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

Minutes: March 27, 2017

The meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 27, 2017 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Jean Murphy presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 5, 2017 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, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel and Council President Jean Murphy. Also present were Mayor Harry Shortway, CFO Elke Yetter, Administrator Charles Voelker and Township Attorney Joshua Zielinski.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Murphy led the assemblage in the salute of the flag.

Presentations

Stephanie Cuthbert, from firm of Remington & Vernick, came forward to present evaluation of sanitary utility infrastructure financial review. Ms. Cuthbert explained the Township’s responsibilities regarding the 2005 agreement with SCMUA, the 2005 agreement with Mountain Creek, the July 2012 amended agreement with Mountain Creek and the December 2103 agreement with SCMUA. Ms. Cuthbert’s firm had previously provide a report of these findings. The firm performed a financial review based on audits of the Vernon MUA and the Township analyzing connection revenue, obligations to SCMUA, existing debt service and decreasing population. Ms. Cuthbert presented various scenarios projected out 20 years with or without expansion of sewer service area, maintenance and operation estimates, rate increases vs. decreases and how it affected the fund balance. Analysis of expanding the sewer system area, unless concentrated in one area with increase of flow, would not be beneficial to the Township.

Council Member Rizzuto questioned if Remington & Vernick had discussed their analysis with the Vernon MUA prior to its most recent meeting about these issues. Ms. Cuthbert answered no that was the first meeting as contract was with Township. Council Member Wetzel asked if any statistics on how businesses would be impacted if sewer and water were available in the district were analyzed. Ms. Cuthbert explained her review was what Township needed to break even and did not address potential revenues. Council Member Ooms asked if Remington had done analysis on another systems. Ms. Cuthbert indicated that they had. Ms. Cuthbert stated Vernon’s situation is unique as the sewer infrastructure was built and the flows didn’t come and the main hurdle is the debt. Council Member Wetzel stated he would like to see a study for the feasibility of sewers. Council Member Rizzuto questioned why waste the MUA’s time if they were not going to be allowed to go to the DEP. Attorney Zielinski noted these are two different things, one is a study of the area, the other is an endorsement. Council Member Murphy noted that the previous resolution was not a study; it was an endorsement of a map, and then the map was changed after the vote. Ms. Cuthbert indicated the MUA does not need the DEP’s approval to do study. Council Member Rizzuto indicated the MUA needed the endorsement to finalize the area. Ms. Cuthbert stated she commented on this issue at the MUA meeting; the DEP regulations for expanding the sewer service area are very well established. Ms. Cuthbert opined that the MUA’s engineer should have a very good idea on what areas have an environmental constraint; the sewer service area they present should be one that they think they can get approved. Council Member Ooms questioned what the cost might be for the area was outlined. Ms. Cuthbert indicated the MUA engineer could give you an idea of the cost. Ms. Cuthbert noted a cost benefit analysis would be beneficial to give you an idea what you are committing to; define an area and the potential revenue and then define the costs. Council Member Ooms indicated that information was missing but perhaps the MUA engineer could do something.

Chuck Ferraiolo, Auditor for Vernon MUA, stated a debate exists whether to expand the system and the cost of the project. Mr. Ferraiolo stated they were just looking for an approval with the DEP to expand the service area whether it was $60 million or $5 million they were not sure what that cost would be or how many users it would possibly generate. Mr. Ferraiolo stated his understanding was to see if they could get the approvals and then once that was done then do a cost benefit analysis. Mr. Ferraiolo stated the MUA did not want to spend the money doing engineering and core samples to have the DEP say the sewer could not be expanded. Mr. Ferraiolo stated he did not mathematically disagree on the conclusions that Remington & Vernick came to in their report. Mr. Ferraiolo stated he did his analysis based on different assumptions and he is not sure why they were done differently. Council Member Rizzuto asked what is the difference. Mr. Ferraiolo stated we did not discuss a construction report. Mr. Ferraiolo stated he assumed that Mountain Creek would make their payments and that based upon a build out schedule provided by Mountain Creek that they were going to be increasing their usage. Mr. Ferrailo stated their build out provided for about a 350 increase in users. He stated that expansion reduces deficits. Mr. Ferrailo stated the financial reserves that Remington suggested in his opinion were too high because it was just lift stations and pipes. Mr. Ferraiolo claimed the increase would result in a $600 increase in user fees which he could not recommend so that the MUA could have a $1,000,000 reserve if something broke down in the future. Mr. Ferraiolo stated if there was an emergency there are ways to get emergency funds. Mr. Ferraiolo stated to have a $1,000,000 reserve would be wonderful but that he could not recommend that in light of the fee increase to users. Council Member Murphy questioned was there any increase in users from Mountain Creek. Mr. Ferrailo stated there was 8. Mr. Ferraiolo stated for the MUA they bill by EDUs so if everyone moved out of town that would not affect the rate as long as the EDUs continued.

Council Member Rizzuto asks if Mountain Creek has changed any buildout plans, such as spa, winery or assisted living, which will be a substantial number of EDUs. Mayor Shortway answered he has heard a lot of plans but no applications or permits are submitted. Council President Murphy asks Council Member Rizzuto if he has heard anything different in his meetings; he responded he heard their plans are still on line for 2017-2019 with 2018 as a starting area. Council Member Rizzuto stated Mountain Creek indicated it is difficult for them to come forward without information on the sewer service area expansion. Council President Murphy noted that Mountain Creek has not come forward and we cannot rely on their plans but need to continue moving forward for the existing users and provide maintenance to the pump stations. Mayor Shortway noted the pump station was supposed to be completed by Mountain Creek July 1, 2013. Mayor Shortway noted Mountain Creek has property in the current sewer service area that can be used for development. Council President Murphy stated per Director Scerbo the pump stations and possible lift stations need repair. Council Member Rizzuto stated that Mountain Creek indicated they were waiting to hear from the MUA on matters. Mr. John Scerbo, Director of the MUA, came forward and stated Mountain Creek was supposed to submit a report with how much capacity is needed and plans on the proposed change in location for the Pump Station#2 but nothing to date has been received from Mountain Creek in response. Director Scerbo indicated the MUA is waiting on them. Director Scerbo indicated Mountain Creek stated it currently planned to keep the pump station in the area where it is currently located but the MUA is waiting for a formal response.

Director Scerbo stated for record that the Vernon MUA has never asked for any of the deficit from the Township; users have been making up any deficit. Director Scerbo indicated he thought the report should be changed to reflect the payments from Mountain Creek. Director Scerbo again confirmed that Mountain Creek is not waiting for the Township to move forward but the MUA is waiting for Mountain Creek for the information. Director Scerbo indicated the pump station needs to be fixed. Council Member Rizzuto opined the Township has wasted a year with the unnecessary study and felt the MUA would be ahead if allowed to proceed with area expansion.

MUA Commissioner Ed Seger agreed that future is based on assumptions and either way the Pump Stations need to be replaced. He added the sewer system is a valuable asset and Township needs to determine best place to use it so as not to create more debt. Council Member Wetzel questioned if the existing contracts can be renegotiated and all parties can sit down. Council Member Wetzel noted Mountain Creek is important to the town and the ripple effect if it goes down to the Vernon and the surrounding towns would be very bad. Council Member Rizzuto opined that Mountain Creek had not rebuilt the pump station but had not because they did not know what they needed. Mr. Seger noted pump station 2 is an integral part of the system. Mayor Shortway asked approximately how long would it take to build the pump station. Mr. Seger explained Vernon can’t have the system down and it would take between 18 and 24 months for the plans, DEP approvals, permits and construction of the Pump Station. Mayor Shortway questioned Mountain Creek’s intention with the pump station as they signed an agreement indicating the pump station was to be rebuilt in 2013 but to date they had not started it. Mayor Shortway added it would be an environmental catastrophe if the pump station fails.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open discussion to public.
Motion: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Nancy Rush, questions to Council if the map can be made public and Council President Murphy stated it would be made available.

Sally Rinker, questions Ms. Cuthbert if there was not an analysis done with the expansion and how it would increase rates? Ms. Cuthbert stated that analysis with expansion was not done but notes that with the same debt it would be similar rate increase.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close discussion to public.
Motion: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Proclamations

Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

Council Member Kadish read the Proclamation for Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month.

WHEREAS, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological movement disorder of the central nervous system, which has a unique impact on each patient; and

WHEREAS, according to the Parkinson’s Action Network, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the National Parkinson Foundation, the American Parkinson Disease Association and the National Institutes of Health, there are over one million Americans diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease; and

WHEREAS, symptoms include slowness, tremor, difficulty with balance and speaking, rigidity, cognitive and memory problems; and

WHEREAS, although new medicines and therapies may enhance life for some time for people with Parkinson’s, more work is needed for a cure; and

WHEREAS, increased education and research are needed to help find more effective treatments with fewer side effects and ultimately a cure for Parkinson’s disease; and

WHEREAS, a multidisciplinary approach to Parkinson’s disease care includes local wellness, support, and caregiver groups; and

WHEREAS, April has been proclaimed as World Wide Parkinson’s Awareness Month for all to recognize the need for more research and help in dealing with the devastating effects of Parkinson’s disease.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, do hereby proclaim April 2017 as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month in Vernon Township.

Given under my hand in these free United States in the Township of Vernon, on this 27th day of March two thousand seventeen, and to which I have caused the Seal of the Township of Vernon to be affixed and have made this proclamation public.

Alcohol Awareness Month 2017

Council Member Ooms read the Proclamation for Alcohol Awareness Month.

Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Prevention and Recovery

WHEREAS, excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year; and

WHEREAS, alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States; and

WHEREAS, nearly 10 million young people, ages 12 to 20, report that they’ve consumed alcohol in the past 30 days; and

WHEREAS, young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21; and

WHEREAS, drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, yet people aged 12 to 20 drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the typical American will see 100,000 beer commercials before he or she turns 18; and

WHEREAS, kids who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crime, to be involved in alcohol-related traffic crashes, and to have serious school-related problems; and

WHEREAS, a supportive family environment is associated with lowered rates of alcohol use for adolescents; and

WHEREAS, kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don’t have such conversations.

THEREFORE, the Mayor and Council of Township of Vernon now join the Vernon Coalition and do hereby proclaim that April 2017 is Alcohol Awareness Month in Vernon, New Jersey. As the Mayor and Council of Township of Vernon call upon all citizens, parents, governmental agencies, public and private institutions, businesses, hospitals, schools and colleges in Vernon, NJ to support efforts that will provide early education about alcoholism and addiction and increase support for individuals and families coping with alcoholism. Through these efforts, together, we can provide Hope, Help and Healing for those in our community who are facing challenges with alcohol use and abuse.

Given under my hand in these free United States in the Township of Vernon, on this 27th day of March two thousand seventeen, and to which I have caused the Seal of the Township of Vernon to be affixed and have made this proclamation public.

Public Comments

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the floor for public comments.
Motion: Sandra Ooms
Second: Dan Kadish
All members voted in favor.

Seeing no more members of the public wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the floor to public comments.
Motion: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Minutes

Special Meeting Minutes February 27, 2017

Regular Meeting Minutes February 27, 2017

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve the minutes of both Special and Regular Meetings of February 27, 2017.
Motion: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms

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

Motion carried to approve the Special Meeting Minutes of February 27, 2017 and the Regular Meeting Minutes of February 27, 2017.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Shortway discussed the issues from the major snowstorm of March 14th. Mayor Shortway stated Vernon received 7 inches of snow in a 4-hour period and the DPW became unable to keep up with storm safely. Mayor Shortway noted that Vernon’s manpower and equipment has been greatly reduced over the last several years leaving a major void. The fleet mostly consists of truck model F550’s which are too small to handle a heavy snowfall and currently 6 trucks need major repairs which will be very costly. Mayor Shortway stated that comprehensive snow plow training will be added, the 2017 proposed budget includes major fleet repairs as well as one additional employee to help the situation.

Mayor Shortway noted the owner of Legends had made a large payment towards the 2016 outstanding taxes and Mountain Creek has paid the deficit obligation owed of $600,000.

Mayor Shortway stated he recently attended the Vernon High School play of “Shrek” and praised the hard-working talented students and staff and encouraged the public to attend.

Council Member Ooms questioned if Vernon has moved forward with obtaining an appraisal for the Faline Building to expedite sale to raise the fund balance. Mayor Shortway stated he ordered one.

Council Member Wetzel questioned if we have adequate supply of salt for roadways. Mayor Shortway said the Township is in good shape with salt but trucks are the problem as many costly repairs are needed.

Items for Discussion

MUA, Pump Station and Expansion

Mayor Shortway began the discussion about Pump Station 2 that the Township has made repairs to the catwalk and ventilation but Vernon is still waiting for Mountain Creek to rebuild per the 2012 agreement. Mountain Creek has offered ideas for the rebuild but continues to change locations and size of station based on their proposed improvements delaying the project. Mayor Shortway stressed that Vernon Township users need it to be operable to prevent a major disaster. Council Member Kadish questioned if the ownership of the lift stations has been finalized yet. Attorney Zielinski answered no determination has been made.

Council President Murphy stated the Vernon MUA is seeking a Letter of Support from the Township in order to apply to NJIT to fund the Asset Management Plan(AMP) of the Sewer System. MUA Director Scerbo explained that over the last two years, the MUA has begun an asset management plan but is not yet completed. The application to NJIT is for a loan of $100,000 to complete the AMP and contains language of forgiveness if Vernon uses NJIT to fund recommended project. MUA Director Scerbo added this is a unique opportunity and the Letter of Support endorses the endeavor which cannot be done solely by the MUA because of ownership of the system. Council President Murphy asked if there is a stipulation after completing the AMP would we have to do the project and she requested the Township attorney review the application. MUA Director Scerbo stated the application is online for attorney to review.

Council Member Rizzuto made a motion to have Township Attorney draft a Letter of Support for the MUA to apply for NJIT Loan for the Asset Management Plan.

Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried.

Council Member Ooms questions how much Pump Station would cost to be rebuilt. Mayor Shortway estimated between $1.2 to $1.5 million. Council Member Rizzuto moved for the MUA to proceed with the Sewer Expansion Area. Mayor Shortway stated he had discussions with Planner to explore Town Center for Redevelopment area which could offer PILOT plans for tax incentives and researched along 94 and Black Creek Drive. Council Member Rizzuto asked about the McAfee area which Mayor explained the planner recommended specified parcels such as Northwoods which is just north of Mountain Creek.

Council Member Rizzuto made a motion to lift suspension of Resolution #15-190 to allow the MUA to proceed with expansion of sewer service area. It was noted that Council Member Rizzuto could not make a motion for reconsideration on this matter because he was not a member of the prevailing side.

Council Member Ooms asked why Mountain Creek doesn’t independently apply to be added in the Sewer Service area. Council Member Rizzuto explained discussion is about the McAfee area from the McAfee firehouse to the Hardyston border. Council Member Kadish added that the restaurant Scully’s is looking for sewer but Mayor explains the stream near the property hinders the feasibility. Council President Murphy opined that the town center area is not yet completed so why move to another area and suggests revisiting the Resolution.

Tom Buckney, Chairman of Vernon MUA, feels there is a lack of communication within the MUA and the Council of what is being requested. Council President Murphy explained the resolution is an endorsement and not just a study of potential areas and notes the map voted on in December of 2015 is different than one presented in February 2016. Mr. Buckney stated the MUA is requesting a study, not looking to spend money, to establish feasibility of areas and feels there is a need to rewrite the resolution.

Mr. Zielinski read parts of Resolution #15-190, noting it said “Vernon Township is endorsing Wastewater Management Plan to include McAfee areas and which shall be submitted to Sussex County.” Council President Murphy explains it is the legality of the semantics which leaves Vernon responsible.

Director Scerbo comes forward and explains first to spend money for study, approval from the 201 PAC (Policy Advisory Committee) and DEP approval is needed. Next, communication between the Township and MUA to determine express purpose of study and identify specific areas.

Council President Murphy suggests a workshop between the Council and MUA would be beneficial to move forward with plan and asks Mr. Scerbo to talk with Commissioners to set up a date for work-session.

Consent Agenda

Council President Murphy read a brief description of Resolutions #17-82 - #17-88.

Council Member Ooms made a motion to separate Resolution #17-87 from consent agenda.
Motion: Sandra Ooms
Second: Dan Kadish
All members voted in favor.
Motion carried.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #17-82 through #17-86, and Resolution #17-88.
Motion: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried to approve Resolutions #17-82 through #17-86, and Resolution #17-88.

Resolution #17-82: Authorizing Contract with Ricoh Business Solutions in the Amount Not to Exceed $5,000.00

WHEREAS, there exists a need for a high volume copier in the Municipal Building; and

WHEREAS, the Township would like to utilize the services of RICOH Business Solutions who is the vendor on the New Jersey State Contract for the copier service; and

WHEREAS, the term of the contract will be from April 1, 2017 through December 31, 2021 and total cost, based upon usage, will not exceed $5,000.00 annually.

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available for this purpose subject to the adoption of the 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Municipal Budgets.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex and State of New Jersey, the Mayor and/ or Clerk are authorized to execute a contract with RICOH Business Solutions, for an amount not to exceed $5,000.00 annually subject to the 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 budgets.

Resolution #17-83: Resolution Authorizing Fireworks to Be Displayed on July 1, 2017 within the Township of Vernon

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A.21:3-1et seq. Explosive and Fireworks, provides that a Municipal Governing Body must authorize the display of fireworks within its boundaries as a pre-condition to such display in accordance with the New Jersey Fire Prevention Code; and

WHEREAS, Tall Timbers Property Owners Association has submitted an application to Vernon Township to conduct a fireworks display on July 1, 2017; and

WHEREAS, the proposed fireworks display will take place at 100 Tall Timbers Road, in the Beach area and

WHEREAS, Tall Timbers Property Owners Association has engaged in a contract with Garden State Fireworks, Millington, NJ, to perform the public fireworks and special effects display and has provided the required certificate of liability insurance to the Township.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, hereby authorizes the fireworks display, performed by Garden State Fireworks Inc. on July 1, 2017, at Tall Timbers Beach area, located at 100 Tall Timbers Road, Vernon, NJ upon satisfaction of all statutory and departmental requirements.

Resolution #17-84: Authorizing the Award of Contract for Professional Services for Township Special Attorney (In Rem Foreclosure)

WHEREAS, there is a need for Special Legal Services for in Rem Foreclosures for the year 2017 for the Township of Vernon; and

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5 specifically exempts professional services from provisions of public bidding as provided in the Local Public Contracts Law; and

WHEREAS, said specified professional services are to be rendered or performed by a person or persons authorized by law to practice a recognized profession, and whose practice is regulated by law within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., as amended; and

WHEREAS, the performance of said professional services requires knowledge of an advanced field of learning acquired by a prolonged formal course of specialized training and study as distinguished from general academic instruction or apprenticeship and training; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon is desirous to appoint Keith A. Bonchi, Esq. of the law offices of Goldenberg, Mackler, Sayegh, Mintz, Pfeffer, Bonchi and Gill for In Rem Foreclosures proceedings originating in 2017 and is desirous to continue services approved and appointed by Resolution #16-28 to Robert McBriar, Esq. of the law offices of Schenk, Price, Smith & King, LLP for the In Rem Foreclosure proceedings that are currently in progress, specifically referenced in Resolutions #14-141, #14-146, #15-113, #15-114, #15-115, #15-136 and #15-137, as a non-fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq.; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has determined and certified in writing that the value of the contract is available for these purposes subject to the adoption of the 2017 Municipal Budget; and

WHEREAS, the Local Public Contracts Law N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., as amended, requires that this Resolution be publicly advertised.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that Vernon Township hereby authorizes and approves the award of contract of a Professional Service Contract to Keith A. Bonchi, Esq. from the law offices of Goldenberg, Mackler, Sayegh, Mintz, Pfeffer, Bonchi and Gill, for In Rem Foreclosures proceedings originating in 2017, pursuant to a non-fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1 et seq. to provide Legal Services in accordance with the attached Contract for Professional Services.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Council wishes to extend the contract under Resolution #16-28 with Robert McBriar, Esq, of the law offices of Schenk, Price, Smith & King, LLP for the In Rem Foreclosure proceedings that are currently in progress, specifically referenced in Resolutions #14-141, #14-146, #15-113, #15-114, #15-115, #15-136 and #15-137, as a non-fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq.;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the award of contract shall be contingent upon the completion and receipt of the following:

  1. A fully-executed professional services contract detailing the scope of services, established fees for said professional services, mandatory Equal Opportunity Language and Affirmative Action Certificate; and
  2. Receipt of all statutorily mandated “pay to play” political contribution forms pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.4 et seq.;
  3. New Jersey Business Registration Certificate; and
  4. Upon the aforementioned professional being a member in good standing in his respective profession.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Township Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute, seal and deliver the attached Contracts for Professional Services on behalf of and in the name of the Township of Vernon and that the Township Clerk shall publish the award of contract as required by law within ten (10) days of passage of this Resolution.

Resolution #17-85: Resolution of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending Resolution 17-01 and 17-73 of the Township of Vernon Regarding Professional Appointments

WHEREAS, Resolution 17-01 was duly adopted by the Township Council on January 1, 2017 which appointed the Township Attorney, Joshua Zielinski, Esq.; and

WHEREAS, the name of law firm in which Joshua Zielinski, Esq. is a partner has changed; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2017, the Council amended resolution 17-01 via resolution 17-73 but it requires further amendment; and

WHEREAS, the Township Council desires to amend the resolution to reflect the new firm name.

NOW THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that Resolution 17-01 and 17-73 are hereby amended to identify the name of law firm in which Joshua Zielinski, Esq. is a partner at as O’Toole Scrivo Fernandez, Weiner & Van Lieu as opposed to O’Toole, Fernandez, Weiner & Van Lieu.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all other aspects and provisions of Resolution 17-01 shall remain unchanged.

Resolution #17-86: Authorizing Township of Vernon to Enter into Agreement with Township of Wantage for Use of Tower Located at Lake Panorama

WHEREAS, the Wantage Township Fire Department has expressed a desire to upgrade its radio equipment to high band; and

WHEREAS, there is no appropriate location in Wantage Township for the location of high band radio equipment; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a tower located at Lake Panorama, which has space for the high band equipment contemplated by the Wantage Township; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon presently allows the Wantage First Aid Squad to place its antennae and repeater on the Lake Panorama tower at no cost; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon currently provides dispatch services to the Wantage First Aid Squad and to the Wantage Township Fire Department pursuant to a Shared Services Agreement; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon is desirous to enter into an agreement with the Wantage Township Fire Department that will allow it to place a high band antennae and repeater on the tower located at Lake Panorama at no cost to the Wantage Township Fire Department, however, the Wantage Township Fire Department will be responsible for the costs of installing and maintaining the equipment placed on the tower; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that the Mayor is authorized to execute a contract with the Township of Wantage that allows the Wantage Township Fire Department to place a high band antennae and repeater on the tower located at Lake Panorama at no cost to the Wantage Township Fire Department, which equipment will be installed and maintained at the sole expense of the Wantage Township Fire Department.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the agreement with the Wantage Township Fire Department will also include a provision whereby the Vernon Township Police Department shall provide dispatch services to the Wantage Township Fire Department, at no cost, however, in the event the Wantage Township Fire Department no longer uses the Vernon Township Police Department for dispatch services, the Township of Vernon will require Wantage Township to enter into lease agreement with the Township of Vernon for the continued use of the Lake Panorama Tower.

Resolution #17-88: Resolution Authorizing Mailing of 2016 Corrected Tax Bills and Related Grace Period

WHEREAS, Vernon Township converted the tax module from Vital Communications to Edmunds and Associates on March 1, 2016; and

WHEREAS, as a result of the Township Audit, it was discovered in March of 2017, that appeal adjustments were converted as balance adjustments instead of billing adjustments and certain property owner’s taxes were under billed in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2016 thereby doubling their appeal credit; and

WHEREAS, the amounts of unbilled taxes are still due and owing from the tax payers; and

WHEREAS, corrected bills will go out on April 1, 2017 to be due on May 1, 2017 with a grace period until May 10, 2017.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that they hereby authorize and direct the Township Collector of Taxes to cause to be mailed out corrected 2016 tax bills for the affected properties as a result of the error that occurred with the conversion; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township Collector of Taxes extend the grace period for the correct 2016 bills until May 10, 2017; after that date, interest will revert back to the original due dates of August 1, 2016 and November 1, 2016 and will be charged at the rate of 8% on the first $1,500.00 and 18% on any remaining balance above the $1,500.00.

Resolution #17-87: Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon Regarding the Interlocal Agreement with the Municipal Utility Authority for the Services of the Department of Public Works

The Council questioned the purpose of this Resolution. Clerk Kirkman explained that the Council had voted to end the agreement with the MUA for a shared service in January 2016; however, the MUA had not obtained a new vendor for these services; this resolution allowed the DPW to continue its work with the MUA. Mayor Shortway explained previous contract with MUA did not reimburse Township for all expenses of DPW staff but due to lack of bids received to take over, Mayor was forced to continue services to maintain the system. The Council discussed if July 2017 termination date is too soon to obtain new RFP’s or if Council needs to rescind previous resolution to move forward. Director Scerbo explains the MUA is willing to redraft interlocal agreement to include all costs for the DPW personnel and feels July termination date is too soon to receive new bids.

Council Member Ooms asks Attorney Zielinski if a new contract is needed to reflect current pay scales. Council President Murphy noted the DPW contract is not settled yet so pay scales are the same. Attorney Zielinski explained the Council has three options: vote on resolution, do nothing or amend resolution and vote, and if no concession than table the resolution.

Motion: Dan Kadish made a Motion to Table Resolution #17-87 until next meeting
Second: Jean Murphy

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried to table Resolution #17-87 until next Council meeting.

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

Council President Murphy read Ordinance 17-03 by title only.

Ordinance #17-03: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey Authorizing Correcting the Zoning Map for Various Properties

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the public hearing for Ordinance #17-03.
Moved: Dan Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members voted in favor.

There was no comment from the public.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the public hearing for Ordinance #17-03.
Moved: Dick Wetzel
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #17-03.
Moved: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried to adopt Ordinance #17-03.

Council President Murphy read Ordinance 17-04 by title only.

Ordinance #17-04: Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending Chapter 250 of the Code of the Township of Vernon Regarding Liquor License Fees

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the public hearing for Ordinance #17-04.
Moved: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

There was no comment from the public.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the public hearing for Ordinance #17-04.
Moved: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #17-04.
Moved: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy
Nays: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel w/comment
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion failed to adopt Ordinance #17-04.

Council Member Wetzel opined it is pennywise and dollar foolish to raise fees for businesses.

Council President Murphy read Ordinance 17-05 by title only.

Ordinance #17-05: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey Amending and Supplementing Chapter §250 of the Township Code, Entitled “Fees and Escrows” So as to Amend and Supplement Section §250-7 Entitled “Tax Collector”

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the public hearing for Ordinance #17-05.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Dan Kadish
All members voted in favor.

There was no comment from the public.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the public hearing for Ordinance #17-05.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Dan Kadish
All members voted in favor.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #17-05.
Moved: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried to adopt Ordinance #17-05.

Council Comments

Council Member Wetzel stated he had no comment.

Council Member Rizzuto stated he had no comment.

Council Member Ooms stated she had no comment.

Council Member Kadish stated he had no comment.

Council President Comments

Council President Murphy exhibited a packet of information she received from Newton Mayor Sandra Diglio which Newton hands out to new businesses explaining all permitting requirements needed and steps to follow. She added the County Freeholders held their meeting in Vernon on March 22, 2017 and discussed projects including RT 515 improvements. Council President Murphy indicated that the debt that Vernon is responsible for the Solar Project is $2.4 million, approximately $25-$40 per household in 2017 and noted that Vernon residents also contribute to the county 911 system but receive no benefits. Council President Murphy added she attended a meeting with Keynote Speaker Judge Lorraine Parker which discussed the direction of Sussex County Community College in the future to increase awareness and opportunities for all county residents.

Council President Murphy asked Council Member Rizzuto if he was part of the Scenic Bi-Way Committee and noted that Resolution done in 2010 gave Council support only on RT 515 to New York border. Council President Murphy stated maps being proposed now show McPeek and Sandhill Road which are Township Roads and were not approved by Council. Council Member Rizzuto suggested Council President Murphy speak to Jessica Paladini for information.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: April 24, 2017