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

Minutes: December 10, 2012

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:30 p.m. on December 10, 2012, in the Vernon Township Municipal Building, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 9, 2012, and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, and Dick Wetzel. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Business Administrator Jerry Giaimis, Township Attorney Kevin Kelly, and Special Township Attorney John Ursin. Council President Brian Lynch was absent.

Acting Council President

The Clerk asked for a motion to appoint the Acting Council President in Mr. Lynch’s absence. Motion was made to appoint Council Member Patrick Rizzuto.

Motion: Eddie Dunn
Second: Dick Wetzel
All were in favor.

Executive Session

Acting Council President Rizzuto asked Ms. Nelson to read the following Resolution:

Resolution to Go into Executive Session

WHEREAS, the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 permits the exclusion of the public in certain circumstances; and

WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist.

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

  1. The public shall be excluded from discussion of and action upon the hereinafter specified subject matter.
  2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is: Negotiations—Tax Abatement.
  3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Absent: Brian Lynch
Motion carried with all in favor.
Council went into Executive Session at 6:36 p.m.

Return to Open Session

Acting Council President Rizzuto called for a motion to return to open session.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Eddie Dunn
All members present were in favor.
Council returned to open session at 7:41 p.m.

Salute to the Flag

The Acting Council President led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.

Public Comments

Mr. Rizzuto asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments at this time.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel
All were in favor.

Len Colosia—wanted to address the Mayor. Acting Council President Rizzuto advised Mr. Colosia to address matters to the Council. Mr. Colosia asked Mr. Rizzuto to make a motion to remove the Municipal Utilities Authority debt and return the funds to the general budget. Mr. Rizzuto advised him that the MUA is autonomous from the Council. Mr. Colosia asked Mr. Rizzuto about his remarks from the last meeting on the values of the condos increasing due to the sewer system being on line. Mr. Colosia asked about the exemption for the Fire Department. Mr. Rizzuto advised that the Department was on municipal property. Mr. Colosia expressed his disdain for the way the residents’ comments are handled.

Robert Oliver—took exception to one of Mr. Colosia’s comments.

Gary Martinsen—spoke about the tree lighting being very nice, with a nice tree, but noticed no other holiday decorations around town. He suggested banners, perhaps made by seniors, students, and/or church groups.

Don Conover—spoke about an MUA issue, specifically the financial basis of the billings in balance between commercial vs. residential.

Bonnie Rubin—spoke about the unsightly conditions on Rt. 515, including the lack of holiday decorations. She noted that the planters on the dividers need maintenance, and suggested perhaps re-vamping the Beautification Committee. Council Member Kadish pointed out that the Municipal Building had a huge wreath, and suggested hanging mistletoe as well!

Closed to Public Comments

Council President asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members present were in favor.

Mayor’s Report

  • He read a letter that was received earlier in the day, which was a resignation letter from Craig Williams, the Chair of the Environmental Commission.
  • He noted that he had distributed copies of the financial report through the end of November to all members.
  • He spoke about the Lake Conway Dam, noting that he had met with Maser Consulting last week, and that the DEP was requiring an inspection this month. Maser proposed $3,500 to perform the inspection and transmit the report to the DEP—he asked for a resolution at the December 17 meeting.
  • He attended a meeting in West Milford on the Newark Watershed. He would like to include a line item in the 2013 budget for $6,000 for a Princeton public affairs group to lobby/assist with reclaiming lost revenue from this watershed property, noting that 6 towns would be joining in this effort. Acting Council President Rizzuto noted his experiences with the watershed issue while he was on the Board of Education. The Mayor advised that we currently do not collect taxes from Newark for the watershed property.
  • He advised about unsafe conditions on Evergreen Trail (in Pleasant Valley Lake)—water collects and freezes, etc. The Police Dept., DPW, and the Fire Marshal have advised that it needs to be repaired. He has negotiated with the Pleasant Valley Lake Association to have the DPW do the work and the PVL Association will pay for it.
  • He asked if Mr. Kelly had a response for Council Member Kadish on the bills list issue from the last meeting.

Mr. Kelly advised that he reviewed his noted from when this was first investigated, and reported the following: this form of government is unique, and he quoted from the Faulkner Act, noting the separation of powers between the administrative and legislative sides of the Township government. Once the budget has been approved legislatively, the Mayor is tasked with how it is implemented. He noted that the bills list is available for review at any time, but not voted on. He explained the difference between review/investigative vs. approval, noting that oversight is still available through review. Acting Council President Rizzuto suggested making the bills list part of the Council meeting packets, rather than having to reach out for a copy. Mayor Marotta was okay with that, noting that a problem was created in waiting for a vote that was unnecessary, which caused a problem with paying bills in a timely fashion.

Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting Minutes of November 26, 2012

Moved: Dick Wetzel
Second: Eddie Dunn

Council Member Kadish noted that his comments from the November 26 meeting were summarized, where he had asked for them to be “read in.” Mr. Rizzuto asked Mr. Kelly how that should be addressed. Mr. Kelly advised that the comments should be appended to the minutes going forward

A roll call vote was taken:

Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: Brian Lynch
The regular meeting minutes of 11/26/12 were approved.

Consent Agenda—Resolutions #12-221 through #12-227

Acting Council President Rizzuto gave a brief explanation of each resolution.
Mr. Rizzuto asked for a motion adopting Resolutions #12-221 through #12-227.
Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Daniel Kadish

Council Member Kadish asked about Resolution #12-226—if cedar trees were being planted. Mayor Marotta noted that all plantings are across home owners’ properties.

Council Member Wetzel asked about Resolution #12-223—if grants were still being applied for. Mayor Marotta advised that they were. Mr. Wetzel asked about the difference between revenue and appropriations in the account.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: Brian Lynch
Resolutions #12-221 through #12-227 were adopted.

Resolution #12-221: Authorizing the Mayor and Municipal Clerk to Sign a Lease Agreement with the County of Sussex for Nutrition Site Premises for Senior Citizens

WHEREAS, Vernon Township has available space in the Senior Citizen Center; and

WHEREAS, there is a continuing need for space to offer meals to accommodate approximately 75 senior citizens per day; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has offered, for appropriate compensation, to allow the County of Sussex to utilize a portion of the Senior Citizen facility for the Vernon Nutrition Site Operation project as per attached lease agreement for the year 2013; and

WHEREAS, the lease agreement is attached hereto and made a part hereof; and

WHEREAS, the compensatory amount for the use of this facility is $22,700.00 for the agreement year.

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

  1. That the Township Council of the Township of Vernon hereby authorizes and directs the Mayor and Township Clerk to execute the lease agreement between Vernon Township and the County of Sussex for use of the Vernon Township Senior Citizen Center for the Vernon Nutrition Site Project.
  2. This Resolution shall take effect after publication and passage according to law.

Resolution #12-222: Closing of Sewer Operating and Sewer Capital Funds and Cancellation of Balance on Ordinance 00-33

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Municipal Utility was formed and has taken over the management of the sewer lines in the Township of Vernon; and

WHEREAS, there are no longer revenues or offsetting appropriations for the Sewer Operating Fund; and

WHEREAS, the improvement authorizations from Ordinance 00-33 will no longer be needed; and

WHEREAS, the “Vernon Sewer Bonds” will be transferred to the General Capital Fund and there will be no foreseen future capital sewer projects to be undertaken by the Township under the Sewer Capital Fund.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the Sewer Operating and Sewer Capital Funds be closed out and the improvement authorizations related to Ordinance 00-33 be cancelled.

Resolution #12-223: Cancellation of 2011 Municipal Alliance on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Grant Receivable and Appropriation Balances

WHEREAS, there is a receivable with an offsetting appropriation from the State of New Jersey Municipal Alliance on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Grant in the amount of $16.00; and

WHEREAS, this receivable is no longer collectible as revenue.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the above-noted receivable and budget appropriations be cancelled.

Resolution #12-224: Cancellation of Prior Year Grant Appropriation Balances

WHEREAS, there are appropriation balances for the following grants:

2000 NJ Dept of Health Hepatitis B$4,186.00
2004 NJ Dept of Health Hepatitis B$4,730.00
2007 NJ Dept of Health Pandemic Flu$5,562.00
2004 Special Legislative Sewer—Grant$28,770.08
2009 DCA Community Building Grant$1,057.50
2010 Safe & Secure Grant$15,000.00
2011 NJ D.H.S. Over the Limit Under Arrest$4,225.00
NJ Body Armor Grant$0.01
Accident Reconstruction Grant$117.17
NJ D.H.S.—Child Restraint Act$2.65

WHEREAS, these appropriations were previously spent and charged to prior year budget appropriations or are no longer necessary.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the above-noted appropriations be cancelled and the amounts be transferred to fund balance.

Resolution #12-225: Resolution Accepting the Completion of the Phase II Improvements to Canistear Road Project

WHEREAS, the Township awarded contracts to Tilcon New York, Inc., Denville Line Painting, Inc., and M. L. Ruberton for the Canistear Road Phase II Project via resolution 12-139, awarded on June 25, 2012; and

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer has stated that these contracts are complete and recommends that this project be accepted by the Township Council.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Vernon Township Council accept this project identified as Phase II Improvements to Canistear Road as complete, per the attached letter from the Township Engineer; and

BE IT FURTHUR RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law.

Resolution #12-226: Authorizing Change Order #1 to Reivax Contracting Corp. for the Drainage Improvement Project from Mott Drive to Route 94

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon awarded a contract for drainage improvements from Mott Drive to Route 94 via resolution #12-96 to Reivax Contracting Corp. for $172,293.00; and

WHEREAS, additional items that were unforeseen and not in the original specification are needed, totaling $19,900.00; and

WHEREAS, items that were in the original specification are not needed, totaling $10,387.00; and

WHEREAS, the net increase of these additional items less the items that are not needed totals to $9,513.00; and

WHEREAS, according to NJAC 5:30-1.3, the total amount of all change orders may not exceed 20 percent of the original contract award; and

WHEREAS, this change order does not exceed the 20 percent threshold; and

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer recommends that this change order be approved per the attached request.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, that this change order be approved; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law.

Resolution #12-227: Authorizing the Award of Contract to Mount Tools on a Recently Purchased Pumper for the Vernon Fire Department

WHEREAS, the Township awarded a contract to purchase a brand new pumper from Kovatch Mobile Equipment, Inc. (KME), via Resolution #12-93; and

WHEREAS, First Priority Emergency Vehicles is an authorized dealer for KME and submitted a proposal to mount Vernon Fire Department tools on a new pumper, with the KME bid the Township received for the above referenced apparatus; and

WHEREAS, the QPA and Fire Marshal recommend that this proposal, estimated in the amount of $6,331.00, be accepted, and further recommend that a contract be awarded to First Priority Emergency Vehicles, 244 Ridgeway Boulevard #500, Manchester, NJ 08759.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Vernon Township Council, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey to contract with First Priority Emergency Vehicles for the mounting of tools on a recently purchased pumper for the Vernon Fire Department; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law.

Ordinances

Introduction/1st Reading of Ordinance #12-18 (Acquisition of Portion of Block 144 Lot 28) by Title Only

Acting Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Ordinance #12-18 on 1st reading by title only.
Motion: Eddie Dunn
Second: Dick Wetzel

Council Member Daniel Kadish asked why this was being done as an ordinance instead of as a resolution. Mr. Kelly advised that by statute you would do a resolution to sell land, but ordinances are required for purchases.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: Brian Lynch
Ordinance #12-18 was approved on 1st reading by title only.

Ordinance #12-18: An ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, authorizing the acquisition from Main Street Associates, Inc. of a portion of land commonly known as Block 144, Lot 28 for road right-of-way and public purposes


2nd Reading on Ordinance #12-17 (Historic Designation) by Title Only

The Acting Council President asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #12-17 on 2nd reading.
Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

Open to Public Comments on Ord. #12-17 Only

Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members present were in favor.

No one wished to speak.

Closed to Public Comments

Moved: Dick Wetzel
Second: Patrick Rizzuto
All members present were in favor.

A roll call vote was taken on Ord. #12-17:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: Brian Lynch
Ordinance #12-17 was adopted.

Ordinance #12-17: An ordinance granting municipal historic designation to certain property in the Township of Vernon


Council Comments

Acting Council President Rizzuto noted that Council President Lynch was not feeling well, and had asked Mr. Rizzuto to convey his feelings for the season to everyone. Mr. Rizzuto noted that he and Mr. Lynch had attended the tree lighting ceremony last week with the music and fireworks. He wished everyone a joyous holiday season and a Merry Christmas.

Council Member Dunn noted that holiday issues had been raised at the EDAC round table. He is very excited about a buy local campaign. Mr. Dunn appealed to everyone that they frequent local vendors and businesses for the holidays and after to help promote a robust, thriving local economy. He also wished everyone Happy Holidays.

Council Member Kadish had nothing to add at this time.

Council Member Wetzel noted that other towns are pushing a buy local campaign with great success. He agreed that the tree lighting was fantastic.

Mr. Rizzuto added that people should think snow.

Mayor Marotta noted that Council President Lynch had committed to the soccer people on their fees. Mr. Rizzuto suggested a work session right after the next Council meeting. Mr. Dunn asked about having one earlier. After a brief discussion, all Council members agreed to a work session at 6:30 p.m. on January 7, 2013.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:41 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: February 11, 2013