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

Minutes: May 31, 2012

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on May 31, 2012, in the Vernon Township Municipal Building, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 9, 2012, 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 Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, and Dick Wetzel. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Business Administrator Jerry Giaimis, and Township Attorney Kevin Kelly. Council Member Eddie Dunn and Council President Brian Lynch were absent.

Acting Council President

Council Member Wetzel nominated Council Member Rizzuto to stand as Acting Council President for this meeting in the absence of Mr. Lynch. Council Member Rizzuto seconded the nomination. All were in favor.

Salute to the Flag

Acting Council President Rizzuto led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.

Public Comments

The Acting Council President opened the meeting to public comments at this time.

Janet Redyke—spoke about the dangerous curve on Highland Lakes Road by her house. Her fence was taken out from a car accident, and a neighbor had a car crash into their house. She feels the speed limit is being ignored, and asked for signage to be installed warning of the dangerous curve (which starts at Canadawa Road).

Caitlyn Neill—is a neighbor of Ms. Redyke and lives behind her on Lakeside Drive West. She advised that she heard the accident that hit the neighbor’s house. She noted that Wawayanda Road also has a bad curve.

Mayor Marotta advised that he would look into the situation, and Council Members Rizzuto and Wetzel advised that they would do the same.

Gary Martinsen—noted that the Memorial Day parade had been great.

Diane Wexler—handed out pictures and paperwork on the pipeline project. She spoke about the resolution on the agenda releasing escrow funds back to the Tennessee Pipeline Company. The pictures showed the trees planted in what was supposed to be restoration of the area of the pipeline.

Mayor Marotta explained what the resolution pertains to, which is monies relative to road openings only, and not for the entire pipeline project.

Beverly Budz—also spoke about the pipeline and resolution. She read a prepared statement.

Doreen Edwards—spoke about the changes she has noted in her water that she feels is due to the pipeline project. She is concerned about the impact created by the project.

The Mayor noted that he had forwarded Ms. Budz’s paperwork from their recent meeting to the DEP and has asked for a speedy reply. He advised that if anything comes up as far as any problems, he will demand answers. He gave examples of possible problems: if there are any dangers, how much, and what the DEP intends to do about it; etc. He noted that a representative of the DEP had come out to look at the area of the pipeline project. He promised to keep everyone informed.

Mary Ellen Vischiconti—spoke about the Board of Recreation and the 3rd Annual Vernon Day on June 10 at Maple Grange Park from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be a 5K in the morning in memory of David Fieldhouse (who was an avid volunteer). All proceeds will go to a college fund for his sons. She noted that about 75 people had registered for the walk/run. Ms. Vischiconti gave more information on the various activities, vendors, etc. at the event.

Michael Cheski—advised the audience that in his opinion the “Man vs Ford” televised program proved that the DEP cannot be trusted—they had affirmed that the Ford site was cleaned up, but this was later proven false.

Closed to Public Comments

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

Mayor’s Report

  • Mayor Marotta advised that the Board of Chosen Freeholders had approved a joint project with the Township for the Rt. 517/Maple Grange/Lounsberry Hollow area. He anticipated the project to start in late June/early July and be finished by late August. He explained the improvements to be addressed with this project.
  • Earthfest—he felt it was a tremendous success. The Mayor advised that this event usually raises funds for the Chamber of Commerce’s charities/scholarships. He further advised that the county had suggested new requirements, however it was clearly more than a suggestion. The additional fees ($812.00) were paid for by the Chamber to cover additional port-o-johns that went largely unused. The Mayor advised that he had requested that the county refund the money, but the request was denied. Mayor Marotta asked the Council to consider reimbursing the Chamber, and if they would support his sending a letter to the county asking for a reprimand of the employee who made the “request” for the additional port-o-johns.

Motion was made to pay the Chamber of Commerce $812.00 and to support the Mayor in sending a letter to the county asking for a reprimand be given to the county employee involved in this additional charge.
Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel
All were in favor.

  • COAH news—the Mayor advised that the $238,000+ from developers’ fees that has been collected over the years that is in jeopardy of being claimed by the State if unused, will be utilized for a low-cost senior affordable housing project. He noted that he had directed our Township Planner, Jessica Caldwell, to review, prepare and address plans for this project. An advertisement for a Request for Proposal (RFP) will be published in the New Jersey Herald for low-cost senior affordable housing from developers, and is for a minimum of 30 units in the Town Center.

Approval of Minutes

May 14, 2012 Regular Meeting Minutes

Moved: Dick Wetzel
Second: Patrick Rizzuto

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Abstain: Daniel Kadish
Absent: Eddie Dunn, Brian Lynch
The Minutes of 5/14/12 were approved.

Consent Agenda—Resolutions #12-111 through #12-121

Acting Council President Rizzuto gave a brief explanation of all resolutions.

Council Member Kadish asked that #12-111 and #12-118 be pulled from the consent agenda for separate action. All agreed.

It was noted that included in #12-111 were payments that paid off 2 large principals (from the revaluation of 5 years ago). Council Member Kadish felt “we should be celebrating in jubilation.” Mayor Marotta advised that with these payments, the Township debt will be reduced by $5 million by the end of the year.

Acting Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion adopting Resolutions #12-111.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Absent: Eddie Dunn, Brian Lynch
Abstain: None
Resolutions #12-111 was approved.

Resolution #12-111: Authorizing the Approval of Bills List

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

Disbursement
Journal
FundAmountMajor Vendor
#1CURRENT$213,141.25LAKELAND
#2CURRENT$1,309,593.09BD OF ED
#3CURRENT$268.69MUA
#4CURRENT$881,812.55BD OF ED
#5CURRENT$26,989.30 
#6GRANT$5,227.50 
#7CAPITAL$3,580.14 
#8CAPITAL$3,024,462.99LAKELAND
#9P & Z$2,750.00 
#10RECREATION$3,520.00 
#11RECREATION$61.95 
#12RECREATION$119.86 
#13OTHER TRUST$122.70 
#14OTHER TRUST$1,080.00 
#15OUTSIDE SERVICES$7.95 
#16OUTSIDE SERVICES$1,031.81 
#17OUTSIDE SERVICES$152.86 
#18DEVELOPER’S BONDS$3,111.00 
#19DEVELOPER’S BONDS$9,474.00 
#20DEVELOPER’S BONDS$33,280.15 
#212ND PAY-MAY$306,459.39 
  $5,826,247.18 

Council Member Kadish moved to table Resolution #12-118 until Council could confer with the attorney, the engineer, and in possible executive session to discuss the issues raised by the public.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: None
Motion failed.

Mayor Marotta asked Mr. Kelly if the monies being released for completed street openings could be leveraged against another purpose without potential litigation.

Mr. Kelly advised that the money was held for a specific purpose and that purpose is completed.

The Mayor noted his agreement that additional information should be researched for the entire pipeline project, but advised that emotions should not put us into potential trouble/liability.

The Acting Council President pointed out that the issue at hand is for release of the bond with respect that the purpose has been met.

Acting Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Resolution #12-118.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Absent: Eddie Dunn, Brian Lynch
Abstain: None
Resolutions #12-118 was approved.

Resolution #12-118: Release of Performance Guarantee for Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company

WHEREAS, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company did post a performance/restoration guarantee, in the amount of a check for $27,500.00; and

WHEREAS, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company has completed all work and the repairs are acceptable; and

WHEREAS, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company has requested release of the funds; and

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer, Cory Stoner, has no objection to the Township releasing these funds.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council that the clerk, treasurer or such other authorized person shall refund $27,521.33 to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company which represents their original guarantee plus accrued interest.

The Acting Council President asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #12-112 through #12-117, and #12-119 through #12-121.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Absent: Eddie Dunn, Brian Lynch
Abstain: None
Resolutions #12-112 through #12-117, and #12-119 through #12-121 were approved.

Mayor Marotta explained the need and the process for estimated tax bills. He also noted that with the authorization of the UAW contract we will have 4-year contracts with all our major unions.

Resolution #12-112: Authorizing the Township Tax Collector to Prepare and Mail Estimated Tax Bills in Accordance with P.L.1994, c.72

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has scheduled budget adoption on April 2012 and the Sussex County Board of Taxation is unable to certify Vernon’s tax rate at this time the Vernon Township Tax Collector will be unable to mail the Township’s 2012 tax bills on a timely basis:

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Tax Collector in consultation with the Vernon Township Chief Financial Officer has computed an estimated tax levy in accordance with N.J.S.A. 54:4-66.3, and they have both signed a certification showing the tax levies for the previous year, the tax rates and the range of permitted estimated tax levies;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey on the 31st day of May, 2012, as follows:

  1. The Township of Vernon Tax Collector is hereby authorized and directed to prepare and issue estimated tax bills for the Township for the third installment of 2012 taxes. The Tax Collector shall proceed upon approval from the Director and take such actions as are permitted and required by P.L.1994, c.72 (N.J.S.A. 54:4-66.2 and 54:4-66.3).
  2. The entire estimated tax levy for 2012 is hereby set at $68,039,088.41.
  3. In accordance with the law, the third installment of 2012 taxes shall not be subject to interest until the later of August 10, or the twenty-fifth calendar day after the date the estimated tax bills were mailed. The estimated tax bills shall contain a notice specifying the date on which interest may begin to accrue.

Resolution #12-113: Tax Court Judgment—Tax Refund for 2011

WHEREAS, Tax Court Judgments have been favorably awarded for the year 2011; and,

WHEREAS, such judgments have resulted in overpayments of the 2011 taxes;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex State of New Jersey, that it hereby authorizes the Township Treasurer to issue checks for said overpayments and the Tax Collector refund said overpayments of taxes on the following accounts:

BLOCKLOTNAMEAMOUNTLOCATION
144.014Main Street Assoc.Inc./
Michael I Schneck Trustee
$11,875.40310 Rt.94
1451.05Vernon Valley Investors LLC/
Zipp & Tannenbaum LLC
$25,494.34530 Rt. 515
269.152.01Pleasant Valley Country Club Inc./
McCarter & English LLP
$4,208.54Pleasant Valley Lk

Resolution #12-114: Tax Overpayment

WHEREAS, A DUPLICATE PAYMENT was made on the Second quarter 2012 taxes

WHEREAS, such payments created an OVERPAYMENT

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, hereby authorize the Township Treasurer to issue check for said overpayment and the Tax Collector refund said overpayment of taxes on the following account:

BLOCKLOTNAMEAMOUNTQUARTERLOCATION
260.199Wells Fargo Real Estate Tax Service LLC (Re: Keith Houser #226266)$1,613.492nd20 High Crest Dr

Resolution #12-115: Authorizing the Cancellation of Outstanding Checks over Six Months Old to Municipal Cash Balances

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has determined that the following Township check has been outstanding for a period in excess of six months:

Municipal Court Bail Account

Check #AmountDate of Issue
1975$161.0009/12/2011
Total$161.00 

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the above outstanding checks be restored to the Township cash balances.

Resolution #12-116: Authorizing the Cancellation of Outstanding Checks over Six Months Old to Municipal Cash Balances

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has determined that the following Township checks have been outstanding for a period in excess of six months:

Municipal Court General Account

Check #AmountDate of Issue
1610$76.0007/06/2011
1617$45.0008/00/2011
1626$1.0009/07/2011
1627$1.0009/07/2011
Total$123.00 

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the above outstanding checks be restored to the Township cash balances.

Resolution #12-117: Taxi License for A+Transportation & Courier

WHEREAS, Joseph Nawalany, 34 Butternut Road, Vernon, NJ 07462, d/b/s A+ Transportation & Courier, has made application for a Taxi Owner’s License in the Township of Vernon and has submitted the required fee for said application; and

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Police Department has certified that the taxi was inspected and passed all inspection requirements; and

WHEREAS, the Township Clerk has verified that all documentation and insurance information has been found to be in good order and in full compliance of state laws.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that a Taxi Owner’s License for Joseph Nawalany, 34 Butternut Road, Vernon, NJ 07462 d/b/a A+ Transportation & Courier is hereby approved; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township Clerk is hereby authorized to issue a Taxi Owner’s License to Joseph Nawalany, 34 Butternut Road, Vernon, NJ 07462 d/b/a A+ Transportation & Courier in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:16-13 et al.

Resolution #12-119: Authorizing Change Order #2 to M.L Ruberton Construction Co., Inc. for the Installation and Repair of Beam Guide Rails on Canistear Road and to Authorize the Use of the 2012 Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council Contract #26 for Prices in This Change Order

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon awarded a contract to install and repair beam guide rails on Canistear Road via resolution #11-164 (and amended via resolution 11-176) to M.L. Ruberton Construction Co., Inc. for $61,490.00; and

WHEREAS, change order #1 was recently awarded via resolution 11-236 which reflected a decrease of $1,857.00; and

WHEREAS, additional items (additional tangent guide rail terminals and beam guide rails) were not considered in the initial scope of work and totaled to $8,412.50; and

WHEREAS, prices for this change order were derived from the 2012 Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council Contract #26 which was awarded at the time the items under this change order were installed: and

WHEREAS, according to NJAC 5:30-1.3, the total amount of all change orders may not exceed 20 percent of the original contract award; and

WHEREAS, this change order #2 plus change order #1 does not exceed the 20 percent threshold; and

WHEREAS, the Qualified Purchasing Agent and Township Engineer recommend that this change order be approved per the attached proposal; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, that this change order #2 be approved. The Chief Financial Officer has certified a total amount of $8,412.50 in account #3094204; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council Contract #26 be utilized for this change order; and

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

Resolution #12-120: Resolution of the Township of Vernon Authorizing Execution of a Collective Bargaining Agreement with International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agrigultural Implement Workers of America, Local #2326

WHEREAS, certain Township of Vernon employees are represented for collective bargaining purposes by the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, Local #2326 (“UAW”); and

WHEREAS, the previous collective bargaining agreement between the Township and UAW expired on December 31, 2011; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of the collective bargaining agreement was to promote and maintain a harmonious relationship between the Township and its employees; and

WHEREAS, the Township and UAW have negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement and desire to execute such agreement (“New Agreement”); and

WHEREAS, the Township Administration has reviewed the terms of the New Agreement and has recommended approval thereof by the Township Council; and

WHEREAS, the provisions of the New Agreement shall be retroactive to January 1, 2012, and expire on December 31, 2015; and

WHEREAS, the Township Council desires to approve the New Agreement;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized, on behalf of the Township, to execute the collective bargaining agreement between the Township of Vernon and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, Local #2326 for the term of January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2015.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that executed copies of this Resolution and the above-referenced collective bargaining agreement shall be on file and shall be available for the public inspection in the office of the Township Clerk upon final execution of the same.

Resolution #12-121: Approving Active Volunteer Fireman for Membership in the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association

WHEREAS, the Township Council recognizes the extraordinary contributions made by volunteer firefighters to our community and seeks to encourage their full participation in professional organizations; and

WHEREAS, Jeff W. Andersen, an active firefighter and member of the McAfee Volunteer Fire Department, Company #2, is requesting approval to submit an application for membership to the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, Sussex County, New Jersey hereby approves Jeff W. Andersen, for membership in the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association.

Ordinances

1st Reading & Introduction of Ordinance #12-10 by Title Only

The Acting Council President asked for a motion to approve this ordinance on first reading.
Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Absent: Eddie Dunn, Brian Lynch
Abstain: None
Ordinance #12-10 was approved on 1st reading.

Ordinance #12-10: An ordinance regarding the fiscal year of the Vernon Township Municipal Sewer Utility Authority


1st Reading & Introduction of Ordinance #12-11 by Title Only

The Acting Council President asked for a motion to approve this ordinance on first reading.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

Council Member Kadish expressed concern with possible contaminants in land being used for a community garden. He suggested having the land tested, noting it used to be farmland.

Mr. Giaimis advised that the School Board was in favor of this sub-lease. He noted that this parcel is @150' x 130'.

Acting Council President Rizzuto asked about issues of control to avoid people stealing tomatoes, etc. Mr. Giaimis advised he had sought input from other communities that had this usage. They operated on an honor system, there was no access after dark to the property, and each plot offered is the same size.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Absent: Eddie Dunn, Brian Lynch
Abstain: None
Ordinance #12-11 was approved on 1st reading.

Ordinance #12-11: Amendment to Ordinance #09-17, Sublease of Block 133 Lot 2


Council Business

Council Member Kadish had nothing to report at this time.

Council Member Wetzel thanked all for the Memorial Day festivities. He was gratified with the reactions of the crowds. He commented that it was a wonderful day, everyone did a great job, and everyone was very respectful.

Council Member Rizzuto spoke about legislature in the Senate of great concern. The New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act (Assembly Bill #2168 and Senate Bill #1566). This bill will drastically change the way people live. The State will have the ability to zone areas at their discretion, and take properties off the tax rolls once they become property of the State. There will be no recourse. It also allows the State to borrow money for this purpose without voter authority.

The Acting Council President asked for a motion to have the Mayor put together a resolution to be sent to the legislature and governor opposing these bills.
Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel

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

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:43 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: June 11, 2012