Minutes: January 15, 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 Thursday, January 15, 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 February 27, 2014 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
Phyllis PfeiferP
Edward SnookP
Vincent ZinnoP

1. Correspondence

New Correspondence

Letter from Attorney John Ursin

John Ursin sent correspondence via email to VTMUA Executive Director John Scerbo and to VTMUA Chairman Vincent Zinno, explaining that because he was appointed Vernon Township municipal attorney, he resigns his position as attorney for the VTMUA effective immediately. He said he would assist in any way he can to ensure a smooth transition to a new attorney for the VTMUA.

Motion to accept Mr. Ursin’s resignation with regret was made by Gloria Gallo and seconded by Phyllis Pfeifer.

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

Old Correspondence

None

2. Resolution 15-01: Appointment to Fill Vacancy for the Attorney for the VTMUA

This resolution is an agreement between the VTMUA and Richard Wenner to serve as attorney for the VTMUA for 2015.

Motion to adopt the resolution was made by Vincent Zinno.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

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

3. Roll Call of Professional Staff Present at the Meeting

Attorney Richard Wenner, Engineer Ceren Aralp, and Auditor Charles Ferraioli were also present.

4. 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.
No one from the public came forward.

5. Close the Meeting for Public Comment

Phyllis Pfeifer moved to close the meeting to the public.
Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

6. Consent Agenda

Resolution 15-02: Payment of Bills for January 15, 2015

Motion to approve the payment of bills was made by Thomas Buchney.
Seconded by Phyllis Pfeifer

Further Discussion: None

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

7. Approval of Minutes

A. December 18, 2014 Regular Meeting

Motion to approve the December 18, 2014 regular meeting minutes was made by Phyllis Pfeifer.
Seconded by Edward Snook

Further Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Gloria Gallo, Phyllis Pfeifer, Edward Snook, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

B. December 18, 2014 Executive Session Meeting

Motion to approve the December 18, 2014 executive session meeting minutes was made by Phyllis Pfeifer.
Seconded by Vincent Zinno

Further Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Gloria Gallo, Phyllis Pfeifer, Edward Snook, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

8. 2015 Rate Hearing

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press. Notice was published in the New Jersey Herald on Friday, December 26, 2014 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.

Motion to open the rate hearing to the public was made by Edward Snook.
Seconded by Thomas Buchney
All were in favor.

The rate hearing was opened to the public.

VTMUA Auditor Charles Ferraioli explained the 2015 rate proposed in a 7.14% increase.

The cost of one EDU will increase from $840 to $900.

A one-bedroom unit, which is .6 of an EDU, will increase from $504 annually to $540.
A two-bedroom unit, which is .8 of an EDU, will increase from $672 annually to $720.
A three or more bedroom unit, which is 1 EDU, will increase from $840 annually to $900.

The increases are necessary because the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority has raised its fees significantly for the township, resulting in the increase in the VTMUA’s 2015 budget.

Seeing no public was present to comment on the rate hearing, the motion to close the rate hearing to the public was made by Vincent Zinno.
Seconded by Edward Snook
All were in favor.

9. Resolution 15-03: Setting the Sewer Rates for 2015

The VTMUA budget for 2015 is $183,000 higher than in 2014. The VTMUA budget increase is a result of a $243,000 increase in the town’s sewer bill with SCMUA, which is a 19% increase. The VTMUA 2015 budget also reflects an almost $47,000 increase in the VTMUA’s debt service to the township for the bond notes that were issued by the town. The VTMUA was able to absorb a higher rate increase by cutting line items and cutting the operating budget. The SCMUA debt service for 2015 increased by $150,000. In 2016 it will increase by $50,000. Charles Ferraioli said the best way to reduce or stabilize rates is to increase the user base.

Motion to adopt the sewer rates for 2015 was made by Phyllis Pfeifer.
Seconded by Thomas Buchney

Further Discussion: None

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

10. Other Resolutions

A. Resolution 15-04: Resolution Explaining the Delayed Transmission of the 2015 Budget to the Division of Local Government

The state Department of Community Affairs requires that MUA budgets are introduced 60 days before the end of the year but due to the fact that the debt to SCMUA comprises such a large part of the VTMUA’s budget, and the VTMUA does not have the fiscal analysis until the end of November, the VTMUA will have to annually adopt a resolution explaining the delay in introducing the new budget.

Motion to adopt the resolution was made by Gloria Gallo.
Seconded by Phyllis Pfeifer

Further Discussion: None

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

B. Resolution 15-05: Resolution Adopting the 2015 Budget for Fiscal Year January 2015 to December 31, 2015

Motion to adopt the 2015 budget for fiscal year 2015 was made by Thomas Buchney.
Seconded by Gloria Gallo

Further Discussion: None

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

11. Attorney’s Report

No report

12. Auditor’s Report

No further report

13. Engineer’s Report

A. New Business

No new applications.

B. Old Business

No old business.

Commissioner Phyllis Pfeifer asked about the status for Rumours Hair Salon. She asked if the owner completed the application for sewer connection. VTMUA engineer Ceren Aralp said the application is completed but the owner has not begun the actual connection.

Ms. Aralp also reported that the A&P is moving forward with sewer connection. They have installed the pipeline, the force main, and they have tested the pipe. What remains is the installation and startup of the pump station.

14. Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director John Scerbo was absent, and there was no report.

15. Commissioners’ Comments

The commissioners had no comments.

16. Chairman Comments

Chairman Vincent Zinno said H&H Plaza is ready to connect; Ceren Aralp said H&H does not yet have an approved drawing. The engineer is also requesting more information about a grease trap. She also said she has requested revised drawings from Dunkin’ Donuts for its connection.

17. Executive Session—Potential Litigation

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.

Vincent Zinno, VTMUA Chairman, asked for a motion to go into executive session.
Motion: Phyllis Pfeifer
Second: Edward Snook
All were in favor.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
No action will be taken after the executive session when the public session reconvenes.

Return to Open Session

The VTMUA came out of executive session at 8:05 p.m. and reconvened public session.

VTMUA Chairman Vincent Zinno asked for a motion to return to open session.
Motion: Phyllis Pfeifer
Second: Edward Snook
All were in favor.
Time: 8:05 p.m.

Attorney Richard Wenner stated that the executive session had been for the purpose of discussing potential litigation.

No further action was taken.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Phyllis Pfeifer.
Seconded by Edward Snook
All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on February 19, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary