[Adopted by Ord. No. 1308 as Ch. 2.76 of the 1998 Code]
An Environmental Commission is hereby established for the Township of Montville for the protection, development or use of natural resources, including water resources, located within the Township of Montville. The Commission shall consist of seven members appointed by the Mayor, one of whom shall also be a member of the Municipal Planning Board, and two alternate members appointed by the Mayor, all of whom shall be residents of the Township of Montville. The members shall serve without compensation, except as hereinafter provided.
The Mayor shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairperson and presiding officer of the Commission.
[Amended 2-9-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-06]
The terms of office of the first Commission shall be for one, two or three years, to be designated by the Mayor in making his appointments so that the terms of approximately 1/3 of the members will expire each year, and their successors shall be appointed for terms of three years and until the appointment and qualification of their successors. The Mayor or governing body of the municipality 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 by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.
Alternate members shall be designated at the time of appointment as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2." The terms of the alternate members shall be for two years, except that 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 term shall be filled by the Mayor for the unexpired term only. An alternate member shall not be permitted to act on any matter in which he has either directly or indirectly any personal or financial interest. An alternate member may, after public hearing if he requests one, be removed by the governing body for cause. 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.
The Environmental Commission organized under this article shall have power to conduct research into the use and possible use of the open land areas of the Township of Montville 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 purpose. 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 shall from time to time recommend to the Planning Board or the Mayor and Township Committee of the Township of Montville plans and programs for inclusion in the Township of Montville Master Plan and the development and use of such areas. The Commission shall also have the 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.
The Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the governing body of the Township of Montville, 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 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 governing body of the municipality.
The governing body of the municipality 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, within the limits of the funds appropriated to it.