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					The Minutes of the Workshop Meeting of the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford, County of Union, State of New Jersey on January 26, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 108.
THIS MEETING IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE “OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT” AS ADEQUATE NOTICE OF THIS MEETING HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FAXING THE ANNUAL SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS TO THE CRANFORD CHRONICLE, UNION COUNTY LOCAL SOURCE, AND THE STAR LEDGER, BY POSTING SUCH ANNUAL MEETING SCHEDULE ON A BULLETIN BOARD IN THE TOWN HALL RESERVED FOR SUCH ANNOUNCEMENTS AND THE FILING OF SAID NOTICE WITH THE TOWNSHIP CLERK OF CRANFORD. FORMAL ACTION MAY BE TAKEN AT THIS MEETING

Present:

Absent:

Mayor David W. Robinson Deputy Mayor Mark C. Smith Commissioner Mark P. Dugan Commissioner Martha Garcia Commissioner Daniel J. Aschenbach None

There was one (1) member of the public present. Don Miceli of Carrella, Byrne, Bain, Gilfillan, Cecchi, Stewart & Olstein was also present. Leslie Murray represented the Cranford Chronicle and Paul Greulich represented the Union County Local Source. PAYMENT OF BILLS Discussion held regarding various bill payments including telephone costs, health insurance and Department of Engineering invoices. PUBLIC COMMENTS Mayor Robinson opened the public comments portion of the meeting and asked if there were any questions or comments. Hearing no comments, Mayor Robinson closed the public comment portion of the meeting. Review January 26, 2009 Official Meeting Agenda All items approved for action. Engineering Update Proposed Municipal Stimulus Package Survey Township Engineer Marsden discussed various projects to be included in the Municipal Stimulus Package Survey:  Phase 2B of the Northeast Quadrant Stormwater Management Project (NEQSWMP)  15” Sanitary Sewer Main Replacement along Rahway River  8”-12” Sanitary Sewer Lining south side of Township Downtown  Local Stormwater System Upgrades to eliminate sanitary sewer cross-connections  Drainage and Roadway Improvements  Post Office Plaza/Eastman Street parking improvements  Road resurfacing  Rahway River desilting (Phase 1)  Lehigh Pedestrian Tunnel  Orange Avenue Field  Dam Gate at High Street/Lincoln Avenue  Downtown Paver Replacement Program  Orchard Brook Stream Lining  Municipal Building Windows  Streetscape Lighting Retro-fit (LEEDS) Commissioner Aschenbach questioned the value of the Stimulus Package to the Township if funding is provided in the form of a loan. Seeking clarification regarding the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) program for funding of the Northeast Quadrant Stormwater Management Project. Deputy Mayor Smith provided clarification regarding the WRDA program. Also discussed concerns with the Stimulus Package if funding is provided in the form of a loan. Feels the Township may ultimately be responsible for funding these projects. Mayor Robinson discussed DEP permit requirements for projects in connection to the Municipal Stimulus Package Survey. Commissioner Aschenbach to continue efforts to secure funds as grants and not loans.

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Flooding issue – downtown business Township Engineer Marsden discussed a flooding issue that impacted a downtown business and the action taken by the Engineering Department to correct the problem. Feels this is an issue that has existed for a long period of time and should be addressed through the Township’s insurance company. Township Administrator Schmid discussed the tort claim process and the need for the property owner to file a claim with the Township. Dike repairs Township Engineer Marsden discussed a meeting he attended with Union County to discuss the potential for utilizing in-house County and Township staff for dike repairs that are necessary as a result of the 2007 Nor’easter. Explained that there was a miscommunication concerning the purpose of the meeting and discussion focused on Phases 3 and 4 of the North East Quadrant Stormwater Management Project instead. As such, a follow up meeting to discuss dike repairs will be scheduled. Mayor Robinson provided clarification as to dike repairs that are needed as a result of the 2007 Nor’easter, and dike improvements that are necessary as part of Phases 3 and 4 of the North East Quadrant Stormwater Management Project. Commissioner Aschenbach seeking clarification as to Union County’s involvement with Phases 3 and 4 of the North East Quadrant Stormwater Management Project. Township Engineer Marsden explained that Union County needs to endorse the Township’s technical design for Phases 3 and 4. Once the design has been endorsed, the issue of funding will need to be addressed. Late Starter - High Street/Baldwin Court Footbridge Township Engineer Marsden provided a brief update concerning the High Street/Baldwin Court Footbridge. Discussed the construction schedule that was provided by the contractor and informed the Township Committee that some work has begun ahead of schedule due to the potential for inclement whether. On motion of Commissioner Garcia, seconded by Commissioner Aschenbach and passed, the following resolution was adopted by roll call vote: Resolution No. 2009-96.2: BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Committee will go into closed session at 8:00 PM to discuss a legal matter in connection with litigation entitled “East Coast Cranford Crossing v. Township of Cranford”, the minutes of which will be released at some time in the future at the discretion of the Township Committee: Recorded vote: Aye: Mayor Robinson, Deputy Mayor Smith, Commissioners Dugan, Garcia and Aschenbach Nay: None Abstained: None Absent: None On motion of Deputy Mayor Smith, seconded by Commissioner Garcia and passed, the Township Committee returned to open session at 9:10 PM. Late Starter – Health Insurance Renewal Township Administrator Schmid discussed renewal rates provided by the Township’s insurance broker for the renewal of medical and prescription policies. Finance Director Grady discussed the rates quoted by Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the impact to those rates if the Township does not renew with Horizon Blue Cross/ Blue Shield for both medical and prescription benefits. Township Administrator Schmid discussed the fact that the Township received this information late this afternoon and the Insurance Review Committee has not had an opportunity to review it. Township Committee was agreeable to renewing the policies for the month of February to allow the Insurance Review Committee time to review the new rates. Update to be provided at the January 27, 2009 Conference Meeting. Update re: status of bid specifications and proposed bond ordinance for the installation of artificial turf at Memorial Field (CAT Fund) Mayor Robinson discussed the Cranford Athletic Turf (CAT) Fund and informed the Township Committee of various vendors that have expressed interest in bidding for the project. Also discussed the amount to be bonded and the amount required for the down payment. Informed the Township Committee that the CAT Fund has sufficient funding for the down payment.

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Finance Director Grady discussed the principle and interest amount to be paid annually over a ten (10) year period. Mayor Robinson discussed the amount of pledges versus the amount of funding that is required, stating that a gap of $5,000 annually currently exists. Believes the CAT Fund will obtain additional pledges to cover the gap. Seeking potential introduction of a bond ordinance on February 10, 2009 or February 24, 2009. Commissioner Garcia feels the Township Committee should proceed with a bond ordinance. Commissioner Aschenbach expressed concern with the cost of the project and the fact that the Township is relying on private donations to pay that cost. Feels Union County should be requested to bond for the amount and does not feel the Township should proceed. Mayor Robinson informed Commissioner Aschenbach that a request for funding by Union County must be done through the next cycle of the Field of Dreams Grant Program. Deputy Mayor Smith feels the Township should proceed. Discussed other municipalities that have installed artificial turf through private donations. Commissioner Dugan also expressed concern with the cost and the fact that the Township is relying on pledges from private organizations. Feels the Township Committee should attempt to identify a method that would legally bind organizations to their annual pledge. Deputy Mayor Smith discussed the impact to the tax bill if organizations were to rescind their pledges. Believes pledges will be honored, but if the Township were to become responsible for the cost, the impact to the tax bill would be minimal. Mayor Robinson discussed his position with respect to discretionary spending, stating that he is normally opposed to these types of projects. However, informed the Township Committee that many of these organizations have included the pledge amounts into their charters. Feels this project will not result in an additional burden to taxpayers. Stated that he has a meeting with the Board of Education and will attempt to obtain something more definitive with respect to their pledge. Update at January 27, 2009 Conference Meeting. Proposed ordinance to provide for the licensing of clothing bins Deputy Mayor Smith discussed a recommendation by Zoning Officer Hudak that the Township adopt an ordinance to regulate charitable clothing bins. The Township Committee was agreeable. Township Attorney Woodward to draft an ordinance. Update re: YMCA child care programs Commissioner Garcia discussed the status of the Program Management Agreement with the Westfield Area YMCA. Explained that once the agreement is executed, improvements to the childcare program rooms at the Community Center will begin. Informed the Township Committee that these programs are scheduled to begin in September 2009. Also discussed the Teen Wellness Center to be implemented at the Community Center. Discussed the rates of the childcare program offered through the Township versus the program to be offered by the YMCA. Township Attorney Woodward arrived at 9:50 PM. Wellness Campaign Commissioner Garcia discussed the League of Municipalities Mayor’s Wellness Campaign and the Township’s decision to participate in the campaign. Informed the Township Committee that Health Officer Hehl agreed to be the contact person for the program. Feels the program will work well with the Teen Wellness Center to be implemented in September. Proposed amendment to ordinance to increase fees for ambulance transportation services Mayor Robinson discussed the recommendation of the Police Department to amend the Township’s code to allow for an increase in fees for ambulance transportation services. Commissioner Aschenbach seeking clarification as to the reduction in revenue in 2008 for Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Township Administrator Schmid to follow up with Chief Mason. Ordinance to be introduced February 10, 2009.

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SHARE Grant Program Commissioner Garcia discussed requirements in connection with the SHARE Grant Program and the need to identify opportunities for shared services. Discussed a suggestion to establish a committee to conduct a feasibility study to identify shared services opportunities. Commissioner Aschenbach feels the Township professionals are best qualified to identify opportunities for shared services. Discussion ensued. Commissioner Dugan suggested the administration from various surrounding communities meet to identify potential opportunities for shared services. Township Administrator Schmid agreed with Commissioner Dugan’s suggestion, but feels an elected official should attend as well. Informed the Township Committee of an elected official in Garwood who expressed interest in participating in a shared services project with Cranford. The Township Committee was agreeable. Township Administrator Schmid to schedule a meeting. Proposed E-newsletter Commissioner Garcia discussed a cost proposal from Cranford.com for the creation of an E-newsletter. Mayor Robinson seeking clarification as to who would be responsible for administering the newsletter. Commissioner Garcia informed the Township Committee of individuals who have volunteered to input information. Feels the newsletter would be comprised of articles by each commissioner and could be expanded to include articles by professionals as well. Discussion held regarding potential subscribers to the newsletter. Township Committee agreeable to moving forward with the E-newsletter. Update re: Performance Review Program Township Administrator Schmid discussed the status of job descriptions in connection with the Performance Review Program. Explained that revisions to job descriptions were made to conform to the template previously provided by Attorney Fisher. Mayor Robinson discussed the reporting structure of certain employees. Feels they should be adjusted to conform to the potential future structure of the Township. Township Committee to review job descriptions and provide comments for discussion at the next meeting. Further discussion February 9, 2009. Email/Correspondence Environmental Commission website Deputy Mayor Smith informed the Township Committee of the Environmental Commission’s new website, www.Mygreencranford.com. Commission for Blind and Monarch Housing Associates Deputy Mayor Smith discussed an exploratory meeting with the Commission for the Blind and Monarch Housing Associates to discuss potential housing for individuals with disabilities in connection with Township’s COAH obligation. Informed the Township Committee of the Commission for the Blind’s interest in obtaining units at the Riverfront Redevelopment site. Request by Freewheels for a professional BMX/skateboard exposition in Municipal Lot No. 7 Township Administrator Schmid discussed a request by Freewheels to utilize Municipal Lot No. 7 for a BMX/Skateboard Exposition. Commissioner Dugan suggested that Township Administrator Schmid contact the Township insurance company for information on liability requirements. Township Administrator Schmid to follow up with the Township’s insurance broker.

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COMMISSIONER REPORTS Commissioner Dugan  Discussed the reorganization meeting of the Downtown District Management Corporation (DMC) and the retailer round table meeting that was held. Informed the Township committee that the DMC Review Committee Report will be circulated to the DMC for review;  Informed the Township Committee that he met with Finance Director Grady and Tax Assessor Barnett with respect to the budget process. Also discussed the assessment process in connection with the Cranford Business Park  Informed the Township Committee of the “push back” from the DMC with respect to the proposal for the establishment of a Holiday Decorations Committee; Commissioner Garcia  Discussed the “Cranford Challenge-Get Healthy, Get Fit, Get Green” promotional initiative and announced that a kick off meeting is scheduled for February 5, 2009. Commissioner Aschenbach  Discussed an upcoming Cranford Business Park meeting that has been scheduled. Also discussed the agenda for the meeting which includes items such as sign replacements and potential rezoning of the area;  Announced that the Library Board met and discussed its potential 2009 budget;  Discussed the status of the Holiday Decorations Committee and expressed concern with the “push back” from the DMC as reported by Commissioner Dugan. Seeking information from the DMC as to the reasons for its position concerning this matter. Commissioner Dugan to follow up. Mayor Robinson  Discussed the recommendation to rezone the Cranford Business Park as part of the Master Plan and the potential for removing it from the Master Plan process in an effort to “fast-track” the item. Further discussion to be held February 9, 2009;  Provided an update concerning Mayor’s Legislative Day. Discussed the topics that were addressed such as COAH, DEP and issues facing the State of New Jersey. Informed the Township Committee that, generally speaking, there is no support for the pension deferral program;  Provided an update regarding the status of the Master Plan. PUBLIC COMMENTS Mayor Robinson opened the public comments portion of the meeting and asked if there were any questions or comments. Barbara Krause, 20 Pittsfield Street, discussed an issue concerning the amount of students that drive to school instead of walking, specifically High School students. Suggested this issue be addressed in connection with the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign. Mrs. Krause also discussed an issue with the number of deer in Cranford. Discussed the destruction to flora in Nomehegan Park and the impact to other wildlife. Also discussed concerns with traffic accidents and Lyme disease. Suggested the Township formally request that Union County take action on this issue. Hearing no further comments, Mayor Robinson closed the public comment portion of the meeting. On motion of Commissioner Garcia, seconded by Commissioner Dugan and passed, the following resolution was adopted by roll call vote: Resolution No. 2009-96.3: BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Committee will go into closed session to discuss the following, the minutes of which will be released at some time in the future at the discretion of the Township Committee: Personnel Matter  Planning Board  Historic Preservation Advisory Board  Teen Center Advisory Board  Tree Advisory Board Contractual Matters  High Street/Baldwin Court Footbridge  Northeast Quadrant Stormwater Management Project Legal Matters  Lehigh Acquisitions v. Township of Cranford  Cranford Development Associates v. Township of Cranford

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Minute Review  Closed Session Minutes of January 12, and 13, 2009 Recorded vote: Aye: Mayor Robinson, Deputy Mayor Smith, Commissioners Dugan, Garcia and Aschenbach Nay: None Abstained: None Absent: None On motion of Commissioner Garcia, seconded by Commissioner Aschenbach and passed, the Township Committee returned to open session at 12:15 AM. Minute Approval On motion of Commissioner Garcia, seconded by Commissioner Aschenbach and passed, the Closed Session Minutes of January 12 and 13, 2009 were approved by indicated vote of the Township Committee. Recorded vote: Aye: Mayor Robinson, Deputy Mayor Smith, Commissioners Dugan, Garcia, and Achenbach Nay: None Abstained: None Absent: None On motion of Commissioner Garcia, seconded by Deputy Mayor Smith and passed, the Township Committee adjourned at 12:15 AM. Respectfully submitted,

Dated: January 26, 2009

Tara Rowley, RMC Municipal Clerk


				
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