[Adopted by Ord. No. 93-5]
There is hereby created in the Township of Knowlton a commission to be known as the "Knowlton Township Environmental Commission," in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq., Chapter 245 of the Public Laws of 1968.
The Environmental Commission shall consist of seven members to be appointed by the Mayor. One member of the Environmental Commission shall be a member of the Knowlton Township Municipal Planning Board. Two alternate members shall be appointed to the Environmental Commission to be selected by the Mayor. Alternate members shall be designated at the time of their appointment as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2." Alternate members shall be appointed for a term of two years, except that in the initial appointments Alternate No. 1 shall be appointed for two years and Alternate No. 2 shall be appointed for one year. The Mayor of the Township of Knowlton shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Environmental Commission. All members of the Environmental Commission shall be residents of the Township of Knowlton.
The members of the Environmental Commission of the Township of Knowlton shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to such reimbursement for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
Of the original appointments to the Knowlton Township Environmental Commission, the terms of three members, initially appointed, shall be for a term of one year, the terms of two members, initially appointed, shall be for a term of two years and the terms of two members, initially appointed, shall be for a term of three years. Upon the expiration of the terms of the original appointees, successors shall be appointed for a term of three years and shall serve until the appointment and qualification of their successors.
The Mayor and Township Committee may remove any member of the Commission for cause, on written charges served upon the member and after a hearing thereof, at which the member shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel. A vacancy on the Commission occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an appointment.
The Township Environmental Commission shall have and enjoy those duties prescribed to it pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56A-2 and 40:55A-3, as well as the following powers and duties:
The Commission shall conduct research into the uses and possible uses of open land areas of the Township.
The Commission shall coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for the purpose of promoting the conservation and development of natural resources.
The Commission shall advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which, in its judgment and subject to its approval by the Township Committee, it deems necessary for its purpose.
It shall keep an index of all open areas, publicly or private owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands, in order to obtain information on the proper use of such areas, and recommend to the Township Planning Board plans and programs for inclusion in the municipal Master Plan for the development and use of such areas.
The 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 ease for any of its 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 and environmental easement), covenants, 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 or properly utilize open spaces and other land and water areas in the Township.
The Township Committee shall appropriate funds for the expenses incurred by the Environmental Commission. The Commission may appoint such clerks and other employees as it may require and as shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to it.
The Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report to the Township Committee.
Generally, the Commission shall have the power to do all things necessary to promote the conservation and development of the Township's natural resources planning, and to inform the public about local conservation programs and the need for conserving the natural resources of the Township.
The Township Environmental Commission shall organize annually and shall select one member as Vice Chairman and one as Secretary. Such officers shall perform the duties usually associated with such offices.
Meetings of the Environmental Commission shall be held at regular intervals on such dates as it shall determine and at the call of the Chairman.