7:30 p.m.





1.  CALL TO ORDER; OPENING STATEMENT:  This meeting is being held in          

       compliance with Public Law 1975, Chapter 231, Sections 4 and 13, as notice of

       this meeting and the agenda thereof had been reported to The Citizen and the

       Morris County Daily Record and The Star Ledger on January 6, 2009 and posted in the

       municipal building.


     Mayor Stephen Shaw called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.




All Council members were present except for Councilman Jackson, who arrived at 7:31, Councilman Gormally, who arrived at 7:32, and Councilwoman Wilson, who arrived at 8:40. Also in attendance were Borough Attorney Marty Murphy, Borough Manager Joe Tempesta, and Deputy Registrar Michele Reilly, filling in for Borough Clerk Christina Whitaker.




                 WHEREAS, the Borough Council of the Borough of Mountain Lakes, County of Morris, State of New Jersey finds it necessary to discuss matters relating to:


·        Police – Ongoing Investigation / Potential Litigation


                        WHEREAS, the Borough Council believes it to be in the best interest of the public to discuss such matters in closed session.


                        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Borough Council of the Borough of Mountain Lakes, that it shall enter Executive Session to discuss only those matters mentioned above; the results of which will be disclosed when the matters are resolved and upon vote of the Governing Body to release the minutes.


      Motion by Councilman Happer, second by Councilwoman Emr, to enter into Executive Session, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye”.


      Motion by Councilman McWilliams, second by Deputy Mayor Gormally, to close the Executive Session and return to the public portion of the meeting at 8:05 p.m., with all members in favor signifying by “Aye”.



Mayor Shaw congratulated the men’s swim team, who won the championships for the fifth year in a row.


Mayor Shaw also recognized Mr. Angelo George, who is having a grand opening and ribbon cutting on March 12th, for bringing a new business to Mountain Lakes.




   Mayor Shaw explained the Council’s policy of limiting each speaker to five (5) minutes and

   no yielding of time to another person.


Mayor Shaw announced that tonight’s agenda would cover the budget and the Borough’s capital expenses, in keeping with the Council’s goal of introducing the budget at the March 23rd meeting.


Mayor Shaw opened the public comment portion of the meeting with the consent of the Council.


Fred Kanter – Hanover Road

Mr. Kanter expressed his displeasure with the signs in the Borough, the lack of a recent public auction, and the funds spent on the architect for the Borough Hall, as well as the former Borough Manager.


With no one else wishing to be heard, Mayor Shaw closed the public comment portion of the meeting.


6. 2009 BUDGET:

Capital Budget

Mayor Shaw recognized Mr. Tim Vrabel, the Borough Auditor. Mr. Vrabel spoke about the pros and cons of using capital surplus as well as the difficulties municipalities face with the 4% tax levy cap. Mr. Tempesta brought up the recent Finance Committee meeting, and its recommendation the Borough not utilize 100% of the capital surplus but use half instead. Councilman Happer said the Borough should consider applying the maximum 4% levy cap instead of trying to stay under the cap, because of the revenue decline. Mr. Tempesta agreed with Councilman Happer and also informed the Council that the Borough is still waiting for the state aid to be announced. There was also a discussion with Mr. Vrabel about asset inventories, particularly pertaining to the DPW.



Mayor Shaw recognized Chief Tovo, who spoke about the scheduled replacement of the four wheel drive vehicle, which has been delayed for two years. He believes a 2009 Ford Expedition would be the most appropriate vehicle and less expensive than what is projected in the budget. The Police are also committed to trading in the existing four wheel drive vehicle, further lowering the cost. Councilwoman Emr asked about the need for such a vehicle. Chief Tovo said the reasons were; first, severe weather situations, second, it’s a utility vehicle and stores equipment which cannot be contained in a regular patrol car, and third, the current vehicle is seven years old and has not served the department well. Councilwoman Emr asked about the mileage on the current vehicle and the Chief told her 27,000 miles. Councilman Jackson questioned the quoted $4,000 trade-in value of the current vehicle. Chief Tovo said he was being conservative with his estimate. Councilman McWilliams also pointed out that police use drives down the trade-in value. Chief Tovo said age is as much a factor as mileage when considering vehicles for replacement, and next year the price of a new vehicle could increase and the trade-in value of the existing vehicle would decrease.



Mayor Shaw recognized Chief Steve Butera from the Fire Department who spoke about the need for a Vehicle Exhaust Ventilation System. The current system is seven years old and does not comply with current standards. Chief Butera said the Fire Department is trying to get a grant for this system through Homeland Security, and if received the Borough would have to contribute 5%. Councilwoman Wilson asked what the likelihood of success is with the grant, and the Chief responded he thought it was good based on comments from the vendor. Councilwoman Wilson offered to review the grant if the Fire Department needed assistance.


Chief Butera also asked about the replacement of pagers, which is a yearly capital request. Chief Butera said the Fire Department was also requesting money to replace personal protective gear due to wear and tear. The Fire Department is funding the purchase of 15 sets of gear for their active members. Older protective gear will go to Junior Volunteers. Deputy Mayor Gormally asked how many members there were in the Fire Department. Chief Butera responded there were 20-21 active members (volunteers who attend 30% of events or more) and 28-30 total members, and there are 16 members in LOSAP. Deputy Mayor Gormally asked for a copy of the LOSAP report.


Chief Butera reviewed the capital budget request for a Fire Truck. He indicated that this is the fifth year the Fire Department has requested the Borough replace the existing engine, #903, which is 19 years old and does not meet NFPA standards. The other engine, #901, is 10 years old, and both engines are considered first responders. Councilwoman Wilson asked what would be done with the old engine if it was replaced. Chief Butera said the old engine has very little value. Councilwoman Emr asked how long it would take to get a new engine and how payment would work. Mr. Tempesta said it depends on what the company would require for a down payment. Councilman Jackson asked about grant possibilities, but Chief Butera said they were very slim and the Fire Department has already attempted to secure grants in the past. Councilman Jackson also asked about the possibility of sharing fire equipment with surrounding towns. Mayor Shaw recognized Mr. Castellucci, past Chief, who explained the Borough already shares fire resources with surrounding towns; for example, the Borough does not have a ladder truck, but Boonton & Denville do. The Borough is already part of the mutual aid plan for different municipalities, and vice versa. Deputy Mayor Gormally and Councilman Happer asked about any maintenance issues with the engine. Mayor Shaw inquired what the non-compliance with ISO standards could mean for the Borough. Chief Butera said the Fire Department is protecting the town on very old equipment and this could affect insurance for homeowners.


DPW - Street

Mayor Shaw recognized Mr. Prusina, who had prepared a Powerpoint presentation on his capital budget requests. He first updated the Council on the project status of Well #3, which has had a test pumping and the DPW is just waiting for the lab results. Mayor Shaw asked about the budget status and Mr. Prusina said the budget is on target.


Mr. Prusina asked for the replacement of the Mason Dump, which was totaled in an accident last year. The Borough is receiving less than half of what it will cost to replace the vehicle from the insurance company. Mr. Prusina also talked about the need to replace the 1997 Ford Pickup, the dump body on another truck due to corrosion, and a 1986 V-Box spreader.


Mr. Prusina said that the JIF has concerns about the Borough’s three riding mowers, as they do not have rollover bars and other safety equipment. Also, the fume/smoke collector welding area in the DPW does not meet the requirements of JIF & PEOSHA. Mr. Tempesta recommended strongly that the Borough fund the capital budget requirements which have been brought to the Borough’s attention by the JIF and PEOSHA. Councilman McWilliams asked about grant programs and Mr. Prusina said he was not aware of any.


Mr. Prusina said the salt dome needs a new roof, as well as a curtain door, which is a requirement of the DEP’s Stormwater Management to protect the salt from rainwater. Councilman McWilliams asked if the roof was leaking. Mr. Prusina said not into the product but it is affecting the plywood panels. Mayor Shaw asked about the surface area and the estimate, and Mr. Prusina will get the price per square foot for the Council.


Mr. Prusina spoke about the need for a new above ground fuel tank, as the current tank is single panel steel and does not comply with the JIF for vapor recovery and spill containment. Councilman Jackson asked about the current containment basin, and Councilman McWilliams suggested a roof structure. Mr. Prusina said the JIF focus is vapor recovery and spill containment.


Mr. Prusina asked for funding for a new video system for the DPW, in order to help identify those residents and non-residents who misuse the recycling area. The current video system is not clear enough to allow the DPW or the Police to read the license plates.


DPW – Water/Utility

Mr. Prusina said the 1998 GMC Pick-up Truck needs to be replaced. It has 70,000 miles and a bent frame. Mayor Shaw asked why the frames get bent and Mr. Prusina replied it was due to plowing.


Mr. Prusina talked about the status of the water meters. The current vendor is going to stop manufacturing the meters currently used for manual reads. Joan Best and Bill Ryden, Borough Engineer, did some research, and the recommendation is to start phasing in electronic water meters, which would be more accurate. Councilman Jackson asked about the cost to replace the meters for the whole town, and Mr. Prusina said it would be about a half million dollars. Mayor Shaw asked what the budget request of $39,000 includes, and Mr. Prusina said it includes the software, cradles, readers and a number of meters. Mayor Shaw asked if the homeowner pays for the meters, and Mr. Prusina said yes, on new installs, but not if the meter is replaced due to a malfunction. Deputy Mayor Gormally asked about the cost of the current meters, and the electronic meters are about $30.00 more. Deputy Mayor Gormally also expressed concern that there would be a commitment to this vendor without the Borough having a serious replacement program. Mr. Prusina said the new meters would be more accurate and would save time and staff and re-reads would be less frequent. Mr. Tempesta said electronic meters are already old technology and the Borough should consider GPS meters.


Mr. Prusina talked about replacing the old portable Valve Operator. Also, he addressed new Air Cooling Fans due to circulation problems, and new Chlorinator Injectors due to their poor condition.


Mr. Prusina proposed three water main upgrades to improve reliability of service. Councilman Jackson expressed surprise that there were still water main upgrades to be done. Mayor Shaw agreed, as he was under the impression all upgrades had been completed. Mr. Prusina said there were still small segments of water mains which needed to be upgraded from 2 to 8 inch piping. Councilman Jackson asked for a map to show where the old piping was located. Councilman Happer asked for a master replacement plan of scheduled upgrades.


DPW – Recreation

Mr. Prusina said the fishing dock at Birchwood Lake needed to be removed, or the wood needed to be replaced. Mayor Shaw asked if he had spoken to the Recreation Committee, and Mr. Prusina felt he had not received clear direction from them as to how to proceed. Mr. Tempesta said he has not received any resident complaints. Mr. Prusina said removal of the dock would be cheaper than replacement, but he had concerns about resident reactions if it was removed.


Mr. Prusina talked about the need to secure the control panel for the lights at the volleyball court, and the need to replace the spectator seats at the Tennis Courts. He also suggested replacing the path to the picnic area at Birchwood Lake with a colored asphalt such as the Borough currently has at the Wildwood School crosswalks. Some members of Council expressed concern over ADA compliance and colored asphalt being consistent with the ambiance at the Lake. Mr. Prusina said the Borough replenishes the stone dust path every year and an asphalt path would eliminate the need to do so.



Mr. Prusina said the signs for the public beaches are printed. Mayor Shaw asked who approved the signage. Mr. Prusina said the police, recreation committee, and Dede Conlan, the Beach Director. Councilman Jackson suggested the signage be reviewed by the Council. Mr. Prusina will provide the text. Councilwoman Emr asked about the designs of the signs and the shelter, and Mr. Prusina said he would provide the Council with a sketch. The signs are dual purpose, with printed rules on one side and community postings on the other side.


Mr. Prusina would like to provide turf repair at Midvale Field, replace the cement pillars at Birchwood Lake, and provide new trash and recycling containers at the fields. Councilman Happer expressed concern that the drainage at the field would hamper successful sod replacement, and Mr. Prusina thought he had a good chance of success.


Mr. Prusina discussed some infrastructure upgrades in public areas and also stormwater management. Mr. Tempesta said he gets many calls regarding stormwater management, and there is a lot of infrastructure work which needs to be done. However, funds are limited. Deputy Mayor Gormally asked about the sidewalk on Powerville Road, and Mr. Tempesta and Mr. Prusina said they had been at the site today.


Mr. Prusina talked about Emergency Management and the need for a high frequency radio and an emergency generator. Currently, the Borough does not have a base station in order to communicate with emergency workers. Also, the police repeater has a battery which lasts for only three hours. If the police lose the repeater due to a dead battery they cannot communicate with each other. The generator is necessary to keep the repeater functioning and the emergency location heated.


Councilwoman Emr told Mr. Prusina she had been to the DPW and was surprised to see many vehicles sitting in the lot. Mr. Prusina said they are not all DPW vehicles; some are from the Board of Education, as well as the Fire Department and Police. Councilwoman Emr asked that the vehicles be identified and Mr. Prusina will come up with a list.


Deputy Mayor Gormally asked about a schedule for priority projects in reference to stormwater management and infrastructure. Mr. Prusina said he has identified stormwater management projects and will get a list for the Council. Mr. Tempesta talked about the stormwater management project by the Y on Fanny Road which was recently completed with Boonton.


Mr. Huelbig explained this was the Borough’s last year of payments on the JetVac Once paid, the Borough can purchase the JetVac for $1.00.


Tim Watrous was recognized by the Council to speak about his Eagle Scout Project. He would like to spray paint the fire hydrants with reflective paint so they are easier to find at night. Also, this would raise fire safety awareness. Mayor Shaw asked Chief Steve Butera for his opinion, and Chief Butera said this would be a great idea. In response to questions by the Council and Borough Manager, Tim said he would spray paint just the tops of the hydrants, he was doing research on the color, and he thought the project would take about two weekends. Councilwoman Wilson asked about the education aspect of this project, and Tim said he would be making a presentation at Empty Bowls. Mr. Prusina said Tim should contact him, and he was looking forward to working with him on the presentation.  Mayor Shaw said from the Council’s perspective, this was a good idea for a project and the education aspect was important. Councilman McWilliams asked where the paint was coming from and Tim said he was asking for donations and would host a fundraiser if necessary. Councilwoman Emr thanked Tim for the service he would be doing for the Borough.


Mayor Shaw turned back to the capital budget discussion, with the idea of giving the Borough Manager direction from the Council. He said the Finance Committee had a target capital budget, and Councilman Jackson said keeping the budget under $700,000 was important. He felt the current capital budget of $1.6 million was much bigger than what the Council has supported in the past. Mayor Shaw said there were two ways for the Council to proceed; either go with the historic level of capital spending and propose cuts, or give the manger a budget figure and the discretion to make the cuts. Councilwoman Wilson said the items with the biggest impact on the budget were the fire truck and the infrastructure projects. Councilwoman Emr asked about any money from the stimulus package, and Mr. Tempesta indicated Congressman Frelinghuysen has already been contacted. Mayor Shaw said the Borough should assume it is getting no stimulus money and budget accordingly.


Mayor Shaw asked Mr. Tempesta for some input. Mr. Tempesta said it was vitally important to do some of the smaller drainage projects as this would have immediate impact on the quality of life for some people. He also felt one or two of the water main projects would be important. Mr. Prusina will provide a maintenance and repair schedule to Mr. Tempesta.


Mayor Shaw asked for the Council’s opinion on the fire truck since it was such a big decision. After discussion, Mayor Shaw summarized for the Manager that the Council wants to keep the budget within the historic levels and that there is support for the purchase of a new fire engine.


The Council’s desire is to stay under the tax cap of 4%. Mr. Tempesta said the Borough was still waiting to find out about State aid, and that cuts to state aid will possibly mean cuts in personnel or not replacing retirees. Mr. Tempesta said he and Mr. Huelbig would be working diligently on the budget. Councilman Happer talked about going right to the 4% cap, since the Borough has been affected by lack of revenue even through expenses have been contained.


Water & Sewer Utility Budget

Mr. Huelbig said the Finance Committee had discussed the water and sewer utility budget. Revenues for both water and sewer are down, so an increase of 6% in sewer fees is recommended.  There will be an ordinance introduced at the next meeting so the Borough can bill for the 6% increase. Councilman Happer asked why sewer revenues were much lower than water. Mr. Tempesta said the Borough residents are doing a great job of conserving water, so all revenues are down, but water had a bigger surplus. Also, there is a different tier structure for water versus sewer. Mr. Tempesta supported Mr. Huelbig’s recommendations for increasing the sewer rate.


Councilman Jackson asked about refunds from Parsippany since the Borough’s usage is lower, and Mr. Huelbig confirmed these are being received. Deputy Mayor Gormally advised Mr. Tempesta to look into this, and Mr. Tempesta said he has been to Parsippany three times already and has good relations with them.



A.    Broadcast Email Usage Policy


Mayor Shaw said due to the late hour this discussion should be tabled until the next meeting, and the Council agreed.



     R 57-09 Payment of Bills

      R 58-09 Environmental Resource Inventory    



       February 23, 2009 – Regular

       February 23, 2009 – Executive



A.     Health Officer

B.     Police

C.    Construction Official

D.    Fire Department

E.     DPW


Council Member
























































                   *Consent Agenda Vote















Mr. Murphy discussed the Ippolitto’s request for vacating the paper road. He explained that the Council would have to adopt an ordinance to vacate the road. Deputy Mayor Gormally asked if this gave the Ippolitto’s title to the center line of the road. Mr. Murphy indicated they already have the title, the Borough just removes dedication, so the Ippolitto’s have the right to use the fifteen feet unencumbered. Councilman Jackson indicated he would be inclined to ask the Ippolitto’s appear before the Board of Adjustment. Mayor Shaw said there may be some policy issues so he would recommend putting the vacation of the paper road on the agenda for the next meeting.




Mr. Tempesta reported the Borough did receive a $50,000 Highland grant for plan conformance, and Borough Engineer Billy Ryden will attend a Module 2 meeting at the end of March. The Borough is now entitled to submit bills for reimbursement.


Mr. Tempesta also reported on his meeting in Montville regarding a new animal shelter. The total cost of the new building is $300,000. The four municipalities serviced by Montville have each received an allocation, and the Borough’s share is about $21,000 over a ten or fifteen year period. Mr. Tempesta indicated Montville was waiting for a commitment from each municipality. The consensus of the Council supported the Montville Animal Shelter.




2009 Appointments/Vacancies – Recreation Commission

Shared Services Committee

COAH/Highlands – Grant Award

Citizen of the Year – Borough

Janice Hunts Award


Fifty-Five Plus

Councilman McWilliams received their budget request, which pays for their speakers. The actual request went from $3500 to $3100.



Councilman Jackson indicated he and Mayor Shaw met with Mr. Tempesta regarding his review and raise. Councilman Jackson said it was a good review, and Mr. Tempesta said he appreciated the confidence the Council members have shown in him. Mayor Shaw and Mr. Tempesta will do the review for the Borough Clerk.



Councilman Jackson reported a very good meeting regarding the budget.

Shared Services

Deputy Mayor Gormally indicated the first meeting was a discussion centered on orienting  

the committee to the goals and where they need to focus their energy. The Committee will

break into subcommittees and research the costs associated with certain services so they

can come up with accurate information to be sent out to the community. They plan to meet

every two weeks. Mr. Tempesta has already been asked to attend the next meeting.  

Councilwoman Emr indicated the Committee would like to come to the Borough Hall on

March 16th for a tour.


Recreation Committee

Councilman Happer indicated he had spoken to Dave Marshall and he was very interested in

participating on the Recreation Committee. The Council voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Marshall to the Committee.


Environmental Committee

Councilwoman Emr reported a vacancy will be occurring as Oliver Turner is resigning.


Lakes Management

Deputy Mayor Gormally provided the Borough Manager with a copy of the sign given out at

the last meeting by Allied Biological regarding keeping invasives out of the lakes.


Citizen of the Year / Janice Hunts Award

Mayor Shaw has provided the citations from last year to give the Council an idea of the

criteria for the awards.


14. ADJOURNMENT at 11:42 p.m.

Motion by Deputy Mayor Gormally, second by Councilman McWilliams, to adjourn the

meeting at 11:42 p.m., with all members in favor signifying by “Aye”.



*Consent Agenda





___________________________                            _____________________

Joseph Tempesta, Deputy Clerk                              Stephen H. Shaw, Mayor