Ho-Ho-Kus March 11, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • Page 7 Council introduces ordinance to update towing fees by Jennifer Crusco An ordinance that would amend towing fees in the Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus has been introduced by the council and will be considered for adoption following a March 24 public hearing. The hearing will be part of the regular public council meeting, which will begin at 8 p.m. in HoHo-Kus Borough Hall. The fees in the ordinance have been updated following the request of Tom LoCicero, who owns one of the three towing companies currently licensed by the borough. According to LoCicero, the borough’s rates had not been updated since the 1980s or 1990s and were relatively low in comparison with those charged in other municipalities. After an extensive review of towing fees charged in the area, Councilman Kevin Crossley presented his recommendations to the council. He agreed that the borough’s fees should be increased, and said he believes the new rates State-mandated library funding explored Ho-Ho-Kus officials are keeping an eye on possible changes in the State of New Jersey’s mandate regarding library funding. At present, the state requires municipalities to appropriate one third of a mill, or a third of a tenth of a cent, on every dollar of equalized assessed value of property to fund the public libraries. A new proposal could cut the amount of the required funding by half. At a recent public meeting, Ho-Ho-Kus Councilman Lee Flemming said he had spoken with New Jersey Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, sponsor of A-3753, the bill that would halve the amount of funding municipalities must contribute to the public libraries. Flemming said he sees the proposed change as a step in the right direction. Mayor Thomas Randall added that the current funding formula is arcane. The statute that covers the funding of New Jersey’s public libraries was approved in 1944, and was amended only once since that time; that change was made 28 years ago. Real estate values have increased approximately 50 times the amount of the 1944 equalized values, and approximately two to three times more since the mid1980s. However, municipalities’ mandatory contributions to the public libraries have remained the same. The New Jersey League of Municipalities recently asked the New Jersey Legislature to reduce the minimum funding level for municipal libraries. In November, the league approved a resolution seeking a reduction in library funding by municipalities. According to New Jersey League of Municipalities Executive Director William Dressel Jr., “We believe that, as local governments confront unprecedented fiscal challenges, a reform to the statute is both appropriate and necessary. We note that such a change would not prevent a municipality from providing more funding than it required, but merely lower the required payment for municipal libraries.” Commenting on the fiscal challenges in Ho-Ho-Kus, Mayor Randall added that he anticipates the introduction of a lean municipal budget this year. “A lot of work has been done by the departments and by department heads,” Randall said. “We’ve done a lot with the operating budget, but the revenues are still unknown.” J. CRUSCO are reasonable based on his research. The proposed ordinance notes that the local fees for towing and storage of private passenger vehicles damaged in an accident or recovered after being stolen, cannot exceed those fees established by the New Jersey Department of Insurance. If the ordinance is approved as introduced, the maximum fee for use of a flat bed tow truck would be $75, and passenger vehicles would be stored for a maximum fee of $15 per day. LoCicero had previously stated that Ho-Ho-Kus had charged $45 for some towing jobs, and a fee of $12 to $15 per day to store vehicles. The ordinance also includes maximum fees for the towing and storage of non-passenger vehicles. Class I vehicles include vehicles between 6,000 and 16,000 pounds and Class II vehicles include those between 16,000 and 80,000 pounds. Maximum fees range from $125 for a standard tow for a Class I vehicle to $200 for flat bed service for a Class II vehicle. Night fees increase by $25 over the daytime rates. Storage fees would be $25 a day for Class I vehicles and $50 a day for Class II vehicles, regardless of whether the vehicle is kept inside or outside the storage facility. Official towers’ licenses will be available for threeyear increments at a cost of $300 per year. License applications are issued by the borough administrator and must be approved by the council. An additional $50 fee will be charged for the annual review of certification and inspection of vehicles and equipment. The borough will continue to maintain a list of official towers. Each official tower is used on a rotating basis so each company has an opportunity to work within the borough. Requests for service are made by the police department. � ������ Out of the way, but worth it. Major Credit Cards Accepted BROWNSTONE MILL “FINE ANTIQUES ARE MY SPECIALTY” over 40 years of experience At the Brownstone Mill Antique Center 11 Paterson Ave. Midland Park, NJ 07432 85 Hillside Ave, Midland Park • 201-444-4760 • 201-445-1164 Open Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5, Closed Sunday Schweinfurth Florist 201-652-6643 MON-SAT 9 - 5 ����������� ������ Since 1975 SLIMERS! �� ���������� ���� ��������������� ������������ ���������������������� ������������ ��� ����������� ��������������� �������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������� ���������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� ����������������� ������ ���� ��������������� ������������ Lose Weight & Release Stress Tues. & Thurs. - 7:30-8:15 PM Sat. - 9:00 - 9:45 AM Class will start Tues. 3/17/09 Register by 3/14/09 Wear Tee Shirt & Sweat Pants 26 E. Main St. Ramsey Fitness Challenge FREE Trial Program 30 DAY Savannah Hope An Eclectic Mix of Furniture, Décor, Pottery and Glass. Antique, Vintage, Shabby Chic, Deco. Mid-Century, Atomic, Retro, Hollywood Regency, Mod, and the Unique & Unusual. Wed-Sat 10:30 to 5pm Brownstone Mill Antique Center Upstairs 11 Paterson Avenue Midland Park Andrea De Morest 201-707-7447 201-327-7080 bai1@verizon.net