Minutes: August 22, 2013

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 22, 2013 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 January 8, 2013 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 BuchneyP
Barbara ChorzepaP
Gloria GalloP
James KensekP
Stephen PiccirilloA
Roy TanfieldP
Vincent ZinnoP

Professional Staff Present

Attorney John Ursin, Engineer Ceren Aralp, and Executive Director John Scerbo

1. Open Meeting for Public Comment

Motion to open the meeting to the public
Made by Gloria Gallo
Seconded by James Kensek
All in favor

No members of the public came forward.

Close Meeting to the Public

Motion to close
Made by James Kensek
Seconded by Barbara Chorzepa
All in favor

2. Approval of Minutes

Approval of Minutes for Regular Meeting of July 18, 2013

Motion to approve the minutes
Made by Thomas Buchney
Seconded by James Kensek

Call for Discussion: No discussion

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, James Kensek (members present who are able to vote)
Nays: None
Motion passed

3. Correspondence

A. A letter was received from Jason Pasuit requesting the VTMUA to waive his sewer bill due to a foreclosure and because he is a 60% disabled Army veteran. Attorney John Ursin explained that when the property is purchased the sewer bill would be paid. John Scerbo recommended that the board acknowledge receipt of the letter and take no further action at this time.

Motion to acknowledge receipt and file the letter was made by Barbara Chorzepa.
Seconded by Gloria Gallo
All in favor

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Motion passed

B. The VTMUA received a letter from James Lombardo of Prudential explaining what transpired with his SCMUA connection fee.

Thomas Buchney moved to acknowledge receipt and file the letter.
Barbara Chorzepa seconded the motion.
All in favor

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Motion passed

C. The VTMUA received two documents from Nancy Patterson: (1) proof of eye surgery from Paul J. Lama, M.D. and (2) letter extending Mrs. Patterson’s thanks to the VTMUA for granting her the 50% discount for connection fee due to the circumstances of her surgery.

Barbara Chorzepa moved to acknowledge receipt and file the letter.
Thomas Buchney seconded the motion.
All in favor

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo James Kensek
Nays: None
Abstention: Vincent Zinno
Motion passed

D. A letter was received from Susan Keopplinger requesting waiver of the $50 late fee she was charged. John Scerbo recommended waiving the fee.

Barbara Chorzepa moved to deny the request.
In the absence of a second, the motion failed.
Gloria Gallo moved to waive the fee.
Thomas Buchney seconded the motion.

Call for Discussion: Thomas Buchney said Ms. Keopplinger requested that communication with her be by email. John Ursin recommended against it. The VTMUA will notify her that only the late fee would be waived but they would not correspond with her by email but by regular mail as with all users. Barbara Chorzepa asked how they could grant waivers to some when they denied a waiver at the last meeting. John Ursin said it is at the discretion of the VTMUA.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: Barbara Chorzepa
Motion passed

4. Approval of Bills

Resolution 13-32: Payment of Bills

Motion to approve the bills
Made by Gloria Gallo
Seconded by Barbara Chorzepa

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Motion passed

5. Resolutions

A. Resolution 13-33: Accepting the Annual Audit of 2012 and Certificate of Its Review and in Particular the Sections Titled “General Comments” and “Recommendations” and Evidence by a Group Affidavit

Motion to approve made by Thomas Buchney
Seconded by James Kensek

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Motion passed

B. Resolution 13-34 Audit Resolution: Resolution Covering the Adoption and Certification of the 2012 Audit’s Corrective Action Plan

Motion to approve made by Vincent Zinno
Seconded by Barbara Chorzepa

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Motion passed

C. Resolution 13-35: Adoption of Purchasing and Cash Management Policies of the VTMUA

Motion to approve made by Gloria Gallo
Seconded by Thomas Buchney

Call for Discussion: John Ursin clarified that this resolution is pursuant to the one suggestion in the corrective action plan in the audit to adopt a purchasing and cash management policy since the VTMUA will share services with the township finance office.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Motion passed

D. Resolution 13-36: Interlocal Service Agreement for Administrative Service with the Township of Vernon

Motion to approve made by Thomas Buchney
Seconded by Gloria Gallo

Call for Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Motion passed

6. Attorney’s Report

John Ursin reported briefly on the lawsuit against the VTMUA brought by a group of Great Gorge Village residents. He said the VTMUA has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Mr. Ursin also discussed the mandatory connection date, which was July 1. He said there are two consequences for those who were supposed to connect but have not to date: (a) start charging the user fees as of July 1, 2013 and (b) file a complaint in Vernon Municipal Court. He recommended that a final warning letter be sent to those who have not taken any action. A decision was made by the VTMUA to authorize the executive director to send out letters to those in non-compliance, outlining the above possible actions that would be taken against them.

Motion to approve authorizing the letters to be sent made by James Kensek
Seconded by Barbara Chorzepa

Call for Discussion: Roy Tanfield asked what remedies were available beyond a municipal court complaint. John Ursin said the judge would set up a financial penalty to take action. If the municipal court process does not resolve the situation, the VTMUA can also file complaints with the Superior Court. Delinquent hookup or user fees could also result in liens placed against the properties and could ultimately result in tax sales of those properties. Barbara Chorzepa asked who would receive the monies from the municipal court fines. John Ursin said he was not certain and would research the answer.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Motion passed

7. Auditor’s Report

No report

8. Engineer’s Report

New Applications

A. LaBar Properties

  • Block 148, Lot 5—Four-bedroom residential unit at 309 Route 94—1 EDU allocated
  • Block 141, Lot 13.01—Three-bedroom residence at 291 Route 94—1 EDU allocated

Motion to approve made by Barbara Chorzepa
Seconded by James Kensek

Call for Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Barbara Chorzepa, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Motion passed

B. St. Thomas Church

  • Block 148, Lot 3—Church and Residence
  • Block 148, Lot 4—Day Care

Engineer Ceren Aralp recommended accepting the drawings the church provided for connection. No vote was required at this time.

9. Executive Director’s Report

No report

10. VTMUA Commissioner Comments

Thomas Buchney questioned whether the VTMUA should begin working on a capital improvement plan. He suggested forming a capital improvements committee. Ceren Aralp stated that Pump Station 1 and Pump Station 3 need some improvements. She said she will put some estimates together for work needed for the system and will put together a capital improvement plan that will likely be issued for 2014.

Vincent Zinno asked about a quotation for servicing backup generators. John Scerbo said he would have a quotation ready for the next meeting for approval. He also said he was in agreement with Thomas Buchney about the need to form a committee to put together a capital improvements plan.

11. Chairman’s Comments

Vincent Zinno asked if the problem with the manhole in front of the bank was addressed. John Scerbo said it was. He said the DPW had checked all the manholes previously. Mr. Zinno also questioned whether anyone has walked the line along the railroad bed from Pump Station 2 to Sand Hill Road to the regional pump station at the Mountain Creek parking lot. He also stated that the Mixing Bowl restaurant received from the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority a five-year zero financing plan for his connection and said the county is also on board with working with Vernon residents in their sewer connection fees.

Ceren Aralp also said she has a proposal being finalized for EDU allocations for salons, barber shops, and spas but has no update at this time. She said she would have a report for the next meeting.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on September 19, 2013.

Motion to Adjourn the Meeting

Made by James Kensek
Seconded by Thomas Buchney
All in favor
Meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Secretary, Vernon Township MUA