Township Council Minutes
May 11, 2004
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:30 pm by Council President Rattner with the Pledge of Allegiance.
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, Mr. Elms, Mr. Guenther, Ms. Labow, Mr. Perkins,
Absent: Mr. Greenbaum
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum has been excused; he is having a trial that he’s in the middle of. Ms. Labow called about 10 minutes ago saying she was about 15 minutes away and Mr. Guenther is at an MUA meeting, he is trying to leave early, so we’ll see him when he gets here.
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor De La Roche; William Ruggierio, Business Administrator; Lisa Lashway,
Township Clerk; Sherry Jenkins, CFO; Peter King, Township Attorney.
President Rattner: The first item we have on the agenda tonight is a Proclamation for Laura Szwak. Mayor, would you like to….
PROCLAMATION – Laura Szwak
Mayor De La Roche: Everyone here knows Laura Szwak and we all know how hard she works for this Township and we want to…I felt it was appropriate that we recognize all your hard work and, you know, publicly recognize it. I mean, everybody knows, but we want to make sure that it gets out there. So, we have a Proclamation, so if you’ll bear with me. Office of the Mayor Proclamation honoring Laura Szwak. Whereas, on March 28, 2004, Laura Szwak was honored by the New Jersey Federation of Womens Clubs and Cook College of Rutgers University with a Woman of Achievement Award, and Whereas, Laura Szwak has been a dedicated citizen volunteering as the Chairman, I guess that should be Chairwoman, of the Mount Olive Open Space Committee since 1997, and Whereas she has been instrumental in the acquiring of Turkey Brook Park, the B & H Property of 202 acres, Charter Farms, Baptist Church and 600 acres of Crown Towers, and Whereas, Laura Szwak’s, dedication, enthusiasm, expertise, commitment and leadership has inspired others to improve and contribute to the Community. Now, therefore be it proclaimed, that I Richard De La Roche, Mayor of Mount Olive Township do, hereby, proclaim May 11, 2004 as Laura Szwak Day in Mount Olive Township. Signed and sealed by the Mayor. Clapping….
Ms. Szwak: Thank you very much, I feel very humbled by this. I thank the New Jersey Federation of Womens Clubs for recognizing me. I enjoy working, doing what I do, preserving natural areas, not only Mount Olive, but in towns throughout Northern New Jersey. It’s a passion, and my girls just love to hike, but it’s easy to be a person of achievement when you’re surrounded by people that are achievers and you have great people with Kathy Murphy and Judy Hirky, you know, have been long-time Open Space Committee members and you all have been partners in all of that effort as well. But, thank you very much for the thought, I appreciate it. Clapping….
Historic Society Recommendation Re: Monument
President Rattner: Okay, now we have the Historic Society Recommendation about the Veteran’s Monument, Mr. Smith.
Jim Smith, Kenmar Road: Good evening Council, Mayor. My name is Jim Smith, I’m a resident of Mount Olive Township, I live on Kenmar Road, I’m also the President of the Mount Olive Township Historic Society. I have provided you tonight with some literature as a backup in reference to the Monument we have down in front of the old Town Hall, or as those of us in the Historic Society refer to it as the old Casino. This Monument is our Township’s memorializing the Veterans out of Mount Olive Township who have given their lives up for their country. I have a letter here I want to read from the Historical Society and then there is also one that has come in, you should have in your pack, that has come from the Musconetcong American Legion Post.
The Honorable Mayor and Township Council. Dear Mr. Mayor and Township Council: The Mount Olive Township Historical Society has been hearing recommendations of moving the Veterans War Monument to a new location. The Society stands firm that the Monument is not to be moved. The site was selected during the Mr. Smith (cont’d): early 1940’s to honor the Mount Olive men serving in World War II. The wooden honor roll remained there until July 1968 when the current stone monument was replaced there. The committee decided, at that time, to honor the men who lost their lives defending the country. For the past 62 years, this place has been the site to honor our Veterans. Thea Dunkle, Frank Varga, along with the Parade Committee, have worked hard to keep the Monument a place of honor. Traditionally, this is the place the Memorial Day Parade ends. I just want to add here that it is not only the Parade that has been done over the past few years that the souls have organized, but the Memorial Day Parade that has been done from the ‘40’s, ‘50’s, ‘60’s and into the ‘70’s, it was done earlier on, all ended at the same spot. So this is not something that has just been in recent years, this has been very important for the Township. A ceremony to honor the Veterans makes us all realize what our servicemen have done for our country. Taps is played, the flag raised and people leave with thoughts of our country, our families and how fortunate we are to be part of a great nation. It is our opinion that the Monument gets higher visibility where it is now. Relocating it to a place of lesser historical significance would reduce public recognition of these honorable souls. We have numerous concerns about the risk of damage to the Monument, if it were to be removed. The cost of replacing the Monument is suggested to be in the amount of $35,000 to $40,000 if it was damaged. That is an approximation for a replacement cost. We feel that, not only ourselves, but other organizations like the Parade Committee, Pride Committee, Scout Troops, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, family members of men who are listed on the Monument, should all have a say in this matter. Our town’s Monument should remain in the site chosen by previous town officials and citizens. Let’s preserve our history and keep our place of honor to our servicemen in continued tradition.
Now, I know there are a couple of representatives from the Legion Post. Would you fellows like to read your letter, if you don’t mind, Mr. Chairman.
Robert Gilmartin, 158 Sand Shore Road, Budd Lake: You’ll have to forgive me, my eyes are not the greatest, I need new glasses. My name is Robert Gilmartin, I live at 158 Sand Shore Road, Budd Lake. I’ve been in this town 40 years, and that Monument, I remember when they were calling for donations for it. There was a man, he lives on Elizabeth Lane right now, but he’s out of town, I wish he was here. He was responsible for that Monument and a great deal of money he shelled out of his own pocket at the time and I feel that if there is ever anything done with that building over there and the people going to the beach, everybody sees that Monument. You can see it from the highway, it’s beautiful. And I believe there is a name that has to be added to that, a young lad that was killed by friendly fire in Viet Nam, I don’t know whether his name is on it or not, Stanley Pfrommer. Oh, he’s on there? Thank you. I know that at our Memorial Day service in Netcong and Stanhope, there’s a roster of the dead read, and we don’t forget anybody in Budd Lake. We have a list of all the combatants that were killed in all the wars and it is read off verbatim. This town here, I moved into it, like I said, 40 years ago, and I thought it was a great town. I still think it could be a better town than what it is but, when you’re going to take that monument and move it, that’s going to hurt a lot of people. You know a lot of people say where is the American Legion anyway? Why aren’t they in our Parade? Well, I’ll tell you why. In the morning, we were at the Municipal Building in Stanhope, there is a small monument there. From there, we go to the cemetery and, by the time we get out of the cemetery and all, it is noon hour. Our parade kicks off at 1:00, we go back to our Legion Post and the VFW goes back to their post, they have a beverage and maybe two hot dogs and back we go over to Netcong for the parade. So, this is why you don’t see the Legion here, but we were here for the Desert Storm Parade, because there was no Desert Storm Parade in Stanhope or Netcong. So, I would just like to make that clear. The American Legion is here and the American Legion makes donations to this town and if you don’t believe me, you check with Diane the Social Worker. There is $500 given to them in gift certificates for Shop Rite, that’s at Christmas time, that’s at Easter time and Thanksgiving. So, the American Legion does serve this community and you can check with the Chief of Police, who gave out the Police Awards for the last few years, yours truly, to the Mount Olive Police Department. Now I’ll read you this letter. I had to put that plug in for the American Legion because I’m a proud Veteran and I’m proud of the organization I belong to. And it says here, pardon my eyes….
The Mount Olive Council Members, Mount Olive Township, Mount Olive, New Jersey. Gentlemen: (The writer didn’t realize there are ladies here too.) We have heard rumors that the Township is considering relocating the Veterans Memorial Monument. Musconetcong Post 278 feels very strong that this Monument, which was funded and erected by the local residents, should be left at its present location. This is a highly visible spot, which allows many people to see this beautiful Monument on a daily basis. For God and County, Carl Biehl, Post Commander. That’s it Ladies and Gentlemen, that’s our say for this. Please don’t move the Monument.
Mr. Smith: I just want to say in closing, as far as the Historical Society is concerned, if you would please consider this, on any discussions on this, both the Mayor and the Council. Hopefully, we have presented why we feel the historic significance, as well as the honoring of these men.
President Rattner: Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity to speak. As a Vietnam veteran, I believe I still hold membership in the Stanhope American Legion also, the Post. One of the first people that Mr. Phil Garber from the Chronicle asked to do an interview with pictures, when the Monument was still overgrown, before Thea and Frank had graciously gone down to refurbish it to what it looks like…I’m not sure what it looks like today…if you cut the lawn yet or not, but into what it was. We have made some great strides in honoring our dead, those that gave so willingly. This year I had been one of the proponents and asked Chief Katona last year if he could find his way clear to finding us rifles to do a 21 gun salute. I’m proud to say that the Chief has secured those. Last year, unfortunately, we were rained out. This year, God willing, it won’t rain and there will be an honoring by a 21 gun salute to those fallen comrades of ours. That Monument is a piece of the Township. It’s been here a long time before I got here, hopefully it will be there a long time after I’m no longer on this Earth. I, for one, do not want to see it moved, I think its visibility is paramount to the people that drive up and down the highway. Those people that are slightly infirmed, that can’t get out of a car, some of my fellow veterans, as well as the wives and sons and daughters of those fallen comrades, that just for thirty seconds as they ride past, or if they can pull in, it’s right there on the highway, it’s not off the beaten path. I am not personally in favor of relocating that Monument and I would suggest strongly that, if it should come before the Council, that the Council looks at defeating that move. Thank you Mr. President.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Perkins. Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to know….somebody had said that this was the last year we were going to have a Memorial Day Parade on Route 46 because the DOT won’t allow us to have the Parade on Route 46 anymore. Is that true or false, does anybody know?
Mrs. Lashway: That’s what I heard.
Ms. Labow: Yes, that’s what I had heard, too. How could we find out?
President Rattner: Turn the other way.
Mayor De La Roche: What was the question?
Ms. Labow: I had heard that this was the last year we were going to have the Parade on Route 46. The DOT is not going to allow it. Have you heard? Did you get a notice?
Mayor De La Roche: The Chief notified us and so the public understands, I have instructed Jim from Public Works, about two or three months ago, to go out and solicit the opinions of all the various Veterans organizations. You know, I wanted to do what the Veterans and the Veterans organizations believe is appropriate. There is no desire, really, on our part, to move it. The problem becomes, as Ms. Labow just indicated, since the Parade usually ends there and the State will no longer permit the Parade to be on Route 46 after this year, that was the purpose of trying to set this up months ago, to find out what the feelings were of the Veterans organizations and, although we heard one side today, there are Veterans out there who believe it should be moved only because they feel it could be better tended to at a different location and the Parade would be able to end at it and there’s a whole number of reasons. But, obviously, as far as I’m concerned, what the Veterans want and what the Veterans organizations want, would be my vote, too. You know, I’m still, you know, I won’t get into my own personal life, but that’s another story, so, you know, that’s my opinion and I only know any other fair way to do it, I’m certainly willing to listen to whatever suggestions people have as to how it should be handled but, we don’t have any control over the State, the State Highway, and we just thought it might be more convenient for the Veterans and, of course, there’s two sides to every story, maybe five sides, but at least two. I would certainly like to see the Veterans organizations, you know, do some sort of a polling of their own, that might be helpful. Because, the correspondence and so forth that the office of the Mayor has received is pretty much split, I mean, they’re on both sides. And there is, you know, there is certainly merit to both sides. There are Vets who want it moved because they feel it would be better tended, people can contemplate…stay there by having it located somewhere on this property, and that the Parade can come here and people can be safe. So, there’s a lot…there are both sides and I would like to hear from the Veterans organizations to solicit among their members how they really feel about it and I certainly understand the Historic Society, I certainly appreciate the Veterans who have spoken here today, as well as Mr. Perkins. So I, you know, the thing is, we have to make a decision eventually, I guess we could leave the Monument there and just divorce the Parade from it. I don’t know how we would do it. If somebody has a plan, I am certainly willing to listen to it, the Administration is willing to listen and the Council, I’m sure, is too.
President Rattner: Thank you Mayor. Mr. Perkins, then Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: I still had it…I still had the floor, but that’s okay.
Mr. Perkins: You gave up the floor, when you let the Mayor speak. I just want to inform the public, as well as my fellow Council Members and the office of the Mayor and the Business Administrator, I have the contact names from the NJDOT, from the offices of community affairs, and I intend to wage a battle and I’m looking for any support that we can get from our fellow municipalities, whether I need to get through to the League of Municipalities, and we are going to petition the NJDOT, because it does not just effect the Budd Lake Memorial Parade, it effects a lot of other municipalities, not only in Morris County but throughout the State and for the State to turn around and make a broad sweeping statement that they are no longer going to issue road closing permits for a Parade to honor war dead, then they may as well turn around and say you can no longer do construction in the road even though you follow the uniform…the man you want in uniform traffic control devices. So, I personally, am talking affront to this and will be addressing the State. So, anybody that has any concerns, you could address them to me and I most certainly will be getting in touch with the DOT before the month of June is finished.
Mayor De La Roche: And I’ll be happy to sign that with you.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mayor.
President Rattner: Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: I was just going to say, Ray, if you want help with that, I’ll help. I’m glad Ray went first because I was going to ask the Veterans if the option was if we couldn’t have the Parade there, would that change your opinion on moving the war memorial, if…did anybody consider that when they….wanted to have it moved? Mr. Smith, do you know?
Mr. Smith: I’m a Veteran as well. We had discussed that in the Historic Society, yes. The biggest concern that we have from the Historical Society end is, of course, the basically neglect of the Monument, then we get it rededicated through real hard work of Thea Dunkle and the people who worked with her, to run the risk of having the thing damaged, because it does have a tremendous historical significance for what it’s there for. As a personal aspect, I’m a Veteran of Vietnam also, and I also belong to the VFW and the American Legion, and many others that I have talked to feel the same way, that the Monument, in its present location, is extremely important, because of that site being hallowed from just its historic content of going back to the old wooden honor roll, it would be nice to have it, if we had to move the Parade, to have it at the site where the Parade would end, but I think I would support Mr. Perkins whole-heartedly and I think the Historic Society I know will and I’m sure that most of the Veterans would push for that aspect of keeping the Parade where it is, because of the context. This goes back to the ‘40’s…this goes back to World War II when it started in this Township.
Ms. Labow: Thank you. I think that it’s a really good point that Mr. Perkins brought up that if they close a road for construction, how often do you really have a Parade? Oh, Steve’s calling you a nut, but I’ll help you, Ray.
President Rattner: With that, if you want to, why don’t we just play hardball, why don’t we just plan the Parade and let’s see if the Governor calls out the National Guard to stop us. Clapping… Do you think he would?
Mr. Perkins: Civil disobedience.
President Rattner: No, I think that would be civil obedience…because I don’t think the Governor would try that. Okay, thank you Mr. Smith. Moving right along, we come to the first Public Portion.
President Rattner: This is our Optional Public Portion, we put in the meeting on any of the resolutions or ordinances. We will have a Public Portion for that, this is for the people who don’t want to sit through the whole meeting and they have something they would like to address us with. Is there anybody? Mr. Scapicchio.
David Scapicchio, Flanders-Netcong Road: Steve, I want to bring to your attention on the Bill List, Page 6, there is a bill for Jersey Central Power & Light and it appears that that’s for the electricity at 206 and International Drive South and, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe that AIG Baker is required to pay that electric bill as per the developer’s agreement. We talked about that once before, it had been taken off, and this is the first time I’ve seen it put back on.
President Rattner: Thank you very much, Mr. Scapicchio.
Nelson Russell: I also have some questions on the Bill List, is this the appropriate time to ask them, or?
President Rattner: How many questions do you have, because we’ll do that when we do…you know, we’ll have that when we do discussion, but I guess at this time, so if it takes a few minutes for the Administration to get the backup, if there is something that we have a concern with. How many questions do you have, you said you had a few.
Mr. Russell: Oh, probably a dozen.
President Rattner: I guess this is about the appropriate time as any, so we’ll know before we ask them for more information.
Mr. Russell: On page 3, towards the bottom, we’ve got $7,635 for professional services for Turkey Brook, other expenses. What legal stuff do we have going on that we still have to pay for Turkey Brook?
President Rattner: Are you talking about the bill for James J. Higgins?
Mr. Russell: Yes.
President Rattner: That is actually one of the attorneys in the litigation we have against Olympus Corp.
Mr. Russell: Okay, thank you. Then there’s a First Responder vehicle, is this an ambulance we purchased for $43,000 just below that?
President Rattner: The Administration can speak to that.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, it is a First Responder Vehicle. We went out to bid for that.
President Rattner: That’s not an ambulance; it is a truck with equipment. It is also a truck, I believe, that can go off the road, in case….it’s more of an equipment truck. I mean, you couldn’t buy an ambulance for that, ambulances start at about three times that price. This is an auxiliary vehicle.
Mr. Russell: Okay, thank you. On page 7, for Verizon Wireless, we’ve got two bills for…or two checks for $39 and another one for $311.57. Are these individual people’s bills, because if somebody is paying $311 for one cell phone, they’ve got the wrong plan.
President Rattner: Do you want to answer that? I know we’ve gone around and around on cell phones for a while, so….
Ms. Jenkins: I have to look at the bill; we’ll have to get back to that.
President Rattner: We’ll have the answer for that. What we try and do, you see on our agenda, we have Council questions on the Bill List, this gives the…we usually vote on the Bill List after the Resolutions. This gives the Administration time to look at the backup and answer our questions, so if we don’t answer them now, we’ll have it by the end. If not, we’ll take it off.
Mr. Russell: On page 13, about a third of the way down the page a $90 check for mileage reimbursement to Kathy Murphy. Where did she go that $90 worth of travel reimbursement?
President Rattner: We’ll look into that.
Ms. Jenkins: We pay the Federal reimbursement rate which this year is .375, that’s established by the Internal Revenue Service.
Mr. Russell: So, she traveled about 270 miles.
President Rattner: You don’t have to look it up now, we’ll have those questions. I think one story is that most people don’t put in mileage for one specific trip. Also, you go to Trenton once or twice and Kathy’s job takes her down there, we know that could be sixty miles each way.
Mr. Russell: Okay, I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t an error.
Ms. Jenkins: I don’t want to speak before I can confirm from the voucher. I believe I know what it is…
President Rattner: No, but we’ll have to find…I’m just saying that it could be. And, as I said, we’ll have these…this way, during the meeting, the CFO can go back through the backup.
Mr. Russell: On page 16, we’ve got $10,707 for postage and express charges for the meter. Do we put $10,000 worth of postage into one meter?
President Rattner: Yes, that will be taken off because I didn’t understand the backup, that’s one I have on my list that I’ve already talked to the Administration about and we’re going to be taking that off for more backup. But, a mass-mailing or a mailing to the residents probably can cost us $4,000 easy.
Mr. Russell: Just below that I see a repair for a police vehicle for $1,400. Shouldn’t we just be paying the insurance deductible?
Ms. Jenkins: What normally happens is we pay the vendor and then we get reimbursement from the JIF. That’s what normally happens with vehicle repair.
Mr. Russell: On page 20, what’s the $238.10 for natural gas for Whispering Woods? It’s under utilities. I thought one of the reasons for setting up the utilities so that we could see the different expenditures out of that utility. Do we pay those still out of general funds?
Ms. Jenkins: That is out of the utility, it’s out of the water operating account. It says check account water operating right above that. Do you see it, yes, okay.
Mr. Russell: Okay, so that also covers the $14,000 for the March electric bill.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes.
Mr. Russell: And, that was it.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Anybody else from the public like to address anything at this time? Okay, moving right along, we’ll come to the…questions on the Bill List. Well, we’ve already hit the one that…the postage bill, which I wrote a memo yesterday or today, and talked to the Administrator before the meeting and agreed we’ll take that off at this point. Also, unless we come up with an explanation by the end of the meeting, the electric bill for the traffic signal that we believe is the….
Ms. Jenkins: I can address that, we do get reimbursement for that. My Accounts Payables…
President Rattner: That’s the way that works?
Ms. Jenkins: Absolutely, my Accounts Payable Supervisor has been keeping track of that and we do get reimbursement for it.
President Rattner: Okay, so we’ve been paying that each month and we just haven’t noticed it.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, I believe so, yes.
President Rattner: Okay, thank you. Anybody else have any other questions on the bill list? This is the time to ask, because at the end we’re going to say is there anything you want to take on or off, except for the answers.
Questions on Bill List
Mr. Buell: Just one, Steve, on page 13, check 45900, we advertised for Director of Public Works, Chief Financial Officer, Municipal Engineer and Town Planner. I was unaware that we had a Municipal Engineer position open in the Budget.
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, we advertised a number of ways to attract applications. Certainly we wouldn’t fill any position that wasn’t provided for within the Budget, but since we are looking at creative ways and effective ways to reorganize DPW, we did…those advertisements did result in, you know, interesting variations of resumes, so that’s why we did it that way.
Mr. Buell: Okay.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
April 27, 2004 CS Present: President Rattner, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Buell, Mr. Elms, Mrs. Labow
Absent: Mr. Perkins
May 4, 2004 CS Present: President Rattner, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Buell, Mr. Elms, Mrs. Labow
Absent: Mr. Greenbaum
President Rattner: Okay, any other questions? Then we’ll move on to the approval of minutes from prior meetings. Mr. Buell, we have two closed sessions minutes to approve.
Mr. Buell: I move that the minutes for the meetings of April 27th and May 4th be approved.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed
Mr. Perkins abstained on the April 27th, yes on May 4th
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS
1. Letter received April 24, 2004, from Gregory H. Beck (Crenshaw Drive, Flanders) regarding Lights at Russ Nagel Field.
2. Letter received April 27, 2004, from Karen Clint (Sunset Drive) Turkey Brook Park.
3. Letter received April 27, 2004, from Andres Riverera (Crenshaw Drive) regarding lights at Flanders Park.
4. Letter received May 6, 2004, from Michael Broder regarding Lights at Flanders Park.
5. Letter received May 6, 2004, from Musconetcong Post 278 regarding relocating the Veteran’s Memorial Monument.
6. Letter received May 6, 2004, from Valerie Chuplis regarding lights at Flanders Park.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER MUNICIPALITIES
7. Resolution received May 3, 2004, from Rockaway Township Regarding Resolution requesting Plan Development for Equitable Funding of the State’s Public School System and Issuing meaningful Tax Reform.
8. Ordinance received May 5, 2004, from Township of Chester regarding Land Use. (Article 35)
9. Ordinance received May 5, 2004, from the Township of Chester regarding Land Use. (Article 44)
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
10. Letter received May 3, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities Re: New Property Tax Relief / Reform Plan Offered.
COUNTY OF MORRIS
11. E-mail received April 27, 2004, from Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding List of Programs and events.
12. E-mail received April 28, 2004, from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding the Third Annual Preparedness Conference.
13. E-mail received April 30, 2004, from Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding the 12th Annual Partnership in Economic Development Awards Luncheon.
14. Letter received May 7, 2004, from the Morris County Green Table regarding a session entitled “A Field of Dreams, Low Impact Design and Maintenance for Active Recreation.”
15. Letter received April 26, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Charter’s Farm, 69 Stephens Park Road, Mount Olive.
16. Letter received April 26, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Letter of Interpretation – Line Verification Extension Applicant Firetower, L.L.C. Block 1200; Lots 1 & 2 (102 and 104 Crease Road, Budd Lake).
17. Letter received April 26, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Letter of Interpretation – Line Verification Extension. Applicant: Firetower L.L.C. / Block 1300; Lot 28 (20 Budd Lake Heights Road).
18. Letter received April 26, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Area of Concern: Floor Drain Discharge Area in Rear Parking Lot / Unrestricted Use. Case Name: Callaremi Lincoln Mercury Block 8100, Lot 44 (379 Rt. 46, Budd Lake)
19. Letter received April 29, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Permit to Construct and Operate Treatment Works Applicant: Toll Brothers (Morris Chase Wastewater Treatment and Disposal System) on Block 4400, Lot 79 (64 Goldmine Road, Budd Lake)
20. Letter received May 3, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Remedial Investigation Report Received April 7, 2004 for Charter’s Farm, 69 Stephens Park Road.
21. Hearing Notice received May 3, 2004, from NJ Transit Corporation regarding Public Hearings for Senior Citizen and Residence Transportation Assistance.
22. Letter received May 4, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Ground Water Renewal Permit Action / Gold Mine Estates Water System.
23. Application received May 6, 2004, from The Entech Group regarding Letter of Interpretation for Paramount Self Storage Block 5401, Lot 15 (241 Route 206)
24. Letter received April 30, 2004, from New Jersey Natural Gas regarding Annual Compliance Filing for an increase in the universal service fund program factor within the Societal Benefits Charge Rate.
25. Letter received April 30, 2004, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding Welcoming NASA Veteran Astronaut Ellen Baker to the 11th Congressional District on May 7.
26. Letter received April 28, 2004 from Toll Brothers regarding a letter they sent out to residents adjacent to the Morris Chase project; offering a FREE pre-construction inspection of the properties.
27. Notice received April 29, 2004, from the New Jersey State Planning Commission regarding Smart Growth Update.
28. Letter received April 30, 2004, from Relay for Life regarding The Survivor Lap and Dinner.
29. Letter received May 4, 2004, from Microsoft Processing Center regarding two Live Web Casts on Work Management and Self-Service Utility Billing.
30. E-mail received May 5, 2004, from Gov Connect regarding News Update. (Shared Services)
31. Letter received May 7, 2004, from the “Coalition to Stop the Train” regarding the expansion of the freight train service in New Jersey.
LETTERS FROM LEGISLATORS
32. E-mail received from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding NASA Veteran Astronaut Ellen Baker Coming to 11th Congressional District on May 7th.
President Rattner: Okay, now we have correspondence. We have 32 items of correspondence. Does anybody have any questions or concerns on anything on correspondence? One that I’ve gotten a couple of comments from is number 26, which is the letter written from Toll Brothers to residents adjacent to the Morris Chase project about offering the pre-construction inspection of properties. I know what that is for, so people can, you know, show what their property is before any blastings. But one of the concerns, you know, a concern that that brings up is exactly what they’re going to do…what kind of controls, just…I tried telling them that it’s under State supervision. They said well what does that mean, how big a blast - will my house actually shake? That’s what they’re worried about, if they’re going to shake and when they’re going to do it, are they actually allowed to do that? You know, if I’m in the shower and I hear things rattling, or if there’s something there, I don’t know what we can do with that, but I think we want to look at that because it is a concern and it’s a concern every time residents get a letter like this. What we can do to make sure that we have an appropriate inspector or somebody out there to supervise any blasting. Some people have been told and I don’t know where they got it from, that there’s a lot of rock and there’s going to be extensive blasting. Again, what does extensive blasting mean? Does it mean frequent charges of very very small blasts, just splitting? Or is it going to be big blasts to move big rock? And, you know, there is some concern out there and so what we want to do is try at least alleviating the concerns, if they are unfounded, and if not, make sure that we protect whatever we have to. I really didn’t know how to answer it, you know, we’ve been through it before I know on the sewer project, but now you have this going on for people who maybe didn’t go through that.
Mr. Ruggierio: We’ll try to get us, you know, someone with education in this area to give an effective answer to the residents and to the Council so that we can field these questions.
Mr. Buell: You know, also, Bill, about three or four weeks ago, I did a bike around up on Flanders-Netcong Road and I did mention that one house that the person indicated that the blasting that Toll Brothers was doing on that project did seem excessive; although many of the other people were unaware of it. One resident did complain of it.
Mr. Ruggierio: So, maybe we could give them the same information.
Ms. Labow: When they do that, when they say free inspection, do they actually take pictures of the houses and everything for comparison afterwards?
President Rattner: Well, during the sewer project in the areas that they were going to blast, in fact, they just requested it and they said that if you put in a claim, that could be used.
Mr. Buell: Now, for the residents up on Flanders-Netcong Road where they also did this, they do a super job. They actually go in and they photograph and give the residents copies of their reports and the photographs that were taken. So, I mean, and people were very laudatory of what Toll Brothers did and how much care they put into this inspection.
President Rattner: Well, it wasn’t Toll Brothers the last time.
Mr. Buell: Well, up on Flanders-Netcong Road, I think it was.
President Rattner: Oh, that area, okay. But, I’m saying these are different people that they don’t have the same experience and, you know, what are you going to say. I couldn’t tell them how much blasting, and, you’re right, most of it is education. The charges are usually relatively small, but things do happen and they are responsible for any damage that they do and I think part of that is telling the people why they want the pictures taken, because no one is going to come in and they’re going to come up with claims that they won’t be able to substantiate, even if they’re legit. Okay, anybody have any other comments on the correspondence?
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Rattner: Okay, we’ll move to ordinances for public hearing. I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #10-2004, entitled:
Ord.#10-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part I Administrative Legislation Chapter 8, Committees and Boards Article III, Board of Health Sections 8-17 Qualifications of Members.
President Rattner: Is there anybody from the public that would like to address this ordinance? Seeing
none, I’ll close the public portion and ask Ms. Labow to move it.
Ms. Labow: I’d like to move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #10-2004.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #10-2004 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. Next item on the agenda is, I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #11-2004, entitled:
Ord.#11-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part II General Legislation Chapter 76, Alarm Systems Section 76-10 False Alarms.
President Rattner: Anybody from the public that would like to address this item? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask Mr. Elms to move this one.
Mr. Elms: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #11-2004.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, is there any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #11-2004 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. I now open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #12-2004, entitled:
Ord.#12-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part IV Land Use Procedures, Chapter 400, Land Use: Article II Definitions, Section 400-6. Terms Defined; Section 400-18. Fees, Section 400-23. Zoning Permits and Certificates of Occupancy; Fees.
President Rattner: Is there anybody from the public who would like to address this? Yes sir.
Nelson Russell, Budd Lake: On 400-6 Terms Defined – the way I read it, anytime somebody who rents an apartment changes a tenant, they would have to go through this procedure, is that true? Because there is nothing here that limits it to commercial building spaces.
Mr. Ruggierio: No, this is zoning permits issued as what they call prior approval, prior to the issuance of a construction permit, so it would be a preliminary…the way we would enforce this is it would be required before someone was able to get a construction permit for any kind of construction they would have to have a zoning sign-off. Right now there is not a compliance review nor do we charge money for it.
Mr. Russell: Well, change of use, including the change in business entity or tenant.
President Rattner: I think what we have to look at, does anybody have a code because it’s 400-6, is it talking about commercial or is it talking both because, obviously, when a tenant changes in a commercial or retail establishment, then we do need it to make sure that it doesn’t need a revision to the site plan or other stuff, I mean, there are issues involving parking and, you know, and a lot of other issues.
Mr. Russell: That I have no problem with, it’s just the idea of a tenant in an apartment rental situation. I mean, you take something like Village Green, every time they turn over an apartment, they’ve got to get a zoning permit, right?
President Rattner: It says commencement…well, I think if I read this, which is required as a condition prior to the commencement or change of use including….So it has to be a change of use…
Mr. Russell: Including a change of tenant.
President Rattner: But it says change of use, if it’s a tenant, it’s not change of use, it’s still a rental apartment. It says change of use.
Mr. Russell: Including the change in business entity….
President Rattner: That’s not an apartment.
Mr. Russell: ..or change in tenant.
President Rattner: But it says prior to the commencement or change of use including the change. This is for the zoning, this is for a building, this is not a change of use… well, I guess this is more of a legal issue, what do you think Mr….
Mr. King: I’d have to look at it.
Mr. Russell: I think it needs some clarification and I urge the Council to not pass this until such … is made.
Ms. Labow: Yes, doesn’t it have “continue” on here anyway?
President Rattner: Okay, we have it on here, we weren’t going to pass it tonight anyway. That’s what continue means. Because the Planning Board…we haven’t gotten back written confirmation from the Planning Board that they have approved it.
Mr. Russell: Can we adjust the language on that to exclude apartment rentals?
President Rattner: Well, we have to see how it fits, that’s why the Planning Board also gets involved. That’s why you have the extra reviews.
Ms. Labow: There’s also houses that….if you’re going along with what this actually, you know, the interpretation is, you also have houses that people rent out and that really…..not just….
President Rattner: Well, we’ll have to see, but I think it is more for change of use, we want to make sure that you don’t want a person going in saying that I’m putting in a bookstore and then coming out…or changing a house to a two-family home. It was that, because different businesses require certain amount of parking, certain other access, things like that, certain safety things.
Ned McDonald, Budd Lake: I agree with Mr. Russell, why don’t we really get the language straightened out, otherwise we are…again, there’s a problem of what people think it means. We don’t have a definitive word from the township attorney and I see no reason that we can’t just say yes we’ll hold off on this until we get the language straightened out.
President Rattner: That’s what the agenda says. It was advertised for public hearing, we have to have a public hearing. On the agenda it says to continue because we haven’t gotten the review back, which is required by law, from the Planning Board.
Mr. McDonald: No, I understand, but that’s a separate problem – the review from the Planning Board. I mean, Mr. Russell was speaking of the language of private apartments with tenants. I think that should be straightened out. That seems to be totally separate from Planning Board.
President Rattner: That will, but that is the department that does the wording. I mean, the Planning Department is the one who enforces these and that’s why they look it over to say what they want to do. We haven’t gotten that back. Yes, we will be looking at that, we’re not saying we’re not going to change anything, but we have that noted now and we’re going to make sure. But, we cannot move ahead on this until the department that is responsible for this reviews it, after it was put into Ordinance format, that is happening. That’s what the continued means. Thank you.
Mr. King: If I can clarify, the only thing that’s changed here is the fee, the ordinance itself hasn’t changed, the verbage. So, it is just the fees that have changed and they added the definition of a zoning permit.
President Rattner: But, the issue still comes up, I think it was a good point, if it does include rentals, because they don’t come to a zoning decision, what they only have to come for is a CO, which is required. You have to come to the town and, on a new tenant, they need a CO.
Mr. King: And I think the section, zoning permits and certificate of occupancy, so it could be broken out.
President Rattner: Well we…but if it’s worded…I mean, now is the time to make it clear, they’re absolutely right. Thank you very much.
Mr. Elms: I think if you look at that, the term including the change in business entity and/or tenant, I think the “business” is implied as a business tenant, but maybe it would clarify it if we put business in front of the tenant instead of leaving it open to interpretation that way.
President Rattner: If the public, somebody from the public, you may be representative of how other people would read it, we want to make sure we get it right. You’re absolutely right.
Mr. Elms: All comments should be passed on to the Planning Board on this and the other one.
President Rattner: Okay, anybody else like to speak to this? Okay, when…do we have a schedule….
Mrs. Lashway: May 25th.
President Rattner: Okay, this will be continued to May 25th, if I get a motion and a second, can we vote on it. Can I get a motion?
Mr. Perkins: So moved to the 25th.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Now the next one is the same situation where we have the public hearing because it was advertised, but it is also going to be continued, not acted on tonight – May 25th. I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #13-2004, entitled:
Ord.#13-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part IV Land Use Procedures, Chapter 400, Land Use: Article IV Site Plan and Subdivision Review and Plat Details Section 400-32. Subdivision Review (Sewer Systems)
President Rattner: Would anyone from the public like to address this ordinance? Again, you get one
more shot at us on the 25th. Keep us honest. Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask for a
motion to continue this.
Ms. Labow: Is this the same reason you are continuing this, Steve?
Mr. Elms: So moved.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussions? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: The question was – for the same reason, right. This is an amendment to the land use
ordinances, so it has to go through the Planning Board also.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – (2nd Reading June 15, 2004)
President Rattner: Okay, now we have ordinances for first reading and the Ordinance 14-2004, entitled:
Ord.#14-2004 Bond Ordinance Providing for Improvements to Sunset Drive in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $190,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $47,500 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance Part of the Cost Thereof.
President Rattner: Mr. Perkins would you move that.
Mr. Perkins: I move that Ordinance #14-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that
a meeting be held on June 15th, 2004 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders Drakestown
Road, Mount Olive, New Jersey for a public hearing and 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 the law.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion?
Ms. Labow: I have a question. I just want to…just for anybody in the audience who might be from
Sunset, this is not including the putting in the speed platforms in there. This is solely just for the road
and sidewalks, right?
President Rattner: This was a grant that we have, that’s why the amount of money that we have to
contribute is only less than one quarter or about one quarter of the total cost.
Ms. Labow: From my understanding, and I questioned this before that after this is finished then the
speed bumps or speed platforms, or whatever they call them, will go in…speed tables, thank you….will
go in after that? And who…where does the cost from those come from? Is that from the DOT or is that
President Rattner: That comes from our Budget. Okay, no other questions, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS AGENDA:
Resolutions on the Consent Agenda List are considered to be routine and non-controversial by the Township Council and will be approved by one motion (one vote). There will be no separate discussion or debate on each of these resolutions except for the possibility of brief clarifying statements that may be offered. If one or more Council member requests, any individual resolution on the Consent Agenda may be removed from the Consent Agenda List and acted on separately.
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Additional Remedial Investigation Services Under a Professional Services Contract with Suburban Consulting Engineers for the Charters Farm Soil Remediation.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Professional Services Agreement with Integra, Krauser & Cirz, Inc.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Change Order #7 Contractual Rock Removal RE: The Mount Olive Public Library.
President Rattner: Resolution wise, we have an easy night. We have three Resolutions on the Consent
Resolution list. Does anybody have anything they would like taken off to discuss separately? These, we
felt were routine. Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: I would like to take one off, just so we can discuss the end of this.
President Rattner: Okay, anybody else? Okay, Mr. Buell would you move Consent Resolutions 2 and
Mr. Buell: I move Consent Resolutions numbers 2 and 3 be passed.
Ms. Labow: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Okay, we have a motion and second. Is there anybody who would like to comment
on Resolutions 2 and 3? Now is the time to do it. Mr. Scapicchio.
David Scapicchio, Mount Olive Township: Steve, Resolution #3. You know, it may have been
discussed, I wasn’t here for the last workshop, but my understanding is that Blackstone has a provision
in their contract that takes care of rock removal. Could you please explain this?
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, there is a provision in the contract for rock removal in connection with this project
and there is a unit price and a maximum amount. The $3,888 amount of this changeorder is consistent
with that provision. This…for historical purposes, apparently there was a prior submission which you
had a lot more quantity of rock associated with it, some additional costs for special equipment, that
was rejected by the Council. This is in replacement of that and the amount is $3,888 as opposed to
Mr. Scapicchio: Is it from the same rock removal that was originally rejected?
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes.
Mr. Scapicchio: What’s the new classification of this rock that has been removed? There were
classifications that either did require additional monies or did not.
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, I don’t…the way I understand the history, of course I wasn’t here, but the way I
understand the history, there was never a question about this rock in terms of it being a legitimate and
righteous claim for rock removal. The concern was, I guess, that it was being advocated I guess by
the Library Board or maybe their consultant, at the time, that the town also pay for special equipment
and additional profit and some other charges and so all of these extra charges are the charges that I
think caused the concern were eliminated. Only the cost of removing the rock remains and that’s what
this changeorder is for.
Mr. Scapicchio: Are the Council Members that were here when that was originally discussed, satisfied
with this? Thank you.
President Rattner: Yes. Just so you know, I believe it’s around $35 a ton where before it was
somewhere by a factor of about nine times more than that, they had $20,000 of extra equipment.
This was rock that I think we were all satisfied was taken out and this is the contract price. Thank you.
Anybody else on these two resolutions? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion. Any other discussion?
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, Resolution #1, which we’re taking on its own. Mr. Perkins, would you take
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Additional Remedial Investigation Services Under a Professional Services Contract with Suburban Consulting Engineers for the Charters Farm Soil Remediation.
Mr. Perkins: Mr. Elms wanted it removed.
President Rattner: He wanted to do it separately, but it doesn’t mean he has to move it. I don’t know
if he likes it, he may want to vote against it.
Mr. Perkins: I move for adoption of Consent Resolution number one.
Mr. Buell: I second.
President Rattner: Okay. First, we’ll hear comments from the public. Anybody like to address the
Council on Resolution 1, which is additional professional services contract dollars for Suburban
Engineers for the review of the Charters Farm Soil Remediation. Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith: Mr. President, my only question on that is it’s using the Open Space monies to do the
remediation on the property. Taxpayer’s, at least as far as I am concerned, understanding was that Open
Space monies that we are being taxed on was to go to purchase either developer’s rights or, in this case,
to preserve open space. We’re now taking these monies and using it for other purposes. I realize that
Mr. Smith (cont’d): remediation of the Open Space property is important, but I don’t think that’s what the general public understood those monies to be used for first.
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, I think the answer is that when this property is remediated, the sale will then be
made of the property and that money, and I suppose some level of profit, will be restored to the Open
Mr. Smith: Okay, thank you.
President Rattner: Would anybody else from the public like to address this item? Seeing none, I’ll
close the public portion and ask for Council comments. Mr. Elms.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
Mr. Elms: I just want to make sure that this is the end of the remediation cost.
President Rattner: Mr. Ruggierio, you want to answer that?
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, I’m not going to make any assurance about that. The purpose of a remedial
investigation is to discover what’s there, present it to the regulators, in this case DEP, respond to their
comments and I think that the only thing you can ask for, as the owner of the property, is that you be
precisely informed of what they’ve discovered along the way.
Mr. Elms: We have already paid for some of the remediation and investigation and supposedly this is what
Suburban came back and said this is what’s needed to complete it.
President Rattner: Well, the way it works is that, you know, they give a submission to the DEP, they
evaluate it and say whether they like it or not. What we’re trying to obtain is no further action required,
which is basically a clean bill of health. That means that when we resell the property, that’s for the
public, what we did here in partnership with the county is to save the farm, we put up half the money,
the county put up half the money and we purchased the farm outright. We are now, once it gets cleaned
up and we can give it a clean bill of health, no liens or anything else, we’re going to put it up for auction
and we’re going to sell the property and deed restrict it for just farming. So, it cannot be used, I think
they can build one house and things that would do with farming, but it can never be used for anything
other than that. And from that, and we’ll split with the county and get half the money back. That was
the plan at the beginning. This was to avoid it going into developer’s hands and so, what we’re trying to
do at this point is get that piece of paper from the DEP, which said that we’re satisfied everything is clean
and then we can go out and sell it and get the highest possible price and that’s what we’re working for and
again, as a partnership with the county. Is there anything anybody else would like to add to that, Ms.
Ms. Labow: I would just like say that in discussion with Kathy Murphy had been here and we talked
about it in the last meeting that in an effort to do this will bring us a higher price rather than have the
deed restrictions. So, it is money well spent, as far as I’m concerned.
President Rattner: After last week’s meeting, and I saw...you know, that came in and I was generally
concerned, because I agree, it keeps going on, but we know dealing with the DEP….So, I did and I
met with Walter Kritch today, this afternoon, I happened to be at my Planning Board meeting and Mr.
Pinto from the Farm Bureau, and just said where is it going. And, actually, I was concerned because
it was their contractor coming in trying to get this cleaned up, saying that they happened to agree and
they’ve gotten a lot of those issues, remember – some of the stuff in there the DEP says he didn’t
answer it. The county says they’re wrong and they did, it’s just different…it depends on who was
reviewing it, and they’re working on that and I think it’s right near the end because they have vested
interested in getting it sold, you know, getting their money back and invest someplace else. So, I did go
to them because I was concerned that they had a contractor who started off and when was it going to end. I
have the same concern that Mr. Elms has, but hopefully this is the end and working with DEP, you don’t
know what they’re going to come up with next. What the issue was, again, for the public, is that we
knew, it was identified, farming you use pesticides and things and they found a place a farmer, you know,
in the backyard, which basically…was a little dump. It was cornered off, they have to do this proper
sampling, they’ve said that there is no water contamination, take out the bad soil, you know, identify
where everything is and that’s where the topic of…the dispute with the DEP was…but did they do
enough? Did you go to the exact areas we had mapped out? So, hopefully, it’s going to be resolved
in the next month. Anybody else? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
1. Approval of an Amendment to Raffle Application #2009 for the Mt. Olive Lions Club & Raffle Application #2034 for the Parents Club Mt. Olive High School.
2. Approval of a Renewal of a Peddler’s Permit for Avshalom Gibli.
3. Bill List.
President Rattner: Okay, now we have motions, raffle applications, Ms. Labow?
Ms. Labow: I move for the approval of an amendment to Raffle Application #2009 for the Mt. Olive
Lions Club and Raffle Application #2034 for the Parents Club, Mount Olive High School.
Mr. Elms: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Now, we have approval of a Peddler’s Permit. Mr. Elms. Be gentle on him, he has
been practicing the name, you know, we have problems with names sometimes, so give it your best shot,
Mr. Elms: I move for approval of a Renewal of a Peddler’s Permit for Mr. Gibli.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: It sounded perfect to me. Any discussion? Roll Call.
Ms. Labow: I want to….what is he peddling?
President Rattner: I think it’s a catering truck. We should have gotten a copy in your packet…in the
Ms. Labow: I know, I’m looking at it, but….
Mrs Lashway: It’s a food truck.
President Rattner: It says catering truck, I think.
Ms. Labow: Okay, oh that’s what that word says.
President Rattner: Use the proper name, not what you called it when you were in college or high
Ms. Labow: We didn’t have those in my high school.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, the Bill List is next, do we have answers to the questions that came up Ms.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes. The first questions check 45855, was on page 7, Verizon Wireless, for $311.57. That
was one consolidated bill for ten different phones that we have, okay?
Check 45897, which is on page 13, that was the mileage reimbursement to Kathy Murphy, it was 240
miles. She attended two separate events in Trenton, one was a Land Trust Rally, the other was a Storm
Water Management Meeting, okay?
Check 6731, which was in water utility, that was page 20. We had natural gas for Whispering Woods,
that is for a pump house that we have and that’s gas to heat the pump house, okay?
I believe that’s it.
Mr. Russell: Is that, Whispering Woods is a development, isn’t it?
Ms. Jenkins: Yes.
Mr. Russell: That’s not paid by the developer?
Ms. Jenkins: No, we actually pick it up
Mr. Russell: What do we use the natural gas for?
Mr. Ruggierio: Heating.
Ms. Jenkins: There is a pump house that’s located in that development and that is heating that actual
pump house, okay?
President Rattner: Yes, there may be a misconception, you know, on that. It’s not the developer’s
anymore. A lot of the developers, when they’ve built it…when they’ve finished the development, one
of the things that’s in the developer’s agreement is that the Township has the option of taking it and
implementing it and putting it into our water utility and we still usually refer to it by the development
name so we know where they are.
Mr. Russell: I have a quick question, is Verizon charging us tax?
President Rattner: Well, we can’t pick you up and we’ve already done the bill questions. I don’t know,
but, I heard the bill question, so I’ll repeat it for you. Does Verizon charge us tax?
Ms. Jenkins: We make sure that whatever we pay, we don’t pay tax on it because we are tax exempt.
Okay? There are times when we will get bills that have tax on, but we cross it out and, if they need the
appropriate tax exempt form, that we file it with them.
President Rattner: Is everybody satisfied with the questions at this time? Okay, we are taking off check
number 45921 purchase power Pitney Bowes, page 16. So, when I ask Mr. Buell to make the motion, we
Ms. Labow: What about the one for the lights, at the International ITC South.
President Rattner: The CFO answered that question. I believe she said that we get reimbursed.
Ms. Jenkins: My Accounts Payable Supervisor makes sure that we get reimbursement for that, for the costs
that we spend related to that, because we are aware, and have been, that that cost is to be borne by the Trade
Zone, not by the Township.
Ms. Labow: But, we paid it out already and we’re going to get reimbursed?
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, we paid it out. I did speak to Colleen to get the bills set up in our name and for some
reason, and I apologize, I don’t remember why that could not happen, it needed to stay in our name, so
that’s how we set it up. Okay?
Ms. Labow: Okay.
President Rattner: Okay, Mr. Buell, would you move….
Mr. Elms: What page was that on again?
President Rattner: Let’s just say the check number, that should be good enough.
Mr. Elms: 16.
President Rattner: And it was Purchase Power, I believe was the vendor.
Mr. Buell: What was the check number again?
President Rattner: 45921.
Mr. Buell: I move the Bill List, excepting check #45921.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Any other discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Mr. Guenther – abstain
President Rattner: Okay, we have administrative matters. We have…the Administration is going to
give us their estimate of a timetable for a couple of future things, so we know when to schedule it. Do
you have that…when you would like to put it on the agenda?
Mr. Ruggierio: By now, Council has probably received the recommendation of the Open Space
Committee concerning the submission….concerning Turkey Brook and I think everyone realizes
that the $250 requested to finish the tennis courts and the other amenities has been at least at this
point, declined by the Open Space Trust. Now, that’s consistent with what the Mayor has recommended
and so, what we propose is…and I have an estimate that I will distribute…I got it just tonight…to the
Council, is to go forward with the ADA compliance, the paving of the lots, the soil erosion and sediment
control required by the Soil Conservation District, the rolled curb to protect….
President Rattner: Mr. Ruggierio, before you go into so much detail, all we want tonight was a time-
table of when you would present it, because it’s not just the development of Turkey Brook, which those
items included, but we were also talking about the berm, which is of the utmost concern to the people
in that area and a couple of the Council Members. So, we just needed an estimate when you could get
those things together, you know, come back once and we decide this is what we want to do, this is how
much money we have and where we’re going to get it from. So, that’s all we really need.
Mr. Ruggierio: Alright, we have tonight and we’ll distribute tomorrow, the scope of work which we
will advocate, the Mayor advocates, which includes the berm that you mentioned, and we would
request that the Council allow us to go immediately to design work so that we can go to bid on this
aspect of the plan. So, I guess we are on the cusp of being ready with respect to Turkey Brook.
President Rattner: Okay, what we want to do is discuss what it is, you know, and why you think the
cost – like on the berm, I mean, design is one thing because we want to make sure we have money once
we get assigned to sit on the shelf that we’ll talk about it, schedule it for the first workshop in June.
That’s all we really want, because we understand there is a lot of different things and it’s going to have
to be some trade offs, there’s a lot of things everybody wants to do and I think we’re going to have to
come down to a compromise on these, are the things that are important and do it that way. That’s all
we wanted at this point. So, and this way the public hears…so the first…
Mr. Ruggierio: As soon as Council can get to it, we’ll present what we’re advocating and then we
could have a healthy discussion about it and…..
President Rattner: So we’ll plan that for the first workshop. When is the first workshop in June?
Mrs. Lashway: June 1st.
President Rattner: Okay, what we didn’t want to do is just us give you a date, because some of
the things may take more time than others and we want to give you some time to look at it and we
were happy that we were able to move on that. And the other is when do we want to talk about the
lighting in Flanders Park? This would be including, if there is a proposal, what the lights are, what
we can tell you…you know, how it is going to be shielded, the expense, if we are going to come with
a partnership with the people who want it, how that would work. Would you be ready for that on
June 1st, too, or do you need a little more time?
Mr. Ruggierio: I think we will be. I would like to say to Council, unless there is an objection, I really
think we need outside professional estimates on that work, as opposed to trying to, you know, cobble
together things that manufacturers are telling us and what maybe some advocates from the baseball
leagues are telling us, I think in order to get a reliable number that I should go to an engineering firm
and that would be, you know, what I would propose to do.
President Rattner: Well then the question comes up, can you get all that together in two weeks or would you want more time in scheduling for the next workshop after that?
Mr. Ruggierio: I would like this to…say it’s going to be in two weeks because I think this is not a complicated estimate, we’re not asking them to design anything, we’re just asking them to give us a realistic estimate, so I think two weeks is realistic as long as we sort of jump on it immediately.
Mr. Buell: I asked Bill to look into the possibility of actually putting these lights either on the Middle School or the High School and ask…that needs to be done also and I think that should be part of this discussion. I don’t know whether the school will be ready to move ahead with that. I did talk to the architect in the building Mr. Buell (cont’d): – people up there, in terms of whether or not they could do that in conjunction with the renovations at the High School, if that was a decision. But, I think that should be part of the decision.
President Rattner: Well, if that’s what it is, I mean, you have more time because we only have to build it in time for the School Board to get back to us. All we really need is whether they’re open to it and what kind of agreement they would want and then from there…because putting up lights, I would imagine with the difference of the footings, it shouldn’t be too different, that and how far you have to run the electric power if you have to.
Mr. Ruggierio: I think that’s right, Mr. Buell did ask for that and…but you’re right…in terms of the cost, it probably is the same cost more or less, but it would be an issue of whether or not we could go forward in that direction.
President Rattner: But if we wanted to have a discussion, we would want to know whether they’re even open to the discussion, you know, we’re not really sure, they’ll go to their facilities people and, you know, they have to go through their process, too.
Mr. Buell: Well, according to the architect and the builder, it might be cheaper to put them up at the High School, from the standpoint of construction, because they’ve got their equipment there and they’re going to be pouring foundations anyway at that point in time.
President Rattner: Okay, I don’t know what one has to do with the other, but…Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: Why wouldn’t the school pay for lights at the schools?
President Rattner: If they’re not going to use it. I think the Mayor may have also, you know, I have heard him talking about that in the past, too, saying that if we’re looking to try to get it further away from the residents, and there is already a field that could be used up there, let’s look at putting lights up there and just working it out with them.
Mr. Elms: The same kind of field at the High School, you’re looking at two years away.
President Rattner: No, we were told that there are two other Babe Ruth size fields in…one at each school.
Mr. Elms: Yes, there’s one….
President Rattner: The fields are already there.
Mr. Elms: Yes, the Middle School will be ready this fall to play on and the High School is ready now, unless they move it.
President Rattner: You know, it’s thinking outside the box, looking there and sharing fields, see what they have to say, it’s a good idea.
Mr. Elms: We already do share fields with them.
President Rattner: Yes, but this is, you know, this starts getting more expensive and, you know, using it, so…Okay, we’ll tentatively put that also on for June 1st. If it looks like you can’t get…just get to the Clerk so that we make sure that we don’t put it on the agenda and have any false starts on it. We want to get all the information rather than sit around and say we still need something else.
Mr. Ruggierio: I had just two other brief Administrative matters. I won’t read this to the Council, I’ll make sure that you get copies of it. I have sent a memo out to our Recreation Supervisor, I was concerned, and I am sure Mr. Guenther will be concerned when he hears the subject, that there was a list I got of at least four, maybe five events that seem to be scheduled for Turkey Brook that could generate noise, and I know this is a sensitive subject. So, my memo is to our Recreation Supervisor indicating that this is something that we committed to be hyper-sensitive about and I asked for complete details and I did indicate that we would involve and inform the residents if these events could not be eliminated. So, I just wanted to give Council a tip-off that this came across my desk and I recognized the sensitivity of it and reacted to it and there is more to follow on that. And the only other thing I wanted to mention to Council is that I know Mr. Guenther asked for an inventory of Township properties when we were discussing that Presco matter and I have asked, by way of memo and with a chart attached, that Council get a copy of…for that to be done. I did find your memo, Mr. Guenther, it was attached to an e-mail that the Mayor had, so it finally showed up.
Mr. Guenther: Well, excuse me, I just wanted to make a comment about that, it wasn’t…I didn’t request for an inventory. What I requested or whatever, it wasn’t in the ROSI, that there be an identification by the various departments in the Township to see if any of the properties that we have could be….have utility for anything, a possible drilling of wells in the future, recreation use, probably not but, you know, whatever use…drainage
Mr. Guenther (cont’d): situations, especially the problems we’ve had up at County Club Estates so…be absolutely sure before we sell any property that somebody doesn’t come back later and say “well, we should have held on to this,” because we should have foreseen it before we sold it to somebody.
Mr. Ruggierio: We understood the question. I asked for a lot of detail about whether it was undersized or not, what…we asked all the departments to take a position on the advisability of sale or not and any special issues, so I think Council will be pleased with the spreadsheet that we put together.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Ruggierio, anything else?
Mr. Ruggierio: Not by me, I don’t know if the Mayor has anything.
Mayor De La Roche: In new business, I do.
President Rattner: I have one thing on old business. We got a letter, well it was received yesterday from Schoor DePalma and it has to do with International South…yes, International Drive South by Sam’s Club. The continuing saga of making AIG Baker conform to what they have to do, and finally it looks like, you know, we were getting tough with them when I brought up a comment a year and a half ago and said why can’t we do something, and we ended up in a lawsuit because they didn’t like some of those words, saying that if it is unsafe, let’s close the road. Of course, they’re saying that now, but one thing that…this jogged my memory, and you could go up there tonight, tomorrow if it doesn’t rain again. There is a drainage problem on that road. If you go along International South, from Macaroni Grill past Lowe’s, there is always water…if it rains, water comes across the road, because there is no drainage, for three, four, five days. It’s also probably underneath the road and that’s why you have the separation and the asphalt picking up. During the winter, and we could probably go back to our records since we had to maintain the road at the last part of this year, I think we finally took it over or started doing some of the sanding, is they have to sand that every single night because during the day, the water comes across and re-freezes. I mean, the parking lot’s a mess, try to get to McDonald’s and they pile up the snow in a way that it’s the slope of the parking lot, you have to go through ice and it is an ice skating rink. But, this is our road and when we finally take it over, they have to make sure it’s done. I can’t believe they designed it where water comes over the road, there is a design problem, because we don’t want to take it over and next year have to put a sand truck up every night, when it gets cold, and have them sand the road. So, while we are doing this, let’s make sure everything is proper. Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: I just have a comment that I don’t know why the President always needs to frame his destination by a restaurant. Is that the only destination you have in the Trade Zone?
President Rattner: Yes, I still go, it’s just watching what you eat.
Mr. Guenther: And then watch it go down….
President Rattner: Bernie, you like kayaking, you did some other things, my sport was eating.
Mr. Elms: I believe that our taking over the road, that was a condition of taking over the road, that they would have to stop the water from coming across the road. This past winter, it was ice all the time.
President Rattner: It has been that way this spring, too, that’s why…you know, it’s just water, it wasn’t ice, but that’s why, while we are here, telling them they better perform, otherwise we’re going to take that bond money and do it, let’s put all this in….that’s all it is. I mean, we’re taking the right stance, but I wanted to make sure that’s in there.
Mr. King: We need for Gene to look at that, because the clock is ticking on those bonds, so if there is a problem, ask Gene to please look at that – the sooner the better.
Mr. Buell: You know, I have another area of concern and that’s Highland’s Water Protection Act that did not evidently get passed by the Environmental Committees in Trenton today, because it has been put off, because of all the additional amendments that are being made to it. Kathy Murphy, on April 4th or April 20th, sent us a memo related to the designation and she recommended that there are some unfinished issues here in Mount Olive and she recommended that we set up a special task force, I think, including Administration, Council, Open Space Committee, Environmental Commission, Planning Board and Planner, with some concern that, you know, we need to really consider this issue and I’m just wondering have we, you know, and I keep getting these memos from Netcong tonight and from various other towns week after week objecting to this particular act. I know Bernie Guenther has some particular issues and I’m just wondering – have we done everything possible in this area to make sure that Mount Olive’s interests are protected. I know she had, in this memo to us, some concerns about some areas in Hackettstown that aren’t properly…that are included somehow, but are not properly…I’ve got some concerns about the excluded area that exists in the Clover Hill area over by the golf course and I, you know, reading the article in the Star Ledger tonight in terms of, you know, what Myers had to Mr. Buell (cont’d): say is that basically what they are going to be allowing, or what she anticipated allowing, is that they’re just going to come in and build condos on these areas that are not protected, and that’s our wellhead and that’s the MUA’s wellhead over there. And so, I think there are many concerns that I’m just questioning whether or not we have done everything and has this committee been set up or, and…you know, what are we doing in terms of the Highlands?
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, the answer is no, we have no such committee, of course, we are on a number of regional committees that are very interested in this, so we get a lot of feedback from that, but I think that your point is well taken. There are issues that probably, because this legislation is moving so quickly, we may well find ourselves down the road wishing that we had paid more attention to some of the details. Now, key to this, I would think would be planning analysis, you know, someone who was going to dissect the legislation and tell us how it specifically effects Mount Olive. Kathy is terrific at looking at this as a lay person, but I think that in order to feel that you’ve gotten the right kind of advice, you know, a planner’s eye is required and Chuck McGroarty would seem to be someone we could pull in, pay a fee and have him, you know, do that.
President Rattner: I think one of the big problems we have right now is why, and if you notice that why it didn’t move out of the…I guess the environmental or committee, which is only five members. First, what happened is the middle of last week is one of the supporters said that he was withdrawing his support because one of the big components is the component for subsidizing the towns that lose tax revenues and monies for the property owners who lose the value of their property, because a lot of them would become effectively worthless. And what, basically, the Governor said is that Green Acres can handle it, less than $30 million, that’s just not going to cut it. We said there’s no funding source, we’ll find it later. That’s not the way you do something, because you know it doesn’t come. What happened why then a second person from south Jersey then withdrew his support for this, because they got another ninety pages of changes, I said they didn’t even have time to read it. I mean, and if they can’t, I mean they’re the ones voting on it, that’s what happens, that’s the second one, the first one was over 100 pages, and they started changing things. You know, when they started reading into it, even at the beginning, just do it, do it, we’ll fix it later, major subdivision, if your property was over an acre, that’s an individual lot. Gravel for your driveway in their determination, these are just two things, was termed to be impervious coverage, which means you would need a DEP permit to put down gravel in front of your yard…you know, to park your car on. And there are a lot of other issues like that, you know, when something moved very very quickly, just get it in, get it in, get it in, I think they’re looking at the political realities they have to get it in during this session, otherwise it’s not going to get done and so they said well just follow up. I mean one of the things that, you know, a lot of people have been picked up on is regardless what the Highlands Commission does, the Governor can veto anything, we’ve been seeing more and more of that. I had a conversation with somebody on conservation, and they said well trust the Governor. They actually told me that, we have to get it through, we’re just going to have to trust him. Then when, you know, you have one person that says no matter what the…and, you know, that’s what everybody is concerned about. If you own property you’re concerned, originally, you wouldn’t even, you know, a lot of people wouldn’t be able to build a deck, put in a driveway in the house they own today. That’s how bad it was, I mean, there’s real good intentions. I think we passed a resolution saying we support the objectives and it’s needed, but we do have certain, you know, concerns and if those concerns are met…now we didn’t go into a lot of detail and if we did at that time, it probably wouldn’t be relevant today because of the 200 pages, you know, that have been added. And I think they have to really realize it, you know, the consequences that are unintended, and there’s a lot of that in there and it’s interesting that it’s the people in south Jersey that’s giving us support saying something just doesn’t seem right, that they learned something from the Pinelands, you know, that was something else that was rushed through and that still took a year. So, we’re really not sure where it is or…I mean…let’s just see, you know, what we have to do is wait until the bill actually comes out.
Mr. Buell: What should we be doing, as a town, to prepare for it?
President Rattner: Well, we could set up….Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Well, the way I understand it is, I mean, the legislation is something separate. They seem to have done it backwards, in other words, the definition of core areas hasn’t been completely defined and that’s kind of a key part of it, why not define the core areas before you pass the legislation, because that’s really the most important thing. The way I understand it, there’s certain areas, here in this town that they’ve designated as non-core areas, which really, for example the Flanders well fields is not in the core area, that doesn’t make any sense. You want to protect water supply, that’s your primary source of water supply for a very large area.
Mr. Buell: Not only that, but the MUA’s got their well there.
Mr. Guenther: Well yes, I mean, exactly and you have the whole Black River and the impact on the rest of Hunterdon County, further downstream, I mean.
President Rattner: You know, then on the other end, you’re absolutely right, the other end where there is a big problem is who’s going to receive, who’s going to be the receiver of the development? You know, the towns don’t know who they are yet and what it means. Now yesterday, the people who were here for that…for the Crown Towers public designation, probably the nicest picture that I’ve seen in the Daily Record in years President Rattner (cont’d): and it had to be the Mayor right in the middle and you’re part of the most beautiful picture we’ve probably seen in a long time, and I’ll have to say it, I mean, no matter how hard it is, but it is gorgeous and we saw what was saved. But Mayor Delaney, of Morristown, was there and people were saying “why was he there?” Well, he was one of the instrumental people in getting TPL involved, because he has some connection with them, and you know they’re the ones who really were able to pull everything together, find all the different funding, and that’s who was running the meeting and he was concerned because he likes the idea that Morristown can be a receiving area, because this means he gets funds for redevelopment. And you know that they want to do a lot of redevelopment, his concern is but what does it mean, he says does that mean that since we have to take all these units, we’re going to have ten story buildings around the green or, we were joking, on the green, because he is actually looking at that because what they’re saying is that they take everything and then you have to start putting those things in and he has a general concern. He wants the money, he wants the redevelopment, you’ve been reading different things, how they want to redevelop, but they also don’t want it where if he is a….what does it mean and what does he have to worry about, don’t say trust us. You accept being a receiving town, and then you have to build all these units that these other towns are going to pay for or the State is going to pay for it. So, there’s a lot of different issues on both sides, even the receiving areas and we haven’t heard too many towns who say we want this big influx of population. So, there’s a lot of different issues, hopefully, it’s going to process through, I think it’s finally coming to light about how it’s going to effect everybody individually, when you find out that your individual house you may not be able to do anything. I think what we really wanted was we wanted the tools to be on an equal footing with the developers. Right now, we’ve been behind the eight ball, we couldn’t compete with them. That’s what we want, we want the State to help us, we want the County oversight, we want to have, you know, we want to still control what our town is going to be. You know, ten years ago, if it was in, did we want it where somebody says we couldn’t have an International Trade Zone, or something like that, so….I mean, obviously there are a lot of developments we wish we would have had and they wouldn’t have been built, but that’s too late, so…I don’t know where we want to go with it, you know, to have that type of community, what would they do and what were they charged with and what would they be reviewing, you’re talking about a lot of work.
Mr. Buell: So, any time Laura and Kathy speak, I listen, particularly as it relates to the environment, and she’s recommending a temporary committee would be helpful and on this April 20th and I don’t have the information to say she’s wrong. I think we should strongly consider her recommendation.
President Rattner: I can only designate from the Council, if there is a committee set up, is there anybody from the Council that would like to sit on? Do we have any volunteers? I saw Jim and Bernie.
Ms. Labow: I’ll do it, too.
President Rattner: Well, we’ll see how many….you could be in something like that…if some…..
Mayor De La Roche: We don’t want to make it a cast of thousands….
President Rattner: Yes, that’s what I mean. It would go there….if the Administration feels, you know, and they could put together a committee, we have some volunteers, I mean, anything that’s going to be labor intensive, you know, for one thing, we’re not experts, I mean, I think Mr. Ruggierio is right, we need the professionals to say in there how it’s going to effect the town, what we should be concerned about, what is it going to change that we’re doing today, some of it we may like, but we have to understand exactly what it is. Anything else on this, so we can move on? You have something else, Ms. Labow?
Ms. Labow: I have other old business.
President Rattner: No, we’re just talking this…Okay, Ms. Labow, we’re still on old business.
Ms. Labow: I just want to bring up, talking about, over in the ITC South shopping center, and I know that this is not our property, we are not responsible for this road, but I went over there to look at it again. I’m kind of concerned about, at Sam’s Club we…if you go to leave Sam’s Club, you go down this ramp to exit and I brought it Gene Buczynski’s attention a while back and I talked to Mr. Rattner about it, the road appeared to be separating from the curb and there was a big huge….So, they went over there and checked it out, there were cones up and everything like that and they were supposed to get it patched or whatever, but I noticed the other day that it wasn’t, but the thing that has me a little concerned now is on the other side of the curb, where the dirt is, the dirt has now caved in. So, I was first told that it was nothing to worry about, but I’m really concerned that there is unstable ground underneath and I can see no reason why there is a hole on the other side of the curb with the dirt. So, if there is any way….I know it’s not our property, but if that side of that mountain there collapses down the road, it’s going to be our problem.
Mr. Ruggierio: You were responsible for, you know, getting this on the radar screen with Mr. Buczynski and I had it on follow-up in my system and just communicated with him within the last week and he told me where it stood, but I will bring this other matter to his attention.
Ms. Labow: Yes, thank you.
Mr. Buell: There is a motion in the back for another raffle, it’s attached to the amended minutes, there, tonight….
Mrs. Lashway: All the raffles have been done. They’re done.
Mr. Buell: Okay, so this one…the one that’s the last page here, doesn’t….okay, thank you.
President Rattner: I don’t have anything else on my agenda.
Mr. Buell: Well, it’s this one here…..
Mrs. Lashway: That’s right, that’s the added in.
Mr. Guenther: Do we…I don’t know if this was discussed before I got here…the time table for the development of the Turkey Brook Park berm stabilization, as we’re calling it, was that discussed before I got here?
President Rattner: That’s June 1st, we said…it’s going to be on the June 1st agenda.
Ms. Labow: Actually, can I….with something….Bernie, over on St. Andrews Court in Flanders, do you know where that is? They have a berm in the back behind there and you…I’m telling you…there is some construction going on on the other side of that, Bernie, you can’t even hear a thing, I mean, that was really effective for the noise control and I’m wondering if that’s the type of thing that the residents on Sunset had in mind….
Mr. Guenther: Wasn’t there a resident there though, Jim, when you did your walk-arounds or bike-arounds, that have complained about the noise?
Mr. Buell: Well, that’s further up, yes, that’s further up, that’s 1 St. Andrews Court and that is not affected by that.
Ms. Labow: Yes, they don’t have the berm. But, this one here, it was pretty substantial, it was total privacy and I asked them I said do you hear the noise and they go no, it’s like you’re in a…there’s nothing over there.
Mr. Guenther: But, I think the way I understand it, is that some engineering needs to be done because you have a build up there, remember the fields have been built up to close to twelve feet. You have the access road which Jim needs to access or service and you have a very narrow band in which to build up a berm, so I think it’s a little bit tricky, and not across the whole length, but in a major portion, especially in back of Bob Lozano’s property, and maybe his neighbor….
Ms. Labow: Yes, there is like five houses right there that really need to have it for privacy. Further down where Vai and Billy live, they don’t really need it.
President Rattner: Okay, this is not the place to have conversations, we can talk about that after…
Ms. Labow: Sorry.
Mr. Guenther: Sorry.
President Rattner: Oh no, it’s okay, just…I figured I’ll let you go, but then I figured at some point I’ll cut it off.
Ms. Labow: Can we interrupt you, when you get going?
President Rattner: No, because I have the hammer. Okay, any other old business? Any new business?
Mayor De La Roche: If you’ll permit me, I wanted to offer congratulations to Jim Smith and his wife, both long-time residents, on the birth of their grandson and, you know, it occurred, I believe, last week – Thursday. Both he and his wife are lifetime residents and I just felt it necessary to offer our congratulations, both from the Mayor, and I’m sure the Council joins me in that. Clapping…
President Rattner: Okay, no other new business? Any legal matters?
Mr. King: No legal matters to report.
President Rattner: Okay, now we’ll go to Council Reports.
Library Board Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: That’s tomorrow night.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Elms: We had a meeting May 5th. Essentially, the same business agenda that they’ve had, but there are a couple of things going on we may want to look at. There is an inflatable slide at Flanders Park planned for June 7th, up to 8:00 at night and an outdoor concert series on Thursdays, starting at 7:00 pm at Flanders Park from June 24th to August 5th. I hope we’re not going to end up with the same noise problems that we’re having at Turkey Brook, down there.
President Rattner: What hours?
Mr. Elms: The outdoor concert series starts on Thursdays at 7:00 pm. It doesn’t say how long.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: There has been none since the last meeting. There has been no meeting, we only meet about every quarter.
Planning Board Report
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Guenther. Mr. Greenbaum is not here, I don’t think he sent one, so, we’ll just move on.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report, Mr. President.
Open Space Committee Report
President Rattner: Mr. Elms, can you top yesterday?
Mr. Elms: We had a meeting last night and, I believe you’ve gotten the results of it in a letter from Laura to the Township Council and Mayor saying that they don’t want to use a quarter million dollars out of Open Space for the work at Turkey Brook at this time, primarily because their open space money, when they buy open space, they get like a five or a $10 leverage coming back, $5 or $10 to one. That’s about it.
President Rattner: Thank you very much.
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Elms: Not this evening.
President Rattner: Thank you very much.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: They met this evening but I was working.
Board of Education Liaison Report
President Rattner: Mr. Buell and myself attended again.
Mr. Buell: About the only thing really going on at the Board of Education is they’re going from the original site plan to actual architectural drawings in order to get out for bid. I would suggest that members of the community that are interested in what’s going on at the High School in terms of the renovations, attend the meetings, they now are starting at 6:30 pm.
President Rattner: One of the things that I find interesting, and it could affect also the way the township runs in our projects, is with the school construction program, there’s about 270 school districts that are now participating in some stages about doing construction or going to start construction. What we were told at the beginning is construction costs are going to go up and I know their project manager, in consultation with Turner, has been told of how construction costs are rising. Certain trades have gone up about 60%, looking at…going for next spring. That, in other words, a project that may have been $1 million last fall, if it goes out to bid, next spring would be somewhere around $1.6 million. There are certain trades that there’s just shortage, because you put $8 billion out there of construction, there is only a certain amount of people and, you know, there’s a lot less in the last couple of years, but it is a major thing that they’re looking at, and they’re already looking at their options, because they had certain things, they may not be able to use the same materials and stuff. I think it was heating and air conditioning was the one that…there’s just a shortage, there isn’t even enough people out there, they’re going to have to bring people in all over the country. So, timing is of really the essence and that has to do with any projects that we may be looking at.
Mr. Guenther: Mr. President, the price of steel has gone up tremendously; I just found that out tonight. Just there’s been a shortage because of import duties from that we have imposed on imports, there’s a shortage of steel in this country.
President Rattner: I can imagine, there aren’t as many steel suppliers, we don’t have them here, but I’m talking about…even the finished product, if you need the steel super structure and stuff like that, if you’re building…I mean, all these High Schools and Elementary Schools and other things that are being built…remember the average…you have 30 districts that are getting a 100% funded, so they’re just buying everything. You’re hearing about those expensive schools in Newark, but there’s a lot going on, $8 billion worth of construction is going to raise the price, supply and demand, there’s just so much out there, they’re just getting choosy in their picking. So, we have to start looking at any projects that aren’t….and probably not going to be done in the near future, just because they’re going to be out of reach for almost everybody. Other than that, this school looks like it’s going…and, actually, if anything, you know, based on the programs they try and doing certain things simultaneously, certain projects that they’re hoping to pick up a buffer, an additional buffer of a month to two months on their schedule.
Okay, Lake/Environmental Issues Committee – the only thing I have on that is this Saturday is our semi-annual lake cleanup, 9:00 am, after breakfast. McIntosh, what do they call it now? The Little House, it used to be called the McIntosh House, I don’t know what you really call on Sand Shore Road, you can’t miss it, it’s the group of people. So, anybody who wants to help out, and we’re already seeing a lot of stuff being piled along the road, people pulling stuff out. I mean, there has been a lot of debris in the lake, we’re talking about pieces of docks, the things that we were talking about before, railroad ties. I don’t know where all the railroad ties came from, but we’ve been told for a while, there’s a lot of stuff in there, so it’s going to be a heavy day.
Mr. Guenther: I’m starting my trip around in the kayak…
President Rattner: While I was eating.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Guenther: Yes, there was a meeting last week. There is a…Budd Lake Fire Department has announced another wetdown for September 25th, 2004. You may have participated or attended that last time, it’s really kind of a fun event, they bring the Fire Departments in from all over, I urge everybody to attend, it’s kind of fun. Congratulations handed out to Heather Detoro for delivering a baby on a recent call, so that was a big event in town. Chief Katona mentioned that, as of next year, the State is not allowing us to use Route 46 anymore for any kind of parade activity. So, as far as the Memorial Day Parade, that’s going to…we’re going to have to address that issue next year. I think the last time they’ll let us do it is this year. We can cross it, but we can’t go along and it’s a concern about safety issues and I think we kind of heard this before, so that’s something we have to address in the future.
President Rattner: Yes, we discussed that before, Mr. Guenther, trying to figure out…we did that with the talking about the Monument and we realize it’s a problem; we’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do. I said we should challenge the National Guard and march down the highway anyway, and I did. Okay, that finishes the reports, now we come to our final public portion, boy…hands are already going up…
Jane Israel, Mount Olive Public Library: At the workshop meeting, I announced that we were going to have kind of an informal meeting at the Library tonight before this meeting, from 6:30 to 7:30 to show off pictures of the new building and to answer any questions, and we did have a number of people show up, not too many, but I wanted to tell you and the public that we will be having another one of these informal meetings next Thursday, that is a week from this Thursday, the 20th between 7:30 and 8:30 and members of the Board will be available and we’ll have some new pictures to show you of the progress of the new Library.
President Rattner: Thank you very much.
Dave Jones, Route 46, Budd Lake: There’s a couple I have. I noticed there was some sort of construction on ITC South, they were like lining the sewers…does anybody know why they were lining the sewers or what they were trying to accomplish?
Mr. King: When was that?
Mr. Jones: The drainage…this was a couple of months ago.
Mr. King: That was a number of months ago. In the joints, where they put the pieces of the sewer together, they had failed so what they did is they put a sleeve throughout the whole system, so it wouldn’t leak.
Mr. Jones: Did we have to pay for that?
Mr. King: Not at all. That was part of the settlement AIG Baker had to pay that.
Mr. Jones: Okay. And I was also wondering, is the Pride Committee organization and their duties provided for by resolution?
Mr. King: I thought it was an ordinance.
Mrs. Lashway: I believe it’s a…
Mr. King: That’s what it is…there is an ordinance or resolution…
Mrs. Lashway: Well, there is a resolution appointing the members…
President Rattner: I don’t think it’s a statutory committee, so I don’t think there is an ordinance, it’s probably done by resolution, but it’s not a legal committee, it’s like an advisory type committee.
Mr. Jones: Another question I have, I know these are considered Council Meetings and the workshops are Council Meetings. During the workshop meetings, there is no public portion in the beginning of the meetings, so people who might not want to stay until the end, they still have to wait until the end and I was wondering if you could add a public portion at the beginning of the meeting.
President Rattner: Well, we’ll obviously consider your comments, but the workshop doesn’t have any…doesn’t normally have a regular portion. First we had it for years, we said it was…we said we would take public participation at the discretion of the President. Then, we decided to at least put at least one point for public to actually address the Council. The idea of that…that’s our work session, it’s not a public meeting, it’s open to the public, but it’s so the public can watch us do our business, we would then take comments, and we still do if there is some important input, or if somebody has information we want, but then it was decided, I’m not sure if it was a past President in the last few years, Council President decided to at least put one in so it at least gives the public a chance to answer at any time, but it’s really not a public meeting, it’s just the way we want to get our work done and if we had a busy public session at the beginning, we run late enough as it is… That’s where we actually supposedly work out all our, well we get our agreements, to put it on this meeting. That’s why most things go fairly smoothly, we should know exactly what’s there, then if we miss something, like we found out tonight, maybe a wording is bad, but that’s really our work session, but we’ll look at that.
Mr. Jones: And another thing I was concerned about, at the end of the meeting, there is Council comments and a lot of times I think there is abuse of that privilege, you know, that you give certain members of the Council. Sometimes they take shots at the public, sometimes they take shots at the Administration, and they really don’t have a chance to, you know, respond to that, unless, you know, you allow it and I was hoping that if they do, you know, make a comment that regards the Administration or a member of the public, if that member of the public is here, that those people involved in that comment be allowed to respond to that.
President Rattner: We’ll look at that again, if we have a bartering back and forth, when does it end, because everybody is going to want to get the last word. That’s always a problem. We call it final council comments, for just that – it’s just the parting comments, thoughts… A lot of times we go through and at the end of the meeting, nobody has a comment, but it is just final council comments, it’s time for discussion back and forth and being a council member, you know, Town Council will have the final comments as we close the meeting. Hopefully, we’ll keep it on a high plane.
Mr. Jones: And the final question I have, is the scheduling of the meetings going to change this summer? I noticed, in the past, you…..
President Rattner: We reduce them. We’ll be looking at that, we do that for July and August, because of vacations and everything else, we try to cut it down. Normally, we don’t have as much going on, no big changes, and hopefully, we’ll have everything caught up by then. We plan on doing the same thing again this summer, yes.
Mr. Jones: Thank you.
Robin Chu, Crenshaw Drive, Flanders: I wanted to make sure that my letter got into the correspondence. I had some trouble e-mailing it on April 25th to the Town Clerk. I think e-mail server was down and I sent it to three Council Members and asked for it to be shared, but I didn’t see it in the list, so I just wanted to make sure I was going to follow proper protocol and actually get it entered and it’s about the lights at Flanders Park.
Mrs. Lashway: Can you just leave me with a hard copy of it.
Ms. Chu: Can I do that?
Mrs. Lashway: Yes.
Ms. Chu: I’m against them, by the way.
President Rattner: At the workshop on the first, we will be discussing it again. Anybody else from the public like to….
Ann Wisnewski, Flanders: I had a couple of things. Number one, regarding the letter that we got, I know it’s not being discussed tonight, the resolution for a donation fund, but my feeling is that the wording of that, making it specific to Flanders Park, basically says the decision is made is that’s where it is going to be and I would prefer that you would take that off there so that we could have a discussion about number one, are the night lights necessary and number two, where do they belong, if they are necessary.
President Rattner: I believe that’s why a second memo may have gone out, it was…that went out prematurely, we didn’t know it went out until we heard from some residents and you’re absolutely right, we have to make the decision and that’s what we are scheduling for the first on where we’re going with it because we have to make the decision where we’re going, how we’re going, before we’re going to decide to set up a fund to pay for it.
Ms. Wisnewski: Right and the second letter just said it was postponed. So, you know, that implies that is still going to be discussed intact at a later date. I just wanted to make sure. The second question I have is regarding, I know you’re going to go to like an engineering professional firm, or something. Within that, would you consider having them tell you what the lighting levels are going to be, not just on the field, but 100 feet out, 250 feet out, 500 feet out, so we have some clue, you know what we’re talking about here.
Mr. Ruggierio: Absolutely.
Ms. Wisnewski: And thirdly, this is not regarding lights, but we used to have some pedestrian crossing signs between Flanders Crossing and the Park and they are all completely gone. Is there any possibility of getting those back or getting them replaced?
Mr. Ruggierio: We’ll take a look at it.
President Rattner: Thank you, anybody else like to address the Council?
Ms. Labow: Can I add something to what she asked about with the lights, to ask Bill, please?
President Rattner: It can’t wait until we have a regular discussion, because that’s why we took it off, we weren’t going to discuss it.
Ms. Labow: Fine, I just want to know with the lights, you know, depending on the quality of the lights, the make, I think that where they spread, too, if they could include that in.
Mr. Ruggierio: The way…the way…the sensitiveness of this is I don’t think that we would look for anything but those level eight lights, which are the best, but I recognize that not everybody’s going to think it’s a good idea.
President Rattner: I think what we’re trying to do is coordinate it and let the Administration do what they have to to get all the different things. I think they understand the situation, they’ve probably gotten more correspondence than we’ve gotten from both sides, and probably people walking in during the day, remember they can’t find us always. So,
Ms. Labow: Well, they have to look at McDonalds to find you or Macaroni Grill
President Rattner: Okay, anybody else from the public?
Rich Broli, Gold Mine Road: I came home tonight and the Toll Brothers were nice enough to leave a non-postage paid message in my mailbox about construction adjacent to my property. I don’t believe it is legal to go into somebody’s mailbox and leave these and I don’t know what involvement the town has with them, but it is rather offensive to come home and find out that somebody else has been in your mailbox, besides myself or the postman. And there is no explanation of what adjacent to my property means.
Mr. King: Who’s it from, I’m sorry…
Mr. Broli: It’s from the Toll Brothers and their…the people that they’re scheduling to inspect the houses. They say they mailed something out, according to these letters, this was not mailed, it was hand-delivered.
President Rattner: Okay, what I would ask you to do…the town will follow up with the developer, but what I would ask you to do is contact the Post Office directly and just voice your complaint because you’re the only one who can do that, it’s in your mailbox. We’ll go back to the developer, but if you talk to the Post Office…they’re the ones who can take official action. If they’ve done something illegal, then they have to be told. Proper notification is not having somebody walk up the street sticking paper that you may think is junk mail in your mailbox.
Mr. Broli: Yes, I mean, they don’t even explain what…they say it’s adjacent to the property, they don’t say how it…there’s no information other than this.
Ms. Labow: That is against postal regulations, I think the Budd Lake Post Office….
President Rattner: Mr. Ruggierio, you know we did this, I think, similarly with the sewer project and with that we held about seven or eight what they called community meetings, different areas. I think what we should do is talk to Toll Brothers, demand that they set up, you know, pick a time when they could be here and we will tell the same people who got noticed on this, or the surrounding area, that they will contact and we will have a meeting whether it be here or someplace else, where all the questions can be answered by the people who are going to be doing it. I think that is something that we should demand of the developer, not just putting in a piece of paper in somebody’s mailbox that they may get or may not get and if you only got it tonight and they mailed it out last week, I don’t know what’s going on.
Mr. Broli: Yes, it’s actually dated today also, so…
Mayor De La Roche: See, I don’t know if you can assume that it was put there by Toll Brothers, it may very well been a neighbor that got it and decided to pass it on.
President Rattner: But then he didn’t even get it. And if he’s …..
Mr. Broli: It’s actually dated today, May 11th, so whoever did it dated it today and dropped in the….
Mayor De La Roche: No, no, I understand, but I’m talking about, you know, you have to be fair about it, sure…
Mr. Broli: Yes, I understand it could have been somebody else, maybe it was, I don’t, but since it’s only from them and there is a copy to the Township Engineer of Mount Olive, I’m assuming it’s from them.
President Rattner: Yes, Mayor, what…
Mr. King: Is it on their letterhead.
Mr. Broli: Actually, it’s not.
President Rattner: Wow, I would doubt it’s from them. They would probably have put it on their letterhead, if it was from them.
Mayor De La Roche: I would be very surprised if Toll Brothers didn’t do it by either Certified Mail or at least the stamp. I mean, that’s millions of dollars in a project.
President Rattner: Well, why don’t we talk to the developer, tell them to set up a meeting, you know, set a time when he can come down, people can voice their complaints. If there is a group of people, he can say everything once, they can go through the process why they’re taking the pictures, how they would file a complaint, what they’re actually doing. Because I know when we saw the other blasting, when we found out President Rattner (cont’d): how minimal affect it would have on most properties, unless there was a fissure or something they didn’t know about.
Mayor De La Roche: I’m sure that they are willing to do that because they came here and we had a meeting and they went through it in great detail as to where the blasting would take place and how it would progress and how they would notify everybody and why they were taking pictures, so I’m sure they have a whole program that they’re probably….
President Rattner: Sometimes they don’t mind talking to public officials figuring they will have a level head, but talking to the emotions of a property owner is sometimes rougher.
Ms. Labow: Did you get one, Steve?
President Rattner: No. I’m not adjacent…I’m on the other side of the street, further down and I’m on the other side of the street, so I wouldn’t be adjacent. I was adjacent to Country Oaks. Thank you very much, and I would ask that you contact, you know, if you got it in your mailbox, you know, at least contact the Post Office and ask them where you should go with it and we will follow it up from our end. Anybody else would like to address the Council? Close the public portion and take final Council Comments.
Mr. Buell: None.
Ms. Labow: I have two Council comments. First, I want to remind everybody that this Saturday at Turkey Brook Park, at the trails, we are having our first trail blazing event from 9:00 to 1:00 pm. The other thing I would like to say to Mr. Jones, when he came to the podium, the one thing I do agree 100% with him and it upset me when I was in the audience as well, before I was elected to office that I think that if any of the Council members choose to make a comment that does refer to a resident, that that resident should be allowed to come up and respond and I find that offensive when that situation does occur. Thank you.
Mr. Elms: No comment.
Mr. Guenther: Just one quick one. I was at the County Municipal Authorities meeting tonight and we got some nice kudos about our recycling efforts. They think that we have one of the best…still continue to have one of the best programs in the County, about separating out…A lot of townships, believe it or not, are not really following through the way they should, so, it’s something we can be proud of.
Mr. Perkins: No comment.
President Rattner: I do have one and I brought it at the end because I didn’t want discussion, I just wanted something to think about. I got contacted by a resident in the last week, up around Pine Street, who had an accident with one of the town vehicles, I don’t know who was at fault or anything else and I don’t want to discuss the accident. However, we know we went through this last winter about the responsibility the Township has under the State law on who’s insurance pays what and we were told, and I just want this looked into because I really have a problem with the way we would handle it, is that in New Jersey you’re supposed to present it to your own insurance company to pay it and they are not supposed to raise your rates, at least this is what we were told, because it was a government vehicle. And that the town’s insurance or any town’s insurance would be responsible for the deductible, you know, what your insurance didn’t pay. Now what I have a concern about is I just don’t believe that the insurance company is not going to include it as a chargeable accident, I mean, I can understand that the State would pass some cockamamie law like that, but I just want a record that I don’t want to treat any of our residents something like that. Where, if they have an accident that’s not their fault that they get charged with a chargeable accident, either get dropped, either pay a surcharge, or have a problem changing. Last winter we had a situation, it happened to be a Township employee who was working in extreme weather and his car was parked and got hit by a Town vehicle and was told that. And his insurance company told him he would have, you know, he could have a problem, he wasn’t sure and so I just want it on the record now, and I think we should just get more information, get it definitively exactly what the law states and how it is done, but I can’t see…and a lot of us have or have had teenage drivers who’ve had a couple of accidents and all you have to do is have a couple incidences…they don’t even care if they’re all your fault. I know, I’ll use my example, my daughter at 22, she graduated college, no chargeable accidents, no tickets, her last accident was in her school parking lot when she was still at school, she got bumped in the rear, security said just tell your insurance company – just call it in, that’s what it says on the card – call it in, she did. They said you’ve had two incidents, both in her parking lot at school, nobody would give her insurance, they said no, or you’re berated, because you’ve had two incidences and you’re a woman under 29 and single. Finally, she got insurance through the insurance company I had, they called it a spin-off, but when we went to Allstate and a couple of others, they all said it would be very difficult and would take about six to eight weeks, because they would have to do an in-depth on her, so I can understand the concern of people and I just want to make sure that, if any of our residents happen to have an incident, and accidents are going to happen, we know that, that nobody gets penalized. I just couldn’t sit up here in good conscience and think that anybody would either not be able to get President Rattner (cont’d): decent insurance, lose their current coverage, or anything else, because of that…and if we have to take the responsibility, I think we have to look at what the implications are on it. I don’t think that anybody here thinks that any residents should be there…this was another call…he’s going to go through his insurance, he’s going to talk to them and as long as his rates don’t go up and it’s not a chargeable accident, he’s not going to…you know, he says that’s fine because that’s what he was told because he called here and they told him the story, I already knew it, he says that’s what I’ve heard, but I wanted it on here, I said I would put it on the record, so if a year from now his insurance company has a problem and I’m not around, he can say that we at least were aware of it.
Ms. Labow: Where are you going?
President Rattner: Things can happen…
Ms. Labow: Oh, McDonalds.
President Rattner: We want to make sure, I think it’s just…I don’t think it’s fair, I think it’s morally wrong, I think we have a responsibility, if we do some damage, we have to step up. We don’t have that many accidents, we don’t have a lot of cowboys, things are going to happen. You know, I’ve read some memos, you know, we President Rattner (cont’d): keep replacing all our mailboxes, one after another we had another two tonight from the snow or something like that, we’re concerned about that, but we’re not concerned about a car, which is a lot more important and a lot more expensive. Thank you very much, I’ll move adjournment.
The motion was made and seconded and the meeting was adjourned at 9:37 pm.
Steven W. Rattner, 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 August 17, 2004.
Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk