Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

January 21, 2004


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting February 11, 2004. WORK SESSION OF 1/21/04:  Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 1/21/04 work session; the motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously.


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

Also Present: Jean-Paul Lautenschlager, Courier Times; Bill Wert, Parks & Recreation Director; Park & Recreation Board Member: Joel Grosso; Howard Lemonick, Vice-President, CRNAA; Jerry Magovern, Musco Lighting; various representatives involved with CRNAA; Various Newtown residents including Pat Cawley, Tom Rogers, Jim Kurtz, Nick Lazeration, Linda Lazeration, John Nejman, Peter Becksch, Keith Terry, Phil Calabro, Buck O’Neill, Bill Hartley, Edward Denkin, Walter Iwaskiw and Ethel Hibbs. 

Prior to the Call to Order, the Supervisors met in executive session, to discuss a real estate matter. 

Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 7:46 PM. 

Council Rock Newtown Athletic Association – Presentation to discuss lighting of Chandler Field 

Representatives from the CRNAA made a presentation to the Board to discuss the proposed lighting on field #3 at Chandler Field.  Mr. Lemonick, CRNAA Vice-President gave a brief history on the CRNAA.  He explained how the league works.  He advised that if the lights were approved the CRNAA would request the lights to be off by 9 PM Sunday through Thursday and 10 PM Friday and Saturday.  He advised having lights would help the children build their playing ability and provide safety.  

Mr. Magovern with Musco Lighting gave a brief history on Musco Lighting and explained how the equipment is used - number of poles, number of fixtures on poles and aiming the lighting fixtures.  He advised that several sporting organizations and the FAA recommend Musco Lighting.  His presentation included a lighting plan for field #3 at Chandler Field.  Mr. Magovern advised his plan is on a flat plane, it does not account for any trees or height elevation.  Mr. Magovern advised that once the poles and fixtures were installed technicians from Musco Lighting would fine-tune the fixtures to provide the proper lighting.      

Mr. Kurtz, of Sycamore Street questioned the height of the poles.  Mr. Magovern advised the poles would be approximately 60 feet.  Mr. Magovern explained the pole heights and lighting.  Mr. Kurtz advised the poles would be taller than surrounding trees.  

Mr. Becksch, of Barclay Street questioned how the lighting would affect his property.  Mr. Magovern advised he would not be affected; no fixtures would point in that direction.  Mr. Becksch also expressed concerns with regards to the size of Chandler Field and maybe the lights would be better at a larger park within the Township.  He asked the Supervisors what was the intended use of the property.   

One resident of Barclay Street advised he felt the lighting would not affect Barclay Street. 

Mr. Nejman advised he circulated a petition against the lighting of Chandler Field.  He questioned the purchase of the Chandler Field property from Chandler Hall.  He questioned if there were any restrictions to the development of the property.  Mr. Pellegrino advised he would research and provide Mr. Nejman with the information.  Mr. Nejman advised he has concerns about the quality of life in the community. 

Mrs. Lazeration questioned what months the lights would be in operation.  Mr. Lemonick & the Supervisors advised the league would only need the lights during the Little League season.  

A representative from CRNAA advised that he would like to see the lights at Chandler Field.  He also advised that most local communities have some type of lit facilities for the children to partake in sporting activities. 

Mr. Terry, CRNAA advised that the field is leased for a small fee from the Township.  He advised the league works hard maintaining the fields and he feels the Township should go forward with the lighting for the children in the community. 

Mr. Kurtz, a resident of Sycamore Street advised he is in opposition to the lighting project at Chandler Field.  He does think the Township needs lit fields but also feels Chandler Field is not a large enough park. Mr. Kurtz provided the Supervisors with a document stating his concerns.        

·        Concerns with lighting

·        Parks and Recreation does not operate under the same rules as any other normal property owner

·        Little League does a poor job of policing the actions of players and visitors

·        Long history of Little League as bad neighbors 

Mr. Rogers, CRNAA commented on some of Mr. Kurtz’ concerns.  He also reminded the Supervisors that the CRNAA was here tonight to discuss lighting the field. 

Mr. Becksch commented on receiving correspondence from CRNAA with no telephone number provided to contact someone. 

Mr. Calabro commented on having lit facilities within the township.  He suggested the Supervisors consider lighting a different field within the Township possibly the Helen Randle Park. 

Mr. Nejman questioned the Park & Recreation Board’s involvement with lit facilities within the Township.  Mr. Wert advised in the Township’s December newsletter there was a survey regarding the little league and girls softball teams requesting lighting for certain fields within the community.  Mr. Wert also advised that every year the little league and girls softball teams make presentations to the Park & Recreation Board regarding items they would like to see occur or be implemented or constructed at the Township fields.  This past fall both the little league and girls softball teams requested having lit fields.  Mr. Wert advised that at this time the CRNAA is discussing their request for lighting at Chandler Field with the Supervisors. 

Mr. Kurtz advised that the Township’s fall newsletter stated that there would be no further developments planned for the Chandler Field.  He advised that the way he found out about the lighting issue was by reading an article in the local newspaper, not through the Township, Park & Recreation Board or CRNAA.  

Mr. Harp advised that after several past meeting with the little league and girls’ softball teams discussing the topic of lighting, the Township suggested the organizations contact the residents.  The survey in the Township newsletter was to get feedback from the residents. 

Ms. Goren advised she feels the Supervisors are dealing with two issues – first, the current situation and second, how does the Township handle this in the future.  She had concerns with Mr. Kurtz’ statement that he was advised there would never be lights on the Chandler Field property.  Mr. Harris advised he would review the agreement between Chandler Hall and the Township with regards to the development of the property.  Mr. Harris will advise the Supervisors once he has reviewed the agreement.  

Ms. Goren commented on Mr. Kurtz’ statement that the restrooms/soda machines are lit all night.  A representative of CRNAA advised that the Township provides lighting for this area, the soda machines are kept on to keep the soda cold and the restrooms are locked by 9:30 PM.  Mr. Wert further explained the lighting with regards to security lighting.  Ms. Goren suggested the Township look into timers.  Mr. Wert advised the lights at the restroom area also help the police see the area.  Ms. Goren suggested the Township look into a silent alarm. 

Ms. Goren commented on Mr. Kurtz’ statement with regards to the placement of the port-a-potty.  Mr. Wert advised that the port-a-potty was used due to a pipe bursting.  He was open for suggestions as to where the location of the port-a-potty should be; he advised they need to be accessible to the removal truck and could not go on the grass. 

Ms. Goren commented on Mr. Kurtz’ statement with regards to the electronic musical cheers system.  She advised that the Supervisors are reviewing the noise ordinance. 

Ms. Goren commented on Mr. Kurtz’ statement with regards to the construction of the backstop.  She suggested the Township could possibly help construct something to help keep the balls out of Mr. Kurtz’ property.  Mr. Wert explained the construction of the current backstop. 

Ms. Goren commented on Mr. Kurtz’ statement with regards to the car headlights and weeds along the property line.  Mr. Wert advised the Park & Recreation Board would look into the matter. 

Ms. Goren advised she feels most of Mr. Kurtz’ complaints are the Townships responsibility.  Mr. Weaver advised that the Supervisors would have the Park & Recreation Board review Mr. Kurtz’ list of issues.  

Mr. Kurtz suggested the Township review the original engineering plan for the Chandler Field. 

One resident suggested more trash cans be provided for the park.  The Township advised additional trash cans would be provided. 

Mr. Wert advised he has been reviewing the Chandler Field file and has not found any information with regards to restricting lit fields at the park. 

Mr. Harp questioned who would pay for the lights.  Mr. Lemonick advised the Supervisors on the cost of the lighting.  He stated that the project would cost approximately $32,000, with a ten-year warranty.  He also advised the CRNAA would raise the money themselves, requesting the Township grant a gift of $10,000.  

Mr. Kurtz questioned the cost of running the lights.  Mr. Magovern advised the Supervisors on the cost of operating the lights. 

Mr. Pellegrino advised he felt the cost of purchasing, installing and running the lights would be much more expense than the figure Mr. Lemonick provided.  He also advised the Board that they need to decide if the Township should have any lit fields and where in the Township the lit fields should be located.  He also advised that if the Township did go forward with having lit fields, several decisions would need to be made, such as who would own the lights, who would pay for the lighting equipment, who would pay the utility cost and who would install the lighting equipment. 

Mr. Harris questioned how far from the nearest property line would a light pole be located.  He advised there could be zoning issues.  He reviewed the ordinance with regards to height limits. 

Mr. O’Neill, past president of CRNAA advised the league is trying to look out for the safety of the children.  He estimated the lights would only be used 30 to 40 days within the playing season. 

Mr. Lemonick provided the Supervisors with a petition requesting the lighting of Chandler Field. 

A CRNAA coach commented on possibly adjusting the pole height to comply with the ordinance in regards to property lines.  

The Supervisors advised they would research the matter, reviewing ordinances and the original agreement between Chandler Hall and the Township for the development of the property. 

Mr. Weaver thanked the public for their time. 

Newtown Gate Traffic Calming Study 

Representatives from Pennoni Associates Inc. made a presentation regarding the Newtown Gate Traffic Calming Study.  Mr. Federico gave an overview of the completed study and the proposed recommendations currently before the Board.  The Supervisors discussed the results of the study and the recommendations to help correct the traffic problems.  The Supervisors discussed the timing of the traffic lights and improving certain intersections along the Newtown Bypass.  The Supervisors advised they would review the matter further and discuss at a later date. 

Newtown Township Traffic Calming Program 

Representatives from Pennoni Associates Inc. made a presentation regarding the Newtown Township Traffic Calming Program.  Mr. Federico gave an overview of the goals and objectives of the program.  The Supervisors discussed the traffic-calming program.  The Supervisors discussed what roads in the Township would be eligible for traffic calming.  Mr. Goodnoe advised that the Supervisors would have the final decision with regards to the Newtown Gate traffic calming study and the Newtown Township traffic-calming program. Some Board members expressed concern about the process and believed that a program of this magnitude may not be necessary. 

Mr. Weaver thanked the representatives from Pennoni Associates Inc. for their presentation. 

Other Business 

Several residents living on Barclay Street expressed concerns with inadequate lighting on the street.  A request was made asking the Township to provide streetlights on Barclay Street.  Mr. Goodnoe advised the residents should draft a petition.  The Supervisors advised they would look into the matter.  

One Barclay Street resident expressed concerns about people walking their dogs in Chandler Field and not cleaning up the waste.  The Supervisors advised they are aware of the problem and actions are being taking. 

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the traffic study the NAC was to have done approximately one year after the addition to the facility.  Mr. Pellegrino advised he would research the matter. 

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to the Penns Trail intersection.  He also questioned how the Newtown Gate traffic calming study and the Newtown Township traffic calming program results compare to the recommendations of the Planning Commission and the traffic engineer. 

Mr. Weaver thanked the public for their input and attending the meeting. 

Adjournment 

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 10:50 PM. 

 

Respectfully Submitted by:

 

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary