Minutes: September 15, 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, September 15, 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 McClachrieP
Edward SnookP
Joseph Tadrick (Mr. Tadrick had work obligations.)A
Edward SegerP
Vincent ZinnoP

Roll Call of Professionals

Attorney Richard Wenner, Auditor Charles Ferraioli, Executive Director John Scerbo, and Licensed Operator Michael Furrey were also present. Engineer Ceren Aralp was unable to attend.

1. Open Meeting for Public Comment

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

2. Close the Meeting for Public Comment

Seeing no one from the public come forward, Gloria Gallo moved to close the meeting to the public.
Vincent Zinno seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The public portion of the meeting was closed.

3. Consent Agenda

Resolution 16-43: Payment of September Bills

Vincent Zinno moved to pay the September 2016 bills.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

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

4. Approval of Minutes

August 18, 2016 Regular Meeting

Edward Seger moved to approve the June 16, 2016 regular meeting minutes.
Vincent Zinno seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

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

5. Receipt and Filing of Correspondence

A. Letter Dated September 9, 2016 from Engineer Ceren Aralp Supporting Release of Performance Bond for Urgent Care and Activating Maintenance Bond

The engineer said Mountain Creek has satisfactorily completed the site improvements for the Urgent Care facility located at 123 Route 94, Vernon, and she recommends the release of the performance bond.

B. Letter of Commendation from VTMUA Executive Director John Scerbo to DPW Director, Dated August 22, 2016

The correspondence was written on behalf of the VTMUA, commending DPW employees Vincent Speziale, Jack Grosser, and Steve Pappas for their exceptional performance for the VTMUA during the August 4, 2016 storm.

Vincent Zinno moved to receive and file both letters.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

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

6. Resolutions

A. Resolution 16-37: Removing Resolution from Table for the Purpose of Taking Action

Thomas Buchney moved to take the resolution off the table.
Seconded by Edward Seger

Discussion: Thomas McClachrie asked if the VTMUA got the easement. John Scerbo said they did.

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

B. Resolution 16-37: Resolution Authorizing the Release of the Performance Bond by Mountain Creek Resort for Urgent Care

The VTMUA released a performance bond in the amount of $37,746 to Mountain Creek. The VTMUA also accepted a maintenance bond in the amount of $5,661.90 from Mountain Creek for a period of two years from the date of the adoption of the resolution.

Edward Seger moved to approve the resolution.
Seconded by Thomas Buchney

Discussion: None

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

7. Attorney’s Report

No report

8. Auditor’s Report

Auditor Charles Ferraioli presented a ten-year financial analysis for the VTMUA. The analysis is a projection, a tool to try to get an idea of where the VTMUA might be in ten years. The analysis Mr. Ferraioli provided is for the purpose of reviewing projected deficits with and without new users in the future. If the VTMUA has a user base of 1600 EDUs and has a schedule for Mountain Creek to put in approximately 800 EDUs over the next three years, the VTMUA user base would increase by 50 percent. If the VTMUA has 800 new users at an average rate of $1000 per EDU the user rate would then decrease. Mountain Creek is responsible for 63 percent of the future deficit while the VTMUA is responsible for 37 percent. In the 2017 budget, there should be two revenue line items for Mountain Creek, the ten-year repayment and the 63% deficit.

Thomas McClachrie wanted to clarify what the projections represented. Mr. Ferraioli said the projections do not take into account any proposed expansion of the sewer service area. In order to include any analysis on that he would need to know the cost of construction and the number of EDUs, and the VTMUA is nowhere near a decision for expansion he said. Whether or not there is an expansion or whether or not Mountain Creek expands, by 2023 the VTMUA will be paying the SCMUA $1,525,000 in principal. If the VTMUA were to increase its sewer service area—going into areas where there is no sewer pipe in the ground, that construction project would incur debt; none of those costs are in the analysis, Mr. Ferraioli said.

Mayor Harry Shortway, who was present at the meeting, addressed the VTMUA and said he and other town officials met with Mountain Creek earlier in the week and they are going to force Mountain Creek to give projections of what they are going to do. He said they cannot build pump house #2 without actual projections from Mountain Creek about the resort’s plans. He said nothing will go into Mountain Creek until after 2018. With all the things Mountain Creek is projecting, they cannot do anything without pump house #2, so they are going to force Mountain Creek to give a timetable for their projects, the mayor said. He said they (Mountain Creek) are well aware of this and have never been held to the fire to give the town an actual plan and now they are. He said the 2012 agreement with Mountain Creek called for the repairs to the pump house to be finished by July 1, 2013. There was never an extension of that timeframe, the mayor said. Mountain Creek fully realizes the problem with the debt and the pump station, he added. He said not a cent would come from taxpayer funds, not even any engineering costs associated with township engineer Cory Stoner. Mountain Creek never had exact plans because everything relied on pump house #2.The mayor said they are now forcing Mountain Creek to get the pump house completed and reiterated there was never an extension given. The township does not have any record of an extension and township attorney John Ursin told the mayor there was never an extension. The mayor said they are again meeting with Mountain Creek officials on September 22 and they want exact numbers because they cannot build pump house #2 unless they know how many EDUs they are going to flow through that pump house. None of Mountain Creek’s projects will happen with pump house #2, he said. The town will work with Mountain Creek to get infrastructure loans at lower interest rates. The new ownership at Mountain Creek is key because they “get it,” he said. The mayor also said they will be working on getting the town center going, specifically the water. He said it would likely be necessary to have a water tower for the town center.

The mayor also discussed the Legends sewer plant and the problems associated with it. He also said there are also permanent residents living at Legends illegally, including families with children, and they are using hotplates for cooking, which is a violation of fire code.

Thomas McClachrie moved to accept the auditor’s report.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

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

9. Engineer’s Report

A. Review of New Applications—Block 142, Lot 9, Solve It Room LLC

This application for a commercial business in the Acme plaza at 521 Route 515 was assessed 2 EDUs.

Gloria Gallo moved to approve the 2 EDUs.
Thomas Buchney seconded the motion.

Discussion: Commissioners said the approval is contingent upon further explanation by engineer Ceren Aralp, who was not able to attend tonight’s meeting.

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

B. Old Business

None

Chairman Edward Snook asked for a motion to briefly recess the meeting.
Vincent Zinno moved to recess.
Edward Snook seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

10. Licensed Operator Report

Michael Furrey, owner of Agra Environmental and Laboratory Services, serves as the licensed operator for the VTMUA. Agra did two inspections of the sewer system, one in June and one in August. He said the mayor went on the first inspection because he wanted to see the system. Mr. Furrey later met with Edward Snook and John Scerbo to discuss his recommendations and followed that up with a second report dated August 10, 2016, in which he identified some issues and made recommendations following the second inspection. All of the issues and recommendations are addressed in the Agra reports.

Executive Director John Scerbo also discussed some new technologies and software the VTMUA could obtain to streamline its operations.

11. Executive Director’s Report

No report

12. Commissioners’ Comments

Thomas McClachrie said he wanted to discuss the executive session minutes. Edward Snook suggested he discuss them in executive session.

13. Chairman’s Comments

Chairman Edward Snook asked the commissioners to be sure to respond to the executive director’s emails asking who would be attending meetings so they know who is coming and whether they have a quorum. The chairman asked for a motion to enter into executive session.

14. Executive Session—Potential Litigation

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 potential litigation.

Vincent Zinno moved to go into executive session.
Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.

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

Time: 8:50 p.m.

15. Return to Public Session

Vincent Zinno made the motion to return to public session.
Gloria Gallo seconded the motion.

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

Time: 9:09 p.m.

The VTMUA came out of executive session at 9:09 p.m. and reconvened public session.

Attorney Richard Wenner stated that the executive session had been for the purpose of discussing potential litigation.

No further action was taken, so the chairman called for a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Adjournment

Edward Seger moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m.
Vincent Zinno seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on October 20, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary