Work Session

Monday, May 20, 2002

MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting June 12, 2001. WORK SESSION OF 5/20/02:  Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the 5/20/02 work session.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously. 

Members Present: Scott R. Harp, Chairman; Tom Jirele, Vice Chairman; Richard Weaver, Treasurer; Anne Goren, Secretary; Raymond “Skip” Goodnoe, Member; Dave Sander, Solicitor; Bob Pellegrino, Township Manager; Gerald Smith, Engineer.

Call to Order: Chairman Harp called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM. He announced that there would be no executive session.

Discussion: Continuation of School Resource Officer Program

Mr. Pellegrino said that the School Resource Officer program has been in place at Council Rock High School for three years, funded by a grant. By prior agreement with the school board, in year four the decision was to be made regarding the continuation of the program. If no grant money were available, the school department and township would share the cost. The cost of the school resource officer for the 9-month school year is approximately $50,000 - $52,000.

Mr. Pellegrino noted the benefits of the presence of the officer:

Mr. Pellegrino said that Chief Duffy supports the program, and that the school department is trying to decide if the program will remain in the budget. Ms. Goren asked how the Newtown Township school board director felt about the program; Mr. Pellegrino did not know. Ms. Goren also asked if the other municipalities in the school district would be involved, and suggested they be consulted.

Mr. Jirele said that Northampton has decided not to fund a resource officer at the new high school. Mr. Weaver wondered how the North High School staff felt about the program; Mr. Harp suggested finding out how the principal feels. Mr. Pellegrino reminded the board that money for the additional officer, the school resource officer, is already in the budget, and that if the program is continued, the school department would be reimbursing the township approximately $26,000. Mr. Jirele noted that two decisions need to be made: if the township wishes to continue the program in conjunction with the school department, and if the township wants to continue the program even if the school district decides not to fund the program. Mr. Pellegrino said that the board should decide by the end of June.

Ms. Crescenzo said she thought that since the high school was located in the township, it was the township’s responsibility to keep the children safe, and that the township should fund the program if safety was involved.

Administrative Issues

Parking Ordinance Amendment

Mr. Pellegrino said the police department had received a complaint regarding double parking on King Charles Lane; a report from Lt. Gordon Beck to Thomas Harwood was included in the board packet. The report recommends:

Mr. Pellegrino visited the site and said that some faded signs should probably be replaced. He suggested speaking with the Homeowners Association and neighbors to see what they think. Mr. Harp concurred; Mr. Pellegrino will speak to the HOA. Mr. Harp said he would be happy to meet with them to see what solution they would prefer, with public safety uppermost in mind.

Mr. Pellegrino agreed with Lt. Beck that parking should probably be prohibited around the median, but that they needed to gather more information. He said that there is a question as to whether emergency vehicles could navigate if there was parking on both sides of the street, but that they could get through if there was parking on one side by driving over the median.

Mr. Sander said that perhaps other cul-de-sacs in other developments presented the same problems, and that maybe a broader ordinance change would be required. Mr. Pellegrino will look at the issue throughout the township.

Keystate Publishers - JMZO Proposal and Contract

Mr. Pellegrino said a proposal has been received from Keystate Publishers for codification of the JMZO. The proposed cost is $1070 a year, with additional supplements on a cost per page basis. This proposal includes the JMZO in electronic format on the website. Mr. Pellegrino said that Penns Valley Publishing has been codifying the township ordinances in the past, at a cost of $3950 yearly, with the same per page price.

Mr. Pellegrino reminded the board that this proposal represents a cost to the jointure, not the township, and needs to be approved by the township. Mr. Weaver said that Upper Makefield and Wrightstown have already approved the proposal. Mr. Pellegrino asked that the matter be put on the agenda for the next regular board meeting. Mr. Sander clarified that there were two items requiring signatures, the proposal and a supplementation agreement.

Traffic Signal at Durham & Wrights Roads

Mr. Pellegrino reported that the township opened bids for the traffic signal to be installed at Durham and Wrights Roads. The low bid was received from Henkels and McCoy for $66,473; bids up to $82,000 were received. Mr. Pellegrino said he would like to have this item added to the next regular meeting agenda and asked the board to consider awarding the bid at that time.

Miscellaneous Traffic Concerns

Mr. Jirele asked if there had been work on the lights at Swamp Road and the Bypass, as their timing seems to have changed in the last several weeks. Mr. Smith said they have received complaints and requests to have the original timing restored. Mr. Pellegrino said it could be a result of recent work at the intersection and said he and Mr. Smith would address the issue.

Mr. Weaver said that there was a problem at the intersection of the Bypass, the shopping center and Durham Road. He said that when cars coming out of the Acme shopping center got a green left turn arrow, the opposing traffic on Durham Road had a regular green light. Mr. Wursta said he would address this immediately.

Sycamore Street

Mr. Jirele announced that the Sycamore Street Committee had received a $1.2M enhancement grant, which the township has four weeks or less to decide how to spend. The bid package must be ready by July 1, 2002; PennDOT will review it after July 1 st. Mr. Jirele said that because of the short deadline, the committee is meeting almost daily, and asked that if anyone had any input on enhancement spending they should contact Vince Lombardi or anyone on the committee.

Mr. Goodnoe asked if there was a designer on the project. Mr. Smith said that Pennoni has designers on staff, and said that he thought Mr. Lombardi was going to try to get someone from the National Trust. Mr. Pellegrino asked if they needed a landscape enhancement designer. Mr. Goodnoe suggested that the Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation become involved. Ms. Dunleavy will email the JDNC Design Committee Chair Allan Smith’s contact information to Mr. Jirele.

Mr. Iwaskiw requested that the repaving of Sycamore Street could be done this summer instead of fall to accommodate residents. Mr. Jirele noted that a timeline of the Sycamore Street project was available at the committee meetings, and said that a public meeting will be scheduled in the future to present much information to township residents.

Phil Wursta - Township Traffic Engineer - update on general traffic issues

Mr. Wursta distributed handouts listing traffic issues about which he has received questions or correspondence. He noted the following:

Sound Barriers

Mr. Wursta said he spoke to Dave Steil regarding funding for sound barriers along the Bypass. Mr. Steil said that many residents along roads like the Bypass are beginning to request sound barriers. The project is eligible for funding under the Demonstration Project or as part of the Swamp Road Project. Funding for the project is not expected any time soon, but Mr. Wursta said that chances look slightly better.

Ms. Crescenzo asked about what would happen to the closed loop system if there were a computer failure. Mr. Wursta said that the signal timing would revert to normal traffic timing rather than traffic-flow related. It was clarified that the $15,000 for the Mill Pond pedestrian signal is already in the budget. Ms. Crescenzo said she hoped that the Linton Hill/Stoopville intersection and the sound barrier issues would be further discussed by the board.

Mr. Iwaskiw asked about the widening of Stoopville. It was clarified that the project is on the TIP. Mr. Iwaskiw also asked about how soon the residents would see the effects of the Bypass Loop System. Mr. Wursta said they hope to have it completed by fall.

Mr. D’Aprile asked if a traffic signal was planned for North Drive and 413; Mr. Jirele said that the Wrights Road/413 light would be installed first. The need for a signal at North Drive and 413 would then be reevaluated.


Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 8:42 pm.


Respectfully Submitted by:


Leslie Dunleavy, Recording Secretary