Montville Township Committee Regular Meeting
Tuesday, February 22, 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
Martin Murphy, Township Attorney
Gertrude Atkinson, Township Clerk
RESOLUTION NO. CES-022211 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; Library maintenance contract; 86 River Road; Appraisal services
2. Property acquisition: Changebridge Road extension
3. Attorney-client privilege
Motion: Gallopo. Second: Kostka. All in favor. Resolution adopted.
At 7:00 p.m. – Closed Session. At 8:03 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 Committeewoman Nielson.
EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT PROPOSAL: Eric Galley, Life Scout, outlined his project. He would like to construct a greenhouse for the organization, Pathways for Exceptional Children. He has spoken to Herb Ackerman and Maryann Witty. The location would be by the municipal building shed. It is not going to be a permanent structure. Possibly run electricity to it. E-mail from Tom Mazzaccaro indicated Melinda Jennis of Pathways is on board with this. Township Committee endorsed and asked Eric to meet with Tony Barile, Township Engineer, to make sure he is ok with it. Report back at next meeting.
PUBLIC HEARINGS ON ORDINANCES FOR FINAL ADOPTION:
NO. 1 – ORDINANCE NO. 2011-05 CALENDAR YEAR 2011 ORDINANCE TO EXCEED THE MUNICIPAL BUDGET APPROPRIATION LIMITS AND TO ESTABLISH A CAP BANK – NJSA 40A:4-45.14):
Chairman Sandham opened the public hearing.
Frank Bastone, Township Administrator, stated this is the appropriations cap ordinance for 2011. This is the old cap law. We still have to meet the requirements of the appropriations cap. It allows us to build our cap bank. The auditors recommend we adopt this ordinance. This has nothing to do with the new levy cap law that is based upon the levy.
Dan Pagano, 11 Roome Road, Towaco, stated he does not understand the ordinance. Bastone stated the appropriations cap tells you how much money you can budget. We are way under this number, but there is a bank that gives us flexibility should we need it in the future.
Committeeman Gallopo stated if we don’t need the bank for 2011 do we need to do the ordinance now. Bastone stated he believes it has to be approved prior to the budget. He will double-check and have a definitive answer by next meeting.
Table motion and continue public hearing to March 8, 2011. Motion: Kostka. Second: Gallopo. All in favor. Motion approved.
ADMINISTRATOR: Bastone reported it is possible we could get reimbursement for early retiree insurance from the health insurance fund we are a member of.
Personnel training – several employees are attending customer service training at the end of the month. This is a service being shared by a number of municipalities. There are CEU’s for certified, licensed employees.
ATTORNEY: Martin Murphy, Township Attorney, reported on the recreation alternate ordinance. The State statute is silent as to the terms. Our Recreation Commission ordinance states all terms are five years, unless you want to change that. Township Committee agreed – amend ordinance to reflect two-year terms for alternates. Murphy will prepare ordinance for next meeting.
FINANCE: No report.
ENGINEER: Anthony Barile, Township Engineer, reported they are in the process of setting up a meeting with the County regarding the right-of-way details for the Changebridge Road sidewalk project.
NO. 1 – 2011 MUNICIPAL BUDGET: Bastone reported we received word today we are going to receive the same amount of State aid that we received last year. If the library surplus is the same as last year - $237,000, there would be a 2.6% increase in the levy the way it stands now. If we increase the utilization of the library surplus to $350,000, there would be a 2% increase in the levy.
Gallopo stated he had a conversation with the Division of Local Government Services as to how we can use library surplus. It would be put into miscellaneous revenue for tax relief. It would fall into miscellaneous revenue. The issue we are facing is that we might have a larger amount than normal due to accumulated library surplus. It would create a bubble. We can set up a trust fund and draw an amount each year. They are going to issue a notice to all municipalities.
Committeeman Kostka stated the bubble issue is a real concern. Over the last couple of years, the library has run a surplus of approximately $450,000 to $500,000. In future years, the Township may be looking at a range of surplus coming into the town of $300,000 to $350,000 per year. If you take $1.2 million in all at once, the following year you would see a significant shortfall.
Committeeman Braden stated this is good news but the emphasis should be is that we shouldn’t have to collect these taxes in the first place – legislation.
Sandham stated he disagrees with Mr. Kostka’s calculation. Would rather have one line item in the budget – return of surplus from the library/taxpayer relief - and we adjust the surplus. This would help us to re-establish our surplus, help us in our financing, etc.
Bastone stated the bottom line is the total amount of revenue that is anticipated. If we anticipate more library funding, we need to anticipate less surplus to get to the same answer.
Sandham stated in the budget scenario before us – 2.02% increase.
Bastone stated the levy cap is 2%; however, there are exclusions: increases in pension; health insurance costs; and debt service. Our budget with the 2% increase in the levy is $700,000 under the levy cap.
Sandham asked are we comfortable going out with a 2% increase? I would like to go lower than last year – 1.7% or zero.
Gallopo stated he would like to go forward with the best budget possible and find some efficiencies.
Kostka stated he would like to do the best we can on the expense side.
Bastone stated he received 128 budget questions. He has been keeping a spreadsheet of the painless deductions. There are some increases that will offset; i.e. payroll courier services.
Committeewoman Nielson stated a snapshot of where we are today would be helpful.
Gallopo stated there are follow-up questions on some of these.
Township Committee agreed – take a little time to digest the answers.
Sandham asked are we going to go through the budget book and make any significant changes. We can’t change debt service. Are we going to look at staffing in some form - shared services, department scaling down, increase it, outsource, etc. That is the kind of questions we need to get to if we are going to have an impact on the budget.
Gallopo stated he would like to look into some of the questions in more detail. Perhaps can find ½ a point without disrupting staffing, services, etc. He does not want to look at departments in the next two weeks. There will be goal discussions that will lead into budget discussions for next year. Nielson agreed.
Kostka stated he would like to look at some of the budget question answers in more detail.
Sandham asked if there is a particular area the Township Committee wants to look into now – outsourcing, shared services, combining departments, etc. This way, Mr. Bastone can get the information together for next meeting. Gallopo stated that is hard to do in two weeks.
Braden stated he would like to have a meeting to discuss capital expenditures. Review of capital items next meeting.
Bastone will submit a spreadsheet of the budget changes resulting from the questions.
NO. 2 – CELL TOWER ORDINANCE: Township Committee received draft ordinance incorporating changes by Mr. Burgis, Planner; Tony Barile, Engineer; and Meghan Hunscher, Township Planner. Introduce ordinance next meeting.
NO. 1 – RESOLUTION RELEASING RUSSELL PISANO FROM PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE AND ACCEPTING MAINTENANCE BOND – BLOCK 125.5, LOT 14, HORSENECK ROAD:
WHEREAS, Russell Pisano, the developer of property known as Block 125.5, Lot 14 (36 Horseneck Road) has, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53, the Municipal Land Use Law, notified the Township that certain off-track improvements have been completed and have requested to be released from liability under the Performance Guarantee being held by the Township; and
WHEREAS, the Township Engineer has inspected all improvements of which such notice has been given and has recommended the release of the Performance Guarantee covering such improvements; and
WHEREAS, the Township Committee has reviewed the recommendation of the Township Engineer; and
WHEREAS, Russell Pisano has posted the required Maintenance Guarantee.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, in the County of Morris and State of New Jersey, as follows:
Section 1. The Township of Montville releases Russell Pisano from liability under the Performance Guarantee posted in conjunction with Planning Board Application No. PMSP/F00-25-07-16, Block 125.5, Lot 14 (36 Horseneck Road), and the Clerk is authorized and directed to release the following Performance Guarantee being held by the Township:
- Cash in the amount of $59,190.00.
Section 2. A Maintenance Bond in the amount of $8,878.00 in the form of cash for a two year period is hereby accepted as Maintenance Bond. The amount for the Maintenance Bond will be deducted from the Performance Bond being released so that an amount of $50,312.00 will be released and the balance of $8,878.00 will be retained as a Maintenance Bond.
Section 3. The Township Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to forward a certified copy of this Resolution to the attorney for the developer, the Township Finance Officer, and the Land/Use Engineering Department.
Motion: Nielson. Second: Braden. Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes. Resolution adopted.
NO. 6 – DEFEATED FIRE DISTRICT BUDGET: Towaco Fire District #2 budget was defeated in an election on Saturday, 02/19/11. Bastone reported Mr. Murphy provided us with the statute regarding a defeated fire district budget. It gives us thirty days to come to a decision on this budget. The Township Committee has copies of the 2010 and 2011 budgets. I also did a spreadsheet comparing the two budgets.
Murphy stated we have to have a public hearing and have to advertise it within five days. Township Committee set public hearing for March 8 at 7 p.m. They requested copies of Montville and Pine Brook’s budgets as soon as possible. Township Clerk to send letter to Towaco Fire Commissioners to request their presence at the public hearing. Advertise on website and sign. Have copies of budgets available at town hall.
Nielson suggested preparing a list of questions in advance so the commissioners know what we want. Township Committee to get questions to Mr. Bastone by March 1.
Nielson requested a courtesy letter be sent to Montville and Pine Brook Fire Commissioners informing them of the public hearing.
Murphy stated he may have a conflict. His partner may represent the Towaco Fire Department. If he does, you may want to look at special counsel.
NO. 3 – ENERGY GRANT: Bastone requested the Township Committee’s approval on the 2011 energy grant application. We took advantage of the grant last year. Township Committee approved.
NO. 4 – LOWE’S: Bastone reported on the questions regarding the house at 8 Maple Avenue and the park. Barile stated the site plan shows that the house is to be moved. The only mention of a park at all as an alternative to one of the cul-de-sacs was that money bonded could be used for a local park. Checked the Planning Board minutes – rezoning request – there was mention of the house being demolished and John Street playground being moved to that location.
Nielson stated I was present at the Planning Board when these discussions took place. I believe it was the intention to move John Street Park up to that location. I would hope that Lowe’s would entertain the idea of demolishing the home and dedicating the land to the municipality. There seems to be funding to move at least a portion of that park.
Braden asked the status of the cul-de-sac and the traffic issues. Bastone stated they are waiting for an answer from the NJDOT.
Braden stated pending the answers; I would support moving the park to that site. Sandham stated think we should find out what the answer from the NJDOT is.
Bastone stated how about we wait until we get an answer from the DOT. Then have Mr. Boswell or a representative from Lowe’s in to address the issues. Nielson stated we had a number of residents interested in this. Can we send them an informal notice to the residents?
Discussion at future Township Committee meeting after NJDOT gives us an answer.
Scott Russell, 8 Sunset Court, Towaco, spoke about the fire district election and why the Tea Party got involved. I was talking to a resident in Towaco about the upcoming elections. It seemed to be a secret. There was no public notice – nothing on the marquees. So we got involved as concerned citizens. Why February? It should be in November along with the other election. This was not an attack on the firehouses. We love the firemen, they are volunteers. Glad you are having the meeting on March 8.
Dan Pagano, 11 Roome Road, Towaco, spoke about the fire district election. There really was not good notice on this election. The taxpayers are not aware of how the money is being spent. It leads to accountability. There are inconsistencies in the County with fire districts. There are only three towns with fire districts in the County. There are inconsistencies within the three Township districts. I went to the Towaco firehouse today and filed an OPRA request. Will I be able to get the budget and spreadsheet here? Do I have to file an OPRA request? Bastone stated no, they will be available here.
Sandham stated the subject of moving the elections to November was broached. The voting districts do not line up with the fire districts. That is one of the issues. I agree it should be at another point in time so we have better turnout.
Nielson stated historically we have not publicized the budget. That doesn’t say we shouldn’t. I have talked to various commissioners and they said they meet or exceed the notice requirements.
Pagano stated it is startling how many people are unaware of the election and how the process works.
Gary Lewis, 5 Cooks Farm Road, Montville, stated the Planning Board was presented with a budget recommendation for 2011. The Planning Board has been discussing projects for 2011. We are preparing a list of projects we hope you will consider for 2011. Hope to have done within the next two weeks. We hope you will consider these projects during your budget review for this year.
Sandham stated the sooner the better for that list. Nielson stated the Planning Board should review and endorse it. Lewis stated they will have it ready for the Planning Board Thursday night.
Hank Lyon, 28 Indian Hill Road, Towaco, asked what the municipal open space tax number is. Kostka stated in the book it is listed as 6.02% projected. 2010 – 5.08%.
Robert Lefkowitz, 62 Windsor Drive, Pine Brook, stated they have discussed the Montville Messenger before – paper, on the web? Times have changed. Can we re-look at putting it on the web? Have people opt out of mailing?
I am videotaping. Would like to offer to the town that it be linked on the website.
Hearing no further comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public portion. Motion: Gallopo. Second: Nielson. All in favor. Motion approved.
NO. 5 – 2011 AND FUTURE GOALS: Bastone reported he will prepare a comprehensive list. He will put together common goals as one item.
NO. 1 – ORDINANCE NO. 2011-06 OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE, MORRIS COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, AUTHORIZING A CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FROM THE OPEN SPACE DEDICATED TRUST FUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $9,000: The Land Conservancy of New Jersey.
Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for March 8, 2011, at 8 p.m. Motion: Nielson. Second: Braden. Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes. Motion approved.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CONSENT AGENDA NO. 2011-CA4: Motion: Nielson. Second: Gallopo. Roll call vote – all yes. Resolution adopted.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM A – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PROCESSING OF CERTAIN TAX SALE CERTIFICATE REDEMPTIONS:
BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, in the County of Morris and State of New Jersey, that the following tax sale certificate redemptions be processed by the department of Finance:
Block 52 Lot 33 Qualifier C103J
130 Revere Court
Lien Redemption Certificate #10-00011 $ 984.97
To: US Bank Cust/Pro Capital I, LLC
Block 163 Lot 21
115 Hook Mt Rd
Premium Money $ 2,200.00
Lien Redemption Certificate #10-00023 $17,131.34
Total Payment $19,331.34
To: Empire Tax Fund II LLC
Block 124.10 Lot 16.07
136 Changebridge Rd, Unit P7
Lien Redemption Certificate #10-00019 $ 745.29
To: Moeller, Dennis
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM B – RESOLUTION RELEASING CYNTHIA LACHNICHT – BLOCK 51.2, LOT 5, 10 MONTVILLE AVENUE – FROM PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE: Cash $1,000.00 released. BOA ZC 18-09.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM C – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE REDUCTION IN PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE – PETER NAGLE BUILDERS, LLC – BLOCK 109, LOT 30, ALPINE BROAD:
WHEREAS, a Performance Guarantee was issued in the form of a Performance Bond in the amount of $697,826.34 and cash in the amount of $77,536.26 to the Township of Montville on behalf of Peter Nagle Builders, LLC, the developer of a development known as Block 109, Lot 30 (Forest Ridge Phase II - Alpine Road); and
WHEREAS, Peter Nagle Builders, LLC has requested that the Township accept a bond reduction of the cash bond from $77,536.26 to $23,260.87 and the Performance Bond from $697,826.34 to $209,347.90, which is the current amount required for posting.
WHEREAS, by memorandum dated February 3, 2011, the Land Use Administrator has reviewed the request for a reduction and has recommended that the Performance Guarantee be reduced.
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 Township of Montville hereby accepts a reduction in the Performance Guarantee on behalf of Peter Nagle Builders, LLC from cash in the amount of $77,536.26 to $23,260.87 and Performance Bond from $697,826.34 to $209,347.90.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM D – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF A TOURIST ACCOMMODATION LICENSE FOR THE YEAR 2011 TO THE PINE BROOK MOTEL: Block 162, Lot 6, 12 Route 46 West.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM E – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF A TOURIST ACCOMMODATION LICENSE FOR THE YEAR 2011 TO KNIGHTS INN: Block 183, Lot 3, 55 Route 46 East.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM F – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF A SOLICITOR’S PERMIT FOR THE YEAR 2011 TO SEDAT YILDIZ – MR. SAM’S ICE CREAM.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM G – PROCLAMATION READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY: March 2, 2011.
NO. 2 – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE FORMATION OF A LAND USE REVIEW ADVISORY COMMITTEE:
BE IT NOW RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, County of Morris and State of New Jersey, that there is hereby established a Land Use Review Committee which shall serve as an advisory committee for the year 2011 to make recommendations to the Township Committee, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment on streamlining the land use application process to make it less arduous and more affordable for both residential and nonresidential development applicants; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Land Use Review Committee shall have as members two (2) members of the Planning Board appointed by the Planning Board; two (2) members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment appointed by the Zoning Board of Adjustment; the Township Land Use Planner; the Department Head of the Department of Planning; and two (2) residents of the Township of Montville to be appointed by the Township Committee for a total of eight (8) members; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that there shall also be a non-voting liaison member from the Township Committee.
Motion: Gallopo. Second: Braden. All in favor. Resolution adopted.
NO. 3 – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE FORMATION OF A TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE:
BE IT NOW RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, County of Morris, that there is hereby established a Technology Committee which shall serve as an advisory committee for the year 2011; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Technology Committee shall have as members residents and municipal staff of the Township of Montville for a total of six members who shall be appointed by the Township Committee; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that there shall also be a liaison member from the Township Committee; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the mission of the Technology Committee is to review the current status and suggest improvements to the Township in regards to enhanced service/features, improved response time, enhanced communications and leverage for reduced manpower/support requirements.
Motion: Nielson. Second: Kostka. All in favor. Resolution adopted.
NO. 4 – 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: Nielson. Second: Gallopo. Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes. Resolution adopted.
Committeeman Gallopo stated we discussed solutions for our e-mail issues. Mr. Perkins worked on it. We are now able to set up our Township Committee e-mail on a number of platforms. It will be maintained on servers. WiFi in the meeting chamber – discussed today with a few people. Will further discuss with Mr. Bastone.
Currently a police officer delivers our packets. We have filing cabinets here and access to the building. Would like the Township Committee to consider that we pick up our packets.
Committeewoman Nielson stated they received a letter from MEL that if elected officials attend a training program we would get $250 credit on our premium for each elected official who attends. I signed up.
Would like an update for next meeting on the animal shelter. Bastone stated they are waiting for the closing and then they can demo the building. Will need to get the subcommittee together. We need another member as Art Daughtry was one. Nielson volunteered.
Nielson stated there were inconsistencies in the garbage pickup. Longview was not picked up on Monday. Roads were cleared by 9:30 a.m. No pickup is unacceptable. New contract – can we sit down with them and at least have a consistent policy.
Changebridge Road sidewalks – big priority. Can we get a list of all the engineering projects and the Township Committee prioritize? I would like to see the Changebridge Road sidewalk project fast-tracked.
Barile stated if the County has to budget the funds, they will do it in August for 2012. Also, the historic home there could be a factor if we have to go to the historic commission. Nielson asked can we get our in-house drawings done?
Committeeman Braden stated if the Technology Committee could work toward paperless meetings we won’t have to get packets.
Oil tanks – 7 Church Lane site – saw it come out today. Bastone stated that is not our property yet. Braden stated I understand there is an oil tank on the Edmunds property. Need to make sure we know about these – Camp Dawson, etc.
Environmental Commission – anxious for the snow to melt so they can get the grass carp into our ponds.
Library Board meeting – they have all their subcommittees are up and running. The Library Board is working diligently to get everything they need to get done in order to return surplus funds to the Township.
Recreation meeting – extensive discussion on the high school field. The Board of Education is looking to plant sod on that field. That would be an additional burden on our fields for lacrosse.
Chairman Sandham stated he received an e-mail from Relay for Life. If the Board of Education re-sods they will come to us for another location for the Relay for Life event.
Committeeman Kostka thanked the residents of Towaco and the Tea Party for the outstanding job they did on getting the vote out in this recent election.
Sandham stated if we get residents coming to us on issues, maybe we can share that among us so we are all aware.
Meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m. Motion: Gallopo. Second: Kostka. All in favor. Motion approved.
Gertrude H. Atkinson, Township Clerk