Township Council Minutes
April 25 , 2006
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:30 pm by Council President Greenbaum with the Pledge of Allegiance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & MOMENT OF REFLECTION in recognition of the men and women fighting terrorism and those who have lost their lives defending the freedom we all enjoy
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Mount Olive Chronicle. Notice has been posted at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive Township, New Jersey and notices were sent to those requesting the same.
ROLL CALL Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Tepper, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner,
Absent: Mr. Perkins
Also Present: John Dorsey, Township Attorney; Rick Prill, Business Administrator;
Sherry Jenkins, CFO; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk
Presentation to Mt. Olive High School Ice Hockey Team & Pee Wee Ice Hockey Team
President Greenbaum: The first matter of business this evening is a presentation to the Mount Olive High School Ice Hockey Team and Pee Wee Ice Hockey Team. Mr. Tepper, do you want to do the honors please?
Mr. Tepper: Sure. I will start with the High School. The certificate is being given to each of the members of the High School Hockey Team in recognition of their accomplishments this year. They took a team that went from four and twelve last year to fourteen and eight this year. They made it to the semi finals of the HAAS and to the first round within the States. In the HAAS, they lost to Park Regional and on the States to Vernon, and there are many people from the coach down that aren’t able to make it tonight due to conflicts with other teams. Coach Santana, in fact, Ray Santana is at a baseball game in Chatham. There are others who are away attending both lacrosse games and baseball games. I would also like to point out that several of the team players this year were recognized within the league. John Bellamente, Sean Schiess were first team all league. Eric Mosca, the goalie, and Ben Roman made second team and Dominic Potente made honorable mention. I would also like to point out that one of our players, John Bellamente, was the new State leading goal scorer and he was seventh overall in the State for scoring so that is a pretty nice accomplishment. I am going to present the certificates to the individuals that are here and will deliver the balance to the school. The Co-Captain Josh Weiss, Dominic Potente, Mike Gillette, Tim Geiger, Bryan Diaz, and Rusty Tepper. I will read off the names of some of the other team members, Kyle Shakespeare, Cory Schneider, Pete Wojcik, Ted Ypsilantis, Max Thrun, John Bellamente, Sean Schiess, Bryan Bellanca, Ben Roman who is also a Co Captain, Sean Schiess was. Jeff Riveron, Johnny Pra Sisto, Ben Novaky, Colin Piccouti, Eric Mosca, Melissa Magnussen, Chris Laracuente, Tim Kucerovy, Rich Kenneweg, Josh Hurwitz, Steven Hars, Bryan Foote, Jon Berger, and Mark Cestaroro and that’s both the Varsity and the Junior Varsity.
Mr. Tepper: The next group is to the Mount Olive Recreational teams started by Scott Ashley and Mr. Ashley will join me up here. The Pee Wee team played in two leagues. They played in both the Morris County League and in the Warren County League. Within the Morris County League we were not expected to do well. During the regular season the team did not do very well but ended up very well by having to play three rounds to win the championships in defeating Kinnelon and Morristown and Parsippany. Within the Warren County league they played through the championships and lost in the final game to Rockaway or else they would be up here receiving recognition for winning two different Counties in the recreation league. Mr. Ashley would you like to present these to your team.
Mr. Ashley: Yes. Michael Mrowicki, Jimmy Ferritti, Brian Maroon , Jack Hinds, Joey Peirano, Mark Bellanca, Joey Walako, Steven Tumminello, Ryan Tatrka is not here, Ryan Shakespeare, Alex Tepper is here, David Oconnor, Alex Neeb, last but not least, Jake Stackhouse.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. I have to say with respect to the High School team, it was interesting to follow the progress of the team as the year went along. The wins just kept mounting and mounting and mounting. Every time I spoke to somebody they said you know what, if the team ends up 500 it is going to be a good year because the Hockey program really hasn’t developed in past years and win after win after win it got very exciting to watch as you guys progressed and you really did the town very proud through your efforts. I am sure I speak on behalf of all the Council members sitting up here. Next, item of business this evening is the presentation on the Recreation Master Plan, Kathy..... Is Kathy here?
Mr. Tepper: Hey Rob, you might want to announce that they can all leave.
President Greenbaum: Unless they are interested in hearing about the Recreation Master Plan?
Presentation on Recreation Master Plan
President Greenbaum: Okay Kathy, we are up to the Recreation Master Plan.
Mrs. Murphy: At this point, we are working on a draft master plan. We have been meeting with recreation directors from nearby towns and talking to them. We have been meeting with different teams, different sports groups trying to get an idea of what the projections are. So right now we are sort of in a data collection mode and starting a rough draft. We have submitted lighting recommendations regardingthe park and as far as the entire master plan, it will take us another month of data collection and discussion before really submitting out to different committees for discussion.
President Greenbaum: Have you reached any conclusions at all in terms of the needs for an on going forward basis, or is that what you expect to give us?
Mrs. Murphy: That is part of what we are doing. We sent out questionnaires to all of the major sports groups to discuss the current enrollment and their growth projections over the next five years or so. We are assessing all different properties in town that are going to be available for different types of recreation. We will develop a committee master plan for the larger active recreation parks which is Turkey Brook and Flanders. Those will have basically a whole separate plan that will include maintenance and future development, infrastructure, and sewer. Actually, I believe it is a pretty comprehensive plan.
President Greenbaum: Does anyone have any questions? At this point in time it seems a little premature.
Mr. Prill: We were asked to expedite the review of the facility with regards to lighting of the baseball field so Council does have a report that includes a recommendation with regards to that aspect. I mean that will be one component of the overall master plan but we were asked to try to come back to Council by this meeting with a recommendation. So hopefully you had a chance to review that.
President Greenbaum: The baseball field lighting proposal submitted 4/20/06 prepared by Kathy Murphy, Jim Lynch, and Jill Daggon. What facility in the Township would best support a lighted baseball field? Conclusion: The staff has reviewed and evaluated the recreation facilities located in the Township and following discussion and input from the open space and environmental, Turkey Brook development and recreational committees the consensus and recommendation is that if a decision is made to install lights on a baseball field, Russ Nagel field at Flanders Park is the field best able to support lighting at this time. There is a very in depth analysis that takes up the better part of.....nine, ten pages. Do you have any comments on that Kathy?
Mrs. Murphy: We tried to be comprehensive and the issues we worked out. We tried to do as much research as we could in this time period. We evaluated both situations and those are the details that we came up with. There were issues of cost of installing lighting, of noise, of maintenance, different elevations in the parks, irrigation, and parking. No matter where we put lights, someone will be inconvenienced. So it becomes, do we put lights in at all? If we choose to put in lights, we collectively felt it is not based on any one person’s opinion. It was just really decided at every committee, pretty much came up with the same recommendation, that Russ Nagel was really the place to put it at this time.
President Greenbaum: Does anyone have any questions? Kathy is part of the Recreation Master Plan. It is going to be the committee’s scope to not only decide or make recommendations with respect to additional recreational needs but also to make recommendations in terms of where those fields should be located and how, for instance, Turkey Brook Park or Flanders Park or any other park that we have in town should be utilized to accomplish the recommendations of your group.
Mrs. Murphy: Well, it is not just one group. There are several active committees that are going to participate in this and we would like to actually host some workshop meetings so that the public is brought into the process as well. We are going to be looking at all those needs and recommendations of different sports groups but then we’ll look at what facilities have potential for future development and if they don’t have a future development potential, then we will be looking at possibly dealing with issues such as sharing fields with the Board of Education or whatever, which is always and ongoing issue.
President Greenbaum: I would also like you to work with groups such as the Historical Society, which is currently looking at the potential of moving the monuments up to Turkey Brook Park and to make sure all the needs of the different groups have been discussed and addressed before those recommendations come.
Mrs. Murphy: The Historical Society is basically trying to focus on a few major issues, of course the Seward house at Turkey Brook and any park that may have a historical tone. Buildings, such as Turkey Brook also the issue of the veteran’s memorial and we have a couple of choices. You know, does it stay at the beach or does it go up to Turkey Brook. Right now in draft form we have both of those areas sort of tagged in very basic language in there, until we make some final decisions which we feel we have. Right around the same timing with the master plan coming out and also the Historical Society concerned about protection of the Morris Canal which has a lot of recreational status in the way of trails. So it is going to go beyond just active recreation. We will be looking at trails, hunting, fishing, swimming which is beyond the sports homes for sports.
President Greenbaum: Does anyone have any questions or comments?
Mrs. Labow: I have two questions. Kathy, do we have enough open space right now to hook up with the Patriot’s Trail?
Mrs. Murphy: It is fragmented. We have a lot. There is always some small fragment in between and of course the patriots have off shoots from it. So from where it is, actually there is a gap between Washington Township and Mount Olive up by the A & P. Once you get across Route 46 they can get into public property illegally at this point. Then of course, there is another off shoot down on the Columbian Trail comes off of Patriot’s Path and that is in Long Valley and that stops at the Township boarder at Toys R Us.
Mrs. Labow: Okay and where does it go from Mount Olive, traveling east, west, where is the destination point after that.
Mrs. Murphy: You mean Patriots Path?
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
Mrs. Murphy: Well it is actually Morris County Parks District but once it gets into Allamuchy State Park it hooks into the Allamuchy Trail and the Highlands Trail, which then goes off on to Warren County and it also connects to Sussex Trail in the Trade Zone. It goes off through Sussex County.
Mrs. Labow: So we are the last piece?
Mrs. Murphy: I would say that Mount Olive is really, can be sort of the hub, leading into several different trails.
Mrs. Labow: What about the Flanders Crossing Park, is that on the ROSI?
Mrs. Murphy: Yes.
Mrs. Labow: When we acquire open space, do they automatically go on the ROSI or is there a criteria for that?
Mrs. Murphy: Anything that is acquired through open space funds automatically goes on the ROSI. If it is a developer’s donation, it has a requirement in the agreement that it be used for open space purposes, that goes on the ROSI. If it is property that the town acquires through a foreclosure or a donation, a letter of that is certainly something we always discuss before it is finalized. Once it is on, it is on.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, any other questions? Anyone from the audience who has questions with respect to this presentation? Mr. Sohl, if you want to come up. You have to speak into the microphone.
Mr. Sohl 29 Netcong Road Budd Lake: It is really a clarification. I would just like to stand on the point that Kathy made on the question on the veterans memorial that is being looked at and we have had meetings. Myself, my wife, Charlie Uhrmann, and several others, we have been meeting periodically with members of the Administration relative to a permanent memorial for the veterans and that would be comprised now. It would consist of three elements. One is Eric Wood’s Eagle project which consists of a flag burning unit type of vault.
The other is an expanded site involving paving stones and some other elements that is pretty much headed up by Charlie Uhrmann and then last is the fact that the current memorial, which if you have been past it on 46, it is pretty lost in that area down there especially now that the building is gone. We have a pretty strong, I would say, a strong consensus of other people interested in seeing that memorial moved and to be a part of the single site developed in the Turkey Brook area, again, towards the front of the Turkey Brook Park between the Seward House and the retention pond. So Kathy indicated that in any event it can be set aside. Is there anything else that needs to be done from the Council prospective?
President Greenbaum: I don’t know how the rest of the Council tentatively feels? I am ultimately, not having seen the plans, I am generally in favor of the project. I don’t know if anyone else has anything else to add?
Mrs. Labow: I just wanted.....when they talked about moving it in the past, the representative from the V.F.W., is that when they came up here? They were really upset about the proposal of moving it. Have you reached out to them?
Mr. Sohl: Yes, one of the people from the Mount Olive Township Historical Society who is John Price and there were two individuals either in the V.F.W. or the American Legion. One of them I understand from Nick Geiger, that one of them has passed away and the other one has moved to North Carolina. At this point, we look at the big picture. You would rather have one dedicated area and in an area that is not....it is really up there at the monument, now you have traffic flying by on 46. It is not very conducive to the type of facility that we are planning.
President Greenbaum: I think it is excellent proposal from what I have heard. I applaud your efforts.....
Mr. Sohl: Don’t applaud me. I am only a part of this.
President Greenbaum: I understand that, I am not saying that specifically from you. It is just the concept that I have heard the proposal to move it up to Turkey Brook which will allow others to actually utilize the site for a reflection and I am wholeheartedly in favor of that proposal. Ultimately, obviously we need to see the details but the concept is what I am talking about. Does anyone have anything to add?
Mr. Rattner: You know, anything we can do to improve both sites and you know the memorial is to the veterans and so it should really be with the heavy input of the veteran’s organization. I know what you want. I am also talking about the organizations, and really, it is where they think it makes the most sense because it is for the veterans. It is not for us who just want a place to put another monument.
Mrs. Labow: I have one other question. Last time we tried to do this they were talking about, they were afraid of damage being done to the monument if it is moved. Has that situation been...........?
Mr. Sohl: I would trust if we are going to move stuff, there is more than one company out there.
President Greenbaum: Thank you very much. Anyone else from the public? Please state your name and address.
Anne Wisnewski, Watson Way, Flanders: I was at the last recreation advisory presentation with Kathy. I was a little bit disturbed by some of the stuff that was in there. It seemed to me that Turkey Brook would be a terrible place for lighting, very disruptive and very glowie for miles around but yet Flanders Park, you wouldn’t see lights for 10 feet from the field and comments like that. I am a little concerned. Why is it that the same lights in one place would have a different effect in another? My other question was. This is supposed to be done with a three to two year time window in mind which I am assuming, since that is what everyone has been saying, that is how long it is going to take to get the funds for lights. I don’t understand why the High School wasn’t an option in that whole analysis of potential fields? I didn’t think of that at the time. I am sorry.
Mrs. Murphy: Part of the reason we didn’t use the High School in the equation is once you put the lights up at their field, it is their field and we have no control over that. So we are looking at the issue of how the fields can be lit and controlled. We also included in there, so that the public could hear this part of it, I am also recommending that policies be set as far as user fee charges, etc. The issue of light spillage, if lights are put on either field and they are correctly directed you should not get direct light spillage.....you will sit in your living room and read your newspaper by these lights. You are still going to get a glow no matter where you are. We did look at the issue of elevation and at Flanders Park the houses are roughly on same elevation as the lights, where the lights would be. Even though you can’t have an 80 foot tree growing right next to Flanders Park because there is a road there, if you have trees around that detention basin, which is between the houses and the field, you really only need 30 foot trees to shield those houses. Some of those trees are already planted. Certainly we recommended that additional planting can be done if that is where they go. That would help reduce a lot but it is a valley and is contained rather within that valley. Turkey Brook, the elevations for the proposed field right now under the Olympus plan is the highest location of elevation of Turkey Brook. The houses at Sunset Drive and Flanders Crossing, Flanders Road, sit about 35 to 40 feet below that field. So if you put 80 foot lights on top of that field and these houses are 35 to 40 feet lower those lights are going to look like they are on 120 foot poles. However they would be at a greater distance but the lights certainly, the glow of that light would certainly be visible because it is sitting on a hill for many miles around. Certainly at Wyndhdam Point, Bennington whatever, you are going to see those lights. So we also looked at Turkey Brook. Could we move the field to a different location? We looked at maybe over closer to Sunset Drive, which would be less expensive to install a field over there because it wouldn’t be as costly to run irrigation and electrical but it is still high elevation and we also looked at a third location within Turkey Brook Park. It would be closer to Flanders Road and closer to the line where you wouldn’t have as much light from a distance but it would be closer to the houses. There is some vegetation between the houses already and that field but it would be a more contained location. So we did try to look at all the different options.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Mr. Prill: If I could just expand on that answer a little bit? I think to answer your question a little bit more broadly. The report that we did came up with, we did very briefly identify that school fields are an option but in the short timeframe that we had to try put this together because of the issues that are involved between the Township and the school. Kathy mentioned control, control primarily being accessibility to the field when we need it as opposed to when the school teams need it. Facilities that they have, hours that the fields would be available, maintenance issues, there are a lot of overriding issues that we don’t have answers to now. So we couldn’t go into any kind of detail in this lighting report to Council but we do intend as part of the overall recreation master plan to try to get into a more indepth review and an analysis of school fields as an option and identify what the issues are and hopefully that will serve as a springboard to continue to have discussions and negotiations possibly with the Board to determine whether or not in the future those fields might or might not be available. That is part of the overall recreation program, so it will be expanded on in the master plan report but we just didn’t have the opportunity and the time frame to address it in that kind of detail in this report.
Mr. Buell: Also Anne, a year and a half ago we asked the Board of Education if they even wanted to consider putting up lights with us supplying a portion of the dollars and they indicated no. So they pretty much have closed that option out in terms of doing anything jointly with us with lights either at the Middle School or at the High School at least for the time being.
Charlie Uhrmann, Jennies Lane, Mount Olive: Regarding the veterans of all wars memorial. I was basically wondering what the next step is so we can take the next step as far as solidifying the location of the memorial because it is kind of a three fold type but with my son’s eagle scout project he basically is going to have to wait for this Council’s approval before he can get Scout Council approval which is kind of a lengthy time period. So if we would be able to have a little bit of direction, what you want to see and how we could expedite this, we would accommodate. What would be the next step for us to take to get this either on the agenda or to get a resolution to solidify the exact area for Turkey Brook?
President Greenbaum: I would be happy to ask Mr. Dorsey to draft that resolution indicating Council’s agreement to have that area dedicated for use for the memorial.
Mrs. Uhrmann: That would be wonderful. Do you need to see any type of plans along the way?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, it would be good if you could kind of tack down for me this exact area that is to be dedicated for this purpose and perhaps a paragraph as to the purpose and then I will include it in the resolution when I get it.
Mrs. Uhrmann: Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
Mr. Rattner: Since the Recreation Committee or committees are taking the lead on the entire project, I want to make sure that before we act on it, that we get concurrence. I mean obviously, just dedicating some property isn’t approving other things but I think that we have to bring it back to the Recreation Committee otherwise they are going to look at us like why are they even here.
President Greenbaum: Oh, I agree. We will send it back to Open Space Committee, to the Recreation Committee, to the Environmental Committee and to the Administration for review and comment and I assume that no one will have a problem with it and we will just pass it at that point in time, and if we do have a problem with it, then it will just have to be addressed further. The resolution will be drafted and will be circulated. Is there anyone else from the public? Yes sir, Peter, you have to come up and state your name and address.
Peter Coulter, 35 Crenshaw Drive, Flanders: I would just like to ask that when we considered the most suitable location for the ball fields being lit, and I am not against the lights, consider the math. You are talking about at Russ Nagel Field, a cluster zone community, 220 homes, no real natural tree coverage between us the ball field and the lights and the Senior Center would be feet away from the outfield. The Marveland Farms
development that’s going in, it is a question of the greatest gift to the greatest number or the greatest damage to the greatest number. Let’s look at the math, of the number of residences or the number of residents within the square mile a square half mile, pick a number that would be influenced by these towers. They are there and visible all day even when they are not lit and ball fields are shoe horned in a lot as it is because we didn’t design it all particularly well when we did it in the first place. Compounding it with lights is not going to make it any better. So consider that as we move forward in determining suitability as well I guess. That’s it.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Karen, you have to state your name and address please.
Karen Weintraub, Watson Lane, Flanders: I was just looking at page eight in the handout here. It says the recommended ......should be an additional $100,000. I was just wondering where that money was going to come from, considering the budget situation at Mount Olive.
President Greenbaum: It is yet to be determined but an interesting point. You probably need that whether or not you put in the lights or you don’t put in the lights because the parking over there is a problem. Anyone else from the public?
Liz Ouimet, Budd Lake: I guess my second time it would be, I am the co-chairmen of the Recreation Advisory Committee. It has come up before the committee and we have discussed it at our last meeting and we are all for the lights. As far as I know Kathy did a great job just looking at the types of lights, different covers that we would get. We talked about the tree bank, putting that up there. We talked about the alternate road that we would put coming in from the other side. Again, it is a master plan of years down the road. I don’t know, I guess my question is, it seems to be going on and on and on and we don’t seem to be going anywhere with it.
President Greenbaum: Is that a question?
Mrs. Ouimet: Yes, I mean is there ever going to be a resolution to it?
President Greenbaum: There will be a resolution when the majority of Council votes in favor of allowing it to happen. I don’t know how else to answer it?
Mrs. Ouimet: I have one more question. Can I ask one more question?
President Greenbaum: Of course.
Mrs. Ouimet: When the bond was done up at the Municipal Building, it was a certain amount and we used a part of that amount. What happened to the remainder and is that going to be re-bonded? My question I guess, what I am worried about is just the condition over there. If you are ending the Memorial Day Parade there, you have a silt fence, you have cones and you have a lot of kids ending up there. So I guess my question is, is that going to be put before the Council? I don’t know what the procedure is. I don’t know if that is the right question.
President Greenbaum: The Administration will make a recommendation in terms as to what to do over there and it will be funded or it will be rejected by the Council.
Mrs. Ouimet: Then what happens with the Memorial Day Parade ending there with the children with that spot there. Is that a liability for the town with the condition that it is in?
President Greenbaum: Everything is always a liability for the town anytime that we do anything. Whether we march along Route 46 or whether or not we allow people to swim in the lake generally, it is always a liability.
Mrs. Ouimet: Is it an added liability when you have cones and a silt fence when there is something that we could be acting on this. I mean it has been since December or January that we did the Municipal Building and I am just wondering why there was such a lag with when that was done and why you wouldn’t just automatically put in to fix the condition of the.......... that plus, I am just worried about the beach too. There are a lot of kids coming up.
President Greenbaum: Fix it in terms of what?
Mrs. Ouimet: The parking lot, and the fencing around there..........
President Greenbaum: Is there a proposal to put fencing in around the lake at this point in time?
Mr. Prill: Well, the work that still needs to be done over there would be basically to finish grading and paving the parking lot area. Then additional sand will be brought in to expand the size of the beach. The reason that the work hasn’t taken place up to this point is, that that kind of work has been dependant upon the weather. Hopefully within the next month or two we will be finishing off, at least getting the grading done and paving done as well as the sand. Ultimately, there will be a fence put in but that is not part of the work that is going to happen in the immediate future.
Mrs. Ouimet: Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Is there anyone else from the public? Seeing none, we are going to move on. At this point in time, we are going to..... yes, I didn’t see your hand I am sorry.
Robin Shrewsbury, 37 Crenshaw Drive, Flanders: I guess I have a concern with the lighting resolution as currently worded. If we don’t come up with a more suitable plan, we are going to go ahead and light Russ Nagel Field. I would like to point out that we are only going to improve the playing time at that field by 20% maybe by the addition of lights. I am not against lights either. I have a daughter that plays softball. It is great when you get to play with the lights. I guess I would just like to see more kids get use out of them. As Peter pointed out, the massive number of people impacted and how close that field is. We already have the golf course. Many people have that behind them. The glow in the air is not really the problem, it is the lights. Many people, I think, will be able to see them through their windows on the second floor. There are no trees any where near high enough at this point to block that. I think if we look at the lack of parking at Flanders Park, people are already parking on the grass on a regular basis. We might want to consider speeding up, putting in another field, which would double the playing time the kids have during daylight hours and improve the parking situation at some of these parks. It might be a more prudent use. I know you really want the lights but I would like to double the playing time for the kids instead of increasing it 20%.
Municipal Budget Discussion
President Greenbaum: My hope is that there will be another field. That is my hope. Something we are working on. Anyone else from the public? Last chance. It is closed. We are going to move onto budget issues which we have remaining. I wanted to thank Sherry, for putting together a list of open items that need to be resolved. The hope is that we can present the budget at our next public meeting. So we need to resolve several important issues. The first is the reserve for uncollected taxes in light of the issues which have been identified, which we will be facing next year. There is a recommendation from finance that we increase the reserve for uncollected taxes by......how much Sherry?
Mrs. Jenkins: One million two hundred and thirty thousand.
President Greenbaum: Does anyone have any comments?
Mr. Buell: Just a question, where in your analysis, why $230,000?
Mrs. Jenkins: I sort of already went through that. We have seven, seventy right now on hand and for a particular project and my thought was to add another $230,000 to make it a $1 million for that particular appeal.
President Greenbaum: I really don’t want Sherry to get into the specifics.
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes, I am trying to watch that. We also, and if you remember, prepared a list. Jack and I went through and worked on a list of the other appeals with sort of a summary and that was our feeling in terms of where we need to go at this point. Obviously, as I said in my memo, we could wind up losing more. We could wind up losing less. I don’t know but I feel that is a sufficient number at this point.
Mr. Buell: Sherry, in terms of other funds like the $52,000 from the A & P now that is freed up. Out of that are there other funds plus that $52,000 that could be used to fund these......
Mrs. Jenkins: I guess the $52,000 is really a legal question. John, if that was dedicated for a particular purpose is there a mechanism by which the Council can rededicate that to something else?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, how was it dedicated, was it dedicated..........
Mrs. Jenkins: Well, that is what we have been calling it in terms of the financial books, even before I got here so....
President Greenbaum: It is dedicated by resolution and can be rededicated by way of resolution......
Mrs. Jenkins: So... okay.
Mr. Dorsey: What is important is how the dedication occurred. If it occurred by ordinance, you need an ordinance to reverse the dedication. If it was done by resolution then you need to amend the resolution to
reverse the dedication.
Mrs. Jenkins: There are three particular sums of money that I know of. We have the $50,000 that came in for the lighting. We have $15,000 that was dedicated for pocket parks which I believe was at Turkey Brook Park. We have another, I believe it is $37,500, which was a Natco donation, which was also supposed to be for recreational improvements. I did a memo on those a while ago, those are the three particular items that if you were going to re-appropriate something we could look at those.
President Greenbaum: Jim, is it your intention to put on the table that those funds be utilized for the reserve for uncollected taxes?
Mr. Buell: Absolutely, I think......
President Greenbaum: Is there anyone else that feels that way? It is a dead issue. Is there anyone who has any comment with respect to the $1.26 for reserve for uncollected taxes?
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes Rob, just one other thing. I did look at this too with Gary and the general consensus is there really is no guideline. I mean, you know we put in what we do feel is our best guess at this time. I am sure you all understand that we don’t know where they are exactly going to go.
President Greenbaum: Absolutely, I don’t think that there is anyone up here who questions that. That is the premise that we have always worked on in the past because they are unknown liabilities. There is no way without a crystal ball that you could come up with an exact number and hopefully this will take us a long way towards resolving the outstanding issues. Okay, because this is an increase to the budget we need to have a super majority vote. So Russ, you are in favor of this proposal?
Mr. Tepper: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Jim.
Mr. Buell: Yes.
President Greenbaum: We still need to....I want to make sure there is a super majority. We can do by way of just....
Mr. Biondi: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Colleen?
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Steve?
Mr. Rattner: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Yes. Okay, the next issue is the use of the existing open space trust fund dollars to offset related open space debt which is being paid through the current budget. We had talked about a recommendation of $600,000 is that correct, which would basically be the entire amount that would be collected this year?
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes.
President Greenbaum: We talked about suspending the open space taxes, as a way of dealing with our tax appeal issues. Instead we decided to go a different route which is to simply utilize a portion to pay down debt in our general budget which was used to either purchase open space or to develop recreational aspects of our open space which is an appropriate use and we already have a legal opinion that such use is appropriate. Is there anyone who has any comments or ......yes, Colleen.
Mrs. Labow: If we are going to wipe out the whole thing this year, shouldn’t we find out if there is something....
President Greenbaum: There is still over $ 1 million in the open space fund that is unencumbered.
Mr. Rattner: This is just a current contribution.
President Greenbaum: Current contribution.
Mrs. Labow: I just want to clarify that. So it is just the current contribution and everything else that is in there will take care of all the things on the table waiting for final........
President Greenbaum: Whatever monies we have utilized out of the open space fund during this year or last year, which is already encumbered, is not included in the funds. There will still be sufficient funds for open space issues if they arise.
Mrs. Jenkins: Rob, I just want to be clear. This is going to be $600,000 on top of the money that we would already.... we’re normally taking correct?
President Greenbaum: Yes.
Mrs. Jenkins: Okay, I just want to make.....
President Greenbaum: Yes, there is about what $200,000?
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes, there is about $200,000. I just wanted to be clear.....
President Greenbaum: After you encumber that $200,000, the balance in the open space fund is what?
Mrs. Jenkins: Is, as what you were saying.
President Greenbaum: A million dollars.
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Is there any other comments or questions?
Mr. Rattner: I think the one thing that the Highlands did give us is, it gave us some breathing room. With the open space and why we did some of the things in the way that we did it was to stay ahead of development because we had to compete with some very valuable property that once it was lost, it was lost forever. Now with the Highlands, not that we are going to stop the open space tax, not that we are going to stop the program but since we do have a budget problem, we do have a debt that was generated. I didn’t even realize it was that much until you worked it up.
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes, wasn’t that incredible?
Mr. Rattner: Based on all the open space that is outside of the fund, that is a prudent a way moving forward yet doesn’t disturb the fact that we have the open space trust and that we have enough money and we will continue to have enough money to continue our plans going into the future. We did accumulate over $1 million beyond what we even committed to at this point. So we have enough funds probably for the....definitely for the next year.
President Greenbaum: Okay, let’s......Mr. Tepper, are you in favor?
Mr. Tepper: Yes.
Mr. Buell: Yes.
Mr. Biondi: Yes.
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
Mr. Rattner: Yes.
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Sherry, assuming those two... this might be a hard question for you answer. Assuming those two issues have now been decided, can you give me an approximate as to where we are in terms of the increase which we are going to see?
Mrs. Jenkins: I think if you just include the first three because I think number three we are going to have to do as well obviously. If you follow the appeal memo that I sent out, that will bring us to 7.28 tax points.
President Greenbaum: Okay, 7.28 tax points.
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes.
President Greenbaum: So it is 7.28 cents per 100 assessed value. Most of it being in the reserve for uncollected taxes.
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes.
President Greenbaum: To deal with the tax appeal.
Mr. Biondi: Seven point two eight isn’t bad.
President Greenbaum: No, not considering we just raised the reserve for uncollected taxes by six cents.
Mr. Biondi: That is excellent.
Mrs. Jenkins: We started with 3.8. So once you add those couple things and then the money we take from open space obviously helps.
President Greenbaum: Okay. The next item then is the approval to insert the additional $66,000 required to defend the tax appeals. I assume there is no further discussion needed on that and that everyone is in favor that is sitting here. Is that correct? Is anyone opposed or is anyone abstaining?
Mr. Rattner: I think it is important that we put enough money in there because even though we have a lot of tax appeals, we know we have a certain amount of liability. I think we have to vigorously defend each one.
President Greenbaum: Yes, that is for sure. Okay, so everyone is in favor of that. We have five votes. We have six votes here. Alright, the next item is the request of the Budd Lake Rescue Squad for the 5 ½ % above the 4 ½ % which was requested by the Administration. Is everyone in favor? We are talking about approximately $6,000. Is that right?
Mrs. Jenkins: I didn’t actually see the request on that Rob. I know that they were going to make something, that they were going to put in another request. I haven’t seen anything.
President Greenbaum: It was 5 ½% on top of...in total they were looking for 10% increase over last year. They got 4 ½ then they made their compelling case that they needed 10.
Mr. Rattner: The contribution was in the $100,000’s last year wasn’t it? So maybe it was less than six.
President Greenbaum: It maybe, I don’t know what it was but....in total it is a 10% increase.
Mrs. Jenkins: I have it with me. What are you questioning Steve?
Mr. Rattner: What was last year’s contribution?
Mr. Buell: It was about $6,000 I think total, an increase above what the Mayor......
Mr. Rattner: Was it, they had $120,000....okay $6,000 that’s right. Okay, that’s right, you don’t have to look it up.
President Greenbaum: Any comments, questions?
Mrs. Jenkins: Last year’s contribution was $63,500. Just so you know.
Mr. Buell: Just a clarification point on the Flanders Rescue Squad.....
President Greenbaum: We are not there yet.
Mr. Buell: Oh, okay.
President Greenbaum: Budd Lake, we will get to Flanders. Mr. Tepper, are you in favor?
Mr. Tepper: Yes.
Mr. Buell: Yes.
Mr. Biondi: Yes.
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
Mr. Rattner: Yes.
President Greenbaum: I am in favor as well. Next item is the, I don’t even see it on here. So we will get to it now Mr. Buell which is the Flanders. Flanders had requested approximately $26,000 over what they had received last year, correct?
Mr. Buell: That is correct.
President Greenbaum: We had discussed, I believe, giving them $21,000 and change. Sherry, do you have the exact number?
Mrs. Jenkins: They got $17,850 plus... I think it was about $4,000. So it is close to $21,000.
President Greenbaum: $21,480. Your argument Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Well, as I said last time, we are adding a third ambulance. We are increasing their fleet by a third. When you look at the funding at Budd Lake and at Flanders per run, there is no comparison. Flanders is getting 60%, approximately 60% of what Budd Lake is doing, and doing 89% of the amount of work that they are doing in terms of number of actual ambulance runs. I have analyzed the figures at Flanders obviously being a part of this at this point in time. They do need $26,150 at a minimum in order to operate. Now saying that
$32,050 and $21,070 of that is approximately $6,000 or $5,500 of that $26,150 is a two, one time issue. One is a training issue and the other is the fact they had to stock the third ambulance.
President Greenbaum: Oh, so you mean we can cut out that cost next year.
Mr. Buell: Next year that is a figure that you could cut out as I had talked to Sherry about because once you stock an ambulance it is stocked and it would just be a matter of replacement.
Mr. Tepper: What about the training?
President Greenbaum: Do you think Flanders is going to come back next year and tell us that they don’t have a need for those dollars anymore? Okay, Mr. Buell has put on the table increasing Flanders to $26,150 above the Administration’s recommendation.
Mr. Tepper: You mean total, not an incremental increase of $26,150?
President Greenbaum: Total.
Mrs. Jenkins: Including the normal 4% that we usually?
President Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Biondi: They are already at $21,000 is that correct?
Mr. Tepper: $21,400.
Mr. Biondi: It is a $5,000 increase.
President Greenbaum: It is a $5, 000 increase over what Sherry probably already has in the tentative budget.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Tepper?
Mr. Biondi: Can we assume it is a one time deal?
Mr. Buell: It is a one time deal, John, in terms of the $32,050 was the one time training thing to have that one time training to bring all the First Responders up to....
Mr. Biondi: Do they have to repeat the training again next year?
Mr. Buell: No.
President Greenbaum: John, you can assume it is not a one time deal. There will be other needs next year.
Mr. Biondi: I am sure there will but I am talking about this year.
Mr. Buell: Well, they would have to come in and justify it next year.
President Greenbaum: You know what, it’s incredibly difficult to turn down a rescue squad when the most important thing that we do up here is provide police, fire and rescue services.
Mr. Tepper: Give them what you stated and I concur with that in that it is very hard to say no. So will I say yes.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell is abstaining.
Mr. Biondi: Yes, based on as many times as they have taken me out of my house, yes.
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
Mr. Rattner: Maybe you should move and we can cut expenses.
Mr. Tepper: Steve, you’re on a roll tonight.
Mr. Rattner: This is the problem why we have high taxes. Now you know.
Mr. Biondi: I will move in with you, I’m moving in with you.
Mr. Tepper: That would be worth watching.
Mr. Rattner: There are a couple of things. If you make a mistake, you have to make the mistake on the side of safety. If you dial 911 you want somebody there immediately that is trained with the best equipment. We don’t have much of a choice. In the whole scheme of things, it doesn’t mean that much.
Mr. Tepper: It is fifty cents a household.
President Greenbaum: I will say yes as well. So that will be increased.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, no more money for anybody else.
Mrs. Labow: Can I say something at this point? What do you mean? I have everybody saying no. I have John and John saying no.
Mr. Biondi: No, you can’t.
President Greenbaum: Go ahead.
Mrs. Labow: Can we put on the workshop in the future to discuss if we want to continue funding the first aid squads the way we do with the rent thing. I really feel there should be a value attached to how many calls that they go out.
Mr. Biondi: That is for another time.
Mrs. Labow: I know I am asking to put it on the workshop.
President Greenbaum: I will put it on the workshop.
Mrs. Labow: Yes, can we evaluate that because I think there is a better way to do it.
President Greenbaum: Absolutely, we will put it on a workshop.
Mr. Biondi: We will do that in January.
Mr. Rattner: Yes, in January.
President Greenbaum: January 2008. No, seriously Colleen, I will put it on the workshop within the month.
Mr. Biondi: The first workshop in January.
Mr. Rattner: Wait a minute, you’re another one. Didn’t you go for a ride in one this year?
Mrs. Labow: Yes I did. I got a ride in the ambulance and I.....
Mr. Tepper: No, no, she now uses the Fire Department.
President Greenbaum: Colleen, I am going to put it on the first workshop in September.
Mrs. Labow: That sounds good.
President Greenbaum: Okay, after the summer, before the budget and we have a lot of issues to deal with.
Mr. Rattner: That gives them enough time to get all their ducks in a row too.
President Greenbaum: Yes, first workshop in September. The next issue is the Building Department. Does anyone have a recommendation? Mr. Dorsey, I would ask for your counsel here in terms of how we should deal with this issue in light of..............
Mr. Dorsey: Well, that is a recommendation in itself.
President Greenbaum: In closed session, so we will adjourn to closed session to deal with this issue. We need to resolve all the issues this evening. The next issue is how to resolve the phone and vehicle fuel budget, Sherry.
Mrs. Jenkins: You know I did the best I could to come up with a number. As I say always, if I knew where those were going to be, I probably wouldn’t be in this job. The phone, we literally haven’t made a payment to Verizon because we have an audit right now going on so I have no idea when the phone bills are going to come out and fuel I did the recap and as I said I am not going to make the call in terms of whether you can take something out of there or not especially with fuel prices going where they are.
Mr. Rattner: Especially on utilities. I am the one that wanted to push the cuts, especially looking at what other towns and counties have said that they have been able to conserve fuel by doing different methods. However, since that time the fuel costs for all of us have gone up about fifty cents a gallon and with that, I think in the utilities since they can only be used for utilities. We hope that the Administration is going through energy conservation just like each one of us are doing in our homes but just because we conserve more doesn’t mean it is costing any less. I think at this time we can’t afford to run out of gas or something like that before the end of the year. Nobody knows where it is going to peak. I would say we would have to leave it where it is now because things changed that much in the last month.
President Greenbaum: The tentative numbers you have given us include the fuel and phone that were in the budget that was recommended by the Administration?
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Okay, so those numbers weren’t touched it was just a pending tickler item?
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes, I mean I do think there is some saving in terms of the phone, as I said, if they do something with cell phones and what not.
President Greenbaum: I would love to see it.
Mr. Buell: I would too.
Mrs. Jenkins: I think Rick is probably working on that.
Mr. Rattner: We may end up spending it on electric and gas, so we don’t know.
President Greenbaum: How much do we spend on cell phone usage?
Mrs. Jenkins: About $40,000 a year.
Mr. Biondi: How much?
Mrs. Jenkins: $40,000 a year.
Mr. Biondi: Oh........
Mrs. Jenkins: Yup, that is why we had a meeting like I said a couple years ago about it and I know that there is some savings that can be achieved there.
Mr. Biondi: If you could get one company, you would save a lot of money.
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes.
Mr. Buell: Don’t forget to add the fire and rescue to that as well.
President Greenbaum: Colleen.
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Colleen has the floor.
Mrs. Labow: Sherry, a while ago I had spoken to you about that. Verizon offers a 15% discount to municipal employees. Do they give us a discount because the whole municipality is using...
Mr. Jenkins: Not that I am aware of no.
Mrs. Labow: I think that we should look into that because if they are going to offer it to municipal employees they certainly should...
President Greenbaum: You know what we should look into? You should look into everyone being on the same plan buying bulk minutes and save $30,000 a year.
Mr. Biondi: Absolutely.
Mrs. Jenkins: It is really the same plan, it is also who has phones.
President Greenbaum: I don’t want to get bogged down here, let’s move on with our budget discussion. Fleet Maintenance, how much is the administration proposing that we add into the budget for the fleet maintenance non-contract work?
Mrs. Jenkins: You know, Tim is saying he believes we need about another $30,000. I actually think it will probably come out to more than that just based on what we spent so far.
President Greenbaum: What is your recommendation?
Mrs. Jenkins: I thinking we are probably going to need closer to $50,000.
President Greenbaum: Does anyone have any comments, Steve, anything?
Mrs. Labow: Why do you think?
Mr. Rattner: The department head says $30,000 and we are just going to have to watch what we are doing. We just don’t break all the things. I mean the non-contract ones are the things that are out of warranty and we keep buying new vehicles to eliminate it and number two, it’s because of non-maintenance issues.
Mrs. Labow: What is Sherry’s reason for $20,000 more?
President Greenbaum: Well, because she has already seen that number that has come in for the first quarter.
Mrs. Jenkins: We have already spent $35,000 in a quarter. So I just don’t know that $30,000 is going to be enough to cover us for the rest of the year. So my thought is we are probably going to need closer to $50,000 if not maybe more?
Mr. Rattner: Maybe we will have extra money in the utilities and we will transfer out. I am not going to give everything to everybody.
President Greenbaum: Thirty thousand is the number on the table based upon the recommendation of the department head. Is everyone in agreement with that? Six votes in favor? Yes. Okay, the next issue and the last issue I have, it relates to LOSAP. Is there a recommendation from the Administration?
Mrs. Jenkins: I think the policy has really been that we have given them the maximum amount every year. If we continue that policy and we have the same level of participants, we are going to have just enough in the budget. If there is consensus that maybe, you know for a year we are not going to give the maximum then there is more flexibility there. I did do a whole recap for you in terms of what the history has been since the initial contribution.
Mr. Biondi: Why are we giving them the maximum every year? Is there a reason that that has been done?
Mrs. Jenkins: Because it has been discussed and it is done by resolution every year and that has been what has been provided.
Mr. Biondi: What are our options?
Mr. Tepper: What is the percentage this year?
Mrs. Jenkins: You can give them less.
Mr. Tepper: I know you did that report.
Mrs. Jenkins: I actually did a memo for you.
President Greenbaum: We need to see that report.
Mrs. Jenkins: We started with 2001. We gave 2%. 2002 it was 1.5%. 2003 it was 2.4%. 2004 it was 5.2% and 2005.....
Mr. Biondi: Five point two percent?
Mrs. Jenkins: Five point two, yes.
Mr. Tepper: And what was the last one?
Mrs. Jenkins: 2005 was 3.6%.
Mrs. Labow: What is that percentage number on?
Mrs. Jenkins: The Division comes up with that number every year. They send us a Local Finance Notice.
Mrs. Labow: It is 5% of what?
Mrs. Jenkins: It is latched to the previous year contribution.
Mr. Rattner: Cost of living. Two things, number one, just so you know that after the referendum, this town decided to show appreciation to the volunteers and to keep them coming in. What was it, eleven fifty the first year?
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes, exactly.
Mr. Rattner: So what we did is, that we said we would fully fund it for them and each year you are allowed to raise it and DCA says what the cost of living is and that is how much you can increase the contribution. The town just started and we started that route. I don’t remember how we got into that we increase each year but we did. Now it comes up we have a budget issue. When do we have to make the decision how much we fund? Forget about the budget. When do we have to tell DCA, is it early in the year or late in the year?
Mrs. Jenkins: No, it is actually not until the next year. That is the interesting part about it.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, this is what I will propose and I will take the heat on this one for proposing it. Leave the money in the budget what it is. We put in there, I think there was a slight increase over last year that we have in the budget?
Mrs. Jenkins: I put in, I assuming 4%.
Mr. Rattner: No, but it’s in the budget, so were just....
Mrs. Jenkins: It is in there, yes.
Mr. Rattner: We need to review and determine the term if it’s appropriate. If we increase, we take a chance and stay the same. Let’s leave the budget. If the increase goes up the same, we may have to adjust the percentage a little bit because of budgetary matters. For each member it means a couple of dollars in the 401. Obviously, a couple of dollars a year over 30 years grows because we hear the ads all of the time. I think we really have to watch what it is. We want to fund it. We are not really taking a chance because we will have to vote on it next year what the increase, if any, is going to be and that is where we will have our cushion.
Mrs. Jenkins: You can also transfer money in if you decide you do want to give them the maximum.
Mr. Rattner: I realize that but we are not going to have that much money to transfer from......
President Greenbaum: The motion has been made to leave it the way it is.
Mr. Biondi: Can I clarify that? So in actuality we are raising it from 3.6% to 4%.
President Greenbaum: We are not raising it at all...
Mr. Biondi: Yes we are.
Mr. Tepper: We are raising four additional.
Mr. Biondi: It was 3.6% last year.
President Greenbaum: The budget already has it in it.
Mr. Rattner: It doesn’t have the additional.....
Mr. Biondi: It is not approved yet, right?
President Greenbaum: It’s not.
Mr. Biondi: You are actually raising it by .4%.
Mr. Tepper: No, you are raising it by 4%.
Mr. Rattner: The total budget.
Mr. Biondi: Yes.
Mr. Rattner: We don’t know how much we are going to need because if we get a couple new members it is going to be more people who are going to be collecting.
Mr. Tepper: 3.6% last year.
Mr. Biondi: That is what I am saying. We are raising it from 3.6% last year to 4% this year.
President Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Biondi: That is all I wanted to clarify.
President Greenbaum: Okay.
Mr. Biondi: Then we have a budget crisis, why are we raising it?
President Greenbaum: For the exact reasons that Mr. Rattner discussed. If you have additional members you need to have additional funding.
Mr. Biondi: If we don’t have to put it on the books until next year, why don’t we just leave it at 3.6% and worry about it next year?
Mr. Rattner: Because we accrue for it this year.
President Greenbaum: It accrues this year.
Mr. Tepper: It is a liability.
Mr. Rattner: It is earned in the year it is just that we pay it next year. It is one of those accounting things.
President Greenbaum: Is everybody in agreement to leave it the way it has been recommended through the Administration? So that just leaves us with the one issue which we are going to discuss in closed session at the end of the meeting. Other than that.....
Mr. Prill: Two small items. One is, as you are aware, a week and a half a go the Muelbauer house burned down. Because of the condition of the building, it was deemed unsafe. We had to expend approximately $1,000 to have the building taken down. We now have debris on site. The estimated cost to remove that debris is about $6,500. We have filed a claim with the Joint Insurance Fund, so we are hopeful that we will get reimbursed some amount of money but I don’t know exactly how long that may take. I am hoping this is nothing.....
Mr. Dorsey: Was that particular building insured?
Mr. Prill: It was not specifically listed on our schedule of values but we were advised that we do basically have umbrella coverage so that even though it wasn’t specifically listed, it would be covered. At least that is the report from the Fund. So I think we are looking at more of a cash flow issue but I just wanted to make you aware that we have two options. One is to increase the budget by about $7,500 so that we can clean the property up and or, if this is allowable and Sherry would have to advise me on this, if we just took the money out of one of the operating budgets just temporarily and then hopefully get reimbursed by the Fund we would put the money right back into the budget. I think we can do that but....
Mrs. Jenkins: I think you can take it under Buildings and Grounds, I think that is appropriate.
President Greenbaum: What is your other issue Mr. Prill?
Mr. Prill: The other issue is there is an ordinance on the agenda tonight dealing with Mayor and Council salaries. The ordinance is written to be retroactive back to January 1st decreasing salaries. If there is any thought and I don’t know whether there is, to have it not retroactive back to January 1st but to make it effective upon adoption of the ordinance then we would have to add money into the budget to cover Mayor and Council’s salaries up to the point the ordinance is adopted, if that makes sense?
President Greenbaum: The intent of the Council is to make it retroactive to January 1st.
Mr. Prill: Okay.
Mr. Biondi: I have a question on the Muelbauer building.
President Greenbaum: First Mr. Buell had his hand up and then Mr. Tepper did and then Mr. Biondi.
Mr. Biondi: Sorry.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I would like to come back to a question that we answered two weeks ago at the budget hearing and that is the $10,000 that we cut from Buildings and Grounds, specifically from Turkey Brook Park. In reviewing that and looking at the dollars that we are contributing to the sports teams at $13,500, I personally would rather see the money, if we are going to cut $10,000 and I think we should, cut the $10,000 out of the team’s reimbursements rather than the maintenance of Turkey Brook Park. Simply because I am now hearing, that’s where I was when I was late, I was at a Turkey Brook Development Committee meeting. The status of our Turkey Brook Park and our other parks are in dire shape.
President Greenbaum: Hold on to that thought. I want to get back to what Mr. Prill put on the table. Mr. Tepper, does your question relate to what Mr. Prill...
Mr. Tepper: I will relate to Mr. Prill’s first and then I have a comment to Mr. Buell’s....
President Greenbaum: I am not going to discuss Mr. Buell’s until after Mr. Biondi asks.....
Mr. Tepper: Okay, Mr. Prill’s point is I guess, one of the questions is, if the money we are looking at is roughly $7,500, rather than looking to the Fund, are we not going to the individuals and/or their insurance that caused the fire?
President Greenbaum: I don’t think Mr. Prill was limiting his discussion to the insurance dollars simply to resolve an outstanding....
Mr. Tepper: Short term funding?
President Greenbaum: Yes, an outstanding liability which needs to get resolved irrespective of how we are either going to get paid back or we are not going to get paid back.
Mr. Tepper: Alright, thank you.
Mr. Biondi: Thank you. Are we going to use that debris as fill for the DPW Building like we did for the Municipal Building? Can we reutilize it?
Mr. Prill: There is a fair amount of stone over there. I don’t know, possibly but I don’t think so. We do have the ground up concrete from the Old Municipal Building that is going to be used as a base.
Mr. Biondi: If we needed more you could probably use that.
Mr. Prill: Correct.
President Greenbaum: The proposal has been put on the table. Mrs. Labow did you have something? I would like to put the proposal on the table and give you the floor first if that is okay? Does it relate to the Muelbauer house and the funding issue?
Mrs. Labow: Yes, and a little bit of the extension for Charter Farms the other abandoned building.
President Greenbaum: Well, the proposal has been put on the table by Mr. Prill to add an additional $7,500 to the budget with respect to the Muelbauer property. What is Council’s pleasure?
Mr. Tepper: I have a question, if we already accepted the budget last week what would we have done?
President Greenbaum: The money would have to be found from within the budget.
Mrs. Labow: Buildings and Grounds probably.
Mr. Rattner: Put in emergency appropriations.
Mr. Tepper: In the expectation the money is going to come back in, that is how it is funded. So in the interim, you’re increasing taxes....
Mr. Biondi: It would go back into Buildings and Grounds.
Mr. Tepper: No my question is, are we going to increase taxes based on the total budget regardless of how it is going to be recovered?
Mr. Prill: I think the way to look at it, if the budget were to be increased by the $7,500 when the....hopefully the insurance money comes back in, that is going to reimburse that. So there would be that money available at the end of the year which would lapse into surplus. If we take it out of the operating budget, then the insurance money coming in will just go back into the operating budget as a balancing cash flow.
President Greenbaum: My concept would be to take $7,500 additional out of surplus put it into the appropriate account within the budget and to earmark any monies which come back in either by way of restitution or by way of insurance dollars that immediately go back into surplus. Can we do that?
Mr. Biondi: Is that legal Sherry?
Mrs. Jenkins: Yes, that is legal.
President Greenbaum: I agree.
Mr. Biondi: That’s a plan.
President Greenbaum: Steve?
Mr. Rattner: No.
President Greenbaum: Okay, everyone else? That is the way it is being done. I am putting Mr. Buell’s issue back on the table. Mr. Buell has indicated that he would like to restore $10,000 which was taken out of Buildings and Grounds and take that money from the donation to the sports clubs.
Mr. Tepper: If we do that, we are doing the exact opposite of what we just proposed and giving back in effect to the organizations that don’t need the funding the monies because effectively what you are doing is maintaining a soccer field and a football fields and the lacrosse fields and the issue to begin with is that soccer and baseball as an example don’t need the monies. They are going to sports that do which were hockey, lacrosse and football and you’re effectively giving back the money to maintain the fields of the one sport that gets the most money and least needs the money. I don’t agree with it.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second for Mr. Buell’s proposal? It dies. Mrs. Labow, you had some issue related to Charters Farm?
Mrs. Labow: Yes. I am just really concerned by the fact that we did lose the Muelbauer building however, you say that, for the kids.
Mr. Tepper: The historic building.
Mrs. Labow: The historic building and going by Charters Farm, that is the one where there is an abandoned building there now and the graffiti that is all over that building is unbelievable. I know the windows are all boarded up but I strongly am concerned that there will be kids going into that building now and we might have another fire and we got off lucky last time that no one was hurt even though it hurt us in the budget. Is there any kind of plans for that building? I know it isn’t totally settled at this time but it is still a liability issue. Do you know which building I am talking about Mr. Prill?
Mr. Rattner: Under New Business, I am going to want to talk about the whole situation with that and other things because we are having a certain pattern of, I guess the best way I can put it is, destructive kids going around doing a lot of damage to a lot of different areas in town. I was going to bring that up near the end of the meeting.
President Greenbaum: Are there any other budget issues other than the one involving the Building Department? Okay, so at the end of the meeting during our executive session, we will discuss the budget issue in closed session and we will have to come out of closed session and give Sherry direction in terms of how to deal with that issue with the budget. Other than that, we are all set with the budget at this point in time.
Mrs. Labow: One more question on the budget. Jim still brought up a really good point with the fact that Jim Lynch’s budget has been cut by $10,000......
Mr. Biondi: It’s over with. We voted on it.
Mrs. Labow: We voted on that part,
Mr. Biondi: There was no second, forget it.
President Greenbaum: Well, it is okay. Colleen has the floor.
Mrs. Labow: Should we consider adding more money in his budget for the......
President Greenbaum: Your proposal is to add and additional $10,000 into.....
Mrs. Labow: Split it $5,000 at least to help out. Obviously, there is a need and I agree with that.
President Greenbaum: So the proposal is to put $5,000 back into the Buildings and Grounds budget. Is there a second?
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Is there anything additional by way of discussion that needs to be added or basically has the discussion already taken place? I think it has already taken place. Do you have anything to add?
Mrs. Labow: I think it is important, we need to.....
President Greenbaum: It only needs a majority vote at this point because we had cut it and we are looking to restore.
Mr. Tepper: No.
Mr. Buell: Yes.
Mr. Biondi: No.
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
Mr. Rattner: No.
President Greenbaum: That kills it. Okay, that is it for the budget. We will discuss that one remaining issue during closed session.
Questions on Bill List?
President Greenbaum: The next item for discussion is Questions on the Bill List. Does anyone have questions for the Administration to be answered at the end of the meeting? Seeing none, Mr. Russell did you have anything?
Mr. Russell: Yes I do.
President Greenbaum: Okay. Do you want to just identify the issues so that they can be addressed? You have to get up to the microphone. I apologize.
Mr. Russell: On page #11, we have a $14,170.38 for a rebuilt channel monster.
President Greenbaum: Okay, what else do you have Mr. Russell?
Mr. Russell: That was it.
President Greenbaum: Okay, we will have an answer to that at the end of the meeting.
Mrs. Labow: This is the channel monster. It is right here.
President Greenbaum: On to approval of previous Minutes. Mr. Rattner do you want to move the Minutes?
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
Mar 7, 2006 CS
Present: Mr. Tepper, Mr. Buell, Mr. Biondi, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Greenbaum, Mrs. Labow (7:10)
Absent: Mr. Perkins
March 14, 2006 CS
Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Tepper, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Greenbaum
Absent: Mr. Rattner, Mr. Biondi
April 4, 2006, CS
Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow (8:40 pm), Mr. Tepper, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner
Absent: Mr. Biondi
April 11, 2006 CS
Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Tepper, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner
Absent: Mr. Biondi
Mr. Rattner: I move the minutes of March 7th Closed Session, March 14th Closed Session, April 4th and April 11th Closed Session.
Mrs. Labow: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Is there any discussion, comments or deletions? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Rattner abstained on March 14th and Mr. Biondi
abstained on March 14th, April 4th, April 11th.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS / ORGANIZATIONS
1. Letter received April 17, 2006, from Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center regarding Comedy Show on Friday, May 12, 2006.
2. Letter received April 20, 2006, from Mark Wisnewski regarding opposing lights at Flanders Park.
3. E-mail received April 20, 2006, from Donna Ghetti regarding condition of Mine Hill Road.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS
4. Resolution received April 6, 2006, from Town of Boonton regarding Implementation of Cablevision’s unilateral determination regarding digital cable service requirements.
5. Ordinance received April 10, 2006, from Allamuchy Township regarding Land Use.
6. Resolution received April 11, 2006, from Township of Parsippany Troy Hills regarding support of the Re-introduction of Legislation to Exempt Municipal Clerks from Penalties for Open Public Records Act Violations under certain circumstances.
7. Notice received April 17, 2006, from Town of Hackettstown regarding Public Hearing on the Adoption of an Amendment to the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan of the Master Plan of the Town of Hackettstown.
8. Resolution received April 18, 2006, from Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding Replacement of County Bridge No. 1136, County Route 619 (Hillside Avenue) in the Township of Mount Olive.
9. Resolution received April 19, 2006, from Township of Hanover regarding support and endorsing the adoption of Assembly, No. 1425 – Municipal Cap Law Relief.
10. Resolution received April 20, 2006, from Township of Hanover regarding opposing Cablevision’s Digital Cable Service requirements.
11. Ordinance received April 21, 2006, from Borough of Netcong regarding Land Use.
DOT / DEP / LOI
12. Letter received April 10, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Transportation regarding Local Aid and Economic Development.
13. Letter received April 20, 2006, from Kashi Consulting Company, Inc. regarding Site Plan and Limit of Disturbance Line Table for Princeton Alliance Church Block 7000, Lot 87 (1 River Road).
14. Letter received April 20, 2006, from Environmental Technology Inc. regarding request for special Activity Transition Area Waiver-Individual Permit, Applicant: Maroon Abraham Block 3001, Lot 2 (8 Third Street)
15. Letter received April 21, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Area of Concern – Budd Lake Tire, Block 3207, Lot 7 (150 Route 46)
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
16. Seminar information received April 10, 2006, from New Jersey State league of Municipalities regarding Mayor’s 3rd Annual Property Tax Summit – “Tax Relief Now or Never.”
17. Mayors Fax Advisory received April 21, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Voter Approvals for School Budgets Plummet.
18. Legislative Bulletin received April 21, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Bills that were enacted as Public Laws of 2006-2007.
19. Letter received April 20, 2006, from Nusbaum, Stein, Golstein, Bronstein & Kron regarding Application for Highlands Applicability and Water Quality Management Plan for Mount Olive Community Bible Church. Block 7900, Lot 3 (200 Flanders Drakestown Road).
20. Information received April 13, 2006, from Rutgers regarding Food Innovation Program.
21. Letter received April 21, 2006, from Richard T. Burke regarding Notice of Zoning Board of Adjustment application, Block 3103, Lot 4 (87 Netcong Road)
22. Letter received April 21, 2006, from Cablevision regarding Municipal Consent Application – CSC TKR, Inc. d/b/a Cablevision of Morris.
LETTERS FROM LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVES
23. E-mail received April 7, 2006, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding Air noise concerns in Northern New Jersey and Creation of more than 200,000 new jobs in March.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Greenbaum: There are 23 pieces of correspondence. Does anyone wish to discuss any particular piece of correspondence?
Mr. Rattner: Again, on there at the end of the meeting I would like to discuss the email received from the Mine Hill Road resident.
President Greenbaum: Okay. Are there any other comments? Seeing none, we will move on.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING
President Greenbaum: Chief, this is dying tonight pending the introduction of the new revised correct? Okay, so we are voting down at the recommendation of the Administration. We are voting down Ordinance #14-2006 which the public hearing on that was kept open to today’s date. There were revisions which are going to be made to the Ordinance and a reintroduction done at another meeting.
Mr. Biondi: Is that the establishing of the police department?
President Greenbaum: It is just a revision of that ordinance.
Mr. Biondi: In other words, he is out.
Mrs. Labow: Big saving in the budget.
President Greenbaum: Since we held the public hearing open, is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this ordinance? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Ordinance #14-2006 entitled:
Ord. #14-2006 An Ordinance Establishing a Police Department within the Township of Mount Olive.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you, Mr. President. I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #14-2006.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Greenbaum: Discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Defeated
President Greenbaum: Ordinance #14-2006 is defeated. The next ordinance for public hearing is Ordinance #15-2006 entitled:
Ord. #15- 2006 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Fixing Rates of Compensation for Elected Officials.
President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this ordinance? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Mrs. Labow, could you please move this for adoption.
Mrs. Labow: Then we get to discuss it after we move it?
President Greenbaum: Yes we do.
Mrs. Labow: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #15-2006.
Mr. Rattner: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded discussion? Mrs. Labow.
Mrs. Labow: I think we were supposed to put a sunset date in this?
President Greenbaum: It is only for this year.
Mrs. Labow: It doesn’t say that.
President Greenbaum: We adopt an ordinance every year related to salaries.
Mrs. Labow: Not for Council.
President Greenbaum: No, not for Council?
Mr. Rattner: No.
Mr. Tepper: So you can introduce an ordinance next year raising it if you so desire.
Mrs. Labow: Well, that is the whole thing. Do we want to do that? Do we want to just, make this for this year only?
Mr. Dorsey: No, we always make them open ended so that you change it when there is a change in circumstances and we see fit to do so. You may decide in August you want to work for free.
Mrs. Labow: There you go. I am working for free this year.
President Greenbaum: Any other discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Ordinance #15-2006 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law.
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.
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Prohibiting Parking on Drakesdale Road From 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on June 10, 2006, with a Rain Date of June 24, 2006.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Amending Resolution #59, Adopted 3/14/06, Authorizing a Service Contract with Zenon Environmental for Sewer Filter Membranes at Wyndham Pointe.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract for Cleaning Services of the Municipal Building and Senior Citizens Center to Allan Industries, Inc., in the Amount of $37,947.03.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Change Order in the Contract with Suburban Consulting Engineers, Inc. for Soil Remediation Activity on Charters Farm Property.
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Lease of Lots 8 and 25, Block 5300 for Farm Purposes.
6. Resolution Determining the Form and Other Details of $3,695,000 General Obligation Bonds, Consisting of $3,279,000 General Improvement Bonds and $416,000 Water utility Bonds of the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey and Providing for Their Sale.
7. Resolution Providing for the Combination of Certain Issues of General Improvement Bonds of the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey into a Single Issue of Bonds Aggregating $3,279,000 in Principal Amount.
8. Resolution Providing for the Combination of Certain Issues of Water Utility Bonds of the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey into a Single Issue of Bonds Aggregating $416,000 in Principal Amount.
President Greenbaum: Does anyone wish to have any of the eight resolutions on the Consent Resolutions Agenda pulled and put on the Non Consent Resolutions Agenda? Seeing none, I would ask Mr. Biondi to please move the eight resolutions on the Consent Resolutions Agenda.
Mr. Biondi: Mr. President I move Consent Resolution #1-8.
Mr. Tepper: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on any of the eight? Seeing none, I close it to the public any Council comment or discussion? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
President Greenbaum: There is one resolution on the Non Consent Resolutions Agenda:
9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Regarding Lighting of Russ Nagle Baseball Field.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell, do you want to move this resolution.
Mr. Buell: I move Resolution #9.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second?
Mr. Rattner: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard? Seeing none.....Anne, you have to come up and state your name and address again.
Anne Wisnewski, Watson Way, Flanders: Is there a little bit of confusion about why we are discussing basically the same thing that I believe, Mr. Buell referred to as amendments the last time this was discussed. I don’t understand why it has come up again? To me the impression that I got was that it failed because it was specific to Russ Nagel and that the Jack Kroft Organization was not open to anything that wasn’t specific to that field so it confuses me that suddenly that it opened with less specific wording and along those lines. Some of the things that I have heard from people that work at Town Hall, such as, they have taken an application for a permit to install used lights that have been donated from another town. Also, comments at the last Recreation Advisory Committee that if they had their permit signed today, we would have the money no problem. So to me, if any of these things are true and there are used lights waiting in the wings or there is money just waiting for a signed permit or a resolution, effectively what you are voting on here is a Russ Nagel specific resolution. We have been talking about two to three years to raise funds. Well we have a chance find a more suitable location. That is all well and good, if that is all true. Then you are voting on what it says. If there are used lights, waiting in the wings and there is money. I saw a part in the paper today about corporate sponsors and big money waiting to go. To me that just says it is not going to take two to three years. Maybe it is going to take two weeks? So you know wording it like this on that stuff it is reality. I just want to put out there that maybe you are not voting on this generic field resolution but you are voting to pay about $50,000 for the installation of lighting Russ Nagel Park. The other thing I wanted to mention was some clarification of some wording of this resolution. I would like to know who would be responsible for determining whether or not a more suitable field has been located.
Mr. Dorsey: The Township Council.
President Greenbaum: Township Council.
Mrs. Wisnewski: The Council, okay. They will also be responsible for determining what is the latest technology. That would be the Council as well?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes.
Mr. Tepper: It would be put to the appropriate committees.
Mrs. Wisnewski: Okay so that would go through a process where, if there are some sort of used lights somewhere they will be....
Mr. Rattner: Would it be the Township Engineer?
Mr. Dorsey: No, it would be probably based upon recommendation.
President Greenbaum: It doesn’t talk about used lights. It talks about raising $100,000 worth of funds to be utilized.
Mrs. Wisnewski: Correct and that is the wording of the resolution.
President Greenbaum: That right, that’s with the approval......
Mrs. Wisnewski: If Jack Kroft is running around Town Hall with a permit, saying they want to install these lights, to me if that is a reality. I would like to know that somebody is going to look at that technology and say whether or not that is the latest technology and I just wanted to know who would be that determining body and you are saying it is the Council.
Mr. Dorsey: The Township Council would be the determining body. It would probably make that determination based upon recommendation either by the Township Engineer or and engineer in that field.
Mrs. Wisnewski: Thank you.
Mr. Rattner: Yes, on that. Reading over the Planning Board approval, the representations were made by the organizations, by their experts or people who know the equipment, about what equipment was going to be used and that it was the latest technology. So their approval is based on that. That was codified by the Planning Board. So I think they can’t go back. It has to be at least what they presented otherwise their approval wouldn’t be any good.
Mrs. Wisnewski: That was six years ago. Okay, that was current as of six years ago.
Mr. Rattner: Things are getting better yes.
Mrs. Wisnewski: So is that what you are saying it is.......
Mr. Rattner: That is the base, now it is saying the latest technology. I know that technology keeps moving forward because light pollution has been a major issue not just here but all over whether it be in cities, in all other areas and the building standards have changed. I sit on the County Planning Board and a couple years ago at the County, it actually sent the town the new technology in the lighting because we were looking at different applications that were coming to the Planning Board and we wanted to make sure that everything was done to eliminate or at least to reduce spillover as much as possible and the glow. If you notice you go out on a plane now you look down, you notice that a lot of the glows, you can tell the difference between lights that are ten years old, fifteen years old and stuff that is relatively new. It is that orange, amber type color it is not as bright verses the very bright light. So this is very, very plain and we use our Township Engineer to make sure that it is the proper equipment.
Mrs. Wisnewski: By bringing up the Planning Board decision from 2000, you’re saying that that is the specification that this is....
Mr. Rattner: No, that was the base minimum, based on the technology at that time and they gave proofs why there can be called spillover. We are going even further and saying it has to be the latest technology because I would imagine whether it would be Musco lights or anybody else, they have come up with newer versions over the last couple of years because standards, site standards especially have changed that are requiring it.
President Greenbaum: The answer to your question is that this Township Council, I can’t speak for another Township Council, we will require a demonstration that whatever lights are being put in are of the latest highest quality. Not necessarily, I don’t know that the lighting has changed since, I assume it has. So what we are talking about then is going to be lighting which best protects the surrounding houses.
Mrs. Wisnewski: So it is not like the 2000 lights?
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Greenbaum: Correct. Anyone else from the public? I close it to the public. Anyone from the Council?
Mrs. Labow: I would like to amend the resolution to include that it would be, the lighting and anything moving forward, would be subject to the rules and regulations of the recreation master plan because we don’t know what that is going to end up being at this time. I don’t want to mislead anybody and the baseball organization turn around and say we can’t do that now because our recreation master plan changed. I would like it to be right up front that this is subject to that.
President Greenbaum: There has been a motion on the floor to amend the resolution to include language that this resolution will be subject to the recreation master plan when adopted. Is there a second?
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Any discussion on the amendment beyond Colleen’s discussion? Roll Call on the amendment please.
ROLL CALL: Defeated Mr. Buell, Mr. Biondi, Mrs. Labow, voted yes
Mr. Tepper, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Greenbaum, voted no
President Greenbaum: That motion fails.
Mr. Buell: Yes, the report we have, the eight page report, on page I guess, eight, they talk about for either park a fee policy should be established, should be developed to cover the operation and the maintenance of the lights. I think we should amend this to include that.
Mrs. Labow: That is what I wanted to do....
Mr. Buell: These lights are going to be, let’s face it, these lights are going to be used six nights a week. They are going to start the game at 6:00 pm at night and they are going to have the second game start at 8:00 pm and we are going to have lights down there every single night of the week.
Mr. Tepper: Are you going to recover for the basketball lights?
Mr. Buell: I think we should.
President Greenbaum: Well, let’s keep the discussion through the Chair. Motion has been put on the table to amend, to include for a fee for use and maintenance.
Mrs. Labow: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been seconded. Any discussion?
Mrs. Labow: That is why I wanted to have it subject to the recreation master plan because if they do decide to have something like that....
Mr. Dorsey: It is quite different.
President Greenbaum: I agree.
Mr. Rattner: We set fees all the time for almost everything. We set a fee for flushing the toilet. We set a fee for basically watering your lawn. We stopped it from the beach. We can do that at anytime and I think when the master plan comes together we are going to be looking at all recreational programs in totality, figuring out where the costs are, where we can get it reimbursed and to do it piece meal doesn’t make any sense to me at all. We can do that anytime we want with about 30 days notice.
Mr. Buell: Well, except in this particular case, I think we should say these lights are approved with expectation that there will be a thing that we are considering that.
President Greenbaum: The motion is on the table. Is there any other discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Defeated Mr. Tepper, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Greenbaum, vote no.
Mr. Biondi, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Buell, votes yes.
President Greenbaum: I am not saying that I am not in favor of that. I am just saying that at this particular point in time with the status of where the resolution is I don’t believe it is appropriate to put that in. At some point in time it may. When we get closer to the reality of the lights being put in, it may require us to look at that issue at that time. I believe the motivation, in terms of being up front with the groups, they should be aware of the fact that there will be likely be a usage fee related to the maintenance and use of those lights. They should also be aware of the fact that if it is the only lit field in town that it will be utilized by other groups as well, whether it is soccer, so long as it is an approved use through the recreation department.
Mr. Biondi: I think we need to be very specific in that area.
President Greenbaum: The resolution is still on the table, Mr. Rattner.
Mr. Rattner: When I got the motion, something changed that I didn’t understand and that was that the lights would be turned of by 9:00 pm during the week and let it go until 10:00 pm on the weekend. I didn’t remember discussing this. It says Monday through Thursday because before the last person said 10:00 and that I thought was a reasonable time.
Mr. Rattner (Cont’d): I just looked at this and I think by doing this you are really eliminating the lights being used for a couple months, most of the months that are going to be baseball season, when you realize that sunset through, you know in May, by time you get into May, you are already talking at 8:15 pm. You are talking June, you are talking 8:30 pm to 8:45 pm. July about the same and then it starts shortening again. The maximum I see that the lights are going to be used is 15-20 minutes and then when you look at the fact that you have to cut off the game before the lights get turned off because you don’t want to everybody leaving the parking lot and all of a sudden the lights go off. I am hoping we will get a timer or something, that at 10:00 pm they go off. So there isn’t any excuse and I got all the sunsets through September – October and to me it didn’t make any sense at all. If they are playing in July, you know in July where the day is already getting shorter, it is 8:31 pm, May it is 8:19 pm. Why even have the lights on the field?
President Greenbaum: Well, Steve, you have to remember that the justification for the lights was because of the sun setting, not necessarily it becoming dark. It wasn’t to add additional games but to finish the games which have been started. That is what the presentation was since I have been sitting up here. It was a fair balance between what the baseball club came to us with and what the residents of the area. Even though the sun may set at 8:30 pm the baseball club was, saying by 7:00 pm it is already getting too dark to utilize the field because of the fact that the sun is at a different angle so on and so forth.
Mr. Rattner: At that time, as long as the sun is up, Colleen, remember on Sunday I asked you to look at how bright it was?
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
Mr. Rattner: That was already 15 minutes past sundown. So the problem is at sunset....
President Greenbaum: What is your point Steve? Are you making a motion to amend?
Mr. Rattner: I am making a motion to go back to 10:00 pm because I think at 9:00 pm....
President Greenbaum: Is the motion to amend the resolution to take it back to 10:00 Monday through Thursday? Is there a second?
Mr. Tepper: I will second it.
President Greenbaum: It is moved and seconded. Is there any further discussion?
Mrs. Labow: I would like to make a discussion. I think that I said a million times that I like the idea of lights on the field. I like to go and enjoy an evening game. I think we have to find that fine compromise, where we have the residents who are going to have the noise and the lights every night of the week if we allow it to be until 10:00 pm at night and by having Monday through Thursday at 9:00 pm, I think 9:00 pm is a good time for all of the children to be going home and going to bed when they have school the next day. Especially the high school kids they get up, their bus comes at 6:30 am in the morning, and 9:00 pm is late enough for a game, Monday-Thursday for a game. Friday and Saturday until 10:00 pm and there should be at least one day of the week, where at least the residents at least, don’t have all the noise and the confusion and everything else where they can just have a peaceful family day.
President Greenbaum: Any further discussion? Roll Call please.
Mrs. Labow: We are voting to change it to 10:00 pm Monday – Thursday?
President Greenbaum: Yes. So there are two yes votes.
Mrs. Lashway: Three yes votes.
ROLL CALL: Passed
President Greenbaum: The resolution now is to have the lights on until 10:00 pm. Is that seven days a week Steve?
Mr. Rattner: I don’t have a problem with the six days a week. I would have liked the Jewish Sabbath but you know I could handle this one.
President Greenbaum: Jewish Sabbath being what?
Mr. Biondi: Friday until Sunday most likely.
Mr. Rattner: What was that a test?
President Greenbaum: No, Monday through Thursday.
Mr. Dorsey: Now wait a minute the resolution reads Monday through Thursday at 10:00 pm now, Friday and Saturday. So it is really Monday through Saturday at 10:00 pm.
Mr. Rattner: Right, Sunday a day off...
Mr. Biondi: Sunday a day off, right.
President Greenbaum: That is the resolution that is on the table.
Mr. Rattner: I think that is reasonable.
President Greenbaum: Is there any further discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed with the exception, Mrs. Labow abstained and Mr. Greenbaum voted no.
Mrs. Labow: I am going to abstain, I am not voting on this. I think we have to be, more fair to the residents
President Greenbaum: I was prepared to vote in favor of this resolution but because of the time changes, I am going to vote no but it passes.
President Greenbaum: We are up to Motions.
1. Approval of Raffle Application #2136 for St. Judes Church.
Mr. Tepper: Mr. President, I move that we approve Raffle Application #2136 for St. Judes.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second.
Mr. Biondi: Second.
President Greenbaum: Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
2. Bill List.
President Greenbaum: Do you have an answer to Mr. Russell’s question?
Mr. Prill: That particular invoice includes the purchase of a new motor and rebuilding the channel monster which is a pump station grinder. A little bit on the lighter side, just to lighten things up a little bit. This company that manufactures this also has a muffin monster, an ogger monster, a honey monster, as well as a couple of other monsters.
Mrs. Labow: Wait a minute a money monster?
Mr. Prill: A honey monster.
Mrs. Labow: No, I want the money monster.
Mr. Prill: We have the channel monster.
Mr. Rattner: The muffin monster is exactly what you would think in the worst terms it is.
President Greenbaum: Moving on, Bill List, moving it, Mr. Rattner please.
Mr. Rattner: I move the Bill List as submitted.
Mr. Tepper: Second.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
Library Board Report
Mr. Prill: I did provide Council with copies of the March meeting Minutes and a very brief summary of the discussion that took place at the April meeting. We do not have the April Minutes yet. They have not been approved.
President Greenbaum: Did you speak to the Mayor about what happened at the meeting or did you just get these Minutes from the Library Board?
Mr. Prill: We just got a report from one of the members of the Library Board.
Mr. Rattner: Strange as it may be. One of the Board members of the Library spoke to me on Saturday and he, I guess let part of it out of the bag, had complaints, about the way that the drainage was done into the retention basin. I would recommend that we just touch base with the Library and just find out what their complaint was. He hasn’t talked to me in a while and now all of the sudden he is complaining about something that happened from the Township employee so I don’t know what it is.
Mr. Prill: I can offer some input on that. The DPW facility project is going to require the Library retention basins to be enlarged slightly and there was some surveying work that was being done about a week ago which Rita Hilbert had noticed and she just questioned what that was all about. So we are communicating with them and just letting them know what the nature of the work is going to be on the retention basin.
Mr. Rattner: What he told me was a little more than that. That they dug up the grass, they got a lot of mud and that they had heavy equipment in there, and according to him, the work has already been done. That is what they didn’t know what was going on.
Mr. Prill: Okay. I wasn’t aware that the work has been done. I don’t believe it is complete yet but....
Mr. Rattner: I am just saying what he had complained. I just thought it was strange after the last two years. All of the sudden he is now complaining to me about you.
Mr. Prill: I actually did send Rita an email today addressing that issue.
President Greenbaum: I have the Minutes which you passed out to the Council regarding the meeting of March 8, 2006 which is already two meetings ago. I have several questions regarding these Minutes. I assume and you can tell me if I’m wrong, other than what is printed on this paper you are not prepared to answer any questions about what happened at the meeting because you were not there, correct?
Mr. Prill: That is correct.
President Greenbaum: I think that it is extremely important that the Administration be prepared to discuss not what is in the Minutes but what occurred at the meetings, to be able to answer questions of this Council or the public because the public is sitting there. Have these Minutes been made available to the public in terms of if they have questions on what has been going on over at the Library? No. This was handed to us this evening, put in front of my microphone so I could review it this evening. I happen to have been at this meeting so I know what happened. I don’t know what happened at the last Library Board meeting in April other than the memo that I got from you. I find it very disturbing that we are not getting information on a timely basis about what is happening at the Library. I don’t blame you, Mr. Prill, but there needs to be somebody from the Administration who attends the meetings who is prepared to answer questions about what is happening over there. If it is not going to be the Mayor, then it has to be somebody else from the Administration. Having said that, I have a very big problem with the way the Library Board is operating their meetings, specifically with respect to their bill list. I went to the meeting. They approved their bill list but don’t make the bills available for inspection by the public.
President Greenbaum (Cont’d): The bills are not made available to the public until after they are adopted by the Library Board at a subsequent meeting, I believe. How one in the audience can sit there and understand what they are spending money on without having the bills being made available to them or a bill list being made available to them is inappropriate and probably unlawful. Although I would leave that to Mr. Dorsey, it is working behind closed doors. There is nothing that protects those, that those discussions in terms of it being negotiations, in terms of it being attorney client privilege, those documents need to be made available to the public before the decision is made whether or not to approve them. Otherwise, the public is not given an opportunity to respond, I made this quite clear when I was at the Library Board meeting and they seemed to just gloss over it. They kind of just shake their head and say yeah, you’re probably right. This issue has been raised time and time and time again and yet it is not resolved and it is a situation that has to be rectified.
Mrs. Labow: When I was the Library Board liaison about a year ago, they stopped giving me the bills as well and would not even let me look at it until they approved it. They said they did not give them out until they were approved, so I couldn’t even question anything. I don’t understand. Remember that Russ?
Mr. Tepper: This has been asked several times in public, not only by Rob but by others and their comment was, they would provide it to us after it was approved and raising Rob’s point, it is a moot point at that point, after the board has already acted upon the item. My question is also with their bill list. They seem to have multiple types of bill lists and multiple types of approvals based on colors and I don’t understand what they are and why they just don’t have one bill list and identify it.
Mr. Biondi: It is a shell game.
Mr. Tepper: That is neither here nor there.
President Greenbaum: Tony, state your name and address please.
Tony McKeon, 31 Glendale, Flanders: Just to point out too, that the last two audits that the Library had that were made available to us, I believe the auditor actually advised that right now there is a improper oversight as far as the spending is concerned, that there is not proper checks and balances as far....they didn’t say there was anything improper going on but they did say in the audit specifically that some changes need to be made as far as how the money is being spent by the Library itself. It is actually the auditor that picked up that there is potential....I am not saying that something has been done but they are saying there is a possibility that something improper can be done with the funds and there is no oversight to pick up some of those items. So just to go...Rob on your point, that they’re paying bills and not showing what it is, it really leads into what the auditors already identified before. There isn’t some bias that’s here. The auditors who are objective as far as this budget, as far as their handling of bills, have already identified this as an issue.
Mr. Biondi: Rob, do we have any recourse?
President Greenbaum: I just asked Mr. Dorsey that and he said we can withhold their money.
Mr. Biondi: You know what, I am all for that. I am tired of their acting.
President Greenbaum: I think what needs to be done, Mr. Prill, and I will get to you in a second Colleen, there needs to be a letter from the Administration indicating that the bills have to be made available prior to... The Council has identified that the bills need to be made available prior to a vote in approving them so they can be appropriately reviewed and questioned at the meeting in the event that such questions arise.
Mr. Dorsey: Why doesn’t the letter say that their own auditor has determined in two audits that their oversight is improper and Mayor and Council believe that the first step is that they make all of the bills available before there is a vote on the bill list.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, Mrs. Labow.
Mrs. Labow: I have to see if Mr. Tepper remembers. The two of us were at the reorganization meeting for the library and correct me if I am wrong, when they got to the point where they were going to decide on their auditor, the question was, did they want to keep the same auditor? If I remember correctly the Library Director at that time said she wasn’t sure she wanted to because he spoke with the Council and spoke out of turn which sent chills up my spine like, okay, what is that supposed to mean? I don’t know if they ever, if Mr. Prill could check, I don’t know who they have as their auditor now? Their discussion that evening was that he spoke to the Council and they wanted to get rid of him.
Mr. Tepper: There was question as to whether they were going to change the auditor and there were a variety of issues raised. I don’t know what the outcome was.
Mrs. Labow: There was no finalization.
President Greenbaum: Okay, the appropriate letter is going to be sent, Mr. Prill.
Mr. Tepper: I would ask a question also. When will the 2005 audited financials be done because the numbers that Tony is talking about were the 2003 and 2004 and the 2005 should be due, if I understand the state law correctly, by the end of May. I would like some assurance that they will provide one this year in a timely fashion.
President Greenbaum: Include that in the letter as well. Okay, moving on.
Status of Library Grant Monies to be Turned Over to Twp.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Prill I did get a memo from you, thank you very much, updating us that the Library Board took no action because they need their attorney to review the matter.
Mrs. Labow: I have a question. Their memo, Mr. Prill correct me if I am wrong, the memo said they hadn’t heard back from their attorney yet.
Mr. Prill: No, I believe they indicated that their attorney is reviewing the matter.
Mrs. Labow: Now when we originally asked them, they said they couldn’t make any decision because they hadn’t met yet and we had to wait until they met to see if they were going to make a decision but then the letter said they hadn’t heard back from their attorney.
Mr. Prill: I am assuming that when they did meet they referred it to their attorney for review.
President Greenbaum: Their next quarterly payment is when, July?
Mrs. Jenkins: Around that time yes.
President Greenbaum: Okay, whenever that payment is due, the Council needs to be notified prior to any dollars being turned over to the Library with respect to that quarterly payment.
Mr. Rattner: I would like to check the statute. I know we had the issue with the other quasi government or other organization in town. I believe that if we don’t receive their audited annual statement by the due date, I think that we are actually limited in giving them the payments. I think that is a requirement because we are still talking about public funds going to another public entity and I do believe that they have to meet their commitments on the audits.
President Greenbaum: We will ask Mr. Dorsey to look into that.
Mr. Tepper: We have asked about handicapped parking over and over. I know we provided them a letter and I read now in these Minutes that when the handicapped parking came up, that the Mayor objected to spending the $40,000 based on the Township’s fiscal crisis. To the best of my knowledge, the $40,000 has no impact on it as the Library budget is set and our funding for that is set by State law and not changed.
President Greenbaum: No that is incorrect. The funding for the parking is actually coming out of the bond so the debt repayment would have some minor impact but it is not coming out of their general budget. The bottom line is....
Mr. Tepper: It is minor and it is also the right thing. I mean we have talked about this for a year.
President Greenbaum: It passed. The Mayor is the only person who voted against it for his...you would have had to have been there.
Mr. Biondi: When are they going to do it?
Mrs. Labow: This is unbelievable.
Mr. Tepper: I don’t understand, we have gone a year in here in public and said when are we going to get it done and now he objects to it?
President Greenbaum: It has been approved.
Mr. Tepper: I will let it go.
Mr. Biondi: Is it under construction?
Mrs. Labow: No, they didn’t even bid it out yet.
Mr. Biondi: They didn’t bid it yet?
Mr. Rattner: There is a problem with the bid. Did you read your mail?
Status of Kings Village Issues
President Greenbaum: Moving forward. Status of Kings Village issues, Mr. Prill.
Mr. Buell: Can I just answer that? At this point, we left it two weeks ago that they were going to send me a written list. They have not submitted that list to me at this point in time.
President Greenbaum: Okay, would you follow up with them?
Mr. Buell: Yes, I will.
Status of Charters Farm
President Greenbaum: Good answer Mr. Prill. The next item is the status of Charters Farm. Thank you very much for the detailed memo on that issue. Do you have anything to add on top of the memo?
Mr. Prill: No, just that we are receiving bids shortly on that, May 10th. Hopefully, we will get some good quality bids and bring that back to Council for action.
Mr. Rattner: Did you get any comments back from the AG Board. Did they call you? I saw you copied them on the schedule which is good.
Mr. Prill: Not with regards to the schedule, no I didn’t.
Mr. Rattner: I was just wondering because the one thing I looked on there, it is just a minor thing, where we will be prepared to sell it. It is a joint thing we bought it together. We are actually equal partners. That is the way it was purchased.
Mr. Prill: Okay.
President Greenbaum: Okay, could someone just touch base with the AG Board and just let them know that we are on top of it at this point.
Mr. Labow: Is this the time to talk about the building?
Mr. Tepper: This is our friends from Washington Township.
Status of Mine Hill Road Improvements
President Greenbaum: Okay, status of Mine Hill Road improvements, Mr. Prill.
Mr. Prill: You have received a number of copies of a number of emails and probably phones calls as well from residents down on Mine Hill Road. This is an issue and my understanding is that we have been attempting to coordinate a joint re-surfacing project with Washington Township, for that roadway for at least two maybe three years. Each year we have been willing to proceed but Washington Township, through their budgeting process, Mine Hill Road has just never come up as a high enough priority for them to approve funding.
Mr. Prill (Cont’d): That is the situation we are facing in 2006. They did review it but they have other priorities so they are not funding any repairs for this road. We are prepared through whatever road resurfacing appropriation gets ultimately approved in our budget, we are prepared to move forward and repave and mill and resurface our half of the road this year. It is not what we want to do but it will at least address some of the needs down there.
Mr. Rattner: Mr. Prill, this pre-dates you, obviously, for a while and it is a personal thorn in my side. Have you personally talked to Washington Township?
Mr. Prill: I haven’t talked to them directly but Tim has been talking with their DPW Director.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, because I was Council President and we had all the residents here when your boss said I was pandering to the people. When I said we would do exactly what you are saying at time, I thought that was cute and got the people riled up and saying unless you are doing a full re-construction because that is what the Mayor....the Administration promised at the time. The issue was just starting off at least just for the initial engineering. Washington has the problem that if you re-construct the road, they fear that because of the elevation and the slope, that all the water would go on that side. That was the real big issue. Why I ask whether you have talked to them directly and I think you should call their Business Administrator, is because the last time I talked to Mayor Tobin, Tracy Tobin, two times ago was October 1, 2005 and this is what he had told me at the time, that he is still waiting for the return calls from the Administration. Not maybe that Tim is talking to their public works director because the conversation started with Bill Ruggierio, which you know was a while ago and he said that he was waiting, on April 9th, I happened to see him again, he is not Mayor anymore he is only Councilman again. Their form of government and he still says that their governing body has heard not heard anything from Mount Olive. I told him we are just going to embarrass you and pave your half of the road and he went through the whole thing. You know, you can’t embarrass me. We looked at the road and it is mainly our residents. Two years ago when we looked at it, for the additional cost, once we just start milling half of the road it might be just as easy just to mill the whole thing and just make it as smooth as possible. If you look at the section that goes parallel throughout 46, behind the old diner, that is the real bad part. The other part of Mine Hill Road which comes from Jennies Lane on down, if you take a ride down there you will notice Washington Township’s half was repaved, Mount Olive’s was not. Now they didn’t repave it. The Hackettstown MUA, I believe, did it when they put some lines. So if we talk about that part, if we do half the road, then the road is completed. It was our part that didn’t get done. Then there is another part, there is a 90 degree turn and it goes out to 46. They are only our residents. There are no Washington residents on that road. So if we look at the maybe 400 or 500 feet, I don’t think it is a real big deal if we just went in there. I mean we may need a release from them? Their big issue was the engineering because they were worried about the drainage, that if we reprofiled the road, that they would get all the water and that is what they wanted to address. They weren’t going to spend a half a million dollars that our engineer came up with saying to do the reconstruction if we are just talking about doing the repaving like we have done every other road. So I would look at it from that point of view and see if we can do something. Those people have been promised year after year after year by everybody who is running for election because they think they have just forgotten them because they are down the hill and the road is in that bad shape.
President Greenbaum: It is an abomination is what it is.
Mr. Biondi: It seems to me we have an obligation to do something there.
President Greenbaum: I have been sitting up here for the better part of five years now. It took me four years to get the old Municipal Building down. The only thing that has taken longer is to get this damn road repaved and you know what? I am going to put it on the Agenda every week.
Mr. Rattner: And we have 400 residents that come down Mine Hill....
President Greenbaum: Every week, you know it is a big sink hole now. It is a big sink hole......
Mr. Tepper: You know we should at least write a letter to Washington Township.
Mr. Biondi: Do we have an estimate as far as what it would cost us to do this?
Mrs. Labow: We have $30,000 set aside for it.
Mr. Prill: Well, Tim thought that there was money set aside previously but Sherry confirmed that there is not. So it will come out of this year’s road resurfacing money.
Mrs. Labow: What happened to the money that was.....?
President Greenbaum: There isn’t a road in town which is more deserving and more needed for repaving than Mine Hill Road. Right now we are looking at an incredible liability as a Township, being on record knowing that road is problematic and is a health and safety issue. At this point if we are not going to repave it, then we should close it.
Mr. Biondi: Do we have a questimate about how much it would cost to do that stretch?
Mr. Prill: Tim felt that it could be done, less than $30,000 for our share of it.
Mr. Biondi: If you are going to do it, you have to do it right or don’t do it at all.
Mr. Tepper: Why don’t we at least ask the Administration to write a letter to Washington?
Mr. Prill: I was going to point out, I am a little surprised that Steve got the comments from the former Mayor of Washington Township that he did because in your packet there is a letter here that went from Mr. Casey in November of last year to Dianne Galletts, the Administrator, which was the timing of that was at the beginning of their budget cycle for this year. We have communicated to them. So I am surprised that the Mayor is saying that their Council is not aware of it? They should have been.
Mr. Rattner: I am asking you to just handle it. If we can get the same thing as Charters Farms, to get these things that have been sitting around for an unduly amount of time we will be very happy.
President Greenbaum: I have asked Lisa to put it under Old Business until this issue gets resolved. I would like to hear next week as to what progress has been made in terms of getting this issue resolved. Thank you.
Mrs. Labow: I have to ask another question.
President Greenbaum: Go ahead Colleen.
Mrs. Labow: Mr. Prill, if they thought we had the money set aside, we don’t. Does that mean another project is not going to be dealt with, and what is that impact to the budget this year?
Mr. Prill: I did talk to Tim today and he will readily acknowledge that this road is a very high priority road. It will be done this year. Mr. Greenbaum, in response to your comment, between now and next Tuesday nothing is going to get done. We have to wait for you to adopt the budget before we can spend the money to fix the road.
President Greenbaum: I am not talking about necessarily about spending the money but they can be contacted with Washington Township or a game plan can be put together in terms of how this is going to be dealt with, assuming that the money is available, so on, and so forth. I understand in terms of actually getting out there and putting asphalt to asphalt, we are talking about some period of time. Let’s keep it on the Agenda. Let’s move it forward. Let’s get it resolved so that the people in that area can see government in action rather than government in inaction.
Mr. Biondi: We have to be prepared to do it ourselves 100%. You know that.
President Greenbaum: I think there is a commitment from this Council.......
Mr. Biondi: Just so we all understand that.
President Greenbaum: There has always been a commitment from this Council.....
Mr. Biondi: Washington Township not withstanding, we are going to have to do it, that is ridiculous.
President Greenbaum: That is the bottom line, next issue. Any other Old Business, any New Business?
Mr. Rattner: I think this is where we start talking about the Charters House, we are talking about the Muelbauer House and also I don’t see Jim, at the opening of the baseball, the week that the kids were off, he told me that they had, all their parks were damaged. They had a lot of vandalism every place.
Mr. Rattner (Cont’d): I remember at this time last year, if you go back into the Chronicle, we had the gold fish pond or the environmental pond at the Chester M. Stephens School, I keep calling it the Middle School, was destroyed and the fish murdered or something? There seems to be a lot of things. I know about some of the other things that were going on with some of the little bit older kids. We have had different things, whether it is broken windows, spray painting on cars and things like that. It is getting to the point. I think we should have a workshop and just listen to the Police Chief. What are the real problems....?
Mrs. Labow: Do we have to listen to him?
Mr. Rattner: Yes, we have to listen to him. What the problems are and what it would take to try to do something? We have to take some sort of action because it just seems to be getting worse and it is not just here. It is everywhere.
President Greenbaum: Steve, I will allow you to schedule that workshop through the Clerk’s Office and in connection with the Administration having Chief Katona made available. You had something on this issue Colleen?
Mrs. Labow: Yes, this is where I was delayed from before. Is there something we can do to try and protect the abandoned house on Charters Farm now so we don’t have another situation? I mean, what’s being done? I don’t know what we can do? Do you know where it is Rick?
Mr. Prill: I am not familiar with the structure. I guess the thought that comes to my mind is given the fact that we are looking to sell the property as soon as the cleanup is done.
Mr. Dorsey: I remember when that property was purchased and I am certain when it was purchased that house and barn was listed as one of the Township’s own properties for insurance purposes. I think you want to check that out.
Mrs. Lashway: We had a tenant in there when we purchased that.
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
Mr. Dorsey: I mean, I think you want to make sure that those buildings are still on that list of covered properties because it wasn’t abandoned at the time we purchased it and should still be listed. If it is not, we want to see if we can get it listed. Of course a way to resolve a lot of the problems is to get it sold and into private hands so the property is occupied again.
President Greenbaum: I don’t think that building has the same historic value and I am not sure that what we are talking about here is necessarily the value of the house as opposed to the health and safety issue that it presents in terms of a nuisance to youth.
Mr. Dorsey: I am not arguing that.
President Greenbaum: I think Colleen’s question goes to what is the Administration doing to make sure that people are not getting into that house?
Mr. Prill: I will check to see what, if anything, that we are doing.......
President Greenbaum: And what, if anything, you can do?
Mrs. Labow: It is obvious that kids are there because every time I go by there, there is more and more graffiti.
President Greenbaum: We will put it on our Agenda for the next Workshop. Do you have an answer? We will keep it on until that issue has been addressed and resolved. Any other new business? I am sorry Mr. Buell is next and then we will come back to Mr. Rattner.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I was at the Turkey Brook Development Committee meeting and Jim Lynch was giving a report on the status of several things. One was the fact that we now have fissures in the.....or developing fissures, sink holes in the retention pond in Turkey Brook Park and they are working on that. That is just really just an information issue. The other issue is Jim informed me tonight that the relationship between the School Board and the School, in terms of the maintenance in the school fields, is about ready to come off its wheels. I had no idea that this was happening.
Mr. Buell (Cont’d): At this point in time he is not cutting, maintaining any of the school board fields at this point in time. There are huge problems with the scheduling of the fields at Turkey Brook for the High School. There is a lack of communication going on at this point in time. I plan to call Mr. McEntee tomorrow, although Mr. Strillacci is the new president, I may call him. I would like to have the Administration if they could provide us with a full report of what is going on?
President Greenbaum: I think the best thing to do, if it is consistent with Mr. Prill in terms of his view, is to create a subcommittee, Mr. Buell, where you coordinate between hopefully Mr. Lynch and whoever is appropriate with the School Board and get these issues at least out on the table if not resolved and we do this as quickly as possible. Mr. Prill, would you make Mr. Lynch available for this effort?
Mr. Prill: I would like to talk to Mr. Lynch as well to find out what he is referring to because I am not aware of it.
President Greenbaum: Perhaps your participation in this little subcommittee would be beneficial as well.
Mr. Buell: I think it would because at this point in time it’s, I don’t want to go into the details of what I had heard tonight, but it is actually Jim Lynch dealing with the ex-president of the School Board, and the Maintenance Director, Steve Sluka.
President Greenbaum: I think all the issues need to be put on the table.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I agree.
Mr. Tepper: There is another issue to that. I have spoken with Mr. Lynch as well and a possibility of a proposal for all of the services and all of the scheduling of the school fields, being done by Jim’s department to be effective but I think it’s going to come up as one of the issues in discussion on the budget as a better way of managing costs and scheduling as well. So it is one that is going to interact with two different areas.
President Greenbaum: Let’s attack it on both fronts then. Mr. Buell, I would ask that you schedule that meeting through Mr. Prill and through the Administration of the School Board as soon as possible.
Mr. Buell: I will.
President Greenbaum: Any other questions, or issues on this topic? Mr. Rattner.
Mr. Rattner: Oh thank you. You almost forgot.
President Greenbaum: I did forget.
Mr. Rattner: We received a letter on April 18th from the Department of Health and Senior Services. The State came in, also the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health, to inspect the Clover Hill Plant. They said
“Violations of the above noted standards where not observed during the inspection.” Basically they said that they could not find a single thing wrong in the plant which is an accomplishment. I mean especially with an older plant. So I just wanted to make sure that you tell the staff, you know Tim and his staff that we do read these things and when they do good, we do acknowledge and congratulations on a clean report, which is very difficult.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, any other New Business?
Mrs. Labow: Steve is on a roll.
Mr. Rattner: No, one thing. I happen to read the Third Round COAH Handbook and just want to have somebody to check because I am not sure if I understand it right. The rental units, they have changed quite a few things in the Third Round and the way I read it, it says we can’t take any credits I don’t think we get any credits for rental units, which is required, 25% of all the affordable housing.
Mr. Tepper: We have a meeting tomorrow morning with our Planner to talk about the growth ordinance and then we can address it at that point.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, because what it appears is that they have changed it and it looks like we are not, you know, any of the bonus credit and especially if we have had some things roll off because I was told a couple of weeks ago on a different matter by our Social Services Director that she believes that some of the apartments are no longer because their time expired in the rental program. That helped us in the First and Second Round in COAH and so going forward if we don’t get any credits, we may have to start finding additional rental units. I just don’t know what that means. It just scares me.
Mr. Tepper: I will ask Chuck tomorrow when I meet with him.
Mr. Rattner: I am looking at the 70-72 in the COAH Handbook that was published, I guess, in the last couple of months.
President Greenbaum: Okay. Does anyone else other than Mr. Rattner have any new business?
Mr. Rattner: I gave one compliment.
President Greenbaum: I know that was difficult for you.
Mr. Rattner: Na, when it comes to sewers....
President Greenbaum: Figures. Does Mr. Rattner have any other New Business?
Mr. Rattner: I will wait until final comments.
President Greenbaum: Moving onto Legal Matters.
Mr. Dorsey: No.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Biondi: No meeting.
Board of Health Report
Mrs. Labow: Yes, we met on Wednesday night and we were concerned about the fact that they haven’t had an inspector for almost four months now. Things are falling behind rather seriously at this point. They are coming into their very busy season. So they are going to be sending a letter to the Administration through the attorney that we are going to hire a replacement for the next three weeks and see if our one employee who is out on family leave, we are not sure what day they would be returning, but at least they will have someone through the interim to at least get the ball rolling if that particular person is still available and basically that is it.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, Planning Board report.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Tepper: I will report on the ninth.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Absent
Open Space Committee Report
Mrs. Labow: I gave it last time.
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Biondi: No meeting.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Absent
Board of Education Liaison Report
Mr. Buell: Yes, they met last night. They reorganized after the School Board election and they elected Mr. Strillacci as Board President and Mr. Werner as Vice President and they appointed their budget committee or their committee that will meet with us starting tomorrow night and that is Mr. Strillacci, Mr. Mania and Mr. Bott and Mr. Werner would be the four representatives of the Board. The only other major thing to report is that the Robotics team is going down to the Nationals on Wednesday and hopefully they will win the National Championship.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
Mr. Rattner: Nothing to report.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Perkins: Absent
Finance Committee Report
Mr. Rattner: Nothing.
Economic Committee Report
Mr. Rattner: Nothing.
Solid Waste Advisory Committee Report
Mr. Tepper: The only issue that Council needs to address at this point in time is the fact that there are still two openings that Council has the right to name.
Mr. Buell: I would like to make a nomination of Mr. Steve Kish to one of those.
President Greenbaum: There has been a motion made to put Mr. Kish on. Is there a second?
Mrs. Labow: Second.
Mr. Buell: I have his resume right here.
President Greenbaum: I know Mr. Kish. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Does he want it?
Mr. Buell: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Labow: He sent his resume in.
President Greenbaum: There is one other. So if anyone else has another name, we can bring it up at the next public meeting.
Mr. Buell: Is it a Council appointment?
President Greenbaum: Yes, there is one other Council appointment.
Mr. Tepper: Yes, there are two Council appointments.
President Greenbaum: Okay, at this point I will open it up to the public. Anyone who wishes to be heard on any issue. Yes, you have to come up and state your name and address please.
Mrs. Schroeder, Indian Lane, Mount Olive: I have to travel Mine Hill Road every single day. I know you discussed it at length but I went out on Sunday night and I took pictures.
Mrs. Labow: We have been down there too.
President Greenbaum: I think I broke an axle on that road.
Mr. Biondi: We have been there.
Mr. Tepper: Riding my motorcycle on that road is dangerous.
Mr. Rattner: I think the person that sent the email on this one wasn’t home.
Mrs. Schroeder: Like I said, I know you discussed it in length but as someone that is traveling everyday, it is like dodging the mine fields. Two cars going both ways, one usually has to pull over and let the other one go. It is just terrible.
President Greenbaum: I have indicated that I am keeping it on the Agenda every week until it gets resolved.
Mr. Rattner: I think everybody on this board apologizes because we have been trying to get it done but we can only legislate we can’t perform the actions.
President Greenbaum: Anyone else from the public? Seeing none, I close it the public. Final comments before we go into Executive Session.
Mr. Prill: Nothing.
Mr. Tepper: No further comment.
Mr. Buell: None.
Mr. Biondi: None.
President Greenbaum: Mrs. Labow, Mr. Rattner has certainly outspoken you this evening so you will do your part...
Mr. Rattner: I got another one.
Mrs. Labow: I just want to say in regards to the situation with the lighting of the fields of Flanders Crossing....
Mr. Biondi: You are beating a dead horse.
Mrs. Labow: No, I am not beating a dead horse. I just wanted to say that we have to be conscious of the people who live there as well as the children that want to play under the lights. I am just really disappointed with the Council this evening for the resolution that, I think, that we really should be putting in there and I know I was already voted down. I just don’t want to approve something that could possibly change and should be put in there, that it should be subject to change because we have to go around and backtrack if there are some objectionable things that come forward with the recreation.
Mr. Tepper: If the previous Administration had done their job this would be a mood point.
Mrs. Labow: I know, exactly. I don’t want to go travel down that same road again. That’s it.
Mr. Rattner: I want to comment on the same thing but take a slightly different approach. I don’t have any problem by extending it until 10:00 which is reasonable, which is the absolutely drop dead. We will have timers. However, the Recreation Committee, the Open Space Committee and everything else, that is who is going to give us the recommendations that are going to set everything. If they come up and say that they are doing the scheduling, recreation schedules, they are going to schedule and if they make sense, say you only need it until 9:30 or 9:00 or whatever it is, that is who is going to do it. For us to sit up here and try to figure out exactly what it needed, what is safe and do it on a fly doesn’t make any sense at all. I think that is where it belongs, hopefully, with the recreation master plan and the assorted regulations that they are going to set up. Just like we put regulations on Turkey Brook, they posted, we reviewed it, we agreed with it.
Mrs. Labow: I wanted it subject to.
Mr. Rattner: Everything is subject to, that is who does it. We are doing the facilities, the actual operation is administrative and they have to set the rules and regulations. Thank you, Mr. President.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, I have no comments. At this point in time, we are going to go into Executive Session to discuss litigation matters, one additional budget item which relates to litigation and I also have tax appeals and re-evaluation at which time when we come out of Executive Session we may actually take some further action with respect to the budget but no other further action will be taken. You are welcome to wait around. I imagine that if we do come out and we do take further action that it will be extremely brief. At this point in time, Mr. Rattner, do you want to move us into Executive Session to discuss those three items.
Mr. Rattner: Subject to Section 7 & 8 of the Open Public Meeting Act, I move that we go into Executive Session, to discuss the items just identified by the Council President.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded, all in favor?
Adjourned to Executive Session 9:48 pm.
Motion was made and seconded. All in favor and none opposed, the meeting was adjourned at 10:07 pm.
Robert J. Greenbaum, Council President
I, LISA M. LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes is a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on June 13, 2006.
Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk