The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:31 pm by Council President Greenbaum with the Pledge of Allegiance.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & MOMENT OF REFLECTION for all those who have and continue to protect our freedoms and our way of life.

OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Mount Olive Chronicle. 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.

ROLL CALL Present: Mr. Buell, Mr. Rattner, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Tobey, Mr. Perkins
Mr. Tepper, Mr. Greenbaum

Absent: None

Also Present: David Scapicchio, Mayor; John Dorsey, Township Attorney; William Sohl, Business Administrator; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk; Sherry Jenkins, CFO

Questions on Bill List?

President Greenbaum: Does anyone have any questions on the Bill List for the Administration? Seeing none, Mr. McDonnell, did you have any questions on the Bill List? Do you want to come up and just raise them so that if they can, the Administration can get you the answers by the end of the meeting? Just identify the ones that you have questions with and we’ll deal with them later on.

Ned McDonnell, Budd Lake: You caught me off guard here. I don’t know what page it was on. It was an item for a coffee machine, $1,000 approximately. I was just wondering what that was all about.

Ms. Jenkins: We purchase the coffee for the machine and we also take the money in. It’s usually a quarter I guess, this coffee Lisa, right? I don’t drink coffee, sorry. The money that we take in, you know, offsets obviously the cost that we pay out for the coffee.

Mr. McDonnell: Who uses the coffee machine? Where is it located?

Mr. Sohl: All of us.

Mrs. Labow: The cafeteria.

Mr. Sohl: Anybody.

Ms. Jenkins: It’s actually in the cafeteria.

Mr. McDonnell: Is it pretty much a break even process?

Ms. Jenkins: No, it’s not break even.

Mr. McDonnell: Close?

Ms. Jenkins: Yes, it is close but it’s not break even.

Mr. McDonnell: Okay, thank you.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

President Greenbaum: Thank you. We’re up to approval of Minutes of previous meetings. Mr. Tepper, do you want to move the Minutes please?

Mr. Tepper: I move the minutes of:

Oct. 23, 2007 PM
Absent: Mr. Tepper

Nov. 20, 2007 PM, WS & CS
All Present

Nov. 27, 2007 PM & CS
Absent: Mr. Greenbaum & Mr. Tobey

Dec. 4, 2007 WS
All Present

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Does anyone have any comments, deletions, subtractions or additions? Seeing none, Roll Call.

ROLL CALL - Passed Unanimously with the exception Mr. Tepper abstained from October 23, Mr. Tobey abstained from November 27, and Mr. Greenbaum abstained from November 27

CORRESPONDENCE

LETTERS / EMAILS FROM CONSTITUENTS / ORGANIZATIONS

1. Letter received November 28, 2007, from Thomas and Gelsamina (Malanga) Testa regarding their support of preserving environmentally sensitive land along the South Branch of the Raritan River, Block 7000 Lots 87 and 88 (River Road).

2. Letter received November 29, 2007, from the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce regarding Toys for Tots December Holiday Event.

3. Invitation received November, 29, 2007, from FIRST Lego League to the 2007 New Jersey FIRST Lego League Championship.

RESOLUTIONS / ORDINANCE / CORRESPONDENCE OTHER TOWNS

4. Public Notice received November 26, 2007, from the Hackettstown Planning Board regarding Master Plan Reexamination Report Hearing.

5. Resolution received December 3, 2007, from the Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding Flags to be flown at Half Staff in Honor of Pearl Harbor Day.

MUA / MSA

6. A copy of the MSA Budget and breakdown of Municipal charges for 2008 received November 29, 2007, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority.

7. Letter received December 3, 2007, from the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority regarding FY 2008 Rate Schedule.

8. Minutes received December 7, 2007, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding the November 7, 2007, meeting.

DOT / DEP / LOI / HIGHLANDS

9. Letter received November 26, 2007, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Block 8200, Lot 12 (Harris Lane).

10. Letter received November 26, 2007, from the State of New Jersey, Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council regarding the Highlands Regional Master Plan.

11. Packet received November 28, 2007, from Norton Conservation Company, Inc. regarding a Classification Exception Area Biennial Certification for the Budd Lake Fire Department.

12. Letter received November 29, 2007, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Applicant: Leonard Cholish, Follow up to Notice of Violation for Block: 6900 Lot:29 (68-1 Bartley Road).

13. Letter received November 29, 2007, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Minor Landfill Disruption Application Approval for Combe Fill North Landfill.

14. Fax received November 29, 2007, from the State of New Jersey, Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council regarding Notice of Meeting.

15. Letter received December 3, 2007, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Charters Farm, No Further Action Letter and Letter of Covenant Not to Sue for Block 8300, 90, Lot 3&4,1 (69 Stephens Park Road)

16. Letter received December 3, 2007, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Unrestricted Use No Further Action Letter and Covenant Not to Sue for Block 7801, Lot 4 (25 E Tudor Place)

17. Letter received December 6, 2007, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Agency Determination: Highlands Act – Exempt for Riad Development Co., LLC – Addition at Village Mall - Flanders Block 6800, Lot 2 (286 US Highway Route 206)

UTILITIES

18. Letter received November 26, 2007, from Comcast regarding price changes.

19. Municipal Notification received November 29, 2007, from Jersey Central Power & Light regarding 2008 Vegetation Maintenance Activities.

20. Noticed received November 30, 2007, from PSE&G regarding tree removal as part of vegetation management work.

21. Letter received November 30, 2007, from Comcast regarding channel additions.

LETTERS FROM LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVES

22. Letter received December 6, 2007, from Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose regarding the Hearing on Low income Housing.

MISC

23. Schedule received December 7, 2007, from the Morris County Division of Community Development regarding 2008 Grant Applications.

President Greenbaum: We have 23 pieces of Correspondence on the Agenda this evening. Does anyone wish to discuss any particular piece of Correspondence? Seeing none, we’ll move on to ordinances for public hearing.

ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING

President Greenbaum: The first ordinance is entitled:

Ord. #44-2007 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Regulating the Application of Fertilizer.

President Greenbaum: Does anyone from the public wish to be heard on Ord. #44-2007? Yes sir, Mr. Bonte, if you would be so kind as to come up to the podium and state your name and address.

Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: This ordinance, I believe, was discussed probably ten to fifteen years ago originally by some of the members of this Council, and it is long overdue. I strongly urge your passage of it this evening. Thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Does anyone else from the public wish to be heard on Ord. # 44-2007? Seeing none, I close it to the public and I’m going to ask Mr. Buell to please move this for adoption and passage.

Mr. Buell: Thank you Mr. President, I move Ord. #44-2007.

Mr. Rattner: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Is there any Council discussion? Mr. Tepper.

Mr. Tepper: I wholly agree with Mr. Bonte that it should be approved. However, I don’t believe it should be approved at the Town level. I believe it should be something done at a State level as it is not enforceable at our level.

President Greenbaum: Any other Council comment? Seeing none, Roll Call.

ROLL CALL – Passed with the exception Mr. Tepper and Mr. Greenbaum voted no.

President Greenbaum: Ord. #44-2007 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor, and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for public hearing this evening is entitled:

Ord. #45-2007 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Providing for Restrictions as to No Parking, No Standing, No Stopping on Theresa Drive.

President Greenbaum: At this point I will open it up to the public. Mr. Bonte, did you want to be heard on this?

Mr. Rattner: Don’t egg him on.

President Greenbaum: No, I know he was here to speak on this particular ordinance. Please state your name and address again.

Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: I was opposed to the passage of the ordinances about four years ago regarding the turning over of our public streets to the people that just live on them. I am against this ordinance. We have a body of individuals in this Town who can’t vote. Through their parents they pay taxes. They are engaged in the legal and lawful activity which is to operate a motor vehicle and to park that vehicle. To take away the parking rights of these individuals, especially when they cannot vote is really not very fair. While I sympathize with the residents on Theresa Drive as well as the other streets that we’ve already taken away the parking rights, that’s not the way to go about this. We have numerous laws on the books to enforce. Speeding, careless driving, reckless driving, littering, parking on people’s property, blocking their driveways and mailboxes, whatever. This is an issue of enforcement, and it’s actually pretty easy to enforce because there’s probably a half hour period in the morning and a half hour period in the afternoon where most of the offenses take place, if they are taking place. It’s a matter of education through the School and enforcement by the Police. I can’t believe that I’m suggesting Police enforcement, but in this case it sounds like, from the resident’s complaints, that it’s warranted. It should be viewed by the Township as a method of raising some revenue rather than taking away the rights of all individuals, whether they live on the street or not, to be able to park on the street. Unless someone can come forward and show why these streets are unsafe for parking, and I know that was done on Schoolhouse Lane which I still to this day do not believe was valid the way that was done, I don’t believe that the rights of individuals should be taken away since part of my tax dollars are paying for the maintenance of these streets. They are all our streets and it’s our right to park on them whenever we choose. If we need to step up enforcement then that’s the way to take care of this. Eventually, and I don’t think that it will take too long if there was strict Police enforcement, the kids will get the message. I would not only recommend that you not pass this ordinance this evening, but that we introduce an ordinance as soon as can be done to rescind all of the no parking zones on all of the other streets that were passed back in 2002 and 2003. Thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public who wishes to be heard on this ordinance? Yes ma’am. Please state your name and address.

Judy Sanchez, Theresa Drive: This argument has been going on for a long time. Basically, I live at the end of the street where I am probably the homeowner that is most directly affected. Obviously, the kids are parking at the end that is closest to the School. I oppose having them there basically for two reasons, and primarily safety issues. Theresa Drive is a quiet street. It’s a residential neighborhood, no commercial zone. We have no sidewalks on Theresa Drive. Residents walk on the streets, children walk on the streets, mothers with their children and strollers walk on the streets. We have no sidewalk so there is no option of walking on a sidewalk. The kids come and the problem is that there are so many of them. I can have a solid line of cars on one side of the street and a solid line of cars on the other side of the street. There’s no room for pedestrians and all of these cars. It’s also a school bus route. When the school bus has to go down the road, there is no room for the school bus, a car in the driving lane, and two parked cars all on the same street at the same time. We have services that we need. I needed to have a roof put on my home last year. We had to make sure that we timed it when school wasn’t in session. A roofer is not going to walk down the whole length of the street with packages of heavy shingles when it’s time to roof the house. So, you know, we had to do what would work for the roofer. Now, last week we happened to need to have our septic pumped on an emergency basis. Fortunately it was a day when it wasn’t quite as crowded. I really don’t know what we would have done if it was one of those days when cars were fully lined up both sides of the road. The hoses wouldn’t have reached far enough. It’s just that there are too many people to cram them all in a small space. I don’t have anything against the students, really. Mrs. Sanchez (cont’d): There are some quality of life issues. It’s a little bit noisy when they come in, especially when the weather is good. They have their radios blaring and their windows are down. I can live with those things. I don’t particularly really like them but I’ve had kids. It’s really not very safe when there are so many people packed into a small area. If they were dispersed over the whole community or over a number of streets, it wouldn’t be an issue. Right now they are really in front of four or five houses and it’s just too much. Thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public? Yes sir, Dan, do you want to come up and state your name and address?

Dan Kwasnik: Members of the Board may recognize me. I’ve been up here before as part of Mount Olive Park Partners. Other members of the audience may recognize me as someone who has given ten years of coaching to Little League in Town. Basically I am here for the long haul. I believe that we’ve got a great Town here. I’ve done what I can to contribute to making this a better Town, and I wanted to work with the students as much as possible. In deference to Mr. Bonte’s comments, there were circumstances where the students were addressed at the High School. Bill Sohl addressed them, and Officer Van Ness addressed them at the High School. They were made aware of some of the pains that the local townspeople that live on Theresa Drive had to go through because of the speeding, the loud noise, the bad language and other issues of that nature. So all we are looking for as residents of Theresa Drive is the same thing on the adjacent streets, to have the peace and quiet that the other families do. We pay taxes in Town and we help support the High School to help support the expansion. We’re just looking to have the same thing as the other streets do and have the quality of life back again. Thanks for your time.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public who wishes to be heard? Yes sir, Mr. McDonnell, if you’d be so kind as to state your name and address for the record please.

Ned McDonnell, Budd Lake: You all know about my opinion on no parking going back to the original parking bans on the other streets in the area. There are a lot of anecdotal comments about safety, school busses can’t get down the street, etc. We don’t have any documentation from any professionals on a safety problem that I know of. Unless there is something documented, I think the safety comments should be put to sleep. I just don’t see it. It seems like the crowding, you’ve brought this upon yourselves by adding street after street that has no parking. You’ve just simply funneled them all down to Theresa Drive. I think that there should be parking on all the streets around the High School unless it can be shown that there is a valid safety problem. Noise, bad language, these aren’t things that really come to mind as something that you should have a no parking law for. I realize that some of the residents are annoyed by the students, but as I said before, these are our children from our Town. We shouldn’t be penalizing them. We should be doing what we can to help them. If there are violations occurring, I think there are plenty of remedies for the violations other than having no parking. I firmly believe that all of the parking bans should be removed, and put the streets back in the hands of the people of this Town. Thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Mr. Bonte?

Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: I have one question and one further comment. The question, in Section 1 it states that a commercial vehicle making a delivery can stop on Theresa Drive. So how would this woman get her roof replaced or her septic system pumped out?

President Greenbaum: I don’t understand.

Mr. Bonte: This says that a commercial vehicle making a delivery, that’s an exception to the no parking.

President Greenbaum: Correct.

Mr. Bonte: But when trucks come up to roof your house they are there all day. They are parked.

President Greenbaum: They’re making a delivery.

Mr. Bonte: Will it be construed that way?

President Greenbaum: Yes, it will be.

Mr. Bonte: Or will it be that you can’t sit here all day?

Mr. Dorsey: The answer is that it will be construed that way because that’s the way it’s been construed on the other streets where the non-parking has gone in.

President Greenbaum: What’s your comment?
Mr. Bonte: Alright now, a suggestion, I understand that one of the concerns is whether or not you can walk down the street, whether the school bus can go down the street, and the density of parking on Theresa Drive. What the Council might want to take a look at, as part of a consideration to opening up the other streets for parking, the control parking that some other Towns have done by putting marked stalls in the street. You can only park within those stalls, and by marking the pavement appropriately, you can reduce the density of parking dramatically. In fact, even create it in a fashion so that there is ample space on the street because cars would not be able to park directly across from each other. You could spread that parking out, and by opening up all of these streets again you will disperse the parking over a larger area. That might be an answer to this solution overall. I’d like you to consider that. Thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public? Yes sir, you have to come up and state your name and address please.

Patrick McKay, Theresa Drive: I’m not as immediately impacted as most of the residents are at the further end of the street where it hasn’t trickled down to me yet. The reason why I am opposed to them parking on the street, however, is that yes there is a safety issue. I leave my home sometimes in the late afternoon on appointments and as a result of that, one day as I was backing out of the driveway there was one student that was shuttling his buddies from the High School to the street. He dropped them off and then took off like a bat out of hell in order to make it to Flanders-Drakestown Road. Why that was necessary I do not know, but as I was backing up I had to come to an abrupt stop. I blew my horn and he just kept on going. I then followed him all the way down to Sandshore, he knew that I was following him, and never responded in any way. I pulled up next to him and he kept his eyes going straight. Now, as far as that’s concerned that’s not necessarily just the students fault, but it’s the parents who are allowing them to conduct themselves in this way. Another thing that hasn’t been mentioned also, is the fact that there is a lot of trash on the streets also as a result. While you may not have seen much of it lately, I know that they have been spoken to about it. However, there are still some students that have no regard whatsoever for other people’s property and as a result of that, that’s one of the major reasons why I am totally opposed to them parking on the street. I can understand, you know, in the first go around I was on their side and I said give the kids a chance. The school is under construction. It’s going through some renovations right now and things will get better, okay. It hasn’t and maybe it is not necessarily just the students’ faults who are having to park on the street. You can see in the spring as more students are getting their licenses and there is no parking there for them. It will come all the way down on Theresa Drive, okay, and probably end up on Flanders-Drakestown Road also, but if we don’t do something now it will get worse and potentially become a problem later on. Thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public who hasn’t spoken? Seeing none, I will close it to the public and I’m going to ask Mr. Tobey to please move this for approval.

Mr. Tobey: I move Ord. #45-2007.

Mr. Buell: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. I’m going to start with the discussion. I really just don’t see this as that big of an issue. I mean it was on News Channel 12 today which is mind boggling to me. I got a call from News Channel 12 and I got calls from reporters as to whether or not this issue is going to be on tonight. It affects a very small group of people. It’s not something that the Council looks to do or has looked to do in the past. It’s when there are a group of residents who live on a particular street who identify a problem that we have reacted. None of us likes having to do what we do. We always believed that it was a School related issue and that the School needed to take care of this, which is why I find it particularly mind boggling that we get a resolution from the School Board indicating their disfavor of the Council taking this position. It’s the School Board who has to find a resolution for this issue. In fact, when we donated Township property to the School Board for their latest renovation, we were advised that this issue would be abated, maybe not completely but certainly to the point where it wouldn’t be an issue that we would have to address again. That has not been the case. As I recall, they indicated that they would even have parking along that secondary access road that goes to Flanders Road which is not the case. For the School Board to now pass a resolution telling the Township as to how to conduct our business is absurd. It would be akin to us passing resolutions as to how the School Board should conduct their business, which would be equally absurd. Having said that, I see no reason not to pass this particular ordinance in the same vein that we have passed it on the other streets surrounding the High School. This is an issue that came to the Council on two or three other occasions when single individual homeowners on Theresa Drive indicated that they wanted it addressed. When ultimately it was discussed at the Council level, a majority of the homeowners on Theresa Drive did not want this parking restriction and in that event, the Council did not adopt the particular ordinance. When it came back this time I told Dan that I was not going to put it on the Agenda because I am not going to drag the residents of Theresa Drive here again unless they were in favor. I said, Dan, you better make sure that a vast majority of the residents on Theresa Drive are in favor of this parking restriction before we put it on. Dan went out and he got a petition together and ultimately all or most of the residents on Theresa Drive are now in favor of this as you can see. I think only one resident of President Greenbaum (cont’d): Theresa Drive spoke out. Laura Szwack came and said that she was not in favor of this particular ordinance. I see no reason not to pass it, and I urge you all to follow suit. Mr. Tepper, did you have something?

Mr. Tepper: Yes, I find myself for the second time agreeing with Mr. Bonte. I think the issue is an enforcement issue so I respectfully disagree with you. I am equally frustrated that the School Board, since they’ve passed a resolution, has not felt that it was that important that they would send a representative here to present their point of view to us and address questions. I also feel that Section 1 as it’s presented, right now, with the exception of any commercial vehicle becomes a safety hazard. If it is indeed that crowded and cars are parked on both sides, and that septic truck is there cleaning out a septic tank, and there is a fire at the other end of the street, you cannot get an emergency vehicle through. I believe that this particular section is flawed because we are allowing an exception, and for that reason I will vote no.

President Greenbaum: Any other comments? Mr. Perkins.

Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President, I voted no initially on Schoolhouse. I will be voting no again on Theresa. I can empathize, but unlike Mr. Bonte I have no sympathy. I’ve been there. Four years ago I explained my High School dilemma with us being shuttled around with no parking signs. I look at empty school buses, my tax payer dollars are paying for these children to be there and they are coming in cars. I look at a School Board who passed a resolution asking us not to pass this resolution for no parking. For them, that’s one time I think I can agree with them. I do, however, find fault with them not providing adequate parking for the students, utilizing the seniors as a privilege via a lottery system to be able to park on site. I don’t buy their adage that there’s no space when there is limited space in New York City, but it’s amazing how you can have layered parking. All they would have to do is have an elevated parking facility within the School property. I don’t know how many cars that would take. No one has ever come up with a definitive number of vehicles that have been out on the street. How many are there? Could they fit them on the School as the Council President has suggested for the secondary access road? That could be possible. School buses are only going one way out of there anyway. This doesn’t need to be done. Again, I empathize with the people in there. It is like a cancer. It has spread. We’re just moving the students from one space to another. My son took the bus right up until his graduation day and although his car sat in that driveway, he got it when he got home. Parents need to look at it a little differently. As taxpayers we need to look at those empty seats on our school buses that we keep paying for out of our tax dollars, and safety issues need to be addressed. Noise, nuisance, pollution, garbage, and inadequate parking is an enforcement issue. Thank you, Mr. President.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else? Roll Call please.

ROLL CALL – Passed with the exception Mr. Tepper, Mr. Tobey, and Mr. Perkins voted no

President Greenbaum: Ord. #45-2007 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor, and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for Public Hearing is entitled:

Ord. #46-2007 An Ordinance of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive to Rescind Chapter 63, “Sale of Property” Article I “Open Space Trust” of the Mount Olive Township Code.

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on Ord. #46-2007? Seeing none, I close it to the public and ask Mrs. Labow to please move that for adoption.

Mrs. Labow: I’d like to move Ord. #46-2007.

Mr. Buell: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Any Council discussion? Roll Call please.

ROLL CALL - Passed unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ord. #46-2007 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor, and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for Public Hearing is entitled:

Ord. #48-2007 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive to Amend Chapter 106, “Dogs and Other Animals” of the Code of the Township of Mount Olive.

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on Ord. #48-2007? Seeing none, I… Yes sir, Mr. Russell.

Nelson Russell, Budd Lake: In that cats are not required to be licensed it becomes a question of how do you enforce it?

Mr. Sohl: They are required to be licensed in Mt. Olive but not by the State.

Mr. Russell: Not by the State.

Mr. Sohl: Mount Olive has a cat licensing ordinance.

Mr. Russell: Okay, never mind.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public? Seeing none, I close it to the public and ask Mr. Perkins to please move Ord. #48-2007 for approval.

Mr. Perkins: Yes Mr. President, I move for adoption and final passage of Ord. #48-2007.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Tepper: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Any Council discussion? Roll Call please.

ROLL CALL – Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ord. #48-2007 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor, and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The last ordinance this evening for Public Hearing is entitled:

Ord. #49-2007 Ordinance of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Acquisition of the Baum Property, Block 5300 Lot 8.01, Block 5201 Lot 10 and Block 5202 Lot 11.

President Greenbaum: Anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on Ord. #49-2007? Seeing none, I close it to the public and I’ll ask Mr. Rattner to please move Ord. #49-2007 for approval.

Mr. Rattner: Thank you Mr. President, I move for adoption and final passage of Ord. #49-2007.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Any Council discussion? Roll Call… Mrs. Labow.

Mrs. Labow: I’d actually like to ask Kathy Murphy a question on this if it would be okay. Just a quick question, Kathy, you are probably most familiar with this property and where it borders the School property and the Township property.

Kathy Murphy, Grants Coordinator: Correct.

Mrs. Labow: Is there a section on this, in other words, will this go on the ROSI right away as Open Space?

Mrs. Murphy: We have several properties that we are working on. It’s best to get everything and then officially put it on the ROSI and do a group of things at the same time.

Mrs. Labow: My question is, is there a section of non-wetlands of this property that’s going to border the School that could be set aside for parking at the High School for additional parking? Can we do something like that, or look into it?

Mrs. Murphy: I would doubt that you’d want to do that. It adjoins property at Schoolhouse Lane by the detention basin. There’s access at Corey Road and there is access at Flanders-Drakestown Road.

Mrs. Labow: I know they wouldn’t want to have access going through, I’m just thinking towards in the back where there’s parking already at the back of the School. My point is that before it goes on the ROSI, if we could possibly see if there is a section we could cut out for 35 or 40 spots because once it’s on the ROSI we don’t have that option.

Mrs. Murphy: I’ll certainly look at the wetlands delineation just to take a look. We can do that.

Mrs. Labow: Just in case, before we… Okay, thanks.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Any other Council comments? Roll Call please.

ROLL CALL – Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ord. #49-2007 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor, and publish the notice of adoption as required by law.

ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – None

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 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

1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing the Annual Reorganization Meeting for January 8, 2008.

2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Formally Establishing the Public Safety Committee.

3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of an Interlocal Service Agreement for Utilization of the County’s Mobile Data Terminal System.

4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Approving a Change Order under the Contract Issued to CMX for Cleaning of the Sewer Plant Aeration Tank.

President Greenbaum: There are four Consent Resolutions this evening. Does anyone wish to have any of the four moved from the Consent Agenda’s list? Seeing none, Mr. Tepper do you want to move the Consent Resolutions Agenda?

Mr. Tepper: Yes Mr. President, I move for approval of Consent Resolutions one through four.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on any of the resolutions? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Does any Council member wish to make any brief clarifying statements? Roll Call please.

PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS - none

COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS - none

ROLL CALL – Passed Unanimously

RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT - none

MOTIONS

President Greenbaum: We’re up to Motions, the Bill List, Mr. Buell do you want to move that please?

1. Bill List

Mr. Buell: I move the Bill List.

Mr. Tobey: Second.

President Greenbaum: Any discussion? Roll call.

ROLL CALL – Passed Unanimously

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS - none

OLD BUSINESS - none

NEW BUSINESS - none

LEGAL MATTERS

President Greenbaum: Mr. Dorsey, do you have any legal matters this evening?

Mr. Dorsey: Yes, I’ll just tell you a couple of things. The due diligence by Rock Gold as to Combe Fill North continues. It sped up in the last two weeks as they received the necessary permits to commence the drilling on the site in order to ascertain what the sub-service conditions are. According to Mr. Greenbaum who has intimate knowledge with the proprietors of Rock Gold, the drilling goes well. It all must be confirmed by lab tests on the material actually being extracted. Then the issue is whether or not the cost of building on the site is consistent with whatever they worked into their $10,051,000.00, but at this point they are optimistic. You know, we are down to crunch time almost in terms of that project. We have completed the in rem tax foreclosure. We have title to the property as soon as we file the judgment with the exception of the State’s lien of $872,000 to which Rock Gold purchased the property subject to that lien. They have, with their usual nimbleness, negotiated with the State and the State apparently is prepared to waive that when they assume the responsibility for the care and maintenance of the landfill. In terms of legal fees, we have a small reimbursement from AIG Baker in terms of legal fees in connection with the hold harmless agreement that I must have put in ten years ago. Tim Quinn, this week, did a great job for me. He discovered that along the Route 46 corridor there were twelve properties which Catherine designated as having received various Planning Board and Board of Adjustment approvals for further development. It will result in another 25 EDU’s for service billing. We have collected approximately $75,000 in arrearages. The Dattolo litigation was scheduled for cross motions for summary judgment on December 7th. Dick Cushing and I went up that morning to argue. We were really quite intent when we arrived only to be told that Judge Dumont was in South Africa, and he wouldn’t be there for the motions. It has now been adjourned until January 4th. I also have pursued the issue of our outstanding tax appeals. We are down to two major property owners in terms of 2006 tax appeals. It is not unusual for tax appeals to go on for years. We have sped the process up. We are down to two major ones, Wal Mart and Sam’s Club, in which we do believe we will be successful in negotiating a withdrawal of the 2006 appeals. So we will not be returning money for that year, but there will be an adjustment for the year 2007 as to each of those. The other major tax appeal deals with what we used to refer to as BASF. I believe that it now has a different name. There was never a deed granted by BASF or at least never a deed recorded. We have discovered in the records in the County Clerk’s office, that the current owner has obtained an $87,000,000 construction loan, which is a very interesting number. What the property owner has never produced has been the contract by which the current owners, and I say owners because I believe they are owners, took equitable title to the property and have controlled its redevelopment. We have given the attorney for that property owner, who has an outstanding tax appeal, another week to produce that or we will file a necessary motion either to dismiss the tax appeal, or to produce the contract. We can’t wait to see the contract because a great deal of the major property owners in Mount Olive try and maintain absolute secrecy, and they manage to do it. When you don’t file a deed there is no way of discovering what price was paid. It is very interesting that ownership has essentially been assigned by an unrecorded contract. So if it isn’t produced in a week we will make the necessary motion either to dismiss the tax appeal, or to obtain a copy of that contract which I think we will all find interesting. That’s it, Mayor. Council President.

President Greenbaum: Council President. Thank you. Not Mayor, yet. Sorry Dave.

Mayor Scapicchio: It’s alright.

COUNCIL REPORTS

Recreation Liaison Report

Mr. Tobey: The Recreation Committee met last week. There were approximately 20 to 25 people that attended the meeting from the various sports associations, I believe, with the exception of the Junior Baseball. Everybody for the most part was in agreement with regards to the fee and procedures, amendments as they were presented. Copies will be forthcoming and forwarded to everybody.

Board of Health Report

Mrs. Labow: We meet next week.

Planning Board Report

Mr. Tepper: Meets Thursday.

Board of Adjustment Liaison Report

Mr. Perkins: Meets on the 17th.

Open Space Committee Report

Mrs. Labow: We met last night. We had Helen Maurella, Superintendent of Allamuchy, Stephens and Hopatcong State Parks. She came to talk to us about the trails. We’re trying to connect, have a trailhead in Mount Olive. We have gentlemen working on the trails on a volunteer basis for JORBA (Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association) and the bicycle routes, and we’re trying to connect Allamuchy State Park with the Mount Olive property… Were we calling it, I know it’s not Crown Towers, Fire Tower Ridge, I don’t know what the…

Mr. Dorsey: Crown Towers

Mrs. Labow: We’re still calling it Crown Towers?

President Greenbaum: We just call it the Bonte backyard.

Mrs. Labow: And so we are looking for trailhead appropriate areas for us. We did point them out. We looked through the maps and she’s good, the girl from the County, or from the State. Which one is she from, Kathy? Okay, Superintendent, I do apologize to her. She’s going to run the three prime areas that we discussed last night through the program’s fund to see if there’s any endangered species, so on and so forth. Once we find out what the most appropriate location for the trailhead will be, we’ll hopefully have it up and running. There is grant money available so it’s not coming out of Mount Olive taxpayer money. It is going to allow us access to the trail system that’s being worked on and the trails that are being blazed.

Legislative Committee Report

Mr. Buell: None.

Pride Committee Liaison Report

President Greenbaum: Pride Committee, Mr. Perkins, get that sign down. It’s not summer anymore.

Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. Yes, but we wish it really was.

President Greenbaum: So maybe that’s the next sign, “it’s always summer in Mount Olive, even when it snows.”

Mrs. Labow: We’re early for next year.

Mr. Perkins: Get that down, that’s pretty good. Okay, regarding the billboard because that is a point of contention for quite a few residents. Originally when the Pride Committee was formed we had, for those of you that have been around long enough, we had a hot air balloon that was up there. It had to be there twenty years before I got here. We negotiated with them since it is on our property that they would replace that billboard sign for us four times per year with a design either done by us, or they would assist us in the art design.
Somewhere along the line, they sold out to CBS Outdoor. Communications began to fall short. It started getting changed only about twice a year. I had asked the Pride Committee last year to start putting a little more emphasis on getting that taken care of on a quarterly basis, and recognize some of the sports groups which of course we have. Unfortunately now we aren’t getting them changed in a timely manner. I have contacted CBS Outdoor. I will be asking the Administration, I’ve already spoken to the Business Administrator, to negotiate, to get into negotiations with CBS Outdoor for receiving revenue from that billboard. A billboard that size actually hosts $1,100 per month. I’ll leave that in the capable hands of the Administration. That is the only billboard that we physically had in Town that had any welcome to it. We were not successful in getting one done up in Budd Lake which I always thought would be appropriate to have one on either end. Therefore, Mr. President, we are going to look at removing that and any funding that would come, my recommendation would be that part of those funds be used to fund off the Pride and Economic Development Committees. That’s it, Mr. President.

Board of Education Liaison Report

Mr. Buell: They met last night. Only two matters really of note. One…

President Greenbaum: Did they pass a resolution approving our Bill List?

Mr. Buell: No, they did not do that. At their Business Committee meeting they did discuss trees along the access road. They found that they were not necessary. They’re not recommending that we plant trees on the access road. The other thing is at the Business Committee meeting on December 7th the Committee did discuss sewer fees. They did not elaborate as to what this meant, but they did say that the Committee reviewed the total sewer fees paid to the Township.

President Greenbaum: Is that it?

Mr. Buell: That’s it.

Lake/Environment Issues Committee

Mr. Rattner: No report.

Safety Committee Liaison

Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. Tonight, obviously we passed the resolution formally setting up the Public Safety Committee. They are working on a few projects which will go into the beginning of next year, with one of those being private ambulatory service if that becomes necessary. They’re also investigating the use of the IM Responding System for use at Budd Lake EMS, which Flanders has right now and that hopefully should prove to be beneficial. The Administration is looking at the possibility if there is any grant money that may or may not be available to help offset some of those costs. Thank you, Mr. President.

Finance Committee Report

Mr. Rattner: Nothing to report.

Economic Development Committee Report

Mr. Rattner: Nothing to report. I think that our next meeting is this weekend.

Solid Waste Advisory Committee Report

Mrs. Labow: We meet tomorrow.

Library Board Liaison

Mr. Tepper: The Library has sent out a community survey to all the residents within Town. I started to get feedback on that. The next meeting is tomorrow.

PUBLIC PORTION

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on any particular issue? Mr. McDonnell, name and address please.

Ned McDonnell, Budd Lake: Since we’re getting down to the end of the year, I’m just wondering the status of unspent funds that have been allocated to various and sundry departments. Are these going to be cancelled at the end of the year, the money that has not been spent?

President Greenbaum: As is always the case it gets put back into surplus. I made the same comment to Mr. Rattner today. I was eating lunch, and all of a sudden a light bulb went off in my head and I called Mr. Rattner. I said, “Mr. Rattner, I’ve seen very few transfer resolutions this year as compared to previous years.” In fact, Mr. Rattner sat there for a second and said, “Well, you’re right.” So kudos to the Administration in terms of the budget that was passed through last year, and the oversight of the spending of the departments. Unlike in past years, I haven’t seen a flurry of activity within the departments to spend any additional funds as demonstrated by the Bill List, although…

Ms. Jenkins: We cut the spending off earlier and we didn’t give them notice this time. We just said that you’re done tomorrow.

President Greenbaum: Oh, very good.

Ms. Jenkins: So that helped.

President Greenbaum: Do we know how our surplus regeneration is going to be from the unused 2007 budgeted funds as compared to previous years? Are we on the same track? Are we going to have more funds returned, or less funds?

Ms. Jenkins: I can tell you overall that I am definitely expecting surplus to be larger than it was last year by about $400,000 - $500,000.

President Greenbaum: Okay.

Ms. Jenkins: It’s looking really great right now, and the tax collection rate is really high right now as well.

Mr. Rattner: Is that really because we got, I guess from Toll Brothers at the beginning of the year, we got a big payment from the previous year because we got a payment in January and then the rollback.

Mr. Sohl: The beginning of the year, and last year’s we got it in December.

Mr. Rattner: Oh, I thought we got it in January because the memo we got was in January.

Ms. Jenkins: No, we got delinquent taxes last year but we got the rollback this year. So the rollback definitely helped.

Mr. Sohl: The rollback was just a few weeks ago.

Mr. Rattner: Yes, and the rollback was a $1 million alone.

Mr. Dorsey: …$22,000.

Ms. Jenkins: The rollback helped and the tax collection rate is high. There are a number of things. We had some excess revenues in some areas and obviously I’ll get into all of that with you a little bit later.

President Greenbaum: Good, all positive at least those that have been identified. I’m sure that, you know, that we’re aware of the fact that we’ve been passed a long a very large additional pension bill from the State.

Ms. Jenkins: The increases for next year are enormous.

President Greenbaum: I’m sure they are.

Ms. Jenkins: You have no idea.

President Greenbaum: I’m sure they are, but on the revenue side we’re in a positive situation.

Ms. Jenkins: We are and we do need, which I am going to recommend next week, we do need to put some money in the reserve for tax appeals. Obviously we are going through a revaluation so I am going to suggest that we put something aside.

President Greenbaum: Well, we’ll have to deal with that. There’s nothing that we can do about that.

Mr. McDonnell: Pretty much then any unspent funds, they have all been cancelled with maybe a few exceptions?

President Greenbaum: Capital? Are you talking about the capital?

Ms. Jenkins: Capital, I’ve done all of the year end resolutions already. Bill has them. I have cancelled capital in both water and general capital. I will be honest with you. There is not a lot left to cancel in current fund. The salaries were budgeted very close. Most of the Departments were well spent so you will notice that the resolution to cancel this year is far less than it has been in the past. As you know, every year we’re budgeting closer. There’s just not a lot of excess.

President Greenbaum: I understand that.

Ms. Jenkins: Okay.

Mr. McDonnell: Thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public? Mr. Bonte.

Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: It’s nice to see for the first time in a long time, you get the feeling that Mount Olive is being run by a good bunch of competent, professional people.

Mr. Sohl: Thank you.

Mr. Bonte: You should all be proud of the way the Town has been run in the last year and a half. On the fertilizer issue I have two comments. First, Mr. Tepper, you gave us the reason why you voted no. Might I suggest that at the conclusion of the public session you suggest to the Council, and I’m sure Mr. Dorsey can draft in his head in a second a resolution, forwarding this ordinance to all of the neighboring towns, all of the county governments in the State, and the State so that they know what’s been done here in Mount Olive regarding fertilizer. I’m sure other towns have done likewise and maybe the ball will eventually start rolling. Mr. Greenbaum, you voted no but didn’t give a reason, might I ask why?

President Greenbaum: No.

Mr. Bonte: You do not have a reason for why you voted no on the Fertilizer issue?

President Greenbaum: It mainly dealt with the inability to actually enforce the ordinance. I think it was done in a fashion that was, you know, it was a good, it was a feel good kind of ordinance, but I didn’t find it to be something that I thought should be codified.

Mr. Bonte: Well, we have a lot of them on the books such as riding a horse drunk, etc.

President Greenbaum: I didn’t vote for that one either and in fact I’m probably guilty of violating that one. Is that naked and drunk or just drunk?

Mrs. Labow: Shooting off fireworks?

Mr. Bonte: This is a good start and maybe, you know, we can do some evaluation of it over the year and maybe determine whether there does need to be some level of enforcement. This is an important issue and lawns are nowhere near as important as the public’s health. A lot of the issues with children nowadays and the rising amount of asthma and all of the types of diseases that kids have, many of them are being traced back to what they pick up in their own back yards. It’s an area that we need to look at, and I think the next thing that we should look at very strongly is the application of all of the weed control and pesticides. Thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you, Mr. Bonte. Anyone else from the public? Seeing none, I close it to the public. We’re going to do Council comments and then we are going to go into executive session to discussion Open Space issues. It will be very brief. When we come back out of executive session we will take no further action this evening, but we will have final comments.

COUNCIL COMMENTS

President Greenbaum: Sherry, anything this evening?

Ms. Jenkins: Our ATM machine is in. I’m very happy it finally got delivered and the online payment system should up and running, we’re hoping, by the beginning of ’08.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Mr. Sohl?

Mr. Sohl: Nothing to add.

President Greenbaum: Mayor?

Mayor Scapicchio: Nothing.

President Greenbaum: Mr. Tepper?

Mr. Tepper: I will pass on Mr. Bonte’s suggestion for this particular type. I will do some research as to what other towns have done already and will then bring it up at a Workshop.

President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell?

Mr. Buell: None.

President Greenbaum: Mr. Tobey?

Mr. Tobey: Nothing.

President Greenbaum: Mrs. Labow?

Mrs. Labow: Nothing.

President Greenbaum: Mr. Perkins?

Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. Sherry, I just wanted to say thank you for following up on that ATM. Also, there’s no fee as I understand.

Ms. Jenkins: There is no fee, no.

Mr. Perkins: So the taxpayers are not saddled with that $1.50 or $3.00 fee that you would normally find at another ATM. Hopefully that helps to speed things along. Thank you, Mr. President.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Mr. Rattner?

Mr. Rattner: I have nothing.

President Greenbaum: I have several comments. With regard to the ATM now that I know there is no fee, I’m just going to have to get my wife’s ATM card and start taking money out of that machine. A couple of comments, you know, I find it very interesting, Mr. Bonte, that perhaps the phosphorous ordinance was an important ordinance even though I voted no on it. Perhaps maybe that’s what News Channel 12 and all of the newspapers should have picked up on rather than the parking on Theresa Drive, which in my mind was a very minor, minor issue but seemed to get a lot of press. I just want to comment once again at how appalled I am that we got a resolution from the Board of Education on the parking issue, and I think that they really overstepped their bounds. Maybe instead of legislating how we should act, they should in turn try to find a resolution to the problem. Colleen, when you talk about the Baum property and perhaps finding parking it’s a novel approach, but this is really a School Board issue. Perhaps they should look within their own property when they have several hundred thousand dollars left after bonding, and they’re trying to figure out how to spend their money, perhaps they should have spent it in a way that resolved this issue which keeps coming back and back and back, but they decided not to. So…

Mrs. Labow: I’m not saying give it to them.

President Greenbaum: I understand that. You know what? It’s a School Board issue. Let the School Board find the solution to the problem and I hope that they do. I hope that they find a parking area where all of these students can park, but until they do I can see that we will be back here again. Mr. Bonte will be here. Mr. McDonnell will be here and all the rest of us will be here, and we will be debating this issue with regard to another street somewhere else in some other neighborhood, at some other time. With that, Mr. Perkins, can we please have a motion to go into executive session to discuss Open Space?

Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President, according to Sections 7 & 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act I make a motion that we move into executive session for the reason of discussing Open Space issues.

Executive Session – Open Space Negotiations

ADJOURNMENT

Motion was made and seconded, all in favor and none opposed, the meeting was adjourned at 8:31 pm.


_________________________________
Robert J. Greenbaum, Council President

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 January 8, 2008.

______________________________________
jr Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk

 

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