MINUTES OF THE
SHADE TREE COMMISSION
CRANBURY, NEW JERSEY
TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING
The regularly scheduled meeting of September 11, 2007, of the Cranbury Township Shade Tree Commission was held in Town Hall, beginning at 7:00 pm.
CALL TO ORDER
With a quorum present and with no Chairperson, Secretary, Linda M. Scott called the September meeting to order and performed as recording secretary of said meeting.
STATEMENT OF ADEQUATE NOTICE
Pursuant to the Sunshine Law adequate notice in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-6) was provided on January 2, 2007 of this meeting’s date, time, place and agenda, was mailed to those requesting personal notice and filed with the Municipal Clerk.
MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE
Mona Bhatia (arrived 7:19pm), Christine Quinn and Norma Swale. Mayor Stout was present.
The minutes of the October 10, 2006 meeting were reviewed and approved by Mona Bhatia. Record will reflect that Christine Quinn and Norma Swale recused themselves. Minutes of June 12, 2007 were reviewed and approved with a motion by Christine Quinn, second by Norma Swale, both in favor. Record will reflect that Mona Bhatia recused herself.
Mona discussed her findings regarding the lack of shade trees on Applegate Court. She informed everyone that there is an existing row of pine trees along Cranbury Neck Road. Norma stated that since trees exist, the need for shade trees is no longer necessary.
Volunteer Christine Quinn and Township employee Jerry Thorne will be attending the 82nd Shade Tree Federation Meeting in October 2007 to receive CORE training, which will help with the eligibility of the Shade Tree Federation and the Community Forestry. She would like to buy a book that will be specially priced at the meeting.
A letter dated August 17 from the NJDEP, Parks and Forestry Div., was received with a status report for mid-year 2007. It stipulates that requirements need to be met by the 2007 year end. A current approved Community Forestry Management Plan is required for approved status. Cranbury’s five year Management Plan was approved on February 9, 2001 and expired in December 2005. A second five year plan will need to be submitted. Information regarding the status requirements can be asked with the provided phone number.
Christine Quinn expressed her concern regarding commissioned members and the protection of tree related liability issues under the Tort Claims Act as long as the town
New Business (continued)
complies with the 1996 NJ Shade Tree Committee and Forestry Assistance Act. Should a limb fall and strikes a person, that person can sue the town and the STC members? Mayor Stout stated that the town is insured thru Municipal Joint Insurance Fund (MJIF). He state that he does not know the answer to the concern and went on to say that since the commission is operating as a work group in a non-official capacity until such time as it’s allowed function as a commission. This issue will be raised and asked of the Township Attorney. A corrective action plan should be formulated when the information is received.
The recent pruning of streetscape trees located under electrical wires was performed by ABC Tree Pruning who won the low bid for PSE&B. Unfortunately, the quality of workmanship warranted many complaints from residents expressing their disappointment. Prior to the pruning, electrical service was interrupted at time. There were also several downed wires that knock our service to homes for hours. However, given enough time, the trees will recover or one may not notice the large gaping holes. .
The Commission is two members shy of full capacity. The Mayor suggested that a notice asking for volunteers to fill the vacancies be posted on the website and also at Four Seasons.
Christine also stated that Cranbury Township is missing out on grant opportunities once the full status has been regained.
Norma stated that they were unaware of the budget for the Shade Tree as well as any maintenance that has been or will be performed. She would like to review the approved shade tree list, which can be found in Chapter 150-56.
The box of Shade Tree information from Judy Dossin’s home files will need to be looked though. The members volunteered to do this when free time is available to them.
ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING
There being no further business, motion duly made by Chris Quinn, seconded by Norma Swale, and carried, the meeting was thereupon adjourned.
CERTIFICATE OF SECRETARY
I, Kristen H. Hamilton, the undersigned, do hereby certify:
Subsequent to the September 11, 2007, meeting, Linda M. Scott resigned as secretary of the Cranbury Township Shade Tree Commission and I was duly appointed as secretary in November 2007;
That the foregoing minutes of the Shade Tree Commission, held on September 11, 2007, consisting of 2 pages, constitutes a true and correct copy of the minutes of the said meeting.
IN WITNESS WHEROF, I have hereunto subscribed my name of said Shade Tree Commission this _______________________, 2007
Kristen H. Hamilton