Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Regular Council Meeting Minutes 04/07/11

Minutes of the Conference Meeting of the Borough Council held April 7, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Borough Hall, 531 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, New Jersey. 
Mayor Druetzler called the meeting to order and read the following notice: I HEREBY ANNOUNCE AND STATE THAT ADEQUATE NOTICE OF THIS MEETING WAS PROVIDED BY VIRTUE OF A RESOLUTION SCHEDULING THE TIME, DATE, AND PLACE OF MEETINGS OF THE BOROUGH COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF MORRIS PLAINS FOR THE YEAR 2011; WHICH RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED BY THE BOROUGH COUNCIL ON JANUARY 6TH 2011, AND WAS PUBLISHED IN THE MORRIS NEWSBEE AND IN THE DAILY RECORD AND BY THE FORWARDING OF SUCH RESOLUTION TO ALL PERSONS ON THE REQUEST LIST; BY THE POSTING OF SUCH RESOLUTION ON THE BULLETIN BOARD IN THE BOROUGH HALL; ALL OF THE ABOVE ACTIONS BEING IN ACCORDANCE WITH N.J.S.A. 10:4-6, ET SEQ. 
Present on Roll Call:                         Mayor Frank J. Druetzler                            Council President Suzanne B. McCluskey
Councilmembers:           Joseph Cecala, Jr.George J. Coogan                                     Laurie J. FuJason C. KarrRoman Zabihach 
Also Present: Gail Fraser, Esq., Borough Attorney  
DISCUSSION ITEMS Mayor Druetzler advised that he spoke with Jeff Fellers relative to purchasing property off of Watnong Avenue.  Mayor Druetzler distributed a copy of the map with the parcel highlighted.  The parcel is 50’ by 100’.   Mayor and Council discussed the appraisal price and purchase price.  
Attorney Fraser will contact Mr. Fellers 
Mayor Druetzler reported that he spoke with Howard Hanson, Inspector for the State of New Jersey, Department of Agriculture, and discussed the Emerald Ash Borer, an insect infesting surrounding States, but has not yet been seen in New Jersey.   
Councilmember Cecala stated that he requested Chief Thompson to perform a study on “Pit Mat.”  Fire Chief Geary advised that it is more cost effective to continue doing it the way it is done now.   Councilmember Cecala will make the study available to anyone interested in reading it.   
Mayor Druetzler discussed withdrawing the Ordinance relative to the Recreation Director/Coordinator position that is scheduled for second reading this evening.  The Recreation Commission is reviewing the title and job description.     
Councilmember Zabihach advised that Nelson Tree Service is in town trimming the trees along the power lines. 
Councilmember Karr advised that newspaper affidavits can now be created in-house.  The Clerk’s Office spent approximately $700.00 last year, so it will be very cost effective. 
Councilmember Fu inquired about the benefits of passing the Resolution on the Consent Calendar authorizing the installation of fiber optic cables in certain right-of-ways, and Attorney Fraser advised that it brings in revenue.   
Mayor Druetzler added that the budget is scheduled for introduction this evening.   

EXECUTIVE SESSION

 Moved by Councilmember Coogan:              
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Resolution No. 2011-53 entitled, “Executive Session” be adopted.   Seconded by Councilmember Cecala.  So ordered.   
Councilmember McCluskey moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 p.m. Seconded by Councilmember Coogan.   So moved.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                            Frank J. Druetzler, Mayor
_____________________________
June R. Uhrin, Borough Clerk


 

 

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Borough Council held on April 7, 2011, at 8:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Borough Hall, 531 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, New Jersey. Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer. 

Mayor Druetzler called the meeting to order and read the following notice: I HEREBY ANNOUNCE AND STATE THAT ADEQUATE NOTICE OF THIS MEETING WAS PROVIDED BY VIRTUE OF A RESOLUTION SCHEDULING THE TIME, DATE, AND PLACE OF MEETINGS OF THE BOROUGH COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF MORRIS PLAINS FOR THE YEAR 2011; WHICH RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED BY THE BOROUGH COUNCIL ON JANUARY 6TH 2011, AND WAS PUBLISHED IN THE MORRIS NEWSBEE AND IN THE DAILY RECORD AND BY THE FORWARDING OF SUCH RESOLUTION TO ALL PERSONS ON THE REQUEST LIST; BY THE POSTING OF SUCH RESOLUTION ON THE BULLETIN BOARD IN THE BOROUGH HALL; ALL OF THE ABOVE ACTIONS BEING IN ACCORDANCE WITH N.J.S.A. 10:4-6, ET SEQ.  

Present on Roll Call:                         Mayor Frank J. Druetzler                            Council President Suzanne B. McCluskey

Councilmembers:           Joseph Cecala, Jr.George J. Coogan Laurie J. Fu                                    Jason C. KarrRoman Zabihach 

Also Present: Gail Fraser, Esq., Borough Attorney 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES Councilmember McCluskey moved: 

BE IT RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive, Conference and Regular Meeting of March 17, 2011 be approved. 

Seconded by Councilmember Coogan.  So ordered.  

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR Councilmember McCluskey moved: 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Morris Plains, that the attached reports be accepted and that said reports be kept on file in the Clerk’s Office: 

REPORTSAnimal Control, March 2011Building Inspector, March 2011Police Department, March 2011Fire Prevention, March 2011 Borough Engineer, QuarterlyBorough Attorney, Quarterly  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED 

THAT Resolution No. 2011-54 entitled, “CANCELLATION OF TAXES VETERAN EXEMPTION,” be adopted as attached. 

THAT Resolution No. 2011-55 entitled, “POLICE DEPARTMENT SALARIES,” be adopted as attached. 

THAT Resolution No. 2011-56 entitled, “DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS SALARIES,” be adopted as attached.

THAT Resolution No. 2011-57 entitled, “MORRIS PLAINS LITTLE LEAGUE RAFFLE LICENSE NO. 228-11,” be adopted as attached. 

THAT Resolution No. 2011-58 entitled, “A RESOLUTION GRANTING PERMISSION TO LIGHTOWER FIBER LONG ISLAND LLC d/b/a LIGHTOWER FIBER NETWORKS TO INSTALL FIBER OPTIC CABLE IN CERTAIN PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY LOCATED WITHIN THE BOROUGH OF MORRIS PLAINS,” be adopted as attached. 

THAT the Mayor and Clerk be and they hereby are authorized to execute an agreement between Lightower Long Island LLC d/b/a Lightower Fiber Networks and the Borough of Morris Plains for fiber optics telecommunications in form approved by the Borough Attorney.

THAT the Borough Council authorize the release and return of the Drainage Improvements – Phase II, Community Park Baseball Field #2, in the amount of $2,500.00, per the Borough Engineer’s correspondence dated June 9th 2010. 

THAT the Morris Plains Co-op Play School be granted permission to use Simons Park for a play day, on Wednesday, June 8th 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

THAT the Borough Council approve the Mayor’s Proclamation declaring April 29th 2011, Arbor Day in the Borough of Morris Plains. 

THAT the Borough Council authorize the purchase of a 2011 Ford F450 Chassis Cab & Options, under the State of New Jersey Contract A73962 T2102, in the amount of $51,607.00, which contract was awarded through a fair and open process pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.4 et seq. 

THAT the Borough Treasurer be authorized to advertise for the receipt of bids for Furnishing, Delivery & Installation of one Air Handler and One Ten Ton Condensing Unit, with bids to be received on Tuesday, May 3rd 2011, up to 10:00 A.M., in the Council Chambers. 

THAT the Borough Treasurer be authorized to advertise for the receipt of bids for Furnishing & Delivery of a Zero Turn All Wheel Drive Mower with Attachment/Accessories, with bids to be received on Tuesday, May 3rd 2011, up to 10:15 A.M., in the Council Chambers. 

THAT Katherine Bezold, 44 Franklin Place, be hired as part-time Summer Camp Director for the 2011 Summer Recreation Program, at an annual salary of $6,000.00, effective April 7th 2011. 

Seconded by Councilmember Coogan. 

Yeas:     Councilmembers McCluskey, Cecala, Coogan, Fu, Karr & Zabihach

Nays:     None

Abstain:         None

Absent: None      

9-11 MEMORIAL Darrin Mack, Fire Association President, presented two checks in the amount of $5,000 and $2,500 to Bob Webster, Fire Department Engineer, for the 9-11 Memorial.  Mr. Webster thanked the Fire Association for their generous contribution.   He also thanked the numerous organizations and businesses for their donations and support.   Mr. Webster provided an update on the progress of the 9-11 Memorial and is hopeful that ground will be broken at the end of April 2011.   

GREETING OF PUBLIC AND INVITATION FOR DISCUSSION 

Mayor Druetzler opened the meeting to the public.   

Frank Mangravite, 35 Janeway Place, recommended installing sidewalks from downtown to the Shop Rite and Stop & Shop.   Mayor Druetzler stated that the Borough has made applications for grant money for this project, but securing funds has been unsuccessful.  It would be a very expensive project, and would require retaining walls.  As part of the Planning Board approval process, any improvements to Littleton Road, such as Sunrise, are required to install sidewalks, which will also be required of the town homes.  Mayor Druetzler added that the Borough continues to improve some of the sidewalks that need upgrading. 

Councilmember Coogan expanded on the grant process, and also provided information on projects that did receive grant monies, such as an energy grant for the Municipal Building.  Councilmember Coogan added that the Borough will continue to look for grant money for improvements.   Councilmember Cecala recalled that sidewalks were requested by the Recreation Commission about 15 years ago when he was a member.  Councilmember McCluskey added that open space funds were used to create a path near homes on Harrison, Headley and Davis so they could access the power lines and connect with Briarcliff Road.   Councilmember Zabihach advised that as Chairman of the Master Plan Committee of the Planning Board, he will consider incorporating this project when reviewing the Master Plan. 

Hearing no one else, Mayor Druetzler closed the public hearing.     

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES AND/OR DEPARTMENT HEADS

Finance

Councilmember Karr stated that the integration of the Finance and Tax Offices is going well.  During the next month Tracy Rooney will be cross trained in the Tax Office while Ana Thomas will be processing purchase orders and payroll.    The computer programs are getting updated.  

Public Safety

Councilmember Cecala advised that Claudia Botto is getting cross trained to work in the Court and that is going smoothly.   Chief Scott Thompson reported on Police Department activities.   

Public Works

Councilmember Coogan stated that the Department of Public Works report was distributed.    Councilmember Coogan reported that he and Councilmember Fu met with Joe Hardy, Project Manager with Donnelly Heating and Air Conditioning relative to the $50,000 grant the Borough received to upgrade the Municipal Building.  Councilmember Coogan advised that he will be receiving a Scope of Work document that will list items getting replaced along with the actual cost.  The last cost estimate received was in the amount of $50,800.00; $50,000.00 will be grant money and $800.00 is the Borough’s responsibility.  Upon approval of the Scope of Work and processing a voucher for $800.00, the work will begin in approximately three weeks.   Councilmember Coogan spoke with Mr. Dodie, the Energy Engineer also from Donnelly, and discussed additional grant money available for 2011, which may cover upgrades to the Public Works building and the Community Center.   Councilmember Coogan reported that the Department of Public Works and George Ross of the Beautification Committee have done a tremendous amount of work at the Community Garden.  There were 46 plots available that were advertised in the Plains Talk, and there is one large and one small plot left as of today.  A cultivator was borrowed from Ort Farms to till the garden one more time, the plots have been staked, and SLAP participants disposed of rocks and laid the woodchip dividers between all the plots and on the walkways.  The ribbon cutting ceremony will be on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at noon.  On July 7, 2011 a County Agricultural Agent will discuss potential bug issues. Mayor Druetzler added that the Community Garden looks great and will be very welcomed to the Community.  He thanked Councilmember Coogan for spearheading the project with the Beautification Committee.  

Public Buildings & Grounds

Councilmember McCluskey stated that the Easter Bunny Breakfast is this Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. and the Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 10: 30 a.m.  Tickets are available at the door and will be $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children.   Councilmember McCluskey reported that Morris Plains Little League will hold its Opening Day on April 16, 2011.  There are many special events planned, including the appearance of Little League legends.  The Department of Public Works has been working on the fields and they are looking good.   Councilmember McCluskey advised that Summer Camp registration will begin on Monday, April 18, 2011.  The Recreation Commission is working on the Summer Concert schedule.  The Music of Acceptance concert to benefit autism will appear again this year on June 11, 2011, with a rain date of June 12, 2011. Councilmember McCluskey added that a donation was received from Provident Bank for the Farmer’s Market, which will open June 11, 2011. Mayor Druetzler added that Little League will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary.  

Public Welfare, Sanitation & Sewers

Councilmember Fu advised that the Board of Health, Municipal Alliance, and Teen Center committees will meet this week.   Councilmember Fu advised that the Teen Center held a 7th Grade House event this past Friday and it was very well attended.  The 6th Grade House will hold an event next Friday, April 15, 2011.   Councilmember Fu stated that John Hoover, the Madison Board of Health President, is planning on attending the Borough’s next Board of Health meeting to meet the Board Members and to address any concerns they may have regarding the changes in Madison’s Health Department.   Councilmember Fu reported that she, along with Councilmembers McCluskey and Karr met with our Animal Control Officer, the Police Chief and the Township Administrator from Denville last week to touch base on the new Animal Control Agreement.  Councilmember Fu will be meeting with Chief Thompson and the Borough Clerk to discuss the procedures for notifying residents that their animal has been picked up.   Councilmember Fu stated that the Recycling Committee will hold its spring meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.   Tom Jones, our Clean Communities Coordinator, advised that Morris County will be hosting New Jersey State Clean Communities State Seminar and Awards Ceremony, which will take place May 25 through May 27, 2011 at Mennen Arena and the Hyatt.   Also, Mr. Jones has organized clean up crews for April and October 2011.  

Ordinance & Public Utilities

Councilmember Zabihach reported that Nelson Tree Service is performing tree work throughout the Borough.  JCP&L contracted with them to cut back limbs that may interfere with the power lines.  Nelson began on Monday, April 4, 2011 and will be in town for approximately three weeks.   Councilmember Zabihach advised that the Planning Board met on March 21, 2011 and had one agenda item, JP Morgan Chase Bank.  Their application involves knocking down two building to construct a new bank.  The application was deemed incomplete and it is anticipated they will appear at the April 18, 2011 meeting. Councilmember Zabihach stated that the Board of Adjustment met on March 28, 2011 and had two agenda items.  One application is for a residential variance to build a two story garage, however the Board has concluded the applicant has to scale down the structure.  The second application is from EKJ on Route 10, who have asked for three additional variances.  This application is from 2006 and it is anticipated it will require additional meetings to resolve some the issues. Councilmember Zabihach has reported 26 street lighting problems to JCP&L; six of them have been repaired over a five week period.  Hopefully the remaining 20 street lights will be repaired more quickly.      

PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATION, PETITIONS, ETC. 

Mayor Druetzler opened the meeting to the public. Hearing no one, Mayor Druetzler closed the public portion.   

ORDINANCES OF FIRST READING None.  

 ORDINANCES ON SECOND READING Councilmember Zabihach read by title the ordinance entitled: ORDINANCE NO. 4 – 2011 AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 14-2010 CONCERNING COMPENSATION FOR RECREATION COORDINATOR which ordinance was introduced and passed on first reading at a meeting held on March 17, 2011. 

The Clerk read the following notice:  Notice is hereby given that the following ordinance was submitted in writing at a meeting of the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Morris Plains on February 17, 2011, introduced and read by title and passed on first reading, and that the said Governing Body will further consider the same for second reading and final passage thereof at a regular meeting beginning at 8:30 P.M., on April 7, 2011 at the Borough Hall, 531 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, New Jersey, in said Borough at which time and place a public hearing will be held thereon by the Governing Body and all parties in interest and citizens and all persons shall have an opportunity to be heard concerning said ordinance. 

Councilmember Zabihach read the following notice and ordinance by title and stated that the Notice and Ordinance had been published as required by law that the ordinance had been posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building and that copies had been made available to members of the general public. Mayor Druetzler announced that the meeting was open for a public hearing on the ordinance and stated that any taxpayer of the Borough of Morris Plains and all parties and persons in interest and citizens may be heard.

Mayor Druetzler explained that Recreation wanted the title to be changed from Director to Coordinator.  Since then they have additional items to consider and have requested that this ordinance not be passed. 

Seeing no one, Mayor Druetzler closed the Public Hearing. 

Thereupon Councilmember Zabihach offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:

RESOLVED, That the above ordinance as read by title on Second Reading, at this meeting, be withdrawn. 

Councilmember Fu seconded the motion. 

Mayor Druetzler ordered the Clerk to call the roll on the passage thereof and the vote was as follows: 

Yeas:     Councilmembers McCluskey, Cecala, Coogan, Fu, Karr & Zabihach

Nays:     None

Absent: None

Abstain:         None 

Mayor Druetzler declared the ordinance withdrawn.

Councilmember Zabihach read by title the ordinance entitled: ORDINANCE NO. 5 – 2011 AN ORDINANCE TO VACATE, RELEASE AND EXTINGUISH ANY AND ALL PUBLIC RIGHTS IN AND TO A PORTION OF MOUNTAIN AVENUE FOR PUBLIC STREET OR RIGHT-OF-WAY PURPOSES; AND AUTHORIZING THE MERGER OF BLOCK 912, LOTS 1, 5, 11, 26 & 32, AND BLOCK 913, LOT 1 INTO A NEW LOT TO BE KNOWN AND DESIGNATED AS BLOCK 912, LOT 1 TOGETHER WITH THE ELIMINATION OF BLOCK 913 AND THE BLOCK LIMIT LINE BETWEEN BLOCK 912 AND BLOCK 913. 

The Clerk read the following notice:  Notice is hereby given that the following ordinance was submitted in writing at a meeting of the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Morris Plains on March 17, 2011, introduced and read by title and passed on first reading, and that the said Governing Body will further consider the same for second reading and final passage thereof at a regular meeting beginning at 8:30 P.M., on April 7, 2011 at the Borough Hall, 531 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, New Jersey, in said Borough at which time and place a public hearing will be held thereon by the Governing Body and all parties in interest and citizens and all persons shall have an opportunity to be heard concerning said ordinance. 

Councilmember Zabihach read the following notice and ordinance by title and stated that the Notice and Ordinance had been published as required by law, that the ordinance had been posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building and that copies had been made available to members of the general public. 

Mayor Druetzler announced that the meeting was open for a public hearing on the ordinance and stated that any taxpayer of the Borough of Morris Plains and all parties and persons in interest and citizens may be heard. 

Mayor Druetzler explained that this is a housekeeping ordinance to consolidate small, landlocked lots owned by the Borough, which will be kept as open space.  

Seeing no one, Mayor Druetzler closed the Public Hearing. 

Thereupon Councilmember Zabihach offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:

RESOLVED, That the above ordinance as read by title on Second Reading, at this meeting, be adopted and finally passed. 

Councilmember Coogan seconded the motion. 

Mayor Druetzler ordered the Clerk to call the roll on the passage thereof and the vote was as follows: 

Yeas:     Councilmembers McCluskey, Cecala, Coogan, Fu, Karr & Zabihach

Nays:     None

Absent: None

Abstain:         None 

Mayor Druetzler declared the ordinance adopted and finally passed, approved the same and ordered the Clerk to publish the proper notice thereof in the newspaper and to record the ordinance in the proper place.

RESOLUTIONSNone. 

UNFINISHED BUSINESSNone. 

NEW BUSINESS

2011 BUDGET INTRODUCTION 

Councilmember Karr introduced the 2011 Municipal Budget. 

Councilmember Zabihach seconded the motion.

Mayor Druetzler provided a brief summation of the budget, explaining the total budget is $12,505,026.00.  He said that is $180,818.00 more, which is an increase of the total budget of 1.46 percent.  Mayor Druetzler added that this budget does come under the two percent mandated CAP.  He expressed thanks to the employees of Morris Plains who have forgone any salary increase.  Mayor Druetzler explained that the tax effort is $9,611,353.00, which is a $249,999.00 increase or 2.67 percent increase in the tax effort.  The tax rate goes from 63.3 cents to 66.2 cents, or 2.9 cents more.  That would result in a $29.00 increase for a $100,000 value on your home.  Increases in the budget include $25,000.00 in snow costs, $70,000 less in income, $133,000 increase in pension costs and $32,000 increase in health insurance.  Mayor Druetzler added that there are no new programs in this budget.  Mayor Druetzler thanked the Governing Body, David Banks, Treasurer, and the employees.  

Mayor Druetzler ordered the Clerk to call the roll on the passage thereof and the vote was as follows: 

Yeas:          Councilmembers McCluskey, Cecala, Coogan, Fu, Karr & Zabihach  

Nays:          None

Absent:      None Abstain:     None 

VOUCHERS None.    

Councilmember Cecala moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m. 

Seconded by Councilmember Fu.   So moved.    

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                Frank J. Druetzler, Mayor   

 

 

 

_____________________________

June R. Uhrin, Borough Clerk