July 2015 Meeting Minutes

Greenwood Lake Commission 7/22/2015 1480 Union Valley Rd. West Milford, NJ 07480

Paul Zarrillo led the Salute to the Flag.


The meeting was called to order at 7:04pm. Paul Zarrillo read aloud the Legal Public Notice law and noted that we were in compliance before roll call. Paul Zarrillo, Clint Smith, Eric Hastings, George Vurno, Paul Sullivan, Dale VanNimwegen, Michael Flagherty, Ed Krull, and Bill Link were in attendance. Floyd DeAngelo was absent. Dan Bello was also in attendance but did not have voting power for this meeting.

Special Guests included Mayor Jesse Dwyer of the Village of Greenwood Lake, Vivienne Erk President of the West Milford Town Council, and Ada Erik of the West Milford Town Council.


Dr. Fred Lubnow gave a special presentation to the Greenwood Lake Commission. Dr. Lubnow opened by saying he was disappointed that the 319H grant the Commission and West Milford Township applied for was denied, but was optimistic that future applications could be more successful. The Commission had received a 319 grant the previous year and their were several targeted areas in New Jersey that received that grant. One of the two projects was for a storm water drainage program, originally the water was planned to be dumped on property owned by the Passaic River Coalition, but could not get the approval in time for the grant; however the plan is written and almost ready for bid which would make the application for a grant more likely to be accepted. Dr Lubnow then began talking about Floating Wetland Islands, which is a tool used to adsorb harmful phosphorus in lakes. Dr. Lubow began going over several facts about these islands; a single island can absorb 10 pounds of phosphorus, they last 10-15 years, and are less harmful to the local environment. The Commission and Dr. Lubnow were optimistic that the Commission could, in the future acquire another 319H grant and use it to control point source pollution on Greenwood Lake.


Paul Zarrillo announced several letters sent by the Greenwood Lake Commission. A letter was sent to Sportsmans Marina and the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 10-13 for helping conduct the first vessel safety inspection, the event was very successful and the Commission plans on making it an annual event. Another set of letters was sent to Skip's Marina and several volunteers who helped curb invasive plant species in the north arm of Greenwood Lake, specifically water chestnuts and fanwort by pulling them out by hand. A press release was sent out and the Commission hopes to make this an annual event. Clint Smith commented that we should of had more turnout from the local residents, Paul Zarrillo said he did attempt to reach out through NY Commissioners, but hopes that following years would yield more results.


Dale VanNimwegen presented the Treasurer's Report. Dale handed out a document which detailed our financial transactions since the beginning of the calendar year. The report included monies pending and received from the Morahan Grant, as well as monies raised from the Boat License course. Dale said the bill for worker's compensation insurance had been paid, and asked the Commission if the bill from HydroQual for the presentation of the dredge study was paid, Ed Krull commented that he believed the bill was fully paid, and we are looking into the matter further. Dale reported that the Commission had $15,328.31 in the NJ Lakeland Bank account, and $3,194.51 in the NY Sterling Bank account.

Ed Krull asked about the money received from the Morohan Grant, and asked specifically how much money we have from the grant, and which bank accounts they are being held in. Ed also asked when the Village of Greenwood Lake was paid, and how much they are still owed. The Village was given a check totaling $14,200 two meetings ago. Zarrillo asked to table the discussion until Executive Session. The Mayor of the Village of Greenwood Lake asked if the Morohan grant would be discussed in Executive Session, if so the Village expressed there belief that an Executive Session was an inappropriate forum to discuss the grant. George Vurno commented that the Commission was reviewing the contract with the DEC regarding the Morohan Grant, and that the decision of how to pay back the Village of Greenwood Lake could present a legal issue for the Commission. After much discussion Paul Sullivan moved to table the talks of the Morohan Grant until the next meeting in order to investigate the matter further, Dale VanNimwegen seconded the motion.


The approval of the minutes was tabled until the next meeting, several Commissioners wished to have further time to review the minutes. Paul Sullivan made the motion to table the minutes, Ed Krull seconded.


Bill Link gave his report the Commission. Bill had been calling the various marina's in the area to gather their opinion on the drawdown. The few marina owners that were contacted were very opinionated on the subject and he had not completed the survey. Paul Zarrillo asked about the progress of getting a public forum together to discuss options. The Commission is going to pick a date after Labor Day to hold the forum, and will weigh all options before having a public meeting on the drawdown.

Eric Hastings gave his report to the Commission. Since his report was related to the drawdown, Hastings reported that there has been progress in our attempt to implement a blanket permit to allow mechanical means of dredging behind personal properties during the drawdown.

Dale VanNimwegen gave her report to the Commission. Dale reported on the progress of creating a Foundation in order for the Lake to fundraiser for initiatives and projects in and around Greenwood Lake. Dale expressed concern over keeping the executive board of the Foundation that is separate from the Greenwood Lake Commission. Dale plans on reaching out to Lake Hopatcong to gather information and advice on how to construct the Foundation. Dale is also looking into, along with Paul Zarrillo on acquiring insurance for the Greenwood Lake Commission so that they may participate in various events happening in the local area.

Dan Bello gave his report the Commission. Dan reported that he is still awaiting the official letter from the Commissioner of the NJDEP making him a voting member of the Commission. Dan is also working, along with the NYDEC on creating an informational pamphlet about regulations and recommended practices for homeowners and boaters regarding dock regulations on Greenwood Lake.

Paul Zarrillo gave his report to the Commission. Zarrillo reported that he is continuing to work with Montclair and Drew Universities to conduct various studies on Greenwood Lake, but the summer season is making it difficult to maintain contact, but next week Zarrillo plans on meeting with representatives from both universities. Zarrillo also reported that we are moving forward with the boat license course on August 23rd at the Greenwood Lake Airport. Paul Zarrillo asked for inforamtion and opinion of Americorps and the Greenwood Lake Commission getting involved, Dan Bello also offered to give the contact information for Americorps, who has gone out to several local areas to conduct projects on various lakes. Zarrillo also commented on the success of the aquatic weed removal project and thanked Skips Dock and Marina, the volunteers and especially Eric Hastings for his outstanding effort in pulling weeds. Zarrillo also mentioned that he had gathered much of the necessary information regarding the formation of a 501c3 from meeting with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, as well as former Commissioner Bill Olsen, and West Milfrod Councilwoman Vivienne Erk.


Paul Zarrillo mentioned the Office of Emergency Management was holding another meeting about emergency action plans of lakes in the surrounding area, and again the Commission was never notified of the meeting. Zzarrillo believes it is very important that the Greenwood Lake Commission be involved in these meetings as there is no police or fire presence on the lake. Zarrillo reported that the office did not call back, and that he is working to create and educate boaters about a lake emergency plan. Jesse Dwyer of the Village of Greenwood Lake commented that they respond to emergencies on the lake on both the NY and NJ side, and that West Milford Police Department notifies the Village of Greenwood Lake of all emergencies.

Zarrillo also reported that Skips Marina has decided to donate a 21 foot pontoon boat to the Greenwood Lake Commission. Zarrillo asked if the Commission was interested in procuring the boat. The only cost to the Commission would be gas and insurance, and discussed the possibility of using it for lake projects. The Commission is interested, but wishes to inspect the boat and the cost of insurance further. Bill Link and Eric Hastings agreed to examine and test the boat.


Ada Erik from the West Milford Township Council requested the Commission send the meeting minutes to the Town Clerk as well as the Administrator and Council, and requested that the Greenwood Lake Commission present a video to the Township Film Commission to be run on the local public access channel. The Commission will send the minutes to the Clerk, and will look into creating a video. The Commission currently sends minutes to surrounding town, county, and state officials.

Andy Abdul of West Milford's Environmental Commission updated the Commission on the progress of implementing regular water testing on Greenwood Lake. Andy Abdul notified the Township has the equipment to test to water for nitrates and phosphates, and that the cost of testing the water from each site would be approximately cost $1 per site. Mayor Jesse Dwyer of the Village of Greenwood Lake asked if the Township would be willing to share the equipment, and offered to pay for the cost of the testing for all sites on the NY side of Greenwood Lake. The Township of West Milford expressed interest in conducting tests in the NY side. Mayor Jesse Dwyer also reported that they were in contact with the Township of West Milford to work on their software program designed to assist the Township of West Milford in enforcing their septic ordinance.

Paul Sullivan made a motion to close the meeting, Dale VanNimwegen seconded. The meeting was called to a close at 9:07pm. Our next meeting will be August 26th at 7pm, in the Senior Center located in the Village of Greenwood Lake. If you needed to contact us you may do so you by visiting our website GWLC.org, emailing us at info@GWLC.org, or calling our office at 973-506-7800.