January 27, 2024 Special Budget Meeting

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JANUARY 27, 2024

A SPECIAL BUDGET MEETING of the Stillwater Township Committee was called to order by Mayor L. Chammings at 9:05 a.m. Mayor L. Chammings stated that this meeting is being held in compliance with the provisions of P.L. 1975, Ch. 231, Secs. 4 & 13 the Sunshine Law and that adequate notice of the meeting has been published in the New Jersey Herald as to the time, place, and date of meetings, and is posted in the usual location of posted notices in the municipal building as well as electronically on the township website and Facebook page.

ROLL CALL: Committeeman D. Manser, Committeewoman D. Delaney, Committeewoman V. Rumsey, Mayor L. Chammings, Committeeman G. Scott

Also Present: Township CFO Tammy Leonard


FLAG SALUTE: Mayor L. Chammings led the Flag Salute.


Stillwater Township Fire Department Budget

STFD Budget

Fire Department Members Present for meeting: Chief D. Banghart, Deputy Chief S. Sugar and Treasurer B. Scrudato

CFO T. Leonard stated that for the regular budget there was an increase in the training line by 6.25%. Deputy Chief S. Sugar explained that the Sussex County Fire Academy has increased in prices so their budget had to increase. They complete their Fire & EMS training, driving and more at the academy.

CFO T. Leonard advised the Fire Department that they are over budget and they will need an audit completed.

Fire Department Capital Budget

Deputy Chief S. Sugar stated that they need more hoses and nozzles, they lose hoses every year. The new hoses are a new technology; it’s a smaller hose and allows more gallons of water to come out without as much pressure as the older hoses. They’re also lighter weight wise. The nozzles have not been replaced in years. They’re asking for 71 lengths of 50’ hose which is only enough to cover the trucks, nothing extra. They’re also requesting 5 more sets of turnout gear.

Mayor L. Chammings suggesting putting in for one extra for the hoses and nozzles so that they have a back up one in case one gets damaged instead of just enough to cover the trucks and to add $3,000 to the hoses and nozzles budget item.

Committeewoman V. Rumsey stated that rewiring the bays in Station 2 needed to be added to the budget as well. The wiring that’s there now is very antiquated. CFO T. Leonard will add a $20,000 guesstimate for the cost. They will need to get 2-3 quotes and need the QPA to sign off.

The new capital amount for the Fire Department is $85,000 with adding the $20,000 for the electrical wiring at 931 Swartswood Road and an additional $3,000 for hoses and nozzles.

Department of Public Works

DPW Budget

DPW Supervisor G. Leatham was present for the meeting.

CFO T. Leonard stated that she added classes to the budget so that G. Leatham can take the Certified Public Works Manager Classes through Rutgers. Classes start in April. She budgeted $3,750 for the classes.

The next line item that had an increase is Tree Maintenance from $12,500 to $15,000 due to the number of trees that need to be taken down on township property and road right of ways. Some trees need to be removed by a tree service as the DPW cannot remove them all without the proper equipment.

DPW Supervisor G. Leatham stated that Nielson will be using the DPW yard again and that they removed some of our trees last year in return. He stated that maybe if they are using the DPW yard again that they can remove a few more trees. G. Leatham stated that there are probably about 8-10 trees that need to be taken down by another company with an estimated cost of about $5,000.

DPW Supervisor G. Leatham stated that the backhoe is not fixed yet. It needs a new injector and connector pump. They are trying to save money to rebuild what they have and spend around $1,000 instead of purchasing a new pump which costs about $1,800-2,000.

Committeeman D. Manser stated that under the Landscaping & Field Maintenance that he feels that Farmside provided a good quote but he would like more information such as what they’re doing each round to the fields such as the brand of fertilizer that they’re using and what chemicals, etc. so that we know what’s going on our fields. Sometimes parents want to know what’s used.

CFO T. Leonard stated that they received two quotes for landscaping and will be staying with Country Care as their quote was significantly lower. She noted that the DPW will also now be maintaining Volunteer Field. Committeeman D. Manser asked if Country Care can send something more specific such as the number of cuts that they will be doing and how many times per week they will be coming. Their cost is a lump sum for April 1st through November 1st. They also state that they do a spring and fall cleanup which no one has ever noticed them complete before. Mayor L. Chammings stated that it is very wet along the trail area, that it can’t be mowed 99% of the time. Committeeman D. Manser stated that he feels that they have been mowing with the blade too high and going too fast, that it barely cuts the grass.

Recreation President T. Tosti stated that she received complaints last year on the height of the grass on the fields and clippings everywhere so she’d glad that the DPW will be doing Volunteer Field this year.

DPW Capital Budget

The first item on the list was for a small bucket truck which G. Leatham stated is still at Hampton RV. It has 90,000 miles on it. Mayor L. Chammings asked if the town can purchase the truck now or do they need to wait until the budget has been approved which isn’t until May/June and the truck may be gone by then. CFO T. Leonard will find out if they can purchase the truck now or when the soonest is that they can.

The next item is for a 2023 Car Mate Enclosed Trailer which would allow the DPW to keep a mower in it instead of on a huge trailer that harder to navigate on narrow roads. That trailer can be pulled with a pickup or mason since it’s a smaller trailer. They can also keep weed whackers and tools in it too. The trailer is long enough for two mowers if they end up purchasing a second mower. Mayor L. Chammings noted that in the winter that they could store chain saws, chaps, winter equipment, etc. in it as well. The small bucket truck has a hydraulics compressor on it already as well as a utility body which they could also store equipment in as well.

Committeeman G. Scott stated that there will be two trucks that the DPW will want to get rid of; the old mason 2002 reliable being the first. If it can’t be fixed anymore then it’s time to get rid of it. They will need to vote to approve to get rid of the vehicle by resolution then put it to public auction on Municibid when the time comes.

Committeeman D. Manser recommended getting a 10,000lb axel trailer with the extended tongue vs the smaller 7,000lb one that they’re considering, he doesn’t feel that will be large enough. He thinks it needs to be a little taller too that the one that they are considering isn’t very high. He thinks the larger trailer will cost about $12,000-$14,000. CFO T. Leonard will put $15,000 down in the budget. They will need a new quote for the different trailer.

Mayor L. Chammings stated that a 5-year capital plan needs to be done. She would like replacing the old mason with a brand-new truck that doesn’t require a CDL to drive. She also thinks that a tornado salt spreader would be optimal for the narrow roads. She asked G. Leatham to try to find the plan that the previous DPW Supervisor J. Raff had created for review.

CFO T. Leonard stated that for the Mt Benevolence Road Phase III- the engineer wasn’t aware that the town was putting money aside besides what we received from the grant. They only planned to go as far as the grant paid for so there’s still a significant amount of money set aside thinking all the paving would have been done with this next grant it will take the paving down to the bend by Stillwater Road but we have more money that will take us further down Mt. benevolence Road. Engineer J. Vuich will look into it to see how far we can go and if it makes sense to put it all on Mt. Benevolence or save some of the money because the state will keep funding the paving of Mt. Benevolence and use it on other roads that need it. Mayor L. Chammings stated that the phase 3 paving will take it to Thoenig Road and phase 4 to use some money to go a little further to Owassa.

Mayor L. Chammings stated that for Spike’s Dam, DPW Supervisor G. Leatham is getting a quote from someone, hopefully under $25,000, then we can complete the dam. G. Leatham has been trying to get quotes but either gets no response or they say that it’s too big of a project. The Engineer said that if the township is unable to get a quote that he will look into it as well. They want to complete the work before the end of March when the water level gets raised again.

Everyone thanked DPW Supervisor G. Leatham for his time.

Recreation Commission Budget

Recreation Budget

Recreation Commission member President T. Tosti and Vice President G. Richardson were present for the meeting.

CFO T. Leonard stated that there was a $500 increase for the community events. The Township Committee asked what events the Recreation Commission has planned for 2024. T. Tosti stated that there will be 2 decorating contests; one for Halloween and one for the holidays which give out three $25 gift cards to the winners as prizes, approximately 10 senior citizen events, clean up days which is mainly funded by clean communities monies, an Easter Egg Hunt which they share the with Fire Department, a monthly activity club program, movie nights; they have one movie left from last year still to use that carried over, garage sale weekend, Stillwater Day, Water Safety Day, 2 Veteran’s events, Trunk or Treat, Summer Camp, Fall Festival as a vendor, Miss Stillwater, participation at the fair and Sussex County Day, the Tree Lighting, Bus Trips which also pay for themselves, a pop up vendor fair, participating at Healthy Kids Day at Fairview Lake, and possibly more.

The Township Committee asked out of all those events if a $500 increase would be enough and the members replied that it should be adequate.

Committeewoman D. Delaney suggested that the advertising expenses should be higher. They are currently set at $300 which she said just covers the garage sale ad alone. She feels that it should be increased from $300 to $600.

Mayor L. Chammings asked if they had any “wish list” field improvements. T. Tosti replied that she has reached out to the groups that use the fields to hear their thoughts. She will get the requests from the groups at the February or March Recreation Commission meeting, along with their field requests. Committeewoman D. Delaney asked that she please also go to Mr. Sylvester with this, that he always has his “punch list” with specific things on it to address with the fields. Committeeman D. Manser can also assist with the list.

T. Tosti stated that their biggest item for field maintenance is clay. The Swartswood field is always requested because when all their other fields are too wet to use, Swartswood is usually dry and usable. There is a $2,000 budget for clay. They need to see how much clay is needed and get a quote.

Mayor L. Chammings stated that they also need new mulch around the playgrounds.

Mayor L. Chammings suggested in the future charging an administrative fee of $100 per application to use the fields.

T. Tosti stated that Stillwater Day would be either the 1st or 2nd Saturday in June and that Miss Stillwater would be going back to Stillwater Day, not at the Community Center. The rain date will be the following Sunday. There won’t be fireworks this year, they will return next year for the 250th Celebration. This year they may end Stillwater Day with a movie night.

Recreation Capital Budget

CFO T. Leonard stated that she spoke with the engineer to get an updated quote on paving the parking lots. They have some money left. She can repurpose the Mt. Benevolence Ordinance, she would just need the Township Attorney to write it up.

Committeewoman V. Rumsey stated that the Community Center parking lot needs to be repaved, relined and have the 2nd handicap van parking spot. They also need to peak the pitch in front of the front door so that the pitch isn’t going toward the door.

Mayor L. Chammings stated that she would like to put one of the pickleball courts on the Local Recreational Improvement Grant. They then had a discussion on where to place the pickleball court. They decided to change the $112,000 budgeted for pickleball courts to $50,000.

Committeewoman V. Rumsey stated that the AARP grant could possibly be used for taking the BBQ pit out behind the Community Center, putting lattice around 3 sides of the structure and hurricane straps on top, as well as solar lights inside. They will then put 2 tables and benches, with chess boards screwed down on them for visitors to be able to play chess and checkers. They will also install a Little Free Library inside. The shed and propane tank will also be moved.

CFO T. Leonard expressed that the discussions for the Bicentennial Celebration need to start to be discussed this year. She has a budget of $2,000 for this year currently to be able to start purchasing items for next year. Mayor L. Chammings stated that she felt the amount should be increased to $5,000. CFO T. Leonard stated that she purchased some glasses, mugs and t-shirts for the event so far, to either sell or give away. Next years budget will be for the event itself and the fireworks will be a separate budget item from the actual event.

Clerk’s Budget

Clerk Capital Budget

CFO T. Leonard stated that they are running out of space to store files in the municipal office. She wants to use part of the bays to put 8-9 good file cabinets. She stated that would be a good spot to store files that we don’t need to access but are permanent records. She asked for a budget of $25,000 for the good filing cabinets.

There was also a discussion on the vault being cleared out. There is voting equipment stored in there right now which doesn’t need to be stored there, it can go above the bay or in the closet off of the filing room. The police records need to be transferred to the State Police as the municipal office has no use for them now. A few regular filing cabinets can be put into the vault as well once the voting equipment has been removed, which should be able to come out of the $2,000 Furnishings for Municipal Bldg budget.

Other Items

CFO T. Leonard asked if the Sheriff’s Patrols should stay at the $12,500 budget. Mayor L. Chammings stated she felt that budget should be increased to $20,000 for extra patrols.

Mayor L. Chammings stated that Animal Control would have been increased to $11,000 this year but she feels it should be $12,000 just in case we have any additional expenses that come up.

CFO T. Leonard asked if an additional “In Service” Day be added to the February 6th agenda for discussion to close the Municipal Office for another purging event.


A MOTION was made by Committeewoman D. Delaney and seconded by Committeeman G. Scott, with all members in favor, to adjourn the meeting at 12:10 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Valerie Ingles

Municipal Clerk


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