STILLWATER TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE
WORKSHOP MEETING MINUTES
Tuesday June 13, 2023
A REGULAR MEETING of the Stillwater Township Committee was called to order by Mayor Chammings at 4:05 p.m. noting the meeting date, time and place were sent to 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 Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231 P.L. 1975 P.L. 1975, Chapter 231, Sections 4 & 13.
Roll Call: PRESENT: Mrs. Delaney, Mr. Barta via Zoom, Mrs. Rumsey, Mr. Scott, Mayor Chammings and Municipal Clerk Lynda Knott
The flag was saluted.
Front Desk Position and Clerk/Administrator position – Mayor Chammings discussed the deputy clerk/receptionist position being vacated on Thursday, June 22, 2023. Mayor Chammings asked the township committee members what they wanted in that position. Mrs. Rumsey said she thought the Clerk/Administrator position should be filled first so that person could become the supervisor and help mold the other positions. Mayor Chammings felt the immediate need would be the front desk. Each committee person discussed what they would like to at the front desk. Mrs. Rumsey suggested a part-time clerk/administrator and part-time deputy clerk/receptionist and have their hours staggered. At the conclusion of the discussion it was decided the clerk will advertise for a part-time Deputy Clerk/Receptionist because both positions are already included in the salary ordinance. Mr. Barta would also like the position advertised with Indeed.
DPW Position and Recycling Center Coverage – Mayor Chammings began the discussion with asking if the Township Committee feels five (5) DPW employees are enough to handle the workload or is the 6th person needed. Mayor Chammings noted Mr. Hawkins had written a memo to the Township Committee outlining safety and other concerns with the current recycling center schedule. Mr. Hawkins suggested having one DPW employee work 5 or 6 hours on Sunday (for Overtime) to do anything the recycling employees cannot handle. Mr. Hawkins spoke to the CFO and was told there is funding to cover one employee for 5 or 6 hours of OT per week in the budget. The OT would be offered to the DPW employees on a rotating schedule.
Mr. Barta feels having six DPW employees is better especially now with the stormwater management additional tasks. Mr. Barta noted if the current funding for DPW gets spread to the five employees the township may not be able to obtain funding for another employee in the future. Mayor Chammings added the township has purchased a zero-turn mower and if an employee is mowing the crew would be reduced to four. A sixth employee would be hired for five days (Monday-Friday) and not weekends as had been done in the past.
Mayor Chammings reported the two recycling attendants who have been sharing the weekends are working out well. One of the attendants’ brothers is interested in working at the recycling center and could be interviewed as a substitute. Mr. Barta suggested raising the attendants pay a dollar or two to keep them on board. Mayor Chammings said if they get a raise the cashier should as well. Mayor Chammings suggested she as Recycling Liaison and Mr. Scott as DPW Liaison schedule a meeting with the recycling employees to discuss scheduling options. Mayor Chammings said the CFO will have to confirm funding is available for raises.
The Township Committee decided the clerk will advertise for a full-time Laborer I with a Class B CDL or better with manual endorsement and Air. The salary will be consistent with the DPW’s collective bargaining agreement.
Upcoming grants deadlines – Mayor Chammings stated the deadline for the County ARPA grant is June 30, 2023. The clerk said she has all paperwork required for the resolutions to be adopted at the June 20, 2023 meeting for the $10,000 awards for both the Fire Department and EMS.
Mayor Chammings said she has to have the EMMA grant paperwork signed and added grant writer experience preferred may be something the township committee would like the new clerk/administrator advertisement to contain along with QPA certification.
A grant to help fund the current Ash Tree situation along with other dead trees in the township would be welcomed. Mrs. Delaney said residents should call town hall and a list created of problem trees so the J C P & L forester can investigate which could be taken down by their contractors. Mayor Chammings said she would see if the hazard mitigation plan could include dead ash trees. Mrs. Delaney also suggested the township put notice in with the tax bills outlining the procedure for reporting dead trees to town hall personnel.
The Township just received a $15,000 grant for Spotted Lantern Fly remediation but it does not cover tree removal.
Memo regarding Visitors/Security and ½ door in Building/Zoning Dept. – Mrs. Rumsey said other town halls she visits are much more secure than Stillwater Township. Some you had to be buzzed into and others the employee would come to a common area to meet with visitors. Mrs. Rumsey voiced her concerns regarding visitors and former employees who walk around town hall freely causing employee distractions.
The other concern is the open area between the building and zoning departments where Mrs. Rumsey suggested a half-door be installed to keep non-official persons from entering the work area. After a discussion it was decided signage may be the best deterrent and Mr. Barta suggested a sign on the entrance to the employee area saying, “Please restrict visitation to Township Business” and on the employee side of the door, “Be Respectful of Co-Workers”.
Attorney – Mayor Chammings said moving forward if an RFP for an attorney is wanted it should be done earlier in the year and with specific requirements outlined. Mrs. Rumsey said she is aware of a few issues with the current attorney’s response time and agrees an RFP should be advertised earlier with time to properly interview candidates. Mrs. Rumsey said she would like to see a firm with specialized personnel who can answer various requests which will cover and protect the township.
Mr. Barta said he whole heartedly disagrees with Mrs. Rumsey and feels the current attorney has heart to do the right thing by the township every time. Mrs. Delaney said she disagrees with Mr. Barta because she has witnessed issues and the township needs solid advice in a timely manner. Mr. Barta said previous attorneys were not always timely. Mrs. Delaney said firms offer many individuals with specific expertise and maybe someone who does it all is not the best answer.
Mayor Chammings said before an RFP can be advertised the township committee should discuss what they are looking for from their attorney and the contract should be by retainer or hourly. Mayor Chammings noted the attorney could not make the June 20th meeting and asked the clerk to see if Mr. Collins, Stillwater’s conflict attorney could cover the meeting.
ACO Counter Offer – Newton Shared Service – Mayor Chammings said the clerk heard from the Newton clerk asking if Stillwater was still interested in discussing a shared-service for Animal Control Officer. The clerk responded, yes but the cost of the service suggested by Newton was too high. The Newton clerk asked Stillwater for a counter-offer. Mayor Chammings suggested the township offer $5,000 for the last six months of the year and/or having the service on for discussion in Executive Session on July, 11, 2023. After a brief discussion the township committee agreed to have Mayor Chammings call Newton and have a conversation with Newton regarding the shared service.
Seagrave Contract – Mayor Chammings asked if the other township committee members were willing to ask the CFO if she could certify funding for the price increase on the fire truck. Mrs. Rumsey noted the additional concessions the manufacturer gave the township to make up for some of the additional cost. Mr. Barta said the decision should be made at the regular public business meeting on June 20, 2023 and should have been done earlier. The Township Committee agreed to speak to the CFO regarding certifying funding and Mayor Chammings directed the clerk to put Seagrave on the next agenda for discussion.
Community Center Roof Bid – Mayor Chammings said she spoke with Attorney Vex before the meeting and he will review the bid documents from the Clerk before he left for vacation on Friday. The clerk noted she is still waiting for the final specifications and drawings from the architect to complete the bid package.
Mrs. Rumsey noted the floors are done at the community center and thanked the clerk for her help in getting the job done. Mrs. Rumsey noted the floors look outstanding!
Mrs. Rumsey said she would like the Township Committee to revisit the community center fees and also see what we need to do to add the vestibule. Mayor Chammings said the township committee should have another workshop to discuss facility use forms and Improvements and Additions to Parks and Facilities (i.e. dog park, pickle ball court). Mayor Chammings said the township committee could set the date at the next meeting on June 20, 2023.
Mr. Rumsey wanted to inform the group the Hampton Township Committee has begun discussions regarding donating the slice of property behind the community center to Stillwater Township.
There being no further business, Mrs. Rumsey made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m., seconded by Mr. Scott. In a voice vote, all were in favor.
Lynda Knott, RMC
Stillwater Township offers residents a Recycling and Convenience Center for household trash and recycling.
Residents are able to view property tax information and make payments through the online system. You may find a property by entering the property’s location or block, lot and qualifier.
Stillwater Township posts all information about bids and proposals for township projects on a dedicated page.