MONDAY, July 26, 2010

7:30 p.m.






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 5, 2010 and posted in the municipal building.


       Mayor Bravo called the meeting to order at 7:31 p.m.



All Council members were present except for Councilman Doug McWilliams and Councilman Stephen Shaw. Also in attendance were Borough Attorney Marty Murphy, Borough Manager Barry Lewis, Jr., and Executive Assistant Michele Reilly.



     Resolution 101

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:


·        Personnel

·        Contract Negotiations – Open Space Acquisition – King of Kings


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 is 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 Deputy Mayor Gormally, second by Councilman Jackson, to return to the public potion of the meeting, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye”.




Mayor Bravo congratulated Glen Dagger on his Eagle Scout Award. The Mayor commented that this marks the fifth Eagle Scout from Troop 41 this year, which is a tribute to the troop and the leaders they are producing.


Mayor Bravo also remarked on the eight affordable housing units being built at Park Place. She mentioned that applications will be available this Friday at the Borough Hall and the Mountain Lakes Library.


Mayor Bravo commended all who were involved with the Fourth of July festivities.




Mayor Bravo explained the Council’s policy of limiting each speaker to five (5) minutes and no yielding of time to another person. Mayor Bravo opened the public comment portion of the meeting with the consent of the Council.


Tobia Ippolito – Cobb Road & Crestview Road

Mr. Ippolito asked that a correction be made to the minutes from the April 26th meeting. He said Agenda Item 10, the Manager’s Report, reflects that the Board of Adjustment denied their request for a variance. He said he and his wife had withdrawn their application. Also, he asked that a correction be made to the minutes from the June 14th meeting, as his first name was spelled incorrectly with an “s”. Mr. Ippolito closed by saying many letters have been sent to the Mayor supporting an amicable resolution to the dilemma concerning their property.



A. Resolution by NJ League on Gov. Christie’s Tool Kit/R 100-10


Councilman Jackson summarized the discussion item. The League of Municipalities is requesting that all municipalities pass their proposed resolution, which the League will then send to the appropriate legislators. The question before the Council is whether or not to pass the League resolution or even write its own resolution. After discussion, on motion by Deputy Mayor Gormally, with a second by Councilman Jackson, the Council voted unanimously to pass the League’s proposed resolution.



      R 91 Supplemental Salary – Chief Tovo (Pulled from 6/28/10 Agenda)

      R 92 Audit Review

      R 93 Liquor Licenses

      R 94 Extension of Tax Bill Grace Period

      R 95 Authorizing NJDOT Local Aid Grant Application

      R 96 M.C. Historic Grant Agreement – Lake Drive School

      R 97 Authorizing MOU FEMA Firefighters Grant

      R 98 Refund of Taxes

      R 99 Payment of Bills


      8. *MINUTES

      June 28, 2010



            A. Construction Official

            B. Health Officer

            C. DPW

            D. Fire

            E. Police


Before the Consent Agenda vote, Deputy Mayor Gormally raised a question about Resolution 93-10. He wondered if a previous issue at this establishment needed to be memorialized before the passage of the Resolution. Mr. Murphy indicated Chief Tovo had proposed conditions on the license renewal if the establishment didn’t voluntarily comply with certain restrictions. However, since the establishment had complied, there was no need to attach any conditions to the license renewal. Councilman Jackson then asked if the establishment had changed owners, since it is closed and being renovated. Mr. Lewis said the establishment is still owned by the same corporation.


The consensus of the Council was to pull Resolution 92-10 and place it on next month’s agenda, due to the absence of two Council members.


Councilman Happer asked about the grant agreement for Resolution 96-10, as it had not been attached to the document. Mr. Lewis said it was a $16,000 grant that required a 20% match. The Board of Education has committed in writing to contributing the match.


Councilwoman Emr had a correction to the minutes on page 5, paragraph 5 regarding the displacement of water at the Mountain Lakes Club. She had indicated that the placement of sand, not the ropes, displaced water.


Councilman Happer asked Mr. Lewis what the delay was in getting the tax rate, in reference to Resolution 94-10. Mr. Lewis said the rate is generated at the county level; however, the Borough has now received its rate and all the tax bills have been mailed.


      Councilman Happer inquired as to whether or not Resolution 98-10 was a result of a tax appeal. Mr. Murphy said he believed it was and that he could obtain more information. Councilman Happer asked Mr. Murphy to do so.


      Councilwoman Emr commented on Resolution 99-10, Payment of Bills. She noted that the Borough does reimburse some retired former employees for their medical benefits. Councilman Happer asked about the two payments to Eddy’s Total Auto Care. Mr. Lewis indicated that the payments were for one repair; however, some money had to be paid before the repair so the part could be obtained.


      Mayor Bravo asked Mr. Lewis if the Borough received funding for administering the Firefighters Grant, Resolution 97-10. Mr. Lewis said the Borough was the host agency, but did not receive any money.


      Councilman Happer asked if the Consent Agenda included the DPW report. Mr.Murphy reminded the Council that department reports are not approved.


      Councilman Jackson presented Ms. Reilly with a correction to the minutes.


Consent Agenda minus Resolution 92-10.

Council Member




































































Regarding the DPW report, Councilman Happer had two comments. The report says the DPW “installed and programmed new radio read meters where meters need replacement”. Councilman Happer wondered what decision had been made regarding the replacement meters. Mr. Lewis said he would follow up with Mr. Ryden, the Borough Engineer. Also, Councilman Happer pointed out that the number of Workmen’s Compensation Hours reported for the DPW was very high. Mr. Lewis said this was possibly a reporting error, as two workers are out following surgeries, and they are not receiving Workmen’s Compensation but rather Disability.




Mr. Murphy spoke to the Council about paper roads. He said that under New Jersey Law, roads are classified as either public or private.  A private road is created by the deed of a developer or on a filed map. A private road remains private until such time as it is dedicated to a public entity. The public entity has the option to: accept the dedication (which creates a public road), vacate the road, or hold the dedication in limbo. A municipality cannot be forced to accept or vacate a dedication and this has been supported by litigation. A paper road is just evidence of a dedication. There must be a dedication and an acceptance in order for a road to become public.



Vacate Paper Road/N. Glen


Mr. Lewis reported on his research involving North Glen Road, which was summarized in a memo to the Council. He reviewed old maps and ordinances to try to determine if the Borough had ever accepted the dedication of the portion of North Glen Road pertaining to the Ippolito’s property. His conclusion was if that section of the road was not previously part of Rock Lane, the Borough never accepted the dedication.


Mayor Bravo asked the Council to focus on the recommendation at the end of Mr. Lewis’s memo, which is that the Borough vacate the paper road. Mr. Lewis said he cannot envision a scenario whereby the Borough would open or improve this portion of the right of way. If the Borough agrees to vacate the road, the Borough then picks up fifteen feet of property, which could potentially be used for a trail. Mr. Lewis reiterated that if the Borough does not vacate the paper road, the Ippolito’s lot is considered a corner lot and as such has a forty (40) foot front setback. The setback would require that they build their house facing the woods. Additionally, the Ippolito’s would have the option to pursue a subdivision of their property. However, if the Borough vacates the road, the Ippolito’s property is no longer considered a corner lot and they lose the ability to subdivide. Additionally, they can build their house with an orientation consistent with that of the neighborhood.


After much discussion among the Council, Mayor Bravo recommended that the Council ask the Borough Attorney to prepare an ordinance to vacate the municipality’s interest in the paper road. Councilman Jackson asked Mr. Murphy if doing so would set a precedent for the Borough and Mr. Murphy said it would not. Councilwoman Emr disagreed with Mayor Bravo’s recommendation and felt that the matter should be sent back to the Planning Board, with an additional request to determine how many paper roads were within the Borough. The Council, with the exception of Councilwoman Emr, voted to allow Mr. Murphy to draft an ordinance. Mr. Murphy reminded the Council there would be a public hearing on the ordinance. Councilman Jackson added that he felt the Council should still ask the Planning Board to determine the number of paper roads in the Borough.


Mr. Lewis also reported that the tax rate in the Borough decreased by one cent. He has filed the application for the DOT Road Grant for Intervale Road, and will be informed in November as to whether or not the Borough receives the grant money of $250,000. Mr. Lewis said the consulting firm handling the energy audit has received all of the Borough’s energy bills and is processing the information for the final report. Mr. Lewis said the OEM Coordinator, Chief Tovo, submitted paperwork to FEMA and the Borough has received FEMA relief for the March 2010 storm. The total reimbursement amount is $54,445. In addition, the JIF awarded the Borough a $50,000 grant for police accreditation, which is a year long process.


Deputy Mayor Gormally asked Mr. Lewis to speak about the dam and spillway repairs. Mr. Lewis said he met recently with Mr. Prusina, Mr. Ryden, and Golam Kabir from Converse Consultants. He has confirmed in writing with the DEP that the Borough has the proper permits for the dam repairs at Sunset and Wildwood Lakes. Mr. Kabir is processing the permits with the DEP. Additionally Mr. Lewis has confirmed that the repairs to the Mountain Lake Dam and spillway did not require a permit. Mr. Kabir expects the Sunset and Wildwood permits to be completed potentially this fall, but no later than next spring, and neither repair will impact the lake levels for next year. Councilwoman Emr asked how long it would take to repair the Mountain Lake Dam, and Mr. Lewis said he thought about a month, but he would confirm with Mr. Ryden. Councilwoman Emr also asked what type of work was being completed at the Wildwood Dam. Mr. Lewis said the boards are being replaced and a new valving structure is being installed. Mr. Ryden’s plans for the valving structure will be reviewed by Mr. Kabir.


Councilman Jackson asked for an update on Well #3. Mr. Lewis said the well repair plans were submitted last fall to the State. As the type of pump was being changed, the DEP wanted a permit, and Mr. Ryden subsequently filed paperwork for a permit in late 2009. The DEP has since taken the position that the entire well must be brought up to current standards. The Borough is taking exception to this position as it is not economically feasible for the Borough to replace the well. Mr. Lewis and Mr. Ryden will be meeting with the DEP and will report back to the Council.


Councilman Jackson thanked Mr. Lewis for his work on obtaining grant money for the Borough. He wondered if the grant money received created a cash surplus. Mr. Lewis explained that some grant money was dedicated to certain line items. However, the FEMA reimbursement was

“found money” and would be used to offset overtime from the storm.


Mayor Bravo asked Mr. Lewis to have the DPW check a line of sight obstruction near the train station on Midvale Road. Mr. Lewis will send a work order to the DPW.


Councilwoman Emr asked Mr. Lewis about private encroachment on the lakes. Mr. Lewis said that he spoke to the Mountain Lakes Club today and indicated that ropes were not permitted. Councilwoman Emr told Mr. Lewis that there was another floating raft on the cove. She suggested the possibility of sending notification to all lakefront owners with copies of the Borough ordinances regarding private use of the lakes.




Board of Adjustment – Councilwoman Emr reported the Board is a very conscientious group. The Board recently instructed the secretary to require a survey be included with all requests for lot improvements.


Shade Tree Commission – Councilwoman Emr reported that the Shade Tree has not had a recent meeting but that they are very busy surveying the trees in the Borough.



Lakes Management – Councilman Jackson said the Committee has been discussing the level of water in the lakes. There is a project being discussed for the cove, which would include replacing bushes and installing a landscape buffer at the water’s edge.


Planning Board – Councilman Jackson missed the last meeting, but he said the focus has been on the revision of the Historic Preservation Element of the Master Plan. There was much discussion among the Council regarding the significance and impact of this planning document and whether or not enough public input had been solicited.


Finance Committee – Councilman Happer said the next meeting is in the process of being scheduled.


Centennial Committee – Mayor Bravo said the Committee is moving forward with their plans and will be publishing a list of activities sometime in September.


14. ADJOURNMENT at 9:40 p.m.

On motion by Deputy Mayor Gormally, second by Councilman Happer, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.


*Consent Agenda



Attest:___________________________                           ________________________

Michele Reilly, Executive Assistant                            Blair S. Bravo, Mayor