21 Church Street, Vernon, NJ 07462
REORGANIZATION MEETING MINUTES
MUNICIPAL UTILITY AUTHORITY
21 CHURCH STREET, VERNON, NJ 07462
FEBRUARY 17, 2022 AT 7:00 P.M.
These minutes are a synopsis of the meeting that took place on 2/17/2022. Copies of the recording are available at the office of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (the “MUA”).
The regular meeting of the MUA was convened at 7:04 pm.
Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this regular meeting was provided to the public and the press on December 27, 2021 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the MUA as well as posted on the website.
At this time Mr. Wenner swore in Mr. Snook for the term of 2/1/22-1/31/27.
The following Members were present:
The following members were absent:
The following professionals were present:
Donelle Bright, Administrator/CFO; Rich Wenner, MUA Attorney; Steven Benosky, Engineer; Jaclyn McCabe, Recording Secretary; Howard Lazier, Licensed Operator.
Motion to nominate Mr. Kearney for Chairman was made by Mr. Pitsker, and seconded by Mr. McDermott. Motion to close the nomination was made by Mr. Snook, which was seconded by Mr. Pitsker and declared carried by unanimous votes.
Mr. Wenner swore in Mr. Kearney as Chairman.
Motion to nominate Mr. Pitsker for Vice Chairman was made by Mr. McDermott, and seconded by Mr. Snook and declared carried by unanimous votes.
Mr. Pitsker motioned to open to the public for an agenda items only, which was seconded by Mr. Snook, and carried by unanimous votes. Ms. McCabe informed hands were raised virtually.
Ms. Paladini congratulated Mr. Kearney on being appointed to Chairman and welcomed back Mr. Snook. Ms. Paladini stated she objects to Mr. Pitsker being appointed as Vice Chairman and called for his resignation.
Ms. Distasi congratulated Mr. Snook as he is a great choice for the MUA, as well as Mr. DeYoung. Ms. Distasi inquired where the bills list is located. Ms. Bright responded that the bills list is not posted on the website and can be obtained via e-mail or at the office.
Mr. Snook made the motion to close to the public for agenda items only, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by unanimous votes.
Mr. Pitsker made the motion to block the reorganization resolutions, which was seconded by Mr. DeYoung and carried by unanimous votes.
Mr. McDermott made the motion to adopt the block resolutions #22-06-#22-14, which was seconded by Mr. Pitsker, and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Kearney, Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung.
Mr. McDermott mad the motion to approve resolution #22-15, approval of bills, which was seconded by Mr. Pitsker and declared carried by the unanimous votes of Mr. Kearney, Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung.
Mr. DeYoung made the motion to approve the 1/20/22 minutes, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Kearney, Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung.
Mr. Pitsker made the motion to approve the executive meeting minutes from 8/19/21, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Kearney, Mr. Pitsker, and Mr. McDermott.
Mr. Pitsker made the motion to approve the executive meeting minutes from 1/20/22, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Kearney, Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung.
Ms. Bright explained this is a large membership fee without much in return. It was unanimously decided to remove the resolution from the agenda.
Ms. Bright discussed that the current muffin monster at PS1 had exceeded the duration of use and had broken. This resolution is to purchase a replacement muffin monster.
Mr. Snook made the motion to approve resolution #22-18, Authorizing the Award with GP Jager, Inc., seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Kearny, Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung.
Ms. Bright updated on the PS2 project, stating that we are waiting for the NJDEP to review the specification and to give approval, which is anticipated to be March 4th. Ms. Bright added then it can move on to IBank approval; additionally, the township did just approve the introduction of ordinance to take out the debt for the pump station replacement. Ms. Bright reviewed how the IBank funding works as well as the bond ordinance. Ms. Bright added once approved the project can move forward, approval times are taking longer then usual because of COVID restrictions.
Ms. Bright discussed the sewer service area expansion request will be sent to the NJDEP for review.
Ms. Bright gave a brief update on the capital items for 2022 and the stages of completion. Ms. Bright added two new large pumps as well as the muffin monster will now be ordered and added to the capital items.
Ms. Bright stated the 2021-year end report will be available on the MUA website.
Ms. Bright reviewed the letter that will be sent to town council, which will serve as a 2021 annual report. The Council President reached out and requested attendance at the next meeting, which is a town ordinance, and also requested a question-and-answer session. Ms. Bright said that the ordinance does state a written and oral report but deferred to Mr. Wenner regarding question-and-answer sessions. Mr. Wenner stated it would be beneficial and productive after the issuance of the report to softly ask for a set of questions to be provided to the MUA. This way the MUA can give a more robust overview of issues of concern to the governing body. Mr. Wenner also suggested that no more then two representatives of the MUA attend the council meeting. Ms. Bright stated, at the request of the board, she will send the report to the governing body and request that questions be held for the following council meeting in order to prepare responses.
Mr. Lazier reported there was an emergency at pump station 1 with the grinder backing up. When it was pulled from the tank the eye hook came off the top of the grinder causing it to falling 15 feet into the tank and breaking the pump. Mr. Lazier added upon inspecting the grinder the knuckles and teeth were worn out. After GP Jager, the company we purchased the grinder from, inspected the grinder he stated it is surprising that the grinder has lasted so long.
Mr. Lazier discussed that the sensaphone is tripping the breakers at pump station 2 and will be evaluated by North Jersey Pump and Controls on Friday. Additionally, at this pump station flooding occurred during the last storm which required an additional sump pump to help control the water.
Mr. Lazier reported that ps3 and all the lift stations are in good operating condition.
Mr. Pitsker inquired how the eye hook came out of the muffin monster and asked how to avoid this in the future. Mr. Pitsker strongly suggested that an additional strap be used in order to ensure safety.
Mr. Benosky stated that Ms. Bright reviewed, with accuracy, the status of both the pump station 2 project as well as the sewer service area mapping. Mr. Benosky reported that the easement ditches will be reviewed in spring. Ms. Bright spoke to Mr. Benosky on evaluating the force main. Mr. Pitsker inquired if the sewer service area map is going for approval. Ms. Bright stated that now since the town center has the state designation, that acts as the sewer service area, and only small parcels of land need to be reviewed.
Mr. Benosky gave a brief update on the water infrastructure project stating that a site-specific traffic maintenance plan was developed for Rt 515 per requirements from the Sussex County division of Engineering, which was submitted 2/10/22. Additionally, there are several requirements to obtain a road opening permit. Mr. Benosky added that the VTMUA is awaiting a draft agreement from Suez for the water supply to service the area.
Mr. Pitsker made the motion to open the meeting for items not on the agenda, seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by unanimous votes. Ms. McCabe informed hands were raised virtually.
Ms. Paladini offered her apologies to Mr. DeYoung for not mentioning him previously, and she is thrilled to welcome him to the MUA. Ms. Paladini inquired why the bills list was taken off the website. Ms. Paladini stated that when she was recording secretary it was always available and would like to see it back on the website.
Ms. Distasi inquired about the bond for the $2.4 million and if there are plans to use the surcharges that Mt. Creek collects to reduce the bond. Ms. Bright answered that the bond is township business, and although the MUA manages the assets, she does not have authority to comment on a town council ordinance. Ms. Distasi asked if the MUA received the $1.75 million that the township gave the MUA. Ms. Bright stated that comments can not be made on business that does not pertain to the MUA and the capital ordinance does not award funds to the MUA.
Mr. McDermott made the motion to close the meeting to the public for items not on the agenda, which was seconded by Mr. Snook and carried by unanimous votes.
Mr. DeYoung commented he is happy to be here for his second meeting. Additionally, he is still learning and everyone has been a tremendous help.
Mr. McDermott commented that he hopes to move forward quickly and cleanly on the construction of ps2, as it is very important.
Mr. Snook commented these projects are from when he was last on the board and hopes they get done. Mr. Snook does know who is holing it up, but hopes to complete them.
Mr. Pitsker commented that safety is first and to use an additional strap when pulling the pumps. Mr. Pitsker inquired about the new employees and was answered they are still in training.
Mr. Kearney commented that PS2 is heading in the right direction. Mr. Kearney inquired about the back up operator. Ms. Bright answered that out current back up operator reached out and stated he cannot attend monthly any longer; however, he would still like to remain our back up operator. Ms. Bright stated she asked if could come quarterly; which Ms. Bright is comfortable with as Mr. Lazier and the field repairers are good with communication.
Mr. McDermott made the motion to approve resolution #22-17, executive session for attorney client privilege and litigation, which was seconded by Mr. Pitsker and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Kearney, Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook and Mr. DeYoung. No action will be taken upon reconvening.
Motion to reconvene the regular meeting was made by Mr. Snook, which was seconded by Mr. McDermott and carried by the affirmative votes of Mr. Kearney, Mr. Pitsker, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Snook, and Mr. DeYoung.
Motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:04 pm, was made by Mr. McDermott, which was seconded by Mr. DeYoung and carried by unanimous votes.
Jaclyn McCabe, Recording Secretary
Minutes Approved 3.17.22