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Minutes of Commissioners Meeting   -   June 15, 2005

Note:  Complete Meeting Appears on Tapes #16-05 & 17-05 on File in the Borough Clerk’s Office June 15, 2005
Wildwood Crest, NJ

Prior to the opening of the meeting, Mr. Groon led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

The meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Borough of Wildwood Crest, Cape May County , New Jersey , was held in the Municipal Court Room at 9:30 a.m.  On roll call the following answered to their names:

Cabrera – Gould – Groon - Yes

Mr. Groon read the following statement:  In compliance with the Open Public Meeting Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975, the notice requirements have been satisfied as to the time, place and date of holding said meeting by posting notice on the bulletin board in the Borough Hall and by mailing same to the Gazette-Leader and The Press on December 6, 2004.

 

Mr. Groon next announced the one-way in and the one-way out method of ingress and egress in case of emergency.

 

Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, that Ordinance No. 976 be placed on second reading and final passage by title only.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE BY TITLE ONLY:

ORDINANCE NO. 976

AN ORDINANCE REVISING AND AUGMENTING CHAPTER 47,

PARKING METERS, SECTION 2, ZONES ESTABLISHED, OF THE

CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF WILDWOOD CREST, BY ADDING

THERETO ONE (1) ADDITIONAL PARKING METER ZONE

Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, that a public hearing be held on Ordinance No. 976.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

There being no public comments, Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, that the public hearing on Ordinance No. 976 be closed.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, that Ordinance No. 976 be passed on second and final reading and advertised according to law.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE BY TITLE ONLY:

ORDINANCE NO. 977

AN ORDINANCE AUGMENTING AND AMENDING THE LAND

DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF WILDWOOD

CREST, CHAPTER 85, TO INCORPORATE THE ADOPTION OF A

MASTER PLAN BY THE PLANNING BOARD OF THE BOROUGH OF

WILDWOOD CREST ON MAY 4, 2005 BY RESOLUTION NO. 2005-47

Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, that Ordinance No. 977 be passed on first reading, advertised according to law, be brought up for second and final reading and public hearing on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 19-05

(Authorizing execution of Findings & Determination, and issuance of

Raffles License, to the Wildwood Crest Volunteer Fire Co. #1

under Application No. RA-90)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 20-05

(Authorizing re-appointment of Randy Lafferty, Municipal Prosecutor,

to a term of one year commencing effective July 5, 2005 and

terminating July 4, 2006)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 21-05

(Authorizing a professional services contract with Mary F. Fox, MAI, as

“Appraiser” at the total contract amount of not to exceed $1,000 for an

independent appraisal of the Philip Baker House in conjunction with the

Borough’s Open Space Preservation Trust Fund Application to be

submitted to the County of Cape May )

 

The Clerk reported that the Chief Financial Officer has confirmed that funds are available for the $1,000.00 fee for the appraisal of the Philip Baker House. He went on to report that the Solicitor has indicated her satisfaction with the qualifications of Mary F. Fox to perform the appropriate appraisal on the property.

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 22-05

(Authorizing the issuance of a Special Events Permit to the Marine

Mammal Stranding Center to hold a beach swim on July 16, 2005 at the

Rambler Road beach to benefit marine animal rescue and rehabilitation)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 23-05

(Authorizing the re-appointment of Mark Roszkowski as the Borough’s

private citizen representative to the Urban Enterprise Zone Board, for a

term of one year commencing effective June 15, 2005 and terminating June 14, 2006)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 24-05

(Authorizing the CFO to void one check issued under the Public

Assistance Trust Fund II Account and to thereafter close said account)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 25-05

(Authorizing insertion of a Special Item of Revenue, Click It or Ticket

Grant in the amount of $4,000 into the 2005 Municipal Budget)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 26-05

(Authorizing correction of 2005 budgetary title, text and amount,

specifically Matching Funds for Grants, from $15,000 to $13,290 and

Municipal Alliance Program, Other Expenses, from $0 to $1,710)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 27-05

(Authorizing adoption of the Cash Management Plan of the Borough of

Wildwood Crest pursuant to NJSA 40A:5-14)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 28-05

(Authorizing the CFO to make certain refunds for Overpayment of Taxes in

accordance with certification from Tax Collector)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 29-05

(Authorizing submission of an application to the New Jersey Enterprise

Zone Authority for the Fiscal Year 2006)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 30-05

(Authorizing adoption of State Model Citizen Participation Plan for Dept. of

Community Affairs Small Cities Program)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 31-05

(Authorizing identification of the CDBGP Fair Housing Officer for

FY 2006 as Kevin M. Yecco, Borough Clerk)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that all bills properly authorized, as submitted and which appear in full hereinbelow, be paid.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes


A discussion was held with regard to the proposed “Wildwood Crest” arch on the bike path. Mr. Cabrera reported that the Wildwood Crest Beautification Committee has proposed that a historical arch similar to the one over Pacific Avenue in the early 1900s be installed at the beginning of the bicycle path at Cresse Avenue . He added that the proposal would provide for the Beautification Committee to supply the funding for the materials, and the Borough’s Public Works staff would provide that labor to build/erect the arch. Mr. Cabrera provided the Board of Commissioners with a drawing of the proposed arch.

 

Mr. Groon inquired as to the amount being requested from the Borough’s budget. Mrs. Gould responded that no funds would be required from the budget; that the letter received from the Beautification Committee indicated that the total cost would be $4,000.00, with the carpenter shop donating the wood and labor. She inquired of the representatives of the Beautification Committee if there are funds available from that organization.

 

Louise Johnstone responded that there are funds available from the Beautification Committee, adding that they have approximately $5,000.00. She went on to state that the Beautification Committee had been advised that the materials and labor would be donated by the Borough, and some additional monies funded by the Borough, with the Beautification Committee providing $1,000.00 toward the project. Mrs. Gould then inquired of the Borough’s Chief Financial Officer if there are funds in the “beautification” budget. The CFO responded, “we have nothing to do with it.”

 

Mrs. Gould suggested that the funds from the Beautification Committee would have to “wind its way into the Borough’s account, and then wind its way out of the Borough’s account” since it is a Borough project. She asked the CFO to comment on the matter. The CFO responded that the information he had received was that the Borough would be supplying materials and labor, but that Mrs. Johnstone has now said the Beautification Committee will supply the materials. He went on to state that the Beautification Committee could “donate” the funds to the Borough for the project, and the Borough would then adopt a Chapter 159 Resolution incorporating the funds into the budget and at the same time appropriating the funds. He added, however, that once that is done, the structure becomes a municipally owned structure and is no longer owned by the Beautification Committee. That would mean the Borough would be obligated to maintain it and insure it.

 

Mr. Cabrera interjected that he has met with the Chairman of the Beautification Committee, along with the Borough’s Superintendent of Public Works and the Supervisor of Carpentry. It was his understanding from that meeting that the Beautification Committee would supply the materials for the project, and that the Borough would supply the “manpower” to build/erect the arch. Mr. Cabrera went on to state that the plans as presented to the Board of Commissioners have been approved by the Borough Engineer as being structurally safe and sound. He then inquired of Mrs. Johnstone as to how much funding the Beautification Committee would be willing to provide to “get this project up and going.” He added that there are no dollars appropriated in the Public Works budget to pay for the project. Mrs. Johnstone stated that it is estimated that the entire cost of the project would be $4,000, and inquired if the Beautification Committee would be required to provide a check to the Borough. Mr. Cabrera responded, “whatever the cost of the materials are” since that would be the only cost involved.

 

Tony Eislie, President of the Beautification Committee, interjected that the concern would be that if there is a cost overrun, and the Beautification Committee had no additional funds, would the project be completed? Mr. Cabrera responded that, in his opinion, the $4,000.00 estimate is “the higher end number.” Mr. Cabrera suggested that the Beautification Committee Chairman meet with the Borough’s Carpentry Supervisor to confirm the costs. Mr. Cabrera added that the Board of Commissioners would also have to authorize “working with the Beautification Committee” on this project. The Clerk agreed, adding that a resolution would have to be adopted stating that there is a commitment from the governing body to move forward based upon statements made at this meeting. Mrs. Gould inquired if the exact location of the proposed arch would be at Cresse Avenue at the start of the Wildwood Boardwalk. Mr. Eislie responded in the affirmative. Mrs. Gould then inquired if the arch would sit on the bikepath, or will one side sit in the street and the other side in the sand. She added that her concern would be that someone coming down the ramp from the Boardwalk would hit the posts for the arch. Mr. Eisle responded that it would be imbedded directly into the bikepath on the south side of Cresse Avenue .

Mrs. Gould then inquired if the arch would have lettering on the northbound side or the southbound side. Mrs. Johnstone and Mr. Eisle responded “both ways.” Mr. Eisle added that lighting will be added “eventually.” Mrs. Gould stated, “if we are going to do lighting, we might as well throw it in all at the same time rather than wait to see what the numbers come up to be.” Mr. Cabrera concurred, adding “if we are going to do it, let’s do it right” even if it means not rushing to get it done for the summer season. Mrs. Gould added that it was her opinion that it is a wonderful project in anticipation of the Borough’s centennial in 2010.

 

Mr. Groon inquired if the Commissioners would need to wait for the final figures to make a determination. The Clerk responded that it was his suggestion that there be a motion, a second and a roll-call vote with respect to at least providing conceptual approval of the project with respect to what has been drafted and approved by the Engineer on the basis of the $4,000 being provided to the Borough from the Beautification Committee; that this would be a “not to exceed amount”. Thereafter, a resolution inserting the funds into the budget and appropriating those funds, as coming in as a donation, would have to be adopted. Mr. Groon inquired as to how the Commissioners could make a commitment without knowing the final figures. The Clerk responded that it would be a commitment of the governing body and staff to take action based upon the current information provided. The Solicitor interjected that the governing body would only be giving authorization for the plans to be finalized, pending receipt by the governing body of the final costs. The Solicitor added that technically, the Beautification Committee has no legal authority. The Clerk interjected that it would be “an endorsement of the project.” Mr. Groon inquired if the final estimate comes back in excess of the funds the Beautification Committee could provide, “what happens at that point?” The Clerk responded that a determination would have to be made based upon the final numbers as to whether or not the Board of Commissioners would wish to fund the excess out of an existing budgeted line item.

Based upon the previous discussions, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that initial authorization be provided as indicated.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

The Board of Commissioners were then provided with a draft of an ordinance regarding public donations and contributions by the Clerk, and requested that the Commissioners decide whether the policy will be moved forward. The Solicitor added that there had been some questions with regard to the statutory requirements, and she indicated that the requirements are “quite lengthy.” She added that the statute does not include the appropriations that have been contemplated by the Commissioners. Therefore, in response to Mr. Cabrera’s inquiry at an earlier meeting as “how would we know,” she indicated that if a request were received and was covered in the statute under any of the “allowed appropriations,” she would so advise the governing body. If it were not an allowed appropriation, it was her opinion that the person seeking funding would be responsible to validate that it is permissible under statutory regulations.

 

Mrs. Gould stated her opinion that the Board should proceed since “we have people coming in with requests for funds,” and a policy needs to be established. Mr. Cabrera concurred.

 

The Clerk indicated that he will supply additional background information when it is received from the Solicitor in order that the Commissioners be more fully apprised of all facts, authority in this regard.

 

A discussion was then had with regard to a petition from local youths for the Borough to build a skateboard park. The Clerk indicated that he had provided the Commissioners with an informational packet.

 

Mr. Cabrera reported that a petition had been received by the previous administration earlier in the year bearing the signatures of many “children under the age of 18,” but there were also a number of adults who signed the petition supporting the construction of a skateboard park. He indicated that, although there is one in North Wildwood, the practicality of having the children from Wildwood Crest “skateboard up to North Wildwood” would not be feasible. It was his opinion that the governing body must take a position “one way or the other” in response to the petition. Mr. Groon inquired if he had been provided with a copy of the original petition. The Clerk responded that it would be made available. Mrs. Gould interjected her opinion that “a skate park is a great idea.,” adding that the Borough owns land “near the bike path” and that it is something the governing body should look into.

Mr. Cabrera stated that it is his understanding that the police department is enforcing “state law” that skateboarding is prohibited on the streets. He added, however, that the children must be given an opportunity to go somewhere since skateboarding is part of the environment of a seashore community. Mr. Groon interjected that state law does not prohibit skateboarding in the street, but that all rules of the road must be followed as with any vehicle. Mr. Groon suggested that the Recreation Department contact North Wildwood to determine how much their skate park is used and what kinds of problems are being encountered. He also suggested that the police department contact Wildwood and North Wildwood to determine if there are any issues with their police departments. Finally, Mr. Groon indicated that it would be a good idea to determine “some costs.” Mr. Cabrera reported that he had spoken to the Recreation Director in North Wildwood, who “swears that this is one of the best things they have added in North Wildwood.” He went on to advise that North Wildwood does not presently charge a fee for the use of the park, but that they are considering doing so based on participation. Mr. Groon inquired if North Wildwood has an employee present at the skate park to control it. Mr. Cabrera responded that there is a recreation attendant present. Mr. Groon interjected that “we have a lot of homework.”

 

The next matter for discussion was the NJDOT Transportation Enhancement Program. The Clerk indicated that materials have been circulated to the governing body, and that Mr. Cabrera has provided some indications with respect to a “train station theme” from a historical perspective. The Clerk added that, based upon availability of funds for the Philip Baker House, “prioritized applications” can be filed. Mr. Cabrera indicated that there is a deadline of the first week in September for the filing of a New Jersey Transportation Enhancement Grant application. He went on to state that the basic criteria would be that it be transportation related, that it be potentially historic. He stated that since the Borough is in the middle of a Master Plan revision, it was his suggestion that once the Borough knows what the business district on New Jersey Avenue will comprise, the Borough could “take a section of New Jersey Avenue” where the train station once stood and create a retail business section with a train station theme. He indicated that there are some UEZ funds of approximately $100,000 that, taken together with the NJDOT grant, could result in “something special and really nice” in the business district. He added that since the UEZ funds are generated primarily from the New Jersey Avenue merchants, it would be in the Borough’s best interest to invest those funds back into that district in conjunction with the grant. Mr. Groon concurred with the concept. Mrs. Gould also concurred. Mr. Groon then inquired as to the next step.

 

Mr. Cabrera responded that once the business district is identified, the Borough would have to put together a plan through the Engineer as to what it would look like and how much it would cost. The application would then be submitted to the NJDOT for the grant. Additionally, the Borough would have to determine whether the UEZ funds would be utilized for the project. It was decided that the governing body would await further information to be supplied by Commissioner Cabrera before making a final determination. The Solicitor did inquire as to how the Commissioners were going to deal with the August 5, 2005 expiration of the Triad Associates contract. The Clerk responded that the person going forward with the grant application would be Ralph Petrella, the Borough’s Engineer. He added that the contract with Triad will expire since the Borough no longer has the ability to receive funds with regard to the Small Cities Community Development Block Program for housing rehabilitations since no applications are pending. The Solicitor inquired if the Engineer is aware of the September deadline. The Clerk suggested that he or Mr. Cabrera must advise the Engineer that the authorization will have to take place in July. Mrs. Gould indicated that the June 15th meeting of the UEZ board coincided with the meeting of the Board of Commissioners and was cancelled. However, she will speak to the Executive Director of the UEZ with regard to this proposal.

 

The Clerk reported that there have been some recent developments with regard to the Borough’s continued participation in the Joint Construction Office of the Wildwoods. He added that he had supplied the governing body with a memorandum from the Chief Financial Officer regarding the matter.

 

Mr. Cabrera inquired as to the deadline for making a determination. The Clerk responded that it must be supplied to the JCOW Board no later than July 1, 2005, for withdrawal. Mr. Cabrera inquired as to when it would actually take effect. The Clerk responded that he was not certain whether it would take effect July 1st or January 1, 2006.

 

He continued by saying that he believed the Borough must supply Notice of Intent to Withdraw by July 1, 2005 in order to withdraw by January 1, 2006.

 

Mr. Groon inquired if JCOW is on a calendar year or fiscal year. The CFO responded that they are calendar year. Mr. Cabrera inquired if the Borough’s participation is “a one year renewal type thing” or for a longer period of time automatically. The Clerk responded that renewal is automatic unless the Borough provides Notice of Intent to Withdraw by July 1st.

 

Mr. Groon stated that he is uncomfortable with the manner in which the Construction Official’s retirement was dealt with, as well as the financial issues. Mrs. Gould stated that the Borough had once before notified JCOW of its intent to withdraw, and the problems were resolved. Mrs. Gould went on to state that there are now some issues with the 2004 audit. She explained to those in attendance that she is the Borough’s JCOW representative. She added that the 2004 audit report indicated that the cash management plan was not adopted, there were no reconciled bank statements, among other issues. The Clerk interjected that the governing body has expressed grave concerns with sufficient and adequate coverage for Wildwood Crest by the construction office for inspections, as well as strict compliance with construction codes, the abilities of those individuals conducting the inspections, actions taken by the JCOW Board without approval from Wildwood Crest, the lack of control and involvement by the governing body with respect to JCOW’s board, and the “sense of helplessness” as indicated by the Commissioners as to on-going construction in the Borough. The Clerk added that a number of these issues have been brought to light, with the Construction Official present, by the previous administration to address the Borough’s concerns for various matters. He added that those problems will remain whether Mr. Preston retires in August or not due to lack of manpower in the JCOW operation to meet the full and complete needs of Wildwood Crest.

 

The Solicitor interjected that there are other issues, including the fact that at the time Wildwood Crest entered into the Agreement with JCOW, that entity leased their office building. Since that time, the three municipalities have purchased that property under a joint agreement. The Solicitor expressed her concerns with regard to not only what the Borough may or may not be receiving with regard to unencumbered cash, but also the issue of the Borough’s ownership in the building. She indicated she did not know if the Borough would be “paid out” for its share in the building, which is 21%. She added that if the Borough knew it would receive payment for the 21% of the real estate, and the Borough’s 21% of unencumbered funds, then the Commissioners would have some financial basis for consideration. She stated her doubt that those issues could be resolved prior to the July 1st deadline to make a decision with regard to withdrawing from JCOW.

 

The Clerk interjected that there are also concerns with regard to recruitment and retention of a certified construction official, funding in place for operating expenses and staff, etc; all of which would be absolutely necessary for a January 1, 2006 of any new construction office in Wildwood Crest.

 

Mr. Groon inquired if all of the “issues” could be put in one document in order for the Commissioners to review them and make a determination, and thereafter provide correspondence to JCOW indicating that the Board may make a determination at its June 29th meeting. He expressed his opinion that JCOW has a right to know what the Borough’s complaints are specifically, including the issue with the retirement buy-out, etc.

 

The Clerk summarized by stating that it would be the intent that everyone document their thoughts and concerns, provide those in writing, inclusive of the CFO, and the Clerk will draft a letter in conjunction with the Solicitor for presentation to JCOW.

 

It was determined that the referenced information will be provided to JCOW, their attorney, as well as the Mayors of each of the other island-wide communities. The Clerk requested that those comments be provided to him within a short period of time.

 

Mr. Cabrera interjected that he was convinced that the Borough has an enforcement issue with JCOW, and it was his opinion that it is due to the volume of development taking place between the various municipalities. He added that at some point the development boom will stop, and that is when there will be benefits of a joint construction office. He expressed his concern that should the Borough withdraw from JCOW at this time, there may be an issue of not having enough development in the future to warrant a construction department in the Borough. Mr. Cabrera opined that the CFO should put together a sample budget and a projected fee structure to assist with the decision. He expressed his concern that the Borough is being reactive rather than proactive in dealing with the development problems as well as issues with JCOW, and it was his opinion that enforcement must be addressed. However, until the Commissioners receive the requested information, he was not prepared to make any decisions with regard to JCOW. He suggested that perhaps after Mr. Preston retires, the Borough could hire a zoning officer “in house” who would review all development applications before they are approved by JCOW.

 

Mr. Groon interjected that there are many issues to be reviewed and resolve, and it was his opinion that the Commissioners probably would not be able to make a decision prior to the July 1st deadline. He added that it was his opinion that the first step would be to put all of the Borough’s concerns down, which would create a basis to make a move in 2006.

 

Mrs. Gould stated her opinion that “JCOW is a good thing” and that she “signed off on it” when she was Mayor. However, no one anticipated the growth that the island is experiencing. Consequently, JCOW is not able to handle the volume.

 

The Clerk stated that he would await the Commissioners’ comments and, together with the Solicitor, put their concerns in writing and provide a draft to the Commissioners for their review. He requested that the Commissioners provide their comments by the week of June 20th.

 

There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Groon opened the floor for public comments.

 

Bob Patterson, 8405 Seaview Avenue , commented on “the construction mess” in Wildwood Crest, and expressed his displeasure at the contractors. He complained of the trash and debris blowing into his yard from neighboring construction projects, as well as “portable toilets” sitting at the sites “month after month.” He added that he has called JCOW numerous times to complain about problems with construction sites. It was his opinion that “the contractors are running the Borough of Wildwood Crest.” He went on to state that “we need to take control.”  Mr. Patterson also expressed his endorsement of a skateboard park.

 

Jim Johnstone, 300 East Miami Avenue , added his complaints about JCOW, agreeing that things are not getting done in the Borough. He added that “construction traffic” does not use the established routes in the Borough. He urged the Borough to implement “impact fees” to alleviate the cost to the Borough of the damage created by contractors. It was his opinion that the Joint Construction Office is not doing its job.

 

Mr. Johnstone then inquired of Ordinance No. 977 introduced earlier, if it includes the R-1, R1C, R-2, R-3 and the business zone. Mr. Groon responded in the affirmative. Mr. Johnstone then inquired as to the M-1 Zone. Mr. Groon responded that the Master Planner and the Planning Board are still involved with a process regarding that zone, and the Borough is probably “a couple of months away” from resolving that.

 

Mr. Johnstone then commented on the road reconstruction presently taking place, and questioned what will happen in September when “they need to rip down another building” and the streets are torn up. Mr. Cabrera responded, that they “can’t do it.”

 

Mr. Johnstone went on to state that Wildwood Crest needs its own construction office because the Borough would be more able to keep tabs on things that are going on in the community. He stated that he would “rather pay more money for that in our own community so we can keep tabs on these projects and these developers.”

 

Mr. Johnstone then suggested that an ordinance be enacted whereby developers would be required to level a property and plant grass after a building is ripped down if construction is not scheduled to commence within “a couple of months.”

 

Mr. Groon responded to Mr. Johnstone’s comments that (1) there is a stepped up enforcement by the Borough’s Code Office, adding that a letter has been sent to all contractors and signed by all three Commissioners regarding enforcement of the code; (2) that the Commissioners are having “wide ranged discussions about where to go” with regard to JCOW, Planning, Zoning, etc.

He added that “these things may not be resolved as quickly as we would like, but we are going to talk about every aspect of construction.” Mr. Johnstone then inquired about the “dirt flying around and going down the sewers.” Mr. Groon responded, “we can certainly find out about it; that’s a good issue.” Mr. Johnstone added that several people have called the Code Enforcer in Wildwood Crest and were told that they should either call JCOW or that nothing can be done about the “dirt piles.”  Mrs. Gould interjected that one of the Code Enforcement Officers has gotten in touch with Mr. Mitchell about a project to try to get the lot leveled.

 

Mr. Cabrera responded to Mr. Johnstone that during the summer there is additional Code Enforcement with Saturday coverage. Mr. Cabrera added that there is a new dumpster ordinance in effect which requires permits for dumpsters placed on the street. Mr. Cabrera went on to state, with respect to developer impact fees, that the State Legislature “will not allow it to happen.”

 

Meg Tymer, 210 East Washington Avenue , commented on the Joint Construction Office and the many problems with that entity over the years. She expressed her concern that time will be spent on gathering information and presenting it to JCOW, but what leverage does the Borough have to get a constructive response. She also expressed her concerns about the later start time for developers in the summer, and asked “what about the people that live here all year around.”  She went on to comment about a property on Charleston that she has heard is being torn down and three homes built. Ms. Tymer expressed her concern that that zone is “low density” but that three homes will be allowed to replace one home. Mr. Groon responded that nothing to his knowledge has come before the Planning Board. Mrs. Gould interjected “there is a lot of rumor going around.” Mr. Groon continued that nothing formally has been presented. The Clerk interjected that the property is two single lots and the intent, from his understanding, is to put two single family homes on the property. Ms. Tymer added her concern that the character of the street will change since the new homes will face the side streets rather than the main streets. She suggested that corner lots should have “other kinds of restrictions.”

 

Tony Eisle, 118 West Cresse Avenue , commented on the increase of rental properties in Wildwood Crest and the multiple realty signs. He suggested that there be a limit placed on the number of realtor signs to be permitted on a property. The Clerk interjected that the Zoning Ordinance addresses that issue, and it then becomes an enforcement issue. The Clerk added that the current Construction Official is also the Borough’s Zoning Officer, and that consideration is being made to having that position filled by an independent person and a Borough resident. Mr. Eisle inquired if the Zoning Ordinance permits more than one sign on the property. The Clerk responded that he did not know without checking the ordinance, but that he would be happy to give a copy of the ordinance to Mr. Eisle. Mr. Eisle inquired as to whom to call to report a violation. The Clerk responded that the Zoning Officer would be the person to call.

 

Mr. Eisle then commented on the proposed skateboard park. He suggested that perhaps a shuffleboard court be included for the general population, and it would be less of an insurance liability.

 

Nancy Pietropaoli, indicated that more than one year ago she had come before the Board of Commissioners to complain about the tax on her mercantile license, and at the time she was told that she had to pay it because the condo she owned was in a building with more than five units. She has recently learned that the tourism development fee does not apply to year around rentals. She spoke to Jamey Cafiero at the Convention Center who advised her that the TDF does not apply to year around rentals, and was advised to “take it back to her Commissioners.” She questioned what procedure the Borough has for proving she has a year around rental; does she have to show a lease or other documentation. The Clerk responded that at this point, there is a plan in progress to change the billing procedures. However, the concern would be that there has never been an ability to provide a distinction between summer rentals and year around rentals.

 

Mrs. Pietropaoli added her approval of the proposed skateboard park project, indicating that she personally knows of six Wildwood Crest children who go to the North Wildwood skate park.

 

The Solicitor interjected that the statute does not distinguish between year around rentals or seasonal rents, even as amended.

 

Louise Johnstone, 300 East Miami , speaking on behalf of the Beautification Committee and the Neighborhood Watch, indicated that she delivered bows for the yard sale in May and went up and down streets looking for addresses. Many of the homes do not have addresses on them, and when she brought the matter to the former administration she was told it was a concern of the Borough for police, fire and rescue, and she was further told there was an ordinance in place requiring house numbers. The Clerk responded in the affirmative, and went on to request that if Mrs. Johnstone has specific locations, they should be reported to the Code Enforcement Officer. Mrs. Johnstone suggested that a reminder be placed in with the tax bills. Mrs. Gould indicated she would look into doing that.

 

Mrs. Johnstone reported the approval of the Neighborhood Watch of the proposed skateboard park.

 

Bruce Smith of the Tangiers Motel stated his support of the skateboard park project.

 

Ann Fitzgerald appeared to make a presentation regarding the Sunset Lake Hydrofest, but realized that she was not on the agenda. She was advised that the matter has been referred to Committee with Mrs. Gould and then a presentation to the governing body. Mr. Cabrera inquired as to how long Ms. Fitzgerald’s presentation would take. She responded, “five minutes.” She was asked to proceed. Ms. Fitzgerald presented the Board of Commissioners with documentation regarding the Hydrofest in September 2005. She indicated that she wanted the two new Commissioners to be made aware of “where the Borough fits into this event.” She went on to state that it is basically the Borough’s event, but she coordinates it. She added that she first requested support from the Borough in 2000 and the event has grown since that time. Ms. Fitzgerald indicated, “the event can’t happen without support from the community.” She stated that she coordinates over 150 volunteers to make the event happen. She went on to state that tourism is behind the event, as well as the Borough of Wildwood Crest. Her budget originally was $35,000 to $40,000 and it has grown to a budget of $55,000 in 2004 and in 2005 she anticipates that it will grow to $60,000. She added that her ultimate goal is $85,000 to $100,000. She said she is always short on prize money for the teams, but that they are still willing to come to this event. She is “growing” the business dollars she receives, although it is difficult. She went on to add that the Borough is extremely supportive with dollars, as well as GWTIDA.

 

With regard to the 2005 event, Ms. Fitzgerald indicated that the tide will be in the afternoon so the event will be held in the afternoon rather than the morning as it has been in the last few years.

 

She indicated that the date for 2006 is in the package she presented to the Board of Commissioners.

 

Ms. Fitzgerald stated that the Borough departments involved will get memos from her during the last week of August as to the services required, and she will be meeting with Chief DePaul during the week of June 20th to discuss issues with him.

 

She inquired if any of the Commissioners had any questions of her regarding the event. Mrs. Gould stated that this event is the same day as the Borough’s Seafarers’ event, adding that Seafarers’ will be changed from Sunset Lake to the Rambler Road Gazebo. Mrs. Gould voiced her concern as to how the two events will work, adding that when Seafarer’s was first commenced there were no other competing events. There are now the Irish Festival in North Wildwood and the Hydrofest. Ms. Fitzgerald responded that the date is dictated by the tides and that she met with Mr. Cabrera in July 2004 regarding the 2005 event. She went on to state that the weekend chosen for 2005 is the only high tide weekend available. In addition to the tides, she must coordinate the event with the entire boat racing circuit. Mrs. Gould state that she did not disagree with what Ms. Fitzgerald was saying, and that she just wanted the public to know the circumstances surrounding the moving of Seafarer’s. Mrs. Gould went on to state that there has been a suggestion made that the trolley be reserved for the day to transport people between the events since they are both on Rambler Road, one at each end. Ms. Fitzgerald responded, “that’s a wonderful idea.” Mrs. Gould went on to state that she will be speaking to the operators of the trolley to see if arrangements can be made.

 

Ms. Fitzgerald asked that she be allowed to meet with each of the Commissioners individually with regard to matters dealing with each of their departments.

Mr. Cabrera interjected that he will be meeting with the Recreation Supervisor to make plans for the day. He added that it was his hope that “we can make it a really special two event weekend in Wildwood Crest.”

 

William Hoeger, 8002 Atlantic Avenue , commented on the introduction of the Master Plan ordinance, indicating that at the last Planning Board meeting with the Planners, the Planners had indicated “there was going to be input into the M-1 Zone.” He questioned how the Commissioners can “adopt something with a major portion missing from it,” adding that the public has had no input into the plan. Mr. Groon responded that a meeting with the planners is being scheduled with regard to the M-1 Zone. Mr. Hoeger inquired how the Master Plan can be adopted with a major portion missing. Mr. Groon responded, “we adopted a portion of the Master Plan.”

 

Mr. Hoeger then commented on the format of the Commissioners’ meeting under the Open Public Meetings Act. He inquired how the public can have input into resolutions before they are voted upon by the Commissioners. He asked if the meeting can be opened to the public for discussion before the resolutions are voted upon. He stressed that the public has no input into resolutions prior to being voted upon. Mr. Groon thanked Mr. Hoeger for his comments.

 

Jim Johnstone, 300 East Miami Avenue, commented on the occurrence of a person being run over by a vehicle on the Wildwood beach the week before, adding that the Borough has quite a few vehicles on the beach and inquired if there can be some type of communication system implemented whereby each lifeguard would have “communicating apparatuses” in order to call back to a central location. He went on to inquire how many vehicles are utilized on the beach. Mr. Groon responded that it was his understanding there are three Jeeps or trucks, and two or three “mules.” Mr. Johnstone stated, “it’s a dangerous thing down there.”

There being no further public comments, a closed session was next authorized to be held, the purposes for which are approved by the provisions of the Open Public Meeting Act, specifically for matters of negotiation: GWTIDA billing and collections costs; and potential litigation: Cresse Avenue sewerage billing. Therefore, THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 32-05

(Closed Session: Negotiation [GWTIDA billing & collection costs] and

potential litigation [Cresse Avenue Sewerage billing])

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Upon returning from closed session, there being no further comments or discussion, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the meeting be adjourned.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes  

Dated:        June 29, 2005
 ____________________________________

Kevin M. Yecco, Borough Clerk

 

 

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