MAYOR AND COUNCIL
WORK SESSION AND AGENDA MEETING
December 10, 2019 7:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER
SALUTE TO COLORS
Mayor Maio invited all those present to stand in a salute to the colors.
MAYOR’S STATEMENT AS TO COMPLIANCE WITH P.L. 1975
Adequate Notice of this Meeting has been provided according to the Open Public Meetings Act, Assembly Bill 1030. Notice of this Meeting was included in the Annual Meeting Notice sent to the New Jersey Herald and the Daily Record on January 9, 2019 and was placed on the Official Bulletin Board in the Municipal Building.
In the event the Mayor and Council have not addressed all items on this Agenda by 10:00 PM and they are of the opinion that they cannot complete the Agenda in a reasonable time period, the Mayor and Council may exercise their option to continue this meeting at an agreed to date, time and place. Please turn off all cell phones for the duration of this Meeting.
Councilwoman Kuncken – present
Councilwoman Thistleton – present
Councilman Riccardi – absent
Councilman Thornton – present
Councilman Romano – present
Councilwoman Zdichocki – present
Mayor Maio – present
Mayor Maio invited Jason Laliker, Borough Tax Assessor, to come forward to give his annual report.
Jason Laliker, Borough Tax Assessor – Mr. Laliker distributed a two page report to the Governing Body members which details a recap for this year and a projection for next year. Mr. Laliker stated everything is stable just as it has been for the past few years. The comparison of total assessed valuation for 2019 and 2020 are very similar. The increase for 2020 will be approximately $95,000. The 2019 ratio of assessed value is 90.78%. This is still good. The reassessment was done in 2012. This has held for a number of years. In 2020, the percentage drops to 88.98%. The County Tax Board, over the past few years, are very keen on town ratios being 90% or higher. When they drop below 90% a revaluation could be necessary. Mr. Laliker stated he spoke with Administrator McNeilly regarding this. At 88.98% the Borough is still very much relative to market value or assessments. Mr. Laliker also met with the Administrator at the Tax Board to discuss the issue. Nothing needs to be done right now. The ratio that the State establishes is a two year average. If you have a year that is a little off it can bring the average down. The Sales Ratio for 2019 was 92.87% which is a bit of an increase. Mr. Laliker is of the opinion that this will increase again next year. Appeals are stable. There were three (3) county tax board appeals which were all firmed. That was very successful. This is a marker which would be used to determine if a reevaluation would be required. Under Sales Study the coefficient of deviation is 7.53%. This is a study of uniformity. Anything under 10-12 means the assessments are deemed to be uniform throughout town. The high end market is assessed relative to the low end market. At 7.53% that is fantastic. There is uniformity, there are low appeals, the ratio dipped below 90% but it is not a big deal. Mr. Laliker stated he wanted to make the Governing Body aware that the Borough is getting to the point where the Tax Board will start to look at it. Mr. Laliker stated he is of the opinion a reevaluation is not needed now. Ratios are good. Mr. Laliker stated he was not employed here in 2006 and 2012 but the appeal value was probably much higher.
Mayor Maio asked what constitutes an added assessment and if someone takes out a permit and does not completely finish the work can a partial assessment be made. Mr. Laliker stated a partial assessment can be done. An added assessment is any improvement done to the property that could affect market value such as; kitchen and bathroom renovations, additions, decks and finished basements. Most of the added assessments in the Borough are for small items such as decks or finished basements. Part of the reason that the ratio is dipping is due to the fact that a few years ago the DCA decided no permit is required if a direct replacement is being done to a kitchen or bathroom. The problem is that direct replacement becomes a very loose term. Mr. Laliker stated when a sale occurs and he sees the ratio is low, he checks the MLS and it is usually because the kitchen and bathrooms have all been updated. Those sales can be knocked out of the ratio study but the State is looking at this very closely. Mr. Laliker stated he receives calls from the State and they are asking how much the increase is and sometimes they tell him the increase is not enough. It is a frustrating situation. Mr. Laliker stated just before tonight’s meeting he prepared a COAH payment for a new house. This is the first new house built in many years. Mayor Maio stated there is a second home to be built soon as well. Administrator McNeilly stated there may be a third. Mr. Laliker stated there will also be a commercial property. These items will be included on the added list for next year along with any exempt ratables.
Mr. Laliker stated the Borough currently has two veteran exemption applications. One will definitely be approved. Mr. Laliker stated, as much as he would like to approve the other application, because he is of the opinion that the gentleman has a lot of issues due to his service, he cannot approve it. The State has been contacted, along with the Borough Attorney, but unfortunately his paper work does not meet the standards. The other one was received back in July and Mr. Laliker went back and forth with it but it looks like it will be approved. Mayor Maio stated there may have been a veteran’s exemption removed this year. Administrator McNeilly stated it seems when one comes off another goes on. The number of disabled combat veterans will increase as time goes on with veterans from 1990 to present. Mr. Laliker stated the VA has changed their view. More applications are coming through. For example: a man who has had a 70% deduction for over 20 years went in for a physical and was told he was being given a 100% deduction without asking. They are also relaxing some of the requirements. It used to be a requirement that you had to serve 14 days in a combat zone which has been removed. There was also this idea of a theatre of war which has been removed. For example: there was a doctor here working on soldiers who were coming home and she got an exemption even though she was stateside because of her service dealing with horrific injuries. So now, as long as you served, no matter where you served during that time period or what your activity was, approvals are being granted. Mr. Laliker stated there is a form which can be submitted to the County, along with the resolution excusing taxes for a certain period of time, and the County will then reimburse the Borough. Mr. Laliker will speak with the CFO regarding this program.
Mr. Laliker stated there were 88 total sales in 2019 and 52 of the sales were usable. This is very similar to last year. The number of short sales/foreclosures has decreased. Councilwoman Kuncken stated there have been some nice house flips. Two homes on Delaware Avenue which were disasters are beautiful homes now. Mr. Laliker stated part of the reason the ratio is coming down too is due to the fact that house values are strong. The higher the sales, the lower the ratio goes. This is a positive. Mr. Laliker stated he is of the opinion everything looks good going into next year and he does not anticipate any major changes. When the deeds come in every effort is being made to keep the ratio steady. Councilman Thornton asked what the ratio would have to drop to for the County to require something to be done. Mr. Laliker stated when the percentage is in the 80’s that is when they start to look at it but they will look at the other factors such as the coefficient of the appeals. The Borough is moving in the right direction. The Commissioners of the Tax Board have to be stopped from being reactionary. If one number drops in a year you cannot react immediately because it could come right back. The Tax Board is pretty good with that. Administrator McNeilly stated there will be notifications sent by the Tax Board when the Borough needs to address the issue. The process could take a few years however when the time is near the Borough will have to make sure funds are available in the budget to move forward. Mr. Laliker stated the County Tax Board will be bringing to the Borough’s attention their desire to have the municipalities move in the direction of doing annual reassessments. It is not a requirement. There are some benefits and there are some negatives to it as well. Administrator McNeilly stated it would be much more palatable if the entity that is trying to require this would pay for it. Mr. Laliker stated there are definitely budgetary issues, time and personnel concerns. The benefit would be that the Borough would not experience big shifts. This is a small town and it is stable. There are no polar ends of the market. There are some higher end houses but they are not 6,000 square feet and we do not have cabins in the woods.
Mayor Maio and the Council members thanked Mr. Laliker for attending this evenings meeting.
Mayor Maio invited Ray Sarinelli, Sr. and Ray Sarinelli, Jr., Borough Auditors, to come forward to discuss the Borough’s budget.
Ray Sarinelli, Jr., Borough Auditor – Mr. Sarinelli stated the budget due date is February 10th which is probably not feasible based on the State budget. The date will probably be moved to March 20th for the introduction and April 20th for the adoption. The finances of the Borough show consistency. The fund balance has been approximately $1.7 million for the past several years. Approximately $800,000 has been used every year and it has been regenerating that amount. All things considered this should be the same result for 2019. The budgets are running a little bit tighter which can sometimes affect the regeneration of the fund balance. At this time everything looks good. The water utility is healthy. The fund balance is around $250,000 which could fluctuate depending on what is done with the capital and debt structuring. The water utility over the past few years has been consistent and is well funded. The sewer utility is very healthy and there is a lot of consistency. Just like the water utility, depending on what choices are made with the capital and debt that could change, but overall everything looks good. Mr. Sarinelli stated moving into the budget year he recommends staying with the plan that the Borough has been on. Using the fund balance, the fund balance has regenerated which is good.
Mr. Sarinelli stated there has been some uncertainty as to whether or not the Borough should take out notes or bonds. The main thing to address moving into the 2020 budget is to build up the debt service. The plan for the last seven or eight years has been to pay off the debt. Right now there is $310,000 pay down and $3.1 million of debt authorized. This has crept up and now the Borough is at ten years before the debt is paid off. In order to get back to the shorter pay off of the six, seven or eight year period, more funding has to be budgeted to the debt service. Councilwoman Kuncken asked how that can be achieved. Mr. Sarinelli stated more has to be included in the budget. It could be a combination of utilizing a little bit more fund balance. The Borough has fund balance, revenues and taxes. If expenditures are going to increase it could mean a little bit of a tax increase. If taxes are going to be increased, there should be a good reason for it. The proposed capital projects would be a good reason to increase taxes because the projects will provide something positive for the Borough. Mr. Sarinelli stated the pay down is currently $390,000 in total. Administrator McNeilly asked what the pay down should be increased to. Mr. Sarinelli suggested adding at least $50,000 though $100,000 would be better or $50,000 could be added this year and another $50,000 added next year. The more the Governing Body is comfortable with the better. As an accountant, we hate debt and want to see it paid back as soon as possible. Administrator McNeilly stated this recommendation is based on staying with notes as opposed to long term bonding. Mr. Sarinelli confirmed this. Making the increases going forward will start to bring back the shorter payback period. Administrator McNeilly stated the fire truck purchase was a large expenditure last year. Mayor Maio stated there has to be a combination of increasing the payment and not adding more extraordinary items which would increase the amount of the bond. Mayor Maio stated residents will have issues with raising the taxes if the work done is not in their section of the Borough. Mr. Sarinelli agreed whenever taxpayer funds are being expended there is a concern. Mr. Sarinelli stated in his town he likes to see things getting done which shows he is getting a return on his investment.
Mayor Maio thanked Mr. Sarinelli, Sr. and Mr. Sarinelli, Jr. for providing their input and advice. Mr. Sarinelli stated the Borough has a good Administrator, a good CFO and consistency.
Administrator McNeilly stated he does not have a typed report this evening. There is only one item to discuss.
Equipment Transfer to Netcong – Administrator McNeilly stated Stanhope’s DPW Superintendent and Netcong Borough’s DPW Superintendent were discussing the fact that Netcong is looking for a specific type of spreader for the back of one of their trucks. Administrator McNeilly stated Stanhope Borough has a spreader to be scrapped which is exactly the size Netcong is looking for. The spreader has no material value and Stanhope has no use for it. Netcong would like to acquire it from us. In the past we have done inter-agency transfers. Administrator McNeilly asked the Governing Body for approval to make a goodwill transfer. Mayor Maio asked if the Borough does not give it away, what will happen to it. Administrator McNeilly stated it may go to George’s Salvage yard for scrap. Administrator McNeilly stated in his opinion there is greater value in making an inter-agency transfer than in the amount of money which would be obtained by scrapping the spreader. Councilwoman Kuncken asked if there has been a situation where Netcong Borough has provided anything to Stanhope. Administrator McNeilly stated the two departments do exchange equipment such as the cameras from time to time. Netcong has the smaller camera and associated equipment and Stanhope has the larger camera. Councilwoman Zdichocki asked what the scrap value would be. Mayor Maio asked Administrator McNeilly to determine what the scrap cost would be. Administrator McNeilly stated then perhaps the request should be pulled back due to the fact that determining the value would require loading the spreader on a truck and bringing it to the scrap yard to be weighed. Councilman Thornton stated Raimo Scrap Metal is now providing fair estimates which are competitive with George’s. Going to Raimo would eliminate the need to transport the equipment across the county. Administrator McNeilly stated the spreader, which does not have lights in it anymore, is not very big and might be worth a couple hundred dollars as scrap. Councilwoman Kuncken stated she has no issues with giving the equipment to Netcong if it is only worth a hundred dollars or so. Mayor Maio asked Administrator McNeilly to have the item appraised prior to the next meeting. Administrator McNeilly stated he will get the spreader appraised. Two men will have to load the item and transport it to the scale and back.
Signs – Mayor Maio stated temporary signs are popping up all around town again.
2020 Capital Budget – Dana Mooney, CFO, came forward for the Capital Budget Discussion.
Fire Department – Administrator McNeilly stated the Fire Department has requested 2 Battery Driven PPV Fans, 2 Battery Driven Scene Lights and a Generator totaling $12,012. Councilwoman Kuncken asked Fire Chief Alan Bookspan, present in the audience, to explain the request for the fans. The Chief stated the Fire Department has been changing out the older heavier plug in type fans for the newer lighter battery operated fans. The battery fans are much more efficient, easier to carry and last longer. Currently the Fire Department has 2 of these fans on the ladder truck. The 2 being requested would be placed on the new truck and the other engine truck. The old fans would become Borough surplus. The batteries on the fans can last up to ten years if charged properly. The new truck has a timer for the charging system so nothing will be overcharged. To date the batteries have not been replaced on the existing fans. Councilwoman Kuncken asked if the same lights were purchased a few years ago. The Fire Chief confirmed four lights were purchased a few years ago and have been used around town for various events. The lights work extremely well. The plan is to replace the old halogen lights and need for extension cords. The lights are more portable, safer and can be brought into the woods and behind houses. The Chief stated Engine 5 is going away and there is a Honda generator on that truck. That generator can be moved over to the new truck and therefore the requested generator is not needed any longer. Administrator McNeilly stated the generator will be removed from the request which decreases the capital request by $2,350. This does not become available extraneous money. Councilman Thornton asked the Fire Chief how the fans are used by the department. The Fire Chief explained when there is a smoke condition inside a building, for example a culinary incident or someone burns food, the fans bring in fresh air and ventilate the house to drive the smells out. If the fans were not utilized the smells would linger for months. The fans are also used during the summer in the rehab area when the firemen are in turnout gear for a long period of time to help them cool down and to keep the air flowing. Councilman Thornton congratulated Alan Bookspan on his reappointment as Fire Chief.
Police Department – Administrator McNeilly stated the Police Department has requested $6,000 for a Repeater for the Police Radio. Currently the department is using a repeater which is on loan from Sparta. The repeater has bounced around. Initially it was on the fire tower in Budd Lake which has no stand-by power as we found out during the snowstorm a year and a half ago. There was no radio contact with dispatch. As we have found our telecom capabilities at the water tower, now is an appropriate time to put our own permanent mount repeater on the water tower in the Borough.
Public Works Department – Administrator McNeilly stated the Public Works Department has requested a Tilt Deck Equipment Trailer at a cost of $1,500. The actual cost will be spread 3 ways: $1,500 capital; $1,500 water utility and $1,500 sewer utility. The current trailer is at the end of its life and would become surplus equipment to sell at auction.
Public Works Department Vehicle – Administrator McNeilly stated the DPW is requesting a Ford F-550 Mason Dump. This would replace the red dump truck which is 15 years old. Mayor Maio asked if it would be possible to purchase the truck outright from the sewer or water funds. Administrator McNeilly stated the truck is used across three areas: roads, water and sewer. The funds may have to come from all three departments or the funds could come from general surplus. Dana Mooney, CFO, stated the water and sewer accounts are still at a point where they are leveling off from the move of funds. There was a large sewer capital item last year and this year there is a potential water capital item in addition to what we already have. There are funds available in capital surplus which is usually kept as an emergency fund. If the capital improvement fund or capital outlay are utilized, rather than bonding, that eats into the budget. Ms. Mooney stated in her opinion this would not be a good idea but the water and sewer budgets have not been reviewed as yet. Administrator McNeilly stated it is a bad idea in his opinion. Mayor Maio stated this can be decided when the water and sewer budget is reviewed. Administrator McNeilly stated the cost for the truck was obtained through the co-op and it has been estimated with the proper specifications. Councilwoman Kuncken and Administrator McNeilly stated they did see a model of the truck.
Infrastructure Repair/Maintenance – Administrator McNeilly stated the Dell Road milling and overlay project has $109,000 from the DOT grant which has to be bonded. The unfunded portion of this job is $55,993. There is work to be done for the ADA sidewalk repair which is not part of the grant but is a requirement from DOT in the amount of $55,360. The bonded amount would be $55,592. The Highland Avenue and Baker Place reclamation project along with the paving of North Central Avenue totals $154,985. The Roberts Place, Lakeview Terrace and Central Avenue resurfacing project totals $54,565. The other projects listed by the Borough Engineer have already been funded for by the CFO and they are the Sparta Road mill and overlay and the Sparta Road Pedestrian Loop for the TAP Grant. Ms. Mooney stated she reviewed these two projects with Eric Keller, Borough Engineer, to make sure no additional funds are required. These projects were funded with a bond ordinance in March to prove the Borough was funding it to receive the grant and then the following month an ordinance was adopted to supplement it. Ms. Mooney stated the inspections for these two projects will have to be done by a different engineering company. Administrator McNeilly stated that cost has not been determined to date. A supplemental ordinance may be required. Ms. Mooney stated the Borough has $85,000 and there is a 10% contingency built in. Administrator McNeilly stated although this totals out at $480,779, the bonded number is $334,654 which is consistent with the prior year. This puts the amount below where Mr. Sarinelli, Jr. was just speaking about.
Councilwoman Zdichocki stated the cost for the Honda Generator which has been eliminated has to be deducted from the final figure. Mayor Maio stated the capital plan must be prepared for introduction at the reorganization meeting in order to move forward early in the year. Ms. Mooney explained she will fill in the template with the agreed upon figures keeping in mind this is a plan. The intention would be to introduce the ordinance at the second regular meeting in January in order to have this in place for the projects that have to go out to bid. The main thing is that extra funds have to be placed in the temporary budget for capital items but this does not hurt what is put into the regular budget because capital is excluded. Administrator McNeilly stated this was done last year but there were no specific projects which were applicable. This plan will allow the Borough to go out to bid for the reclamation project during the second week of March.
Mayor Maio asked the Governing Body for any questions regarding the capital budget. Seeing none, approval was given for the CFO to proceed with the capital budget plan.
Water Capital Requests – Administrator McNeilly stated the water capital request contains one third of the cost for the Tilt Deck Equipment Trailer and one third of the Ford F-550 Mason Dump. There was a presentation and discussion at a prior meeting recommending the changing and upgrading of the water services on Brooklyn Road and the replacement of the water main on Baker Place prior to the road work which will be done. The total amount requested for the water capital is $237,917 of which $236,417 will be bonded. Mayor Maio asked the Governing Body for any questions regarding the water capital requests. There were none.
Sewer Capital Requests – Administrator McNeilly stated the sewer capital request contains the one third portion of the Tilt Deck Equipment Trailer and the one third cost of the Ford F550 Mason Dump. The total sewer capital request is $29,917. The total amount to be bonded is $28,417. Mayor Maio asked the Governing Body for any questions regarding the sewer capital requests. There were none.
Water Utility – Ms. Mooney stated she is concerned with the fact that the overtime hours in the water utility are consistently going over budget.
14-W-2 Line 0028 Water Testing/Sampling – Administrator McNeilly stated costs have increased. The State has been increasing the amount of sampling required and what is being tested for.
14-W-2 Line 0036 Computer Software/Hardware – Ms. Mooney stated this line item has been increased due to the Windows 10 update. The actual cost estimate has not been received to date and the cost listed is an over estimation. The cost will be adjusted when the estimate is received.
14-W-3 Line 0070 Audit Services – Ms. Mooney stated this line has been increased due to the new system implemented by the State which now requires the auditors to input the entire audit into the system. The actual cost has not been received to date.
14-W-3 Line 0081 Prof Training/Education – Administrator McNeilly stated two employees are currently enrolled in Water school this year and next year. These funds also include for various training which takes place during the year. Ms. Mooney stated textbooks were just purchased this year because the ones used previously were outdated.
Councilman Thornton asked Ms. Mooney why the overtime was $2,000 over budget this year. Ms. Mooney stated she does not have the specifics available at this time but generally the cause of overtime in the water utility is due to water main breaks. Mayor Maio asked Administrator McNeilly to obtain more detail with regard to overtime to be reviewed during the salary and wages discussion.
Line 0061 Sewer Authority – Ms. Mooney stated the new Musconetcong Sewerage Authority bill was received today and it is more than she budgeted for. Administrator McNeilly stated the bill is $2,000 more. Line 0061 changed from $500,000.00 to $502,237.56.
Computer Hardware & Software – Ms. Mooney stated the upgrade costs for the computers are being split across three accounts. This includes the Fire Department and two DPW computers. All the computers have to be updated to Windows 10. Currently all the computers are running on Windows 7 except for the Administrator’s which is already on Windows 10.
3-b Mayor & Council – Line 1025 Meetings & Seminars has been increased to accommodate all members of the Governing Body. Councilman Thornton suggested not increasing the budget due to the fact that it is unlikely that all the members will attend every meeting. The line item remained increased and any unused funds will roll into the general fund in two years.
5-a Legal Services – Administrator McNeilly stated letters were received from the Borough Attorney and the Borough Planner relative to projected costs for the review of the Fair Share Housing Plan. Ms. Mooney stated Line 5524 COAH has been increased from $1,000 to $7,500. Administrator McNeilly stated, according to the attorney’s letter, this will include meetings, approvals, presentations etc. This is an estimate based on what was required for the initial plan.
5-a Engineering Services – Administrator McNeilly stated Line 6524 COAH-Housing/Fair Share has been increased from $0 to $10,000 as per the Borough Planner’s letter.
7-a-1 Police Department – Line 4080 Personnel has been reduced to $0. Line 4024 Equipment Purchase was increased for electronic equipment by $1,200. It was $180 now it is $1,380. Line 4025 Departmental Supplies has increase by $800 to include Narcan costs. The budget for this line item is now $3,015. Administrator McNeilly stated the Police Department OE has a budget decrease for this year. Ms. Mooney stated Line 4085 Vehicle/Lease Purchase has decreased due to the fact the lease is now for a four year period which has driven down the cost.
13-b – Ms. Mooney stated the total increase at this point is 0.77%. Administrator McNeilly stated this does not include the discussion regarding increasing the pay down. Salaries still need to be discussed.
Permanent Funding – Ms. Mooney asked if permanent funding is still being considered. If it is, any ordinances that might be part of the funding have to be increased while working on the budget. Mayor Maio stated the recommendation from the Bond Attorney and the Borough Auditor was that the permanent funding was not worth doing. Administrator McNeilly stated it is not worth doing because the interest rate has remained low. It is not worth it if the payback is increased on the amount of the notes. It is also not worth doing if the governing body is going to consistently only authorize less than a certain dollar amount in capital. Permanent funding would be necessary for any large projects which could not be covered in the budget such as the improvement to the municipal building. Councilwoman Kuncken stated it was her understanding that if permanent funding was done it would require an even bigger payment which could be difficult to meet. Administrator McNeilly stated this subject was discussed two years ago and since then several of the projects have been teased out. The idea originally was to bundle all the projects and send them out 15 years. Now the Borough does not have enough to get to 15 years. A renovation of the building only gets to 10 years. Mayor Maio stated at this time the Borough does not have enough existing to carry for 15 years. Ms. Mooney stated the rates are still good and hopefully they will continue as such for quite some time.
Mayor Maio asked if the preliminary final figures are available for the end of the year which indicates the tax levy. Last year the figures were provided along with the data indicating what would happen if the budget was increased by $10,000; $15,000 or $20,000. Ms. Mooney stated she only received the figures for the valuation, which drive the requested information, from the Tax Assessor this evening. Administrator McNeilly stated this will be Section 2. Ms. Mooney stated she will try to have the information available by the end of the week. Mayor Maio stated discussion of salaries cannot take place until those figures are available. Administrator McNeilly stated the budget is in a good place now. The O&E portion is complete. The introduction will be the end of February and the final adoption will be the end of March.
TAP Grant – Mayor Maio asked Administrator McNeilly if there is an update on the TAP Grant. Administrator McNeilly stated there is no update at this time.
Local Aid Grant – Mayor Maio stated the Borough received the Local Aid Grant and it is the highest amount awarded to any community in Sussex County. Administrator McNeilly stated it is also larger than what Mt. Olive received. This will cover the work to be done on Furnace Street, Waterloo Road and Kelly Place. This will be a 2021 project.
Council Vacancy – Councilwoman Kuncken stated there was an election in November. Councilwoman Zdichocki ran as a candidate for Mayor and was elected to that position. When this becomes effective, there will be a vacancy on the governing body due to the fact that Councilwoman Zdichocki’s term as a Councilwoman will not have expired. The Stanhope Republican Committee is responsible for putting the process in motion to fill that position by submitting three names to the governing body for consideration. Anyone interested in submitting their name must be a registered Republican. Within 30 days of the vacancy, the governing body will fill the seat. Councilwoman Kuncken stated if anyone is interested they must submit a letter to her as the Chair of the Republican Committee telling the committee a little about themselves.
CONSENT AGENDA (All items listed on the Consent Agenda are considered routine by the Borough Council and were enacted by one motion of the Borough Council with no separate discussion.)
Resolution 170-19 RESOLUTION GRANTING WATER AND SEWER ALLOCATION TO APPLICANT, ADAM LUSARDI, FOR ONE LOT LOCATED ON LINDEN AVENUE, IDENTIFIED ON THE TAX MAP OF THE BOROUGH OF STANHOPE AS BLOCK 11007, LOT 9.05
WHEREAS, Adam Lusardi has filed an application with appropriate fees for water and sewer allocation to service a one-family residential property on Block 11007, Lot 9.05; and
WHEREAS, the Borough’s checklist and Ordinance Sections 100-34C(4) and 100-35D all require a certification from the Mayor and Council that adequate water supply and sewerage capacity exist to service the proposed development; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council wish to comply with the Ordinance requirements to certify the availability of water and sewer for the single-family dwelling;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope that the application submitted by Adam Lusardi for water and sewer allocation be and is hereby granted as follows:
Water Allocation: 300 gpd Sewer Allocation: 300 gpd
Resolution 171-19 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A REFUND OF OVERPAYMENT OF TAXES
WHEREAS, the homeowners recently refinanced their mortgage, and both the former and new mortgage company have paid the fourth quarter 2019 property taxes; and
WHEREAS, the duplicate payment has created an overpayment of taxes on this property, and the homeowner is not responsible for future payments of property taxes.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Borough Council of the Borough of Stanhope, that a warrant be drawn to the homeowners in the designated amount representing an overpayment of taxes, as follows:
Block Lot Qual Name & Address Tax Year Amount
11605 7 Craig & Brandi Sanborn 2019 $2,848.27
13 Maryann Terrace
Stanhope, New Jersey 07874
Resolution 172-19 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING REFUND OF REDEMPTION MONIES TO OUTSIDE LIEN HOLDER
WHEREAS, the Tax Collector has received payment for the redemption of Tax Title Lien No. 2016-011, representing 2015 property taxes and/or utility charges on Block 11207, Lot 8, known as 45-49 Main St, assessed to BGK Realty Group, LLC, and;
WHEREAS, the Tax Collector certifies that reimbursement is now required to be made to the following lien holder for the required redemption amounts as shown below:
To Lienholder: US Bank Cust for BV002 Trust & Creditors
50 S. 16th Street, Suite 2050
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2513
Redemption Amount: Tax Title Lien #2016-011 and
Interest to Date of Meeting $ 129,045.24
Premium Paid by Lienholder 53,100.00
Total From Current Fund: $ 129,045.24
Total From Tax Premium Account 53,100.00
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Borough Council of the Borough of Stanhope, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that the Borough Treasurer be authorized to prepare the necessary check as stated above and to forward same to the lien holder.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the Borough Chief Financial Officer/Tax Collector.
On motion by Councilman Romano, seconded by Councilwoman Kuncken and carried by the following roll call vote, the foregoing resolutions were duly adopted.
Councilwoman Kuncken – yes
Councilwoman Thistleton – yes
Councilman Riccardi – absent
Councilman Thornton – yes
Councilman Romano – yes
Councilwoman Zdichocki – yes
PAYMENT OF BILLS
Resolution 173-19 RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF STANHOPE AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF BILLS
WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified that funds are available in the proper account; and
WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has approved payment upon certification from the Borough Department Heads that the goods and/or services have been rendered to the Borough;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope that the current bills list, dated December 10, 2019 and on file and available for public inspection in the Office of the Chief Finance Officer and approved by the Chief Finance Officer for payment, be paid.
On motion by Councilman Romano, seconded by Councilwoman Kuncken and unanimously carried by the following roll call vote the foregoing resolution was duly adopted.
Councilwoman Kuncken – yes
Councilwoman Thistleton – yes
Councilman Riccardi – absent
Councilman Thornton – yes
Councilman Romano – yes
Councilwoman Zdichocki – yes
All items listed on the Agenda for December 17, 2019 were approved.
CITIZEN’S TO BE HEARD
Mayor Maio opened the meeting to the public after advising attendees that there is a five (5) minute time limit for each speaker.
Alan Bookspan, 10 Towpath Lane, stated a few years ago the council agreed to slowly upgrade the hydrants in town with a connector which would enable the Fire Department to be able to connect to the hydrants with a five inch quick connect hose. Chief Bookspan asked if this project is still ongoing. Administrator McNeilly stated anytime there is a water project the connectors are added to the hydrants. More collars have been added as well. There is not a specific line item dedicated for this item.
Mayor Maio asked Administrator McNeilly to contact the DPW to determine how many connectors have been installed and how many still need to be updated. Mayor Maio also asked Administrator McNeilly to find out how many water meters still need to be replaced.
Seeing no one further from the public wishing to speak, Mayor Maio closed the public portion of the meeting.
On motion by Councilman Romano, seconded by Councilman Thornton, and unanimously carried by voice vote the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 P.M.
Approved: Linda Chirip
Deputy Clerk for
Ellen Horak, RMC