January 11, 2021 Re-Organization and Regular Meeting Minutes

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STILLWATER TOWNSHIP  ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION

January 11, 2021 –  Reorganization/Regular Meeting

*ZOOM MEETING ONLY*

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mrs. Emmetts, Mrs. Tracey, Mr. Dvorsky, Mrs. Branagan, Mr. Svendsen, Mr. Branagan

MEMBERS ABSENT: Mr. Szabo

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.

Member Appointments:

The following appointments were made by the Township Committee and all members were sworn in prior to this meeting:

Margaret Emmetts – term expiring 12/31/23

Eric Svendsen – term expiring 12/31/23

Ed Szabo – term expiring 12/31/23

Reorganization

Chairperson:

Mr. Dvorsky made a motion to elect Mr. Branagan as Chairperson for 2021, seconded by Mr. Svendsen. There being no further nominations, nominations were closed.

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

Vice Chairperson:

Mr. Branagan made a motion to elect Mr. Dvorsky as Vice Chairperson for 2021, seconded by Mrs. Branagan. There being no further nominations, nominations were closed.

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

Secretary:

Mr. Branagan made a motion to appoint Mrs. Wunder as the Commission Secretary for 2021, seconded by Mrs. Emmetts.

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

At this point, Mrs. Tracey joined the ZOOM meeting.

Meeting Dates/Official Newspaper:

Mr. Branagan made a motion to approve the following meeting dates and official newspapers for 2021, seconded by Mr. Szabo:

Stillwater Township

Environmental Commission

Schedule of Meeting Dates

2021

The Stillwater Township Environmental Commission, County of Sussex, New Jersey will hold regular meetings on the second Monday of each month, unless it is a legal holiday or is otherwise noted, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Regular meetings shall be held via Zoom; and the following is a list of the dates and Zoom links for regular meetings:

 

Regular Meetings Zoom Link
January 11, 2021

(Regular/Reorganization)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83077664690
February 8, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87631446751
March 8, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85104263353
April 12, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86301733378
May 10, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86485874139
June 14, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82183098579
July 12, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85167999100
August 9, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86756455178
September 13, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82668343925
October 14, 2021 (second Thursday) https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81370542341
November 8, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88403847194
December 13, 2021 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87508958067
January 10, 2022

(Regular/Reorganization)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83542848527

The agenda for all meetings, more or less:

Call to Order

Open Public Meetings Statement

Flag Salute

Roll Call

Approval of Minutes

Bills

Public Input

Correspondence

Old Business

New Business

Environmental Commission/Volunteer Recognition

Endangered/Threatened Species Sightings

Public Input

Planning Board Liaison Report

Township Liaison Report

Adjournment

The Daily New Jersey Herald and Sunday Herald are hereby designated as the official newspapers for legal publication for the Stillwater Township Environmental Commission.

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

At this point in the meeting, Mr. Branagan resumed as Chairperson.

Minutes

Mrs. Emmetts made a motion to approve the minutes of 12/14/20, as amended, seconded by Mr. Branagan.

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

Bills

Mr. Dvorsky made a motion to approve the following bills, pending availability of funds, seconded by Mrs. Emmetts:

Secretary: $232.69

J. Branagan – Mileage 12/31/20 4th Quarter: $ 80.97

Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Emmetts, yes, Mrs. Tracey, 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 7:15 p.m.

There being no members from the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:15 p.m.

Correspondence:

Resolution 2021-001 Schedule of Township Committee Meeting Dates

Resolution 2021-002 Designation of the Official Newspapers for the Township of Stillwater

Resolution 2021-012 Schedule of Township Holidays

Resolution 2021-014 Appointments of Boards of Commissions

Email: NJLCV – 3rd Day of Environmental Impact – NJ Takes Big Steps to Electrify Our Transportation System

Email: John Neumann, Fairview Lake Stakeholders 12/16/20, re: Camp Towadena property – Mr. Branagan and Mr. Dvorsky will conduct a site visit.

NJDEP Notice of Application for Block 2401, Lot 9 (application for alteration of an existing septic system and to construct a new disposal bed within the existing lawn area)

Old Business

Water Testing Results:

Mr. Branagan reported that he spoke with Nathaniel Sajdak and all sites look extremely good except for Site #10 which had a fecal coliform level of 650 and an E Coli level of 620. Site #10 is located at the culvert at Veteran’s Memorial Park where the water runs from a nearby farm. Mr. Branagan reviewed past coliform and E Coli results for this site, noting levels have increased drastically this testing. According to Mr. Sajdak, this has been an issue that has been on the watershed radar for quite some time and they are working with the owner although it has been a very slow process. Mr. Sajdak commended the EC on their data and continuing the water testing. Mr. Branagan reported the total cost for the water testing was $3,350.00.

Mr. Branagan made a motion to approve payment to Euronfins in the amount of $3,350 for the water testing, seconded by Mrs. Tracey.

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

The EC further discussed the issue with Site #10. Mr. Svendsen questioned if the matter fell under Stormwater Management, noting polluting the stream is unacceptable. The EC was unsure of what action could be taken. Mrs. Emmetts suggested contacting the NJDEP or health department. Mrs. Tracey suggested contacting Fish & Game as it is a C-1 stream being affected. Mayor Chammings recommended contacting the Sussex County Agricultural Board (Maggie Fauselt) and/or the Extension Office (Steve Komar). Mrs. Wunder would provide the contact information to Mr. Branagan and he will contact Mr. Komar first to discuss waste management protocols and to ask for direction with addressing the issue.

2020 Beautification Project:

Mr. Branagan will follow-up with the Zoning Officer and he will provide an updated report at the next EC meeting.

Stillwater Township Environmental Commission

2020 Annual Report

During the course of 2020, the Stillwater Township Environmental Commission engaged in the following activities:

The members met most months at the Municipal Building. However, due to the Covid-19 virus some meetings were cancelled and some held virtually.

Monofilament fishing lines were collected monthly from various locations around the township and recycled.

A budget worksheet was reviewed and adopted.

Water testing was conducted on ten waterbody sites that enter the township.

Sightings of threatened and endangered species were recorded.

Outstanding volunteers were recognized.

An amphibian crossing survey was completed.

Commission members attended various workshops.

The Commission met with Jeff Gardner to discuss improvements at the Recycling Center.

An information board was installed at the Recycling Center.

Members walked properties and reported their findings to the Planning and Zoning Boards.

ANJEC membership was maintained for 2020.

An Environmental Excellence Award application was submitted.

Members attended Coalition of Lakes Association (COLA) meetings.

The resignation of Commission member Ian Blanchard was accepted.

Commission meeting dates for 2020 were determined and published.

Work completed by the Commission at Veteran’s Memorial Park was featured in the ANJEC magazine.

A letter was sent to the County Freeholder Board in support of the plastic pollution bill.

A Stillwater Beautification Project was developed whereby officials were notified of unkept properties.

Members attended a Paulins Kill Watershed Collaboration Meeting.

A list of suggestions of ideas to pursue was submitted to the Paulins Kill Collaboration.

Members collected and recycled clean plastic bags from the Recycling Center.

Button batteries from local businesses were taken to be recycled.

Members attended environmental webinars.

A Commission member repainted the Municipal Building rain barrel.

The Commission reviewed and investigated the Groundwater Sampling 2020 Report at the Stillwater Landfill.

Information brochures were designed and installed at the Recycling Center.

Members attended a Paulins Kill Watershed meeting.

A budget request for 2021 was reviewed and forwarded to the Township Committee for approval.

The Commission issued a letter of support in favor of Swartswood Lakes and Watershed Association application for a grant from NJDEP.

Mr. Branagan made a motion to accept the Annual Report drafted by Mrs. Emmetts and forward it to the Township Committee, seconded by Mr. Dvorsky.

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

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. Collection will continue again in March and/or April.

New Business

Amphibian Crossing:

Mrs. Branagan provided information on the upcoming amphibian crossing training. The dates for the zoom training are 1/28/21 between 6-8 p.m. and 1/30 between 10-12 noon. The information collected during the crossing is used to determine if it is a highly traveled amphibian crossing and if it meets the requirements for a tunnel to be constructed under the road. The local amphibian crossing is conducted at Frog Pond across from Swartswood State Park.

Signage at Veteran’s Memorial Park (VMP):

Mr. Branagan provided photos of signs received from Nathaniel Sajdak. Mr. Sajdak would like to install similar signage at VMP. The signs will be funded through the William Penn Foundation and are a collaboration of the Wallkill River Watershed Group and the Nature Conservancy, led by Mr. Sajdak. The project will be at no cost to the township and will reflect the efforts of the reforestation project along the river at the park and overall protection of the Paulins Kill. The signs will be installed to the left of the field, close to the location of the fishing receptacle. Mrs. Wunder will provide a copy of the photos with a memo informing the Township Committee of the project. Mayor Chammings will also include it in her report to the Committee.

Volunteer/Member Recognition:

-Eric Svendsen for contacting Eurofins to address the water testing results report.

Endangered and Threatened Species:

Bobcat sighting

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 8:09 p.m.

Citizen Leadership Form:

Leona Kral of Paulinskill Lake introduced herself to the EC. She is excited to be involved locally and is interested in serving on the Commission. She works full-time from home and at this time has the flexibility during the day to assist with EC projects. She is always available during the evening and on weekends. Ms. Kral provided a brief background on herself and is currently a member of the Verizon Green Team.

Following her introduction, Mr. Branagan made a motion to make a recommendation to the Township Committee to appoint Ms. Kral as an Alternate #1 member, seconded by Mrs. Branagan.

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

Mrs. Wunder will provide her application along with a recommendation memo to the Township Committee for their next meeting.

Environmental Workshop Series:

Mrs. Branagan reported there will be a program series on the Sussex County Library website. The first is on Invasive Species in New Jersey and can be found at www.sussexcountylibrary.org/event/invasive-species-in-the-new-jersey-via-zoom/ The series will include the following:

-Invasive Species in NJ

-Bat and Insect Houses

-Composting

-Rain Barrels

-Microplastics

The program series will run for five weeks on Fridays at 4 p.m. Participants must register for each program at www.sussexcountylibrary.org/events/month/2021-02/.

There being no further members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed 8:20 p.m.

Planning Board (PB) Liaison Report: No report – December meeting was cancelled.

Township Liaison Report: Committeewoman Chammings

-The Township Committee reorganized: 2021 – Mayor Chammings; Deputy Mayor Scott

The EC congratulated Mayor Chammings and the Mayor thanked the EC for their service and welcomed Ms. Kral. Mayor Chammings asked all to continue to be safe, noting the severe outbreak of COVID in the County and rising cases in Stillwater.

With no further business to come before the Commission, Mr. Dvorsky made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:27 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Emmetts. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________________________

Kathy Wunder, Secretary

 

 

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