Minutes: November 3, 2016

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, November 3, 2016 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 18, 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
Thomas McClachrieA
Edward SnookP
Joseph TadrickP
Edward SegerP
Vincent ZinnoP

Roll Call of Professionals

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

1. Open Meeting for Public Comment

Vincent Zinno moved to open the meeting to the public.
Thomas Buchney seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was opened to the public.

Chairman Edward Snook said opening the meeting to the public is for public comment and is not a question and answer format. Public comment is limited to five minutes per person.

Richard Bagni of Great Gorge Village questioned the ownership of the lift stations. He also questioned the RFQs the VTMUA put out and questioned how someone could give the VTMUA a proper proposal to maintain the pump stations without knowing their ownership. He cautioned the VTMUA about saddling Great Gorge Village with additional debt and reminded that Great Gorge Village is a large bloc of voters.

Richard Roberts of Great Gorge Village questioned the rate increase for 2017 and future years and the increases in the VTMUA budget. Auditor Charles Ferraioli said in 2017 the debt would be $600,000 and in 2023 it would be $1.55 million.

Angela Ericcson of Great Gorge Village asked what the VTMUA is doing to increase the number of users. She said she believed there seems to be no foresight to make the sanitary sewer system better or to get more users on the system and asked how Great Gorge Village would bear the burden of the cost. She said their sewer fee is a tax, not a utility.

Anita Verrano of Great Gorge Village told the VTMUA she is a retired person living alone and she cannot fathom how anyone would be able to pay the sewer rates as they keep increasing.

Robert Constantine of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8441 said the VFW is confused because two months ago the VFW was assessed a fee calculation of one EDU, and then there was a meeting where the VTMUA suggested assessing the VFW 1.5 or 2 EDUs. He said the VFW did not understate anything in their application.

2. Close the Meeting for Public Comment

Vincent Zinno moved to close the meeting to the public.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The public portion of the meeting was closed.

3. Consent Agenda

Resolution 16-46: Payment of November Bills

Vincent Zinno moved to pay the November 2016 bills.
Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Seger, Joseph Tadrick, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

4. Approval of Minutes

October 20, 2016 Regular Meeting

Vincent Zinno moved to approve the October 20, 2016 regular meeting minutes.
Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Seger, Joseph Tadrick, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

5. Receipt and Filing of Correspondence

None

6. Resolutions

A. Resolution 16-45: Approving the Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposal for the Operation and Maintenance of the Vernon Township Municipal Sewer Collection System and Authorizing the Advertisement of Same

Motion to remove Resolution 16-45 from the table for the purpose of taking action on the resolution.
Thomas Buchney moved to take Resolution 16-45 off the table.
Vincent Zinno seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Seger, Joseph Tadrick, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

B. Resolution 16-45: Approving the Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposal for the Operation and Maintenance of the Vernon Township Municipal Sewer Collection System and Authorizing the Advertisement of Same

Thomas Buchney moved to approve Resolution 16-45.
Vincent Zinno seconded the motion.

Discussion: Thomas Buchney asked when they would review the applications that come in. Edward Snook and John Scerbo said they would schedule a meeting for December 22 to review them.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Seger, Joseph Tadrick, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None

7. Attorney’s Report

No report

8. Auditor’s Report

Auditor Charles Ferraioli reported he would have a preliminary budget for 2017 for the December meeting.

Chairman Edward Snook asked commissioner Edward Seger to work on the finance committee with him so they could review it and come up with a preliminary budget.

9. Engineer’s Report

Review of New Applications

Engineer Ceren Aralp said there are no new applications to review.

10. Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director John Scerbo reported there was an emergency at Pump Station #2 on October 28, 2016 that required authorization of immediate work on a cast iron pipe that split. The pump station was repaired the next day. The repair will be billed to Mountain Creek.

Edward Seger asked John Scerbo if there was any progress with Mountain Creek on that pump station. Mr. Scerbo said he has contacted Mountain Creek but has not heard from them yet.

Joseph Tadrick said the mayor reported at the recent council meeting that there was a break-in at a pump station and asked for further information. John Scerbo said they would be discussing it in executive session.

11. Commissioners’ Comments

Thomas Buchney said he stopped by Pump Station #2 when there was some work being done. He said the DPW employees performed the work in an extremely professional manner and had all safety precautions on site. He commended the DPW for their timely and professional work.

Edward Seger said members of the public expressed concern about future rate increases. He said if there is no expansion to the system, rates would increase, but he reiterated that if more users come onto the system the rates would not be as high as expected.

Vincent Zinno said the township has a commitment to SCMUA for 460,000 gallons. If Mountain Creek builds and the town builds the town center, they would meet that gallonage obligations and rates would not increase. He said the town center cannot be developed unless the town bonds for water in the town center. If there is no future expansion by Mountain Creek or the township the users will bear the burden of the debt. He added that the auditor had done projections several months ago and said if more users come into the system the rates would not increase as expected. He also said when those expansions are completed the VTMUA could go on a full metered system in which users would be billed based on actual usage. Those are the items that are driving usage fees, and EDU counts for the next several years.

12. Chairman’s Comments

Chairman Edward Snook said he hopes the RFPs bear some good responses. The DPW would not be doing the work for the VTMUA starting January, so he is hopeful the proposals would be good. He asked Vincent Zinno to work on the RFP committee because he worked on that in the past.

13. Executive Session

Personnel matters, no formal action is expected to take place.

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 personnel.

Vincent Zinno moved to go into executive session.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Seger, Joseph Tadrick, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Motion to return to public session.
Edward Seger moved to return to public session at 7:55 p.m.
Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Gloria Gallo, Edward Seger, Joseph Tadrick, Vincent Zinno, and Edward Snook
Nays: None
The VTMUA went back into public session at 7:55 p.m.

Adjournment

Edward Seger moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:55 p.m.
Vincent Zinno seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on November 22, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary