Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

WORK SESSION Minutes

March 15, 2004


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting April 14, 2004. WORK SESSION OF 3/15/04: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 3/15/04 work session with the following corrections: The spelling of Joe Swerk’s name should be corrected in the list of those present and under Shuttle Bus Study; the first sentence of the 12th paragraph under Council Rock North Little League Presentation should read “…former Township personnel…;” and the second sentence of the second paragraph under Traffic Calming should read “He discussed ways to alleviate…” The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.


Members Present: Richard Weaver, Chairman; Scott R. Harp, Vice Chairman; Tom Jirele and Raymond “Skip” Goodnoe, Members; Dave Sanders, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Gerald Smith, Engineer.  Not present is Anne Goren, Secretary/Treasurer.   

Also Present: Bill Wert, Parks & Recreation Director. Representatives from the South Central Emergency Response Team including Chief Ken Barnes, Langhorne Borough; Chief Barry Pilla, Northampton Township; Lt. John Hansbury, Lower Makefield Township; Lt. Jim Kane, Middletown Township; and a Detective from Northampton Township. Members of the Newtown Township Police Department including Sgt. Matthews. Various representatives of the Council Rock North Little League including David Felker, Tom Hacker, Howard Lemonick and Keith Terry.  Various Newtown or Newtown Borough residents including Jim Kurtz, Linda Lazeration, Shari Farley, Phil Vance, Brian Vance, Bill Hartley, Joe Swerle, Don Smith and Joel Grosso. 

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

Police Department Membership – South Central Emergency Response Team 

Representatives from the South Central Emergency Response Team (SERT) made a presentation to the Board to discuss the Newtown Township Police Department joining the group.  A memo was provided to the Supervisors for review.  Chief Ken Barnes introduced the other representatives from SERT and explained the organization.  

Mr. Jirele asked how long has SERT existed and what are some of the situations they have handled?  Chief Barnes said SERT has existed since 1997 and the most recent situations involved assisting the Northampton Police Department. 

Lt. Hansbury spoke on various SERT situations and stated they assist in at least one incident per month. 

Chief Pilla advised the foundation started in the late 1970’s.     

Mr. Jirele asked how the procedures between the local police departments and SERT would be handled?  Chief Ken Barnes and Lt. Hansbury explained how SERT works. 

Sgt. Matthews explained how the procedures would be handled in Newtown Township. 

Lt. Kane explained how the SERT negotiators train. 

Mr. Jirele asked how many Newtown Police Officers would be certified in SERT.  Sgt. Matthews advised Newtown would have 7 members. 

Mr. Goodnoe questioned the cost.  A representative from the Newtown Police Department advised overtime would be involved. 

Mr. Pellegrino advised he would request Chief Duffy to provide the Township with the following information – what equipment would be needed to participate in SERT, overtime cost and why the Police Department left the Central Bucks Emergency Response Team.  

Chief Pilla explained SERT purchasing.  He advised he felt the investment is well worth the cost. 

Mr. Pellegrino outlined the steps to be taken, and will also provide further research and add it to a later agenda. 

Mr. Weaver thanked the representatives for their time. 

Council Rock North Little League Presentation – Lights at Chandler Field 

Mr. Kurtz objected to having the item on the agenda due to the lack of public notice.  He advised that he did not receive notice of the discussion from the Council Rock North Little League until Saturday, March 13, 2004.   He advised he had contacted Mr. Wert earlier last week, questioning if any discussions where happening with regards to the lights at Chandler Field, he was advised there was no new information.  Mr. Wert advised at the time of Mr. Kurtz’s telephone call there was no new information.  Mr. Kurtz advised he feels the Township should be the one to notify the residents.  Mr. Harp apologized to the residents for the late notice.  Mr. Felker also apologized for the short notice due to personal issues. 

Representatives from Council Rock North Little League made a presentation to the Board to discuss lights at Chandler Field.  A packet was provided to the Supervisors for their review. Mr. David Felker updated the Supervisors on the newest proposal for the lights at Chandler Field.  Mr. Felker explained the CRNLL goals, financing, benefits of lighting and recapped January’s meeting. 

Mr. Felker, CRNLL advised Mr. Kurtz that the lights would be at least 60 feet from his property line and that CRNLL would pay the electrical usage for the 2004 year. 

Mr. Harp discussed the money involved with the project.  He questioned if the field would be multi usable.  Mr. Felker expressed wanting to keep the field use for CRNLL. 

The Supervisors expressed concerns with the CRNLL plans for financing.  Mr. Sanders explained the concerns.  Mr. Felker advised that CRNLL has a backup plan for financing if the Township does not want to finance CRNLL. 

Mr. Jirele questioned the height of the light poles.  Mr. Felker advised the poles would be 60 feet high and 60 feet away from the closest property line. 

Mr. Jirele discussed the Township’s noise ordinance.  He advised CRNLL to research the Township’s noise ordinance. 

Mrs. Lazeration, of Barclay Street questioned the lighting in the parking lot.  Mr. Lemonick, CRNLL explained the existing lights in Chandler Field Park. 

Mr. Terry, CRNLL explained about the Township’s security lighting. 

Mrs. Lazeration, of Barclay Street expressed concerns with traffic and parking.  She advised that due to the Sycamore Street construction project more vehicles are traveling on Barclay Street. 

Mr. Hacker, CRNLL discussed traffic and the lights. 

Mr. Kurtz advised that former Township personal had advised him that the Chandler Field would never have a lighted ball field.  He discussed the pole height with regards to the property lines.  He advised how the lit field will affect his property.  He also advised he would take action to prevent the lighting of the field. 

The Supervisors advised that they are not prepared to make a decision at the March 24th BOS meeting. 

Mr. Pellegrino advised that the BOS need to decide what fields within the Township will have lights. 

Mr. Sanders asked what gains the CRNLL would have if the Township approved the lights.  Mr. Felker advised that the CRNLL would be able to schedule an additional game on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Mr. Goodnoe suggested that once the field is lit other sports organizations will want to use the field and it is Township property.  He also advised that the Township already have plans for the Woll Tract to have lighted fields. 

Mr. Sanders asked Mr. Felker to provide the Township with two proposed game schedules, one with lights and one without. 

The Representatives from CRNLL requested the Supervisors advise them with regards to their request as soon as possible. 

The BOS advised they would discuss further at the April 21st work session.  

Traffic Calming – Fountain Farm Lane & Mill Pond Road 

The Supervisors reviewed a memorandum from Mr. Pellegrino with regards to traffic calming on Fountain Farm Lane and Mill Pond Road.  Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors. 

A resident from Newtown Gate advised the Supervisors on the residents traffic safety concerns.  He discussed ways to elevate the problem.  The Newtown Gate residents request the short-term recommendations to be implemented to help with traffic concerns.  He also advised a vehicle passing through the community recently hit a woman.  The Supervisors thanked the resident for his time. 

Mr. Jirele asked about the number of crosswalks.  Mr. Pellegrino advised he and Mr. Smith would view the site. 

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Township has already set aside the funds for this project. 

Mr. Harp made a motion to approve the memorandum dated February 23, 2004, received from Mr. Pellegrino with regards to traffic calming on Fountain Farm Lane and Mill Pond Road.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

2004 Roadway Improvement Program 

The Supervisors reviewed a memorandum dated March 12, 2004, received from Mr. Pellegrino with regards to the 2004 Roadway Program.  Mr. Pellegrino and Mr. Smith updated the Supervisors on the revisions to the proposed 2004 roadway improvement program.  The Supervisors discussed the reconstruction of Wrights Road.  Mr. Pellegrino advised he has spoken with the Newtown Water Company with regards to the work they will be doing under the roadway.  Mr. Smith advised he is waiting to hear from the Sewer Authority.  The Supervisors agreed to allow the project to go out to bid. 

Shuttle Bus Service Study 

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on the results of the Newtown shuttle bus service study.  The Supervisors reviewed the final report dated March 2004, from Ronald DeGraw Transportation Consulting.  The Supervisors discussed ways to implement the Township with a shuttle bus service.  Mr. Harp advised he is in favor of a shuttle bus service and feels the Township should look into what grants might be available. 

Joe Swerle a representative from the Ambulance Squad advised they are interested in helping the Township with implementing a shuttle bus service.  He advised they have the vehicles to help with the start up of the program.  He asked what cost would be involved. 

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on the cost of running a shuttle bus service. 

Mr. Harris advised the Supervisors that Newtown Borough is also interested in a shuttle bus service. 

The Supervisors discussed the idea of starting with a pilot program. 

The Supervisors discussed TMA.  Mr. Pellegrino advised on how TMA works. 

Donation – Council Rock Senior Citizen Center 

The Supervisors discussed the donation to the Council Rock Senior Citizen Center.  Mr. Weaver advised the other Supervisors on what expenses the CRSCC incurs.  Mr. Harp advised he would like to see a copy of the CRSCC current budget.  The Supervisors discussed the Township’s membership numbers.  Mr. Pellegrino advised that he would look into providing the Supervisors with a copy of the CRSCC current budget.  Mr. Pellegrino advised on what funding the CRSCC is provided.  Mr. Weaver suggested that the Township make a donation of Two Thousand Dollars to the Council Rock Senior Citizen Center. 

Mr. Goodnoe made a motion to donate Two Thousand Dollars to the Council Rock Senior Citizen Center.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

Other Business 

Mr. Weaver advised the other Supervisors that Ms. Goren has requested to move the monthly work session to the third Wednesday of the month.  The Supervisors discussed the matter.  Mr. Weaver advised he would discuss the matter further with Ms. Goren. 

The Supervisors discussed moving the next work session from Monday, April 19th to Wednesday, April 21st at 8 PM. 

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

Adjournment 

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 10:07 PM. 

 

Respectfully Submitted by: 

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary