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: March 15, 2007

A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 8:00 p.m. by Mayor Obremski. 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 5, 2007 by emailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on January 4, 2007. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Morris County Daily Record, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, and in the Randolph Reporter on January 11, 2007.

PRESENT:
Councilman Algeier (arrived 9:10 p.m.)
Councilman Alpert
Councilman Metz
Councilman Napoliello
Deputy Mayor Mitsch
Mayor Obremski

ABSENT: Councilwoman Price

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

Mayor Obremski led the Pledge of Allegiance.

PROCLAMATION

(A) Click It or Ticket

WHEREAS, there were 773 motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey in 2006; and

WHEREAS, a large percentage of the motor vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes were not wearing a safety belt; and

WHEREAS, use of the safety belt remains the most effective way to avoid death or serious injury in a motor vehicle crash; and

WHEREAS, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 135,000 lives were saved by safety belt usage nationally between 1975 - 2000; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey will participate in the nationwide Click It or Ticket safety belt mobilization from May 21 through June 3, 2007, in an effort to raise awareness and increase safety belt usage through a combination of enforcement and education; and

WHEREAS, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety has set a goal of increasing the safety belt usage rate in the state from the current level of 90 percent to 92 percent; and

WHEREAS, a further increase in safety belt usage in New Jersey will save lives on our roadways.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Michael Obremski, Mayor, Township of Randolph in the County of Morris, New Jersey, in conjunction with the Randolph Township Police Department, declares his support for the Click It or Ticket safety belt mobilization both locally and nationally from May 21 through June 3, 2007, and pledges to increase awareness of the mobilization and the benefits of safety belt use.

COUNCIL AND MANAGER REPORTS

Councilman Metz expressed optimism over recent efforts of the Traffic Committee and the School Board to implement changes to the teen driving safety education program.

Councilman Alpert reported that he, Manager Lovell, and Police Chief Kazaba attended a Security Council Meeting at Greystone Hospital where they learned that residents of Greystone will be moving to a new facility in September or October. There will be another meeting of the Security Council that the Councilman plans to attend and there should be more to report at that time.

Mayor Obremski attended a Parks Committee meeting where there was discussion regarding the use of the turf field at Freedom Park. Statistics show that the turf field has sustained activity equal to approximately seven grass fields. There will be a meeting of the Mayor’s Health and Wellness Committee where the final details will be worked out for the stroll, roll and run program.

Deputy Mayor Mitsch reported that the Planning Board denied an application by Avalon Bay Properties to build rental apartments due in large part to the high density proposed in the plan.

Manager Lovell reported that he is in the process of reaching out to contacts at the DOT regarding a recent article in the Star Ledger pertaining to Sussex Turnpike improvements.

At this point in the meeting, a resident declared the meeting illegal since the front doors of the Municipal Building were locked, thereby denying the public access to the meeting and violating the Sunshine Law. She indicated that she would initiate a lawsuit against the Council unless the meeting was re-opened from the beginning.

Township Attorney Buzak advised that, although he respectfully disagreed with the resident’s opinion that the meeting was illegal since the side door of the building was not locked and the meeting was open to the public, under threat of a possible suit the Mayor should re-open the meeting from the beginning of the agenda.

RE-OPENING OF REGULAR MEETING

Mayor Obremski called the March 15, 2007, Council Meeting to order at 8:15 p.m. 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 5, 2007 by emailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on January 4, 2007. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Morris County Daily Record, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, and in the Randolph Reporter on January 11, 2007.

PRESENT:
Councilman Algeier (arrived 9:10 p.m.)
Councilman Alpert
Councilman Metz
Councilman Napoliello
Deputy Mayor Mitsch
Mayor Obremski

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

Manager Lovell noted that he received word from Councilwoman Price that she was out of town on business and would not be at the meeting. He also noted that Councilman Algeier would be arriving late to the meeting.

Mayor Obremski led the Pledge of Allegiance.

PROCLAMATION

(A) Click It or Ticket

WHEREAS, there were 773 motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey in 2006; and

WHEREAS, a large percentage of the motor vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes were not wearing a safety belt; and

WHEREAS, use of the safety belt remains the most effective way to avoid death or serious injury in a motor vehicle crash; and

WHEREAS, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 135,000 lives were saved by safety belt usage nationally between 1975 - 2000; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey will participate in the nationwide Click It or Ticket safety belt mobilization from May 21 through June 3, 2007, in an effort to raise awareness and increase safety belt usage through a combination of enforcement and education; and

WHEREAS, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety has set a goal of increasing the safety belt usage rate in the state from the current level of 90 percent to 92 percent; and

WHEREAS, a further increase in safety belt usage in New Jersey will save lives on our roadways.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Michael Obremski, Mayor, Township of Randolph in the County of Morris, New Jersey, in conjunction with the Randolph Township Police Department, declares his support for the Click It or Ticket safety belt mobilization both locally and nationally from May 21 through June 3, 2007, and pledges to increase awareness of the mobilization and the benefits of safety belt use.

COUNCIL AND MANAGER REPORTS

Deputy Mayor Mitsch reported that the Planning Board denied an application by Avalon Bay Properties to build rental apartments largely due to density issues.

Councilman Metz expressed optimism on efforts between the Traffic Committee and the Board of Education to implement the teen driver safety program into the curriculum.

Councilman Alpert reported that he, Manager Lovell and Police Chief Kazaba attended the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital Security Council Meeting. Residents of the hospital will be moving to new facilities in September or October. Issues discussed at this meeting will be clarified at a future meeting of the Security Council.

Mayor Obremski attended a Parks Committee meeting where discussion centered on the turf field. Statistics show that the turf field is used the equivalent of seven grass fields during the year. The Mayor asked for a future update from the Manager on a request to the local electric company to donate $1,000.00 to the Freedom Festival.

Manager Lovell reported that he is not optimistic about Sussex Turnpike improvements but is awaiting a response from his contact at the DOT for an update and will brief the Council when he has more information. He also noted that the cost for demolishing the buildings at Greystone is approximately $26,000,000.00.

OPEN TO PUBLIC

Adam Zyto, 18 Alpine Drive, asked for confirmation of a rumor that the Council will be voting on the pool proposal during the first week of April and asked that any reports be distributed to the public and the press for review before any action by the Council is taken.

Manager Lovell responded that his report analyzing the financial aspects of the project will be completed within two weeks and he will be providing that report to the Council and to the public. There is enough flexibility in the schedule to allow discussion. Once the Council receives the Manager’s report, they will determine whether they want to move forward or possibly send the report back to the Pool Committee for further study. Funding the pool involves introducing an ordinance and then a month later holding a public hearing on the ordinance before adoption.

Nancie Ludwig, 14 Lookout Road, asked whether bonds could be converted from short-term to long term. She asked if retail stores along Sussex Turnpike would be affected if sewers were not put in. Ms. Ludwig expressed concern over what is not included in the proposed budget, such as a shortage of police officers in light of new commercial development along Route 10 and lack of funds for a communications desk for the police.

Manager Lovell responded that a debt analysis is being done at this time to determine whether it makes sense to go to long term with bonds. Regarding police staffing issues and the budget, at this time there are no new positions proposed. Concerning the communications desk, at this time Morris County is moving towards centralized dispatch for the county and Randolph hopes to be included in the second phase of implementation in that program. Sewers along Sussex Turnpike is a separate issue from the improvements being considered at this time by the DOT and, if necessary, the design and construction of sewers will be completed by Randolph Township.

Mrs. Ludwig asked about money in the budget for Mt. Freedom improvements.

Manager Lovell responded that the Council has gone through a process of refining redevelopment and municipal improvements in the Mt. Freedom area and money has been previously set aside for the installation of sewers in Mt. Freedom.

COMBINED ACTION ITEMS

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

AYES:
Councilman Alpert
Councilman Metz
Councilman Napoliello
Deputy Mayor Mitsch
Mayor Obremski

NAYS: None

ABSENT: Councilman Algeier
Councilwoman Price

A. Refunds/Adjustments Resolutions

(1) Refund Road Opening Cash Bond for Block 19.02, Lot 19, To Mark Callinan—$300.00

R-92-07

WHEREAS, on December 13, 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 water system for 18 Shongum Road, Block 19.02, Lot 19; 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 Mr. Mark Callinan, 18 Shongum Road, Randolph, NJ 07869.

(2) Refund Overestimated Water Meter Reading for Block 21.09, Lot 12, to Jay and Patti Starzec—$766.77

R-93-07

WHEREAS, Jay and Patti Starzec, 4 Stonehill Road, Block 21.09, Lot 12, were estimated for their water service for several quarters; and

WHEREAS, the Township was finally able to obtain an actual reading; and

WHEREAS, based on the actual reading, Mr. and Mrs. Starzec were overestimated for several quarters which resulted in an overpayment of $766.77; and

WHEREAS, Mr. and Mrs. Starzec have requested a refund in the amount of $766.77.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council, Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that the Finance Director be instructed to refund $766.77 to Jay and Patti Starzec, 4 Stonehill Road, Randolph, NJ 07869.

(3) Refund Registration Fee Due to Cancellation of Art Class To Mr. and Mrs. Rago—$175.00

R-94-07

WHEREAS, Mr. and Mrs. Rago registered their child for an Artworks Art Class and paid the fee of $175.00; and

WHEREAS, their son will not be attending the art class due to the cancellation of the class from lack of enrollment.

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 John Van Brunt, Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services, that $175.00 be refunded to Mr. and Mrs. Rago, 12 Shongum Road, Randolph, NJ 07869.

(4) Release Maintenance Cash Bond for On-Site Water Line Installation at Block 49, Lot 29, to Meadow Lane Estates—$23,677.50

R-95-07

WHEREAS, a Maintenance Cash Bond in the amount of $23,677.50 was posted by Meadow Lane Estates in July of 2000 to serve as the Maintenance Guarantee for the on-site water line installation; and

WHEREAS, the on-site water improvements have been inspected and no additional maintenance is required; and

WHEREAS, the term of the Maintenance Guarantee is for a period of two years following final topping of the roadways; and

WHEREAS, the roadways received their final topping and it is recommended by the Township Engineer that the Maintenance Guarantee be refunded.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph that the Maintenance Cash Bond of $23,677.50, plus accrued interest, be released to Meadow Lane Estates, LLC, 1325 Morris Avenue, Union, New Jersey, 07083-0685.

B. Consenting to the Proposed Water Quality Management Amendment For Heritage Village 55

R-96-07

WHEREAS, the developer for the Heritage Village 55 Site Plan proposes to provide for the orderly development of wastewater treatment facilities within the Township of Randolph; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) requires that proposed wastewater treatment and conveyance facilities as well as wastewater treatment service areas, and related subjects, be in conformance with an approved WQM plan; and

WHEREAS, the NJDEP has established the WQM plan amendment procedure as the method of incorporating unplanned facilities into a WQM plan; and

WHEREAS, a proposed WQM plan amendment was noticed in the New Jersey Register on February 20, 2007, as Heritage Village 55 Proposed Amemdment to the Upper Raritan and Northeast Water Quality Management (WQM) Plan prepared by Schoor Depalma Incorporated.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED on this 15th day of March, 2007, by the governing body of the Township of Randolph that:

1. The Township of Randolph hereby consents to the amendment entitled Heritage Village 55 Proposed Amendment to the Upper Raritan and Northeast Water Quality Management (WQM) Plans, and publicly noticed in the New Jersey Register on February 20, 2007, and prepared by Schoor Depalma Incorporated, for the purpose of its incorporation into the applicable WQM plan(s).

2. This consent shall be submitted to the NJDEP in accordance with NJAC 7:15-3.4.

C. Appointing Kathleen Heath to the Position of Registrar of Vital Statistics for a Three Year Term

R-97-07

WHEREAS, the Registrar of Vital Statistics for the Township of Randolph, New Jersey, Clement R. Ferdinando, Jr., will not be serving as Registrar of Vital Statistics for the Township of Randolph, effective January 1, 2007; and

WHEREAS, Kathleen Heath was appointed acting Registrar of Vital Statistics effective January 1, 2007.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Honorable Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph that Kathleen Heath is hereby appointed to fill the three year term of the Registrar of Vital Statistics.

D. Insurance Coverage for Randolph Township Senior Club

R-98-07

WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph is a participating member of the Morris County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund (the “Fund”) relative to General Liability and other coverage; and

WHEREAS, the Fund has adopted certain criteria to distinguish between bona fide municipal activities and other quasi-public entities not sponsored by the municipality and, therefore, not subject to coverage by the Fund; and

WHEREAS, it has been determined that in order to be covered by the Fund, an organization or activity meet the test that its function is of the type that historically municipalities have undertaken themselves or have provided with insurance coverage and/or is one which advances a bona fide local public purpose on a non-profit basis typically met by local government, the benefits of which are available to the municipality in general; and

WHEREAS, the Township has asked the Fund to extend General Liability and non-Owned Automobile Liability Coverage to the Randolph Township Senior Citizens Club.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph as follows:

It is hereby certified that the above-listed organization exists within the Township of Randolph as a bona fide charitable, educational, or recreational activity of the municipality and is, in fact, an organization that supports and/or provides services to the municipality in general and, as such, is sponsored or subsidized directly by the municipality.

The Township of Randolph does hereby request that the Randolph Township Senior Citizens Club be named as additional insured for general liability and non-owned automobile liability coverage in accordance with the applicable limits and restrictions.

A certified copy of this Resolution shall be filed with the Coverage Committee Chair, c/o PERMA, Park 80 West, Plaza One, Saddle Brook, NJ 07663.

E. Approving Transfers Made Between the 2006 Budget Appropriation Reserves—$5,100.00

R-99-07

WHEREAS, various 2006 bills have been presented for payment this year, which bills were not covered by order number and/or recorded at the time of transfers between the 2006 Budget Appropriation Reserve in the last two months of 2006; and

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:4-59 provides that all unexpended balances carried forward after the close of the year are available, until lapsed at the close of the succeeding year, to meet specific claims, commitments or contracts, incurred during the preceding fiscal year, and allow transfers to be made from unexpended balances which are expected to be insufficient during the first three months of the succeeding year.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph in the County of Morris that the transfers in the amount of $5,100.00 are made between the 2006 Budget Appropriation Reserves.

FromAmount ToAmount
Adm. & Exec. O.E.$2,000.00 Legal, O.E.$2,000.00
Finance Adm. S & W$3,100.00 Economic Dev. O.E.$100.00
   Health, S & W$3,000.00
Total$5,100.00 Total$5,100.00

F. Professional Services Agreement for the Defense of Tax Appeals To Appraisal Consultants Corp.—$30,000.00

R-100-07

WHEREAS, there exists a need to enter into a professional services agreement with Appraisal Consultants Corp. for the professional appraisal services in defense of tax appeals; and

WHEREAS, the cost for such appraisal services will not exceed thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.00); and

WHEREAS, funds are available for this purpose; and

WHEREAS, Gail Catania, Purchasing Coordinator, has determined and certified in writing that the value of the acquisition will exceed $17,500.00; and

WHEREAS, Appraisal Consultants Corp. has completed and submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification which certifies that Appraisal Consultants Corp. has not made any reportable contributions to a political or candidate committee in the Township of Randolph in the previous one year, and that the contract will prohibit Appraisal Consultants Corp. from making any reportable contributions through the term of the contract; and

WHEREAS, the Local Public Contracts Law (NJSA 40A:11-5 et seq.) requires that the resolution authorizing the award for professional services without competitive bid and the contract itself must be available for public inspection.

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

1. The Township of Randolph hereby authorizes the execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Appraisal Consultants Corporation.

2. A notice of this resolution shall be printed once in the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph.

3. The Business Entity Disclosure Certification and the Political Contribution Disclosure Form shall be placed on file with this resolution.

CERTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS

Dated: March 15, 2007

As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57, N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.5, and any other applicable requirement, I, Michael J. Soccio, Director of Finance of the Township of Randolph, have ascertained that funds will be available in the 2007 Budget - Tax Assessment, Other Expense, to award a contract to Appraisal Consultants Corp. for professional appraisal services in defense of tax appeals in the amount not to exceed $30,000.

_____________________________
Michael J. Soccio
Chief Financial Officer

G. Approving Road Closings for 10th Annual William and Teresa Wright Memorial 5K Run/3K Walk

R-101-07

WHEREAS, Robert R. Gorman, Director/Treasurer of the Teresa G. Wright Promise Foundation, is requesting road closings and Randolph Township Police Department assistance on June 16, 2007, for the Tenth Annual William and Teresa Wright Memorial 5K Run/3K Walk; and

WHEREAS, the Teresa G. Wright Promise Foundation is a non-profit public charitable organization devoted to promote highway safety, to effect the eradication of drunk/impaired driving, to educate the public on these issues, and to meet the general needs of society.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that the Township Council supports the road closings for the Tenth Annual William and Teresa Wright Memorial 5K Run/3K Walk.

H. Extend the Contract to Furnish Industrial and Commercial Equipment and Supplies for an Additional Twelve Months

R-102-07

WHEREAS, a contract was awarded on April 6, 2006, to furnish industrial and commercial equipment and supplies for a twelve-month period from April 1, 2006 - March 31, 2007; and

WHEREAS, this contract was bid with an option for a second year; and

WHEREAS, the Township would like to exercise this option and extend the contract through March 31, 2008.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Township Council, Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that the contract be awarded to Vision Supply, Inc. for Industrial and Commercial Equipment and Supplies for an additional twelve months, from April 1, 2007 - March 31, 2008, at a price of fifteen percent (15%) off the catalogs (5% off Champion Catalog) as needed.

I. Authorize ANJEC Grant Application to Undertake a Watershed Restoration Planning Study for the Black River Watershed

R-103-07

WHEREAS, the Lamington River/Black River is impaired due to high concentrations of fecal coliform; and

WHEREAS, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) has grant monies available that might be used to assess water quality and physical stream conditions; and

WHEREAS, a joint initiative is proposed that would produce a study on behalf of Randolph Township, Roxbury Township, Mine Hill Township, Morris County and the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority; and

WHEREAS, the grant application requests the amount of $10,000.00 for this study with a matching cash contribution from the Township of $1,000.00 and an in-kind match of $3,000.00; and

WHEREAS, Rutgers University Water Resource Program will provide technical services to conduct the project study.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that the Township Manager be and is hereby authorized to submit an ANJEC grant application in the amount of $10,000.00 with a matching cash contribution of $1,000.00 and an in-kind match of $3,000.00 from the Township of Randolph for the purpose of conducting a Watershed Restoration Planning Study for the Black River Watershed.

J. Raffles

(1) Mt. Olive Junior Baseball/Softball Association, On-Premise, 50/50 at the Skylands at Randolph, 792 Route 10 West, Randolph, NJ, April 20, 2007, 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

DISCUSSION

(A) 2007 Budget—Continued

Manager Lovell reviewed Council Letters 8-07, 9-07 and 10-07 as they pertain to the proposed budget. Highlights included:

  • State aid will increase $48,578.00
  • A New Jersey Clean Communities Grant for $29,584.00 will be added
  • A federal grant for $225,000.00 for fire apparatus will be added
  • A New Jersey DWI grant for $10,000 will be added
  • Currently the tax increase for the municipal portion of the budget is 1.8 percent
  • Reserve for uncollected taxes for school and county push the tax rate to a 38 percent increase
  • The need to identify a $282,354.00 reduction in the budget to achieve a tax rate of 3 cents

The Manager reiterated the options open to the Council who anticipate several large tax appeals this year, which include increasing the reserve for uncollected taxes, holding the reserve steady and possibly incurring a tax spike in the near future, or the use of anticipation notes that would be repaid over several years.

The area of the budget that would allow for the most flexibility for cutting would be in the capital outlay program with the exception of the purchase of police vehicles and a grant for historic preservation.

The Manager focused on several questions that were forwarded to him regarding the budget. They included:

  • Would a spike in taxes affect the AA+ bond rating Randolph currently enjoys? (Yes)
  • How many towns in New Jersey have achieved a AA+ or better rating? (Out of 550 municipalities in New Jersey, seven towns have achieved AA+ or better, Randolph being one of them)
  • What is the status of the Center Road property? (Owners or heirs of the owners need to be located)
  • How Randolph’s health plan compares to the State’s health plan (Randolph employees have been paying a share of the costs, which is something the state is only now asking employees to do)
  • Why did Public Works salaries increase by 1.51 percent? (Higher end employees have left and been replaced by workers at the lower end of the pay scale)
  • What is included under miscellaneous revenues? (Fees and permits for the Clerk’s Office, Registrar fees, Police fees and permits, and Board of Adjustment fees and permits)
  • What are energy receipts? (Gross receipts and franchise taxes to the state)
  • Would a paperless Council have an effect on printing costs and would time and material offset the cost of maintaining the system? (Long term would probably show efficiencies in time and paper costs)
  • Would posting official notices and ordinances on the web site bring advertising costs down? (Yes)
  • Explanation of the fire hydrant item. (It is a surcharge to communities for the maintenance of hydrants)
  • Why was the fire suppression system for data processing removed? (There was duplication and the money for that is located in the capital improvement budget)
  • What has happened to the Teen Center? (Use has diminished greatly and there is no longer a need to open it on Friday evenings except for special events)
  • Town Hall improvements. (Expansion is a result of mandates to update the court; also expansion of the police department and handicapped parking in the front of the building)
  • The Recreation Scholarship Program (details attached to the document)
  • The expense for online tax payments and processing fees (this expense offsets revenues since bank fees have been greatly reduced by using online payments while creating convenience for the residents)
  • Can part time employees’ hours be shown from prior positions? (Yes, and it will be cleaned up in the final draft)

Councilman Napoliello made a motion to authorize the Township Attorney to initiate the process of locating the Center Road property owners to obtain a quit of claim deed. Councilman Metz seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Alpert
Councilman Metz
Councilman Napoliello
Deputy Mayor Mitsch
Mayor Obremski

NAYS: None

ABSENT: Councilman Algeier
Councilwoman Price

The Manager also discussed the decline of the recycling program in Randolph as well as on a national level. The public needs to be further educated about recycling, possibly by once again addressing school children in the hopes that they will bring the information home to their families.

Mayor Obremski suggested Council take the time to review the documents from the Manager and discuss the budget again on March 29.

(B) Zone Change Applications

Manager Lovell noted that there are several zone changes that need to be developed in the form of ordinances and summarized for the Council what those changes were. He suggested drafting separate ordinances for each circumstance.

Mayor Obremski, Deputy Mayor Mitsch, and Councilman Alpert agreed that separate ordinances would be appropriate.

COUNCIL COMMENTS

Councilman Metz stated that the Finance Director and the Township Manager did a very good job with the budget. Although Randolph is on target with health benefits and financial stability in the form of the AA+ bond rating, there are opportunities for savings that could be explored, such as shared services with the Board of Education and Morris County. The Councilman also expressed belief that the public needs to be more informed of programs available in this community and the tremendous costs involved if state requirements are not strictly adhered to, such as the leaf collection program.

Councilman Alpert expressed his belief that the budget was well prepared.

Councilman Napoliello cautioned the Council on approving the Baker Residential development proposal. He is concerned that such a large development would impact schools and roads.

Deputy Mayor Mitsch requested that the documents discussed this evening be posted on the web site so that residents can see the financial strength of Randolph.

Councilman Alpert agreed with Councilman Napoliello about the impact to the schools and roads if the Baker Residential plan is approved.

Manager Lovell noted that the Baker Residential zone change request will be a stand-alone ordinance. He also reiterated comments expressed by the Council regarding the quality of life Randolph residents enjoy and noted that there is a cost associated with maintaining that quality of life. Cuts to the budget will likely impact several of these popular programs.

Councilman Napoliello agreed that the residents expect to continue the quality of life they have come to enjoy, however it is the responsibility of the Council to look for ways to control the budget.

Councilman Algeier stated that he was happy to see the activity at Freedom Park.

OPEN TO PUBLIC

Nancie Ludwig, 14 Lookout Road, asked about capping salaries and about the $100,000.00 listed in the capital improvement program for the Cohn Farm.

Manager Lovell summarized the situation regarding clean-up of the Cohn Farm once Randolph takes possession of the property.

Ms. Ludwig commented about the Center Road situation and asked the Council to leave the property as it is. She asked how much square footage will be added to the police department with the Town Hall renovation. She disagreed with the Council banning the cap on the percent increase in property taxes and believes the Council should try to protect the taxpayers and lower the budget. She disagrees with increasing the reserve for uncollected taxes. Ms. Ludwig asked how old the turf field was and when it would need to be replaced citing a $900,000.00 expenditure in Roxbury for their turf field.

Manager Lovell responded that the turf field carpet will need to be replaced after about 10 years due to deterioration from sunlight, however the underlying infrastructure will not need any replacement. The expense of replacing the carpet was anticipated and factored in when the turf field was being discussed. The Manager again summarized for Ms. Ludwig the reasons why he is proposing increasing the reserve for uncollected taxes and how several tax appeals are driving that decision. He recommended she read the budget summary.

Ms. Ludwig stated that she has never heard of a tax appeal costing the town money, in fact the town usually makes money when tax appeals are filed.

Manager Lovell, Deputy Mayor Mitsch, and Councilman Algeier stated that Ms. Ludwig’s statement was absolutely not correct, while the Finance Director commented that in his years in Randolph only once has he seen an appeal come back as more money for the town.

Township Attorney Buzak introduced a new associate from his office, Keli Bouden, to the Council.

ADJOURNMENT

The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m.

Donna Marie Luciani
Township Clerk