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Minutes of Commissioners Meeting   -   June 9, 2010

Note: Complete Meeting Appears on CD 16-10 and #17-10 on File in the Wildwood Crest, NJ Borough Clerk’s Office June 9 2010
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:

                      Gould - Cabrera – Yes                           Groon - Absent

 

Mrs. Gould 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, the Herald and The Press on October 23, 2009.

 

Mr. Groon arrived at the meeting at 9:33 a.m.

 

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. 1098 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. 1098

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING CHAPTER 73, TAXICABS, SECTION 73-2, NUMBER OF TAXICAB LICENSES, AND SECTION 73-16, SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF LICENSES OR CERTIFICATES, OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF WILDWOOD CREST, COUNTY OF CAPE MAY, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, AND AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING ORDINANCE NO. 415, ADOPTED AUGUST 12, 1970

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that a public hearing now be held on Ordinance No. 1098.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Linda Payne of Yellow Cab asked if the existing cab companies would be able to obtain additional licenses from the licenses being added. She indicated that her company had been requesting additional licenses for years, but that there were no licenses available for her. Mr. Groon stated that the purpose of the increased number of licenses was in response to complaints received by the Borough that there were not sufficient taxicabs available in Wildwood Crest. Additionally, there was a concern that existing licenses not be “buried.” He went on to state that the Borough was attempting to “mirror” North Wildwood’s ordinance, and attempting to prevent one or two companies from monopolizing all of the licenses in the Borough. Ms. Payne reiterated her objection to the limiting of the number of licenses a company can have.

 

Barry Felice of A Plus Cab commented that the new additional licenses must be auctioned by the Borough. He cited case law which indicates that in order to avoid the appearance of favoritism, the municipality must auction any new licenses. The Clerk stated that he had had conversations with the Borough Solicitor, and he stated for the benefit of those present that he was formally asking the Solicitor for a legal opinion on the matter. He indicated that in his conversations with the Solicitor, his understanding was that in Atlantic City the licenses are treated as “property” and in the Borough of Wildwood Crest they are not treated as “property” and are in fact renewed/issued on an annual basis. Mr. Felice inquired if they were transferrable. The Clerk responded that he was not sure whether they were, but that they are issued to a particular company for that licensing period and, because they are not being treated as “property,” they are not subject to an auction. He reiterated his request that the Solicitor provide a written legal opinion. The Solicitor interjected that the court case Mr. Felice was referring to indicates that Atlantic City treats the licenses the same as liquor licenses, and the Borough of Wildwood Crest does not. Mr. Felice stated his opinion that the better solution to the matter would be a county-wide license and that there was a bill pending in the legislature to that effect.  The Solicitor responded that adoption of that legislation would certainly resolve any issues in this regard

 

Robert White of No. 1 Taxi thanked the governing body for increasing the number of licenses to be available.

 

There being no further public comments, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the public hearing on Ordinance No. 1098 be closed.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Ordinance No. 1098 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. 1099 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. 1099

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 53 – POLICE DEPARTMENT – SECTION 53-4 – COMPOSITION – OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF WILDWOOD CREST, AND AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 361 ADOPTED FEBRUARY 8, 1967 AND ORDINANCE NO. 577 ADOPTED SEPTEMBER 28, 1982

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that a public hearing be held on Ordinance No. 1099.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Bill Schilacta, East Preston Avenue , inquired if this ordinance increased the size of the police department. Mr. Groon responded that it does not increase the size of the police department.

There being no further public comments, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the public hearing on Ordinance No. 1099 be closed.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that Ordinance No. 1099 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. 1100 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. 1100

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING CHAPTER 66, STORMWATER CONTROL, OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF WILDWOOD CREST, AND AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 975 ADOPTED APRIL 6, 2005

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that a public hearing be held on Ordinance No. 1100.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

There being no public comments, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the public hearing on Ordinance No. 1100 be closed.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that Ordinance No. 1100 be passed on second and final reading and advertised according to law.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION IN FULL:

 

 

          BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Wildwood Crest,

          in the County of Cape May, New Jersey, that, in accordance with the provisions of

          NJSA 40:53-1, et. seq., designation of official newspapers in precise order be and the

          same are as follows:

The Press of Atlantic City

 

          Unless specifically required otherwise, all ordinances, resolutions, or other public

          notices shall be published in the Press of Atlantic City .

 

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

Mr. Cabrera requested a discussion on the motion. He stated that the Borough currently has The Herald of Cape May County as its official newspaper, and that there were two resolutions pending. The Clerk responded that that was incorrect; that currently, there are two newspapers designated, with The Herald of Cape May County being first and The Press of Atlantic City being second. With the two resolutions pending, one designates The Press of Atlantic City exclusively, and the second designates The Herald of Cape May County and The Press of Atlantic City, with either being acceptable. To clarify, Mr. Cabrera stated that the pending motion would be to have The Press of Atlantic City as the exclusive official newspaper. The Clerk responded in the affirmative.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-No                                  Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 292-10

(Authorizing designation of Official Borough Newspaper(s))

 

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

Mr. Cabrera asked for a discussion on the motion. He wanted to confirm for the record that the pending resolution would maintain the way the Borough is currently operating. The Clerk responded in the affirmative.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Yes                                 Groon-No

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 293-10

(Authorizing award of a professional services contract to Hawkins Delafield and Wood to serve as Bond Counsel commencing effective June 9, 2010 and terminating June 8, 2011)

 

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. 294-10

(Authorizing award of a professional services contract to J. Paul Bainbridge to serve as Real Estate Appraiser for Tax Appeals commencing effective June 9, 2010 and terminating June 8, 2011)

 

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. 295-10

(Authorizing issuance of a Special Events Permit to David E. Ewing for the purpose of a wedding ceremony on the beach on June 19, 2010)

 

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. 296-10

(Authorizing issuance of a Special Events Permit to Middle Twp. Elementary School No. 2 for the purpose of holding a school-wide beach day end-of-year celebration on June 14, 2010 at Rambler Road Beach )

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

The Clerk stated for the record that a public Municipal Consent Hearing would follow for the Comcast Cable Television franchise renewal in the Borough of Wildwood Crest. The hearing was duly advertised two times as required under the statute.

 

Kathy Farinaccio, Area Manager of Government Affairs for Comcast, was present for the hearing. She indicated that she had a short presentation for the benefit of those present.

 

Ms. Farinaccio stated that Comcast was entering the final stages of the cable television franchise renewal process. Ms. Farinaccio reviewed the various steps taken in the process since its commencement in January 2008. She invited any public comments or concerns. She outlined the various services provided by Comcast to customers in Wildwood Crest, indicating that Comcast has “exceeded the requirements” of the test.

 

Mrs. Gould stated that the Borough had recently learned that Comcast would be the only cable provider in the Wildwoods since Verizon/FIOS would not be brought to the barrier islands. She questioned why Comcast charges its customers for service calls when they are being paid premium fees by their customers. Mrs. Gould also asked about the delay in receiving service calls. She also addressed the quality of service provided by Comcast.

 

Ms. Farinaccio responded that service call timelines have been reduced to two hour windows, and Comcast tries to be as convenient as possible for their customers.

 

The Clerk inquired about the “down times” for premium services or “on demand” for days at a time. She responded that there might be a problem with service in that specific area and indicated she would take the matter to the technical division to be looked into.

 

Mr. Cabrera indicated that with the conversion to digital, there are many people who may not be aware that they must call Comcast to receive the converter. He indicated that his concern was that there are many seniors in Wildwood Crest who are not aware that they are required to obtain a converter. He asked how Comcast might be able to address that matter.

Ms. Farinaccio responded that there have been at least four mailings directly to the customer and there have been advertisements on television. She added that if a service call is required, there would be a charge involved. Mr. Cabrera reiterated his point that many senior may not be aware of the change, and asked how Comcast intended to be proactive to make sure all of their customers receive the necessary equipment.

 

Mr. Cabrera then inquired about the facility in Rio Grande that affects the quality of internet service to Wildwood Crest. Ms. Farinaccio responded that Rio Grande is the hub of the signal.

 

Mr. Cabrera asked if there was an increase in pricing on the basic service. Ms. Farinaccio responded that there was an increase in April 2010 and the prior increase was November 2008. She advised that the increase was $2.00 per month.

 

Ms. Farinaccio stated that the idea behind the digital adapters is that, in order to provide the services that people want because of high definition televisions, Comcast needs the bandwidth space that digital provides.

 

Bill Szlachta, 113 East Preston, stated that he recently signed up for the Exfinity program that included internet service and part of the package was that he would receive a free wireless router for his internet. The wireless router was mailed to him and he and his grandson were unable to figure out how to install it. When he called Comcast, he was told it would cost $149 for a technician to come out to install it. He reiterated Mrs. Gould’s and Mr. Cabrera’s comments that it should be a free hookup. Ms. Farinaccio stated that she could not comment and would take the matter back to have it looked into.

 

Mrs. Gould asked if the coming 100 new HD channels would be equal to Verizon/FIOS. Ms. Farinaccio responded that in her opinion it would be more. She added that Comcast does provide competitive services.

 

There being no further public comments on the Comcast cable television franchise renewal, the public hearing was closed. The Clerk stated that in the future the governing body would be adopting an ordinance to authorize the franchise renewal, and Ms. Farinaccio would be invited to return to that meeting to address any additional comments at that time during the public hearing.

 

The next matter for discussion was memorial benches. The Clerk stated that Mr. Groon had requested that the matter be placed on the agenda for discussion in response to correspondence received from the grandson of a recently deceased Wildwood Crest resident regarding the cost of memorial benches.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that the brown benches that have been used for many years at the street ends have really taken off; however, a different style of benches has been utilized at various locations and requests are being received to place memorial plaques on those benches. He indicated that the new style benches are more expensive than the old brown benches. He advised that it was his opinion that a plan and fee schedule were required at this time.

 

Mrs. Gould stated that when the bike path was completed, she had spoken to the CFO at that time about placing memorial benches along the path/walkway. It was her suggestion that a fair price would be $350 for the new benches since they are already installed and paid for. Mr. Cabrera responded that the Borough does not make any money on the fees charges for the benches, since the opinion has always been that they be sold at the Borough’s cost. He added that the new benches at Centennial Park are over $800 for the Borough’s cost. He added that he was not sure the Borough should be selling them for less than cost.

 

Mr. Groon interjected that the entire process needed to be cleaned up by identifying the types of benches, the costs for the benches and where they will be permitted to be placed. He concurred with Mr. Cabrera’s suggestion of drafting an ordinance for that purpose. He asked Mr. Cabrera to put the information together to make a recommendation to the governing body. Mr. Cabrera concurred, adding that it was his opinion that until such an ordinance is adopted, no additional benches should be sold. Mr. Groon and Mrs. Gould concurred.

 

The next mattr for discussion was the Oceanfront Beach Management Plan. The Clerk stated that it was his understanding that an informal endorsement is required from the governing body to move the Plan forward in terms of requesting approval from DEP. The Engineer responded in the affirmative. Mr. Cabrera stated that he had reviewed the Plan, and it had been presented at a public hearing on June 3, 2010. He added that supporting resolutions had already been adopted by the Tourism Commission and the Recreation Commission. He, therefore, suggested that it be moved forward. The Clerk inquired if the consent to move it forward with the DEP was unanimous among the governing body. In addition to Mr. Cabrera, Mr. Groon and Mrs. Gould responded in the affirmative.

 

With regard to the Land Use Ordinance amendment, the Clerk reported that the three resolutions adopted by the Planning Board have been turned over to the Solicitor, and direction from the governing body was required for the Solicitor to proceed with the draft ordinance. The governing body concurred.

 

The next matter for discussion was the Rambler Road Park Project. The Clerk reported that a meeting had been held with the Engineer regarding the revised plans, and that direction would be required from the governing body to permit the project to be under contract by September 1, 2010, which is required under the ADA grant application. Mr. Groon stated that a compromise plan had been submitted which contained a plan to provide for a bicycle turn-around circling the gazebo. It was his opinion, after further review, that there would be safety issues with that plan. He added that the issue of the gazebo itself must be addressed. He concluded by stating that he was not in support of positioning the bike path around the gazebo. It was his opinion that the bike path “circle” should replace the gazebo. Mr. Cabrera stated that his position has not changed, and as the Borough looks at the budget, the governing body should be focusing on additional revenue sources for the Borough, and should utilize the $250,000 received from the State grant (with no matching funds) to improve the bike path entryway at Rambler Road. Its location, wherever it may be, should be upgraded. He added that that is the only thing that should be undertaken. Mr. Groon inquired if he wanted to do the bathrooms. Mr. Cabrera responded in the affirmative.

 

Mrs. Gould asked Mr. Cabrera where he proposed to place the entrance to the bike path. Mr. Cabrera responded that he was not committed to any specific area, but it was his understanding that it has come down to whether the gazebo stays or goes. He added that he had no opinion in that regard, but he did stress his opinion that the bike path needs a nice focal point.

 

Mrs. Gould said she would like to see the bathrooms done and that it was really important for their inclusion in the plan. She added that she did not want to see the gazebo torn down.

 

Mr. Groon stated that since no consensus could be reached, the Rambler Road Park Project would not go forward. He added that he would not support putting a fourth item on that small block, and in the end the governing body will have to deal with the gazebo because it is, in his opinion, unsafe. He added that not to do the bathrooms was a mistake. Mr. Cabrera responded that the bathrooms are a seasonal operation and that can be accomplished by putting in a temporary solution seasonally each year. He added that he thought it would be a mistake to “give up” the money that the state gave to the Borough for the purpose of the bike path and the bathrooms.

 

Mr. Cabrera inquired of the Engineer as to the “drop dead deadline” for making a final determination. The Clerk stated that there are bid documents to be prepared. The Engineer added that the Borough cannot control how long it will take to get the permit from the State. He added that the permit application should be filed immediately in order to advise the funding agency that the Borough is prepared to proceed with actual contracting and construction upon receipt of the permit. He added that it was his firm’s recommendation that the gazebo be either closed to the public or immediately improved since there are severe safety issues. Mrs. Gould inquired as to what the “severe safety issues” were. The Engineer responded that there is a four foot drop off without a rail, many tripping hazards, the pavers need to be reset, the timbers need to be replaced, the rails should be replaced. He added that there are holes in the roof. From a cost standpoint, doing the work in-house, the cost to fix the gazebo or to remove it are similar, and it may be cheaper to remove it than to fix it.

 

Mr. Cabrera stated that since a consensus could not be reached on the gazebo, the gazebo would have to remain. Mr. Groon stated that he would not consent to a bike path circle around the gazebo, stating that it would be too congested. He added that a new bandstand had been constructed this year just two blocks away, and the Rambler Road area should be an open area for bicycles. Mr. Cabrera responded that one of the recent plans had a circle where the parking lot is for the current bicycle shop, and asked Mr. Groon what was wrong with that position. Mr. Groon responded that Mr. Cabrera and Mrs. Gould could work that out; that he did not agree. Mr. Cabrera clarified his suggestion by stating that the gazebo would remain, the bike shop would remain, the circle would go where the bike shop parking presently exists, the Nesbitt Center remains with some added bathrooms, and asked if that suggestion would work for Mr. Groon. He added that the project for the DCA funds would be accomplished, and the DOT funded project would be accomplished and the area would be improved. Mr. Groon responded that he did not understand the “mission” and did not agree. He added that the DOT funds do not have to be spent until summer of 2011. The Engineer clarified that they do not have to be spent; that the Borough must be under contract by summer of 2011. Mr. Cabrera stated that both projects should be accomplished at the same time. Mr. Groon agreed that that would make sense, but he did not agree with the plan. He added that the Borough had an opportunity to make the area “spectacular” and the suggested plan would not accomplish that because it would add another structure/activity into a small area.

 

The Engineer suggested that the governing body meet at the site to visualize the concept. The Clerk responded that the meeting could be reconvened at that location for further observation. He added that the Borough is at a critical stage and closure of the matter was required at this meeting. Mr. Groon agreed. Mrs. Gould also agreed. Mr. Cabrera stated that the only reason to go to the site would be to determine if the gazebo should remain or go, and if Mrs. Gould was adamant about it remaining, there would be no reason to go. He added that the only reason to go would be if Mr. Groon or Mrs. Gould would be interested in changing their position on the gazebo. It was agreed that the meeting would be reconvened at the site after the completion of pending business.

 

Nancy Pietropaoli, 6002 Seaview Avenue , stated that the gazebo has a lot of sentimental value to many residents and should not be torn down. She said that she had received numerous questions from members of the public. She inquired as to the status of completion of the tennis courts, the basketball courts, the Fern Road bandstand, and when would the construction equipment be removed from the lot at Myrtle & Ocean Ave. She also inquired about the blinking lights on New Jersey Avenue at Sweetbriar, Cardinal and Aster Roads. She asked if everything would be resolved in the near future. Mr. Groon responded that one of the reasons for the delay was that the budget was pushed back through no fault of the Borough and the projects could not be started until the budget was finally adopted. He added that the plan is that everything will be completed by June 18, 2010. As to the staging area, it should be cleaned up by the June 12th weekend. He added that the severe winter weather also delayed many of the projects.

 

At 10:58 a.m., Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the meeting be relocated to the Rambler Road Park site for further discussion.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

The meeting reconvened at 11:45 a.m. after an inspection of the Rambler Road Park site.

 

Mr. Cabrera put forth a new plan for the Rambler Road Park , keeping in mind that the Borough should utilize as much of the grant funds as possible. His plan was that the gazebo would remain with an approximately twenty foot area at grade around it. Outside that area, for approximately thirty feet, would be the bicycle turn around area. The current parking lot east of the existing bike shop would be replaced with a prefab building to house ADA bathrooms and the new bike shop, with the existing bike shop being removed. Mrs. Gould inquired of the Engineer whether this plan could be accomplished within the same amount of money. The Engineer responded that he would have to review the numbers. Mr. Groon interjected that he did not think it could be done within the same budget because of the increased renovations to and around the gazebo. The Engineer stated that the costs would probably be similar.

 

A further discussion was had with regard to grading and seeding the two blocks north of the area. Mr. Groon suggested that it needs to be cleaned up. Mr. Cabrera’s concern was whether the area could be used for parking if it is planted with grass. Mr. Groon stated that the issue could be removed from the plan. The Engineer interjected that once the grass is established, occasional parking would not be a problem. Constant parking would destroy the grass. Mr. Cabrera stated that it is also the only staging area for construction equipment. Mr. Groon responded that in his opinion, the staging for construction equipment was not a reason to put in grass.

 

Mr. Cabrera and Mrs. Gould both agreed with the revised concept. Mr. Groon disagreed. Thus, the Engineer was provided with authorization to proceed with the applications.

 

The Clerk stated that it was his opinion that a resolution should be adopted authorizing Notice to Bidders for the project. After discussion with the Engineer as to timeframes, it was decided that advertisement for bids would be published on July 7, 2010 with a bid receipt date of July 20, 2010, with an award date at the first meeting in August. The Engineer asked if the award would be made subject to approval from the DEP. The Clerk responded in the affirmative. The timeframe was approved.

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 297-10

(Authorizing Notice to Bidders for the Rambler Road Park Project)

 

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

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Yes                                 Groon-No

 

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:        June 23, 2010

 

Kevin M. Yecco, Borough Clerk

MINUTES OF MEETINGS INDEX