Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of July 14, 2010

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on July 14, 2010 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman, Robert Ciervo, Vice Chairman Matthew Benchener, Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Schenkman and Philip Calabro and Michael Gallagher, members. Also present were: Joseph Czajkowski, Township Manager, Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor and Michele Fountain, Township Engineer.

Call to Order: Chairman Robert Ciervo called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 PM with a moment of silence. This was followed by an invocation by Betsy Croft of Newtown Friends Meeting and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Czajkowski said that the Township Auditors’ Report will be moved to up in the agenda.

Public Comment: Guy Polhemus of Upper Makefield spoke about a recent bill in the State Legislature which would give 135.7 acres of Washington Crossing State Park to a private association. The Park was dedicated to honor General Washington and the founding of this country. Many revolutionary graves are located within the park. The land being discussed was originally set aside to provide flowers for decoration of revolutionary graves on Decoration Day. Mr. Polhemus has collected over 900 signatures opposing the transfer of 25% of the Park to the association. He is asking Newtown Township’s Board of Supervisors to support efforts to prevent Bill 2126 from passing in the Senate. The Bill does not state that this land is within Washington Crossing Historic Park. The land would be sold for $1. There have been claims that the land must be owned by Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Association in order to raise funds to continue its maintenance and improvements. This is not true and government partnerships can be helpful in fundraising efforts. An alternative of leasing the land has been proposed and over $1,000,000 has been raised toward a 99 year lease as an alternative to the sale.

Mr. Benchener asked why the State is considering the sale.

Mr. Polhemus said that the State’s park budgets have been cut.

Mr. Schenkman asked Mr. Polhemus to discuss the alternative to the sale.

Mr. Polhemus said that over $1,000,000 was raised in a few hours for a lease arrangement which would leave the land as part of the Park. A botanist would be paid to work with the volunteer group to continue the flower preserve. He noted that in addition to the land’s significance as part of Revolutionary History, it is also the location of the country’s oldest copper mine, established in 1632.

Dr. Ciervo said that although he personally supports Mr. Polhemus’s position, this has not been an advertised agenda item. The Board has not prepared to take any formal action such as sending a letter of support. He suggested that this be added to a future agenda for further discussion. Dr. Ciervo said that most residents are not aware that this land had been set aside specifically for growing flowers for the graves of Revolutionary soldiers.

Four students, representing Council Rock Coalition for Healthy Youth, presented a plan to place signage in five Township parks creating a smoke free environment. Lauren Foisy explained that the group has been approaching other municipalities as well. Smoke free parks are better for the athletes using the parks, provide a better example to children and eliminate litter. Any signage would ask for cooperation in keeping the park smoke free, but would not be an enforceable prohibition. The group has already spoken to the Police Chiefs in Northampton and Newtown.

Member Julia Cohen provided copies of a sign used in Bensalem parks. In response to Board questions she said that the Council Rock Coalition would raise funds to pay for the five $100 signs. Each sign can be mounted on a fence, either at a field or at a park’s main entrance. She said that the wording on the sign can be altered by the Board; this is a sample only. The message, “thank you for not smoking” can be expanded or shortened.

Mr. Benchener asked whether the program is focusing exclusively on cigarette smoking. He also asked how the girls became interested in this program.

Ms. Foisy said that at this time the focus has been on cigarettes only. Each of the members has some personal story which called her attention to the health risks of smoking.

Mr. Benchener said that he would be supportive of this effort, provided it is clearly understood that this is a request which is not enforceable.

Mr. Gallagher said that he agrees with Mr. Benchener. There are currently no laws against smoking in our parks.

Dr. Ciervo suggested that the wording of the signs not be “Smoke free park” but “thank you for not smoking”. He asked the girls to draft a design and wording and size for the signs and work with the Park and Recreation Board to determine the locations for the signs.

Mr. Gallagher suggested that the group correspond with the Board and the Park and Recreation Board via e-mail to work out the wording of the signs.

Dr. Ciervo informed the Board that the group had been to the Park and Recreation Board, whose members voted to support the signage.

Resident Jay Sensibaugh said that he has been reviewing the approved budget which has been posted on the Township Web site. He has noticed a discrepancy between the estimated year end total in the general fund and the actual amount. He asked whether $1,933,000 is the actual general fund balance rather than the $2,226,877 which was posted as the December 31, 2009 balance.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the posted amount was an estimate and that the actual number is correct at $1,933,000.

Mr. Sensibaugh asked that the public be given a monthly report of costs and revenues.

Resident Jim McBride, representing Foxhall Estates Homeowners Association asked the Board when Foxhall Estates could expect its outstanding public improvements to be completed.

Ms. Fountain said that the list of public improvements has been finalized and will be put out to bid within the week. The bid will be publicly advertised. Issues involving a private homeowner have been resolved.

Mr. McBride said that Orleans had been plowing snow in the development. If the issues are not resolved by this winter, who will plow the streets.

Ms. Fountain said that once the work has been completed, the streets can be offered for dedication.

Mr. Garton said that if this is not accomplished by the first snowfall, money will be drawn down to reimburse the Township for plowing. The Township will plow the streets.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mr. Benchener moved to accept the minutes of the regular meeting of June 23, 2010. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Sensibaugh asked that page #1 under Public Comment, paragraph 4 read, “ the posted number is an estimate of the amount in the treasury.”

Mr. Czajkowski said that this is an estimated number. The actual number is less because while earned income taxes were up, real estate transfer taxes were less than expected. The Financial Planning Committee is working on a simplified monthly report of revenues and expenses.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Board is provided a monthly treasurer’s report.

Mr. Schenkman said that he could provide Mr. Sensibaugh with monthly treasury information.

Mr. Benchener amended his motion t include the correction to page #1. Mr. Schenkman amended his second and the motion passed 5-0.

Bills: Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $220,721.72. Mr. Benchener seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Calabro said that a previous bills list had removed payment to the Fire Association. Will that amount be added to the bills list?

Mr. Czajkowski said that the Fire Association is working on a report to be presented to the Supervisors shortly. The funds are available for the payment when the Board agrees to release them.

The motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $401,801.48 Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Major & Mastro, LLC – Audit Report: Linda Major was in attendance to review the Township’s 2009 audit. Ms. Major explained that the audits were performed in accordance with the general auditing standards of the United States. It is the opinion of Major and Mastro that the financial statements present fairly the financial position of Newtown Township; this is considered a clean opinion.

Ms. Major reviewed the assets and liabilities of the Township noting the changes in liabilities due to the addition of loans of $10,000,000 for construction and addition of assets, which include the new buildings. She noted that the general fund has about 18% fund balance, while such funds are typically between 4 and 8%. Also noted in the report are budget shortfalls due to decrease in expected transfer taxes and higher than expected snow removal costs.

Mr. Gallagher said that the report confirms that our Township’s Financial Department is doing an excellent job.

Dr. Ciervo asked if the 18% fund balance is much higher that is usually encountered.

Ms. Major said that many municipalities have much less than 18%.

Mr. Calabro asked about the change in net assets.

Ms. Major said that this takes into account the new building construction.

Chairman’s Report: Dr. Ciervo said that last week a motorcyclist riding in Newtown Township, Mr. Arena of Feasterville, was killed when a deer hit him. He extended the condolences of the Board and Township to Mr. Arena’s family.

Pension Discussion: Jeffrey Martinides was in attendance to review the Township’s pension funds’ performance for the past year, noting that all three funds, Police, Firefighters and non-uniformed, are up over 17%, beating the benchmark for one year and up at the three year and five year reviews. He noted that these are year end reviews. In the past quarter, the funds have been down slightly but still outperforming the benchmarks, with investments taking less risk than the benchmarks. The plans are currently invested 65% in stock, 29.4% in bonds and 5.7% in cash.

Mr. Martinides explained that the Township’s funds are actively managed by an overlay manager and five separate discretionary investment managers (Fixed Income, Large Cap Growth, Dividend Focused Value, Mid Cap, and International) hired by the pension investment consultant. The managers all have the ability to control the individual holdings. Fees are negotiable.

Mr. Benchener expressed some interest in passive index funds and mutual funds, which would have lower fees.

Mr. Martinides said that the Township’s currently negotiated fees are very good. Mutual fund fees are not negotiated. In addition, the Township’s funds would be comingled with those of the other investors in passive index funds. Mutual funds also have internal fees, rather than transaction fees. Mr. Martinides said that discussion of active versus passive management could be very lengthy and involved and this might not be the best setting for such a detailed discussion.

Mr. Benchener said that the Board is considering whether to change to passively managed investment.

Mr. Schenkman said that the Investment Policy Statement is being reviewed and revisions are being considered at this time.

Mr. Martinides said that within the pension funds, passive investment funds could be included but the Township has been well served for many years by actively managed funds with a built in system of checks and balances from the Pension Investment Policy to the Supervisors to the Pension Committee to the professional consultant to the team of hired managers. The Pensions are providing a reasonable expected rate of return; the managers’ performance is periodically reviewed. When the Board considers its revisions to the Investment Policy Statement, he urged the members not to be too restrictive on asset allocations, noting that in certain environments, bonds are not always safer and too restrictive a policy could force the managers to take more risk or limit opportunity.

Joint Historic Commission: Mr. Garton explained that some years ago a conditional use was granted to Meridian Bank at Village at Newtown with conditions attached regarding the maintenance of the exterior of the Toll House.

Shari Sax of Centro Properties, Property Managers for Village at Newtown, and the members of the Joint Historic Commission were in attendance to discuss ongoing concerns with the conditions attached to the approval of the shopping center and degradation of the Toll House building.

Lorraine Pentz, Chairman of the Joint Historic Committee, said that in 2007 there had been an upheaval of the front porch of the Toll House, causing the roof of the porch to collapse. Centro replaced the roof, however it was discovered that the central beam had shifted. While this impacts the exterior of the structure, it is located on the interior and the various documents dictating maintenance responsibility are not clear on who is responsible for this.

Ms. Sax said that there has been some recent interest in either renting, leasing or purchasing the house for commercial use.

Ms. Pentz said that the Historic Commission strongly supports the idea of having an occupant of some kind using the building.

Mr. Garton said that the existing documentation does not detail responsibility for the interior and there are restrictions on using the building for commercial purposes.

Mr. Gallagher asked about costs to make the building habitable.

Ms. Sax said she did not know. There are no utilities in the building now, so that would have to be addressed.

Mr. Schenkman said that the building’s historic value has been stripped because it has been moved to the current location. Without some attention it will continue to deteriorate. To make the building available for some private use will require the Township to work creatively with the shopping center as there are a number of zoning issues including parking, water and sewer concerns.

The Board briefly discussed addressing some of the original conditions of the conditional use to make the building usable for some commercial or public use. Mr. Gallagher suggested that it might be a suitable location for a non-profit office.

Mr. Calabro said that perhaps the bank at the location might be interested in using it as additional office space.

After some further discussion it was agreed that the Township would be supportive of some amendment to the original conditional use in order to produce a revenue stream to help with the needed repairs, especially of the center beam in the building. Dr. Ciervo thanked the Historic Commission for its efforts to preserve the building and urged Ms. Sax to keep the Board updated on possible use options.

Park and Recreation Board: Chairman Andrew Levine reported that the Council Rock Coalition for Healthy Youth had visited the Park and Recreation Board twice and will continue to work with the members to develop an appropriate signage design and placement in the parks.

Mr. Levine said that at a recent meeting, Eagle Scout Ryan Varian of Pack 99 and Past Commander of the Morrell Smith American Legion Jim Casey presented a project to build a monument at the Wrights Road entrance to Veterans Park. The monument will consist of a wall with a 6 point star. An American flag and POW flag will fly in front of the wall. Each point of the star will represent a branch of the service. Ryan will be responsible for the entire project, from design and fundraising through completion. The Park and Recreation Board is very supportive of this project and looks forward to presenting design plans to the Board of Supervisors

At the July meeting, resident Laurie Morrell, daughter of Wally Morrell, the late manager of Newtown Senior Softball, asked the Park and Recreation Board to allow her to donate a bench in her father’s memory at the senior softball field at Helen Randle Park. The Park and Recreation Board and Director Kathy Pawlenko have agreed to work with Ms. Morrell to select an appropriate design and location for the bench.

The Park and Recreation Board has begun to research senior fitness equipment for Carl Sedia Park. The equipment is very heavy duty and meant for use by adults outdoors.

The Park and Recreation Board has begun working with a few interested residents on a few projects to maintain and improve the Clark Nature Center. EAC member Autumn Thomas has brought Tree Tenders to help with pruning and shaping some of the magnolias. Master Gardener Kathy Skalish brought her Brownie Troup 2201 and a few cub scouts to clear the children’s garden. A group from Council Rock High School’s special education class has begun clearing and mulching a trail. Looking ahead, the Board is hoping to bring together these volunteers into a “Friends of the Park” organization.

Mr. Schenkman thanked Mr. Levine for the Park and Recreation Board’s efforts on these very worthwhile projects.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether there has been any follow up with local senior citizen organizations on the adult fitness trail.

Mr. Levine said that a sub-committee was formed and has visited some of the locations where these parks have already been installed. The members have discussed the equipment with the manufacturers and is planning to meet with the local senior groups. These meetings have not yet occurred.

Planning Commission: Chairman Allen Fidler reported that the Commission reviewed and voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve and that sign the Rosebank Winery Planning Module.

The Commission reviewed the application of Honey Baked Ham, 2845 South Eagle Road for conditional use approval for uses E-1 retail and E-5 eating place for a specialty retail shop for the sale of hams turkeys and other pork products with indoor dining, and recommended approval subject to certain conditions including that dining be limited to ten seats.

The Commission discussed the parking at Village at Newtown and recommended that the Township continue to monitor the variety of uses permitted at the shopping center to be sure that the shared parking is adequate. Of concern is that this section of the shopping center has a number of popular eating places and fewer retail establishments.

The Commission began its review of a proposed amendment and modification to the conditional use approval for La Stalla, 18 Swamp Road, to allow extended hours of operation and to permit outdoor entertainment. The applicant is seeking to remain open until 2:00 AM Monday through Sunday and to provide outdoor acoustic entertainment on Wednesdays and Saturdays and amplified DJ music on Thursdays and Fridays. The Commission had some concerns about complaints from residential neighbors and about extending bar hours without also extending kitchen hours. We discussed the current noise ordinance and the ability of the Township to enforce that ordinance. The Commission is eager to work with the applicant to come to an agreement that is fair to both the complaining neighbors and the applicant, who has established a very successful business in our planned commercial zoning district. The applicant’s attorney, Don Marshall, has asked to table our discussion so that the applicant can measure noise decibel levels at the location and investigate ways to mitigate the noise. Mr. Marshall would also like to review the content of the complaints to police and to speak to some of the surrounding neighbors.

Dr. Ciervo asked if the applicant had indicated what type of live entertainment is being proposed.

Mr. Fidler said that it was his understanding that a singer/guitarist would perform until midnight two nights a week.

Mr. Benchener asked what hours of operation of the other bars in Newtown are.

Mr. Fidler said that the Planning Commission has always encouraged applicants to seek approval for the maximum number of hours it might need to accommodate special events and holidays. For example, The Green Parrot has approvals from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM on a specified number of days to accommodate televised international sports events. The restaurant kitchen is open when the bar is open. Mr. Fidler again stressed that the Planning Commission will continue to work with the applicant to find a solution to the issues of concern.

The Commission reviewed the Zoning Hearing Board application of Marc J. And Karen M. Hansen, owners, by Brad Chorpenning, Hunter Pines Construction Co. LLC. , 670 Linton Hill Road, for variances and a special exception to rebuild a home which was damaged more than 70% by fire and passed it to the Board of Supervisors without comment.

The Commission reviewed the Zoning Hearing Board application of Gerald and Mary DeYoung, 103 N. Sycamore Street, and was very supportive of this application to demolish and replace a garage. The plan is consistent with our vision for mixed uses on Sycamore Street.

The Planning Commission has been asked to recommend a Planning Commission member to be a voting member of HARB. The Commission was not able to make this recommendation as none of our members is available for the HARB 9:30 AM meetings. The Commission is requesting that HARB attempt to schedule meetings later in the day or in the evening.

Environmental Advisory Council: Chairman Jay McGuigan reported that after a number of years researching deer/vehicle traffic accidents and meeting with a number of providers of wildlife management services, the EAC has issued a request for proposals for a wildlife management program which seeks solutions to reduce the number of accidents. In 2009 the Township saw 142 such accidents, 35 of them on Durham Road. Each year the number of accidents has increased 22%. The RFP asks for recommended solutions with individual pricing structures for five Township owned parcels, including Clark Nature Center. The RFP was forwarded directly to the four groups, Big Oak White Tail Management, Ecologix, White Buffalo and Deer Friends, the only group offering non-lethal solutions. The RFP would be made available to any other group wishing to put forth a proposal.

Mr. Benchener asked about funding for this project.

Mr. Czajkowski said that there is no funding for this in the budget right now.

Mr. McGuigan said that he expects a vast difference in the costs from the different organizations. Groups using sharpshooters have high rates, whereas some bow hunting groups do not charge at all. This year the State Game Commission has begun to disallow baiting stations. This might change costs and/or success rates.

Dr. Ciervo asked about working with the State on its Tyler Park hunt.

Mr. McGuigan said that he has been in touch with Tyler Park. He hopes to coordinate with the State to include some Township properties in the Tyler hunt.

Mr. Czajkowski said that he has some experience with this, as Upper Makefield has a wildlife management program. The various groups also provide a safety and education component to their proposals. In Upper Makefield the program was very successful with no concerns or complaints from residents.

Mr. McGuigan said that Upper Makefield has seen a dramatic drop in the number of accidents. The EAC has only kept figures gathered from the Police Department on an annual basis. He will provide the Board with some statistics on the reduction in accidents in our neighboring communities.

The Board briefly discussed concerns about public safety and concerns about the Township’s budget constraints this year.

In response to Board questions, Mr. McGuigan said that he had no information on the costs to the Township for the deer vehicle accidents, nor had he collected any information on costs or injuries associated with these accidents. He was not able to get detailed information on any change in instances of Lyme Disease.

Mr. Gallagher thanked Mr. McGuigan for the work he and the EAC have put into this research. He asked that the information and the RFP be placed on the Township Web site.

Reports of Officials

Solicitor’s Report

Honey Baked Ham, Conditional Use: Mr. Garton opened the hearing for a conditional use for Bucks County Hams/Honey Baked Hams, 2845 South Eagle Road for uses E-1 retail and E-5 eating place. The hearing has been advertised in the Newtown Advance on June 24 and July 1, 2010.

Philip Rivera, owner of the business, said that he would agree to the conditions outlined at the Planning Commission meeting.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Planning Commission letter states that there will be a maximum of eight employees. He asked if this would be adequate during holiday season.

Mr. Rivera said that during the holiday seasons he might stay open quite late to accommodate customers and could have as many as 12 employees working different shifts. He said that the business would primarily be the sale of already cooked hams and turkeys and some off premise catering. Sandwiches would be available with tables for up to ten customers.

Mr. Calabro asked about plans for serving breakfast. He asked if Subway, which is in the same section of the shopping center, also serves breakfast.

Mr. Rivera said that he was not sure about Subway. Some Subway shops do offer breakfast. His shop might offer coffee and pastries.

Mr. Benchener moved to approve the conditional use of Bucks County Hams/Honey Baked Hams, 2845 South Eagle Road in the PC Planned Commercial Zoning District for uses E-1, Retail and E-5 eating place, subject to the following conditions:

  1. That the applicant comply with the CKS Engineers, Inc. review letter dated June 28, 2010,
  2. That the applicant comply with the Boucher and James review letter dated June 23, 2010,
  3. That the proposed use satisfies the specific requirements applicable to the proposed use under Section 1301.B of the JMZO;
  4. That the proposed use satisfies the specific requirements applicable to the proposed uses, E-1 and E-5, under Section 803 of the JMZO,
  5. That the number of employees will be 3 to 4 per shift for a maximum of 12 during Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter holiday seasons;
  6. That the hours of operation will be 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM, Monday through Sunday,
  7. No hazardous, flammable or explosive material which require special handling shall be stored or used in the building,
  8. No noxious, hazardous or offensive impact upon surrounding areas be created by the proposed use by reason of dust, odor, smoke, gas, vibration, illumination or noise, or which constitutes a public hazard by fire, explosion or otherwise.
  9. Signage shall conform to the Township sign ordinance;
  10. The premises shall be ADA compliant;
  11. A copy of the lease, as required under Section 1302.B of the JMZO shall be provided to the Township;
  12. Seating shall be limited to ten seats;
  13. No loud music shall be generated on site and no music shall be audible from the premises.
  14. All deliveries will be to the rear of the building;.
  15. Parking is deemed adequate;
  16. All review, legal, engineering, administrative and other review fees shall be paid to the Township.

Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

The Barn/LaStalla, Amendment to Conditional Use: Mr. Garton explained that the Board had previously granted a conditional use approval to LaStalla to operate a restaurant. Several of the conditions associated with that approval related to hours of operation, music, and the like. LaStalla has submitted a new Conditional Use Application seeking to modify the conditions of the prior grant of approval. The applicant met with the Planning Commission and agreed to return after conducting further tests. Notice of the hearing was duly advertised. The applicant is seeking to continue this hearing to August 11, 2010.

Dr. Ciervo opened the hearing.

Mr. Gallagher moved to continue the Conditional Use Hearing of La Stalla to August 11, 2010. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Engineer’s Report

Frost Lane Drainage and Road Improvement Phase 1, Bid Results: Mr. Gallagher moved to accept the bid of A. H. Cornell for Frost Lane drainage and road improvements in the amount of $167,220, subject to the condition of an intergovernmental cooperation agreement with Newtown Borough. Dr. Ciervo seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman said that he recalled having some difficulties with work and costs associated with a project on Twining Bridge Road some years ago with work done by A. H. Cornell.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the issues were engineering issues; A.H. Cornell worked with the Township to rectify all problems.

Ms. Fountain agreed that A. H. Cornell went “above and beyond” to correct the problems to the Township’s satisfaction.

Mr. Benchener asked about the Township’s financial responsibility should the contractor bid low and then submit change orders.

Mr. Garton explained that unless the Township changes the scope of the project the contractor must complete it for the amount of the accepted bid. Should certain unforeseen problems arise, causing changes in the scope, change orders are submitted for the Township’s approval.

The motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Garton explained that because this project spans Newtown Township and Borough, the two municipalities must enter into an agreement. The Borough has requested the following changes to the agreement presented:

  • Payment will be within 45 days, as the Borough Council meets monthly,
  • Costs of engineering will be limited to 15%, which CKS has agreed to,
  • The Borough engineer will make periodic inspections. Ms. Fountain has spoken to the Borough engineer who has indicated that this will be about one hour per week.
  • The agreement will be in force until 30 days after the expiration of the maintenance bond.

Mr. Benchener moved to approve the intergovernmental agreement. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Gallagher questioned the Township’s payment for the Borough engineer to review the Township engineer’s work.

Mr. Garton said that this is a shared project. The Borough will be paying a portion of the Township Engineer’s work as well. It is expected that the Borough’s engineer’s costs will be minimal.

The motion passed 5-0.

South Eagle Road/Swamp Road Intersection Traffic Signal Modernization – Final Payment: Mr. Gallagher moved to authorize final payment to Armour & Sons Electric, Inc. in the amount of $8,898.96. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Rosebank Winery Sewage Planning Module: Mr. Garton explained that the Township had conditioned Rosebank’s approval on connecting to public sewers.

Ms. Fountain explained that the Township has adopted a Plan 537 for public sewers; when the plan is revised, as is the case with Rosebank’s connection, this is called a planning module. It must be approved by the DEP and several other entities. The Township’s approval is the final step. The planning module has been reviewed and approved by all other entities.

Mr. Schenkman moved to approve the Rosebank Winery Planning Module. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Cricklewood Green, Phase III, Certificate of Completion #2: Ms. Fountain explained that the applicant still has some outstanding landscaping to be completed on this project.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize escrow release in the amount of $84,404.85. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Manager’s Report

Police Report: Police Chief Henry Pasqualini reported that the Department has responded to 1596 calls in the past month, including 13 thefts, 18 domestic calls, and 8 ongoing drug investigations. There has been an increase in the number of reports of suspicious circumstances.

Mr. Benchener asked about noise complaints from LaStalla.

Chief Pasqualini said there have been a number of complaints from Borough residents. There have also been some citations from the Liquor Control Board. He has supplied copies of the complaints to the Township Manager.

Mr. Calabro said that he has heard from a number of residents that the newspapers frequently have no reports on Newtown Township crime.

Chief Pasqualini said that he provides regular press releases to the newspapers. He also has telephone conversations with reporters when significant events occur. He does not have input into what the newspapers decide to print.

Manager’s Report: Mr. Czajkowski reported that there have been 12 responses from the Township’s request for proposals for a pension manager.

Mr. Benchener asked if PMRS has submitted a proposal for pension management. He would be interested in learning what PMRS has to offer.

Mr. Gallagher explained that PMRS is an alternative to using a pension management consultant.

Mr. Czajkowski said that under the State’s recently passed budget there was a list of automatic extensions of land developments. The new deadline will be July 1, 2013.

Mr. Schenkman suggested that affected parties be notified.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether this will impact collection of fees.

Mr. Czajkowski said that this will only affect a few minor residential projects.

Mr. Schenkman asked about an extension for Promenade. He asked Mr. Czajkowski to provide the Board with an update on this project.

Old Business

Mr. Gallagher announced that the County’s Dog Park opened last week in Core Creek Park. He had worked closely with the County Commissioners on this project and he expects it to be very successful.

Mr. Benchener asked if the Township has made any progress in its research on countdown signals to replace the red hands at pedestrian crossings.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the signals cost about $10,000 plus installation. He is seeking some additional price quotes for the signals on Sycamore Street.

New Business

Mr. Gallagher said that the Township had received a recent letter from County Commissioner Marseglia asking about the timing of the traffic lights at the Bypass and Route 413.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the lights are currently working in accordance with the PennDOT permit. As this intersection has a history of difficulties with the timing he will have them checked and will respond to the Commissioner.

The meeting adjourned at 11:00 PM.

Respectfully Submitted:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:

Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager


Robert Ciervo, Chairman

Matthew Benchener, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Michael Gallagher, Member