Township Council Minutes
November 25, 2003
The Regular Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to order at 9:28 pm by Council President Guenther.
MOMENT OF REFLECTION in recognition of the men and women fighting terrorism and those who have lost their lives defending the freedom we all enjoy
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate Notice of this Meeting has been given to the Morristown Daily Record. Notice has been posted at in the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mt. Olive, New Jersey, and notices were sent to those requesting the same.
ROLL CALL: Present: Mr. Scapicchio Mr. Spino, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Perkins,
Mr. Guenther, Mr. Rattner
Absent: Mrs. Miller
ALSO PRESENT: Cynthia Spencer, Business Administrator; Nicole Whittle, Deputy Township Clerk; John Dorsey, Township Attorney; Sherry Jenkins, CFO.
Questions on Bill List?
Mr. Guenther: I guess we are all aware of Mr. Rattner’s two page memo with his questions. I guess we can go through those items one by one.
Mr. Rattner: We can wait untill we get to the bill list. The idea of doing it at the early part was so they had time to go through the basket.
Mr. Guenther: I do have a couple of other questions, they are minor. Typewriter maintenance of $1,000.00. Is that a yearly contract?
Mrs. Spencer: It is a yearly contract and every year we go out and look at each department and literally are you sure you need to still have this typewriter and it’s used for State forms that must be done in triplicate, marriage licenses, death certificates, there are things that we can not get rid of type writers for because I asked the same question.
Mr. Rattner: How many typewriters have we got?
Mrs. Spencer: I don’t know the answer to that? Jim, do you know the answer to that offhand?
Mr. Lynch: No.
Mr. Rattner: Because you know, for a $1,000 you could buy 10 new typewriters a year.
President Guenther: Can we consolidate some how?
Mrs. Spencer: We are reducing it; the amount is less than last year. Because I know the typewriter that was in administration is no longer there. We are in the process of getting State approvals to do things through the computer for the Health Department, because they use typewriters all the time.
President Guenther: I also understood that the forms are still done by hand? No, are they online?
Mrs. Spencer: Yep.
President Guenther: Lisa is not here; she said that there are certain forms that we use that still need to be typed by hand. I don’t know which they are.
Mrs. Jenkins: When we hand out the Budget requests, they just fill it in, but I have everything on the computer, so that I input it. Next year everything is going to be online, so we are going to hand out disks to the departments and they can enter it automatically.
President Guenther: Okay.
President Guenther: Okay, then I just had a question about a $100.00 expense , I think it was in the recreation department for an award dinner. What is that about?
Mrs. Spencer: Jill is here. There are a number of questions about the recreation department and if you don’t mind I would like her to…
President Guenther: Why don’t we just add that to the list of items? Okay.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS: None
Resolutions, Ordinances, Correspondence from other Municipalities
1. Resolution received November 19, 2003, from the Township of Mendham in support of Senate Bill S-838 which would prohibit punitive damage awards against municipalities and municipal employees acting within the scope of authority.
2. Resolution received November 20, 2003, from the Township of Randolph supporting the reinstatement of the Property Tax Reimbursement Program as initially developed and urging members of the State Legislature to support the adoption of Assembly No. 3627 which would remove the income limit that a senior citizen must meet in order to become eligible for a Tax Reimbursement.
League of Municipalities
3. Letter received November 13, 2003, from the New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding a League Seminar on municipal energy alternatives to be held on January 13, 2004, at the PNC Arts Center.
4. Letter received November 14, 2003, from the New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding a League Seminar on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) and the Family Medical Leave Act. (FMLA), to be held on January 27, 2004 at the PNC Arts Center.
5. Enewsletter update received October 31, 2003, from Congressman Frelinghuysen.
6. Enewsletter update received November 12, 2003, from Congressman Frelinghuysen.
7. Letter received November 12, 2003, from the New Jersey Transit Corporation regarding the Fiscal Year 2004 request for Federal Financial Assistance under the Transportation Equity Act for 21st Century.
8. Letter received November 20, 2003, from the New Jersey Transit Corporation Regarding FTA Section 5310 Grant Notification.
Musconetcong Sewage Authority
9. Letter received November 13, 2003, from the Musconetcong Sewage Authority regarding the MSA
Wastewater Management Plan Amendment letter of 9/8/2003 of Kenneth H. Klipstein, Northern Planning Bureau to Christopher Raths, Manager of the Township of Roxbury.
Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)
10. Letter received November 14, 2003, from the State of New Jersey, Alcoholic Beverage Control in the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings against Licensee: Alidan Inc.
11. Letter received November 14, 2003, from the State of New Jersey, Alcoholic Beverage Control in the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings against Licensee: Burger N Brew.
County of Morris
12. Email received November 12, 2003, from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding Holiday
Donations of toys, books and clothing for children ages 6-13.
13. Letter received November 10, 2003, from the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding the Green Acres Program.
14. Letter received from Toll brothers on November 12, 2003, regarding Morris Chase Public Offering Statement.
15. Letter received November 13, 2003, from Hing Lum regarding Previous Master Plans.
16. Letter received November 13, 2003, from Hing Lum regarding the Public Meeting of the Master Plan on
October 30, 2003.
American Cancer Society
17. Letter received November 20, 2003, from the American Cancer Society urging the Mayor and Council to pass a resolution in support of New Jersey’s Clean Indoor Air Legislation.
18. November Newsletter from COAH received November 20, 2003.
19. Letter received November 10, 2003, from Thomas C. Kelly, Esq. regarding Mount Olive Village
Water and Sewer Co., Inc.
20. Notice received November 12, 2003, from Cozen O’Conner, Esq. regarding the matter of the Petition of New Jersey American Water Company, Inc. for an increase in rates for water and sewer service and other tariff modifications.
President Guenther: Any wish to comments on any items of correspondence?
Mr. Greenbaum: Resolution received November 19, 2003, from the Township of Mendham in support of Senate Bill S-838 which would prohibit punitive damage awards against municipalities and municipal employees acting within the scope of their authority. I think that is a bill which we should support and we should draft the resolution in support of this bill which would prohibit the award of punitive damages which really is the cruxof the problem that we have dealt with throughout the year. I would ask for Council support in terms of having a supporting resolution to that effect.
President Guenther: My only reservation about that is that I would like to see the Assembly bill before I vote for that. I would like to see the wording of it and what it exempts. We have discussed this before and there are certain exeptionss, or in the pursuit of their duties, but what other items are not included? I would like to see the details of the assembly bill.
Mr. Greenbaum: I understand that. I don’t know what the details are, I can’t comment on that obviously, but the way the Mendam Township resolution is written, it is to prohibit awards which would mean that a litigant would not be able to get punitive damages against an individual acting within the scope of his authority on behalf of the Township, don’t know exactly what the actual bill says.
President Guenther: Wouldn’t you as an attorney think that this might by unconstitutional?
Mr. Greenbaum: No. At one point in time, you could not sue a municipality at all. That was later changed through the Tort Immunities Act to create limited exceptions to suing municipalities. So this would just bring it back. This would be really to correct what is it, a court decision John that would ultimately allow punitive damages?
Mr. Dorsey: What it would do is specifically change the law against discrimination in New Jersey, that is the specific statute along with SEPA, that permits Punitive Damage Awards.
President Guenther: Any other items of correspondence?
Mr. Rattner: I just want to direct your attention to item nine. I have been talking for a while that the DEP is putting a program in place that may result in the confiscation of existing sewer allocation that different towns have. Mount Olive really has not responded, however in my responsibilities as the Chairman for the Musconetcong Sewage Authority, the other member towns have been. In fact we have had a couple meetings with their professionals with the implications. Roxbury and Byram have been very concerned. Roxbury besides putting in their support with us with the allocation with the Morris Companies, which in itself is not a big issue; was concerned about the implications of the confiscation of allocation. This is the first time that the DEP under a letter from Kenneth Klipstein, Bureau Chief actually put down that it could be a real possibility. He actually said in the event that there are no peaceful alternatives and the potential reallocation of MSA gallonage does occur, the user fees and related costs for the vested municipalities may increase. However the condition and the people of Lake Hopatcong are more important. They actually put that in the letter. I think this time we are seeing that it is a real concern. Right now we have purchased, paid for, both in the MSA and in the collection system in Budd Lake, all the capital costs and we’re continuing to pay it off. However, with the way that the DEP is looking at it, that we also purchased if you also include the gallonage from the ITC, there is 1.6 million gallons available on a daily basis. The flow right now because the ITC is not using much is about 600 – 700 gallons combined, they are looking at well, someday if they want to go and give it to Hopactong, they will divert it because we have not used it yet. What they have said is that they will probably make the recipient pay for the capital costs at the MSA, but we would not get anything for the investment. The 30 million dollars that we had spent in putting the pipes in the road, figuring we would get 3,000 users, we have a certain amount of people who have paid for allocation who have not hooked up, and they are saying basically well that would be just something for the benefit of all that our users would have to go up. This is a real possibility, we are not the only area. In Sussex County, the Sewage Authority is under the same pressure. We have to be vigilant. I think we should get more involved. The MSA is prepared and is in the process of fighting it, taking the lead and if necessary, and I have had the conversations directly with Bradley Campell that we would use all the resources that the MSA can gather up from itself and it’s member towns to fight that type of confiscation. This is real, the letter I believe that was sent to Roxbury from the DEP stating this was attached to that letter that I did send back. This one was a little bit more longer than the one that Mr. Guenther just mentioned. It took me four pages to tell them that they better not try it.
President Guenther: Do you want us to do anything as the Township.
Mr. Rattner: I think we have to get more involved, we had a couple of meetings that were called public meetings that were advertised and invitations sent to the different towns. The last one we had at the MSA, four Mayors showed up, three Town Engineers, other elected officials and other people from there, I think that we just have to make sure this is a real concern and we have to keep the pressure on the DEP. It is our professionals; our public works director and such that I have to say that we have already expended the money, we have had the customers, we have had people who have paid to the allocation because this not new; and we are going to go forward. Next time we have something from the MSA, I will send notification out and I think it would be advantageous if the Administration sends somebody down, a professional to react in coordination with everybody else.
Mr. Perkins: Moving down to Utilities under item 20, Notice received November 12, 2003, from Cozen O’Conner, Esq. regarding the matter of the Petition of New Jersey American Water Company, Inc. for an increase in rates for water and sewer service and other tariff modifications. I would bring to the Council’s attention that the proposed rate increase for customers is 23.3 percent and is also an increase of 7.9% for public fire hydrants which is going to cost us $36.10 for every hydrant per month, and they are still not going to dig them out for us when it snows. Two things I would like proposing a resolution that opposes this rate increase and I would also like to ask the Council to consider adopting an ordinance and I will ask for Mr. Dorsey’s direction on whether it be legal or not that when it requires township funds to dig out a fire hydrant that is owned by an investor owned utility that we are paying a rental fee for that we be permitted and somehow able to recoop the cost of digging that fire hydrant out. I think what it does is it moves the fee away from the rate payers and moves it on to ultimately all the taxpayers in Mount Olive if we have to dig these out at our own expense.
President Guenther: Any other comments on correspondence? Seeing none.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Guenther opened the Public Hearing on:
Ord. #44-2003 Bond Ordinance Amending Section 3(1) of Bond Ordinance Numbered 37-2002 of the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey Finally Adopted September 24, 2002 in Order to Amend the Description of the Project. (publication error – previous Ord. #42-2003 -Turnout Gear for Flanders Fire and Rescue)
President Guenther closed the Public Hearing on Ord. #44-2003
Mr. Scapicchio moved for adoption and final passage of Ord.#44-2003. Mr. Perkins seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Further Council Discussion? Seeing none.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Guenther declared Ord.#44-2003 as passed on second reading and hereby directed the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by the law.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING
Ord. #45-2003 An Ordinance to Amend and Supplement Section 4-31.2 of the Mount Olive Code Entitled Recreation Advisory Committee (amending the number of members).
Mr. Rattner moved that ordinance #45-2003 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on December 9, 2003 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, NJ for a public hearing and consideration of second reading and passage of said ordinance and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post, and make available said ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law. Mr. Scapicchio seconded the motion
President Guenther: Council Discussion? Seeing none.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
Ord. #46-2003 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing a Four Ton Weight Limitation on Mooney Road and Patricia Drive.
Mr. Greenbaum moved that ordinance #46-2003 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on December 9, 2003 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, NJ for a public hearing and consideration of second reading and passage of said ordinance and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post, and make available said ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law. Mr. Rattner seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Council Discussion? Just for Audiences sake, there are small sections of these two reaod that are in the Township of Mount Olive. Most of them are in Roxbury. This ordinance is being done at the request of Roxbury Township to dovetail with their own ordinance.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
Ord. #47-2003 Bond Ordinance Providing for the Financing of a Contribution Toward the Acquisition of an Interest in a 603 Acre Tract Commonly Known as Firetower Estates for Use as Open Space in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $1,000,000 Therefor and Authorizing the Issuance of $950,000 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance Part of the Cost Thereof. (amended)
Mr. Spino moved that ordinance #47-2003 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on December 9, 2003 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, NJ for a public hearing and consideration of second reading and passage of said ordinance and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post, and make available said ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law. Mr. Perkins seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Council Discussion?
Mr. Perkins: Did Kathy get a chance to call you back today?
President Guenther: Yes she did. We have just gotten word that the County just allocated another million dollars towards the acquisition of this property. So it makes it a total of 2 million dollars committed from the County. What was the State commitment? I forget? They are still lining up…
Mr. Dorsey: I believe in my conversations with the Trust for Public Lands, I believe they have the money.
President Guenther: I think so too.
Mr. Dorsey: They were supposed to close in January, I think the thing that might hold it up is the completion of the survey’s. But it is a done deal.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
Ord. #48-2003 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part II General Legislation Chapter 89, Buildings Numbering of.
Mr. Perkins moved that ordinance #48-2003 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on December 9, 2003 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, NJ for a public hearing and consideration of second reading and passage of said ordinance and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post, and make available said ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law. Mr. Spino seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Just as a matter of explanations; we didn’t discuss this in workshop, the amendment is for the requirement of the installation of knox systems in commercial properties to make it easier for the fire companies to respond. That is strictly all it is. It adds to this particular Chapter 89. There are several clauses in there, so that is the reason for that. Any other Council discussion? Seeing none.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS AGENDA:
Resolutions on the Consent Agenda List are considered to be routine and non-controversial by the Township Council and will be approved by one motion (one vote). There will be no separate discussion or debate on each of these resolutions except for the possibility of brief clarifying statements that may be offered. If one or more Council member requests, any individual resolution on the Consent Agenda may be removed from the Consent Agenda List and acted on separately.
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS – R. Perkins
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Developer’s Agreement Between the Township and Toll Brothers LLC Morris Hunt Phase I. (amended)
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Extension of the Rachel Manor Developer’s Agreement for Twenty-four (24) Months.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing $7,200.00 for Police Overtime for the Addition of a Special Traffic Enforcement Detail on Route 46 and Village Way in Mount Olive Township.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Agreement Between the Township and Metso Minerals Industries, Inc., New York Folding Box, Co., and Waterloo Road Development Co., LLC.
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Return of the $50,000.00 COAH Fee Paid by Paragon Village.
Mr. Scapicchio moved the Consent Resolutions Agenda. Mr. Perkins seconded that motion.
President Guenther: Public Commnets? Seeing none, any Council comments.
Mr. Rattner: On resolution No. 3 it is to provide the overtime for the additional enforcement on Route 46 and Village Way. I could see that it has already started. Also, over the past weekend I saw that the police did something again that didn’t really cost anything, they took all the available police cars and had them parked at different intersections, I told the Chief that it was causing a problem, I may burn out my brakes from constantly slowing down. But that is what we want. We want to have the visibility so people think that we are out there. Hopefully the press will continue to keep printing the stories about the heavy enforcement. The idea was not to necessarily to give out more tickets, but just make people slow down, pay more attention and hopefully make the roads safer.
President Guenther: Further Council comments? Seeing none?
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
Library Board Report – Jerry Sheard
Jerry Sheard, President Board of Trustees of the Mount Olive Library: Just to give you a quick update on the construction. We have gotten our trusses in, walls are up, we’ve poured some of the slab, they are working on the driveway for the basecoat right now. It is starting to shape up a little bit. We still have problems as normal, but we are pretty close to being on time as far as we are concerned, given the fact that we have had some little rainy weather now and then. But we are doing better than a lot of the jobs I have been too. A couple of things that did come up last time. One was a question of the newsletter. Remember that was brought up at the last meeting. The earliest copy I have on hand is a 1997, that has been put out. We have only mailed two of them out because of the expense. But we were advised by our professional fundraiser to do that. One was mailed out last year, then we did another one this year. But we have had driven most of them through the library through the patrons and things of that nature. I do have a copy of any of them if anybody would like to see it. I didn’t bring copies for everybody. The first one went our as I said in 2002 was bulk mail, and the 2nd, was 2003. Also, letters went out to all the new Council members and the Mayor. We have invited him to come to any of the board meetings as we did everybody else and the public, no body showed up yet but we have another board meeting coming up. We are like the school board, the trustees run the library. We are responsible for the library under state law. Our board meetings are the second Wednesdays of each month at 7:30 and anybody is welcome to come. Sherry has been there, Dave has been there. Or you can contact the Library director, Rita and she will contact me if there are any questions. One thing I would like to bring up that we will look at next year; I went to the Council, both current and incoming, to start thinking about the furnishing of the Library; remember we left that out when we did that ordinance. All the funds were there. So far, we’re looking at $100,000 for the cabling unit, the new building technology, which if you remember we went to the County last year, asking for funds, we will do it again this year. But due to some things that happened down there, we did not get any funds from Mt. Olive from the County under the Community Development. We are also looking at $98,000 for the shelving. This needs to be bid, so there must be a guarantee of funds before and we should probably do it at least six months ahead of time, which would mean early in 2004. We are still anticipating June/July completion of the Library of next year. The Library Board so far has raised $60,000 of the money that we anticipate to use. One of the things that we got shocked with a little but was that we are not getting the money from donations from the big businesses because of what happened as far as Turkey Brook and other things the Council is aware of. Some of the big funds that came from Toll Brothers and things like that went into the general fund or other projects. The Library is seeing the results; because there is only so much money out there and people just do not donate as much as you would like them too. So, with that is there any questions form the Council members or the Public?
Mr. Rattner: I guess this would be the time to talk about some of the things like the change orders, and stuff like that.
Mr. Sheard: I have that, which is next.
President Guenther: That segways right into the next resolution.
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Series of Change Orders for the New Municipal Library.
Mr. Rattner moved Resolution No. 6, Mr. Perkins seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Public Comments? Seeing none, Council comments?
Mr. Rattner: We were given some documentation on the extending of a perimeter and the wet tap valve for the water main because it was within the purview of the construction manager because of the small amount. But we have two other larger items. The first one, the underground communications conduit. Is this something new or something that was omitted in the original plan? How did this come about?
Mr. Sheard: The communication was in the original plans to go to the building. The problem is we didn’t know where it was going because of the telephone company, where there lines were going to come in. They had not given that to us. The change orders for the installations of three lines, four lines you see for the telephone data and cable runs. From the street into the building, at the end of our building. We had it in the building but we didn’t know where it was going from the building coming out. That is why it was not showing on the drawings. This work was not specifically included in the contract because of that. The architect and the construction manager both recommended payment of this. We have discussed it.
Mr. Rattner: What about the rock excavation, what’s that? Because we have been talking about the rock for the last four months.
Mr. Sheard: That’s $18,774.90. This change order was facilitated due to the bedrock when we were putting in the storm sewer. All the borings did not show anything, and what we did and the reason for this is they brought in a crusher that crushes the rock on site. We actually reuse the rock. It was not shipped off or anything, we used it. The cost of this is for the specialized equipment, it is not just something you go ahead and get anytime you want to. They have to bring that in especially within a week or so.
Mr. Rattner: Before we go any further, Mrs. Spencer or Dave who is I guess the liason to the library, we were talking about rock and it came up before, where is it in the contract that this is an extra. Because we had an issue before that the contract stated that it was a lump sum and that there was no extra rock or was it…
Mr. Scapicchio: It was a per unit cost and I guess we need to know how they came up with the $18,000.
Mr. Rattner: I’ll let Scott answer that because the unit price was $36.00.
Scott Ayres, Construction Manager, Library Board Project: Again, the background is that the rock that was encountered, was bedrock formation, it was not fractured rock that is typically layered around the surrounding areas here. Upon the discovery of this rock which was not revealed by the soil borings that were done right in the location where this particular outcropping was discovered. There were a number of borings around the site. We uncovered it, we looked at it. We tried to determine if it was possible to utilize equipment that was on the site that was typical to the project to loosen it and get it out of the way, it was determined that it was not possible. We had the civil engineer on the site looking at it. We had the architect looking at it, we had the site contractor who was actually doing the work looking at it and we came to the agreement that it was going to take specialized equipment to take care of this problem. We went to the site contractor, Spina, and said what is your recommendation? We knew what it was going to be, but he suggested that they bring in a hydraulic hammer on a track excavator and work the rock and remove it to the elevations that were required for construction of the stormwater management basin. The actual costs of the equipment were $2,250.00 day with the operator and that number in addition to the unit cost of $36.00 a cubic yard to actually handle the material and use it on the site the way we would have anticipated it being used. The unit price in the contract absolutely does not contemplate exposure to the kind of material that we have found here. If we are talking loose fractured rock that is under the surface, that we hit all other places in the building around the site, nobody would have said anything about it. But you physically can’t do what you have to do with the kind of rock that we encountered with the equipment that was never bargained for and really that would be typical from this project, so asking the contractor to bite the bullet and do this work at $36.00 a cubic yard, he is losing money right at the front end of this. We didn’t consider that fair. We would like to be able to think that people could imagine that they would run in to this in advance, but there is no way to know.
Mr. Scapicchio: We had this discussion months ago I guess it was. We made the determination at that time that there was a cause in the contracts and the bid proposals that went out that allowed a sum of in this instance, $36.00 per cubic yard for rock total. It didn’t specify the type of rock and at that time when you presented that finding to the library board and I was at that meeting, you told us quite candidly that Blackstone admitted that they made a mistake in the original bid quote. They needed to get extra money for this because their site contractor Spina was charging them more than what they had bid in the original proposal. That came back to this Council, this Council had made the determination that we wanted to hold that contractor to his bid.
Mr. Ayres: Doing that resulted a couple of problems. One is that there is a loss, an inequitable situation cost here, whether he made a mistake or not, we went back to look at bids that were actively working on other projects. We asked the contractor to go back and look at some of their other information, we asked the architect to look at their information. Everybody knows the kind of number that should have been in the contract is a $150.00 - $175.00 a cubic yard. So they made a mistake, obviously.
Mr. Scapicchio: One May not argue that but I think if you look at in terms of the tax payers that pay that bill, they assume that every bid that was produced, was a legitimate bid and that the professionals reviewed those bids, when those bids were opened, each one of those contractors all had an opportunity to review, make any changes or reject the proposals that they put forward, in case one may have made an error. In fact they were even allowed to look at each other’s…
Mr. Ayres: Well they are not allowed to change their bid. It’s a correct hereafter.
Mr. Scapicchio: But they could have pulled it back. They could have said, look I made mistake. Don’t accept this. So I think that one could reasonably argue that a contractor like Blackstone, could very well have put a $36.00 number in that line item realizing maybe that it was low, and now he wants to come back and it could be a legitimate mistake or it could be an intentional mistake.
Mr. Ayres: Well, I’ll make one point is that the contracts not awarded and accepted based on the inclusion of the unit prices.
Mr. Scapicchio: The other question I have is you certainly were instructed to go back and tell the contractor that we were making him adhere to is bid proposal.
Mr. Scott: We did do that and basically they responded as we would have expected them to is that it is impossible for them to absorb that kind of loss because that is what it is. You know what is going to happen. Suppose they just said okay, fine. We are going to do it at $36.00 a cubic yard. Knowing that we are losing money. Down the line we are going to be faced with the possibility of them trying to slide this loss, whatever it is, the money that they needed to make up, in to another change order. Some other part of the project and that is a reality of public works contracting. These guys are in business to make money.
Mr. Scapicchio: Well, let me ask you this. How many cubic yards to they have to remove?
Mr. Ayres: There was approximately 108 cubic yards at the unit cost.
Mr. Scapicchio: What did Spina charge Blackstone.
Mr. Ayres: $11,250.00 for the rental of the hydraulic hammer and the operator.
Mr. Scapicchio: So for $11,200 Blackstone got that rock broken up and removed and used elsewhere on site. So they want to cover some additional profit in overhead above and beyond their cost on a mistake that they came they made?
Mr. Ayres: I don’t know that I would position it that way David, I am sorry, it costs “x” amount of dollars to do certain operations on a job. If it costs Spina and ultimately the contractors that they are working for and have it rigged, delivered to this site, operated for five solid days just to take out a 108 cubic yards of material, load it back onto a vehicle and haul back out of the site, then that is what it costs.
Mr. Scapicchio: If you want to talk about a contractor just trying to cover his mistake and not capitalize in terms of making profit and overhead on that mistake, one would assume that he would submit it, is net cost. That is the argument that I make.
Mr. Ayres: He did submit his net cost on the actual equipment rental. Their original proposal, by the way, when it was first discovered was something on the order of $80,000. Obviously it took months of them understanding that there was a problem and us telling them that they are not going to get anywhere with that kind of number, because you can’t quantify, you can’t justify. Finally it got to the point when we were facing a deadline with Morris County Soil Conservation to complete the work and there were difficulties as you know with FTF, one of the contractors that was an original site contractor for the project and a lien was filed and so on and so forth and we are rapidly running out of time. It wasn’t a desperate move on our part to negotiate something but we said, you are not going to do this. We’re just going to sit here and let it ride unless you come up with a better solution and so we quantified it based on the actual volume of material. We took a value of the machinery that is required to do the work and we came up with what we thought was a fair number. We have been through this on other projects.
Mr. Scapicchio: I have a question for you. It seems to me that if we allow them to change the pricing structure, that we are in someway sort of violating the bid law.
Mr. Dorsey: Certainly violating the spirit of the bid law. Perhaps the thing to do with this tonight is to approve the three vouchers that there doesn’t seem to be a problem with and just put the other one in limbo for further study. You obviously don’t want to approve it.
Mr. Perkins: Cindy, in the contract, you have a copy of the contract?
Mrs. Spencer: No, I do not.
Mr. Perkins: My question is under the definition of rock when the specs were written, what’s the definition of rock.
Mr. Ayres: The unit price list for this project is a boiler plate unit price list. Some architects and engineers include a very expansive and all inclusive list that covers every nut and bolt that you might have on a project. It is called unclassified rock. I think that is how it is referred to in the unit price list.
Mr. Perkins: So unclassified means any rock. My problem with this is the first time we had rock in the detention basin area, the pricing that was bantered about was approximately the same for I believe it was about a 100 cubic yards at $36.00
Mr. Greenbaum: This is the same one.
Mr. Perkins: The point is mute. It’s $3,600 and that is the end of the story. I thought this was a whole separate issue.
Mr. Greenbaum: Same rock.
Mr. Ayres: That never came back to me as being the message that this had been rejected. Clearly we have an actual cost that is above and beyond the value that was assigned to it in the contract. I appreciate your concern.
Mr. Perkins: My understanding of this is that the last conversation and I am not at liberty to tell you who that was with, was that Blackstone was aware and that they had accepted that under protest, and I said well that is all well and good, they could accept anything they would like under protest, but by contract law that’s the price that they have put in there and if they are unhappy with that, then we will take it to the surety and let them provide someone else to perform the work, and see our remedy through a breach of contract. That is just the way that stands.
Mr. Ayres: We asked them to do it and they consented to do it under protest while the matter was being reviewed. I have no information about what you just said past that, which is fine. Fair enough.
Mr. Greenbaum: Two comments. The direction from Council was anything but very clear. It was that the rock was to be removed at the contract price. End of story. We are the decision makers in terms of how the money is to be spent of the taxpayers. And that direction was not followed, for whatever reason. It wasn’t followed. You are spearheading the project. You are to work on behalf of the Township. That is the message which should have been sent. That is what my position is, that I am not paying a dime over the $3,600 to remove that rock. Secondly and I have to comment on this, and it troubles me to no end. Your comment that they will try to slide the loss here in some other fashion. Let me tell you one thing, regardless of how we move on this project and this rock removal, they are going to try and stick it to us every way that they possibly can because they know it is a municipal contract. That is the very reason that you were retained to represent the taxpayers, to follow through. To make sure that the contract was followed. To make sure that the project was done right, on time. Otherwise, what are we spending money for, for your time.
Mr. Ayres: What’s your point, why are you scolding me?
Mr. Greenbaum: As you know and this is your comment, this is not my comment, that they are going to try and stick it to us in other fashion. You are there to protect us. To make sure that we don’t get stuck. Otherwise, I don’t understand why we hired a project manager to.
Mr. Ayres: I think you are talking out of your realm here a little bit Rob. I’ll tell you something, I know that our obligation is to manage the project and look after the best interest of the township and the library which is who I have a contract with by the way. But beyond that this is business, you ought to know that. You tell people that you are involved in this then you should know the contractors who lose a nickel over here are going to try and find it back over in the other pile. My point is simply this, it will be the rest of the job where we are constantly looking for the extra that they are trying to get out of it because they think they got nailed for something else. Do you get the concept?
Mr. Greenbaum: I get the concept completely, but that doesn’t change just because we are holding them to the contract. I can guarantee you because it is a municipal contract and they are going to be looking for that nickel regardless. Even if we pay them the $18,000 a year, they are still going to be looking for the extra nickel on everything. Every project I have ever been involved with, I always feel like I am getting stuck. Well it’s time that the township stands up for its rights. I could tell you this. I don’t mean to scold, and I am not directing this at you at this point and I apologize that my voice is elevated and I’ll try to bring it back down. But I am really tired. I am tired of being stuck; it’s not going to happen any more. If we had made an error in the contract, you can be damn sure that they wouldn’t be coming back to us. That would never happen. It is just not going to happen. We are going to pay what was in the contract, and I even heard your explanation that this was a different kind of rock than the rock that could have been expected. I don’t remember seeing any change orders for the $36.00 when they had to remove other kind of rock.
Mr. Ayres: Because they didn’t have to bring in a hyrda hammer at $2,250.00 a day to break it up just to be able to move it. That’s what we are talking about.
Mr. Greenbaum: I understand the need to bring in the machinery and I understand that they made a mistake, but the bottom line is that the rock which you are talking about which you don’t need the machinery is the rock which is necessarily included in the contract that we are not getting billed for. This is the line item rock which should have been bid at $150.00- $200.00 an hour and wasn’t. Too bad, so sad. We moved the rock, lets move on with the project and we will pay the $3,600.00.
Mr. Sheard: Fine with me. Let’s move on with it. I understand your concerns there, but I don’t think your attitude is exactly right. This was put in by the contractor, in accordance with the specifications that we submitted. Your comments are coming; it is going to be so noted. But your attitude on that; I think you are talking to the wrong guys. We realize it. This is only the 6th change order that has been submitted. I think we are doing a lot better of a job then the Council or anybody else did on some of the other projects that we have had in this town. I think our construction manager is doing a better job.
President Guenther: I’ll call a point of order; I think that remark is uncalled for, okay? Let me put it into perspective for you, okay? If we buckle under to a contractor and say, let him make a change to what his contract ,s. it is open season in Mount Olive. For any contractor to come in and say I’ll make changes as I go along. You shake your head Scott.
Mr. Ayres: My point is this. It is a personal policy, being in this business for as long as I have and working in public works projects all this years, is to set a standard for fairness and going forward with the concept that you don’t make people suffer just because you have the upper hand in a contract. You have a guy out here who by his own doing, underbid the project significantly, these are not people that who want to hurt financially. These are not people that you want to starve. You want to pay them a fair price to do something that we consider an extraordinary condition. Be glad it is not Turkey Book. That is something to be considered. We don’t have this problem anymore on the job. $18,000.00 made it go away quick. It was taken care of quickly and efficiently once we had the basis for the deal to go forward. We said this is what we can probably work with, then it happened. We have a system that is in compliance with Morris County Soil; Sheila Hall was out again today. They are happy. End of story. It is just being fair. That is good business to me.
Mr. Rattner: Two things. When you look at the contract, I didn’t see all the bids that came in. But I know from everything else that we have done in town, I could look at the unit costs, and the unit costs are all over the place when they bid. Because that is the way they are looking at it. Well, they know there is going to be change orders here, there is not going to be over here. On every project we have had, I think I have seen rock bid out at a penny a yard. Why? Because the contractor is trying to out think us. And some other item that may be $200.00 - $300.00, they bid out at $2,000.00. There are a lot of lump sums. We go through almost all contracts and I think we can go through all of them. Mr. Dorsey can correct me if I am wrong and you’ll see. .01, .01, .01, $3,000.00. .02, because they are figuring out what is going on. This is a $3.8 million dollar contract with Blackstone. You are talking about a cost overrun to him of around $11,000.00 If you take out the $36,000.00 that we are willing to pay, narrow down to around $7,000.00 - $8,000.00 and also because they are using the rock on site that they are not having to pay for, bringing in there is a value of 108 yards of stone with transportation and everything else. Nobody is going to convince me that on a $3.9 million dollar contract that they haven’t gotten lucky on other ones where this contract charges them a little bit less after they sent, they found somebody else to supply the windows instead of what they thought was going to cost him $600.00 a window, they got at $550.00. It goes both ways, I just can’t believe that now I am down to around $8,000 on a change order when it is very plain in the contract and we know that the unit prices can be all over because they are trying to out think us. They have more experience than we do, that on a $3.5 $4 million dollar contract, $11,000 and they haven’t found anything that went the other way. We know they did, we know that is part of the game, we bid it out, we hope to hold it to the contract. The only time we have an issue is when the contract is vague. We are getting smarter because we have been nailed too many times where we didn’t spell it our very very precisely. That’s why we have gotten nailed most of the time. I don’t consider this a big issue, I didn’t know that this was the same rock that I thought came back and as we heard before, that was resolved and I don’t know how the communication works, but it was very plain based on a recommendation to the people who dealt indirectly that we were not going to entertain anything above the contract price. If I knew that would not have even asked for an explanation, I would have just said that it was decided four months ago, what changed in the four months?
President Guenther: I have a solution to this. I partly agree with Scott, that you shouldn’t necessarily penalize somebody for hopefully an honest mistake. It is a small number compared to what it cost us at Turkey Brook. But he shouldn’t be made to suffer for his mistakes. I say provide some extra money, but not the entire amount, maybe split the difference with him. At least he knows that okay, it reduces his profit, he gets a very thin line profit on it, he realizes we are willing to meet him some of the way, that this was an honest mistake, that we don’t want to penalize him, we don’t want to drive him out of business, or whatever, but he also must suffer a little bit from his mistake.
Mr. Dorsey: Mr. Chairman, maybe we should at least adopt a resolution as to the three that there is no disagreement with and get those items off the table and the last item I suppose is going to require some additional study or negotiations.
Mr. Perkins: One thing I would like to add, if we could would it not make sense to put the original $3,600 in there that was…
Mr. Dorsey: Not in this resolution, we are simply going to take the item for rock excavation out. Lets get the other $21,000.00 paid tonight. David could you move and amended resolution which will delete the item involving rock excavation?
Mr. Scapicchio moved an amended resolution with the resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive authorize a series of Change orders for the new Municipal Library as follows.
1. Underground communication conduit $15,614.75
2. Extending the perimeter footing at $4,031.78.
3. Wet tap valve for new water main 2,497.87
excluding No. 4 rock excavation in the amount of 18,074.90
Mr. Perkins seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Any further discussion on Council? Seeing none
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception of Mr. Greenbaum, voted no.
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing a Special Meeting for December 16, 2003.
Mr. Greenbaum moved Resolution No. 7, Mr. Rattner seconded the motion.
This is word of explanation; this involves a program that we’re made aware of, it involves federal funding that has a deadline on it to apply for by the end of January, there are firms that are specializing in this and these three firms will make presentations regarding this funding. It involves stormwater management, a regional stormwater management plan. So that’s what that will be, strictly to hear their presentations. They will get a half hour a piece. Any comments from the Public? Seeing none?
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
8. Resolution to Amend the Capital Budget. (companion to Bond Ord. #47-2003 Firetower Estates).
Mr. Spino moved Resolution No. 8. Mr. Perkins seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Comments from the public? Seeing none. Council comments? Seeing none.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
1. Bill List
Mr. Perkins moved the Bill List through pages 15 after the explanation as requested from Council. Mr. Scapicchio seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Do you want to start with recreation since that had the most comments?
Mrs. Spencer: Can we please ask Jill to come up please?
President Guenther: Of course.
Jill Daggon, Recreation Supervisor: Actually, if I could address Bernie’s questions first because you had the longest list Steve; the $100.00 for the award dinner as part of the Volleyball program, that is being paid out of the recreation trust fund, which is the fund that receives program fees into. We have 18 volleyball teams, they each pay $100.00 to participate in the program and so it is covered in that so that first place and second place both get to spend up to $100.00 at a restaurant for their team to celebrate having been first and second place. Okay, Steve you had quite a list.
Mr. Rattner: It all really revolves around one issue; why it came up, and I don’t know why the administration is bringing you up. This is more of a policy issue, what it appears, just to put it in simple terms, is that a proposal was accepted, the administration based on your memo to the CFO approved setting up a peddle boat rental business on our beach for recreation during the summer which includes considerable [inaudible; sneeze] to get it set up. My major concern is that because this is something that is a policy thing about do we want to be in that business, the implications of what it will mean, that I don’t know if the administration had the authority to do that. What brought everything up, and you know when you came here last summer, that you thought you were going to run short in your beach fund. If the beach didn’t find more funds, the beach would have to be closed. I believe your estimate was at the beginning of August. After that we did not hear from you and we finished the season and everything was good in Mount Olive, we had some sunny days and we went on. But why that came up is because we were short, somehow you didn’t have to come back, that’s great, you found the money you completed the season. And then you can see from my memo is that the first thing I saw was the lifeguard chair at $505.00 and put into expense. That alone just raised my curiosity. You even got expense money left over because according to the vouchers it came out of expense. Then I came across the next $5,951.00 for the surf graphs and water hammocks. Again, according to the Bill list it was charged to materials and supplies.
Mrs. Spencer: In buildings and grounds, as playgrounds.
Mr. Rattner: That’s fine. We looked at the beach and when we did the budget we did that separately. I am just saying what raised my concern. The last one, and at first I though you were buying a Harley Davidson because it said super guide v 15 and so on but it was only $7,362.00. I find out it is a power boat, then I go through the rest and find out that you have come up with a plan to provide the boat rentals during the summer. With that there is obviously going to be liability, questions, there is training, I am not sure about the labor laws, when we have our volunteers to make sure because there is probably age limits, on anybody using any power equipment. I know you can’t even use certain cash registers. How we’re going to collect the money? We eliminated on the beach some years ago because it was costing us more and the problems we had with having beach help collect money. But everything is there, I just noticed your memo talked about an analysis we haven’t seen. I guess it is just coming about that all of the sudden we are finding this money. We have problems in different areas. I want to know how this has been prioritized with everything else that we want to do in town or everything else we want to do in recreation. If we have the money, we had one heck of a time, we had to appropriate additional monies through different things at Turkey Brook for the sports teams and the bottom line is how can the town come up and set up a new business without coming through the Council because I look at it as a policy decision, if it is not a policy decision what other businesses have you set up that we don’t know about?
Mrs. Spencer: To the best of my knowledge, there are no other businesses that have been set up without your knowledge, and in relationship to your questions here, the reason that we came to Council last summer was because it was the salary account that we were looking to increase and you told us to go back and find the money else where. We went back and Sherry had actually an analysis on the recreation trust fund. She had advised Jill well over a year ago that there was $30,000 lets say over and above what Jill’s receipts had shown. They went through a full year and made sure that money really was a free balance and not a misunderstanding on either one’s part. We used $20,000.00 of that money out of the recreational trust to fund the remaining salaries that were need on the beach based on the increase participation and the needed coverage at the beach. Historically the Parks, Buildings’ and grounds budget has in fact purchased playground equipment, that sort of thing. So the purchase of the $5,900 of surf rafts and water hammocks, that is a continuation of a program that was started last year to make it safer for the residents while they are waiting in line to use the slides and that sort of thing. So that went against the buildings and grounds budget. Again, it is a programming cost and a budget that has already been approved. So we did not feel that this was any change in philosophy. The Mayor approved the concept of a small power boat as part of the programming equipment necessary to safely allow our program to exist, to take these floats and place them out in the water. Jill you might want to actually give an explanation of what had actually occurred in the past without the proper equipment.
Mrs. Daggon: We realized when we would like to be able to do this paddle boat program as being modeled after the ones that Morris County Park Commission operates out of Sunset Beach in Lewis Morris Park. It’s the same price structure, same policies for doing that. The power boat would be in case we have a sudden storm come up, to be able to retrieve people, we are going to have it buoyed off as to where they can be, very close to the shore line, they can’t go very far, it’s only for a half an hour. Five minutes is getting into the boat, five minutes is getting out of the boat. So that only gives it 20 minutes out on the water for your rental time. What we are looking to do is have more activities on the water because there is not a lot of sand. So we are trying to give people more options of things to do. The other thing is that we have also seen that swim lessons is not bringing in the kind of income that we are used to seeing to be able to cover all of our costs, so that you either cut expenses or increase income. Peddle boats seems to be a good way to increase some income. The power boat is necessary because this year when we sent out the surf rafts and the slides and all of those things out there; they are weighted down by four 75lb buckets of concrete. So the lifeguards have to swim those out and put them in place and retrieve them by swimming this season and it is very difficult to do that. We’ve got a little place that we are now big enough an operation where we really need to have some sort of a boat. Sometimes the Budd Lake Rescue Squad has helped us out, but they have an inflatable boat and they will not put concrete buckets of cement in their inflatable boat; they are concerned about ruptures. We also need to be at the place; we need to start taking out our inflatable dock. We are beginning to see some ice damage and some erosion from the sand, as it goes into the swim area, from storms. We’ll start dismantling the docks and bring them in to store them during the winter time, again that is something that needs to be done from a boat. Jim’s crew will be using the boat for maintenance issues, and then the beach staff will be using it for the peddle boat program, and for setting up the beach and tearing it down afterwards.
Mr. Rattner: You are modeling it after the Morris County System. How are you going to collect the money? Like Morris County? Set up a segregated booth, secure of money, machine, tickets, the whole bit, so where is that expense coming from?
Mrs. Daggon: The same way people pay on the beach for swim lessons. They pay on the beach for the water carnival, they pay on the beach for movie nights, anything that we already do, we already have a mechanism for collecting fees. What they do, is there will be a white board to see how many rental spots are open and at what times, you can set them up ahead of time, they go to the main gate area and the pay for swim lessons, receipt, the whole thing for their rental time. They bring their receipt to the peddle boat person, the peddle boat person gives them a life jacket and gets them into a peddle boat.
Mr. Rattner: Well, I was surprised, when I saw your memo, and it was very interesting and the one thing that really disturbed me was that according to the memo, and I am taking it is correct, that you were advised from the CFO, that the administration made the decision to go ahead with this project on November 5, 2003.
Mrs. Daggon: We were doing a lot of research prior to that.
Mr. Rattner: I am not saying about a lot of research, on November 5th you wanted to get the boat in by December so that you can put it in the garage. I took offense because this is something major. I don’t know if we want to start getting into this complexity of stuff. I don’t know what the liability is; a lot of small projects we have gone after, we have asked the JIF exactly what the insurance, what the training, what type of requirements there are going to be. I don’t believe and it is my position that the administration, I am not blaming you, you are supposed to come up with
all the ideas. But the administration to come up with this. We used to have a policy. I don’t know what happened. That was for years; come November 1st, that’s with every expense, we started going down, we started looking
Mr. Rattner (cont’d): now, because we are worried about the mentality. I look at the spending all of the sudden for beach stuff at the end of the year when we knew we had a problem during the year, that we are spending available funds. The reason why we had the process in that November and December, that we looked at every expense and we were very careful with the mentality of spend it or lose it.
Mrs. Spencer: Steve I was unaware of that policy, we did not follow it last year which is the first November/December I was here. There was no such policy.
Mr. Rattner: We had the policy for a while, it used to be, whatever. How do we conserve because we know especially and this in private industry too, but more in government, because we are always worried the Budget may not be there the next year. We talk about why it is that urgent. Setting up this type of service, having a revenue source and that type of thing Mr. Dorsey, doesn’t that take usually a Council?
Mr. Dorsey: It obviously is a change of policy as I could see it.
Mr. Rattner: This has to say whether the town would want to go into this business. This would be something. We have approved the lessons, different playground activities; this is something really major with power equipment and large expenses. I just don’t know how the administration did it. I’m not ready until I really see the how everything is actually being set up to approve these types of expenditures.
Mrs. Daggon: The other thing, Steve, is that the peddle boats and the power boats are coming from the recreation trust fund which is generated by programming fees and we charge a little extra during our playground program because we know that we need to have start up money for new programs. So it is not coming out of taxpayer dollars, it is coming from the users to be able to buy the equipment for the programs that we have asked for.
Mr. Rattner: We appropriated $50,000 from the Beach Budget, you ran short, you took it out of the trust fund which is not going to be around next year. So next year the same expenses that came out of the trust fund this year, we are going to keep the activities at a taxpayer price. There is still the issue that we have different programs. So it’s not just where because we collect the money, we could spend it on everything that we want, still think it is a policy decision, we sent up a number of trust funds by rider which were very specific on what the expense is. It is very specific and we can only spend that money. If spend it on anything that is not specifically identified in the rider; then basically we are outside the terms of the law. I am not sure without seeing it, I don’t know what is in there. Now we find out you have this fund; how much money is this town spending that we have no idea, and really what is the real accountability. I wouldn’t have known. How do I know why there is a boat being purchased?
We spend more time on a lawn mower.
President Guenther: My question on this is you say it is out of the Recreation Trust Fund, but it says that it is charged to recreation expense. I question that. To me, it should be an asset.
Mrs. Daggon: The boat is not charged to a recreation expense account. Not to the 795 operating and expenses budget. It is being paid out of the recreation trust fund which is our programming fund. We brought in almost $200,000 this year in programming fees, and we try to break even. The beach’s operating and expenses is only $5,400.00. It takes a lot more than that to make the beach run. In consideration of the taxpayer, I’ve been trying to put more of the effort on the user to cover our costs. That has been true in most of our programming.
Mr. Greenbaum: Bernie, I have a question for John. If it is true that the recreation trust fund dollars are not tax dollars, what are they?
Mr. Dorsey: But they are Township funds.
Mr. Greenbaum: What’s the difference?
Mr. Dorsey: There is no difference. They come under the jurisdiction of the Township. They have to be accounted for like any other funds.
President Guenther: I see, it says recreation trust fund but it is classified as recreation expenditures. Okay. But I still question that. To me it should be in an asset. Do you expense out a $7,300.00 item? If something is going to be around for a few years, it should be taken care of. Not as an expense item.
Mr. Rattner: You are right in concept, but you have a certain amount of flexibility usually, you capitalize something when you want to write off the cost over the course of a couple of years in a non-profit or a government issue. It is not the same issue because we don’t have depreciation. The thing is, I don’t remember seeing in the audit; they are saying $200,000.00 in that trust fund that the $200,000 has been audited separately saying that we have that kind of fund, I am going to have to go back to night check back the audit.
President Guenther: So how do we go from here, come on lets close this up.
Mr. Rattner: The real issue is until I see what it is, I don’t know if I want to get into this program with the kind of liability and exactly where it is going to work. Where are we going to dock the boat?
Mrs. Daggon: I have not yet made arrangements to get a slip for it until we actually got the boat but I know that I can get a slip either at the boathouse area or pavilion beach. I am not ready to negotiate with Dock’s Marina to get a slip. It’ll go on a trailer, it’ll be stored in the white garage that parks, buildings, and grounds uses at the municipal building property.
Mr. Rattner: So we are going to use it at the beach but we are going to park it across…
Mrs. Daggon: Out of season.
Mr. Rattner: No. You said without a slip.
Mrs. Daggon: We would have a staff member go where the slip is and take the boat over each day and return it. Park their car at that end of the Lake.
Mr. Rattner: What did you find out about insurance?
Mrs. Daggon: Well I have transit plates ready to go on the boat.
Mr. Rattner: I mean liability insurance for us and that type of thing.
Mrs. Daggon: I haven’t.
Mr. Rattner: How could we? This is not your fault. This is the administration, I don’t see that you put something together, we are starting to buy materials, and we don’t even know if we can get insurance. This is the type of thing that drives me crazy. I don’t know of any business, I don’t know of most governments, I mean we can complain about different levels of government. I am just buying stuff but I don’ know if I could use it, so I don’t know if I could get insurance. I don’t have every detail worked out. I am just buying the material. That just reinforces what I think is being done; if I have the money let’s spend it real quickly. The decision was made on November 5. I just don’t know what is going on. We have a lot of different budget problems, budget issues. We have a loss of ratables, there may be cuts that we may need. Some of those funds in recreation to give basic recreation type of activities. If we have less tax dollars coming in next year, there are things that we have to do, because we have to have the police, we have to plow the roads, recreation is a nice to do, and we don’t want to give it up, and maybe we’ll have to dip into there to keep the operations going. No difference than what happens than when you thought that you were going to run short of operating expenses. I am not directing this at you, because you are supposed to come up with the ideas to present, the administration is supposed to evaluate it and see how it fits in. Make sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. It is just frustrating, I don’t want to put Jill on the spot, it is really not her fault, these are the people that we have asked to come up with ways of expanding services that the public wants, then they put you up to try to explain the business case that the administration should do.
President Guenther: Steve, what do you want to do here?
Mr. Rattner: At this point, I am not going to vote for those purchases. I don’t know what happens next, we’ll get it repossessed.
Mr. Dorsey: Don’t we want to move some bill list tonight?
Mr. Rattner: Yes. I’m going to take those things off.
President Guenther: What do you want to take off Steve?
Mr. Rattner: The three things that came out of recreation.
Mr. Dorsey: Why don’t you make a motion to remove it?
Mrs. Spencer: Part of these is a continuation of a program that was started last year.
Mrs. Daggon: The surf rafts, let me explain why we need them. There are three things, actually there are four on the list, they are surf pads, green leaf pad looking things that they slide on, attached to that was another one for the kids to climb on to wait to be able to go on the slide. We found last year, the way we had it set up was that there was not enough room for all the kids who wanted to be waiting their turn to go on the slide. That presented a hazard because they were treading water out of sight lines of guards, but more guards had to be available to watch them safely so that a recommendation from the company was and we agreed with looking at it, what to do. Put them all together to use what was called the surf bridges to connect all the lilly pads together, so we will have the two slides and additional four rafts to connect it all together through one unit. Also, we found when a high breeze came up, they would make the whole slide swing. It could hit a child, so if became very windy, we would eliminate the use of one of the slides and again, keep extra staff on, keep the kids away from the swing pattern of the slide. Putting it all together in one unit, and all those 20 anchors of 75 lb each, they will not swing anywhere. So this is really a safety issue to be able to utilize what we currently have.
Mr. Rattner: I don’t have any problems with the individual expenses, what I do have is I have lost any confidence in knowing what is out there and I want to know exactly what we are doing with the trust fund. The one thing that is in here that isn’t even here yet that the one thing is revolving around is we haven’t gotten the peddle boats. Where are the peddle boats? Are they on their way in on a truck someplace?
Mrs. Daggon: No, we haven’t ordered them yet. We plan on ordering them in January. We are getting the prices now, because prices change, I want to get the best price I can. I got an extra order in, all kinds of good stuff. $2,000.00 less than what everybody else is quoting tryng to move on it in a timely manner, trying to save the Township money. However again, the surf raft items are from Parks, Buildings, and Grounds budget for playground structure and that is where it belongs. That is not coming from the trust fund and that is accountable in the Parks, Buildings, and Grounds budget. The lifeguard chair, that is the first thing you listed, it replaces a $5.00 lawn chair that has been on the dock for several years. We need something that is safer that it gives a higher elevation to be able to visualize what is going on with the kids and won’t get blown off if we have a storm.
Mr. Rattner: Right now, I just have a weak feeling about the budget. That is why I don’t want to approve an expense on it if I am not sure where it is coming from, it’s not that we don’t need it.
President Guenther: What are you recommending we take out of the bill list? What specific items?
Mr. Rattner: Marine products, the $505.00, the $5,951.00 for Kadworld, and $7,362.00 for Joe’s Marina.
President Guenther: How about the other five items you had in your memo? Are you satisfied with the explanations that were given to you?
Mrs. Spencer: I have the explanations. The questions did not reach me until noon time. We have had departmental budget hearings all day, so I did not have an opportunity to prepare a written response. However, Number 1, the two checks that were issued for Water Environmental Federation on behalf of Mike Lata and Phil Spaldi; there are two separate memberships. Mike Lata just having been promoted to chief operator, it is his initial membership, and that fee is $100.00. Phil Spaldi has been a member over years and a renewal membership is $64.00. That is the difference in those prices. The rental of the trailer for the road department, I don’ know how many of you have been down to the garage on Route 46, but every time it rains the building floods. There’s mildew, & mold. Our people are in there in the lockeroom and they need to change while they are there and we can’t have them working in these deplorable conditions where it is just not safe or from a health perspective. So we rented a trailer so that these men have a decent changing area and there is a portable John included in that because the site has no potable water and at least this way there is a bathroom facility which there is not in the old garage.
Mr. Rattner: How long do we expect to have the trailer there?
Mrs. Spencer: We would like to move ahead with the DPW garage. Mark is going to be coming back with recommendations on the engineering study. He has gone out with proposals and received responses on that. We would like to move ahead with that as soon as possible so that we can build a new garage and move our people out of that facility.
Mr. Rattner: I bring that up because we have ordinances against using trailers for anything other than construction. We have actually seen resident’s houses have been burned and we said that it is there for short term. This is just a pet peeve I have that the Township feels that the ordinances refer to the citizens, this is just my concern, not for the government itself because we can’t live by the laws that we pass on to people. I understand why you need it. The camera.
Mrs. Spencer: This camera is a 35 mm camera that is being asked for by the Tax Assessor. They take pictures when they go out to do the assessments. The other cameras that exist in the Township, there’s three. One in Parks, buildings and grounds. One that our IT Administrator handles and everybody else borrows, which is the digital camera, and there is actually another eight year old camera in zoning that is used for property maintenance issues. That is what I have been told.
Mr. Rattner: I suggest that we go back into our records because I could count probably at least a dozen that have been purchased over the last 24 – 30 months, most of them in the $400.00 to $700.00 range. All these sophisticated digital cameras. My question is, and it wasn’t on this last 35 mm camera, it was noticing all the cameras that had been purchased, I want to know where they are. We should be able to get a good accounting of them by tomorrow morning, because we should know. If we are buying equipment like this, somebody is approving the purchases, approving the vouchers; this is big money for something that is very easy to walk, very marketable. I want to know where they are.
Mrs. Spencer: Okay.
Mr. Rattner: That is why I asked that.
Mrs. Spencer: Number 4, there are actually 10 M-14 A1 rifles. They are U.S. Government surplus and the police were able to purchase these. They will be used as ceremonial rifles, and they U. S. Government has a surplus program where they offer them for sale and that is what they were purchased for.
Mr. Rattner: I wasn’t sure, I thought maybe we were setting up an assault team for homeland security.
Mrs. Spencer: Absolutely not, actually there are other rifles that are being purchased for just that purpose but these are not those rifles. These are for the ceremonial.
Mr. Rattner: But we did have a Police Chief that almost bought a tank, so. I guess I agree with you on this. You left a note on the voucher for Blackstone group, and you questioned whether it was appropriate to pay for when material is dropped at the site. Not just using the percentage of completion. I have dealt with contractors where that was in the bid specs. That’s where it comes up, if it’s in the contract, that’s the way we pay. Not just strictly on percentage of completion. We pay based on the contract, just like we had the extended conversation before whether it is a good idea or bad idea, if we have approved it. So if I can see that it is in the contract.
Mrs. Spencer: I do not have a copy of the library contract. The library board feels very strongly that they are the keepers and the Administrators of that contract. Mr. Dorsey has a copy.
Mr. Rattner: Because if we are approving the reimbursement for certain things and they say what’s been done, we need the contract just to know if even the prices are right. If you get a worksheet that has the unit costs, how would you know whether they are right? Because you know in the past from some other areas, not the library, where we found pricing problems. So I think that is really needed, but if that is in there, then I think it is appropriate that we pay them. Do you have that Mr. Sheard? I can look at it after, as long as we have it.
Mr. Sheard: Just for the record, it is in the contract. If want me to read the exact section, it will take me a few seconds to get it. I can show it to you afterwards that it is in there.
Mr. Rattner: Come on it is only 11:00 pm.
President Guenther: Okay, what are we taking out of the bill list, Mr. Rattner?
Mr. Rattner moved the bill list at this point removing again, marine rescue products $505.00, Kadworld $5,951.00 and Joes Marine for $73.62. Mr. Scapicchio seconded the motion.
Mr. Spino: What about Council Discussion?
President Guenther: We have had plenty of discussion Earl, what have we been doing for the last 15, 20 minutes.
Mr. Spino: I didn’t say anything yet because a motion wasn’t made. The only question I have on the boat is what Steve brought up, which I think is legitimate is the liability we might have. I think everything else is in order. How can you have a lifeguard without a seat so that he can see?
Mr. Scapicchio: Bernie, Steve already made a motion to pass an amended Bill List and it had a second.
President Guenther: Well Earl has a comment; he has a right to discuss it. He’s right. So your point is the lifeguard chair should stay.
Mr. Spino: I think everything except the boat and the only reason I say that is because I think Steve has a legitimate reason there and I would like to know what the Township’s liability is for running that thing around the lake. Everything else I think is quite within reason, I think we should pay for it.
President Guenther: Okay, so what are you voting on?
Mr. Spino: You didn’t get to me yet did you?
Miss Whittle: No.
Mr. Spino: I’ll tell you when you get to me.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception of Mr. Spino and Mr. Guenther voted no.
ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS - NONE
OLD BUSINESS - NONE
Turkey Brook Report
Mrs. Spencer: Next week the buildings at the park will all be winterized as will be the sprinkler system. The Township Engineer has reported that Mr. Conte has completed all items outlined in the final punchlist. Schoor DePalma had an inspector on site when the remediation efforts were being completed. Gene Buczynski will be on site tomorrow morning to do the walk through inspection of the work. The Township Engineer has reported that Mr. Conti has completed all items outlined in the final punch-list. Schoor DePalma had an inspector on site when the remediation efforts were on-going by Kyle Conti Construction, and Gene Buczynski will perform the final walk through inspection of the work tomorrow morning. The re-roofing of the maintenance barn was completed yesterday. Jim’s crew will also address the re-roofing of the small block annex building with the shingles left by CBC. JCP&L will be requested to come to hook up the power to the building as soon as Jim’s electrician gets the meter panel installed and our electrical inspector issues the cut-in card. We anticipate this will be done in December. Now the Parks, Buildings and Grounds personnel can work on the second floor renovations over the winter months, as time allows in their work schedules.
President Guenther: I did have one old item in my notes here to be discussed in November, the old municipal building. Wasn’t the administration going to give us something on that in November?
Mrs. Spencer: Didn’t I send you a report on that? I thought I had. It was a few weeks ago. We had two meetings, we made a list. We were asked to get together a list of items that need to be addressed if we were going to move ahead and consider demolition of the existing building and building on the existing site. So we put together a full list, we tried to estimate time frames for each one of the elements that we identified that would need to be addressed? We took into consideration things like the DPW Garage and moving people out of the existing building so that they could be demolished, the parking area. If you don’t have that, I will remail it tomorrow.
President Guenther: I am drawing a blank; maybe I misshuffled it or something. If you can give me another copy I would appreciate it.
Mr. Scapicchio: Bernie, I just have a question on the Turkey Brook Park. Has Kyle Conte regraded the football fields yet?
Mrs. Spencer: Yes. He has regarded both the football field where the hump was as well as the softball field had some issues. There was a broken pipe and some sod needed to be lifted. There has been discussions, he understands he’s responsible for that sod, taking root, and surviving next spring, so he elected to pull up the sod, do the remediation work whether it was removing some of the humps or putting in an additional fill and meeting the grade and then he relaid the existing sod understanding that if it doesn’t take he will be replacing it in the Spring.
Mr. Scapicchio: Is it your understanding that the field now meets the elevations as per the contract documents?
Mr. Dorsey: Well they haven’t put the sod back down, right?
Mrs. Spencer: Yes, it is back down.
Mr. Dorsey: Oh they did, but we don’t know that until the football association sends surveyors out?
President Guenther: Did we ever get the asbuilt survey from Kyle Conte?
Mrs. Spencer: Yes. Gene did receive it.
President Guenther: How did it compare to ours?
Mrs. Spencer: I believe that the survey work that was done by Kyle Conte shows that the fields were all built within the allowance allowable in the specifications based on the site plan that Conte was given by Olympus. I thought the Township Engineer had a discussion with Council on that.
President Guenther: We kept asking for Kyle Conte and kept being told Kyle Conte never submitted the asbuilt.
Mr. Rattner: And our surveyor said it wasn’t built to the…
Mr. Scapicchio: Bernie, I asked that question because I am not quite sure that the remediation that Kyle Conte had done over at Turkey Brook is what this Council expected in terms of having that field with the elevations as per the original drawings.
Mrs. Spencer: I do believe that there is an additional discussion that needs to take place between the Township Engineer and Council.
Mr. Scapicchio: I find it very interesting Bernie that Kyle Conte’s as builts show that it is within a certain tolerant, but yet the outside surveyor that we brought in showed something completely different. So there is something wrong.
President Guenther: I’ll call Gene Buczynski tomorrow to try to get to the bottom of what is going on.
Mr. Rattner: Turkey Brook is looking better each week and that is good news. However I got a call yesterday, from a resident who went up there with the children and they still couldn’t play on the fields. Signs were up that said the soccer club has closed the field.
Mrs. Spencer: There should be no private signs up there.
Mr. Rattner: Well, they were up there yesterday, because I got a call. They couldn’t get on the fields. They were just asking me when. The question was, who owns the fields? I thought we resolved that or it is going to be resolved. I can understand if we’re remediating the field because it’s unsafe and we could damage it, but the Soccer fields which we play on should be open to the public during non playing times.
Jim Lynch: I’m not sure exactly, I know the type of signs the soccer club is using, if they are on the fences again, we will have then removed. I directed two weeks ago, my staff, all of the patron gates on to the field are unlocked. The maintenance gates, the double gates on every field remain closed so that no one can take an off road vehicle or anything else out on the fields. I know someone could still get a dirt bike on through the patron gates, but those fields are all now accessible except for baseball II and the alternate field which needed additional remediation work. The football field we did leave open until Conte was on site. So the public has full access to those fields. Any signage that the soccer club has left, I will have removed. I just did not see it.
Mr. Perkins: Jim, if you could fit it into their schedule and I don’t see why you couldn’t. The maintenance guy’s that go around in the morning. Just have them go around during the day, if somebody from the soccer club puts up a sign, just have it taken off. Of course, if they see the person that is doing it, it would be nice if they could report it.
Mr. Lynch: I will make a call to the soccer club as well and inform them that those signs cannot appear on the field.
Mr. Greenbaum: Just the issue I raised with you before, having access to the bathrooms. I have that you have a long term plan in terms of bringing in blocks that are time sensitive, but there has to be some kind of plan developed to get those bathrooms open because I know people who are walking the park and then having to use the facility and all of the facilities are closed, so it is problematic, so if you can come up with something, I think that would resolve a lot of the concerns that I have been hearing about the use of Turkey Brook.
Mr. Lynch: I will look into that and I could tell you that next week we are winterizing the bathrooms so they will be closed starting at some point next week. I am hoping Monday. I will put up appropriate signage to that effect. I will look over the winter, hopefully by next spring when we reopen, those time sensitive locks can be on. Currently what we are doing is at Turkey Brook we are locking the bathrooms at 3:30 when my staff leaves, because right now I have not had the ability to get time sensitive locks. That is going to take some time. With winterizing them in five days, it wasn’t the most pressing issue we had.
Mr. Greenbaum: Is there any thought to bringing in a portable John, because there are nice days in the winter, and there are going to be people who are going to be using the park for recreation and we have to provide some facility for them to be able to use it. The bathrooms aren’t going to be open and I still don’t understand why the bathrooms can’t be open during the wintertime, they are heated aren’t they?
Mr. Lynch: They are heated in a capacity so that there is no freeze damage in the winter. They are not heated in a capacity where when we get into the colder weather, to have those doors opening and closing, could possibly be an issue if someone wedges a door open on me at night.
Mr. Greenbaum: Well, I think you need to think about some type of arrangement that there will be a bathroom facility that if you are not going to use the bathrooms that we spent all that money on, we need to get a portable John up there in the Winter or figure out some other plan.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay. I could look into it.
NEW BUSINESS - NONE
LEGAL MATTERS - NONE
Library Board Liaison Report – Update previously given.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Guenther: The ordinance for first reading on the change of the bylaws, the composition of the recreation board, and at the last meeting there were some individual complaints heard regarding grievances. Those are the major items that were discussed.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Perkins: The next meeting is in December.
Planning Board Report
Mr.. Greenbaum: Two things. Rezamir was granted preliminary approval from what I understand, I had left the meeting at that point. Also, the Master Plan was approved. The Planning Board approved and directed Mr. Buzak to prepare a resolution with regard to the master plan. My understanding is that there are time sensitive issues. Once it has been approved it has to be sent down to the County, so it wasn’t officially approved, but Mr. Buzak was directed to draft the resolution and the vote on that was unanimous but one. I am the only one who voted against the Master Plan.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Mr. President, Paragon had been before the Zoning Board of Adjustment I think yourself and Mr. Greenbaum were also there, aware that they were also denied their application to change the use of the Senior Center, other than that it was just standard business.
Master Plan Committee Report -None
Open Space Committee Report - None
Legislative Committee Report – None
Pride Committee Liaison Report – None
Board of Education Liaison Report – None
Mr. Rattner: I attended the meeting last night. The major item on the agenda was I guess the different department heads explaining how they are going to raise the bar on the curriculum, looking at the programs they have, so we perform better in the standardized tests. Other than that there is nothing new.
Status of Committee RE: Lake/Environment Issue – none
Ned McDonald, Budd Lake: One question on the Bill List, when a purchase of $7,000 or thereof, does that have to go out to bid?
President Guenther: No. There were three quotes that were presented in the bills that were there. They go out for three quotes even though legally they really didn’t have too. Anything below $17,500.00.
Mr. McDonald: Okay, and I would like to thank the Council for sticking up for the taxpayer’s interest on the rock excavation, I guess you learned your lesson at Turkey Brook. Thanks.
President Guenther: Thank you. Anyone else?
Jerry Sheard: Just so you think we do know what we are doing. In the AIA documents which is the American Institute of Architectural standard contract, Section 5.16, subject to the other provisions of the contract documents in the amount of each program payment shall be computed as follows: “added the portion of the contract sum properly allotted to materials and equipment delivered and simply stored on the site are subsequent in corporation in the completed construction”.
Mr. Rattner: I have seen it before.
Mr. Sheard: Just so that everybody knows it.
Mr. Perkins: Just to bring to everybody’s attention, December 6, 2003, of this year the Santa house for the Kiwanis club officially opens up on Route 46. I am not sure if I have all of the slots filled, I have sent out some emails to some folks. It’s posted; we’re still looking for some Santa Clauses and helpers. It’s always nice to have new people come. You have to be fat and jolly, if not we’ll make you fat and jolly when you get there. If your good at playing Santa Claus and you would like to help us out, we would appreciate that. Also, we are taking donations of food and other things to help some of the more needy families here in the township. We have all spent a lot of time and energy donating for the refurbishing of that place, it is handicapped accessible right now. Anybody that can get there, we would appreciate your patronage, that is for sure.
President Guenther: Anybody else?
Mr. Spino: Just to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
President Guenther: Now that Ray brought up the collections for needy people, the Chamber of Commerce has a list of families they choose every year, they have specific children with specific needs and also contributions can be made in money. The person to contact is Lou Terezza at the Mt. Olive Chamber of Commerce if anybody wishes to make a contribution.
Motion made to adjourn, all in favor, none opposed. The meeting adjourned at 10:16 pm.
STEVE W. RATTNER
I, LISA M LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes is a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on February 10, 2003.
LISA M. LASHWAY
Mount Olive Township Clerk