Ordinance No. 15-25

Introduced: November 9, 2015
Public Hearing: December 14, 2015
Status: Adopted

An ordinance of the township council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex and State of New Jersey authorizing special assessment for the restoration and repair of Barry Lakes Dam #1

WHEREAS, the Lake Community Property Owners Association (“LCPOA”) is the owner of Barry Lakes Dam #1 which is located in the Township of Vernon (“Township”); and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) previously determined that the dam was in need of repair, improvement and rehabilitation to bring it into compliance with applicable NJDEP standards so as to render it suitably safe and functional (“Dam Restoration and Repair Project”); and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey Dam, Lake, Stream, Flood Control, Water Resources and Wastewater Treatment Project Bond Act of 2003 (“2003 Bond Act”) allocated ninety-five million ($95,000,000.00) dollars to the 2003 Dam, Lake and Stream Project Revolving Loan Fund (“2003 Fund”) to provide loans to owners of private dams so that they could finance the costs of dam restoration and repair projects; and

WHEREAS, in order to complete the Dam Restoration and Repair Project, LCPOA applied for and received a Dam Restoration Loan (“Loan”) in the amount of two hundred and ninety-nine thousand ($299,000.00) dollars from the State of New Jersey pursuant to the 2003 Bond Act and the New Jersey Dam Restoration and Inland Water Projects Loan Program, N.J.A.C. §7:24A-1 et seq. (“Program Rules”); and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the 2003 Bond Act and the Program Rules, the Township was required to act as co-applicant and co-borrower in order for LCPOA to qualify for and receive the Loan; and

WHEREAS, on January 8, 2009, the Vernon Township Council agreed to support the Loan and adopted a resolution authorizing execution of the Dam Rehabilitation Co-Borrower Agreement (“Agreement”) between the Township and LCPOA; and

WHEREAS, the Agreement requires the Township to adopt a special assessment ordinance covering specified properties to ensure the collection, proper administration and repayment of the Loan; and

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 58:4-12 states that “[t]he cost of payment of the principal and interest on these loans shall be assessed, in the same manner as provided for the assessment of local improvements generally under chapter 56 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes, against the real estate benefited thereby in proportion to and not in excess of the benefits conferred, and such assessment shall bear interest and penalties from the same time and at the same rate as assessments for local improvements in the municipality in which they are imposed, and from the date of confirmation shall be a first and paramount lien upon the real estate assessed to the same extent, and be enforced and collected in the same manner, as assessments for local improvements;” and

WHEREAS, the Dam Restoration and Repair Project was completed for the total principal cost of two hundred and ninety-nine thousand dollars ($299,000.00); and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon as follows:

  1. The assessments levied under this Ordinance shall include the full cost of the principal, interest, and any associated costs, fees, and penalties expended to complete the Barry Lakes Dam Restoration and Repair Project to the satisfaction of the NJDEP, together with all costs associated with establishing and enforcing said assessments as permitted by law.
  2. The procedure for making and collecting assessments shall be as provided for under N.J.S.A. 40:56-1 et seq. and N.J.S.A. 40:49-6.
  3. The Township’s Tax Assessor shall be responsible for making the assessment.
  4. The Township will not contribute to the payment of any part of the costs of this local improvement.
  5. The assessment shall constitute a first and paramount lien as provided for by and N.J.S.A. 58:4-12(d)(1) and N.J.S.A. 40:56-33.
  6. The Township Clerk shall cause a notice of this proposed assessment to be mailed to the owners of real estate impacted by the special assessment prior to the future special assessment for the Barry Lakes Dam Restoration and Repair Project. The notice shall contain a description of the property impacted sufficiently to identify it. Such notice shall be served in accordance with law and proof of service shall be filed with the tax office within ten (10) days after such service. A copy of the list of affected property owners is attached to this ordinance as Exhibit A .
  7. If any section, subsection, clause or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect any remaining sections of the ordinance.
  8. All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent with this ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
  9. This ordinance shall take effect upon final passage, approval and publication as required by law.