All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: March 1, 2014
A. OPENING OF BUDGET MEETING
1. Call to Order
A budget meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by Mayor Loveys. 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 Randolph Reporter and the Morris County Daily Record on December 5, 2013 by e-mailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on December 5, 2013. The annual resolution, including this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official paper of the Township of Randolph, and the Daily Record on December 12, 2013.
2. Roll Call
Deputy Mayor Veech
Also present: Township Manager Lovell and Darren Maloney.
3. Mayor Loveys led the Pledge of Allegiance.
B. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Judith Stewart of 114 Everdale Road asked for dates and times of any future budget meetings. Manager Lovell replied that the introduction of the budget will be March 20, 2014, and the public hearing and adoption will be April 24, 2014.
Seeing no one further from the public, the public portion was closed.
C. BUDGET PRESENTATIONS
1. Darren Maloney—Address the Debt Service Program
Darren Maloney gave a report on the Debt Service Program which included:
- In 2017 the township will have no long term debt (serial bonds and short term notes). That is attributed to the decisions made by the township and Council over the past 20 years.
- There is about $7.5 million in short term notes as of the beginning of the year. What has been budgeted to pay down is about $470,000 of those notes between the current year budget and a reserve for debt service that was set up over the years ($370,000 from this year’s budget and $100,000 from a reserve to pay debt service). New money will be added to this so the $7.5 million number will grow, but if an aggressive pay down schedule is maintained, it will be manageable.
- Every budget year Mike liked to set up a combination of paying the serial bonds, paying down the notes with the pay-downs, plus the capital improvement fund. It is ideal to keep that combination at $2.2 million annually.
There was discussion on the meaning of no long term debt as well as the combination/calculation mentioned above.
2. Manager Lovell—2014 Budget Wrap-up
Manager Lovell reported that there was a lengthy discussion with Green Acres officials and Mendham, Randolph, and the consultant that assisted the township through the diversion process. The concerns over the testing wells on the 90 acre property are being resolved; Sal Campo will be having that professionally sealed with concrete. There was some discussion with regard to the pesticide that was used on the property; however, all levels fall within acceptable parameters. The information is being forwarded to Green Acres and it is expected to be signed off on when they receive it. Manager Lovell expressed that he would like to begin moving forward on the improvements at the Seeing Eye facility.
Manager Lovell included the following in his budget report:
- Two Council members asked for him to explain what happens if the tax rate isn’t increased by 1.9 cents this year, how that would be done, and what the long term fallout would be. He explained that there are two issues:
- The Levy Cap constrains the flexibility to fix problems that might be created in the future.
- Randolph is not a developing community. Therefore, if an economic mess is created, there isn’t the ability to grow out of it.
- If it is desired to have a flat tax this year, there will need to be $550,000 worth of adjustments. He targeted four areas in which to make that happen:
- Don’t reserve the $275,000 for the revaluation. However, it would then be paid for through a special emergency authorization which would have to be paid off in the future.
- Don’t reserve the $185,000 cash tax map appropriation capital outlay; fund it with the special emergency authorization.
- Don’t increase the Open Space and Parks Trust Fund by $56,500 with the 0.2% tax increase to that fund.
- Take $33,500 out of the capital outlay budget by taking out the things that would have the least impact such as the traffic calming devices on Millbrook, the updated employee ID system, and the new furnishings.
- In looking to the future, in 2015 there will be a $300,000 - $500,000 deficit. The Manager explained what would then happen as a result of that deficit and how it would then compound the problem into the following year. By 2016 the deficit would then be expected to be approximately $750,000. The reason being that there would be no surplus generated. In 2017 the revaluation will kick in and there will be tax appeals. Those payouts would come from the reserve for uncollected taxes which were reduced the prior two years.
- If there is an economic recession, everything the Manager projected is compounded because the revenue generation will again be in a decline.
There was some discussion by the Council members about how the budget for 2014 impacts future years.
There was also discussion about the budgeted money for the Brundage Park Playhouse.
D. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Seeing no one from the public, the public portion was closed.
E. COUNCIL COMMENTS
There were no Council comments.
F. EXECUTIVE SESSION
WHEREAS, Section 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 (N.J.S.A. 10:4-12) permits the exclusion of the public from a meeting under certain circumstances; and
WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, in the County of Morris, and State of New Jersey, as follows:
1. The public shall be excluded from the following portion of the meeting.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows:
3. As nearly as now can be ascertained, the matter or matters to be discussed at this time will be disclosed to the public at such time and under such circumstances as are prescribed by law.
4. At the conclusion of the Executive Session, the Council may reconvene in public session for the purpose of taking formal action.
Deputy Mayor Veech made a motion to move into Executive Session at 10:25 am. Councilman Forstenhausler seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Veech
Deputy Mayor Veech made a motion to return to Open Session at 11:00 am. Councilman Guadagno seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Veech
Councilman Napoliello made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 11:00 am. Councilman Guadagno seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Veech