Minutes: October 15, 2012

The regular meeting of the Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:02 p.m. on Monday, October 15, 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 ChorzepaP
Doug DobrzynskiNP
Gloria Frato-GalloP
James KensekP
Vincent ZinnoP

Also Present

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

Salute to the Flag

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

Mr. Ursin made a statement for the record advising that condo unit sizes should be determined by what is indicated on the tax records. Specifically, one bedroom plus a loft is assessed as a 2 bedroom on the tax records and is billed as such for sewer.

Open to Public Comments

Tom Martin—stated that he lives alone in a 3 bedroom unit. Mr. Martin stated his disagreement with the method used to determine sewer rates.

Joe Samisi—stated that he was an owner of multiple condos and had lost a tenant and now must pay sewer for an empty unit.

Noreen Moran—questioned conflicting information she had been given from the tax assessor’s office regarding the size of her unit. Mr. Zinno stated that he reviewed the tax records from her specific unit and it was listed as a 2 bedroom.

Jean Murphy—stated that she was a realtor and 1 bedroom plus loft units were not 2 bedrooms because multiple listings indicated in the notes section that units are considered 1 bedroom plus loft, not a 2 bedroom.

Richard Reid—suggested the ability to bring in water bills and base sewer payment on them.

Jeff Kuchta—questioned why the VTMUA couldn’t use meters to determine sewer fees. Mr. Kuchta further questioned the percentage of flow the condos were responsible for. Mr. Ursin stated that 99,000 gallons were for the Town Center and 166,000 gallons were for Mountain Creek. Charging vacant land owners for sewer was questioned. Mr. Ursin stated that there was a statute that says vacant land owners cannot be charged until their property is improved. Mr. Kuchta advised that his master deed stated that he had a 1 bedroom. Mr. Zinno offered to look into the matter.

Tom Kelly—stated that he hasn’t seen any progress regardless of the rate reductions for studio, 1 and 2 bedrooms. Mr. Kelly stated that he felt reductions should include every unit, including 3 bedrooms.

Linda Gurvald—questioned if the Stone Hill condos and Mountain Creek were considered the same. Mr. Ursin stated that both had been United Water customers.

Mr. Zinno advised that he had requested that the Red Tail Lodge and Appalachian Hotel be reviewed to make sure that they were paying the correct EDU rate.

Craig Thompson—stated that he had received the updated rate information regarding reductions and advised that there had been a savings of $270,000 over a period of three months. Mr. Thompson requested to receive the new billing list with the new reductions in place. Mr. Thompson stated that meters were not the answer because the debt service was too high. Mr. Thompson questioned if someone from the condo association could be a commissioner on the VTMUA.

Ira Weiner, Stone Hill Condo Association’s attorney stated the concern that the condos were bearing the cost of the sewer system as well as the concern of the costs of the sewer system in the future. Mr. Weiner also spoke regarding metering versus non-metering, and advised that most of the sewer system flows were being attributed to the condos and, therefore, if billing was done by consumption condo owners would be paying 90% of the sewer costs. Mr. Weiner stated that the goal was to find a solution that would work for everyone.

Closed to Public Comments

A short recess was taken at this time.

Items for Action

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

Moved: Chorzepa
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Chorzepa, Frato-Gallo, Zinno, Kensek
Nays: None
Abstain: Buchney (not present at the meeting)

Approval of Minutes of the Regular Meeting from August 20, 2012

Moved: Chorzepa
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Zinno, Kensek
Nays: None

Approval of Minutes of the Regular Meeting from September 17, 2012

Moved: Chorzepa
Second: Kensek

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Buchney, Chorzepa, Zinno, Kensek
Nays: None

Applications Under Review

Block 142.01 Lot 2—Guthrie Corner

Motion to accept engineer’s recommendation of 5 EDUs.
Moved: Kensek
Second: Buchney

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

Ms. Chorzepa stated that she needed more documentation for applications under review and suggested reviewing all of the prior applications that had been submitted to date. Ms. Aralp advised that all applications were reviewed by the engineers and recommendations included all calculations. Ms. Aralp suggested that she could make a spreadsheet detailing application information. Mr. Zinno requested that the engineers not review all prior applications because restructuring of the EDU did not affect applications for connection to the system, and therefore did not need to be reviewed again.

Block 141 Lot 12.06—Baldwin Transportation

Motion to accept engineer’s recommendation of 1 EDU.
Moved: Kensek
Second: Frato-Gallo

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

Correspondence

The Vernon Inn made a request for connection to the sewer. The engineers stated that they would advise the secretary if the Vernon Inn was in the sewer service area.

Auditor Report

Mr. Ferraioli advised that he spoke with Bill Zuckerman, CFO and they would meet in early November to project a budget for 2013. It was noted that a preliminary budget would be provided for the November 19, 2012 meeting.

Engineer Report

It was noted that Mr. Zinno and Ms. Aralp would discuss correct figures for the Red Tail Lodge and Appalachian Hotel for proper billing.

Bills List

Motion to approve bills list.
Moved: Chorzepa
Second: Frato-Gallo

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

Resolution #12-19: Authorizing the Approval of Bills List

BE IT RESOLVED that the following bills listed are hereby approved:

Disbursement
Journal
FundAmountMajor Vendor
#1GENERAL$210.00AGRA ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
#2GENERAL$1,950.00AGRA ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
#3GENERAL$2,000.00COURTER, KOBERT & COHEN, PC
#4GENERAL$591.63CENTURY LINK
#5GENERAL$150.54GLOBAL EQUIPMENT CO.
#6GENERAL$36.68HESS CORPORATION
#7GENERAL$91.91JET VAC
#8GENERAL$271.02MCAFEE HARDWAR CO.
#9GENERAL$439.94MONTAGUE TOOL & SUPPLY
#10GENERAL$16.60NEW JERSEY HERALD
#11GENERAL$163.42OFFICE CONCEPTS
#12GENERAL$59.99STAPLES
#13GENERAL$163.92WARWICK VALLEY TELEPHONE
#14GENERAL$72.92MCAFEE HARDWAR CO.
#15GENERAL$22.90NEW JERSEY HERALD
#16GENERAL$23.95NEW JERSEY HERALD
#17GENERAL$29.52WARWICK VALLEY TELEPHONE
#18GENERAL$394.50JCP&L
#19GENERAL$1,373.95JCP&L
#20GENERAL$123.60JCP&L
#21GENERAL$200.00AGRA ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
#22GENERAL$36.00CAS INK, INC
#23GENERAL$2,000.00COURTER, KOBERT & COHEN, PC
#24GENERAL$199.70CENTURY LINK
#25GENERAL$14,859.54ELSON T KILLAM ASSOCIATES
#26GENERAL$204.38MCAFEE HARDWAR CO.
#27GENERAL$130.11NORTHEAST CONTROLS, INC.
#28GENERAL$2,679.00RAPID PUMP & METER SERVICE CO.
#29GENERAL$134.55VITAL COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
 TOTAL$28,630.27 

MUA Discussion

Lift Stations

Mr. Ursin reported that discussions were continuing with the Stone Hill condo association. Mr. Ursin advised that the main focus was understanding the costs involved in maintenance of the lift stations.

Mr. Ursin drafted a follow up letter to mandatory connection customers explaining that the Rules and Regulations stated that failure to hook up to the sewer system in the 180 day time period would result in user fees being charged regardless of hook up.

RFQ for Wastewater Engineering Services

Mr. Zinno requested that all commissioners review the draft copy and send their comments to the secretary by Thursday. Mr. Zinno advised that he would be meeting with the purchasing agent regarding the RFQs.

Mr. Buchney questioned coordination between the building department and the MUA office regarding building additions. It was suggested that the building dept. notify the MUA of all additions so the MUA could determine if the additions and renovations were in the sewer service area.

Mr. Buchney questioned the status of review and possible revision of the # of EDUs for the Brookside Florist. Mr. Coe did not recall this request and asked for additional information. Mr. Zinno advised that he would be meeting with Brookside Florist.

Ms. Chorzepa requested that it be noted for the record that she voted against the bills list at the August meeting because there was not enough time to review the individual bills.

Ms. Chorzepa questioned the status of the hardship letter from the VFW. The secretary noted that the engineer was supposed to contact the VFW to review the EDU structure for the use of the building.

Ms. Chorzepa suggested moving public comments to the end of the meeting. Mr. Zinno suggested keeping public comments at the beginning of the meeting so the public could comment on agenda items before they were voted on.

Mr. Zinno suggested voting in new chairperson for the VTMUA.
Motion to nominate Gloria Frato-Gallo as chairperson.
Moved: Chorzepa

Motion to nominate Vincent Zinno as chairperson.
Moved: Frato-Gallo
Second: Kensek

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

Motion to nominate Gloria Frato-Gallo as vice chairperson of the VTMUA.
Moved: Kensek
Second: Chorzepa

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

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn at 9:30 p.m.
Moved: Buchney
Second: GFG
All were in favor

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

Date approved: November 19, 2012