[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Waterford 2-22-1995 as Ord. No. 95-3. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established a commission to be known as the Environmental Commission for the municipality of Waterford Township, pursuant to Chapter 245 of the Laws of the 1968 (N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 to 40:56A-12) as amended by Chapter 35, P.L. 1972.
The Commission shall consist of seven members appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Township Committee. All seven members shall have equal voting power on the Commission. All members shall be residents of the municipality of Waterford Township, at least 21 years of age, and are considered "Friends of the Environment." One of the members shall also be a member of the Planning Board.
The Mayor shall designate one of the members to serve as chairman, and the Chairman shall serve for a period of one year. Such other officers shall be elected by the Commission as deemed necessary for the conduct of the Commission's business. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of Township Committee for the unexpired term.
The Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Township Committee, shall also appoint two alternates who will vote only in the absence of a full member. Those alternate members shall be designated at the time of appointment as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2." The terms of the alternate members first appointed shall be two years for Alternate No. 1 and one year for Alternate No. 2, so that the term of not more than one alternate member shall expire in any one year. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of Township Committee, for the unexpired term only.
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 No. 1 shall vote first.
Upon the approval of the Mayor and Township Committee, the Commission has the authority to appoint associate members, who are also considered "Friends of the Environment," to aid in the Commission's business and operations. Associate members must be at least 18 years of age and residents of the municipality. Associate members are nonvoting members, and can be considered for full membership when a vacancy occurs.
A member of Township Committee shall be appointed by the Mayor and Township Committee to act as liaison, and to assist in coordinating the Commission's functions, transactions and operations, and to ensure compliance with township policies.
No member of the Commission shall be permitted to act on any matter which he has either directly or indirectly any personal or financial interest.
The Mayor or Governing Body 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 otherwise than expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.
Commission members shall serve without compensation, but said members shall be reimbursed for any expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The Commission shall keep complete and accurate records of its accounts in this regard, and shall not exceed its budget and moneys appropriated from the township for the performance of their duties.
The Commission is established for the protection, development or use of natural resources, including water resources, located within territorial limits of the municipality of Waterford. The Commission shall have power to conduct research into the use and possible use of the open land areas of the municipality 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 plans and programs for inclusion in the Master Plan and the development and use of such areas.
The Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the Mayor and Township Committee, acquire property, both real and personal, in the name of the municipality 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 condition or with limitations or revisions), 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 have power to study and make recommendations concerning open space preservation, 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.
Upon the approval of the Mayor and Township Committee, the Commission shall have power to seek out and make application in the township's name for any county, state or federal financial aid, in the form of grants, to be used for purposes of an environmental nature within the township. All funds granted shall be in the name of the township and held by the township and appropriated to the Commission upon approval by the Mayor and Township Committee.
The Commission, upon approval by the Mayor and Township Committee, may appoint employees and incur such expenses as it may from time to time require, provided that the same shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to it, and in accordance with the terms of the county, state or federal grant to which it applies and other rules and regulations established by the township for said employees and fund usage.
The Commission shall be responsible for the completion and submittal of all required progress reports, completion reports, reports of expenditures or other documents which may be required to comply with approved and received grants. The Commission shall be responsible to arrange for a Commission member to attend any meetings where attendance may be required to comply with approved and received grants.
The Environmental Commission shall, on a periodic basis, and no less than on an annual basis, make an annual report to the Mayor and Township Committee, or the appointed Township Committee member, setting forth in detail its operations and transactions for the previous 12 months. The Environmental Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities.
The Environmental Commission shall have no right to appoint any employees or to retain professional services without approval from the Mayor and Township Committee. The Commission shall have no power of condemnation or eminent domain and shall not be authorized to pledge credit of the township or to create any debt against it, or in any manner act as the agent of the Township of Waterford except as authorized by those items contained herein, or as authorized by the Mayor and Township Committee.