Board of Supervisors
Minutes of September 21, 2011
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on September 21, 2011 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 in attendance were: Joseph Czajkowski, Township Manager, Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor and Michele Fountain, Township Engineer.
Call to Order : Dr. Ciervo called the regular meeting to order at 7:35 PM with a moment of silence. An invocation by Sister Francesca Onley of Holy Family University and the pledge of allegiance followed.
Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Czajkowski said that the Solicitor’s Report would be moved up on the agenda.
Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports
Minutes: Mr. Gallagher moved to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of September 7, 2011. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Gallagher moved to approve the minutes of the work session meeting of August 15, 2011. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Schenkman abstaining.
Bills: Mr. Schenkman moved to approve payment of bills totaling $258,279.94. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0
Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $3563.53 Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions
Pension Manager’s Recommendations: Pension Manager Grant Kalson reported that the transition to the new policy statement is now in its initial phase and transfer should be completed by the end of the month. He reviewed the four asset classes which are still to be placed and presented a comparison chart with his recommendations as compared to similar funds. He recommended Ceredex (Ridgeworth), an actively managed fund for Mid-Cap Value and Aberdeen for emerging markets.
Dr. Ciervo explained that at the last meeting the Board had agreed that Mid-Cap Value and emerging market assets would be invested in actively managed funds and High Yield Bonds and Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) would be invested in passively managed funds.
Mr. Schenkman said that he is satisfied that the Township should move forward with Mr. Kalson’s recommendations.
Mr. Kalson said that High Yield Bonds, which are a fixed income investment, represent 5% of the funds’ assets. He provided a comparison between iShares iBoxx provided by Black Rock and SPDR Barclays Capital, provided by State Street Global, and recommended SPDR because of its lower fees and higher trading volume.
Mr. Kalson gave the Board a comparison chart for available REITs and highlighted the differences among four passive funds. He pointed out that the Policy Statement does not permit investment in the Vanguard product. Of the remaining three in the comparison, he recommended Schwab US REIT ETF. He is no longer recommending Northern Trust’s REIT because it is heavily invested outside of the United States.
Mr. Benchener said that he has recently researched the Schwab fund and although it is a relatively new product, Schwab is committed to this product. Ours is a long term investment, so liquidity is less important and the Schwab basis point fees are considerably lower than the others.
Mr. Kalson noted that there is a brokerage charge for buying ETFs.
Mr. Garton suggested that the Board make a formal motion authorizing these investments.
Dr. Ciervo moved to authorize investment in Ceredex (Ridgeworth) for Mid Cap Value, Aberdeen for Emerging Markets, SPDR ETF for High Yield Bonds and Schwab US REIT ETF for Real Estate Investment Trust, the four new asset classes to be permitted in the Township’s Pension Investment Policy Statement. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 3-1-1, with Mr. Gallagher voting nay and Mr. Benchener abstaining.
Chairman’s Report: Dr. Ciervo said that recent police reports show an ongoing problem with thefts from automobiles. Thieves are opening unlocked cars at night and taking any contents of value, including GPS’s, iPods, golf clubs and change. He urged residents to lock their cars and close and lock their homes and garages at night to protect themselves and their neighbors. Newtown Ambulance Funding: Mr. Czajkowski said that the Township had passed a resolution allocating the Newtown Ambulance Squad 25% of the Local Services Tax (LST) collected each year. The 2010 budget allocated $98,500 to the ambulance squad and that amount has been paid, however this year we will have collected $450,000; 25% of that amount is $110,000.
Dr. Ciervo said that we budgeted less because we anticipated collecting less. The question before the Board is whether we should pay the ambulance squad the difference between the budgeted amount and the 25%, which is $11,500.
Mr. Gallagher said that since the resolution calls for payment of 25% of the LST, the remaining funds should be paid to the ambulance squad.
Mr. Schenkman asked whether the Township is legally obligated to pay this amount.
Mr. Czajkowski said that the 25% is named in a resolution; it is not a law.
Mr. Benchener said that in other instances, if our revenues exceed the budgeted amount, we are able to keep the difference to use elsewhere. It is our obligation to fill the budgeted amount, but it is not our goal to provide the ambulance squad with a surplus.
Dr. Ciervo reminded the Board that the ambulance squad at one time had a dedicated millage and was also permitted to fill its vehicles at the Township pump. When the millage was eliminated and the filling privilege was taken away, the Board agreed to budget 25% of the LST. Prior to the change, the Township had funded the ambulance squad at higher levels. The LST is collected from people working in the Township. More workers in the Township place additional burdens on the ambulance. Our contribution is about 5% of their annual budget; other revenues come from billing insurance companies for services and from pledges collected from the community.
Mr. Schenkman asked what the other 75% of the LST budget can be used for.
Mr. Czajkowski said that money is used for other emergency services.
Mr. Schenkman said that as treasurer, he is aware of the tight Township budget. He needs to be sure that this $11,000 could not be used for other expenses. He would want to review the emergency services budget and speak to the ambulance squad its needs. He would not be willing to make a decision until he has had a chance to review our EMS budget.
Mr. Gallagher moved to pay the Newtown Ambulance Squad the full 25% of collected Local Services Tax. Dr. Ciervo seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman said that this motion is pre-mature.
The motion passed 3-2, with Messrs. Schenkman and Calabro voting nay.
Board Members’ Reports: Mr. Gallagher reported that he recently attended a Newtown Borough Council meeting to support the Newtown Corporation. He also announced that the Police have identified and arrested four people responsible for the vandalism at Roberts Ridge Park.
Planning Commission: Chairman Allen Fidler reported that at its September 6, 2011 meeting the Commission reviewed revised preliminary as final plans for land development for Weglos Dental Offices at 759 Newtown Yardley. The Commission recommended that the Board approve these plans for a new 2,067 square foot, single story dental office building with associated parking access drive, landscaping and stormwater management on a 0.42 acre lot in the R-2 high density zoning district. The Commission agreed that the requirement for a traffic study should be waived, although a traffic impact fee will still be required.
At its September 20, 2011 meeting the Commission reviewed the Zoning Hearing Board application of Steve Grosso, 522 Washington Crossing Road, for relief from the rear yard setback requirement and for a special exception to construct a bedroom addition on the first floor of his home and voted to recommend that the Supervisors support this application.
The Commission reviewed the Zoning Hearing Board application of Newtown Business Commons Association to erect a monument sign identifying the Commons and containing the Homewood Suites logo and a directional arrow at the intersection of Penns Trail and the Newtown Bypass. NBCA Executive Director Richard Weaver explained to the Commission that the Township had long anticipated this sign, which is being paid for by Homewood Suites as part of its conditional use approval, granted in 2005.
The Commission members voted to recommend that the Supervisors oppose this application for a sign with a commercial advertisement at this location 7-1. Those members recommending that the Board oppose the sign felt that it would open the way for more advertisements on the Bypass. As this was a condition on the Homewood Suites approval, the members questioned whether the Township could require the sign elsewhere or if the original approval would have to be amended to remove the sign requirement.
The Commission reviewed a conditional use application for The Corner Bakery Café at 3 West Road in the Newtown Shopping Center in the former Blockbuster building for uses E-5 eating Place and E-6 carry out and recommended approval subject to a number of conditions. There was concern about pedestrian safety at the entrance to the pad site from the Acme side of the parking lot. The Commission recommended that pedestrian and vehicular safety be reviewed by the Traffic Engineer.
Dr. Ciervo asked about the number of seats planned for the café.
Mr. Fidler said that plan shows 115 seats inside the café. The patio with 40 additional seats has been removed from the plan at this time.
Dr. Ciervo noted that with 10 to 20 employees and 115 seats, the site would require 70 parking spaces. He asked how many spaces are available in that section of the shopping center.
Mr. Fidler said that he counted 42 spaces in that section. There are spaces held in reserve near the pad site. Overflow parking is available throughout the shopping center, but would require crossing West Road. That is why the Commission was recommending that the Traffic Engineer evaluate the site for possible safety and traffic calming measures to be installed.
Mr. Calabro noted that there is available parking east of the building on the same side of the street.
Mr. Fidler said that this was discussed, but the consultants had pointed out that there is a different owner and it would be difficult to arrange for shared parking.
Mr. Schenkman said that the Commission felt that the Supervisors should review the parking at the shopping center to determine whether the 174 parking spaces held in green should be installed at this time.
Mr. Fidler said that while the Township does not want to pave more than is needed, as more uses change to E-5 and E-6, the peak demand for parking for each store is occurring at the same time.
Financial Planning: Chairman Ryan Gallagher reported that the Financial Planning Committee has been preparing for the 2012 budget. The members have met with the Technology Committee and the Technology Department to discuss capital expenditures, which will include software licenses and a PC and server replacement schedule which would require purchase of ten PC’s per year. The Docstar document management system will need to be either replaced or upgraded in the coming year.
The Park and Recreation Department is requesting phase 2 of the Helen Randle Park water line and some safety soccer netting. The Financial Planning Committee would suggest postponing paving of the additional parking area at Helen Randle Park next year.
The Emergency Services Department has a mandate for updated radios. It might be possible to combine this request with the police radio upgrade. The Committee is recommending that the Township postpone replacement of the EMS vehicle.
Public Works has requested a truck replacement, reflective signs, sign software, a mower and trailer for Veterans Park, all of which the Committee is recommending that the Township postpone. The Committee is recommending upgrading of radios, which is a state mandate.
The Police Department has a mandate for upgraded radios. It is possible these could be financed through the County at a cost of $43,000 over four years. The Committee is also recommending that only two vehicles be replaced. The Department is requesting bullet proof vests, which the Committee agreed should be included in the budget. The Committee is recommending phasing in cameras in the police cars and is recommending security lighting but not surveillance cameras in the parks.
Mr. Mike Gallagher asked for these recommendations in written form.
Mr. Ryan Gallagher said that the committee will finalize its recommendations and present a written report.
Dr. Ciervo asked whether the park lighting would be motion sensors.
Mr. Gallagher said that the Committee had not asked for details about the lights, but he believed they would be solar powered. He did not have a total number for capital expenses yet. That would be included in the written report.
Pension Ordinance: Mr. Garton reported that he has received a summary from the Township’s actuary, which he would like the Board to review before advertising this ordinance.
Mr. Gallagher moved to table authorization to advertise an ordinance adopting a defined contribution benefit for non-uniformed non-union employees. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Zoning Hearing Board Application, Newtown Business Commons Association, 3 Penns Trail/210 Penns Trail: NBCA Executive Director Richard Weaver reviewed this application to erect a monument sign at the property owned by Doug Terry at the intersection of Penns Trail and the Newtown Bypass. The proposed sign will identify The Newtown Business Commons and will also feature a logo and directional arrow for Homewood Suites Hotel. The sign is 48 square feet where 24 square feet is the maximum, is 4 feet from the legal right of way and within 1000 feet of the Bypass.
Mr. Weaver said that the Planning Commission objected to the logo on the sign, but this had been a condition of approval for the hotel in 2005. He noted that there are already six or seven signs along the Bypass. The location was specifically referenced in the minutes of the Board of Supervisors on August 24, 2005. He reminded the Board that the Township has worked to revive the Commons, even changing the zoning to attract a hotel. The Business Commons contributes to the Township’s tax revenues. It is important that the Commons be easily located and identified, for its continued success.
Mr. Gallagher said that he understood the Planning Commission’s concern about commercial signage on the Bypass, however the hotel is an integral part of the function of the Business Commons and in order to keep the park successful, the hotel must be easily located. The Commons contributes a large percentage of the earned income tax. We need to continue to promote the Commons’ visibility. He is supportive of the sign.
Mr. Schenkman agreed with Mr. Gallagher. He said that the Planning Commission dealt with the Ordinance as written and had concerns about setting a precedent, but there are already a number of commercial signs on the Bypass. Our predecessors on the Board of Supervisors had directed the location of the monument sign. It is essential to continue to support the Commons, which is the premiere business park in the County. The inclusion of the hotel is also an important part of the Commons’ identity as a business park. He suggested that the Supervisors consider possibly reviewing the sign ordinance at some point in the future to expedite the process for signage in the Commons.
Mr. Benchener agreed that the monument sign is important to attract and retain businesses in the Commons and he is supportive of the variance request.
Mr. Gallagher thanked Mr. Weaver for his efforts to promote the Business Commons and to attract new businesses to Newtown.
Mr. Calabro agreed that the sign is necessary as it serves as a gateway to our business community. He also reminded the Board that the Township allowed this sign as a compromise with the hotel to avoid neon rooftop signs.
Dr. Ciervo said that because this was a condition of approval for the hotel, he feels it is important to follow through. He asked about the existing fence on the Terry property and about the location of the second sign.
Mr. Weaver explained that Mr. Terry has removed a section of the fence to make room for the sign. He said that he has not secured permission from Crossing Community Church for the second sign at the intersection of Newtown Yardley Road and the Bypass.
Mr. Weaver asked the Board to waive the fee for the variance, as the Business Commons Association is a non-profit trying to promote business in the Township.
Mr. Gallagher moved to waive the fee for a zoning variance for Newtown Business Commons Association. Mr. Schenkman seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Calabro asked whether the Township has waived such fees before.
Mr. Czajkowski said the fee is about $800. The Township has not waived for a zoning variance since he has worked here, but permit fees for non-profits are frequently waived.
The motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Weaver thanked the Board for its support. He announced that the NBCA would host its quarterly luncheon on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at LaSalle University at noon. The guest speaker is Stephen Wray of the Greater Philadelphia Economy League.
Conditional Use, WED-Hamilton, LLC (The Birches) 54-84 Durham Road: Mr. Garton explained to the Board that the applicant wishes conditional use approval for use C-12 Nursing Home at this property in the R-1 medium density residential zoning district. The application has been duly advertised and has been reviewed by the Planning Commission at its August 16, 2011 meeting. The Planning Commission recommended approval.
Dr. Ciervo asked if anyone wished to be party to this application. There was no response.
Attorney Ed Murphy represented the applicant. Mr. Murphy said that the applicant is planning an assisted living facility, which is not a use in the Ordinance; nursing home is the nearest use. The plan calls for consolidation of seven tax parcels into one 8.65 acre parcel. A two-story, 87,243 square foot building with associated parking, landscaping and stormwater management is planned. There are to be 120 beds with 30 day shift employees, 10 second shift and 5 overnight. The hours of operation are 24 hours a day, seven days per week. No hazardous materials will be on site. There is a separate loading area at the rear of the building for three deliveries per week in box trucks. The plan shows 239 parking spaces of which 88 will be installed with the remaining spaces held in green. The Planning Commission was not unanimous in its approval of the reserve parking.
Mr. Garton explained that the Township would have the right to require the applicant to install additional parking at a later date if it were found to be needed.
Mr. Murphy said that the applicant could install an additional 24 spaces at the rear of the building for employees if the Board were concerned.
The members agreed that they had already considered this question and would prefer installation of 88 spaces with the remainder in green.
Applicant Mike McCormack said that typically only one or two residents would own cars in facilities such as these. Most visitors come to take residents out, so are only parked for a short while. The average age of residents is close to 90 years. The Birches will provide transportation for residents to outings, shopping, medical appointments, etc. He said that this is not a skilled nursing facility. It would provide housekeeping, meals and some personal assistance with daily tasks. It will be licensed as a personal care home.
Mr. Schenkman asked whether the applicant intends to retain ownership the facility.
Mr. McCormack said that he and his partners own and operate 14 assisted living facilities. They intend to be long term owners.
Mr. Calabro asked if the facility had specific visiting hours.
Mr. McCormack said that family members are permitted to visit at any time, but he again noted that most visitors come to take the residents out during the day.
Mr. Murphy said that the use is consistent with the comprehensive plan, will not be a detriment to the adjacent properties and is suitable for the property. Variances for this project have been sought and granted by the Zoning Hearing Board.
Dr. Ciervo asked about the CKS letter’s comments on the trees and the Joint Historic Commission.
Mr. Murphy said that the Joint Historic Commission has already visited the site and documented it. The issue with tree replacement will be addressed as part of the land development review. A total of 488 trees must be replaced, but the site cannot accommodate them all. Some additional landscaping trees will be added to the Cliveden Estates open space. The applicant would like to discuss planting trees elsewhere in the Township as part of the final land development approval.
Mr. Schenkman moved to approve conditional use for use C-12, nursing home to WEN-Hamilton, LLC (The Birches) tax map parcels 29-6-6 through 29-6-12, to operate a 87,243 square foot assisted living and Alzheimer’s facility subject to the following conditions and variances previously granted:
Mr. Benchener seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman asked whether it would be possible to transplant some of the trees to be removed.
Mr. Murphy said that none of the trees are healthy.
Mr. Gallagher asked about the name of the facility, as it had at one time included “of Newtown.”
Mr. McCormack confirmed that the facility would be called, “The Birches.”
The motion passed 5-0.
WEN-Hamilton (The Birches) 54-84 Durham Road, Preliminary Plan for Land Development: Attorney Ed Murphy represented the applicant. The plan consolidates tax map parcels 29-6-6, 29-6-7, 29-6-8, 29-6-9, 29-6-10, 29-6-11 and 29-6-12 to form an approximately 8.56 acre parcel for development as an 87,243 square foot assisted living facility with associated parking access drive improvements, landscaping and stormwater management.
Mr. Murphy explained that he has spoken to Ms. Fountain and Mr. Garton about two unresolved issues concerning this project, and so is only seeking preliminary, not final, plan approval. The unresolved issues involve intersection improvements at Eagle and Durham Roads. The applicant is proposing to make the secondary access onto Eagle Road as right in/right out, only. The applicant has met with PennDOT but the issues will require further discussion, as some of the suggested intersection improvements could be more costly than had been anticipated.
Dr. Ciervo asked about crosswalks at the intersection.
Engineer Heath Dumack reviewed the crosswalks at the intersection, noting that there are already some crosswalks at the intersection. The plan proposes a fully compliant sidewalk to full crosswalks on all sides.
Mr. Murphy said that the other unresolved issue involves tree replacement. The applicant is proposing some replacement on the site and some additional trees to be planted on the other side of the street on Cliveden Estates open space, but there are additional trees to be planted. These details are to be addressed at final plan approval.
Mr. Schenkman moved to approve the Preliminary Plan for Land Development of The Birches, WEN-Hamilton, LLC (“Applicant”) for the premises located at the northwest corner of Durham and Eagle Roads, Newtown Township, Bucks County for Tax Map Parcels ##29-006-006 through 29-006-012 prepared by Dumack Engineering dated January 11, 2011, last revised on July 6, 2011 and consisting of 18 pages, subject to the following conditions and variances previously granted:
No 7. – The Supervisors approve the conditional reduction in the no. of parking spaces from 239 to 88 subject to the following: (1) Applicant shall provide 88 parking spaces and an additional 141 parking spaces to be held in reserve (for a total of 239) subject to an annual review by the Township for parking adequacy as outlined in section 1001(g) and (2) the elimination of excess impervious surface by the Applicant or variance relief for the approximate 659 square feet of excess impervious surface is granted by the Township Zoning Hearing Board. A Highway Occupancy Permit issued by PennDOT shall be presented to the Township.
No. 4 – The Applicant’s Engineer will work with the Township Engineer to determine if a deceleration lane is required along Durham Road at the South Eagle Road intersection and abide by the township recommendations.
No. 6. – The Eagle Road entrance shall be right in/right out only.
No. 9. – A trail is not required from the Eagle Road entrance to the Durham Road/Eagle Road intersection.
(1.) Section 514.9, which requires the edge of a parking area to be more than twenty (20´) feet from the nearest building (the Plan shows only 13.57´.)
(3.-5.) Section 521.5.G, 521.5.Q, and 522.4.A – which requires excavation or fill to be made with a face steeper then 4:1. (Applicant’s plan permits these slopes throughout the site)
(6.) Section 522.4.B, which requires the edges of slopes to a minimum of five feet from property lines or right of way lines of streets in order to permit the normal rounding of the edge without encroaching on the abutting property. (Applicant is requesting relief to show the retaining walls within five feet of the property line.)
Mr. Gallagher seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Calabro asked to review the sidewalks.
Mr. Murphy explained that the Planning Commission did not want the trail extended on the Eagle Road side of the street because the trail is on the other side of the street, near Cliveden.
Mr. Dumack explained that the sidewalk extends from the entrance to the building to Durham Road, then in front of the building to Eagle Road where it connects with the crosswalks. No sidewalk would extend in the other direction toward 413 because it would end abruptly at the end of the property line, near a busy intersection without a crosswalk.
Ms. Fountain confirmed that PennDOT did not want the sidewalk extended in that direction.
Dr. Ciervo asked about reference to trees and plants in the Boucher and James review letter.
Mr. Dumack said that the applicant will comply with the letter. The plan had at one time included a pond. Cliveden residents objected to the pond, as it would attract geese. The pond has been replaced with a dry pond which maintains bio-diversity using wetland and transitional grasses and plants.
The motion passed 5-0.
Council Rock School District, Sketch Plan for Goodnoe Elementary School Addition: Facilities Manager Doug Taylor, Engineer Bruce Bechtel and Attorney Mike Carr were in attendance to review sketch plans for a 16,000 square foot classroom addition, parking and bus lane reconfiguration for Goodnoe Elementary on a 17 acre parcel. This is a non-conforming lot.
Mr. Taylor explained that the school has 800 students, grades kindergarten through 6. The addition will replace modular classrooms. The parking reconfiguration will create a safer discharge area for the children, as the bus lane will be separated from the parent drop off area. The project will contain 11 new classrooms and stormwater management for the increased impervious surface. The front entrance will be redesigned for better security. A second addition is also planned for a stage area in the multi-purpose room.
Dr. Ciervo asked about proposed changes to the parking.
Mr. Bechtel said that six new spaces are being added.
Ms. Fountain said that this will comply with the ordinance, which requires one space per faculty member plus two spaces per classroom. There are 40 classrooms.
Dr. Ciervo asked about sidewalks on Frost Lane.
Mr. Bechtel said that this will need some clarification, but that the project would include some sidewalks.
Mr. Carr said that the project may require some variances; this is still being reviewed.
Mr. Schenkman said that the plans looked good and would be an improvement to the school. The Board had no specific concerns about the plans as presented.
Weglos Dental Practice, 759 Newtown Yardley Road – Preliminary as Final Plan: Attorney Ed Murphy represented the applicant. He reviewed the revised plans for a new 2,067 square foot, single story dental office building with associated parking, access drive, landscaping and stormwater management on a 0.42 acre lot in the R-2 high density zoning district. The applicant has received a use variance from the Zoning Hearing Board. The Planning Commission recommended approval.
Mr. Garton reviewed the conditions recommended by the Planning Commission.
Mr. Murphy confirmed that the applicant has agreed to the conditions. He noted that this has been a good night for the Township, as the Board has been presented with two plans to redevelop blighted properties.
Mr. Gallagher moved to approve the Preliminary as Final Plan of Land Development of Dr. Weglos Dental Practice (“Applicant”) for the premises located at 759 Newtown Yardley Road, Newtown Township, Bucks County for Tax Map Parcel29-10-53 prepared by Dumack Engineering dated February 1, 2011, last revised on July 26, 2011 and consisting of 9 pages, subject to the following conditions and variances previously granted:
Mr. Benchener seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Murphy asked whether the Board would consider deferring payment of fees in lieu until certificates of occupancy are issued in about eight months.
The Board agreed to defer the payments until certificates of occupancy are issued.
Mr. Gallagher said that he is very pleased with the Board’s actions this evening to redevelop two blighted properties in the Township.
The motion passed 5-0.
Ms. Fountain reported that the Foxhall Estates Homeowners Association’s improvements have been broken into three separate bids, for concrete, for dirt pile removal and for stabilization. At this time only one bid for each of the dirt removal and stabilization have been received. She is still waiting for additional bids for the project.
Minimum Municipal Obligation Report: Mr. Czajkowski advised the Board that the Township’s Actuary, Mockenhaupt Associates, has provided the 2012 Minimum Municipal Obligation to the Township’s Police, Firefighters and Non-Uniformed Pension Plans.
Dr. Ciervo read into the record the Mockenhaupt report as follows:
Financial requirement and the 2012 Minimum Municipal Obligation for the Newtown Township Police Pension Plan is $631,482.
Financial requirements and 2012 Minimum Municipal Obligation for the Newtown Township Firefighters Pension Plan is $121,478.
Financial requirements and 2012 Minimum Municipal Obligation for the Newtown Township Non-uniformed Employees’ Pension Plan is $279,445.
Mr. Gallagher asked the manager for an update on the skate park fence.
Mr. Czajkowski said that the Park and Recreation Department is researching the costs of fences plus installation.
Mr. Calabro asked for an update on Veterans Park.
Mr. Czajkowski said that the Contractor has been working on a plan to rectify field conditions. A recent memo from Sharon Dotts of Gilmore & Associates indicates that work should be completed by September 23, 2011.
Mr. Calabro said that many residents have been expressing concern about field conditions. He asked whether the park could be open to the public for a short time to allow residents to see the field conditions.
Mr. Czajkowski said that some people have been visiting the park. His concern is that visits by the public could impede progress on the fields.
Mr. Garton said that supervised visitation for a few hours sometime in October would not constitute an acceptance of the park by the Township. Perhaps such a visit could be arranged for interested residents.
Mr. Schenkman said that perhaps the Township could discuss development of a “tree bank” or an amendment to the Ordinance to allow the Township to accept a fee in lieu of tree replacement for land development projects, such as those reviewed this evening. The fees could then be used to plant trees in our parks.
Mr. Garton said that he will be working with The Birches on an arrangement to plant some of the replacement trees in the parks. He will provide the Board with information on tree bank ordinances in other communities.
Dr. Ciervo said that he would like to see a crosswalk installed to connect the trail on Eagle Road to the Wrights Road sidewalk and to the Wrights Road entrance to Veterans Park. He asked whether TSA funds could be used for this.
Mr. Garton said that TSA funds could not be used, but fees in lieu of open space could be used.
Dr. Ciervo said that there would not be an executive session this evening.
The meeting adjourned at 11:10 PM.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary