Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of February 20, 2008


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 in the Township Meeting Room at 7:30 P. M. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Thomas Jirele, Vice-Chairman Robert Ciervo, Secretary-Treasurer Michael Gallagher, Jerry Schenkman and Phillip Calabro, Members. Also present were Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager; Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor and Michele Fountain, Township Engineer.

Call to Order: Chairman Tom Jirele called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 P. M. with a moment of silence, followed by a prayer given by Gerry Newswanger, Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Wycombe, Pa. This was followed by the recitation of The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.

Chairman Jirele called on Pennsylvania House of Representative Member District 31 Honorable David Steil who presented the Newtown Fire Association with a Fire Service Certification from the Office of the State Fire Commission, Edward A. Mann; recognizing the Association as a Participating Department of the Pennsylvania Fire Service Certification Program. He told the 25+ members in attendance representing the Association of his personal pride as he recognized that 75% of its’ members have earned the National Professional Qualifications Standards.

President of the NFA, Warren Dallas then gave a Report for the year 2007 to the Supervisors; noting that there are 54 Active Members; 11 Probationary Members; 18 Life Members and 5 Junior Members. He stated that the NFA had responded to 577 Fire Calls in 2007 and that when the “beepers” called the men, they responded immediately. As he spoke, beepers sounded and most of the Members left the room in reply to the call for a dwelling fire.

He continued with his Report, noting present equipment and planned purchases and Firehouse Renovations for the year 2008.

Mr. Schenkman applauded the Association members and invited residents to attend the Annual Open House held in October. Chairman Jirele thanked President Dallas and the entire Membership for many years of outstanding service to the community.

Public Comment: Resident Sue Beasley addressed the Board, urging Developers of Over-55 Communities presently being built as well as planned developments in the Township to be aware of necessary items which might be included, i.e., grab rails, equal floor levels and other items for the comfort of senior citizens. She cautioned about the re-sale of these homes in later years to families with children/youth which will impact the school system.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: On motion of Mr. Ciervo, seconded by Mr. Gallagher and approved by all Members present, except Mr. Schenkman who had been absent, Minutes of the meeting held on February 6, 2008 were approved as presented.

Bills: On motion of Mr. Gallagher, seconded by Mr. Calabro and approved by all Members present, Bills in the amount of $420,152.22 were approved for payment.

On motion of Member Calabro, seconded by Member Ciervo and approved by all Members present, Interfund Transfers in the amount of $350,000. were approved.

Reports of The HARB: Chairman Harriet Beckert reported on a recent meeting and requested action on Certificates of Appropriateness as follows:

1. Certificate of Appropriateness for The Princess Factory, 213 N. Sycamore Street. Owner Juliet Shant described activities relating to a retail store for young girls. On motion of Member Schenkman, seconded by Member Gallagher and approved by all Members present, Board Members were directed to sign Approval for the Application, allowing the erection of a double-sided six foot sign to be erected on posts at the location according to Code Requirements.

2. Certificate of Appropriateness for Goodnoe’s Corner, 298 N. Sycamore Street, Owner Joe McGrath who requested approval to install one flagpole at a height of forty feet in the circular walk-way at the intersection of Sycamore Street and Durham Road. Included in the Application was a request to re-paint an existing structure (InkSpot) using Benjamin Moore Paint, HC-98, Providence Olive. On motion of Member Schenkman, seconded by Member Gallagher and approved by all Members present, Board Members were directed to sign Approval for the Application noting that the Flag would be an all-weather material and lit at all times, as required by Federal law.

Member Ciervo inquired about other buildings in the Goodnoe’s Corner Development and was advised that Mr. McGrath would be returning to the HARB for further dialogue about several matters relating to the structures.

Financial Planning Commission Member, Brian Wilson, reported on the most recent meeting of the Commission, noting the establishment of Goals for 2008. Member Schenkman asked for a written report of the details to Board Members.

Reports and Comments of Officials

Chairman: Chairman Jirele requested regularity of reports from Committees/Boards/Commissions and asked that Members attend meetings regularly for maximum success and that written reports be submitted to the Board of Supervisors. Manager Cjazkowski will follow-up on the request.

Members: Member Calabro reported on the Newtown Corporation who have requested consideration of Speed Limits along Newtown-Yardley Road, some of the areas are posted at 45 MPH; some are 35 MPH and Newtown Borough sections are posted at 30 MPH. Manager Czajkowski will investigate the areas posted and inquire about consistency of speed limits.

Manager: In reporting on the Plan Expiration Report it was noted that the Newtown Athletic Club was requesting an indefinite extension of time on Plans. Manager Czajkowski was directed to secure an up-date from the Applicant. On motion of Member Schenkman, seconded by Member Calabro and approved by all members present, a six-month Extension will be granted at this time.

Following a brief discussion, it was decided to conduct an Executive Session to discuss applicants for a position on the Newtown Township Historical Architectural Review Board.

Solicitor: Engineer Garton reported on an Application of the Crossing Community Church, 80 Lower Silver Lake Road, who have requested a Zoning Hearing Board Decision to allow a Special Exception to operate a preschool with the Crossing Community Church. At the present time, there is no Applicant to conduct the School and Mr. Garton suggested the Applicant request an Extension of time from the Zoning Hearing Board.

Application of Prestige Community Bank, 104 Pheasant Run, for a variance to permit a 20-square foot sign at the entrance on Terry Drive. There were no objections from the Board of Supervisors to the Application.

Application of Lodestar Investments, 759 Newtown-Yardley Road, who are requesting a variance and Special Exception to allow construction of a new single-family dwelling on a non-conforming lot. Concerns relating to storm water calculations; impervious surface rations; inconsistent plans and a drive-way entrance on Newtown-Yardley Road will be expressed by Solicitor Garton at the meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board scheduled for March 6, 2008, as directed by the Board of Supervisors. The Applicants will also be advised of plans for improvements to the road-way which may impede access as submitted on the Plans.

Solicitor Garton requested approval to advertise a Consortium Franchise Agreement with Comcast which will be an agenda item for March 26, 2008. On motion of Member Schenkman, seconded by Member Calabro and approved by all Members present, the Solicitor was authorized to so advertise.

Engineer: Engineer Fountain requested approval for Escrow Release #1 for Lang Ski & Scuba in the amount of $103,450.65, leaving a Balance in the Account of $17,242.07. On motion of Member Calabro, seconded by Member Gallagher and approved by all Members present, the Release was approved. Member Schenkman applauded the Escrow Report of the Engineer, noting how readily-understood it was to read and interpret.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:35 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:
Ethel K. Hibbs, Recording Secretary



Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager

Tom Jirele, Chairman

Robert Ciervo, Vice-Chairman

Michael Gallagher, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Jerry Schenkman, Member