Minutes: July 20, 2017

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 20, 2017 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, 2017 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 Gallo (Ms. Gallo had work obligations tonight)A
Paul KearneyP
John PerryP
Edward Seger (Absent at roll call, Mr. Seger stated he would arrive later)A
Edward Snook (Absent due to a family injury)A
Kristen WheatonA

Roll Call of Professionals

Attorney Richard Wenner, Engineer Ceren Aralp, and Executive Director John Scerbo were present.

1. Public Comment

John Perry moved to open the meeting to the public.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was opened to the public.

Seeing no one come forward, chairman Thomas Buchney called for a motion to close the meeting to the public.

2. Close Meeting for Public Comment

Paul Kearney moved to close the meeting to the public.
John Perry seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

3. Consent Agenda

A. Resolution 17-33: Authorizing the Payment of Bills for July 20, 2017

John Perry moved to approve Resolution 17-33 for payment of the bills.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: John Perry, Thomas Buchney, and Paul Kearney
Nays: None

B. Approval of June 15, 2017 Minutes

Paul Kearney moved to approve the June 15, 2017 minutes.
Thomas Buchney seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Paul Kearney, John Perry, and Thomas Buchney
Nays: None
Abstain: John Perry

4. Correspondence


5. Other Resolutions


6. Attorney’s Report

Attorney Richard Wenner has no report and will reserve comments for executive session regarding litigation.

7. CFO - 2017 Six Month Budget Report

Chairman Thomas Buchney said he and VTMUA Executive Director John Scerbo met with township CFO Elke Yetter to understand where they are with the VTMUA budget at this point, halfway through the year. Ms. Yetter prepared a report listing what the VTMUA’s expenses have been so far this year. She was not able to be in attendance tonight to answer any questions the commissioners might have but said she would be happy to attend the August meeting to review the report with them.

8. Engineer’s Report

A. Review of New Applications - 529 Route 515, Block 142.01, Lot 2, 5 EDUs

Engineer Ceren Aralp reported this site consists of office space and is already connected to the sewers. There is no change in use or increase in flow.

John Scerbo stated there is a source of concern in this matter between the VTMUA and the building department. They need to review the VTMUA rules and regulations with their attorney because it is not clear whether this type of application needs to be submitted to the VTMUA and whether the building department can move forward with it with the change in use. He would like to discuss it with the attorney before the next meeting. He said in the future there would be entities that are connected to the sewers and will have changes in use that the VTMUA should review.

Thomas Buchney said since they are now getting to the point where they are having changes in use they need to ensure the other township departments have better communication with the VTMUA for a smooth transition. Commissioner Paul Kearney said the VTMUA has the responsibility for making the decisions on the allocations for these changes in use.

Mr. Scerbo said whether or not the change in use is substantial, the flow could actually go down as well, which would change the EDU count. If an applicant for a new use is connected to the sewers, the applicant must meet with the VTMUA to discuss the use and the flow calculations.

Thomas Buchney called for a motion to approve the engineer’s recommendation for Block 142.01, Lot 2. John Perry moved to approve the engineer’s recommendation. Paul Kearney seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

All were in favor.

At this time, Thomas Buchney also appointed John Perry to work with John Scerbo in addressing these change in use matters.

B. Old Business


C. Status of Asset Management Loan Application

Ceren Aralp gave the status of the VTMUA asset management loan application. The trust needs additional cost estimates for work that will be done. Ms. Aralp will provide the trust with the estimates to get the loan application to continue moving forward.

D. Status of Sewer Expansion Activity

Ms. Aralp also discussed the status of the sewer expansion study and amendment to the wastewater management plan. She had met with the Sussex County planner, who recommended they go to the DEP for a pre-application meeting. She submitted the pre-application forms and contacted the DEP to set up a date for the meeting but has not received a date thus far. She is hoping a date will be set for a meeting in the first week of August. The county also offered to attend the meeting with the DEP with the VTMUA, she said.

9. Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director John Scerbo reported the roof on pump station #2 at Mountain Creek would be repaired and completed next week. He attributed this to the urging of the bankruptcy attorney the VTMUA hired, who told Mountain Creek to either fix it immediately or the VTMUA would fix it and bill Mountain Creek. Mountain Creek decided they would repair it.

Mr. Scerbo also reported he signed a request for a quote for insurance for 2018. He met with the insurance agent and answered the appropriate questions and should get a response back shortly, and they will know what the amount will be for their 2018 budget.

10. Commissioner Comments

Paul Kearney said he feels commissioners are not getting information on upcoming situations in a timely manner and do not have adequate time to review the information. He referenced information provided to him the day before or the day of a meeting, and he said that does not give them adequate time for review for discussion at the meeting the same day or the day before.

John Scerbo said Mr. Kearney is referring to material associated with the Mountain Creek bankruptcy that Mr. Scerbo had sent the commissioners yesterday on the request of commissioner Edward Seger. However, there was a confidentiality agreement the VTMUA signed, for which no time was available to notice the commissioners sooner, and since the material in the executive session was going to be the subject of what transpired at the bankruptcy attorney’s meeting Mr. Scerbo said he sees nothing in the letter he sent the commissioners that that should have gone out sooner. Mr. Scerbo told Ed Seger that it was for both of those reasons that he expected to hand out the information to them tonight. If in the future those specific things are not involved, he will get information to them as soon as he could.

Thomas Buchney said there was also a request for meeting minutes getting out sooner. Mr. Kearney said prior meeting minutes come to them anyway well in advance of the meetings, and he is not referring to meeting minutes but rather the specific item Mr. Scerbo mentioned.

Mr. Scerbo said he did not get the summary of the meeting from the bankruptcy attorney until the following week, and there were five days in between that were lost. He provided it as soon as he could, given when he received it.

11. Chairman’s Comments


12. 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, 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 litigation relative to the Mountain Creek bankruptcy and the VFW litigation.

John Perry moved to go into executive session at 7:25 p.m.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Paul Kearney, John Perry, and Thomas Buchney
Nays: None

The VTMUA went into executive session at 7:25 p.m.

13. Return to Public Session

John Perry moved to close executive session and return to public session at 8:54 p.m.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

The VTMUA went back into public session at 8:54 p.m.

No further action was taken.


John Perry moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m.
Thomas Buchney seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Paul Kearney, John Perry, Edward Seger (arrived during executive session), and Thomas Buchney
Nays: None

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on August 17, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary