Minutes: January 24, 2013

The regular meeting of the Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 24, 2013 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey.

Statement

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on July 27, 2012 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
Doug DobrzynskiNP
Gloria Frato-GalloNP
James KensekP
Vincent ZinnoP

Also Present

John Ursin, Esq.
Chuck Ferraioli, Auditor
Ceren Aralp, Engineer
Aida Cahill, Secretary

Salute to the Flag

Mr. Zinno led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.

Mr. Ursin made a statement advising that the MUA would refrain from comment regarding a pending lawsuit, as Mr. Ursin and the MUA were in the process of reviewing the lawsuit and preparing for a defense.

Mr. Ursin spoke regarding delinquency notices and the usual and customary process of the end of year tax sale. It was explained that the Tax Collector goes out on the open market in an attempt to get a 3rd party to pay any outstanding charges, and the investor gets a tax sale certificate in return. It was further explained that the investor must hold the certificate for a period of two years before the process of forclosure could begin. Mr. Ursin advised that this process operates independently of the MUA.

Mr. Ursin spoke regarding late fees for non payment of sewer bills and the possible discretionary waiver of late fees by the MUA.

Motion to waive late charges for those property owners who pay third and fourth quarter of 2012 sewer bills in full by February 8, 2013, and to credit property owners who have already paid a late fee for the third and/or fourth quarter of 2012.

Moved: Buchney
Second: Chorzepa

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Public Comments

Roy Tanfield expressed concern regarding the system structure and the success of the MUA being based on expansion of the Town Center and Mountain Creek properties.

Noreen Moran advised that she had paid what she felt was appropriate and was now being told that she still owed money. Ms. Moran stated that she felt loft changes should be retroactive.

Bruce stated that he had never received bills or notices and also questioned why the whole town couldn’t pay for the sewer.

Don spoke regarding the list of unit sizes that was provided by Comet Management.

Jeff Kutcha expressed concern over what sewer charges would be for condo owners in five years.

Len Coloccia stated that he was the plaintiff in the lawsuit. Mr. Coloccia questioned which properties were exempt from connection fees.

Gary Martinsen questioned if resolutions could be placed on the MUA website.

Jesse Paladini thanked the MUA for all of the accomodations they had made regarding the sewer billing. Ms. Paladini questioned how the Board of Education property at 293 Rt. 94 would be billed, as there are very few people who used the building.

Motion to close the meeting to the public.

Moved: Buchney
Second: Kensek
All were in favor.

Presentation

There was a presentation from Jessica Caldwell, Township Planner regarding the modifications to the sewer service area by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Loss of some of the sewer service area was questioned. Ms. Caldwell advised that some wetland areas were taken out of the plan that couldn’t have been developed anyway.

Motion to approve Resolution 13-03 Approving the Proposed Water Quality Management Plan.
Moved: Buchney
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Resolution #13-03: A Resolution of the Governing Body of the Municipal Utilities Authority of Vernon Township Consenting to the Proposed Water Quality Management Amendment Entitled “Sussex County Water Quality Management Plan”

WHEREAS, the Governing Body of the Municipal Utilities Authority of Vernon Township desires to provide for the orderly development of wastewater facilities within Vernon Township; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) requires that proposed wastewater treatment and conveyance facilities and wastewater treatment service areas, as well as related subjects, be in conformance with an approved WQM Plan; and

WHEREAS, the NJDEP has established the WQM Plan amendment procedure as the method of incorporating unplanned facilities into a WQM Plan; and

WHEREAS, the WQM Plan noticed in the New Jersey Register on 7 January 2013 for the Sussex County Water Quality Management Plan-Sussex County Future Sewer Service Area Map has been prepared by the County of Sussex;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED on this 24th day of January, 2013 by the Governing Body of the Municipal Utilities Authority of Vernon Township that:

  1. The Governing Body of the Municipal Utilities Authority of Vernon Township hereby consents to the amendment entitled Sussex County Water Quality Management Plan, publicly noticed on December 20, 2012 and prepared by the County of Sussex, for the purpose of its incorporation into the applicable WQM Plan(s).
  2. This consent shall be submitted to the NJDEP in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4.

Items for Action

Motion to approve the regular meeting minutes from 12/20/12.
Moved: Kensek
Second: Chorzepa

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Chorzepa, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Consent Agenda

Motion to approve Resolution 12-24 Amending Section 3.2 of the MUA Rules & Regulations.

Resolution #12-24: Resolution of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority Amending the Rules and Regulations

WHEREAS, the members of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority voted to amend its Rules and Regulations at its November 19, 2012 meeting;

WHEREAS, the amendments need to be memorialized and codified;

NOW THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED by the Commissioners of the VTMUA as follows:

  1. Section 3.2 of the Rules and Regulations of the VTMUA is replaced in its entirety as follows:

Section 3.2. Connection Fee.

A. Each property owner whose property whose property is connected to the municipal sewer system on or after July 1, 2011 shall pay a connection fee, which shall be established annually in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:26A-11 and this section in the amount as follows:

$4,665.00 per EDU.

B. The connection fee of shall be due and payable at the time the property owner applies for a building permit to connect to the system in accordance with Section 4.2. Changes in use of an existing building serviced by the Authority shall require the payment of additional connection fees if the change in use results in an increase to the projected flows from the building. Additional fees shall be based on the increase in projected wastewater flows. All EDUs shall be rounded to the next highest .25 increment.

  1. Section 4.2 of the Rules and Regulations of the VTMUA is replaced in its entirety as follows:

Section 4.2. Rates.

Connection fees and the annual sewer use and maintenance charge for all sewage hereinafter generated shall be based on Equivalent Dwelling Units or EDU. All residential units are herein assigned one (1) EDU independent of the number of bedrooms. Commercial and other non-residential units shall be assessed an equivalent EDU based on Schedule A, without exception. One EDU for commercial and other non-residential units shall equal 250 gallons per day. All EDU calculations shall be rounded to the next highest .25 increment.

The Annual Sewer User Fee, effective January 1, 2012 shall be $840.00 per year per EDU.

  1. Section 4.1 B of the Rules and Regulations of the VTMUA is replaced in its entirety as follows:

B. Sewer charges shall be due quarterly, as of March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1 of each year and one annual bill setting forth the four payments shall be sent annually. In the event that the bill is not made within 10 days of its due date, interest shall accrue from the actual date of the bill to the date that payment is received by the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority at the highest rate of interest permitted by pertinent New Jersey Statutes.

The interest rate so fixed shall not exceed eight percent per year on the first one thousand five hundred ($1,500.00) dollars of the delinquency and 18 percent per year on any amount in excess of one thousand five hundred ( $1,500.00) dollars, to be calculated from the actual date of the bill until the date that actual payment is made to the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority. Furthermore, all payments shall be applied as follows: payments will be initially charged to interest amounts or penalty amounts, with the remaining balance of the payment to be applied to the oldest standing principal balance.

Unpaid charges shall be a lien on the premises and shall be enforceable in the manner provided for real property tax liens pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-1 et. seq.

NOW THEREFORE IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of Board shall keep this Resolution in a binder with the adopted Rules and Regulations as an official record of the VTMUA.

Motion to approve Resolution 13-01 Appointment of John E. Ursin, Esq. of Schenck Price Smith & King, LLP as Authority Attorney.
Moved: Chorzepa
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Resolution #13-01: Resolution of the Governing Body of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority Appointing John E. Ursin, Esq. of Schenck Price Smith & King, LLP as Authority Attorney

WHEREAS John E. Ursin, Esq. has served as the Municipal Attorney;

WHEREAS John E. Ursin was formerly with the law firm of Courter Kobert & Cohen, P.C.;

WHEREAS John E. Ursin has recently transferred his law practice to Schenck Price Smith & King;

WHEREAS Mr. Ursin and his new law firm are qualified to serve as Municipal Attorney;

WHEREAS the governing body desires to continue to award the Municipal Attorney Contract to John E. Ursin;

NOW THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED that effective January 6, 2013 the contract for the Municipal Attorney services is hereby awarded to John E. Ursin of Schenck Price Smith & King contingent upon the execution of an appropriate contract at the same terms as the previous year and all of the required business disclosures and pay-to-play documents.

Correspondence

A hardship letter from United Methodist Church was discussed.

Auditor Report

Motion to adopt 2013 budget.
Moved: Buchney
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Resolution #13-04: Adopt 2013 Budget for Fiscal Year from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013

WHEREAS, the Annual Budget and Capital Budget/Program for the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2013 and ending December 31, 2013 has been presented for adoption before the Commissioners of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority at its open public meeting of December 20, 2012 and

WHEREAS, the Annual Budget and Capital Budget as presented for adoption reflects each item of revenue and appropriation in the same amount and title as set forth in the introduced and approved budget, including all amendments thereto, if any, which have been approved by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services; and

WHEREAS, the Annual Budget as presented for adoption reflects Total Revenues of $1.623.206 Total Appropriations, including any Accumulated Deficit, if any, of $1,623,206, and Total Unreserved Retained Earnings utilized of $-0-; and

WHEREAS, the Capital Budget as presented for adoption reflects Total Capital Appropriations of $100,000 and Total Unreserved Retained Earnings planned to be utilized of $-0-, reserve for renewal and replacement of $-0- and debt authorized of $-0- planned to be utilized as funding thereof; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Commissioners of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority, at an open public meeting held on January 24, 2013 that the Annual Budget and Capital Budget/Program of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2013 and ending December 31, 2013 is hereby adopted and shall constitute appropriations for the purposes stated; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Annual Budget and Capital Budget/Program as presented for adoption reflects each item of revenue and appropriation in the same amount and title as set forth in the introduced and approved budget, including all amendments thereto, if any, which have been approved by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services.

Motion to approve late introduction of 2013 budget.
Moved: Kensek
Second: Chorzepa

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Resolution #13-05

WHEREAS, the Local Authorities Law requires every Authority to transmit three certified copies of the Budget to the Director of Local Government Services at least 60 days prior to the end of the current fiscal year; and

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority Budget for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013 was due on November 1, 2012;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Commissioners of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority that the reason for the late introduction of the Authority Budget for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013 is that the Authority’s estimated revenues and appropriations were not known at the time the budget was to be legally introduced.

Bills List

Motion to adopt Resolution #13-02.
Moved: Chorzepa
Second: Buchney

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Resolution #13-02: Authorizing the Approval of Bills List

BE IT RESOLVED that the following bills listed are hereby approved:

Disbursement
Journal
FundAmountMajor Vendor
#1GENERAL$24.82JCP&L
#2GENERAL$26.69JCP&L
#3GENERAL$25.51JCP&L
#4GENERAL$437.73JCP&L
#5GENERAL$818.97JCP&L
#6GENERAL$216.89Mcafee Hardware
#7GENERAL$30,808.19Vernon Twsp Current Acct
#8GENERAL$36,475.37Vernon Twsp Current Acct
#9GENERAL$2,010.28Courter, Kobert, & Cohen (Sept)
#10GENERAL$200.55Century Link
#11GENERAL$78.75Cynthia Davis
#12GENERAL$128.00Hatch Mott MacDonald
#13GENERAL$76.80Hatch Mott MacDonald
#14GENERAL$64.00Hatch Mott MacDonald
#15GENERAL$4,267.50Ferraioli, Wielkotz, Cerullo & Cuva
#16GENERAL$118.44Hess Corporation
#17GENERAL$462.85Mountain Creek Resort, Inc.
#18GENERAL$647.78Mountain Creek Resort, Inc.
#19GENERAL$49.50New Jersey Herald
#20GENERAL$15.60New Jersey Herald
#21GENERAL$15.30New Jersey Herald
#22GENERAL$16.20New Jersey Herald
#23GENERAL$16.50New Jersey Herald
#24GENERAL$84.16Warwick Valley Telephone
 TOTAL$77,086.38 

Engineer Report

Application for Highlands Florist 1.5 EDUs with notation on recommendation.

Lukoil asked questions being reviewed by Ceren.

Methodist Church had a question regarding an elevations.

Commercial EDUs spoke of Cobblestone was not included previously.

Application for Urgent Care will be looking at their drawings.

After inspection of Cobblestone: Meeting with DPW regarding maintence and grease interceptors.

Barbara Chorzepa had a question pertaining to Lukoil no formal applications yet. Questions have to be answered yet.

Letters from Healthy Thymes and Dairy Queen. Ceren has sent letters out to them 2 days ago. They have to run pipe and connect to master plumbing.

Motion for Highlands Florist: @ 1.5 EDU to be considered. It is based on current employer count.

Motion to approve 1.5 EDU for Highlands Florist
Moved: Chorzepa
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Items for Discussion

Ceren had already spoken regarding grease interceptors.

Set up petty cash account $300.00 custodian account for Aida.

Motion: Buchney
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Authority Comments

Barbara Chorzepa is considered that we are sending notices to existing customers, “What if they demolish the building to avoid connection fee.” John Ursin said that would be unlikely.

Executive Session

Attorney client privilege discussion litigations.

Adjournment

Respectfully submitted,
Aida Cahill, Secretary
Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority

Date approved: February 21, 2013