[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Elk 4-3-1975. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established an Environmental Commission in the Township of Elk for the protection, development or use of natural resources, including water resources, located within the territorial limits of this Township.
The Environmental Commission of the Township of Elk shall consist of five members, all of whom shall be residents of the Township of Elk and shall be appointed by the Mayor and one of whom shall be a member of the Township Planning Board. The Mayor shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and Presiding Officer of the Commission. All members of the Environmental Commission shall serve without compensation.
The Environmental Commission of the Township of Elk shall further consist of two alternate members, both of whom shall be residents of the Township of Elk and shall be appointed by the Mayor. The terms of the alternate members shall be for two years, except that the term of the alternate member first appointed shall be for two years for Alternate Number One and one year for Alternate Number Two so that the term of not more than one alternate member shall expire in any one year. An alternate member may participate in discussions of the proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member. In the event that a choice must be made as to which alternate member is to vote, alternate number one shall vote first.
[Added 4-1-1999 by Ord. No. O-99-1]
The terms of office of the first Commissioners shall be as follows: Two of the Commissioners shall be appointed for three-year terms, two of the Commissioners for two-year terms and one of the Commissioners for a one-year term. The Mayor shall designate the term of each Commissioner appointed in making his appointments for the first time. Successors shall be appointed for terms of three years and until the appointment and qualification of their respective successors.
The Township Committee may remove any member of the Commission for cause, on written charges served upon the member and after a hearing thereon at which the member shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel.
A vacancy on the Commission occurring other than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.
The Commission shall have power to conduct research into the use and possible use of the open land areas of Elk Township and may coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its purposes. It shall keep an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands, in order to obtain information on the proper use of such areas, and may from time to time recommend to the Planning Board of the Township plans and programs for inclusion in a Municipal Master Plan and the development and use of such areas.
The Environmental Commission shall have power to study and make recommendations concerning open space preservations, water resources management, air pollution control, solid waste management, noise control, soil and landscape protection, environmental appearance, marine resources and protection of flora and fauna.
The Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the Township Committee, acquire property, both real and personal, in the name of the Township, by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise or lease, for any of its purposes, and shall administer the same for such purposes, subject to the terms of the conveyance or gift. Such an acquisition may be to acquire the fee or any lesser interest, development right, easement (including conservation easement), covenant or other contractual right (including a conveyance on conditions or with limitations or reversions), as may be necessary to acquire, maintain, improve, protect, limit the future use of or otherwise conserve and properly utilize open spaces and other land and water areas in the municipality.
The Environmental Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report to the Township Committee.
The Township Committee may appropriate funds for the expenses incurred by the Environmental Commission. The Commission may appoint such clerks and other employees as it may from time to time require and as shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to it.