MINUTES

OF THE

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION

CRANBURY, NEW JERSEY

MIDDLESEX COUNTY

 

TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING

The regular meeting of the Cranbury Township Environmental Commission was held in Town Hall on June 20, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.

 

CALL TO ORDER

With a quorum present, Pete Sibley, Chairman of the Cranbury Township Environmental Commission, called the meeting to order and acted as the Chairman thereof, and Linda M. Scott acted as Recording Secretary of the meeting.

 

STATEMENT OF ADEQUATE NOTICE

  Pursuant with the Sunshine Law, adequate notice in accordance with the Open Public Meeting Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-6) was provided on January 4, 2005 of this meeting's date, time, place, and agenda, was mailed to the news media, was posted on the Township bulletin board, was mailed to those requesting personal notice, and was filed with the Municipal Clerk.

 

MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE

James Applegate, James Gallagher, John Kobland, William Mikula, Tom Patterson, and Peter Sibley; Chair.

 

NON-MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE

            Connie Bauder

 

MINUTES

The minutes of the May 16, 2005 meeting were reviewed and approved on a motion by John Kobland, second by Pete Sibley, James Gallagher in favor, all others abstained.

 

DISCUSSIONS

            Kristen Hamilton was present to sit in on the EC meeting.  She will be the new recording secretary for the Environmental Commission.

            Pete informed EC that he was contacted by David Stout with an idea of installing the historic Howarth barn which could be used as an EC education center.  There was concern over the funding for this barn to staff it or convert it into an educational center.  It was stated that the outdoors is more of an education center than inside a barn. 

 

WORK SESSION

The ANJEC Grant has been approved for $5,000.  Amy Greene, a consultant from Freehold, will be working on this project to prepare an Environmental Resource Inventory (ERI).  David Stout contacted her in 2004 for an approximate cost of this project.  Township Committee will be informed of our intention to hire Amy Greene's firm for this project.   Amy will submit a proposal by the end of the week.   The ANJEC grant contract will be resolved when the consultant issue has been finalized. Pete informed the EC that Barbara Rogers has volunteered for the project with help from Tom Patterson.  Pete explained that the ERI information would be a great addition to the website.  Bill suggested two inventories, of climax forests and significant trees, that he feels should be included in the ERI.  Pete will check the ANJEC outline criteria for inclusion of these two items. 

The NJDEP Matching Grant (ES05-034) was approved for the Surface Water Sampling and Evaluation, testing Cedar Brook above and below the landfill area.  July 1 marks the date when the actual work can begin.  Bill will start the sampling of Cedar Brook at the end of July.  John Kobland has volunteered to help with this project.  A purchase order will be made for Accutest Labs in South Brunswick.

The Volunteer Project List will be maintained by Tom Witt.  Volunteers should follow the Township Committee approved guidelines.  This will help the EC review and approve the proposed application projects.  The approved project list should be accessible on the Township website.

There was a fund raising car wash for an Eagle Scout project this past weekend.  Pete visited the wash site to observe the wastewater runoff.  He noticed that a storm sewer inlet in the firehouse parking lot was clogged, most likely from previous runoff in the parking lot.  This overflows into a grass gully, which runs off into the Cranbury Brook.   Environmentally friendly soap (Simple Green), specifically formulated for cars, and drain inlet devices will be ordered shortly.  Pete will contact Josh Appelbaum at the Cranbury Press for coverage of the EC involvement regarding the car washes for fund raising.

The Stormwater regulations will require the EC to address the washing of fire and emergency vehicles.  Jim Gallagher and Pete will look at the storm drainage issue at the firehouse.  Bill Mikula will draft BMPs regarding the washing of these vehicles.

An Eagle Scout is interested in building a kiosk for the Cranbury Brook Preserve.  A display map of the Preserve as well as a “take one” holder is ideal for the kiosk.  The Guidelines have been forwarded to the interested Scout for submission.  Creating trails in Unami Woods may be an addition for this Eagle Scout. 

John Reinfelder  has developed a door hanger for the Storm drain labeling project which is customized for Cranbury.  The Girl Scouts have labeled most of the areas on the north end of town in previous years.  The Boy Scouts will label the south end, and the hangers will be distributed as part of this project.

Jim Applegate gave an overview of his thoughts on the National Resources Conservation Service letter.  He drafted comments for NRCS and asked EC for feedback or recommendations.  

  • Seeding of native grasses on certain areas in the Preserve with native grains is a good idea.  This will cut back on the mowing, allowing for a meadow look. 
  • Brush management for controlling invasive species and planting native species in woods areas does not seem appropriate.  The history of this land would not be evident if the landscape is not allowed to change naturally.  Minimal changes from what currently exists may be best.
  • Installing a filter strip to protect Cranbury Brook from crop field runoff is a good idea and should be included with a BMP for the leased adjacent land.
  • Some wildlife enhancements are agreed.  There is a positive to attracting certain species of wildlife with boxes.  Construction of boxes would be an excellent Eagle Scout project.

Jim will correspond with the NRCS and relay the issues prior to the next EC meeting.

At a Township Committee meeting in May 2005, a proposed running race through the Preserve was discussed.  The existing approval process for recreational use includes the  Recreation Commission for their review. The EC is an advisory group for the land.  Don Patterson has agreed to allow this run to use his property.  Historically, foot races and horse races on this land and along the Cranbury Brook have taken place in past years.  

TC asked the EC if Cranbury Township would benefit from a Soil Testing Ordinance when a use change takes place.  An ordinance from Mt. Laurel was reviewed as a possible model for Cranbury.   Pete found 12 of the 566 municipalities in NJ have an ordinance for testing soil.  It was stated that Cranbury does not have large tracts of land left for developing many homes.  There was much discussion of the negative impact of having such an ordinance.  Pete will discuss concerns with Tom Panconi.   

            A concerned citizen stated there is a mound of soil at the Four Seasons on Old Cranbury Road that does not have cover to prevent soil erosion.  Bill will contact Freehold Soil for action on this issue.  To date, 21 free soil testing kits have been distributed to residents.  Of these kits, five have been returned to Rutgers for test results.  Tom Patterson received an email containing the results from John Reinfelder.  It appears that residents' lawns have very high levels of phosphorus and high to very high levels of potassium.  An article will appear in the next quarterly newsletter for the free test kits to residents.  The test results can be available for Cranbury Day. 

            Bill is working on the Stream Corridor Ordinance.  He expects to have a draft before the end of summer for EC to review. 

                                   

PUBLIC COMMENT

            A citizen informed EC of the disturbance of land behind the Perrine Pontiac site on Route 130.  Bill informed the EC that any commercial entity of 5,000 square feet or larger should have filed a plan.  Bill will discuss this issue with Freehold Soil so they may investigate these activities.

           

CLOSED SESSION

The EC went into closed session to review minutes of the closed session of the May 16 meeting.  After reviewing the minutes, the meeting was re-opened to the public.     

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING

There being no further business, on motion duly made, seconded, and carried, the meeting was thereupon adjourned.

 

 

CERTIFICATE OF SECRETARY

 

I, the undersigned, do hereby certify:

That I am duly elected and acting secretary of the Cranbury Township Environmental Commission and,

That the foregoing minutes of the Environmental Commission, held on June 20, 2005 consisting of 3 pages, constitute a true and correct copy of the minutes of the said meeting. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed the name of said Environmental Commission the _______________, 2005.

 

______________________________________

Linda M. Scott, Secretary