Saturday, September 19, 2009

AP City Council Meeting September

My apologies for posting this edition of Reporters' Notes well after the event, and for not attending the most recent, Sept. 16th meeting. I was out of state for the funeral of a friend.
However, in reading today's Asbury Park Press, page 2, I see that the city has determined that it will need to borrow $2.6 million to build the senior center floor within the three-story building planned by Interfaith Neighbors. The city intends to seek approval for this borrowing from the Local Finance Board and the Dept. of Community Affairs, formerly head up by Joseph Doria, who is under investigation as part of the FBI's Operation Bid Rig. The article explains that the senior center was formerly housed in the First Avenue Pavilion, which is now the site of a restaurant and shops. However, for clarity, the report should state that the pavilion was sold to Asbury Partners. Almost immediately after that sale, the building was rendered uninhabitable due to the severing of the gas pipe by a worker hired by the building's owners. Seniors had to leave in an emergency evacuation.
If the state agencies approve the city's request to bond, it must still go to market to determine what interest rate it will have to pay. And it will almost certainly have to get a new credit rating before it can be eligible to offer a bond. The city currently has at least $20 million owed in debt. The credit rating and legal fees associated with the bonding will add considerable costs to the initial $2.6 million. This year, the City had a revenue short fall of about $20 million in meeting its budget.
Asbury Park City Council Mtg 9/2/09
City Passes Ordinance Adopting Controversial New FEMA Flood Maps - See Congr. Pallone's Op-Ed in APP Opposing these Maps

While some communities are opposing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s proposed flood maps, which place many areas into flood zones, Asbury Park voted to pass an ordinance adopting the new maps to avoid problems in gaining flood coverage for the area.
Asbury Park has the lowest rating right now in a ranking used by insurance companies to figure flood premiums. Steps can be taken to improve this ranking, which could result in lower premiums.

Don Sammet – City’s Director Redevelopment

Metropolitan Hotel, three properties in WestSide redevelopment area…
Honor able mention for CoAP for its Asbury Tower rehab project. The city recognized for its part in approving another Pilot program, through which the City taxpayers made possible reduced Tower taxes so that the owners could complete the rehab.

Mayor’s Ball – proceeds go to recreation programs, certificates for free day at beach, $5 value, in goody bag. For every $5 badge city gets back $21.95 in commerce and parking.
Melba Moore will sing and give a special presentation.

Mayor Ed Johnson asks Fisherman’s pkg; lot a yr from now what do we expect to be on that spot? Can things be done to produce revenue? Recover w/ DGA? Camping ground at the beach? Something city can put there to raise revenue.

Terry Reidy, City Mgr – lk at first cost of improvement of the current “moonscape”. Used by fishermen, surfers, etc. who know what to expect, but may surprise first timers. Mayor wants it cont’d to be used by fisherman. But have to look at all possible revenues, rather than have it sit there doing nothing.

Mayor - Short range and long range goals, wants council and city directors to sit down and figure out. League of Municipalities in Nov. could use that as opportunity for this. Need to flush this out, date, place, guidelines.

Jim Famularo, dep City Mgr. – NJ Transit wants to upgrade ticket machines.

Tom Gilmour – commerce – special event applications: Chamber of Commerce sidewalk sales Sept 12 and 13 and Oct 17 and 18 – Similar event for VNA on Main St. Tapatia Restaurant area on both sides of Main Street, Oct 14 – 11- 3 pm. Teddy Bear Entertainment, rained out last weekend, Sept 12 9- 6 pm. Historical Society Moro Castle on same date?
Sunset Pk 11 – 2 pm Ministry. David Hoffman, Harrison’s Sun. 9/13, alley way event. City not sure who actually owns the RoW between VFW and building. Sisters on Patrol flea market Oct 17 // 9 – 4 pm Sept 13th Wonder Bar and Longosta Lounge, benefit SPCA – request walk animals from one venue to the other via boardwalk, from 5 – 6 pm. Historical society wants social affair permit for mayor’s ball. Partnering between Historical society and the mayor’s office.

Matters introduced by City Council –
Sue Henderson – re. Deal Lake Commission, Flume house of Deal Lake, which controls water leveling the lake. It has been painted and roof repaired by public works dept. “It looks great!” Deal Lake commission wrote letter of thanks, mentioning Garrett Giberson and John Mohr. John Everson, chair of the commission signed the letter.

John Loffredo – asked about paperwork on bus shelter given to T.Reidy. Would build shelter on east side of Ocean Ave., City Atty Fred Raffetto will have resolution next meeting. Complaint about foul language during a concert at Stone Pony. JL says not appropriate for a family destination.

Mayor thanked organizers of block party. Health awareness on H1N1 emergency action vaccine program. Wk w/ Bd of Education to deal with whatever comes. Recognize beach staff and merchants, and Madison Marquette. Advise council of opportunity for professional development courses for members of any Monmouth Cty business, non-profit or government being offered free by Brookdale College.

JL thanked Surfrider Fdn for cleaning up the beach.

FRaffetto: Memorandum of Agreement City and Prosecutors Assoc. of NJ … Parking at Berkeley Hotel Sept 11, 12 – 13 – 120 parking spots on st. metered pkg spaces. City will be paid $1200.
Litigation city of AP v Apostol – house on Webb St., property now owned by Karpinskis, who are moving their house there. Action was to settle fines and penalties on the property levied against former owners before structure taken down.

Ava Horvath is here with neighbors to protest granting of three lots on West Side to Interfaith Neighbors

Noise ordinance, which will affect Brick Wall on Cookman, moved to Oct. 21

Public Portion
Rita Marano, 8th Av
Bond ordinance is partly in expectation of stimulus money for street improvements Springwood Av. and downtown roadbeds. Ans: 2 different forms – environmental trust monies and from Fed. Boxing component of bond allows donations to be made for a dedicated trust to be only used for that purpose, sets up mechanism to raise money for that program. Fitness is part of the boxing program. RM says glad city employees can take training at Brookdale, kid answering phone at city hall.

Ava Horvath – “…long cherished affordable home building project: roundly rejected because of prejudice on part of affordable housing comm. Not given opportunity to put our plans before…committee.” Accompanied to meeting by Jim Bollinger, identified as a former fortune 500 executive. NSP application 20 Avenue A and a second on Avenue A.

Reidy – ordinance on this tonight, doesn’t include properties Horvath is referring to/ There was a proposal that did include them. They were taken out of the ordinance. Horvath so that she can make her case to the Affordable Housing Subcommittee, subcommittee w/ address council on Sept 16th with results of Horvath’s meeting with it. Governing body made a policy decision to give H opportunity to plead her case.

Frank Weston 9 ½ Avenue A –
Derrek Weston of same address – we can’t afford to live on the East side, wants area to look the same.
Georgia (last name?)…- Resident of Avenue A – Horvath trying to build something to include us and children of area. They always put us at the bottom of the list. Supports Horvath’s plan.
Everton Barham – Avenue A – Totally in support of Ms. Horvath.
Elzi Walker – Avenue A – family there for over 80 yrs. “She was promised a fair chance, that has not been fulfilled. Interfaith built many houses but seems to me a slight chance of monopolizing here. Give Ava a fair chance.”
James Bellinger – Agreed 3 lots in question be held in abeyance until loans could be arranged which has been done.
Reidy – city has been working on this for too many years, frankly. Stars put together before I got here. Not a question of whether or not affordable housing is going to be built in their neighborhood. Only a question is who is best qualified to build it. Properties are still out there and available for Ms. Horvath to get her plans across. Re. monopoly, sure going to look at them they’ve got positive track record, but there are three – Habitat is another…people of goodwill come out and speak from the heart…issue for this governing body is who w/ actually build affordable housing for our community.
Mike Brim – Sunset Av –
On Horvath – asked if hers is the same plan presented a while ago. Homes she was proposing weren’t of lasting quality.
Ed Simon – 3rd and Main, Locksmith business – congratulate council and new mayor.
Joyce Stolloroff – Cookman Av
Parking in downtown, loading zones, ticketed picking up dog from groomer.
Ed Johnson – plan is to get pkg committee going after Labor Day, deal with that and other issues.
JS – city hall employees, can they put clock signs up so you know when people will be returning to their offices.
Response: TReidy – w/ follow up at staff mtg t’w. After his vacation got a number of complaints, one from council and will act on any complaint of that nature.
Dennis Carroll – 1st ave.
In favor of the Public Arts Mural ordinance before council tonight. Spoke of murals bringing people of a city together.
Dawn Von Suskill – very excited about ordinance and work coming together. Thank you.
Carice Agrillo – Cookman Av – disappointed to hear noise ordinance is put off again, hope committee isn’t slow moving.
Lou Parisi – Band concerts in AP, 2 wks ago bandleader Mr. Luckenbill said may not be able to continue. Council intervened. Please continue to think of them in future. Unfortunate if in its …excellent band repertoire to please everyone. Excellent musicians joined by 15 from schools. Occasion to visit the Convention Hall restroom, pleased, sent note to Mr. Matolla.
Gene Minola – Cookman – moved in yr and half ago, have two businesses downtown, city doesn’t seem able to enforce ordinance that exists, hope new ordinance will seek a balance. TReidy on postponement to Second meeting in October to give mayor and council chance to review issues.
Reidy – gen’l agreement then state ordinance is 40 decibels not 50 / what governing body thought they wd be voting on wasn’t what state told them it would be. It wd be overly restrictive and might cause businesses to close down. Rather than have overprotection it was postponed. It’s not a delay tactic. Police chief investigated other communities to see what they’re doing.
Jerry Scarano – Long Branch
Morro Castle no one here to address or endorse events planned to commemorate. It changed the way we live and ocean travel. We should support it. Re Avenue A, “I remember the drawings were equal to superior to others presented,” he said referring to M. Brim’s remarks.
Scott Hann – Cookman Av – moved from NY and noise downtown worse than NY, London, Japan/ VFW noise keep them up Sun. nights. DEP did sound readings. Parties go on until 2. Police are called out. Sometimes on Saturdays. Applications should be looked at.
Pam – Sept 20th 11 am, tee off noon, arts cap event at miniature golf on boardwalk, police, fire dept, zoning Bd of Ed are all playing.

Attendance – All elected officials except councilmember James Bruno

.$6,000 for July fireworks.
Raffle oct 29 for meridian health at tim mccloone’s supper club
Howard Daly Post Sat. Sept 5th,
Metro Entertainment at Berkeley, Sept 10th
Renewal of license at Berkeley, condition they maintain 100 rooms or more.
Misc. events from Gilmour
Pending appr’l from ABC Historical Society permit at Mayor’s Ball – all yes
Harrison extend license to alley – all yes
Planning Bd – mayor indicated Terry Reidy, to 2010, shade commission Jim Henry to 2012, Amy Quinn w/ become alternate #1, UEZ Bd opening rest are renewed except Towery goes to regular member. Debbie Delisa, Michael Brim, etc. Sunset Lake commission john mohr, rcouncil rep. Jim Bruno, amy quinn, tom pivinski, ed baker
Springwood ave advisory board – Michael Brim, Paul McEvely, Vernice McGriff, Ed Johnson, dep mayor john loffredo, earl young

Budget - $38,189,530.57 Adopt budget – all yes
Inserting items grant 60k$ / yr 8, UEZ wayfaring science program $50,000, Cops hiring recovery $1,376,100.
Bond Ordinance - $15 million sewer utility bonds
Loan - $15,800,000. executed by city and envir infrastructure trusts dep, escrow
Debt obligations 2009 envir infrastructure program
PAL boxing facility – all yes
Resolution – 2008 annual audit – that they’ve read it. All yes

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