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TOWNSHIP OF MAHWAH
WORK SESSION MEETING MINUTES
THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2004

The meeting was called to order at 8:00PM by Council Vice President Kelly who read the Open Public Meeting Act Statement as prescribed by law. Notice was advertised in The Record on July 14, 2003 stating this meeting would be held on Thursday, July 8, 2004 at 8:00PM in the Council Chambers 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, Paton, and Roth.
Absent: Councilmember Richter.

Also present were Mayor Richard Martel, Business Administrator Brian Campion, Township Attorney Menelaos Toskos, Township Attorney’s Associate Nilufer DeScherer, and Municipal Clerk Kathrine G. Coletta.

PUBLIC PORTION
On a motion by Calandrillo, seconded by Kelly, the meeting was opened to the public. All in favor. Motion carried.

Mr. Ted Slockblower of 43 Thunderhead Place disputed the assessment figures for the Phase 4 Sewer Project. Mr. Slockblower stated he has a spreadsheet breakdown listing information pertaining to his allegations.

Mr. Ted Slockblower stated the water pressure at his home of 43 Thunderhead Place for the last few days was at 28 PSI, which in his opinion was unacceptable. Mr. Slockblower stated the Township needed to address this problem. Mr. Slockblower stated his water was brown and that he needed to change his water filter every month and that he could notice a change in pressure when he changed the filters.

Mr. Kelly asked Mr. Slockblower to give his spreadsheets to the Township Clerk who distributed them to the Council.

Mr. Ron Roberto of 63 Thunderhead Place supported Mr. Slockblower, and their community, concerning the disputed assessment figures for the Phase 4 Sewer Project. The Neighborhood Action Committee felt they were unfairly discriminated against by The Sewer Assessment Committee. Mr. Roberto also stressed the need to address the water pressure issue. The Sewer issues, street paving, and water pressure problems will be advocated for by the Neighborhood Action Committee in the Thunderhead Place section of Mahwah.

The Township Attorney asked if the residents were formally assessed yet. Mr. Ron Roberto stated they received a letter with a proposed assessment that, in his opinion, was way out of line.

The Township Attorney asked if there was a hearing, and if the residents were allowed to express their feelings. Mr. Ron Roberto stated yes, there was a meeting and they were allowed to express their concerns, but not about individual properties. The Township Attorney stressed the Sewer Assessments were not formalized yet and there will be a meeting of the Sewer Assessment Committee to create a report that they will present to the Council. At that point the Council will send out notices and have a hearing on the proposed assessments. Until the Council finally adopts the proposed Sewer Assessments, they will not be finalized. Mr. Roberto stated he understood this; however, they did not want to wait until the end before protesting the assessments, and he demanded equal time to meet and discuss their specific issues. Mr. Roberto wanted all the issues resolved.

The Township Attorney stated Mr. Roberto’s problem was that he was away, and he was not able to schedule an individual meeting. The Township Attorney further stated the Township could arrange for these individual meetings before they do the report. Mr. Roberto stated he would like to have those meetings, and a meeting of all committees, the Council, and the residents to discuss this in entirety. The Township Attorney stated there was a State Process that needed to be followed in cases like this. It would not be appropriate to have the Council involved in making the initial recommendation. It is the Council’s role to review the Sewer Assessment’s recommendations. Issues such as paving could be brought to the Council’s attention.

Kelly asked all in the room that had the same concerns, to leave their name and numbers so that meetings could be set up with the Sewer Assessment Committee. Mr. Roberto asked Kelly if the Council had vetoing power over the Sewer Assessment Committee. Kelly answered yes.

The Township Clerk asked Mr. Roberto if all of the names of the people who wanted a meeting with the Sewer Assessment Committee were in his report. Mr. Roberto answered, yes; however the list was growing every day.

Paton asked the Township Attorney for a timeline so that the public could be informed of these meetings and so the Council members could attend. The Township Attorney stated there was not a specific statutory timeline, especially due to the delay. The Township Attorney suspected the Council would receive their report sometime in September.

Mr. Dennis Dodson of 25 Thunderhead Place stated he was at one of the individual meetings. Mr. Dodson stated if the Sewer Assessment Committee gave him money back from the assessment, they would have to end up charging someone else the difference. His impression is that the Committee will not budge. Concerning the water pressure, Mr. Dodson stated he had to install an auxiliary pump in his home in order to increase the water pressure. Mr. Dodson wanted to know how this affected the fire hydrants and insurance on the street.

Mr. Albert Kidd of 851 Darlington Avenue stated the firehouse expansion was excessive. Mr. Kidd stated the money for the Firehouse should have been put towards the sewer assessments. Mr. Kidd stated the Township was not concerned in saving money.

Mr. Albert Kidd stated the Zoning Ordinances and Property Maintenance Officers are upsetting the residents due to harassment.

Mr. Allan Kidd of 111 Miller Road stated he requested public records from the Municipal Clerk containing emails that he had not received. The Township Attorney stated these emails were deleted prior to Mr. Kidd’s request. Mr. Kidd stated these were public documents, and should not have been deleted. The Township Attorney stated he would look into possibly locating these emails and Mr. Kidd could contact the Township Clerk concerning progress on these matters. Mr. Kidd stated the Township Clerk said it was not her position to handle this. The Township Clerk stated she did not say this. The Township Clerk stated she gave Mr. Kidd what she had on file. Mr. Kidd wants to know who the Custodian of Records was and what their job entailed. Kelly stated Council would look into this and get back to him on it.

Mr. Allan Kidd mentioned a lawsuit the Township of Mahwah filed concerning Election Ballots. Mr. Kidd wanted to know whose job it was to handle the Election Ballots. The Township Attorney answered, stating it was the Township Clerk’s job. Mr. Kidd stated since the ballots were not filled out correctly that the responsibility was the Township Clerk’s. The Township Attorney stated that there was a miscommunication between the Township Clerk and the County Clerk regarding certification. Mr. Kidd further asked who was paying for the cost of this lawsuit, the Municipality of Mahwah, or the County? The Township Attorney answered stating it was covered under the Retainer Agreement which is a fixed fee, not an hourly rate.

On a motion by Calandrillo, seconded by Paton, the meeting was closed to the public at 8:31PM. All in favor. Motion carried.

UTILITY ENGINEER (Malcolm Pirnie)
2a. Fardale Tank Demolition Construction Engineering Services.
The Township Utility Engineer recommended carrying for two weeks to the next Work Session.

2b. Progress Report
DiGiulio asked about the water pressure in the Thunderhead Place area of the Township. DiGiulio asked the Township Utility Engineer for more information on this. The Township Engineer answered the Township had been concerned with the water pressure situation in this area for a number of years. The Township conducted a study on this a few years back which resulted in two options: One, to replace the undersized water mains in the area, and that work has been completed. Secondly, was to construct a new water tank at a higher elevation to improve the pressure to at least 40 lbs. Residents in the vicinity of this proposed water tank objected and the Council made a decision to table the water tank in hopes that the water mains alone would be sufficient to solve the resident’s water complaints. The Township Utility Engineer was aware of the problem but until a higher water tank or pump system is installed, he can not do anything about the problem.

Alderisio asked what the size of the water main was servicing Oak Hill. The Township Utility Engineer stated 6” mains. The Township Utility Engineer stated 28 lbs. satisfied the State’s minimum water pressure requirement; however, it did not satisfy our residents. Making the main 40” would not necessarily solve this problem.

Paton suggested a Water Main Cleaning Plan be instituted. The Township Utility Engineer stated he would check with the Director of Public Works who had been reluctant to flush for fear that in the act of flushing he would disturb more of the sediments. Directional flushing is more labor intensive, and due to other needs it has not been done yet. Paton feels a report should be done on this.

Calandrillo stated not flushing the system was not acceptable. The Township Utility Engineer stated it was the judgment of the Director of Public Works and the Supervisor that they could not get the velocity through a fire hydrant high enough to scour the sediments out of the pipe so that it will all come out. Calandrillo was not happy with this answer and felt all the lines should be flushed.

Roth concurred with Calandrillo. Roth requested Administration to get a report from the Department of Public Works as to when the last time the lines were flushed up there, if ever, and what proposals they had to flush them in the future.

Roth asked if both alternatives had been explored. The Township Utility Engineer stated they tabled the tank to see if the larger main replacements would be sufficient to satisfy the concerns of the residents in that area. Roth asked if 28 lbs of pressure was sufficient for those residents. The Township Utility Engineer stated a number of the residents wanted to try the new mains prior to a new water tank.

DiGiulio stated the noise the pumps would make were also discussed by the residents, and it was determined that it would disturb them. DiGiulio suggested finding a different location for a possible water tank installation.

Kelly wanted to see Administration come back with a recommendation from the Water Department as to how they would accomplish a flushing in that area. If they felt they could not, Kelly wanted them to give the Council their reasoning.

In addition, Kelly suggested remembering the connection to United Water and the realization that it had not helped in this matter.

DiGiulio asked for a time frame.

The Business Administrator suggested getting the report that was considered by the Council 2-3 years ago and reading the minutes from that meeting. According to the Business Administrator, one of the solutions was a large tower, and the other was a large pumping station. After hearing from the residents that would have either of these options in their back yard, Council decided not to move ahead and decided to take a wait and see position hoping the valve changes would improve the situation. The East Crescent Booster System was also anticipated to help with the pressure issues.

The Business Administrator stated he would get a report to Council on flushing. Kelly asked the Township Clerk to make sure Council gets this report and to schedule this for a future Work Session.

Alderisio asked if the Mahwah Road tank was active. The Township Utility Engineer stated it was the same elevation as the Nilsen Tank and would only deliver 28 lbs. of pressure.

Paton asked when the paving would be done, advising all that school will be starting in September. The Township Utility Engineer stated he contacted the General Contractor before the holidays, and the General Contractor is having problems getting the Paver to commit to a date. Paton asked if there were any penalties that we could impose. Paton was disgruntled with the contracting process.

Kelly asked the Business Administrator to comment. The Business Administrator stated there was a maintenance guarantee and it expired sometime this fall. The work would have to be completed before the fall or the Township would declare the contractor in default and go to the bonding company to require the bonding company to complete the job.

Mr. Kelly asked about the white lines in the area. The Township Utility Engineer stated those are boundary lines for paving that the Department of Public Works marked out for the contractor to repair and complete.

LEGAL
3a. Electronic Filing Fee
The Township Attorney stated the Tax Collector received a request to install a program in the fax computer that would allow Data Trace to directly access tax records on their computers. There was an annual fee of $1,200.00. Data Trace provided the Township Attorney with two ordinances from other counties that have adopted this.

Paton asked the Township Attorney what the value of this service would be to the Township. The Township Attorney stated it would help in tax-real estate searches.

Mr. Roth asked if he could have a ballpark figure of the Tax Search Requests. The Township Attorney said he would look into this.

Calandrillo asked if this access could be abused for solicitation purposes.

Kelly asked for more research on this to be done and brought back to Council for review at a future Work Session.

3b. Acquisition of Real Property; Lakeview Drive
The Township Attorney stated there would be an introduction at the next Public Meeting for this ordinance concerning certain lots around Silver Lake.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

ADMINISTRATION
4a. Award of Bid# MTB-04-19: Police Vehicles Purchase/Trade In
Roth asked how many 2002 Trade Ins are involved. The Business Administrator stated there are 5 vehicles to be traded in, three of these are 2002’s. A typographical error concerning the number of cars to be traded in would be corrected in the final resolution.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

4b. Cancellation of Duplicate Tax Penalty; Block 19, Lot 5; 510 Ramapo Valley Road
The Business Administrator stated there was a Duplicate Tax Penalty that the Tax Collector is asking us to correct by resolution. Kelly asked to have notification to the property owner added to the resolution.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

4c. Certificate of Determination and Award
The Business Administrator stated this report is for Council’s information concerning the Short Term Bond Anticipation Notes. This was for part of the Stage 4 Sanitary Sewer Project. Those notes have an annual rate of 1.64 percent.

Paton suggested locking in a long term rate. The Business Administrator stated there was a report forthcoming on this issue for the next Work Session.

4d. Authorization to Utilize State Contract #T-437A: Minicomputer, Microcomputer, Workstation and Associated Products
The Business Administrator asked for a resolution allowing for use of the State Contract to purchase certain business items.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

4e. Rejection of Bid #MTB-04-18: Police Department Vehicle Repairs and Maintenance
The Business Administrator stated the two bids he received had some fatal defects and they would be rejected and the Township would be re-advertising.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

4f. Re-Introduction of 2004 Capital Bond Ordinance
The Business Administrator stated this was informational concerning the Re-Introduction of the 2004 Capital Bond Ordinance that did not have sufficient votes present to adopt. The Business Administrator requested Council to re-introduce with no changes.

Calandrillo requested each member of Council to receive a copy of this for next week’s Work Session.

Kelly asked if we had a date for Introduction. The Township Clerk answered saying it would be next Thursday. The Business Administrator stated the Township would like to have this adopted at the next Public Meeting.

ENGINEERING (Boswell-McClave)
1a. Ramsey Auto Group; 1555 State Highway Route 17; Block 140, Lots 1 and 2; Request to Release Performance Guarantee (Dkt. #883-96SP)
The Township Engineer recommended releasing the Performance Guarantees for the project, and waiving the requirement for a two year maintenance guarantee. This work had been completed for 5 years.

Calandrillo asked if we received a verification of sufficient escrow. The Township Engineer did not know. The Township Clerk stated we would get that before the money was returned to them.

DiGiulio asked how the intensity of the lights were tested, and how it was controlled. DiGiulio cited projects in the past that have had lighting issues. The Township Engineer stated part of the Performance Guarantee included checking the light intensity and lighting standards. DiGiulio stated that better communication would be key to avoiding future problems with lighting.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

1b. Mahwah Land; Airmont Avenue; Block 126, Lots 125 and 126; Request for Reduction of Performance Guarantee (Dkt. #420)
The Township Engineer stated this was a request for reduction in a Performance Guarantee. All but 15% of the work had been completed. The Township would reduce and retain 30% which could be done pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law. The 30% would be held until all the items were addressed. The Township Attorney concurred.

Paton asked if the owner could cut the grass. The Township Engineer spoke to him today and he had addressed that.

DiGiulio questioned the installation of the detention basins should be completed prior to the release of any money.

Paton stated that there was a carrier truck parking there on the weekends and it was unsightly. Kelly stated Administration would take note of this.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

1c. Change Order #1; MTB-04-01: Roadway Improvements to Stag Hill Road and Split Road Road
The Township Engineer stated the contract price had been amended to $209,436.00 which was a final payment voucher.

Paton asked what the quality of the installation had been. The Township Engineer stated the problem with public bidding was that contractors generally handled large jobs and if there was a specific problem it was very hard to get them to come back and make changes. The Township Engineer stated he has had good success with these contractors.

Paton asked if it would be possible to get another contractor in to do this prior to winter. The Business Administrator said Tilcon is a very good paving contractor, and he was happy to have them work on any Township job. The Township Engineer stated a sewer paving job is very hard.

Roth asked why the entire Stag Hill Road was not paved. The Township Engineer stated it was not budgeted for. Kelly stated that part of the money was from a grant.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

1d. Salt Shed at Micik Lane Property; Proposal and Discussion on Location
The Township Engineer stated this was a proposal and discussion on the location of the salt shed.

The Township Engineer explained a topographical survey of the Micik Lane Property to the Council. Kelly stressed the need to move on this now as the salt shed was very important for the winter.

DiGiulio asked if the large mound on the property was staying. The Township Engineer explained the grading was not complete there yet. DiGiulio felt that the mound could be attractive with the correct landscaping.

Paton asked when this would be adopted. The Township Engineer explained that we could have this out to bid in 30 days. Paton asked if this would be completed by December 1st. The Township Engineer said it would be done between December 1st and January 1st.

The Business Administrator explained that the bid we received was for a group of things that needed to be done over a period of years. The Business Administrator stated if we began now, the Salt Shed Project should be completed before winter.

Roth suggested going ahead with the salt shed and holding the other two parts of this project for further planning. The Township Engineer suggested going with a “stand alone facility” in regards to the salt shed and other needs associated directly with this building. This should be considered a separate project.

Calandrillo wanted to confirm that the Township was going with a pre-fabricated building for the salt shed. The Township Engineer stated, yes.

DiGiulio asked about further testing. The Township Engineer stated the only other testing needed was a Soil Bearing Pressure Test. DiGiulio asked about noise control prevention and the Township Engineer stated this was a policy decision and up to the Township. The Township Engineer recommended the Council visit the Haledon Facility to see what they had done.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

1e. Written Status Report
Resolution shall be carried to the July 22, 2004 Work Session.

The Township Engineer stated on June 24th the Council passed a resolution to apply for pedestrian safety sidewalk grants for the MacArthur Boulevard area. According to the Township Engineer, the Department of Transportation did not feel that this would go over well, as these grants are primarily used for sidewalks in school areas, and they would probably not fund it. The Township Engineer recommended changing the location to Chapel Road and Fardale Avenue around the George Washington School. The Department of Transportation felt that this would stand a very good chance of getting funding.

The Township Engineer stated he could get a revised resolution on this to the Township Attorney.

Paton asked where these sidewalks would be installed on Chapel Road and Fardale Avenue. The Township Engineer stated 500 feet on Chapel Road and 700 feet along Fardale Avenue. Mr. Paton asked if this would include curbs, and the Township Engineer answered, yes it would include curbs, drop curbs, and aprons.

DiGiulio suggested repaving the parking lot of the George Washington School as well. The Township Engineer stated this could be listed as a construction component; however, this portion would need to be funded by the Township.

Paton stated that we would have to work with the Board of Education on this.

Kelly asked the Township Clerk to note this discussion, and to have the Board of Education liaison take care of this.

Kelly inquired about the Storm Water Management Plan and possible grants. The Township Engineer stated the Storm Water Management Plan and the Cragmere section drainage study may be covered by this, it was a good opportunity, and the deadline was in August.

DiGiulio asked if there was status on the Veterans Park Plan. The Township Engineer stated the Intersection Plan was still pending in the County Engineer’s Office and the Township Engineer told them that we needed it. The Township Engineer was trying very hard to get Wyckoff Avenue and Forest Avenue out to bid. The Township Engineer was speaking to the Freeholders tonight trying to get funding for Airmont Road and Hilltop Road.

DiGiulio asked about status on the Willow Bank Stream Cleaning. The Township Engineer answered, stating he did not know, but he would check into it.

DiGiulio asked about status concerning the blinking light for Young World Day School. The Township Engineer said that he would look into it.

TOWNSHIP COUNCIL/MUNICIPAL CLERK
5a. Firefighter Application; Stephen A. Notte Jr., to Fire Company #2
Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

5b. Proposed Resolution from N.J. G.A.S.P.
Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

5c. Resolution of Support; Financial Aid Program for the Military
Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

COUNCIL COMMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Paton provided notes from the Board Of Education meeting. Paton stated one of the issues as a crown needed in the football field for run off; they were experiencing muddy conditions. The Track surface needed a layer of latex for resurfacing.

Kelly asked if the Engineering Firm had issued a report on the track. Paton stated that he did not know. Kelly asked for the report to be made.

Paton inquired about the sewage spill, and how big a spill it was. Paton also mentioned that this was in the news.

The Business Administrator confirmed that the spill did in fact make the news, and the news providers asked Mahwah Residents to boil their water.

The Business Administrator stated in Sunday morning, the 4th of July, there was a manhole discharge in the back of Continental Soldiers Park in the area of the Darlington School House and Lake Henry. There was a malfunction of the North West Bergen Utilities Pumping Station. The pumping station shut down for a number of hours. As a result of this malfunction, there was a back up which discharged to come out of several manholes which are in the area of the walking path.

The Business Administrator feels there should have been a better reporting system in regards to this issue. The Department of Environmental Protection, the County Utilities Authority, our local Hazmat Team was called, and the Police Department, the Board of Health, the Mayor, and the Police Chief were all there. The County controlled their problem and operated the plant manually. All necessary precautions were taken.

The Township Administrator stated the Board of Health had closed Lake Henry until the next good rain as a precautionary measure.

Paton suggested having the Council placed on the Reverse 911 System for future issues such as this one.

Kelly concurred and asked Administration to make sure this was done.

Kelly requested a resolution from the Township Clerk asking the North West Bergen Utilities for a complete report on this problem.

Resolution shall be prepared for the July 15, 2004 Public Meeting.

DiGiulio stated that Administration could also contact Council. DiGiulio also stated that the Sherco Oil Spill has not been cleaned up yet, and this apparently was waiting on North West Bergen Utilities to cut a check. DiGiulio stressed the need for this to be finished.

Calandrillo thanked the Township Clerk for coming in on her vacation time.

Kelly stated he attended the County G.I.S. meeting and the County Executive gave a check for $25,000.00 to the North West Bergen Mayors Association to use in their group throughout the towns. The Administrators of that group are looking into what the best use for this money within the G.I.S. area would be.

REPORT OF SUBCOMMITTEES
DiGiulio stated the Beautification Committee met and thanked Ms. Susan Small for coordinating the plantings. The Beautification Committee would like to have the Mayor make a Proclamation designating August to September as Beautification Month. They would like for over grown lots to be specifically addressed during this time. The Beautification Committee will also be putting together the Mahwah Pride Awards. A number of these awards/plaques would be given to Nurseries (a list will be provided), Girl Scouts, Seniors and Senior Garden Club who donated work and supplies to Beautification projects in Mahwah.

DiGiulio stated Hedgewick Gardens would like to do more for the Township, possibly the Train station. Mrs. DiGiulio submitted a letter in regards to this to the Business Administrator and the Mayor to see where this help could be best used by Hedgewick Gardens, and other interested Nurseries, and gave everybody the ability to choose what they would like to do.

DiGiulio asked Council’s approval to go ahead with the plaques, and she would have a written report for the next meeting.

Paton mentioned in regards to cable activity the Township has gone out for quotes.

CLOSED SESSION
On a motion made by Paton, seconded by DiGiulio, Council went into Closed
Session at 10:21PM for the purposes of discussing Police Grievances, Litigation
Reports, and the White Collar Contract Negotiations Update. All in favor. Motion
carried.

On a motion by DiGiulio, seconded by Kelly, Council returned to Open Session at 11:24PM. All in favor. Motion carried.

On a motion made by DiGiulio, seconded by Calandrillo, the meeting was adjourned at
11:25PM. All in favor. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,


Kathrine G. Coletta, RMC/CMC
Municipal Clerk

KGC/mcr




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