January 13, 2020 Re-Organization and Regular Meeting

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STILLWATER TOWNSHIP  ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION

January 13, 2020 –  Reorganization/Regular Meeting

*MEMBERS PRESENT: Mr. Szabo, Mr. Dvorsky, Mr. Svendsen, Mr. Branagan

MEMBERS ABSENT: Mrs. Emmetts

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.

*The Township Committee will not be making board/commission appointments until their meeting of January 21, 2020. Mrs. Branagan, Mrs. Tracey and Mr. Blanchard are due for appointment and will be considered at that meeting. All were present at the meeting tonight and participated as members of the public.

Reorganization

Chairperson:

Mr. Dvorsky made a motion to elect Mr. Branagan as Chairperson for 2020, seconded by Mr. Szabo. There being no further nominations, nominations were closed.

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

Vice Chairperson:

Mr. Branagan made a motion to elect Mr. Dvorsky as Vice Chairperson for 2020, seconded by Mr. Szabo. There being no further nominations, nominations were closed.

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

Secretary:

Mr. Branagan made a motion to appoint Mrs. Wunder as the Commission Secretary for 2020, seconded by Mr. Szabo.

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

Meeting Dates/Official Newspaper:

Mr. Branagan made a motion to approve the following meeting dates and official newspapers for 2020, seconded by Mr. Szabo:

Stillwater Township

Environmental Commission

Schedule of Meeting Dates

2020

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. at the Municipal Building, 964 Stillwater Road, Middleville, New Jersey.

The dates are as follows:

January 13, 2020

February 10, 2020 August 10, 2020

March 9, 2020 September 14, 2020

April 13, 2020 October 15, 2020 (third Thursday)

May 11, 2020 November 9, 2020

June 8, 2020 December 14, 2020

July 13, 2020 January 11, 2021 Reorganization/Regular

The agenda for all meetings, more or less:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Open Public Meetings Statement
  3. Flag Salute
  4. Roll Call
  5. Approval of Minutes
  6. Bills
  7. Public Input
  8. Correspondence
  9. Old Business
  10. New Business
  11. Public Input
  12. Planning Board Liaison Report
  13. Township Liaison Report
  14. 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: Mr. Szabo, yes, Mr. Dvorsky, yes, Mr. Svendsen, yes, Mr. Branagan, yes

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

Minutes

Mr. Dvorsky made a motion to approve the minutes of 12/9/19, as amended, seconded by Mr. Szabo.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Szabo, yes, Mr. Dvorsky, 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. Dvorsky:

Secretary: $225.91

2020 ANJEC Membership (7 members): $375.00

J. Branagan – Mileage 12/16/19: $16.24

J. Branagan – Mileage 12/30/19: $16.24

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

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:13 p.m.

Jeff Gardner, Recycling Coordinator was present and introduced himself to the Commission. He asked for EC input on improving the Recycling Center. He felt communication with the public works far better than signage. In response to questioning, Mr. Gardner indicated aluminum trays and foil are recycled as commingle. A discussion was held on the lack of proper disposal in the aluminum container. Mr. Gardner stated there are currently three employees on Saturday and four employees on Sunday at the Recycling Center. Mrs. Branagan asked if one employee could educate the public on appropriate disposal. She offered to volunteer one day each month to educate the public on proper recycling and she suggested seeking other volunteers to do so. Mr. Gardner agreed noting SCMUA has contacted him indicating the commingle recycling is not being done properly and if it continues, they may no longer accept it from Stillwater. Mr. Dvorsky suggested drafting a handout for those using the Recycling Center stressing the importance of appropriate disposal. He and Mr. Branagan will draft the notice. The EC discussed the possibility of increasing the number of community service workers and Mr. Gardner stated it is increasingly difficult getting any of the community service workers to show up. He stated less money is also being made on aluminum cans due to the contamination and mixed recyclables. Revenue is only generated by the metal and aluminum cans. The EC recommended advertising on Facebook and the township website seeking volunteers to educate the public on proper recycling. It can be as little as one day per month. It was agreed the contact person would be Jeff Gardner at the DPW office. Mr. Szabo suggested placing an insert with recycling information in the annual tax bill. It was noted the EC could assist with the tax bill mailing as well. Mayor Chammings will discuss using volunteers at the Recycling Center with the Township Committee for their input and authorization. She will also contact Mr. Morville regarding any liability and insurance issues.

There being no further members from the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:35 p.m.

Correspondence:

-Resolution 2020-001 Schedule of Township Committee Meeting Dates

-Resolution 2020-012 Schedule of Township Holidays

-PS&S NJDEP Application Notice – JCP&L emailed to EC 12/13/19

-Grant Opportunity for Harmful Algal Blooms, emailed to EC 12/13/19

-Harmful Algal Bloom Summit – emailed to EC 12/20/19

Mr. Szabo discussed a grant that the Swartswood Lake Watershed Association is applying for to combat the HABs in the lake. He explained endorsements are needed for the application from organizations such as yachting, sailing, boating, camping, local municipalities, county freeholders, etc. He stated he and others from the association met this afternoon, with Mrs. Emmetts on conference call from Florida, to discuss the application process and items that would be necessary. He stated the association is under a time constraint and he asked the EC for a letter of support. He also suggested they include information on their attention to water quality through stream water testing on ten sites every other year. He noted an 11th site should be added to the list, the stream from Little Swartswood to Big Swartswood Lake, or possibly replacing a site that has consistently had no issues with this one. After further discussion, Mr. Svendsen and Mr. Dvorsky felt the letter of support could be a simple endorsement letter. Mr. Svendsen stated his only concern was not knowing the origin of the grant funding. Mr. Szabo did not have all the details on the grant and would provide them to the EC for their review.

Mr. Branagan made a motion authorizing a letter of support from the EC for the grant application by the Swartswood Lake Watershed Association to address the HABs in the lake, seconded by Mr. Dvorsky.

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

-State of NJ to Mayor re: State Park tour or division program discussion

-WSJ 1/13/20: “Cancel Culture Comes to Science,” – E. Szabo

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 8:05 p.m.

Draft letter to Beth Styler-Barry: Paulins Kill Collaboration Meeting Ideas

Following EC review of the letter, Mr. Blanchard felt it was important to make the point that Stillwater

has very successful stewardship of the Paulins Kill in this municipality through riparian restoration, river

clean ups, water testing and educational signage. Modest, adjustable goals should

be set and neighboring communities should participate and also water test. Mrs. Branagan suggested

adding Mr. Blanchard’s four points to the end of the letter. The EC agreed.

Mr. Branagan made a motion to forward the letter, as amended, to Beth Styler-Barry, seconded by Mr.

Szabo.

Mr. Szabo drafted the following letter read into the record:

Dear Ms. Styler-Barry:

The Paulins Kill Collaboration Meeting held on November 27, 2019 in Blairstown requested attendees furnish a list of ideas to pursue. Accordingly, please consider the following:

1. Select three or four primary goals and six or seven secondary ones. Long lists of issues do not accomplish anything but confusion.

2. A watershed approach is essential. There is always a downstream effect on upstream activities – write a watershed plan.

3. Get municipal and county buy-in for financial support of a river keeper in their individual budgets.

4. Water quality testing must be an annual event.

5. Zoning boards have a responsibility to minimize development concerns.

6. Determine county and municipal contributors to pollution from salt, run-off, farms, septic systems, geese, etc.

7. Appeal to existing groups for help by determining stakeholders such as fishermen, canoeists, kayakers, swimmers, campers, etc.

8. Determine the State’s responsibility for support, legal position, enforcement, budgeting, etc.

9. Identify access issues by private land ownership and rights.

10. Enlist the media in all its forms for publicity, educational issues and consistent coverage of activities.

The Stillwater Township Environmental Commission has set goals and has had a very successful

stewardship of the Paulins Kill River. The Commission has done so through the following actions:

• Riparian restoration along the river.

• River clean-up.

• Stream water testing on 10 sites every other year.

• Installed educational signage along the river.

Mr. Brangan will sign the letter as Chairperson on behalf of the EC.

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

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

Old Business

2020 Beautification Project:

The EC reviewed the ordinance sections pertaining to property maintenance, unregistered/abandoned vehicles and vacant property registration. Mr. Svendsen noted the reward section indicated enforcement would be done by the Police Department, which we no longer have, so this section will need to be amended. Mr. Branagan will contact the Zoning Officer to discuss the best approach to the project and the one she would feel the most comfortable with. He will report at the February meeting.

Stillwater Township Environmental Commission

2019 Annual Report

During the course of 2019, the Stillwater Township Environmental Commission engaged in the following activities:

Members met each month at the Municipal Building.

Monofilament fishing lines were collected monthly from various locations around the township and recycled. Receptacles were retrofitted and repaired/replaced as needed. A new site at Lower Crandon Lake was added for a total of 12 sites.

A budget sheet was drawn-up and adopted for 2019.

Sightings of threatened and endangered species were recorded.

Outstanding volunteers were recognized.

An amphibian crossing survey was completed.

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

Membership in ANJEC was maintained.

Members attended Coalition of Lakes Association (COLA) meetings.

Commission meeting dates for the current year were published.

A township sinkhole map was prepared and submitted to the Zoning and Planning Boards for use in application review.

A tree restoration and invasive plant removal program at Veteran’s Memorial Park was initiated in conjunction with the Ridge and Valley Charter School.

Plastic bag collection at the Recycling Center was initiated.

Veteran’s Memorial Park was checked for the presence of the Spotted Lantern Fly.

The Commission worked with the Sussex Technical School National Honor Society to allow a student to construct a bat house as part of society requirements. The bat house was completed and installed at Veteran’s Memorial Park (VMP).

Six tree swallow birdhouses were installed at VMP.

Mr. and Mrs. Branagan made 16 presentations concerning plastic recycling at an Earth Day program held at SCUMA.

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: None.

Endangered and Threatened Species:

A screech owl was rescued on Fairview Lake Road and was taken to the Avian Wildlife Center.

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 8:30 p.m.

There being no members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed 8:30 p.m.

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

Township Liaison Report: Committeewoman Chammings

-The Township Committee reorganized: 2020 – Mayor Chammings; Deputy Mayor Scott

-The Committee supported the “Vegetation Management Response Act,” allowing electric utilities to maintain vegetation near power lines and poles.

With no further business to come before the Commission, Mr. Szabo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m., seconded by Mr. Dvorsky. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________________________

Kathy Wunder, Secretary

 

 

COVID-19 Information

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VIEW THE 2020 BUDGET
(Introduced)

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