STILLWATER TOWNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION
September 9, 2019 Regular Meeting
MEMBERS PRESENT: Mrs. Emmetts, Mr. Szabo, Mr. Dvorsky, Mr. Svendsen, Mr. Nause, Mr. Branagan
MEMBERS ABSENT: Mrs. Tracey, Mrs. Branagan, Mr. Blanchard
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.
Mr. Svendsen made a motion to approve the minutes of 8/12/19, seconded by Mrs. Emmetts.
Mrs. Emmetts made a motion to approve the following bill, pending availability of funds, seconded by Mr. Branagan:
Secretary: $ 225.91
At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:05 p.m.
Mrs. Emmetts spoke as a member of the Swartswood Lakes and Watershed Association (SWLA). She asked for a letter of support from the Environmental Commission. The association is required to hire a professional to develop a watershed management plan for NJDEP approval. Once approval is obtained it will open up grant funding opportunities. Olivia Glenn, Director of New Jersey Parks and Forestry will tour the lake on September 10, 2019. Mrs. Emmetts read from a prepared outline indicating the recent HABs have made the plan extremely important. Past studies show that the lake contains too much biomass, which is generated mostly by naturally occurring phosphorus in the lake bed. Unlike Hopatcong, septic systems and storm run-off are of little impact. The plan will focus on biomass removal by, among other things:
-Using pre-emergent herbicides to reduce weed growth
-Doing lake draw-downs every two years
-Adding aeration to chemically lock phosphorus
-Doing hydro-raking and/or harvesting to remove biomass
Once the plan is accepted by the NJDEP, the association will be in a position to obtain grant funding for the work that needs to be done. Mrs. Emmetts stated they are currently testing muck digesting pellets which have shown some success.
The SWLA is requesting letters of support from the Environmental Commission and Stillwater Township. The letters should be directed to the following:
NJDEP Commission, SC Freeholders, Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, Congressman Josh Gottheimer, Oliva Glenn, Director of Parks and Forestry, and Kerry Pflugh, Director, Office of Local Government Assistance NJDEP.
Mayor Chammings will reach out to Ms. Pflugh to schedule a meeting with the SWLA and the township.
Swartswood Lake is a C-1 category glacial lake and home to New Jersey’s first State Park.
There being no members from the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed at 7:18 p.m.
8/23/19 – Borough of Franklin, re: Federal park maintenance: Mr. Dvorsky discussed the dilapidated condition of the roads and maintenance along the Delaware and Old Mine Road. Mayor Chammings indicated work has just started on Old Mine Road between Millbrook Village and Flatbrook. Blue Mountain and Crater Lake will be closed during the week and open on weekends as roads are rebuilt from the base. Mayor Chammings stated a letter of support will be sent from the township for S500 and HR1225 that will provide dedicated funding for repair and upkeep at national park sites.
8/16/19 – NJDEP Application Notice, Block 416, Lot 40 – Septic System
HABs Public Forum:
Mr. Szabo, Mrs. Emmetts, Mrs. Tracey and Mr. Dvorsky attended. Dr. Steve Souza discussed the cause of HABs; aRutgers professor discussed the topic of stormwater and rain gardens and a civil engineer addressed the formation of municipal water utilities.
NJ Forest Service – NJ Forest Action Plan:
Mr. Szabo reviewed the plan, conferred with Jim Stabile (forester) and provided his comments to the NJDEP, copied to the Township Committee.
Tree Restoration/Invasive Removal Project:
The project will commence in the fall with Nathaniel Sajdak in conjunction with Stillwater School students.
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.
-HABs forum was attended by Mr. Szabo, Mrs. Emmetts, Mrs. Tracey and Mr. Dvorsky.
-Mr. Szabo provided written comments on the NJ Forestry Plan.
Endangered and Threatened Species: None.
At this point, this portion of the meeting was opened to the public at 7:40 p.m.
There being no members of the public wishing to speak, this portion of the meeting was closed 7:40 p.m.
Planning Board (PB) Liaison Report: Mr. Branagan
The August Planning Board meeting was cancelled.
Township Liaison Report: Committeewoman Chammings
September 3rd Meeting:
-A new DPW employee was hired – Jeremy Motz. Another DPW employee will be hired in the near future. Both vacancies were due to retirements.
-An ordinance was passed transferring the power to deem Zoning Board applications complete from the Zoning Officer to the Board Engineer.
-The playground was installed at Veteran’s Memorial Park. It was inspected by the Risk Manager and some safety items need to be addressed by the contractor. The playground will be closed until the issues are resolved.
-An ordinance was passed establishing the school crossing guard position.
-A letter was received from Green Acres regarding the removal of structures on the Camp Towadena property. Mrs. Wunder will follow-up with the DPW and Green Acres.
-TC is still working on the acquisition of the Swartswood firehouse building.
-The Old Schoolhouse Road project has been completed.
With no further business to come before the Commission, Mr. Dvorsky made a motion to adjourn the meeting, 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 and make payments through the online 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.