Aug 27th Meeting Minutes - Final

Greenwood Lake Commission 8.27.2014 1480 Union Valley Rd West Milford, NJ 07480 - Minutes -

Salute to the American Flag

Paul Zarrillo led the Salute to the Flag.

Roll Call

Meeting was called to order at 7:16pm. Paul Zarrillo, Clint Smith, Eric Hastings, Ed Krull, Floyd De Angelo, and George Vurno were all present. Paul Sullivan, Bill Olsen, and Kerry Pflugh were absent.

Public Notice Statement

Paul Zarrillo stated that in accordance with Pubic Laws in New York and New Jersey, adequate notice of the meeting time and location was sent to the AIM, West Milford Messenger, Warwick Valley Dispatch and Times, the Herald, and the Record.


At this time Paul Zarrillo read aloud several letters sent by the Commission. A letter was sent to Anthony DeNova, Administrator for Passaic County thanking him and Freeholder Terry Duffy of Passaic County for there assistance in securing $10,000 for administrative costs and to purchase insurance for the Commission.

A letter was sent to the Mayor and Council of West Milford expressing the Commission's opposition of a proposal by the Township which would eliminate a town-wide ordinance mandating septic pump outs. The Commission stated in this letter their concern about the effect of phosphorus levels, which would increase as a result of this ordinance being lifted. Eric Hastings commented that algae blooms in Ohio which affected the drinking water of over half a million people was attributed to an increase in phosphorus levels in Lake Erie. The Commission is waiting for a report from Princeton Hydro, detailing the effect that lifting this ordinance would have.

A response to an email sent by the West Milford Township Clerk, and a copy sent to Mayor Bieri and the Council of West Milford in regards to the transfer of ownership of the weed harvester equipment. The Township of West Milford is requesting motor vehicle documents before the transfer of ownership; Paul Zarrillo stated at the meeting and in emails to the Township of West Milford that the weed harvesters are not required to have the requested documentation and that the town can proceed with the transfer. Paul Zarrillo forwarded certificates of origin for the newest weed harvester equipment. Andre Abdul from the West Milford Environmental Commission who was in attendance requested a copy of this letter.

A letter was sent to Bob Martin the Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) expressing the frustration of the Commission for the lack of support and compliance the DEP has given for administrative assistance and funding, which the Commission is entitled to receive according to the founding legislation.

At this time West Milford Councilman Lou Signorino entered the room. Paul Zarrillo asked the Councilman to comment on the Council's position on the septic pump out ordinance. Lou Signorino said the Council had discussed it briefly at the last meeting but did not go into detail. Eric Hastings commented that removing the ordinance would disqualify the town from receiving 319 and 604B grants and Paul Zarrillo read a draft of a report from Princetion Hyrdo stating that one pound of phosphorus can result in 1100 pounds of algae bio mass. Lou Signorino followed up by stating that the law is difficult to enforce and the Health Department, which would be in charge of enforcing the ordinance is understaffed. He also stated that he was not familiar with the report by Princeton Hyrdro and was skeptical of the effect that removing the ordinance would have. George Vurno commented that the West Milford ordinance is a mirror of Jefferson Township's and that we should reach out for recommendations on how to enforce the ordinance. George Vurno also commented that having the law on the books would deter people from violating it. Paul Zarrillo said that when a septic tank is pumped a report from the company is sent to the town, which could be used to aid the enforcement of the ordinance. He also mentioned that Mayor Dwyer of the Village of Greenwood Lake offered to lend the Commission software and training in how to enforce our septic pump out ordinance better. Clint Smith recommended to Lou Signorino an independent review be conducted on the effect of phosphorus on Greenwood Lake. Lou Signorino invited the Commission to the next Town Council meeting to discuss the matter further. Paul Zarillo also suggested a meeting with the West Milford Town Council, the Commission, and Princeton Hydro.


Eric Hastings delivered the Treasurer's Report. The total sum of funds in the Commission's bank accounts totaled $23,183.76. The Commission also opened a bank account at Lakeland Bank in New Jersey. The Commission originally had only one bank account at Sterlings Bank in New York, but due to restrictions on which state the money can be spent, the second account was created to keep the funds separate. Currently 8700 dollars are in the NJ account. Eric Hastings will be asking Orange County in NY and Passaic County in NJ to give more funds to the Commission. Eric Hastings also commented that the removal of water chestnuts in the north arm is doing well. George Vurno commented on the work Eric Hastings has done over the last week personally harvesting and removing weeds and water chestnuts from the lake.

Paul Zarrillo reported that the old farmer's rock wall at the mouth of Belchers Creek had been properly addressed by the Aides to Navigation which is part of the DEP; warning buoys are now present around it. Paul Zarrillo also expressed concern over several floating islands, one by Fox Island and another to the east in particular which he estimates to be 50 feet in length and plans to call the Marine Police to remove them. Paul Zarrillo also reported that he intended to communicate with Lake Hopatcong and ask for advice on removal of water chestnuts. A final report is expected by HydroQual for dredging the east side of the arm. We are also waiting for the final report from Allied Biological in regards to the species of weeds that exist in Greenwood Lake. Paul Zarrillo also confirmed a meeting with Senator Pennacchio on Sept. 16th. Paul Zarrillo also mentioned that the Commission just purchased QuikBooks in order to better maintain its financial records.

Ed Krull reported that the Hydro Raking done in the eastern arm in the state of New York over the last two weeks has been very successful, and water flow has increased as a result. However, the reduction in water level is making it difficult for boats to enter the water at some points on the lake.

Floyd DeAngelo commented that the herbicides have made a noticeable difference in the lake, but the water clarity has been reduced either by the herbicides or the bottom being disturbed by hydro raking.

Presentations Bridget Vanderbos from York-Jersey Underwriters gave a brief presentation on the insurance policies purchased by the Commission. We plan of saving 1500-2000 dollars annually as a result.

Clint Smith made a motion to close the meeting, Ed Krull seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:00pm. Our next meeting will be September 24th at 7pm, in the Greenwood Lake Senior Center. If you needed to contact us you may do so you by visiting our website, emailing us at, or calling our office at 973-506-7800.