Montville Township Committee Regular Meeting
Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Montville Township Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road, Montville, New Jersey
7:00 p.m. – Statement of Open Public Meetings Act Compliance read by Chairman James Sandham, Jr.: “As required by the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate Notice of this meeting has been provided which Notice specified the time and place of the meeting to the extent known at that time. The Notice was posted on the bulletin board at the Municipal Building, mailed to The Daily Record, The Star Ledger, and The Citizen as well as other newspapers and it was placed on file in the Township Clerk’s office. This meeting has been properly noticed to the public in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act.”
Roll call Township Committee:
Present: Committeeman Tim Braden
Committeeman Don Kostka
Committeeman Scott Gallopo
Committeewoman Deb Nielson
Chairman James Sandham, Jr.
Also present: Frank Bastone, Township Administrator
Anthony Barile, Township Engineer
Robert Lowenfish, Treasurer/Director of Finance
Adam Brewer, Management Specialist
Thomas Mazzaccaro, DPW/Water & Sewer Director
Martin Murphy, Township Attorney
Gertrude Atkinson, Township Clerk
RESOLUTION NO. CES-011111A PROVIDING FOR A MEETING NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE NEW JERSEY OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT, N.J.S.A. 10:4-12:
1. Contract negotiations: Revaluation Contract; PSE&G
2. Attorney-Client privilege: Health Insurance Waiver payments
3. Personnel: CMFO/QPA Appointment
4. Litigation: Zimmerman; Stefanelli; Tax Appeal - Novak
Motion: Kostka. Second: Gallopo. All in favor. Resolution adopted.
At 7:00 p.m. – Closed Session. At 8:05 p.m. – Public Session.
Chairman Sandham read the Statement of Open Public Meetings Act Compliance again for the record.
Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance led by Committeeman Braden.
PRESENTATION TO EDWARD ERNSTROM: The Township Committee presented a plaque to Edward Ernstrom in recognition of his service and dedication as a Library Board of Trustee. He served for 34 years. He began in 1977 with the Montville Township Public Library Association. From 1989 to 2010, he was a Montville Township Library Board Trustee.
MAYOR’S REPORT: Chairman Sandham stated our Charter requires the Mayor to deliver to the Committee an annual message on the condition and needs of the town.
We are going to start with a review of this past year. On a macro view I would categorize 2010 as a tough year, but Montville persevered.
The biggest challenge we faced last year was the continuing poor economy and its impact on the Township and our citizens. This combined with the reduction in School and Municipal State aid made our finances the key focus of 2010. Fortunately since 2006 we have embarked on a course of increased fiscal responsibility that allowed the Township Committee and our Administration to achieve the following:
- We delivered a 1.7% Municipal budget increase despite the loss of $560,000 in state aid.
- We maintained our AAA bond rating – one of only 100 or so towns in the USA to achieve that top rating. This allowed refinancing $9 million of Municipal bonds with more favorable interest rates, saving $430,000.
- We offered retirement packages for seven senior employees, of which we only replaced three.
- We obtained concessions of approximately $250,000 from Municipal employees and unions to help cover reduced State aid. The Township Committee and I want to thank our employees for recognizing that we are all in this together.
- We continue to reduce our debt while making $2 million of capital improvements according to plan. We have now reduced our debt by 18% in five years - from about $75 million at the end of 2005 to about $61 million at the end of 2010.
- We were thankful to receive $233,000 from Library surplus as an offset to our municipal taxes.
In addition to the financial aspects of 2010, we:
- Continued to enjoy significant efforts by volunteers across a broad spectrum of community service, including the implementation of a Food Pantry for our needy residents.
- Completed a $3 million Open Space acquisition of the Starkey property (40+ acres) with about 90% funding from NJ and Morris County grants – direct funds used from Montville Open Space Trust were less than $400,000.
- Continued to share services with other municipalities – Health Dept services with one other town, Animal Control with four towns, and our Tax Assessor with one other town.
- Solicited new bids for new trash collection contract with a net annual savings of $215,000.
- Reviewed the defeated School Board budget and made recommendations for $984,000 of potential spending reductions.
- Eliminated Health Care benefits for Township Committee members effective June 2011.
- Pursued several shared service opportunities and continue to pursue those opportunities although no new arrangements have yet to come to fruition.
- Implemented revised water rates that more closely align user charges to actual use of the residents.
-Joined North Jersey Municipal Employee Benefits Fund (HIF) and left NJ state health care benefits program with an estimated annual savings of more than $60,000 and more flexibility in plan design.
- Enhanced the Township website to include a Community video, the entire Township Code, and initiated use of our website for communication of road closures during spring storms and floods.
So the condition of Montville Township is generally good, but we are faced with a number of new challenges in 2011. These include:
- Continuing to deliver a prudent, fiscally responsible Municipal budget and related tax rate to our constituents, particularly given the challenges of the 2% cap imposed by the State of New Jersey. Fiscally responsible means not saying yes all the time or no all the time. It means controlling spending and enhancing operations to be more efficient while making smart investments in our employees, in technology and equipment, and in our infrastructure. And it means promoting intelligent growth and development to enhance our ratable base.
- Our largest employer, Bayer Labs, has announced plans to relocate operations out of Montville Township. So we are faced with improving our business environment and attracting new commerce into our Township. We must take full advantage of our Economic Development Committee and our Chamber of Commerce in order to achieve success in this area.
- We need to insure that the Library meets all requirements per the new State statute in order that their surplus funds can be returned to our taxpayers.
- Our town-wide property revaluation must be conducted and completed in 2011.
- We must successfully implement single stream recycling and then enhance our Township recycling program to increase recycling revenues and to reduce trash tipping fees
- We must continue evaluation of our Table of Organization to further enhance efficiency of services as well as pursue opportunities for shared services and potential outsourcing of non-core functions.
- Another area for needed improvement is Land Use. While the nature of the function lends itself to conflict, nonetheless it is the biggest single area of complaints from residents, businesses, builders, and developers. Improvements are needed - to reduce the complexity and redundancy of requirements, in the levels of fees charged by the Township and our professionals, and a streamlined process needs to be instituted for minor variances. We have hired a new, energetic professional in this area in the past six months, and I am hopeful that these challenges will be addressed in 2011.
To our fellow citizens, we need your participation in overcoming these difficult challenges. We need you to:
- Attend Township Committee meetings to better understand what challenges we face.
- Be active in the budget processes of the Township and Board of Education, and then embrace the result.
- Strive to recycle more to improve our environment and reduce trash fees.
- Give us your feedback so we can be more responsive to your needs. We need to know when and where we get it right as well as when and where we don’t.
- Get involved in a Township board, commission, or civic group.
In summary, the needs of our Township and our citizens have been and continue to be met quite well; however, the road to improvement never ends and new challenges arise all the time. My fellow Township Committee members and I are confident that together we can overcome the obstacles, meet these challenges, and continue to improve Montville Township for our citizens and business partners. We have a triple A bond rating. Triple A should not just apply to our bond rating; it is the measure we should strive to achieve in all areas of our already great and wonderful Township!
Administrator: Frank Bastone, Township Administrator, reported employment practices liability deductibles have been reduced. This is a result of our improved loss experience.
Upper Mountain Avenue water main extension/grid – there were questions from last meeting. You have the grid and the capital request which was approved in 2010.
Committeeman Braden asked what is the emergent need to implement this connection at this time?
Bastone stated he wouldn’t call it an emergent need. It is in the six-year capital plan to improve the water system. Cost $190,000.
Thomas Mazzaccaro, Water & Sewer Director, stated over the years, we try to improve the system by closing the gaps in lines. There is not an emergent need. It is a plan. It will probably cost less than $190,000.
Sandham asked if anyone wanted to raise the tabled motion on the resolution to approve the plans and specs for this project tabled at last meeting. Township Committee – no response. Sandham stated table it for now.
Attorney: No report.
Finance: No report.
Engineer: Anthony Barile, Township Engineer, reported on the stop sign at Woodland Road. Warrants do not warrant this. Recommendation – after the road is improved by the developer have the police do a traffic count. The Police Chief agrees with this. Township Committee asked Mr. Barile to let the resident, Mr. Greenberg know, and copy the Township Committee on that notification.
Committeeman Braden stated they passed the resolution at Reorganization asking Board and Commission professionals to reduce their fees. I am happy to report that both our Attorney and Auditor have reduced fees. Board of Health last meeting – their attorney agreed to reduce fees by 10%. Our Library Board is considering reductions. As the Mayor stated, there are some issues with Land Use. The Board of Adjustment last night alluded to the fact that their fees are mostly paid by escrow/applicants. The majority of applicants are our residents. This would ease their financial burden. I would ask that our Mayor and Committeewoman Nielson bring a strong message to Planning Board that we really hope they will reduce their fees, and if they do, the Board of Adjustment may.
Committeeman Gallopo stated we do go through appointments and reappointments at the end of the year. If the chairs and the committees do not come up with a strong enough argument to seek the 10 %reduction, then we should be rolling that into our evaluations, and that should be communicated to the committees.
Committeewoman Nielson stated the Planning Board is certainly aware. It was communicated to them last year.
Chairman Sandham stated I think Mr. Braden’s point was the Board of Adjustment raised their rates to the Planning Board fees, and if the Planning Board reduces theirs, maybe the Board of Adjustment will.
NO. 1 – 4TH OF JULY PARADE: Bastone gave the Township Committee a breakdown of DPW and Police costs from previous years.
Irwin Paster, 4th of July Committee Chairperson, asked if we can get someone to fund the parade, what number do you want from us? Township Committee agreed - $16,000 to $17,000. Paster stated if we can get a donation, we will have the parade.
Nielson stated there was the $12,000 for the fair and fireworks. That has not been approved yet.
Approve fireworks and fair expenditure: Gallopo, yes; Braden, still listening; Nielson, yes, but need to have a long-term plan; Kostka, would like to see the rest of the budget; Sandham, yes. Sandham stated after this year’s events, we should plan how next year will be covered.
Paster stated for arguments sake let’s say we can get $14,000 for the parade and the 5k run.
Gallopo stated personally we can handle $2,000 or $3,000 or maybe it can get capped off in other ways. Braden stated we need a plan going forward so we are not in this position every January.
Nielson asked what the DPW overtime is. Bastone stated his recollection is that it is about $10,000.
Braden would propose that Mr. Paster work on his parade and give us a few weeks to work this out. Sandham stated we have endorsed providing for the overtime for the fireworks and the fair. We will discuss if we can further contribute for the parade and fun run. Discussion item January 25th meeting.
Melinda Jennis, 4 Cherokee Court, Montville, stated she runs the 5k run. The parade and run give so much for people and for the disabled. We bring a lot of grants in. We are giving as much as we can. We have people sponsoring the 5k run for the disabled. The needs are growing. Would like you to see the video of the run last year. We help to service twenty communities. Gave CD to the Township Committee members.
NO. 2 – ENERGY GRANT: Bastone reported on the two options: Option A – Public Works Building and Public Safety Building. Option B – Public Works Building and Senior House. He recommends option A.
Gallopo asked the expense savings. Bastone replied Public Works Building – 2 to 3 years. Public Safety Building – 1 to 2 years - based upon receiving the grant money.
Township Committee agreed – Option A. Bastone will submit application and if successful, will put the additional $14,000 in the capital budget.
NO. 3 – PSE&G TEMPORARY ACCESS: Bastone reported they are requesting additional temporary access for the construction of their new lines. Small area off of Boonton Avenue, just north of Mars Court. Township Committee – ok.
NO. 4 – NOTICE OF VIOLATION/143 RIVER ROAD UST: Bastone reported they need to execute a settlement agreement with the NJDEP. He would like to pursue who is responsible. It may be the consultant.
Sandham asked are there any other UST’s that need to be tested? Bastone stated my understanding is we are doing what we need to do. Sandham asked can we get a list of our USTs, send it to the State, and ask them if any of them need testing? Mazzaccaro stated it is in the works.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE AND THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION:
WHEREAS, Montville Township owns and operates a fuel dispensing facility, with Underground Storage Tank (“UST”) Registration number 021113, located at Block 131, Lot 20, 143 River Road; and
WHEREAS, on October 6, 2010, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection representatives inspected the site and issued a Field Notice of Violation and an Administrative Order the Township of Montville, which included the imposition of a delivery ban on the UST system for the following violation:
- Failure to have cathodic protection systems tested at least every three years pursuant N.J.A.C. 7:14B-5.2(a)2i.
WHEREAS, the Township and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have resolved their dispute with the terms and conditions of the settlement of this dispute as set forth in a Settlement Agreement attached hereto.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, in the County of Morris and State of New Jersey, that James Sandham, Mayor, is hereby authorized to execute a Settlement Agreement between the Township of Montville and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in connection with the resolution of the aforementioned violation in the form attached hereto.
Motion: Braden. Second: Gallopo. Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes. Resolution adopted.
NO. 5 – POND MANAGEMENT – WEED CONTROL: Hugh Merritt, Environmental Commission member, presented. He referred to the Environmental Commission’s report and recommendations dated 12/15/10. They did a very structured study in accordance with State requirements. This would be for the utilization of grass carp for pond weed control. Green initiative and cost savings. They worked with DPW.
Mazzaccaro complimented the Environmental Commission on their work. Sandham stated we appreciate their efforts. Savings of $27,000 over four years.
Township Committee approved.
Robert Lefkowitz, 81 Windsor Drive, Pine Brook, stated last year a lot of towns did joint fireworks and events. That might be something we could entertain.
Hearing no further comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public portion. Motion: Braden. Second: Kostka. All in favor. Motion approved.
NO. 1 – ORDINANCE NO. 2011-01 AMENDING CHAPTER 8 OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE AND PROVIDING FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF UP TO TWO ALTERNATE MEMBERS OF THE RECREATION COMMISSION:
Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for January 25, 2011, at 8 p.m. Motion: Braden. Second: Kostka. Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes. Motion approved.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CONSENT AGENDA NO. 2011-CA2: Motion: Braden. Second: Kostka. Roll call vote – all yes. Resolution adopted.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM A – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING REFUND OF TAX OVERPAYMENT – TAX APPEAL 2010:
WHEREAS, The TAX COURT OF NJ has entered judgment on appeals filed by taxpayers in the Township of Montville; and
WHEREAS, the judgment reduced assessments and cancelled tax creating an overpayment of taxes for the year 2010;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the treasurer be authorized to draw a check in the amount of overpayment to:
Block 178 Lot 2.1
64 Route 46 W
Olympik Real Estate Holdings LLC 2010 $5,396.98
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM B – RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR THE CANCELLATION OF CHECKS AND TRANSFER OF MONIES TO THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE GENERAL FUND FROM THE MUNICIPAL COURT: Lakeland Bank, Check #3201, 4/26/10, $750.00.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM C – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE RETURN OF CASH BONDS POSTED WITH THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE:
WHEREAS, certain cash bonds have been posted with the Township of Montville to secure the performance of obligations; and
WHEREAS, the Engineering Department has verified that the improvements, the installation of which were secured by the cash bonds, have been installed in a satisfactory manner and has recommended the release of cash bonds.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, County of Morris and State of New Jersey, that the following cash performance bonds shall be released:
TYPE OF BOND
AMOUNT TO BE
J. & M. Guttilla
6 Jewel Court
Montville, New Jersey
B. 76, L. 13.04
Edith Gano & Finestien & Malloy
Attorney Trust Account
70 South Orange Avenue
Livingston, New Jersey 07039
B. 1, L. 11.54, 4 High Mtn. Drive
Wall Re-construction &
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the Chief Financial Officer.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM D – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE LEASE OF THE SENIOR HOUSE TO MORRIS COUNTY FOR USE AS A NUTRITION PROJECT SITE YEAR 2011:
WHEREAS, the Local Lands and Buildings Law N.J.S.A. 40A:12-14(b) et seq. authorizes the lease by municipality of any real property not needed for public use to a public body; and
WHEREAS, the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders has requested the use of the Senior House owned by the Township of Montville for the purposes of the Human Services Department Nutrition Project for site operations; and
WHEREAS, the Township Committee has determined that a public purpose will be served by the use of the Senior House by the Nutrition Project site operations; and
WHEREAS, the Township Committee has determined that numerous citizens of the Township of Montville and neighboring municipalities will be benefited by services proposed by the Nutrition Project site operations.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, in the County of Morris and State of New Jersey, that the appropriate Township officials are hereby authorized to execute the lease attached hereto for the Senior House to the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM E – RESOLUTION APPROVING THE RENEWAL OF LIMOUSINE OWNER’S LICENSE 2011 AND THREE DRIVERS’ LICENSES: Accaria Limo, LLC.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM F – RESOLUTION APPROVING THE RENEWAL OF LIMOUSINE OWNER’S AND DRIVER’S LICENSE 2011: Changebridge Sedan Service, LLC.
NO. 1 – RESOLUTION APPOINTING BRYAN FUCETOLA TO THE OPEN SPACE COMMITTEE FOR A ONE-YEAR TERM ENDING 12/31/11. Motion: Gallopo. Second: Kostka. All in favor. Resolution adopted.
Bastone reported we are finalizing the new stickers for recycling to get them out in February.
Committeeman Gallopo – no report.
Committeewoman Nielson reported she attended the Board of Health meeting. Charles Perry is the Chairman for 2011. Their attorney accepted a 10% reduction in their monthly stipend.
Committeeman Kostka – no report.
Committeeman Braden reported as of January 1 residents can’t dispose of computers, etc. Is there anything in the works?
Adam Brewer, Recycling Coordinator, stated Montville Township residents are free to bring their items to Lincoln Park. Once formalized in writing, we will put it on the website.
Chairman Sandham requested the actual revenue from water and sewer rates as compared to the Long-Term Financial Planning Committee’s analysis. Bastone stated he will work on that.
Sandham requested updated debt schedules as of 12/31/10 and our projection for 2011. Bastone passed out an analysis of the numbers as of 12/31/10, what we are anticipating paying out in the 2011 budget, the 2011 projections, and the net.
Sandham stated last meeting there were two issues brought up: Zoning Board issue – Layne Grossi – can we forward that memo to the Zoning Board.
Gallopo stated water and sewer review. We did adjust the structure, particularly sewer, which resulted in an over 65% increase in the rates. Spoke about surplus, utilization of surplus. Personally, I think the entire structure has to be reviewed. Sandham stated that is why I asked for an analysis to be done.
Braden announced there is a Drug Awareness program on Thursday evening, 7:30 p.m., at the Senior House. It is a presentation by teen actors. I recommend highly that you attend.
RESOLUTION NO. CES-011111B PROVIDING FOR A MEETING NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE NEW JERSEY OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT, N.J.S.A. 10:4-12:
1. Contract negotiations: PSE&G
2. Litigation: Stefanelli; Tax Appeal – Novak
Motion: Kostka. Second: Gallopo. All in favor. Resolution adopted.
At 9:40 p.m. – Closed Session. At 10:35 p.m. – Public Session.
Meeting adjourned at 10:35 p.m. Motion: Nielson. Second: Gallopo. All in favor. Motion approved.
Gertrude H. Atkinson, Township Clerk