Bloomfield Town Council meeting, May 11, 2021
9:31PM May 12, 2021
fulfilling and by email notification generated by iq mtwo to the offices of the independent press Blofeld life, start ledger patch burst net and tap into Blofeld. Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation
under God, indivisible with liberty
and justice for all.
Please, please call the roll.
Now, here, here, here,
Councilman Davis here.
Councilman gamble here,
Councilman Rafael here, here.
So tonight, we're going
congressman Payne is going to join us at 720. So we're going to move ahead to the with the meeting. And then when he joins us, we'll let him speak. So first up for public comment.
We have Herman Russ Amano. Thank you
Coronavirus, the model
of low sales
if you just put the mic down a little bed. Perfect. There we go.
16 come on board. I have no complaints. I love the outstanding job that the mayor and the council has still. I'm here when he first suggestion. We have two things that I'd like to address. One is the South Junior High streets. I think it's a great spot for condominiums like you're putting up with to get the rate of rules or parking. We have a parking problem. The problem is, when it snows it's like a bomb hit Bluefield. Nobody can move. Kilmer core, forget about Willard Avenue. It's not a two way street. When it snows. You realize what that means? Safety and Health is everybody's business. If you can't get a firetruck in there, for an EMT, it's going to be our responsibility. That's all I'm here to say. But you guys are doing an outstanding job. The hydrants are painted and tested for reflectors on and taxes went down. Amen. I used to think that they are Kindred that I worked for, by the way. I'm going to be 92 years old two weeks.
So God bless Happy birthday.
You know what I tell everybody because it's the Bloomfield air. Anyway, keep up the good work. Harder to test this. We got we got some ruts in the speaker repair. But everything is so great West. Good to have you. thank thank you. I'm here to mentally.
By the way, I worked with Mayor Kenda that was when Louise Polly Gatineau almost used to get more votes than the mayor.
One thing with Kilmer court I will tell you in our dp web eventually, they eventually go out and remove this though but we do struggle most Austintown struggle with coldest acts with the snow cooler because it just there's just no place to put it. I think
Junior High would be a great spot for
for so we're trying to address the parking in that.
By the way, by the way. I forgot to mention that Montclair parking lot. Hospital. They're putting parking lots with charging stations in the next 10 years. 80 to 90% of cars will be electric, whatever they find. That's it. Thank you. We
diamond wish wish and Medina Wingo
Good evening, everyone. My name is Medina window. We are residents of boonville. for 25 years now, I'm calling it as Oh, on June 19, will actually be hosting the Juneteenth event that is happening here in Boston. The purpose of the event is to engage the community with the black owned small businesses within the town. I'm also the founder of the good backcare show. The purpose of the good backcare show. I'm sorry, let me rewind. I'm a hairstylist as well. So I also participated in and did some nonprofit work with Catholic Charities. And now that I do care, I'm a hairstylist full time, I started to give back here show where it's still a charity put together for small businesses, hair salons, entrepreneurs together and everyone is showcasing their work, whatever it is that they contribute to the community, and a small donation is given to a family or someone in need during the holiday season. So far 20 $500 has been given to families within the Isaiah house shelter and storage and also a family within the apostatized South and North New Jersey. This event we hope to do the same and contribute some way within community based off of whatever is generated on this day.
also presenting this evening okay. But yeah, that's June 19. From 2012 from sorry, close to 60 and
Thank you for coming, guys.
I'm sorry, thank you for allowing us to participate and do this here and welcome New Jersey. Like I said, we're residents here for a long time now, and just experienced it. And now seeing the dynamic change within the community. I was one of those kids that five years old, I was told that I couldn't be friends with certain people because of the color of my skin. And I now see the things and the dynamic. And he, my complexion is on board and it speaks a lot less volume. And I'm excited to do this in this town.
Thank you, Dave. We appreciate it and all your community service. I know, just let the public know, when we do are put by dr. D, volunteered and gave little kids from the township free haircuts. So she has been involved in the town for a couple years now. And we appreciate everything you do. And we're looking forward to the Juneteenth celebration. Councilman Davis,
I just wanted to thank you for taking the lead, you know to step up, see that there was a need willing your willingness to step up and do the you know, the the organizing, I've just been amazing. Councilwoman Cruz has been keeping me in the loop. And, and the level of of planning is just incredible. And I'm looking forward to a wonderful celebration today in celebration. So thank you for stepping up and and I encourage other Bloomfield residents to do the same thing.
I just want to add to that too, and say it's been a pleasure working together. I'm really looking forward to the event. And the township has been great. It's a it's a partnership between townships. Bloomfield Board of Education is now involved and Bloomfield college, and it'll go from Bloomfield Avenue down to Lackawanna, excuse me, and it'll be a celebration and education and performances on the stage all day long. So I'm really looking forward to it to a great job so far. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for
mayor and council. The first item on the agenda is a COVID update from our health officer Mike Fitzpatrick. Finally here with some long awaited positive news, Mike. Good evening, Mayor
Thanks for having this. Appreciate us coming here. I think there's a lot of things that
would be more attractive for the microphone to hear.
So I think a lot of things that individuals are interested in is probably the vaccination rates. You know, if we were talking through four months ago, we want to know the rate of transfer the virus and now it's vaccine vaccination rates. So the first thing I can say is that Bloomfield is doing reasonably well compared to the state and compared to the county where a few percentage higher of having our residents vaccinated, we have 51% of our residents vaccinated with the first shot and 36% with with one shot, like what I should say it's 51% vaccinated with a complete regimen of vaccination, whether it be one shot from Johnson and Johnson or two shots from the Madonna or Pfizer, and 36% of one shot when you have just the Madonna or Pfizer. But in a few weeks that 36% will rapidly rise to close to that 51%. So we're in pretty good shape because we're better at we have better numbers than they have, again, the state in the county. One of the frustrations have been and we're working through this. As you know, there's been a limited amount of vaccine available. But in the last several weeks, the vaccine has really opened up and become more and more available. The State Department of Health.
The State Department health literally today sent a letter off to all the Health Officers indicating that they're going to start working on availability to vaccine to local health departments. And so we've been advocating micro and mini clinics, we most certainly can't do a mass clinic the way that the county's done it and what a great a great way. But so micro mini clinics we've been doing the homebound for the last five weeks, we've vaccinated just about every homebound individual that's been identified that are in need. And then we'd be able to do individuals that are maybe not necessarily homebound, but those that may have some issues traveling to the county or they just maybe need our public health nurses to given a little, a little guidance or a health educators to give them a little information. So I think those numbers are going to go up in the next several weeks rapidly with us being able to assist in that. In that way. We have presently 174 active cases. That means over a two week timeframe. Let me give you a comparison to 174. Now, in February we had 261 in Bloomfield, and in January we had 370. So you can see that the numbers are precipitously dropping, those numbers are dropping in the last two to several weeks. And as you all probably know, on the Cali square, we are high, high, high forever. And two weeks ago, we dropped to a moderate. And last week we remained in Mater with about a 10 or 15% reduction from the previous week. And it looks like as we're looking at the scores every every day, now we're in and around the area of last early fall, which is a really lower number than we were used to since late October. So it's in September and October, early October, they're the numbers that we're seeing right around now, two really good numbers, they're not as good as the summer, the summer is extremely low. But we do expect in the next few weeks that those numbers are going to start dropping. So we're in the low category, or what people might say in the in the green category, if you will. So that Kelly score, again, is an important indicee that we can watch and monitor. Today, Pfizer was approved for 12 years old and up for vaccines, they've been working on that they've got an emergency approval. So you'll be able to have students 12 years and older in the next week or so starting to get vaccination Pfizer only. And that's from 16 and above. So that's going to open a whole new group of individuals that would be able to be vaccinated, working towards what we call herd immunity. And with the number of people who naturally have had COVID. And with vaccines over the next several weeks to a month or two, I think you'll find by next fall, we're going to have a tremendous amount of that herd immunity concept, which is very good for keeping the numbers low, even when we go into next fall, and winters, flu and cold season. So with the precautions that we've had recently, six foot wearing masks, you're gonna find that we can do much more in the next several weeks or months, that are not going to create an unsafe condition, we may be able to be wearing a mask, less times than we have the last several months not to exclude them fully, but to reduce the use, and having people get together in a more meaningful, personalized way, and still not be unsafe. So they're the things that I think we can look forward to in the next two or three months and still keep our community safe with all those interventions that I just spoke about. We do have a vaccination grant that the State Department of Health has sent away for its non competitive I put the application in today before the four o'clock deadline. And that's a $50,000 grant for immunizing vulnerable populations. Our black and brown population is slightly under the numbers that I gave you before but even so, we're at a higher rate than the county and higher rate at the state. So we're in better shape. And that would be the vulnerable population that we would be helping to assist to educate and vaccinate over the next several weeks once we received the grant money, and that money would be coming July 1 or slightly thereafter. We should have the approval sometime early mid June. But as I said, it's a non competitive grant. So I'm anticipating that there should be no problem because we met that we met the deadline. And that will help assist us with those localized programs. And that's essentially our report.
Thank you, Mike. And
just to announce the public we are doing a do Essex County of pop up. vaccination site walk ins are welcome at 10 o'clock at Watson Park, the senior center so it will be walkups for anybody that's interested. Number two, item number
two mayor and council. I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce the new director of our cultural preservation utility. Jill Dombroski. Jill comes to us with 15 years experience in arts and cultural planning. Jill certainly will be an asset and creating a vision and managing both the outside mansion and the Collins house, making both facilities more inclusive and open to the public. So, Jill, if you'd like to just come up and introduce yourself.
good evening, mayor and council. I just want to thank everyone here for this opportunity. I'm really excited to be embarking on this adventure and to becoming instrumental in the development and strategy of the cultural fabric of the township of Bloomfield And I especially want to thank Anthony de senzo and can do both for the warm welcome and their assistance in getting me acclimated this week. Thank you.
Thanks, Joe. We appreciate you being here and we look forward to everything you're going to do for oakside and the Collins out. Thank you, Joe. Number three.
Next up is a discussion in regards to the Bloomfield community farmers market in Diana available do a presentation.
Good evening, Mayor council as we know the law Field community Farmers Market Committee has been working for the past five months on the upcoming markets logistics. The market plans to launch this fall on Sundays from 10am to 1pm. The committee determined that the best centralized location would be the library and civic center courtyard. But it does plan to be mobile in the upcoming seasons. Based on the committee's experience with farmers markets, they suggest two fees to be established. One would be 120 monthly fee based on a four week month, and $420 seasonal fee for vendors based on a 14 week season. They recommend prorating these fees so that vendors could, it could be adjusted when the vendor signs up. All the market startup expenses will be paid through the mayor and councils budget with a cap of 5000 for the year. And with your approval, we'll get go ahead and start working on the ordinances for these fees.
Does anybody have any questions, comments? Yes.
I just wanted to say thank you to Diana, for your hard work on this. I know the committee has a lot of really good ideas. And you've done a really nice job of sort of synthesizing them and dropping them down to get us to this point where we're asking to move forward with these ordinances. So thank you. Thank you.
Thank you, Diane. Number four. Number four is a repetitive grant. We apply for each year for Bluefield municipal Alliance to combat substance abuse and provide for education. You'll see that this will be an action item at the at the end. Okay.
Anybody have any questions, comments? Or thanks them? Number five. Number five.
Number five is a an ordinance amendment to include new a new fee ordinance for the pool field summer camp, as well as a ordinance amendment for the use of the green. Both the fee will be outlined in the ordinance as well as the usage that is permitted at the at the green.
Okay, there we have any question comments on this?
And number six.
Number six is authorization to apply for a grant from New Jersey Department of Community fairs. This is for the the resurface of the return of vaster field. There's no match required for this for this grant and its authorization to apply for the grant.
Any questions? Comments on this? There's no match on this for right now,
okay. All right.
Give me on the screen. Yes.
Congressman, can you hear us?
Can you hear us? You have to turn your mic on.
Yes. I can't hear you now. I'm sorry. I didn't realize it's okay. A bit of a problem.
Hey, Congressman Payne, how are you?
I'm fine. Thank you. So good to be with you.
It's good to have you here. So the one good thing about the pandemic is that we've learned technology and we can now have our congressman at our council meetings without him being here. So welcome, Congressman pain. We appreciate you being here tonight.
Well, thank you very much. And you know, the The trick with this new technology is when I show up dressed up in full regalia suit and tie. Everybody's in. Everybody's in a golf shirt. I show up in a golf shirt. Everybody's stressed. I can't get it right.
I can't hear it.
So you want to give us an update on what's going on in Washington?
Absolutely. But as I stated, it's a real pleasure to be here tonight. And, you know, we're still so a very difficult time in our country with COVID-19. to, you know, that affects daily life as, as we've known it for the last year. But unlike last year, we have a path to return to normalcy. There are several vaccines in use throughout the country, to protect Americans from COVID. Now, right now, we are vaccinating about 3 million Americans every day. And at that rate, we could reach a threshold for herd immunity in the fall. When we reach that milestone, we can reopen society safely and completely and not have to worry about mass nor social distancing anymore. President Biden has said that we might be able to reach that point by July and you know, the way he's been going, I would not doubt it necessarily. But until that day, I'm fighting in Congress to get you to resources to survive this global pandemic. And, you know, Mikey, Cheryl, my colleague in Congress, we both had the honor of sharing Bloomfield and work collaborative gratitude, collaboratively together, in order to make sure that you get the resources that you deserve. And it is much easier with President Biden's leadership to do that. Recently, we approved the American rescue plan. The $1.9 trillion stimulus package helps Americans and local governments deal with the Coronavirus directly. And that relief that you should have coming soon took us since last May to get the former President didn't want to know anything about the situation that states and local governments found themselves in with this pandemic. Thank goodness, there has been a change in the White House. And you will be receiving a sum of money to help you cover the debts that you have from this pandemic and move forward. So includes funds to increase vaccinations today. So why the new package benefits Bloomfield, as I stated, in the residence has several ways. It provides a 14 $100 stimulus check to help lower middle income Americans pay their bills during the crisis, and includes an additional $300 in employment on unemployment benefits to jobless Americans until September and then includes 30 a billion to help Americans pay for their rent and mortgages. It stops the evictions and foreclosures until October. It adds almost a billion dollars to the popular payroll protection program. So small businesses can keep employees on the payroll. And it creates a new $25 billion restaurant revitalization fund to support food service industry, the food service industry directly and I know that might be a godsend to a great community like Bloomfield, with all its great eateries that I have frequented on numerous occasions. In addition, it expands the child tax and earned income tax credit to keep millions of children fed and out of poverty. Thankfully, Bloomfield will get help as well. The pat the plan provides 350 billion in badly needed aid to states and cities. As I stated earlier, I fought to get Bloomfield more than $26 million from that fun. My Mikey, Cheryl and myself, in addition to plan establishes programs to vaccinate every American and reopen every school, and we use 20 billion to increase vaccine production and distribution. Add more medical staff to provide vaccine injections and provide better transportation and make sure vaccines get to communities on time.
I was proud to help us get federal vaccination center in north to support the entire district prior to me leaving the powerful chairmanship of emergency preparedness, response and recovery for Homeland Security, which is in charge FEMA. This was one of my last efforts and it worked out as I was going out the door. So I'm very proud of that. It is open at NJIT, and now 6000 people every it can actually they 6000 people every day. In addition, the increased vaccinations will help us reopen for in person schools for in person learning. The bind plan includes 130 billion to do that nationwide. And the money will reduce class sizes and modify spaces for in person instruction. It supplies protective equipment for students and staff. And it improves the health and safety of schools to protect students and staff COVID-19. Personally, I'm very proud that committed to getting I was committed to getting students back in the classroom safely. I wrote a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services to designate teachers as frontline workers. Recently, President bind said he supports this move, and he wants teachers moved up in all state vaccination plans. And I wrote a letter to President bind to implement my mass for students Act. The bill would direct federal government to reimburse school systems for their protective equipment and expenses. schools need their funding to continue to improve their student's education. And the government needs to reimburse schools to support those efforts. My website has a page dedicated to helping you apply for all the benefits that I've talked about here tonight. So please visit pain.house.gov. It contains the link to agencies and departments to help you get stimulus funds, as well as clarity on the PPP guidelines. Also, it has information about unemployment benefits, and how to keep your family safe. Again, that website is pain.house.gov. And if you have specific requests that needs our attention, quickly, please call my district office at 973-645-3213. And I hope it would be placed in the chat. Again 97364 or 53213. We've been on the job since since a pandemic started. And we're still there to help you get what you need. I'm so proud to say that my staff understood the importance of making sure our constituents had a connection to our office. And they were willing to work through the pandemic. So I want to thank them again, my office has never closed during the entire pandemic. And let me know if you have any questions or how I can help you in the future. So thank you for allowing me to speak today. And I will try to entertain any questions that you have.
Does anybody from the Council have any questions for our congressman? All right. Thank you, Congressman. We appreciate your time tonight. And you're always welcome in Bloomfield.
Thank you very much. As soon as this clears up a bit, I would love to come to the community and see people again once again. So thank you. Thank you Have a good one. Take care.
Number Step Seven. Seven is a nother authorization to apply for a grant. This grant is from the State Department of Environmental Protection, the urban parks initiative. And the purpose of the grant is to return clock, Clark's pond, South outfield and new turf for the infield and this is no match required grant
for does anybody have any questions comments with bank number eight,
eight is another authorization to apply for a grant from the State Department of Environmental Protection. This is in the event one of the previous two grants are not approved. This does however, require matching funds of 25% and this is for both Vassar field as well as Clark's pond.
In the comments. Okay, number nine.
The Nine and 10 john ghee
Good evening mayor and council number nine in 10. Number nine is a holdover for the Cultural Center. This is the alarm system for the fire and the building alarm. We would like to retain them, but we want to formally create. Okay, this is number 10 is a new police department fire alarm management system or my way, the one that currently use is no longer supported. And this is a fully cloud base one and it has a lot more modules that the current system that they have now. Okay.
moved by Councilman Cruz and then a second second, Councilman Davis. Any questions or comments? All in favor?
number 11. Number 11 is a reapplication from last year for a grant for the library. The 2021 New Jersey construction Bond Act. You'll see in the back this is going to be an item for action tonight. Okay.
Any questions, comments on this? Okay, number
1212 through 15 are the public safety director DeMaio.
Maybe Mayor council number 12 is changing the parking status in North Fulton streets, no parking anytime it's been vetted by the traffic division and with the trucks coming in and out in the street. It also segues to number 13 as well the loading zone to be a place that we were fortunate as well.
We'll do 1213 and 14 out of one move.
And number 14 is our new handicap parking spaces that have all been investigated and vetted by the traffic division and they've all been determined to be worthy
compared some of them. Will by Councilman Davis. Second second Councilman doll. Any
All in favor, aye.
And number 15. Number 15 is the police department's report on data for the month of April 2020 21. Almost start with our complaints against personnel for the month. annually. Right now we are at 17 total for 2021 as compared to 21 same time last year to 90% reduction in complaints against our officers. for the month of April, we had two external complaints against our police officers, one emanating from a motor vehicle stop where the complainant indicated that the opposite was rude, and did not allow enough time for the insurance card to be produced. We went to the body camera footage and the incident was the polar opposite of that the officer was polite professional, and the driver was extremely rude in and allowed him the complaint is exonerated. Second is an anonymous complaint that we received from the about an officer in the department who it's something off duty where he's having some work done at his house. Internal Affairs is currently investigating that now and it's active. We still haven't had the complainant actually come forward, but we're doing our best to get some more information from we have two internal complaints for the month of April. One was a civilian employee who arrived at work under the influence of alcohol. multiple charges were levied against that individual. And that's being handled now with the internal division. Second is an off duty officer became involved in a domestic violence incident involving a family member of his the boyfriend of his sister indicated that the officer acted inappropriately. That investigation is also active with the Internal Affairs Division at this time. We had two early warnings for the month of April. One was an external complaint that automatically triggered the warning duty officer also having two vehicle pursuits and one on duty accident in the last 12 months. that's currently under review by the command staff to see what action is going to be taken on that officer. And the second was a firearms discharge, which is just an automatic trigger. Even though it was a sole incident. It was a deer that was impaled on a fence and firearm was used to put the animal out of its misery. There were no uses of force in the month of April by any member of the police department. Motor Vehicle stops for the month were 910 out of those 245 26.9% were Caucasian 330 or 36% were African American 284 31% Hispanic 47, which amounts to 5.1% Asian and point four 3% were others. For the month it was a total of 48 arrests out of those 48 arrests. 42 were initiated by calls for service from citizens. Those arrests were resulted in arrests for one for robbery, two, fragmented assault one for burglary 13 for shoplifting and theft, nine simple assaults, one receiving stolen property, one fraud, one criminal mischief for DUIs, for service of warrants, and five for other miscellaneous offenses. Police initiated arrests for the month of April where a total of six, one was for DWI, and five were for services of warrant. Overall crime in a township year to date were at 162.1 offenses, compared to 164 to same time last year, that's down 1% new initiatives that the police department is engaging in on Monday, May 3, we commenced with a community engagement initiative, where we have officers on foot patrol in our commercial areas. It's designated where it's the same two officers each day, the object of that is to get them to know all the residents that are in those neighborhoods, get them to know all the business owners and create that connection with the areas that they're working in. They're splitting their time between five different areas of the township. It's only been a couple of weeks. And it's it's very successful already. We're getting a lot of positive feedback, and we think we're going to expand it. And as we get into into the later into the spring into the summer, those units are going to be supplemented with bicycle patrols and our segway patrols as well out in those same neighborhoods and areas.
Training updates, we received a scope of work and decided on what would actually would be the best for us and the Rutgers police Institute. We're in the process currently of identifying a funding source. And at that time, which I would assume would be in the June conference meeting, we'll be coming before you to make a recommendation and ask for permission to move forward. On May 6, we concluded with our de escalation and crisis intervention training for our patrol officers, members of the health department, including Pola pike is also participated in that training. It's basically another level of de escalation other than what the officers have received already. On top of this, we're sending three members of our department to a training course in Maryland, where they will be trainers in de escalation, where we no longer have to go outside of the department to train our officers this and do it sporadically. It'll be something that becomes part of our annual or biannual training curriculum. And our officers are received constantly by members of our own department. emotionally disturbed person calls for the month of April, there was a total of 16 mental health emergencies and emergency motion is there a person calls, that's a reduction of four from 23 in the previous month, of the 16 calls, five of them referred to the health department three handled by CMS five handled by police reports being submitted and referred to the health department and one being handled by police when an arrest. One check Okay, upon police arrival, and one was triaged by our dispatchers, which is another area that we're getting into with training with them, we've started and our goal is to have them all train, where they'll be able to triage these type of calls at lower levels without sending officers to the scene and be trained to be able to do that on the telephone with the family members. EDP Task Force now that we've completed our crisis intervention training, we'll be scheduling another meeting, we have a pretty good idea in scope of what direction we want to go with it now, especially being our officers are trained and the health health department personnel that we want to work with in this program are also trained this in the same manner. And we're also together still working together with Bloomfield college on a structured internship program. And most importantly, is the civil service test, where we're going to be working together with them are creating a program for residents who can't afford to go to a study group to be able to have it free of cost, and make it a more level playing field when the civil service test those come out. And that concludes the report for questions. Thank you, Director.
Does anybody have any questions for directing? Well, Councilman Davis,
not so much a question or comments. So I wanted to say, you know, I, you know, good job on the reduction of crime year over year from from last year. That's amazing. Because last year was we were in COVID. And every there was a lot of things locked down. So who would actually be a 1% decrease? That's pretty significant. When you consider that no one was moving this time last year, people were really keeping keeping close up. So that could want to commend that. And I want to beat the drum that we often all of us, at some point or another say about getting the word, the good word out that we do in the community. I saw that the Facebook post that you did about or not you did, but that the safety public safety did about the training that we did, regarding officers and people who are mentally disturbed or you know, just how to de escalate situations like that, and I felt that it was really powerful. And so I you know, I shared it on citizens of Bloomfield, but I think that's the kind of thing that we you know, that and then it was one of the last things that you just mentioned About the activities that we're doing, you know, I think that they're like the what we're doing with blue pill college and that kind of stuff. I mean, I really would love to see the good things that we do in the town. Because when when bad things happen, those things, those move like fire, right, and they do happen, and unfortunately, we wish they could never happen. But there's a lot of good things happening in our town, with example, the kinds of progress that we've been making with public safety. I feel that we really need to do be really proactive. And I don't know, Mayor, you know, who how do we make this happen? counseling Monday, oh, we say this over and over again. But I'm gamble Rockwell in on different ways. I mean, there's so much wonderful work that's being done. And I think that in particular, in this time, this moment in time, when we are actively concerned about issues around justice, and law enforcement, and, you know, the need to pay attention to these kinds of things that we are addressing, proactively, I'd love to see those things pushed out in the community so that they can help to create a broader narrative about what we're doing. I mean, it is clear, we need to, it has been clear that they are they're all there's always room for progress. But we've made incredible strides over the last, you know, four or five years. And I think under your leadership, and so I think that we really should, we got to find a way to get the story out there can't be passive, because the story, there's another story that's been out there for decades. About Bloomfield, so we have to, we have to work hard to get that message out that we're doing, you know, that we're trying to address that we're being proactive. So I just wanted to say that one more time, because I am always amazed at the things that that we do. I mean, I will talk later about the artwork that Councilman Campbell is doing incredible things that we're doing at town, but I just love to see that really pushed out there more, you know, in the form.
So the de escalation training should definitely get pushed out there more, especially in the media, where, you know, most departments are struggling with teaching their officers de escalation, and they're they're avoiding the topic. And we're, we're we're being on the forefront of it. So I do think it should, we should try to push it out in the media, that we did this training, and that we're going to send three of our officers for training to be trained other departments in the future. So I think that that's a pretty big deal.
I'll put something in the fridge. Like you said, Councilman to be policing, as anyone knows, it, is completely different. It has to be done totally different. And if the officers don't buy into it, and the only way they're gonna buy into it is constant training, and repetition and repetition to this is the way we police here. And, and that's what our goal is just constant repetition and training. So they know what policing is supposed to look like today and 20,021.
Thank you, Director.
Thank you, contract attorney.
Good evening, mayor and council. Item number one, we are seeking the council's authorization to reimburse a taxpayer for a 2020 tax overpayment and further authorizing waiver of any 2021 first and second quarter interest charges that were made, that were made this year. Just a little background on this property. This is part of the former Westinghouse site and the development plan there. The taxpayer, the owner, applied for and received a five year tax exemption under the state's five year tax exemption law. And just to remind you and the listening public, this is an exemption that the state allows on new construction and gets phased in of the taxes on that new improvement over five years. So in year one, there's 0%, you pay the property, you pay the land, but on the new improvements, it's 0% in year 120 percent of the assessed value in year 240 percent year three, and so on until you're back up to 100%. year five.
what the township has learned is there was an error in calculating that tax phase in and subsequently the tax collection was out of whack. We did verify through our new assessor and our new collector that there was an overpayment last year in the amount of approximately $164,000. The recommendation that we're putting forward is to reimburse the taxpayer via credit. So not to write a check but give a credit to the 2021 Pilot payments that are due there. We've discussed this with the finance department, it does not affect the budget. And the taxpayer has also made partial payments in 2021. And since they were only partial payments, may have created an interest calculation on an unpaid balance. So that's why we're recommending and requesting waiver of any interest charges that may have come because while they were only partial payments in 2021, that was the result of gross overpayments in the prior year. So finances looking at this and we'll readjust the calculations to make sure they're correct in that five year exemption operation that's happening there. And we would just need your formal approval so I can negotiate an agreement with the taxpayer to work out that credit reimbursement. Okay, very good. Somebody
move by Councilman Cruz. Can I get a second Councilman gamble. Any questions, comments? All in favor? Aye. Then bring to
Yes, a number two. Back in March of this year, the township designated broadstreet redevelopment LLC as the interim redeveloper of this redevelopment project to be located at 19. Ditch 35 Broad Street, subject to approval of a redevelopment agreement. The townships special council as well as our own legal staff and planning staff have renegotiated a redevelopment agreement. And this resolution authorizes execution of that agreement. The intention is for this project to be constructed within 24 months of the agreement. It's 86 apartments, over mixed use on retail space on the first floor, consisting of studios and one bedrooms with 131 parking spaces in a garage. So this is approving or authorizing us to enter into and authorizing the mayor to sign a redevelopment agreement. Okay. So not a pilot on this project. Yeah, just so that's clear.
get somebody to move this? Move by Councilman gamble? So moved. Second, Councilman Rockwell, what's the next steps on the technical front of the zoning or planning? Are there? You're waiting? No, they're all i
they don't they're not
seeking any variances here. It's planning.
Okay. Yeah. So one thing that we need to sit and meet with them way before they do construction to make sure that there's a clear walkway. Because that's that, that side of broad streets a little tight, so we just need to make sure that we have a clear walkway and we don't lose any parking in that little, that little area.
There the through launch to Franklin, these this properties. Okay.
Any other questions, comments?
All in favor? Aye. Number three,
number three, and for our planning director funding for this year, she's here to just talk briefly about this.
Good evening, Mayor Council. We have to residential rehab mortgage approval to sign a discharge there. their mortgage term has expired. funding was in 2005 and 2007. For 211, North 15th and 154 Rab Ave, so we're just seeking your approval to sign the discharge on file with the county. Okay.
Moved by Councilman Cruz. Second, Councilman Davis. Any questions or comments? All in favor? Aye. Okay, thank you, Bonnie. Finance.
Good evening, mayor and council. I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. Item number one discussion of resolution to approve temporary capital budget. This is just a formality related to item number two, in order to adopt the bond ordinance prior to adopting our actual budget. We just need this which is a temporary capital budget.
Okay, good. Somebody
moved by Councilman Joanna. Second, second second. Councilman Mundell. Any questions, comments? All in favor? Aye. Number 220 21. roadway reconstruction program bond ordinance.
This authorizes the spending of roadway with roadway repairs and the funding source would be issuance of bonds and a down payment from our own capital improvement fund moved by Councilman crews that can come from Joanna. Any questions or comments? All in favor? Aye.
Thank you, Cameron. township engineer.
Good evening, mayor and council. The first item I have is an update on our township wide customer water. metering program, we have 11,624 meters or accounts. As of today, we have 7355 meters installed. Basically, that's 60% of all our accounts now have the new meters 63%. We're running a little bit out of momentum. Part of that, obviously, was the COVID epidemic, which hit right when this would start. So we're seeing a little bit of a trailing. So at some point, we will have to look into getting those additional meters installs. Okay,
does anybody have any questions about the water meter?
Okay, number two.
Okay, number two is request for some, some bond, some ordinances excuse me, we have the opportunity on Glenwood Avenue that's been under construction as part of the 2020 d o t. Local aid grant. So there's a section, the roadway is wide enough, we had some concepts that would show we can actually put reverse angle parking on the westerly side of Glenwood Avenue, between Washington and Congress Street. It'll maximize our parking. You know, right now, it's just the concept. They have the design engineer working on it. But we can gain quite a few parking spaces, maybe eight from what we have now, depending upon how we lay them out. We spoke to the traffic division, we did have that pilot program on Broad Street with the reverse angle parking. My impression is in my discussion was that that's working very well, people are starting to get the idea. And certainly that section along Glenwood Avenue, we got the food down there, it'd be nice if people can back in, load the groceries in the trunk and pull out. We just need to just do a little bit refinement of that. But you know, at that point, we would need ordinances for both to make Broad Street permanent and to establish it on Glenwood.
Okay. Can I get somebody to move this by Councillor Mondale? Can I get a second? Second counselor gamble? Do we have any? Are we going to try to expand Broad Street any further or just keep up the existing? Well, we have?
Well, at that section of Broad Street. I don't think we could go any further north. But certainly there's other areas. I mean, I've looked at areas by the green and some of that, you know that it's certainly something we will keep building on, we'll just see how you know how well it takes in that we don't run into any kind of, you know, unforeseen safety issues with it.
Any other questions, comments?
I have a question or comment on window. So I think it's working really well on Broad Street. And I love the idea of expanding it to other areas of town. I do have some concerns, because that area of broad of Broad Street is not as heavily trafficked as the area you're talking about on Glenwood Avenue. There's a lot of so I'm just curious, or I don't know, this is more of a comment that I'm curious with the impact on traffic will be over there. Sometimes, you know, if there's someone behind you, and you're trying to back up, it's hard to get
in so far as far as the angled parking.
Yeah. And Glenwood Yeah, actually,
I looked at it, and I put it on that side, particularly because most of the traffic is from Bloomfield Avenue. And it would make it you know, they'd want to access it quicker from that end, because realistically, if they're coming down Bloomfield Avenue, and they see it on the other side, there's more of a idea to kind of pull in from the other side of the street, because otherwise they're gonna have to route you know, right around the whole area to get to that side. And for some people that might be, you know, they might not have enough patience for that, and they may just try, well, I'm just gonna pull straight in. So I figured with the predominant flow from Bloomfield Avenue, it might be more you know, better to have it on that side. But again, we'll take a look at it, we want to make sure that it's safe and other things we've got to look at is to make sure that it's it's not like it's the spaces are lined with the white posts there. So we don't get people backing into light posts or anything like that. But you know, we are going to look into it. I got the consultant looking at that. So it's, you know, it's it's a concept, but it's what you see on that paper is not what you're actually going to see out there. You'll see something like that. Okay.
Any other questions, comments?
All in favor. And number three,
unfortunately, we've had kind of a bad couple of months related to emergency work related to water and sewer. This one was at North 17th Street and Bloomfield Avenue. This was a pretty serious one where the manhole essentially failed. And Public Works went out there and sewage was starting to come out of the manhole lid, which obviously is a serious Emergency dispatch The company that is very good at responding, they came out, they put in a bypass pump to initially stop the backflow. And then they proceeded to reconstruct the entire manhole. There were a number of issues with the depth, as far as some of the other utilities in there that made the work. Extend a little longer. Finally, that we did get the final cost of it was $85,183.81. We looked at the billing, we had if we were inspecting it, unfortunately, it took that much work and effort to get this fixed. Now it's flowing fine, and that that issue has been resolved. Okay.
Moved by Councilman Cruz, can I get a second? Second Councilman gamble? Any questions or comments? Is there anything we could be doing to prevent preventative measures?
preventative? Well, for water, we
just finished a leak detection study. What that does is that helps us find leaks, and you don't know of yet and then we can repair them. With the sanitary sewer, it's a little more difficult. I mean, we do have problem areas, our Public Works guys do go out on a regular basis and clear them out. But sometimes, you know, it's unforeseen. And you know, you can just, you know, one of the reasons that one probably happened is we had a lot of rain. And even though it's sanitary sewer, you know, that can create a surge. And if you look, there were pictures, I think I pull it, this was an old block manhole, so you know, very susceptible to collapse. We will look into it, we do need to at some point concentrate on sewer again, I mean, we've been on water, mainly because it's it's a very important issue. But certainly sewers are going to need to be looked at, you know, very soon to I mean, we just finished a section of poll avenue that was collapsed. So we resolve that problem, because that was ready to become an emergency at any time. So we try to do our best on that and pick out the problem areas and at least maintain them. You know, they don't do that.
Okay. Any other questions, comments? All in favor?
Aye. Thank you, Paul.
You're welcome. And town clerk. Thank you. Good evening, mayor
and council. This item waiver of the Juneteenth vendors is something I'm recommending Councilwoman Cruz is planning to host a community block party on the 19th. And customarily, vendors that we have for one to three days, pays a Hawker and peddler license from my office of $62.50. So customarily, we waive for the harvest Fest, these types of event vendors. So
permission, moved by Councilman Cruz second, Councilman Davis. Any questions, comments? All in favor? Aye. township Council, discussion of the COVID-19 Memorial. We brought this up a couple of weeks ago, and we asked for opinions to be sent to Diana. So I know Diana, you want to just give a very brief rundown or you want to just start the discussion. So obviously, everyone got Diana's email with some of the recommendations. I think that I think that, you know, I'm okay with choosing any park or even if we do the municipal Plaza right outside where it would actually be on the Bloomfield outside. I think that would be a decent location. So I mean, I just want to open it up for any opinions or recommendations. So does anybody Councilman Joanna.
Yes, in light of your suggestions, Mayor and those that were presented in our agenda, I would like to suggest that we look at Oak view. Oak side, I'm sorry, oakside. The plot there. If we're looking for a memorial that is very reflective, that families can come out. And in a very quiet, subdued part of town, I don't think the parks are the most appropriate location parks are very active in the recreation, there's a lot of activity. families want to come out and reflect among each other over a very sacred event between members of the family, I think oakside hopefully he has the capacity in the space to provide a brief garden area with a stone in a memorial. It's equally accessible throughout the township. There's parking available. I think that's my consideration and recommendation that we consider oak view for the COVID 19 Memorial, which is I applauded. Council woman For bring Councilman Mondale for bringing this matter up, because at this point, we have 118 Bloomfield residents who have been identified, having passed. So it is something that we as a township, both the Board of Ed and the municipality need to come down come together on because the township equally, has suffered in many different ways. And when we when I mentioned the Board of Education, years later, when the children look back at why was school clothes for 13 months, those questions need to be addressed in the memorial offers that opportunity for professional staff and kids in a very restive, quiet, subdued area of the township, to offer that opportunity for students to understand the trauma that we all have been through during this extremely hard period. So I will leave it at that and as mayor and council for the oak view site to be considered as the memorial for the reasons given parks simply are too active in area, I wouldn't want to go with a family of 10 people, when you have a soccer field over your shoulder and activities. It's just not a point where you can share innermost feelings when all this activity is going on around you. It's just a more subdued environment. Thank you, Mayor, those are my comments.
I think Councilman Joanna has a good point about the you know, perhaps being on Bloomfield Avenue may or may not be most American, I could probably argue both sides of that. But I'm also wondering if oak side is a public space? Yeah. So I don't I'm wondering if you could actually mean, because I don't think you could just go and onto the property and just walk on? I don't know. I don't know. But it just didn't ever seem to me because it's gated all around. Yeah. But I do think Councilman Joanna makes a good point. And maybe something we should seriously think about is, is the environment that we're putting it in. And maybe oak view, Oaks. oakside isn't the place but maybe thinking a little bit more about quieter spaces. It's something to think about? General
so I'm obviously also, I think you're right, in terms of looking for a space that is a place where people can maybe have some quiet reflection. But I also think that it's important that we move forward with this park, probably or whatever is waiting we do over the next couple months. Because I think it's it's very present on people's minds. So I just don't want to see it held up. And for like a year waiting for this to happen. Thank you.
Yeah, I just, I'm okay with wherever I think outside isn't the ideal place just because it's, that's going to be our Well, it is our cultural and arts facility. And I just don't, you know, I don't think it gels. They're a memorial for COVID-19 victims. But I, you know, let's get let's get my experiment in the, into the conversation. And then let's try to finalize this and finalize the memorial. For Does anybody else have any other questions for me?
So I agree that there's an important sense of privacy, but I think there's also a need for visibility. And and I don't think oxide would provide that. I think having it in a someplace like lion gate would give it more visibility. Okay.
Alright. So we have a couple of action items that we're going to do first before we go into closed session. So number one, Councilman Joanna, is this a ordinance or these ordinances? Are these action items? mayor,
do you want to go into the liaison reports now or later? Oh,
we can do them. We can do them later. Let's do the action items first. Okay, are these resolutions First of all,
and then you have the resolutions.
Okay. So, number one, Councilman Joanna.
Thank you, Mayor. We have a bond ordinance providing for the 2021 roadway reconstruction program for the township of Bloomfield in the county of Essex state of New Jersey, appropriating $4,200,000. Therefore authorized Z and issuance of $4 million bonds or notes of the township to finance part of the course there have some wisdom.
Second. Second, Councilwoman Cruz do any members of the Council have any questions or
Luis please call
the roll. Council on Monday. Oh, yes. Councilman Joanna? Yes. Councilwoman Cruz? Yes, Councilman Davis? Yes, Councilman gamble. Yes, Councilman Rothwell. Yes. Mayor Venetia?
Yes. Number two.
Marin council I have a resolution of the township of Bloomfield authorizing matching funds for the 2021 grant application by the Bloomfield Public Library pursuant to the New Jersey library construction Bond Act. So moved.
Second. Second. Councilman Joanna, any questions or comments? Please, please call the roll.
Councilmember Mondale? Yes, Councilman Joanna? Yes. Councilwoman Cruz? Yes, Councilman Davis? Yes, Councilman gamble. Yes, Councilman Rothwell?
Yes, Mayor vinnies. Yes.
Man Council, I have a resolution to apply for and obtain a grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to make improvements to the basser Little League field some of Second.
Second Councilman rockville. Any questions or comments? Please, please call the roll.
Council on Monday. Oh, yes. Councilman Joanna? Yes. Councilwoman Cruz? Yes, Councilman Davis? Yes. Councilman gamble. Yes, Councilman Rockwell? Yes. Mayor vinnytsia.
Marin Council have a resolution establishing the 2021 temporary capital budget for the township of open some
second second. Councilman Davis. Any questions or comments?
Luis please call the roll. Councilwoman Mondale? Yes, Councilman Joanna? Yes. Councilwoman Cruz. Yes. Councilwoman Davis? Yes, Councilman gamble. Yes, Councilman Rockwell? Yes, Mayor vz. Yes. Number five.
Mayor Council have a resolution Governor's Council on apalis alcoholism and drug abuse. Fiscal grant cycle October 2020. to June 2025. Form lb So moved.
Second. Second Councilman gamble. Any questions or comments?
Please call the roll. Councilwoman Mendell? Yes, min Joanna? Yes. Councilwoman Cruz? Yes. Councilwoman Davis? Yes, Councilman gamble. Yes, Councilman Rockwell?
Number. This is actually number six. And gavel
man council I have an amending resolution of the township of Bloomfield in the county of Essex state of New Jersey authorizing a vehicle purchase in the police department. So moved. Second.
Second, Councilman Rockwell. Any questions or comments? Louise, call the roll. Councilwoman Dell, yes.
Excuse me, Councilman Joanna? Yes. Councilwoman Cruz. Yes. Councilwoman Davis? Yes, Councilman gamble. Yes, Councilman rockbox.
Mayor have an easy Yes. And number six
Marin Council have the township of Bloomfield approval bill list for May 10 2021. Some Second.
Second Councillor muddle
any questions or comments?
Please call the roll. Council on Monday. Yes, Councilman Joanna? Yes. Councilwoman Cruz. Yes, Councilwoman Davis? Yes, Councilman gamble. Yes, Councilman Rothwell. Yes. Mayor vinnytsia.
Can I have a motion to go into close?
I have one quickly, I just give an update of the Civil Rights Commission held last Wednesday, a Wednesday. Last Wednesday, we had a voter registration event. And it was chaired by a moderated by our chair Dr. Rhonda Hill tall and our township clerk Louise pelicano. was giving updates about voting interest and voting information. And I I think that it's really important we have it, it's playing on Facebook Live. I mean, it's on our township website, I'd like to encourage anyone who's listening to this to please take a moment to to listen in on that session. There are just as last year was very different from the year before this year is different from last year. And so there may be one sort of things that that, oh, certain things are gonna be the same. Or we're gonna get our mail in ballots and that kind of stuff. It's very important that you find out we even have new machines. So there's an awful lot in a lot of rich content that Louis shared with us. And I would really encourage all of the residents to make sure that they make sure that they are aware of what is what is expected this time around and make sure that others tune in and find out because it is I think we can get there's going to be a lot of potential confusion because of the changes. So we need to get that out. Thank you. Oh, yeah, and one more Since I have the mic, I just wanted to, you know, in the spirit of talking about communicate and putting out the good things that we're doing, I really wanted to kind of highlight the great work with the banners that are being there in our town with the art work on it. And the fact that we are having a celebration of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage this month, and I wanted to make sure that I, we, I gave credit to Councilman gamble in his role in in in those events. And so just thank you for for that work. And, and I just, I'm just glad I think these are the kinds of things we got to get out there. People should should know about and I think they do know about the banners. But I do feel like there are some other great things that the Rec Center is doing rec rec department is doing. So I just wanted to to give kudos to the cultural aspects of what you're adding to, to the town, Councilman Campbell.
Thank you, Councilman Davis. And in fact, can piggyback on that I got a couple updates from other good work that the Bloomfield parks recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is doing, do check out the they are gonna post another another post around the Asian American Pacific Islanders Heritage Month. So be on the lookout for that, I'll be sharing it. And just wanted to highlight and thank everyone for their support. The recreation department has a financial assistance program, and they held an event at the town pub, and were able to raise $800 for that program in one night. So that was, you know, great glad people came out and supported that. Summer Camp registration is ongoing right now. There's limited spots available. So please try and register soon. If you want to participate, that would be a Bloomfield recreation.org. And they will be having summer camp sessions through July and August. And then the summer Sports Clinic registration will begin on the 19th of this month. So be on the lookout for that. And they have some great things planned for the summer, we will be doing a Memorial Day Parade. You know, it'll be a smaller scale event than it is in normal years but happy that we have the parade coming back again. And if your organization wants to, you must pre register if you want to be part of the parade and email. Mike Scarman at Bloomfield, township calm for that there will be some upcoming summer events, the youth band and civic band will be holding concerts in the park similar to what they did last year, we'll be doing the outdoor movies and drivings as well. So be on the lookout for that. They will be hosting their annual golf outing in August. And they'll be doing the summer night. car shows at the in the month of August at the universal Technical Institute up on the north side of town. And we are hopeful that we will be hosting the overnight family camp out and movie again in September. And they will be hosting free fall concert series in the fall. So you know if we keep those numbers looking good. As we got the update from the health department tonight, you know we can be doing more fun things outside together. So that's all
thank you. I'll stay on this side
you have Councilman Cruz?
No. Hi, I have an update from the gardening committee. I just want to let everybody know that both gardens are open. All 28 beds at Pulaski are filled and there's three beds of elda Milbank community garden, you can email Bloomfield, NJ gardens at gmail if you're interested. And also on April 24, there was an Autism Awareness sensory Saturday event in the garden and there was activities for youth and their families to come into the garden and it was big, busy and active all day. So it was really cool to see the garden open to the community. And they also did a partnership event with the Bloomfield library this past Saturday for the sealing library and there'll be more programming to come this summer.
Okay, join Oh,
yes, with Saturday, the township of Bloomfield hosted a shredding event that was Saturday, May 8, for the residents of Linfield. I'd like to thank certainly the recycling, members of the recycling committee, along with our DPW w employee yeas were that were there. And certainly Louise pelicano our recycling corridor coordinator, it was the weather wasn't the best, but it was a fantastic day. And with the realignment we had two lines, two trucks and no one needed to wait more than, say five minutes to have a very enthusiastic crew, dp W. employees take removed the shredding, we also like to thank Director DeMaio for having one of his police officers kind of did more than traffic. He was very helpful. It was much Thank you, Director. But we accumulated 6.46 tonnes which equates to 12,920 pounds of sugar free shredding as a service to our residents. A very successful event that we look forward to again in the fall having another event for residents of Bloomfield, and to all the volunteers that appeared to assist in this process. A sincere thank you. Thank you, Mayor.
Yes, the beautification committee will be holding their planting at the library and civic center on May 22. So keep an eye out for the beautiful garden center to be to come. That's it. Thank you. Okay.
Can I get a motion to go into close? motion? All in favor,