Document Sample
					       The Minutes of the Special Workshop Meeting of the Township Committee of the Township of
Cranford, County of Union, State of New Jersey on March 17, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in Room 108.


Present:                Mayor Robert I. Puhak
                        Deputy Mayor David W. Robinson
                        Commissioner Martha Garcia
                        Commissioner Michael A. Plick
                        *Commissioner Mark C. Smith
Absent:                 None

*Commissioner Smith arrived at 8:20 PM

This special meeting was scheduled during a Workshop Meeting of the Township Committee held on
March 10, 2008 for the purpose of discussing the 2008 Municipal Budget and COAH Third Round Rules.

There was one (1) member of the public present. Leslie Murray represented the Cranford Chronicle and
Paul Greulich represented the Cranford Eagle.

Mayor Puhak opened the public comments portion of the meeting and asked if there were any questions
or comments. Hearing no comments, Mayor Puhak closed the public comment portion of the meeting.

2008 Municipal Budget

Construction Code Fees
Deputy Mayor Robinson discussed construction code fees and the potential for an increase for non-
residential construction.

Construction Code Official Belluscio feels non-residential construction fees and new construction fees
could be increased. Also suggested increasing fees for demolition and discussed the potential for
increasing the fee depending upon the size of the structure to be demolished.

Deputy Mayor Robinson seeking clarification as to how Cranford’s fees compare with surrounding

Construction Code Official Belluscio explained that with an increase, fees would still be lower than
Scotch Plains, Westfield and Summit.

Deputy Mayor Robinson discussed the anticipated revenue in connection with Construction Code fees
and asked if Construction Code Official Belluscio is comfortable with the estimated revenue of $900,000
for 2008.

Construction Code Official Belluscio feels the estimated revenue will be less than $900,000 because the
number of large construction projects has reduced significantly.

Construction Code Official Belluscio seeking direction of the Township Committee as to whether they
would be amenable to a fee increase per his recommendation.

Township Committee agreeable to the recommendation. Construction Code Official Belluscio to prepare
a schedule of proposed fee increases for review on March 24, 2008.

Omni-Point Lease Agreement
Deputy Mayor Robinson seeking status of Omni-Point lease agreement.

Township Administrator Schmid to follow up with Township Attorney Woodward as to the status of the
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COAH Third Round Rules

Finalize comments for submission to COAH/Vacant Land Adjustment
Stan Slachetka of T&M Associates discussed the response to COAH concerning the vacant land analysis
and the fact that COAH has grossly overestimated Cranford’s vacant developable land. Requested that the
Township Committee review the document he prepared for submission to COAH and provide feedback.

Mr. Slachetka also discussed the need for the Township to comply with the deadline of March 20, 2008
for submission of its comments.

Mr. Slachetka discussed a chart that was prepared in conjunction with the report to be submitted to
COAH. Explained that the chart provides a comparison of COAH’s data with data prepared by T&M
Associates. Seeking authorization by the Township Committee to include the chart with Cranford’s
comments. Discussed the advantages and disadvantages of submitting this information to COAH.

Mayor Puhak feels the chart should be included with the comments.

Commissioner Plick feels the information should be included, as it provides evidence that COAH’s
process is flawed. Feels it could be specified on the chart that the data is preliminary.

Deputy Mayor Robinson feels the report provided by the T&M Associates is adequate and submission of
the chart is unnecessary.

Commissioner Plick feels the chart provides a level of detail that the report does not, as the amount of
vacant developable land is broken down by zone.

Township Committee consensus to provide the chart with comments to COAH.

Deputy Mayor Robinson seeking clarification regarding the data contained in the report prepared by
T&M Associates and how that data compares to the information that will be provided with the
Township’s application for substantive certification.

Mr. Slachetka explained that the information to be provided for the substantive certification would be
much more detailed.

Kevin Illing, 512 Elm Street and Planning Board member, seeking clarification as to the chart to be
submitted to COAH with the Township’s comments. Feels the zones included in the chart will change as
a result of the preparation of the new Master Plan.

Mr. Slachetka stated he would indicate in the report that the analysis was prepared based on zoning at the
time the vacant land adjustment was prepared.

Mr. Illing expressed concern with providing too much information to COAH which could potentially be
disadvantageous to the Township.

Commissioner Plick feels if the report clearly indicates that the information included is preliminary, the
Township could provide an explanation of potential changes when necessary.

Mr. Slachetka explained that the information being provided applies to Rounds 1 and 2 and to the growth
share component of Round 3 of COAH regulations.

Update re: Fair Share Housing Plan
Mr. Slachetka discussed the need for the preparation of the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan once the
COAH comments are resolved.

Kevin Illing seeking clarification as to whether the Housing Element would be ready for a public
presentation by May.

Mr. Slachetka stated that he can not guarantee that the Fair Share Plan and Housing Element will be ready
for presentation in May.

Township Administrator Schmid seeking authorization of the Township Committee to share the
documents prepared by T&M Associates with the Planning Board and the Township Attorney.

Mr. Slachetka to submit an electronic version of the document to Township Clerk Rowley. Township
Clerk Rowley to forward the document to the Planning Board, Township Committee, and the Township
Attorney. Any comments to be provided to Mr. Slachetka by close of business, Wednesday, March 19,
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Mayor Puhak discussed correspondence he received regarding potential housing for individuals with
physical disabilities.

Deputy Mayor Robinson feels the map used by T&M Associates for preparation of the report is outdated.

Mr. Slachetka explained that the report is preliminary and the next step would be to visit the actual sites to
determine those that are not developable.

Discussion held concerning comments to be submitted by the League of Municipalities.

Zoning Officer Hudak informed the Township Committee that the League of Municipalities has not yet
provided comments concerning its response to the new COAH regulations.

2008 Municipal Budget (continued)

Health Insurance Stipend
Finance Director Grady informed the Township Committee that a letter notifying employees of the
increased stipend for the waiving of medical insurance would be included in the payroll of March 28,

Library Budget
Deputy Mayor Robinson to meet with the Library Board on March 18, 2008 to discuss the Township
Committee’s request for an increased contribution by the Library.

Swim Pool Utility Fees
Swim Pool Utility Director Hicks to present a proposed fee increase to the Township Committee at the
May 5, 2008 Workshop Meeting. Feels fees for all members should be increased.

Commissioner Plick expressed concern for waiting until May 5, 2008. Feels the information needs to be
quantified for inclusion in budget.

Deputy Mayor Robinson feels the recommendation should be prepared for discussion on March 24, 2008,
if possible.

Finance Director Grady informed the Township Committee that if fees are to be increased, the amount of
revenue to be anticipated in 2008 would be minimal. Explained that fees for summer memberships are the
largest portion of revenue for the swim pool and those fees have already been paid.

Deputy Mayor Robinson discussed the review of the Township’s telecommunications expense conducted
by a member of the Citizens Budget and Planning Advisory Committee (CBAC). Stated that the CBAC is
recommending one (1) change be made concerning a maintenance contract, which would provide a
$3,700 savings.

Township Administrator Schmid expressed concern with the cancellation of maintenance service,
especially if service is needed over a weekend.

Deputy Mayor Robinson explained that the recommendation is not to cancel the maintenance service
completely, but to outsource for the service at a reduced cost.

DMC Budget
Finance Director Grady informed the Township Committee that the Special Improvement District (SID)
tax contribution from Cranford Crossing is $22,000.

Township Administrator Schmid feels the Township Committee should revisit the DMC budget once the
needs assessment for downtown maintenance is determined.

The Township Committee was agreeable to Township Administrator Schmid’s suggestion.

Use of Surplus
Finance Director Grady discussed the potential for utilizing an additional $165,000 in surplus to subsidize
the budget.

The Township Committee was agreeable. Additional surplus to be utilized as recommended by Finance
Director Grady.
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Fire Department
Finance Director Grady informed the Township Committee that the Fire Department budget was reduced
by $6,000 to provide for the difference in salary of the new administrative assistant to be hired.

Staffing Level Assessment
Commissioner Plick discussed the salary data that was compiled by Finance Director Grady. Feels the
Township Committee should discuss certain positions for potential downsizing.

Mayor Puhak discussed positions governed by the bargaining units and feels the number of positions to
be considered for downsizing is minimal.

Commissioner Plick suggested the Township Committee review the information and provide input to
Township Clerk Rowley for RICE Notice purposes.

Department of Public Works
Deputy Mayor Robinson seeking clarification regarding DPW overtime. Feels there is a significant
difference between the amount budgeted and the actual amount spent in 2007. Suggested reducing the
budget by $25,000.

The Township Committee was agreeable. DPW overtime budget to be reduced.

LED Lights
Commissioner Smith provided an update regarding reimbursement from PSE&G for the upgrade of traffic
signals with LED lights. Stated that he contacted PSE&G on March 16, 2008. If he does not receive a
response this week, he will contact legislators.

Mayor Puhak discussed the possibility of ceasing payment to PSE&G until the matter is resolved.

Township Administrator Schmid feels ceasing payment may create legal and public safety issues and does
not recommend stopping payment to PSE&G.

Hyatt Hills
Deputy Mayor Robinson seeking an update concerning potential revenue from the Hyatt Hills Golf
Course Commission.

Commissioner Plick feels there is no potential for revenue, and discussion should be carried until after
budget introduction.

On motion of Commissioner Garcia, seconded by Commissioner Smith and passed, the Township
Committee adopted the following resolution by roll call vote:

Resolution No. 2008-80A.13:
BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Committee may go into closed session to discuss personnel,
contractual and legal matters related to the 2008 municipal budget, the minutes of which will be released
at some time in the future at the discretion of the Township Committee.

Recorded vote:
Aye: Mayor Puhak, Deputy Mayor Robinson, Commissioners Garcia, Plick and Smith
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: None

On motion of Commissioner Plick, seconded by Commissioner Garcia and passed, the Township
Committee returned to open session at 9:20 AM.

Capital Budget
Finance Director Grady discussed the five (5%) percent down payment required for capital budget

Commissioner Plick reminded the Township Committee of the Police Department request for paystations
that was not included in their original capital budget submission.

Engineering Department
The first round of discussions was held regarding the various capital budget requests for the Engineering
Department. The Township Committee was agreeable to the following projects at this time:

         Holly Street Reconstruction Project
         Willow Street Reconstruction
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         Municipal Court – Bullet Proof Window
         Sanitary Siphon at Springfield Avenue Bridge
         Heating Ventilating and Air Condition System Software Update, Water Gage Station at Belmiere
         Engineering Department Computer Drafting Software
         Lehigh/Hillside Avenue School Tunnel
         Rehabilitations of Dams
         Veteran’s Flag Pole

Additional Engineering Capital Budget projects were discussed as follows:

         Curb Replacement
          No consensus to move forward with this project at this time.

         Sidewalk Replacement Program
          Deputy Mayor Robinson suggested that the $60,000 requested for sidewalk replacement be
          utilized for sidewalks in downtown

          The Township Committee was agreeable.

         Storm Sewer Improvements
          Clarification concerning request for storm sewer improvements needed. Township Administrator
          Schmid to follow up with Township Engineer Marsden.

         Sanitary Sewer Improvements
          Commissioner Plick believes the Township allocated funds in 2007 for sanitary sewer
          improvements. Does not recommend moving forward with additional improvements until the
          project for 2007 is complete.

          The Township was agreeable to Commissioner Plick’s suggestion.

         Roadway Resurfacing
          Mayor Puhak discussed the request by Township Engineer Marsden to resurface Tulip Street and
          Lafayette Place as part of the Willow Street Reconstruction Project. Feels the reconstruction of
          these streets could be eliminated at this time.

          Deputy Mayor Robinson suggested removing the funds allocated towards the resurfacing of Tulip
          Street and Lafayette Place and allocate them towards other streets.

         Municipal Building Window Replacement/Refurbishment
          Discussion held regarding funding for window replacement in the municipal building.

          Deputy Mayor Robinson discussed funds allocated for window replacement that were previously
          allocated for improvements to the receptionist area.

          Township Administrator Schmid discussed concerns with the condition of the palladium window
          in Council Chambers and the need to replace it.

          Commissioner Smith suggested that Rich Belluscio be directed to obtain a cost estimate for the
          replacement of the palladium window in Council Chambers.

          Deputy Mayor Robinson suggested other windows in the building needing replacement be
          prioritized by the Township Engineer.

          Further discussion necessary.

         Rahway River Desilting
          Mayor Puhak seeking status of the review being conducted by the Department of Environmental
          Protection’s (DEP) in connection with the Rahway River Desilting Project.

          Township Administrator Schmid to follow up with Township Engineer Marsden.

         Gallows Hill Brook Retaining Wall
          Commissioner Smith discussed the estimated cost in connection with the Gallows Hill Brook
          Retaining Wall and the need for an agreement with the Krauses.
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         Elevator Enclosure at the Parking Garage
          Discussion held concerning the elevator enclosure in the parking garage.

          Finance Director Grady feels there might be funding available in the project’s bond ordinance.

Department of Public Works (DPW) - Capital Budget

Purchase of Vehicles
Mayor Puhak discussed requests made by DPW to purchase a ¾ ton van, a 4x4 Pickup with a plow, and a
Rubber Tracked Skid Steer Loader. Discussed the potential for purchasing these vehicles used.

Further discussion necessary.

Purchase of Security Camera System for the Round House
Mayor Puhak seeking clarification regarding the cost estimate for the purchase of a security camera
system for the Round House.

Township Administrator Schmid feels the estimate is accurate.

Lighting and Signage
Commissioner Plick discussed a request related to the Centennial Avenue parking lot concerning lighting
and signage.

Manhole Rehabilitation Project
Deputy Mayor Robinson feels the only DPW project that should move forward in 2008 is the Manhole
Rehabilitation Project.

Further discussion necessary.

On motion of Commissioner Plick, seconded by Commissioner Garcia and passed, the Township
Committee adjourned at 10:40 PM.

                                                          Respectfully submitted,

                                                          Tara Rowley, RMC
Dated: March 17, 2008                                     Municipal Clerk