All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: April 17, 2017
1. Call to Order
At 7:00 by chair Mike Furrey.
2. Statement of Compliance
3. Salute to Flag
4. Roll Call
MICHAEL FURREY [MF] chair - P
CAROL GUNN-KADISH [CK] - P
JOHN AUBERGER [JA] - P
MICHAEL CHESKI [MC] - P
CRAIG WILLIAMS [CW] - P
5. Open to the Public
Motion by JA; second by CW; unanimous
MF made a statement that comments from the public were to be about environmental issues affecting the township and to refrain from personal issues.
JESSI PALADINI [JP] - Um, I want to comment quickly because I want to get to the meeting downstairs. You know there’s a meeting downstairs about the Appalachian Trail right?
? - Yes
JP - Jessi Paladini, Sunset Ridge Sunset Ridge. Um, I just have lost my train of thought. OK, I’m concerned that the environmental commission [EC] is not reviewing any applications, OK. Um, at the last LUB meeting, John can tell you and John is a great member by the way, he can tell you that a woman came who lived across the street from the NWAC and she just ripped the applicant to shreds for all the environmental violations and concerns. She said basically her property was destroyed with the run-off, woodchips, soil, rocks, you name it. And I just want you to be aware of something Shawn Malliet, the CEO of NWAC, and Doreen can confirm, promised us that he was going to test the stream because of all the run-off. So I plan to bring it up to him again and hold him to that promise. What you might not know is that they never even applied for a stream encroachment permit until almost a year and a half after they started construction. And probably the only reason why they even applied is because we called the DEP and asked about it. So they got approval last Wednesday night. So really you missed the boat, but I hope that you will keep your eye on that project because I tell you I will. And every single time there is any environmental concern or violation, I will be contacting the state. Yes
MF - I have a question because I’m aware too about the run-off, the excessive amount of run-off and I didn’t quite understand, um, and I’m not really, I don’t know about the application and I don’t know enough because I wasn’t at the LUB and I don’t know enough to comment, but I did see the pictures. I saw the pictures and there was obviously run-off
JP - Ya
MF - From that property, was at one time they asked or they redirected or they made improvements on the site. Maybe this is for my own benefit, how long ago? They made some modifications to the project.
JP - Ya
MF - To help redirect some of the run-off.
JP - Ya
MF - So is it, am I correct to say or incorrect that it was redirected and the way it was redirected was exactly the way it was designed
JP - No
MF - To run down Breakneck Road
JA - Well, they added the catch basins in the parking lot, in the parking lot
JP - They added the catch basins
JA - Trying to keep it
JP - Yes
JA - From going over
JP - Yes
JA - The Layton’s property
JP - Yes, it’s not catching all of it but that remains to be seen the next time we have heavy rains.
MF - I know, but wasn’t that, wasn’t that requested of the applicant to make modifications to the erosion control plan?
JP - Yes
Mf - To redirect it to, did it end up getting directed to where
JP - Some of it did
Mf - Was supposed to be
JP - Some of it did, but if you look at the photographs that I sent the EC and you’re copied too, if you look at the photographs the run-off is bypassing the catch basin
MF - Right, right, right
JP - So
MF - Bypassing the even if it went into the catch basin, it still ends up in the stream.
JP - Ya, exactly, everything ends up in the stream
CW - Ya, it’s just if it’s done the proper way, it’s not going to have all the sediment and rest of the crap
JP - Exactly
CW - Carrying
JP - Exactly
MF - It shouldn’t get to that point anyway.
JP - Let’s put it this way, every single thing we approved, they went and did something different. They went and did all kinds of things that we didn’t approve. We have have a shade tree ordinance. They never even testified that they were going to remove any trees. And I asked them well how many did you remove 6 or 600. And the answer was I would have no way of answering that question. I said well you paid someone to do it, how do you have no way of of answering that question. People who live up there, more than 3 people, have said flatbed after flatbed after flatbed came off that mountain with huge logs. So you know when you do that kind of massive tree removal
MF - You’re going to have run-off issues too.
JP - Exactly, exactly so you know last month I haven’t particularly seen anything but I’m going to be looking. Have you seen anything?
MF - With a good rain storm
JA - I think since the grass has been coming back and slowing everything up able to soak into the ground before it’s just running down the mountain.
JP - Look, I hope it’s corrected, you know, but now they’re going to be doing the x-country skiing so what are they going to do now.
MF - I, I Jessi, I agree with you. There is an environmental concern.
JP - Ya
MF - There is erosion a serious issue
JP - That’s a trout maintenance stream
MF - I know it is
CW - There is more than one area of run-off coming from
JP - Multiple
CW - The condos
JP - Multiple
CW - Many different directions
JP - Yes
CW - Just the source where most problems are would be a good thing to do
JP - Just in the lower parking lot there’s like 4 different areas where it’s coming down.
MF - They have photographs that it was coming out of the driveway, coming down Breakneck Rd. and going into the catch basin. Some was bypassing the catch basin and ended up in the stream, but still even if it bypassed the catch basin or went into the catch basin, it still ended up in the stream.
JP - Right
CW - But it was going over pavement at that point.
MF - Ya, it was going over pavement at that point
CW - OK, so it wasn’t picking up from there it was picking it up from
MF - Ya it had a lot of fencing
JP - Everything was changed. Everything is changed. They came in and said no parking in the lower and upper parking lot, only buses. Well, now it’s parking every square inch where they have room.
CW - When you were sitting, was there a soil conservation plan?
JP - No
CW - Submitted
JP - No, not until after I called soil conservation and got them up here
MF - Yes, and that was the change that
CW - Crazy
MF - And that was the change they made so
JP - Right
MF - They made a change in the plan, that’s what I’m asking
JP - There were no DEP permits until we called the DEP and they came up here.
MF - There was no soil erosion plan
CW - LUB should have been all it as well, I mean that’s a
JP - They were under Vic Marotta when he was mayor, yes
CW - OK
JP - OK, we’ll end it there.
MF - I think it’s a genuine concern and I agree with you.
JP - Ya
MF - I’m not going to disagree
JA - Well, just so you know, the engineer, the third parking lot all the way up on top there was talk of them paving that for
JP - X-Country
JA - No, that’s not the cross, at the ski lodge
JP - Oh oh
JA - The top lot the engineer asked them to leave it stone because he was concerned about if you make it pavement, it’s going to add that much to the very top to go where at least stone would
? - Be permeable
JA - Yes it’s a little more might soak in then if it was asphalt. So I mean they’re trying, they’re trying to work with the maintenance issues of being able to plow the lot and still being, ya know, not adding to the water coming down the mountain.
CW - It’s interesting to watch it when the last big rain,we had pretty significant rain
JP - Well, like I said the neighbor, I had no idea she was coming. She was something else,
JA - I think the majority of what her complaints were when they were re-aligning the slope and taking out those center because it used to be three slopes now it’s just one massive. So I think that’s when they were doing the chipping and everything else, I think that that’s time when they got most of the water and whatever else came across.
JP - Right
JA - I can understand with her hearing there’s going to be more construction how she’s concerned she’s going to to have a replay of what’s already occurred,
JP - Right Um, Jan. 20, 2016 at the LUB meeting, I made several comments about all the violations and run-off and everything and at the very next council meeting, Jean Murphy said that we were an embarrassment. We were an embarrassment. But since that time really nobody has said anything on the LUB.
MF - We’ll keep an eye on it.
JP - Keep an eye on it. But I also want to say one other thing because I’m going to get going soon. Um, I don’t know who you were addressing before whether you were addressing the public or you were addressing the um board members, the EC members when you said not to make anything personal, but as you know when a meeting is open to the public, the public can comment on anything. You can’t really restrict the public on what to comment on. Um, at the Jan. meeting and at the March meeting, Carol Kadish accused me of stealing from the township.
MF - Ya, I would like ? you can talk
JP - OK, at the March meeting she had a list of all those so called meetings where there was no quorum, but um the meeting was held anyway and I served as secretary for those meetings and she was going to give me a copy of them but you all stopped her from commenting on it, rightfully so. And she told me that she gave the list to the township and that I could OPRA that list. Well, I did OPRA that list and the township told me that no such list exists that she did not give them any such list. So I wrote back to the town clerk and I copied the mayor and I said that unless I got an apology from CK tonight for publicly accusing me of something that is absolutely false and defamatory, I am going to go to the Superior Court in Newton and file a lawsuit against Carol, I’m sorry against the EC for having allowed her to make those comments and against the town. So I’m here tonight to get my public apology from CK
MF - Now this is what we’re going to do. Do you have this is like a personnel issue. I think you need to take that up with the township
JP - I did I did
MF - Well I think you continue to take that up
JP - OK, but Mike, realize that it was a personnel issue and she sat here in public session and discussed the personnel issue.
MF - Well take it up with
JP - As her husband does with the HPC. Again, I’m not here to argue with you, I’m just here to get my apology. If she’s not going to give me one, then so be it that’s on her. But unless I get an apology tonight from her for doing that, I am going to file a lawsuit.
MF - OK, thank you
JP - So am I going to get an apology, Carol? Unbelievable OK Thank you Taxpayers should know that you’re costing them more money Doreen Edwards [DE] - Doreen Edwards, Highland Lakes. Also um I like to keep an eye up on the mountain in Highland Lakes with the work that was done up there for a long time, the town was not watching the pipeline was what I was referring to the pipeline area. Please keep an eye on that cause we seen in the past if you do not, then that’s when we found contamination and that issues going on and that’s how the tree grant came about other good things for the town so if you could I’d appreciate that That’s it
Woman from Glenwood who is a member of the Earthfest committee invited everyone to Earthfest on April 30 from 11-4
Close to the Public
Motion CW, Second JA, unanimous
6. LUB Liaison Report
JA reported that National Winter Activity Center [NWAC] at the last LUB meeting had introduced a revised plan that received approval. Revisions included change of hours of operation, the lower parking lot would be for cars and buses and more outside lighting. The EC will keep an eye on the project when construction starts. MF will contact NWAC and ask for a site inspection on either April 22 or May 20. No other applications. CK showed maps of Vernon’s proposed sewer service areas [SSA]. Hidden Valley is one such area. MF reported that a 2015 SSA map is currently at the DEP but hasn’t been approved. It would be a good time for Vernon to redraw a “realistic SSA map” and start anew. The State’s proposed septic density change in lot size requirement was briefly discussed.
7. Old Business
See #6 above
8. New Business
Several weeks ago, CW and MF hiked south from Vernon Crossing along the RR tracks. Many RR ties found in wetlands result of RR track repair. CW photographed ties a d MF tested the water. No arsenic found in water samples. MF contacted DEP enforcement and they will do a site inspection.
Open Space/Land Conservancy
The LC’S contract is up this April. Presently they make $12,000/yr and help Vernon with its acquisition of open space. Another firm headed by Bob Canace will also present a proposal, CK asked about the emphasis currently used in regard to open space acquisition - recreation, trail, habitat, etc. Completion of the Greenway trail is a priority. The TC is the open space committee. Discussion on NRI and ERI. DEP considers them the same. JA asked to find out from LUB, was there an approval of either within past 10 yrs.
MC reported he had gone to 3 pump station sites with Jack from DPW to check if suitable for tree planting. #2 station is slated to be rebuilt so not a good site. MC will check out McAfee injection area owned by twp, JA and MC will work together. MF recommends having Ron Farr be co-ordinator of planting and care of trees and should write up an overall plan.
Highlands Water Study
$80,000 grant for a water study of Vernon received by TC. Will be for entire town and seeks to determine how much water is available. It will take 8 weeks to complete project.
EC will share a table with Greenway com. MC will contact ANJEC to borrow an activity/game and will bring info on amphibian rescue . CW, MF and MC will set up table before 11 a.m.
9. LUB Applications Under Review
10. Approval of Minutes
3/20/2017 approved [CK, JA, MC, CW]
11. Commissioners’ Comments
MC there is a hay farm on rte. 565 by the bad curve that has junk, machinery, etc. sitting in wetlands. He will find out name of farm.
Motion by CK, Second by JA unanimous 8:20 p.m.