Minutes: October 17, 2011

The regular meeting of the Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 17, 2011 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 August 4, 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.

Roll Call of Members

Thomas Buchney
Doug Dobrzynski
Gloria Frato-Gallo
Vincent Zinno, Vice Chairman
Ed Rolando, Chairman

Also in Attendance

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

Salute to the Flag

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

Minutes for Approval

Minutes of the regular meeting from September 29, 2011

Moved: Vincent Zinno
Second: Thomas Buchney
All members voted in favor.
Minutes were approved.

Financial Update

Mr. Ferraioli distributed a cash projection sheet using the 2010 BPU report from United Water and assuming a rate of $700 per user for 5 years. Mr. Ferraioli further advised of 2 bond ordinances presented for a first reading at the township council meeting, for purchase of the United Water sewer system, as well as the operating expenses and payments to SCMUA. The town center bonds were not in his projection. Mr. Ferraioli advised that this document is a tool to be used as a guide until a rate is decided upon and a budget is introduced. New users who would be hooking up to the system were not included. United Water’s existing expenses were used because VTMUA expenses are unknown, at this time. Mr. Ferraioli stated that the 2012 MUA budget would be based on current users only, and that the rate would be chosen for one year at a time.

Mr. Ursin emphasized that the MUA would not be bound by any decisions made by the township until a servicing agreement was signed between the MUA and the township.

Mr. Rolando questioned the dollar amount of the new bond ordinances. Mr. Ferraioli stated that the first bond ordinance for the purchase of United Water sewer system was for $4MM. The bond for operating expenses and SCMUA payments was $2.8MM.

Ms. Frato-Gallo questioned payment for the town center bonds. Mr. Ursin explained that these bonds have been paid by Mountain Creek for the past 3 years and negotiations were underway for future payments of these bonds by Mountain Creek.

Mr. Ferraioli suggested that the MUA authorize the engineer to perform a customer head count for the United Water sewer system, including commercial users. It was noted that the transition from metering to EDU will increase revenue, and that an EDU count is necessary for bills to go out, after the purchase of the United Water sewer system.

It was also noted that the VTMUA will need to raise their rates when SCMUA rates are raised.

Mr. Ursin suggested a timeline for possible adoption of the Rules and Regulations at the next meeting in November, and adoption of an EDU rate as well as introduction of the budget in December.

Engineer recommendations are for 1 EDU to equal 250 gallons.

A motion was made directing Hatch Mott MacDonald to provide an EDU count for the Town Center and United Water Sewer System.

Moved: Gloria Frato-Gallo
Second: Vincent Zinno

Thomas Buchney requested that there be a breakout of numbers regarding vacant properties and occupied properties. Number of EDUs assigned to different types of businesses was also discussed.

All members voted in favor.

Mr. Ferraioli concluded the financial update.

Rules & Regulations

John Rolak, from Hatch Mott MacDonald appeared before the MUA, in place of John Ruschke, to review the Rules & Regulations.

Notable Points Discussed

  • Rename grinder pumps as individual pumping units.
  • Fewer than 8000 gallon pumps are to be personal property of homeowners.
  • Commercial use resulting in damage and needing repair by MUA must pay bill within 5 days of receipt.
  • SCMUA facilities to encompass pipes, pump stations and related equipment.

Mr. Zinno questioned the amount of SCMUA’s connection fee. It was reported that $5378.00 is the SCMUA connection fee per EDU. SCMUA collects the fee from the developers of new properties as well as existing commercial and residential customers. It was further noted that a percentage of the money collected by SCMUA is credited back to Vernon against their debt service.

  • Connection fee will be charged with a change of use that increases the EDUs.
  • Construction Design Criteria—Engineer recommended relying on DEP standard for flow criteria.
  • Sewer Main Extensions—Engineer recommended requiring developers to be responsible to maintain and/or renew their permits, not the MUA.
  • Mandatory Connection—bills will start after 180 days regardless of connection, unless otherwise approved by the MUA.
  • Construction Requirements-slope and velocity changes, per engineer—will be defined for next meeting.
  • Depth of select material in the backfill changing from 12 to 24 inches and 24in to 36in.
  • Greases of animal or vegetable origin into the sewer system being limited to 100 parts per million.
  • Grease Interceptors—Engineer recommended that grease interceptors be located a minimum of 20ft from any potential hot water discharges.
  • Insurance Limitations- Mr. Ursin will check with risk manager regarding limits on dollar amounts.
  • Required inspections—clarification needed by John Ruschke.
  • EDU schedule—for next meeting.
  • Sewer Allocation Permits- same EDU schedule from the NJAC.

Engineer Recommendations

  • No legal rights to capacity other than the MUA.
  • Sewer user fees after 1 year—not for individual homeowners.
  • Language change—voided instead of purchase.

Open to Public

Peter Wexler, Highland Lakes questioned who is responsible for injector pumps being over 8000 gallons per day as a discharge rate would be the responsibility of the MUA. Is that the capacity of the pump or is that actual gallons discharged. JR says it would be EDU allocation.

Closed to Public

MUA Discussion

Mr. Rolando advised that a proposal from Hardyston Township MUA should be available for the next meeting. Mr. Ursin stated that negotiating contract amounts would be an appropriate area for closed session discussion.

Mr. Buchney questioned if the final unit in a multiple interceptor facility would need to be the one needing to be 20ft from any hot water discharges. Mr. Rolak stated that it would and also explained that existing facilities may be given discretion.

Mr. Rolak suggested posting the agenda on the township website.

Mr. Ursin questioned when the MUA website would be operational.

Mr. Rolando questioned when servicing agreement with the township would be available. Mr. Ursin suggested contacting Mayor Marotta for that information.

Mr. Buchney suggested reaching out to United Water for quotes regarding operation and maintenance. Mr. Ursin stated that this would be a part of the contract negotiations.

Mr. Zinno questioned resolutions regarding MUA bank account signers. Mr. Ursin stated that he would have the resolutions available for the next meeting.

The status of the missing link was discussed.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted on the agenda, a motion for adjournment was made by Gloria Frato-Gallo; motion seconded by Thomas Buchney with all members voting in favor.

The regular meeting of October 17, 2011, of the Municipal Utilities Authority of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Aida Cahill
MUA Secretary

Minutes approved: November 3, 2011