Special Budget Meeting: January 13, 2018



January 13, 2018

Budget Meeting #1

A SPECIAL BUDGET MEETING of the Stillwater Township Committee was called to order by Mayor Chammings at 9:14 a.m. noting the meeting date, time and place were sent the New Jersey Herald and posted at the Town Hall, on the Township’s website 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: PRESENT: Mayor Chammings, Committeeman Gross, Committeeman Fisher, , Committeeman Morrison, Municipal Clerk Lynda Knott, CFO Dana Mooney, ABSENT: Committeeman Scott

Mayor Chammings asked all present to join her in saluting the flag.

Ms. Mooney noted the DPW budget would be discussed. The Township Committee began looking at the DPW budget line by line. Joshua Raff, DPW Supervisor was in attendance. Mr. Raff asked for a $20 per day stipend for the Assistant DPW Supervisor noting that the Assistant would be able to lead a work detail while he led another project. Mr. Raff also suggested that even with the additional stipend the supervisor stipend line item could be lowered by $1000 to $9000.00.

Mr. Raff stated he would like road striping to be included in capital when road projects are undertaken. Mr. Raff also moved $2000 from the sweeper brown line to the Kaboda tractor maintenance line and added $500 for mower maintenance.

There was discussion regarding the groundwater testing at the closed landfill. The Clerk will speak with Kerry Pflugh at the NJDEP to find out how long the testing needs to be done.

Mayor Chammings asked the Clerk to invite Michael Vreeland the Township’s Engineer to the February 6, 2018 meeting to be on hand for the capital budget discussion.

The building and grounds section of the budget was discussed. There was also discussion on the items the DPW would be responsible for and what the Recreation Commission would handle in their budget. Mr. Raff will look at the shed in Veterans Park and see if it could be repaired or should be replaced.

The Township received three quotes for the lawn service. The CFO will ask the Finance Clerk to get references for the vendor with the lowest quote.

Ms. Chammings asked if the $300 budgeted for school and training included money to send someone to school for the CPWM classes. Ms. Chammings asked Mr. Leatham if there was a plan in place to have someone who was looking to pass the classes. The Clerk will check with the state’s requirements to take the CPWM classes because she remembered reading that one must have 2 or 2-1/2 years’ experience as a supervisor before classes could be taken.

The Clerk said that during contract negotiations it was discussed that Gerry Leatham would be Acting Supervisor and Josh Raff would be named Assistant Acting Supervisor so that both could build supervisor experience and time served so they could take the classes and test.

A discussion was held about the Township’s exemption from the CPWM requirement.

Ms. Chammings asked how the CLAPPO salt/grit suppling was going. Mr. Leatham said He calls George Brothers when the DPW goes out and Mr. Hendershot meets the contractor to load them.

Ms. Chammings asked Mr. Leatham about a capital request for a new articulating loader for 2018. Ms. Mooney said capital items request must be in by mid-January. Mr. Leatham said the quote for the paver is up about $4,000.00 from last year.

The recycling and convenience center salaries and wages were discussed. At the Township Committee meeting on December 6, 2016 it was decided to raise the wage of new employees of the recycling and convenience center to $10.00 per hour in hope of employing dependable people. It was also discussed that the current employees who make $9.01 per hour be raised to $10.50. Ms. Chammings noted the increase in pay is approximately $600 per person or $2500.00 per year for all employees who work at the center. This increase will actually end up costing the Township less than paying DPW employees over-time to cover the center for no-show employees. The Clerk has posted the position in the NJ Herald, the Sussex County Community College Job Board and the Township’s website so Ms. Chammings asked Mr. Leatham to communicate to the current center employees they would be getting the increase.

Mr. Gross asked when the last time the Township’s garbage rate was raised. The Clerk said it was not in the past five years she was employed by the Township. Ms. Chammings noted that SCMUA has not raised its rates in several years either.

Mr. Morrison asked the CFO if she would give him a summary report of the revenues and expenses of the recycling and convenience center so the Township Committee could have a discussion on the rates. Mr. Morrison stressed he did not want to make a profit from the recycling and convenience center – only break even.

A discussion was held on the Landscaping contract for Veterans Park, Volunteer Field and Stillwater Park. The Clerk/QPA will obtain a minimum of three quotes for that service.

It was discussed that a Township crest sign for the building be purchased with funds left in the “celebration of public events” line before the end of the year. The motion for action will be on the December 20, 2016 agenda.

The line item for gardens and mulch will be increased from $300 to $500 so the Town Hall can add planters and plants.

Ms. Chammings asked Mr. Leatham what the plan was to get the parking lot for Town Hall and the recycling and convenience center paving project completed. Mr. Fisher said when he spoke with Mr. Vreeland he was told in early 2017 the projects would be completed. Ms. Chammings said it is very important to her that these projects get done before something happens or someone gets hurt. Ms. Chammings asked Mr. Leatham to keep in contact with Mr. Vreeland to make sure the specifications are defined and the projects get out to bid.

Mr. Fisher asked Mr. Leatham to get prices for a power washer to clean the outside of Town Hall. Ms. Chammings suggested getting prices on a diesel run power washer.

Ms. Chammings stated she would also like to see electric run to the new pavilion at Veterans Memorial Park. Mr. Morrison stated a quote should be obtained from JCP&L. The Clerk will call Jackie Espinoza and find out the procedure for getting electric to the pavilion. Ms. Chammings said the Recreation Commissioners should prepare their capital requests for the pavilion’s tables, lighting, etc.

Ms. Chammings asked Mr. Leatham if he could start CPWM classes this year is he interested. Mr. Leatham said he was. There being no additional discussion for DPW’s budget requests Mr. Leatham left the meeting.

The CFO asked about gypsy moth spraying for 2017. The Clerk answered there is an area of the Township where spraying is recommended but it is much smaller an area than 2016. The clerk will get the spraying figures for the next budget meeting.

The next budget meetings are scheduled for December 20, 2016 during the regular meeting, January 7, 2017 and February 4, 2017 both Saturday mornings at 9:00 a.m. The Fire Department will be in attendance on February 4, 2017. The Clerk will be sending “sunshine letters” to all department heads, employees, boards and commissions asking them to choose a date to discuss their budget requests or sign off stating they do not wish to discuss their requests with the Township Committee. The CFO noted she has not received budget requests from the Zoning Officer, EMS and Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Ms. Mooney discussed the finance department budget. Ms. Mooney has requested to budget for thirteen (13) additional hours per year for the Finance Clerk allowing her to cover additional work when the CFO is on vacation or away from the office. The only other increases to the finance department budget are for an electric three-hole punch, an increase in the payroll cost to accommodate the 27th pay in 2017, and mileage reimbursement for Mrs. Leonard.

Ms. Mooney noted that health insurance costs did not go up for 2017, but the Township will see an increase due to the added family. Ms. Mooney stated Medicare Part B premiums did increase.

Ms. Mooney added a 2% increase for Audit Services.

Ms. Mooney asked is any departments were requesting new computers. The Clerk answered that most of the computers at Town Hall were less than two years old. Ms. Mooney stated she would really like to have the electronic requisition system installed in Stillwater Township but noted there must be excellent internet connection so the purchaser (especially DPW) can connect to the server at MSI. Ms. Mooney explained the benefits of using the requisition system for the DPW and the Fire Department.

Mr. Scott left the meeting at 11:00 a.m.

Ms. Mooney discussed the tax collector’s budget request. There is no increase from the 2016 request except $175 for mileage reimbursement and the tax collector’s request for a 3% raise.

The Clerk mentioned that employees in Fredon are receiving a 3% raise and the employees in Green are receiving a 4% raise.

Ms. Chammings said no salaries should be discussed until everyone responds to the sunshine letter.

Mr. Morrison asked what justified the other towns offering the additional increases. The Clerk said the health benefit costs and pension costs are more than the 2% received in 2016. The CFO will send an e-mail blast to the other County CFOs to find out what their employee raises were in 2016.

Mr. Morrison said he is looking for a zero percent tax increase.

The meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m. with a majority voice vote.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynda Knott, Township Clerk

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