Montville Township Committee Regular Meeting
Tuesday, October 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.
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
Adam Brewer, Management Specialist
Anthony Barile, Township Engineer
Robert Lowenfish, Treasurer/Director of Finance
Martin Murphy, Township Attorney
Gertrude Atkinson, Township Clerk
RESOLUTION NO. CES-101111A 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: Open Space
3. Potential litigation: Lake Valhalla Club
4. Property acquisition
Motion: Gallopo. Second: Nielson. All in favor. Resolution adopted.
At 7:00 p.m. – Closed Session. At 8:00 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 Gallopo.
PROMOTION OF PATROLMAN CHARLES TREMBLAY TO THE RANK OF SERGEANT: Captain Wayne Guarino also present. Officer Tremblay took the oath of office for the rank of Sergeant.
PUBLIC HEARINGS ON ORDINANCES FOR FINAL ADOPTION:
NO. 1 – ORDINANCE NO. 2011-24 OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE, MORRIS COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, AUTHORIZING A CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FROM THE OPEN SPACE DEDICATED TRUST FUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,500: Glenview Woods/Bonnieview environmental.
Chairman Sandham opened the public hearing. Hearing no comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public hearing. Motion: Nielson. Second: Kostka. All in favor. Motion approved.
Motion to adopt ordinance: Nielson. Second: Kostka. Roll call vote – Daughtry, yes; Kostka, yes; Nielson, yes; Braden, yes; Sandham, yes. Ordinance adopted.
NO. 2 – BOND ORDINANCE NO. 2011-25 PROVIDING FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO THE ROOF AT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND FIRE HOUSE BUILDING IN AND BY THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE, IN THE COUNTY OF MORRIS, NEW JERSEY, APPROPRIATING $100,000 THEREFOR AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $95,000 BONDS OR NOTES OF THE TOWNSHIP TO FINANCE PART OF THE COST THEREOF: 86 River Road.
Chairman Sandham opened the public hearing. Hearing no comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public hearing. Motion: Kostka. Second: Nielson. All in favor. Motion approved.
Motion to adopt ordinance: Nielson. Second: Kostka. Roll call vote – Daughtry, yes; Kostka, yes; Nielson, yes; Braden, yes; Sandham, yes. Ordinance adopted.
NO. 1 – COPPOLA COURT: Present Geoffrey Evans, Attorney; and Russell and Angela Pisano – 8 Coppola Court.
Martin Murphy, Township Attorney, stated this is a matter that is in litigation and the court has allowed the Pisano’s to come forward with additional evidence that may not have been considered in the past. After you have heard it, you can take action or reserve your decision.
Evans stated that Russell Pisano is appearing because of the Township’s decision on October 26, 2010, not to do snow removal on Coppola Court.
Russell Pisano showed drawing of Coppola Court. They gave a six-acre conservation easement and a utility easement. I was told you don’t plow private roads. Upon further investigation, we found that other private roads are being plowed. I felt I was being treated unfairly. All I did was improve an existing road. I don’t want to sue the town. I love this town. Passed out pictures of existing fireplace and barn that he built the house on. The Judge said I should go back to my committee members and let them listen to my case.
When the town installed sanitary sewers on Pine Brook Road they said they didn’t install sewers on private roads – but yes they did.
We do pay municipal and county taxes and those taxes go to snow removal. This road has been established since 1800. Only one house has been added on. The homes on Coppola Court generate $100,000 a year in taxes. Our kids have to walk down the road to the bus stop. It is a safety issue. I have made improvements on the road.
The Township has installed sanitary sewers on Raspante and Duynecrest.
No one seems to know if there are Developer’s Agreements. Coppola Court was named after my late cousin who was killed in 9-11. There are presently 450 streets in town that receive snowplowing. I am prepared to make additional paving and restoration to this road at a cost of approximately $20,000.
The Township of Montville was voted one of the best towns to live in NJ – 17th in the nation. We do have a proud marine that lives on our road with his family. We ask that you take over the road or at least the snowplowing. Please do the fair thing. I do have a letter from the neighbors that use our road. Will submit the letter to you.
Murphy asked if he has found any private roads being plowed where there was a Developer’s Agreement. Pisano answered no; no one seems to know if there were Developer’s Agreements were in place.
Murphy asked are you willing to bring the road up to standards? Pisano replied no. I spent $200,000 and will spend another $20,000. That is enough. The road is wider than roads you are plowing now.
Murphy stated your Developer’s Agreement states that you would be responsible for the maintenance and snow removal. Pisano stated but at that time we did not know about other private roads being taken care of.
Angela Pisano referred to a list of 15 streets receiving snowplowing. Summit Lane – vacated; Raspante Lane – first half received sewers, snowplowing. Duynecrest – sewers installed, snowplowing. Daldunn Lane off of River Road – no services. Capstick Lane – accepted in 2005 – no improvements. Bonnie Lane, Indian Hill Road, Majorca.
February 8, 2005 – roads dedicated as public roads. These roads were taken over and our road is 200 years old and we were not contacted.
Murphy showed list of roads that were subject of a meeting with Mr. Mazzaccaro to Mr. Evans and Mr. Pisano. They confirmed that was the list provided to the Pisano’s.
Angela Pisano stated Marshall Lane and Forest Place get services.
Murphy stated it is my understanding that the pursuit was to see what other older roads were receiving maintenance and what roads had Developer’s Agreements.
Evans stated it wasn’t only relevant to the Developer’s Agreement, but what history there was on the roads.
Murphy stated it is a different situation because there is an agreement. Evans stated the Developer’s Agreement (Pisano’s) is not an enforceable agreement in his opinion, and that is why they are before the judge.
Linda Hill, 1 Coppola Court, stated she respectfully asked the town to take over the winter maintenance. The Developer’s Agreement has nothing to do with us, the neighbors. From what I understand, the Township plows some of the private roads. The tax rates we pay are the same as other taxpayers. Every year there is a skating rink at the end of Coppola Court at Pine Brook Road. The Township employees are trained to plow roads. This request for Montville Township to take over our winter maintenance is an issue all the residents of the street are in agreement on. I hope you will take into consideration all the residents on the street.
Murphy stated I thought the court remanded it here for you to provide additional evidence about the history of the streets and that they are not being treated the same as everyone else.
Evans stated I think his ruling was to present history on other streets as well as the history of Coppola Court. I certainly didn’t prepare any witnesses. They are just members of the public.
Committeewoman Nielson stated when this was last heard by the Township Committee, the vote was split. I am reluctant to comment because this is in litigation. Is there any other action tonight besides listening? Murphy stated that is up to the governing body.
Evans stated by the Judge remanding it back here, it implies action by the Township Committee.
Pisano stated I am prepared to drop this suit. The only reason I went into litigation is because I felt I was treated unfairly.
Sandham stated we can reserve decision, affirm our prior decision, or decide to provide the services with or without conditions. We don’t have to take action tonight.
Donna Salvano, 8 Coppola Court, stated the winter maintenance issue on Coppola Court – how much money has been spent on the litigation? Sandham stated they don’t have that information.
Salvano stated she spoke to other residents – Indian Hill Road – the town supplies the winter maintenance. Brook Lane – the town snowplows. Indian Hill Road spur – the town salts and plows. When we purchased our property the roadway was a no-named right-of-way. As a result of the subdivision, water and sewer was installed, the road widened and paved. We were not exempt from the hookup fees. Our road is still superior to other roads. We currently pay $16,000 in real estate taxes and have paid extra for snowplowing. Also, the Tax Assessor allowed one resident to move her mailbox onto Pine Brook Road so she doesn’t have to pay for winter maintenance. Now we have to pay her bill. Also, there is a water runoff problem. Mr. Pisano is willing to install another storm drain. There are safety issues.
We are hoping that the Township Committee will reconsider and compromise to provide winter maintenance for the safety of the residents, motorists, and our children. Let’s compromise and think safety first.
Gary Salvano, 3 Coppola Court, stated I would like to ask the board why we don’t receive what everybody else in Montville receives. We are just asking for our road to be plowed and salted in the winter. Currently six homes on the street and one vacant lot. That includes the one that had her mailbox moved.
Committeeman Gallopo stated he is troubled by the alleged inconsistencies of what has been plowed in the past. Who has the power to make the decision? What is the protocol?
Committeeman Kostka stated in this particular case the Pisano’s signed a Developer’s Agreement. What troubles me is when is a contract not a contract?
Sandham stated I raised that exact point a few years ago when we were talking about the condominium agreements. We chose to ignore those agreements and provide services. I said at that point we were opening the door.
Braden stated and we required all of those developments to bring their roads up to standards.
Evans stated an agreement is not enforceable if it is not the same as what is required by similarly situated residents.
Murphy disagreed. Mr. Pisano chose to not bring the road up to standards.
Committeeman Braden stated if you went before the Planning Board and asked them to accept the road; they would have made you improve the road.
Evans stated the issue is the Township accepted in a 2005 ordinance numerous private rights of way and private roads.
Murphy stated they were ancient roads that had no owners on, etc. Evans requested to receive that information.
Nielson stated the vote was 3-2. I was on the short end of the vote. The swing vote is no longer on this committee. I don’t know if Committeeman Gallopo is up to speed on all the facts. I don’t know if he is prepared to vote on this tonight.
Frank Bastone, Township Administrator, stated there was reference to the Kelly Bill. The Township is required by law to provide snow removal to condominiums.
Sandham stated there were other services provided that were not required in the Kelly Bill. I would like to take this under advisement tonight.
Murphy stated we should hear from Mr. Mazzaccaro. Gallopo stated this is a lot to absorb in 45 minutes. There is a lot of new information. There are things I would like to validate and there are legal issues as well.
Angela Pisano stated when we built our house in 1984 we expected the town to do the snowplowing, and they said no they don’t do snowplowing on private streets. Pisano stated and no one owned the road.
Township Committee consensus – reserve decision tonight. Give Committeeman Gallopo information previously provided to the Township Committee.
Sandham asked Mr. Bastone to reschedule to next meeting or the meeting after.
Angela PIsano asked if she can have permission to give Mr. Gallopo additional information. Sandham requested she give it to the Clerk to give to everyone.
ADMINISTRATOR: Bastone reported they prepared the required letter of intent to participate in the hazard mitigation grant program.
Sandham stated he has a fax he received from Assemblyman Webber. Meeting on October 18. Committeeman Gallopo will attend. They also want one citizen member to attend. Gallopo will check with the citizen members of the subcommittee and let Sandham know tomorrow morning so he may let Assemblyman Webber know.
ATTORNEY: No report.
FINANCE: No report.
ENGINEER: No report.
NO. 1 – MORRIS COUNTY DISPATCH: Bastone stated we scheduled this meeting for discussion on possible outsourcing of dispatching to Morris County. The information has been given to our three fire departments and the first aid squad. We previously discussed this item back in April. The fire departments and first aid squad had submitted written concerns. The Township Committee asked that they submit new concerns or reiterate the concerns they had. We got responses from Morris County. You have been provided with all of the documentation.
Sandham stated this Township Committee recognizes that health and safety is paramount.
Nielson stated we were told there were only three slots open before they expanded. Do we know that there are still three slots open? Bastone replied no.
Nielson stated so we don’t know the urgency. At our last meeting we sent out a request for proposals to five consultants. Dispatching is addressed. We are asking a consultant to evaluate this. I would think that we should wait for our report.
Gallopo stated that is for review of the police department. There are other entities involved as well.
Bastone stated the RFP does not address the evaluation of the Morris County system. We may want to add that to the RFP. Consensus of the Township Committee – don’t change the RFP.
Ed Watters, 9 Brook Valley Road, Towaco, President, First Aid Squad, stated in your packet you have a drawing of the County system. The County does not get a call from anyone on the scene. Described a scene today. You have a dispatch, and we are on rigs communicating back and forth. We have our own frequency and it works. We have two people who are alive today because the system works. I am all for saving money, but this is not the area to go.
Ron Cain, 41 Bloomfield Avenue, Pine Brook, President, Fire Commissioners District #3, and representing the joint fire commissions, stated all three fire districts, the first aid squad, and the Chief of Police have recommended that you don’t go to this system. We have given you a list of our concerns. Our concerns have not changed. We have $100,000’s invested in radio systems. I was also a police officer for 30 years. If you speak to other users of the County system, there is no one that is happy with the system. They operate on different frequencies. They have no way of communicating with each other. We can communicate with the fire departments, the first aid squad, police, and DPW. Right now is the time for us to prepare our 2012 budgets. We don’t know what you are going to do. We need to know that. We have been holding off upgrading our systems. I don’t believe the County can handle the calls. Earthquake, hurricane, floods - you set up an emergency operating center. How would you do that if you were with the County? They are answering your phones. We are not satisfied with the County’s answers to our concerns.
Kathy Lindert, 38 Underwood Road, Montville, stated if you were to go to the County system and people couldn’t get the services is it really worth it? What is more important, the response or saving money? You should ask the citizens what is more important. It could be one of our lives or a child’s life.
Rich Conklin, Indian Hill Road, Towaco, stated the system we have has been in service for thirty years. It has worked to this point. If we switch and it doesn’t work, can we come back? Bastone answered yes, we can switch back.
Sandham asked do you have to sign a multi-year agreement? Bastone stated his recollection is we wanted to sign a multi-year agreement to protect our interest as far as the costs.
Cain stated to go to the County system; we would have to purchase new systems, radios, etc. It would be spending a lot of money and they would be useless to switch back.
Sandham stated the County has provided central dispatch and made it available to towns. They have asked us to take a look at it. It doesn’t hurt for us to look at it.
Gallopo stated we have three different reports here. Reallocation of Lieutenants’ time? Is that still there? Bastone answered yes, the Lieutenants spend 50% of their time on the desk. We need to keep feet on the street. The savings would be in the patrolmen salaries.
Gallopo asked are we counting on attrition to deliver our savings? Bastone answered correct.
Gallopo stated July 10 packet, page 8, cost benefit analysis of 911 dispatch move to the County rather than the entire piece. It seems that one makes a little bit more sense.
Sandham stated I am always in favor of saving money. I think there are opportunities of saving money. When this first came up, we were looking at dispatching with other towns. I think that makes more senses than going with the County and investing in equipment that may or may not work. As much as I would like to save money, I am not willing to take that risk. This is not the only solution out there. There may be other solutions. We are looking for recommendations on how we can save money within the communication aspects of the operations of the town.
Gallopo stated he would love to hear the concerns on just moving the 911 piece.
Cain stated I think the first aid squad and fire departments would have no objection to moving that piece to the County 911 system. They would transfer that call to the appropriate department.
Watters stated I agree with the fire commissioner that would be a way to save some money. Someone would have to look at it and evaluate it – the time delay, etc. It looks like a possible working solution.
Sandham asked do we have a savings estimate from just moving 911? Gallopo stated there is no capital investment. The annual cost for maintenance would be an additional $5,000. The savings is generated via attrition for senior people.
Cain stated 911 system – if cell phone it gets directed to the state police that transfer it to the appropriate agency. To my knowledge, that would not change if it went to the County.
Sandham stated net cost $5,000 to the town to move to County 911 system; however, it would free up personnel. The town was planning an upgrade to the 911 system at a cost of $250,000. We would be saving $250,000 per year for a cost of $5,000. I would propose that we move the 911 system to the County.
Cheryl Henderson Brill, Police dispatcher and member of First Aid Squad, stated we get the cell phone calls now. We transfer them to the State police. Vonnage phones – we get them also. A lot of the calls are pocket dials.
Sandham stated I proposed moving 911 to the County. Kostka, Braden, Gallopo, and Nielson concurred with moving 911 service only to the County.
Bastone stated he will talk to Chief Cook about when that would take effect. Will keep the three fire departments and the first aid squad informed.
Sandham thanked everyone for their input.
NO. 2 – REZONING REQUEST BLOCK 138, LOT 11, 223 CHANGEBRIDGE ROAD: Steven Schepis, Esq., and Bill Iellimo, property owner, present. Schepis stated he recently purchased the Sunoco on Changebridge Road located in the I-2A zone. He is hoping to develop it with a restaurant in the Northern Italian flair. Bill is also a local builder in town.
Nielson stated the procedure is for the Township Committee to refer the request to the Planning Board. Murphy stated yes, typically it is referred to the Planning Board.
Nielson stated I would recommend that this be forwarded to the Planning Board for their review and comment.
Schepis asked will it be addressed on its own or with the 500-page document for rezoning.
Nielson stated that is a Planning Board decision.
Sandham stated the Township Clerk will refer it to the Planning Board.
NO. 3 – PEDDLER’S ORDINANCE: Bastone reported the Recreation Commission has recommended that peddlers, such as ice cream trucks, be prohibited from operating in three of the Township parks as they compete with the Township sponsored sports organization food concessions. This would be effective January 1, 2012. Introduce ordinance at next meeting.
NO. 4 – STORMWATER MANAGEMENT: Anthony Barile, Township Engineer, stated as part of our stormwater regulations we have to provide local public education each year and report it to the State. One of the options is to have Stormwater training for elected municipal officials.
General permits that discharge stormwater in the State of NJ are broken into four categories. We are tier A. We are required to prepare and implement a stormwater pollution management plan. We retrofit stormwater inlets. Any streets we pave or rehabilitate we are to construct these inlets.
Township is required to provide local education – we distribute materials on Earth Day and to people who are getting their dog licenses.
There is a stormwater inlet labeling program which requires that each new inlet to be constructed has cast into its frame words such as stormwater drainage to watercourses to remind the public that what they put down the drain will affect our watercourses. For the older drains in town, we had to attach labels with the same information. We have also had to provide mapping of the location of every storm drain and outlets in town.
We have been required to pass ordinances – feeding wildlife, cleanup up after pets, application of fertilizers, and stormwater retrofitting. The Township has met all of these requirements and passed the proper ordinances. We use our Montville Messenger to distribute a letter to every property owner in town.
We maintain a stormwater management page on our website. I have also provided a copy of our stormwater control ordinance Chapter 323. We have to file a detailed report each year to the State on our stormwater management. Public works has done a great job in providing the information.
NO. 5 – ADMINISTRATOR SEARCH: Item deferred.
Chairman Sandham opened the public portion.
Michelle DeVito, 207 Main Road, Montville, stated she is proposing holding a marathon here in Montville Township in 2012. She has already spoken to Chief Cook about road closures, etc. Probably a start and finish at Community Park. Parking on grassy area by the high school. Would have to determine if it is Board of Education property. Sponsorships. Distributed proposal. Looking to do it the Sunday after the Jazz Festival. It would not cost the Township anything.
Sandham requested Ms. DeVito come back to next meeting so the Township Committee members can digest it. Item scheduled for October 25 meeting.
Barbara Hertz, Glenview Road, Towaco, spoke about the conservation easement and water runoff on her property from her neighbor. She met with Meghan Hunscher today. She was going to e-mail the committee.
Barile stated he spoke to Ms. Hunscher. The question was the fence in the easement was prohibiting her from being able to use the easement. Ms. Hunscher is going to review the minutes of the Planning Board and if she finds anything she will forward to Mr. Murphy for review. Nielson stated they will review all of the documents.
Hearing no further comments, Chairman Sandham closed the public portion. Motion: Gallopo. Second: Kostka. All in favor. Motion approved.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CONSENT AGENDA RESOLUTION NO. 2011-CA17: Motion: Gallopo. Second: Kostka. Roll call vote – all yes. Resolution adopted.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM A – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE RETURN OF CASH BOND POSTED WITH THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE: Block 33, Lot 40.27, 14 Pond View, driveway, $4,200.00 (07/11).
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM B – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING TAX REFUND 2011: Overpayment, Block 149, Lot 11, 29 Walnut Drive, $2,135.93.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM C – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CHAPTER 159 APPROPRIATION: 2011 Municipal Budget: Revenue title: Clean Communities $37,812.04. Appropriation title: Clean Communities $37,812.04. Local Match - source: None.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM D – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE AND ENGINEERING AND TECHNICAL RESOURCES, INC. – ALEX J. ZEPPONI, P.E., P.P.: Engineering consulting services Stefanelli litigation. As per proposal dated 10/06/11. Not to exceed $7,500.00.
NO. 1 – RESOLUTION APPROVING THE LISTING OF BILLS AND SIGNING OF CHECKS: Motion: Braden. Second: Kostka. Discussion: Sandham spoke about the armored car service $500. I know our bank used to pay for it. Do we really need it? Robert Lowenfish, Director of Finance, answered yes. Roll call vote – all yes. Resolution adopted.
Committeeman Gallopo reported the subcommittee to look at mitigation options is underway – we have five residents plus Committeewoman Nielson and myself - Tom Sylvester, Joanne Conrad, Sam & Doug Gordon, and Jim Ritter.
Committeewoman Nielson stated we talked about the RFP for the Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management is not officially affiliated with the Police Department, but we had a lessons learned list and possibly other potential emergencies besides flooding. Where are we with the list? Bastone stated there were recommendations on the lessons learned. Lt. Applemann is doing further work on that.
Nielson asked what are we going to be doing with the recommendations from the Long-Term Financial Planning Committee on the water & sewer surpluses?
Kostka stated the LTFPC is looking for thumbs up to review the rates and then make a presentation to the Township Committee. Township Committee gave them the thumbs up.
Sandham stated he would like to see what analysis was given to the LTFPC to make their determination that there was a surplus.
Kostka stated we got the thumbs up; we will review ASAP and get back to the Township Committee.
Committeeman Kostka – no report.
Committeeman Braden – no report.
Chairman Sandham - no report.
RESOLUTION NO. CES-101111B 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:
2. Litigation: Pisano
Motion: Kostka. Second: Gallopo. All in favor. Motion approved.
At 10:39 p.m. – Closed Session.
Meeting adjourned at 11:30 p.m. Motion: Gallopo. Second: Braden. All in favor. Motion approved.
Gertrude H. Atkinson, Township Clerk
Approved April 24, 2012
Montville Township Committee
James Sandham, Jr., Mayor (2011)