Board of Supervisor
Special Meeting Minutes
September 16, 2004
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting October 13, 2004. MINUTES OF 9/16/04 SPECIAL MEETING: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 9/16/04 special meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously, with Mrs. Goren and Mr. Jirele abstaining.
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors held a special meeting on Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 10:00AM in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Richard Weaver, Chairman; Scott Harp, Vice-Chairman; and Raymond Goodnoe, member. Also in attendance were David Sander, Township Solicitor and Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager.
Call to Order
Mr. Weaver called the meeting to order at 10:05 AM. He said that the special meeting was called in order to address the recent situation on local roads caused by increased truck traffic.
Mr. Sander said that because of increased truck traffic on Linton Hill Road and Wrights Road that has resulted from the closing of Stoopville Road, he had been asked to research the police statutes for ways in which the Township can enact emergency or special measures to address this condition. He found that the three possible ways to address this were by the passage of an ordinance, by forming a commission, or by authorizing a public official to take action under the vehicle code. After discussion with the Township Manager and the Board of Supervisors, it was agreed that the most expedient way to address this, and possible future problems would be to authorize the Township Manager, with the consent of a majority of the Board of Supervisors to act on the adoption and enforcement of such temporary or experimental road regulations as may be necessary to cover emergencies or special conditions. He said that the Manager could obtain the consent of three members of the Board of Supervisors either electronically or by telephone.
Mr. Harp moved to adopt a resolution to authorize the Township Manager, with consent of a majority of the Board of Supervisors, to act on the adoption and enforcement of such temporary and experimental road regulations as may be necessary to cover emergencies and special conditions under Section 6109 of the Motor Vehicle Code. Mr. Goodnoe seconded.
Mr. Goodnoe asked if there would be a “sunset” on this resolution, or if this would remain in force for any emergency situation under Section 6109.
Mr. Sander said that the resolution would remain in force, and Mr. Pellegrino would be authorized to act on future situations with the consent of three supervisors without the need for a special meeting.
Mr. Pellegrino explained that he had placed signs at some intersections detouring trucks, however until this resolution is adopted, they are not enforceable.
Resident Nancy Crescenzo commented that a special action or resolution is not needed to enforce existing speed limits.
Mr. Weaver noted that because the truckers have extra incentives to make multiple trips each day, it is important to enact and enforce some detours.
Mr. Harp’s motion passed 3-0.
Mr. Sander explained that the Township Manager is now authorized to enact a detour of truck traffic with the permission of three Supervisors.
Mr. Goodnoe said that although it had been suggested that truck traffic be prohibited on Wrights Road between Eagle Road and Linton Hill Road, and on Linton Hill Road between Stoopville Road and Wrights Road, he would like to extend the prohibition to include Eagle Road between Wrights Road and Stoopville Road and on Linton Hill Road between Stoopville Road and Washington Crossing Road (Rte 532). He said that the residents at this morning’s meeting had expressed concern about the increased truck traffic along these roads.
Mr. Pellegrino said that he had faxed the quarries about these restrictions, and it seems to have helped somewhat, but that until this authorization is passed, the police cannot enforce the restrictions.
Mr. Harp moved to authorize the Township Manager to take action under Section 6109 of the Motor Vehicle Code to prohibit truck traffic on Eagle Road, between Stoopville Road and Wrights Road, on Wrights Road between Eagle Road and Linton Hill Road, and on Linton Hill Road between Stoopville Road and Washington Crossing Road (Rte 532) for 60 days. Mr. Goodnoe seconded.
Residents Kim Capputo and Melissa Trice commented that they were concerned that trucks would still be permitted on Wrights Road between Rte 413 and Eagle Road, and along Eagle Road from Durham Road to Wrights Road. Both were concerned about trucks passing in front of the elementary schools and along roads where school busses stop to pick up and discharge children.
Mr. Goodnoe explained that he did not think that the Township could overstep its authority in limiting the truck traffic. He said that he was concerned that the Township could be challenged if the restrictions were too unnecessarily extensive. He noted that there are no children walking to either elementary school.
Mr. Weaver agreed with Mr. Goodnoe, commenting that the trucks would probably avoid driving near the schools during arrival and dismissal, in the additional traffic and reduced speed limits.
Mr. Pellegrino commented that the resolution just voted upon allows him to respond quickly if additional restrictions are needed.
Resident Fedor Derek commented that he thought that some of the detour signs were placed in such a way that trucks were already committed to their turns into the restricted roads before the signs were visible.
Mr. Harp’s motion passed 3-0.
Mrs. Crescenzo commented that she thought that it is inappropriate to begin a public meeting without the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.
Mr. Pellegrino responded that this is a work session special meeting, and work sessions typically do not include the Pledge.
Mrs. Crescenzo expressed concern that the speed limit is not being enforced along these detours. She requested that the speed board be placed a various locations along the detour.
Mr. Pellegrino explained that the speed board is being repaired and he did not know if or when it would be running properly again.
Mrs. Crescenzo commented that she agreed with Mr. Derek that the signs are not located properly. She also questioned the weight limits for the roads involved in the detours.
Mr. Pellegrino explained that these are PennDot signs, and he would look into their location. He also noted that he is able to restrict the traffic on these roads because the weight limit is not known.
Mrs. Crescenzo commented that she is unhappy with the lack of response she receives from the supervisors to her e-mails. She said that she does not want to receive replies from Mr. Pellegrino on the Supervisors’ behalf, but that she wants her replies to be from the elected Supervisors themselves.
Mrs. Crescenzo said that she is unhappy with the timing of the projects along Stoopville Road, and with the coordination among the Township, the Sewer Authority and Toll Brothers.
Mr. Pellegrino noted that work being done now is for sewers only and Stoopville Road would require an additional closing for road improvements.
Mr. Derek thanked the Supervisors for their quick response to this issue.
Mr. Harp moved to adjourn at 10:50AM. Mr. Goodnoe seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary