MTC Meeting Minutes 12-09-08 Print E-mail

 

Montville Township Committee Regular Meeting

Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 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 Chairwoman Deborah Nielson:  “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 Art Daughtry (arrival 8:25 p.m.)

Committeeman James Sandham, Jr.

                        Committeewoman Jean Bader

                        Committeeman Tim Braden

                        Chairwoman Deborah Nielson

 

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

Gertrude Atkinson, Township Clerk

 

RESOLUTION NO. 2008-CES-120908 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:  Property Acquisition – Tipcor; Metro; Starkey; Potential Litigation – Stefanelli; Contract Negotiations – Board of Education lease; Delta Dental contract; and PBA contract.

 

Motion:  Bader.  Second:  Braden.  All in favor except Daughtry - absent.  Resolution adopted.

 

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

 

Chairwoman Nielson read the Statement of Open Public Meetings Act Compliance again for the record.

 

Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance led by Committeeman Bader.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS ON ORDINANCES FOR FINAL ADOPTION:

 

NO. 1 – ORDINANCE NO. 2008-44 AMENDING THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE AND PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS FOR THE PLACEMENT OF CLOTHING BINS WITHIN THE TOWNSHIP:

 

Chairwoman Nielson opened the public hearing.  Hearing no comments, Chairwoman Nielson closed the public hearing.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

 

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

 

NO. 2 – ORDINANCE NO. 2008-45 AMENDING CHAPTERS 3.02 AND 12.16 OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE:  Fees and snow and ice removal on unaccepted roads.

 

Chairwoman Nielson opened the public hearing.  Hearing no comments, Chairwoman Nielson closed the public hearing.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

 

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

 

NO. 3 – ORDINANCE NO. 2008-46 AMENDING CHAPTER 3.02 OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE AND ESTABLISHING NEW SEWER RATES:

 

 

Nielson stated there was a subcommittee consisting of Tom Mazzaccaro, Gary Vinci, Auditor, Jim Sandham, Frank Bastone, Fran Vanderhoof, and myself to review this.  We have gone through numerous reiterations.  There has not been a sewer rate increase in many years.

 

Sandham stated from 2008 in the base level of expenses for the sewer department, we are anticipating an increase of about $500,000 in 2009.  The bulk of the increase is in debt service.  1990 – first sewer project.  We are up to 18 sewer projects.  Sometime between 2000 and 2005 the MUA was dissolved.  Some of the money accumulated by them to use for sewer projects was used to subsidize municipal budgets.

 

We are faced with a $500,000 increase for the sewer budget, which is roughly 13%.  We have looked at a number of ways of putting that increase through.  One of the things that is driving this is usage-based methodology.  We balanced better the usage and the charges between the residential and commercial usage.  Right now it is 84% residential and 16% commercial.  This gets it more to that split. 

 

One of the things in this ordinance may need to be changed.  One of things that was brought to my attention is that it might be more equitable for the rate per 1,000 gallons to be a fixed rate.  I put scenarios together.  The Township Committee can discuss it if they would like, before or after the public comment.

 

There have been e-mails going around using the worst-case scenarios – that there is going to be a 300% increase for residents.  There is a 300% increase if you use more than 120,000 gallons per quarter.  At the 100,000-gallon level -  there are only 16 users in the whole town that fall into that category.  This is sewer, but it affects our water.  We want to protect our aquifer.

 

Frank Bastone, Township Administrator, stated the model that was used for the ordinance introduced, in addition to the scenarios Jim Sandham talked about tonight, was based on four years.  We looked at a projection of budgets for four years.  The projection is that this rate increase is going to cover four years of sewer budgets.  Also, this is based upon winter water usage.  The Township sewer system has benefitted from connection fee revenue.  That peaked in 2002.  Since that time, it has gone down.  In 2008’s first ten months, we only generated $110,000 in connection fees.  That is indicative of development going down.

 

Nielson stated currently residents get charged $120 per quarter.  The new rate would be based on usage. 

 

Chairwoman Nielson opened the public hearing.

 

Margaret Will, 12 Beverly Drive, Towaco, asked why is the sewer tax so high?  Nielson answered there are some folks that may see a decrease.  The majority will see an increase.

 

Will stated we have well water.  Nielson stated you would see a flat increase of $30 per quarter.  $120 per year.  Anyone that has a well can be metered.

 

Bastone stated $10 per month increase.  Will stated that is still high.  We are so far down, we had to put a pump in. 

 

Phil Fontana, 203 Main Road, Montville, stated could the Mayor and Committee consider some accommodation for those who have wells, i.e. how many bathrooms, how many people are in the house.  Some people do not use a lot of water.

 

Bastone stated one of the things we would be willing to do - if you were willing to install a meter.  We don’t have a usage number if you are on well.

 

Thomas Mazzaccaro, Water & Sewer Director, stated approximate cost $500 for the meter and the plumbing.

 

Fontana asked if there could be some other accommodation.  Nielson stated I understand your concern.

 

Committeeman Daughtry arrived at this time – 8:25 p.m.

 

Sylvia Walits, 15 Maple Avenue, Pine Brook, stated the seniors by me did not know this was posted.  I understand that times are hard.  I don’t want the seniors to move away.  Three quarters of them are on well water.  In doing this, you are causing a hardship.  Maybe an accommodation for one or two in the household?

 

Sandham stated we didn’t have a way to monitor the people with wells.

 

Bastone stated currently in our sewer rate system – we do have a discount for income-qualified seniors and the disabled.  That will continue.

 

Bernice Baline, 31 Gabriel Drive, Brandywyne, Montville, stated we have a big unemployment problem.  To saddle them now with an additional tax is outrageous.  Why don’t they go over the budget more?  These seniors can’t afford to get food.

 

Nielson stated for the record, Brandywyne has water and sewer, and it may go down.  It will be based on usage.

 

Baline stated I am not only talking about myself.  I am talking about unemployed people.  Why don’t you cut your budget?

 

Truscha Quatrone, 4 Majorca Road, Towaco, asked if you pass this ordinance, will the $500,000 be paid back in four years?

 

Sandham stated you misunderstood what I said.  The debt service has already been incurred.  It is like your mortgage payment.  It is paying off existing debt.  The Area 18 project is costing between $2 and $2.5 million.

 

Quatrone stated this increase is a way to pay down our debt service.

 

Bastone stated it is paying for the debt service that has been incurred for sewers that have been built.

 

Quatrone stated it is really a tax increase, and you are calling it a sewer increase.  Why are the people with wells paying more?  Is it because you can’t meter what we are using?

 

Bastone stated that is the methodology of the way the ordinance is set up.

 

Sandham stated we are charged by the Parsippany treatment plant by the amount we send there.  Possibly we can monitor and encourage reduction in wastewater.

 

Quatrone asked what was the model based on?

 

Sandham stated we took the total usage for residential and commercial based on winter water usage.  The flat bill was pegged by what we thought the average bill would be.

 

Quatrone stated the people with the biggest problem seem to be the people that live alone.  It may have been good to monitor the seniors’ homes.

 

Sandham stated we don’t have the capability of monitoring how many people are in a home, etc.

 

Quatrone stated possibly you could do a model again and run your studies again.

 

Sandham stated the questions is how do we monitor those that don’t have a water meter other than them purchasing a meter.   We have your point about the seniors.

 

Salvatore LoBiondo, 16 Pond View, Montville, stated I believe the ordinance as proposed and noticed is flawed.  I ask the Township Committee to either vote down the proposal or withdraw it.  The flaws:  financial reasoning, methodology, adequate notice and public debate.  The tax and ratepayers deserve to know what happened in the past year to cause the need for such an increase in rates.  Only a month or two ago we were told of a water and sewer surplus.

 

What savings measures are being put in place?  We are in a recession and many residents have new financial challenges.  This only exasperates their problems.  What is being done to reduce these costs?

 

Why are Montville’s rates at least three times at least two surrounding towns?

 

Has the Township Committee considered that property taxes are tax deductible, sewer rate charges are not.

 

The Township has a Long-Term Financial Planning Committee.  Why wasn’t this brought before them?

The issue of how the sewer rate charges are calculated.  The Township Committee wants to move to a mix of both a flat rate charge and per gallon usage.  Why?  What study was done to determine that this was the best method for ratepayers?  To change the method without sufficient public information and debate is not right.

 

You encourage water conservation in water rates, not the sewer rates.  

 

Why should a person that lives alone pay a lesser rate than a large, extended family in town?

 

The ordinance proposes to use some arbitrary winter period that is not fully explained.  The ordinance creates disparities.  Were the implications not fully thought out?  This is a dramatic change in rates.  There was minimal public notice for such a major issue.

 

Why haven’t estimates been sent to the residents based on the proposed ordinances?  Such a large change should be given more than a minimum legal notice.  It wasn’t on the website.

 

Conclusion.  I believe the proposed ordinance has too many flaws.  I recommend the Township Committee vote no on the ordinance.  I also recommend that the Township Committee begin a process to fully vet the sewer rate costs and issues and run a process to get the information out to the ratepayers.  I recommend that all the information be sent to the LTFPC for their recommendations.  I recommend that the Township Committee do all that before drafting a new sewer ordinance.

 

Frank Lechleiter, 13 Barney Road, Towaco, stated there are many people in our area on wells.  How is it people with wells are assumed to be above the average?  I agree with the idea that people with large homes and families should be paying more.  I think the concept of the usage-based system is good.  I think you have to look hard at the people with wells.  You should raise connection fees for new construction.

 

Sandham asked Tom Mazzaccaro when was the last time connection fees were raised.  Mazzaccaro answered they are being proposed to be raised on January 1.  It is a state statute formula.  There is no distinction between new development and current homes.

 

Rich Trivano, 23 Pine Brook Road, stated you are basing this on usage.  I pulled out receipts.  Last winter 14,000 gallons.  Last spring and summer 14,000 gallons.  Is anyone reading the meters?  It seems unusual.

 

Mazzaccaro stated 14,000 gallons - $9 increase per quarter. 

 

Trivano stated I am just worried about the meters being read.  Mazzaccaro stated we will check on that.

 

John Calcagno, 26 Crescent Road, Pine Brook, asked can you take three residential scenarios and go through the increases?

 

Nielson stated 13,000 gallons - $6 per quarter.  Meytrott, Brittany Road, $50 quarter.  Lindert, 38 Underwood, $30 quarter, 15 Fawn Drive, $27.50 quarter.  Weber – two users, retired, 3 John Street, down $12 quarter.

 

George Drexl, 29 River Road, Montville, stated he has a well.  My kids live in the shower.   You have to come up with something else.  I am thinking about my father who lives alone.  He has a well.  There is no usage there at all – he is a senior.  There has to be a better way.

 

Lon Mendelsohn, 3 Morris Place, Towaco, stated it was stated in the beginning of the discussion that the when the Township took over the MUA that there was a certain pool of funds that they took over.  What was it spent on and who voted to spend the money?

 

Daughtry stated it takes four members of the Township Committee to bond money.  If they needed to fund other projects, they chose to deplete the capital fund in the MUA. 

 

Nielson stated in 2002 to 2005, the Township Committee at that time took approximately $7 million from water & sewer and moved it over to the general funds to finance projects.

 

Don Kostka, 37 Hilldale Road, Pine Brook, asked do we as a committee have the strength to cut costs town-wide.  You have to seriously consider layoffs, and some significant ones. 

 

Nielson stated for the record, we have been looking at reducing operating costs. 

 

Linda Bay, 2 Helton Terrace, Montville, stated as a board member of the condo’s I live in, we learned a valuable lesson.  We weren’t raising maintenance fees yearly.  We learned it is more digestible to raise them yearly rather than a big increase.

 

Jack Kilanowski, 22 Sylvan Drive, Pine Brook, stated people that have meters – some will pay the same and some will go down.  Thought to consider – any senior on a well – they should not have an increase.  Chances are, they are going to be elderly people.  Why should their rate go up?  Sandham stated that is a fair comment.

 

LoBiondo, stated I want to point out – I know that a lot of people are focusing on water usage and that being a measure of their sewer charges.  I would imagine a significant portion of the budget goes to paying for new sewers.  Area 18 – 75 homes, $30,000 each.  Everyone is paying for all those new sewer pipes.  Sandham stated we also did that for the other 17 areas before that.

 

Daughtry stated no numbers work.  The whole idea is you have a sewer system and you have users.  Everything is built around that platform. 

 

LoBiondo stated there are two components – one is the throughput and one is paying for all the costs and infrastructures.  There are differences between who is benefitting from one versus the other.

 

Hearing no further comments, Chairwoman Nielson closed the public hearing.  Motion:  Daughtry.  Second:  Bader.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

 

Discussion:  Sandham stated factual information – the budget is going up $567,000 year over year.  $472,000 of that is the debt service.  The sewer treatment cost from Parsippany is going up $98,000.  Utilities are going up another $8,000.  The other $800,000 is primarily salaries and other fixed costs – pension, health benefits.  There is not a lot of discretionary spending that can be cut.  We have to deal with a $500,000 increase.  We could try to do it in increments, but then in the third year, you have a 9% increase.  We tried to smooth it out so we wouldn’t have to come back every year with an increase. 

 

A valid point – those who are not metered.  Maybe we need to talk about that and come up with a methodology that is easily implementable.  We could target maybe two or three rates on a flat fee for those without town water, particularly for seniors.  That is certainly something we can do.

 

Possibly the other towns have lower rates because their debt service is covered. 

 

We are mandated by the EPA to come up with a usage-based model.  I am not married to any one answer.  I met with Mr. LoBiondo last week.  I have come up with scenarios that are now before the Township Committee. 

 

The questions that have to be answered is, since the Township in years past used money from water & sewer, do we repay some of that and in effect subsidize sewer for the next four years?  I put a model together taking $700,000 out of the municipal budget over the next four years to subsidize rates.

 

This Township Committee decided to put it to a subcommittee rather than to LTFPC.  There are restrictions on what you can and can’t do with some of the funding.  Maybe we could have done it through LTFPC.  The point of the process:  It is introduced, discussed, and then voted on.  There is a timeline for ordinances.  The fact that people came tonight and gave input - we will take that input, go back, and retool.  Nobody has fast-tracked this.  We are following the normal process for ordinances to be introduced.  The calculation we have tonight – the flat fee went down to $140 with the subsidy.  Maybe we can look at that and come up with a better number.  I apologize because we focused on the 83% that have meters and we didn’t pay as much attention to the flat fee.  Maybe we can take a look at that.

 

Bader stated she heard a lot of information tonight.  I commend the subcommittee.  I would like to table the ordinance tonight.  I would like to see what the LTFPC suggests – get a second opinion.

 

Daughtry stated if we do table, we run into January 1, and we starting running a deficit.  Martin Murphy, Township Attorney, stated it has to be on a quarterly basis. 

 

Daughtry stated if there are issues, we have to work through them.  I feel we should go forward through the one quarter, have the LTFPC look at it, revisit the issues, and then go back.

 

Bastone stated he agreed.  The current fund budget – we have two cap laws to deal with.  One is the levy cap.  Reducing the amount of money being brought from water and sewer impacts the levy cap.  I agree with Art as far as timing is concerned. 

 

Braden stated I can appreciate Mr. Lechleiter’s comments on wells and city water.  I think we need to look at that.  We have 1,360 wells.  It is a significant number for me to deal with.  I need to know why we are pushing so hard to do this tonight.

 

Bastone stated the timing is the fact that you have a budget in 2009 that you need to raise the revenue in the sewer rates to offset the increase.  Should you not implement this rate increase for the first quarter, you are operating in a deficit in the sewer utility and have to make it up in taxation.

 

Bader asked is it better to put it where people can write if off than where they can’t.

 

Sandham stated it is obviously better for those people who itemize their deductions.  We have to follow the state law about what you can and can’t put through on sewer.

 

Daughtry stated we did a study on what the true allocation should be.  We are just trying to document what our reasonable and justifiable expenses that MUA should have and what the Township should be reimbursed for, etc. 

 

Sandham stated that is what we used to put this together.  The utility allocation is between $700,000 and $800,000 per year.

 

Nielson stated I have been told tonight if we don’t adopt this model, we are going to run a deficit in the first quarter.  When this was on for discussion on November 13, I felt it needed to be discussed further and at LTFPC, and perhaps an ad-hoc committee.  We have heard new and different ideas tonight.  Water conservation and protection of our aquifer.  My preference is to have this held until we have further discussion.  It think we owe it to the public. 

 

Daughtry stated for the record, will you identify the other member of the subcommittee that worked for a year.  Nielson stated that was me.  I voiced my concerns at the November 13 meeting.  I don’t see what the hurry is.  Tweak it and make sure the public fully knows what we want to do.  That is not to take away from what Mr. Sandham and the subcommittee did.

 

Sandham stated it is not being rushed through tonight.  There is input that I got last week.  I understand there will be a deficit in the first quarter.

 

Sandham stated all the new scenarios that were prepared tonight have flat rates for the variable portions.  We took that into consideration.

 

Withdraw ordinance.  Motion:  Sandham.  Second:  Bader.  Discussion:  Nielson stated my personal opinion would be to have LTFPC look at it.  Public meetings in January and February.  We have heard from residential users tonight.  I didn’t hear from one commercial user tonight.  They need to be made aware also.

 

Roll call vote – Daughtry, no; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Braden, yes; Nielson, yes.  Motion approved.  Ordinance withdrawn.

 

REPORTS:

 

NO. 1 – ADMINISTRATOR:  Bastone reported you have a draft letter to the Hatfield Creek property owners.  This is in preparation for inviting them in January to discuss proceeding with the study that was proposed by our consultant.  Township Committee – ok.

 

NO. 2 – ATTORNEY:  No report.

 

NO. 3 – FINANCE:  No report.

 

NO. 4 – ENGINEER:  Anthony Barile, Township Engineer, reported the sidewalk project on Pine Brook Road near Cedar Hill School was completed today.

 

New Towaco traffic signals – needs to be done – striping, signage, power.  Once the power is activated, the flashing signal can go on immediately.  The other signal will have to go on a flash mode for three days.

 

Stop sign Halsey Road/Marguerite Lane – does not qualify for a stop sign, but it does qualify for a yield sign.  That would require an ordinance.  I will give you a formal report in January, and I will notify the residents that submitted the petition.

 

Nielson asked sidewalks Pine Brook Road cost?  Barile stated about $25,000.  Nielson stated we had a resident make a donation for that.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

 

Sandham stated Mr. Mazzaccaro does a very good job in watching spending and controlling costs.  Capital budget DPW came in $80,000 under.  He does watch the nickels and dimes.

 

Bastone stated as part of the sewer committee process, Tom and I spent a lot of time looking at those budgets.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS:

 

NO. 1 – MUNICIPAL FIELD LIGHTING:  Tom Kruger, Montville Baseball Softball Association, stated they are looking for the next steps.  Bastone stated there is not a state contract for field lighting.  My report talked about financing the project over five years – splitting the cost.  Tom has been doing some research, and the auditors have concerns about it.  The five-year contract may not work.

 

Kruger stated there is a two-year window that the contract has to be awarded.  The proposal we put together would be for a three-year.  The recommendation is that there is a viable alternative –same set of numbers, just different terms of the loan.

 

Bastone stated I will look at your proposal this week, and I will send it to the auditor.

 

Kruger stated assuming there is something viable, what is the timeframe.  Bastone stated we would have to appropriate money.  That requires a capital ordinance. 

 

Nielson asked is there money leftover in this year’s budget?  Bastone answered yes.  In January, we would have to do an ordinance. 

 

Sandham stated he would like to see the proposal from a financial standpoint.  We may be able to get better rates.

 

Bastone stated if we have to go out to bid, they are worried about the timing.  We would have to execute an agreement with the MBSA.

 

Bastone stated introduce the capital ordinance in January, and they will reimburse us.

 

Nielson stated meet with Frank Bastone and discuss whatever proposal make the most sense – bid process or able to work without the bid process.

 

Township Committee – all agreed – proceed.

 

NO. 2 – EVERY DROP COUNTS – ITEM DELETED FROM AGENDA.

 

NO. 3 – FISHER/PERSONNEL:  Murphy stated we sent a Rice notice to Ms. Fisher to discuss issues regarding her appointed position.  Ms. Fisher requested that it be in open session.  The intent tonight is just to resolve some problems.  We would just like to outline some items and possibly come to a solution.

 

Nielson stated we want to work together.  Thank you for coming tonight.

 

Herbert Waldman, Esq., Nagel Rice, representing Ms. Fisher, present.  Kathy Fisher, 49 Rockledge Road, Montville, present.

 

Murphy stated one of the items going on for a number of months:  any group that uses Township facilities or fields, we have an ordinance that requires that there be financial reporting.  The CFO has received the information from all but three of 22 organizations.  The issue has come up regarding the Montville Historical Society.  We understand that it is separate from the Historic Preservation Review Commission.  It does use Township property.  We are looking for the financial information.  There has been correspondence between Fran Vanderhoof and Ms. Fisher. 

 

Waldman stated Ms. Fisher was concerned about releasing information with the account numbers.  I can submit them at this time with the account numbers redacted. 

 

Discussion regarding bank accounts, nonprofit, etc.

 

Waldman stated they are a nonprofit raising funds.

 

Sandham stated the Doremus House is a Township building.  Waldman stated please recap what you want.

 

Bastone stated 12/31/07 financial statement – receipts/disbursements.  I will send a sample to Mr. Waldman. 

 

Sandham asked if they are a 501c3.  Fisher stated the Doremus House was renamed Friends of Heritage.  The Historical Society is in the process of going nonprofit.

 

Vanderhoof asked if there is a treasurer’s report.  Fisher answered no.  Vanderhoof stated I have been asking for eight months. 

 

Murphy stated I think Mr. Waldman understands what we want.  Sandham gave him the federal form.

 

Nielson asked if there was a timeframe.  Waldman stated by 12/19.  Murphy stated just so you know, this is a repeat process every year.

 

Murphy stated the issue regarding the Historic Preservation Review Commission.  I had offered an opinion that our HPRC is more advisory because it does not follow all the provisions of the State statute.  Also, there may be a discrepancy between the State statute and our municipal code.  It may need to be cleared up. 

 

Tonight, we are trying to clear up the historic site ordinance.  We had asked the HPRC to help us get that list together.  We would like to move on that and adopt it by ordinance. 

 

Fisher stated is it part of the master plan.  We do know it needs to be done because things have change like lot and blocks, etc.

 

Murphy stated we want to do it right – by ordinance and list the sites in the ordinance.  Fisher asked by 3/15?  Murphy replied ok.

 

Fisher asked when are you doing a re-examination of the master plan?  Nielson stated that is on target for 2009.  The list is ready to go, but we want to work with them.

 

Daughtry stated we wanted to take the initial list and fix the block and lot numbers.  The HPRC want to add other properties.  It would be a merging of the original list and additional properties.

 

Nielson stated so by 3/15 we are just going to have the review of the current list?  Fisher replied yes.

 

Murphy stated 3/15 is fine for that, and then we can do the other thing.

 

Murphy stated regarding minutes – we would like to have them supplied to the Municipal Clerk after adoption.

 

Nielson stated also, agendas need to be posted and on file with the clerk.  Applications listed, etc.  Fisher stated she has been sending them.

 

Discussion regarding municipal grant applications and grant funds.  Fisher indicated they are sent to the Township.  Fisher stated there is nothing you don’t have.

 

Murphy stated role of the HPRC.  There is the issue of the Boiling Springs Savings Bank planning board application.

 

Linda White, Director of Land Use, stated the application was not subject to HPRC, but as a courtesy, the applicant, through their attorney, did meet and discuss the application with the HPRC.  The Planning Board waived the requirement of the HPRC report.  I come to find out the project is halted by the FDIC because of the HPRC.  What ultimately came up was a “106.”

Release has gone forward.  My concern is that contact should go back to the municipality regarding the land use process.  I am concerned about liability for the Township.  I was threatened with lawsuits. 

 

Murphy stated 106 requires, I believe, that anyone that wants to build a bank, that there are not any historic sites.

 

White stated it is required if any federal money is going to be spent.

 

Nielson asked how long was the delay caused by this?  Maybe we need to tweak our land use ordinance or have better communication.

 

Murphy stated the concern I have -  is this really the jurisdiction of the HPRC?

 

Waldman stated I spoke to Linda White about this before.  I think it is a problem, not only with Montville.  I think the checklist could contain – is it subject to a section 106?  There is a simple handout.  I think most attorneys are not as verse in this as Mr. Schepis and Ms. Fisher.

 

Murphy stated in his opinion, the HPRC should have come back to the Planning Board. 

 

White stated there was complete disclosure to the HPRC of the entire process.  If there was an issue, at that point, it should have come to the applicant’s attorney so it could be addressed by the Planning Board.  Issues have to come back to the host – the Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, the Administrator.

 

Discussion regarding approval procedures, regulations, etc.  Nielson conveyed that everyone needs to work together to preserve the Township’s good image.

 

NO. 4 – COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION:  Bastone described two possible applications for the Community Development application:  Longview low/mod heat pump project and Greenbriar water line project.  He recommends proceeding with the Longview low/mod heat pump project.  Applications are due January 23rd. 

 

Nielson clarified that she can participate in this discussion as she lives in Longview.  Murphy agreed.

 

Endorse Longview low/mod heat pump project for the application.  Motion:  Sandham.  Second:  Braden.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

 

NO. 5 – 2009 BUDGET:  Bastone indicated the Township Committee has the salary/wage and operating expense budgets.  They have been reviewed with the Department Head’s.   

 

NO. 6 – SEWER RATE LETTER:  No action.

 

NO. 7 – PSE&G 500kv TRANSMISSION LINE:  Bastone stated we did establish a link to the Board of Education’s website.  About adding other organizational links to the website, there doesn’t appear to be a legal impediment.  I am concerned about linking to non-Montville sites.  We may not necessarily be of the same opinion.  Murphy reminded them you cannot discriminate.

 

PUBLIC PORTION FOR ITEMS NOT LISTED ON THE AGENDA:

 

Bernice Baline, 31 Gabriel Drive, Montville, distributed a letter regarding the Library Board of Trustees and possible appointments.  She also discussed the library’s budget and their surplus.  Now, they are bringing in a firm, SSI, which privatizes libraries.  I don’t think this is what the public wants.  There was a problem with their check register.  A new firm has taken over to do the accounting.  There has been a lot of confusion.  I think the Board of Trustees needs to be looked at and there should be term limits.  We have to make a change.  I was an employee of the library.  I am doing this because I am a resident and a taxpayer.  I am concerned about an acting director who is not qualified.  Also, they selected a slate of nominees and one of them is up for reappointment.  How can they do that?

 

Sandham stated they should not be doing that.

 

Nielson stated the library entertained a proposal from SSI.  It was an educational presentation.  It does not mean the are going to go through with anything.

 

Baline stated she is very concerned about the Board of Trustees. 

 

Bader stated you said you were at one time employed by the library.  Are these open meetings?  Baline answered yes, but when you asked the Board a question, they never answer you.  Please look over the letter.  I will be at your appointment meeting.  Bader stated please don’t think we don’t take your concerns into consideration.  We all do.

 

Baline stated the way I think you can take my concern into consideration is by making a change.  Your platform was on change.  Let’s see you do it.

 

Close public portion.  Motion:  Bader.  Second:  Sandham.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

 

Daughtry left the meeting at this time.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CONSENT AGENDA NO. 2008-CA20:  Motion:  Bader.  Second:  Braden.  Roll call vote – Daughtry, absent; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Braden, yes; Nielson, yes.  Resolution adopted.

 

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

 

NAME/LOCATION

 

TYPE OF BOND

AMOUNT TO BE

RETURNED

 

GPF, LLC

435 Hollywood Avenue

Fairfield, NJ  07004

(Block 125.8, Lot 2) 4 Westminster Drive

 

 

 

Road Opening

 

 

 

$   550.00

Abbott Flooring, LLC

80B Stony Brook Road

P.O. Box 209

Towaco, NJ

(Block 3, Lot 16 & 14.04)

 

 

 

 

Soil Movement

 

 

 

 

$3,500.00

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM B – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE REFUND OF BUILDING PERMIT FEE (FIRE) TO ROBERT & KIMBERLY MC GILLEN FOR 5 DAHL DRIVE:  $150.00.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM C – RESOLUTION ACCEPTING A CONVEYANCE FROM ELIZABETH AGNOLI MENZIES (PORTION OF BLOCK 40, LOT 7.01)

 

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:12-4 authorizes a municipality to acquire property; and

 

            WHEREAS, Elizabeth Agnoli Menzies has agreed to convey Deeds over a portion of Block 40, Lot 7.01 to the Township of Montville; and

 

            WHEREAS, Elizabeth Agnoli Menzies has executed Deeds and has presented same to the Township for acceptance.

 

            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 following conveyances from Elizabeth Agnoli Menzies to the Township of Montville are hereby accepted:

 

            Deed of Easement - Block 40, Lot 7.01

            Deed - Block 40, Lot 7.01

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM D – RESOLUTION GRANTING PERMISSION FOR GARAGE SALE TO MARK WILMAN, 44 BLOOMFIELD AVENUE, PINE BROOK, 12/12, 12/13, AND 12/14/08:  Moving.  Already had one sale in 2008.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM E – RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING ILENE ST. JOHN ON HER RETIREMENT AS MORRIS COUNTY BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS CLERK.

 

Daughtry returned to the meeting at this time.

 

RESOLUTIONS:

 

NO. 1 – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING TRANSFER OF FUNDS:

 

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, 2008

 

                        Engineering, OE                                                         $     500.00

                        Roads, Snow Removal                                              $  5,000.00

                        Dial a Ride OE                                                          $  3,500.00

                        Facilities Maintenance, OE                                           $15,000.00

                        Fleet Maintenance, OE                                           $  7,000.00

                        Social Security                                                           $  5,000.00

                        Electricity                                                                   $30,000.00

                        Township Committee, S & W                                         $           .08                  

                        Gasoline                                                                    $16,000.00

 

            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, 2008

 

                        Facilities Management, S & W                         $20,000.00

                        Dial a Ride S & W                                                     $  5,000.08

                        Health, S & W                                                             $  5,000.00

                        Roads, S & W                                                             $10,000.00

                        Solid Waste Disposal                                                          $10,000.00

                        Parks & Recreation S & W                                     $  5,000.00

                        Police S & W                                                             $15,000.00

                        Planning Board OE                                                     $12,000.00

 

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

 

NO. 2 – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXTENSION OF THE AWARD OF CONTRACT FOR FIELD HOUSE CONCESSION:

 

WHEREAS, the Township of Montville solicited bids for the snack bar concession at the Community Park; and

           

WHEREAS, Mr. Sam’s Ice Cream/Sedat Yildiz was the high bidder and entered into a Concession Agreement dated June 10, 2008; and

           

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Concession Agreement, the initial term of the Agreement ended on November 30, 2008 and was subject to the Township having an option to renew for up to two additional one year periods; and

           

WHEREAS, the Township Committee finds that it would be in the best interest of the Township to extend the Concession Agreement for one year.

           

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 Concession Agreement between the Township of Montville and Mr. Sam’s Ice Cream/Sedat Yildiz dated June 10, 2008 is and shall hereby be extended for a one year period to expire on November 30, 2009 in consideration of which the contractor shall pay the Township the sum of $4,000.00 for the one year extension; and be it further

           

RESOLVED that the contract extension is subject to the original terms set forth in the Concession Agreement dated June 10, 2008.

 

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

 

NO. 3 – RESOLUTION CONFIRMING SALE OF TOWNSHIP PROPERTY:

 

WHEREAS, sealed bids were opened on December 9, 2008, for properties advertised for sale by “Ordinance Authorizing the Sale of Certain Properties Owned by the Township of Montville, Morris County, New Jersey, Not Required for Public Purposes Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12-13 et. seq.”; and

            WHEREAS, the following bid was received from contiguous property owners:

 

D.D.L., a General Limited Partnership                 Portion of Old                          $15,000.00

t/a Milan Restaurant                                                      Bloomfield Avenue

                                                                                    (Vacated)

; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Township Committee of the Township of Montville has determined that it is in the public interest to accept this bid.

 

            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 following bid is hereby accepted subject to the conditions set forth for the sale of Township property and pursuant to the Agreement between the following parties:

 

D.D.L., a General Limited Partnership                 Portion of Old                          $15,000.00

t/a Milan Restaurant                                                      Bloomfield Avenue

                                                                                    (Vacated)

 

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

 

NO. 4 – RESOLUTION APPROVING THE LISTING OF BILLS AND SIGNING OF CHECKS:  Listing of bills approved; and the Mayor and Township Clerk are authorized to sign the checks.  Motion:  Bader.  Second:  Daughtry.  Discussion:  Braden asked about the port-o-john’s at Etta Konner, Maser, Reilly, and the amphitheater.  Why are we keeping them during the winter months?  Discussion possible use in winter, possible pick up costs?  Bader stated for her business, there are no pick up or drop off costs.  Bastone will check with Recreation.  Roll call vote – Daughtry, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Braden, yes; Nielson, yes.  Resolution adopted.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

 

Committeewoman Bader reported she attended the PSE&G workshop.  It was not really a workshop.  It was pretty much just going to their tables and gathering information. 

 

Committeeman Braden reported the clothing bins at 86 River Road may have to be moved when the Board of Education moves in.  Vanderhoof stated the Police Explorers are receiving $2,000 for them.  The Committee discussed possibly relocating them on the site.

 

Braden asked if the parking ordinance at the municipal building is going into effect, and are we putting notices out?  Bastone answered two weeks ago the notices went out.

 

Committeeman Sandham reported he will take the sewer rates back to the LTFPC.  Get him your comments.  You have input from me.  Thank you to Mr. Barile for taking care of Halsey Road.  Start thinking about the budget.  Come up with a list of expense savings.

 

Committeeman Daughtry reported he sent Tony Barile the e-mail on Camp Dawson about where we are with the plan.  JIF/MEL gave us preliminary approval for sleigh riding with restrictions.  I have a Recreation meeting tomorrow night.  We are looking at not scheduling anything past 9 p.m. there.  Tony needs to get a conceptual sketch together if these changes will work. 

 

Daughtry asked the status of the Verizon petition.  Bastone stated they are going to draft the letter to the New Jersey League of Municipalities.

 

Braden reported on the animal shelter.  Frank Bastone gave Tony Barile the footprint of a potential building.  Tony said he could site that at Church Lane.  Sue Goldblatt received a grant for $5,000 for the dog kennels.  I asked Frank to give John Wozniak the footprint to see if he could do a layout. 

 

Chairwoman Nielson asked about the status of the Robbins tract money.  Bastone stated there was correspondence between Bob Oostdyk and the State.  Nielson stated she wants to keep the pressure up. 

 

Nielson reported she want to the BPU last Wednesday and testified on the vegetative management.  Some people from Montville were there.

 

Nielson stated we have correspondence here from DOT – we did not get the funding for the Vreeland Avenue road resurfacing.  Hopefully, we can get funding for the following year.

 

Meeting adjourned at 11:50 p.m.  Motion:  Bader.  Second:  Sandham.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

                                                           

Gertrude H. Atkinson, Township Clerk

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 April 2009 )
 
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