All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: November 24, 2020
A. OPENING OF REGULAR MEETING
1. Call to Order
A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Carey. 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 November 6, 2019, by emailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on November 5, 2019. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, on November 14, 2019, and the Daily Record on November 11, 2019. The time change for this meeting was placed on the township website on November 2, 2020, as well as emailed to the Randolph Reporter, Daily Record, and TapInto Randolph on November 2, 2020. The time change for this meeting was advertised in the Randolph Reporter and Daily Record on November 5, 2020.
2. Roll Call
Councilman Forstenhausler -via Zoom
Councilman Loveys -via Zoom
Councilman Nisivoccia -via Zoom
Councilwoman Potter -via Zoom
Councilman Tkacs -via Zoom
Deputy Mayor Veech -via Zoom
Also Present: Township Manager Steve Mountain, Township Engineer Paul Ferriero (via Zoom), and Township Attorney Edward Buzak (via Zoom)
3. Pledge of Allegiance
Mayor Carey led the Pledge of Allegiance.
B. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Seeing no one from the public, the public portion was closed.
C. MANAGER’S REPORT
Manager Mountain reported the following:
COVID-19 Update—The number of confirmed cases in Randolph continues to rise. Over the past two weeks, the township has had just under 100 new cases reported, including ten new confirmed cases today. The current total number of cases is now up to 601. The community should continue adhering to the CDC and New Jersey Department of Health guidelines as the holiday season approaches.
Holiday Events/Reorganization Meeting—The decision was made to cancel all of the township’s traditional holiday events. Cancelled events include the Holiday Open House at the Randolph Museum, the Holiday Tree Lighting, the Senior Holiday Party, the Annual Recreation Awards, and the township’s Annual Employee Award event. In addition to the cancellations, the township’s annual reorganization meeting, scheduled for January 7th, will be held via Zoom, with the swearing-in ceremonies being conducted on an appointment basis on December 31st to prevent large group gatherings.
Holiday Decorations- The holiday decorations in Mount Freedom have been hung; the lights will be turned on Wednesday afternoon.
Morris County Combs Hollow Bridge Update-The Morris County Bridge Department has addressed the concerns of the State Historic Preservation Office that have been delaying the Combs Hollow Bridge project. The project will be moving forward in 2021, with construction beginning by early to mid-summer. The County Bridge Department understands the township’s desire for an update on the project before going out for bid and will schedule a meeting with the township in the coming months.
Communication Tower Update-The AT&T antenna on the new communication tower behind the municipal building is in the final stages of service installation and should be going live very shortly. The township has rescinded the awarded tower lease to Verizon due to inaction on executing the lease agreement. A resolution authorizing the rescission of the award is on the Combined Action agenda. The council’s approval of that resolution is recommended to clear a path for the township to rebid for other carriers to move forward with installing antennas.
Roxbury Health Agreement-Agreements with the Roxbury Township Manager to renew the shared agreement for health services under the current terms have concluded. The ten-year agreement has worked well for both communities and has been a model for shared services. The agreement is currently being updated and a resolution is being prepared for council action at the December 10, 2020 council meeting.
NJDOT Grant-The NJDOT has approved the township’s most recent road improvement request. The township will be receiving $247,500 towards the resurfacing of Park Avenue from 121 Park Avenue to Sussex Turnpike. This project will complete the resurfacing of Park Avenue as the other sections of the roadway have been resurfaced over the past two years. The township had recently received awards for Franklin Avenue and Calais Road.
Mayor Carey asked Manager Mountain to clarify why the township received the NJDOT grant. Manager Mountain informed her that the township is eligible to apply annually for the state-aid road resurfacing grant. The township selects a road that meets the state’s qualifications for the grant and applies.
Councilman Loveys asked if the striping on Calais Road would be delayed to make the project consistent with the ordinance. Manager Mountain informed him that it would be coordinated as the ordinance develops; he provided additional information about the township’s agreement with the NJDOT, which was worked out by Township Engineer Paul Ferriero.
Mayor Carey asked if the township had been in contact with the local Rabbi to discuss how the Menorah Lighting would take place this year. Manager Mountain informed her that Russ Newman, the Township Parks and Recreation Director, had been in contact and they are working out appropriate arrangements.
Mayor Carey inquired about a message she had forwarded to Manager Mountain from a member of the public. The contents shared information about Mine Hill Township’s plans to hold their previously postponed July 4th Firework Display on New Year’s Eve. The member of the public wanted to know if the township would be hosting a similar event. Manager Mountain informed her that these events in our community typically draw in large groups, the logistics of which will make it difficult to manage safely; the hope is to have a firework display for July 4th.
Manager Mountain referenced a memorandum that overviews a new rule the state adopted in the past year regarding stormwater. He explained that the new rule would require changes to be made to the township’s local Stormwater Ordinance. He thought it would be appropriate for Township Engineer Paul Ferriero to give an overview of the changes required under the new rule before the ordinance is ready for introduction in the next year.
Mr. Ferriero explained that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) adopted a revision to the N.J.A.C.7:8 in March 2020 called the Green Infrastructure (GI) Rule. The rule calls for significant changes to the township’s Stormwater Control Ordinance. These changes include the requirement for all major development projects to include Green Infrastructure, changes to the definition of the term Major Development, identifying impervious surfaces as new or existing conveyance systems, and issuance of variances/waivers.
He explained that the requirement for all major development projects to include Green Infrastructure (GI) requires all stormwater improvements to feature one or more of the GI Best Management Practices, which fall into the categories of infiltration, vegetative filtration, and water re-use methods. Mr. Ferriero explained that the latter practice of water re-use was impractical for the township. The new practices will impact future projects in multiple ways, most notably, requiring far greater area for the installation of stormwater management infrastructure, and increasing the cost and complexity of maintaining such facilities.
He continued on to explain that the current definition for Major Development is a project that disturbs more than one acre or increases the impervious surface by more than 1/4 acre. The new definition adds to this by introducing that these items are cumulative beginning February 2, 2004.
He addressed the last major change related to the new rule, which more clearly outlines requirements for “variances” from the standards. The term “variance” is different from the Municipal Land Use Laws meaning and should be thought of as a design waiver since the exception is from the design standards. He explained that in order for any waiver or exception to be granted, the developer must implement a mitigation project from the Township’s Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP), which is a part of the Township Master Plan. If the township wanted to add mitigation projects to the SWMP, an amendment to the Master Plan is required. The new SWMP would then also be required to be reviewed and approved at the County and State level.
He informed the council that deviating from the Green Infrastructure standards would be difficult, and shared that it would be interesting to see how the rule and standards develop in the future. The Stormwater Ordinance must be in effect by March 2, 2021. He recommended that the current Stormwater Ordinance be rescinded and replaced by an ordinance that primarily incorporates the standards by reference. Doing so would carry forward the current definitions and standards for minor development in the current township ordinance, make the ordinance substantially shorter than the existing ordinance, and prevent local modification if/when the DEP changes their standards.
Councilwoman Potter asked if there was any way to educate the Zoning Board members to help them understand the Green Infrastructure Rule. Mr. Ferriero informed her that he has met up with various boards to discuss the new standards and the DEP has an online class that can familiarize the board members with the vocabulary.
Councilman Forstenhausler asked if the rule would affect affordable housing developments in the township. Mr. Ferriero stated that it was very likely as the standards will make it difficult to design the projects that are presently ongoing. Projects completed prior to March 2, 2021, will be reviewed by the ordinance before the new rules takes effect, projects completed after the date are required to meet the new standards.
Councilman Forstenhausler asked if the township’s fair housing agreements would be negatively impacted. Mr. Ferriero responded that he was not sure if the agreements would be negatively affected, but that it would make designing the projects difficult, as more space will be taken up and the engineers and developers would need to be more creative to comply with the DEP. Mr. Ferriero informed him that it certainly could have an impact, but that it all comes down to timing.
Township Attorney Ed Buzak agreed that it was about timing and that it was disconcerting that after putting much effort into the planning and layout of these developments the new rule could result in a different layout, not due to the township or the developer but the DEP regulations. He believed that the agreements would remain in effect as the township’s obligations have been fulfilled.
Councilman Loveys understood that the township’s municipal obligation to provide reasonable opportunity for affordable housing had been fulfilled. Mr. Buzak confirmed that he was correct. Councilman Loveys asked for further clarification on the cumulative aspect of the new rule. He also asked how this would affect homeowners. Mr. Ferriero explained that in Randolph, single-family home developments that meet the major development threshold are not typically seen. He provided a few examples of how cumulative totals are determined for minor and major developments.
Councilman Loveys asked Mr. Ferriero how a municipality would go about identifying potential mitigation projects. Mr. Ferriero responded that they could start by looking into areas with specific drainage problems; he continued to provide examples of mitigation projects. Councilman Loveys asked if municipalities had a choice to identify these projects. Mr. Ferriero informed him that there was a choice, although when no cases are identified grant relief is not available. Councilman Loveys asked him what he recommended; Mr. Ferriero responded that the township should keep its eyes open for projects that could potentially qualify, but did not believe a large project was needed to seek them out.
Councilman Forstenhausler asked if it would be the developer’s responsibility to pay for the mitigation project should one be identified to obtain relief for a particular site. Mr. Ferriero confirmed that it would be the developers’ responsibility. He provided further information about the standards of relief for variances and what is required for the process.
Councilwoman Potter asked if identified mitigation projects needed to be in the same watershed. Mr. Ferriero confirmed that mitigation projects must meet the correct parameters and be in the correct watershed.
Mayor Carey asked what the next step is for this process. Manager Mountain informed her that no action was needed for this meeting. He informed her that Mr. Ferriero would work with Mr. Buzak to prepare the ordinance for introduction. The ordinance introduction would likely take place in January as the ordinance must be adopted in time for the March effective date.
E. COMBINED ACTION RESOLUTIONS
Item #7, R-344-20 Awarding a contract for the Brundage Park Lighting Project to Tiffany Lighting Inc.—Councilman Loveys asked Manager Mountain to confirm that though the cost of the lighting project was more than originally anticipated it still fell into the amount that was planned for. Manager Mountain confirmed that he was correct; the lowest bid in the resolutions was below the amount budgeted for. Councilman Forstenhausler inquired about the efficiency of the Brundage Park lights, asking if they were saving electricity. Manager Mountain confirmed that the lights were more efficient and that they are structured to focus lighting on the field.
Item #8, R-345-20 Awarding a contract for the Freedom Park Baseball Field Renovation Project to The LandTek Group, Inc.—Councilman Loveys was glad that the field was being addressed. He did not recall the projects projected cost being $164,130.00. Manager Mountain informed him he was correct, the engineers estimate was supplemented to $175k. Councilman Loveys asked to see the plans; Manager Mountain informed him that he would provide him with a copy.
Item #3, R-340-20 Cancelling unused balances for the purchase of public works equipment in Ordinances #12-13, #13-14 and #11-17 and moving said amount to a Reserve to Pay Debt Service- Councilman Nisivoccia asked if these items came under budget or were no longer needed. Manager Mountain informed him that during this time of the year departments go through existing balances on old ordinances, if the projects are determined to be complete the township can cancel them out and apply the balance of funds towards any debt that was issued on the project to start with.
- R-338-20 Release Police Detail Escrow to Sano Drilling—$1,392.00
- R-339-20 Rescission of a portion of MCCPC Contract #25 for Janitorial Supplies from WB Mason, Inc
- R-340-20 Cancelling unused balances for the purchase of public works equipment in Ordinances #12-13, #13-14 and #11-17 for a total of $73,963.14 and moving said amount to a Reserve to Pay Debt Service that will be utilized to pay for future Township debt service
- R-341-20 Rescinding an award for lease of property owned by the Township for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a new wireless communications monopole and related facilities—Land Lease only bid
- R-342-20 Awarding a contract to Firewood Farm, Inc. for On-Site Brush Grinding Services 2021 for the period of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 with the option to extend—not to exceed $60,000
CERTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
Dated: November 24, 2020
As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57, N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.5, and any other applicable requirement, I, Darren Maloney, Director of Finance for the Township of Randolph, have ascertained that funds will be available in the 2021 Temporary Budget, Recycling, O&E (pending adoption) to award a contract to On Site Brush Grinding, for brush grinding services, per its response to a bid solicitation by the Township.
Chief Financial Officer
Budget Accounts: 2021 Temporary Budget 01-201-26-300-309—pending adoption—to be inputted in 2021 (not to exceed $60,000)
- R-343-20 Extending the award of a Professional Services Agreement to Harbor Consultants, Inc. for preparation of a set of design and architectural standards as an element of the Master Plan
- R-344-20 Awarding a contract for the Brundage Park Lighting Project to Tiffany Lighting Inc.—$646,480.00
- R-345-20 Awarding a contract for the Freedom Park Baseball Field Renovation Project to The LandTek Group, Inc.—$164,130.00
- R-346-20 Authorizing refund of 4th quarter tax payment made in error for 16 Block Court, Block 166, Lot 4.12, to Corelogic—$3,739.72
- R-347-20 Authorizing refund of Tax Sale Certificate #19-20 for 32 Bonnell Lane, Block 221, Lot 38 to GSRAN-Z LLC, $91,346.77
- R-348-20 Authorizing Contracts with Additional Approved State Contract Vendors for Contracting Units Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-12a
Councilman Nisivoccia made a motion to approve the Combined Action Resolutions. Councilman Forstenhausler seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Veech
Manager Mountain acknowledged that there were several members of the public raising their hands via Zoom. Unclear if the actions were a technical glitch by users, Mayor Carey proceeded to inform the public that the meeting would follow the agenda, and that an Open to the Public Session would be held after the Second Reading of the Ordinances.
F. ORDINANCE SECOND READING
1. Ordinance No. 22-20 Amending Appendix A, Fee Schedule, Special Duty Police Officers, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey
BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Amending Appendix A, Fee Schedule, Special Duty Police Officers, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey” be read by title on second reading and a hearing held thereon.
Manager Mountain explained that this ordinance sets the rates special duty police officers charge for outside detail services paid for by public, private, or nonprofit organizations.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Seeing and hearing none, the public portion was closed.
BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled, “An Ordinance Amending Appendix A, Fee Schedule, Special Duty Police Officers, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey” be passed on final reading and that a Notice of Final Passage of said Ordinance be published in the official designated newspaper according to law.
Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to adopt Ordinance 22-20. Councilwoman Potter seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Veech
2. Ordinance No. 23-20 Amending Ordinance No. 27-16 to Provide and Determine the Range of Compensation for the Specified Officers and Employees in the Township of Randolph
BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 27-16 to Provide and Determine the Range of Compensation for the Specified Officers and Employees in the Township of Randolph” be read by title on second reading and a hearing held thereon.
Manager Mountain explained that this ordinance sets the salary ranges for uniformed officers of the Township Police Department.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Seeing and hearing none, the public portion was closed.
BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled, “An Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 27-16 to Provide and Determine the Range of Compensation for the Specified Officers and Employees in the Township of Randolph” be passed on final reading and that a Notice of Final Passage of said Ordinance be published in the official designated newspaper according to law.
Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to adopt Ordinance 23-20. Councilman Tkacs seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Veech
G. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
A resident inquired about the Brundage Park Lighting project, asking if the skate park would also be a part of the plans. Manager Mountain informed him that the skate park was not a part of this project, as this project and several others are a part of a ten-year recreation plan that was adopted in 2016. Agendas for park projects are set through these plans. The Recreation Department is aware that there is some interest in further development at the skate park, it will likely be addressed in the coming years when the next ten-year plan comes up for discussion.
H. COUNCIL COMMENTS
Councilman Nisivoccia had nothing report for the present meeting.
Councilman Tkacs reported that the Planning Board had heard a new petition from Elbaum Homes Inc. to build 16 townhouses, three of which will be affordable housing units, off of Sussex Turnpike; many residents shared their thoughts on the proposal.
He informed the council that he had attended the recent Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee (DISC) meeting and the Recreation Advisory Committee meeting. He shared that the Recreation Committee plans to nominate resident Brian Palumbo for the Helen Bauer Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of his many years of community service.
Councilman Tkacs also reported that due to COVID-19, no winter indoor recreation would be held this season to keep the schools safe for instruction. He concluded his comments by sharing that the steel frame for the High School Field House had been erected.
Councilwoman Potter attended the Fire Department’s Annual Inspection at Ironia Station 4 on November 14. She thanked the volunteer firefighters for their dedication and services. She also shared that she had participated in a session of the New Jersey League of Municipalities (NJLM) conference last week, in addition to attending the recent DISC meeting.
Councilman Loveys had nothing to report for the present meeting. He echoed Councilwoman Potter’s thanks to the Fire Department for their service, and expressed that he was glad that they were able to hold the annual event.
He asked the council for support for the re-nomination of Russ Nee for the vacant seat on the Wildlife Management Advisory Committee with a term expiration of 12/31/2022. Mr. Nee previously stepped down in anticipation of moving out of the area, his plans have changed and he will not be moving in the near future. Councilman Forstenhausler seconded the nomination, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Veech
Councilman Forstenhausler reported that the final DISC Town Hall meeting had taken place. The committee will now be reaching out to the Randolph PEACE group to get additional testimony and shared experiences from their members, and to discuss the release of a survey which will allow those uncomfortable with the meeting settings to share their experiences. He informed the council that the DISC members are learning a lot about the concerns of residents and are looking into the possibility of training for these discussions. The committee’s goal is to have a report assembled by early next year that draws conclusions from the experiences community members have shared, and provides solutions to move the community forward.
Councilman Forstenhausler concluded his report by sharing that he had participated in a NJLM course that discussed the legalization of marijuana and the work the legislature in Trenton is doing to develop the bill. The council is waiting to see how it develops, and will review the bill once it is released.
Deputy Mayor Veech commented that she participated in a number of NJLM courses, one of which included a course on Joint Insurance Funds. She reported that she was also in attendance at the Annual Fireman Inspections event, and was impressed that one of the township’s firemen had served for over 50 years as a firefighter.
In preparation for Small Business Saturday, she and many others had helped the Economic Development Committee (EDC) put up signs to encourage the community to shop locally. She visited multiple local businesses, and shared that many of the township’s small business owners were happy with the work the EDC was doing to support them. She thanked the EDC for being proactive.
Mayor Carey shared that she had also participated in a number of the NJLM courses. She attended the Firemen Inspection event and remarked that it was great to see that the evening’s honoree, Ted Carmen, being recognized for his many years of service to the community.
She attended the Table of Hope event that was held in conjunction with the County College of Morris on Saturday, November 21. During the event a recognition ceremony was held to honor multiple families and individuals for their volunteer work; she was recognized, along with Mayors from neighboring towns for hosting Table of Hope events in their communities.
Mayor Carey also followed up on Councilman Forstenhausler’s statement regarding the legalization of marijuana. She informed the public that the council will be forming a workgroup to examine and come to conclusions about the legalization. It will likely take several months for the state to issue regulations regarding cultivation, processing, and sale. Deputy Mayor Veech and Councilman Tkacs have joined her in volunteering to be a part of the workgroup; they will likely meet with the Police Department, Municipal Alliance Committee, the Board of Health, neighboring towns, and the state to learn more about how the regulations will impact the community.
I. EXECUTIVE SESSION
No Executive Session was held for this meeting.
Councilman Loveys made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:12 p.m. Councilman Tkacs seconded the motion and following roll vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Veech