Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

May 17, 2004

MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting June 9, 2004.  REGULAR MEETING OF 5/17/04: Mrs. Goren moved to accept the minutes of the May 17, 2004 work session, with the addition of “also present, Frank Fabian, Chairman, Newtown Sewer Authority”. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

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

Also Present: Kenneth F. Finger, P.E., Gannett Fleming, Inc.; Warren Gormley, Newtown Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority; Various Newtown residents including Nancy Crescenzo, Ethel Hibbs, Carolyn Cavallo, Ed Ksensik, Mr. Kuznicki, Warren Keyser, Anne-Marie Sotire, Chet Zaremba, Kathleen Keyser, Jay Doyle, Gregory Wildbrube, Tom Brabazon, Tom Ames, Glen Hall, Gloria Hall, Lee Hill, Jeanette Rogers, Sara McClougan, Jim Buckley, Sue Beasley, John Evans, Jeff Collins.

Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM. 

Act 537 Plan Revision, Linton Hill Area

Kenneth Finger of Gannett Fleming and Warren Gormley representing the Newtown Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority made a presentation with regards to Act 537 Plan Revision for the Linton Hill area. A map was provided showing the area for the proposed sewers. Correspondence from the County of Bucks Department of Health dated April 29, 2004 was also provided for the Supervisors to review.

Mr. Finger explained the Act 537 Plan, the proposed area for the sewers and what needs to be done for the Linton Hill Area.

Mr. Gormley explained the exceptions of who would not be required to hook up to the sewer system.

Mr. Finger explained that per the Township’s ordinance any houses within 150’ of the sewer line must connect. Any houses with a sand mound septic system do not have to connect unless the house is sold or the septic system fails. The NBCJMA will charge a tapping fee of $3,850.00. The BCW&SA will charge a fee of $1,000.00. The sewer fee would be a flat rate of $56.00 per quarter. If water service becomes available, houses are not required to hook up. Residents would have to hire a plumber to run the sewer line from the street to their homes. Mr. Finger advised that the price could be between $20.00 and $30.00 per lateral foot, but noted that the cost could be higher if rock is encountered.

Several residents from Gaucks Lane advised they would be interested in the sewer system. Mr. Gormley advised that the NBCJMA would re-send questionnaires to the residents in the Linton Hill area to see if the interest in the sewer system has increased.

One resident questioned the effect of running the sewers and the number of houses that can be built within this area. Mr. Finger advised he felt there would be no effect; most homes that would require sewers are less than three acres. Mr. Finger discussed the properties included in the study are Yamamoto track, the track behind the Yamamoto track, the Robert’s farm and Lavender Hall. Mr. Goodnoe advised the density of houses would have to be approved by the Zoning Hearing Board.

Mr. Ames, of Gaucks Lane commented on the cost for sewers in the questionnaire that was sent out in the year 2000 and the cost now. He also questioned the exceptions for houses with sand mounds. Mr. Finger explained the cost increase. Mr. Gormley explained how the exceptions for houses with properly working sand mounds would work.

One resident from Winding Lane questioned if her lot would be sellable. Mr. Finger advised.

Mr. Brabazon, of Eldridge Road stated he would like the sewer system. He also commented on septic systems that are working properly and septic systems that are not working properly.

Mr. Zaremba, of Gaucks Lane advised he would be interested in the sewer system. The NBCJMA advised they would send out questionnaires and meet with the residents.

Mr. Collins, of Winding Lane questioned the pumping station. Mr. Finger advised on the size and capabilities of the pumping station.

Mr. Hall, of Linton Hill Road/Springhouse Road questioned the force main and the four housing units on Springhouse Road. Mr. Finger advised on the force main and the gravity sewer.

Mr. Keyser questioned the roadway impact. Mr. Finger advised the work would be done in the shoulder area of the roadway.

Mrs. Hall, of Linton Hill Road questioned where the force main is located and what is a force main. Mr. Finger advised on the location of the force main and explained what a force main is and how it works.

One resident from Winding Lane/Wrights Road questioned if a choice would be given to residents on which sewer line to hook up to if applicable. Mr. Finger advised that resident’s would be given a choice if applicable. The resident also questioned how long sand mound septic system last. Mr. Gormley advised on the life of a sand mound septic system. 

Mr. Hill, of Wrights Road questioned the time schedule.  He also suggested running a line on Springhouse Road.  Mr. Finger explained the time line and advised he would look into the suggestion of running a sewer line on Springhouse Road. 

Mrs. Hall, of Linton Hill Road questioned the permits needed.  Mr. Finger advised that the NBCJMA would be required to obtain additional permits from the Township.  

Ms. Crescenzo commented with regards to the Township ordinance supporting Act 537.  She suggested the Township amend the ordinance for residents who have a properly working septic system.  Mr. Goodnoe advised on the matter. 

Ms. Rogers commented with regards to health hazards and well testing.  Mr. Finger advised that no well testing has taken place but there have been reports of septic systems failing. 

Ms. McClougan questioned digging up her property.  Mr. Finger advised any damages caused by NBCJMA would be repaired.  Mr. Sanders advised any damages caused by the resident’s plumber would have to be repaired by the plumber or the resident depending upon their agreement. 

Mrs. Hall questioned what would happen to existing septic systems.  Mr. Gormley explained the system would have to be emptied and filled with stone. 

Ms. Beasley, of Linton Hill Road asked Mr. Sander to explain the development of the Harvey Gray tract in Upper Makefield Township.  Mr. Sander advised development of the property could effect resident’s wells and suggested residents start to monitor their wells.  He also advised residents to express their concerns to the Upper Makefield Township. 

Mr. Evans advised he has concerns with his well drying up.  Mr. Sander advised if wells start to dry up the DEP would investigate. 

Mr. Collins, of Winding Lane questioned if curbs would be required.  Mr. Finger advised that the NBCJMA would be re-paving the roadways. 

Mr. Keyser commented on problems with storm water management in Mardot Village.  Mr. Pellegrino advised on the matter. 

Mr. Buckley suggested surveying the residents again. 

Mrs. Hall questioned if the pumping station would be visible from the road.  Mr. Finger advised that the NBCJMA would do what they could to landscape the pumping station to be hidden from view. 

Mr. Hall thanked the Supervisors, Mr. Finger and Mr. Gormley for the presentation. 

The representatives from the NBCJMA advised they would re-send questionnaires to the residents on Linton Hill Road, Washington Crossing Road and Gaucks Lane. 

Mr. Weaver thanked everyone for his or her time. 

The NBCJMA advised that residents do not have to pay any fees if they choose not to connect.  The NBCJMA advised they would speak privately with residents regarding payment arrangements.  

Creation of Environmental Advisory Council  

Mr. Weaver updated the Supervisors on the creation of the Environmental Advisory Council.  A memo from John Boyle dated May 13, 2004 was provided to the Supervisors for review containing copies of EAC ordinances from Wrightstown, Solebury and Upper Makefield Townships.  Mr. Weaver advised on the responsibilities of the EAC in other townships and that the EAC would make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Weaver also discussed the existing open space in the Township.

Ms. Goren expressed concerns with regards to expense reimbursement.  Ms. Goren commented on environmental issues within the Township.  Ms. Goren expressed concerns with regards to an EAC and the Pennsylvania laws with regards to environmental issues.  

Mr. Jirele advised he felt the Township needs an EAC and that it would not be too expensive to run. 

The Supervisors discussed having a member of the EAC keep the minutes.   

Mr. Goodnoe commented with regards to environmental impact, he advised he likes the idea of the Township having an EAC.  Mr. Goodnoe commented with regards to storm water management.  Mr. Goodnoe discussed the Township’s open space.  Mr. Goodnoe discussed the appointment process for the EAC. 

Ms. Goren suggested reviewing the local municipalities ordinances to begin drafting an ordinance for the Township.   

Mr. Pellegrino suggesting drafting a document for review incorporating the powers and duties and the skill sets for the EAC. 

Ms. Crescenzo thanked the Supervisors for talking about creating an EAC.  She also commented on an article in the Bucks County Courier Times with regards to the regional meeting of the Environmental Advisory Councils.  She suggested the Township consider working with local communities.  She commented on the grant money available for the environment and the free information available.  She also suggested having someone from the historical society and a farmer as members of the EAC.   

Ms. Beasley suggested having a member of the zoning committee member on the EAC and she feels the Zoning Hearing Board needs to be aware of environmental issues.  Mr. Jirele advised a member of the zoning committee could not be on the EAC.  She refereed to problems with storm water management.   

Mr. Goodnoe referred to pressure at a state level for regionalism between municipalities and working together to protect the environment. 

The Supervisors discussed having the EAC make recommendations for the councils mission statement.  

The Supervisors agreed to discuss further at the next work session. 

Modification to Concrete Curb & Sidewalk Specifications 

Mr. Pellegrino and Mr. Smith advised the Supervisors of problems with failing concrete within the Township.  Correspondence from Mr. Smith dated April 15, 2004 with regards to St. Andrews Briar was provided for the Supervisors to review.  Mr. Smith advised that Pennoni Associates, Inc. is recommending the following changes:

1.       4000-PSI Concrete.

2.       Maximum Water Cement Ration 0.45.

3.       No Slag or Fly Ash.

4.       3” Maximum Slump (± 1”).

5.       5 –7 % Air Entrainment.

6.       Coat the entire surface of concrete curbs and sidewalks immediately after finishing operations have been completed and the water 
    sheen has disappeared, with a liquid cure and seal compound with 30% min. solids content.

7.       Proposed design mixes must be submitted to the Township Engineer for approval. 

Mr. Pellegrino requested the Supervisors amend the current ordinance. 

Mr. Goodnoe commented on the changes with regards to item 3, he questioned if PennDot allows slag or fly ash.  Mr. Smith advised the Township is following PennDot form408, he was not sure if PennDot allowed for slag or fly ash.  Mr. Goodnoe also questioned how air entrainment is tested at the site.  Mr. Smith advised a vessel is available on site and is being used in the Township.  Mr. Goodnoe questioned if all trucks are being tested.  Mr. Smith advised not all trucks are tested; certainly the first trucks on site are tested.  Mr. Goodnoe commented on the slump of the concrete and water being added at the site.  Mr. Smith advised that Pennoni is controlling the addition of water and will continue to monitor.    

The Supervisors discussed the changes to the current ordinance.  Ms. Goren made a motion to have the Township Solicitor amend the Township’s current Ordinance to show the above changes.   The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

Other Business 

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on a memorandum received from Mr. Harwood with regards to a request from Omnipoint Communications Enterprises now known as T Mobile to co-locate an antenna on an existing facility located at 403 Freedom Drive.  He advised the matter requires land development approval.  Omnipoint is requesting a waiver for the land development approval requirement.  The Supervisors discussed the matter and agreed to review the site and discuss the matter further.  Mr. Pellegrino advised he would add the matter to the next work session agenda.   

The Supervisors discussed the meeting date for the June work session.  The Supervisors agreed to move the meeting night to June 28, 2004 at 8 PM. 

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


Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 10:27 PM. 

After the Meeting adjourned the Board of Supervisors met for an executive session.


Respectfully Submitted by:


Christy Holley, Recording Secretary