MTC Minutes 02-08-11 Print E-mail

Montville Township Committee Regular Meeting

Tuesday, February 8, 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 (arrival 7:05 p.m.)

                        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



1.      Attorney-client privilege

2.      Contract negotiations: Health Benefits; Shared Services; PSE&G

3.      Litigation:  Escrow Appeal


Motion:  Gallopo.  Second:  Kostka.  All in favor except Nielson - absent.  Resolution adopted.


At 7:00 p.m. – Closed Session.  At 8:10 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 Kostka.






Chairman Sandham opened the public hearing.


Frank Bastone, Township Administrator, stated we are the first in Morris County to go to single-stream recycling.  The letter and stickers will be going out at the end of the month.  Hearing no further comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public hearing.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Gallopo.  All in favor.  Motion approved.


Motion to adopt ordinance:  Nielson.  Second:  Kostka.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Ordinance adopted.




Chairman Sandham opened the public hearing.


Bob Perkins, 5 Skyline Drive, Montville, stated he is one of the employees who save the taxpayers’ money by waiving health benefits.  I was told the ordinance was due to a change in the law.  When checking the statute, that is not completely accurate.  In fact, the only change in the law that has been in effect since 2003 is regarding the State health benefits program, which we don’t participate in.  The law still appears to allow employees currently waiving medical coverage grandfathered to have reimbursements for up to 50% of the savings.


The second thing is should one of the current employees waiving their coverage elect not to waive their coverage, that would wipe out the minimal savings that would be made by putting this ordinance into effect.


Scott Russell, Sunset Court, Montville, asked what if the employee leaves?  Do they have to pay back the money?  Sandham stated the payments are made monthly.


Hearing no further comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public hearing.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Kostka.  All in favor.  Motion approved.


Motion to adopt ordinance:  Braden.  Second:  Gallopo.  Discussion:  Committeeman Kostka asked how many employees take advantage of this?  Bastone answered six.  Kostka asked the cost to the town.  Bastone stated he does not have that information with him.  Kostka stated the point is if I work for the town and I have a spouse who has similar health care coverage, we don’t need duplicate coverage.  In private industry, you wouldn’t have these incentive payments at this rate.  That is my concern.  In essence, this is additional pay.


Discussion how much it costs an employee to get insurance, weighing the costs, the decision to opt out, etc.


Sandham stated we are not required to do this.  We are trying to bring our ordinance in line with the State statute.  Bastone stated the municipalities have the right to have waivers done on an annual basis.


Committeeman Gallopo stated this is important for the public to understand that it is not an introduction of 25%.  It is a reduction from 35%.


Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, no; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Ordinance adopted.




Chairman Sandham opened the public hearing.  Hearing no comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public hearing.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Gallopo.  All in favor.  Motion approved.


Motion to adopt ordinance:  Nielson.  Second:  Braden.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Ordinance adopted.




ADMINISTRATOR:  Bastone reported on the tax maps for revaluation.  We have tax maps dating back to the 1970’s.  Some are very frayed.  The Engineering Department has a very good quote from a local firm, North Jersey Copy, to scan the tax maps into AutoCAD.  This can be charged to the revaluation appropriation.  Township Committee – all agreed.


Recycling tomorrow – Bastone reported everything can go out since recycling was not picked up last week.


ATTORNEY:  No report.

FINANCE:  No report.


ENGINEER:  Anthony Barile, Township Engineer, reported the Township received a grant from NJDOT to construct sidewalks on Changebridge Road from Lazar School to Church Lane.  It will require a joint agreement with the County of Morris.  This is for sidewalks on both sides of Changebridge Road.  The grant is for $230,000. 


Committeewoman Nielson stated anything we can do to expedite the process as there are a lot of school children there.




NO. 1 – 4TH OF JULY PARADE:  Bastone stated we received correspondence from the 4th of July Committee yesterday in addition to their 2010 financial report. 


Irwin Paster, 4th of July Committeeman Chairman, read letter submitted yesterday.  The 4th of July parade committee consensus is that if the parade does not have music and is shortened, they don’t want to be involved.  We are not in favor of soliciting local businesses or individuals to fund the parade or the run since it will cut into the official fundraising effort.  The suggestion to use the 40 member 4th of July Committee for traffic control is not practical since they are involved in many other activities.  Also, they would not legally qualify to direct traffic.  Today he received a call from the Police Department – Captain Rosellini.  With permission from the Township Committee, they will work the parade and 5k run for comp time.  Bastone stated he was not aware of any communication from the Police Department.  He will call the Police Chief now.


Gallopo stated he did reach out to the director of the MHS marching band.  They will participate in this year’s parade.


Sandham stated the Township Committee would appreciate trying to minimize the use of police to minimize the comp time.  Are we in agreement if there is comp time?  Braden and Kostka – no.  Braden stated there are officers on disability, and I would have to be confident there would be coverage for comp time.


Kostka stated there were a number of transfers that had to cover the police budget.  That shows me the police budget is tight. 


Nielson deferred to the Administrator.  If we don’t get comp time, we would have to pay overtime to maintain coverage.


Sandham asked do the Chief and the Administrator believe they can accommodate the comp time taken throughout the year?  If not, we have to make the decision if we want to fund the overtime.  My personal opinion – it is $1 per resident, and I think it is worth it.  It is the last thing the community has to all come together.


Kostka spoke about concerns about the budget for the current year.  There are a lot of people out there who count on the parade.  I recognize that, but on the other hand, I listen to they are going to try to raise money, but that turns out to be nothing.  We are waiting on the Police.  The easiest thing to say is ok, but then we are going to have to vote on a cap ordinance later on.  Do we authorize potential spending based on our cap?


Bastone explained the two cap laws – the appropriations cap and the new levy cap.  The ordinance this evening applies to the appropriations cap.  We are way under the appropriations cap.  This cap has a bank, and the auditors recommend the ordinance to give us flexibility.


Bastone left the room to take phone call from Chief Cook.  Bastone returned.  He reported he just spoke to Chief Cook.  There is not an official position from the PBA yet.  They are of the opinion that they can get enough people to volunteer to do the parade and the run.  The discussion is to do it for half overtime and half comp time.  I asked the question – comp time on its own does not create overtime?  The Chief feels he can accommodate the comp time.


Nielson stated Mrs. Jennis is here.  At a prior meeting she said possibly the run could be moved to October, and you would get an even larger crowed.  In our packet, it shows $5,000 for the police for the fun run.


Melinda Jennis, Cherokee Court, Montville, stated that is contingent upon the police volunteering.  $5,000 out of what we make – it is not worth doing.  I could take it to another town and do it.  It is a National Campaign.  October – that is for the following year.  We have been waiting for a decision from you.  Next year we could look at it, but again, if the police volunteer their time.


Chairman Sandham opened the public portion.


Paul Martino, 145 River Road, Montville, member of 4th of July Committee, stated he cannot understand why this is still going on.  Supports the parade for the community.  It gives a boost to the community.  I will make a commitment to the 4th of July Committee to make this successful if you can make a commitment to get your end going.  We just need to move forward with this.


Hearing no further comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public hearing.


Nielson stated she is uncomfortable with the situation.  We received a letter in October that they were canceling the parade.  It should have been over then.  For whatever reasons, it is ongoing.  We should make a clear decision.  We have funded the fireworks and fair.  It should be a line item.  We have to make tough decisions up here.  We have to give you clear direction this year.  This cannot go on.


Nielson made a motion to fund the parade and fun run this year with the caveat that in August they have a discussion as to whether they are funding the parade and 5k run next year.  Second:  Sandham.  Discussion:  Braden stated the inherent problem here is our budget cycle.  We will be back her next January/February talking about this parade with the same dialogue.  Braden stated you can talk about celebrations, but we are the ones that have to walk into this building and look at the people we are laying off or cutting benefits for.


Sandham stated in 2005 the celebration of public events line item was $50,000 and that included Police and DPW overtime.  In 2010 the line item was $10,000.  We have drawn the strings down on the spending.  We need to have something people can come out to.


Bastone clarified the motion is for half overtime, half comp time.


Roll call vote – Braden, no; Kostka, no; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Motion approved.


Nielson requested Mr. Paster please come see them in August.  Bastone will put it on the calendar.


NO. 2 – LOWE’S:  Bastone gave an update on Lowe’s as per his report dated 02/03/11.  Lowe’s is leasing the property.  They expect an answer within sixty days from the NJDOT on the option to deadend/cul-de-sac north end of Maple Avenue.  No zoning violations in the last three years on 8 Maple Avenue.  2010 tax revenue on that was $4,817.77.  Two Police Department incidents within the last three years – loud music, false alarm.  Lowe’s does not want to demolish the house now. 


Nielson stated they still need to go through the files regarding the 8 Maple Avenue house and that John Street Park was going to be moved out there, etc.


Sandham stated they need to propose to us an alternative to demolishing the house – in writing.  Mr. Bastone will tell them that.  Nielson stated she will check the files.


Bastone reported on the Board of Adjustment offsite conditions and cost estimates.  Mr. Barile provided information in a January 28 e-mail – excerpts from the BOA resolution of approval.  They need to go back to the board engineer regarding the offsite improvements.


NO. 3 – LONG-TERM FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE:  Kostka reviewed the proposed LTFPC future agenda items:  Post-mortem on water and sewer rates.  Review employee contracts before negotiations begin.  Review of town positions and recommendations on pay ranges.  Health benefits after retirement.  The Township Committee could use the recommendations as they see fit – use them, modify them, or reject them.  I feel there should not be any changes to the LTFPC agenda.  Also, I am not aware of any committee where the Township Committee sets their agenda or tells them we disagree with their agenda – you shouldn’t look into these matters.  You have a group of individuals with great ideas.


Sandham stated it is an advisory committee from the Township Committee.  The Township Committee has typically decided on the items to ask the LTFPC to review in detail, such as water and sewer rates.  When LTFPC decided to do things on their own it was to look at Montville as compared to other towns and see how we fare against other towns.  We were elected to govern this town and set the direction and policy for this town.  I am not willing to advocate that and give that to another committee at this point, unless all five of us agree to it.  These are sensitive things in nature – contract negotiations.  I don’t want a memo or recommendation to come out of LTFPC on how to deal with employees in the table of organization or a union contract that is going to potentially disrupt the normal flow of negotiations.  That is what I am worried about.


Gallopo stated I look at the LTFPC as supporting the Township Committee to help us do our due diligence to make intelligent decisions.  The information that they would be requesting are public documents.  In favor of allowing them to set their agenda.  One concern is the burden on Mr. Bastone and his staff for the information.  That needs to be ironed out.


Braden stated I have no problem with them looking at a variety of issues.  I would not be in favor of giving them free reign, but a lot of latitude.


Kostka stated the Township Committee gets notes of the meetings, and they get the minutes.


Nielson stated they were set up to advise the Township Committee.  The water and sewer report – we specifically asked them to review that.  I don’t want to set their agenda - as long as they take priority the issues the Township Committee has asked them to look at.  They should check in with us now and then.


Sandham stated I love the LTFPC.  I sat on that committee.  I have a concern that deals with employee issues in a public meeting that might otherwise may be dealt with at the Township Committee level in closed session.  Though they carry no weight, it is now an advisory committee that is making a recommendation to the Township Committee.  I wouldn’t want to be an employee having my position reviewed by an advisory committee that wasn’t given specific direction by the Township Committee about what they should and shouldn’t do.  That is my level of concern.


Nielson stated there are two liaisons to the LTFPC.  If they agree with the recommendations, you are 2/3 there.  Nielson stated that issue does have merit.  Yet, I don’t know that we can dictate their agenda.  But that is a cautionary issue.  Sandham stated none of the other committees would be getting into this level of detail that would potentially impact employees.  That is the concern I have.


Gallopo stated the LTFPC would not have any information that the public does not have access to.  Anybody in this audience can get up to the microphone and suggest a new table of organization.


Sandham stated I understand that.  You recognize that one person getting information and doing an analysis and coming to the microphone carries a lot of different weight than a group of nine CPA’s making a recommendation to the Township Committee.    


Braden stated the direction from the Township Committee should be – please, be sensitive – you are dealing with employees’ lives.  We have two liaisons that can take that back to them.


Nielson asked when can we expect the report on water and sewer? 


Robert Lowenfish, Finance Director, stated the LTFPC will discuss in March.


NO. 4 – LAND USE REVIEW COMMITTEE:  Braden stated last meeting he made a recommendation to form a Land Use Review Committee to study streamlining the land use application process, streamlining ordinances, etc.  I want our residents to be comfortable coming into Land Use and going before the boards.  I just want the process to be looked at.  I think we can clean some things up.  The committee would be two members of the Planning Board, two members of the Board of Adjustment, our planner, and a former land use board member or two.


Bastone stated he would like Mr. Barile to be added to the committee.  Braden stated Art Daughtry expressed interest.  Nielson stated Maury Cartine, former BOA member for 14 years, expressed interest. 


Murphy stated they can do a formal resolution next meeting.


NO. 5 – 2011 AND FUTURE GOALS:  Bastone stated he only received a list from Committeeman Kostka.  How do you want to handle this?  Township Committee agreed – submit suggestions to Mr. Bastone by February 16.


NO. 6 – CAMP DAWSON PICNIC PAVILION:  Bastone stated they have a February 2 letter from the Towaco Civic Association with a sketch of the proposed pavilion and information from the Buy-A-Brick program. 


Kim Bott, 22 Hewlett Road, Towaco, stated they would like approval on the design from the Township Committee. 


Sandham asked if there are any restrictions on the cement slab foundation since it is open space property.  Barile stated that was submitted on the plan to the State.  Don’t see a problem.  I was hoping the Township Committee would permit me to do the foundation design. 


Nielson asked the life expectancy.  Bott stated she knows the roof is guaranteed for thirty years.  Nielson asked if the TCA is going to do the maintenance.  Bott stated no, it is a gift to the town.  We will pay the $1,000 to have it stained in the beginning.  We are fundraising for the cost of the project – about $35,000.  We are halfway there. 


Nielson asked about the differential in the grade – landscaping, etc.  Are you expecting the Township to do the work?  Bott stated that if they wanted to, that would be great.  We are planning on doing all the work - but if the town is able to help at some point with excavating.


Barile stated if the snow ever goes away, we will meet on site and come up with a precise location.  Then we will determine what site work will be necessary.  A decision will have to made at that point about who does what.


Township Committee approved.




Steve Samitt, 2 Ridge Drive, Montville, stated we have a gazebo at Changebridge @ Montville.  A gazebo is a great idea, but it can be a problem – garbage, graffiti, etc.  Just want to make you aware of that.


Christina Renfer, 10 Waughaw Road, Towaco, TCA President, stated the gazebo is for the whole community to enjoy.  We hope no one will destroy it.  We are not committing to the maintenance part now, but we are taking care of Camp Dawson four times per year.  If we can commit to it in the future, we will, but right now we have to finish the building first.


Braden stated he checked with Mr. Bastone, and if the gazebo were gifted to the town it would be covered under our insurance policy.


Sue Goldblatt, Montville Pet Parents President, asked the status of the new animal shelter.  Martin Murphy, Township Attorney, stated regarding the property, we have done the title work and descriptions.  We are waiting for a call from the First Aid Squad attorney regarding the closing. 


Hearing no further comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public portion.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Kostka.  All in favor.  Motion approved.


Nielson stated regarding the gazebo, at her condo complex the gazebo has been vandalized, and it has become a hangout.  They had to put a security camera there.






Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for February 22, 2011, at 8 p.m.  Motion:  Braden.  Second:  Gallopo.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Motion approved.




NO. 1 – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PROCESSING OF TAX SALE CERTIFICATE #09-00041 REDEMPTION:  Block 139.11, Lot 11.05.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Gallopo.  Roll call vote – all yes.  Resolution adopted.


NO. 2 – APPROVAL OF APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE PERMIT FOR SOCIAL AFFAIR:  Pine Brook Jewish Center, 03/05/11.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Gallopo.  All in favor.  Motion approved.




WHEREAS, there is a need to apply for Treatment Works Approval from the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Water Quality in connection with the development of Lowes (Block 167, Lots 28-32, Block 179, Lot 1 & Block 178, Lot 3 - 85 Bloomfield Avenue), as shown on the Tax Map of the Township of Montville; and

            WHEREAS, the Township of Montville, as eventual owner of the proposed treatment works, is required to consent to the filing of the Treatment Works Approval Permit Application.

            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 municipal officials are hereby authorized to execute a Consent by the Governing Body for the Treatment Works Approval Permit Application filed in connection with the Lowes development (Block 167, Lots 28-32, Block 179, Lot 1 & Block 178, Lot 3 - 85 Bloomfield Avenue) in the Township of Montville.


Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Kostka.  All in favor.  Resolution adopted.




WHEREAS, there appears to be insufficient funds in the following accounts (Excepting the appropriation for Contingent Expenses or Deferred Charges) to meet the demands for the balance of the year, 2010


                        DPW/Fleet                                          $  3,000

                        Planning/BOA OE                             $  1,000

Police OE                                           $     800

Finance OE                                        $  1,600


            WHEREAS,     there appears to be a surplus in the following accounts, (excepting the appropriation for Contingent Expenses, Deferred Charges, Cash Deficit of Preceding Year, Reserve for Uncollected Taxes, Down Payments, Capital Improvement Fund or Interest and Debt Redemption Charges,) over and above the demand deemed to be necessary for the balance of the year, 2010


                        Planning Board S&W                       $  3,500

                        BOA S&W                                           $  2,900


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, (not less than two-thirds of all members thereof affirmatively concurring) that in accordance with the provision of R. S. 40A-58, part of the surplus in the accounts heretofore mentioned be and the same is hereby transferred to the accounts, (excepting the appropriation for Contingent Expenses or Deferred Charges), mentioned as being insufficient to meet the current demands, and


            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Director of Finance is hereby authorized and directed to make the transfers.


Motion:  Braden.  Second:  Gallopo.  Roll call vote – all yes.  Resolution adopted.


NO. 5 – RESOLUTION APPROVING THE LISTING OF BILLS AND SIGNING OF CHECKS:  Listing of bills approved; and the Mayor and Township Clerk are authorized to sign the checks.  Motion:  Braden.  Second:  Kostka.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Resolution adopted.




Committeeman Gallopo reported the Technology Committee is going to discuss options on the e-mail issues.  Mr. Perkins and the committee are working on a solution, and it should be ironed out by the end of the week.  It will not be necessary for laptops to be issued to each Township Committee member for the e-mail issues. 


Paperless meetings – a whiteboard would be too small for the public to read.  Also discussed video minutes.  The best option would be to post audio minutes on the website. 


Braden stated when we appointed the committee it was off an e-mail list.  There is one gentleman there who was not originally appointed.  I would ask the Chair to check with everyone on the committee to see if they still want to serve.


Sandham stated the appointments were not adopted as a resolution.  Suggest we formalize.  Discussion item for next meeting.


Committeeman Kostka – no report.


Committeeman Braden requested a report on the outsourcing of repairs.


Library Tech Committee meeting – they are currently working on a quote for an electronic sign.  They are wondering if our DPW can do the excavation and dig the conduit for the sign.  Bastone stated he does not see a problem, but he will check with Tom Mazzaccaro. 


Committeewoman Nielson asked if it is possible to do e-mail blasts regarding recycling, etc.  Referring to the Technology Committee.


Also, the Montville Messenger is coming out – can we put something in there again about the notification system.


Budget online – can we do that?  Bastone stated a PDF can be posted.  Township Committee agreed – post a PDF of the budget online.


Bastone stated we have all the municipal revenues for the budget.  The two numbers we are waiting for are library surplus and State aid.  State aid is supposed to be released the date of our next meeting.  Budget will be an agenda item next meeting.


Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.  Motion:  Kostka.  Second:  Nielson.  All in favor.  Motion approved.


Respectfully submitted,





Gertrude H. Atkinson, Township Clerk


Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 April 2011 )
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