Mount Olive Township Council Minutes - October 18, 2011
The Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:29 pm by Council President Tobey.
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 at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive Township, New Jersey and notices were sent to those requesting the same.
Present: Mr. Perkins, Mr. Tobey, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Mania, Mr. Roman, Mr. Walsh,
Absent: Mrs. Labow
Also Present: Mayor David Scapicchio, Sherry Maniscalco, CFO; William Sohl, Business Administrator; John Dorsey, Township Attorney; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk
President Tobey: We are up to the Approval of the Minutes of Previous Meetings. Mr. Greenbaum,
would you be so kind?
Mr. Greenbaum: I'll move, I can't move the September 29 th so I think you are better off having
somebody else move the Minutes.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
September 29, 2011 Special Emergency PM (Mr. Greenbaum and Mr. Perkins absent)
October 4, 2011 WS & CS (Mr. Walsh and Mr. Roman absent)
President Tobey: I'll move the Minutes. Is there a second?
Mr. Mania: I'll second it.
President Tobey: Roll Call please.
Mrs. Lashway: The October 4, 2011, Public Meeting Minutes didn't make it to the Agenda so it's just going to be the Workshop and Closed Session.
ROLL CALL: Passed with the exceptions: Mr. Greenbaum and Mr. Perkins abstained on the September 29, 2011, Special Emergency Public Meeting; Mr. Walsh and Mr. Roman abstained on the October 4, 2011, Minutes.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS/ORGANIZATIONS
- Letter received September 30, 2011, from Marcia Williams regarding driveway exception for 9 Whipporwill Road. PDF Correspondence
- Letter received October 3, 2011, from John Ursin, Esq. (Courter, Kobert & Cohen) regarding Mount Olive Veterinary Hospital. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 5, 2011, from the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship regarding Hear PSE & G President and Pfizer Group President. PDF Correspondence
- Letter received October 11, 2011, from John and Jennifer Karpi regarding the property on 3 Lee Court. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 11, 2011, from Lerch, Vinci and Higgins regarding An Important Notice. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 6, 2011, from Transoptions regarding Transoptions Leads “Walking School Buses” During International Walk to School Week. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 11, 2011, from Transoptions regarding The Commuter Monthly. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 11, 2011, from Transoptions regarding The Commuter Newsletter. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 13, 2011, from Morris Habitat regarding Request for Affordable Housing Trust Fund Contribution. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 13, 2011, from Downtown New Jersey, Inc. regarding Downtown News. PDF Correspondence
RESOLUTIONS / ORDINANCE / CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS
- Ordinance received October 3, 2011, from the Borough of Stanhope regarding Amending Chapter 100 of the Land Use Code. PDF Correspondence
- Ordinance received October 3, 2011, from Stanhope Borough regarding Land Use. PDF Correspondence
- Resolution received October 14, 2011, from the Borough of Bloomingdale regarding Flood Damage Prevention. PDF Correspondence
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
- E-mail received September 30, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Action requested: D Block Legislation in House Commerce Committee and the 3 rd Annual Sustainable Jersey Awards Luncheon. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 3, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Education Foundation Publication Notice. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 4, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding NJ Open Public Meetings Act, October Grant Page Posted, Upcoming League Seminar, REVISED – League Educational Foundation Paper and the 2011 Municipal Salary Report. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 4, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding NJLM Mayor's Newsline – October 2011. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 5, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Important Conference Sessions Land Use & Affordable Housing and Plan to Attend the NJLM 2011 Annual Conference. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 5, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Sandy McClure to Address the WIMG Breakfast. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 5, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding PERS & PFRS Savings Announced. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 6, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Governor Christie signs bill on sundry changes to taxicab laws and Animals in the Community Pilot Program Grant. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 7, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Important Conference Sessions Environmental Protection. PDF Correspondence
- Registration information received October 11, 2011, from the New Jersey League of Municipalities the 3 rd Annual Sustainable Jersey Awards Luncheon. PDF Correspondence
- Letter and Nomination Form received October 11, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding the 14 th Annual Elected Officials Hall of Fame. PDF Correspondence
- Letter and Nomination Form received October 11, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Upcoming League Seminar, Opportunities to Earn Continuing Education Units Abundant at NJLM Conference and Another Upcoming League Seminar. PDF Correspondence
- Letter and Nomination Form received October 12, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding NJLM – Important Conference Sessions Budget and Finance. PDF Correspondence
- Letter and Nomination Form received October 12, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Local Priorities Squeezed n Copeting House & Senate Spending Bills. PDF Correspondence
- Letter and Nomination Form received October 12, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Holiday Displays, Wind Turbines on Preserved Farmland and NJ Chamber of Commerce Roundtable Breakfast. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 13, 2011, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Citizens Campaign & Sustainable Jersey Workshop and Nationwide Test of Emergency Alert System Less than 4 weeks away. PDF Correspondence
DEP / DOT / LOI / HIGHLANDS / EPA / DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE / ABC / BIDS / MUSCONETCONG RIVER MGMT PLAN
- E-mail received October 4, 2011, from Geraldine Skrajewski at the Department of Environmental Protection regarding 2011 Clean Water Council Hearing. PDF Correspondence
- Letter received October 5, 2011, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Morris Habitat, BL 1300, Lot 4 (24 Lozier Road.) PDF Correspondence
- Letter received October 6, 2011, from Rachel Manor Properties, LLC regarding a Request for a 12 month extension granted October 19, 2010 to expire January 2, 2012 for BL 7702 Lot 32 (located off of Wolfe Road in Mount Olive). PDF Correspondence
- Letter received October 4, 2011, from Stuart Lederman of Danzig regarding Bid # 18-2011. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 11, 2011, from Beth Styler Barry regarding The Musconetcong Sewerage Management plan. PDF Correspondence
- Letter received October 11, 2011, from Dewberry-Goodkind Inc. regarding Public Notification of Remedial Activities, New Jersey Department of Transportation – Hackettstown Maintenance Facility, MP 23, Route 46, Washington Township. PDF Correspondence
- Receptor Evaluation Form and supporting documents received October 11, 2011 from ELM Consulting LLC regarding Mesto Minerals Industries, Inc. PDF Correspondence
- Letter received October 13, 2011, from Thomas D. Norkevich regarding application for a Letter of Interpretation for BL 5800 Lot 17 (19 West Grover Street – Rear.) PDF Correspondence
- Environmental Summary received October 13, 2011, from Thomas Norkevich regarding BL 5800 Lot 17 (19 West Grover Street – Rear.) PDF Correspondence
- Biennial Certification Monitoring Report received October 14, 2011, from ELM Consulting LLC for the former Dynapac Manufacturing, Inc. facility located at 20 Continental Drive, Mount Olive, N.J. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 3, 2011, from MCPO Annual Italian Amercian Heritage Month Celebration – October 11, 2011. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 12, 2011, from Morris County regarding Free Refinance Workshop in Morris County by the Housing Partnership, Tuesday, October 18, 2011. PDF Correspondence
- Abstract of Ratables 2011 received October 13, 2011, from the Morris County Board of Taxation. PDF Correspondence
- E-mail received October 4, 2011, from the Department of Community Affairs regarding Gov Connect Update: October 4, 2011. PDF Correspondence
- List of Allocations received October 3, 2011, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority. PDF Correspondence
- Minutes received October 6, 2011, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding the September 7, 2011 meeting. PDF Correspondence
- Letter received October 11, 2011, from Cablevision regarding Launch of Latin American Sports and VME Kids. PDF Correspondence
President Tobey: We are up to Correspondence. We have 46 pieces. Any discussion at this time? Mr. Roman.
Mr. Roman: Number 1, the letter regarding Mrs. Williams. That is regarding the driveway; she is looking for an exception. Have we had any discussions as far as the Administration regarding Mr. Buczynski? Has he been out to look at that?
Mrs. Lashway: Yes, Mr. Buczynski has looked at it and he made a recommendation and it's not favorable so I am waiting to see what we want to do with that. Do you still want her to come to the meeting or go with the engineer's recommendation?
Mayor Scapicchio: For some reason I think that got sent off to the Planning Board, Lisa? John? I thought I saw correspondence.
Mr. Mania: Yes, there was something at the Planning Board level.
Mayor Scapicchio: I think that is where it is.
Mrs. Lashway: I don't believe so. I don't believe the Planning Board can give relief. I think only the Council can give relief.
Mr. Mania: We are not saying about the Planning Board giving relief. We are just saying there was correspondence to the Planning Board.
Mayor Scapicchio: We saw Gene's response I believe. I don't think that the Council has, have you?
Mr. Perkins: I haven't seen it.
Mr. Roman: Is this something we are going to be putting on the Agenda to discuss because if I understand correctly, she is looking to have something done before the winter sets in.
Mrs. Lashway: She is trying to put in a driveway and not pave it, an accessory driveway adult children driving and she doesn't want to pave it and our ordinance requires that it be paved and she wants it to just be a gravel area and Gene has recommended that it would be worse for drainage if she did not pave it.
Mayor Scapicchio: I think Council needs to get a copy of Gene's report.
Mr. Mania: Yes.
President Tobey: It was provided, right?
Mrs. Lashway: Yes.
President Tobey: That was provided to Council.
Mr. Roman: I did see where he labeled it more a parking lot than a driveway and one of the questions that I would ask is she going to be required to give notice to her neighbors if she decides to come in. Do we know if that's going to be a requirement?
President Tobey: Alex, I'm going to ask Lisa to schedule a meeting with the resident and Gene and I indicated that I would attend and we'll take it from there before she comes to Council.
Mr. Roman: I would also request that when looking at the ordinance that she outlined which requires our approval to get done, I did not see anything requiring notice of 200 yards…
Mr. Perkins: Two hundred feet.
Mr. Mania: Two hundred feet.
Mr. Roman: Two hundred feet, so I would request that be something that we ask of her to provide to make sure it is not impacting her neighbors.
President Tobey: Very good. Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President, can you include me in that meeting when you have it. I would like to hear Gene and come up with some different alternatives possibly, eco blocks or something that may be acceptable.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEAR ING
President Tobey: Absolutely. Moving on to Ordinances for Public Hearing, we have two listed this evening. I open the hearing to the public on:
Ord.#31-2011 Bond Ordinance Providing for Improvements to River Road in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $130,000 Therefor and Authorizing the Issuance of $123,500 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance Part of the Cost Thereof.
President Tobey: Does anyone from the public wish to be heard? Seeing none, Mr. Walsh, would you please
Mr. Walsh: Sure, I move for adoption and final passage of Ord. #31-2011 .
Mr. Roman: Second.
President Tobey: It's been moved and seconded. Any Council discussion? Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Tobey: Ord. #31-2011 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to
forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. Moving
on, I open the hearing to the public on:
Ord.#32-2011 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Providing for Change to Water Charges Pursuant to Section 196-28 of the Mount Olive Township Code.
President Tobey: Does anyone from the public wish to be heard? Seeing none, Mr. Mania, would you
be so kind?
Mr. Mania: Mr. President, I move for adoption and final passage of Ord. #32-2011 .
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Tobey: Thank you. It's been moved and seconded. Any Council discussion? Seeing none,
Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Tobey: Ord. #32-2011 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to
forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law.
OPTIONAL PUBLIC PORTION
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING - none
President Tobey: We are up to Consent Resolutions. We have nine listed this evening. Does anyone
wish to move any to Non Consent?
Mr. Greenbaum: What is Number nine?
Mr. Perkins: Nine is Syncarpha.
Mr. Greenbaum: I'd ask that Number nine be moved to Non Consent.
Mrs. Lashway: And then there is a new one, Number ten. The one that we just got.
Mr. Perkins: For the Highland Energy.
Mr. Dorsey: The 57 acres.
Mrs. Lashway: So that would be Number ten.
President Tobey: So only Number nine is moved to Non Consent. Any others? Seeing none, Mr.
Perkins would you please move one through eight and Number ten.
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 – R. Perkins
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive, County of Morris, State of New Jersey Extending the Time Period for the Developer's Agreement Regarding Rachel Manor. PDF Resolution
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to New York SMSA Limited Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless for the Lease of Space on Township-Owned Water Tanks for the Placement of Wireless Communication Antennas and Equipment. (Oakwood Village) PDF Resolution
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to New York SMSA Limited Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless for the Lease of Space on Township-Owned Water Tanks for the Placement of Wireless Communication Antennas and Equipment. (36 Camelot Drive) PDF Resolution
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting Approval from the Director of the Division of Local Government Services for Insertion of a Specific Item of Revenue into the 2011 Municipal Budget. ($785 – For Donation – Lion's Club) PDF Resolution
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting Approval from the Director of the Division of Local Government Services for Insertion of a Specific Item of Revenue into the 2011 Municipal Budget. ($9,500 for Bulletproof Vests) PDF Resolution
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding Contracts to Salmon Bros. Inc., Andy-Matt, Inc. and M.D. Savage, LLC for Snowplowing Services. PDF Resolution
- Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Assigning Interest to the Land Conservancy of New Jersey Regarding the Purchase of Block 8000 Lot 8. PDF Resolution
- Resolution of the Mount Olive Township Council Retaining the Honorable Russell (JSC Ret.) as a Mediator in Connection with a Contract Dispute with Robert Perkoski. PDF Resolution *added
Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract and Ground Lease of the Combe Fill North Landfill Property for the Installation of a Solar Photovoltaic System to Syncarpha EFGI, LLC.
Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Assignment of a Contract to Highland Energy.
Mr. Perkins: So moved.
Mr. Mania : I'll second it.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Tobey: It's been moved and seconded. Does anyone from the public wish to be heard? Seeing none, Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Tobey: Mr. Greenbaum, would you please move Number nine?
Mr. Greenbaum: I moved Resolution Number nine.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Tobey: It's been moved and seconded. Mr. Greenbaum.
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, I'm not in favor of Resolution Number nine which is the award of the bid with respect to placing solar power on the Combe Fill North landfill. I don't believe that the business model that has been adopted is appropriate and is in the best interest of Mount Olive for the following reasons. Since the last time that the bids went down and it was rebid, I had the opportunity to educate myself in terms of solar power and the industry, what's appropriate in contracts and the like and I've been convinced through my education that there is a better business model to follow with respect to the bidding of this particular property. Solar power being sold wholesale into the grid is not the most cost efficient way for the Township to recoup dollars from the use of that property. The actual best way to recoup the maximum amount of dollars is to retain a third party who is going to actually off sell the electricity to a direct user such as Lowes, Walmart and that particular shopping center which is adjacent… It will basically, I've been told, double the value of the land and I don't believe that there is any necessity to push this through prior to actually exploring that option to determine whether or not in fact it is a viable alternative. The one argument I've heard is that we will lose our spot in the queue. I've also explored that. The queue is the method by which these types of arrangements are reviewed for appropriateness in terms of is the infrastructure appropriate to convey the electricity from the site where it is generated into the power grid. Ultimately, if you lose your place in the queue, it simply goes to the bottom of the list and comes back up through the queue so you will get some time down the road, you will get another opportunity to go into the queue if in fact we find that the business model which I proposed is not workable for Mount Olive and there are other issues with respect to this property. Mr. Dorsey, correct me if I'm wrong, the issue with respect to the DEP lien has not yet been finalized. Is that correct?
Mr. Dorsey: No, I think that has been finalized because our understanding now with the State is as long as the Township does not divest itself of title, they will not attempt to enforce their lien.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, do we have something from the DEP with respect to that or that was verbally told to you?
Mr. Dorsey: No, I have a letter from someone in the Division of Permitting which essentially says that.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, good. Secondly, correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Dorsey, but we don't really see any generation off of this piece of property until such time as it generates solar power, correct? Any real dollars.
Mr. Dorsey: I would say that is true, yes.
Mr. Greenbaum: And is there a timeframe by which the successful bidder would have to ultimately build, start generating solar power from the site in the contract?
Mr. Dorsey: It is my intention to work that into the contract when we execute the contract with the high bidder.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, in terms of the way that it was bid now, do you know what kind of timeframe you would be looking at in terms…
Mr. Dorsey: I think they get at least two years.
Mr. Greenbaum: Alright, so I mean the bottom line is that I think there is no prejudice to us exploring the other option, rejecting this as a business model and going with the business model that I've suggested which is something that ultimately if I were elected, I would explore come the beginning of the year. My understanding is that these third party providers do it on some sort of a contingent basis where there would be no cost to the Township. They'd go out and negotiate the agreements with the offsite user such as Lowes or Walmart. I'm certain that we could provide electric, that we would be able to have this agreement in place and whoever the ultimate generator of the solar power would be, would be able to provide it at a lower cost than what Walmart and Lowes and the rest of the stores in the ITC are currently paying. So I think it's worth exploring.
President Tobey: Do you believe the other option could be explored fairly quickly in terms of the timeframe then?
Mr. Greenbaum: I do and to the extent that you wanted further information, I don't see any detriment to putting this off until the meeting on October the first and let's bring somebody here who can further educate us.
Mr. Mania: You mean November 1 st .
Mr. Greenbaum: November 1 st , right.
Mr. Mania: You said October 1 st .
Mr. Greenbaum: I did. I mean we could put this off until November 1 st until we can truly explore whether or not this other option is a viable option before we approve this particular contract. Bring in somebody, as I had the opportunity to be educated, to come and educate the Council as to why we only got two bidders on this particular piece of property because of the way that the contract was written. It's not terribly profitable right now to the companies and what I've been told is that what the companies do, they ultimately come in, they tie up the piece of property in the hopes that the SRECs will become more valuable and that's why I was concerned that nothing was going to be built on this piece of property for a lengthy period of time. So I think if we had, if we had end users in place, we would start to see generation of solar power right off the bat in terms of, you know what, we have a taker for the electricity, there's an interest, it becomes that much more valuable property.
Mr. Mania: Thank you, Rob.
President Tobey: Mayor?
Mayor Scapicchio: The Administration believes in this business model. From the education that we've received from a number of different professionals is that it is almost impossible to sell this to the big box stores. It's wrapped up in corporate with the attorneys and they are trying to purchase this at such a wholesale price that it is not even worth the effort. The solar companies that we have spoken to, in number, have all recommended and suggested that the best way is to sell it directly back in to the grid. I would suggest that we move on this resolution. The Council still has an opportunity to either adopt or not adopt the contract in a particular form and maybe there is some language or some ideas from Rob's proposed business model that we haven't seen that can be incorporated into the contract to make it a little tighter than the resolution is. So I don't think the resolution locks you into anything and I would recommend that we move forward with it and stay in the queue. I believe there's $7,000.00 already invested in that process and Bill, when is the date by which that expires?
Mr. Sohl: October 31 st .
Mayor Scapicchio: October 31 st is when that expires so in order to keep that process in place and not have to regenerate that $7,000.00, I would suggest that we move on this resolution and continue further discussions with contract negotiations.
President Tobey: Mr. Perkins and then Mr. Walsh.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. In listening to Rob as well Dave, understanding the process being in this industry, the SRECs right now are historically lower than they were a year ago. A year ago they were selling for about $500 and change. Now they are about $164. Most of the purchase power agreements that you get from private providers which is what we've looked at for this building, where they will come out and install the solar panels at no cost to the Township. You get a reduced fee for your electric for 15 years and then they sell it to you for a penny or a dollar. At the end of the 15 you are supposed to pick up 10 years of free electric based upon those. I don't see any down side in going on this. I mean right now we have, we are looking at a possible revenue stream of $5.7 million over 20 years. That's a little over $250,000 in revenue per year on the Combe Fill North property that we have spent a tremendous amount of time, energy and monies both from a sales standpoint and a development standpoint and what we were going to do with it. The recommendation from Mr. Mania last year was to take a possible look at solar. Rob had somebody come in to look at the possibility of regeneration on this site. I mean, right now, my inclination, looking at a guaranteed stream to come in over 20 years at a quarter of a million dollars is to vote in moving forward with this notwithstanding that I think Mr. Greenbaum should have the opportunity to have somebody come in and let them present the alternative business model as we go forward.
President Tobey: The resolution is to allow the Administration to enter into a contract so if that is the case, how we do that simultaneously but still exploring another option? Mr. Dorsey?
Mayor Scapicchio: I think what we can do, Phil, and maybe what we should do is bring in representatives from Syncarpha in here for the Council to speak with and whether you want to do that through committee, at a public meeting… I'm not quite sure what the forum should be but maybe you folks should have an opportunity to sit down with them and hear directly from them what their proposal entails.
President Tobey: Mr. Walsh.
Mr. Walsh: Just for every body's knowledge, just to help clarify a few things that enter my mind, when the land, is there any way for a town to actually own the solar and sell it back into the grid themselves or do we have to have these other people involved?
Mr. Dorsey: You could if you wanted to go to the expense of developing the solar farms.
Mr. Perkins: It would have to be a regulated utility or a municipal utility then also.
Mr. Walsh: So it is either sell it to the grid or sell it directly to big box stores, is that what I'm hearing?
Mr. Perkins: See that's what happens…
Mayor Scapicchio: It could be a combination but it is my understanding through the research that I've done is that the big box stores don't normally buy it through these generators.
Mr. Walsh: Oh, okay.
Mayor Scapicchio: And that is historically what's happened around the country.
President Tobey: Mr. Roman and then Mr. Mania.
Mr. Roman: Mr. Dorsey, I need a little bit of clarification. If we approved this resolution and decide to stop midstream and go with Mr. Greenbaum's proposal do we set ourselves up for any liability?
Mr. Dorsey: Obviously, the contract is contingent upon, I'm sorry, the resolution makes the award contingent upon the execution of a contract satisfactory to me as Township Attorney. If you were to terminate that process any time before the contract is executed, there will not be liability as you would consider it to be. So it becomes a question, you know it's probably going to take awhile to develop a contract and get Syncarpha to sign it.
President Tobey: Well the concern is too, this resolution authorizes the Administration to negotiate the terms and execute a contract. That does not come before this governing body again. That's the issue at hand. Am I correct?
Mayor Scapicchio: Phil, we can incorporate Council in that process. We have no problem with that.
President Tobey: Mr. Mania and then Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Mania: What is the problem, as Mr. Greenbaum suggested, in waiting. I mean what harm is there going to be by waiting to the next meeting?
President Tobey: Is that what you are asking for Mr. Greenbaum?
Mayor Scapicchio: … we lose the $7,000 that we've invested, that's the problem.
President Tobey: Just by delaying the resolution we lose…
Mayor Scapicchio: We try, we have tried on a number of occasions to get them to change the date. They will not. It's out of our hands.
Mr. Sohl: It was done several times.
President Tobey: Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: I need some clarification on the queue. Are you the most familiar with the queue Dave?
Mayor Scapicchio: I think Bill probably is.
Mr. Greenbaum: How does a resolution agreeing to allow the contract to be drawn change our queue position?
Mr. Dorsey: I take it, one thing somebody's mentioned, isn't there another payment due?
Mayor Scapicchio: There's deadlines that you need to meet.
Mr. Greenbaum: Who meets the deadlines?
Mr. Sohl: The queue is not satisfied totally.
Mr. Greenbaum: Who meets the deadlines, the Township?
Mr. Sohl: No, Syncarpha.
Mr. Greenbaum: Syncarpha who wouldn't have a contract with us but would be expecting a contract would start to spend money investing into the queue is what you are telling me. It's significant dollars.
Mr. Sohl: It depends on how you measure significant.
Mr. Greenbaum: Well, I'm asking you. What is the next step?
Mr. Sohl: The next step is (inaudible)
Mr. Greenbaum: And when is the examination? Is there an engineering study that has to be done in terms of determining whether or not the appropriate infrastructure is available to get the electric from the solar generation into the power grid, correct?
Mr. Sohl: Eventually, I believe…
Mr. Greenbaum: And so there's a large outlay. So what would happen if Syncarpha was starting to outlay large or significant amounts of money and ultimately the Township decided that we did not want to move forward with that business model. Syncarpha would just walk at that point? Is that what you are suggesting?
President Tobey: Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Two weeks ago we rejected the bid from Syncarpha and Project Navigator. Project Navigator didn't include a bid bond. Syncarpha gave us a calculation on how we could anticipate what our annual revenue was. We then authorized the Administration to go back out and rebid it under a rush and now we've come back, the Administration has done their due diligence and now we're back, now we have the resolution. The bids have been reviewed. The recommendation for award is here and now we are looking at a different business model. I mean, I'm open to looking at different business models as I think we can all recall from the 15 minutes ago when we were in a different room. I don't see an issue here with wording the contract as five of us were here last week, two weeks ago. We authorized the Administration to move forward, they've done their due diligence, they are now back to us and now we are coming up with a different business model and in anticipation of how the process, going through the Board of Public Utilities to get on to the queue to be able to tie into JCP&L and how long that is all going to take, that's up to Syncarpha. That has nothing to do with us. What has to do with us is leasing out a portion of land for them to build a 10 megawatt minimum generation station there and give us a quarter of a million dollars a year in revenue.
President Tobey: The question I have, Mr. Dorsey, what kind of guarantee do we have on that revenue. Even though it might be in the contract, did the bid specifications call for any type of bond to guarantee those annual payouts?
Mr. Dorsey: No, no, there is no performance bond.
President Tobey: So what's the guarantee after two years or five years that that cash flow even continues?
Mr. Dorsey: It begins to give you the guarantee is the very significant amount of money that Syncarpha is going to have to invest to go forward. If they go forward, they are going to be investing millions of dollars into the project.
President Tobey: Mr. Walsh.
Mr. Walsh: Yes, just a couple of quick things and I have a question for Mr. Greenbaum. On Page 3 of this here, it has the list of each all 20 years. Sherry, maybe or I don't know who got this, why does it go, I see it goes 3% a year up with Navigator. On 16 it's empty and then it goes to 72 and then it goes up 3% again. What is that? Is that just the way they structured it?
Mr. Sohl: It identifies an escalator. Navigator put in a 3% per annum starting the second year but one of the things that they also did was with the price per megawatt, they dropped it in the 16 th year through the 20 th year to $8,000 per megawatt. When they drop it in the 16 th year, it becomes $8,000.
Mr. Walsh: It's just their offer basically.
Mr. Sohl: Yes.
Mr. Walsh: It is the way it is structured and after 20 years what happens? We just start over with whoever we want? Or do they, they own all the stuff in place there, what happens after 20 years?
Mr. Greenbaum: If we take back the property, it is my understanding that we can require them to put the property back in the exact same condition it was at the date they took the lease.
Mr. Walsh: So they are in for 20 years. That's it.
Mr. Greenbaum: That's it.
Mr. Walsh: They are not guaranteed anything else after that.
Mr. Greenbaum: Right, and we can require them, if we want, to put the property back in the same condition as it is in today.
Mr. Walsh: Mr. Greenbaum, can you please explain to me the difference between what you are talking about and what the Mayor?
Mr. Greenbaum: What we are doing right now by…
Mr. Walsh: He's saying these are, people are going to come in, build it and sell it into the grid and then give us this money.
Mr. Greenbaum: Right, right.
Mr. Walsh: What is your, what was your…
Mr. Greenbaum: They sell it to a known user.
Mr. Walsh: Instead of selling it into the grid, they sell it to the users directly.
Mr. Greenbaum: And what I have been told is that a land lease with a direct user already on the hook is twice as valuable as what is currently being proposed.
Mr. Walsh: And the people you're talking to, are they also suppliers like Navigator and, I mean is this a government entity that you're speaking to?
Mr. Greenbaum: No, this was somebody who came to me and said we didn't bid on the project because of the way that it was drawn. It's not favorable. What happens is these companies come in, they bid, they don't have to build, they tie up the property and they wait to see what happens with the SRECs. At the end of two years they are on the hook for a small amount of money, whatever they've invested into the project to move it along but if it's not profitable to them at the end of the two years, they walk.
Mr. Mania: A small loss right?
Mr. Greenbaum: A small loss.
President Tobey: Mr. Greenbaum, you indicated earlier the next Council meeting is on November 1 st that you would be able to come forward with some additional information for that meeting?
Mr. Greenbaum: I don't know that I would or I wouldn't but it was a possibility that I could get the same individual who I found to be incredibly knowledgeable to come in talk about why this is not a good business model and why the other model which I have suggested and obviously I'm not an expert with regard to solar powered generation or the sale and I don't disagree with anything that Ray said in terms of where we are and where we came from with respect to this particular bid. All I can tell you is that I've since become more educated and this is not a personal issue; however, the Council decides is fine with me. We move forward in one direction, we move forward in another direction. I just have been convinced that this is not in the best interest of Mount Olive to move forward as it is currently proposed.
President Tobey: I don't disagree with anything Mr. Perkin's said either and if new information has been made available to you that you can share with us I don't know what the downside is to waiting two weeks.
Mr. Greenbaum: I think the downside is Dave has suggested is that we lose $7,000.00 and we lose our place in the queue and we go to the bottom and we have to come back up to the top.
Mr. Walsh: Who's queue is this?
Mr. Greenbaum: This is the regulatory queue...
Mr. Walsh: For the State?
Mr. Greenbaum: Ray?
Mr. Sohl: No, federal.
Mr. Walsh: Federal.
Mr. Sohl: It is PGM Company. It's a company…
Mr. Walsh: And when did we go into the queue and when did we get, you know…
Mayor Scapicchio: We've been in the queue for awhile.
Mr. Sohl: It came out, we initially filed a feasibility study request. That was done or around May 1 st . The result of that came back and was part of our bid package that we just sent out and that came back about the 28 th , 29 th of September with a deadline for the next phase of the determination by PGM of October 31.
Mr. Greenbaum: It was five months.
President Tobey: Mr. Perkins?
Mr. Walsh: Thank you.
Mr. Perkins: I just want to make one last statement. We're talking here about the possibility of somebody coming in and tying up the land for a couple of years and spending a minimum amount of money and then walking away from the project. If that doesn't sound exactly what happened with Rock Gold coming in to develop the property and putting up a minimum amount of money and closing, and then negating the contract a few years later, it's de ja vu.
Mr. Greenbaum: I agree.
Mr. Perkins: So if we are going to support, here's the piece of property. We thought it could be developed. We thought we were all going to see $10 million and the EPA wanted a $1 million and we were going to end up with $9 million and our life was going to be tremendously great. It didn't happen, did not happen. So now we are sitting up here and we have an opportunity to pick up $5.7 million by leasing a piece of property over 20 years. We told the Administration after the Attorney reviewed it that the bids were not submitted properly. We authorized them two weeks ago to go back and now at the 11 th hour we are ready to approve it and we have a different business model. I don't think now is the time. I think we've had over two weeks to give this thought. We had a chance at the Workshop meeting to discuss whether this was a good or another business model. We didn't and now we are coming down and we are going to talk about putting it off for two weeks. The Mayor and Business Administrator have told us that we are in a queue. We have a possibility of losing of track. My recommendation is we authorize them to go forward, award this thing and let them get moving on it. There is other business ventures and we've got Combe Fill North that has done nothing for us in Mount Olive Township in the 25 years I've been here other than be a headache. We have an opportunity to finally get something out of that piece of property other than trash and pollution.
President Tobey: Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: Last point I have to say, $5.7 million is going to be there. If it's there today, it's going to be there in six months or it could be even a greater number if we decide to go back to this particular business model. I think we are giving up a big opportunity and I agree with Mr. Perkins. It's de ja vu all over again. That's my biggest concern. We are going into a contract which is on the table right now which we have no guarantee is ever going to come to fruition. I would feel much more comfortable with the contract, if we can get it, with all takers who are going to use the electric power. Once that agreement is in place, I think the likelihood of the power generation being built is substantially greater.
President Tobey: Mr. Greenbaum, are you making a motion to table this resolution?
Mr. Greenbaum: No, I'm going to oppose it. I'll let it go to a vote.
Mayor Scapicchio: I would just like to finish on this note and that is selling it back to the grid is a guarantee. Selling it to some other end user is not a guarantee. Mr. Dorsey and I, for the past, I'm going to say, three months have been working with DEP. We finally have a meeting scheduled for next Wednesday with the Commissioner, Administrative staff of the Governor's office who want to see this project happen. There are some liability issues in terms of the maintenance and the, what's the word I'm looking for?
Mr. Dorsey: I don't think there are liability issues. I think it is a question as to whether or not the State is going to rake us over.
Mayor Scapicchio: Right. You know, we moved this thing along and you know what? Selling it back to the grid is guaranteed. You know that Rob says that, you know, nothing is a guarantee. That is and I would like to also ask Rob who his, the expert that he has relied on to educate him because it is the person or the individual or individuals that I think it is, I haven't been too impressed with what I've seen for the past six months on other projects we've been talking to him about.
Mrs. Lashway: Do we have an amendment to the resolution?
Mr. Dorsey: No, I don't think there is an amendment.
Mr. Roman: No, there's no amendment.
Mr. Dorsey: There is an amendment to the written resolution that we gave to you in Executive Session.
Mrs. Lashway: Which is not out on the table for the public so we should put it on the record. On the second page, “14 th Floor, NY, NY, 10022 for the annual lease payment from Syncarpha attached to the resolution, the spreadsheet prepared.”
Mr. Dorsey: No, “as set forth in the spreadsheet attached to the resolution.”
Mrs. Lashway: Thank you.
President Tobey: Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed with the exception, Mr. Greenbaum and Mr. Walsh voted No.
President Tobey: Moving on to Motions, we have two listed. Mr. Walsh, would you please move Motions one and two as presented?
Application to Amend Raffle License #2304 & #2405 issued to the Mount Olive High School Parents Club.
Bill List. PDF Bill List
Mr. Walsh: Yes, I move Consent Resolutions one and two.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Tobey: Does anyone from the Public have any questions regarding the Bill List? Seeing none, Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed unanimously
President Tobey: We are up to Administrative Reports. Mayor, Mr. Sohl.
Mayor Scapicchio: I have nothing.
Mr. Sohl: I'll just add, it's a little bit better. As you all know River Road was opened up (inaudible). The road is back in shape.
President Tobey: Thank you.
Mayor Scapicchio: And I do have a proclamation, Mr. President. It's on the bottom of my packet.
President Tobey: Would you like to read it into the record, Mayor?
Mayor Scapicchio: Yes. This is a Proclamation h onoring November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
WHEREAS , in 2011, an estimated 44,030 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States and 37,660 will die from the disease; and
WHEREAS , pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers and is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States; and
WHEREAS , when symptoms of pancreatic cancer present themselves, it is usually too late for an optimistic prognosis, and 74 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first year of their diagnosis while 94 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first five years; and
WHEREAS , the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the first and only national patient advocacy organization that serves the pancreatic cancer community in the Township of Mount Olive and nationwide by focusing its efforts on public policy, research funding, patient services, and public awareness and education related to developing effective treatments and a cure for pancreatic cancer; and
WHEREAS , the good health and well-being of the residents of Mount Olive Township are enhanced as a direct result of increased awareness about pancreatic cancer and research into early detection, causes and effective treatments.
NOW THEREFORE, be it proclaimed that I, David Scapicchio, Mayor of Mount Olive Township do hereby proclaim, November as Pancreatic Awareness Month in Mount Olive Township . Thank you.
President Tobey: Thank you Mayor. Moving on to Old Business. Is there any Old Business this evening? Mr. Walsh.
Mr. Walsh: Yes, I just want to make an announcement. We've worked a lot with the seniors on doing a TV show call Silver and Gold. I'd like to put that into the record that they have done their first show. It's been very good. They are playing it at one o'clock every day so if you want to see it, it's a half hour show and also, a number of people have donated $100 a piece to help fund the show so if there is anybody out there who would like to donate, please contact us. The show is really looking good. Thank you very much.
President Tobey: Thank you Mr. Walsh. Any other Old Business? Any New Business?
President Tobey: Seeing none, any Legal Matters Mr. Dorsey?
Mr. Dorsey: No.
President Tobey: Thank you. Any Council Reports? Mr. Walsh
Recreation Liaison Report – A. Roman
Board of Health Report – R. Perkins
Planning Board Report – J. Mania
Open Space Committee Report – C. Labow
Legislative Committee Report – P. Walsh
Mr. Walsh: There's going to be, I've spoken to some of the Legislative members, there's going to be a candidate's night next week. Mayor, when is the candidate's night?
Mayor Scapicchio: Wednesday, the twenty-sixth at 6 pm over at the Mount Olive Middle School.
Mr. Walsh: And I spoke to Gary Chiusano and he said, the Assemblyman for our District, and he said he and some of the others might attend so I just wanted to let everybody know.
Pride Committee Report – C. Labow
Board of Education Liaison Report – A. Roman
Lake/Environment Issues Committee – R. Perkins
Safety Committee Liaison – R. Perkins
Economic Development Committee Report – P. Walsh
Library Board Liaison – R. Greenbaum
Senior Citizen Liaison – J. Mania
Community Development Revenue Sharing – R. Perkins
TNR Liaison – C. Labow
President Tobey: Thank you. Any other Council Reports? Seeing none, we are up to our second Public Portion. Does anyone from the public wish to be heard? Yes please. Kindly state your name and address for the record.
Mr. Mania: You dropped one of your papers.
Don Rutledge, 25 Flanders Road, Budd Lake: My subject is a recent connection between two water systems down Sunset Drive going to Flanders Road. The two systems were joined finally about September 9 th in front of my house and a pretty large vault was placed on westbound Flanders Road and the top of that vault was closed with a double door, an aluminum door which is fairly large access to a fairly large vault. The immediate after effect of that was as traffic passes over those doors, there's a very loud shotgun like report with every passage of a car. Fairly soon, Mr. Tim Quinn and Mr. Gene Buczynski heard from myself and neighbors on Sunset Drive, even over on Clinton Avenue which is a block away about something must be done about that. I have to tell you, the Town was served very well by both of those gentlemen. Tim Quinn and Gene Buczynski spent a lot of time out there assessing for themselves what probably would work. They got the manufacturer of the doors to come back and attempt a quieting process which was to put some insulation under the doors. They put some materials between the framework and the doors and even put bolts on to the doors themselves so they wouldn't slap again the framework and it worked for about 24 hours. It is not as bad as a percussion shotgun but it is somewhat like putting a rug on a line and smacking it with a broom, with the flat side of a broom, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. What we've got now, for a month and especially with my home, the vault sits in the road at the end of my driveway. As a matter of fact, my driveway was inaccessible for the entire day of the construction. We have a lot of insomnia and quite a few irritable people. I just wanted you to be aware of that situation. I'm keeping Gene informed. We both think it will help when Morris County allows us to come in and do the final paving job which brings things up to grade. It's a pretty bad grade work right now because there's been some settlement by the construction asphalt. We think it will help but I don't think it's going to solve the problem which is we've now got a new normal for that section of Flanders Road which is every time a car passes, any time day or night, we're going to have a new clap. My purpose here tonight is to let you know the situation. I believe in Gene quite a bit. I believe he is trying his very best and I believe the manufacturer tried his very best and I will await the new regarding when Morris County lets us do the final job and I'll come back and give you a report. Thank you very much.
President Tobey: Thank you Mr. Rutledge. Do we know the timeframe when the final topcoat is going to be put on?
Mr. Sohl: I don't know at this point but we can find out.
Mr. Rutledge: I think Gene did say to me that it took at least 60 days. We've not gotten there yet but that's my memory.
President Tobey: Thank you for taking the time to come out here this evening, Mr. Rutledge, and please keep us posted and it was nice to hear how Mr. Quinn and Mr. Gene Buczynski responded and we'll just have to continue to work through the process so thank you.
Mr. Rutledge: You're welcome.
President Tobey: Does anyone else from the public wish to be heard? Yes please.
Joy Spevak, 32 Clinton Avenue, Budd Lake
And my name is Diane Vodola . I live right next door at 30 Clinton Avenue .
Mrs. Spevak: And actually to the gentleman who just spoke about the bump bump, bump bump, I've actually thought it was my neighbor stacking firewood so I'm glad that somebody else also hears the same noises that I hear and I'm not losing my mind. But anyway, that's really not why I'm here tonight but I'm glad I heard that as well. Actually for many years where I live over on Clinton Avenue we've had some water issues. For years, actually since Turkey Brook has been built. Just to give you a little bit of frame of reference as to where I live and where the Turkey Brook is, I'm sorry?
Mr. Walsh: It's somebody out there.
Mrs. Spevak: I'm sorry. If you can kind of imagine Turkey Brook is right here. The retention pond is here. There's a drain that comes out to Flanders Road. Directly across from Flanders Road is Fran Lashway's house. I live directly behind Fran Lashway on Clinton Avenue so my road, Clinton Avenue, runs parallel to Flanders Road. Diane lives directly next to me and the water comes out of the retention pond up into the storm drain several feet into the air, down Fran's blacktop driveway like a slip and slide and he's a two wide car driveway. So as you can imagine, all of it comes all the way down his driveway and of no wrong doing. That's just the elevation of his property, not his fault, comes down his driveway and as it comes down his driveway, I'm on this side. Diane is on this side and it comes down directly between the two of us. Now this woman here is a single parent. She's lost a furnace and I have lost days off of work being home because I cannot even be at school because my heart is pounding in my chest. I don't know if I am going to lose my furnace. We've had sump pumps. I'm disappointed my neighborhood actually isn't here because you know when we have these situations, everybody's out there barking up the tree but nobody's here when push comes to shove. I'm kind of disappointed that they are not here right now but if you need them to come, I'll try to make more of an effort to get them here next time but we're not the only ones on the street. To give you some background information to which I'm sure you are already aware of, when Turkey Brook was originally built, there was blasting going on and I'm convinced that upset the water table, the water level, whatever you have, whatnot, in the ground. You know there is granite and there is rock. I'm sure something took place at that time. I'm convinced of it because we did not have water problems there before. This is going on my 22 nd year living in the same household. Also, it's always been my understanding that retention ponds hold water temporarily. That is a 24 hour day, 12 months a year pond. People fish in it. I've seen fish caught in it. People ice skate on it and it is home to Blue Heron, Canadian Geese and duck. It is a, basically a mini Budd Lake. It is full 12 months out of the year and then backs up into the storm drain which then just rushes down by we are. I have called personally, Frank the engineer. He seems to think everything is in working order. He seems to think that it was the County's problem. Diane found out otherwise as she applied for assistance to get things fixed at her place. She had it much worse than I did but the two of us were out there like crazy ladies when this happens. I mean, she has right now sandbags around the whole perimeter of her back property. I have sandbags. We've got the sump pumps. I'm just at a loss because now I'm at the age where I feel like I can speak up and she's got a whole packet of stuff. I took photos we can share with you.
President Tobey: Have you been in touch with Tim Quinn in the DPW Department? Has Tim been out there to take a look.
Ms. Vodola: Several times I've talked to Tim and Kathy in the Mayor's office has even recently sent him two separate emails and I know he's been quite busy. Last time I talked to him was about three and a half weeks ago and he said he was going to come out and I said, feel free to go on my property so you can see where the water comes from and what's going on. He said he would and he would get back to me but I have not heard yet. You know we had the storm two weeks ago that caused a lot of problems. So I'm hoping he is still going to get to me.
President Tobey: I would ask Mr. Sohl, is it possible that you could ask Mr. Quinn and even Gene, maybe there is a design issue or some type of blocked utility. Maybe the two of them can go out?
Mr. Sohl: I will follow up.
Mrs. Spevak: If I could just have my husband come up here. He's embarrassed, he won't come up but…
Dave Spevak, 32 Clinton Avenue, Budd Lake: It's a joke what's going on up there.
President Tobey: If you could kindly step up to the podium please. Thank you.
Mrs. Spevak: Well basically what he was trying to kind of explain to me, I'm not so good at engineering and with numbers and whatnot but basically he was saying that there is too much going into small of a drain and to me that just makes total sense and that's what's happening. I mean, you can obviously see from the pictures. The Town did put up berms which did nothing.
Mr. Spevak: It's a joke. They have a 36” storm drain, and I'm sure if anybody here knows what's going on at Turkey Brook, coming out of the overflow for the retention pond there's a big concrete thing in the middle of the pond with a grate on top of it. The water gets so high, it goes into that. What size is the storm drain on Flanders Road? Does anybody here know? You wouldn't know, you're not from the engineering department. It's 24”. I know, I've looked in that pipe a gazillion times even after it rains to see what's going on. Every ounce of water that comes off the top of that mountain from every street, Sunset, Washington all the way down to Pershing, all those drains tie into that drain and where do those drains go to? Does anybody know?
Mr. Sohl: Budd Lake.
Mr. Spevak: They go into Budd Lake, correct. They go into Budd Lake right at the bottom of the hill right there. All the drains that Toll Brothers put in for that new development that they are putting in right across the street from our house, that they've cut every god damn tree down and now I have an electric bill and an oil bill that is out of control now for the last five years.
Mrs. Spevak: We are here for the water.
Mr. Spevak: Or whatever, this is another thing that is blowing my mind about everything that goes on in this town and I'm sorry. I don't want to boast too much but the water thing is just a whole nother thing. You can't take that much water and put it into a storm drain and expect it to function. The County does not want responsibility. The Town does not want responsibility. That's what I'm getting from everybody that I spoke to.
Mayor Scapicchio: Has this been a problem ongoing since Turkey Brook has been built or has it gotten worse over the past year with these major storms.
Mrs. Spevak: It's been ongoing.
Mr. Spevak: It's gotten worse and I know why it's gotten worse because they keep putting more drainage into that whole drainage system that goes into Budd Lake. I see exactly what is going on here. It doesn't take a brain scientist to figure this out. You can't take all of this water and pump it into Budd Lake. Has anybody ever seen, of course we've had more rain now than we've had in god knows how many years or whatever. All of those retention ponds on Toll Brothers property, how many are down there? Three or four that they just put in? All that water gets shoved into Budd Lake. Everything off the mountain from Turkey Brook is shoved into Budd Lake. Where does it all go into Budd Lake at? Right by the Pavilion, okay?
Mrs. Spevak: All the houses down by the lake I'm sure are getting flooded.
Mr. Spevak: Everything that goes on on top of that hill and everything that goes on down to that point cannot take that much water. Do you know what I'm saying?
Mrs. Spevak: What is happening is like a domino effect. I mean we are up at Turkey Brook and then all the way down Flanders Road and all the way down by the Lucky Garden and on down there and then you start going around Budd Lake…
Mr. Spevak: As soon as that thing overflows, you videotape it. As soon as that starts overflowing, within 15 to 20 minutes, the water is shooting out of the catch basin in front of Lashway's house and I know Lisa is aware of it. It comes out of the catch basin about five feet in the air. I have videotape of that. It runs across the road, it runs down their driveway like a river between our property. It runs right in the back of her house. Literally dams up against the back of her house breaks around her house and my house, my property and runs in my basement.
Mrs. Spevak: And what's interesting is I walk all the time at Turkey Brook and as of recent I looked at the pond and the water, if you look at it right now, it is somewhat lower. I don't know if they drained water out of it but it, and even just before Irene and that other storm after Irene, it was lowered as well and it was not enough. So even the concept of lowering it is still not even working in my opinion because I walk there and I see all the time, daily, what's going on.
Mayor Scapicchio: Well the State controls how much we can lower that. That's part of the problem. I mean, I think it's obvious that we have some drainage issues in Flanders and Budd Lake, around the whole community that need to be addressed. You know, at the end of the day it's going to come down to funding and what the Council wants to do moving forward.
Mrs. Spevak: And that's the thing, at some point it's going to impact Toll Brothers because we are on a dead end and there is a drain to nowhere. I mean there is a drain at the end of our road that just, nothing. It just goes down the hill and then down into Budd Lake. There's not even a pipe in the ground that, whatever. So it's, when they eventually build there, god bless whoever gets their house there. They'll have a river in their back yard. So it's just a domino effect is what I'm saying. It's just heart breaking. She's lost thousands. Luckily I haven't. I'll let her talk more about it.
Ms. Vodola: Well I'd like to just clarify a little bit of what's happening with my house in particular. When that storm drain backs up, the County storm drain, because apparently that is attached to the Turkey Brook retention basin and that backs up like a geyser and like we had said, it comes across the street, down Lashway's driveway and then right in between our two properties until it keeps spreading out until it gets to our houses. Now my house gets hit worse than theirs for whatever reason. So last October I had from just a normal heavy downpour storm, I had like 36” of water in my basement. I had $625.00 worth of furnace repairs. The fire department has come several times. They know me now which is not a good thing. So then August 15 th there was a sudden storm and I was actually on my way home and Joy had called me and by the time I got home they had called the fire department and the police were there and they were pumping out my basement and I had a little over 36” of water then. I had to repair my furnace again for a little over $1,000.00 and then Hurricane Irene came and then I had 46” of water in my basement. Now this happens, it fills up my basement within 10 minutes and I have two pumps that are operating and they can't keep up with it until the river slows down and stops and then my pumps can keep up with it and then pump it all out.
Mrs. Spevak: But even then your pumps are still running for several days even after.
Ms. Vodola: They still run constantly.
Mrs. Spevak: We actually have a fellow on our street, I wish he was here tonight, but his pump runs pretty much 24/7, 7 days a week. He actually tied in to a drain in our street, Joanne and Steve. They actually have a sink hole in their right now and that was never there before as well so there are other issues.
Ms. Vodola: So I had, after Hurricane Irene, my furnace and hot water is irrepairable. I did get assistance from FEMA. It wasn't enough and I've been getting quotes. I've been getting plumbers and heating contractors in and they all say that obviously you can't put something else in here because you get this amount of water. I can't even put it up high enough off the ground. That was the thing. I had ledges that are about desk height that maybe a furnace could be put on there. So two weeks ago today, tomorrow is when that storm we had early in the morning, I had one inch more than Hurricane Irene. I had four feet of water in basement and actually that following weekend I was prepared to just have an electric hot water heater put in on the ledge that would be up about desk height and I thought that would do it. If I had done that a week before, I would have been out $1,000.00 and my daughter and I have been living without hot water since Hurricane Irene and now I know after last, two weeks' ago storm, I cannot put anything in my basement because I'll just lose it with the next storm because this is now, besides Hurricane Irene, it's three times.
Mr. Walsh: Mr. President, this is really important here. Diane, thank you, by the way. Is there someone, can we assign someone this week to go out and look at these things, put estimates together and by next meeting vote whether we have to bond or just cut a check or something like that to help these people get, and I apologize Councilman Mania, I kind of butt in, to get this taken care of immediately because you are without hot water?
Ms. Vodola: Without hot water and without heat and I won't be able to live in my house when it gets cold and the temperature drops below 32 degrees.
Mr. Walsh: I mean, I understand we need to have somebody professional look at this but this is an emergency.
Ms. Vodola: Because if it wasn't for the river that is created by the backup of that storm drain on Flanders Road, whatever is causing that is another issue. Probably an engineering issue between the two and also, let me mention, I didn't mention yet is that I did put in a claim to the County for the August 15 th damage of a little over $1,000.00 and they denied my claim and I have it in writing here. They are specifically blaming it on Turkey Brook because they said that their system was working properly. They had gone out there and investigated it and it was working properly and they said it was because the Turkey Brook retention basin flows into that and that the Town has decided to empty that retention basin during the rainstorms.
Mr. Walsh: We could figure out whose fault everything is later. I'd like to see some relief now for the families in the area. That's my personal feeling but I'd like to know the process.
Mrs. Spevak: Can I also just, before I forget my train of thought, I'm sorry.
Mr. Mania: Mr. President, I would ask…
President Tobey: Go ahead Mr. Mania.
Mr. Mania: I would ask that we direct the Township Engineer to go look at all of these drainage problems. As the Mayor indicated, there are problems in Flanders and there are problems in Budd Lake.
Mrs. Spevak: We spoke to Frank and his quote was that there was nothing wrong.
Mayor Scapicchio: Frank is not the engineer. Frank is an engineering aid.
Mr. Mania: We are talking about Gene Buczynski, the Township Engineer. I would direct that he go and look at all of these problems and come back with a report for the next meeting.
Mayor Scapicchio: John, we can do that. We just need Sherry to find the funding for that and that is a serious issue so we need to get a quote from Gene and then Sherry needs to try and find the funding in this year's budget.
President Tobey: Not only a quote and I certainly understand there is an issue and the last thing you want or any resident wants is, it's not my problem, it's not my problem. Correct, if Gene along with Tim is out there, let them come back to us with what the options are. We need to find out what the issues are, what are the options that can be placed before us and actually, like with any other problem, we need to take it, and I know you may not want to hear it but we are going to take it in steps. We have to follow a sequence here but that's step number one. Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. Diane, I can empathize with where you are and the like. If it wasn't for Mr. Mania, my family and I would not have been able to take showers because every night after cleaning up after being flooded over four foot in my basement…three separate times. In 25 years I've gotten hit and most of it sheets off of the public roadway. Mr. Greenbaum and I did have a small discussion at the last meeting where we were kind of looking at different things when we were talking about the replacement of that bridge that the private residents own off of Mill Road in Flanders. I'm sure you've seen about that and how that could possibly be a special assessment that was placed. I've talked to a few of my neighbors, five of us that were under water. We literally were pumping with the fire department. They know me very well. Like yourself, my furnace is gone, my hot water heater is gone, my water pressure tank fell over. I had to get a new well line put in. My oil tank floated in the basement. Thank god no oil leaked. Everything's been moved to my garage on blocks and on that Wednesday when we did get that last heavy rain, even what I put on blocks is under water. So I can empathize with where you are at. I think what we need to do here is we keep addressing things like when we have a headache, we'll come and look at your situation at Turkey Brook. We have areas throughout both Flanders and Budd Lake, First Street, Second Street, Woodland, Waterloo, we have areas where people have been tremendously displaced. Whatever FEMA, I got some money from FEMA which thank god they sent me something. It's never enough. I'm out thousands of dollars and memories, like yourself, that we'll never get back. I know that this Mayor and Rob, I know we have his support to go forward. We need to get our engineer to look at this Township and if that means pumping it, if that means replacing drains into large drains, moving them someplace else. Inevitably they are going to end up into Budd Lake because that is the lowest area. How do we circumvent getting those ponds fixed. I don't want to keep addressing individuals. I've said to the DPW, don't just address me. Address the entire Township. Let's look at where we can get funding. How do we do that? Do we need to raise the tax burden? Do we need to put a special assessment like we did with the Budd Lake Sanitary Sewer System on to the people? If you told me it was going to cost me another $500.00 for 20 years but I was not going to flood ever and ever again, sign me up today because after going through what we have and so many hundreds of residents in this Township, we have to stop addressing these little issues whether it's Turkey Brook or it Fourth Street or it's from Lakeview Estates and they are blocking it up and they are dumping silt. We need to address this. We need to get our engineers out, find the money and get an actual report done and then take the actions, look for grants, look for federal funding, look wherever or put a special assessment on people. I don't think anybody in this Township that is running a sump pump and it was throwing out all the garbage that we've all thrown out in the past month and a half will be against paying another $400.00-$500.00 a year if it meant that you would never have to do that again.
Ms. Vodola: My concern though at this point is that you know I know that sometimes these things can take a long time but here I'm thinking, I'm a single parent. I still have a child in the school system and here it is almost the end of October and I could put a new heating system and hot water in there. I could have had hot water by now but I can't do it because of the river. Now when the river comes down because of these rains, until that is resolved…
Mr. Perkins: Diane, is it your basement only? Are you getting it onto you livable area, your first floor or your furniture?
Ms. Vodola: Not the livable area. It comes down and hits the back of the house and goes right in the crawl space.
Mr. Mania: Same problem you've got.
Mr. Perkins: Same, same, same issue. I got rid of my propane. I now have an electric with a heat pump. That's stored in my garage. I just happen to put an addition on that has a garage. That's up on blocks too. It's up on four sets of bricks to try, because I'm just gun shy. You can get an electric one and put an electric one in. Again, I can't address and I think all of us here on Council, we can't keep addressing individuals when it your, here, there, myself. We need to look at this.
Audience discussion inaudible
Mr. Perkins: I understand but you are missing the point. The point is, no you are, fine, you've got your opinion and I have mine.
Mr. Mania: You can't talk from there. You have to come up to the mike.
Mr. Perkins: Any way Diane, listen, again, I empathize with you. I think the entire Administration and the Council, we need to find a way of where we are going find the funding to be able to have an actual engineering study. We've done it up for Manorhouse. I'm sure you've heard about it up at Country Club. We've been up there, we've looked at drainage issues. We've put up berms. We've bought pieces of property to use as detention basins but we keep doing it piece meal and then individuals like yourself, myself and others, my neighbors are displaced. We've lost thousands of dollars. We need to address this as a unified piece and stop doing it piece meal. I know Mayor Scapicchio supports doing that.
Mrs. Spevak: Before I forget also, this last storm that we had, there was garbage debris like coca cola bottles, McDonalds in my yard and her yard as well as diesel smell. I do not have an underground oil tank so I'm just putting that out there that there could be you know some oil, somebody's tank is leaking. Who knows where that is coming from. It was a distinct diesel smell. I can't stand that smell so I know that smell anywhere so I means these are also some issues and again, going into Budd Lake. It's our largest natural lake in New Jersey. We need to protect it.
Ms. Vodola: I'm wondering too, I understand what you are saying about dealing with the issue on a bigger scale for more people but right now I'm thinking, okay, is there something that can be done quickly as even a temporary measure to prevent the water from coming in both of our houses.
President Tobey: That is what we need to look into. The first thing we need to do before we get to engineering studies and all is to have Gene go out and report back to us. We are kind of jumping the gun with studies. Although they may be needed, we need to get some preliminary feedback to answer your question.
Ms. Vodola: Because that's where I need to go with that even if it is something temporary to a much more permanent fix so that I can then move forward and then have heat in my house before it gets cold and not to mention hot water but the heat now is what is making me panic. It's because in another month and a half it's going to be under 32 degrees and I won't be able to live in my house.
President Tobey: Mr. Sohl, you'll reach out to Gene tomorrow please?
Mr. Sohl: Absolutely.
President Tobey: Thank you. Mr. Walsh.
Mr. Walsh: I consider someone not having heat in their home an emergency and I think this should be dealt with now.
Ms. Vodola: Exactly. I agree.
Mr. Walsh: I think an individual basis in this case is appropriate. I just want that for the record.
Ms. Vodola: Thank you. I appreciate that. Thank you.
Mr. Walsh: If it has to be one at a time, fine.
President Tobey: Okay. Thank you.
Mr. Mania: By the way Diane, you are welcome to come to my house to shower as Ray did.
Ms. Vodola: My daughter too?
Mr. Mania: Your daughter too.
Ms. Vodola: And I do have documentation here, written in detail, of everything that has happened with pictures if I could leave it for the Council to review. Okay?
President Tobey: Please.
Mrs. Spevak: Just so I can make sure I understand, so then the next Town Council meeting we should attend to see where we are at? Or you are going to have people go out and look…
Mr. Perkins: Somebody will get back to you.
President Tobey: We are going to ask Gene to out and look and then report back. You can have Gene get back to me. We'll get your contact information and I'll actually be in touch with you then also. So we are going to start the process by getting the preliminary feedback from Gene.
Ms. Vodola: Thank you.
Mrs. Spevak: Thank you. I appreciate it.
President Tobey: Thank you. Does anyone else from the public wish to be heard this evening? Seeing none, any closing…
Mr. Roman: He has his hand up.
President Tobey: Yes, sir? Please. I didn't see that hand.
Mr. Greenbaum: He wants to know what is happening with his road. Has there been any, has there been any movement at all? Bill took off. Do you know whether or not Tim's gone out and looked at the road and when we can expect to have the paving issue because that's what you are here for correct?
Charles Bell, 95 Waterloo Valley Road: Yes and also I got a letter in the mail from the post office.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay.
Mayor Scapicchio: A letter from the post office in regards to? Is that a copy for us?
Mr. Bell: No, but you can have it.
Mr. Greenbaum: The post office is not delivering at this point in time because of the road?
Mr. Bell: Yes.
Mr. Greenbaum: I'm going to ask Mr. Quinn to address this at the next Council meeting.
Mr. Bell: That's a federal problem there.
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, I understand.
Mr. Bell: The road I'm trying to get fixed is Bell Road. From the last storms the lady mentioned, it's all washed out and ditches and running down the center of the road instead of the side. Tim Quinn went down there today. He's seen the road. He talked to me about it. He said he is trying to get, I guess Washington Township, grader to come down and grade the road and then he's going to lay down more milling works after he grades the road.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay.
Mayor Scapicchio: He told you that today?
Mr. Bell: Yes, yes, yes but right now it's still the same way.
Mr. Greenbaum: I understand.
Mr. Bell: But that's from the federal post office.
Mayor Scapicchio: I see that. I'll talk to Tim tomorrow and see if he can expedite that for you.
Mr. Bell: And also my oil company is going to deny coming down too because of the road. They don't want to wreck their trucks. That's my issue tonight.
President Tobey: Okay. Thank you. Rob, you'll follow up?
Mr. Greenbaum: Dave is going to follow up with Tim. I expect that the Administration will be able to advise us as to what's going to happen to resolve the problem at the next meeting and I would ask that it be put on the Agenda for a status update as to Bell Road, Bell Lane?
Mr. Bell: Bell Road and there's also another issue. Water is seeping out, coming up through the road.
Mr. Walsh: So he said there is water is seeping out. It's coming up through the road.
Mr. Bell: Yes
Mr. Walsh: Okay, just for the record. That's got to be looked at too. Okay.
President Tobey: Thank you sir. Does anyone else from the public wish to be heard? Seeing none, any Council Comments this evening? Mr. Mania and then Mr. Walsh.
Mr. Mania: Yes, I would just like to publicly thank a couple of organizations in Town which I'm affiliated with both. The Mount Olive Food Bank was in dire need of some contributions. The Knights of Columbus will be presenting a check on Thursday for $500.00 to the Food Bank and the Italian Club of which I am the President will be donating $250.00 to the Food Bank and I want to thank them publicly.
President Tobey: Thank you Mr. Mania.
Mr. Walsh: Yes, I was just curious that the TV camera…Mr. Sohl, did they call and tell us why nobody was going to be here? No?
Mr. Sohl: I'll follow up with them tomorrow.
Mr. Walsh: Was there a camera at the last meeting?
Mr. Greenbaum: No.
Mr. Walsh: No, so it's two in a row? Okay. Please follow up. Thank you.
Mr. Mania: Three strikes, their out.
President Tobey: Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. Just a couple of short comments and Diane and the rest of the folks who come, for all of us that have gone through the flood, my neighbors and my fellow residents throughout the Township and folks that we rescued in boats, this is probably the worst year, like I said, in the 25 I've been chasing after the Township and sometimes when you sit up here you try not to ask for too much because you sort of feel like the rest of the residents ought to be getting more than I'm getting. My wife and I are fed up. You know, it's been every single year. After three times, I finally got my furnace yesterday. Now instead of the furnace sitting on the floor, it literally hangs from the ceiling. That's the only way I could do it, to buy a horizontal unit and pray that the water doesn't get back up four feet again. The electrical, I had to have all of that replaced. I understand what folks in this Township are going through. I've been here through enough. I did reach out and have to thank publicly a couple of organizations. Pastor Matt Jones from Mountaintop Church, who is my neighbor, actually took us in on the morning of Hurricane Irene and provided myself, my wife and my dog with a spot there for a couple of hours until we found that they had available rooms at the Extended Stay. So after a $1,800.00 week and half stay there, we managed to come back and surprised that the Church, Mountaintop, had provided us with a $300.00 gift card to defray some expenses. The Musconetcong Lodge #42 also provided us with a check for $300.00 for support as well as the Knights of Columbus Council 6100 provided us with a check for $300.00. I would suggest, Diane, that you reach out to some of those civic organizations to try to help defray with the possibility…I'm a member of most of them and we always try to help out people that are in need. You can check with the Lions Club, both Rob and myself are members and reach out to the folks that are out there. See if there is something that they can do. The outpouring of help, we all help neighbors, I spent a tremendous amount of time doing it for the help. Again, not that I disagree with Mr. Walsh, let's do something, I want to do something for everybody and in the temporary, I would suggest like I did, get electric, put it upstairs. I bought those micathermic heaters for $79.00 and that's what we've been using for the past month. It works. It keeps us warm. We're underneath the blankets. It took awhile, Diane. We'll do everything we can for you within the constraints of how much budgetary stuff we have. Just hang in there. Thank you Mr. President.
President Tobey: Any other Council comments? Seeing none, I'll accept a motion to adjourn.
Motion to adjourn made and seconded. All in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:43 pm.
Phil Tobey, Council President
I, Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk of the Township 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 November 22, 2011.
Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk