October 1, 2019 Regular Meeting


October 1, 2019 Regular Meeting

A REGULAR MEETING of the Stillwater Township Committee was called to order by Mayor Chammings at 6:08 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.

PRESENT: Committeeman Gross, Committeeman Fisher (7:00 p.m.), Deputy Mayor Scott, Mayor Chammings, Municipal Clerk Lynda Knott, Attorney Angelo Bolcato ABSENT: Committeeman Morrison


After the reading of the following Resolution to enter into Executive Session, a motion was made by Mr. Scott, seconded by Mr. Gross and carried by roll call vote to adopt the resolution permitting the Committee to go into Executive Session at 6:47 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; Attorney/Client/; Contract negotiations

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.

There being no further business to attend to, a motion was made by Mayor Chammings, seconded by Mr. Gross to conclude the Executive Session at 6:58 p.m., unanimously carried by roll call vote.


The flag was saluted.

EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT: Presented by Jack Erickson

Jack Erickson, who resides at 33 Van Horn Road in Fredon, is a sophomore at Kittatinny Regional High School and a member of Eagle Scout Troop 92. Mr. Erickson said he has played Lacrosse since the fourth grade and decided to give back to the organization which gave him years of pleasure. Mr. Erickson went to the Youth Lacrosse Board with three different projects. The Board chose the Rebound Wall which allows lacrosse players to practice throwing and catching the ball with the lacrosse stick and the Board will fully fund the project for Mr. Erickson. Mr. Erickson presented his model of the rebound wall to the Township Committee and explained where the board will be at Veterans Park and how it will be built. Mayor Chamming noted Mr. Erickson had already obtained a zoning permit for the project from the Zoning Officer.

Mr. Scott made a motion to approve the Eagle Scout Project presented by Mr. Erickson, seconded by Mr. Fisher.

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


Executive and Regular Minutes: September 17, 2019

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

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

BILLS LIST #15: $825,985.63


Mr. Scott made a motion to adopt Resolution 2019-094, seconded by Mr. Gross.

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

RESOLUTION 2019-102 Acceptance of the Resignation of Justin Francomacaro as OEM Coordinator

Mr. Scott made a motion to adopt Resolution 2019-094, seconded by Mr. Gross.

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

RESOLUTION 2019-103 Acceptance of the Emergency Operations Plan – Tabled

Mayor Chammings explained the reason for pulling the resolution is because the plan had not been updated and she asked the Township Committee if they agreed to allow her to work with Bob Haffner of the Sussex County Sherriff’s Office, Division of Emergency Management to update the Stillwater Emergency Operations Plan. All agreed. Mayor Chammings said she has permission from the State and County to be appointed the temporary OEM Coordinator until the end of the year.

Mr. Scott made a motion to appoint Mayor Chammings as Temporary OEM Coordinator, seconded by Mr. Gross.

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

Mayor Chammings asked the Clerk to send a copy of Mr. Francomacaro’s resignation letter, the resolution adopted tonight and also a memo reflecting the motion to the Sherriff’s Department, Division of Emergency Management to complete the transfer.

AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA: Discussion: Christmas Tree pick up

New Business: Temporary Appointment of Paul Hawkins to the DPW


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

Jan Bonavita, 918 Dove Island Road, asked if the Township had any resolution to the water issue plaguing some residents on West End Drive. Mr. Scott said he spoke with the DPW Supervisor and he would be meeting with the Township Engineer to discuss possible solutions.

Marcia Bradley, 913 Hillcrest Road, suggested the Township consider Paul Hawkins for OEM Coordinator since he was third in command for the Fire Department. The Township Committee thanked Mrs. Bradley for her suggestion.

Andrey Bratuscenkov and Sanita Redere, 903 Dove Island Road, asked about the duties of the Animal Control Officer. Mr. Bolcato stated he could be given a copy of the Township ordinance defining the ACO’s duties. Mr. Bratuscenkov said called Mr. DeCarolis after he saw him go to the neighbors across the street and did not then visit him afterwards to ask what transpired and Mr. DeCarolis said he called the Township to see if the Township wanted him to issue a citation. Mr. Bratuscenkov said he felt the law was clear: first offence a warning, second offence a violation, third offence a bigger fine. Mayor Chammings said it was the first the Township Committee was hearing his concerns for the dog at large and noted the ACO’s report is given monthly and once it is received he could receive a copy. Mr. Bratuscenkov also said he was still waiting to hear about the incident where the dog next door bit his daughter. Mr. DeCarolis had failed to speak to him about that incident and did not ever show up. Mayor Chammings said they would speak to the ACO about his concerns just as they did with the Zoning Officer when he had concerns about her job performance. Ms. Redere asked if they would be contacted with those answers. Mayor Chammings said the Zoning Officer had checked on the fence height and it was documented in her report and they could OPRA the report as well. Ms. Redere also questioned they had not had any state inspections regarding their pool. The Clerk answered they had applied for a zoning permit but not for a building permit and that is what they need to get inspections. Mr. Bratuscenkov and Ms. Redere will come to Town Hall and request the information relevant to their concerns.

Lou Ratti, 26 Stillwater Road, Fredon said he had heard the fire department would be taking over the Rescue Squad and he hopes it will go well. Mr. Ratti noted he has over sixty years’ experience in EMS and Fire Rescue and his concern is there are no state mandates or local ordinances requiring a Certified EMT be in the back of an ambulance and only those departments who are members of the First Aid Council are required to have an EMT in the back of the ambulance. Mr. Ratti noted the Fire Chief and Deputy Chief were in attendance and stated in order to be a fireman a person has to complete the State mandated Fire Fighter I course and again restated his concern about an unregulated EMR opening up liabilites for municipalities. Mr. Ratti believes all patients should be given the highest level of care and trained EMTs are trained in many aspects of care which can be used while waiting for paramedics or on route to the hospital.

William Kochis, 16 Fredonia Road, Fredon was in attendance to introduce himself to the Township Committee as the new Superintendent of Stillwater School. Mr. Kochis noted he was told the school and township has a very good relationship and he was there to let them know he looked forward to continuing the relationship. Mayor Chammings stated the school was listed as a secondary EOC center and asked if the generator was working and how much of the building it covered. Mr. Kochis said it was and it covers the whole building and the water pump. The Township Committee welcomed Mr. Kochis to the community.

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


Land Sales: The clerk said Mr. Bolcato had sent a memo regarding the procedure for land sales so she will begin the process. Mayor Chammings gave the clerk a report from the Environmental Commission from 2001 that rated the lots for sale then with their recommendations on whether to sell, put as open space or keep. The Clerk will copy the report and compare it to the list of properties on the current list.


Mr. Scott made a motion to appoint Paul Hawkins as Full-Time DPW Laborer beginning on November 1, 2019, seconded by Mr. Fisher.

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

Mayor Chammings noted this appointment was done because two of the DPW personnel were retiring, Brian Hendershot and Keith Whitehead. Mayor Chammings asked the public to thank them for their service if they see either of the gentlemen.


Sheriff Department patrols:

Mayor Chammings met with Sgt. Gray and her copies of a contract for patrols and an Activity Report Summary for 2018 for Montague Township. Sgt. Gray feels the Montague patrols would be most like what Stillwater would want. Mayor Chammings said it is the time of year where funds could be moved from one line item to another and asked the Township Committee to think about trying the patrols in November and December. Mayor Chammings also asked the Committee to consider where in town they would like to see patrols i.e. the school, 521/622, Mount Benevolence, Five Points etc. The Committee will bring their ideas to the October 15, 2019 meeting.

Zoning Officer Memo:

The Zoning Officer was approached by a resident who lives on Possum Hill Road and said there is extensive speeding and no speed limit signs on the road. The Zoning Officer gave the Township Committee a copy of the ordinance that showed the entire length of road is 35 mph. Mayor Chammings asked Mr. Scott if he would speak with the DPW Supervisor and have the speed limit signs installed.

Tax Collector

The Tax Collector will be changing her hours to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Mayor Chammings spoke with the tax collector regarding the change and asked if her hours could be two mornings and one afternoon. Mr. Scott liked the idea of two mornings and an afternoon. Mr. Fisher noted the tax collector’s father was in hospice and she wanted to spend more time with him. May Chammings said the tax collector is willing to revisit her hours if there are issues with her meeting with the public.

Principal Clerk Typist

The Principal Clerk Typist has requested Committee authorization to carry an additional 59 hours of her vacation time from 2019 to 2020 because she is unable to use them because a family member is being treated for a medical condition.

Mr. Scott made a motion to allow the employee to carry her 59 hours of 2019 vacation time to 2020, seconded by Mr. Fisher.

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

Shared Service Agreement for De-Icing Materials (tabled from 10/1/19)

Mayor Chammings said the agreement was tabled to find out why the administrative fee was being raised from 5% to 12%. Mr. Scott said he called Freeholder Herb Yardley and Mr. Yardley was unaware and would find out. Mayor Chammings continued saying she did speak with someone from the County who told her the County will be using a different mix this year – a type that had to be wet down to work and they would leave a small portion of the shed for Stillwater’s mix and have a dedicated person to mix and load Stillwater trucks. Mr. Scott would like to go with the shared service with the County. Mayor Chammings noted Mr. Bolcato had concerns with portions of the agreement and only some of those had been resolved. Mayor Chammings asked the Clerk to forward her the e-mail from Mr. Koppenaal so she could review the redlined agreement and put the matter back on for the October 15th meeting for adoption.

Christmas tree removal

Mr. Raff, DPW Supervisor, sent a memo regarding his idea of curbside Christmas tree removal. He believes two men could chip 200 trees a day and it would be much easier for residents than them bringing trees to the DPW yard. The Township Committee agreed with Mr. Raff’s request.

Attorney’s Report: None

Open Public Session:

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

Jan Bonavita, 918 Dove Island Road, said if the Sheriff’s patrols are in the same sections people would know and slow down and once past speed up. Mayor Chammings said that Sgt. Gray told her there is an app that allows drivers to identify where speed traps are. Mayor Chammings also said they would not be in the same places all the time and that the Sherriff’s officers who would patrol are from Stillwater and know first-hand where they needed to patrol.

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

There being no further business, Mr. Scott made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Gross at 8:23 p.m. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynda Knott, RMC

Township Clerk


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