Minutes: December 11, 2017

YouTube video of the December 11, 2017 council meeting »

The meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday December 11, 2017 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Jean Murphy presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 5, 2017 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, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel and Council President Jean Murphy. Also present were Council Member-Elect John Auberger and Council Member-Elect Mark Van Tassel. CFO Elke Yetter, Administrator Charles Voelker, Township Attorney Joshua Zielinski.

Salute to the Flag

Council Member Murphy led the assemblage in the salute of the flag.

Presentations

Council Member Kadish presented a plaque to recognize Council Member Rizzuto for his 21 years of community service on the Township Council as well as the Board of Education.

Council Member Kadish presented a plaque to recognize Council Member Wetzel for his years of service on the Township Council and for his serving the community as Vernon High School Football Coach.

Council Member Kadish presented a plaque and recognized Council President Murphy for her deep commitment as President stressing ethics and loyalty while continuing to focus on Vernon’s critical issues as well as volunteering throughout the community delivering Meals on Wheels.

Public Comments

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments.
Moved: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Audrey Falgares and Daniel Storey, Lake Panorama, commented they wanted to address any Council Member’s questions about wall built in Lake Panorama so the situation can be resolved. Council Member Murphy explained the issue is being handled by the Administration and Zoning Officer. Mr. Voelker added both parties are attempting to schedule a meeting. Ms. Falgares provided pictures to Council and commented the Association has cleaned up town drains improving functionality. Mr. Storey stated they want to resolve the issue and explained the wall now prevents runoff and rocks from entering roadway improving safety for residents.

Council Member Rizzuto questioned how high the wall is and how is wall height measured by building code. Ms. Falgares stated the lower wall is 3'6" and upper wall is just under 3' and noted that Tom Maellaro contacted the Town which said under 4' is allowed. Mr. Voelker explained the meeting will explore all options if wall is unacceptable per construction standards and added the Association has expressed interest to purchase the township lot wall was built on. The issue remains that the wall is possibly in the Road right-of way.

Ms. Falgares explained years ago, there was an oak tree in the center of roadway which fell and removed causing the roadway’s width to be increased.

Council Member Rizzuto asked if there is a problem if Council waived the construction of the wall with understanding Association would buy property in upcoming sale. Mr. Zielinski explained the issue of construction in the Right-of Way must be dealt with first.

Ms. Kirkman added there may be more information that Council should be aware of before action is taken.

Mr. Zielinski explained discussion has gone beyond public comment and should be continued at meeting with Administration.

Seeing no further members of the public wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the meeting to public comments.
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members voted in favor.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Shortway was not present therefore no report was given. Mr. Voelker thanked outgoing Council Members Rizzuto and Wetzel for their service to the community.

Council Member Rizzuto asked if bids were received by the Municipal Utility Authority. Mr. Voelker stated while six bid packages were picked up by interested bidders and only one bid was received at price over $200,000. Ms. Yetter explained to Council Members that the Township has done the service for $158,000. Mr. Voelker will provide copies of bid results to Council.

Consent Agenda

Council President Murphy gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #17-218 through #17-228.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #17-218 through #17-228.
Moved: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried to approve Resolutions #17-218 through #17-228.

Resolution #17-218: Chapter 159 Resolution Requesting Approval of Revenue and Appropriation Amending the 2017 Budget as a Revenue and Appropriation of $5,500.00

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:4-87 provides that the Director of the Division of Local Government Services may approve the insertion of any special item of revenue in the budget of any county or municipality when such item shall have been made available by law and the amount thereof was not determined at the time of the adoption of the budget; and

WHEREAS, said Director may also approve the insertion of an item of appropriation for an equal amount; and

WHEREAS, the Township has been awarded a $5,500.00 2017 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Year End Holiday Crackdown from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety; and wishes to amend its 2017 budget for this amount as a revenue.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Council of the Township of Vernon hereby requests the Director of the Division of Local Government Services to approve the insertion of an item of revenue in the budget of the year 2017 in the sum of $5,500.00 which is now available as a revenue from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a like sum of $5,500.00 is hereby appropriated under the caption 2017 Get Sober or Get Pulled Over Year End Holiday Crackdown Grant.

Resolution #17-219: Transfer Resolution—Balance Transfer

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon Municipal Budget requires certain modifications to cover potential expenses that may occur in excess of the original budget.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the following Transfer of Appropriations (2017 Municipal Budget) in accordance with N.J.S.A 40A-58/59 are hereby approved.

FROM: TO: 
CURRENT FUND BUDGET: CURRENT FUND BUDGET: 
Utilities (Gasoline) OE$25,000.00  
 $25,000.00  
    
  Fleet Management- OE$15,000.00
  Volunteer Emergency Services - OE$10,000.00
   $25,000.00

Resolution #17-220: Resolution Authorizing the Cancellation of Appropriation Reserve Balances

WHEREAS, certain 2016 Appropriation Reserve Balances remain that are no longer needed; and

WHEREAS, a STORM RECOVERY RESERVE TRUST FUND was established by Resolution #07-68 and approved by the Division of Local Government Services on April 17, 2007; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to formally cancel said balances from appropriation reserves and fund the Snow Removal Trust Fund,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon that the following unexpended balances of the Appropriations Reserves be cancelled:

Road Repairs & Maintenance—SW$84,000.00
TOTAL$84,000.00

Resolution #17-221: Resolution Authorizing the Cancellation of Appropriation Reserve Balances

WHEREAS, certain 2016 Appropriation Reserve Balances remain that are no longer needed; and

WHEREAS, an ACCUMULATED ABSENCES TRUST was established by Resolution #02-44 and approved by the Division of Local Government Services on April 05, 2002; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to formally cancel said balances from appropriation reserves and fund the Accumulated Absences Trust Fund,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon,that the following unexpended balances of the Appropriations Reserves be cancelled:

Police Department - S&W$50,000.00
TOTAL$50,000.00

Resolution #17-222: Temporary Budget—Debt Service

WHEREAS, N.J.S.40A:4-19 provides authority for appropriating in a temporary resolution the permanent debt service requirements for the coming fiscal year, and

WHEREAS, the date of this resolution is subsequent to that date, and

WHEREAS, principal and interest will be due on various dates from January 1, 2018 to January 31, 2018, inclusive, on bonds and notes issued and outstanding,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, that the following appropriations be made to cover the period from January 1, 2018 to January 31, 2018 inclusive:

Payment of Bonds$1,771,655.00
Interest on Bonds303,772.00
Principal on Road Assessment33,345.00
Total$2,108,772.00

Resolution #17-223: Authorizing the Mayor to Sign a Renewal Contract between Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for Health and Prescription Plans for Township of Vernon Employees

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon (“Township”) has a desire to renew the Horizon PPO, OMNIA 3 optional plan and Horizon My Way HAS Direct Access optional plan of health insurance and renew the existing Horizon Prescription plan from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield for its employees; and

WHEREAS, the Township desires to execute the contract between the Township and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, Horizon had submitted a contract, detailing all of the benefits, conditions and costs for the above mentioned plans for the period effective January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5 the New Jersey Local Pay-to-Play Law and pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5(1)(a)(1) of the New Jersey Local Public Contracts Law, the Township may amend said Agreement without public bidding provided all reporting requirements have been met; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey as follows:

  1. The Mayor and Clerk of the Township of Vernon is hereby authorized to sign renewal contract for the Horizon PPO, Omnia 3 optional plan, Horizon My Way HSA Direct Access optional plan and Horizon Prescription Plan with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey effective January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.
  2. This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon passage in accordance with law.

Resolution #17-224: Resolution to Accept or Reject Bids for Non-Conforming Properties Auction

WHEREAS, the Township in conformance with N.J.S.40A:12-1 et. seq authorized an auction of non-conforming properties via Ordinance 17-16; and

WHEREAS, the ordinance authorized the auction to be held on December 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.; and

WHEREAS, the Township has received bids for the authorized properties as indicated on Schedule A.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, that the bids be accepted or rejected as noted on Schedule A, attached hereto and made part hereof:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor and City Clerk are hereby authorized to execute contracts as approved by the City Attorney and to execute any documents required to complete the sale of properties for which bids are accepted.

View Resolutions #17-225 through #17-228 

Resolution #17-225: Resolution to Adopt the Provisions of Chapter 48

Resolution #17-226: Resolution to Authorize Participation in the State Health Benefits Program

Resolution #17-227: Resolution to Elect an Employer Premium Delay Option

Resolution #17-228: Resolution for Local Employers to Limit Medical Plans Offered

Items for Discussion

Bills List Review

Council Member Ooms questioned recreation expense which Ms. Yetter explained a Memorial plaque was purchased out of Recreation account but account was reimbursed with funds donated by Township employees. Mr. Zielinski discussed that the Council has no authorization to vote on bills list as it was defeated in previous litigation Sally Rinker v. V. Marotta, Vernon Twp.

Council Comments

Council Member Wetzel wished the public a Merry Christmas.

Council Member Rizzuto wished the public a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and questioned if there will be another Council Meeting in 2017. Council President Murphy stated the December 28, 2017 meeting is cancelled.

Council Member Ooms confirmed Reorganization Meeting will be on January 1, 2018 @ 12:00 p.m. Ms. Ooms asked what the Township’s fund balance is. CFO Yetter explained that would not be able to be determined until the end of the year when all the year’s payments and bills were completed.

Council Member Kadish reminded the public about the Wreaths Across America event being held on December 16, 2017 @ 10:00 a.m.

Council President Comments

Council President Murphy thanked Council Member Kadish for the kind words during presentation of plaque and wished the public Happy Holidays.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:03 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: January 22, 2018