Minutes: March 15, 2018

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, March 15, 2018 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 15, 2018 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
John PerryP
Edward SegerP
Edward SnookP
Kristin WheatonP
Paul Kearney Alt #1P
David McDermott Alt #2P

Roll Call of Professionals

Executive Director John Scerbo and attorney Richard Wenner were also present. Ceren Aralp arrived at 7:10 p.m. Charles Ferraioli did not attend as there were no financial matters needing to be addressed.

1. Public Comments

Edward Snook moved to open the meeting to the public.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

Seeing no one come forward, Edward Snook moved to close the meeting to the public. Kristin Wheaton seconded the motion. All were in favor.

2. Consent Agenda

Resolution 18-25: Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills for March 15, 2018

Thomas Buchney moved to approve Resolution 18-25.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, John Perry, Edward Seger, Edward Snook, and Kristin Wheaton
Nays: None

3. Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of February 15, 2018

Edward Seger moved to approve the February 15, 2015 minutes.
Kristin Wheaton seconded the motion.

Discussion: Under the roll call vote for vice-chairman a correction was noted to change the name John Perry to Thomas Buchney.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, John Perry, Edward Seger, Edward Snook, and Kristin Wheaton
Nays: None

4. Other Resolutions

A. Resolution 18-26: Adoption of Social Media Policy and the Incorporation of It into the VTMUA Rules and Regulations

Thomas Buchney moved to approve Resolution 18-26.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

Discussion: Kristin Wheaton asked about the origin of the policy and what is it modeled after. John Scerbo said the mayor had a discussion with him and told him the policy should be adopted. Attorney Richard Wenner provided a model policy. Richard Wenner confirmed the policy is a result of a discussion the mayor had with Mr. Scerbo. Mr. Wenner said the policy is not a prohibition on making comments on social media or elsewhere but merely to be mindful of what is said.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, John Perry, Edward Seger, Edward Snook, and Kristin Wheaton
Nays: None

B. Resolution 18-27: Adoption of a Policy to Deal with Failure of Property Owners to Notify the VTMUA of Changes in Use and the Incorporation of This Policy in the VTMUA Rules and Regulations

Mr. Wenner discussed that there were some miscommunications with other departments in the past regarding changes in use of particular properties, and this resolution gives the VTMUA the ability to enforce adjusted EDUs for changes in use if warranted.

Edward Seger moved to approve Resolution 18-27.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

Discussion: John Perry questioned the appropriate channel of communication for reporting changes in use. When a change in use occurs, the property owners need to come to the VTMUA to discuss whether the change in use constitutes a change in EDUs. Mr. Scerbo suggested a future resolution to coordinate with the land use board for applicants with new or modified projects that need to report changes in use to the VTMUA.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, John Perry, Edward Seger, Edward Snook, and Kristin Wheaton
Nays: None

C. Resolution 18-28: Resolution Adopting Changes to the Inter-Local Service Agreement with the Township of Vernon whereby the DPW of Vernon Will Be Responsible for the Management and Maintenance of the Vernon Sewer Collection System

Mr. Scerbo explained there was a resolution for the inter-local service agreement that was sent to the mayor and council that was adopted in January, but the resolution had an incorrect stipend of $600 for the licensed operator that had to be corrected and reapproved for $700.

Edward Seger moved to approve Resolution 18-28 for a $700 stipend in the inter-local service agreement. John Perry seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, John Perry, Edward Seger, Edward Snook, and Kristin Wheaton
Nays: None

5. Receipt and Filing of Correspondence

None

6. Attorney’s Report

Mr. Wenner had no report. He said he would discuss matters of litigation in executive session.

7. Engineer’s Report

A. Review of New Applications—None

B. Status of Asset Management Plan

Ceren Aralp said she is waiting to hear from the trust. John Scerbo reported they have been waiting for four months for the township bond counsel to give the authorization for the VTMUA to collaborate with the township to change the name on the application in order to get the funds.

C. Status of Sewer Expansion and Project Schedule

Ceren Aralp is still waiting for a date to be scheduled to meet with the freeholder board. Maps have been submitted, and the county is still reviewing them.

8. Executive Director’s Report

John Scerbo reported he completed his first quarter tour of the pump stations and they are in good shape. He is working with the licensed operator to finalize some operations procedures. He said it is the licensed operator’s responsibility to put together those procedures.

He reported the Sensaphone project is finished and running at all three pump stations. Through his cell phone, he has the ability to see all three pump stations and ensure everything is operating as it should. Should there be a problem, an alarm would alert him.

Mr. Scerbo also asked for a motion by the commissioners to proceed with the purchase of a truck that they put into their capital budget. In the last quarter of last year they put about $3700 in work to the truck they are currently using and they will likely have to put in a good amount of money again this June for repairs. He said there is no point in putting more money into that vehicle.

Kristin Wheaton moved to proceed to investigating the purchase of a truck. Edward Snook will work with Mr. Scerbo to find one.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

9. Commissioners’ Comments

Thomas Buchney discussed cell phone communication by the sewer operators. He does not think they should have to use their own cell phones. He would like to get a VTMUA phone for each of the employees to avoid any complicated reimbursements. Edward Seger said he is concerned about the additional cost of the phones. Mr. Buchney said he does not feel it would be a frivolous expense but is a necessary one. He also stated the Sensaphones are saving the VTMUA a lot of money.

Edward Snook moved to direct the executive director to look into the purchase of three phones for the operators.
Thomas Buchney seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

Edward Snook said he wanted it to go on record that when the VTMUA met at the senior citizens center for its meeting last month, no costs to taxpayers were incurred whatsoever in doing so. He said they did not have to hire a court reporter or incur any expense. A township council member had stated publicly at a council meeting he did not think it was right for the VTMUA to incur taxpayer expense for recording the meeting, but that statement was not accurate. VTMUA recording secretary Jessi Paladini recorded the meeting at no cost to the VTMUA or to taxpayers. John Perry asked for the minutes to reflect that. Edward Seger thanked Jessi Paladini for recording the meeting and saving the VTMUA money.

Edward Seger asked if there might be a way to do regular inspections, whether annual or every few years, to see if there were any changes in use. John Scerbo said currently they do grease trap inspections on all the restaurants every quarter. He said, for example, if there were major changes in a restaurant facility, they would see that during the grease trap inspection. He said all of the restaurants are covered in that regard. Mr. Seger asked if the sewer operators were trained to look for changes in use. Mr. Scerbo said when there was an issue with the new delicatessen putting in tables and chairs that were not approved, the inspectors picked it up. That would apply for restaurants, but it might be difficult to pick up changes in use with other kinds of facilities. The VTMUA Rules and Regulations have procedures for inspecting restaurant, but there is no provision for inspecting other facilities, and they cannot just go knocking on doors, Mr. Scerbo said. They would have to add a provision in their rules to do that. He suggested they might be able to contract with the building department to do inspections. Ceren Aralp said that when they assess flow calculations for any facility, everything is already accounted for. The biggest concern is restaurants, she said, and they already have provisions for inspections. She does not think there are drastic changes in use with most facilities and if there are they need to go to the building and land use departments. John Scerbo said to know the exact amount of flows for every use they would need to invest in installing meters.

10. Chairman’s Comments

Chairman John Perry made appointments to various committees.

Newsletter Committee—Paul Kearney and David McDermott
Sewer Expansion Information Committee—Kristin Wheaton and John Perry
Executive Director’s Performance Evaluation Committee—Thomas Buchney and Edward Snook
Bill Review Committee—Edward Seger and John Perry

11. 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.

Edward Snook moved to go into executive session at 8:05 p.m.
Thomas Buchney seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, John Perry, Edward Snook, Edward Seger, and Kristin Wheaton
Nays: None

12. Close Executive Session

Thomas Buchney moved to close executive session at 9:19 p.m.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, John Perry, Edward Snook, Edward Seger, and Kristin Wheaton
Nays: None

13. Return to Public Session

Paul Kearney moved to return to public session at 9:19 p.m.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, John Perry, Edward Snook, Edward Seger, and Kristin Wheaton
Nays: None

The VTMUA went back into public session at 9:20 p.m. No action was taken.

Adjournment

Kristin Wheaton moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 p.m.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on April 19, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary