Township Council Special Work Session

The Special Work Session of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 9:04 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2012, in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey. The purpose of this Work Session was to discuss the 2012 Capital Budget and Capital Improvement projects.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 26, 2012, and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6.

Salute to the Flag

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

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Pat Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, and Council President Brian Lynch. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Business Administrator Gerald J. Giaimis, Township CFO William Zuckerman, and Director of Public Works Dave Pullis.

Open to Public Comments

No one wished to be heard at this time.

Closed to Public Comments

The Council President asked for a motion to close the meeting to public comments.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.

Council President Lynch noted the addition to the agenda—a resolution for a budget transfer. Mr. Zuckerman explained that the auditors noted a shortfall in the Capital Improvement Fund which required the transfer to cover bonds.

Resolution #12-34: Transfer Resolution—Fund Balance Transfer

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon Municipal Budget requires certain modifications to cover potential expenses that may occur in excess of the original budget; and

WHEREAS, this transfer was inadvertently omitted from Resolution 12-26 passed on January 23, 2012.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the following Transfer of Appropriations (2011 Municipal Budget) is in accordance with N.J.S.A 40A-58/59 and hereby approved.

Current Fund      
Salary & Wage Adjustments $45,000.00 Capital Improvement Fund $45,000.00

Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Patrick Rizzuto

Council President Lynch asked Mr. Zuckerman if they foresee any other issues with other accounts. Mr. Zuckerman indicated that they would not know until the auditors were done, and that this was merely a bit of “housekeeping.”

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Resolution #12-34 was approved.

2012 Capital Budget/Improvement Projects

Mayor Marotta noted that this plan had been ignored for many years and was never funded.

Council President Lynch noted the following:

  • Building repairs had been neglected
  • The plan needs to be funded each year so things do not get so far behind
  • We need to focus on grants and shared services with the Board of Education

The Mayor advised that Canistear Road as listed is only a portion of what will be needed (@ $1/2 million), and that a grant has been applied for. He also noted that the Township had been offered grant writing services from a former employee that may be utilized on an as-needed basis, but not full-time.

The Mayor noted that a 4th FEMA inspector was in town yesterday and not a penny had been received as yet. He advised that this gentleman was (as had the previous 3) starting from the beginning—there was no continuity from one inspector to the next. He was not happy with the long delays.

Mayor Marotta asked Mr. Dave Pullis to explain the listed items:

  • Canistear Road—$520,000 with a $200,000 grant from the DOT. This had all been estimated by the Township Engineer, Cory Stoner.
  • Lake Conway Dam—Mr. Giaimis noted that the cost was still being negotiated and that inspections had not been done for many years. An inspection had been done last year and items were found in need. As the Township owns the dam, it is our responsibility to maintain the dam. Council Member Kadish and the Mayor discussed the responsibility issue between the Township vs. the Lake Community. A brief discussion followed on what occurred during Hurricane Irene with this dam. Though it held, there was flooding over the dam. Mr. Pullis added that the amount budgeted is hopefully enough for whatever repairs are needed.
  • Lake Wallkill Road—though not on the list given to each Council Member, this road is in desperate need of repairs. Mr. Pullis advised that if the entire road was done at once, it would cost over $1/2 million. If done in stages, it would be $175,000 for the first mile (3.1 miles total for $525,000).

Council Member Kadish and Council President Lynch both felt that an overall 10-year plan for roadwork and fire department equipment needed to be maintained. Council Member Dunn asked about a 5-year plan for roadwork. The Mayor noted that this Improvement Plan would come from our operating budget without the need for bonding.

Council Member Rizzuto asked Mr. Pullis about spreading out the Lake Wallkill Road project over 3 years. Mr. Pullis advised that while that could be done, by then additional roads would need to be addressed creating an additional backlog (i.e. Breakneck Road).

Mr. Zuckerman noted that budgeting $400,000 each year would be a good number, which could come out of the surplus while maintaining no increase in taxes.

A discussion followed on getting ahead so that we do not fall behind again.

  • Mower for edges of roadways—the condition of the current mower was explained.
  • Road oil and stone—this had not been done the last 2 years. At a cost of $22,000/mile, and with @80 miles of roadways in the developments.
  • Guide rails—this would cover repair of existing rails in dangerous areas.
  • Drainage—general issues as they occur.
  • Lighting and Boiler—as this had already been handled by a grant, this item was deleted from the listing.
  • 1 Police car—Council Member Kadish asked how many vehicles the department currently had. The Mayor advised that they had @27. A discussion followed on viable vehicles, budgeting for a certain number of vehicles each year, removal of service requirements (i.e. mileage, age, mechanical reasons, etc.).
  • Used Bucket Truck—while not a top priority, having one would be good for high limb care and tree work, without having to contract out for the service. The vehicle could also be used to replace street lighting and hanging banners. Mr. Pullis noted that there was no budgeted amount for tree service.
  • Various Fire/First Aid Equipment—brief explanation of what was anticipated for this year and subsequent years.
  • Street Sweeper—though not on the list, Mr. Pullis advised that the current sweeper is breaking down. He noted that it was a 2004 model and that it has many mechanical parts, which break or get worn down.
  • Fleet Tools—many are old, such as bottle jacks, and should be replaced. The total cost of these items would be $5,004. This was also not on the list.

A discussion followed on restructuring amounts each year, and which items have greater priority (i.e. Canistear Road, Lake Wallkill Road, and Breakneck Road).

Council President Lynch wondered if legal counsel could find out if the developments that are creating the need for some additional services should also be helping to fund those services. Mr. Giaimis advised that they cannot be required to do so. The Council President noted that they could be asked...

Council President Lynch advised that the sign ordinance paperwork had been distributed to each Council Member and that they should check their mailboxes. He noted that he was looking for a discussion at the next Council meeting on the subject.

It was noted that the Board of Education would be discussing the issue of moving the School Board election to November at their next meeting. The date of that meeting is the same as our Council meeting—Thursday, February 16. The deadline to move the election date is Friday, February 17.

Council President Lynch suggested a work session on the sign ordinance. The Clerk will advise if there is a conflict with scheduling that work session for Wednesday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m.

A brief discussion followed on the merits of moving the School Board election to November.

Council Member Kadish asked about replacing/repairing the Council chairs as they were falling apart. He also asked about a proper screen for presentations. The Mayor noted that the new video arraignment system had been installed for the court system and that we should be able to use the new HD television. It was also suggested that a larger screen would be better for all to see, or painting the wall with special reflective paint that would act as a screen.

Mayor Marotta and Council President Lynch thanked everyone for attending.


Council Member Dick Wetzel moved to adjourn the Special Work Session of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon. Council Member Eddie Dunn made the second; all were in agreement. The work session was adjourned at 10:49 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: February 16, 2012