MAYOR AND COUNCIL
SPECIAL BUDGET MEETING
January 30, 2018
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CALL TO ORDER
SALUTE TO COLORS
Mayor Maio invited all those present to stand in a salute to the colors.
MAYOR’S STATEMENT AS TO COMPLIANCE WITH P.L. 1975
Adequate Notice of this Meeting has been provided according to the Open Public Meetings Act, Assembly Bill 1030. Notice of this Meeting was included in the Annual Meeting Notice sent to the New Jersey Herald and the Daily Record on January 25, 2018 and was placed on the Official Bulletin Board in the Municipal Building.
In the event the Mayor and Council have not addressed all items on this Agenda by 11:00 PM and they are of the opinion that they cannot complete the Agenda in a reasonable time period, the Mayor and Council may exercise their option to continue this meeting at an agreed to date, time and place within ten (10) days of this meeting. Please turn off all cell phones for the duration of this meeting.
Councilwoman Kuncken – present
Councilwoman Thistleton – present
Councilman Riccardi – present
Councilman Thornton – present
Councilman Romano – present
Councilwoman Zdichocki – present
Mayor Maio – present
2018 MUNICIPAL BUDGET
Administrator McNeilly noted the CFO distributed back-up information (white sheets) to the budget sheets containing updated expenditures as well as the requested changes (green sheets). Mayor Maio directed Council to begin discussion with the green sheets containing current information on expenses as well as the requested revisions.
3-a General Admin – Grant Writing was to be increased to from $12,000 to $15,000. The sheet does not reflect the requested change. The Administrator will speak to the CFO and have the change made to the line item.
3-b Mayor & Council and 3-c Municipal Clerk – Have been revised to show updated expenses charged.
4-b Computer Services – Updated budget increased from $18,600 to $18,700. They are minimal changes as a result of current contracts.
4-c Tax Collector – Has been revised to show updated expenses charged.
5-a Legal Services & Engineering Services – Has been revised to show Borough Planner line item reduced from $8,000 to $4,000, as requested as well as increase for legal services from $15,000 to $20,000.
5-b-1 Land Use Board – Has been revised to show updated expenses charged.
5-c Regional Planning Board – Mayor Maio noted the amount listed is incorrect. The Board’s budget request for 2018 has not yet been sent to the towns. Mayor Maio recommended budgeting $14,000 for the annual assessment instead of $13,587 and the chemistry treatment should be reduced from $2,200 to $1,500.
COAH – There was discussion on how much money should remain in the budget for COAH. Administrator McNeilly noted, at the last meeting, the Borough Attorney did not anticipate high legal costs. The governing body agreed to reduce this line item from $5,000 to $1,000.
5-d Construction and 5-e Zoning – Have been revised to show updated expenses charged.
6-a Insurance – Has been brought current as to what is required by the State, i.e. health insurance. It was noted that all line item amounts went down.
7-a Police Department S&W – Amounts are as indicated.
7-a -2 Police Department – The governing body conducted a line-by-line review of the budget. There were concerns regarding the following line items:
022 – Books and Subscriptions – $4,348.50 was expended last year; however, the request for this year is $4,025. It was noted they went over budget last year on this line item and a question as to why this year they are requesting less. Administrator McNeilly was asked to speak to the Chief for an answer to their question.
025 – Supplies – Last year they budgeted $1,500, spent $1,788 and are asking for $1,950 this year. The request is $450 more than was requested last year; and they went over budget last year. Administrator McNeilly will ask for clarification.
026 – Seminars – Last year they budgeted $700, spent $298.79 and are asking for $900 this year. Administrator McNeilly will ask for clarification and back-up documentation.
028 – Equipment Repair – There was a question as to why they went over budget last year. Administrator McNeilly will inquire.
030 – Professional Training – Last year budgeted $3,550, spent $4,205.72 and are asking for $3,550 for 2018. Administrator McNeilly will inquire.
032 – Uniform Allowance – Mayor Maio asked for a breakdown of the uniform allowance. Administrator McNeilly read the excerpt from the contract outlining the uniform allowance, being 3-long sleeve shirts, 30-short sleeve shirts, 3-pair of pants, 2-ties, 1-pair oxford shoes, 1-pair raincoat and hat protector, 1-winter coat, 1-light weight jacket, 1-hat, 1-garrison belt, 1-bullet proof vest. Each officer shall receive an annual allowance for the purpose of purchasing the cleaning police uniforms, payable during the pay period in January of each contract year. The allowance is $1,600 per officer, as per the contract. There was a question on the cost for dressing the new police officer. Administrator McNeilly will ask the Chief where in the budget is the cost for dressing the new police officer.
036 – Ammunition – The amount requested is lower than in the past. It was noted the expenditure seems to be the same amount every year and there was a question as to why lower this year.
080 – Personnel – This line item went over budget last year. The budget $7,500 last year and they spent $7,930.79. Administrator McNeilly explained these are funds expended with respect to the new officer including psycological testing and other items relating to the Police Academy. Mayor Maio asked Administrator McNeilly for a breakdown of this line item.
085 – Vehicle Lease – Mayor Maio asked if this is the final lease year. Administrator McNeilly responded in the affirmative.
099 – Accreditation – Mayor Maio noted the request is for $1,000 this year. The previous sheet (white) provided showed an expended amount of $2,000, but the current sheet shows no expenditure. Administrator McNeilly will ask the CFO why the change was made.
7-b Dispatch – The amount is per contract. Administrator McNeilly stated the prior sheet (white) showed a 2.79% increase. The contact states the first five years the rate is flat and the sixth year there is to be a 2% increase. The current sheet indicates no increase this year.
First Aid Squad – Mayor Maio noted this budget has remained the same for a number of years and she recommended increasing it by $1,000. Council agreed and asked the Administrator to have the CFO increase the contribution to $15,000.
7-c – Fire Department – The budget is similar to last year’s budget. Mayor Maio noted last year the Public Safety Committee met with the Fire Department and major cuts were made to their budget at that time. The fact that they held that budget is good and she does not see anything out of line. Council agreed the budget should remain as presented.
8-a – Road Maintenance – Mayor Maio noted this is the first review of this budget and should be reviewed line-by-line. It was noted they have gone over budget the past two year for tree trimming. Administrator McNeilly expressed his opinion that the amount should be increased, noting the number of trees on Borough property that for various reasons had to be removed. It was agreed the amount should be increased. The Administrator was asked to provide a detailed report on the tree trimming/removal.
8-a2 – Road Maintenance – Mayor Maio asked the status of the required State sign changes. Administrator McNeilly responded the money in this budget is used to replace damaged signs, missing signs, and additional signs. It is not part of he global replacement of signs the former Superintendent was working on. Mayor Maio noted the project was supposed to be done in 2019. Administrator McNeilly will look into this.
029 – Tools & Equipment – The previous budget sheet (white) showed an expenditure of $2,439.12 and the current updated sheet shows an expenditure of $485.16. The Administrator was asked to speak with the CFO and find out where the difference of the expense was allocated.
8-b – Solid Waste – The green sheet has been updated to show current expenditures. Administrator McNeilly stated the solid waste and recycling contracts expire May 31, 2017. It was noted this line item is budgeted as if there will be no increase. Mayor Maio said they must look carefully at the solid waste and recycling budget, noting they cannot budget it flat. Mayor Maio asked the Administrator to speak with the CFO on both contracts and present a more reliable number.
561 -4% Recycling Tax – Mayor Maio asked for clarification on the 4% recycling tax. There has been money budgeted against it the past two years; however, nothing has been charged to it. Administrator McNeilly will ask the CFO the reason for this line item.
Administrator McNeilly directed the governing body to the back-up documentation provided by the CFO on both the solid waste and recycling contracts. The CFO shows 5-month expenditures and then 7-month expenditures. She indicates a 5% increase, factoring in the possible increase. Administrator McNeilly was asked to get clearer information from the CFO.
8-c -Building and Grounds – 033 Equipment Purchase – Mayor Maio questioned the expenditures for this line item. Administrator McNeilly responded purchases are items such as space heaters, electrical strips, etc.
036 – Porta-John Rental – Councilwoman Kuncken asked if they are using a different company. Administrator McNeilly responded he is still waiting for a quote from the new company and he expects to have it before the next meeting.
9-a – Shade Tree – Mayor Maio questioned the emergency tree fund line item in the amount of $340 requested in the budget, adding this amount will not cover the removal of a tree, in addition to the fact they have never charged anything to this line item. Mayor Maio also noted the line was “tree supplies.” Administrator McNeilly will clarify this line item with Paula Zeliff-Murphy of the Shade Tree Commission. Mayor Maio asked how Ron Farr was paid for his services, noting nothing is shown in their budget. There was mention that he may have been paid through the grant. Administrator McNeilly will inquire how Ron Farr was paid for his services.
9-b – Vehicle Maintenance – Police – The request of $10,000 is the same as last year’s request and covers the entire vehicle maintenance budget for police. There was a question about the $2,527.78 charge for the 2016 Ford Utility vehicle. Administrator McNeilly will find out the repairs that were made to the vehicle.
9-b – Vehicle Maintenance – Fire Department – The governing body asked the Administrator for a breakdown on the repairs to the vehicles, being of interest what the issues have been because maintenance of the vehicles has increased this past year. There was discussion about the 1980 GMC Brush/Attack vehicle and whether it is necessary to keep ownership of the vehicle. The Borough was required to purchase it; however, we no longer fight brush fire because the State takes care of the brush fires. The Public Safety Committee will discuss this vehicle with the Fire Department at the next Public Safety Committee meeting. If the vehicle is no longer in use, the Borough should not keep it. This would eliminate the maintenance cost for this vehicle. Mayor Maio asked that the breakdown of the repairs be provided prior to the Public Safety Committee meeting with the Fire Department.
9-b-4 – Vehicle Maintenance – DPW – Administrator McNeilly clarified line 547’s dump truck will come off the budget and 544 and 546 are the two current mason dump trucks. Mayor Maio noted a number of vehicles show no maintenance cost and she asked if regular maintenance (i.e. oil changes) are not being done on these vehicles. Administrator McNeilly responded that 541 (Ford pick-up truck) is being retired and coming out of service this year; 548 (Jetter) was moved to the sewer budget; 549 (1991 sweeper) is going out of service and 550 and 551 (trucks) are no longer in the system. Mayor Maio questioned why those vehicles are still listed on the budget, adding they should be marked “not in service” because as listed makes it appear the Borough still owns them.
9-b-6 – Vehicle Maintenance – Administrative – Mayor Maio questioned regular maintenance is done on the vehicle. Administrator McNeilly responded annual maintenance is done on the vehicle, i.e. oil change.
9-c Board of Health – Has been revised to show updated expenses charged.
10-a – Recreation – This budget was previously reviewed; however, there was a question about summer camp. Mayor Maio stated she spoke to Jean Montemarano, who is the Recreation Director for Randolph Township and past member of Stanhope’s Recreation Commission, and she knows of a person the Borough may be interested in speaking to about the camp. Councilwoman Thistleton reported she spoke to Netcong’s representative, who seemed receptive to the idea of a combined camp. The topic was on the next Netcong Council’s meeting agenda for discussion. Councilwoman Thistleton has not heard back yet and will follow up with Netcong.
072 – Trips and Dances – There was a question on why the previous sheet (white) showed expenditures of $855 and the updated sheet shows no expenditure. Administrator McNeilly will ask the CFO why the change was made.
10-c – Environmental Commission – This is a flat budget and no changes were made.
10-d – Electricity – No changes were made to this budget.
10-d – Telephone – Mayor Maio asked why the budget for cell phones has been decreased. Administrator McNeilly will ask the CFO why the decrease was made. Councilwoman Kuncken noted there may be a change in the tie lines due to the capital projects. Administrator McNeilly agreed there will most likely be a change.
10-d-3 – Petroleum Products – It was questioned why the line item for diesel fuel indicated an expenditure of $6,835 on the previous (white) sheet and the updated (green) sheet shows an expenditure of $1,179.96. Administrator McNeilly will ask the CFO why the change was made. Administrator McNeilly said the reason may be that the white sheet was based on billing from Finch and, when the CFO received the pump read out with a breakdown, that information was put on the current (green) sheet. Mayor Maio noted the cost of diesel is about $10,000 and they are budgeting $22,000. Also, the Ambulance Squad reimburses the Borough for their diesel usage. Mayor Maio also noted the budget for petroleum is $73,000, yet they only used $34,963 last year and she recommends revisiting this budget to make cuts.
11-a – Condo Services – Administrator McNeilly stated they still need to prepare the calculations for the past year for the Kelly Act (lines 622 and 625). Once the calculations are completed, they can include an amount in the budget for 2018. The budget for solid waste is done per contract.
11-a – Public Employee Retirement System – Mayor Maio questioned why PERS has gone up. Administrator McNeilly will ask the CFO to address this at the meeting she will be attending. Mayor Maio asked the Administrator to be sure the CFO is aware the governing body will be looking for answers as to the reason for the increase.
11-b – Stormwater Management – There was a question as to why the expenditure for supplies went over budget. Administrator McNeilly will inquire why this line item is over budget.
11-c – Municipal Court – The budgeted amount is as per contract.
11-c – OSHA; Capital Improvement Fund; and Capital Improvements Road Repairing – It was noted this budget was included on 12-a of the previous budget pages (white sheet). Mayor Maio asked why $63,500 in the capital improvement fund was expended last year and this year’s budget has been reduced to $60,000. Administrator McNeilly stated last year the governing body had made a decision to increase it based on the unreserved money. They will need to get revenue numbers from the CFO. There was a question on why no expenditures are show for road repairing on the updated sheet, yet the previous (white) sheet showed expenditures of $307.33. Administrator McNeilly will ask the CFO why the change was made.
12-a – Grant Expenditures – Grants are included as they are received.
12-a-1 – Debt Service -This line item needs to be discussed with the CFO present.
Mayor Maio stated the Borough Engineer, Eric Keller, will be attending the next meeting, at which there will be discussion on the capital projects. Councilman Romano stated he and Councilwoman Kuncken conducted a site visit of the roads discussed at the last meeting and they questioned if the Borough Auditor, Ray Sarinelli, should attend the meeting with the Borough Engineer to balance what they decide to do and how the Borough can pay for it. Mayor Maio expressed her opinion that the governing body should first decide what they are going to do out of their own operating budget this year that is not a capital expense. This is what she would like them to discuss with Mr. Keller, being to clarify what projects they do not want to bond for. Mayor Maio does not believe the Engineer should be involved in the process of bonding. Once they have a potential amount for bonding they should meet with the Auditor and discuss how to do it. Mayor Maio stated the next meeting will have a regular start time (7:00 p.m.) at which they will discuss with Mr. Keller the projects they can do from their budget and after that they will discuss what projects they want to include in the bonding. Once those decisions are made, they will have the Auditor attend a meeting and advise on what will be involved in the bonding process.
There was a brief discussion on the scanning project. Administrator McNeilly will provide material to the governing body before the next meeting. Mayor Maio questioned if the scanning project can be included in the capital budget. Administrator McNeilly will confer with the Borough Auditor on if the scanning project qualifies under capital.
CITIZENS TO BE HEARD
Mayor Maio amended the agenda for citizens to be heard and opened the meeting to the public after advising attendees that there is a five (5) minute time limit for each speaker.
Seeing no one from the public wishing to speak, Mayor Maio closed the public portion of the meeting.
On motion by Councilman Romano, seconded by Councilman Riccardi and unanimously carried by voice vote the meeting was adjourned at 8:57 P.M.
Ellen Horak, RMC