Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Work Session

Minutes of July 13, 2009


Members Present: Tom Jirele, Chairman; Robert Ciervo, Vice Chairman;

Michael Gallagher, Secretary/Treasurer; Jerry Schenkman, Member; Phil Calabro, Member; Jeffrey Garton, Solicitor; Michele Fountain, Engineer and Joseph Czajkowski, Township Manager.

Also Present: John Boyle, Assistant Township Manager; Chief Pasqualini, Police Department; and Ed Lipski, Technology Committee Chairman.

Call to Order: Chairman Jirele called the meeting to order at 7:32 P.M. He advised that the renovations to the Police building would be discussed first to allow interested parties in other topics on tonight’s agenda a chance to arrive.


Police Building Renovation

Mr. Czajkowski updated the Supervisors with regards to the proposed renovations to the Police building. The Supervisors were provided various documentation for review.

The Supervisors discussed the original plan, the scaled back plan and the proposed use of the existing Public Works building. Chief Pasqualini and Mr. Czajkowski reported on the modifications to the original plan, the areas that have been removed and the addition. Chief Pasqualini advised that the modified/downsized plan would provide for the Department’s needs now and in the future.

Dr. Ciervo commented with regards to the downsized plan still involving a lot of new construction.

The Supervisors discussed the trailer used by the Police Department. Mr. Czajkowski advised that the Township owns the trailer.

Mr. Gallagher advised that it has always been his theory to expand the sally port.

Chief Pasqualini advised on the bear minimum needs of the Police Department.

The Supervisors discussed future needs of the Township and constructing a building that would function for a Police Department in a town of 28,000 people.

The Supervisors discussed the location of the squad room. Chief Pasqualini reported that the squad room should be on the main level of the building and on the use of the room.

The Supervisors discussed the proposal to have the Police Department use the existing Public Works building.

The Supervisors discussed the storage of Township files.

Mr. Calabro questioned the square footage of the addition. Chief Pasqualini reported that he did not have that information at this time. The Supervisors reviewed the plan and noted that the existing square footage of the building is 5,351 sq. ft. and the addition is 2,600 sq. ft.

Dr. Ciervo suggested making the renovations around the existing two (2) holding cells.

Chief Pasqualini reported that if the Township only does the secure sally port bump out, the Police Department will need to keep the trailer and would also need all of the existing Public Works building.

The Supervisors discussed the expansion of police departments in other local municipalities.

Chief Pasqualini discussed what the Department needs to be accredited.

The Supervisors discussed the building layout in the modified plan.

Mr. Gallagher suggested that the existing police area of the current building become a secure area and that the existing administration area become the office area of the Police Department.

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to the building having the proper security and advised that he feels that the modified plan is not excessive.

Chief Pasqualini advised that he feels that the modified plan provides security and functionality.

Chairman Jirele requested the Supervisors receive a copy of the modified plan and advised that they would need time to review it before making any decisions.

The Supervisors discussed the current bond and how to finance the renovations to the Police building.

The Supervisors discussed the Police Department patrolling Wrightstown and the agreement between the two Townships. Chairman Jirele suggested inquiring if Wrightstown would be interested in extending their term. The Supervisors agreed to have Chief Pasqualini and Mr. Czajkowski meet with Mr. Chester Pogonowski to review the proposed modified plan for the renovations to the Police building and for Chairman Jirele to approach Wrightstown to discussed extending their agreement with the Township.

The Supervisors discussed the work done by and fees paid to Donovan over the past ten (10) years.

The Supervisors discussed soliciting a new architect for the renovations to the Police building.

Mr. Czajkowski provided the Supervisors with information from other architectural firms. The Supervisors agreed for Mr. Czajkowski to approach other architectural firms.

Mr. Gallagher commented with regards to the cost for the two-tone paint on the police cars. Chief Pasqualini advised with regards to the cost for the cars being two-toned.

The Supervisors thanked Chief Pasqualini for his time.

Municipal Building Furniture

Mr. Czajkowski updated the Supervisors on the four (4) bid proposals the Township received for furniture in the new Municipal building and Public Works building; he reported that the proposal are state bid. The Supervisors were provided the proposals in their packet.

The Supervisors reviewed the proposals. Mr. Czajkowski advised that once a decision is made on which company the Township would like to use another meeting would be needed.

The Supervisors discussed what fixtures/furniture is included in the construction bid.

Mr. Gallagher suggested that the Township reduce the storage of paperwork. The Supervisors discussed what information needs to be physically saved. Mr. Lipski reported on the work being done by the Technology Committee with regards to storing information. The Supervisors discussed reviewing the Township’s filing needs.

The Supervisors agreed to revisit the matter of furniture at another meeting. Mr. Czajkowski advised that he needs a decision by the end of September 2009.

The Supervisors discussed the Parks & Recreations area of the building and how much furniture is needed.

The Supervisors discussed the use of the public conference rooms.

The Supervisors discussed the kitchenette. Mr. Czajkowski advised that no furniture is needed for the kitchenette.

The Supervisors discussed the tax office and the current agreement with the Tax Collector. Dr. Ciervo questioned if the Tax Collector pays rent to the Township and what is the compensation agreement. Mr. Czajkowski advised that he would look into Dr. Ciervo’s questions. Mr. Garton commented on the types of items that the Tax Collector would be reimbursed for.

The Supervisors discussed budgets for outfitting the new building including furniture, audiovisual, telephone and a security system.

The Supervisors discussed the Technology Committee and their work with regards to audiovisual aids. Mr. Lipski reported that the Technology Committee recommends laptops for the diaz, a kiosk in the lobby area of the building for public access and that the electrician wires the building at the standard of 90 meters between switches and termination points.

Chairman Jirele questioned when the Supervisors would have the proposal for review with regards to technology. Mr. Czajkowski advised that should be available for review soon.

The Supervisors agreed that they would like to review all budgets before making decisions. Mr. Czajkowski advised that proposals for the telephone and security system are being worked on.

Mr. Schenkman commented on the use of smart boards in the public meeting room and Supervisors’ workroom. Mr. Gallagher discussed having portable smart boards. The Supervisors discussed having smart boards in the main meeting room

Chairman Jirele recapped on the cost estimates that the Supervisors are reviewing including furniture, audio/visual – technology, a telephone system and a security system. He suggested Mr. Czajkowski provide the Supervisors with his recommendations at their next review.

Vahakn Derassouyan - relocation of the detention basin on his property to the German Avenue right-of-way

Chairman Jirele commented on the applicant not being present for tonight’s discussion. Mr. Czajkowski reported that the applicant was aware that this matter would be discussed tonight and on the discussions he has had with the applicant. The Supervisors were provided various documents with regards to the matter in their packet.

Mr. Garton advised that Ordinance #2007-02 was never filed with the Clerk of Courts or sent to the interested parties and on the process involved with vacating streets.

The Supervisors agreed that there are two (2) issues. The first issue is the relocation of the basin. Ms. Fountain advised that she feels the relocation is not feasible. The Board agreed not to allow the applicant to relocate the detention basin. The second issue is with regards to the paper streets not being vacant. The Supervisors agreed that they need to get a list of the paper streets and that the matter needs to be addressed.

PennDot Landscape Maintenance Agreement

The Supervisors discussed the proposed landscape maintenance agreement with PennDot and were provided a copy of the agreement in their packet.

Chairman Jirele suggested getting guidance from the Township Solicitor on the landscape maintenance agreement with PennDot. Mr. Garton advised that he would research the matter and update the Supervisors at the next meeting on Wednesday, July 22, 2009.

Skateboard Ordinance

The Supervisors discussed the Township’s Skateboard Ordinance and were provided with skateboard ordinances from other local municipalities in their packet.

Dr. Ciervo suggested modifying the use prohibited in public places section of the ordinance.

Mr. Calabro questioned if bicycles are allowed on sidewalks and advised that he favors not allowing skateboards on the sidewalks.

The Supervisors discussed where to allow skateboarding in the Township and the control a rider has over a skateboard.

The Supervisors discussed the number of police reports the Township receives with regards to skateboarding.

The Supervisors discussed if the Newtown Trail is for pedestrian use only. Chairman Jirele advised that it is his recollection that the funding the Township received for the construction of the trail required the trail to be for pedestrian use only. Ms. Fountain advised that she would research if the trail is for pedestrian use only and update the Supervisors.

Mr. Schenkman advised on his problem with making skateboarding a criminal offense if the ordinance is violated.

Mr. Garton suggested contacting the Lower Makefield Police Chief to discuss their experience with regards to skateboarding.

Chairman Jirele suggested looking for areas where skateboarding should be allowed.

The Supervisors discussed if the Township has an ordinance with regards to bicycling. Mr. Calabro suggested incorporating skateboarding, bicycling and other wheeled vehicles into one ordinance. The Supervisors discussed the operation of above vehicles and agreed that control is the personal responsibility of the rider.

Dr. Ciervo suggested that wording in the ordinance include that skateboarding would not be allowed on public sidewalks or in public parking lots.

Mr. Garton advised that he would look into the matter and draft an ordinance for the Supervisors review.

Community Comments

Chairman Jirele requested the public to make their comments at this time.

New Business


Old Business

The Supervisors discussed the correspondence received with regards to the Terry Drive extension. Mr. Czajkowski advised that he would like to have the traffic engineer make a presentation.

The Supervisors discussed the resignation of the Township’s Auditor and appointing a new auditor. Mr. Czajkowski and Mr. Garton advised on the process for appointing a new auditor and that the Township can begin advertising for the position. Mr. Czajkowski advised that he would advertise the position on the Township’s website and government channel. The Supervisors discussed resumes needing to be in by August 6, 2009.

Mr. Gallagher updated the Supervisors with regards to Omni Wind and advised that the pay off would take sixteen (16) years. Mr. Czajkowski advised that he will be meeting with representatives from Omni Wind. The Supervisors discussed the availability of grants and the need to get the grant process started.

Mr. Gallagher commented with regards to Mr. Walt Leck’s issues. Mr. Czajkowski advised that he is looking into the matter.

Mr. Gallagher suggested the following items be put on an agenda for discussion - an update with regards to Earned Income Tax and the Real Estate Transfer Tax shortfall. The Supervisors discussed having Mrs. Gibbs and a representative from the Financial Planning Committee present for the discussion.

Dr. Ciervo requested the Supervisors to be updated on how the police arbitration issue will effect the 2010 budget. Mr. Czajkowski advised that money has been budgeted for.

Mr. Gallagher commented on the Township’s issues with regards to road maintenance and suggested that item also be put on an agenda for further discussion. The Supervisors discussed the Township’s crack sealing program, the life expectancy of a road, Traffic Impact Fees and the Traffic Impact Committee. Mr. Jirele suggested outlining the process and having the Traffic Impact Committee meet to discuss the Traffic Impact Fees.

Dr. Ciervo questioned is the Township has any information with regards to the Goodnoe Tract and Superior Court. Mr. Garton advised on what information he has with regards to the matter.

Other Business


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

Once the meeting adjourned, the Supervisors met in Executive Session.

Respectfully Submitted:
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary



Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager

Tom Jirele, Chairman

Robert Ciervo, Vice-Chairman

Michael Gallagher, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Jerry Schenkman, Member