Minutes: March 21, 2013

The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (VTMUA) of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:07 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2013 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 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 DobrzynskiA
Gloria GalloP
James KensekP
Stephen Piccirillop
Vincent ZinnoP

Also Present

John Ursin, Esq.; Ceren Aralp, Engineer; Jessi Paladini, Secretary

Authority attorney John Ursin administered the oath of office to new VTMUA member Stephen Piccirillo. Vincent Zinno introduced Jessi Paladini, the new recording secretary for the VTMUA.

Meeting Opened for Public Comment

Doreen Edwards from Highland Lakes asked if the VTMUA got any further information on the county’s hookup fees. Vincent Zinno said they are in conversation with the county. The VTMUA will establish hardship parameters for users and will present those parameters to the county for its consideration. Users will submit their applications to the VTMUA, which will review them and vote to approve or reject the applications as filed. Vincent Zinno then explained the local and county application processes.

No other member of the public came forward.

Meeting Closed for Public Comment

Moved by Buchney, seconded by Gloria Gallo; all were in favor.

Correspondence

St. Thomas Church, Cathy Moore

Cathy Moore from the St. Thomas Episcopal Church sent a letter to the VTMUA, asking for their application to be removed from tonight’s meeting so they could do some additional research before proceeding with it. The application was tabled.

Meeting Opened for Public Comment

Bob Greco of Highland Lakes, a retired consulting engineer and ecology chairman of the Highland Lakes Club, came forward to discuss the United Methodist Church. He said his primary reason for attending the meeting was to discuss how the EDUs were determined for users. He cited from N.J.S.A. 40:14D-22 Sewerage Service Charges. He said EDUs should be uniform throughout the district and should be based on the consumption of water in connection with the property. He stated the VTMUA had several options for how they calculate the EDUs. He said the church used about 425 gallons of water a month for the whole year, which comes to an average of 14 gallons a day. He felt that based on the church’s consumption, the church should be charged about one-twentieth of an EDU. He said VTMUA regulations go by the number of seats in the church. Using architectural standards, he concluded that the main section of the congregation area had 96 seats (6 people in a pew times 16 pews). The number of seats multiplied by 3 gallons per seat in the worship area, which is the VTMUA standard, yields 288 gallons of water per day, 20 times more than the church actually used, he said. He also said putting the church in the category of office building is unrealistic because there are 4,200 square feet of usable space in the church, and using this method would result in 30 times more than they usually use. He said the only thing that makes sense is to charge users for actual consumption.

Attorney John Ursin said the rules for how the EDUs would be rated were extensively debated during many meetings after the VTMUA was formed and, in the end, the decision was to follow the DEP guidelines. He said the VTMUA is striving for uniformity by having one method, and that is the DEP method. VTMUA Engineer Ceren Aralp referenced NJAC 7:14A-23.3 for this method. She said the Vernon method replicates the DEP method.

Christine Hills, representing Vernon Tire & Auto at 311 Route 94, wants it on record that she has been speaking with engineer Ceren Aralp about the recommendation to install an oil/water separator. Ms. Aralp confirmed the discussion and said since the applicant has affirmed there are no floor drains that the water would go into, the oil/water separator was not required. Ms. Hills confirmed the car wash at that location has been abandoned. Ms. Aralp said the EDU calculations will not change based on their correspondence, but she recommended a submittal of revised drawings. John Ursin suggested placing a condition that an oil/water separator shall be installed should floor drains become present in the future. Vincent Zinno said the VTMUA would discuss it, and a final decision on the application would be postponed for about 30 days.

Meeting Closed for Public Comment

Moved by Kensek, seconded by Buchney; all were in favor.

Bills for Review

  1. Resolution 13-14: Bills List (February)
  2. Resolution 13-15: Bills List (March

Moved by Kensek, seconded by Chorzepa
Roll Call Vote—Buchney, yes; Chorzepa, yes; Gallo, Abstain; Kensek, yes; Piccirillo, yes; Zinno, yes

Auditor Report

No Report

Engineer Report

Block 148 Lot 6 Hank Sanders Inc. Auto Repair Center
Three bays with abandoned car wash
0.75 EDUs based on 50 gallons per bay per day

An oil/water separator is recommended for the site; a building permit is not recommended until the applicant revises drawings based on the engineer’s recommendations

James Kensek moved to approve the EDU calculation and the engineer’s recommendations. Barbara Chorzepa seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote—Buchney, yes; Chorzepa, yes; Gallo, yes; Kensek, yes; Zinno, yes

Block 142 Lot 8 Carlos Fardin, Pharmacy and Hair Salon
4 EDUs, based on.1 gallon per day per square feet for retail space

Drawings lack detail and the engineer does not recommend issuing building permits until they are revised to show existing septic and distribution box will be abandoned.

Barbara Chorzepa questioned why the EDUs are being calculated based on retail space. She said she understood that hair salons should be calculated by chair and not by square footage because hair salons use so much water. Gloria Gallo agreed. Attorney John Ursin said retail is the default method if there is no specific identifier in the calculation process. Barbara Chorzepa proposed the application have further review. Gloria Gallo felt the application should not fall under the retail category. The retail area is 3,720 square feet. Chorzepa suggested asking the engineer to further review the application. Vincent Zinno called for a motion to approve the application. James Kensek moved to approve it. Gloria Gallo asked if they were allowed to table the application pending further review. After further discussion, James Kensek rescinded his motion to approve and moved to table the application. Barbara Chorzepa seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote—Buchney, yes; Chorzepa, yes; Gallo, yes; Kensek, yes; Zinno, abstain; Stephen Piccirillo, yes

Block 141.04 Lot 2 Dr. P. Yaccarino 6 Church Street Physician and Dental office
1 EDU, based on the calculation of .1 gallon per day per square foot for office space

Moved by Barbara Chorzepa, seconded by James Kensek
Roll Call Vote—Buchney, yes; Chorzepa, yes; Gallo, yes; Kensek, yes; Zinno, abstain; Stephen Piccirillo, yes

Block 141.04 Lot 5 R.D.D. Associates LLC 12 Church Street Commercial Space and Residential Units
3,525 square feet of commercial space and one 2-bedroom apartment on second floor
2.25 EDU based on .1 gallon per day per square foot for commercial and .8 EDU for apartment

Moved by Chorzepa, seconded by Kensek
Roll Call Vote—Buchney, yes; Chorzepa, yes; Gallo, yes; Kensek, yes; Zinno, abstain; Piccirillo, yes

Block 148 Lot 2 United Methodist Church 303 Route 94 House of Worship
96 seats in sanctuary with 1,380 square feet for office space
1.75 EDU total, based on 3 gallons per day per seat in sanctuary and .1 gallon per day per square foot for office area

Thomas Buchney questioned the calculation for the worship area/sanctuary. Barbara Chorzepa questioned the office area. She felt the office area serviced the sanctuary and should not be calculated separately and added to the total. The engineer said the office area could have potential use and should be in the calculation. Thomas Buchney asked if there were another classification according to DEP guidelines that could be applied that would better interpret a worship area.

Moved by Piccirillo, seconded by Zinno
Roll Call Vote—Buchney, abstain; Chorzepa, abstain; Gallo, abstain; Kensek, abstain; Zinno, yes; Piccirillo, abstain

Authority Comments

Barbara Chorzepa questioned how the motion for Block 148 Lot 2 carried with only one vote. Attorney John Ursin responded that the motion carried with a simple majority. He said the motion carried 1-0. Ms. Chorzepa requested to change her vote, but Mr. Ursin said the law did not permit her to do so.

James Kensek asked for further clarification/discussion and a differentiation between a hair salon and a barbershop. John Ursin suggested the VTMUA direct its engineer to report back at the next meeting if there are any other options provided in the NJAC or examples of how they are treated in other places. Chairman Zinno asked the engineer to follow up of Mr. Ursin’s recommendation for the next meeting.

Chairman Comments

Vincent Zinno said the billing for the second, third, and fourth quarter were sent out on time, so the public will be receiving their bills prior to the due date of June 1. He also reported that interviews were being conducted to hire a new employee for the VTMUA to take the place of Aida Cahill, who resigned the position.

Motion to Go into Executive Session

  1. Pending litigation
  2. Negotiations with SCMUA regarding a metering plan
  3. Negotiations with Mountain Creek regarding pump stations

Moved by Gallo, seconded by Chorzepa; all were in favor.

The VTMUA went into Executive Session at 8:17 p.m.

The VTMUA reconvened into public session at 9:25 p.m. No action was taken.

James Kensek moved to adjourn the meeting; Barbara Chorzepa seconded it. All were in favor. The meeting of the VTMUA ended at 9:26 p.m.

Submitted by Jessi Paladini, Secretary
Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority
Date approved: April 18, 2013