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

Minutes: February 23, 2015

The meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 23, 2015 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Patrick Rizzuto presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 4, 2015, 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 (arrived at 7:35 p.m.), Brian Lynch, Jean Murphy, Dick Wetzel and Council President Patrick Rizzuto. Also present was CFO Elke Yetter, Administrator Bill Zuckerman who was also serving as Acting Mayor and Township Attorney John Ursin.

Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.

Recess

Council President Rizzuto requested a motion for a short recess at 7:34 p.m.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members were in favor.

Council President Rizzuto requested a motion to return from recess at 7:36 p.m.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members were in favor.

Salute to the Flag

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

Public Comment

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Jean Murphy
All members were in favor.

Robert Oliver, Vernon, stated that he had read a letter written to the editor of the Herald about the Township that seemed to show a lack of understanding about the budget and Township administration. Mr. Oliver explained that in his opinion the comments made in the paper were false particularly the indication that there had been a misappropriation of funds. Mr. Oliver stated he found it sad that some people could not stick to the truth.

Closed to Public Comments

Seeing no more members of the public wishing to speak, Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dan Kadish
All members were in favor.

Mayor’s Report

Acting Mayor Bill Zuckerman stated the Township had received 725 tons of salt and 452 tons of grit and had used about 300 tons of material in the previous storm. Acting Mayor Bill Zuckerman stated the Township was ok at the moment but that another storm was pending. The Council discussed obtaining a report about the salt and grit usage in the various communities as 2014 was the first year the township provided salt and grit directly to the communities rather than reimbursement for same under the Kelly Bill.

ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

Emergency Services Personnel Stipend

Council President Rizzuto asked Council Member Lynch if he would like to speak on this issue. Council Member Lynch stated that for some months he had been championing the case for a stipend for volunteers. Council Member Lynch explained the volunteers use their personal vehicles to get to and from the Fire and First Aid Squad buildings in all types of weather. Council Member Lynch discussed providing a $300 stipend if the members met certain benchmarks, including attending 30% of calls, 50% of drills, and having a New Jersey driver’s license, as well as being a member in good standing that was active for at least two years and was eighteen years of age or older. Council Member Lynch explained the treasurer would automatically qualify due to the onerous nature of that position. Council Member Lynch expressed that the total cost to the Township would be approximately $52,500 per year as persons who were members of both the fire and first aid squad would not qualify to receive two stipends. The Township attorney noted this could be done in the form of an ordinance. Council President Rizzuto requested that this be placed on the agenda for March 9, 2015. The Council discussed the tax implications of this ordinance. Council President Rizzuto requested that Attorney Ursin prepare an ordinance for the meeting.

Consent Agenda

Council President Rizzuto gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #15-51 - #15-55.

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to adopt Resolutions #15-51 - #15-55.

Moved: Brian Lynch
Seconded: Dan Kadish

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

Resolutions #15-51 - #15-55 were adopted.

Resolution #15-51: Resolution Authorizing Emergency Temporary Appropriations

WHEREAS, an emergent condition has arisen in that the Township is expected to enter in contracts, commitments or payments prior to the 2015 budget and no adequate provision has been made in the 2015 temporary budget for the aforesaid purposes, and

WHEREAS, N.J.S. 40A:4-20 provides for the creation of an emergency temporary appropriation for said purpose, and

WHEREAS, the total emergency temporary appropriation resolutions adopted in the year 2015 pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 96, P.L. 1951 (N.J.S.A. 40A:4-20) including this resolution total $537,775.00.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Governing Body of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, (not less than two-thirds of all the members thereof affirmatively concurring) that in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:4-20:

  1. Emergency temporary appropriations be and the same are hereby made in the amount of $537,775.00 as follows:

    Environmental Commission—OE$300.00
    Road Repairs & Maintenance—SW50,000.00
    Road Repairs & Maintenance—OE200,000.00
    Insurance—Workers Compensation91,964.00
    Insurance—Other122,716.00
    Public Employee Retirement System45,799.00
    Police & Fireman’s Retirement System26,996.00
     $537,775.00
  2. Said emergency temporary appropriations will be provided for in the 2015 budget.
  3. That one certified copy of this resolution be filed with the Director, Division of Local Government Services.

Resolution #15-52: Authorizing a Contract with Munidex to Maintain the Township’s Vital Statistic Software for 2015

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to maintain its vital statistic software; and

WHEREAS, MUNIDEX, Inc. supplied the original vital statistic software to the Township and has the expertise to maintain said program; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer recommends that the Township Council award a contract to maintain the Township’s vital statistic software to Munidex, Inc., 174 Route 17 North, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662; and

WHEREAS, the cost for this annual maintenance contract is $584.00 and there may be additional charges if on-site maintenance service is required and the Chief Financial Officer of the Township of Vernon, has certified these funds are available in account #10570438.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are authorized to sign and accept the Software Maintenance Agreement for the year 2015 to maintain the Township’s vital statistic software in an amount of $584.00; and

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

Resolution #15-53: Authorizing Final Acceptance and Completion of Project for Repair/Replacement of the DPW Roof within the Vernon Township Municipal Complex

WHEREAS, on July 28, 2014, by way of adoption of Resolution #14-123, the Council of the Township of Vernon awarded a contract to Zitone Construction and Supply Co. for Repair/Replacement of the DPW Roof within the Vernon Township Municipal Complex which contract provided for an expenditure of $260,000.00; and

WHEREAS, by way of adoption of Resolution #15-33, the Township Council approved Change Order No. 1 and Change Order No. 2 which will decrease the final contract cost to $240,632.00.

WHEREAS, in a memo dated February 10, 2015, the Township Engineer states that said contract has been completed by Zitone Construction and Supply Co., Inc. and recommends the project be accepted as final and complete.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon that it hereby approves the Township Engineer’s recommendations and accepts the project of Repair/Replacement of the DPW Roof within the Vernon Township Municipal Complex as final and complete; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that certified copies of this Resolution be forwarded to Zitone Construction and Supply Co. and the Township Engineer.

Resolution #15-54: Authorizing Placement of Signs in Various Locations for Vernon Youth Soccer

WHEREAS, Vernon Youth Soccer has requested permission from the Township Council to place multiple signs within Vernon Township to advertise their League’s 2015 Registration; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Youth Soccer requests to place multiple signs, measuring 20" x 14" in designated locations within Vernon Township; and

WHEREAS, the applicant requests to display the signs from March 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015 and will promptly remove them after time period expires; and

WHEREAS, the Township Code Enforcement Officer has advised that pursuant to the Vernon Township Code 330-180 that the placing of multiple signs of this size and character requires permission of the Council for their placement and waiver of fees.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, that Vernon Youth Soccer is granted permission to place signs at various locations within Vernon Township from March 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015 provided all other requirements of Township Code 330-180 are followed.

Resolution #15-55: Authorizing Placement of Signs in Various Locations for Vernon Girls Softball League Registration

WHEREAS, Vernon Girls Softball League has requested permission from the Township Council to place multiple signs within Vernon Township to advertise their League’s 2015 Spring Softball Registration; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Girls Softball requests to place multiple signs, measuring 18" x 12" in designated locations within Vernon Township; and

WHEREAS, the applicant requests to display the signs for a time period of 30 days beginning immediately after council approval and will promptly remove them after time period expires; and

WHEREAS, the Township Code Enforcement Officer has advised that pursuant to the Vernon Township Code 330-180 that the placing of multiple signs of this size and character requires permission of the Council for their placement and waiver of fees.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, that Vernon Girls Softball League is granted permission to place signs at various locations within Vernon Township effective immediately for thirty days provided all other requirements of Township Code 330-180 are followed.

Introduction/1st Reading of Ordinances

None

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

Council President Rizzuto read Ordinance #15-02 by title only.

Ordinance #15-02: An Ordinance Correcting the November General Election Date

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to open the public hearing on Ordinance #15-02.

Moved: Brian Lynch
Seconded: Jean Murphy
All members were in favor.

There was no comment from the public.

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to close the public hearing.
Moved: Brian Lynch
Seconded: Dan Kadish
All members were in favor.

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to adopt ordinance #15-02.
Moved: Brian Lynch
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

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

Motion carried to pass the Ordinance #15-02.

Council Comments

Council Member Wetzel stated that because of various regulations it was difficult to attract members to the various volunteer squads and departments. Council Member Wetzel stated that in his opinion that the stipend was a good idea.

Council Member Lynch commented that this was the 70th anniversary of raising the flag at Iwo Jima. Council Member Lynch noted that one third of the Medal of Honor winners served in that battle in World War II. Council Member Lynch thanked the Veterans for their service.

Council Member Kadish stated he had no comment.

Council Member Murphy questioned if the Township Engineer would be present for the public hearing on the ordinance for the water main sale. Council President Rizzuto stated he would be there. Council Member Murphy questioned if representatives from United Water could be asked to attend. Township Attorney Ursin indicated that it would be presumptive to request them to come as they had not won the bid. Township Attorney Ursin discussed the bid process and public hearing. Township Attorney Ursin encouraged that the Council ask as many questions as they deem fit at the public hearing. Council Member Kadish expressed that the Township Engineer was not a water or sewer engineer and requested an expert. Council Member Kadish questioned the Township’s control of rates. The Township Attorney discussed that the Township Engineer’s expertise and noted that rates are not under the purvey of the Township but the Board of Public Utilities. The Township Attorney discussed the water and sewer utilities as separate independent utilities and that currently the Township has a sewer system driven partially by well water.

Council President Rizzuto had no comments.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:14 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: April 13, 2015