All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.

Minutes: April 28, 2014

YouTube video of the April 28, 2014 council meeting »

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 28, 2014 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Brian Lynch presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 8, 2014, and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-7.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, and Council President Brian Lynch. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Township Business Administrator William Zuckerman and Township Attorney Kevin Kelly.

There was no Executive Session.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Lynch led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.

Presentations

Vernon Coalition

Council President Lynch invited Annmarie Schafer and Gemma Chalkley of the Vernon Coalition to the podium.

Annmarie Schafer gave a brief history of the Vernon Coalition which was started in response to a number of deaths by young persons in Vernon of heroin overdoses. Ms. Schafer explained that the Coalition received a grant in 2010 to fund its programs and development. Ms. Schafer gave a presentation on the development of the brain and effects of drinking and drug use upon development. Ms. Schafer explained the “Above the Influence” campaign. Ms. Schafer called upon Jen McDonald, a student in Vernon to discuss celebrating without alcohol. Ms. Chalkley encouraged residents to view the Coalition’s Facebook page.

Shop Vernon

Council President Lynch asked the members of the Economic Development Advisory Committee to come forward. (George Nikanorov, Teresa Vihti, Arthur Alviene, Elmer Platz, attending. Antonios Avramidis was unable to attend). Mr. Nikanorov thanked the Mayor and Council for their assistance in implementing the “Shop Vernon” campaign which would give residents a reduction in their tax bill for each dollar they spent in one of Vernon’s participating shops and stores. Mr. Carmine DeFalco of the developer of the Shop Vernon program explained that this program which he had assisted in implementing in other towns kept money in town. Mr. Nikanorov explained cards would be in the mail to residents no later than May 1, 2014.

Proclamations

Daniel Monzo-Paralympics

Council President Lynch invited Daniel Monzo and his family to the podium. Council President Lynch read the following proclamation:

Whereas, Daniel Monzo, a resident of Vernon Township and 2008 Vernon High School graduate, suffered a lower leg impairment in a dirt bike accident at age 15;

Whereas, being a lifelong snowboarder on the slopes of Mountain Creek, Daniel refused to stop his love of the sport due to his adversity;

Whereas, through perseverance, drive and spirit, Daniel, with use of a prosthetic device, worked diligently to return to the slopes again, excelling to the national level;

Whereas, Daniel was chosen to be a member of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Snowboarding Team representing the United States of America in Sochi, Russia competing against the best in the world;

Whereas, an inspiration to others, Daniel volunteers at the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, visiting patients recovering from similar traumatic injuries;

Whereas, with the support from relatives and friends, Daniel has shown his determination to succeed in adversity and be a positive influence on Vernon Township youth as well as all residents.

Now therefore be it proclaimed:
Daniel Monzo
“Role Model of the Year for Our Youth of Vernon Township”
Presented this 28th day of April 2014

Public Comments

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members were in favor.

There was no public comment.

Closed to Public Comments

Seeing no member of the public wishing to speak, Council President Lynch asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members were in favor.

Township Mayor’s Report

Mayor Marotta advised that the Township’s Fire Marshal had resigned and the Township was currently advertising for the position.

Mayor Marotta noted that United Water would be replacing water mains in Aspen Woods and adding 2 new fire hydrants.

Mayor Marotta commented that the park at Maple Grange had been vandalized over the weekend and the restrooms were heavily damaged. Mayor Marotta stated the Township was fortunate to have these facilities. Mayor Marotta called upon the citizenry to report any acts of vandalism they had witnessed.

Mayor Marotta indicated that there was another issue at the Park; persons walking their dog but leaving behind the dog’s droppings. Mayor Marotta requested that residents utilizing the park clean up after their pets. Mayor Marotta stated the Township did not want to ban pets from the park but would if necessary.

Mayor Marotta explained that United Water had given a presentation about water lines in the Town Center. Mayor Marotta explained the project appeared to be on schedule but the Township may need to do some bonding in the future. Mayor Marotta stated that initial reports indicated that seventy five percent of the town center could get water without bonding. Mayor Marotta indicated the Township was in contact with the DEP to see if any grants were available.

Mayor Marotta stated that there would be a bond for approximately $1.8 million using BANs for the capital budget. Mayor Marotta explained he had asked the CFO to do some analysis and she had found that since 2011, the Township has reduced its bonded debt by over $5 million. Mayor Marotta further stated that managing debt is a key responsibility of the municipality.

Approval of Minutes

It was moved and seconded as noted below to approve the following minutes:

January 17, 2014 Executive Session Meeting Minutes

Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Patrick Rizzuto

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None

Motion carried to approve minutes for January 17, 2014.

February 10, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None

Motion carried to approve minutes for February 10, 2014.

February 24, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Dan Kadish

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None

Motion carried to approve minutes for February 24, 2014.

March 24, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes

Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None

Motion carried to approve minutes for March 24, 2014.

March 31, 2014 Executive Session Meeting Minutes

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None

Motion carried to approve minutes for March 31, 2014.

March 31, 2014 Special Meeting Minutes

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Jean Murphy

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None

Motion carried to approve minutes for March 31, 2014.

Resolutions Adopted by Separate Vote

Council President Lynch requested a separate vote for Resolution 14-70.

Council President Lynch thanked Clerk Kirkman for the good job she had been performing since coming to Vernon.

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to adopt Resolution 14-70.

Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Dan Kadish

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None

Resolution #14-70 was adopted.

Resolution #14-70: Recognizing Municipal Clerk’s Week

WHEREAS, a Municipal Clerk is a professional who provides continuity in government from administration to administration, seeing to it that the business of local government continues uninterrupted while providing experienced and dedicated public service to the governing body, colleagues and residents; and

WHEREAS, one of the oldest positions of public servants in local government, the Municipal Clerk’s Office was established when the early colonists came to America and began setting up forms of local government; and

WHEREAS, a Municipal Clerk has core duties prescribed by state statute, including but not limited to 1) acting as secretary to the municipal corporation; 2) acting as secretary to the governing body; 3) serving as chief administrative officers in all elections; 4) serving as chief registrar of voters in their municipality; 5) serving as the administrative officer responsible for accepting and issuing various licenses and permits; 6) serving as coordinator and records manager; and 7) performing other such duties as are imposed by statute, regulation of municipal ordinance or resolution; and

WHEREAS, in recognition of Municipal Clerk’s Week (May 4-10, 2014), the Municipal Council of the Township of Vernon wishes to recognize its Municipal Clerk and her staff for their outstanding services with which they provide to our community.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that while recognizing the importance of its role and functions of the Municipal Clerk’s Office and the impact it has on the public, that is salutes its Municipal Clerk and the Clerk’s Office for their dedication and commitment to Vernon Township’s local government; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Municipal Council of the Township of Vernon recognizes all New Jersey’s Municipal Clerks and their staff members for their service to their respective local governments and calls upon other communities to join them in recognizing their Municipal Clerks and staff members during the week of Municipal Clerk’s Week, May 4-10, 2014.

Consent Agenda

Council President Lynch gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #14-63 - #14-69.

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to adopt Resolutions #14-63 - #14-69.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None

Resolutions #14-63 - #14-69 were adopted.

Resolution #14-63: Resolution Authorizing Fireworks to Be Displayed on May 24, 2014, within the Township of Vernon

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A.21:3-1et seq. Explosive and Fireworks, provides that a Municipal Governing Body must authorize the display of fireworks within its boundaries as a pre-condition to such display in accordance with the New Jersey Fire Prevention Code; and

WHEREAS, Minerals Resort & Spa has submitted an application to Vernon Township to conduct a fireworks display on May 24, 2014, in conjunction with a private wedding celebration; and

WHEREAS, the proposed fireworks display will take place on Minerals Field off Glacier Road within Great Gorge Village, and upon approval by the Council, residents of Great Gorge Village will be made aware of the display; and

WHEREAS, Minerals Resort has engaged in a contract with Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co. to perform the fireworks, and has provided the required certificate of liability insurance.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, hereby authorizes the fireworks display, performed by Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co. and sponsored by the Minerals Resort & Spa on May 24, 2014, upon satisfaction of all statutory and departmental requirements.

Resolution #14-64: Resolution Supporting No Passing Zone Route 94

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) recently completed a traffic investigation on Route 94 in the Township of Vernon; and

WHEREAS, the NJDOT investigation revealed the current centerline pavement markings on Route 94 meet and conform to current design standards; and

WHEREAS, the NJDOT will update existing records to reflect current No Passing Zone conditions along NJ Route 94;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, in the State of New Jersey, that it supports the use of “No Passing Zone” on Route 94 in Vernon Township as recommended by NJDOT.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this resolution shall be forwarded to NJDOT as requested.

Resolution #14-65: Authorizing the Cancellation of Outstanding Checks over Six Months Old to Municipal Cash Balances

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has determined that the following Township checks have been outstanding for a period in excess of six months:

General Account #639403719

Check No.Date WrittenTo WhomAmount
17885/6/13Thomas Maffetone$1.00
17996/5/13Eric Gunderson$1.00
18097/11/13Danodous Stanton$1.00
18289/11/13John Mickowski$1.00
Total$4.00

Bail Account #639403727

Check No.Date WrittenTo WhomAmount
23026/20/13Brian Krystofik$1.00
Total$1.00

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the above outstanding checks be restored to the Township cash balances.

State of New Jersey
Department of Law and Public Safety
Division of Criminal Justice

Safe and Secure Communities Program

Resolution of Participation
Township of Vernon

Resolution #14-66: A Resolution Approving Participation with the State of New Jersey Federal Grant Program Administered by the Division of Criminal Justice, Department of Law and Public Safety

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Police Department wishes to apply for funding of approximately $60,000 with a match of $212,192 for an approximate project total cost of $272,192 for a project under the State of New Jersey Grant Program; and

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Council has reviewed the accompanying application and has approved said request; and

WHEREAS, the project is a joint effort between the Department of Law and Public Safety and Vernon Township Police Department for the purpose described in the application.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Vernon Township Council that:

  1. As a matter of public policy the Vernon Township Police Department wishes to participate to the fullest extent possible with the Department of Law and Public Safety.
  2. The Attorney General will receive funds on behalf of the Applicant.
  3. The Division of Criminal Justice shall be responsible for the receipt and review of the applications for said funds.

The Division of Criminal Justice shall initiate allocations to each applicant as authorized.

Resolution #14-67: Awarding a Contract to Air Group in the Amount Not to Exceed $7,680.00 for a Preventative Maintenance Agreement for the HVAC System Located in the Vernon Township Municipal Building

WHEREAS, the HVAC system in the Vernon Township Municipal Building requires regular preventative maintenance; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Public Works has been instructed to solicit quotes from three (3) qualified HVAC Contractors for the purpose of providing six (6) preventative maintenance inspections per year; and

WHEREAS, price quotes were received from the following firms: Air Group (Whippany, NJ), T.M. Brennan (Hamburg, NJ) and Advanced Mechanical Service (Ridgefield, NJ); and

WHEREAS, the Township Business Administrator has reviewed the quotes with the Department of Public Works; and

WHEREAS, the above Township Officials recommend that the contract be awarded to Air Group, Whippany NJ for the agreement term May 1, 2014 - April 31, 2015; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that a contract in the amount not to exceed $7,680.00 be awarded to Air Group, Whippany, NJ for the purpose of providing preventative maintenance services to HVAC system; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor of the Township of Vernon is hereby authorized to sign an agreement with Air Group for said services.

Resolution #14-68: Acceptance of Performance Bond from United Water New Jersey for Watermain Replacement for Aspen Woods

WHEREAS, United Water New Jersey has submitted plans to Vernon Township for a watermain replacement project for Aspen Woods within Vernon Township; and

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer, Cory Stoner, has reviewed and approved the final plans, prepared by Owen Blake, P.E. with a requirement of a performance bond be posted per the attached letter dated April 9, 2014; and

WHEREAS, based on the estimated cost of the project, the Township Engineer is requiring a performance bond in the amount of $147,232.80 submitted to Vernon Township prior to the start of the project by United Water New Jersey.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, authorization to accept a performance bond in the amount of $147,232.80 to be submitted by United Water New Jersey for trench repairs and road repairs in relation to the water main replacement in Aspen Woods, Vernon, NJ; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the performance bond can be formally released when construction has been completed and approved by the Township Engineer and further accepted by the Township Council by way of Resolution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that prior to release of the performance bond, United Water New Jersey, shall submit a maintenance bond for a period of one (1) year from the Township’s acceptance of the trench and roadway repairs, with said bond being formally accepted by the Township Council by way of Resolution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Department of Public Works for their records.

This Resolution will take effect immediately according to law.

Resolution #14-69: Support of Water Tax to Fund the Loss of Land Equity for Property Owners in the Highlands Region

WHEREAS, The Highlands Water and Protection Act was passed by both houses of the New Jersey Legislature and signed into law on August 10, 2004 by Governor James McGreevy; and

WHEREAS, the Highlands Water and Protection Act designated areas to be in the “preservation” or “planning” areas; and

WHEREAS, the Act reads, “The Legislature finds and declares that the national Highlands Region is an area that extends from northwestern Connecticut across the lower Hudson River Valley and northern New Jersey into east Central Pennsylvania; that the nation Highlands Region has been recognized as a landscape of special significance by the United States Forest Service; that the New Jersey portion of the national Highlands Region is nearly 800,000 acres, or about 1,250 miles, covering portions of 88 municipalities in seven counties; and

WHEREAS, the Act additionally reads, “The Legislature further finds and declares that the New Jersey Highlands is an essential source of drinking water, providing clean and plentiful drinking water for one half of the State’s population, including communities beyond the New Jersey Highlands, from only 13 percent of the State’s land area”; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex is located in both the Preservation and Planning Areas; and

WHEREAS, the value and equity of the land has decreased dramatically for those property owners in the Township and Highlands Act region; and

WHEREAS, the Township also is restricted in bringing economic opportunity, jobs and growth, forcing existing taxpayers to pay higher amounts due to lack of growth and smart development; and

WHEREAS, areas located outside the “Highlands Area” are using highlands resources without paying or compensating those affected communities; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, strongly urge the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly to craft a bill which would charge those who use Highlands Area water to compensate those communities impacted by the Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex will forward this resolution to the Office of the Governor, the Township’s Senators and Assembly representatives, Chairman Jim Rilee of the New Jersey Highlands Council and neighboring municipalities.

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

Ordinance #14-04: Ordinance Amending the Salary Ordinance for “Non-Union” Employees

Council President Lynch read Ordinance #14-04 by title only.

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to open the public hearing on Ordinance #14-04.

Moved: Dan Kadish
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

Seeing there were no public comments, Council President Lynch asked for a Motion to close the public hearing and adopt ordinance 14-04.

Moved: Dan Kadish
Seconded: Jean Murphy

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None

Motion carried to pass the Ordinance 14-04.

Ordinance #14-05: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon in the County of Sussex, New Jersey Authorizing the Purchase of Various Equipment and Repairs in, by and for the Township Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56-1 and Appropriating Therefore the Sum of $112,000.00 and Providing That Such Sum So Appropriated Shall Be Raised from the Capital Fund Account of the Township

Council President Lynch read Ordinance #14-04 by title only.

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to open the public hearing on ordinance #14-05.

Moved: Dick Wetzel
Seconded: Dan Kadish

Seeing there were no public comments, Council President Lynch asked for a Motion to close the public hearing and adopt ordinance 14-05.

Moved: Dick Wetzel
Seconded: Jean Murphy

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None

Motion carried to pass the Ordinance 14-05.

Council Comments

Council Member Kadish noted that in regards to the salary ordinance the Council had lowered the ranges by $10,000. Mr. Kadish stated that prior to his departure the Fire Marshal had been working on a grant. Mr. Kadish questioned if he would receive any commission for same. Mayor Marotta advised he would not.

Council Member Wetzel complimented the EDAC on their presentation. Council Member Wetzel also complimented the local restaurants, bars and stores on their effort to keep alcohol out of the hands of under-age students. Council Member Wetzel noted that if a store or bartender sold alcohol to an under-age individual they also would get in trouble.

Council Member Murphy stated she had attended the Board of Education meeting and stayed until the end at 1:30 a.m. Council Member Murphy noted their meeting had featured several presentations and she had learned a lot. Council Member Murphy indicated the BOE had a program with pre-school children and stated that it may be beneficial if they held that presentation at the Council meeting.

Council Member Rizzuto thanked Mr. Monzo for making the township proud. Council Member Rizzuto pointed out that the owner of one of the Township’s model businesses, Smokey’s, was in attendance. Council Member Rizzuto discussed that Smokey’s had its own solar farm to produce energy to run the restaurant. Council Member Rizzuto thanked Mr. Zaretsky, owner of Smokey’s for putting money back into the community.

Council President Lynch announced that Council Member Murphy and Council Member Kadish would be representing the Township in the township’s liaison meeting with the Board of Education. Council President Lynch pointed out that Vernon is a featured destination on the State’s travel and tourism website and brochures about New Jersey which include Vernon were available at the Township Clerk’s office.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted on the Regular Meeting agenda, a motion for Adjournment was made by Council Member Wetzel, seconded by Council President Lynch with all members voting in favor.

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:38 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman,
Municipal Clerk