Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Work Session

July 21, 2003


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting August 27, 2003. MINUTES OF THE WORK SESSION OF 7/21/03:  Mr. Weaver moved to approve the minutes of the 7/21/03 work session.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 


Members Present: Scott R. Harp, Chairman; Richard Weaver, Secretary/Treasurer; Tom Jirele and Raymond “Skip” Goodnoe, Members; Steve Harris, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Gerald Smith, Engineer.

Not present is Anne Goren, Vice Chairman.

Also Present: Bill Wert, Parks & Recreation Director; Park & Recreation Committee Members: Michael Clancy and Joel Grosso; H. Joseph Phillips and James Linske representing George J. Donovan AIA & Associates; Newtown residents Nancy Crescenzo, Jim McCrane, Phil Calabro, John D’Aprile, and Warren Keyser; Ushma Patel, Bucks County Courier Times.

Call to Order: Chairman Harp called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM.

Woll Tract Development – Presentation by Park & Recreation Board

Michael Clancy and Joel Grosso updated the Supervisors on the recommendation of the Park & Recreation Board with regards to the Woll Tract Development. A packet was provided to the Supervisors for review. The representatives advised the Supervisors the original master plan of 1999 should be revised, due to changes in the community. The representatives suggested a survey be sent to Township’s residents, for their input on what types of facilities they would recommend for the Township’s parks. The Supervisors discussed the cost of the project. The representatives requested funding to have an updated master plan drawn for the Woll Tract Development. The Supervisors requested the Park & Recreation Board appear before the Supervisors at the August 13th meeting with their vision for the Woll Tract. The Supervisors discussed sharing park facilities with the school district and colleges. The Township Solicitor discussed an agreement with the Council Rock School District with regards to access on the Woll Tract. Mr. Harp advised a copy of the agreement would be provided to the Park & Recreation Board. The Supervisors advised they would contact the Council Rock School District with regards to the Woll Tract Development.

Municipal Facilities Expansion

The Township Manager referred to the June 9th Work Session and correspondence received from George J. Donovan AIA & Associates with regards to possible changes to the Municipal Complex expansion. Packets were provided to the Supervisors.

Representatives from George J. Donovan AIA & Associates made a presentation, which discussed the following:

¨     Cost savings due to eliminating square footage from the plan discussed at the June 9th Work Session.

¨     A comparative cost analysis to add an additional level to the existing Township building, turning it into a two-story building.

¨     A comparative cost analysis for a new two-story Administration building.

Mr. Linske advised the Supervisors on the cost savings due to the elimination of square footage. The Supervisors discussed the impact of the changes on the Municipal Complex expansion project.

The Supervisors discussed the condition and location of the fuel tanks.

Mr. Linske advised the Supervisors on the costs of a proposed second story addition and renovation to the existing building. He referred to plans dated 7/11/03, copies had been provided to the Supervisors. Mr. Linske also advised the Supervisors of concerns that George J. Donovan AIA & Associates has with regards to this proposal. The Supervisors compared the different proposals for the existing Township complex.

Mr. Linske advised the Supervisors on the cost to relocate the Martindell House if the Township chooses to do so. The Supervisors discussed the cost.

The Board discussed the plans reviewed at the June 9th Work Session with regards to project costs, which were confirmed by Mr. Pellegrino.

Mr. Goodnoe asked how the per-employee square footage is calculated. Mr. Phillips responded and suggested the Board compare this project with other local municipalities:

Buckingham, Warwick, Plumstead, Warrington and New Britain.

The Supervisors discussed the meeting rooms being proposed in the new administration building.

Mr. Harp advised no final decision would be made on the plan tonight. He asked the other Supervisors how they felt about the proposed plans for the Municipal Complex. Mr. Goodnoe advised he had no comment. Mr. Weaver advised he favored the June 9th plans. Mr. Jirele asked for the Township Manager’s opinion. Mr. Pellegrino advised he would prefer a single story building having all departments on one floor. If the Township chooses a two-story building he advised he would not separate departments. Departments that deal with the public would be located on the first floor. Mr. Phillips advised the Supervisors on how other municipalities deal with similar situations. Mr. Pellegrino advised if the Board is considering a separate Administration building, it makes more sense to him that the building has only one floor.

Mr. Harp advised he felt this would be the last time the Township would need a major expansion of the Municipal Complex. He discussed the last expansion of the complex.

Mr. Harp asked the Supervisors which of the plans they prefer. Mr. Weaver advised he preferred the single story. Mr. Goodnoe advised he would like more information with regards to the number of employees required to run the Township and space requirements for record storage. He also advised he did not like the idea of option 3. Mr. Jirele advised at this point he is leaning toward the original June 9th plan, but he questions what can be eliminated from the plan and the space allotted per employee.

Mr. Harris had some questions about the size of the main public meeting room, to which Mr. Phillips responded.

Mr. Harp advised the Supervisors would present the proposal to the public at the August 13, 2003 meeting.

Review of Draft Request for Proposals – ACME Site

Mr. Harp asked the Supervisors to review section by section the ACME Request For Proposals (RFP).

Mr. Jirele discussed the fact that there was nothing in RFP referencing Sycamore Street as the heart of the Township’s Historic District. He would like to make an addition to this RFP stating any proposal entertained would have to reflect the historic ambiance of both the Borough and the Township. The Supervisors agreed to revise the Introduction (page 4), paragraph 4, last sentence – Since this property will become the centerpiece of this corridor and the gateway to Historic Newtown Borough, it should reflect the historic ambiance of both the Borough and the Township Historic Districts. Mr. Jirele also requested to have proposals reviewed by HARB.

Mr. Harris had a comment with regards to item #6, on page 7. He felt the sentence should read – Committing the proposed developer to pay the fair market value of the land based on the proposed use acceptable to the Township of Newtown. The Supervisors agreed to the revision.

Mr. Harp asked Mr. Pellegrino if the developers would be following a specific template when applying. Mr. Pellegrino advised he did not believe so, but he would discuss with Mr. Bob White of the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority.

Mr. Goodnoe had comments with regards to page 5, Summary Data. In reference to access, the sentence should read – Access only at the intersection of Jefferson and Sycamore Streets. In reference to the utilities, he believes natural gas should be added to the list. The Supervisors agreed to the revisions. He also commented on existing improvements shown, as he believes none have sufficient detail and questions will arise.

The Supervisors discussed the zoning ordinances requirements for the ACME site.

The Supervisors agreed the developers would need an idea of the Township’s vision for the site, which should be included in the RFP.

Mr. Jirele had a comment with regards to page 5, Summary Data. In reference to current conditions, he questioned if language should be added with regards to environmental hazards – which the Supervisors agreed should be added.

Mr. Goodnoe had comments with regards to page 6, Development Objectives, in reference to the property zoning he felt the first three items needed to be revised to Residential, Commercial, Retail & Office Development. He also commented on the last sentence on the page. He felt the sentence should read – It is the objective of the stakeholders to ensure the property is amply landscaped and appropriately lighted to designate the area of the present and future development as a continuing separate property from the surrounding existing properties.

Mr. Goodnoe had comments with regards to page 7, Requirements for Expressions of Interest, item A-1. The sentence was revised to read – Identifying the uses proposed by the developer and how the developer sees the development in the context of the Sycamore Street revitalization.

Mr. Goodnoe had comments with regards to page 8, item 1, Identification and Description of Development Team. He expressed concerns with some of the language. He also commented on item 4, Character of the Proposed Development. He felt the language needed to be changed. The last sentence should read – Conceptual architectural plans and elevations will be required and considered as part of this preliminary evaluation process.

Mr. Goodnoe had comments with regards to page 10, Selection Process. In reference to item A-1, he felt the last sentence should be removed. In reference to item B, he felt the second sentence should be revised to read – The proposals will also be evaluated on the basis of how they compliment the existing surrounding properties. The Supervisors agreed to all of the revisions.

Mr. Goodnoe had comments with regards to page 11, Rejection. Would the Township be responsible to return the 1% deposit? Mr. Pellegrino advised he would speak with Mr. Bob White on this matter.

Mr. Goodnoe advised he felt no decisions should be made without the entire Board of Supervisors having a chance to review all of the proposals.

Mr. Jirele asked how the review process of the proposals would be handled and Chairman Harp responded. It was discussed that a revised RFP would be drafted and discussed at the next BOS meeting.

Mr. Goodnoe expressed concerns with the RFP due to the fact the Township does not own the ACME property. Mr. Harris advised the Supervisors on the matter. Mr. Harris and Mr. Pellegrino advised they would speak with Mr. Bob White with regards to this matter and report back to the Supervisors. Mr. Harris advised he should have an answer for the next meeting. The Supervisors agreed they need to meet in executive session to discuss the matter further.

Wrights Road – Proposed “No Parking”

Mr. Harp updated the Supervisors on the memo received from Captain Moorhead with regards to the requested proposal for “No Parking” on Wrights Road between Rt. 413 and Eagle Road. He also discussed correspondence received from Mr. Kirby, CRSD Superintendent. The Supervisors discussed the proposal and agreed more information is needed. Mr. Pellegrino advised he would speak with the Superintendent of Schools and St. Andrews Church with regards to street parking and scheduling events. The Supervisors agreed to discuss further at a future meeting.

Video Gold Proposal for New Camera Equipment

Mr. Harp updated the Supervisors on correspondence received from Video Gold with regards to purchasing new camera equipment. Mr. Pellegrino advised he is getting more information with regards to prices. He also advised this cost was not planned for in the current year’s budget. Mr. Harp advised the matter would be added to an agenda once Mr. Pellegrino has more information. Mr. Jirele suggested purchasing two cameras at this time. Mr. Harp advised a decision has to be made by the end of August.

Upper Makefield Request – Dolington Challenge

Mr. Harp advised the Supervisors on a request made by Upper Makefield Township with regards to BCATO Funding/Dolington Challenge. Mr. Weaver updated the Supervisors on the situation and how the funding works. The Supervisors agreed to put on the July 23, 2003 agenda. Mr. Jirele questioned how much the Township has paid into this matter. Mr. Harris also advised the Supervisors on the matter.

Update – 2003 Roadway Improvement Program

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on the 2003 Roadway Improvement Program. He discussed total cost for the project and advised the cost was planned for in the current year’s budget. Mr. Smith advised the Supervisors with regards to the project. The Supervisors discussed the conditions of the roadways. Mr. Goodnoe questioned the engineering cost and Mr. Smith responded. Mr. Goodnoe suggested waiting until the spring of 2004, possibly getting better prices. The Supervisors agreed to put on the July 23, 2003 agenda. Mr. Smith advised the project should be able to start in the beginning of September 2003. Mr. Jirele asked if the roadways would remain open. Mr. Smith advised the roadways would have one lane open. Mr. Jirele suggested notifying the School District of the construction, so they may plan for delays. The Supervisors discussed the possibility of holding off on the project until spring 2004.

Other Business

Ms. Crescenzo commented with regards to the Park & Recreation Board. She referred to the P&R Board’s March 5th meeting minutes, discussing changes in the community and needs in the Township’s parks. She suggested the Township have an advertised public meeting with regards to the Woll Tract Development before any new costs are incurred. She referred to the development of Silver Lake.

The Park & Recreation Board asked the Supervisors to review the timeline for the Woll Tract Development (included in the packet provided) with regards to the procedure for handling other projects. Mr. Goodnoe suggested meeting with the Township Manager to discuss the Township’s procedures.

Ms. Crescenzo inquired with regards to the cost of the land needed to be purchased for the municipal expansion. The Supervisors advised the Township is still waiting to hear from the Church. She commented on the discussions of the Municipal Complex Expansion only taking place at work sessions. She suggested the Supervisors discuss at a regular televised Board of Supervisors Meeting. She expressed concerns for saving the Martindell House. She commented on a Township Community Center. She asked how a Community Center is being incorporated into the Municipal Complex Expansion. Mr. Harp asked Mr. Wert to advise. Mr. Wert advised the Park & Recreation Department would need a dedicated space to schedule programs. Mr. Harp asked if the Martindell House could be used for Park & Recreation programs. Mr. Wert advised he felt the rooms would be to small to be used for programs.

Mr. Harp asked if the proposed Township community rooms in the renovated garage dedicated to the Parks & Recreation Department would help the department for scheduling more activities for the community. Mr. Wert advised that would allow the department to schedule more activities for the community.

Ms. Crescenzo commented on the work done by the Ad-Hoc Committee for 18 months with regards to the Community Center. She questioned how the Committee’s report advised the Supervisors to allocate space with regards to a Community Center. Mr. Jirele advised he felt the proposed Parks & Recreation Building is a great idea and is needed for programs but would be to small for a Community Center. Mr. Jirele discussed the vision of the Ad-Hoc Committee with regards to a Community Center. He felt the discussion of a Community Center/Senior Center would have to be discussed further at a later date. Ms. Crescenzo advised she feels the Township really needs a Community Center/Senior Center. Mr. Wert advised if the Parks & Recreation Department had a dedicated space they would be able to schedule activities for people of all ages.

Mr. Keyser questioned how operational costs are assessed. Mr. Phillips advised how operational costs are assessed.

Mr. Keyser commented on the number of employees per cost for new building. Mr. Phillips advised he could get that information.

Mr. Calabro questioned the need for future expansion of the Municipal Complex. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Municipal Complex is being planned with the future in mind - the design is looking toward future build-out in the Township.

Mr. D’Aprile commented on the office space for employees and questioned how the square footage per employee had been figured. Mr. Phillips advised that the June 9th plan is only showing the program for space needs, it is not the design plan, which would show the layout for furnishings.

Mr. McCrane commented with regards to the cost of developing the Woll Tract and its impact on the neighbors. He said he has attended several Park & Recreation Board meetings.

Mr. Keyser commented on emails he has sent to several Township officials. He would like to discuss further at a later date. He commented on the Hoffa Tract and sidewalks and questioned if the Township could be held liable if an accident were to occur in this area. He commented on a rumor with regards to the Heston Barn. The Supervisors agreed to investigate this matter. He commented on not widening Stoopville Road.

Ms. Crescenzo asked when the Supervisors would discuss the community center. She had some comments on the Municipal Complex expansion. She commented on the alternating Supervisors’ attendance at the Park & Recreation Board meetings. She commented on the changes in the community.

Mr. Calabro commented on the Woll Tract development and asked if the Randle (Swamp Road) Park is still being considered for improvements. Mr. Harp advised the Park & Recreation department has drafted a maintenance plan for the Township parks.

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 11:22 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted by:

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary