Wednesday, June 16, 2010

State Keeps City Budget in Question - Council Meeting June 16, 2010

Welcome to the Reporters’ Notebook –

Corrections, Clarifications, Additions Welcome;

Council Meeting June 16, 2010

Mayor Absent – Present: Susan Hendrickson, Deputy Mayor John Loffredo, Kevin Sanders, James Bruno

City Introduces 2010 Budget Estimated at $40 Million

$24 Million to be Raised From Taxes

City Still in Dark Re State Aid for 2010

City  Scrapes to Find Revenue Opps & Cost Cuts

[Readers are advised to review Executive, Workshop and Public Agendas at ]
Workshop – missed beach badge discussion –

City Engineer, Brian Grant, $200mn from DOT, lkg to increase size of '09 program, wnt to change 09 program to get better economies of scale, lkg to combine to get all streets done/

Temporary budget for emergency $300k in budget in order to fund in timeline, need to add to emergency budget

Bruno – asking about change order for $293k

City Mgr, Terry Reidy – expanding 09 change order to save money in 2010

Don Sammett – Don was instructed to keep statements short- Joke –

Pkg fund payment, equal cost of a structured pkg stall/ a Central Business District (CBD) wide parking solution is being explored.

Chief Keddy of AP Fire Dept –
Commodities resale agreement and shared svcs plan. Charge $85/hr for repairs/ someone else wd do gen’l main for $68/hr / plus wd do resales to us, anything we need county also provides, also on svcs, current contractor $90/hr, county pays $48/hr. “Skies the limit” think we should take advantage of this.
Loffredo – lkg over what they wd do/ vehicle washing…does all this hav to go there
CKeddy – no whatever makes sense…we’re not obligated to go there.
Loffredo – if we sell vehicles to county w/we be committed to letting them do maintenance?
TR – if we’re paying twice as much w/ contracts we hv now, like lowest bidder, where bid makes sense to us/it’s at our discretion, our call
CK – very interested in extending
JL – cty gov needs reason to exist
CK –cty jst started getting vehicles serviced by cty garage (?)
TR –
Tom Gilmour, Commerce Dir – bids on signage program / wnt permission to go out for it, UEZ w/ pay/ for train station, beach, etc. ready to go finally
Special events – Allen Chapel summer camp on beach, wnt to waive beach fees kids 7 – 15, july 5 and 31/ pending review and app’l by special events committee.
Ocean Mile Swim – Joe supv of beach approves. 5th ave beach, may be moved to Sunset av beach, August also Sunset av
Bond fire – also sunset av beach.
NJ Race Club –
James Bruno - June 26th Asbury Av, between brand and heck, wnt to close, no (Loffredo)
July 4th – festival on north end of boardwalk, something diff. rides for kids north of sunset av pavilion and vendors
Parade 1pm cook to sunset, to ocean av, 2n third and 4th av for fireworks/ bruno wd love to put firewks on north end/ Gilmour has vetted that request w/ police and fire already

Gilmour -Letter from Madison Marquette; request to  extend permit for euro bubble/ extend to aug 15th

ArtsCAP applied to Smithsonian, travel exhibit 2011, new harmonies, deals w/ musical heritage, first city that will hav that designation/ bring visitors into city/ yr long event maybe to celebrate our musical heritage/ curriculum for school system to use/ great op for us in 2011, to celebrate all great things happening here in the city. Talked to clubs very interstd tying into it. Since nat’l wd be nat’l exposure. W/ ask Kevin Sanders…

Bruno: absolutely!!

Comedy fest postponed, need more info.

James Famularo – impediments to housing choice// mkg free hsg choices, block grant requires this/ miss hazel Samuels recommends we use same firm Portnoy/ tk 4 – 6 mos for project to be completed.
JLoffredo – do they do anything re rehabbing existing housing?
JF – No – jst study identifies impediments to free housing choices.
JL – it’s a preliminary report to housing needs report
TR – are there discrimatory choices about hsg… not generated by HUD because agency thought we need…HUD requires of all HUD Block grant recipients
SH – are we obligated to HUD
JF – w/ put together a plan of action/ we can mk own
SH – Hazel Samuels (former Housing Dev Dir) is comfortable in using this company
TR- it’s an RFP, but yes Hazel is comfortable w/ this company
Gov body wd tk info and submit plan / not HUD telling us what to do.

Matters to be Introduced by Council
SH – signs for parade say coucilwoman
Discussion of council members as substitute
JL – I was on The breeze radio this week and was brilliant

City Atty, Fred Raffetto: Council may take action on 4 items from exec session

1 - Redeveloper agreement between city and sp’wd commons LLC – Vince Gifford’s 5,881 sf 3-story mixed use structure with commercial spc on 1st flr and 16 affordable units on upper – 10 three , six 2 BR std redeveloper agreement

2 – first reading of ordinance to auth lease agreemtn for 4 Basket Ball courts w/ bd of ed – under 10 yr lease agreement city w/ take over maintain and renovate them/ w/ take 4 to 3 courts – funded by CBG Money

3 – resolution assumption Lynx Asset Services llc
Assumption by Lynx to the Griffin Redevelopment project located within the city’s central business district redevelopment area

4 – authorize settlement of case between Sebastion Ronald Lawes and city of AP – rear end collision vehicle driven by city employee, Anthony Thompson, employee in Public Wks Dept. Truck cdn’t come to full stop, snow conditions. January 29, 2007 accident date. Amicable resolution $15k to each of two plaintiffs-- driver and passenger.

Public portion – there w/ be budget hearing at end

Rita Marano – 8th Ave – Inservo claims? Can you tell us what that is? 30 cases at $40,000…
Clerk Steve Kay – what up w/ that
TR – third party administrator that manages claims wkman’s comp claims for city, Inservco reviews when employee files claim, if injury incurred during employment city req’d to pay for care. Sometimes city may challenge amount paid.

TR - In NJ wkers comp courts incredibly weighted toward workers’ claims. Once judge renders these opinions city legally obligated to make payments

RM – kids on bdwk last wkend collecting money, think it’s terrible

Who’s keeping track of the money?

Kevin Sanders –

We did it as kids.

Bob Stevens – 515 third av     When is the sceheduled appt of municipal judge going to be

JLoffredo --doing interviews on the 25th, next meeting perhaps make announcement

BS – reappointment of Judge Mark Apostolou //wd recommend him/ (bs is volunteer with court system as a mediator) /operates well oiled machine/ very large calendar to deal w/ by far given highest accolades w/in county , the court itself, very professionally run crt/ if I were in position to mk appt. I wd give that op to hear bkgrnd what they hv to offer with understanding that that train rolls, that train moves…

Bill Resnick – 220 5th ave  --Don’t know if anyone’s noticed how busy the beaches are as soon as the sun comes out/ city needs to charge more to make money.

Julian Purvis – 22nd annual jazz festival/ goes usually to 8 pm, now on flyer says goes to 6 pm/ everyone in city lk forward to/ concerned time it ends/ is it because of raise the roof concert down the street?

Sanders – city has done 22 yrs, but this yr different company running it. Don’t think other event has anything to do w/ decision/ RUE Entertainment is running the festival

Dale Bender – cookman av

Wants to get a pot belly pig and raise indoors, house trained, don’t shed, don’t bark, don’t bite/ this is no swine. How can amend restriction against.

JL –

JB – Garrett Giberson has had a bunch of them

TR – not uncommon in any municipality

JL – mr bender go ahead and get your pig and we’ll manage…

DB – cost to get on beach for fishing too much - $65 for season too much for those on fixed income

Lou Parisi – VFW, we pledge to one another our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor/ in less than 3 wks thanks to jim bruno we’re going to celebrate the birth of our great country 234 yrs ago. Thank you jim and council for bringing us the parade.

Thanks too for memorial day observances.

Close of public session –

Ap’d minutes june 2nd, all yes

$955,251.15 payroll for two wks.

Bill resolution $2mn +

13 liquor license renewals approved

Need tax clearance to renew liquor license – Chico’s, etc.

Special events – approved except for Asbury Av plan to block/ has to go bk to spec events committee

No reappointments

2010 target grant for police dept

Resolution approving Redeveloper agreement with Springwood Commons Project in Stars Redevelopment Area

Resolution Griffin Project - transfer of various agreements for the Griffin Project – approved…this was transferred from the private, closed session. No other info was provided.

Shared svcs w/ cty of Monmouth – approved

Fair housing choice app’d

Ordinance BB Courts – adjacent to middle school on bangs/ july 7th hearing appr’d introduction

Ordinance pkg along bangs av, etc. app’d

Terry Reidy -      Exceed Budget CAP – auditor: appropriations w/in the CAP, which was set at zero, but cd go to 3.5% more/ this ordinance raises cap that amount/ anything unappropriated or unexpensed, those monies u can bank.

Meeting opened to public for comment on budget cap

Rita Marano – how does that impact tax payer?

Auditor – no not direct one to one impact on taxpayer

Budget as introduced is $1.6mn less than max allowable by statute.

All yes to adopt ordinance.

Sewer connection/ revising ordinance/ city atty fred raffetto asked to table for now to review possible modifications

Budget hearing now of 2010 budget – there is a statuatory req’t to have public hrg on muni budgets

TR – budget had to be introduced by certain date, with or without information from State regarding State contribution to the City/ state hasn’t figured out own budget yet/ or municipal aid it w/ send to towns either. Normally by now you’d know unofficially, this yr we do not, no muni in state receives info on this now. Despite that AP instructed by state to introduce budget, w/out special or transitional aid in it/ if no aid, city wd be forced to increase taxes by 110%. This won’t happen though since state has assured us we w/ will get aid; it jst hasn’t said how much.

Downside of process is that we’re w/out sufficient aid to discuss budget in regard to how much aid we’ll get and how much of the budget will have to be cut back to accommodate any shortfall, as you to the pt you raised a few moments earlier, Rita… to know what budget w/ be.

I’ve been down to Trenton doz times. Gov is aware situation AP is in/ very pleased progress city has made/

budget represents decrease in spending, no raise to AP city employee in last 3 yrs/ layoff plan goes into effect july 1/ reduced overtime fire dept by $400k/

revenue has increased in past 5 yrs. 09 beach rev $325k/ $80k raised just over Mem’l Day wkend/ $550k court and police revenue, last yr 1 milln$, pkg in 09 reached $275k/ in 09 first 2 wks $8,800, same weeks in 2010 tripled to $34,000.

But these revenues won’t balance budget in 2010. Strongly advocating to Trenton we need to chg way we fund muni services/ asked state to wk w/ us on task force to reduce costs of delivering services/ anyone can reduce budget by eliminating services, we’re not talking about that/ costs money to protect people feel safe when come to our town/ met w/ Lt Gov, Dept of Community Services commissioner, etc., all in support of AP to reduce overhead, we’re the only city that’s down there making specific proposals on how to do this. Don’t have spec answers from Trenton/

JBruno – Hope you did remind state they’re the ones who recommended council increase hiring in police and fire depts/ during its 6 mo audit review yrs ago/

City has received $30 mn in some aid from state over last 5 yrs. (This does not include other State aid. Ex: AP received $20 million from State last year.)

Public hearing – Marano declines saying city mgr did a good job of explaining. No one else speaks.

Meeting Adjourned

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