March 19, 2019 Regular Meeting

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STILLWATER TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE MEETING

March 19, 2019 Regular Meeting

A REGULAR MEETING of the Stillwater Township Committee was called to order by Mayor Chammings at 7:05 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.

Roll Call was taken and the flag was saluted.

PRESENT: Committeeman Morrison, Committeeman Gross, Committeeman Fisher, Mayor Chammings, Municipal Clerk Lynda Knott, Attorney Angelo Bolcato.

ABSENT: Deputy Mayor Scott

REGULAR SESSION:

MINUTES:

Executive Session Minutes: March 5, 2019

Mr. Fisher made a motion to approve the minutes as listed, seconded by Mr. Gross.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Gross, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes

RESOLUTIONS:

2019-049 Authorizing the Issuance of Raffle Licenses RA-19-01 and RA 19-02 for the Stillwater Township PTA

Mr. Fisher made a motion to adopt Resolution 2019-049, seconded by Mr. Gross.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Gross, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes

REPORTS:

DPW Monthly Report of February 2019

Building Department Monthly Report of February 2019

Tax Collector’s Report for February 2019

Animal Control Officer Report 1/22/19-2/19/19

Convenience Center Report for February 2019

Mr. Gross made a motion to accept the reports as submitted, seconded by Mr. Morrison.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Gross, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes

BILLS LIST #5: $300,581.26

RESOLUTION 2019-050 PAYMENT OF BILLS

Mr. Gross made a motion to adopt Resolution 2019-050, seconded by Mr. Mr. Morrison.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Gross, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes

AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:

Mr. Fisher expressed concern with the Zoning/Planning Board Secretary position and the lack of business on both boards over the past few years. He would like to address this item before introducing the budget. Mayor Chammings stated the concern should have been addressed during budget discussions. Mr. Morrison suggested reviewing the matter at a future meeting. Mr. Fisher would like to see specific hours posted. Ms. Knott stated the secretary is in the office every Wednesday but has no specific hours. The Mayor noted the secretary is also available by phone during all hours of the day.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Mayor Chammings reported the Environmental Commission met and held a lengthy discussion on the annual ANJEC membership and concerns with their possible political involvement. The EC determined that membership would be approved with the possibility of inquiring as to their stance on the green movement. Plastic bag collection will be moving forward at the Recycling Center and a discussion was held on the geologic survey for sinkholes in the municipality. A bat house is being constructed at Veteran’s Memorial Park by a high school student as a community service project for the National Honor Society. Removal of trees and marking invasive species at VMP was discussed. Stream water testing results will be reviewed. SCMUA E-Waste Collection date is March 30th from 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

OPEN PUBLIC SESSION

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public.

Ed Szabo, 980 Route 521 reported the Environmental Commission also agreed to the possibility of sending a letter to ANJEC asking for their position on the new green movement. He briefly reviewed the items specified in the green movement and noted over one-hundred legislators and presidential candidates are endorsing the plan.

Pete Massardo, 1060 Owassa Road thanked the Committee for improving the township website and outreach to the public. He asked about the amount of revenue generated by the cell tower lease on the Swartswood Fire Department property. The Committee did not have that information at this time. Mayor Chammings stated the property will become tax exempt once it is township owned and a line item will be established for the cell tower revenue. Mr. Massardo asked what entity was collecting the cell tower revenue at this time and since the time fire department was dissolved. Mayor Chammings stated the revenue was forwarded to an attorney who is managing the funds and payment of the bills on behalf of the trustees. She noted the amount of cell tower revenue would be disclosed once the contract and transfer of the lease are finalized. Mr. Morrison stated the revenue is approximately $25,000 but a specific number could not be provided at this point.

Kathy Draghi, 1016 Route 619 asked about the consolidation potential for a land use board and she commended the current secretary on her work. She noted there were no applications last year but there were three in January.

There being no further members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed.

OLD BUSINESS:

ORDINANCE 2019-01 Public Hearing and Adoption:

ORDINANCE 2019-01

CALENDAR YEAR 2019 ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF STILLWATER, COUNTY OF SUSSEX, NJ TO EXCEED THE MUNICIPAL BUDGET APPROPRIATION LIMITS AND TO ESTABLISH A CAP BANK

(N.J.S.A. 40A: 4-45.14)

WHEREAS, the Local Government Cap Law, N.J.S. 40A: 4-45.1 et seq., provides that in the preparation of its annual budget, a municipality shall limit any increase in said budget up to 2.5% unless authorized by ordinance to increase it to 3.5% over the previous year’s final appropriations, subject to certain exceptions; and,

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A: 4-45.15a provides that a municipality may, when authorized by ordinance, appropriate the difference between the amount of its actual final appropriation and the 3.5% percentage rate as an exception to its final appropriations in either of the next two succeeding years; and,

WHEREAS, the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater in the County of Sussex finds it advisable and necessary to increase its CY 2019 budget by up to 3.5% over the previous year’s final appropriations, in the interest of promoting the health, safety and welfare of the citizens; and,

WHEREAS, the Township Committee hereby determines that a 1.0% increase in the budget for said year, amounting to $22,641.36 in excess of the increase in final appropriations otherwise permitted by the Local Government Cap Law, is advisable and necessary; and,

WHEREAS the Township Committee hereby determines that any amount authorized hereinabove that is not appropriated as part of the final budget shall be retained as an exception to final appropriation in either of the next two succeeding years.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater, in the County of Sussex, a majority of the full authorized membership of this governing body affirmatively concurring, that, in the CY 2019 budget year, the final appropriations of the Township of Stillwater shall, in accordance with this ordinance and N.J.S.A. 40A: 4-45.14, be increased by 3.5%, amounting to $79,244.75, and that the CY 2019 municipal budget for the Township of Stillwater be approved and adopted in accordance with this ordinance; and,

BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED, that any that any amount authorized hereinabove that is not appropriated as part of the final budget shall be retained as an exception to final appropriation in either of the next two succeeding years; and,

BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED, that a certified copy of this ordinance as introduced be filed with the Director of the Division of Local Government Services within 5 days of introduction; and,

BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED, that a certified copy of this ordinance upon adoption, with the recorded vote included thereon, be filed with said Director within 5 days after such adoption.

The meeting was opened to the public for comment on Ordinance 2019-01.

There being no public comment, this portion of the meeting was closed.

Mr. Fisher made a motion to introduce Ordinance 2019-01, seconded by Mr. Gross.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Gross, no, Mr. Fisher, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes

ORDINANCE 2019-02 Public Hearing and Adoption:

STILLWATER TOWNSHIP ORDINANCE

ORDINANCE #2019-02

AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE ACQUISITION OF CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY LOCATED IN THE TOWNSHIP OF STILLWATER

WHEREAS, the Local Lands and Buildings Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12-1 et seq., provides that a municipality may, by ordinance, provide for the acquisition of real property or an interest therein by purchase, gift, devise, lease, exchange, or condemnation in the manner provided in the Eminent Domain Act, N.J.S.A. 20:3-1 et seq.; and

WHEREAS, Swartswood Volunteer Fire Department has offered to donate its real property, including all buildings and improvements and the cell tower lease, located at 931 Swartswood Road, Stillwater Township, New Jersey and identified as Block 1703, Lot 21 (the “Property”) to the Township of Stillwater and the Township Committee has determined that it is in the interest of the Township to acquire the Property from the Swartswood Volunteer Fire Department for Township purposes; and

BE IT ORDAINED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater, Sussex County, New Jersey, as follows:

Section 1. The donation by the Swartswood Volunteer Fire Department of its Property known as 931 Swartswood Road, Stillwater Township, New Jersey and identified as Block 1703, Lot 21, as shown on the Tax Map of the Township of Stillwater for public use is hereby accepted. The acquisition is subject to the Township and Swartswood Volunteer Fire Department entering into an agreement and the Mayor is authorized to sign the agreement upon the recommendation of the Township Attorney.

Section 2. There is hereby appropriated the sum of $10,000.00 for the costs and expenses for the acquisition of the Property.

Section 3. Severability. If any provision of this ordinance or the application of this ordinance to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected and shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 4. Repealer. All ordinances or parts of ordinances or resolutions inconsistent or in opposition to the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed in their entirety.

Section 5. Effective Date. This ordinance shall take effect after publication and passage according to law.

This portion of the meeting was opened for public comment on Ordinance 2019-02.

There being no public comment, this portion of the meeting was closed.

Mr. Morrison made a motion to introduce Ordinance 2019-02, seconded by Mr. Gross.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Gross, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes

NEW BUSINESS:

2019 BUDGET – Introduction (Public Hearing and Adoption – April 16, 2019):

Resolution 2019-051 Introduction of the 2019 Municipal Budget

TOWNSHIP OF STILLWATER

COUNTY OF SUSSEX

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

RESOLUTION 2019-051

RESOLUTION OF THE TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF STILLWATER INTRODUCING THE 2019 MUNICIPAL BUDGET

BE IT RESOLVED that the attached Statements of Revenues and Appropriations shall constitute the Municipal Budget for the 2019 calendar year; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a Summary of said Budget shall be published in the Sunday Herald on March 31, 2019 and the public hearing and final adoption shall be held on April 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Municipal Building at which time and place objections to the 2019 Municipal Budget may be presented by taxpayers or other persons of interest.

Mr. Morrison made a motion to adopt Resolution 2019-051, seconded by Mr. Gross.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Gross, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes

ORDINANCE 2019-03 Introduction (Public Hearing and Adoption – April 2, 2019):

STILLWATER TOWNSHIP

ORDINANCE NO. 2019-03

AN ORDINANCE OF STILLWATER TOWNSHIP ESTABLISHING AN ELECTRIC AND/OR NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAM

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has been engaged in a process to establish a competitive market place through deregulation and restructuring the electric utility market and/or natural gas market; and

WHEREAS, the establishment of a government aggregator and an energy aggregation program to purchase electric generation service and/or natural gas pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:3-93.1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 14:4-6.1 et seq. will increase competition for the provision of electric power and/or natural gas to residential and non-residential users, thereby increasing the likelihood of lower electric rates and/or natural gas rates for these users without causing any interruption in service; and

WHEREAS, under the aggregation process the residential and non-residential ratepayers may likely receive a direct reduction in their electric and/or gas bills; and

WHEREAS, the realization of energy cost savings is in the interests of the health, safety and welfare of the residents and non-residents of Stillwater Township (the “Township”); and

WHEREAS, the Township hereby finds that it is in the best interests of residential and non-residential ratepayers for the Township to create the opportunity for them to enter into an aggregation agreement in order to seek savings on electric and/or natural gas rates; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED, by the Township Committee of Stillwater Township in the County of Sussex and the State of New Jersey, duly assembled in public session, as follows:

The Township publicly declares its intent to become an aggregator of electric power on behalf of its residential users of electricity pursuant to the Government Energy Act of 2003, N.J.S.A. 48:3-91.3 to -98, and implementing regulations.

The Township will utilize approved vendors, Concord Engineering Group dba Concord Energy Services. pursuant to the NJ E-PROCUREMENT Pilot program (P.L. 2001, c.30) under the NJ Department of Community Affairs. The Reverse Energy auction will seek bids from licensed and appropriate third party suppliers. If such winning bid is selected and agreement executed, individual residential consumers would retain the option not to participate and to choose any alternatives they desire.

The Mayor and Township Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute any documents necessary to carry out the purpose of the Ordinance.

All ordinances and parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.

If any portion of this ordinance shall be deemed invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder shall survive in full force and effect.

This ordinance shall be effective immediately upon adoption and publication in accordance with law.

Mr. Fisher made a motion to introduce Ordinance 2019-03, seconded by Mr. Morrison.

Roll Call Vote: Mr. Morrison, yes, Mr. Gross, yes, Mr. Fisher, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes

ATTORNEY REPORT: No report.

Budget:

Mr. Morrison stated that after clarification with the CFO, the municipal tax will decrease this year.

 

Open Public Session:

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public.

Jan Bonavita, 918 Dove Island Road read a prepared statement into the record.

ATTACHED HEREUNTO: Statement by Jan Bonavita

Click Here to Read Memo Read into Record

Kathy Draghi, 1016 Route 619 appreciated what Mrs. Bonavita was feeling, but felt the majority of Stillwater residents do not know who the members at large are on either the Stillwater or former Swartswood Fire Department and it is time to move forward. Mrs. Draghi commended the hard work of the Committee and Mr. Kornmeyer to this point. A brief discussion took place between Mrs. Bonavita and Mrs. Draghi regarding their differing opinions on the issue.

Mayor Chammings stated she removed the five trustees’ names from the post as soon as a trustee contacted her and she had no issue with doing so. Mayor Chammings was sorry that Mrs. Bonavita felt her son had been disgraced. Mayor Chammings tried to speak with Mrs. Bonavita’s son on a couple of occasions and at this point wanted to move forward. Mayor Chammings stated she took several days off and spent hours of her own time to make sure the two people that brought the department down were held accountable. She expressed dismay in the outcome of the proceedings and light sentencing, noting $75,000 was taken. Mayor Chammings stated she appreciated the support of the Committee and she is looking forward to bringing the building back as a center for the community.

Mrs. Bonavita stated her criticisms were not meant in a hurtful way. She felt the remaining members should have been acknowledged and was concerned with the way in which the matter was handled.

Mr. Fisher felt the members, other than the two in question, should be exonerated in the newspaper, social media or the township website. Mayor Chammings agreed this could possibly be done once the matter is finalized and noted the newspaper was at the last meeting when the same subject was discussed.

There being no further members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed.

There being no further business, Mr. Morrison made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:56 p.m., seconded by Mr. Gross. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Wunder

 

VIEW THE 2019 BUDGET
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