Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Work Session

June 25, 2001

MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting July 11, 2001. WORK SESSION OF 6/25/01: Mr. Jirele moved to approve the minutes of the 6/25/01 work session. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously, with Mr. Harp and Mr. Mendicino abstaining.

Members Present:     Steve Sanderlin, Chairman; Tom Jirele, Vice Chairman; Raymond W. Goodnoe, Member

Also Present: Elinor Campbell, Vice Chairman HARB 

Call to Order: Meeting called to order at 7:10 PM. 

Newtown Community Center Ad Hoc Committee 

Committee members Allen Fidler, Bill Wert, Sue Beasley, Bernard Bires, Fran Poole, Laura Leigh Tomlinson and Anna Marie Zambriczki were present.  Review of the Newtown Township Community Center Ad Hoc Committee’s final report.

Members received and reviewed two documents:  A Feasibility Study of the Viability of A Newtown Township Community Center, Final Report June 2001 and Working Papers.  Discussion below is primarily regarding the first document. 

Mr. Fidler thanked the committee members and Leslie Dunleavy for their hard work.  Mr. Fidler reviewed the Mission Statement.  He also reviewed the committee’s work and action items.  Review of action items 1 & 2 programs and functions.  Two programs on the priority list are programs for seniors and after-school programs re: executive summary, page 5, figure 1, (1994 National Recreation Park Association survey). 

Ms. Tomlinson thanked the committee chairperson and Fran Poole.  Ms. Tomlinson reviewed action items 3 & 4 Critical Needs, page 6. 

Mr. Sanderlin asked about program participation re: executive summary, page 7, figure 2, (Newtown Township Recreation Department Program Participation).  Individuals would be counted per program.  79% of participants are Newtown residents.  21% are non-residents. 

Mr. Poole reviewed action item 5, Acme building, pg. 7.  Re: executive summary, page 9, figure 3, (Smallest Recreation Center Building Square Footage).  Newtown Township Community Center should be about 20,000 square footage.  Acme building is 18,000 square feet.  Spoke about name of center whether it should be Newtown Community Center or Newtown Township Community Center.

Mr. Jirele asked how the committee feels about naming the center Newtown Community Center or Newtown Township Community Center.  Committee response was that they hadn’t discussed what goes over the front door.  Wanted to be exclusive of Newtown residents and taxpayers primarily, but also generate revenue from non-residential income.  Hopeful that it will be viewed as the Newtown Area Community Center under the control and direction of Newtown Township or some other body.  Unsure if Community Center will have a Board of township residents and officials.  Committee recommends the Board appoint another additional commission or committee to move to the next phase.

Mr. Jirele asked Mr. Wert when he looks at program registration can he tell how many are borough residents?  Mr. Wert’s reply was that the majority of non-residents are from the borough.  

Mr. Goodnoe asked if there were members of this committee that would like to continue on the operating committee?  Committee’s response was yes.  Mr. Goodnoe asked for some names.  Mr. Jirele suggested asking the present committee members if they wish to continue and then open up to other township residents who may want to join in effort.  

Mr. Poole stated that the committee needs to have funding behind it.  Mr. Jirele stated that money has been set aside in budget to get the Acme Building up and running. 

Mr. Poole reviewed action items 6 & 7 regarding permanent location and size of a community center.  A choice of seven possible locations was given.  Final recommendation is the 21 acres along Wrights Road.

Ms. Zambriczki reviewed action item 8, cost for center.  Re: executive summary, page 10, figure 4, (Type of funding for most recent recreation center construction).  

Mr. Jirele asked what would it cost to outfit the center?  No definite answer was available. 

Mr. Fidler discussed how the YMCA generates money through programs.  Maybe Newtown Community Center would join with YMCA at a later date. 

Mr. Fidler reviewed final action items 9, 10 & 11 quarterly meeting with BOS, sources for funding and BOS providing adequate funding.  

Mr. Sanderlin thanked the committee for their hard work.  He stated that the Acme building would be perfect for short-term community center.  The first few years would be a good opportunity to learn what it takes to run a community center.  This would help determine if the township should build a permanent location down the road.  He feels that not all residents should have to pay for the center if they do not use the center.  Mr. Sanderlin asked how would the community center be different from a YMCA.  Ms. Zambriczki described her thoughts on the difference between a community center and a YMCA.  Mr. Sanderlin stated that the township would at some time purchase the Acme building.  

Mr. Goodnoe said that he was in agreement with the committee’s findings.  He feels that Newtown should have a community center not a YMCA. 

Mr. Jirele said that he shares Mr. Goodnoe’s feelings.  Main concern is what will it cost Newtown residents to run a community center.  If the Township does go with a partnership, an agreement should be put in place where all entities are working together equally.  Mr. Jirele suggested that an operating committee should be formed.  

Mr. Sanderlin thanked the committee for their hard work.


The meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM June 25, 2001.


Respectfully submitted by: __________________________________
                                             Christy Holley, Recording Secretary