Minutes: July 30, 2020

Regular Meeting/Work Session Minutes

These minutes are a synopsis of the meeting that took place on 7/30/2020. Copies of the recording are available at the office of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (the “MUA”).

1. Call to Order

The regular meeting of the MUA was convened on July 30, 2020 remotely via Zoom and called to order by Chairman Michael Furrey at 7:05 p.m.

2. Statement of Compliance

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 213, PL 1975, adequate notice as defined in Section 3D of Chapter 231, PL 1975 of this regular meeting was provided to the public and the press on January 20, 2020 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the MUA as well as posted on the website.

3. Salute to the Flag

4. Roll Call of Members and Professionals

The following members were present:
Michael Furrey
Kristin Wheaton
Paul Kearney
Dave McDermott
Andrew Pitsker

The following professionals were present: Donelle Bright, Administrator; Colette J. Borell Recording Secretary, and Attorney Richard Wenner.

5. Open Meeting to the Public

Mr. Kearney motioned to open the meeting to the public, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried via unanimous vote.

No one wishing to be heard, Mr. McDermott moved to close the meeting to the public, which was seconded by Ms. Wheaton and carried via unanimous vote.

Ms. Wheaton asked about concluding the public session that had not closed in the last meeting and the voting of the two resolutions on the agenda. In response to Ms. Wheaton, Mr. Wenner stated the last MUA meeting, upon properly closing to the public and upon trying to resume open session, there were technical problems and the board was unable to resume the open session. No actions were taken at that time.

6. Resolution #20-29: Executive Session (Closed to the Public)

At this time Mr. Furrey requested to move the Executive Session to the end of the meeting.

7. Resolutions

A. Resolution #20-30: Establishing Interlocal Services Agreement with the Township of Vernon for the Services of Financial Administration

Mr. Pitsker asked about the list with respect to the financials and whether everything was covered on the checklist and also asked what is covered by the Administrator and the Administrator Assistant. In response to Mr. Pitsker, Ms. Bright confirmed all prior responsibilities through the two prior agreements were incorporated into this agreement. She further explained the agreement will include members of the Finance, Tax Collection and MUA administrative departments. Ms. Bright stated that all vendor records are stored and managed by the Finance department to maintain compliance. She clarified that Ms. Borell initiates the process for a new vendor by obtaining a W-9; it is processed in the Finance department.

Motion to approve the resolution was made by Ms. Wheaton, seconded by Mr. McDermott and declared carried via unanimous vote by Mr. Furrey, Mr. Kearney, Mr. McDermott, Ms. Wheaton and Mr. Pitsker.

B. Resolution #20-31: Establishing Interlocal Services Agreement with the Township of Vernon for the Services of Department of Public Works Employees to Manage and Maintain the Vernon Sewer Collection System

Mr. Furrey read the title of the Resolution #20-31 and asked the board for comments are on it.

Mr. Pitsker asked if there was review on the agreements done by the Mayor and the Business Administrator. In response to Mr. Pitsker, Mr. Furrey advised that these two agreements would go before the Vernon Town Council. Ms. Bright confirmed Administration received copies of the interlocal agreements; she did not receive any comments and advised she believed that they were comfortable and happy with the agreement. Mr. Pitsker asked if the Mayor and Business Administrator discussed this with the union. Mr. Furrey advised the only dialog was with the Mayor and the Business Administrator. Mr. Furrey and Mr. Kearney both stated the agreement expired at year-end and would be reviewed further at that time.

Motion to approve was made by Mr. Pitsker, seconded by Mr. McDermott and declared carried via unanimous vote by Mr. Furrey, Mr. Kearney, Mr. McDermott, Ms. Wheaton and Mr. Pitsker.

Mr. Furrey advised these resolutions will be brought up to be reviewed for adoption on the 8/10/20 Council meeting. Mr. Wenner advised that the town will consider the agreements as presented by the MUA at tonight’s vote and the board will await further action.

8. Approval of Minutes:

A. June 4, 2020 Regular Meeting

Mr. McDermott made a motion to approve the minutes, which was seconded by Mr. Pitsker and carried upon unanimous vote.

B. July 16, 2020 Regular Meeting

Mr. McDermott made a motion to approve the minutes, which was seconded by Mr. Kearney and carried upon unanimous vote.

9. Work Session

A. Old Business:

1. Pump Station 2 Update: NJIB

Ms. Bright said that the Infrastructure Bank (“the IBank”) sent her an update with instructions and there were three people assigned to review the application. She advised that there are no instructions at this time.

2. RFQ for Engineering Services

Ms. Bright advised that there were quite a few firms who responded and had sent in packets, the QPA is handling the receipt of proposals and she will circulate them after the deadline of 08/21/20. Ms. Wheaton asked that the review of the RFQ be done together by the MUA. In response to Ms. Wheaton, Mr. Furrey stated that they will dedicate one entire workshop meeting to review all of the proposals. Ms. Wheaton asked if it should be done in a closed session to which Mr. Wenner advised this should be done in an open session.

B. New Business

None at this time.

10. Administrative Update

Ms. Bright informed Howard Lazier is the new Licensed Operator of Record (“the LOR”) and he is currently reviewing the safety report with staff. He will provide updates as to vendors to be contacted for specific items to be addressed. North Jersey Pump will take care of the Sentinel system revamp and a purchase order is in place. Nothing could be found on the former director’s computer for the Sentinels with respect to existing programs tracking to track the data. She commented that she and Mr. Lazier would discuss and agree on the exact data to be collected. Ms. Bright informed she contacted vendors for the force main work (air release valve replacement after CCTV footage and pumping of the line) and is awaiting replies. She informed the letter was created by the county board of health and was elevated up through the county administrator and attorney for review.

11. Commissioners’ Comments

Mr. Pitsker asked about the vendors for the force main e-valve. In response to Mr. Pitsker, Ms. Bright confirmed Ms. Aralp provided her with contacts for the vendors for the force main work. She advised that only one vendor responded so far that they could do the CCTV portion of the work. Mr. Pitsker and Ms. Bright asked about the meeting minutes in the past and when to discuss them. In response to Mr. Pitsker and Ms. Bright, Mr. Wenner advised the board would adopt minutes for meetings without notes or recordings via the doctrine of necessity. Mr. Kearney asked how many different meetings were missing. In response to Mr. Kearney, Ms. Bright informed meetings for June 2019, July 2019 and August 2019 had neither recordings nor agendas. Mr. Kearney stated that he will review his box of records for any information. Mr. McDermott stated that he had the agendas for November 2019 and December 2019 and believes that there was a meeting held in August 2019. Mr. Furrey asked Mr. Kearney, Mr. McDermott and Ms. Wheaton to respond to Ms. Borell’s request to review their records and provide whatever documentation that could be found regarding all missing meeting minutes. Mr. Kearney asked about discussing the 2013 and 2015 SCMUA flow data information. In response to Mr. Kearney, Mr. Furrey advised discussion of SCMUA would take place during the executive session.

12. Chairman’s Comments

Mr. Furrey informed the board received a response from the NJDEP with regulatory guidance provided to complete compliance for the sewer service area mapping. Mr. Furrey requested Ms. Bright follow up with Ms. Aralp to get a level of effort and timeline on the letter.

Mr. Kearney moved to go into executive session for the purposes of discussing contractual matters and potential litigation. Mr. McDermott seconded the motion which was carried upon unanimous vote. After a short break the MUA went into executive session.

Mr. McDermott motioned to return to open session at 8:32 p.m. Ms. Wheaton seconded the motion, which was carried via unanimous vote.

Mr. Pitsker advised there is a conflict on the MUA meeting dates with the town council meeting on 10/15/20; Mr. Furrey confirmed it was rescheduled to 10/22/20.

13. Adjournment

Motion to adjourn was made at 8:36 p.m. by Mr. McDermott, seconded by Mr. Pitsker, and declared carried via unanimous vote.

Respectfully submitted,
Colette J. Borell
MUA Recording Secretary

Minutes approved: November 5, 2020