NOVEMBER 23, 2009

7:30 p.m.


M I N U T E S  




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 Deputy Mayor Gormally, who arrived at 7:35 p.m. and       

      Councilwoman Bravo, who arrived at 7:37 p.m.

      Also in attendance were Borough Attorney Marty Murphy, Borough Manager Barry Lewis, Jr., and  

      Borough Clerk Christina Whitaker.           



                 Resolution 138-09

                 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:


·        Tax Appeal Settlement/Vision Equities


                        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 Deputy Mayor Gormally, second by Councilman Happer, to enter into Executive Session, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”


Motion by Councilwoman Bravo, second by Councilman McWilliams, to close the Executive Session and return to the public portion of the meeting, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”



Mayor Shaw congratulated the cross county track team for winning State Championship.


The Mountain Lakes football team will play against Butler’s football team at Giant Stadium on December 5.


The Holiday House tour will be held on December 4.


The Christmas tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 6.

The Menorah lighting is scheduled for December 19.


Mayor Shaw extended sympathy to the family of Henry Popp who died November 13. He was a very active member of the community in earlier years. A memorial service will be held on December 13,

       6 p.m., at the Mountain Lakes Library.


The next Council meeting is scheduled for December 14. There will be only one Council meeting in December.



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


Michael Ruhe- Crystal Drive

Mr. Ruhe said that Lake Arrowhead Club Inc. had sent residents letters stating their property would be assessed for dues to the Club.

He said that the Arrowhead section of the Borough has been part of Mountain Lakes for 90 years and has never had access to the lakes even though access is noted in the deeds.


Tara Strauss – President of the League of Women Voters of Mountain Lakes.

Mrs, Strauss and Margaret Gossett read into the record a letter and 2003 recommendations of the League of Women Voters regarding traffic and safety issues. (Letter hereto attached)


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


Mayor Shaw told the residents of the Lake Arrowhead section in the Borough that any records the Borough had would be made available to them. However, he said he did not believe the Borough had any legal right to interfere in Lake Arrowhead Club business.


Mayor Shaw noted that the Borough has spent considerable money on repairs and replacements to sidewalks and roads in the last two years. Speed humps and portable 25 mph signs have been placed throughout the Borough.


Councilman Jackson suggested that the League review what has been done in the Borough over the last 6 years and then update its report. The new report should be sent to the Traffic and Safety Committee for review.


     6. Discussion

   A. Shared Services Survey-Next Steps

         Councilman Jackson said he would defer any further action on Borough Hall until next year.

         He suggested doing only necessary repairs to Borough Hall. He supported moving the

         Board of Education out of Borough Hall, freeing up space for Borough offices.

Councilman Happer agreed that the Borough should not be moving forward with the construction of a new building and should evaluate moving of the Board of Education to free up space in the existing building.  He also suggested that the manager research how much it would cost to move the Fire Department to a facility near the Department of Public Works facility and convert the existing space to office space. In addition, he noted that an evaluation of the current and long-term needs of Borough Hall should be completed and a long-term maintenance plan and cost projections should be developed.

Councilwoman Bravo said she was not sure repairs would be enough at this time. However, she would like t have engineer’s study on what the costs would be to bring the existing building into conformity with current codes and efficiencies. She supported renovating the police department immediately and exploring the possibility of finding another place for the Fire Department. She noted that she would seriously consider a Borough Hall expansion.

        Councilman McWilliams said the longer the Borough waits to improve the conditions at  

        Borough Hall, the more it would cost. He said he did not believe the Police Department or

        Fire Department would be going anywhere in the near future and while there was no grant

        money available to improve Borough Hall, there was grant money for fire departments. He

        suggested the Manager research that possibility. He was not sure if he would support

        moving the Board of Education out of Borough Hall at this time.


       Councilwoman Emr said she thought enough studies had been done and would not support

       another study on the need to expand Borough Hall. She said a different arrangement

       with the Board of Education was necessary if it were to stay in the municipal building. She

       said she agreed with Councilman McWilliams that the Police and Fire Departments would

       remain in Mountain Lakes and therefore supported moving forward with expansion of

       Borough Hall.  


       Deputy Mayor Gormally said he would not support any money being spent to expand the

       building because it would increase the tax burden on the residents. He

       disagreed that the Fire and Police Departments might always be located in the Borough.

       He agreed that maintenance needed to be done on Borough Hall in order to keep a workable

       area for the present employees. Better space planning might be helpful. He would not support the Board

       of Education moving if it meant it would cost taxpayers money.  He supported “asset

       management” of the Borough’s assets, including the land owned by the town.  He suggested

       that the Council should study appropriate use of Borough property when it made sense in

       order to promote private industry potentially developing needed facilities.


       Mayor Shaw said he did not support a $5 million dollar expansion. He suggested continuing

       to explore shared services and having a planner and engineer review the present building

       and suggest possible improvements.


       Mr. Lewis said he would focus on the immediate needs in the building. He will continue to

       look into shared services, efficient use of space, and address long term maintenance issues.



      R136-09- Recycling Grant

      R137-09- Bills List



      November 9, 2009 – Regular

      November 9, 2009 - Executive


Council Member




































































      9. ATTORNEY’S REPORT- none

      Councilman Jackson asked Mr. Murphy to report on pending court litigation.         



      Mr. Lewis told the Council that the Energy Audit form had been sent to Clean Energy NJ. Once it is

      approved, it will be sent to several audit firms.


      A Shade Tree grant had been filed and another one will be filed soon.


      Department budget meetings will be held in December.


      Mr. Lewis said that County dispatch was willing to discuss and address any Fire and Police

      Departments concerns.


      Mr. Lewis has requested that DPW Director Mark Prusina and Borough Engineer Bill Ryden provide

      him with a master list of infrastructure projects that have been completed. The list should include

      locations and dates of work completed.


      The bid specs for the fire truck have been advertised and a bid opening is scheduled for December

      22.  Award of the contract will take place in January.



Councilman Happer said the Recreation Commission held a coaching clinic on November 21. The Commission will be preparing an end-of-year summary for the next meeting


Councilman Jackson said the Finance Committee spent some time reviewing utility rates. There has been some discussion about merging the sewer and water utilities, but it is not high on its priority list.


The Library is well run and offers a lot of great programs.


Councilman Jackson said that at the last HPC meeting it was noted that 50% of the centennial book was written. The Committee is now looking for a publisher.

The HPC has also shown interest in preserving the house on Intervale Road which recently burned. It plans to approach the owner about the matter.


Councilman McWilliams said the Shade Tree Commission was working on its goals for 2010.


The 55 plus Committee is reviewing appointments for 2010. The group is interested in senior housing in the Borough and would like the Council to consider providing land for a Borough cemetery.


Mayor Shaw said the Planning Board has been busy lately. It is still working on the Master Plan rewrite.


The Highlands/COAH Committee will have a report for the next meeting.



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

9:37 p.m., with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.” 


*Consent Agenda


                Attest:___________________________                       ________________________

                  Christina Whitaker, Clerk                                       Stephen H. Shaw, Mayor