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May 3, 2005


A Budget Meeting was held by the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury on May 3, 2005 at 1715 Route 46, Ledgewood, New Jersey at 7:30 p.m.



Notice is hereby given that a Special Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury will be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2005 at 7:30 PM at 1715 Route 46, Ledgewood, New Jersey.  This meeting is being held for the purpose of discussing the 2005 Budget.


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 April 27, 2005; notice was posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway of the Municipal Building on April 27, 2005.


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


ALSO PRESENT: Christopher Raths, Township Manager; Lisa Palmieri, Chief Financial Officer  and Janet Rieth; Deputy Clerk




Discussion:  Operating Budget


Mr. Raths advised that the budget, as is, represents a 4-point tax increase, which includes   $120,000 in reductions.  The reductions should have reduced the tax point to 3.3; however, due to the rough winter, Snow and Ice was replenished with $135,000.  Mr. Raths further advised that other surrounding municipalities are looking at 5 to 10 point increases. Mayor Zoschak stated that, with the school budget, there will be an overall 13% increase. 


Mayor Zoschak questioned if Ms. Palmieri looked into the bank picking up the payroll cost.  Ms. Palmieri advised that she had not pursued this; however, all accounts are pooled together and we earn interest as a whole on all the accounts.   Mr. Raths advised that this is a compensating balance agreement and for every service that the bank provides they reduce the amount of interest. Mr. Raths and Ms. Palmieri will revisit this item.


Mr. Hall questioned if there is anything that can be done for the future regarding the amount spent for snow and ice.  Mr. Raths advised that Mr. Blood, Assistant Director of Public Works, is putting together a list of options, such as temporary storage in other areas of the Township.  Mr. Ciaramella questioned if the Board of Education compensates the Township for the salt they use.  Mr. Blood advised that they were billed $13,000 this year.


26-291 Snow & Ice 

Ms. Palmieri advised that overtime has been changed to $110,000, Operating Expenses are $220,000 and Contracted Services are $80,000.


Health Department Salary and Wages

Mr. Raths advised that the Health Department Salary and Wages was reduced by $12,000.


Municipal Service Agreements

Mayor Zoschak questioned that, since the Township is now paying for street lighting for Drakesville, Willow Walk, etc., would it benefit the Township to put it under our blanket electric bill to obtain a better rate.  Ms. Palmieri advised that, the way the Agreements are written, there is a set formula, where we take their bills and pay a percentage.  Mr. Raths advised that Mr. Bucco drafted the agreements with the understanding that it would be more cost efficient to do it the way it is being done.  Mr. Raths will speak with Mr. Bucco regarding this.


Mr. Hall questioned if the Condominium Agreements, as far as the money being allocated, are single year or multiple year agreements.  Mr. Palmieri advised that each one is a four-year agreement and each year it is delineated as to the percentage we pay.  In 2007 we will be paying 100%.


Ms. Urgo questioned if the  $69,000 in State aid is reflected in the current number.  Ms. Palmieri stated that it is.  Ms. Urgo questioned the $29,000 expenditure for health insurance.  Mr. Raths advised he does not know anything about this expenditure.  Ms. Urgo requested that he and Ms. Palmieri review their notes to determine if there is such an expenditure.


Ms. Urgo questioned the funding for LOSAP.  Mr. Raths advised that LOSAP was funded $55,000.


Mr. Raths advised that he will obtain an update from Rob Kuncken, IT Director,  regarding the Library phone line charges. Discussion ensued regarding Library maintenance, such as landscaping, painting, electrical, etc., coming under Buildings and Grounds and whether it would save money for the Township.  Mr. Raths stated that he feels Building and Grounds already does some of  the Library maintenance, although the Library does pay for two part time custodians.  Ms. Palmieri stated that the Township is $60,000 over the statutory requirement that the municipality must fund the Library.  Council requested that Mr. Raths and Ms. Palmieri keep track of  the extra money that is given to the Library during the year.


Ms. Urgo questioned if Chief Hayowyk has been invited to attend an Executive Session to discuss questions he has regarding the Fire Department budget. Mr. Raths will contact Mr. Bucco to determine what can be discussed with Chief Hayowyk and the Chief will be asked to attend the next meeting.


Council requested the reserve for pending tax appeals. This will be broken down and given to Council.


There was discussion regarding the possibility of cutting back or eliminating the $101,000 payment to the sewer utility.  Mr. Smith stated that this is a discretionary item, the utility is in excellent shape financially and he feels it could be reduced for this year and paid down at a later date.  After much discussion, the majority of Council agreed to leave the $101,000 in the budget.


Ms. Urgo requested an update on the cap balance.  Mr. Palmieri stated that we are in the limit; however she will have to verify the exact amount.


Mr. Raths stated that the fund balance is $1.2 million and  we are using $1 million.  If we do not replenish the fund balance, next year we could have half of what we have available this year.  Ms. Urgo questioned if there is money in the reserve for tax appeals, as a result of the revaluation, that is not marked for some other tax appeal.  Ms. Palmieri will check into this and provide Council with the amount.


Mr. Raths advised that the $11,000 for electronic codification of ordinances for the Planning Department and the Clerk’s Office was left in the budget.  Mr. Raths will check with Mr. Kuncken to confirm that there is enough disc space for the codifications.


Mr. Raths advised that the budget will be introduced at the next meeting.


Mr. Schmidt reminded everyone of National Day of Prayer, which will be held this Thursday at Horseshoe Lake.


Mr. Schmidt stated that there will be another troop drive and he will provide further details when they are finalized.


Mr. Raths advised that Mr. Schmidt has spoken with him regarding the Township funding $1,200 for the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Dinners.


Mr. Schmidt made a motion that $1,200 be added to the budget for the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Dinners.  Mr. Smith seconded the motion. 


Council members stated that they will support this for one year and  would like to pursue outside contributions for the future.


Roll Call:

Mr. Schmidt – yes        Mr. Smith – yes

Mr. Ciaramella – yes    Mr. Hall – yes

Mr. Rilee – yes Ms. Urgo –yes

Mayor Zoschak – yes


Motion carried 7 - 0


Mr. Hall advised that the congratulatory sign for the Girls Cross Country State Championship Team is not yet on Bryant Drive. Mr. Blood will speak with the Supervisor of the Road Department and have the sign erected.


Mr. Hall requested that an article be place in the next issue of the Roxbury Image regarding the  need for coaches.  Mr. Hall will write the article to be used as a press release and also for the Image.


Mr. Hall stated that everyone thought  the trails meeting went well.  A follow up meeting of the Trails Committee was held on Saturday and all the information was mapped against the areas designated on the charts.  Another Committee meeting will be held  May 14th and the information will  then be turned over to the Morris Land Conservancy to put the plan together that will come before Council. 


Mr. Hall attended the  Board of Education meeting last night.  It was well attended by residents who were supporting the programs that are being cut from the school budget. 


Mr. Smith advised that there is a lot of trash at a section of Emmans Road by the sharp curve at the railroad tracks.  Mr. Raths will have someone clean this up.


Mr. Smith questioned when the Main Street Streetscaping Committee will be formally constituted.  Mr. Raths will write a letter to the Presbyterian Church and the Methodist Church asking them to appoint a representative to the committee.  Council members will bring  names to the next meeting for appointment.


Mr. Smith advised that the Economic Development Committee met last week and they  will be meeting again on May 9th to discuss putting together a seminar for realtors and small business owners.  They are working on pages that will be added to the Township web site giving demographic information.


Discussion ensued regarding the Township’s list of vacant land and the fact that the Economic Development Committee, the Open Space Advisory Committee and the Trails Committee may be competing for the same properties.  Mr. Smith advised that the Economic Development Committee is focusing on vacant buildings.


Ms. Urgo stated that she continues to hear concerns from residents regarding Morris Canal Park, particularly ATVs from the Kawasaki dealer being on the property.  Mr. Raths advised that  the small area  is not on our property.  Mr. Raths further advised that the Township installed barriers to keep them off the park and the incline plane. The jail bars are to be used to secure the tunnels and  the mine pit.  Mr. Raths will send another letter to the Kawasaki dealer informing him that he will receive violations if he is seen riding on the property again.


Mr. Rilee attended the Fire Chiefs meeting at which Mark Noll, Chief of Police, presented an update on the radio system and advised that it is getting better.  Mr. Rilee discussed the possibility of Company 2 taking Truck 105 from Company No. 1 to use as a brush truck and trading in their truck, which is approximately 20 years old.  Mr. Rilee advised that this is in the discussion stage only.


Mr. Ciaramella stated that the group that cleaned up Berkshire Valley Road did a good job.


Mr. Ciaramella would like a follow up on the Farley property on Main Street.  Mr. Raths advised that Russell Brown, Construction Code Official, will look into this


Mayor Zoschak requested an update on the Canal Street drainage problem and what has been  done to temporarily correct it.  Mr. Raths will have Mr. Kobylarz, Township Engineer, provide an update.


Mayor Zoschak advised that the Lake Hopatcong Commission appointed Brandon Philips as the liaison to the Musconetcong Board.


Mayor Zoschak requested an update on 66 Laurie Road and the property on Culver Road, which are abandoned houses.  Mr. Raths advised that the property owner has been contacted for Laurie Road and the real estate company has been contacted for the Culver Road property. 


Mayor Zoschak stated that he has also received a complaint regarding the cleaning of Shippenport Road.  Mr. Raths will look into this.









ORDINANCES TO BE INTRODUCED                                               










05-157 A resolution of continued support for Picatinny’s Armaments Research, Development

and Engineering Center (ARDEC).


Mr. Rilee made a motion to adopt Resolution 05-157.  Ms. Urgo seconded the motion.


Roll Call:

Mr. Rilee – yes Ms. Urgo –yes

Mr. Ciaramella – yes    Mr. Hall – yes 

Mr. Schmidt – yes        Mr. Smith –yes

Mayor Zoschak – yes



Motion carried 7 – 0



April 29, 2005

#2 – Correspondence from George Wien, Roxbury Historic Trust, Inc., dated April 25, 2005 re: Report for the Year 2004 on the Activities and Progress at the Ledgewood Historic Park – Council thanked Rotary for all of their help.


#3 – Correspondence from Christopher Raths, Township Manager, to Reverend Joseph Davis, St. Therese’s Church, dated April 26, 2005, re: List of Businesses Registered in Roxbury Township Offering Massages –  This was requested by the ministers in the Township.


#7 – Correspondence from Virginia Skwara, Department of Community Affairs, to Christopher Raths, dated April 21, 2005, re: Appointment of Mr. Russell Brown as Roxbury Township’s Construction Official – Mr. Brown will attend the May 10th meeting to meet Council.


#8 – Website Information from House Committee on Homeland Security, dated April 21, 2005, re: First Responder Funding Reform Clears Committee Headed for Floor – The Township hopes to see some of the money.


#15 – Mayors Fax Advisory from William Dressel, Executive Director of NJLM, dated April 26, 2005, re: DOT Response to Engine Braking Concerns – Mr. Raths will send a letter to encourage the League to continue communications with the DOT.


#17 – Mayors Fax Advisory from William Dressel, Executive Director of NJLM, dated April 28, 2005, re: Verizon Fiber Optic Roll Out – This will be discussed at the Cable Committee meeting.


#19 – Correspondence from Marilyn Snow, East Hanover Township Clerk, to Jack Schrier, Director of Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, dated April 26, 2005, re: Resolution Requesting the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders Return Surplus Funds to Local Municipalities – A Resolution will be on the next Agenda.


#22 – Correspondence from Wolfgang Skacel, CHMM Assistant Commissioner, NJDEP, to Mayor Zoschak, dated April 19, 2005, re: DEP to Step Up Enforcement of Idling School Buses – The Board of Education has a copy of this correspondence.


#24 – Copy of Dover & Rockaway Branch Lease & Railroad Operating Agreement – Council advised that this is not the one they need.  Mr. Raths will provide them with a copy of the High Bridge Railroad Agreement.


#27 – Correspondence from Alex DeCroce, Assembly Leader of the New Jersey General Assembly, to Mayor Zoschak, dated April 20, 2005, re: Resolution in Support of a Permanent & Constitutionally Guaranteed 30% Reduction in Property Taxes – Council will compare all plans that are sent in and decide which to support.


#28 – Mayors Fax Advisory from William Dressel, Executive Director of NJLM, dated April 29, 2005, re: Urgent Legislative Alert – S-2118, “Time of Decision” Rule – A FAX of the Township’s opposition will be sent to Mr. Dressel.


#30 – Correspondence from Lucy Voorhoeve, COAH, to Mayor Zoschak, dated April 26, 2005, re: Updated Service List – We are complying with COAH rules.






At 9:45 PM Mr. Rilee made a motion to adjourn the Budget Meeting.  Mr. Smith seconded the motion.


All In Favor – Yes


Submitted By:




BettyLou DeCroce

Township Clerk



DATE:                        May 24, 2005

ROLL CALL:            Mr. Rilee – yes Ms. Urgo – yes                                   

                                    Mr. Ciaramella – yes    Mr. Hall – yes

                                    Mayor Zoschak - yes