All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: June 8, 2021
A. OPENING OF REGULAR MEETING
1. Call to Order
A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 5:30 p.m. by Mayor Forstenhausler. This meeting is held pursuant to the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act. Adequate and electronic 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, on the main entrance doors to 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 2, 2020, by emailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on November 12, 2020. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph and the Daily Record on December 10, 2020. The amended annual resolution was adopted by the Council on January 21, 2021 and notice was provided by email to the Randolph Reporter, the Morris County Daily Record and TapInto Randolph on January 22, 2021. The amended date for this meeting from June 10, 2021 to June 8, 2021 was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper of Randolph Township and the Morris County Daily Record on May 20, 2021. The time change for this meeting was placed on all the entrance doors to Town Hall and the Notice of the Emergency Executive Session at 5:30 p.m. was posted on the Township Website and on all entrances of Town Hall on June 7, 2021.
2. Roll Call
Deputy Mayor Potter
Also present: Township Manager Mountain and Township Attorney Edward J. Buzak
3. Pledge of Allegiance
Mayor Forstenhausler led the Pledge of Allegiance.
B. 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 Executive portion of the meeting.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows:
Update EA Porter-Morris Habitat Agreement
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 or may not reconvene in public session for the purpose of taking formal action.
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to move into Executive Session at 5:35 p.m. Councilwoman Carey seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter
Councilman Tkacs made a motion to close the Executive Session at 5:55 p.m. Deputy Mayor Potter seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter
C. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Edward Lefty Grimes of SativaCross.org shared that he is an advocate of cannabis patient rights and civil rights. He is a resident of East Hanover, New Jersey. He shared his medical conditions with the council and stated that he called to see if the town could accommodate his physical disability by allowing him to participate in the council meeting online. He stated that for the past 14 months, home-bound individuals have been able to participate in schooling, meetings, church services, and work through online platforms, and expressed his concerns that stopping the use of online platforms would prevent disabled individuals from participating in public meetings. He asked the council to consider the continuation of the online Zoom meetings to allow disabled individuals to participate virtually.
Mayor Forstenhausler thanked Mr. Grimes for his comments.
Seeing and hearing no one further, the public session was closed.
D. MANAGER’S REPORT
Update NJDOT/Route 10 Intersections - The NJ Department of Transportation (NJDOT) provided updates on the requested improvements to two of the Route 10 intersections that the township has been discussing - Canfield Avenue and Dover Chester Road.
- Canfield Avenue - After examining the intersection alignment, existing equipment, etc., the DOT is looking to create an interim solution of a split phase. This is similar to the Dover Chester Road condition where the northbound and southbound moves are on a separate cycle of the light. The solution will allow better clearing of the northbound lane and is necessary because the existing pavement is not wide enough to allow separate, protected left turns. The DOT’s long-term solution is to widen the northbound approach in conjunction with the developer’s project or the DOT project, whichever comes first. To execute the spilt phase, the traffic light fixtures will need to be replaced for both the north and southbound approaches to add a fourth lens for the arrow. The work is anticipated to be done in 2-3 months. The DOT is currently reviewing the developer’s permit application for the intersection improvements.
- Dover-Chester Road - After the DOT finishes the Canfield intersection, they will be examining the double left-turn lane on the northbound side. To get the work done in the area, the signal pole on the median west of the intersection will need to be moved back because the median needs to be shortened. This means that several DOT sections will be involved, so the time frame is unknown, but the project remains on their radar for completion.
Councilwoman Veech asked if any work would be done to Center Grove Road. Manager Mountain informed her that nothing was happening on Center Grove Road. He informed the council that the recent accident in the area was not related to the signalization at the intersection. The road was not a part of the DOT’s current focus.
Councilman Loveys understood that it was an interim solution. He inquired if the long-term solution was to look at left-turn lanes. Manager Mountain informed him that the DOT would have to go back and examine solutions with their Engineering Division. There was a brief discussion about the DOT’s potential solutions and lane timing and queuing issues.
Infrastructure Work Group Meeting/Retaining Walls - The Council Infrastructure Work Group recently met with the Engineering staff to review the status of ongoing retaining wall projects and to discuss the next project for design. In the meeting, Township Engineer Paul Ferriero briefed the group on the now completed Millbrook Avenue/Fords Road project, the construction on Franklin Road, and the Mountainside Road project currently under discussion with the property owner of the location proposed. The Work Group gave feedback on an alternate design proposal for the Mountainside Road project; Mr. Ferriero will be developing a design to take back to the property owner. The hope is that the design will be accepted and the project will move forward in the coming year. Mr. Ferriero circulated an inventory of the 20 walls slated for improvement; over half have now been completed. During the meeting, they discussed the next project for design; it was decided that the wall at 71 Lawrence Road was the best candidate for action. Mr. Ferriero will be initiating design work and will report back to the group later in the year.
Tour Tamarack Camp - He received a call from Jonathan Gold, owner/operator of the Tamarack Camp. Mr. Gold would like to host a visit with the Township Council at the camp in July. During the call, they discussed a 4:30 p.m. tour before the July 22, 2021 council meeting. If the council approved of the plans he would proceed with advertising accordingly and confirming the tour with Mr. Gold.
Councilman Nisivoccia asked about the timeframe for the removal of ash trees. Manager Mountain informed the councilman that it would likely take at least another year or two of intensive work. Currently, 300 ash trees are estimated to be removed this year and at least another couple hundred to be taken down next year; the work would then lean more towards maintenance. Councilman Nisivoccia clarified that they were referring to trees that were not near power lines. Manager Mountain confirmed that JCP&L was completing a separate list of trees. Councilman Nisivoccia asked how many trees JCP&L would be undertaking. Manager Mountain informed him that they removed 100 trees last year; he estimated that they would be handling the same quantity in the next year.
E. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
1. Approving the Regular Council Meeting Minutes for April 22, 2021, May 6, 2021, and May 20, 2021
Councilman Tkacs made a motion to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for April 22, 2021, May 6, 2021, and May 20, 2021. Deputy Mayor Potter seconded the motion and the following roll call vote was taken:
Councilman Loveys - Abstained to the May 20, 2021 Minutes
Councilwoman Veech - Abstained to the May 6, 2021 Minutes
Deputy Mayor Potter
F. COMBINED ACTION RESOLUTIONS
Item 3, R-141-21, Designating and Celebrating June 19, 2021 as Juneteenth Independence Day - Mayor Forstenhausler read the resolution into the record:
Celebrating Juneteenth Independence Day June 19, 2021
WHEREAS, June 19, 2021, is designated as Juneteenth Independence Day in recognition of June 19, 1865, the date on which news of the end of slavery reached the slaves in the Southwestern States; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth Independence Day began as a holiday in the State of Texas and is now celebrated in 46 States and the District of Columbia as a special day of observance in recognition of the emancipation of all slaves in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth Independence Day celebrations have been held to honor African-American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures; and
WHEREAS, the faith and strength of character demonstrated by former slaves and the descendants of former slaves remain an example for all people of the United States, regardless of background, religion, or race; and
WHEREAS, slavery was not officially abolished until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in December 1865; and WHEREAS, over the course of its history, the United States has grown into a symbol of democracy and freedom around the world.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, that June 19, 2021 is designated as Juneteenth Day and recognizes the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day to the United States. The Randolph Township Council supports the continued nationwide celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day to provide an opportunity for the people of the United States to learn more about the past and to better understand the experiences that have shaped the United States; and recognizes that the observance of the end of slavery is part of the history and heritage of the United States.
Item 8, R-147-21 Requesting Approval of Items of Revenue and Appropriations - NJ Department of Health- Strengthening Local Public Health Capacity Grant- Deputy Mayor Potter inquired about the purpose of the grant. Manager Mountain informed her that the grant would fund a team that is working to assist vulnerable populations in the area with testing, vaccination, and other COVID-19 health information. The grant will also be used to reimburse generic COVID-19 expenses incurred by the township.
Item 5, R-144-21, Authorizing the Township to conduct mandatory State Housing Inspections between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, and to be compensated by the State - Councilman Nisivoccia inquired about the purpose of the item. Manager Mountain explained that the township was conducting state-mandated inspections of hotels and multiple dwellings within its jurisdiction on behalf of the state. The township is being compensated for the completion of the inspections.
- R-140-21 Release cash road opening bond posted for the purpose of repairing the sewer line at 5 Rolling Ridge Rd., Block 208, Lot 91 - Fairmount Services, LLC - $500.00
- R-141-21 Designating and Celebrating June 19, 2021 as Juneteenth Independence Day
- R-142-21 Authorizing the rejection of MCCPC Contract #43 - Propane Gas with Amerigas Propane
- R-143-21 Authorizing the public display of fireworks for the 2021 Freedom Festival
- R- 144-21 Authorizing the Township to conduct mandatory State Housing Inspections between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 and to be compensated by the State in the amount of $6,531.00
- R-145-21 Refund registration for children to attend Summer Day Camp program due to conflicts in summer schedules to Alex Bassam $780.00
- R-146-21 Refund registration for children to attend Tiny Tots Summer Camp program due to conflicts in summer schedules to Julie Kaplan - $410.00
- R-147-21 Requesting approval of Items of Revenue and Appropriations - NJ Department of Health - Strengthening Local Public Health Capacity Grant
- R-148-21 Authorizing Randolph Township’s request for funding the MAC Grant being sent to the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse for the Fiscal Grant Cycle July 2020- June 2025 - $20,506.00
- R-149-21 Release a cash bond posted for the rental of a Township hydrant meter at 2 Doby Road, Block 51, to 1 - Prestige Country Homes $800.00
- R-150-21 Refund registration for child to attend Summer Day Camp program due to conflicts in summer schedules to Alison Megaro - $350.00
- R-151-21 Authorizing the award of a professional services agreement to Ferriero Engineering, Inc. for Engineering Services for Park Avenue Milling and Resurfacing Program - Phase I
- R-152-21 Authorizing the award of a professional services agreement to Ferriero Engineering, Inc. for Engineering Services for Calais Road Improvements
- R-153-21 Authorizing contracts with an Additional Approved State Contract Vendor for Contracting Units Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-12a
- R-154-21 Authorizing Contracts with an Additional Approved ESCNJ Contract Vendor under the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey Cooperative Pricing System (ESCNJ) Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-11(5)
- R-155-21 Requesting the Approval of Items of Revenue and Appropriations per NJSA 40A:4-87 - Clean Communities Grant - $58,988.13
- R-156-21 Requesting the Approval of Items of Revenue and Appropriations per NJSA 40A:4-87 Recycling Tonnage Grant - $75,970.56
- R-157-21 Requesting the Approval of Items of Revenue and Appropriations per NJSA 40A:4-87 - Local Arts Grant - $1,000.00
- R-158-21 Liquor License Renewals for the 2021-2022 Season to various entities
- R-159-21 Cancelling unused balances in Ordinances 04-10, #11-10, and #07-18
- Raffle License: Off-premise 50/50, Friends of Randolph Football, Randolph High School, 511 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, September 17, 2021, from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
- Raffle License: Games of Chance, Randolph Kiwanis Club at County College of Morris, 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph, July 1-3, 2021 - rain date July 4, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m.
Deputy Mayor Potter made a motion to approve the Combined Action Resolutions. Councilman Tkacs seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter
G. UPCOMING EVENTS
- Juneteenth- A Freedom Day Celebration, Saturday, June 19, 2021 at Brundage Park Pavilion, Carrell Road, Randolph, NJ from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Freedom Festival Events: Carnival at County College of Morris (CCM) on Thursday, July 1 and Friday, July 2, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. and Fireworks at 9:45 p.m. - (fireworks rain date - Sunday, July 3rd at 9:45 p.m.).; Saturday, July 3, 2021; Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. Carnival at CCM from 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Councilman Nisivoccia informed the public of two upcoming Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce meetings. The chamber’s After Hours meeting will be held on Thursday, June 10, at Brightview from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the chamber’s Monthly Networking Luncheon will be taking place on June 17 at the Pizza Pub from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
H. ORDINANCES: INTRODUCTION
1. Ordinance 21-21 - Appropriating $245,000 from the Sewer Capital Improvement Fund for Meadowbrook Pump Station Improvements
Manager Mountain explained that the purpose of this ordinance is to fund various improvements to the Meadowbrook Pump Station.
BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “An Ordinance of the Township of Randolph Appropriating $245,000 from the Sewer Capital Improvement Fund for Meadowbrook Pump Station Improvements” be introduced, read by title by the Township Clerk and passed on first reading.
BE IT RESOLVED, that said Ordinance shall be further considered for final passage at the meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Randolph on the 24th, of June, 2021, in person at 6:00 p.m. at Town Hall, at which time and place all persons interested shall be given an opportunity to be heard concerning said ordinance.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Township Clerk be authorized and directed to advertise said Ordinance in full or by summary with the notice of introduction thereof, in the official designated newspaper according to law.
Deputy Mayor Potter asked about the time frame for the pump improvements. Manager Mountain informed her that it would likely take a couple of months. The project is not large, but it would result in the system being taken offline temporarily. Deputy Mayor Potter asked if the noise would disturb residents. Manager Mountain informed her that it shouldn’t be too noisy; he shared that the resident most directly impacted by the project was excited for the work to be done. There was a brief discussion about the improvements.
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to adopt the ordinance. Councilman Loveys seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter
J. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Seeing and hearing none, the public session was closed.
K. COUNCIL COMMENTS
Councilwoman Carey reported that the Library Board of Trustees had not met since the last Township Council meeting.
She shared that the second Cannabis Public forum would be taking place on Wednesday, June 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. She commented that the Cannabis Work Group was hoping to get more input from Randolph Residents.
She attended a Bench Dedication Ceremony on May 29, 2021, and stated that the ceremony was heartfelt.
Councilman Loveys reported on the Monday, May 10, Board of Health meeting. The board discussed looking into moving back to in-person meetings in September. He reported that the Mobile Food License Committee was continuing to gather information to assist the board in their consideration of altering the township’s policy on seasonal licenses. During the meeting, Township Health Officer Mark Caputo recognized Deputy Mayor Potter and the Randolph COVID-19 volunteers for their efforts in getting the township’s vaccination rate to high levels, particularly for people aged 65 and older. He referred to R-147-21 listed in the Combined Action items and explained that the Health Department was requesting the approval of appropriations for a grant to aid local vulnerable populations.
He attended a Recreation Advisory Committee meeting and shared that a recreation storage shed had been approved to be located at a township park. The project will be funded by Football and Lacrosse Boosters. He reported that the Girls Basketball Committee and the Boys Basketball Committee would be continuing their outdoor fall season at the Freedom Park and Brundage Park Basketball Courts due to the success of the program last fall. The program will be held in addition to the winter basketball program.
He concluded his report by sharing that he attended a Finance Work Group meeting the previous week. During the meeting, Manager Mountain introduced the group to the consultant that will be assisting the township in the search for a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Councilman Tkacs reported that he attended an Infrastructure Work Group meeting and a Finance Work Group meeting.
On Saturday, June 5, he and a few council members toured prospective trail heads under the guidance of Phil Sheehy the Trails Advisory Committee Chair. He reported that the Planning Board meeting was canceled due to a lack of business.
Councilwoman Veech reported that she and Deputy Mayor Potter would be meeting with Phil Sheehy on Thursday, June 10, to tour the prospective trailheads.
She commented that the Finance Work Group was working quickly and would likely be wrapping up the process to identify a new CFO in July.
She reported that High School students had grown seedlings for the Community Garden; the students sold the seedlings to community gardeners and other community members. She reported that scouts were working at the garden. She discussed the success of the pollinator garden and noted that the Community Garden Committee was looking into getting kids involved in beekeeping.
She asked Manager Mountain for an update on when the trailer would be removed from Veterans Community Park as many dead trees needed to be replaced and signage needed to be installed. Manager Mountain informed her that the contractor had a series of projects to complete. He guessed that the tree replacement would take place closer to fall due to the hot weather. He would be passing her inquiry to the Township Engineer to follow up on.
She attended a Traffic Advisory Committee meeting. During the meeting, Officer Biase reported on various traffic incidents in the area. On Friday, May 18, a mobile inspection was conducted on Millbrook Avenue and Freedom Park to get vehicle inspections up to date. She shared that the inspection resulted in 35 stops, 22 summonses, and 19 warnings. Some motorists received their registration right on the spot.
She shared that some traffic issues were reported near Fernbrook Elementary School. The Police Department is working on resolving the issues. She reported that traffic tickets were up along with an increase in traffic. She informed the public of a construction project towards Denville at the end of Randolph’s Franklin Road to replace the bridge in the area.
She briefly discussed the traffic issues near Dairy Queen on Route 10. Manager Mountain stated that the Police Department was looking into the issues and working to get the owner to understand the responsibility that he has in coming up with a solution. He stated that the township did not want to force a solution, but the situation was getting to a point where people were doing dangerous things. There was a brief discussion about the traffic issues.
She reported that the Traffic Safety UText. UDrive. UPay. Campaign was held in April. Since the campaign, there have been 276 traffic stops for driving and texting in Randolph. She concluded her report by sharing that Officer Biase demonstrated the police body camera functions to the Traffic Committee.
Councilman Nisivoccia attended the Randolph Rescue Squad Open House. He was given a tour of the facility and the equipment used by the squad.
He reported that he attended a Municipal Alliance Committee meeting. He shared that the committee was continuing to meet virtually.
He attended the Randolph VFW Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 31. He commended Deputy Mayor Potter for her presentation.
He attended that Randolph Historical Society Committee meeting and participated in Phil Sheehy’s tour of prospective trailheads.
He asked Clerk Luciani to provide a background in regards to the foundation she supports. Clerk Luciani explained the significance of the Say Hi Foundation and National Say Hi Day.
Deputy Mayor Potter reported that the weekly DISC meetings continued. She stated that the committee was nearing the final stages of their report and that the community survey would be collected from June 24 to July 8.
She attended the Randolph VFW Memorial Day Ceremony and the Highland Council’s Planning and Implementation of Green Infrastructure presentation; she provided a brief summary of the infrastructure presentation.
Mayor Forstenhausler reported that he attended an Eagle Scout presentation. He shared that he would be officiating a few upcoming marriage ceremonies.
He stated that the DISC continued to meet weekly. He reported that he attended two more Ordinance Work Group meetings.
He attended an Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting and shared that members of the EDC assembled boxes of masks and distributed them around the township; the committee is figuring out what to do with the rest of the supplies.
He shared that several of the council members attended a field trip to tour prospective trails. He attended a rally on Sunday, June 6, to show support for Israel, it was combined with speaking out against hate of all kinds.
He reminded everyone that today was the Primary Election and encouraged the public to vote.
Councilwoman Veech inquired about the ordinances that the work group was developing. Mayor Forstenhausler informed her that they were working on a proposed ordinance in anticipation of the DISC report. The ordinance relates to the establishment of a Diversity Committee.
Councilwoman Carey inquired about the time of the 4th of July parade. Manager Mountain informed her that the parade begins at 10 a.m. There was a brief discussion about the Freedom Festival firework and parade schedule changes from previous years.
Deputy Mayor Potter made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 pm. Councilwoman Carey seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter