Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

June 28, 2004


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting July 28, 2004. MINUTES OF WORK SESSION OF 6/28/04: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the work session of 6/28/04; the motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren asked that the first sentence of the seventh paragraph under Other Business be changed to read, “Mrs. Goren expressed her feelings with regards to CRSD having an expanded alternative school.”

Mr. Harp and Mr. Jirele amended their motion to include Mrs. Goren’s request; 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: Newtown residents Nancy Crescenzo and Walt Iwaskiw

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

Ordinance Establishing and Environmental Advisory Council (EAC)

Mr. Weaver updated the Supervisors on the proposed ordinance for the EAC. He advised the Supervisors on the changes to the proposed ordinance compared to other local townships.

The Supervisors reviewed the draft of the proposed ordinance for the EAC. The Supervisors discussed having one of the members be from the Park & Recreation Committee and one member from the Planning Commission. The Supervisors discussed having a non-resident as a member if they could offer their expertise.

Mr. Jirele advised he felt the member from the Park & Recreation Committee and the Planning Commission should be non-voting liaisons. He advised he felt the BOS should not appoint the EAC Chairperson. He advised he liked the fact that the EAC would not be required to review all land development plans, but commented that any major land development plans and environmentally sensitive areas should be review by the EAC.

Mr. Harp advised he was in favor of the EAC not reviewing all land development plans due to the expenses incurred by the person developing the land.

Ms. Goren commented on where the money will come from for the EAC. Mr. Jirele referred to budgets for the other committees. Ms. Goren referred to this year’s budget planning. Ms. Goren suggested the Supervisors set a cost cap for funds incurred by the EAC.

Ms. Goren commented on the possibility of having the EAC at odds with the Park & Recreation Committee or the Planning Commission. She advised she felt the members from the Park & Recreation Committee and the Planning Commission should be voting members. Mr. Jirele commented that at this time the Planning Commission does not make recommendations for possible use of open land within the Township. He advised that making recommendations was under the purview of the Park & Recreation Committee He advised he was for getting recommendations and input from more than one committee.

Ms. Goren questioned how the information gathered by the EAC would benefit the Township. The Supervisors discussed the possibility of benefits to the Township.

Mr. Goodnoe advised that there are many undeveloped areas within the Township. He advised the Supervisors on his feelings with regards to the state of Pennsylvania and storm water management. He advised he felt that eventually Pennsylvania would require local municipalities to have some type of natural filter system for cleaning storm water.

The Supervisors discussed the draft of the proposed ordinance for the EAC. The Supervisors agreed the committee should consist of five members. The Supervisors had four changes to the proposed ordinance. The Supervisors agreed to make recommendations for the EAC Chairperson, not to appoint. The Supervisors discussed the appointment process for the EAC members. Mr. Sanders will revise the proposed ordinance to show the Supervisors changes.

Ms. Crescenzo suggested the Township contact local communities for a beginning basis. She advised she felt the Township committees would be able cooperate amongst each other. She advised she felt the EAC should be a council of citizens, she suggested increasing the committee to seven members if there is a member from the Planning Commission and the Park & Recreation Committee. She advised that she felt the EAC should be open to non-residents for input, but they should not be an EAC member. She suggested having a Supervisor as the liaison and allowing the committee to choose a leader. She advised that the Supervisors need to trust their committee members. She commented on the cost referring to an article with regards to the loss of trees in Bucks County. She commented on funding and budget problems. She advised that the benefits outweighed the cost. She discussed community development and land set aside. She discussed non-native plants growing within the Township’s open space, cleaning streambeds, meadowing and reforesting.

The Supervisors discussed having the Township solicitor advertise for the EAC. Mr. Jirele made a motion to advertise for an act on July 28, 2004 subject to the following changes to the draft ordinance:

The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously.

Request from Upper Makefield Township to Support Dolington Site as National Veterans Cemetery

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors on correspondence received from Upper Makefield Township with regards to supporting the 319 acre Dolington Tract as the next National Veterans Cemetery. The Supervisors discussed the request. The Supervisors agreed to support the idea and will forward correspondence to state officials.

Revised Land Development Plan – Village at Newtown South

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors on the revised land development plan for the Village at Newtown South. Mr. Smith advised the Supervisors on the prior plan, which has already been approved, and the proposed new plans to eliminate a driveway cut and have a 4-way intersection at South Eagle Road. He advised that ten parking spaces and the cart storage area would be eliminated. Mr. Smith expressed his concerns with the possibility of stacking at the intersection and advised the landscaping needs some maintenance. Mr. Smith advised that the pervious area would remain the same.

Mr. Goodnoe questioned Mr. Pellegrino with regards to the intersection at Swamp and South Eagle Road. Mr. Pellegrino advised he has met with the owners of both shopping centers to discuss the dedication of South Eagle Road and the intersection improvements. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the owners were evaluating the costs. Mr. Pellegrino advised he would meet with the shopping center owners again.

Mr. Jirele would like the intersection at Durham Road and South Eagle Road widened.

The Supervisors discussed meeting with current road owners with regards to the dedication of the road.

Ms. Goren discussed taking back roadways within the Township. She commented on roadways not meeting Township standards, Township residents’ costs increase, maintaining the roadways, and the Township’s liability.

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors that South Eagle Road was constructed to the Township’s standards. Ms. Goren disagreed. The Supervisors agreed to review the roadway to see if it does meet Township’s standards.

Ms. Goren felt there would be no benefits to the Township by owning South Eagle Road.

Mr. Jirele commented on the stacking lane on the southern side of South Eagle Road. Mr. Smith advised.

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to the driveways within the shopping center and the farmer’s market.

Ms. Crescenzo commented on the bad roadway curve on South Eagle Road and the traffic within the shopping center.

The Supervisors discussed the proposed changes to the land development plan for the Village of Newtown South. Mr. Goodnoe made a motion to approve the revised land development plan for the Village of Newtown South to eliminate a driveway cut, have a 4-way intersection at South Eagle Road and eliminate ten parking spaces and the cart storage area. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

Municipal Complex Expansion

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors on a memorandum dated June 25, 2004 with regards to the Municipal Complex Expansion. Mr. Pellegrino asked the Supervisors to provide him with the amount of square footage allotted per employee. He also asked the Supervisors how much space should be allotted towards public meeting rooms.

Ms. Goren advised she felt that basically the Township had reached build out. Mr. Pellegrino advised he felt the Township has roughly ten years before reaching build out and he referred to the redevelopment of properties.

Ms. Goren commented on the projection number for new employees that the Township expects to hire. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the figure represents a projection at ultimate build out. Mr. Pellegrino explained what departments would be adding employees.

Mr. Jirele commented on the number of Township employees. He also commented on the number of employees the Township has compared to local townships. He felt the Township’s numbers were high. Mr. Pellegrino advised on the number of employees the Township has and the services provided to the community.

Mr. Harp commented with regards to the public works department. Mr. Pellegrino advised the projected total number of employees within the Township did not include the public works department.

Ms. Goren commented on the projected number of employees within the Township’s finance department at build out. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on the quality of work the finance department provides and how an additional employee would only increase their work output.

Ms. Goren advised she did not want to cut any staff, but did not want the Township to have too many employees at build out. She did not want the Township to overbuild the new municipal building.

The Supervisors discussed the square footage allotted for public meeting rooms.

Mr. Goodnoe thanked Mr. Pellegrino for providing the Supervisors with the information contained in the June 25, 2004 memorandum regarding the municipal complex expansion. Mr. Goodnoe commented on the employee projection numbers. He also referred to when the current municipal building opened; it was already too small. He wanted the Township to build the new building in accordance, so that the Township would not have to build another building in the future. Mr. Goodnoe advised he felt the new building should be designed for 85 to 90 employees, with approximately 300 square feet per employee. Mr. Goodnoe advised if the new municipal building is build as a one-story building, maybe it could be built in stages. He commented on the number of kitchen areas and bathrooms proposed in the current municipal complex plan. Mr. Goodnoe advised he would prefer to have one building to house the administrative and police staff.

Mr. Harp advised he prefer the administrative and police staff on one campus. He advised he is ok with having two separate buildings.

Mr. Pellegrino advised he would discuss the pro and cons of having the administrative and police staff in one building or separate buildings, with his colleagues. Mr. Goodnoe expressed he concerns with having the administrative and police staff in separate buildings. The Supervisors discussed Mr. Goodnoe’s concerns.

The Supervisors agreed the new building should be designed for 85 to 90 employees, with approximately 300 square feet per employee. The Supervisors agreed to review the plans further to eliminate public meeting area, bathrooms and kitchen areas. The Supervisors agreed to allow Mr. Pellegrino to discuss changes with Donovan. Mr. Pellegrino advised he would discuss the building’s floor plan; elevation plans would not be discussed. Mr. Pellegrino advised he would update the Supervisors after meeting with Donovan.

Other Business

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to the municipal complex and the square footage allotted per employee.

Ms. Crescenzo commented on the Supervisors minutes from the August 21, 2000 meeting with regards to the municipal complex.

Ms. Crescenzo referred to the agreement with Wrightstown and the Newtown Police Department. Mr. Pellegrino advised that currently the Township provide two offices to patrol Wrightstown. Ms. Crescenzo questioned if a future Board of Supervisors chooses not to provide the service to Wrightstown how much notice would the Township need to give Wrightstown? Mr. Pellegrino advised the Township would have to give Wrightstown one-year notice. Ms. Crescenzo suggested the Supervisors keep this in mind when calculating the proposed employee number at Township build out.

Ms. Crescenzo suggested the Supervisors consider relocating the Martindale House to the Woll Tract, making the house a community meeting area. Ms. Crescenzo questioned the Supervisors on their feelings with regards to the Martindale House being restored or torn down. The Supervisors agreed they are undecided on what to do with the Martindale House. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on the condition of the property.

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to the contract between Newtown Police Department and Wrightstown. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Township is two years into a ten-year contract.

Mr. Jirele updated the Supervisors on meetings with the Council Rock School District and Mr. Wert with regards to the alternative school. Mr. Jirele advised that the CRSD is interested in expanding the alternative school and would agree to allow the Township to use certain rooms in the building for recreation use. The Supervisors agreed they liked the idea.

Ms. Goren expressed her feelings with regards to CRSD having an alternative school.

Ms. Crescenzo advised the Supervisors on the goals of alternative schools. She expressed her feelings on how important it is to have alternative schools for the children.

Mr. Harp commented with regards to the latest Council Rock School District’s board meeting, he questioned if the easement was approved to build the walkway. Mr. Sanders advised that CRSD did approve the easement. Mr. Sanders advised that the two easements have been received from the CRSD, but the Township is still waiting for a temporary construction easement from Pennsylvania’s DCNR for the walkway near Tyler State Park. Mr. Sanders advised he and Mr. Wert are following up with the DCNR to verify the status of that easement. Mr. Sanders advised the construct start date should be August 23, 2004.

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on Tri-State Engineers schedule with regards to the streambed stabilization.

Mr. Jirele advised the Supervisors that phase one of the curbing on Sycamore Street has been completed.

Adjournment

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

Respectfully Submitted by:

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary