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Minutes of Commissioners Meeting   -   June 24, 2009

Note:  Complete Meeting Appears on Tapes #17-09 and 18-09 on File in the Borough Clerk’s Office June 24, 2009
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 7:00 p.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 5, 2008.

 

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

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE BY TITLE ONLY:

ORDINANCE NO. 1078

BOND ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING $1,005,000, AND

AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $956,800 BONDS OR

NOTES OF THE BOROUGH, FOR VARIOUS IMPROVEMENTS

OR PURPOSES AUTHORIZED TO BE UNDERTAKEN BY THE

BOROUGH OF WILDWOOD CREST, IN THE COUNTY OF

CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Ordinance No. 1078 be passed on first reading, advertised according to law, be brought up for second and final reading and public hearing on Wednesday, July 8, 2009.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 30-09

(Authorizing re-appointment of Jeff Walden to the UEZ Board of Directors for a term of one year, commencing June 29, 2009 and expiring June 28, 2010)

 

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. 31-09

(Authorizing issuance of a Raffle License under Application No. RA-94, to the Wildwood Crest Volunteer Fire Company 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. 32-09

(Authorizing issuance of a Special Events Permit to the Wildwood Crest Dolphin Swim Team, Inc., for the purpose of holding a “September Splash Bay Swim” on September 26, 2009 at Sunset Lake )

 

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. 33-09

(Authorizing issuance of a Special Events Permit to Andrea Dua for the purpose of holding a wedding ceremony at Denver Avenue Beach on July 17, 2009)

 

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. 34-09

(Authorizing issuance of a Special Events Permit to Barbara Monahan for the purpose of holding a block party on Charleston Avenue between New Jersey Avenue and Bayview Drive on July 25, 2009 from 4 pm to 8 pm)

 

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. 35-09

(Authorizing issuance of a Special Events Permit to Deborah Galliher for the purpose of holding a wedding ceremony at Heather Road Beach on July 19, 2009)

 

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. 36-09

(Authorizing approval to submit grant application and execution of grant agreement with the NJDOT for Reconstruction of Heather Road between Atlantic and Beach Avenues)

 

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. 37-09

(Authorizing approval to submit grant application and execution of grant agreement with the NJDOT for Rambler Road Bikeway between Palm and Rambler Roads)

 

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. 38-09

(Authorizing approval to submit grant application and execution of grant agreement with the NJDOT for Centers of Place – Rambler Road Park Improvements)

 

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. 39-09

(Authorizing $3,678.80 for the 2009-10 Wildwoods’ UEZ administration budget and an additional $2,833.27 in the event additional funding, as an offset, is not collected throughout the balance of the year)

 

Mr. Cabrera 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 properly authorized, as submitted and which appear in full hereinbelow, be paid.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that all reports received, from the Court Administrator, CFO, Tax Collector, Chief of Police, and Recreation Supervisor, for the month ending May 31, 2009 at accepted as presented and filed.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the minutes of regular meetings held May 19, May 27, and June 10, 2009, as well as the closed sessions held on May 27, and June 10, 2009 be approved as presented.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

The Clerk reported that the Borough Engineer had presented to the governing body information regarding ponding of water on the beach. He went on to state that the Engineer’s estimate to remedy the situation was $12,640 and the CFO had indicated that he could certify availability of funds from multiple line items. The Engineer had solicited the required number of quotes, and the lowest responsible bidder, Mitchell-Nicholas, would be able to provide the required services. The Engineer reported that the work to be done under this proposal will not eliminate the problems, but will only drain the water currently on the beach. He added that he would like to review with Commissioner Cabrera and the beach maintenance staff the appropriate procedures for maintaining the beach in order to prevent these types of problems in the future. The Clerk concurred, adding that a member of the supervisory staff will have to be present to insure that the work is being done properly for the long term. Mr. Cabrera stated that he would request the Fleet Maintenance Supervisor to be more directly involved in that aspect of beach maintenance. He added that the recent rains have added to the problem. The Clerk stated the Carpentry Supervisor, who already has responsibility for the beach walkways, be brought into the loop as well; especially due to the very new employment status of the two currently assigned employees.

 

Mr. Groon asked the Engineer if the proposed work would alleviate the situation for some time and not need to be done again in a short period of time. The Engineer responded that it was his hope that it would alleviate the problem for some time. He added that there may be some ponding, but not to the present level.

 

Mr. Groon stated that the ponding occurred during the previous summer. The Engineer responded that the work being done would not alleviate completely the recurring problem of water ponding on the beach. He added that was the reason he wanted to meet with the public works personnel to review procedures.

 

Mr. Groon stated that from a financial standpoint the Borough will have to presume that the problem will recur. Mr. Cabrera interjected that if it continues to rain it will be a possibility. Mr. Groon said that during the summer of 2008 there were ponding problems, even without the extraordinary rain seen during 2009. He added that the Borough will have to presume that it will be an ongoing problem.

 

The Clerk stated that whatever long-term decisions are made regarding the beach maintenance personnel, changing the current procedures will probably resolve some of the problems.

 

The Engineer stated that he would review the procedures to determine if a better course of action could be developed.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that it was his opinion that the long-term fix would be to remove the berm that slopes away from the water and see that the beach slopes toward the water. He added that the work will have to be done during the winter months. Mr. Groon reminded Mr. Cabrera that the Borough’s beach maintenance permit application does not request that activity. Mr. Cabrera responded that it is already a permissible activity. The Engineer interjected that the work will be limited to May 1st to September 30th. The Engineer added that the DEP will not issue a general beach maintenance permit if the Borough requests to do work outside those months. Mr. Cabrera stated that that relates to the back beach. The Engineer and Mr. Groon both responded that it includes the entire beach. The Engineer went on to state that the area north of Rambler where there are dunes is not permitted to be touched at all, year around.

 

With regard to the COWCO renewal agreement, the Clerk reported that it had been fully executed by all municipalities. Said agreement permits COWCO to remain in full force and effect through December 31, 2009.

 

Concerning the Environmental Commission request for an ordinance to require replacement or compensation for environmental damage, the Clerk reported that the Solicitor was working on a draft ordinance for review by the governing body.

 

The Clerk reported that he spoke to Mike Mitchell, with regard to the Rosemary Road Park docks. He indicated that Mr. Mitchell advised, “given the current economic state of affairs, the earliest he can indicate that something would be forthcoming would be eighteen months”.  Mr. Groon stated that it was his opinion that the Borough should not be restricted on fixing up the park because Mr. Mitchell cannot go forward with his plans. The Clerk concurred. The Clerk added that his reason for contacting Mr. Mitchell was that, should he be planning to commence improvements on his parcel in the near future, the Borough would not want to commence any bulkhead work if the connecting dock work could be completed first. Mr. Groon said that if Mr. Mitchell does not commence work for eighteen months, and construction lasts a year or more, it could be three years or more before Mr. Mitchell would be asking for a CO which would trigger the need for his contribution. The Clerk concurred. The Clerk added that the real point is that there is an emergent condition with regard to the bulkhead and something will have to be done in the near future and we are only trying to coordinate both jobs at the same time. Mr. Cabrera said that a meeting should be scheduled with Mr. Mitchell. The Solicitor stated that Mr. Mitchell should be notified that his CAFRA application may require an amendment.

 

Joe Lloyd commented on the Borough’s failure to lower the flags upon the death of former Chief of Police Donald Sheehan. He acknowledged receipt of a letter from the governing body apologizing for the oversight, and asked that the Borough adopt a resolution providing that the flags be lowered upon the death of any employee or former employee. Mr. Groon responded that the Borough did recognize that an oversight had occurred. He added that the governing body did not want to “rush” through a “quick fix” to the situation, but rather wanted a solution that was sustainable and long-term. He advised Mr. Lloyd that if the governing body chooses to implement a procedure, it would be discussed at a future meeting.

 

Mr. Lloyd commented on the beach ponding, stating that it has been a problem for many years. Mr. Groon responded that it has not been a problem to the extent seen recently.

 

There being no further public comments, Mr. Groon requested that the discussion return to the beach maintenance permit.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that it was his understanding that the Borough was permitted to rake 150’ to 200’ west of the lifeguard stands. The Engineer responded that the Borough’s first submission requested permission to do just that year around. The DEP responded that it could only be done when the lifeguard stands were manned. Eventually, the DEP stated that they would only consider on a general permit to allow such work from May 1st to September 30th. Mr. Cabrera inquired what the Borough’s current (expired) permit allows the Borough to do?  The Engineer responded that it permitted 365 days per year, from the water line to the bulkhead. Mr. Cabrera inquired as to why the Borough would want to reduce that timeframe. The Engineer responded that the DEP advised that for a general beach maintenance permit, that was what they would permit. Should the Borough wish to withdraw its application for a general beach maintenance permit and submit an application for an individual permit, that, in the Engineer’s opinion, they likely would not approve it, and would likely have a “huge” fee attached.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that when the issue was first raised, he suggested having the Borough’s attorney involved to start working with the DEP, and at that time the Borough opted to go through the process through the Engineer, resulting in the Borough being “exactly where [he] thought the Borough would be” which was that the DEP is asking the Borough to do something that is not practical. The Engineer responded that the Borough needed to do something to get the general permit, because at any time now the DEP can tell the Borough to not touch the beach because there is no permit for being out there.  The Engineer said that the Borough has formally placed the DEP on notice that the Borough does not agree with what the DEP wants and there will be follow up that the Borough will be asking to do other things, but the beach needs to be maintained now. Mr. Cabrera stated that he did not understand the philosophy of the DEP because in any event the beach needs to be properly maintained. The Clerk interjected that it was his opinion that any adversarial position by the Borough with the DEP, were it to go before a judge and with the Borough’s own Environmental Commission chairman against the Borough, would result in a very difficult set of circumstances. Mr. Cabrera stated that it does not make sense for the DEP to require that the berm be removed only during the summer months. The Engineer stated that the DEP is very well aware that it is an impractical time to do any of the work.

 

The Solicitor inquired as to when the Borough’s permit would expire. The Engineer responded that it expired in October 2008. The Clerk added that the Borough just received another 30 days extension on the review period.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that he did not think the issue was not disturbing the beach near the bulkhead, but rather that it was that the Borough needs to remove the berm in the winter and spring. The Engineer concurred, adding that the DEP has been advised of that, in writing and in conversation, and their response was that the permit would be denied if that language was included in the permit application.

 

Mr. Cabrera asked how Wildwood was permitted to rake all the way back to the boardwalk. The Clerk responded that they may very well have recreation zones that have been approved.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that he just wanted to “get back to where we have been for the last five years” in order to maintain the beach in the winter months. The Engineer indicated that it was his understanding that the prior permit was “a mistake” on the part of the DEP and that they missed that part of the application, and never intended to permit the Borough to do work in the winter.

 

The Clerk stated that it was his opinion that the only thing the Borough can “hang its hat on” was the part of the letter that states, “on a year around basis, the Borough of Wildwood Crest will monitor the accumulation of sand against the east side of the bulkhead primarily in the area south of Rambler Road . Lack of proper beach maintenance exposes the Borough to potential liability from impacted property owners. Therefore, excessively deposited sand borne by either wind or water which poses a potential encroachment onto private property may be mitigated accordingly.” He stated that in his opinion that section provides the Borough some latitude. Mr. Cabrera stated that it would only be to the high water mark. The Clerk reiterated that it states “east of the bulkhead” which includes the entire beach. The Solicitor interjected that the DEP has not agreed to that as yet. The Clerk agreed, but stated that it would provide latitude to the Borough if ultimately accepted.

 

Mr. Groon urged that the Borough address the issue of the application. Mr. Cabrera said that it has already been started. Mr. Groon said he had some questions. He asked for an explanation of No. 3, which would establish a dune line at the bulkhead. The Clerk responded that it was what the Environmental Commission chairman had requested.

 

Mr. Groon then asked for an explanation of No. 4. He stated that it was a newly created paragraph to try to mitigate. The Engineer responded that it is because of the May 1 to September 30 limitation. Mr. Groon inquired as to the chances of getting it through. The Engineer responded “less than 50/50.”

 

Mr. Groon then asked about No. 5. He stated that he was not sure he understood it as a result of No. 3. The Engineer responded that as a condition of the permit, the DEP wanted the Borough to put in writing that the Borough will construct dunes from Rambler Road south prior to the expiration of the general permit to be issued. Mr. Groon inquired if the DEP had specified a location. The Engineer responded that it was Rambler Road south . Mr. Groon reiterated his question as to where. The Engineer responded that there was no exact location. Mr. Groon offered that if the Borough complies with No. 3, the Borough would be in compliance. The Engineer concurred. He added that, if for some reason those dunes do not establish, the DEP would try to force the Borough’s hand to go through the expense of constructing dunes. Mr. Groon stated that it was his opinion that the berm was not listed as an issue, so would that mean that whatever the Borough does with the berm during the 180 days would be okay. The Engineer responded in the affirmative. Mr. Groon, in response, said, in that event,  the Borough will have to operate differently to deal with whatever issues arise between May 1 and September 30.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that it is costing the Borough $12,000 for the work being done presently. Mr. Groon stated that the Borough has two windows per year in which to accomplish the work. Mr. Cabrera stated that this is a negotiation with the DEP, but a one sided negotiation in favor of the DEP.

 

Kendra Lelie and Tom Scangerello of Planning Design Collaborative, LLC, appeared before the governing body regarding the position of Planning Consultant.

 

Mr. Groon stated that he wished to reaffirm the purpose of this meeting, to review all of the issues with regard to planning, Master Plan, COAH, etc., and come up with a long-term recommendation.

 

Mr. Scangerello inquired as to the Borough’s timeframe for commencing work. Mr. Groon responded that work could commence as soon as the governing body approves a contract. The Clerk interjected that there is a timing aspect with regard to COAH.

 

Ms. Lelie indicated her understanding of the Borough’s objective:  the Borough is looking for a report regarding the status of the Borough’s Master Plan and its impact on the Land Use Ordinance. She indicated that her firm’s proposal is an analysis of the Borough’s present status, and where it needs to go in the future to achieve the Borough’s objectives. Additionally, the proposal includes a review of the Borough’s COAH obligations and objectives.

 

Mr. Groon stated that the purpose of asking Ms. Lelie to appear at this meeting was to afford Mrs. Gould and Mr. Cabrera the opportunity to meet with her and to develop an understanding of the direction the Borough needs to take. He stressed that there is much to be done and the governing body will have to be making some decisions regarding COAH.

 

The Clerk interjected that during the initial meeting with Ms. Lelie, some of the Borough’s concerns were laid out for her and indicated that they included the zoning ordinance, Master Plan revision or re-examination, and the COAH obligations.

 

Ms. Lelie indicated that she has been working with Stone Harbor , Avalon and West Cape May with their COAH obligations, and that those municipalities are similar to Wildwood Crest.

 

The Solicitor inquired if the fact that the Borough currently had another planner working on the COAH application would pose a problem with Ms. Lelie’s firm requesting an extension from COAH. The Clerk interjected that it was planned that once an official response was received from COAH, the current planner’s work would be complete and the Borough would be free to proceed with Ms. Lelie’s firm. Mr. Groon added that the Borough’s has received an indication that a response from COAH would be forthcoming. Mr. Scangerello interjected that his firm would not be requesting an extension from COAH; that would be coming from the Borough in any event.

 

Mr. Cabrera asked for confirmation that the proposal submitted by Ms. Lelie’s firm was for Master Plan review. Ms. Lelie responded that it would include Master Plan review and any recommendations required coming from that review. Mr. Cabrera asked if COAH would be “step 2” of the work to be done. Ms. Lelie responded that COAH should be separate from the Master Plan review.

 

Mr. Cabrera inquired if the recreation zone on the beach would be part of the review. Ms. Lelie responded in the affirmative. Mr. Cabrera then inquired if the UEZ district and the New Jersey Avenue streetscape should be part of this work. Ms. Lelie responded that it would be a comprehensive review of the planning documents as well as any discussions with Borough officials to determine the “vision” for the future.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that the current proposal would be “Step 1” and inquired as to how the Borough could get an all encompassing price. Mr. Scangerello responded that after the first step is completed and an analysis is drafted, the governing body would be able to make a determination as to the next step to be taken. The Clerk interjected that it would be contingent upon the recommendations that are made by the Planning and Zoning Board and as accepted by the governing body.

 

Mr. Cabrera inquired of Ms. Lelie whether she felt in her experience that two separate planning and zoning boards are beneficial to a municipality.  Ms. Lelie responded that it would depend upon how much development takes place in the municipality.

 

There being no further matters for discussion, THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 40-09

(Closed session: Personnel matters, specifically health benefits deliberations; potential land acquisition: Crest Memorial School ; long-range plan for Uniform Construction Code Office operations; Borough’s continued participation in the County Library System)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Upon returning from closed session, Mr. Groon requested a further discussion of Ms. Lelie’s presentation. The Clerk indicated that a contract could not be signed until a final determination is received from COAH which would complete the work of the current planner. Mr. Groon stated that he did not believe it was necessary to wait, since the work to be done by Ms. Lelie’s firm would not impact the COAH work that has already been completed since they would be working on Master Plan matters. He added that he would like to have Ms. Lelie’s firm “on board” so that work can be commenced as soon as possible once the formal determination is received from COAH. The Solicitor concurred with Mr. Groon. Mr. Groon added that the proposal received covers only a review of the Borough’s current situation, and to provide an analysis and recommendation. Any work on COAH would be covered under a separate contract.

 

It was decided that a resolution would be considered for adoption at the July 8, 2009 meeting.

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Dated:        July 22, 2009

Kevin M. Yecco, Borough Clerk

MINUTES OF MEETINGS INDEX