The Township Committee changed its meeting schedule in December in order to introduce a piece of legislation related to the Monmouth County Wastewater Management Plan before the end of the year.
Upon the recommendation of Business Administrator Andy Katz to facilitate "a proposed ordinance coming forward," the Committee agreed to re-schedule its December meetings to December 1 and 20, to wrap around a Dec. 6 Planning Board meeting. Proposed development regulations, revisions, or amendments must be reviewed against the township's Master Plan by the Planning Board.
Mayor Patrick Impreveduto would not give details at the Nov. 17 Township Committee meeting, only saying, "It has to do with the Wastewater Management Plan. It has to be done before the year is out." He added the ordinance had to be timed to travel through the two governing bodies. "Us [the Township Committee] -- Planning Board -- and back to us," said Impreveduto.
Last spring, Holmdel Township was stunned to learn that a proposed revision to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) plan would allow sewer service in the vast Alcatel-Lucent and NJ Turnpike-owned PNC Bank Arts Center property to areas outside the existing buildings. Sewer service could change how those properties could someday be developed, as well as affect groundwater quality for the region, say opponents. Currently, the 472-acre Alcatel-Lucent property is on the market.
During the public comments section, resident Tony Cooper, citing his own research, asked about word of a pending "potential revision" to the Monmouth County Wastewater Management Plan that is based on the results of a private meeting held Oct. 31 between representatives of Holmdel, the state DEP, Monmouth County, Holmdel Township, Alcatel-Lucent, NJ Turnpike Authority and the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority.
"Have you decided to modify Holmdel's zoning of -- or at least part of -- the Lucent tract?" asked Cooper.
Impreveduto replied, "No. We had a meeting on the 31st of October, as you stated, of the parties. And that's why we have arranged the different meetings in the month of December. So we can bring it to closure on our part. We feel we are in a pretty good position, if certain things are done by us, by the end of the year. And that's why we are having these meetings."
Impreveduto asked Township Attorney Duane Davison if he wanted to say more. Davison paused several seconds before replying in carefully selected words.
"I am sort of speechless in terms of giving you the assurances that you want that I think can be given," said Davison. "But I suspect there will be litigation out of this. And I think that if I explain in detail the assurances that you are standing there seeking, that our chances of hindering that litigation will be increased.
I don't know how else to say it -- other than that," said Davison.
Impreveduto added, "I do want to tell you we are holding steadfast in what we believe."
Resident Ralph Blumenthal asked: "To whatever extent you can, without jeopardizing things, can you tell us what the facts of the situation are?"
Said Davison, "I can answer that really quickly: No." He said the township had to be careful about putting itself at risk. "It will all become clear quickly."
The Mayor closed the meeting and the 5-member Township Committee went immediately into closed executive session.