|LOCATION:||Committee Room 16
State House Annex
Trenton, New Jersey
|DATE:||November 8, 1996
MEMBERS OF COMMISSION PRESENT:
B. Carol Molnar, Chair
Assemblyman Louis A. Romano
Assemblywoman Carol J. Murphy
Linda M. Anselmini
Anthony F. Annese
Robert A. Roth
E. Martin Davidoff, Esq.
(representing Senator Robert E. Littell)
(representing Senator Bernard F. Kenny Jr.)
Michael W. Klein
(representing Treasurer Brian W. Clymer)
(representing Michael R. Ferrara)
Acting Executive Director
(Internet edition 1997)
B. CAROL MOLNAR (CHAIR): Good morning. Under the public meetings law, the Commission has provided adequate public notice of this meeting by giving written notice of the time, date, and location at least 48 hours in advance. This notice has been mailed and/or faxed to The Trentonian, The Star-Ledger and filed with the Office of the Secretary of State. Our Director will now take a roll call.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Martin Davidoff.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Present.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Anthony Annese.
MR. ANNESE: Here.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Robert Roth.
MR. ROTH: Here.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Tom Neff, representing Senator Littell.
UNIDENTIFIED COMMISSION MEMBERS: Yes, he is here.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Dave Rosseau, representing Senator Kenny.
MR. ROSSEAU: Here.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Assemblywoman Murphy. (no response)
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Here.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Michael Klein, representing Treasurer Clymer.
MR. KLEIN: Here.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Commissioner Anselmini.
COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Here.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Dave Strathern, representing Mike Ferrara.
MR. STRATHERN: Here.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Carol Molnar.
MS. MOLNAR: Here.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: We have a quorum.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you. I would like to ask you to join me in the Pledge of Allegiance. (participants recite Pledge of Allegiance)
First item on our agenda is the approval of the October minutes. We have a slight revision. We would like to add Robert Roth to the persons present. Are there any other changes?
MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes, on Page 7 in the discussion on the Department of Education, I would like to amend, beginning at the sixth line, it starts, "Mr. Davidoff stated that," and it should be annual expenditures -- the word annual should be included -- of 500 to 1000 from operating budgets to fix minor roof problems, and the word should be might minimize, instead of would eliminate, large expenses in the future, and what should be added after the word future would be the words "and consideration should be made to them incurring such expenses as a means of saving money in the long term."
MR. ROTH: Just one tiny change on Page 6, the fourth paragraph from the bottom. Just change the tense of the word. Instead of the pilot program provide, it should be provides. Put an S on the end of it.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Where is that, I'm sorry.
MR. ROTH: Page 6, fourth paragraph from the bottom, just add an S to the word provide.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Okay, fine. Noted.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you. Any other changes?
If not we will call the roll for approval.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Davidoff.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Annese.
MR. ANNESE: Yes.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Roth.
MR. ROTH: Yes.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Neff. (no response)
MR. ROSSEAU: Yes.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Klein.
MR. KLEIN: I'll abstain.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Assemblyman Romano.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Yes.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Commissioner Anselmini.
COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Yes.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Strathern.
MR. STRATHERN: I'll abstain.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Molnar.
MS. MOLNAR: Yes.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Okay, pass.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Madam Chairman.
MS. MOLNAR: Yes.
MR. DAVIDOFF: I ask that the revised pages be circulated with the next package.
MS. MOLNAR: Done. Thank you.
Next item is our Executive Director's report.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I have very little to report since our last meeting, Madam Chair. Staff are continuing to analyze the various requests and meet with departments to formulate recommendations. Just to give Commission members some idea of the magnitude of this task, we have received individual requests from 26 agencies, which includes 12 higher ed institutions and requests from 14 departments. The total projects for which funding has been requested is 1148. The total value of those requests is over $2 billion, and of that amount, about $1.5 billion is from the General Fund. So you can see it is a large task and staff are working hard to complete those recommendations on time.
MS. MOLNAR: What's the tentative date in December that we are scheduled to meet?
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: The 13th is the scheduled date. The recommendations would be given to Commission members obviously in advance of that date.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you. Any questions or comments?
MR. DAVIDOFF: Do you have sufficient staff for this, or do we need more staff? Should we be seeking more staff from the Legislature?
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: We have sufficient staff to formulate the recommendations for Commission members. The debt report is being provided from the Office of Public Finance, and we have been in communication with both the Council of Economic Advisors and the Office of State Planning, so we should have their input as well for the formulation of the recommendations.
MR. DAVIDOFF: I just ask, as we're looking at the new workload of this Commission -- in light of the debt -- that after our December recommendations, possibly to report back to us to how, on a long-term basis, the Commission should be staffed: should we have a full-time Director and the like. Considering possibly the debt work to be done at a different time of the year, we could possibly recommend to the Legislature to even out the workload, that the debt work be done not in the August or summertime frame, but possibly at another time of year. Thereby allowing us to have a staff that would work year-round on projects. So, please, consider that and let us know your recommendations. We are very interested in knowing that.
MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Okay.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you. Any other comments or questions? If not we will close that portion of the meeting.
On capital requests, we are up to Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs. I'd like to welcome Major General Paul Glazar and his staff. Welcome.
M A J O R G E N E R A L P A U L J. G L A Z A R: Thank you very much. I appreciate that, Madam Chairwoman.
Good morning everybody. As Adjutant General, it is my pleasure to present you with the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs Fiscal Year '98 Capital Plan. This plan identifies 18 projects totaling $20.1 million and as in previous years, underscores our major critical concerns. We also ask for your continued support as demonstrated in the past.
Again, a booklet is provided containing various photographs depicting projects that are planned, currently under construction, or illustrating the effects of ongoing detoriation in our facilities. I will reference these photographs as I proceed through the presentation.
In recognition of your past support, I just wanted to say thank you. Your support is earnestly appreciated and is best illustrated by our Department having a $1.1 million worth of projects under contract by January 1997. With these FY '97 funds, we will replace the boilers at our Teaneck Interactive Community Resource Center, or armory. Photograph number 1 shows the boilers in the current state. The replacement project will be bid mid-November of '96. We will be replacing the roof at our Franklin ICRC along with completing some interior and ADA upgrades. This funding continues the process of attacking long-ignored preservation and construction projects but, as you know, falls well short of our overall needs.
As you may recall, during this past winter we received insurance funding for emergency repairs to our Teaneck ICRC. Over $900,000 in damages were caused by the blizzard of '96 and resulted in losing a parapet wall and various sections of three floors of the administration portion of the building. Again, photograph A shows the damage was considerable. These repairs are completed and the unit will be reoccupying the area shortly. Photographs 2 and 3 show the repairs made to the parapet wall and the interior areas at the Teaneck ICRC.
Now, I turn to projects presently under construction. When we take previous years' funding and add to this FY '96 Federal contributions of $10.6 million for the Air National Guard construction and $2.3 million for Army Guard construction, we constructed such worthwhile projects as:
* interior masonry repairs at our Teaneck ICRC, photographs 4 through 7. Photos 4 and 5 are before shots, photos 6 and 7 are after shots, so you can see the considerable work that was done there;
* electrical rehabs at Teaneck, which are photographs 8 and 9, and the Lawrenceville Interactive Community Resource Center, photograph 10;
* a roof replacement at our Riverdale ICRC, photograph 11; * construction of various projects at Brigadier General Doyle Cemetery, including a road network, photographs 12 and 13;
* rehabilitation of flagstone paving, photograph 14, and installation of irrigation systems at the cemetery, which photograph 15 depicts the electrical controls for the wells and pumps at that site;
* construction of a patio specifically designed for our Paramus Home Alzheimer's residents, photograph 16;
* construction of a sunroom for our Vineland Home Alzheimer's residents, photographs 17 and 18;
* construction of a replacement home at Menlo Park, that is photographs 19, 20, and 21;
* at our Newark armory we began an ADA improvement, photograph 22, completed construction of new supply room walls, photograph 23, and upgrades to classrooms, photograph 24;
* not shown are the beginning of fire suppression installation at our Teaneck and Lawrenceville ICRCs.
FY '96 Federal dollars received have supported new construction, an ongoing modernization of facilities, including a new consolidated headquarters addition at our Fort Dix ICRC, photographs 25 and 26, and construction of a new hanger and fuel farm at McGuire Air Force Base for the Air National Guard, photographs 27 and 28.
These projects were all made possible by your realization that funding is necessary. And again, I would like to thank you for that continued support. However, this funding only begins to address our needs. Today, as in the past, I ask you for permanent help to prevent further decay to our various facilities.
First, let me assure you that your National Guard Units continue to perform in a proud and outstanding manner. During the past year, the National Guard responded to five State emergencies resulting in 1002 missions and the call-up of over 2017 personnel. Our counter drug operations have assisted in seizing 17 tons of marijuana and 7 tons of cocaine, 236 pounds of heroin and 3044 weapons, totaling over $311 million, and that's in New Jersey. Therefore, it continues to be my vision to provide and ensure that facilities are adequately maintained for the training of our Guard members. The results of decaying infrastructure are cancerous and slowly eating away at the heart of our facilities. Funding is the only cure. Photographs 29 and 30 of the East Orange armory illustrates some of the many problems we face. And again, that armory is in the excess list and up for sale -- trying to rid of the extra space that we have.
Our current request for '98 is what I want to address right now. My first priority is the rehabilitation and modernization of our Vineland Home. This project includes rehabilitation of existing resident units, picture number 31, by upgrading and correcting various fire and life safety violations. The rehabilitation includes: installation of a fire suppression system in residence units 1 and 2; a roof replacement on the main kitchen building, photograph 32; re-tubing the facilities second boiler, photograph 33; and replacing an elevator unit in building number 3.
Antiquated systems and desperately needed interior renovations only undermine the importance of quality of life issues and my deep concern for them.
The next project, Priority No. 2, deals with our veterans' cemetery's ever increasing growth. With the constant expansion of the cemetery and the daily burial rate at between seven and nine interments, it becomes necessary to develop plans to construct alternate reception and restroom facilities, as well as installing preplacement grave liners, specifically in sections N and O.
The drill floor at our Jersey City Interactive Community Resource Center is Priority No. 3, photograph number 34. It's necessary to pursue operating it as a viable National Guard and public use activity center. This project embodies cleaning, painting, and fire/life safety compliance.
Our fourth priority would provide the design cost for a conference center at our National Guard training center in Sea Girt. This multiuse facility would increase current support offered to other State departments. And presently we house the New Jersey State Police, Criminal Justice and Municipal Police Academies, as well as our own National Guard Academy. We may be expanding this in the future to include the Department of Corrections Officer Academy, and the expansion could also include the Drug Enforcement Agency, Departments of Labor and Personnel. This venture would consolidate services, alleviate additional leased space, and reduce overall operating costs for the State. Drawings 1 and 2 illustrate the proposed concept.
The next two requests address Priorities 5 and 6; the replacement of the HVAC system and electrical rehabilitation at our headquarters building. The building's present systems are 27 years old and are in constant state of repair. Yearly costs run approximately $30,000. The heating system is 100 percent electric and inadequate for the facility. Yearly electric costs exceed $139,000. These antiquated systems have made it obvious that their replacement would be the most cost-effective measure. Photo 35 illustrates the concern that I have.
Priority Nos. 7 and 8, photos numbered 36 and 37, and Newark concept 1 and 2 address the replacement of our Newark and Jersey City armories. Both facilities were built in the early 1900s and are in need of major electrical, plumbing, and heating system repairs. By constructing replacement energy-efficient facilities, operating and maintenance cost would be reduced, mission readiness will increase, and a retention of the citizen soldier will improve. Additionally, we can move forward with plans for Interactive Community Resource Centers that support multiagency use of these buildings, allowing them to become an integral, effective structure in the community. The Federal government would share 75 percent of the Federal funding, and I remind you that we cannot be expected to hold our facilities together, comply with State and Federal mandates, and improve our residents' care without recognition of these problems. I do not want our facilities to continue to regress and to reach a point not benefiting the respect, sensitivity, and safety that should be given to our veterans and soldiers.
Continuing with that thought, this plan, as it has previously addressed serious fire, life, and safety concerns, Priority No. 9, moves it forward, and with the momentum initiated by previous years' capital funding, the request supports our plan to install fire suppression systems in our Westfield, Jersey City, and Vineland Interactive Community Resource Centers. These facilities represent the high end of our revenue producing and multiuse program.
Our next request deals with all phases of the construction category, Priority No. 10. Items under this category have been requested year after year. Photograph number 38, the Jersey City classroom ceiling, and 39, Jersey City wall damage, and 40, the West Orange column deterioration, illustrate the effects of decay at our facilities.
As previously stated, we are responsible for providing timely, basic earned entitlements to our veterans. This means ensuring that quality facilities are available to enhance their self-respect, well-being, and quality of life. This is best portrayed by our request for the Veterans' Transitional Housing Program, Priority No. 11, photo number 41. This award-winning project provides selected veterans an opportunity to learn skills in a structured environment, thus becoming productive citizens in today's society. The present facilities barely complies with various OSHA, State UCC Codes. Upgrades are vital for continued use of the building.
Our next request, Priority No. 12, includes all categories of preservation which go hand in hand with Priority No. 10 in the construction category. Problems are depicted in photo number 42, Jersey City restrooms, number 43 and 44, Jersey City electrical switch gear.
Priority Nos. 13 and 16 deal with various ADA, fire/life, safety, asbestos, and elevator safety compliance codes at our headquarters facility. The present building is approximately 30 years old and will require extensive retrofits to bring it up to standard.
Our next request, Priority No. 14, which is not shown, deals with the asbestos testing removal issues. We previously identified these concerns in DOH recorded surveys of our buildings. The plan continues to address these items before they become major health issues, and I assure you that in addressing these and other issues, I continue emphasizing an effectual long-range plan, ensuring that our National Guard receives quality training and our veterans receive all deserved programs.
An example of new programs is the proposed Veterans' Adult Day Care Center at the Paramus Veterans' Home, Priority No. 15. There is no photo of that. Adult day care is one of the fastest growing service industries in the country. The project will consist of a 32-person unit that will be fully certified to provide necessary services. It will provide medical assistance, a dietitian, a social worker, and registered nurses to those individuals who do not need the 24-hour care of a nursing home, but do require some assistance with daily living. Funding provided for this project will instill my commitment to provide veterans with their basic entitlements. Last year you sought to recommend funding of this project. I ask your consideration of reviving this once more.
Priority No. 17 provides the civil engineering services needed in designing a 25-acre site of poured-in-place burial crypts at our Brigadier General Doyle Cemetery. As stated earlier, with seven to nine interments per day, the preinstallation of burial crypts would enable flexibility to interment crews in utilizing multiple burial sections. During winter months, interment crews would have the ability to utilize these preplanned grave sites, thereby circumventing frozen ground conditions. As you can see, photo number 45, this project will prevent the continued use of one burial site, allowing faster reclamation of areas by interment crews. Additionally, this project has been preapproved for 50 percent funding by the Federal VA. This burial crypt system has been adopted by other state veterans' cemeteries with excellent results.
Priority No. 18 addresses the repair of the lagoon bulkhead at our National Guard Training Center at Sea Girt. Repairs are needed due to its age and severe storms that have accelerated erosion and aging processes. Continued erosion will endanger the adjacent road network, photo number 46.
With over 200 structures at an average age of 44 years old, we remain the fourth largest Department in total assets and the third largest in total buildings.
With a veteran population ranked as the ninth largest in the nation and the second oldest, it is imperative to have quality facilities available for their care and well-being. Ignoring our infrastructure only adds to the deterioration and provides more costly to eliminate if continuously ignored. As we have often stated, our facilities are in worse shape than the State's prisons.
The challenges presented today are not glamorous, but meet the ever increasing requirements set forth by the State while maintaining acceptable standards for our infrastructure that best supports the current force. We must face and address these issues. Continued deterioration of our facilities is not a viable alternative nor a message we want to send to our veterans or soldiers. Preservation of these State-owned facilities is our moral obligation to ensure our clients' safety. Our concern must ever be the welfare of our National Guard and the veterans facilities, residents, and employees.
If appropriated funding is not available, then I would hope that you will work and seek an alternate funding source. I trust you can see that when funding is made available, we use it for positive results. I encourage your continued support with that, and you will help create an environment conducive to understanding training and excellent resident care.
I believe the photographs provide a clear depiction of the positive stride made, as well as the ongoing deterioration I have referred to throughout this presentation.
I appreciate the time you have allowed. My staff and I are here to answer any question that you might have at this time. I want to thank you very much for indulging with the show-and-tell process that we just went through with the facilities. I thank you again for your continued support.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you, General, for your presentation.
Any questions or comments?
COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: I just have one question, as it pertains to the drug seizure. Does your Department participate in the moneys that become available, or at least by prosecutors and stuff? I mean, is that a potential source of funding for capital projects?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes. We have realized some of those dollars this past year. Federal government put a hold on that for a time being, but now that seems to be opening up again and the shared asset dollars are being distributed. We hope to realize some of that right now. In fact, we just got word yesterday that the Haida area -- the DEA in New York that we participate in, and it's a money laundering investigation area that we have soldiers working in -- has an excess of $1 million that they are going to share with us, and again, that's going to help with some of our facilities that they use.
MS. MOLNAR: Any other question?
MR. DAVIDOFF: Hi. Good morning. Thank you very much for a thorough presentation. I'm a little bit new to this Commission, so I'm going to ask you to explain to me the involvement with your Department of the Federal government when it comes to providing veterans homes and the grave sites. Are you getting revenue from the Federal government and support that--
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes. There is--
MR. DAVIDOFF: --and tell us the responsibility the State has in that regard so that I can understand.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: We have a responsibility of taking care of our veterans, and the Federal VA shares in that through a per diem allotment to the State based on the veterans that are in resident care, and also they pay for the costs for interment at the cemetery.
MR. DAVIDOFF: How much do they provide per diem for each day a veteran stays?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZER: Mike, the number on that.
C O L O N E L M I C H A E L L. W A R N E R: It's roughly $40 a day.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, so they provide $40 a day?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Right.
MR. DAVIDOFF: For each resident? And how about the interment?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Interment.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: We are looking at about $250 stipend on that.
MR. DAVIDOFF: And do the families also contribute toward that, or is it totally a Federal--
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Families contribute for resident care. It's a means test that they go through in the three homes, on the interment side of them.
MR. DAVIDOFF: On the interment side of them. We, as a State, have the responsibility to operate them so we are responsible for funding.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: We've been doing this since 1866.
MR. DAVIDOFF: 1866.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes.
MR. DAVIDOFF: And this is for all services, or just the National Guard?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes, nope all services.
MR. DAVIDOFF: All services. Is this how other states work -- in a similar fashion?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Some states. There is various permutations of the Federal program with the states. Some states do absolutely nothing.
MR. DAVIDOFF: And what happens, the Federal pays more money?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: No.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Well, then where are they?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: They don't get anything.
MR. DAVIDOFF: They don't get anything. They don't provide homes for their veterans?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Correct.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, so this is something that we're doing to provide homes to the veterans, and you're saying it's means tested as far as what they pay.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes it is.
MR. DAVIDOFF: One who has means, what do they pay?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Eighty percent.
COLONEL WARNER: They pay 80 percent of the capability that they have to pay.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Eighty percent.
COLONEL WARNER: Okay, 80 percent of their estate, 80 percent of their available assets, if they are above the means test. So if it's $35, $40 a day, they are allowed to have -- then anything above that they pay 80 percent.
MR. DAVIDOFF: They pay 80 percent.
COLONEL WARNER: Yes.
MR. DAVIDOFF: So somebody has an effective means they're still not paying 100 percent of the cost of their care. They are paying 80 percent and the State's picking up the other 20 percent.
COLONEL WARNER: Or the per diem, or the per diem pay.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, so one way or the other, so if somebody--
COLONEL WARNER: This is much similar to Medicare.
MR. DAVIDOFF: And in figuring out those costs, are you considering the capital costs of maintaining the buildings, or are you also considering operational costs?
COLONEL WARNER: Yes, the average daily cost includes the operational cost and the appropriated maintenance funds that are included in that and the fringe benefit cost of the employees.
MR. DAVIDOFF: And how many veterans do we have in homes now?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: We have roughly about 800-plus veterans in homes. With the new home under construction at Menlo Park, we have reduced the population there to enable some demolition to take place. Total capacity with the new construction has been roughly about 1000 veterans.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Do you need to turn away people? In other words, could you keep building and be filled up, or are you meeting the need right now?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Right now we seem to be meeting the need. We have a prequalification list that some look at as a waiting list. So we expeditiously fill the vacant bed space.
MR. DAVIDOFF: All right, and the current new home, is that being built with State funds, Federal funds, or a combination?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Combination of both.
MR. DAVIDOFF: And what's the split on that as far as -- 80/20?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Final numbers on that?
COLONEL WARNER: One-third/two-third. One-third State funds and two-third Federal funds.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: We maxed out the Federal contribution of that, which was 66 percent, or two-thirds.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay. Now, one of these items -- and I'm sorry that I missed it -- you said you were paying $139,000 electrical costs.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes, that's my headquarters building. That's just on the heating.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Oh, that's item number 6, the rehab electrical system.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes.
MR. DAVIDOFF: How much would we save if we rehab that?
M A J O R W A Y N E R. H U N T SR.: Right now it's costing us, and it has for the past 10 years, almost $30,000 a year just to maintain the system, because the system was designed with nothing but -- when I say nothing, I mean to say totally electric systems, and throughout the systems -- throughout the duct work in the building -- are preheaters that also up the heat for the distance, okay.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Right.
MAJOR HUNT: All those are constantly going bad and having to be changed, and along with that it runs $139,000 just to pay the electric bill for the heat and that process.
MR. DAVIDOFF: And when you have this new one in, how much do you think your annual electric bill will go down to?
MAJOR HUNT: I'm sorry, I don't have that information here, but we can check that.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: We'll get that to you.
MR. ROTH: May I follow up on that, Mr. Chairman? (affirmative response)
Are you replacing it with gas, oil or--
MAJOR HUNT: Yes, we would be replacing it with gas.
MR. ROTH: And how big is the building?
MAJOR HUNT: I'd have to get back to you on the total square footage.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: We have that, we'll get it to you.
MR. ROTH: Because we have a whole series of buildings in my municipality, and we are able to heat them for on the order of $15,000 a year. I would hope you would be talking about savings on that order. If we are going to spend the kind of money you're asking--
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Using alternate from electricity? Just using gas--
MR. ROTH: Using oil and gas.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: We're doing a big conversion project from oil to gas just because of the cost of upkeep for the older boilers and the oil problems that we have with underground storage tanks. When we remove a storage tank, we convert to gas. We don't go back to another underground storage tank at reduced costs. So we have a tremendous ongoing program on that. The headquarters building is a significantly sized building. So it's a good size building. We'll get you the exact square footage.
I would be more then happy to take anybody on a tour. A field trip, per se, of any of our facilities. When you go up and see, the Jersey City facility is approximately one acre under roof in the large drill hall that's there. It's a city block-sized building and what we are doing-- This is the year of Jersey City. We are putting a lot of emphasis into Jersey City to bring it up to hopefully, painting, a lot of self-help of getting it in better condition than it's been in a lot of years. I'd be more than happy to take anybody around to see our long-term care facilities.
You would be impressed with the new construction on the Menlo Park project. It's absolutely-- If you take a look at the pictures there, it is a state-of-the-art home, and the goal is to bring our three homes up to that capacity before we ever did anything -- entertaining new thoughts about new construction -- to make a fourth home or anything of that nature. The intent would be to make sure that our three homes take us into the next century, as far as facilities go, and the same thing with our armories. It's very key to us to get the armories into good shape.
MS. MOLNAR: I have a question. Menlo Park, the recent storm we had, was there major flooding in that area? Did you have any problem?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: No, not that I'm aware of, nothing that was reported to me.
MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Did you have additional questions, Mr. Davidoff?
MR. DAVIDOFF: Just one. One set. The dune bulkhead repair.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes.
MR. DAVIDOFF: That looks like over three years will be a million dollars. How is Veterans' Affairs responsible for the bulkhead? Is this at a facility that you run?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes, my National Guard training facility at Sea Girt. Approximately 168 acres, oceanfront on one end of it and lagoon front on the other long side of the facility, and that bulkhead is original bulkheading that goes back many years and deteriorated needs to be replaced in pieces. We're patching right now. And that's the facility that houses the State Police training facility, Criminal Justice training facility, and the Department of Corrections will be coming there shortly, as well as a National Guard training facility.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I just have a question. When we talk about the drill hall at Jersey City -- and you know, General, I have been there.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes, sir.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Actually from the picture, what am I looking at? Moisture protection on the walls? What is the problem there?
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Which picture number do you have there, sir?
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Thirty-four. And then it has what it damaged, the walls and truss system.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: I believe the truss system in that building is a steel-girder truss system. You are looking at the interior of the drill hall, one of the outside walls, and you're looking at a lot of -- looks like lime and water damage on the inside of the facility, you know, with the water damage.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Is that the type of work we're talking about? We're not talking about to the floor proper itself--
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: No, sir.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: --where they walk on.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: No, sir. If you remember that floor, that floor was a wooden end grain gymnasium-type old style floor. No, this is the wall.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Well, I'm all for the rehabilitation as the best we can. Hopefully-- What is the acronym that you use?
MAJOR HUNT: ICRC.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: ICRC, Interactive Community Resource Center.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: ICRC. I want the CR to become more CR than we usually find here. And we will be talking again at a later date, General.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Well, sir, as you know, we aggressively support the community piece of that. As I have mentioned earlier, I go back to the community for their sons and daughters to be a part of my organization, so they need to know what we are about and we need to work very closely to support the community back into our facilities.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Well, we have other aspects of the community, and as Major Hunt would know, I'm talking about the educational component--
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Yes, sir.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: --of the community. Thank you. I have no other questions.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Thank you.
MS. MOLNAR: Any other questions?
If not, General, could you identify, for the tape recording, who on your staff is speaking today.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Colonel Mike Warner for Veterans' Affairs, a piece of it, and Major Hunt for facilities. Major Wayne Hunt and Mike Warner.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you, thank you, General, for your presentation.
MAJOR GENERAL GLAZAR: Thank you all for listening.
MS. MOLNAR: I'd like to welcome Assemblywoman Carol Murphy who just arrived.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Thank you.
MS. MOLNAR: Next department is the Department of Environmental Protection. The presenter is Ronald Tuminiski, Assistant Commissioner.
A S S T. C O M M. R O N A L D S. T U M I N S K I: Good morning.
First of all, before beginning, I did want to introduce the staff with me from DEP. To my left is Jim Hall, who is the Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources. To my right is Rick Gimello, who is the Assistant Commissioner of Site Remediation; and to his right is Dave Barth, who is the Director of the Financial Division for DEP. We also have attending today two gentlemen from the Palisades Park Commission, Scott Fish and Rich Olsen, and they will be available if there is any questions regarding the Palisades Park Commission request.
Good morning, Madam Chair and members of the Commission. I would like to first of all thank all of you for the opportunity to present DEP's capital needs for Fiscal 1998.
Overall, the Department submission identifies some $544 million in capital projects that, with your concurrence, would be financed in part by the following State sources: $131 million in appropriations from existing bond funds; $19.6 million from the Dedicated Shore Protection Fund; and $143.9 million in general capital moneys. This total is $293.8 million. (sic)
As I go through the testimony, I will alert you to the fact that some of the moneys identified as General Fund capital moneys may be, in fact, offset by recent actions by the State's voters.
These moneys, in turn, will leverage some $234 million, or a 43 percent share, in Federal funds, with another $15.9 million anticipated in local matching funds. With those summary figures in mind, I would like to highlight certain elements of the request.
In the site remediation area, the Fiscal Year 1998 request reflects a State-funding need of $45.2 million. It also anticipates Superfund dollars in the amount of $110 million.
When I appeared before you last year, I indicated the Department had sufficient fiscal resources to continue the ongoing projects through the close of this calendar year, or December of 1996. At that time, I also indicated that the Department was working on a more stable approach to funding our essential cleanup program. This past Tuesday, New Jersey's voters approved two funding mechanisms, which will serve to provide the essential funding needed for this program.
Specifically, voter approval of the Port of New Jersey revitalization, dredging, environmental cleanup, lake restoration, and Delaware Bay Area Economic Bond Act of 1996 will provide $70 million to pay for cleaning up contaminated sites and for providing alternative water supplies. The second action involved the constitutional dedication of 4 percent of the revenues raised by the corporation business tax. Of the $48 million estimated to be raised by this measure, 50 percent, or $24 million, is dedicated to the cleanup of contaminated sites, while one-third, or $16 million, will be utilized to address underground storage tanks. In the case of the underground storage tanks, this is critical, since nonresidential tanks must be upgraded by December of 1998. This is both a State and a Federal mandate.
These bond and CBT moneys will provide the funds identified in our Fiscal of 1998 request. In each case, these funds will be used for ongoing work at current sites. Funds will only be available for new priority sites if DEP is able to recover past expenditures or it finds responsible parties who are willing to complete projects at sites where State moneys are already committed or planned to be committed.
While the FY 1998 State request has been submitted in this fashion, you should be aware that the future of our cleanup program is somewhat unclear due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the Federal Superfund Program. The tax which generated this Federal resource lapsed in October of 1995. While New Jersey has been the recipient of over a billion dollars from Superfund, the national debate continues on how to reform the program. In fact, I would emphasize that for every one dollar New Jersey used in the cleanup program, thirteen Federal dollars were generated through the Superfund Program.
Given the above, the Department will continue to monitor the Superfund developments in Washington.
Attendance at New Jersey's parks in Fiscal Year 1996 topped 13.1 million visitors. As such, these facilities require ongoing renovations, rehabilitations, and development. The overall Fiscal of 1998 request for Parks and Forestry, Fish, Game and Wildlife totals $54.9 million. The components of this request are: $19.3 million for renovations and rehabilitations; $14.7 for recreational development; $14.6 for historic restoration and development, and $6.4 million for Liberty State Park. As part of the capital planning process, we have categorized $19.8 million, a little more than a third of these projects, as urgent, or our highest priorities. Specifically, these priorities include: $9.4 million in renovations and rehabilitations; $6 million for recreational development, and $4.1 million for special development. The renovation/rehabilitation category is comprised of such a sense of projects as dam repairs, building renovations, water system rehabilitations, bulkhead replacements, and ADA facility improvements. The recreational development category includes essential sanitary facility improvements.
Just last November the voters approved a new $340 million Green Acres Bond Issue. That Bond Issue provided $250 million in Green Acres funding for State, local, and nonprofits, $50 million for farmland preservation, $30 million for Blue Acres, and $10 million for historic preservation. Included in the Green Acres allotment was $40 million for upgrading our parks and recreational areas and $10 million for recreational development at Liberty State Park. As such, the Department will be able to address its most pressing needs in the current fiscal year, or Fiscal 1997. Legislation has already been drafted that would appropriate all the State development moneys, which will cover those projects that we included in our 1997 request.
For Fiscal 1998, we have again identified our most pressing needs. While we have identified these needs as requiring General Fund capital dollars, we are optimistic that stable funding options will be identified by the Governor's Council on New Jersey Outdoors and presented to the Governor by next summer.
New Jersey's shoreline continues to be one of the State's highest priorities. The Shore Protection Fund, which became effective in Fiscal 1994, provides stable funding for shore protection projects by annually dedicating no less than $15 million via the realty transfer fee. Since its inception, the Department has received appropriations totaling $63.3 million with $15 million having been provided in the current Fiscal Year 1997.
Our Fiscal Year 1998 request from the Shore Protection Fund totals $19.6 million. It also anticipates $5.1 million in local matching grants, or funds rather, along with $45.9 million in Federal HR-6 moneys. It should be noted that although previous Federal budgets recommended by the President called for a reduction in Federal commitments for shore protection projects, the budget recently signed approved all projects requested by New Jersey. In fact, in early October of this year, the Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $28.8 million contract for the next phase of beach restoration in Long Branch, as well as to correct major erosion problems in Monmouth Beach. Our Fiscal Year 1998 Capital Request includes funding for joint State/Federal HR-6 projects at Absecon Island and the Asbury Park/Avon Beachfill Projects. Accordingly, our request again emphasizes the use of funds as a match to HR-6 moneys.
In the Wastewater Treatment Financing Program, since 1987, approximately $1.2 billion in loans have been made available to local governments and municipal utility authorities to upgrade their wastewater treatment facilities. This year, we anticipate closing on 21 additional loans, involving $86.7 million, all as part of the successful partnership between DEP and the Trust.
Here, our request is for new bond fund appropriations of $19.3 million from the 1992 Green Acres and Clean Waters Bond Fund and $14.1 million from the 1989 Combined Sewer Overflow Abatement Fund. Those funds, coupled with the Trust's share of $23.5 million and Federal carryover funds, will provide the resources necessary to fund some $300 million in projects in Fiscal 1998. Currently, we cannot estimate the level of Federal moneys that will be provided for construction grants. At the same time we are monitoring a new $50 million Federal program that has been authorized nationally to provide hardship grants in combination with loans to rural, economically distressed communities. With the completion of Federal guidelines on this new program, it is expected that projects will receive moneys through this financing program in Fiscal 1998. I would go on to point out that a draft guidance was in the Federal Register of September 4; however, there has been no allotment formula on this new program.
The 1981 Water Supply Fund has provided more than $88.7 million in loans for the construction or rehabilitation of water supply facilities as recommended by New Jersey Statewide Water Supply Master Plan. In fact, on October 28, Governor Whitman announced four new loans totaling $6 million that went to Newark, Aberdeen Township, Franklin Borough, and Highland Park. These loans included moneys for the cleaning and relining of pipes, new construction, replacement of valves and hydrants. Currently the program is considering another $43.6 million in applications. Through September of this year, $42.2 million has been repaid from those loans. Legislation enacted in March of this year reappropriated $20 million in loan repayments, thus, authorizing their use for new loans. The request before you includes $10 million in reappropriations from loan repayments for Fiscal Years '98, '99, and 2000.
Recent action at the Federal level now includes the authorization of Federal dollars to States, in order to establish State drinking water revolving funds. The State match required in this case is 20 percent. The first year of funding will be based on existing public water supervision grant formulas, and New Jersey stands to receive some $28 million according to this formula. Given this match we have included a revised request of $4.6 million verses the -- $5.6 million, rather than the 4.6, which was originally included in our submission. Subsequent year allocations will be based on the results of the National Drinking Water Needs Survey for which there is currently no allotment formula.
In the area of landfills, landfill mining is being introduced in New Jersey as a means by which old landfills can be recycled and reincorporated into the State's current and more environmentally sound solid waste management strategy. Benefits that can be achieved through the reutilization of these old solid waste facilities range from a reduction of the size of an old landfill to the recovery of buried recyclable resources. To begin this new initiative we are requesting a capital appropriation of $10 million to provide grants to public facilities in order to plan and implement landfill mining initiatives.
In addition to the above requests, I also call your attention to the following. We have included: $22.7 million in capital funding is requested for flood control, of which $17.6 will again be used as a match for some $45.5 million in Federal HR-6 moneys; $6.8 million in capital dredging funding is included in the Department's Fiscal Year 1998 request. These funds will also match $9.8 million in Federal funds. Requests for the Mosquito Control Commission include a total of $900,000 for addressing the problem on State- owned land, as well as providing essential equipment replacement. Finally, we have included capital requests amounting to $2.5 million for facility renovations and improvements, as well as Parkway road improvements requested by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.
Thank you for your time. I and the other staff members form DEP with me would be happy to answer any questions that you may have on the request. Thank you.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you for your presentation.
Any questions or comments?
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I could spend the day here, but briefly, if we go to the Liberty State Park, I am all for -- obviously, you know that I represent that area close by -- about the HVAC work so that the terminal would become more useful. But I also noticed that you have another $4 million the following year for the rehabilitation of the first and second floors. Now, all things being equal, shouldn't this work be coordinated together when you are doing the HVAC work as well as the opening of those first and second floors?
A S S T. C O M M I S S I O N E R J A M E S F. H A L L: The HVAC work and co-compliance work would be done to the entire building. The remainder work, if it was done in future years, would be finish work. All the infractrusture would be in place and would not be in the way of any future finish work or renovation work of that national historic site.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: And staying at Liberty State Park for a moment here, just exactly what are you going to do in the terms of the recreation areas, when you're requesting other funds?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: At this point there are a couple of areas. We have-- The waterfront area is where we invision work done on passive recreation out of the current bond appropriation that's going to be pending shortly. In the future, the bigger recreational development issue in the park is in the pool area. We have had, as you know, the pool servicing that area for many, many years. It dosen't meet Code in many respects and is very costly to maintain. At some point in the near future I expect that facility to fail, one way or the other, and our ability to maintain it.
Our long-term vision is to look for some means to renovate that structure and replace it. I expect later this fall and over this winter, we are going to have some public meetings and public hearings at Liberty State Park about some of these future use issues, so that the public is engaged in a discussion about what kind of facility should be there and what kind of facility should replace the existing facilities.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I don't know if the pool is heated, but I'm sure that the discussions will be very heated. (laughter)
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: You're right on both measures.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Liberty State Park is a -- how can I put it? -- a major topic up in the area. We won't go into the golf course for a bonus verses the other sides, etc.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Thank you.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: But let's jump across to my old favorite here. No, before that, we have the Caben Point Pier. (phonetic spelling) Remember then -- recall, Madam Chair, Caben Point, that it was falling down and was in disrepair. What we are looking for here is $500,000, I believe.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Caben Point Pier, we have a recurring request, and it has been closed now for about three years. It continues to fall apart. It is not safe for public use. As you recall, any major reconstruction effort to make that facility safe -- it's a pier that is almost three-quarters of a mile long -- was ranged somewhere in the $10 million to $15 million range. We are not in a position to seek that kind of money or see that no matter how good of a resource it is for use locally. The half million dollars has been requested so that we can detach the portion of the pier that now lands on the main shore so that it will deter any further ability of people to get out on it.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: This is just to make it safe?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: This is just to make it totally inaccessible.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Inaccessible. But then, down in the future, do you hope to see that becoming a recreation area? Sports fishing?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: I think there is tremendous demand in the area for it, but quite frankly, it's a number that's so large.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I know.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: I don't know how we would ever really get there.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Well, if that same $500,000, you recall, we thought we had that last year.
Now, let's jump up a little north to my old favorite, Palisades Interstate Park. Now, Palisades Interstate Park, I want to bring this to the attention of the Commission members. If you're going to visit any place, you should go visit Palisades Interstate Park under the bridge and go to Ross camp, and you should go there on a rainy day, so that you can't park in the parking lot because there is about 10 inches of water. The seawall is gone. And make sure you use the toilet facilities up on the top of the cliff at the diner. Have they repaired any toilet facilities yet down there in Ross Camp area?
S C O T T G. F I S H: (speaking from audience) No, we have not received any funding for that.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I know that. I'm just trying to highlight that there has been no repairs since we started this story, I think, several years ago.
MR. FISH: There had been some minor repair.
MS. MOLNAR: Could you come up and use the microphone for purposes of the recording.
MR. FISH: There has been some minor repair to the facility, just to try to make it conform to Code, to make it safe, including--
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I hope you understand, I'm not trying to be facetious with you. I'm just trying to highlight this for the benefit of my colleagues. If you want to take a field trip, go up there. We've always--
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: If I could note, Assemblyman, we-- As part of the $40 million that have been made available for general park improvements, from getting response from before, we anticipate 800,000 being made available for the Ross Stock area in the appropriation bill that hopefully will be coming out of the Governor's Office shortly.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I hope so too. We are waiting for this a long time.
That brings up another point. I understand when you do work along the riverfront or the oceanfront, you are also, under certain circumstances, eligible for ISTEA money. Is there any way that ISTEA money can be used up in that area for where you have walkways, etc., etc.?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: I'm not going to profess to be an expert in ISTEA moneys, since that is money that is made available through the Department of Transportation through Federal grants, but we have sought and received ISTEA money for various projects throughout the State. You have to make a connection between transportation issues and recreation in order to be eligible for it. They are done on a competitive basis through applications to the Department of Transportation. I would imagine that there are potential projects associated elsewhere in the region there that might be eligible for application for ISTEA money. It's a very competitive process with applications, I believe, outnumbering awards probably about three to one.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Well, what I notice here about the road-- While we're talking about that road here, I wonder if that would qualify. What do we have it here?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Are you talking about the road improvements that were shown? There was 200,000 there for the Palisades Interstate Parkway.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Yes.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: In '98.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I just raised the question. I know that ISTEA money has been gotten in similar type of situations, and I wonder why we have not been able to get any ISTEA into that area. Now, just the same thing, I haven't seen it here, but you recall the bridges of Palisades Interstate Park. And we were told last year by the Department of Treasury that they should reach out to the Department of Transportation for that money, not under capital improvement. And I just wonder, have you repaired those overpasses?
MR. FISH: Some of the bridges have been repaired. Some will be repaired in the contract that is about ready to be let to repave the northbound lane of the Parkway.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Whose money?
MR. FISH: DOT, which would be under the ISTEA funding. We have also received approval for $2 million to build a bikeway from the George Washington Bridge to the State line lookout under the ISTEA.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: So that lower road below the cliff, I wonder, doesn't that qualify for ISTEA money?
MR. FISH: Not as a roadway because of the type of road it is. It's a very low use road. It's not considered a main arterial. So they have indicated that it does not comply with the Federal regulations for ISTEA funding.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Well, would the ISTEA funding pay for anything for that road that's below that road, just next to the river, all along?
MR. FISH: You're talking the Henry Hudson Drive.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Well, no, below Henry Hudson Drive. Right -- actually on the waterfront. You know, you can walk all the way up, up into New York State, along that area.
MR. FISH: The lower road that is now just a hiking path?
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Yes.
MR. FISH: I don't believe that they had funding for just plain -- you know, the hiking path.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: It would have to be a bicycle path to get it then.
MR. FISH: That's correct.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Just a thought.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
Any other questions or comments?
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Thank you very much, and I'm glad that I have been forgiven for my tardiness.
I have, as did the Assemblyman, a few questions in areas.
On the second page of your comments, under science and research, you have a lakes management, publicly owned portion and the commitment of dollars there to address problems of declining recreational water quality. In the program that you are managing, through that piece and also further back, one lake is identified on Page 20. Imlaystown Lake, and I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly, is a lake dredging project.
Are there any parts of the activities you plan to undertake that speak to responsibility for home owners or people who live or use the lake in a return, if you will? So that we do not go back in five years or ten years and have to redo this because nothing has changed about the use of the lake, i.e, the things put on lawns -- food and this sort of thing put on lawns are not maintained, not a septic management program if that's indeed what is there. This sort of casual use around the lakes is usually what causes the eutrophication and the silting and this sort of thing in the lake. While you are working to clean up the lakes, are you engaging in any sort of dialogue that says that those who use the lake have a responsibility now to put it back into this condition?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: In the case of a lake like Imlaystown Lake -- and you pronounced it pretty good--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Thank you.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: --the issue there is one of dredging for sediment that's come into it as opposed to eutrophication as a result of nutrient loading. What we generally do, and I know we have done in those particular areas, we have gone back to those areas before we would initiate a dredging project, work with the County Soil Erosion Control people, as well as the Mosquito Control people, to look at where sediment loading is coming from, particularly from adjacent farms upstream, to see whether or not there are ways to minimize that before a dredging project is done. The other thing that is also done when we do lake maintenance projects in terms of dredging, we always install a catch basin essentially up where the main source of sediment may be coming into that can't be otherwise controlled. So it doesn't generally fill the entire lake. You will catch in one area and make it much easier to remove and maintain the sediment control in the lake itself.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: But is there any piece that gives an understanding to the people, who for whatever reason -- I'm not making accusations, but whose activities in any way caused the damage to occur in the lake? Is there any sort of conversation, education piece, anything else that goes to them to help them understand that they are part of the problem and the State can remediate only so long before there has to be a responsibility accepted on the other ends, so there's a partnership in coexisting in these lakes, thereby cutting down the number of times they would have to be dredged or the amount of silt or the kind of silt that goes in and the impact therewith? So often with lakes, when silting is removed, there is question of toxicity of the silt which sometimes can be avoided if there is a program at the front end. What do they say, the end of the pipe or something.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: I think clearly for the State-owned lakes that I'm responsible for, in terms of maintaining and managing, we do look at and enter into communication with the municipalities or the counties on the boarder regions to look at those issues and work with them towards local ordinances, and so forth, that will assist in minimizing those impacts. Some of the larger lakes like Lake Hopatcong have a full blown Regional Planning Board. It gets very deeply into those issues with municipalities with a municipal representation. So -- I mean, there is an effort to do it, generally for those lakes where there is a more stated impact.
For lakes that are not under State ownership or management, that would fall under the Clean Lakes Program -- and maybe Ron would have some more information.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: I think with respect to that, you have a very good point, Assemblywoman. I think the issue that we have been trying to do as a Department is have a great deal more effective outreach effort to both towns and municipalities and counties and to individual home owners and the impact of the issues of best management practices and nonpoint source pollution, which certainly impact lakes in an area. So I think that there has been an understanding that there has to be a great deal more effort put into outreach efforts in that particular area.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: I would encourage the Department to make it almost a -- and the education piece and the outreach has clearly got to come first. But I think I would encourage the Department to become -- determine a little more proactivity -- if that's a positive word to use -- to let people understand that there are two pieces to this happening again. That while cleaning up a lake once is fine and cleaning up a lake twice is fine, but cleaning up a lake three times is not fine if the residents around the lake have used the same methodology to contaminate the lake for the third time. There has got to be some shared responsibility for the maintenance of the lakes and this kind of thing. And I say that because I live on one. And we spend a lot of time arguing about it.
Second, on your public funded site remediation hazardous waste cleanup, I notice there is figure of 4238 there in this column. Is that the corporate business tax that was on the referendum this year? Is that the total of what is anticipated? That's on Page 2, the third item down. I apologize for not giving you the location earlier. But it says the State's $45.2 million General Fund is premised upon continuation of Superfund Federal moneys. Is this the corporate business tax payed out? Is that a total of what you anticipate?
A S S T. C O M M I S S I O N E R R I C H A R D G I M E L L O: It's a total of what we need, and those will be addressed from the two sources that were passed by the voters. So it will be a combination to address those spots.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Okay.
Are you looking at 100 percent of what you receive in the corporate business tax in the hazardous waste cleanup, or is that a percentage of what you anticipate?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER GIMELLO: It will be a percentage because it will be done in combination with the bonds and the existing bonds prior to them being fully authorized.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Okay. Thank you very much. Moving rapidly along--
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Is that a public lake? The one you were just speaking of, I don't know.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: No, no, but we are -- in our area Lou, in that part of the State in which we live -- surrounded by public/private, a whole lot of combinations.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: What's this lake?
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Well, the lake project -- lakes management publicly owned was the first thing I spoke of. Those are publicly owned. Above that was an item for lake management State-owned lakes. But my feeling is that the responsibilities become--
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: No, you're correct. I just wanted to know about this particular lake. Who owned it?
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Imlaystown?
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Yes.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: I'm afraid I do not know.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Imlaystown is owned by the State.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Thank you very much.
On Page 10 of 26, item number 1 and Page 11 of 26, item number 2 both speak to historical building renovations, or preservations, and a historical buildings planning survey. While they are both prioritized as No. 1, is it naive to assume that the historical development planning and survey should come prior to the renovations and preservation? Page 11, item 2 has the planning survey. Page 10, item 1 has the preservation and renovation.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: I'm trying to find where you are so I can answer your question.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Page 11 of 26 and Page 10 of 26. In the--
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: You must have something different than we do.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: In the project--
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Here it is.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: In the project numbers.
Under parks and forestry, special historical development there is a historic buildings planning survey portion, which has it under general fund. A sum of money requested to fund a survey of historic--
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Okay, I understand. I see. This is listed a little bit differently than how we would list our projects. Yes, normally planning and survey work is done in advance of construction.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Okay.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: And when you see the sequence, when you look at a particular site, that's the sequence you would see. This breaks it down into different categories of construction and planning the survey in the document in front of you.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Well, the document in front of me gives you the renovations and preservation with a great number of buildings at 11, 8, and 25. Then on another page, you have the planning and survey, and I wonder are we planning and surveying other buildings which are not--
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Correct.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Have we planned--
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: These are talking about different sequences. There is construction of ones where all the planning and survey work has already been done.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Okay.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: And then there is planning of survey work for additional buildings that have yet to be done.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Very good.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Okay.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: It makes much better sense, but it's reassuring to have you say so to me.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Okay.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: On Page 18 of 26, the same document, there is the Hackettstown Hatchery conversion. How long has the Hackettstown Hatchery been in existence?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: I believe-- Maybe -- don't hold me to it, at least since the '30s or '40s.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: And now we are converting it from a cold water to a warm water facility.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Correct.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: What has resulted in the lack of the fresh cold water source?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: No, the reason for the conversion of this facility was prior to, I guess, somewhere around the mid-'80s, that had been the facility that served as the cold water facility, but it was no longer functioning very well as that because of its age and ability to maintain a trout population of adequate size to make it cost effective. At that point in time, through some Federal money, as well as Green Acres money, the Pequest Hatchery was developed and constructed, which is the cold water fishery now. So in order to make practical use of the Hackettstown Hatchery, it would serve very well as a warm water hatchery, and we have been in the process of making conversions to that to serve as that function.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: That is good to know. And what will be raised in a warm water hatchery there?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Anything from -- all warm water species from things that are suitable for just recreational fishing for lakes-- Anything from catfish to bass to perch.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: Thank you.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Okay.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: That takes care of my questioning. Thank you very much, Madam Chairwoman.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
Any other questions?
MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes. Again, new to this Commission, I don't understand why the Palisades Parkway, a road is not being maintained by the Department of Transportation, why it's being maintained by your Department? Can you explain?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: I can explain generally the relationship of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission to the State. The Palisades Interstate Park Commission is a separate entity. It's a bistate entity through a compact that was established through Congress and enacted by the State of New York and State of New Jersey. So it does have a somewhat different standing in terms of its relationship to the State budget, and as an in but not of agency, it happens to be assigned to the Department of Environmental Protection from an executive branch standpoint.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay. Now, when you asked to develop a road improvement project, where do you go to for the expertise?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Well, I can tell you generally the Palisades Interstate Park Commission has its own staff and expertise and has its own legal responsibility for maintaining the road. If you would like, I think someone from the Commission should come up and answer specific questions, if he could. But they have their own and then would work with other agencies. I know on park issues they will work with us as a natural resource agency on park issues, and I assume they work with DOT on road issues.
MR. DAVIDOFF: But the funding comes through your Department for the road issue?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HALL: Because all executive branch funding has to show it going through an executive branch cabinet level department, someplace. They happen to be assigned to the Department of Environmental Protection for budgetary purposes.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: Even on their general fund, the regular operating budget, it shows up as an in but not of agency within DEP, but they submit their own request and they receive their own appropriation to operate with outside of capitally.
MR. DAVIDOFF: Through your Department?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: It's contained in our budget summary, but it's a separate request that's submitted by the Commission directly to the State Treasurer, and it's a separate request in terms of being approved and appropriated.
MR. DAVIDOFF: They're requesting their capital budget, also, that you are discussing today?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: Right. Correct.
MS. MOLNAR: Yes, Assemblyman.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I just have one more question -- I almost forgot. When we were talking about in but not part of, etc., how are we doing with the mercury contamination in but not part of that house in Hoboken? (laughter) I mean, when do you think we might see some light at the end of that tunnel?
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER GIMELLO: Well, Assemblyman, the lead agency on the Hoboken site -- the Grant Street location -- is a Federal EPA. We have been a support agency in that role in cooperating with them. There is right now an active move to rank that site for inclusion on the National Priorities Superfund list, which would free up additional dollars for permanent relocation and potential rehabilitation or demolition of that building. So it actually is moving forward. They have done a lot of intrusive, additional testing in that location, and I expect a request for listing on the MPO sometime shortly.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Understand what I'm saying. I appreciate what the Department of Health and your Department has done the expeditious manner in which they approach the whole situation. However, two weeks ago there was an art show by the artist -- and you know all artists went into that building, who have now been disbursed, and they have an art show in City Hall showing the work that they did as artists. They would like to move back into Hoboken. You notice I said move back, because now they are in but not part of, because to find rooms some live in Jersey City.
But in any event, whether they live there, they don't live there, they are still paying taxes. They are paying insurance on the property. It's just a cost that they have every month and they're not there. So there has to be something done. These people cannot continue paying for a building they cannot move into. And I think the final judgement is going to be to take down the building, am I correct? I don't think that you're going to clean that place.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER GIMELLO: I don't want to speculate.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I know. No speculation.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER GIMELLO: I think we are leaning in the direction of demolition, but I can't confirm that as a final decision.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Well, it's easy to say, but I wish that somewhere you could just buy the place and let the government take its time as they might need in order to take it down and get rid of it as a Superfund site. But right now, these people who bought it with goodwill--
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER GIMELLO: Absolutely.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: They bought in goodwill and, for a quirk in the situation, fell into a place-- In fact, I have a bill which would require inspection, and under the Uniform Construction Code, officials have to file certain documents anytime that an industrial site is being used for residences. I wish you would look into it. I had mentioned it to James Carp.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER GIMELLO: Okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: And I said we would be talking about it again, but there is an immediate need here.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER GIMELLO: I'll look into it directly.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I wish you would do that. I'm sorry to take this-- (indiscernible) --it fits right in.
MS. MOLNAR: All right, Assemblyman.
Any other questions or comments?
MR. KLEIN: I just have a quick question that I think I know the answer to, but I think our underground storage tanks problems are solved now.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER GIMELLO: Well, I would like to say this. Let's say we now have the ability to address in a more aggressive fashion the underground storage tank problems of the State.
MR. KLEIN: That's what I'm getting at.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
Any other questions or comments?
If not, I would like to thank you and your staff addressing your needs and your requests.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: Thank you very much for the opportunity.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER GIMELLO: Madam Chairman, we had distributed to each of the members of the Legislature a status report of publicly funded sites, but we did not provide them for the public members of this Commission. I will leave them here for your perusal.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you so much.
Our next department is the Department of Law and Public Safety. I would like to welcome Tom O'Reilly, who has appeared before us many times.
Also, on behalf of this Commission, I would like to thank you for the invitation to the opening of your State Police Facility in Buena Vista. It's unfortunate, but we had a conflict with our scheduling here, but some of the members may be visiting it at a later date.
T H O M A S J. O' R E I L L Y: Good morning.
MR. KLEIN: It's not Buena Vista, Florida, is it?
MR. O'REILLY: No, it's not. It is in South Jersey.
Chairwoman Molnar, members of the Commission, Director Shidlowski, we brought today a picture of the Troop A Headquarters, so basically, we thought you might like to share with what the end result of your approval several years ago has resulted in, and Dan will-- Basically that facility, which is being dedicated today in honor of all the Troopers in South Jersey Troop A who have been slain in the line of duty, will basically service all of the southern third of the State. It replaced a building that was I think of 1917 vintage which had actually been partially condemned before we started this project.
On behalf of Attorney General Verniero, I want to thank you for the opportunity today to both speak before you and also for your past support. I think copies of the presentation had been handed to you, and in the interest of time, we will just try to summarize both the top 10 projects for Law and Public Safety and also the Juvenile Justice Commission.
If I could take a minute and talk about our facilities in Law and Public Safety. I think we are fairly facility intensive. We have 163 facilities that house over 7100 employees. It serves hundreds of thousands of members of the public who come into our offices on a daily basis, whether it's State Police or Consumer Affairs for professional licenses or many of the other activities that we deal with.
In addition, for the first time, we are now in the Custodial Residential Secure Care business. As you are well aware, on December 15, legislation passed which transferred those responsibilities from the Departments of Human Services and Corrections to the Department of Law and Public Safety.
I think that we have done a reasonable job in terms of maintaining our facilities, but the combination of age -- many of them are 1917 to 1930 vintage -- and the heavy use by our employees and public and to some degree the shortage of some maintenance dollars over the last couple of years has brought us to the list of priorities that you have in front of you today.
On a positive note, just to speak one more time about the Troop A Headquarters, I think this was a model of cooperation. I think the efforts of the Commission, with Director Shidlowski's assistance; the Pinelands Commission, which is sited down in their jurisdiction; Treasury, particularly DBC; and the private sector, in terms of the project manager that was hired along with the contractor, made this project one that came in slightly ahead of schedule and below budget. And those are some things that we don't always hear about in terms of projects that we deal with, so we are pretty proud of that cooperation and also the fact that it happened the way it did.
Out of the 163 facilities I mentioned before, 148 of them belong to the Division of State Police within the Department. State Police, as you may be aware, is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. Some of our buildings are almost as old.
State Police provides a broad array of services to the State of New Jersey. They are the first responders in the event of emergencies, such as the snowstorm last year. Obviously, they patrol the interstates and the rural sections of the State. They maintain a marine police function, medevac, and a number of other diverse activities. We have four laboratories, 34 road stations, nine marine police stations, seven garages, one academy, one headquarters, and many other offices.
Our priorities in Law and Public Safety that are before you today may seem like routine, but they are priorities from our perspective in order to maintain the quality of the facilities space that we have and we think it will be money well spent.
Going over the top 10 priorities very quickly. The first one is for critical repairs. This would include mechanical, HVAC, and some electrical work in the State Police facilities, various buildings.
The second deals with hazardous material remediation. Primarily in the asbestos area, but also in the radon, and some areas in terms of fire safety -- installing some fire detection and alarm type devices.
The third are boiler replacements. The boilers that are mentioned in this project are between 20 and 28 years old. They lack in efficiency in terms of where technology has taken us today. Some are leaking, and we think it makes good business sense to replace them.
Our State Police laboratory is done in conjunction with the National Guard at the Sea Girt facility. More recently, Criminal Justice has also joined them. Building eight, which is the main building used by the State Police, has got a very deteriorated plumbing system and the fourth priority is requesting funds for that.
The fifth priority is for the State Police radio system. The first year we are asking for design dollars. This is a system that is 11 years old. Now, 11 years doesn't seem like a lot of time in most areas, but in a communications technology, I think we all can appreciate how fast that has grown over the last couple of years. In addition, and with a lot of technology, the manufacturer in this case, Motorola, no longer makes replacement parts for approximately 50 percent of the mobile units that we have in our marked patrol cars.
The situation there is that the parts no longer being available, plus the issues such as interception or police radio scanners, some of those things, along with the fact that we have started to experience some periodic outages make this something that we need to do for the future. This system, by the way, is the primary law enforcement system in New Jersey, not only as a support of the Division of State Police, but also supports the Criminal Justice Division, Gaming, Department of Corrections, and others.
As I mentioned before the Sea Girt facility, where the State Police Headquarters is located, has recently had the addition of the criminal justice academy. We are requesting approximately $1.2 million in order to renovate some of those buildings down there, some of the old barracks type buildings, and turn them into usable office, classroom, and computer laboratories. In addition, there is also incorporated in that request for a defensive driving track and also a physical conditioning facility.
The seventh priority deals with our forensic laboratories. The forensic laboratories in New Jersey -- and there are four of them -- and we operate them as a service to the locals as the backbone of the criminal prosecution end of the business. I think we can all appreciate with the O.J. Simpson trial and others how the role that forensic evidence plays in today's prosecutions. These drugs analyze and substantiate for the prosecutors and the local and State Police the nature and quantity of drugs that are confiscated, associated with an arrest. They do DNA analysis which is critical, also, to support the Megan's law bill, which was passed by the Senate and the Assembly. They do a broad array of other physical evidence including blood and other types of tool marks, ballistics, and things like that.
The system in the laboratory right now is one that's basically manual. Although we have some of the more scientific equipment, grammatagraphs and things like that, basically, we are dependent on the scientists and the assistants to take off that information. There have been recent developments in the laboratory information area, which basically you can run some of these machines now with the appropriate computer equipment 24-hours a day, seven days around the clock if you preload some of these. That's what we are asking, to move into that arena, in order to reduce the dependence on the staff and other machinery purchases.
The final analysis, the labs are also the backbone of the speedy trial initiative in New Jersey, which I think we all can appreciate that if the prosecutor doesn't get the evidence in a timely fashion, he or she cannot go to the grand jury to take the appropriate action.
The eighth priority is for roof replacement. This will concentrate on the State Police road stations in Edison, Netcong, Edgewater Park, in terms of doing needed repair there.
The ninth are $53,000 for seven emergency generators. This is critical in the State Police because of the need for the continued up capability with the radio system. Basically, as I said before, the State Police are the primary responders in emergencies. Many of the generators are 23 years old. They don't comply with fire code, and they are critical to the safety, not only to the public, but to the officer on the street who is dependent on that radio for emergency communications. They also are stations again -- as a result, like the snow emergency and things like -- that also become nerve centers, if you will, for the rest of State government as they try to respond to emergencies and other needs that are critical in the respective areas.
The final one that I will talk about today in terms of Law and Public Safety is number 10, which is the renovation of two buildings, number two and number six, at State Police Headquarters. Going back to the 75th anniversary, one of these buildings started out life as a horse stable when that was the mode of transportation within the Division of State Police. It subsequently has gone through several reincarnations, in terms of -- right now, it's serving as inadequate office space and storage area, but we are asking for money to retrofit that into an appropriate office environment for our State Police detectives.
If you would like, I would be happy to answer questions on Law and Public Safety, or I could go on to the Juvenile Justice Commission and come back.
MS. MOLNAR: All right, why don't we stop at this point.
Are there any questions or comments on Law and Public Safety?
MR. NEFF: With regards to the forensic labs, what exactly is the plan? Is there any plan to close any of the labs and consolidate them?
MR. O'REILLY: At the present time we are going to move in sometime in the early part of the next calendar year to the laboratory that's being vacated by the Department of Environmental Protection. That lab will serve as a partial consolidation of some of the more specialty functions such as DNA and some of the other pathology types of things that we do. Our intention right now is to maintain the three other regional labs, Sea Girt, Hammonton, and Little Fall, to handle the narcotics which is a large volume type of analysis which doesn't lend itself, at this point in time, to transporting those bulk samples to and from the areas. We have been working with the county prosecutor's offices, putting together a system for evidence collection that hopefully will improve the situation. But ultimately, when we get into the DEP building, we probably will close -- well, not close, but come back to retrofit the office space that is up there now at West Trenton to use as office space and perhaps collapse some of the commercial leases that we have in the greater Mercer County area, hopefully saving some dollars to the operation fund.
MR. NEFF: So West Trenton would be the only one of the four?
MR. O'REILLY: No, West Trenton will be the main laboratory, and the three regional ones will still maintain operations as narcotics analysis facilities. That's the bulk of the work out there. Most of the specialty functions are done in West Trenton now. DNA is done in South Jersey. There are some ballistics done in other locations, but the primary concern of local law enforcement was the narcotics area.
MS. MOLNAR: Any other questions or comments?
If not, why don't you touch on Juvenile Justice Commission.
MR. O'REILLY: Thank you.
The Juvenile Justice Commission, as I mentioned before, this time last year wasn't Law and Public Safety; although, we made the consolidated presentation on behalf of the Attorney General and the Commissioners of Corrections and Human Services. But on December 15, 1995 that all changed, and we got into the business transfer to Law and Public Safety where the staff, the facilities, the clients, and the issues that came with it-- I think to digress for a moment, there has been a lot of good news. There is a lot of things that have been happening. We have accomplished a lot, which I will touch on in a minute, but we still have a long way to go in terms of trying to get through our ultimate goals in the juvenile justice area.
This includes both residential community programs which take on the shape, in some ways, of an extended family and a housing type of unit -- traditional family house, and in some cases, some of them are like the Lindbergh Estate in Hopewell, different buildings like that, to our more secure care facilities, which are your Jamesburg, your Juvenile Medium Facility in Bordentown, and now the boot camp.
There are 27 of the community programs. There are two secure care programs. There is one boot camp which just opened this past winter, one office complex, and shortly we will open up the female facility at Johnstone. There is still a few more facility issues we have to deal with, but they will be driven by program concerns such as the parole, aftercare, and some of the programs that are more closely aligned with some of the community and county initiatives. In addition, we have taken the initiative to reactivate the Johnstone facility -- and I will come back to that in a minute. As I said before, we have had a lot of progress. Right now, as we sit, there are over 200 individual projects that we have going on in the juvenile justice area. They run the gamut from the roof replacement in Jamesburg, which we spoke about last year, to smaller health and safety issues in some of the smaller residential areas, but they run the whole gamut in terms of this whole spectrum of both the degree of complicatedness and the size and scope of the programs.
We also, just as an aside, are working with the unions, and we will be sitting down with them shortly -- and our effective facilities also have some discussions with them -- and gain their input into some of the facility issues that are out there.
The need for facilities unfortunately continues to grow. Basically, from January to October of 1995 in comparison to the same period of 1996, the commitments for sentenced juveniles in the State of New Jersey has increased 27 percent. Going back over other years it's 20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent increases over prior years, as you go backwards into the earlier '90s. In addition, we have experienced some difficulty in the Jamesburg facility. As many of you may be aware, we have experienced some escapes. The Attorney General is Chairperson of the Juvenile Justice Commission, along with the two co-chairs, Commissioners Fauver and Waldman, along with the Governor are very committed to public safety being a critical issue. That is first and foremost in our mind, and, as such, we have taken steps to construct a secure perimeter around the Jamesburg facility. In addition, in Jamesburg we are making some progress. The ceiling -- as I said to you before -- last year we did some emergency repairs. We are now in the process of repairing the roof so that those types of problems do not reoccur in the future.
Other things like conversion to gas from oil, asbestos abatement, replacing some of the kitchen issues, which I shared some pictures with you last year, also are also underway as we speak.
The first year, though, I had to summarize this thing. It's been a year of reacting, fixing, and planning. I am pleased to announce, though, that we have had some progress with DBC. Director Hart and Director Donnelly from the Commission have been meeting, and we are about ready to embark on a master plan for all of our facilities, which will take into consideration the programmatic needs. That's our goal for the upcoming year.
In the residential area, I just wanted to note that the 27 facilities are in various stages of operational fitness. The Attorney General has supported the Commission with a number of staff being detached out of our Department to work with them, including a task force that he put together to basically add representatives of OAG. We also drew on some of our experts in facilities in the State Police, along with Treasury and the Juvenile Justice Commission, to go through and inventory each one of these facilities, and we now have a good baseline to start with and to deal with, in terms of some fundamental permanent types of repairs that are needed to make those viable facilities.
Our goal here is to try to stabilize the facility question with the Juvenile Justice Commission, so the managers can then concentrate on the youth that are assigned to them without having to be diverted with any types of facility type issues.
The top 10, very briefly, that are in the Commission's submission would impose a second phase for the perimeter security around Jamesburg. Again, this is a public safety issue, and it's also an issue as it relates to programming. When you have a secure perimeter in the area, you can pay less attention to escapes and more attention to program. That's one of our goals -- is to have the perimeter secure so we can deal with the clients in a more productive manner.
Second area is fire safety in our institutional settings. This will include sprinklers and alarms.
The next is fire safety in our residential centers. This is our 27 community network that we are dealing with.
The fourth priority would be Jamesburg again, and this would be to hook the sanitary sewer situation out there to the Monroe Township Sewer Authority. Right now we are operating on a permit in terms of a self-contained sewer system which leaves a little bit to be desired, particularly over the long haul.
Again, at Jamesburg we are looking to demolish many of the old buildings that are out there and have been vacated for several years. Basically, our assessment is that it doesn't pay to retrofit those buildings, that they are beyond usable application to the Commission as it relates to the current priorities.
Juvenile Medium is the facility that has about 125 beds in Bordentown. This is the deep end of the system. This is where basically people who have -- can't flourish or find the program at Jamesburg productive this is where these individuals end up -- to your more violent offenders. We are looking to increase the capacity there, again, to deal with the nature of the changing Juvenile Justice problem facing this State.
The next one is additional bed space in our community program. Basically, when we look at the Juvenile Justice Commission, we look at it as a continuum of care. Basically, the residential part provides us with a less costly, less secure operation that many of the youth who were sentenced to us can do very well in. This is returning some of the youth back into the community but providing them with a strict structure that allows them to make that transition.
The eighth priority would be the expansion of those beds. The seventh, I'm sorry, is an upgrade of the current ones.
The eighth is an expansion of those beds. Again, that's needed to address that 27 percent increase.
The last two programs that I will speak about this morning deal with the Johnstone facility which is located out in Bordentown. This previously was occupied by the Department of Human Services and I think was vacated around 1990. It's right across the street from the Juvenile Medium Facility. With the assistance of Assemblyman Malone and others from the community, we have basically gone into that facility and have made a determination, in cooperation with Treasury, that many of those buildings, with not too much investment, would lend themselves very nicely to remedying some of the facility needs of the Commission. Very shortly, and with the support of the Commission, and the prior year in terms of the girls unit or the female facility will be opening. This will allow us to take currently the population of 15 young women who are in the Juvenile Medium Facility which, in many cases, is a more severe facility than is necessary-- Unfortunately, the continuing of care on the male side, you have the community placement, you have Jamesburg as a training school, and then you have Juvenile Medium, which is the deeper end as I said. There is no middle Jamesburg comparable facility for the woman's side of the equation, and this will give us that facility. This will also allow us to handle about 15 women who are currently backed up in the county detention centers and are waiting placement within the State.
Priorities 9 and 10 basically deal with the electrical system upgrade for that facility and also the water system upgrade for that facility.
Those summarize the Juvenile Justice first 10 priorities, and I would be happy to try and answer any questions on those that I can.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
I would like to welcome Mike Spencer, who is representing Senator Littell's office.
Are there any questions or comments?
If not, thank you for your comments, Tom, and the staff will be reviewing your submission.
MR. O'REILLY: Thank you for the opportunity.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
Now, our next meeting is scheduled for November 22. There is a conflict with the League of Municipalities. We are going to have an interesting meeting. Commissioners Fauver and Waldman will be here and the State Treasurer.
Now, Assemblyman Romano, you said you might still make our meeting. It's a possibility.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Mrs. Murphy?
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: I will be here.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: You will be here? I will be here then.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MURPHY: I can't take four days in Atlantic City. I'm not as young as I was, Lou.
MS. MOLNAR: Robert, we'd welcome you if you can make it.
MR. ROTH: I'll try, but I doubt I can make it.
MS. MOLNAR: Okay.
Is there any other business to come before this Commission?
If not, the meeting is adjourned.