by David Gordon

Sewer Tap Fees Nearly Doubled:

The Board of Trustees nearly doubled sewer tap-in fees at the Aug. 15 meeting in order to pay for expanded sewer capacity and to finance a “Growth Agenda”.

The fee was raised from roughly $3,000 to $6,000 per connection and will apply to all new hook-ups.  Tap fees are designed to pay for large and expensive sewer upgrades and expansion, according to newly hired township manager Steven Aynes. 

The Board is considering nearly $6M in sewer expansion, but to cover that cost, the township would need 1,000 new residents or businesses to pay the $6,000 fee. 

Of the $6M total sewer expense, $3M would be for a “retention basin” and $2.7M+ would cover replacing existing sewer lines with larger ones.

Aynes said the fee increases were overdue.  “You need to do something quickly.…get the ball rolling,” he said.  After the rate increase was passed, Chockley said “at least we got somewhere.”

Aynes revealed that he has spent much of his first two weeks at work researching sewer expansion.  Yet sewer expansion of this magnitude, and the growth it would support, is not what our residents want.  Both the 1996 and 2010 community-wide surveys identified “Preservation” and protecting our quality of life as the #1 Priority, not growth.

Chockley also has been suggesting that sewer expansion is needed to develop the new North Village waterfront park.  One plan being discussed is a $54M “vision” that would include a mix of businesses and condos within the park.   

However, 60% of residents polled about the new park said they just want a park….not the grandiose production being considered by the Board.

The idea that a $3M retention basin is “needed” has been discredited numerous times, most recently at the May 9th Board meeting when Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Dan Willis said “we recently had the worst rainfall in 38 years, but we handled it.”  Beliger asked  “So it was challenging, but you handled it fine?”  Willis said yes.

New Manager – A Welcome Change

Aynes, at his first meeting, presented an entirely different experience than the previous manager, Howard Fink.  Whereas Fink could be counted on to speak on each and every agenda item, at length, Aynes didn’t speak until directly asked to comment on the sewer issue.  He has said he feels his job is to support the Board’s decisions, not direct them.  Thank you, sir.


Same Old, Same Old

Trustees Dockett and Beliger objected to the cost of holding the Aug. 8 election where residents were asked to re-instate the fire and medical rescue millage.  The election cost about $5,000, according to Manley.  The millage passed easily.

Apparently, Dockett and Beliger have a problem spending $5,000 for an election, but no problem spending $100,000 for a new township manager, who they voted for despite overwhelming opposition from the community and also from the Supervisor, Clerk and Treasurer, who argued that they could do the job and save $50,000 in taxpayer dollars.

Foulest Trustee Award

Our winner this meeting – Wayne Dockett.  Click here to view just one example of his ill-mannered behavior at this meeting.  After insulting Reubel during the engineer’s presentation, he interrupts and yells over the Supervisor, who was merely thanking Reubel for being there.  (link to the moment captured in Live Video)  


Watch the Agenda Items you actually want to see later using our  

Meeting Documents, broken out individually from the gigantic Township packet

Check Disbursement Report, 8-10-2017
Revenue and Expenditure Reports 2017-07-31
Invoice General Ledger Report 2017-08-10 
Fund Balance Bar Charts 2017-07-31 
Fund Balance Reports 2017-07-31
Funds Balance Report 8-9-2017
Investment Update 2017-08-10
Donations Report 8-10-2017

Supervisor's Report, 2017-08-11
Amy Sholl letter re downtown, 8-3-2017
Bark Park Lease Agreement, 8-10-2017
Code Enforcement Report, 8-9-2017
Zoning Administrators Report 2017-07-11

Public Safety Report, July 2017 
FD Memo - Fire Truck Purchase 2017-07-11
FD Report, July, 2017
PD Memo - Hiring of Christopher Pascoe 2017-08-10
PD Memo - Temporary Interim Promotion of Sgt Smith 2017-08-10
PD Report July 2017

Proposed Regular Meeting Calendar
Tetra Tech Rate Study Proposal, 2017-08-04 
WWTP Report July 2017

2017-07-11 Northfield Township Board meeting Minutes draft
2017-07-25 Northfield Township Board 630PM Closed meeting Minutes draft
2017-07-25 Northfield Township Board meeting Minute drafts

2017-08-15-Northfield-Township-Board-of-Trustees-meeting-Packet ocr [ 7.5 MB dwnload]
2017-08-15-Northfield-Township-Board-of-Trustees-meeting-Packet  [The original download - 17 MB ]

Again, if you missed it, the