View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

March 1, 2005

A Budget/Workshop Meeting was held by the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury on March 1, 2005 at 1715 Route 46, Ledgewood, New Jersey at 7:30 p.m.



Adequate notice of this meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury was given as required by the Open Public Meetings act as follows:  Notice was faxed to the Daily Record, the Newark Star Ledger and the Roxbury Register on January 5, 2005; notice was posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway of the Municipal Building on January 5, 2005.


ROLL CALL: (Present) Councilwoman Sandy Urgo, Councilmen John Ciaramella, Fred Hall,  Jim Rilee, Tim Smith and Mayor Richard Zoschak


ALSO PRESENT:  Christopher Raths, Township Manager & BettyLou DeCroce, Township Clerk


Councilman Martin Schmidt was absent due to illness.




Mayor Zoschak asked Council if there were any new business/old business/committees to discuss.


Councilwoman Urgo stated that the Trails Committee meeting is tentatively set for March 19, 2005 and a second meeting on March 26, 2005.  Ms. Urgo also stated that there would be a public meeting with a map for residents to attend and give any input before the first draft is provided to Council for review.  Ms. Urgo stated that a legal notice would need to be advertised so that more than three Council members would be able to attend.  Ms. DeCroce, Township Clerk asked that the information be given in enough time so the newspaper publishes the notice in the proper time required by law.


Mayor Zoschak stated since the Trails Committee will be meeting he has been contacted by Mrs. DiCocco in which she discussed with him their concerns with the easement problem on their property.  Ms. Urgo stated that the Trails Committee would not be doing anything to bring more notice to the property.  Ms. Urgo stated that as far as she is concerned the last decision of the Council remains the same.  The Council previously agreed to allow the DiCocco’s to keep the trees in place, but they would have to maintain it by trimming the trees so as access could take place if someone wanted to walk through to the open space area, in the rear of her property.  Ms. Urgo stated that it was never intended to put up signage etc. on the property.  Further Ms. Urgo stated that the minutes as approved accurately depicted the Council’s position at that time.


Councilman Ciaramella advised Council that a meeting of the DPW Committee will be taking place this Thursday, March 3, 2005 at 4:00 pm at Town Hall.  Mr. Ciaramella further stated that the Economic Development Committee will discuss with the Clerk’s office the vacant position for that committee.


Councilman Smith stated that there is a position  vacant on the Economic Development Committee and if anyone has someone in mind please e-mail their resume or phone number so they could be reached to discuss their desire of serving on the board.


Councilman Fred Hall stated that Judy Waldron resigned from the Recreation Committee due to personal commitments, so the position needs to be filled.  A letter had been sent out pertaining to a candidate for the position.  Mr. Hall recommended Sherry Sikora.


Mr. Hall mad a motion to appoint Sherry Sikora as a member of the Recreation Committee.  The position will be the 2nd alternate and the current appointee will be moved up to 1st alternate and the first alternate will take Judy Waldron’s position.   Ms. Urgo seconded the motion.


Ms. DeCroce, Township Clerk advised Council that the written resignation has been received and a letter already has been sent to Ms. Waldron thanking her for the many years of service she has given to the Township.


Roll Call:                      Mr. Hall – Yes              Ms. Urgo – Yes

                                    Mr. Ciaramella - Yes   Mr. Rilee – Yes

                                    Mr. Smith – Yes          Mayor Zoschak – Yes


Motion Carried 6 to 0


Mayor Zoschak thanked Officer Randy Brands, Officer Glen Gordon and Officer Brian Feeney for the great job they did on the Neighborhood Watch.  Mayor Zoschak stated that they were in River Park Village establishing the watch and many of the residents were present for this meeting.  It was suggested that possibly a basketball court could be built in River Park Village.  Mr. Zoschak felt that this would be a positive step regarding both of the issues he just stated and would like the Township to watch for any grants that could help accomplish this.


Mr. Raths, Township Manager stated that he met with Michael Armstrong, from the Community Hope Program, which he discussed the health needs and rehabilitation of adults who are ready to live in a structured housing.  Mr. Raths stated that the individuals would have weekly supervision.  Further, Mr. Raths stated that this is a lengthy process for an individual to acclimate themselves to this point back into society.  Mr. Raths further assured the Council that there would be no Megan’s Law violators in this program.


Mr. Raths stated that he has had a discussion with the County Administrator, John Bonanni pertaining to shared maintenance on the Nutrition Center they lease.  Mr. Raths stated that Mr. Bonanni advised him that the County is not interested in sharing the maintenance.  Further, Mr. Bonanni stated that they are looking for another facility and he is not sure they will be keeping the Berkshire Valley facility once the lease has been completed.  Councilmembers stated that they will reach out to Freeholders to try and work something out with them.


Mr. Raths advised Council that he met with the Library Trustees and informed Council that Mrs. Jeanne Hall has been appointed to the Main Street Revitalization Committee.  Mr. Raths further stated that information pertaining to this committee will be on the next agenda.


Discussion:  Capital & Operating Budget

 Mr. Raths discussed the capital budget and also discussed the possibility of appropriating the 1.5 million.  Mr. Raths stated that we should really discuss this tonight and decide if the fire truck needs to be in this year’s capital budget.  Mr. Smith questioned if it is possible to agree to it now and not have the cost until 2006.  Mr. Raths stated that it could be done that way because it takes a process period to prepare the RFP and go out to bid and have delivery of the equipment.


Discussion ensued pertaining to the Engineering Department – Conkling Road Drainage project was questioned as to the cost of $200,000.  Mr. Raths stated he included a quarter mile of replacement.


Ms. Urgo felt that we could cut some funds from the Engineering Department. The budget is approximately $800,000, out the line item revenue for roads and funding $400,000 in the capital budget.


Mr. Raths questioned Ms. Urgo where a reduction of $200,000 from the budget should be taken.  Ms. Urgo stated that it is up to Engineering to decide where it could be taken without causing a detriment to the public roadways.


Mr. Rilee expressed his concern with the roads and the ability to accomplish all the roadways on schedule and not over budget or not complete during this budget period in which we have allowed budgeting for.  Mr. Rilee also felt that discussion should ensue pertaining to the purchase of the fire truck and that the Council does need to take a position on it.

 Mr. Raths stated that there probably is a possibility of changing or deleting some of the items currently budgeted.  Mr. Raths further stated that he did not perceive the purchase of the fire truck as an immediate problem in which we need to purchase.  Council felt that the Manager should come back to them with a revised capital budget.  Ms. Urgo felt that the capital budget should not be over $1.3 million and as low as $1.1 million.  Mr. Raths stated that they could pull Conkling Road out of the capital and pay it out of the $800,000 program that has been identified as other sources to bond.  That would leave the capital budget at $1. 4 million.  That would be keeping the fire truck in the budget.


Mr. Raths explained by budgeting capital on a build out would stabilize the cost that would not exceed the  $1.5 million each year.  If one year is reduced then it will need to be made in a year, which would be over the planned $1.5 million.


Mr. Smith felt that while trying to keep the capital budget down this year may only cost the Township a higher cost in years to come.  Mr. Smith believes that the 10 year replacement program should always be considered when making a decision to defer from the projected cost of the capital budget each year.  The Township should try to keep the capital budget stable.  Mr. Smith questioned Mr. Raths where the $1.2 million came from.


Mr. Raths stated that the $1.2 million arrived because of the following reasons; property management program, receiver for the police for the Berkshire Valley area and shifting the backhoe over and that arrived us at a $1.208 million.


Mayor Zoschak questioned what roadways would not be done based on this plan.  Mr. Blood stated that it is done according to priority.


Mayor Zoschak felt the  $1.4 million is a reasonable alternative. 


Mr. Rilee stated that it would keep the road projects continued.


John Ciaramella– 1.4 million – Yes

Fred Hall -  1.4 million – Yes

Jim Rilee – 1.4 million – Yes

Sandy Urgo – 1.4 million - Yes

Tim Smith -  1.4 million - Yes

Mayor Zoschak – Yes


Discussion will take place on Engineering and Public Works at this time.

q              Engineering

q              Public Works

o       Including Roads, Sanitation, Tipping Fees, E & R, Water and Sewer



Mayor Zoschak requested where the salaries for 2005 are in the budget sheets for all the employees.   Mr. Raths stated that it is in salary reserve at an amount of 3.25 – total amount of $165,000, because some of the union contracts have not been agreed upon as of this date.


Discussion ensued on the line items in this department.


26-290 Streets & Roads -  Council discussed the position recommended by the Manager to fill the Driver 3 position.  Mr. Blood explained to Council the necessity to fill this position.  Council questioned the amount of salary for 6 months for the vacant position.  Mr. Raths stated that it was based on pay periods.  Mr. Blood stated the necessity is to increase our productivity in the department.  Ms. Urgo discussed federal programs that would allow asphalt, street sweeping, basins debris be allowed to fill in mine holes.  Mr. Blood will look into the possibility.  Council felt that the hiring for the vacant position be looked at prior to the end of the budget.


Mayor Zoschak amended the order of business to the Public Portion

 There was no public input.


Mayor  Zoschak closed the public portion.

Mayor Zoschak stated that the Council would take a 15-minute break at 9:05.


Council returned to the dais at 9:20


26-291 Snow & Ice - last year the cost was at $221,456.45 and increased this year to $274,670.00.




26-300  Public Works -  290 previously in E & R


26-307    Sanitation/Recycling – Discussion ensued over compost and dumping it at the County site.  There was discussion on compost being dumped in the garbage truck.  Mr. Raths stated that he has heard this previously and advised Mr. Blood to look into the matter.  Mayor Zoschak felt that we should try and promote mulching of grass cuttings.


Mr. Ciaramella questioned the transportation expense for the year.  Mr. Blood will provide the information.  (Line item 270)


Mr. Raths asked to hold discussion on 26-315 Equipment & Repair as he is working with Mr. Blood on possible outsourcing for repairs on some of the equipment.


32-465     Tipping Fees – Mr. Raths stated that they felt that the cost would remain about the same since there are no large developments that will be built this year.


Discussion took place with regard to traffic control for construction projects.  Currently the Township pays for a police officer to be present when a Township roadway is being paved or drainage work is being done.   Mr. Blood, Assistant DPW Director, also stated that if the State or County has projects, they have to pay the cost as approved by Council.  Further, discussion ensued pertaining to a police vehicle and the necessity of tying up a car up for that type of service.  Mr. Raths and Mr. Blood will look into other possibilities of alternate presence at construction projects on the roadways.



It is not anticipated that there will be any increase in revenue at this time.  It does reflect a $4,000 reduction.  Savings will take place with the lock box system that is being implemented.



Mayor Zoschak questioned the grinder pumps in Landing.  Council agreed that an ordinance needs to be approved to stipulate that if a pump fails, the Township will replace it.  Once the pump is installed the homeowner would then have to provide any further repairs or replacement.


206 Sludge Hauling -  This item will go out to bid.   Currently Russell Reid is supplying the service.  Mr. Blood will check on why the line item is less this year compared to last year.  Mr. Blood felt that the amount should be increased by $10,000.  Mr. Blood will define this cost.

Mr. Smith questioned line items 242, Pump Station and 245, Equipment Repairs and the reason for the increase.  Mr. Blood stated that there were pump replacements and two additional pump stations coming on line this year. (Poets Peak & Forest Hollow)  Mr. Blood stated that the funding would be for repairs on the pumps.


Ms. Urgo questioned  line item 245 in sewer (Equipment Repairs) and the cost associated.  Mr. Raths will define the cost and get back to council.


Mr. Raths will be providing a report on I & I to Council.


Next week agenda is Police, Fire, Parks & Recreation, Building & Grounds.



 Previously opened to the public





ORDINANCES TO BE INTRODUCED                                               













February 25, 2005

#4  Chart of 2003 year End Report for Roxbury Township Fire Department Prepared by 2003 Department Chief, Mike Piccito.  Council advised the Manager that this report was previously sent to them and they want the 2004 report copied to Council.


#8  Mayors Fax Advisory from William G. Dressell, Jr., Executive Director of NJLM dated February 21, 2005 re:S-1990/A-2432, Additional Fines for Overcrowding.  Council would like a resolution for the next agenda.  Mrs. DeCroce, Township Clerk stated that her office will prepare a resolution.


#9  Mayors Fax Advisory from William G. Dressell, Jr., Executive Director of NJLM dated February 21, 2005 re: Federal Transportation Reauthorization.  Council would like a resolution for the next agenda.  Ms. DeCroce, Township Clerk stated that her office will prepare a resolution.


#10  Correspondence from Robert F. Church of 256 Eyland Avenue, Succasunna to Mayor & Township Council dated February 16, 2005.  Council would like this correspondence copied to the Township Attorney for review and advice.


#12 Interoffice Memo from George Reed, Port Morris Firemen’s Association to Christopher Raths, Township Manager, Richard Zoschak, Township Mayor & Martin Schmidt, Deputy Mayor dated February 1, 2005 re: Letter from Roxbury P.B.A. Local 311 to Acquire the Roxbury Co. NO.2 Firehouse on 580 Main Street, Port Morris – Block 10502, Lot 5 (With Deed Attached).  Mr. Raths will have a follow-up meeting.






At 10:20 PM Mr. Rilee made a motion to adjourn the Budget Meeting.  Mr. Smith seconded the motion.


Roll Call:  All Yes


Motion Approved:  6 to 0


Submitted By:




BettyLou DeCroce

Township Clerk



DATE:                        March 8, 2005

ROLL CALL: Mr. Rilee – yes Mr. Smith – yes

                                    Mr. Ciaramella – yes    Mr. Schmidt – yes

                                    Ms. Urgo – no              Mayor Zoschak - yes