Vernon Township

21 Church Street, Vernon, NJ 07462
Phone: 973.764.4055


Minutes: October 20, 2022




These minutes are a synopsis of the meeting that took place on 10/20/2022.  Copies of the recording are available at the office of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (the MUA”).  


  1. Call to Order

This regular meeting of the VTMUA commenced at 7:03 pm.

  1. Statement of Compliance

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.

  1. Salute to the Flag
  2. Roll Call of Members and Professionals

The following members were present:

Andrew Pitsker

Dave McDermott

Ed Snook

Ed DeYoung

Kristin Wheaton

The following members were absent:

Mark Bower

Paul Kearny

The following professionals were present: Donelle Bright, Administrator/CFO; Howard Lazier, Licensed Operator; Igor Bykov, Attorney; Steve Benosky, Engineer; Jaclyn McCabe, Recording Secretary.


  1. Open Meeting to the Public (for Agenda Items Only)

Mr. Snook motioned to open the meeting for agenda items only, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by unanimous votes. Ms. McCabe informed no one from the public wished to speak.

Ms. Wheaton motioned to close the meeting to the public for agenda items only, which was seconded by Mr. Snook and carried by unanimous votes.

  1. Approval of the Bills: Resolution #22-39

Mr. McDermott motioned to approve resolution #22-39, approval of the bills, seconded by Ms. Wheaton and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Ms. Wheaton, and Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung.

  1. Approval of Minutes
    1. Meeting Minutes: 9/15/22

Minutes were tabled until the next meeting.

  1. Resolutions:
    1. Resolution #22-40 Refund for Overpayment Block 531 Lot 102

Ms. Bright explained this refund is for a unit that sold in 2021 and the former owner had the sewer bill on auto payment. Ms. Bright added the past three quarters are due back to the former property owner.

Mr. DeYoung motioned to approve resolution #22-40, Overpayment for Block 531 Lot 102, seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Ms. Wheaton, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung.

  1. Resolution #22-41 EDU Calculation for 193 Rt 94

Ms. Bright explained this is for a Mountain Creek Building located at the corner of Rt. 94 and Sandhill Road. Ms. Bright continued when the sewer line was going to be replaced from the building to the main, it was discovered the building was not hooked up to the sewer system. Mr. Snook stated it makes sense that Mountain Creek thought they were connected; as pump station 2 was originally theirs.  Mr. Pitsker asked if all of the other structures within Mountain Creek are connected. Ms. Bright answered she believed so; however, since they were their own system before it is hard to know for sure. Mr. Pitsker asked for the files to be reviewed in order to see if other connections are outstanding. Ms. Bright stated that she knows of one other property on Rt 94, near Church St, that is not connected and was granted a hardship. Ms. Bright stated she has sent letters to the home informing them that the building does need to connect to the system.

Mr. Snook made the motion to approve resolution #22-41, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott, and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Ms. Wheaton, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung.


  1. Administrator Report

Ms. Bright updated on the PS2 project, stating all bid information has been posted and the opening is scheduled for 9 am on November 3, 2022.

Ms. Bright reviewed the sewer service area mapping informing that Mr. Schappell and herself met with the DEP discussing the aging threat of the facilities, including Legends, and how theirs and ours work; after this discussion is completed, we can begin to button up this project. Additionally, the Developer will be met with to discuss the plans for the facility.

Ms. Bright spoke about the transfer station stating Town Council was met with, as they have formed a sub-committee, to discuss moving forward; however, this will be placed on the back burner until PS2 is completed.

Ms. Bright stated sub-committee reports will be on the next meeting, as the public should be updated.

Ms. Bright stated the 3rd quarter reports will be added to the website by November 1, 2022.

Ms. Wheaton commented on the transfer station inquiring if the engineer or anyone has spoken to the DEP regarding significant indirect user discharge rules to be followed, as this will be an excessive load to the system. Ms. Wheaton asked if there will be a specific permit from SCMUA that will also need to be obtained. Ms. Wheaton stated SCMUA is likely to reject this load and conversations should take place. Ms. Bright responded there will be treatment before it goes into the system to make it typical wastewater which will have specific permitting by the DEP. Mr. Benosky stated a conversation with SCMUA can provide direction on what will need to be done. Mr. DeYoung asked if any other towns have a transfer station. Ms. Bright answered no other towns have one; however, we will not be running it. Ms. Bright continued our issue is our flow, not sending enough, and even with a full build out we are still under the minimum flow. Ms. Bright added there has been a lot of discussion with Wind River to see what they will be bringing. Mr. Pitsker stated he agreed with Ms. Wheaton and not to put the cart before the horse. Ms. Bright stated the goal for the MUA and Township subcommittees are the obtain as much information as possible. Ms. Wheaton added there needs to be a conversation with the regulatory body to see treatment required and cooperation; conceivably we should be able to but we need to know SCMUAs limits. Mr. DeYoung fully supports asking them with being sympathetic to legal issues. Ms. Wheaton added if Wind River would like to pursue this, maybe they should speak to them.

Mr. Pitsker inquired if the PS2 bid needs to be published and was answered it had already been done. Mr. Pitsker asked if there is an end date for the sewer service area map. Ms. Bright stated there is not an end date; however, the new person assigned to the project is more responsive.

  1. Licensed Operator Report

Mr. Lazier reported the generators are moving forward with the generator installation. We have contacted companies to install the gas lines and the electric. Since some of the locations are hard to reach, the cost may be higher then anticipated.

Mr. Lazier reviewed the railroad uncovering the sewer main, and although no serious damage was done, they did knock off the valve, which was replaced. Mr. Lazier noted that the pipe was never insulated. Mr. Benosky will evaluate what needs to be done in order to insulate the pipe. Mr. Pitsker thanks everyone for the timely reaction into solving the urgent issue. Mr. Pitsker inquired if we would be able to pressure test now, to which Mr. Benosky answered he does not think so.

  1. Engineer Report

Mr. Benosky added that although the railroad hitting the force main was not an emergency, there is more to address and will provide updates when available.

  1. Work Session:
    1. Discussion on November Meeting

Ms. Bright reported historically this meeting is cancelled due to the League of Municipalities. It was determined to cancel this meeting and a special meeting will be held if needed.

  1. Septage collection committee

Ms. Wheaton discussed her charter committee project, specifically regarding septage collection. Ms. Wheaton stated she is working with the environmental commission to investigate the feasibility of town-wide septage hauling, as a means to increase flows from Vernon to SCMUA. Town-wide septage hauling wouldn't necessarily require a transfer station and could benefit the town by simply demonstrating an increase in flow to SCMUA by showing what haulers discharge now, versus what would be generated with implementation of a septage hauling 'district'.  Flow would presumably be more because not everybody has their septic pumped every 2-3 years, and some don’t do it ever.  Ms. Wheaton stated she has come up with a list of questions to reach out to septage haulers to gage their interest in participating in a septage collection district and inquired if we are in the position to start outreach. Mr. McDermott stated that this exact topic was discussed at the PS2/Transfer Station subcommittee meeting, which included Environmental Commission members, and they were trying to resolve whether companies could provide people lower rates if the customers are all in one area.  Ms. Bright responded that there will not be a way to show in an increase in flow, as SCMUA will not know where the septage is coming from without a transfer station. Ms. Wheaton said that this is one of the questions for haulers is to inquire about whether transport manifests are available. Ms. Wheaton asked if she’s being asked to wait to do hauler outreach. Ms. Bright stated that on the Township side, the hauling will go through a town ordinance and she thinks that before we get to that stage we need as much information as possible and need to plan before we approach the town about an ordinance. Ms. Bright added that the more information that we have, the better, to answer public questions, and it'd be a good idea if the Town Council said let's have a subcommittee and involve the MUA and the Environmental Commission and get everybody on the same page so we can work something out.  Ms. Wheaton asked for Ms. Bright and VTMUA Chair to keep in touch regarding septage district and pending outreach; this initial outreach should be able to be done in parallel with the transfer station investigation and the septage district concept is not reliant on having a transfer station. Mr. Pitsker asked whether this topic is something that could be presented at our meeting in December or to the Council at a workshop. Mr. Bright responded yes, we can talk about it in our subcommittee meeting November 1st. Ms. Bright stated she would forward Ms. Wheaton's information to the VTMUA board as well as the Transfer Station Subcommittee members.

  1. Open to the Public for Items Not on the Agenda

Mr. McDermott motioned to open the meeting to the public for items not on the agenda, which was seconded by Mr. Snook and carried by unanimous votes. Ms. McCabe informed no one from the public wished to speak.

Mr. McDermott motioned to close the meeting to the public for items not on the agenda, which was seconded by Mr. Snook and carried by unanimous votes.

  1. Commissioners’ Comments

Ms. Wheaton had no further comments.

Mr. Snook had no further comments.

Mr. DeYoung had no further comments

Mr. McDermott had no further comments.

Mr. Pitsker thanked everyone for handling the railroad emergency with efficiency.

  1. Chairman’s Comments
  2. Adjournment

Mr. DeYoung motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:42 pm, seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by unanimous votes.

Respectfully submitted,

Jaclyn McCabe, Recording Secretary

Minutes Approved: 1/19/23


Vernon Township

21 Church Street
Vernon, NJ 07462

Phone: 973.764.4055 

Township Hours

Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Emergencies Dial 9-1-1
Non-Emergencies Dial 973-764-6155


Current Agendas

Township Council

Land Use Board