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: July 27, 2006

A work session 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 Manning (arrived 8:10 p.m.)
Councilwoman Mitsch (arrived 8:05 p.m.)
Councilman Napoliello
Mayor Algeier

ABSENT:
Councilman Huston
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Obremski

Also present: Township Manager John Lovell and Tiena Cofoni from Township Attorney Buzak’s office.

Mayor Algeier reported that Deputy Mayor Obremski and Councilwoman Price are on vacation. Councilman Huston’s plane was delayed due to major storms in the area. Deputy Mayor Obremski will make himself available by telephone if the Council does not achieve a quorum.

Mayor Algeier led the Pledge of Allegiance.

MUNICIPAL AUDITOR’S PRESENTATION—2005 AUDIT

William Schroeder from Nisovaccia & Company presented results of a 2005 audit. He noted that Randolph was in strong financial shape and had a strong financial administration throughout the organization. The firm made two recommendations: (1) a fixed asset accounting and reporting system be implemented and maintained; and (2) address an issue with the outstanding bail account.

The Manager reported that the bail account has been addressed.

Mayor Algeier asked what Randolph’s current bond rating is. He also asked how Randolph compares for audit purposes with other towns.

Mr. Schroeder stated that Randolph has a AAa rating, which is considered very good. He also stated that Randolph is always a clean audit and is always among the top, if not the actual top, town compared to others his firm audits.

PUBLIC HEARING—2006 MORRIS COUNTY OPEN SPACE GRANT APPLICATION

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Assistant Township Manager Thomas Russo spoke before the Council concerning a grant application to the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund. The money from this grant will be used to acquire the Powers and Rebernik properties, which have a preliminary appraisal value of $845,000.00. Randolph is seeking a $400,000.00 grant, and the remaining money for the purchase will come from Green Acres and the Randolph Open Space Trust Fund. The owners of the properties have expressed an interest in discussing the acquisition, which is looked on favorably by the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund when determining grant approvals. The acquisition of these two properties will provide Randolph with unique opportunities and potential benefits, including expanding the Millbrook Valley Greenway, allowing expansion of the trail system, and protecting the Mill Brook, which has been classified as a C-1 stream. Mr. Russo urged the Council to approve the resolution. Once approved, he will hand-deliver the resolution to the County before the upcoming deadline.

Barbara Davis, chairperson of the Randolph Open Space Committee, spoke to the Council about the grant application process and also urged the Council, on behalf of the Open Space Committee, to approve the resolution for the grant to acquire the properties and preserve more green space in Randolph.

Mayor Algeier opened the meeting for public comment and discussion.

Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, stated that Randolph is going a good job in preserving open space and should continue to do so.

Hearing no further comments, the public portion of the meeting was closed.

Councilman Napoliello made a motion to adopt the resolution. Councilman Manning seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Manning
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Mayor Algeier

NAYS: None

ABSENT:
Councilman Huston
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Obremski

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WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph has considered several properties for the Morris County Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund Grant Program; and

WHEREAS, the Township has determined that the Millbrook Valley Project is the most appropriate and competitive among those considered for recommendation to the Randolph Township Council; and

WHEREAS, the grant application requires a public hearing on the proposed properties including advertisement of same and the Township Council’s authorization to proceed with the grant applications.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that a public hearing on the 2006 Morris County Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund grant application was held on July 27, 2006, as advertised, and that the Mayor and Township Manager and Assistant Township Manager are hereby authorized to complete and execute all forms associated with this grant application.

COUNCIL AND MANAGER REPORTS

Councilman Manning advised the Council that he will not be able to attend the Council meeting next week.

Mayor Algeier noted that the Planning Board approved a new application for a medical arts building, small retail center, and small bank branch on Route 10. It was the first significant commercial application approved since the adoption of the new Master Plan. The developer is willing to redo the architecture of the building to bring it into conformance with the Master Plan. There is also an application before the Planning Board for a site on Route 10 and Dover-Chester Road. There is a safety issue concerning the entrance and exit for traffic onto Dover-Chester Road, and many neighbors were at the meeting expressing their concerns.

Manager Lovell reported that the township will be receiving a dividend of approximately $88,000.00 from the North Jersey Municipal Benefits Fund this year.

OPEN TO PUBLIC

Adam Zyto, 22 Alpine Drive, thanked the Council and Library Board for moving forward with the new library proposal and urges the Council to continue showing support.

Julie Hooper, 71 Everdale Road, asked why the library referendum question is a non-binding question.

Mayor Algeier stated that municipalities can not have binding referendums. Final decisions rest with the Council, which is the law, so referendum questions have to be non-binding. However, they view the referendum as a good way to gauge public approval or disapproval of the project.

Hearing no further comments, the public portion was closed.

DISCUSSION

C. Library Referendum Language

Manager Lovell stated that the resolution the Council is viewing this evening contains language that deals with the cost of funding the project, retiring the debt service, and also attempts to project the anticipated costs of operating the library and advises the public what the tax impact will be. He feels strongly that the public be informed as much as possible regarding all of the costs associated with the proposed library.

Mayor Algeier agreed that the public be given as much information as possible. He questioned whether or not the general tax rate is going to have to absorb all of the costs that have been included.

Manager Lovell responded that each year the township puts money in the budget toward the library’s budget, which drives the municipal tax rate. However, the library has been able to accrue an annual surplus, which can be used to help off-set some of the costs and creates some flexibility. He also noted that in recent years, the equalized ratable base has grown very quickly as it relates to housing values, however housing values are not growing as quickly now.

Councilman Napoliello asked if the figures include parking lot costs. He also asked how the figures for energy from a study done almost four years ago can be comparable to a more recent study.

Manager Lovell reponded that the figures do include parking lot costs. As far as energy costs, the building has been scaled down in size, and the study done four years ago contained a built-in cost escalation factor.

Mayor Algeier asked Anita Freeman, the Library Director, if she was satisfied with the wording that will appear on the referendum question and the financial numbers the Manager and Finance Officer have mentioned.

Mrs. Freeman responded that she is satisfied with the wording and the numbers mentioned.

Nancy Metz, 42 Quail Run, is a member of the Library Board of Trustees and stated that she agrees the public should be given as much information as possible in order for them to make an informed decision when they go to the polls. Mrs. Metz also stated that she was satisfied with the wording for the proposed referendum question.

Councilman Manning made a motion to approve the resolution as drafted. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion.

Mayor Algeier suggested removing the underline from the word “not” in the proposed referendum question.

Council members Manning and Mitsch both accepted the change as recommended by the Mayor.

The following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Manning
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Mayor Algeier

NAYS: None

ABSENT:
Councilman Huston
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Obremski

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WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:37-1, when the governing body of any municipality desires to ascertain the sentiment of the legal voters of the municipality upon any question or policy pertaining to the government or internal affairs thereof, and there is no other statute by which the sentiment can be ascertained by the submission of such question to a vote of the electors in the municipality at any election to be held therein, the governing body may adopt at any regular meeting an ordinance or a resolution requesting the clerk of the county to print upon the official ballots to be used at the next ensuing general election a certain proposition to be formulated and expressed in the ordinance or resolution in concise form; and

WHEREAS, further, N.J.S.A. 19:37-1 provides that such request shall be filed with the clerk of the county not later than seventy-four (74) days previous to the election; and

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 19:37-4 provides that such result shall not bind the governing body from which the ordinance or resolution emanated, nor be taken or construed as other than an expression of sentiment by the voters, to be followed or disregarded by the governing body in its discretion; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph (ATownship@), in cooperation with the Randolph Township Library Board (ALibrary@), desires to ascertain the sentiment of the legal voters of the municipality regarding the construction of a new, two-story, 31,000 square-foot Randolph Township Public Library to be located on Township-owned property next to the Township Municipal Building on Millbrook Avenue at a total cost of approximately $12.4 million; and

WHEREAS, the Township and Library desire to submit the question to the voters at the next General Election on November 7, 2006, which requires that said request be filed with the Morris County Clerk by August 25, 2006; and

WHEREAS, the new library would replace the existing Randolph Township Library located on Calais Road; and

WHEREAS, at this time it has not yet been determined what the future use of the existing library located on Calais Road will be if the new library is built; and

WHEREAS, if the new library is constructed, it is anticipated that the resulting financial obligations will be retired through additional debt service appropriations to be funded over a twenty year period; and

WHEREAS, increased costs of operation are anticipated to sustain and support a larger library building; and

WHEREAS, the combination of additional debt service and operating costs are projected to require a property tax increase of $140.00 on the average Randolph Township home with an assessed value of $331,570.00.

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

1. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:37-1 et seq., the Township of Randolph hereby authorizes the submission of the following question to the voters at the next General Election on November 7, 2006:

QUESTION
Shall the Township of Randolph build a new, two-story, 31,000 square-foot Municipal Library to be located on Township-owned property next to the Township Municipal Building on Millbrook Avenue for a total cost of approximately $12.4 million?

EXPLANATION
A YES vote means: I am in favor of the Township of Randolph building a new, two-story, 31,000 square-foot Municipal Library to be located on Township-owned property next to the Township Municipal Building on Millbrook Avenue for a total cost of approximately $12.4 million.

The new library would replace the existing Randolph Township library located on Calais Road. At this time, it has not yet been determined what the future use of the existing library located on Calais Road will be if the new library is built.

If the new library is constructed, it is anticipated that an estimated tax increase of $140.00 on the average Randolph Township home with an assessed value of $331,570.00 will be required to fund debt service for construction of the new building and the costs associated with operating a larger facility.

A NO vote means: I am not in favor of the Township of Randolph building a new, two-story, 31,000 square-foot Municipal Library to be located on Township-owned property next to the Township Municipal Building on Millbrook Avenue for a total cost of approximately $12.4 million.

2. The proper Township officials, its Attorney and Manager are hereby authorized and directed to take any and all steps necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Resolution.

3. The Township Clerk is hereby directed to immediately forward to the Morris County Clerk a certified original of this adopted resolution requesting that the Morris County Clerk print the above-stated Question and Explanation on the official ballot to be used at the November 7, 2006 General Election.

4. This Resolution shall take effect immediately.

A. 38 Center Road Property—Council Letter #27-06

Manager Lovell informed the Council that, in line with their question to the Township Attorney regarding a transfer of development rights, the Township Attorney has determined that a transfer of development rights can not occur for the property, although theoretically they could sell a conservation easement for the property. The Manager contacted the head of the Center Road Association and it is clear to the Manager that they do not wish to purchase the property themselves. The Council needs to determine if they wish to keep the property as part of their open space inventory or sell the property at auction. If Council decides to sell the property, they have the option of subdividing the property into two lots or allowing a potential developer to subdivide the property.

Councilman Napoliello made a motion to sell the property as two lots. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Mayor Algeier

NAYS: Councilman Manning

ABSENT:
Councilman Huston
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Obremski

Manager Lovell noted that the township will be going before the Planning Board to obtain a subdivision, and he anticipates a sale should be ready sometime in the fall.

D. Request to Auction Surplus Property—Block 112.01, Lot 52

Assistant Township Manager Russo stated that a resident is requesting to purchase a parcel of township-owned property adjacent to his own that used to house a pump station. The Township no longer has a need for the property, and the Open Space Committee encourages the town to sell it. Should the Council decide to sell it, it must be done through an auction process. Seeing as the lot is undersized, the property has to be offered first to the contiguous property owners. At this time, it is possible that two or three of the adjacent property owners could significantly enhance their property through the purchase of this parcel. That could drive the bidding process up. Council will need to determine a price at which to set the reserve.

Ms. Cofoni stated that there will be a restriction stating that the buyer of this parcel must merge it with their property and it can never be subdivided.

Councilman Manning expressed concern that the purchase of the parcel would mean the loss of a wooded lot, however he approves of the restriction to future subdivision.

The Manager stated that he will get an appraiser’s point of view of the value of the property and return to the Council with that information in order for them to determine a starting price.

B. Additional Zoning Amendments/J. Huston

Manager Lovell stated that he’d like to carry this item to when Councilman Huston is present.

REVIEW AND SET PROPOSED AGENDA FOR AUGUST 3, 2006 REGULAR MEETING

Manager Lovell reviewed the items on the proposed agenda. He mentioned for the Council’s information that he requested a study on cell towers by Robert Michaels at the suggestion of the Township Attorney. He also wants the Council to be aware that he now sits on the YMCA Board of Directors since there is an item concerning the YMCA on the agenda.

COMBINED ACTION

Councilman Manning made a motion to approve the Combined Action Items. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Manning
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Mayor Algeier

NAYS: None

ABSENT:
Councilman Huston
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Obremski

A. Refund/Adjustment Resolutions

(1) Refund Road Opening Cash Bond for Belgian Block Curbline at 43 Valley View Avenue to Stanley Niemiec—$300.00

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WHEREAS, on April 21, 2006, Engineering received and deposited with the Finance Department a check in the amount of $300.00 covering a road opening cash bond for the purpose of installing a Belgian block curb-line for 43 Valley View Avenue, Block 5, Lot 79; and

WHEREAS, the road opening has been repaired, inspected, and found to be acceptable.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that it is recommended by Carl J. Bressan, Township Engineer, that the cash bond in the amount of $300.00 be refunded to Stanley Niemiec of 43 Valley View Avenue, Randolph, NJ 07869.

(2) Refund Road Opening Cash Bond for Connecting Storm Drain at 2 Morgan Court to Susan Casareale—$300.00

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WHEREAS, on June 6, 2006, Engineering received and deposited with the Finance Department a check in the amount of $300.00 covering a road opening cash bond for the purpose of connecting to the storm drain for 2 Morgan Court, Block 110, Lot 29.10; and

WHEREAS, the road opening has been repaired, inspected, and found to be acceptable.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that it is recommended by Carl J. Bressan, Township Engineer, that the cash bond in the amount of $300.00 be refunded to Susan Casareale of 2 Morgan Court, Randolph, NJ 07869.

(3) Refund Road Opening Cash Bond for Installing Sewer Service at 26 Lake Short Drive South to Joanne Kares—$300.00

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WHEREAS, on May 2, 2006, Engineering received and deposited with the Finance Department a check in the amount of $300.00 covering a road opening cash bond for the purpose of installing sewer service for 26 Lake Shore Drive South, Block 210, Lot 9; and

WHEREAS, the road opening has been repaired, inspected and found to be acceptable.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that it is recommended by Carl J. Bressan, Township Engineer, that the cash bond in the amount of $300.00 be refunded to Joanne Kares, 26 Lake Shore Drive South, Randolph, NJ 07869.

B. Authorizing Morris County Open Space Grant Application for Millbrook Valley Project

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Acted on separately.

C. Authorizing Settlement of Litigation and Execution of Settlement Agreements and Cost Sharing—Westminster Realty Corp & Randolph Realty, LLC with Townships of Randolph and Morris

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WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph (“Randolph”) has succeeded to the rights of the Randolph Township Municipal Utilities Authority under a certain Sewer Service Agreement, dated February 24, 1993, with the Township of Morris (“1993 Sewer Service Agreement”) regarding the discharge of sewage generated within the Township of Randolph into the sanitary sewer lines (“Butterworth Sewers”) and the Butterworth Sewerage Treatment Plant (“Butterworth STP”) owned and operated by the Township of Morris (“Morris”) (both the Butterworth STP and the Butterworth Sewers sometimes hereinafter known as the “Butterworth System”); and

WHEREAS, said 1993 Sewer Service Agreement provided that certain improvements be made to the Butterworth Sewers within both Randolph and Morris by Randolph; and

WHEREAS, certain of those improvements have not been completed by Randolph; and

WHEREAS, Westminster Realty Corp. and Randolph Realty Associates, LLC (“Developer”) as the owner and contract purchaser of certain lands situated in Randolph comprising approximately 17.51 acres, more or less, identified as Block 101, Lots 21 and 22, on the Official Tax Map of the Township of Randolph (the “Property”) obtained preliminary and final site plan approvals from the Randolph Planning Board on or about December 12, 2000, for the construction of one hundred sixteen (116) unit project located in Randolph and commonly known as Kensington Square (the “Developer’s Project”); and

WHEREAS, said approval required that the Developer’s Project be connected to the Butterworth STP through the Butterworth Sewers in Randolph and Morris; and

WHEREAS, the Developer was unable to connect to the same due to the fact that certain infrastructure improvements had not as yet been constructed under the 1993 Sewer Service Agreement; and

WHEREAS, the Developer instituted litigation captioned Westminster Realty Corporation and Randolph Realty Associates, LLC v. Township of Randolph and Township of Morris, Docket No. MRS-L-960-04 (the “Litigation”) against Randolph and Morris to compel the connection of the Developer’s Project to the Butterworth STP and the Butterworth Sewers; and

WHEREAS, Randolph and Morris asserted certain crossclaims against each other and counterclaims against the Developer in connection with said Litigation; and

WHEREAS, the parties, including the Developer, have come to an amicable resolution of all claims set forth in the Litigation; and

WHEREAS, the claims of the Developer against Randolph and Morris and the claims of Randolph and Morris against the Developer have been amicably resolved as set forth in a certain Settlement Agreement of Litigation as to the Claims of Plaintiff against Defendants and Defendants against Plaintiff (“Developer’s Settlement Agreement of Litigation”); and

WHEREAS, the claims of Randolph against Morris and Morris against Randolph have been amicably resolved as set forth in a certain Settlement Agreement of Litigation as to Claims by and Against the Township of Randolph and the Township of Morris (“Randolph and Morris Settlement Agreement of Litigation”); and

WHEREAS, Randolph and the Developer have negotiated an allocation of costs for the construction of a portion of the Butterworth Sewer improvements to be constructed under the Developer’s Settlement Agreement of Litigation (“Cost Sharing Agreement Off-Tract Improvement—Bradford Project”); and

WHEREAS, Randolph desires to formally approve said Agreements and authorize their execution simultaneously with the authorization and execution thereof by Morris and the Developers as appropriate.

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

1. Randolph hereby authorizes and approves the settlement of certain Litigation captioned Westminster Realty Corporation and Randolph Realty Associates, LLC v. Township of Randolph and Township of Morris, Docket No. MRS-L-960-04 (the “Litigation”) as set forth in the various Agreements authorized below.

2. The terms and conditions of a certain Agreement entitled “Settlement Agreement of Litigation,” dated July 19, 2006, related to the settlement of the Litigation in connection with the settlement of claims of Westminster Realty Corporation and Randolph Realty Associates, LLC against the Township of Randolph and the Township of Morris (“Developer’s Settlement of Litigation”) be and the same are hereby approved, ratified and confirmed by Randolph.

3. The terms and conditions of a certain Settlement Agreement entitled “Settlement Agreement of Litigation as to Claims by and Against the Township of Randolph and the Township of Morris,” dated July 19, 2006, (“Randolph and Morris Settlement Agreement of Litigation”) be and the same are hereby approved, ratified and confirmed by Randolph.

4. The terms and conditions of a certain Agreement entitled “Cost Sharing Agreement Off-Tract Improvement—Bradford Project,” by and between Westminster Realty Corporation and Randolph Realty Associates, LLC (“Developer”) and the Township of Randolph, dated July 19, 2006, (“Cost Sharing Agreement Off-Tract Improvement—Bradford Project”) be and the same are hereby approved, ratified and confirmed by Randolph.

5. The Mayor and Township Clerk are authorized to execute the following Agreements:

(i) Developer’s Settlement Agreement of Litigation;
(ii) Randolph and Morris Settlement Agreement of Litigation; and
(iii) Cost Sharing Agreement Off-Tract Improvement—Bradford Project

and to take any and all steps necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Resolution simultaneously with the authorization and execution of said Agreements by Morris and the Developer’s, respectively.

6. All other officers, independent consultants of Randolph and employees are further authorized and directed to take any and all steps necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Resolution.

7. This Resolution shall take effect immediately.

COUNCIL AND MANAGER COMMENTS

Mayor Algeier reported that he was contacted by a broker on behalf of Obsessions who wanted to know the town’s plans for Obsessions. The Mayor responded that no site meetings are conducted with anybody looking to develop or do business in town. Meetings should be first discussed with the Township Manager, who will bring it to the attention of the Council if he determines it worthwhile.

Manager Lovell added that he has spoken to the owners of Obsessions repeatedly. They are not happy with their zoning restrictions and what they propose doing is far in excess of what would be considered reasonable for Randolph.

Councilman Napoliello reported that there was a resignation on the Planning Board and nominated Thomas McArthur to fill that spot.

Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Manning
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Mayor Algeier

NAYS: None

ABSENT:
Councilman Huston
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Obremski

Manager Lovell reported that there would be no Executive Session this evening.

OPEN TO PUBLIC

Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, noted that she supported the proposed library and appreciates the Council’s support of the library as well.

ADJOURNMENT

The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m.

Donna Marie Luciani
Township Clerk