Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Regular Council Meeting Minutes 09/15/11

Minutes of the Conference Meeting of the Borough Council held September 15, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Borough Hall, 531 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, New Jersey.

Mayor Druetzler called the meeting to order and read the following notice:

I HEREBY ANNOUNCE AND STATE THAT ADEQUATE NOTICE OF THIS MEETING WAS PROVIDED BY VIRTUE OF A RESOLUTION SCHEDULING THE TIME, DATE, AND PLACE OF MEETINGS OF THE BOROUGH COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF MORRIS PLAINS FOR THE YEAR 2011; WHICH RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED BY THE BOROUGH COUNCIL ON JANUARY 6TH 2011, AND WAS PUBLISHED IN THE MORRIS NEWSBEE AND IN THE DAILY RECORD AND BY THE FORWARDING OF SUCH RESOLUTION TO ALL PERSONS ON THE REQUEST LIST; BY THE POSTING OF SUCH RESOLUTION ON THE BULLETIN BOARD IN THE BOROUGH HALL; ALL OF THE ABOVE ACTIONS BEING IN ACCORDANCE WITH N.J.S.A. 10:4-6, ET SEQ.

Present on Roll Call: Mayor Frank J. Druetzler

Council President Suzanne B. McCluskey

Councilmembers: George J. Coogan

Laurie J. Fu

Jason C. Karr

Roman Zabihach

Absent: Councilmember Joseph Cecala, Jr.

Also Present: Gail Fraser, Esq., Borough Attorney DISCUSSION ITEMS

Mayor Druetzler explained that Councilmember Cecala will not be present this evening as he is still healing from his foot injury. It is anticipated that Patrolman Steve Rush will return to work in approximately two weeks.

Mayor Druetzler advised that Valley Stream residents will attend the Regular Meeting to discuss flooding issues this evening.

Councilmember Zabihach stated that he attended a seminar addressing various flooding concerns.

Councilmember Fu stated that the first Teen Center event is tomorrow night, September 16th 2011. Unfortunately, Penny Manser, Teen Center Coordinator, lost her brother this past Sunday. There are two supervisors who will organize the activities, and many board members will be there to help. There are approximately 190 students registered so far.

Councilmember Karr advised that the interviews are ongoing for the Secretary position in the Clerk’s Office.

Mayor Druetzler advised that JCP&L will hold hearings at the Police and Fire Academy and at various other locations to discuss communications and various concerns.

Mayor Druetzler advised that Bob Webster of the Morris Plains Fire Department and 9-11 Memorial Committee was on Canadian television, along with Sue Riccardelli, representing Morris Plains.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Moved by Councilmember Coogan:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT Resolution No. 2011-109 entitled, "Executive Session" be adopted.

Seconded by Councilmember Zabihach. So ordered.

The Conference Meeting reopened at 7:45 p.m.

Mayor and Councilmembers discussed how insects called midges are negatively affecting deer. The insects cause paralysis and foaming at the mouth symptoms, causing the deer to be put down.

Councilmember Karr moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

Seconded by Councilmember Zabihach. So moved.

_____________________________

Frank J. Druetzler, Mayor

_____________________________

June R. Uhrin, Borough Clerk

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Borough Council held on September 15, 2011, at 8:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Borough Hall, 531 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, New Jersey.

Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer.

Mayor Druetzler called the meeting to order and read the following notice:

I HEREBY ANNOUNCE AND STATE THAT ADEQUATE NOTICE OF THIS MEETING WAS PROVIDED BY VIRTUE OF A RESOLUTION SCHEDULING THE TIME, DATE, AND PLACE OF MEETINGS OF THE BOROUGH COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF MORRIS PLAINS FOR THE YEAR 2011; WHICH RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED BY THE BOROUGH COUNCIL ON JANUARY 6TH 2011, AND WAS PUBLISHED IN THE MORRIS NEWSBEE AND IN THE DAILY RECORD AND BY THE FORWARDING OF SUCH RESOLUTION TO ALL PERSONS ON THE REQUEST LIST; BY THE POSTING OF SUCH RESOLUTION ON THE BULLETIN BOARD IN THE BOROUGH HALL; ALL OF THE ABOVE ACTIONS BEING IN ACCORDANCE WITH N.J.S.A. 10:4-6, ET SEQ.

Present on Roll Call: Mayor Frank J. Druetzler

Council President Suzanne B. McCluskey

Councilmembers: George J. Coogan

Laurie J. Fu

Jason C. Karr

Roman Zabihach

Absent: Councilmember Joseph Cecala, Jr.

Also Present: Gail Fraser, Esq., Borough Attorney

Leon C. Hall, P.E., Borough Engineer

Mayor Druetzler advised that Councilmember Cecala is not present this evening as he has a serious infection that needs to heal.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Councilmember McCluskey moved:

BE IT RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive, Conference and Regular Meeting of August 18, 2011 be approved.

Seconded by Councilmember Coogan.

Councilmember McCluskey moved:

BE IT RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive, Conference and Regular Meeting of September 1, 2011 be approved.

Seconded by Councilmember Karr.

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR

Councilmember McCluskey moved:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Morris Plains, that the attached reports be accepted and that said reports be kept on file in the Clerk’s Office:

REPORTS

Borough Clerk, August 2011

Animal Licensing, August 2011

Police Department, August 2011

Fire Prevention, August 2011

Tipping Fees, July 2011

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED

THAT Resolution 2011-110 entitled, "APPROVAL TO SUBMIT A GRANT APPLICATION AND EXECUTE A GRANT CONTRACT WITH THE NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE LAUREL STREET IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT, BOROUGH OF MORRIS PLAINS, MORRIS COUNTY," be adopted as attached. THAT Resolution 2011-111 entitled, "APPROVAL TO SUBMIT A GRANT APPLICATION AND EXECUTE A GRANT CONTRACT WITH THE NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE WATNONG DRIVE IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT, BOROUGH OF MORRIS PLAINS, MORRIS COUNTY," be adopted as attached.

THAT Resolution 2011-112 entitled, "RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A SHARED SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH HANOVER TOWNSHIP FOR MUNICIPAL HOUSING LIAISON SERVICES," be adopted as attached.THAT the residents of Maple Avenue and Florin Avenue be granted permission to hold a Block Party on Saturday, September 17th 2011, from 4:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M., and that permission to serve alcoholic beverages be granted; and that the Road Department provide the necessary barricades.

THAT the Borough Council authorize the Borough Engineer to prepare plans and specifications for the Sun Valley Way and Laurel Street road improvements, per the Borough Engineer’s letter dated September 9th 2011.

THAT the residents of Brook Drive, Park Way and Mayfair Road hold their annual Block Party on Saturday, September 24th 2011, with a rain date of Sunday, September 25th 2011, from Noon to 10:00 P.M., that permission to serve alcoholic beverages be granted; and that the Road Department provide the necessary barricades to block off Park Way between Granniss Avenue and Mayfair Road.

THAT the Clerk and Borough Engineer be and they hereby are authorized to execute the Incidental Modification To Project Scope/Limits for road improvements along Laurel Street.

THAT Lori Weintraub, 285 Mountain Way, be appointed a member of the Municipal Alliance which term expires December 31, 2011.

THAT the Mayor and Clerk be and they hereby are authorized to execute a Developer’s Agreement with JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. in the form approved by the Borough Attorney. Seconded by Councilmember Zabihach.

Yeas: Councilmembers McCluskey, Coogan, Fu, Karr & Zabihach

Nays: None

Abstain: None

Absent: Councilmember Cecala

GREETING OF PUBLIC AND INVITATION FOR DISCUSSION

Mayor Druetzler opened the meeting to the public.

Gander "Twin City" – Sue Riccardelli & Maureen Murray

Mayor Druetzler introduced Sue Ricvardelli and Maureen Murray. They prepared a detailed presentation on their recent trip to Gander, Newfoundland, a town that took care of 7,000 Americans ten years ago on 9-11. Gander, Newfoundland and Morris Plains were "twinned" and a ceremony took place on September 9th 2011 in the presence of 1,700 people. Gander will be adopting "The Community of Caring" as their motto.

Valley Stream Circle

Mayor Druetzler acknowledged residents from Valley Stream to discuss the recent flooding as a result of Tropical Storm Irene. Mayor Druetzler and Leon Hall, Borough Engineer, investigated the areas the day following the storm.

Engineer Hall explained that a meeting was scheduled with the Facilities Manager of Johnson & Johnson to discuss the specifications for the installation of a large berm to prevent flooding on Valley Stream Circle in the future.

Barry Imming, Valley Stream Circle resident, shared pictures and expressed concern over the recent flooding and the emergency spillway. Engineer Hall explained that the flooding was from the Watnong Brook. Mayor, Councilmembers and Engineer Hall reviewed the photographs.

Joe Nastro, Valley Stream Circle resident, also had pictures that described the effects the flooding had on his property. Mr. Nastro expressed concern that the emergency spillway did not function as designed. Mr. Nastro inquired as to where the larger berm will be placed. Engineer Hall described the location as near the existing berm next to the woods, however, he needs to review the asbuilts that Johnson & Johnson will provide. Mr. Nastro stated that the designs are based on the 100 year flood zone and his neighborhood is in the 500 year flood zone. He added that the flood occurred as a result of the retention basin overflow. Mayor Druetzler added that it only overflowed as a result of the Watnong Brook due to it being lower; it did not overflow in the emergency spillway where it should have gone. Mayor Druetzler suggested holding a meeting with the residents at the Community Center to explain the plans when they are approved. Mr. Nastro will be contacted with a date and time and he will then inform his neighbors.

Sally Landi, Valley Stream Circle resident, stated that her property is located closest to where the emergency spillway is located. She added that she normally gets water from the north side of the campus and Thompson Way. She further explained that a broken pipe caused a phenomenal amount of water to flow in the swamp and her children were able to ice skate there years ago. She added that the berm is causing additional water to flow in the swamp, and it is having an effect on vegetation. Ms. Landi added that she is still getting water in her basement that is coming from under the foundation because the water table is so high. Engineer Hall added that the emergency spillway is located between Ms. Landi’s house and the last house on Thompson Way.

Ron Swanson, Valley Stream Circle resident, stated that Johnson & Johnson should rethink their entire flood plan and not limit improvements to simply extending the berm. He questioned why the contour mapping did not provide at least an extra foot of margin in all areas of the emergency spillway. Relative to the emergency spillway, it caused the water level of the swamp to increase. Engineer Hall responded that there is a 30" to 36" pipe that drains the swamp. Keeping in mind when storm sewers are designed in the roadway, it is only designed for 25 years use, which is governed by Residential Site Improvements Standards, a State statute. Engineer Hall and Mr. Swanson agreed that the pipe should be checked for obstruction.

Valerie Marr, Valley Stream Circle resident, described how the storm affected her property. She expressed concern relative to drainage issues.

Frank Mangravite, Janeway Place resident, discussed an analysis he prepared prior to this storm for a client on rainfall at the Boonton Reservoir. He recommended the berm should be designed to a higher standard than a 100 year storm because storms are getting worse. Councilmember Zabihach stated he is a member of the Clean Water Council for the NJDEP and he has attended seminars on climate changes and added that DEP requirements will be changing in another year or so.

Kathy Plumbo, Valley Stream Drive resident, stated that she has lived here for 30 years and the swamp has never been this high. She supports checking for blockage in the pipe.

Susan Gibney, Valley Stream Circle resident, discussed the flooding problems and briefly described the construction on the Johnson & Johnson site, as well as the improvements to Route 53. She referenced previous complaints she and other Valley Stream residents made relative to allowing Pfizer to do construction work in the middle of the night to the well testing recently done by TRC. She expressed concern over the swamp, storm drains, and ground water. She recommended implementing drainage basins closer to the source. Engineer Hall broke down the results of the groundwater tests and explained how the placement of drainage basins is determined.

Christine Zunin, Valley Stream Drive resident, shared photographs with Mayor and Council. Ms. Zunin expressed concern over the recent flooding and the standing water in the swamp. Mayor Druetzler explained DEP regulations, which will prohibit activity in the wetlands, but is hopeful that the berm will alleviate future problems. Ms. Zunin requested assistance in removing debris that is blocking the natural flow; Mayor Druetzler replied that the county Mosquito Commission has always provided assistance, however, their funding has been cutback and they do not have the manpower anymore.

Keith Gibney, Valley Stream Circle resident, stated that the design based on the 100 year flood zone is unacceptable. He believes the town is responsible for the draining and, therefore, the town made the wetlands. Engineer Hall advised that the subdivision in that area was approved a long time ago when there were little to no stormwater regulations in place.

Karen Memory, Valley Stream Circle resident, asked if the wetlands could be tested and Mayor Druetzler advised that it is possible, however, it is private property. Attorney Fraser stated that if an environmental hazard is found in the wetlands, the owner would be the responsible party. Ms. Memory also inquired about the increased traffic and light structuring on Route 202 and Speedwell Avenue. Mayor Druetzler stated that he will have the timing of the light tested, and added that the beginning of the school season does add to traffic congestion. Mayor Druetzler reminded that due to the volume of surrounding roads in other towns that have had problems as a result of Tropical Storm Irene, people may be using Route 202 and Speedwell Avenue as an alternate route.

Barry Imming, Valley Stream Circle resident, recommended having a DEP representative at the next meeting to discuss drainage. Mayor Druetzler advised that the DEP will comment on possible plans for a berm, but these are ideas that need to be explored. To invite them to a meeting prior to having an established plan is subjecting the potential improvement to be rejected.

John Wilson, Valley Stream Circle resident, asked if the Board of Health could be involved. Councilmember Zabihach advised that the DEP has been designated as the sole authority to regulate wetlands.

Karen Memory, Valley Stream Circle resident, stated that she understood that it could not be tested because it was private property; now she is hearing that it is state regulated. Councilmember Zabihach advised that the DEP regulates all wetlands, whether on public or private land. Engineer Hall stated that there are three criteria to determine wetlands; soils, plant life and hydrology. If the swamp was delineated as wetlands, a 50’ buffer would be required, which would further impact any future development. A discussion entailed relative to the 70 unit townhouses being built on Littleton Road.

Seeing no one else, Mayor Druetzler closed the public hearing. Mayor Druetzler reiterated that the number one goal is the berm. Upon receipt of information, residents will be invited to a meeting at the Community Center.

Mayor and Councilmembers took a short five minute recess.

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES AND/OR DEPARTMENT HEADS

Finance

Councilmember Karr stated that he did not have a report.

Public Safety

Mayor Druetzler previously reported Councilmember Cecala’s deer update.

Chief Thompson provided a report on Police Department activities. He added that Patrolman Rush will be returning on or about September 26, 2011.

Chief Thompson reported that the e-ticket program is still pending the State’s approval.

Public Works

Councilmember Coogan stated that he has begun a phone audit to review Verizon’s billing methods.

Councilmember Coogan stated that the Department of Public Works will be working with Chief Thompson in compiling a report for FEMA on the time and resources spent during Tropical Storm Irene.

Councilmember Coogan stated that the Department of Public Works report has been distributed. They completed the installation of the backstop at Borough School, however, the bases were recently completed as they were on back order.

Councilmember Coogan stated that brush collection is continuing in District Four and it is anticipated another round of the town will be done thereafter. To date approximately 20 loads of brush have been picked up; under normal circumstances, it would have been five loads.

Engineer Hall provided a brief update on Chase Bank’s request to demolish Ronnie’s Deli and to tear up the pavement and curbing.

Public Buildings & Grounds

Councilmember McCluskey stated that the Farmer’s Market is hosting an Arts and Crafts Fair this Saturday, September 17, 2011.

Councilmember McCluskey advised that the Recreation Commission is sponsoring a trip to Radio City on November 19, 2011. Tickets, busing and gratuity are included in the $53.50 fee.

Councilmember McCluskey stated that the next Recreation Commission meeting will be on September 22, 2011 at 8:30 p.m.

Councilmember McCluskey stated the Kids Helping Kids Program will hold their Volunteer Ice Cream Social and Recognition Ceremony on September 26, 2011 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Councilmember McCluskey stated that RPI held their 5K run at Robert Garden. There were about 275 participants and the event was won by Morris Plains’ Patrick McGoldrick of Glenbrook Road.

Public Welfare, Sanitation & Sewers

Councilmember Fu stated that the registration deadline for the Teen Center was August 31, 2011 and 150 students registered. Registrations are still being accepted, but will incur a late fee.

Councilmember Fu advised the Board of Health will hold Wellness Day and theFlu Clinic on Saturday, October 15, 2011 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Signups for Wellness Day will begin on October 1, 2011. A second date for flu shots is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26, 2011 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. to accommodate the staff.

Councilmember Fu stated that the Recycling Center signage has been mounted by the Department of Public Works.

Councilmember Fu stated that Municipal Alliance is sponsoring "Eat Dinner with Your Family" Day on September 26, 2011. Stage Fund is coming up for Grades 1 to 3 in October and they will be featuring "Race to Nowhere," a movie that focuses on pressures on students. Councilmember Fu, John Wilson and Annette Wolfe will attend training on Fundamental Assets that will be held at the County.

Councilmember Fu advised that there will be an event at the Teen Center tomorrow evening.

Ordinance & Public Utilities

Councilmember Zabihach stated that the Borough will reschedule a meeting for the end of September/beginning of October with Whippany River Watershed Committee to discuss assistance in dredging Thompson Pond near the Community Garden. The meeting has been postponed due to the watershed’s attention to the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

Councilmember Zabihach stated that the Planning Board will be meeting this Monday, September 19, 2011 and they will be considering a Hanover Township application, which project accesses American Road.

PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATION, PETITIONS, ETC.

Mayor Druetzler opened the meeting to the public. Hearing no one, Mayor Druetzler closed the public portion.

ORDINANCES OF FIRST READING

None.

ORDINANCES ON SECOND READING

None.

RESOLUTIONS

None.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None.

NEW BUSINESS

None.

VOUCHERS

Councilmember Karr moved:

BE IT RESOLVED that the following vouchers for September 2011 be approved.

Seconded by Councilmember McCluskey.

Yeas: Councilmembers McCluskey, Coogan, Fu and Karr

Nays: None

Absent: Councilmember Cecala

Abstain: Councilmember Zabihach

Councilmember McCluskey moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:12 p.m.

Seconded by Councilmember Fu. So moved.

_____________________________

Frank J. Druetzler, Mayor

_____________________________

June R. Uhrin, Borough Clerk