Minutes: May 18, 2017

Call to Order

The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (VTMUA) of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:04 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, 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 January 19, 2016 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
Paul KearneyP
John PerryP
Edward SegerP
Edward SnookP
Kristen WheatonP

Roll Call of Professionals

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

1. Service Award to Vincent Zinno

The VTMUA recognized Vincent Zinno for his service to the commission from 2012 to 2017 and presented him with a plaque. Mr. Zinno served as vice chairman and then as chairman. His term expired in February 2017. He was a charter member of the VTMUA. Current chairman Thomas Buchney thanked Mr. Zinno for his dedication and service. Mr. Buchney said he is only now beginning to realize the time and effort Mr. Zinno put in as chairman. He said Mr. Zinno did a tremendous amount of work in setting up the framework of the VTMUA.

Mr. Zinno thanked the commissioners and professional staff for the service award. He said it was a pleasure working with the commission. He said the VTMUA has come very far and has done a great deal of work. He commended all of the commissioners for their dedication and effort.

2. Public Comment

Edward Snook moved to open the meeting to the public.
Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was opened to the public.

Councilman Patrick Rizzuto came forward and said he served on the council when Vincent Zinno was appointed to the VTMUA, and it was a pleasure working with him. He praised Mr. Zinno for his dedication to the VTMUA, saying he was at the municipal center for a countless number of hours putting together such things as the sewer utility’s operating and billing systems. He commended Mr. Zinno for his business acumen and thanked him for his service.

Former Mayor Victor Marotta also came forward to praise Mr. Zinno for his service to the commission. Mr. Marotta said he had the distinguished pleasure of appointing Mr. Zinno to the VTMUA. Mr. Marotta said the VTMUA is in a much better and stronger position today because of Mr. Zinno’s work and dedication to the commission. He said it takes a great leader to move a group in the right direction, and Vincent Zinno is a great leader.

Pat Lasorda of Great Gorge Village came forward and asked the VTMUA if there were any plans for tax breaks for ratepayers. VTMUA Chairman Thomas Buchney told her the commission is doing a study for a possible expansion of the sewer service area, which could lower rates for all users if new businesses and EDUs come on line.

3. Close Meeting for Public Comment

Edward Seger moved to close the meeting to the public.
John Perry seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was closed to the public.

4. Consent Agenda

A. Resolution 17-28: Authorizing the Payment of Bills for May 18, 2017

Edward Seger moved to approve Resolution 17-28.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

Discussion: Kristen Wheaton stated she had asked for elaboration of the bills list and she does not see it. Executive Director John Scerbo said he already expanded the bills list and itemizes and identifies all payments the VTMUA makes. He said the bills list is always available for review in the finance office by the Friday before each meeting.

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

B. Approval of April 20, 2017 Minutes

Edward Seger moved to approve the minutes.
John Perry seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: John Perry, Edward Seger, Edward Snook, and Thomas Buchney
Nays: None
Abstentions: Gloria Gallo

C. Approval of March 16, 2017 Executive Session Minutes

Thomas Buchney moved to approve the executive session minutes.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: John Perry, Edward Seger, Edward Snook, and Thomas Buchney
Nays: None
Abstentions: Gloria Gallo

D. Approval of August 18, 2016 Executive Session Minutes

Edward Seger moved to approve the executive session minutes.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Edward Seger and Edward Snook
Nays: None
Abstentions: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Kristen Wheaton, John Perry, Paul Kearney

5. Correspondence

None

6. Attorney’s Report

None

7. Auditor’s Report

Auditor Charles Ferraioli stated he has the VTMUA 2016 fiscal year audit. It is very brief. There are no comments and there is no corrective actions recommended. After signing the audit, it must be sent to the Local Finance Board.

In another matter, Mr. Ferraioli also wanted to clarify that to stabilize the sewer rates for users, the VTMUA needs to get 50 additional EDUs per year.

8. Resolution 17-29: Documenting the Receipt, Review, and Acceptance of the 2016 Audit and the Signed Affidavit to be Sent to the Local Finance Board

John Perry moved to approve the resolution on the 2016 audit.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

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

9. Engineer’s Report

A. Review of New Applications: None

B. Old Business

The Daily Bean Coffeehouse at the Cider Mill

Revision of EDU for the Daily Bean due to the change in the number of seats from 30 to 24; the EDU assessment was reduced from 3 to 2.5 EDUs.

Thomas Buchney moved to approve the revised EDU.
Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.

Discussion: Kristen Wheaton asked about the formula for assessing EDUs. Engineer Ceren Aralp said restaurants are assessed based on 15 gallons per day per seat.

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

C. Status of Asset Management Loan Application

Ceren Aralp said the loan application has been submitted to the trust. They are waiting to hear who will be the project manager from the trust for the VTMUA. Executive Director John Scerbo said he received email today stating the project manager will be Brian Chumley.

D. Status of Activities: Sewer Expansion

Ceren Aralp reported she submitted drawings to the county planner and requested a meeting with the planner and the county engineer that she and John Scerbo will attend.

10. Executive Director’s Report

No report

11. Commissioner Comments

Commissioner John Perry asked if the maps of the proposed sewer expansion area are available in PDF format. Ceren Aralp said they were available. She would send them to John Scerbo for distribution to the commissioners.

Commission Edward Seger asked about the extent of the proposed expansion on the maps. The proposed expansion is from the town center to Mountain Creek and then from Great Gorge South to the McAfee town line, excluding the Legends Resort. The expansion area also includes some small residential areas, such as in Cedar Ridge and also Route 515 to Malibu Drive.

The route for the approval process of the proposed expansion study goes first to the county, then to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and then to the Vernon Township Council.

VTMUA Attorney Richard Wenner said regardless of what the DEP approves, the township council holds the purse strings, so the council ultimately makes the decision on an expansion.

12. Chairman’s Comments

None

13. 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 and personnel matters.

Gloria Gallo moved to go into executive session at 7:35 p.m.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.

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

Attorney Richard Wenner announced action might be taken upon returning to public session.

14. Return to Public Session

John Perry moved to return to public session at 9:20 p.m.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

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

The VTMUA went back into public session at 9:20 p.m.

15. Hiring Special Counsel

Edward Snook moved to hire special bankruptcy counsel Morris Bauer of the firm Norris McLaughlin & Marcus P.A. to represent the VTMUA in the matter of the Mountain Creek bankruptcy at the rate of $300 per hour and also to approve a resolution authorizing the execution of a Special Services Agreement between Mr. Bauer and the VTMUA.

Edward Seger seconded the motion.

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

Adjournment

Edward Snook moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:21 p.m.
John Perry seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:21 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on June 15, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary