Minutes: May 13, 2019

The regular meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:00 p.m. on May 13, 2019 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 had been provided to the public and the press on January 3, 2019 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

Council Members Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, John Auberger and Council President Murphy were in attendance. Also present was Business Administrator Charles Voelker, CFO Donelle Bright, Township Auditor Francis “Bud” Jones and Township Attorney Marlin Townes. Mayor Harry Shortway and Council Member Mark Van Tassel were not present.

Salute to the Flag

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

Proclamations

National Public Works Week

Council President Murphy invited DPW Director Edward Babcock and the DPW Staff to come to the podium. Council President Murphy read the Proclamation for Public Works Week.

WHEREAS, public works services provided in our community are an integral part of our citizens’ everyday lives; and

WHEREAS, the support of an understanding and informed citizenry is vital to the efficient operation of public works systems and programs such as streets & roadways, parks, sewers, recycling, and public facilities; and

WHEREAS, the health, safety, and comfort of this community greatly depends on these facilities and services; and

WHEREAS, the quality and effectiveness of these facilities, as well as their planning, design, and construction is vitally dependent upon the efforts and skill of public works officials; and

WHEREAS, the efficiency of the qualified and dedicated personnel who staff public works departments is materially influenced by the people’s attitude and understanding of the importance of the work they perform.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Harry J. Shortway, Mayor of the Township of Vernon do hereby proclaim the week of May 19 through May 25, 2019 as “NATIONAL PUBLIC WORKS WEEK” in the Township of Vernon, and I call upon all citizens and civic organizations to acquaint themselves with the issues involved in providing our public works and to recognize the contributions which public works officials make every day to our health, safety, comfort, and quality of life.

Police Week 2019

Council President Murphy invited Chief Dan Young, Captain Kimkowski and the members of the Police Department to please come forward. Council Member Curreri read the Proclamation for Police Week.

WHEREAS: In 1962, President John F. Kennedy, signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officer Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week which for 2019 is Sunday, May 12 through Saturday, May 18; and

WHEREAS: The members of the Township of Vernon Police Department play an essential role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the Township of Vernon; and

WHEREAS, It is important that all citizens know and understand the duties, responsibilities, hazards and sacrifices of their law enforcement agency, and that members of our law enforcement agency recognize their duty to serve the people by safeguarding life and property, by protecting them against violence and disorder, and by protecting the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression; and

WHEREAS, the men and women of the Vernon Township Police Department unceasingly provide a vital service.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Council President Jean Murphy, Mayor Shortway and the Vernon Township Council do hereby proclaim that the week of May 12, 2019 through May 18, 2019 is designated as Police Week in the Township of Vernon and call upon all citizens and patriotic civic and educational organizations to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and observances in which all of our community may join in commemorating law enforcement officers, past and present, who, by their faithful and loyal devotion to their responsibilities, have rendered a dedicated service to their communities and, in so doing, have established for themselves an enviable and enduring reputation for preserving the rights and security of all citizens.

Given under my hand in these free United States in the Township of Vernon, State of New Jersey on this 13th day of May, two thousand nineteen, and to which I have caused the Seal of the Township of Vernon to be affixed and have made this proclamation public.

Chief Young thanked the Council for the recognition and noted that on June 1 the Police Department would be hosting ice cream with a Cop at Town Hall.

Buddy Poppy Month May 2019

Council President Murphy invited the Members of the Vernon VFW to please come forward. Council Member Murphy read the Proclamation for Buddy Poppy Month.

WHEREAS: The annual distribution of Buddy Poppies by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States has been officially recognized and endorsed by governmental leaders since 1922; and

WHEREAS: Buddy Poppies are assembled by disabled veterans, and the proceeds of this worthy fund-raising campaign are used exclusively for the benefit of disabled and needy veterans, and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of the sale of Buddy Poppies by the Veterans of Foreign Wars is eloquently reflected in the desire to “honor the dead by helping the living.” The 2019 Buddy Poppy Drive is being held during the month of May; and

WHEREAS, The Wallkill Valley VFW 8441 and its Ladies Auxiliary promote the sale of the Buddy Poppy throughout the Township; and

WHEREAS, We urge all patriotic citizens to wear a Buddy Poppy as a symbol of gratitude to the men and women of this country who have risked their lives in defense of the freedoms which we continue to enjoy as American citizens.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Council President Jean Murphy, Mayor Shortway and the Vernon Township Council do hereby proclaim that May 2019 is Buddy Poppy Month in Vernon Township. We hereby urge the citizens of this community to recognize the merits of this cause by contributing generously to this invaluable program.

Given under my hand in these free United States in the Township of Vernon, State of New Jersey on this 13th day of May, two thousand nineteen, and to which I have caused the Seal of the Township of Vernon to be affixed and have made this proclamation public.

Memorial Day 2019

Council President Murphy invited the Vietnam Veterans and VFW Members to please come forward to be recognized for Memorial Day. Council Member Ooms read the Proclamation for Memorial Day.

WHEREAS, Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, while it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of Memorial Day, President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, proclaimed that Waterloo, NY was officially the birthplace of Memorial Day; and

WHEREAS, regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear—Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed; and

WHEREAS, on the first Decoration Day, at Arlington National Cemetery, 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there; and

WHEREAS, after World War I the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war; and

WHEREAS, it is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Council President Jean Murphy, Mayor Shortway and the Vernon Township Council do hereby honor our service men and women, from every branch of the service, who have served in all the nation’s wars for their enduring dedication to the preservation of America and our way of life.

Given under my hand in these free United States in the Township of Vernon, State of New Jersey on this 13th day of May, two thousand nineteen, and to which I have caused the Seal of the Township of Vernon to be affixed and have made this proclamation public.

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Council President Murphy invited Doreen Edwards to please come forward. Council Member Ooms read the Proclamation for Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

Whereas, Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the United States; ticks are the main source of infection for humans and animals. Each year 1 out of 30 persons will be infected with Tick-Borne Diseases in Sussex County. (CDC)

Whereas, Ticks become active when outside temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit; and once infected many patients are unable to recall a tick bite with fewer than 50% reporting a bull’s-eye rash;

Whereas, Ticks that carry Lyme disease can carry many other pathogens. One bite can result in multiple infections including bacteria, parasites, and viruses; which encompass many Tick-Borne Diseases.

Whereas, Lyme disease can be a complex, multi-symptom illness which if caught early can be treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated can invade the nervous system, heart and multiple organs of the body causing years of pain, suffering and severe disability. Called “The Great Imitator” symptoms can mimic over 300 diseases including but not limited to MS, Parkinson’s, ALS, Fibromyalgia and Alzheimer disease.

Whereas, The best protection against Tick-Borne Diseases is prevention, education and early treatment.

Now, Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Council of the Township of Vernon hereby proclaims May 2019 as Lyme Disease Awareness Month and urges all residents to raise awareness for the prevention of Lyme Disease.

Ms. Edwards stated she is a member of the tick squad and provided people with information about the organization.

Presentations

A. Boy Scout Cameron Connor Minteer Troop 48 Eagle Scout App Project

Mr. Minteer stated he is working on his Eagle Scout Project in the Glenwood Section of the Township in the Pochuck Valley Farm Historic Sites. Mr. Minteer indicated he has developed an application (app) that works with Samsung that will tell people information about the various historical sites in that section of the Township. The sites will have signs and information on how to download the app to get more information. Mr. Minteer demonstrated how the app would work: each post will have a number or site name and the resident will input the number and a narrated video will load about the historical site. Mr. Minteer is requesting to put the app on the Vernon Website for the videos to reside so that they will be available in the future. Mr. Minteer requested the Council permit same. The consensus of the Council was to allow this to be done. Council President Murphy noted that Mr. Minteer had been working with Council Member Dan Kadish on this project and the Vernon Historical Preservation Commission. Council President Murphy thanked Council Member Curreri for taking over for Council Member Kadish. Council Member Ooms congratulated Mr. Minteer on his Eagle Scout Achievement. Council Member Curreri encouraged Mr. Minteer to pull the video of Council Member Kadish discussing his project and to try and incorporate same into his application.

Public Comments (On Current Agenda Items Only)

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Sally Rinker, stated she would like to discuss Resolution 19-119 the resolution authorizing the use of funds for the trail. Ms. Rinker stated she supported the trail but felt the proposed trail plan and this resolution was putting the cart before the horse. Ms. Rinker claimed that the resolution was premature because she did not feel the Township owned or had all the appropriate easements required to build the trail. Ms. Rinker claimed the easements that the Township had were not sufficient in her opinion to build a trail. Ms. Rinker felt the Township would have additional liability if it went forward with building the trail on the easements that the Township had. Ms. Rinker requested the item be removed from the agenda until such time as there was a more information and a better plan.

Doreen Edwards, Highland Lakes, commented that in regards to ticks that Pennsylvania is far ahead of New Jersey with a tick borne illness center for people suffering from tick borne illness. Ms. Edwards noted it is important to save the tick so that you may get it tested. Ms. Edwards noted that Pennsylvania had tick treatment centers were people could receive treatment if needed. Council President Murphy indicated she had seen the Freeholder’s tick patrol meeting which also had further information that was available to the public.

Michael Furrey, stated in regards to the Trail Resolution that the Greenway Action Advisory Committee has been working diligently on this resolution and plan for the past three years. Mr. Furrey stated the Township Engineer has been working closely with them and they feel it is ready to go forward. Council Member Ooms questioned the sewer easements for use of the trail. Mr. Furrey had advised these had been reviewed by the Township Engineer. Council Member Ooms discussed the potential trail route and expressed concern if there was a break in the trail. Mr. Furrey advised he believed it was following the sewer easement that had been provided. Mr. Furrey advised they had walked the whole trail and the engineer had utilized the information the Township had to make the actual route. Council Member Ooms expressed concern that part of the trail may be on private property that the Township did not own or have an easement on. Mr. Furrey stated the route had changed to address this issue by the Township Engineer. Council Member Ooms requested that the resolution be pulled as a separate item when the council moved forward.

Seeing no one further wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the meeting to public comments.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Sandra Oooms
All members voted in favor.

Minutes

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of April 8, 2019.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Patrick Curreri

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: Mark Van Tassel
Motion carried to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of April 8, 2019.

Items for Discussion

Ordinance #19-10: Bond Ordinance Appropriating $2,038,668, and Authorizing the Issuance of $1,549,527 Bonds or Notes of the Township, for Various Improvements or Purposes Authorized to Be Undertaken by the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey

Council Member Ooms expressed concern that the budget was not moving forward so she felt this ordinance could and should not be introduced at this time. Council Member Ooms expressed that she felt that the Township’s Risk Manager, Pinnacle did not receive all the information. Council President Murphy indicated she had been following up on that issue. Council President Murphy expressed concern over the conflicting reports as to whether the fields needed to be completely replaced or if they could simply be repaired. Council President Murphy indicated that reports were not clear and the Council had requested additional information. Council President Murphy expressed concern that the Risk Manager also did not have all the information. Administrator Voelker stated the reports indicate short term repairs are helpful and being done but the short term repair is not a guarantee that it will continue to be acceptable. The Council discussed the various test results verse the cost of short and long term repairs. Administrator Voelker discussed the possibility of the Council going to the fields and seeing the various areas. Council Members noted while that was an option as they are not experts on the field and that they are relying on the field experts to tell them the condition. The Council discussed replacing the sections that have issues rather than the entire field.

Mishelle Downtain, Director of Recreation was asked to step forward. Ms. Downtain explained that new turf sections cannot be implemented at this time as the old and new sections do not match effecting the functionality of the fields itself. Ms. Downtain stated the Township would need to service the fields every 6 to 8 weeks to keep them open and there is no guarantee it will remain sufficient. Ms. Downtain opined that in just doing the servicing, the Township will be spending the down payment it had for the new fields for services which will not and do not have long term viability.

Ms. Downtain explained the mechanics of the tests and the way the fields have fared with the use. Ms. Downtain stated that in her opinion if the fields are not going to be replaced the Township should close the fields on July 1. Ms. Downtain stated it may be possible to bring up the current regular fields up to bar. Council President Murphy expressed concern about spending $800,000 this year or $20,000 on repairs. Ms. Downtain stated she did not believe the fields could continue to be used for 2020 even if the Township did repairs this year.

Council President Murphy questioned if the Board of Education paid toward the fields as well. Ms. Downtain indicated that the BOE did also contribute. Ms. Downtain explained she works closely with the athletic director and spoke with them daily about the fields. Ms. Downtain noted the BOE also needed to replace their fields and the Township would coordinate with them to try and purchase all materials at the same time to get a better rate. Ms. Downtain noted the fields are safe at this time but that will not necessarily continue into the future. The Council questioned outside uses of the fields by other private groups. Ms. Downtain had indicated that they have been very conservative about permitting outside organizations to use the fields because of the hopes to keep functioning as long as possible. Ms. Downtain stated she had these fields decompacted in 2016 to expand the life of the fields which kept the Township going; the 2018 average really started to show that the fields were no longer able to continue to be serviced but required replacement. The Council discussed the annual cost of the fields and the huge impact on the tax payer as compared to the fees that the Township collects. Ms. Downtain stated she would like to restructure the permits and times on the field for the different sports as well as change the fee ordinance to hopefully bring in additional revenue. Council Member Ooms requested the full ledger of the recreation trust fund for the last two years.

The Council discussed introducing the ordinance and amending the ordinance verse the time if the ordinance being tabled. Council Member Ooms questioned the Lift Stations, CFO Bright explained that was included in the capital plan for the future.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to table Ordinance #19-10 until May 30, 2019.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Jean Murphy

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Jean Murphy
Nays: Patrick Curreri, John Auberger
Abstain: None
Absent: Mark Van Tassel
Motion failed to table.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to introduce Ordinance #19-10 with public hearing to be held on May 30, 2019.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Patrick Curreri

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Jean Murphy
Nays: Patrick Curreri, John Auberger
Abstain: None
Absent: Mark Van Tassel
Motion failed to introduce Ordinance #19-10.

Consent Agenda

Council President Murphy read the title and gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #19-116 to 19-122. Council President Murphy stated that Resolutions #19-117 and 19-119 were separated out of consent agenda.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #19-116 through #19-122 excluding Resolutions 19-117 and 19-119.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: Mark Van Tassel
Motion passed to approve Resolutions #19-116 through #19-122 excluding Resolutions 19-117 and 19-119.

Council President Murphy noted that the Township’s new Tax Assessor was present in the audience and congratulated her on her appointment.

Resolution #19-116: Authorizing Cancellation of Capital Appropriation Balances

WHEREAS, certain General Capital Improvement appropriation balances remain dedicated to projects that are being cancelled; 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 canceled

ORDDATEPROJECTAMOUNT CANCELLED
18-1704-23-2018Various Improvements45,500.00

Resolution #19-118: Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of Not Exceeding $1,407,500 Bond Anticipation Notes of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL OF THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON, IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY, AS FOLLOWS:

Pursuant to a bond ordinance of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex (the “Township”) entitled: “Bond ordinance appropriating $2,380,870, and authorizing the issuance of $1,453,000 bonds or notes of the Township, for various improvements or purposes authorized to be undertaken by the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey,” finally adopted on April 23, 2018 (#18-17), bond anticipation notes of the Township in a principal amount not exceeding $1,407,500 shall be issued for the purpose of temporarily financing the improvement or purpose described in Section 3 of said bond ordinance, including (to any extent necessary) the renewal of any bond anticipation notes heretofore issued therefor.

All bond anticipation notes (the “notes”) issued hereunder shall mature at such times as may be determined by the treasurer, the chief financial officer or the acting chief financial officer of the Township (the “Chief Financial Officer”), provided that no note shall mature later than one year from its date. The notes shall bear interest at such rate or rates and be in such form as may be determined by the Chief Financial Officer and shall be signed and sealed by officials and officers of the Township in any manner permitted by N.J.S.A. §40A:2-25. The Chief Financial Officer shall determine all matters in connection with the notes issued hereunder, and the Chief Financial Officer’s signature upon the notes shall be conclusive evidence as to all such determinations. All notes issued hereunder may be renewed from time to time subject to the provisions of N.J.S.A. §40A:2-8. The Chief Financial Officer is hereby authorized to sell part or all of the notes at not less than par from time to time at public or private sale and to deliver them to the purchasers thereof upon receipt of payment of the purchase price. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to report in writing to the governing body of the Township at the meeting next succeeding the date when any sale or delivery of the notes hereunder is made. Such report must include the principal amount, interest rate and maturities of the notes sold, the price obtained and the name of the purchaser.

Any note issued pursuant to this resolution shall be a general obligation of the Township, and the Township’s faith and credit are hereby pledged to the punctual payment of the principal of and interest on the notes and, unless otherwise paid or payment provided for, an amount sufficient for such payment shall be inserted in the budget and a tax sufficient to provide for the payment thereof shall be levied and collected.

The Chief Financial Officer is hereby authorized and directed to do all other matters necessary, useful, convenient or desirable to accomplish the delivery of the notes to the purchasers thereof as promptly as possible, including (i) the preparation, execution and dissemination of a Preliminary Official Statement and Final Official Statement with respect to the notes, (ii) preparation, distribution and publication, if necessary, of a Notice of Sale with respect to the notes, (iii) execution of a Continuing Disclosure Undertaking, with respect to the notes in accordance with Rule 15c2-12 promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and (iv) execution of an arbitrage and use of proceeds certificate certifying that, among other things, the Township, to the extent it is empowered and allowed under applicable law, will do and perform all acts and things necessary or desirable to assure that interest paid on the notes is not included in gross income under Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

All action heretofore taken by Township officials and professionals with regard to the sale and award of the notes is hereby ratified, confirmed, adopted and approved.

This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Ordinance Detail

NumberAdoption DateCurrent AmountInitial Issuance
Date and Amount
Current PaydownAggregate Paydown
18-1704/23/18$1,407,50006/22/18 - $1,407,500$0$0

Resolution #19-120: Resolution Authorizing the Application to the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

“Bullet Proof Vest Partnership/Body Armor Safety Initiative”

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Police Department wishes to apply for funding to the U.S. Department of Justice for the Bullet Proof Vest Partnership/Body Armor Safety Initiative, and

WHEREAS, the grant project consists of reimbursement for up to 50% of the expenses incurred to purchase new issue or replacement bullet proof vests for police officers. “BVP is a critical resource for state and local jurisdictions that saves lives. Based on data collected and recorded by the U.S. Department of Justice, in FY 2012, protective vests were directly attributable to saving the lives of at least 33 law enforcement and corrections officers, in 20 different states, an increase 13.7% over FY 2011. At least 14 of those life-saving vests had been purchased, in part, with BVP funds.” (OJP website, U.S. Department of Justice 2013) This grant is committed to officer safety; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Township will incur the cost of the program, not to exceed $3,362.25 and then submit the necessary documentation to the U.S. Department of Justice for a fifty percent (50%) reimbursement.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Vernon Township declares its support for the “2019 Bullet Proof Vest Partnership/Body Armor Safety Initiative” Grant from June 1st, 2019 - December 31st, 2019 to outfit bullet proof vests for our newly hired police officers or replacement vests for our current police officers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that the Mayor, Chief Finance Officer and Township Clerk are hereby authorized to execute and sign any and all documents in order to effectuate the receipt of the Grant monies between the Township of Vernon and the U.S. Department of Justice for the “2019 Bullet Proof Vest Partnership/Body Armor Safety Initiative” Grant.

Resolution #19-121: Resolution Appointing Kristin Umansky as the Vernon Township Municipal Tax Assessor Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40a:9-146 et seq.

WHEREAS, the appointment of a Municipal Tax Assessor is governed by N.J.S.A. 40A:9-146 et seq; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Township Council is the appointing authority for the Municipal Tax Assessor as per state statute; and

WHEREAS, Lynne Schweighardt retired from the position of Tax Assessor on April 30, 2019; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Township is required to appoint a Tax Assessor due to retirement of Lynne Schweighardt; and

WHEREAS, Kristen Umansky, possesses the requisite certification and qualifications for the position of Municipal Tax Assessor; and

WHEREAS, a determination has been made to appoint Kristen Umansky to the vacant position of Tax Assessor; and

WHEREAS, Kristen Umansky will be filling the remainder of Lynne Schweighardt’s four-year term ending June 30, 2019 and beginning her first four-year term beginning July 1, 2019.

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

  1. Kristen Umansky is hereby appointed as the Township of Vernon, New Jersey, Municipal Tax Assessor commencing May 21, 2019 pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:9-146 et seq, at such compensation of $78,000/annually per range established by Ordinance, filling the remainder of Lynne Schweighardt’s four-year term ending June 30, 2019 and beginning her first four-year term beginning July 1, 2019.
  2. This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law.

Resolution #19-122: Emergency Temporary Appropriations

WHEREAS, an emergent condition has arisen in that the Township is expected to enter in contracts, commitments or payments prior to the 2019 budget and no adequate provision has been made in the 2019 temporary budget for the aforesaid purposes, and

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

WHEREAS, the total emergency temporary appropriation resolutions adopted in the year 2019 pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 96, P.L. 1951 (N.J.S.A. 40A:4-20) including this resolution total:

Current Fund
Recycling O/E $2,000.00
Buildings & Grounds $5,000.00

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

  1. Emergency temporary appropriations be and the same are hereby made in the amount of:

    Current Fund
    Recycling O/E $2,000.00
    Buildings & Grounds $5,000.00
  2. Said emergency temporary appropriations will be provided for in the 2019 budget.
  3. That one certified copy of this resolution be filed with the Director, Division of Local Government Services.

Resolutions Requiring Separate Action

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #19-117.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Patrick Curreri

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: John Auberger
Absent: Mark Van Tassel
Motion passed to approve Resolutions #19-117.

Resolution #19-117: Approving a Charitable Solicitor’s Permit: Pochuck Valley Fire Department

WHEREAS, Pochuck Valley Fire Department, 13 Lake Wallkill Road, Sussex, NJ 07461, has made application for a Charitable Roadside Solicitor’s Permit for the purposes of soliciting funds on May 25, 2019, July 6, 2019 and August 31, 2019 at the intersection of and along Route 565 and Route 667; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with Ordinance 18-12, the Vernon Township Police Department has reviewed the necessary application found that all documentation is in order;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that approval be granted for a Charitable Roadside Solicitor’s Permit for Pochuck Valley Fire Department, 13 Lake Wallkill Road, Sussex, NJ 07461 on May 25, 2019, July 6, 2019 and August 31, 2019 at the intersection of and along Route 565 and Route 667 as depicted on the attached map, subject to the approval of the County of Sussex.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township Clerk is hereby authorized to issue a Charitable Roadside Solicitor’s Permit to the aforesaid applicant in accordance with Chapter 428 of the Code of the Township of Vernon upon receipt of the approval from the County of Sussex.

Resolution #19-119: Resolution Authorizing the Use of Open Space Funds for the Construction & Maintenance of the Vernon Town Center Bike & Walking Trail

Council President Murphy read the title and gave a brief explanation of Resolution 19-119.

Council Member Ooms expressed concern that the sewer easements were not sufficient to permit a walking trail on same. Council Member Ooms questioned if the Township Attorney had reviewed these easements. Attorney Townes indicated he had not personally reviewed the easements but that they may have been reviewed by another attorney. Council Member Ooms expressed concerned with releasing money when it was unclear if the trail could be built in that location. Attorney Townes indicated this released the money but did not award a contract to any vendor to start construction. Council President Murphy questioned the Township Attorney if the Council could move forward with the resolution at this time. Attorney Townes opined he felt same was acceptable. Council Member Ooms objected to moving forward on this issue at this time and requested additional assurances that the trail could move forward over the easements suggested. Council Member Ooms stated she was not against the trail but wanted to be sure that the easement was acceptable. Council Member Ooms stressed that she felt this should not move forward. Attorney Townes noted that given the scope of the project the vendors will likely have to come back before the Township Councilto get a resolution for the cost of the projects. Council President Murphy noted that the once the vendor is chosen; the item would still need to come before the Council for approval.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #19-119.
Moved: Patrick Curreri
Second: Jean Murphy

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: John Auberger, Patrick Curreri, Jean Murphy
Nays: Sandra Ooms
Abstain: None
Absent: Mark Van Tassel
Motion passed to approve Resolution #19-119.

Resolution #19-119: Resolution Authorizing the Use of Open Space Funds for the Construction & Maintenance of the Vernon Town Center Bike & Walking Trail

WHEREAS, the Citizens of the Township of Vernon (“Township”) passed a referendum on November 6, 2018 allowing expenditures from the Open Space Trust Fund for public pathway development and maintenance; and

WHEREAS, the Township wishes to develop a bike and walking trail system in the Township and promote the development of a community that offers free hiking, biking and performing arts programs; and

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer has proposed a bike and walking trail within the Town Center portion of the Township that would begin at the Township Municipal Complex and travel thru easements and land owned by the Township (“Township Trail”); and

WHEREAS, the Council of the Township of Vernon passed Resolution 19-80 allowing the use of the Township Open Trust Fund to pay for the design of the Township Trail in an amount not to exceed $9,000; and

WHEREAS, by memorandum dated January 23, 2019, the Township Engineer estimated the cost for construction of the proposed Township Trail to be $176,000.00; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon that it hereby approves the use of funds from the Township Open Trust Fund for the construction the Township Trail for an amount not to exceed $176,000.00; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor is authorized to begin the process of procuring the services of the appropriate vendors for the construction of the Township Trail. Any agreements with such vendors shall be approved by subsequent resolution after their services have been procured in accordance with the Local Public Contracts Law.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be forwarded to and the Township Engineer.

Public Hearing of the 2019 Municipal Budget

Council President Murphy read the title and gave a brief explanation of Resolution 19-123. Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve Resolution #19-123.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Patrick Curreri

Council Member Ooms clarified that the Township was holding the public hearing but was not going to adopt the budget at this time; same was confirmed.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: John Auberger, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: Mark Van Tassel
Motion passed to approve Resolutions #19-123.

Resolution #19-123: A Resolution to Read the 2019 Municipal Budget by Title Only

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:4-8 provides that the budget may be read by title only at the time of the public hearing if a resolution is passed by not less than a majority of the full governing body, as well as posting of same; and

WHEREAS, the conditions required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-8 have been satisfied for the 2019 Municipal Budget by Township Officials.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of Vernon, New Jersey that the 2019 Municipal Budget shall be read by title only at the public hearing (scheduled on May 13, 2019).

This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law.

2019 Municipal Budget

Council Member Murphy read the 2019 Municipal Budget by title only and asked for a motion to open the public hearing.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Patrick Curreri
All members voted in favor.

Doreen Edwards questioned how much the school taxes were possibly going to be increasing and how much the Township taxes would be increasing. Ms. Edwards questioned what the tax increase was going to be. Council President Murphy explained that the BOE was proposing a $198 annual increase on a home assessed at $215,000 and that the Township was proposing an $80 annual increase. Ms. Edwards questioned if the revaluation had commenced. Council President Murphy indicated that the revaluation company had begun going door to door. Ms. Edwards questioned the impact of the re-assessment. Council President Murphy explained that the rule of thumb was one third of assessments go up, one third go down, and one third stays the same. Council President Murphy noted that with the Board of Education losing their funding their tax impact could be worse. Ms. Edwards expressed concern about the Board of Education. Council President Murphy noted that the delay in the approval of our tax maps had delay our revaluation. Council President Murphy encouraged residents to allow the reval company into their homes noting they have clear and proper identification.

Seeing no more members of the public wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the public hearing for the 2019 Municipal Budget.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Adoption/Table of the 2019 Municipal Budget

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to table the 2019 Municipal Budget until May 30, 2019.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: Mark Van Tassel
Motion carried to table the 2019 Municipal Budget.

Introduction/1st Reading of Proposed Ordinances

Ordinance #19-10: Bond Ordinance Appropriating $2,038,668, and Authorizing the Issuance of $1,549,527 Bonds or Notes of the Township, for Various Improvements or Purposes Authorized to Be Undertaken by the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey

Council Member Murphy noted that the Council had moved to not introduce Ordinance #19-10 at this time.

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

None

Council Appointments:

Council Member Murphy asked the Council how they would like to proceed with Resolution 19-124 the appointment of members to the MUA.

The consensus of the Council was to move Alternate 1, Paul Kearney as a full member and replace Mr. Kearney as Alternate 1 with Angela Erichsen.

Council President Murphy requested a motion to approve the above appointments.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Patrick Curreri

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: Mark Van Tassel
Motion carried to adopt Resolution 19-124.

Resolution #19-124: Appointment to Municipal Utilities Authority

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (“VTMUA”) is a duly established utilities authority pursuant to the Municipal and County Utilities Authorities Law, N.J.S.A. 40:14B-1, et seq.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON, COUNTY OF SUSSEX, and STATE OF NEW JERSEY, that the following individuals are hereby appointed as a member of the Vernon Township Municipal Utility Authority, effective 5/13/2019, for a term specified as follows:

Paul Kearny Seat I
Expiring 2/01/2024

Angela Erichsen Alternate 1
Expiring 2/01/2021

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the Township Clerk shall send a certified copy of this resolution to the following:

a. Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority

Council Comments

Council Member Ooms questioned who was acting Mayor and if the Mayor was out of town. Council Member Ooms noted the Council should be advised if the Mayor is out, who is acting Mayor and for how long so they know who is in charge. Administrator Voelker stated he was serving as Acting Mayor at this time. Council Member Ooms reiterated her previous request for the ledger for the recreation trust.

Council Member Curreri stated he was all for more research on the fields issue. However, he noted if it comes down to bond or close the fields he felt that everyone uses the field so without them the town would close up shop. Council Member Curreri stated he was looking forward to a little more research and getting it done right.

Council Member Auberger seconded the comments of Council Member Curreri.

Council President Murphy reminded the residents that Commissioner McCabe of the NJ DEP would be at the Vernon High School on Monday, May 20 at the Vernon High School between 6 pm and 7 pm to discuss and information on the Wallace Property. Council President Murphy also noted that the PAID group, People Against Illegal Dumping would be holding a meeting in the Barrett Room of the Appalachian Hotel from 7-9 pm on May 16. Council President Murphy noted ice cream with a cop on June 1. Council President Murphy stated there was a proposed change in the ordinance for the Air BnB for hotel taxes. Council President Murphy stated now they were looking at some minor changes and asked the Council to review same. Council President Murphy stated that Senator Oroho would like to have a resolution opposing a rain tax and would like to have that for the next agenda. Council President Murphy asked if money had been found for a new sound system. CFO Bright stated it is in the Capital Budget for this year so once the budget it approved the Township could have a capital ordinance to move forward with the sound system.

Council President Murphy questioned why there was a bill on the bills list for search of the CFO. Administrator Voelker stated that the Canning Group had forgotten to bill this. Council President Murphy noted that the Township was no longer accepting rigid plastics and that now there is a bill for us to pay SCMUA for taking those we had accepted. Administrator Voelker confirmed the Township would no longer accept rigid plastic as they have to pay to have it given to SCMUA due to issues with it being comingled. Council President Murphy noted that a resident had questioned why when the Township has the bulk drop off do we have residents drop off at town hall and then pay the DPW to haul it all to SCMUA. Council President Murphy asked if we could simply arrange to have residents bring the items directly to SCMUA to save the expense. Administrator Voelker indicated the Township does get credit for the drop off for rigid plastics. Administrator Voelker stated it was for convenience of the residents to have the drop off at town hall but perhaps a change can be made or they can have both options. Council President Murphy questioned why the township is purchasing a stand up workstation. Council President Murphy questioned this trend.

Council Member Ooms commented that the Senior Board invited the Council to the Senior Luncheon and how lovely it was. Council President Murphy noted that Dan Kadish was the senior of the year. Administrator Voelker stated they were having a luncheon.

Public Comments (Limited to 3 minutes on any topic)

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments.
Moved: Patrick Curreri
Second: Sandra Oooms
All members voted in favor.

Sally Rinker claimed that Council Member Curreri was only there to push the Mayor’s Agenda. Ms. Rinker claimed that Council President Murphy would say black if Ms. Rinker said white. Ms. Rinker expressed her dissatisfaction with the trail resolution moving forward. Ms. Rinker expressed dissatisfaction that Council President Murphy had questions about the bills list. Ms. Rinker admonished the Township Attorney for his advice regarding the trail resolution. Ms. Rinker expressed dissatisfaction with moving forward and allowing a vote to utilize $200,000 of funds on the trail. Ms. Rinker claimed there could be legal issues with the trail. Ms. Rinker stated that Council President Murphy was a disgrace as a Realtor. Township Attorney Townes asked for a point of order. Ms. Rinker continued admonishing Council President Murphy. Ms. Rinker praised Council Member Ooms. Ms. Rinker admonished Council Member Auberger for his actions.

Township Attorney Townes requested Ms. Rinker cease from shouting from the audience.

Peg Destasi stated she loved the township and had lived here for many years. Ms. Destasi stated her children and grandchildren played sports in the town. Ms. Destasi stated she tripped at the turf field but she was ok. Ms. Destasi opined that the field needs to be replaced and expressed concern if it was not repaired.

Zoe Heath, stated she worked with a Community Service organization. Ms. Heath stated there would be a community Pride Event to embrace the LGBTQ community on June 15 from 11-2 at Lloyd Park in the Center of Newton.

Seeing no one further wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the meeting to public comments.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: John Auberger
All members voted in favor.

Mayor’s Report

None

Council Comments

The Council had no further comments.

Council President Comments

Council President Murphy had no further comments.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:41 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: May 30, 2019