April 12, 2021 Meeting Minutes

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STILLWATER TOWNSHIP

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION

April 12, 2021

Regular Meeting

*ZOOM MEETING ONLY*

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mr. Szabo, Mr. Dvorsky, Mrs. Branagan, Mr. Svendsen, Ms. Kral, Mr. Branagan

MEMBERS ABSENT: Mrs. Emmetts, Mrs. Tracey

Mrs. Wunder called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with the statement that this meeting is in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act. This was a regularly scheduled meeting of the Stillwater Township Environmental Commission. Regular meetings are held on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m., at the Stillwater Township Municipal Building located in Middleville, New Jersey.

The flag was saluted and roll call taken.

Mr. Branagan resumed as Chairperson.

Minutes

Mr. Dvorsky made a motion to approve the minutes of 2/8/21, seconded by Mrs. Branagan.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Szabo, abstain, Mr. Dvorsky, yes, Mrs. Branagan, yes, Mr. Svendsen, yes, Mr. Branagan, yes

Bills

Mr. Szabo made a motion to approve the following bills, pending availability of funds, seconded by Mr. Branagan:

Secretary: $232.69

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Szabo, yes, Mr. Dvorsky, yes, Mrs. Branagan, yes, Mr. Svendsen, yes, Mr. Branagan, yes

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:06 p.m.

There being no members of the public present, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:06 p.m.

Correspondence:

-Public Notice (NJDEP Application): 917 Main Street, septic repair – Mr. Szabo visited the site and reviewed the application. He observed no issues.

-“After more than 2 decades of searching, scientists finger cause of mass eagle deaths,” www.sciencemag.orgThe article discussed a new toxin that is affecting eagles and other wildlife. It is not in the northeast area at this time.

– 4/5/21 Amphibian Season Update – Mr. Branagan reviewed the amphibian crossing results as follows:

3/18/21 – Swartswood: Mrs. Branagan participated.

Wood frogs: 1,045, 29 DOR

Peepers: 73, 5 DOR

Spotted salamanders: 3

Jefferson salamanders 11

About 20 cars passed by with a steady rain throughout.

Total of 1,132 critters saved and 34 DOR

Counts for 3/24/21:

Wood frogs- 697 DOR 36

Jefferson- 14 DOR 3

Peepers- 409 DOR 31

Spotted salamanders- 18 DOR 3

Newt- 9 DOR 3

Bullfrog- 1

American toad- 1

Pickerel- 1

Total- 1,150 little lives saved and 76 DOR

30 cars come through.

Old Business

2021 Beautification Project:

Mr. Branagan reported the project is on hold until a new Zoning Officer is hired to replace Mrs. Fisher due to her retirement. At this time, Joe Golden, Planning/Zoning Engineer has been hired to fill the position temporarily.

Fishing Line Collection: All line is to be cleaned of litter/leaves, hooks and lead sinkers. Lead sinkers are to be provided at the meeting for recycling.

New Business

Volunteer/Member Recognition:

Mrs. Branagan: Participation in the amphibian crossing.

Mr. Dvorsky/Mr. Branagan: Reinstalling fishing line receptacle and repairing six swallow houses at Veterans Memorial Park and a wood duck house installed on Saddleback Road.

Mr. Szabo suggested installing another wood duck house on Old Schoolhouse Road where he observed several ducks. Mayor Chammings may have one he could use. It was noted the permission of the property owner would be necessary.

Ms. Kral arrived at the meeting at 7:32 p.m.

Endangered and Threatened Species:

Sightings: Red-shouldered hawk and two eagles.

Mr. Dvorsky mentioned that the cicadas will be emerging from underground for the first time in 17 years. He cautioned that they are a food source for the copperhead snake.

Ms. Kral observed an Osprey at Paulinskill Lake and a rat snake on her dock.

Mr. Branagan and Mrs. Branagan visited the wolf preserve in Columbia, New Jersey. A great presentation was provided.

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:42 p.m.

There being no public present, this portion of the meeting was closed to the public at 7:42 p.m.

Planning Board (PB) Liaison Report: Mr. Branagan

The March 2021 meeting was cancelled.

Township Liaison Report: Mayor Chammings

-The budget was introduced on 4/6/21 with a municipal increase of $32-$36 per $205,000 assessed value. Stillwater School had an increase of $83 and the County had a slight increase. The numbers are not in from Kittatinny at this point.

-The Auditor and CFO provided a budget presentation.

-The budget is posted on the township website.

-Cross River Fiber, an internet provider, was scheduled to provide a presentation at the last meeting but did not appear. They will be rescheduled.

-The Recreation Commission will not be holding Stillwater Day this year. The Miss Stillwater contest will be held on 5/21/21 at the Community Center. There will be no Little Miss or Mister contest this year.

-Clean Up Day was held 4/10/21 and included free tire disposal (limit of 4) under the Clean Communities Grant.

-A cover will be purchased for the cardboard container at the Recycling Center to keep it dry. Residents need to properly fold and tie their cardboard for disposal.

Mr. Dvorsky discussed an article from Josh Gottheimer regarding stimulus funding under the American Rescue Plan. Mayor Chammings has been in touch with the Congressman’s office and will attend a webinar to better understand the funding. Stillwater can receive $380,000. Businesses, restaurants and emergency services may be eligible.

The Environmental Commission thanked Mayor Chammings for her hard work as the “go to” person.

-The DPW has been keeping the roads clear of brush and are working on the Community Center.

-Fire/EMS have been busy.

-County OEM Mitigation Plan is up for review and is on the Sussex County website for viewing and comment.

-992 Fairview Lake Road – communication was reviewed from Applied Services re: LSRP. The pile of dirt from the tank removal is still on the site and can be tested. The back and front of the building and roof have collapsed. The Mayor is following up with the Construction Official, re: unsafe structure.

-Two ordinances were introduced as part of the budget.

-Four land sales were approved by resolution.

-Joe Golden, P.E. Zoning/Planning Board Engineer was hired as the Acting Zoning Officer.

-The hours for Dawn Tighe were increased to assist the Zoning Department.

-A tax certificate assignment was not passed for property on Pond Brook Road. The Township Committee will move forward on an in-rem foreclosure.

-Garage Sale Days will be held the third weekend in July.

-Recycling shared services with SCMUA was approved to review and certify our tonnage; cost of $300-$400 per year. The tonnage grant is based on the numbers.

With no further business to come before the Commission, Mr. Szabo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:03 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Branagan. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________________________

Kathy Wunder, Secretary

 

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