Acting Chairperson Beverly Budz called the meeting to order at 7:18 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this regular meeting has been provided to the public and the press on December 13, 2012 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Salute to the Flag

Roll Call

Beverly Budz, Acting Chairperson P
Michael Cheski, Recording Secretary A
Traci Baldwin-Carter P
Helena Holmes A
Heloise Ruskin P
Diane Wexler, Land Use Board Liaison P

Also Present

Jessi Paladini

Meeting Opened to the Public

No members of the public came forward.

Meeting Closed to the Public

Land Use Board Liaison Report

Diane Wexler reported that the Land Use Board approved the Historic Preservation Commission’s recommendation for landmark status for several historic cemeteries. She also reported that the LUB approved a revised solar panel ordinance. Ground mounted panels are now not permitted in any zone in the township, which means applicants wanting to install solar panels on the ground must seek approval for a use variance from the Land Use Board.

Applications under Review

There were no applications for review.

Old Business

DEP Grant to Vernon Township

Beverly Budz announced that the grant is almost finalized. Michael Cheski, an experienced grant writer, is writing the grant on behalf of the Environmental Commission. The grant is for $30,000 and provides funds to purchase and plant trees in the community as compensation for the deforestation by Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The replanting does not have to occur in the areas affected by TGP. Trees can be planted anywhere within the community. Once the DEP Division of Forestry approves the grant, trees will be purchased at the end of the summer and planted. Some locations discussed are on Main Street, at the Municipal Center on Church Street, in Maple Grant Park, at the Black Creek Site, and at the township schools.

New Business

TGP Update

The commission has still not gotten a direct response from TGP concerning the names of the chemicals spilled during construction of the pipeline in the township. The commission will send the same letter again to TGP but change the date.

Black Creek Site

Beverly Budz announced she would like to set up a site visit to the Black Creek Site for Environmental Commission members. She suggested the site visit might take place during the week of May 14-17 when Glen Meadow Middle School has its guided tour and archaeology studies with a professional archaeologist. She said the commission members could also chaperone the students and assist with the studies, if they so choose. Any commissioner desiring to do so must give his or her name to secretary Jessi Paladini, who is in charge of the GMMS studies at the Black Creek Site.


The commission discussed its participation in Earthfest, which will be held on April 28 at Heaven Hill farm on April 28. The commission will give out trees for planting and give out handouts. They discussed other hands-on things to do with children. Beverly Budz and Diane Wexler said they would attend and sit at the commission table. The event is from 11 to 4. The other commissioners said they would try to get there. Beverly Budz directed the secretary to register for Earthfest for the commission. Registration is free for non-profits and township boards not selling anything. There is a $75 per table fee for anyone wishing to sell merchandise.


The commission directed the secretary to renew its membership into ANJEC. The secretary will work this out with the township clerk, who will send in the payment and required forms.

Fracking Resolution

The commission postponed discussion of adopting a resolution opposing fracking. Warwick, NY is currently opposing this, and the commission feels it is important to support our neighboring community.

Approval of Minutes

March 12, 2013

Diane Wexler moved to approve the March 12, 2013 minutes of the commission. Beverly Budz seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote: Traci Baldwin-Carter, yes; Heloise Ruskin, yes; Diane Wexler, yes; Beverly Budz, yes

Diane Wexler moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 p.m. Traci Baldwin-Carter seconded. All were in favor.

The next meeting of the Vernon Township Environmental Commission will be on May 14, 2013.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary
Adopted by the commission on May 14, 2013