MINUTES OF AUGUST 17, 2011
Ron Cain, Jr. - present
Everett Vreeland - present Deane Driscoll - present
Ron Soussa - present Kevin Seidel, Alt. #2 - absent
Horowitz - absent Arnold
Schancupp – alt #1 - present
Alexander Kachmar -absent
Committee: Jim Sandham - present; Deb Nielson (alt) - absent
Planning Board Liaison: Tony
Speciale - absent
Environmental Commission: Monica Mianecki - present
Meghan Hunscher, PP - absent
Board of Adjustment –
Deane reported that the Lake Valhalla Club application has
been postponed. Deane also reported that Mr. Patel’s
application for a second floor addition was denied.
Planning Board – Jim
Tony was absent at the last Planning Board meeting. Jim Sandham reported that not much has
happened. At the state level, COAH has been abolished and absorbed into the
DCA. Montville’s Housing Plan designates 14 rehab
rental units to be funded by the Township at a minimum of $10,000 each. The
Planning Board recommended that a residential fee ordinance, approved by COAH,
be adopted by the Township Committee to generate revenue to meet this
obligation. The Township Committee
debated the issue and on a vote of 3 to 2, did not introduce the ordinance to
create the impact fee.
Speaker - TOM
MAZZACCARO - Department Director, Montville
Water and Sewer / Department of Public Works
Tom discussed the new ratable chase and the policy of water and sewer hook-up
(connection) fees. He explained that there is a separate budget for the water department
and the sewer department which are self-liquidating through quarterly charges.
The revenues and expenses of each utility are separate by law. Tom indicated that the town is essentially
“built out” in terms of residential development. Most of the activity going forward is rehabilitation
of existing structures and redevelopment of areas.
Some areas in town are not connected to the water main and
are on wells but generally 90% of residential properties have public water and sewer and almost all commercial
properties are connected to both water and sewer. Development is restricted in
the Highlands area. The current excess capacity
for water is approximatley 700k gallons and sewer is 300k gallons. This excess capacity is useful for
redevelopment in situations like Lowes.
Tom discussed the application of connection fees. Development projects that do not existing
water and/or sewer connections must pay a one-time connection fee based upon
the type of structures.. Most rehab places, i.e. Rt. 46 and Rt. 202, have no
connection fees since they have existing utilities.
In response to a question Mr. Mazzaccaro indicated that all
prior MUA debt to the Township was paid back between years 2000 and 2005. The amount was approximatly $7 million
The connection fee is based on the state formula. Water is
based on an EDU (equipment dwelling unit) measurement. For example, in an office building the
formula is 3000 sq. ft. per equals one EDU. If one EDU pays $5,000 then 2 EDU’s pays
$10,000. For the water connection fee an EDU = $3460, For sewer and EDU = $6429. Combined water and sewer is thus $9,889
under this scenario.
Tom indicated that an automatic tax lien is placed on
property if water and sewer quarterly charges are not paid. Water rates are the same for residential and
commercial. Sewer rates are the same for residential and commercial up to
20,000 gallons/quarter. 50% more is added for gallons over 20,000.
Tom indicates that an advocate is recommened to asssit new
development in town.
Mayor Sandham indicates that Montville needs to be more “user friendly” and
that the website needs to be more interactive.
He recommends that that an Ombudsman position be created to speed up the
land use process for applicants and construction applications. This would also help residents with other
matters in the Township. He indicates
that the Land Use Review Committee is evaluating how to make things easier for
Ron Soussa indicates that the Montville Construction office
is very efficient. He indicates that the
overall system needs to be improved.
EDC Business Inventory Survey
Mayor Sandham indicated that the Township committee thought
this was a great idea. The Mayor impressed upon the Committee the need to do
this sooner rather than later. In his
opinion there is no need to wait for county.
He requested an endorsement from the EDC. The Township Committee members would conduct
The EDC discussed the survey. Ron Cain indicated that businesses may be
hesitant to respond. Jim said that the
return postage could be paid and the responses could be anonymous if the
businesses choose. Maggie wants the
businesses to feel that the Township cares.
Deane felt strongly that follow-ups would be important to the success o
Ron Soussa is concerned about the blighted properties in
town. These include the All Brand
Site. He asked if the property should be
condemned. He suggests that the
redevelopment of the Sunoco site get endorsed by the EDC.
The EDC members were polled and they approved the survey.
Mayor Sandham will speak with the Township Administrator
(Frank) to advise him regarding the EDC’s ideas and to advocate a person to
help with the application process. The Mayor suggested Adam. Ron C. felt that Adam
holding this position would be a conflict of interest.
The EDC members discussed the Money Magazine article. Suggestions included a sign on the welcome
signs, have the Chamber of Commerce “run with it.”
The EDC discussed applications that are “going
nowhere.” These include Bill O’Dowd’s
property on Route 202, Romola’s development on Changebridge, the redevelopment
of the Sunoco site, the redevelopment of GI Auto, and Rails.
Jim discussed the need for a study to investigate revising
the charter to allow the Mayor more flexibility in making unilateral outreach
initiatives, including reaching out to the Township Administrator and
businesses. In his opinion, the role of
the Mayor is too restrictive (e.g. just to run meetings). He indicates that the Township Committee is
generally opposed to this idea.
No applicants were scheduled to appear.
Adoption of EDC minutes of 7-20-11
– Eligible: Ron Cain, Jr., Margaret
Miller – Sanders, Deane Driscoll,
Alexander Kachmar, Kevin Seidel
(alt), Arnold Schancupp (alt)
Motion made to approve as presented by Deane Driscoll and
seconded by Ron Soussa. So carried.
Meghan Hunscher, PP