November 11, 2021 Meeting Minutes



November 11, 2021

Regular Meeting Zoom Option:


Mrs. Branagan, Mr. Dvorsky, Mrs. Emmetts, Ms. Raff, Mr. Svendsen, Mrs. Tracey, Mr. Branagan


Ms. Kral

PUBLIC PRESENT: Mr. McLarin, Mr. Neumann and Mr. Koch (FVL&WCF)

LIASION PRESENT: Mayor Chammings

Mr. Branagan called the meeting to order at 7:02 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. Branagan made a motion to approve the minutes of 9/9/21, seconded by Mrs. Emmetts.

Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Branagan, yes, Mr. Dvorsky, abstain, Mrs. Emmetts, yes, Ms. Raff, yes, Mr. Svendsen, yes, Mrs. Tracey, yes, Mr. Branagan, yes.


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

Secretary: $240.00

Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Branagan, yes, Mr. Dvorsky, abstain, Mrs. Emmetts, yes, Ms. Raff, yes, Mr. Svendsen, yes, Mrs. Tracey, 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 further members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:55 p.m.

Correspondence: NONE

Old Business

  • 2021 Beautification Project:

Mr. Branagan gave Zoning Officer Tom Dixon the folders Mrs. Fisher started prior to retirement, Mr. Branagan and Mr. Dvorsky will meet with Mr. Dixon and discuss the project. Sometime in November is recommended by Mayor Chammings due to Mr. Dixon trying to catch up on a few things.

Remove 2021 Beautification Project from Agenda Motion by Mr. Dvorsky to remove from agenda, seconded by Ms. Raff.

Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Branagan, yes, Mr. Dvorsky, yes, Mrs. Emmetts, yes, Ms. Raff, yes, Mr. Svendsen, yes, Mrs. Tracey, yes, Mr. Branagan, yes

*Discussion: Ms. Raff stated with this project, it seems to be spotlighting homes. Mayor Chammings noted she agrees with Ms. Raff’s opinion.

(The Zoning officer can address, if contacted by a concerned neighbor) The property maintenance ordinance for unregistered/abandoned vehicles on property, garbage/litter etc. Can send a letter to property owners requesting proof of registration, if registered no further action can be taken. In the past this is something the Police Dept or Fire Dept (if considered a fire hazard) would respond to or address with property owner. Depending on the nature of concern it should be presented to one of the following: The zoning officer, BOH, DEP, Fire Dept or State Police if necessary.

  • Fishing Line Collection:

Mr. Dvorsky brought in fishing line. Mr. Branagan and Mr. Dvorsky replaced a fishing line receptacle found on the ground. Mr. Branagan asked Ms. Raff to check the receptacle on Ed Connors property and remove to keep as a spare.

  • Biochar approval by NJDEP and all Water Test Results which include Blair Creek below Fairview Lake / Watershed Fairview Lake concerning Biochar

John Neumann, Fairview Lake Watershed Conservation Foundation and Marc Koch, YMCA Executive Director and Mr. McLarin attended to answer questions from the Commission regarding Biochar. (emails quoted by Mr. Koch from various sources can be found attached to minutes)

EC members expressed further concern with the disposal of possibly hazardous material.

Highlighted questions/concerns/comments from Commission Members:

Mr. Svendsen asked if the Company is willing to take back the Biochar or reuse next year, how do they know it worked, was is over/under saturated? More research and testing should be done before wasting the funding on purchasing more bags, how was the Biochar going to be tested and who will test?

Mr. Neumann replied based on the biochar used by state and federal agencies used around the world measuring the amount absorbed is not available yet. It has been proven it does absorb phosphorus. He also stated Science is Data Collecting and this is new and we are learning as we go and collecting data with additional help of points of contact through the DEP. No harm is being done. Mr. Neumann also stated the maps of FVL Watershed EC Secretary sent do not have all the streams that run into the lake. He will try to research more.

Ms. Raff asked if when placing used bags back in the Lake next year if that would put phosphorus collected back in the lake. (it was answered only if its fully saturated.)

Mr. Koch read an email from the DEP (attached) along with other emails prior and post placing biochar bags (55) in Fairview Lake. Will use a bag for time frame. Mr. Koch will email Power Point the DEP will dispose of something they consider NON-TOXIC. They have been told the time frame for biochar bags can last 3 months, 6 months or even a year. Results vary from moving and stagnant water.

Mr. McLarin explained to the Commission funding is very low and they are able to do what they can with funds available.

Mr. Dvorsky complimented Mr. McLarin, Mr. Neumann and Mr. Koch on their due diligence with this process.

Mrs. Emmetts stated the difference in depth of Swartswood Lake and Fairview Lake, she mentioned 2 grants currently for Swartswood Lake (Watershed Management plan with Rutgers & Evaluating Aeration System) Mrs. Emmetts also spoke about the large difference in the amount of blooms between Fairview Lake and Swartswood Lake.

Mrs. Branagan asked if it is harmful to ship back or spread without knowing results of bags being tested. Mrs. Branagan also asked how many streams are there to Fairview Lake (8 Streams)

It was asked of Mayor Chammings if her Chemistry Class would like to test a small sample of the Biochar and report the results. Mr. Koch will get her the samples.

New Business

  • Environmental Commission/ Volunteer Recognition
  • Endangered/Threatened Species Sightings

Mr. Branagan saw a porcupine on Old School House Road

  • Annual Report Draft

Mrs. Emmetts submitted the 2021 annual report for review.

  • Reminder to Renew Terms that expire in 2021- Jack Branagan and Greg Dvorsky

General Discussion:

Mr. Branagan stated the photoshoot for the signage at Veterans Memorial Park was Monday Nov 8, 2021 and will be published in the NJ Herald.

Mr. Branagan will contact Eurofins to verify costs for water testing.

Mr. Svendsen mentioned from the last meeting his thoughts on wanting/offering to participate at his availability.

Mrs. Branagan commented that the Secretary will email all Commission Members to Communicate any/all site surveys etc to give all the opportunity to volunteer. No more than 3 members can/will participate.

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 8:32p.m.

There being no further members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 8:32p.m.

Planning Board Liaison Report: None

Township Liaison Report: Mayor Chammings

-Land sale 1 lot 1.71 acres in Crandon lakes purchased by CLAPO org.

-Setting dates for Foreclosures and Land Sales

-Zoning Officer will be working on code reviews once he is caught up with current workload

-CERT is now CERT-MRC (Marcia Bradley)

-3 Zoning Applications in review: 2 on Millbrook Road and the Presbyterian Church

-Ordinance was passed to change age of driving Township, Fire, EMS & DPW Vehicles from 21 to 19 with some restrictions (20,000 GVW) constraints on Cert hours, behind the wheel training etc.

-New Community Center Agreement for 2022 non-profit and residents only, fees applicable for use $50/$150 (no Non-Resident use at this time)

-Rec Holiday Decorating Contest coming up

-Tree Lighting at the Community Center in Swartswood Dec 10 6-8pm with Santa

-Fire/Ems responded to a Plane Crash near Kemah Lake Bear Swamp wreckage found around 4pm 11/11/21 unsure of when it went down. Hardwick an unconscious body was reported and was pulled from the lake.

With no further business to come before the Commission, Mrs. Branagan made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:51p.m., seconded by Mr. Svendsen. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Alicia Gardner, Secretary


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