[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerdale as Ch. 9 of the 1973 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby created an Environmental Commission in the Borough of Somerdale for the protection, development and/or use of the natural resources located within the territorial limits of said Borough, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq., as amended.
The Mayor, in his discretion, shall appoint the members of the Environmental Commission, which shall consist of seven persons, citizens and residents of the Borough of Somerdale, one of whom shall also be a member of the Borough Planning Board.
The Commissioners first appointed shall hold office for terms as follows: two members for one year, two members for two years and three members for three years, respectively, from the date in the year in which said appointments are made and until their successors are duly appointed and have qualified. Thereafter, all appointments shall be for the term of three years, and vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term only, in the same manner as an original appointment.
The members shall receive no compensation for their services.
The Commission shall have the following powers:
To promote the conservation and development of the natural resources of the Borough of Somerdale.
To plan, implement and inform the public about local conservation programs.
To conduct research into the possible use of the open areas of the Borough of Somerdale.
To recommend to the Planning Board plans and programs for inclusion in a Municipal Master Plan of the development and use of such open areas.
To advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which, in its judgment, it deems necessary for its purposes.
To manage donated or purchased lands for conservation purposes and operate conservation programs.
To act as the coordinating agency for the community on conservation matters and as a liaison between conservation needs and regional, county, state and federal agencies ministering to those needs.
The Commission shall compile and 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.
The Commission, with the approval of the Mayor and Council, may from time to time acquire property, both real and personal, in the name of said Borough, by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise or lease, for any of its purposes, including but not limited to use as living museums, sites for scientific study, areas for teaching of natural history and conservation, places of historic or prehistoric interest and scenic beauty and habitat for rare and endangered plants and animals, 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, covenant or other contractual right 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 Borough of Somerdale.
The Commission shall, subject to approval of the Borough, have exclusive control of lands acquired for the purposes herein stated and may adopt suitable rules and regulations for the use thereof and the conduct of all persons while on or using the same.
The Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report on or before the first day of December of each year and submit the same to the Borough of Somerdale, which report shall be comprehensive and detailed, covering operations, receipts, disbursements and expenditures for the full year.
The Mayor and Council may remove any member of the Commission for cause, on written charges served upon the member and after a hearing thereon at which time the member shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel.
The Mayor and Council may annually fix, determine and appropriate a sum sufficient for the care, custody, policing and maintenance of such lands acquired for the uses and purposes herein stated and for the expenses of the Commission, which shall be raised by taxation in the same manner as other taxes.
The Commission may appoint a secretary or Clerk and such number of custodians, supervisors and assistants for the lands acquired for the uses and purposes herein mentioned as it shall deem necessary, but the salaries of all such clerks, custodians, supervisors and assistants shall be fixed and determined by the Mayor and Council, and in addition thereto, the total salaries of all such persons shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to said Commission.