STILLWATER TOWNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION
December 9, 2019 – Regular Meeting
MEMBERS PRESENT: Mrs. Tracey, Mr. Szabo, Mr. Dvorsky, Mrs. Branagan, Mr. Svendsen, Mr. Branagan
MEMBERS ABSENT: Mrs. Emmetts, Mr. Blanchard, Mr. Nause
Mr. Branagan 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. Szabo made a motion to approve the minutes of 11/14/19, as amended, seconded by Mrs. Tracey.
Mr. Dvorsky made a motion to approve the following bill, pending availability of funds, seconded by Mrs. Tracey:
Secretary: $ 225.91
At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:10 p.m.
There being no members from the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:10 p.m.
Freshwater Mussels (article from Mr. Dvorsky): The mussels are dying by the thousands with no cause found. It cannot be linked to a specific cause and is similar to the plight affecting the bees and bats. It is affecting mussels along the central east coast and spreading.
Mr. Dvorsky stated an infiltration of giant mussels from China came into the Princeton area years ago. They were discovered and eradicated, however it is questionable as to whether or not they reached the head waters of the Delaware.
Paulins Kill Watershed Collaboration Meeting Minutes: 11/13/19
Paulins Kill Watershed Collaboration Meeting: Review letter drafted by Mr. Szabo
Mr. Szabo did not have the letter completed as he was waiting for the minutes of the November 13th collaboration meeting, which he received just a few days ago on December 6th. He would provide the letter at the January EC meeting for review.
Tree Restoration/Invasive Removal Project:
Mr. Branagan reported the invasive removal at Veteran’s Memorial Park was completed and sprayed. Approximately 40 to 50 trees were planted by Mr. Szabo, Mr. Branagan and Mr. Dvorsky. An additional 600 trees were planted by Ridge and Valley Charter School students.
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.
Annual Report 2019:
This item will be updated at the end of the year and submitted to the Township Committee for their review.
EC 2020 Initiative for Stillwater Township:
Mr. Branagan suggested selecting a portion of the township and identifying properties with unregistered vehicles and debris. Mr. Szabo, Mr. Dvorsky and Mr. Branagan will work together on the project. Mayor Chammings recommended providing a list of property maintenance issues and unregistered vehicles to the Zoning Officer for her review. Vacant properties were discussed, Mayor Chammings reported the Township Committee considered the possibility of using the vacant property registration revenue to assist property owners in cleaning up their properties. At this point, there is no clear directive from the Township Attorney. The EC asked Mrs. Wunder to provide the ordinances on property maintenance, unregistered vehicles and vacant property registration. Mr. Szabo suggested contacting Wynnie-Fred Victor Hinds, Outreach & Community Engagement Manager for ANJEC, and ask for her guidance on how to proceed. Mr. Branagan will contact Ms. Hinds and the Zoning Officer for advice. Mayor Chammings noted cleaning up a property has its liability issues. Mrs. Branagan stated at this point, the EC can identify the parcels that need to be addressed, those that can be seen from the road, and make recommendations to the Zoning Officer. Mayor Chammings would include this item in her report to the Township Committee for their input. Mr. Svendsen was concerned with the responsibilities of the EC vs. those of the Zoning Officer. The Mayor will review this matter with the Committee and Township Attorney and she will sit down with the Zoning Officer for her input. The EC agreed to add this item to the January EC meeting agenda for further discussion.
Mr. Dvorsky., Mr. Szabo, Mr. Branagan: Tree restoration at Veteran’s Memorial Park
Mr. Dvorsky: Article pertaining to freshwater mussels
Endangered and Threatened Species:
-Two sightings of a barred owl.
Mr. Szabo provided an updated Threatened and Endangered/Special Concern list from the NJDEP.
Steve Stark provided instructions for a screech owl or kestrel nest box. Veteran’s Memorial Park would be the perfect location to do so. Mayor Chammings stated she may have kestrel and duck boxes and would like to donate them. Mr. Branagan agreed to install them at the park.
JCP&L Bill Insert:
Mr. Szabo provided an insert that was included in his energy bill and it was reviewed by the EC as follows:
At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:45 p.m.
There being no members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed
Planning Board (PB) Liaison Report: Mr. Branagan
November 20, 2019 Meeting:
-Discussed Ordinance 2019-10 Soil and Fill Replacement. The EC will be responsible for conducting site surveys of major soil/fill applications. Major – exceeding 500 cubic yards; Minor – 100-499 cubic yards. Wetlands delineation will be a part of the application. The permit application will be submitted to the Zoning Officer if it is a minor application or Township Engineer if it is a major application. Less than 100 cubic yards will not require a permit.
-Mr. Branagan reported on Block 2001, Lot 2 to the Planning Board. If a Zoning Board application is filed the EC will have an opportunity to conduct a site survey.
Township Liaison Report: Committeewoman Chammings
There has been no Township Committee meeting since the November 14th EC meeting. Mayor Chammings reported the next meeting will be held on December 17th with a celebration for Mr. Gross’ retirement beginning at 6:30 p.m. followed by the regular meeting. All are invited to participate.
-The ANJEC Environmental Commission Handbooks were received.
-Appointment letters were distributed. Mrs. Tracey and Mrs. Branagan are up for appointment; 3-year terms due to expire 12/31/22. Mr. Blanchard is up for appointment, Alternate #2 position, 2-year term due to expire 12/31/21. Both Mrs. Tracey and Mrs. Branagan wish to be reappointed. Mrs. Wunder will email Mr. Blanchard as he was not in attendance.
With no further business to come before the Commission, Mr. Szabo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:02 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Branagan. In a voice vote, all were in favor.
Kathy Wunder, Secretary
Stillwater Township offers residents a Recycling and Convenience Center for household trash and recycling.
Residents are able to view property tax information through the Municipal Software Inc. system. You may find a property by entering the property’s location or block, lot and qualifier.
Stillwater Township posts all information about bids and proposals for township projects on a dedicated page.