Being charged with a borough offense will cost you more in Avon when a new ordinance governing violations and penalties is approved at the July 13 meeting.
The borough is making the change, said Borough Administrator Tim Gallagher, at the behest of the Monmouth County court.
The ordinance will change the maximum fine issued by the municipal judge from $1250 to $2000.
The change will cover all borough ordinances.
Also at the meeting resident Wally French complained about mail delivery service to the borough, which is handled by the Belmar Post Office.
French said the problems occur when his regular postal worker is not in and a subsitute is filling in. French said he was told by the substitute carrier “I’ll deliver when you get a regular mailbox.”
French said he would like his mail to be put in a slot in his door so the mail will be deposited into his home.
But French said even after he placed a box by the door he continues having problems.
So many that he is now in contact with Congressman Chris Smith’s office seeking relief. He said Smith’s representative seems very interested in helping with the problem.
“There are many mistakes when the carrier is out and someone, not trained, fills in. He doesn’t like my mail slot…about a third of the time my carrier is off and something is screwed up,” he said.
Resident Marie Kenny agreed.
“We have terrible mail service, Norwood Avenue is terrible. Just this week to my home I got somebody else’s medications. It was the wrong street and the wrong name. I don’t know if there is anything you can do, but it’s just awful,” she said.
Mayor Robert Mahon said the postmaster dictates the terms by which mail is delivered.
“I was told flat out we do not have a regular person,” Kenny said.
Belmar took over the Avon postal services for financial reasons several years ago.
Also during public comments Regina Bruton of Fifth Avenue asked the Board of Commissioners why the borough is now collecting a $50 annual fee for landlords who rent out property in the borough.
Bruton said she sees it as an added tax and projected that the fee will be $100 in a few years.
“I need clarification on the $50 extra landlord charge. How did this come about, what was the thought process? The amount is not the issue but I need clarification as to why,” she said.
Mahon said the fee is not very high and it was implemented to make sure people who are renting are supposed to be renting. Bruton protested saying she already has a Certificate of Occupancy and is therefore registered with the town as a landlord.
She asked how her name was put on the list of landlords in the borough.
Gallagher said the list used to mail to all landlords in town came from the tax records.
He explained that at one time 70 percent of landlords never come to borough hall for Certificate of Occupancies, which they are supposed to do for each renter besides family members.
Gallagher also said there are landlords who have been renting for years without getting a Certificate of Occupancy and when borough code officials get into the house there have been faulty wires and plumbing issues.
“They haven’t gotten a CO for years and now we get in there…it’s a safety issue,” he said.
Commissioner Frank Gorman said, as a first responder, emergency workers need to know what type of structure they are walking into when answering a call.
“The bottom line it’s making it safer for everyone, it endangers residents and first responders,” he said.
Mahon said the $50 fee is used to offset inspections and Gallagher said it is used to offset the paper work involved.
Gorman said it also gives the town a benchmark for how many multi-unit homes there are in the borough.
“It has a cascading positive effect; it’s in everyone’s best interest,” he said.