Township Council Minutes
May 25, 2004
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:31 pm by Council President Rattner with the Pledge of Allegiance.
MOMENT OF REFLECTION for our soldiers fighting overseas
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. Greenbaum, Mr. Guenther, Mrs. Labow,
Mr. Perkins and Mr. Rattner
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor De La Roche; William Ruggierio, Business Administrator; Sherry Jenkins,
CFO; John Dorsey, Township Attorney and Michelle Masser, Township Deputy Clerk;
and what is commonly referred to as Mount Olive’s Bravest.
President Rattner: First thing we have on the agenda is the stuff that we really enjoy doing. Mayor has a number of presentations he would like to make.
Mayor De La Roche: As usual, I forgot my glasses, I had to borrow Marilyn’s again, because I never wore glasses until I became Mayor, but now I guess that’s one of the things that goes with the job. I’m sure everybody’s aware of the occurrence at the Crestwood Circle house fire, which became a rather extraordinary fire and the wonderful services that our Fire Department, Police Department, Fire Squad and everybody else performed and I felt it appropriate that they be recognized so I have asked Chief Sheard to help me with this because it recognizes not only our town but the wonderful cooperation we have from all the local towns and the county as well. I’ll read one and then we’ll call up each department of the township to recognize them and so if they would just stand here, we would like to get a group picture to show the interworkings of all the different towns.
Community Service Award presented to the Budd Lake Fire Department in honor of the extraordinary efforts of the surrounding Fire Departments and First Aid Squads who responded to the Crestwood Circle house fire on March 23rd, 2004, resulting in saving the lives of two Mount Olive residents, in recognition of that, signed by the Mayor, Richard D. De La Roche, Mount Olive Township. This is presented to the Budd Lake Fire Department. I’ll read off the names: The next one would be the Budd Lake Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, Chief Sheard will handle that, the Budd Lake First Squad, the Flanders Fire Department, the Flanders First Aid Squad and Fire Department (Fire and First Aid Squad), the Mount Olive Fire Marshall’s Office, the Mount Olive Police Department, the Mount Olive Health Department. Now, some of the local towns: the Netcong Fire Department, the Stanhope Fire Department, the Hackettstown Fire Department, Schooleys Mountain Fire Company, the Long Valley First Aid Squad, the Hackettstown First Aid Squad. They may not be here, but I feel it’s important that we recognize them for all the services that all these communities provide and how they work so well with our organizations and this is what makes for the safety of the people in this town and it is necessary that we recognize all these organizations who put their lives on the line every time they do this, which still amazes me. The Netcong/Stanhope First Aid Squad, the Morris County Sheriff’s Department, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the Morris County Hazmat Team, the Morris County Fire Coordinator. Clapping….
Chief Sheard: I just want to reiterate what the Mayor said, it does take a lot of team work, you know, for a single family home that was well engulfed upon the guys arrival, I have with me a bunch of my own members from my own department. The first two guys I want to introduce actually ran this fire. I happened to be on vacation in Disneyworld, probably being grumpier than Grumpy, because I heard about this fire at 6:00 in the morning, twenty minutes after it happened and I was grumpy the rest of the day. I would like to introduce my First Assistant Chief, Kevin Elms, please come up. Then the Second Assistant Chief, Kevin Maloney. My Captain, Peter Bryn, my Lieutenant, Tom Portere and I have with me one of my Engineers, Mike Dolan. And the lives that were saved, the two home owners were burnt, flown to St. Barnabas Hospital, they are recovering at this time. The fire started in the garage and, as a fire prevention tip, they tried to fight the fire instead of getting out of the house. If they would have gotten out of the house, they would have probably been healthy and well today, because a house we can always rebuild. It’s very hard to rebuild a body. Luckily, they are going to live and recover from this, but without the efforts of these people standing up here today and
Chief Sheard (cont’d): everybody else the Mayor read, fire fighting efforts like that would not happen. So, my hat goes off to all you guys, thank you. Clapping….
Mayor De La Roche: I just want to reiterate again, we just can’t say enough about these men and women who put their lives on the line every time we have a problem. They do it voluntarily and they should always be recognized. Thank you again.
I have another community service award for Heather Detoro please. I’ll just read it to you. This is a Community Service Award presented to Heather Detoro in honor of your dedication and service to the residents of Mount Olive Township. There is nothing more inspiring than to be able to bring a new life into the world. Signed Mayor Richard D. De La Roche, Mount Olive Township. Heather and Russ Hatzel were instrumental, if that’s the right word, in delivering a young new born baby and, as the resolution says, we want to recognize you for that and it really is a wonderful thing that you are able to do that and thank you very much. He’s not here, so she is accepting Russ’s at the same time. Clapping….
Mayor De La Roche: And there is one more important Proclamation if I may. This is a Proclamation of the office of the Mayor honoring Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month. Whereas those who dedicate their time, effort and skills to help others are among the most valuable members of any community and, Whereas Myasthenia Gravis is a Neurological Muscular Disease striking children and adults effecting control of their voluntary muscles and effecting several hundred of our fellow New Jerseyans and, Whereas Myasthenia Gravis Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded to facilitate the timely diagnosis and optimal care of individuals effected by Myasthenia Gravis; and closely related disorders and to improve their lives through programs of patient services, public information, medical research, professional education, advocacy and patient care. This disease effects citizens of New Jersey more than any other neuro-muscular disorder and, Whereas the Garden State Chapter of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation will hold its sixth annual Myasthenia Gravis Walkathon to raise funds to help find a cure for this neuro-muscular disease. Now therefore be it proclaimed, that I, Richard De La Roche, Mayor of the Mount Olive Township do hereby proclaim June as Myasthenia Gravis Month in Mount Olive Township. Signed and sealed this date, Richard De La Roche, Mayor. Thank you very much. Clapping….
Ms. Jenkins: A number of years, Jack Marchione and I established a Finance Department Scholarship as a way of giving back to the community and encouraging a student to go into studying business, finance, accounting, things like that. We received a number of applications this year and we interviewed a few people from these applications and we have chosen Henna Sajjad as our award winner. This is actually our third award, I’m proud to say, I can’t believe it’s actually number three already. We were so impressed with your enthusiasm and your motivation from the minute that you walked through the door, you really just amazed us and really embody everything that we think the award represents and we are pleased to present it to you tonight and I apologize Jack can’t be here, he was busy, but will verse his congratulations. And I just want to say good luck to you.
President Rattner: Thank you very much, Mayor. Okay, next we have on the agenda is Mr. Heymann requested some time representing the Turkey Brook Park Committee.
Mr. Heymann: I want to thank you for the opportunity to come here tonight and talk a little bit about Turkey Brook once again. I think, at this point in time, you have gotten some information from Mr. Buczynski with regard to several meetings that we had jointly with our committee and the Mayor, Mr. Ruggierio, I believe several members of the Council were present. I would like to break this down in two different phases, multiple phases, it seems that’s all we ever speak about are phases of Turkey Brook, but I want to speak first about the first phase, which I believe you have gotten some reports from Mr. Buczynski of an estimate of $406,000, which I think basically covers the parking lots, the ADA compliance and for Ms. Labow it also includes the berm. I spoke with Mr. Buczynski today and I think the price is $51,000 of which $22,000 of that is materials and he believes that we might be able to save some money if we move some materials from some other sights, maybe even there or other places in town to help keep the price down. So that is really what I call Phase I, items that the Mayor had spoken about several months ago that were on his priority list of safety items. I think they are parking lots, tot lot, all the other lots being paved, putting up, I think we talked about, curbs – putting up so that we stop the cars from going and parking on the infield. And that’s before you and you know that your ordinance has remaining money of about $411,000, I believe that also has any contingencies that may be necessary. I am also here tonight to speak to you about what I call…
Mr. Guenther: It includes the berm?
Mr. Heymann: It includes the berm.
Mr. Guenther: Which berm?
Mr. Heymann: The berm on the property side, the owners there on Sunset that are concerned.
Mr. Guenther: Berm plus plantings as well?
Mr. Heymann: Well, I think you have to look at what Mr. Buczynski put in there, but I believe it was all inclusive to take care of that problem. They went out, they looked at it, they walked it and this is the design that they came up with, with the price.
President Rattner: Ron, we have never gotten anything from Mr. Buczynski, so we don’t know what you are talking about.
Mr. Heymann: Ask Mr. Ruggierio, but he’ll get to that. I don’t know when it came in but I spoke to Gene this afternoon and it may have been late, I’m not sure, but he did tell me that the price does include that, so…and you guys will discuss that, but I want to then go on and talk about is the next phase, what I call the infield, you know, the Boulevard. And that comprises the tennis courts, the volleyball pits and the basketball courts, and that price is approximately $250,000. Once again, Gene Buczynski had previously provided us with numbers and we have had some discussions as to what to do. The Committee itself would like to finish this part of the project up because that’s what we originally discussed and that’s what the original plans call for and I think that this particular portion of recreation is not prevalent, not only at Turkey Brook, but in other parts of our town, at least in a local…central location. That facility there serves 12 and under baseball and probably serves 14 year old and under softball, I mean soccer, but it does not…there is nothing there for the adults. The volleyball, the basketball, the tennis courts are necessary. The tennis courts are closed down in Flanders, down in lower Flanders on 206 because they are under repair and they need repair. So, what you have now are the Middle School tennis courts. I said the price to you is approximately $250,000. The issue comes up is where are we going to get the money from and what I propose, what I’m asking you, and when I say “I” in mean the Committee, is that we’re asking you to fund this project from the Open Space Committee Fund. I’m not certain as to how much money was in there before and I should back up a minute, we went to them, we had a meeting, they were not in favor of this. Their Committee did not wish to get on board, but I want to remind, some of you have been here a long time and some of you who are new, of the Resolution the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive requesting a binding referendum in the general election ballot for 1998. And, in general, what that was we raised the Open Space allocation, the tax allocation, from one cent to three cents and we did that, and I was one of the driving forces of doing that for really one reason. Not only would we purchase as an acquisition of properties for open space and development of active recreational facilities, the key point was to also develop active recreational facilities. Turkey Brook is an active recreational facility. And now that I’m no longer on the Council, you’re taking two cents of my dollar every time you collect my taxes and I want it to go towards finishing this project, other wise there is no reason really to continue to collect three cents on the dollar from everybody, because, truthfully, we have only used a very minute portion of all the monies that have been collected for open space, towards any type of development. I believe the Open Space Committee told us they believe approximately $30,000 or $35,000 was used from their committee for the development of the Turkey Brook…for the Flanders Crossing project. That is miniscule compared to the amount of monies that have been raised. Not only is it important to raise funds for open space, but it is important to eventually develop some of these and why not develop them with monies that have already been collected from the taxpayers. That fund replenishes itself to a very large extent every year. It’s not as if we are going to bankrupt the fund. All we’re going to do is take some money from it and it will be replenished every February, May, August and November when the tax monies come in. So, we are asking you to approve this. We have to go out to bid, there is other work to be done, but we think it is necessary. Now, what guarantee can you have from us – how about this – we won’t come back for a couple of years and ask you for any more money. Not that we don’t want to, but unfortunately there is a DEP situation with water allocation and we have to wait about two years to get the approvals. Gene Buczynski, in November, submitted, I believe, all of the applications, so we’re pretty much stopped down there because we can’t irrigate and we can’t water anything else, but I think it’s time, long overdue, of course, to finish this project what I call whatever phase you want to call it, in it’s entirety and that would do it. So, I am, on behalf of our Committee, asking this Council to consider, discuss and to remove from the Open Space Fund, those monies necessary to finish those three projects: tennis courts, basketball courts and the volleyball pit. The other things, I think, we are in agreement with are in what we’re going to do. I don’t see any more logical place to take the money without burdening the taxpayer, we don’t have to bond, we don’t have to borrow, that’s our money and your ordinance says it’s to be used not only to acquire property, but to develop property. This property needs to be finished and developed and that’s where that money should come from. No one can say it is being wrongly used from there, no one’s saying we’re changing any laws to do it, it was done in 1998 with the specific purpose that one…by increasing it from one to three cents, we would do that. So, I appreciate your thoughts and consideration and, I don’t know when you’re going to do that, sooner than later
Mr. Heymann (cont’d): and we’ll get back. If there are questions, you can eventually get back to our Committee and we will be happy to talk about it.
President Rattner: There are questions right now.
Mr. Heymann: Then we’ll answer those.
Mr. Greenbaum: Ron, what’s the Administration’s position with regard to using the Open Space Funds? Has that been resolved at this point?
Mr. Heymann: It has not been resolved, I don’t…let me leave it…when we had our meeting, the Mayor and I had a conversation and they were looking at another avenue of trying to raise the funds and that did not occur. The Mayor then said he had no difficulty with us going to the Open Space Committee, which we did. We would have liked to have had them on board, we…they know that the Open Space Committee is not in favor of this, but I have never asked whether they want us to take the money from there or not.
Mr. Greenbaum: I have another follow-up question for you, but I will direct the question to the Administration. Have you formed an opinion as to the use of the Open Space Funds to accomplish what Mr. Heymann is proposing?
Mr. Ruggierio: I’ll let the Mayor speak for what his position is, but I will say that I attended that Open Space meeting and I thought that the position taken by the Open Space Committee was certainly responsible and credible. I think you actually got something in writing from them. The most compelling argument that I thought existed, when I attended their meeting, was how well they were able to leverage the, you know, tax money, so from just the prospective of an uninformed observer who was trying to get a, you know, a sense of what the right thing to do was, my view was that their recommendation should be sustained and you should not tap that money, but I don’t know what the Mayor’s position is.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, when I spoke with Mr. Heymann, I did indicate to him that, you know, I was looking at other sources for the funding of those projects. Those sources are still being considered. As a matter of fact, we have meetings coming up within the next week or two in order to accomplish this thing without tapping into the Open Space Funds, and, as Bill has already indicated, the use of the Open Space Funds and the ability to use it to obtain open space as seed money, is I think the proper approach, especially if we can find another source of income and I think that we can, but, you know, we need a little time in order to negotiate what we are looking for and, you know, there is a quid-pro-quo going on and that requires negotiation.
President Rattner: Okay, I would like a follow-up, just on your question because let’s get more precise. I don’t know if this is necessarily negotiation, I think it’s what, you know, we have to just set our priorities and what we want to do for the town. The first thing is how much money do we have in the Open Space Fund right now that has not been committed, before this years tax contribution? Do we know roughly, $200,000 - $300,000?
Ms. Jenkins: I know the balance that’s in the account, but I don’t know how much of that is uncommitted.
President Rattner: What is the balance right now, about?
Ms. Jenkins: The balance is close to $700,000
President Rattner: Okay we have $700,000 – that’s before any contribution from this years taxes, right?
Ms. Jenkins: Yes.
President Rattner: We also have in interest that we’re going to sell in Charters Farm and we hope to realize between $300,000 to $500,000, which has to go back into our Open Space. We are also going to have another roughly $600,000 that we are going to collect from the taxpayers from the referendum that Mr. Heymann quoted from back in 1998, because it’s three cents, three cents of roughly $2 billion worth of assessed value. So, if I start adding that up, and even saying…let’s say that some of that money, that $700,000 has been committed, let’s go down to $400,000, plus another $400,000 we’re going to get back from Charters, plus another $600,000, we’re talking about $1.4 million, that gives us the ability…just the leverage without anybody elses grants, about $30 million. I can guarantee that this Council is not going to approve $30 million worth of land acquisitions, no matter how good a deal it’s going to be. So, we have to look, I mean, we know we’re going to go out there, just because the money’s out there it doesn’t mean we go out a spend money on….I just want to make sure how much money we have and what the priorities are. I mean, to say that we don’t have President Rattner (cont’d): money to do something, especially when I heard that the tennis courts in Flanders had been closed, which I heard that about a week or so ago, which means we have less recreation now for people who want to play tennis, than we did a year ago and that’s not a good situation. And so looking at that, if we have $1.4 million available and it was our decision, I was on the Council, in fact it was Mr. Bonte after the first referendum for the penny, who came up and said it’s really not clear – why don’t you state exactly what you’re going to use the money for and in that resolution that set the referendum on the ballot, it actually stated that it would be used for the development and for construction for this type of thing and I think that some people thought that it would be used for that purpose. So, I think we really have to look at our priorities in that and see if we can go forward, but I just want to know how much money and the magnitude that we’re talking about.
Mr. Greenbaum: So, as I understand it, at the present time, the Administration is not in favor of using the Open Space Funds for the reasons that were discussed at the Open Space Meeting. That’s my understanding from what was said, I think it was pretty clearly said also. You identified other sources of revenue that you may be looking at, are you prepared to discuss those with Council at this time or is that in the negotiation stage?
Mayor De La Roche: It’s in the negotiation phase.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, and are we talking about significant dollars such that if it happens that we would create a fund which could be used to do that which Mr. Heymann is asking us to do out of the Open Space Fund?
Mayor De La Roche: Well, you were in on part of the negotiations so you know what I’m speaking of, I would assume.
Mr. Greenbaum: I have no idea.
Mayor De La Roche: No?
Mr. Greenbaum: None.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, you sat in on the meeting when we were negotiating it.
Mr. Greenbaum: I don’t know what we’re referring to.
Mr. Ruggierio: I think the Mayor is thinking that there would be some alternate….
Mr. Greenbaum: Oh, I know what you’re talking about, okay, I apologize. I know what you’re talking about.
Mayor De La Roche: Which I think you would probably even agree would be a much better solution because it provides you with….
Mr. Greenbaum: I disagreed with that at the time, but if we are talking about the same thing, for reasons that I expressed at that meeting. I could support using Open Space dollars. It’s not a surprise to me at all that the Open Space Committee was against using the funds as they always have been for anything and I applaud their efforts and they are very hard working and a very successful organization as I am sure you would agree. I, too, was at least involved, if not sitting up here, when that second ordinance came through and the decision was made that not only could the Open Space funds be used to purchase open space, but that it was the intention of Council at the time that it was proposed that the Open Space funds would be used, when required, to actually provide for the physical improvements at our existing Open Space properties. So, I’m not troubled by the use of the Open Space funds, especially in light of those items that Mr. Rattner has identified, specifically that the Fund may have generated to a point where using some of the Open Space funds will not impair our ability to leverage to buy open space when it becomes available, because I do believe that the greatest need of the Township is to buy as much open space as is possible and that is one of the top priorities that I have always expressed. The one thing that troubles me, and I hate to use the word trouble because I have been criticized.
Ms. Labow: I’m taking count here, that’s why. I have one …I’ve got one time here.
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, Colleen, thanks.
Mr. Buell: You’re just a very troubled person.
Mr. Greenbaum: Well, you know that I am an avid basketball player, so I think that this particular concern of mine has to be taken from that perspective. One of the items that’s being proposed is this basketball court, which I think would be great up at Turkey Brook, but we already have Flanders Park, we already have Lou Nelson Park. I have also always expressed the concern that we need to provide for those children who are not participating in the organized activities in town. Those children who do not participate in the organized activities that the school district provides, such as marching band, the robotics club and other clubs, and I and Mr. Buell have expressed the need to put in a skateboard park somewhere in town.
Mr. Guenther: So have I.
Mr. Greenbaum: Oh, Mr. Guenther and Colleen. Mr. Guenther was the one who first expressed it a long long time ago. I think that I could be convinced to use the Open Space money if, in fact, it incorporated a skateboard park up at Turkey Brook Park.
Mr. Heymann: Well, I can address that, it’s really not a measure of the Turkey Brook Committee, but sometimes we do discuss other issues and Mr. Lynch is a, of course, an employee here and also a member of our Committee. He had an idea to use funds to develop the courts – the tennis courts on 206, into the skateboard park. Because the courts are in disrepair at least for the purpose of tennis, he felt it was an ideal spot to put the skating park there and you have adequate parking there because you have the Dan Jordan complex right across the street, which is parking lots. So, he thought that was a better location for that, but I’m not going to argue where you put it. I don’t know if the Turkey Brook facility is the right spot for that type of a place, I don’t know.
Mr. Greenbaum: Well, my thought is, it’s not necessarily where you put the skateboard park, because I’m not going to sit up here and suggest I am the best person to make that decision, you know, someone like Jim is probably a better person who understands the physical aspects of what we have in town. My suggestion is that I could support using the money so long as a component of the money was being utilized to create the skateboard park. Now, if we’re talking about using those tennis courts, which I think is a bad idea generally, I think those courts should be refurbished and reopened, because they were used. Every time I ran by, because that used to be on my running route, they were being used and I think it’s a terrible shame that they are even out of commission at this point in time. But, I want to see a skateboard park and it has to be incorporated into the plan someplace or I don’t know that I could support using the Open Space Funds.
President Rattner: Well, Mr. Ruggierio, I guess you were right, it’s negotiations.
Mr. Guenther: Ron, how much of what you proposed, how much would need to be used from the Open Space Fund?
Mr. Heymann: We anticipate no more than a quarter of a million dollars. Of course, that doesn’t include a skateboard park.
President Rattner: Is that your only question, Bernie, or are you still going?
Mr. Guenther: No, I got plenty.
President Rattner: Okay, it’s $250,000.
Mr. Guenther: I have some concerns about the present status of Turkey Brook. If my recollection is correct, there was a…we were holding back I think $90,000 or close to $100,000 of payments to Conti until he came in and made some, what should I say…not repair, well…repairs or revisions to some of the fields… remediate…. that, I don’t know, I haven’t heard anything from this Administration since the spring started whether that work has been done, whether…I keep looking at the bill list, I hope no payments are being made to him until there is a full accounting of what he needed to do and didn’t do. And, certainly if there is a liability on the Township’s part for finishing that off, where there are some expenses that have to made out of pocket, I think that’s something we should look at first. I think we should finish up what we have before we start something new. Is the Administration prepared to discuss that at all tonight, or do you want to do it at the next meeting, I mean, I didn’t warn you ahead of time…
Mr. Ruggierio: I can give you a… I think you did warn me actually, you gave me an e-mail, but I can give you a brief update on that. Mr. Buczynski made a proposal for how we might close out this contract, which involved some approaches that I’m not sure the Mayor was sold on at the time that it was presented to him by me so I have a schedule next Tuesday a meeting with Mr. Buczynski, myself and the Mayor to try to get him on Mr. Ruggierio (cont’d): board with this and, of course, once that happens, if it happens, then we would bring it to the Council. But, we are aware of the issues and trying to work them to a resolution.
Mr. Guenther: Okay, so no payments have been released to Conti. Then, getting back to Ron, I…you know my position, I think I’ve stated it a lot….ever since I’ve come on Council, that I believe there was too heavy a concentration of athletic facilities for the organized sports groups, that there isn’t enough for the people in town who are not part of organized sports groups. So, I would be very much for finishing this off and if we can’t find a way between the Open Space Fund and some funds out of our budget, I think it’s negligent on our part if we don’t. So, somehow we have to find a solution to do this and I believe it’s very rudimentary - volleyball, basketball or… I think in principle I agree with Rob about the skate park and it’s probably the best place for it because it is centrally located, but we can discuss that later, but I think we need to do this, not just for aesthetic reasons because the way it looks now, it’s horrible and also to prevent …. to get past the parking situation where people are parking on the oval. So, but… it’s really going to beautify the park, it’s going to complete it in a way that Colleen and her efforts in getting the walking trails done is another aspect. We are going to be providing well rounded recreation services and facilities for everybody in town, not just certain segments.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Guenther, anything you want to respond to that Mr. Heymann? Okay, next we have Mr. Perkins, Mr. Buell and Ms. Labow and Mr. Elms, so we’ll all get part of it.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you. Colleen, I can’t thank you enough so I won’t begin to start. Ron, the resolution number and the date of where the Council had adopted the resolution providing for not only open space purchasing but also development – do you happen to have that handy?
Mr. Dorsey: Here it is, it was the November General Election of 1998, they adopted…they adopted a resolution and placed the referendum question on the ballot.
Mr. Perkins: What was the latter resolution?
Mayor De La Roche?: That went back to recreational facilities.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, that was quick, right?
Mr. Heymann: Well, Mr. Dorsey is far more knowledgeable than me, he provided you with the information. I have it in front of me, he’s absolutely right.
Mr. Perkins: Ron, I know you and I have spoken over some time about the development of Turkey Brook. I support finishing this park – the inner loop, I won’t attach a caveat to it that I would like to see something else done in conjunction. I think it’s a well known fact that I am vehemently opposed to skateboard parks, I think it’s better served as a private business like they do in Hackettstown where they assume the liability, kids are indoors, what do you do when it rains, when it snows, you have a beautiful little skateboard park that nobody uses. It would be nice also to have a hockey rink someplace, what a great place to have that except the International Trade Center, but that’s just a wish of mine. It’s a nice place to have some of those children to be able to go instead of the Mennan Arena or traveling out to Pennsylvania. So I think, as we look at the long range plans of the Township for how we are going to look at recreation through the Recreation Committee and all that you are part of, I think we need to start addressing some of those issues. From the standpoint of Turkey Brook, however that inner field is done, I believe that we owe it our physically challenged members of our community to provide them with some decent form of recreation. I would hate to see it belittled, I would like to see that well developed as any other of the piece of property that we have in the Township. We do have physically challenged children as well as adults here that I want to make sure have 100% good access, at all times, to Turkey Brook and maybe that needs to be a consideration of a special area for them to be able to participate in some sort of sports. So I think you ought to be discussing that with your Committee, also. But, I do support your proposal and you do have my support for that. Thank you, Mr. President.
President Rattner: You brought up something interesting, Mr. Perkins. Mr. Dorsey, based on the laws today for serving the handicapped, any facility built has to conform and has to have access so anything that we design would have to have access anyway, isn’t that true?
Mr. Dorsey: You have to comply with the ADA…
President Rattner: And I think we learned from some of the mistakes we made in Flanders Park about, you know, we made certain facilities handicapped access, but to get to the facility wasn’t.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President, that’s exactly what my point is. We can make it accessible, everything that’s accessible is great, but what do they do when they get there. So we need to look at that at the recreation, as we begin to look at the seniors, as I am rapidly approaching that stage, the physically challenged, you know, we need to develop these parks that we are spending a lot of the taxpayer dollars on to serve the majority of the populace and not just a small sampling.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I don’t want to say any more about skateboard parks, obviously I am in total agreement with Rob and Bernie. I think we need to take a longer view at all of our capital expenses. We do not have a capital expense…or a capital budget this year, at this point in time, nor have we really discussed it. We have some things I think we should be thinking about that, like the Rosewood Ditch, which are ‘need to’ things, not recreational items that I think we need to address also. Another issue I think that we have not addressed is some sort of a pavilion up at Turkey Brook Park. I sat in a park in Parsippany last Sunday and it was very nice to sit under a nice little pavilion and I think that is something that needs to be put up at Turkey Brook Park and I feel strongly about that. I also think that, in terms of what we need to do at Turkey Brook in using this…potentially using some of this Open Space money, is I think we need to begin to think about lights up there. You can’t expand the fields, but if we put lights on the fields we have up there now, particularly as they now begin to take some of the schools at the High School away, we can expand the capacity or inventory of fields by 25% to 40% just by putting lights on them, so that’s a way we can expand our recreational facilities without expanding the numbers of fields that we have. And the other thing I think we need to look at, in terms of this potential use of additional dollars for recreation, which is I think what we are talking about, not so much from the Open Space Funds, we also have a proposal for lights on a major league field that is currently being addressed and currently being discussed and I think that needs to be thrown in the mix as well.
Mr. Heymann: Well, I would like to come in front of Mr. Buell more often, I mean, that’s very nice. We have work to do now, we can go back to our Committee.
Ms. Labow: First of all, I want to know with this resolution…now this is…to put it on the ballot to be voted on, right? Now what’s the final verbiage on….
Mr. Heymann: Well, that’s the verbiage that was on the ballot.
Ms. Labow: On the ballot….but what did you actually approve and pass? The reason I ask is first…one person says for two cents or whatever is used for development of recreation….
President Rattner: No, Ron was mentioning it just from the taxes he pays which I figure comes to about two cents, comes to about $78 a year and I have no problem allocating that to the recreation.
Mr. Dorsey: No, what I think Colleen is asking is whether or not the question broke down one cent for open space, one cent for recreational development. No, the question did not break it down. The question did two things that year, it increased the rate, I think, from one cent to three cents and then secondly, as you can see from the first paragraph, it specifically says that the money will be used to develop recreational facilities as well as the acquisition of open space.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you, that helps with one of the questions that I did have next, but what I am asking is first I heard one person say that it was for the development of open space and then I heard it was for recreational use, so what’s….did it finally get…
Mr. Heymann: No, development…
Mr. Dorsey: That’s it, that’s what it is…
Ms. Labow: Yes, I just wanted to make sure, thank you. That was my one …
President Rattner: That was the revision. The problem we had was with the first referendum that was for the one penny, it was vague, and we were asked…and after talking it over for a couple of meetings, we got the exact wording and flexibility was left in. There was no set amount, because we weren’t sure where it was going.
Ms. Labow: But this is….
President Rattner: That’s it…
Ms. Labow: Okay, that’s what I wanted to know, then what I wanted to say to Ron, also, besides the berm, I thank you very much, that is of utmost importance to me, absolutely, and as well as the citizens along Sunset. The next thing is that before I would be in favor of a basketball court or tennis courts, I would really, I agree with Mr. Buell, is that I would love to see a pavilion there and I’ll say, in my efforts to try and get people out doing the trails at Turkey Brook Park, I was up at Turkey Brook several weekends and going up to people and I heard time and time again ‘you know, they really need a pavilion here, there’s no shade, there’s no shelter’ and I heard it so often and I would like to see something like that, as I said to you the other day on the phone, that is something everybody would be using, even kids sitting under there playing, sitting playing checkers, cards, whatever, I think that to me is prime importance. Also, the skate park and I think it needs to be centrally located and I don’t agree with having it down in Flanders because we really need to have it where there is going to be a lot of people, because we really need to have people around to really police it to a degree and I don’t know why we can’t fix those tennis courts in Flanders. The next thing, the last thing I wanted to say, and this is directed to Bill, I thought I had read a memo something to do for Conti that repeatedly they have come back out to do remedial work and repeatedly they have not done the work to an acceptable level, and I just thought I read somewhere recently the past week about a proposal that we were going to not give him all of his money and release the project and do the work ourselves for the things that they haven’t been able to do…did anybody else read that memo?
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, I alluded to that in answer to Mr. Guenther’s question, I really didn’t want to discuss the details, I didn’t remember that it was public, but I have a meeting next Tuesday with Mr. Buczynski and the Mayor. I did present that approach to the Mayor and I’m not sure that I got an endorsement, but we are going to try to talk to him and if he says yes, then we need to get the Council to sign onto it.
Ms. Labow: Okay, and the last thing I want to say, as far as the…for taking funds from the Open Space, I don’t have a problem with using Open Space except I just have a problem using it for more organized sports until we have things passive, things completed.
Mr. Heymann: Let me just respond to two things you said, because I’ve been here for so long and I know some of these things. The pavilion actually was on the original plans and that was redacted – it was taken off, because we were trying to save cost, so certainly we will go back and look at that. Secondly, what we are proposing, just so you know, the infield is not for organized sports, this is for basically adults and kids from 14 and up who want to come pickup basketball and pickup volleyball and tennis. The rest of the park is for organized sports, there is no question about it, it’s not for any adult organized sports, but it is for organized sports. So, we are trying to give…that was the intent of this Committee is that that portion of the population still does not have any place to centrally go and do that. Flanders Crossing is something and it is used down there, but this is…this was the idea when we developed Turkey Brook that this would be the main place, so I disagree with you there, this will be different. And we can look into the pavilion, I mean, we have meetings so… but we don’t want to spend more money and that will be more money. Now, if you’re telling me there is more money, I mean, I can hardly wait to go back, but…
President Rattner: Stop while you’re behind.
Mr. Heymann: Yes, right….so, that might be in the future, but right now this is where we have to focus only because you don’t want to spend more.
President Rattner: Mayor, you wanted to respond to something?
Mayor De La Roche: Yes, although Mr. Heymann didn’t mention it, in order to answer Mr. Perkins, as you will recall, the main concern obviously is to finish up the Turkey Brook requirements before we got into any type of embellishment and included in that is making it ADA accessible, as well as now we have the berms, right, these are all the things that were promised that have to be completed before we consider, I think, expansion. And I have a question for Mr. Heymann: What portion…how much money was used…money was used from Open Space for Turkey Brook already, right?
Mr. Heymann: Not for any development.
Mayor De La Roche: Oh, my understanding is…well…are we…my understanding is $750,000 was used from Open Space in order to develop Turkey Brook to the point where it is now, is that not correct?
Mr. Heymann: I don’t believe so.
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, I believe the Finance Director indicated that was the down payment…there was a down payment.
Mr. Heymann: That was for purchase. This is Open Space – the purchase of land. I believe in 19….I don’t even know when…
Mr. Dorsey: It’s like ten years ago, at least.
Mr. Heymann: Dorsey would know, he negotiated it, it was either 1990 or 1994, it was a long time ago.
Ms. Jenkins: The supplemental bond ordinance that we did for the $1.5 million, that down payment of $75,000 came from Open Space Trust and the deal that was made, or the discussions that were had was that the repayment of the debt service would come from the Open Space Trust Fund for that $1.5 million ordinance. So, I just want to make everybody clear, that is what happened.
Mr. Dorsey: But that’s $75,000 not $750,000.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, the $75,000 we took, that down payment of that additional $1.5 million ordinance came from there and we had discussed the annual repayment of that coming from the Open Space Trust Fund.
Mr. Heymann: Just so we’re not mistaken, Turkey Brook is open space. It may be developed as recreation, so it was purchased as open space by this Municipality in 1994 and one of the greatest coos ever negotiated by Mr. Dorsey, we stole that property.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, that’s my point. I think we’re in compliance with the referendum, in effect we’ve used it both for open space as well as development of recreation. So, I don’t think there is a problem with us using it for dual purpose.
President Rattner: Yes, I don’t think there’s a question, Mr. Ruggierio…
Mayor De La Roche: And….just let me finish, if I may. And also, it just seems like logic to me that we would finish up the requirements before we move onto other projects and I think that’s almost mandatory for us to do. So, that’s why I’m saying, you know, the ADA, the berms, the protection for the inner circle, all these things have to be done before we consider expansion.
President Rattner: That was exactly what was discussed….
Mr. Heymann: We’re endorsing that, Mayor.
Mr. Dorsey: But that’s part of the plan, isn’t it?
President Rattner: That was the plan, that was first.
Mr. Heymann: Right, our Committee endorses that you move forward, put that out for bid and go do that. I’m coming in, I’m piggybacking not too far behind, but I am asking after that gets done that you then do this. But I am asking…I think we agree jointly in our Committee meeting that we would do that and it needs to be done.
President Rattner: You explicitly stated that. Mr. Ruggierio.
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, I think that I was going to the same place, I wanted to make sure that there was a consensus that we should proceed with design with respect to that, what we might call, phase two and that whatever else might happen after that, by way of….
President Rattner: Well, we’re in agreement, we don’t have to keep repeating it. Thank you. Ms. Labow are you finished?
Ms. Labow: Yes, I’m finished.
President Rattner: Okay, then we have Mr. Elms hasn’t spoken yet, so I want to get at least his comments in before we forget.
Mr. Elms: Okay, I was at the Open Space Committee Meeting and it was unanimous that they did not want to use the money for that purpose. The tennis courts that are down in Flanders were designed and built to be tennis courts and I can’t believe that you could make a skate park out of that without some changes to what the existing design is and the fences, etc. I assume we don’t need ADA compliance to get to a skateboard park, because if they got there, I don’t know what they would do, but anyway. And if you are going to put the
Mr. Elms (cont’d): skateboard park in Flanders, you better plan on three of them: one for Flanders, one for Turkey Brook and one for somewhere in Budd Lake to make everybody feel happy about it. The center island up at Turkey Brook, if you put the facilities in there, there is going to be also an additional maintenance cost that we haven’t even talked about and the $250,000 that you are requesting, Mr. Rattner said we are going to be able to get $300,000 out of Charters Farm once it is our property and conveyed to us and we can sell it, that’s kind of a pig in the poke and if you make it - you make, if you don’t - you don’t. If you want to make that $300,000 coming from Charters Farm as a contingent to finish off what you are proposing, I would be in favor of that. But the people in the Open Space Committee have worked very hard for what they have done, they have been very instrumental in getting us a lot of open space, and they have a whole bunch of other open space projects on the books that they are afraid they won’t have the money, the seed money, that they need to acquire those if we start taking a quarter million dollars out of it here and there.
Mr. Heymann: I respect that, Mr. Elms, but I just want you to know that the members of the Turkey Brook Developmental Committee have also worked very hard and that we don’t necessarily have to agree with the Open Space Committee, who I believe is a Committee of three, to be quite candid with you, and I also think that the ordinance states two-fold: purchase and develop, and I think there has been a lot of purchasing going on and not a whole lot of developing going on. And somewhere scales need to be balanced, you won’t even come close to balancing them, just tip them a little bit, because right now here is how they sit ….. and this is where development is right down here …. and this is the purchase side. I just want it to come up just a tiny little bit, that’s all.
Mr. Elms: But I think, Ron, the other side of the coin is if you don’t purchase it and you lose it, you can’t get it back, but you can always add to the recreation facilities from it, if there is that kind of money available.
Mr. Heymann: You know, this project started in 1994 and I’m still standing here ten years later and we’re not done, so…
Mr. Elms: You should have gotten it done while you were on Council.
Mr. Heymann: I tried.
President Rattner: He spent enough money.
Mr. Heymann: I did, thank you.
Mr. Guenther: Well, I just want to make a comment about Mr. Rattner’s comments regarding the accumulation of Open Space monies. I commend the Open Space Committee for what they have done, it’s their purpose, but I think they have been very…they have had tunnel vision, that’s strictly preserving land, and I just don’t think that’s fair. Number two, what Mr. Rattner said is very true and I have seen this…there have been arguments where there have been people who have raised the issue at the County level to say well look, and I know working in real estate, there isn’t that much…there aren’t that many large tracts of open land available anymore around the County and they are accumulating all these funds and there is going to come a time five years down the road where somebody is going to say ‘well, wait a minute – there’s all this money being accumulated and it’s not all being spent because there is nothing to spend it on’. So, it’s a nice idea to have that we’ve got this tremendous fund to buy all this land, but there isn’t…aren’t that many projects in Mount Olive that require all this, you know, the kind of money that is going to be accumulated over a period of years and according to the figures that Mr. Rattner put out, there is money for everything, not just for the acquisition of the land, don’t forget it is seed money, there are other monies…we are not expected to fund the total acquisition of these lands, we get County money, we get State money, we get Federal funds, so I think there is still enough…there will be enough money in the fund. I think the development is a worthy aspect of this.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Guenther. I just want to follow-up, you know, one thing that Mr. Guenther said and that is true – about the Open Space Committee, tremendous Committee, but they do have a single focus, their focus is not recreation, so of course they are going to say this is what we want to do; and we want them to keep going and keep giving us their recommendations. Number two, Charters Farm – we own. What we are trying to do is get the letter saying no further action required, that’s why we passed that last resolution extending the contract to Suburban so we can put it up for auction and get the money back, so that is ours. We already put the money in, now we are trying to get it back by selling it deed restricted. And the last thing I want to say is that what we are doing here is that the residents of Mount Olive, just like a lot of other towns, I believe have gone to the polls seven times to tell…to state tax me for this dedicated tax for specific purposes. Mount Olive did it three times on their own and we were very specific and we had a number of people right by Mr. Heymann back in 1998 about, you know, we have to develop some of the things saying this is what we want to spend the money for, this is a dedicated tax, it’s being corrected, it’s not going to raise
President Rattner (cont’d): anybody’s taxes over what it is today. The other four happen to be the County taxes which we’ve gotten back a lot more than Mount Olive has sent to the County and even with that, there have been the referendums, weren’t just for the tax, was to modify it to allow construction and maintenance at the parks. And I believe two years ago, there was another referendum that asked to use a portion for historical preservation, so I think that the residents of Mount Olive and the County look at is the total picture, it’s not just one piece, as long as we are going with a dedicated tax, money that was specifically voted on by the taxpayers for a specific purpose, I think it is our responsibility to try to spend it conforming to the wishes of the residents. Listening to what the Administration has to say, with the Council comments and Mr. Heymann, we’re really not that far apart. The first stage, we are all in agreement, there are things that have to be finished, the berm, ADA, the paving, the safety of the inside lot, there I don’t think I heard anybody, and that’s the majority…that’s 400 or so thousand dollars that is existing in the existing bonding. What we are talking about is the other just 30%, which we all have different ideas, I think we can get an agreement on the basketball court and maybe the…some of the other things, the skateboard…something new which I don’t think anybody really, well one person has a problem or maybe two, so I think we should go forward. Obviously the pavilion we will look at, the pavilion was in the original plans, we pulled that out. Just the cost estimate, at the time, was in the vicinity of $700,000 – that’s why it was pulled out. Of course it would be good to do that, we know where construction costs are going, we’ve all read about the shortage of concrete, maybe now is not the time to try putting down large concrete slabs, but it will be the next thing that we will be looking at, shaded area, a place for picnics, a place where people can congregate is definitely very very good. But I think that we are very very close, I mean, we had a good conversation here, I don’t think we are…anybody is really arguing about it, we each have our own preferences and that’s what we’re talking about. And I think, sitting down, we could probably come up with something in the next couple of weeks, come up with step one, which I heard the Mayor say was very very important, step two, which is doing the enhancements to better utilize what we already have for a minimal cost, that’s where we start picking up a lot more usage for a minimal cost and then we can start looking at going forward, how would we fund the pavilion, do we want lights on there, I mean, we have had a lot of discussion about lights, we also have Mr. Lynch also talking about rotating fields and over use, you know, lights, you know, it may not be the panacea, but I think we should separate it like that and I think we should sit down and resolve that in the next two weeks or so that we can say how we’re going forward and that includes solving whatever it is with the contractor on his remediation he has to do and move from there.
Mr. Heymann: Mr. President, we’ll put together a meeting and get everybody involved because the skateboard park was something we did not discuss and we have to see where we can sit it and fit and do that and obviously I don’t think the pavilion is ready yet, and certainly not the one we were once envisioning because we don’t have $700,000, but we will look at all that stuff.
Mr. Buell: The pavilion I sat under on Saturday is a wooden structure, paving blocks, very nice, barbeque pits set up around it, it couldn’t cost $750,000.
President Rattner: No, but we just have to look at it. Let’s just do what we think is doable today with, you know, some existing funds, I think we can come to an agreement on it, so it would be nice to have something that we can at least come to some sort of agreement that we could go forward and have something maybe by September or October.
Mr. Heymann: I want to thank everybody for your time and we will see you.
President Rattner: Now It’s 8:37, we’ve come to the first public portion of the meeting. This is the time when anybody who doesn’t want to stay to the end, if they have something they would like to address to the Council, now is the time to do it. Yes sir.
Nelson Russell, Budd Lake: While we are on the topic of recreation, the recent change in ownership of the Boat House Restaurant, Mr. Hashemi has put a horse across the boat launch and it says private property on it, so he is restricting the launch of boats from that property. Do we have a facility on Budd Lake, a Municipal facility, from which one can launch watercraft?
Ms. Labow: Yes, well…not pub….there is another gentlemen a little further down from there that’s launching…
President Rattner: I think if somebody has a canoe, we have a place, but there are two other places, I believe. The Pavilion has a launching area and Doc’s over here next to the Municipal Building.
Mr. Dorsey: Both private.
Mr. Russell: Oh, both private, there is no public facility for boat launching.
President Rattner: We never had. We have a place, I think we made it so that if somebody has like a kayack or a canoe, they can lift it in, but no motorized boats or anything like that, there is no trailer launch area.
Mr. Russell: No trailer launch area in town?
President Rattner: Not a Township owned one, I believe Doc’s, I know a few years ago I think they charged $7.00 to launch or something and that was so they could maintain their…well, if you can call it maintaining…I don’t know what the Pavilion charges.
Mr. Russell: Thank you. Questions on the bill list, is this the appropriate time?
President Rattner: Yes, because we are going to be discussing that next.
Mr. Russell: On page 7 of the bill list, third from the bottom I see a $104.88 January and February fax used for…. and the rest of the description is gone. Which fax is this and why are we paying $104 for two months worth of fax use? It seems high.
President Rattner: That, I believe, is the fax for the…the Police fax machine for the sex offenders – that’s their private fax. Am I right?
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, you’re right.
President Rattner: How come you have the basket and I know the answer?
Mr. Buell: I’ve been asking that question for months and I didn’t get that.
President Rattner: Well, did you ask me? No, this one I don’t know…you ask some other ones…it wasn’t a big bill list this time, so I remembered that one.
Ms. Jenkins: I actually, I was going to just write down the notes and answer them later, so…
Mr. Russell: Okay, this is in general operating funds, is that….
President Rattner: It’s part of the Police operating expense, yes.
Mr. Russell: Okay, on page 11, First Vehicle Services $28,246.98 for contract repairs – on vehicles – for March.
President Rattner: You can answer that one, Ms. Jenkins.
Ms. Jenkins: We have a contract with First Vehicle Services, we pay them one-twelfth of the contract amount, okay. It was approved, I believe it was in December of last year, we renewed it.
Mr. Russell: And it’s $28,000 a month?
Ms. Jenkins: Actually, that’s…a portion comes out of the current budget and we also take a portion out of the Water and the Sewer budget, so the total bill is about, I think it’s about $35,000 a month.
Mr. Russell: For vehicle repairs?
President Rattner: Well, it’s preventative maintenance…we basically out-source all the maintenance repairs and upkeep of all our vehicles and equipment.
Mr. Buell: While we’re there, I’ve got two questions on that same bill, should I ask them now or…
President Rattner: Well, if the question about…no this is the public portion, why don’t we wait.
Mr. Russell: On page 12, the $675.00 to Michael Carroll, Esq., attorney retainer fee for….there is no more description available.
Mr. Ruggierio: He’s the Zoning Board attorney.
President Rattner: That’s for attending meetings.
Mr. Russell: Zoning Board…and at the bottom of the page I see $40,000 Library contribution.
Ms. Jenkins: We give the Library an annual appropriation and we pay them a certain amount per month. Basically, Rita requests a specific amount, she gives us an invoice, and then we make that payment to the Library.
Mr. Russell: So, we’re giving $20,000 a month to the Library?
Ms. Jenkins: It varies; I believe, Rita, it’s normally like $20,000 to $40,000, right – is normally the number.
Rita Hilbert: (inaudible from the audience)
Mr. Russell: I see another bill on page 17, another $8,000 to First Vehicle Services. Is that just because it’s coming out of the Sanitation budget?
Ms. Jenkins: Again, that’s what I talked about before, yes. We have a number of bills that come out of different budgets, like First Vehicle or our insurance bills, those sort of things.
President Rattner: Mr. Russell, what that is, is we get bill for all our vehicles, but you know we have a Sewer and Water Utility, so the vehicles that are serviced…we set up a percentage, I believe at the beginning. So, that I believe the page you are referencing is probably Water & Sewer….oh, Santitation…but that’s what they’re doing.
Mr. Russell: So, they’re paid separately. Okay, thank you.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the public?
Daniel Amianda, 10 Camp Pulaski Road, Budd Lake: I speak as a Board Member and also on behalf of Flanders Child Care and Learning Center and my purpose of coming to the meeting tonight was to talk to you about the future needs of the Flanders Child Care and Learning Center. The Child Care needs space and I came to ask the Council to consider housing it in the future. This is what happened: yesterday the Board passed a resolution not to renew the lease of Flanders Child Care and Learning Center and the other two tenants. The reason was that because of the liability of the building, the present building has a lot of problems and it needs….parking lot repair is needed, entrance step repair is needed, additional electricity is needed, heating system, mice and vermin, according to the tenants. Now, because the Board is acting as a landlord, if any of these things went wrong, the landlord is liable and, therefore, the Board decided to go ahead with the action that we took yesterday. Now, it is…Flanders Child Care is part of the community and it is the responsibility of this Council to consider to help it. There is a problem in that it is not easy to find space, land or building in town for that school. And, so, my thinking…when I went home after the meeting, I was thinking that the town…the Council should start looking in house and how they can help the Child Care. One area where I though was the old Library building after we move to the new one, that the Council should revisit the plans that the previous administration and this administration had to house youth council there. But, from looking around, I think we should consider the priority for the children and it is centrally located next to the Middle School and the daycare will benefit a lot by being associated by the Middle School. We have even teachers there who have children, babies whom they leave home, they could still probably bring the children – drop them there and go to the classrooms. And so, what this Council should do…you have to revisit the plans that you have for that school, because, as I said, the daycare is a priority and you can decide two things: give it free or sell it to Flanders Child Care and Learning Center for one dollar. It is a non-profit organization and it is part of us and so, that was the most important thing that I thought we should look at it. I think you are going to hearing a report about a people, liaisons, who came to meetings, but I think that we should set discussing about the future of the present Library. According to the Board notices, they are going to say that they are going to be given one year’s notice so that by, let’s say next May, if the notices go out today, then they will be out and we can’t do without space, we can’t do without child care, and so that’s why I think it is very important and I am sure the public, you know, the residents are going to be really receptive if you are going to put a child care there, rather than a youth center. You have…first of all, Mount Olive is not a city yet and, therefore, you don’t have too many people hanging out around the corners, like in the city. And, of course, when you put the…make it as a youth center, you are going to start having kids from the neighboring towns hanging around there and it is going to be an extra cost to the town; and so, that is why I would like the present Library utilized when we move to the new Library. Thank you.
Mr. Elms: Dan, the Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center, is that what you are talking about?
Mr. Amianda: Yes.
Mr. Elms: They occupy the church and they occupy, I think, two floors in that old Flanders School. The Library is not sufficient of size to house all of those…
Mr. Amianda: I…it’s not…there are three entities in that building, we are Child Care, we are Montessori, what is the other one?
President Rattner: ARC is in the basement.
Mr. Amianda: ARC, right. So, we have three schools in that building. I think we can try to fit the daycare in the present Library. There is enough space in the present building there to accommodate them and we have enough land around it…if we sold it to them they can consider if they want to expand it or not. Is there any more question about this?
Ms. Labow: Why did the…I know when the Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center wanted to purchase the old Flanders building and the Board turned them down, why wouldn’t you just want to sell them the building for a dollar?
Mr. Amianda: Well, the Board decided yesterday that they were not in a position to sell the building and that has been actually the catch. We would have like to sell it, but the…with…some Board members want to keep it for future, because of the growing population of students in the district, they would like to see probably, in the near future, put there some structure to accommodate growing population of elementary school’s children in the district.
Ms. Labow: I could be wrong, but the information that I was given, that the Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center is a not-for-profit and, therefore, and Steve can correct me if I’m wrong, that they are…they could get special funding from the State, because they are not profit, for bringing that building up to code, something that the School Board is not able to do because of their status.
Mr. Amianda: That is true…
Ms. Labow: Is that right?
President Rattner: No, actually that type of thing both qualify under the School Construction Act.
Ms. Labow: Okay. So, what are you going to do with the building, just let it sit there until a use comes available?
Mr. Amianda: No, the next step for the Board is to sit down and discuss what to do with the building. I think they’re going to raze it because I just…I say…those violations that I mentioned, we are put…we are brought there…real estate…with us and the cost comes over to three million something to bring it up to the standards of what the building should be and so, the next…the future I see…mostly it will go to us razing it down and putting another kind of structure there to accommodate our kids in the district.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you.
Mr. Guenther: Okay, I was a little bit confused because you originally said you wanted it converted for new instruction, but the indication I’d always had last year in private talks with Board Members is that there was no way they were going to go through the expense of refurbishing it and now you are saying you are considering the possibility of razing and building it again; that’s a radical change of policy. What I had heard is that they were considering donating it to the town because you had no use for that property, that you weren’t going to use it. So, I’m a little bit confused to what’s going on at the Board of Education, quite frankly.
Mr. Amianda: That was one of the options, to sell it to the town and the option was not supported. But, as of now, the Board Members would like to hold on to the land as long as possible until they come up with a viable project.
Mr. Buell: Bernie, I was there last night. Basically one of the options would be to raze the building and then bring back in the temporary trailers if they ever had to go in that direction.
President Rattner: And, in fact, the original resolution said that they were going to terminate the leases and then within a year raze…they took the words out of razing…but, you know, it’s five years later and they still haven’t come to a consensus. Just so everybody is well aware, I am a Trustee of the Mount Olive Child Care Center so any discussions, or anything else…I cannot and will not participate in. However, the issue has been about what to do with it, they’ve talked about it and hunted for the past five years, this is the first time they President Rattner (cont’d): actually took official action. They’ve taken probably a half a dozen votes in the last three years, they don’t know what they’re going to do. Their original resolution did say they were going to tear it down, and there are all kinds of different ideas, one Board Member actually said they just wanted to hold it as a land speculation because as land went up in price, they could use it when they had to build another…you know, build maybe some place else. So, they’re really not sure, they are not closing the door on anything at this time. I did speak on behalf of the Center last night and related that and they agreed with that part. This is just the first process that they put down on paper. Thank you, Daniel. Miffy, you wanted to say something?
Miffy Ruggiero: I didn’t know Daniel was going to be here and I believe Daniel was speaking as a community member, not a Board Member, because the Board…that was not a Board discussion, the discussion was what you said last night, Steve, which was we needed to get something on the books and what we know is that we need to let the tenants go. And we thought giving them a little over a year notice would be fair and, obviously, the discussion last night, similar to some discussions here, it was very active and varied in what people wanted to do with the property, with the building. So, nothing was discussed except to say the tenants were asked to leave within the year…by the end of next year…which is June of 2005. So, they have the year and then that was the first move we made, as Mr. Rattner said, in about five or six years. We did look at four different options, razing was one of them, that was removed from the written word last night, so it’s basically that the tenants will be asked to leave…all three tenants – ARC, Mount Olive Child Development Center and Montessori.
President Rattner: You just picked the wrong option, that’s all.
Ms. Ruggiero: We just picked the option, you didn’t agree with it, I know.
Mr. Amianda: Just a correction…I was speaking as a Committee Member because I’m speaking about on behalf of the Flanders Child Care and Learning Center. I want the town to provide…to help the Center find space…a building or a space, to keep on taking care of our kids in town.
President Rattner: Thank you very much, Daniel, that came across. Anybody else?
Ned McDonald, Budd Lake: It is almost June, where are we standing with the Buget?
President Rattner: Next week, first Workshop, we’ll be discussing the revenue. You know that there was a proposal for an accelerated tax sale and related things that would go with that. I believe that’s the last component we have to put together the Budget. I know the Administration is concerned about an application we made for discretionary aid, which I don’t think we can wait any longer on, but that was scheduled for last week, it was delayed because of a participant not being able to attend, because we wanted some time to evaluate it and we will be discussing it and deciding where we’re going next Tuesday.
Mr. McDonald: Okay, so there has been no real discussions on the Budget up to this time?
President Rattner: Yes, there has been discussions, we have a sub-committee of the Administration and the Council, which I was a member. We’ve gone through probably 75 - 80% of different expenses and I think we’ve come to a consensus, it’s just not ready for publication yet. The revenue side obviously is still open because we are very very concerned about the tax rate itself, and with this accelerated tax sale evaluating not just what it means this year, but what it means going into the future. So, that will be on the agenda for next Tuesday.
Mr. McDonald: Okay. A little bit about Mr. Heymann’s presentation, I have just been made aware that we have tennis courts that are in disrepair, yet we are thinking about building other tennis courts and tearing down the tennis courts we have. I don’t think that’s really a wise plan of attack. If we have tennis courts that are in disrepair, I think we should repair them if there is a need for them.
President Rattner: Thank you. I think we agree.
Mr. McDonald: Open Space – I kind of disagree with Bernie that there isn’t any open space…we’re going to have more money than open space…I don’t know that that will be true. I think we should keep looking for open space, I think there is still some large areas in town that may be possible; for instance, the tract that they’re Mr. McDonald (cont’d): looking to put the senior housing on – that’s a potential piece of land that conceivably could become open space. I mean, it happened to Crown Tower and everybody said “no that will never happen,” so I think we shouldn’t just shut the door and say that “no, nothing else will ever be available.” Bernie, you have something to say?
Mr. Guenther: I didn’t say that, I didn’t say that nothing else would be available. I’m just saying at the rate that it’s being accumulated, and this is happening at the County level, there is more…I’m not saying it’s happening now, but in a few years, more money will be accumulated than land will be available, and that’s a fact, you can check.
Mr. McDonald: Then I guess, that just makes it all the more important that we go out now and look for pieces of land to use this money on.
Mr. Guenther: Well, what do you mean, if there is no land to acquire…
President Rattner: Okay…Mr. Guenther, I think one of the things is a misconception that the idea of the Open Space and Open Space Tax is just strictly to stop all development, that wasn’t it. In fact, originally the Open Space was to protect the environmentally sensitive land, direct the development to where it is appropriate on places where there is proper drainage, you know, we wanted to protect the water supply, ridges, critical slopes. It was never intended….it turned into “let’s see who can beat the bushes first – let’s beat the developers to the good land” and that, I think, is what we’re talking about. Not every piece of land has to be developed, I mean we have a master plan which, you know, we are still in discussions with, we heard some property owners last week. The master plan looks at…we know we need a mix, we need a certain amount of commercial, we need a certain amount of residential, retail, and such; and what the master plan tries doing is saying where is development appropriate, where is it not appropriate? And really, that is what we are using as a guide. What I think what we did last week is seeing we know that certain piece of property will be developed, what is appropriate. With new regulations, it can’t be any…it’s going to be very hard for any intensive development, but it is not to shut it all out and yes, I mean, there are people who say that maybe we should just buy that because that’s an important piece of property. But you heard the discussions we had about the land in back of BASF, there are major financial implications more than just buying the property, so we are looking at all of that. There is money there, what’s happening is the big tracts, the 600 acres, there aren’t many of those that are buildable, because the developers would have had them. We know we only have two or three farms left in Mount Olive, those are the only ones. One of them has already been saved, the Hildebrandt farm across from Johnson is in farmland preservation. The County has been attempting for at least the last five years, for Mr. Perkoski’s farm, they have been trying to get him into farmland preservation, but it has to do with price, but they keep coming back and they keep offering to have him come back in and talk to him. And then we have Stephens and I guess Ashley, which is not, you know, all there; other than that, we really don’t have any big farms, so that’s what I think Mr. Guenther was really talking about.
Mr. McDonald: Yes, but again, if it is a matter of price, what we are saying is we have more money than land right now, so maybe, you know, we should consider…if price is a problem but we seem to have the money, I think maybe we should take a more active approach in paying the higher price when it is potentially available.
President Rattner: Up to reason, yes. Those are the things that are being evaluated, no decisions are being made, that’s what the master plans are about. Mr. Elms, you wanted to say something on that.
Mr. Elms: Yes, the spending of the Open Space money for open space gives you a one to five or one to seven pay-back. For every dollar you invest of our Open Space money, we end up with a purchasing power of seven…like we did at Crown Tower…it cost us a million dollars, but the price was seven something. So, that is what the Open Space people felt was an important factor in saying “we know there is property available that we should be trying to preserve and we want to make sure we have enough money in the kitty at the time so that we can have that seed money.”
Mr. McDonald: Right, and I agree and I think that’s where we should be very careful on spending the Open Space money for infrastructure and development, I mean, I think some of it should done, but I don’t think we should be spending an extraordinary amount.
Mr. Elms: Well, when you spend it for infrastructure, if you spend it for a ballfield, it’s spent and you don’t get the payback that you do when you purchase…
President Rattner: Okay, I want to make sure…we’ve already had a discussion, this is the optional public portion, it wasn’t supposed to be, you know…is there any other discussion?
Mr. McDonald: Yes, one last comment…the pavilion…if we are going to spend money on Turkey Brook, I think the pavilion is something…when Turkey Brook was first proposed, I think the residents saw a lot of presentations and pictures and the pavilion was in a lot of those pictures and then it was something that helped to get the residents to approve Turkey Brook, not only the pavilion obviously, but it was a large part. And it is almost like a bait and switch, all of a sudden, the pavilion disappeared. I understand that you are trying to save Mr. McDonald (cont’d): money, but now, if we are going to spend Open Space money, I think the pavilion should be up towards the top of the list. Thank you.
President Rattner: Okay, thank you, anybody else like to address the Council?
Valerie Guenther Lahocky: I am a former resident of Mount Olive, I’m Bernie Guenther’s daughter. I hope I don’t embarrass him, I’m not here to do that, but I did want to make one quick comment.
President Rattner: Embarrass him if you like.
Mr. Perkins: He is turning red.
President Rattner: That’s from being proud.
Mrs. Lahocky: I heard the gentleman mention that because this is not a large city, that a youth center would…is not really needed and, having grown up here and spent my teen years, I can tell you that there is not that much to do in Mount Olive Township, especially when you are a teenager, don’t have a driver’s license and even if you did have a driver’s license, there is just isn’t that much to do. So, hearing about a youth center, I thought that sounded fabulous. Obviously, programming and everything else is fundamental to its success, but to say that it’s not necessary, I think is unfair to the way that life is out in a pretty rural area that this is. Thanks.
President Rattner: You made your father proud. Anybody else? I’ll close the public portion. We have no minutes to approve. We have 35 items of correspondence, would anybody like to comment on any of the correspondence?
Mr. Guenther: What about questions on the bill list?
Questions on the bill list?
President Rattner: I’m sorry. Questions on the bill list?
Mr. Buell: Just two questions. One, as I said earlier, was on the First Vehicle Services page 7. I noticed there they have…we are paying for management training seminar, and we are also paying for telephone local expenses and a variety of other things that have nothing to do with, I don’t think, with vehicle maintenance. The maintenance training is only $84.00, but these are their employees and we are responsible for training them? And also, the local telephone, obviously, you know, that could be, you know, I just question it. There were some other…these other questions, could you…real questions…could you look more closely at that, as I said, at that particular bill? The other question I have is on page 12 and it’s the temporary employee, I think is working in Administration. I noticed that she…that they had a temporary employee in Administration probably for the last two or three weeks, or the last two months. I’m just thinking is this…do you need that employee in that particular department? If you do, I wish you would request…this is a very expensive way of replacing a part-time position at $16.70 and hour.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Buell.
Ms. Labow: This is probably a really simple question, I just wanted to bring it up because I really wasn’t sure, I’m not sure what page on the bill list, because I went through the vouchers but… For the April traffic lighting, it was only $259.44 but on the attached paperwork, you know, it says, you know, at different traffic lights on some of the State-owned roads, I believe, he wanted to know, we pay for that…or does the…why do we pay and not the State, if the State-owned roads…is there some kind of agreement, do we pay part/they pay part? That was my question on that. Sherry probably already knows the answer to that one.
Ms. Jenkins: No, I don’t know.
Ms. Labow: No? Oh, I thought you would know that one right off the bat; I just was curious how that works, maybe Steve knows. The other question I had for Recreation, I believe, there was $2,066 in T-shirts ordered, is that for the lifeguards? Because it didn’t really…it just gave…
President Rattner: Well, just ask the question now and remember we are giving the Administration time to the end of the meeting to look through the vouchers.
Mr. Elms: I think it’s for trailblazers.
Ms. Labow: No it’s not. The other question I had was, I wanted to know on two of the vouchers, and this question is for Mr. Ruggierio, I saw that you had written notes, like for instance, one for the Library bill, you wrote Rita a note, now would Rita see this note before the meeting?
Mr. Ruggierio: Well on that particular bill I always call Rita and yes, typically we send copies of those notes to the effected person. See, these bills come to me from the Payables Clerk and when they go back to her, then those …most of the time, people are then apprised that they have to go get the answers to my questions. Sometimes, when it is just a question and it seems obvious that the bill should be paid, I will endorse the bill, but also put the questions there so those questions will be passed along. But in the case of the bill that you are talking about, I actually call Rita and speak to her about it because I know that the Library bills are often controversial.
Ms. Labow: Yes, because I was just wondering, because I saw these notes that you wrote on the bills and I was just wondering do they get back to the people so they….
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, a lot of times you don’t see them because I write them on post-it notes, but sometimes I write them right on the bill.
Ms. Labow: Okay, now are these legal documents?
President Rattner: Ms. Labow, I just want to…Ms. Labow, just remember that before we pay any bill on the Library, we’re talking about construction, they will give us a report, so if you have a specific…
Ms. Labow: No, that wasn’t my question, I just wanted to know when he writes notes on the voucher…I know that part.
President Rattner: Okay, but you’ll have a chance, also, to make sure that they did get it.
Ms. Labow: The other question I had was I wanted to know…this might be a silly question, I don’t know if this is the time to bring it up. I saw we had a voucher for $2.84, we also get a lot of vouchers for 4 – $5.00 for film developing, does it cost more to generate this than to pay the $2.84, like can we work out some kind of an account thing, I mean, I don’t…
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, it probably costs more to generate that in terms of the paperwork, but we, you know, we then have a paper trail and we have legal requirements, we have audit trails that we need to establish, so the balance, I don’t know that you would want to do it any other way.
Ms. Labow: Okay, the other question I had, I noticed Sherry, a lot of times every month there is…for A&P film developing $4.99 every single month, every bill list we have it. Is there some way to set up, you know, gift cards or something like that where you have one of those little cards? Steve’s over there growling…
Ms. Jenkins: We have a Petty Cash fund.
Ms. Labow: You know, the little gift card – you put money down and then you could just use that and then you hand in the receipts.
President Rattner: I know what you’re talking about.
Ms. Jenkins: We have a Petty Cash fund that was actually a $100 when I got here and we upped it not long after that because we were replenishing it forever. It’s up to $300 now, that’s in my office, and we do try to, you know, eliminate having small purchase orders and just encourage people to use Petty Cash. The things that you’re referring to, we actually have blankets set up for and I believe you’re speaking about expenses with Tax assessments, so I can talk to Jack and see if, you know, we can do it a different way.
Ms. Labow: Yes, because I’m thinking $5.00 – there was like two or three of them for $5.00. He’s interrupting me, Steve…
President Rattner: Okay, well I’m sure we can set up agreements with the different supermarkets, because I know, again from the Child Care Center, we have agreements with Shop Rite, A&P and Weiss where we just have a billing account, if we just want a limit to that, and I think that’s a good point. I know, twenty years ago when we, a company I was with, we evaluated how much it cost to process a voucher and it was around $23 $24.00 when you put everything through. So, what you want to do is either accumulate the expenses and, you know, put them in through Petty Cash or you would set up an account, because it doesn’t make sense to spend $25.00 for a $5.00 expense, so I think that’s a good idea, and we always go to the same place for the photography.
Ms. Labow: Another question I had on the bill list was for the Lampost Electric, there was $3,262.54 for running some kind of cable and ground rods and clamps; I just want to know where was this work done?
Mr. Ruggierio: You could pass me all of those since you are not referring to the bill list, I could…could I have those other two, Colleen?
President Rattner: I would ask…just take the questions and then when we come to the bill list, just give us all the answers at once.
Mr. Ruggierio: She isn’t referring to the bill list, she’s got vouchers…she’s got copies…no I know…did you want me to have to find them on the bill list, she’s got copies of vouchers right here, I could review them, that’s what I’m saying.
Ms. Jenkins: It’s just that it’s hard to find.
Ms. Labow: Yes, just take the question…well, it is on the bill list, I just didn’t tell you the page.
President Rattner: No, I’m just saying you don’t have to answer it now, answer it later, so we don’t….
Ms. Labow: Yes, I figured that was easier to do. The last question I have and this is really a silly question, on one of the bills, what is a subgun?
Chief Katona: A subgun is a reference to a sub-machine gun, it’s used in the Police Department and we send people to training.
Ms. Labow: Yes, that’s what I was…so we really do have those?...Do we ever use them?...do we ever have to use them or is that just precautionary, is it….
Chief Katona: We’ve never shot them in anger, but we do have them and we have used them in actual tactical situations, yes
Mr. Buell: If this keeps up, he might use them at the Council Meetings.
Ms. Labow: Thanks, Ed.
President Rattner: Thank you very much, Ed. Does anybody else have any questions on the bill list?
Mr. Guenther: No, it’s just on the Manpower bill, the question…I had the same question that Jim Buell had, but, what I don’t understand on those bills, they’re dated 1/8/04 and there’s three bills 1/8/04 and the same thing occurs on the Mount Olive Public Library the April/May contributions are dated 1/20/04. What is the….
Ms. Jenkins: 1/8/04 is the date that we opened up a blanket purchase order, okay. That’s the date we actually opened up a blanket.
Mr. Guenther: Well, what period of time does it cover? How do we know what period of time it covers? That should be in the statement.
Ms. Jenkins: Well, it’s actually on here… we only have so many characters that we can put, that are going to show up on the bill list, so if, you know, you want me…I’ll have my Accounts Payable person put on the time period so that you can actually see it on the bill list.
Mr. Buell: It’s on the invoice…
Ms. Jenkins: I know, that’s what I’m saying, it’s on the invoice, but you’re not going to see it on the bill list. We only have so many fields that are available.
Mr. Guenther: Well, okay then my question is for how long…is it true that Jim Buell said that she’s been on for two months?
Mr. Buell: Well, these three bills that we’re on, this one, were for weeks ending 3/14, 3/21 and 3/28, but they’ve been on previously and I’ve been watch…it’s been about two months.
President Rattner: This area was supposed to be for just questions so we could move the meeting along…and give them time to answer any questions, specific questions. If we wanted something…that was bothering us enough to take it off the bill list, not to just start learning stuff.
Mr. Guenther: But I would like this question answered.
President Rattner: Okay, I have one and this one, I know that the big dollars and it is a situation, that the Clerk was tracking for about the last three or four days, the Business Administrator talked to me tonight before the meeting and the Fire Chief also who is here tonight. If you look on page six, we have a Seagrave Fire Apparatus that is for a support vehicle that was in our capital budget last year, that the vehicle was purchased and custom built, as required, by the lowest bidder. They are ready to pick it up, what hasn’t arrived yet is the signed voucher from the manufacturer. They were hoping to have it yesterday, they found out that it was actually manufactured in Canada, it was a holiday so it wasn’t Fed Ex’d, they thought they would have it for tonight’s meeting. I’m going to ask that we approve that one, when it comes to it, subject to getting the certification that we get as regular procedure. Everything else is in the package, the Chief has signed all the papers they have to, this is just the formality of getting all the documents in place. The check will not be released until that’s in. This way, they expect to go up and pick up the truck on Friday. I just wanted to make you aware, that was brought to our attention before the meeting, or at least my attention. If nobody has any problems, you know, any questions that were there, just have those answered at the end of the meeting.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENCE
1. E-mail received April 23, 2004 from Jane Dann regarding lighting at Flanders Park.
2. E-mail received April 23, 2004, from Rich and Helen Tavalare regarding lighting at Flanders Park.
3. E-mail received April 23, 2004, from Chupis regarding lighting at Flanders Park.
4. Letter received May 11, 2004, from the Mount Olive Township Historical Society regarding the relocation of the Veteran’s War Memorial Monument to a new location.
5. E-mail received May 11, 2004, from Robin Chu, Crenshaw Drive regarding lighting at Flanders Park.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER MUNICIPALITIES
6. Resolution received May 11, 2004, from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding legislation to be introduced transferring the employer share of the PFRS and PERS pension retirement System costs to the State government so that it is consistent with the Educational System Pension Program.
7. Notice of Public Hearing received May 11, 2004, from the Planning Board of the Township of Chester regarding Site Plan Approval for the Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association.
8. Resolution received May 11, 2004, from Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding legislation to be introduced and adopted at the State Level changing the date of all Primary Elections in New Jersey and all Fire District Commission Boards and Budget Elections to the Third Tuesday after the first Monday in April to coincide with the School Budget and Board of Education.
9. Resolution received May 11, 2004, from the Borough of Netcong regarding Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act.
10. Resolution received May 18, 2004, from the Township of Hanover regarding request to introduce and sponsor Two Measures: 1. Establishment of one uniform and consistent Election date; and 2. Transfer of Local Government Share of PFRS and PERS Pension Retirement System Costs to the State of New Jersey.
11. Ordinance received May 19, 2004, from Washing Township regarding Land Use.
12. Minutes received May 17, 2004, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding the meeting of April 7th.
13. Report received May 18, 2004, from Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding Examination of Financial Statements – Year Ended December 31, 2003.
14. Newsletter received May 10, 2004, from Council on Affordable Housing regarding Welcoming New Member, Approval of RCA’s, Announcement of Substantive Certifications and Speaking Engagements.
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
15. Letter received May 17, 2004, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding a League Seminar on Transfer of Development Rights.
16. Letter received May 19, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Domestic Partnership Act – Pension and Health Benefits Implications.
COUNTY OF MORRIS
17. E-mail received May 12, 2004, from Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding MCCC – Young Professionals Happy Hour Event.
18. Letter received May 19, 2004, from Morris County Improvement Authority regarding Capital Equipment Leasing program.
19. E-mail received May 19, 2004, from Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding State Planning in the State of Change.
20. Letter received May 10, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Final Solid Waste Facility Permit Renewal with Modification for Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority Block 4500, Lot 5 (129 Flanders-Netcong Road).
21. Letter received May 11, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Water use Registration – New Program Interest ID: 11214W Activity No. WUR030001. (Turkey Brook Park)
22. Letter of Interpretation received May 12, 2004, from Glasson Environmental Services regarding Applicant: White Gate Homes, LLC, Property Located at Waterloo Road / Lot 29, Block 2801.
23. Letter received May 12, 2004, from the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Regarding Former Shell Service Station, 118 Route 46 & Woodland Avenue, Budd Lake, NJ Block 3109, Lot 8.
24. Letter received May 17, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Sewer Service Area Expansion / Mount olive Township Library. (Block 7900, Lot 3)
25. Fax received May 18, 2004, from Epstein, Fitzsimmons, Brown, Gooier, Jacobs & Sprouts P.C. regarding Block 4500, Lot 36 (104-106 Route 206 and 3 Eden Lane) and the fact that it is included in the “Core” area on the map which is being generated by the Highlands and it’s effects.
26. Letter received May 19, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding 2nd Notice of Violation Block 5800, Lot 17 (19 West Grover Street).
27. Notice received May 12, 2004, from the Board of Public Utilities regarding six clean energy Council hearings and meetings.
28. Application received May 10, 2004, from Main Street New Jersey regarding FREE Workshop.
29. Newsletter received May 10, 21004, from Farm Service Agency regarding New Farm Business Plan, MILC Rates, Loans for Socially Disadvantaged Persons, Request for Referendum and dates to remember.
30. Letter received May 13, 2004, from United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development regarding Federal Programs available to residents.
31. Notice received May 13, 2004, from Housing Partnership for Morris County regarding “Making Dreams Grow” Breakfast Meeting.
32. Newsletter received May 14, 2004, from Rutgers regarding “Conspectus – Newsletter of the Center for Government Services).
LETTER FROM LEGISLATORS
33. E-mail received May 4, 2004, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding a Newsletter Special on NJ Seniors Can Begin to Sign up for Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card.
34. Letter received May 14, 2004, from Assemblyman Gregg regarding a Press Conference on the Highlands Legislation.
35. Letter received May 19, 2004, from Commissioner Lettiere regarding the Municipal Aid Program as well as the Local Bikeway and the Safe Streets to Schools Program.
President Rattner: We have 35 items of correspondence, anybody want to comment on any of those 35 items?
Mr. Buell: Number, I think it’s number 35, the Municipal Aid Program, Local Bikeway and Safe Streets to Schools Programs. They evidently have $130 million or so available, half of it to municipalities, half of it to counties. We have, I think, an area or bikeway that would apply…would be applicable to this and really would go from Roxbury, Pleasant Hill Road through Flanders Park to Alyson Road to Bartley Road and out Bartley Road to the Freedom Park and, ultimately, through Washington Township hooks into the Patriot’s Path and I, you know, I would do a lot of good things that I would like to suggest that we supply…or at least apply for a grant for that particular bikeway. A lot of bikes use that area. I’ll send you exactly what I’m talking about.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Buell. Anybody else on correspondence? Seeing none, we’ll move right along to ordinances for public hearing. I 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.
Mr. Russell: To reiterate my comments at the first reading on the word tenant – it’s not qualified by non-residential tenant, I believe it should be.
President Rattner: Has that been changed…remember that came up at the last…the first reading, about the…
Mr. Ruggierio: I can comment on that, Mr. Rattner. I communicated, after Mr. Russell made his comments at that meeting, I communicated with our Planning Board Attorney and suggested that maybe that was a legitimate concern and he could make the recommendation to change it in the report to the Planning Board, which he did, as you can see from that report. And I think that this will allow us to amend the Ordinance to incorporate that and not have to send it back to the Planning Board. That’s why I did that.
President Rattner: So, you’re saying it’s the Ordinance that we have in our package is not correct?
Mr. Ruggierio: No, the Ordinance that you have is the one that was sent to the Planning Board and it would have to be, if you believe that Mr. Russell’s comments are well taken, and I think they are, then you would have to amend the Ordinance tonight to make it clear that it does not apply to residential tenancies…changes in use in residential tenancies…then you would be amending the Ordinance consistent with the report back from the Planning Board.
Mr. Dorsey: Is that to remove the phrase residential $25.00 is that what you’re saying.
President Rattner: No.
Mr. Dorsey: Where are we? Here’s the Ordinance, what is he taking out?
President Rattner: Is that for the occupancy you wouldn’t have a change.
Mr. Dorsey: This is residential, $25.00?
President Rattner: No, I think it’s under definitions where we needed.
Mr. Russell: It’s the term non-residential.
Mr. Dorsey: You mean under terms to define selling permit, is that what you’re looking at?
Mr. Russell: Yes, it’s on the third line, last word.
President Rattner: Right here. Where you just have to add that one word – business tenant or commercial tenant.
Mr. Dorsey: Alright, well is everybody in agreement with that change?
President Rattner: I don’t think we have that, because we all had the same question, we thought that it wouldn’t cover residential, but if it makes it a little bit clearer, I think the extra word makes sense.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, it looks to me if it is consistent with the substance already there, so if you want to make it, you can move to amend the Ordinance, inserting the word business before tenant in Section 400-6.
President Rattner: Okay, well, we haven’t even moved it yet. Okay, we’ll put that in after we move it, we’ll make that modification. Anybody else? I would like to close the public hearing and ask Mr. Buell to move the Ordinance.
Mr. Dorsey: Why doesn’t he move the Ordinance with the amendment to include the term business before tenant.
President Rattner: You think that’s the way to go?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes.
Mr. Buell: What is the amendment?
Mr. Dorsey: You have to go down to the last paragraph on the first page and then go to the third line where at the end it says change in business entity and/or and this is consistent, I think, with the thought, insert the word business before tenant, so, there is no chance anyone would interpret it to mean residential tenant. Move for the adoption of the Ordinance with the amendment and state it.
Mr. Buell: I move for the adoption and final passage of Ordinance #12-2004 with the modifications as discussed.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Any other discussion?
Mr. Elms: I would like somebody to read, please, what it’s now going to read.
President Rattner: Okay, I’ll read that sentence: On the Zoning Permit, under 400-6: A document signed by the Director of Planning, Zoning and Code Enforcement or such designee, which is required as a condition prior to the commencement or change of use, including the change in business entity and/or business tenant. By structure it was in there, but this is just adding that word business. So everybody is aware that’s what the amendment is.
Mr. Elms: So why, on the next page, do we have residential $25.00?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, that’s a different fee there…that’s for variances and other appeal hearings by the Board.
President Rattner: That’s a different section. It’s just saying all variances and other appeals. Okay, any other discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Except Mr. Elms and Mr. Perkins – No
President Rattner: Ordinance #12-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. Now I will open up the hearing 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: Anybody from the public?
Mr. Russell: When I read this, I think back to Crown Tower, where they specifically were prohibited from hooking into the sewer system. I am wondering if we require them to go into the sewer system, if that doesn’t change the zoning of all of the un-sewered spaces, I mean, an R-2 zone would go from one acre down to 20,000; an R-3 would go from one acre to 15,000; an R-4 would go from one acre to 10,000 by changing them from non-sewered to sewered situations. But are we not, by requiring them to hook into a sewer system, are we not promoting greater building density?
President Rattner: I don’t know if one has anything to do with the other. This can’t affect any zoning, the zoning is the zoning.
Mr. Russell: But the zoning specifies that the particular things for an R-2 zone is one acre if it is non-sewered. If it has sewers, it is 20,000 square feet.
President Rattner: Nothing changes…this isn’t changing that. You think this is changing it? Because, we are not expanding any sewer area…
Mr. Russell: I know the sewer went right by Crown Towers.
Mr. Buell: Steve, ….
Mr. Greenbaum: This simply says if sewer is available within a reasonable distance of a subdivision, then it must be connected to the sewer.
Mr. Buell: We have the letter also from the Planning Committee, recommending that we not adopt this or the other one. Specifically, this is contrary to the Land Use Plan. I think this is potentially what you’re talking about.
Mr. Greenbaum: I can speak to that once the public portion is over, but this is the public portion and at some point, this is going to have to be put on the table by way of a motion.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the public? Close the public portion. Ms. Labow, would you move it?
Ms. Labow: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #13-2004.
Mr. Elms: Second.
Mr. Greenbaum: It’s been seconded. I have a motion to continue the public hearing on this particular Ordinance subject to discussion that was held at Planning Board and….
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum, do you know who drew this Ordinance?
Mr. Greenbaum: I don’t know who drew this Ordinance, but…
President Rattner: It didn’t come from us, so…
Mr. Greenbaum: I don’t know who drew this Ordinance and if someone will second my motion to continue the public hearing…
Ms. Labow: Second.
Mr. Greenbaum: There was discussion at the Planning Board meeting, specifically by Chuck McGroarty, the planning consultant retained by the Township, as to consequences of this particular Ordinance and what was attempting…what was the drafter of this Ordinance, and I didn’t know who it was at that point in time, what the drafter was trying to accomplish by having this Ordinance adopted. And the Planning Board was of the feeling that there needed to be further discussion between the drafter and Chuck McGroarty, who had specific concerns about this particular Ordinance, before Council adopted it, so…I would recommend that we continue the public hearing and that there be further…or deny the Ordinance. Deny my motion to continue the public hearing until such time as the drafter has spoken to Chuck and all the issues have been resolved.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, I think you have to make your choice. Are you going to continue or move to….
Mr. Greenbaum: I move to continue the public hearing.
President Rattner: Okay, that was made and seconded. I would prefer that if you would rescind your motion and the second and that we vote this down. If we’re saying that the Township Planner and the Administrator, and that’s where it came, it came through the Planning Department to us and states very clearly that it was based on a recommendation by the Planning Administrator and Town Planner. If they’re disallowing it, why are we even talking about it, let’s just vote it down and let them start from scratch.
Mr. Greenbaum: I would like to hear what Ray has to say, because Ray may have some information as to where this came from and what was attempted to be accomplished rather than voting it down at this point in time.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President, thank you Mr. Greenbaum. I am familiar with where this Ordinance was originated from. I am one of the main forces behind the origination of this, it was pieced together by the Township Clerk in, I believe, the year 2001 or 2002 when we started working on this with the help of Mr. McGroarty, our Township Planner, as well as our Professional Engineer, Mr. Gene Buczynski. There were comments, we tried to make it as consistent as humanly possible with the water systems requirement under the Land Use Ordinance that wherever a developer had already received his approvals from Planning Board, by way of making his or her presentations, that any of the utility facilities would then be conveyed over to the Township and we would not be faced with the same dilemma of losing about $6 million worth of utility plant, plus subsequently, a couple hundred thousand dollars in revenue per year to a private developer who came into town. I would indulge myself and offer my services to meet with the Planner, as well as with Mr. Buczynski, again to entertain looking back into this issue and then bringing it back before Council at a later date.
President Rattner: So you think we should vote it down so we can start anew?
Mr. Perkins: Yes sir.
Mr. Greenbaum: I withdraw my motion to continue the public hearing.
Mr. Perkins: Just for the record, are you going to make the motion to….
President Rattner: Okay, well now the motion has been rescinded and the second is rescinded, now we have the Ordinance and we are going to vote it down. Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Just a point of discussion…for whatever discussions they have, I think the point is well taken that if a…the problem I have is the wording, if a public sewer system is presently available within a reasonable distance from the said sub-division and I agree with the Planning Board’s comments, this is counter to the State Mr. Guenther (cont’d): Redevelopment Plan, it is counter to what we are trying to do and I think that is the objectionable portion of this proposed Ordinance.
President Rattner: Yes, because you can’t hook into it if you’re not in the sewer service area which was approved by the DEP, very precise lines, lot by lot, line by line, there is no differentiation.
Mr. Guenther: And what’s a reasonable distance?
President Rattner: No, what we had in our Ordinance is that if somebody was…a resident was more than a hundred feet from the road, in other words, they would have to build a line from their residence to the road that was exceeding a hundred feet, they could be exempt from hooking into the sewer. That’s what we have and I believe it’s still in our current Ordinances and it was because we looked at the cost burden in doing that kind of line, but there isn’t…the State cut out certain specific areas because they said fill in lots were okay, but no new…undeveloped areas were not. And that was one of the concerns that we had, that’s why Crown Towers – they thought that they could have a lot maybe on the front of the line. Once a line goes in front of your property, you have to hook…you have the right to hook in.
Mr. Guenther: Crown Towers was not in the Budd Lake sanitary sewer.
President Rattner: Right, and that was drawn very very carefully and DEP made that a requirement and Mr. Tarn and Mr. Bonti made sure that inch by inch it was put in properly.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President, I want to comment again, I agree with Mr. Guenther, the one thing, you know, for some of the public out there, Mr. Russell, which, if you look at the water – take that section on the utilities under the Land Use Ordinance, it talks about the Planning Board has the authority, if they see an undue burden or hardship on a developer, to waive some of those requirements. As a developer comes in, and the basis for this Ordinance trying to mirror image the water, to the greatest extent possible, is…once you’ve burdened, and maybe burdened is a bad choice of words, when you’re burdened with the realization now that that development is coming in and he has no water so he’s going to develop his own water system, and he has no sewer, he’s outside the Budd Lake sewer system so you know that he can build his own sewer system. Who owns it, who maintains it, who operates it, who derives the revenue from it? So, since the water has the option of the Township taking over the ownership free and clear of charge, it makes sense now that we have a water and a sewer utility for us to be able to look at the same thing from a sewer acquisition standpoint. So for no cost to the Township, the Township derives an asset which at any time can be disposed of by any governing body that sits up here or they could turn around, at which case, and run it and run it at a profit, but, it’s not in there for nothing.
Someone from the public- not at a mike: Started to talk, but we can’t hear him…
President Rattner: No, no you can’t speak from the audience…this is Council discussion on this. We’re going to vote it down, so unless there’s any other comments, why don’t we just…well, why don’t we just have the Roll…if we want, because we’re going to have to start all over again, so why are we going to discuss any more now?
ROLL CALL DEFEATED UNANIMOUSLY
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING
President Rattner: We’ll schedule this for a later workshop. Okay, now we have Ordinance for first reading, hopefully this is very very straight forward, I read it myself, so…. The next item of the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #15-2004, entitled:
Ord.#15-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Section 211-15 Placement of Material for Collection.
Mr. Elms: I move that Ordinance #15-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on June 29th, 2004 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, New Jersey for a public hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said Ordinance and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said Ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Discussion.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, in the paragraph D under Section 1, where we talk about garbage and refuse and plastic bags cannot be placed at the curb line of the collection, prior to 6:00 am on the day of collection. Why are we including refuse? I mean, I could understand garbage where you may have animals rip open the bags, but if somebody is throwing out other refuse from their homes, why can’t that be left out in a plastic bag over night? Instead of telling them you have to wait around until 6:00 in the morning and then run out there.
Mr. Guenther: It’s not 6:00 in the morning.
Ms. Labow: It’s 6:00 pm.
Mr. Elms: It’s 6:00 am.
Mr. Perkins: Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…I mean, garbage I could understand, you don’t want squirrels and black bear and everything else ripping up the garbage in bags. If somebody is throwing out paper, you know, other stuff that is not recyclable, why would we tell them that they can’t throw it out until 6:00 in the morning.
Mr. Elms: What’s the purpose of this?
President Rattner: People leaving garbage cans out all weekend or for a few days.
Mr. Guenther: Or plastic bags.
President Rattner: Well, plastic bags – the animals can get into. But anyway, Mr. Elms…
Mr. Elms: I have a problem with this because my garbage is picked up before 6:00 am.
President Rattner: Yes. The Sanitation Department starts at 5:00 am.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, but you just can’t leave it in plastic bags then, you have to put it in…you want to put it at 5:00 am?
President Rattner: Yes.
Mr. Guenther: 5:00 am. It just can’t be left out overnight in plastic bags.
Ms. Labow: So, if my garbage gets picked up at 5:00 am on Monday morning, I have to get out of bed at 5:00 am to bring it out to the road. I can’t put it out….
President Rattner: At this time of year, you cannot put out a plastic bag with any type of food …
Ms. Labow: Oh, you’re talking about a plastic bag, you’re not talking about a garbage can?
President Rattner: A garbage can is 7:00…it says you can put it out 7:00 the night before, unless it’s in a plastic bag.
Ms. Labow: But a garbage receptacle with a lid can go out the night before and no plastic bag. Thank you.
President Rattner: And I think garbage and refuse is basically interchangeable because how would you know what’s in the bag and I don’t separate my stuff, I mean, I separate my recyclables, but…
Mr. Guenther: I find that hard to believe, I think you know every single piece of garbage and refuse that’s in your bags and your garbage cans, so…and probably your neighbors too.
President Rattner: Does anybody have anything else, so we’re adjusting it to 5:00 am and I don’t think anybody’s going to be out at 4:00, making sure that you didn’t put it out earlier.
Ms. Labow: Who is going to enforce this?
President Rattner: The person who enforces all that section, now it’s the Sanitation Department.
Ms. Labow: What’s…is there a fine?
President Rattner: We’d have to look at that, this is just the adjustment of time.
Mr. Guenther: This appears to be an amendment to just one section of the code and the code does contain various…
Ms. Labow: Is there a $250 fine?
President Rattner: Well, up to…we had the same thing, we had stickers, you know, if you put recyclables in your plastic bag. Any other discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Except Mr. Perkins – No
Mr. Guenther: Just a comment…the comment that Ms. Labow made is very valid. We have passed a lot of Ordinances and nobody ever thinks about how they are getting enforced and some of them are unenforceable and I agree, if we look through some of the Ordinances that we have passed, they are absolutely ridiculous because they are not going to ever be enforced.
Mr. Perkins: I think it only becomes an issue when there is a problem, otherwise it’s not an issue. It is only an issue when there is a problem and if we start getting problems in an area we now have an Ordinance that can be used to rectify the situation, otherwise, who cares? If there’s no problem…
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 Mayor Richard De La Roche to Execute a Management Agreement with the State of New Jersey RE: Acquisition of Crown Tower Estates.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of a Developer’s Agreement (Preliminary and Final Site Plan Approval with Waivers and Variance Relief) Between the Township and Maybury Douglas Associates.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Regarding the Sale or Separation of the 58 Acres Known as Block 200 Lot 1 Presently Owned by BASF.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Barry J. Krauser, MAI to Proceed in Connection with the Preparation of a Preliminary Report Relative to the BASF Tax Appeal.
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Sale of One EDU to Joseph D’Alessio for Lot 4, Block 2201.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Directing the Township Attorney to Seek a Temporary Injunction in Connection with the Development of Morris Chase, Phase I, Lot 79, Block 4400 and Voiding a Developer’s Agreement Between the Township and Toll Brothers Dated March 18, 2004.
7. Resolution RE: Lakeview Estates Developer’s Agreement – RESCHEDULED FOR 6/15/04 MEETING
President Rattner: Okay, moving right along, we’ll move to the consent agenda, we have six items, number seven has been rescheduled. Does anybody have any that they want pulled off?
Mr. Elms: I would like to pull off number six.
President Rattner: Okay, number six and number four has to be done on non-consent because we have to add a sentence to it about the availability of funds. So, if there are no other requests, I’ll ask Mr. Guenther could you move the remaining items on the Consent Agenda which is one to three and five.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move Consent Agenda numbers one through three and number five for approval.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Anybody from the public like to address resolutions one, two, three or five? Seeing none, close the public portion.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Council comments? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Ms. Labow – Yes to everything except number three – No.
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
President Rattner: Okay, we have Resolution number 4, Mr. Greenbaum, would you move that one?
Mr. Greenbaum: I move for approval of Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive:
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Barry J. Krauser, MAI to Proceed in Connection with the Preparation of a Preliminary Report Relative to the BASF Tax Appeal.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, on advise of the CFO, we have to add a sentence, Mr. Dorsey will read it.
Mr. Dorsey: At the very end, we add the sentence: “Subject to the issuance by the CFO, of the Certificate of Availability of Funds for this contract.
Mr. Greenbaum: I’ll accept the amendment.
President Rattner: Okay somebody has to move it. Are you moving the amendment?
Mr. Dorsey: Why don’t you move the Resolution with the Amendment.
Mr. Greenbaum: I’ll move the Resolution with the Amendment.
President Rattner: Okay, anybody from the public like to address this Resolution as amended. Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion. Any Council discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Mr. Perkins, would you move Resolution number six?
Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President. I move for adoption of Resolution number six.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Directing the Township Attorney to Seek a Temporary Injunction in Connection with the Development of Morris Chase, Phase I, Lot 79, Block 4400 and Voiding a Developer’s Agreement Between the Township and Toll Brothers Dated March 18, 2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, is there anybody from the public like to address this Resolution? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask for Council comments.
Mr. Elms: I believe that the correspondence that we saw on this was contingent upon getting notification that Toll Brothers was going to do something.
Mr. Dorsey: We pursued that the best we could. It is my understand that last Thursday, at the end of the Planning Board meeting, Mr. Greenbaum approached Mr. Kobert, their attorney, and asked what they were going to do and there was no responsive answers. We then wrote to Kobert yesterday, and today he advised us, essentially advised us that they had not yet determined whether they will try and go forward until the hearings before the Planning Board are complete or not, but he said he would advise us, he says…he would advise us in sufficient time, so that we could make the application to the court for the temporary restraint. So, at this point, they had not advised that they are going to proceed, that does not mean they won’t decide tomorrow to proceed, but that’s the status of it as far as I can tell you.
Mr. Elms: Okay, can we put in this Resolution something to say that subject to that…I mean…
Mr. Dorsey: I understand, but without putting it in the Resolution, we will accept that we will not file the papers until there is an indication from Joe Kobert or Toll Brothers that they are going to proceed before the hearings before the Planning Board are complete. That’s what you want, right?
Mr. Greenbaum: Notwithstanding that, the papers still have to be drafted because of the nature of the relief.
Mr. Dorsey: No, Fred, from my office, has drawn the papers, so we are ready to go and I accept what you say, you know, I accept what you say, but I think we ought to have the Resolution….
Mr. Elms: There’s not much sense in filing this, if they don’t do it.
Mr. Dorsey: No, you’re absolutely right, I mean, we’re prepared to go. Why don’t I just add a sentence if you’d like me to, if I may, at the very end it will say: “subject…no the necessary papers shall not be filed until such time as the Township attorney is advised that Toll Brothers is going to proceed and proceed prior to completion of the hearings requesting the extension before the Planning Board”.
President Rattner: Okay, you want to make…move that amendment?
Mr. Elms: Can I just ask a question on that? What happens if they don’t advise you and they just start knocking trees down?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, we’ll know, but we now have his word that he’s not going to start until the….I mean, it’s the best I can do for you. We would love to go up and file today, but we’re not going to do that, we’re going to wait until we get some notice they are going to do it.
Mr. Elms: How about just making it until the Township attorney is advised by anyone.
Mr. Dorsey: Okay, fine.
President Rattner: Mr. Elms, you made that motion to amend, right?
Mr. Elms: Yes.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, we’ll vote on the motion to amend, then we’re going to vote on the Resolution itself. So, this is just to make the amendment that Mr. Elms moved.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Mr. Greenbaum - No
President Rattner: Okay, now that was on the…now we have the Resolution as amended, any questions on that?
Ms. Labow: I wanted to know how…you said we have to amend…we have to…they say we signed the developer’s agreement on March 18, 2004, why was it signed?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, we signed in part because the firm representing Toll Brothers was then taking the position they were going to file a motion for…they were going to file a suit and a motion to summary judgment to compel it’s execution because almost a year before, the Township Council had authorized the execution of the agreement and in November of last year….
Mr. Greenbaum: John, can I cut you off for a second? I’m sorry to cut you off, but I believe…
Mr. Dorsey: That’s rude…
Mr. Greenbaum: I understand it’s rude, but I believe that now we are getting into some of the arguments which are going to be part of the subject of the lawsuit and I would make a motion that if we are going to continue this discussion, including the reasons why the developer’s agreement was signed, it should be done in Executive Session, because it relates specifically to arguments which are being made at the Planning Board, which are clearly his roadmap towards where this litigation is going.
Ms. Labow: I agree with Rob.
Mr. Elms: Can’t we just say that the Council authorized it?
President Rattner: That’s true, the Council did authorize it.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Just so the public…why we are very sensitive to this is that this, as with a lot of things with developers, could end up in litigation and, obviously, we can’t lay out our hand and what our plans are and that’s why we have to be very very careful. Next we have on the agenda is a Library Construction Report.
Library Construction Report
Jane Israel, Mount Olive Public Library: We have a bill on the bill list for $185,202.36 and this has been approved and certified by the architect and also the construction manager and it came before the Library Board and was approved also. There has been a lot of progress in the last few weeks. If you just have passed by the Library, you might notice that the entire roof is now on. That is something that we have been working towards because the middle part of the roof was quite difficult to get finished and it is now finished. The tongue-in-groove deck installation in the center section is now 100% complete and the over-framing of the roof is finished. There is…the interior metal stud framing and interior perimeter furring and installation work continues. Exterior chimney framing is ongoing at the east and west gables. The window framing glazing is about 85% complete and the balance of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing roughing will resume when the building is completely water-tight. Well, that’s…actually, the roof is on, but it has to have the shingles put on, because that was supposed to be done today, but somehow the wrong shingles were delivered. Also, we have the EIFS, which is the finish, the kind of stucco finish that’s being put on, that’s being done in the front and rear of the building, and the cultured stone exterior for the front and other places is on site and that’s being stored in a container on site. I’d be glad to answer any questions you might have.
Ms. Labow: Actually, I’m not sure if Jane can answer this question or if Mr. Ruggierio should answer this question that you put on the voucher.
Ms. Israel: I don’t know what the question was on the voucher, so you’ll have to tell me.
Ms. Labow: That’s why I’m giving him the option. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Mr. Ruggierio: I do. I think that, you know, the Library is…has to answer those questions.
Ms. Labow: On this voucher, he writes two questions on here: 1. he wanted a reminder to Rita that Council Member, Rob Greenbaum, wants a critical path analysis and 2. is the strapping on the walls damaged by the machinery covered by a hold bar? Hold back, okay, and is it working?
Ms. Israel: Well, I do have some information on both of those. The critical path assessment was developed at a pre-bid time by the architect and the construction manager based on the owner’s requirements, that is the Library’s requirements for the time of the start and completion and, on that critical path assessment, it identifies certain milestones for progress during the period of the analysis of performance. And these dates were incorporated into the contract. The general contractor was required by the contract to produce a working CPM based schedule, that’s the critical path management I guess…they schedule…that addresses the milestone dates and one that is tied to the contract start and finish dates. The contractor is also required to provide periodic updates of this schedule to show either compliance or non-compliance, along with the revised completion dates, etc. Milestones, themselves, can be affected by numerous factors that ultimately play a role in final determination of anticipated project schedule requirements. It is atypical for the architect or construction manager to produce a working schedule or provide updates unless this arrangement was contemplated and made prior to the project going out to bid. Does that make sense?
Ms. Labow: Well, she has one more question to answer.
Ms. Israel: Okay, on the Q-lines drop repair, that, as you may know…I don’t know if we’ve ever really discussed this too much, but there was some damage that was done to the back of the building when they went to tamp in the floor, I guess this is where the cement was going to go, and it was a small fracture in the back of the building and the architect got the structural engineer to design a remedy for that, which turned out to be this metal strapping. The…based on the review of the construction details for the wall section, the construction or the structural engineer determined that placement of heavy gauge metal straps, mounted with adhesives set bolts, along the horizontal face of the wall, would be a suitable repair and strengthening method. So, the engineer produced a design sketch for the contractor’s use in making this repair and specified the materials to be used; and, subsequently, the architect, construction manager and the structural engineer have monitored the repair work and yes it is working.
Ms. Labow: Those were special made for this project, right…they are not just something that was purchased off the shelf, it was designed…
Ms. Israel: Yes, they were specially, you know, designed and installed according to the structural engineer. In fact, I remember at one meeting, because the Library Board has been getting, you know, reports on this all along, since it first happened, but I remember at one meeting the architect said that it is very possible that the wall is stronger now than it would have been if it hadn’t been damaged at all.
Ms. Labow: I just would like to make a statement for the record that a lot of the rumors that were going around about the Library not being structurally safe, really circled around this Q-line and people not knowing all the facts surrounding it, so I’m glad that we now have the update and know what…this hopefully lays any rumors to rest.
Mr. Greenbaum: As I told you, Jane…first of all, let me say that I’m a supporter of the Library and I look forward to the completion and utilization of that building, but I don’t know how many meetings now I’ve been saying “you know what – I want to know what’s going on, I want to see what’s going on, we’re spending money, we’re spending money, there isn’t going to be any money left” and you know what – nobody has reached out to me to say “you know what, Mr. Greenbaum, we heard you at the last four meetings, we’re ready to bring you in, we’re ready to show you what’s going on” ---nothing. I won’t vote another dollar towards the Library until somebody satisfies me that it’s on…from…that it’s on track and I can see it for myself, because until that happens, I’m not voting in favor of paying any more bills.
Ms. Israel: Well, yes, we did hear you say that, Mr. Greenbaum and, in fact, we tried to reach out to you…you know what, you weren’t at the last meeting, I think, but we thought that maybe it would help if we showed some pictures and we did open to the public and the Council and whoever else wanted to come, to stop in at the old Library and we had pictures…up to date pictures and we’re ready to answer questions and what have you and we did get a few residents that stopped in to see them and they were very interested in it, but there wasn’t anyone from the Council. In addition, I should mention that we have started some visitations, we couldn’t do that, we didn’t feel that we could do it until the Library building was safe and covered. It is now covered and we have started to do that, we are having the Library Board go first. At our meeting…the Library meeting that we had, the Board voted to have visitations two at a time and we have started that with the Board and you should be getting an invitation next week, you know, trying to work something out, we’ll call Lisa probably and try to work something out with the Council Members and also the Administration would be able to come and visit the Library and we’ll
Mr. Greenbaum: You know…I…Jane, I have asked for very simple things, I think, and haven’t been provided with them and I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t pay it, I’m suggesting that I want to be satisfied and that has not been accomplished at this point and irrespective of everything that you are telling me, I assume that you are not willing to give me a personal guarantee, as you stand here now, that come the end of the monies, that have been set aside for this contract, that the Library Board is going…that you are not going to come back here and tell me “you know what – contractor walked off the site and we paid him for 95% or 99% and he’s only 85% done and we need another million dollars” and I’m going to say “you know what Jane, I sat here…I told you I wanted to see it…I’m the one who is voting to release the monies and, to the extent that, you know, your architect and your site engineer are telling you that, in fact, they have reached the milestones is great…that’s one of the things I am going to rely upon.” But, I haven’t asked for that much and I haven’t been satisfied at all. So I can’t, in good conscience, under my fiduciary obligation to the taxpayers of Mount Olive, vote to let any more funds be released under this contract.
Ms. Israel: Well, I hope you will be available next week some time, when we will be able to set up a meeting where you can tour the Library.
Mr. Greenbaum: Give me a call, I will make myself available.
Mayor De La Roche: I was just going to indicate that the Library…I sit on the Library Board, so I had a different availability, but at the same time, the Library has invited a number of people to view the progress of the Library through videos and very extensive amounts of videos, I might add, and that was done for, I think, two days or at least two days – available for anyone to look at. So that might be a starting point to take a look because it singles out almost every section of the Library that you might want to review and that might even be more helpful prior to taking an onsite view, but I can also understand their concern for the safety of people going on the site.
President Rattner: Thank you Mayor. Mr. Perkins, then Ms. Labow.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. Jane, these Q-straps that we talked about before…
Ms. Israel: Q-line straps.
Mr. Perkins: Q-line straps. They were designed by…
Ms. Israel: A structural engineer that the architect arranged for.
Mr. Perkins: That’s a registered professional engineer in the State of New Jersey and he has his seal on the plans, and what assurance do we have liability-wise that if they fail, what do we do?
Ms. Israel: Yes. Well, it’s the architect…the onus is on the architect, actually. You know, he’s the one who has to stand behind it and, you know, he’s the one that arranged for the engineer that he hired, you know. I’m not an attorney, so I don’t know what would we do if a wall fell down at any time, I mean, you know, we…hopefully nobody would get hurt, but we would have to sue somebody, I guess.
Mr. Perkins: Well, I’m just a little concerned, Jane, only from the standpoint…and, you know, I’m not questioning what the architect, Dennis Caldwell, is doing, you know, or what Scott Ayers our construction manager is doing out there. My concern is…I think, and correct if I’m wrong, because I’m wrong quite often, the parts for the repair were not…were specially designed and they were not something that you would go to a local store that has been tested under ASTM standards, or any other military standard, to say that it met the appropriate goal. This was designed by some structural engineer, at the choice of the architect, to do some repair work that has made it even stronger than it probably would have been at the beginning and we have no assurances or any written guarantees that if there is a failure down the line, that we have some recourse?
Ms. Israel: Well, there is an awful lot of public documents that are available to, you know, that tells the history of this whole thing and, as far as the Library minutes and reports that were made to the Library Board…
Mr. Perkins: They don’t normally hold up real well, minutes and discussions and documents. What we are saying, Jane, and I’m not trying to dig in you, I’m saying that we don’t have anything physically in your records that is some assurance from the structural engineer and the architect that says this design that they came up with…their design – here it is, we put our stamp on it, but that’s as far as we go. If there’s a failure down the road, there’s a failure down the road.
Ms. Israel: Rita, do you have, maybe, a different understanding of this that would allay Mr. Perkins’ fears, because you’re the person who, you know…
Rita Hilbert, Director of the Mount Olive Public Library: The structural engineer who designed the building is the structural engineer who designed the remedy. So, we are under his credentials, everything is there, it is signed off on, all the papers are signed off on and all. It was a hairline crack that developed because of the compaction instrument that vibrated and it probably could have been left undone…and nothing done to it. So, but when the architect saw it, there were the two options…construction was stopped on that wall until the design was done and what was done. The option was, the wall could have been torn down or that this strap could have been done. At the advice of the structural engineer, this is what he advised, those were the two options and this is what he advised. When he advised it, he drew up the specifications, they had to be specially fabricated for that special epoxy glue used, they are welded together, you won’t see them when the building is done, they will be covered by the EIFS fixture, so it won’t look like a Frankenstein, which it, you know…actually it looked kind of nice and if it was up to me, I would have them put it around the whole building. But, the cost was borne by Blackstone, so it was of no cost to us and, like Jane said, I’m not an attorney, but I would believe that because it was the structural engineer who designed it and he signed off on it, he designed the building, the remedy, and the architect did that it would be held within the same context as though the building fell down. I mean, everybody signing off on it….
Mr. Ruggierio: His errors and omissions coverage, his malpractice coverage would probably answer the question, but….
Mr. Perkins: Well, I believe that, now that I know that it is the same structural engineer, I believe, yes it does fall, my understanding was that this was somebody separate that the architect had gone out….
Mr. Hilbert: No, no, but he falls under the architect, we didn’t just go get him…
Mr. Perkins: Then he falls under the main building contractor. I have no problem, thank you.
Ms. Labow: I have a silly question, it’s the first time I ever asked a silly question so….I want to know, if we go into the Library to take a tour and it’s been represented that this section is 95%, this section is 85%, how are we going to know?
Ms. Israel: The construction manager will be giving the tour and he will be able to point things out and tell you, you know, what’s to be done yet.
Ms. Labow: So, he’ll explain each section as to why this is considered….okay, thank you.
Mr. Elms: Jane, if one of us calls you or someone else to have a tour of the Library, is that possible?
Ms. Israel: Well, right now, the Library Board, as I mentioned, at the last meeting, they voted to have tours for the Council and…but, they wanted to have the Library Board go first, you know, so that they would be most familiar, so they’re going now – a couple went Monday and I think there are two more scheduled for tomorrow. So, then the Council, you know, we’ll be inviting you and, hopefully working out a time that’s good for you and...but as far as you just calling up Rita, or something, and asking to have a tour…well, we try to accommodate you in this routine that we’re setting up, you know, for you.
Mr. Elms: Well, I don’t think any of us wants to inundate the contractor and get in his way, but if we call up for an appointment, that could be arranged?
Ms. Israel: Yes, appointments are going to be arranged, yes.
Mr. Guenther: When were these video tapes made available?
Ms. Israel: It was last Thursday and, I think, I know I came through here and I saw an awful lot of cars so I guess that was Planning Board…and the previous Tuesday, prior to your meeting, we announced the week before that we would be at the Library from 6:30 to 7:30 and we thought maybe, you know, somebody might stop over before you came over here. There are 95 shots and they, you know, they keep going over and over again, so… Some of them were very very new at the time.
Mr. Guenther: You mentioned something about a stucco type of finish that is being used, what is that?
Ms. Israel: It’s called EIFS, that’s whatever you call it, you know, when you make words out of letters… It is EIFS. Do you know what it stands for? You put it on in coatings, that I know, right…I mean, it’s not like you just slap it on…it has to go on with several coatings and this is where it’s not going to be the stone, the fake stone, then you get the EIFS, which is…it will appear like a stucco.
Mr. Guenther: Well, this…I don’t know what this EIFS is, but there is a big issue with what’s called synthetic stucco, that has been a serious problem and a series of lawsuits in the South especially, because of mold that forms behind…because moisture gets behind the synthetic stucco and creates a terrible mold problem.
Ms. Israel: I’m sorry, I can’t answer to that, but I’ll certainly ask the construction manager. Do you have any other information, or…
Mr. Guenther: It goes under different brand names, but it’s commonly called synthetic stucco, because of the way it’s applied, it’s different from your regular stucco, which is put over on a, what is it – a lathe, it’s called…and wire mesh. This is not wire mesh, it’s actually put over a Styrofoam sheathing and if it’s not properly sealed, moisture can form behind it and create a mold problem.
Ms. Israel: I think this….do you know more about that…there’s some kind of moisture barrier, I know…
Ms. Hilbert: Yes, I think it was two years ago, there was a case against EIFS and/or Drive-It, it’s called and they have changed their method of installing it at this point. It is a…they glue the Styrofoam onto the building and then they put a vapor barrier on it and then they install the EIFS. The people who are doing it are professionals at just installing that and the people who provide the materials do come out and inspect the application of it. So, it was…we wanted all stone on the outside of this building and as we got to have to cut back on it, that was…this is the last thing other than aluminum siding that we could have done on the building. But it is inspected periodically, as the roof…the membrane roof, as it was put on, somebody comes out from the company and inspects it.
President Rattner: Okay, one thing, I left for a couple minutes, so if the question was asked, then forgive me. The air conditioning units that we have, you know, there was a dispute on. Have either those or replacements been delivered or scheduled?
Ms. Israel: No, they haven’t been received. However, there is a court case on Friday between Blackstone and Icon and I guess depending on what the Judge decides on Friday, maybe…you know, then…
President Rattner: Well, I was under the impression that after they were taking that…the manufacturer was called and there were replacements ordered. Did that actually happen, or are we depending on whatever the Judge says?
Ms. Israel: Well, we really can’t order the replacements and it turned out, I think, that Blackstone was unable to order the replacements and I’m not sure…
President Rattner: We heard that was…you know, those units were a critical path to certain other work and so, I’m looking at what the schedule is. We know what the planned scheduled completion is because that’s going to be my second question, I can look at the building and make a subjective view from a distance what it looks like, so the first thing I want to know is…how much…you have delays, I mean, it happens. And then the other, what I’ve been saying for a couple of months looking at it, what is the reasonable, I mean the most likely completion date now? I mean, it’s not the end of the world that it’s a little bit delayed…that happens in construction projects, but I don’t want to tell people we’re going to have a grand opening in a certain month and then have to keep telling them it keeps getting delayed. I’d rather tell them the truth from the beginning, the most likely date.
Ms. Israel: We’re still hopeful that we will be able to be in the building by the middle of August so that we can have the grand opening on September 12th…that was our target date and….
President Rattner: If you’re going to be in in August, what is the complete…what is your estimated, I’m not saying what the contractual, what is the estimate that the contractor is giving you today, and I think I’m just asking for something in more general terms and what Rob, I think, asked for, which is very specific, which is the way you can measure progress, is what is their estimated completion date as of now? Are we 30 days behind, what it sounds like you’re saying, are we 45, is it most likely 60, because there is still a lot of work to be done, there is still, you know, the mechanicals that have to even be delivered. Because, what you’re telling me is that we’re not even sure whether we’re getting the old mechanicals back or whether we have to get new ones because of the labor dispute, or contractor dispute.
Ms. Israel: The contractor is giving us a July 30th completion.
President Rattner: So, he figures he’s going to be within thirty days of the original contract. I mean, that’s not bad, if that’s a reasonable number. I’d still look at it, because we’re talking roughly 65 days from now and I look at it, you know, there’s a lot of work to be done and we’ve been caught here with that before – making promises and that’s just what I want. I think you should really have to sit down with them and that was what Rob was trying to look at so he could be believable, you know, what is the real completion and percentage, because if they’re going to be working until let’s say the end of September, but I’m not saying that’s happening, but if it does….and it’s not the end of the world, because we want it done right. We want to make sure that the progress payments follow that path and nothing earlier. You don’t know, so I’m not asking you to answer it, but I think that’s what we really want is a real good estimate, in other words, just…if you can’t do the formal thing that Rob asked for, when different things will be completed…different trades will be done. As of right now, when does he think those mechanicals are going to be in, when are the interior walls going to be finished, I’m not saying which ones to do, maybe six or seven major components, you know, the real big things, where he can say that this trade or this contract will be done on a certain date, which would complete this, this one goes next, and we know some are dependent, and just so we could get a real good view also, so when we tell the public, because they are always asking us, you know, they read in the newspaper and everything else, when are we going to be in it. I don’t want to tell them “well, they should be opening the doors and actually be opening August 15th” and then come August, say what I told this is another sixty days, so you didn’t know that 40 days ago and that’s all I’m looking for.
Ms. Labow: Steve, can I say something now?
President Rattner: Colleen…well, are you going to answer her question?
Ms. Labow: I’m going to ask Jane a question in response to something she asked.
President Rattner: Okay well…I just wanted to finish that…I understand that you don’t have that now. That’s really what Rob was asking for, he was looking for a little more technical. We really need a good view of this is going to be done on a certain date, this will be done on a certain date, based on a current plan.
Ms. Labow: Okay, my turn? I have a…I’m troubled, I have to say this, I’m troubled…
President Rattner: It’s catching?
Ms. Labow: Yes, I’m troubled. At the Library Board, I specifically asked Scott Ayers how long does it take to order the HVAC units and he told us eight weeks. We are almost to June 1st and are not going to know until Friday, if they are going to order them or get the old ones back, how can he give you a completion date of July 30th if it would take eight weeks to get the units and then they have to install them?
Ms. Hilbert: I just would give a little caveat, Scott is extremely pessimistic. We have an extremely optimistic architect and an extremely pessimistic construction manager, so we’re good. We’re right in the middle, we’re right in the middle on this. Scott really has no idea, he is giving an estimated…Scott protects the owner, so he’s saying eight weeks, so that we push harder for Blackstone. Blackstone is prepared, they have been put on notice, that as of Friday and I don’t know exactly how this works, but from what I understand from our attorney, it goes before the Judge and it’s in Essex County, it goes before the Judge and the Judge makes a ruling on Friday, whether Icon returns the units or Blackstone has to eat it. At that time in time, they have been told they must order the units immediately. They have gotten word from Trane that it would be four weeks for new units, so while it’s later than what we anticipated, it obviously isn’t going to stop the opening of the building, because the duct work is already installed and waiting for it on the east wing of the building and it is now being fabricated and installed on the west wing of the building, so it’s a matter of hooking them up…getting them up and hooking them up when they get delivered. So, can I get…would I stand here and guarantee that it would only be four weeks, no I wouldn’t but I think that reasonably that would probably be more like it than the eight weeks.
Ms. Labow: And I have an answer to Steve’s question that he asked. Originally, why the HVAC units were considered like critical at the time was because they wanted to get them up on the roof, hopefully closing in the roof, so they could work inside and they needed the heat to do it. But since….right? Isn’t that what he said?
Ms. Hilbert: Right.
Ms. Labow: So winter passed and everything else…it’s no longer critical at this time. They just, they sealed up the roof and then they’ll put them up when they come. That’s what they told me.
Ms. Hilbert: The roof is now…the center section is closed in, so now we’ll roof it and the sheetrock for the walls is already on site, the metal studding is in place, it is already passed, and inspection to do the perimeter, I guess the sheetrock on the perimeter close in. They’re doing the vapor barrier now and so they can start doing that. There appears to be a lot of work to be done because all the work you’re going to see now is what you’re going to see when the building opens. The site people are working on the site to get that in place because they would like to be gone off the site, so to get the site work done. Blackstone has asked us for a 30 day extension, we have not granted that yet, because what we’re asking for is we would do a 26 day extension if there was no additional charge to us and that’s something that they are investigating, according to them.
President Rattner: Wait, wait, this is a new one, they’re late and they may want additional money because they work longer, usually….
Ms. Hilbert: No, no, no, they, no. If we grant them, if we grant them the 26 days additional time, we are granting it with the idea that they cannot charge us any additional…for the toilets, for, you know, all of that stuff that’s another month on site, that they would just have to pay that themselves, we’re not going to accept any change orders on that to pay for anything on the site. We would give them the 26 days that would just mean they wouldn’t pay their $250 a day, you know, liquidated damages.
Ms. Labow: They wouldn’t charge their late fee?
Ms. Hilbert: Right, so we have not given them that yet, so if they go past June 30th, they will…
Mr. Greenbaum: You know what, I’ve heard a lot of different things. We first heard, when the mechanicals were taken back, that it was okay that they were going to be ordered, then they weren’t ordered. And the reason they weren’t ordered is because of this court decision, but yet we hear if we withhold payment, that Blackstone is not going to have enough money to work, and I think probably the real reason is that they didn’t order the mechanicals again is because they don’t have the money to order the mechanicals, which is the reason that they were probably taken back in the first instance, because they weren’t paid for.
Ms. Hilbert: No, there is documentation to show that they did pay Icon for the units, but Icon did not pay Trane for the units. We did withhold the money we paid…
Mr. Greenbaum: What happens, Rita, in the event that the Judge makes the decision on Friday…first of all, the motion may get carried, whatever, it may get carried for two more weeks or four more weeks, which often happens in litigation. What happens if the Judge makes the decision, then an appeal is taken from that decision to the Appellate Division and you’ve got, it could be a year and a half – two years on the appeal…
Ms. Hibert: We told Blackstone on Thursday, in writing, that if the Judge does not find in their behalf to return the units, that they must then go and buy the units and they can fight it out in court however they want to do.
Mr. Greenbaum: Right, why was that decision made at this point rather than at the point when the mechanicals were taken? Why didn’t the Library Board, at that point, require Blackstone to order the mechanicals at that time as I believe we were told at that time. I mean, I just don’t understand the sequencing and it is very…
Ms. Hilbert: Because we have operated here on the advice of our attorney, and so we have followed his lead and what he has told us, what he has told us to do. So, that’s, you know, you can’t have an attorney and not listen to what they say. I guess you can, but you shouldn’t, you should get another attorney then. And also, our attorney will be in court on Friday to see what is said. I did have to sign a certificate, about five pages of documentation saying that when those units were taken, they did indeed belong to the Library. We did indeed withhold the monies from Blackstone’s last pay voucher to pay for those units. We have the money to pay for them, bill Trane, sell them to us, I don’t know, that will be up to the attorney to move forward on that.
President Rattner: I just want to finish up, I don’t know if we need more discussion, that, you know, a lot of the problems you are having are perfectly normal. Normal means it happens frequently, you know, in any construction project. People who have even built a house, which is a lot simpler, know the troubles and the problems and the changes and the cost escalations and the lateness, things like that happen. Labor problems happen, we saw…you know, we just read in the newspaper about across the street, you have contractual disputes with contractors and sub-contractors, those are all normal. We just need a good feeling of good explanations, you know, we hear rumors, we hear different things, we hear them from all different directions and I think that’s the only thing we have a concern about is we’re trying to get as much information, because we don’t want to be put into a situation where, as I said before, the resident or somebody asks when is it opening, what is it doing, we talk like we have authority, because we’re supposed to know what’s going on, we’re releasing the money, and then we find out that it may not be. I would rather give a little bit worse of a story, if we know that you have a conservative view and a pessimistic view of when it’s going to be done, give us the outside one and say right now this is the outside date. If it’s September 1st, that’s fine, we’re hoping to complete it on a certain date that gives you a little bit…instead of worrying about it. The architect is great, the architect is not running the project, the architect is making sure that the building is being built to his specifications, using the materials and the means and methods that he said should be done. The project manager is the guy who is running the day-to-day operations, trying to coordinate everybody, including having the architect sign off on the things that his contractors are bringing in. So, if you have the date, I would recommend if you have faith, and it sounds like you do, in the project manager and he is giving you the outside, give us the outside date, the architect really doesn’t know, he’s not dealing with all the vendors. And that’s what we need…this way, we won’t get caught where – yes, it’s going to be done by the end of July, we come to July 20th, it’s not going to be done until August 15th.
Ms. Hilbert: Well, our pessimistic guy is giving it the middle of August – that it will be done.
President Rattner: I would much rather have that type of date, you know….
Ms. Hilbert: Which would…we still need at least four weeks to move in, so…
President Rattner: The other date…when is the building going to be completed, you just say right now we’re looking at the outside date is August…don’t even say the middle of August. I don’t have any problem telling somebody when is the Library going to be done. It’s, you know, it was going to be done over the summer, we expect it to be done by the end of August and I think it’s a lot safer, that’s all.
Ms. Hilbert: I would just like to invite everyone who has a rumor, I’m in the Library probably twelve to fourteen hours a day, if you have a rumor, give me a call or come over and let’s dispel the rumor before it becomes front page….
President Rattner: But the rumors are more interesting.
Ms. Hilbert: I know they are, but there is an answer, there is an answer to it.
President Rattner: Okay, I think we talked this to death, I mean we can see the building taking shape, but we are concerned and I think maybe a lot will be alleviated when we get a tour, we can talk to the professionals while we’re in there, we can ask our questions and I think that should solve a lot of it. Are there any other questions on the Library? Okay. Oh, there is one, Mayor, you wanted to say….
Mayor De La Roche: No, I just wanted to make a comment to the Library Board. Blackstone is asking for the 28 day extension but that means you will not be liable for 28 days of liquidated damages. So, he’s not really doing you a favor, right? It’s going to cost you money if, in fact, he doesn’t figure according to his contract. So, you know, I don’t know what he would be charging you – see, that’s the part that throws me.
Ms. Hilbert: Well, that is something about charging you for everything…the trailers, all of that stuff on site, because you accorded him an extra month to stay there.
President Rattner: I was saying the same thing before, that’s why I said it didn’t make sense. We’re saving him the money from liquidated damages so he won’t charge us more because he’s there longer? He’s the one who fell behind. Okay, I think we agree on that.
Ms. Israel: Can I say one more thing that’s kind of a Library….
President Rattner: You may get six more questions.
Ms. Israel: I just wanted to make a comment about the pavilion for the Turkey Brook…it isn’t the right place, but, you know….
President Rattner: Why don’t you finish your building first and then talk about the pavilion?
Ms. Israel: Well, I just wanted to tell you, you know, that the original Library, which is now the children’s section, that was a State bid for a pavilion – those were the structures that are over in Schooley’s Mountain, except we got walls and windows and we paid $17,000 for it.
President Rattner: How many years ago?
Ms. Israel: Quite a few.
Update of Invoice for Pitney Bowes
President Rattner: Okay, thank you. Okay, update on the invoice for Pitney Bowes – did you pay the bill? Which means that you were able to reconcile that…all the charges?
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, Sherry is going to hand out…or…
President Rattner: Well, just…we don’t need to see a lot of numbers. What was the $2,900 from and when did it alleviate…and then you could just hand it out and we don’t have to discuss it.
Mr. Jenkins: I think if you see the numbers, you’ll see. It was actually 2004 invoices and we took the 2004 invoices, less what we paid the balance…
Ms. Jenkins: I just highlighted basically the sections that you needed to look at, so…
President Rattner: How come very….okay, now you have a real good question that’s going to be grilled with you, so how come you very rarely ever pay the amount….the amount billed is very rarely to what you actually pay?
Ms. Jenkins: Because they have payments that aren’t recorded that we’ve made.
President Rattner: I don’t know about the rest of the people here, but I can’t make…it’s a lot of numbers. If the problem started on January 2004, maybe we need is a listing of services rendered and the invoices on and what we paid. If we’re led to believe that it started with the January invoice, we had a balance…I guess I can’t make it…
Ms. Jenkins: This is a recap of the invoices, that’s what this is. Okay, so if you take the amounts that were billed for 2004, less the one payment that was made of the $8,080, you get the net balance of the $10,707 that we just paid.
President Rattner: If I saw right at the top, it looks like we got a bill of $2,900 on 6/26. The first payment we made was only $1,200 and we had a $12,000 balance in September. And, from there…I mean, we’re always running big balances…I…this doesn’t reconcile. It may reconcile for you, but it doesn’t help me figure out what’s going on.
Mr. Elms: Steve, if you go down and look at…start at 11/6/03, the billing was $4,545.95 – that was paid January 5th of 2004 and then the bill from 12/4/03 was paid on 2/5/04.
Ms. Labow: But it wasn’t the whole thing…
Mr. Elms: But, it looks like we’re…the billing and the payments are a month or so apart.
Ms. Jenkins: Well, when they’re recording them, yes - when they’re booking them.
Mr. Greenbaum: It doesn’t make any sense to me. I understand exactly what you’re saying, Bob, with regard to the last…through the three last payments, but, you know, looking at it from 6/26/02, I can’t make heads or tails out of any of this.
Mr. Elms: Well, the balance is always behind.
Mr. Greenbaum: That’s clear.
Mr. Elms: We never catch up.
Ms. Labow: Sherry, are there any payments that have been sent out that haven’t been recorded yet?
Ms. Jenkins: No, we verify these payments to our records. They are correct, okay. I can’t control when they, you know, reflect a payment and when they don’t, we have the same problem with utilities. You know, a lot of times they will send a statement and they don’t have recorded the last payment that we made, which is why you’ll see that we pay the current charges only and not necessarily the total balance that they claim that we owe.
President Rattner: Okay, why don’t we…you know, the first column with the, you know, the balance probably doesn’t, you know, doesn’t really add anything. You have the lines that are billed, and I would imagine you added that up and say yes that’s how much we’ve been billed since 6/26/02 and each one. What payment was the $2,900 on, what payment was the $6,406 on and just reconcile it that way, in other words, we have…I guess we have roughly 22 invoices, we have 18 payments, so there’s a couple payments on one. If we have a billed amount, we must have paid it on something, we should be able to just match that up. If we paid one short, then it would be just a note, but…
Ms. Jenkins: You want me to just…I mean, I can change the format, but the bottom line is still the bottom line. If you want me to show, you know, we have a payment – the second payment $9,306 and, you know, how that matches up to the billing, I can do that. But, again, the bottom line is still the same. We’re still looking at the same bills that are open…
Mr. Greenbaum: There’s only two relevant numbers and that’s the amount that was billed and the amount that was paid, at this point. And the amount that was paid is $10,707.10 or less than the amount that was billed.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, exactly.
President Rattner: But we don’t know what we’ve been billed for. I don’t know if those bills, you know…
Mr. Greenbaum: The bills are here…6/26/02 – you can go look at all the bills. I can’t tell you from looking at this what the billing reflects, all I can tell you is that on 6/26/02 we received a bill from Pitney Bowes for $2,900. On 7/5/02 we received a bill for $6,406.86 and down the line; and, ultimately, that…all of those bills, that I assume we have, add up to X dollars. And then it doesn’t matter what the balance was on a particular day, you can go through and find exactly when we paid a particular payment related to those bills. And, to the extent that we made a payment, it would come off the balance and, ultimately, we would be left with a balance of $10,707.10; and looking at this paper is not going change any additional information.
President Rattner: So, instead of not knowing what we’ve purchased for two years, not seeing a single invoice, somebody gives you a piece of paper and says all the accounting is correct and that we got everything we paid for. Why do we go from the invoices?
Mr. Greenbaum: I’m not saying that…I’m not saying…
President Rattner: No, I know that…they’ll have to look at this and….
Mr. Greenbaum: That isn’t going to show you…this piece of paper isn’t going to show you what you need to know, Steve.
President Rattner: No, but I can see invoice paid, invoice paid, the one’s that weren’t paid or paid short I want to know why that was, maybe there’s a possibility that they paid it short because they didn’t get a service or something was taken off. I see them all the time where they cross something off, we didn’t get it, now we go back three months later….I really don’t know, because if they were always two month’s behind, I could see, or something combined, I’d know what they were paying. I don’t know what this is.
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, I think you need to get Steve all the backup.
President Rattner: I don’t know if I want all the backup.
Ms. Jenkins: You mean from the beginning, two years ago?
President Rattner: Let me just look at these and look at the different invoices, I can see a lot of them match and the ones that don’t match, then I’ll have my questions.
Ms. Labow: Yes, I was going to say the same thing.
Mr. Ruggierio: I would think that, you know, aside from the historical matter, which we are looking at now, on a going forward basis, what we really need to do is make sure that we are purchasing our postage currently. Because, you know, it would be just like going into the Post Office and buying a roll of stamps, we do it electronically. We need to be able to do that currently and I don’t think that that’s….I don’t regard that as prepaying, I mean, I think if we pay $5,000 and we get $5,000 worth of product…postage, that’s a purchase and…
President Rattner: Yes, and we could always send it back. No…and I’m not questioning you, I don’t know, these numbers could be correct, I’m just saying…I’m not saying that there is anything wrong. It came up because I had a problem with a statement and what were we paying. I mean, we all agree that…yes, that wasn’t…it didn’t have everything on there and since I review them, I couldn’t figure out what we are paying, that’s why I wouldn’t, you know, I had it pulled that week. And, maybe every one of these are very legitimate, this doesn’t help me being satisfied that this is just appropriate, everything may be real good, I’ve decided what I want, I don’t want somebody spending four and a half hours trying to put everything together and draw nice pictures and tie everything together unless I think something is wrong. I can see a lot of these where I can see a lot of the different payments, I’m going to assume I can see $6,160, $6,160, that’s fine. The ones that maybe I can’t reconcile those ones I’m going to ask for and then we can get down there. I don’t want anybody to think that there’s maybe anything wrong, we had the discussion last week, we said we need the postage, you know, we know where it comes into, we just have to reconcile it, their billing is bad, it’s not just our fault and we have to pay, you know I’ve been pressuring to pay the stuff on time so there isn’t finance charges, these guys charge big finance charges, I mean a couple hundred dollars a shot if you’re late. So, they don’t want to wait and I can appreciate that.
Mr. Ruggierio: Sherry has volunteered and I asked her to go ahead and look into other methodologies in the future and I think we’ll….
President Rattner: Yes, no…we’ve talked about that and that we should be doing anyway. So, I’ll just look at this and I’m sure I’ll get it down to maybe three or four invoices that we want to try reconciling – not all of them.
Ms. Labow: I have a quick question.
Mr. Greenbaum: It starts right from the beginning, then.
President Rattner: Yes, but some of them might be all together and they match.
Ms. Labow: I just have a quick question, guys. Sherry, how come there’s a huge…in two months difference, there’s a big bill you have February 5th $8,000 and then April 6th $7,000, where before you didn’t have…you had a couple months between, or three months in between the huge amounts.
Mr. Elms: Those are tax bills.
Ms. Labow: I know, that’s what I figured…they’re tax bills, but it doesn’t make sense why you have them two in a row.
Ms. Jenkins: No, we actually only mail tax bills once a year, unless we mail…unless we send out an estimated, then it’s twice a year. We have delinquent notices and other mailings going out, though.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you.
President Rattner: And just for…also for everybody’s information, you know, we’ve had…Sherry’s been here four years, we’ve gone through four audits, they do tests, they look at the higher dollar amounts, they would have had to attest to this a couple of times, and there has been nothing that has been found to say that there is anything awry, not that there’s never been a mistake, but what they’re saying is that the procedures are in place and things are being proper…it doesn’t mean they’re going to catch everything. So, there is no indication that something may have disappeared from here, it’s just me being satisfied, being an accountant. That’s all it is.
Ms. Jenkins: I just…if I could, Steve, too…with the utility bills…we have also changed where they are going. They were going to some different departments, they were being mailed to them and opened by them and what not, and we’ve called all of the respective utilities and now have the bills coming directly to my office, so I think that that will save on some time, as well.
President Rattner: Have you got something that could be a consolidated bill?
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, we actually, I spoke to Colleen about that last week and Jim was going to make some phone calls about that as well, so we are looking at that.
President Rattner: Because that would make it real simple, then you’d have it…if, you know you’re supposed to get twelve bills, there’s twelve different meters on there and it’s all on one bill.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, we’ve talked about that because, you know, I mean, I’m signing them all day long, obviously, and it would seem that, obviously, it would be much easier to have one, so we are working on that.
President Rattner: Well, if you get one, then you can send copies out to each department to verify that was the real usage.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes.
President Rattner: Well, it’s still early…
Mr. Guenther: Okay, you’re trying to make it late…
President Rattner: Well, I want to see if your voice goes away completely. Okay, let’s move on the Motions, we have peddler’s permit, Mr. Perkins.
1. Approval of a Peddler’s Permit for Anthony Lang
Mr. Perkins: I make a motion to grant a peddler’s permit for Anthony Lang.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, Mr. Greenbaum – raffle application, we have one added that was added late.
2. Approval of Raffle Application #2035 for NJ District Lodge #6 Vasa Order of America and Raffle Application #2036 for the Budd Lake First Aid & Rescue Squad.
Mr. Greenbaum: I move for approval of Raffle Application #2035 for the New Jersey District Lodge #6 Vasa Order of America and Raffle Application for the Budd Lake First Aid & Rescue Squad.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Bill List, Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: I move the Bill List, subject to the modifications and check #999, in getting all of the documentations and approvals in place.
President Rattner: Somebody want to make a second and I’ll ask Mr. Buell what he said?
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: You just…yes, we’re going to take the questions and see if we’re going to get answers. Right now you just moved it, if we have to take something off, you know, hopefully they’re going to have all the answers so we won’t have a problem and if there’s something for $4.00 we don’t have to worry about it.
Ms. Labow: No, the one thing he said we didn’t have…
Mr. Buell: is the fire truck.
Ms. Labow: The $88,000.
Ms. Jenkins: The vendor certification for Seagrave.
President Rattner: Yes, okay, so just state that. Okay that was the check number you gave.
Mr. Buell: Yes.
President Rattner: Oh, I’m sorry, okay.
Ms. Labow: It’s getting late, Steve, it’s time to go to bed.
President Rattner: I didn’t remember the check number, I didn’t read that.
Mr. Perkins: You have to go put your garbage out, Steve – and no plastic bags.
President Rattner: Not tonight. Okay, has everybody had their questions answered on everything else?
Mr. Greenbaum: I have a motion to remove the payment to Blackstone.
Mr. Perkins: Okay, I’ll second it.
President Rattner: Okay, we’ll take a Roll Call on removing Blackstone.
ROLL CALL Mr. Perkins & Mr. Greenbaum voted Yes
Everyone else voted No
President Rattner: It’s still on there, it’s okay.
Ms. Labow: I think Rita just had heart failure. Did you hear that thud, she just hit the floor.
President Rattner: Okay, any other questions, comments or anything else? Everybody get everything they needed from the Bill List? Good. Roll Call.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I have a question, I still would like to have answers on the First Vehicle Services and also on the question of the part-time Manpower bills.
President Rattner: Sherry, can you answer them? Okay.
Ms. Jenkins: Let me talk about the First Vehicle Services. There is actually an operating statement that First Vehicle puts in here, it’s their operating statement. We have, how do I want to phrase this…we don’t pay for their training directly, but obviously they incorporate those expenses in the amount that they decide we’re going to have to pay to them. Okay, so, we pay a portion of the contract that gets approved by Resolution, we just renewed it, I believe it was in December, and so what you looked at was actually an operating statement from them that included their salaries, their training expenses, things like that, but it’s not like we directly pay for it…it’s just incorporated as part of their overall costs to us, okay?
Mr. Ruggierio: On the second item, I will address that. The…I agree in principle that employing someone through Manpower on a regular basis is certainly more expensive, at least in a modest sense, than having somebody directly on the payroll, of course, we don’t pay their medical coverage or pension contribution, or anything like that, so I’m not sure that, you know, that you can take it dollar for dollar. I will say this, when we do need additional secretarial/administrative assistance in Administration, I think we would be disabled not to have this type of wherewithal. It seemed to me that when I got here, you know, a couple of months ago, three months ago, that the way to handle this, once I determined that there was an appropriation available for these types of temporary services, was to live within the boundaries of that appropriation for this year and then come back to the Council with whatever may be permanent personnel changes we might need in the next Budget. But to answer the larger question, I guess, that was not asked, I certainly have confirmed and reconfirmed with our Finance Director, that an appropriation exists for the payment of these services, apparently, it is something long standing that we’ve had here, so….
Mr. Buell: Well, one of my concerns is is that when I’m looking…as I remember, the professional services budget for part-time Manpower temporary staffing, at the rate you’re running it up, I’m sure you’re going to run over the line on this particular…
Mr. Ruggierio: We will not overexpend an appropriation line item, but our Finance Director keeps a hold of that.
President Rattner: Okay, Mr. Buell, I would ask that you hold the questions, because that’s more of a budgetary question. When it comes to temporary help and these kinds of things, it is within the authority and the responsibility of the Administration. Now, we can argue with the concept, we can modify the budget, so they’ll have the money to do it, but they have the authority to go out and contract this type of labor, they did it in the name of the Township, we’re responsible to pay for it, and that’s really what we’re doing now. And to move this on, we just want to pay the bill.
Ms. Jenkins: We actually did go out to bid for this service as well, so…
President Rattner: Any other questions on the bill list that haven’t been answered?
Ms. Labow: Just my silly question about trying to consolidate like the film development.
President Rattner: That was a comment on procedure and I think they’ll be looking at it because I heard what she said and it makes good business sense, it would be more efficient to them. Any other questions? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Mr. Greenbaum - No
Ms. Labow – Yes, with the one thing that Steve mentioned earlier – check number subject to receiving the documentation on the vendor
President Rattner: Okay, Administrative Matters. Anything the Mayor/Administration wants to bring up at this point?
Mr. Ruggierio: The only thing we wanted to bring to the Council’s attention, I think you did get copied on it, is the letter of congratulations that was sent to our Roads & Sanitation Supervisor, Tim Quinn and I think he deserves mention for his fine work.
President Rattner: Are you talking about the Lake cleanup – that letter?
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes.
President Rattner: Anything else? That’s it. Okay, any Old Business?
Ms. Labow: I’m sorry. I don’t know if this is Old Business or not, but over on 206 I saw they were digging up the road – did they determine what that leak was?
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, I think that you saw the same e-mails that I did. At this moment, the best guess is that it’s a spring.
Ms. Labow: I mean, the DOT was there digging it up today, so I didn’t know if they gave you a report.
President Rattner: Just so you know, I contacted the Administration after I got a couple comments, I guess a week and a half or so ago, and the Administration, through Marilyn, has kept me advised. In fact, I think I got a e-mail yesterday, stating that the DOT has come back and asked our Sewer & Water Department to assist them in locating that on 206.
Ms. Labow: Yes, they have the whole road dug up.
President Rattner: Government, at its best, is…I think I wrote back, the only thing we have to start worrying about now is icing up on the road. I do appreciate that the Administration has been keeping me advised, because I said there were residents who were questioning it.
Mr. Buell: Yes, two things: I would also like to give kudos to Administration and our road crew. I reported a pothole on Stephens Mill Road, actually on May 15th and went back on May 20th and it’s been fixed so…I don’t know whether that had anything to do with it, but….
President Rattner: They’ll take any…the Administration will take any compliments you want to give.
Mr. Buell: The resident who reported it to me in the first place was very happy. The other thing is I sent Bill a memo on previously requested information…the one thing, and we’ve discussed it tonight, the one thing I do need, and I’ve asked him for, is I need an up-to-date budget. I think we all should look at an up-to-date budget of where we stand, line by line, so that we all know, at this point in time, at least on the operating area, where we stand…
President Rattner: You mean, how much our actual spending is.
Mr. Buell: ...and how much we’ve spent versus what, you know, are we on target?
Mr. Guenther: What’s the target?
Ms. Labow: Well, whatever it comes out to, that’s the target.
President Rattner: It’s basically a proportion of what our last year’s budget is…except they have
authorization for it this time.
Mr. Buell: I think the thing we all need to be concerned about is that, you know, our fuel expenses were based on some estimate of last year’s usage and 25% to 50% less than we are now being charged.
President Rattner: Anything else, Mr. Buell?
Mr. Buell: No, not on old business. No wait a minute, maybe it is.
President Rattner: You don’t have to make things up, you know, it’s getting late.
Mr. Buell: I received an e-mail just before coming here today and he sent it to Colleen and to the Mayor and to Bernie, from John Rec and he indicated that the path…the temporary path from Sunset to Turkey Brook Park is being…still being used by the kids with their bicycles and we really do need to get that thing closed off.
Mr. Guenther: Well, it’s not just for his…he’s the last resident okay, it’s not just for his convenience, but it’s a dangerous situation that the kids are biking down and coming onto…right onto the road and especially at certain hours when the teachers are coming in and out, and the buses…it could be very dangerous.
Mr. Elms: Take their bikes away.
President Rattner: Mr. Ruggierio, could you give us a report on that at the next meeting?
Mr. Ruggierio: I will.
President Rattner: Any other Old Business? Good. New Business – no New Business?
Mr. Guenther: I just want to know what’s going on…what are they doing at…maybe it’s something I
missed…at Tulip Street or Avenue Park, or right above that, there is some dirt that’s been moved right before
the intersection of Tulip and Mount Olive Road. What’s going on there?
Ms. Labow: There’s a back hoe on there too.
Mr. Guenther: It appears to be in the area where…no, it’s not the area of the drain, but the Sanitary Construction was out there with some trucks and they were moving dirt around, they seemed to be doing something at Tulip Street Park, as well. But then further up the road, just about the corner of Tulip and Mount Olive, they’ve been building dirt up on the side of the road, apparently taking dirt out and moving it over there.
President Rattner: I think we’d all be interested, you know, we hear something like that and other people have heard it, you know, if the Board of Education is getting involved, we should know. So, if you would just try….just get the information over to the Clerk’s office when you get it and she will e-mail everybody with whatever the status is. Any other old business? New business?
Mr. Dorsey: No legal matters to report.
President Rattner: We have three attorneys tonight and no….three attorneys, two more attorneys…three attorneys…six attorneys….. Okay, Council Reports:
Library Board Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: Just two things, quick, quick… The Library Board did mention at the last meeting that you can see from the Library out the cellar, is the Recycling Center and they want to know the possibility of getting a tree lined berm for privacy. And I just want to remind everybody that they have…we have trees, Rita…November 19th, Friday is going to be where they are going to be having…is scheduled for the next pillars of the community dinner, that’s it.
President Rattner: Thank you.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Elms: Last meeting was May 5th, previously reported on.
President Rattner: Thank you.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: No meeting since the last time I reported.
President Rattner: Okay.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Greenbaum: Basically summed up by saying Morris Chase.
President Rattner: Okay.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Just normal business, Mr. President, nothing spectacular to report.
Open Space Committee Report
Mr. Elms: Last meeting was on May 10th, previously reported on, nothing on Legislative Committee.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: Mr. President, this time I don’t have any report.
Board of Education Liaison Report
President Rattner: I think we’ve said everything that needed to be said, Mr. Buell?
Mr. Buell: No, not quite.
President Rattner: No, I was afraid of that.
Mr. Buell: We did say everything about Flanders School and the situation there. The other thing is that at the Board of Education meeting, I did ask whether or not the Board would be interested in having the lights, or at least exploring the option of having the lights at the High School. They were very interested in it and I have asked Bill if he would follow that up and…with a discussion. The other thing is is that Mr. McEntee approached me at the end of the meeting and asked us to begin to work with the Blue Ribbon Committee in terms of shared services. They were very interested in getting together with us in terms of that and I think that we need to explore those options.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
President Rattner: You heard part of it that we had our annual cleanup of the lake on Saturday the 15th. We actually collected about three tons of material. The big things that are a little disturbing were the amount of docks and pilings that we were pulling out and we found there are still more on the lake. The support of the Township for the volunteers was very good, providing the mulch, providing a garbage truck and a driver who actually participated pulling things out. We actually pulled two full boats out, sunken boats out of the lake, a lot of pilings, some things were too big to go into the packer and they were left and the road department picked up, I mean, I’ve gotten reports that they may have missed one or two things or maybe it’s more stuff floating around so we’ll address that. This shows why we need a dock ordinance, so we’re talking about…to tie that up. But, it was very successful, it was good weather, not too warm, we had enough volunteers.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Guenther: Nothing since the last meeting.
President Rattner: Other than the Fire Department going to Canada to pick up a new truck, if they get their voucher. Now we come to the final public portion. Anybody from the public like to address anything to the Council? Seeing none, I’ll close it.
President Rattner: I imagine that everything that could be said, should have been said already tonight.
Mr. Buell: Absolutely nothing tonight.
Ms. Labow: Just to say, the next trail blazers is June 13th and this time I won’t go in the woods, because I got lost last time for two hours, thank you.
President Rattner: In Turkey Brook Park you go lost?
Ms. Labow: Yes, Dave Jones, Tammy Jones, Laura Szwak and I got lost.
Mr. Elms: No comment.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, I’ll make it brief. Memorial Day Parade is still on for this Monday, 10:00 am, it kicks off from the Boat House, ends at the old Municipal beach. I look forward to everybody being out there, I think…I know that the Police Department will be offering us some special tribute and honor to our fallen heroes this year. It had to be postponed last year because of rain, so… it will be an interesting event, I look forward to seeing everybody out there.
Mr. Greenbaum: None.
President Rattner: And I have none.
The motion was made and seconded and the meeting was adjourned at 11:07 pm.
Mr. Elms: Don’t we have a closed session?
Ms. Labow: We don’t…do we have a closed session?
Mr. Greenbaum: Oh maybe it’s not…it’s not on the amended…
President Rattner: No, we didn’t discuss it, we’ll put it on next week. I think that’s more….you know, to go in there and it’s late. No, I made the decision during the week, because it came up, there are a lot of issues that I think everybody has to digest. You know, there’s different opinions, we really have to look at what it practical not what’s possible.
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