All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: October 21, 2021
A. OPENING OF REGULAR MEETING
1. Call to Order
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, it was filed with the Township Clerk, and it was provided to those persons or entities requesting notification. 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 annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter the official newspaper of Randolph Township and the Morris County Daily Record on January 28, 2021. The time change for this meeting was posted on the outside doors and the Bulletin Board within Town Hall and on the Township website on May 17, 2021.
2. Roll Call
Deputy Mayor Potter
Also present: Township Manager Mountain and Attorney Keli Gallo of Buzak Law Group (via phone)
3. Pledge of Allegiance
Mayor Forstenhausler led the Pledge of Allegiance.
B. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Robert Soni of 6 Brookview Circle thanked the mayor and council for recognizing Hindu Heritage Month. He commended the council for recognizing a vital part of the Randolph community and the state. He provided a brief background on Hinduism and commented that everyone was fortunate to live in a community where Hindus are respected and appreciated. He explained that many Hindu communities face a constant struggle with acceptance and appreciation. He concluded his statement by thanking the council for recognizing a vital part of the community.
C. MANAGER'S REPORT
Manager Mountain reported the following:
* Solid Waste/Recycling Collection Contract Award—On Friday, October 8, bids were received for the curbside solid waste and recycling collection contract. The only bid submitted was received from the township's current contractor Blue Diamond Disposal, Inc. of Succasunna, NJ. The proposal submitted by Blue Diamond was reviewed by Manager Mountain, Health Officer Mark Caputo, and Purchasing Agent Liz Crescibene; after consideration, it was recommended that the contract be awarded for option #1, traditional weekly solid waste collection and twice-monthly recyclable material collection. Option #1 will maintain the current schedule for solid waste and recycled material collection. The bid specifications also provided for a second option that entailed automated curbside solid waste and recyclable material collection. The automated option was significantly more expensive than the traditional collection; therefore, option #1 was chosen.
Manager Mountain provided a brief background on Blue Diamond's proposed fee schedule and the annual percentage increases. Labor, fuel, and equipment costs are all drivers of the cost of the service. The township has reviewed the contracts of other comparable communities and found that the numbers in the bid are generally equal to or better than those other community contract costs. He provided a brief background on how the pandemic affected solid waste and recycling tonnage numbers and how they factor into price increases. He recommended that the contract be awarded.
Councilman Loveys asked if a cost breakdown could be provided for both recycling and solid waste figures. Manager Mountain informed him that he would ask Blue Diamond for the information.
Councilwoman Veech commented that this renewal could make the township push more on recycling since the recycling costs are less per tonnage.
Manager Mountain informed the council that the price difference between solid waste and recycling costs was closing over the last two years. Fortunately, in the last two to three quarters, the cost for recycling is going back down to where the township is benefiting from recycling as opposed to paying more.
Councilwoman Carey asked why the automated option was more expensive. Manager Mountain explained that in the long term the option would not be more expensive, however, the township's five-year contract does not allow for the right climate for the automated option to return on the contractor's investments. He explained how the contractor would need to purchase additional trucks and toters to service the area to accommodate the automated option. He stated that a longer contract term would be needed for the contractor to see a return; the contractor must evaluate the risk factors that come with this option. There was a brief discussion about how much solid waste residents can put out for pickup under an automated option and the challenges that could come up under it.
* JCP&L Meeting—Tree Removal—Manager Mountain and Public Works Director Tom Sweeney met with representatives from JCP&L to review the utility's ongoing tree trimming and removal efforts in town. During the meeting, several items of importance to the township were discussed. These items included the process for coordinating tree clean-up (post-removal) with the Public Works Department, the utility's approach for responding to individual resident reports of dead trees in wires, and the utility's global plans for tree removal/trimming for the remainder of 2021-22.
JCP&L's Forester committed to tightening communications with Public Works when they are conducting work in town so the cleanup of brush and tree remnants can be better coordinated. Information indicating that dead trees in wires should be reported directly to JCP&L was provided for dissemination to residents through the township's various media. The JCP&L representatives advised that they are currently working on their trimming/tree removal schedule for the coming year. The schedule would be forwarded to the township in the coming months. The representatives also indicated that additional 2021 funds had been released by the company, allowing crews to be deployed in town to remove dead trees in wires during November and December; weather permitting.
* Cannabis Committee—The Cannabis Committee met last week after a brief hiatus to allow for the State Cannabis Regulatory Commission to complete the first stage of its rule promulgation on the new recreational cannabis laws. The committee reviewed the new rules to determine their local applicability and discussed the next steps in their review process. Darren Carney, the Township Planning and Zoning Administrator attended the meeting and discussed the zoning considerations that would need to be reviewed to move ahead with opting to allow one or more of the cannabis businesses in Randolph. The committee agreed that it would be appropriate for Mr. Carney to engage in the research of these zoning considerations with particular emphasis on wholesaling and distribution. The committee will be meeting again in early December for further discussion on the zoning considerations.
Deputy Mayor Potter asked about the township's ash tree delivery service. Manager Mountain explained that the township has taken down a large volume of ash trees. The Public Works Department had come up with the solution of making the logs available to the public as cost avoidance for the town. He explained that there is no concern about the state of the logs; they are highly sought after in the firewood business. Based on the DPW's initial outreach, there has been an overwhelming amount of interest in the service.
D. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
1. Approving the Regular Council Meeting Minutes from October 7, 2021
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to approve the Regular Council Meeting Minutes from October 7, 2021. Councilman Tkacs seconded the motion and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter
ABSTAIN: Councilwoman Carey
E. COMBINED ACTION RESOLUTIONS
Item #9, R-253-21
Acknowledging October 2021 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month—Mayor Forstenhausler read this resolution into the record:
WHEREAS, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of this disease, and while we have seen an increase in mammography rates and a decline in deaths, there is more we can do; and
WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer and the second most common cancer among women; and
WHEREAS, breast cancer does not only affect 1 in 8 women, about 1 in 1,000 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime; and
WHEREAS, while there are factors known to increase the risk of developing breast cancer, nearly 80 percent of women diagnosed do not exhibit any of the determinant factors; and
WHEREAS, there are many organizations that continue to search for a cure through vital research, they also work with the Office of Cancer Control and Prevention in New Jersey and support its partners to educate our community about the associated risk factors and importance of early detection of breast cancer; and
WHEREAS, this month, as we honor those whose lives were tragically cut short by breast cancer, let us arm ourselves with the best knowledge, tools and resources available to fight this devastating disease.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, do hereby acknowledge October 2021 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and with "Hope, Strength and Love" urge all women and their families to increase their knowledge about breast cancer and join us to celebrate successes and memorialize lost battles.
Item #11, R-255-21
Acknowledging October 2021 as Hindu American Heritage Month—Mayor Forstenhausler read this resolution into the record:
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph and the nation have been influenced by the cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity of its residents; and
WHEREAS, there is an estimated one billion Hindus worldwide, and approximately 2.23 million Hindu Americans live across the nation and Randolph Township is home to a significant Hindu American population; and
WHEREAS, Hindu Americans represent diverse ethnic backgrounds, including individuals of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Malaysian, Indonesian, Afghani, Nepali, Bhutanese, Sri Lankan, Fijian, Caribbean, and European descent; and
WHEREAS, our nation has greatly benefited from Hindu Americans and the year 2021 marks the 128th anniversary of when Hinduism was officially introduced to the United States by Swami Vivekananda at the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago, IL, and the 121st anniversary of when he founded the Vedanta Society in San Francisco, California, in 1900; and
WHEREAS, Hindu Americans share the entrepreneurial spirit of America and contribute to economic vitality, growth, and wellbeing; and
WHEREAS, Hindu Americans promote the ideals of pluralism, religious freedom, mutual respect, which are inherent to their teachings, and the Vedas, the ancient sacred texts of Hinduism, provide the basis for these core principles: "Truth is one, the wise call it by many names".
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph recognizes the significant contributions made by Hindu Americans to our community and seek to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the Hindu American Community and designate the month of October as Hindu American Heritage Month.
Item #2, R-246-21, Authorizing Transfer of 2 vehicles and titles to the Randolph Township Board of Education—Councilman Nisivoccia inquired about this resolution item. Manager Mountain explained that every seven or eight years the Board of Education (BOE) contacts the town to inquire about any municipal vehicles that the schools can acquire. He explained that this resolution authorizes the auction and transfer of two retired township vehicles to the BOE under a traditional nominal transfer fee of $100.00 per vehicle.
Item #5, R-249-21, Awarding a Lease for Lease of Public Property Described as a portion of Tax Block 195, Lot 18 at 80 Route 10 West, for the purposes of Erecting Billboards for Commercial Advertising—Councilman Nisivoccia asked if the billboards in question are existing or new to the location. Manager Mountain informed the councilman that the billboards are existing. He explained that the billboards are on municipal property; therefore the municipality can gain payment from its use. This resolution authorizes the award of that release. He explained that it is difficult to get competitive bidding on the billboard because the entity that erected it finds it difficult to give up.
Item #11, R-255-21, Acknowledging October 2021 as Hindu American Heritage Month—Mayor Forstenhausler thanked those present for attending the meeting and thanked Rachita Chandak for bringing the month's significance to his attention.
- R-245-21 Authorizing the award of MCCPC Contract 3 Rebid (Rock Salt & Liquid Calcium Chloride) Categories I and II Essex, Passaic, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties Only; Categories VI and VII—Essex, Hunterdon, Passaic, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties Only
- R-246-21 Authorizing transfer of 2 vehicles and titles to the Randolph Township Board of Education
- R-247-21 Authorizing Contracts with an additional approved State Contract Vendor for Contracting Units Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-12a
- R-248-21 Awarding a 5 year contract for Solid Waste and Recyclable Material Collection and Disposal Service for the period of January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2026
CERTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
Dated: October 21, 2021
As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57, N.J.A.C. 5:30-5.3-5.5, and any other applicable requirement, I, Deborah Bonanno, Director of Finance for the Township of Randolph, have ascertained that funds will be available, subject to annual appropriation and adoption in the 2022 through 2026 municipal budgets, to award a contract to Blue Diamond Disposal for solid waste and recyclable material collection and disposal services as detailed in the contractor's response provided to the Township's public bid solicitation.
Chief Financial Officer
Budget Accounts: 01-201-26-305-300 2022 (not to exceed $2,202,000)
01-201-26-305-300 2023 (not to exceed $2,256,000)
01-201-26-305-300 2024 (not to exceed $2,312,400)
01-201-26-305-300 2025 (not to exceed $2,359,200)
01-201-26-305-300 2026 (not to exceed $2,400,000)
- R-249-21 Awarding a Lease for Lease of Public Property Described as a portion of Tax Block 195, Lot 18 at 80 Route 10 West, Randolph, NJ for Purposes of Erecting Billboards for Commercial Advertising
- R-250-21 Release cash road opening bonds for driveway repairs and improvements for various properties
- R-251-21 Redeem and refund Tax Sale Certificate for Block 81, Lot 43, 99 Morris Tpke. to Bala Partners—$103,795.05
- R-252-21 Redeem and refund Tax Sale Certificate for Block 81, Lot 42, 103 Morris Tpke. to Greymorr, LLC—$90,581.77
- R-253-21 Acknowledging October 2021 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- R-254-21 Endorsing an application for a Treatment Works Approval (TWA) for replacement of the County College of Morris (CCM) Pump Station
- R-255-21 Acknowledging October 2021 as Hindu American Heritage Month
- R-255-A Release of Escrow Funds to Randolph 10 Developers (Wawa) for Off-Site Improvements, Block 137, Lot 2 and 5
- Raffle License, On-Premise 50/50, Hyacinth Foundation, The Meadow Wood, 461 Route 10 East, Randolph, November 13, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Deputy Mayor Potter made a motion to approve the Combined Action Resolutions. Councilwoman Carey seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter
F. UPCOMING EVENTS
Councilman Nisivoccia informed the public of the upcoming Break-A-Thon event by Elite TOMA Martial Arts Academy in Randolph. The event will be taking place on Saturday, October 23.
Mayor Forstenhausler informed the public that October is Fire Prevention Month. He reminded residents to make sure that their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning properly.
- Operation Drug/Medication Take-Back, ACME on Sussex Turnpike and Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
- Council Only—Brightview Senior Living Speaking Event, 175 Quaker Church Road, Randolph, Monday, October 25, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
- Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting, SportsCare Arena, presented by Summit Health and SportsCare Physical Therapy, 16 Aspen Drive, Randolph, on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.
- Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting, Fort Nonsense Brewing Company, 220 Franklin Road, Randolph, Saturday, October 30, 2021, at 11:30 a.m.
G. ORDINANCES: INTRODUCTION
1. Ordinance No. 31-21 Amending Sections 34-32, 34-33, 34-34, 34-35, 34-36, 34-37 and 34-39 of Chapter 34, Parks and Recreation Areas of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph
BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled "An Ordinance Amending Sections 34-32, 34-33, 34-34, 34-35, 34-36, 34-37 and 34-39 of Chapter 34, Parks and Recreation Areas, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey" 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 18th of November, 2021 at 6 o'clock in the evening, prevailing time, at the Town Hall in said Township, 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
Manager Mountain explained that the purpose of this ordinance is to amend portions of the rules and regulations as set forth in sections 34-32, 34-33, 34-34, 34-35, 34-36, 34-37, and 34-39 of Chapter 34, Parks and Recreation Areas, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, to be consistent with the revisions recommended by the Parks Advisory Committee, the Recreation Advisory Committee and Township staff.
Councilman Loveys referred to his previous comments regarding item #1 of Section 34-37. He explained that prior to the removal of the third sentence reading, "anyone on the court without a membership card or a guest or member will be asked to leave by township staff or designated appointees," the passage was unclear. He agreed that the removal of the sentence clarified the passage; however he was not sure if the intent of the sentence was to say that a person using the court had to have a membership card on their person, or just be a valid member. He explained that the confusion lied with clarifying whether a person must be a member or a member's guest to use the tennis and pickleball courts and whether they can be on the courts without membership cards.
Manager Mountain understood Councilman Loveys' point. He stated that he did not think it would be a practical problem and that the passage could be revisited in the future. Councilman Loveys suggested adding the word "card" after membership in the second sentence. Manager Mountain asked Township Attorney Keli Gallo if there would be issues with changing the ordinance since it has already been advertised. Attorney Gallo advised the council not to change the ordinance at present.
Councilman Nisivoccia inquired about item #1 of Section 34-36. He referred to the passage "weekday use of picnic pavilions is limited to groups of ten to 40 people and to a maximum of four hours," and asked how the use differed during the weekends. Manager Mountain informed him that he would direct his question to the Parks Advisory Committee. He stated that the question should not hold up the ordinance.
Councilman Tkacs made a motion to introduce the ordinance. Councilwoman Veech seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter
H. DISCUSSION ITEMS
1. Volunteer Appreciation Award Ceremony
Manager Mountain explained that the Volunteer Appreciation Award Ceremony is typically held in January. He reported that the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained that there was concern that this year's event would experience low attendance due to concerns about health and safety. He asked the council to consider moving the event to spring 2022 and to possibly hold it outdoors depending on whether the community will be comfortable gathering indoors or not by that point.
Mayor Forstenhausler stated that he was fine with the date change. The remaining council members agreed to move the event to spring 2022.
J. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Hazel Ball of 236 Dover Chester Road spoke on behalf of the Randolph Partnership Endeavor for All Citizens' Equality (PEACE). She informed the council that the group wanted to ensure that work was being done to develop a diversity committee as per their recommendation.
Mayor Forstenhausler thanked Mrs. Ball for speaking. He informed her that the Ordinance Committee was discussing the development of the proposed committee.
K. COUNCIL COMMENTS
Councilman Nisivoccia reported that he attended ribbon-cutting ceremonies for various businesses in town. He commented that he was proud to attend the Hometown Heroes Banner Dedication event at Veterans Community Park. He commended the VFW volunteers for their work on the event. He attended the Hall of Fame Selection Committee meeting, the Morris Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking event, and the Ironia Firehouse Pancake Breakfast event.
He informed the council that he has heard great feedback on the recreation programs and positive responses to the Riddle Run and Trunk or Treat programs. He commented that he was impressed with the holiday lighting plans. He thanked his daughter for providing pink handkerchiefs and scarves to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He concluded his report by sharing that he attended a Trails Advisory Committee meeting. He informed the council that the committee will be following up with him to finalize the proposed changes to the Trails Master Plan.
Councilman Loveys attended a Board of Health meeting. During the meeting, the board's subcommittee presented recommendations on the township's mobile food licensing policy. The board will consider the subcommittee's recommendations and provide direction at their November meeting.
He attended a Recreation Advisory Committee meeting. He reported that registration for the winter sports season would begin the following week. He commented that the Field Hockey Clinic has gone very well. He shared that the department has had some issues with obtaining supplies and volunteers for various programs due to the pandemic; to fill empty positions; the department plans to advertise openings to individuals outside of town.
He participated in a Morris Government Affairs Committee and ELC Forum hosted by Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi. The forum covered information on the status of the election process, gave insight into the changes for the 2021 elections, and covered the early voting locations that allow voters to cast their ballot via machine at seven locations throughout the county between Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 31.
Councilman Tkacs explained that individuals using early voting will have to sign electronic books. He informed the public that their electronic signatures would be recorded for future elections. Councilman Loveys added that the electronic machines being used for early voting would likely replace the old machines in the future.
Councilman Tkacs reported that he attended a Planning Board meeting. The only action taken during the meeting was approving the extension of the Keller site plans for another year.
He reported that the Parks Advisory Committee reviewed the proposed changes to Chapter 34, Parks and Recreation Areas of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph. He commented that the committee made the changes they felt were necessary and provided the best fixes for the concerns.
Councilwoman Veech reported that the Wildlife Advisory Committee did not meet this month. She referred to the update Manager Mountain provided on the Cannabis Committee and informed the council that she printed the 160-page regulations released by the state and that she would happy to share the document. She stated that the committee was moving along with reviewing the cannabis business licenses and regulations.
She reported that a few of the community garden beds are being turned over to allow more people on the waitlist to participate in the garden. The garden beds must be cleaned out over the next couple of weeks as winter approaches. She positively commented on the Recreation Department's idea to create a line dancing program.
She spoke with Mayor Forstenhausler and Manager Mountain about the possibility of the Ordinance Committee working on resolving the sign pollution issue across town. Mayor Forstenhausler spoke with the Township Attorney; the 60-day duration for political signs is being examined.
Councilwoman Carey commented that she was glad to see many ribbon-cuttings being held in the community. She informed the council that the cannabis committee was taking their time to review the cannabis regulations, business licenses, and the township's zoning requirements.
She attended the Library Board of Trustees meeting. She reported that the library was rebounding from the impacts of the pandemic. She explained that the library's circulation numbers have increased greatly and compared figures from adult and junior circulations from this time last year with the current year.
Deputy Mayor Potter had nothing to report during this meeting.
Mayor Forstenhausler reported that he attended many of the events previously mentioned. He stated that he was honored to speak at the Morris Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking event. He thanked Manager Mountain and the council members for attending the event. He looked forward to the ribbon-cutting ceremony that would be held once the first home was built.
He reported that the Fire Department held a farewell ceremony in honor of Walter Pugsley, a lifelong Randolph resident, firefighter, and World War 2 veteran, who passed away in October 2021 at the age of 97. He stated that Mr. Pugsley was a very special person.
Councilman Loveys congratulated Randolph's senior citizens on their win at the Tri-County Senior Olympics. The rest of the council congratulated the seniors.
Councilman Tkacs reminded everyone about an upcoming event at Brightview Senior Living. Mayor Forstenhausler explained that the event is only open to the Township Council; the council members will be introducing themselves to residents and providing insight on their council duties.
L. 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:
b. Affordable Housing Update
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 7:05 p.m. Councilman Nisivoccia seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to close the Executive Session at 7:37 p.m. Councilman Tkacs seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter
Deputy Mayor Potter made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:38 p.m. Councilwoman Veech seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Potter