20200805 Village Council Public Work Session

A REGULAR WORK SESSION OF THE VILLAGE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD HELD VIA ZOOM, DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, ON AUGUST 5, 2020 AT 7:30 P.M.

 

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

 

Mayor Knudsen called the meeting to order at 7:32 P.M. and read the Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.  At roll call the following were present: Councilmembers Perron, Reynolds, Sedon, Walsh, and Mayor Knudsen.  Also present were Heather Mailander, Village Manager/Village Clerk; Donna Jackson, Deputy Village Clerk; and Matthew Rogers, Village Attorney.

 

Mayor Knudsen led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag as well as in a Moment of Silence to honor the brave men and women serving in our nation’s armed forces, all our first responders, and all those who served during the terrible storm yesterday, and especially for our Ridgewood Police Officers.

 

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

 

Matthew Lindenberg, 165 Claremont Road, stated that he was speaking as a member of One Village One Vote, a committee of petitioners.  On July 6th, they submitted a petition with 570 signatures from registered Ridgewood voters to the Village Clerk’s Office in an effort to put the question of consolidating Ridgewood’s municipal and school elections into November before the Village Council, and if necessary, on the ballot as a binding initiative.  Tonight, Ms. Mailander will certify the results of her examination of their petitions and her determination that their petition is insufficient.  He wanted to ensure that there is clarity now, before she does so, both among this Village Council as well as the broader community, that the deficiencies she outlines tonight are technical in nature and they in no way reflect any lack of support.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  They had to stop collecting signatures at approximately 40%, which was more than were necessary in order to ensure that they did not accidentally trigger a special election with too many signatures.

 

Mr. Lindenberg stated that they are eager to hear tonight the remaining details and are enthusiastically committed to curing any deficiencies within the ten day period allotted to them by law.  He thinks that the significant increase in down ballot voter turnout in November, combined with the savings of potentially over $100,000 of taxpayer dollars in an election year, makes this a positive change, and the community is rallying to agree with them.  As members of the Village Council, regardless of whether they agree with this effort or not, it must be clearer now that this effort has enough community support to merit real discussion and to allow the voters to decide for themselves.  They hope that the Village Council will actively partner with them to enable them to do so, free from any obstacles or gamesmanship.  His one parting request is to ask that the Village Council direct the Village Clerk to provide any support, beyond the bare minimum required by law, but rather to a standard of active helpfulness that they would expect of our Clerk and fellow community members: to assist in advancing the effort of placing this question on the November ballot, ensuring that the voices of this community are truly heard and counted, one way or the other.  Mr. Lindenberg stated that as a final reminder, anyone who would like additional details can visit their website at onevillageonevote.com.

 

Bob Fuhrman, 49 Clinton Avenue, stated that he is also a petitioner of One Village One Vote, and they elect Councilmembers to spend our tax dollars in the best interests of all residents, they elect School Board Members to work with the Superintendent to provide our children the best and safest education, and he believes it makes sense to stop voter suppression and move all elections to November and get double the voter turnout and double the residents voices heard.  Regardless of which side, whether you agree or not, why would you not want to hear what taxpayers have to say regarding the election timing.

 

Hans Jurgen Lehman, 234 Union Street, stated that regarding events which have taken place over the past few weeks involving our Police Department, which have cast our Village in a less than desirable light, his concern is with the silence coming from this Village Council.  Unless he is mistaken, he has not heard anything from this body and he thinks it is important for our political leaders to issue a statement and provide some clarity on where they stand and what they will choose to do about what has happened.

 

Mr. Lehman stated that his second item concerns the petition signed by many residents asking for a vote on moving our municipal elections to the General Election in November.  His was one of those petitions, and he would like to know on what basis the decision was made to deny his petition.  It is his understanding that the Village Clerk is afforded a period of time where she must give them an explanation of her decision and when might that explanation come.

 

Stacey Loscalzo, 174 North Pleasant Avenue, stated that she is also a petitioner with One Village One Vote, and just wanted to be on record saying similar to what Mr. Lindenberg said.  She wanted the public to know that they had enormous support and she spoke with many Villagers who were excited to hear that they were looking to change our election date.  Many people that she spoke to felt that it made logical sense to vote once.  Do a lot of research, get all your facts together, and go to the polls and vote as opposed to multiple elections.  Her belief is that the more people who vote, the better for our Village, and she believes strongly that this will happen if we move all of our elections to November.  They are looking forward to learning more about this process as they learn more about the certification, so she was looking forward to hearing from the Village Council tonight. 

 

Tom Schmidt, 326 Heights Road, wished everyone a speedy recover from the storm and thanked everyone for helping residents get through that.  He stated that he was calling on the One Village One Vote as well, although he was surprised to hear about some of the deficiencies and issues that may be arising.  So, hopefully they will hear from the Village Manager as they move through this meeting.  He thinks it has been a long time since we have seen a grassroots effort come up with such a common sense, logical solution for our Village.  The benefits seem to be quite obvious.  It saves the Village over $100,000, and increases voter turnout, which he has to think is the desire of everyone on the Village Council as it increases the participation of the community.  Certainly it addresses some concerns of individuals in terms of security in and around schools with people going in and out.  It strikes him as those reasons would dwarf any rationale to keep them separate.  He encouraged the Village Council to address those issues, recognize them, and at a minimum ensure that it gets on the ballot so that the community has the ability to speak on this issue.  Mr. Schmidt stated that the hundreds of people who signed the petitions certainly gave a very strong signal to the Village Council that this is what the community would at least like to see on a ballot.

 

Kathy Marshall, 136 Linden Street, stated that she wanted to thank the Ridgewood Police Department who helped her out with an incident at her house overnight.  She has always found them incredibly responsive and very professional.  She added that she signed a petition to put the One Village One Vote issue onto the ballot in November because she just really believes that in a democracy, the voice of the people should be heard, and both sides of that argument should have a say at the referendum and put it on the ballot as a November question.  She was looking forward to hearing what the decision is on the certification, but she also wanted to say thank you to the Ridgewood Police.

 

Siobhan Crann Winograd, 274 Ivy Place, stated that she was excited to see One Village One Vote on the agenda tonight.  Although they are aware there has been some type of technical difficulty, they wanted to say that they are resolved to remedy it and resubmit, as there is no denying at this point that this is an important question for the public of Ridgewood to answer this November.  This November is particularly important because everybody in a Presidential year will turn out en-masse.  So, November is always the best time, but in a Presidential year, it is really the best bestest time. 

 

Ms. Winograd stated that since their inception, they have highlighted three main reasons to consolidate.  They are security, cost, and turnout.  It is very important to note that as they have had these community conversations, everyone agrees with those three points, but everybody assembles them in a different order.  It was also interesting to her that even a small portion of the people who weren’t sure if they would even vote yes on this, felt that at this point the question needed to be asked.  The debate had gone on too long, and there were people who said they were going to take from now until November to decide how they wanted to vote, but there was no denying this is an interesting question.  When they spoke with some of the younger, college-aged students who were home and tapped into the initiative, they said they were shocked to hear that we had such an antiquated process.  Ms. Winograd added that not only is New Jersey an outlier as a state with very few that allow this, but Ridgewood is such an outlier when you look at the metrics of how many municipalities and school boards we have and were talking less than 20 in each case.

 

Ms. Winograd added that they are looking forward to continuing the discussion and wanted to thank everyone who has helped them thus far.  She added that if anyone listening has any questions about their initiative, they can check out their video and forms at onevillageonevote.com.  They are really grateful, and looking forward to remedying the deficiencies so they can resubmit and they look forward to being on the ballot in November.

 

Jeanne Thiesen, 354 Fairfield Avenue, stated that in reference to all of the First Responders who worked yesterday, she knows that it was an incredibly challenging day and they all deserve tremendous appreciation.  The second thing she wanted to comment on is the One Village One Vote opportunity.  For her, she has worked with our government in one way or another throughout her journey.  When she was in high school she did an internship with a State Senator instead of attending the last half of her senior year, and it was quite a tremendous experience.  Her job was to handle constituent complaints and to work with them, and the thing that she took away from that more than anything was that their role in the State Senator’s office was to do whatever it was to support constituent needs, to understand how to get something done inside of the government.  If there was something they were having trouble working through, they were the first people who were there and the Senator relied on them to help make sure that those things were done.  She really appreciates whatever feedback they are able to get so that they can move that petition forward and get One Village One Vote on the ballot for November.

 

Anne Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that she wanted to add her thanks for all of the work that went on yesterday, through the night, and today, by the Police, Fire Department, Streets, and everyone else.  It was fantastic how fast they have been working and she really appreciates it as they were putting their own lives at risk being out when the wind was blowing as hard as it was.  Ms. Loving added that regarding some of the comments that have been heard tonight on One Village One Vote.  She found it rather shocking that there was an implication that the Village Council and the Village Clerk might not cooperate and that they needed to be reminded that they should cooperate.  She thought that was most offensive.  She worked on a petition herself a number of years ago regarding the garage and everybody was very cooperative.  So, she found that rather unfortunate to have that kind of commentary as she would expect nothing less than total cooperation from the Village Manager as well as the elected officials.

 

Ms. Loving stated that she wanted to remind everyone who is listening, that if we go to a November vote you will not be allowed to vote on the Board of Education proposed budgets.  It will take away your legal right to vote on the BOE proposed budgets which is the hugest part of our tax dollars, and she would never like to give away her right to vote on anything.

 

Dr. Deborah Steinbaum, 295 Grandview Circle, stated that she is one of the petitioners on One Village One Vote and there were two issues she wanted to talk about, as well as thank the First Responders as this was a crazy storm that we went through and she was glad everyone was staying safe.  On the issue of staying safe, she sent an email to all of the Village Councilmembers requesting that they ensure that people visiting downtown are wearing masks.  She happens to be a physician and it is incredibly disturbing to her to walk around downtown, which she doesn’t, when people aren’t masked up.  She looks forward to working with the Village Council in the future to make sure that they can address that, and also address that our Village representatives are wearing masks.  She added that in Village Hall they are wearing masks, but the Police Officers around town have not been wearing masks which has been a bit distressing to her as a physician.

 

Dr. Steinbaum added that regarding One Village One Vote, she wanted to thank the Village for reviewing the petition, and she loves being in a democracy and so being able to be part of the petitioning process is wonderful.  They have received overwhelming support for the petition for the reasons enumerated and the one reason that nobody has mentioned yet is that they want to make voting as easy as possible, and consolidating elections does that.  In a commuting town where many of us work long hours, it can be incredibly difficult for people who intend to vote in every election to actually get there and do it.  She stated that it is our civic obligation, but when a train is late or there is a traffic jam, it can ruin everything.  Dr. Steinbaum added that along with security for the schools, and saving money, and improving voter turnout, she thinks ease of voting is a really big issue that needs to be addressed.  She had people reach out to her who she didn’t ever expect to hear from who were shocked to find out that the Village had this antiquated system.  People out there are annoyed by the voting system that we have because many residents have voted in many other places and have never encountered a system like this.  She added that in other elections and places where she has voted, non-partisan elections happen beautifully on the same day as an election for national issues where there are partisan election.  It has never been an issue in any election she has voted in before and she didn’t see why it would be the case in Ridgewood.  She understood peoples concern about partisanship, but she didn’t know that reality in everywhere else in the country has borne that out.

 

There were no additional comments from the public.

 

Mayor Knudsen stated that because it was stated so often, she thinks they would be remiss if they didn’t point out the $100,000 price tag on elections seems to be inaccurate information based on the Village’s own public record.  So, they should clarify that by next week because it is important that information be accurate.

 

  1. MANAGERS REPORT

 

Tropical Storm Isaias – Ms. Mailander stated that although Tropical Storm Isaias was fast moving, it caused 152 tree-related reports, with 35 in Area A, 45 in Area B, 25 in Area C, and 47 in Area D. Six trees fell on homes, that they are aware of.  Electrical wires are down in various areas throughout the Village, causing power outages.  She thanked the Police Department, Fire Department, EMS, Parks, Shade Tree, Streets, our OEM Coordinator who were all involved in the aftermath and continued working onto the night yesterday and also will do so this week and into next week probably.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that she sent out an E-Notice this morning regarding storm debris.  Residents can put out storm debris with regular yard waste pickup, put it into the planting strip of their property between the sidewalk and curb or at the edge of your property.  You can also bring storm debris to the Lakeview Compost Center, at the end of Lakeview Drive, from 7:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.  You will have to show your drivers license to prove you are a Ridgewood resident to enter and then they will help you remove the debris from your car.  Do not bag storm debris unless it is in a biodegradable paper bag, and do not bring it to the Recycling Center at this time.  In addition, as yard waste crews go through, they will pick up the debris as time permits, make sure the area is free of overhead cables and not near water valves, gas valves, fire hydrants and fencing.  Please don’t call and ask for a special pickup as they are going to go around and continue to do pickups for the next couple weeks.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that Park and Shade Tree Divisions along with the Streets Division will continue to remove the downed trees from the streets.  Always assume if there is a wire on the ground that it’s live.  Do not go near it, and do not go around it.  She heard a horrifying story about younger children who went underneath a tree that had fallen and there were wires on it.  Once the wires are off the downed trees, then they can be removed.  So, the Village has to wait for PSE&G to confirm that they are dead wires before our tree crews can move in.

 

Some areas of Ridgewood are without power, but she encouraged residents to visit outagecenter.PSEG.com as they update that several times a day and indicate when they expect to have power back to your area, or you can call them at 1-800-463-7374.  Ms. Mailander asked that residents please don’t call the Police for power outage updates as they don’t have that information.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that Ridgewood Water has switched to auxiliary power at locations throughout the water service area that are out of power to maintain pressure for firefighting.  All Ridgewood Water customers are asked to please conserve water during this period, and water saving tips can be found on the Ridgewood Water website at water.ridgewoodnj.net.

 

Ms. Mailander asked that people should not remove barricades or caution tape on roads, they are there because the road is not yet ready to be reopened.  It will be removed once they know it is a safe road for people to travel.

 

Ms. Mailander added that unfortunately, a generator was stolen from the intersection of Lincoln and Godwin Avenue after midnight last night.  It was powering the traffic lights at that location, after the power went on, they went to retrieve the generator and it was gone.  There were cable locks on the generator and the cable was actually cut.  Anyone with information about this is asked to please call the Ridgewood Police Department.

                                                                                                                                      

Graydon Pool – Ms. Mailander stated that Graydon Pool is now open, and the water is very clear.  Late season memberships are available and can be purchased on Community Pass.  The Water’s Edge Café is also open this summer.

 

Kasschau Memorial Shell – Ms. Mailander stated that the Kasschau Memorial Shell presents a variety of free music programs on Tuesday and Thursday nights beginning at 8:30 P.M. and are free.  They ask that you bring a chair or a blanket and encourage you to wear a mask and social distance when you place your chairs out on the field.  Weather updates can be obtained after 6:00 P.M. at (201) 444-1776.  This year, for the first time, the season will be extended by a couple of weeks and some of the performances that should have been earlier in the season are going to be performed at the end of the season.

 

Mini Camps – Ms. Mailander stated that there are still some mini camps going on in August through our Recreation Department, including Dyno-Mite Art Camp through Abracadoodle, Multi Sports Camp, Animation with AcrediFlix, LegoFlix, Golf with TGA Golf Adventures, Skateboarding Summer Camps, and Lacrosse with the US Sports Institute.

 

Movie on the Beach – There will be a movie on the beach with Graydon Pool this Friday, August 7th.  Sonic the Hedgehog will begin at sundown, or about 8:30 P.M.  Admission is $5 cash per person.  Bring a flashlight, folding chair, or blanket.  The concession stand will be open and the rain date is Saturday, August 8th.

 

Movies in the Park – Ms. Mailander stated that the Ridgewood Guild sponsors movies in Memorial Park at Van Neste Square.  Tonight, West Side Story is being shown, and August 19th is The Sixth Sense.  Admission is free and the movie starts at 8:30 P.M.  Bring a chair or blanket to enjoy this free movie and please wear a mask.

 

Music in the Night – Ms. Mailander stated that Music in the Night is a free music program presented in the Central Business District by the Ridgewood Guild Friday nights in July and August.  Talented up-and-coming musicians perform and enhance the outdoor dining experience.  In addition, on Saturday nights, there are performances outside at various locations, such as Stella and in Memorial Park in Van Neste Square.

 

Chamber of Commerce Sidewalk Sale – Ms. Mailander stated that the sidewalk sale starts tomorrow and will run August 6th, 7th, and 8th.  Participants are listed on the Chamber website.  The Chamber just announced that they are going to have to cancel the car show which was scheduled for September.

 

Farmers Market – Ms. Mailander stated that the Farmers Market, with locally grown produce, is open in the Train Station parking lot, every Sunday from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.  She asked that people please observe social distancing.

 

Household Hazardous Waste Collection – Ms. Mailander stated that the Bergen County Utilities Authority will be holding their Household Hazardous Waste collection on September 12th from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at Bergen County Campgaw Reservation. 

 

Upcoming Village Council Meetings – Ms. Mailander stated that the upcoming Village Council meetings are all televised live and are on Zoom.  August 12th is a Village Council Public Meeting at 8:00 P.M. and the next meeting after that is September 2nd which is a Village Council Public Work Session at 7:30 P.M., and then September 9th is the Village Council Public Meeting.  

 

  1. COUNCIL REPORTS

 

Open Space Committee – Councilwoman Perron stated that the Open Space Committee on July 16th in the nature of a meet and greet because both she and Fran Bartow from the Planning Board were new.  They went through the history of the committee and what they have accomplished in terms of Habernickel Park, Schedler, Citizens Park, and also the properties they are looking at for possibly becoming open space in the future.  The purpose of the committee is to identify properties that could eventually be open space.  Everyone commented how during a pandemic you really see how important open space is to the public.  There are openings on the committee and there is an application form on the Village website.  Their next meeting will be August 20th at 7:00 P.M.       

 

Central Business District Advisory Committee – Councilwoman Perron stated that they have a mission of boosting the viability of the Central Business District.  They are looking into marketing to the new multi-family housing complexes, first to people who are interested in finding a lease there, and partnering with the Newcomers Club for also marketing to people who actually sign a lease and commit to living there.  At their last meeting on July 23rd, Jeanne Johnson presented on Welcome Back, Ridgewood, the campaign downtown to bring residents and visitors back into town.  They also talked about cardboard recycling in the CBD which has stopped since the pandemic and that is difficult for the merchants.  She met with the Recycling Director, Sean Hamlin, and Rich Calbi, and they have offered to come to the next CBDAC meeting to explain the situation to the members.

 

Councilwoman Perron stated that they also discussed the mission statement and by-laws of the CBDAC, as well as funding, and they have a subcommittee that is working on that.  They revisited the question of a website to publicize the downtown businesses, and a subcommittee is also working on that.  On this committee, they have two openings for residents and the application is on the Village website.

 

Chamber of Commerce – Councilwoman Perron stated that they met earlier in the month and they are doing a lot of work for Welcome Back, Ridgewood.  Most recently, they have been working on signs for where the streets are blocked off.  That way drivers can know that behind the barriers the businesses are open.  They have an information booth on Saturdays and Sundays at the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and Oak Street for visitors.  The next meeting is August 12th at 8:00 A.M.

 

Green Ridgewood – Councilwoman Perron stated that Green Ridgewood met on July 21st and they voted to change their meetings to meet the first Thursday of every month.  They discussed legislation that was pending, the Environmental Justice Bill, and it turned out that the Assembly didn’t vote on that measure.  They also discussed the proposed New Jersey Transit power plant, and that will be discussed again at the next meeting.  They discussed leaf blower noise and whether the Village Council can do any type of regulation because people have been complaining.  They formed a subcommittee on that and they are working through it and will report at their next meeting on September 3rd

 

Parks and Recreation – Councilwoman Walsh stated that Parks and Recreation doesn’t meet in the summer but she had the opportunity to talk with Rich Brooks, and they talked about initiatives and challenges with parks.  One of the things that came up, and also came up in Fields Committee, was that they often have individuals that are using our fields for uses that are typically not permitted, such as personal trainers.  This is not a permitted use and everything should be organized through the Fields Committee calendar.  There is a thought that maybe if someone uses the field for a smaller use and has permission, maybe they could put a Village lanyard around the coach who is using the field to know that it is a permitted use.  She thinks it would be a good idea for the Village to let residents know the hours of operation of all of our parks, and suggested that Signal could update the signage with hours so that everyone is aware of the time of day that they can use different parks.  They are hoping to do a Meet and Greet towards the end of the month so that she can meet with all of the other members.

 

Adopt a Senior – Councilwoman Walsh stated that they still have lots of seniors that are signing up, these are our most vulnerable residents and they are looking for volunteers to help.  There are some residents who shop for seniors.  The seniors are social distancing and they have to keep them safe during this pandemic.  She has received calls from adjoining towns, as well.

 

They are also going to be working on a banner initiative in the CBD to remind people that you should be wearing masks.  It will remind parking officials, and people who are shopping, and it is a way of coming together as a group and saying we are all in this together and we want to make sure that everybody is safe.

 

Beekeeping – Councilwoman Walsh dropped a video today with Frank Mortimer, on the Johns Hopkins University website for their Earth Day 50.  It is a lightning talk. 

 

Planning Board – Councilwoman Reynolds stated that the Planning Board meeting was canceled last night.

 

Green Team – Deputy Mayor Sedon stated that the Green Team met and since they meet jointly with Green Ridgewood, their meetings have also changed to the first Thursday of the month, September 3rd.

 

Community Center Advisory Committee – Deputy Mayor Sedon stated that he had a catch up meeting with the Community Center Advisory Committee.  They brought him up to speed on some of the things they have been doing.  HILT bus trips were cancelled and Deanna Schablik is working hard at the Community Center to work with older residents and getting them engaged in smaller groups.  They are doing a great job and looking to get past this.

 

Central Business District Advisory Committee – Deputy Mayor Sedon stated that he had a meeting with representatives and they were asking questions and wanted to know how different Councilmembers viewed the downtown in the next year, but given the current situation many things could change, such as the apartments, and online shopping.  There are a lot of trends that were in play that have accelerated, and it was a challenging time to ask what the Central Business District would look like in a year.  It was an interesting conversation and he looks forward to continuing it.

 

Masks – Mayor Knudsen stated that they are working to promote masks on social media and to encourage everyone to wear masks.

 

Library Board of Trustees – Mayor Knudsen stated that they met last week for financial reports.  The Library had a capacity number of 90, and they are only allowing 30 at a time but they weren’t hitting that number.  So, her suggestion was to increase that slightly to hit the number that they were comfortable with.

 

  1. DISCUSSION

             

  1. Budget

 

  1. Award Contract Under State Contract – 2020 Ford F550 Super Cab

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this was discussed on July 8th and should have been on the July 15th Public Meeting.  It was a two-part resolution and there were two different resolutions that made up the purchase and for some reason this resolution was overlooked.

 

  1. Policy

 

  1. Pilot Program for Grab and Go Spaces

 

Ms. Mailander stated that they have to discuss the two different ordinances that are up for hearing.  One is for the fees with a weekly rate of $100, and the other with a daily rate of $20 a day.  They have to decide which of those two they are going to adopt and which they are going to defeat.

 

Mayor Knudsen stated that they have the ordinance and then the fees for the ordinance.  There was some discussion among the Village Council, and when they first discussed it it was $20 per day.  Then there was a little bit of pushback from the business community, suggesting it should be less than that.  So rather than delay this Grab and Go program, the thought was prepare two ordinances and determine which one they thought was better.  The reason why they have the resolution for the pilot program, is even if the $100 is too much, the CFO, Bob Rooney, was instrumental in determining that maybe they could do a pilot program and test market pricing at a little bit lower than where they are.  They have to be cognizant that the Village has obligations as well, as this is our revenue stream.  Mayor Knudsen stated that the $100 a week is the six day Grab and Go spaces and that’s all day, or the $20 a day which is $120 for the week and they will make that adjustment in the pilot.  The first discussion is the $20 a day or the $100 a week.

 

Councilwoman Walsh stated that Mayor Knudsen mentioned all day, so she assumes that it is when the meters start, so if someone comes into town for a cup of coffee before the meters start, they can park there, or is it all day Grab and Go and no one else can park there.  Mayor Knudsen stated that technically it is the meter hours, and they actually base the rate on the start times, but it’s a good question and to avoid any confusion she thinks it would be a good idea to just make it Grab and Go all the time.  Councilwoman Walsh stated that it makes sense to not have any confusion because if somebody parks there and then somebody else thinks that it’s a Grab and Go.  She also asked if Parking Enforcement is going to be as usual, so if somebody parks there and is longer, they are aware that they are going to get a parking ticket if they don’t abide by the rules.  Mayor Knudsen agreed.  Councilwoman Walsh stated that she would be in favor of the $100 per week.

 

Councilwoman Reynolds stated that if somebody is in that spot eleven hours a day Monday through Friday and then on Saturday it’s eight hours, what amount of money would be generated in town with the kiosk.  The rule of thumb is that the kiosks garner 20% to 30% more, but figuring 20%, the amount comes out to $104.50 for the week.  So, if they don’t want to lose any revenue, because right now they really need the revenue, she thinks that $100 is fair.

 

Deputy Mayor Sedon stated that he agreed with Councilwoman Reynolds, that as long as they are not losing any revenue and they are able to offer the service, then they should at least try it at that point and see where it goes.

 

Councilwoman Perron stated that she also agreed with the $100 fee instead of the $20 per day, however she thinks this is an even more guaranteed stream of income because the businesses will be paying for it as though it was occupied every minute of the day.  Whereas, on a day that it rains, people don’t come downtown that much.  So in the future, and in this pilot project, they might consider less than $100.  Mayor Knudsen stated that she thinks it’s a great point; the only thing is that no matter what the weather, since it’s a Grab and Go, and the person is in their car and could be getting the food delivered to their window, it is possible that it has exactly the opposite as Councilwoman Perron is saying. 

 

Mayor Knudsen stated that she agreed with $100 per day, so that means they will adopt the $100 per week and will defeat the $20 per day ordinance.  She circled back to the resolution to do the Pilot Program and stated that what as important here.  Before they begin with the $100, there is this idea to go even lower to see what kind of interest this garners at a lower price.  She asked if it is about six weeks and Ms. Mailander stated that it is until September 30th.  Mayor Knudsen stated that for those applications that come in during that period, they would be charged whatever this resolution for Pilot Program sets.  Then within the first couple of weeks, they would have a pretty good idea of whether or not this is working and they can gauge how to move forward.  She asked if they do the Pilot Program at $100 or less than $100. What is the number that everyone feels comfortable with.

 

Councilwoman Walsh asked what the question was.  Mayor Knudsen stated that they wanted to start the Pilot Program from now until September 30th at somewhat of a lower price than the $100, by resolution.  This will get it kickstarted so we can better gauge whether or not there is enough interest and to move forward from there.  She added that she was thinking $75 per week as the Pilot Program just to get some excitement and get these applications moving because the sooner they do that, the sooner everybody has the opportunity to use those Grab and Go spaces.

 

Councilwoman Walsh stated that they talked about this in the last meeting, but she has driven by the Train Station several times and it is an empty lot.  So, she feels that if they went to the $75 that would be great for the Village to get this initiative moving because they really need to bring people back to the downtown.  While they are working on this initiative, she thinks there are still people who are shying away, and if they can encourage them, it would be great.  Councilwoman Reynolds stated that she agreed with that and thinks that’s a great idea.  She thinks for the restaurants, $75 a week, which isn’t one restaurant paying that full amount, is really very minimal.  Hopefully it is a win-win situation to get the businesses excited and get people excited to come down and do the Grab and Go.

 

Deputy Mayor Sedon stated that he was thinking about $80 but $75 is close enough, because you don’t want it too low, and then have to bring it up to the $100 a week after the Pilot Program and have it be too much for them.  This way they can see exactly what the data is that comes in and how many people are using the spots, how they are functioning, and how traffic is flowing.  This would give a lot of good data that they really don’t have right now and help to base their next decision about whether or not to make this permanent.

 

Councilwoman Perron stated that she would go for the $75 if they add one more variable.  Based on what Chief Luthcke said, she thinks the pilot would be much more attractive to the residents if, that people would not be required to stay in the vehicle during the 15 minutes.  Councilwoman Reynolds stated if they were there to get their food and tried to run an errand they would be there for 15 minutes.  That defeats the whole purpose of using that space for people who are nervous about going downtown and going inside.  You are staying in your car.  She knows that there are people who still haven’t gone downtown because they are afraid, but if they know they are going to stay in their car and somebody is going to put the car in their trunk, they are going to use the Grab and Go. 

 

Councilwoman Perron stated that she heard Councilwoman Reynolds, but she has had many conversations with retailers who say they are closing down the streets on Saturdays and Sundays, and maybe even Fridays, when somebody could pick up their dry cleaning or shoes within 15 minutes.  The florist can’t have anybody pick up flowers right now because of parking.  Her concern comes from conversations with various businesses, particularly on Oak Street.

 

Mayor Knudsen asked if the premise of the Grab and Go was an effort to encourage people who were fearful of getting out of their vehicles under the present health crisis and so they were having people coming up and putting something into their car, or is it that they were still fearful of getting out they had a passenger that was okay with doing so.  That was always the confusion as to what was the basis of the Grab and Go during the height of COVID-19, and then how it applies to today, and what the concerns and fears are today.  She thinks that if that is placed into the ordinance, that would become a substantive change and would be a problem.  She thinks they should adopt the ordinance at $100 per week right now and do the Pilot Program and see how that works out.  Then at the first work session in September they can put that on the agenda for discussion.  Councilwoman Perron agreed that would be fine.

 

Mayor Knudsen asked Ms. Mailander about a line that was in the ordinance previously about the spaces being purchased by one particular business.  Ms. Mailander stated that part was taken out.  Mayor Knudsen stated that they were going to adopt the $100 per week, defeat the $20 per day, and adopt the resolution to allow for the pilot program at $75 per week.

 

  1. Operations

 

  1. Confirm Endorsement of HOME Funds for United Way/Madeline Housing Partners, Inc. – Ridgewood Supportive Housing

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this is similar to the Community Development Block Grant where it requires the governing body to authorize it to be applied for.  It doesn’t obligate any Village funding, but they are required to endorse it.  Mr. Rogers added that it is just a way to endorse it so that United Way gets funding for their project.  Mayor Knudsen stated that it is a really great project, and one they are going to be very proud of.

 

  1. SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING - SEE SEPARATE MINUTES

 

At 8:43 P.M., Councilwoman Walsh made a motion to adjourn the Special Public Meeting and reconvene the Work Session.   Deputy Mayor Sedon seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

 

AYES:             Councilmembers Perron, Reynolds, Sedon, Walsh, and Mayor Knudsen

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. CERTIFICATION OF PETITION – ONE VILLAGE, ONE VOTE

 

Ms. Mailander stated that on July 6, 2020 an initiative petition for the November 3, 2020 election was submitted to the Village Clerk’s Office for review and filing.  N.J.S.A. 40:69A-184 permits the voters of a municipality to file a petition for a municipal regulation or ordinance to be placed on the ballot for the next November election.  The process for submitting the petition is to find therein and in the ensuing statutes.  Upon review by the Village Clerk’s Office, it has been determined that the petition submitted is deficient because of the following issues. 

 

Number one, the petition form is deficient because it does not provide the ordinances that are being sought for consideration.  There are two distinct ordinances proposed by the petitioners in this process that must be written in full and placed before the voter who signs the petition.  The petitioners should provide the ordinance for the voters to review on the petition before signing.

 

Number two, although the petitioners submitted a verified certification of circulator, which states the following “that I and the other circulators and no others personally circulated the forgoing papers and I believe that your signature to the paper or appended is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be.” Based on belief, the method or process in which this petition was circulated was not personally circulated to each voter who may have signed and returned the petition.  It was also believed that the petition was circulated on a website or copied and posted by persons who are not the listed circulators and therefore not controlled by the circulators page and not controlled by personal invitation and was open to the public.  Ms. Mailander stated that in that regard, there is no control or oversight over the authenticity of the personal signatures on the petition and the listed circulators were not the only persons who circulated the petition documents.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that was her report and certification, but added that the petitioners did have a sufficient number of signatures in order to put it onto a ballot but the deficiencies must be corrected.

 

Mr. Rogers added that the statute also provides the circulators with a ten day period starting tomorrow to correct these deficiencies.

 

Mayor Knudsen asked if the certification was something that Ms. Mailander sends to them or was this the notification.  Ms. Mailander stated that this was the notification, but she can certainly send them that in writing so they have it.  Mayor Knudsen stated that she thought that would be helpful.  Ms. Mailander stated that the statute provides that she reports to the governing body as the Municipal Clerk at the next available meeting, which was this evening’s meeting, but she will also provide it to the petitioners.

 

Councilwoman Walsh asked about the process regarding COVID, as when they all ran for Village Council they had to pound the pavement and get the signatures, but it was her understanding that they can’t go door to door or the State is not allowing them to do it and that is why it is electronic.  Ms. Mailander stated that the State is not not allowing them to do it, they are providing they can do it online.  The concern is that whether or not a petitioner is handing the petition to someone online or is it just going to a website and signing from there.  Councilwoman Walsh asked to clarify that the Village is not conflicting with what the State is saying.  These are residents, and almost 600 residents participated and they want to make sure that the process is fair if the State is saying that they need to get the signatures one way.

 

Mr. Rogers stated that there was an Executive Order that came down that suspended the requirements of going door to door and provided that they could do it online.  The issue that was brought up are two-fold.  Number one, the petition has to bear the ordinances and when they wrote the petition out it had a question on it.  The second is that they have to attest or at least provide that certification that the signatures they genuinely believe that the signature of the person it is purported to be.  There has to be some controls over how the circulators know or at least can identify that these are genuinely the signatory of who they purport to be.  When the invites are sent out by people who are not the circulators, there have to be some controls that the circulators are the ones that are sending out the petition, which is a discrepancy.

 

Councilwoman Perron stated that if she understands this Executive Order, the circulators do not have to be in the same room as the signatory when they sign.  Mr. Rogers stated that was true.

 

Mayor Knudsen stated they should send that to the five circulators, and make sure they have that on record and know precisely.  Ms. Mailander agreed.

 

7a.         REPORT FROM R. ROONEY, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER – BOND AND NOTE SALE

 

Robert Rooney, Chief Financial Officer, stated that on July 23rd the Village held two sales of debt obligations.  The first was for $32,197,000 general obligation bonds which consisted of $15,197,000 general and $17,000,000 of water.  The effective interest rate received on that was 1.501%.  There were five bidders, Morgan Stanley was the successful bidder.  They also sold $12,492,000 worth of short term debt bond anticipation notes.  There were seven bidders for that issue, Morgan Stanley was the successful bidder and the effective interest rate on that sale was 0.345%, which is only $44,000 worth of interest for the year.

 

Mr. Rooney stated that they have asked their financial advisors to critique where they fell out with similar issues and the Village excelled over all of them with the effective rates they obtained.

 

  1. DISCUSSION

             

  1. Ridgewood Water

 

  1. Award Contract – Polyphosphate Pumps for Corrosion Control

 

Ms. Mailander stated that in accordance with the USEPA and NJDEP Lead and Copper Rules, Ridgewood Water must provide disinfection and corrosion control to prevent bacteria and viruses and lead and copper from leaching into the water supply.  To accomplish this, the utility feeds sodium hypochlorite and orthopolyphosphate into the system.  In order to do that, they pump it in.  It is manufactured by Prominent and is only available through GP Jager Inc. of Boonton. They are the only authorized/direct agent for sale of these pumps.  The recommendation is to award the purchase of the contract for these pumps in the amount not to exceed $46,000 to GP Jager Inc.  Funding is in the water utility operating budget.

 

Councilwoman Perron stated that in the subject line, there is reference to pumps, plural, but when she looks at the estimate from GP Jager Inc. it looks like there is only one.  Mr. Calbi stated that he noticed the same thing on their copy, that the quantity column is blank, but he would get them the answer to that question.

 

  1. Award State Purchasing Contract – Change Order #1 – Chlorine Analyzers and Supplies

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the service contract was awarded to Hach Company for maintenance of the pH, Chlorine, and Phosphate Analyzers, which are purchased under the State of New Jersey Cooperative Purchasing System Contract for $65,000.  At this time, an additional $35,000 is required to purchase additional items which were not anticipated at the time of contract award.  This includes things such as TOC test kids, chemkeys, chemical reagents/standard cell solution/salt bridge, and colorimeter/gear assembly/housing materials.

 

Mr. Calbi stated that this season they are using a lot of water, so when that happens, they go through a lot of supplies quicker.  Based on the volume of water that is being put out and used in the system, they need to add an additional amount of supplies to do the analyzing work that is both out in the field at the station and some of this is done at the lab.  Total organic compound in the water, level of chlorine, phosphate, and other contaminants.  The lead chemist utilizes these supplies on a daily basis to maintain the safe quality of the water.

 

Councilwoman Perron asked with regard to the chemical reagents, it says they give real time data back to the SCADA system to show the operator the chemical residuals out in the system are at certifiable concentrations.  She doesn’t understand how they send that information back.  Mr. Calbi stated that all treatment systems, those pumps, and the level readers that have these chemical reagents in it that mix with the water and determine the level of the treatment, they respond back to the SCADA system live.  It is monitored 24/7/365 by operators, that way there is no violation.  The reagents are the actual chemicals that mix with the water to determine that level and then there is an electronic device that communicates it back.  Councilwoman Perron asked if it was sampling.  Mr. Calbi stated that it is sampling the water, changing color, and being read by the analyzer live without any human activity.  Mayor Knudsen stated that it was an amazing system.

 

Councilwoman Walsh stated that she had was assuming a lot of this was COVID related as there are now full households using all the facilities, and she asked if there were any words of wisdom that Mr. Calbi has from the industry in terms of anything that should be changed due to increased usage.  Mr. Calbi stated that it is definitely COVID related and weather related.  They are finding that with everyone home, this season the water levels started to go up slightly, starting in March.  This summer, the weather got dry and hot very early and there was a big spike in production in June.  This July was probably one of the biggest producing months we have seen in a while.  Mr. Calbi stated that we will be successful, if everyone waters their lawn just twice a week, those two days a week work very well for Ridgewood Water to operate and gives us time to recover.

 

Councilwoman Walsh asked if they could ask the participating communities to make an announcement at their Council meetings to conserve.  Mr. Calbi stated that he does it consistently, taking advantage of any communications that those other towns may be doing.  He reached out to the Village Administrators in all four towns, letting them know the current situation.

             

  1. Parking

 

  1. Hudson Street Garage Stop Sign Ordinance

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Hudson Street Garage needs stop signs in various locations, one is as the vehicles exit the parking garage, also at the bottom of the ramp from level 2 to level one, and one on the north side of the garage directing vehicles entering the garage from the north parking lot behind the garage.

 

  1. Budget

 

  1. Award Cooperative Purchasing Contract – One 2019 Ford F-350 Pickup for Water Pollution Control Facility

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this is replacing a 2008 pickup used by the Water Pollution Control Facility that is no longer viable to repair.  There were residual capital funds from our purchase of a sludge hauling truck for WPCF and those residual funds are enough to purchase this Ford F-350 as well as a snow plow attachment.  It is a Ford F-350 Super Cab, under State Contract from Route 23 Automall in Butler.  It is not to exceed $39,845.  The intent is to use it in the snow plowing fleet as well.

 

  1. Award Cooperative Purchasing Contract – One Pro Plus Fleet Flex Snow Plow for the Water Pollution Control Facility

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the purchase will be through the Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing Program.  The vendor is FDR Hitches of Hawthorne and the amount is not to exceed $5,747.60.

 

  1. Award State Purchasing Contract – One Model Year 2020 John Deere HVAC Utility Vehicle for Solid Waste

 

Ms. Mailander stated this was through the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey Purchasing Program and it is Deere and Company of Cary, North Carolina in an amount not to exceed $27,690.05.  This vehicle is required so they can collect solid waste in the Central Business District and it will also service the new parking garage.  Funds are in the capital account.

 

Councilwoman Reynolds asked what kind of vehicle it was.  Ms. Mailander stated that it was a smaller sized vehicle that can get into tighter spaces.  Mr. Calbi stated that it is a small enclosed vehicle with four wheels and has a little bed in the back to haul a couple of trash cans.  Councilwoman Reynolds stated that she was surprised at the price.  Mr. Calbi stated that the new vehicle will have a power washer attached and new accessories for use in the parking garage.

 

  1. Award Contract – Leaf Collection Services – Public Works Department

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Village received bids on June 30th.  There was one known plan holder eligible to bid.  The bid was also available online.  The Village received one bid for $105,000.  Last year’s bid was $79,800, but 2018 was at $92,460.  This is to supplement the Village’s leaf collection services in Area B.  The sole bid was from DTS Trucking LLC of Hawthorne.  This is being funded through the Street Division operating budget.  They had estimated that it would be $80,000 but that was based on last year’s bid.  She added that the Village doesn’t have the staffing to be able to take over section B which is something that can be considered for 2021, which would entail a whole crew hired, as well as another vehicle.  The recommendation is to award to DTS Trucking of Hawthorne.

 

Councilwoman Reynolds asked if they knew why last year’s people did not bid this year.  Ms. Mailander stated she didn’t know, but they were new and she doesn’t think they really knew what they were getting into.  Councilwoman Reynolds asked if they could reach out and see if the previous company would like to bid on this.  Mr. Rutishauser stated that they did ask them if they would like to bid because when they won the contract last year there was an option in it which if both parties, the Village and the vendor agree, they would renew for another year.  Deputy Mayor Sedon stated that he thinks that when this was first tried, the original bid was $64,000 and then the next year it went up substantially because they got into it thinking one thing and they realized they needed to charge a lot more.  He added that he likes Ms. Mailander suggestion of looking to see if it was worth bidding it out or better to make the investment to do it in house.

 

Mayor Knudsen stated that they started doing this in 2015, but it’s too late to do anything about it now.  At the rate they are going, they may as well be doing this in house again.

 

  1. Award Contract – Vehicle Mounted Light Tower – Emergency Services

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this will provide rapid illumination of any scene, providing a safer environment for both those working, as well as anyone in the area.  It will be mounted on the Department’s vehicles and it is built with the provisions for this equipment.  It is capable of being operated by one person for any length of time and it is powered by the vehicle’s hydraulic generator.  It is compact and quiet and can be used anywhere in the Village.  It also allows the user to direct light to where it is needed without having to reposition the vehicle.  It is capable of illuminating a large area with reduced glare for both responders and the public.  The low quote is from Blaze Emergency Equipment Company of Brown Mills.  It is not to exceed $26,831.04 and the funds were approved in the 2020 capital budget.

 

Mayor Knudsen asked if this fits on the Special Ops vehicle, or which vehicle it is mounted on and when its not in use does it stay on or get put away.  Ms. Mailander stated that it is her understanding that it gets put away but she would answer those questions. 

 

Councilwoman Perron asked if it was something that other municipalities could rent from the Village.  Ms. Mailander stated that she didn’t know the answer to that question, because if there was an emergency here then it may not be available.  Mayor Knudsen added that if it could only be mounted on one particular vehicle then it can’t be mounted elsewhere

 

  1. Authorize Shared Services Agreement – Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission for Disposal of Dewatered Sludge

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Water Pollution Control Facility has to dispose of its dewatered sludge.  The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission and the Village have had a shared services agreement which is recently expired.  The new rate will be $49 per 1,000 gallons.  This is an increase of $1 per 1,000 gallons from the prior agreement for sludge trucked to their facility in Newark.  The Village disposes of in excess if $100,000 per year of dewatered sludge so we need a shared services agreement with them which requires a resolution from the Village Council.

 

Councilwoman Perron asked for a draft of that agreement.

 

  1. Declare Property Surplus – WCPF Pickup Truck

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this is the pickup truck that is being replaced.

 

  1. Declare Property Surplus – Recycling Department Roll-Off Container

 

Ms. Mailander stated this is a 25 yard roll off container used to collect newsprint fibers.  It is over 25 years old, has a considerable amount of rust, and also the swinging door has rusted.  They have obtained a replacement container so, this one is no longer needed.

 

  1. General Capital Ordinance

 

Ms. Mailander stated that as they were doing the budget, they did indicate that there were some capital items which they were going to revisit.  At this time, the following general capital items should be considered.  This is up for discussion because if they don’t want to fund certain things then there would be less things that require funding.

 

The first is the Circle Avenue Drainage Improvements, which Ms. Mailander stated has been on the paving list for two years.  They are not going to pave it until they do the drainage, and the estimated amount is $350,000.  Circle Avenue floods everywhere.  Mayor Knudsen stated that she didn’t want to be in this conversation.

 

Next is the Graydon Pool Discharge Pump, this removes water from the bottom of the pool, directing it to the sanitary sewer system, helping to keep the water clean.  The current pump is not self-priming and if it loses its prime it can take days to get re-primed.  That cost is $40,000.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Compressor Fill Station is for the Fire Department’s SCBA bottle fill station which are used with the Scott packs and is $30,000.  There is also a front end loader for the Streets Division, which was actually approved in the capital budget but somehow it was $210,000 and the loader is actually $250,000.  They would like to order it now to have it in time for snow season.

 

Kings Pond - They have done the work to the limit of the funds available.  The low bid came in at $239,184 and they were only able to award $118,000.  The recommendation is to award the remaining funds to complete the work.  In order to dredge the pond they had to lower the level of the water and they had to remove the failed pond draw down-pipe and valve.  This has resulted in a much lower water level in the pond and residents are complaining.  Ms. Mailander stated that the recommendation is to replace the draw down pipe and valve and restore the dam, which is $45,000.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Graydon Pool Supply Well is provided by a well at Veterans Field and the well was partially refurbished this year so that water could be provided to Graydon.  The next critical step is elevating the controls above the flood elevation limit at the well.  The current controls are exposed to the effects of any flooding.  That amount is $44,000.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that to fully fund all of these requests it is $664,184.  The adopted 2020 general capital budget was $8,474,500 without the down payment.  So, Mr. Rooney has estimated that it would be approximately $8.9 million total if they approve all of these additional items in full.  Mr. Rooney stated that he thinks it is a bit higher, as after deliberations that would be $8.6 million initially, and if they all of these projects, there would have to be an emergency appropriation of $60,000 for the down payment as they do not have it, should all of these projects be approved.

 

Councilwoman Walsh stated that she has a question about the Graydon discharge pump as they aren’t removing water from Graydon at this point.  So, wouldn’t they put this off until next year in the Spring when they remove the water again.  Mr. Rutishauser stated that the draw down pump runs 24/7, almost every day, they are currently pulling 300 to 400,000 gallons of water off the bottom of Graydon Pool everyday and discharging it into our sanitary sewer collection system.  It is one of the primary reasons the water quality has been so good as Ms. Mailander mentioned earlier in the meeting.  The pump sucks off the bottom so all the bather load and organics that enter the water are pulled out before they can react negatively with the sodium hypochloride.

 

Councilwoman Reynolds asked about Kings Pond Dam if this was something that is aesthetic as the water is lower and doesn’t look as nice, or is this for a function.  Mr. Rutishauser stated that when they did the dredging on the pond, they had a draw down valve system that did not work properly, so it was removed.  That resulted in a lower water level to do the dredging successfully.  So, now they have to replace that to bring the water up to the previous level.

 

Deputy Mayor Sedon stated that they probably have to do some of the things that Ms. Mailander mentioned like the Graydon Pumps and the Fire Department so they can fill the air bottles, but the capital budget was pretty large last year and a lot of these items were taken out purposely and they were waiting until the next capital budget.  He was in favor of funding what we have to fund now and then the rest of these items would be given top priority in the up and coming capital budget.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that Circle Avenue drainage improvements, they were supposed to be paved two years ago and this will be the third year if they don’t do the improvements.  Next year they could keep it in.  Councilwoman Reynolds stated that Circle Avenue is bad and she has seen when it rains the flooding that is caused and she would not be happy if she was a resident to keep having it be put off, but it was a lot of money. 

 

Councilwoman Walsh asked Mr. Rooney what the shortfall was, and if they could work back on this in terms of where the squeeze is going to be.  Mr. Rooney stated that right now they are slightly over what they have in the capital improvement fund.  What he normally does when that happens is he waits until November and transfers money in and all is well.  Now they are going to be $60,000 over, which is above what he would tolerate to allow that to happen.  So, they would have to do an emergency appropriation which is adding 5% to everything that is agreed to tonight as a down payment.  If they do an emergency, that automatically gets taken into the budget next year.

 

Councilwoman Walsh asked about the front end loader.  Ms. Mailander stated that was only $40,000 which is the difference because the two numbers got transposed.  She added that it would be critical come snow season and would be used regularly.

 

Mr. Rooney stated that the Kings Pond Phase II originally was proposed $155,000 for the capital budget and was reduced to $60,000 so there was that amount put into it for appropriation.  Councilwoman Reynolds asked about Kings Pond and the amount awarded.  Mr. Rooney stated that when they did the capital budget the request was $155,000 and Village Council went through the final ordinances and decided to put $60,000 into that project.

 

Mayor Knudsen asked about the 5% amount.  Ms. Mailander stated that Mr. Rooney added up all the estimated amounts and took 5% of that which equaled $60,000.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that her recommendation would be to include Graydon Pool Discharge Pump, the Compressor Fill Station, the Graydon Pool Supply Well, and if they want, the Front End Loader to be used for snow.  Mayor Knudsen asked what the amount is they would need an emergency for that.  Mr. Rooney stated that they would need another $10,000 in down payment, roughly.  Mayor Knudsen asked if they had that amount.  Mr. Rooney stated that would put him $25,000 short and he would probably make up for that in transfers. 

 

Councilwoman Walsh asked if there was anything that was going to come up next year that Mr. Rooney was discussing.  Mr. Rooney stated that when they started the capital process this year the departmental requests were in excess of $27 million.  He and Ms. Mailander then met with the department heads and got that down to $8.4 million.  The average in capital has been roughly $8.2 million over the years, and this year they are already at $8.6 million.  Mr. Rooney stated that there are emergencies that are going to surface, and these items are some of them.  In March, the Village Council decided to postpone this to focus on the imminent projects, but times have changed.  Ms. Mailander added that they just sent out the department requests to the department directors and haven’t received them back yet.

 

Mr. Rooney stated that one of the things they were faced with when making this decision in March was that they had some big ticket items, including the Library and Schedler.  Mayor Knudsen referred to the capital budget that everyone is working on and were any of these items included in that.  Ms. Mailander stated that Circle Avenue, the front end loader, and Kings Pond were included, but she doesn’t think the Graydon items were.  The compressor was not included because they just learned about that a couple of weeks ago.  Mayor Knudsen stated that the point about Kings Pond is that they have really come so far and done so much work, that it seems as if they don’t finish things.  She thinks it is important for the neighbors sake, for us to just get it done.  She stated that she was in agreement with Graydon, the compressor and the front end loader, but the Kings Pond item troubles her.  She asked Mr. Rutishauser if they go forward with it, what the timeline would be.

 

Mr. Rutishauser stated that if they made the secondary award to the contractor, he thinks they can get the plantings done this fall, and everything should come up beautifully in the spring.  Mayor Knudsen stated to her that it didn’t seem right to let everything sit for another year.  Mr. Rooney proposed that if the Village Council wants to consider these as they are, would they entertain cancelling unused proceeds of ordinances that may exist right now.  That levels the playing field and there wouldn’t be any impact if that were done.  Mayor Knudsen stated that makes sense.  Mr. Rooney stated that he could do that process sooner, so that way they can take these into consideration and if they move forward he would try to offset the addition with a cancellation.  Mayor Knudsen asked how long that would take.  Mr. Rooney stated that he could have it done by the end of the week.  Mayor Knudsen stated they would have it to review next week, and agreed to do that so they could see the numbers.

 

Deputy Mayor Sedon stated that he might suggest going ahead with some of the smaller ticket items, like the Graydon pumps, compressor, and front end loader and if they can cover those with transfer to cover that items. And then he can go back and do a more careful analysis and then get them any cancellations for consideration of the remaining items on the list.

 

Ms. Mailander asked for agreement on the Graydon Pool Discharge Pump, the Compressor Fill Station, the Front End Loader, and the Graydon Pool Supply Well.  Deputy Mayor Sedon and Councilwoman Walsh agreed.  Ms. Mailander added they could include these in an ordinance at the next meeting, and then provide the information from Mr. Rooney on the weekend.  Mayor Knudsen stated that if they don’t do the cancellations now and Kings Pond sits dormant, the next meeting isn’t until September and now they won’t get that done in the Fall and then nothing would be ready for the Spring.  She suggested saying these are those in agreement but they need to know what the cancellations are. 

 

Ms. Mailander suggested prioritizing them now, based on the cancellations.  The Kings Pond is a priority and that includes the pond work as well as the dam.  Mayor Knudsen agreed with everything that is on the list, and if the cancellations are there and they can avoid waiting.  Ms. Mailander asked the Village Council if they would put Kings Pond next on the list and then Circle Avenue after that.  Councilwoman Perron, Deputy Mayor Sedon, Councilwoman Reynolds, Councilwoman Walsh and Mayor Knudsen were in agreement.  Mayor Knudsen added that Kings Pond languishes and they have put in so much effort, so they should move forward.  Councilwoman Perron added that the invasive will come back.

 

  1. Increase to Bid Threshold

 

Ms. Mailander stated that effective July 1st the State Treasurer adjusted the bid threshold for those municipalities which have a qualified purchasing agent, which the Village does.  It was $40,000 but is now $44,000.  Informal receipt of quotes is 15% of the bid threshold which also changes and will be reflected in the purchasing manual.

 

  1. Policy

 

  1. Proposed Bylaws Amendment – Bergen JIF

 

Ms. Mailander stated that the Bergen JIF program unanimously adopted a bylaw amendment and then referred it to the members for ratification. Seventy-five percent of the member municipalities must adopt a resolution in favor of it in order for it to be approved.  The amendment was made necessary when Bergen Risk Managers, the JIF’s Workers’ Compensation Adjusters, was acquired by Acrisure Inc. that also owns several insurance agencies that serve towns in the Bergen JIF.  Without this amendment, Acrisure will no longer be able to serve individual towns as Risk Manager.  The Village does not have Acrisure as its Risk Manager.

 

Councilwoman Perron asked what JIF insures for the Village.  Ms. Mailander stated that they insure everything from buildings to flood insurance, vehicles, workers compensation, and security bonds.

 

  1. Authorize Electronic Tax Sales through REALAUCTION.COM

 

Ms. Mailander stated that State statute provides that municipalities can approve online tax sales.  There are various benefits to the Village for using an electronic tax sale.  Mr. Rooney stated that this was the trend in todays environment and it has been extremely effective for larger municipalities.  This is very regimented and the cash is wired, so there is no failure of checks bouncing.  This is the way the trend is to go.

 

  1. Operations

 

  1. 2021 Village Council Meeting Schedule

 

Ms. Mailander stated that meetings are for eight months of the year with three meetings a month, this coming year they don’t have any holidays that fall during the dates so they don’t have to change any of them.  There are a few months with two meetings.  In addition, they normally have Coffee with the Council the Saturday after Labor Day, which is September 11th, so they can have it on the 18th.  Councilwoman Walsh agreed to move the date.

 

  1. Authorize Additional Employees to Perform Code Enforcement Duties

 

Ms. Mailander stated that part of this came to light during Welcome Back to Ridgewood. The Code Enforcement Officer said that her regular duties weren’t being done as diligently as possible because she was doing so much for the CBD.  Her suggestion is that they change the code to say “or any other officer and/or Village employee duly appointed by the Village Manager.”  This way, as need be, the Village Manager could appoint someone else which would be beneficial and allow other complaints that come in to still be done throughout the Village.  Mayor Knudsen agreed that it was important.

 

  1. Endorse Adoption of Third Round Housing Element and Fair Share Plan of the Master Plan

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this came to the Village from the Planning Board who memorialized the resolution to adopt it.  It was prepared by Elizabeth McManus, Affordable Housing Planner.  Mayor Knudsen stated that this had to go before the Planning Board for public hearing, and satisfied the third round housing element and Fair Share plan for the Village.  The Village Council will have the public hearing on this and were planning on September.  Mr. Rogers agreed and added that there are a number of things that are going to be coming up on Affordable Housing; as well.

 

Ms. Mailander stated that they adopt the endorsement to a resolution.  Mayor Knudsen stated for the Planning Board.  Ms. Mailander asked if the Village Council endorses it through a resolution.  Mr. Rogers stated they do and this is an element of the Master Plan, so it goes in there.

 

  1. Proposed Ordinance to Allow Accessible Ramps and Lifts on One- and Two-Family Dwellings to be Reviewed by the Site Plan Exemption Committee

 

Ms. Mailander stated that in July the Planning Board considered an ordinance to amend Chapter 190 to allow for that.  Mayor Knudsen stated that they should do this so it allows for a more seamless process for people and saves someone from going through the Land Use Board.

 

Mr. Rutishauser stated that this was vetted extensively with the Planning Board and Site Plan Exemption Committee would be a very good place for this.  So, if someone applies, they could get them an answer very rapidly.  Mr. Rogers agreed that they should go along with this recommendation.

 

  1. Joint National Purchasing Partners Gov (NPPGov) National Cooperative Purchasing Program

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this is a cooperative purchasing program that the Village does not participate in yet.  The SCBA bottles used by the Fire Department are on this Cascade System and so, in order for them to purchase from there they need to join.

 

  1. Authorize Application for the Bergen County Municipal Alliance Grant

 

 

Ms. Mailander stated that they apply for this every year and this year the amount is $3,579.47 which is for three quarters of the year from October 1, 2020 through June 20, 2021.  It supplies recreational, social, and educational programs in support for alcohol/drug abuse.  This will be reflected in the budget preparation of the Recreation Division for next year.

 

  1. Liquor License Renewals 2020-2021

 

Ms. Mailander stated that this has been extended to September.  All licenses, except one, has received their tax certificate and everyone has paid their fees to both ABC and the Village.  The one that did not, is not open yet, as it was transferred earlier this year and they have to go for a special ruling and they have to wait to renew the license.

 

  1. Update on CBD Pedestrian Mall

 

Councilwoman Walsh stated that Citizen Safety, in the past, one of the topics that kept coming up is the correct way to ride a bicycle in the CBD.  In light of some of the things that are going on, she thinks it would be great for them to do a refresher as to proper pedestrian and proper bicycle usage.  When you are in an area such as the pedestrian mall, you should not be on the bicycle.  Bicycles are not permitted on the sidewalk, at all.  A small child below a certain age is allowed to be on the sidewalk.  She has been in the CBD pedestrian mall and has seen people riding bikes, and people shouldn’t be doing anything there other than walking.  Since the streets are closed for pedestrians, she didn’t believe anyone should be riding a bicycle.  There were conversations in town as far as what is permitted, and her understanding is that it should just be walking.

 

Councilwoman Reynolds stated that CSAC was not planning on having any meetings until September because of COVID.  Mr. Rogers stated that they ought to make sure that they have all the regulations in line so it is promoted that way and able to be enforced.  

 

Ms. Mailander stated that they are opening the first floor of the Hudson Street Garage on Friday.  The kiosks will be in service.  It is $1 per hour with a three hour limit and will be a nice addition to the Pedestrian Mall area.  This is being done in conjunction with Ridgewood Sidewalk Sale Days, and they are closing down for the Pedestrian Mall on Friday just this week. 

 

Mayor Knudsen stated they were all excited to open the first floor and the pedestrian mall will be a trial on Friday because of the sidewalk sale and they have been extremely conscious of the businesses who have not been thriving as a result of the Pedestrian Mall.  They did a survey to get a pulse on the businesses, and for Village purposes, they got over 80 responses.  Some were favorable, some were not, and they also reached out to professional offices.  They got feedback that was negative but they wanted to see this happen for Friday, so anyone that had a negative response she called every single one and had a conversation to say that this was just going to be a trial.  Everyone seemed to be open to this trial now.

 

Mayor Knudsen asked Mr. Hansen to display the data points.  She stated that there were 84 responses and they broke down by the type of business.  They asked the type of business and locations.  Most businesses were located within the Pedestrian Mall.  Forty three and a half percent said there was a positive impact and there was a shift in negative responses.  Seventy four percent are the businesses that were saying it was negatively impacting them were understanding why the benefit to the restaurants was important.  Councilwoman Perron stated that when she speaks to them, the tone is resigned.  Mayor Knudsen stated that some are very frustrated, adding that some businesses are having problems with their customers visiting them during the Pedestrian Mall.  They asked what days businesses preferred, adding that this Friday was a trial and that it coincided with Sidewalk Sale Days.

 

Mayor Knudsen stated that she heard from the people on Prospect who said no, that when the parking garage was going to be opened they were more willing.  Any of the 81 that responded negatively she called yesterday and spoke to them just to have a better understanding.  Some were willing to share what the financial impact has been, and others lost business on Saturdays which had been their day for business.  She added that it was kind of exciting.  They are going to work on another follow up survey for next week, as well.  Then the Village Council will have to look at this full picture and figure out how to move forward with this.

 

Councilwoman Perron stated that she would like to be involved in drafting the follow up survey.  Councilwoman Walsh stated that she wished they had the survey information before the discussion about the closure because if 25% of people are being negatively impacted, are they making the wrong decision with Friday.  Mayor Knudsen stated that it was a great question and that was why she did the outreach, and everyone was okay with trying Friday.  They are trying to figure out how to encourage people to go to the west side, as well. 

 

Mayor Knudsen asked to send the data sheet and the comments to the Village Council members.  Ms. Mailander stated she would send it.

 

  1. REVIEW OF AUGUST 12, 2020 PUBLIC MEETING AGENDA

 

Proclamations: Declare September Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month; and Declare September National Preparedness Month.

 

There are no ordinances for introduction for Ridgewood Water.

 

There are no ordinances for public hearing for Ridgewood Water.

 

Resolutions for Ridgewood Water include: Title 59 Approval – Polyphosphate Pumps for Corrosion Control; Award Contract – Polyphosphate Pumps for Corrosion Control; and Authorize Change Order – Chlorine Analyzers and Supplies.

 

Ordinances for introduction include: Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – Placement of Stop Signs in Hudson Street Garage; Bond Ordinance – General Capital; Amend Village Code to Allow Additional Village Employees to Perform General Code Enforcement Duties; and Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Allow Accessible Ramps on One-Family and Two-Family Dwellings to be Reviewed by the Site Plan Exemption Committee.

 

Ordinances for public hearing include: Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Significant Sewer Discharger Fees.

 

Resolutions include: Authorize Membership Application for National Purchasing Partners Gov (NPPGov) Cooperative Purchasing Program; Award Contract – Vehicle Mounted Light Tower – Emergency Services; Title 59 Approval – Leaf Collection Services; Award Contract – Leaf Collection Services; Award Contract Under Cooperative Purchasing Contract – 2019 Ford F-350 Pickup Truck – Water Pollution Control Facility; Award Contract Under Cooperative Purchasing Contract – Snow Plow – Water Pollution Control Facility; Award Contract Under State Contract – 2020 John Deere HVAC Utility Vehicle – Solid Waste; Award Contract Under National Purchasing Partners Gov (NPPGov) Contract – Compressor to Fill Scott Bottles – Fire Department; Authorize Shared Services Agreement – Disposal of Dewatered Sludge (Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission); Declare Property Surplus – Pickup Truck – Water Pollution Control Facility; Declare Property Surplus – Recycling Department Roll-Of Container; Proposed Amendment to JIF Bylaws; Authorize Electronic Sales Tax; and Authorize Application for Bergen County Municipal Alliance Grant.

 

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

 

Siobhan Crann Winograd, 274 Ivy Place, stated that a long time ago, one of her favorite phrases from work was “start with the end in mind” and her end is seeing their question on the November ballot.  She listened tonight and thought it was very interesting.  The video that they had made was pre-COVID and they were going to follow the same guidelines that previous petitioners had done.  But then COVID happened, and they wrote the State a letter because Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 105 was at direct odds with their right to petition.  He issued Executive Order 132 as a result.  They need some advice as to how legally with electronic law, they are going to say this review of the ordinance is okay. 

 

Ms. Winograd asked Mr. Rogers about Exhibit A and B that they submitted.  She added that to say that they posted it on the website as opposed to an email, that is following electronic law.  She finds it interesting that they are in the middle of a pandemic and got this Executive Order four weeks into their petitioning time and they did the best they could.  That being said, if they had questions about the integrity of the people, as the final gate keeper, she went through the RHS directory and wrote people.  They are having a problem right now because there is a global pandemic going on, and they can’t go door to door.  They gave it their best shot and did the best they could, they understand about the ordinances but then they get into a little bit of an area where they posted it online, on social media, which is electronic.

 

Ms. Winograd added that Ms. Mailander and Mr. Rogers have been very helpful and nice, but how are they going to do this if they are rejecting the petition because they think somehow their circulation was invalid, how do they go from here.  She added that she was confused, and the State said that electronic communications was completely okay.  They have tried since June to partner with the Village to work on this.  If email is sufficient, why isn’t a website posting sufficient.  They have a timing issue as they only have ten days, and by law, two of them should receive a letter tomorrow.  Collectively, they all agree this is a question of how to move this forward when a global pandemic is present.  Ms. Winograd added that they don’t want to bother anyone, but they want this to move forward.  She asked if posting the ordinance online is okay.

 

Mayor Knudsen stated that Ms. Winograd’s time was up, but that they would get her the certification tomorrow and asked that she be copied on that, as well.

 

Mr. Rogers stated that nothing that was said in the discussion of deficiencies ever said or mentioned going door to door.  He suggested looking at the statement that was read by the Village Manager and then go from there.  Mayor Knudsen agreed.

 

Matthew Lindenberg, 165 Claremont Road, thanked Ms. Mailander and the members of the Village Clerk’s Office and the Village Attorney for the time they have invested in the review of the petition.  They are pleased to have heard the full details of the deficiencies and will begin working immediately on getting them cured and resubmitted.  He stated that he is really pleased to hear that Mayor Knudsen is as enthusiastic about relying on real facts and data as they are, as she has raised a question about the real cost of elections and on onevillageonevote.com, under Facts, there are links to all original data sources.

 

Bob Fuhrman, 49 Clinton Avenue, stated that he wanted to discuss budgets and to thank the five Village Councilmembers tonight who spent over an hour discussing $10 million in expenditures and he really appreciated how they dug in.  As a resident, he doesn’t understand why people think they have the right to think they can vote on the School Board budget when they don’t get to vote for the Village Council budget.

 

Kason Little, 225 South 7th Street, Elizabeth, stated that he was calling on behalf of their Statewide Justice Chapter adding that he has been following Ridgewood for some time now and he is very disgusted with what is going on.  First, hate has no room in our country; second, Black Lives Matter; third, Black Lives Matter; fourth, Black Lives Matter; and Black lives must matter in your town.  From the videos that have surfaced, and what has been surfacing throughout the state pertaining to the town, it is full of hate that is being displayed by local residents who want the best and want to bring about truth and justice, but he doesn’t have the words for how he really feels about it.  There is a racial issue among the Police Department, but also throughout the city as a whole.  As an African American man, he doesn’t know what to say, and they should reassess themselves as a Mayor, Police Chief, and Council because it is just distasteful.  Seeing how people of color in the Village are being targeted just by speaking out he condemns that, and how organizers who speak the truth to power he condemns that, and seeing how the Mayor and the Village Council as a whole refuse to utter that Black Lives Matter and to actually sponsor and create legislation he condemns that because it is hateful and wrong.

 

Mr. Little stated that he understands that there is a very small percentage of African Americans in the Village, which is very telling, but they also understand that there may not even be any African Americans in the police force, but to understand and see as a person from the outside looking in he would be embarrassed to live in Ridgewood.  It will go down in the history books of how they are leading the city and how they are handling things.  He hopes moving forward that they have a heart generated by love and community, listen to the community, and believe that Black Lives Matter because all lives cannot matter if Black lives do not matter.  Children need to see that they have leaders who believe that Black Lives Matter and who sponsor legislation that is in the best interests of everyone.

 

Sam Flynn, 339 Carlton Terrace, stated that as a former Ridgewood resident they are pretty horrified by the actions of the Ridgewood Police Department, specifically the recent incident of Police brutality and excessive force used against a minor.  He knows that an internal investigation was opened, but that just isn’t enough and there has to be some kind of third party investigation into the incident and the Ridgewood Police Department as a whole for its unconstitutional policing and excessive use of force.  Any officers found to be involved in this list of behaviors should be fired, also the unnecessary arrest of the protestor whose charges have yet to be dropped and must be dropped immediately.  Mr. Flynn stated that this continues to show Ridgewood’s obsession with continued suppression of free speech under the guise of law and order.  He has heard public health repeatedly at this meeting, but Ridgewood Police Department continues to carry out unconstitutional policing without masks and are continuing to put the public at risk.  All of this should point to the fact that a defunding of the Ridgewood Police is absolutely needed and those funds should then be invested in racial justice initiatives throughout the town, programs that will de-segregate the community, open affordable housing, fully fund programs to support communities and programs of color, and pay reparations and redistribute the enormous wealth that Ridgewood holds.

 

Samantha McCarthy, 153 Hope Street, stated that she can’t really say it any better than Kason or Sam, but she wanted to use these five minutes to read the demands that the Black Liberation has put together in regard to the Ridgewood Police.  Number one, they demand a thorough third party investigation into Ridgewood Police to address unconstitutional policing, intimidation, and excessive use of force.  Ridgewood Police Department called for an internal affairs review after an incident of police brutality on July 26th.  As we have seen all around the country, these kinds of reviews are never sufficient and will never bring about real justice.  RPD has shown itself to be unaccountable and violent and must be finally investigated and held accountable.

 

Second, they demand that this investigation is followed by the firing of any officers involved in the above practices.  It is critical that we as a community are able to hold police accountable for their negligence, brutality, and ineptitude.  We as Ridgewood residents do not feel safe knowing that officers who commit acts of unconstitutional policing, intimidation, and excessive force are still roaming our streets armed with guns, emboldened and unaccountable.

 

Third, they demand that all charges against the protester who was detained be dropped immediately.  As an organizer for Ridgewood for black Liberator, she was arrested over a month ago while peacefully protesting in Ridgewood.  Ms. McCarthy added that they have a petition for anyone interested.

 

Fourth, they demand that all Police Officers wear masks while on duty during the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.  One of the officers who brutalized a minor on July 26th was not wearing a mask.  The officer who processed the protester Thria Bernabe also refused to wear a mask though Thria is immunosuppressed and asked her to multiple times.  We are in the middle of a public health crisis and if the RPD had any semblance of concern for public safety they wouldn’t even have to demand that.

 

Fifth, they demand that Ridgewood begin the process of defunding the police and investing in racial justice initiatives.  Ridgewood must invest money taken from its Police Department into programs that begin to desegregate our community, open affordable housing, fully fund programs that support our students and communities of color, pay reparations, and redistribute its wealth. 

 

Emily Rizzo, 384 Diamond Bridge Ave, stated that she is from Ridgewood and went through the Ridgewood Public School system and is calling because they have an issue of police violence and aggression in Ridgewood.  According to Force.NewJersey.com the RPD uses more force than 427 Police Departments in New Jersey, and on top of that a black person in Ridgewood is 405% more likely to have force used on them than a white person.  Ridgewood for Black Liberation has come up with some demands which have already been listed, but she thinks it is important to briefly reiterate what has already been said.  She read through the demands.

 

Stacey Gregg, 40 Sunrise Road, Wharton, stated that she cannot say anything better than the people before who expressed what the Black Lives Matter in Ridgewood are asking for.  Having a photo op with particular people who showed up at a State approved march does not do anything for Black Lives Matter and is just a show.  To address the citizens and the concern about racism they need to start taking action.  She asked what had been done regarding the officers who manhandled a child who was on a bicycle.  The police system in this country needs to get redone.  Right now, with the way that the Village is acting, they are on the wrong side of history because it isn’t getting any better and they haven’t made any apologies.  They need to drop the charges and get the word out because enough is enough.  Ms. Gregg stated that it is a nice town and the letter that was put out is garbage.  Trump and Trumpian ways are not the rest of American, they need to apologize and get into 2020.  They need to have a meeting of the Antidefamation League and the Prosecutor from the county and be educated on what is racism and what are racist acts.  Ms. Gregg asked the Village Council to do the right thing and drop the charges.

 

Anne Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that when she heard Mr. Rogers’ explanation of what the petitioners need to do, she thought it was abundantly clear and she didn’t hear anywhere that he said anything about people having to go door to door.  Regarding the fact that we are legally allowed to vote on the Board of Education budget provided it doesn’t get moved to November, and we are not allowed to vote on the Village Council budget, that’s the law, and she was saying this for the benefit of the previous commenter.  If somebody wants to change the Village Council law they have to go to the State. 

 

Ms. Loving stated that she believes she heard someone from One Village One Vote saying that they used the Ridgewood High School Directory to get names.  She may have misheard that but she believes that it is really not allowed to use a directory for anything other than Ridgewood High School business.

 

Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that he wanted to comment on Councilwoman Walsh’s comments that were made during her Council Report.  It concerns him that comments were made about out of towners using our parks.  Many of our parks were funded in part by Green Acres Funds, and he didn’t want so see something similar to what happened in Mahwah, and giving lanyards to people from Ridgewood seems troublesome to him.  Any effort made to move people from out of town off the fields should first be cleared with the Village Attorney before they end up in court.

 

Councilwoman Walsh stated that it appears that there are individuals who are using the fields and charging individuals training fees, but they are not part of the approved system of Fields Committee to use those fields.  Any of the Sports Committees are approved to use the fields for those functions.  A trainer who is charging people for their time and using the Ridgewood fields, and running a business off of the fields, are the individuals who would need to come to Parks and Recreation and pay to use the fields.  They just want to make sure that whoever is scheduling the use of the fields gets to use the fields.

 

Archange Antoine, from Elizabeth, stated that he is from the New Jersey Clergy Coalition for Justice, and that he represents a group of clergy leaders who advocate for justice issues and Ridgewood has just been an embarrassment right now in New Jersey.  The Police Force is oppressive, which can be seen through data and video, and can be observed as Councilmembers as they have first-hand access.  The elected officials are also complicit because the Police Force has been hurtful not only to people of color and black folks, but also to children who are supposed to be protected.  Each of them who claim to be a person of faith should really look at their holy texts to see what God does when he’s upset with his people and a lot of that has to do with them being complicit in the oppression and weren’t working to bring forward justice.  He stands with the demands, with dropping the charges against the young lady, and when you look at what the Village has done, they have been tougher on children than openly racist grown men who are trying to violate people’s rights.  He asked them to do right for the children, because they will be leading this country in the future.

 

Myriam Burger, 158 Hope Street, stated that she was calling in to voice her support for Ridgewood for the Black Liberation’s set of demands and to speak briefly about that recent act of police brutality as well as the clear lack of accountability in our Police force.  That incident specifically has been covered on national news and the video of the brutality has over 1 million views and that just says that everyone is watching Ridgewood right now and are disgusted by it.  She stated that Mayor Knudsen made a comment that it was important to see the whole video and have it in context, which is disgusting to her.  There is no context that will ever justify police brutality ever, especially against an unarmed child.  She wondered if that response would have been the same if that child had been white or a Ridgewood resident.

 

Ryan Roberts, Passaic, stated that he also wanted to extend his same gratitude and same feelings that he has with Ridgewood for Black Liberation and the work that they are doing.  He asked the Mayor and Village Council how they sleep at night knowing that they are on the wrong side of history.  He watched the facial expressions of the Mayor when people were calling in and he encouraged her to have some decorum when she is leading the town.  The letter that was put out was distasteful and was a violation of their Constitutional rights and their Federal and civil rights.  He encouraged them to look at how they are treating children on bicycles by using excessive force on them.  He told them to keep children busy and active in society and reminding them that they offer great contributions to society and to the Village of Ridgewood.  He understands that many of them are Republicans, but asked them to do the right thing and still be on the right side of history. 

 

Lawrence Vine, 365 Woodbine Court, stated that he wanted to echo some of the other sentiments that have been said tonight.  Ridgewood is creating a reputation for Police brutality and this video has gone viral.  He say that Ridgewood was trending on Twitter a couple weeks ago.  It was disgusting to see that these incidents happened in Ridgewood.  Think about Police brutality and the imagery of a Police Officer using excessive force on a kid.  This needs to be looked out through an external independent investigation.  It is important that it is fair, and is one of the reasons that we have a police accountability problem in the United States as a whole.

 

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

 

Mayor Knudsen stated that they will get the election cost data and the information shared here was incorrect.  The Village Council and the Board of Education are subject to a 2% cap, but that does not include CAP Bank and exclusions, to taxes without a vote could easily go up significantly.  The reason they don’t vote on the Village Council budget and they do on the BOE is because that is what the law permits.

 

 

  1. RESOLUTION TO GO INTO CLOSED SESSION

 

Deputy Village Clerk Donna Jackson read Resolution #20-228 to go into Closed Session as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to come before the Village Council, on a motion by Councilwoman Reynolds, seconded by Mayor Knudsen, and carried unanimously by voice vote, the Village Council’s Work Session was adjourned at 11:38 P.M.

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________

                                                                                     Susan Knudsen                         

                                                                                                              Mayor                                    

 

 

______________________________

              Donna M. Jackson

           Deputy Village Clerk

 

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A REGULAR WORK SESSION OF THE VILLAGE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD HELD IN THE SYDNEY V. STOLDT, JR. COURT ROOM OF THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE HALL, 131 NORTH MAPLE AVENUE, RIDGEWOOD, NEW JERSEY ON MAY 1, 2019 AT 7:30 P.M.

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

Councilwoman Knudsen called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. and read the Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act. At roll call the following were present: Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, and Councilwoman Walsh. Also present were Matthew Rogers, Village Attorney; and Donna Jackson, Deputy Village Clerk. Rich Calbi, Director of Operations, was in attendance for Village Manager, Heather Mailander. Mayor Hache arrived at 7:53 P.M.

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

2. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that he sent an email to Ms. Mailander on April 22nd and copied the Village Council and various members of the community regarding the website. The email included a proposal from a company called GovOffice, a company that develops websites for municipalities, including Franklin Lakes and Westfield. He added the current website is an embarrassment to Ridgewood; compared it to Franklin Lakes and stated you will see what he means. Mr. Halaby added that he was going to provide a copy of the email to Ms. Jackson.

Anne Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that there was a letter in the Ridgewood News last week which was written by one of the elected officials and contains three pretty serious errors and she wanted to set the record straight on that. The letter says that off cycle turnout for voting is lower in April than in November, and she has a document that was provided by the Village Manager acting in her position as Village Clerk, which is a ten year summary from 2007 to 2017 discussing Board of Education election results which shows that the average turnout in April is 21% and the average turnout in November is 16%.

Ms. Loving stated that the second error is a sin of omission, as it completely neglects to mention the Village Council and the work that was done by the Village Council to educate the public. Ms. Mailander had two robocalls before the election, sent out an E-Notice, announced it every single Village Council meeting since February, and it was on the electronic billboard. Although the letter says that two entities, the Board of Education and the League of Women Voters, educated people about the vote, Ms. Loving pointed out that in fact, the elected government did very much of that.

The third error is that the elected official states in the letter that they were in support of the public voting on the BOS budget, but Ms. Loving pointed out that the particular author of this letter voted against the public having the right to vote on the BOE budget. In the absence of the Ridgewood News doing fact checking, she wanted to set the record straight.

Councilman Voigt stated that he believed this was directed to him, adding that he thinks that everyone at the Village needs to know what the voting record is and he thinks it would be beneficial for the Village to provide that information to the Vilage Council and the League of Women Voters, as well. He added that he voted against the ability for the residents and the Board of Education to talk to each other, and that he is all for the Board of Education in any respect.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that regarding the website, she reviewed both of the websites that were suggested and they both look very similar to what the Village desires to get away from. As they refine the existing website, they believe that it is more user friendly and makes a lot more sense across multiple platforms. Sometimes, with different websites different people see different things, adding that they would continue to look at it. Councilwoman Knudsen added that regarding the budget, in November the budget turnout for the vote is zero, and in April the voter turnout for the budget vote is 100%. This is because the State does not provide an opportunity for a vote on the Board of Education budget in November. No matter how they mince numbers or manipulate turnout or participation, the one fact that they have is that nobody in the Village of Ridgewood has an opportunity to vote on the Board of Education budget in November.

There was no additional time for comments from the public.

3. MANAGERS REPORT

Final Voter Registration Night for the Primary Election – Mr. Calbi stated that the final voter registration night for the Primary Election is Tuesday, May 14th. Registration will take place in the Village Clerk’s Office 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Ridgewood Library Lobby.

Hudson Street Parking Garage – Mr. Calbi stated that all village residents are invited to view the presentation boards showing the outside materials and finishes for the Hudson Street Parking Garage, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Court Room of Village Hall, prior to the Village Council Work Session, which begins at 7:30 p.m. that evening.

Parks and Recreation Department – Mr. Calbi stated that the Parks and Recreation Department is selling Graydon Pool memberships. If you are a Ridgewood resident and a season member, this year you will be able to purchase a Coupon Book at the Badge Office for $150.00 and you get 11 passes for the price of 10.

Registration for Summer Day Camp – Mr. Calbi stated that registration for Summer Day Camp has also started and will be open until the cutoff of June 10th. After that time there is an additional $50 fee.

Train Station Parking Lot – Mr. Calbi stated that the Train Station Parking Lot construction continues and will last for about another 3 months, weather permitting. Up to 40 parking spaces will be unavailable at the Train Station Lot during this construction phase. Individual meters will gradually be removed and replaced with a central parking kiosk. Parking fees may also be paid using Parkmobile. Those displaced with Premium Parking permits may park in the flex spots in the Hudson Street Lot in the 3 rows farthest from South Broad Street or in any parking lot, but not in spots for shoppers/diners or CBD employees. Those using Parkmobile or coins will find additional parking at the Cottage Place parking lot. The flex parking spots in the Hudson Street parking lot are for Hudson Permits, Premium Parking Permits, and shoppers/diners on a first come first served basis each day.

Ho-Ho-Kus Post Office – Mr. Calbi advised that the Ho-Ho-Kus Post Office outside mailbox experienced a theft during the early morning hours of 4/27/2019. All but four pieces of mail were stolen. If you or anyone you know placed or dropped mail off in this box after 5:00 P.M. on April 26, 2019, it has most likely been stolen and/or thrown out. Please cancel any checks or money orders that may have been sent out. Also, please monitor any and all bank or personal accounts for potential identity thefts. Please contact the Ho-Ho-Kus Police Department if you or anyone you know becomes a victim of identity theft over the next few weeks.

E-Notices – Please sign up for E-Notices to stay up to date on Village news by clicking on the button on the Village website, “Sign up for Alerts” at the bottom of the homepage.

4. COUNCIL REPORTS

Chamber of Commerce – Councilwoman Walsh stated that the Ridgewood Sale Days will be in two weeks, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, starting the 17th.

Library Reimagine – Councilwoman Walsh stated that there was a resident that had several pointed questions about the Library’s Reimagine Campaign, and she thought it was best to have Nancy Greene, Director of the Library, come and answer those questions.

Ms. Greene stated that the Ridgewood Library was last renovated 21 years ago, elements of the facility are nearing or past their useful life, and public libraries must evolve with their communities. The Library is currently number one in public programming throughout New Jersey, more oriented to people and technology, and the State of New Jersey has set aside $125 million in grant funds to improve public libraries. The Library Board has recognized these factors and completed the initial schematic phase of planning; producing a concept and a rough cost estimate. This concept is still subject to substantial change based on two key factors: community suggestions, and available funding. The Library is hosting a public forum on Saturday, May 11th at 1:00 P.M. and it is open to everyone. Ms. Greene encouraged everyone with questions to join them there. She stated that the Library is looking at three avenues to pay for project costs, the New Jersey Public Library Construction Grants which could pay up to 50% of costs, private donations, and municipal funding.

Ms. Greene stated that regarding the central staircase in the middle, this is a big structural change and the cost was estimated by the Library architect at $335,828. The cost has not been broken out by a second cost estimator. All project elements can change based on final design and materials used. In the schematic phase, all of the cost estimates are fairly rough, but when you go into the design/development phase you would refine the details and those things would determine the final cost.

Ms. Greene stated that regarding the auditorium, one plan was to increase the size and some trees would have to be eliminated. They had an earlier concept which is no longer under consideration that contemplated widening the auditorium, and in that case it would have affected the trees, but they are not considering that any longer. The current concept squares off the rear wall and preserves the large pine trees between the Library and Village Hall.

Ms. Greene added that they are certain that it would be helpful to have a larger, easily divisible auditorium where the Library can have a bigger audience for special events and easily divide the room to hold two simultaneous meetings or discussion groups.

The estimate for the Library was $7.6 million, but if you use $8 million, their funding goal would be $4 million from the State, and the State requires a one to one matching grant from their approved pool, and the intention would be to have a gift of $2 million from private residents through the Capital Campaign, and an expenditure of $2 million from Village funding. The $2 million, through a 20 year bond, would equate to the cost of $16.58 per year, to the average Ridgewood taxpayer. For a $4 million bond its $33.17 a year.

Ms. Greene stated that regarding the $4 million commitment, Mr. Dani had mentioned, the Village would be asked to guarantee the funds that they need from the Capital Campaign, which is how they funded the last major renovation in 1998. She stated that the Village of Ridgewood authorized the project and dedicated a gift of $500,000 that came to the Village towards the project to help get things started. Ms. Greene stated that the architect estimated the cost at about $4 million, and the Capital Campaign was collecting cash gifts as well as pledges going up to five years out and banked $420,000. They had to have a full funding commitment to move forward and go to bid, so the Village ordinance #2555 authorized the full funding amount needed, less the money that was already dedicated and the gifts that were already in the bank. Then as the 1998 and 1999 project costs were incurred, capital campaign pledges were also being paid, enabling the Library to pay significant costs. Ms. Greene stated that total Capital Campaign contributions totaled $1.7 million, and the Village paid the balance which was substantially less than the full amount that they had authorized.

Ms. Greene stated that they anticipate that the process would be the same today, except that they have potential New Jersey State Grant funds also dedicated to this purpose. She added that at the Library Board meeting in April, their focus was to celebrate Library Week and they invited residents to share how the Library has made a difference in their lives and it was discussed how any talk of a renovation could come at a later point. She added that the focus was not on renovating, but what is the Library accomplishing today.

Ms. Greene added that the Library Board has agreed not to invest into further architectural plans until they have further information regarding the New Jersey State Grant as well as the local sources. If it becomes necessary to reduce the project costs, the Board may then eliminate the proposed auditorium improvements and other areas as the costs are fully developed. She added that she would email this information to the Village Council.

Community Center Advisory Board – Councilman Voigt stated that they met last Thursday. May 9th, Age Friendly Steering Committee is meeting at 12:30 P.M. in the Library. May 22nd, Get to Know Your Village Bus Tour, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, goody bags are promised. May 22nd at 5:30 P.M. Meet the Council in the Community Center for the Teen Civic Advisory Board. Saturday, June 1st at Graydon Pool from 10:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. is Breakfast for seniors, hosted by Age Friendly. Age Friendly is now part of the AARP and there will be a ceremony sometime in the near future.

REAC/The Green Team – Councilman Sedon stated that May 18th will be the Styrofoam Recycling Drive at the parking lot of Graydon Pool from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. There will be a Permaculture Discussion May 18th from 6:45 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

On Saturday he attended the Shade Tree Commission’s Tree Giveaway, where they gave away close to 2,000 trees. There are still some more for residents who want to show up, so if anyone would like to plant some trees, go to the Recycling Center and pick up a potted tree.

Mayor Hache joined the meeting at 7:53 P.M.

Ridgewood Fourth of July – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that this year the 2019 theme is All American Summer, aiming to celebrate all things summer in America, backyard barbeques, baseball games, outdoor concerts, camping, fairs, cross country road trips, drives to the Jersey shore, and all things that people thoroughly and completely enjoy in the summer. This year, we are not just supporting the tradition, but need to save the tradition. Over the years, the costs have gone up and they do not increase ticket prices all that often. They are asking people to donate to the program at RidgewoodJulyFourth.net and there is a donate button at the bottom where you can make a contribution to continue this tradition.

125th Year Committee – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the 125th Year Committee met Monday evening, and they had a very robust conversation about the Anniversary of the Vilage of Ridgewood. The theme is: “Past, Present, and Yet to Come: Community Strong Village of Ridgewood 125 Years.” She added that they are still looking for volunteers as they have a lot on their plate in very short order. With fundraising, organizing events, logistics, there is a lot involved and they need volunteers to help. She asked them to email the Mayor or herself and they can be added to the committee.

Mayor Hache added that they looked at the number of moving parts in the Village and the many things that are happening at any given time. One of them is the lighting at Van Neste and another is the groundbreaking for the Parking Garage. So, they felt that it would be better to spread out a series of events over several months. November 20th is the anniversary date, and they didn’t want to wait until then to do all of these things. They are in desperate need of a lot of people to help.

Mayor Hache stated that the CBD and other groups would be focused on the lighting at Van Neste and will meet next Tuesday. As they have more definitive dates they will share them with the public.

Master Plan – Councilwoman Knudsen urged everyone to visit VisionRidgewood.org for the Master Plan Visioning Process, to log on and to take the survey as it will close down on May 5th. This will take ten minutes of your time to determine the future of the Vilage of Ridgewood for generations to come.

Planning Board – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Planning Board meeting has been canceled for May 7th.

ACCESS – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that ACCESS Committee is the Special Needs Community. They met last Thursday evening and discussed the never-ending difficulties of attempting to navigate the different services for your special need’s family member. The big topic of conversation has been special needs housing right here in the Village. This evening Tom Toronto from the United Way was present to talk about the long awaited special needs housing project that they have worked on together and with the Village Attorney for a number of years.

Councilwoman Knudsen pointed out the new camera and sound system, which wasn’t on yet.

A. PRESENTATIONS

a. Funding for The Enclave Special Needs Housing

Thomas Toronto, United Way, stated that he had two objectives, to update the Village Council and give them a sense of what they have been doing since the project was site plan approved, and to ask for their support. They are going to redevelop 257 Maple, better known as the PNC Bank, or the Sealfons Building. They will take the top floor in cooperation with the Village and Onyx Properties, and will renovate that space and create eight units of special needs housing and 15 bedrooms. They will create a continuum of special needs individuals who will be served in that space. Some will have greater needs and require some support, and others can live almost independently. Mr. Toronto stated that there is a great deal of excitement about the project adding that it is extraordinary in terms of its location; the lives of the tenant who will live there, the transportation and recreation opportunities; the employment opportunities; and the proximity to the library. All these details combine to create an ideal location.

Mr. Toronto stated that since they were site plan approved, they have been hard at work on the plan for renovation. They have been working collaboratively with the Code Enforcement Officials within the Village. They have had several meetings and the purpose of them was to make sure that the Village Officials, with their architect and Director of Construction, were all comfortable and understood what their goals and objectives were for the space with regards to safety and security being paramount. It is complicated to take a commercial space and create a residential area in that space. To make sure that the code officials were comfortable with their intent and approach, it was very helpful and constructive. The architect took all that input, and they made sure that beyond compliance, that they were absolutely committed to having the safest space possible. Mr. Toronto stated that they achieved that goal.

Mr. Toronto stated that this was a collaborative effort in terms of making this special needs project possible, and they had preliminary conversations about utilizing the Village’s Municipal Housing Trust Fund. The Village requested a construction estimate as the first step to the commitment of using the Trust Fund. That was submitted and he had copies to share. They were able to do this construction estimate as a result of the conclusion of the conversations with the Code Officials. As they move to full construction drawing and permitting, it will be to “buy out the job.” That estimate is pretty close to what it is going to take to recondition and redevelop the space and make it livable.

Mr. Toronto stressed that the importance of the Village stepping forward is crucial for three of their funding sources. He added that Dawn Cetrulo was a help in submitting a Federal Home Loan Bank Application, and Atlantic Stewardship Bank in the Village was their sponsor bank. They applied for funding for the project, and Ms. Cetrulo couldn’t have been more supportive. When they review that application, they will come back and ask if the Village is on board and if there is a commitment from the Village. He added that they went to the Bergen County Community Development Project that funds and has a separate fund called the Home Program. They made an application for Home Dollars, and then had a meeting with the Community Development Team. They are as excited as the Village in terms of the opportunity, the project, and the dynamic that was communicated to them. Mr. Toronto added that they will be looking at the Village’s equity into the project. One of the requirements for the application is that the municipality provides a municipal supporting resolution.

Mr. Toronto stated that it would be wonderful if he could get a sense of the Village Council’s impression because they have a meeting tomorrow morning with the Community Development group, and they requesting the Village Council resolution. He asked for permission this evening to indicate to them that May 8th will solve that particular check box in the column. He added that the last piece of the puzzle in terms of funding is the New Jersey State Housing Mortgage Finance Agency. They have underwritten almost all of the United Way’s projects, and they have had very significant conversations with the HMFA and representatives have visited the site. One of the employees of the HMFA was an employee of United Jersey Bank and knows quite a bit about the area and what that corner represents and was very enthusiastic about the project. Mr. Toronto added that they were meeting next week for more information about the funding. One of the crucial aspects is if the Village is committed because they are particularly cognizant of Municipal Housing Trust Funds.

Mr. Toronto stated that this evening is important to let the Vilage Council know that the project is ready to go and they were hoping to begin work as soon as possible for a potential Spring 2020 occupancy. Also, it signals the real sincere formal effort for them to find the financing to renovate. The piece that ties it all together and gives all the applications and conversations that they are having real intent is to say that the Village is involved and is utilizing its Municipal Housing Trust Fund to get the project off the ground. He understand that there are aspects that have to be deployed in certain ways, but they are hoping that the Village would be able to invest roughly half a million dollars in the project which would leave enough of a balance in the fund, and would serve as a signal to the other funders that this is serious and that they need to join in.

Councilman Sedon stated that he fully supported the effort adding that they were using the funds as they were intended to. Councilwoman Walsh asked what the benefit is to Ridgewood, and if the residents with special needs would get top of the list or anything back. Mr. Toronto stated that there was a range of benefits for the Village, compliance from a regulatory perspective in terms of affordable housing obligation in terms of density and number of units produced. Part of the process with the Planning Board was working with the Planner and the Village Council to synthesize that number so it had the maximum beneficial impact for the Village. The United Way, as the landlord for that space, are obligated to follow the Village’s Housing Standards and to follow and make sure that on behalf of the Village, the people who live there are in regulatory compliance in terms of affordable housing and also diagnosis. There is a broad range of discretion in terms of tenant selection. Mr. Toronto added that they want to make sure that those tenants will interact and behave with one another meaningfully, and take advantage of all that the Village has to offer in terms of a meaningful life. He added that they look for individuals who have strong local area networks of support, so that they are not remote or isolated from family, friends, or neighborhoods they have grown up in.

Mr. Toronto added that he couldn’t assure that Village residents would be tenants in the project; he could say that in all of the projects that they have completed, there are always individuals from the communities that live in the housing. Mr. Rogers stated that the site plan considered special needs housing and was approved special needs housing, and the Settlement Agreement with Fair Share Housing Center that was approved by the Court also included this aspect as well. This is to satisfy our Affordable Housing and to receive approval from the Court. Councilwoman Walsh stated that this project is taking on the obligation of another project in town, so this location in particular is very important to Ridgewood, its residents, and its individuals with special needs. Mr. Rogers agreed that all those aspects were approved in that process and that it was very important.

Councilman Voigt stated that he was absolutely for housing for special needs, and he thanked Onyx Properties for moving this forward. He asked Mr. Toronto if he was looking for a resolution or for the Village to provide $500,000 for this. Mr. Toronto stated that procedurally in terms of the Home application, the County wants to make sure that the projects that the Home dollars would go to is in accordance with the governing body, because they don’t want to fund a project that is adverse to the desires of the municipality. They absolutely must have that endorsing resolution as a minor procedural step, but if it’s not given in soon, their application could be at some risk because they are hoping for an award over the summer. The second request was from the Municipal Housing Trust Fund of $500,000.

Councilman Voigt asked if Mr. Rogers could educate him about the Trust Fund and how much money the Village has in it. Mr. Rogers stated that he didn’t know the exact number that’s in the Trust Fund right now, but he knows that it exceeds $500,000. It is set up by collecting fees from developers in this town, ever since it was a mandated aspect by the State. The whole purpose of providing financial assistance to anyone who was going to build approved affordable housing within the Village. There was a discussion with Mr. Rooney about it, and there was one with Mr. McManus. As Mr. Toronto indicated earlier, there were never identifiable numbers discussed, however it was in the realm of half a million dollars. Mr. Rogers stated that these funds can only be used for the development of affordable housing, and he doesn’t believe that they have had any other requests in the years that they have had the fund, and would like to maintain a balance in there to help promote it with another developer. He added that with a little more clarification during the week they can make sure that $500,000 was an adequate number and make sure that everyone feels comfortable with it for the meeting on May 8th. On May 8th they can deal with the endorsement, and then if people don’t feel comfortable with the number they can talk about it later on.

Councilman Voigt stated that he was hoping at the next meeting they could find out how much money was in there. Mr. Rogers added that they could have that number tomorrow. Councilwoman Knudsen added that there is a sheet with that number in the budget documents. Mr. Calbi added that he made a note to get the number tomorrow. Mr. Toronto stated that the endorsing resolution doesn’t speak about the Village’s funding, only about its endorsement of the project in order to reassure the Home funding. The Municipal Housing Trust Fund procedurally is a multi-step process, so they are not expecting a check on Friday.

Mr. Toronto added that they are also looking for a philanthropic component to fill any gaps in funding in terms of the project, and they have gotten feedback in terms of design, plan, and general input in terms of the project from the ACCESS Committee. In addition, several parents have vowed to have something like a community barn raising. It diversifies funding sources and buys the community in on many different levels, and provides an outlet for people who want to do that.

Mayor Hache thanked Mr. Toronto for the work that the United Way does, adding that it is a beautiful example of the collaboration between the Village, United Way, and the developer to come up with a creative way to have a meaningful impact on the lives of those with special needs.

Councilwoman Knudsen added that she thinks this is one of the most worthwhile programs that the Village has embarked on in her years on the Village Council and Board of Adjustment. She thanked Michael Boland, Josh Meyers, Sherry Depalma, Matt Rogers, and Special Conflict Planner, Beth McManus. This has been a journey and an educational experience for her personally. She acknowledged ACCESS Committee, where the first order of business since 2016 is where we are at, adding that she wanted to thank John Saraceno and Onyx. Councilwoman Knudsen added that as Mr. Toronto is working towards the philanthropic goals, there was a concern that it would stall the project midway and how would they then move forward with that. Mr. Toronto stated that nothing is certain, but given the nature of the conversations and the dialogue that they have had with the potential funders, they are reasonably confident that they are going to have commitments from those funders. When they look at the past projects they have done and the style of that housing and the housing that is here, this is very unique and innovative, so there is an excitement around funding this project that they have seen sometimes but not to the fervor that they are seeing on this one. Mr. Toronto added that if the funding comes in at less than anticipated, they have private philanthropy that comes in and they are confident that they would be able to fill those gaps.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she thought they had gone over the numbers for the $500,000 and the funding is there. She doesn’t know what the procedural aspects are, but she is committed to that, and she is 100% in support of the resolution for the community development project.

Mr. Rogers stated that this is one of those opportunities that you get in the practice of law where you feel like you are doing a good thing, adding that he was happy that the Village Council feels supportive of this project. There are some regulations that need to be followed with the designation of the funds, but in a broader scope at this point in time, they aren’t committed to it at this time, but that may be part of the commitment that needs to be shown so that Mr. Toronto can take it back to their funding sources.

 

b. Lighting at Maple Park Field

Mayor Hache introduced Richard Brooks, Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Board, and Nancy Bigos, Parks and Recreation Director. He added that there is a very proud reputation between the Village and the sports groups getting this done. Maple Field is an example of that collaboration, as they installed a new field in a great effort between the Village and the sports groups in the funding and the on-going maintenance of the field. The old lights create a lot of noise pollution, air pollution, and light pollution because they are old and not very effective or efficient.

Ms. Bigos stated that the last couple of years, the Departmental goals have been looking at the infrastructure within our community. They have decided, as a professional team, to spend their energies and efforts in the rehabilitation of Kings Pond Park, having applied for two Open Space County Grants to turn that property into a viable, useable space. Last spring they installed a new state of the art turf field at Maple Park. Within the last year and a half, they have installed six new water bottle refilling stations, working with the League of Women Voters, REAC, the Green Team, and youth sports groups to eliminate those plastic bottles and utilize the water source that we have and refill. She added that she wanted to share this new state of the art LED solution to the lighting situation.

Ms. Bigos stated that within the last month, the community involvement for the Parks and Recreation Department has been astronomical. Last weekend, the parishioners from Grace Church spent from 8:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. reworking the front entrance to Maple Park East, restoring the grounds of the EMS building. On Saturday, Bergen County Probation came in and the working relationship with them where community service workers raked the entire surface of the interior of Graydon Pool. Truckloads of debris was picked up and disposed of. She added that she can always count on Wildscape Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands, and the Women Gardeners to put in some hours in order to enhance our public facilities and elevate all that we see around us to a different level. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts all distill a myriad of projects everywhere.

Ms. Bigos stated that in an effort to look at Maple Park, where they have been and considering the quality of life for our Ridgewood residents that utilize this facility, the neighbors surrounding the park, and the park users themselves, are looking to update all of the amenities within Maple Park. The new turf field is gorgeous and is used quite often. Ms. Bigos is pleased with the satisfaction that they are getting from that product. They have developed a field maintenance schedule for that site, and are working on park maintenance all the way around. The installation of the water refilling stations has been used by visitors. She added that the elimination of the portable light towers is what she is proposing.

Ms. Bigos stated that the light towers were a solution that was brought in more than 20 years ago. She added that the noise of the generators, the fumes, the spillage of the light, and their purpose is for construction sites. With the new system, there will be an internal control where Departmental staff will be responsible for all of the lights. The concept of this proposed lighting project has been discussed and presented by a myriad of different groups.

Ms. Bigos stated that they have met with the Ridgewood Field Committee, and have been endorsed by the Ridgewood Parks and Recreation and Conservation Board. They have sat with youth sports committees, consulted within them, and met with the experts in Engineering. They have concurred with Bob Rooney, and Ms. Mailander. She spoke with the experts in the Electrical Division, it has gone before the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board, and the youth sports committees. Her colleagues have also supported what they are doing.

Ms. Bigos stated that the project cost estimate is approximately $430,000. This is inclusive of the purchase and the installation of the complete system. They will need a new electrical power source to the site. The fees associated with that, in addition to the required permits, incidental, and a 5% contingency are also included in that $430,000. The funding arrangement consists of a commitment and letters of commitment from the youth sport groups for $140,000, a $140,000 grant from the Bergen County Open Space Fund, and a $140,000 request from the Village of Ridgewood. Ms. Bigos stated that she has forwarded the letters of commitment from the five youth sports groups to Mayor Hache and the CFO, Bob Rooney.

Ms. Bigos stated that she wanted to address the purpose and the intent and to explain why they are moving forward and would like to the Village Council to consider this project. Next week their Field expert, Bob Zoler, the Technical Consultant, will be the invited guest and will give the complete presentation of the LED lighting system. She added that next week is the public hearing which would qualify them to apply for $145,000 from the Bergen County Open Space Grant. They will have the proposal from Bob Zoler, and it would be best for him to present to the Village Council and to the residents so that we all understand the lighting system.

Councilman Sedon asked if they had reached out to the neighbors, and if they heard any feedback from the people who are direct neighbors of the field. Ms. Bigos stated that they haven’t had any feedback from anyone yet, but they did advertise this as a Public Hearing next Wednesday in the Ridgewood News and the Bergen Record, with the display ad, so they thought that would be sufficient in getting the word out. She added that the neighbors are well aware of it, but she hasn’t heard any negative comments, as of yet. Councilman Sedon added that he would feel better if those directly next to the field received some kind of notification. He stated that it sounds like a good idea getting rid of the extra spillage from the generators, the noise and fumes, but he has learned from his time on the Council never to assume anything. He added that direct notification would be best to make sure that they get in front of this and he would hate to see all of this work being done and then a groundswell of neighbors come out of nowhere who are completely against it and create a lot of friction. Ms. Bigos asked if it would be the neighbors on Meadowbrook and Rose Court. Councilman Sedon agreed.

Mr. Brooks asked the Village Council to look at one of the details in the package. Looking at the diagram, with the field setup, there are two poles on the Meadowbrook side, and three or four on the other side. He added that there was an interesting point about how Maple was first constructed with the artificial surface. The trees were about half the size they are now. It is possible that in a few years, the light poles themselves would be virtually invisible during leaf season. They are not asking to put in a lighting system as if lights weren’t there before. The ones that are in there now are pretty nasty for a lot of reasons. Mr. Brooks added that for the kids, it’s like playing in a bus parking lot with the diesel fumes, and the noise pollution. In order to get the lights focused, they have to bring the beam up and down and adjust it.

Mayor Hache stated that it is a great suggestion, and asked them to coordinate with Mr. Rutishauser and to get a notice out to the neighbors. Councilman Sedon added that he drives past there often, so he sees it and it sounds like it is going to be an improvement to the lights that are there. He added that the lights would be directed so there will probably be less spillage and noise, but you can’t assume anything. He stated that he would hate to see any problems arise or not to be forthcoming with the residents. It would be a great improvement for the neighbors and the sports kids as well.

Mr. Rogers stated to alleviate any concern, if they could try to look at it from the standpoint of a 200 foot radius like any other notification, so they aren’t dealing with one street or the other. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was going to suggest 200 feet, but they have to do 200 feet from any part of the property, not just from where the lights will be. She added that she thinks that the letter should come from the Village, the way that they would do it from any Municipal Land Use Board.

Councilwoman Knudsen directed attention to the pole fixture summary, and added that it would seem prudent to have this in front of the Planning Board as they probably should do a review of this. Mr. Rogers stated that wouldn’t be until it received the okay from Village Council, and would just go there for a cursory review. On the pole fixture summary, the fixture quantity says 42, and she asked what the total number of poles is and the height of the poles as well. Ms. Bigos stated that there are six poles and four portable lights. Councilwoman Knudsen asked what the height is of the portable units currently. Mr. Brooks stated that they were thirty feet. Councilwoman Knudsen pointed out that they are going from a thirty foot light to a seventy and eighty foot height. Ms. Bigos stated that on that page, there are S 1, 2, 3 and 4, and those would be the lights that would be turned on for the soccer, and then A 2, B and B 2 would be the lights that would be used for baseball, but they would not have both of them on at the same time.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Habernickel lights in her opinion were a disaster because no one ever calculated the topography, because of the height it went right into the living rooms and was a complete disaster. Ms. Bigos stated that she knew what Councilwoman Knudsen was talking about, but those lights are security lights and these are sports lighting and it’s a completely different purpose. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that people actually need the darkness. Ms. Bigos stated that they will have the ability for these lights to go off according to the field schedule. This is a mobile app that her colleagues in Wayne are currently using at the Alps Road Field Project. The app is programmed according to the schedule for each and every day, and they also have the power to override it in case of rain.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that since the turf replacement, the use of the field has increased significantly. Mr. Brooks stated that it is scheduled whenever it can be scheduled, and it has increased. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she would like to understand that she would think there has to be some kind of a break for the neighbors, could they do an analysis of how much the field use has increased, what they anticipate the field usage to be at night, and how many nights a week would the lights be on. Is it reasonable to say that there should be a limit to how many nights a week the field is used and the lights are on to give the residents and the neighborhood a break. She added that the LED lights have a great negative impact on wildlife and people, and she was wondering if there was a reasonable expectation that there would be some kind of a limit to that. Ms. Bigos stated that the lights would go off at 9:30 P.M., like they do now.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she thinks she needs to take a look at the scheduling and what increases there have been to the scheduling and what the anticipated use will be in the future and if this will be exacerbated. Mr. Rogers asked if the scheduling was increased because the field had been in bad shape or because they have more of an opportunity. Mr. Brooks stated that it is the best field in town and is highly desirable, and if there were games scheduled at Citizens, some of them may have been moved to Maple. Mayor Hache stated that the few months before the field was replaced, the High School stopped scheduling the field so there were a lot of things that led to that reduction. He added that now they are looking at an increase because for those few months before the replacement of the field it was in dire condition.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked if there was any DEP approval required for the lighting. Ms. Bigos stated that there was and Mr. Rutishauser was already on it. She added that they had met three times already on this project.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that she had the pleasure of going through this the last time, but if you ever had to sit on the field and watch a child and breath the exhaust, the benefit to everyone that won’t have those fumes is going to be an improvement. She added that the benefit of having these lights increases the safety on those fields of play, as some of the games get late. Also, there will be a benefit of more balanced scheduling because it is a field everybody likes to use as it is conducive for spectators and games and does get a lot of use. Having the permanent lights will produce a better scheduling opportunity there. Councilwoman Walsh added that there will be a couple of negatives, adding that the last time around, people came out of the woodwork with problems and it created challenges. So, the notice has to go out and they have to really push it on social media because you don’t know who is going to be impacted. It will be much different than it has been, and even those in favor of it once the lights are in and on, they may take a step back.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that they may be able to schedule it better, but everybody is going to want to use the field, so the Fields Policy and Fields Committee is going to have to make sure that the play is shared among all of the fields. Mr. Brooks stated that they have started to have those conversations already with the sports organizations, and they divided up the pie and who uses it most and least, and that is how the share of cost was determined. Based on their population figures and their anticipated usage, is how the schedule will be developed. He added that at this point, everybody seems to be agreeable to the way that it is set up. Councilwoman Walsh added that Mayor Hache was correct that the field had gotten so hard, there were concussions on the field and it was very unsafe to play on for certain games.

Councilman Voigt stated that he thinks it makes perfect sense and was generally a good idea. He added that they mentioned a power source, and the cost was to be determined. He asked if it was possible to find out for next week what that is and who is responsible for those costs. Mr. Brooks stated that the first meeting with the engineers and electrical professionals was quite enlightening, and they are working on an estimate. They said that PSE&G goes in, and they made the calls and told them what they need. There has been contact between the lighting company and the professionals, so they hope to know shortly. Ms. Bigos stated that since their meeting last Thursday with Bob Zoler, she and Jovan went back to the Village Electrician and asked him the exact same thing regarding the cost and the data use. His report back was, a utility is a utility and he can’t even give them an estimate. Councilman Voigt stated that there may be towns with a similar configuration, and she could ask what their bill is on a monthly basis.

Councilman Voigt stated that it tends to flood there, and asked if the lights will be flood proof. Ms. Bigos stated that they would be. The conduits were put underground when the field was first installed in the late 1980s early 1990s, and the scoreboard also, so all of that is definitely secured. Mr. Brooks stated that the footings for the towers will be constructed with water in mind. Mr. Rogers stated that if it gets DEP approval, the DEP will make sure of it.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked if Ms. Bigos could have sent to the Village Council all the information about the current units in terms of strength of the lights, what type of lighting, the temperature of the lighting, and where those are typically placed because there is a very big difference between four lights at 40 feet and these lights at 80 feet. She added that she would like to have a map out of all of the information so that she could better understand the difference that might occur with the lights. Mr. Brooks stated that when the lights at the High School and Stevens Field were constructed, that was the latest technology then, but with the introduction of LED lighting it is almost like a paradigm shift. The boast used to be that you could have light on the field and the mast would be dark, now it could be two to three feet of the field would be dark. The generator lights that they are using right now are incandescent, but the LED system that they are looking at will hopefully eliminate that problem and the idea of spill will hopefully not be a problem anymore.

Ms. Bigos drew the attention of the Village Council to their packet, which had information regarding the evolution of lighting to where we are. Even the High School system that is currently installed will be obsolete according to where they are going in the future. The LED shines directly down, there is no spillage. She stated that they were looking at with the light towers, is to have the light shining directly at the field. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she gets it, but the 80 foot high multiple lights is a very big difference. In a perfect world it would be perfect, but from a distance that glow and for some people like herself, she finds the LED light color to be troubling and it bothers her. She added that some people visually prefer the yellow light, and they have to better understand that change.

Ms. Bigos stated that Tim Ropeman is the Director of Parks and Recreation in Wayne, and he has invited the Village Council to take a look at the system that he has installed with the LED lights, which might make them all feel better about the decision making moving forward. Mayor Hache stated that this is a very educational process, and the evolution of technologies over the years is incredible. As someone who has experienced the lights at Maple and Vets, as a parent and coach, and having to crank those lights, this is leaps and bounds above where they are now.

Mayor Hache stated that in the components of the funding, it is $145,000 from the Village, but his understanding is that there is some money in the camp fees fund or the Field Trust Fund of about $70,000 that could be used towards this project which would reduce the amount of funding that the Village will have to come up with. Ms. Bigos stated that she would bring that up with the CFO.

B. DISCUSSION

a. Ridgewood Water

1. Award Professional Services Contract – PFAS Feasibility Study – Twinney Treatment Facility

Mr. Calbi stated that the Ridgewood Water Department solicited proposals from professional engineering firms, there were four proposals received. The lowest bidder was Mott MacDonald in the amount of $48,000. This project is one of the recommended steps in the PFAS Action Plan. The actual step will be to reactivate the treatment units for the removal of PFAS utilizing an appropriate media to be determined at that site.

2. Award State Contract – Maintenance of Chlorine, PH and Phosphate Analyzers

Mr. Calbi stated that this was for the state contract for the purchase of the annual servicing of the chlorine, PH and phosphate analyzers in the amount of $56,572. These analyzers are monitored at the points of entry into the distribution system at every well or treatment point in the system.

b. Parking - None

c. Budget

1. Award Contract – Bus Transportation Services – Parks & Recreation

Mr. Calbi stated that this is for the Recreation Department summer camp, and was the lowest of two bids received, with an option for a second year, in an amount not to exceed $18,500. This will be paid through the Recreation Operating Budget and Trust Funds.

2. Award Contract – Horticulture Supplies – Parks & Recreation and Project Pride

Mr. Calbi stated that there was one bidder, SiteOne Landscape Supply, for a contract not to exceed $40,500 that will be paid from the Parks Operating Budget and Project Pride funding.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked Ms. Bigos on the horticulture supplies bid she identified that it was published in the Ridgewood News and on the Village homepage, but on the buses she didn’t identify where that was advertised. Ms. Bigos stated that it would be the same, as those are what are required legally. Councilwoman Knudsen asked if they go beyond that as there may have been more bidders or more interest.

3. Award Change Order – Furnishing and Delivering of Cured In Place Pipe Lining Services – Demarest Pump Station and Graydon Park Storm Sewer Lines

Mr. Calbi stated that this was the awarding of Change Order #3 to North American Pipeline Services for additional line work of storm sewers associated with the Graydon Park lining. This is for the addition of $79,933.20 to cover the additional investigation of pipe and increased pipe sizes that were required to meet the NJDEP lining associated with the new Linwood Well that has been drilled in the park and will be funded from Water Capital.

d. Policy

1. Oppose Bill for Vegetative Management Response Act

Mr. Calbi stated that there was a recommendation from the Village Manager to oppose a Senate and Assembly Bill, S2505 and A2558. If passed, these bills would allow public utilities to remove trees and vegetation on public and private properties without any consent of the property owner. These bills have notification requirements that the utilities have to follow, but they do not have to get consent of the owner. If there is a utility line in the area and they feel that the tree poses a danger they can clear cut that tree without approval. Several other towns are opposing it as well as a recommendation from the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that they were talking about downed trees during an event but they may have been nowhere near the wires. Mr. Calbi stated that it is true, especially near transmission lines they have buffers that they create and they may feel it can pose a threat if it falls within that zone.

2. Update on Flood Acquisition Plan Information

Mr. Calbi stated that the Village Manager provided an update on the Flood Acquisition Plan. She asked for the Village Council’s recommendation for a resolution to permit the Village to declare its interest in the County plan. That doesn’t mean there is any commitment to move forward, but they will start the actions moving forward with the possibility of the Village receiving grant funding for the purchase of property.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked Mr. Rogers if this is a planning document that is being developed, does this have to go to the Planning Board for review. Mr. Rogers stated that it doesn’t, as Blue Acres is a state program the money comes from FEMA and the state. He had discussions with the state on the program and they said that they don’t have a relationship with the county, so the interplay with the county is unclear. The good news is that there is a program that does have funding for residential properties that are affected by continuous irregular funding. There are two approaches, one from the standpoint of the municipality in identifying properties that might qualify for this program, and the other can be at the request of the homeowner to see if they qualify for it. Mr. Rogers stated that he wasn’t sure about the county program, but he just got some numbers today to contact with regards to the program, so they could be competing programs and the Blue Acres state program was the one that he looked at.

Councilman Sedon asked that if a resident is in a home and it floods a lot and they want to get rid of it today, could they still contact somebody from the state to see if their house would qualify. Mr. Rogers stated that the municipality would have to get involved, but the initial identification of the property can be done by the homeowner or the town. The homeowner could directly contact Blue Acres, which would then notify the town. The criteria in order to qualify are regular flooding and damage. The state program looks to identify several properties if it is an area or particular neighborhood that has been affected by it.

e. Operations - None

5. REVIEW OF MAY 8, 2019 PUBLIC MEETING AGENDA

Ms. Jackson stated that this was a review of the May 8, 2019 Public Meeting Agenda.

Proclamations include: Proclaim May 19-25, 2019 as Emergency Medical Services Week; Proclaim May 20 through June 2, 2019 Click It or Ticket Campaign; Proclaim May as Mental Health Month; Proclaim June as Gay Pride Month; Proclaim June 2, 2019 as National Cancer Survivors Day; and Proclaim June 2, 2019 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Public Hearing on Bergen County Grant Application for Permanent Lighting at Maple Park Field.

Approval to Submit Application for Bergen County Grant for Permanent Lighting at Maple Park Field.

Resolutions for Ridgewood Water: Award State Contract – Maintenance of Chlorine, PH and Phosphate Analyzers; and Award Contract – Twinney Well Feasibility Study.

The following ordinances are scheduled for introduction: 3722 – Prohibit Use of Single Use Plastic Bags; and 3723 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – Time Limit Parking – West Ridgewood Avenue.

Ordinances for Public Hearing include: 3720 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Police Department Fees; and 3721 – Amend Chapter 212, Article VII – Dogs in Parks.

Resolutions include: Title 59 Approval – Resurfacing of Tennis Courts; Award Contract – Resurfacing of Tennis Courts; Title 59 Approval – Bus Transportation Services – Day Camp; Award Contract – Bus Transportation Services – Day Camp; Title 59 Approval – Horticultural Supplies; Award Contract – Horticultural Supplies; Authorize Change Order – Sewer Line Grouting – Demarest Pump Station; Authorize Change Order – Demarest Pump Station and Graydon Park Storm Sewer Lines; Authorize Execution of Declaration of Interest Form – Shared Services Agreement with Bergen County – Technical Assistance for Floodplain Acquisition Plans and Floodplain Restoration Planning Services; Authorize Approval of Bergen County Trust Fund Grant – Kings Pond Improvement Project Phase II; Authorize Mailing of Estimated 2019 Third Quarter Tax Bills; Authorize ELM Group Access to Village’s Monitoring Wells at North Walnut Parking Lot; Appoint Municipal Recycling Coordinator; Appoint Member to Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board; Authorize Opposition – The Vegetative Management Response Act; Appoint Members to Stigma Free Task Force; and Endorsement of Community Director Project.

6. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that he was surprised to hear a presentation from Nancy Greene concerning changes to the Library Reimagine Plan, and he was shocked that the plan seemed completely changed and yet it was never discussed by the Village Council. He heard Councilwoman Knudsen ask for a copy of what Ms. Greene spoke about, and added that he hoped it could be distributed more thoroughly. He was surprised to hear during a Village Council update that all of this information was given, and was hoping that it could be disseminated to the public in some kind of document format.

Mr. Loving stated that every single comment regarding the generator lights was negative, which prompts him to ask why they are still using them. He passed by the parking lot at Graydon Pool recently and there were dozens of them stacked in the parking lot. He asked why they don’t stop using them if they are that bad. He asked if it was better to have lights or was it better that people suffer. Mr. Loving stated that right now the Vilage Council should direct the Village Manager to ask where these things are deployed, how many are there, and if they can stop using them if they are that bad.

Mr. Loving stated that he appreciated Councilwoman Knudsen making a comment about what is legal in New Jersey now with respect to voting on a school budget, as the only time you can legally vote on it is in April. If you oppose moving the vote to April, you do not support citizen’s right to vote on it.

There were no additional comments from the public.

Mayor Hache stated that the generator lights are terrible, but at the end of the day in an ideal world where they have endless funding possibilities they could do it, but it is costly to replace. They will see what the experience with these permanent lights and maybe they can start decommissioning these portable lights wherever possible.

 

7. ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Village Council, on a motion by Councilman Sedon, seconded by Councilwoman Walsh, and carried unanimously by voice vote, the Village Council’s Work Session was adjourned at 9:30 P.M.

 

 

_____________________________
Ramon M. Hache, Sr.
Mayor

 

_____________________________
Donna M. Jackson
Deputy Village Clerk

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A REGULAR PUBLIC MEETING OF THE VILLAGE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD HELD IN THE SYDNEY V. STOLDT, JR. COURT ROOM OF THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE HALL, 131 NORTH MAPLE AVENUE, RIDGEWOOD, NEW JERSEY ON OCTOBER 7, 2019 AT 8:00 P.M.
 
1. CALL TO ORDER – OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT – ROLL CALL – FLAG     SALUTE
Mayor Hache called the meeting to order at 8:00 P.M. and read the Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.  At roll call the following were present: Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache.  Also present were Heather Mailander, Village Manager/Village Clerk; and Matthew Rogers, Village Attorney. 
Mayor Hache led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag as well as in a Moment of Silence to honor the brave men and women serving in our armed forces and all our first responders.
2. ACCEPTANCE OF FINANCIAL REPORTS
Mayor Hache moved the Bills, Claims, and Vouchers, and Statement of Funds on Hand as of September 30, 2019, be accepted as submitted.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
3. ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES
Mayor Hache moved that the Village Council minutes of May 1, 2019 having been reviewed by the Village Council and now available in the Village Clerk’s Office be approved as submitted.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
4. PROCLAMATIONS
A. NATIONAL DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH
Councilman Voigt read the following proclamation:
B. RECOGNIZE OCTOBER 13, 2019 AT METASTATIC BREAST CANCER AWARENESS DAY
Councilwoman Walsh read the following proclamation:
C. DECLARE OCTOBER NATIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION MONTH
Councilman Sedon read the following proclamation:

5. RESOLUTION OF APPOINTMENT AND SWEARING-IN OF TAX COLLECTOR JESSICA ARNOTT
A. RESOLUTION #19-330 APPOINTMENT OF TAX COLLECTOR
The following resolution was read in full by the Village Manager/Village Clerk:
B. SWEARING-IN OF TAX COLLECTOR
Ms. Arnott was joined by her family on the floor where Mayor Hache swore her into a four-year term.  Her son held the Bible, as her family looked on.
6. PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATES OF RECOGNITION – 2019 U.S. NATIONAL TAEKWONDO CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
Master Kim’s associate stated that they went to Minnesota with twenty-three athletes and more than twenty received medals.  Liam Woods stated that every week, he and his team train for seven hours and fifty minutes to improve their outcome.  During the summer, they mainly focus on conditioning training and for the rest of the year, they do strategy training.  He thanked his teammates, coaches, and parents.  He spoke about his training and competitions, and representing the USA at the National Championships in Uzbekistan.  He added that he uses his losses as motivation to do better in the future.  Mayor Hache stated that with Liam’s humility that he expressed tonight and recognition of how his teammates contributed to his success, he is already a winner. 
7. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC
Cynthia Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated she was there to speak about the Kensington Assisted Living proposal.  She was interested in reading Councilman Voigt’s letter on the subject in last week’s Ridgewood News.  She watched a very compelling presentation by Kensington to the Village Council a few weeks ago and she was disappointed that after relatively little deliberation, public input, or discussion, the Council dismissed the proposal with a vote of three against and two in favor.  A few years ago, the Kensington had a different proposal and at that time, there was more public discussion.
Ms. Halaby stated that she and her husband attended the first Visioning Workshop, and during the breakout session, their group strongly recommended adding assisted living, to facilitate aging in place.  She urged the Village Council to invite Kensington to discuss their proposal further, since by the time they are ready for their project, the Dayton Apartments construction will be finished.  She added that she has a vested interest in this project, as she has lived in the Village for almost 50 years and her mother is now 101 and she would like to have the option to continue to live in Ridgewood.
Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, referenced the United States Constitution, which the Village Council swore to uphold, and paraphrased the First Amendment.  He showed a book that the Village distributed to commemorate its 100th Anniversary.  There was an event each month that showed residents’ pride in its history, and the planning started an entire year ahead of time.  Regarding the 125th Anniversary, he asked if there was an organizing committee and who chairs it.  Mr. Halaby stated that the Deputy Mayor made it clear that no one from the dais is chairing the 125th Anniversary committee.  He placed an OPRA request and received 92 pages of emails sent by the Mayor or Deputy Mayor addressed to various parties regarding meetings.  Reading the emails, it was clear to him that the Mayor and Deputy Mayor were acting as chairs.  He added that he also had copies of minutes from a couple of meetings that were submitted by the Deputy Mayor.  Mr. Halaby stated that it was a shame that 2019 has gone by, as a waste and a fiasco.
Jean Theisen, 354 Fairfield Avenue, stated that there are some things going on in town which concern her, and one of those things is the amount of money that is being spent.  She added that it is extremely concerning that they are spending so much money by Schedler.  When she attended the visioning meeting, it didn’t seem like the money that the consultants were charging was justified by the amount of work they were doing.  It was something that was fairly elementary and it was something that they could have done within the resources in the Village. 
Ms. Theisen added that there was a concern as to if there was an historic recognition of the Zabriskie-Schedler house, that there should be some stronger purse strings on the Village’s money.  She asked the Village Council to think about it like it was their own money, instead of looking at it as a fairly wealthy community with an open pocketbook.  Ms. Theisen added that when she looks at the fact that they are using parking meter collections to pay for a parking garage, she sees it as injuring the Central Business District (CBD).  She suggested having nights of free parking to encourage and support the CBD, adding that she was concerned about the businesses that are in the community.
There were no additional comments from the public.
Mayor Hache stated that there is a 125th Anniversary Committee, and the committee is being spearheaded by a group of local residents who are volunteers, and they are getting together to plan events for the public.  Councilwoman Knudsen added that there were many times that the Village Manager announced that there would be a 125th Anniversary committee and anyone who was interested should contact the Deputy Clerk.  She added that they are grateful for the residents who did step up to help.
8. MANAGER’S REPORT
Ms. Mailander stated there are many projects underway which include the Engineering Division.  These projects include the parking garage construction; Schedler house restoration with asbestos abatement, roof and exterior renovation; Schedler park development with a berm being formed along Route 17; street paving throughout the Village, plus curbs and sidewalks at various locations; handicap ramps have been installed on East Ridgewood Avenue; at Kings Pond, the dredging is almost complete, and new curbs will be installed to define the grass and street areas; and tennis court restoration with two tennis courts at Glen School being reconfigured into four pickleball courts.  All of this while addressing residents’ questions about site plans and drainage issues.
Ms. Mailander stated that the Ridgewood Water Carr Treatment Facility has been turned on and will provide an additional one million gallons of water per day to Ridgewood Water customers. 
Ms. Mailander stated that Ridgewood Water would like to remind its customers that October 23rd is “Imagine a Day Without Water” day.  There would be no water to drink or make coffee.  This is the fifth annual day to raise awareness and educate America about the value of water.
Ms. Mailander stated that upcoming Village Council meetings are October 23rd and November 6th are Public Work Sessions at 7:30 P.M., and November 13th is the Public Meeting at 8:00 P.M.
Ms. Mailander stated that in observation of the Columbus Day Holiday, all Village offices will be closed next Monday, October 14th.  There will be no garbage or recycling pickup on that day and the recycling center will also be closed.
Ms. Mailander stated that in anticipation of the leaf collection season, with leaf placement starting on Monday, October 21st, every household received a bright yellow postcard with details about the leaf placement dates for the various areas, which is based on the yard waste areas, A through D.  She asked residents to review the details explained on the postcard.  To find an area, residents should go to My Services Lookup located on the Village of Ridgewood website, www.ridgewoodnj.net.
Ms. Mailander stated that the Bergen County Utilities Authority will sponsor a free recycling event on Sunday, October 20th from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at Bergen Community College.  Items that will be collected are aerosol cans, fluorescent lightbulbs, paints, varnishes, propane gas cylinders.  This event is rain or shine and requires proof of Bergen County residency.
Ms. Mailander stated that the Ridgewood Farmers Market will be open every Sunday until November 24th from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at the Ridgewood Train Station.
Ms. Mailander stated that Tuesday, October 15th, is the deadline for Voter Registration for the November 5th General Election.  Registration will take place from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. in the Village Clerk’s Office on that day, and then from 4:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. in the lobby of the Ridgewood Public Library.  Please remember that if you are new to Ridgewood or have moved within Ridgewood, you must be registered to vote with your new address.
9. COUNCIL REPORTS
Green Ridgewood – Councilman Sedon thanked Robin Ritter, of the Library, and Bob Upton, Chair of Green Ridgewood, for assisting last Thursday with a program they held for children ages 4-7, about the environment
Shade Tree Commission – Councilman Sedon stated that tomorrow is a Shade Tree Commission meeting at 7:30 P.M.
Ridgewood Arts Council – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that this year, the Ridgewood Arts Council will again be holding a Holiday Window Display Contest.  Businesses should fill out the flyer that they received, send it in, and then decorate their windows.  There will be awards and recognition in the Village calendar.  She also asked Councilwoman Walsh and Mayor Hache to reach out to the CBD Advisory Committee and the Chamber of Commerce and remind them to encourage participation, because the window decorations will make the CBD lively during the holidays.
Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that HPC meets Thursday evening in the Garden Room.
ACCESS Ridgewood – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that ACCESS Ridgewood is celebrating ten years this weekend, on Friday, October 11th, Saturday, October 12th, and Sunday, October 13th.  They are celebrating ten years embracing our unique abilities, special gifts, and special needs.  She added that the schools participate in ACCESS weekend by showing some educational videos and conversation.  She detailed some of the events occurring over the weekend, including the fashion show from 1:30 P.M. to 2:00 P.M., and food from 2:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. on Saturday.  The Ridgewood Soccer Association game will be held on Saturday and the Interfaith Service will take place on Sunday.
Ridgewood Fire Department Open House – Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Ridgewood Fire Department Open House was yesterday and was fabulous.  There were new demonstrations that were incorporated into the program, including a burn house.  She thanked the Fire Department, volunteers, and EMS for making it a special day.
Chamber of Commerce – Councilwoman Walsh stated that she will attend the Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday morning and will inform them about the holiday window decorating contest.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked if Councilwoman Walsh could also mention that if there are any landlords that are currently experiencing a vacancy, the Ridgewood Arts Council is happy to do their own installation to decorate and make it lively.
Ridgewood Public Library – Councilwoman Walsh stated that the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councilman Voigt and she attended an event on Thursday evening celebrating the life and philanthropy of David Bolger.  One of the highlights of the evening was JT Bolger and the Bolger Foundation have issued a challenge to the Village that if the residents can raise $1 million towards the library renovation, the Bolger Foundation will match it.  Anyone who has an interest can contact Nancy Green at the library.   Councilman Voigt shared Councilwoman Walsh’s sentiments about the celebration, and added that the Village is lucky to have the Library Foundation in the Village, and especially thanked the Bolger family, for their extremely generous gift.
Central Business District – Mayor Hache stated that he attended a couple of Grand Openings this past week.  On Friday night was Stretch Recovery Lounge at 29 Godwin Avenue, which is for tightness and mobility issues.  On Saturday, was Café de Royal, the new French bakery in town at 12 Wilsey Square.
Bicycle Racks – Mayor Hache stated that there was a gentlemen who came to a Village Council meeting and spoke about the need for more bicycle racks and bike lanes around the Village, as a way to encourage people to use bikes to get around and also reduce vehicular traffic.  They spent the morning walking around downtown and looking at potential sites of what they can do with bicycles.  Mayor Hache added that the resident had some amazing ideas about what they can put in and locations, and is helping to look at grants that can help the Village do some of this.

10. ORDINANCES – RIDGEWOOD WATER
None
11. RESOLUTIONS – RIDGEWOOD WATER
THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS, NUMBERED 19-331 THROUGH 19-333, WERE ADOPTED BY A CONSENT AGENDA WITH ONE VOTE BY THE VILLAGE COUNCIL, AND WERE READ BY TITLE ONLY:
 
12. ORDINANCES
a. INTRODUCTION - #3751 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Ridgewood Parking Permits and Central Business District Employee Parking Stickers and Hangtags
Mayor Hache moved the first reading of ordinance 3751.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
The Village Clerk read ordinance 3751 by title:
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 145 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, FEES, AT SECTION 145-6, “ENUMERATION OF FEES RELATING TO CODE CHAPTERS”
 
Councilman Voigt moved that ordinance 3751 be adopted on first reading and that November 13, 2019 be fixed as the date for the hearing thereon.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion. 
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
b. INTRODUCTION - #3752 – Management Salary Ordinance
Mayor Hache moved the first reading of ordinance 3752.  Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
The Village Clerk read ordinance 3752 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO FIX SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER COMPENSATION AND TO ESTABLISH THE “EMPLOYEE AGREEMENT” OF CERTAIN NON-UNION OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, COUNTY OF BERGEN AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY FOR THE YEAR 2019
 
Councilwoman Walsh moved that ordinance 3752 be adopted on first reading and that November 13, 2019 be fixed as the date for the hearing thereon.  Councilman Sedon seconded the motion. 
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
c. INTRODUCTION - #3753 – Non-Union Salary Ordinance
Mayor Hache moved the first reading of ordinance 3753.  Councilwoman Knudsen seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
The Village Clerk read ordinance 3753 by title:
AN ORDINANCE TO FIX SALARIES, WAGES, AND OTHER COMPENSATION OF NON-UNION EMPLOYEES OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, COUNTY OF BERGEN AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY FOR THE YEAR 2019
 
Councilman Sedon moved that ordinance 3753 be adopted on first reading and that November 13, 2019 be fixed as the date for the hearing thereon.  Councilwoman Knudsen seconded the motion. 
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None

d. PUBLIC HEARING - #3747 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic
Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3747 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
The Village Clerk read ordinance 3747 by title:
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 265 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC, AT SECTION 265-59, SCHEDULE IX: “STOP INTERSECTIONS” AND AT SECTION 265-60, SCHEDULE X: “YIELD INTERSECTIONS”
Mayor Hache stated that the Public Hearing was opened.  There were no comments from the public, and Mayor Hache moved that the Public Hearing be closed.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.  
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
Councilman Voigt moved that ordinance 3747 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
e. PUBLIC HEARING - #3748 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development - Driveways
Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3748 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
The Village Clerk read ordinance 3748 by title:
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 190 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD AT SECTION 190-121G TO REQUIRE DRIVEWAYS ON LOTS WHERE A GARAGE EXISTS AND REQUIRE THAT THE DRIVEWAY EXTENDS TO CONNECT COMPLETELY TO THE GARAGE
Mayor Hache stated that the Public Hearing on ordinance 3748 will be continued to next month’s Public Meeting, due to the fact that the required comments from the Planning Board have not yet been received.  The Public Hearing on ordinance 3748 was advertised for this evening, so anyone wishing to comment on this ordinance may do so at this time.  He stated that the Public Hearing was opened. 
Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that he was confused by the language in this ordinance, particularly the first sentence.  He reads it as you are required to have a driveway whether you have a garage or not.  He spoke to the Deputy Mayor about this and she said that was not the case, but the way the sentence reads is confusing.  He added that where he lives, in the
R-2 district, it makes it seem that everyone must have a garage and if there is no garage, a driveway must lead to where the garage should be.
Mr. Rogers stated that he didn’t write the ordinance, but looking at this, if there is a house that has been built and a garage wasn’t part of it and hasn’t been there, it is grandfathered and is not required for that house.  This ordinance refers to when a garage is required after an application to a Board or to the Building Department.  So not every house is required to have a driveway, because some are grandfathered.  The issue is any new or rebuilt houses would be required to have a driveway that goes to a garage.  In other words, it requires someone coming in with a new home or a new garage to make sure that a driveway goes all the way to the garage.
Mr. Loving asked if in the R-2 district a garage is required.  Mr. Rogers said yes, but there are grandfathered properties where they are not required, unless something changes with the house.  Mr. Loving stated that the ordinance says nothing about grandfathering, which is confusing to him.  Mr. Rogers agreed and stated that if the Village Council agrees, they may be able to amend that, because it doesn’t change the intent, it just may clarify it.  Mr. Loving stated that would be great.  He added that they have someone on his street who has a garage but there is no driveway to the garage.  The way he reads the ordinance, they would be required to construct an improved driveway to the garage.  Mr. Rogers stated that it may not be required because it is grandfathered in as a condition of the way it is right now.  Mr. Loving stated that this ordinance needs to be clarified.  Mr. Rogers stated that he understands what Mr. Loving is saying, and he brought up a couple of points that they could add language stating, “unless otherwise grandfathered” to the ordinance.
Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she thinks that the grandfathered piece is covered elsewhere because that’s a non-conforming pre-existing condition.  Mr. Rogers stated that the problem is that it is covered elsewhere but it is not covered in this ordinance.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the intent of the ordinance was to address a loophole that if you have the improved driveway, whether it is impervious or not, would be calculated into your improved lot coverage in a zoning application.  This is relevant because someone may take out their driveway to install an addition.  So no matter what’s there, that calculation will include the length and width of the driveway.  She added that this was something that was brought to the Village Council.
Mr. Loving stated that he understands that this was to try to cut off a loophole, but that first sentence throws him because he doesn’t want to see people constructing driveways needlessly and simply because there is an ordinance that says you need to have a driveway if you have a garage.  He reiterated that this section of the ordinance needs to be clarified.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked if adding that language required the ordinance being re-introduced.  Mr. Rogers stated that since input is required from the Planning Board, when the Village Council goes and discusses the ordinance with them, she can make that recommendation.  Councilwoman Knudsen asked if that language is a substantive change.  Mr. Rogers stated that he would look at it as a clarification, and not a substantive change.  Mr. Loving added that he was trying to avoid confusion when they are all not around, and all of a sudden a new Zoning Officer says someone has to add a driveway. 
There were no additional comments from the public, and Mayor Hache moved that the Public Hearing on Ordinance 3748 be continued to November 13, 2019.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.  
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
f. PUBLIC HEARING - #3749 – Establish Reserved Parking Spaces at Train Station Parking Lot – NJ Transit and Concession Stand/Social Services Association
Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3749 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened.  Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
The Village Clerk read ordinance 3749 by title:
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 265 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC, AT SECTION 265-42, “RESERVED PARKING SPACES”
Mayor Hache stated that the Public Hearing was opened.  There were no comments from the public, and Mayor Hache moved that the Public Hearing be closed.  Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.  
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
Councilwoman Walsh moved that ordinance 3749 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law.  Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
g. PUBLIC HEARING - #3750 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – 15 Minute Parking Meter on East Ridgewood Avenue
Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3750 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
The Village Clerk read ordinance 3750 by title:
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 265 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC, AT SECTION 265-29, “PARKING METER ZONE DESIGNATED”
Mayor Hache stated that the Public Hearing was opened.  There were no comments from the public, and Mayor Hache moved that the Public Hearing be closed.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.  
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
Councilwoman Knudsen moved that ordinance 3750 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law.  Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
h. CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING - #3746 – Bond Ordinance – Zabriskie-Schedler House – Phase III
Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3746 by title on third reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
The Village Clerk read ordinance 3746 by title:
BOND ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO ZABRISKIE-SCHEDLER HOUSE PHASE III IN AND BY THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, IN THE COUNTY OF BERGEN, NEW JERSEY, APPROPRIATING $158,000 THEREFOR AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $78,000 BONDS OR NOTES OF THE VILLAGE TO FINANCE PART OF THE COST THEREOF
Mayor Hache stated that the Public Hearing and final vote on Ordinance 3746 was continued to this evening’s meeting so that the entire Village Council could vote on it.  The Public Hearing is now continued.  There were no comments from the public and Mayor Hache moved that the Public Hearing be closed.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
Councilwoman Knudsen moved that ordinance 3746 be adopted on third reading and final publication as required by law.  Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.
Before placing his vote, Councilman Voigt stated that he was all for preserving our history in this area but he was concerned that there isn’t sufficient outside private financial support for building and maintaining the Zabriskie-Schedler House.  If revenues were being generated from it, he would be in favor of it, but since there are no revenues, his vote is no.
Roll Call Vote
AYES:   Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Walsh, and Mayor Hache
NAYS:   Councilman Voigt
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN:  None
13. RESOLUTIONS
THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS, NUMBERED 19-334 THROUGH 19-346, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF RESOLUTION 19-344, WHICH WAS REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA, WERE ADOPTED BY A CONSENT AGENDA WITH ONE VOTE BY THE VILLAGE COUNCIL, AND WERE READ BY TITLE ONLY:
 
THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION, NUMBERED 19-347, WAS CONSIDERED SEPARATELY AND READ IN FULL:
Before casting her vote on Resolution 19-347, Councilwoman Knudsen stated that some of the comments really warrant a response.  This Village Council did not purchase the Schedler property or apply for or acquire a certificate of eligibility from the State Historic Preservation Office.  This Village Council did not sit on its hands for ten to twelve years and allow the house to fall into disrepair.  Had former Village Councils addressed the house at that time, the repairs would not be what they are today.  They are now looking at a Community Development Block Grant for a handicapped-accessible ramp, making this historic structure accessible to all members of our community.   She finds the conversation about the house generating revenue peculiar, because there is a purpose for this house, which will likely generate some revenue.  This conversation needs to be in the context of this Village Council, whose members did not purchase the property, allow the house to fall into disrepair or allow the property to become overgrown, but they are doing what they believe to be right.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was voting yes.
Before placing his vote, Councilman Voigt stated that he was all for preserving the history of our Village, but not on the backs of our residents.  He was concerned there are not enough outside private financial resources to support this from both a building and maintenance standpoint. There needs to be a well thought out plan for a revenue stream, which there is not, so he was voting no.
Councilwoman Walsh stated that listening to her Council colleagues, the question is do they always purchase properties with the hope of generating revenue and she didn’t know if that was their purview.  She thinks that they purchase properties that will have a benefit to the community and she doesn’t think they always have to generate revenue.  Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was in agreement.  Councilwoman Walsh stated that she was voting yes.
 
14. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC
Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that the Village Council adopted unanimously resolution 13-345, and he was perplexed because there were no names there for the people who were appointed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  Ms. Mailander stated that the Village Council did the interviews this evening, therefore it is one person who is being appointed to Alternate #1, Daniel Perlman.  Mr. Loving asked if there was a reason the name wasn’t read this evening when Ms. Mailander read the resolution.  Ms. Mailander stated that the name wasn’t in the title of the resolution and the resolution was read by title only.  Mr. Loving stated that he took objection to the fact that a position was approved and the public was not provided with the name and he had to ask for the name.  He added that he hopes that doesn’t happen again. 
Councilwoman Knudsen asked if Ms. Mailander could read it again.  Ms. Mailander stated that she could.  Mr. Loving asked if it was understood that a position was filled and no name was provided to the public.  Mr. Rogers stated that there are times where the authorization to appoint happens before the authorization to do work occurs.  They did it with regard to the access agreement in regard to the property owners who were adjacent to the access road for the Hudson Street Parking Garage. Then once everything was in line and approved by the attorneys, the authorization to sign was already given in the previously adopted resolution.  Sometimes, in order to get things done, you have to get them done in advance so the Village Council authorizes it.  In this instance, the Village Council appointed someone after having made their decision in a Closed Session, which was held immediately prior to tonight’s Public Meeting. 
Mr. Loving stated that he understands that happens.  Mr. Rogers stated that in instances like tonight when it happens simultaneously, they could have read the resolution in full.  Mr. Loving stated that if he was Mr. Perlman, it would concern him that his name wasn’t read in, and people might wonder was there a reason why that name wasn’t read in.
Anne Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that regarding the holiday window displays, she wasn’t sure if they were reaching out to the store owners and those businesses that are not members of the Chamber of Commerce or the Ridgewood Guild.  There are some businesses that don’t join those two entities.  She stated that regarding the Gold Star Mother’s Event, she wishes the name could be changed to include Gold Star Families, to be more inclusive, as mothers aren’t the only ones who suffer a loss.  She added that regarding the proclamation that Councilman Sedon read about bullying, she supports that, but the way that the proclamation is written, it indicates how bullying affects children and adolescents, but there is also the fact that adults can bully adults, and adults can bully children.  It would be nice if the proclamation could be directed to all age groups.
Jean Theisen, 354 Fairfield Avenue, stated that in response to the comments on the Schedler property, her comments earlier were about the large amount of money being spent on the project.  There are situations where the Village buys properties and they are in disrepair, but she knows that there is a plan in doing renovations and minimal money is spent in doing so.  She added that right now, the Village should be looking at its purse strings and if there are things that can be done to stop the disrepair, they should be done.  She stated that there are properties where the Village isn’t going to generate revenues, but the Schedler Property gave the opportunity to ask others, such as sports groups, to invest in our community.  Ms. Theisen added that there were more options that were available, but in our community she would like to look at the project to determine if it is what the Village needs to spend that money on right now.  She referenced the two new cars for the Parking Authority that are not necessary, because the Parking Enforcement Officers walk around and write tickets for the parking meters.  She suggested looking at every dime and asking if it was something that needs to be bought right now or if it was something that could be put off until next year.
There were no additional comments from the public, and Mayor Hache closed public comment.
Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the Ridgewood Arts Council went out and did a full sweep of the CBD for the downtown windows, so it wasn’t exclusive to the Chamber of Commerce and Ridgewood Guild members.  She added that regarding the Parking Enforcement Officers walking around and writing tickets at the parking meters, many residents are not aware that the Parking Enforcement Officers enforce throughout the Village, so they have to drive numerous miles in order to do so.
15. RESOLUTION TO GO INTO CLOSED SESSION
Ms. Mailander read Resolution #19-348 to go into Closed Session as follows:
 
16. ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business to come before the Village Council, on a motion by Councilman Sedon, seconded by Councilwoman Knudsen, and carried unanimously by voice vote, the Village Council’s Regular Public Meeting was adjourned at 9:16 P.M.
 

______________________________
               Ramon M. Hache, Sr.                        
Mayor    
 
 

______________________________
 Heather A. Mailander
      Village Manager/Village Clerk
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