Minutes: January 28, 2010*

Township Council Special Meeting/Work Session

The Special Work Session Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 4:14 p.m. on Thursday, January 28, 2010 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Mayor Sally Rinker presiding.

Statement of Compliance

In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10: 4-7, adequate notice of this meeting was provided to the New Jersey Herald newspaper on January 19, 2010 and such notice was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Richard Carson, Michael Pier, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway and Mayor Sally Rinker.

Also present were Acting Township Manager and Municipal Clerk Robin Kline, Chief Finance Officer Bill Zuckerman, Director of Planning and Development Louis Kneip and Township Attorney John Ursin.

Salute to the Flag

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

Discussion of the Town Center Sewer Project

Attendees were:

John Hatzelis, S.C.M.U.A.
Tom Varro, Chief Engineer S.C.M.U.A.
Paul Jorgensen, Mt. Creek (Intrawest)
Jeff Patterson, Mt. Creek (Intrawest)
Frank deBerry, Mt. Creek (Intrawest)
Tony Vincente, Engineer United Water
Ron Wund, United Water Operations
Mary Campbell, United Water Attorney
Brian Palaia, Deputy Manager
Robin Kline, Acting Township Manager
John Ursin, Attorney for Vernon Township
Richard Carson, Council Member
Valerie Seufert, Council Member
Sally Rinker, Mayor
Harry Shortway, Deputy Mayor
Michael Pier, Council Member

Mr. Robert Benecke, Redevelopment Consultant to Vernon Township, presented a brief overview and history of the Town Center Sewer System project, and referred to his draft sewer report from October 21, 2009.

Lou Kneip, Township Engineer, distributed a map showing the sewer pipes installed and the ‘missing link’ section. Lou Kneip explained the multitude of agreements that exist between the entities. United Water has indicated they will begin working on the franchise expansion submission to the Board of Public Utilities as soon as they receive a deposit from Vernon Township. Mr. Kneip further explained that Mountain Creek’s Engineers, CMX, indicated the Treatment Works Application is near completion and once completed, will be distributed to Vernon Township, United Water and S.C.U.M.A. Once signed by these agencies, the application will be forwarded to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Robert Benecke commented that the Mountain Creek property is included in the Town Center Designation by the State, making Mountain Creek and the Vernon Town Center the two bulk customers of the system.

Jeff Patterson from Mountain Creek distributed a chart providing a system overview showing current and future allocations. Mr. Patterson also discussed the maintenance and debt services of the bond, and user charges. Mr. Patterson stated that once the Treatment Works Application [TWA] is signed, construction can proceed within 30-60 days. Mr. Patterson commented that everyone is in agreement with Mountain Creek’s obligations and further commented the goal is to get as many users online as possible.

John Ursin, Township Attorney, will work with all the parties involved to coordinate and come to a clear understanding as soon as possible. Mr. Ursin is currently preparing a resolution authorizing Township Officials to sign the Treatment Works Application upon completion.

Mary Campbell, United Water, stated that she will work with the Township Attorney on a Municipal Sewer Usage Ordinance.

Lou Kneip stated the Township needs to establish a procedure as to how users can connect to the sewer line. Mr. Kneip further stated his office is in the process of preparing a metering plan for approval by S.C.M.U.A., United Water and Vernon Township.

Public Comments

Mayor Rinker opened the meeting for public comment.

Gary Martinsen, Vernon resident and business owner, commented he would like to view a spread sheet analysis of the fuller scoped project.

Mark Nelson, Vernon resident, questioned what would happen in the event Mountain Creek declares bankruptcy. Jeff Patterson from Mountain Creek answered that a Letter of Credit is in effect, which renews annually, to pay for Mountain Creek’s obligation.

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

Council Comments

Council Member Valerie Seufert requested having more work sessions regarding this project and advised the new Council Members to tour the newly-constructed Water Treatment Plant located in Hardyston Township off Route 94.

Council Member Richard Carson emphasized the importance of the Township moving forward with this project.

The Township Council thanked everyone for participating.


There being no further items of business to be conducted on the Special Work Session Meeting agenda, Council Member Valerie Seufert made a motion for adjournment. Motion seconded by Council Member Richard Carson with all members voting in favor.

The Special Work Session Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 5:46 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Andrea Bates
Deputy Clerk

Minutes approved: March 11, 2010