September 12, 2022 – Regular/Zoom Meeting
MEMBERS PRESENT: Mrs. Branagan, Ms. Coriston (via Zoom), Mrs. Emmetts, Mr. Szabo, Mrs. Tracey, Mrs. Tsadilas, Ms. Wills, Mr. Dvorsky, Mr. Branagan
MEMBERS ABSENT: None
Mr. Branagan called the meeting to order at 7:10 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. Szabo made a motion to approve the minutes of 8/8/22, seconded by Mrs. Tracey.
Mrs. Emmetts made a motion to approve the following bill, pending availability of funds, seconded by Mr. Branagan:
Roll Call Vote: Mrs. Branagan, yes, Ms. Coriston, yes, Mrs. Emmetts, yes, Mr. Szabo, yes, Mrs. Tracey, yes, Mrs. Tsadilas, yes, Mr. Branagan, yes
At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:11 p.m.
There being no members of the public present, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:11 p.m.
-2022-137 Resolution of the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater Approving Appointments of Township Boards and Commissions – Maureen Tsadilas to EC
-2022-140 Resolution of the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater Adopting a Social Media Policy for Elected and Appointed Township Officials – Members signature required
Mr. Szabo referred to the second paragraph of the resolution “all other forms of electronic communications”…he felt this may include phone calls. Mrs. Branagan interpreted it to be other forms of social media not phone calls.
-Cramer Ecological Services, LLC – NJDEP Application for General Permit #24, Block 2001, Lot 5, Lotus Way, LLC, proposing disturbance to transition areas (buffers) for the replacement of an existing malfunctioning subsurface sewage disposal system
Mrs. Wunder will contact the Municipal Clerk to obtain the map included with the application. Mr. Branagan and Mr. Szabo will inspect the property to see if there are any environmental concerns.
-Updated EC Membership List 2022
Planning Board Meeting – 8/17/22:
Mrs. Emmetts attended the meeting and reported the meeting basically covered items that should be included in the Master Plan, focusing on short term rentals, Airbnb, and the preservation of land. Ms. Chammings added the preservation included maintaining the vistas and rural character of the township. She noted the Master Plan will be an update, not a rewrite. Solar farms and charging stations for electric cars were also discussed. The public hearing will be held at a Township Committee meeting in October and Ms. Chammings will ask the Clerk to post the draft of the Master Plan on line for those interested in reviewing it.
Planning Board Liaison Position:
Mr. Branagan agreed to serve as the EC Liaison to the Planning Board. Mrs. Wunder will notify the Clerk and have a resolution prepared for the next Township Committee meeting.
Township Committee Meeting -9/20/22:
Mr. Branagan asked that EC members plan to attend the next Township Committee meeting to follow-up on the EC biochar letter submitted to the Committee.
Mr. Szabo referred to a video he felt may be useful to have the Committee view while discussing the biochar matter. The video depicts a dramatic episode in a farming family’s life with respect to toxic material. Mrs. Branagan noted the issue in the video had to do with Teflon not biochar, and may confuse people. Ms. Chammings offered to send the video link to the Township Committee members and when the matter is discussed at the next Committee meeting, she will have the video clip played. Mr. Dvorsky referred to a movie entitled, “Dark Waters,” about communities irreparably polluted as a result of Teflon.
Fishing Receptacle Locations (12):
-Mrs. Tracey (2): Paulinskill and Route 619 at Hendershot’s
-Mr. Szabo (3): Boat launch at Route 619 at the State Park, Keen’s Mill and in the area of the Connor property
-Mr. Dvorsky (3): Three locations at Veteran’s Memorial Park – at the bridge, middle of the parking lot, and near the river on the passive side
-Mr. Branagan (4): Grist Mill, across from the Grist Mill, and south of LC Service and Saddleback Road
Stream Water Testing:
The water testing will be conducted during the last week in October. Mr. Szabo will assist Mr. Branagan and if Mr. Dvorsky is available he will also assist.
Stillwater School – Community Connections TREX Program:
Ms. Coriston is working with Elaine Makarevich and Stillwater School on the program for recycling plastic film. She reported that once approved by the Superintendent, receptacles will be placed at the Community Center and Municipal Building. A community volunteer will be needed to check the receptacles one to two times per week and transport the plastic to the school. Volunteers are in place to bring it to Weis. Ms. Chammings will obtain the plastic bags needed for the collection of the plastic film.
Veteran’s Memorial Park (VMP) Bridge Sign:
Ms. Chammings reported this item will be placed on hold at this point as the DPW is very short-staffed.
Carry-in/Carry-out Policy – VMP:
Ms. Chammings will address this item at the next Township Committee meeting under her Environmental Commission report.
No Parking Sign – VMP:
Mr. Branagan questioned why the “no parking” sign has not been installed along the river. Ms. Chammings will follow-up with the DPW although she felt it has already been installed. Mrs. Emmetts suggested installing a removable bollard that can be accessed during the NJDEP stocking.
Site Survey Inspections (3) – Zoning Board and Planning Board:
1) Minor Subdivision of Lot 1, Block 3303 and Lot 3, Block 3302
2) Construct 24’ x 30’ addition, Lot 53, Block 2401
3) Disturb slopes greater than 15% to construct driveway; construct accessory building with a height exceeding 15’, Lot 2.01, Block 3804
Mr. Branagan will inspect sites 1 and 2. Mrs. Tsadilas will join Mr. Branagan to observe the site survey inspection procedure. Mr. Szabo will observe the inspection at site 1 but will not participate as the owner is a friend and Mr. Szabo felt it would not be ethically appropriate. Mr. Dvorsky and Mr. Branagan will inspect site 3.
Mr. Branagan thanked the EC members for attending the August 16rh Township Committee meeting as follows: Mr. Szabo, Ms. Coriston, Mrs. Emmetts, Mrs. Branagan and Mr. Branagan
Endangered and Threatened Species Sightings:
-A Bobcat was observed 30’ in a tree.
Mrs. Tsadilas recommended storing wood away from your house as the Spotted Lanternflies are infesting wood piles. Ms. Coriston stated they eat the wood and lay their eggs; they will also lay eggs on metal items as well.
At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 8:15 p.m.
There being no members of the public present, this portion of the meeting was closed to the public at 8:15 p.m.
Mrs. Emmetts briefly reported on her recent trip to Iceland. She was impressed with how clean the county is, using geothermal energy to heat, no smoke, chimneys, dust or dirt. It was pristine and the pre-school education includes an environmental aspect at the ages of two and three. She added that one city has no garbage trucks and the trash is disposed of through an underground vacuum system. They have also planted a variety of trees over the past 100 years.
Township Committee Liaison Report: Committeewoman Chammings
-Recent Ordinances: Turnout gear; Fee Schedule for Vacant and Abandoned Properties; Recycling Center Supervisor Salary; and a Residency Ordinance
-Municipal lighting is being updated.
-Committeeman Barta reported on the School Board meeting regarding the new school curriculum and mandates. A lengthy discussion followed. There is an opt out clause available. Ms. Coriston added that parents received a letter today from the school indicating students will be allowed to opt out of individual topics.
-Master Plan Draft was discussed.
-Steve Staub resigned from the Zoning Board.
-Recreation Commission has an alternate member position open.
-A discussion was held regarding a proposed ordinance for disabled veterans allowing the rebate from the date of application as opposed to the first of the year.
-Crandon Lakes dam was discussed.
-A letter will be sent to local lake associations inviting them to attend and participate in Township Committee meetings.
-Tax foreclosures are moving forward.
-Advertising for a Planning Board/Zoning Board Engineer is being done for 2023.
-The Zoning Officer has sent a letter to the owner of 947A Old Schoolhouse Road regarding the required mitigation, with a 10-day deadline.
-A noise complaint was received on Old Schoolhouse Road past Mt. Holly Road regarding gunfire and explosives.
-A waiver is being pursued for the township stormwater management designation.
With no further business to come before the Commission, Mr. Szabo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Emmetts. In a voice vote, all were in favor.
Kathy Wunder, Secretary
Stillwater Township offers residents a Recycling and Convenience Center for household trash and recycling.
Residents are able to view property tax information through the Municipal Software Inc. system. You may find a property by entering the property’s location or block, lot and qualifier.
Stillwater Township posts all information about bids and proposals for township projects on a dedicated page.