STILLWATER TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE MEETING
September 21, 2021 – Regular Meeting
A REGULAR MEETING of the Stillwater Township Committee was called to order by Mayor Chammings at 7:00 p.m. noting the meeting date was sent, time and place to the New Jersey Herald and posted at the Town Hall on the official Stillwater Township website and Facebook page and advised those present that this meeting was being held in compliance with provisions of P.L. 1975, Chapter 231, Sections 4 & 13. Mayor Chammings added the meeting was being held virtually on Zoom and this meeting was also advertised with the link in the New Jersey Herald, the Stillwater Township website (www.stillwatertownshipnj.com) on the Stillwater Township Face Book page. PRESENT: Committeewoman Rumsey, Committeeman Barta, Deputy Mayor Scott, Committeeman Fisher, Mayor Chammings, Municipal Clerk Lynda Knott and Attorney Angelo Bolcato ABSENT: None
EXECUTIVE SESSION: held in Town Hall
After the reading of the following Resolution to enter into Executive Session, a motion was made by Mrs. Rumsey, seconded by Mr. Barta and carried by roll call vote to adopt the resolution permitting the Committee to go into Executive Session at 6:35 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, Litigation/Potential Litigation, Attorney Client.
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.
By a motion was made by Mrs. Rumsey, seconded by Mr. Fisher to conclude Executive Session at 6:47p.m., unanimously carried by voice vote.
A thirteen minutes recess was taken until 7:00 p.m.
Roll Call was taken and the flag was saluted.
As per ORDINANCE 2021-12: AUTHORIZING THE PUBLIC SALE OF REAL PROPERTY TO CONTIGUOUS PROPERTY OWNERS PURSUANT TO N.J.S.A. 40A:12-13(b)(5) Mayor Chammings began the land sale auction:
Tax Block Lot Location Lot Size Minimum
1201 33 Owassa Road 50 x 140 $250
1201 34 Owassa Road 50 x 140 $250
Jacob Swartout and Stacey Norman bid $250 for each lot. There were no other bidders for these lots.
405 22 Marigold Way 75 x 100 $250
405 3 Carnation Terr 75 x 100 $250
Justin and Cati Baamonde bid the minimum of $250 for each of these lots. There were no other bidders for this lots.
407 1 Azalea Path 1.71 Acres $500**
The bidder for this lot was Crandon Lakes Association of Property Owners. Since CLAPO is not considered an adjacent property owner this property will be sold at public auction on 11/9/2021.
406 2 Lilac Trail 1.35 Acres $500
Nicholas and Danielle Wunder bid $500 for the lot and were successful. There were no others who bid on this lot.
1101 49 Upper Drive 62 x 300 $250
Joseph Bach successfully bid $250 for this lot. There were no other bids for this lot.
August 17, and September 7, 2021 Executive Session Minutes: The executive session minutes were tabled until the October 5, 2021 meeting.
September 7, 2021 Regular Minutes:
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to adopt the regular minutes of September 7, 2021, seconded by Mr. Barta. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
REPORTS: Building Department Report of August 2021
Board of Heath Receipts for August 2021
Registrar Certified Copies Report for August 2021
Registrar Licensing Report for August 2021
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to adopt the reports as submitted, seconded by Mrs. Rumsey. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
BILLS LIST #14: $445,905.62
RESOLUTION 2021-120 Authorizing Payment of Bills
WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified that funds are available in the proper account; and
WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has approved payment upon certification from the Township Department Heads that the goods and/or services have been rendered to the Township;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Committee of the Township of Stillwater that the current bill lists, dated September 21, 2021 and on file and available for public inspection in the Office of the Chief Finance Officer and approved by the Chief Finance Officer for payment, be paid.
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to adopt the Resolution 2021-120, seconded by Mrs. Rumsey. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
Mr. Scott reported the DPW was busy with the Old Foundry Road Phase II milling and paving. The DPW is also down a few employees and working to keep up with multiple projects.
Mr. Scott also reported the Recreation Commission met at the Community Center for their September meeting. The Recreation Commission sub-committee met at Stillwater Park to determine where a shed for Kittatinny Little League could be placed. It will be placed to the right of the scoreboard.
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to place the Kittatinny Little League shed to the right of the scoreboard at Stillwater Park pending all zoning regulations are followed, seconded by Mrs. Rumsey. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
Mr. Barta reported the Planning Board September meeting had been cancelled so he had no report.
Mr. Fisher reported he spoke with John Nelson of CLAPO and they will meet in lower Crandon Lakes to look at these areas for the potential emergency access road.
Mrs. Rumsey reported she, the clerk, and Mayor Chammings worked on an update to the user agreement for the Community Center which will be discussed later in the agenda.
Mrs. Rumsey noted Fire Chief Sugar was not in attendance because he was attending OEM school and he asked if the age of drivers for non-CDL vehicles be reduced from twenty-one to nineteen. Mr. Scott noted the regulation for town owned vehicles the drivers must be twenty-one. The Township Committee would like to look into changing/amending the driver age for non-CDL vehicles. The matter will be addressed at the October 5, 2021 meeting.
Mrs. Rumsey also reported CERT will be holding a meeting at the Community Center on September 29, 2021 with surrounding CERT groups attending.
Mayor Chammings reported the COVID numbers are up a bit with positive cases in the schools and remote learning is only for quarantined or sick students.
Mayor Chammings also reported she will meet with Jack Branagan and the Nature Conservancy for the riparian zone signs at Veterans Park
Mayor Chammings reported she will like to upgrade the wiring in town hall with the American Rescue Plan funds.
Mayor Chammings noted the Environmental Commission met and discussed the water testing at Blair Creek, HAB blooms and the Spotted Lanternfly.
Mayor Chammings reported the Stillwater Grist Mill has been added to the endangered sites in New Jersey. The Historical Society will hold a clean up at the grist mill on October 2, 2021.
Mr. Scott also noted he attended the last Stillwater Taxpayer’s Meeting. Mr. Scott wanted to acknowledge Mr. Szabo’s contribution to the Stillwater community. Sheriff Strada was the speaker and the meeting room was full of those wanting to thank Mr. Szabo for all his efforts over many, many years. The original tax payer’s sign will be given to the Historical Society of Stillwater.
OPEN PUBLIC SESSION:
Mr. Louis Sylvester, 945 Old Schoolhouse Road, said the Grist Mill has been designated on the National and State registries since 2009. The Historic Society of Stillwater wants to start a Friends of the Grist Mill Group to be able to receive federal and state funding and in the future, they will be asking the Township to partner with them to transfer funding from the State or Federal governments. The big hurdle is liability insurance. Mayor Chammings noted that Open Space Trust Fund money could also be used for historical buildings.
Mr. Sylvester also asked the township committee not to allow the community center to be used for anything but non-profit use. At the last meeting TJ was there to ask the township committee to amend their no cannabis license to allow him to grow cannabis to enhance his personal gain and now saying TJ wants to use the community center for education about hemp and cannabis – which may be legal but has ethical issues. Mrs. Rumsey stated it was her idea to invite TJ for an educational seminar so the community could be educated about hemp and how its grown and its many uses and he has other speakers (i.e. an attorney) to lend their expertise to the discussion. Mr. Sylvester said TJ tried to offer some of his hemp products to the Township Committee members to promote his business and Mr. Sylvester is asking the Township Committee not to allow his presentation. Mr. Barta said the township committee is a committee of five and the community center is for non-profit use only. Mr. Scott noted the fire department only allows non-profit entities to use their building as well. Mrs. Rumsey stressed the presentation was not to promote business but to educate.
Mr. Louis Zack, 943 Old Schoolhouse Road, asked if TJ was growing hemp and Mrs. Rumsey answered he is. Mr. Zack said TJ sells his product at Garris’ General Store and also has free samples. Mr. Zack noted he sees people smoking cannabis cigarettes on the square in Newton and feels it cheapens the area. Mrs. Rumsey noted TJ grows and sells hemp but the seminar is just to educate people.
Mrs. Kathy Draghi, 1016 County Route 619, asked if TJ is a Stillwater land owner. Mayor Chammings said no, he grows hemp on a 120 acre farm but he lives in Stillwater. Mayor Chammings said if a farm that is now farm land assessed and they chose to grow cannabis they may lose their tax protection and the township would be able to tax them. Mrs. Draghi said a few months ago the Township Committee was against growing hemp on Old Schoolhouse Road and now are considering changing the ordinance to allow cannabis? Mayor Chammings said nothing is changing right now and before TJ can use the community center a user form must be submitted. Mr. Barta said TJ was here asking the Township Committee to change the no-cannabis license ordinance and a Township Committee member invited him to speak at the community center to educate people on hemp and cannabis. Mayor Chammings said she invited him to come to another township committee meeting to educate the township committee and if any community member wants to attend the meeting them may. Mayor Chammings said she is not sure if he wants to grow, sell or distribute and if he wishes to come discuss changing ordinance 2021-06 it will be advertised and any resident will know it is being discussed. If the crowd is larger than the meeting room allows the venue may have to be changed.
Mr. Joseph Doherty, 943 Old School House Road, read the following statement into the record:
I am here this evening to voice my objection to the reported efforts of Pro-pot advocates seeking to introduce the wholesale production of the recently legalized drug on the Community of Stillwater. I believe the issue merits further discussion and the complaining parties’ position be given additional consideration regarding my objection to the possibility of cannabis production and cultivation in our community, I impart these words of cautious advice: In the world of advertising and sales the sellers goal is to convince the public that their product is the best and a must-have necessity that will bring them pleasure and help ease the burden of everyday life. They employ the well-known shady tactics of the slick huckster to promote sales while assuring a gullible public that they are getting quality, value and a wholesome product for their money. Cigarette advertising in the 1940’s and 50’s is a prime example of this deceptive form of advertising. One company in particular asked the question . . . “what cigarette do you smoke, doctor?” Today we are in a cultural conflict with over-the -top-liberal progressives who claim that the legalization of their product of choice, marijuana, as a recreational drug, harms no one, promotes social justice, is a sure sign of progress and is in everyone’s best interest. However, scientific studies have countered such claims for years and I say it is not in my best interest. I did not trade the crime-scarred urban area of my adopted home of Stillwater to be subjected to the pot-for -profit mentality of those activists whose actions and selfish motives are in conflict with traditional American values. I also believe that it is not in the best interest of Stillwater Township to entertain or agree to any requests to abandon or rescind any restrictions on growing or cultivating of marijuana for recreational purposes. Strictly controlled cultivation and use of cannabis for medical purposes is one thing – widespread cultivation for monetary gain is another. The citizens of Stillwater expect their elected and appointed representatives to do what is right by pursuing a course of action that is in the overall interest of the community. Any for profit facility located in a residential-country setting would be a blight on the landscape and have a negative impact on the quality of life of its citizens and mar the townships reputation and jeopardize its future as a desirable destination. Please keep Stillwater a clean community – Just say “NO” to the progressives and their wholesale marijuana production mentality and “YES” to traditional American values.
Mr. John Nelson, Crandon Lake Association Board Member, said he believes the best place for an education seminar would be on the 120 acre farm where the man has his business and the Township Committee would have nothing to do with it. Mayor Chammings noted the Township Committee needs to be educated so it could make educated decisions regarding the cannabis licenses.
Alicia Gardner, Recreation Commission Secretary, asked if she should have the Recreation Commission members discuss the shed placement since the Township Committee voted on the placement. Mr. Scott and Mayor Chammings said no it was all taken care of. Mrs. Gardener noted the Recreation Commission has placed an order for Stillwater Blankets.
Mayor Chammings commended Marcia Bradley of Stillwater CERT for her 132 volunteer hours at the Sussex County Covid-19 Clinic and was applauded by the attendees.
Mrs. Bradley said CERT is starting to recruit again because many of the Stillwater CERT members have become program managers in their own home towns. Mrs. Bradley is the Stillwater CERT Program Manager and said Mr. Paul Mole is now Stillwater’s Assistant CERT Program Manager.
Mayor Chammings also thanked Louis Zack for beautifying the Convenience Center with flowers and to Alicia Gardner for changing the sign there as well.
Mr. Phil Piccione, Millbrook Road, voiced his concerns regarding some things said to him outside the meeting room after the last meeting. Mr. Piccione feels he was being accused of harassing townhall employees. Mr. Scott said they were not accusing him but asking questions about some of the things they heard. Mr. Barta said he asked him not to knock on the windows of town hall because that is creepy. Mr. Piccione said he does not knock but waves at the windows.
Seeing no one else from the public who wished to speak this portion of the meeting was closed.
Update on 992 Fairview Lake road (block 2401 Lot 37) Mayor Chammings has not received the boxes from the State yet so there is no update.
ORDINANCE 2021-13 Repealing Chapter 266 Motorboats of the Code of the Township of Stillwater – Public Hearing and Adoption
WHEREAS, the Mayor and Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater has determined that Chapter 266, Motorboats, of the Code of the Township of Stillwater, that was adopted by the Township Committee on January 18, 1972, should be repealed.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Township Committee of Stillwater Township, Sussex County, New Jersey, as follows:
The entire Chapter 266, Motorboats of the Code of the Township of Stillwater, Sussex County, New Jersey, is repealed in its entirety.
SECTION 2 – SEVERABILITY
If any provision of this Ordinance or the application of this Ordinance to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this Ordinance shall not be affected and shall remain in full force and effect.
SECTION 3 – REPEALER
All ordinances or parts of ordinances or resolutions that are inconsistent or in opposition to the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed in their entirety.
SECTION 4: EFFECTIVE DATE
This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon adoption and publication in accordance with law.
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to Adopt Ordinance 2021-13 seconded by Mr. Fisher. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
RESOLUTION 2021-121 RESOLUTION APPROVING SUBMISSION OF THE CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020 TO THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DIVISION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES
WHEREAS, all municipalities operating under the Local Fiscal Affairs Law must prepare and submit a Corrective Action Plan as part of their annual audit process, and
WHEREAS, the Township of Stillwater has by Resolution accepted the 2020 audit prepared and presented by the Township Auditors, and
WHEREAS, Tammy Leonard, the Chief Financial Officer for the Township of Stillwater, has prepared a Corrective Action Plan to address the findings and recommendations for the 2020 audit and presented copies of same to the Township Committee,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater, New Jersey that the Corrective Action Plan, attached hereto and made a part hereof, be approved for submission to the Division of Local Government Services.
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to adopt Resolution 2021-121 seconded by Mrs. Rumsey. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
RESOLUTION 2021-122 Authorizing the cancellation of 2021 Property Taxes for 100% disabled Veteran under the Veteran Disability Act
WHEREAS, there appears on the tax records of STILLWATER Township certain resident who Qualify for tax exemptions, and
WHEREAS, said exemptions were created when the taxpayer applied for Veteran Status, – Total Disability
WHEREAS, the Collector of Taxes recommends the adjustment of such taxes be made.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the proper officers be and they are hereby authorized and directed to cancel the OF 2021 due to fact that the taxpayer is qualified under the veteran disability act. This exemption has also created a refund for the year of 2021 and recommends such refund to be made.
BLOCK LOT NAME YR AMOUNT
4209 3 VOGEL 21 2,518.14
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to adopt Resolution 2021-122 seconded by Mrs. Rumsey. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
RESOLUTION 2021-123 APPROVING THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TOWNSHIP OF STILLWATER AND DEBRA CARTER, HR CONSULTANT
WHEREAS, Stillwater Township has the need for a Human Resource Consultant to write job descriptions and processes; and
WHEREAS, the Township Committee desires to contract with Debra Carter to provide job descriptions and processes in an amount not to exceed $2,000; and
WHEREAS, the Township’s Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available for this purpose; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater will contract with Debra Carter to provide job descriptions and processes for the employees at Town Hall; and
A copy of this Resolution as well as the contract shall be placed on file with the Clerk of the Township.
This resolution shall take effect immediately.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase in this resolution is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this resolution.
A motion was made by Mr. Scott to adopt Resolution 2021-123 seconded by Mr. Barta. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
RESOLUTION 2021-124 RESOLUTION OF THE TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF STILLWATER AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF RAFFLE LICENSE RA-21-01
WHEREAS the following Raffle Applications with required fees have been submitted for Township Committee approval;
Raffle # Applicant Date Type of Game
RA-01 Historical Society of Stillwater Township 10/09/21 Raffle
WHEREAS said Raffle Applications have been provided to the Township Committee and New Jersey State Police for their review;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, the following:
A motion was made by Mr. Fisher to adopt Resolution 2021-124 seconded by Mr. Scott. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
WHEREAS, the estimate of approximately $88,820.00 is over the Township bid threshold, and N.J.A.C. 5:34-7.29 requires that the governing body award contracts over $44,000.00; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater, New Jersey as follows:
A motion was made by Mrs. Rumsey to adopt Resolution 2021-118 seconded by Mr. Fisher. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Barta, yes, Mrs. Rumsey, yes, Mr. Scott, yes, Mr. Fisher yes, Mayor Chammings, yes.
Community Center Use Form and Uses: Mrs. Rumsey and the clerk worked on a new user agreement for the community center adding for fee rentals. Mrs. Rumsey highlighted the new sections for the Township Committee and attendees. The clerk made copies for the Township Committee and Mr. Bolcato to review and for further discussion. Mr. Barta asked who will be responsible for deciding who will use the Community Center. A sub-committee of two Township Committee members will review the applications. Mr. Barta also noted the possibility of parking issues especially when events are held at Stillwater Park across the street if held on the same date/time. Mayor Chammings asked the township committee members to look over the agreement for further discussion.
American Rescue Plan: Mr. Barta would like to see the same radios installed in the Fire Department’s vehicles be purchased and installed in the DPW vehicles for better communication during extreme weather and other events.
Sherriff patrols on Owassa Road: The Sheriff’s Department is very willing to do patrols on the weekends as requested by the Township Committee. It would be set up with a special agreement that covers two men and two vehicles to be on patrol in Stillwater Township for two hours at a time for a cost of $400. Mayor Chammings asked Mr. Bolcato to prepare a resolution for the next meeting so she may sign the contract and get the Sherriff’s Department on board before the end of the year.
Committee member goals: Mayor Chammings said one of her goals was to make sure town hall operated at peak efficiency and that is why the Township Committee is hiring Debra Carter to review job descriptions and procedures for town hall employees. Mayor Chammings asked the other township committee members if they had any goals to complete before the end of 2021 to bring them forward for the next meeting.
Discussion of ordinances needing amendments: Mayor Chammings discussed that E Code is reviewing the municipal code book, the Master Plan will be re-examined and asked if any Township Committee Member had ordinances they would like to see amended. Mrs. Rumsey noted she would like to see Ordinance 2017-14 for Hazardous Material Clean Up be amended to reflect the new fees which can be established for certain clean ups.
Proposed RFP from a planner for master plan: Mr. Bolcato made a few changes to the RFP for a Planner to do the Master Plan Re-Examination. The clerk will send the RFP to the Planning Board Secretary and Attorney for their review.
OPEN PUBLIC SESSION:
Mrs. Bradley said CERT would like to pay for a thank you for all township volunteers with a picnic but the CFO wrote back to her stating the CERT’s township budget could not be used for this type of event. Mayor Chammings noted the township had never really honored retirees during COVID and the Township Committee has a community event line and perhaps that line could be used.
Mr. Louis Sylvester thanked the township committee for hearing his concerns this evening. Mr. Sylvester suggested the community center be opened to non-profits and residents only because the Recreation Commission let a NY team use Volunteer Field and it ended up being more trouble than good.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT – Mr. Bolcato suggested the Township Committee put together a sub-committee to review the code book.
There being no further business to attend to, a motion was made by Mr. Scott, seconded by Mr. Fisher to conclude the meeting at 9:41 p.m., unanimously carried by roll call vote.
Lynda Knott, Township Clerk
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.