Mount Olive Township Council Minutes
October 10, 2000
Council Minutes, October 10, 2000
The Regular meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council
was called to Order at 7:30 pm by Council Vice President
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate Notice
of this meeting has been given to the Mount Olive Chronicle
and the Morristown Daily Record. Notice has been posted at
the entrance of the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown
Road, Mt. Olive, New Jersey, and notices were sent to those
requesting the same.
ROLL CALL: Present: Mr. Heymann, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Scapicchio,
Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Spino, Mr. Rattner, President Sohl
President Sohl: Thank you, Steve, for starting the meeting
this evening. I would also like to acknowledge the attendance
of the Business Administrator, Sandy Kaplan; the Township
Attorney, John Dorsey; Township Clerk, Lisa Lashway; CFO,
Sherry Jenkins; Grants Coordinator, Kathy Murphy; and Tax
Collector, Mary Robinson. The Mayor will be here around 8:00pm
this evening, he had a prior commitment, so I will hold off
on the Administrative Reports until he arrives.
Mr. Dorsey: We’ve been promised by the United States
Postal Service to get our check for $25,000 for the EDU’s,
it’s supposed to have been mailed today. I sent you
a long report on the Closing of AIG Baker/FTZ South, so I
won’t say anything further on that.
President Sohl: Thank you, John.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
June 27, 2000 Present: Mr. Heymann, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Scapicchio,
Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Spino, Mr. Rattner, President Sohl
September 26, 2000 CS Present: Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Spino, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Scapicchio,
Absent: Mr. Heymann, Mr. Sohl
September 26, 2000 Present: Mr. Heymann, Mr. Guenther,
Mr. Scapicchio, Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Spino, Mr. Rattner
Absent: Mr. Sohl
Mr. Heymann moved for approval of the Minutes and Mr. Guenther
seconded the Motion.
ROLL CALL: Passed by the majority Exceptions:
Mr. Sohl ABSTAINED on September 26, 2000 Minutes
Mr. Heymann ABSTAINED on September 26 CS Minutes
Letters From Residents
Resolutions, Ordinances, Correspondence from other Towns
1. Resolution received September 25, 2000 from the Township
of Hanover RE: Resolution supporting the passage of Assembly
No. 1411 - Acquisition of the Troy Meadows Natural Area by
the State of New Jersey.
2. Notice received September 25, 2000 from the Township
of Chester RE: Notice of Pending Ordinance Amending Chapter
113 of the Code of the Township of Chester - Land Use - Conditional
3. Resolution received October 2, 2000 from the Township
of Montville RE: Urging Amendment of the Morris County Regional
4. Resolution received October 2, 2000 from the Township
of Roxbury RE: Agreeing to apply for Regional Efficiency
Development Incentive Assistance.
Resolutions, Ordinances, Correspondence from Freeholders & County
5. Letter received September 25, 2000 from County of Morris
DPW RE: Paving of Various Roadways in Morris County to be
completed by November 17, 2000.
6. Letter received October 5, 2000 from the Morris County
Soil Conservation District RE: Budd Lake Disposal B 7600;
L 71. (Turkeybrook)
League of Municipalities
7. Letter received October 2, 2000 from New Jersey State
League of Municipalities RE: Convention information shuttle/room
8. Letter received October 5, 2000 from New Jersey State
League of Municipalities RE: Audio Cassettes of the Educational
9. Notice received September 27, 2000 from NJ DEP RE: Informal
meeting to discuss new Monitoring Report Forms, 10/16/00
10. Permit received September 27, 2000 from NJDEP to construct
and operate a treatment works B 4100 L 52.01 (Starr St. 4
11. Letter received October 2, 2000 from NJ DEP RE: Proposing
changes to the rules that govern the Environmental Services
Matching Grants Program.
12. Letter received October 2, 2000 from NJ DEP RE: Authorization
for Freshwater Wetlands Statewide General Permit New Jersey-American
Water Co. B 102; Lots 1 & 2 (54 Rt. 46 & 58 Rt. 46
between FTZ and Village Green Annex)
13. Letter received October 2, 2000 from NJ DEP RE: First
Notice of Administrative Deficiencies Mt. Olive Township
Water Department, Pinecrest (Lakeview Estates).
Correspondence from Organizations/Committees/Boards
14. Letter received October 2, 2000 from Mt. Olive Lions
Club RE: Mt. Olive Lions Club Street Fair, October 8th, 2000.
Correspondence Regarding Tort Claims/Verified Notice of
Land Use/Development Matters
Correspondence from Cable Networks/Utilities
15. Letter received September 29, 2000 from the MSA RE:
Compliance Evaluation, Reporting Period 2nd Quarter, 2000.
16. Letter received October 2, 2000 from State of New Jersey,
BPU RE: Comcast Cablevision of Northwest New Jersey Application
for Renewal of Municipal Consent to Construct and Operate
a Cable TV System in the Township of Mt. Olive.
17. Letter received October 2, 2000 from Comcast RE: Additional
Channel MTV2, and deletion of Channel, The Box.
18. Letter received October 4, 2000 from the MSA RE: Allocations
for the participating municipalities in the Water Pollution
19. ComcastFAX received October 6, 2000 from Comcast RE:
October, 2000 Cable News.
Correspondence from Legislative Representatives
President Sohl stated that we had received 19 items of correspondence
and asked Council if there were any comments on same.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
Ord. #36-2000 Bond Ordinance Providing for Various Park
Improvements to Turkey Brook Park in and by the Township
of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating
$5,871,000 Therefor and Authorizing the Issuance of $5,102,450
Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance Part of the Cost
Thereof. (Turkey Brook Park, Phase I)
President Sohl opened the Public Hearing on Ord. #36-2000
Mr. Stan Roedel: It was my understanding–and I was
hoping prior to the Public Comment on this Ordinance that
some Council Comment on the anticipated effect on taxes would
President Sohl: Ms. Jenkins has a report on the table over
there. Sherry, is that correct?
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes. My Debt Service Projection is available
on the table.
Mr. Roedel: All right, my comments regarding her memo, which
I had to inhale in the minute that I saw it was in her Paragraph
2, your analysis was based on the premise of using $150K
Open Space Funds to off set Debt Service throughout the life
of the Bond?
Mrs. Jenkins: No, actually my analysis is not based on that.
I just provided that as an additional financing opportunity
the Township Council could use.
Mr. Roedel: Okay, I want to point out at this time that
that option is not available to the Town Council. The residents,
through Referendum, have not authorized the use of funds,
monies in the Open Space Fund for the specific purpose of
payment of debt service. We’ve been over this. I know
in November you’re going to expand the purposes to
include purchase of land for Farmland Preservation, but,
specifically the purpose of payment of Debt Service is not
authorized by the Public through Referendum.
President Sohl: I disagree with you, but--John, could you
elaborate as to why that’s incorrect.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, his interpretation is that since the Ordinance–let
me state it this way–the Ordinances dealing with so-called
Open Space, have, for a long period of time, provided that
the money could be used either for Open Space or Recreational
purposes. Mr. Roedel is drawing a line. Differentiating between
writing a check, let us say from that fund to a vendor who
is going to submit $100,000 worth of equipment, to writing
a check to pay down the principal of bonds which have been
expended for the purpose of providing the same recreational
type facility. And, it’s a distinction that I don’t
think is a valid distinction because the money is clearly
being utilized for recreational purposes. Whether in the
first instance, or second instance. The second instance simply
being where you’re paying down the debt that was incurred
in order to provide the recreational facility.
Mr. Rattner: I just want to add one thing. Right from the
beginning when Turkeybrook was first proposed, and then we
went into looking at an Open Space Tax, and we went to Referendum.
All through the Minutes, if you go back from Day One, we
talked about the Fund being able to be used to leverage,
to do bigger projects. All the descriptions, all the publications,
we always said that we were generating about $80,000 a year.
We said that $80,000 doesn’t buy us much, but if we
wanted to Bond, and we could to pay back the Bond so we could
get a jump-start, buy a bigger piece of land, or do a bigger
development, we could get going. I think if you look back
through all the discussions, through all the Minutes and
through some of the literature that was actually distributed,
when we gave it to the Public, we always talked about leveraging.
And that was one of the selling points. For every $100,000
that we raised, we could actually do roughly $1.5 million
worth of projects if you looked at paying it off roughly
over 15 years. So, I don’t think that should be a surprise
to anybody, and I think that’s what probably convinced
some people to support the Referendums. Because it comes
up, what is $80,000 going to do when it costs us a couple
hundred thousand dollars to build a single field. And I think
that’s what we’‘VE done. And I remember
those discussions very, very clearly.
Mr. Roedel: I have to disagree with you. The Township Ordinance
specifically lays out specific purposes for which that Open
Space money can be used. That Ordinance was generated per
a State Statute which specifically says through Referendum
you have to have the Public authorize specific purposes for
which this money can be spent. One of the specific purposes
is debt service. This never on any occasion appeared on any
Referendum before the people of Mt. Olive Township. We are
allowed to use that money as down payment for the purpose
of land for improvements thereof. Down payments specifically
limited to that. Previously, I pointed out that your Mr.
Roedel (cont’d): Ordinance didn’t even include
improvements, you revised the Ordinance to reflect the intent
of the Ordinance but in no way can this money be used as
payment of debt service. I think it’s clear.
President Sohl: Stan, you’re entitled to your opinion.
Mr. Roedel: I’ve heard you say that to me before.
I’m wondering what is a resident’s remedy when
it’s clear that the Ordinance is not being–it’s
clear, you should read the Ordinance, the Debt Service is
specifically not a purpose in the Ordinance as required by
State Stature. I wouldn’t be up here if we had gone
to Referendum and asked the people if one of the purposes
would be Debt Service. We didn’t do that.
Mr. Dorsey: You have to make an application to Superior
Court. It’s called a Prerogative Writ.
Mr. Roedel: Interesting. Okay. At the present time, how
many soccer fields are provided by the Foreign Trade Zone?
President Sohl: Eric (Schulte)?
Mr. Peter Juran, President, Mt. Olive Soccer Club: I’d
like to have a better definition of what “provided” means.
We have nine acres of land, if that answers that question.
Mr. Roedel: How many soccer fields?
Mr. Juran: Presently there are approximately seven fields,
three of which overlap.
Mr. Roedel: At a previous Council Meeting, I know that Mr.
Smith has indicated–you gave him an award for appreciation,
for his helping us out when we lot the fields because of
the Middle School. Has he given any indication that we’re
going to lose those fields?
Mr. Heymann: Can I just respond? That’s not the issue,
Stan. The issue is, that’s not our property. We need
to build a facility for the entire community in one central
location. You know, let’s filibuster for a little longer,
and then let’s move on. Let’s make a point that’s
worth something here as to what direction you want to go
in. If you want to pursue this in litigation, then find an
Attorney, and try to oppose it.
Mr. Roedel: I didn’t specifically say I was opposed
to the whole project. But I am opposed to the use of Open
Space Funds to pay Debt Service.
Mr. Heymann: And you made that point perfectly clear. So
let’s move on.
Mr. Roedel: I am trying to move on.
Mr. Guenther: Well, what is your point as far as the FTZ
Mr. Roedel: Well, my point was, toward some sense of urgency.
Mr. Guenther Well, yes there is, because my understanding
those fields were given to us strictly on a loan basis. Isn’t
President Sohl: That’s correct.
Mr. Spino: We don’t know if those fields are going
to be taken from us tomorrow–if a Developer comes in
to put buildings on. Number Two, they’re not quality
fields. If you’ve been up there and have seen the rocks
that keep coming up, they’re not quality fields. We’re
worried about children getting hurt up there. Number Three,
I don’t agree with you on the use of that money. It
might not be verbatim in the Ordinance. But, it certainly
is the spirit of that Ordinance that that money can be used
for that. Mr. Dorsey has advised us that it can be. I’m
not saying that we should. I don’t believe we should
use that amount. That $150,000. I’m not saying I support
that. But the fields–Ron, as often as I disagree with
him, there are times when I do agree with him. This is one
instance. We need fields in this Township. To say we’re
going to continue like this. We don’t know how long
we’re going to have those fields.
Mr. Roedel: Given the grand scope of the Turkeybrook plan,
does the Township still have any intention of developing
for active recreation the parcel of open space that was given
to the Town from Oakhill, on Smithtown Road?
Mr. Spino: Not at this point.
Mr. Heymann: No.
Mr. Spino: But that doesn’t mean–my opinion,
that doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be done
in the future. At this point, no. Because what was planned,
we were going to use that property, but because of the amount
of work that’s going to be going into Turkeybrook,
the work that was going to be done there is going to be put
on Turkeybrook. But the property will still be available
for future use.
Mr. Roedel: Understood. But my point was in that Developers
Agreement, there was $75,000 given by the developer earmarked
improvements for active recreation. I was wondering if that
deal could just lay, and take that $75K and put that on Turkeybrook.
President Sohl: I believe we can.
Mr. Spino: It’s my understanding that we can, but
I’m not an attorney, and I really don’t remember
the Ordinance that were involved at the time.
Mr. Rattner; With Turkeybrook, we have a Trust Fund, and
we have a balance in there which we’re using for this
right now. And we continue to use it. We’re looking
at different sources to develop it. We’ve been very
successful in the last couple of years in getting donations
from developers so that when they want to do something we
ask for a contribution in lieu of something else, like a
little field. So, we’re hoping to get more in the future.
Mr. Roedel: This is going to be a 15-year Bond. Upon the
expiration or the pay-off of the Bond, have taxes ever been
rolled back that amount that the resident was shelling out?
Or that’s going to be with us forever, right?
Mrs. Jenkins: The projection I presented really just addresses
Debt Service. There are a whole number of components that
determine what the actual tax effect is going to be on a
home. So, we’re just dealing with the Debt Service
issue. We’re saying our projection expects it’s
going to go up “x” amount of money. It’s
possible you may have no tax increase as a homeowner. Depending
on what our Revenues are going to look like, what our growth
in Assessment is. Things like that.
Mr. Roedel: So, further, in that Editorial you had in a
most recent paper, you said why can’t we buy a Cadillac
instead of a Chevrolet. I wonder if you could give me an
example in the recent past where we’ve been forced
to settle for a Chevrolet instead of a Cadillac.
President Sohl: I think you’re suggesting it right
Mr. Roedel: No, but your statement was, “Why do we
always have to.” You’re implying that we have
in the past.
Mr. Spino: I can give you two.
Mr. Heymann: Go back in time to eight - ten years ago, before
Council began a maybe more progressive view on improvements
that needed to be done in this Municipality. From this Building
to the Senior Citizen Center to anything else. This Community
has been living in a situation that not only wasn’t
fair to its employees, it wasn’t fair to the residents.
So, this Council in the last eight to ten years has made
a concerted effort to modernize what’s necessary so
that we have come into this Century, and hopefully move into
the next Century. I think that’s obvious. The people
on this side of the room are here for a certain reason, Stan.
They’re here because they are with this Recreation
Program and want to see this thing move. When that many people
start to show up to our meetings in support of something,
then I know we’re headed in the right direction. So
I don’t need any further discussion as far as we’re
concerned on where we’re headed.
Mr. Spino: I can give you some examples. The field that’s
behind the Old Budd Lake School. That was a job done by some
of the people in the audience here. And, this building is
a scale down version of our original grandiose plan. So,
this is not a Cadillac, this is a Chevy–to use the
Mr. Roedel: This is more than adequate–
Mr. Spino: No–we’re not talking about whether
it’s adequate or not. You’re saying why can’t
we have a Chevy. What I’m saying is, I had a different
vision of this building that was a lot more expensive, and
maybe a little bit more aesthetically pleasing. But this
building serves a purpose and we understood that we had to
make that decision. The Senior Citizen Building could have
been bigger, could have been more grandiose. The Recycling
Center, whether it’s there, here or anywhere else,
could be a lot better. So, we’ve done that. And I think
it’s about time that we do something that is more pleasing.
Mr. Roedel: I’m not opposed to the 5.1, I’m
opposed to the looming additional build outs going out is
going up to the 13.6.
President Sohl: We’re not here for that tonight. We’re
here for the Phase I. Period.
Mr. Roedel: But you’ve given no indication of how
that’s going to be at the end, we’re pretty much
anticipating–if that was the whole plan–
President Sohl: You’re absolutely right. That is not
the whole plan. Whether or not we are in a position–I
will tell you right now, what I will look at as an individual,
come this November when the vote is out there on the Open
Space Tax, if that gets defeated then we up here-at least
I will–have to seriously think that we reached the
end of a point that the Public is saying, “I don’t
want to go anymore with dollars in that direction.” If
it passes, then I think, as Mr. Heymann has adequately pointed
out, we are absolutely going in the right direction. To build
a community that people are proud to be in. Can look to various
resources, various infrastructure.
Mr. Roedel: Well, further to your point there, on the upcoming
Referendum, now where in the wording of that Referendum is
it ever mentioned “For Debt Service.” It outlays
specific purposes. That’s going to confuse the–I
don’t think any resident reading that writing, the
explanatory note on that Referendum can conclude, “Oh,
I am voting to authorize these monies for Debt Service.”
Mr. Spino: Isn’t Debt Service paying for the land?
Mr. Roedel: No. It’s specific purpose—
Mr. Spino: I’m not going to be splitting hairs.
Mr. Roedel: It’s not splitting hairs. The State Statute
outlines these things.
Mr. Spino: Our Attorney advised us that it can be used for
Mr. Roedel: I think that’s an error. My point--
Mr. Spino: Your point, you mentioned-and I don’t want
to belabor this, Mr. Chairman, but the build out of $13 million.
I, for one, have not said that I’m for that. And there
aren’t many people up here except maybe Mr. Heymann
who said they are for the entire build-out–and he might
be right, but the point is, on that same issue is, some of
us might not be here when we get to that decision. So, to
say we’re going to do that now is entirely incorrect.
You might have a totally different point of view than other
people up there. So, don’t count your chickens.
Mr. Roedel: Okay, my point being, Phase One could be considered
President Sohl: Okay. Anyone else?
Mr. Greenbaum, Crenshaw Drive: I’m going to be very
brief. I’m in favor of the project. I think it is well
thought out, I looked at the plans. I think the cost is a
lot of money, but I think that it really is a well thought
out plan. I think that we have to be very careful as we move
forward with actually spending the money that we bond. There
are a lot of people in this Town who are on fixed incomes.
People who have contacted me in the past, who have raised
concerns about taxes in Town and having to move out of Town–long
term residents, who have expressed very grave concerns about
making ends meet. Now, obviously, you can’t please
all of the people all of the time. There has to be some sort
of balance between those who are struggling, and those who
need. Obviously, those who need are the people involved in
the Recreation. Again, I think it’s a well, thought
out plan. I’m in favor of it. I think you should vote
in favor of the Bonding as proposed and be very careful as
you spend the money. One other point–and it’s
something that Rich Bonte always raises. The fields have
to be available to the entire Township. They can’t
be set aside for particular uses. Obviously, if there is
going to be a league, a Township sponsored event, and it’s
scheduled, that’s something different than the fields
being dedicated for certain uses. And, I would be against
the project if the fields were not open to all residents
when the fields weren’t being used for organized events.
President Sohl: Anyone else from the Public?
Mr. Bonte: Thank you, Mr. Greenbaum, I guess I don’t
need to belabor that point.
Mr. Spino: That shortens your time limit, though.
Mr. Heymann: Right.
Mr. Bonte: I have a couple of questions regarding this project,
and a couple of comments. First of all, I have to agree with
Mr. Roedel, that I don’t think we need a Cadillac.
Maybe a Chevy won’t do, but something in between.
Mr. Spino: A Buick.
Mr. Bonte: But I take personal objection to reading articles
in the newspaper and hearing statements like, “This
needs to be the premier sports facility in Northwest Jersey” it
needs to be something that other people are going to envy,
etc. etc. What we need is decent playing fields for our youth.
We don’t need a showcase. That should not be the intention
Mr. Heymann: I’m going to burst your bubble, but that’s
exactly the quote that I gave the Daily Record this afternoon.
So, you’ll see that tomorrow. The word “premier” is
exactly the word I used.
Mr. Bonte: I disagree with you, Ron. I don’t think
we need to spend that kind of money, nor can we afford that.
We need adequate fields.
Mr. Heymann: Well, that’s why great minds sometimes
seem to differ.
Mr. Bonte: I’ll take that as a compliment.
Mr. Heymann: It is. That’s what I’m telling
you. I just don’t want you to be shocked when you see
that quote tomorrow. That’s exactly the word I used
when they called me this afternoon.
Mr. Bonte: Well, I personally don’t want people coming
to the fields in this Town, looking at it and saying, “Wow,
what a great place. I’d like to move here.” We
need to restrict development.
Mr. Guenther: They can buy your home, and you’d get
more money for it.
Mr. Bonte: I’m going to leave that comment, Bernie,
for another time. In regard to your statement, Mr. Sohl,
about the Open Space, and if it passes, that sort of being
a vindication to the Council that you’re going in the
right direction. I would only agree to that if this Bond
Issue was on the Ballot. When people vote for open space
it does not particularly mean on each particular issue they’re
in favor of it. If that’s the case, go ahead and come
up with the $6 or $7 million and save 600 acres of prime
property know as crown Towers. So, I don’t think that
the Open Space issue, which I am in favor of, necessarily
means it’s a mandate to continue spending money for
fields. My biggest concern, really, is the cost. We’ve
seen what’s happened in Flanders, where a community
park that was supposed to be in the neighborhood of about
$100,000 is going to end up costing about $1 million when
they’re all done. If one were to extrapolate this $5
million, which when you look at the last page of this memo,
really says $8 million for Phase I, if one were to extrapolate
by past performance, this Phase I would end up costing us
$80 million. I know that’s ludicrous. So my question
is, who is going to be the single sole-point project manager
for this project? Mr. Casey?
President Soh That’s correct.
Mr. Bonte: And will Mr. Casey’s salary–or a
portion of his salary be directly tied to the performance
of this project and how it comes in on cost and schedule?
President Sohl: No.
Mr. Bonte: I think that’s something that you ought
to consider. I like Mr. Casey, but I think that any project
manager that’s managing a project of this size and
this effort should have both rewards and some teeth to bite
him if he either over-performs or underperforms in the job,
and it’s time that this Township does something. You
saw what happened with the Sewer Project, you saw what happened
down in Flanders with the park. I don’t want to see
that happen again here.
President Sohl: Nor do we.
Mr. Bonte: Well I think you need to take some action and
assure that whoever the person is, that their pay is commensurate
with their performance. I had asked about four or six weeks
ago when this first came up what the actual cost for an average
taxpayer would be for this project. For this phase, and for
the next phase, and I can’t find that information in
this document–unless I missed it.
Mr. Kaplan: No, we can’t provide that at this point
Mr. Bonte: Why can’t we provide that?
Mr. Kaplan: Because we don’t know what Phase II and
Phase III will entail, and whether or not there will be any
outside funds available to off-set the Township funds. So
we would be guessing.
Mr. Bonte: All right, what is the cost to an average homeowner
for Phase I?
Mrs. Jenkins: It’s about $69.
Mr. Bonte: $69? And that’s over the life of the Bond?
Mrs. Jenkins: No, that’s just what the highest increase
Mr. Bonte: When we say “increase” are we talking
about annual increase or annual average tax cost to a homeowner
is to this project per year?
Mrs. Jenkins: We’re talking about annual cost per
Mr. Bonte: And it starts out at what level?
Mrs. Jenkins: If you look at my analysis, I basically did
number year projection. And you can see can see what the
current tax apportionment is for Debt Services, and just
compare that each year. Again, this just looks at Debt Service.
Mr. Bonte: “Debt Service” which is payment of
principal and interest.
Mrs. Jenkins: Exactly. It doesn’t take into account
other budgetary issues that are going to come along, that
are going to affect you as homeowner.
Mr. Bonte: Are you talking about this sheet?
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes
Mr. Bonte: Where does it share on that sheet what the annual
cost in each given year is for a house–all I see is
Mrs. Jenkins: I’ll show you.
Mr. Bonte: I believe the question that I asked the Council
a number of weeks ago was to find out what the projected
cost by year would be for an average assessed home for this
project. And it’s not there.
President Sohl: And the answer that was given--at to least
me–was in the neighborhood of $65.
Mr. Bonte: She just stated that she doesn’t have that
Mrs. Jenkins: The Debt Service Projection that I prepared
includes Debt Service. All of our current Debt Service that
we’ll still have to pay for the life of this projection
and Debt Service on Phase I of Turkeybrook. So, it’s
total Debt Service picture, not just Phase I of Turkeybrook.
President Sohl: But the $65 was just Phase I, right?
Mrs. Jenkins: No, the $69 is everything. Because I think
we need to look at what is our total Debt Service requirement.
I can certainly isolate it just for Turkeybrook.
President Sohl: Okay.
Mr. Bonte: I just thought it would be useful to the Public,
and that’s why I asked the question many weeks ago.
President Sohl: What I heard is the number is higher and
includes things that are not in Phase I. So that makes the
Mr. Bonte: Is there any debt being retired at this period
Mrs. Jenkins: If you see–Year 2006 if you look at
my projection, you’ll see we’ll actually pay
off our 1996 Bonds at that time.
Mr. Bonte: So this may not be a true analysis of just what
the cost of Turkeybrook is. Because if other debts are coming
off the books, that statement of how much taxes are going
to go up as a result of all Debt Service, may not be an indication
of how much taxes are going to go up as a result of this
Mr. Rattner: Sherry, what are the yearly payments on it–principal
and interest just on that?
Mrs. Jenkins: The cost by year for Turkeybrook–it
ranges from $43,000 per year to $591,000 on the highest year.
So, basically I would just take those costs and equalize
Mr. Rattner: If you’re looking at the lowest one,
.43 would be roughly 2 mils on your tax rate. $591,000 in
a given year with today’s valuation in Town, you’re
talking approximately three cents. Three cents on a house
that’s $150,000 is $45 a year. That’s exactly
what it would cost.
Mr. Bonte: Now, at the end of the build out period, which
is expected to be how long for this project?
Mr. Rattner: For Phase I, one year.
Mr. Bonte: In one year we’re going to have this project
Mr. Rattner: We expect to have the project complete by next
Fall. About 12 months, and then we figure we’ll be
able to start playing on it the Spring after, because you
want to leave a certain amount of time for the growth.
Mr. Bonte: Have we also done a companion analysis of what
the maintenance and operation this facility will cost the
Township over the same period of time?
Mr. Rattner: Yes.
Mr. Bonte: Do you know what those numbers are?
Mr. Rattner: It varies between $100,000 and $140,000.
Mr. Bonte: All right, you’ve answered all my questions.
Basically, I hope you take my recommendation regarding the
Project Manager and his performance on this job, and I hope
Mr. Dorsey will make sure that we have adequate teeth in
the contract and the Bid Specs if we go out to severely penalize
the projected Bidders and the final awarded Contractor on
this project if he doesn’t perform to satisfactory
requirements and that we document this time any poor performance,
or lack of performance, or misschedules so that we can address
this issue if need be in litigation if the contractor does
not perform adequately, or we can deny him the opportunity
to Bid on a future project in this Town. Thank you.
President Sohl: Thank you, Rich. And I would just like to
point out that I am absolutely confident that Mr. Casey will
document problem, hopefully there won’t be any, but
if there are–because I’ve seen the type of documentation
Mr. Casey can put together compared to what we saw in terms
of no documentation a year ago. It’s night and day.
So, I’m looking forward to that type of reporting on
a constant basis. Milestones being met, and project scheduling
and progress reports being forthcoming to the Council, and
certainly, obviously to the Public. Anyone else from the
Public wish to address this?
Mr. Ken Murray: This is going to be real quick, because
the Yankee Game has started already. I’ve been involved
in Recreation in Town for a little over ten years. I’ve
been involved in MOMAC, and the Lions Committee. A common
theme, whenever I talk to the kids, “There’s
nothing to do in this Town.” This project is the beginning
of a focal point for the Community. Which we’ve been
lacking up to now. I hear a lot of dissection of it, and
distilling it down into “x” dollars per year.
It’s very important to people on fixed incomes. I understand
that. This project, and similar projects, is going to be
investments in our kids. And that’s all I had to say.
I think we’re doing a great job. And the words being
used about a “Cadillac” or a “Chevy” really
reflect the quality of the fields, not the superstructure,
not flashy signs, not wonderful add-ons, and extraneous extras.
It’s really the quality of the fields. Olympvs knows
what they’re doing, and they’re going to design
us some fields that are going to be as State-of-the-Art fields
can be for our kids. And they’re going to be durable.
It’s going to help reduce our maintenance costs. Thank
you very much.
President Sohl: Thank you, Ken. Anyone else?
Mr. Peter Juran, President, Mt. Olive Soccer Club: I would
like to read a letter to you that I sent to the Editor of
the Paper. “I’m writing in response to the letter
printed on September 28, concerning the need for a premier
sports complex at Turkeybrook Park. In this letter he asked
if fields similar to those used presently is adequate for
the Town’s use. I speak for the Soccer Club when I
say, ‘No, they are not adequate.’ The Soccer
Club is presently spread across various fields in Town, and
the condition of those fields is rough but playable. Every
year we see more injuries due to fields that are over-used.
The present fields cannot take the everyday wear that we
put on them. We have a dedicated crew of volunteers that’s
spent many a Saturday trying to get grass to grow where a
patch of dirt exists. Trying to remove the never-ending supply
of rocks that the fields produce, as you’re all aware.
And trying to keep the fields safe for the kids. We see other
Towns with beautiful sports facilities that they are proud
to have. We, on the other hand, apologize to visiting teams
for the condition of our fields. The soccer program has been
in operation since the late 1970's. We have always played
on fields that were borrowed. We have always had to deal
with fields that were in poor condition. Even though we work
hard to maintain the fields. Wouldn’t it be nice to
be able to have a park that is the best in Morris County,
or Northern New Jersey, or the whole State? Why should the
residents expect anything less than the best for their children
and their Town? This park should be a jewel in Mt. Olive.
Let it be one of the reasons that people do want to move
to Mt. Olive and stay in Mt. Olive. Now is the time for Mt.
Olive to construct a premier recreation complex. I say that
in that it’s active and passive. It’s not just ‘active’ and
that all residents can be proud of and able to enjoy. I encourage
all residents who believe as I do that Mt. Olive should have
the best facility to attend the Town Council Meeting October
10, 2000, and show their support for the construction of
Turkeybrook Park.” One other thing that I would like
to read to you–we do a regular Newsletter. I wrote
a recent article that’s called the “Wow Factor.” During
a recent meeting at the Town Council, the term “The
Wow Factor” was used to describe the new design of
the sports complex at Turkeybrook Park. I couldn’t
agree more. At a news conference, Mayor Licitra stated that
Mt. Olive was going to build a State-of-the-Arts Sports and
Recreation Facility at Turkeybrook to provide the residents
of Mt. Olive a place that they can be proud of and a place
to spend time with their families. The Mayor then introduced
Don Lockerbie of the Olympvs Group to describe the park and
its amenities. It includes nine soccer fields, nine baseball/softball
fields, a football field, four tennis courts, three basketball
courts, two volleyball courts, bocci courts, a playground,
a skateboard park, picnic areas, a cross-country course,
and parking to accommodate 1,200 cars. The final cost of
the park project is an initial estimate of $13 million. The
construction of the park will be in three phases, with Phase
One hopefully starting this year. When Don showed the crowd
the architect’s print, which I believe you have hanging
out in the halls here, of what the park would look like from
an airplane, there were many “Wows.” heard. It
is more than I could hope for. If you would like to see the
layout, there’s a print in this newsletter, there are
some large color renditions in the Council Chambers. I appreciate
everybody’s comments tonight. I understand you folks
have a very tough decision on which way to vote on this issue.
I can only say that I’m full support of you. Our club
is in full support of you, and I believe this is definitely
the right way to go. Thank you.
President Sohl: Thank you. Anyone else?
Mr. Larry McEntee, 22 Aldersgate, Budd Lake: I’ve
been since 1969. I, too, support the Turkeybrook full-fledged
project. But I do have some concern in a sense that the “wow” factor
is not there for the Football Association in the sense that
you have a football field it isn’t even a legal football
field. The design says 300 x 160, and a football field is
340'. And that doesn’t leave any room for bleachers
or anything else. So, the plans that we saw really leaves
us out in the cold. I was kind of excited about it because
I thought there was going to be room for soccer, for baseball
and everybody. But the field that I see is a multipurpose
field that’s 300' x 160. But a football field is 120
yards x 55 yards. A little bit bigger than that. The overall
square footage on the plan in the back of the book is it
leaves us about 10 feet around the outside of the parameter
of the field to put bleachers and have a safety cushion for
the kids. So, I’m a little concerned about the plans
in a sense that they’re not adequate, and I also look
at the list of amenities and–not that I’m going
to deny the soccer club or the baseball club any of them,
but the football field it says “irrigation” and
that’s it. Yet on all the other fields, it says “irrigation” “Lighting
PA system” bathrooms” “bleachers” They’re
leaving us nothing but a sodded field. And even that, an
undersized one. If we’re going to do it right, let’s
do it right. Let’s not build a field where the mound
is too close to the plate, let’s not build a football
field that we can’t put goal posts up on. We have a
field down there in Flanders where the goal posts are on
the road I would implore you if you’re going to spend
$5 million first and then $13 million, let’s do it
right, and I think we should go back and look at it. We were
asked for a “wish list” and we understand that
our wish list was not even considered. So, I don’t
know where it’s going to go, but I would like you to
consider that. Because I think most parents with children
I think are going to support this wholeheartedly no matter
what it costs. We need it, and we’ve needed it for
a long time.
Mr. Rattner: I was under the understanding that all the
different recreational groups that were involved in talking–obviously,
there had to be a priority list. The designers came up with
a $13 million plan. Obviously, that scared everybody off.
Then we came up with, what can we do in different phases.
It was my understanding that all the groups at least bought
in. They may not get all that they wanted, all at the beginning
But at least the playing was there, there was space reserved.
I know there’s only a certain amount we can do. The
major part of the money that’s being spent on this
first portion–a lot of it is the infrastructure. The
parking, the driveways, the irrigation, it’s the proper
preparation so that the fields will drain properly so that
when it rains it could be used without ripping it up the
next day. It was also going to be designed in such a way
with the right materials that if it’s played on a lot,
it’s easy to maintain. But I guess I’m concerned–and
I saw the list in the past–I don’t have it in
front of me, about who was attending some of these meetings.
Yes, you could have a list, but I have to, I guess, at some
point make a decision based on the recommendation of the
designers, and the Committee on what gets done in what order.
Now, if I had to decide what’s more important, I couldn’t
make the decision on my own what’s more important,
baseball, football. We have people in here saying we need
more space for tennis courts. They’re all important,
we’re all involved.
Mr. McEntee: I don’t think anybody is arguing the
Mr. Rattner: But then I get back to my question, was your
organization part of this discussion, and why are you here
saying you just didn’t like where you were placed?
Mr. McEntee: No, I’m looking at the drawing on the
board. The field is not a legitimate field.
Mr. Rattner: But what I’m asking you–you had
to wait until it was on the board. If your organization was
a part of it, saying exactly what the size of the field had
to be because this Olympvs Group is supposed to be experts
in all the different sports. So they know what a regulation
field is, and how to space it out.
Mr. McEntee: Well, that’s my question. How does a
sports expert design a field–
Mr. Guenther: Why don’t we get to the crux of it.
Was your organization a part of the planning process?
Mr. McEntee: I believe Chris Killian was a part of it.
Mr. Rattner: Yes. That’s what I mean. I thought they
Mr. McEntee: When we got the book, the book didn’t
represent anything we expected. You hire an expert consultant,
and he designs a field that’s too small.
Mr. Heymann: I understand your position, but this isn’t
the place tonight for us to do this. I think Mr. Casey is
here, and everybody from Football on down can discuss this
after. We’re just at Phase I and getting the funding.
I agree. It should be designed the right way, but it’s
not for us to do here tonight. So let them all talk–Eric
(Schulte) is here.
President Sohl: All right. Anyone else?
Mr. Bratter: I’m here as a Coach with the Mt. Olive
Little League and also the Soccer Club. Just want to let
you know the kids and the parents on my soccer team specifically
wanted me to ask you to vote for this because of the conditions
of the fields specifically. I think Ken made a point about
the quality of the field. In only four weeks this year in
soccer, I’ve seen so many injuries. Kids just running
up the field, tripping over a spot, turning an ankle, twisting
a knee, something like that. And, baseball, as well. We’ve
seen ground balls on a dirt field that take the craziest
hops and are hitting kids in the teeth and as much from a
safety perspective as anything else as far as size and things
like that. I think this is required. So, I just wanted to
report that both from my kids and parents and let you know
that that’s where they stand. Thank you.
President Sohl: Thank you. Anyone else?
President Sohl closed the Public Hearing on Ord. #36-2000
Mrs. Kelly moved for Adoption and Final Passage on Ord.
#36-2000 and Mr. Spino seconded the motion.
Mr. Guenther: I wholeheartedly favor this project. In campaigning
around the Town and talking to a lot of people, the people
on fixed incomes and being limited and being possibly forced
out by our taxes is a serious issue. I think we have to be
very careful for the future. For that reason, addressing
the concern that people had about the amplification of the
project beyond the $5 million on the second or third Phase,
I would look at this very carefully. Personally, we really
have to analyze whether those are needed, or to what extent
they’re needed. What we’re voting on tonight
is strictly the first phase. And this is still a pick and
chose, and things can still be altered in here. But, certainly,
for the second and third phase, nothing is cast in stone
as far as I’m concerned. We have to look at that very
carefully. Also, now, the economy happens to be very good.
A lot of people are very buoyant, money being made. There’s
not that much ground swelled objection. Let the economy go
south a little bit, you’re going to see a lot more
objection because of possibly higher taxes and people being
strapped. The other point–Mr. Roedel made in a letter
that he wrote to the Chronicle is one of private donations
toward the funding. Certain aspects of this park. This is
something the Turkeybrook Committee that had been formed
years ago had addressed and then when the issue of contamination
of the site came up the Turkeybrook Committee wasn’t
used. One of the things we’ve always emphasized was
we wanted to go after private donations in Town. I think
we have to reactivate that project again. I understand some
talks are going on behind the scenes. But there are major
corporate people in this Town that have contributed in the
past. And now that we have something to present to them.
I think that has to be a major component. We cannot just
rely on Public Funds.
President Sohl: Anyone else? I will just add that I heartedly
endorse this. It’s a major step forward in the area
of Recreation-and that’s all kinds of recreation. Passive
as well as active. Bernie, just as a follow-up, last weekend,
I was at the PAL Building in Parsippany, and apparently,
that was funded almost entirely with private donations from
local industry and things of that nature. So, that certainly
serves as an indicator as to what can be done in terms of
generating significant amounts of money. We’re bonding
for the amount we are because we have to in order to be able
to go to Bid. It does not mean we have to expend all that
money as taxpayer money in order to obtain the result we’re
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Sohl declared Ord. #36-2000 as Passed on Second
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING
Ord. #41-2000 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive,
in the County of Morris, and State of New Jersey, Granting
Municipal Consent to Oakwood Village Sewerage Associates,
L.L.C., to Construct, Operate, Manage and Maintain a Sewage
Collection, Treatment and Disposal Plant and System to Service
Certain Tracts of Land Lying and Situate in the Township
of Mount Olive, County of Morris and State of New Jersey.
(Westminster Realty/Dara Estates)
Mr. Dorsey: Bob, you wrote a letter–you wanted some
changes to this Ordinance?
Mr. Casey: My only concern was the section of the Ordinance
which basically cited Engineering plans other than approved
by the Township Engineer. That was simply the section. They
basically had “subject to plans as–put in the
roadways, etc., etc.” Rather than “Subject to
the Township Engineer’s review and approval....”
Mr. Dorsey: All right, then we have to change that.
Mr. Casey: Well, John, it’s just something to look
at because it really should come back to the Site Plan Review
requirements and the capability of the Township Engineer
to approve construction.
Mr. Dorsey: All right. Introduce it.
Mr. Scapicchio moved that Ord. #41-2000 be introduced by
title and passed on First Reading and that it be scheduled
for Adoption after a Public Hearing on November 21, 2000
at 7:30 p.m. Mrs. Kelly seconded the Motion.
ROLL CALL: Passed by the majority, Exception: Mr. Spino
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS AGENDA:
Resolutions on the Consent Agenda List are considered to
be routine and non-controversial by the Township Council
and will be approved by one motion (one vote). There will
be no separate discussion or debate on each of these resolutions
except for the possibility of brief clarifying statements
which may be offered. If one or more Council member requests,
any individual resolution on the Consent Agenda may be removed
from the Consent Agenda List and acted on separately.
Mr. Scapicchio: I would like to remove #9 and #10 off the
President Sohl: Okay.
Mr. Spino: I have questions on a couple. On #8, the $50,000
for the COPS Grant. What exactly is it for?
Mrs. Jenkins: The Grant actually covers two different items.
One is for a hire which they have not yet done. The other
is for different types of equipment. I’m not exactly
sure the specifics for the equipment, but I know it’s
Mr. Spino: This “hire.” Is it one we had planned
on already, or is it one that we had not planned on?
Mrs. Jenkins: I believe that they had planned on it. At
what point, and for whatever organizational issues came up,
they decided not to make that decision at that point. And,
I don’t believe that they’re ready to make that
hire at this point. I’m primarily doing this for the
equipment purposes because there are some items of equipment
that they want to purchase that are covered under this Grant.
Mr. Spino: Okay. My question is we have not discussed this
particular hiring by the Police Department, and if there
is a hiring, we have to pick up that cost at some time down
Mr. Dorsey: That’s true.
President Sohl: You want to move it to non-consent?
Mr. Spino: Yes.
President Sohl: Okay.
Mr. Rattner: I’d like to have #14 and #15 put on non-consent.
And, I just want to mention on #11, we’re a little
bit late on New Jersey Natural Gas because I believe the
PUC ruled today, based on the recommendation of the Public
Advocate at 16% - 17%.
President Sohl: You want to take it off?
Mr. Rattner: No.
President Sohl: All right, with that, I’ll open the
meeting to the Public on Resolutions #1 - #7, and #11 - #13.
Mr. Bonte: Comments on #7 and #11. On #7. When this came
up about five or six months ago, we had a discussion on that,
and my memory serves me well. I thought that during this
period of time that this Contract was ongoing for this first
six months, we were going to prepare Bid Specifications and
go out on the street and attempt to see what kind of pricing
we could get for an annual contract for this maintenance.
Is there any reason why we’re going for another six
months without competitively Bidding this?
Mr. Dorsey: A change in price.
Mr. Kaplan: The Contractor has held the price for the next
six months. The Contractor has performed up-to, and better
than our expectations over the last period.
Mr. Bonte: All right, but that doesn’t necessarily
mean that we couldn’t be procuring satisfactory services
for less money. Is that correct?
President Sohl: That’s correct. And one of the things
that my understanding is that we’ve been very satisfied
with this particular service provider.
Mr. Bonte: I understand that, but we didn’t competitively
Bid this Contract in the first place and it was–at
least my understanding when we discussed this back in January–or
whenever it was during the year that the next round would
be through a competitive process to determine the best price.
President Sohl: I believe you’re correct. I think
that was the general intent at the time. At this point in
Mr. Bonte: What’s changed?
President Sohl: What’s changed is we’ve had
a very satisfactory period of time during which Mr. Kaplan
has now become Business Administrator.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, I understand that, Bill, but does that
mean that we will never Bid this now?
President Sohl: No. This Resolution is for six months.
Mr. Bonte: That’s what the last one was for. So, when
this comes up six months from now, and we haven’t done
anything, I’ll presume we’ll just continue this
for six months at a time forever?
President Sohl: Perhaps.
Mr. Bonte: Well, I don’t think that’s good business.
President Sohl: I think you have to give the Administration
a chance to get fully settled in and up to speed. There’s
a lot of things going on.
Mr. Bonte: Yes, but we have a $55,000 a year Contract with
a Firm that we’re not Bidding. We’re awarding
this Contract on an ongoing basis because we’re happy
with the guy. Not because we know that he is the best value
for the money.
President Sohl: It depends on how you measure value. I go
to the same repair shop for my car.
Mr. Bonte: This is the Public’s money, Bill, it’s
not yours. We should be Bidding something like this. How
often is this Firm on site?
Mr. Kaplan: Twice a week.
Mr. Bonte: Twice a week?
Mr. Kaplan: Yes.
Mr. Bonte: Okay. Comments on #11, regarding the two rate
hikes. The Verizon Rate Hike is an interesting case, and
I think it should be pursued even stronger than you pursued
it in this Resolution because the Verizon Rate Hike is not
really a rate hike as much as it is a forcing the Public
to buy services they may not necessarily want to buy or have
a need for. The Verizon effort to date has been to emphasize
how they’re giving the customer more value for their
money, but basically they are marketing services that they
have not been able to convince the masses to purchase and
would now like to force upon us. So, I don’t think
you should treat the Verizon issue as a rate hike. The Verizon
issue is merely a case of forcing the Public to buy something
they don’t want to buy. Regarding the New Jersey Natural
Gas issue, I realize it’s a moot point, but I’m
kind of surprised that you would take action as you did in
the Resolution here without the facts. I don’t think
any of you have the facts as to what the costs are to New
Jersey Natural Gas in this case, or any provider of fossil
fuel services within the country at the present time. Even
the Public Advocate today admitted that the costs that New
Jersey Natural Gas has incurred are more than the rate increase
that they’ve asked for. So, to condemn a rate increase
without knowing the facts behind the matter I think is not
proper. If anything needs to be condemned, it should be both
the State and the Federal Government’s inaction to
curb energy use in this Country, make the Country more self-efficient
and encourage conservation. That’s where your efforts
should be going. Thank you.
President Sohl: Is there anyone else from the Public who
would like to address the Resolutions?
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Transferring Certain Credit Balances to Surplus.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Waiving Any Rights to Purchase Gallonage Made
Available by the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority (MSA) as
a Result of Action by the Borough of Stanhope.(right of first
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of a Developer’s
Agreement Between the Township and Toll NJ IV, LP. (Fieldview
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Authorizing Tax Appeal Settlements in Connection
with Four Tax Appeals.
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Authorizing the Sale of Certain Lands Known and
Designated as Lot 7, Block 3305, North Mount Olive Road.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Authorizing the Issuance of an Addendum to the
Professional Services Contract with Schoor DePalma RE: Preliminary
Assessment of Master Plan for State Planning Commission Endorsement
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Authorizing a Six Month Extension to the Contract
with Geo Concepts, Ltd. for Computer System Maintenance.
11. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Opposing Public Utilities Proposed Rate Hikes.
(Verizon & NJ Natural Gas)
12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive to Cancel Tax Title Lien #99-002 on Block 501,
Lot 2. (NJDEP owned property)
13. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive to Cancel Tax on Block 2700, Lot 20. (NJDOT owned
Mrs. Kelly moved for approval of the Consent Resolutions
and Mr. Scapicchio seconded the motion.
ROLL CALL: Passed by the majority. Exception: Mr. Sohl ABSTAINED
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Requesting Approval from the Director of the
Division of Local Government Services for Insertion of a
Specific Item of Revenue into the 2000 Municipal Budget ($50,000
for COPS More 1998 Grant)
Mr. Scapicchio moved for approval of the Resolution and
Mr. Heymann seconded the motion.
Mr. Spino: I just want to know when was the last time we
discussed another person on the Police Department. I’d
really like to know more about it. I know this is only a
Grant and we’re going to have to pick up that salary
down the road.
President Sohl: Steve, did we discuss this before? I think
we knew these were going to kick in.
Mr. Rattner: I believe we had a couple of Officers–I
know we hired two before the end of the year because we wanted
them for the most recent class. I know that they put in for
another two, I’m not sure if we approved two or one.
But we anticipated the Grants because we’ve been getting
them each year.
Mayor Licitra: This is for “equipment.”
Mrs. Jenkins: It’s actually for both. The total Grant
award is about $127,000. We’re doing a Budget Amendment
right now for $50,000 because that’s the equipment
portion of it.
Mr. Rattner: Okay. This is just for equipment.
Mr. Kaplan: It will be brought up in the next Budget.
Mr. Heymann: That solves that.
President Sohl: Well, all right. That solves that.
ROLL CALL: Passed unanimously
9. Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing
the Use of Various Morris County Cooperative Purchasing Contracts.
(ITC South Connector Road Project)
Mrs. Kelly moved for approval of the Resolution and Mr.
Rattner seconded the motion.
Mr. Scapicchio: I just wanted to bring to the Council’s
attention a concern that I had and some residents in the
area had, and that is–in the agreement the property
owner made with the Township, the cul-de-sacs of three particular
roads are going to be put in place before any construction
started. Construction has begun, the clearing of the property
has begun, and, indeed, it appears that they have begun to
actually cut in the link road that will go from Gold Mine
Road to this new International Drive South. In reviewing
some of the Correspondence, I understand that all Development
Rights have been transferred from the Trade Zone to AIG Baker,
and I just want to make absolutely sure that they know the
rules under which they have to operate.
Mr. Dorsey: They know the rules–and it has nothing
to do with these two resolutions. If you think that they
are defaulting under their obligations then we should have
the Administration direct Gene Buczynski to stop them, or
redirect their efforts. I assume they haven’t started
the cul-de-sacs–you simply direct the Township Engineer
to redirect their efforts until you’re satisfied they’re
doing what they’re supposed to do.
Mr. Kaplan: The last meeting we had with them, which was
a pre-construction meeting, they advised us that they would
be starting to mobilize and prepare a portion of the site
to bring in all their equipment. That’s what you may
be seeing right now. Because I was out there myself today.
That’s what I think they’re in the process of
doing. It’s clearing the site to create an area for
them to bring their trailers and to be able to bring their
heavy equipment on to the site. We discussed that. That was
one of the first things they said they were going to start
doing. We had that meeting about a week and a half ago. They
said they were going to start mobilizing and they did tell
us that this was going to start. And there is the beginning
of heavy equipment appearing on the site.
Mr. Scapicchio: Okay. We probably just need to pay attention
for the next week or two to see that it doesn’t go
any farther than mobilization.
Mr. Dorsey: AIG Baker was specifically told at the Closing,
the first thing they had to do were the cul-de-sacs. They
also are aware the Township Engineer controls the sequence
of construction. If there is some thought they’re not
going to do what they’re supposed to do, it’s
up to the Township Engineer.
Mr. Spino: I just want to make sure that through Administration
and the Township Engineer, we find out exactly what they’re
doing, because I’ve heard three different things now.
I was told they’re doing some work in the area where
they’re going to build a water tank because that takes
enormous lead time. I’d like to know exactly what they’re
doing and exactly when they’re going to start the cul-de-sacs.
And if it’s not acceptable to the Township Engineer,
then I would suggest he do what he’s supposed to do
and shut the job down.
Mr. Kaplan: The Township Engineer is part of the pre-construction
meeting that we had and he reinforced the Council’s
desire to have these cul-de-sacs built before anything else
began. They committed to that, but wanted us to know they
would be mobilizing, preparing a portion of the site for
their heavy equipment and trailers that are necessary for
Mr. Spino: I can understand that.
Mr. Kaplan: They did give us a schedule, which I don’t
have in front of me, of when the cul-de-sacs will be put
President Sohl: And I would just change one word that was
used, which is, “desire.” This is in the Contract.
This was part of the whole deal that we’ve all signed
on the bottom line.
Mr. Kaplan: Mr. Buczynski made it quite apparent to them
with all of us present. And if the cul-de-sacs are not built
within the required time frame that he will shut the job
down. I was down, sat in for the entire meeting. I can assure
you that he made that point quite explicit.
President Sohl: Very good.
Mr. Heymann: Is #10 the same as #9?
President Sohl: Yes.
Mr. Heymann: Can we combine #9 and #10 for the purposes
of this discussion?
President Sohl: Do you have any problem with #9 and #10
Mr. Scapicchio: No, we can combine them.
10. Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing
the Use of Various State Purchasing Contracts.(ITC South
Connector Road Project)
President Sohl: All right, #9 and #10 were moved and seconded
by Mrs. Kelly and Mr. Spino.
ROLL CALL: Passed unanimously
14. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Authorizing the Relocation of the Municipal Recycling
Center Located on Wolfe Road and Reassemble Same Directly
Behind the Existing Salt Dome.
Mr. Heymann moved for approval of the Resolution and Mr.
Spino seconded the motion
Mr. Rattner: I think we had drawings on the Recycling Center.
I think everybody knows it wasn’t my first choice where
we put, but I’m willing to accept it. We’re under
the gun again and we have to move it very, very quickly.
I do have a concern and I wrote a memo–a lot of the
projects, especially when we’re rushing, the Town doesn’t
do the same review that we would normally require of any
private entity because we find it either burdensome or slowing
us down—which raises the philosophical question where,
if it’s too difficult to do it right for us, why do
we force a resident or a business in Town? But I just want
to make sure, because the last few projects that we’ve
had, we tend to run afoul of Soil Conservation and other
permitting requirements, including this Building and when
we built the Senior Citizen Center. We’re putting this
at the back of the Municipal Building property, which is
uphill from the Stephens Mill area that we fought the Developer
on because it was so environmentally sensitive. And that’s
where the drain is going to go, down into Turkeybrook and
to the South Branch of the Raritan. I know from the presentations
that Mr. Ireland has been making, because he was very concerned
about the toxic and dangerous, hazardous material that’s
stored at our Recycling Center. I have a list of concerns–traffic–if
you look at the parking lot on Monday, it cannot accept the
volume of traffic we have. Mr. Rattner (cont’d): We
have parking on the road leading in, we have parking on the
grass, and now we’re going to be bringing additional
traffic in, additional trucks in. I just want to make sure
we are looking at all the different issues. And we’re
doing it according to our rules and regulations. I will vote
to get it moving because we made a commitment to the School
Board. I just want to make sure we don’t get embarrassed
Mrs. Kelly: I made a list of my concerns. I went out and
walked the site. I was surprised to see that there is a drainage
ditch that goes right through the middle of it. We have ponding
water on site, and it looks like the drainage ditch didn’t
seem to have anything in it. It looks like it runs off into
a field that doesn’t belong to us. So I have some major,
major concerns about the drainage storm water run off. And
the memo that I received in return said that these things
are going to be addressed. I would like to see reports and
some maps or something on how they’re going to reroute
this. I’m a little concerned we’re going to be
fixing this up temporarily. until we develop the property
next door and put a full size detention basin on it. It seems
the response that I got was that we’re kind of going
to make this work until we can do what’s proper. I’m
not sure if that’s the right way to go. But I will
vote for this so that we can start it. But I would like some
reporting along the way.
President Sohl: I’ll bet Sandy’s saying you’ll
Mr. Kaplan: Absolutely. Also, we will be in touch with Soil
Conservation within the day to ask them to come out and make
sure everything that we’re doing is acceptable.
Mayor Licitra: Let me ask you something, Steve. First Scott
Ireland was screaming over the fact that he wanted it moved,
and now he’s concerned about where we’re moving
Mr. Rattner: No. One of his scare tactics was how much hazardous
material is stored over there. We have to make sure we have
containment. Just like we would require any industry, any
business and anybody else moving in. That’s what I
want to make sure we put in, because that stuff drains down
to either Turkeybrook or the South Branch of the Raritan.
So, we’re getting close to sensitive areas.
Mayor Licitra: We’ll do nothing different than what
we would expect anybody else to do. The same regulations
as our developers. As far as I’m concerned, we don’t
get a free pass.
Mr. Rattner: But does that mean going to the Environmental
Commission, things like that?
President Sohl: Any further discussion?
ROLL CALL: Passed unanimously
15. A Resolution to Award Additional Alternates to the Contract
for the Development of Flanders Park.
Mr. Heymann moved for approval of the Resolution and Mr.
Guenther seconded the motion.
Mr. Rattner: I have a question–I’m having trouble
fathoming–to light a basketball court is $59,000. What
kind of lights? When the whole baseball field, the high pylons
and everything else cost $120,000. I’m trying to understand.
Mr. Casey: The lighting plan calls for two 60' poles with
nine flood lights on each pole. Versus the baseball field
have 90'. You don’t need the elevation because the
elevation. Baseball has six, and I believe soccer has six.
The lights are expensive. That’s all I can say about
it. As to whether the value is there, that’s the number
that’s quoted. If you look at the other sheet they’re
all about the same ball park. You’re buying two 60'
poles, the wiring on them, the control panel on them, and
each of those poles have nine flood lights.
Mr. Rattner: Did we look at any other lights? Or is that
just the lights we decided on? It seems very expensive just
to light up a couple of basketball courts–for the amount
Mayor Licitra: You know, we had this issue going–
Mr. Rattner: We didn’t discuss that part of just the
Mayor Licitra: We decided when we were going to do that
park, we’re going to do it as close to the homes as
can be. And we decided if we were going to do anything, we
were going to do it right. Now, if you want to change that,
I have no problem going out again–have Bob (Casey)
go out again and look for other lighting, but the other lighting
is going to effect the homes around it. It’s up to
you people. Let me know what you want to do. All I want to
do is get started. It’s your pleasure at this point.
President Sohl: Any other discussion?
ROLL CALL: Passed by the majority. Exceptions: Mrs. Kelly
and Mr. Rattner voted NO
16. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Authorizing the Settlement of the Litigation
Entitled Corea vs. Township of Mount Olive, Docket No. Mrs-L-1999-00.
Mr. Heymann moved for the approval of the Resolution and
Mr. Guenther seconded the motion.
Mr. Heymann: I know that this situation rankled–I
think that’s a good term–several of my compatriots
up here. We’ve had some conversations on the side,
various parties discussed this on the telephone. I’m
not happy with the situation. But, in light of the fact of
what Joe Bell told us, the cost to defend this case was somewhere
between $10,000 and $20,000 was his number to us. I urge
everyone here to settle and resolve this case. As an experienced
trial attorney, there are no guarantees. There is nothing
that you can guarantee that you will win when you go to Court.
For those of us who continually preach we’re guarding
the taxpayers dollar, to allow personal feelings of Mr. Corea
to involve ourselves in this particular matter–if Joe
Bell tells us it’s $10,000 - $20,000, as a very successful
billing attorney, I think it will be closer to $20,000 since
that’s the nature of how that animal goes. And, in
all probability, the case will settle somewhere down the
line in Court because some Judge will beat up on Joe and
the other Attorney and we’ll pay some money anyway.
So, rather than give the Daily Record it’s usual fodder
to have some more fun with us in the newspaper about another
litigation going forward, I think it would be in our best
interest to resolve this as the $10,000 number that’s
there, swallow the discomfort that we may have because it’s
Mr. Corea and several of you have personal animosity with
Mr. Corea, notwithstanding, you’ll probably deny that,
and move on. Let’s get it done. It’s not a “principle” case,
gang. It’s a case of resolving it and moving forward.
So, I urge you, please, let’s move on. Let’s
forget that. We all got our wish, Mr. Corea is many miles
away. He can’t be farther and still he in the State
of New Jersey. So, let’s move from here and get going.
Mr. Scapicchio: I think sometimes in life, dollars and cents
can’t always drive the decisions that people make,
and in some instances, principle certainly has to stand above
dollars and cents. And I think that this is one of those
instances. Just for the Public Record, I think everyone should
know that the Township Code requires that for an employee
to collect accumulated sick time, they must have been involuntarily
terminated. Mr. Corea was in no way involuntary terminated.
The job by it’s own nature is for a specific term and
a specific term only. He is reappointed every four years,
and that’s with the Advice and Consent of the Council.
To take it a step further, Mr. Corea held a Press Conference
before any statement was made by Candidate Licitra as to
whether or not he would retain or let Mr. Corea leave, that
Mr. Corea stated at a Press Conference in the basement of
his house that he would not, under any circumstances work
for a Mayor Paul Licitra. Candidate Licitra then had a meeting
in Mr. Corea’s Office, relayed to Mr. Corea that he
had not made a decision on whether or not to keep him on
as Business Administrator. Mr. Corea then told Candidate
Licitra that he would never, under any conditions work for
Mayor Licitra. I think that this is one of those times when
principles certainly has to dictate, and not dollars. And
that’s my statement.
Mr. Dorsey: David, I don’t want to argue with your
recollection of political events, but I want to point out
that your original statement is not entirely correct, or
applicable here. The Personnel Code, or policy, which was
filed with the MEL under which the Township has collected
and received services did not require that one must be involuntarily
dismissed in order to achieve his sick days. That is legally
incorrect what you said, or not applicable. But I’ll
leave all of the political history to you, David.
Mr. Scapicchio: John, did the Governing Body approve that
Document or is that a Document that was submitted by Mr.
Mr. Dorsey: Look, I don’t want to engage in an argument
because you are personally involved in–
Mr. Scapicchio: Well, no, just answer the question.
Mr. Dorsey: But I will tell you that is a Document which
the Township of Mt. Olive has relied upon, relied upon in
collecting various benefits through the Municipal Excess
Joint Liability Insurance Fund.
Mr. Scapicchio: I’m not going to argue, either, John.
Mr. Heymann: I just think, again, we don’t need this
press and this publicity. I think the Administration has
endorsed the settlement. I’m not going to speak for
the Mayor, he’s more than capable of speaking for himself,
but if the Mayor, himself, and his Administration has endorsed
the settlement–I spoke to him about it, so it’s
not something I’m making up here. And if he can live
with the situation, even though most of those comments back
and forth with regard to the Daily Record certainly dealt
directly with Paul, himself. Again, I would urge us to vote
in favor. Sometimes we have to settle cases that we’re
not really happy about for the purposes of moving on and
cutting the cost. I’m asking us to do that in this
particular case. We’ve got some bigger battles to fight,
including, of course, the case with Mr. Purcell. If you’re
going to expend your energies on what future litigation is
going to be, I think for the residents of this Municipality,
that is certainly, clearly, most important litigation that
we have coming up. So we should proceed accordingly.
Mr. Rattner: I’m not sure half of what you said–
Mr. Heymann: You don’t understand, that’s why.
Mr. Rattner: Early on, I felt that the Administration was
doing a good job under the Mayor in negotiating this, looking
at what our legal standing was, and came to a conclusion,
which is his responsibility and we just have to decide whether
we agree with him that it is in the best interest in the
Town, probably the cheapest route to go, and it gets it over
with. He made the recommendation. The Administration has
explained why. I think it was appropriate. I think it was
a well thought out decision, and I’m happy to finally
get it off our plate because we’ve been spending a
lot of time–especially when we’ve been getting
a call from the Council President, probably on a weekly basis, “Would
we go for this? This is where we are today.” I guess
I’ll miss those calls, but let’s get this resolved.
Mrs. Kelly: I just am happy to bring this to conclusion,
and we should finalize it with a vote.
President Sohl: Any other discussion.
ROLL CALL: Passed by the Majority, Exceptions: Mr. Scapicchio
and Mr. Sohl voted NO
President Sohl: I agreed with everything David said. All
right, Mayor, you had Administrative Reports?
Mayor Licitra: I was going to do my Administrative Reports,
but I was out with the PTA’s. I apologize. I have your
Appointment, Bill, but I didn’t get anything from John
(Dorsey.) John, did you get a letter from me asking if everything
is in order–if I Appoint Bill as Council Liaison, and
also a voting member for the Library Board.
Mr. Dorsey: I didn’t get your letter–
Mayor Licitra: I’m asking for your opinion. The Chairman
asked me if I would appoint Bill as a Voting Member to the
end of the year because we had a resignation on the Board
and they wanted one other Voting Member.
Mr. Dorsey: I don’t see any problem with that.
Mayor Licitra: Then I make the Appointment of Bill Sohl
to the Library Board to December 31, 2000.
Mr. Rattner: So moved
Mr. Spino: Second
ROLL CALL: Passed by the Majority, Exception: Mr. Sohl ABSTAINED
Mayor Licitra: We have a meeting tomorrow night here at
Town Hall for all our Boards and Committees so we get a little
over view on what each is doing. I did invite the Council,
you’re more than welcome to attend. It’s a good
way for all the Boards to understand what each do. I want
to compliment John Dorsey. I just got a letter from Rodney
Frelinghuysen. I still don’t’ know what you did,
John, but you got us $24,000 and I’m so happy that
you did–for the connection fees of the Postal Service.
I know John was tenacious on this. I did speak to Rodney
Frelinghuysen the other day. He told me that he got me the
money, and I made sure I reminded him that John was the one
that was tenacious. Thank you, John. The Township owes you
a debt of gratitude. I think it would have fallen by the
wayside if you weren’t as tenacious as you were. There
was an article in the Star Ledger that I just want to address
because I think you’ll be bombarded by it. Mt. Olive
had an 18% overall Municipal Tax Rate increase last year–which
isn’t true. Sherry worked the figures today. While
it is greater than 12%, it’s not anywhere near the
18%. I’ll share these figures with you so you have
them in your pocket. You know the reasons why–I don’t
have to tell you–what we did this year. Sandy is going
to call up Gabe Gluck tomorrow and ask for a retraction and
it will probably appear on Page 48, on the bottom someplace
next to the Obituaries. But, we’re going to try. That’s
all I have.
1. Bill List. ATTACHED
Mr. Rattner moved for approval of the Bills as Submitted
and Mr. Guenther seconded the motion.
ROLL CALL: Passed unanimously
2. Approval of Raffle Application #962 and Raffle Application
#963 for Starlight Chapter #107 Order of Easter Star.
Mr. Rattner moved for approval of the motion and Mr. Spino
seconded the motion.
All in Favor, None Opposed.
Mrs. Kelly: I have a comment on a memo that I received about
the Road to Meyers Pond at Turkeybrook Park. I believe it
said that the trimming along the trails and the road was
going to be started soon. What about improvement to the road?
My main concern was the condition of that road. And that
doesn’t seem to be addressed at all in the memo.
Mr. Kaplan: I’ll have to look into that. I thought
your primary concern was the brush.
Mrs. Kelly: That’s a secondary concern. We do have
volunteers that can do that. My main concern is we have a
horrible road that gets worse with every storm we have. The
erosion is horrendous and if we have more and more people
going down to the pond and if something should happen, we
wouldn’t be able to get an emergency vehicle down there.
My main concern is that an emergency vehicle can get down
to the pond if it’s needed. That road needs to be improved.
It is in terrible condition, there are storm water ruts in
it, and it’s dangerous to walk down. Somebody could
twist an ankle, break a leg, trying to walk down to the pond,
and we’re liable for that. This is a public park and
people are, indeed using this park.
President Sohl: Okay. Thanks, Charlene.
Mr. Spino: I’ll just report on the Open Space Meeting.
Last night, one of the items–if you remember, we had
met with some people from Washington Township. There is a
future meeting going to be set up with people from Byram
to discuss like interests and maybe a plan we can work on
together. The other item, there was a recent tour of the
Fire Tower, Crown Tower Estates with the County. They were
very, very interested in that property. I think they were
amazed. They want to get other people up from the County
to take a look at it. A meeting date of October 17 is scheduled.
The Governor is going to be near by on that date discussing
Open Space and we’re going to try to get her to come
up and climb up the Tower. I think if that were possible,
I would feel it would be very advantageous to the Township.
I really do, if she could see that. I don’t know if
we could get her to come up here or not.
Mrs. Kelly: We should write her a letter.
Mr. Spino: I would recommend that we do.
President Sohl: Charlene, if you would like to pen her a
letter? From the Council.
Mrs. Kelly: I think our Township Clerk should do that.
Mr. Spino: Maybe Kathy (Murphy) can get the information
to the Clerk, what she has.
President Sohl: All right, and it can go out from the Mayor’s
Office as well as the Council..
Mr. Spino: Also, we’re working very heavily, through
Kathy to acquire some small pieces of property in the Township
via donation, if that’s possible. The last point I
would like to bring up, for the upcoming Referendum, I believe
we should support the Open Space Commission’s request
for a minimum of funds, to have a mailing in support of the
Referendum. Since the Council is in favor of this–I’m
not sure about the money that is needed. I think it would
be minimal. I know we should have some money in our Budget.
I would think that we should use some of that to have a mailing
in support of the Referendum.
President Sohl: John, can we do that?
Mr. Dorsey: Sure. You can do it–it shouldn’t
be particularly politically flavored. It should be essentially
a factual statement as to the reasons why, and what you seek
President Sohl: Do we need anything done tonight in order
to make that happen?
Mr. Heymann: I don’t think we can do it from the Council–
Mr. Spino: I would feel comfortable with it from the Council,
but if that’s not the majority of the Council’s
feeling, fine. What I’m saying, at least if the money
is available, the money should be used through the Open Space
Committee. If that’s possible, send the letter out.
I don’t care who the letter comes from. If the Open
Space Committee can do it, if we can give them the money
to do it, fine. That was the recommendation.
Mr. Heymann: So what will we agree to do?
Mr. Spino: To find the money–
Mr. Heymann: To give to that Committee–all I want
to do is fund that Committee some money. That’s their
position, then I agree with it. I don’t want to endorse
that. I think that doesn’t look good for us a Council
to do that. So let them do it. We’re just giving them
some money? That’s fine.
President Sohl: Is anybody opposed? I don’t hear any “No’s.” All
Mr. Rattner: Two real quick things. One, I can’t help
but notice all the activity that GPU is having around Town.
Major tree trimming, or actually cutting down, so I guess
there’s a lot of wood on the side of the road for people.
I see some new poles, hopefully new equipment, the circuit
breakers and the other things they were talking about. The
other–people who go down Goldmine Road, there has been
major construction going on inside the landfill area for
about the last four or five weeks. I spoke to the Site Manager/Project
Manager about a week ago. What it is, they say this is their
heavy maintenance which takes place about every five years.
It mainly has to do with drainage. There was nothing wrong
with the Cap, which is one of the concerns that people have
with the settling of the soil. There was pooling of water.
They had four locations where they actually dug new channels
to make sure that the water gets drained properly and other
type maintenance. But it must be a fairly large project because
they’ve been there about five weeks and they have some
heavy equipment and fairly large crews on some days.
President Sohl: I now open the meeting to the Public. Is
there anyone who would like to address the Council on any
Mr. Al Winer, Flanders Crossing: Some of you know me from
my article in the paper, my Headliner in the Morris County
edition of The Star Ledger. Others know me from being around
Town and various things. About six years ago I moved here.
I met somebody who’s been around for quite a long time
and decided that I wanted to set up roots here. I saw a lot
of growth. I wanted to start a family and figured this would
be a great place. In the beginning, many of you knew me as “The
Guy Standing Next to Howie.”Now, when I walk down the
halls, people know me without him. A couple of things that
have come up in my life. A few years back some major changes
happened and I decided I was staying. Another change happened,
and I have a four-year-old living with me who has special
needs. A few of you have seen him around Town. He’s
in a wheelchair. He has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and he can’t
support his own body weight. However, his brain capacity
is that of a five - eight year-old cognitive. I got a special
grant originally from Essex County because that’s where
his brother and his mother used to live, to go to the Center
of Learning in Cedar Knolls. Since they now live with me,
Morris County was nice enough to give them the same Grant
so they can continue to go to that school. By the way, he’s
not even on the handicapped side, he’s on the mainstream
side because of his cognitive level. We were very excited
when Mt. View started doing a lot of alterations. We met
with Miss Dinges on a number of things and saw a lot of changes
going on. Last year, we needed to buy a conversion van because
we needed a lift, he’s a little too old to be rolling
around in a stroller and his electric wheelchair gives him
the mobility to just do what he needs to do like everybody
else. If you ever want to see what he does, come down to
the cul-de-sac and watch him play hockey with the rest of
the kids guarding the net. He’s pretty awesome. If
you talk to him, as far as he’s concerned, there’s
nothing wrong with him. That’s his legs, his wheels.
About a year and a half ago, we started a situation with
a local mall. Because after buying the conversion van, we
realized that there’s no place to park. It has a ramp
that comes out that lets the wheelchair down, so parking
in a regular space, it’s not going to make it. I did
contact the Council, and speak with a couple of you separately
that I knew at the time. I have a lot of mixed emotions from
that day to today. A lot has happened. Originally, the first
letter that I sent in to Council didn’t make an Agenda,
was never answered, but I was starting my own private little
crusade. A number of you, although thinking, “Hey,
this is the right thing to do...” and “Yes, this
should be something that everybody else should pay attention
to.” Really didn’t give me the–I guess
the education I was looking for–the help to point me
in the direction I was looking for. Since then, I started
making a lot of phone calls, mailing, emailing, I got a letter
today from our Senator, I’ve spoken with Councilmen,
Assemblymen, a number of architects and up until the new
park went in across the street, I sort of stayed low-key
about the whole thing. Because, with my involvement with
the Town, with a number of you, I figured–I really
didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t want to
really do anything to embarrass myself or anybody else. Since
the park went in, and we were over there–and by the
way, I want to thank you for jumping on that as quick as
you did. It didn’t meet the ADA standards for accessibility,
which has been a law since 1990. In looking through a number
of things, even State and Local Governments have to abide
by those rules. There is no immunity. Even though there are
certain things you don’t have to do, this is one thing
that there is no immunity to. I’m going to pursue my
other situation myself. I was very happy, Mr. Rattner--not
to embarrass you, but you called me the other night after
the article went in the paper, and after the construction
was finished over there, to apologize on his behalf, and
hopefully from the rest of the Council that it should have
been something that they didn’t overlook, but he hoped
that it was taken care of in a quick and good way. I’m
going to be here for a long time. My four-year-old is going
to be here for a long time. Hopefully, some day, he won’t
need that wheelchair. But, there are a lot of people in this
Township that have special needs. Whether it’s a wheelchair,
they’re elderly, or they have a walker. These are laws,
and I’m asking you to pay attention to it as I have
had to, and need to. Because as I explained to Mr. Rattner,
when we went over to that park and Chas asked me, “Why
can’t I get in?” I have to be able to tuck him
in and kiss him goodnight, and I’m doing on my end
what I need to do. I’m committed to him. I’m
also committed to this Town, and I’m looking for your
commitment to me and the rest of the Community that needs
your help in these situations. So, when I’m done with
my situation, I’ll hand over the rest of this information.
I’ve given a lot to Chuck McGroarty in Planning, and
Building a lot of information and Websites that he wasn’t
aware of. But, in helping you until I retire someday and
move to Arizona, I’m looking for a commitment back
from you guys too. I’d like to know where we go forward
from here. We’re looking to spend $5 million to $13
million at Turkeybrook. I’ve gotten a promise from
Kathy Murphy and Jim Farly that when it comes time, they
want to have me sit in at the meetings to go over a few things.
But, I’m looking at you guys because this is where
it really counts. Thank you.
Mr. Rattner: A couple of things I explained to you. Sometimes
it’s just oversight, but one of the concerns that I
do have is, we can look at all the laws and what the regulations
say, and we can listen to the experts, but sometimes it doesn’t
meet all the common sense needs. This is something we can
consult all the experts, but unless you’ve been there,
you really don’t know what you have to overcome. I
know in the past, when the Mayor has set up Committees for
all different purposes, sometimes I disagreed, but I think
this is one where we have resources in Town that we need,
and we should take advantage of their insight and get their
Mr. Spino: Being a little familiar to this, I recommended
to the Mayor that we set up a Committee with you, and I would
include the Township Engineer. I even went further than just
public property. My own opinion is that this has to be done
on commercial property as well. It Doesn’t make sense
to me for someone–I can do it in my situation–but
with an electric wheelchair, and a long distance to go–if
you go to some of the malls in Town, you have to go several
hundred feet down to a ramp. If you’re going somewhere
in the middle, you have to come all the way back. To me,
it doesn’t make any sense. It never did. When the mall
down the road, where the car wash is, came in for reconstruction,
it did not have a ramp in the center. It was recommended
that they do that for that same reason. The developer did
it in a day. They had a couple of concrete saws and put that
thing in in a day. It doesn’t make any sense not to
do it. So, I would recommend again, Mayor, that we set up
that kind of a Committee. Whether it’s a Council Committee
or a Mayor Committee, I really don’t care. But certainly
somebody who is knowledgeable in the law, who has direct
experience with the need for–and the Township Engineer
to be included in that, and when there is a need, to review
the plans even at the Planning Board level that that be done.
Mr. Guenther: Al, pardon my answer, first of all, I wasn’t
on the Council when this goes back to last year, but I was
really unaware of your issues until I saw that article. What
is it that you want our help with? Not just with Public facilities,
but also putting pressure on for private facilities?
Mr. Winer: Well, the law also brings in for existing facilities.
And that’s where a lot of the knowledge comes in. A
lot of people think, “Oh, you’re grandfathered.” It’s “No.” As
of 1990, you need–and they gave you a certain amount
of months–to make this–they called it “readily
achievable access without undue hardship.” Putting
in a curb cut can be done in an afternoon with a sledge hammer
and a bag of concrete. And it makes a world of difference
when somebody with a wheelchair is trying to get up a 10" slab.
It’s just never going to happen. A lot of the problem
with Chas’s electric wheelchair, it weighs probably
about 175lbs. It’s not like a manual chair that you
can fold up and put in a trunk. It has two car batteries
on it, which alone weigh 45 lbs. You can’t be popping
him up and over stuff that high. You have a handicapped spot
all the way down there, and a handicapped spot all the way
down there. Well, it’s a 400' mall. An elderly person
with a walker is not going to make it.
Mr. Guenther: Why doesn’t this mall–
Mr. Winer: Well, I started working with Chuck (McGroarty)
he had sent them a letter–
President Sohl: I think part of the issue, the mall is pre-existing.
It’s been there. I understand what you said, but I
don’t know if there is any mechanism or funding put
in place for us as a community to go out and revisit those.
Nor, do I know of anything that we as a Township can do.
Probably somebody has to take them to Court.
Mr. Winer: Well, that’s what I did. I filed my own
President Sohl: Yes. So, the Attorney General of the State
of New Jersey–
Mr. Winer: What I’m looking for is going forward.
You guys just built a brand new park–I don’t
want to embarrass anybody, but you just built a brand new
park, and we went over there for the ribbon cutting–
President Sohl: We screwed up–
Mr. Winer: It’s an 8" opening.
President Sohl: We can be honest about that. We screwed
up and we don’t want it to happen again.
Mr. Winer: Right. So where do we go from there? You’re
stuck with me. I’m enjoying being stuck with you. So,
where do we go from here?
Mr. Spino: I think we should decide whether we want a Mayor
Committee or a Council Committee.
Mr. Guenther: Just make it a Committee. Who cares.
President Sohl: We’ve already got at least two volunteers–Steve
Mayor Licitra: I already asked Al (Winer) to sit on the
Committee and Millie (Spino) to sit on the Committee. We
have a woman on my block–a 26-year-old woman, Chris.
I was going to ask her to sit on the Committee. I think we
are very responsive to this–we didn’t see it
at the beginning, but we are very responsive to it. We did
go out and order some handicap equipment for the park. We’re
getting it installed in four to six weeks in the playground.
We’re cognizant of the need and something has to be
President Sohl: All right, let’s let the Committee
get started, and see where we can go from here. Is there
anyone else from the Public who would like to address the
Mr. Heymann: Mr. Bonte, before you leave, I must excuse
myself. I don’t like to be disrespectful to you, but
I have a little personal matter involving a 14 year-old that
I want to address before his 10:00pm bedtime.
Mr. Spino: Right, like the end of the game.
Mr. Heymann: If it was the Met game, I would flat out tell
you. But I’m not a Yankee fan.
Mr. Bonte: A couple of things. First of all, I find it offensive
that the Governing Body would consider expending Public Funds
to do a mailing on something that is presented to the Voters
to try and influence them on how they’re going to vote
on an issue. I think that you had adequate opportunity, and
still there is adequate time if one of you, or several of
you want to write an editorial or whatever in the newspapers
as to why it would be in the Public’s interest to vote “Yes” on
Open Space, I certainly am in favor of it, but I am not in
favor of using Public Funds to do a mailing to lead people
to vote a certain way on this issue. If the Public Body puts
a question on the Ballot it’s there for the Public
to interpret and make their decision without any further
persuasion by the Governing Body. So, I would be very much
in opposition of using Public Funds to do that. Secondly,
regarding Crown Tower, I’m so glad to hear that we’re
getting more and more people involved, members of the Council,
whatever, and virtually everybody that sees this site begins
to realize how important it is to save this site for the
Township. And, really to see if it can be next to Allamuchy
State Park. This is a very important piece of land, very
environmentally sensitive. When a Developer comes to a Planning
Board meetings and says this over and over again. And one
thing that I think you should be aware of, and I think the
Council needs to start looking at, addressing, is our Open
Space Laws that we have now. Because an issue came up in
the Planning Board the other night regarding the Open Space
requirements. The Developer that is proposing this site for
Crown Towers clearly does not meet the Open Space Requirements,
which does not allow more than 225% of the land to be encumbered
by steep slopes or wetlands unless it is for criteria that
can be used to allow an exception to that law, but it’s
on a “may” basis, not on a mandatory basis. Just
because he makes a case for any one of those four criteria,
doesn’t necessarily mean that he has to be granted
that. But there was an issue that came up at the Planning
Board, you may want to discuss with the Planning Board Attorney
over the wording–the way it was worded, and what leeway
and challenge this Developer may have regarding the intent
of the Governing Body when this Ordinance was originally
written. It is not entirely air-tight as it should be. We
need to take a look at that and correct it. Please feel free
to use a copy, or any of the text that I wrote to Governor
Whitman which I gave you all copies of, and the Clerk should
have on file. You could use anything in it you want for your
letter to the Governor to encourage her to come up here to
this site. We need to have top-level people involved in this.
I’m optimistic that by next Summer this will occur.
But, it needs all of you–I hope would write letters
to the Governor to try and get this land purchased by the
State. It would be an asset for the residents of this State
to save a very valuable piece of land. And, finally, from
time to time over the last ten - eleven years, I have mentioned
this to the Council–and it has to do with hunting in
the Township. Primarily groups or individuals that may hunt
on land that they don’t own. There are a number of
clubs in Town that lease lands and the problem that has occurred
numerous times over the years–and that is, when they
are either not hunting on the land that they have actually
leased, or, where they don’t even post the lands properly.
Once again–this is the eleventh year in a row the Hilltop
Rod and Gun Club has posted my land as being their land.
They have not only overstepped over 300' over my land and
put these signs up facing my house telling me I can’t
go on my own land, but they crossed property behind me that’s
privately owned by one of my neighbors another 500'. So they’re
800' out of bounds. What I’d like to suggest to correct
this issue–because this happens year, after year, after
year. I’ve called the club numerous times–and
the answer always is, “Well, we don’t know exactly
where the line is.” I’d like the Council to look
at the possibility of requiring some type of permit be required
for any individuals or groups who are going to be hunting
on land they don’t own. The purpose of the permit is
not to restrict something, it’s not to collect funds
for the Township. Basically, to obtain that Permit to be
able to hunt on these lands they would have to be able to
show the Clerk that they have an adequate property survey
so they know where these boundaries are. And they certify
to the Clerk that when posting this property, they post it
in accordance with the survey and members that are going
to hunt on the property know where the boundaries are. I’m
not looking to restrict hunting but I don’t want it,
Number One, on my property, and secondly, I take offense
to year after year of this kind of thing happening where
my property is posted. I know that this has happened other
times. So, I’d like to ask you to just look into this.
President Sohl: Could you put that down as a set of recommendations
so we can run it past our Attorney?
Mr. Bonte: Sure, I could do that. But I think it would be
a good thing that they stay where they’re supposed
to be. And, again, I want to stress, I’m not here on
an “anti-hunting” campaign.
Mr. Guenther: Let me tell you something. As a practical
matter, having dealt with selling land. I’ll guarantee
you that most of those pieces of land do not have an active
Mr. Bonte: Well, I don’t think anybody should be allowed
to hunt somewhere unless they know where they’re hunting.
Mr. Guenther: I agree with you. But I’m saying, you’re
going to find that a lot of times they’re not going
to be able to come up with an up-to-date survey.
Mr. Bonte: This piece of property should. It happens to
be the Crown Tower Tract. But, again, unless there is an
accurate survey, nobody should be allowed to hunt on it because
how do they know where they’re hunting.
Mrs. Kelly: This brings up a point that’s a sore spot
with me. We have hunters going into Turkeybrook. We need
to post more signs along the woods. This is public parks.
There shouldn’t be allowed to be any hunting. Since
bow season started two weeks ago, I have seen numerous four-wheel
vehicles going up and down the fields. They’re not
even on the dirt road. They’re going along the edge
of the woods. This is public lands and our Ordinance prohibits
President Sohl: Sandy, this is something that has come up
periodically. This is probably the first time as Business
Administrator you’ve heard this–make sure our
parklands are adequately posted so that the type of things
Charlene is seeing doesn’t occur. So if it means another
150 - 200 signs, let’s go get them.
Mrs. Kelly: I believe we do have signs left over–the
yellow signs that says “This is a Public Park, No Hunting
and Trapping.” I think we still have quite a few of
them. We just need to have some Parks & Grounds people
out there and to start posting those.
Mr. Spino: Are you talking about Turkeybrook or the B&H
Mrs. Kelly: Actually, I haven’t been on the B&H
for a while. But, I’m talking Turkeybrook.
Mr. Spino: Turkeybrook I can understand. I would not be
in favor of doing that at B&H.
President Sohl: Why not?
Mr. Spino: I just think–I know that the Township owns
the property. I wouldn’t shut out hunters from going
on the B&H property.
Mrs. Kelly: Well, why aren’t they paying us a fee?
Mr. Spino: That’s fine. I have no problem with that.
I suggested that a long time ago. That we allow whatever
is deemed safe by State standards for that amount of property,
and have either a lottery or first-come first-serve basis
on permits. The Newark Watershed does it. I know they have
a lot more land than we do, but they do allow hunters to
go on their property. And, I see no problem with it.
President Sohl: If you want, we can discuss this at a future
Mr. Spino: Yes, I would.
Mr. Guenther: Well, let me quickly make a point. I have
a real problem with that–
President Sohl: Well, I do, too.
Mr. Guenther: Number One, you posted the properties with
the yellow signs, meaning No Hunting, Trapping, Fishing,
and whatever else you want to put there. Now, you’re
going to try and open up, there’s going to be all kinds
of confusion. Some people in Town think it’s our property,
and it’s land that they can walk and do passive recreation
on. It’s absolutely nuts going back to hunting on that.
Mr. Spino: I don’t think it is. Not if it’s
President Sohl: Let’s discuss it at a workshop. Earl,
I’ll put your name next to it. The situation now is,
theoretically, it should be posted “No Hunting.”
Mr. Spino: It is.
President Sohl: All right, we’ll just bring it up
for a workshop discussion. Anyone else from the Public
Mr. Roedel: Mr. Heymann had mentioned something about the
Purcell Litigation–is that associated with the Budd
Lake Sewer Project?
President Sohl: Yes it is. It’s a publicly filed lawsuit.
Mr. Rattner: It’s scheduled to go on trial, I believe,
Mr. Roedel: Previously, I stood up here when discussing
the sewer odor in the Country Club Estates area and asked
specifically, was there any pending litigation on the sewer
project and I was told, “No.”
President Sohl: They’re suing us. It’s completely
Mr. Roedel: Okay. I understand that, I just thought it was
some possible overlooked avenue of litigation to help us
out in that area. Thanks.
President Sohl: Anyone else from the Public? If not, I will
close the meeting to the Public.
Mrs. Kelly: I’m just hoping when the Olympvs Group
starts construction, they’re going to be able to control
the four-wheel quads and trail bikes that go through there.
I understand that the field up at the ITC grounds were really
destroyed because some four-wheeled vehicle went in there
and did some wheelies or spin arounds, or something. Here
we are making plans to develop some fields and it’s
going to take two years before they play on it, and we’re
going to think that we need to consider how we’re going
to control that because it happens usually after 4:00 or
4:30 when the Municipal Buildings are closed. And on the
weekends, I know it’s an enforcement issue, but our
park does not exclude those vehicles at this point.
Mr. Guenther: We had already talked about that once before–about
revising that Ordinance because it does not include restriction
of those kinds of vehicles.
Mayor Licitra: It’s an enforcement issue. What we’re
trying to do, especially on Turkeybrook is maybe have a caretaker
of some sort. But it’s still an enforcement issue.
President Sohl: What Mr. Guenther was talking about–maybe
we need to change some element of restriction or clarify
a violation if somebody is using one of these things–not
only on a road, but on a field. Maybe we need to schedule
Mr. Guenther: Just one comment. Some time ago, there was
a Legislative Committee formed. It’s never done anything,
hasn’t had any report, hasn’t had any meeting
with our Legislators. My main motivation for forming that–I’m
really concerned–and we hear it at almost every Council
meeting–is the road safety issue. They’re serious
hazards and they’re getting worse all the time with
over-development. We have several roads controlled by the
State and by the County. We need to set up some kind of communication
at a higher level with our State Legislators, first of all,
to make them aware of our concerns, and see what can be done.
I would like to really activate this Legislative Committee
to set up meetings with Guy Gregg, or Senator Littel to make
them aware of our concerns and see if they will take up our
cause in Trenton.
President Sohl: All right. Any other comments? All right
I’ll entertain a motion to adjourn our Public Meeting
and go right into workshop.
Motion made for adjournment. All in Favor, None Opposed.
The Meeting was adjourned at 10:07pm.
William H. Sohl
I, LISA M. LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount
Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes is a true
and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened
meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on
November 21, 2000.
LISA M. LASHWAY
Mount Olive Township Clerk