Minutes: September 20, 2018

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 20, 2018 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 15, 2018 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
John PerryP
Edward SegerP
Edward SnookA
Kristin WheatonP
Paul Kearney Alt #1P
David McDermott Alt #2P

Roll Call of Professionals

Executive Director John Scerbo, attorney Richard Wenner, and engineer Kyle Gourly were also present.

1. Open the Meeting for Public Comments

Edward Seger moved to open the meeting for public comment.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

Joanne Johnson of Mott Drive came forward and asked about the plans for sewer expansion and when homes can expect to hookup. Executive Director John Scerbo said it would be a minimum of 18-24 months away. The DEP will take about six months to review the expansion plan. The freeholder board would also conduct a public hearing in the township, and the public will have the opportunity to speak. He also said the VTMUA is considering not mandating hookup. They are considering some kind of assistance for people who cannot afford connection. Ms. Johnson said she is asking because she and her husband are considering selling their home.

2. Close the Meeting to the Public

Seeing no one else come forward, Paul Kearney moved to close the meeting to the public.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

3. Consent Agenda

Resolution 18-42: Authorizing the Payment of Bills for September 20, 2018

Edward Seger moved to approve the payment of bills.
Kristin Wheaton seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Edward Segar, Paul Kearney, Kristin Wheaton, and John Perry
Nays: None

4. Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of August 16, 2018

Edward Seger moved to approve the August 16, 2018 minutes.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion

Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Edward Segar, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney, and John Perry
Nays: None
Abstention: Thomas Buchney

5. Resolutions—None

6. Correspondence—None

7. Auditor’s Report—None

8. Attorney’s Report

Attorney Richard Wenner said he would give his report in executive session.

9. Engineer’s Report

A. New Applications

Engineer Kyle Gourly reported a new application for the conversion of a single family home to a retail rug store at 322 Route 94, Block 145, Lot 6 is .75 EDUs. John Scerbo said the property was not previously connected to the sewers.

B.

Mr. Gourly also said the asset management plan has been approved. John Scerbo also said they closed on the funding for the plan on September 18. They need engineer Ceren Aralp’s signature. They cannot get the money until she returns. The wastewater management plan is still under review by the NJDEP.

Paul Kearney moved to approve the application for 322 Route 94, Block 145, Lot 6, at .75 EDUs.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Discussion: Thomas Buchney asked if they were able to excavate and get the depth to connect. John Scerbo said they have a pump-up system.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Edward Segar, Paul Kearney, Kristin Wheaton, and John Perry
Nays: None
Abstention: None

John Scerbo also advised the commissioners that the new owner of the former BOE building on Route 515 is demolishing the building and putting something else in its place. The land use board approved demolition. The applicant asked the VTMUA about the policy concerning the sewer line in the interim. Mr. Scerbo said each application would be judged based on its own merit. There was question whether the line would be capped so many feet from the connection. The applicant is building something else in its place. The engineer will determine how to deal with the situation.

C. Old Business—None

10. Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director John Scerbo discussed the commissioner suppers program, an informal event with a panel discussion about the role on an MUA commissioner. He said Kristin Wheaton expressed an interest in attending and said any other commissioner wishing to attend should notify him in the event they have a majority of commissioners going so he could advertise for it.

He also reported another program called A Day without Water. He asked if the commissioners wanted to participate. He said the program is more for MUAs that have water utilities. He suggested putting something up on the website to promote awareness.

11. Commissioners’ Comments

Edward Seger questioned executive session meeting minutes. Attorney Richard Wenner said the commissioners approve the minutes and determine when they could be released to the public. Recording secretary Jessi Paladini said she sent multiple months of executive session minutes to the attorney for approval. John Scerbo said Mr. Wenner was going to approve them for release. Mr. Wenner said he has nothing to do with approving the content of the executive session minutes. It’s the responsibility of the VTMUA to approve releasing the executive session minutes. Mr. Scerbo said he has been telling the recording secretary to hold release of the minutes until Mr. Wenner approved them. The recording secretary will forward them to Mr. Scerbo.

Edward Seger also discussed the process of septic system approval when homes are sold. He wondered if there was a way to check septic systems regularly to ensure they are working. Mr. Scerbo suggested the township should draft an ordinance regulating maintenance and/or inspection of septics every so often.

12. Chairman’s Comments

Chairman John Perry said they would soon be discussing the 2019 VTMUA budget. He said he and executive director John Scerbo are on the budget committee and asked for a commissioner to volunteer. Kristin Wheaton said she would be on the budget committee.

13. Executive Session

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 litigation.

Paul Kearney moved to go into executive session at 7:30 p.m.
Edward Seger seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Edward Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney, and John Perry
Nays: None

14. Close Executive Session

Edward Seger moved to close executive session at 8:09 p.m.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Edward Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney, and John Perry
Nays: None

15. Return to Public Session

Edward Seger moved to return to public session at 8:10 p.m.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Edward Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney, and John Perry
Nays: None

Adjournment

No action was taken after executive session.
Edward Seger moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:11 p.m.
Paul Kearney seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Thomas Buchney, Edward Seger, Kristin Wheaton, Paul Kearney, and John Perry
Nays: None

The meeting was adjourned at 8:11 p.m.

The next meeting of the VTMUA will be on October 18, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed and submitted by Jessica Paladini
Vernon Township MUA Secretary