MTC Meeting Minutes 04-28-09 Print E-mail

 

Montville Township Committee Regular Meeting

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 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

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

Martin Murphy, Township Attorney

Gertrude Atkinson, Township Clerk

 

RESOLUTION NO. 2009-CES-042809 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 – Dellechiaie; and Starkey; Contract Negotiations – Wildlife Preserves; Personnel.

 

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

 

At 7:00 p.m. – Closed Session.  At 8:03 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 Committeewoman Bader.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

 

NO. 1 – SOIL MOVEMENT PERMIT APPLICATION – BLOCK 13, LOT 22, 21 ROCKLEDGE ROAD, MONTVILLE:

 

Chairwoman Nielson announced this is a continuation.  The last public hearing was held on March 24.  At the last Township Committee meeting, we discussed time limits:  20 minutes for the experts, 20 minutes for the applicant, and 20 minutes for the Township Committee.  Is that acceptable to all parties?

 

Steven Schepis, Attorney for the applicant, answered no. 

 

Martin Murphy, Township Attorney, stated the applicant’s attorney did contact me that he has witnesses that are serving as rebuttal witnesses to comments made at the last meeting, and they would need additional time.  I think we have to allow him that time as it is rebuttal, and he is providing evidence in response to comments that were made.

 

Nielson stated if we allow an hour and a half of time, is that sufficient time?  Murphy stated I believe that could probably be accomplished.

 

Schepis stated we will endeavor to move expeditiously.

 

Murphy stated the attorney for the applicant did send a letter asking that the Mayor recluse herself presiding as the Chairperson.  I don’t feel that is necessary.  I have discussed it with the Mayor and Bob Oostdyk, Township Attorney present at the last meeting.  I did read the minutes.

 

Also, we have been receiving a number of letters.  Normally, we would enter them into the record.  I would say that we just are accepting them all.

 

Nielson stated during her tenure (since 2006) there have been approximately four soil movement applications heard before the Township Committee.  Most of these have been perfunctory and approved with little or no discussion.  They were considered typical requirements during the course of construction.  All together, during the last ten years, there have been 29 soil movement permits heard by the Township Committee.  There was minimal public comment and discussion on each of those.  I reviewed all of those minutes.

 

With regard to the property tonight, the Township Committee has spent numerous hours reviewing the various documents regarding this application.  I have also visited the site and also the sites of some of the other prior soil movement applications.  I have also read the draft minutes and listened to the tape of the last public hearing on this application. 

 

We are well aware of the neighborhood controversy surrounding this project.  Our jurisdiction is limited to those items outlined in our soil movement ordinance – Chapter 12.24.  Neither I nor anyone else on this Township Committee has prejudged this application.  We have all thoroughly examined this application fairly and without bias in an effort to reach a fair decision.

 

There are members of the public here tonight that feel passionately about this application, and we ask that you be respectful of all parties involved.

 

Again, we have concluded the public comment portion of this hearing.  Tonight we are hearing testimony from experts and taking questions from the Township Committee.

 

Bob Mareiniss, 22 Lake Shore Drive, Montville, stated since the applicant is getting additional time, shouldn’t we get additional time?  Nielson stated we would ask that you be expeditious.  I don’t know if we need to read this report into the record.   The expert could summarize the highlights.

 

Dennis Hudackso, expert for the residents, sworn by Mr. Murphy.  Hudackso recited his credentials – licensed planner.  Previously submitted resume.

 

Murphy asked Mr. Schepis if he received Mr. Hudackso’s report.  Schepis answered yes, he read the report. 

 

Hudackso referred to his report and stated he does not see evidence to suggest that any amount of soil is needed to build a home on the premises.  It was based on a zoning board application based on a premise that the soil was needed.  I reviewed the zoning board decision. 

They rendered no decision on the amount of soil needed.  The environmental assessment that was provided with this application did not address the issues with the soil – source/transport/destination.

 

While you have no jurisdiction to give a soil permit for more soil than is necessary to develop, you have a provision that allows your engineer to grant a permit where it is under a certain number of cubic yards, provided that it is not in a critical environmental area.  Apparently, that determination has been made that it is – a steep slope.  Therefore, this governing body has to act on that and determine whether or not the environmental assessment is sufficient for any amount of fill.  In this case, I would say since the environmental assessment is so deficient and no determination has been made on it, it would make sense for this governing body to make a ruling that if there are any proposals in the future for fill, they would be subject to further public hearing rather than discretionary approval by the Township Engineer.   

 

There is an issue as to relying on the conclusions of the zoning board.  He spoke about the resolution.  They granted a variance.

 

Murphy stated you understand we can’t overturn the decision of the Board of Adjustment.  Hudackso replied yes. 

 

Hudackso stated one of the things you have to make is a determination of necessity of the soil to build.  The second thing is the soil in relation to the character of the neighborhood.  If you take any of the Board of Adjustment’s conclusions, and they don’t have a reason behind them, then you have to make an independent conclusion based on the evidence.

 

Walk-through this evening – the character of the neighborhood is that the homes are overlooking the road, and they are below the road.  The homes were built and then at a later date the road was improved and driveways were built.  The prior zoning board approvals on the lot was that they would use that driveway.

 

What is proposed to be done here is to perch the house in thin air and prop it up with soil. 

Submitted objector’s exhibit O-1.  Displays elevations.  This is not what people have done in this area.  Their homes are nestled in the hillside.

 

Showed photos O-2 to O-9:  homes there, McNally home, driveway on applicant’s lot.  Described pictures.

 

Nielson stated most of the Township Committee members have been out at the site and are familiar with the neighborhood.

 

Hudackso stated you could build a replica of either of those other homes possibly by cut and fill, or it may take some additional fill, but it is a different concept and proposition.  It is intended to serve a different purpose.  That is not a necessary purpose to that and your limitation is what is necessary, and that is why I think you should not grant this particular soil movement permit. 

 

Nielson asked if anyone on the Township Committee had any questions for this expert witness.  None at this time.

 

Schepis stated page 2 of the report, driveway slope 17% to 19%.  Are you saying that you propose that this driveway would have a slope of 17% to 19%?

 

Hudackso answered no, that is what the neighbors have in terms of their opportunities to have a design that fell in those limitations.  The applicant is seeking to have a much shallower slope than everyone else has and therefore is creating a much greater opportunity to build a different character home that they didn’t.

 

Schepis asked to what degree driveway slope would you feel would be acceptable?

 

Hudackso stated I think that would have to be a tradeoff decision.   In this case, unless there is some kind of very clear public harm, you actually have to relax provisions to the degree that you can allow somebody to have an opportunity to do something.  The zoning board decision held the driveway slope requirement firm and that is far more important than the character of the neighborhood.  I don’t see where having the slope less than the neighbors have creates some kind of unfair or discriminatory requirement on this applicant.  Hudackso commented further on the driveway and parking pad approvals, etc.  He does not see the real harm in having the driveway alleviated to match other people’s, but he does see a much greater harm in having the home perched up out of character.

 

Schepis asked that is your opinion as a planner?  In other words, you can’t comment on whether a 19% driveway would be safe?

 

Hudackso stated I do write codes.  He spoke about design standards and engineering practice, traffic safety.  When you talk about slope of a driveway, you are really talking about convenience and necessities.

 

Schepis asked are you aware that the design standards of Montville Township for driveway slopes are maximum 10%?  Hudackso answered yes, I do.  Hudackso spoke further about design standards, driveway slopes, waivers granted, safety, etc.

 

Schepis spoke about the Traffic Safety Officer’s memo dated 11/18/05 to the Board of Adjustment – that the driveway should conform to the Township’s standards.    Based on the input of the Traffic Safety Officer, would you agree that traffic safety was addressed by maintaining the Township’s design standards?

 

Hudackso stated he read a number of reviews.  The Traffic Safety Officer’s testimony was before the zoning board.  If it is relevant here, it should be given here.

 

Nielson stated RSIS standards provide for a variety of driveways and slopes.  We have read Lt. Peterson’s report.

 

Hudackso stated generally traffic reports are written to simply point out what the consequences might be and what should happen.  His recommendation is probably quite appropriate given where the house was proposed to be and the design, but I think there are other ways to deal with this property.

 

Schepis stated residential driveways for single-family dwellings are exempted from RSIS.  It is the local design code that prevails on this.

 

No further questions for Mr. Hudackso.

Schepis stated the last time we were here, Mr. Sandham asked about the impact on adjacent properties.  My client engaged the services of appraiser Theodore Biczak.  He submitted a report dated 04/18/09.

 

Theodore Biczak, sworn.  Background – residential real estate appraiser.  Licensed since 1982.  Licensed by the State of NJ as an appraiser.  Have done about 100 appraisals in Lake Valhalla.

 

Biczak stated he was provided the plot plan, the architectural drawings for the proposed house, and the property survey.  He did visual inspections on April 11 and 15.  He also went by there today. 

 

The site is steep, wooded, overgrown, and has accumulated some trash.  The site in its current condition doesn’t enhance the value of the surrounding properties.  I don’t know if it negatively impacts because of the topography, and you can’t really see it from the road.  I looked at all of the houses within a 200’ radius.  Four would be impacted.  #19, McNally – they will see the side of the house as well as some of the retaining walls.

 

Displayed side elevation plan submitted by Dykstra Walker (engineers) – marked A-9.  Biczak Report marked A-10.

 

23 Rockledge – that house is actually separated by a vacant lot.  The house directly across the street, #20, that house is uphill from it.  It will have a limited view of the improvements.  #22 Lake Shore, down the hill.  View will be the rear elevation – 3-story.  It is buffered by distance, and you would have to look up the hill.  The proposed improvements include three retaining walls – modular block.  They are the standard of retaining wall construction.  There will be a swale in the back, drainage pits to prevent runoff, and more importantly, a conservation easement.  The conservation easement will be enhanced with more trees, which will buffer the house below.   There is a walkout basement.  Went over the square feet.

 

From an appraisal standpoint, if you can’t walkout all four sides, it is a basement.  The house itself – front façade similar to Lake Valhalla.  Roof resembles slate – similar to Lake Valhalla.  Described roof and facades.   In terms of fitting in with Lake Valhalla – consistent with the design of houses in Lake Valhalla.

 

Front façade – it is been my experience that when a new house is constructed, the values of the surrounding properties stay the same or increase.  The improvement includes the improvement of a lot that is a “rough” lot.  It is my opinion that the construction of the house would add to the value of the surrounding properties. 

 

Committeeman Sandham stated the question went to how is the development of this particular house impact as opposed to one that is more similar to other surrounding houses.

 

Biczak stated when I looked at the plans; the highest retaining wall I saw was six feet.  That is a fairly typical retaining wall for Lake Valhalla.

 

Sandham described the retaining walls on the plan they received.  15 to 17 ft. staggered.

 

Schepis referred to the displayed plan and gave the measurements of the retaining walls along with their separation and vegetation.

 

Sandham stated the total height from the existing topography – the top of the retaining wall – is 15 feet.  There was another section that had a 15 to 17 ft. differential.

 

Biczak stated if you look at page 13 of my report, the top photo – a house on Hemlock Drive – there are terraced retaining walls that are under construction on that property.  It is from the road.

 

Sandham stated if you live in a house and your neighbor has a retaining wall that is 15-feet high and you had another that was 6-feet high, does one of those scenarios impact the value of the house as opposed to the other?

 

Biczak stated if the retaining walls were aesthetically pleasing, landscaped and terraced, I don’t think there would be any difference in the value.

 

Nielson stated the elevation we have of the proposed home is separated by about 39 feet from the McNally home.  The McNally home seems to be looking into the second story of this home.  There would be shadow lines and shading going on.  That has no detrimental impact?

 

Biczak stated in my opinion for Lake Valhalla it wouldn’t have any detrimental affect on value.

 

Nielson stated this is obviously a downhill lot.  A lot of the homes seem to be nestled into the hillside.  This particular home seems to not follow that character of the downhill homes in the immediate vicinity. 

 

Biczak stated I don’t think this house is inconsistent with the character of Lake Valhalla.  I think it will add value to the surrounding houses once it is constructed.

 

Marc Walker, Dykstra Walker, design engineer for applicant (previously sworn), prepared the plan – Exhibit A-9.  Described exhibit.  Cross-sections.  Highlighted road.  The property dwelling – cross-sectional view – is higher than the road.  There was extensive discussion on the lot.  It is a unique lot.  There is a sight-distance issue with the peak.  The Board of Adjustment Engineer wanted to modify the driveway profile.

 

Murphy stated we are not reviewing the decision of the Board of Adjustment.  We are dealing strictly with soil movement.

 

Walker stated his point was there are unique items relative to the lot.  This is a graphical presentation of what the Board was looking for.  To scale:  horizontal 1” = 10, vertical 1” = 10.  Described drawing, the retaining walls, and what the surrounding houses would see.  The grading complies with the Township ordinance.  The only variance they did need was the front yard setback, but it was consistent with the neighborhood.

 

Nielson stated existing grade – entire structure is constructed in fill?  Walker replied yes.  The lot is totally different – it has a lot more topography and terrain.  Described.  That is ten feet of additional elevation to deal with. 

 

Nielson stated the ordinance speaks to a reasonable amount of fill to have a reasonable development.  Could you say that a house could be nestled into the hillside as well?  Walker stated it is impossible on this lot.  Walker stated it is my testimony that any house on this property cannot be nestled into the hillside.

 

Sandham stated we have an ordinance in front of us that I have been using as my guideline, which includes eight different criteria for evaluation of the soil movement permit.  I just heard from Mr. Murphy that these criteria should only be applied as it relates to the import/export of the soil itself, and not on the impact on the property.

 

Murphy stated that is absolutely correct.  Murphy stated he wrote a letter advising the governing body of that in the beginning of the process – back in February.  He stated at the beginning of this hearing, that we are dealing strictly with soil.  Our ordinance has a lot of language in it that would lead you to believe it is applicable to the development of the property itself.  I don’t think every one of those provisions is applicable to every application that comes in here. 

 

Sandham stated this ordinance speaks to relationships to proposed grades to existing structures, etc.  It talks to land value and uses.  I don’t see how soil movement back and forth would have impact to that.  My questions is if we are not supposed to be following this ordinance, what are we supposed to be following?

 

Murphy stated I can only advise you legally that our only role here is to deal with the soil movement to that site.  The Board of Adjustment approved the development of the site.  I understand that language is in the ordinance.  It can be used for a lot of different applications.  There is a Supreme Court Case that basically said that you go to the appropriate boards to get approvals.  The town is left with nothing more than dealing with the soil movement.

 

Murphy stated it is within your jurisdiction to determine if you want the soil moved, if it is appropriate.  That is within your control.  But to stick to this ordinance, and try to determine property value damage, etc., that is not appropriate. 

 

Committeeman Braden asked Mr. Walker about Mr. Hudackso’s testimony that there was evidence of a driveway.  Can you speak to constructing the house on the lower portion of the property?

 

Walker stated there was a previous plan with a driveway going down at a 15% grade with hairpin turns.  That plan totally disturbed the entire lot.  This plan:  50-foot conservation easement at the rear of the site.  We are minimizing the disturbance. 

 

Schepis stated there were questions posed by Mrs. Bader.  Displayed Joseph Mianecki’s, engineer for applicant, report dated April 17, 2009 – A-11.  Displayed drawing A-12 – retaining wall plan.  Copies previously submitted.

 

Mianecki (previously sworn), clarified the scale of the drawings.

 

Mianecki, described the sequence of construction – displayed drawing:  infiltration trench, drywells, back and forth between retaining walls and foundation.

 

Topsoil – displayed approved Board of Adjustment plan for this project – A-13.  Marked where he made determinations of the depth of the topsoil.  There is essentially no soil that will be salvageable on this site.

 

Schepis asked Mr. Mianecki if the topsoil will have to be removed and stored offsite.  Mianecki answered no. 

 

Mianecki stated there also seems to be some confusion as to the type of truck that is going to be brought in.  What we are proposing is a tandem dump truck.  It has two wheels on the back.  Size of the vehicles – the most suitable would be a tandem-axle dump truck.  It is made to handle heavy loads and move dirt.

 

Mianecki described where the truck staging area would be.  There are remnants of a driveway there.  It looks like it was done to do the soil logs back in the 70’s.

 

Amount of trucks per day – some days no soil delivery.  Some days – 6 to 8 to a maximum of 16.  It will be dependent on weather.  Driveway – that is viable access to start wall construction.  It will probably take a few months to get the bottom walls in.

 

Committeeman Daughtry stated his concern is the safety of the route.  The preferred route has bridges that have weight limits.  If we were going to approve the permit, would you be amenable to the single-axle truck so the route could be Valhalla Road to Vista Road to Lake Shore Drive. 

 

Mianecki stated I am not sure it would make the weight limit as a single-axle.

 

Daughtry stated we need to find a viable way to make it the preferred route.  Can they get permission from the County? 

 

Anthony Barile, Township Engineer, stated the County feels it is a 15-ton limit.  The bridges are not posted.  They have an objection to a major trucking operation going over those bridges.

 

Schepis stated they will take the preferred route.  They will use tandems.  If it becomes an issue, we will come back to the Township Committee for relief or will drop back to single-axles.

 

Barile stated he can’t recommend that if the County has stated to him that it is over the limit on the un-posted bridges. 

 

Daughtry asked if they can take action that they have to use that route.

 

Barile stated he would say that is the stipulated route, and they need to resolve the trucking issue with the County. 

 

Schepis agreed to use that route until it is posted by the County that they can’t use it.

 

Nielson stated they did receive correspondence from the Lake Valhalla Club about safety.  They request the hiring of road safety officers at Valhalla Road and Vista Road and one at Lake Shore Drive and Vista Road. 

 

Mianecki stated I think it is important to have one at the top of Vista.

 

Nielson asked if having the safety officers would enhance the safety of the neighborhood.  Mianecki stated he thinks it is excessive.

 

Braden stated we don’t -  it is a recreation area.

 

Nielson stated at the site there is a guiderail.  How are you going to secure it?

 

Mianecki stated they will put a barrier there in the evening.

 

Nielson asked what will the landing pad be made of?  Mianecki stated the fill material.

 

Nielson asked what measures do you have in place that the downhill homes are protected during the construction period?

 

Mianecki stated the walls are going to be flat-stopped.  What we are proposing is a silt fence and hay bales behind it, and we do have the 50-foot easement behind there.

 

Nielson asked it is your intent to stage any vehicles on Rockledge Road?   Mianecki replied no, only when there is soil delivery.  There will be a flagman there telling them how to access the site.  The roads will be cleaned up daily – hourly.

 

Braden stated he is a little more than distressed.  We spent countless house reviewing the mass of documents, and now we are told that the ordinance is not applicable.  We either have to clean this thing up - and get a proper ordinance on the books.

 

Sandham stated he has a concern.  We are supposed to ignore this existing ordinance because of some case law that may or may not run to exactly what is happening here.  If that is the case, then I would vote tonight not to vote.  I want the exact interpretation of what I am supposed to follow because ordinances are appealed all the time to different levels.  This is what I have in black and white in front of me that I was relying on.

 

Nielson stated again, this ordinance was an amendment to a prior ordinance that was reviewed by the Township Committee and the counsel at the time.  It has been used for 29 soil movement applications.  This discussion has not come up in the last four years.  We relied on this ordinance.

 

Murphy stated again, looking at the ordinance:  Page 2, subsection C.  Murphy read the section.  That is all in relationship to the movement of soil, not in relationship to the approval by the Board of Adjustment.  These factors are not necessarily factors to every single application you have before you.

 

Murphy read his opinion letter again.  Again, we are not to be reviewing the decision of the Board of Adjustment.  Again, I think we are reading too much into the ordinance.

 

Nielson stated Chapter 12.24.020 of the ordinance – my interpretation would be what is reasonable and what is excessive.  Murphy stated the Board of Adjustment has already determined what is reasonable.

 

Daughtry asked did anybody on the Township Committee talk to Mr. Oostdyk or Mr. Murphy between now and when that letter was about the interpretation of the ordinance?

 

Bader stated I based my opinion on this ordinance.  I am ready to make my decision.

 

Sandham stated I want the rule/law as I am supposed to follow to vote.  If I read this ordinance now, even with this interpretative letter, I do not have the same understanding that has been conveyed to me.  I don’t believe I know the law definitively to be able to make that interpretation.

 

Nielson stated as a point of reference, I sit on the Planning Board.  The land use boards have been looking at soil movement in general and returning it to the land use boards as the proper venue to hear these in conjunction with applications.  A lot of the previous applications were just perfunctory reviews in conjunction with normal construction procedures.  Clearly, sensitive, critical properties, perhaps relocating it to the land use board is the more appropriate action.  But that is not going to happen tonight.  We need to make a decision whether we are going to vote on this or table it to get further clarification.

 

Bader stated she had to base her decision solely on this ordinance.

 

Motion to deny:  Bader.  Bader stated reasons:  Section 12.24.120 – no excavation within 20’ of the property line.  Section 12.24.040 – public health, safety, and general welfare.  To me I think that is most important – that our community is safe.  The Board of Adjustment has given three approvals for this site.  It is a buildable lot.  Section 12.24.120, page 6, item E – no excavation of earth from the ground shall be so made as to undermine, or weaken or deprive of support the land in the vicinity.  I believe this works in the other direction also – in going up.  This particular part is talking about undermining property; I feel that it also can be detrimental going too high.  Section 12.24.060 – federal standards say that topsoil movement may not be removed from the site.  We have already heard testimony that it will.  I am basing this on this ordinance.  It is all I have to go by.  That would be my motion to deny because of those particular reasons.

Second:  Nielson.  Discussion:  Sandham asked have they made a stipulation as to the letter from the Valhalla Club – flagmen or some kind of safety officer in at least the two intersections.

 

Schepis stated they were going to propose a flagman in front of the premises and one at the top of Rockledge Road.  They will agree to a flagman in the truck, and he will make sure the locations are safe.

 

Nielson stated she has looked at this long and hard.  She also looked at other properties that had soil movement permits.  She referred to Mountain Avenue and Tara Lane.  A lot of the properties including the one on Rockledge Road are unique.  Although there are some similarities, there are also significant differences.  The road conditions and access is different.  Although the quantities of soil are similar, this particular lot is under 18,000 s.f.  Given the condition of Rockledge Road, which is 17-feet wide, guiderails, and the severe slope constraints, the character of the neighborhood with nestling homes on the downhill sides of these particular lots, I cannot support approval at this time of this particular soil movement ordinance.  

 

Nielson stated the motion is to deny.  A yes vote denies the application.

 

Roll call vote – Daughtry, pass; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Braden, yes; Nielson, yes; Daughtry, no.  Motion approved.  Permit denied.

 

NO. 2 – ORDINANCE NO. 2009-13 AMENDING CHAPTER 3.02 OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE AND ESTABLISHING NEW SEWER RATES:  Sewer connection fees.

 

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

 

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

 

INTRODUCTION OF 2009 MUNICIPAL BUDGET:

 

Bastone reported there is a 3.49% increase in the levy.  The levy is $17,466,372.  The total budget is $27,931,172. 

 

Nielson stated they streamlined some of the operational aspects of the Township.  It has been a tough few months.

 

Bader stated it is a good budget, but she is having a tough time with the cuts that were made.

 

Sandham stated they appreciate the tough decisions that were made and the sacrifices.

 

Nielson stated they are going to further look at efficiencies for 2010 because it looks like State aid will not be improving.

 

2009 MUNICIPAL BUDGET

OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE

COUNTY OF MORRIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue and Appropriation Summaries

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Revenues

 

 

Anticipated

Final

 

 

 

 

2009

2008 Budget

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Surplus

 

 

 

 $     2,140,000

 $    1,850,000

2.  Total Miscellaneous Revenues

 

 

7,151,526

7,559,589

3.  Receipts from Delinquent Taxes

 

 

1,173,274

922,100

4.   Local Tax for Municipal Purposes

 

 

      17,466,372

     16,876,843

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             Total General Revenues

 

 $   27,931,172

 $   27,208,532

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Appropriations

 

 

Proposed

Final

 

 

 

 

2009 Budget

2008 Budget

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Operating Expenses:

 

 

 

 

         Salaries and Wages

 

 

 $     8,990,316

 $    8,676,202

         Other Expenses

 

 

8,958,196

10,202,498

2.  Deferred Charges & Other Appropriations

 

1,787,864

435,075

3.  Capital Improvements

 

 

75,000

75,000

4.  Debt Service

 

 

 

5,819,796

5,619,757

5.  Reserve for Uncollected Taxes

 

 

        2,300,000

       2,200,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       Total General Appropriations

 

 $   27,931,172

 $   27,208,532

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Number of Employees (Full-Time)

 

 

106

111

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009 Dedicated Water Utility Budget

Summary of Revenues

 

 

Anticipated

Final

 

 

 

 

2009

2008 Budget

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Surplus

 

 

 

 $        359,414

 

2.  Total Miscellaneous Revenues

 

 

2,573,178

 $    2,322,611

3.  Deficit (General Budget)

 

 

                   -  

                  -  

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             Total Revenues

 

 

 $     2,932,592

 $    2,322,611

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Appropriations

 

 

Proposed

Final

 

 

 

 

2009 Budget

2008 Budget

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Operating Expenses: 

 

 

 

 

        Salaries and Wages

 

 

 $        456,396

 $       464,651

        Other Expenses

 

 

1,231,684

1,212,424

2.  Deferred Charges & Other Appropriations

 

62,879

100,481

3.  Capital Improvements

 

 

125,000

104,500

4.  Debt Service

 

 

 

430,633

440,555

5.  Surplus (General Budget)

 

 

          626,000

                    -

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       Total Appropriations

 

 

 $     2,932,592

 $    2,322,611

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Total Number of Employees (Full-Time)

 

 

5

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009 Dedicated Sewer Utility Budget

Summary of Revenues

 

 

Anticipated

Final

 

 

 

 

2009

2008 Budget

1.  Surplus

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Total Miscellaneous Revenues

 

 

 $     4,313,457

 $    3,893,658

3.  Deficit (General Budget)

 

 

                   -  

                  -  

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             Total Revenues

 

 

 $     4,313,457

 $    3,893,658

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Appropriations

 

 

Proposed

Final

 

 

 

 

2009 Budget

2008 Budget

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Operating Expenses: 

 

 

 

 

        Salaries and Wages

 

 

 $        306,611

 $       307,100

        Other Expenses

 

 

2,099,223

2,094,193

2.  Deferred Charges & Other Appropriations

 

49,920

52,594

3.  Capital Improvements

 

 

117,900

91,000

4.  Debt Service

 

 

 

1,589,803

1,348,771

5.  Surplus (General Budget)

 

 

          150,000

                    -

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       Total Appropriations

 

 

 $     4,313,457

 $    3,893,658

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Number of Employees (Full-Time)

 

 

5

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debt Information - Bonds, Notes and Loans

 

 

General

Water Utility

Sewer Utility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest on Bonds

 $         1,653,277

 $            171,225

 $        409,229

 

Principal on Bonds

3,825,000

259,408

915,592

 

Interest on Notes

0

 

33,750

 

Loan Repayments

341,519

 

231,232

 

Outstanding Balance-December 31, 2008

46,194,017

4,366,552

11,035,614

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following statements of revenues and appropriations attached hereto constitute the local Budget of the Township of Montville, Morris County, New Jersey for the year 2009.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the said budget be published in The Daily Record in the issue of May 5, 2009, and that a hearing on the Budget will be held at the Municipal Building on May 26, 2009 at 8:00 o’clock (p.m.) or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached.

 

Motion:  Sandham.  Second:  Bader.  Discussion:  Sandham stated headcount number in the handout is not correct.  It will be corrected for the publication.

 

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

 

REPORTS:

 

NO. 1 – ADMINISTRATOR:  No report.

 

NO. 3 – FINANCE:  Frances Vanderhoof, Director of Finance, reported the capital budget was a pleasure to do this year.  The Long-Term Financial Planning Committee had requested the Department Heads do a six-year plan.

 

NO. 2 – ATTORNEY:  Murphy reported they shouldn’t let lie the issue of the soil movement ordinance.  Maybe we should send it off to the Planning Board.

 

Nielson stated the Planning Board has begun to review it.  We need to expedite it.  We do have Stefanelli’s soil movement coming up.  She asked Mr. Barile if there is anything else pending.

 

Barile stated the only pending application is Stefanelli.  They are in the process of testing their soil.  They are hoping to have it done in the next two weeks, and then they will be talking to the Clerk about scheduling a hearing.

 

Nielson stated I would ask that the Township Engineer or whoever else is appropriate that you let us know anything that is coming up or in progress at the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment that may be impacted so that we can look at the timeframe so we can make sure we have made revisions or the appropriate adjustments before it gets to the Township Committee again.

 

Sandham stated specific issues need to be addressed including what the true, legal definition and requirements are.

 

Nielson stated there are some cases that do not go before a board.  There would have to be some provision for it to through a board or the Township Committee, etc.

 

Barile stated he has dealt with this before.  If it was not a development application going through a board, it was assigned to the Planning Board.

 

NO. 4 – ENGINEER:  Barile reported the Pine Brook Road curbing – Area 18 Sewer Project – is being completed tomorrow.  They anticipate paving of the entire area of the project to begin next week.

 

NJDOT grant application – Vreeland Avenue is being submitted.  I am looking into another application for River Road from Vreeland Avenue to Main Road.

 

Nielson asked if he would need to rank them.

 

Barile stated they have to be submitted electronically now, and I don’t know if there is the ability to prioritize them on there.

 

Bastone stated he was under the impression you do have to rank them.

 

Township Committee agreed with second application for River Road.

 

Barile reported he did go to Camp Dawson the other night to monitor.  It is quite busy.  I did make a change in the plan for drop-offs.  We came up with an alternate site for bus parking in the back.  I will present the plan at next meeting.  Daughtry thanked Mr. Barile for following up on that.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS:

 

NO. 1 – OPEN SPACE TAX LEVY:  Bastone reported they have the recommendation from the Long-Term Financial Planning Committee.  Vanderhoof distributed document – what would happen if we stay at where we are – should we not proceed with the recommendation.

 

Sandham stated the current tax levy sunsets as of January 1; therefore, that funding goes away creating a deficit situation. 

 

Sandham stated the Open Space Committee gave an idea of what they would be looking for to spend over some period of time.  LTFPC came up with a smaller number - $5 million over ten years.

 

Sandham stated the total approved right now is .07.  We are at .059.  We are really not increasing the levy.  Some of that .059 expires.

 

Township Committee agreed don’t sunset in 2010.  Extend the sunset.  Mr. Murphy will research the proper way to do this for next agenda – referendum, etc.

 

NO. 2 – CONSERVATION EASEMENT VIOLATIONS:  Two properties on Cheyenne Drive.  Barile’s recommendation is to go with the mitigation plans submitted by the residents. 

 

Discussion regarding conservation easements behind new homes not in straight lines.  Maybe the Planning Board can look into this and make a recommendation.  Maybe there can be guidelines of what can and can’t be done in conservation easements.  Maybe signs can be posted.

 

Township Committee – all in favor.  Also, get recommendations on fines.

 

NO. 3 – COOPERATIVE COMMUNICATIONS – PHONE SERVICE:  Bastone stated you have an analysis of the Township’s phone service.  They have estimated an annual savings of $21,000 if we use their service.  Three-year commitment is required for the T-1 line at $400 per month.  It will be reviewed by Art Daughtry and Bob Perkins.

 

Motion to approve:  Braden.  Second:  Bader.  Roll call vote – Daughtry, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Braden, yes; Nielson, yes.  Motion approved.

 

NO. 4 – COMMUNITY VIDEO SHOWCASE:  Bastone stated CGI Communication is doing this is in conjunction with the National League of Cities.  Township video presentation.  It is at no cost to the Township.  I think it would be a benefit to the town to add to our website.  I would like to be able to have the Township Committee see the video at next meeting.  Township Committee agreed.

 

PUBLIC PORTION FOR ITEMS NOT LISTED ON THE AGENDA:

 

Robert Lefkowitz, 81 Windsor Drive, Pine Brook, spoke about house construction and the cutting down of trees.  Town officials were out to the neighboring houses after the trees went down (in conservation easements).  If it is a Township priority to enforce these things, maybe it is as simple as letting people know you are looking at this.

 

Lefkowitz asked if garage sales are enforced.  He saw a garage sale on the agenda a few months ago.  His point is do people get garage sale permits?  There seem to be a lot, but none on the agenda.

 

Braden stated that particular garage sale was a second one in the year.  They were coming to get permission for a second one, as they were moving.

Clerk stated you are allowed one garage sale per year in addition to participation in the town-wide garage sale.  The fee is $3 for a regular garage sale permit. 

 

Hearing no one further, Chairwoman Nielson closed the public portion.  Motion:  Bader.  Second:  Sandham.  All in favor.  Motion approved.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CONSENT AGENDA RESOLUTION 2009-CA9:  Motion:  Sandham.  Second:  Braden.  Roll call vote – Daughtry, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Braden, yes; Nielson, yes.  Resolution adopted.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM A – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PROCESSING OF CERTAIN TAX SALE CERTIFICATE REDEMPTIONS:

 

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 additional tax sale certificate redemption be processed by the department of Finance:

 

Block 143  Lot 19

38 Gathering Road

Lein Certificate Additional Redemption                                        $1,849.74

To: U.S. Bank Custodian/MDSASS

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM B – RESOLUTION APPROVING TAX REFUND AND CANCELLATION OF TAXES – 100% DISABLED VETERAN EXEMPTION:  Block 82.8, Lot 21.  2006 –  1st quarter 2009.  $35,296.61. Cancellation of taxes 2nd quarter 2009.  $3,095.29.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM C – RESOLUTION RELEASING CEDAR RIDGE DEVELOPERS, INC. – BLOCK 33, LOTS 48 AND 49.03, SKY TERRACE – FROM PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE:

 

WHEREAS, Cedar Ridge Developers, Inc, the developer of property known as Block 33, Lots 48 and 49.03 Sky Terrace, 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, and

 

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer has recommended the waiver of a maintenance bond because the improvements have been completed for a substantial period of time; and

 

WHEREAS, the developer has presented the following deeds for acceptance in conjunction with this development:

 

Deed of Dedication – Lot 48.01, Block 33 – Wetlands Transition Area

Deed of Dedication – Roadway - Sky Terrace

Easement Deed – Lots 48.01 and 48.05 and 48.06, Block 33 –Sight Triangle

Easement Deed – Lots 48.04, Block 33 –Drainage and Detention

           

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 Cedar Ridge Developers, Inc.  in the form cash in the amount of $17,718.48 shall be released; and

           

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that an amount of $622.02 is being deducted from the amount being released at the request of the developer and paid to the Township of Montville to cover a deficiency in the escrow account for this project; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the maintenance guarantee is hereby waived; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following deeds of conveyance are hereby accepted:

 

Deed of Dedication – Lot 48.01, Block 33 – Wetlands Transition Area

Deed of Dedication – Roadway - Sky Terrace

Easement Deed – Lots 48.01 and 48.05 and 48.06, Block 33 –Sight Triangle

Easement Deed – Lots 48.04, Block 33 –Drainage and Detention; and

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that Sky Terrace is hereby accepted as a public street.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM D – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTVILLE AND THE COUNTY OF MORRIS FOR ROAD OPENING PURPOSES:

 

WHEREAS, the Township of Montville at various times finds it necessary to make openings or excavations in and upon the County road system; and

           

WHEREAS, in lieu of making payments to the County of Morris for road openings, excavations, and restorations of County roads, the Township has agreed to perform certain work itself as set forth in an agreement between the Township of Montville and the County of Morris attached hereto.

           

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 appropriate municipal officials are hereby authorized to execute an agreement between the Township of Montville and the County of Morris for road opening purposes in the form attached hereto.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM E – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A TONNAGE GRANT APPLICATION:

 

            WHEREAS, the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act, P.L. 1987, c. 102, has established a recycling fund from which tonnage grant may be made to municipalities in order to encourage local source separation and recycling programs; and

           

WHEREAS, it is the intent and the spirit of the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act to use the tonnage grants to develop new municipal recycling regulations to implement the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act; and

           

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has promulgated recycling regulations to implement the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act; and

           

WHEREAS, the recycling regulations impose on municipalities certain requirements as a condition for applying for tonnage grants, including, but not limited to, making and keeping accurate, verifiable records of materials collected and claimed by the municipality; and

           

WHEREAS, a resolution authorizing this municipality to apply for such tonnage grants (for calendar year 2008) will memorialize the commitment of this municipality to recycling and to indicate the assent of the Township Committee to the efforts undertaken by the municipality and the requirements contained in the Recycling Act and recycling regulations; and

           

WHEREAS, such a resolution should designate the individual authorized to ensure the application is properly completed and timely filed.

           

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 Township of Montville hereby endorses the submission of the recycling tonnage grant application to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and designates Adam W. Brewer to ensure that the application is properly filed; and

           

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the monies received from the recycling tonnage grant be deposited in a dedicated recycling trust fund to be used solely for the purposes of recycling.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM F – RESOLUTION TAX REIMBURSEMENT CERTIFICATION FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF RECYCLING TAX PAID IN 2008:

 

WHEREAS,     The Recycling Enhancement Act, P.L. 2007, chapter 311, has established a recycling fund from which tonnage grants may be made to municipalities in order to encourage local source separation and recycling programs; and

 

WHEREAS, There is levied upon the owner or operator of every solid waste facility (with certain exceptions) a recycling tax of $3.00 per ton on all solid waste accepted for disposal or transfer at the solid waste facility.

 

WHEREAS, Whenever a municipality operates a municipal service system for solid waste collection, or provides for regular solid waste collection service under a contract awarded pursuant to the “Local Public Contracts Law”, the amount of grant monies received by the municipality shall not be less than the annual amount of recycling tax paid by the municipality except that all grant moneys received by the municipality shall be expended only for its recycling program.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville that the that the Township of Montville hereby certifies a submission of expenditure for taxes paid pursuant to P.L.2007, chapter 311, in 2008 in the amount of $22,445.28. Documentation supporting this submission is available at the Township of Montville Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road, Montville, NJ 07045 and shall be maintained for no less than five years from this date.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM G – RESOLUTION APPROVING VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER CERTIFICATES OF EXEMPTION:

 

WHEREAS, Certificates of Exemption for the following persons have been approved by the respective Fire Departments and the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association:

 

Kurt A. Christenson                            Pine Brook Volunteer Fire Department

            Herbert H. Eggers, 3rd                 Pine Brook Volunteer Fire Department

            Robert W. Eggers                                    Pine Brook Volunteer Fire Department

            Michael A. Neff                                    Pine Brook Volunteer Fire Department

 

            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 Certificates of Exemption be approved, and the Township Clerk is authorized to file said Certificates with the Morris County Clerk.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM H – RESOLUTION APPROVING OPEN AND CLOSED SESSION MINUTES REGULAR MEETING 12/09/08:  Approval of closed session and public session minutes - regular meeting 12/09/08.

 

CONSENT AGENDA ITEM I – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SUBMISSION OF THE SUSTAINABLE JERSEY GRANT FUNDED BY WAL-MART:

 

WHEREAS, a sustainable community seeks to optimize quality of life for its residents by ensuring that its environmental, economic and social objectives are balanced and mutually supportive; and

 

WHEREAS, the Township of Montville strives to save tax dollars, assure clean land, air and water, improve working and living environments; and

 

WHEREAS, the Township of Montville is participating in the Sustainable Jersey Program; and

 

WHEREAS, one of the purposes of the Sustainable Jersey Program is to provide resources to municipalities to make progress on sustainability issues, and they have created a grant program called the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants funded by Wal-Mart;

 

THEREFORE, the Township Committee of the Township of Montville has determined that the Township should apply for the aforementioned Grant.

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Township Committee of the Township of Montville, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, authorize the submission of the aforementioned Sustainable Jersey Grant funded by Wal-Mart.

 

RESOLUTIONS:

 

NO. 1 – 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:  Bader.  Roll call vote – Daughtry, yes; Sandham, yes; Bader, yes; Braden, yes; Nielson, yes.  Resolution adopted.

 

NO. 2 – RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE NOMINATION FOR A RESTORATION AND PRESERVATION AWARD FOR THE HENRY DOREMUS HOUSE:

 

WHEREAS, the Township Committee has learned that the Henry Doremus House has been nominated for a Preservation and Restoration award; and

           

WHEREAS, the Township Committee knows that a tremendous amount of work has gone into the preservation and restoration of the Henry Doremus House; and

 

WHEREAS, the Township Committee supports the nomination of the Henry Doremus House for this award.

           

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 Township supports the nomination of the Henry Doremus House for a Restoration and Preservation award.

 

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

 

NO. 3 – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENT OF ACTING TOWNSHIP CLERK:

 

WHEREAS, Gertrude Atkinson serves as Township Clerk to the Township of Montville; and

           

WHEREAS, there is no deputy clerk to handle the responsibilities of the Township Clerk during her absences for vacation or otherwise; and

           

WHEREAS, Frank Bastone has agreed to serve as Acting Township Clerk during the periods of time when the Township Clerk is absent from her office.

           

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, County of Morris and State of New Jersey, that Frank Bastone is hereby appointed as Acting Township Clerk and is authorized to function as Acting Township Clerk during periods of the absence of Township Clerk Gertrude Atkinson from her office.

 

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

 

COMMITTEE COMMENTS:

 

Committeewoman Bader reported for next agenda the Women’s Club will be requesting signage for the town-wide garage sale.  Township Clerk Atkinson stated that can actually go directly through zoning.

 

Committeeman Daughtry – no report.

 

Committeeman Sandham reported there are nine positions on the Residents with Disabilities Advisory Committee.  Seven are filled and two are open.  Quorum count – majority of 9 or 7?  Murphy answered the majority of 7.  Sandham stated he has asked the Township Committee if there are any recommendations for members.  Some have been made – I will review and pass on.

 

Open Space has a meeting this Thursday night.  They looked at some different properties, and they are going to have a discussion as to the priorities of those properties.

 

Swine flu – request refresher on the pandemic.  Bastone will get that from John Wozniak. 

 

Committeeman Braden reported the fishing derby is Saturday at Masar Park.

 

Michelle Tournament – there were 108 games – 72 hours. 

 

Montville Messenger letter – Mr. Daughtry will do the Summer issue letter.  Mrs. Bader will do the Fall issue letter.

 

Chairwoman Nielson – no report.

 

Daughtry asked the status of a joint meeting with the Board of Education.  Nielson will call them.

 

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

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

                                                           

Gertrude H. Atkinson, Township Clerk

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 August 2009 )
 
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