May 13, 2019 Regular Meeting Minutes

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STILLWATER TOWNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION

May 13, 2019 – Regular Meeting

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

MEMBERS ABSENT: Mr. Blanchard, Mr. Dvorsky

Mr. Branagan called the meeting to order at 7 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. Nause arrived at 7:05 p.m.

Minutes

Mrs. Branagan made a motion to approve the minutes of 4/8/19, seconded by Mrs. Emmetts.

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

Bills

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

Secretary: $ 213.13

J. Branagan (Mileage): $15.60

J. Branagan (Bat House Installation Supplies): $9.34

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

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:05 p.m.

There being no members from the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:05 p.m.

Correspondence:

-Civil Engineering, Inc. – Treatment Works Permit Application (T-1 Permit) – North Shore House – Mr. Svendsen reviewed the map and plan and saw no issues.

-CFO dated 4/29/19: Approved 2019 Budget

Old Business

Spotted Lantern Fly and Tree Removal at Veteran’s Memorial Park:

Mr. Branagan will mark the trees for removal once the female trees have blossomed.

Mr. Szabo distributed cards he obtained at Ideal Farms containing information and scraping directions to destroy and dispose of the Spotted Lantern Fly eggs. A hotline number is also included.

Bat House Project:

The project has been completed. Mr. Branagan and Mr. Dvorsky installed the house next to the pond at Veteran’s Memorial Park (VMP).

Tree Swallow Houses:

Mr. Branagan, Mr. Nause and Mr. Dvorsky installed six bird houses at VMP.

Tree Restoration/Invasive Removal Project:

Mr. Branagan met with Nathanial Sajdak at VMP to discuss the removal of invasives and the planting of trees. Mr. Branagan has been in contact with Laura Ciccolella, a teacher at Stillwater School. Her students will assist with the project which will be done during the fall.

Stream Water Testing:

Mr. Sajdak reviewed the water testing results and noted the phosphorus is slightly high at some of the sites and may be due to the excessive rain. No other issues were noted.

Noreen Gleason – Tree Restoration:

Mr. Branagan, Mr. Sajdak, and Kristine Rogers of the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group walked the property of resident Noreen Gleason. Ms. Gleason appeared before the EC at their April meeting asking for assistance in addressing the erosion issues she has faced along a stream on her property. The property consists of 21 acres and she has lost many trees. Mr. Sajdak and the Nature Conservancy agreed to plant trees along the stream. Ms. Gleason mentioned a possible bog turtle habitat and Mr. Branagan provided her with the contact information for John Parke. Mr. Parke attended a past EC meeting to speak about the bog turtle and habitat protection efforts.

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.

New Business

Amphibian Crossing Results:

Spotted Salamanders: 3, 3^ (returning)

Wood Frogs: 13, 31^, DOR 12

Spring Peepers: 114, 94^, DOR 28

American Toads: 8, 1^

Jefferson Salamanders: 2

Pickerel Frogs: 3, 1^ DOR 2

Tree Frog 1^, DOR 2

Volunteer/Member Recognition:

Mr. Dvorsky and Mr. Branagan for installing the bat house.

Mr. Nause, Mr. Branagan and Mr. Dvorsky for installing the bird houses.

Mr. Branagan, Mr. Sajdak and Ms. Rogers for walking Ms. Gleason’s property.

Mr. Branagan and Mrs. Branagan for their presentations at SCMUA.

Endangered and Threatened Species: None

Swartswood Lakes Association:

Mrs. Emmetts reported the next SWLA meeting will be held on June 1st at Camp Hoover. She discussed a pilot program proposed for Swartswood Lake using muck digestive pellets. The pellets will be used in an area behind Dove Island where the muck is 6 to 8 feet deep. Randy Sprague will measure the muck and the results to determine if the program should be expanded. The water must be a certain temperature before using the pellets. The pellets consist of a bacteria that eats away at the muck. Markers will be placed in the area of use and the public will be informed not to move them. The pellets are not harmful to humans or aquatic life.

Mrs. Emmetts reported there are now five to six locations in the State with Lotus: Doris Duke Farms, Paulinskill Lake, Swartswood Lake, Grounds for Sculpture Creek and Lake Carnegie. If it can be determined that the Lotus exists in six or more locations, it can be removed from the endangered list and grant funding pursued.

SCMUA:

Mr. Branagan, with the assistance of Mrs. Branagan, provided 16 presentations to students on Earth Day at SCMUA. The presentations were 15 minutes each. Mr. Branagan received great feedback from both the students and Renee Casapulla of the SCMUA.

Coal Power Plants:

Jim Stabile (former Star Ledger reporter) emailed Mr. Szabo statistics on the number of coal power plants in other countries in comparison to the United States. The projected number in eight other countries is 5,615 as compared to the United Stated which has 15 existing and none proposed.

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

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

Planning Board (PB) Liaison Report: Mr. Branagan

Mr. Branagan reported on the Planning Board meeting held on April 17th.

-ECHO (Elderly Cottage Housing Opportunity) housing was discussed, including septic requirements and whether or not the County has addressed the issue at this point.

Township Liaison Report: Committeewoman Chammings

Mayor Chammings reported on the May 7th Township Committee meeting.

-KRHS Budget presentation was provided by Superintendent Craig Hutchenson. There will be a $4.00 decrease to Stillwater.

-Several ordinances were introduced.

-The Old Schoolhouse Road project is moving forward. Mr. Branagan suggested that Mr. Vreeland visit Old Schoolhouse Road during the rain to see the flow of the drainage.

-A new color copier is being ordered for the Municipal Building.

-Eagle Scout Matt Cleaver (project at Municipal Building honoring first responders) will be honored at the next Committee meeting.

-Mayor Chammings will meet with Mr. Sylvester (Recreation Commission) regarding grant funding to construct a boardwalk from the bridge at VMP (in the area of the recycling shed) connecting to the macadam walkway. Mrs. Emmetts noted a series of DEP grants will be opening in the near future.

With no further business to come before the Commission, Mr. Szabo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Emmetts. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________________________

Kathy Wunder, Secretary

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