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TOWNSHIP OF MAHWAH
SPECIAL WORK SESSION MEETING MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2004

The meeting was called to order at 7:30PM by Council President Richter who read the Open Public Meeting Act Statement as prescribed by law. Notice was advertised in The Record on September 24, 2004 stating this meeting would be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 at 7:30PM at the Municipal Offices, 475 Corporate Drive, Mahwah, New Jersey.

Notice of this meeting is posted on the Municipal Bulletin Board. The minutes of this meeting shall be available in the Municipal Clerk’s Office.

Salute to the Flag.

Present: Councilmembers Alderisio; Calandrillo; DiGiulio; Kelly; Roth; Paton; Roth and Richter

Also present were the Business Administrator Brian Campion, Township Utility Engineer’s Associate, Vishal Shah, and Deputy Clerk, Mary C. Ross

STAGE 5 SANITARY SEWER PROGRAM PRESENTATION
Richter opened the meeting with a welcome to the public and stated this would be an information only presentation and no decisions would be made concerning the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program. Richter also stressed that this would be the first of many meetings including a Council Meeting, and a Public Session with an Introduction to an Ordinance regarding the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program.

Kelly asked all to sign the yellow note pad to establish who was in attendance at the meeting. The Business Administrator stated there would be a second pad placed in the back so the Public could provide their names, addresses, and phone numbers.

The Township Business Administrator stressed that the Township had completed 4 stages in the Township Sanitary Sewer Program, and this presentation would be outlining the Township’s plans for the 5th stage. The Business Administrator gave a brief history of past stages of the Sanitary Sewer Program and said after Stage 4 the Township Council and Municipal Sewer Engineers decided to look at the balance of the Township to see which additional Township areas might be best suited for sewers.

The Township Business Administrator stated surveys were sent out to determine the Public’s opinions concerning the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program. After obtaining and reviewing these surveys the Township asked Malcolm Pirnie via the Township’s Utility Engineer to conduct a presentation to inform the Public and Council of their findings.



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October 13, 2004
Page 2

The Business Administrator invited the Public to view the display and charts of the ten areas the Township was considering for possible sewers.

The Business Administrator said a Special Assessment Capital Bond Ordinance would be presented at a further meeting. What that would mean to the Public would be all, or a portion of the construction cost of this project would be paid for by the property owners who benefit from the sewer line installation, and there will be an Assessment levied on these property owners.

The Business Administrator stressed that this was an informational meeting for the Public so the Council could hear what the Public’s concerns were and future meetings would be held in reference to this issue.

The Business Administrator said although there were a number of variables to consider construction may begin at the end of 2005, or spring of 2006. The Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program was expected to take 1-2 years to complete which would be comprised of sewers, drains, and laterals. The cost estimate for the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program is 5 million dollars. There are about 225 properties involved and on an average for discussion purposes it would be about $22,500.00 per lot which was the high end of what a Special Assessment would be. If there were hypothetically contributions made on the Municipal side of 50% it could move to the $11-12,000.00 range per property. The Business Administrator stated more information would be available after a formal hearing.

Mr. Shah opened his presentation with a brief background on the remaining non-sewered areas in Mahwah Township. Mr. Shah stressed this was an Informational Meeting and that the Township had taken steps to hear the resident’s responses and identify viable areas to continue sewer installation via the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program.

Mr. Shah invited the public to pick up and review handouts outlining his Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program informational presentation. These handouts are on file in the Municipal Clerk’s Office.

Mr. Shah stated there were two surveys preformed, one in March and one in July 2003, with regards to this project. 300+ residents were evaluated during each survey and 210 responded. The purpose of this meeting was for further public response. Mr. Shah stated the responses were taken from the two surveys and used to designate 10 areas from which the Township could launch the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program. Mr. Shah addressed each area individually and recommended moving forward with the viable work areas.



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October 13, 2004
Page 3

Mr. Shah stated there were two types of sewer systems being considered for the various areas of the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program. One was the Conventional Gravity Sewer and the other was the Pressure Sewer System. Pressure Sewer Systems often require a small primer pump with each individual lot to discharge the sewage waste.

Mr. Shah proceeded to explain the handouts which included an area by area analysis of each viable and non viable lot where the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program was being considered. Mr. Shah recommended the installation of water mains as a “piggy back” to this project.

Mr. Shah stated the estimated cost for 224 lots was $5.5 Million Dollars. This amounts to approximately $22,000 per lot. The Sewer Assessment Committee as designated by the Township will be able to come up with more accurate estimates as the project progresses. It would take approximately 2 years before property owners could hook up to the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer systems.

Richter thanked Mr. Shah and opened to Council’s questions.

DiGiulio asked how much a new septic system would cost. Mr. Shah stated a totally new system would be in the range of $20-25,000.

Kelly asked if additional responses have come in after the second survey. Mr. Shah said only a handful. Kelly asked if the Township will conduct a final survey or go with what the Township has. The Business Administrator said it depends on what Council would like to do.

Alderisio asked if cost will differ from area to area. Mr. Shah answered, yes.

Richter mentioned that in Phase I there was a lot of Federal money given to the Township, and this funding does not occur anymore. Richter stated there was a possibility of 50% of the cost for the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer systems being covered by the Township.

On a motion by Richter, seconded by Kelly, the meeting was open to the public. All in favor. Motion carried.

Mr. Steve Tsotsoros of 600 Wyckoff Avenue stated on the west side of Area 10 the properties are below gravitation and how would the sewer system work if it is a Conventional Gravity Sewer. Mr. Shah stated a gravity main is proposed in the street and individual homes might need a pump at the residence to move the sewage towards the street. Mr. Tsotsoros asked what

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October 13, 2004
Page 4

would happen if there was a power outage. Mr. Shah answered a minimal waste water unit should be able to handle any power outages.

Mr. Basil Kayal of 46 Skytop Drive stated his son had a septic and it constantly had to be pumped out and Mr. Kayal hoped Council would go ahead with Mr. Shah’s recommendation.

Mr. Kevin Harris of 72 Fardale Avenue stated that the previous owners of his home were a no response and he wanted Council to know that he was in favor of Council soliciting final responses from those who have not responded to the surveys. Richter asked Mr. Harris to put it in writing to the Township Clerk because there was much to consider and she would like to have it in letter form. Mr. Shah stated all written responses would be looked at.

Ms. Pam Baxley of 15 Fawn Hill Drive asked how the Township determined if a property needed the Conventional Gravity Sewer or the Pressure Sewer System and if her property would be affected by one of the easements. Mr. Shah said Ms. Baxley’s property was not currently in line with any of the easements.

Ms. Baxley asked how much a water main would cost. Mr. Shah said it depended on the scale of the job. The Business Administrator said it would cost considerably less.

Mr. Peter Allen of 15 Morris Avenue stated he was not interested and had a 13 month old septic that was just installed. Richter asked him to send a letter to the Township Clerk reiterating his comments. The Business Administrator stated if a sewer line was run down a street and some residents said yes and some said no all residents would still be included in the project. It would not be an optional issue.

Mr. Manford Rein of 410 Campgaw Road (on the West Side). Mr. Rein asked what the depth of the sewer line would be. Mr. Shah said it was too hard to tell right now. Mr. Rein asked if the sewer lines were installed as on Kohout Drive and Lottie Lane would the cost remain the same. The Business Administrator stated this would be up to the Sewer Assessment Committee and situations like this will be considered.

Mr. Rein asked how a vacant property would be assessed. The Business Administrator said the Sewer Assessment Committee would consider it as a building lot as if there were a house on it. Mr. Rein asked about the easement at the end of Kohout Drive. Mr. Shah stated the original line design will be taken into consideration. The Business Administrator added that the easement does not exist, would have to be negotiated with the property


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October 13, 2004
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owner, and what Malcolm Pirnie has provided is a very conceptual design that may not be the final design route.

Mr. E.J. Krzyzcinowski of 238 East Crescent Avenue stated he did not like the Pressure Sewer Systems and he prefers the Conventional Gravity Sewer. According to Mr. Krzyzcinowski, the Pressure Sewer Systems are too costly and there are no benefits in using them. Mr. Krzyzcinowski further stated it was unfair to be forced into a Pressure Sewer System.

Mr. Stuart Berson of 120 Youngs Road asked how this came about. Mr. Shah stated residents began to approach Council requesting a survey. Richter added after the Stage 4 Sanitary Sewer Program residents asked why they were not included.

Mr. Berson stated 210 of the 300 residents were surveyed, and asked how many answered. Mr. Shah answered 60% or more were for the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program. The Business Administrator stated the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program would bring a sewer lateral to the property line or curb. It would then be the property owner’s responsibility to hook up to the sewer lateral and would be responsible for the pipe, pump, and the closing of the system.

Mr. Berson stated the homeowners are shouldered with a lot of responsibility, and he asked for more information prior to the next Survey Vote.

Mr. Paul Wickenheisser of 626 Campgaw Road stated his property slopes down from Campgaw Road and a few years ago he met with Justin Mahon who stated to that the sewers in this area would not be deep. Mr. Wickenheisser further stated most of the homes in the area had new septics and sewer hookups would only waste tax payer’s money. Mr. Wickenheisser asked who was supplying the pumps. Mr. Shah stated the Township will be purchasing the pumps in bulk and the Sewer Assessment Committee would be designating the costs associated with residents in regards to the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program.

Mr. Wickenheisser stated Moska paid the sewer assessment in Stage 3, and hooked up in Stage 4. Mr. Wickenheisser asked if there were records of this. As Mr. Wickenheisser’s time was up, Richter invited him to speak again after everyone was through.

Mr. George Kayal of 509 Wyckoff Avenue stated that he owned 575 Wyckoff Avenue and it was recorded in the survey as a no response. Mr. Kayal asked to either have this address removed from the survey or list it as a yes. Mr. Shah asked Mr. Kayal to put his response in writing to the Township Clerk. The Business Administrator stated if this residence is already sewered it does not count. Mr. Kayal stated he also owns 550 Wyckoff Avenue

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October 13, 2004
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and this property has a major septic problem. Mr. Kayal wanted to go on the record stating he would like to see the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program placed in effect.

Richter told all in attendance if they had anything they would like to put on the record to send it in letter form to the Township Clerk. Richter also stated if anyone was a new resident and had an opinion on the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Program she would like to hear from them by mail via the Township Clerk.

Mr. Bill Golz of 444 Campgaw Road stated that pump up systems work very well.

Richter left at 8:45PM

Mr. Edward Robinson of 14 Morris Avenue asked how to go about getting a water hook up in conjunction with the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer work that will be done in his area. The Business Administrator stated there was no real procedure; however, it does make sense to do them both at the same time.

Mr. Robinson asked if the assessment could be a write off. The Business Administrator said no, but it could be paid off in a lump sum or over 10 years at 3-4% interest. Kelly asked Mr. Robinson to put his concerns in letter format and submit them to the Township Clerk.

Richter back at 8:50PM

Mr. Robinson mentioned problems he was having with a failed septic system down the road. The Business Administrator advised Mr. Robinson to put all of his concerns, including the failed septic system, in a letter to the Township Clerk. Richter advised Mr. Robinson to contact the Board of Health.

Mrs. Blanche Cordero of 81 Deerfield Terrace asked which area would be started on first. Mr. Shah stated this would be dictated by the Contractor’s schedule; however, Residents who have failing systems will have some input. Richter asked Mrs. Cordero to send her concerns in letter format to the Township Clerk.

Mr. Paul Cordero of 81 Deerfield Terrace stated he was not for the sewers, but the water lines were a good idea as the residential wells, according to Mr. Cordero, are tainted with arsenic. The water in Mr. Cordero back yard was reportedly flooding his back yard and other areas on Deerfield Terrace for the past two years due to construction in the Township. Richter asked Mr. Cordero to address his concerns with Construction to the Planning Board by letter. Mr. Cordero stated residents really can’t complain because sewers and water will benefit the Township as a whole.

Special Work Session Meeting Minutes
October 13, 2004
Page 7

Mr. William Martin of 40 Morris Avenue asked for clarification on which system would be used in the Morris Avenue area. Mr. Shah stated the Pressure Sewer System. Mr. Martin asked for clarification on the surveys. Mr. Shah answered, stating the surveys provided background information for a conceptual design.

Mr. Joe Szwerc of 15 Chapel Road asked what if the main sewer was higher then the house and if it would back up. Mr. Shah asked Mr. Szwerc to refer to the frequently asked questions sheet.

Mr. George Wagner of 26 Bartholf Lane stated it was a very fine thing the Township was doing by installing these sewers. It will protect the ground water and Mr. Wagner was all for that. Mr. Wagner stated he appreciated Council moving forward with the Stage 5 Sanitary Sewer Project. The audience applauded.

Ms. Janine Davis of 619 Campgaw Road stated although she was a no response, she would send a note to the Township Clerk stating she would vote no for the sewers. Ms. Davis was looking forward to hearing about the advantage points of the proposed sewer program and hard core numbers in regards to the price of filling a septic system. Ms. Davis also inquired about the water line hook-up. The Business Administrator stated residents are not required to hook up to the water line. The Business Administrator said the cost to fill in a septic would vary according to the Contractor. The cost to close a system during the Stage 4 Sanitary Sewer Project was $2,000.00 - $4,000.00. An advantage for installing sewers is to prevent septic failures as a septic rebuild can cost $20,000.00 to $30,000.00.

Ms. Gloria Edlin of 49 Nilsen Avenue stated that Section 2 was 15 lots, not 20.

Ms. Julie Clair of 25 Morris Avenue asked whether a pressure or gravity system would be used on Morris Avenue. Mr. Shah answered a Pressure Sewer System.

Ms. Ramona Ricciardi of 398 Campgaw Road asked which area she was in and whether a pressure or gravity system would be used. Mr. Shah answered Ms. Ricciardi was in Area 1 and there was a dry sewer in the street and a lateral will be extended to the septic. Ms. Ricciardi said that sewers make sense in terms of real estate value as well as environmentally.

Ms. Ruth Schmalz of 180A Peterson Place asked how many feet to the road necessitated a sewer connection. The Business Administrator said 200 feet.

Mr. Glen Bergemann of 19 Chapel Road stated he was for sewer systems. Bergemann asked if he was required to hook up to the sewer system if his home was 258 feet away.
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October 13, 2004
Page 8

The Business Administrator said Mr. Bergemann was not required to hook up, although he does have the option to do this. Residents who are required to hook up must do so within one year. The Business Administrator stated Mr. Bergemann would still be assessed.

The Business Administrator stated sewer lines increase property value and this was a benefit of the Special Assessment. Mr. Bergemann asked about the water bill and if there would be an increase due to the sewers. The Business Administrator stated there would be a quarterly sewer bill, much like the quarterly water bill, and there would be a flow charge. The Business Administrator stated if you are not hooked up to a sewer, you would not be charged. Richter stated the basic charge for flow is approximately $300.00.

On a motion by Calandrillo, seconded by Kelly, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15PM. All in favor. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,


Kathrine G. Coletta, RMC/CMC
Municipal Clerk

KGC/mcr







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