Highland Mayor Broullon Continues To Seek Federal Forgiveness For $ 2.4 Million Federal Loan
During the virtual board meeting held this week, the board voted to introduce two ordinances – one to remove the three-year bond ordinance in place to repay the loan, and the other to introduce a new 10-year bond ordinance for $ 2,363,000. ready.
Both measures were approved unanimously and will be the subject of a public hearing, final reading and vote on March 17.
Borough financial director and tax collector Patrick DeBlasio said the borough will now ask the local finance council to approve the 10-year repayment plan, but the goal remains to have the loan canceled. .
“We’re not alone here guys,” DeBlasio said. “There are about a dozen cities doing the same thing, so we’re putting all of our power and strength together to try to get this loan to go away.”
Resident Michelle Pezzullo asked if switching the loan to a 10-year repayment plan would result in a change in the interest rate on the loan.
DeBlasio replied that yes, if the city agreed to the change, the bond would have an interest at fair market value.
“It could be higher, it could be lower,” he said.
Mayor Broullon said she had spoken to the office of Congressman Frank Pallone (D-6) for more than a year to ask for help getting the loan canceled. The mayor said she had hoped the current federal stimulus package, which is going through the approval process in Washington, DC, would have settled the loan.
The mayor said she still hopes the loan could be processed in a future stimulus package, but in the meantime believes moving from a three-year payment plan to a 10-year payment plan is the way to go. good thing to do, giving the rounding. more time to ask for forgiveness of the full amount.
On other subjects, Mayor Broullon asked council to start thinking about the future of the borough’s current ordinance which bans dogs in its parks.
“I see both sides of it,” the mayor said. “But dogs are widely present in our parks, so it seems that no one is paying attention to this ordinance.”
The mayor said the ordinance may just need to be changed, possibly allowing dogs in the park, but still on a leash.
Resident Kim Skorka said she saw people in the park with their dogs and many dog owners did not come to pick up their pets.
She said the proposal was “not in the best interests of the children” who use the park.
Council chair Jo-Anne Olszewski asked if the city might be moving towards creating a dog park.
Mayor Broullon said she had discussed this possibility at the county level, since the district is surrounded by departmental parks. She said if the city could secure a dog park at one of the county-owned properties, it would eliminate staff and accountability issues for the borough.
Mayor Broullon also asked council to begin reviewing the commercial film making ordinance and licensing process currently in place at Red Bank and Middletown, with a view to eventually creating a similar ordinance in the borough. She said the regulations at Red Bank and Middletown are almost exactly the same and outline the daytime filming rates.
The mayor said the ordinance should also provide for reimbursement of any police or DPW expenses related to a film production in the borough.
Mayor Broullon added that they may wish to have different fees for commercial films and independent filmmakers, but noted that a family making a film would never be charged.
Councilor Kevin Martin, who has said he earns a good chunk of his living making films, said there were many “untouched” areas in the city that filmmakers might like, noting that the last year, the prequel to “The Sopranos” was partially shot at Sea Bright.
Councilor Martin said there was “no downside” to looking into the matter.
In other news from the March 3 meeting:
• The borough adopted a resolution to continue with a shared services agreement with Sea Bright for lifeguards. Sea Bright will again provide lifeguards for the borough owned beaches.
• Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting the designation of each May as Police and Correctional Police Recognition Month.
• The Board of Directors approved a resolution of contract with a company that will streamline the borough’s record keeping and data management, as well as the destruction of old records that are no longer needed to be kept on file. The company will also catalog the recordings and begin the process of digitizing old records.
• The council approved the use of Huddy Park by the Garden Club for the sale of its plants, which will take place on the eve of Mother’s Day.
• The mayor asked council to also consider the possibility of charging a nominal fee to non-profit organizations to use a park in the city. She said Councilor Martin raised the issue and noted that if only the Lions Club, Garden Club and Business Partnership are using the park, it might be a good idea, just to know that permits have been issued and that insurance is in place. Council could also choose to waive all license fees for local nonprofits, the mayor said.
Councilor Mazzola said the issue was “a bit more complicated” than a simple permit and fee, noting that certain characteristics of each event need to be determined, such as intended use, how long an entity would use the park , would it be for several days. and would the DPW be involved.
• The board of directors adopted a resolution canceling the purchase of electric charging systems for the ambulances of the borough’s first aid brigade, after determining that the seller was not authorized to sell to the municipality. The council then adopted a second resolution authorizing the purchase of the electric charger systems from another authorized company.
Crib automatic loading systems mechanically pull the patient’s bed in and out of the ambulance and prevent injury to first aid team members, as well as patient injury on the bed, during loading and unloading from the ambulance.
• During the engineer’s report, Borough engineer Bennett Matlack reported that the results of the follow-up soil tests came back from the dredged material that was removed from the Captain’s Cove marina site. The engineer said the beryllium levels in the cuttings were below the EPA’s more stringent standards.
Beryllium is a chemical element from the alkaline earth metal group that occurs naturally in minerals such as beryl and is primarily used as a hardening agent in alloys.
Some of the dredged soil had been illegally placed on borough-owned property adjacent to the site, which allowed the marina to receive illegal dumping notices. This issue is expected to be heard in court on March 17.
• In his report, Borough Administrator Michael Muscillo said he was due to have a meeting with FEMA representatives on Friday to discuss some of the Borough’s reimbursement requests and also had a meeting with Freehold Township. regarding shared services. The administrator also said he was continuing to work to secure a vendor to enable credit card payments on the borough’s website.