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Minutes of Special Commissioners Meeting   -   July 12, 2006

Note:  Complete "Special" Meeting Appears on Tape #20-06  on File in the Borough Clerk’s Office July 12, 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.

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Ordinance No. 1013 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. 1013

AN ORDINANCE AUGMENTING AND AMENDING THE LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF WILDWOOD CREST AND AMENDING ORDINANCE 983 ADOPTED OCTOBER 26, 2005, CHAPTER 85 – ARTICLE II – SECTION 85-11 DEFINITIONS – HOTEL/MOTEL AND STORY; ARTICLE IV – R-1 LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL – SECTION 85-26 – ACCESSORY USES, SECTION 85-28, I AND J – AREA AND BULK REGULATIONS; ARTICLE V – R-1-A SEMI-LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL, SECTION 85-30 – ACCESSORY USES, SECTION 85-32, I AND J – AREA AND BULK REGULATIONS; ARTICLE VII – R-2 TWO-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL ZONE – SECTION 85-40 C, E, G, H – AREA AND BULK REGULATIONS; ARTICLE X – MC MARINE COMMERCIAL ZONE – SECTION 85-55 H – AREA AND BULK REGULATIONS; ARTICLE XI – M1A, M1B, M1C ZONE – HOTEL/MOTEL AND MULTI-FAMILY ZONE, SECTION 85-60 A AND B – AREA AND BULK REGULATIONS; ARTICLE XIV – EXCEPTIONS AND SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS – SECTION 85-82 A AND B – FENCES AND WALLS

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that a public hearing be held on Ordinance No. 1013.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

There being no public comments, Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, that the public hearing on Ordinance No. 1013 be closed.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Ordinance No. 1013 be passed on second and final reading and advertised according to law.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 283-06

(Authorizing appointment of Caroline Hennessey to serve as Tax Collector for the unexpired term of Susan Peifer to a term commencing July 22, 2006 and concluding December 31, 2008)

 

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. 284-06

(Authorizing issuance of a Raffle License under Application RA-91 to Wildwood Crest Volunteer Fire co. No. 1)

 

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. 285-06

(Authorizing issuance of Special Events Permit to Kathleen Tressel for the purpose of holding a Christmas in July Block Party on July 29, 2006 on Charleston Avenue between New Jersey and Bayview)

 

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. 286-06

(Authorizing issuance of Special Events Permit to Marine Mammal Stranding Center for the purpose of holding a swim race on July 15, 2006 at Rambler Road beach)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 287-06

(Authorizing issuance of Special Events Permit to Anthony & Kimberly McDonald for the purpose of holding a wedding on August 5, 2006 at Columbine Road beach)

 

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. 288-06

(Authorizing issuance of Special Events Permit to Joanne Cipullo and Shawn Martin for the purpose of holding a wedding on August 27, 2006 at Atlanta Avenue Beach)

 

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. 289-06

(Authorizing refund to Shayna L. Bailey in the amount of $40 for an ambulance transport overpayment)

 

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. 290-06

(Authorizing Notice to Bidders for Shore Stabilization Project for advertisement on July 19, 2006 and receipt of bids on August 23, 2006)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 291-06

(Authorizing renewal of Animal Control Services Agreement to Tri-County Animal Control Services)

 

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. 292-06

(Authorizing submission of application to NJ Enterprise Zone Authority for Fiscal Year 2007)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

The Clerk reported to the Board of Commissioners that Edward Kennedy, the Borough’s Auditor, has retired from Ford Scott and Associates. He indicated that Glen Ortman has been handling the auditor duties for the past several years as lead auditor and his name has replaced Mr. Kennedy for appointment in this regard. HE THEREAFTER READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 293-06

(Authorizing appointment of Glenn Ortman as Borough Auditor)

 

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. 294-06

(Authorizing re-appointment of Ralph Petrella as Borough Engineer)

 

Mr. Cabrera 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. 295-06

(Authorizing re-appointment of Joyce P. Gould to the UEZ)

 

Mr. Cabrera 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. 296-06

(Authorizing re-appointment of Mark Roszkowski to UEZ)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 297-06

(Authorizing re-appointment of Jeff Walden to UEZ)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 298-06

(Authorizing re-appointment of Randy Lafferty as Municipal Prosecutor)

 

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. 299-06

(Authorizing advertisement of Notice to Bidders for purchase of lumber)

 

Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, 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 fully contained on the following page, be paid.

Vote:           Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

With regard to the Smart Growth Grant matter, the Clerk reported to the Board of Commissioners that he had spoken to Oliver Curley of Vollmer Associates to advise him that the Borough is still waiting for a letter from the Department of Community Affairs confirming that the $30,000 funds are available for distribution, and that after that the Borough is required to adopt a resolution incorporating those funds into the 2006 budget. Thereafter, the Borough can authorize a resolution to enter into a contract with Vollmer Associates.

The Clerk added that he has also spoken to a representative at the DCA requesting the letter once again in order that the Borough might proceed with release of the funds to Vollmer Associates.

 

With regard to the Borough’s Bond Rating, Mrs. Gould reported that she and the CFO had met with the auditor recently, who suggested that the Borough apply to Moody’s for a higher bond rating. She added that the Borough is rated at the same level as Lower Township and Ventnor, and it is possible that the Borough’s rating could be increased. She did indicate that it would cost the Borough approximately $10,000 to make the application, but a higher rating could save the Borough substantial monies in interest rates. The CFO added that there is no guarantee that the Borough’s rating would be upgraded, since Moody’s reviews many different types of data to make the determination. Mrs. Gould stated that the auditor had indicated that the Borough’s deferred school tax and the use of fund balance would be looked upon favorably. The Clerk interjected that they look for not only financial stability, but stability of the government. The CFO stated that it is an all-encompassing process and he could not say where they put their weight. He added that normally the higher the rating, the better the interest rate when bonds are sold. He went on to state that he did not know whether the Borough would realize a “return on the investment,” but added that most towns are going through the process. He added that the last time the Borough went through a formal review was 1997 and the rating was not increased. Mr. Cabrera inquired as to the Borough’s present rating. The CFO responded that it is A3. Mr. Cabrera asked if A2 would be the next step and then A1. The CFO responded that the Borough is approximately five steps from the top rating. Mr. Groon inquired if a reason was given for the Borough not being upgraded in 1997. The CFO responded that the rating designations had been changed, and they had indicated that the A3 rating was consistent with most seashore resort areas where the economy is driven over a short period of time. However, it was the CFO’s opinion that with the real estate boom over the past few years, the Borough will be upgraded, but there are no guarantees. Mr. Groon inquired as to the time frame. The CFO responded that the Borough would want to have it done before bonds are sold in September. The Clerk inquired as to funding. The CFO responded that funding would come from improvement authorizations the securities are being issued on. Mrs. Gould state that it is a “win/win” for the Borough and that it would look good for the community. The CFO concurred, adding “if people are investing in a community, they want to know if it is solid.”

There being no further discussion regarding the bond rating matter, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the Borough pursue the bond rating upgrade through Moody’s to be done in August 2006 by the CFO and the auditor with the costs not to exceed $15,000.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

The Clerk reported to the Board of Commissioners, concerning the status of the Wildwood Crest Fishing Pier, that the Superintendent of Public Works has reported that the pier has been secured for public safety and the Risk Control group has been so advised. He added that the Borough Engineer is in the process of determining the condition of the pier as to whether it could support additional extensions if the governing body so determines and what the cost estimates would be for same. Mr. Cabrera added that there is a DCA Small Cities Block Grant available to the Borough, which is the same funding mechanism the Borough has utilized for the beach ramps and walkways. He went on to state that there is a $400,000 ceiling with a 30% match. It was his opinion that the pier could be a project that would qualify for that grant. He added that there is an August 15, 2006 deadline for application for the grant. The Clerk stated that the fishing pier was not publicly held for the past 78 years, and because of that the Borough has not been able to secure any grant funding. Mrs. Gould stated that the pier would have to be extended in order to be able to permit fishing. Mr. Cabrera stated his opinion that the first year the Borough should not be concerned about extending the pier for fishing; that it should be opened to the public and  determine later if the pier should be extended. Mr. Groon inquired as to the time frame for making a determination regarding the grant. Mr. Cabrera responded that a resolution would have to be adopted at the August 9, 2006 meeting in order to meet the August 15, 2006 deadline. The CFO inquired as to whether there is any estimate as to the cost to repair the pier, without an extension. Mr. Groon inquired if the Engineer’s report will be specific enough to make a cost estimate. The Clerk responded that he did not know if there would be cost estimates included in the Engineer’s report. Mr. Groon suggested that an attempt be made to obtain a “ballpark” estimate prior to the meeting of July 26th in order to make a decision about the grant application. Mr. Cabrera stated that the Borough had looked at bringing the pier up to code a few years ago, and the estimate at that time was around $200,000. The Clerk indicated that the Board would have to authorize the grant application process prior to any work being done in that direction.

Mr. Groon inquired as to how to go about obtaining the information regarding the cost estimates without approving the project. The Clerk suggested that a special meeting might be necessary in order to permit sufficient time to advertise the public hearing necessary with the application. Mr. Cabrera suggested that the Commissioners wait for the Engineer’s report and cost estimates and then call a special meeting if necessary. The Clerk suggested that Mr. Cabrera contact the Engineer to request that cost estimates be included in the report. Mr. Groon also asked if the Borough will be repairing the existing building on the pier and will a cost for that be included. The Clerk responded that it would be a part of it and the question would be whether the Commissioners are interested in taking on the project at the costs finally determined. Mr. Groon stated that a decision would be necessary as to what the pier would be used for.

 

Louise Johnstone, 300 East Miami Avenue, congratulated the Beach Patrol on the “wonderful job” they are doing. Mr. Groon thanked Mrs. Johnstone for her comments, and added that the Police Department and the Beach Patrol are working together for “after hours coverage” , as well.

 

Jim Johnstone, 300 East Miami Avenue, inquired as to the Borough’s tax rate. Mrs. Gould responded that the total is $1.27. She added that a resolution had been on the agenda for this meeting to authorize the Tax Collector to send out estimated third quarter tax bills since the numbers for state aid had not been received as of the finalization of the agenda. However, the state aid numbers were received “late Tuesday afternoon,” the day before this meeting, and the Tax Collector’s office was able to print and mail the final bills. The Clerk added that the reason the resolution to send out estimated tax bills was on the agenda was because, if the numbers from the state had not been received, the Borough would not have been able to pay the third quarter County taxes and the Borough would be accruing interest, and there would not be sufficient cash flow to meet the financial obligations of the Borough.

 

Frank Schimmel, 321 Denver Avenue, inquired if the Borough would consider giving a discount to property owners who pay their taxes in full. Mrs. Gould responded that it has been asked “many times,” but it is not permitted under state statutes. Mrs. Gould asked the Solicitor to once again research the question. Mr. Groon inquired as to the Borough’s collection rate. The Clerk responded that it is approximately 98% collection rate. Mrs. Gould indicated that the day the tax bills are received, people are at the door to pay the bills – some even “pushing them under the door if Borough Hall is not open yet.” Mr. Cabrera inquired if a mail drop slot should be installed for after hours payments. It was agreed that it was something to consider.

 

Mr. Johnstone inquired if the County tax rate increased. The Clerk responded that it went up in Wildwood Crest and that it is based upon the adjustments made to the valuations in the municipalities with respect to “true value.”

 

There being no further public comments, and under authorization of approved topics for closed session, specifically GWTIDA administrative charges and potential re-opening of the EMT bargained union agreement, THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 300-06

(Closed session)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Upon returning from closed session, THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 301-06

(Authorizing re-opening of EMT bargained union agreement)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yea

 

There being no further discussion, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the meeting be adjourned.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Dated:        July 26, 2006

Kevin M. Yecco, Clerk/Administrator

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