Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of September 15 , 2010

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on September 15, 2010 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman, Robert Ciervo, Vice Chairman Matthew Benchener, 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 and an invocation given by Father Heckman of St. Mark’s Orthodox Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Czajkowski said that a proclamation on Newtown Library Company’s 250 th anniversary has been added to the agenda. A number of matters will be taken out of order to accommodate members of the public.

Proclamation: Dr. Ciervo read a proclamation honoring Newtown Library Company, the third oldest library in the United States, on the occasion of its 250 th anniversary The library was founded on August 9, 1760. Among the library’s collection of books and historic objects is William Penn’s chair.

Representing Library President Dennis O’Brien, Jay Sensibaugh accepted the proclamation and thanked the Township for its ongoing support of the Library Company.

Dr. Ciervo noted that the check for the Township’s annual donation would be authorized this evening.

Public Comment: Frank Tyrol of Newtown Corporation was in attendance to ask the Board to pass a resolution of support for Newtown Corporation, whose mission is in part the preservation of the historic integrity of Newtown. Newtown Borough is considering rescinding its resolution because this year’s annual brewfest will be held in the Township instead of the Borough. Mr. Tyrol said that the Corporation’s mission is to serve and promote both the Township and Borough. He has recently been contacted by Lorraine Pentz of the Joint Historic Commission, seeking support for the repair and renovation of the toll house on Durham Road. Newtown Corporation is looking forward to this partnership for historic preservation.

Mr. Gallagher said that he had prepared a resolution recognizing Newtown Corporation as a non-profit organization for the Board’s consideration. He had intended to discuss this under “new business” on this evening’s agenda.

Mr. Calabro suggested that this be tabled until the September 22, 2010 meeting, when the full Board would be in attendance to lend unanimous support to Newtown Corporation.

Mr. Tyrol thanked the Board for its consideration on this issue.

Dr. Ciervo said that he appreciates the efforts of Newtown Corporation toward preservation of the toll house.

Paul Salvatore of Newtown Corporation announced that the annual brewfest tickets are available on line through www.allaboutnewtown.com or at the Newtown Corporation. The event will be at Newtown Swim Club on October 16, 2010. In addition to many breweries, five local restaurants, Bucks County Wine trail and six bands will be participating. A shuttle will provide transportation to the site.

Eric Johnson of Newtown Borough was in attendance to remind the Board that the Newtown Sewer Authority is waiting for the Township to advertise signing of a 50 year agreement extending the Sewer Authority’s charter. At its July 7, 2010 meeting the Board had discussed the sewer system, its maintenance and improvements and its finances. The Authority will supply any additional information the Board might want, but is asking that this matter be placed on the September 22, 2010 agenda. The Authority’s engineer, solicitor and auditor will be in attendance to answer any questions. Mr. Johnson noted that Newtown Sewer Authority’s base rate is $40 per quarter, while surrounding authorities are charging about $200 per quarter.

Dr. Ciervo asked that the Sewer Authority be added to the September 22, 2010 agenda.

Resident Jay Sensibaugh announced that the Newtown Creek Coalition would sponsor its fall creek clean up day on Saturday, October 9 at 9;00 AM. Volunteers will assemble at the State Store and clean up the creek area near Carl Sedia Park.

Mr. Sensibaugh congratulated Newtown Little League, whose team performed very well this year going all the way to the semi-finals. He suggested that the Township acknowledge the team’s success.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Board is planning to issue a proclamation in October honoring the Little League team. He added his congratulations to the team.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mr. Gallagher moved to accept the minutes of the regular meeting of August 11, 2010. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Bills: Mr. Benchener moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $473,978.17 from the August 25, 2010 bills list. Mr. Gallagher seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Gallagher noted a discrepancy between the bills list amount for Debt Service and the summary page breakdown by fund.

Mr. Czajkowski said that he would investigate this. The debt service is usually broken down into principle and interest. He suggested that this payment be postponed.

Mr. Benchener amended his motion to remove payment for debt service. Mr. Gallagher amended his second and the amended motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Benchener moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $286,134.50 for August 25, 2010. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Benchener moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $280,068.81 for the bills list dated September 15, 2010. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Benchener moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $200,134.40 for September 15, 2010. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Gallagher asked the Township Manager for an update on the municipal complex payments.

Mr. Czajkowski said he would prepare a detailed report, but noted that the professionals have been paid. Most new bills are for renovations to the police building.

Mr. Benchener asked about a printing bill for recreation brochures.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the brochure was recently delivered to all residents. The cost is far below what it had been; it had been reduced by making changes to the printer and the paper used. Although there has been discussion of eliminating the brochure and relying entirely on internet promotion of the programs, the residents are still using the brochures and the Park and Recreation Department sees a spike in enrollments when the brochures are delivered.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Chairman: Dr. Ciervo reported that the Board had met with the Township Actuary William Asay at the Monday evening work session to discuss the Township’s contributions to the three pension plans. Mr. Asay offered some suggestions to help reduce some costs going forward, such as changing the pension offered to newly hired employees to a defined contribution rather than a defined benefit plan. Dr. Ciervo noted that the pension contribution is about $1,000,000 each year, almost 10% of the operating budget.

Land Development

Realignment of Stoopville Road: Eric Kaufman of Gilmore & Associates was in attendance to review plans for Phase II of the Stoopville Road project. Mr. Kaufman reviewed concept alternate #5 which involves some road widening and a separate turn lane to avoid delays. The separate turning lane would be added to address the level of service needed for the next ten years. PennDOT would prefer a signal at the intersection.

Mr. Gallagher noted that traffic will increase with the development of the Melsky tract and the completion of the Veterans Cemetery.

Dr. Ciervo expressed some concern that if a passing lane is added to Durham Road, turning left from Stoopville could become more dangerous.

Mr. Calabro asked whether a traffic count had been done to see if many vehicles turn left from Stoopville Road.

Mr. Kaufman said that at peak hours 20 vehicles turn left from Stoopville, and ten times that number turn right. Of 750 vehicles traveling south on Durham Road, 250 turn left onto Stoopville. Mr. Kaufman said that Wrightstown did not formally vote on the traffic light but they did not seem to support it.

Mr. Calabro said that if the Howe tract is developed as a school, the school district might have already agreed to be responsible to pay for a traffic light at this intersection.

Mr. Kaufman did not know if this is the case. In response to Dr. Ciervo’s question, Mr. Kaufman said that the improvements could be designed and infrastructure installed for a traffic light at this time, without installing the traffic light. The State would pay for the signal now.

Mr. Calabro said that the signage is not adequate now. If Stoopville Road were more clearly marked it might help with some traffic issues. The suggested turn lane onto Stoopville could also be helpful. He noted that signage is not part of the plan.

Dr. Ciervo asked about using a “pork chop” on Stoopville Road.

Mr. Kaufman explained that the “pork chop” separates cars turning right and left, preventing them from blocking each other’s view of oncoming traffic. It would not be necessary if a signal is used.

Mr. Gallagher said that he would support the traffic signal. It might not be necessary right now but will become necessary in the near future as the area continues to grow.

Mr. Benchener agreed that this will be needed, especially if the Melsky tract is developed.

Mr. Calabro said that he did not think that the development of the Melsky tract would increase traffic significantly. This is a comparatively small development and not all of its residents will want to travel on Stoopville Road. Those heading toward Newtown will probably use Eagle Road.

Dr. Ciervo and Mr. Gallagher discussed increased traffic caused by the cemetery as well as increases in cut-through traffic inside Newtown Grant to avoid Stoopville Road.

Mr. Calabro noted that the cemetery does not generate a lot of traffic; most of the burials have been interments long after death, not long funeral processions. He said that there has not been any build up of traffic inside Newtown Grant.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Cemetery expects 8-10 burials a day, many of them will be with funeral processions. That was the reason for the stimulus money.

Mr. Kaufman reviewed the terms of the grants, with $190,000 having no time restrictions and $950,000 under a deadline for bids by 2012. The engineering will take time, evaluation of cultural and archeological resources must be done, some right-of-way acquisition will be necessary. The project should proceed to a vote so that engineering can begin. Wrightstown is expected to vote next Monday and Upper Makefield should be voting this evening. Upper Makefield is considering possible landscaped medians and a gateway at Dolington Village. Other ideas are also being considered.

Dr. Ciervo reminded the attendees that the walking trail funds will be used to make a path from Stoopville to existing trails and sidewalk on Eagle Road. He said that he would prefer to hold off voting on this project until the September 22 meeting, when Mr. Schenkman will be in attendance.

Resident Jay Sensibaugh said that signage is needed and that the intersection needs to be made safer. He did not support concept #5; he suggested that there could be a better solution which would not include a taking of land.

Resident Ron Kaisar said that many people coming from I95 to Bucks County Community College make a left turn from Stoopville Road every day. He said that he uses the left turn going to his home and also a right turn from Durham to Stoopville. To make that turn requires slowing because it is a greater than 90° turn. This can cause traffic problems. He urged that the Board consider a plan that addresses safety in every direction.

Le Sheppard of Wrightstown said that this intersection has been on Wrightstown’s TIP for twenty years without ever being addressed. He pointed out that the project is not on Upper Makefield’s published agenda for this evening. He urged the Board to do careful and complete studies of the entire region before settling on a project. He noted that the police reports show that there have been 11 accidents at this intersection in ten years. The proposed concept will take 150 feet from Ruth Brown’s frontage. He urged the Board to say no to this concept and put the money back into the original Phase II plan.

Eunice Darr of Wrightstown said that she lives at the corner of Stoopville and Durham Roads. She did not think the proposed improvements would help. She suggested slower speed limits in all directions. She also pointed out that her property has five utility poles. All will have to be relocated if the intersection is widened. Moving the utility poles will impact her well. She asked whether she would be permitted a privacy fence if her property is impacted. She expressed some concern about both the current conditions and about the proposed improvements, especially noting how difficult it is for the school bus to stop for her grandchild and how difficult it is to exit her driveway.

Resident Kristin Strobelt said that she travels on Stoopville Road but avoids the dangerous intersection by cutting through Newtown Grant. She said that the proposed improvements will create a northern bypass. She urged the Board to re-instate the original Phase II with bicycle and walking trails.

Resident John D’Aprile said that he feels sorry for residents whose properties are directly impacted by the plans, but feels that the area is growing and changing and the roads need to be improved to keep up with the growth. He said that the Board should not wait for a fatality before making improvements.

Mr. Sheppard asked to rebut Mr. D’Aprile’s comment about fatalities.

Mr. Benchener asked Mr. Sheppard what improvements he would like to see.

Mr. Sheppard said that he would like more traffic studies conducted which would include school bus traffic and reviews of the details of all accidents at the intersection. He did not want the project to be rushed into, but to be carefully considered before a decision is made.

Dr. Ciervo said that the three Boards are not voting on a particular design or plan, but are changing what will be the scope of Phase II, which will involve the widening of Durham and Stoopville Roads for a left turn lane and the possible installation of a traffic signal or realignment of Stoopville at Durham Road. This is to change the scope from the originally proposed Phase II walking trail plan. Perhaps the project should consider the prohibiting left turns from Stoopville Road onto Durham Road. The Newtown Township portion of the project will now include walking paths along Stoopville Road from Rosefield Drive to Eagle Road, then along Eagle Road to Marigold Drive, with crosswalks. Upper Makefield’s portion of the project is installation of gateways and landscaped medians at Dolington Road and Washington Crossing Road, with stop signs at that intersection and the widening of the intersection of Washington Crossing and Dolington Roads. The proposed budget includes money for acquisition of rights of way. The exact design will be considered later.

Mr. Benchener said that safety is the main concern of the project. He said that he is not sure he is supportive of the taking of land, and would like that kept to a minimum. He believes that a traffic signal would probably be the safest solution. He asked whether the Board could authorize a full study before a decision is made.

Mr. Kaufman explained that the scope of the project must be decided this month. The project will include studies.

Dr. Ciervo said that he agrees with Mr. Benchener that a light could be the best solution; it will help to reduce speed along Durham Road. He did not see a negative side to the light.

Mr. Gallagher moved to support the Phase II project as outlined in the memo of Gilmore & Associates dated August 27, 2010, with the understanding that the project includes “installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Stoopville Road & Durham Road OR realignment of Stoopville Road at Durham Road…” Mr. Benchener seconded.

Mr. Benchener asked whether any additional studies would be done.

Mr. Kaufman explained that authorization is needed before any preliminary studies can begin. The area has not yet been surveyed; this is only a sketch concept. It is possible that the survey and study could alter the concept.

Mr. Gallagher amended his motion to add a condition that any results be promptly provided to the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Gallagher said that he would like the Board to be given consistent feedback as surveys and studies are done.

Mr. Kaufman said that the Township is the client; the Township will be regularly updated.

Mr. Calabro moved to table Mr. Gallagher’s motion.

Mr. Calabro said that this has been on Wrightstown’s TIP for twenty years without anything being done. He would like to know more about this. He also feels that this is legislation to remedy bad driving habits. He has concerns that with a traffic light, vehicles speed up to get through yellow lights. This could be dangerous. He does not support taking of land for the project. He said that he still supports the original Phase II concept, with walking and bicycling paths. He would not want this vote rushed through when the full Board is not in attendance.

Dr. Ciervo and Mr. Benchener agreed with Mr. Calabro to table the motion.

Mr. Sensibaugh said that he agrees that the motion should be tabled. He asked for a review of the costs of the project.

Dr. Ciervo said that the entire Phase II project is budgeted at $1,640,000. The cost of the Stoopville/Durham improvement is $230,000.

Mr. Gallagher noted that his motion in support of the project as outlined in the Gilmore & Associates letter spells out the cost of each phase of the project.

Mr. D’Aprile said that he objects to tabling of decisions every time one Supervisor is absent.

The motion to table passed 3-1, with Mr. Gallagher voting nay.

Solicitor’s Report

Print Mail Systems, Inc. 23 Friends Lane – Waiver of Land Development: Mr. Garton explained that Print Mail Systems, Inc wishes to install 20 parking spaces which have been held in reserve, generating about 6,600 additional square feet of impervious surface, bringing the total impervious to about 80,000 square feet or 30% of the total site. The Planning Commission reviewed this request and recommended that the Board grant a waiver subject to the following conditions:

  • That the applicant shall execute a waiver of land development agreement consistent with a form acceptable to the Township Solicitor;
  • That storm-water management and impervious surface calculations shall be submitted by Applicant and reviewed and approved by the Township Engineer for compliance with the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance and the Township Storm-water Management Ordinance;
  • That an escrow account be established, acceptable to the Township, to cover all costs of recommended reviews by the township staff and professionals;
  • The plan shall receive approval from the Bucks County Conservation District.

Curt Rittler, engineer on the project and Jim Loeb of Print Mail Systems reviewed the plans, noting that the plan had been developed in the 1980’s with 67 parking spaces held in green. As the business has grown, Print Mail has moved to 23 Friends Lane and would like to add 20 spaces, leaving 45 still in reserve. The spaces are needed to add new employees. The full land development process would take a long time and be very costly.

Mr. Gallagher asked if the plan is showing new stormwater management.

Mr. Rittler said that the plan is showing temporary erosion control. He will work with the Township Engineer to address stormwater management, possibly installing some recharge beds to accommodate the increased impervious surface. This is a very large property with drainage swales and large lawn areas.

Mr. Benchener moved to grant a waiver of land development subject to the following conditions:

  1. That the applicant shall execute a waiver of land development agreement consistent with a form acceptable to the Township Solicitor;
  2. That storm-water management and impervious surface calculations shall be submitted by Applicant and reviewed and approved by the Township Engineer for compliance with the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance and the Township Storm-water Management Ordinance;
  3. That an escrow account be established, acceptable to the Township, to cover all costs of recommended reviews by the township staff and professionals;
  4. The plan shall receive approval from the Bucks County Conservation District.

Dr. Ciervo seconded.

Discussion of motion: Dr. Ciervo asked whether the parcel will still be within the impervious surface limits if the parking spaces are all developed.

Ms. Fountain said that this will be reviewed, but it appears to be the case.

The motion passed 3-0-1, with Mr. Gallagher abstaining.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Planning Commission: Chairman Allen Fidler reported that at its September 7, 2010 meeting the Planning Commission heard a report from Traffic Engineer Andrew Brown on the ongoing road projects, including the Temora Farm Bridge, Terry Drive extension and the access point for Meglio’s Pizza. The Commission discussed concerns about opening paper street Howard Avenue, which would align with the entrance to LaStalla/Rita’s Water Ice.

Mr. Brown reminded the Commission that the Board of Supervisors must appoint a committee to complete the land use assumption report for updating Act 209. Without the update, the Township cannot alter developer fees.

The Commission reviewed a sketch plan for a Beneficial Bank branch building at 34 South Sycamore Street and Newtown Richboro Road on the Stockburger/McBride Chrysler site. The plans show a two story building with its main entrance on Newtown Richboro Road, parking in the rear and a three bay drive-through window. Traffic is diverted from the busy intersection, which the members were pleased with. The architectural rendering presented a Federal style brick building with limestone cornices and large windows. Some members and HARB representative Harriet Beckert would prefer the façade to be broken into sections with different materials used, to create the appearance of a few attached buildings. The bank representative disagreed, noting that the style depicted conveys a large, stable institutional building. The exterior appearance would be considered in greater detail during land development. Some of Commission members had been disappointed that the front entrance will not be on Sycamore Street, but understood that the orientation on Richboro Road is necessary to accommodate drive through traffic. Regarding parking, it appears that the Ordinance will require 1 space per 1000 square feet for this use, however, a large portion of the building will be dedicated to bank corporate office space rather than bank retail space. The members had no strong objections to working out a parking solution through shared parking, off-site parking or possibly a variance.

Planning Commission member Peggy Driscoll has agreed to serve as a voting member of HARB. She will need an official Board appointment to this position.

The Commission discussed an increase in the number of in-home accessory businesses, some of which have been granted variances. Going forward the members would like to more stringently review the hardship requirement for the granting of variances for these in-home businesses.

Mr. Gallagher asked whether the discussion was triggered by concerns about any particular in-home business.

Mr. Fidler explained that the Zoning Hearing Board had granted relief for some businesses which have customers arriving and have signage on the street. This is different from the no-impact businesses that are usually seen in residential neighborhoods. Such businesses change the character of neighborhoods and the Township might see an increase in in-home uses in the current economy. The Planning Commission is asking the Supervisors and the Zoning Hearing Board to carefully consider whether this is a self-imposed hardship.

Dr. Ciervo asked if the Act 209 update could be addressed by the existing traffic impact fee committee.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the committee might need to be augmented by members with particular expertise. He would investigate this.

Board of Supervisors Reports

Keystone Collections Group Collection of EIT: Mr. Gallagher reported that, as had been discussed at previous meetings, the State has mandated that each county consolidate its earned income tax collection. Bucks County has chosen Keystone Collections Group to collect the County’s earned income tax. With this change, all businesses will be required to withhold earned income tax based on employees’ residency not the business’s location. It is expected that there will be fewer missed collections. Currently the Township pays Berkheimer 1.9% to collect; Keystone will charge 1.39%, which will save the Township $30,000. The Board had previously agreed to use the County collector beginning in January 2011.

Mr. Garton said that the Board must take action to notify Berkheimer of termination of services and also pass a resolution appointing Keystone.

Dr. Ciervo moved to terminate Berkheimer as collector of earned income tax effective December 31, 2010. Mr. Gallagher seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Benchener commended Mr. Gallagher for his efforts in representing the Township on the County committee. He noted that although this decision has resulted in a savings, he objects to State mandates for consolidation of municipal government functions and services. He would prefer that any consolidations come from the municipalities’ own decisions.

Mr. Calabro asked whether the County could have done this on its own.

Mr. Gallagher said that the municipalities could have attempted to consolidate, but the committee had some significant discussions and he suspected it would have been difficult to get all of the taxing authorities to come together and agree.

The motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Benchener moved to adopt Resolution 2010-R-13, appointing Keystone Collections Group as collector of the earned income and local services taxes. Mr. Gallagher seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Gallagher noted that the state has mandated a consolidation for collection of earned income taxes but not local services taxes.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether using Keystone for the LST will result in additional savings.

Mr. Benchener said that the saving would be about $800 over Berkheimer’s rate.

Mr. Czajkowski said that while it is not mandated that the LST be collected by the same collector, it makes sense to use the same collector to get better service.

Mr. Calabro asked whether the funds for each municipality are held separately.

Mr. Garton said that Berkheimer does not hold each municipality’s funds separately now, but does keep a separate accounting.

Mr. Gallagher noted that the County has been impressed with Keystone’s superior technology, which has been better able to attribute collected funds to the appropriate collecting body. He noted that although many have Newtown addresses, not all are actually in Newtown Township.

The motion passed 4-0.

Temora Farms Bridge Discussion: Mr. Gallagher reported that he recently met with the Swamp Road Residents Group to discuss the proposed widening of the Temora Farms Bridge. The residents are concerned that a wider bridge will encourage more and faster truck traffic.

Mr. Benchener expressed some concern about saying no to a state funded roadway improvement because of what some residents fear could happen.

Mr. Gallagher said that the group is very large. They understand that there will be truck traffic on Swamp Road. The existing bridge serves as a traffic calming.

Mr. Czajkowski said that this had been part of a larger TIP project. Although the project has been removed from the TIP, the bridge improvement remains. He does not know when or if the improvement is scheduled to take place.

Dr. Ciervo moved to send a letter to PennDOT asking that the Temora Farm bridge be removed from the TIP. Mr. Gallagher seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Benchener said that he would prefer hearing from the residents involved before making a decision.

Dr. Ciervo noted that the Swamp Road Residents Group has been meeting with the Supervisors for many years. They are concerned that PennDOT’s goal is to move traffic quickly. While they expect trucks to use Swamp Road, they are opposed to its becoming the preferred route.

Mr. Calabro said that he supports the letter. The current bridge serves as traffic calming. He questioned whether the letter would have any impact on PennDOT. ‘

Mr. Czajkowski said that if there are safety concerns with the existing bridge, the letter would not have an impact. He would also send the letter to DVRPC.

Mr. D’Aprile said that the Swamp Road Residents Group is trying to hold back progress. As the area has grown the roads must be made to accommodate the increased traffic.

Dr. Ciervo suggested that Mr. Benchener meet with the Swamp Road Residents Group to learn more about their concerns.

The motion passed 3-0-1, with Mr. Benchener abstaining.

Skate Park Update: Dr. Ciervo reported that after the Board had authorized a skate park with American Ramp, other vendors offered to beat the American Ramp price. This resulted in American Ramp revising its bid to $52,000 for its originally agreed price of $60,500.

Historic Architectural Review Board: Mr. Gallagher moved to appoint Peggy Driscoll, Planning Commission member to the Historic Architectural Review Board as a voting member. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Dr. Ciervo thanked Mrs. Driscoll for agreeing to take on this additional responsibility.

Engineer’s Report

Villas at Newtown Certificate of Completion #12: Mr. Gallagher moved to authorize escrow release in the amount of $29,638.30 to Villas at Newtown. Mr. Benchener seconded.

Discussion of motion: Dr. Ciervo said that some residents have been unhappy with some of the landscaping in this development.

Ms. Fountain said that the developer has been notified of a number of issues to be resolved. Some have been addressed; some are still outstanding. There is ample money remaining in the escrow account to cover the unfinished work.

The motion passed 4-0.

Delancey Court of Newtown – Certificate of Completion # 13: Mr. Benchener moved to authorize escrow release in the amount of $65,228 to Delancey Court of Newtown.. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

2010 Roadway Improvement Program – Pay Estimate #1: Mr. Benchener moved to authorize payment of $46,280.19 to Harris Blacktopping. Dr. Ciervo seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Czajkowski reported that Linton Hill Road was completed today.

Foxhall Estates – Completion of Public Improvement Bid Results: Mr. Gallagher moved to award All Seasons Landscaping Co., Inc. a contract in the amount of $40,955.50 for completion of public improvements at Foxhall Estates. Dr. Ciervo seconded.
Discussion of motion: Ms. Fountain said that the Township had drawn down about $400,000 for this project. A certain percentage will be held for the maintenance period. The remainder will be returned to the developer. She will notify the Homeowners Association of this decision.

The motion passed 4-0.

Manager’s Report

Minimum Municipal Obligation for 2011: Mr. Czajkowski presented the Township’s pension plans’ municipal obligation for 2011.

Dr. Ciervo read the Actuary’s report into the record as follows:

Financial requirement and the 2011 Minimum Municipal Obligation for the Newtown Township Police Pension Plan will be $582,897.

Financial requirement and the 2011 Minimum Municipal Obligation for the Newtown Township Firefighters Pension Plan will be $107,080.

Financial requirement and the 2011 Minimum Municipal Obligation for the Newtown Township Non-uniformed Employees’ Pension Plan will be $282,684.

Mr. Czajkowski explained that William Asay, the Township’s actuary, has recommended that the Township not opt to amortize this contribution but to pay it in full.

Police Report: Chief Henry Pasqualini reported that the Police Department responded to 1,644 calls in the past month including 21 theft investigations and five ongoing narcotics investigations.

Chief Pasqualini reminded residents that school is in session and to be aware of school buses and children crossing to the buses and walking to school.

The Chief announced that the Department has partnered with the School District to participate in a drug take back program sponsored by the DEA. Prescription drugs no longer being used can be brought to CVS on September 25 between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM for disposal. He noted that there has been an increase in young people abusing prescription medicines taken from their homes or stolen from the homes of friends. The program is anonymous. He urged residents to dispose of the drugs they are no longer using through this program.

Mr. Benchener asked about the two terroristic threat complaints listed on the report.

Chief Pasqualini said that this involves neighbors fighting and threatening to harm one another, not necessarily threats by terrorists.

Dr. Ciervo asked about soliciting and political campaigning. He has heard that some campaign workers have been told that soliciting is not permitted in Newtown.

Chief Pasqualini explained that knocking on doors soliciting votes is a legally permitted activity. Soliciting for sales would require a permit. There have been no calls in Newtown about this.

Mr. Calabro said that he has heard complaints about police cars left running when the police answer calls during the night, waking up neighbors.

Chief Pasqualini said that the cars are left running so that the police can get right back if necessary and to keep the computer systems in the cars from shutting down. Some types of calls will require back-up, including certain domestic calls. If residents notice police cars in their neighborhood they can call or e-mail the Department to ask about the activity. The Department will answer any questions they can.

Solicitor’s Report continued

Resolution Approving Use of dotGrants On line Reporting System to file required liquid fuels forms on an annual basis: Mr. Gallagher moved to adopt Resolution 2010-R-14, allowing se of dotGrants on line reporting system to file liquid fuels forms. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Czajkowski said that Finance Director Elaine Gibbs and Public Works Director Gary Crossland would be authorized to use the system.

Public Comment: Mr. Sheppard said that he disagreed with Dr Ciervo on the speed on Durham Road. He noted that the speed limit had been successfully reduced on Route 232 at Penns Park Road. He said that before any changes are made to the roads there should be some adequate testing of alternatives such as reduced speed limits. He said that the Township is rushing into a project without first gathering all necessary and pertinent information.

Dr. Ciervo announced that there would be a brief executive session to discuss matters of personnel.

The meeting adjourned at 11:15 AM.

 

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