Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

MARCH 14, 2001  


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting March 28, 2001. REGULAR MEETING OF 3/14/01:  Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the minutes of the 3/14/01 regular meeting with one change.  Under the Manager’s Report - Purchase of Truck item in the General Interest section, a second sentence should read “Mr. Harp said that all bid procedures required by the State were followed”. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously. 


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, March 14, 2001, in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM.  In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Stephen Sanderlin, Vice Chairman Tom Jirele, Treasurer Scott Harp, Secretary Frank Mendicino and Member Raymond Goodnoe.  Also present were: Sycamore Street Chairman Vince Lombardi, Planning Commission Vice Chairman Allen Fidler, Township Solicitor David Sander, Township Engineer Bob Larason, Police Chief and Acting Township Manager Martin Duffy and Finance Director Elaine Gibbs.

 GENERAL INTEREST SECTION

CALL TO ORDER:  Chairman Sanderlin called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence.

INVOCATION:  Given by Robert M. Davis, Chaplain of the Newtown Reliance Company.  This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 

ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA:  Mr. Sanderlin announced that Township Manager Cornell Hopkins will be out of the office for a few days because of illness, and Police Chief Martin Duffy is serving as Acting Manager in his absence.  Mr. Sanderlin excused Chief Duffy from attending the meeting.  Mr. Sanderlin stated that Mr. Hopkins had informed him of the following changes to the agenda:  On page 1, the review of the Manhattan Bagel conditional use application has been canceled, and there will be no Recreation Board report; on page 3, the Solicitor will have a report on a right of way acquisition; and there will be an executive session regarding pending litigation.

MINUTES & BILLS LIST:

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

WORK SESSION OF 2/19/01:  Mr. Jirele moved to approve the minutes of the 2/19/01 work session; the motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously with Mr. Mendicino abstaining.

REGULAR MEETING OF 2/28/01:  Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the minutes of the 2/28/01 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.  

BILLS LIST:   

PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Mr. Harp moved to pay bills totaling $113,444.34; the motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously, with Mr. Goodnoe abstaining.

INTERFUND TRANSFERS:  Mr. Harp moved to approve $322,395.81 in interfund transfers; the motion was seconded by Mr. Mendicino and passed unanimously. 

TREASURER’S REPORT: 

CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT:  Mr. Harp asked for approval of Finance Director Elaine Gibbs’ recommendation to reinvest four Certificates of Deposit in certificates at First National Bank, which offers the highest rate of interest.

Mr. Mendicino moved to approve reinvesting at First National Bank four Certificates of Deposit at a rate of 5.12% for a term of 90 days.  The Certificates are as follows: $211,348.66 for the Street Light Capital Project, $532,374.65 in the General Fund, $372,662.25 for Highway Aid and $257,315.15 in the Firehouse Fund.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

PURCHASE OF TRUCK:  Mr. Harp stated that approximately $80,000 was budgeted on line 439.700 last year for the purchase of a dump truck with a plow and a spreader.  The funds were rolled over into this year, and the Township is ready to purchase the truck. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the expenditure of $84,085 for the dump truck.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Mendicino and passed unanimously. 

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS: 

PLANNING COMMISSION: Vice Chairman Allen Fidler reported on the Commission’s 3/6/01 meeting.  Township Traffic Engineer Jeff L’Amoreaux reported to the Commission about several traffic issues.  The Commission supported Mr. L’Amoreaux’s suggestion that wickets be installed on a trial basis at the intersection of Penns Trail and the Bypass to alleviate traffic problems at the access to the Dunmore Corporation.  The Commission also recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve conditional use applications from Advent Optronics, Newtown Rental Center and Manhattan Bagel.  They reviewed sketch plans for the subdivision of lot 21 in Hidden Lake, and for a pole barn on the property of the Joint Municipal Authority.

Nancy Carroll, a parent of children attending Goodnoe Elementary School, spoke to the Commission about traffic and access problems at the school.  Commission members received copies of the Park and Recreation Comprehensive Plan and discussed it with Bill Wert, Recreation Department Director.  Commission members recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve JMZO amendments regarding setbacks from the Delaware Canal and village houses in the R-1 District.  Three of the seven members voting opposed the amendment regarding the canal.  Mr. Fidler said that some saw it as the taking of private property and interfering with owners’ access to properties; others felt the amendment was unnecessary because the land along the canal is largely built out already. 

CONDITIONAL USE - MANHATTAN BAGEL - 31 SWAMP ROAD:  Canceled.

SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE:  Chairman Vince Lombardi reported on the Committee’s 3/13/01 meeting.  The general manager of the Newtown Sewer Authority spoke with the Committee about the Authority’s work on Sycamore Street, which will begin around 5/1/01.  The work will be done between 8:00 PM and 5:00 AM.  The intersection of Swamp Road and Sycamore Street will be closed only one night.  The Committee also received some written notes from McMahon Associates on the earlier PennDOT visit.  Mr. Lombardi asked the Board of Supervisors to appoint Frank Tyrol as Vice Chairman of the Committee. 

Mr. Mendicino moved to appoint Frank Tyrol as Vice Chairman of the Sycamore Street Committee; the motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously. 

MEMBERS’ COMMENTS: 

WORK SESSION 3/19/01:  Mr. Mendicino announced that the Supervisors may be discussing Pheasant Run and Applebee’s Restaurant at their next work session.  He suggested that interested residents call the Township office on Friday or Monday to check on the agenda.

STOOPVILLE ROAD TRAFFIC:  Mr. Sanderlin announced that Mr. Larason wrote a letter on 3/6/01 to PennDOT asking for a speed study on Stoopville Road.  Copies of the letter were available to the public.  Mr. Sanderlin also displayed a picture of a sign prohibiting the use of “jake brakes”, which will be posted along Stoopville Road.

OFFICE RESEARCH DISTRICT TRAFFIC:  Mr. Sanderlin announced that he has written a letter to the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors describing Newtown Township’s efforts to relieve and anticipate traffic problems in the OR District.  The letter states the Township’s opposition to a proposed road through the Sterling Farm.  Copies were available in the meeting room, and Mr. Sanderlin announced a ten minute break to allow those attending the meeting to read the letter. 

COMMUNITY COMMENTS: 

Marsha Phillips, a resident of Rosefield, asked if the Township is planning to widen Stoopville Road as part of a plan for a bypass road.  Mr. Sanderlin responded that the widening is for safety reasons only.  Ms. Philip said she will give copies of the letter to her neighbors. 

Gail Laughlin, a Township resident, spoke about the Council Rock School District’s proposed tax increase.  She stated she has calculated that the taxes on a property currently assessed at $10,000 would increase by approximately $4,000 in the next five years if this proposal goes into effect.  She also stated that enrollment in the schools is projected to decrease in the same period.  Mr. Sanderlin commented that Township taxes are far lower than either County or School District taxes. 

Walter Iwaskiw asked about how a temporary certificate of occupancy becomes permanent.  Mr. Sander explained that a permanent certificate is issued when the property owner accomplishes certain tasks specified when the temporary certificate is issued.  Mr. Larason said that the Township Engineer may be asked to make recommendations.

Jim Bowe of Tyler Walk thanked the Supervisors for giving the public the opportunity to express themselves at the last meeting. 

REPORTS OF OFFICIALS: 

CHAIRMAN: 

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL:  Mr. Sanderlin reported on the Council’s 3/1/01 meeting, at which they discussed the new resident packets and did some stuffing of the packets.  The Council is seeking volunteers to help complete the stuffing, which will take place in the Martindell House on the evenings of 3/15, 3/19, 3/20, 3/22, 3/27, 3/28 and 3/29/01.

EAGLE SCOUT AWARD:  Mr. Sanderlin announced that he presented an Eagle Scout award to John Wozniak on 3/10/01.

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: 

JOINTURE:  Mr. Jirele reported on the 3/1/01 meeting of the Joint Zoning Council.  The meeting began with a review of the status of all ordinances under consideration.  The Council discussed putting pending ordinances on the internet and developing a “fast track” for their review and approval when necessary.  They also discussed expanding the Jointure, or involving other municipalities as needed.

MAIN STREET VISIONING:  Mr. Goodnoe reported on the second Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation Visioning meeting on 3/1/01.   About half the participants were there for the first time.  Mr. Goodnoe said four standing committees have been created:  promotion, design, economic restructuring and organization.  Volunteers are needed for all.  The next Visioning meeting will be on 4/5/01. 

CAPITAL PLANNING COMMITTEE:  Mr. Harp reported that the Committee met on 3/13/01 and discussed the needs of the Codes and Public Works Departments with Tom Harwood.  At the next meeting, on 4/10/01, the Committee will meet with the Emergency Services and Technology Departments.  Mr. Harp added that in future meetings the Committee will be discussing options for funding some of the projects that have been identified in meetings with Township staff.  All Committee members have been given a copy of the 2001 budget.

MANAGER:

PURCHASE OF TRUCK:  Mr. Sanderlin said that the purchase of the truck discussed during the Treasurer’s report needed to be approved with a motion because it is a bid award.

Mr. Harp moved to accept Bucks County International’s bid of $84,085 for the purchase of a dump truck with a plow and a spreader.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

SOLICITOR: 

ACME ASSIGNMENT AND ASSUMPTION AGREEMENT:  Mr. Sander stated his office has not heard yet from Acme’s parent company about the agreement.

JMZO AMENDMENT - CANAL SETBACK (ORD 2001-3):  Mr. Sander stated the amendment has been advertised for public hearing tonight.  Mr. Sanderlin asked for public comments; there were none.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to adopt Ordinance 2001-3 providing setbacks from the Delaware Canal.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

JMZO AMENDMENT - VILLAGE HOUSES IN R-1 DISTRICT (ORD 2001-4):  Mr. Sander stated this amendment has been advertised for public hearing tonight.  Mr. Sanderlin asked for public comments; there were none.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to adopt Ordinance 2001-4 permitting village houses in the R-1 District.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

ENGINEER: 

ISTEA TRAIL:  Mr. Larason reported that the contractor will likely restart work on 3/26/01.  Mr. Larason asked for direction from the Supervisors regarding the location of the part of the Trail near Roberts Ridge Park soon after 3/26/01.  He also reported that a field meeting is scheduled for 3/21/01 to study a possible change in routing along Upper Silver Lake Road.

SWAMP ROAD AND WALNUT AVENUE:  Mr. Larason reported that bids for this project were opened on 3/12/01, and he is recommending awarding the contract to the low bidder, Joran Contractors. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to award the contract for work at the Swamp Road and Walnut Avenue intersection to Joran Contractors for an amount not to exceed $39,235.00.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

BYPASS CLOSED LOOP SYSTEM:  Mr. Larason reported that the bid opening for this project is now scheduled for 5/24/01.  He has drafted a letter for the Township Manager to ask PennDOT to approve a compressed construction schedule. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to direct the Township Manager to send a letter to PennDOT asking them to approve a compressed construction schedule for this project.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

 

LAND USE SECTION

  

NEW BUSINESS:  None. 

OLD BUSINESS:  None. 

OTHER ACTIONS:

ENGINEER: 

CORRESPONDENCE:  Mr. Larason provided copies of recent correspondence regarding the Newtown Office Commons Final Plan and the Penns Preserve Revised Final Plan. 

PENNS PRESERVE LINENS:  Mr. Larason stated that all conditions have been satisfied for this development, and the linens are available for signing. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to sign the linens for Penns Preserve; the motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

ESCROW RELEASE - CHANDLER HALL:  Mr. Goodnoe moved to release $737,739.30 in escrow funds for Chandler Hall Phase 2, in accordance with Certificate of Completion #1.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

SOLICITOR: 

LINTON HILL ROAD RIGHT OF WAY:  Mr. Sander asked for approval of a resolution accepting the right of way required for repair of a culvert on Linton Hill Road. 

Mr. Jirele moved to approve a resolution accepting dedication of a portion of TMP# 29-3-73-5 along Linton Hill Road from Joseph Smith.   The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously. 

WILTSHIRE WALK:  Mr. Sander noted that the Wiltshire Walk plan has been advertised for public hearing at the 3/28/01 meeting. 

 

ROUTINE BUSINESS SECTION

  

There were no items of business for this section.  Mr. Sanderlin announced there will be an executive session following this meeting for matters of pending litigation. 

ADJOURNMENT:  Mr. Harp moved to adjourn.  With no objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 PM. 

 

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

 

_____________________________
Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary

 

 

Minutes Approved as submitted _______ as corrected _______

  

_____________________________
Stephen D. Sanderlin, Chairman

 

 _____________________________
Thomas Jirele, Vice Chairman

  

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Scott R. Harp, Treasurer

  

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Frank Mendicino, Secretary

  

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Raymond Goodnoe, Member