October 17, 2019 Regular Meeting


October 17, 2019 Regular Meeting

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


Mr. Szabo arrived at 7:20 p.m.

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. Emmetts made a motion to approve the minutes of 9/9/19, as amended, seconded by Mr. Dvorsky.

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


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

Secretary: $ 225.91

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


-Paulins Kill Watershed Collaboration Meeting, 11/13/19, 6:45-8:30 p.m., Blairstown Municipal Building, 106 Route 94: Mr. Szabo will attend.

National Park Service: Visitor Use Management Plan

ANJEC: Fundamentals for Effective Environmental Commissions, October 26, 2019, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Holmdel, NJ

Mr. Branagan spoke to ANJEC regarding obtaining copies of the Environmental Commission Handbook. He will contact them to order nine books and to inquire if they have been updated.

Old Business

Tree Restoration/Invasive Removal Project:

Mr. Branagan met with Nathaniel Sajdak and the project will commence in November, weather permitting. Stillwater School students will not be participating as it is too late to obtain parent/school permission and a school bus. Mr. Blanchard noted Mr. Sajdak has been in contact with Dan Egan of the Ridge and Valley Charter School regarding their participation. Mr. Svendsen suggested placing a notice in the school newsletter seeking volunteers, not as a school sponsored project. Mr. Branagan stated the passive side path is overgrown and questioned if it could be maintained. Mayor Chammings indicated the DPW is busy at this time and the SWAP/SLAP programs are changing now that the jail has been moved. Mayor Chammings discussed the removal of invasives on the trail. Mr. Dvorsky noted it would be easier to do so if the trail is cleared. Mayor Chammings would follow-up with the DPW.

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. Mr. Branagan removed the Main Street bridge receptacle.

Swartswood Lake:

Mrs. Emmetts and Randy Sprague met with Bob Cartica, NJ Natural Lands Management and Leslie McGeorge, NJDEP Water Quality. Mrs. Emmetts asked the secretary to email a copy of all the water testing results to Ms. McGeorge. The EC agreed. Grant funding ($5 million) should be available soon. Mr. Cartica agreed to cut back the Lotus to 10 acres as opposed to by 10 acres. Blanca Chevrestt, Superintendent Swartswood State Park; Larry Kovar, Aquatic Analysts; and Randy Sprague, SWLA, will meet to determine how much will be cut and the locations. Hydro-raking vs. harvesting needs to be determined. Hydro-raking is more costly but is longer lasting. Muck digesting pellets have reduced the muck by approximately a foot and a half. Mr. Kovar will provide pricing and locations to be addressed next year. Mr. Szabo discussed an article regarding an OPRA request to the NJDEP by Senator Pennachio asking for HABs information on file. The NJDEP denied the request indicating there is certain information they do not have to release. New Jersey has a limit of 20,000 HABs to close a waterbody; only four states out of 50 use this limit. Other states have limits as high as 100,000. The NJDEP has claimed the limit was established according to the World Health Organization.


New Business

Volunteer/Member Recognition:

Mrs. Emmetts and Mrs. Wunder for the SWLA letter to legislators and NJDEP representatives.

Mrs. Emmetts for composing the 2019 Annual Report draft.

Endangered and Threatened Species:

Bobcat sighting.

At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:37 p.m.

There being no members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed 7:37 p.m.

Planning Board (PB) Liaison Report: Mayor Chammings

October 16, 2019

-Approved the soil ordinance to be forwarded to the Township Committee for their review and input; should be considered for adoption by the end of the year.

-Guardyourbackyard.nj.gov – NJDEP website regarding fill, information will be posted at the Municipal Building.

-A resident appeared before the board to discuss a proposed amendment to real estate signage restrictions. The board was not in favor of the proposal as it was more of a personal matter between realtors.

-The budget was reviewed and will remain the same as 2019.

Township Liaison Report: Committeewoman Chammings

October 1 and 15, 2019

-A presentation was provided by Jack Ericson for an Eagle Scout project at Veteran’s Memorial Park (VMP) for a wood lacrosse practice wall on the active side. All documentation is in place and a zoning permit has been issued.

-Mayor Chammings will serve as Acting OEM Coordinator for the remainder of the year.

-The Committee is considering hiring Sheriff’s Department patrols for eight hours per month/four-hour shifts.

-The Kittatinny Midget Football request for temporary lighting at VMP did not take place.

-De-Icing materials from the County is still under discussion. Mayor Chammings will meet with Sandyston Mayor Harper to join forces in negotiating with the County.

-VMP playground: $58,000 of the total cost was paid to the contractor; $10,000 was held pending installation and equipment issues being addressed.

-A new DPW employee was hired to replace Mr. Whitehead who is retiring. A total of two new DPW employees have been hired and share their time between the DPW and Recycling Center.

-Rabies clinic will be held on Saturday, November 2nd from 9-11 a.m. at the DPW Garage.

-The township has acquired the former Swartswood Fire Department building. Mayor Chammings, Mr. Scott and Mr. Fisher addressed the exterior of the building and the DPW worked for three days on the property with a great improvement. Verizon is co-locating on the existing cell tower; Mrs. Wunder will follow-up on the permit status. Revenue from the collocation will go to the township.

Mr. Szabo informed the Commission that Mr. Morrison had thanked Mayor Chammings at the Township Committee meeting for all her hard work with the acquisition of the fire department building, noting it would not have happened without her.

Mayor Chammings reported that she and Ms. Knott will review the records at the firehouse to determine what needs to be kept and what can be disposed.

Mayor Chammings briefly summarized the proposed soil ordinance:

Soil amount greater than 100 cubic yards and less than 500 cubic yards will be considered a minor soil permit. Soil amount greater than 500 cubic yards will be considered a major soil permit. Requirements to apply will include block/lot, name/address, purpose and nature/quantity. Exceeding the amount of the permit will require an additional permit. A person cannot apply for more than one minor and one major permit per year. A septic installation is exempt. A topography map will be required as well as the hours of operation. If any roads are damaged during the project a stop work will be ordered and the road will be assessed. The EC will review all application that are submitted. This ordinance will tentatively be introduced at the November 12th Township Committee meeting.

With no further business to come before the Commission, Mrs. Emmetts made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Dvorsky. In a voice vote, all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,


Kathy Wunder, Secretary


Visit the Office of Emergency Management page for links and the latest information