502 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, NJ 07869-3799
Tel: 973.989.7100Fax: 973.989.7076

All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.

Minutes: February 23, 2006

A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 8:00 p.m. by Mayor Algeier. This meeting is held pursuant to the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act. Adequate notice of the meeting has been provided by posting written notice of the time, date, location and, to the extent known, the agenda of the meeting in Randolph Township. This notice was posted on the Bulletin Board within Town Hall, it was filed with the Township Clerk, and it was provided to those persons or entities requesting notification. Notice was also provided to the Morris County Daily Record and the Randolph Reporter on January 6, 2006 by faxing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on January 5, 2006. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Morris County Daily Record, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, on January 9, 2006 and in the Randolph Reporter on February 2, 2006.

PRESENT:
Councilman Huston
Councilman Manning (arrived 8:20 p.m.)
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Obremski
Mayor Algeier

Also present: Township Attorney Edward Buzak and Township Manager John Lovell

Mayor Algeier led the Pledge of Allegiance.

COUNCIL AND MANAGER REPORTS

Councilman Napoliello reported that Geoff Price will be heading the Parade Committee. They are in the process of soliciting donations from local businesses.

Councilman Huston expressed concern regarding a monthly report from Code Enforcement which stated they were denied access to a property with known violations. He believes this points out weaknesses in our code enforcement ordinances and would like recommendations from the Manager and Township Attorney on ways to improve this situation.

Manager Lovell responded that this is a stacking issue and stacking is on the agenda for discussion.

Councilman Huston also asked about the status of trail construction at the Waterfall Estate subdivision.

Manager Lovell replied that Waterfall Estates undertook the beginnings of trail construction, however he was dissatisfied with the construction. He is still in the process of negotiating with them.

Councilman Huston suggested someone on staff investigate a property on Pierson Hill Road that is for sale for possible land acquisition. He also asked if the Raritan Basin was removed from Morris Township’s wastewater management proposal.

Manager Lovell responded that the DEP is going to be taking the Raritan Basin out.

Mayor Algeier reported that there is an economic summit at the County College of Morris and would like to see if members of our Economic Development Committee can gather some information about town that could be distributed to potential business owners considering relocation.

Councilman Huston suggested that, in addition to information about Randolph, the EDC develop a list of vacant commercial properties in Randolph for potential buyers.

Mayor Algeier was discussing homeland security with the Morris County Health Services Commissioner. During their conversation he learned that they had observed Randolph’s disaster recovery drill, were impressed by it, and are using information gained from that exercise to revise some of the state’s procedures, such as eliminating a lot of the paperwork requirements.

OPEN TO PUBLIC

Hearing no comments from the public, the public portion was closed.

COMBINED ACTION

Manager Lovell stated that the most recent version of the agreement between Randolph Township and the SLPOA has been presented to the Council. This version incorporates changes the Council requested at the last meeting.

Mayor Algeier suggested the word “required” be added to a to a section pertaining to excess premium and asked for the agreement to be amended with that change.

Township Attorney Buzak agreed.

Deputy Mayor Obremski made a motion to approve the Combined Action items. Councilman Manning seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Huston
Councilman Manning
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Obremski
Mayor Algeier

NAYS: None

(a) Authorize Agreement with Shongum Lake Property Owners’ Association - Repair of Dam

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WHEREAS, the Shongum Lake Property Owners Association (SLPOA) is the owner of a lake and certain dam impounding same all located within the lake community known as Shongum Lake, Township of Randolph, New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, said dam is presently in need of reconstruction to satisfy the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regulations for a Class I or High Hazard dam; and

WHEREAS, the Dam, Lake, Stream, Flood Control, Water Resources Wastewater Treatment Project Bond Act of 2003, P.L. 2003, Chapter 162 (Act) provides for bonds to fund State loans at a maximum interest rate of two percent per annum to meet the costs and expenses of dam restoration projects such as that required for the dam owned by the SLPOA; and

WHEREAS, SLPOA has requested that the Township of Randolph (Township) act as co-borrower for a loan to SLPOA under the Act to fund the restoration and repair of the Shongum Lake Dam; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Act, loans will only be granted for the restoration of dams owned by private entities such as the SLPOA, if a local government entity acts as co-borrower with the private entity; and

WHEREAS, the Township desires to further the public interest by co-signing for a loan from the NJDEP to the SLPOA in the amount of One Million, Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($1,250,000.00) plus interest and costs to fund the rehabilitation of the Shongum Lake Dam; and

WHEREAS, the Act authorizes the Township to assess the amount of the principal, interest and costs for the loan against the real property benefitted by the loan together with interest and penalties; and

WHEREAS, on December 29, 2005, the Township adopted Ordinance 47-05 authorizing a special assessment for the Shongum Lake Dam restoration project pursuant to the Act; and

WHEREAS, the Township will incur certain costs and expenses in imposing the assessments, administering and collecting the same; and

WHEREAS, as co-borrower, the Township may incur certain financial and substantive obligations and liability in the event of a financial or other default of the primary borrower (SLPOA); and

WHEREAS, the Township and SLPOA desire to enter into this Agreement to adequately indemnify the Township for all financial and other obligations which the Township shall and may incur and to set forth the rights and responsibilities of the parties.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, as follows:

1. The general terms and conditions of the Agreement dated December 23, 2005 by and between the Shongum Lake Property Owners Association and the Township of Randolph are hereby approved.

2. The Township hereby authorizes and approves any non-substantive modifications to the agreement as may be recommended and approved by the Township Manager and Township Attorney prior to execution.

3. The Mayor and Acting Township Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute said agreement after execution of the same by the SLPOA and said officers together with all other appropriate officers, employees, consultants and professionals of the Township are hereby authorized and directed to take any and all steps necessary to effectuate the purposes of this resolution.

4. This Resolution shall take effect immediately.

(b) Authoring the Township to Execute Loan Documents as a Co-Borrower - NJDEP Program for Shongum Lake Repair of Dam

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WHEREAS, Shongum Lake Property Owners’ Association (SLPOA) has requested that the Township of Randolph act as co-borrower for a loan to SLPOA under the Dam, Lake, Stream, Flood Control, Water Resources, and Wastewater Treatment Project Bond Act of 2003 to fund the restoration and repair of the Shongum Lake Dam; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Act, loans will only be granted for the restoration of dams owned by private entities such as the SLPOA, if a local government entity acts as co-borrower with the private entity; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey, acting by and through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), approved the application for a low interest loan in the amount of One Million, Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($1,250,000.00); and

WHEREAS, the Township desires to further the public interest by co-signing for a loan from the NJDEP to the SLPOA in the amount of One Million, Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($1,250,000.00), plus interest and costs to fund the rehabilitation of the Shongum Lake Dam.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, as follows:

1. The Mayor or the successor to the Office of the Mayor is authorized to execute a loan agreement as the co-borrower with NJDEP for a loan in the amount of One Million, Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($1,250,000.00), plus principal, interest and costs to be made to the Shongum Lake Property Owners’ Association and to execute any amendments thereto.

2. The general terms and conditions of the Loan Agreement by and between the State of New Jersey acting through the Department of Environmental Protection, Shongum Lake Property Owners’ Association and the Township of Randolph are hereby approved.

3. In the event of a default by the Shongum Lake Property Owners’ Association, the Township authorizes and agrees to complete the dam restoration project and reimburse the NJDEP in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Loan Agreement.

4. The Township hereby authorizes and approves any non-substantive modifications to the Loan Agreement as may be recommended and approved by the Business Manager and Township Attorney prior to execution.

5. The Township agrees to comply with all applicable federal, State and municipal laws, rules, and regulations in its performance pursuant to the Loan Agreement.

6. The Mayor and Township Clerk, together with all other appropriate officers, employees, consultants and professionals of the Township are hereby authorized and directed to take any and all steps necessary to effectuate the purposes of this resolution.

7. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

(c) Raffles

(1) Application for Gift of Life of New Jersey, On-Premise Tricky Tray, March 24, 2006, at Meadow Wood Manor, Route 10 East, Randolph

(2) Application for a Raffle License, St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, Off-Premise Car Raffle, July 2, 2006, at St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, 335 Dover Chester Road, Randolph

Mayor Algeier thanked the Manager and Township Attorney for all the work they put in to the agreements. He feels it was a long road but the right end has been achieved. He also stressed that the reason for the delay was to insure that Randolph citizens are fully protected from any liabilities relating to the loan and the construction project.

Richard Marcickiewicz thanked the Council, the Township Attorney, and the Manager for their cooperation in drafting the agreements. They are scheduled to appear before the Planning Board in conjunction with this project and things should move quickly now.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

(a) Stacking - Proposals for Ordinance Amendments

Manager Lovell stated that the Health Department has called a training session with the police department regarding the issue of stacking and things to be looking for in connection with possible stacking situations. The police appear to be on board and have a better understanding of the importance of this issue. He discussed Dover’s Property Maintenance Code and gave copies to Council to review at their convenience. Currently all of the Department Heads are reviewing this document as well.

Councilman Huston noted that he has worked with this code and feels there are a lot of shortcomings, particularly with regard to authorities entering a property. He doesn’t want to see those same methods adopted by Randolph Township and feels this document might not be a good model to use for strengthening our ordinances.

Township Attorney Buzak summarized a letter he had sent to the Council dealing with the Maintenance Code and a couple of areas where the ordinance could be strengthened. His suggestions included adding a registration requirement, a Certificate of Habitability inspection requirement, reducing the number of units of multiple family-owner occupied dwellings from four to two, checking tax records to ensure rental properties have been registered, inspections taking place on an annual basis rather than when there is a change in tenants, and having the Zoning Officer sign off for a Certificate of Habitability.

Mayor Algeier asked about manpower and costs necessary to implement inspections.

Manager Lovell responded that the Fire Official has to inspect the entire building. If he were to notice some possible stacking violations, then the Zoning Officer would be notified. However, if there are no visible violations, the Fire Official can just simply pass that information along to the Zoning Officer. The Manager asked the Council to consider the information and recommendations in their reading material so that it can be discussed at the next meeting. He will also be bringing in the Department Heads to present their ideas to the Council.

Councilman Huston expressed concern that the discussions had not touched on problems existing at the garden apartments and would like to focus attention on that area as well as privately owned properties.

(b) Professional Service Agreements/March 2

Manager Lovell provided disclosure certifications for the remaining professional services awards along with a list of all of the organizations they were able to identify and the verbatim language taken from the manual provided by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. He also changed the two agreements which were open-ended to be closed-ended, so that if there is a need to go back and change them during the year, that can be done.

Township Attorney Buzak gave an explanation of which types of contributions are allowed and which are not allowed under the new guidelines, as well as summarizing contributions to various committees and campaigns that are or are not allowed.

2006 BUDGET REVIEW

Manager Lovell reviewed various memorandums to the Council pertaining to the questions raised at the budget meeting. Items discussed included: salary increase for the Planning and Zoning Administrator, the history of state aid from 2001 to the present, pension billing from 1997 to the present, personnel costs, police schedule, residential development, various recreation programs, transport costs for residents, Nextel Blackberry units, the telephone system, and court revenue.

John Van Brunt gave a presentation to the Council detailing the various programs offered by Parks and Recreation and fees, costs, and revenue associated with those programs.

Councilman Manning stated that he would be interested in seeing new programs added that could potentially generate a profit.

Mr. Van Brunt responded that they are always looking and trying to add new programs. He noted that it is their goal to remain competitive with regard to pricing the programs, and that sometimes space or resource limitations have to be considered.

Manager Lovell stated that he and Michael Soccio did a page-by-page review of the budget and tried to avoid making cuts to the budget that would impact services where it would be noticeable to the public and also trying to maintain an accurate appropriations level. He then summarized the areas that will be adjusted, including:

  • Finance - Salary and Wages
  • Building and Grounds - Other Expenses
  • Planning - Other Expenses
  • MIS - Other Expenses
  • Economic Development - Other Expenses
  • Board of Health - Other Expenses
  • Distressed Properties
  • Construction - Salary and Wages
  • Fire - Salary and Wages
  • Police - Salary and Wages
  • Snow Removal Overtime
  • Salt
  • Celebration of Public Events
  • Landmarks
  • Group Insurance
  • Contingency
  • Capital Outlay
  • Traffic Controllers
  • Manpower Study
  • Zoning Costs

The LOSAP cost of living for township volunteers and the clean-up for the Cohn Farm will remain in the budget.

The Manager would like the Council to consider using Open Space Trust Funds money to clean-up or repair property acquisitions. Council needs to determine if the existing bond ordinance allows for such a use or if the entire amount should be listed in the budget and an ordinance drafted that takes the money out of the Open Space Trust Fund. Having an ordinance that takes the money from the Open Space Trust Fund would ensure that the public would be aware of this expenditure and they would have a chance to voice their opinion.

There was some Council discussion on whether money should be added to the fireworks display at the Freedom Festival. There was also discussion about funds remaining from the bicentennial dinner dance that have been designated as scholarship money.

There was discussion concerning an asset property on Center Road. The Manager plans to invite the Center Road Association to attend a meeting on this property, but Council needs to determine if they are going to decide what to do with the property and inform the Association or discuss what to do with the property when the Center Road Association is present.

Deputy Mayor Obremski asked about the police manpower study.

Discussion followed on off-duty officers hired for various functions around town.

Manager Lovell reported that the study of the police department is based on demand for service, not on operation.

There is concern that such a study would be undertaken by a law enforcement professional, therefore it may not be objective.

Councilman Manning is in favor of improvements to the MIS and computer system as a way to save money on paper.

Mayor Algeier stated that the police manpower study and MIS improvements will be taken off of the budget cut list and put back in the budget for further discussion.

Manager Lovell stated that he will go back to the budget and go through the next round of reductions, which will include service areas and personnel cuts.

REVIEW AND SET PROPOSED AGENDA FOR MARCH 2, 2006 REGULAR MEETING

COUNCIL AND MANAGER COMMENTS

There were no comments from the Council or Manager.

OPEN TO PUBLIC

Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, asked if the budget documents discussed would be made available to the public.

The Manager responded that he will make all the documents available.

Mrs. Stewart asked why the listed salary expenditure for the Animal Control Department was so low considering there are six employees.

Michael Soccio replied that only one employee is covered in the budget. The rest of the employees are covered through the Dog Trust, which is money raised through licensing, etc.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

There was no Executive Session.

ADJOURNMENT

Mayor Algeier adjourned the meeting at 10:30 p.m.

Donna Marie Luciani
Acting Township Clerk