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

Minutes: December 23, 2013

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 23, 2013 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 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 11, 2013, 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 Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, and Council President Patrick Rizzuto. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Township Attorney Kevin Kelly, Business Administrator Bill Zuckerman, and Council Member-Elect Jean Murphy.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Rizzuto led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Public Comments

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comment.
Motion: Dick Wetzel
Second: Daniel Kadish
All members present were in favor.

Gary Martinsen—wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. He enjoyed the tree lighting and Earthday, noting that Margaret Kranz should be given kudos. He questioned why Vernon Twp. Schools and Sussex County College were not being utilized for web services, noting Resolution #13-222. He applauded the project for a Sussex County veteran’s cemetery.

Closed to Public Comments

Seeing no one else from the public wishing to speak, Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to close the public comment portion of the meeting.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members present were in favor.

Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Marotta reported on the following items:

  • He wished all a Merry Christmas, and holidays filled with peace and joy.
  • He attended the Sussex County Tax Board hearing last week with our Tax Assessor, Lynne Schweithardt. The Board advised that Vernon was on the cusp of a re-valuation, but was given a reprieve due to Vernon’s work on getting our tax maps digitized. A re-val will be revisited in 2015. We will keep an eye on appeals as they relate to overall tax values.
  • Resolution #13-223 for a No Net Loss Grant—we are moving ahead with the application and are ready to go if Council approves. The reimbursement has been filed for the first grant, as the plantings were approved by the State after completion. We will receive 100% of the fine money levied against the pipeline for de-forestation.
  • Resolution #13-222—our website was designed and is maintained by Paviaweb, and we were deemed the #1 website in Sussex County as a result by the Montclair University study of municipal websites.
  • 2013 performance payments were paid out this week based on performance evaluations.

Consent Agenda

He explained Resolutions #13-222 through #13-226.

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #13-222 through #13-226:
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Daniel Kadish

Mayor Marotta explained that Resolutions #13-225 and #13-226 were authorizations to refund the taxes already paid for the 4th quarter, and that on December 9, there were correlating resolutions only awarding total disabled status to the properties.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Resolutions #13-222 through #13-226 were adopted.

Resolution #13-222: Authorizing the Renewal of Contract for Maintaining Township Website

WHEREAS, there is a need for maintenance of the Township’s website; and

WHEREAS, Paviaweb developed and currently maintains the website; and

WHEREAS, the Business Administrator recommends the award of contract to Paviaweb.com, 14 Allen Street, Netcong, NJ from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2014; and

WHEREAS, the contract stipulates a monthly maintenance fee of $340.00 which the Chief Finance Officer has determined and certified funds subject to the adoption of the 2014 budget.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that they hereby authorize and approve the award of contract to Paviaweb.com, 14 Allen Street, Netcong, NJ, to provide Website Maintenance for the Vernon Township Municipal website for a term of 12 months.

Resolution #13-223: Grant Agreement between Vernon Township and the State of New Jersey by and for the Department of Environmental Protection

The governing body of Vernon Township desires to further the public interest by obtaining a grant from the State of New Jersey in the amount of approximately $354,960.00 to fund the following project:

No Net Loss Grant

Therefore, the governing body resolves that Vic Marotta or the successor to the office of Mayor is authorized (a) to make application for such a grant, (b) if awarded, to execute a grant agreement with the State for a grant in an amount not less than $354,960.00 and not more than $354,960.00, and (c) to execute any amendments thereto any amendments thereto which do not increase the Grantee’s obligations.

*The Township Council of Vernon Township authorizes and hereby agrees to match 0% of the Total Project Amount, in compliance with the match requirements of the agreement. The availability of the match for such purposes, whether cash, services, or property, is hereby certified. 0% of the match will be made up of in-kind services (if allowed by grant program requirements and the agreement).*

The Grantee agrees to comply with all applicable federal, State, and municipal laws, rules, and regulations in its performance pursuant to the agreement.

Resolution #13-224: Tax Overpayment

WHEREAS, A DUPLICATE PAYMENT was made on the Fourth quarter 2013 taxes; and

WHEREAS, such payments created an OVERPAYMENT.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that it hereby authorizes the Township Treasurer to issue check for said overpayment and the Tax Collector refund said overpayment of taxes on the following account:

BLOCKLOTNAMEAMOUNTQTRLOCATION
230.2336Core Logic
(Re: Phillips, Kenneth L #22138214)
$1,605.284th18 Woodland Dr

Resolution #13-225: Tax Refund Total Disabled Veteran

WHEREAS THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS on October 31, 2013 awarded Verdon, Joseph W a 100% permanent and total disabled Veteran: and,

WHEREAS, the law exempts said property from taxation.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon that it authorizes the Township Treasurer to issue a check for said taxes and the Tax Collector to refund the payment made in the amount of $1,959.59 to Verdon, Joseph; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the Township Treasurer and Tax Collector.

Resolution #13-226: Tax Refund Total Disabled Veteran

WHEREAS THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS on November 14, 2013 awarded Zgoda, Richard M a 100% permanent and total disabled Veteran: and,

WHEREAS, the law exempts said property from taxation.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon that it authorizes the Township Treasurer to issue a check for said taxes and the Tax Collector to refund the payment made in the amount of $3,144.54 to Zgoda, Richard M; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the Township Treasurer and Tax Collector.

Council President

  • The Board of Education Liaison meeting has not been held due to some scheduling issues.
  • Applauded Bev Budz for her Environmental Commission Chair appointment and the wonderful job she has done.
  • Thanked Council for working with him this year, including work sessions.
  • Thanked the residents and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
  • He thanked the volunteers professionals—Fire Departments, Ambulance staff, EMT’s, noting that all are valued and he offered his best wishes.
  • He noted that this was the last meeting of the year, and the last meeting for Council Member Eddie Dunn. He thanked Eddie for his work on the Council, his work in the community, and as a friend.

Council Comments

Council Member Wetzel wish all a Happy and safe season. He noted his appreciation for all the volunteers, board members, commission members, coaches, and employees. He advised that the Vernon Twp. Historical Preservation Commission has openings and advised anyone interested to call Charlie Bates. He wished everyone a Happy Holiday Season.

Council Member Lynch also noted his appreciation for the volunteers, advising that they are the backbone of any community. He also appreciated all emergency services personnel and the road department (despite delays in salt delivery from the State, noting that the whole State was low on salt). He felt it had been a pleasure working with Eddie Dunn, calling him a true professional. He wished all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. He thanked Beverly Budz for her work on the grant for re-forestation.

Council Member Kadish spoke about the trees in Vernon Township, noting that insects and fungus have been attacking them. He was particularly concerned about the ash trees that have been under attack by a boring insect invasion. He felt Eddie Dunn should be re-appointed to the Economic Development Advisory Commission.

Council Member Dunn reflected on his past 2-1/2 years in office:

  • Appreciated the friendship with Mayor Marotta.
  • Loved being a servant of the people.
  • Truly appreciated the respect amongst the Council despite disagreements.
  • Was thankful for the Mayor’s guidance and efforts to control taxes.
  • Was grateful for the many friendships he had made.
  • Noted how far this Council had come, and the hopes for where they can go from here.
  • Advised that being on this side of the room had given him a different perspective.
  • Closed by stating that it had been an honor and a privilege to serve on the Vernon Township Council.

Council Member Kadish asked to avoid the scheduled executive session and just proceed with a vote on the issue.

Motion

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to settle the litigation matter of Wilosky vs. Vernon Township on attorney fees for 1/2 the requested amount up to $10,100.00.

Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Motion carried.

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 Eddie Dunn. Motion seconded by Council Member Brian Lynch, with all members voting in favor.

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:01 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC
Municipal Clerk