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

Minutes: December 9, 2013

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 9, 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. Council Member-Elect Jean Murphy was also present.

Salute to the Flag

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

Presentation

Government Energy Aggregation Program

Concord Energy Services representatives were present to explain the Passaic County Energy Cooperative Pricing System for energy aggregation. Concord is a contractor and also provides consulting services. Members present were Vicki Malloy and Justin Catando. They also explained about energy deregulation and its effect. They further explained the process once their services are selected (by ordinance). The process utilizes online reverse energy auction for the best rate, and includes a one-month outreach program to educate the residents.

Council Member Wetzel asked about the use of poles and wires. It was explained that existing poles and wires would be utilized at no charge to the residents.

Council President Rizzuto advised that you can change suppliers at any time, and confirmed with the Concord representatives that this is an opt-out program. This means that the residents must opt-out if they do not want their services, otherwise they will be automatically switched over.

Council Member Lynch expressed his concerns and also noted the existing problems with delivery of services, specifically he referred to outages.

It was noted that the energy supplier is revenue-neutral.

A brief discussion continued on this matter.

Ms. Malloy advised that this would only be for current JCP&L customers, as Sussex Rural Electric customers are not eligible for this program. She noted that for any JCP&L customers already utilizing a separate supplier would have to opt-in to take advantage of this program. Additionally, any Rockland Electric customers are also eligible.

Council President Rizzuto asked if any Council members were interested in proceeding with this program per Resolution #13-219. No one wished to move this issue forward.

Proclamation

Council Member Kadish read the following Proclamation:

Adoption

WHEREAS, every child has a right to a family as a matter of basic human rights; and

WHEREAS, adoption has been an accepted way for children of unwed mothers to ensure the best interests of the child that they are unable to provide; and

WHEREAS, for some adults who cannot have their own biological children, adoption offers them the chance to provide a loving family for a waiting child; and

WHEREAS, some adults may have other reasons to choose adoption of a parent-less child in order to provide a loving home and family; and

WHEREAS, adoption rules have evolved so that it is now an accepted practice for single parents, same-sex couples, international placements, and even adoption of embryos.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon that it does hereby recognize the wonderful opportunities that adoption provides for children to find the family of their dreams.

Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Dan Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
The Proclamation was approved.

Public Comments

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comment.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn
All members present were in favor.

Gary Martinsen—spoke about the Shop Vernon program, cautioning businesses to keep an eye on the costs.

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: Eddie Dunn
All members present were in favor.

Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Marotta reported on the following items:

  • He advised about the Shop Vernon contract—the Township has bought 10,000 cards for about $6,000.00. Of that number, the EDAC contributed $3,000.00, with the balance coming from Highlands State Bank. He noted he had attended a seminar on this type of program at the League of Municipalities Conference (the room was packed). The cost to the merchants will be $10.00/month. He advised that we currently have 14 merchants who have signed on.
  • The No Net Loss Grant for $32,000.00 for planting of trees was very successful. He read a letter from the Director of Forestry offering another grant to re-forest a section of Hamburg Mountain with 1,183 trees for $354,960.00. He advised that he had responded to thank him for the offer. The Mayor advised the Council that he would be bringing a resolution forward at a subsequent meeting. He thanked Beverly Budz for her efforts in securing and implementing the first grant.
  • Police Promotions—he advised that he and Chief Mills have suggested the following officers be promoted effective January 1, 2014:
    • Stephen Moran from Lieutenant to Captain
    • Daniel B. Young from Sergeant to Lieutenant

Motion

Council President asked for a motion to approve the police promotions of Stephen Moran to Captain and Daniel B. Young to Lieutenant effective January 1, 2014.

Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel
All were in favor.

Mayor Marotta advised that he had bios if anyone would like to see them.

All Council Members offered congratulations to both officers.

Council Member Kadish asked to change the order of the meeting to move on Ordinance #13-19 at this time. As Special Township Attorney John Ursin was present at the time, all members were in agreement.

Ordinances—Second Reading—Public Hearing

2nd Reading of Ordinance #13-19

Council President Rizzuto read the ordinance.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Daniel Kadish

Open to public comments on Ord. #13-19 only:
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members were in agreement.

Special Attorney Ursin advised that his office brought this matter to the Council about a year ago. He noted that the principals of SEC-TV were present. He noted attorneys Michael Molitta and Robert Williams, specifically.

Gary Martinsen—noted that the ordinance was not online for review. He had hoped that the new agreement will benefit our local schools instead of the County schools.

Closed to public comments on Ordinance #13-19

Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Daniel Kadish
All members were in agreement.

Council Member Lynch noted that he was happy with the current delivery of services.

Council President Rizzuto asked about scheduling, such as knowing when the program will be available. He advised that the current listings don’t note which programs are showing.

Mr. Williams advised that such scheduling is not currently offered for Channel 10, the public access channel.

Mayor Marotta suggested a set schedule be made for Vernon Council meetings.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: Eddie Dunn
Ordinance #13-19 was adopted on 2nd reading.

Ordinance #13-19: An Ordinance Granting Municipal Consent to the Issuance of a Franchise to Service Electric Cable T.V. of New Jersey, Inc., to Construct, Own, Operate, Extend and Maintain a Cable Television System in the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, Setting Forth Conditions Accompanying the Grant of Said Municipal Consent and Providing for the Regulation and Use of Said System


Consent Agenda

Council President Rizzuto noted that #13-219 would be removed from the agenda.

He explained Resolutions #13-214 through #13-218, #13-220, and #13-221.

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #13-214 through #13-218, #13-220, and #13-221:
Motion: Eddie Dunn
Second: Daniel Kadish

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Resolutions #13-214 through #13-218, #13-220, and #13-221 were adopted.

Resolution #13-214: Authorizing a Professional Services Agreement between the Township of Vernon and Action Data Services to Provide Payroll and Accounting Services from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon (“Township”) has a need to acquire professional payroll and accounting services to process employee payroll; and

WHEREAS, Action Data Services has submitted a proposal (annexed) for the provision of said professional services for the year 2014; 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 enter into said Professional Services Agreement without public bidding provided all reporting requirements have been met; and

WHERAS, the Township Chief Financial Officer has certified that there is no charge to the Township Budget as the current Township bank, Lakeland Bank, pays in full for this service.

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

  1. Upon satisfactory presentation of all materials required under the New Jersey Local Pay-to-Play Law and the Local Public Contracts Law, the Mayor of the Township of Vernon is hereby authorized to enter into the Professional Services Agreement with Action Data Services substantially in the form annexed hereto, and subject to the review and approval as to form by the Township Attorney.
  2. Notice of the award of the within Contract shall be published in accordance with law.
  3. The within Resolution and subject Contract shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Municipal Clerk.
  4. This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon passage and publication in accordance with law, if required.

Resolution #13-215: Chapter 159 Resolution 2013 Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund Grant Amending the 2013 Budget as a Revenue and Appropriation of $7,739.62

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 $7,739.62 2013 Drunk Driving Enforcement Grant from the State of New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety, and wishes to amend its 2013 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 2013 in the sum of $7,739.62 which is now available as a revenue from the State of New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a like sum of $7,739.62 is hereby appropriated under the caption 2013 Drunk Driving Enforcement Grant.

Resolution #13-216: Tax Overpayment

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

WHEREAS, such payment 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
199.1315 C0004Opilka, Barbara M$817.614th6 Arapahoe Dr U1
204.029Opilka, Barbara M$1,024.964th251 Wiscasset Rd

Resolution #13-217: Award of Bid Off-Site Motor Fuel

WHEREAS, the Municipal Clerk accepted bids for Off-Site Motor Fuel on November 26, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.; and

WHEREAS, one bid was received; and

WHEREAS, the bid was submitted with an Exception to Bid relative to the Hold Harmless Agreement; and

WHEREAS, the Township Attorney has reviewed this section of the bid packet and has advised that the bid may be awarded with this exception; and

WHEREAS, the Business Administrator has reviewed the bid submitted and has recommended the bid be awarded to Bob Baldwin Transportation, Inc. t/a Baldwin Fuel Oil, 5 Omega Drive, Vernon, NJ 07462.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Township Council of the Township of Vernon hereby awards the bid for “Off-Site Motor Fuel” to Bob Baldwin Transportation, Inc. for a total amount to be determined after adoption of the 2014 Municipal Budget; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Chief Financial Officer will certify the availability of funds subject to the adoption of the 2014 Municipal Budget; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the bidder along with the bid bond.

This Resolution shall take effect immediately.

Resolution #13-218: Authorizing Execution of the Shop Vernon Property Tax Reward Program

WHEREAS, the Township Council recognizes that there is a need to enhance the economic development of our town; and

WHEREAS, our Economic Development Advisory Committee has identified and reviewed the Property Tax Reward Program; and

WHEREAS, the Township Council approved the implementation of the Property Tax Reward Program in Resolution #13-189 at their meeting of September 23, 2013.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute and seal the Agreement for the Shop Vernon Property Tax Reward Program.

Motion

Council President Rizzuto advised that a request had been received to waive structural permit fees for Meadowburn Farm’s heifer barn.

The Council President asked for a motion to waive the Township structural permit fees for the heifer barn at Meadowburn Farm. All of State and other Township fees are not to be waived.

Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Brian Lynch

Mayor Marotta noted that this relates to the barn destroyed by fire not too long ago, and is being built by Amish workers to enhance their current farm operations. He advised they would have an official “barn raising.”

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

Ordinances—Second Reading—Public Hearing

2nd Reading of Ordinance #13-18 by Title Only

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #13-18 on 2nd reading by title only.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel

Open to public comments on Ord. #13-18 only:
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members were in agreement.

Gary Martinsen—asked about the cost benefit versus using the County.

Mayor Marotta noted that the original purpose for purchasing the shredder was for municipal purposes in managing our documents for approved destruction.

Closed to public comments on Ordinance #13-18

Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Eddie Dunn

Council Member Kadish asked if the fee is too high for residents.

The Mayor noted that the County charges $6.00 for the same service.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Ordinance #13-18 was adopted on 2nd reading.

Ordinance #13-18: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, to Modify Chapter 250 of the Code of the Township of Vernon Regarding Department of Public Works Fees


Council Comments

Council President Rizzuto thanked Missi Wiedbrauk and others for the wonderful tree lighting ceremony and fireworks. He congratulated Captain Moran and Lieutenant Young.

Council Member Wetzel noted that the tree lighting ceremony was excellent. He thanked Digger for all his efforts. He asked people to please drive safe during the holidays, and to watch their alcohol content, noting that the Police were out in force.

Council Member Lynch noted that the Road Dept. had done an excellent job that morning up in Highland Lakes. He thanked the residents and Council members for their condolences on the passing of his father-in-law. He advised that he had failed to mention that people should change their batteries in their smoke detectors when they changed their clocks. He asked residents to watch their fireplace cinders when disposing of them outside of the house, noting the high risk of fire if done improperly. He congratulated Captain Moran and Lieutenant Young.

Council Members Kadish and Dunn had nothing at this time.

Executive Session

Council President Rizzuto noted that the Executive Session was part of an Addendum to the original agenda. He asked Mr. Kelly to read the Resolution, which he did.

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:

A. Personnel Matter—requirements of Municipal Clerk position

3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Daniel Kadish

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Time: 9:10 p.m.

Mr. Kelly noted that Council would return to open session to adjourn the meeting.

Return to Open Session

A motion was made to return to open session:
Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Brian Lynch

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Absent: Eddie Dunn
Time: 9:44 p.m.

Motion

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to authorize the placement of an advertisement for the position of Municipal Clerk to run for the period of one week.

Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Brian Lynch

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

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 Brian Lynch. Motion seconded by Council Member Daniel Kadish, with all members voting in favor.

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 9:46 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: January 27, 2014