May 14, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes


May 14, 2018

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


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.


Mrs. Tracey made a motion to approve the minutes of 4/14/18, as amended, seconded by Mr. Dvorsky.


Mayor Chammings reported she will bring The Land Conservancy – Open Space and Recreation Plan Update to the Planning Board for their input at the next meeting. This item will be placed on hold until that time.

Mr. Dvorsky agreed to contact ANJEC to inquire if they have information on any drone ordinances that may have been passed in New Jersey.

Mayor Chammings reported there has been no response from the Governor’s office regarding the fallen trees from the last storm. The DPW has been working diligently to clear the trees that are within the right of way.

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


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

Secretary: $ 213.13

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

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:09 p.m.

There being no one from the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:09 p.m.


WSJ – 5/5/18: “Lucky Science Is Often Born of Years of Labor”

WSJ – 5/8/18: “Climate Change Shouldn’t Need a Salesman,” – Letter to the Editor

Old Business

ANJEC Open Space Stewardship Grant Update – Signage Cost; Extension to 9/1/18:

ANJEC has granted an extension to 9/1/18. Mr. Blanchard displayed drawings of the signs (turtle and dragonfly); the signs will be used as a field guide and will be informative. The EC discussed the Indian village sign and Mr. Blanchard was not sure what information the sign should include. Mr. Svendsen suggested contacting the Historical Society for assistance.

Mr. Branagan reported he has been in contact with Mr. Vendetti who is working on the bridge sign. They discussed and clarified the verbiage on the sign. Mr. Szabo spoke with Mr. Mabie and informed him another quote was accepted. He explained the choice was made based on the artistic aspect of the sign.

Mr. Branagan made a motion to approve the purchase of two signs including artist costs, not to exceed $800.00, seconded by Mrs. Tracey.

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

Mr. Szabo explained he abstained on the vote as he was not clear on the breakdown of the costs as there were many changes discussed.

Mr. Blanchard will obtain an updated quote from EnviroSigns for two signs and he will also provide a quote from the artist.

Recycling Center Update:

Mr. Branagan, Mr. Dvorsky and Mr. Nause met at the Recycling Center. They determined the tri-fold holder would be installed at the site where the trash is weighed. This will provide easy access and the center employees can easily distribute information to residents. Mr. Branagan displayed the tri-fold holders to be used. Plexi-glass will be placed over the top to protect the handouts from the weather.

Mayor Chammings suggested placing tri-folds on the shed also as some residents do not dispose of trash at the center and only use it for recycling.

Stream Water Testing:

Mrs. Wunder will email the testing parameters to Mr. Svendsen and he will contact additional laboratories for quotes. Mrs. Wunder will also email a list of the water testing and fishing receptacle sites to Mr. Nause and Mr. Svendsen. Mrs. Emmetts reported E Coli and fecal coliform testing will no longer be conducted on Swartswood Lake.

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. Line was collected after opening day; Mr. Branagan noted there was trash in the receptacles.

New Business

Genesis Farm – Paulins Kill Watershed Group:

Mr. Branagan attended a meeting on April 18, 2018 in Blairstown regarding the Paulins Kill Watershed. The main focus of the group is to describe the geology of the Paulins Kill and to advocate to municipalities above and below the river and the Columbia dam. The overall goal is to establish a river management plan and riverkeeper. The next meeting will be held on June 11, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. Mrs. Wunder will email the information to EC members. Mr. Branagan stated the group is headed by Beth Styler Barry of the Nature Conservancy. There are 11 municipalities that feed into the Paulins Kill; five towns attended the meeting including Stillwater.

Mrs. Emmetts stated Swartswood Lake had three HABs (Harmful Algae Blooms) last summer and had to close the park. This is now a global issue. Meetings were held over the winter with representatives from the EPA, DEP and Washington. Swartswood Lake and Watershed Association is trying to develop a watershed plan as opposed to just a lake management plan as it will open them to more grant funding. A list of stakeholders was composed and included the Lakes Association, DEP, Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries, Rutgers and lakes feeding into Swartswood. Letters of support will be obtained from different organizations. Rutgers will compose a list for RGPs (Requests for grant proposals). Swartswood Lake should be a priority. She noted New York State has been experiencing the issue for years. The HABs may be attributed to excess nutrients in the water, temperature and lack of circulation. The theory is that two years drought followed by deluge caused excess nutrients in the water. They will need to hire a grant writer and may use information from the NJRC&D, Upper Delaware Watershed Management Group, EC water testing results, and the ERI.

Recycled Asphalt Millings:

Mr. Branagan recently met with a former Planning Board applicant regarding tree removal on their property and the installation of millings. Mr. Branagan referred to the NJDEP guidelines (Recycled Asphalt Pavement and Asphalt Millings Reuse Guidance) for millings and Mayor Chammings noted the NJDEP guidelines are recommendations only and there are no township ordinances governing the use of the millings. The NJDEP recommends compaction, however this is a very gray area. Mr. Branagan has reached out to Joe Golden, Planning Board Engineer, for more information.

Volunteer/Member Recognition:

Mr. Branagan, Mr. Nause, and Mr. Dvorsky were recognized for their work on the Recycling Center information board.

Mr. Blanchard was recognized for his work on the signage along the Paulinskill River.

Endangered and Threatened Species:

Spotted turtle – of special concern.


Mrs. Emmetts reported that Swartswood State Park has a new website for alerts.

Mr. Branagan displayed a map and information to be installed along the area of tree restoration.

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 8:09 p.m.

There being no members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 8:09 p.m.

Planning Board (PB) Liaison Report: Mr. Branagan

– Accessory apartments were reviewed; amendments were discussed to include caretakers (no age limit), bathtub vs. shower, etc.

-Open Space and Recreation Plan updates were discussed.

-2017 Zoning Board Annual Report was reviewed.

Mr. Branagan requested updates to the information boards at the municipal building and Recycling Center to include E-Waste Day at SCMUA – May 19th; and Hazardous Disposal Day at SCMUA – June 2nd.

Township Liaison Report: Mayor Chammings

-Township Committee supported a resolution regarding the NJDOT rock wall mitigation project consisting of a 60 foot concrete berm costing $64 million. The resolution expressed concern with the negative effect on the vista.

-Two ordinances were adopted on May 15, 2018 at public hearing:

1) $151,000 – updating telecommunications in town hall, meeting room chairs, ER equipment and communications, DPW generator, garage doors, fuel, playground equipment at VMP and improving the parking lot with QP.

2) $694,000 – Road repairs, road equipment, Old Schoolhouse Road, Five Points intersection, West Drive (partial grant) and Stillwater Park.

-DPW has been working diligently to remove trees following the recent storms.

-DPW position: Three candidates were interviewed; a second interview will be held on May 5, 2018.

-Sussex County Open Space sent information to the Freeholders re: Trail Grant Program – $30,000 will be available to municipalities only. Once passed by the Freeholders, Mayor Chammings will follow up. She felt the funding could be used toward additional signage.

-Rail Trail @Wallkill River – some contiguous with the Paulinskill Trail.

-Recreation Commission – Stillwater Day, June 16th; Garage Sale Days – July 21st and 22nd; a discussion was held on the possibility of a second Clean Up Day.

Mayor Chammings stated that a memorial service will be held for Ed Chammings on May 19th at the shop property from 3-8 p.m. and all are invited to attend.

With no further business to come before the Commission, Mrs. Emmetts made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:31 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Tracey. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted

Kathy Wunder, Secretary


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