Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Work Session

November 13, 2006

 

 

Members Present: Anne Goren, Chairman; Philip Calabro, Vice Chairman; Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer; Richard Weaver, Member; Paul Beckert, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Herbert Gery, Engineer.  Not present was Tom Jirele, Member. 

 

Also Present: Judith Goldstein, Boucher & James, Inc.; Elaine Mills, Boucher & James, Inc.; Theresa Katalinas, Bucks County Courier Times; Ethel Hibbs, Newtown resident.

 

Call to Order: Chairman Goren called the meeting to order at 8:01 P.M.

 

Newtown Business Commons Streetscape Master Plan

 

The Supervisors were provided a copy of the proposed master plan for the Newtown Business Commons streetscape in their packet for review.

 

Ms. Goldstein made a presentation regarding the Newtown Business Commons streetscape master plan.  She advised the Supervisors on the need for a streetscape within the Newtown Business Commons.  She discussed busing in the Newtown Business Commons and the enhancing of the entryways.  She discussed the need for amenities and the ability to walk in the area.  She advised the Supervisors on the master plan and what is being proposed.  She discussed the grants that may be available.

 

Ms. Goren commented on the cost of the proposed plan and who would pay.  Ms. Goldstein advised on the cost of the project and the funding.

 

Ms. Goldstein advised the Supervisors on discussions that have taken place with the businesses located in the Newtown Business Commons regarding a streetscape master plan.

 

Ms. Goren advised that she likes the proposed Newtown Business Commons streetscape master plan.

 

Mr. Weaver advised that he also likes the proposed Newtown Business Commons streetscape master plan.

 

Mr. Calabro questioned the bus service available in the area.

 

The Supervisors discussed Septa and the Rush buses services and the busing schedules.

 

Mr. Schenkman advised that he likes the concept of the plan, but needs more information on the next steps for the Township to take.

 

Ms. Goldstein discussed strategies and the next step for the Township.

 

The Supervisors discussed the benefits to the businesses within the Newtown Business Commons and the effects to the small businesses.

 

Mr. Calabro commented on the grants available and the Newtown Business Commons working with Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation.  Ms. Goldstein advised with regards to applying for the grants.

 

Mr. Schenkman questioned what would happen once the Township approves the master plan.  Mr. Pellegrino advised on the process once the Township approves the master plan.

 

The Supervisors discussed the cost of the project to the Township.

 

2007 Budget

 

The Supervisors discussed the proposed 2007 Budget.

 

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the Recreation Department and the need for more revenue.  Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors with regards to the Recreation Department’s 2007 Budget

 

Ms. Goren commented on the possibility of the Township charging more for some of the recreation programs.  Mr. Pellegrino advised with regards to raising fees and the possible loss of registration to the programs.  He advised that he would speak with Mr. Wert regarding the fees being charged for recreation programs.

 

Mr. Schenkman advised he would like to hear more public comment with regards to the proposed 2007 Budget.

 

Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Board of Supervisors would hang the 2007 Budget at next week’s meeting.

 

Mr. Calabro questioned areas in the 2007 Budget that could be reduced.  Mr. Pellegrino advised with regards to the 2007 Budget.  He advised that the department’s requests are consistent to prior years with the exception of salaries, health benefits and pensions.  He also discussed the increased cost of heating oil and gasoline.

 

Mr. Calabro questioned if the Township has increased the number of personnel.  Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township’s number of employees has not really increased with the exception of adding two Police Officers to help patrol Wrightstown.

 

Mr. Pellegrino advised that on Monday, November 20, 2006, the Supervisors would adopt the 2007 Preliminary Budget.  He also advised on the contributions to local organizations that the Township continues to make.

 

Proposed Ordinance – Jake Brake Prohibition
 
Mr. Beckert updated the Supervisors on the proposed Jake Brake Prohibition Ordinance.

 

Mr. Calabro commented if the Ordinance would be enforceable on Stoopville and Swamp Roads.

 

Mr. Beckert advised the Supervisors on discussions with the Township’s Traffic Engineer.

 

Mr. Beckert advised that currently the Township can enforce the Noise Ordinance.

 

The Supervisors discussed requesting the Township’s Traffic Engineer to make the application now to see what the enforcement would be.

 

Mr. Beckert advised that he would gather more information.

 

The Supervisors agreed to discuss the matter further once they have more information.

 

Proposed Ordinance – Demolition by Neglect for Historic Structures

 

Mr. Beckert updated the Supervisors on the proposed Demolition by Neglect for Historic Structures Ordinance.  He discussed the Ordinance that Bedminster Township has and advised the Supervisors of their options.

 

Ms. Goren advised that she is in favor of the Township approaching the Jointure to discuss the matter further.

 

Mr. Schenkman advised that he is also in favor of the Township approaching the Jointure to discuss the matter further and that he would like to hear from the public.

 

Mr. Beckert advised the Supervisors that he would discuss the matter with the other solicitors in the Jointure.

 

The Supervisors agreed to discuss the matter further once they have more information.

 

Proposed Ordinance – Elimination of Paper Streets
 
Mr. Beckert updated the Supervisors on the proposed Elimination of Paper Streets Ordinance.  He advised the Supervisors on the paper streets within the Township.

 

Ms. Goren questioned the utility rights.  Mr. Beckert advised that the utility rights would not be effected.

 

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to maintenance.  Mr. Beckert advised that currently the Township is not maintaining these areas.

 

Mr. Beckert advised the Supervisors that the roads in question have never been opened.

 

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to the current landowners choosing not to purchase the land.

 

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on his experiences with regards to deeds and paper streets.

 

The Supervisors discussed recording something in the County Clerks Office with regards to vacating the paper streets.

 

Mr. Beckert advised the Supervisors that he would research the matter with the Recorder of Deeds and update the Supervisors.

 

The Supervisors agreed to discuss the matter further once they have more information.

 
Creation of Newtown Visioning/Focus Committee
 

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Board of Supervisors with regards to the creation of the Newtown Visioning/Focus Committee.

 

Mr. Calabro commented on what he would like to see the Committee undertake.

 

Mr. Schenkman questioned the deadline for a response to the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Ms. Goren advised with regards to the deadline.

 

Mr. Schenkman advised that he is concerned with the Township meeting the deadline.  He suggested having the Committee focus on the Comprehensive Plan and then move into other areas.

 

Mr. Calabro commented on the need to start visioning now.

 

Ms. Goren commented on the Township’s high quality of life.  She also discussed the Council Rock School District.

 

Mr. Calabro commented on the Township maintaining a thriving economic community.  He also discussed the Township’s park system, quality of life and revenue.

 

Mr. Beckert suggested having the Committee review the Comprehensive Plan and if that worked out, to have them get started visioning for the future of the community.

 

Mr. Pellegrino questioned how the Supervisors would like to proceed and suggested developing a Mission Statement for the Committee.

 

Mr. Pellegrino and Mr. Beckert advised that they would begin drafting a Mission Statement for the Supervisors review.

 

The Supervisors agreed to discuss the matter further once they have reviewed a draft of the Mission Statement.

 

 

Community Comments

 

Ms. Hibbs commented on the possible removal of the no turn on red sign located at the intersection of Sycamore and Jefferson Streets.  Mr. Pellegrino advised that the no turn on red sign would not be removed due to site issues.

 

Ms. Hibbs advised the Supervisors that she is in favor of the Township having an Ordinance regarding the Demolition by Neglect for Historic Structures and having discussions with the Jointure.  She commented on the work being done by Jeff Marshall.

 

Other Business

 

The Supervisors discussed the work still pending for the Sycamore Street improvement project.

 

Adjournment

 

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:36 P.M.

 

 

 

Respectfully Submitted by:

 

 

_____________________________

Christy Holley, Recording Secretary