Township Council Minutes
December 14, 2004
7:00 pm – Awards to Mt. Olive Jr. Marauders Football
7:30 pm – Awards to Mt. Olive Volley Ball
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:37 pm by Council President Rattner with the Pledge of Allegiance.
MOMENT OF REFLECTION for our soldiers, both men and women, who are serving to protect us all over the world, thank you.
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS LAW 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. Mund, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Perkins
Mr. Greenbaum and Mr. Rattner
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor De La Roche; Sherry Jenkins, CFO; Bob Casey, Acting Business Administrator;
John Dorsey, Township Attorney; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk.
President Rattner: The first item we have on our agenda is the first Public Portion of our meeting, where anybody from the public can speak on any issue they would like. We will have a specific portion to speak to the resolutions and ordinances for public hearing, and we will have another public hearing at the end, or public portion at the end of the meeting. Is there anybody from the public who would like to address the Council at this time? Yes Ma’am, just give us your name and address for the public record.
Pam Farago, Wharton, New Jersey, I’m here on behalf of the American Heart Association today: As many of you may know, 500,000 women, each year, lose their life to heart disease and stroke, actually more than from all forms of cancer combined. So, the American Heart Association has put together a program called “Go Red For Women”. Part of this program is our national wear red day, which is coming up on the first Friday in February, it’s Friday, February 4th. We’re hoping that 2,000 companies in New Jersey will encourage their members or their employees to wear something red on that day, and from the Township of Mount Olive, Joanne Lepre has already agreed to be your representative and your contact for “Go Red For Women” and national wear red day. So, what I’m passing out, are just some forms. All we ask is if you would like to participate, fill out that form, fax it back to the American Heart Association and we will send you a pamphlet with all the information that you will need to have your members of the town go red, if you wanted to have the Police Department, the Fire Department, Schools, whatever you want. If you’re members of companies apart from this and you would like your company to go red, that would be fine, too. We are expecting that the Empire State Building will go red on that day, most of the news anchors on television will go red and it really is just a nationwide movement to raise awareness to encourage women to take charge of their cardiovascular health, and I should let you know that the ITC here has already embraced this in a big way. All of their lobbies will be going red on that day, most of their employees will be going red, and they’ve already set a goal of raising $10,000 on this national wear red day. If they succeed, based on last year’s results, they will probably be number one in New Jersey, of all organizations that have gone red on that day. So, again, thank you for your attention. I just wanted to let you know that it was coming up and I’ve given you all little dress red pins, if you would like to wear one, we’d really appreciate it. Thank you. Clapping…..
President Rattner: Thank you very much.
Joanne George: My name is Joanne George. I’m from 148 River Road. I wrote a short memo to Mr. Casey today. We have a few residents on River Road that would just want to make a very short statement for the public record on the water problems were having. I don’t know if we have to wait; I notice it’s very, very late in the night that you’ll be discussing the status of the Rezamir project but if there’s anyway you can just give us maybe five to ten minutes we could finish up and get out of here.
President Rattner: It is up to me. And obviously if you have people here; were not going to make you wait till the end of the meeting. I don’t think anybody objects to discussing it now. We knew it was going to come up. I
President Rattner(cont’d): had Mr. Buell send a note yesterday to Mr. Casey so at least he can get some information. So he wouldn’t come surprised. Ahhhh, go ahead.
Mr. Greenbaum: Before you start, I’m sorry. Can I just say something Steve?
President Rattner: Sure.
Mr. Greenbaum: We’re all very aware and concerned about the problems that are occurring over there.
Mrs. George: Right.
Mr. Greenbaum: And basically whatever we can do to alleviate the problem we’re all willing to do with in what is allowable under the law. So having said that; were all on your side.
Mrs. George: Thank you very much and I appreciate what’s been done so far.
President Rattner: You have to talk into the mike. Pull it down, that’s right.
Mrs. George: Okay, again it’s Joanne George, 148 River Road. And I do appreciate so far that I did get some attention. Mr. Buczynski orchestrated having the developer come down and do some interim sand bags to try and alleviate the flooding that was taking place on my property, spilling over onto my septic system which was my major concern. So during the last couple weeks when we had the flooding a few of our neighbors across the street indicated that they had similar problems and when we heard about this update of the Rezamir project tonight, I told them it might be a good time just to make it known that there are other people that are involved and why they are here is just to state their name and address and that they have problems and maybe they can go on a list where somebody from the Township could come out and meet with them, look at the problem they’re having and see if there is something that they can do to alleviate any further damage to there properties. Again, I appreciate any help we could have. It’s a very serious problem and it’s probably only going to get worse once the ground freezes and the water has even less place to go into the ground. So with that, Harry or Anita…Anna?
President Rattner: Miss George.
Mrs. George: Yes.
President Rattner: I just want to say one thing. Mr. Buczynski called me today and said that there is a lot of activity and he understands the problems and is contacting appropriate regulatory agencies from what they can do. The attorney is, just mentioned that he had a conversation with Mr. Buczynski today. Do you want to say what your conversation was?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, Mr. Buczynski essentially turned the site over to the Morris County Soil Conservation and according to him, the job has essentially been stopped by Morris County Soil Conservation. Now stopped, means they can not go forward but they are still supposed to be working there to remediate some of the problems that they have created but at the moment, Gene Buczynski, the Township Engineer, brought Morris County Soil Conservation in who has unique powers in connection with this sort of thing and the job has been shut down.
Mrs. George: Right and we’ve all been kind of communicating with each other and I know that everyone has seen the photos, and are aware of my problem but I didn’t know how else to introduce a couple of other people who have had similar problems. And I just think we can get their names, their addresses and maybe we ……
President Rattner: Yes, we’ll do that. I just want to get the information we do have. I know that yesterday Mr. Buell had the Clerk send a short memo to Mr. Casey saying this would come up. I just want to give him an opportunity if he has any other information other than what the Attorney has just told us.
Mr. Casey: No……
Mr. Greenbaum: Not withstanding that Steve, can we get someone from the Rezamir project here next week in terms of the developer too. So that next week we can have the developer here and hear the concerns of the people as well.
Mrs. George: That would be great. Okay, and with that; go ahead…
President Rattner: Mr. Casey, do you have anything to add about what our Town employees have been doing or what their involvement has been?
Mr. Casey: I think the information that Gene gave both to you and the Attorney is essentially correct. I mean Soil Conservation has been on site. There was a three hour meeting last Wednesday involving the developer, Soil Conservation, NJDEP, and our Engineer’s office. Part of that was on the site. There was an agreed
remediation plan that the developer has acquiesced too established by Soil Conservation and the information we received this afternoon is that the developer is moving to accomplish those actions that the Soil Conservation District wants in order to basically establish the onsite retention pond and drainage flows in order to capture the water onsite. So, the developer got the message last week in a direct meeting with Soil Conservation and the DEP. He is moving in a direction now that is being monitored by them and by the Town and we’re hoping, Gene’s hoping, that in another week or so he will have done the temporary matters on site that will hopefully curtail additional stormwater flows coming off site. So there has been an agreement made and they are moving in that direction. If the weather is kind, and Soil Conservation has assured us that they will take whatever action is necessary to require you to do it and as the Attorney indicated, the Town has basically put a stop work order on the developer in terms of doing anything other than the remediation work. So, hopefully, he will basically complete those sections of the Stormwater Management Plan which will alleviate the problems you got and we’ll know it in about a week.
President Rattner: Okay, thank you Mr. Casey. I still think that Mr. Greenbaum’s suggestion is a good suggestion. We did that a month or so ago with another development on Hackettstown Mountain, Woodfield, after we had a number of problems, and we’ve hadn’t had a problem since; because basically we read him the riot act. I think that’s good. I will ask the Clerk to contact the developer. Tell him that his presence is requested here. I would also request that you call Soil Conservation and ask them if they would like to send a representative. If they can’t, the least, the very least a status report as of next Tuesday on how successful they’ve been for this developer meeting his obligations and remediating the damage he’s already done. So we’ll do that. Mr. Guenther?
Mr. Guenther: What responsibility does this developer have under the Highlands Act?
Mr. Dorsey: I think Bernie, I would have to answer that his responsibility flows from the developer’s agreement. Under the developer’s agreement he has responsibilities to the Township. He has responsibility to all the other agencies that were required to give; shall we refer to them as sub-approvals to the approval given by the Planning Board such as the Morris County Soil Conservation and those are the entities that are now enforcing, dictates in terms of him clearing it up. I don’t believe there’s any obligation that arises out of the Highlands in connection with this development which had prior approval and is proceeding under the developer’s agreement.
Mr. Guenther: Just let me follow up on that. It’s my understanding that the State requested a list of all the developments that had been approved since March.
Mr. Dorsey: Prior to.
Mr. Guenther: March, what was it? March 31st, 29th whatever it was. His approvals I believe were June 21st - the final approval. So doesn’t he fall under the Highlands? He has some responsibilities under the Highlands?
Mrs. George: Actually, if you got a certain Stream Encroachment Crossing permit prior to a certain date; that letter would scoot under but there was a letter in the file that came from the DEP.
President Rattner: You have to talk into the microphone. Otherwise we can’t pick you up.
Mrs. George: Oh, I’m sorry. He actually did manage to get under that because he, if you have one DEP permit it automatically alleviated that and we were still under it and he got his stream encroachment permit because, I questioned that. But there was a letter recently written by the DEP and it said even though he had met the requirement prior to that date they still, if they saw something happening that was in contrary to, that they still could make some amendments to the plan. The DEP, you’re right, everybody walked the site and then they came down to my property to see all the silt and everything and how it had silted in my pond and one of the gentlemen from the DEP said that part of the problem, it’s not only what was addressed during the planning process but that there were a number of streams and springs that were never noted on the original preliminary plans which are really adding to the problem and that he was going to see if there was some way we could
remap it or something because it’s not only what you dealt with at the planning stage. There was a lot of things that were omitted from the original plan. So you’re right. The DEP is really looking very closely into this
Mrs. George(cont’d): project but to answer your question, I think there are some parts of the Highlands Preservation Act that could still control some things that are going on. Also, one of our residents could not make it tonight.
President Rattner: Okay, give everything to the Clerk. We can’t pick you up. You have to speak only in the microphone. (letter from Maria and Tony Marchigiano, 187 River Road).
Mr. Casey: If I might in that respect, I think it is important that we have the other people because one of the discussions that I’ve had with Gene, I think some other people had, is that the position the Township’s taking is that we will not go forward with the other approvals until such point and time is that they have rectified the problems they’ve caused on the adjoining property owners.
President Rattner: I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.
Mr. Casey: It’s important we have a list of other issues out there.
President Rattner: We’re going to do that. I just want to hear the comments from here and it was brought and it was put on the Agenda because of a Council person’s request. Mr. Greenbaum, then Mrs. Labow.
Mr. Greenbaum: I sat on the Planning board during the approval process for this particular application and I can tell you that to a person, the entire Planning Board walked the site - a lot of old growth trees, a lot of evidence of streams; although not present at the time that we were on the site. The vegetation suggested wetlands. I can tell you from speaking to the people on the Planning Board, no one was happy with this particular development and everyone did what they could to minimize at the onset on paper the impact to the adjoining property owners but as a Planning Board member you’re under an obligation to approve an application which is consistent with the laws which are in place and ultimately that’s what was presented to the Planning Board; was an application. Originally, it had more houses than what was ultimately approved. Planning Board was successful in terms of mitigating the number of houses which were ultimately going to be built but certainly the concern over the environmentally sensitive nature of the piece of property; obviously it’s on a sloped piece of property. It starts at the top of River Road and slopes downward toward Flanders Valley. The wetlands aspects of the property were certainly discussed at length during the development application process. It is extremely dismaying to me that the applicant didn’t take appropriate steps during the building process of their application to minimize the impact to the adjoining homeowners and that’s really what we’re dealing with now. I have to say that I am happy with the response that the Township has taken to date in terms of stopping the developer, of contacting Morris County Soil Conservation, of communicating with the residents, of making what has been wrong, right. It’s unfortunate that it has gotten to this state. I wish it had never happened. I don’t see the outrage from the residents who are living in the area in terms of the response from the Township and perhaps there should have been more safe guards put in place before this actually went forward but it’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback and to say, you know what, the applicant should have taken greater steps to prevent this from happening, but now that it has happened, we need to stop it. We need to do what is necessary to protect the residents of Mount Olive. That’s basically it.
President Rattner: Mrs. Labow?
Mrs. Labow: Thank you Mr. Rattner. I don’t know if anybody can answer this question or not? Perhaps in some of the conversations maybe Mr. Casey knows. The other lady, she mentioned that there was certain streams and brooks that were not mapped out? I don’t know, did they, once they started to excavate the property, did more springs get sprung kind of a thing?
Mr. Greenbaum: It’s an underground system there. You know what, the property, the way that it was mapped out identified those streams which were clearly visible in terms of…when you are mapping out streams, especially on this piece of property, it was the evidence of the stream bed rather than running water which was the mapping criteria.
Mrs. Labow: So it’s not like anybody misled anyone, it just wasn’t physically evident until it started being excavated.
Mr. Greenbaum: The entire property basically is traversed by, yes, that is accurate Colleen.
Harry Homan, 169 River Road: You also have to remember that they did the perc and most of this work at the end of the drought, the eight year drought, therefore a lot of this was not evident.
Mrs. Labow: And now with all of the water that we’ve had…
Mr. Greenbaum: That was certainly raised during the Planning Board process as well.
President Rattner: I just wanted this, to make sure that this was a two-way. We do understand your concerns and we want to get the action done as quickly as possible. We want to hear what is being done so you can understand that and then if you have comments you can comment on that too.
Anna Striano: Don’t mind me I’m very nervous. I’m not a public speaker. I don’t like speaking in front of people.
President Rattner: Take a deep breath; make believe there is nobody here.
Mrs. Striano: My heart is pounding in my chest right now so bare with me, I’m sorry. My name is Anna Striano. I live on 171 River Road in Flanders. I’ve lived there going on about nine years now. Since the project, how do you say it, Rezamir? The Rezamir project started in the summer time; we get a lot of water now in our backyard and I’ve never had this problem before since I’ve lived there and where it’s coming from. I don’t know if you know where I’m talking about, but its starts from my neighbor’s property at 173 River Road. They are not here tonight. So I’m speaking for them too. It starts up in the corner from the woods. It comes down; it’s like a stream – a big heavy stream, it forks, it goes towards my house near my side garage door, then it comes down and goes near my other neighbor’s property which is going down in his driveway now, and flooding him out. So what’s happening also is I’m getting sink holes in my backyard and it’s near my kids’ playset. So I don’t want them going there now because it’s very noticeable. Also, near my neighbors ….. I don’t know why I’m shaking, I’m just shaking for some reason. Also near my neighbor’s side, the one tree is starting to get a moat around it. We’ve never had that problem before. We tried even putting dirt there. Now the dirt is all washed away again. So now it’s like getting really hilly in our back yard where it has to be graded because all the soil is washing away. Also in front of our driveway from my neighbors 173 going down past our other neighbor it’s like a river in front of our house. I can’t even get to my mail box and my kid when he comes off the school bus he literally has to jump over this river going past our house and it’s starting to eat away the road and the land there near our mailbox where I’m just trying to get my mail, you know. So it’s a lot of soil being washed away on our property. We also get flooded in the back there where during the summer time, a couple times I had to take a shovel and shovel the water away from my door. Never had to do that before. So, it’s just something I feel that I shouldn’t have to fix you know - keep replacing dirt because all this water is coming from the property behind us which I don’t know who owns all that back there but, you know, I don’t know what to do about it. I wish something would get done soon because it’s getting bad. So basically that’s it. There’s a lot of water damage going on in our back yard and it’s really flooding it out and it’s going on the side of our house now too like near my neighbor’s property and down their side of their house. It’s like a stream running, gushing. I have pictures that I took. I have to get them developed and I’m also taking a video tape of it. Also, another thing, when I look out my kitchen window, I have a bi-level and there’s a stream that sits back. I’ve been in the back of the woods and it goes down. Never seen it before in my kitchen window. Now when it rains you can see it gushing. Never had that problem before seeing the river and plus the river water is all muddy now and people fish in that. I even have family that come up and fish and we fish in that stream and to see the water like that, you know.
President Rattner: Okay, thank you very much. Just so everybody knows you don’t have to wait in line. We’ll put everybody together talking on this subject because what I’m going to ask the Clerk to do, in her office first thing tomorrow morning; one of the things they’re going to do is type at least this part of the meeting. These meetings are typed up anyway for the public record just so we have it and so we can send it to the appropriate professionals and the regulatory agencies so they will have a copy of the comments that you’re all making. So if you say this is a place where there’s a certain thing happening we know at least they have the information rather then us assume they get the information. So we’ll do that.
Mrs. Striano: Because I’m just real concerned about that sink hole and my kids just running and – if it caves in and the tree where the roots are going to come up and, you know.
President Rattner: We understand. And I’m sure that the people at Soil Conservation and DEP are going to be very concerned too. I saw Mr. Greenbaum’s hand and then Mrs. Labow hand.
Mr. Greenbaum: First of all…
President Rattner: Then Bernie.
Mr. Greenbaum: First of all, a piece of advice for you.
Mrs. Striano: Yes?
Mr. Greenbaum: Your public speaking is fine.
Mrs. Striano: I’m still shaking, so.
Mr. Greenbaum: You just shouldn’t tell people. You didn’t come off as nervous. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I was going to suggest that you take photographs. I believe that the developer should pay for fixing the problems that this has caused whether it’s a sink hole or tree or whatever damage has been done to your property. We need that information to present to the developer next week to get him to fix the problem that has been caused by his what I’m going to call his neglect to date. Hopefully, what the Township is doing will stop the neglect in the future so that his development will either proceed without further problem or will not proceed at all.
Mrs. Striano: Okay, so who should I give the pictures to once I get them developed?
Mr. Greenbaum: Lisa, our Township Clerk.
President Rattner: Lisa is actually a statutory position that keeps all records of the Township. Plus she will make sure they’ll get to the appropriate people.
Mrs. Striano: Well thank you very much for listening to me.
President Rattner: As we said, we’re going to invite the developer, we’re going to tell him what he’s in for. Whether he shows up is something else. The last developer did show up and took the beating and he corrected what he had to. Mrs. Labow, then Mr. Guenther.
Mrs. Labow: I agree with Mr.Greenbaum. You did very, very good public speaking. I remember the first time I ever got up there. My throat kept going dry and I was a nervous wreck but I wanted to ask you, are you on the river side or the hill side of River Road? Is the Raritan behind you?
Mrs. Striano: The reservoir is behind me.
Mrs. Labow: The reservoir is behind you? Rezamir?
Mrs. Striano: I’m trying to think, is it? They know…better. I’m so bad with North, South, East, and West.
Mr. Buell: She’s on the other side.
Mrs. Labow: You’re on the other side, okay.
Mrs. Striano: Yes, because then there’s the pond across the street from me.
Mrs. Labow: Okay, I’m just getting my….
Mrs. Striano: So her father owns all that, Stephen Mill on that side, so I’m across from her, directly across from her.
Mrs. Labow: Okay. The question….what I’m really concerned about is the tree, is it by the house? Or could it fall, and I just really would like that kind of…..
Mrs. Striano: It could fall, but we have a big humungous tree that is right near our house and that is where the water is coming too, and I’m afraid eventually that tree…and we’re talking if that tree falls on our house, forget it, the house is…you can say goodbye, someone’s going to get hurt.
Mrs. Labow: Mr. Casey is probably more experienced.
Mr. Casey: She should put the developer on notice that he is liable for that damage, or we will do it, and then meet him and go from there. I mean, we….the Township really is limited as to what we knew is going on private property with these issues, so she basically, as the….Mr. Rattner says, we’ll provide the developer a copy of these comments and put him on notice that he’s responsible for those repairs and we’ll get him out there.
Mrs. Labow: Yes, I would be very concerned about any of the trees with that….
Mrs. Striano: That’s why I don’t let my kids go……..I just say play in front of the house, now, please. That’s all I tell them is don’t go in the back anymore.
President Rattner: Thank you very much, I just want to keep moving along and get the other comments and get everybody else’s.
Mr. Greenbaum: You know but, Steve, I don’t believe that that’s a sufficient response on behalf of the Township. If life and safety is involved, if you are seriously concerned about that tree, I’m not talking about the water runoff, but if you think that that tree is compromised, we need to know about it, because if that’s the case, then I suggest what we do is we get Dr. Keller, who is the township environmental expert, to come out and take a look at that tree to determine whether or not, in his opinion, the root system has been compromised, at the expense of the developer. I mean, if that’s really what you’re talking about as opposed to you think down the road the tree may be compromised…..
Mrs. Striano: And that sink hole, too, that’s one of my big concerns, too.
Mr. Greenbaum: Well, I need to know whether or not you are truly concerned, at this point in time, or if you think if this condition continues, you’re going to be concerned, because I don’t want to force….I don’t want to take action that we don’t need to take. If you honestly believe that that tree has been compromised or may have been compromised, we need to know so that we can take appropriate action because to say that your house is going to be destroyed and ultimately the developer is going to pay for it, doesn’t solve the situation if the tree falls on the house while you’re in it. That’s what we need to know.
Mrs. Striano: Definitely. So, if we could get someone out there, even tomorrow, I would be happy, you know, because it is a big tree. I mean, it’s high and also, you know, with the sink hole too, that’s my other concern too, is the tree and the sink hole for my kid’s safety and that’s why I won’t let them out in the back yard, and I was going to call the town last week, but I’ve been sick with the flu, and then it ended up turning into pneumonia, so I haven’t had a chance to call you. So, I was told about the meeting tonight, and that’s why I’m here tonight, and I keep saying to my husband….my husband’s not a very boisterous person, but I am, so that’s why I’m here tonight, because he’s shy. So, if someone could come out there, I would really appreciate it if they could check the sink hole and check the tree, actually it’s two trees on our property that are starting to get the moat type like thing around them, and we replace the one…on the one tree, near my neighbor’s property, but the one dirt is all gone again, and you could see, it’s like a ring around the tree and all the water….it’s like a little river going around the tree, so that is my two…three concerns, is the two trees and the sink hole there.
President Rattner: Thank you. I think we got the picture. Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: No, I’ll hold off my comments until all the residents have commented. Mine are general comments.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Yes sir, you heard the system, just your name and address so we have it for the public record.
Harry Homan, my wife Mrs. Homan is in the audience, 169 River Road: Alright, the stream that my neighbor was referring to comes right down through my property. It has washed out large boulders, and I mean large boulders. I have an in-ground pool, and the water is eroding the bank near the pool. Now, if that pool breaks, there’s going to be an awful lot of water going down to Joanne’s place and her house might wind up down on 206. So, something has to be done with that, and as far as the trees in the back of the houses, the trees are tumbling down because the water is eroding and taking all the topsoil away. Now, anybody can come up there and see the trees. I’ve never seen this happen in the 21 or 22 years that I’ve lived there. Now, when you people, or the others that were there, gave the rights to them to do the developing, we all disagreed with it, but it went through regardless. So, now we’ve got a problem, and if it continues, it’s going to be a very very big problem, and some lives might be at stake, you never know. That’s all I have to say about it.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Would anybody else like to speak on this specific issue at this point, before I take any other…..yes, sir.
Tom Vreeland, 127 River Road: I live on the opposite side of the river. I have two comments. My first comment, Joanne and Tom live across…their house is across from mine on River Road, and I have witnessed excessive stream runoff of the water, as well. My second comment is, this just really concerns my property, I was wondering…is the town aware of any other issue concerning 127 River Road?
Mrs. Labow: No.
Mr. Vreeland: Nothing.
Mr. Guenther: What’s the issue?
Mr. Vreeland: You’re familiar with the roads, how they’re cut in at Rezamir?
Mrs. Lashway: Talk into the microphone, please.
Mr. Vreeland: Well, the road was cut in incorrectly. The road was cut in on our property.
President Rattner: It’s actually on your property is what you’re saying?
Mr. Vreeland: Yes.
Mr. Buell: I understand that about an acre of trees were cut down that were not supposed to be?
Mr. Vreeland: That’s absolutely right. The town engineer, Gene, walked the property with me about six weeks ago, he’s aware of it. So, I was just wondering what he has voiced to you, if anything, number one?
President Rattner: Well, remember, you know, we don’t get the reports directly, we’re a legislative branch, it’s the Administration….that it goes through that process, through the Planning, the Zoning, the Engineering Department. This just happens to be a place where you can vent and we can take comments and then put pressure on different regulatory agencies or questions. It’s your public opportunity, but it’s really the Administration, who’s here during the day, who works on a day-to-day basis. I’m not saying that we’re not very concerned, we’re dealing with this more and more and we’re taking a very hard line, because we’re getting sick and tired of the abuse that our residents are taking, so somebody can make a couple of dollars, and that’s basically what it is.
Mr. Vreeland: And, unfortunately, we noticed that the road was cut in incorrectly, we had to bring this to the developer’s attention. I find that hard to believe that he didn’t know that approximately an acre of ground on our property was disturbed, okay. Just so the town is aware, that is a serious issue, my attorney has advised me not to elaborate too much on the issue. You will be hearing from him shortly.
Mrs. Labow: Thank you.
President Rattner: Mr. Casey, or Mayor, do you know about this? I mean, something like somebody encroaching on somebody’s land, did we get any reports and what action…or what is it that we can do if six weeks ago, the town was notified, through one of our professionals, that there was encroachment and there was…..an acre of property is a lot of trees to cut down.
Mr. Casey: Gene is aware of it, there was approximately 12 to 15 trees, he arranged a meeting between the property owner, I’m told, and the developer. The developer has been told that he must rectify the situation. I understand that there is supposed to be some discussions going on as to replacement trees, etc., that are going to be replaced. The developer acknowledges the fact that his misread is true. His excavation crew misread his surveys and that’s one of the other ones we are adding to the list.
President Rattner: As of right now, well, let’s just cut right to the chase, is there a stop work order on that property?
Mr. Casey: As far as the town is concerned, we’re not allowing him to do anything other than the soil conservation work.
President Rattner: Is there a…..there’s a formal stop work order, the only thing he can do is reclamation?
Mr. Casey: That’s what Gene told me this afternoon.
President Rattner: Because I want to make sure. If not, we’ll pass a resolution demanding that we get a stop work order with the exception of restoration, to make sure that they don’t do anything else, because it sounds like it’s been going on too long. I’m only hearing, from what I’m hearing up here, and from the comments that these residents are telling us, and that’s all. Yes sir.
Mr. Vreeland: Excuse me, did you say it was approximately 12 to 15 trees cut down?
Mr. Casey: That’s what I’ve been told.
Mr. Vreeland: You’re telling me that on between a half acre and an acre of property, Gene said between 12 and 15 trees?
Mr. Casey: That’s what I’m told.
Mr. Vreeland: That is incorrect.
Someone from the audience: Inaudible.
President Rattner: We can’t pick up your comments from there. If you want to say something, you’ll have to come on up. This way, it’s on the public record, there’s a reason for that. Anybody else like to discuss this issue? Is there anybody else here that wants to be heard on this? I’ll take other Council comments, Mr. Buell. I want to hear from Mr. Buell, he’s the one who brought it to my attention, other than, you know, the e-mail and the pictures we got a week ago, but who made sure that, you know, said he wanted it on tonight’s agenda. Do you want to say something, Mr. Buell?
Mr. Buell: Well, just basically….I’ve been up there, I looked at the site after the rain. The silt was coming down that stream. I can basically verify what I’ve heard here tonight from some of the residents that there is damage coming down that stream and behind the homes at 171 and 173. I’ve not gone over to talk to Joanne George, who I talked to earlier. I was also told that there was approximately and acre of trees, old growth trees, that were taken out improperly because the…actually the developer had developed….had put the road in the wrong place, and as I said, I had not heard any of that until last Saturday.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the Council want to comment? Ms. Labow.
Mr. Guenther: I think you have a resident that wants to make a comment.
President Rattner: Oh, I asked if there was anybody else, I didn’t see anyone.
Joanne George: I just have one final comment.
President Rattner: Good, because we’ll just get the comments….okay, and then we’ll get the final comments….
Mrs. George: Okay, again, I am Joanne George, also known as Joanne Olver, that’s my married name, not that anybody’s confused, but the problem that I had from the Rezamir track was mainly through the four foot concrete pipe that goes underneath River Road and comes directly onto my property, and the water came with such force that a sheet flowed into the pond. However, the three residents that have talked about the water coming down the mountain and going behind their property and it finds its way out to River Road, this is something new. It goes down River Road and there is a little trench that will go back into the stream right in front of Harry and Anita’s house, but when the water is of such volume, some of it goes there, the rest of it, now, and this is something that’s brand new since I’ve lived there five years, sheet flows across the road and, of course, goes right down my driveway and I don’t know if you’ve seen some of the photographs, but I had water coming down the driveway, just like a stream, it eroded both sides of the driveway. My garage, which is a brand new garage, and my husband’s John Deere and everything was in about a foot of water and then, again, it went across my yard and back into the stream. So, if that problem is corrected, that the water is not going to be coming through the back of their properties and down to the road, that’s fine, but if it is going to have to be channeled out to the road, then I don’t know if I call the Road Department or who, but somehow all that water gushing down my driveway has got to somehow be diverted so it doesn’t end up, again, I’m getting it from both sides, now, and I have to say that we’ve lived there five years, we were there through Hurricane Floyd, that was the only time that the pond ever overflowed or I had any flooding anyplace on my property. The South Branch goes fast, it doesn’t jump its banks, it gets a little bit higher. The little stream that originates up at the Rezamir site is the danger to my house, and with Floyd it did jump up and kind of sheet flow out into the river and since then, since the project has started, what used to take 12 to 14 inches, now any substantial rain produces the same effect that Floyd did, which is…you know, pretty serious. So, my point being, that adds to what problems they have, their problems, although it’s alleviated by coming off their property, is now coming down my driveway. So, I don’t know if it’s the Road Department or maybe somebody can look at if there is some way to keep that Mrs. George(cont’d): from happening. That’s all I have to say, and thank you very much for your time and for letting us get on the record tonight. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you. We’re sorry you’re having to go through all this, because nobody should really have to. Anybody…..any other Council members, Ms. Labow and then Mr. Guenther.
Mrs. Labow: I just want to once again say that I am really very very concerned about the whole entire situation, but I am very concerned about the trees.
President Rattner: You already said that.
Mrs. Labow: I know, but I just wanted to really emphasize…I want somebody all those….if there’s somebody to check all those trees out, I mean, I know Steve is rolling his eyes.
President Rattner: We already said we were, just…
Mrs. Labow: Just make sure that that’s done because I’m not going to go into the old stories, but that’s bad.
President Rattner: That’s why we’re going to have the minutes typed up right away, so we have these comments. Anybody else…..Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: I just have a general comment to make and I’ve seen this happen with several developments, and this is….I think…..I’m very disappointed in the engineering that analysis that takes place in front of the Planning Board. I’m not blaming Gene Buczynski, I’m not blaming anybody, I’m just saying the whole process, there seems to be something wrong in the ability to analyze what the impact of these projects are on the neighbors. I’ll give you an example. Today I was with a client in Woodfield Estates, Winding Hill, they had flooding in their basement. Now, that’s a very high density development. There are drainage basins there, supposedly. The builder is building a new section. They have a huge mound of dirt behind them, which probably has some runoff from the heavy rains. Apparently, the drainage basins were not properly designed, and I’ve talked to Russ Brown in the Construction Department and his hands are tied, I mean, they go by what’s planned, and, apparently, the plans are not correct. There are other people in that development that have flooding problems in their basement. There is supposedly a person with a finished basement, they had the whole basement flooded, whereas they were assured that the drainage was properly designed in the first place to take care of that. Now, this has a serious impact for us, I mean, Rezamir is only one. We’re dealing with Toll Brothers in a new development, a high density development, off Flanders Road, which we’re now in litigation on. You can have the same kind of problems there, because the engineering is just not done properly, and I just….I marvel at ……I’m astounded by what goes on here, and I don’t know who’s fault it is, I don’t know if our hands are tied, I mean, Rob is on the Planning Board, he’s been there three years, maybe he can address this a little bit more, as to what goes on. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations here, but I would think this is the way….we need to protect our citizens, and maybe….Mr. Homan, who made a remark that we gave the rights to build. Well, we didn’t give the rights to build, the right to build….every homeowner…..every land owner has a right to develop their property under the statutes of the State and the Township. We can set zoning limits and then we go by certain rules, but there are certain standards at the State level that, apparently, they’re either not being followed, or, for example, in the case of Woodfield Estates, we were forced into that density by the State, because of Mount Laurel obligation and affordable housing. There’s no way this township wanted that kind of density in that development. The same thing with Morris Chase that we’re now in litigation on, and these are….it’s a combination of the State forcing us to do things and if the standards are not being proper….or the review process at the Planning Board level is not proper. I think we have to….at the Planning Board level, be much more meticulous when we review these projects, to see the impact on the surrounding properties.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Guenther. Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, Bernie, I just wanted to…not respond, but at least enlighten, with respect to what comes before the Planning Board. Obviously, I’m a lawyer, other members of the Planning Board are civil
engineers, real estate people. We are not stormwater management experts. We have to rely upon the advice of Gene Buczynski, who is the engineer employed by the town, and whether it’s Gene, or it’s somebody else, it makes no difference, we have to rely upon those individuals in terms of the design aspects, and that they meet the proper criteria that has been established by the State. We don’t, as a matter of course, get into where dirt is going to be piled during excavation and what type of runoff, ultimately, is going to occur during the building process. That’s not what the Planning Board gets involved with, that is a matter for Morris County Soil Conservation, it’s a matter for the Township professionals who are overseeing the building project, but it’s not necessarily a fault of the Planning Board, because those are not issues which are addressed by the Planning Board, and I think that this is an unfortunate situation. Ultimately, I think that the advice that we’ve gotten from Mr. Greenbaum(cont’d): our professionals on finished projects have been pretty good, because my experience has been that the Township has not seen flooding on a….even on an individual basis, on projects which have been concluded, and it’s really….where we have seen the issues, is during this building process. You know, at least the last few issues that have come before us are not on completed projects, but rather projects which either the retention basins have not been completed or the clearing process has just begun and the land is not yet in a condition where the water runoff has been dealt with and perhaps that’s where we need to look at it, to say okay, from a township perspective, from our individuals, not from the Planning Board, but from a township perspective, as we move forward with these projects, we need to develop a strategy for dealing with water runoff until the improvements which have been identified and approved by the Planning Board, are in place, and to take a proactive stance and say you can’t pile dirt on the highest point on your property because you know it’s going to run downhill and not only is it going to run downhill rather fast because you’ve created a ski slope for it to shoot down. So, maybe that’s what we need to do, is to take some time to look at how do we direct the township officials to look for these particular issues as the development is being constructed.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. I didn’t think we were getting into….start in a difference of opinion up here, however, we’ve got to look at the situation at hand. I’m going to request that the Mayor have either one of our inspectors, or somebody from our Engineering Department, go up this week and take pictures. I want to go up and talk to the residents that are involved, we have the addresses, we’ll make sure that you get the minutes from this right away, take pictures of the situations that are talked about, so if we want to talk about it, we can talk about it specifically, look at the property that’s been clear cut, or the acre of property, whatever it is, that the trees are cut, to understand what it is there, because I think that what we have to do is……
Someone from the audience: Inaudible.
President Rattner: Okay….we can’t pick up anything from here, because if anything, you’d have to go back up there, but let me finish…can I finish? That I would like to find out exactly what it is, what damage has been done, and in no uncertain terms, and if we have to legislate something, we will. That the project will not move on until he makes the corrections on the property that’s already damaged. I think that’s the least that we can do for the people, to put the pressure on and if the guy wants to move ahead, he’s going to have to, if not, it’s going to cost him a heck of a lot more money in the long run while he’s waiting trying to fight us, but I think we need the pictures, we need….really lot by lot, to figure out exactly what really happened, what has to be corrected, and then we can address it when we get the developer, and our other professionals, and anybody that needs to be here, next week, and with that, I’ll also ask that one representative from the group of people there, your best bet is call the Clerk either Monday or Tuesday, she’ll look at the agenda, it’s getting near the end of the year, so we have a lot of year-end stuff to put on, and we’ll get you on early, but she’ll tell you about what time, based on the schedule. So, if it’s going to be 8:00, you don’t have to be here at 7:00 waiting. If it’s going to be earlier, we’ll get you in and out, but if somebody calls her, she will give you a good indication, based on our schedule, when we will actually be discussing it, because if we have to get people in, we may have to coordinate that, so it may not be at 7:30. Thank you very much. Is there anybody….did you want to finish up on anything? I understand that you’re home, but….
Mr. Homan: I just want to say I’m retired, I’ll be home, and whoever you send out, what engineer, or whatever, even if you people want to come up, I’ll take you on a safari up through the woods and I’ll show you what the situation is and what the problem is and how it creates a problem for us at the lower section.
Mrs. Labow: What number are you again?
Mr. Homan: 169 River Road, and the tributary runs right through my property. I can’t touch it because it doesn’t belong to me, regardless of whether it runs through my property or not.
President Rattner: Thank you very much.
Mr. Homan: You’re welcome.
President Rattner: Okay, now we’ll get back to the regular schedule. Any other comments, we’re still in the public portion. Mr. Bonte.
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: You know, it’s not surprising that these types of things occur. First of all, one of the things that the Planning Board does not evaluate, the State statutes don’t require to be evaluated, is the cumulative effects of one development upon the next. This is one of the things that we stressed so long and so hard with the Planning Board when we were fighting the 600 acre development of Crown Towers. This is never addressed through the engineering studies or by the Planning Board process. We had a severe problem on Route 46 this fall. We’ve had severe problems now down here on River Road, and most of you recall that one of the Mr. Bonte(cont’d): things that we made a very large issue about was the “100 year storm numbers” which we know are wrong for the Highlands areas. Those numbers used to be 7 ½ inches. They have now been revised upwards by the State to 8.95 inches in the last six months. The rainfalls that we have had this year, the three big rainfalls in September and any subsequent rainfalls that we’ve had in the last six weeks, none of them have totals….24 hour totals greater than 3.75 inches, so don’t think that these are unusual events, these are very common events. We’re nowhere near what the 100 year storm numbers would allow to happen, and you can see what’s going to happen with all the cumulative development in town, and what did we do? What did Mr. Buczynski recommend that you do, and what did this Council do? You removed one of the tools that we put in a year ago to require developers to use localized rainfall in development of storm water management systems in this town. Mr. Buczynski stood here, just five weeks ago, and said it wasn’t necessary to have that in the document anymore, and it was removed, and I asked that you put it back in and you all promised me that an ordinance would be back in front of this Council before the year’s end to put that paragraph back in, and here it is, almost eight weeks later, and it’s still not put back in. So, gentlemen, we need to start taking some action and we need to have action in our township ordinances and land use laws that require new developers to, not only evaluate their impact on the environment, but what that is going to add to what has already happened. Each development can’t be taken in a vacuum. Thank you.
Mrs. Labow: Mr. Bonte, one second, is it okay?
President Rattner: You already started.
Mrs. Labow: I know, I’m sorry. At the meeting that you’re talking about when that part was taken out and you brought that issue up, if I remember correctly, it was going to go back to the Planning Board, and they were going to discuss if it was needed or not needed….
Mr. Bonte: There’s no reason why it has to go back to the Planning Board. You’re the governing body, the Planning Board does not dictate to the governing body, what you legislate.
Mrs. Labow: No, I know…..I think that ordinance came from the Planning Board….
Mr. Greenbaum: No, no, no, no.
President Rattner: The Planning Board, I think, discussed it, and they agreed it should be put back.
Mr. Greenbaum: It was always agreed that it was going to be put back in, it just hasn’t happened yet, but can I address some of Mr. Bonte’s comments? I don’t disagree with you, Rich, that the continued development upon development is something that needs to be addressed, but the issues which we are dealing with here, and which we have dealt with at…on Route 46, are not issues which deal with multiple developments and/or 100 year rainfall storms, they are particular to the developments. What’s happening at Rezamir and River Road has to do with the way that the Rezamir project has been constructed to date and that the appropriate safeguards have not been put in place. It has nothing to do with, in this particular instance, and I’m not saying that it’s not true overall, because I agree with you that we need to take a look at this issue and it was particularly highlighted by the drought that we had, and when we looked at the water use issues. I mean, that’s really where it came up to say, you know what, you’re only taking out X number of gallons out of the plume, but look at what it’s doing on an overall basis, when we’ve had all of this development, if you add it all up, then it has a much greater multiplying effect on the available water to the township residents; but to be fair, what’s happening on River Road, is directly related to the way that the Rezamir project is being constructed, and it has nothing to do with the 100 year storm, it has to do with the fact that they didn’t do what was needed to be done on this particular project. It has nothing to do, in my opinion, with runoff from other sites and other developments, and I can say that the same is true with regard to what happened on Route 46. That’s not to say that I don’t agree with you. On the other two issues that you made, which is how do we deal with all of the development, how do we force a developer, when the State statutes force us, and the Municipal Land Use Law forces us to deal with an
application on its own merits and not what’s been developed next to it, and not what kind of impact it’s going to have on our school system, and to look at and say, you know what, if it’s zoned one acre and you’re not looking for any variances, how do we stop the project based upon the fact that we already have too many houses in town? You know what, I agree with you wholeheartedly, I’d love to find a solution, we’d all love to find a solution to the problem and I’d love to be able to deal with the Rezamir project. Believe me, I walked that property, there is not a more pristine piece of property in town, except probably along Stephens Mill Road, or if you go back near the park off of….the Allamuchy State Park. Those are the most beautiful areas that we have in town and who the hell wants to develop those properties and put another house on those properties, but you know what, Rezamir came in and basically didn’t need anything in terms of something that we could deny his project on, and although we heard the concerns of the residents, sitting up there as a Planning Board, you’re obligated to do what you need to….you know that as well as anybody. If they’re not seeking a variance, if
Mr. Greenbaum(cont’d): they’re meeting the design criteria, you have to grant them the approval, and you can only change the zoning on the property if there are environmental constraints or there’s some other factor which will allow you to change those, and we’ve looked at those areas as we’ve gone forward, we’ve bought as much property as we can, we’ve stopped as much development as we could, because there’s not a person up here, not a person…from the Mayor on down, who doesn’t want another freak’n house in this town. We don’t want it, we do everything we can do to stop it, within reason, but property owners have rights, too.
Mr. Bonte: Rob, can I ask one question?
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Bonte: Are there, you know, you know the Land Use Laws better than me.
Mr. Greenbaum: Not much better.
Mr. Bonte: Much better, I’m sure. Are there not requirements in the Land Use Laws that require a developer of property to protect other’s properties as part of his process?
Mr. Greenbaum: You know what…I’m not going to tell you that’s part of the Municipal Land Use Law, but it’s part of the law in general, that when your development, when something that you do on your property, whether or not as a developer or a private homeowner, effects someone else’s property, you are liable for the damage which is caused to the property, whether it’s the Township which has to come in and fix the problem and move on either to collect the monies or move on the performance bonds which are put in place, or whether it’s the developer as an individual….the homeowner as an individual, who is suing the other property owner who has now injured either their property or their personal wellbeing, they have rights under the law, and yes…..
Mr. Bonte: Okay, so do we, and if we don’t, can we put performance bonds on developers to protect neighboring properties, not just the Town’s own interest, but the people who make up the town?
Mr. Greenbaum: I’m not the town attorney, I’ll let John answer that question, but my general impression, I’m sure John is going to agree with me, is that’s something you can’t do, but John will answer that question.
Mr. Dorsey: Of course, the answer is the performance guarantees are all there to put the Township in a position to make the developer comply with every possible restriction and regulation, during the course of the development of the tract, and of course, he is absolutely liable to another property owner for any damage that he causes on that property owner’s property, as a result of his construction activities, and for that purpose, the township requires him to post insurance….liability insurance in over a million dollars in connection with each and every one of these developments.
Mr. Greenbaum: We talked about last week of attaching those performance bonds in this project.
President Rattner: Okay, so let’s go….all I can say, again, to the people on River Road, is we’re going to take a fast deliberate action, get the right people in at the right place, and see what we can do. We’ll try getting everybody here next week, we’ll try having all the proofs that we need, and hopefully we’ll have a few more answers also next week. Thank you very much for coming. Okay, anybody else from….it’s still the public portion, yes sir.
Mike Foote, Budd Lake: Question on the Bill List, page 1, Animal Control, Item #002661, Breaking News Network Paging System. What’s that for?
President Rattner: Mr. Casey, or Ms. Jenkins, this has come up before, I believe.
Ms. Jenkins: It’s for his pager, is it not?
Mr. Casey: I’m not sure what it is.
President Rattner: Could you at least have the answer by the time we get to…..at the beginning we ask the questions and we give the CFO time during the meeting before we vote on it.
Mr. Foote: Okay, they’re going to look into it for me?
President Rattner: Yes.
Mr. Foote: Also, item #002662, William Cirone, refurbishment for digital, $500. What’s that for?
President Rattner: Okay, we’ll have that by the time we get to the bill list.
Mr. Casey: The Breaking News Network is, in fact, a pager, pager service $9.95 for month and it’s for three pagers that are used for the Animal Control Service. They have pagers on them…….
Mr. Foote: Okay, so they have pagers. Do they have cell phones?
Mr. Casey: I’m not sure, Sherry, do they also have cell phones?
Ms. Jenkins: I believe they have those.
Mr. Casey: Yes, I think…yes, and they have those.
Mr. Foote: Okay, alright, if you could get me that, also on the refurbishment for digital?
President Rattner: Okay, if they can’t find it right now, we’ll have it by the end of the meeting.
Mr. Foote: Okay, thanks.
President Rattner: That’s why we have that at the beginning, about questions on the bill list. Anybody else? Mr. Jones.
Mr. Casey: We have an answer for that one, if you’d like, Sherry…..what it is. He bought a camera, we reimbursed him for buying that camera and the purchase of the camera was donated…with funds that were donated. So, what it was, was reimbursing him for a camera he bought, he bought it directly and then we reimbursed him, because it was cheaper that way.
Mr. Foote: And what is that camera used for?
Mr. Casey: I assume it’s for taking pictures.
Mr. Foote: Taking pictures of what? Dead animals, dogs, cats?
Mr. Casey: Whatever is necessary as part of his normal responsibilities for Animal Control enforcement.
Mr. Foote: So, it’s used for animal control?
Mr. Casey: That’s my understanding.
Mr. Foote: Okay, thank you.
Dave Jones, Route 46, Budd Lake: I have a question for Mr. Dorsey. How long do we have a legal right to hold those performance bonds they were talking about with regards to the builders?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, we generally hold them until the work is certified to be satisfactorily complete by the Township Engineer. Sometimes that’s two, three, four years. We don’t release them until the work is certified as complete.
Mr. Jones: The reason I ask is because we look at, you know, the Rosewood Ditch, and that problem didn’t seem to be a problem at first and that problem grew over the years.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, I’m sure those bonds have been released a long time ago.
Mr. Jones: That’s my point, you know, is it possible that we could hold the bonds longer, you know, for impact?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, we can hold them for as long as the Township Engineer deems it appropriate.
Mr. Jones: And my second comment would be, we know that development…..we’re going to have a lot more development and we know we’re going to have a lot more problems in town and it’s going to get a lot worse, Mr. Jones(cont’d): you know, so, I mean these problems that they’re talking about now, you know, with eroding trees and stuff, I believe it’s just the tip of the iceberg, and I also think that what Rich said, you know, is really important as far as revising data with the State, or whatever, as far as rainfall data. I think it’s crucial that developers would go, you know, by, you know, correct data. That’s it.
Mr. Guenther: Just in response to the comment you made about the Rosewood Ditch, this is an example of what Rich was saying. The reason….one of the reasons that we determined the problems were as bad at the Rosewood Ditch as they are is because the development that took place away from the Rosewood Ditch. In other words, the Senior Complex, as well as Flanders Crossing, which increased the amount of water flow that came down to that area, which happened many many many years after Cloverhill was completed, so that reinforces Rich’s point.
Nelson Russell, Budd Lake: I also have some questions on the bill list. I got all the way to page 19 before I had my first question. On check #47191, why are we waiting until December, to pay bills from July?
Mr. Guenther: What page is that?
Mr. Casey: Because they don’t bill us.
Mr. Russell: Manpower doesn’t bill you….
Ms. Jenkins: No, we’ve had this question come up before. Manpower has a history of returning their bills to us very late and we cannot pay the bill until the vendor has signed off that they’ve delivered the service. Manpower just, literally, if you look at the date when they send them back, we just got them…a ton of bills we just got back. So, it’s at that point that we can then put them on the bill list, obviously.
Mr. Russell: So we have a bunch of work that’s going to be billed on next year’s budget that’s already spent?
Ms. Jenkins: No, it doesn’t work that way, we encumber what we think the service is going to be through the end of the year, okay. If we get the billing next year, we already have encumbered and then we can pay it out next year, but it will go to this year’s budget, because that’s when the service was provided.
Mr. Russell: Okay.
President Rattner: I think the Clerk has some additional information on Manpower, that there was a problem with their billing.
Mrs. Lashway: Sherry, that had to do with the Business Registration Act, where they had to provide the certificate and Manpower was going back and forth with their home office, and they could not pay any bills until this certificate was provided to the township. So, it was Manpower’s fault that they were not paid on time.
Ms. Jenkins: There were also a lot of these that even went back that registration came into effect in September, so, even the ones before that we didn’t get either.
President Rattner: Thank you.
Mr. Russell: On page 20, check #47201, check made out to Mount Olive Township for Change Funds, refund of prior year revenue, what…..
Ms. Jenkins: We have a change….we have Change Funds that are established by resolution and this is actually to set up one of the funds.
Mr. Russell: What are Change Funds?
Ms. Jenkins: Change Funds are money that we use to make change with, okay.
Mr. Russell: Okay, like petty cash, or…..
Ms. Jenkins: Well, we have petty cash as well, but we also have Change Funds, okay. Petty cash is turned in at the end of the year and it’s closed out, Change Funds are there continually. We have probably I’m going to say seven or eight different funds for the different departments, so that they can make change when people come in to, you know, pay for fees and permits and things like that, okay.
Mr. Russell: Okay, so….for garbage stickers and that type of thing.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, exactly.
Mr. Russell: And the last one is on page 31, it’s a small one, $18.12, check #006986, October Underground Calls.
Mr. Casey: There is a….every time you dig, you have to notify one call, okay, and then you….we have to go out and we have to mark them. Every time we call them, we get charged for that. So, every month we have to pay to them for….when they come out and process the system, so it’s usually $10 to $20 a month we pay them for our underground work that we have to call for.
Mr. Russell: Okay.
President Rattner: Gee, and I was told that was calls every time we went to the basement to use the phone.
Mr. Russell: I thought you were running an underground railroad.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the public? Yes sir, Mr. Foote….wait a minute, it’s not just a….we have to get everybody else…..sir.
Robert Dubenezic, Flanders: Good evening. I had a couple questions, one is for the Mayor. Mr. Mayor, on the front of the website, which I have printed out here, if you’d like to look at it, I’d just like to read one line. “I look forward to supporting the community of Mount Olive in my term as Mayor incurring an open government environment for all the people of the Township.” I spoke to several Councilmen on the phone, as far as Council Meetings tonight, you’re nowhere to be found. There’s no telephone number, I don’t know where you live, I ……need to know where you live, there’s no way, at least for me, to contact you if I have a problem or if something comes up. I had to speak to Ms. Labow about some concerns on 206. Mr. Buell was nice enough to bring me the e-mail address, which I did send an e-mail on November 16th, I don’t know if you got it or not, it didn’t come back to me undeliverable, I haven’t gotten a response. Can you elaborate a little bit?
Mayor De La Roche: Yes sure, why not. So, you’re telling me you can’t reach Town Hall, is that what you’re saying, because this is where I….this is where my office is, is that what you’re telling me?
Mr. Dubenezic: I can’t reach you.
Mayor De La Roche: I receive calls here all day long, and I spend at least four hours a day on the telephone talking to various residents. So, I don’t know why you can’t reach me, I’m listed in the telephone book and have been my entire thirty-something years in town, but if I can’t be reached at my home, I can’t be reached at Town Hall. I don’t know, that’s where I am 24 hours a day.
Mr. Dubenezic: Okay, I mean, I went on the internet, I went to the phone book, I couldn’t find anything….
Mayor De La Roche: What are you looking for?
Mr. Dubenezic: Well, I just want to know how to contact the Mayor.
Mayor De La Roche: We’ll try it again…I’m either here or in my house, those are the only two places…I hardly ever go…..
Mr. Dubenezic: I have most of the Council’s either e-mail address or phone number, either one, I always get them.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, like I said, I’m in the telephone book, I’ve been listed for thirty-something years in town and, obviously, here I have a number of staff members who take calls all day and answer every e-mail that we get.
Mr. Dubenezic: Okay, well, I sent one here November 16th and haven’t gotten a response back yet.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, I’ll check into it, if you want to give me the specifics.
Mr. Dubenezic: You can have this tonight. The other question is just for the Council in general. Actually, Ms. Labow helped me out a little bit. There seems to be a lot of traffic recently on 206, especially on weekends, it’s Mr. Dubenezic(cont’d): not just rush hour traffic…on weekends. It starts usually at…..it’s probably from the mall, but from the ITC mall, all the way down into Flanders, almost into Chester, it’s bumper to bumper. I don’t known if this is….I sent an e-mail to Officer Van Ness, which is our traffic officer, and he had told me it’s volume and timing of the traffic lights, but he couldn’t really get into specifics of when the DOT was going to be out there. Do we have any dates or when they propose to be out there?
President Rattner: Mr. Casey, can you….do you know about what’s been going on, because there has been activity out there?
Mr. Casey: Is the question that you’re referring to was to whether the traffic lights were going to be properly retimed?
Mr. Dubenezic: Well, whatever we need to do….I’m not an engineer.
Mr. Casey: I will tell you that given the spacing of those lights, I think you’ll find that the retiming doesn’t work, it only works within a grid pattern. So, from that standpoint, I would have to talk to Officer Van Ness and find out what he’s talking about. I know that you have a problem right in the middle part, right in Flanders area, and that’s really caused by the left hand turns, which jam up 206 rather badly through that area, but other than that, I’d have to talk to him and find out what other comments he has.
Mr. Dubenezic: I mean, like a Saturday, it backs up all the way to the State Police Station. I haven’t seen anything like that in….I’ve been in town five years.
Mr. Casey: Come on over to 46 and Route 10, you’ll find out that’s not a back-up at all.
Mr. Dubenezic: I mean, do they have any plans to maybe add a lane or…..
President Rattner: Mr. Guenther, do you want to say…..
Mr. Guenther: Let me answer some of that. We’ve….I think Mr. Mund, who’s head of our Legislative Committee, has reached out to our Legislatures. This issue with traffic on 206 has been ongoing for many years. We’ve had some meetings that have been some improvements that were made as a result of one meeting that we had several years ago. The problem is this, when they widened 206, widened to the three lanes going up toward the Trade Zone, at that time, that project was five years behind time. They had major blasting to do, they had environmental concerns, there are streams there, the DEP gets involved, it is very difficult to widen that highway. It’s just….the traffic you’re talking about, is just a natural outgrowth of the growth of the Township. It’s not just the Township, but if you go there in the morning, I don’t know if you every travel down that road in the morning, it’s bumper to bumper all the way down to Bedminster.
Mr. Dubenezic: Yes, I go north, though, yes.
Mr. Guenther: Well, it’s all the way to Bedminster, so, I mean, it’s been horrible like that for years. The town….I mean, my only solution to the issue…when they widened it to three lanes, it should have been widened to four lanes, but there were major engineering concerns, especially down by Oakwood Village, that kind of ravine that’s there because of the streams there, I’m being told that that’s almost impossible to get done, because of DEP concerns, and I think that’s the only thing that will eventually resolve it. It’s just an outgrowth of the growth, I mean, when we built the Trade Zone, we received funds from the State to cut….to do the International Trade Zone, the drive through there. That was meant to circumvent the traffic that goes up 46, to cut across coming down 206 by the Police Barricks. Obviously, that was going to channel more traffic onto 206 going south. Then you built the Trade Zone Shopping Center, I mean, these are the issues that happen when you have extreme development, which is what we’ve had. The only solution is to eventually widen the highways and Route 206, my understanding is that it’s going to be very difficult to have that happen. I think, through our Legislative Committee, we’re going to try to get meetings with our State Legislatures, to voice our concerns as to what other steps can be taken, for example the intersection of Flanders-Netcong Road and Main Road on the other side, and 206. It’s a horrible intersection, they did a terrible job with that, it’s very dangerous. Certain intersections where things could be better, but as far as the flow of traffic, I don’t see any real solution to that, you know, unless you try to stop development, and you heard the comments before, we really can’t do that, you know, it’s really very difficult to do.
Mr. Dubenezic: Has the DOT been out there to…I know when they do….
Mr. Guenther: To do what, specifically?
Mr. Dubenezic: They have those things you drive over, it counts the traffic…..
President Rattner: Okay, let me just say that the DOT….and we keep calling them, have been out there…..
Mr. Dubenezic: I know they’re very slow…I’m sorry, go ahead.
President Rattner: In fact, when Shop Rite was doing their work, their engineer had called the DOT and they, according to what they told me, they adjusted the light by something like 1.8 seconds.
Mr. Dubenezic: Okay.
President Rattner: That’s number one. Number two, and from all the studies that have been done, the traffic is not generated in Mount Olive, nor is its’ destination primarily Mount Olive. Most of the growth is going out. The people from Pennsylvania are working in Bedminster, how do they get there…that’s when you look at the traffic and where it is going into Byram. So, we have those type issues and that’s been a priority and I keep going after those people and, you know, sometimes I get bad mouthed and sometimes I don’t, for some of the comments I make, but the bottom line now is, with the Highlands Legislation, by legislation, any new travel lanes are strictly prohibited in the Highlands preservation area. You cannot put in any travel lanes, which means regardless of the traffic, and when you look at the fallacy of that, is they’re going to force more people to move to Pennsylvania, because there’s not going to be as much building in northern New Jersey. You can’t improve the roads, so the people are going to live in Pennsylvania and go to Morristown, Parsippany, Bridgewater and down that way, and yet they can’t improve the roads, and they’re trying to solve a problem with constantly looking at it, I’m going to be asking them to look at some of the intersections. Intersection improvements can be made under the Highlands, travel lanes cannot, and so that’s just something we have to work with, but we’re constantly looking at that, and I know our safety officers are looking, we’ve been seeing….we’ve got a couple of signs up on Route 46 about the higher enforcement zone, which we wanted for better enforcement, the counters are out there. I don’t know what the counters are doing, I mean, they were on 46 probably all summer, and I don’t know what can they tell us, there’s more cars, we knew that.
Mr. Dubenezic: Do we know offhand if the traffic lights are favoring 206 or are they favoring the traffic onto 206?
President Rattner: That’s what the DOT looks at. Their priority is moving traffic on a State highway, that’s their priority, that’s a stated priority.
Mr. Dubenezic: Okay. The traffic authority on the highway….
President Rattner: Moving traffic through. We’ve had an issue about putting additional lights in areas on Route 46, at intersections that we think are dangerous, and the DOT refuses to even consider additional traffic lights, because they say their priority is how many cars they can get through on a State highway, that’s their priority.
Mr. Dubenezic: Okay.
President Rattner: And a traffic light just slows it down.
Mr. Dubenezic: Okay. Are both sides of 206 environmentally sensitive?
President Rattner: The whole area is….basically, once you go under the tressel, you start coming up that hill, that’s the Highlands.
Mr. Dubenezic: Even up by the apartments and everything, that’s all…..
Mr. Guenther: Especially there.
Mr. Dubenezic: Oh, okay, especially.
President Rattner: That had other problems before because you couldn’t encroach on the wetlands, that’s why they couldn’t….what Mr. Guenther was commenting on before, you know how you can see the rivers and the…. even the ditches on the side, you can’t touch that, it’s protected. Now you have to be 150 feet from it. Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: I have to tell you, as bad as traffic is on 206, and I agree with you, it’s terrible, 46 to me is a bigger problem, because 46 is an accident waiting to happen. 206 you’re sitting in traffic. You know what, we need to resolve the problems on Route 46 first, because that is a dangerous, dangerous stretch of road through our town. 206 is a problem because you sit there, but it’s not the same kind of pressing need in terms of the State taking a look at the issues, in my mind, although both are.
Mr. Dubenezic: Okay, that’s all I have.
President Rattner: Ms. Jenkins, you have a comment about the traffic?
Ms. Jenkins: No….I can if you’d like.
President Rattner: Well, you raised your hand, did you want to say something?
Ms. Jenkins: I just want to address the digital camera, when we get a chance.
Mr. Dubenezic: During rush hour I understand, but on Saturday afternoons, like, come on.
Mr. Guenther: Well, they’re going shopping.
President Rattner: Okay….Ms. Jenkins is waiting, she had her hand up….
Ms. Jenkins: We contacted Mr. Wilpert about the digital camera and I have some more information I just wanted to share with everybody. Frank indicated it’s going to be used in the investigation of cruelty complaints or unsanitary conditions with animals. He also said that the camera’s going to be used by other Health Inspectors for health code violations to document conditions at the time of the complaint is given, and the money that was used to buy the camera was a donation, okay.
President Rattner: So, it was not taxpayer money?
Ms. Jenkins: No, it was not.
President Rattner: Okay, thank you.
Mr. Dubenezic: I’m sorry….could I just hand this to the Mayor or do I need to give it to the Clerk?
Mayor De La Roche: You don’t need his permission, just give it to me.
President Rattner: Well, it depends, if you wanted to give it to the Mayor, you give it to the Mayor….any other records go to the Clerk. Thank you very much. Anybody else?
Mr. Greenbaum: Can I just follow up on the camera issue for a second, Steve? Where is that camera kept?
Ms. Jenkins: I would imagine it’s in the Health Department. I don’t know for sure, but since it’s for that particular department, I’m sure that’s where it’s kept.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay.
Ms. Labow: I just want to ask Mr. Greenbaum, if he could verify the 150….is it 150 feet or 300 feet? I thought February 3rd or 4th it changed?
Mr. Greenbaum: Exceptional resource stream is 300 foot buffer.
President Rattner: Normal is only 150?
Mr. Greenbaum: You know what, I’m not on Planning Board, I don’t know.
President Rattner: Remember Dr. Mahmood’s property, he just got that letter….150.
Mr. Greenbaum: I thought it was 300.
Ms. Labow: I thought it was 300. Alright, I’ll verify it.
President Rattner: The High School, I know, is 150, we went over that last night at the Board of Ed meeting.
Mr. Greenbaum: I think that’s true, it’s 150 for a normal stream and 300 for an exceptional resources.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you.
President Rattner: Anybody else? Mr. Foote.
Mike Foote, Budd Lake: Can somebody please tell me what they do with the impound bicycles, old police cars? Do they raffle them off, auction?
Mr. Greenbaum: The old police cars, we try to use in other areas of the Township.
Mr. Foote: Okay, how about old equipment, plows, DPW trucks, pickups?
President Rattner: Mr. Casey, why don’t you….you were here when we did some of it…..sold some of that equipment – what was the process?
Mr. Casey: We periodically hope to entice people into buying those. If not, they end up going to a local junk dealer, but we will have periodic auctions of used equipment.
Mr. Foote: Auctions.
Mr. Casey: That’s correct.
Mr. Foote: Does anybody know when the last auction was?
Mr. Casey: Tim….two years ago, or two months ago?
Mr. Quinn: Two years ago.
Mr. Foote: Thank you.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the public? Yes, sir.
Rick Fiore, 16 Camelot Drive, Budd Lake: Good evening. I just wanted to address both the Mayor, your honor, and the Council tonight. I’ve been a resident of Budd Lake for six years now, and what’s brought me here tonight, and my wife couldn’t be here, because somebody had to stay home with our daughter, was all the negative press that we’ve been hearing between the Council and the Mayor. This is very disturbing because the residents of Mount Olive elected both the Council Members and the Mayor to represent their best interest. This cannot take place when there is constant arguing going on between the two and litigation being drawn between the two. It’s a concern because, obviously, things can’t get done when there is constant bickering instead of cooperation. It’s costing us money, and now I understand there is a recall petition being circulated to recall the Mayor. One thing, as a resident, when the town people vote for certain people to represent them, which is you and the Mayor, you were all elected, that was their wish was for you to be there and to represent their best interests and to do the things that need to be done to make sure the township functions. It’s certainly not what’s happening here, it’s almost like a kindergarten that needs supervision, because the kids can’t get along and play nice. It’s an embarrassment that this kind of press is out there, all the other townships talking about how Mount Olive can’t get anything done, and also it’s costing us money. When you go around asking people do you want to sign this petition to recall the Mayor, why don’t you ask them would you like to sign this petition so it will cost the taxpayers another $26,500 because we can’t function, that’s the real question, and I’m just upset and I’d like to hear both sides of the story, the Council has their side and I’m sure the Mayor has his side. The public would really like to know what’s going on up here and I think the public would like you people to work it out instead of costing us more money and the public would like to remind you that if you force this recall, it might cost us $26,500 for a special election, but it won’t cost us a dime next year to put seven new Council Members on that same ballot. Now, I’ll give you guys an opportunity, the Council can go first and then the Mayor has a right to answer. I would like to know why all this negative press, what are the reasons, why do we need a special election to recall the Mayor which is against the wishes of the town people that put him there in the first place. I mean, maybe there’s valid reasons, maybe there’s not. I’m not pointing fingers at anybody right now, but it’s an embarrassment for this whole township to have this kind of press going on and these things circulating around, and I would just like to know, Mr. Rattner, if you want to start first and explain the Council’s…..
President Rattner: Well, for one thing, I run the meetings. Number two, we’re trying to transact the town business. You said that the town would like to know, you’re an individual and I understand that, there’s been plenty of stuff in the press, I’m not going to get into a bartering back and forth on that, you know, and start an argument or disagreements between different Council Members. Obviously, there are different views, there are different interests, there are different ways of getting things done. If you’ve come to the meetings, on a regular basis, you’ll see what’s going on, there’s press, some good, some bad, on each one of us, but we’re not going to start a discussion on the tenance of a recall election, a regular election, and worrying about the next election on any individual one of us. So, with that, I’m sure that most of us are willing to talk to almost anybody in the public on an individual basis. I know that all of us are reachable, either by e-mail, telephone, I don’t think anybody has unlisted numbers, and you can get hold of us that way, but this wouldn’t be the appropriate place to do it at this time. We have a lot of business, we do want to get done tonight, and your questions will just raise other questions and we’ll just continue to go on. I hope you understand that.
Mr. Fiore: Okay, I understand.
Mr. Greenbaum: Just….can I add something to that?
President Rattner: No, no, once we start…..
Mr. Greenbaum: I’m not going to start.
President Rattner: No.
Mr. Greenbaum: I’m not going to start.
President Rattner: No, no, no, no…….
Mr. Greenbaum: I’m not going to start. I welcome the opportunity to sit down with you at any point in time outside the public meeting.
Mr. Fiore: Okay.
Mr. Perkins: So do I.
Mayor De La Roche: As do I.
Ms. Labow: So do I.
President Rattner: I think….I just said that…I made that offer, but people can’t even…even when we agree, we can’t…..okay. Thank you very much.
Ms. Labow: Call us all.
Mr. Fiore: We all want to move forward in a positive direction and not have the static that’s in…..okay.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the public? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion.
Questions on Bill List?
President Rattner: Any other questions on the bill list? Anybody have any questions on the bill list? I just had one that I just thought, and it’s not that I have a problem with anything on it, including the resolution for the bill of the Library. This is just one that I just thought was interesting. Description, it’s amazing nobody else brought it up, replacement uniform for the officer’s uniform that was seized by the Prosecutor’s Office. I was just wondering was he wearing it when they seized it from him? I would imagine it had to do with the in-depth investigation. It’s just the way that it’s put on the purchase order.
Mr. Casey: Yes, unfortunately sometimes the purchase order has a long description and the computer only picks up the first four words.
President Rattner: No, this is the purchase order itself.
Mr. Casey: Yes.
President Rattner: So, if there’s nothing else, then I guess there’s no other questions. So, when we get to it….give the CFO a fair chance to do the research now.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
October 12, 2004 Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Greenbaum,
Mr. Rattner, Mr. Mund
October 27, 2004 Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Mund, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Greenbaum,
Absent: Mr. Perkins
November 9, 2004 Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Mund, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Perkins,
Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner
December 7, 2004 CS Present: President Rattner, Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Mund, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Perkins
Absent: Mr. Guenther
President Rattner: Moving right along, next on the agenda we have approval of Minutes. We have three Public Meetings and we have one Executive Session. Mr. Buell, would you move it?
Mr. Buell: I move to approve the Minutes of October 12, October 27, November 9, and December 7 Closed Session.
Mr. Mund: Second.
President Rattner: Any corrections, comments? Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. I would note that the Closed Session of December 7, 2004 that I have recused myself from that and the record should be adjusted to reflect that.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Perkins. Anybody else? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Mr. Guenther abstained from December 7 Closed
Session, and Mr. Perkins abstained from October 27th and December 7th
President Rattner: Just to remind everybody that we do have an amended agenda tonight, so when we get to the resolutions and ordinances, we have the right one.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS / ORDGANIZATIONS
1. Letter received November 17, 2004, from Tonie Fry regarding Paula Zeliff-Murphy.
2. E-mail received November 29, 2004, from John Rec, regarding Turkey Brook Park Access Paths.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS
3. Notice received November 29, 2004, from the Township of Byram regarding a Public Hearing of the Planning Board with regard to the adoption of the Proposed Byram Township Master Plan.
DOT / DEP / LOI
4. Letter received November 23, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection
regarding Cancellation of an Application for Extension of Letter of Interpretation Applicant: NJ Foreign Trade Zone Venture LLC Block 204; Lots 1 and 1.01 (1000 International Drive).
5. Application for NJDEP Letter of Interpretation received November 22, 2004, from Amy S. Greene Environmental Consultants regarding Block 7600, Lot 86 (Mount Olive High School Property).
6. Notice received December 1, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Stream Encroachment Permit Application for 105 Maple Avenue Hackettstown.
7. Letter received December 1, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding 226 Route 206 Block 5300 / Lot 16 Mount Olive Township, Morris County Upper Raritan Water Quality Management Plan. (226 Route 206, Flanders)
8. Letter received December 8, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Mount Olive Township Water Department – Pinecrest System - New Well No. 3 (Backup Well).
9. Letter received November 22, 2004, from Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding the Silver Spring Manor Project.
10. E-mail received November 29, 2004, from Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding After Hours Holiday Party.
11. Letter received December 8, 2004, from Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding Municipal Reorganization meetings.
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
12. E-mail received November 23, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding the Anti “big box” Bill.
13. Legislative Bulletin received November 23, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Bills that were enacted as Public Laws for 2004.
14. E-mail received December 3, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Hearing on Anti “big box” Bill (cancelled) and Senate voting session for Monday.
15. E-mail received December 8, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Brownfield’s Redevelopment and Acting Governor Codey Signs Law Increasing Local Control of Traffic Signage.
16. Letter received December 9, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding ordering educational sessions of the Annual League Conference by audio cassette or MP3 discs.
17. E-mail received November 23, 2004, from The Editors of GPN & GPRO regarding Wireless Network Monitors Landfill Emissions.
18. Letter received November 29, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Health and Senior Services regarding Office of Animal Welfare.
19. Letter received December 9, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Civil Rights regarding Resolution Supporting the Rights of our Immigrant Neighbors and Resolution for Establishment of NJ Arab Heritage Commission.
20. Fax received November 29, 2004, from Comcast regarding G4 Tech TV.
21. Fax received December 6, 2004, from Comcast regarding Rate Adjustments.
22. Notice received December 9, 2004, from Jersey Central Power and Light Company regarding Tariff Change.
23. Minutes received December 8, 2004, from Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding November 3, 2004 meeting.
24. Letter received December 1, 2004, from Cureton Caplan regarding Mount Olive Library, United Rentals v. Blackstone Group, LLC.
President Rattner: We have 24 items of correspondence. Would anybody like to comment on any of the correspondence? Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, this is directed to Mr. Casey, letter number 8. I don’t recall seeing this in my correspondence, I don’t know if you can answer that. I just wanted to know what the gist of that letter from the DEP was, regarding the Pinecrest System?
Mr. Casey: Let me get the letter and the reason that I’m hesitating is that I read the letter, it did not register as being something that required a significant action, but other than that, I’ll get you the letter.
Mr. Guenther: Apparently, Mr. Mund is showing it to me, apparently they’ve issued the permit…that’s what I wanted to know, if they really issued the permit.
Mr. Mund: It was the…..
Mr. Perkins: It was just a permit with all the usual DEP……
Mr. Mund: And approving it…
Mr. Guenther: Okay….okay, they approved the permit.
Mr. Casey: Yes, it was a standard letter from them, that’s all I remember.
Mr. Guenther: No, no that’s okay, that’s all I wanted to know….I just some how missed it in my…..thank you.
Mr. Perkins: Bob, I just wanted to….when you get a chance, if you need the letter, and it just starts off, you know, where the Bureau has issued a permit for Mount Olive to construct a new public community water supply well….and it says the well is located, blah, blah, blah, as you know, the maintenance….and it tells you about getting together with the other purveyor, I don’t understand. Is that now standard language in that permit?
Mr. Casey: Let me….I think it’s standard, but I will….let me go forward on that and I need to look at the other system they’re talking about tying into, and I’ll get back to you on that, because this is an interconnection with some of the other systems, that’s what I need to look at.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, because we are the purveyor in all those, I believe.
Mr. Casey: I know.
Mr. Perkins: Thanks Bob.
Ms. Labow: I just wanted to ask a question to Mr. Casey, for number 2, a letter from Mr. Rec, that’s on Sunset Drive. Has that all been pretty much addressed?
Mr. Casey: Gene tells me that the contractor has proceeded fairly significantly along there, and hopefully many of those issues have been or will be resolved when he’s done, as soon as it stabilizes. So, we’re hoping that the water runoff issues….however, you’ll notice that the letter also referred to a dispute over the location of a path, and I think Mr. Guenther had some interesting comments on that as to conflict within the community as to where the path has to go.
Mr. Guenther: Well, I’ll repeat them in public. My recollection of it is that this came up in meetings with the Concerned Citizens Committee of Pershing Estates, which I believe Mr. Rec or Mrs. Rec attended, and it was brought up at that time that the location of the path, we all kind of agreed it had to be where it was to be, so it could connect to the back parking lot. Mr. Rec said to me, at the time that I went up there to look at the water…runoff damage, that he thought it was going to be like a hundred yards further off the road, which I said John, it doesn’t make any sense, because if you’re going to put it way up there, nobody’s going to use it.
Mr. Guenther(cont’d): They’re going to cut through there anyway to get to the parking lot. You have to put it somewhere where it’s closer to where people are actually going to use it, and I thought he was satisfied with that and then he brought it up again in the e-mail. So, I think it’s a dead issue, I…personally I think, you know, and I’ll tell John that myself, I think it’s an issue where he feels impacted, but there are plenty citizens of my development, Pershing Estates, who would like to see the path even closer in, because they’re inconvenienced by having to walk up Sunset Drive toward the school to get to that path up to the park, and, in fact, probably the logical place to put it, is the Township right-of-way at the end of Carson Road, that leads right up to the park, but, obviously, the neighbors on each side probably would have objected to that. So, this was a good place to put it, to get it far away from any impacted residents as possible, so…..
Ms. Labow: And they can park right there for football….where the football field parks, right?
Mr. Guenther: Yes, right.
Ms. Labow: Okay, good, thank you. We’re done, Mr. Rattner.
President Rattner: Thank you. I don’t have any other comments.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Rattner: Okay, moving right along, then we’ll go to Ordinances for Public Hearing. I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #46-2004, entitled:
Ord. #46-2004 Amendment to Ordinance #26-2004 establishing salary range for the Grant Coordinator from $37,615.45 to *$52,000.00
President Rattner: That’s not increasing it…….it’s increasing the range that the position would be available to be paid. Would anybody from the public like to address the Council on this ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close the public hearing and ask Ms. Labow to move it.
Ms. Labow: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #46-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #46-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish a notice of adoption as required by law.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – (2nd Reading January 11, 2005)
President Rattner: We now have Ordinances for First Reading and so the first item we do have is Ordinance #47-2004, entitled:
Ord. #47-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Sale of Certain Land Known as Block 8500, Lot 24, 6 River Drive, Mount Olive Township.
Mr. Mund: I move that Ordinance #47-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting to be held on January 11, 2005 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, New Jersey for public hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said Ordinance and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said Ordinance in accordance with the requirements of law.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion?
Mr. Mund: This is the correction of the land that was passed to the township and we’re correcting it…it should have gone directly to the other party.
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, we should have gotten an easement.
President Rattner: Anybody else? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Mr. Greenbaum abstained
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 Establishing the Annual Reorganization Meeting for January 4, 2005.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive in Support of a Property Tax Reform Convention.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Release of Performance Guarantees in Connection with Homestead at JJF, Inc. RE: Jennie’s Lane.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Extension of a Contract with Jersey Professional Management for Administrative Services. *amended 12/14/04*
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting Approval from the Director of the Division of Local Government Services for Insertion of a Specific Item of Revenue into the 2004 Municipal Budget ($1,020.00 for Donation – MO Bar and Grill).
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Sale of One EDU to Michael Mikitik Block 2303 Lot 2.
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Use of Various Purchasing Contracts (NJ Fire Equipment).
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Release of Performance Guarantees for Commerce Bank North – Route 46/Sandshore Road.
President Rattner: Okay, now we move to resolutions. We have 8 items on the Consent Resolution Agenda. Does anybody have any qualms or concerns and would like to have anything removed?
Mr. Guenther: I would like resolution 3 taken off.
President Rattner: Anybody else? Okay, 3 is taken off and we’ll do that under Non-Consent. Mr. Guenther, would you move 1, 2, and 4 through 8?
Mr. Guenther: Yes, I hereby move for the passage of Consent Resolutions 1 and 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
Mr. Mund: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Okay, would anybody from the public like to address the Council? Mr. Bonte.
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: Resolution number 2. This is now the third time this year that this resolution has been….or a resolution similar to it, has been on the agenda. I don’t understand why this keeps resurrecting itself. I believe that the Council should seriously consider defeating this resolution, this is not a good idea. It is, as we all know, the Legislature’s responsibility to determine the means of taxation and pass the appropriate laws in the State of New Jersey. Opening a constitutional convention on this issue can lead to many other issues which we may not want to happen, and I think you need to seriously consider what might happen if a constitutional convention is convened in the State of New Jersey and what the adverse impacts that may come of Mr. Bonte(cont’d): it. I think we could end up with something far worse than what we’re hoping to accomplish here. I think this town and all the other towns in this State need to send a clear message to the Legislature, that they were elected to do a job, and it is incumbent upon them to do their job, and that is to tax the citizens of this State fairly and appropriately to fund the State government and Local and County governments, as necessary. It’s not necessary to open Pandora’s box, I strongly suggest that you take this off the Consent Resolution agenda, discuss it and then vote no. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Bonte. Anybody else from the public like to address the Council on the Consent Resolutions?
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Seeing none, any other Council comments? Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: I just want to respond to Mr. Bonte, I vehemently disagree with him. I think it should be on the agenda because our politicians on both the Democratic and Republican side, at the State level, have been shown to be absolutely feckless and will not….don’t have the guts to do the right thing. The Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey has determined that the State property tax system is unfair and it should be corrected. This is the only way to correct it.
Ms. Labow: Can we remove item number 2 and vote on it separately?
Mr. Dorsey: Not now.
President Rattner: Once it moves, you can vote no, you can say all but that one, but it’s already been moved and seconded.
Mr. Greenbaum: She can move to amend.
Mr. Dorsey: No.
Mr. Greenbaum: Why can’t she?
Mr. Dorsey: Not on the consent list.
Mr. Greenbaum: No, alright.
President Rattner: It doesn’t make any sense, because she can vote no on it anyway.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay. I have a comment on it.
President Rattner: Seeing no discussion, Roll Call.
Mrs. Lashway: Rob wants to speak.
Mr. Greenbaum: That’s alright.
President Rattner: No….Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: I agree with Mr. Bonte and I disagree with Mr. Guenther in terms of the manner in which that the property tax issue should be resolved. It’s always been my position that no matter how you break it down, somebody’s got to pay for the kids in the school system, whether it’s by property tax or some other method, it’s going to effect us all and the Pandora’s box ultimately, which is going to be opened up by this convention is not the resolution to the issue. I believe, more appropriately, the resolution of the issue is to pass to the developers the impact fees that are associated with their development and not through property tax reform. So, I will vote against resolution number 2.
President Rattner: That’s good, but that can be actually part of the tax reform is impact fees like most of the rest of the country has. It still is unresolved exactly what the constitutional convention will be. I don’t like the idea of having to go this way, however, Mr. Guenther is absolutely right, because the Legislature, for the last thirty years, has abdicated their responsibilities by hiding under a rock when it comes to this, and the last thing that I’m really worried about is, if we don’t do anything…that isn’t done by this way by the Legislature, we’re going to have seven people, or whatever we have in the State Supreme Court, in robes deciding what’s going to President Rattner(cont’d): happen. That’s how we got Mount Laurel Housing, the developments we said we didn’t like, it was legislated in, that’s how we got the Abbott Districts, that’s how we got a lot of the different things that we say don’t work, is open to abuse, and doesn’t really benefit the general public. That it was a stop-gap by non-elected people with no real accountability and no other place to go. So, I think, with that, I think all this is doing and why we keep passing it, and I did vote against it the first couple times is that it just sends a message that I think we’re getting frustrated and maybe this will force the right people to start making the right decisions and start doing something that makes sense. Not this year, especially this year, of all years, that now they have to borrow money to pay back the loan that they borrowed so they could send you a rebate to make it look like you’re getting money back. So, they borrow $2 billion when they were $2 billion in debt, now they can’t afford to go back so they’re going to refinance $450 million so they don’t have to make a payment for a year and a half, costing $100 million…that’s happened, it was done last week. This is getting ridiculous and that’s really what it is and it’s really just a message, obviously nobody pays attention to these things, it’s just telling them and if enough communities and towns, maybe they’ll start getting the message, but I don’t think it’s going to work, but I don’t think it does any harm. Anybody else? Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: I basically agree with you, I think it’s…..
President Rattner: You don’t even know what I said.
Mr. Buell: Nobody’s…..basically nobody’s listening. This is just a way to say do something.
President Rattner: Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Mr. Greenbaum voted No on 2
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
President Rattner: Okay, now we have Resolutions on Non-Consent.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Release of Performance Guarantees in Connection with Homestead at JJF, Inc. RE: Jennie’s Lane.
President Rattner: Ms. Labow, would you move resolution number 3?
Ms. Labow: I move resolution number 3.
Mr. Buell: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Okay, anybody from the public like to address this resolution? Seeing none, I’ll close the public comment portion.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: And ask for Council comments.
Mr. Guenther: I just wanted to know, from the Administration, in view of the numerous problems we’ve had with this developer, what other monies do we still have….does this release all the monies to him?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, yes.
Mr. Guenther: Or are other monies still available to us in case of problems.
Mr. Dorsey: No. Bernie, are you looking where…this would release his performance guarantees and this release is based upon Gene Buczynski’s certification of the township that all improvements have been satisfactorily installed. It will be subject, the release…before he has the release of the monies, he must submit a two year maintenance bond, but this is based upon Buczynski’s certification. If you want to hold it until Buczynski is here next week, that’s fine too, but that’s the answer to the question.
Mrs. Lashway: There is a two year maintenance bond posted.
Mr. Dorsey: No, I said that, he has to post a two year maintenance bond.
Mr. Greenbaum: So the answer is there’s a two year maintenance bond to correct any of the problems.
Mr. Dorsey: Yes.
Mr. Guenther: Thank you.
President Rattner: Any other discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
9. *Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing a Special Public Meeting for December 21, 2004.*
President Rattner: Okay, we have non-consent resolution number 9, Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, I move for pass and approval of non-consent resolution 9.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Anybody from the public like to address this resolution. All it’s saying is that we have a workshop scheduled for next week, this will allow us to take action. We’ve been doing a lot of work on the tax appeals and we hope to come to some conclusion, and there’s a benefit in getting them in this year so that we can get resolution or agreements on them, we want to act on it after we discuss it.
Mrs. Lashway: It’s also establishing the meeting to start at 7:00 to have an Executive Session and Kyle Conti is added to the discussion.
Mr. Mund: Excuse me, Lisa, is that saying it’s at 7:00?
Mrs. Lashway: The meeting….it’s also establishing the meeting to start at 7:00 for us to have an Executive Session and in addition to the tax appeals, the Kyle Conti matter, and then to go into Public Session and take action if action needs to be taken….
President Rattner: On both items.
Mrs. Lashway: And then the workshop will follow.
President Rattner: Does anybody have any other discussion?
Mr. Guenther: Excuse me, what are we taking, what’s the Public Session for?
Mrs. Lashway: Tax appeal resolutions and Kyle Conti, Turkey Brook.
Mr. Guenther: Okay.
President Rattner: If we can come to consensus. That’s what we have to discuss.
Mr. Guenther: Okay, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
1. Approval of Bingo Application #2060 and Raffle Application #2061 for Father Joseph A. Cassidy Council 6100 Knights of Columbus.
President Rattner: We have motions, Mr. Perkins, Raffle Applications.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. I move for approval of Bingo Application #2060 and Raffle Application #2061 for Father Joseph A. Cassidy, Council 6100, Knights of Columbus.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
2. Approval of a Peddler’s Permit for Iuri Cunha.
President Rattner: Approval of Peddler’s Permit, Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: I move for approval of Peddler’s Permit for Iuri Cunha.
Mr. Buell: Second.
Mr. Guenther: Just a question….what are they peddling?
Mrs. Lashway: They work for Rainbow, it’s the mobile trucks, the….
President Rattner: Roach coach.
Mrs. Lashway: Roach coach….food trucks.
Ms. Labow: Oh, the food trucks.
Mr. Guenther: Oh those…the little…..
President Rattner: Roach coach…..affectionately known as…..
Mr. Dorsey: I’m glad that’s on public record.
Mrs. Lashway: They have a health inspection.
President Rattner: They’re all qualified. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
3. Bill List.
President Rattner: Bill List, Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: I move approval of the bill list.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Any other discussion? There shouldn’t be. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: The next item we have, under Administrative Matters, the Library TCO. We know that there was a bill on the bill list for the Library construction, we didn’t, you know, it seemed in order and nobody had any questions, that’s why we didn’t need to make a special presentation on that, because I figured this maybe get a little involved on exactly what different organizations’ and professionals’ responsibilities are. Mr. Casey, I guess, under Administrative Matters.
Mr. Casey: Yes sir, this is an unusual matter in that it normally is handled internally within the engineering and the township offices, relative to the issuance of a certification to the construction official that, in fact, all the site improvements on the location meet the required codes and, therefore, we take no exception to the construction official issuing a certificate of occupancy or even a temporary certificate of occupancy. In this particular
Mr. Casey(cont’d): instance, because of, I guess, a history that goes back a while, on the Library, the bottom line is that the township staff was not involved directly in inspecting the site improvements as they were made. I have supplied to the Council a memo dated December 10th in which I went back and reviewed the files on this and basically put forth four different letters and memos which have been received by Gene Buczynski from Goodwin and Clearwater, from Michael Hicks who is an architect for Dennis Kowal Associates, or Architects and a second letter from Goodwin and Clearwater all concerning the site improvement work. I had discussions with Thomas Canarello, who I believe is the designer for the site work, and the activity that he has done on location and I know his concerns here that….what concerns me is almost all the letters that we received from the architect and from Goodwin and Clearwater are basically saying in general compliance, or based upon physical observations, or whatever the case is, no one has provided a specific certification that says, in essence, that they hereby certify that the work has been done according to plans. I had Mr. Quinn, who is present, visit the site on several occasions, the good news is that the storm water retention system, which was installed last year, has now had one full year to mature. Tim is here, he can talk, but the bottom line is there is not an erosion problem, the storm water system is functioning, there is no ponding onsite, which is the best indication that, of course, the grades are maintained because after a rain, there is no water onsite. We also were able to verify that the asphalt thickness, at the edge of the road, where they was a cutout done on the entrance area, Tim measured that area and verified that in fact the asphalt was in place. I talked to Gene Buczynski, who was given tonnage slips, and he is very comfortable upon the fact that the stabilized base is, in fact, it was in place when he looked at it earlier this year. So, the reality is that we have had a number of people look at site, we’ve had a number of instances where people indicated that the site appears to be properly done, properly inspected, but we don’t have the necessary certification from a licensed engineer. Now, what makes this unusual, as I noted in my memo, is…and this is where the whole thing gets a little convoluted, is it’s your site, these are your improvements, these are your monies that were spent, and these are issues that if, in fact, is not done right, you will be responsible for repairing, you, i.e. the township. Obviously, if a hole should appear on site, the taxpayers have to fix it. So, within some limits, it’s a lot like the private sector, where you could sit there and tell the private guy, you know, sign off and give us hold harmless, guarantee that you’ll stand behind it, etc. We can’t give our own self a hold harmless that we’re going to stand behind, because it’s us, it’s you…you own it. Everything that I have, at this point in time, indicates that the site work is done adequately and that everything is in place. I talked to Gene as to whether he felt that the only…..if he was not comfortable with the asphalt, we would obviously do cores, he doesn’t feel that it’s necessary, that what he knows on site and what he’s seen on site, but if we want, we can always go out there and have, you know, cores drill, like you do for normal road construction, just to verify that you have the tonnage, but he feels it’s good, but if that what it takes…so we’re at the point that, although the Administration does not have the capability of issuing to the construction official, a certification guaranteeing it, I mean, by a licensed engineer, I’m comfortable, based upon all the work that
we’ve got here, that in fact the work is done and we would be prepared to issue to the construction official that we don’t take exception to it at all, from the owner’s standpoint because we are the owner, that it’s acceptable, but I bring to your attention because of the controversy surrounding the site and because this is an unusual step. So, at this point, unless we are willing to go out and do destructive testing on site, we have to accept it as it is. Now, I will say that the storm water system was, in fact, inspected by….we have the certification of the storm water system by Mr. Canarella, who basically went out on site and in one of his letters to me and in talking to me is the only way he verified that is have a backhoe come on site and dig up the pipe that was already in the ground to verify that, in fact, it was in place. So, he did destructive testing himself a year ago. So, it’s before you for discussion because we have to resolve an issue to give instructions to the construction official as to a temporary CO, or at which point in time, the Library closes down, because we’re at that point.
Ms. Labow: Steve….
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum, then Ms. Labow.
Mr. Greenbaum: Bob, what is it exactly that you want the Council to do?
Mr. Casey: I’m bringing it before to obtain your concurrence in the fact that we are prepared to accept the site, and if you’re not prepared, if you want us to go forward with destructive testing on this site. By destructive, I mean drilling, whatever is necessary to, you know, bring in a crew….not our crew, bring in a testing map to do other testing.
Mr. Greenbaum: So, if I understand you correctly, Bob, you want the Council to agree with you that you’re prepared to issue a TCO, based upon the facts as you know them.
Mr. Casey: That’s correct.
Ms. Labow: I just wanted clarification, Mr. Casey. You said that, since we’re the owners, then we’re saying that we’re satisfied with the work that was done….it’s confusing in one respect…..if I had a house built and if Ms. Labow(cont’d): the construction company proved to me that they did everything right and I’m satisfied, and I’m the homeowner, then why wouldn’t I be able to get a TCO or a CO, by telling the town inspector I’m happy, it’s my property. I’m trying to figure out how this is different.
Mr. Casey: Well, let’s go forward that….just take that from a homeowner and make it a business because we are a business so we have property that we invite the public on to. We have a higher threshold of assurances that we have to provide because it is a public site. A homeowner can basically assume their own responsibility on the site. They can sign off on their own permits. I live in it, I assume my own responsibility. When you invite the public on your site then the township, as a public agency, acquires some…there is a requirement. We go in there and say, yes, this is built according to our standards and therefore the public should be protected by going on site. That assurance that this is built according to standards that the public should go on site is a function of the township engineer and the certification that he provides to the construction official. We are not talking about the buildings. The building is handled by the construction official. We are talking about the site improvements, i.e., the roadways, the storm drain system, the grading on the site. That type of stuff.
Mrs. Labow: So if I was a business owner and the public was coming to my business, to my establishment and I was comfortable that everything was done correctly and I said to the town officials, “I’m happy that everything was done. Sign off on this.”
Mr. Casey: If you were a business, you’d have a site plan and we would have to be assured, that in fact, it was done right either by you providing an engineer or our own engineer would have to go in there and do it because it is a public site.
Mrs. Labow: And if I provided my own engineer and the township engineer did not see it and he didn’t want to sign off on it, then would I still get my CO?
Mr. Casey: The township engineer would review what your engineer said and if he basically accepted it, they certification, the answer is yes.
Mrs. Labow: And if he didn’t?
Mr. Casey: Back to square one. There has to be an agreement by the town because it is a public site.
Mr. Mund: Bob, I have a question. Our staff did not witness it but they have certifications from the engineering force that we hired to monitor it as well as the receipts and records in place.
Mr. Casey: The problem is, we don’t have certifications. The only time that their engineering firm very specifically said that they inspected the site and found it to be in total compliance was the stormwater system which they did a year ago after they went up and did some excavation on site. That’s the problem. Neither the architect nor the engineers have actually come out with a certification saying, I hereby certify that, it fact, all the work is done. I’m putting my license on the line that the work is done. They are very careful in how, if you read what I wrote here, they are very careful that this is done in general compliance with, a visual inspection shows that. Okay, no one has come right out specifically and said, “I hereby certify that, in fact, all of the site improvements are in place and that I can assure you, I’m certifying that it was done right.”
Mr. Guenther: I’m confused. I thought, in fact, I remember having a meeting last year when Mark DiGennaro was still here and with Mr. McGlynn about some questions that had, I think it was regarding the drainage. I thought that this work was being inspected all along the way by our own township people.
Mr. Casey: No sir.
Mr. Guenther: Then, in addition to that, are you pressing that button, Bob?
Mr. Casey: Every now and then…the button on the bottom. There we go.
Mr. Guenther: If you press it, it doesn’t record.
Mr. Casey: I had it switched the other way. You can switch it the other way. It’s a dead man’s switch.
President Rattner: Don’t touch the mikes! We’ll send Lisa down at you.
Mr. Casey: I’m hoping it will cause you a headache, that’s all.
Mr. Guenther: So, but why isn’t there any way that….I don’t see how we’re different from a private business and that we can’t hold their engineers or their people accountable, if something is wrong, winds up being wrong. Let’s assume that the drainage system wasn’t working properly and we found that out after we took possession, there’s no way to get back at these people?
Mr. Casey: Well, I mean, now you’re talking about….obviously, you have to enter into a suit against the firm who designed it or people that constructed it, etc. that, in fact, they didn’t fulfill their public contract. So, you…from a liability issue, the same as any other contract that’s out there. I mean, don’t be confused and sit there and say that the Library issued a contract as apart from the township, the Library is part of the township.
Mr. Guenther: I understand that.
Mr. Casey: So, the same as you have suits going on right now against other township owned contractors, who you have questioned their work, you could have the same issue going forth here.
Mr. Buell: This is just the site improvements?
Mr. Casey: Just the site improvements. The building improvements, in the audience is the construction official who can attest to the fact that he is satisfied from the construction code standpoint, putting words in Russ’s mouth, that in fact all the construction is….meets State code, but that’s his responsibility to do that, he’s had the engineers sign off…the structural engineers, all the other people that are engineers, sign off that, in fact, the structural work and everything is done right, so he has certification.
Mr. Buell: Because we don’t have the problem with the building that we have here.
Mr. Casey: That’s correct. Russ, is there any comment on that?
President Rattner: Well, let me get all the Council comments and then we can get, you know, if you want to bring up professionals. Anything else, Mr. Buell?
Mr. Buell: Not at this point, no.
Mr. Greenbaum: Bob, I have to tell you that I was absolutely floored when I got your memo that you brought Council into this. This is an Administrative function. I, you know, it’s interesting that this should be brought to our attention. My position generally, Bob, is if the Administration believes that it should issue a TCO, then you should issue the TCO. This is not a Council issue, I don’t really appreciate the fact that you’re trying to pass the buck to us at this point in time. So, my advice to you, as a Councilman is do what you think you need to do. As an attorney, I would tell you that I would be damn sure, giving advice to somebody, that I had the appropriate certifications before I, as an Administrator, gave the TCO, because if there are problems with this site, it is going to come back and bite you in the rear-end. It’s really….you have to make a decision and you have to live with it. I don’t know why it was brought to Council in the first instance.
Mr. Mund: I just read…the Library indicates that their inspectors were onsite during the construction process, collecting all the required material slips and observing the construction to insure its adequacy. Why haven’t they certified?
Mr. Casey: The issue is whether, in fact, a licensed engineer, a professional engineer was on site doing that work and they were not. The person who basically….that I talked to, who is the design engineer for the project, was not involved in construction inspection.
President Rattner: Mr. Casey, the first thing I just want to ask, and I already know the answer to some of it, whether it be our people, external people, the Library’s people, why weren’t inspections and the processes ongoing? You went through the literature, you knew there were issues where people were refused access to do inspections saying they weren’t needed, now it appears that they were. I was really surprised by that memo in that there are very good reasons why there are different certifications, different professionals that are licensed by the State that are held up to State codes of conduct and standards, with educational professional background, that, in the eyes of the State, they’re supposed to uphold the law and protect the public. For whatever reason, we’ve come to this point and we cannot get the proper certifications from licensed people; oh, it looks great. It’s just like picking up a car, hey it looks great, it’s running great, we find out it didn’t have brakes when you step on the brakes. I’m not saying that that’s what happening here, but you’re asking the Council, following on what Mr. Greenbaum has said, is that we cannot get the professionals, or the proper professionals or what we would normally need, to use as guidance, to sign off that everything has been correct, and you’re asking us, as a legislative body, basically take a political position to open the Library and say that, because the representations President Rattner(cont’d): you made, everything is good, even though we can’t find a professional to sign off on it and go forward. I just can’t see doing that, I think it would be just ludicrous for me to even consider something like that if I couldn’t get the certifications, because when we want to make a decision, we want to have the information. I don’t know how we got to this, we’ve had a lot of discussions, we know there was a certain amount of friction along the way. As I told the Mayor, when he brought it up, when he acknowledged that there was a problem about three weeks ago, that the Library….he’s on the Library Board, he attended, from what I understand, just about every meeting, he was in all the different discussions on how the stuff was going to be handled, he was well aware of whether things were getting inspected or not, and when there was limitations on the access to the site by town officials to do the inspection. He further went on to say that he has a lot of experience in building, he ran build….it was a quote, he ran building departments, which I imagine meant that he was responsible for them, so he should have known what was necessary. If we know what’s necessary, and I’ll state what I told him at the time, you’re on the Library Board, the Library Board is appointed by you, you went to the meetings, the town…the officials…the code enforcement officials all are under his responsibility, so he’s got it all in one ball of wax, he doesn’t need us for anything. He has it, it would have been just sitting down….what was needed. To come to us to say that we can’t get it done because we can’t get a proper certification, I don’t know how you could….I don’t know how anybody from the public could even understand that type of situation.
Mr. Casey: Mr. Rattner, this problem….this problem initiated in 2003, that’s when the problem occurred, so this goes back to the original site works, so it’s not a matter of something that….and I’m not defending this Mayor, but this did not happen in 2004, this began with discussion and disputes that happened in 2003 and carried forward….
President Rattner: That’s agreed.
Mr. Casey: That’s when the original problem evolved and I agree with you and if, in fact, I think the issue should have happened in 2003…where the town should have very bluntly told the contractor onsite that they were going to do it our way or no way and that should have been what happened.
President Rattner: That’s right.
Mr. Casey: Now in terms of….I am bringing this to your attention to, you know, if in fact the governing body wishes the Administration to handle it, I will order destructive testing and we will have the necessary testing done on site.
President Rattner: That, again, that’s really good, destructive testing, we built the building, it wasn’t inspected, it wasn’t certified….
Mr. Casey: It’s not the building, there’s nothing wrong with the building.
President Rattner: You’re saying destructive testing….I don’t care what it is.
Mr. Casey: On the parking lot.
President Rattner: You’re saying…you’re using those words destructive testing. If you can’t prove something was done right, I’m going to have to destroy it to prove it was done right….what kind of thing….that’s like you just start beating your wife.
Mr. Casey: Destructive testing is core drilling. We will have core drills made of the parking lot.
President Rattner: Why do you call it destructive…..
Mr. Casey: Because you drill a hole in it, it’s called destructive, you know, core drilling.
President Rattner: Why don’t you do sampling? I think that was a poor choice of words, I didn’t like the words. If that’s what is needed to know what’s right, it’s a $5 million investment that we were told that you didn’t review the bills because you didn’t have the authority or the people to do it, whatever came from the architect or the professionals that were hired by the Library, said they were good. We don’t know if they were. When we get turned over a $5 million building, if I’m going to accept it, I want to make sure it’s right in every…as best as we can. If there is a known defect, we’ll put away money for it or something like that, but I’m not going to accept something I really don’t know what’s there. If you bought a house, you would demand a walk through and make sure everything is done and have a punch list. You wouldn’t accept it without it and President Rattner(cont’d): you couldn’t move in without a CO and I don’t see why we should do it, not when I have, you know, the town’s children in there and everything else. It looks like a gorgeous building.
Mr. Casey: As I indicated, there is nothing wrong with the structure.
President Rattner: Then why can’t you get a certification?
Mr. Casey: We have it under structure.
Mr. Dorsey: Get a CO.
Mr. Guenther: It has it, it’s the parking lot.
Mr. Casey: It’s the parking lot.
President Rattner: Get a CO or get a TCO or whatever it is, under the procedures, that you’re….that the Administration is under complete control to get. That’s all it is. Mr. Perkins, did you want to say something or are you just waving?
Mr. Perkins: No, no, thank you.
President Rattner: Does anybody else have anything you want to hear from the professionals, whatever they’re going to say?
Mr. Perkins: Does anybody else want to jump in?
President Rattner: Oh, you did want to say something, or you didn’t?
Mr. Perkins: Yes I did.
President Rattner: Oh, well then say it. He stopped again.
Mr. Perkins: Relax, take it easy. Mr. Casey, when we do the destructive testing, is it only the core sampling that would have to be done for the, let’s say the dense graded aggregate, the stabilized phase, as well as the top course, or are we also looking at the slope and cover on the storm system?
Mr. Casey: I would also require an as-built.
Mr. Perkins: And somebody would have to come up with an as-built, right?
Mr. Casey: That’s correct. Yes, I would use the existing certification we have on the storm water system by Tom Canarella, well, I would give that to Gene, I mean, Gene’s looked at it before, but we would then require them to supply an as-built to us in order to verify all grades and then we would probably do core drilling at certain locations to verify the depth of asphalt and EGA.
Mr. Dorsey: Who is the they in that statement, it would require them to give you that….
Mr. Perkins: It would be Blackstone, wouldn’t it?
Mr. Casey: Either the….well, the Library Board is going to have to provide it, or the town is going to do it and charge the Library….and charge it against the existing ordinances….we need an as-built.
Ms. Labow: What’s an as-built?
Mr. Casey: An existing condition survey that shows the exact grades on all the site.
President Rattner: You make certain changes along the way, because of field problems. Mr. Greenbaum, you wanted to say something?
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, Bob, what efforts were made by the Administration to resolve this issue prior to bringing it to Council?
Mr. Casey: The efforts were made, as I indicated, when I first became aware of it, I asked the Library and received a letter from their architect, that I was hoping that I would get a certification from the architect, however, the letter from the architect is not a certification, it is basically, he says based upon….you know, I did a visual inspection, etc. etc. When I saw that, I then basically said, you know, I need something more than that and we then got a letter from the engineering firm that came up and did a, you know, an inspection but, again, it was based upon general observations, etc., it is not a certification. Both of those, I mean, the engineering firm… I spoke to him very specifically, I called him and he said I can’t do it, I wasn’t on site, unless they want me to come back and actually physically verify that, in fact, what’s there. So, either he has to do that to our satisfaction, or we will do it to our own satisfaction.
Mr. Greenbaum: Are you saying, by suggesting to us, that we take this action in concurrence to what you have opined, that you are prepared to go forward with the project without having verification of these issues, based upon what you know. I’m just looking for a yes or no answer, Bob, if you can give me one.
Mr. Casey: Given the fact that we own the site, I think that it’s a reasonable risk for us to assume, if you want greater assurances, we’ll get them.
President Rattner: I don’t think we own the site at this point, Mr. Casey.
Mr. Casey: You own the site, it’s your site, you bonded it, it’s your money.
President Rattner: The building’s not the contractor’s?
Mr. Dorsey: What he means is, the township has not accepted the site, as improved. You know, I think at the least, you better have some samples today, because that is not terribly destructive, it’s done every day in connection with pavings, and I understand it’s the only way you’ll know for sure whether or not the right thickness of pavement was put down before you release the final payment to Blackstone. Apparently, Bob, and I don’t question this, I accept it, you accept whatever materials have been submitted to you that the storm drainage has been satisfactorily installed, so it would appear that the core samples are the only things that’s left, other than an as-built survey.
Mr. Casey: That’s my understanding, in talking to Gene, the same way. Those are the two missing pieces.
Mr. Greenbaum: After that, Gene is going to sign off on everything?
Mr. Dorsey: No, I think he has to see the results of the samples.
Mr. Casey: I will not speak for him.
Mr. Greenbaum: Assuming that the samples come up as expected, is it your impression that Gene is going to sign off on everything?
Mr. Casey: If the samples are adequate in the site, and the as-built is okay, Gene indicated to me that he is comfortable with the site.
Mr. Greenbaum: What’s the cost of the core sampling and the preparation of the as-built plans, approximately? Give me a ballpark.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, wait a minute. Is Blackstone required, under their set of specs, to provide us with an as-built of the parking lot, or anything?
Mr. Casey: I do not know, I haven’t seen their….I don’t have….I haven’t seen their contract. Cost….I would say that the cores are probably going to run you a couple of thousand, for half, you know, for half a dozen cores on site. I have no idea what the as-builts are in terms of that cost…I have no idea what the time is on that.
Ms. Labow: I have two questions. The parking lot and the roadways, what we’re talking about for the core samples, and that was put in when?
Mr. Casey: The base was put in last year, the surface course was put in this summer/fall.
Ms. Labow: Right, 2004?
Mr. Casey: Correct.
Ms. Labow: And what’s the part that Gene has a problem with, the final?
Mr. Casey: Gene indicated to me that, although he wasn’t present when the base was put in, he had received the tonnage slips and the calculations indicate that….it’s reasonable to assume that, in fact, there’s that much asphalt there. The only way to verify that is actually to do the drilling.
Ms. Labow: Okay, but the question is with the top coat, not the base coat?
Mr. Casey: Well, the whole thing. When you drill, you go down top, base and then gravel. You go all the way down and you…..
Ms. Labow: So, why is it that our inspectors weren’t on site to verify this?
Mr. Casey: That goes to the issue of the project, I wasn’t here and I can’t allude to it.
Ms. Labow: Okay, the next question I have is actually for Mayor De La Roche and he’s spoken to us many times about all the experience he’s had with buildings and he’s been very vocal against change orders and I don’t blame him at all, I agree with that, but I’d like to know, Mayor De La Roche, if you would make this decision today, based on everything you’ve heard and everything you’ve read, would you be willing to give a CO right now?
Mayor De La Roche: Well, I would give….I personally would get into the history of it and whoever was on site during the pouring of it and the setting up of it, and I can’t speak for what happened before I was the Mayor, that was a political decision that happened at that time, but as to the present situation, I would say that I would hold whoever’s responsible and notify the State department of….the State department about municipal contracts that people have failed to abide to certifications that they’re required to give, and then if I would have the test borings done and back-charge whoever’s responsible for it.
Ms. Labow: That’s not actually the question…..maybe I didn’t….
Mayor De La Roche: I didn’t hear your question, I’m sorry.
Ms. Labow: Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. This….via letter from Mr. Casey is asking the Council to make a determination to override what our building inspector has….and our engineer has said that they were not ready to sign off on, you’re asking us to override everything, and grant a TCO.
Mayor De La Roche: No, I’m not. Mr. Casey took this to the Council because he felt it was appropriate.
Ms. Labow: Are you the Administration?
Mayor De La Roche: Yes, I’m the Mayor, right.
Ms. Labow: You’re the Mayor, okay. So, as the Mayor, would you grant this TCO at this time, with all this information that was put before us?
Mayor De La Roche: Probably not.
Ms. Labow: Okay, so you wouldn’t expect Council to then do it, would you?
Mayor De La Roche: I don’t remember….Mr. Casey asked the Council, he thought it might be an expeditious way of doing it. I personally, would not.
Ms. Labow: Mayor De La Roche, this is a very simple question.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, I expected that.
Ms. Labow: Your answer is, you would not grant a TCO at this time, based on the information. The next question is, would you expect Council to?
Mayor De La Roche: No. I thought I just indicated that I did not expect….
Ms. Labow: Thank you. I just wanted to make sure I got it clear, there was……thank you.
Mayor De La Roche: I think I just answered your question, I did not expect the Council…
President Rattner: Quit badgering the witness, Colleen.
Ms. Labow: I just wanted to get an answer.
President Rattner: Okay, you got…okay. Mr. Buell.
Ms. Labow: I got the answer.
Mayor De La Roche: You got the answer you wanted, I thought.
Mr. Buell: To do the as-built, you don’t have an estimate. You’re saying the core samples are about $2,000. What’s the timeframe? Obviously, we…the Library is not going to open until this is done, if the CO is not issued. What timeframe are we talking about to do this core drilling, to get the certifications and get this back to the point where…..
Mr. Casey: A couple of weeks.
Mr. Perkins: Mr. Casey, if I can indulge you, and I don’t have copies of the contracts, I assume that we would be privy to them. If you would be so kind as to look in Blackstone, who is the general contractor, to see what his obligation was for providing as-builts, see what Mr. Kowal’s responsibility was as the architect, for what he was supposed to provide under his contract, as far as as-built and on-site inspections, as well as the construction management firm headed up by Mr. Scott Ayers, to see what he was responsible for, before we take too fast an action to go out there and spend extra money drilling core samples. If the worst case comes, we might as well go to the bonding company against Blackstone and we’ll probably be on a list of about fifty other people, but we should be able to get this done without us having to pay any money. Could you get to me as quickly as possible on that, Bob, within the next two days?
Mr. Casey: Yes, I’ll find out what’s in the contract. As I said, I haven’t seen the contracts, so I don’t know what their requirements are.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, me either. Yes sir, me either, so if you could indulge me in that, I would appreciate it. I think you may have access to them, you and the Mayor, faster than I could get them.
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum, you’ve been waiting with baited breath.
Mr. Greenbaum: I have a question for Russ. Yes, if you don’t mind. Thank you for coming tonight. I think I now have a good understanding, at least from the facts that have been presented, as to what’s going on at the site. It’s my understanding that, as far as the structure is concerned, you have no concerns about the health and safety of the residents using the building, is that correct?
Russ Brown: No, that’s not correct.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay.
Mr. Brown: We’re satisfied for a temporary certificate to stock the Library. There’s still work that needs to be completed.
Mr. Dorsey: Within the inside of the building.
Mr. Brown: Within the inside of the building, right.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay. Now, I guess the next question goes to Mr. Dorsey. By issuing a temporary CO, it seems to me that the as-builts and the pavement depth really relate to site improvements in terms of the total length of longevity of the site, not so much as to health and safety issues. By issuing a temporary CO under the contract, and I realize you may not be able to answer the question tonight, because you need to have the contract in front of you, are we in any way giving up any rights in terms of forcing the contract or ultimately to fix whatever problems relate to the site itself. I understand that the storm water management has already been certified to and what really what we’re talking about is an as-built and the pavement width. In other words, I would like to get the Library open, as would we all, get the Library open as soon as possible. If these are items which we can deal with later on and granting the TCO really has no impact on, are rights to have this work
Mr. Greenbaum(cont’d): ultimately completed properly, in the event that it’s not, to get the appropriate certifications, then can we not move in that direction as well?
Mr. Dorsey: Let me examine the witness for a minute. Russ, you told me this afternoon that you were prepared to issue a temporary CO…temporary CO – is that the right term?
Mr. Brown: That’s correct, yes.
Mr. Dorsey: As to the building. Now, does that mean you’re prepared to issue a temporary CO as to the site, or is there a difference between you’re saying you’re prepared to issue a temporary CO for the building? If you issue a temporary CO, is it a temporary CO for the use of the facility, including the parking lots, etc?
Mr. Brown: Well, one of my responsibilities in issuing a TCO, under the UCC, is that I get the information back from all my inspectors that the building is safe for occupancy, as well as all prior approvals which may be applicable.
Mr. Dorsey: Now, you better explain to everybody what a prior approval is….it’s not….
Mr. Brown: Anything that is….
Mr. Dorsey: It’s not really a prior approval, it’s a simultaneous approval issued, in this case, by an engineer as to the parking lots, right?
Mr. Brown: Right. I need to receive that prior to issuance as opposed to the….
Mr. Dorsey: So, you won’t issue a TCO until you have this prior approval, in this case, from the engineer, right?
Mr. Brown: That’s correct.
Mr. Dorsey: So, there’s no permit to be issued by you until the issue of the depth of the pavement, or the thickness of the pavement, etc. is resolved, is that true?
Mr. Brown: I believe that’s true.
Mr. Dorsey: Oh no, no, no, no, no, you don’t believe…you’re the construction code official, it’s either yes or no.
Mr. Brown: Well, that’s why…this is why I get certification from the engineer.
Mr. Dorsey: Oh, okay.
Mr. Brown: So, it’s a prior approval. So, once I….
Mr. Dorsey: Oh, I see. So, you’re not issuing…..so, it doesn’t matter, in this instance, it doesn’t matter that you are essentially satisfied, structurally and otherwise, with the building, you’re not issuing a temporary CO until there is the prior approval.
Mr. Brown: That’s correct.
Mr. Dorsey: So, essentially, nobody can use the facility until you issue the temporary CO and you’re not going to issue that until you get the prior approval.
Mr. Brown: Correct.
Mr. Dorsey: So, I would suggest that, really what you have to do here, because apparently Bob has had numerous conversations with Buczynski. He says Buczynski has examined the receipts, the delivery slips, would that be the delivery receipts for the bituminous concrete, etc. I mean, I think the first thing is to call Buczynski and ask him to spot the fewest number of samples that need to be taken so that he can assure himself that there’s the adequate depth and width or…what am I trying to say…..thickness of pavement, and proceed with that, because you’re not going to be able to get any TCO until essentially Buczynski certifies it. Now, at the same time, Mr. Greenbaum’s questions as to what Blackstone’s requirements are in terms of an as-built, whenever we have one of these subdivisions, we require an as-built before we sign off. Hopefully, there is a Mr. Dorsey(cont’d): requirement for an as-built in his specifications. If not, you better have the…..you better figure out who you’re going to have do the as-built drawings and get it over with.
Mr. Greenbaum: Let me just follow-up on some questions which you raised. It seems to me that, based upon the questions and answers that you got from Russ, this Council is not within it’s legal ability to force the construction code official…..
Mr. Dorsey: You are absolutely right, the construction….
Mr. Greenbaum: And….
Mr. Dorsey: Excuse me.
Mr. Greenbaum: Go ahead.
Mr. Dorsey: Now you’re putting me on the witness stand, I’m going to answer.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay.
Mr. Dorsey: They said the construction code official falls into a similar category as a tax assessor. They essentially are, in one sense, State agents and municipal agents cannot direct them to do anything that they…..stand up, put their hands up and say it’s not consistent with the uniform construction code. So, nobody can direct him, nobody can order him, well you can order him, but he’ll simply say no, until he is satisfied that what he should require is given to him.
Mr. Greenbaum: Taking it one step further, he is the only one in the township who can issue a TCO?
Mr. Dorsey: My answer to that is yes, he’s the only one.
Mr. Greenbaum: So, the Administration can’t order him to issue a TCO, the Council can’t order him to give a TCO. It really answers the question, he needs to get whatever certifications are required…..
Mr. Dorsey: You cannot order him to do it over his objection, and his objection is he doesn’t have what he refers to as a prior approval.
Mr. Greenbaum: It seems to be the answer, Mr. Casey.
Mr. Brown: Can I also just make a note, Mr. Greenbaum, it’s not just the thickness of the asphalt that we’re looking at. Gene’s, and I’m using Gene because he’s the normal prior approval, he handles all site improvements which would include sidewalks, curbing, manhole covers, sign height. We’re not just looking for the thickness of the pavement.
Mr. Greenbaum: I didn’t mean to minimize what is required, it was just the issue that was brought up and I obviously don’t have a full understanding of what actually….that was what was discussed by the Administration, was…..and I assume that that was just one issue out of many, I don’t fault the Administration for bringing that up, but I think it’s very clear, at this point, that whatever you need and is required under the law for you to have before a TCO is issued, needs to be done and that’s what needs to be done here.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Brown, the interior, you mentioned that there’s some items on the inside that still has to be addressed…..
Mr. Brown: There are, yes.
Ms. Labow: Is there anything major, or is it just simple….
Mr. Brown: No, it’s all small things that wouldn’t affect the safety of people signing out books.
Ms. Labow: Okay, so it’s just a matter of….okay.
Mr. Dorsey: Now, it is not unusual to issue a temporary CO while there are still minor items to be completed, but that is separate and apart, Colleen, from the major issue here of the so-called prior approval.
Ms. Labow: Right. I just wanted to make sure on that, thank you.
President Rattner: I think what the real issue is is that this situation, it seems like it’s still, again, that’s why I said three weeks ago, relatively simple to resolve. If the big thing was is for a minimal disturbance, for a diminimous amount of money on a $5 million project, that three or four weeks ago they could have taken the test borings, got the certification, and moved ahead instead of doing anything else. If that’s all it is, there was some sort….somebody dropped the ball, if that’s all that was required, and that’s held up this building for the last three weeks, because I know that the Library Board was here about a month ago, they said everything was going on, they were telling us when they were closing the Library, they expected to get the CO, the TCO the next Monday. So, this has been going around for a while, who was it that made the decision that we’re going to hold out and now do those, you know, if that’s all they need for a certification and make everybody happy, that would have been done three weeks ago, we would have put the plug back in, caulked it up and we would have been fine, because that’s what they do, right?
Mr. Brown: I assume so. That would be better directed towards Mr. Buczynski.
President Rattner: And we’ve been going around because I know there’s been discussions, different people have been talking to different people. I know that, you know, and I was spoken…you know, the Mayor and I even spoke about it three weeks ago about having, you know, there’s an issue, so somebody fell down. If that’s all that’s there, this seems awful ridiculous that it comes here, we spend all this time, when it could have been resolved three weeks ago. Even in the rain.
Mayor De La Roche: That wasn’t the only issue.
Mr. Casey: The issue, Mr. Rattner, is every time we got a letter from their professionals, there were qualifications in the letter that precluded it from being considered as what was needed.
President Rattner: Well, that’s really great, the professional says I have a problem with it, now ask a Councilman, ask an attorney, ask an accountant, ask a realtor, ask a courier service and an HR person that certain…..tell somebody to issue a permit because we feel the engineering is done right. That’s just putting us in a terrible spot.
Mayor De La Roche: We didn’t ask her for that, did we?
Ms. Labow: Yes you did, Mayor.
President Rattner: Anyway, I think we got the answers, no sense just continuing on this….
Mr. Casey: No, well, I basically told them that if they agreed, we should just issue a permit, it makes no difference……
President Rattner: I don’t see how it could take more than a couple of days to get those….if that’s all that’s left is those tests borings…..that’s all that’s left. If there’s more that’s left, then that’s a different problem.
Mayor De La Roche: I think it’s unfair to indicate that, at any time, we ever asked the business….the construction code official to issue any type of temporary CO at any time….I don’t…..I have never interfered with Mr. Brown, I’m sure he’ll testify to that.
Mr. Dorsey: Nobody said you did.
President Rattner: Nobody.
Mayor De La Roche: No, but the point was, this is not the only issue, there was an issue when the driveway had to be torn up and redone, and the issue that I got involved with was getting that done so that they could bring the shelving into the Library. That was an issue that held it up last week. This is a completely different issue than that. We spent all our time correcting situation, so it wasn’t just that we’ve been waiting three weeks for somebody to give us a letter, it’s been an ongoing process and corrective work has been done in the meantime. Is that not correct?
Mr. Casey: The last letter that was received on this was December 7th, which was a week ago, which was when a fax came in from their engineer on December 7th and I spoke with him on the 8th or 9th as to clarifying what exactly he meant. So, the issue has been….we had basically been reaching out to those who are involved with the project, in order, hopefully, that they could provide us with the information that’s necessary and, as I said, as I quoted in my letter, he doesn’t have the specific certifications required.
Mr. Mund: Well, go back and get them.
Mr. Casey: So, we will get it.
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum, did you want to say something?
Mr. Greenbaum: No.
President Rattner: Anybody else? Nobody, okay.
President Rattner: Moving right along, Old Business, Mr. Greenbaum. Do I have to leave?
Status of MOCCLC Negotiations
Mr. Greenbaum: I had asked for the status of the Mount Olive Child Care negotiations related to the old Library Building. Is there any progress on that, Bob?
Mr. Casey: I had conversations with the President of Child Care and they are in the process…they met, they’re in the process of drafting out a….
Mr. Guenther: Excuse me…excuse me for interrupting. There is something under New Business that I want to bring up that involves Mr. Quinn, I see him walking out, if he doesn’t mind. Okay, I’m sorry.
Mr. Casey: Anyway, they’re in the process of drafting up a document to capture what they think is reasonable, and get back to me, they said the first of the year.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, Lisa, can we make sure that this gets on the agenda for the week following the reorganization meeting?
Mrs. Lashway: Okay.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else with comments on Mount Olive Child Care at this point in time?
Status of Old Municipal Building
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, the next issue on the agenda is status of Old Municipal Building, was that raised by somebody?
Ms. Labow: You.
Mr. Greenbaum: Raised by me?
Ms. Labow: Yes, remember we talked about it and you said….
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay. Yes, Bob, is there a plan in place with respect to the Old Municipal Building in terms of leveling the building?
Mr. Casey: I believe, in talking to Kathy Murphy today, I think what we’re going to do is try to obtain a clean development grant, that’s one of the few eligible areas in town. We’re meeting this week to put together grants which would before you at your…probably first meeting in January, and we’re looking to making that a priority grant to see if we can get assistance.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Casey, you say priority grant, about how long is the turn-around time?
Mr. Casey: The end of next year, two years, before you get Environmental clearances, a year.
Ms. Labow: Well, in order to take a building down, we need Environmental clearance as well?
Mr. Casey: Well, I mean, if you use community development funding. If you use community development funding, by the time you make your application, they approve it, it’s approved by HUD, it goes through their process, you receive notice in the fall, so you’re looking at construction next fall.
Ms. Labow: Can we get an estimate on demolition and also if we can get an estimate on demolition now, can we be reimbursed if the grant goes through?
Mr. Casey: No, you cannot be reimbursed.
Ms. Labow: Cannot be reimbursed, can we get an estimate on the demolition?
Mr. Greenbaum: Demolition and removal.
Ms. Labow: Yes, demolition and removal.
Mr. Casey: Yes, I think there are some estimates floating around.
Ms. Labow: Yes, but they’re old, I believe, aren’t…..they’re kind of a couple years, I believe, Sherry….
Mr. Casey: Under any circumstances, you’re looking at putting it in next year’s budget. So, it’s either that or it’s going to be a budgeted item.
Mr. Greenbaum: Well, can we still move forward with getting an estimate? Ray, did you have a question?
Mr. Perkins: Yes. Bob, on the….my understanding is that the electric system now, because of the deterioration of the building, has caused the light shining on the American Flag of the Veteran’s Memorial there, to not be functioning. Are you aware of that?
Mr. Casey: No.
Mr. Perkins: Would you mind if we brought Mr. Lynch up, and just get an update on what the status is on that. Mr. Lynch, can you come up? Thank you Jim.
Jim Lynch: Anytime. I just became aware, I really hadn’t….I’m not sure when the light went out. There is a failure in the building. It appears, at some point, that the wire was knocked down, connecting…I think is it’s part of our plan for going forward with the Old Building, if we’re going to tear it down, I’ve already put in my budget for next year enough money, if approved, to bring a new electrical service onto the pole. In the interim, in talking with Mr. Smith from the Historical Society, we’re going to raise and lower the Flag on a daily basis.
Mr. Perkins: Okay, do we have somebody, as I sent back that e-mail to you, do we have anybody that’s designated to do that for us?
Mr. Lynch: Well, what we’ll do is the building’s going to have…the road department reports to the Old Road Garage daily, at the end of the day, and I spoke before with Smith and he was agreeable to this. Around 3:30, when our staff leaves, we will take the Flag down and each morning Buildings and Grounds will put it back up. I still have to address weekends, I’m not sure how we’re going to handle that until we get into the New Year. I will look into see what we can do, or if there is some form of temporary lighting, I can look into. I did not realize the light was out.
Mr. Perkins: Do we not have electric in the garage, Jim, that we can hook that line up to?
Mr. Lynch: I will….I have to get into the building and look and see where that electric runs from. There are three different service panels within that building. Currently the panel that it used to come out of, something has shifted in the building causing a break in the line, it may be tied to when the wire was knocked down that went over to the pole. We’ll get in and look at it, as I said, I just, last week, became aware of the situation. So, we’re going to try and figure out some, either temporary power or take the Flag down daily and put it up every morning.
Mr. Perkins: Okay.
Mr. Perkins: We’ll do something to make sure it’s handled in a respectful manner, for the Monument.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, if you could, and I know there’s a lot of priorities in town, Jim but, you know, being a veteran and I guess I have a soft spot there, but I think we owe the respect to…of having that flag raised and lowered every day, including the weekends, and somehow we need to work together, I don’t know how that can be done. I don’t know if there’s somebody who’s in our Road Department during the weekends, if somebody from the Water & Sewer who’s doing the regular run is comfortable, you know, raising or lowering the staff, if it’s something you can get together with the Mayor, as well as DPW Director, and try to get the appropriate personnel until you have that rectified.
Mr. Lynch: Yes, I will try and come up with a plan of action for that.
Mr. Greenbaum: You may also want to speak to the Budd Lake Fire Department, because that building is staffed and it’s close by and there may be somebody there who would volunteer on the weekends.
Mr. Lynch: I’ll look into that, thank you.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thanks, Jim.
Mr. Mund: Is it feasible to request the use of the, Daniel, Electrician from the School Board to run a temporary line?
Someone from the audience: Inaudible.
Mr. Greenbaum: Good answer.
Mr. Mund: We have a licensed Electrician on the school….on the….and they probably could run a temporary line that would be able to light the facility on a continuous basis.
President Rattner: I’m sure Daniel has to be careful, it’s just like you offering Daniel the use of Tim with a plow…to plow his driveway…..
Mr. Lynch: I will reach out to the Board of Ed and Steve Sluka, their head of Buildings and Grounds, and see we do have a mutual agreement for shared services, I will look into that option as well.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, I mean, obviously you would check with Mr. Kovach, or somebody down there, to see if he can donate some time, you know, just to get the thing hooked up, Jim. I’m sure you know the resources, but I didn’t want that to fall by the wayside.
Mr. Lynch: Yes, my apologies, I did not, honestly, notice that it was out, I can’t tell you how long it’s been out for.
Mr. Perkins: I didn’t either, but I appreciate it if you would look into it.
Mr. Lynch: But we will look into it and I will get you an answer.
President Rattner: Colleen, do you want to speak because you want to volunteer to do it?
Ms. Labow: You could actually get some of the Scouts in to do it, possibly, on the weekends, as a regular ceremony. No, no, no….not the electrical work, the Flag. I just wanted to point out the reason for this is because, by law, the Flag has to be lit…after we get the electrical worked out, we don’t have to worry about raising and lowering it, right?
Mr. Lynch: Yes.
Ms. Labow: Thank you.
President Rattner: Anything else?
Mr. Greenbaum: There’s one other issue on the Old Municipal Building. Sherry, Mayor, has any thought been given in terms of….or I would like thought to be given in terms of preparation of the budget with respect to the cost of removing the building for next year.
Ms. Jenkins: It’s already in there.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.
President Rattner: Okay, any New Business? Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Sorry to keep you, Mr. Quinn, but I had a question about....I’m sorry, I guess this probably came up before the last meeting when I wasn’t here, but about the solid waste pickup around the Holidays. I’m a little bit confused, and maybe it’s just the terminology. The solid waste pickup on 12/24 scheduled for alternative pickup on 12/27…..what does that mean? It goes…due to staffing shortage, and anticipated tonnage of solid waste to be out, I’ll be canceling the alternative pickup. What is alternative pickup?
Mr. Quinn: Alternative is, it’s a Holiday on Friday, so Friday’s pickup is scheduled for Monday. With the staff I have and the amount that we expect to have out, I’ve cancelled the double day, which would have been Monday, and there would have been no pickup on Friday. To make it less confusing for everybody all around and easier for my workforce, we’re just doing a regular schedule for both weeks. So, you have a regular pickup on Friday, which wouldn’t have had a pickup, and we’ve got regular pickup on Monday, which would have been a double day.
Mr. Guenther: Oh, I see, in other words, they are going to work…..
Mr. Quinn: We’re working Friday and Monday, and we’re also working New Years Eve, also. It gets very confusing when we start throwing double days into the mix with alternate pickups and the amount that we’re picking up. It’s just…..it’s getting out of hand, so…..
Mr. Guenther: So what happens on those days? Then they get Holiday pay?
Mr. Quinn: The guys come in, what they do is they don’t get Holiday pay, they get what we call…it’s a Floating Holiday. So, what I do is I keep track of it in my book, and during the year they’re allowed to take that day off during the year and be paid that day.
Mr. Guenther: I see, okay.
President Rattner: Do we make sure that we….how do we communicate that with the people, because if you missed the day and you have to go through the whole Holiday weekend, you’ll have a lot of garbage, because we already have it posted on the website, right?
Mr. Quinn: Yes, I’ve got it in the website, we put it in, I believe, the Chronicle, my staff is aware of it. We usually, even if it’s on the calendar, we still get flooded with calls before any Holiday and my staff has been told what the new schedule is going to be. If somebody misses something, we get back, we pick it up.
President Rattner: Yes, I know that. See if you can get on, you know, 1510. A lot of people, in the morning, listen to that. If it’s a public service, they’ll put it on there too.
Mr. Quinn: Okay. Very good.
President Rattner: Because the big thing is just getting the word out, I mean, that’s great the guys are willing to do it, and it’s a service to the public….
Mr. Quinn: Oh, I’m sure, starting Monday or Tuesday this week, the phone’s going to be ringing continually with people, it happens before every Holiday, so it’s nothing new. I think it’s going to add less confusion and less questions.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, on the same subject…..I have another subject. Thanks Tim, I appreciate your staying around.
Ms. Labow: I have the same subject…..Mr. Quinn, we have Monday pickup at our house, and a lot of times Mondays are a Holiday, and it’s so funny, my neighbor’s…some put stuff out, some don’t, nobody’s really quite sure.
Mr. Quinn: Right.
Ms. Labow: I have, you know, note that they’re going to come on that Monday, but they come on Tuesday, too, so….
Mr. Quinn: We usually….we’ll double back. We’ll know, I mean, if we get through a Monday’s run, and it was extremely light, we know to go back Tuesday, otherwise we’re going to get the calls.
Ms. Labow: Does that cost us more to do that?
Mr. Quinn: Basically not, I’m still keeping it at….I’m getting it done without overtime, with the exception of, just before Thanksgiving, we had to pull a little bit of overtime for the Monday after, that was pretty heavy, but other than that, it’s….we’re getting done pretty much on time.
Ms. Labow: What’s the decision like, you know, your basic…some of your Holidays, like Memorial Day, Monday, you know, you know everybody has off, but we still have garbage pickup on that day. What was the deciding factor to go ahead and do that?
Mr. Quinn: Basically, when we decide on a….I think this is going to answer your question, but I might be wrong, it depends on the type of Holiday we’re dealing with and what day it falls on. Different days of the week, our garbage pickup is…we’re getting different quantities, depending on what’s been built up the most recently. Mondays, we try to schedule Mondays as double days because it’s a little bit lighter than Tuesdays.
Now we’re getting to the point where we do Fridays and Mondays for double days and it’s just out of hand, it’s just too much, at this point, to actually do that. So, that’s pretty much not going to happen again.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you.
Mr. Guenther: There’s another matter I wanted to bring up. I’ve had a couple of comments made, I haven’t been on the website myself, but I’ve had comments again made that the website doesn’t seem to be as up to date as it should be. Could you look into that, Mr. Casey, as to what….
Mr. Casey: I agree, I looked at it a week ago, and I thought that Scott was going to remove a lot of the material on their, he hasn’t done it yet, so we will delete the outdated stuff. My opinion is, one of the real problems with websites is you either keep them current or you don’t keep them at all.
Mr. Guenther: Well, we all seem to agree about that, but I know Scott, at one time, mentioned the problem that he has is that he’s asked for input from the departments and sometimes they don’t respond to them the way they should. So, he has a hard time, you know, updating some of the material, but I don’t know if that’s the issue.
Mr. Casey: But you still should delete the stuff that’s dated.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, right, exactly. Okay, thank you.
President Rattner: Mr. Casey, I saw your hand, you had some new business?
Mr. Casey: Yes, an item of new business, and this is unusual. Kathy Murphy, late this afternoon, advised us that she had just become aware of the fact that the Township is eligible for a $10,000 grant from the State, through the County, for Tire Management, i.e. get rid of more tires back there. Unfortunately, the grant has to be submitted tomorrow. We have a resolution that authorizes the application to go forward, but it takes a Council resolution as part of this, a resolution authorizing us to go forward to the Department of Environmental Protection Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste. They have this program….
Mr. Greenbaum: Move it.
President Rattner: Okay, wait a minute….let Lisa put it out to the public, so if anybody wants a copy of it, they can look at it.
Mr. Greenbaum: Move it.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: No, no, I told you years ago, you don’t get a vote. Where did Lisa go? Oh, you posted it?
Mr. Greenbaum: I move for approval.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
Mrs. Lashway: Did you read the title?
President Rattner: Did you read the title? Read the title.
Mr. Greenbaum: I move for approval of Enabling Resolution Authorizing the filing of application for a Local Tire Management Program Fund Grant.
Mr. Mund: Second.
President Rattner: Would anyone from the public like to address this resolution? Seeing none, we’ll close the public portion.
President Rattner: Any Council comments? Roll Call
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Mr. Perkins was absent
President Rattner: Okay, moving right along, any other new business?
President Rattner: Legal Matters.
Mr. Dorsey: None.
Library Board Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: The Library Board meets tomorrow. Mr. Buell is going to be covering for me, because I have to do the gift wrapping party.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Mund: Recreation Advisory Committee met on December 1st at 7:00. There are three people that are up for renewal, Harvey Kessler, the Chairman of the Committee, has announced that he will not be seeking to be reappointed and we wish Harvey well for all the years of service that he has performed. Some of the highlights were discussion of the code of conduct, parks and recreation, and Open Public Records Act relating to doing background check and criminal history background checks on the coaches, dividing it over three years. They’re looking into more information about that. We discussed open space, the 172 more acres that we had, we discussed the buildings and grounds, and the concern was that we have developed lots of parks and areas and fields, and we must maintain them so that we don’t destroy them with use and not lack of maintenance or anything, and we do what’s right for the fields. We’ve developed the 2005 calendar, which I’ve given to Lisa and the next meeting is on January 5th, 2005 at 7:00 pm.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: There was no meeting this meeting, there will be a meeting in January.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, we had a very active meeting, there were a number of different issues discussed which are of interest to this Council. First and foremost, there was a reexamination of the Master Plan consistent with the action Council took on sending it back to the Planning Board with respect to C2 zones on both Route 46 and Route 206, in light of the Highlands Legislation, of which the Planning Board voted to reexamine consistent with Council’s position. There was one individual from the public who had significant questions as to why it was being done, didn’t understand it, and it was very difficult to explain why it was being done, but ultimately I think that explanation was accepted and the resident was satisfied with the explanation. There was also some discussion with respect to the rezoning of the Simoff tract on Route 46 and that will be coming back to Planning Board, as I understand it, on January 20th, reorganization of the Planning Board is expected to occur on January 13th. With respect to development matters, there were two major development matters, which were discussed. Mr. Greenbaum(cont’d): The first related to Kan Shaeffer, Mr. Shaeffer is looking to put a commercial business, he sells sheds and gazebos. He’s looking to locate his business on Route 46 very close to the intersection of Route 80, specifically in the abandoned gas station on the right side, as you are heading eastbound on Route 46. It’s a difficult piece of property, he wanted to have as many as…close to 40 to 50 sheds and gazebos on the property at its highest point in the season, which raised concerns about where the gazebos and sheds were going to be moved, whether it was going to impact the ability to get on and off the site. It’s a difficult site no matter what you’re going to do with that property, but ultimately I think a compromise was reached and the plans were sent back to Mr. Shaeffer for revision, and I have to say that Officer Van Ness was extremely, extremely helpful in terms of dealing with the traffic issues, which need to be addressed with that particular application. With that application being concluded for the evening, we had the return of Mr. Hashemi for a revised site plan related to his hotel at the intersection of Route 46 and Elizabeth Lane. Mr. Hashemi, as you may recall, after protracted litigation, received approval for putting in a hotel, which was originally going to be a Howard Johnsons. Mr. Hashemi has since entered into a contract with Best Western, which required him to make certain revisions to his site plan. That involved, for the most part, a change to the front of the hotel in terms of parking, based upon the need to put in a greater entrance area and, I guess, Best Western requires a larger canopy, which also impacted the parking issues on site, specifically related to the handicapped accessible parking, that was an issue. Also, with respect to his plan, he now needs to put an indoor swimming pool in pursuant to Best Western. The bottom line is that he was able to accomplish putting in the swimming pool, without reducing any of the rooms that he’d been approved for, while keeping the same floor area ratio and that was done by putting in a half basement, which is now going to contain the mechanicals and the elevator operating equipment, which were originally included in the original plan as floor area ratio, but didn’t need to have been included. So, what he really needed was very minor modifications in terms his approval. The size of the building is going to be the same and he was ultimately approved. One other thing, I’m sorry. We had very lengthy discussions related to Morris Chase, from 6:00 to 7:00 in Executive Session, the matter was discussed, specifically with respect to the decision that Judge Bozanelis made in public. The Planning Board made the determination to appeal Judge Bozanelis’ decision to the Appellate Division, including giving the authority to Mr. Buzack to apply for a stay, as needed, through the Supreme Court of New Jersey if required. Ultimately, Mr. Dorsey argued the stay issue before Bozanelis and was successful in obtaining the stay pending the Appellate decision, so that resolved that issue.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report
Open Space Committee Report
Mr. Guenther: Yes, there was a meeting last night, we reviewed the accomplishments over the last year, the status of pending projects. Unfortunately, they were saddened over the news that the Smith Farm project would not be going forward, but there are still other pieces of property that they have their eyes on and, obviously, we’ll be going forward during the coming year, but it was a good year for land preservation, I don’t know what the total acreage was, but 232 acres of farmland off Tinc Road and two projects, and then if you want to count the 600 acres at….well, I’m sorry, those 239 acres have not been officially preserved, but we’re hoping to close on those by the end of the year. The 600 acres are the Highlands, so it’s nearly 800…over 800 acres that have really been formalized during this year, and we also had the news of $500,000 being granted to us toward the purchase of the town property, Silver Spring Farms, so it was a good year, but they’re working on some projects regarding trails around Budd Lake. So, it’s a very active committee, they’re all very dedicated, and there will be other projects going forward.
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Mund: Nothing on Legislative.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: No…the meetings are usually held when I can’t get here in time for it, but I do communicate via e-mail. This is what the new billboard is going to look like, I printed it out because I thought it was so cute. You can pass it down so everybody can take a look at it, and that’s about it.
Board of Education Liaison Report
President Rattner: Mr. Buell is there anything happening?
Mr. Buell: Yes, several things, they met on Monday night, they announced the fact that the State House Commission had granted the access road and that they’re now ready to go. They congratulated Kathy Murphy for all of the help and all of the work that she’s done in terms of assisting them in getting the Green Acres application through. They are about ready, as part of that, to begin to bid out the old Flanders School, in terms of trying to sell the part that is not…no longer protected by the fields. The third thing is that, as a result of the DEP’s ruling, they’re going to have to redesign a significant part of the High School, costing about another…an additional $69,250 because of a Green Acres problem that they resolved early because Mr. Rattner got representative Gregg to come down and get the DEP involved at an early point, which they also congratulated him on that.
President Rattner: It wasn’t a Green Acres issue, it happened to be a wetlands issue. When the easement for the sewer line to the High School went in seven or eight years ago, there was a drainage problem so they dug a ditch to protect the water from going onto the B&H property. The DEP has now come, they supposedly had verbals sayng that it was manmade, that’s fine. They’re now saying that that’s a wetland, so you have it be 150 feet from it. One of the things that’s even more interesting and frustrating, is that they weren’t increasing any impervious coverage in that area, they were building a building on an existing paved parking lot, so they weren’t encroaching anymore, but the decision was made. All I did was to expedite the meeting with the DEP, which they told them would take a minimum of sixty days, and the issue was that the architect had to start redesigning the building, there are some major redesign issues. They had 22% of the drawings completed, if they went another sixty days, they could have had a lot more, this way they got a definitive answer so they stopped that and started going another way. The biggest thing that’s happening is they’ll probably lose some fields. Also, the fact that the circulation at school is not going to be as good, it appears that there may even some dead-end halls, that type of thing, because of worrying about a manmade swale that was made to protect parkland that they had to redesign on the existing footprint. Whatever it was, it was decided with professionals that that was the way to go, and now to do it before they spent anymore money going forward. The actual cost of the construction probably won’t change that much, it’s just the function.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
President Rattner: The Lake Committee meets basically quarterly. We had our last cleanup in November, so there’s nothing to report there.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Guenther: There really wasn’t a meeting of that Committee, but there’s a sub-committee, if you will, of that where we’re considering the third-party billing options and just for the public’s knowledge, because, you know, we’ve been trying to keep it low key and, you know, news does get out there and people start passing rumors around that we’re going to sign a contract with such and such or such and such, and nothing is further from the truth. It’s all being investigated, comparative reports are going to be done, it’s going to be exhaustively studied to make sure it makes sense for the Township.
President Rattner: Thank you. Now we come to the final Public Portion of the meeting, Mr. Russell.
Nelson Russell, Budd Lake: I’ve got two issues. Ray, thank you for bringing up the Flag issue on the Monument. I’m wondering if you’re aware that there is no light on the Flag in front of this building and hasn’t been for at least the last month, the light is covered with a black garbage bag.
Mr. Perkins: No I’m not, Nelson, I’m not…..
Mr. Russell: On your way out, take a look at it.
Mr. Perkins: Bob, can you have Mr. Lynch look at that, please?
Mr. Casey: Yes sir.
Mr. Russell: Also, last Saturday afternoon, I was headed south on 206 and just south of the Viaduct, there were two individuals with buckets out collecting money. There was no identification as to what purpose they were begging for. I figured that would be a great way for me to make some extra money, is just kind of go out in front of…..
Ms. Labow: I was thinking the same thing.
Mr. Greenbaum: I called the Police Department because I saw the same thing, there was no identification, and there was identification, it was just not properly done, in my opinion, but they were for some approved church organization, I don’t know where they got approval, but they were from a local church.
Mr. Russell: That was my question…on approvals, I mean, we regulate raffles, we regulate roach coaches, I think people begging in the street, we ought to regulate beggars as well.
Mrs. Lashway: They were approved. They came into my office, they are exempt under the Peddlers statute…our Peddlers Ordinance. They were an approved organization pending approval of the Police Department for their location and all the complaints that we did get, the Police Department referred them all to me saying that I approved their location, which is not true, it was the Police Department that had approved it, and I think after enough complaints, they were asked to leave, and looking at the Police Chief trying to get….
Mr. Buell: Incidentally, they’re there almost every day, they were there again today.
Mrs. Lashway: Well, they did not have permission to be there today.
Mr. Perkins: I’ll be there tomorrow.
Ms. Lashway: I got Friday.
Mr. Russell: Thank you.
President Rattner: Ms. Israel.
Jane Israel, Mount Olive Library Board: Well, the Board is very happy with the Library building and I think you are going to be very happy with it also. I just wanted to mention that it’s not finished yet, they’re….naturally are, you know, the punch list of items that have to be completed and corrected, once that is completed, then the architect will be certifying it as completed. I wanted to mention also, that it was never the Library Board’s intent to have any official, you know, give us the TCO without needed approvals that he deems necessary. However, I don’t want to go over a lot of old history, but Mr. Guenther mentioned the meeting in 2003, when I was there and Mark DiGianaro was there, and Cindy Spencer was there, and at that time, there had been a problem with people from the engineering…not engineering, but, yes, well, Mr. Buczynski, I guess it was, and maybe other people from the Administration coming onto the property and speaking to sub-contractors and so on that were there, and at that meeting, my recollection of it was that it was decided that anyone coming on the property, should sign in with the contractor first, so that he would know, you know, Blackstone would know that the person was there, and also, my recollection was that Mr. Buczynski did not attend that meeting, even though he was invited, but it was brought out that he would be notified of any future site improvements that were going to be done. I mean, what we….that was why we went back at that time that we had the letter, that Mr. Casey referred to, from Goodwin and Clearwater at that time that certified to what was done up to that point and from then on, you know, we did notify Mr. Buczynski when this last top coat was put on, but he didn’t come and review it. Anyway, that….at this point, it’s old history and it sounds very confusing and I just want you to know and I want the, you know, the officials to know that we sincerely thought that the letter from Goodwin and Clearwater dated December 7th was going to be the certification that was needed by the building inspector to go ahead, you know, and say that the site was okay and that he would be able to let us have the TCO, but evidently, it wasn’t. It didn’t come through with the right wordings. You know, it was sealed and, you know, everything, but…because it just didn’t have the right thing, it said general compliance instead of something else, whatever you’re looking for. The building is not complete, so he couldn’t certify that everything is complete, but what is done, you know, was done according to the original plan and I think he said that in that letter of December 7th, and we thought that would be enough, but it wasn’t and what you decided tonight is certainly, you know, fine with us. We want to comply with the law and we just urge you to move ahead diligently to get completed whatever it is that’s needed from the engineering department in order to get the TCO, because as you know, we have moved shelving in now, and, in fact, we were going to have our meeting there tomorrow night since we’re no longer, you know, really at the old building, but now we will not be able to because, of course, our meeting is a public meeting. So, I just wanted to tell Mr. Buell and I think Mr. Greenbaum, you said you wanted to attend, the meeting will now be at the old Library building and, you know, until we get the proper authorization to have a public meeting in the new building and that is all that I have to say, except thank you very much.
Ms. Labow: Thank you, Jane.
Mr. Guenther: I would just like to make a comment regarding that meeting that took place last year. I also seem to recall as a result of that, I don’t know if Russ…I guess….I don’t think you were there, Russ, but I think Frank McGlynn was there, that we found there’s a major loophole here. There really is, on these projects, when they’re approved, there is no provision under the Planning Board approvals to provide for the inspection of the…your grading and your drainage. So, I brought that up at the time and I thought that something that should be addressed in Planning Board approvals that whenever we have projects like this that that should be provided for and it wasn’t and that’s where the conflict occurred, because Frank McGlynn went on site and he saw certain things, he said they were wrong, there was a difference of opinion and it got to be kind of a big hassle. I think we resolved it at the time, but it was a fault in the system in a way that there really was no provision for doing the proper inspection. Isn’t that right Jane?
Mrs. Israel: Yes, because usually if you had a building going on, you have a developer’s agreement and then it’s the engineer that certifies that everything is done according to the developer’s agreement and the site plan is on, and there is no developer agreement. So, therefore, it’s that loophole, you know, that’s something….and I remember you bringing that up at the time and I don’t know, I think maybe Cindy was going to check further into that, but, you know…..
Mr. Guenther: I think it’s something we should look at, as far as, I don’t know….in public projects when there is no developer’s agreement, as Jane points out, that some kind of provision should be made for in the approvals, or, I don’t know, somewhere along the line, that….
Mr. Casey: I’ve never had a situation, in all the construction I’ve done, where the town has inspected it’s own work and….has signed off on it, plain and simple. There’s no developer’s agreement, it’s just our project, our money, we sign off on it, it’s done, we do the only inspection, so…you know….
Mr. Guenther: Well, that was not the view that the builder took, that the contractor took and even our construction……
President Rattner: He didn’t want any review of what he was doing.
Mr. Guenther: Well, and even our….and I was very amazed that even, what’s his name, the….the construction manager, Scott Ayers, he kind of took the builder’s….the contractor’s side, which I was kind of upset about.
Mrs. Israel: Well, I think it was just at that time that the contractor didn’t want people walking in and out and not knowing they were there, who, you know, and he didn’t want them talking to the sub-contractors and so-on, and to have some kind of a rule about, you know, signing in when you come in and so-on….I think that was one of the problems that, you know, started it.
Mr. Guenther: Thank you, Jane.
Jim Smith, Kenmar Road: I actually have a couple of issues here, it’s covered under a couple of different hats that I wear. One, in reference to Mr. Greenbaum’s earlier comment as far as the buffering, on February 5th of this year, it was a 300 foot buffer mandatory based on any tributary waters that go to trout producing streams, which in this area, the Black River, as well as the south branch of the Musconetcong here, is trout producing. So, all of our streams in Mount Olive Township are Class 1 streams, they’re all 300 foot buffer, that has also been accentuated with the Highlands Bill, that reinforced that issue.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.
President Rattner: Mahmood, was 150.
Mr. Greenbaum: No, Mahmood was….
President Rattner: I thought it said 150.
Mr. Smith: That’s been approved but there’s still some exclusionary on that that has to be completed on that. The second thing I have is that under Mr. Russell’s comment in reference to the light in front of the building, I had been discussing with the Historical Society, with the light on the monument and also I had observed the fact that the light was out here, with Jim Lynch, and he said to me that the parts are on order for the light out here in front, and that’s what’s waiting for that, but I would like to ask, as a veteran, I know Nelson is, I know there are a few others here that are, if we can move on this a little more frequent, or in a quicker manner, of having the flag raised and lowered, even if this can be done as of tomorrow morning. In the times that we are in right now, those of us that had provided our time to the country, and as far as our whole country is concerned, I think this is Mr. Smith(cont’d): also something that we could at least provide for those in remembrance of our country, getting the flag up and down in a timely manner, until these lights are repaired. One of the questions that I have here, that was questioned to me by the Mayor….had brought it up, as far as we had from the Historical Society, which I’m president of, as far as the tarps for the Steward Mansion. We had had an issue, we were trying to get tarps on the mansion, there was a problem…this is up at Turkey Brook, for those who might be unfamiliar with it. We had problems getting tarps up, with wind conditions, they were torn, the initial tarps, going back and come up with a couple of different ideas of redoing this and retarping it. In discussions with the architect who was working on the restoration of the Grace Baptist Church, he has recommended, because that’s his background is historical restoration, that we, at this time, the main structure not be tarped because of the possibility of snow load from heavy snow and subsequent rains could cause the center of the structure to collapse, it could pull in some of the walls of the structure and we could get ourselves into more serious conditions. I talked to Jim Lynch and Kathy Murphy, I know Jim is going to try to at least get, in the very near future, get the kitchen portion, which is the back section, tarped off, at least we could get that portion of it protected. That’s just to bring up a question that the Mayor had to me the other day and I wanted to make you all privy to that information. The last issue I have was an ordinance that Mr. Greenbaum had presented, as far as on the docks and piers here at Budd Lake. I am a boater, as I know Lisa is, on the lake. I have…my question here, since at this point, is on this ordinance now, that has passed, is who is going to be issuing permits, who is going to be having responsibility for inspections and enforcement of this ordinance? This seems to be left open…in the open, I know I have turned around and contacted Russ Brown, the Construction Official, this is not under his bailiwick, he seems to feel that it comes back under Engineering. This is kind of left open for those of us who do have docks at the lake, because the ordinance does cover, the way I read it anyway, as well as year-round permanent structures and also into structures that are put back in each year, how is this going to be handled?
President Rattner: I believe the ordinance, if you look in the part of the code, it’s under property maintenance, under zoning. It’s a property maintenance….it’s a zoning issue, so it will be under the Zoning Board and Zoning Officer.
Mr. Smith: Under the Zoning Officer, then.
President Rattner: The Zoning…yes, and it’s the first attempt to try and put something….there are two purposes, one was the fact that a lot of docks have been left in the lake all winter and that’s why we talk about taking out temporary docks, and identifying….and they break up, and I’m part of the crew that cleans up the lake twice a year. Sometimes we pull out a lot of heavy duty tonnage and there’s a lot of broken docks, and they end up all over the place, and the other was something that came up as more and more, especially motorized vehicles, on the lake in the winter, you know, the ATV’s on that side of the lake, and that with a little bit of snow you can’t see the docks that are remaining in the water. So, we ask that there be reflectors or some sort of reflective materials that will stick up so people will at least know where the dock is, so you don’t drive into something. It’s the first year, we’re hoping to get something accomplished…that was a year in the making. It started very complicated trying to boil it down to it was relatively simple, we didn’t even really identify in the ordinance, because we had a problem in what is a permanent/what is a temporary dock. Basically, we’re going to look at the condition and whether it can be easily removed. If it is removed, it has to be securely battened down or at least away from the shore lines so it doesn’t end up back in the water either on purpose…we know how that goes….
Mr. Smith: One question that I had and others that I’ve talked to around the lake, is if we put docks out every year, how’s this going to affect them, because one of the sections is that the docks have to be 18 inches behind…above the highest recorded level on the lake, docks have to be 4 foot wide, are we going to get into as far as OSHA regulations, which is going to be railings? There’s quite a few other questions that have not been addressed here….
President Rattner: That wasn’t changed, that’s always been put….what you just talked about has been part of the ordinance, as far as I know, for as long back as I know.
Mrs. Lashway: Yes, that was not changed.
President Rattner: We only modified some of the existing wording, we didn’t put a whole new ordinance in.
Mr. Greenbaum: Jim, I had nothing to do with the drafting of that ordinance.
Mr. Smith: I’m not, I’m not…
Mr. Greenbaum: No…I just thought that you said that originally, not that I don’t support it, but what I suggest you do is that all of these concerns, which have been raised, you refer back to the committee that was responsible for the drafting of the ordinance so that they can look at the issues to see if they’ve been addressed, to modify the ordinance. The concern, obviously, was to get it on the books because it was a safety issue, and if it needs to be tweaked, you know, the more input that’s given to it, in terms of getting it to where it needs to be, the better. So, you know, if you could put it in writing, it will get back to their committee for review and you can ask to participate in the discussion, or to be part of the committee, if that’s what you want to do.
Mr. Smith: And what’s the official committee that came under that?
Mr. Greenbaum: It’s the Lake…
Mr. Smith: Lake Preservation…
President Rattner: Well, the Lake Environmental Issues Committee, my name is on it. Give it to Lisa, she’ll get it to me.
Mr. Smith: Okay.
President Rattner: And, you know, the Administration and the Council had a discussion when we passed it, because one of it was an enforcement….it’s late in the year, people won’t even know about it, even though we’re trying to notify everybody, based on our tax records, but all they’re going to try doing is getting there, it’s going to be a learning process. We’re not going to go and hammer anybody as long as they’re cooperative and they make a reasonable attempt.
Mr. Smith: Well, some of us don’t actually live on the lake, but we have either agreements, as I have with a friend of mine, that’s where we have a dock on the lake. So, I did not know, I picked it up by accident through a call, and then it just started to, you know, avalanche on that.
President Rattner: I don’t think it’s going to be put as high priority from the Zoning point, with all the issues they have. It’s just trying to get something started and try to work it.
Mr. Smith: Well, that’s why I had called Russ Brown first, that one time….I just wanted to find out where we were going to get hurt here, you know, what trouble we were going to get into come the Spring.
Mr. Greenbaum: No one is looking to get anybody in trouble, we’re just looking to resolve the issues, so…you know, it’s a cooperative effort by everybody.
Mr. Smith: Well, I know, Lisa had explained that to me that there was more concern with some of the year-round installations, but when I read it….
Mr. Greenbaum: Well, it may need to be tweaked, that’s all.
Mr. Smith: Yes, okay, thank you very much.
Mr. Greenbaum: Your points are very valid.
President Rattner: Thank you. Mr. Bonte, do you still want to come up?
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: This has basically to do with the Library issue. This should never have been put on the Council’s plate tonight, it was inappropriate, but some comments. You know, the tonnage reports, that come in, are really totally meaningless. You know, it tells you what was loaded on the truck, when it left the quarry, it doesn’t tell you what arrived here at the Library. So, I would throw them out the window, they don’t mean anything, and obviously the engineers that work for the construction company are well aware of that and don’t want to sign it, but it seems to me, at least from everything I heard, that it is incumbent upon the contractor to basically certify to the town that he built what he was supposed to and then, in the absence of Mr. Buczynski having actually witnessed, or somebody on the town staff witnessed what took place, we would then have the right to verify that, but I think the first thing that has to happen is the contractor has to certify to the town, not at our expense, that he built whatever, whether it’s the parking lot, the sidewalks, in compliance with what was requested, and then if the town wants to, at their expense, verify that, that obviously is something that we reserve the right to, but the fact that the contractor doesn’t want to do this, should raise some red flags right off the bat. So, I think we need to get that step done first and it should not be an allowable expense, since they have not be willing to provide that information at this point. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you. Ms. Hilbert.
Rita Hilbert, Library Director: I’ve sat through this whole project. When it first started, Blackstone, the contractor, was advised by Scott Ayers, to go over to the Building Department and to ask DPW, or whoever, if they wanted to come over and see what was going on, to review it. What happened after that was that members of the DPW came onto the site and started telling the different contractors what to do. Now, we’ve been….we’ve heard that they’ve been thrown off the site, that was not true. In fact, Mr. McGlynn was on the site, he questioned the fact that they were not using a laser level and, in deed, an acceptable means and methods of construction, you don’t have to use a laser level as long as you use a level. He disliked one way that the pipe was going and so the contractor moved the pipe, that’s been documented. So, for someone to say that no one was allowed on the site, is a falsehood, they were just asked to sign in so that they were not speaking directly to the sub-contractors. After that happened, we had a big meeting and Mr. Guenther was there, I believe, he came in place of Mr. Scappichio, who was our Council liaison at that time. At that meeting, it was discussed on whether there was inspections needed by State or by code and we had already checked with DCA and there were no inspections needed. I think we got hung up on this word ‘inspections.’ DPW was always allowed to come to review the site, but inspections hold a much higher level of control than was warranted here. Mrs. Spencer was the Business Administrator at that time, we sat with her, she was at this meeting, and she was to check with Mr. Dorsey to see what had to be done according to law. Of course, now we have no Ms. Spencer, we have no Mark DiGennaro. We have Mr. Buczynski, who had been invited to this meeting, but declined to come. According to Mark DiGennaro, Mr. Buczynski had said that he would never set foot on the Library sit, all hearsay…I realize it, but this isn’t a court of law at this moment in time. When this all came to pass, the only person who had been on the site, the only person who is still in the employ of the town, is Mr. McGlynn. My question to you, and to all of you is if this was such a necessary procedure, why didn’t Mr. McGlynn press it forward with the numerous Business Administrators we’ve had since then, but why wasn’t it pressed forward and why is Blackstone, Scott Ayers, and the Library being made to look like they did not follow through on what we were supposed to do? I just wanted to bring that out, because I think the public….and I heard the two gentlemen, who were sitting behind me, saying the Library is trying to circumvent the rules and that is not true. We just needed to know what the rules were.
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, Rita, with all due respect, I really wish you hadn’t stood up because I was really sick and tired of discussing this issue tonight, but you’ve raised a number of issues that I just can’t let go. I wasn’t there, I did try and get on site, you did make it available for me to come on site at one point in time and I didn’t take you up on it. I wouldn’t have known what I was looking at anyway, and that’s why I wanted to bring somebody who did, but leaving that aside, you had a contractor, you had engineers, this is not a township issue, those people should have known what was ultimately going to be required at the end of meeting, and, you know, the rest of it I’ll bring up at the meeting tomorrow night because I have a lot to say and I don’t think that this is the appropriate forum, but I take great exception with just about everything that you just said. I wasn’t there to dispute the factual aspects, but everything else I take great exception to and I’ll discuss it tomorrow night.
Mrs. Hilbert: My last comment would be that when the blacktop was put down, it was put down by Tilcon and John Mania, who is on the Planning Board, was there through the whole process.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, but he happens to be an employee of Tilcon, okay, so that had nothing to do with anything, Rita.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the public like to speak at this time? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion.
President Rattner: We’ll go to final Council comments. Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: None.
Ms. Labow: None
Mr. Guenther: None
Mr. Mund: None
Mr. Perkins: Please no.
Mr. Greenbaum: None
President Rattner: And I have none. Move for adjournment.
Mr. Perkins: So moved.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 11:05 pm.
Robert J. Greenbaum, Council President
I, LISA M. LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes is a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on January 25, 2005.
Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk