Minutes: December 2, 2015

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 Wednesday, December 2, 2015 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 15, 2015 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
Gloria GalloP
James KensekA
Edward SnookP
Joseph TadrickA
Vincent ZinnoP

Roll Call of Professionals

Attorney Richard Wenner, CFO Elke Yetter, Engineer Ceren Aralp, Auditor Charles Ferraioli, and Executive Director John Scerbo were present.

1. Oath of Office

Edward Snook, previously an alternate member, was sworn in by Attorney Richard Wenner as a regular member until February 2019.

2. Open Meeting for Public Comment

Motion to open the meeting to the public was made by Edward Snook.
Seconded by Thomas Buchney
All were in favor.
The meeting was opened to the public. No one came forward.

3. Close the Meeting for Public Comment

Motion to close the meeting to the public was made by Edward Snook.
Seconded by Gloria Gallo
All were in favor.
The public portion of the meeting was closed.

4. Consent Agenda

Resolution 15-49: Authorizing the Payment of Bills for December 2015

Motion to approve the bills was made by Thomas Buchney. Seconded by Edward Snook

Further Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Snook, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

5. Approval of Minutes

November 12, 2015 Regular Meeting

Motion to approve the November 12, 2015 regular meeting minutes was made by Vincent Zinno.
Seconded by Gloria Gallo

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Gloria Gallo, Edward Snook, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None
Abstain: Thomas Buchney

6. Correspondence

None

7. Other Resolutions

A. Resolution 15-50: Appointment of Risk Management Consultant

Motion to approve D&H Alternative Risk Solution as risk management consultant was made by Edward Snook.
Seconded by Vincent Zinno

Further Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Snook, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

B. Resolution 15-51: Statewide Insurance Fund Risk Management Consultant Agreement

Motion to approve an agreement with D&H Alternative Risk Solution as risk management consultant was made by Gloria Gallo.
Seconded by Thomas Buchney

Further Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Snook, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

C. Resolution 15-52: Appointment of Fund Commissioner

Motion to approve John Scerbo as fund commissioner was made by Gloria Gallo.
Seconded by Thomas Buchney

Further Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Snook, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

8. Attorney’s Report

No report

9. Auditor’s Report

Auditor Charles Ferraioli discussed the preliminary 2016 budget of the VTMUA. The budget will be introduced on December 16. A rate hearing will be held at the same meeting. The VTMUA will adopt the 2016 budget at its January meeting. Mr. Ferraioli said the budget is expected to increase about 8.8 percent. The total amount received by the VTMUA in 2015 is $2,098,182. The 2016 proposed budget is $2,172,327. The number of EDUs in 2016 is expected to be 980, up from 840 in 2014 and 900 in 2015. He said as more users come online to the VTMUA the rates will be spread over a larger base and thus decrease for users. Two new businesses coming online are CVS Pharmacy and Taco Bell. Other potentials are a pizza restaurant in the Acme shopping plaza and a cafe in the Appalachian Hotel.

10. Engineer’s Report

A. Review of New Applications

None

B. Old Business

None

11. Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director John Scerbo had no report other than to ask Engineer Ceren Aralp to review some last applications for connections before December 10, as he will be meeting on that day with the Vernon Municipal Court judge for a final determination.

12. Commissioner Comments

Commissioner Edward Snook asked how the VFW had done at its recent fundraiser to raise funds for their sewer connection fees. He questioned if the VFW receives donations to go towards their hookup fees, would the VTMUA get financial reports on the fundraisers. John Scerbo said the VTMUA has no claim or authority on the VFW’s finances. He said, however, that the VFW official he has been dealing with, Mr. Davis, has told him that he and his vice-commander have set up a special account to put aside monies raised for connection fees from fundraisers. Chairman Vincent Zinno said VTMUA rules and regulations give them the authority to request financial documentation when an applicant enters into a hardship agreement with the VTMUA. John Scerbo said the VFW has until June 2016 beginning the hardship plan, so they may request financial documentation at that time. Engineer Ceren Aralp said the VFW has also not finalized their drawings and have not resolved the issue with their grease trap. Mr. Scerbo said he will ask the VFW for a final plan when the VFW begins to pay their hardship plan. John Scerbo also noted that they VFW is also making improvements to their kitchen and the dining area that they rent out. When those improvements are made, the EDU count might also change at that time.

13. Chairman Comments

Chairman Vincent Zinno said that VTMUA professionals would give the mayor and council a presentation on December 14 on a proposal to expand the wastewater management plan and sewer service area.

Engineer Ceren Aralp explained that the VTMUA is exploring expanding the sewer service area to include areas that had previously been considered when the original wastewater management plan was created. Creating an amendment to the wastewater management plan does not necessarily mean the sewer area will be expanded. She said a significant number of failing septic systems along Route 94 and into the McAfee area would be cause for concern to expand the area for sewers. Septic upgrade could be extremely costly for homeowners, and many of the properties are too small to accommodate new septics. Many of the properties would benefit from sewers, she said. The first step is for the township council to approve a resolution to proceed. The proposed areas for expansion of the sewer area is from Mountain Creek to Viking Village and the township line in McAfee and from the Appalachian Hotel to the town center.

Vincent Zinno said about 54 percent of the septic systems in that area are failing, and the cost to replace the septic systems could be exorbitant for homeowners. He also noted that the new Jerzees Diner and the George Inn have both had significant septic problems.

Commissioner Gloria Gallo asked what would be the time frame for an expansion if it were to occur. Vincent Zinno said it could take up to about two years. He also said the Legends Resort is currently petitioning to be included in the SCMUA plant as its sewer package plant needs upgrading. The expansion would pay for itself, he said, as it would bring in more EDUs. It would also help pay existing VTMUA debt. He noted that the VTMUA has guaranteed 460 gallons of flow to the SCMUA but is currently only sending 220 gallons. The township has a maximum of 640 gallons of allocation. John Scerbo also noted that the delinquency rate for payment is now well below 16% and had been much higher.

Adjournment

Having no additional business, Edward Snook moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m. Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on December 16, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary