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

Minutes: March 25, 2013

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:30 p.m. on March 25, 2013, in the Vernon Township Municipal Building, 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 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. 10:4-6.

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, Business Administrator Jerry Giaimis, and Township Attorney Kevin Kelly.

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:

Litigation—OPRA Requests

3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

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

Mr. Kelly explained that the litigation—Township of Vernon vs. Sally Rinker, et al.—was filed on Friday, March 22. This litigation was not something known when the agenda was prepared.

Council exited to executive chambers at 6:33 p.m.

Council returned to open session at 7:29 p.m.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Brian Lynch

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

Salute to the Flag

The Council President let the salute to the flag.

Mayor Marotta advised that the planned presentation by Land Conservancy of New Jersey would be rescheduled, noting that their representative, Sandy Urgo, could not attend this meeting.

Public Comments

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments at this time.
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.

Sally Rinker—read a prepared statement, noting bills being paid without Council oversight.

Gary Martinsen—wished everyone a Happy Passover and a Happy Easter. He noted the SEC-TV resolution had been approved, but wondered why work sessions were not being taped. He had offered advice on how to convert DVDs for website hosting. He expressed concern with newspaper articles over the past week, feeling it was a disservice to public members named in the lawsuit.

Robert Oliver—asked Mr. Kelly if one member of Council can have the Mayor respond to a request. Mr. Kelly responded that only 1 or 2 subjects qualify, otherwise they cannot. The Council President advised that Mr. Kelly would address this issue at the next meeting.

Closed to Public Comments

No one else wished to speak at this time, and Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Daniel Kadish
All were in favor.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Marotta noted the following items:

  • Mary Ellen Vichiconti has resigned from the Board of Recreation. He thanked her for your service to the Township.
  • An ordinance is to come forward on the Highlands—he advised that a CD-Rom was available in the Clerk’s office for Council review.
  • Lake Community—Barry Lakes Dam #1—an agreement was reached in 2009 that determined that Vernon Township would be the fiduciary collector of the assessments, and the Association would sign documents to become the co-borrower to finance the work.
  • 2012 legal costs: $75,000 on the Thompson harassment lawsuit; $50,000 reimbursement for Main Street Associates, totaling $125,000. Council President Rizzuto asked if the previous administration was lax in not having harassment training. The Mayor advised that the Thompson case was 5 years old when it was settled, and that the Township has since had extensive training to prevent such problems in the future.
  • OPRA litigation—every employee is being provided with LifeLock Ultimate protection. Training on OPRA issues will be done in all offices for going forward.

Consent Resolutions #13-73 through #13-79

Council President Rizzuto gave a brief explanation of all resolutions.

The Council President asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #13-73 through #13-79.

Council Member Kadish asked to separate out #13-74 and #13-75.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #13-73, #13-76 through #13-79.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Eddie Dunn

Council President Rizzuto asked about the thermal imaging cameras in Resolution #13-78. Council Member Lynch explained that the current ones were bought in 1999 or 2000, and cost between $15,000 to $16,000 each. He advised that they were used to find people in smoke-filled rooms, and lost people in the woods.

Mr. Lynch advised that the Rapid Intervention Training in Resolution #13-79 was used for firefighter safety, noting that the Rapid Intervention team does not fight fires, but are only used to go into a fire scene to rescue trapped firefighters.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch*, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Abstain: *Brian Lynch on #13-78 and #13-79 only
Resolutions #13-73, #13-76 through #13-79 were approved.

Resolution #13-73: Authorizing Execution of a Contract with Minerals Hotel for the Vernon Township Senior Luncheon to Be Held on May 16, 2013

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Department of Community Affairs sponsors an annual Senior Luncheon; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon desires to enter into a contract with Minerals Hotel, Vernon, NJ, to host and cater this event; and

WHEREAS, the event is currently scheduled for May 16, 2013, at a cost not to exceed $5,000.00; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified that funds are available for this purpose subject to the adoption of the 2013 Municipal Budget.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that the Mayor is authorized to sign the attached Contract with Minerals Hotel for the purpose of hosting and catering the Senior Luncheon on May 16, 2013, at a cost not to exceed $5,000.00.

Resolution #13-76: Authorizing the Cancellation of Capital Appropriation Balances

WHEREAS, certain General Capital Improvement appropriation balances remain dedicated to projects now completed; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to formally cancel said balances so that the unexpended balances may be returned to each respective Capital Improvement Fund or credited to Capital Fund Balance, and unused debt authorizations may be canceled.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, that the following unexpended and dedicated balances of the General Capital Appropriations be cancelled:

ORDDATEPROJECTAMOUNT CANCELLED
11-1308-13-07HVAC$ 173,154.64
12-1509-10-12Canistear & Other Road Improvements130,000.00
  TOTAL$ 303,154.64

Resolution #13-77: Authorizing Professional Services Contract with Vital Communications, Inc.

WHEREAS, there exists a need for professional services for the Township of Vernon for the purpose of Computer software and services for Tax Assessment/CAMA, Tax Collection and Internet Access including tax billing and customer support; and

WHEREAS, the Township has determined that Vital Communications, Inc., the Township’s current contractor providing these services, is qualified to continue providing the Township with such services; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available for this purpose subject to the adoption of the 2013 Municipal Budget; and

WHEREAS, the Local Public Contracts Law (N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1, et seq.) requires that the resolution authorizing these “Professional Services” without competitive bids must be publicly advertised; and

WHEREAS, Vernon desires to appoint Vital Communications, Inc., pursuant to a contract under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.4 and/or N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5; and

WHEREAS, the Qualified Purchasing Agent has certified that the value of the contract will exceed $17,500.00; and

WHEREAS, the term of the contract will be from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, with a total contract price not to exceed $18,360.00; and

WHEREAS, Vital Communications, Inc. has submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification in compliance with applicable law.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, this 11th day of March, 2013, 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 Vital Communications, Inc., for the purpose of Computer Services for Tax Assessment/CAMA, Tax Collection and Internet Access; and
  2. The Mayor is hereby authorized and directed to execute a Professional Services Contract with Vital Communications, Inc., attested by the Municipal Clerk.

This Professional Services Contract is awarded without competitive bidding (1) as a “Professional Service” under the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law and/or (2) for the provision or performance of goods or services for the support or maintenance of proprietary computer hardware and software.

A copy of this Resolution shall be published in the New Jersey Herald by the Municipal Clerk as required by law within ten (10) days of its passage and a true copy of same and the Professional Services Contract shall be available for inspection in the office of the Municipal Clerk.

A copy of the Business Entity Disclosure Certification shall be filed with this Resolution.

Resolution #13-78: Resolution to Purchase Two Thermal Imaging Cameras (Demonstration Models) for Township Fire Departments

WHEREAS, the Township’s fire departments have a need for thermal imaging cameras; and

WHEREAS, Fire Fighter One, LLC has offered the Township two (2) MSA Evolution 5600 thermal imaging cameras (demonstration models) for $5,500 each, totaling $11,000; and

WHEREAS, the price to purchase these cameras brand new is $8,138.40 each, totaling $16,276.80; and

WHEREAS, the Township Fire Marshal has inspected these cameras and found them to be in excellent condition; and

WHEREAS, the Qualified Purchasing Agent confirmed with Fire Fighter One, LLC that these cameras were used for demonstration purposes only and the full manufacturer’s warranty would be extended to the Township; and

WHEREAS, the Fire Marshal and Qualified Purchasing Agent recommend that the Township purchase these demonstration cameras; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available in account #711310.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council that the vendor, Fire Fighter One, LLC, 26 Gail Court, Sparta, NJ 07871 be utilized to purchase two MSA Evolution 5600 demonstration thermal imaging cameras.

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

Resolution #13-79: Resolution to Award a Contract to PL Vulcan Fire Training Concepts to Provide Rapid Intervention Training for the Township’s Fire Departments

WHEREAS, the Township’s fire departments have a need for Rapid Intervention Training; and

WHEREAS, PL Vulcan Fire Training Concepts supplied the most cost effective quotation to provide this service at $5,000.00; and

WHEREAS, the Fire Marshal and Qualified Purchasing Agent recommend that the Township award a contract for this service to PL Vulcan Fire Training Concepts; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available in account #711310.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council that the vendor, PL Vulcan Fire Training Concepts, 6 Gleason Drive, East Quogue, NY 11942 be awarded a contract to provide Rapid Intervention Training for the Township’s fire departments.

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

Council Member Kadish referenced Resolution #13-74, noting that he would like a report at the end of each year to show how the grant money has been effective in combating the drug problems. Mr. Giaimis advised that a report is required to be filed at the end of the contract period before a new grant can be applied for. Mr. Kadish explained that he meant a report to be filed with the Council on how the program has improved the situation or been handled. The Council President noted that he and Council Member Wetzel have expressed their concerns on the drug issues, and would like to have the Municipal Alliance attend a meeting to discuss it, and perhaps have the school do a presentation. The Mayor advised that the Municipal Alliance is willing to speak to the Council. Mr. Giaimis wanted Council to be aware that the funds and the programs to be utilized are dictated by the County.

The Council President asked for a motion to approve Resolution #13-74.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Resolutions #13-74 was approved.

Resolution #13-74: Authorizing Execution of the 2013 Municipal Alliance Grant Agreement with the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse through the County of Sussex in the Amount of $20,467.00

WHEREAS, there exists a need in Vernon Township to provide substance abuse prevention programs to its residents; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon, per Resolution #12-158, submitted a grant application to the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse for the Vernon Municipal Alliance Coalition for the period January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013; and

WHEREAS, the Vernon Municipal Alliance Coalition consists of volunteers from the Township of Vernon; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse pursuant to N.J.S.A. 26:2BB-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 17:40-1.1 et seq. has awarded a grant to the County of Sussex in response to the Request of Proposal submitted by the Sussex County Division of Community and Youth Services for the Vernon Municipal Alliance Coalition; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Chosen Freeholders has approved allocation of $20,467.00 to the Vernon Municipal Alliance Coalition as per Sussex County resolution approved March 13, 2013.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Township Council authorizes the receipt of $20,467.00 from the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the Mayor and Clerk are authorized to execute the Agreement for these services; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this resolution and Agreement be forwarded to George Myers, Governor’s Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, P.O. Box 345 Trenton, NJ 08625; Chief Roy Wherry, Vernon Municipal Alliance Coalition Chairperson, Township of Vernon; Stephen R. Gruchasz, Sussex County Department of Human Services; Nicholas Loizzi, Sussex County Division of Community and Youth Services; Bernard A. Re, Sussex County Treasurer; Robert Maikis, Sussex County Division of Finance; and Laurie Gallant, Sussex County Office of Fiscal Management.

The Council President asked for a motion to approve Resolution #13-75.
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel

Council Member Kadish asked what the job of Administrative Agent entails. Council President Rizzuto asked Ms. Caldwell to explain. Jessica Caldwell advised that it requires the Administrative Agent to update the State on an annual basis on the past year’s action of the Township relative to COAH activities by logging onto the state website and entering data. It is not a decision-making position.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Resolutions #13-75 was approved.

Resolution #13-75: A Resolution Appointing an Administrative Agent for Monitoring and Compliance with Council on Affordable Housing Regulations

WHEREAS, the Governing Body of the Township of Vernon petitioned the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) for substantive certification of its Housing Element and Fair Share Plan on June 9, 2011; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon’s Fair Share Plan promotes an affordable housing program pursuant to the Fair Housing Act (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-301, et. seq.) and COAH’s Third Round Substantive Rules (N.J.A.C. 5:94-1, et. seq.); and

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:94-7 and N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.1 et. seq., the Township of Vernon is required to appoint an Administrative Agent for the administration of the Township of Vernon’s affordable housing program to enforce the requirements of N.J.A.C. 5:94-7 and N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.1 et. seq.; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has amended Chapter 133 entitled Affordable Housing Regulations to provide for the appointment of an Administrative Agent to administer the Township of Vernon’s affordable housing program.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Governing Body of the Township of Vernon in the County of Sussex and the State of New Jersey that Jessica C. Caldwell, P.P., A.I.C.P., Township Planner, is hereby appointed by the Governing Body of the Township of Vernon as the Administrative Agent for the administration of the affordable housing program, pursuant to and in accordance with Sections 133-1 et seq. and Section 330-12 of the Township of Vernon’s Code.

Ordinances

1st Reading of Ordinance #13-05 by Title Only

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Ordinance #13-05 on 1st reading by title only.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel

Council Member Kadish stepped down from the dais to recuse himself.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Recused: Daniel Kadish
Ordinance #13-05 was approved on 1st reading.

Ordinance #13-05: An Ordinance Granting Municipal Historic Designation to Certain Properties in the Township of Vernon


Township Attorney Kevin Kelly addressed Mr. Oliver’s question about powers of the Council in the Township form of government:

Council has 11 powers. Of those, #3 “Employees & Administrative Matters” states that Council cannot deal with an employee directly, but any member can request a report on any personnel matter.

Mayor Marotta asked for clarification on the following point: anyone can ask for anything but it is not mandated.

Mr. Kelly responded that it was not mandated.

2nd Reading of Ordinance #13-04 by Title Only

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Ordinance #13-04 on 2nd reading by title only.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn

Open to public comments on Ordinance #13-04 only:
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.

Gary Martinsen—had hoped this ordinance would be presented to the town for a longer period of time. He had concerns with the DCA on re-development issues, permitted uses section, shared parking concerns, building colors, lighting fixtures, and sidewalks.

Council President Rizzuto noted that this ordinance had been reviewed and developed for over a year by the Land Use Board, the professionals, and the Town Planner. He advised that Land Use Board meetings are open to the public and everyone is able to attend. He noted Ms. Caldwell’s attendance for answering questions.

Ms. Caldwell advised that the Land Use Board started with all prior work on this issue, and took the best parts of those and went forward. They tried to formulate an ordinance that works better than the current one. This ordinance includes a mountain resort theme, with streamlining and elimination of 5 different zones to make it more development-friendly.

Council President Rizzuto asked Ms. Caldwell about the height of the light fixtures. Ms. Caldwell advised that the picture shows the high lights at the Appalachian, but that the other areas would be shorter lights.

The Council President noted that tree choices were also considered for flowering as well as general foliage.

Mary Ellen Vichiconti—pointed out that fruit trees would attract bears.

Sally Rinker—asked for the status on re-development zones. Mr. Rizzuto advised that the DCA had denied the re-development zones. Ms. Caldwell corrected that, noting that only the Mt. Creek zone had not been approved. Ms. Rinker advised that she had received information from the DCA that would seem to contradict that statement.

Gary Martinsen—advised that this information should be finalized this Friday by the DCA.

Closed to public comments on Ordinance #13-04:
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: Daniel Kadish
Ordinance #13-04 was adopted.

Ordinance #13-04: An Ordinance Repealing and Replacing Chapter 330-184.B Town Center District, Adding Design Guidelines for the C-2 Zone, and Repealing Ordinances 07-43 and 08-02

Council Business

Council Member Wetzel complimented the faculty of Walnut Ridge School where he taught last week. He had a great time.

Council Members Lynch, Kadish, and Dunn had no comments at this time.

Council President

Council President Rizzuto had nothing at this time.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted at the Regular Meeting, a motion for Adjournment was made by Council Member Lynch. Motion seconded by Council Member Wetzel, with all members voting in favor.

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: May 30, 2013