MTC Minutes 11/22/11 Print E-mail


Montville Township Committee Regular Meeting

Tuesday, November 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.


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, Interim Township Administrator

Anthony Barile, Township Engineer

Robert Lowenfish, Treasurer/Director of Finance

Thomas Mazzaccaro, DPW/Water & Sewer Director

Martin Murphy, Township Attorney

                        Gertrude Atkinson, Township Clerk



1.      Potential Litigation

2.      Litigation:  Tax appeal Block 1, Lot 11.54

3.      Contract Negotiations – police department study proposals


Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Kostka.  All in favor.  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 Committeewoman Nielson.


Chairman Sandham announced that Discussion Item No. 4 will be delayed until next meeting.


Chairman Sandham announced that the Montville Township High School Marching Band won the Group Three National Competition.  The Board of Education will be making a presentation at their December 6 meeting.  They are requesting a proclamation from the Township.  I encourage all to attend the December 6 BOE meeting.


PROCLAMATION HONORING FRANK BASTONE:  The Township Committee presented a proclamation to Frank Bastone, Township Administrator, who is retiring as of December 1, 2012.






Chairman Sandham opened the public hearing.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Kostka.  All in favor.  Motion approved.


The Township Clerk indicated the ordinance was properly advertised according to law.


Russ Lipari, Planning Board Chairman, read statement:  Thanks for the opportunity to give the presentation of the new Montville Township zoning ordinance.  With me is Gary Lewis, Vice-Chairman, who headed up the Master Plan and zoning ordinance subcommittee on behalf of the board; Joe Burgis of Burgis Associates; and Meghan Hunscher, Township Planner and Zoning Officer.


There were many meetings which were advertised and open to the public.  The Planning Board has been very sensitive to the issue of Economic Development especially in the light of current financial changes.  The zoning ordinance was recommended unanimously by the Planning Board after a full public input session.  We respectfully request that you adopt the zoning ordinance before you as it will be a benefit to the whole community.  It is consistent with the master plan.


Gary Lewis stated he wanted to reinforce a point and introduce two points:  the draft ordinance dated October 28, 2011 is the ordinance we are asking you to adopt.  There was a summary memo presented in conjunction with that ordinance as an aid to help you understand what changes did occur.  That memo did not represent anything new from the draft you were originally presented with.  During our deliberations, we uncovered a codification error from 2005.  We are simply presenting that change to you tonight to cleanup that mistake from six years ago – a minor cleanup. 


Martin Murphy, Township Attorney, stated he has gone over it.  It is not a significant change.  It would have to be an amendment this evening.


Lewis spoke about the last minute correspondence received today regarding this ordinance.  The Route 202 corridor was discussed and debated by the Master Plan Subcommittee in February 2010, March 2010, and April 2010.  This was advertised and none of the affected property owners were present to make their case.  The actual status of the meetings was posted on the website.  Our work was posted on the town website continuously seeking comment.  We had meetings with Mr. O’Dowd at a public hearing in May of 2010 on the master plan.  We had a special meeting with Mr. O’Dowd in September of 2010 at which time no new planning evidence was presented.  He was also present and made his case at the public hearing of the master plan in December 2010.  As far as churches go, Mr. Burgis will talk to that issue a little bit later in detail.  None of the 23rd hour publications or petitions, in my view, warrants a delay in action by this Township Committee.  This project has been in the realm of 28 months and dozens and dozens of public meetings.  If something does comes up that is legitimate you have my assurance and the Chairman’s assurance that we will bring it back to you right after the new year if any amendments are absolutely and truly warranted.


It is the work of Joe Burgis and Burgis Associates and our Principal Planner, Meghan Hunscher that has made this project as successful as it is.  She is absolutely a star on your municipal staff.


Joe Burgis stated his background and credentials as a planner – 35 years.  He has prepared in excess of 100 master plan elements.  He has been working with Montville Township since 1999.  Planning Consultant since 2004 or 2005.


Montville last did its comprehensive zoning ordinance just about 25 years ago.  We have eased up regulations for residents for such things as decks.  More flexibility to design of house and exterior of the property.  I sat with the Board of Adjustment to see the constraints with applications.  We reworked the ordinance to make the residents happier.  We did the same thing with the businesses.  The master plan is the template for the zoning controls.  We had the public meeting last month at the Planning Board to introduce the document.


There are five overriding principals:  Implement master plan.  Simplify rules and procedures.  Create regulations that acknowledge the assets.  Eliminate inconsistencies and conflicts.  Make ordinance more readable and items easier to find.


Streamlined regulations:  coverage, deck regulations, home occupation, slope regulations, front steps, accessory structures, thru lots, sketches.


Burgis went over parking standards.


Changes – I-2A zone – recommending that restaurants be permitted with certain conditions imposed.  Changebridge Road at Route 202 north side (A) – recommending additional uses such as health clubs.  Recommend property owners get together and build a secondary access road.  Will then give retail uses and it will also provide for additional floor space and building and impervious coverage.  It is solely at the discretion of the developer.


Sandham asked if there were any questions from the Township Committee.  None.  Sandham opened the floor to the public.


Murphy stated they received a letter from the Planning Board on their consistency hearing that this proposed ordinance is consistent with the Township’s master plan.  Also received a memo from the Economic Development Committee supporting the ordinance. 


Received a letter from Steve Schepis, Esq., on behalf of the Lake Valhalla Club.  In addition, we received a letter from him dealing with the question of the zone with regard to religious centers.


Received a planning memorandum from Mr. Steck which was referenced before by Mr. Burgis.


Randy Miller, 58 Davenport Road, Montville, stated he is concerned about a portion of the plan – election signs.  Each one of the zones has a portion on election signs.  It should be consistent.  It would make more sense to have one portion for the election signs and have it all in one place.  Permit process for an election sign - but it doesn’t go into detail as to what that permit requires.  In the past there have been violations, but it is not taken as a serious issue.  15-day limit to pick up the signs after the election.  That could be shortened considerably.  Also, it doesn’t mention how far in advance you can put the signs up.  Size requirement 32 s.f.  If the ordinance would allow smaller signs, that would be something the residents would be in favor of.  He spoke about the permitting process, enforcement, and the responsibility of the candidate.  Also, there is no requirement to get permission from the landowner.  This should be addressed as well.


Truscha Quatrone, 4 Majorca Road, Towaco, stated the master plan, page 230, underground utilities – will this apply to the PSE&G lines?


Dennis O’Brien, 8 Diann Drive, Montville, stated regarding the Lake Valhalla rezoning, they have spent seven months at the Board of Adjustment.  We are not trying to harm the lake, etc.  We are not trying to curtail its current operations.  We are looking for some type of conditions concerning future development of the lake.  What I would be proposing is that we are not affecting the current operations of the lake, and we wouldn’t affect the current membership, but we would want to have some guarantees that the lake continues to operate the way it does currently, that membership be capped at current levels, and that it continues to operate as it has as a nonprofit entity.  Any changes or expansion would have to go before the zoning board.


Kurt Dinklemeyer, 33 Douglas Drive, Towaco, asked will this master plan affect any pending litigation or vacate any pending penalties that have been assessed or charged to anyone?  How will it affect affordable housing?


Jay Chen Cheyenne, representing San Dol Church on Changebridge Road, stated section 230-151, schedule C, churches and places of worship.  Have several members of the church here also.  Our church is located in the residential OB zone, and we would like to continue to use that church.  Provide us with a little protection and religious freedom.  Respectfully ask the council allow us to continue to use our church.


Dan Pagano, 11 Roome Road, Towaco, stated Ordinance No. 2010-39, six pages, the council described as sloppy.  This is the land use regulation, 282 pages.  All anyone is asking for is a little bit of time.  Transparency is always called for.  I have been coming to these meetings for a year and haven’t heard of the depth and detail of this regulation.  I think time should be allowed for people to study this, understand it, and get comfortable with it.


Ryan Lee, 62 Douglas Drive, Towaco, stated he is also a member of the Korean San Dol Church.  If we want to create uniformity across the board, I would like to respectfully say that the church has been in existence for 35 years in the same location and that it have the same opportunity and ordinance that other churches have in the Township.


William O’Dowd, owner of property on Route 202, stated a report has been submitted as you noted.  Perhaps it should have been a little sooner.  I won’t argue that point.  I look at this as a deadline day and I got my report in there on time.  It has been in the hands of the Planning Board for some time.  I think what my planner was trying to distinguish was the fact that if I were to bring a use that did not require a road you could not compel me to build one.  If on the other hand I bring a use such as a Quick Chek that needs a road, then I can elect to so build as called for in your master plan.  Nobody is inferring that if I bring a Quik Check you need to compensate me to build a road.  I am sure a discussion would be able to clarify that.  My understanding is that we have every right to build a road if we need it, and you have every right to accept that road.  I believe what we are proposing is for the good of the entire town.  It is a worthy ratable and creates jobs.  It is a reasonable use for that area.  It is Route 202, not in the middle of a residential area.  I was hoping my planner could be here, but he had a prior commitment.  I thank you for your time and hope you will consider what I think is a fair and equitable use for my property on Route 202.


Donald Baumann, 10 Lake Shore Drive, Montville, spoke about the Lake Valhalla Club.  A few years ago they developed an auxiliary membership for economic benefit, not giving any of the members an alternative.  We have to do the right thing.  Doing the right thing is sometimes economically challenging.  I would hope that both sides understand what is the right thing for the community of Lake Valhalla. 


Steve Samitt, 2 Ridge Drive, Montville, Changebridge at Montville, stated if the committee makes any changes to the plan tonight, we would like the opportunity to comment on them. 


Quatrone asked how are you going to handle election signs from people outside of the community?


O’Dowd stated if there is a Quick Chek, there will be no diesel fuel.


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


Murphy stated with the election signs you are dealing with freedom of speech issues.  The courts have only permitted minimal control when it comes to election signs.  One of the controls is that the signs can me no larger than 4’ x 8’ and that they have to be removed within a reasonable time after the election.  We are bound by Federal court decisions. 


Sandham asked can we have a permit process?  Murphy stated he didn’t think that would be upheld.  He will look into further.  Burgis stated there are many provisions that are carried over from the existing regulations.  Regulatory approach for election signs is the same.  Can regulate size.  Kostka stated so other than the 4’ x 8’ regulations, you can’t regulate – say if it were raised?  Burgis answered correct, as it is set forth in the ordinance.  Discussion regarding permits and fees for election signs.  How would it be regulated for all political candidates?  Murphy reiterated the freedom of speech issue.  


Lewis stated there are permits required for all signs in our ordinance today.  Maybe we have to address that.  Burgis stated the current ordinance does require a permit.  If there is case law that we can’t do it - it is a simple matter to delete that one sentence in the ordinance. 


Committeeman Gallopo stated I don’t disagree.  One person brought this up – are there other things that were missed?  We have been given a short time to review the document.  We can continue discussing the document as a whole and identify this as one thing that has to be changed.


Chairman Sandham stated I don’t think the Township Committee wants to pass these ordinances related to the master plan and pick apart at it for the next 12 months. 


PSE&G wires – public utilities are not our jurisdiction.  Lewis stated the underground utilities are a standard for a new residential development.


Lake Valhalla Club – can we define the size of the facility and what their current operations are?  Burgis stated they addressed the concerns that were raised.  We have limited their ability to do any additional construction due to building coverage, impervious coverage, and parking requirements. 


Committeeman Kostka stated define social events.  Burgis stated weddings, parties, dinners.


Sandham stated this was a heated debate at the Planning Board meetings.  Right now they are in positive mode.  How do we get this memorialized so it doesn’t revert back?  Murphy stated I was not at the Planning Board meetings, but I think they are attempting to do that in the ordinance.


Sandham asked can you prohibit certain activities at certain periods in the year?  Murphy stated I would have to take that under advisement and look into it.


Burgis stated we limit the amount of parking.  There are a whole host of regulatory controls that are designed to restrict the magnitude of the activity on the site. 


Lewis stated paragraph S – site plan review provision – any physical improvement will trigger a site plan requirement.  It would be memorialized that way.


Sandham asked the impact on vacating current penalties if there were any.  Murphy stated not knowing what the litigation might be, I don’t know that.  There is a time of decision rule now.

Sandham asked if someone has a zoning infraction now – i.e. deck, do they still have that zoning violation?  Murphy stated I think it is going to go away if you have a change in the zoning ordinance. 


Sandham asked the impact on affordable units.  Burgis stated this ordinance does not alter the way we treat affordable housing in the municipality. 


Sandham stated churches are only permitted in the I, 1-AB, I-2, and I-2A zones.  San Dol Church – they are currently in the OB zone.  They would be grandfathered?  Murphy and Burgis agreed – yes.  Sandham stated if they want to make changes, would they be more restricted?  Burgis stated this particular house of worship – in terms of regulatory controls, the Planning Board determined they maxed out on that property. 


Sandham stated you are grandfathered for current operations but would have to come back with a Planning Board application depending on what you want to do going forward.


Sandham stated Mr. O’Dowd has a report submitted.  I did not get to the report until tonight and have not had a chance to read it.  Questions were raised about the road and use of the property.


Gallopo asked do Mr. Burgis, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. Lipari have all the correspondence received today from Mr. Schepis and Mr. O’Dowd?  Lewis answered yes.  That use is not contemplated there today and was not 25 years ago.  When we discussed that site on three separate occasions we concluded that a gas station/convenience store did not fit within the Planning Board or Master Plan Subcommittee’s vision for that intersection.  Nothing in that report leads me to conclude otherwise.


Gallopo stated if Mr. O’Dowd wants to continue to pursue a Quick Chek with a gas station, would that be a decision by the zoning board?


Lewis stated it would require a use variance by the zoning board.  Gallopo stated because of the changes in this document, would it be less arduous?  Lewis stated the potency of that site has increased by virtue of this master plan and ordinance.  They only exist if those businesses can have access to a traffic light.


Gallopo stated the two letters from Mr. Schepis – churches and Lake Valhalla Club.  He and the club members have issues.  It doesn’t appear they fully embrace the changes as much as they did two weeks ago.  Lewis stated the president of the club at Planning Board stated he believed the Planning Board met their mandate.  He did not indicate any concerns about this.  Every club operation that exists today will be permitted to continue tomorrow under this ordinance.


Gallopo stated a couple of weeks ago the Lake Valhalla Club members and their attorney were happy with the ordinance, and today they are not.  It is more than just the catering issue.


Burgis stated he had brought up point #2 about the patio.  I had requested more detail.  I still would request that.  Site plan review requirement – I don’t see anything wrong with this requirement and the language.


Kostka stated he just wants you to remove the word site plan.  Is cost the issue?  Burgis stated I don’t believe it is.   I think the issue is the municipal land use law gives the Planning Board certain rights to review and approve site plans.  In the end, they would be obligated to submit a site plan.  There is a provision that the Board is permitted to waive certain requirements. 


Murphy stated places of worship – there is a Federal statute.  You have to allow houses of worship in other zones where assembly is allowed.  My suggestion to the board is to proceed with the ordinance, but this is one area where we have to spend a little more time on, as with the election signs. 


Burgis stated he examined the statute and there is a distinction where a site is fully developed.  Murphy stated regarding places of worship and election signs I am not saying to hold up the ordinance, but these issues should be looked into further.


Sandham stated they are going to look at political signs, places of worship, OB-4 - Route 202/Changebridge Road.  I need to get more clarification on why some things are allowed in one zone but not another. 


Committeewoman Nielson stated Mr. O’Dowd spoke about his property.  The subcommittee discussed uses, existing and proposed, along the Route 202 corridor in February, March, and April 2010.  Mr. O’Dowd voiced his concerns and his wishes both publicly and privately.  We had a dialogue with Mr. O’Dowd.  He also spoke at the master plan public hearing in December 2010.  He reiterated his strong desire for a Quick Chek with gasoline at that location.  It has been vetted numerous times.  The proposed uses for that site far exceed what has been currently been permitted at that site for the last 25 years.  We have taken Mr. O’Dowd’s wishes and weighed them against the benefits of what should go on at that particular location.  I appreciate that he is determined, and he was certainly was aware the Planning Board had thoroughly vetted this topic.  To come here with a planner’s report at the 11th and a half hour on the 11th day is disingenuous.  We have made every effort to reach out to him, every developer, and the residents of this community.  If there is something new that we have not uncovered we will certainly work with him.  The goal of these ordinances is to streamline them to benefit the residents.  We are trying to save our residents time, money, and aggravation.  Likewise, we have opened the various zones to upgrade them to make nuisance variances minimal.  The impervious coverage, parking ratios, and setbacks have been relaxed to encourage business opportunities.   We looked at all sorts of avenues to bring businesses big and small and to retain our quality of life, and we have tried to retain the character of Montville.


This document – the volunteers have worked for 48 meetings in the last two years.  The ordinances were crafted not to appease developers but to improve the quality of life in Montville Township and to improve and eliminated antiquated ordinances.


Gallopo stated the master plan – if Mr. O’Dowd is disingenuous then so is Mr. Schepis.  He submitted two at the 11th hour.  I do have an issue where there are things in our current ordinance that we don’t enforce. 


Kostka stated there is no doubt the subcommittee did voluminous work on the project.  Residents – Mr. O’Dowd and Mr. Schepis – you have every right to complain – we work for you.  If it is not right, tell us.


Committeeman Braden stated it is quite obvious that the document is not a perfect document, but our old ordinances are far less perfect than the document we are talking about here.  I applaud the subcommittee for their hard work on this.


Sandham stated I think we all recognize the tremendous effort of the subcommittee and the Planning Board.  This is the forum if someone has an issue – it is brought before us.  This is the process.


Murphy stated the November 7th memo from Mr. Burgis - those changes were incorporated in the ordinance that was introduced and published.    The second memo dated November 18th with minor modifications – I have reviewed them, and they could be amended and incorporated tonight.


Nielson stated I did single out Mr. O’Dowd simply because he has been very vociferous in his pursuit of a Quick Chek operation.  That does not mean I condone Mr. Schepis’ document at the 23rd hour either.  This document has been in draft form on the website since September 23rd.  Mr. Schepis is clearly aware of the situation and is in tune with all of our goings on in the municipality.  Shame on him for submitting these documents today as well.


Gallopo asked can we amend the political sign piece and the church piece?  Murphy stated I would not recommend it.  It has to be looked into further.  You would have to incorporate the change tonight and reintroduce.


Lewis stated the Planning Board will deliver you an ordinance by the end of January after consultation on these issues.


Sandham stated if we pass the document now, we can address amendments later, someone can pursue a change, etc.  Murphy agreed, they can come to us and we would refer it to the Planning Board for their recommendation. 


Kostka stated specifically they are going to look at political signs, houses of worship, and conditional uses on the OB-4 and 5 zones.


Lipari answered yes.  Lewis stated the Chair has said we will dedicate a meeting in January.


Motion to amend ordinance as per memo from Meghan Hunscher dated November 18, 2011:  Braden.  Second:  Gallopo.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Motion approved. 


Motion to adopt ordinance:  Braden.  Second:  Nielson.  Discussion:  None.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, pass; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes; Gallopo, no.  Ordinance adopted.


Gallopo stated out of principal he cannot vote yes when a piece of the ordinance (political signs) is in conflict with Federal law and the Constitution.  I am happy as a whole – the piece is a phenomenal master plan, but that is why I voted no.


Lipari stated thank you all and thank you to the public for their input.  Sandham asked Mr. Lipari to convey the thanks of the Township Committee to the Planning Board.




NO. 5 – TURF FIELD LIGHTING PROPOSAL:  Ken Young, Montville Soccer Association, present.  Adam Brewer, Interim Township Administrator, stated the soccer association and Musco lighting were present last meeting.  You have a copy of the agreement from a prior project.  The ordinance has been prepared for introduction if you so desire.


Kostka asked shouldn’t this be included in the 2012 budget?  Brewer stated it can be.  Sandham stated I think they had time constraints.  Brewer stated the costs - $125,000 soccer association.


Bastone stated we utilized the $197,000 high end number.  The ordinance is $230,000.  $125,000 from the soccer association.  Our cost is $105,000 or less.    






Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for December 13, 2011, at 8 p.m.  Motion:  Braden.  Second:  Nielson.  Discussion:  Lighting is on a public property.  Township Committee requested that the affected property owners along Changebridge Road be sent notification.


Gallopo stated 2012 revenue issues general comment – need to take into consideration.  Bastone stated we will incorporate this into the six-year capital plan.


Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Motion approved.




NO. 3 COPPOLA COURT:  Geoffrey Evans, Esq., present along with Russ & Angela Pisano, 8 Coppola Court.  Evans stated since our last meeting we submitted pictures and information to Mr. Gallopo that he had requested.  Unless there are any other questions, our presentation is basically complete. 


Sandham stated we have done some work also.  Original estimate of $73,975 to get the road itself up to a dedicated status.  We have taken a look at what may be feasible to take out -   $40,000 for curbing and the street lighting, it is down to $26,575 to bring the road itself up to a plowable, reasonable level.  Then the town would take over that road.  Murphy agreed.  Sandham stated we want your client to consider that.  We don’t need an answer tonight.  We tried to work in good faith and take more than 2/3 of the cost off the table.


Sandham stated it would be widening the road to 24’, paving, and drainage improvements.  You can get the estimate from Mr. Barile tomorrow. 


Pisano asked where did this estimate come from?  Sandham stated from Mr. Barile.  Pisano stated he is a little concerned with the number.  I think it is low.  Kostka stated I hope the estimates are accurate.  Sandham stated if they are not, they can take the next steps.  We are making an effort to work toward a solution.


NO. 2 – PLAUSHA PARK WATER MAIN PROJECT:  Brewer reported the project has been ongoing for over two years.  Bids were opened on October 19th which requires action by the Township by December 19th.  An extension of thirty days may be requested from the low bidder.  Documents have been provided:  Chronological history of the project.  Cost analysis of the project as previously provided.  Amortization schedules requested in addition with a couple of others for perspective:  total cost of the project $1,072,752 over 20 years.  The $600,000 amount – which is the Plausha Park maximum as per Ordinance No. 2010-39 over 20 years.  The Township portion if the homeowners pay $600,000, which is $472,752 over twenty years.  Lastly, the Township portion if the homeowners pay the $222,040 amount, which is the equivalent of 61 connections at $3,642 – total Township portion there is $850,712.  In addition, Mr. Lowenfish, Director of Finance, has prepared an analysis of the 2010 water utility revenues and expenses with a 2011 projection.    


Chairman Sandham opened the public portion on this item.


Murphy provided a response to Mr. Pagano’s questions from last meeting regarding his involvement in the matter because of the well he already drilled on the property.  The ordinance provides for 61 properties to be assessed.  At the time that the improvement is done and we get to a hearing on the assessment the question then becomes from each property owner has my property been specifically benefited.  You have the opportunity at that time to challenge any assessment since you already drilled the well.  That is the time period when that should be done.  Right now, it is one of the properties listed in the ordinance required to be assessed.  You will have an opportunity at a later date to argue whether you should be charged any part of that assessment.


Dan Pagano, 11 Roome Road, Towaco, stated the ordinance states the Plausha neighborhood.  That is poorly worded.  There are people in the Plausha neighborhood that never use Plausha water.   Also, benefit wording in the ordinance.  What is the benefit? 


Murphy stated the ordinance is prepared by bond counsel.  I haven’t addressed or thought about the language in there as it strictly their ballgame.  The benefit is something that will be determined at a later date.  The benefit might be different for different people. 


Pagano stated there are people who are not members of Plausha Park – 11 to 14 – that the water line will pass by their home.  They will also receive a benefit.  The ordinance is poorly worded.


Sandham stated the Plausha owners – 61 – came to us and asked us to put the water line in.  Subsequent to that there are 11 to 14 more that can now avail themselves of that new system.  They were not part of that when we approved the project.


Pagano stated I was not part of that 61 – I was no longer a Plausha Park water consumer or landowner.  To Mr. Murphy - please explain to me if the number is wrong, and the ordinance is poorly written, your job is to give guidance to this board.


Murphy stated I don’t know if the 61 is correct or not.  This was prepared by bond counsel with instruction by administration.  Bastone stated we have documentation – 61 customers of the Plausha water system. 


Pagano stated I amended my deed and surrendered my rights prior to the adoption of this ordinance.  I don’t know where I stand, that is why I am here.


Thomas Mazzaccaro, Water & Sewer Director, stated he has a letter dated December 9th from Glenn Marsnick, Treasurer of Plausha Park, stating the 61 families are seeking your support to have Montville Township become the provider of our water services.  The 61 have been identified by the Plausha Park water system.  We have an agreement with the Plausha Park water system.


Braden asked is there someone in this room who knows if Mr. Pagano is part of the Plausha Park water system?


Rory O’Rourke, 25 Barney Road, Towaco, stated Plausha Park is on all of our deeds.  You cannot just “leave.”  We are still a group.  You are still a part of Plausha Park.  Even if you are not taking water, you are still billed.  He has been included for all of these years.  Nielson asked if there is anyone else who may have these same circumstances as Mr. Pagano.  O’Rourke answered no.


Mazzaccaro stated 15 years ago, I approached Plausha and asked them to become part of our water system, and it never worked.  It should be noted that some of the homes over the years tried to connect to the Plausha Park water system, they were denied, and they had to drill their own wells.


Pagano stated it is a deeded water right to 61 homes – that is why they were denied.  Since my deed was amended prior to the ordinance, am I included in the 61 and can I request that a curb stop not be put in front of my house?


Sandham stated we will have to get back to you on those two points.


Pagano asked what changed so significantly that now the residents have to pay $10,000 per family.


Sandham stated their system was failing.  They approached the Township about doing this project.  On a pure economical basis, even on the $600,000 cap, it is not economically beneficial for the Township to do this.  $15,000 revenue to be generated on an annual basis.  The debt service on the $600,000 is $32,000 a year.  The Township is losing $17,000 a year by doing this project.  Do we have a responsibility as a Township to provide water to our residents?  I think we do.


Kostka stated I asked for detailed information – revenues out to 2016.  I asked for detailed information – I need information to make a decision.  The roads were paved over twenty years ago.  Now we are going to excavate them again to put in a water line.  Bid - $148,000 is listed for paving.  I asked Mr. Barile – the winning bid – asphalt prices 40% higher than the co-op price.  Potential of savings if we re-bid.  We have sixty days – to December 19 – to award. 


Nielson stated the MUA put sewers in that area in 2002.  They approached Plausha to enter into an agreement at that time to also install water lines at that time.  The roads were repaved – that is less than twenty years ago.  Now we are taking roads that are in good to excellent condition, excavating them again, and then putting in a water line.


Nielson stated I looked at the bid.  Asphalt prices 40% higher than the co-op prices.  You could potentially save $40,000 to $50,000 if the project were re-bid. 


Sandham stated I would say re-bid with paving as an alternate.  Nielson stated we do have an ordinance in place for $600,000 that Plausha Park agreed to.  They did approach the municipality.  They stated it was $425,000 to maintain their system. 


Glenn Marsnick, 7 Forest Place, Towaco, stated the $450,000 was an estimate from an engineering firm for repairs to the existing system.


Sandham stated the grant from community development is $80,000 – 2/3 Plausha, 1/3 back to the town.  We should take that $80,000 to go back to the low and moderate income families.  Bastone stated it is a grant to the project.  The money is going to Plausha, 2/3 – if they want to distribute it to the residents they can do that.  Sandham stated I think we should give them the whole $80,000.


Gallopo stated we shouldn’t be keeping 1/3 of that.  Bastone stated that was a decision of the Township Committee.


Braden stated we are taking that money and putting it into the project.  We applied for a grant to contribute to a project that benefits low and moderate income families. 


Mazzaccaro stated in the ordinance it provides for the grant.  The grant was a subject of this project since day one.  Bastone stated the $80,000 is going to the project.


Mazzaccaro discussed the difference in the original estimate and the actual bid – over twenty years, etc.  It is still a good project and should proceed.  Normally we don’t run water lines for the sake of just running it to a neighborhood.  We usually run water lines to close grids.  Developers run water lines.  Developers bear the cost of running the water lines.  Alpine Road – 21 homes – all those water lines were paid for by the developer.  It is part of the project cost.


Kostka stated ultimately the homeowners pay for it.  Sandham stated the developers pay for the water line and we get the connection fee on top of that.  Mazzaccaro stated correct.      


Motion to re-bid the project with paving as an alternate:  Braden.  Second:  Gallopo.  Discussion:  Nielson stated the Marotta project precedent – benefit to homes – the money went back to the applicant.  A potential suggestion is that the 11 homes, if they connect, it could go back to Plausha Park 2/3 and the Township 1/3 or any potential formula.


Kostka asked if there is any value to us from the existing system?  Bastone and Mazzaccaro – no.  Marsnick described the three properties they own. 

Hugh Merritt, 37 Barney Road, Towaco, stated he is one of the 61.  Re-bidding – the low bidder is significantly lower than the next bidder.  You are risking what you are going to get.  Mazzaccaro stated the lower bidder is an excellent contractor.  You don’t know what you are going to get.  Discussion regarding bids and co-op prices.  Barile recommended that the motion be re-worded to say final paving, as there has to be some paving included in the bids.


Pagano stated the grant - if 2/3 is going to the residents’ portion and 1/3 is going to the Township portion, is that 1/3 actually going to the project?  Sandham stated yes, and we will just bond less.  It is going toward the project.


O’Rourke stated there has not been a new home in Plausha Park or anywhere on Barney Road since the late 50’s or 60’s.  We have paid taxes there for many years.  Lake Valhalla requested water, and you gave them water.


Braden withdrew his original motion.  Gallopo, who seconded the motion, agreed.  Motion withdrawn.




WHEREAS, the Township Committee reviewed and approved of plans for the Plausha Park Water System Improvement Project and authorized the solicitation of bids pursuant to specifications issued for the project; and

            WHEREAS, bids were received and all bids exceeded the budgeted amount for the project; and

            WHEREAS, the Township Committee finds that it would be in the Township’s best interest to re-bid the project by amending the specifications to provide for final milling and paving as an alternate.

            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 all bids received for the Plausha Park Water System Improvement Project are hereby rejected and the appropriate municipal officials are hereby authorized to publish specifications for re-bidding the project with final milling and paving as an alternate.


Motion:  Braden.  Second:  Gallopo.  Discussion:  Nielson stated we have heard from our Water & Sewer Department Head that this is a good contractor.  Our Engineer said we can take out up to 20% of a project after it has been awarded.  Would it be wiser to accept this reputable contractor and take out those two items?  Barile stated it is 20% of an item, not the whole bid.  You cannot remove the item as the second low bidder would have a problem with that.


Roll call vote:  Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Resolution adopted.


Mazzaccaro stated they will rebid in two weeks.


NO. 1 – FLOOD MITIGATION SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT:  Gallopo reported the subcommittee met a number of times.  They are approaching this from several fronts.  First – options for the residents – Blue Acres/open space buyout, home elevation plan.  There is also the de-snagging and dredging.


Brewer stated there are programs in place wherein grants can be obtained to acquire flood prone structures.  We submitted a letter of intent to the State emergency management office.  They will make a determination as to if we should proceed with a formal application.  There are additional programs available also.  The challenge with elevations is that it is for certain types of structures. A determination would have to be made by FEMA.  Acquisition – it involves razing the structure.


Gallopo stated all of the options have very long timelines.   


Nielson stated de-snagging and dredging Hatfield Creek.  The creek needs to be de-snagged again.  The State is looking at streamlining the process, but that will not happen until December of next year.  I will be meeting with Senator Pennacchio to tell him that the Township spent $1/2 million and it needs to be done again and when we went to get the permits we were denied.


Sandham stated the State DEP is participating in a de-snagging program for the Pompton River.  We might be able to get money for the Passaic River for that.  There is also a program through FEMA called CRS that lowers the cost of flood insurance for homeowners.  I also talked to a DEP director about the permitting process.  He said he would look into it.    

Gallopo stated there is a study that Kevin Boswell did for Westwood to look at a controlled release of water before storms.  Their Township Committee is reviewing that.  Also, there is a bill asking for a complete study of all the reservoirs to reduce the levels and add flood mitigation as one of their mandates.  Sandham stated you might want to circulate that bill to us so we can get behind it with our legislators.




ADMINISTRATOR:  Brewer asked Mr. Lowenfish, Finance Director, when he will get the water and sewer projections to them.  Lowenfish stated he is waiting for information from water & sewer.  Once the numbers are there, it is a very quick project.  They have been discussing it for about a month.  Brewer stated he will make it a priority that the information is turned over.


Brewer reported the safe routes to school grant application is due by the end of the year.  As you aware, Mr. Barile prepared three estimates for projects that were submitted by the Board of Education.  There would be a savings of $44,000.  Is that net of subscription busing?  Brewer will check.  Brewer asked do you want to submit an application?  Gallopo concerned how any child is going to walk down Changebridge Road based on the proposal from the BOE. 


Township Committee consensus – no application.


Brewer reported on the proposed 10% increase to construction code fees.  You have a memo from Mr. Laird.  The ordinance has been prepared with that 10% increase in it.  If the Township Committee does not want that increase, I suggest that portion be struck.


Discussion indirect costs for the department.  Are there ways to cut costs in that department?


Braden stated I thought our fees were considerably higher.  I went on E-Code and looked at other towns’ fees.  I agree with Mr. Kostka – I think a better avenue would be to reduce costs.  Raising fees is not really the answer.  Gallopo agreed.


Sandham stated that department has run in a deficit.  I would like to see a plan.


Township Committee consensus – don’t change the fees right now.


Brewer reported on the community notification system.  At the recent Township Committee/Board of Education subcommittee meeting the subject was brought up.  I will be pursuing different options.  I am waiting to hear back from Mr. Tevis regarding their Honeywell system.  Timeframe two months.  Braden stated a number of towns have notification systems.


Brewer reported the Township Committee requested an update as to the projectors.  Mr. Perkins is continuing to meet with the contractors.


Bastone stated Committeewoman Nielson asked him to set something up to address JCP&L’s response.  I contacted the Morris County League of Municipalities and talked about inviting JCP&L to attend a Morris County League meeting.  He will talk to the executive board and let me know.


Bastone stated he has been working on a hypothetical budget to give to Mr. Brewer to submit to you in December.  The biggest variable is the revenues. 


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




ATTORNEY:  Murphy wished Mr. Bastone the best of wishes in his retirement.


FINANCE:  Lowenfish reported at the next meeting they will have the resolution for the emergency appropriation for the hurricane and the ice storm.  We will do notes for it.


ENGINEER:  No report.






Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for December 13, 2011, at 8 p.m.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Gallopo.  Discussion:  Braden stated they had talked about possibly lowering the amount of the waiver.  Brewer/Bastone will look into.


Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Motion approved.




Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for December 13, 2011, at 8 p.m.  Motion:  Gallopo.  Second:  Nielson.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Motion approved.




Amend ordinance to delete construction fees – section 169-1.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Gallopo.  All in favor.  Motion approved.


Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for December 13, 2011, at 8 p.m.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Gallopo.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Motion approved.


RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CONSENT AGENDA NO. 2011-CA20:  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Gallopo.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Resolution adopted.




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 162 Lot 7

16 Route 46

Premium Money                                                                                  $100,100.00

Lien Redemption Certificate #11-00030                                             $114,682.33

Total Payment                                                                                     $214,782.33




            WHEREAS, Certificate of Sale #11-00009 was issued to Montville Township for delinquent taxes on Block 76 Lot 8 Qualifier C006A (32 Helton Terr), at a tax sale held on October 04, 2011; and


            WHEREAS, Indymac Mortgage Services on behalf of the assessed owner, Bruce S & Judy Ham has redeemed Certificate #11-00009 by paying the full amount of the delinquency.


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk of Montville Township are hereby authorized to endorse Certificate of Sale #11-00009 for cancellation.




            WHEREAS, Certificate of Sale #11-00010 was issued to Montville Township for delinquent taxes on Block 76 Lot 8 Qualifier C010D (8 Springbrook Rd West), at a tax sale held on October 04, 2011; and


            WHERAS, the assessed owner, Perrone, Joseph has redeemed Certificate #11-00010 by paying the full amount of the delinquency.


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk of Montville Township are hereby authorized to endorse Certificate of Sale #11-00010 for cancellation.




WHEREAS, Larry Gage (Paul Miller Auto Group), the developer of property known as Block 160.2, Lot 9-51 Stiles Lane, 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 has 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, Larry Gage (Paul Miller Auto Group) is not required to post a Maintenance Guarantee.


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, County of Morris and State of New Jersey, as follows:


            1.         The Township of Montville releases Larry Gage (Paul Miller Auto Group) from liability under the Performance Guarantee posted in conjunction with Board of Adjustment Application No. ZSPP/CD 4-07, Block 160.2, Lot 9-51 Stiles Lane, and the Clerk is authorized and directed to release the following Performance Guarantee being held by the Township:


-           Irrevocable Standby Letter of Credit No. OD08001218 issued by Valley National Bank in the amount of $31,500.00.


-           Cash in the amount of $3,500.00.

            2.         The following road is hereby accepted as a public road in conjunction with this development:


-           a portion of Stiles Lane as described in a deed filed with the Morris County Clerk in Book 2371 at page 739.


            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 Administrator.




WHEREAS, Heller Group, the developer of property known as Block 135, Lot 5 (1 John Henry Drive), has, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53 of the Municipal Land Use Law, notified the Township Committee that certain public improvements have been completed, and has 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 recommendations of the Township Engineer.


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 Performance Guarantee posted by Heller Group in the form of Letter of Credit No. 21605 issued by Columbia Bank in the amount of $57,099.60 and cash in the amount of $6,344.40 shall be released.






NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Council of the Township of Montville formally approves the grant application for the above stated project.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Clerk are hereby authorized to submit an electronic grant application identified as HSF-2011-Montville Township-00035 to the New Jersey Department of Transportation on behalf of the Township of Montville.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Clerk are hereby authorized to sign the grant agreement on behalf of the Township of Montville and that their signature constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions of the grant agreement and approves the execution of the grant agreement.








            WHEREAS, upon the retirement of Township Administrator Frank Bastone, there exists the need for the appointment of an Interim Township Administrator as of December 1, 2011; and


WHEREAS, Adam Brewer has agreed to accept the responsibilities of Interim Township Administrator until the appointment of a Township Administrator; and


WHEREAS, the Township Committee desires to appoint Adam Brewer as Interim Township Administrator and provide for a stipend for accepting the additional responsibilities.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, County of Morris and State of New Jersey, that Adam Brewer is hereby appointed as Interim Township Administrator as of December 1, 2011 and is authorized to function as Interim Township Administrator until further action by the Township Committee; and be it further


RESOLVED, that Mr. Brewer shall receive a stipend of $2,000.00 per month during the period of time he shall serve as Interim Township Administrator.


Motion:  Braden.  Second:  Gallopo.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, pass; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes; Kostka, yes.  Resolution adopted.




WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-140.10, every municipality must appoint a Chief Financial Officer; and


            WHEREAS, the governing body may appoint, for a period not to exceed one year and commencing on the date of the vacancy, a person who does not hold a municipal finance officer certificate to serve as a temporary Chief Financial Officer.


WHEREAS, the Township Committee desires to appoint Katie Julia Yanke as temporary Chief Financial Officer.


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 Katie Julia Yanke is hereby appointed as temporary Chief Financial Officer effective January 1, 2012 and ending December 31, 2012.

Motion:  Gallopo.  Second:  Kostka.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Resolution adopted.


NO. 3 – RESOLUTION APPROVING THE LISTING OF BILLS AND SIGNING OF CHECKS:  Motion:  Braden.  Second:  Kostka.  .  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  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 2011;


                        Finance S&W                         $ 6,000

                        Gas & Diesel                         $33,645


            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 2011;


                        Group Health                                    $30,000

                        Solid Waste O/E                    $  9,645


            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:  Kostka.  Roll call vote – Braden, yes; Kostka, yes; Gallopo, yes; Nielson, yes; Sandham, yes.  Resolution adopted.


Future meeting dates:  Appointment meeting set for December 20, 2011 at 7 p.m.  Reorganization meeting set for January 2, 2012 at 6 p.m.




Committeeman Braden reported the 86 River Road building sign is down.  It did not say Montville Township.  Our own library went to the Design Review Committee.  I would suggest that we ask the BOE to go before the DRC if they have not ordered yet.  At least a phone call to see what they are putting up.


Subcommittee meeting with Changebridge Road sidewalk residents – where are with that?  Brewer stated he will set it up.


Braden stated light pole bases Community Park lot – where are we with that?  Barile stated he will check with Mr. Mazzaccaro.


Braden stated he had asked for salaries on prosecutors.  We have two prosecutors.  Would we be better off with one?  Would like that information prior to our appointment meeting.


BOE/TC subcommittee meeting – the BOE asked that the Township line Horseneck Road for parking spaces.  Cedar Hill access road – looking for us to share putting an access road into Cedar Hill School.  The sharing is that we do it and they get the road.


Trash/recycling bid – they pay a carting fee for their dumpsters.  They don’t pay tipping fees.  It would be tough to incorporate that into a joint bid.


Committeeman Kostka reported on the Maple Avenue traffic subcommittee - Committeeman Gallopo and I.  The goal is to get a flyer out to the residents and have a meeting at the firehouse in December. 


Committeeman Gallopo stated we are going to submit a proposal to the Township Committee after we get feedback from the residents. 


Wish Mr. Bastone best of luck in your retirement.


Committeewoman Nielson stated analysis of water & sewer surplus.  The Long-Term Financial Planning Committee – is that part of what they are doing?  Lowenfish stated it will be part of it. 


Nielson stated notification system – hopefully we will have a recommendation before the budget.  Other towns have pamphlets about what to do in emergencies, etc.  Also, do we need to have generators and keep buildings open, etc?


Brewer stated he has a list of three different providers – he is working on it.


To Mr. Bastone – happy sailing and it has been a pleasure.


Chairman Sandham congratulated Mr. Brewer on the interim appointment and wished Mr. Bastone a lot of health, happiness, and fun going forward.  We will miss you.


Bastone stated he enjoyed working with you, and he is a phone call away.


Meeting adjourned at 12:48 a.m.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Gallopo.  All in favor.  Motion approved.


Respectfully submitted,





Gertrude H. Atkinson, Township Clerk




Approved August 14, 2012


Montville Township Committee




James Sandham, Jr., Mayor



Last Updated ( Friday, 17 August 2012 )
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