January 7, 2020 Special Budget Meeting #1


MINUTES – January 7, 2020 – Budget Meeting #1

A SPECIAL BUDGET MEETING of the Stillwater Township Committee was called to order by Mayor Chammings at 7:00 p.m. noting the meeting date, time and place were sent the New Jersey Herald and posted at the Town Hall, on the Township’s website and advised those present that this meeting was being held in compliance with provisions of P.L. 1975, Chapter 231, Sections 4 & 13.

Roll Call: PRESENT: Mayor Chammings, Committeewoman Rumsey, Committeeman Fisher, Deputy Mayor Scott, Committeeman Morrison, Municipal Clerk Lynda Knott, CFO Dana Mooney and Finance Clerk Tammy Leonard

Mayor Chammings asked all present to join her in saluting the flag.

Mayor Chammings asked the CFO if any of the Local Finances Notices in the budget work books she wanted to discuss. Ms. Mooney responded the State has stated the latest introduction date is March 30, 2020 or the next regularly scheduled meeting date after March 30, 2020 and the latest adoption date is April 30, 2020 or the next regularly scheduled meeting date after April 30, 2020. Ms. Mooney also noted she and Mrs. Leonard will be working on entering the 2019 budget into the FAST system in order to be able to enter the 2020 budget into that system.

The Clerk asked Ms. Mooney about Municipay. Ms. Mooney said it was ready to go in Stanhope and she will send all pertinent information to Mr. Bolcato for Stillwater to be able to use the electronic payment system.

Mayor Chammings noted the 2020 budget would be discussed. The Township Committee began looking at the Departments, Boards and Commission budget requests from their budget books. On page 3a1 (General Administration) section there are no changes for 2020. Page 3b1 (Mayor and Committee salary and operating expenses) shows there are no changes for 2020. Page 3c1 (Municipal Clerk) there is a slight 1.66% decrease in the 2020 budget request.

Page 4a1 (Finance Department) Ms. Mooney stated she budgeted for 2020 as if she was not retiring but she feels the education and seminar sections would easily transfer to Mrs. Leonard who will become the CFO. Mr. Morrison said there will be two part-time positions becoming one position which will entail a salary, pension and health benefits. Mr. Morrison also questioned the need for additional help in the finance department to satisfy the statutory obligations that are now handled by two employees. Mayor Chammings said the employees will be sent “rice” notices for February 4, 2020 to discuss salaries and Saturday, January 11, 2020 is scheduled to discuss the DPW budget request.

In the next section 4b1 (Computers) Ms. Mooney discussed the stated budget request of $4,000 is for traditional replacements and was not meant for upgrades. There are five computers which need to be replaced because they are older and run Windows 7 which will lose its support in January 2020. Mr. Morrison questioned the multiple purchases because it was usual to put a certain funding in place each year for replacements. Ms. Mooney said in 2019 the Tax Assessor received a new computer and her old computer was refurbished for the Zoning Officer. The computers that will be replaced in 2020 are in the following departments: (desk-top computers) Reception, Building, Tax Collector, Finance and lap-top computer in the Clerk’s office.

In Section 4c1 (Tax Collection) and 4d1 (Tax Assessment) there are no changes in the 2020 budget from the 2019 budget.

Section 5b1 (Planning Board) the budget request appears much larger because of a $200 funding of a new printer for the secretary. Section 5c1 (Zoning Board of Adjustment) contains no changes to the 2020 budget from the 2019 budget.

In Section 6a1 (Zoning/Code Enforcement) there is a request of $1,000 for a new desk to replace the very worn desk now being utilized otherwise no new increases for 2020. Section 6b1 (Building Department) shows there are no changes from the 2019 budget in the 2020 request.

Section 7a1 is the Insurances. In 2019 two full-time employees retired with twenty-five (25) years in the PERS pension system. The length of service entitles these employees to be covered by the Township for their Medicare Part B. Those employees were replaced by two new employees who are covered by the family plan insurance coverage instead of the single coverage provided to the two newly-retired employees so there is a large increase in the health insurance premium.

In Section 7c1 (Crossing Guard) the CFO questioned the addition of the substitute crossing guard and if the budget should be increased for the coverage. Mayor Chammings said no because the substitute would only work when the regular guard could not so no additional funding is needed.

The Township Committee would like to include funding for additional Sussex County Sheriff patrols proposed at $80 per man per hour for a two hour minimum for two patrols which is $320.00 per hour. Mayor Chammings will forward the information sent by Sgt. Gray of the Sussex County Sheriff’s office to the Finance Department and then the Township Committee will re-visit this funding for a specific amount. The 911 Dispatch Shared Service with Sussex County has been raised 2% to $13,249.00 for 2020.

Section 7d1 (OEM) Mayor Chammings said the section will remain the same. The Township has the laptop and the clerk will check with Mr. Sugar and Mr. Francomacaro to see if they still have the cell phone.

Section 11a1 (gypsy moth) has no change for 2020. There is no evidence of infestation by the gypsy moth.

Section 11b1 (Environmental Commission) has requested no change in their 2020 budget except for $2500.00 for water testing that is performed every other year. Mr. Morrison questioned why it was every other year. Mayor Chammings will report back to the Township Committee at the next meeting as to why the testing is every other year.

Section 11c1 is the Animal Control Officer’s line items. The Township Committee table the discussion because the ACO has asked if Stillwater Township would consider a shared service with Fredon Township for ACO. Mr. DeCarolis said he would be willing to lower his salary for an agreement that would have his wages pensionable.

Section 11d1 (Recreation Commission) requested the same budget for 2020. The only question asked was whether the field maintenance line will remain part of the Recreation Commission budget or move to the DPW budget.

Mayor Chammings asked the Township Committee, Finance Department and Fire/Rescue Department to set a date for their budget hearing. The date of Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. was scheduled and will be advertised by the clerk.

There being no further business, Mr. Scott made a motion to adjourn the budget meeting, seconded by Mr. Morrison. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynda Knott, RMC


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