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Minutes of Commissioners Meeting   -   June 14, 2006

Note:  Complete Meeting Appears on Tape #17-06 on File in the Borough Clerk’s Office June 14, 2006
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 Commissioners’ Meeting Room at 9:30 a.m.  On roll call the following answered to their names:

Gould - Cabrera – 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 November 10, 2005.

 

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

 

Prior to the commencement of the regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners presented a Proclamation to Carol Ludgate, a teacher at Crest Memorial School , honoring her for being named the “2006 Cape May County Teacher of the Year.” Ms. Ludgate thanked the Board of Commissioners for the recognition.

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Ordinance No. 1011 be placed on second reading and final passage by title only.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE BY TITLE ONLY:

ORDINANCE NO. 1011

AN ORDINANCE CREATING REQUIREMENT FOR CERTIFICATE OF ZONING COMPLIANCE UPON TITLE TRANSFER OF TITLE TO ANY STRUCTURE, PORTION OF A STRUCTURE OR UNIT IN A STRUCTURE

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that a public hearing be held on Ordinance No. 1011.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Jim Johnstone, 300 East Miami Avenue, inquired if the pending ordinance would apply to the sale of every unit or property in Wildwood Crest. Mr. Groon responded in the affirmative. Mr. Johnstone then inquired if the fees would be required to be paid by the individual. Mr. Groon responded in the affirmative. Mr. Groon went on to advise that the ordinance is a way of addressing the issues of full disclosure upon the sale of a property. The Solicitor added that many municipalities are enacting the same type of ordinance. The purpose is to assure that the buyer of a property is made aware if the property is non-conforming or what renovations are permitted. She added that it is also an avenue for Borough officials to “get in and inspect properties and insurance compliance.” Mr. Johnstone inquired if banks have done the inspections in the past. The Solicitor responded that bank inspections are for value only.

There being no further public comments, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the public hearing on Ordinance No. 1011 be closed.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Ordinance No. 1011 be passed on second and final reading and advertised according to law.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Ordinance No. 1012 be placed on second reading and final passage by title only.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE BY TITLE ONLY:

ORDINANCE NO. 1012

AN ORDINANCE AUGMENTING AND AMENDING CHAPTER 79, VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC, OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF WILDWOOD CREST, COUNTY OF CAPE MAY AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY, ARTICLE V, THROUGH STREETS, STOP INTERSECTIONS, AND YIELD INTERSECTIONS, SECTION 79-15, STOP INTERSECTIONS DESIGNATED, 79-39 SCHEDULE VIII; AND AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 850, SECTION 3, ADOPTED JANUARY 13, 1999

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that a public hearing be held on Ordinance No. 1012.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Jim Johnstone, 300 East Miami Avenue, inquired how the changes authorized by the pending ordinance would improve the safety of the area involved. The Chief of Police responded that there has been an on-going problem in the area due to the narrow nature of the street. He indicated that his department has worked closely with the City of Wildwood and the State Department of Transportation to implement a traffic flow in the area that would best serve the public safety in the area, as well as the concerns of the residents in the area.

There being no further public comments, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the public hearing on Ordinance No. 1012 be closed.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Ordinance No. 1012 be passed on second and final reading and advertised according to law.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE BY TITLE ONLY:

ORDINANCE NO. 1014

AN ORDINANCE REPEALING IN ITS ENTIRETY CHAPTER 10, BILLBOARDS AND SIGNS, OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF WILDWOOD CREST, COUNTY OF CAPE MAY AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY, AND REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 273 ADOPTED MARCH 14, 1962 AND ORDINANCE NO. 336 ADOPTED JULY 14, 1965

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Ordinance No. 1014 be passed on first reading, advertised according to law, be brought up for second and final reading and public hearing on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 265-06

(Authorizing submission of application and agreement for state aid

to municipalities under the NJ Transportation Trust Fund Authority

act and Local Bridge Bond Act for Municipal Aid for reconstruction

of Heather Road)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 266-06

(Authorizing re-appointment of Louis J. Belasco, Jr. as

Judge of the Municipal Court)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 267-06

(Authorizing issuance of a Special Events Permit to Paul Nyhus for the

purpose of holding a wedding ceremony on June 17, 2006 at the Palm Road beach)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 268-06

(Authorizing issuance of five authorized ice cream vending licenses)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 269-06

(Authorizing form and sale of $1,500,000 General Bonds of 2006)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 270-06

(Authorizing refund of tax/sewer overpayment to Countrywide Tax

Service Corp. for block/lot 54-20-C0103)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 271-06

((Authorizing renewal of professional services contract for bond counsel

to Hawkins Delafield and Wood)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 272-06

(Authorizing the Tax Collector to provide gallonage credit to a certain

sewer account pursuant to a resolution of the City of Wildwood)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that all bills property authorized as submitted, and which appear in full on the following page, be paid.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Mr. Groon asked Mr. Cabrera for a status report with regard to the extension of the bike path. Mr. Cabrera indicated that the governing body needed to make a decision with respect to revising the original application to the State to move the bike path from the beach to Rambler Road and along Sunset Lake. He added that the cost for that project in round number would be approximately $750,000 of which $250,000 would come from the State. Mr. Cabrera went on to indicate that the State has advised the Borough’s Engineer that it is unlikely that asphalt and concrete would be permitted by CAFRA on the beach-front project. The State was not able to offer any solutions as to any other types of materials to be used on the beach for this purpose, other than to indicate that it must be “temporary, seasonal and able to be removed” unless the Borough was willing to take on CAFRA to be permitted to build a permanent bike path on the beach.   Mr. Groon indicated that he was not in favor of the Rambler Road/Sunset Lake route. He went on to state that the Sunset Lake route would “pick up” only ten blocks and left with nowhere to go. The cost would be approximately one-half the cost of building a wood bike path on the beach. Mr. Groon indicated his preference to return to the beach-front plan, extend the path as far as the money will permit, incorporating a dune system and a compromise with CAFRA, and build the path “in increments as we get the money.”

Mr. Groon reiterated his opinion that the beach is where the bike path should be, and the issues with CAFRA should be resolved.

 

Mrs. Gould disagreed with Mr. Groon, indicating that she liked the idea of going up Rambler Road to Sunset Lake since the cost would be substantially lower.

 

Mr. Groon added that the surrounding municipalities are “investing in something” and at some point the governing body needs to decide what is best for the community. The bike path would have benefits to year around residents as well as the tourist industry. Since North Wildwood and Wildwood have bike paths of some sort most of the length of their beaches, it would be logical for the Wildwood Crest path to extend the length of the beach. He added that he would like to see the creation of a dune system in conjunction with the bike path.

 

Mrs. Gould agreed with Mr. Groon regarding the dune system, but added that beach-front property owners are complaining that the dunes block their views and their access to the beach.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that the Sunset Lake option would really only entail widening the existing sidewalk along New Jersey Avenue at Sunset Lake. He added that the Borough could undertake that project, but “keep the ball moving” on the extension of the path along the beach. Mrs. Gould asked if the sidewalk at Sunset Lake would be widened “westerly.” Mr. Cabrera responded in the affirmative. Mrs. Gould then inquired what impact that would have environmentally. Mr. Cabrera responded that the pending shore stabilization project to commence in the fall of 2006 will provide a “gain” of about five or six feet westerly. Essentially, Mr. Cabrera was stating that a dune project on the beach could be commenced, but utilize the $250,000 from the state for the path along Sunset Lake. He reminded the governing body that the State was requiring a response with regard to the $250,000 on or before June 30, 2006, and that a decision was needed at this meeting.

 

Mr. Groon stated that the dune system would not be tied to the bike path project, but that a dune system would be “critical” to support the bike path. Mr. Cabrera indicated that the Borough could still move forward with the bike path along Sunset Lake at this time, with the idea that it will eventually extend the length of the beach after the resolution of the issues with CAFRA.

 

Mr. Groon added that it has been his vision that the Borough would have a bike path on the beach at some point to be used from one end of the island to the other. Additionally, he had hoped that a plan could be worked out with Lower Township to extend the path into that municipality.

 

Mr. Cabrera indicated that the issue before the governing body was whether the Borough would utilize the $250,000 from the state, and, if so, for which project to extend the bike path. He added that the costs of the projects would be $750,000 on Sunset Lake or $1.5 million on the beach (with CAFRA battles). He reminded the governing body that the beach project would take a long time to commence because of the CAFRA issues, but that the shore stabilization project at Sunset Lake was scheduled to commence in the fall of 2006. He added that he “just want(s) a bike path.” Mr. Groon indicated that he would like to utilize the $250,000 as “seed money” for the beach project and keep the bikes off the streets. He suggest that the Borough apply for the $250,000 from the state for the beach bike path and use those funds as seed money, and also try to work out the issues with CAFRA. Mrs. Gould asked if Mr. Groon was referring to the “at grade” plan. He responded that he was.

 

Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the Borough would apply for the $250,000 grant from the State of New Jersey to be utilized toward extension of the bike path along the beach front, at grade, to acknowledge that the Borough is still interested in moving forward with that project, and also with the understanding that there are CAFRA issues to be resolved with the project.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Mr. Groon reported that the Board of Commissioners had received a request from Lion Television on behalf of The Learning Channel to film a documentary in Wildwood Crest. The Deputy Clerk indicated the project involves a group of people who had spent their summers in the Wildwoods during the late 1970s and early 1980s, who are being brought back to the Wildwoods to see how the Wildwoods have changed. The request is for permission to film on the beach, but specifically with no vehicles on the beach, as well as driving through the community filming from vehicles. The Deputy Clerk added that a $1 million liability insurance policy had been supplied. Mrs. Gould requested that the letter of proposal be read by the Deputy Clerk. That letter was read in full. Mr. Groon inquired if the Chief of Police had reviewed the request, and if he had any issues with it. The Chief responded that his only request would be that when they come into town, they register their vehicles with his department in order that his department be aware of who they are. The Solicitor also requested that they execute a “Hold Harmless Agreement.” The Deputy Clerk indicated she would add those requests to the letter to Lion Television. Mrs. Gould then motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that permission be granted to Lion Television on behalf of The Learning Channel to film a documentary on the beach as well as from vehicles on the streets over the July 2-4, 2006 weekend.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon

 

Mr. Groon asked that the Fishing Pier matter be added under “old business” on the agenda since a long-term decision had not been reached with regard to its status. He also asked that Mr. Cabrera will need to report on the status of securing the safety of the area. He also reminded the Chief of Police that the parking issue at the pier needed to be addressed by that department.

 

Mr. Groon then asked Mr. Cabrera for a status report on the brick paver proposal from the Beautification Committee. Mr. Cabrera responded that the project is “pretty much ready to go.” He added that sometime after the summer it will be advertised that the program will be available. It will be facilitated through Public Works and have the monies come in to the Borough’s Operating Account and then expense out the actual cost of the pavers.

 

Jim Johnstone, 300 East Miami Avenue, inquired with regard to the resolution previously adopted authorizing a bond sale as to what the funds would be used for. Mr. Cabrera responded that it would partially fund the Phase 3A street reconstruction project.

 

Mr. Johnstone then inquired as to some of the street reconstruction being performed as to why some of the ADA ramps at some streets had been removed. Mrs. Gould responded that those ramps were constructed five or six years ago without the drainage grates required, and in order to put those drainage grants in, the ramps had to be removed and replaced.

 

Mr. Johnstone agreed with the proposal to put the bike path on the beach.

 

He then inquired if the proposed fitness park will have the same issues with CAFRA. Mr. Cabrera responded that the fitness park would not involve CAFRA approval since it is not on the beach. Mr. Johnstone then inquired as to the cost of the fitness park. Mr. Cabrera responded that the estimate is approximately $475,000. Mr. Johnstone asked if the Borough would be bonding that project. Mr. Cabrera responded that the difference between the funds being received from the County of Cape May and the actual cost would be bonded. Mr. Johnstone inquired as to how much was being received from the County. Mr. Cabrera answered, $157,000. Mr. Groon added that the fitness park will enhance the area.

 

Mr. Johnstone asked if the Borough is receiving additional revenues in the form of more taxes to pay for these various projects, or will the Borough be bonding the projects. Mr. Groon responded that the Chief Financial Officer was not available to fully answer the question, but added that the Borough will probably be bonding the balance of the bike path project. Mrs. Gould agreed, adding that the Borough attempts to keep the tax rate as low as possible. Mr. Johnstone stated that the debt service will increase with more bonding. It was Mr. Johnstone’s opinion that a fitness park is not needed. The Commissioners advised Mr. Johnstone that it will be more than a fitness park. The plan is for it to be an entertainment area with a pavilion, grassy areas, etc. Mr. Johnstone inquired if the Rambler Road gazebo will be removed. Mrs. Gould responded that that has not been decided. Mr. Groon added that a final plan has not been determined.

 

Tony Eisle, 118 West Cresse Avenue, stated that the “surreys” rented by vacationers are used on the bike path and to route them onto Rambler Road would create a safety issue. He agreed that the bike path should remain on the beach.

 

Mr. Eisle reported that the Beautification Committee had commented on the disrepair of the planters along Sunset Lake, and some of the members have volunteered to tend the planters. He inquired if those planters will be “tied in” with the shore stabilization project. Mr. Cabrera responded that they will be refurbished in conjunction with the stabilization project.

 

Mr. Eisle then inquired if more decorative lights could be added to New Jersey Avenue to supplement the visual effect. Mr. Cabrera responded that the electric company no longer permits anything to be mounted to their poles.

 

Louise Johnstone, 300 East Miami Avenue, reported that the Beautification Committee will be planting flowers at the gazebo as well as the library.

 

Mrs. Johnstone inquired as to the status of the proposed Baker House acquisition. Mr. Cabrera responded that the Borough had applied to the Cape May County Open Space Fund and he and the Clerk made a presentation before that entity. The County has advised the Borough that they will not be providing any funding since the property does not meet their criteria. He added that the current owner may have an interested buyer, but that is not confirmed.

 

Mrs. Johnstone then inquired if there will be electricity provided at the new fitness park. Mr. Cabrera responded in the affirmative.

 

Mrs. Johnstone asked if the Borough was any closer to securing shuffleboard courts somewhere in the Borough. Mr. Cabrera responded that that was something being looked at potentially for the Rambler Road area. Additionally, the Recreation Commission has determined that the tennis courts are in need of repair and that may be a potential location.

 

Mrs. Johnstone also expressed her support for the bike path on the beach.

 

There being no further public comments, THE DEPUTY CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION, for the purpose of discussing in closed session authorized subjects that included the GWTIDA administrative charges, JCOW Fire Inspection issues, and Lower Township Emergency Services, BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 273-06

(Closed session – potential litigation regarding GWTIDA administrative charges

and matters of public safety regarding JCOW fire inspection issue and

Lower Township emergency services)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Mr. Groon interjected, on behalf of the Clerk in his absence, that no formal action was taken at the closed session meeting other than that Mr. Groon was designated as the “interjector” since there were no interjections made during the closed session.

 

Upon returning from closed session, and no formal action being required, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the meeting be adjourned.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Dated:        June 28, 2006                       

Kevin M. Yecco, Clerk/Administrator

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