Minutes: July 17, 2014

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, July 17, 2014 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 2, 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 KensekP
Roy TanfieldP
Phyllis PfeiferP
Vincent ZinnoP

Professional Staff Present

Attorney John Ursin, Engineer Ceren Aralp, and Executive Director John Scerbo were also present.

1. Open Meeting for Public Comment

Motion to open the meeting to the public was made by Thomas Buchney.
Seconded by Phyllis Pfeifer
All were in favor.

Christa Gerry came forward to speak about the VFW. Attorney John Ursin said the VTMUA has been speaking with the VFW and they may have reached an agreement that may solve the VFW’s problem. The VTMUA has drafted a resolution, which the VFW attorney is reviewing. The VTMUA will table action until the next meeting to give the VFW time for review. As of this afternoon, the matter might have been worked out, Mr. Ursin said. Ms. Gerry said she hopes thing work out for the VFW.

Len Collocia of Great Gorge Village asked what was the agreement between the VTMUA and the VFW. Executive Director John Scerbo directed Mr. Collocia to the resolution for public review that was placed on the table. Mr. Collocia had no further comments.

Motion to close the meeting to the public was made by Thomas Buchney.
Seconded by Phyllis Pfeifer
All in favor

2. Consent Agenda

Resolution 14-26: Payment of Bills for July 17, 2014

Motion to approve the consent agenda was made by James Kensek.
Seconded by Gloria Gallo

Discussion: Thomas Buchney questioned a bill for emergency pumping services. He questioned whether there was a jet truck available from SCMUA. John Scerbo said he had not heard of it. Chairman Vincent Zinno asked Mr. Scerbo to find out if such a service is available from the SCNUA and if so to get the rates.

Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Roy Tanfield, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

3. Approval of Minutes of June 19, 2014 Meeting

Motion to approve the minutes was made by James Kensek.
Seconded by Thomas Buchney

Discussion: None

Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Roy Tanfield, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

4. Receipt and Filing of Correspondence

A. New Correspondence: None

B. Old Correspondence: None

5. Resolutions

A. Resolution 14-25: Professional Services Contract for Executive Director

Attorney John Ursin said John Scerbo’s contract as executive director had not been renewed since February. He said Mr. Scerbo is currently working as an independent contractor to the VTMUA and there was a recommendation that eventually he should serve as an employee of the VTMUA but that will take some work, such as setting up payroll. Mr. Ursin recommended a motion to extend Mr. Scerbo’s contract retroactively from February 2014 to the end the VTMUA’s fiscal year on January 31, 2015. The resolution should specify Mr. Scerbo’s current workload, which is 35 hours a week. Commissioner Gloria Gallo questioned if Mr. Scerbo works 35 hours a week. Vincent Zinno said he does, but sometimes he works more than 35 hours depending on meeting time or the workload. Vincent Zinno said they could cap it at 35 hours maximum. John Ursin said it was the prerogative of the commissioners to set 35 hours as a hard cap or a soft cap because there may be times when he would need to exceed 35 hours a week. Mr. Ursin said that in the past any week exceeding 35 hours has been reviewed by the chairman for approval before sending the timesheet to payroll.

Gloria Gallo moved to adopt the resolution retroactively and extend Mr. Scerbo’s current contract to January 31, 2015 for a maximum of 35 hours a week.
Roy Tanfield seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Roy Tanfield, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

B. Resolution14-27: VFW Hardship Connection Deferral

Attorney John Ursin reiterated that the VFW and the VTMUA have reached a potential agreement. The VFW’s attorney is reviewing the agreement and should be ready for adoption at the next meeting. He suggested the resolution be tabled until the next meeting

James Kensek moved to table the resolution to the next meeting.
Phyllis Pfeifer seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Roy Tanfield, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

C. Resolution 14-28: Resolution for Mountain Creek 2013 Payment Plan

Mountain Creek has a space in the Appalachian Hotel that was designated as restaurant space and therefore assessed an EDU allocation based on that use. However, because the space is vacant and there is no restaurant, the VTMUA reduced the EDU designation from restaurant to retail space, significantly reducing the EDU allocation and the rate. Mountain Creek had requested the change in EDU rate in 2014 and the new rate was retroactive for all of 2014, but there was still a substantial bill from 2013 and Mountain Creek asked that the reduced rate be retroactive to include all of 2013 as well. Mr. Ursin said the VTMUA could not make the new rate retroactive to 2013 because that year’s budget is closed and they cannot go back to the previous year’s budget, so Mountain Creek will have to pay the higher EDU count for 2013. The VTMUA and Mountain Creek negotiated an agreement that Mountain Creek would pay the original full rate for all of 2013, provided they could have until the end of this year to pay off the 2013 bill. Mountain Creek is paid up through 2012. The only outstanding balance is for 2013; the total arrears for 2013 is $43,000. John Scerbo will arrange a payment plan for Mountain Creek, but the entire balance will be paid of by the end of this year. Mountain Creek is current in its 2014 payments.

Roy Tanfield moved to approve the resolution.
Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, James Kensek, Roy Tanfield, and Vincent Zinno
Nays: None

6. Attorney’s Report

John Ursin said he and Vincent Zinno have worked with the township administration in revising the financial interlocal agreement between the VTMUA and the township concerning the bonds and the bond balances. Mr. Ursin will circulate the agreement tomorrow to the commissioners so they can discuss it at their next meeting.

7. Auditor’s Report

No report

8. Engineer’s Report

Engineer Ceren Aralp said she received an application from 515 Route 515, but it did not come in time for her review for this meeting so she is not ready to report on it. She will have it ready for next month.

9. Executive Director’s Report

John Scerbo reported that the VTMUA’s second newsletter has been printed and will go out with the September bills. He also reported that they reached their 2014 connection fee budget number since the A&P’s connection fees. He also reported that they significantly reduced the number of properties that had not paid their 2013 sewer fees and were headed for potential tax sale. He said there were previously 134 properties that had not paid, but the number of properties is now down to 50, and he expects to resolve a few more. Many of them are a result of people who have walked away from their properties, have moved and left no forwarding addresses, or there is no way to contact the property owners.

10. Commissioners’ Comments

Roy Tanfield said he had a meeting with Mayor Victor Marotta for well over an hour last week and they discussed at length the financial interlocal agreement to which John Ursin referred, which was initiated by Mr. Tanfield. Mr. Tanfield made the assertion that the mayor is on board with the agreement and added that if the VTMUA votes affirmatively on it the mayor said he will support it.

11. Chairman Comments

Chairman Vincent Zinno had no comments other than to thank the commissioners and John Scerbo for their hard work and asked for a motion to adjourn.


Motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Gloria Gallo.
Seconded by James Kensek
All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:32 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on August 21, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary