Minutes: September 9, 2019

The regular meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:00 p.m. on September 9, 2019 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Jean Murphy presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 3, 2019 and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-7.

Roll Call

Present were Council Members Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger and Council President Murphy, Attorney Josh Zielinski, Mayor Harry Shortway, and Business Administrator Charles Voelker.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Murphy led the assemblage for the salute to the flag. A moment of silence was held to honor memorial of September 11, 2001.

Proclamations

Judy Storms came forward and Council President Murphy read a Proclamation congratulating her for being named 2019 Sussex County Senior of the Year.

Proclamation

Whereas, senior citizens are a valuable resource and continue to serve as leaders, mentors, volunteers, and important active members of the community;

Whereas, the County of Sussex has chosen Judith Storms as the 2019 Senior Citizen of the Year for her many contributions to this community;

Whereas, Judy, a very active community volunteer over the years with her church community, the Barn Hill Center with therapy dog Jack, the Historical Society, Glenwood Ambulance Squad and such organizations as DASI, Father John’s Animal House, local food pantries as well as many other organizations; and

Whereas, Judy, has demonstrated, in countless ways, her dedication to the welfare of others and has earned the respect appreciation and affection of people from all walks of life and;

Whereas, Vernon Township recognizes the extraordinary voluntary efforts of Judy and urges all citizens to show appreciation for the important role volunteers serve in our society.

Now therefore be it Proclaimed, with sincere gratitude and appreciation, Vernon Township congratulates:

Judith Storms
2019 Senior of the Year
County of Sussex
Presented this 9th Day of September 2019

Steven Styles Sr., teacher from Sussex County Technical School, came forward and Mayor Harry Shortway read a Proclamation thanking him and his High School students for the community service provided to Vernon Township by designing and making banners for many Vernon Township events. Mr. Styles expressed appreciation for the honor and offered continued service to help the community through student involvement.

Vernon Township hereby recognizes the valuable service provided by Sussex County Technical School Students under the educational leadership of Mr. Steven Styles, Sr.

Students through their creativity, hard work and dedication assisted Vernon Township in creating a Community Garden Sign; Sustainable New Jersey Banner, Snowshoe Banners, Senior Olympic Banner, Trail Challenge Brochures as well as the Vernon Community Guidebook.

Vernon Township recognizes the extraordinary efforts of the Sussex County Technical Students for their help with these Vernon Township projects and instilling a greater pride in our Community.

Vernon Township hereby honors Steven Styles Sr. & Sussex County Technical School Students for dedicated service to Vernon Township

Council Member Ooms read the Proclamation for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Proclamation Recognizing and Declaring the Month of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Vernon Township

WHEREAS, Children across New Jersey bravely fight against Burkett’s Lymphoma - Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of pediatric cancer; and

WHEREAS, in gratitude to all those who helped the children and their families on their journeys to recovery, the Township of Vernon would like to help raise awareness for childhood cancer; and

WHEREAS, each year, pediatric cancer interrupts children’s lives and limits the potential of thousands of young Americans, and it remains the leading cause of disease- related death for children; and

WHEREAS, September has been declared as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and in effort to raise awareness everyone is encouraged to go GOLD to show support and promote recognition of those young lives affected by cancer; and

WHEREAS, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we come together to remember all those whose lives that were cut short by pediatric cancer, to recognize the loved ones who know too well the pain it causes, and to support every child and every family battling cancer each day. We join with their loved ones and the researchers, health care providers, and advocates who support them as we work toward a tomorrow where all children are able to pursue their full measure of happiness without the burden of cancer.;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon that SEPTEMBER 2019 SHALL BE KNOWN AS CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH IN THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON

Council Member Curreri read the Proclamation for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Mayor Shortway, as a cancer survivor himself, encouraged the public to be tested as early detection is very important to save lives.

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 http://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.

September 2019

Public Comments (On Current Agenda Items Only)

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

Peg Distasi, Silver Spruce Road Vernon, commented that she had a question about purpose of Resolution #19-183 but because agenda was not posted until Friday afternoon for the Monday meeting, she claimed there was not adequate time to ask the Township for an explanation.

Municipal Clerk Kirkman noted the detail for the purpose was provided to the webmaster for inclusion on the website and the Clerk’s office was available as well.

Council President Murphy commented that the agenda is sometimes adjusted so rather than post it prematurely and have it change, it is posted when its finalized.

Seeing no one else wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the meeting to public comments.
Moved: Mark Van Tassel
Second: John Auberger
All members present voted in favor.

Minutes

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of August 20, 2019.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Mark Van Tassel

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

Items for Discussion

Council President Murphy read the title of proposed ordinance.

An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending and Supplementing Chapter 5 of the Municipal Code of the Township of Vernon Entitled “Administration of Government” to Update the Rules of Order and Procedure Governing Council Meetings

Council Member Auberger, re: section #3, recommended that all public attendees should be seated if seating is available.

Mayor Shortway commented that there are constitutional items to discuss about meeting behavior such as profanities, obscenities and personal attacks. He suggested Council consider a process be defined in the ordinance to remove a person if needed with first a verbal warning to refrain comments while seated in audience, then a request for person to leave if behavior continues and if still continues the Sergeant of Arms escorts them out. Mayor Shortway added the audience had the right to hear what the council is discussing and the Official presiding over the meeting has the right to expel unruly individuals. He explained the process needs to be followed before taking any action so not to abridge the constitutional right of the citizens or create possible litigation.

Council President Murphy commented it would be better not to remove anyone but take a recess from meeting and if behavior continues then Police may be called to escort someone out.

Attorney Zielinski stated if the Council allows, he would make revisions by adding a Section “F” to define profanity, obscenity and put a mechanism of how warnings are done prior to removal of person from meeting. Council Member Ooms agreed that definitions are needed as some words can be subjective. Council Member Curreri added that removal of anyone from the meeting should be last unless there it is a matter of public safety. He explained the meeting when lights were turned off with many parents and children in attendance was a scary situation and reason for person’s removal.

Council President Murphy stated when the public is continually yelling out or talking during the meeting, it prohibits the rest of public from hearing business at hand. There being no further Council comments, Attorney Zielinski stated he will make a revision to add Section “F” as discussed for Introduction at next meeting.

Transient Accommodation Ordinance

Council President Murphy asked if Attorney Zielinski could discuss the transient accommodation ordinance. Attorney Zielinski explained the intention of the Ordinance is to create a set of initial regulations which can be revised in future for the operations of Short Term Rentals(STRs), including rental of rooms or entire homes and what qualifies. He added it would create a procedure whereby a house is inspected, a certificate of occupancy is issued, and units require registration, so the Township is aware of current rentals and contact information of owners/renters.

Council President Murphy noted that Highland Lakes Association has been collecting information from those rentals within their area but will not share with the Township. Council Member Ooms opined that Air BNBs not registered are doing a disservice to existing Vernon B&Bs taking away their business and not paying the mandatory state tax. Council President Murphy noted that even though we do not have the list of sites in Highland Lakes, they will still be required to register with the Township and have to pay the tax. She added that STRs are already allowed not prohibited, and this Ordinance is not preventing them but requiring the fire inspection, payment of hotel tax and registration similar to condo rentals in Great Gorge. Council President Murphy noted there are many moving parts concerning STRs including safety, fine for not registering and requirements by Fire Prevention office.

Mayor Shortway commented the proposed Short Term Rental Ordinance will address collection of hotel occupancy tax and safety concerns for online rentals who now escape paying the hotel tax and added that administration of the Ordinance will fall under discretion of Township Administration as day-to day operations. Mayor Shortway referred to article by Joe Bevins provided by Council Member Curreri that there is no reason for local policy makers to let AIRBNB bypass the regulatory tax obligations that hotels currently have.

Council Member Ooms questioned if a house is bought will intention to use as an AIRBNB rental only, would that be considered a business in a residential area and suggested a 90 day limit annually be added to Ordinance. Mayor Shortway commented that regulating the rentals will shut some of them down but is concerned about safety and protection of our existing businesses.

Council Member Curreri expressed concern that if town brings in AIRBNB, number of residents are not increased but questioned if they are taking a reliable tax base from existing hotels and transferring that tax base to an unreliable tax base. He also suggested the possibility of allowing Lake Communities to govern the Short Term Rentals themselves through their by-laws. He noted that most residents are favorable of collecting the additional tax until one happens in their neighborhood and further suggested to add registration to the online Building Department Permit System.

Council President Murphy added administration of the Ordinance will be required whether automated or not to maintain records and collect fees. Council Member Auberger suggested that all the details discussed be incorporated into the Ordinance prior to Introduction. He added that Warwick, NY requires floor plans for all rental units so emergency responders are aware of layout and number of residents before they have to respond.

Council President Murphy suggested that Lake Communities should contact the Township with any recommendations prior to Introduction to prevent any further revisions. Mayor Shortway opined that with Legoland coming soon to New York, Mountain Creek skiing and Water Park, and many other four season tourist attractions, these rentals will only increase.

Attorney Zielinski explained that once the Ordinance becomes law, all Vernon Township including the Lake Communities would be required to abide by the regulations.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open meeting up to public on discussion item only.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Second: Patrick Curreri
All members were in favor.

Scott Geysels, Barry Lakes, commented that Lake Communities through their respective By-Laws can be more restrictive that Township Ordinance but cannot override state or local law. Attorney Zielinski suggested a provision in the Ordinance that requires any list from a lake Community be provided to the Township possibly annually.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close meeting up to public on Discussion Item only.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Second: Patrick Curreri
All members were in favor.

Attorney Zielinski explained that Hotel Occupancy Tax is a 3% tax collected by the State then distributed to the municipality. Council President Murphy requested that Mayor Shortway have the draft Ordinance reviewed with Township Officials from Fire Prevention, Zoning, Building, and Finance to address any issues or concerns.

Consent Agenda

Council President Murphy gave brief explanation of Consent Agenda and asked for a motion to adopt Resolutions #19-183 through #19-189.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Mark VanTassel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion passed to adopt Resolutions #19-183 through #19-189.

Resolution #19-183: Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of Not Exceeding $2,275,996 Bond Anticipation Notes of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey

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

Pursuant to a bond ordinance of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex (the “Township”) entitled: “Bond ordinance providing for the restructuring of a portion of the cost of acquisition of capacity at the sanitary sewage treatment plant of the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority by the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, appropriating $2,800,000 therefor and authorizing the issuance of $2,666,000 bonds or notes of the Township for financing such appropriation,” finally adopted on November 14, 2011 (#11-23), bond anticipation notes of the Township in a principal amount not exceeding $2,275,996 shall be issued for the purpose of temporarily financing the improvement or purpose described in Section 3 of said bond ordinance, including (to any extent necessary) the renewal of any bond anticipation notes heretofore issued therefor.

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

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

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

This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Ordinance Detail

NumberAdoption DateCurrent AmountInitial Issuance Date and AmountCurrent PaydownAggregate Paydown (Start)
11-2311/14/11$2,275,99611/02/12 - $500,000$100,000$118,990 (2015)
   10/31/13 - $400,0005,06415,192 (2016)
   10/30/14 - $400,0005,06410,128 (2017)
   10/29/15 - $450,0006,00012,000 (2018)
   10/27/16 - $707,7248,9608,960 (2019)

THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON, IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY
NOTICE OF $2,275,996 BOND ANTICIPATION NOTE SALE (FEDERALLY TAXABLE) (NON-CALLABLE)

Sealed, written, telecopied (telecopier number 973-764-7504), telephoned (telephone number 973-764-4055 x2236) or e-mailed (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this e-mail address)) proposals for the purchase of $2,275,996 Bond Anticipation Notes (the “Notes”) of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey (the “Township”), will be received by the undersigned Chief Financial Officer at the Municipal Building, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey, 07462-0340 on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 until 11:00 A.M. The Chief Financial Officer, accepts no responsibility for the failure of any telecopied or e-mailed bids to be received on time for whatever reason. All telephone bids must be immediately confirmed in writing by telecopy or e-mail. A determination as to the award will be made no later than 1:00 P.M. on that date.

Each bid must offer to purchase the entire Note issue being offered at a price of not less than par and must specify a single rate of interest offered for the Notes. Interest shall be calculated on a 360-day year basis, consisting of twelve 30-day months. Bids may be submitted by completing the attached proposal form and by submitting it in writing by telecopy or e-mail. The successful bidder may purchase for its own account and not with a view to distribution or resale. The Chief Financial Officer expects to award the Notes to the bidder specifying the lowest net interest payable by the Township. The Township reserves the right to reject all bids and to waive irregularities.

SPECIFICATIONS OF BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES

Principal Amount$2,275,996
Dated DateOctober 24, 2019
Maturity DateOctober 23, 2020
Interest Rate Per AnnumSpecified by successful bidder
Legal OpinionHawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
Newark, New Jersey
Paying AgentSpecified by successful bidder within 2 hours of award, subject to approval of the Chief Financial Officer at no cost to the Township.
Closing:
a. date
October 24, 2019; 10:00 A.M.
b. locationMunicipal Building, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey 07462-0340 or at such other place as agreed to by the Chief Financial Officer.
DenominationsNot less than $100,000, as specified by successful bidder within 2 hours of award, subject to approval of the Chief Financial Officer.
PaymentImmediately available funds
Bank QualifiedNo

At the time of delivery of the Notes, the successful bidder will be furnished with (a) the opinion of bond counsel (the form of which is attached hereto), to the effect that (i) the Notes are valid and legally binding obligations of the Township and, unless paid from other sources, are payable from ad valorem taxes levied upon all the taxable property therein without limitation as to rate or amount and (ii) interest on the Notes will not be included in gross income under the New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act and (b) certificates evidencing the proper execution and delivery of the Notes and receipt of payment therefor and including a statement to the effect that there is no litigation pending or (to the knowledge of the signer or signers thereof) threatened relating to the Notes. It shall be the responsibility of the successful bidder to obtain CUSIP identification numbers, if any, and the CUSIP Service Bureau charge shall be the responsibility of and shall be paid for by the successful bidder.

INTEREST ON THE NOTES IS INCLUDED IN GROSS INCOME FOR FEDERAL INCOME TAX PURPOSES.

Financial information concerning the Township is available upon request. For information, please contact the undersigned Chief Financial Officer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this e-mail address) or at the following telephone number: 973-764-4055 x2236.

EXHIBIT A
Form of Bond Counsel Opinion

October 24, 2019
Township Council of The Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We have acted as bond counsel to The Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, a municipal corporation of the State of New Jersey, situate in said County of Sussex (the “Township”), and have examined a record of proceedings relating to the issuance by the Township of a Bond Anticipation Note in the denomination of $2,275,996 (the “Note”). The Note is dated October 24, 2019, matures on October 23, 2020, bears interest at the rate of ___ per centum (____%) per annum payable at maturity, is issued in registered form, is transferable as therein provided, and is issued pursuant to the Local Bond Law of the State of New Jersey, and by virtue of a bond ordinance or ordinances of the Township and a resolution of its governing body adopted September 9, 2019.

The Note is a temporary obligation issued in anticipation of the issuance of bonds.

In our opinion, the Note is a valid and legally binding obligation of the Township, payable in the first instance from the proceeds of the sale of the bonds in anticipation of the issuance of which the Note is issued but, if not so paid, payable ultimately from ad valorem taxes which may be levied upon all the taxable property within the Township without limitation as to rate or amount. The enforceability of rights or remedies with respect to the Note may be limited by bankruptcy, insolvency or other laws affecting creditors’ rights or remedies heretofore or hereafter enacted.

In our opinion, under existing statutes, interest on the Note is not included in gross income under the New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act.

Attention is called to the fact that we have not been requested to examine and have not examined any documents or information relating to the Township other than the record of proceedings hereinabove referred to, and no opinion is expressed as to any financial or other information, or the adequacy thereof, which has been or may be supplied to the purchaser of the Note.

We express no opinion as to any other federal, state or local tax consequences arising with respect to the Note, or the ownership or disposition thereof, except as stated above. We render our opinion under existing statutes and court decisions as of the date hereof, and assume no obligation to update, revise or supplement our opinion to reflect any action hereafter taken or not taken, any fact or circumstance that may hereafter come to our attention, any change in law or interpretation thereof that may hereafter occur, or for any other reason. We express no opinion as to the consequence of any of the events described in the preceding sentence or the likelihood of their occurrence. In addition, we express no opinion on the effect of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon an opinion of other counsel regarding federal, state or local tax matters, including, without limitation, exclusion from gross income for federal income tax purposes of interest on the Note.

The form of the Note is prescribed by said resolution adopted September 9, 2019. We have not examined the executed Note.

Very truly yours,
THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON, IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY

Resolution #19-184: Refund Overpayment (Block 592 Lot 10—Corelogic)

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to Corelogic in the amount of $2,029.90 representing refund for overpayment of 3rd qtr. 2016 property taxes for Block 592 Lot 10 also known as 91 East Shore Drive, Vernon, New Jersey.

Resolution #19-185: Refund Overpayment (Block 522 Lot 1—William Della Penna)

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to William Della Penna in the amount of $1486.53 representing refund for overpayment of 2nd qtr. 2019 property taxes for Block 522 Lot 1 also known as 482 Route 517, Vernon, New Jersey.

Resolution #19-186: Refund Overpayment (Block 433 Lot 50—Safeland Title Agency, LLC)

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to Safeland Title Agency, LLC in the amount of $1,573.45 representing refund for overpayment of 3rd qtr. 2019 property taxes for Block 433 Lot 50 also known as 48 Wenatchee Road Highland Lakes, New Jersey.

Resolution #19-187: Refund Overpayment Block 519 Lot 5—Cornerstone Title & Settlement, LLC

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to Cornerstone Title & Settlement, LLC in the amount of $2,500.00 representing refund for overpayment of 3rd qtr. 2019 property taxes for Block 519 Lot 5 also known as 125 Lk Pochung Rd, Sussex, New Jersey.

Resolution #19-188: Refund Overpayment (Block 239 Lot 10—Masessa & Cluff Attorneys at Law)

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to Masessa & Cluff Attorneys at Law in the amount of $1582.06 representing refund for overpayment of 3rd qtr. 2019 property taxes for Block 239 Lot 10 also known as 1766 RT 565, Vernon, New Jersey.

Resolution #19-189: A Resolution Suggesting Submission of Copies of Purchase Orders to the Township Council by the Administration

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:69A-36 (n) and § 5-4 (A) (14) of the Township Code, the Council of the Township of Vernon (“Council“) is empowered to express council policies or opinions which require no formal action by the Mayor; and

WHEREAS, the Council is committed to fiscal responsibility, efficiency, and the smart expenditure of public funds; and

WHEREAS, the Council seeks to promote these values and to actively work with the Township’s Administration to make improvements within the Township; and

WHEREAS, the Council feels that it would be advantageous to the Township if it had additional information concerning funds expended by the Township. As such, the Council requests that the Administration provide the Council with copies of purchase orders contemporaneous to them being sent to vendors; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that it requests the Administration provide it with copies of purchase orders (including all purchase orders issued since August 1, 2019) contemporaneous to them being sent to vendors to give the Council information concerning funds expended by the Township and to help the Council in ensuring fiscal responsibility, efficiency, and the smart expenditure of public funds.

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

Council President Murphy read Ordinance #19-01 by title.

Ordinance #19-01: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey Creating a Resort Service Fee

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open public hearing for Ordinance #19-01.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: John Auberger
All members were in favor.

Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close public hearing for Ordinance #19-01.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Mark Van Tassel
All members were in favor.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #19-01.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Mark Van Tassel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion passed to adopt Ordinance #19-01.

Council President Murphy read Ordinance #19-07 by title.

Ordinance #19-07: Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending and Supplementing Chapter 99 of the Code of the Township of Vernon Entitled “Vehicles And Traffic”

Council President Murphy announced the public hearing needs to be tabled because Township Engineer has not yet submitted the design plans to Sussex County and further approval is needed from Sussex County.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to table the public hearing for Ordinance #19-07 to October 17, 2019.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Patrick Curreri

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion passed to table Ordinance #19-07 to October 17, 2019.

Council President Murphy read Ordinance #19-19 by title.

Ordinance #19-19: An Ordinance Amending §250-9 of the Vernon Township Administrative Code

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open public hearing for Ordinance #19-19.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Mark Van Tassel
All members were in favor.

Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close public hearing for Ordinance #19-19.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Mark Van Tassel
All members were in favor.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #19-19.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Mark Van Tassel

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

Council President Murphy read Ordinance #19-20 by title.

Ordinance #19-20: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Creating Chapter 408 of the Municipal Code of the Township of Vernon Entitled “Parking, Veterans”

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open public hearing for Ordinance #19-20.
Moved: Mark Van Tassel
Second: John Auberger
All members were in favor.

Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close public hearing for Ordinance #19-20.
Moved: Mark Van Tassel
Second: John Auberger
All members were in favor.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #19-20.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion passed to adopt Ordinance #19-20.

Public Comments (Limited to 3 minutes on any topic)

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

Sally Goodson, Hardyston Planning Board Member, commented she had never heard of a Pump Track before attending Vernon Council meeting. With her family, she stated she visited the Port Jervis Track and explained what a terrific feature for kids of all ages to enjoy. She added the local feature looked like it would be simple to build at a low cost and a benefit to local merchants by visitors. Ms. Goodson added the 1st Solar Panel Garden in New Jersey in Lafayette is opening up soon which is good for the environment as well as a good investment. Ground Breaking is on October 19, 2019 @ 10:00 am in Lafayette and all are invited. Ms. Goodson also announced that Allan Spector will be speaking at the Vernon Rotary meeting on September 17, 2019 @ the George Inn discussing important things for Vernon as well as Hardyston.

Peg Distasi, Silver Spruce, commented that the Pump Track idea can generate revenue for the Township businesses as her family enjoyed the Port Jervis Track and frequented local eateries and can provide healthy fun for children. Council President Murphy stated she had suggested Dan Kraus to contact the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce Chairperson Tammy Horsfield about the Pump Track idea in Sussex County.

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

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Shortway reported that the Wallace Trial summations are due the first week in October and Judge’s decision may come in late October. Mayor Shortway reported that the $1.3 million Ladder Fire Truck is on schedule to be delivered in late September and will be housed at McAfee Fire Department. He reported that there will be a pre-construction meeting for Warwick Turnpike Road Improvements on September 10, 2019 and should start later in month after DPW has repaired the storm drains. Mayor Shortway reported the old artificial turf has been removed and after intensive design plans with all sports groups involved, the new fields will be installed in mid-October.

Council Comments

Council Member Auberger announced there will be a Blood Drive at Glen Meadow School on September 19th from 3:00 - 7:30. Also, the Vernon Fire Department will be holding a Calendar Raffle, and anyone interested can see a firefighter for information.

Council Member Van Tassel had no comments.

Council Member Ooms complimented the Beautification Committee and Maryellen Vichiconti for the gardens in front of the Municipal Building and on Township Roadways. Council Member Ooms questioned if the Township ever repaves Township Roads within existing developments as many are deteriorated. Mayor Shortway stated that the DPW does repair the potholes, storm drains and explained that all roadways are included in a 10-year plan for Oil & Stone only, not re-pavement due to high costs. He mentioned a possible new sealing process may be integrated into plans which will improve condition of roadways for longer time period. He added that residents need to notify the DPW or Administration Office of any road issues. Council Member Ooms stated the resident did meet with the Business Administrator which he acknowledged. Council Member Auberger explained that due to budget cuts, roadway improvements throughout the Township are far behind and suggested that Vernon research a hot oil process used in neighboring New York municipalities which utilizes the millings as a base coat. Council Member Ooms opined that taxpayers should not have their roads in disrepair. Mr. Voelker stated the Township will address road conditions that pose a safety concern and noted information about conditions needs to be provided while preparing the budget.

Council Member Curreri commented that the Township would need to approve a massive bond to pave all of the Township roadways and added that oil & stone process done in Vernon in November is sometimes gone in January not lasting well. Council member Curreri stated he attended the 911 Memorial held at Sussex County College honoring the over 700 New Jersey residents lost that day and reminded the public that many first responders are still struggling today.

Council President Comments

Council President Murphy reported she researched deeds to properties on a private road in Vernon and questioned Township Attorney to review for legality of agreements.

Council President Murphy reported that Sussex County is reviewing the dangerous intersection of RT 517 and Vernon Crossing Road to possibly install a light in next ten years due to numerous motor vehicle accidents. Mr. Voelker added that he hopes to obtain information from Sussex County regarding RT 515 by year’s end.

Council President Murphy commented that Vernon Valley Little League volunteers have been working hard to improve the township baseball fields.

Council President Murphy commented that Doreen Edwards has provided her information about Lyme and Tick Borne Disease Awareness Education Day to be held Saturday October 5, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center in Newton.

Council President Murphy commented that Theater Teacher Lindsay McAloney is promoting a Pledge to Pause program encouraging the public to “think before you click” when posting online. Council Members agreed to add presentation to the next Council meeting agenda.

Council President Murphy questioned if Township organizational chart can be updated and posted on the Township website for public to understand local government. She stated she heard misinformation from the public and needed to correct the fact that the Municipal Clerk is hired by the Township Council and is an employee of the Council. Mr. Voelker questioned if Council would like all names and positions added to the organizational chart which Council stated that positions is sufficient.

Council President Murphy announced that the Vernon Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Meet & Greet for Mayoral candidates at the Vernon Senior Center on Wednesday October 23, 2019 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. and will be emceed by Frank Garrity.

Council President Murphy commented that residents questioned status of the temporary road needed for the Brook Hollow Bridge replacement Developer Bruce Zaretsky has been waiting for owners to pay their share and estimated that temporary road should be done before winter. Mr. Voelker added that county approval is also needed for the temporary road access to RT 565. Council Member Auberger added that temporary road must be adequate for emergency vehicles to maneuver.

Council President Murphy congratulated the Vernon Chamber of Commerce with many volunteers for having a successful Street Fair.

Council President Murphy commented that she was informed that Township Committees who have Facebook pages have been posting political information. Mayor Shortway questioned which Committee is she referring to. Council President Murphy stated she does not go on Facebook but will get that information to him.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: October 17, 2019