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

Minutes: September 23, 2013

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, September 23, 2013 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 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 11, 2013, 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 Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, and Council President Patrick Rizzuto. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Interim Business Administrator Bill Zuckerman, and Township Attorney Kevin Kelly.

Salute to the Flag

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

Proclamation

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Prostate Cancer is a serious threat to men’s health across New Jersey and the nation, and

WHEREAS, while the causes of Prostate Cancer are still unknown, men with certain risk factors may be more likely to develop the disease and most men who suffer from Prostate Cancer are over the age of 65 and those whose fathers, brothers, or sons have had the disease are also at greater risk, and African American men experience both the highest incidence and the highest mortality rates; and

WHEREAS, increased public awareness of this disease, its risk factors, and its symptoms may save lives as men across New Jersey learn to recognize the warning signs of Prostate Cancer as listed at www.Cancer.gov; and

WHEREAS, Prostate Cancer is treatable when detected early, and prompt treatment can significantly reduce the suffering and deaths caused by this disease.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the MONTH OF SEPTEMBER shall be proclaimed PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH in the Township of Vernon, and that we encourage citizens to stand together against this disease.

Victor J. Marotta, Mayor
Patrick J. Rizzuto, Council President

Council President Rizzuto pointed out that with this disease, the survival rate (when detected early) has gone up in the last 25 years from 68% to 99%. He urged all men in the community to go out and get tested.

The Council President asked for a motion approving the Prostate Cancer Awareness Proclamation:
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn
All members were in favor.

Public Comments

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comment.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Brian Lynch
All were in favor.

Jean Murphy—discussed an item from the Mayor’s report at the last meeting (September 9), relative to the legal matter of personnel salary increases for certain employees. She expressed her disagreement on interpreting the statute.

Teresa Vihti—thanked the Council for their support on the Shop Local issue on behalf of the Economic Development Advisory Committee.

Gary Martinsen—spoke on the Shop Local issue, noting his opinion that the program is not as favorable as he had originally believed.

Teresa Vihti—responded to Mr. Martinsen’s comments, and suggested that he contact the EDAC for any questions he has on the program.

Bonnie Rubin—thanked the Council for addressing prostate cancer. She spoke on the powers of the Mayor in this form of government, and why the new form was brought about.

Seeing no one else from the public wishing to speak, Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to close the public comment portion of the meeting.
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.

Presentation

Proposed Indoor Water Park at Mountain Creek

Mr. Andy Mulvilhill was accompanied by: Bill Bennyan, President of Mountain Creek; and John Fetterly, Corporate Attorney.

Mr. Fetterly gave a power point presentation of the proposed project. Some of the highlights of this presentation were:

  • They asked for assistance in funding through local ordinances for acquiring state funds;
  • This would be a year-round resort for increased cash flow;
  • The resort would not depend on optimal weather conditions;
  • The project and resulting facility would create more jobs;
  • This would retain local spending through support of local businesses;
  • The project would be a 400+room hotel of 1, 2, or 3 bedroom suites with separate themes;
  • The indoor water park would be about 100,000 square feet;
  • The facility would include a 40,000 square-foot indoor action sports center with training facilities for each activity/sport;
  • The project would include a variety of rides, and miniature golf;
  • The facility would also include a spa, retail shops, bars, and restaurants;
  • The location would be off Rt. 94, ending at the bridge;
  • Traffic and parking issues were noted -
    • They do not anticipate problems
    • There would be less usage per day than the current ski facility
  • Mr. Fetterly gave two State of New Jersey approved funding plans -
    • Pilot Plan which would incorporate a flat payment in lieu of taxes, or
    • RAB (redevelopment bond)
  • These funding options have been projected to increase Township revenue over the current taxes received from the same parcel of land, and then the Township collects the Pilot funds and assigns a portion of those funds to the RAB.
  • Mr. Bennyan noted that Kalahari, Ohio has a successful indoor water park that Mountain Creek has looked at for comparison.

Council President Rizzuto asked for a projected timeline on this project.

Mr. Mulvilhill noted that it would be about 18 months to secure financing, then about 6 months of planning, so it could probably be up and running in 2 to 2-1/2 years.

The Council President asked about comparisons to Great Wolf Lodge in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Mulvilhill advised that this would have 400 rooms, all within walking distance to the ski slopes and in a better location.

Mr. Rizzuto noted that Great Wolf Lodge has a waiting list for a room.

Council Member Lynch advised that he had gone to the Wisconsin site in the Dells, noting that the look is very similar to Vernon. He was concerned about any hotel rooms having storm-related theme names. He felt it was a project he would like to see move forward.

Council Member Wetzel also noted the waiting periods for other areas. He asked Mr. Mulvilhill about the number of planned employees.

Mr. Mulvilhill advised that he is looking for about 400 direct employees, with 400 indirect employees (employee increases for local businesses), but would figure on 400 full-time jobs.

Council Member Kadish asked why this particular location was selected.

Mr. Mulvilhill advised that it fit the best with the current Mountain Creek demographic, as well as ski amenities already there for the hotel business. He was in hopes that this would also increase the use of the Appalachian Hotel.

Mr. Kadish asked if the PILOT can be appealed/lowered after the program is started.

The answer was “No.”

Council President Rizzuto asked if the sports center would be separate from the water park.

Mr. Mulvilhill felt that they were to be joined.

Council Member Dunn asked for economic data to show how the local businesses would benefit from this project.

Mr. Mulvilhill noted his experiences currently with local businesses, due to the success of the ski facility.

Mr. Rizzuto noted that family activities might be a selling point for Dads coming up to golf, and having other things for the rest of the family to do while they play.

Mayor Marotta asked about the increase in construction jobs which will generate local business.

Mr. Rizzuto asked for the consent of the Council to move forward to get more information. He noted Vernon’s ties to Mountain Creek for economic benefits, and suggested that Mountain Creek should contact our Township Planner and Township attorneys during the planning process. He noted that redevelopment zone projects to not go through the Land Use Board, but through the Council. He asked Mr. Mulvilhill for a possible date to receive formal plans for the project.

Mayor Marotta advised that any contracts for the project would need to be negotiated in great detail.

Council Member Lynch asked if the Pilot and RAB were to be approved, would Vernon have the option to bow out of the project.

Mr. Fetterly advised that these were gap-financing policies with many state regulations.

The Mayor noted that this is the only redevelopment zone in the Township.

The gentlemen were thanked for their presentation.

Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Marotta reported on the following items:

  • He received a letter from Earth-Tec, advising that they had donated about $7,890.00 worth of equipment and man-hours on the Maple Grange Park playground;
  • He reiterated that the only redevelopment zone in Vernon is at Mountain Creek;
  • Asked if Council wanted him to begin negotiations for contracts on the Mountain Creek proposed project, and felt discussions were warranted on what is involved at this stage.

Motion

Council Member Lynch moved to have the Mayor enter into negotiations to develop the necessary information for contracts on the proposed Indoor Water Park at Mountain Creek, and to bring that information back to the Council:
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel

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

Council Member Kadish advised that he was impressed with the presentation, but wanted more information.

Approval of Minutes

The Council President asked for a motion to approve the September 9, 2013 Regular Meeting minutes:
Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Brian Lynch

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Dan Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
The minutes from the Regular Meeting of September 9, 2013 were approved.

Consent Agenda

Council Member Kadish asked to separate out Resolutions #13-184 and 13-186.

Council President Rizzuto gave a brief description of Resolutions #13-182, 13-183, 13-185, 13-187, and 13-188.

Mr. Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Resolutions #13-182, 13-183, 13-185, 13-187, and 13-188:
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Daniel Kadish

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Resolutions #13-182, 13-183, 13-185, 13-187, and 13-188 were adopted.

Resolution #13-182: Increase in the Public Bidding Threshold

WHEREAS, the Township has a need to increase the efficiency of its procurement process; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to NJSA 40A:11-3(a), a municipality may increase its bid threshold to $36,000.00 when it utilizes a Qualified Purchasing Agent; and

WHEREAS, the Township utilizes a Qualified Purchasing Agent pursuant to NJSA 40A:11-9(b); and

WHEREAS, a bid threshold increase to $36,000.00 from $26,000.00 will increase efficiency in the Township’s procurement process.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, that its bid threshold be increased to $36,000.00; and

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

Resolution #13-183: Authorizing the Award of a Contract for Container Service at the Township’s Public Works and Animal Control Facilities

WHEREAS, there is a need to haul and dispose of solid waste (type 10) containers at the Township’s public works and animal control facilities; and

WHEREAS, the Township solicited three quotations for providing this service; and

WHEREAS, these quotations were reviewed by the Qualified Purchasing Agent; and

WHEREAS, the QPA recommends awarding a contract to Gaeta Recycling Company, Inc. who submitted the lowest quote of $1,141.98 per month ($13,703.76 annual) which covers the period from October 17, 2013 to October 17, 2014; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified funds available for this purpose in account #10577237.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Vernon Township Council, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey to award a contract to Gaeta Recycling, 278 West Railway Avenue, Paterson NJ 07053 for container service for the aforementioned time period.

This Resolution shall take effect immediately according to law.

Resolution #13-185: Declaring One 1991 McAfee Fire Department Bronco as Surplus Property No Longer Needed for Public Use and the Sale of this Bronco Via Public Auction

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-36, et seq., municipalities may declare surplus property no longer needed for public use and authorize the sale of such surplus property; and

WHEREAS, the 1991 Ford Bronco Wagon (VIN 1FMEU15N8MLA14586) be declared surplus property no longer needed for public use.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon that the above-referenced Bronco is declared surplus property no longer needed for public use and is authorized to be sold at public auction.

Resolution #13-187: Approval to Submit a Grant Application and Execute a Grant Contract with the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the Breakneck Road—Phase I Project

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Vernon Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey formally approves the grant application for the above stated project; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized to submit an electronic grant application identified as MA-2014-Vernon Township-00423 to the New Jersey Department of Transportation on behalf of Vernon Township; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized to sign the grant agreement on behalf of Vernon Township and that their signatures constitute acceptance of the terms and conditions of the grant agreement and approve the execution of the grant agreement.

Resolution #13-188: Approval to Submit a Grant Application and Execute a Grant Contract with the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the Lake Wallkill Road Project

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Vernon Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey formally approves the grant application for the above stated project; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized to submit an electronic grant application identified as MA-2014-Vernon Township-00424 to the New Jersey Department of Transportation on behalf of Vernon Township; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized to sign the grant agreement on behalf of Vernon Township and that their signatures constitute acceptance of the terms and conditions of the grant agreement and approve the execution of the grant agreement.

Mr. Rizzuto advised that Resolution #13-184 would be considered after introduction of Ordinance #13-17.

Mr. Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Resolution #13-186:
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel

Council Member Kadish advised that the contractor’s license had expired, and asked that this resolution be tabled to the next meeting.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Resolution #13-186 was tabled to the October 17, 2013, meeting.

Resolution #13-186: Release of Performance Guarantee for Mitelin Motors, Inc.

WHEREAS, Mitelin Motors, Inc. did post an Irrevocable Standby Letter of Credit from Lakeland Bank, #630061745 dated March 15, 2013, in the amount of $29,040.00; and

WHEREAS, Mitelin Motors, Inc. has requested the release of the $29,040.00 performance guarantee; and

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer, Cory Stoner, has no objection to the Township releasing the Irrevocable Standby Letter of Credit provided that a cash bond is posted prior to that release in the amount of $1,000.00 to cover the final landscaping and as-built survey items.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council that the Municipal Clerk shall return the Lakeland Bank Irrevocable Standby Letter of Credit for $29,040.00.

Mr. Rizzuto asked Council Member Dunn to explain Resolution #13-189.

Council Member Dunn noted that this resolution had the full support of the Economic Development Committee. He thanked the Mayor for his support, as well as that of the Council. He noted that a work session was held on this subject, with many questions along the way, including a business round table. He gave a review of the process and the status of the program. He acknowledged the members of the EDAC in the audience.

Council Member Dunn asked for a motion to adopt Resolution #13-189:
Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Resolutions #13-189 was adopted.

Resolution #13-189: Resolution Supporting Approval of a Shop Local Property Tax Reward Program

WHEREAS, there is a need to enhance the economic development of our town; and

WHEREAS, our Economic Development Advisory Committee has identified and reviewed the Property Tax Reward Program; and

WHEREAS, this is a program designed specifically to stimulate the local economy by providing rebates, in the form of property tax credits to property owners and cash rebates to renters, every time a purchase at participating retailers in the Township of Vernon is made and our town Shop Local card is used; and

WHEREAS, this program is offered and managed by Fincredit Inc., Marlboro NJ; and

WHEREAS, the Economic Development Advisory Committee believes that the implementation of this program in the Township of Vernon will help both the Township residents and its business community; and

WHEREAS, the Economic Development Advisory Committee supports the implementation of a property tax reward program in the Township of Vernon.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon that the town proceed with the implementation of a Property Tax Reward Program in the Township of Vernon; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Municipal Clerk shall send copies of this resolution to the Economic Development Advisory Committee for distribution.

Council Member Wetzel advised that a shop-local program was started many years ago by the original EDAC, and that he hoped this new program is successful.

Ordinances—First Reading—Introduction

1st Reading of Ordinance #13-17 by Title Only

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Ordinance #13-17 on 1st reading by title only.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Daniel Kadish

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Ordinance #13-17 was approved.

Ordinance #13-17: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, Authorizing the Purchase of Various Equipment and Repairs in, by and for the Township Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56-1 and Appropriating Therefore the Sum of $295,000.00 and Providing that Such Sum so Appropriated Shall Be Raised from the Capital Improvement Fund of the Township


Mr. Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Resolution #13-184:
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn

Council Member Kadish asked if this was for a chassis or a frame for the ambulance. Mayor Marotta advised that this was for a whole new ambulance.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Resolutions #13-184 was adopted.

Resolution #13-184: Authorizing the Award of a Bid for the Purchase of One (1) Brand New Type 1 Ambulance

WHEREAS, there is a need to purchase an ambulance for the Township of Vernon; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has issued specifications and contract documents soliciting formal bids for an ambulance; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon received and opened one bid for the above mentioned item on September 11, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. in the Vernon Township Municipal Building; and

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

WHEREAS, the QPA recommends awarding a contract to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder, First Priority Emergency Vehicles, 2444 Ridgeway Boulevard, Manchester, NJ 08759.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Vernon Township Council, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey to award a bid to First Priority Emergency Vehicles for the purchase of one brand new Braun Signature Series Type 1 Ambulance (Ford chassis); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the Vernon Township Council, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:30-5.5 (b), the certification of available funds, that goods or services shall not be chargeable or certified until such time as the goods or services are ordered or otherwise called for prior to placing the order, and a certification of availability of funds is made by the chief financial officer. The certification of funds for this purchase is pending the introduction and adoption of a capital ordinance to fund this ambulance.

This Resolution shall take effect immediately according to law.

Council Comments

Council Member Wetzel felt it had been a very productive evening with a good presentation.

Council Member Lynch asked for a letter from the Council be sent to Earth-Tec thanking them for their donation.

Council Member Kadish had nothing to report at this time.

Council Member Dunn advised that he would like to see a series of work sessions on the Mountain Creek project well in advance of contract approval. He further advised that there was more public information to come on the Buy Local campaign, and that he welcomes all questions.

Council President Rizzuto advised that Sussex County is offering flu shots, pneumonia shots, and pertussis vaccinations on September 28 at St. Francis DeSales Church, 614 Rt. 517 in McAfee, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Mayor Marotta also noted the costs for the various vaccinations.

Executive Session

Council President Rizzuto noted that Council would be going into Executive Session.

Resolution to Go into 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 matter to be discussed is:

1. Contract Negotiations—Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority

3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.
Time: 9:05 p.m.

Return to Open Session

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to return to open session:
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Council returned to open session at 9:50 p.m.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 9:51 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: October 17, 2013