Minutes: November 19, 2012

The regular meeting of the Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 19, 2012 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey.

Statement

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 ChorzepaNP
Doug DobrzynskiNP
Gloria Frato-GalloP
James KensekP
Vincent ZinnoP

Also Present

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

Salute to the Flag

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

Public Comments

Roy Tanfield questioned who was currently performing maintenance on the lift stations. Mr. Tanfield further questioned the total number of mandatory hookups in the town center as well as if reallocation of EDUs were possible. Mr. Tanfield stated that an accountant consultant had determined that the SCMUA debt was excessive.

Howard Greenblatt stated that he has a one bedroom plus loft and felt that it should not be assessed as a two bedroom. Mr. Ursin explained the procedure for disputing assessments. Mr. Greenblatt spoke to the public audience regarding tax appeals.

Ed Dillworth distributed information regarding condo unit sizes from the Stone Hill Association and the tax assessor records. Mr. Dillworth stated that there were inaccuracies between the two. Mr. Zinno stated that the information would be reviewed.

Noreen Moran questioned reserved gallonage for Mountain Creek. Ms. Moran requested copies of the sewer maps. Mr. Zinno stated that the maps would be available within the next two weeks. Ms. Moran questioned which locations in the town center were in the process of hooking up to the sewer system. Ms. Aralp explained that Sussex County had a map online of the properties included in the sewer service area.

Jeff Kutcha questioned if there would be refunds for those customers who overpaid if unit size were to be reclassified in the future. Mr. Ferraioli stated that the VTMUA would need to vote on whether refunds would be made. Mr. Kutcha stated that he was told it is not proper procedure for the MUA to use the tax records to base sewer payments on. Mr. Ursin stated his disagreement. Mr. Zinno and Mr. Ursin stated that the unit size records were just received from the Stone Hill condo association tonight and would have to be reviewed before any decisions would be made.

Len Colosia stated that lofts are not bedrooms according to the master deed from the condo association. Mr. Colosia questioned why all residents of Vernon were not responsible to pay for the sewer. Mr. Colosia further questioned the amount of debt service for the MUA per month. Mr. Ferraioli stated that the 2013 budget states $28,000. Mr. Colosia stated his disagreement with how the whole sewer was set up.

Items for Action

Approval of Minutes of the Regular Meeting from October 15, 2012

Moved: Buchney
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Frato-Gallo, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Correspondence

None

Applications Under Review

The following recommendations were made by the engineer:

Sussex Bank, recommendation of 1 EDU. Mr. Ursin stated that he is a director of Sussex Bank and he had no role in the application and he recused himself from it completely. Mr. Ursin stated that if legal council were needed, conflict council would take care of this.

Mixing Bowl, recommendation of 8 EDUs
Brookside Florist, recommendation of 1 EDU
Cider Mill, recommendation of 2 EDUs
Burger King, recommendation of 5 EDUs

Mr. Buchney questioned if the Cider Mill exclusion from the sewer service area was resolved. Ms. Aralp stated that it had been resolved. Mr. Buchney further questioned if the county sewer service area was constantly in a state of revision, what was the MUA bound by. Mr. Ursin stated that he had never seen a connected piece of property be excluded from the sewer service area once the pipes were in the ground.

Mr. Zinno questioned if it was possible to round EDUs differently. Ms. Aralp stated that it was possible, but VTMUA Rules & Regulations would need to be amended.

Motion to approve amendment of Rules & Regulations 3.2B rounding EDUs up to the nearest 1/4 point.

Mr. Buchney questioned if prior application approvals would receive retroactive credit based on the new rounding of the EDU. It was stated that any applicant who had already paid for their connection based on the whole number EDU assigned would be changed to the nearest .25 of and EDU and be credited.

Moved: Buchney
Second: Frato-Gallo

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Frato-Gallo, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Ms. Aralp revised the number of EDUs for the five applications before the commission tonight, based on the above changes.

Sussex Bank = 1 EDU
Mixing Bowl = 7.25 EDU
Brookside = 1 EDU
Cider Mill = 1.5 EDU
Burger King = 4.75 EDUs

Motion to bundle all five application approvals.
Moved: Kensek
Second: Frato-Gallo

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Frato-Gallo, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Auditor Report

Mr. Ferraioli distributed the Proposed 2013 Expenditure Budget. The proposed budget was for $1,623,205.61

Motion to introduce the 2013 budget with a hearing date on December 20, 2012.
Moved: Frato-Gallo
Second: Buchney

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Frato-Gallo, Kensek
Nays: Zinno

Motion to revise billing to include 1 bill with 4 separate stubs.
Moved: Zinno
Second: Buchney

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Frato-Gallo, Kensek, Zinno

Bills List

Motion for approval of Resolution #12-22 Bills List for November 2012
Moved: Buchney
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Frato-Gallo, Kensek, Zinno
Nays: None

Engineer Report

Performed a use determination visit and a report will be summarized and tables updated next week.

Mr. Zinno advised that he and Ms. Aralp had discussion regarding inspection of grease traps with the plumbing inspector. Applicants may have grease traps inside the building which would be inspected by the plumbing inspector. When an application requires a larger grease trap to be located outside, the MUA engineer would be notified for review.

Ms. Frato-Gallo suggested sending out reminder letters to sewer users regarding what should and should not be put down toilets. Mr. Ursin suggested sending out the notice along with first quarter bills.

Mr. Buchney spoke regarding accountability for maintenance of grease traps. Mr. Zinno stated that plumbing inspector was reviewing how this maintenance would be monitored.

Mr. Martinsen spoke from the audience regarding health department requirements for grease traps.

There was discussion regarding the status of the Vernon Inn. Ms. Aralp stated that the Vernon Inn was within the sewer service area, however additional review would be necessary for hookup to the sewer system, and DOT approval for crossing the road.

Mr. Ursin spoke regarding the process necessary for those property owners wanting to be included in the wastewater management plan when they are not in the current sewer service area.

Ms Aralp spoke regarding the solar panel application. Ms. Aralp stated that further review would be needed how. There was question of how they would drill and how the force main pipe would be protected.

MUA Discussion

There was discussion regarding loft units in the condos and tax assessor records and inspections.

Sewer Operator Report

Mr. Furrey, MUA sewer operator, stated that he was increasing visits to the pump and lift stations. Mr. Furrey stated that generally the system was operating well. Mr. Zinno requested that Mr. Furrey document some of the findings from an operational standpoint. He brought up concern of the force main along the railroad line. Mr. Furrey extended an invitation for commissioners to tour the MUA system as well as the SCMUA plant.

Motion to enter into executive session to discuss negotiation for pending RFQs.
Moved: Kensek
Second: Buchney
All were in favor.

Motion to come out of executive session.
Moved: Frato-Gallo
Second: Kensek

During executive session the secretary was asked to poll dates for RFQ interviews.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn at 11:00 p.m.
Moved: Kensek
Second: Buchney
All were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Aida Cahill, Secretary
Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority

Date approved: December 20, 2012