21 Church Street, Vernon, NJ 07462
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
MUNICIPAL UTILITY AUTHORITY
These minutes are a synopsis of the meeting that took place on 6/16/2022. Copies of the recording are available at the office of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (the “MUA”).
This regular meeting of the VTMUA commenced at 7:01 pm.
Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this regular meeting was provided to the public and the press on December 27, 2021 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the MUA as well as posted on the website.
The following members were present:
The following members were absent:
The following professionals were present: Donelle Bright, Administrator, CFO; Rich Wenner, MUA Attorney; Rob McNinch, Auditor; Steve Benosky, Engineer; Jaclyn McCabe, Recording Secretary.
Mr. Bower motioned to open the meeting for agenda items only, seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by unanimous votes. Ms. McCabe stated no one from the public wished to speak.
Mr. McDermott made the motion to close the meeting for agenda items only, which was seconded by Mr. Snook and carried by unanimous votes.
Mr. McDermott made the motion to approve resolution #22-30, Approval of the Bills, which was seconded by Mr. Snook and carried upon the affirmative votes of Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook, Mr. DeYoung, and Mr. Bower.
Mr. Bower made the motion to approve the minutes from 4/21/22, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, and Mr. Snook. Mr. DeYoung and Mr. Bower abstained from voting.
Mr. DeYoung made the motion to approve the minutes from 5/19/22, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. DeYoung and Mr. Bower. Mr. Snook abstained from voting.
Discussion was held that the property was being converted from a commercial property to a 2-bedroom residential property. Noted the EDU count would change from .5 to .8.
Mr. DeYoung motioned to approve resolution #22-31, EDU calculations for 328 Rt 94, seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung. Mr. Bower abstained from voting.
Mr. McNinch discussed the 2021 audit stating that there are three categories which are reviewed: financial statements, internal controls, and compliance. It was determined the VTMUA is following governmental standards and there were not any findings. Mr. McNinch stated this past year was a big win for the VTMUA, as there was $281,000 in surplus, $173,000 in cash, and a $207,000 net increase. Mr. McNinch thanked Ms. Bright and the administrative staff for making the auditing process run smoothly and providing documents in a timely manner. Mr. McNinch stated there is an affidavit for the board to sign stating they have reviewed the findings of the audit, and in this case, there were not any; however, it needs to be signed and submitted.
Mr. Snook motioned to approve resolution #22-32, Acceptance of the 2021 Audit, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung. Mr. Bower abstained from voting.
Ms. Bright updated PS2 is moving along and meetings are held with the DEP every two weeks to ensure the project is kept on track. Ms. Bright stated the environmental planning document was reviewed and is hopeful to start the bidding process in July. Ms. Bright updated the sewer service area is being reviewed and there is a meeting scheduled on June 29th. Ms. Bright commented in regards to the transfer station, Dewberry will put together a draft for review. Ms. Bright updated that they township has redesigned the website as the web designer is retiring, which affects the MUA website as it was run by the same individual. Due to the website having old technology, it is not an easy migration to a new website. Ms. Bright recommended that the MUA utilizes the MUA informational page on the township website for updates instead of redesigning the current site. Ms. Bright stated since all updates are completed in house it will save the MUA money; all members agreed. Mr. Pitsker questioned what the hold up on PS3 is to which was answered the contractor was denied the required certificate from the state and is in the process of reapplying for it. Mr. Pitsker inquired if the lift station replacements should be added to the capital items to which he was answered they could be added.
No report was given.
Mr. Benosky briefly spoke on the progress with PS2. Mr. Benosky stated the force main from PS2 was walked last week and there were no findings. Mr. Benosky added the easement ditches were visited on June 2nd and follow up will come. Additionally, a property in the Acme Plaza was reviewed and although it is a change of use, the EDU count will not change.
Discussion was held on which authority member is on each committee.
Transfer Station/PS2 Upgrade Committee: Paul Kearney and Dave McDermott
Sewer Service Area Committee: Paul Kearney and Ed DeYoung
Solid Waste/Septage Collection: Kristin Wheaton
By-law/ Personnel Committee: Andrew Pitsker and Dave McDermott
Finance Committee: Andrey Pitsker and Ed DeYoung
Metering/EDU Committee: Paul Kearney and Mark Bower. Mr. Wenner will also assist with this committee.
Mr. Bower motioned to open the meeting to the public for items not on the agenda, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by unanimous votes. Ms. McCabe said there was a hand raised virtually.
Jessi Paladini- Ms. Paladini stated that the time has finally come, and after 10 years to finally meter the sewer so that is fair and equitable for people. Ms. Paladini added the EDU is unfair because there are places with only one person and some with sever or eight and its time to explore meters. Ms. Paladini asked why a single family is only .8 and not a full EDU. Ms. Bright answered based on being a two bedroom it is only .8.
Mr. Snook motioned to close to the public for items not on the agenda, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by unanimous votes.
Mr. McDermott commented he looked forward to working on the by-law committee. Mr. McDermott also stated he would like to look into the possibility of a disabled veteran’s discount in the sewer service area and come to some sort of remedy for the disabled and seniors.
Mr. Bower asked if he could speak to Mr. Wenner after the meeting has adjourned. Mr. Wenner agreed.
Mr. Snook commented he is happy to be discussing meters and stated it would be an even playing field. Mr. Snook added that there still is a budget so it would still have to be a cost per gallon. Mr. Bower added he ran numbers and it would be .69/gallon, which is a crazy number. Mr. Snook added people will still not like meters but we are trapped by the numbers.
Mr. DeYoung commented while at the finance meeting, he brought up the fact that there may be a change of use at the golf course and would like to look into it.
Mr. Pitsker thanked Mr. McNinch for being tenacious and staying on point with the budget. Mr. Pitsker thanked the team for the guidance on IBank and all the work to get to this point as it has been turmoil but Ms. Bright stuck to it and is moving forward.
Mr. DeYoung motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:43 pm, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by unanimous votes.
Jaclyn McCabe, Recording Secretary
Minutes Approved: 8/18/22