NEW JERSEY CAPITAL BUDGETING
AND PLANNING COMMISSION
Committee Room 11 State HouseAnnex Trenton, New Jersey
October 10, 2003
MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE PRESENT:
B. Carol Molnar, Chairwoman
Michael Vrancik, Acting Executive Director
Meeting Recorded and
The Office of Legislative Services, Public Information Office,
Hearing Unit, State House Annex, PO 068, Trenton, New Jersey
B. CAROL MOLNAR (Chairwoman): Iíd like to call the meeting
to order. In accordance with the Open Public Meeting Law, the Commission
has provided adequate public notice of this meeting by giving written notice of
time, date, and location. The notice of the meeting has been filed at least 48
hours in advance by mail and faxed to the TrentonTimes and The Star-Ledger,
and filed with the office of the Secretary of State.
Iíll now do a roll call.
MR. VRANCIK (Acting Executive Director): Senator Littell. (no
George LeBlanc for Senator Bryant.
MR. LeBLANC: Here.
MR. VRANCIK: Assemblyman Cryan.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Here.
MR. VRANCIK: Beth Schermerhorn for Assemblyman Biondi.
MS. SCHERMERHORN: Here.
MR. VRANCIK: Dave Rousseau, for the State Treasurer.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: Here.
MR. VRANCIK: Kevin McCabe, Department of Labor. (no
Gary Brune, OMB.
MR. BRUNE: Here.
MR. VRANCIK: Patrick Brannigan, Governorís Office.
MR. BRANNIGAN: Here.
MR. VRANCIK: Mr. Roth.
MR. ROTH: Here.
MR. VRANCIK: Mr. Annese.
MR. ANNESE: Here.
MR. VRANCIK: Chairperson Molnar.
MS. MOLNAR: Here.
MR. VRANCIK: We have a quorum.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
At the last meeting, we tabled the minutes. Do I hear a motion to
approve the minutes?
MR. ROTH: So moved.
MS. MOLNAR: Do I hear a second?
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Second.
MS. MOLNAR: Any discussion? (no response)
If not, weíll take a vote on the minutes.
MR. VRANCIK: George LeBlanc for Senator Bryant.
MR. LeBLANC: Yes.
MR. VRANCIK: Assemblyman Cryan.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Yes.
MR. VRANCIK: Beth Schermerhorn for Assemblyman Biondi.
MS. SCHERMERHORN: Yes.
MR. VRANCIK: Dave Rousseau for the Treasurer.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: Yes.
MR. VRANCIK: Gary Brune.
MR. BRUNE: Yes.
MR. VRANCIK: Patrick Brannigan.
MR. BRANNIGAN: Yes.
MR. VRANCIK: Mr. Roth.
MR. ROTH: Yes.
MR. VRANCIK: Mr. Annese.
MR. ANNESE: Yes.
MR. VRANCIK: Ms. Molnar.
MS. MOLNAR: Yes.
Motion carries, right?
MR. VRANCIK: Easily.
MS. MOLNAR: Okay.
Is there an Executive Directorís report?
MR. VRANCIK: Not at this time.
MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Weíll take our departments now at this
time. Weíll do the Commission of Higher Ed.
Iíd like to welcome James Sulton and Dr. Susan Cole.
J A M E S E. S U L T O N JR., Ph.D.: Good morning, Madam Chair and
members of the Commission. Thank you for inviting me to appear before you
today. I am Jim Sulton, Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on
Higher Education. It is my pleasure to appear today along with Dr. Susan Cole,
President of Montclair State University. We are both here to offer brief
presentations and discuss capital needs of New Jerseyís senior public colleges
and universities with you. Following my remarks, Dr. Cole will offer comments,
and then we would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
During the regular monthly meetings of the Commission on Higher
Education and the New Jerseyís Presidents Council in September, CHE staff
presented a draft of Stage 1 of the long-range plan for higher education, a
Blueprint for Excellence. The Commission is statutorily responsible for
developing and regularly updating a long-range plan for higher education with
the advice and assistance of the Presidents Council.
In the spring of 2002, we kicked off a new planning process for
higher education in our state. Over 500 stakeholders have been involved in the
planning process, which included Governor McGreeveyís Education Summit and
several public fora held throughout the state -- a vision statement, articulating
the shared responsibility of the State and its colleges and universities to create
and sustain a higher education system that is among the best in the world, lies
at the core of our work. Seven principal State objectives push us toward the
achievement of that vision.
More detailed action plans and performance measures will be
evolving as the plan progresses. During the month of October, we will seek
broad, public input on the draft before adopting its final stage in November.
The capacity of New Jerseyís colleges and universities to fulfill the educational
needs of students in our state has been a central concern throughout the
planning process. The plan recommends an annual State appropriation for the
regular renewal of facilities at public research universities and State colleges and
universities, for the maintenance of the Stateís Higher Education physical needs.
The Commission is currently analyzing institutional responses to
a capital needs questionnaire that complements our 2001 capital planning
report. This new information will inform efforts over the next year to develop
a State policy and predictable funding, to promote rational planning and assist
these institutions with the ongoing maintenance and renewal of campus physical
In the interim, however, it is important to recognize that the State
has only been able to provide periodic funding to maintain the capital assets of
its public research universities and State colleges and universities. Our recent
research indicates a need for more than $170 million to address preservation and
maintenance, regulatory compliance, and deferred maintenance needs that will
not be met in conjunction with major renovation and construction projects
anticipated over the next six years. The senior public colleges and universities
have not received a direct capital funding appropriation for this purpose since
Fiscal Year 1999. I respectfully urge you to consider funding in Fiscal Year 2005
to prevent a further backlog of projects.
Nationally recognized standards for annual maintenance of colleges
and universities specifically recommend that between 1.5 percent and 3 percent
of current replacement value be dedicated annually to maintenance and renewal.
For Fiscal Year 2005, the Commission recommends an appropriation of $36.3
million, which is 1 percent of current replacement value, estimated at $3.6
billion, along with a required institutional match of 0.5 percent by the
institutions, to avoid additional deferral of critical maintenance and compliance
S U S A N A. C O L E, Ph.D.: Is that on (referring to PA microphone)?
DR. SULTON: Yes.
DR. COLE: Okay.
Good morning, Madam Chair, members of the Commission. Iím
Susan Cole, President of Montclair State University, and Iím here today
representing New Jerseyís 12 senior public colleges and universities: The College
of New Jersey; Kean University; Montclair State University; New Jersey City
University; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Ramapo College of New Jersey;
the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; Rowan University; Rutgers, the
State University of New Jersey; Thomas Edison State College; the University of
Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; and William Paterson University of New
Jersey. I appreciate the opportunity to address you today. I will keep my
comments brief, and Iíll be glad to answer any questions you might have.
New Jersey, unlike the majority of other states, does not adequately
or regularly invest in the capital facilities of its public colleges and universities,
and the consequent urgent capital facilities and major equipment needs of the
Stateís campuses have been documented for years. A recent survey conducted
by the Commission on Higher Education identified unmet capital needs of more
than 3.7 billion just for New Jerseyís 12 senior public colleges and universities.
For decades, the Stateís institutions have been left essentially on
their own by the State to make the choice between inadequate facilities, on the
one hand, and on the other hand, independently selling bonds and laying off the
obligations of debt service on operating budgets that increasingly must rely on
tuition revenues to sustain the quality of the campus environment. The Stateís
public colleges and universities are, as a consequence, among the most leveraged
public institutions in the nation and are already carrying more than 1.2 billion
in debt, and that debt is going to increase significantly again this year.
Just to give you a few limited examples of what Iím talking about:
The College of New Jersey, for example, recently completed two
science buildings, two parking structures, and has a new library, another parking
structure and a residential complex under construction.
Richard Stockton College has planned 29 million in repair and
renovation projects for the academic year.
Montclair State University, where our enrollment is growing
extremely rapidly, has recently completed a parking garage, four new residence
halls, and has under construction the largest academic building ever built on the
campus, a theater, and a massive upgrade of the entire campus utilities
Rutgers, in continuing collaboration with the redevelopment efforts
in New Brunswick, is currently constructing a public safety building and student
UMDNJ has underway approximately 500 million in a building
program across its campuses.
A number of New Jerseyís institutions are approaching the limits of
what the bond-rating agencies assess as responsible debt, and debt service
obligations are an increasing portion of underfunded operating budgets. A
number of our institutions are carrying particularly high levels of debt per
student, and for the nine State colleges and universities that have been
particularly disadvantaged in receipt of capital funding from the State, debt is
already equal to over 30 percent of the replacement value of our campuses.
Lack of support for the upgrading and expansion of capital facilities of its
colleges and universities has a long-term and a negative impact for the State.
One of the more dangerous results, the inadequacy of the science and high
technology and specialized facilities on New Jerseyís campuses, clearly will
affect the Stateís ability to remain competitive in the high-knowledge economy.
One of the more visible results is the deficit in the types of amenities found on
the campuses of the nationís great public universities, such as adequate
residence halls, and athletic and recreational facilities. And one of the more
compelling results is the dramatic lack of capacity we have to meet the current
demand for higher education by the people of this state.
The critical point here is that the under-building of New Jerseyís
public colleges and universities is not marginal, it is very dramatic. New Jerseyís
ranking has just dropped again, and the State now ranks 45th out of 50 states
in its public four-year enrollment per capita. Just to reach the national mean,
New Jersey would need to serve 68,000 more students -- just to reach the
national mean. This dramatic shortfall in capacity coincides with current
projections of the fifth highest growth rate in the nation in the number of high
school graduates in the decade between 2001 and 2011. We could have as
many as 36,000 more students seeking enrollment in the Stateís institutions
each year. The results of the under-building of New Jersey public higher
education become apparent as soon as one looks at states of comparable size.
Each year, New Jersey educates 20,000 students fewer than North Carolina;
25,000 fewer than Georgia; 35,000 fewer than Virginia; 47,000 fewer than
Indiana; and a whopping 130,000 fewer than Michigan -- all states of
New Jersey came later than other states to a fully developed sense
of the importance of public higher education, both in supporting the economic
development of the State and in assuring that economic and other societal
obstacles do not limit educational opportunity for all who have the ability to
benefit from it. But the time has come to catch up with history and for the State
to begin to think strategically about the investment it must make to secure the
Over the past year, the idea of taking a proposal for a major, general
obligation bond to the voters to support capital construction on the Stateís
campuses has received increasing attention. Hopefully, there will be serious
consideration given to such an initiative, which would enable the State to
address its serious capacity problem, enable the Stateís institutions to stand at
the forefront of research and the high knowledge disciplines that will be critical
to the Stateís future competitiveness, and address the educational needs of its
A major bond, if properly structured, could have a very significant
impact on meeting the urgent backlog of higher education facilitiesí needs, and
could have a profound and long-term positive impact on both the economy and
the quality of life in New Jersey. Such a bond would require the active support
of all sectors of government, as well as the business and higher education
communities. And speaking for the entire higher education community in the
state, I can assure you that we would mobilize all our resources to work with
government, the business community, and the communities throughout the state
to assure the success on the ballot of such an initiative.
Beyond a potential GO bond, it is time for New Jersey, from a
long-term policy perspective, to come to terms with the fact, as have most other
states in the nation, that its public colleges and universities need a regularly
recurring source of funds to maintain, upgrade, and expand their facilities. As
important as a bond would be, and it would be very important indeed, such a
one-time event needs to be buttressed with ongoing attention to the continuing
needs of these heavily used and critically important institutions. An annual
appropriation for maintenance and renewal, as recommended by the
Commission on Higher Education, would be a modest but a very useful start to
a renewed commitment by the State to sustain its public campuses for the
education of New Jerseyís current and future students.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
I had a few questions for my fellow members up here. Is there
strong support from the Governorís Office and Treasury regarding a major bond
for higher ed, or any supporters?
MR. VRANCIK: David.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: I believe that the Vagelos
Commission -- thatís one of the things that theyíre -- or which -- one of the
commissions that is looking at it, at the total restructuring and everything, is
looking at that topic. I think weíll just wait to see what they have to
MS. MOLNAR: Are they also looking at the possibility of an
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: I donít think theyíre looking
at that. I think theyíre looking at the overall capital needs. On that issue of an
annual appropriation, what Iíd like to ask President Cole and Director Sulton
is -- you say that most states have this. Can you give us some information on
these states that have it? And just as a point of reference, if in an ideal world,
yes, we would all like to put 1 percent of our capital plan aside every year. Itís
a shame that during the 1990s, when we had lots of money, we werenít doing
that. Now, when we have hard times, we donít have-- Just for reference, if we
were to do that for State buildings, which we probably should do just as well as
the colleges, we would have to put -- what was it, Gary? Itís 12 billion, so weíd
have to put $120 million aside that wouldnít be available for other things in the
budget, and thatís what it comes down to. A budget always comes down to a
choice between, do you fix a building or do you provide current services to the
public? And normally fixing a building, just like in your own household budget
sometimes, fixing something gets put aside because of current expenses. But I
would just ask for information. You referenced other states, and Iíd like to see
that information and whether or not, for the last three or four years, they have
still kept up with their commitment as well.
DR. COLE: Mr. Rousseau, Iíd be glad, and I know the
Commission would be glad as well, to provide you with detailed information
about how other states provide capital support to their public institutions.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: And also on ideas about
how they fund them, as well, if itís a regular fund appropriation, if itís some
DR. COLE: Yes.
DR. SULTON: Dr. Cole is right, Mr. Rousseau. And I would add
that in several states you find they have a capital budget for higher education,
and that is a distinct difference when it comes to New Jersey -- that we donít
have pay-as-you-go capital on a regular basis. And therefore, when hard times
kick in, as you aptly described looking at the í90s as compared with the current
decade, they have already a base, that we donít have, on which to build.
MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Brannigan.
MR. BRANNIGAN: Iíd like to address the issue. The Governorís
Office is very involved and is working with and communicating with all of the
sectors of higher education, both the research universities, the four-year
institutions, the community colleges, and the independents. There are a number
of major issues occurring right now, and they are all interrelated. You have the
Jobs, Economic, Growth Commission (sic), sometimes called the Vagelos
Committee (sic) because heís chair of it, and you have the restructuring of higher
education. You had the study that was conducted of the Commission on
Science and Technology, all of which look at the economic growth of our state,
and providing for the quality of life of New Jersey. New Jersey is a state that
will depend on having a robust higher education community.
But the Governorís Office is consistent in its message that these are
all interrelated, and that the restructuring of the research universities is very
important, as is capacity building, but that we donít think that we will be able
to move ahead unless you move ahead on addressing all of the issues, rather
than a single issue. But we are deeply committed to building our higher
education system to be the system that Dr. Cole described, and Dr. Sulton, as
a world-class system, because we realize that our future in the State depends
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Can I ask a follow-up on that?
MS. MOLNAR: Sure.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: If we had a funding mechanism in
place, would tuitions drop?
DR. COLE: Would tuitions drop? It would depend on what
happens with operating support and capital support.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: If there was what you described, which
we just discussed, some sort of current and on-going revenue stream for capital,
would tuitions drop? And Iím going to ask the same question later in terms of
capacity. But if that was available today, would tuitions drop?
DR. COLE: It depends on how much capital support and how
much operating support the institutions receive. The public institutions in the
State raise tuitions only to the extent that they need to do to meet their needs,
and if the operating support is there and the capital support is there, then you
donít put the burden on student tuition.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: I know how it works. I just wanted
to understand. I guess the answer is, is realistically, probably not.
DR. SULTON: I might qualify it a little bit more. I think that you
have a reasonable expectation there, but it would differ from one institution to
another, as to whether or not, because the tuition-setting is an individual
institutional decision. Itís hard to say, flat out, if itís dropped.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Well, 9 percent seemed to be a pretty
common institution number this year.
DR. SULTON: Well, New Jersey has held under double digits for
a couple of years now, which is admirable, and in comparative context, no
question about it. Other states have gone way up into the double digits now,
even into scary territory -- 40 percent.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: I was following up on that topic. I
have some other questions when youíre ready. Can I do that now?
MS. MOLNAR: Yes, sure.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: President Cole, with the -- just so that
I understand, in terms of the numbers on Page 2 of your wonderful statement
here, are they apples to apples? Is New Jerseyís 20,000 students fewer than
North Carolina when the numbers go up? Is that full-time to full-time, or does
that include our -- what about our county colleges? I recognize youíre here in
terms of higher ed, but is it apples to apples, just so that I understand it?
DR. COLE: That is an apples-to-apples comparison, but it is only
of the four-year public institutions. It does not address the community college
comparisons. I can tell you, from the research that I have done, that you would
find that New Jersey educates approximately the same number of students in its
community colleges as states of comparable size. The major deficit is in fouryear
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: And in the four years of full-time
DR. COLE: This is not full-time only. Itís full-time and part-time.
But the predominant majority of the students are full-time in both baskets of
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: My other question was, for the
priorities that you listed -- I guess this goes to you, Director -- there is-- I have
what makes up the 36 million, thatís part of your testimony, and I read through
each listing of that. But what I donít get is a sense of priorities. Like I see,
Rowan wants a million-six, New Jersey wants a million-four. Is there a set of
priorities within that, or is it just by institution, or is there something that
crosses institutional lines that would be able to guide us, because I didnít see
DR. SULTON: Well, in answer to all those questions is, yes, sir.
The institutions have facilities and master plans which include a prioritization
of their projects.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Yes, I got that.
DR. SULTON: And so, we have to go institution by institution to
give you that breakdown.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Right. So I donít have any -- I have
that. I read through that stuff for each thing--
DR. SULTON: Okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: --but thereís nothing that says, in terms
of your world, "Hey, this priority at William Paterson counts more than this at
Rowan or vice versa."
DR. SULTON: Nothing so centralized as that.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Okay. And so, you would follow the
1 percent guideline or the half of percent guideline in order to try and determine
some priorities, or youíd leave that up to us if we were trying to figure out an
amount. If we were going less than 36 million-- Suppose we were going less
than your request, what sort of guidance would you give us if we were looking
at priorities? Why donít I put it to you that way. Do you follow me?
DR. SULTON: Yes.
DR. COLE: Oh, yes.
DR. SULTON: We would give you whatever guidance you need
to break it out.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Okay. All right. Thank you.
DR. COLE: I think, basically, what youíre asking us is, we could
do it by lowering the percentage across the board or by prioritizing the needs of
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Thatís correct. Thank you.
MS. MOLNAR: Any other questions or comments?
MR. BRUNE: I have a question for Dr. Sulton, for a second. I
understand and I heard fully well the point about being leveraged to the hilt.
But sprinkled throughout the project was -- appear to be some projects that
might have their own revenue stream, things like parking facilities, new residence
halls. I want to make sure I understand the rationalization for where the State
comes in. If you have an example where youíre building a new parking facility,
wouldnít that be a perfect opportunity to leverage something?
DR. SULTON: Dr. Cole might like to speak to that as well. From
my planning purposes at the Commission, we have separated out all revenuegenerating
projects from others. But as someone who runs an institution, sheíd
probably be in a better position to speak to that.
DR. COLE: Normally, when an institution will put in its capital
priorities, it will put in both the revenue and non-revenue generating projects,
so you have an overall sense of everything that is needing to be built. We would
look to the State, primarily, for funding for non-revenue projects. The reason
knowing about the revenue projects is important is, because even though theyíre
revenue projects, when the rating agencies come in, they count them against our
balance sheet because we are responsible for them. And so they do have an
impact on how the institution is rated and our overall leveraging in terms of
borrowing the funds.
MR. BRUNE: Thank you.
MS. MOLNAR: Any other questions or comments? (no response)
If not, on a positive note, I read somewhere -- I guess it wasU.S.
News -- that New Jersey residents get one of the best values for their dollars at
our higher ed. So I want to thank you for looking out for our students, and I
want to thank you for your presentation,
DR. COLE: Thank you.
DR. SULTON: Thank you.
MS. MOLNAR: Our next department is the Department of Law
and Public Safety. Iíd like to welcome Don (sic) Foster. Dan Foster, Iím sorry.
Typo. Dan Foster.
D A N I E L W. F O S T E R: Before I begin, I would like to introduce
Captain (sic) Plaza, to my left, from the Division of State Police. Heís the
Bureau Chief in our Budget Office.
Good morning, Chairman (sic) Molnar, members of the Capital
Planning Commission (sic), and Acting Executive Director Vrancik. On behalf
of the Attorney General, Harvey, thank you for this opportunity to outline the
Department of Law and Public Safetyís capital budget request for Fiscal Year
2005. I would also like to thank the Commission for the support it has
provided to the Department over the past several years.
The State Police Troop C Headquarters in Hamilton was recently
occupied and the adjacent Technology Complex will soon be completed.
Funding provided by the Capital Commission has given the Troop C
Headquarters building, the forensic laboratory, and the high-tech criminal
science facility new state-of-the-art equipment. Through this facility, the State
Police will now have the tools to better and more efficiently perform its mission
-- from DNA and ballistics testing, to compiling and reporting crime statistics,
to investigating high-technology computer crime, to providing sophisticated
Concerning the Department of Law and Public Safetyís capital
request for Fiscal Year 2005, our first capital priority is the 9/11
Communications Center in Totowa. As the responsibilities placed on the State
Police increase, the ability to effectively communicate is of the utmost
importance. This request would fund the construction of a much-needed
communication center at Totowa in northern New Jersey, and the purchase of
the new radio equipment for the Totowa, West Trenton, and Buena Operational
Totowa is operating in space that was originally designed as a report
room for the Totowa Patrol Station. The Totowa Communications Center
remains overcrowded, in need of repairs and numerous upgrades. It is time to
construct a new facility for this important function.
The radio equipment for existing communications centers will
provide those centers with state-of-the-art radio equipment, which is on par with
the equipment recently installed at the new Hamilton Complex. As part of the
aftermath of September 11, we have realized that all of our communications
centers must be equipped to handle large-scale crises, as well as the increased
volume of calls handled on a typical day.
Our second priority is a request for capital preservation funds to
address fire safety at the Division of Consumer Affairís Weights and Measures
facility in Woodbridge. This is a facility where millions of dollars worth of
sophisticated equipment remains at risk due to the need for a sprinkler system.
The equipment at risk includes precision testing scales and balances, calibrated
measuring devices, and other precision instruments used to verify the accuracy
of commercial equipment, pharmaceutical scales, and supermarket weighing
We are also requesting funds for the critical repairs to the Regional
Medical Examiner and State Toxicology Laboratory at the Albano Institute of
Forensic Science in Newark. This institute is a 22-year-old, State-owned facility
used by the New Jersey Medical Examiner as a base of operations for mass
disaster planning, training, and other medical examiner functions. It is the
largest morgue in the state, and serves as the staging area for catastrophes.
Several modifications are needed to ensure the continued health and safety of
those that work in this facility, as well as a consistent quality of scientific
We are requesting that the HVAC system be replaced, as well as
various floors and refrigeration units at the Medical Examinerís office. In
addition, we are requesting that the parking lot be resurfaced.
Another serious concern is the condition of our aging helicopter
fleet. This yearís request includes funding for the purchase of three light, twinturbine
engine helicopters and two intermediate twin-turbine engine helicopters.
Recent events have demonstrated the need for a rapid response in
crisis situations. We have examined our airborne law enforcement mission with
emphasis on domestic preparedness, as well as our air ambulance
responsibilities. Three of the four aircraft used for the Air Ambulance Program
are more than 14 years old. As these aircraft continue to age, maintenance and
repairs occur more frequently and become more costly. The replacement of
these ships is essential.
Numerous State Police facilities require continuing fire safety
retrofits, roof repairs, HVAC replacements, and critical repairs. These requests
remain high on our list of priorities. Over the years, the Commission has
provided funding to minimize emergency repairs. This request is made in the
hope that, once again, you will provide funding to help keep our State facilities
Another critical need for the Division of State Police is the
modernization and replacement of the telephone system. Currently, patrol
stations are using an antiquated, 23-year-old telephone system. This system
disrupts phone service for lengthy periods of time, and citizens are unable to
contact our patrol stations. The inability to contact our road stations by
conventional telephone service, even for a short period of time, potentially
compromises the safety of both our citizens and our State Troopers.
Our radio equipment request asks for $10 million to continue
funding for overhauling our analog radio system. We are fortunate to have
received a $30 million Federal grant that can help fund this project, but
additional State funding is necessary to complete it. I cannot emphasize enough
the need for the reliable communication equipment and the need to modernize
the radio system in New Jersey. Simply put, radio communications are a
Over the past few years, funding was made available through the
State to develop many of the critical internal systems needed by the Division of
State Police to manage their resources in a cost [effective] and efficient manner.
Despite many significant improvements, there is still a long list of critical
internal information systems that need to be built. There is still no automated
inventory system to keep track of the thousands of materials used by the
Division. We have yet to develop a comprehensive personnel system, which is
the integral part of meeting the requirements of the consent decree.
The Division of State Police cannot lose the momentum it has
gained since the advent of the Federal consent decree. Our Fiscal Year 2005
capital budget IT request is aimed at keeping the critical infrastructure in place,
upgrading obsolete equipment, and developing those systems necessary to
support law enforcement in the 21st Century.
As you know, plans for the new State Police Emergency Operations
Center at West Trenton will continue to move forward with construction
proposals that are expected in mid-October, and an anticipated award date in
December of this year. Our Fiscal Year 2005 capital request seeks your support
to buy furniture and specialized emergency operations equipment that are not
included in the funding.
The need for homeland security forces the issue of our ability to
provide security for a number of vulnerable ports, sensitive military facilities,
nuclear power plants, refineries, and other strategic locations. The purchase of
five, fully equipped, 44-foot Sea Ark marine vessels is requested to strengthen
Marine Police operations. The Marine Police presence at Lake Hopatcong
remains critical because, year round, it is the most heavily boat-populated lake
in the state. The State Police facility at Lake Hopatcong is presently a
renovated bait shop, built in 1948, and is inadequate. We are requesting funds
to purchase a property adjacent to the existing space.
We also look forward to the development of a new State Police
Professional Learning Center and Headquarters in West Trenton. Construction
of this facility would address the State Policeís training needs, as defined by the
Over the years, funding has been requested for the purchase of two
vehicles to replace two severely outdated Weights and Measures trucks. These
trucks test the weighing scales, used by the State Police, for enforcement of truck
weight and size regulations, and they also are used to test the accuracy of
shipping scales and container sizes.
We have also included other requests, like the purchase of lease
facilities, mobile crime-scene laboratories, regional training center, and
renovations which are all critical to the mission of the State Police.
Your continued support and funding will help to maintain our
infrastructure. Again, I want to thank you for the support you have given us in
the past, and I will be happy to address any questions you may have.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
Any questions or comments?
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: I have a couple.
MS. MOLNAR: Okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Is that all right?
MS. MOLNAR: Assemblyman Cryan.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Thanks.
The first one -- and good morning and thanks for your time and
your testimony -- is on the 9/11 Center. Any Federal money out there? And if
so, whatís the budget for the Federal money?
MR. FOSTER: Weíve actually looked at all the resources that are
available, and we have not been able to find anything else to be able to address
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Even if we got the cash from
Washington that we should get for the Homeland Security and the response to
9/11, thereís nothing there that would help us in terms of building this facility?
MR. FOSTER: Actually, most -- we have a statewide list of first
responder grant money thatís--
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Thatís out there.
MR. FOSTER: There have been many projects identified. Again,
they are done in priority order. Thereís nothing for the 911 Totowa Center at
this point. I mean, they are operational. It is an overcrowded situation, and it
really needs to be addressed.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: I donít have any issue with the
addressing it. I just find it -- Iíll be honest with you -- surprising that thereís not
any money available for a center that would be -- what -- 20 miles from New
York City, or so? That just doesnít make a lot of sense to me. Thereís been
applications that have been denied -- is that what weíre saying -- or we never
MR. FOSTER: I donít know that. I will go back and check on that
before -- and just to ensure that itís not on the list or hasnít been requested.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Iíd like to know that, and I know that
in particular -- like, I represent a city with a port and the first responder money
that theyíre asking for there seems to be high dollar. And I guess I just want to
understand what part of the Federal Government works with that. And if there
isnít any, Iíd like to know that through the Chair.
MR. FOSTER: And through the Chair, we will provide you the
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Iím in no particular order, but on Page
14, I want to understand the outdated Weights and Measures trucks. And the
reason for that is the highway safety initiative, thatís a concern of mine. Route
78 runs through -- Iíll be selfish and say -- my district, but weíve all seen the
highway safety initiatives put out there by the government. Does this have any
impact? I mean, whatís the cost of the measurements, the truck safety?
Because I couldnít pick that up looking through the priorities. Maybe I just
MR. FOSTER: We have a $300,000 request for the Weights and
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Whatís the issue now? Are you saying
that they donít work or they are outdated or-- Weíve seen the administration
take a very pro-active approach with the trucks that are too heavy, and a
concern about public safety in that regard. My interest is, is what does this do
to help combat that?
MR. FOSTER: Well, I can offer that the vehicles are 1984 vehicles.
And then, due to the age and the wear and the condition, they have deteriorated
to the point where they need to be replaced.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: You know Iím going to ask you the life
span, the other questions. Iíll come back. How long should they last? Have
they been calibrated? Are they properly maintained? Through the Chair, I
would appreciate it if you could just follow up with some more information on
that for me.
MR. FOSTER: Certainly.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: With the facility thatís opened now,
as you mentioned in the opening part of your statements today, with the new
headquarters and the DNA facility, I was wondering -- because we sat here last
year and talked about the backlog of DNA testing -- if thereís been any
reduction in that yet, or do we foresee some and when? Iím not asking you to
have that today. Iím asking, through the Chair, if you could provide that.
MR. FOSTER: Okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: And my last question is, is we were
chatting a little bit. Was there just some Federal money sent out for helicopters
MR. FOSTER: No.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: No, nothing. And whatís the life span
of a helicopter and a medi-vac helicopter?
L I E U T E N A N T R O B E R T P L A Z A: Sir, for a corporate
helicopter, the life span is approximately -- they say about 15 to 17 years. For
a helicopter thatís used for medi-vac, they estimate -- the industry standard is
probably about 12 to 14 years. The ships that are currently in use are probably
approaching 16 years old. Let me just clarify that, I think theyíre around 16.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: And these are all -- three helicopters--
I donít know the difference between the light, twin-turbine, and an intermediate.
Iíll be perfectly honest with you. Are these all medi-vac helicopters?
LIEUTENANT PLAZA: No, sir. The three light, twin-turbine
engine helicopters would be utilized to replace our general police mission, for the
most part. The general police mission, right now, is serviced by three, singleengine
Bell aircraft. A consultant survey that was done approximately seven to
eight years ago -- Iím sorry, maybe even longer that that now -- suggested that
single-engine aircraft should not be used in a state as congested as New Jersey,
flying over congested areas, as well as flying over water and operations of that
nature. Weíve been utilizing these aircraft. They have been performing
admirably, but weíre at the point now where if we had transferred to a twinengine
light-- The light and the intermediate are just basically -- the capacity of
the aircraft to, maybe, carry loads or to perform mission specifications. But
ideally, it would be nice if we could have five ships of the same nature. But
fiscally, it would be more responsible to request the lighter weight ship for the
general police mission, which is probably about a third of the costs.
The medi-vac ships, the twin-engine intermediates that you see --
the cost of the ship is, roughly, around $10 million. That ship would be needed
for the medi-vac service, because obviously you have a flight crew of
approximately four people, and then if you were transporting two additional --
it just needs a stronger capacity. The performance that itís asked -- the mission
that itís asked to perform is a much more critical mission. Theyíre asked to fly
in all kinds of weather conditions, land sometimes in parking lots to pick up
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: So, if a fellow was looking at these
five, and theyíre grouped really two and three--
LIEUTENANT PLAZA: Correct.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: --what priority of the two and the three
is -- which one is first and which one is second?
LIEUTENANT PLAZA: I would have to say the medi-vac ships,
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: So the two are, versus the three?
LIEUTENANT PLAZA: Yes, sir.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: I have a couple more, Madam Chair,
if thatís all right?
I was surprised that the second priority was for sprinklers at
110,000 in Woodbridge. Is that right?
MR. FOSTER: Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: I know where it is. Itís near the prison
down there, right? Off Route 1, I think. Is that right? Is that where the facility
is? Wood building, brick? What kind of building is it? Is it a fire hazard, I
guess? It might be the way to ask.
MR. FOSTER: At this time, I donít know what the building is
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Okay. I guess thatís it.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
MR. ROTH: Madam Chair?
MS. MOLNAR: Yes.
MR. ROTH: Perhaps Iím having a senior moment, but I seem to
recall over the last couple of years that weíve approved -- this Commission has
approved the purchase of helicopters for the State Police. Am I correct? Were
they purchased? Whatís their condition? Can anybody answer that question,
MR. FOSTER: We did have an approp a couple of years ago. I
think there was fiscal constraints. We couldnít go forward with it at the time.
And then there was language that provided us with the ability to go forward with
helicopters. But at the same time, weíre faced with some real tight fiscal
MR. ROTH: So, weíre really talking today about the same
helicopters we approved two or three years ago?
MR. FOSTER: For the most part, yes.
MR. ROTH: Thank you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: I had one other one. Iím sorry. I
remembered what it was.
MS. MOLNAR: Okay, Assemblyman. Thatís okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: The Medical Examiner -- and do we
share in Priority 3, in the largest morgue in Newark, the stuff thatís done there.
And I donít understand the function that well. Is it something that services
counties, as well. Is this something where maybe--
MR. FOSTER: Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: --other-- Should counties or other
municipalities, or whatever else is serviced, chip in, for lack of a better way to
put it, or is this something that we provide as a service? Maybe you could just
explain it for me a little bit?
MR. FOSTER: If I have it correct, I believe what happened was,
there was a charge several years back, but then it became an issue that the State
would provide the service statewide. Let me confirm that.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Okay. So this is a service we provide
to every county?
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER FROM AUDIENCE: Four.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Four counties. They are?
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER FROM AUDIENCE: Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and
MS. MOLNAR: Could you identify the speaker for our court
MR. FOSTER: Yes. Thatís John Hartman, the Chief
Administrative Officer from the Division of Criminal Justice.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: So what -- we actually provide
autopsy, morgue-type services for these four counties?
J O H N N. H A R T M A N: (speaking from audience) Under contract,
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Okay. So they pay.
MR. HARTMAN: They pay for the services, for all the operating
MS. MOLNAR: Could you come up to the mike? Thank you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: So these counties pay for this service?
MR. HARTMAN: They pay for the operating costs of the
autopsies. Thatís correct. But not for the physical plant. This was built about
20 years ago, when the State operated the facility.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Okay. So what weíre looking for here
is-- Does the place operate at a profit, a loss?
MR. HARTMAN: No. Just at a-- No. It operates to break even.
We only charge the counties for what it costs us to perform the service.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Gotta ask, sitting here, on this. Why
wouldnít we just go to the counties and ask each to throw in a hundred each?
MR. HARTMAN: We have asked and--
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: And they said, "No, go back here."
MR. HARTMAN: --theyíve been unreceptive, particularly the larger
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Which I can figure out which ones they
are, from here. (laughter)
And my last thing is the boats. Do we share services with the State
Troopers? I mean, Union County has a county police that provides port service
with marine-type stuff. You mentioned Lake Hopatcong, which I donít know
much about, but do we really need boats at this point? To be honest--
LIEUTENANT PLAZA: Sir, the boats that are used-- I mean, we
patrol the Hudson Bay and also all the refineries, and all along the Delaware
River, as well as, we assist the Coast Guard with any events that are going on up
by Liberty State Park and in that areas. Most of our ships that are in the --
probably above the 32-foot range, the larger ships that we need, are probably
1987 vintage and older. The requests that we have -- I believe itís for-- Theyíre
a 44-foot ship. Three of our larger ships have been placed out of service this
past year, with an additional five that have been identified for replacement, as
1987 vintage and older.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: How many identified for replacement?
You said three out of service, and one more?
LIEUTENANT PLAZA: Three are out of service, and there are an
additional five that we have that are beyond their life span, to put it easily.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: So thatís why weíre looking for five
boats, five vessels.
LIEUTENANT PLAZA: Yes, sir.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Okay. All right.
MS. MOLNAR: Any other questions or comments?
MR. BRANNIGAN: Just a comment on the helicopter issue. The
Governorís Office has been in communications with the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security about supplying New Jersey with the infra-ray (sic)
equipment for our State Police helicopters, which would enable them to
dramatically improve the security around Newark Airport (sic), by being able to
identify potential terrorists hidden in different areas. The Department has been
optimistic on supplying us with at least two shipsí equipment, which is
approximately $2 to $3 million. So itís critically important, particularly if you
remember the articles about the manpad, rocket-launched missiles, which were
attempted to be smuggled into the country.
So the issue of helicopters, because of homeland security, is a far
more significant issue today than it was two or three years ago. The driving
force, really, is our ability to reduce vulnerability in areas that weíre very
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you, Mr. Brannigan.
MR. ROTH: Would those helicopters, coming from the Federal
MR. BRANNIGAN: No, itís equipment for our current fleet.
MR. ROTH: Oh, itís equipment for, not helicopters.
MR. BRANNIGAN: Yes. Itís infra-ray equipment for our fleet.
MR. ROTH: Okay, Iím sorry.
MR. VRANCIK: The request for the equipment at Totowa --
thereís a 911 Commission that meets regularly. I know theyíre addressing a
statewide 911 communications network. Is this consistent with that, or a part
of that overall effort?
MR. FOSTER: It is consistent with the needs addressed by, and in
conjunction with, the 911 Commission.
MR. VRANCIK: I guess I didnít ask the question right. Is it a
critical part of that network, or is it ancillary to, I guess, is a better way of--
MR. FOSTER: Itís a critical part of it.
MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Rousseau.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: Just a follow-up on a couple
of Assemblyman Cryanís questions. And I still believe that we are going to --
and when heís done with his legislative career, weíre going to hire him in
Treasury, but-- (laughter)
The issue about the 911 center and his question to you about
Federal funds. There are Federal funds that you have available. Youíve just
decided to prioritize other things with those Federal funds instead. Correct?
MR. FOSTER: Yes.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: I mean, this is a decision
you made to do other things. Could you give us a list of what things you believe
are a higher priority than this, that youíre using with those existing Federal
funds? So for us to look at -- maybe this Commission believes that you should
be using your Federal funds for this, instead of some of the other things that
youíre looking at. Because you didnít say-- You were clear. You said youíve
just decided to come for State funds for this. You have Federal funds available.
I think itís something like $120 million, or something. I know some of itís
dedicated to certain things, but if you could just outline why -- where youíre
spending your Federal money so we can take a look at it and decide, and the
Legislature later on. Maybe itís better that, if this is really a high priority, maybe
we hold off on something you have on that list. We donít know whatís on that
list. Maybe everything on that list is a higher priority. Maybe it isnít. If we can
And the other thing. Iím going to go back to these Weights and
Measures trucks that he had. Iím just amazed that thereís no-- It appears from
reading this, are these basically trucks that you use, that you know theyíre a
certain weight, you put them on the weights and measures, on this scale, just to
verify the scale is correct? Is that what Iím reading that these trucks are?
MR. FOSTER: That is correct.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: Thereís no other--
MR. FOSTER: They have 5,000-pound scales on them that--
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: Thereís no other-- I mean,
technology has changed so much in the last 20 years -- thereís no other way to
check these scales other than putting something that supposedly weighs what it
is onto the scale? I was reading what they were used for, then I kept on going
back to it. I wasnít clear. But then, the more I read it, it seemed like all you do
is put these trucks on the scale to make sure that the scale reads 5,000 pounds,
or whatever. Is there no other way to do that than to spend $300,000 on two
MR. FOSTER: Well, they actually go as much as 25,000 pounds.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: But thereís no other way,
with technology, to check a scale anymore, other than putting something on it
to check it?
MR. FOSTER: I donít know of any other, unless-- I can check
with the Weights and Measures people.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: I mean, are we finding out
that weíre having major problems with our scales?
MR. FOSTER: Yes. Itís just deteriorating. They have frequent
mechanical repairs, and itís getting to the point where--
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: No. Which has the frequent
mechanical repairs, the truck that youíre checking the scales with or the scales?
Because Iím reading this as these are the trucks that you check the weight of --
you check the functioning of the scales with these trucks.
MR. FOSTER: Itís the actual trucks.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: And thereís no other way to
check the functioning of the scales other than using these trucks?
MR. FOSTER: I donít know of any other way.
DEPUTY TREASURER ROUSSEAU: I mean, Iím sure that trucks
get weighed at other spots. That if it was weighed coming out of the shipyard
in Elizabeth, where it is weighed for a lot of reasons, and itís on their manifest
that itís 25,000 pounds, or whatever it is, and then it goes 15 miles down the
road and happens to get a weighing, they should be the same by that point in
time. Or if theyíre not, then we know somethingís wrong with one of the two
scales. It just seems strange that these are trucks that check-- These arenít the
scales. These are trucks that check that the scales are accurate. Thatís how I
read this, and I just thought there would be some way-- If this is how we were
doing it 20 years ago, that thereís got to be some different way. It just was odd.
MR. FOSTER: I donít know of any new technologies.
MR. ROTH: Madam Chair, this really confuses me.
Are these trucks basically empty trucks that youíve loaded weights
into to bring them up to a certain weight? They move around from weigh
station to weigh station to check the scales. Is that what weíre talking about?
MR. FOSTER: Yes. They go and they actually verify--
MR. ROTH: We have to buy new trucks to do this? I mean, the
Army -- the Department of Defense has auctions all the time where they getting
rid of their old trucks. Why couldnít we buy enough of those, which are
relatively cheap. I think you can buy them for a few thousand dollars each.
Leave one at every weigh station and put some weights in it. You donít have to
load it with gold bricks. You can load it with rocks.
MR. FOSTER: Well, itís not just the weights.
MR. ROTH: It seems to me like $300,000 to check scales is
MR. FOSTER: Well, itís the trucks with all the equipment in it
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: What equipment?
MR. ROTH: Iím sorry.
MR. FOSTER: I believe itís the trucks with the equipment in it.
MR. ROTH: What equipment are we talking about? I thought we
were just talking about weights.
MR. FOSTER: It says here, "To provide the purchase of two
trucks, currently operated by officers. The trucks are used primarily in the field
of commercial operation to verify the accuracy of shipping scales and scales
designed to weigh transport vehicles."
MR. ROTH: Well, you just said the only way they can verify
whether those scales are operating is by putting something on them that weighs
that much that they know the weight of. An old duce-and-a-half truck filled
with rocks would weigh just as much as a new truck filled would.
MR. FOSTER: The trucks themselves, though, carry 5,000-pound
-- what Iím calling -- scaled test carts. And they actually have 21,000-pound
test weights on them.
MR. ROTH: All right. Thank you.
Iím still confused.
MS. MOLNAR: Do you want more information, perhaps?
MR. ROTH: Definitely.
MS. MOLNAR: Could you follow up with some additional
information on this?
MR. FOSTER: Sure.
MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Brune.
MR. BRUNE: Dan, just a couple of quick questions.
In Priority No. 12, one of my questions is the interoperability plan
for which we got $30 million from the Federal Government.
MR. FOSTER: Yes.
MR. BRUNE: I think thatís where you allude to, in your
testimony, that the cost of that is higher. Is part of that cost in this request
somewhere, or is that an out-year cost, the remaining value?
MR. FOSTER: It would be out-year cost.
MR. BRUNE: Okay.
As you unfold the plans for that, is the Department talking to NJ
Transit and people of that sort that have a similar need for, kind of, a global
MR. FOSTER: Yes.
MR. BRUNE: So when we see cost estimates that -- we can assume
that that reflects the combined effort.
MR. FOSTER: The other departments, yes.
MR. BRUNE: Okay.
Just one other question. In a world of 911, Dan, as I understand --
you can correct me if Iím wrong -- thereís over two hundred 911 stations locally
held around the state. And then, I wanted to ask you how many the State
Police is running at the moment. Is it three?
MR. FOSTER: Three.
LIEUTENANT PLAZA: Yes, sir.
MR. BRUNE: Three. And I guess the question is, obviously, in a
time of constraints around here, is there some need for a rationalization of the
shear number of 911 sites? The question that might come to mind is -- Iím sure
thereís a reason for this -- but is there a reason that the State Police cannot run,
say, one state-of-the-art facility in Hamilton, and parse the calls out from there?
Why is there a need for three at the State level and 200 at the local level -- all
of which need equipment upgrades?
LIEUTENANT PLAZA: Sir, the three centers that we have also do
the regional dispatch for the State Police, basically, for dispatching the troopers,
as well as doing the 911 calls. So thereís one North, Central, and South Jersey.
Thatís how those three centers are broken up right now. The State Police,
because of the volume of 911 calls that they get, for instance, if thereís an
accident on Route 195, with the advent of cell phones, that one accident could
possibly generate 100 phone calls. And needless to say, that call, that 911 call,
has to be picked up by the operator. It becomes quite a burden, obviously, if
thereís several accidents in the area and then other incidents going on -- just the
volume of calls that are coming in. It actually takes the operators away from
dispatching the troopers.
So what the State Police is doing now, and youíre probably familiar
with it, is weíve proposed a call-taker center. So the center -- what weíre going
to do is, hopefully, all the 911 calls will come into the call-taker center, and
then from there it will go out to the three regional dispatch centers. That will
then give -- the operators will be able to give those assignments, or if itís an
accident theyíll be able to give that to the car in the area that they handle. So
those three centers not only do 911, but they also perform the dispatch
operations for the State Police.
MR. BRUNE: Okay. I understand. I guess Iím focused on 911 at
the moment. I guess what youíre saying, from the standpoint of 911, the flood
of calls that one gets, if theyíre all to the Hamilton facility, do they literally spill
over to the other two when the volume is aboveX? Is that how it works?
MR. FOSTER: Actually, what happens is they may receive multiple
calls, for example, on an accident. The calls will come in, and the one person
for the area that they know itís from, they will forward it. For example, if itís
North Jersey, or something, it gets shipped up to Totowa. The other people
there at Hamilton will continue to receive the calls, and answer whatever
questions, and take whatever information is necessary. But the one gets filtered
out to the other site right away.
MR. BRUNE: I guess we donít have to resolve this today, Dan.
But in terms of volume, I guess the question that comes to mind, is there any
benefit to centralize it, number one, versus having three. In other words, have
your effort in one place, and handle the volume that way. And then the other
question about having -- as I understand it, 225 of these things at the local level,
and the relationship between them and yourself as 911 calls come in. I guess
weíre asking that because there is not a whole lot of money to spread around,
and we all have similar needs.
MR. FOSTER: Yes. I just wonder if itís locally, if itís just because
it deals with their local law enforcement versus the State Police.
MR. BRUNE: Thank you.
MS. MOLNAR: Any other questions or comments? (no response)
If not, I want to thank you for your presentation.
Our next department is Juvenile Justice Commission. Iíd like to
welcome Howard Beyer, Executive Director.
H O W A R D L. B E Y E R: Good morning, everyone.
Iím Howard Beyer, Executive Director, and to my left is Keith
Poujol, and he is the Director (sic) of Facility Management (sic) for the
Commission. I want to thank you for the opportunity to be here this morning
to present the Juvenile Justice Commissionís capital budget request. I may go
off the script a little bit, because I just want to tell you, a little bit, who we are.
Iíd like to say that we are very proud to be a part of the Department of Law and
Public Safety, but many times weíre like the best kept secret in New Jersey,
because we have a very unique role. We take care of troubled and delinquent
kids. And itís a very special responsibility, because we represent, really, the last
stop for kids who have really failed everywhere along the line. Or we are trying
very hard to prevent them to come into the system, by funding counties and
trying to divert them from coming into places like the Training School in
Monroe, or going into a detention center in one of the local localities. And if
we fail, then the kids will become adult inmates, and thatís what weíre trying
very hard to avoid.
The Commission has very carefully examined its needs, and is only
requesting funds for projects that severely impact on the services we provide.
The request presented here allows the Commission to continue to provide safe
and secure facilities for youth in our custody, meet building safety and fire
codes, or to initiate projects that provide cost savings later down the line.
Nothing in our request will come as a surprise. Our í05 requests are
primarily for projects that have not been funded in the past and become more
critical every year they are delayed. Most of the projects have been identified
as priorities for a period of time. We have also requested funds for emergency
evacuation and continuation of operation purposes.
We are seeking funds for seven priority categories: critical repairs,
a replacement residential dormitory, emergency/continuation of operation funds,
our most critical fire and life safety needs, roof replacements, suicide safety
improvements, and security enhancements that will improve safety for our staff
And before I detail this yearís requests, I would like to bring you
up-to-date on a few major projects that the Commission has completed in the
last year through funding provided by the Capital Commission.
Last summer, and this was really -- I can only explain this to you.
We celebrated the reopening of the Essex Residential Community House in
Newark. Iíd like to describe it as sort of an oasis in the middle of the city that
could use the kind of renovation that our housing unit had. It was really
renovated from top to bottom. It really gave a warm type of living circumstance
for kids who have gone through a very tough time in life. Today, the building
is safe. It has an adequate fire suppression system, and itís really conducive to
what we are responsible for, and thatís rehabilitation. I just want to say we are
not the Department of Corrections and we are not the Department of Human
Services. We have a very specific role, and that is to rehabilitate kids --
children, boys and girls.
Iím very proud to say that we really donít have a single inmate in
the Juvenile Justice Commission. What we really have are residents or students.
We donít call them inmates anymore. Because if you call a kid an inmate long
enough, they will become an inmate. And ultimately, thatís what we really
donít want to happen.
So Iíd like to invite you up someday, if youíre ever in Newark, to
come see what you have approved for us. Because it is really beautiful, and
because it did take a long time to get, and it was a lot of work to get it to the
condition that itís in. I want to assure you of this, we are working very hard to
keep the place looking beautiful so that any guest who comes in, or any resident
who comes in, that youíre finding a very safe, secure, and well-kept
Any day now, we are going -- the renovations of our Turrell
Building, which houses some of the JJCís most difficult youth, will be complete.
This program is designed for youth who have serious emotional problems and
have been adjudicated delinquent. The young people are carefully screened for
this placement. And because the needs of this population is so great, the
Commission has taken great lengths to ensure that the residents are as safe as
possible. The Turrell Building is truly a model of suicide safety. I know that
this is a subject that is very sensitive to some people in this room. But I come
out of adult corrections, which I spent nearly 25 years in, I know what itís like
to lose somebody through suicide. But to lose somebody who is a child,
whether it be a boy or a girl, is even more heart wrenching, because they really
havenít had a chance to really have a shot at life. So we take this issue very
seriously in the Commission.
From top to bottom, the facility has been analyzed and outfitted
to prevent a young person from hurting himself. Weíre very proud of this
accomplishment. Hereís another place that weíd love for you to come take a
look and see what weíre doing and how well itís working.
We also believe in being a good neighbor -- and whether that means
in participating in community cleanups or providing funds for important
community programs -- the Commission understands our role as being part of
the communities which we are in. And as a good neighbor, the Commission has
played an active part in commemorating an important part of the Johnstone
Campus, which is in Bordentown. The site is the former Manual Training and
Industrial School, the first vocational school for African Americans. The JJC
and the State Arts Council thought it only right to help the alumni association
and erect a monument marking its history. About a year ago, that monument
was unveiled, and we hosted the event for several hundred guests, including the
Secretary of State, who made it a stop on her Underground Railroad March;
alumni, family, and friends. It was truly a wonderful day, and it brought, really,
all communities and walks-of-life together for a very nice afternoon.
Other projects that we are in progress, include a campus-wide
electrical upgrade at our largest facility, in the New Jersey Training School in
Monroe; and electrical and fire suppression upgrade at four of our facilities --
Green, Warren, and Pinelands residential community homes, and our Life Skills
and Leadership Academy, which we now call it. It used to be known as the
boot camp. I just want to tell you why we changed it to the Life Skills and
Leadership Academy. Because we really never ran it as a real boot camp. We
never brought a kid in only to tear him down, only to build him up. And we
have reprioritized what we do at the Academy. Weíve made education the most
important thing to our residents, as opposed to the physical issues.
We are our own school district. Every child, boy or girl, in our
system must go to school. And at the Academy, thatís what weíre focusing on
now -- education and vocational skills. We still have drill instructors, and we
still have physical endeavors, but education is the most important thing we do.
So itís another great unit within the Juvenile Justice Commission.
As we speak, the JJC administrative offices are locating to our new
home on Spruce Street, here in Trenton. I want to say weíre very grateful for
this as well. For the first time, the Commission -- by April of next year, the
Commission will be under one roof. Itís like a statement that we are for real,
and weíre really here. When the opportunity came up for this placement, it was
a building that was renovated and they needed a tenant. We were eager to take
it. One, because it gave us a home that we could all be in; and weíre saving the
State over $400,000 a year in rent. So thereís two good things that are
happening. And weíd like to invite you to come see us over there, as well.
The Juvenile Justice Commission has a challenge goal -- to turn
around the lives of juveniles who are headed down the wrong track and to help
them become productive members of the community, instead of becoming adult
inmates, and jeopardize safety and further burden the taxpayer.
Our new motto is, "Realizing Potential and Changing Futures,"
because thatís exactly what we do. We are a Commission of hope, as we do it
through education, counseling, and building self-respect. And we do it in
buildings that are 50, 60, and sometimes 80 years old. Sometimes they have
leaky roofs. Sometimes theyíre overcrowded or poorly designed for the purposes
for which we have designed them. But we do it in a world that is much different
than it was a few years ago, and itís a world that requires us to be able to
evacuate and relocate the 1,200 kids we are responsible for.
Our first priority has been, as itís been in other years, is -- remains
critical repairs. Last year, the JJC did not receive funds for critical repairs.
However, last week, and I want to thank the Executive Director, a $500,000
critical repairs allocation from an inter-departmental account was approved. A
spending plan for these funds will be submitted to OMB for their approval,
which includes addressing fire codes, health, and environmental violations.
Even with these much-needed funds, the Commission will not be able to fund
other essential building repairs.
As you know, structural and mechanical problems that are not
addressed donít go away. They only get worse. Prior to this recent 500,000
allocation, our critical funds had been exhausted, leaving us with no funds to
address an emergent situation. If a tree falls on a building, as we were afraid of
in Hurricane Isabel, or a heating system were to fail during the winter months,
we would not have the funds to fix them. Furthermore, we do not have the beds
to relocate juveniles. It would become necessary to take a building off-line. We
cannot afford to lose a building, even for a short period of time. We really need
to fix these buildings as it occurs.
Last year, we asked you to consider funding a project to allow us
to replace a dormitory building at our Voorhees Residential Community home.
The current building has deteriorated and is not designed to accommodate
residential needs. And it isnít just that we can move the kids out. One of the
issues -- a real-world issue, as far as where our residential places are -- that if we
close the place, itís not easy to find a community that will just let us come in.
Because even though we are trying desperately to change our image and tell
communities that you donít have to be afraid of our kids, thatís much easier
said than done. We need those beds, and we need to keep them where they are.
We just need to fix the places that theyíre in, and so that they can be in a safe
and secure environment. This remains the same as it did last year when you sat
The construction permits will be completed and issued by the first
month of the new year and will be valid for one year. If this project is not
funded in Fiscal Year í05 capital budget, new building permits will have to be
obtained. The overall design will need to be modified to conform to
International Building Codes, and will severely impact the cost of the project.
The Commission has spent $135,000 in design funds. We do not want to see
these funds wasted, and we do not want to incur further costs to redesign this
project. We really, really, really want to provide a safe, secure, modern housing
for the young people in our care. And by funding this project, we can do that
for more than 30 children.
As you know, the Governor and the Attorney General have directed
every State agency to be prepared for any type of emergency. This affects some
states differently than others. But the Commission needs to be prepared to
evacuate and house any or all of our kids, located through the state. That will
require the purchase of buses, tents, and trucks. To meet this mandate, the
Commission needs to upgrade telecom and data lines, augment our information
technology systems, and renovate our control center in Bordentown. We have
requested funds for some of these projects in the past, such as the renovation of
our command center, but now they have taken on greater urgency and
importance. The past has taught us how important communications become in
a severe emergency. The safety of our children lies with us, and we cannot
afford not to be prepared for that safety issue.
Not all of our requests are high-profile or flashy. They do not lend
themselves to ribbon-cuttings or openings, but they are critical to us. Projects
such as the second phase of the campus-wide electrical upgrade at the Training
School in Monroe Township, and the installation of a new fire suppression
system at the JJCís Juvenile Medium Facility (sic), in Bordentown, remains
critical to our operations. Also important is the health and safety of our
residents and staff. The Commission is requesting funds to conduct an analysis
of the lead and asbestos hazards at our Johnstone Campus, particularly since
some of the rooms in question are currently being used by staff. These projects
represent real needs, ones that we feel cannot be overlooked.
Fire safety continues to be one of our biggest concerns, particularly
at our facilities. Our kids, as you know, canít go home. We are responsible for
them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It came to our
attention recently that the water tower at the Training School in Monroe
Township will need to be repaired. The tower was recently drained after a leak
was detected, and itís now been determined that the water tower is needed to
provide enough water pressure to operate the fire suppression system and the fire
hydrants simultaneously. This last-minute discovery requires the tower to be
repaired and refurbished to meet building and fire codes, at an estimated cost
of $350,000. We cannot afford to ignore this fact without jeopardizing the
issue of safety.
Our fifth priority is roof replacement. This has always been a very
sensitive subject for me, personally. I remember when I bought my first house.
The rugs in the house were beat up and the floor was warped, and I wanted to
buy news rugs. My dad told me, "Your roof leaks, fix the roof before you fix the
rug. Straighten the floors out, then buy the rug." Well, because we have kids
living with us all the time, the issue of the roof repair is tremendous. These
roofs continue to deteriorate. In the past year alone, the Commission has
replaced or repaired six roofs under emergency conditions. That is something
that we do our best to avoid, but funds have not been allocated for this use in
either í03 or í04, and we have no choice. Roof repair and replacement alone has
drastically deteriorated our reserve of critical fund repairs. And by funding these
projects, we can ensure that weíre getting the best product and price through the
competitive bidding process.
The overwhelming majority of the youth in the Commissionís care
are troubled. Some have been physically abused, some mentally abused, many
with multiple factors that are difficult to overcome. Many of these young
people are on medication to prevent them from being harmful to themselves or
others. And so, suicide safety, which I had mentioned before, is an
extraordinarily important issue.
I want to thank the Capital Commission for recognizing this in the
past. As a result, the State of New Jersey has become a national leader in
suicide-safe institutions. While the Commission has made improvements in this
area over the past few years with your help, we still have further to go. It is
essential that we prevent kids from injuring themselves. With your continued
support, weíll be able to do that.
Our final request pertains to the safety of our front-line staff. The
Commission is proud of our staff. Itís not an easy task dealing with 20, 30,
sometimes 50 kids for seven, eight hours at a stretch. While our staff is trained
to the very best within our ability to handle the challenge that they bring, there
are dangerous times. It is our responsibility to protect our staff by giving them
the knowledge and the training to handle difficult situations, and hopefully, to
do that without the use of physical force, but also by giving them the equipment
to alert us when something is wrong. The Commission has requested a quarter
of a million dollars to install a Duress System, an alarm system, at our most
secure facility in Bordentown, the Juvenile Medium Security Facility, and thus
completing the final phase of a man down system for all of the Juvenile Justice
Commissionís secure facilities. This will accomplish a major goal for the
I want to thank you for your honest evaluation of our request and
for your past support. Please remember that the Commission is responsible for
New Jerseyís most difficult children, who without out help really donít have a
chance to succeed. And we do really, and I do mean this from the bottom of
my heart, we really do want to change those lives, so that they can be productive
citizens and not go on to be a continued burden to New Jersey as adult inmates.
So thank you very much for listening to me this morning.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you. Thank you for your compassion.
I have one question. Regarding the education component. Do you
bill the local Board of Ed, where the child was resident, for the cost of the
MR. BEYER: My Director of Administration is here.
MS. MOLNAR: All right. Could you give your name for the
R O S A N N E F A I R B A N K S: Hi. Good morning. Iím Rosanne
Fairbanks. Iím the Director of Administration for the Commission. We receive
education moneys much as the school districtís do for kids. So we get education
money only for the kids. We donít get any structural money to supply the
classrooms. Thatís the SFEA Act in the 1970s that indicates that we can use the
funds for books, for classrooms, for teachers, but not the infrastructure.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
Any other questions or comments?
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: I do. I have a couple comments and
then a couple questions. Itís too bad when the school construction money
wouldnít help there. I do want to make a comment to my colleagues up here
in terms of how important I view the work of the JJC. Particularly, your
compassion comes through today, Howard. But this is an ongoing issue for us,
as recently as todayísStar-Ledger, with the improved juvenile center. Itís an
obligation that we all have. We talk often here about -- well, we try to look at
cost benefits. At least, I know, in the past year, we certainly have talked about
that. Any time you can rehabilitate a kid and keep him out of our system, if
you want to just be cold and calculating on the dollar as to cost savings--
Besides, the quality of life is something we should all factor in. I do want to
make it clear that this is a major area for me, of concern in this part of the
process, which is the first time Iíve done that up here.
I wanted to ask -- on Page 6, the fact that -- in terms of some
questions -- the $500,000 critical repair allocation. I hate to do this to you, but
do you take it off the top of Priority 1? Do you take it off the top of Priority
1 or is it in addition to?
K E I T H P O U J O L: The funds requested in Fiscal Year í05 are in addition
to the $500,000 that was provided to Executive Director Vrancik yesterday.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Okay, so theyíre separate.
Do you have a maintenance schedule for this stuff? I mean, I
looked through it, and I didnít -- maybe itís here and I just didnít get it, or
didnít understand it. Is there some sort of schedule?
MR. POUJOL: In our secure environments at the Training School
and the Johnstone Campus, both of which have maintenance staffs -- and they
do have rudimentary computerized maintenance systems where they attempt to
replace light bulbs and filters for HVAC systems -- theyíre continually
monitoring the condition of the roofs and other systems. So they have a little
more leeway than our community-based program. We have 21 residential and
day programs where we have absolutely no maintenance staff, not even a repair.
Our maintenance is left to institutional trade instructors and the kids, through
a learning environment, and mostly contractors. We spent $932,000 of critical
repair moneys and bond moneys last year, until the well dried up two days ago.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Going back to the school -- are you
actually a -- youíre not a school district, per se, are you?
MR. POUJOL: No, weíre a school district.
MS. FAIRBANKS: Yes, weíre considered a school district.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Really?
MS. FAIRBANKS: Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Would they be eligible for school
money? I mean, they teach kids. Is that so far a stretch?
MR. VRANCIK: I have to check that one out.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Thatís interesting.
My last comment is just a reiteration of what I said. I absolutely
believe that this is a cost-effective-- Do we have any sort of stats that show --
and I know youíre in an ongoing situation, and I know youíve dealt with
dilapidated facilities -- but like, for example, in Essex, would you be able, in the
out-years, where youíve seen an improvement in the facilities -- donít have rats
anymore and those sort of things. We know environment counts. I know it
from representing Union County, what environment means in a youth facility.
Is there any sort of data that shows an improvement, in terms of the fact that
when we supply the right -- that things that weíre really obligated to, as a State,
in terms of facilities, that it does show an impact in terms of kids not being back
into the system? Do we have anything that shows that at all?
MR. BEYER: I donít think there is, but I could just tell you this,
being in this business for almost 29 years. Itís almost like -- the only way I can
describe it, itís like being at home. Thatís the way we look at the way we do our
work. Itís like being the head of a household. If you keep your house right, if
you have a house thatís run with respect, with dignity, with love, caring, you
keep the place clean, hopefully -- and thereís no guarantee -- people that come
out of that house that youíre running are going to be successful and productive
citizens. Thatís the route weíre going. I canít tell you that thereís a study that
says it, but I think itís the right way to go.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: I would have to agree with you, and
hopefully, we can help you here, in a limited-time income.
I thank you for your time.
MR. BEYER: Thank you very much.
MS. MOLNAR: Gary.
MR. BRUNE: Howard, a couple of questions about -- that stem
from the prioritization of the projects. Youíve listed the dorm building second,
and fire safety down around four. I guess weíre trying to understand the options
here, and how you came to the ranking. Maybe thatís the first question. How
did you come to the ranking, which is essentially, as I understand it, might have
some fire safety aspects to it, with the sprinkler system. But it seems to be a bed
space issue, with fire safety further down the list?
MR. BEYER: Well, no. Fire safety is -- itís very hard. We spend
a lot of time trying to come up -- which is the most important, what is more
important. The renovation is critical because we donít want to leave kids in an
unsafe house. Letís put it that way. So I donít want the roof to cave in. I donít
want it to burn down, but I donít want the roof to cave in or the support beams
that are holding it up to cave in on the kids.
MR. BRUNE: So there are safety issues at the facility?
MR. BEYER: Huge safety issues, though.
MR. BRUNE: Okay. Have you looked at the repair -- kind of a
cost benefit, the cost of repairing the facility versus building-- As I understand,
you want -- tried to build a new building, right? Can we presume that the cost
of repairing exceeds the cost of a new building?
MR. POUJOL: Yes, you can. We did do a study in March of 2000.
We have a consultant report that identifies just the structural issues associated
with the former governorís residence there. And Priority 16 is an out-year, for
the design, will cost in the neighborhood of $505,000, just to deal with the
structural issues alone. And that does not address the fact that the building,
with its age, does not meet current code requirements, does not have fire
suppression, does not have adequate indoor air quality, and is not ADSA
accessible. Part of the cost for the $2-million request is a very difficult site. Itís
a mezzanine-type of facility on the side of a hill. So, just the site work in this
complex is very difficult and a leading factor to the cost of this initiative, but it
is a good site for our needs.
MR. BRUNE: I might ask, through the Chair, if we could see a
copy of that report. Otherwise, the $2 million, does that include -- do you need
land or are you building on existing land?
MR. POUJOL: We are building on the existing site. Weíve secured
-- itís a historic site, and secured the approval of Department of Environmental
Protection. We will be demolishing three small cottages to make room for this.
MR. BRUNE: So itís kind of a fully allocated cost when we look
at the $2 million, demolishing?
MR. POUJOL: Yes it is.
MR. BRUNE: Okay.
One other question. You mentioned how, in your testimony, about
the International Building Code and the fact that the cost would go up because
weíd have to modify the current plans. Iím not familiar with the International
Building code. What is that?
MR. POUJOL: We meet with our folks from Treasury, Division of
Property Management and Construction, every month, and this has been a
barometer. Next year the International Building Code will replace the Uniform
Building Code that New Jersey is using now. This design was started two years
ago and is a difficult site. So itís taken a substantial amount of time. If, in fact-
- When the permits are released, as we expect they will be, theyíre good for one
year. After that year is up, the window of opportunity to permit that, under the
old code, expires. That will require Treasury to rebid the design to meet the
new, stricter requirements of the International Building Code.
MR. BRUNE: So it sort of sounds like the replacement for the
Uniform Building Code. Okay.
Just one last question on the security aspect, Priority No. 3. In my
understanding, in an emergency there is a need to communicate between the
campuses. Thatís one thing weíre trying to understand. You mentioned some
MR. POUJOL: In the Bordentown complex, all of communication
from both sides of the campus, on the Johnstone side as well as the J-Rex
(phonetic spelling) side, all is hubbed to the center control at the Juvenile
Medium Secure (sic) Facility -- all enunciators, everything we have. That
particular area is not fire rated, so that all of the communications that are
coming in there, in the event that thereís a major issue going in that portion of
the building, would essentially knock out the entire communications network
on both campuses. So this, I think itís Priority 32 on the center control
upgrades, is to expand the center control by about a third, and to provide
integration of these systems and redundancies.
MR. BEYER: The other thing is, when you do have a catastrophe
or something like 9/11, we need to know where every one of our kids are. So
we have designated a spot that everybody, whether youíre in secure care or
residential care, must feed in, depending how big the emergency. It could be
every 15 minutes, every half hour, every hour. We need to know where
everybody is all the time.
MR. BRUNE: Thank you.
MS. MOLNAR: I had one other question. You provide a
tremendous service to the counties. Do they provide you any funding?
MR. BEYER: No.
MS. FAIRBANKS: No. On the contrary, we provide them quite
a bit of funding.
ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Quite a bit of stress, too.
MS. MOLNAR: Yes, thank you.
Any other questions or comments? (no response)
If not, I want to thank you for your presentation.
MR. BEYER: Thank you very much.
MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Our last department is the State Library.
Iíd like to welcome Norma Blake, State Librarian.
N O R M A E. B L A K E: Good morning, Chairperson Molnar and
Commission members. Iím here today with Michael Scheiring, Vice President
and Treasurer of Thomas Edison State College, and Diane Koye, our Business
Manager. Itís a pleasure to meet with you this morning to discuss the facilityís
needs of the New Jersey State Library.
As State Librarian, I manage both the State Library and the State
House Complex, and the Library for the Blind and Handicapped on Stuyvesant
Avenue, to serve New Jerseyís over 8 million residents. The State Library serves
all of State government, but also the library community and the general public.
The State Library is also the largest law library open to the public in New Jersey.
We see visitors from all over the state and country using our special collections
on New Jersey and genealogy.
The State Library also provides high quality information services to
individual citizens through the stateís 451 public libraries. Last year, about 42
million New Jersey residents visited public libraries in the state, checking out
almost 52 million items, an increase in visits of almost 1 million and an increase
in circulation of almost 3 million. The databases and Internet access supplied
through these libraries comes in large part from the State Library, which provides
the infrastructure for many of our stateís libraries.
The Library for the Blind and Handicapped serves not only the
blind and deaf, but also anyone who cannot see or hold a book. Due to the
aging of the general population, we are experiencing a 10 percent increase in
requests for service at LBH each year, especially in the 80-to-89-year-old range.
More than 126,000 residents of New Jersey are eligible for service from LBH,
and we are reaching out daily to sign them up for services.
Iíd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your past support,
which enabled us to improve telecommunications services at the Library for the
Blind in Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002. With these funds, we are able to extend
Audiovision, a radio reading service for the blind, throughout the state.
This year, the State Library needs capital funding for its facility,
which is over 40 years old and in need of repair. The building has some major
problems requiring remediation due to the presence of moisture. The building
is not accessible to the handicapped, who may wish to use our services. The
building was designed for library service in the 1960s, not for the technology and
information needs of today. Only two of five floors were ever renovated, a
decade ago. The building suffers from inadequate cabling and wiring for
computers. The telephone system is maxed out, limiting our ability to answer
requests and to respond to our customers.
In 1995, an independent State House Campus Facilities Study
identified a water infiltration problem at the State Library. To remediate the
problem, the firm recommended that the roof and windows be replaced, roof
drains be installed, and joints caulked between the marble panel cladding on the
outside of the building. To date, no work of this nature has been performed.
Last year, a Treasury Occupational/Environmental Health specialist
was called on to determine if the water infiltration problem caused mold to grow
around the windows. Each year, if left unattended, the problem will eventually
cost more to remediate and may lead to structural problems. In the same 1995
study, the firm recommended that the entrance doors, toilet facilities, and stairs
be modified to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Earlier I thanked the Commission for past support of our efforts to
upgrade technology. The State Library must continue to acquire library
technology in order to provide high quality information service, both within the
State Library for the use of our customers and for the stateís libraries, which
utilize our infrastructure.
A brief overview of our request: To upgrade local area network and
servers; install a new telephone system; provide a telephone-based public access
catalog for the Library for the Blind and Handicapped; install a customer
self-select system for Audiovision, our radio reading service for the blind, so that
customers of the Library for the Blind can choose the times they want to listen
to their programs; and create a modest wireless training lab for the use of the
With the move of the State Archives to newly renovated quarters
at 225 West State Street, the State Library has planned a periodicals reading
room in that vacated space. Almost one-sixth of the State Libraryís collection
is now housed at the Library for the Blind. The proposed collection moves
would not only complete the relocation of the periodicals collection to the new
space, but also return the entire collection to the State Library facility.
In 2002, the Capital Commission approved $400,000 for a
feasibility study for a new State Library facility, later eliminated from the
Governorís budget. This feasibility study and subsequent building project would
address the long-term capital needs of the State Library.
A new Federal law, the Child Internet Protection Act, was recently
upheld that requires public libraries to provide content filtering on all computers
that access the Internet in order to be eligible for Federal Library Services and
Technology Act funds and E-rate discounts beginning July 1, 2004. We plan to
study the filtering needs of our libraries, make recommendations to the library
community, and first make our own computers compliant with the Act at a cost
of $20,000, out of the $200,000 requested.
In summary, I urge the Commission to move forward on our
request to remediate the water infiltration problem, to preserve the Stateís
investment, as well as to modify the State Library to permit us to comply with
ADA requirements, and to serve all of our patrons. I urge the Commission to
consider all of our needs so that the State Library can strive to be the best
information resource for State government, the stateís libraries, and the general
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the capital needs of the
State Library and the Library for the Blind and Handicapped, and Iíd be happy
to answer any questions that you have.
MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.
As a member of the West Hill Memorial Library Board, I want to
thank you for your services. People donít realize the services you do provide.
Any questions or comments? (no response)
Wow! I think you covered it all.
Well, thank you so much, and weíll be looking at your request.
MS. BLAKE: Thank you for your time.
MS. MOLNAR: Now, weíre up to New Business, I guess -- other
Number one, our next meeting will be on October 24. It will be in
Room 12, which is behind this. Itís been totally renovated. I believe thatís
where the Supreme Court justices, that sat here, would go in there and deliberate
on all these wonderful cases. So weíll be meeting there next month.
One of our members sent me a little note, here, suggesting that if we
get the testimony ahead of time that perhaps we could dispense with the person
from the department reading it. I wasnít sure if you want to discuss it at the
next meeting or get some feeling now.
MR. BRANNIGAN: That was actually my suggestion. I thought
that maybe we might give the presenter an option where they might just
MS. MOLNAR: Summarize the bullet points, yes.
MR. BRANNIGAN: But if thereís something critically important
that would need more, and they want to be precise in what they say, they might
read it. But it seems that sometimes the reading is redundant, because weíve
already read it.
MS. MOLNAR: I believe one of them did skip around, even
though they did have it in front of them. They did summarize a little bit.
Mr. Roth, do you have any strong feelings?
MR. ROTH: No, not on this.
MR. VRANCIK: I guess, how would we communicate this?
Would we tell them up front, please come with a briefer presentation?
MR. BRANNIGAN: As Executive Director, you could ask people
to try to be as -- to make their points, but to try to be concise.
MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Annese.
MR. ANNESE: The important part would be for them to give us
the information in our package, so we have the time to read over it.
MR. VRANCIK: We asked them to do that, but, unfortunately--
MS. MOLNAR: We donít always get it.
MR. VRANCIK: --we donít always get it in time to get it out to
MS. MOLNAR: All right.
MR. ROTH: You know, in this day of e-mail, things can be
handled a lot faster. I would have no objection to getting all of this paperwork
MS. MOLNAR: Wow. Weíd save a lot of trees.
MR. ROTH: Off this subject just slightly, I noticed that,
particularly at this meeting today, there was a lot of noise generated by cell
MS. MOLNAR: Thereís a sign out there that says to turn off their
cell phones. There is a sign.
MR. ROTH: Perhaps in future meetings, we can remind them to
MS. MOLNAR: They can put it on silent or something.
MR. BRANNIGAN: I donít know if I was out of order, but I went
back and asked that individual to put their phone on vibrate, because I think
he had five calls, one person.
MR. VRANCIK: Yes, itís not that hard.
MR. ROTH: One person.
MS. MOLNAR: Yes, I know if you go to a performance, they tell
you to turn it off. I will mention it at the beginning of each meeting.
So the consensus is to get their testimony ahead of time and ask
them, maybe, to give a quick overview. And if they feel more comfortable
reading it, fine, we wonít prevent it, but if--
MR. ROTH: Well, if they have anything to add.
MS. MOLNAR: Sure. All right.
MR. VRANCIK: If itís possible, weíll investigate how easy it is to
make available the stuff thatís mailed out to everyone, electronically distributed.
I guess the problem on your end is printing it all out.
MR. ROTH: Donít you have a place on the Web where, for
example, minutes could be posted? I recall going through Google one time, and
I found minutes for this Commission there. I was stunned.
MS. MOLNAR: I did, too.
MR. VRANCIK: Iíll look into that.
MR. ROTH: Yes.
MR. VRANCIK: I think we can put them out there.
MR. ROTH: Itís an awful lot of paper.
MR. VRANCIK: Itís an issue of the turnaround.
MS. MOLNAR: Time.
They were last yearís minutes that you saw. They werenít the last
The next time we -- let me see the schedule -- next time we have
Corrections, Military and Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection, and
Department of State -- and one of our Commission members will give an
overview of the Transportation DOT Trust Fund.
Any other business? (no response)
If not, meeting adjourned.
Thank you for coming.