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

Minutes: September 12, 2016

YouTube video of the September 12, 2016 council meeting »

The meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:30 p.m. on Monday September 12, 2016 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Dan Kadish presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 5, 2016, and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-7.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Jean Murphy, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel and Council President Dan Kadish. Also in attendance were Mayor Shortway, Business Administrator Charles Voelker and Township Conflict Attorney Richard Wenner.

Executive Session

Council President Kadish asked Township Attorney Mr. Wenner to read the following resolution for Executive Session.

WHEREAS, the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 permits the exclusion of the public in certain circumstances; and

WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon as follows:

1. The public shall be excluded from discussion of and action upon the hereinafter specified subject matter. 2. The general nature of the subject matters to be discussed are:

N.J.S.A. 10:4-12b (7): Contract Negotiations: Property Acquisition - (Anticipated Time of Disclosure January 2017).
N.J.S.A. 10:4-12b (7): Potential Litigation-(Anticipated Time of Disclosure January 2017).

3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to enter into executive session.
Motion: Jean Murphy
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members were in favor.

The Council adjourned into executive session at 6:32 p.m.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to adjourn the executive session and return to open session at 7:30 p.m.
Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Jean Murphy
All members were in favor.

The Council returned to open session at 7:30 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 5, 2016, and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-7.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Jean Murphy, Council Member Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel and Council President Dan Kadish. Also in attendance were Mayor Shortway, Business Administrator Charles Voelker and Township Attorney John Ursin.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Kadish led the assemblage of the flag.

Council President Kadish asked for a Moment of Silence in Memory of 911 and also for the recent passing of Township employee Chris Bailey.

Public Comments

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to open public comments.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Sandra Ooms
All in favor

Doreen Edwards, commented that the resolution #16-193 to request proposals for the Revaluation in 2018 contradicts what the website says that the Township will not be going out for bid. Ms. Edwards explains this is a very expensive allocation and it should go out to bid. Mayor Shortway states he will discuss with the Tax Assessor for a response. Mr. Ursin explained the distinction of requesting proposals and going out for bid as a revaluation needs a qualification process. Ms. Edwards asks if Vernon then is receiving bids? Mr. Ursin stated he has not discussed with the Administration if there will be a RFQ process and Vernon Township has been ordered by the Sussex County Tax Board to do a revaluation in 2018 and the first step is the Council agreeing to move forward. Ms. Edwards asks if Vernon will request RFQs? Mayor Shortway said yes we will request RFQs. Ms. Edwards reiterates the website contradicts what Resolution#16-193 approves and states she is in favor of Vernon receiving at least 3 proposals. Council President Kadish explains that appraisers have different qualities and qualifications like commercial and residential and the RFQs will cover services needed by Vernon.

Mr. Sacker owner of a unit in Legends stated he received a zoning violation on August 12, 2016 and was surprised the Township is having the residents and his renter move out, an 82-year-old Army veteran who holds a part time job at the hotel. He added he was told when he purchased the unit, it could be added to a rental pool or he could live there, now he cannot stay longer that 30 days at a time. Mr. Sacker spoke to Ms. LaRocca, Zoning Officer and Mayor Shortway as to why this is being done now after 20 years and they stated there were many violations, wires hanging from ceilings, bad odor and in general disrepair. Mr. Sacker commented he has lived at this unit and it was clean, no wires or bad smells on the 7th floor or in general areas. He added the hotel is a cement structure with a fire suppression system and an auto door system to prevent fires from spreading. Mr. Sacker feels removing these people will hurt over 60 people and also Vernon businesses and doesn’t understand the 30-day limit as if no fire would happen in the first 30 days residing there. Mr. Sacker invited the Council to visit the facility and meet the people that need this place with affordable rent to reside.

Mr. Ursin encourages the Council not to comment on this issue as the pending violations of the Fire Marshall and Zoning Officer are administratively apart from the Council. Mr. Sacker asked if he can obtain copies of these violations and Mr. Ursin advised him to speak to the Fire Marshal and Zoning Officer to obtain them.

Diane Wexler, Highland Lakes stated when Vernon Township was reassessed in 2007/2008, the company performing these appraisers was from Hudson County which she feels they assessed Vernon too high. Ms. Wexler stated she had personally been assessed by the Town Assessor due to renovations six months prior to the revaluation and saw a discrepancy but decided not to appeal. Ms. Wexler requested the Council choose an appraiser who is well versed in Sussex County real estate.

Council Member Murphy reminded the residents in the audience that may want to comment on the Brook Hollow Bridge issue must speak now in Public Comment section because the public hearing was already held for Ordinance #16-20.

Joel Schlesinger, Brook Hollow resident, stated he attended the August 27, 2016 council meeting and had requested the engineering report of the Bridge mentioned in Ordinance #16-20 and was told there was none. Mr. Schlesinger then spoke to Township Engineer Mr. Stoner and personally looked at bridge and felt the bridge is in bad shape but doesn’t know what weight limit to set and feels main concern is another major storm’s flooding. Mr. Schlesinger said 100 % the bridge needs to be fixed but is concerned about the process of council making weight limits with no evidence or professional testimony and Council should get more information when making decisions in the future.

Bruce Zaretsky, Brook Hollow resident, stated he met with the Mayor and discussed the possibility of the town performing the repairs and the homeowners be assessed for the costs and asks Council if that is still a possibility? Mr. Zaretsky comments the association has been very anxious for the repairs but is frustrated by FEMA with the changing of representatives and rehashing the reimbursement process for four years over and over again. Mayor Shortway added that early this year it became clear that FEMA would not reimburse your association. Mr. Zaretsky added they plan to move forward but due to economic ability of the residents it would be better if town was involved to borrow the funds. Mr. Ursin said the Township is guided by public contract law which will be more costly and would need to gout to bid. Mayor Shortway asked if plan includes an easement which is non-existent and needed to get traffic, emergency vehicles and students to the bus stop. Mr. Zaretsky answered the easement has not been worked out yet and there is possibility about a temporary bridge if NJDOT would approve. He added the process is going and asks Council in good faith to carry Ordinance and the association will report back in timely matter and allow continual use of bridge. Mr. Zaretsky explained after storm damage a cap was poured on the bridge to remove the bump and in four years it hasn’t displaced itself and only concern is another severe storm. Council Member Rizzuto stated to date we have not received any reports from the association and the Council needs some assurances of progress and timely reports. Mr. Zaretsky stated he has a proposal with him for the Council and will report every 60 days if Council approves and suggestsed the Township submit a letter supporting the project to the DEP to move it along quicker. Council Member Rizzuto added he would be happy to meet with the members and send letter of support to the DEP as long as association continues its progress. Mr. Zaretsky said the design of bridge is complete and plan is moving forward and complained that waiting for response from FEMA caused their delay.

Chris Hordyck, commented about the 6 different FEMA representatives and rehashing all the details again and again and email received that Association would receive 75% reimbursement but told not to do work until FEMA, sends contract. He added then we were told no FEMA funding at all and due to lack of transition of administrations early this year, we started all over again. Mr. Hordyck added the Association planned to build a secondary bridge but Township Engineer said line of sight in roadway prevented approval. He asked Council to suspend Ordinance and stating updates will be provided in a timely manner.

Mr. Hordyck questions as a resident, when the development was approved in 1979, was there a structural engineering report on the bridge done? Mr. Ursin explained he has reviewed the resolutions to this development but there was no mention of the report. Mr. Hordyck questions if approval done in 1979, why was another approval not needed for the 25-year gap after final construction and residents receiving a Certificate of Occupancy? Mr. Ursin answered that re-inspecting the bridge is not normally part of the process of new construction and adds even with a new Developer you follow conditions of old application.

Mr. Hordyck asserted the original approval only approved a 17-ton vehicle and notes any construction vehicle is more than that and the town can’t prove that in 2003 the bridge was structurally sound and feels the town should bear some cost. Mr. Ursin disagreed with his assertion.

Mr. Hordyck feels the past Town Administrations have failed this community and because the process is flawed the town should bear some responsibility.

Mr. Zaretsky explains there was a redesign of the cap of the bridge in 2002/2003 and the Township Engineer inspected it. Mr. Hordyck adds he has requested over the last five years and an inspection wasn’t done and there is nothing on file with what it can hold when the improvements were made. Council Member Rizzuto stated storage of files from 1985 may not be available but council is willing to work with you and noted the Developer’s Agreement is between the Developer and the owners, and suggests to go to County Freeholder Board for answers about the 1979 inspection. Mr. Hordyck feels Council is our representative to go the County but Council President Kadish answers the Council is not. Mr. Hordyck again asks was the bridge inspected in 2003. Council Member Rizzuto asks why would the Town take over a responsibility of the County. Council Member Murphy asks the association who will be providing the timely information to the Council and Mr. Zaretsky said he would.

Christa Geary, Vernon lost a great friend Michael Rubin who was very respected and involved in making Vernon a better place to live. She adds he always thought of others and gave her the confidence to speak in public and adds he urged everyone to focus on the significant issues in life and not the issues that divide us.

Sally Rinker, thanks mayor Shortway for appointing her Chairperson of the Environmental Commission. A 32-year resident and taxpayer who cares deeply about Vernon’s future, is disappointed by issues concerning the actions of some Commissioners and its Recording Secretary that is detrimental its proper functioning. Ms. Rinker expressed concern that at the meeting of August 9, 2016 EC meeting, an audio/video camera recorder was focused on her by Commissioner Ed Nitch and while taping is acceptable at an EC meeting, the taping was hyped on social media with prompting the viewers: “10 minutes to show time, get your popcorn for the show.” Ms. Rinker added being the 1st meeting she chaired, she felt she was targeted with intimidation by Mr. Nitch. Ms. Rinker stated she asked to speak privately with the Recording Secretary Jessi Paladini about a request to remove a cartoon and a photo of her which is posted on Ms. Paladini’s website Inside Vernon and also wanted to try to work together but it has yet to be removed. Ms. Rinker said while speaking to Ms. Paladini, former Chair Beverly Budz wouldn’t leave them alone. Ms. Rinker stated she felt threatened by body language lunge so much so that she called the Police for concern of Ms. Budz behavior. Ms. Rinker expressed further concern noting that she expected Commissioners to follow certain protocol and proper responsibilities, but that the Secretary circumvented the direction of the Chairperson and created an agenda, posted it at the Municipal Building in defiance, even after the meeting was canceled by the Chairperson. Ms. Rinker stated the meeting is now officially posted as cancelled. Ms. Rinker provided an example of issues with respect to the records kept by Secretary, noting that the May 10, 2016 minutes which were approved on Aug 9, 2016 were censored as there was no mention of former Mayor Vic Marotta publicly speaking and coaching members on how to sue the town, which is on the recorded tape on Vernon Taxpayers Association website. Ms. Rinker questioned why the Secretary forgot to incorporate it into the minutes, why was it allowed by former Chair Beverly Budz, per the minutes no one from the public spoke that night. Ms. Rinker feels professionalism and cooperation have been ignored and is requesting the resignation of Recording Secretary Jessi Paladini, Commissioner Beverly Budz and Alternate Commissioner Ed Nitch all with removal for cause to ensure integrity.

Doreen Edwards, states she is appalled at what was said about the Environmental Commission, she was present at the meetings and says they were conducted with the highest integrity. Maybe Mr. Marotta came to speak. Ms. Edwards opined that Jessi Paladini is instrumental in helping the EC stay on course and the prior comments were despicable and a farce. She adds information from an OPRA request found the Council got rid of the EC for $6,000.00 and then reinstated it to change the dynamics. What Ms. Rinker said is not true, I disagree. Council Member Murphy commented that the Environmental Commissioners are appointed by the Administration and doesn’t belong at Council meeting. Ms. Edwards asks then why is Ms. Rinker bringing the issue up at a Council Meeting.

There were multiple members of public speaking out of order.

Recess

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to take a brief recess at 8:25 p.m.
Motion: Jean Murphy
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to return from the recess and open the meeting at 8:30 p.m.
Motion: Jean Murphy
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Shortway stated the Township Engineer has completed the schedule, weather permitting, for the Road Improvements to Lake Wallkill Road Phase III and signs will be posted by the DPW for the public. Reclamation work will be done 9-19 through 9-21; Paving will be done on 9/22-23; followed by the striping and guiderails completed the week of 9-26.

Mayor Shortway met with County Executives about issues concerning the increasing deterioration and safety concerns of the RT 515 center divider in the Town Center area; the intersection of RT 565 and RT 517 near Pochuck Farms where many accidents occur; and to request increased parking near the Appalachian Trail to relieve issues of Carol Drive residents and added the County did eliminate the passing zone on the Vernon Crossing Road. Mayor Shortway stated that Metairie received notice of violation of residents permanently living and other non-compliance issues. Fire Marshal Totsto, Zoning Officer Allison LaRocca and Kim Decker worked diligently on the complicated issues and safety concerns of this property. The Mayor thanked Business Administrator Charles Voelker for securing the free private Well testing program for Vernon residents, available to the first 100 who call to schedule with Emily @ RU Data 973-927-7303 beginning Sept 14th through Sept. 28th. The program is free, voluntary, and strictly confidential; for private use only.

Mayor Shortway announced that DPW Dept. Head Dave Pullis will be retiring in November and Ed Babcock has been chosen to replace him with a formal appointment done in November.

Mayor Shortway stated that Mountain Creek has submitted a timetable to upgrade the Pump Station #2 of the Sewer System for compliance from the 2012 Interlocal Agreement. Repairs were made in relation to the PEOSHA inspection of the pump station #2 on July 28, 2016 and the hazards that were identified have been abated by the VTMUA.

Mayor Shortway received complaints from residents near the boardwalk of the Appalachian Trial of litter left on ground and personally found water bottles, cans, paper debris onside of Carol Drive where parking is permitted. Chief Mills has police officers patrolling this area hourly on weekends to prevent these actions and DPW will clean up the area. Superintendent Jessica Kreugel of Wawayanda State Park has fulfilled the promise of installing a port-a-john for AT visitors.

Mayor Shortway stated Vernon has received a 90-day extension in the due diligence study of 9 Wisteria from ClassicLake Enterprises. He adds the Land Conservancy has successfully sold two non-buildable Vernon parcels to Green Acres for a total price of $118,000.00.

Mayor Shortway announces that Charles Voelker, Lauren Kirkman, and Elke Yetter have successfully negotiated a bargaining agreement with the UAW and the contract will stay within the 2% cap.

Mayor Shortway sincerely thanks the VTMUA and SCMUA for approving a reduction in the amount of ‘edus’ for the VFW building reclassifying it as a lodge and lowering the ‘edus’ from 4.5 to 1. Fundraising for the VFW has been ongoing and thanks go out to Sally Rinker, Bill Benneyan, Jeff Koffman of Mountain Creek for donating their venue for a beefsteak and appreciation also to Christopher Ploch, Pizza Pros, Paesano Pizza for donating a percentage of sales on Pizza Night.

Mayor Shortway wishes to thank Lauren Kirkman, Municipal Clerk for spearheading the retention of public records which Vernon has five trailers full and has proved will be a long and tedious process and recommends to add $40,000.00 to the 2017 budget for proper disposal. Mayor Shortway added that two trailers contain hazardous materials and must be disposed properly with safety of the employees a high priority. Council Member Murphy added that time the Clerk is handling the records disposal, lowers the time she is in the office. Mayor Shortway adds the Clerk routinely works 10-11 hours daily to perform her statutory duties and thanks her for her dedication.

Approval of Minutes

It was moved and seconded as noted below to approve the following minutes all together:

Regular Meeting Minutes August 22, 2016

Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Sandra Ooms

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

Council Member Murphy made a motion to move Ordinance #16-20 up in agenda.
Motion: Jean Murphy
Second: Patrick Rizzuto
All in favor

Ordinance #16-20: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, and State of New Jersey Prohibiting Commercial Vehicles from Using Vernon View Drive Bridge

Council Member Rizzuto states this Ordinance was tabled at the August 8th meeting until today and the association was asked to provide an engineering report with the weight limits of the bridge but we did not receive it today. Mr. Ursin adds the issue possibly is weight restriction issue after hearing and the association asking you not to pass, but they are making progress on the plans of the replacement project but it is the Council’s prerogative. If the Council tables again note that it will take a longer time than a 30-day period for progress to be made. Mr. Ursin adds the only document submitted tonight was a retainer agreement for an engineering consultant service to move the application forward. This is a private property in Vernon Township, off of a county road, and recognizes that the homeowners may know the conditions of the bridge but the Town is concerned about warning other vehicles, delivery trucks not aware of the bridge capabilities. Mr. Ursin states that the homeowner’s association is correct that the Council does not have information about the stability, weight capacity or ability of the bridge to withstand a storm and in the absence of that, Council has to consider warning all traffic is the correct move. Mr. Hordyck as well as Mr. Ursin added that no Engineer will give a certification of the bridge for fear of jeopardizing their license, some restrictive measure is protective for public safety.

Council Member Rizzuto stresses the engineering reports, level of damage reports is needed and timeline for repair and not sure how long Council can table this Ordinance with no progress and have to protect the Township as well as the residents.

The following motion was moved and seconded:

Table Ordinance 16-20 to October 13, 2016 with an Engineering Report to be submitted to Township Council prior to the meeting for review and also monthly updates to Township must be provided

Motion: Patrick Rizzuto.
Second: Jean Murphy

Council President Kadish asked if there is an insurance policy and is the Township listed as an additional insured. Mr. Hordyck said he is not aware but does not think Township is named.

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

Consent Agenda

Council President Kadish gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #16-190-#16-200.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to adopt Resolutions #16-190-#16-200.

Moved: Sandra Ooms with removal of Resolution#16-200 per Council Member Rizzuto
Seconded: Patrick Rizzuto

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Jean Murphy, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Dan Kadish
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried to adopt Resolutions#16-190-#16-199.

Resolution #16-190: Resolution to Award a Contract to H and H Auto Parts Using the US Communities Contract #1101149

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to purchase auto and truck parts and;

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 52:34-6.2 et seq., allows local contracting units to utilize National Cooperative Contracts as a method of procurement when cost effective; and

WHEREAS, H and H Auto Parts, 287 Route 94, Vernon NJ 07462 is a recognized retailer of Car Quest Auto Parts; and

WHEREAS, the Qualified Purchasing Agent has determined that using the US Communities contract to purchase auto and truck parts may, in some instances, be more cost effective than utilizing the state contract or a competitively bid contract; and

WHEREAS, the Qualified Purchasing Agent has also determined that the US Communities contract #1101149 was awarded in a fair and open process; and

WHEREAS, this contract expires on August 31, 2017, with an option to renew for an additional two (2) years, at the discretion of US Communities; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex and State of New Jersey, the Mayor is authorized to execute a contract with H and H Auto Parts, 287 Route 94, Vernon, New Jersey 07462 using the US Communities contract #1101149.

Resolution #16-191: 2016 Salary for Non-Union Part Time Employee

WHEREAS, Ordinance #16-19 amended salary ranges for non-union full time and part time employees.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey that the following persons be compensated at the annual salary or wage, the same being consistent with Ordinance #16-19 retroactive to July 1, 2016.

PositionName2016 Base Salary
Ordinance 16-19
Deputy Registrar of Vital StatisticsLauren Shaw$2,500.00

Resolution #16-192: Authorizing Placement of Signs in Various Locations

WHEREAS, Sussex County Community College has requested permission from the Township Council to place 5 signs in front of various businesses in town to advertise their Skylander 5 & 10 K Challenge at the college and

WHEREAS the Sussex County Community College has requested to place the signs from September 13, 2016, through October 3, 2016 and the signs will be 18" x 24" thereafter they will promptly remove them; and

WHEREAS, the Township Code Enforcement Officer has advised that pursuant to the Vernon Township Code 330-180 that the placing of multiple signs of this size and character requires permission of the Council for their placement.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon that the Sussex County Community College is granted permission to place 5 signs, as described above, at various businesses, from September 13 , 2016 to October 3, 2016, in association with the Skylander 5K & 10K Challenge , provided all other requirements of Township Code 330-180 are followed.

Resolution #16-193: Authorizing and Directing the Township Administrator and Tax Assessor to Request Proposals in Order to Provide a Property Revaluation for the Township of Vernon in the Tax Year of 2018

WHEREAS, the NJ Director of the Division of Taxation and the Sussex County Board of Taxation has ordered the Township of Vernon to Revaluate all property in the municipality to be implemented in the tax year 2018; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to acquire proposals to provide Tax Revaluation for the Township of Vernon in the Tax Year of 2018 pursuant to the provisions of N.J. S.A. 19:44A 20.4 and/or N.J.S.A. 19:44A 20.5;

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. Authorizing the Township Administrator and Tax Assessor to request proposals to provide for a Property Revaluation for the Township of Vernon to be implemented in the tax year 2018.
  2. This contact will be awarded without competitive bid as a Professional Services Contract under the provisions of NJSA 40A:11-5 (1) (a).
  3. This Resolution shall take effect immediately according to law.

Resolution #16-194: Chapter 159 Resolution Requesting Approval of Revenue and Appropriation Amending the 2016 Budget as a Revenue and Appropriation of $5,000.00

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:4-87 provides that the Director of the Division of Local Government Services may approve the insertion of any special item of revenue in the budget of any county or municipality when such item shall have been made available by law and the amount thereof was not determined at the time of the adoption of the budget; and

WHEREAS, said Director may also approve the insertion of an item of appropriation for an equal amount; and

WHEREAS, the Township has been awarded a $5,000.00 2016 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Statewide Labor Day Crackdown from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety; and wishes to amend its 2016 budget for this amount as a revenue.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Council of the Township of Vernon hereby requests the Director of the Division of Local Government Services to approve the insertion of an item of revenue in the budget of the year 2016 in the sum of $5,000.00 which is now available as a revenue from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a like sum of $5,000.00 is hereby appropriated under the caption 2016 Get Sober or Get Pulled Over Labor Day Crackdown Grant.

Resolution #16-195: Resolution Authorizing the Application to Participate in the Electronic Tax Sale Program

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A 54:5-19.1 authorizes electronic tax sales pursuant to rules and regulations to be promulgated by the Director of the Division of Government Services, and

WHEREAS, the Director of the Division of Local Government Services has promulgated rules and regulations for pilot programs, and

WHEREAS, the Director of the Division of Local Government Services has approved NJ Tax Lien Investors/RealAuction.com to conduct pilot programs, and

WHEREAS, the rules and regulations authorize a municipality to submit an application for participation in the pilot program for an electronic tax sale, and

WHEREAS, an electronic tax sale is innovative and provides a greater pool of potential lien buyers, thus creating the environment for a more complete tax sale process, and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon wishes to participate in the pilot program for an electronic tax sale.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the governing body of the Township of Vernon, New Jersey, that the Tax Collector is hereby authorized to complete an application to participate in the electronic tax sale program and submit same to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services.

Resolution #16-196: Chapter 159 Resolution Requesting Approval of Revenue and Appropriation Amending the 2016 Budget as a Revenue and Appropriation of $11,433.01

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:4-87 provides that the Director of the Division of Local Government Services may approve the insertion of any special item of revenue in the budget of any county or municipality when such item shall have been made available by law and the amount thereof was not determined at the time of the adoption of the budget; and

WHEREAS, said Director may also approve the insertion of an item of appropriation for an equal amount; and

WHEREAS, the Township has been awarded a $11,433.01 Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund Grant from the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety Division of Highway Traffic Safety; and wishes to amend its 2016 budget for this amount as a revenue.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Council of the Township of Vernon hereby requests the Director of the Division of Local Government Services to approve the insertion of an item of revenue in the budget of the year 2016 in the sum of $11,433.01 which is now available as a revenue from the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety Division of Highway Traffic Safety and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a like sum of $11,433.01 is hereby appropriated under the caption Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund Grant.

Resolution #16-197: Authorizing a Contract for Term September 14 - December 31, 2016 for Recording Secretary for the Land Use Board in the Amount Not to Exceed $1,500.00

WHEREAS, there exists a need for a Recording Secretary for the Township’s Land Use Board for the remainder of the year 2016; and

WHEREAS, Irene Mills has expressed interest as an independent contractor for these services as stated in Exhibit ‘A’; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Township desires to award a contract with Irene Mills for the term from September 14, 2016 to December 31, 2016, with a total contract price not to exceed $1,500.00; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available for this purpose in the 2016 Municipal Budget.

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. The Township of Vernon is authorized to award Irene Mills the position of Recording Secretary for the Township’s Land Use Board.
  2. The Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute the Contract for these services.
  3. A copy of this Resolution shall be published in the New Jersey Herald by the Municipal Clerk as required by law and a true copy of same and the Contract shall be available for inspection in the office of the Municipal Clerk.

Resolution #16-198: Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon Authorizing the Sale of Block 72 Lot 20 and Block 121 Lot 1 to the State of New Jersey Green Acres Program

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon holds title to many parcels of land located within the Township of Vernon;

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon seeks to identify parcels that are not needed for a public purpose;

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has identified two (2) parcels with the assistance of its consultant, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, that are no longer needed for a public purpose, Block 72 Lot 20, which is approximately 23.83 acres and Block 121 Lot 1, which is approximately 23 acres;

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has received an offer from the State of New Jersey Green Acres Program by letter dated August 17, 2016;

WHEREAS, the Administration has reviewed the offer and concluded that it is an appropriate price taking into consideration that the buyer is the Green Acres Program;

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:12-13(b)(1) permits a direct private sale from a municipality to an agency of the State of New Jersey;

WHEREAS, the Township Council supports this transaction and authorizes the Mayor and the Township Attorney to take all required steps to complete the transaction;

NOW THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the Township is authorized to sell Block 72 Lot 20 and Block 121 Lot 1 totaling approximately 46.83 acres to the State of New Jersey Green Acres Program for the purchase price of $117,700.00.

Resolution #16-199: Resolution of the Township of Vernon Authorizing Execution of a Collective Bargaining Agreement with International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural 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, 2015; 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, 2016, and expire on December 31, 2020; 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, 2016 through December 31, 2020.

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.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to adopt Resolution #16-200.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Jean Murphy, Sandra Ooms, Dick Wetzel, Dan Kadish
Nays: Patrick Rizzuto
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried to adopt Resolutions#16-200.

Resolution #16-200: Authorizing Addendum of Contract and the Award of Contracts for Professional Services for Property Block 92 Lot 2 within Vernon Township

WHEREAS, an Agreement of Sale has been drafted and signed pursuant to Resolution #16-157 and there is a desire to amend the contract in order to extend the due diligence period and to include an appraisal contingency clause; and

WHEREAS, there is also a need for Professional Services to the Township of Vernon for an Appraisal, Survey and Property Assessment Report for Block 92 Lot 2 (9 Wisteria Court); and

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

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

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

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon is desirous to enter into agreements with these professionals as a non-fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., as amended; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified in writing that the value of the contracts are available for these purposes; and

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

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that they hereby authorize and approve the award of contracts of a Professional Service Contract pursuant to the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1 et seq. to provide Services in accordance with the attached Contracts for Professional Services pursuant to a non-fair and open contract to:

  1. Survey Services conforming to Green Acre Standards -Dykstra Associates, PC 11 Lawrence Road Suite 1 Newton, NJ in an amount not to exceed $7,334.00 per proposal dated August 30, 2016.
  2. Preliminary Assessment Report and Inspection conforming to Green Acre Standards - PK Environmental Planning & Engineering, P.O. Box 1066, 205 Main Street Chatham, NJ 07928 in an amount not to exceed $3,050.00 per proposal dated August 25, 2016.
  3. Appraisal Services conforming to Green Acre Standards to Joshua D. Mackoff, LLC, 44 Maple Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960 in amount not to exceed $2,000.00 per proposal dated August 30, 2016

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

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

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

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Special Counsel and/or the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute addendums to the Agreement of Sale as warranted to facilitate the purchase of the above said property.

Introduction/1st Reading of Proposed Ordinances

Council President Kadish read Ordinance #16-22 by title only:

Ordinance #16-22: Ordinance Amending the Salary Ordinance for “Non-Union” Employee

Council President Kadish read Ordinance #16-22 by title only.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to Introduce Ordinance #16-22 with a public hearing to be held on September 26, 2016.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Jean Murphy, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Dan Kadish
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried to introduce ordinance 16-13 with a public hearing to be held on September 26, 2016.

Council Comments

Council Member Wetzel, remembering 9/11, noted two Vernon residents, one of the victims was a former student of his Tom Lenahan and the other was a Vernon Board of Ed member who worked in one of the Towers but was running late that day and miraculously escaped injury.

Council Member Rizzuto, questioned the Mayor if the Plan for the Maple Grange Park Band Shell has been completed as approved in Resolution from February 8, 2016. The Mayor said the plan is still being examined and the parking issue has been discussed with Township Engineer and Police Chief. Council Member Rizzuto hoped more specifics would be forthcoming and also suggested using DPW employees to offset costs. He adds that school is open and extra care must be given on our roads.

Council Member Murphy expressed thanks to Sussex County for cleaning up the retention basin in front of ACME and also praised the Police patrol on RT 515 for the benefit of people traveling through Vernon. Council Member Murphy also requested the telephone prompt on the Municipal line be changed due to excessive miscalls directed to the offices.

Adjournment

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

The regular meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: October 24, 2016