September 2015 Meeting Minutes

SEPTEMBER 2015 MEETING MINUTES Greenwood Lake Commission 9.28.2015 1480 Union Valley Rd. West Milford, NJ 07480

Meeting start at 7:20 Paul Zarrillo read aloud the open public meetings law.


Paul Zarrillo, Floyd DeAngelo, Eric Hastings, Clint Smith, Dan Bello, Michael Flaherty, Ed Krull, Bill Link, and Dale VanNimwegen were present. George Vurno and Paul Sullivan were absent.


Vivienne Erk, the president of the West Milford Council was in attendance.

Paul Zarrillo opened the meeting by thanking Bruce VanNimwegen and Clint Smith for their help guiding and assisting the students and staff from MSU conduct their first water tests on Greenwood Lake.


Dale VanNimwegen presented the Treasurer's Report. Dale presented a budget sheet with the bills and total amounts in the Commission's bank accounts. Dale announced that all of the utility of the bills have been payed, and that they had been set up to be payed online which will allow Dale to set up a system where the bills can be payed evenly from both accounts, in accordance with the financial regulations the Commission is bound by. The New Jersey account has 14,000 dollars, and New York account has 3,201 dollars. Dale had reported that she had visited a branch of Sterling Bank in New York to sort out several deposits the Commission did not have a record for. One deposit of 30,000 dollars which was previously unknown has been found to be from Passaic County in July of 2011. There are still several transactions that need to be identified before both accounts can be finally settled, Dale is confident that matter will be resolved soon.

Dale also passed around a ledger of both accounts. Dale pointed out that in the NY ledger that a negative balance of approximately $14,000 was owed to the Village of Greenwood Lake, and that the Commission will be able to rectify this when the Commission is able to receive the remaining grant funds from Albany. The Mayor of the Village of Greenwood Lake sent 3 invoices of work preformed on Greenwood Lake performed under the Morohan Grant, Dale said she needed more documentation about the type of work that was preformed and also present evidence that it was preformed, before the grant money can be released to the Commission. Dale spoke to the NYDEC and their accounts are frozen until October 15th while the system is under maintenance their representatives cannot send payment or review the files.Dale said she is pursuing the matter and is confident the matter will be resolved soon.

Dale also investigated what are desiganted tax status is under the IRS and she reported that the IRS does not have our letter of statement. Dale said that the Commission needs to make a distinction when we report our files to the IRS and report us as either a 501c3 corporation or an Affiliated Governmental Entity. Dale recommended that the Commission ask a tax attorney to assist us with this question.

Paul Zarrillo asked Dale about the progress of establishing a foundation. Dale said that in order to be entrusted as a foundation the Watershed Management District needs 3 trustees. Paul Zarrillo said that he is meeting again with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation to get some advice on setting that up. Dale also mentioned she knew of a pro bono organization that the Hopatcong Foundation used to set up their 501c3.

Approval of Minutes

Floyd DeAngelo made the motion, Dale seconded. Passed unanimously.


Dan Bello presented his report to the Commission. Dan was able to put together a list of helpful links and recommended practices for property owners on Greenwood Lake in terms of dock and landscaping regulations. The links were provided to the Commission and will soon be available on our website Dan Bello also wanted to follow up on a question presented to the Commission regarding what permits are available for property owners on the lake during the drawdown. Dan reported that you either needed a "Highlands Permit" or needed to prove you were exempt from the Highlands regulations, but they may still need a Freshwater Wetland or Flood Hazard permit. There is something called an in-house exemption so homeowners can perform upkeep on their personal docks without needing a formal exemption from the Highlands, but may still need other permits. Dan also reported that the NJDEP gave permission for certain towns within the Highlands act to give out these permits and exemptions, so residents of Greenwood Lake can apply in West Milford instead of the NJDEP. The Village of Greenwood Lake has a similar program, where the Village applies to the NYDEC for a blanket permit, and then the Village would be responsible for managing applications for permits on the New York side. It does not seem that getting a blanket permit this year Dale VanNimewegen asked about the regulations on homeoweners associations where locals store their docks. Dan Bello said he had to follow up on that particular question.

Dan Bello also reported that, on the New Jersey side there were 5 flood hazard permits provided to residents living on Greenwood Lake in 2011 by the NJDEP. There was also one GP -11 valve repair permits, two GP – 18 Dam repair permits, one GP – 1 Maintenance of existing structures, 15 GP – 25 permits for septics repair, and 2 Highlands waivers given by the Fresh Water Commission to residents on Greenwood Lake. This is in comparison to 83 permits given to residents on the New York side of the lake. There was also a question about how many citations were given to residents who performed the work without receiving the permit, Dan Bello had to follow up with a separate enforcement agency.

Bill Link gave his report. Bill said he was still getting mixed opinions from different marina owners. The Commission asked several audience members who were marina owners themselves about their views on the drawdown, including former Commission member Steve DeFeo. The marina owners also gave mixed views; some were against the drawdown while others were in favor so long as it was for a purpose such as stump removal or dredging.

Paul Zarrillo asked how we should decide this, and recommended that we hold a public meeting in order to better asses the effectiveness and implementation of the drawdown. But there was a consensus that the plan needed to be publicized in detail. The Commission wants to plan one meeting on the New Jersey side and one meeting on the New York side. Clint Smith said he was concerned about how to disseminate the information, and wanted to ensure that everyone around the lake was informed. Dan Bello and Michael Flaherty both offered to help with these meetings, specifically they will gather information about permits and procedures for home and business owners on both sides of the lake.

Eric Hastings gave his report to the Commission. Eric said we needed to get a retroactive letter from the Village of Greenwood Lake regarding work performed on Greenwood Lake detailing the nature of the work and the cost of the work in order to satisfy the Morohan Grant.

Clint Smith gave his report to the Commission. Clint reported that the tour of the lake with Montclair was very successful and they have begun preliminary water tests. These tests are important to the Commission as we will need up to date information in order to apply for grants. Montclair University is also working to locate grants that the Commission is eligible for.

Paul Zarrillo gave his report to the Commission, he reported that Drew University has started a study to count and measure the docks around the lake as well as the number of houses on the lake, similar to the one they conducted on Lake Hopatcong. Paul also reported that the Ringwood State Park approached the Commission about supporting a new dam project, Paul reported that the Commission did not want to be involved. Paul also asked Vivienne Erk about the status of the the septic ordinance, the Councilwoman did not have any update. Paul decided to put information regarding septics and the drawdown at the booth the Commission will have at the Autumn Lights Festival scheduled for Saturday October 10th. Paul also brought up the possibility of joining the Highlands Coalition. Annual dues is $30, but Paul felt that it would behoove the Commission to get involved with a larger organization.

RESOLUTION: Join the Highlands Coalition Clint Smith made the motion to join, Dale VanNimwegen seconded. Passed unanimously.

Meeting concluded at 9:36pm