July 13, 2020 Regular Meeting


July 13, 2020 –  Regular Meeting

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

MEMBERS ABSENT: Mrs. Branagan, 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. Dvorsky made a motion to approve the minutes of 3/9/20, as amended, seconded by Mrs. Tracey.

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

Mr. Branagan reported that aluminum cans are now being accepted in the commingle container and the new entrance signs to the township will be installed next year.


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

Secretary: $232.69

J. Branagan Mileage (1st Quarter) $ 68.43 (plastic bag collection)

J. Branagan Mileage (2nd Quarter) $ 68.42 (plastic bag collection)

Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Emmetts, yes, Mrs. Tracey, yes. 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 7:06 p.m.

There being no members from the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:06 p.m.


Environment NJ: Plastic Pollution – Following EC review, Mr. Branagan made a motion to forward a letter to Congressman Gottheimer, cc: SC Freeholder Board, asking for their support of the proposed bill, Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act, seconded by Mrs. Tracey.

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

NJDEP Weekly Update: Climate Change Science Report/Paulinskill Restoration Grants – the deadline for the grant application is 9/21/20. Mr. Branagan will research the website provided and bring the information back to the EC at the next meeting. Add to August agenda

E. Szabo: WSJ – Wind, Fire and the Coronavirus – 6/15/20 Mr. Szabo explained that PG&E in California is ready to go into bankruptcy and are making a last-minute attempt to cut power using planned outages. Green groups had previously objected to natural gas-fired generators being used to back up the outages and they were not permitted. PG&E is now going to use diesel generators to prevent disruptive power outages that would compound the pandemic damage and diesel is worse than gas.

PSE&G: NJDEP Application Notification for Maintenance of the Right-of-Ways

Municipal Clerk: Groundwater Sampling 2020 Round 1, Stillwater Landfill – The EC reviewed the test results noting they exceed the standards. Mayor Chammings stated she has asked the Township Engineer for a comparison report of testing results over the years. If the wells are numbered it may make more sense as to which wells indicate higher values. She noted they are not higher near the stream. Mr. Svendsen stated it appears to be an isolated plume as the outer wells did not exceed levels, only the main wells in the center did. Mayor Chammings indicated that dumping in the landfill stopped in the 70s or early 80s. Mr. Svendsen added that arsenic, lead and manganese are very common in the area and are naturally occurring. He suggested an historical summary of the results from Mr. Vreeland. Well monitoring is conducted by the State on a quarterly basis. Mr. Szabo expressed concern with penalties being incurred for the violation of exceeding limits. Mr. Svendsen stated the numbers are higher than the required standard but not to the point that the State will shut the landfill or Recycling Center down. They may choose to install monitoring wells to remediate the issue. He noted that generally, municipalities are not penalized by the State. Mayor Chammings will follow-up with Mr. Vreeland and this item will be added to the next agenda. Add to August agenda

Old Business

2020 Beautification Project:

The following properties of concern were provided to the Zoning Officer: 1024 Fairview Lake Road, 1019 Fairview Lake Road, 937 Mt. Holly Road, 988 Old Foundry Road, and 1054 Old Foundry Road.

The Zoning Officer has been moving on the reported properties, contacting the owners and sending out letters of violation.

Mr. Dvorsky expressed concern with the dilapidated condition of the old general store property on Fairview Lake Road. Mayor Chammings explained the property is bank-owned and they have not responded when contacted by the town. The township owns the tax lien on the property and can foreclose on the property after six months but the condition of the property is an unknown with respect to NJDEP and other issues, and there could be liability issues once it becomes township-owned.

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. Mr. Szabo installed the receptacle near the Connor’s property.

New Business

Zoning Board Application Site Survey Acceptance: Block 3602, Lot 11 – application to construct a two-story covered deck on the front yard (lakeside) of the property.

Mr. Branagan made a motion to accept the site survey, seconded by Mr. Dvorsky.

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

Volunteer/Member Recognition:

-Mr. Dvorsky attended two environmental webinars. He will forward information on efficiency funding to Mayor Chammings for the Community Center.

-Mr. Szabo repainted the rain barrel at the Municipal Building.

Endangered and Threatened Species:

-Bobcat kitten

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:53 p.m.

There being no members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:53 p.m.

Planning Board (PB) Liaison Report: Mr. Branagan

There was one meeting held since March and Mr. Branagan reported on the beautification program and fishing line receptacles.

Township Liaison Report: Mayor Chammings

The township is trying their best to move forward. The employees are back to their normal hours and the offices are closed to the public. The next Township Committee meeting is 7/21/20 and they will discuss opening the offices by appointment only. Also to be discussed is a work at home policy for an employee to work remotely 20% of their time. Employee hours will be reposted once they are determined. A wellness check is conducted daily for all employees including a temperature check and checklist. Duct cleaning has been scheduled and ventilation improvements will be pursued.

Mr. Dvorsky commented that the Recycling Center has greatly improved and he commended the new person in charge. Mrs. Emmetts agreed noting it is much cleaner. Mayor Chammings stated they are currently one employee short at the center and will be interviewing for the position in the near future.

Mr. Branagan suggested sending a letter or note to the Recycling Center employees commending them on the great improvement, addressing it to the DPW Supervisor Josh Raff and the DPW/Recycling Center staff.

Mayor Chammings further reported that bulk item disposal has returned to the Recycling Center.

Dana Mooney, CFO, has resigned as of 7/31/20 and she will be replaced by the Finance Clerk.

There were 10 new COVID cases in Sussex County reported today; 14 cases to date in Stillwater with one death.

With no further business to come before the Commission, Mr. Szabo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m., seconded by Mr. Dvorsky. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,


Kathy Wunder, Secretary



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