Minutes: June 12, 2012

Call Meeting to Order

Craig Williams, Environmental Commission (EC) Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 adequate notice as defined in Section 3D of Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 has been facsimiled and mailed from the Vernon Municipal Center to the New Jersey Herald on January 6, 2012. Notice was also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Salute to Flag

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Craig Williams.

Roll Call

Beverly BudzP
Traci Baldwin-CarterP
Michael CheskiP
Helena HolmesP
Heloise RuskinA
Diane WexlerP
Craig Williams, ChairmanP

Also Present

Aida Cahill, Recording Secretary

Public Comments

Doreen Edwards, Highland Lakes, spoke regarding Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) and possible water quality problems at her home. Ms. Edwards also spoke regarding former EC member, Michael Furrey offering to assist her with water testing. Ms. Edwards commented that she felt this was a conflict of interest.

Jessie Paladini, Sunset Ridge, commented that she was EC Chairperson when Doreen Edwards was approached by Mike Furrey regarding water testing at her home. Ms. Paladini agreed that she felt this was a conflict of interest.

There was no one else from the public wishing to speak and the meeting was then closed to the public.

Ms. Baldwin-Carter questioned Mr. Furrey’s involvement in the township at this time. Mayor Marotta stated that Mr. Furrey no longer sits on any boards or commissions.


Melissa Wiedbrauk from the Vernon Township Recreation Department spoke regarding Camp Sussex. Ms. Wiedbrauk noted its usefulness to the township including the docking and beach areas in addition to basketball, baseball, youth, adult, senior activities and music events.

Mayor Marotta presented detailed information on Camp Sussex and spoke of his interest for Vernon to own and upgrade the property for use by Vernon Township citizens. It was noted that there was currently $490,000 owed for back taxes on the property and a decision regarding purchase was needed by 7/30/12.

The mayor stated that restoration would cost the township approximately $500,000 to $530,000. The renovation would be staged in phases with the first phase to include the removal of non-useable structures, as well as the renovation of an existing home to be used to house a park ranger. Phase 2 would include upgrades and renovations of the property over a 5 year period, without bonding.

Mayor Marotta reported that the current government was committed to the project and would be holding work sessions. It was explained that the means to purchase Camp Sussex would be use of the Open Space Fund. The mayor requested that the EC review the information presented and give their support when this issue came before the township council.

Ms. Budz questioned the costs for a project of this magnitude. Ms. Budz further questioned if the public would be voting on this issue. The mayor stated that this would be a council decision.

Ms. Baldwin-Carter voiced her support for the Camp Sussex project.

Old Business

Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP)

Ms. Budz handed out a packet detailing water and vapor testing that had been done privately and paid for by Ms. Budz and Ms. Wexler. Tolulene was found off of Canistear Road. Ms. Budz directed commission members to a proposal on the back page requesting TGP to take soil tests. Mayor Marotta stated that he would contact TGP and request that they fund soil and water testing by an impartial testing company. The mayor commented that if there was a significant environmental issue found, the governmental body would see that the proper action be taken. Ms. Budz stated her concern that tolulene had made its way to the main lake.

Mr. Williams read the proposal for the record.

Beverly Budz made a motion to implement the proposal for soil and water testing funded by TGP and completed by an impartial testing company.
Second: Helena Holmes

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Beverly Budz, Traci Baldwin-Carter, Mike Cheski, Helena Holmes, Diane Wexler, Craig Williams
Nays: None

Ms. Budz stated that she wanted to be present when the testing was done. Mayor Marotta stated that could only be done with TGP permission.

Mayor Marotta spoke regarding the importance of LUB application review by the EC and requested more active involvement for upcoming Vernon projects.

The EC thanked the mayor for his presentation on Camp Sussex as well as his input in tonight’s meeting before he left for the evening.

Jessie Paladini thanked the North Jersey Pipeline Walkers for being so diligent and concerned about the health and wellbeing of Vernon’s citizens.

Land Use Board Liaison Report

No report.

Applications for Review

LU #5-12-9: Mitelin Motors’Site Plan for Paved Parking Lot with Frontage on Route 94

EC comments included the suggestion of permeable blacktop being used and also to position lighting so there is no light pollution affecting residences and animals.

LU# 5-12-10: T-Mobile, Conditional Use Site Plan. Mountain Creek Property Antenna in Cupola

No EC comment.

LU# 5-12-11: Dave DiMichele Jr., Bulk Variance for Carport on a Corner Lot

No environmental impact.

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve meeting minutes from May 8, 2012 with amendment on page 2 as follows: Ms. Budz stated that Mr. King from the DEP called her home and asked if she knew who installed the booms and pillows, and that no permits were granted or sought. Ms. Budz asked Mr. McLaughlin if permits were needed and he said no one mentioned he needed permits.

Moved: Beverly Budz
Second: Mike Cheski
All were in favor.

Motion to change future Environmental Commission meeting time from 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Moved: Mike Cheski
Second: Beverly Budz
All were in favor.

Motion to call a Special Meeting of the Environmental Commission on June 26, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Moved: Mike Cheski
Second: Traci Baldwin-Carter
All were in favor


The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Aida Cahill, Recording Secretary
Minutes approved: July 10, 2012