somebody in that's hands on, has the experience and has the proper qualifications such as a certified public works manager certificate. You know and could really take a hold of the operations, not just in their individual zones but together as one.
MS. SONENFELD: So, again no head count increase for this.
MR. CALBI: Correct.
MS. SONENFELD: Just a -- again, a restructuring of the group to make it more effective and efficient.
MR. CALBI: The other goals we have for the year, I mentioned the cross training of personnel. We also want to purchase another claw. Our -- our new leaf vacuum is on the way and we need to buy a new street sweeper as well, which will be part of the capital discussion.
You know with all that new equipment we hope to restructure the leaf collection, yet again, you know and make it better -- bigger and better and -- and the same with snow removal. You know I think a lot of you are testament to what happened this year, you know, during, you know, storm Jonas. That we -- we were, you know, somewhat successful and you know we did have some setbacks. But, you know besides -- behind the scenes what a lot of people realize we utilized the most amount of our own staff than we've had in a long time. We cut down significantly on the reliance of a contractor. Because we found that we have the equipment and we actually have the people too across board, when you look at the divisions. So we got them out there and put them in trucks. And you know as a result we were out on streets and plowing them eight, ten times. Which was necessary to keep up with a storm like that.
So, we hope with the right equipment and cross training people that we can continue that and, you know, reduce our reliance in the future and keep more of it in-house. Because just like sanitation the more that our own people do it they have buy into it and want to do it better.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah, with -- without exaggeration the cleanup you guys did in the last storm I never heard more compliments, more praise. I mean people were just -- I'm sure you heard it too, I think we all heard it. It was just across the board a great job.
MR. CALBI: Thank you, and it was everybody at the stable. You know Chris and Yohan was critical. mean he put together the whole map, laid out the
routes. You know we assigned who was on each route, you know, and then together everybody -- all supervisors across the board were in and monitored their sections and we got it done.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah, it was fantastic.
MR. CALBI: So it was a great team effort.
MS. SONENFELD: Yeah, it was a tough storm.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: I just had one question about it though. Because if it's our regular day staff that's coming out to do after hours overnight work, who covers the day staff the next day?
MR. CALBI: Good question.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: You -- you can't do it -you can't do that really.
MR. CALBI: It happened yesterday.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Yeah.
MR. CALBI: Because our streets division was here most of the day on the holiday, you know salting and preparing for might become of the snow that landed -- the icing overnight, et cetera and the next morning we had to send them home so no one was left. And it -it ties right in to what we want to do with this new position and cross-training. Because we have other people available, whether they're in signal or Parks or Shade Tree, for -- for that part water, if we pay a person out of water for the day in public works, we have people that we could utilize better.
That's -- that's our plan. It's going to take time, but --
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Yeah.
MR. CALBI: -- we hope to get there.
COUNCILWOMAN HAUCK: Thank you.
MR. CALBI: Okay. All right, anybody else?
MS. SONENFELD: Thank you.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Rich, let me just -- let me just say, sort of like I said to about Chris. You know, you and your lieutenant over here. You guys where many important hats and they do a hell of a job and you hit the ground running last year. I mean it's just amazing. How many months you've been here now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight months.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Eight months. You guys do a great job, thank you.
MR. CALBI: Thanks. Thank you.
4. Wrap Up and Next Steps
MS. SONENFELD: Okay, I agree. Okay so we are done for this evening. Let me just set up tomorrow a little bit.
So tomorrow we'll be going through office of emergency management. We did finance the other night, last night. The parking utility and the allocation methodology that we continued to use this year. We'll review some trust fund, some staff levels. We'll look at surplus at a top level and begin to provide you with a recommendation as to how we think we should be using surplus and trust funds. We'll be spending some time on unclassified expenses, like insurance -- group insurance, other kinds of insurance. Those numbers are not solid yet. We don't have them all and they're big. These are big numbers. Pension, social security, terminal leave, et cetera.
So we will not have a summary of top level expenses tomorrow because of that. We will discuss some revenue issues and some of the revenue components. And we will have, I think, a good discussion on capital tomorrow night.
Capital numbers are a little larger than last year. The request, I think -- I was thinking -- we were thinking about this, a couple of us, and I think it would be good to show the counsel more capital requests this year than we did last year. Like last year we had already come to kind of chopping back capital a bit. And we have, of course, brought down capital since the initial request but there's some decision that I think, you know whether it be Kings Pond Park or whatever I think that you guys need to see.
So the intent here is that we will go through all of that, that we will go away -- we will go away and we will come back probably with a couple of -we're thinking a couple of options like we did last
year. We'll probably need a week or so to do that, I
think. Is that fair, do you think?
MR. ROONEY: Exactly.
MS. SONENFELD: The team will get together,
think through it, think through some of the comments that have been made the last two nights, which means, I think, we need another meeting to be set up separate from the normal -- the normal meetings.
So, I want to thank the staff again, you udo an outstanding job.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yeah, thank you
MS. SONENFELD: A lot of work. Yeah, I don't know.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Good thank you. Thanks. Thank you.
DEPUTY MAYOR PUCCIARELLI: A lot of material, well presented, really, thank you.
MS. SONENFELD: And I want to thank all the department heads that are here that didn't even present
tonight and are still here, most of the, until the end. It's impressive.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Absolutely. Great, motion to adjourn.
VILLAGE CLERK: Public comments.
MAYOR ARONSOHN: Oh public comments. Matt?
5. Public Comments (none)
MS. SONENFELD: Seeing no public. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None MAYOR ARONSOHN: Motion?
There being no further business to come before the Village Council, on a motion by Councilman Sedon, seconded by Councilwoman Hauck, and carried unanimously by voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 8:21 P.M.
Paul S. Aronsohn Mayor
Heather A. Mailander Village Clerk
I, Jessica Robinson, the assigned transcriber, do hereby certify the foregoing transcript of proceedings on disc, from approximately 5:06:51 p.m. to 8:21:01 p.m., is prepared in full compliance with the current Transcript Format for Judicial Proceedings and is a true and accurate non-compressed transcript of the proceedings as recorded.
/S/JessicaRobinson June 24, 2016
Date: Jessica Robinson AOC #581
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