Township Council Minutes
January 11, 2005
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:32 pm by Council President Greenbaum with the Pledge of Allegiance.
MOMENT OF REFLECTION
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Mount Olive Chronicle. Notice has been posted at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive Township, New Jersey and notices were sent to those requesting the same.
ROLL CALL Present: Mr. Buell, Ms. Labow (7:40), Mr. Mund, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Rattner,
Mr. Perkins, Mr. Greenbaum
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor De La Roche (7:36); Bob Casey, Acting Business Administrator (7:35);
Sherry Jenkins, CFO; John Dorsey, Township Attorney (7:33); Lisa Lashway,
President Greenbaum: Because of the weather, a number of the different presentations and certificates that were to be awarded this evening are not going to occur and will be rescheduled for a February meeting. As I understand it, the Thomas Jefferson awards to Larissa Fitzgibbons and Erika Spaet are being postponed. The Field Hockey awards to the Mount Olive Girls Field Hockey Team are being postponed. The Rose House Presentation is being postponed, which leaves the Pride Committee Awards and the swearing in of the Budd Lake Fire Officers, which is going to occur this evening. We’ll hold off on those until later in the meeting.
Questions on Bill List?
President Greenbaum: At this point, I would open up to the Council any questions on the Bill List. Are there any questions that have not been identified?
Mr. Rattner: I had a couple of questions and the CFO satisfactorily answered them prior to the meeting.
President Greenbaum: Okay, anyone else? No, okay.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
President Greenbaum: There are no Minutes for approval.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS
1. Letter received December 30, 2004, from Doris Passmore, regarding the deplorable condition of the Mount Olive Union Cemetery on Flanders Drakestown Road.
2. Letter received January 3, 2005, from James Gordon, regarding the January 10th meeting at the Roxbury Municipal Building for Soil Relocation Permit.
3. Letter received January 4, 2005, from Tammy Lyn Jones regarding a request for an appeal and an extension of time for property cleanup.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS
4. Resolution received December 23, 2004, from Borough of Lincoln Park regarding reimbursement and payment of property taxes for disabled veterans.
DOT / DEP / LOI
5. Letter received December 28, 2004, from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding Notice of Neighboring Landowners of Freshwater Wetlands Application for Mount Olive Center Associates Block 4100 Lots 80,84,87,and 88 (Route 46 & Old Budd Lake Road).
6. Letter received December 28, 2004, from EcolSciences, Inc. regarding Application for an Extension of Letter of Interpretation: Line Verification Block 5400, Lot 27 (56 & 66 Flanders Bartley Road)
7. Letter received December 28, 2004, from Simoff Engineering Associates regarding Route 46 & Old Budd Lake Road, Block 4100 Lots 80, 84, 87, & 88.
8. Letter received December 28, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Deerfield Estates, Stream Encroachment Emergency Permit, Individual Freshwater Wetlands Emergency Permit – Applicant Rezamir Estates Inc., Block No. 7000, Lot No. 64.
9. Letter received December 28, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Notice of Suspension of Freshwater Wetlands and Flood Hazard Area Authorizations Individual Freshwater Wetlands Permit, Stream Encroachment Permit, Letter of Interpretation – line Verification. Applicant Rezamir Estates, Inc. Project Name: Deerfield Estates Block 7000, Lot 64.
10. Letter received December 28, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental protection regarding Treatment works Approval – Woodland Estates, Mount Olive Township.
11. Letter received January 4, 2005, from State of New Jersey, Department of Transportation regarding Speed Limits for Netcong Road.
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
12. Letter received January 4, 2005, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding 2005 League Policy / Training Seminar Offerings.
13. Letter received January 4, 2005, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Seminar 2005 Fiscal Update.
14. E-mail received January 4, 2005, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Pension Offset Legislation (A-3529)
15. Notice received December 28, 2004, from New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors regarding Division of Consumer Affairs Notice.
16. Letter received December 29, 2004, from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Historic Preservation Office regarding 2005 Historic Preservation Conference.
17. Fax received December 29, 2004, from Highlands Council regarding Notice of the January 6th Highlands Council Meeting.
18. Letter received December 29, 2004, from Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce regarding Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center.
19. Letter received December 30, 2004, from Office of the Morris County Counsel regarding Public Hearing – Solid Waste Management Plan Amendment.
20. E-mail received January 3, 2004, from Denise Guidotti regarding the January 6th Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council meeting.
21. Letter received December 30, 2004, from Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority regarding Noise at the Mount Olive Transfer Station.
22. Letter received January 7, 2005, from Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding list of allocations for participating Municipalities in the 3.803 MGD Water Pollution Control Plant.
23. Letter received January 3, 2005, from County of Morris, Department of Planning, Development and Technology regarding CDROM which will assist in developing the Municipal Stormwater Management Plan.
24. Letter received January 6, 2005, from County of Morris, Department of Public Works regarding Netcong Road, Mount Olive Township.
25. Letter received December 28, 2004, from Comcast regarding NBC Weather Plus addition.
LETTERS FROM LEGISLATIVE REPRESETATIVES
26. E-mail received January 5, 2005, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding helping with Tsunami Relief Efforts.
President Greenbaum: We’ll go onto Correspondence. There are 26 pieces of correspondence. Does anyone have any comments or questions related to the Correspondence?
Mr. Guenther: The first letter, from Doris Passmore, regarding the Mount Olive Union Cemetery. I would really like to look into this.
Mrs. Lashway: I spoke with Catherine about it and she and Jay Holler are going to try and address it from a property maintenance issue and see how far they can get.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, because I have the same comment, I mean, just looking at it from the outside and not having a loved one buried there, it just…even from the road it looks unkempt and not taken care of and I think that’s deplorable.
President Greenbaum: Do we have any….as a township, do we have any right to direct the cemetery board to do maintenance work at that site? John, do we have any power to force the cemetery to do corrective measures in terms of their property maintenance?
Mr. Dorsey: I would think that they were subject, like any other property owners, to the terms and conditions of the ordinance.
President Greenbaum: Okay.
Mr. Dorsey: Not many cemeteries are well funded, but you certainly have jurisdiction over them.
President Greenbaum: Yes, okay. So, I think what we need to do then is to send a letter off to Zoning that we’ve had this complaint and that it’s been raised by Council members and we’d like to know what action they intend to take with respect to this site. I’d also like to prepare a correspondence to the Cemetery Board, which overseas the cemeteries in the State of New Jersey, to alert them to the fact that issues have arisen with respect to the maintenance of this property and let’s see what kind of response we get. I’ll draft that letter for you. Are there any other comments?
Mr. Buell: Letter number 7 from the Simoff Engineering Association, Route 46. Just a question….who is Chris Hopkins, Esq. and Alan?
President Greenbaum: My understanding, Jim, is that he is one of the legal counsel for K Hovnanian. The letter related to assertions concerning COAH obligations of the township and his position, with respect to the township already having satisfied its’ COAH obligations and I believe that Chuck is prepared to respond to that issue, but he was an individual from K Hovnanian.
Mr. Buell: Okay, that’s…..thank you, that’s really all the questions I had.
President Greenbaum: Are there any other questions concerning any of the correspondence? Seeing none, we’ll move on. Gary, I’m going to hold off on…..because I think we can get through the agenda very quickly, to deal with the issues related to BASF.
Someone from the audience: I have no problem waiting around.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Greenbaum: Tonight we have one ordinance for public hearing. It’s 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.
President Greenbaum: At this point, I would open it to the public for public discussion. Is there anyone from the public who would like to discuss this issue? Seeing none, I’ll close it to the public. Mr. Buell, could you please move that ordinance?
Mr. Buell: I move ordinance #47-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Greenbaum: It’s been moved and seconded, I’ll open it for Council discussion, Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Are there some other issues involved with this particular…..it’s not just a matter of conveyance of the property, but I understand some maintenance issue regarding the road?
Mr. Dorsey: I don’t understand that in terms of this ordinance. This ordinance was designed to rectify a situation that was caused by the purchaser’s own attorney….or the seller’s own attorney, when you conveyed title….fee title to the township rather than simply an easement. In order to perfect title back the way it should be, we have to adopt this ordinance that then permits us to execute the deed.
Mr. Guenther: But what about the….
Mrs. Lashway: There is an issue with the maintenance of the road. The road has never been dedicated to the township and the title company was having a problem with that. I spoke with Tim Quinn and we have repaired, maintained it for over thirty years, and we wrote a letter to that effect that it was not dedicated to the township, but we do maintain it.
Mr. Guenther: The letter was written to whom, the title company?
Mrs. Lashway: To…it was either the attorney or the title company.
Mr. Dorsey: Probably to the title company.
Someone from the audience: Inaudible.
President Greenbaum: You’re going to have to come up to a microphone, if you’re going to speak.
Mr. Dorsey: No, he doesn’t have to speak. It’s alright, we got it.
President Greenbaum: We have it already, but in the future….we have it, we understand. From the audience,
Mr. Miller, is it? Mr. Miller, who is the seller of the property, has indicated that it was just needed in terms of
having the available information for purposes of consummating the sale, correct?
Mr. Miller: Well, the problem is is that the road has never been, like Lisa said, the road has never been
dedicated. I have a map from 1923. For whatever reason, the road was never taken over by the township. So,
at least there was no record that it was ever taken over, since 1968, when they first paved it, they’ve maintained
the road for over forty years.
President Greenbaum: Yes, that shouldn’t impact on this ordinance, though, correct, John?
Mr. Dorsey: It has no effect on this ordinance.
President Greenbaum: Right, it just has to do with…..
Mr. Dorsey: It’s another issue that deals with the property, but it doesn’t effect this ordinance.
Mr. Miller: Right. See, the properties are transferred over there, it’s my parent’s property. They were one of
the original purchasers….the property has never been sold, but other properties have been sold, but for some
President Greenbaum: It’s….thank you.
Mr. Miller: We can’t get it cleared because…..
President Greenbaum: That’s….it’s just a perfection of your sale issue, it has nothing to do with this
Mr. Miller: Right, right.
President Greenbaum: Any other questions related to this?
Mr. Buell: Yes, the….just a point, it’s Steve Rattner’s name on the ordinance, is that correct? Or should that
be your’s, Rob?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, the ordinance was drawn while Rattner was still the Council President. I don’t know
whether that means the Council President won’t sign it.
President Greenbaum: No, I’ll sign Steve’s name to it.
Mrs. Lashway: I will change it to Rob’s name.
Mr. Dorsey: You use a rubber stamp anyway, don’t you?
President Greenbaum: Any other comments or questions?
Mr. Buell: Do we need to amend it?
Mr. Dorsey: No.
Mr. Buell: Okay.
President Greenbaum: No further comments or questions, Roll Call, please.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Let the record reflect that Mrs. Labow arrived at 7:40. At this point, I declare
Ordinance #47-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to
the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – None
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS AGENDA:
Resolutions on the Consent Agenda List are considered to be routine and non-controversial by the Township Council and will be approved by one motion (one vote). There will be no separate discussion or debate on each of these resolutions except for the possibility of brief clarifying statements that may be offered. If one or more Council member requests, any individual resolution on the Consent Agenda may be removed from the Consent Agenda List and acted on separately.
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Opposing the Adoption of A-3529.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing a Petty Cash Fund for 2005.
President Greenbaum: The next item on the agenda is the Consent Resolutions Agenda. Tonight there are two of them. Do any of the Council members wish to have either of the two resolutions removed? Seeing none, Mr. Mund, do you want to move the Consent Resolutions?
Mr. Mund: So moved.
Mr. Rattner: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Greenbaum: At this point, I would open it to the public on the Consent Resolutions Agenda. Seeing none, I’ll close it to the public.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Greenbaum: Is there any Council comment? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: There are going to be three motions tonight. There are two on the agenda and there’s one that’s been identified by Kathy Murphy, with respect to allowing the Mayor to sign a grant application with respect to the minivan. Does everyone have a copy of that letter? We’ll deal with that separately. After I get through the first two, I’m going to ask someone to make a motion to authorize the Mayor to sign such an application. The first motion is for:
1. Approval of Raffle Application #2062 for the Mt. Olive Jr. Baseball & Softball Association.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for approval of Raffle Application #2062.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Greenbaum: Any discussion? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
2. Bill List.
Mr. Mund: Motion to approve the Bill List dated today.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Greenbaum: Is there any discussion? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
3. Motion for the Mayor to sign NJ Transit Grant Application.
Mr. Rattner: I make a motion to allow the Mayor to sign a Grant Application for NJ Transit for a minivan.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Greenbaum: Any discussion?
Mr. Rattner: This is the first time I saw it tonight. I don’t have any problem going for extra grants. It says on here that we will utilize current personnel as drivers. Does that mean that we currently have more drivers than we have vehicles?
Mr. Casey: No, we’re replacing a vehicle.
Mr. Rattner: Oh, we’re replacing a vehicle, because it didn’t say that we were doing that on here. Okay.
Mr. Casey: Well, let’s just say we have to be cautious how we word that.
Mr. Rattner: That’s fine.
President Greenbaum: Any other discussion? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Administrative Matters, Mr. Casey.
Mr. Casey: The primary issue is notice of the appointment by the Mayor of Kathy Murphy as the Member, and
Robert Scholtz, Alternate Member of the Morris County Community Development Revenue Sharing
Committee, terms expiring 12/31/05.
President Greenbaum: Okay, those are appointments, by the Mayor, without advice and consent, correct?
Mr. Casey: That’s correct, this is for the record. Other than that, the only other issue I had, you just took care
of with the memo from Kathy.
President Greenbaum: Okay, Old Business. At this point, can you give me an update on the status of the Mount Olive Child Care negotiations, Mr. Casey?
Mr. Casey: I had a meeting with representatives of the Child Care on, I believe, Thursday. I put together a proposal that the Mayor and I are reviewing and we will have it, hopefully, in the mail to you by Friday, outlining what our thoughts are at this point in time.
President Greenbaum: So, is it fair that I could put this on for discussion at next week’s conference meeting?
Mr. Casey: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Thank you Mr. Casey, thank you Mayor. The next issue is the status of lights at Flanders Park. Mr. Buell, is this an issue that you’ve raised?
Mr. Buell: Yes it is.
President Greenbaum: Okay.
Mr. Buell: Just…we approved a resolution to pay $5,000 and award a professional services agreement with an engineer in Hackettstown to study the lights. I would just like to know….
Mr. Casey: I’m confused over this because at the last meeting, you presented to the governing body information as to the alternates for the various degrees of lighting, okay, and since I wasn’t privy to the original request, what additional information are you looking for?
Mr. Buell: I just want to know....has he…..
Mr. Casey: To the best of my knowledge, that engineering firm has not been employed.
Mr. Buell: That’s what I wanted….
Mr. Casey: Yes, I’m not aware of that engineering firm being employed. Has it, Lisa? I’m not aware of anything.
President Greenbaum: Is this project….let’s cut to the chase, Mr. Casey, is this a project which we’re going to move forward on? Is it on the back burner? Where are we at in terms of the Administration moving forward on this, or is this something that you want to get back to us at the next public meeting?
Mr. Casey: Well, I’ll have to….I’ll have to get back to you, because I was under the impression that the discussions of the governing body was having is that….use the existing funds to purchase with a local team to Mr. Casey (cont’d): install, and I don’t know if that is still a viable alternate. I’m not sure what discussions that the members of the Council have had with the Baseball Association.
President Greenbaum: I’m not sure that we’ve had any discussions, but I would like to do, Mr. Casey, what I’d like to do….perhaps you could reach out to Mr. Masotti and come to us with a proposal either to move forward on the lights in a particular fashion with the information that you have, or to not move forward with the lights, or that you need additional information with respect to that field before you can make that decision, and let’s talk about that at the meeting of the 25th.
Mr. Casey: Fine.
President Greenbaum: Okay, thank you Mr. Casey. Is that fine Mr. Buell?
Mr. Buell: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Is there any other Old Business?
Ms. Labow: I have old business. I was…Mr. Casey, I was reviewing the information you gave us regarding Bob Elm’s Tower situation, and I’m very confused because this package that you gave us doesn’t really tell us much. We already knew a tower was there, we already knew it had antennas on it, we don’t know what the question was that was asked of this firm, and from the copies that we got, I don’t understand why it was $450. We already knew the tower was there. I thought the issue was whether it was allowed to be there, or not.
Mr. Casey: No, the issue…my understanding, the issue was the classification as to the antennas on the tower. What each antenna was rated at. What each antenna was designated, under FCC rules, to be, and then the issue became whether, from a land use standpoint, whether an antenna which was rated for commercial use, was it used for commercial use or not. So, what you had there, what they supplied there, is by going to the FCC, they had the official FCC logs for each of those antenna, which established very specifically what the antenna is or are, okay, and how it’s classified under FCC rules. So, that was clarifying exactly…and that identified the one antenna on that tower, which is subject to commercial license.
President Greenbaum: Does that answer your question, Colleen?
Ms. Labow: I misunderstood, because it was my understanding that the original tower was in one location, he moved it to another location, he sued the township and went to the Appellate Division, the township had requested…well, from my understanding, the tower was supposed to be removed, and then the township wrote one letter stating that he was to write a letter stating he would not use it for commercial purposes. A second letter was written, he never confirmed that, I understand the neighbors were having problems, they can’t use cordless phones, they can’t use baby monitors due to the interference, and we already knew the tower was there, we already knew there was interference. I thought the question on the table, and the complaint, from what I understood, was that it should come down.
Mr. Casey: That’s not my understanding of the issue at all.
President Greenbaum: Can I jump in here? I think the question is whether or not it conforms with Mount Olive’s ordinances. That’s what we need an answer to the question. We now have the information as to what the tower is used for.
Mr. Casey: Well…..
President Greenbaum: I think we need a broader question answered, which simply is, someone such as Catherine Natafalusy telling us that the tower is in conformance with Mount Olive ordinances, or it’s not. That’s the question that we need answered, and I expect that it should be relative…..whether or not it’s the size of the tower, the use of the tower, the location of the tower, those……it’s a relatively easy issue I would assume, and I would expect that you would be able to give me the answer to that by the 25th.
Mr. Casey: The answer is in that report. If you look at the letter from Catherine Natafalusy to Mr. Elms, and Mr. Elms’ own response, Mr. Elms has indicated that the antenna in question is used by him in his business, Acres Communications, or whatever it’s called….
President Greenbaum: Right.
Mr. Casey: The position that the township is taking is, in fact, that that is a commercial use in a residential zone, it is not permitted without a site plan review from the Planning Board.
President Greenbaum: Okay.
Mr. Casey: He is not to use it in that fashion, unless he receives that site plan review. He has indicated to us that it is not used in that manner now, since he is no longer there, therefore, there is not an existing use occurring. Should he come back and start to re-use it, the position the township is taking, based upon his own testimony, is that it requires a Planning Board review.
President Greenbaum: Okay.
Mr. Dorsey: Planning Board or Board of Adjustment?
Mr. Casey: I understand that a business in a residential zone, is a conditional use permit. A professional office in a residential zone, is a conditional use permit.
President Greenbaum: Okay, I still have several questions related to that tower. I would like to be able to put it in writing to Catherine to get simple answers to.
Mr. Casey: Fine.
President Greenbaum: And I’ll send it through you, if you’d like.
Mr. Casey: That will be fine.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Ms. Labow: One last question, the gentleman who performed this service for us, did he or did he not get paid?
Ms. Jenkins: No, he has not been paid.
Mr. Casey: He’s not been paid.
Ms. Labow: He’s not been paid. He has not rebilled us?
Ms. Jenkins: No.
Ms. Labow: Does he have a relationship with Mr. Elms? Professional or friendship, or whatever?
Ms. Jenkins: Ed can answer that.
Mr. Casey: Ed is back there shaking his head….I have noticed that the Chief of Police indicates that he is aware of the fact that he does not have a relationship.
Ms. Labow: Okay, that’s all I wanted to know. Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Casey, I would just like to thank you for getting us a copy of this report we had asked for it for some period of time and I do appreciate your getting it to us.
Ms. Labow: Yes, thank you very much.
President Greenbaum: Any other Old Business?
Mr. Guenther: Rosewood Ditch. I think the last that was left is that we were going to get some sort of an estimate as to bringing in an outside contractor to….I’m sorry, an outside contractor to do a proposal as to how much it would cost to do the kind of clearing work that needed to be done in there that the township DPW Department said it couldn’t do on an ongoing basis…at least to start off with, and I don’t recall receiving that.
Mr. Casey: That is all a part of the 2005 budget. You’ll have that….that information is in the budget.
Mr. Guenther: Okay.
President Greenbaum: Any other Old Business?
President Greenbaum: Seeing none, we’ll move onto New Business.
Mr. Rattner: I have two items. One is in regards to the letter I guess we received last week, it was delivered by the Mayor for Ms. Uhrmann, and it was addressed…it said Mount Olive Township versus Dave Jones. I think that’s in error, because Dave Jones isn’t a property owner in town, as far as I understand, but in there…in the third paragraph, there was a charge that the way I read it, that a current Council person acted inappropriately. When a charge is put in writing and addressed to us, I think we have to properly review it, and we haven’t done this before, and I guess I’ll ask the attorney. I know we have the powers to cause an investigation, an investigation to find if there is validity, to look at the proofs, and to see if this, in fact, happened. We’ve been hearing a lot of things going back and forth, this is not on the internet, this is not just something that was said at a party, this is a letter addressed to us. With that….so I guess I ask Mr. Dorsey, under the law, and under our form of government, what are the actual powers of the Council to perform an investigation?
Mr. Dorsey: Generally speaking, the Council has the right to investigate charges that are made, or issues, inquiries that are made relative to the operation of the municipal government.
Mr. Rattner: And what….
Mr. Dorsey: And I don’t have the letter in front of me, so I’m not exactly sure what it…..
Mr. Rattner: And what tools do we have in that, because we want to make sure, because obviously there’s a number of different names…saying that they were involved. In fact, it sounds like a conspiracy.
Mr. Dorsey: Is this in…which paragraph is this?
Mr. Rattner: The third, and if you look through, there’s some other things that are intertwined, and I would like to have….to implement a Council, just to definitively absolve or find out if there was a misstep.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, I think what you’re specifically referring to is the reference to Mr. Portere?
Mr. Rattner: Well, about that a current Councilman saying because of a falling out of a personal thing, decided to press a complaint against a property owner.
President Greenbaum: Do we have subpoena power, John?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes.
Mr. Rattner: That’s…..I really want….this is one we got….
Mr. Dorsey: I don’t know that you have to subpoena, I think you simply have to request Mr. Portere to appear before you and ask him the question that’s raised by the letter.
Mr. Rattner: Well, also with the letter, because the person did sign it, and put it down in saying that expecting certain action, because if this person has certain information, I think we need that information.
Mr. Dorsey: Oh, well, that’s different.
Mr. Rattner: Too, right?
Mr. Dorsey: That’s different, that’s different.
Mr. Rattner: Because that would all be part of it, because it can be very serious.
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, you can ask the person…..
Mr. Rattner: Can we write up whatever is needed, because, Mr. President, I would like to start an investigation to find out whether there is any validity to these charges.
President Greenbaum: The Jones hearing is currently scheduled for the 25th of January.
Mr. Rattner: No, that’s something separate. That is just his appeal…..
President Greenbaum: I understand that, I’m talking about timing, though.
Mr. Rattner: Okay.
President Greenbaum: Is this something that you want to have resolved prior to….
Mr. Rattner: No, it doesn’t have to be. I just want to know the process. I figure this is going to be something that we haven’t done before and it’s going to be something that there is probably a very proper way and we want to make sure that we don’t step on anybody’s rights, and we do it the proper way, but I think on something like this, I want to get this resolved definitively.
President Greenbaum: Can you give me something in writing as to who you would like to appear and what information you would like to have?
Mr. Rattner: Yes, I would like to talk to the attorney just to find out what way we get the information, because there’s certain information that we need, and whether we’re allowed to do it.
President Greenbaum: As soon as you get that information, I will put everything in motion in terms of making the investigation happen.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, I have one other item. Two meetings ago, I know I made, just in passing, reference that when we were talking about the Transfer Station, that we had another permit application that was sent to us for a public hearing before it was addressed by the Department of Environmental Protection. I’m going to ask the Mayor to give us a report on exactly what the changes are in this permit, because in the permit, which is about three inches thick, they summarized it, and they said the summary…this is exactly from the letter that came from Onyx Environmental Services, a copy to us, but it was sent to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Hazardous Waste and Transfer Facility. The summary of the proposed changes is as follows: Revising the current Part A of the permit, list of authorized waste to include 68 additional hazardous waste codes. Now they say some of this has to do with law changes, but 68 additional hazardous wastes they want to put there, so I think that’s major. Number 2, increasing permitted storage capacity to 187,000 gallons, the equivalent of 3,400 gallon drums, the additional capacity will be accommodated within existing permitted storage areas. Three, approval to store universal waste in a warehouse in addition to the permitted areas. Universal waste would be stored on pallets in designated areas of the warehouse and would be limited to non-flammable universal waste. Approval to conduct non-hazardous waste consolidations in a vehicle maintenance area. Approval to construct a roof over the light truck trailer loading areas, bays 12, 13 rollup doors, a variance to the requirements in 40 CFR 264.176 for additional parking spaces, and to allow to have additional trailers stored on site and approval of two additional standard operating procedures for managing liquefied gases in cylinders, whatever that means. Since we missed that, and this is something that we’ve looked at very closely, and there was a thirty day comment period, if we did need to comment, that’s one thing, but I think what we need to know now is exactly what has happened. The way I understand the solid waste rules, the solid waste facility trumps our Planning Board, because we’ve had that issue before. If the State approves it, we did not object to anything in there as far as I know, because that’s what we were told two meetings ago, we have to make sure we know what is actually going in and what we can do now, because I’m sure there’s still time to talk to the State if we have any major problems. The words sound real bad, I’m not sure what it all means, when they say 68 additional hazardous waste codes, is that just chemicals that they had there anyway, but they’re identifying them differently, it could be.
President Greenbaum: What’s your question, Steve?
Mr. Rattner: I want a report on…what I said at the beginning, about what this actually means and what the changes are that could be effected by this permit if it is accepted by the DEP. This is a major…to me, it looks like it’s major changes, and I just need a timeframe when we could get that.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Casey.
Mr. Casey: We met with him, Catherine Natafalusy and I, relative to that application. Yes, it sounds ominous, when you talk to them and you look at what their current ratings are and what they are doing, this is an incremental increase, it’s within the existing buildings, the existing footprints. It was determined they won’t need additional site plan work, etc. Everything is stored within their existing areas, and what I will do is I will provide information to you as to their existing gallonage and new gallonage, and it’s an increment…I forget, it’s not a significant increment to them. In meeting with them, the information we received that there’s no new materials being handled there, but I think a lot of it is exactly what Mr. Rattner said, it’s simply responding to the classification structure they have. So, we will provide to you the information they gave to us, which is before and after and it’s not….it was not a significant increase in their operations.
Mr. Rattner: When did you actually meet with them? This was after that meeting when you told us that it wasn’t something that you felt that we needed to go through with a fine tooth comb….or…you said something to that effect.
Mr. Casey: I had met with them prior to that meeting, but I….timeframe…I’ll have to look at my notes…. I have dates, I……
President Greenbaum: When is our response due?
Mr. Rattner: December 3rd.
Mr. Casey: Yes, so it was in November, it was before that.
Mr. Rattner: Well, if you remember, we got it in November 3rd and we had thirty days. It came up when I was looking at some other issue and I said I found this in the file and wanted to know if we responded, you said we did not because it didn’t appear….it appeared to be just a normal renewal, or something to that effect, and I read a little bit of it and I got, obviously, bored and I just want to know what it is.
President Greenbaum: So, Steve, you’re looking for something in writing from the Administration in terms of…..
Mr. Rattner: If it really is something relatively minor, it just sounded ominous, just the way I read it….I mean, anybody just reading it, it’s more than just a normal, what I consider, change, and I realize some of it could be just in the paperwork, but they are expanding, they want to store more, they want to have extra trailers, that was in the document, too.
President Greenbaum: What is it that you want the Administration to do?
Mr. Rattner: To tell us exactly what we’re getting….you know, what they’re doing, and since it’s too late to make any comment, is there any chance, if we have any problems with it, that we can still go to the DEP and hopefully they’ll listen to us.
President Greenbaum: Bob, I’m going to put this on for Workshop for next week, on the 18th, and I’d like something from you in writing whether or not there is a plan or whether or not, because of the nature of the changes, the Administration is not taking any action, if that is the course that the Administration has chosen. Is that agreeable?
Mr. Casey: Okay.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you Mr. President.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Any other New Business?
Ms. Labow: I have one.
President Greenbaum: Yes, Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: It’s actually just a comment. Since it’s close to my house, I want to thank the efforts by Officer Van Ness in reducing the speed limit on Netcong Road. I guess we’ll be having an ordinance coming up, from Ms. Labow (cont’d): 35 miles to 30 miles an hour and that is a situation that has, I’m sure that Mr. Perkins will also agree with me, the residents along Netcong Road are very upset because people come right off of Route 46 and they just go barreling down that road and they constantly complain about the speed limit. Now that it’s going to be reduced from 35 to 30, I just wanted to say thank you very much and I can’t wait for that to change.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Any other New Business? Seeing none……at this point, I would like to go back to the agenda that we had skipped over earlier due to the weather and I know I saw that the Fire Department was out in full force earlier on my way here, they were heading east on Route 46. I hope it wasn’t a terribly dangerous or serious situation, but at this point, I would call up the, I guess, the President of the….how do you want to do this, Willie? Do you want everyone to be sworn in? Okay, everyone come up. This is the swearing in of the Budd Lake Fire Company Officers. Thank you.
Mrs. Lashway: Do you want to introduce and state everybody’s name?
Willie Cirone: There are some new faces up here and we have some new faces also.
President Greenbaum: Willie, do you want to just grab the microphone, just so it’s picked up on the recording?
Mr. Cirone: What I’ll do, Mr. President, is I’ll introduce my Officers and I’ll turn it over to Chief Maloney and he can introduce his Officers. My Vice President, Mike Ward, my Recording Secretary, Tim Bippus, and my Personnel Office, Kyle Nichols, and Treasurer is Bob Hill.
Mr. Rattner: Did you save Vinnie?
Mr. Maloney: Who?
Mr. Rattner: The Pizzeria you were running to.
Mr. Maloney: We saved him, no problem. No pizza was destroyed. Okay, my name is Kevin Maloney, I’m your new Chief. My 1st Assistant Chief is Kenny Nelson, my 2nd Assistant Chief is Peter Bryn. The Captain this year is the past Chief, Bobby Sheard. The 1st Lieutenant, who is not here, is Frank Nelson, he’s out there salting for us tonight, and my 2nd Lieutenant is not here, Mike Dorlon….he’s protecting Paragon Village.
Mr. Cirone: The President of the Ladies Auxiliary is Samantha Clemmer.
Samantha Clemmer: My Officers here tonight are Debbie Cirone, Vice President and Naomi Everett, Corresponding and Recording Secretary for now.
Mr. Cirone: Okay, Lisa.
Mrs. Lashway: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me: I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of (they each stated their office), according to the best of my ability, So help me God.
President Greenbaum: Mayor, I had one other issue that I skipped over earlier which was the Pride Committee Awards. Is that something which…..I don’t know if the Pride Committee is here, or…..I don’t see anyone from the Pride Committee. Alright, we’ll hold off on that, we may have to reschedule that because of the weather.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, there’s one, but they’re also a Council member, so they’ll be at the next one also. So, if you want to hold off, that’s fine.
President Greenbaum: It’s up to you, however you want to do it.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, if they’re not here….
President Greenbaum: Let’s hold off on it then. Okay. There is one other issue that we are going to be discussing that’s a refunding bond ordinance with respect to BASF. At this point, it’s going to be done in closed session, because it relates to litigation with respect to the 2005 year tax appeal, and to the issues discussed related to that as well as 2004. We’re not going to be taking any formal action on that this evening, and I will do that at the end of the meeting, so as not to hold everyone else over. That’s correct…..Sherry, we don’t need to take any formal action on that, it’s just simply a discussion of…..
Ms. Jenkins: No…yes, just the discussion.
President Greenbaum: Strategy discussion.
Ms. Labow: I have one last question and it’s Old Business, if I could just interrupt…..
President Greenbaum: Absolutely.
Ms. Labow: Thank you. Not to bring it up again, because I hate to bring it up again, but in regards to the bill for the gentleman who performed the service regarding Elms Tower, are we prepared to authorize payment at this time?
President Greenbaum: Well, it needs to be put back on the Bill List and we can deal with it…..Sherry, I’d ask that you put that back on the Bill List for discussion.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, we’ve….we just…I haven’t gotten direction to do that. So, if everybody is okay with it, that’s fine.
Ms. Labow: That’s what I was thinking. If the guy needs the money, we should be paying him….if he did the service, pay him.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Legal Matters, Mr. Dorsey.
Mr. Dorsey: None.
Library Board Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: We meet tomorrow night.
President Greenbaum: Just so you know, the Library got their TCO today.
Ms. Labow: Yes, somebody was asking me. Yeah!!! So, when are they actually opening? We’ll find out tomorrow?
President Greenbaum: Jane is here. Jane, do you know when the Library is opening?
Jane Israel, Mount Olive Library: Yes, the Library did finally meet all of the requirements to receive the TCO, and we did just get that today. We will be open Thursday…to the public. We’ll make appropriate announcements, I’m happy to make the announcement here in this public forum, and we’ll do what we can to notify all the people. We will be open 10:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Thursday and 10:00 to 5:00 pm on Friday, for this month. Hopefully, next month we will be able to adjust those hours, but that’s what we are starting off with.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Ms. Labow: One question. Jane, are you going to have a grand opening?
Ms. Israel: We’ll be having a dedication, but at this point, I don’t believe it will be until sometime maybe in the end of February because a lot of the furniture has not yet arrived, and also we want to have just about…you know, most of the punch list with the corrections and completions, you know, that we want to have that all done before we actually have the dedication. You will all be notified.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Any other report on the Library?
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Mund: It was postponed until tomorrow night.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: There was a meeting last week….nothing of particular note to report. It was a reorganizatonal meeting, with the reappointment of all the incumbent personnel.
Planning Board Report
Ms. Labow: We meet Thursday for the reorganization meeting. Nothing to report at this time.
President Greenbaum: At 7:00 pm?
Ms. Labow: At 7:00 pm Thursday, the 13th.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. Reorganization meeting was held last night at 7:00 pm here. Donald Hill is the Chair, Russ Tepper is Vice Chair, Lauren Perkins - Secretary, Michael Carroll is still the attorney, Chuck McGroarty, Planner, Eugene Buczynski is Engineer. Normal course of business, the newspaper is the Mount Olive Chronicle. Site Plan Review Committee is Mr. Mark Williams, Nick Geiger and Dan Nelsen. Planner Board liaison is still Catherine Natafalusy and the Environmental Commission liaison is Donald Hill. They will go over their rules of procedure to adopt those at the next meeting on the 31st.
Open Space Committee Report
Mr. Guenther: There was a meeting last night. We did a review of the accomplishments for last year, as well as the 2005 goals. There are several properties that we’re looking at. Obviously, I think, on the Silver Springs Property that is scheduled to close, hopefully by the end of February and there are a couple of others that we’re looking at. We’re also looking at some additional ideas as to providing, you know, walking trails and that type of recreation, you know, on the open space for citizens of Mount Olive and, you know, would welcome any suggestions from the public. We also received a report on the Open Space Trust Fund, the balance as of the end of the year is $1,156,538.81. That’s just about it.
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Mund: Nothing.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report.
Board of Education Liaison Report
Mr. Mund: They had a meeting last Monday night, last night. They are soliciting a contract for a re-look at the demographics for updating their demographic plan which effects the schools and the trailers and the classrooms and the needs. They are presently looking at relocation of the trailers to Sand Shore and Tinc Road Schools at a cost of up to $600,000 and they don’t think it’s that high, but it was a healthy number. The Facilities Committee and Steve Sluka will be meeting with the Planning Board on 2/17 to discuss their plans and they pass normal rehirings and things like that. The next meeting is the 24th.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
Mr. Rattner: Nothing to report other than that the quarterly meeting for the first quarter is this Thursday.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Guenther: There has been no meeting since the last time we met.
President Greenbaum: Okay, the only other committee is the Finance Budget Committee. I assume that we’re going to wait to have that meeting until after we get the budget from the Administration, to set up an initial meeting at that point in time. Sherry, what is the date for the budget to be submitted?
Mr. Casey: That’s an interesting question. Our goal….due to some illness, we were hoping to have it out Friday, we’ll have it out to you Monday. I missed last week three days and it sort of put me behind.
Mr. Rattner: The same thing as we said last year, I mean, the fifteenth is required by statute. If you miss it by a couple of days, we’d rather get it right and make sure that, you know, you have the last chance to review it. So, you know…..
Mr. Casey: The fifteenth is a Saturday, that’s why I’m saying……it’s falling forward to Monday.
Mr. Rattner: But no, we said the same thing last time. I mean, you know, if we can get it close, we have our dates. If we get it on Monday or we get it on Wednesday, I don’t think anybody is going to look at it any sooner, and I think instead of putting pressure on them, because we know when you start rushing things at the end, you start making silly little mistakes and it’s just not worth it.
President Greenbaum: Yes, Mr. Casey, if you have any problems in terms of getting us the budget, I would just ask you to alert us to the fact and what your time schedule is.
Mr. Casey: Thank you.
President Greenbaum: At this point, I would open it up to the public for discussion. Mr. Jones.
Dave Jones, Route 46, Budd Lake: With respect to Cathy Sullivan, I’m just wondering if she’s in a holdover position, if she’s still considered a voting member of the Library Board before the issue arises tomorrow night?
President Greenbaum: I raised that issue with legal counsel today and a memo was prepared with respect to the status of a committee person who is not confirmed. I’ll let Mr. Dorsey answer that question.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, the answer is when the nomination of Ms. Sullivan failed for lack of a second, it created a vacancy…her vacancy on that Board. The reason for this is that, under the municipal ordinance, she has a specific term and unlike certain other positions which say for a term of one year and until a successor is appointed and qualifies. However, the ordinance also provides that the Mayor can, when there is a vacancy, appoint a person to fill the vacancy for sixty days without approval of the Council. So, I assume, but I hope this is not presumptuous, that since this was an appointment of the Mayor, he will simply appoint her under the provisions of the ordinance that provide for interim appointments. So, if he does that, she can continue as a member for at least sixty days.
President Greenbaum: Does that answer your question Mr. Jones?
Mr. Jones: Sort of.
Mr. Dorsey: Sort of….I thought it was pretty specific.
President Greenbaum: The answer to that question is that she does not remain as a holdover, the Mayor has the right to appoint anybody he so chooses, who is a resident of Mount Olive, for a sixty day period. At which time, he needs the advice and consent of Council to fill that spot.
Mr. Dorsey: After the sixty days.
President Greenbaum: After the sixty days.
Mr. Jones: Okay. The second question I have is for the Administration. I was wondering what is the status of the cleanup of the old Municipal Building?
Mr. Casey: That issue will be discussed next week, as a proposed grant we have on that subject, so we’ll give a lot of detail report on the Municipal Building next Tuesday.
Mr. Jones: Have any steps been taken to clean up the old Municipal Building?
Mr. Casey: Ditto.
President Greenbaum: Dave, just so the record is clear, nothing has been done with respect to the Municipal Building physically. However, steps have been taken in terms of obtaining, or at least trying to obtain a grant, and it’s going to be the subject of detailed discussion next week, but the Municipal Building relatively remains the same as it has last week, the week before, two months ago, six months ago.
Mr. Jones: Okay. Thank you very much.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the audience? Ned.
Ned McDonald, Budd Lake: A question on the Bill List. The half boot allowance. There are several different figures, there’s a $100 figure and I think there’s like a $37 figure, and there’s also three different funds that the boot allowance is coming out of. Can you explain what this really is?
Mr. Casey: The boot allowance is, under the labor contract that the township has with the local union, employees are provided funds for replacement boots on an annual basis, and they’re basically getting….they get….it’s $200 a year, they get a $100 and a $100 later. The reason you see it split up, is that in utility funds, we have some employees who are charged to more than one account. A Water & Sewer employee will have half his cost in one account and half his cost in another account, and we have some employees actually charged off in three, depending on how they work the utilities. So, the reason it’s broken down that way, is purely financial. If you add them all up, it comes to the $100.
Mr. McDonald: Okay, the other comment, I read with some dismay, in the local newspaper about…seems to be conflicting stories about the County planning on increasing the size of the Transfer Station by 50% and, again, I only have what I….only know what I read in the newspaper, which may or may not be true, but it was stated that no one from Mount Olive seemed to be aware of the meeting in Morristown and then, I understand that apparently it is not final, but this is just one step in increasing the size of the Transfer Station. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Do you have any information on that? I’m asking the Council, right now.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: As you know, I sit on the MUA Board. It is my understanding, and I believe that discussions have been held with several members, either up here, or with the Mayor’s office as well, that the….there’s a two-step process. They have to put….to even be able to go anywhere and make any specific plans, they have to put a plan amendment in in front of the DEP for the possibility of increasing the size. What I think upset people more than anything else, was the fact that the plan amendment revision that was proposed for the DEP, which is what the…that public meeting was for, was…said 50%, and the reason they put that in was very simple. The process with the DEP is a drawn out one, it’s very cumbersome. They want the ability to possibly, in the future, and it might be within the next ten years, and it might never be, to increase the size of that, if need be. They have assured me and that’s the reason I was not upset by it when I sat on the MUA Board and heard it, that there would be thorough discussion with the town, a presentation in front of the Planning Board, they want full cooperation of the Town. Their relationships with the Township have been excellent, they don’t wish to hurt that, they will welcome the input of the citizens of the Township when a final proposal goes in. This is a first step. It also does not mean that the DEP will necessarily approve this step. It’s a review process on the part of the DEP. The next step would then be to flush out the plans, and these are very general…..this plan amendment is very general. The flushed out proposal would then really depend on what their actual needs are. In other words, this plan amendment really isn’t based on any specific need that there….they certainly don’t need a 50% increase in space, Ned, that’s not necessary. They just don’t want to go through the process and have to go back and say 10% this year, 10% five years from now, and say, look, give us, you know, let the DEP approve the need for it. Now, they have to justify that in front of the DEP as well and the supporting documents have been submitted, but that does not mean it’s going to go through. They’re going to come with specific plans and then Mr. Guenther (cont’d): they will analyze it. In fact, what they will do is they will analyze, with the flow of garbage, the way it runs between the Eastern Transfer Station, which is in Parsippany, and the Western Transfer Station here, to see where they would allocate and it would really depend on what the situation is at the time that they put this specific plan in, as to what they would do, and in fact, what they mentioned to me is that….that’s why the 50% figure is so misleading. They might reallocate the space…the loading space that they have in a way that they can handle more tonnage of garbage. It does not necessarily mean that they will increase the size or the footprint of the facility. So there are a lot of variables in here and…believe me, as….and that’s one of the reasons I’m still on the MUA Board after nine or ten years, that I will make sure their feet are held to the fire on this.
Mr. McDonald: Thank you, Bernie, that clarifies a lot of it and this question is to you, Mr. Mayor. According to the paper, again it may be misleading, that it was stated that no one from Mount Olive apparently was notified or was aware of the meeting in Morristown concerning this. Can you give assurances to the residents of this town that you will be sure to keep on top of any developments that take place in regard to this situation?
Mayor De La Roche: I think you can be assured of that, that I will keep, if I’m informed that there is such a meeting going on, I will either attend or have someone attend it on behalf of the Township, but you can’t attend something you’re not aware of, so….
Mr. McDonald: Again….
Mayor De La Roche: I know, it depends on what source you believe.
Mr. McDonald: That’s why I say…I mean, believe what….I would hope that you would take a concerted effort to be sure that you are notified.
Mayor De La Roche: To be sure that I’m notified, yes I will. That goes without saying.
Mr. McDonald: Okay thank you.
Mayor De La Roche: I’ve already sent them a letter saying…to make sure that you notify us.
Mr. McDonald: Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you Mr. McDonald. Mr. Bonte, did you have something?
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: Since we’re on the subject of the Transfer Station, it’s been probably at least five years since this community has had a Solid Waste Advisory Committee. There is a legal requirement by ordinance that we have one, and I was wondering, first of all, if that committee is ever going to be reactivated again?
President Greenbaum: Do you want that answer from me, Mr. Bonte?
Mr. Bonte: Well, it’s part Council’s responsibility to appoint members and part the Mayor.
President Greenbaum: I believe that this is the appropriate time, if any, to have such a committee, now that this issue has arisen, and I will put it on next week’s agenda for discussion.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, because there is a requirement at the County level that if we have an active Solid Waste Advisory Committee, that anything that is done regarding solid waste matters, whether it be the Transfer Station, or any other proposal that are going to effect the township, that that committee must be notified also and must comment, and comment back to the governing body. Now, regarding the Transfer Station, Bernie correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it was about fifteen years ago that that first came into place….
Mr. Guenther: Seventeen.
Mr. Bonte: Seventeen, and there was a negotiated agreement with the County between us and the MUA and Parsippany regarding host benefits, and at that time, I believe the host benefits were $5 a ton, and the host benefits were sort of a sweet new bride, whatever you want to call it, to kind of help ease the pain of having this facility in our town and being known as, you know, the garbage capital of western Morris County, and those host benefits back in 1989, at $5 a ton, represented a certain percentage of our township operating budget, and Mr. Bonte (cont’d): until 1997, I believe, those benefits remained at $5 a ton, but the actual effect that they had on the township actually declined because the benefit dollar value remained the same, however, the proportion revenue share to the township declined, because the municipal budget rose and the sanitation budget rose. In 1997, under great duress, the town accepted a reduction in the host benefits, because the County wanted to lower the Transfer Station fees and they put part of that on the back of Parsippany and Mount Olive, which we, on the Solid Waste Committee when I was on it at that time, recommended that that not happen because nobody else in the County wants these facilities and, therefore, why should Mount Olive and Parsippany have to accommodate those other Counties via lower fees, when if anything those fees should have an escalator factor in them, since the municipal budget goes up and the dollar value gained to the town should stay proportionate. So, I think this is an appropriate time, if the County is looking to enlarge the operations at the Transfer Station, to possibly see if we can reopen the what I believe is $4 a ton right now, host benefit…..excuse me? $4.50 okay, and see if we can possibly reopen negotiations with the County on that since, you know, nobody else wants these facilities, and we shouldn’t have to accommodate the other towns for something they don’t want in their town, but it’s their waste.
President Greenbaum: It’s a nice thought, Mr. Bonte, not dissimilar to the thought that I had, and I’ll respond after Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: I had the same thought. In fact, I’m going to propose that the increase in the tonnage fee, but I need to….the fee per ton, and I need to correct you on something, it’s the….$5.00 or $4.50 as it is now, is based on the tonnage, and the tonnage has been increasing. So, the income to the township has been increasing. It increases with the tonnage that comes into the facility, okay. It’s a simple matter of economics and the reason the tonnage fee was reduced, is very simple. The MUA at that time in the late ‘90’s or mid ‘90’s was under a great deal of stress from private collectors of trash who were moving garbage out of the County. The…. fortunately, we have a good attorney at the County level, who was able to write an agreement in such a way that we were able to successfully, in court, to defend the waste flow restrictions, as I recall. I believe we were the only County in the State that was able to do that, but as a matter of practicality, we would have had to hire enforcers, which we did, we hired people that actually went out and followed garbage trucks to make sure they went. As long as there was a big differential over what private facilities, either in Pennsylvania or wherever they were located, were willing to take versus what we were charging here, which was…I don’t remember the figure, but it was certainly over $100. I think we’re down to about…I don’t know….in the sixties now, but I’ll have to get you the specific figure. We asked the townships, Parsippany and Mount Olive, to share in the sacrifice, if you will, in the….what’s it called, the dumping….the disposal fee that’s paid. The only way to prevent these operators from taking garbage out of County, even though we have the legal right to require them to bring their garbage to either Mount Olive or to Parsippany, was to reduce the fees to be more or less competitive, and we’re still not completely competitive with some private haulers, but I think the reason for the tremendous increase in….and I can give you those figures that I give every time we have a meeting. In fact, there was a meeting tonight that I had to skip. That the figures have gone up because we were able to be more or less competitive. If, you’re talking about an escalator clause, that’s just not something that’s economically feasible, because if you increase that to a point where then the private operators say: wait a minute, the differential is too large and I’m going to take my risk and take the garbage to a private facility or here in the western part of Morris County, it’s just as easy to possibly go across State lines or whatever. So, it’s a delicate balancing act, but your point is well taken and in fact I have suggested, and will suggest it, to the County to increase, if they’re going to increase, if it really comes down to that…when they finally come down with a proposal to increase the floor space and to increase the facility to handle a substantial amount of additional garbage, that we should try to at least, maybe not completely up to the $5 level, but certainly increase the host benefit fees, as they’re called, to the township for having made that sacrifice and being…becoming the repository for waste in the western part of Morris County. Now, another reason…the two reasons that there has been increase in garbage…..one has been there has been a notable decrease in the amount of recycling. This is due to the State cutting back on grants that they have to foment recycling throughout the State. More people are throwing more garbage in, there are no ways…..a townships….Mount Olive is one of them, and there are other townships as well, who do not enforce recycling regulations with apartments, for example. All garbage is thrown, the private scavengers come and pick it up, it’s all thrown together, there’s some laxity there. There’s certainly a decrease in the amount of the recycling. Number two, you have an increase in the amount…. obviously, we know, this is the most rapidly developing section of the County, is the western part of the County, it’s not just Mount Olive, but it’s also, you know, Roxbury, Randolph, etc. So, there’s more of a, you know, pressure to increase here. On the other hand, and also the Parsippany facility has certain disadvantages in that they’re very restricted in the amount of space that they can provide. That’s not to mean, for example, the eastern part of the County, East Hanover, Hanover, those…Florham Park, those people are not going to come here and take their garbage. On the other hand, the expansion possibility of Parsippany are somewhat limited because of the amount of physical space that they….the land area that they have. In fact, if you’ve gone there, drive down Edwards….I guess it’s Edwards….no New Road at some time and see how restricted it is. We did acquire some additional land there, there is some negotiation for the possibility for acquiring some additional…. Mr. Guenther (cont’d): beyond that as well, but the costs are horrendous. So, these are all the considerations as to why this is coming about, but rest assured, I will do my best on the part of the…..and I think a protocol committee has been suggested by our ex-President of the Council and I will be a member of that and I will look out for the interest of the township.
President Greenbaum: Rich, one other thing. Before you cross a bridge and you don’t know what’s on the other side, you better be pretty sure that what you’re trying to get at is not going to result in some other….some other result, such as a decrease in the tipping fees, if we’re out of line to go in for an increase and asking them to study the issue, may result in something which may not be a benefit to the township, if you understand what I mean.
Mr. Bonte: Right. I do know that we receive approximately $500,000 to $600,000 a year right now, in tipping fees, and that’s just about what it was ten years ago.
Mr. Guenther: I don’t believe so. I believe it was lower than that. We can have Sherry look into that.
Mr. Bonte: If it’s lower than that, then I know that in 1995 or 1996 it was half a million dollars, so we’re actually receiving less.
Mr. Rattner: Well, this year we’re probably going to…probably collect pretty close to $900,000 and there’s a very good reason for that. We can hear about all these different numbers, but why I’m concerned is because remember, one of the big things that we fought it on was the traffic, and we have the problems on 206 and that is the real big issue, and they’ve made it worse, but just so you know, based on the application, permit, I went through it. Since 1998, the increased tonnage at the Mount Olive Transfer Stations is 227% higher. In fact, in the years 2002 and 2003, they exceed their permit on peak loads, not on total tonnage, and they redid their procedures and they got it back down. Parsippany grew at a rate much lower than that, and that was really what the real big issue is. I mean, they showed how…what they’re looking, based on past projections, where they’re going and, you know, we have to realize that we can’t throw the Transfer Station out. I mean, it was shoved down our throat to begin with, and all we can do is get the best deal that we can, and I was personally upset when they took out the traffic light, you know, at the end of Gold Mine Road, that was because of the developer, I mean, that wasn’t because of the County, it wasn’t because of our State officials. That was because of the way the DOT…and they paid for the grant for the road and everything else, but the fact is that we have a lot of traffic, 100%....not the garbage trucks, the garbage trucks sometimes go through the Trade Zone, but 100% of the transfer trucks use International South…they use the link road, because they go….they get on 80, I guess they’re going to Pennsylvania, and they’re coming back from….you know. So, 100% leaving is going through, and those type of things. I mean, obviously, if we knew what was going on, we missed the boat, it wouldn’t have been too hard, since the developer was paying for the improvements to put in the shopping center, was demanded that they put in a second line and synchronize them so the State wouldn’t worry about tying up traffic. What is even more ludicrous at that site, is that they took out the lights, remember what happened…. that was the only agreement we really got, you know, when we finally said okay, we’ll take our……and go home, put a fence around the open pad, they built….they said Parsippany would get two thirds and we would get one third, that’s changed just because of what Mr. Guenther was saying about the growth out here, which is understandable, and that they would put a temporary traffic officer out on 206 until they improved the intersection. They were out there for a couple of years. They built it…a couple years later, they took down the light, but you know what they didn’t do? They didn’t take out that left turn lane into Goldmine Road on 206 during rush hour, and there is no traffic cop there. So, there was different issues that we have to keep the pressure on, and I know on the traffic…..I put the pressure on them and they said nobody else has been complaining, and that’s really the issue.
President Greenbaum: Well, we’re going to raise this issue at the next Workshop when we deal with the….I see you Bernie, I’ll get you….when we deal with the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and these are appropriate issues for them to deal with. Bernie, I would like to move on pass this issue, but I’ll recognize you.
Mr. Guenther: Thank you…really quick, I just want to correct a couple of things that Steve said. One is, they don’t go through the shopping center, okay? They turn right….they turn….if they’re coming south on Route 206, or either north on 206, I’m sorry…..south and north on 206, they’re taking a right into International Drive, and then immediately, into the link road before Lowes, so they are not going through the shopping center. So, I needed to correct that. Number two, the….that second traffic light, this is not something the County had any control over, this is something the State put in. I objected to this from the beginning, I did not want that left hand turn off of 206 going north and they said that, you know, that was something the State determined and it was taken out of our hands. We would have left that traffic light in there, which is where it should have stayed, Mr. Guenther (cont’d): but it was not our decision, it was the State’s decision.
President Greenbaum: Yes. Mr. Bonte, is that it? Thank you. Anyone else from the public? Mr. Jaran.
Peter Jaran, Co-Chair of the Turkey Brook Development Committee: I was coming tonight to be here for the first reading of the ordinance on the new improvements to the park, and I see that it’s not on the agenda, and I would just like to raise a question as to why…what needs to be done and when it will be back on the agenda again?
President Greenbaum: We got direction from the Administration, Mr. Casey….
Mr. Casey: Yes, there were a few unanswered questions we’re still resolving before the ordinance is drafted. Hopefully, it will be on the next meeting.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Casey, could I ask you to provide to Mr. Buczynski those questions which need to be resolved, if you have not already done so.
Mr. Casey: We met before the meeting, so we went over this.
President Greenbaum: Okay, so it’s been resolved. Gene, you’re aware of what the issues are? Thank you. Okay, thank you very much Mr. Casey. Mr. Jaran, I’m going to list it for the next public meeting, which will be the 25th of January, we’ll get first reading on. Thank you.
Mr. Jaran: Thank you very much.
President Greenbaum: Anyone else from the public? Seeing none, I will close it to the public.
President Greenbaum: At this point, prior to Council Comments, we’re going to go into closed session to deal with the one remaining issue, BASF Appeal, specifically with respect to funding and 2005, the potential for litigation. When the Council returns from closed session, there will be no further public action taken. The only remaining item on the agenda are Council Comments, you’re welcome to stay or you’re welcome to leave. At this point, I would ask Mr. Perkins to move us into closed session.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. In accordance with Section 7 and 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, I make a motion to move into Executive Session to discuss BASF.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
All were in favor and the Council went into closed session at 8:54 pm.
Reconvened to Public Meeting at 9:15 pm.
President Greenbaum: I open the floor for Council Comments. Mayor, I’ll start with you, do you have anything this evening?
Mayor De La Roche: None.
Mr. Buell: None.
Ms. Labow: I have one Council Comment that is sort of a question, only because I forgot to ask it before. Can I do that?
President Greenbaum: Yes, I’m not going to ask the Administration to respond at this point. I think it’s unfair for them. You can ask them and they can respond at some future point, because they’ve already had their opportunity to speak.
Ms. Labow: Okay, then I will just make it a Council Comment in respect that last night Mayor De La Roche told me that he had Mr. Casey forward a labor attorney nomination suggestion to you. It’s been confirmed that that never happened, and I’m very disappointed that the Mayor chose to tell me something that did not actually occur. Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Well, just to be fair to the Mayor, I’m not sure whether or not he told Mr. Casey or didn’t tell Mr. Casey, but I never got a resume and Mr. Casey never gave me the resume. So, wherever it went….. Mr. Mund.
Mr. Mund: Nothing.
Mr. Guenther: None.
Mr. Rattner: Nothing.
Mr. Perkins: Nothing.
President Greenbaum: I have nothing. May I have a motion to adjourn.
Mr. Mund: Motion to adjourn.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
All were in favor and the meeting adjourned at 9:16 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 February 8, 2005.
Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk