Minutes: February 21, 2019

Call to Order

The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (VTMUA) of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:03 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, 2019 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 21, 20198, as well as posted on the bulletin board in the municipal building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6.

Salute to the Flag

Vice Chairman Tom Buchney led in the salute of the flag.

Appointments

John Auberger was sworn in on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at which time he also signed his oath of allegiance.

Roll Call

Thomas BuchneyP
John AubergerP
Ed SegerP
John PerryA
Kristin Wheaton (arrived late)P
Paul KearneyP
Dave McDermottP

Vice Chairman Tom Buchney to serve as chairman in John Perry’s absence.

Roll Call of Professionals

Executive Director John ScerboP
Attorney Richard WennerP
Auditor Robert McNinchP
Engineer Ceren AralpP

Election of Chairman

Conducted by board attorney Rich Wenner.

Motion by Ed Seger to nominate John Perry as chairman. Seconded by John Auberger.
All were in favor

Election of Vice Chairman

Conducted by board attorney Rich Wenner.

Motion by John Auberger to nominate Tom Buchney as vice chairman. Seconded by Ed Seger.
All were in favor.

Attorney Rich Wenner declared to the board and the public that the board is duly reorganized for the year 2019.

Public Comment

Tom Buchney made a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
Seconded by Dave McDermott.
No discussion.
All were in favor.

Seeing no one come forward, Paul Kearney moved to close the meeting to the public.
Seconded by Dave McDermott.
All were in favor.

Consent Agenda-Reorganization Resolutions

John Scerbo stated as there were copies available of the resolutions he will only read them by title.

  • Resolution 19-05: Designating the Official Newspaper for 2019-2020
  • Resolution 19-06: Designating Meeting Dates for 2019-2020
  • Resolution 19-07: Establishing Authority to Spend Funds and Sign Checks
  • Resolution 19-08: Adopting the 2018 VTMUA Rules and Regulations and the Commissioner’s Handbook as Amended, During 2018 as the 2018 Rules, Regulations Handbook for 2019
  • Resolution19-09: Appointment for Professional Services-Auditor
  • Resolution 19-10: Appointment for Professional Services-Engineer
  • Resolution 19-11: Appointment for Professional Services-Attorney. Need to Remove Jessi Paladini’s Name from Certification
  • Resolution 19-12: Authorizing the Award of Professional Services Contracts and the Advertising of Same
  • Resolution 19-13: Authorizing Hiring of Contractor for 2019 as Recording Secretary
  • Resolution 19-14: Creating Fee for Dishonored Checks
  • Resolution 19-15: Authorizing Payment of Nondiscretionary Bills Less Than $500.00
  • Resolution 19-16: Authorizing Payment of Regulated Bills Less Than $1,000.00 Prior to Formal Approval
  • Resolution 19-17: Adopting Purchasing and Cash Management Policies
  • Resolution 19-18: Approving Membership in the American Environmental Association

Motion to approve the consent agenda resolution items 19-05 to 19-18 made by Ed Seger.
Seconded by Tom Buchney

Discussion-Paul Kearney motioned to change Jessi Paladini to Susan Girardi-Resolution 19-11.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes-Tom Buchney, John Auberger, Ed Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney
Nays-None

Other Resolutions

Resolution 19-19: Authorizing the Payment of Bills for February 15, 2019

Motion made by Ed Seger.
Seconded by Paul Kearney.
Discussion-None.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes-Tom Buchney, John Auberger, Ed Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney
Nays-None

Resolution 19-20: Authorizing the Installation of Sens-A-Phones in the VTMUA Lift Stations

Motion made by Ed Seger.
Seconded by Paul Kearney.

Discussion-

Held off installing in lift stations due to potential litigation with Great Gorge over who owns the lift stations. Ownership is ours. Remote capability to run stations would make it easier to handle problems remotely.

No signed settlement resolution from the Township Council has been received as of yet. The outstanding issue is whose responsibility is it to handle to lift station laterals. In the settlement agreement acknowledgement that the lift stations are managed by Vernon Township and the VTMUA.

Pipes were dug up and they did not go in the direction anticipated they went under the condo meaning the association is responsible for the pipes. Pipes under streets and condos are not VTMUA responsibility. In the agreement in a gated community, roadways are not public streets so VTMUA not responsible for mains or laterals only the lift and pump stations. Pipes in the lift stations are ours. We are trying to include in the agreement we’re not responsible for roadways, mains and laterals. It is our responsibility to replace pumps and heaters in lift stations.

Ceren Aralp stated that there are no reliable drawings of force mains locations. Some are gravity fed. Our responsibility is force main to lift station.

Anything gravity fed within the association is not ours and anything under the road, only from the apartment to road.

John Scerbo said that we’re not bargaining away the association’s responsibilities. If push comes to shove it will be discussed.

Kristin Wheaton-why would we want lift stations?

John Scerbo-We don’t. It was part of the lawsuit the Township filed against Great Gorge under the fact we thought that we don’t own lift stations. They had paperwork showing we purchased lift stations. No clear exhibit of what we bought.

John Auberger-What is the size of the antenna for the Sens-A Phones? Jack stated approximately 18’ of 1/2" pipe. Only one needed at Black Creek and it would be at the back of the building. Were notices sent to the neighbors? John Scerbo to ask Rich if is necessary.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes-Tom Buchney, John Auberger, Ed Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney
Nays-None

Approval of Minutes

Motion made by Ed Seger to approve the minutes of January 17, 2019.
Seconded by Tom Buchney
Discussion-None.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes-Tom Buchney, Ed Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney
Abstain-John Auberger
Nays-None

Motion made by Ed Seger to approve minutes of the joint meeting of December 20, 2018 and the executive session minutes of the joint meeting of December 20, 2018.
Seconded by Tom Buchney
Discussion-None

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes-Tom Buchney, Ed Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney
Abstain-John Auberger
Nays-None

Correspondence

Letter of resignation dated February 11, 2019 from recording secretary Ms. Jessi Paladini.

Letter dated January 25, 2019 of appreciation and gratitude to Ed Snook for his years of service to the community and the VTMUA.

Notice of appointment of Councilman John Auberger to the VTMUA and the seat held by Ed Snook.

Motion to receive and file the above correspondence made by John Auberger.
Seconded by Ed Seger.
All were in favor.

Auditor Report

Stated that the 2018 statements are nearly closed. Once they are done they can issue a report.

Attorney Report

Nothing at this time.

Engineer Report

Review of New Applications

None

Old Business

None

Status of Asset Management Study

Completed condition assessment of Stonehill pump station-working on the report.

Status of Activities Re: Sewer expansion and Project Schedule

Asset list is finished. Walked force mains from Sandhill to regional pump station as well as Stonehill to the manhole it discharges to. The goal is to find out the condition of the force mains. Going to do tabletop due to no drawings. Stonehill air holes-some pictures-trying to find least invasive way to determine condition of pipes. Trying to find access points. SCMUA has granted access through regional pump station to try and TV Sandhill force main. Unfortunately force main not straight/level. Still trying to find access point. Some above ground sections close to pump station. No air release valves. Might need contractor to provide access point. Trying to avoid that by using topo of where pipes are. Sandhill has good access points to see pipes.

Ceren showed the board the Wastewater Management Plan Map by way of explaining questions raised by the DEP. These questions and comments from the DEP were minor. The changes to answer the question and comments generated by the DEP have been reflected in this updated map. The map shows buildings not lots. Orange areas are new wastewater management areas. Green are the existing MUA areas. With the town center lots there is a habitat issue. DEP said further studies are needed so those lots were taken off the map as they are not material top our objective at this time. The Map showed the golf course lot. This was recommended by the DEP as there are no habitat issues and no flow from this lot. All was submitted to the DEP and hopefully all goes well. There were comments in October, map just resubmitted in February. May not be finalized before the end of the year.

Kristin required that the map be sent around. Ceren said she would.

John Scerbo commented on the block and lot changes due to map changes and how it will affect VTMUA.

Executive Director’s Report

CFO requested we try to get the 2019 sewer bills at a lower cost. Quotes were obtained from 3 vendors and RR Donnelly was chosen. Bills however were delivered late from printer and mailed out late. Concerned about the fact that customer received a short notice do the late mailing of the bills the VTMUA has extended the grace period for payment to April 1. Information on this change of grace period was place in the ALERT MESSAGE BOX on our web site.

The director brought up to the board the presentation of a plaque to Ed Snook for his service as commissioner of the VTMUA. Ed Seger said Ed Snook not keen on a plaque. Maybe an article in the paper would be better. John Scerbo then suggested that an engraved pen might be presented to Ed at a future meeting and an article and picture could be generated from the presentation that could be placed in the newspaper.

All were in favor.

Commissioners’ Comments

None

Chairman’s Comments

None

Executive Session

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, THERFORE, 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 litigation.

Motion made at 7:41 p.m. by Paul Kearney to go into executive session to discuss potential litigation.
Seconded by John Auberger.
Discussion-None.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes-Tom Buchney, John Auberger, Ed Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney
Nays-None

Motion made at 8:34 p.m. by Ed Seger to close the executive session and return to the regular meeting for the purpose of adjournment.
Seconded by Tom Buchney
Discussion-None.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes-Tom Buchney, John Auberger, Ed Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney
Nays-None

Motion to adjourn at 8:35 p.m.

Discussion-None.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes-Tom Buchney, John Auberger, Ed Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney
Nays-None