STILLWATER TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE MEETING
March 16, 2021 – Regular Meeting
A REGULAR MEETING of the Stillwater Township Committee was called to order by Mayor Chammings at 7:01 p.m. noting the meeting date, time and place were duly published in the New Jersey Herald and posted at the Town Hall and advised those present that this meeting was being held in compliance with provisions of P.L. 1975, Chapter 231, Sections 4 & 13. Mayor Chammings added the meeting was being held virtually on Zoom and this meeting was also advertised with the link in the New Jersey Herald, the Stillwater Township website (www.stillwatertownshipnj.com) on the Stillwater Township Face Book page. PRESENT: Committeewoman Rumsey, Committeeman Morrison, Deputy Mayor Scott (7:00 p.m.), Committeeman Fisher, Mayor Chammings, Municipal Clerk Lynda Knott and Attorney Angelo Bolcato ABSENT: None
EXECUTIVE SESSION: 6:40 p.m. held in Town Hall
After the reading of the following Resolution to enter into Executive Session, a motion was made by Mrs. Rumsey, seconded by Mr. Fisher and carried by roll call vote to adopt the resolution permitting the Committee to go into Executive Session at 6:40 p.m.
WHEREAS, Section 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 permits the exclusion of the public from a meeting under certain circumstances; and
WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater, in the County of Sussex and State of New Jersey as follows:
1. The public shall be excluded from that portion of this meeting.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows: Personnel, Contract, Attorney Client
3. As nearly as can now be ascertained, the matter or matters to be discussed at this time will be disclosed to the public when such matters are resolved.
By a motion was made by Mrs. Rumsey, seconded by Mr. Fisher to suspend the Executive Session at 6:59 p.m., unanimously carried by voice vote.
Roll Call was taken and the flag was saluted.
PROCLAMATION: DAVID VANGORDEN JR.
WHEREAS, David VanGorden, Jr. became a member of the Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Company on August 20, 1979 and remained a member until his passing on February 28, 2021; and
WHEREAS, David VanGorden, Jr., during his 42 years as a firefighter within the Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Department, held offices as Engineer, First Responder and Chief and well as life member of BJ State Firemen’s Relief Association and Sussex County Fireman’s Association.
WHEREAS, while serving in the aforementioned capacities, David VanGorden, Jr.’s dedication, experience and expertise have been invaluable to the Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Company and the Stillwater Township Community; and
WHEREAS, his contributions to the fire service within the community has been an inspiration and mentor to many firefighters; and have encompassed the community as a whole; and
WHEREAS, David VanGorden, Jr., earned the respect, admiration and high regard of all with whom he came into contact and the fire service has sustained a great loss in his death.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that it recognizes and commends the dedication of David VanGorden Jr. and that it finds his commitment to his office during his tenure with the Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Company to be exemplary for all who follow; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Township Committee extends its sorrow and prayers to the family of David VanGorden, Jr. and Wendy Jean VanGorden, his parents, David and Harriet VanGorden; his son, Russell and his wife, Lauren, and granddaughters, Tessa and Audrey; his son, Colby and his wife, Kellie, and grandson, Jaxen Christopher; and his son, Austin, his siblings, Deborah (Greg), Theresa (Albert), Shawn, Grant (Sophia); as well as numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and fellow members of the Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Company, a copy of this Proclamation and the same be embodied in the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater’s official minutes on this 16th day of March, 2021, and a copy be forwarded to the Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Department.
This proclamation was read into the record by Mayor Chammings and presented to Mrs. Wendy VanGorden, Mr. VanGorden’s wife, Mrs. Harriet VanGorden, Mr. Van Gorden’s mother and Steven Sugar, Chief Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Company.
LETTER OF COMMENDATION: Presented to:
Stillwater Firefighter/EMS Dan Touhy
Stillwater Firefighter/EMS Brendan Smith
Stillwater Firefighter/EMS Abigail Casario
Mayor Chammings read the following Commendation Letter into the record:
On Thursday March 4, 2021, you were part of an EMS crew that responded to a report of a 62-year-old female who was experiencing a sudden onset of decreased sensation of the skin. You and your team members quickly evaluated the patient – a stroke victim, contacted Newton Memorial Hospital and transported the patient to the hospital arriving in an outstanding time of twenty-one minutes from the time you arrived at the victim’s home. Stroke victims have the best chance of survival when treated within the “Golden Hour”.
Your professionalism and skill in treating this patient did not go unnoticed and, in fact, was acknowledged by Newton Medical Center.
On behalf of the Stillwater Township Committee and the citizens of our community, I would like to commend you for your actions that day. Your dedication to providing such excellent patient care clearly demonstrates your commitment to carrying on the Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Company’s proud reputation of:
EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC SERVICE
LAND SALES: Properties listed as Schedule A on Ordinance 2021-02 and Resolution 2021-028
Mr. Bolcato began the auction with Block 2601 Lot 8, a 3.65-acre property on Old School House Road with a minimum bid of $15,000.00. There was one bid for $15,000. Mayor Chammings asked if there were any other bids. Seeing there were no other bidders Mr. and Mrs. Fisher were the successful bidders.
The next parcel for auction was a property located on Block 903 Lot 13, a 5.21-acre parcel with a minimum bid of $12,000.00. Mr. John Torregrossa, President of Plymouth Lake Association asked to speak and stated if anyone was interested in the property there would be a road assessment, lake dues assessment and a potential for a dam repair assessment for 17 years. Mr. Bolcato started the auction. There was a bid of $12,000.00 followed by bids of $1,000 in intervals by two bidders until $19,000.00. The successful bidder was Mr. Heiberg.
The last two parcels located in Block 409 lots 4 and 7 were non-conforming lots to be sold to contiguous property owners only. The opening bid was to be $250 for each property. Mr. Taylor who was interested in both lots was the only bidder and was successful in both auctions.
UPDATE FROM LAKE PLYMOUTH DAM REPAIR:
Mr. John Torregrossa, President of Lake Plymouth Association, was in attendance and noted the newest proposal from On-Line Contracting was higher and could understand the township not wanting to co-sign the agreement based on that quote. Mr. Torregrossa will be speaking with his engineer to see what alternative measures could be taken to save money. Mr. Torregrossa voiced his concerns with the project saying the dam has been in existence for 65 years and never has there been a breach of the spillway. Not even during storms Irene and Lee in 2011 which were the biggest storms to hit Stillwater in years. Mayor Chammings said the township committee was grateful for all the work Mr. Torregrossa has done on behalf of the community.
February 16, 2021 Regular Meeting Minutes: A motion was made by Mr. Scott to adopt the Minutes, seconded by Mr. Fisher. Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Morrison, abstained, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes Mayor Chammings, yes.
February 16, 2021 Executive Meeting Minutes and March 2, Regular and Executive Minutes were tabled until the April 6, 2021 meeting.
REPORTS: Building Department Report of February 2021
Registrar’s Reports of February 2021
Sussex County Board of Health Report of January 2021
QPA Report of February 2021
Fire Department Report February 2021
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to adopt the Reports, seconded by Mrs.Rumsey. Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes Mayor Chammings, yes.
BILLS LIST #04: $ $115,208.88
RESOLUTION 2021-042 Authorizing Payment of Bills
WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified that funds are available in the proper
WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has approved payment upon certification from
the Township Department Heads that the goods and/or services have been rendered to the
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Committee of the Township of Stillwater that the current bill lists, dated March 16, 2021 and on file and available for public inspection in the Office of the Chief Finance Officer and approved by the Chief Finance Officer for payment, be paid.
A motion was made by Mr. Fisher to adopt Resolution 2021-042, seconded by Mr. Scott. Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes Mayor Chammings, yes.
Mr. Scott reported the Planning Board meeting for tomorrow March 17, 2021 is cancelled.
Mr. Fisher said he did not have an update on the Crandon Lakes project but reported he and Mayor Chammings met with Recycling Coordinator Jeff Gardner and discussed dumpsters with re-trackable lids for the cardboard collection at the Recycling and Convenience Center. Unless the township could keep the cardboard collected dry the only way to get rid of it was as “solid waste” which will be costly for the township. With these dumpsters the cardboard would be collected as a recyclable. Mayor Chammings added the CFO used funds from the Clean Communities Grant to purchase two of the dumpsters with retractable lids for $2,800 each.
Mayor Chammings said she and Mrs. Rumsey took a ride to see a concern from a resident that a gate was preventing them for getting through in Crandon Lakes. The gate was actually in Hampton Township and Mayor Chammings will send Mr. Fisher the correspondence so he can discuss with Hampton Township.
Mrs. Rumsey reported the fourth through six grade students will be switching classes now at Stillwater School. Mrs. Rumsey also reported Stillwater BOE is going to meet with Fredon BOE to discuss the possibility of school consolidation on March 31, 2021. The main sticking point is Stillwater BOE is debt free and Fredon BOE is not so Stillwater would have to share the debt if consolidation moves forward.
Mrs. Rumsey said Stillwater BOE has finalized heir budget. With the loss of State funding our taxes will be going up $83.54 per average home ($205,418) for the Stillwater BOE’s portion of the tax bill.
Community Center Report: Mrs. Rumsey said the main hall is painted and we are still waiting for the electrician to complete the second bathroom.
Mrs. Rumsey reported Dave Dalling Sr. passed away. The viewing will be held on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the fire house with the fireman’s service at 7:00 p.m. and the funeral will be on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
Mayor Chammings asked for a moment of silence for Dave Dalling Senior.
Mr. Fisher will be contacting Mrs. Rumsey to schedule a public safety meeting.
Mr. Morrison has no report.
Mayor Chammings reported Stillwater Township’s COVID positivity rate has been increasing. The County as a whole is back to orange status (high). Mayor Chammings noted our CERT members have been working hard up at the vaccination center at the fairgrounds and she is proud they represent Stillwater.
Mayor Chammings reported the OEM Mitigation Plan is moving forward. A draft of the plan will soon be available on the Sussex County website for public review.
Mayor Chammings reported the CFO has determined the municipal budget will go up approximately $47-48 dollars per average household ($250, 418). That added to the $80 per school district will bring Stillwater taxpayers tax bills up about $200 to $250 more per year.
Mr. Scott reported he and Ms. Chammings met with the building and zoning departments to discuss a resident’s concerns. Mr. Scott felt the professionals did what they needed to do in a professional manner.
OPEN PUBLIC SESSION:
Mr. Paul Barta, 902 Owassa Road, asked how businesses apply for the funding provided by the American Relief Act. Mayor Chammings noted in Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s letter there were links for business his office will help any business get funding. Mayor Chammings
Heidi Mountford, Mt. Benevolence Road, said she was the resident who voiced concerns – not with the building department (Mrs. Mountford praised the building department employees) but she feels there are issues with the timeline to get zoning permits. Mrs. Mountford asked if Mr. Scott would address her privately regarding her concern. Mr. Bolcato asked Mr. Scott to have the conversation off the record in private. Mr. Scott will reach out to Mrs. Mountford.
Seeing no one else from the public who wished to speak this portion of the meeting was closed.
Update on 992 Fairview Lake Road (Block 2401 Lot 37) – Mayor Chammings reported she reached out to Applied Services and spoke with a Kevin Dunlin who will be doing some research on NJ-GEO web to see if there was any information so the township would not have to go to Trenton and look through ten boxes. Mayor Chammings obtained a letter from a resident that had their well tested and the letter contained dates which the township had not had before. Mr. Morrison voiced his frustration with the State for not being more helpful to the township.
ORDINANCE 2021-04 AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 163 DRAINAGE CONTROL; DRIVEWAYS “DEFINITIONS” SECTION 163-1 DEFINITIONS OF THE CODE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF STILLWATER “TOWNSHIP DRIVEWAY OFFICIAL”
Mayor Chammings asked that this ordinance be tabled until the April 6, 2021 meeting.
RESOLUTION 2021-043 Authorizing the payment of Redemption Block 414 Lot 22
WHEREAS, on DECEMBER 26TH 2018 GISELA RUTNIK , Collector
Of Taxes sold at public sale Tax Lien for delinquent municipal lien on premises known as Block 414 LOT 22 to STILLWATER TOWNSHIP 964 STILLWATER ROAD NEWTON NEW JERSEY 07860
WHEREAS, the Collector has received redemption of said lien on March 11th 2021, And has deposited said sum in the current account of the Township of STILLWATER TOWNSHIP
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Committee of the Township of STILLWATER
1. As soon thereafter as the redemption funds have cleared the current account, in the amount of $ 19, 914.39 ISSUED TO TOWNSHIP the surrender of the certificate shall be issued to the owner of record
There was also a Premium paid in the amount of $.00 to be added to the certificate holder,
Provided the holder shall surrender the Certificate of Sale and comply with all laws relating thereto.
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to Adopt Ordinance 2021-03, seconded by Mrs. Rumsey. Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes Mayor Chammings, yes.
Recreation Commission Field Maintenance
Recreation Commission Chair Dawn Delaney thanked the Township Committee for allowing them to be on tonight’s agenda to discuss field maintenance concerns. Mrs. Delaney and several members of the Recreation Commission were in attendance in person and via Zoom. Mrs. Delaney said the Recreation Commission has three parks to maintain including a pavilion, playgrounds, tennis court and many sports fields. All three of the parks have lots of activity and the Recreation Commission would like to tackle concerns one at a time and work with the DPW and lawn maintenance contractor to meet their collective goal of providing enjoyable and safe parks. At Veterans Park there are trails on the passive side SLAP has help maintain and now a different solution must be found to keep the trails open and safe.
Mayor Chammings suggested making a “wish list” to prioritize their goals and tasks.
Mr. Louis Sylvester, Recreation Commissioner, feels the parks must be made more handicapped accessible. Mr. Sylvester discussed his attempt to engage the Environmental Commission to partner to make the trails handicap friendly with no response. Mr. Sylvester noted the passive side was intended to be used by nature lovers and woodchip mulch needs to be continuously put down so the walkways are safe. Mr. Sylvester also spoke about the potential liability if certain trees are not removed. Mr. Sylvester is hoping the township will become more forward thinking in its problem solving.
Mr. Sylvester also spoke about his wish to have the parking lot at Veterans’ Park paved noting it has been in the Recreation Commission’s 5-year Capital Plan. Mr. Scott said they would rather have the parking lot have a sealed milling surface. Mayor Chammings said either County Route 619 and/or Pond Brook Road were on the list to be milled. The Clerk will find out from the County Planning/DPW Department to see when those roads are scheduled to be done.
It was decided Deputy Mayor Scott and Recreation Commission Chair Delaney would meet with the lawn maintenance contractor to discuss the scope of work so everyone will be on the same page. Mr. Scott will address the tree issues and find out when the clay will be delivered to the fields with the DPW Supervisor and keep Mrs. Delaney in the loop. It was also determined that DPW Supervisor Josh Raff will be in charge of deciding to close or open fields for use and post the appropriate flags to let teams know the field’s status.
The Township Committee thanked the Recreation Commission for their time and the Recreation Commission thanked Township Committee for discussing their concerns.
Records Retention/Shredding and E-Waste
Mayor Chammings asked Mr. Scott to speak with the DPW Supervisor and have them make a run to the March 29, 2021 electronic waste event at SCMUA. Mayor Chammings also asked the clerk to have as much paperwork that can be destroyed to have ready to be shred for the April 10, 2021 shredding event. The clerk noted she is waiting for paperwork from department heads for Artemis approval. Mr. Morrison told the clerk to write a memo from the township committee to departments heads with this request. The clerk will distribute the memo tomorrow.
OPEN PUBLIC SESSION
Seeing no one from the public wishing to speak this portion of the meeting was closed.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT: Mr. Bolcato said he researched procurement cards and wrote a memo for the township committee and he would like the township committee to discuss at the next meeting.
The Township Committee moved back into Executive Session at 9:05 p.m.
There being no further business to attend to, a motion was made by Mrs. Rumsey, seconded by Mr. Scott to conclude the Executive Session at 9:25 p.m., unanimously carried by roll call vote.
Mayor Chammings said the Township Committee received a letter of resignation from Arlene Fisher, Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer who will be retiring on March 31, 2021. Mayor Chammings made a motion to accept the letter of resignation with thanks and regrets, seconded by Mr. Scott. Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Rumsey, yes with regrets and thanks, Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Scott, yes with regrets, Mr. Fisher, abstained; Mayor Chammings, yes with regrets.
The clerk will do an e-mail blast to the Sussex County municipalities to see if there is any interest in a short-term shared service or if another town’s zoning officer is looking for additional hours. The Township Committee will hold a workshop meeting next Tuesday to discuss the position and how to move forward.
There being no further business, Mrs. Rumsey made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Fisher at 9:38 p.m. In a voice vote, all were in favor.
Lynda Knott, Township Clerk
Stillwater Township offers residents a Recycling and Convenience Center for household trash and recycling.
Residents are able to view property tax information through the Municipal Software Inc. 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.