Minutes: May 21, 2012

The regular meeting of the Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 21, 2012 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 December 18, 2011 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.

Salute to the Flag

Mr. Rolando led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.

Roll Call

Thomas BuchneyP
Barbara ChorzepaP
Doug DobrzynskiP
Gloria Frato-GalloP
James KensekP
Vincent ZinnoP
Edward H. RolandoP

Also Present

John Ursin, Esq.
Chuck Ferraioli, Auditor
John Rolak, Engineer
Aida Cahill, Secretary

Items for Action

Approval of Minutes of the Regular Meeting from April 16, 2012

Moved: Vincent Zinno
Second: Barbara Chorzepa
Abstain: Ed Rolando, Doug Dobrzynski
All were in favor.

Correspondence

Open to Public Comments

Mike Furrey, County Watershed Advisory Committee representative, stated that the advisory committee’s goal was to expand the sewer service area on the Rt. 94 corridor. Mr. Furrey suggested that the VTMUA consider having an MUA representative present at the County Watershed Advisory Committee meetings. Mr. Rolando requested that Mr. Furrey forward a map for MUA review.

James Ciaravolo, Sussex Bank, posed questions specifically regarding the sewer connection for Sussex Bank. Mr. Ursin suggested that Sussex Bank plans be submitted to the MUA office so that the MUA engineer could review them before giving specific answers.

Al Greco, Vernon resident, questioned where he would get money to pay for the sewer connection. Mr. Ursin advised that cases with unique hardship situations could submit a written letter requesting that the MUA consider a payment plan.

Patricia Giunta, Vernon resident, spoke regarding her dissatisfaction with the burden a mandatory sewer connection places upon affected property owners.

Bruce Zaretsky, resident, stated that he has 5 properties in the sewer service area and has not seen any law backing up mandatory connection.

James Swiatek, resident, stated that he resides on a private road in the sewer service area and questioned how a sewer connection of this distance would be made. Mr. Ursin advised that Mr. Swiatek could submit a written letter to the MUA explaining his specific situation.

Closed to Public Comments

It was noted that there was a power surge at approximately 8:00 p.m. halting the recording equipment and handwritten notes were taken by the secretary.

Auditor Report

There was no formal report, however, MUA finances were discussed. Mr. Ferraioli advised that he would contact the Vernon Township CFO regarding setting up a process for the payment of invoices received by the MUA.

Motion to form a finance committee consisting of Barbara Chorzepa and Gloria Frato-Gallo to review incoming invoices.
Moved: Ed Rolando
Second: Barbara Chorzepa
All were in favor.

It was noted that once payment of invoices begins, a bills list in the form of a Resolution should be available at every meeting.

Review of Bills

Invoices from Hatch Mott MacDonald for services related to the “missing link” were discussed. Mr. Ursin advised that these invoices should be forwarded to the township and billed against Interwest escrow.

Mr. Rolando spoke regarding Hatch Mott MacDonald invoices. There were questions regarding higher rates being charged for Mr. Rolak to attend MUA meetings when Mr. Ruschke had meeting date conflicts. Mr. Rolando stated that billing rates as well as personnel should be kept consistent. Mr. Rolando also noted that fees charged for inspections were too costly.

Mr. Rolando stated that he had approved invoices at the request of the township CFO for various vendors. Mr. Ursin advised that all such invoices should be entered into a resolution and voted on at the next meeting.

Engineer Report

Mr. Rolak reported on a pump station upgrade to the Mountain Creek generator. Mr. Ursin advised that town council approval would be necessary for the upgrade.

Mr. Rolak reported that an executed copy of the Treatment Works Approval (TWA) was submitted for the A&P application, however, an executed copy of the MUA application was not included. Mr. Rolak advised that he sent a letter to the applicant informing them of the requirements.

Items for Discussion

United Water

A tentative closing date of June 25, 2012 pending BPU approval of the United Water Application for Discontinuance was discussed.

Mandatory Connection Letter Revision

A revised mandatory connection letter that would be sent to unimproved property owners was discussed.

Motion to approve the revised mandatory connection letter and authorize the secretary to send the letter to unimproved property owners.
Moved: Gloria Frato-Gallo
Second: Doug Dobrzynski
All were in favor.

Sewer Operator

Mr. Rolando stated that Mr. Kastner would not be the sewer operator due to insurance coverage complications. Mr. Rolando advised that two Vernon DPW employees would go to school to become licensed sewer operators. It was noted that 6 months experience was required and therefore a licensed operator would still be needed in the interim.

Sewer Hookup Inspections

A letter was reviewed that was sent by David Condon, Vernon Township Plumbing Subcode Official to the Department of Community Affairs explaining that the MUA is interested in streamlining the inspection process by reducing the number of inspectors necessary. Mr. Rolak stated that HMM would only inspect larger projects and Mr. Ursin suggested that the county health department may consider signing off on the township’s inspection. Mr. Rolando advised that he would contact the county health department regarding this issue.

Plumbing Code Fixture Units

Mr. Rolando spoke regarding a request made by the Vernon Township Building Department to include a plumbing code fixture unit on the application for sewer connection. It was decided that this should be included on the plumbing application instead.

Executive Session

Resolution to Go into 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 Township of Vernon Municipal Utilities Authority 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 matters to be discussed are: Payment Plan Negotiation
  3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Moved: Ed Rolando
Second: Barbara Chorzepa
All were in favor.
MUA went into executive session at 8:40 p.m.

Return to Open Session

Motion to return to open session.
Moved: Ed Rolando
Second: Gloria Frato-Gallo
All were in favor.
MUA returned to open session at 8:47 p.m.

MUA Comments

Ed Rolando spoke regarding a fact sheet supplied by SCMUA. It was decided that the fact sheet should be given out to applicants when they come in to the MUA office. It was also noted that phone numbers for the Sussex County Health Department and Vernon Township Building Department should also be given to applicants.

Mr. Zinno spoke to the status of the MUA website. Mr. Zinno advised that he inquired with Jerry Giaimis, Business Administrator regarding the status of the website and was awaiting a reply. Mr. Zinno also reminded commissioners that township e-mails should be used when corresponding.

Ms. Chorzepa stated that she understands the reason for the board of education being exempt from paying the sewer connection fee, but questioned why the fire department was not exempt from paying the sewer connection fee. It was noted that the fire department was not exempt from paying the connection fee and would need to submit a written request for consideration otherwise.

Mr. Rolak advised that a licensed sewer operator would be needed before flow could begin. Mr. Rolak also questioned a possible 30 day notification to the DEP before operations were to begin.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn at 9:30 p.m.
Moved: Vincent Zinno
Second: James Kensek
All were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Aida Cahill
VTMUA Secretary

Minutes approved: June 18, 2012