Board of Supervisors Work Session Minutes
April 14, 2003
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting May 28, 2003. MINUTES OF THE WORK SESSION OF 4/14/03: Mr. Weaver moved to approve the minutes of the 4/14/03 work session; the motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.
Members Present: Scott R. Harp, Chairman; Richard Weaver, Secretary/Treasurer; Tom Jirele and Raymond “Skip” Goodnoe, Members; Gregory Sturn, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager. Not in attendance was Anne Goren, Vice Chairman.
Also Present: Jean-Paul Lautenschlager, Courier Times; Acme Site Visioning Committee Members: Vince Lombardi, Joe Merjeski, James Bowe, Paul Lewis and Terry McLean; Caron Williams, representing Newtown Presbyterian Church; Bill Wert, Parks & Recreations Director; Buck O’Neill, CRNLL; Newtown residents Elizabeth Beasley, Karen & John D’Aprile, Walt Iwaskiw, Paul Sterling, Nancy Crescenzo and Ethel Hibbs.
Call to Order: Chairman Harp called the meeting to order at 7:32 PM.
The Supervisors discussed the Acme Site. The Supervisors reviewed the documents received from the Acme Site Visioning Committee and Redevelopment Authority of the County of Bucks. The Supervisors discussed the Committee’s Final Report & Recommendations. Mr. Lombardi discussed six developers interested in developing the site. The Supervisors agreed to have a Request for Proposal (RFP) draft prepared by the Redevelopment Authority under the direction of the Manager, for further review. The Supervisors discussed the types of uses (residential, retail, office) the RFP should include and the multi-level parking garage. The Supervisors agreed the RFP should include language to encourage at least two uses and require two decks for the parking garage. The Supervisors agreed to discuss further once draft RFP is complete.
Ms. Crescenzo asked about the RFP process, which was explained by Mr. Pellegrino. She also asked about the involvement of the owner of the Acme property , who has attended some of the past meetings.
The Supervisors discussed the request made by CRNLL. Mr. O’Neill advised the agreement would include a scoreboard and vending machines, which the Supervisors indicated they did not object to. Mr. O’Neill also advised that CRNLL would like to put up a split rail fence with wire mesh by field 1 along Sycamore Street to prevent children from running into the street after balls. He advised CRNLL would pay for the fence. The Supervisors questioned the use of wire mesh and requested to see a sample of what is proposed. The Supervisors agreed to a split rail fence with the possibility of vegetation being planted at a later date. A draft agreement would be available for the next BOS meeting, April 23, 2003. Mr. Harp asked to have a representative from CRNLL at the BOS meeting on April 23, 2003.
The Supervisors reviewed correspondence received with regards to the YSM proposed master plan and how it compared with the township’s 1999 Comprehensive Parks, Recreation & Open Space Plan. The Supervisors agreed the proposal is not consistent with the 1999 Plan and therefore should be revised. The Board agreed to look into the costs to run water to Silver Lake Park. The Supervisors advised that YSM’s proposal is more of a conceptual master plan rather than a final drawing. The Board requested that YSM be contacted regarding revisions to the proposal.
Mr. Jirele suggested that the Park & Recreation Board look into the reforestation of the park.
The Supervisors discussed the Roberts Ridge Park Master Plan and documents they had received with regards to its development. Mr. Pellegrino reviewed the proposed time line and updated the Board on progress to date. The Supervisors agreed to the Roberts Ridge Park Development Time Line with one change, Item 6, July – August 2003 - The Supervisors want the development plan to be reviewed by the Park & Recreation Board and the Planning Commission before the Board of Supervisors review the development plan.
Mr. Jirele asked about the need for traffic signs in the park, but Mr. Wert advised the problems have been taken care of.
Mr. Jirele asked about handicap parking spaces. Mr. Wert advised there are two spaces and they are not located next to one another.
Mr. Wert advised the Supervisors that the picnic tables, trash cans and benches have been installed, he is waiting for the wood carpet before opening the picnic area. That area should be available within the next few days.
The Supervisors discussed the proposed park naturalist position and reviewed correspondence they had received regarding the matter. Mr. Pellegrino and Mr. Wert updated the Supervisors on the status of the position and the proposed hiring process. The Supervisors agreed they would support the Township Manager in filling the position as budgeted. Mr. Harp reminded members this position was shown in the 2003 budget. Mr. Goodnoe advised he was upset the position was created without being specifically discussed by the Supervisors.
The Supervisors discussed the proposed 2002 Annual Report, which they had been furnished a draft copy of. Mr. Harp asked the Supervisors to review the report and let him or the Township Manager know if they have any changes or additions by May 1, 2003. Mr. Harp advised that the report would be available to township residents in the near future.
Ms. Crescenzo commented on a site for a Community Center. Mr. Lombardi recommended Chandler Field. Ms. Crescenzo asked the Supervisors to look into the matter of a Community Center for the township.
Ms. Crescenzo commented on the naturalist position. She suggested the township look into having a student from one of the local colleges’ intern.
Mr. O’Neill advised the Supervisors that CRNLL would like to make improvements to the fields at Chandler Field. The Supervisors advised CRNLL to submit a formal request to the Board of Supervisors regarding the proposed improvements. CRNLL advised any improvements would not be made until the fall of 2003.
Mr. O’Neill commented on the opening of the park restrooms. Mr. Wert advised the restrooms would be open by April 15th.
The Supervisors discussed field maintenance. Mr. Wert advised that a rotation schedule is being worked out so that every year one field would be closed for the season, for renovations. Mr. Pellegrino advised this is part of a field maintenance program that is being created. The Supervisors discussed watering systems for the fields. Mr. Pellegrino asked Mr. Wert to look into which fields may need a watering system.
Ms. Beasley commented on how the township would keep the general public off of the closed fields that were being renovated. Mr. Wert suggested an article could be put in the township’s newsletter informing the public of the field renovations. The fields would also be fenced.
Mr. Iwaskiw commented on the request for dirt made by the Newtown’s Girls Softball League. The Supervisors agreed to see that the NGSL receives the dirt they need.
Mr. Iwaskiw commented on the restrooms not being opened. Mr. Wert advised the restrooms are winterized and will open by April 15th.
Mr. Iwaskiw commented on the RFP for Silver Lake Park. He questioned if the township should seek a new RFP. The Supervisors advised they would request the vendor to negotiate the costs due to changes with the RFP.
Mr. Iwaskiw commented on the Supervisors approving plans before having all the facts.
Ms. Hibbs commented on the 2003 budget funds. The Supervisors advised that any additional funds spent would need prior approval by the BOS.
Mr. D’Aprile commented on approving the plan for Silver Lake Park prior to knowing all the details. He also commented on the public’s opinion of the Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Crescenzo commented on the 2003 budget and the funds set-aside for Silver Lake Park. She also commented on the renegotiations with the vendor. Mr. Pellegrino advised how the process should work.
Ms. Crescenzo commented on the township’s parks maintenance plan. She felt the plan should be used for all the township’s parks. She referred to problems with the Clark property.
Ms. Crescenzo commented on the township’s deer problem and the reforestation of the township parks.
Ms. Crescenzo commented on a March 27th article where Upper Makefield Township advertised that Newtown Township’s task force would be in Upper Makefield to discuss the truck traffic study. Ms. Crescenzo questioned why the public was not made aware of the meeting. Mr. Pellegrino advised he did not believe these meetings were open to the public. The Supervisors advised they would look into why the township is not being made more aware of these meetings.
Mr. Harp thanked the public for attending the meeting.
Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.
After the adjournment of the meeting, the Supervisors met in executive session.
Respectfully Submitted by: