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

Minutes: November 28, 2011

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:31 p.m. on Monday, November 28, 2011 in the Vernon Township Municipal Building, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey, with Council President Brian Lynch presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on July 8, 2011, and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, and Council President Brian Lynch. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Business Administrator Jerry Giaimis, and Megan Ward, Esq., sitting in for Township Attorney Kevin Kelly.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Lynch led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.

Presentations

1. Glenwood Management

Bruce Zaretsky and his attorney spoke about Block 141 Lot 203 on Sandhill Road, and Smokey’s. Market Square Management received a variance from the Land Use Board for a solar panel facility. There are an additional 225 feet of property to connect the 2 properties. An easement was suggested with the owner of the adjacent property—Sirius XM Radio. Sirius wanted the ability to revoke the easement at any time. Mr. Zaretsky noted that he would offer the same easement agreement with the Township by moving the easement 10 feet. The Township engineer had expressed concern with burial of high voltage lines underground, and Mr. Zaretsky would offer to maintain appropriate signage warning of that.

Mr. Lynch asked about fencing. Ms. Ward noted that the location of this proposed new easement was in the public right-of-way. Mr. Zaretsky could not have an exclusive easement, as utilities are located there, and he would have to co-exist with those utilities. She further noted that it would require an ordinance.

Council President asked for a motion to authorize the attorney to prepare an ordinance for this easement approval in the public right-of-way.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays:
Motion carried.

2. Mountain Creek

It was noted that a permitted use for an urgent care facility is not listed in the zoning ordinance for the redevelopment zone. Mr. Mulvihill and his attorney explained what they plan to do and why it is important to do so. They plan to move some of the existing Atlantic Health facility’s functions to the Day Lodge, such as x-rays and sports medicine. The new facility would be open 7 days per week, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., for 365 days a year. They plan 34 parking spots in the elevated area left of the Appalachian Hotel. Residents would have access to the facility. The attorney noted that, as the Council had created the redevelopment zone, they alone could amend it. A representative from Atlantic Health shared their plan for the facility, affirming that they would not relocate all their specialties, but would keep some at the current location.

Ordinance—First Reading

Ordinance #11-25: An ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey regarding zoning modifying permitted uses in the mountain resort zone

Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays:
Ordinance #11-25 was approved on first reading. It will be sent to the Land Use Board for review.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Marotta reported on the following items:

  • The missing link of 1,500 feet has been completed by Mt. Creek.
  • A memorandum of agreement on the MUA is to be acted on at the next MUA meeting.
  • The Historical Society is ready to sign the lease. Hopefully it will be ready for Council’s consideration at the next Council meeting.
  • Thanked Jerry Giaimis for his efforts on all 3 labor agreements. He also thanked Dave Pullis and Chief Wherry who sat in for the first time with their labor groups. He thanked the labor delegates for their speedy efforts and sacrifices.
  • He noted that Warren Burgess, Sr. was up for re-appointment as constable (he has held that position since 1957)—he would like to make that appointment at the next meeting for a 3-year term.
  • He thanked the 15 volunteers who worked the rabies clinic—they processed 377 animals in 3 hours. He noted that Tom Maellaro had asked that they be recognized.

Public Comments

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

Gary Martinsen—was concerned on a number of items, specifically Res. 11-218, 11-222 and 11-224. He felt that there might be possible ethical issues with authorizing 4 vehicles for the fire departments and then holding the tree lighting and fireworks on their property. Mayor Marotta advised that there had been no donations for the December tree lighting/fireworks event, but that the monies had come from the Recreation trust fund. Chief Carter of the Vernon Fire Dept. advised that the fireworks and tree lighting were discussed and planned long before vehicles were ever discussed.

Robert Oliver—he read a prepared statement from the Board of Recreation about the tree lighting on December 7, explaining why it had been moved and what people can expect at the event.

Mary Capazone—asked if her tax dollars were being spent on the event. The Mayor advised that it was program money collected by the town and not tax dollars.

Mary Ellen Vischiconti—advised that she felt that there was not enough recreation in town. She handed out paperwork about the recent changes to the Fire Prevention office, noting that 2 part-time inspectors were let go. She asked for the title and staffing information on their replacements. Mayor Marotta advised that the Fire Marshal and 1 part-time inspector were hired. Ms. Vischiconti asked what the process for the changes were based on Uniform Fire Safety Code regulations. The Mayor explained how the position was filled.

Tom McClachrie—had questions on 2 resolutions on the agenda: #220 for payroll and accounting services should be done as a shared service with the Board of Education; and #225—he asked the nature of the Ameripay settlement agreement. Mr. Giaimis explained the nature of the lawsuit, detailing the problems created when Ameripay filed for bankruptcy and how that impacted the tax payments they had just made to the IRS on our behalf which were then reversed due to bankruptcy laws. This left us with owing the IRS for those same taxes.

Jessi Paladini—noted that Christmas and Hanukkah are holy events and felt that holding fireworks for this was offensive. She asked Council Member Dunn about the bear sanctuary project he was working on, asking if it was a Township or private project. Council President and Council Member Rizzuto advised that they were not aware of any such project. Council Member Dunn advised that it was a private project of his. Ms. Paladini then questioned why the Facebook page mentions that they should invest the DPW involvement, as she felt it was inappropriate to discuss using Township resources for a private project. The Council Member noted that it was merely a consideration of what might be needed to make the plan work, including funding to cover those resources. A heated discussion followed on this subject.

Phyllis MacPeek—discussed the importance of animal control issues vs. a bear sanctuary, noting that many people are having trouble feeding their pets.

Beverly Budz—suggested an animal food donation box to go along with the food donation boxes. She asked Council Member Dunn if the proposed bear sanctuary would bring in money to the DPW and asked him to explain. The Council Member noted the purpose of his project.

Closed to Public Comments

No one else wished to speak at this time, and Council President Lynch asked to close the public portion of the meeting. All were in favor.

Resolutions #11-218 through #11-225

Council President Lynch gave a brief description of each Resolution for the Council members.

Council Member Kadish asked to vote on each resolution separately.

Council was polled:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch
Nays: Eddie Dunn, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel

Council President Lynch asked to remove resolutions #11-218 and 11-223.

Council Member Kadish asked to remove resolutions #11-219, 11-222, and 11-225 (noting that he was a member of the UAW).

Motion to approve Resolutions #11-220, 11-221, and 11-224:
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays:
Resolutions #11-220, 11-221 and 11-224 were adopted.

Resolution #11-220: Authorizing a Professional Services Agreement between the Township of Vernon and Action Data Services to Provide Payroll and Accounting Services from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon (“Township”) has a need to acquire professional payroll and accounting services to process employee payroll; and

WHEREAS, Action Data Services has submitted a proposal (annexed) for the provision of said professional services for the year 2012; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5 the New Jersey Local Pay-to-Play Law and pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5(1)(a)(1) of the New Jersey Local Public Contracts Law, the Township may enter into said Professional Services Agreement without public bidding provided all reporting requirements have been met; and

WHERAS, the Township Chief Financial Officer has certified that there is no charge to the Township Budget as the current Township bank, Lakeland Bank, pays in full for this service.

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

  1. Upon satisfactory presentation of all materials required under the New Jersey Local Pay-to-Play Law and the Local Public Contracts Law, the Mayor of the Township of Vernon is hereby authorized to enter into the Professional Services Agreement with Action Data Services substantially in the form annexed hereto, and subject to the review and approval as to form by the Township Attorney.
  2. Notice of the award of the within Contract shall be published in accordance with law.
  3. The within Resolution and subject Contract shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Municipal Clerk.
  4. This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon passage and publication in accordance with law, if required.

Resolution #11-221: Authorizing Execution of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Townshipof Vernon and UAW Local #2326 and Joanne Spano

WHEREAS, the Township and UAW Local #2326 are parties to a Collective Negotiations Agreement with a term of January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2011 (hereafter, the “2008-2011 Agreement”); and

WHEREAS, the Township, UAW Local #2326 and JoAnne Spano wish to set forth and affirm their understanding of the terms of JoAnne Spano’s termination of employment with the Township; and

WHEREAS, the parties have negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding to affirm their mutual understanding.

NOW THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Council of the Township of Vernon hereby approves the execution of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Township and UAW Local #2326 and Joann Spano which sets forth the mutual understanding with respect to the terms of JoAnne Spano’s termination of employment with the Township; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, this Memorandum of Understanding shall not be effective unless and until it is ratified by the UAW membership, the Mayor of the Township of Vernon and JoAnne Spano.

This Resolution will take effective immediately according to law.

Resolution #11-224: Resolution Authorizing Fireworks to be Displayed on December 10, 2011 within Vernon Township

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, Mountain Creek Resort, Inc. wishes to conduct a fireworks display on December 10, 2011 for the Grand Opening of the Day Lodge at Mountain Creek Resort; and

WHEREAS, the proposed fireworks display will take place on Mountain Creek Resort, Inc. property; and

WHEREAS, Garden State Fireworks, Inc., will be contracted to perform the public fireworks and special effects display and has provided the required certificate of liability insurance.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, hereby authorizes the fireworks display with special effects, performed by Garden State Fireworks, Inc. and sponsored by Mountain Creek Resort, Inc. on December 10, 2011 upon satisfaction of all statutory and departmental requirements.

Motion to approve Resolution #11-218:
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: Daniel Kadish
Abstain: Brian Lynch
Resolution #11-218 was adopted.

Resolution #11-218: Authorizing the Use of the State Contract #78762 to Purchase Four (4) 2012 Ford Explorers 4x4

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to purchase four (4) 2012 Ford Explorers; and

WHEREAS, each of the township’s volunteer fire chiefs will be provided with one of these vehicles on the condition that the vehicles will be readily available for the township’s fire marshal to use on an as-needed basis; and

WHEREAS, this arrangement with the fire marshal will begin once the vehicles are delivered to the Township and have a duration of one (1) year; and

WHEREAS, in return, three vehicles (tentatively, two Chevy Suburbans and one Ford Expedition) will be returned to the Township and sold at auction after they are declared surplus at a future Township Council meeting; and

WHEREAS, the Township desires to use the State Cooperative which has publicly received bids for said equipment through Contract #78762; and

WHEREAS, the Purchasing Agent recommends the Township Council award a contract for the four (4) 2012 Ford Explorers 4X4 as per the attached price quote using the vendor Warnock Fleet, 175 Route 10, East Hanover, NJ 07936; and

WHEREAS, the total cost for the four (4) 2012 Ford Explorers 4X4 will be $92,980 and the Chief Financial Officer, of the Township of Vernon, has certified these funds are available in the Fire Prevention Trust Fund.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, that the vendor, Warnock Fleet, be utilized to purchase four (4) 2012 Ford Explorers 4X4 through the State Cooperative, in accordance with the attached quote in the amount not to exceed $92,980.00; and

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

Motion to approve Resolution #11-219:
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Patrick Rizzuto

Council Member Kadish asked why the Bills List was revised. Mayor Marotta noted that there had been clerical errors on the lake communities’ payments related to the Kelly Law.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Resolution #11-219 was adopted.

Resolution #11-219: Authorizing the Approval of Bills List

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

Disbursement
Journal
FundAmountMajor Vendor
#1Current$1,221,905.96BOE
#2Current$250.00 
#3Grant$2,897.98 
#4Capital$203,586.38DFFLM
#5Other Trust$5,250.00 
#6Other Trust$1,523.35 
#7Sewer Operating$503.46 
#8Outside Services$431.04 
#9Outside Services$155.68 
 Payroll$289,274.702nd Pay in Nov
 Total$1,725,778.55 

Motion to approve Resolution #11-222:
Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Dick Wetzel

Council Member Kadish felt that a fireworks display was inappropriate on Pearl Harbor Day.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: Daniel Kadish
Resolution #11-222 was adopted.

Resolution #11-222: Resolution Authorizing Fireworks to be Displayed on December 7, 2011 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, Vernon Township Department of Recreation wishes to conduct a fireworks display on December 7, 2011 during the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony; and

WHEREAS, the proposed fireworks display will take place within the vicinity of the Vernon Fire House on Rt 515 with prior permission from the property owner; and

WHEREAS, Garden State Fireworks, Inc., will be contracted to perform the public fireworks and special effects display and has provided the required certificate of liability insurance.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, hereby authorizes the fireworks display with special effects, performed by Garden State Fireworks, Inc. and sponsored by the Vernon Township Department of Recreation on December 7, 2011 upon satisfaction of all statutory and departmental requirements.

Motion to approve Resolution #11-223:
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Abstain: Brian Lynch
Resolution #11-223 was adopted.

Resolution #11-223: Authorizing the Award of a Bid to Refurbish One (1) KME Pumper Tanker for the Highland Lakes Fire Department

WHEREAS, there is a need to refurbish a pumper tanker at the Highland Lakes Fire Department; and

WHEREAS, the Township has issued specifications and contract documents soliciting formal bids for the necessary service; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon received and opened two bids for the above mentioned service on November 10, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. in the Vernon Township Municipal Building; and

WHEREAS, the bids were received and reviewed by the Qualified Purchasing Agent and the Vernon Township Municipal Clerk for the specified bid requirements; and

WHEREAS, the QPA and Highland Lakes Fire Department Chief recommends awarding the contract to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder, Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp, Inc., One Industrial Complex, Nesquehoning, PA 18240 for the price of $167,766.00; and.

WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified funds available for this purpose in Ordinance #11-08, Account #3094305.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Vernon Township Mayor and Council, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey to award a contract to Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp. Inc., for the service of refurbishing one (1) KME Pumper Tanker according to the bid specification response.

This Resolution shall take effect immediately according to law.

Motion to approve Resolution #11-225:
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Patrick Rizzuto

Council Member Rizzuto noted that Council met with legal counsel on the negative alternatives to this settlement, including continuing to fight it (which incurs more legal fees with no guarantee of a positive result). Council Member Dunn noted his distaste to settle as well. Council President Lynch noted that there was no hope of any negotiation, and at least we are being able to reduce the financial impact. Mr. Giaimis advised that an additional $25,000 should be coming back on the claim, and that other stipulations were to reduce our claim. Mayor Marotta noted that the current bankruptcy laws forced a reduced amount to collect on.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Resolution #11-225 was adopted.

Resolution #11-225: Resolution of the Township of Vernon Authorizing Settlement Agreement in Re: Ameripay, LLC, Chapter 7 Trustee v. Township of Vernon

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon is party to an adversary proceeding, No. 11-2082, filed by complainant Charles M. Forman, the Chapter 7 Trustee for Ameripay, LLC; and

WHEREAS, the parties having agreed to settle this adversary proceeding under the terms set forth in the attached Stipulation of Settlement approved by the United States Bankruptcy court of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, the Township Attorney has reviewed the terms and conditions of the attached Settlement Agreement and found them to be reasonable; and

WHEREAS, the Township Chief Finance Officer has certified that there are funds available for this purpose in Account to be determined.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that the Mayor and Clerk are hereby authorized, on behalf of the Township, to execute the Settlement Agreement as attached to this Resolution for the purpose to settle the adversary proceeding, No. 11-2082, filed by complainant Charles M. Forman, the Chapter 7 Trustee for Ameripay, LLC;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that executed copies of this Resolution and the above-referenced Settlement 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.

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

Introduction of Proposed Ordinance

Ordinance #11-26: An ordinance granting municipal historic designation to certain property in the Township of Vernon

Motion to approve Ord. #11-26 on 1st reading by title only:
Motion: Dick Wetzel
Second: Daniel Kadish

Council President Lynch thanked Charlie Bates for his input on this ordinance.

Mayor Marotta asked Mr. Bates if the Historic Preservation Commission was working on other cemeteries. Mr. Bates advised that there were 45 cemeteries in Vernon Township, and that these 6 were for consideration with the master plan. He noted that he was working on 6 more at the moment. He lamented that he felt many more cemeteries existed and would be lost to history.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays:
Ordinance #11-26 was approved on 1st reading.

Council President

Council President Lynch warned of fire hazards with live trees, unattended cooking, and fireplaces at this time of year.

Council Business

Council Member Wetzel thanked Dave Pullis for getting the ambulance repaired with the new engine.

Council Member Rizzuto expressed personal Christmas season feelings, regardless of everyone’s religions, to come together in the New Year.

Council Member Kadish noted that he had been the Fire Commissioner years ago, and felt that Resolution 11-218 was fraught with politics.

Council Member Dunn had nothing at this time.

Council Member Rizzuto felt that Mr. Kadish was mistaken, and that the Resolution was very straight forward. A discussion followed on this subject.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted at the Regular Meeting, a motion for adjournment was made.

Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Patrick Rizzuto
All members were in favor.

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 9:21 p.m.

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

Minutes approved: December 12, 2011