TOWNSHIP COUNCIL PUBLIC MEETING MINUTES
- August 10,2010
The Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:33 Vice President Greenbaum: We will begin with the Open Public Meeting Announcement as the Pledge of Allegiance and moment of reflection was earlier.
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Daily Record. Notice has been posted at the Municipal Building , 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive Township , New Jersey and notices were sent to those requesting the same.
Present: Mr. Walsh, Mr. Mania, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Roman, Mr. Greenbaum
Absent: Mrs. Labow, Mr. Tobey
Also Present: Sherry Maniscalco, CFO; Dominick DiYanni & John Dorsey, Township Attorneys; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk; Bill Sohl, Business Administrator; Mayor David Scapicchio
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
Mr. Perkins: Mr. President, I move the approval of the Minutes for:
July 27, 2010 WS & PM (Mr. Roman and Mr. Walsh – absent)
Mr. Mania: I'll second that.
Vice President Greenbaum: Mr. Mania seconded that. Thank you. Any comments, changes? Seeing none, Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Walsh and Mr. Roman abstained.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS/ORGANIZATIONS
1. E-mail received July 27, 2010, from US Grants Gov regarding Government funding available.
2. E-mail received August 2, 2010, from Downtown New Jersey, Inc. regarding FYI Notice from Downtown NJ.
3. E-mail received August 5, 2010, from Downtown New Jersey regarding August 2010 Newsletter.
DOT / DEP / LOI / HIG HLANDS / EPA / DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE
4. Letter received July 30, 2010, from the Department of Environmental Protection regarding Land Use Regulation Application Form for BL 8300, Lot 5.01 (16 Parkway Drive, 07840)
5. Letter received August 2, 2010, from the Department of Environmental Protection regarding Morris County YMCA Dam.
6. Letter received August 2, 2010, from the Department of Environmental Protection regarding No Further Action Letter for BL 3600 Lot 5 (15 Delbar Drive)
7. Letter received August 2, 2010, from the Department of Environmental Protection regarding Notice of Technical Incompleteness Re: BL 7000. Lot 19 (500 Drakestown Road)
8. Letter received August 4, 2010, from Menlo Engineering Associates regarding a Request for a Freshwater Wetlands Transition Area Waiver for West Morris Central HS Girls JV Softball Field, BL 17 Lot 9 (Washington Township) & BL 6600, Lot 10.01 ( Mount Olive Township )
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
9. E-mail received July 26, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Federal Biweekly Update for period ending July 23.
10. E-mail received July 26, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding 2 Important Publications.
11. E-mail received July 26, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Legislative Alert – COA H / Affordable Housing Reform.
12. E-mail received July 27, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Two Mayors Letters.
13. E-mail received July 28, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding New Content on DLGS Website Part two of two.
14. E-mail received July 29, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Still Time to Sign up for Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant Workshop.
15. E-mail received July 29, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Stakeholder Meeting – Regarding Contact Voltage.
16. E-mail received July 31, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding NJLM Mayors August 2010 Newsline.
17. E-mail received August 2, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Legislative Bulletin.
18. E-mail received August 2, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Binding Arbitration Reform & Other Toolkit Reform.
19. E-mail received August 2, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Mayors Newsline and August Grant Page Posted.
20. E-mail received August 3, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Two Upcoming League Seminars.
21. E-mail received August 4, 2010, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Governor Signs S-1084.
22. E-mail received August 5, 2010, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding Save the Date-Last Chance for points & Incentives.
23. E-mail received August 5, 2010, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding pension Training for certifying Officers and Call for Nominations 9 th Annual Innovation in Governance Awards.
24. E-mail received July 23, 2010, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs regarding LFN 2010-17: SFY 2011 Budget Cap Guidance.
25. Letter received July 26, 2010, from the Morris County Board of Taxation regarding the certification schedule of the 2010 General Tax Rate. PDF Correspondence
26. E-mail received July 27, 2010, from the County of Morris regarding News.
27. E-mail received July 28, 2010, from Morris County Tourism regarding Mark Your Calendar.
28. E-mail received August 4, 2010, from County of Morris regarding Morris County Green Table Forum on September 29, 2010.
29. Minutes received August 6, 2010, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority meeting July 7, 2010.
30. Letter received August 6, 2010, from New Jersey Natural Gas regarding Uniform Fire Code.
31. Safety Bulletin, S2010-3, received July 26, 2010, from the Morris County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund, regarding Heat Stress and Poison Ivy.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEAR ING - None
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING - None
Vice President Greenbaum: This evening on the Agenda there are 31 pieces of Correspondence. Does anyone wish to discuss any one of those? Seeing none, we'll move on. There are no ordinances for Public Hearing. There are no ordinances for First Reading this evening. We are up to Consent Resolutions. Consent Resolutions are considered to be routine and noncontroversial and will be approved by one motion, one vote unless someone has a clarifying statement. What we are going to be moving this evening is one, two and three as listed, four is the replaced resolution and five has been removed. Does anyone wish to have any of those resolutions pulled to the Non-Consent? Seeing none, Mr. Walsh, can you move one, two, three and four as replaced?
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS AGENDA:
Resolutions on the Consent Agenda List are considered to be routine and noncontroversial 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 that 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.
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS – P. Walsh
- 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 2010 Municipal Budget ($4,400 for Alcohol Traffic Safety and Drunk Driving Incentive Grant).
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a One Year Extension of a Contract with Allegra (formerly OCS Printing) for Printing Services.
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a One Year Extension of a Contract with Water Resource Sales & Service for the Environment One Grinder Pump Sale & Services.
R esolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Submission of a Grant Application and Execution of a Grant Contract with the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the Improvements to Cloverhill Drive Project.
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting the Morris County Clerk to Place a Municipal Question on the General Election Ballot.
Mr. Walsh: I move Resolutions one, two, three, and four as replaced and also five?
Mr. Perkins: Second.
Vice President Greenbaum: No five has been withdrawn. It's been moved and seconded. Does anyone from the public wish to be heard on the Consent Resolutions Agenda? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Are there any Council Comments? Seeing none, Roll Call.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS - none
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS - none
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
Vice President Greenbaum: We are up to Motions. Mr. Mania, can you move the two motions please?
MOTIONS CONSENT – J. Mania
Approval of Bingo Application #2363 and Raffle Application #2364 for the Budd Lake Volunteer Fire
Mr. Mania: Mr. President, I move the Consent Motions one and two.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
Vice President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Is there any comment? Mr. Roman.
Mr. Roman: Sherry, who purchased an Ipad?
Mrs. Maniscalco: That was Scott.
Mr. Roman: And I'm assuming that was obviously within his budget. Is there any overriding reason to purchase an Ipad?
Mrs. Maniscalco: If you want to know why, I'll get something from him. I can't tell you off the top of my head, Alex, but I do believe it was for Scott.
Mr. Roman: And the receptacle for laptops, is that something that is done? The Crown Victoria, I'm assuming she is on the road, the one that we purchased from Stillwater? Do you know, Bill?
Mr. Sohl: I don't know off the top of my head.
Vice President Greenbaum: My understanding is that it is not marked yet.
Mr. Roman: Also on the Bill List is a payment for markings of a new police vehicle. Is that the new police vehicle that they are marking?
Mrs. Maniscalco: We have three that we are getting and I believe they have processed all three at the same time, Alex.
Mr. Roman: So the $1340 that's not for one vehicle.
Mrs. Maniscalco: I signed a PO for all three so they may have drawn down just a portion of the payment. I'll check for you. Okay?
Mr. Roman: I'm just curious whether the used police car that we purchased, if that's due to satisfaction and if it's currently in service and do we know if Penske looked it over?
Vice President Greenbaum: Are you talking about the Stillwater vehicle?
Mr. Roman: Yes.
Vice President Greenbaum: Tim?
Tim Quinn, DPW Director: The Stillwater vehicle was brought in about a week and a half ago. Its lettering was removed so it's prepped for new lettering. The vehicle has been checked out. I don't believe it is on the road. I'll have to double check that. I was out last week.
Mr. Roman: Now checked out, was it checked out by Penske? Did it get a clean bill of health?
Mr. Quinn: Penske went over the vehicle the day we got it back in here. It was taken right back into the shop. We took it in, gave it a thorough going over, took the old lettering off.
Mr. Roman: They found nothing that needed to be addressed immediately?
Mr. Quinn: As far as I know, there was nothing reported to me of anything wrong with the vehicle. It's actually in very good shape.
Vice President Greenbaum: Does anyone in the audience have any questions on the Bill List. Seeing none, it's been moved and seconded. Let's get a Roll Call on the Motions please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
Vice President Greenbaum: At this point we are up to Administrative Reports. Mr. Sohl?
Mr. Sohl: Nothing today.
Vice President Greenbaum: Mayor?
Mayor Scapicchio: I'd just like to mention that on Saturday I went on, you know we've been developing this trail plan and on Saturday there was Laura Szwak, two members of the Morris County Park Commission and about 35 or so residents from around the county and we actually took the trails that start behind the high school wind around Turkey Brook Park and across Flanders Road and end up at Goldmine Road. It's about a two hour trail and it was amazing. I only did half because I had another appointment that I had to go to but we would like to get that publicized. We'd like to get people using it a little bit more. It was really a great experience. That's all I have.
Vice President Greenbaum: Any Old Business this evening?
OLD BUSINESS - none
Vice President Greenbaum: Any New Business this evening?
NEW BUSINESS - none
Vice President Greenbaum: Any Legal Matters?
LEGAL MATTERS - none
Vice President Greenbaum: Does anyone wish to give a Council Report this evening? Seeing none, at this point I would open it up to the public. Sir, if you wanted to address the Council, this is your opportunity. You have to come up to the podium and once again, state your name and address.
COUNCIL REPORTS - none
Recreation Liaison Report – A. Roman
Board of Health Report – R. Perkins
Planning Board Report – J. Mania
Open Space Committee Report – C. Labow
Legislative Committee Report – P. Walsh
Pride Committee Report – C. Labow
Board of Education Liaison Report – A. Roman
Lake/Environment Issues Committee – R. Perkins
Safety Committee Liaison – R. Perkins
Economic Development Committee Report – P. Walsh
Library Board Liaison – R. Greenbaum
Senior Citizen Liaison – J. Mania
Community Development Revenue Sharing – P. Walsh
Mike Truppo, 47 Madison Avenue: I've lived there for 32 years with my wife and we raised our children there. It's a very quiet area. It's a dead end street on Madison. Madison in one of the few streets that has three dead ends to it. I was the last house and now there is another house there. That's not the problem. I'm a Newark boy because I went to grade school, high school and college in Newark and ultimately served in the United States Air Force in the Pacific. So much for that. The reason that I'm here is I'm very reluctant, not that anyone has forced me to come here, but I'm very reluctant to make a complaint concerning a neighbor. About three years ago, I confided in an acquaintance and that acquaintance said that I should have done something and I didn't. This past December I spoke to that person again and they said, Mike, I think we have someone that you probably should talk to and that is Mrs. Natafalusy. I spoke to her about the problems with my neighbor at 49 Madison Avenue that is Ed Hardman. The problems were in several groups. I must honestly commend them with regards to the way he was running his construction business which I felt was very disturbing to the neighborhood. That seems to be worked out at this point. There has been quite a change in his habits. The second item and there are a couple other minor items but the second item which is the one I'm here about tonight is that when he, I think the easiest way, I tried to make this drawing as large as possible and I don't know who I should be showing it to. We have an easement…
Mrs. Lashway: You have to talk into the microphone, Mike.
Mr. Truppo: I'm sorry.
Mrs. Lashway: You have to talk into the microphone.
Mr. Truppo: How about if I talk a little louder because I've got a pretty good voice, okay. Do we have an easel? Okay, if not, I don't know who I should be showing this to, okay? This is Wynnewood, dead ends into Madison Avenue, okay? Madison is about a 20 foot wide road. It is very quiet. Here is my home; there is 50 feet of woods between me and a house that was built about 20 years ago. Over here is Mr. Hardman's property. Now, the dotted line in red shows the original property. Madison, the continuation of Madison was vacated so that the lines that you see here were added to Mr. Hardman's. So my property is 100 by 200, his was 100 x 200. Incidentally I once owned this property so I'm very familiar with it. After Wynnewood, over here the continuation of Wynnewood was vacated… Mr. Hardman, this is 25 foot along here and here. He put in an application for a garage. As you can see the garage is pretty close to the property line.
Mrs. Lashway: Mike, you need to speak into the Microphone. My system is not picking you up.
Mr. Truppo: Oh, you still can't hear me, okay… I'm sorry. Okay, once that was vacated then he and I actually shared a property line here and he applied for a garage. I have the Zoning Ordinance if you're concerned about it but at that time he applied for a garage, a front porch and an extension on the house. I have no problem with the extension on the house; I have no problem with the porch. The garage was pointed out as a 30 foot by 30 foot garage.
Vice President Greenbaum: Mike, is your issue that the garage was not built pursuant to the approval that he got?
Mr. Truppo: No, there is much more to it. The garage ultimately became a rental property. I'm extremely disturbed…
Vice President Greenbaum: I don't mean to cut you off but you have to understand that the Town Council doesn't really get involved in a number of different issues such as property owner versus property owner or Zoning violations. You've already gone to Catherine at this point?
Mr. Truppo: I've been to Catherine and as I've commented to her on the… handling the building problems, I'm very disturbed about these zoning problems as far as this. What I have come up with, which I got a copy of today, which is some legal document which I have no idea what it means. Basically, when I say “no idea,” they say, the Hardman's say that we will no longer… not no longer, they will never rent this out. That is unenforceable. I'm sure you recognize that.
Vice President Greenbaum: Catherine, have you looked at this particular issue? You brought this to Catherine's attention, correct?
Mr. Truppo: Yes I did.
Mrs. Natafalusy: Last December, Lisa called me down to her office that Mr. Truppo was in her office and that he had been complaining that there were issues with the Hardman property. I spoke to Mr. Truppo, I sent a letter to Mr. Hardman. I followed up on… Mr. Truppo said that he was renting the garage; he said he was using Mrs. Natafalusy (cont'd): the house as a base for his operation, for his business. He said that there was a driveway on the side of the house that should have been removed back in 1996 after the Zoning Board of Adjustment granted the variance approval. There were property maintenance issues so Tim Quinn, Frank Wilpert Jr. and I, met with Ed Hardman and went over the issues. I asked him for… he told me he was not renting the garage apartment. That he had a nephew that was staying there. His nephew had some personal problems or whatever and he was trying to help him and that's who was up in the apartment. He was out of it by that point. We told him we wanted a deed restriction and I think that's what he's talking about.
Vice President Greenbaum: Does he have approval to have a living space above the garage? That's a second accessory structure on the same property, you can't…
Mrs. Natafalusy: Right, and that's why we told him that we wanted this language put in his deed to restrict the use of this property to single family residential use only and he did that and he said he is not renting that apartment. It is what he is calling his “man room.”
Vice President Greenbaum: Is there a stove in there?
Mrs. Natafalusy: Ah no, I don't believe so. There's a bathroom, shower.
Vice President Greenbaum: There's a bathroom but no stove.
Mrs. Natafalusy: Right, I didn't go in there so I can't tell you… but we met with Mr. Hardman. He sent us a letter saying he is not operating his business out of his house. He gave us the deed restriction and Mr. Truppo got a copy of that today which was language that we had put together for people that want to convert basements, you know and maybe put a bathroom down there and there is potential for that to be leased out or rented out one day as an apartment, we always tell them that we want a deed restriction. It was something that we've been doing for the past ten or fifteen years that I know of so we asked Mr. Hardman to do that. Tim and I and Frank met with him about the bathroom in the apartment. There's an additional EDU that he was told he had to purchase and he did that. We've been trying to deal with every issue that has been brought to our attention but the latest one now is, he has a concrete pad on the back of the garage and he had a lean-to on top of it, then he enclosed it. Mr. Truppo feels that, that needs a variance. Well, the garage, the 30 by 30 garage got the variance and now the Ordinance that was adopted last year that allows accessory structures to be five feet from the property line … this is five feet from the property line so he adheres to that Ordinance. That's all I know at this point.
Mr. Truppo: May I speak?
Vice President Greenbaum: Absolutely, I didn't mean to cut you off, I'm just trying to get a sense…
Mr. Truppo: Okay, what Catherine has said is basically correct. The building problems, I don't care about at this point if they don't resurrect their ugly head.
Vice President Greenbaum: What is the issue that you have at this point?
Mr. Truppo: The issue is that it was… he claims it was his nephew. Do you know it was his nephew? You check to see, that's the enforcement, but I'm not done.
Vice President Greenbaum: Yeah…
Mr. Truppo : Originally in the Spring of 07, I saw a young woman, 30 years old, okay. Brought in with two kids, maybe three. Two or three kids and I saw… and I mentioned this to Catherine, a truck that has “Vision” on it this big. I have a picture of the truck that is very locatable okay. Eddie says what Eddie wants, Eddie does what Eddie wants. Now I would like to point out that this garage in the original drawings and I have the set here okay. I'm an Engineer, not a professional Engineer. I'm a mechanical Engineer… okay, but the drawing shows a roof going this way so you look at the building okay. He took the roof and went this way. Well, you could say he moved it 90 degrees, what's the big deal. Well, the big deal is very simply, he could then put a full dormer in the back and you can't see it from the road. You can't see it while it's being done, number one. Number two…
Vice President Greenbaum: You have to speak into the microphone. I apologize but…
Mr. Truppo: I'm sorry; I'm an intense kind of a guy. What can I say? Okay, number two, Catherine says and she believes that the driveway is five foot. No it's not. The scale shows it, it's a marked up survey drawing which I think is sloppy okay but it's a marked up survey drawing showing five foot. It's eleven foot, now what Mr. Truppo (cont'd): does eleven feet do? If you take this now and move it over here, now you can take the car and go to the back and not be seen. Then he built a back set of steps, a back set of steps, 175 feet from the road. There was no door, except front garage doors. So what does this say? Eddie was setting this up to rent it.
Vice President Greenbaum: What is it that you want the Council to do?
Mr. Truppo: Well, what is it that I want, so I don't have to sit there and… incidentally you can't see this readily unless you come down Wynnewood which I do about two or three times a day.
Vice President Greenbaum: All I can do is ask the Administration. You have to understand what the Council's role is. We're legislative, we are obviously a body that the residents can come to if they have issues. All I can do is ask the Administration to give us a report as to whether or not the improvements which were made are consistent with the approvals which were given at the Board of Adjustment and to assure us that the house at the present time is not being used as a residence. I cannot create any kind of guarantees that he's not going to abuse or violate, I should say, the approval which he has with respect to the use of that structure. What I suggest you do and I hate to put this burden on you, is to contact the Town if you believe in fact that he is using that structure as a residence. There is nothing I can do. I cannot have him remove the bathroom and I can't have a Police Officer sitting there…
Mr. Truppo: Of course not.
Vice President Greenbaum: I'm very limited. The Council is very limited in terms of what we can do. I can ask Catherine to make sure that the driveway was built in conformance with the approval that he had and that the roof was built in conformance with the approvals that he had. Then to get whatever information we have back and decide at that point what we're going to do with the structure that was not built in conformance with approvals. Most likely what would happen is that he would be then be forced to go back to the Board of Adjustment or at this point, the Land Use Board to justify why he did what he did and whether or not the Land Use Board is going to allow him to maintain the structure which is inconsistent with the prior approval and ultimately give him another approval with respect to the way he actually built the residence and the structure. The only thing I'm telling you is, that we're very limited, although you can present your case to us, there is really nothing that I can do short of what I've asked Catherine to do already to help you with this situation.
Mr. Truppo: What did you say, what you've asked Catherine… have you spoken to Catherine about this?
Vice President Greenbaum: I just did now. I asked her…
Mr. Truppo: Oh, okay I'm sorry.
Vice President Greenbaum: No, I just asked Catherine to report back to us with respect to whether or not the structure was built pursuant to the approvals that he had. If it's not then we as a group can direct or at least ask the Administration that we want it to be dealt with in a certain way. That's all that we can do.
Mr. Truppo: I understand that. I spoke to my lawyer. I chose not to have him come here. George… I'm sorry. George Johnson in Dover and he said it's unenforceable. What do I want? Take the plumbing line out. You do that and now it's a garage and storage place. That's what it was built for. It wasn't built… it wasn't a bath. I spoke to Frank Wilpert. I said Frank, what did you see? He said there was…because originally I was told it was a toilet. I said gee, okay he wants his workers to go up there while they're working so they don't have to go in his house. Now I find out there's a toilet, there's a shower, a wash room, there was a refrigerator so you know, the stories that I get are conflicting from the Zoning people.
Vice President Greenbaum: Well, the building permit that he took out when he built the structure should show whether or not there was an approval for facilities.
Mr. Truppo: I have the copies here. Would you like to see them or should I…
Vice President Greenbaum: No…
Mr. Truppo: Okay, I would like a Public Hearing with the Zoning Board, that neighbors can come in and people can express their opinions as to whether that fits in with our neighborhood. That's what I would like.
Vice President Greenbaum: I don't think that's an appropriate…certainly we can't order that and I'm not sure that there is such a, such a mechanism to have that happen at this point in time unless the structure is found not to be in conformance with the approval that he got both at the Board of Adjustment level and the permits that he filed with the Building Department.
Mr. Truppo: Okay, then if that's going to be the case.
Vice President Greenbaum: That's what I've asked Catherine to come back to Council and to let us know whether or not in fact it was built pursuant to the approvals that he got and if it's not then we can talk about what the next step is.
Mr. Truppo: What I would like to ask Catherine is that the two of us sit down and go over the discrepancies that are there. Then you can decide whether the garage was built in accordance with the way it was supposed to have been built.
Mrs. Natafalusy: I thought you were going to send me a letter.
Mr. Truppo: Catherine, my wife has been in the hospital for seven weeks.
Vice President Greenbaum: I understand, Catherine if you would be so kind to sit down with Mike at some point. Let him come in, schedule a meeting and in a half of an hour you should be able to go through everything. So if you would be so kind.
Mr. Truppo: If we sit down in a half an hour to an hour, I can go over the things which I wanted to go over here tonight, but fine. We can talk it over and I would hope that we would be able to have a public hearing with the Zoning Board.
Vice President Greenbaum: Well, ultimately as I said, let's take the first step first. Let's find out whether it was built in conformance with the approvals that they had and then we will take it from there.
Mr. Truppo: Okay, I can't ask for more than that. Thank you very much.
Vice President Greenbaum: Thank you very much.
Mr. Mania: Thank you.
Mr. Truppo: I hope I didn't get too intense.
Vice President Greenbaum: Anyone else from the Public wish to be heard?
Mr. Dorsey: Catherine, you don't need any letter to do that now. You'll do that. It's on the record.
Vice President Greenbaum: Seeing no one else from the Public, I will close it to the Public. Are there any Council Comments this evening? Mr. Perkins…
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. Vice President. During this portion of Public comment I wanted to discuss or at least comment on the Resolution that we have removed this evening relative to the sale of the water utility assets. A few months prior the Township Council authorized the Administration to do an RFP for operation and maintenance of the Water Utility. We have yet to hear how that has turned out and I'm assuming that the Administration will be giving us that within some timeframe. However, in my research and my years in working for a private water company, I do know that they do buy public water assets. I drafted a Resolution, sent it into the Clerk and forwarded it off to our Attorney on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately he was unable to review that until today. My basis for looking at it was under N.J.S.A. 19:37-1 which talks about non binding referendum, where you can go out to the Public and ask the Public's opinion, do they think that this is a good idea. I picked a price and I went through the gamete, based upon what a typically private company, United, Aqua or American that typically has settled over the course of the past five years on what they typically pay a municipality when they purchase a water system. I gave the breadth inside the Resolution which you'll see runs about $1.12 million to $5.75 million. I drafted the Resolution without being specific and saying should the Township sell it for a price exceeding $3 million? I picked a midpoint. Obviously if it came in less it wouldn't matter. The reason for going non binding is because we hope to at least get the Public's opinion. Let the Public vote the same as they did on the EMS issue which we were also told that they could not do which subsequently a judge determined that we could. Unfortunately there is a State Statue that deals specifically with water utilities or the sale or lease of any asset. That runs through a rather lengthy process of having to have six hearings and having to have it advertised weekly in the local newspapers and go through the bidding process. That's kind of a waste of taxpayer's money if the taxpayers don't want to go for it anyway. Once you have those bids and you place it on the referendum and some judge or attorney will have to, correct me if I'm wrong, but then once that's on the ballot if it's voted yes, whether you liked it or not then it becomes law so the basis Mr. Perkins (cont'd): for us pulling it is because our attorney has advised us and I believe rightfully so that there is a mechanism set up by statute that would require the Township to put together a bid package, get pricing, have Public Hearings and then put it on the referendum. Hopefully that is something that this Council decides to direct the Administration to do. Back in March, I had thought that I could circumvent that process somehow by asking the Administration to amend the RFP that was presently out for operations and maintenance. Unfortunately I was told that it was impossible to do at that late date so now we are at the crux of tonight being the last night, at least that's what I'm informed by our Clerk, that a Resolution could be passed to place a public question on the ballot in November. That is why it was hastily put on, that is the reasons that I am pulling, have asked and agreed that it should be pulled off. I believe you have the right to know that I asked for that to be on to let the Public decide, the same as we did with EMS, whether this asset should be sold to pay off the debt in the Water Utility first and then subsequently used as State statute permits. Thank you Mr. Vice President.
Vice President Greenbaum: Thank you, anyone else with any Council Comment this evening?
Mr. Roman: This is actually more of a question. I remember a while ago we… the discussion being held about being able to get residents to put in their e-mail addresses to the Township and whenever the Township had any business or to notify them, they can send out a request or a blast e-mail. I think something like this would fall under that umbrella if we were looking to get the Public's opinion on it. Have we started any process on that, setting up a mechanism…?
Mr. Sohl: The mechanism is people can sign up for tweets.
Mr. Roman: We have the twitter but… and recreation had their facebook page but say as far as official Township information, now we have the Township website and I do recall the stats being… that we do get a lot of hits on occasion. Now something like this, if we were to either have an area there where we can request e-mail addresses and whenever pertinent information was for… resident information they could sign up and get that information.
Mr. Sohl: That's the point of having tweets, that people know something's available. We could put something…
Mr. Roman: Well then if that's… we could always send out a tweet as such to say we're looking for residents opinions but…
Mr. Sohl: If somebody wanted to draft a…
Mr. Roman: Most people aren't on twitter but 99% of people I would have to assume have e-mail so I would just like to at least run it up the flag pole to see whether Scott thinks this is a vital…
Mr. Sohl: I'll talk to Scott.
Mr. Roman: Just have…
Mr. Sohl: I'm a little nervous about getting ten thousand e-mails. I'm a little bit nervous about the prospect…
Mayor Scapicchio: Maybe what we can do Alex is maybe in the tax bill or the next mailer that we put out, maybe what we can do is have al little questionnaire where people if they want to be noticed on certain Township business, we can send out a blast e-mail if they want to get on an e-mail list.
Mr. Roman: It would be extremely cost effective if not cost anything.
Mr. Sohl: There is a cost in terms of people's times and effort.
Mr. Roman: Right, but once somebody goes onto the Township website, puts their e-mail address in and I don't think it takes much effort from Scott to send out an e-mail blast saying the Towns is looking for your opinion, log onto the Township's website and answer as to…
Mr. Sohl: We'll look at it.
Mr. Roman: Alright.
Vice President Greenbaum: Anyone else this evening? Under Council Comments, I have a comment this evening. I had a chance to do some initial research in terms of selling the water system and what I found out was somewhat troubling to me. First and foremost the…my understanding is that any funds which are generated through the sale of the water system could only be used to retire debt and certainly a significant portion would be to retire the debt of the water system that we currently have, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 million currently and perhaps higher. Assuming that the water system could be sold for $3 million, you have to look at the impact on the Township from a number of different levels. First and foremost, selling the water system, we'll lose the right to control the rates. We would absolutely have no ability and those rates would still be subject to BPU approval but the Township would no longer be in any position whatsoever to control the water rates of those who would then be on private water systems. Secondly, it's my understanding that the Township generates significant revenue from different aspects of the water system such as the rental of the water towers for cell antennas, somewhere in the neighborhood of about $300,000.00 per year. If you look at the fact that we would then lose that revenue, any increase that we would see in terms of dollars from the sale of the water system would then be quickly eaten up by the loss in revenue so at $3 million in ten years we will have lost $3 million in revenue by not having the water system itself and then we wouldn't have the asset. Not having the asset would then affect our ability to go out for bonding. It might affect the rate at which we could borrow money in the future; it might affect our ability to bypass the Local Finance Board. There are a number of different critical issues that need to be addressed before we decide whether or not we're going to put this to the voters because we have to be sure that it is a closed question rather than simply a knee jerk reaction. With that, I will take a motion to go into Executive Session this evening to discuss an Open Space issue. It will be brief. When we come out of Executive Session we will take no further action. Mr. Perkins…
Mr. Perkins: Yes Mr. Vice President, under Section 7 and 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, I make a motion to move into Executive Session to discuss Open Space.
Vice President Greenbaum: Open Space Negotiations.
Mr. Roman: Second.
Vice President Greenbaum: It's been moved and seconded, all in favor?
Vice President Greenbaum: All opposed?
Motion was made and seconded, all in favor and none opposed, the meeting was adjourned at 8:13pm.
Phil Tobey, Council President
I, Lisa 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 August 24, 2010.
Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk