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

Minutes: January 10, 2011

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:10 p.m. on Monday, January 10, 2011 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Mayor Sally Rinker presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 6, 2011, 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 Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, and Mayor Sally Rinker. Also present were Township Manager Jerry Giaimis and Township Attorney John Ursin. Council Member Richard Carson and Council Member Harry Shortway were absent.

Resolution to Go into Executive Session

At 6:12 p.m. Mayor Sally Rinker asked for a motion to go into Executive Session. Council Member Brian Lynch made a motion to close the meeting to the public and enter into executive session. Motion seconded by Council Member Valerie Seufert with all members voting in favor.

The Municipal Clerk read the following resolution to go into executive session:

WHEREAS, Section 8 of 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 matters to be discussed is:
    1. Contract Negotiations—United Water. Executive Session minutes will be released to the public upon the conclusion of this matter.
    2. Litigation—SCMUA. Executive Session minutes will be released to the public upon the conclusion of this matter.
    3. Debt Payment—Mountain Creek. Executive Session minutes will be released to the public upon the conclusion of this matter.
    4. Contract Negotiations—Pellow & Associates. Executive Session minutes will be released to the public upon conclusion of the matter.
    5. Personnel Matters—Assessor and Clerk Positions. Executive Session minutes will be released to the public upon conclusion of the matter or upon execution of employment agreement.
    6. Litigation Matter—Main Street Associates. Executive Session minutes will be released to the public upon conclusion of the matter.
  3. It is anticipated that the above-stated subject matter will be made available upon final decision.
  4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

The Township Council entered into Executive Session at 6:12 p.m.

The meeting was reopened to the public at 7:37 p.m. Present were Council Members Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, and Mayor Sally Rinker. Also present were Township Manager Jerry Giaimis and Township Attorney John Ursin.

Salute to the Flag

The Mayor led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.

Public Comments

Mayor Rinker opened the meeting for public comment.

Gary Martinsen, Vernon, stated his appreciation for the 2011 Reorganization meeting being on a day other than New Year’s Day. Mr. Martinsen spoke regarding Resolution #11-24. Mr. Martinsen also questioned the hotel tax and the condos being advertised for sale. Mr. Martinsen commented on the fire suppression system. Mr. Giaimis advised that there is a detailed report regarding Capital Budget items. Mr. Martinsen wanted to know the value of the equipment being protected. Mayor Rinker stated that the Vernon Police Department shared with her that the ballpark figure was $30,000.00 worth of equipment and records.

Seeing no one else from the public wishing to speak, Mayor Sally Rinker closed the public portion of the meeting.

Approval of Minutes

Mayor Rinker asked for a motion to approve August 12, 2010 Executive Session Minutes, September 13, 2010 Executive Session Minutes and November 29, 2010 Regular Meeting Minutes.

Moved: Valerie Seufert
Seconded: Sally Rinker

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Abstain: Brian Lynch

Mayor Rinker asked for a motion to approve August 26, 2010 Executive Session Minutes.

Moved: Brian Lynch
Seconded: Sally Rinker

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Abstain: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert

Township Manager’s Report

Mr. Giaimis stated that he received a number of phone calls from residents, as well as Council Members with positive comments regarding the Department of Public Works’ efficient job during the recent snowstorm.

Mr. Giaimis advised that a draft copy of the Budget was placed in Council mailboxes last week. Mr. Giaimis further advised that he is available for meetings in regard to the Budget everyday this week, except for Wednesday.

Mr. Giaimis reported that the first set of purchase orders have gone out to the private communities in regard to the municipal reimbursement, as directed by the Council decision. In addition, the second payment to Highland Lakes will be at the next meeting.

Mr. Giaimis also reported that there was an emergency HVAC repair which is nearing completion.

Mr. Giaimis, Mayor Rinker and Township Attorney John Ursin attended a meeting last month with the County Freeholders who passed a resolution to extend an agreement regarding Route 517 and Maple Grange.

Mr. Giaimis reported receiving several complaints from residents regarding the condition of the recycling center. Mr. Giaimis advised that he has withheld payments from the contractor until the problem is corrected. There is a smooth transition expected when the Township takes over the recycling center.

Mr. Giaimis also advised that there are quotes for the elevator repair from different companies ranging between $19,700. and $34,800. Mr. Giaimis further advised that the lowest quote is from a company out of Flanders, and that the elevator needs replacement of a hydraulic cylinder. Mayor Rinker and Council Member Valerie Seufert stated that it is mandatory to have a working elevator in the building.

Mr. Giaimis reported that there have been many phone calls regarding petitions from those people interested in running for the new seats. Mr. Giaimis advised that the petitions would be finalized and reviewed by the Township Attorney, and they would be available in the Clerk’s office on Friday.

Council Member Brian Lynch stated that Vernon Township should comply with the President of the United States directive to fly flags at half staff in the wake of the shooting in Arizona. Mr. Giaimis stated that he will address this issue tomorrow morning.

Council Member Lynch questioned whether the trucks were ready for the next snowstorm. Mr. Giaimis stated that one or two trucks were down, but they should be up and ready for the next storm.

Council Member Lynch stated that he has recently been made aware that there is a requirement to have contact information given to the Township for use of the fields. Mr. Giaimis stated that the Recreation Committee is going to be suggesting an ordinance that would increase fees, and those fees would be per head fees for certain people who use the park. Mr. Giaimis further stated that he doesn’t know the details of the ordinance that is going to be proposed by the Recreation Committee. Mr. Giaimis will direct holding off, until such time that the Recreation Committee suggests an ordinance, and if and when the Council decide to pass such an ordinance.

Council Member Lynch questioned if there had been any movement on beginning the 3 to 5 year budget plan. Mr. Giaimis stated that it would be part of the ongoing budget plan process. Mr. Lynch questioned when a definitive template can be expected. Chief Finance Officer, Bill Zuckerman advised that an outline of the 3-5 year budget plan had been started and that having a template ready in three weeks was reasonable. Mayor Rinker stated that she would like to see the Financial Advisory Committee involved in the yearly budget, as well as the 3 to 5 year plan. Mayor Rinker asked that a draft copy of the budget be made available to the Financial Advisory Committee so that they can be involved in the process.

Council Member Valerie Seufert spoke regarding who is responsible for payment of the school resource officers, as well as, shared services with the Board of Education for cleaning floors in the Municipal building. Mr. Giaimis stated that he will finalize meeting plans with the Board of Education for late in the day on Thursday.

Council Member Seufert questioned when a report can be expected from the consultant who is looking at the private communities. Mr. Giaimis stated that it will be some time in February.

Council Member Brian Lynch questioned if there is a breakdown available for how much the OPRA requests are costing the Town, and how much manpower is being used. Council Member Lynch stated that he would like to see a breakdown so that the extra costs involved in fulfilling OPRA requests can be considered in the budget.

Mayor Rinker questioned when the recycling center will be set for transition. Mr. Giaimis stated the contract ends in February and it is a very high priority to get everything in order by that time or soon thereafter. Mr. Giaimis advised that the necessary equipment had been ordered. Mayor Rinker requested receiving a call regarding Budget, HVAC and Board of Education meeting dates so she can be available to attend those meetings.

Mayor Rinker made a motion to approve acceptance of the lowest bid for the elevator repair. Council Member Valerie Seufert seconded the motion.

Council Member Brian Lynch questioned where the money would be coming from to pay for the elevator repair. Mr. Giaimis stated the possibilities of conserving monies from 2010 or budgeting it for 2011. Council Member Seufert questioned if there was enough money left over from 2010 that can be utilized. Mr. Zuckerman stated that 2010 has not yet been finalized, but it could be budgeted for 2011 under building repairs.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: Brian Lynch

Council Member Seufert asked for an update on the availability of funds to purchase a second police vehicle. Bill Zuckerman, CFO stated that 2010 needs to be finalized, which will be done in another week or so.

Mayor Rinker asked for an update on the potential moving of the DPW in connection with working with the County. Mr. Giaimis advised that he has met with the County several times and is expecting a final proposal from the County Administrator in the middle of January. Mayor Rinker asked Mr. Giaimis to notify the two members of the Real Estate Sub-Committee of the meeting with the County Administrator so they can be present for that meeting.

Mayor Rinker requested the Council consider auctioning off the Faline building and asked how the process could begin. Mr. Ursin explained that because of the recent re-evaluation, the property could be auctioned at the valuation on the tax rolls, or there could be an appraisal to determine a minimum bid. Mr. Giaimis questioned if this would be a matter of an ordinance and a public meeting. Mr. Ursin advised that it would be. Mayor Rinker questioned Mr. Ursin if the Council would have the authority to come up with a number, if using the assessed value as shown on the tax rolls, or would it be more appropriate to have an appraisal done on the property. Mr. Ursin stated that it would depend on how much deviation there would be from the assessed value. Mr. Ursin also stated that if deviating dramatically, he would then suggest seeking guidance from a real estate professional. Mr. Usin advised that there is an advantage to still being under contract with the revaluation company who had done the property inspection, set the value on it, has information on it and who may be able to provide some guidance to the Council on how to set a minimum bid. Council Member Lynch asked how long of a process this is. Mr. Ursin stated that to auction off the property, there would have to be 3 successive meetings. There would have to be a meeting for the first reading, second reading and then an auction date. Mayor Rinker said meeting nights need to be corrected on the Township website showing new changes. Pat Seger put them on last week.

Township Attorney’s Report

Attorney, John Ursin advised that there was no report other than what was on the agenda. Mr. Ursin requested that the Council entertain the Lake Panorama issue. Mr. Ursin introduced Eileen Born, an attorney representing Lake Panorama. Mr. Ursin provided a background on the issue. Mr. Ursin stated that the Township agreed to cosign a loan application for Lake Panorama to receive a low interest loan for dam repairs, and they approved that back on April 13, 2009 by Resolution #09-73. Because the Council had previously approved that, typically the Mayor might just sign the loan documents when they come in, but because that was two successive Council’s removed, Mr. Ursin thought the best thing was to put it on the agenda as a discussion item and allow the Council an opportunity to ask any questions. The action item would be to authorize the Mayor to sign the loan documents completing what were authorized on Resolution #09-73. Mr. Ursin stated that the documents he received on behalf of Lake Panorama are the standard co-signing agreements that come from the DEP. Mayor Rinker agreed to entertain the Lake Panorama issue. Ms. Born stated that the resolution that was passed in 2009 was for the Township to be a co-applicant and now a separate resolution was needed so that the Township could be the co-signer of the loan agreement. Ms. Born advised that the loan was for $250,000. Ms. Born stated that Lake Panorama was hoping to take a partial amount but $250,000. was the amount awarded. Ms. Born further advised that Lake Panorama expects to do the assessment for the loan themselves, within their own community. Mr. Ursin stated that if Lake Panorama defaults on the loan, then the Township would always have the option of stepping in through the Tax Collector’s office and do the assessments directly on the properties. Council Member Lynch asked if this was a shovel ready project and Ms. Born stated that it was not and that there are preliminary studies that need to be done. Ms. Born further stated that, currently, they are in need of the final design and the dam permit. Ms. Born stated that there is a significant amount of engineering fees involved. Ms. Born stated that Lake Panorama needed to have access to their loan amount in order to fund the engineering for final design. Ms. Born advised that the project should be shovel ready within 18 months, with dam repairs being done in the fall of next year. Council Member Seufert asked if the $250,000. was sufficient for all of the engineering and construction of the project. Attorney Born stated that the hope is that it will be more than sufficient.

Council Member Lynch made a motion for the Mayor to sign as co-signer for the loan. Council Member Seufert seconded the motion.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Mayor Rinker
Nays: None

Attorney Born advised that she has the original loan documents that have been signed by the DEP representatives, and she will leave them with the Municipal Clerk to go in the resolution.

Resolutions Requiring Separate Action

Resolution #11-22: Authorizing the Approval of Bills List

BE IT RESOLVED that the following bills listed are hereby approved:

Disbursement
Journal
FundAmountMajor Vendor
#1Current$177.40 
#2Current$29,450.18 
#3Current$22,016.27 
#4Grant$2,095.50 
#5Grant$500.00 
#6Capital$4,935.28 
#7Other Trust$225.14 
#8Other Trust$3,423.45 
#9Other Trust$30.00 
#10Other Trust$6,558.13 
#11Recreation$183.18 
#12Sewer Capital$1,052.49 
#13Road Assess$10,053.49 
#14Outside Services$556.88 
#15Outside Services$3,410.89 
#16Outside Services$9,913.86 
#17Wire Transfer$25,000.00Sewer Bond Principal
#18Wire Transfer$10,000.00Bond Principal
#19Wire Transfer$13,757,145.94Ban Payment
#20Wire Transfer$211,922.00Interest, Sewer Op,
06 Bonds, Rd Assess
 Payroll$319,812.641st Pay in Jan
 Total$14,418,462.72 

Moved: Brian Lynch
Seconded: Valerie Seufert

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-22 was approved.

Resolution #11-23: Authorizing the Award of a Contract for 2011 between the Township of Vernon and Spatial Data Logic for Geologic Software Support in the Amount of $6,500.00

WHEREAS, there exists a need for Geologic Software Support for the Township of Vernon in the Planning & Zoning, Building, Manager’s, Fire Prevention’s departments and the Assessor’s Office; and

WHEREAS, the Township had previously invested in software from Spatial Data Logic, Somerset, NJ, which is currently being used in the above mentioned departments for permitting, licensing, electronic maintenance of all inspection reports and transmission of monthly activity reports directly to the Department of Community Affairs; and

WHEREAS, Technical Customer Support and Upgrades of this system are needed to operate efficiently in these departments and Spatial Data Logic is the sole provider of these maintenance services to Vernon Township’s current system; and

WHEREAS, the cost estimate for the 2011 Technical Customer Support and upgrades to currently owned modules for the Township of Vernon is $6,500; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer of the Township of Vernon, has determined and certified the funds of this agreement subject to the adoption of the 2011 Municipal Budget.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the 10th day of January, 2010 by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex and State of New Jersey as follows:

  1. The Township of Vernon is authorized to engage Spatial Data Logic for the purpose of Technical Customer Support and Upgrades to currently owned modules.
  2. The Mayor and Township Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute a Professional Services Contract with Spatial Data Logic, Somerset, NJ.

Moved: Valerie Seufert
Seconded: Brian Lynch

Mr. Giaimis advised that this is the software that Vernon Township has been using and will continue to use for Planning, Zoning, Tax Assessor, Tax Collector and the Manager’s office.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-23 was approved.

Resolution #11-24: Resolution of the Governing Body of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, Ratifying and Confirming the Sale of an Offering of $13,395,000 General Bonds of 2011 of the Township

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

Section 1. The award by William Zuckerman, as the Chief Financial Officer of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey (the “Township”), of the offering of $13,395,000 General Bonds of 2011 (the “Bonds”), of the Township, dated the date of delivery, to UBS Financial Services Inc., as the low bidder therefore, at the net interest rate of 3.963203% per annum and at the price of $13,395,989.60 is hereby approved, ratified and confirmed in every respect. The Bonds were awarded pursuant to authority of the resolution of the governing body of the Township adopted November 29, 2010 and entitled: “Resolution determining the form and other details of $13,395,000 General Bonds of 2011 of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, and providing for their sale”.

Section 2. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Moved: Valerie Seufert
Seconded: Brian Lynch

Council Member Lynch asked if it was legal to vote on this resolution even though there were only three members present. Mr. Ursin stated that 3 votes were sufficient.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-25 was approved.

Council Member Lynch commented that on December 29th there was a house fire in the Barry Lakes section, just before New Year’s Eve. Mr. Lynch explained that it was at 5 pm and the homeowners were not home. Due to the actions of some quick thinking neighbors, and the quick response of the Highland Lakes and Vernon Fire Departments, the fire was extinguished in relatively short order. Council Member Lynch stated that with all of the negative things seen and read about in the paper, it is good to know that there are responsible people, not only the firefighters, but neighbors as well. Council Member Lynch stated there was a dog in the house, at the time. The dog, which was barely breathing, was removed from the house. The neighbors were able to get the dog down to the hospital and it made a Happy New Year’s Eve celebration for the family. Council Member Lynch stated that everybody involved deserved a round of applause.

Council Appointments to Boards, Commissions and Committees

Land Use Board

A motion was made by Council Member Valerie Seufert to appoint the following individuals to the Land Use Board, seconded by Council Member Brian Lynch.

Class I: Mayor Sally Rinker
Class III: Council Member Valerie Seufert, 1-year term, ending 12/31/11
Class IV: Jessi Paladini, 4 year term, ending 12/31/14
Class IV: Andrew Borisuk, 4 year term, ending 12/31/14

Alternate #1 Christopher Hack, 2 year term
Alternate #2 Ed Rolando, Jr., 2 year term
Alternate #3 Joseph Ferrer, 2 year term
Alternate #4 Edward Seger, 2 year term

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: None

Environmental Commission

Mayor Sally Rinker reappointed Ariana Miranda, Ex officio, term expiring 6/11. Council Member Valerie Seufert stated that there are 3 vacancies on this Commission and the vacancies should be noticed in the newspaper so volunteers can apply. Andrea Bates, Acting Municipal Clerk stated that the ad was placed in the newspaper this week. Council Member Seufert also requested that people be told they must fill out volunteer applications, which are available at the Clerk’s office and on the Township website.

Board of Recreation

Mayor Sally Rinker reappointed the following individuals to the Board of Recreation.

Alternate #2 Kevin Whitehead, 5 year term, ending December 31, 2015
Don Sledgeski, 5 year term, ending December 31, 2015

Senior Citizen Committee

A motion was made by Council Member Valerie Seufert to appoint the following individuals to the Senior Citizen Committee, seconded by Council Member Brian Lynch.

Jacqueline Reich, Treasurer, 3-year term
Josephine Prisco, Secretary, 3-year term

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: None

Historic Preservation Commission

A motion was made by Council Member Brian Lynch to appoint the following individual to the Historic Preservation Commission, seconded by Council Member Valerie Seufert.

Charlie Bates, Chair, Class B, 4 year term

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: None

Mayor Rinker announced that there is a vacancy on the Historic Preservation Commission.

Financial Advisory Committee

Council Member Valerie Seufert made a motion to appoint the following individuals to the Financial Advisory Committee, seconded by Council Member Brian Lynch.

Thomas McClachrie, year term
Robert Oliver, 1 year term
David Gornstein, 1 year term
Terri Stellingwerf, 1 year term

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: None

Economic Development Advisory Committee

Council Member Valerie Seufert made a motion to appoint the following individuals to the Economic Development Advisory Committee, seconded by Council Member Brian Lynch.

Elmer Platz, 1 year
Natalie Buccieri, 1 year

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Sally Rinker
Nays: None

Beautification Committee

Council Member Valerie Seufert requested that the Township Manager contact the Clerk to determine how many people should be on this Committee. Council Member Lynch requested that people who were on this Committee be contacted to find out of they would like to continue, and also to contact new people to fill open positions.

Board of Health

Council Member Valerie Seufert stated that there have not been any meetings called for the Board of Health and requested an ad be placed in the newspaper listing open positions. Mr. Giaimis stated that he would coordinate this and advise for the next Council meeting.

Council Member Brian Lynch questioned where the Friends of Vernon plaque was located. There was discussion regarding a uniform Township seal for all departments. Mr. Giaimis will reach out to the Historic Preservation Commission to find out where the new seal is in the process.

Mayor Rinker questioned the location of equipment purchased for use by the former in-house surveyor. Pat Seger advised that all of the equipment is locked in the storage room in her office. Mayor Rinker asked Pat to coordinate with the Township Manager to move the equipment either by selling or by auction.

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 Valerie Seufert. 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 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Andrea Bates
Acting Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: February 28, 2011