BERNARDS TOWNSHIP SEWERAGE AUTHORITY

MINUTES OF THE OPERATING MEETING

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2009

                                                         

Vice-Chairman Carpenter called the meeting of the Bernards Township Sewerage Authority to order at 6:03 p.m. on April 22, 2009 in the Conference Room of the Municipal Building, Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:       Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano (arrived at 6:11 p.m.); Mr. Malay (excused at 7:00 p.m.)

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:         Ms. Pavlini

 

STAFF PRESENT:                Mr. Roger Bowlby, Plant Superintendent; Mr. Peter Messina, Administrator; Mr. Glen Plesnarski, BTSA Collections Supervisor; Mr. Joseph Sordillo, Esq., BTSA Attorney; Mr. Nicholas Valese, Hatch Mott MacDonald

 

OTHERS PRESENT:            Mr. Mitchell Berlant, The Land Company, Inc.; Mr. Brett Hodges, Bernards Township Resident

 

OPEN PUBLIC MEETING STATEMENT

Vice-Chairman Carpenter read the following statement: “Adequate notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building, One Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, New Jersey; e-mailed to the Bernardsville News, Bernardsville, and faxed to the Courier News, Bridgewater, New Jersey, and was filed with the Township Clerk, all on December 22, 2008.  Any motion to go into closed session will be deemed to include a motion that the matters discussed at such closed session will be disclosed to the public when such matters are finally determined and there is no further reason to prohibit the public disclosure of information relating to such matters.”

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

a.                   March 18, 2009 – Regular Meeting Minutes

Motioned by Ms. Boquist to Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes dated March 18, 2009.

 

ROLL CALL

Aye: Ms. Boquist        

Nay:

Abstain:  Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Mr. Malay

Motion Carried

 

CORRESPONDENCE
  1. Wastewater Flow Estimate – 1Q 2009

Mr. Messina presented the first quarter report submitted by Hatch Mott MacDonald outlining 2009 actual average daily flows and calculation of future flows, as well as the 2001 historical maximum average flows.  Mr. Messina explained that if the BTSA continues to experience the current average flow, it will below the 2.5mgd that was experienced in 2001, but that conservative practices must still be employed.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

None

 

ACTION/DISCUSSION ITEMS

  1. Discussion – Sewer Connection Request – The Land Company Heathermeade – Block 11401 Lot 1, Martinsville Road
Mr. Messina explained that that he received a letter from The Land Company, Inc., as a purchaser under contract for the Heathermeade Corp. property (B11401, lot 1), which is located on Martinsville Road just south of the Westgate Office complex for a sewer connection.
 

Mr. Messina recommended that the Authority deny the request from The Land Company for a sewer connection outside of our sewer service area for the following reasons:

1. The subject property is not within the existing BTSA Sewer Service Area; 2.  This is a low density residential area which the Township’s 2003 Master Plan states as an “Objective” that infrastructure should not be extended into the non-sewered areas; 3. Somerset County is presently preparing a new Wastewater Management Plan (WMP) for Bernards Township in accordance with NJDEP and Highlands Council Regulations, stating that all future sewer service areas must comply with the NJDEP Water Quality Management Plan and that all future sewer service areas must be consistent with the New Jersey Highlands Council Regional Master Plan; 4. The property is located in a “Protection” zone according to the Highlands Council Regional Master Plan and the NJDEP will not allow public sewer service to extend into a Protection Zone property unless the property has already received final approvals from the Planning or Zoning Board and has received a Treatment Works Approval (TWA) from the NJDEP.  This property has no approvals from Bernards Township or a TWA approval from the NJDEP; 5. According to the NJ State Development and Redevelopment Plan the property is located in a Planning Area 5, which is labeled “Environmentally Sensitive” area and according to the NJDEP, public sewers are not allowed to serve PA 5 properties; 6. The Land Company has also requested sewer service from the Warren Township Sewerage Authority.  The Land Company does state in their letter that they would need approval from Bernards Township. They would however, also need approval to amend the WWMP boundaries from Somerset County, NJDEP and the Highlands Council; 7. It has been the Authority’s policy not to extend sewer service into non-sewered areas due to concerns about the capacity of the Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP). The plant has the capacity to serve all of the existing and future planned connections within the sewer service area.  If areas outside the sewer service area were allowed to connect to the STP, the capacity of the plant would be compromised. This would result in planned connections within the sewer service area being denied or penalties from the NJDEP for exceeding our flow capacity.

 

Ms. Boquist questioned the current percentage of plant usage.  Mr. Messina confirmed that the plant is currently at 95% capacity, and reminded Authority members that some new development is on the horizon.  Mr. Carpenter questioned the capacity in terms of committed flow.  Mr. Messina explained that such a figure is flow dependant, however in all estimates, the BTSA cannot afford to tie in any connections outside the sewer service area.  He also reminded Authority members that the county and the DEP are the ones that will make the ultimate decision on this issue.  Based on discussion, Authority members agreed to deny The Land Company’s request for a sewer connection.

Mr. Mitchell Berlant, representing the purchaser, asked Authority members about perhaps tying into the Warren Township Sewerage Authority.  Mr. Messina explained that Warren Township would be bound by the same guidelines as the BTSA.  Mr. Messina stated that a letter confirming the Authority’s decision to deny the connection request will be sent to applicant.
 
  1. Resolution # 0926 – Change Order #4 – Vision Administration Building

Motioned by Mr. Malay, seconded by Ms. Boquist to Approve the Resolution # 0926, Authorizing the additional professional construction services of Vision General Construction Inc. for the Administration Building Expansion Project in the amount of $467.50, thereby amending the Resolution # 0919 amended contract price from $614,842.10 to $615,309.60.

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Mr. Malay

Nay:   

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

  1. Resolution # 0927 – Rejection of Bid – Hansom Transmission

Motioned by Mr. Malay, seconded by Ms. Boquist to Approve the Resolution # 0927,

Authorizing that the bid received from GMH Association of America for the Hansom Transmission Rebuild on Oxidation Ditch #1 and #2 Project be rejected and a reasonable contract be negotiated to procure said goods and services.

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Mr. Malay

Nay:   

Abstain: 

Motion Carried

 

  1. Resolution # 0928 – Rejection of Bid – FST Building Repair

Motioned by Mr. Malay, seconded by Ms. Boquist to Approve the Resolution # 0928, Authorizing that the bid received from CAI Restoration Services for the Final Settling Tank Building Repair and Waterproofing be rejected and the BTSA will substantially revise the plans and specifications and re-advertise the project.

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Mr. Malay

Nay:   

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

  1. Discussion – Revised Wastewater Management Plan

Mr. Messina advised Authority members that Somerset County is presently updating the Bernards Township Wastewater Management Plan (WMP) for the NJDEP, with strict guidelines on how revisions to the sewer service area (SSA) are to be made.  He explained that since Bernards Township is also in the Highlands Planning Area, the BTSA must be “consistent” with the Highlands Council’s Regional Master Plan (RMP) even though Bernards Township is not planning on “conforming” to the RMP.  He further noted that the NJDEP/Highlands dictates that future sewer service area boundaries are limited to “Existing Areas Served and Existing Community Zone (unconstrained only).  No future sewer service areas are permitted in the “Existing Community Environmentally Constrained Subzone, Conservation or Protection Zone to serve new development.  However, projects with final approval and NJDEP Treatment Works Approval (TWA) will be allowed to connect. 

 

In review of the NJDEP requirements, Mr. Messina made the following recommendations to the county for revising the sewer service area map:

 

Area 1.  The Bamboo Grill at the Basking Ridge Country Club is presently tied into the sewer system on Madisonville Road.  However, the latest SSA maps and aerial photographs show only one-half of the building within the SSA.  As this is a drafting error (prior to aerial photos) that should be corrected, Mr. Messina recommended that the entire restaurant/clubhouse building be placed within the SSA, nothing more. 

 

Mr. Messina confirmed for Ms. Boquist and Ms. Gaziano that only the restaurant and bathrooms are tied into the sewer service area.  Authority members agreed to follow the foundation of the building, no more and no less, to avoid the potential for a future subdivision.  Mr. Sordillo agreed with Authority members’ decision.

 

Area 2.  The restroom building at Southard Park is not within the SSA, so Mr. Messina recommended that the line be shifted to include the restroom.  Authority members agreed.

 

Area 3.  There is presently an existing home on Lord Stirling Road in immediate need of a septic system repair (Mr. Hodges, 177 Lord Stirling Road).  In discussions with the design engineer and the Health department, the alterations to the system will not work; therefore the Health department recommends that the BTSA allow a sanitary connection for this lot.  Mr. Messina noted that he is familiar with this area, which has a high water table and very poor soils.  He further noted that the County Environmental Education Center directly across the street has recently been served by our sewers.  Mr. Messina recommended that the BTSA extend the sewer service area 200 feet off the centerline of Lord Stirling Road to capture just the existing three buildings presently not served.  This would include #167, #177 and #181 Lord Stirling Road.  The other homes on Lord Stirling Road are presently connected.  The extension of the SSA only 200 feet off the centerline of the road precludes any further subdivision of those lots.  Two of the lots (#167 and #177) are presently undersized lots.  While #181 is larger (37.85 ac), it has substantial wetlands and floodplains.

 

Mr. Carpenter questioned if homes neighboring 177 Lord Stirling Road are experiencing problems, as well.  Mr. Messina stated that such information has not yet been solicited, but that in his experience that entire area has had problems.  Ms. Boquist expressed concern that this issue be corrected so that there are no future problems in that area. 

 

Mr. Malay stressed that the homeowner needs to be clear about where the line is drawn so that any future additions to the home cannot extend beyond that line.  Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Malay expressed concern that making this change would be making an exception in the opposite direction of that which was previously made for the Basking Ridge Country Club.  Mr. Malay recommended moving the line far enough from the center of the right-of-way to allow for a reasonable extension to the home and make that the limitation.  Authority members agreed.

 

Mr. Carpenter questioned whether the lots are substandard.  Mr. Messina confirmed that the zoning is R-1,  3 acre lots. The subject lot is less than 2 acres, one lot is slightly over 2 acres and the third is over 37 acres.  Mr. Malay and Mr. Carpenter acknowledged the need to comply with health and safety standards, but still expressed concern about leaving room for future development.  Authority members agreed.  Ms. Gaziano stated that, to her knowledge, homeowners on Lord Stirling Road have requested to be tied into the sewer service and have been denied in the past.  She expressed concern as to why an exception is being made now.  Mr. Messina explained that under the circumstances (i.e. a failing septic system), the connection request is more viable.  Ms. Gaziano expressed further concern about homeowners coming back in future and asking that the line be extended again.  Mr. Malay noted that he does not see a high risk of future subdivisions because of other conditions and restrictions that have been previously established.  Mr. Messina confirmed for Ms. Gaziano that there are only three homes remaining in the Lord Stirling Area that are not connected to the sewer service area.  Mr. Carpenter questioned any potential legal ramifications.  Mr. Sordillo stated that although he could make no guarantee, since this change would be done as a part of a larger revision project, as opposed to an exclusive exception, there should not be as much of an issue. 

 

Authority members agreed to extend the sewer service line at a distance to be determined, allowing enough room for an addition on a home, but not enough for a subdivision.  Authority members also agreed that this issue should be presented as an emergent health and safety problem that should be considered before any other issue.  Mr. Hodges (177 Lord Stirling Road) expressed his gratitude.

 

Area 4.  As the Somerset Hills Cemetery and the Holy Cross Cemetery are not in need of sanitary sewers in the rear portion of the lots, Mr. Messina recommended removing Block 2301 lot 28 and partial lot 12 from the SSA.

 

Mr. Carpenter questioned whether or not this would be a problem for the landowner.  Mr. Messina confirmed that if the county does decide to make a change, the landowner would be notified and invited to attend a public meeting on the issue.  Mr. Messina confirmed for Ms. Gaziano that the new mausoleum would still be included in the SSA. 

 

Authority members agreed.

 

Area 5.  The environmentally sensitive areas (wetlands/floodplains) between Spring Valley Boulevard and the Dead River are not allowed to be in a SSA.  The Authority attempted to remove this area, however, was told to wait for the WMP revisions by the County.  Mr. Messina confirmed that the Township almost wholly owns the properties with no plans for future sanitary sewers and that he deliberately left in the soccer field area at Farmstead Park for a potential future restroom.

 

Authority members agreed.

 

Area 6.  The residential lots adjacent to the west side of Mt. View Corporate Center are mistakenly in the SSA and should be removed.  Also a part of the commercial Mt. View Center lot is outside the SSA, which should be inside.  These drafting errors should be corrected.

 

Authority members agreed.

 

Area 7.  The Pingry School has public sanitary sewers connected to the Somerset-Raritan Valley Sewerage Authority.  When it was initially established, all of the Pingry properties (there were several at one time before lot consolidation) were included in the S-RVSA SSA.  Mr. Messina recommended that the BTSA include only the school and surrounding buildings in the SSA and remove the farm fields. 

 

Mr. Messina confirmed for Ms. Gaziano that there is presently a proposal by Pingry to build a new headmaster’s residence (keeping the existing one), which would be in the area removed, but that he believes a septic system would work in this area.  He also noted that Pingry’s master plan does not call for any other future buildings in the area to be removed from the SSA.

 

Authority members agreed.

 

  1. Consulting Engineer’s Report

Mr. Valese referred to his Consulting Engineer’s report and informed the Authority that:

  • Sanitary Sewer Video Inspections 2008/2009 – Although there were a couple of rain events since the last report, adequate rain to significantly activate rainfall induced I/I did not occur.  No additional sewers were video inspected since the last report due to insufficient rain.  HMM was in contact with Mr. Bowlby and his staff to coordinate possible use of the Authority video inspection crew along with HMM’s crew as agreed during the March BTSA meeting.  The status to date remains at approximately 16,350 lf of sanitary sewer has been inspected under the 2008 video inspection project and approximately 176,510 gpd of I/I have been identified.  This represents approximately 64% of the 25,532 lf of sewers to be inspected for 2008.  HMM will continue to track weather conditions and conduct video inspection work when the wet weather conditions are satisfactory for identifying sources of I/I.  The 2009 proposed work, which consists of 15,000 lf of additional sewers to be video inspected in suspect areas, will begin when the 2008 work has been completed.

·        Phosphorous Pilot Study – The BTSA has installed the necessary components to begin the six (6) month phosphorous reduction demonstration trials.  HMM has notified the proper agencies within the NJDEP in a letter dated March 31, 2009, of the BTSA plan to initiate the Phosphorous Removal Demonstration Testing.  HMM is advising the BTSA on the dosage of Alum expected to lower the Phosphorous level to the required limit.  Monitoring of the final effluent is recommended two to three times per week.

·        Final NJPDES General Permit – The status of the NJPDES Permit remains the same as previously reported.  HMM identified two major issues with the Final NJPDES Permit for the plant.  The first was the imposing of a more stringent Chronic Toxicity Limit, which HMM objected to in the November 7, 2008 comments on the Draft Permit.  The second issue was the imposition of Nitrate Limits and compliance schedule in the permit.  As requested, HMM had submitted to the NJDEP on January 20, 2009 an Adjudicatory Hearing and Stay Request for the NJDEP’s consideration of the above items.  The BTSA received a letter from the NJDEP dated February 5, 2009 denying the Stay of these issues, citing no immediate financial or enforcement liability due to the time limit for compliance. 

Motioned by Ms. Boquist to Approve the Consulting Engineer’s Report.

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Mr. Malay

Nay:

Abstain: 

Motion Carried

 

OPERATOR’S REPORT – APRIL 2009 (reporting on March 2009 activities)

Mr. Bowlby informed the Authority of the following:

  • BTSA crews jetted 18 roads (Berta Place, Birch Drive, Brookside Avenue, Colonial Drive, Cottage Avenue, Dayton Street, Dyckman Place, Ellis Drive, Forbes Court, Franklin Drive, Glen Avenue, Hillside Terrace, Lee Place, Lone Oak Road, Parkview Avenue, Stonybrook Road, Tysley Street, and Walnut Circle).
  • BTSA crews checked siphons.
  • BTSA crews inspected five manholes on Tall Timber Lane.
  • BTSA crews inspected manholes on Edward Court Extension.
  • BTSA crews checked manholes and cleanouts in the Annin Road basin.
  • BTSA crews installed volute and pump #1 at South Maple.
  • BTSA crews replaced seals in Oak Street pumps #1 and #2.
  • BTSA crews dewatered and cleaned wet well for PVP pump station.
  • BTSA crews installed Oak Street dimminutor.
  • Station generators were serviced by Power Equipment.
  • BTSA crews cleaned East and West side of the chlorine contact tank.
  • BTSA crews started sandblasting on FST #2.
  • BTSA crews started rebuilding bucket elevators.
  • BTSA crews continue to meet permit parameters without any problems.
  • BTSA crews completed monthly fire extinguisher, lighting, and safety shower checks.
  • BTSA crews attended monthly JIF safety meeting at Hanover.
  • BTSA crews attended Bernards Township safety meeting.
  • BTSA crews were lost time accident free for 81 days.

Mr. Bowlby provided updates on the following projects:

Valley Road Pump Station:  Waiting for components.

 

SCADA System – DeMaio Electric/Morehouse Engineering:  FIOS was connected at Juniper Way.  DSL was connected at Annin Road.  A new hypo pump was installed.

 

I&I:  No report due to lack of precipitation.

 

Madisonville Road Pump Station:  No report.

 

Clarifier Refurbishing: FST #2 sandblasting was started.

 

Emergency Generator:  Waiting for components.

 

Transformer Install:  Waiting for components.

 

Mr. Malay informed Authority members that he had recently driven by the Juniper Way Pump Station and noticed that some of the landscaping may need to be replaced.  He did, however, note that the pump station machinery is only noticeable if you are really looking for it.  Mr. Messina confirmed for Ms. Boquist that there is a two-year guarantee on the trees that were planted.  Additionally, he noted that the two times he has driven by, he has not detected any foul odor.  Ms. Boquist added that she reached out to Ms. Marvel (133 Juniper Way) to check on the status of the improvements, specifically the odor problem, but has not yet received a response.

 

Motioned by Ms. Boquist, seconded by Ms. Gaziano to approve the Operator’s Report – April 2009 (reporting on March 2009 activities).

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Mr. Malay

Nay:

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

Mr. Malay was excused at 7:00 p.m.

 

BILLS

Motioned by Ms. Gaziano, seconded by Ms. Boquist to approve the Operating Bills as follows:

a.         Accounts Payable Current        -  $ 385,680.68

b.         Accounts Payable Reserve        -  $ 134,487.97 

c.         Payroll Current             -  $   80,237.56

d.         Payroll Reserves                       -  $         -0- 

e.         Total Operating                        -  $ 600,406.21 

f.          Developers Escrow                  -  $            6.68   

            GRAND TOTAL                     -  $ 600,412.89

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Mr. Malay

Nay:   

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

Motioned by Ms. Gaziano, seconded by Ms. Boquist to move into Closed Session at

7:01 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist, Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano

Nay:

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

Motioned by Ms. Gaziano, seconded by Ms. Boquist to move back into Regular Session at

7:08 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist, Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano

Nay:

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

ADJOURNMENT

Motioned by Ms. Boquist, seconded by Ms. Gaziano to adjourn at 7:09 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Shaun Lockett