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January 30, 2007

 

A Budget Meeting was held by the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury on January 30, 2007 at 1715 Route 46, Ledgewood, New Jersey at 7:30 p.m.  

           

OPEN PUBLIC MEETING STATEMENT           

Notice is hereby given that a Special Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury will be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 7:30 PM and Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 7:30 PM at 1715 Route 46, Ledgewood, New Jersey.  This meeting is being held for the purpose of discussing the 2007 Municipal Budget.

 

Adequate notice of this meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury was given as required by the Open Public Meetings Act as follows:  Notice was faxed to the Daily Record, the Newark Star Ledger and the Roxbury Register on January 5, 2007; notice was posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway of the Municipal Building on January 5, 2007.

           

ROLL CALL (Present):  Kathy DeFillippo, Councilmen Fred Hall, Jim Rilee, and Deputy Mayor Tim Smith

 

ALSO PRESENT: Christopher Raths, Township Manager; Lisa Palmieri, Chief Financial Officer, Michael Kobylarz, Director of Engineering & Public Works, Janet Rieth, Deputy Township Clerk and Mary Jane Parr, Administrative Aide 

 

Mayor John Ciaramella arrived at 8:25 pm.

 

ABSENT:  Councilmen Martin Schmidt and Councilman Richard Zoschak

 

REPORTS OF COUNCIL LIAISON REPRESENTATIVES, COUNCIL COMMITTEES AND NEW BUSINESS/OLD BUSINESS

 

Ms. DeFillippo discussed the current accident numbers which are increasing on Route 206.  Ms. DeFillippo stated that she spoke to two councilmember’s from Mt. Olive, Steve Rattner and Colleen Labow.  Mr. Raths stated he is waiting for a letter from Gregg Prendergast of the Roxbury Police Department as to their report pertaining to the number of accidents on Rt. 206.  Ms. DeFillippo added that she had done some research on the issue and stated that there were32 accidents in 2004, 2005 and 2006.  Mt. Olive Councilman John Biondi is the traffic liaison for the Council.  Ms. DeFillippo asked if there were any council members who would like to be on a committee to meet with Mt. Olive.  Mr. Rilee stated that he would like to be a part of that committee.

 

Ms. DeFillippo stated that Randolph Township held a meeting with their school board members, parents and Triple A to develop a program to educate teen drivers. Ms. DeFillippo stated that it would be proactive if the township took the same kind of approach.  Mr. Rilee stated he liked the idea of the police checking high school students in the parking lot as they leave.

 

Tim Smith stated there was an article in today’s paper about teenagers having a special decal on the bumpers of their cars.  Tim Smith suggested a neon green bumper sticker with maybe a number 17 in the middle of it.  This will be looked into but it would be difficult to enforce.

 

Fred Hall stated he had another shared services meeting with the Board of Education, Dave Stierli, Recreation Director; Mayor Ciaramella and Chris Raths, Township Manager with regard to the use of the Nutrition Center in Berkshire Valley.  The Board of Education is interested in utilizing the building to bring special needs students back into the district.  Currently the Board of Education is researching the legal technicalities and will get back to the Township.

 

Mr. Hall stated that the Township will continue to communicate with the Board of Education with discussions of sharing recreation.  Mr. Hall felt that the Board of Education is receptive to trying to share services for the betterment of the Township. 

 

Mr. Hall stated that he is extremely upset with the new COAH ruling.  This ruling could effect the Township’s third and fourth rounds and our RCA credits.

 

Mr. Rilee stated that the impact is tremendous and the State Department of Community Affairs is changing the rules again.

BUDGET

Mr. Raths spoke about the 2006 adopted budget and the total increase is 5.02%. Mr. Raths spoke about outstanding bonds and notes and made reference to his memo that Council received in their packages.

 

After the year 2008 we start to see a decline in our debt stated Mr. Raths.

 

Mr. Raths spoke about his new summary and expenditures are down by $150,000.00 by auditor’s recommendation from reserve of tax appeals which comes out to a .3% increase about $60,000.00.

 

DPW/ENGINEERING

Mr. Kobylarz outlined the capital portion of the 2007 Engineering Budget.  Mike Kobylarz outlined the funded projects:

 

  • $20,000 for Shore Hills drainage on Succasunna Road, Emmans Rd reconstruction we have a grant from NJDOT to Whisper Way to Canal Street bridge.
  • Hercules Road resurfacing from Rt.# 46 to Berkshire Valley Road. Reinstall speed bumps totaling $50,000.00 anticipated monies from MCMUA.  Mr. Hall questioned if the funding is in writing.  Mr. Kobylarz stated that he has had only verbal conversation with the MCMUA.  Mr. Hall recommended that the township secure this in writing.
  • 2007 Emmans Road, Whisper Way to Canal Street 2008 with completing in the year 2009.

 

Mr. Kobylarz stated that in the 2007 Budget he has hired Mr. Sudah who has 20 years experience and he is still searching for a Construction Inspector.  Council questioned the salary from $32,000 to $60,000 for the new employee.  Mr. Rilee stated that he does not understand the salary range.  Mr. Kobylarz stated that the new employee has much more experience than the former employee.

 

Mr. Kobylarz stated that some projects such as maps and drawings have been going to outside vendors instead of doing it in-house due to lack of employees in-house.  Ms. DeFillippo questioned if we are spending more money by going outside.  Mr. Kobylarz stated that we are.  Mr. Rilee asked if it would be worthwhile to setup a contract with an outside vendor.  Mr. Kobylarz stated that you run the risk of not having the individual available at the time when you need them and they would have to be covered by escrow accounts.  Mr. Rilee recommended that we not fill this position at this time.

 

Mayor Ciaramella suggested that maybe we could use shared services.  Mr. Kobylarz state that once the Villages project begins we will probably need two new full-time employees.  Mr. Hall questioned why we don’t try to utilize shared services since we know we have a big project coming up.  Mr. Kobylarz stated it is very important to have someone who is knowledgeable and will be around that is reliable for inspections.  Ms. DeFillippo questioned if there are any delays in inspections.  Mr. Kobylarz stated that they prioritize and the current inspector has been working a lot of overtime just to compensate for the lack of inspectors.

 

Mr. Raths did advise Council that the operating budget for the Engineering Department is down 4.6%.

 

Mr. Kobylarz stated that the Municipal Surveyor, Mr. Secco has been used for years and he is very knowledgeable about the town.

 

Council questioned the $3,000.00 for the Raritan Highlands Contribution Agreement.  Mr. Smith suggested that we find out what we will be getting for our contribution.  Mr. Raths will follow up.

 

Councilwoman Kathy DeFillippo questioned account #229 for advertising expenses. Mr. Kobylarz stated that the expense was for advertising for the  open positions in the Engineering Department.

 

At 8:55 pm Council took a break.

At 9:10 pm Council resumed the meeting.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Councilman Smith questioned Chief Noll with regard to the ESU unit. 

 

Chief Noll stated that the daily patrol with this unit last year responded to 721 calls.  Chief Noll stated 18 Officers drive this unit.  Mayor Ciaramella asked Chief Noll why we need to go to a box truck.  Chief Noll stated they need the room for the Jaws of Life plus scuba equipment and all the paramedic equipment they carry.

 

Mr. Raths stated that the salary in the Police Department is up 3.9% in wages. 

 

Mr. Rilee stated he had no issues on leaving the staffing at where it is now.  By the year 2012 twenty officers may retire. Mr. Rilee suggested working on some time lines on retirement issues. Chief Noll stated that the PBA contract is due at the end of 2007 and they can make some deadline into a contract.  Lieutenants and Captains are eligible for overtime; a Chief is not capable of making overtime.  Chief Noll stated we have to take a closer look into this issue because the Lieutenants and Captains are not going to want to take a cut in pay just to become the Chief of Police. 

 

Councilman Smith questioned if we could take an officer from another town.  Chief Noll stated that we have done that in the past.  Further Mr. Smith questioned if we pay when they are in the Academy.  Chief Noll stated yes, we pay the Officer when he is in the Academy at $32,500.00 for the first year.  The Chief stated that the best way to get advance notice is to have a clause in the contract.

 

Mr. Raths asked Chief Noll to put together a synopsis on verbiage needed. Ms. DeFillippo questioned what would happen if the two Police Officers that were suspended are found not guilty when they go to trial.  Mr. Raths stated that if they are found not guilty they would have the same right to their pension as any other employee of the Township.

 

Chief Noll did state to Council that every three years 18 EMT’s have to be recertified.

 

Mayor Ciaramella questioned if we pay for the uniforms for the Police Explorers.  Chief Noll stated that the Township does.  Mr. Rilee questioned how the membership is doing.  Chief Noll stated that it remains high and Ptl. Silvio Valdez works with the Explorers and its very successful.

 

Councilwoman DeFillippo questioned how many cameras were purchased for $2,300.00.  Captain Kennedy was present and stated that the $2,300.00 purchased 6 cameras.  Captain Kennedy stated that the cameras are black and white and cost between $300.00 - $400.00 each.

 

Mr. Hall stated that the annual service charge versus procurement should be spelled out in the future.  Mr. Raths stated that can be done.

 

Councilman Smith questioned the $4,000 increase for the Chief promotion.  Chief Noll stated that it is a test given by the Chief to Officers.

 

Mayor Ciaramella questioned the process of promoting from within when the Chief of Police retires.  The requirements are set by ordinance and when the time comes guidance from the municipal attorney will be requested.

 

Chief Noll stated the Fire Departments need their Fire Departments Radio Maintenance with  Police, EMS and Fire.  Chief Noll stated that the Police Department will handle all the Radio Maintenance. Mr. Hall questioned the $8,000 increase.  Chief Noll stated that in the future he will be adding all the additional radios and maintenance in one line item.

 

Councilman Smith questioned Captain Kennedy as to the security of the laptops that are in the police cruisers.  Captain Kennedy stated that they are permanently mounted in the vehicles.

 

Councilwoman DeFillippo asked Chief Noll if there is funding in their budget for digital fingerprint machines.  Chief Noll stated that there is no funding at this time.

 

Mr. Raths questioned Council on what department they would like attending the county meeting being held by the County Administrator pertaining to Social Services.  Mr. Raths further stated that he will be attending the February 15, 2007 meeting with the Clergy Council.

           

MATTERS REQUESTED/REFERRED BY COUNCIL MEMBERS, MANAGER, ATTORNEY OR CLERK

           

PUBLIC PORTION

Bob Kluska

274 Emmans Road

 

Mr. Kluska supports Mr. Smith in his view of searching ways to save Social Services. Mr. Kluska further questioned in the operating budget there are capital items such as an Engineering Workstation, the Police Department attempting to purchase an ATV and materials and supplies.

 

Mr. Raths stated that any item that has a life expectancy less then 5 years would not be in the capital budget.  Mayor Ciaramella stated that the ATV if it were approved would be in the capital budget not the operating budget.

           

DRAFT ORDINANCES FOR DISCUSSION

None

           

ORDINANCES TO BE INTRODUCED                                               

None

           

HEARING AND ADOPTION OF ORDINANCES ON SECOND READING

None

           

DRAFT RESOLUTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

None   

           

INTRODUCTION AND ADOPTION OF RESOLUTIONS        

None

           

COMMUNICATIONS

January 26, 2007 – Council would like the communications of January 26, 2007 carried to next meeting.

           

EXECUTIVE SESSION

None

           

ADJOURNMENT

At 10:20 PM Mr. Smith made a motion to adjourn the Budget Meeting.  Mr. Rilee seconded the motion.          

 

 

All in Favor – yes

 

Submitted By:

 

 

 

 

_______________________

BettyLou DeCroce

Township Clerk

 

MINUTES APPROVED BY COUNCIL:

DATE:                        August 28, 2007

ROLL CALL:            Mr. Rilee – yes Mr. Schmidt – yes

                                    Mr. Smith –yes Mayor Ciaramella - yes