TC Minutes 04-24-07 Print E-mail

MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE

MEETING MINUTES—April 24, 2007

Montville Township Committee Regular Meeting

Tuesday, April 24, 2007, 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 Art Daughtry:  “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.”

Present:            Committeeman Stephen Moscone

Committeeman James Sandham, Jr.

                        Committeewoman Jean Bader

                        Committeewoman Deborah Nielson

                        Chairman Art Daughtry

Also present:            Frank Bastone, Township Administrator

Frances Vanderhoof, Director of Finance

Anthony Barile, Township Engineer

Thomas Mazzaccaro, DPW/Water & Sewer Director

Martin Murphy, Township Attorney

RESOLUTION NO. 2007-CES-042407 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 – Litigation – Tax Appeals.

Motion:  Sandham.  Second:  Bader.  All in favor.  Resolution adopted.

At 7:07 p.m. – Closed Session.  At 8:00 p.m. – Public Session.

Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance led by Committeeman Moscone.

RECOGNITION OF MONTVILLE HIGH SCHOOL COMPETITION CHEERLEADERS:  The Township Committee presented a plaque to the cheerleaders and their coach in recognition of their accomplishments in the 2007 Athletic Championships National Competition in Maryland:  High School Varsity Level 5 Champion and School & Recreation Squad National Grand Champion.

PRESENTATION OF JOINT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION TO TRUDY ATKINSON, TOWNSHIP CLERK:  Mayor Art Daughtry and the Township Committee presented a Joint Legislative Resolution by Senator Martin and Assemblymen DeCroce and Pennacchio to Trudy in honor of Municipal Clerk’s Week.  Her daughter, Dee Atkinson, read the resolution.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

NO. 1 – SOIL MOVEMENT PERMIT APPLICATION – BLOCK 3, LOTS 14.04 & 16 – 80A STONY BROOK ROAD:

Steve Schepis, Attorney for the applicant, stated they are in receipt of the Township Engineer’s memo.  They are agreeable to the terms and conditions in the memo.

Anthony Barile, Township Engineer, stated the plan was scrutinized by the Board of Adjustment and my office. 

Chairman Daughtry opened the public hearing.  Hearing no comments, Chairman Daughtry closed the public hearing.  Motion:  Moscone.  Second:  Bader.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF A SOIL MOVEMENT PERMIT TO TIMOTHY HORAN AND TAMMY HORAN (BLOCK 3, LOTS 16 & 14.04/80A STONY BROOK ROAD) AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF A PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE:

            WHEREAS, Timothy Horan and Tammy Horan have applied for a soil movement permit for the importation of twelve thousand five hundred nineteen (12,519) cubic yards of fill on Block 3, Lots 16 & 14.04 (80A Stony Brook Road); and

            WHEREAS, the Township Engineer has reviewed the application and recommended its approval by the Township Committee subject to certain terms and conditions as set forth in the report of the Township Engineer, dated April 19, 2007; and

            WHEREAS, the Township Committee has conducted a public hearing on this application and has determined that the application should be granted.

            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:

            1.            The application of Timothy Horan and Tammy Horan for a soil movement permit to import twelve thousand five hundred nineteen (12,519) cubic yards of fill on Block 3, Lots 16 & 14.04, is hereby granted subject to the conditions contained in the report of the Township Engineer dated April 19, 2007.

            2.            A Performance Guarantee in the amount of Three Thousand Five Hundred  Dollars ($3,500.00) in connection with the soil movement permit from Timothy Horan and Tammy Horan is hereby accepted.

Motion:  Moscone.  Second:  Bader.  Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Resolution adopted.

NO. 2 – ORDINANCE NO. 2007-15 ACCEPTING THE CONVEYANCE OF PROPERTY FROM DANIEL VIDOVICH AND DIANE VIDOVICH – BLOCK 109, LOT 42:

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

Motion to adopt ordinance:  Sandham.  Second:  Nielson.  Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Ordinance adopted.

NO. 3 – ORDINANCE NO. 2007-16 AMENDING CHAPTERS 10.20 AND 10.12 OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE PERTAINING TO PARKING AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS:

Chairman Daughtry opened the public hearing.  Hearing no comments, Chairman Daughtry closed the public hearing.  Motion:  Moscone.  Second:  Bader.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

Motion to adopt ordinance:  Moscone.  Second:  Bader.  Discussion:  Committeewoman Bader stated she is still concerned that they are discriminating against a small group of individuals in the community. 

Committeeman Sandham asked Frank Bastone, Township Administrator, if the library expressed any further concerns.  Bastone replied no.

Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, no; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Ordinance adopted.

Committeewoman Nielson stated we have members of the Board of Education here.  I just ask that before the police enforce the ordinance when the signs go up, that the students be notified.  A flyer on the car, a memo through the school, etc.

Lt. David Peterson, Traffic Safety Officer, stated he and the Chief have discussed it, and they will notify the school one week before the signs go up.

DISCUSSION ITEMS:

NO. 1 – BOARD OF EDUCATION BUDGET:  Dr. Gary Bowen, Superintendent of Schools; Christine Riker, School Business Administrator; Maria Epperly, Assistant Superintendent of Schools; Jon Alin, Board of Education President; Charles Grau and Tim Lindert, Board of Education members, present.

Chairman Daughtry stated since the BOE budget was defeated, it has come back to the Township Committee.  We can decrease it or, by law, we can leave it as is.  Two years ago, when the budget was defeated, we hired a consultant, and cut the budget two tax points.  I would like to see if the BOE and Township Committee can put forth a few people, agree on a number, and then bring it back to a joint meeting. 

Committeewoman Nielson stated this is an important issue with the voters.  I thought it was a decent budget.  The increase was the least it has been for years.  I feel all the deliberations should go on in public.  If there are subcommittees, there should be members from the public on it.  I would look at a $1.5% reduction.

Committeeman Sandham stated he was actually surprised the budget was defeated.  I thought it was a decent budget.  I am willing to do whatever the Township Committee wants to do regarding a subcommittee or full public meetings.  We only have four weeks to go through the process.  I want it to be collaborative between the two boards.  I would discourage the use of a consultant.

Committeeman Moscone stated we need to streamline the process.  I would recommend that Mrs. Vanderhoof and Mr. Bastone sit down with one member from each board.  I would agree with three tax points. 

Frances Vanderhoof, Director of Finance, stated one tax point is $280,000.

Moscone stated I would recommend a subcommittee, and then the final decision by the full board.  I would like to see Sandham, Vanderhoof, and Bastone on the subcommittee.  I felt the consultant was of value because we are not educators.  He went through it line by line.  The cost for the consultant was $8,000 to $10,000.  The difference this time is our Administrator is topnotch.  I think if we put our two professionals, Dr. Bowen and Mr. Bastone, and the CFO together, we can come up with a budget.

Committeewoman Bader stated this is the most important process that faces both of our boards.  We should put everything else aside.  We should keep it open.  I don’t think we need a consultant.  I am keeping an open mind.  I don’t have a number.

Daughtry stated I, too, believe we don’t need a consultant.  The consensus up here may be we don’t want to look at a consultant.  I agree that Jim Sandham is the right person to dig into the budget.  As far as where the cuts are gong to come from, I hope the BOE will put that together.  We can cut and, at the same time, there are students here that did not address the parking situation.  The library parking lot needs improvements.  If the BOE would come back and say they would partner in improving the parking, maybe we could put that money back. 

Nielson stated I think we should have our Administrator and the Superintendent get together and come up with an initial recommendation.  They have heard the guidelines – three tax points - 1½%.  We can study them as a group or perhaps Jim Sandham can review.

Jon Alin asked do you want to proceed as a subcommittee or full boards?  We are hoping to get an amount from you, and areas. 

Bastone stated the BOE knows their budget.  Let’s talk about a number.  Then I can sit down with the Superintendent to see where that number would come from.

Charles Grau stated I would like to follow the law.  The law is you have to tell us the areas you want to cut, and we have the right to move money around.  Grau asked Mr. Murphy if that was correct.

Martin Murphy, Township Attorney, stated yes, that is the law.  Also, you want cooperation between the two Boards.

Daughtry stated we need to get to the number first.

Sandham stated I agree the most important thing is coming to the number.  The range is $560,000 to $1 million.  I would like to see a list of recommended cuts that you think would have the least effect – not that it is going to be rubberstamped.  The BOE, after six months, can make line item changes.  If we decide on 1.5% and the BOE says they are going to appeal it, we have missed the boat as to what the voters wanted.

Dr. Bowen stated I am pleased to work with Mr. Bastone. 

Bastone stated there are going to be priorities set.

Tim Lindert stated as head of the facilities & finance committee, we spent three months on this.  We have made cuts to get to where we are now.

Moscone stated this is the unique opportunity for these two boards to work together for our community.  We understand your budget process.  If we throw a number out there, I will trust the judgments of these two people.

Alin stated we need to decide how we are going to work.

Sandham stated I think the committee process – they should put together a recommended list of cuts in priority order for $1 million.  Then the Township Committee can decide if we want to cut that much, etc.

Daughtry asked if everyone agreed on the following:  Subcommittee of Jean Bader, Jim Sandham, Frank Bastone, and Fran Vanderhoof.  Timeframe:  progress reports.  Number:  2 to 3 tax points.  Consensus of the Township Committee - $841,500 goal.  The Administrator will call the County Board of Education to see if they will accept the resolution the night of the May 21 meeting or May 22 in the morning. 

Dr. Bowen stated we have been working on an efficient budget for the last year.  For example, we eliminated two science positions through attrition.  We have to issue Rice notices also, because we have to let our teachers know if they are returning by May 15.  The Rice notices are normal.  There will be a lot of buzz.  We are Ricing the vast majority. 

Sandham asked so if you don’t notify a staff member by May 15 they can’t be eliminated?  Bowen answered if they are not notified, they have to be reappointed. 

Daughtry stated the subcommittee has to be ready to go by May 8. 

NO. 2 – BOARD OF EDUCATION RELOCATION:  Daughtry asked if the Board of Education has an official number for the square footage.

Bowen stated as you know, our architect presented several options.  He is no longer working on the project.  I am guessing by the list of occupants – 6,400 to 7,800 s.f. 

Daughtry stated there is support here for $1 million.  There might be a little more. 

Nielson stated we have been talking about the bonding, etc.  The details of this have not been discussed with our Attorney and our Bond Counsel.  I think we need a statement from our Bond Counsel as to the arrangement.

Murphy stated we can bond the money.  We have talked to Bond Counsel. 

Lindert stated I am in the construction business.  Without an architect, to say the number is tough. 

Grau stated I think we should discuss this at our next meeting May 1.  Personally, I don’t want to go to referendum.

Alin stated the board has not discussed this.  It is on our agenda for May 1.  This is a win-win situation.  We are willing to help finance the improvement of an unusable building. 

RESOLUTIONS:

NO. 1 – RESOLUTION APPOINTING DOLORES FRANCO TO THE HOUSING COMMITTEE FOR AN UNEXPIRED THREE-YEAR TERM ENDING 12/31/07:  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Moscone.  Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Resolution adopted.

NO. 2 – RESOLUTION APPROVING THE CONSTRUCTION PLANS AND AUTHORIZING THE ADVERTISEMENT OF BIDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A WATER MAIN AND BOOSTER STATION ON ROUTE 202 IN LINCOLN PARK AND MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP:

WHEREAS, it is necessary for the Township to construct a water main and water booster station on Route 202 in Lincoln Park and Montville Township consisting of 1,030 lineal feet of ductile iron water main and a 250 GPM booster pumping station; and

           

WHEREAS, construction plans have been prepared by Anderson & Denzler entitled Montville/Lincoln Park Water Interconnection dated 2/21/07 for this project.

           

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 construction plans prepared by Anderson & Denzler entitled Montville/Lincoln Park Water Interconnection dated 2/21/07 are hereby approved for the construction of a water main and water booster station on Route 202 in Lincoln Park and Montville Township; and be it further

           

RESOLVED that the appropriate municipal officials are hereby authorized to proceed with advertisement for bids for the construction of the water main and water booster station in accordance with these construction plans.

Motion:  Moscone.  Second:  Bader.  Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Resolution adopted.

NO. 3 – RESOLUTION APPROVING THE CONSTRUCTION PLANS AND AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SANITARY FORCE MAIN PIPELINE FROM THE RIVERSIDE PUMP STATION IN MONTVILLE TO THE PAR-TROY SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT:

WHEREAS, it is necessary for the Township to upgrade its sanitary sewer system by the construction of a sanitary force main pipeline from the Riverside Pump Station in Montville to the Par-Troy Sewage Treatment Plant consisting of 4,070 lineal feet of ductile iron pipe; and

           

WHEREAS, construction plans have been prepared by Anderson & Denzler entitled Riverside Drive Force Main revised 4/2/07 for this project.

           

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 construction plans prepared by Anderson & Denzler entitled Riverside Drive Force Main revised 4/2/07 are hereby approved for the construction of a sanitary force main pipeline from the Riverside Pump Station in Montville to the Par-Troy Sewage Treatment Plant; and be it further

           

RESOLVED that the appropriate municipal officials are hereby authorized to proceed with advertisement for bids for the construction of the sanitary force main pipeline in accordance with these construction plans.

Motion:  Moscone.  Second:  Bader.  Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Resolution adopted.

NO. 4 – RESOLUTION ACCEPTING A TRAFFIC CONTROL AND DETOUR PLAN IN CONNECTION WITH THE AREA 18 SEWER PROJECT:

WHEREAS, it will be necessary to implement a traffic control and detour plan in connection with the Area 18 Sewer Project; and

           

WHEREAS, a traffic control and detour plan has been prepared by Anderson & Denzler dated February 1, 2007.

           

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 traffic control and detour plan prepared by Anderson & Denzler dated February 1, 2007 for the Area 18 Sewer Project is hereby approved.

Motion:  Moscone.  Second:  Bader.  Roll call vote  – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Resolution adopted.

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

NO. 6 – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING GRANT APPLICATION FOR A STATE OF NEW JERSEY CLG GRANT IN THE AMOUNT OF $25,000:

The Governing Body of Montville Township desires to further the public interest by obtaining a grant from the State of New Jersey in the amount of approximately $25,000.00 to fund the following projects:  1) Update Historic Preservation Master Plan Element; 2)  Site listing in Historic Preservation Element; 3) Update and implement Historic Preservation Bylaws and Ordinance; 4) Guidelines for historic sites and structures.

            Therefore, the governing body resolves that Frank Bastone or the successor to the title of Township Administrator is authorized (a) to make application for such a grant.  (b) if awarded, to execute a grant agreement with the State for a grant in an amount not less than $25,000.00 and not more than $25,000.00 and (c) to execute (X) any amendments thereto.

            The Montville Township Committee further acknowledges that there is no grant match required for this CLG agreement grant.  The Grantee agrees to comply with all applicable Federal, State, and Municipal laws, rules, and regulations in its performance pursuant to the agreement.

Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Moscone.  Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Resolution adopted.

PUBLIC PORTION FOR ITEMS NOT LISTED ON THE AGENDA:

Robert Lefkowitz, 81 Windsor Drive, Pine Brook, spoke regarding the website.  After the last meeting, I went to the Roman Media website.  First of all, their address is a P.O. Box.  Second, they have been hosting websites for only nine weeks.  They would be charging you $50 per month.  You can get sites hosted for a lot less than that. 

Daughtry stated this is valuable information.  We need to get this information to Bob Perkins. 

Lefkowitz stated he will send an e-mail to Frank Bastone.

ORDINANCE INTRODUCTIONS:

NO. 1 – ORDINANCE NO. 2007-17 TO EXPEND A DEVELOPER’S CONTRIBUTION TO FUND THE IMPROVEMENT OF WALNUT I OUTFALL/HATFIELD CREEK IN MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP, COUNTY OF MORRIS, STATE OF NEW JERSEY:

Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for May 8, 2007, at 8 p.m.  Motion:  Sandham.  Second:  Moscone.  Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Motion approved.

NO. 2 – ORDINANCE NO. 2007-18 ESTABLISHING THE POSITIONS AND DETERMINING THE 2007 RATE OF SALARY, WAGE OR COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE IN THE COUNTY OF MORRIS AND METHOD OF PAYMENT OF SUCH SALARY, WAGE OR COMPENSATION, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE RECREATION COMMISSION:

Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for May 8, 2007, at 8 p.m.  Motion:  Moscone.  Second:  Bader.  Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Motion approved.

NO. 3 – ORDINANCE NO. 2007-19 ESTABLISHING THE 2007 SALARIES OR WAGES OF OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE IN THE COUNTY OF MORRIS AND METHOD OF PAYMENT OF SUCH SALARY OR WAGES:

Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for May 8, 2007, at 8 p.m.  Motion:  Sandham.  Second:  Nielson.  Roll call vote – Moscone, abstain; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Motion approved.

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CONSENT AGENDA NO. 2007-CA9:  Motion:  Moscone.  Second:  Sandham.  All in favor.  Resolution adopted.

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM A – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE RETURN OF VARIOUS CASH BONDS POSTED WITH THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE:

WHEREAS, certain cash bonds have been posted with the Township of Montville to secure the performance of obligations; and

           

WHEREAS, the Engineering Department has verified that the improvements, the installation of which were secured by the cash bonds, have been installed in a satisfactory manner and has recommended the release of cash bonds.

           

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, County of Morris and State of New Jersey, that the following cash performance bonds shall be released:

NAME/LOCATION

TYPE OF BOND

AMOUNT TO BE

RETURNED

Miroslaw Olowski

5 Church Lane

Towaco, New Jersey

(Block 100.01, Lot 1)

Driveway

Soil Stabilization

$1,375.00

$   500.00

NOTE: Balance of $1,500 Bond

Mr. Choong No

Bonsai Gardens

1805 Union Valley Road

West Milford, New Jersey  07480-1420

(Block 124.6, Lot 27) 4 Fletcher Drive

Road Opening

$    275.00

                       

          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the Chief Financial Officer.

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM B – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF 2007 RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES GRANT AGREEMENT WITH THE NJ DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS:  $6,862.00.

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM C – RESOLUTION TO CERTIFY THE AMOUNTS REQUIRED TO BE PAID TO TOWNSHIP FIRE DISTRICTS:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following amounts are to be collected and paid to the Township Fire Districts for the year of 2007:

District #1                    Montville                      Levy                 $542,200

District #2                    Towaco                      Levy                        $663,297

District #3                    Pine Brook               Levy                  $557,237

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM D – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BLOCK PARTY ON PEACH TREE DRIVE:  May 19, 2007, rain date May 20, 2007.

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM E – PROCLAMATION BUILDING SAFETY WEEK 2007 – MAY 6 TO 12.

Whereas, through our continuing attention to building safer for everyday life and in times of disaster, we enjoy the comfort and peace of mind of structures that are safe and sound; and,

Whereas, building safety and fire prevention officials are at work year round to guide the safe construction of buildings; and,

Whereas, the dedicated members of the International Code Council, including building safety and fire prevention officials, architects, engineers, builders, and others in the construction industry, develop and enforce codes to safeguard Americans in the buildings where we live, work, play, and learn; and,

Whereas, the International Codes, the most widely adopted building safety and fire prevention codes in the nation, are used by most U.S. cities, counties and states.  These modern building safety codes also include safeguards to protect the public from natural disasters that can occur, such as hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, wildland fires and, earthquakes; and,

Whereas, Building Safety Week, sponsored by the International Code Council Foundation, is an excellent opportunity to educate the public.  It is a perfect time to increase public awareness of the role building safety and fire prevention officials, local and state building departments, and federal agencies play in protecting lives and property; and,

Whereas, this year’s theme, “Building Smarter…for Disasters and Everyday Life” encourages all Americans to raise our awareness of building safety.  Everyone can take appropriate steps to ensure that the places where we live, work, play and learn are safe.  Countless lives have been saved because of the building safety codes adopted and enforced by local and state agencies; and

Whereas, this year, as we observe Building Safety Week, we ask all Americans to consider projects to improve building safety at home and in the community, and to recognize the local building safety and fire prevention officials and the important role that they play in public safety, everyday and in times of disaster.

Now, therefore, it is hereby proclaimed that May 6 through May 12, 2007 is Building Safety Week in Montville Township.  Accordingly, our citizens are encouraged to join their fellow Americans in participating in Building Safety Week activities and assisting efforts to improve building safety.

DISCUSSION ITEMS:

NO. 3 – MUNICIPAL BUDGET – CAPITAL:  Bastone distributed an updated list of the projects discussed previously that we are funding out of the $1.3 million.  That leaves us with a balance of $130,000 that is still available to spend at a later date by ordinance.  There are two items for Camp Dawson – oil tank and ADA improvements that we can fund out of an ordinance that has $15,000 available for Camp Dawson.  So those improvements would not have to be added to the budget.  I want to make sure everyone is comfortable with this so we may introduce the capital ordinance at the next meeting.

Moscone stated Hatfield Creek was removed.  I want to make sure there is money in the budget for the normal maintenance. 

Barile stated we are moving forward with securing a new permit that will be in effect for five years. 

Thomas Mazzaccaro, Director of Water & Sewer/DPW, stated it is manpower that is needed for the cleaning.  There is no money required.  Can we adopt an ordinance or send a letter to the residents informing them that they are responsible for the cleaning of the creek, and they can’t dump in the creek, etc. 

Daughtry stated I would want to clean it up first, and then tell them.

Murphy stated it may be covered under property maintenance.

Sandham asked what is the money we just approved from the developer being used for?  Barile replied for the consulting fee for the DEP permits and for the actual permits.

Sandham stated we have only $130,000 contingency left.  I would ask that we hold off on the bucket truck and dump truck purchase until later in the year when we know there are no more contingencies.  Township Committee consensus – no, don’t hold off.  Prepare ordinance.

NO. 4 – PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT:  Bastone reported on the safety report of three parks.  Equipment needs to be replaced.  We anticipate a balance in the playground ordinance that would allow us to purchase equipment for Reilly, Masar, and Etta Konner.  We are looking for other quotes to move the equipment at Manchester.

Nielson asked for Camp Dawson, who is certifying that?  The equipment is being installed by volunteers.  Bastone replied no one is.  Nielson asked what is our exposure?

Murphy answered you run the risk of exposure. 

Nielson asked do we pay someone to come in and certify?

Tim Braden, 12 Green Meadows Road, Montville, stated I talked to Gametime.  They will send someone to certify it for a nominal fee.

Township Committee approved the Administrator’s recommendation for the purchase of equipment for Reilly, Masar, and Etta Konner.

NO. 5 – REVALUATION:  Bastone reported on his memo dated April 17, 2007 regarding the cost of conducting a revaluation, past tax appeals, and the potential of new tax appeals.  Right now we are at 54% assessed.  The marketplace has increased 45% from the last revaluation.  The last point is that a revaluation is a snapshot in time.  When you do conduct a revaluation, there is no guarantee that the market conditions will remain the same.  I did some research on the reassessment process.  It has been successful in Somerset County.  I used Bernards Township as they are the closest in size, etc. to us.  The last time they did a revaluation was twenty years ago.  I have talked to the Morris County tax folks, and they are not against the process, but they would want it to be conducted properly.  Randolph did attempt to work with the County on this process, but ultimately ended up not doing it.  If you want to do a reassessment, you still have to do a revaluation to get a baseline.  I have been doing an analysis.  1998 to present – if the same market conditions were to occur from the time we do a reval, what would be the effect?  You will never get rid of all of your appeals, but you can get rid of a percentage of them. 

Nielson stated this is a starting point.  Bastone stated we would have to take a good, hard look at the costs.  I am trying to give you a big picture of what is available.  The County may be moving toward a County assessing department that would take care of all of the Morris County municipalities.  

Sandham stated doing a reassessment, you are adding staff.  We don’t want to increase staff where we don’t have to.  You are talking about decreasing the dollar value of the appeals.  But by doing a reassessment process, all you are doing is instead of it showing up in the appeal process, you are lowering the tax collections in that individual year anyway.  The other point would be that I can’t believe that adding more staff would be cheaper than having a revaluation once every ten years, even at a cost of $1 million.  That’s $100,000 per year.  What I would propose to Frank to think about is that once we get through this revaluation, put $100,000 a year away in a sinking fund so that next time the revaluation process comes up, we don’t have to go through a one-time hit of a significant number in a particular budget year.  I do believe that a recalibration is appropriate periodically.  Once we do that, the level of appeals should reduce significantly for the next few years.

Bastone stated the problem is that there is a difference between having a reapportionment of the tax burden that would occur with a reassessment, versus losing an appeal where you are writing a check out of surplus that has not been provided for.  When you do a reassessment, that property that won the appeal, their value is going to go down, but it is going to be in a planned manner.  In a reassessment process, when you change the value of a class of properties in a neighborhood, in this case industrials and commercials, when you reduce their values, the rest of the taxpayers in the town are going to make up that difference in their taxes.  But what is not going to occur is you are not going to be writing the checks you are now that were not budgeted for to come out of surplus.

Sandham stated we will take this offline.  I heard everything you said.  The difference is:  theoretically, when you do the reassessment if something comes in lower assessed, you get to charge those properties up front where in the appeal process, the money is going out at the back end, and you can’t go back and recapture that money.   But that also presumes that you will reallocate the burden.

Daughtry stated this is an excellent prelude to our formal discussion in a month or so on a reval.

NO. 6 – GARAGE SALE ORDINANCE AMENDMENT:  Proposed changes:  raise fee from $2 to $3.  Also, no regular garage sale permits issued when there is a town-wide garage sale. 

INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCE NO. 2007-20 AMENDING CHAPTER 5.32, ENTITLED “GARAGE SALES,” OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE:

Ordinance is offered for adoption on first reading with second reading and public hearing scheduled for May 8, 2007, at 8 p.m.  Motion:  Nielson.  Second:  Bader.

Discussion:  Sandham stated he has a problem with restricting the garage sales on certain days.  Nielson stated the people try to piggyback on the town-wide sale, etc.  It is not fair to the Women’s Club.  Township Clerk stated she would like to see how it goes this year. 

Roll call vote – Moscone, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, yes.  Motion approved.

NO. 7 – HIGHLANDS GRANT:  Township Committee received a copy of memo from Linda White to Frank Bastone dated April 18, 2007, regarding a grant opportunity from the State of NJ Highlands Council.  This involves a transfer of development right program.  Township Committee agreed – do not pursue this.

REPORTS:

NO. 1 – ADMINISTRATOR:   Bastone reported on the animal shelter.  He has a call into the architect, James Cutillo.  We are going to meet on this. 

Nielson stated the message we need to send is that it needs to be bare-boned and it could be done in phases.

NO. 2 – ATTORNEY:  None.

NO. 3 – FINANCE:  None.

NO. 4 – ENGINEER:  None.

NO. 5 – COMMITTEE:

Committeeman Moscone reported the Montville Lacrosse Club is having their annual beefsteak on Friday.  It is our 20th anniversary.

Committeeman Sandham – no report.

Committeewoman Bader reported last week was the most traumatic experience Pine Brook has had.  I would like to personally thank the fire departments, the police, and the first aid squad.  They helped in river rescues.  There were several residents displaced.  Maybe we can start something in the coffers for these folks who have nowhere to go.

Daughtry stated we have emergency management plans and coordinators.  Sandham stated it should be common knowledge about our shelter plan.

Daughtry stated it should be on the website and a broadcast notice sent out. 

Bastone stated he spoke to Chief Cook about it, and there are shelters.  They were not looking at opening a shelter because there were very few people.  They were looking at using Lincoln Park’s. 

Sandham stated we should have a place available for our residents. 

Committeewoman Nielson – no report.

Chairman Daughtry reported the County has budgeted $250,000 for the salt barn, so we are in.  Bastone stated it will be in the 2008 budget.  Daughtry stated Frank Bastone sent a letter asking the County to do the engineering on the south end (traffic study).   Can we also ask Steve Hammond to look at the drainage on Firehouse Road, etc.

Daughtry stated Cablevision – can we at least ask them to give us more freebies – broadband internet access lines to the public buildings, specifically the water & sewer stations.  Bastone stated he will ask them.

Meeting adjourned at 11:15 p.m.  Motion:  Moscone.  Second:  Sandham.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

Respectfully submitted,

                                                           

Gertrude H. Atkinson, Township Clerk

 
Last Updated ( Monday, 26 November 2007 )
 
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