Minutes: August 18, 2016

Call to Order

The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (VTMUA) of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 18, 2016 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on February 18, 2016 and was posted on the bulletin board in the municipal building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6.

Roll Call

Thomas BuchneyA
Gloria GalloA
Thomas McClachrieP
Edward SnookP
Joseph TadrickA
Edward SegerP
Vincent ZinnoP

Roll Call of Professionals

Attorney James Moscagiuri, Engineer Peter Koshik, Auditor Charles Ferraioli, and Executive Director John Scerbo were present.

1. Open Meeting for Public Comment

Vincent Zinno moved to open the meeting to the public.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was opened to the public.

2. Close the Meeting for Public Comment

Vincent Zinno moved to close the meeting to the public.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The public portion of the meeting was closed.

3. Consent Agenda

Resolution 16-40: Payment of June and August Bills

Vincent Zinno moved to pay the May 2016 bills.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Further Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Edward Seger, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None
Abstention: Thomas McClachrie

4. Approval of Minutes

June 16, 2016 Regular Meeting

Edward Seger moved to approve the June 16, 2016 regular meeting minutes.
Vincent Zinno seconded the motion.

Further Discussion: Edward Seger questioned a typographical error that should have been a comma.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Edward Seger, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None
Abstention: Thomas McClachrie

5. Receipt and Filing of Correspondence

A. Letter Dated June 23, 2016 from VFW Post 8441 Treasurer Robert Constantine

Mr. Constantine said the VFW disagrees with the VTMUA’s allocation of 4.5 Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs), saying the amount is excessive for the actual usage at the facility. Mr. Constantine would like the facility classified as an assembly hall instead of its classification as a banquet facility so that the EDU rate could be lowered to one EDU. Mr. Constantine said if the use of the facility is changed, the VFW is prepared to pay a connection fee of $4,665 for one EDU and proceed to hook up to the sewer system.

Vincent Zinno moved to receive and file the correspondence.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Edward Seger, Thomas McClachrie, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

B. Letter Dated July 7, 2016 from SCMUA Engineer Thomas Varro Regarding SCMUA Not Granting a Hardship to Albina K. Labar

The SCMUA did not approve Ms. Labar’s application for hardship because she did not meet the SCMUA criteria.

Edward Seger moved to receive and file the correspondence and turn it over to the VTMUA attorney for review.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

Further Discussion: Thomas McClachrie said if the SCMUA does not make an accommodation for the applicant, the matter should come back to the VTMUA for an adjustment.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Edward Seger, Thomas McClachrie, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

6. Resolutions

A. Resolution 16-41: Reclassifying the VFW and Establishing the EDU Count

Motion by Edward Seger to approve the reclassification of the VFW Post 8441 from banquet hall to assembly hall and to lower the EDU count to 1 EDU.
Thomas McClachrie seconded the motion.

Further Discussion: Vincent Zinno asked Executive Director John Scerbo if he inspected the site. Mr. Scerbo said he did not. Mr. Zinno questioned whether the VFW kitchen is functioning. Mr. Scerbo said the VFW has told the VTMUA it is not functioning. Mr. Zinno further asked if the kitchen met health department standards. Mr. Scerbo said the VFW has stated they are not using the kitchen, and he does not know if the health department has inspected it. Mr. Zinno asked if there was documentation on the number of seats in the facility and whether the VTMUA engineer has certified the number of seats. He stated his concern because the VTMUA engineer was not present tonight with support documentation. Thomas McClachrie stated he feels the VFW should be on meters so they can determine what is their actual use. Chairman Edward Snook said he does not want to prolong the matter any further and wants to help the VFW by lowering their allocation to one EDU and called for a roll call vote.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Edward Seger, Thomas McClachrie, and Edward Snook
Nays: Vincent Zinno said he is voting “no” because the VTMUA engineer is not present with support documentation.

B. Resolution 16-42: Amending the VTMUA Rules and Regulations

This resolution amends the VTMUA rules and regulations to include the following:

Section 3.6 (G) Incorporation of Certain Standards for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems. The prohibitions set forth in N.J.A.C 7:9A-1.6 regarding the installation, construction, alteration or repair of an individual subsurface sewage disposal system are incorporated herein as if fully set forth herein and shall be read in conjunction with the requirements of this Section 3.6.

Motion to approve the resolution was made by Thomas McClachrie.
Seconded by Edward Seger

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas McClachrie, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: Edward Seger

7. Attorney’s Report

No report

8. Auditor’s Report

Auditor Charles Ferraioli was asked to do ten-year projections for the future finances of the VTMUA. A projection, he said, is a tool to try to get an idea of where they might be in ten years. The numbers will not be exact. He gave several scenarios of projections. If the VTMUA has a user base of 1600 EDUs and has a schedule for Mountain Creek to put in approximately 800 EDUs over the next three years, the VTMUA user base would increase by 50 percent. The revenue from connection fees would increase, and the VTMUA would get 60% of those revenues. The VTMUA’s debt service to SCMUA in 2023 will increase to $1.25 million. In the 2016 budget, the VTMUA has $450,000 in principal payments to SCMUA. If the VTMUA has 800 new users at an average rate of $1000 per EDU it would total $800,000 so instead of a shortfall of $1.75 million, the shortfall only becomes about $275,000, and that would be spread over 2400 users, or EDUs. The user rate would thus decrease than what was previously thought if the user base stays the same. Mr. Ferraioli said the projections are just a tool and not exact numbers. He discussed further scenarios. He also said Mountain Creek is responsible for 63 percent of the future deficit while the VTMUA is responsible for 37 percent. Starting in the 2017 budget, there should be two revenue line items for Mountain Creek, the ten-year repayment and the 63% deficit. Mr. Ferraioli reiterated that as the user base grows the fees to the users would decrease. Mr. Ferraioli suggested the commissioners read the entire document on the projections and come back with questions at the next meeting for further discussion. The commissioners agreed the projections looked better than they thought but much of it is contingent upon Mountain Creek expanding and bringing in new users.

9. Engineer’s Report

Executive Director John Scerbo gave the review of new applications.

A. Snap Fitness

The engineer suggested 3 EDUs for this health club/gym facility.

Edward Seger moved to approve Snap Fitness for sewer connection and approve the 3 EDU count.
Vincent Zinno seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Edward Seger, Thomas McClachrie, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

B. Taco Bell

The new restaurant will connect to the sewers and will be allocated 2.5 EDUs.

Vincent Zinno moved to approve Taco Bell for sewer connection and approve the 2.5 EDU count.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Edward Seger, Thomas McClachrie, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

C. Report on Replacement of Pump Station 2 (Sand Hill)

Mr. Scerbo reported that he attended a meeting with the mayor and Mountain Creek with regard to Mountain Creek’s responsibilities on pump stations. He said the township engineer and the VTMUA engineer would do the work to carry out the pump station repairs. Mountain Creek’s engineers would review the plans and the work. The VTMUA would go to the New Jersey Trust Fund for the repairs, and Mountain Creek would repay those funds. VTMUA Engineer Ceren Aralp is in the process of doing a plan to replace the pump station but Mountain Creek will be responsible for all of the costs.

Edward Seger questioned the safety of the pump station, saying he had read a lot of concerns about safety issues at the pump station. John Scerbo said it had been portrayed as a serious safety issue and stated that the railing was rusted to the point where it was hazardous. That statement proved to be faulty and not the case, he said. The DEP inspection stated the VTMUA was in compliance. Someone had alerted PEOSHA, which came and inspected the pump station and found only that the railing had some rust. PEOSHA recommended it be brushed away with a wire brush. He also said a chain needed replacing.

PEOSHA told Mr. Scerbo there was nothing wrong with the catwalk. Mr. Scerbo said the issue of safety is always a first concern, but the safety issue has to be real and in this case PEOSHA did not find there to be a safety issue.

10. Licensed Operator Report

Chairman Edward Snook asked to table the report until next month because the licensed operator was not present at the meeting and there were many questions.

Vincent Zinno moved to table it until the licensed operator comes to a meeting to discuss the with them.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas McClachrie, Edward Seger, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

11. Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director John Scerbo reported that on August 4 when there was a storm and heavy rains, there was a signal from Pump Station One that there was a problem. The field staff was called out and went to inspect it and it turned out there was no problem, but they reset the alarm. They decided while they were there to check everything else out. They drove to Pump Station Two and walked into a spill that was occurring from the station because the power had gone out completely and the generator failed to kick in. Fortunately, the only thing that came out was water and no solids. Earthcare was called in and pumped the wet wells out and dumped it at Pump Station Three. The generator operator came to figure out why the generator had not worked. It appeared that it might have been struck by lightning and the restart process on the generator did not work. The technician got it to work again in about 12 minutes and it went back to automatic restart mode. The incident was reported to the licensed operator, who reported it to the DEP, and the matter was closed. Mr. Scerbo recommended sending a letter of commendation to the file of the three gentlemen from the field team who worked that evening under very trying circumstances and were very efficient.

He also stated that prior to August 4 there was a spill on Route 515 at a line that was dead until Acme Supermarket hooked up, and it backed up 24 hours after the final hookup as a result of someone putting an air pressure plug into the line when the lines were first put into the ground.

Edward Seger moved to send the letter of commendation.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

12. Commissioners’ Comments

Edward Seger stated he was happy to come to a conclusion for the VFW Post 8441.

Vincent Zinno thanked John Scerbo for his handling of the pump station situation.

13. Chairman’s Comments

Chairman Edward Snook also stated he was pleased to resolve the VFW situation and was also pleased that they are dealing with and resolving the pump station situations.

14. Executive Session—Potential Litigation and Contractual and Personnel Matters

WHEREAS, the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 permits the exclusion of the public in certain circumstances; and

WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority of the Township of Vernon as follows:

1. The public shall be excluded from discussion of and action upon the hereinafter-specified subject matter.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is potential litigation and contractual and personnel matters.

Vincent Zinno moved to go into executive session.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas McClachrie, Edward Seger, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

Time: 9:03 p.m.

15. Return to Public Session

Vincent Zinno made the motion to return to public session.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas McClachrie, Edward Seger, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

The VTMUA came out of executive session at 9:35 p.m. and reconvened public session.

Attorney James Moscagiuri stated that the executive session had been for the purpose of discussing potential litigation and contractual and personnel matters.

No further action was taken, so the chairman called for a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Adjournment

Edward Seger moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:36 p.m.
Vincent Zinno seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:36 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on September 15, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary