July 9, 2013 Council Public Meeting Minutes
The Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to order at 7:16 p.m. by Council President Labow.
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
Mrs. Lashway: According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Daily Record. Notice has been posted in the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders Drakestown Road, Mount Olive Township, New Jersey and notices were sent to those requesting the same.
Present: Mr. Nicastro, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Roman, Mr. Staszak, Mr. Mania and Mrs. Labow
Absent: Mr. Ferrante
Also Present: Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk; Jeff Pasek, Township Attorney; Sean Canning, Business Administrator; Sherry Maniscalco, CFO; Mayor Robert Greenbaum
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
June 25, 2013 WS, PM & CS (Mr. Roman & Mr. Mania absent)
President Labow: Thank you. Mr. Ferrante is not here, Mr. Mania would you please move the Minutes of the previous Meetings for approval?
Mr. Mania: Madam Chair, I move previous Meetings June 25, 2013 Workshop and Public Meeting...
President Labow: …and Closed Session…and Closed Session.
Mr. Mania: …and Closed Session, I’m sorry.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Labow: Thank you. Mr. Roman and Mr. Mania were absent. Any discussion of the Minutes? Seeing none, Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed with the exception of Mr. Roman and Mr. Mania abstained.
President Labow: This evening we have 18 pieces of Correspondence and our Attorney would like to make a comment about number four please.
Mr. Pasek: I just have a comment about the fourth piece of Correspondence regarding the pending Bills before the Senate with regards to the amendments to the Open Public Meetings Act and Open Public Records Act. I guess there is some speculation that there’s a Senator from Hudson County sponsoring this Bill, but we just learned there’s actually a local Senator, Senator Pennacchio, out of Montville who has sponsored the Bill. We just wanted to bring that to Council’s attention in case anyone was curious.
President Labow: Thank you. Any other comments, discussion on the 18 pieces of Correspondence? Seeing none.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS/ORGANIZATIONS/ OTHER TOWNS
- Email received June 21, 2013, from TransOptions regarding It’s Summer! Everyone in the Pool! PDF Correspondence
- Email received June 24, 2013, from Downtown New Jersey regarding Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant Program. PDF Correspondence
- Email received June 24, 2013, from Rutgers regarding Registration Now Open for NJ Green Infrastructure Forum. PDF Correspondence
- Email received June 25, 2013, from New Jersey Conference of Mayors regarding OPMA (S-2511) and OPRA (S-2512) Legislation are Before the Senate. PDF Correspondence
- Email received June 25, 2013, from Debi Merz, Constituent & Community Services, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco, 25th District regarding Art Reception Invite. PDF Correspondence
- Email received June 27, 2013, from New Jersey Conference of Mayors regarding Mayors Information Bulletin: Public / Private Development Panel Session Tuesday, July 30, 2013. PDF Correspondence
- Email received July 1, 2013, from Downtown New Jersey regarding Around the State – Weekly Journal of Events. PDF Correspondence
- Email received July 2, 2013, from Millennium Strategies regarding Happy Fourth of July! PDF Correspondence
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
- Letter received July 2, 2013, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding 16th Annual Elected Officials Hall of Fame. PDF Correspondence
DEP / DOT / LOI / HIGHLANDS / EPA / DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE / ABC / BIDS / COAH
- Letter received June 24, 2013, from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding Morris County Renewable Energy Projects – Tinc Road School. PDF Correspondence
- Letter received July 2, 2013, from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding Area of Concern: One-550 gallon #2 Heating Oil Underground Storage Tank System. PDF Correspondence
- Letter received July 2, 2013, from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding Deficiency Letter for Letter of Interpretation – Partial Line Verification. PDF Correspondence
- Email received June 24, 2013, from Morris County regarding MCPB Minutes. PDF Correspondence
- Email received July 3, 2013, from Count of Morris regarding News from County of Morris. PDF Correspondence
- Email received June 21, 2013, from the Department of Community Affairs regarding Landlord Incentive Program (LIP). PDF Correspondence
- Email received June 26, 2013, from the Department of Community Affairs regarding Local Public Contracts Law – Proposed Chapter Readoptions. PDF Correspondence
- Email received June 26, 2013, from the Department of Community Affairs regarding NJAC 5:33 Proposed Readoption. PDF Correspondence
- Email received July 2, 2013, from the Department of Community Affairs regarding CY 2013 Statements of State Aid (SOSA). PDF Correspondence
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Labow: We have two Ordinances for Public Hearing. First Ordinance, #16- hold on…
Mr. Mania: 2013.
President Labow: Thank you. I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance # 16-2013
Ord.#16-2013 An Ordinance of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, State of New Jersey, to Amend Chapter 400, Land Use, Article V, Design Guidelines
and Technical Standards, Section 75, Tree Removal, Replanting and Forestry Management Plans. PDF Ord. – J. Nicastro
President Labow: Mr. Nicastro, would you please move that?
Mr. Nicastro: Madam President, is this the Ordinance that needs to be amended?
President Labow: Yes.
Mr. Nicastro: Did we…
Mr. Staszak: Do we move it…
Mr. Nicastro: Do we move it first and then amend it?
Mayor Greenbaum: Does it have to be withdrawn and resubmitted after it being amended or can you just amend it on the fly?
President Labow: That’s what I was going to ask after we opened it.
Mayor Greenbaum: It’s not a Resolution, so it has to be…I don’t know what the answer to the question is.
Mrs. Lashway: I think you can make a motion to amend it.
President Labow: Yes.
Mrs. Lashway: Right now. Then adopt it.
Mayor Greenbaum: Okay.
Mr. Mania: You’re motion would be to amend it.
President Labow: We open it first and then make a motion to amend it because…
President Labow: …that’s what I thought. What do you think?
Mayor Greenbaum: I don’t know the answer to the question.
President Labow: I thought first we would open as is and then make a motion to amend it. Is that correct?
Mayor Greenbaum: I think you make a motion to amend.
Mr. Perkins: To amend.
Mr. Pasek: To amend first and then open to the public as amended.
Mrs. Lashway: I think you need to make a motion to put it on the table and get a second and then a motion to amend.
Mayor Greenbaum: Then you move it as amended.
Mr. Nicastro: Make a motion to adopt?
Mayor Greenbaum: No, you make a motion to amend.
Mr. Nicastro: I make a motion to amend Ordinance #16-2013.
Mr. Mania: Second.
Mayor Greenbaum: To remove language with respect to the Environmental Commission and…
Mr. Staszak: Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Mr. Perkins: Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Mayor Greenbaum: …and Zoning Board of Adjustment. That is what you are motioning.
Mr. Nicastro: Yes, should I do it…
Mrs. Lashway: What about the Planning Board?
President Labow: Planning Board, but that is already in there though.
Mr. Roman: That’s already part of the record, that’s already part of the Ordinance.
Mr. Mania: That was part of the Ordinance.
Mayor Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Nicastro: We make a motion to remove Environmental Committee and the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Mr. Mania: I second it.
President Labow: Okay.
Mayor Greenbaum: The motion should reflect that it is a Council decision and no one else’s decision in terms of approval of use of the Tree Ordinance.
President Labow: Tree Ordinance Funds.
Mayor Greenbaum: Tree Funds.
President Labow: Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Mayor, does that mean that we should be removing the Planning Board as an approving authority?
Mayor Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Roman: Yes, but that is already part of the Ordinance.
President Labow: That is already part of this.
Mr. Roman: The Ordinance already did that, the only oversight is Environmental Commission.
Mrs. Lashway: We previously amended it and removed the Board of Adjustment.
Mr. Nicastro: Now we need amend it to remove the Environmental Commission.
Mrs. Lashway: The Environmental Commission is not an approving authority, so I really don’t know what amendments you really need to make.
President Labow: The Planning Board thought that it was, from their discussion they thought what was in there should be removed. That is where that came from from what I understand. I didn’t find it.
Mrs. Lashway: I didn’t find it either.
President Labow: I don’t know what they were referring to.
Mr. Mania: Everyone is in entitled to their own opinion.
President Labow: They might have just maybe had an old document or something or…
Mr. Nicastro: There’s nothing to amend if it’s not in there.
Mr. Perkins: On the revised Ordinance that we have, 16-2013, revised, it says Section One, Subsection C. Definitions, “Approving Authority” – The Planning Board or the Township Council of Mount Olive Township. If we are removing the Planning Board, as well as the Zoning Board of Adjustment and leaving sole approving authority with the Township Council, then this needs to be changed.
President Labow: That’s what I was saying before, during the Workshop, it’s says it right there.
Mrs. Lashway: Why don’t we table this Ordinance and we’ll come back with a new Ordinance.
Mr. Roman: Nice, clean Ordinance.
Mayor Greenbaum: That’s fine, you should move to Table, he should withdraw his motion and the second.
Mr. Mania: I would have to withdraw my second.
Mr. Nicastro: I withdraw my motion to amend Ordinance #16-2013.
Mr. Mania: I withdraw my second.
President Labow: Do I have a motion to Table Ordinance #16-2013?
Mr. Mania: So moved.
Mr. Staszak: Second.
President Labow: Thank you. Roll Call.
Mrs. Lashway: Do you see a second?
President Labow: Yes. Jim Staszak seconded it. Roll Call Please.
Mr. Perkins: We have all these J’s, Jim, John, Joe.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
Mayor Greenbaum: Just for the record, the Ordinance should be amended to remove as approving authority the Planning Board, it should simply say “Township Council.”
Mr. Staszak: Correct.
President Labow: Right.
Mayor Greenbaum: That would make it appropriate. That’s direction to the Attorney.
Mr. Perkins: Any other place where that entity appears or the Zoning Board of Adjustment appears within the body of the original Ordinance.
Mrs. Lashway: If we find Environmental Committee, we’ll remove that as well.
Mr. Perkins: Right.
Mayor Greenbaum: It should simply say “Township Council.”
President Labow: Thank you. We don’t have to re-advertise…it’s still going to be the same..?
Mrs. Lashway: We’re going to start over with it. It’s tabled, it’s killed.
Mr. Mania: It’s tabled. Finito.
President Labow: Finito.
Mr. Perkins: Is it tabled or carried?
President Labow: Ordinance #16-2013 has bit the dust. We’ll have a new number for it at the next Council Meeting. I open the hearing to the Public on Ordinance #19-2013
Ord.#19-2013 An Ordinance of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Amending Ordinance #20-2012 Entitled Salaries of Certain Non-Union Personnel as Previously Amended by Ordinance #17-2013. PDF Ord. – J. Staszak
President Labow: Mr. Staszak, would you please move that?
Mr. Staszak: Yes, I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #19-2013.
Mr. Nicastro: Second.
President Labow: Thank you. Seeing no one from the Public. Anybody from Council? Any comments, concerns. Seeing none, Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
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 – A. Roman
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Acceptance of the 2012 Audit. PDF Res
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Use of Purchasing Contracts (Custom Bandag, Inc.) (Service Tire Truck Center, Inc.). PDF Res
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Use of Purchasing Contracts (Motorola). PDF Res
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Sale of Surplus Property at Public Auction. PDF Res
- Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive, In the County of Morris and State of New Jersey, Authorizing the Award of the Contract for Furnishing and Installation of a Security System to Triad Security Systems. PDF Correspondence
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Proclaiming July 18, 2013 to be Senior Citizens Day. PDF Correspondence
- Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive, In the County of Morris and State of New Jersey, Authorizing the Release of All Performance Bonds, Inspection Fees and COAH Contributions for the Property Identified as Block 8300, Lots 11 & 11.01. PDF Correspondence
President Labow: We have no Ordinances for first reading this evening. We’re moving right along to our Resolutions and I would like to have Resolution one and our Attorney has asked for Resolution seven to be moved to Non Consent. Do any Council members…would you like to move any of the Resolutions to Non Consent? Seeing none. Mr. Mania, would you please move Resolutions two through six?
Mr. Mania: Madam Chair, I move for approval of Consent Resolutions two through six.
Mr. Nicastro: Second.
President Labow: Thank you. Any discussion? Seeing none. Anybody from the public? Seeing no one from the public. Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
President Labow: Mr. Roman, would you please move Non Consent Resolution one?
Mr. Roman: I move for approval of Non Consent Resolution one.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Labow: Thank you. I asked to have this removed because it’s a very special Resolution. We have our Auditor here, Mr. Gary Higgins to tell us about it and...
Mr. Higgins: Thanks for making me special this evening.
President Labow: Yes.
Mr. Roman: It’s only this evening.
Mr. Higgins: It doesn’t happen often.
Mr. Perkins: He starts charging at 7:30, so let’s go.
Mr. Higgins: Alright. I believe everybody did receive the Township’s Audit for the year ending December 31, 2012. I would just like to highlight some of the items. First of all, the first three pages is the Independent Auditors Report and I’m proud to report that you did receive an unqualified opinion expect for the Length of Service Award Program, which they don’t require us to audit, but it’s included and we issue a separate report on that. Everything else is unqualified based on the other comprehensive basis of accounting that you report on, which is a regulatory basis of accounting promulgated by the Division of Local Government Services. You do not prepare your financial statements in accordance with GAP, but you and the rest of the community of New Jersey Municipalities and Counties all do it the same, so basically you’re in accordance with Hoyle in New Jersey. I’d like to highlight a few financial items, first of all on page 50 in your Audit, your cash balances on hand are approximately $17,400,000.00 at the year end and they were all insured either by the FDIC or the Government Unit Deposit Protection Act, known as GUDPA. All of the funds of the town were protected at December 31 and throughout the year with the proper insurances. With respect to your debt, you are running approximately 20 percent of what you could have in outstanding debt. You are at .72 percent, you could go up to a maximum of three and a half percent, so you have debt capacity of over 92 million more, which demonstrates that your debt capacity isn’t really being utilized and that’s a good thing. The debt is fairly low compared to the rest of the state. We did have one highlight in the debt area. You had a refunding last year in March, where you refunded $3,815,000.00 of general obligation debt and by doing so you saved the taxpayers approximately $187,000.00 over the remaining eight years of the outstanding debt. That was another positive highlight in the debt area last year. For 2012, you did have to undergo a State Single Audit. When you have a State or Federal Single Audit that means in any year you either have $500,000.00 of Federal and/or State Expenditures. With regards to the grant you are getting from the DEP for the Flanders well remediation, you received almost $800,000.00 of grant money for expenditures from them, which is a good thing when you are getting money from Trenton. This caused you to have a State Single Audit, which we undertook as part of your general audit and we found no instances of non compliance whether it be internal control or general compliance with the grant procedures. Everything came through fine there. With regards to your general review of internal controls and compliance, we know of no significant deficiencies in material weaknesses. We had no disagreements with management, nor your CMFO with regards to the application of your accounting principles. The accounting principles applied in the 2012 Audit to the financial statements are consistent with the 2011 accounting principles. With regards to the financial statements presented for audit, I would have to, I guess, maybe use the word impeccable, only because I think we have two journal entries, maybe one was my fault because we didn’t discuss it long enough back in the summer of last year. The other was just something we came across because we have to make an adjustment for an accrual at year end, which we do annually. From that standpoint, the records we received were in fine shape and throughout the year, Sherry does communicate with me a lot and we go through a lot of issues and the books are kept very current, very up to date with the latest accounting changes and so forth. Finally, two items with regards to surplus. One page 168 of your Audit, if anybody is following along, there is a five year history of your surplus and just a couple of highlights. You did regenerate your surplus from 11 to 12 within $11,000.00. Approximately $3 million dollars and you left behind after appropriating for tax relief in 13 an amount of almost $2 million, you left approximately $900,000.00 for cash flow and contingency purposes, but were able to give tax relief of approximately $2 million again. With regards to the Utility Funds, the Solid Waste Collection District, all those surplus balances at year end were fairly consistent with the prior year and what you left behind again and not appropriating into the future budget were also consistent. Finally, with regard to audit recommendations as I stated, we didn’t have any difficulty in any of the areas of compliance, internal control and therefore that resulted in having no recommendations to be
made that would assist the future of the town. All in all, I have to say I guess this is kind of an A+ report as usual.
President Labow: Yes.
Mr. Higgins: We expect that when we come here. We look at your Finance Department, along with the Governing Body as having a high level of Fiscal Integrity which from an Auditors standpoint makes us feel a lot more comfortable when we spend like 400 plus hours reviewing the many records here. We know everyone behind the records throughout the year are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Does anybody have any questions on any of the 163 pages I didn’t reference?
President Labow: Excellent. Mr. Mayor.
Mayor Greenbaum: Just congratulations once again to Sherry and her Finance Department.
Mrs. Maniscalco: Thanks Rob. Thank you.
President Labow: I would also like to say congratulations and I am very happy. So many times you hear different Municipalities would max out what they can actually borrow and we’re not doing that and I think that’s excellent. It’s a credit to our Finance Department, Sherry and our Auditor, our Administration, our Mayor, Council, everybody is doing a wonderful job. Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: I would echo that as well, congratulating our Finance Department and thanking my fellow Council members up here. Some of us like Rob, our Mayor, that’s been around with me for awhile, when we took the commitment to pay down debt aggressively years ago, we have followed through with that and we are going to continue to do that moving forward. I am sure the rest of the Council feels the same way. Congratulations again, Sherry.
Mrs. Maniscalco: Thank you.
Mr. Perkins: Gary, thanks for making is sound so good.
Mr. Higgins: It is so good.
President Labow: Thank you. I think it’s excellent too when you do the refinancing and saving money on that. So many times they just say “oh well, that’s the debt and that’s what it is.” Sherry is always looking to find ways save us even more money and it’s fantastic. Thank you.
Mrs. Maniscalso: Thanks Colleen.
President Labow: Anybody else? Seeing none. Mr. Higgins, thank you for joining us this evening.
Mr. Higgins: Thank you.
President Labow: Drive home safely.
Mr. Higgins: I will.
Mrs. Lashway: Roll Call.
President Labow: I’m sorry, what?
Mrs. Lashway: Roll Call.
President Labow: I’m sorry. We left without a Roll Call to approve this. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
President Labow: Moving right along. Resolution seven. Mr. Perkins, would you please move Resolution seven?
Mr. Perkins: Yes, I move Non Consent Resolution Seven for approval.
President Labow: Thank you, do I have a second?
Mr. Mania: Second.
President Labow: Jeff has a discussion on this.
Mr. Pasek: Sure. Thank you Madam President. With regard to the portion of this Resolution authorizing the release of the COAH contributions, we’ve have learned that tomorrow morning the New Jersey Supreme Court will issue a decision impacting COAH. We think the Council can pass the Resolution tonight, but however our office would just like to reserve the opportunity to make sure the opinion does not impact the release of COAH funds at all.
President Labow: We are going to amend the Resolution to reflect that. Mr. Perkins, would you like to amend the Non Consent Resolution seven?
Mr. Perkins: I would like to amend Non Consent Resolution Seven to be in conformance with the State Supreme Court decision tomorrow relative to the release of COAH Funding.
President Labow: Thank you.
Mr. Mania: An attorney couldn’t have done it better Ray.
President Labow: Perfect.
Mr. Staszak: Second.
Mr. Perkins: He could’ve, that’s why they get paid big bucks.
President Labow: Mr. Staszak seconded the Amendment. Any other further discussion on this? I want to thank our Legal Office for bringing that to our attention. Seeing no other discussion. Could I have Roll Call please?
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
- Bill List. PDF Bill List
President Labow: Next on our Agenda is our Consent Motions and I am going to ask Mr. Staszak, would you please move the Consent Motion, which is our Bill List?
Mr. Staszak: Yes, I move the Bill List for approval.
Mr. Mania: Second.
President Labow: Thank you, any discussion? Seeing none, Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed with the exception of Mr. Nicastro abstained from check# 63499.
OLD BUSINESS - none
NEW BUSINESS - none
President Labow: Do we have any New Business this evening? Seeing none. New Business…hold on one second, Old Business first, it was at the bottom of the other page.
Mr. Mania: Yes. Yes, Old Business comes before New Business.
President Labow: Yes, exactly. It was all the way at the bottom of this page here.
Mr. Mania: They’re hiding it from you.
President Labow: They were hiding it from me, I know. I have to ask for a larger font. Seeing no Old Business, no New Business. Legal Matters?
Mr. Pasek: Just one item, Madam President. Consistent with our prior discussion regarding COAH, we will update the governing body on the effect, if any that this important decision has on the release of COAH Fees.
President Labow: Any questions for our Attorney? Seeing none. We have…hold on a second, I missed the Administrative Reports, I’m Sorry.
Mayor Greenbaum: We don’t want to give it now.
President Labow: Oh, come on.
Mayor Greenbaum: Alright, I’ll start.
President Labow: We better highlight it the next time.
Mayor Greenbaum: First, I wasn’t here for last meeting because I was at High School Graduation, but if you missed the Mud Run, it was tremendously successful and a lot of fun. Our turnout was great, our response in terms of the people who did come was great. People really just couldn’t get enough of the day. It was beautiful weather and everyone had a great time. Following up on that, obviously, this week, is a big week for Mount Olive, July 10th through the 14th, with fireworks on Saturday, July 13th, is the Mount Olive Carnival. The rain date for the fireworks is Sunday, July 14th. The hours of the Carnival are Wednesday through Friday, 5p.m. to 11p.m., Saturday, 1p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Today, I know a lot of us were there, the Grand Opening of the Community Garden, which was very well attended. Two highlights that I was advised of is number one; is that people are not only in the spirit of gardening and farming, but they’re using the garden as an event to meet other people in town. As you may recall, when we opened the Dog Park, people said why do we need a Dog Park? Everyone said, it’s really not so much for the dogs as it is for the people who have dogs to meet other people in town. Secondly, I was very impressed by the fact that the goal of the Community Garden was in fact to have it ultimately run by the community rather than the Land Conservancy. Already there are 14 people who have stepped up to the plate to some sort of leadership role in the Community Garden, which is great. A couple of other things, real quick, many of you have obviously seen what has going on outside of the Municipal Building in terms of the stone work that’s been done. That is an adopt-a-spot consistent with the other adopt-a-spots that we have initiated in town. I’d like to thank Board and Batten, Michelle Morgan as the owner, they did a fantastic job out there. They worked during the heat of the last couple of days to get it done and it looks fantastic. Any of us who has the opportunity to reach out to them to thank them for the job that they did or to promote their business in any way, you should take advantage of that. Finally, we had an issue with respect to DEP and the Planning Board approval with respect to the expansion of the Siemens Facility down in Flanders on Flanders-Bartley Road. After it had been approved by the Planning Board, an issue arose with the DEP in terms of water allocation. Although we had guaranteed water allocation based upon our estimates of what we had available, the DEP took a different position based upon a five year study of water usage in Mount Olive. It turns out that there were a couple of periods in Mount Olive where there were significant water main breaks which really impacted the five year flow of usage numbers. The DEP doesn’t have the ability to look beyond the numbers, they simply look at the statute and say okay, five years, this was your highest flow, this is what you have available to you. It became a problem for us and became a problem for Siemens in terms of their schedule in terms of their expansion. The town worked very diligently with Gene Buczynski, of the DPW Department, Water and Sewer, to arrange a meeting which occurred today down at DEP with not only the individuals at the lower level, but we were successful in bringing in the upper level management of DEP and ultimately it is an issue that has been resolved in our favor. Siemens was extremely gratified and satisfied with the efforts of the Township to resolve that issue which should work well into their schedule going forward. We simply needed to point out to them that the higher numbers were anomalies based upon the water main breaks. As all of us know, dealing with the DEP on any particular issue is difficult. Finally, I’m sure you are all aware that the Discretionary Aid Grant with respect to ITC was approved. I’d like to thank Senator Oroho, Assemblywoman McHose and Assemblyman Space for their help in terms of, and the Governors’ Office as well when we reached out to them in terms of riding along, we should have been awarded the original grant application that we put in, but obviously there was some miscommunication in terms of the need for the resurfacing. Ultimately, through the help of our State Representatives, we were able to correct that problem and Mount Olive is now benefiting through the efforts of both what we did and what our Representatives did for us on the State level.
President Labow: Yes, that was excellent.
Mr. Canning: You took all my thunder. He’s the boss.
President Labow: Mr. Canning.
Mr. Canning: The only thing I have is DOT, I want to thank Senator Oroho’s office. It’s been over a year now and we have been asking him to lean on New Jersey Transit to get the graffiti painted down on the Route 206 railroad bridge. Finally, I was assured by Helen from Senator Oroho’s office that it’s either been painted or it’s to be painted. However, they disavailed any ownership over the Flanders-Bartley Crossing, so there is some research as to who has responsibility for that. Why they are so unresponsive, I have no idea, it’s been, I believe a year ago March I first started reaching out to New Jersey Transit. We have one bridge down and it was an eyesore, so they finally got to painting it. Hopefully it doesn’t get tagged again anytime soon.
President Labow: Yes. Excellent.
Mr. Canning: That’s all I have.
President Labow: How’s it going with the no left turn communication on Route 46?
Mr. Canning: Nothing and I would not anticipate anything from DOT any time soon. To merely get the pharmacy sign was months upon months in the offing. I will continue to try if that’s Council’s direction of me. It’s an unyielding bureaucracy.
President Labow: Mr. Roman.
Mr. Roman: On that no left hand turn on 46, have we reached out to the Chamber of Commerce to get their input as to they whether they feel it is something that could be of benefit or detriment to business?
Mr. Canning: I guess I turn this back to Council, if this is the direction you guys want me to do, I will endeavor to find out where we want to go with this or not. I sent a letter to the Commissioner asking him to basically take a look at the issue.
Mr. Roman: I for one would at least like to have their input since Route 46 is a main…is dotted with many businesses, obviously mine included and to see what they would feel would be the impact as to requiring their customers to either go down further or not be able to access them immediately.
President Labow: Mayor.
Mayor Greenbaum: I am not in favor of sending you to the Chamber of Commerce. In their capacity as a civic organization, basically, although I do recognize the issue that’s been raised by Councilman Roman and having given it some thought, I don’t believe that it is in the town’s best interest to eliminate left turns on Route 46 in total because of the fact that it will seriously impact the number of the businesses in town. I would not be in favor of that. I don’t need to hear it from the Chamber of Commerce and I don’t believe the Chamber of Commerce is the correct authority to send it to.
President Labow: I have a question about that. There have been times over the years where some businesses would like to have a no left hand turn signal because they recognize that it would be safer for their customers. The procedure now, as you said, CVS, it took them months to get that, is there a way to get permission where it would be ultimately the town’s, that we would make the decision instead of each business having to go through all of the red tape of the State to have it happen, to make the no left hand turn?
Mayor Greenbaum: It’s a State issue.
Mr. Canning: Anything with the DOT, especially Route 46 and Route 206 the State is very, I guess to a certain degree, contemplative of these matters because they don’t want sign pollution. They take a great deal of time, it’s very frustrating on our level to get the non response from the State, but in the end of the day, they field upon their own experts for whatever rationale they arrive at, why they allow these signs or don’t allow these signs. I think if they were to allow it to the local level, it may end up being a menagerie of what business wants and what business doesn’t.
President Labow: Okay, gotcha. Got it.
Mayor Greenbaum: First of all…I’m sorry.
President Labow: Go ahead.
Mayor Greenbaum: Sign pollution is not just simply the fact that it’s unsightly, sign pollution really deals more with the fact if you have too many signs, it becomes difficult ultimately to have an understanding as to the message which is being sent and followed. I can tell you that there may be some businesses which are not in favor of left hand turns, generally a business wants to drive as many customers into their facility as possible. I can sit here with great certainty and tell you the businesses along Route 46, almost to 100 percent would not be in favor of limiting access to their facilities or out of their facilities. Their concern, out be it we’d like to think is for the safety of the customer. The customer has to be given some ability to make decisions on their own. Their concern is really, how do we get people into our facility, how do we make it attractive to do business in Mount Olive. I don’t believe that eliminating left turns off of Route 46 on a mass scale is the right way to go. I think the better way to do it is to identify those areas where left turns are not practical and then petition the State to say, we have identified this particular location, similar to CVS to say it doesn’t work here, the sight distance is not sufficient and this is an area that is appropriate for no left turns, but to do it on a blanket scale I believe is inappropriate.
President Labow: That’s actually how the procedure is now, so there’s really no action that needs to be taken because that’s how it is. I want to say as far as the signs go, I don’t know if you’ve noticed , if a sign is there you really don’t pay a lot of attention to it, so if you have too many signs there for a specific reason, you are not going to get the message across that you want.
Mayor Greenbaum: I’m sorry Ray because I know you want to speak. I recognize having done a lot of forklift work, that there is something called a bee hive effect. I represented fork lift manufacturers and the argument always was by the plaintiff’s attorney that forklifts should have back up alarms. The reason is that you as a pedestrian would know that people were backing up, but when you have many forklifts working in the same area a back up alarm loses its functionality because they are going all the time and you don’t where they are going and it puts you on no notice of what’s going on. I believe that’s really what the sign pollution deals with, if you have too many signs, it’s not giving you the message that you need to get.
President Labow: Yes, that you need. Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Madam President. I think from a standpoint of, watching on my way heading down to Kessler today, right at Mount Olive Road, there was a driver from New York who decided that it was in his best interest to make a left hand turn to go back towards St. Jude’s and where the Post Office is and just missed getting clipped by two other motor vehicles that were there. Clearly, it says there is no left hand turn. What’s ironic is the fact that we have Interstate Highways that advertise for restaurants, gas stations, hotels and they tell you how far it is and they point an arrow to go in a specific direction. It always bothers me when you to the exits for Netcong Road and we’re all familiar with that, by Kennedys Pub, if there was a sign there that kind of used to tell people that the Delta, when it used to be both Delta’s, that there was actually a Delta on the Westbound side and they didn’t need to stop there to try to make a left across the traffic and cause accidents and if there was a sign where it says Netcong Road that had a little arrow pointing up, a little U-turn that said BP Station, those are the type of things that I think need to make sense. I agree with the Mayor, that we ought to be specific, but I think we need the State to come out because if we start expending all of this time that says that we’ve found all of these. We all have had the Police Reports, when Katona was Chief, with Spitzer as Chief, with the number of accidents in specific locations. No one wants to hurt a business, but there comes a certain time maybe of the day that those can be done. There are streets in New York City including where you can’t make a left hand turn or a right hand turn during certain hours during rush hours. Maybe that would be something, but the first thing, I think Sean is right, you need to get the DOT to at least agree to sit and meet with us, then let’s look at the Route 46 corridor, explain some of the issues we have, we can talk about some signage’s and some other issues that are there, but we need to get them out there first. We need to get that meeting set up so that we explain what our concerns are and then, of course, I don’t want to be belittling the DOT, but they will give us the run around as much as humanly possible and then lets come up with some cohesive idea that going to…because quite frankly we haven’t stopped anybody from making a left hand turn into Connelly. Not a single person and I know there have been other accidents that are there. There are accidents at the BP Station almost weekly. I think we need to address that quota. I want people to stop into DTA, I want them to stop into Enzo’s Pizza and other business establishments in the Township and be able to get in and out safely. I mean if your customer can’t get in and out safely, he’s not going in. If they had to drive three more blocks to make a u-turn…go on Route 10 down through Whippany and Parsippany. You can’t make a left hand turn across the highway.
Mr. Mania: No.
Mr. Perkins: If you want to go to Fuddruckers, you’ll go up to the next u-turn and come turn around and come back because that’s where you were going. I just think we need to get the DOT involved, Madam President.
President Labow: Mr. Mania.
Mr. Mania: I had spoken to a couple of businesses this morning, particularly Mr. Callaremi and he said if enact the no left turn, it’s really going to impact his business, tremendously.
Mr. Perkins: Mr. Mania, was that Mike Callaremi that you spoke to?
Mr. Mania: Yes.
Mr. Perkins: I explained to Mike, about two years ago, I said you know Mike, not that I haven’t bought any cars from you and don’t get all my cars serviced up here because that’s where I come to all the time, but it’s really not a function of safety as it is that you can’t see over the crest where the people are coming after they pass over Naughright Road. That issue and I’ve been going there since I got here, I’ve been making left hand turns in there a long time and I said to him, Mike, if this were to become affect, that’s a straight away, and you are really only talking two car dealerships on that entire stretch of the highway, so that probably is not a good location to say that you couldn’t make a left hand turn. When you get down to Route 46 as soon as you get off of the highway, Route 80, from there making a stretch maybe till you get to Sandshore Road…
President Labow: Where it’s more congested.
Mr. Perkins: Where it’s more congested, maybe that’s a section, but again, we just need to get the DOT out there John and let’s talk about this.
President Labow: I think the DOT, if they came out and looked at Route 46, the majority of it is a double yellow and you are not allowed to cross a double yellow to begin with.
Mr. Perkins: When Sergeant Galop was around, he cleared that upt, you can cross a double yellow.
President Labow: You can? He said you can? I always thought you couldn’t. Is that what they do, they changed that?
Mr. Roman: It’s always been that way.
Mr. Perkins: It’s always been that way.
Mr. Staszak: That’s always been that way because they would have so many breaks in the double yellow, it would be impractical.
President Labow: You’d get white line fever only yellow line fever thinking it was…I see.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, yellow line fever.
President Labow: I see. That’s what they said years ago, you couldn’t cross over it. That’s good to know because I know…
Mayor Greenbaum: Colleen, when you get pulled over you can site to Captain Staszak.
President Labow: I can say…
Mr. Mania: Say Jim Staszak said its okay.
President Labow: It’s okay. The direction then, do we want to see if we can get the DOT to come out and investigate this or do we want to leave it as is, that each individual business…
Mr. Perkins: We’ve already sent a letter, we’re just waiting for a response.
President Labow: The letter was for the entire stretch I believe, do you want to amend it to, or wait till they respond and then have them come out.
Mr. Canning: I run the play that you call. Whatever Council wants me to do, I will glady…
Mr. Perkins: I would wait for a response because at least we know then some…
Mr. Mania: Yes, once we send them more letters, they will never come out here.
Mr. Staszak: How practical is it going to be to barrier Route 46? How are you going to sign that?
Mr. Perkins: You don’t know.
Mayor Greenbaum: The only thing you could do is put up a Jersey barrier.
Mr. Staszak: Yes, that’s the only way you are going to stop it because signage isn’t going to stop it.
Mayor Greenbaum: You have a sign you can’t make a left turn by Adam’s, people make left hand turns.
President Labow: The thing is, there won’t be enough room for a Jersey barrier, so they will take more frontage off of the…
Mayor Greenbaum: There isn’t, there isn’t.
Mr. Perkins: Even the modified ones you can’t fix.
President Labow: No, you can’t.
Mayor Greenbaum: To me, the bigger issue right now is to fix the intersection, somehow fix the intersection at Wolfe Road and Route 46.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, that’s a mess.
Mayor Greenbaum: There needs to really be a turning lane of some kind and the light structure needs to be changed because of the way the road surface dips and comes back up makes it extremely difficult to see traffic coming from the other direction. We have a very good suggestion from Scott Van Ness, when he was still on the Police force, which I wholeheartedly agreed with and I’d like the Administration to pursue that with DOT to start with. Let’s go intersection by intersection to see where improvements are required and what can be done, not simply to ban left turns, but if we can put in a turn lane at a particular intersection to make it safer, that’s the way to go. It really does require someone with more sophistication and knowledge in terms of traffic issues, such as the Police Department to guide us in terms of how to fix some of the intersections.
President Labow: Yes.
Mayor Greenbaum: Obviously, we can identify those intersections where we’ve had numerous accidents and let’s start working there to improve our road structure in town.
President Labow: I agree. Mr. Mania.
Mr. Mania: I think a perfect example, Mayor, is the turning lane for Village Green, what a difference that has made.
President Labow: I huge difference, I was thinking the same thing.
Mr. Mania: What a big difference.
President Labow: A huge difference. The good thing the intersection that the Mayor has referenced, now with the Land Conservancy having the property, it’s not like a private property owner, we might be able to expand that.
Mayor Greenbaum: I think it is a private property owner. I think if the Land Conservancy owns it…
Pesident Labow: Well yes, but it’s something we could probably work with a little bit more.
Mayor Greenbaum: I don’t even know that it needs an expansion, it simply needs to be restriped appropriately.
President Labow: Okay.
Mr. Perkins: The lights...
Mayor Greenbaum: At a minimum and the light changed. I do want to move forward with that.
President Labow: Alrighty, seeing any other discussion? Any other comments from Administration? Seeing none. We are on to Council Reports. Mr. Ferrante is not here this evening, so we are going to move right down to Mr. Mania, Planning Board and Senior Citizen.
Environmental Committee - none
Lake Issues - none
Library Board Liaison - none
Planning Board Report - none
Senior Citizen Liaison - none
Mr. Mania: None, Senior Citizen, none. I am going to attend a meeting this coming Tuesday at the Senior Center.
President Labow: A week from Thursday, Mr. Mania?
Mr. Mania: The 16th.
President Labow: A week from Thursday, the 18th is the Senior…
Mr. Mania: The 18th?
President Labow: No.
Mr. Staszak: The 16th.
Mr. Mania: The 16th were going, right Lisa?
Mr. Staszak: The 18th is the picnic.
President Labow: The 18th is the Senior Citizen Picnic Mr. Mania.
Mr. Mania: Okay.
Mayor Greenbaum: We are still looking for volunteers to help out.
Mr. Staszak: I’ve already…
President Labow: Mr. Staszak is going to volunteer.
Mr. Staszak: I’ll be there.
President Labow: He’s going to flip the burgers?
Mr. Staszak: Yes.
President Labow: Alright! I’m going to go. I’m going to be there, but I’m going to have my helper with me, so I’ll see what I can do to help.
Mr. Mania: Does he know how to cook burgers?
President Labow: He probably does.
Mr. Mania: Okay.
President Labow: He’s really good at salads too.
Mr. Mania: We’ll put him right to work.
President Labow: We have Mr. Nicastro.
Open Space Committee Report
Safety Committee Liaison - none
Mr. Nicastro: We had an Open Space Meeting last night. The discussion was, I believe there is a trail day coming up in September and the goal was to get the trails in. I talked to Mr. Canning about the GPS and stuff to get the mapping done so everything will be in order for that. Basically, that’s what the discussion was last night. No Safety Committee yet.
President Labow: Alrighty, we have Mr. Perkins.
Board of Health Report - none
Economic Development Committee Report - none
Legislative Committee Report - none
Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report Madam.
President Labow: Alrighty, we have Mr. Roman.
Board of Education Liaison Report
Recreation Liaison Report - none
Mr. Roman: At the last meeting, I was not in attendance, along with the Mayor. We were are the High School Graduation and the previous evening at the Middle School Graduation. What a pleasure as always to see the breath of talent that we have amongst our students out there. Case in point was in the Middle School, there was, for a lack of a better term, a Concerto played out by two outstanding graduates and it was to be awed. I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate also Mrs. Pignitaro on her daughter having so many accolades on National Honor Society, Business Honor Society, and also being recognized by the Chamber of Commerce and that is all.
President Labow: Mr. Staszak, you have MOTV.
MOTV Committee Liaison
Mr. Staszak: Yes, MOTV continues to update and move along. We have lost our contact though with the Board of Education. It’s my understanding Andy Roberts is no longer going to be there, so we are going to wait to see who replaces him. We’re still using Facebook quite a bit.
President Labow: I saw that.
Mr. Staszak: We are planning to put our videos that we’re airing on MOTV on YouTube and then a link from Facebook to those YouTube videos. We’ve increased our weekly total that to 5,394 per week that we are reaching out to. We have 259 people that talk about us, which is a 400 percent plus increase.
President Labow: On Facebook?
Mr. Staszak: Yes. Friends of our Fans is 43,186. That’s the total that we can reach through our fans on Facebook. We’re up to 282 Likes, so people are coming to Facebook page for MOTV.
President Labow: That’s the one where you take the picture of an intersection and they say “Where is this?” That’s so cool.
Mr. Staszak: Yes, “Where is this?” was a brain child of Jamie Galdi, which I thought was an excellent thing to do. We met last night and we’re going to also add a “Who is this?” where we give you some facts and figures about a personality from Mount Olive and see if you can figure out who it is, just to keep things going. We’re going to start throwing in some historical sites too to see what’s going on and to see if people can recognize some of the historic buildings and locations in Mount Olive.
President Labow: That’s excellent. I know I was looking at the pictures the other day trying to figure out which streets were which.
Mayor Greenbaum: Is the Mayor’s house count towards…
Mr. Staszak: No. Sorry. Historical?
President Labow: Historical, no. Hysterical,yes.
Mayor Greenbaum: How about the Licitra Plantation?
Mr. Mania: There you go.
Mr. Staszak: Possibly Greenbaum.
President Labow: I think that’s an excellent idea. If anybody hasn’t liked the MOTV page on Facebook yet, if you could do so. It would be kind of fun to see how many of you could guess the different streets.
Mr. Staszak: I’ve only gotten one. Now, Mrs. Pignitaro is going to send me a cheat sheet, she says.
President Labow: Very good. I think they are doing an excellent job. Thank you very much.
President Labow: For the TNR, we had our annual spring yard sale not this past weekend, the weekend before, the 28th and 29th. We’ve been very, very lucky, a lot of very generous donations. The heat was…it was really, really hot. It was a lot of work, but we actually raised more money at this last yard sale then the previous one. It’s excellent because at each one we are raising more money, which means they can do more of their grass roots efforts with the cats and the best part about it is you have so many people stop by and ask for information. We want to thank The After for being so generous and allowing us the use of their lower parking lot. They get a lot of business coming in and it’s just a really wonderful time. Mr. Nicastro stopped by to see us, the Mayor drove by and waved, he was on his way to another appointment. He said, “I saw you guys out there.” We had a really, really great time. A lot of really fantastic donations and then we brought a lot of our clothes down to the Budd Lake Fire Department because they’re doing fundraising with the clothing drive and then the rest of the items went over to the Methodist Church for their Thrift Shop so the donations stay right in town. We have our Public Portion, anyone from the Public? Seeing none. Close the Public Portion.
President Labow: Any Council Comments this evening, Mr. Nicastro.
Mr. Nicastro: None.
President Labow: Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Nothing.
President Labow: Mr. Roman.
Mr. Roman: I’d like to once again congratulate Mr. Higgins on our Audit, very thorough and congratulate Sherry for the excellent work that she does and obviously give Administration and past Councils that put us on a very great fiscal path. Also, I’d like to congratulate the Administration on the excellent work that you’ve done with getting Siemens approval with the water issue. It’s not many towns that you will see the government go to bat for business and I think that’s one of the things that’s going to definitely going to set us apart, definitely in Morris County, if not the State in attracting new ratables. I would like to commend the Administration on that. That’s it.
President Labow: Mr. Staszak.
Mr. Staszak: Nothing.
President Labow: Mr. Mania.
Mr. Mania: Yes, I too would like to congratulate Sherry and Mr. Higgins. Also to let you know, we have a new priest at St. Jude’s, Father Antonio Gaviria. I have interacted with him quite a bit. I think he’s going to do an excellent job. The generator for the Parish Center was originally sent and damaged and they had to send it back. A new one is in the process of coming and once we get that generator there, in the event of another major storm, the Parish Center can be used as a place for people to convene and have a meal there because we have a nice kitchen there.
President Labow: Thank you.
President Labow: I too would like to thank the Administration for really going above and beyond and this situation with Siemens, for the Administration to take the time to look at the evaluation to find out why the water flow numbers were the way they were and then turn around and go down to the State level and argue our position. I think it really just proves what we’ve been saying, the Mayors been saying, the Administration, the Council is that we are a very business friendly town. Our businesses mean a lot to us and when something like that happens, we’re going to investigate and find out what the issue is and move heaven and earth and get it done. Mr. Mayor.
Mayor Greenbaum: Gene Buczynski was instrumental in terms of resolving the issue.
President Labow: Mr. …
Mayor Greenbaum: …and Mike Lata.
President Labow: Yes, Mike Lata, who is with our Water and Sewer Department and Mr. Buczynski, our Township Engineer, we are really very fortunate that we have such a phenomenal team that is working together and all of those eyes are looking at a situation to figure out how…instead of just saying, oh well, it’s like, okay, what’s the issue and let’s see if we can work it through and I thank you all very much. Council all feels the same. And without further ado, can I have a motion to adjourn?
Mr. Mania: So moved.
Mr. Nicastro: Second.
ADJOURNMENT - Motion made and seconded. All in favor, none opposed, the meeting was adjourned at 8:04pm.
Colleen Labow, Council President
I, Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk of Mount Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes are a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on July 23, 2013.
Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk