Call Meeting to Order

Craig Williams, Environmental Commission (EC) Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 adequate notice as defined in Section 3D of Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 has been facsimiled and mailed from the Vernon Municipal Center to the New Jersey Herald on July 18, 2011. Notice is also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Salute to Flag

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Craig Williams.

Roll Call

William Becker A
Beverly Budz A
Michael Cheski P
Helena Holmes P
Heloise Ruskin A
Diane Wexler P
Craig Williams, Chairman P

Also Present

Aida Cahill, Recording Secretary

Open Meeting to the Public

Mike Furrey, Sandhill Road, stated that he thinks open space is a worthy cause and questioned the current status of the Open Space Plan. Mr. Furrey spoke regarding the Stanhill property being a key piece of the Open Space Plan, and the resistance of the past town council to have a second appraisal completed. Mr. Furrey questioned if the EC would consider supporting a petition to oppose open space funds reverting back to the general township fund. Mr. Furrey spoke regarding the gas pipeline and advised that there soon would be hydrostatic pressure testing done. Mr. Furrey further advised that this type of testing would be different than the last time testing was done by the pipeline company. A clean line would be tested and there should be nothing in it. Mr. Furrey urged the EC to stay on top of the pipeline company to restore Vernon property. He also suggested speaking to Mr. Lennon, the land agent for the pipeline company.

Land Use Board Liaison Report

Ms. Wexler advised that the last Land Use Board meeting had been cancelled. There was no report.

Applications Under Review

LU #8-11-15 KDC Solar, LLC

Revision to application by adding storm water drainage.

EC Discussion

There was extensive discussion regarding acquisition of lands including Stanhill, the Walker Farm and Masker Marsh. Mr. Williams reviewed a map of the bike path and spoke regarding continuance of the path by obtaining easements, as opposed to outright purchase of properties, thereby maximizing use of the open space funds. Mr. Williams advised that Mountain Creek and Crystal Springs were conducting their own studies to create a bike path. Approaching the Walker family regarding a conservation easement and farmland preservation was also discussed.

A site visit to several Vernon owned properties was planned for Saturday, October 9th at 10:00 a.m. The meeting place would be at the Municipal Center parking lot.

Plans for an EC presentation regarding open space for the October 13th town council meeting were made.

The EC stated their strong opposition to hydrofracking. Future adoption of a resolution opposing fracking was discussed. Mr. Cheski advised of a meeting he would be attending in Trenton where the governors of NJ, NY, PA and DE would be discussing the possibility of fracking in those states. Mr. Cheski further advised of a website called where information on fracking could be obtained. Helena Holmes offered to research the appropriate resolution language regarding hydrofracking.

There was extensive discussion regarding the remediation of land damaged by the gas pipeline company. Mr. Cheski suggested inviting Mr. Lennon from the pipeline company to the next EC meeting to ask questions that hadn’t been answered at the last EC meeting Mr. Lennon attended.

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve Regular Meeting Minutes from 9/6/11 with revision of typo, changing and to an.

Motion: Heloise Ruskin
Second: Diane Wexler
All members voted in favor.


There was a motion to adjourn at 9:50 p.m., with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Aida Cahill, Recording Secretary
Minutes approved: December 5, 2011