Board of Supervisors
Minutes of November 21, 2011
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on November 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, Michele Fountain, Township Engineer and Amy Kaminski, Township Traffic Engineer.
Call to Order : Dr. Ciervo called the regular meeting to order at 7:35 PM with a moment of silence. An invocation by Pastor Mary Catherine Miller of Newtown United Methodist Church and the pledge of allegiance followed.
Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Czajkowski announced that the Stoopville Road improvement project has been moved to the first report.
Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports
Minutes: Mr. Benchener moved to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of November 16, 2011. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Stoopville Road Traffic Calming: Mr. Czajkowski reported that the resident at 128 Stoopville Road has some concerns about the proposed walking trail along Stoopville Road, passing directly in front of this property. The project’s engineers have had similar concerns, but to make a change to the project, PennDOT will require Board approval.
Larry Young of Gilmore & Associates explained that a portion of the proposed walking path in Phase II of the improvement project will pass directly in front of the house at 128 Stoopville Road, where the width of the road is narrow and a number of trees and buffer plants would have to be removed. In addition, there is a change in elevation which would involve the removal of retaining walls. He showed a series of photographs of the property in question with a piece of paper lain to represent the four foot wide walking path. He pointed out the closeness of the path to the front door of the house and the screening buffers to be removed to accommodate the trail. He estimated that installation of this difficult section of path would bring the project $240,000 over budget.
Dr. Ciervo said that the goal had been to connect the Eagleton Farm and Rosefield developments to the portion of the trail along Eagle Road. Could the path be moved to the other side of the street?
Mr. Young explained that the opposite side of the street had similar issues as well as telephone poles which would have to be relocated. Eagleton Farms can still be connected via crosswalk to the portion of the trail at Marigold Drive. Because of curbing, the path can be placed closer to the street.
Mr. Schenkman said that the elimination of this portion of the trail would mean that those residents would not be connected to the walking trail.
Mr. Young pointed out that because of the obstacles, the costs would be higher than would be covered by the grants. It would need more money and the support of the residents.
Mr. Schenkman said that he is concerned about residents on bicycles coming to the end of the trail abruptly.
Mr. Young noted that bicyclists are riding in the street, not on the path. He would discuss signage with PennDOT to indicate the end of the trail.
Dr. Ciervo moved to approve the removal of the sidewalks from Phase II of the Stoopville Road Improvement Project from Rosefield to Eagleton Farms. Mr. Benchener seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman said that he would like the trails completed and connected to the County trail system.
The motion passed 3-2, with Messrs. Calabro and Schenkman voting nay.
Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions
Chairman: Dr. Ciervo urged interested residents to volunteer for the Township’s committees, boards and commissions. Letters of interest should be sent to the Township Manager at email@example.com by December 16, 2011.
Beneficial Bank, 34 South Sycamore Street – Conditional Use: Mr. Garton reminded the Board that the applicant has already presented two witnesses at a previous meeting.
Attorney Kelly McGowan represented the applicant.
Jennifer Walsh was sworn in. Ms. Walsh’s Curriculum Vitae was offered as exhibit A-10. Ms. Walsh was offered as an expert in traffic engineering.
Mr. Lare had no objections.
Ms. Walsh said that she works for McMahon Associates; she confirmed her Curriculum Vitae. She said that she evaluated the Richboro Road/Sycamore Street intersection and the access points for the proposed bank.
Ms. McGowan entered as Exhibit A-11 a chart of peak traffic at the intersection, including sight distances from the driveways.
Ms. Walsh said that the study shows that the intersection is functioning at a level “C” or better during peak hours. The numbers shown on Exhibit A-11 are actual traffic counts for Tuesday and Saturday. The total number of new trips is 44 at the afternoon peak and 85 on Saturday peak. Ms. Walsh explained that pass-by traffic was not included in the total. Pass-by would be cars already on the road and deciding to stop at the site among other stops. Sight distances from the Richboro Road entrance and from the German Avenue driveway meet PennDOT standards for adequate and in some cases most desirable standards. The site is suitable for highway safety and will not cause a hazard or undue congestion.
In response to Mr. Lare’s questions, Ms. Walsh said that the counts were done in April 2011; field personnel conducted the count on a Tuesday, April 12, between 4:00 and 6:00 PM and on Saturday, April 16, between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. The counts were done manually at the Sycamore Street/Richboro Road intersection in all directions. The count did not go up further than the intersection on Richboro Road. The counts were processed through software, which then generated the peak hour from the hours of the count. About one week after the counts, the summary and letter were prepared. The existing service level is “C”, with some movements at “B”. Only this data was used, not any County data or Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission data. Trip Generation information comes from the ITE manual. The evaluation includes future background growth data, but no other projects under consideration for the area were specifically included in the counts.
Referring to Exhibit A-11, Ms. Walsh said that the net new trips number is based on ITE Trip Generation, a standard for the industry, based on the square footage of the bank and drive through aisles. The Trip Generation is based on the presence of drive through service, but not the number of drive through aisles. The site distance data was collected at the same time as the traffic counts. She reviewed the distances, noting again that they meet PennDOT criteria and that the counts were done by two people, as required by PennDOT.
Ms. Walsh said that she had heard of the proposed Promenade plan, but does not know the specifics. It would be possible to get a syncro-analysis and a stacking analysis. She said that a bank does not generate more trips than a drive through fast food restaurant, but she is not sure what other businesses would generate more or fewer trips than a bank. A bank without a drive through would generate fewer trips than a bank without a drive through. She is familiar with the Bucks County Planning Commission’s review letter but did not address its concern with circulation in her review.
Ms. Walsh said that there is a traffic study which would be submitted if required. The analysis did not include a Friday count. The stacking analysis was done at peak periods. A minor analysis was done of German Avenue, but a stacking analysis was not done. The BCPC letter had concerns about stacking on Sycamore Street; there is 150 feet of storage and the stacking never reached the storage area. An analysis of both access points had been done but had not been provided to the Newtown Township Planning Commission.
Mr. Gallagher referred to Exhibit A-5-a and asked how far the nearest driveway to the west on Richboro Road would be from the proposed entrance and about speed limits..
Ms. Walsh said that she had not measured it but estimated it to be about 150 feet. She believed that the speed limit on Richboro Road is 35 MPH and is the same on Sycamore Street. She is aware of the entrance to 7-Eleven on the opposite side of the street from the bank, and said that the two entrances are not directly opposite one another and do not create interlocking left turns.
Mr. Gallagher asked why 7-Eleven traffic was not included in the count and why no AM traffic count was conducted.
Ms. Walsh said that she conducted the counts requested by the bank. She noted that the bank is not open during the 7-Eleven morning peak business hour.
Mr. Gallagher asked that all information on traffic studies be given to the Board of Supervisors.
Ms. McGowan said that this is not a requirement of conditional use; she expects to submit this during land development.
Mr. Benchener asked whether the numbers in Exhibit A-11 would be considered safe.
Ms. Walsh said that level “C” is considered safe; these numbers show a level “C” or better. The new trips generated by the bank will not impact the level of service. The peak new trips will increase delay by an additional 1.1 seconds on a Saturday and 0.1 seconds at afternoon peak. This number does not include possible new trips to the Promenade or any other specific new development, only the background growth of 1.5%.
In response to Mr. Schenkman’s questions, Ms. Walsh said that the future growth data is put out by PennDOT based on information provided by the Township and the County. If she became aware of possible new developments to be built in the next five to ten years, they would not be included in traffic counts. The bank is expected to be built in 2012; anything built after that would not be included in counts.
Mr. Schenkman said that it is possible that a plan for 100,000 square feet of retail and 175 residential units could be built in the immediate area. Would that have an impact.
Ms. Walsh said that it could have an impact on traffic but that information has not been available.
Mr. Calabro asked how many other bank studies Ms. Walsh has done.
Ms. Walsh said that she had done at least six other bank studies. The average number of drive through aisles has been two to three. The counts are not done on school holidays; they are always done when school is in session. The study includes existing trips plus the trip generation numbers for a bank. She did not do a Friday count because it was not requested; normally counts are done on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
In response to Dr. Ciervo’s questions, Ms. Walsh said that Exhibit A-11 shows 110 cars making a left turn from Richboro Road to Sycamore Street. Syncro-Analysis shows average stacking. The level of service is “C” for this movement. An analysis of 7-Eleven’s traffic was not separately done. There is a distance of about 100 feet between the bank entrance and the 7-Eleven entrance, with no interlocking left turns. This will be safe because of the distance between the two entrances. Of trips exiting the bank, 62% will use the Richboro Road entrance, 38% will use the German Avenue entrance; exiting onto Richboro Road, 72% will drive east and 28% will drive west. The cars heading east will be heading toward the 7-11 entrance, but it is not a high number of vehicles, fewer than twenty over the peak hour between 4 and6 PM. This will not be a detriment to traffic. She said that she did not analyze the 7-Eleven traffic, but cars exiting 7-11 and heading east will have been included in the intersection traffic count. Ms. Walsh agreed that making the Richboro Road entrance right in/right out or eliminating it completely and having only one entrance on German Avenue would create less impact on the Richboro Road/Sycamore Street intersection. The Trip Generation count is based on the square footage of a bank with drive through service. The count would be different without a drive through.
In response to Ms. McGowan’s questions, Ms. Walsh said that Trip Generation is based on the ITE manual, which shows two different land uses, bank and bank with drive through. It does not show different counts for the number of aisles in the drive through. It is based on the square footage of the bank and the presence of drive through service. Because German Avenue is currently a driveway it was not included in the traffic counts. All studies were done by PennDOT criteria. The service is level “C” and will not change with the addition of the bank. Any vehicles entering the road from driveways are included in the count at the intersection. No AM count was conducted because the peak hours are between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM and this bank proposes hours of 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, so there is only a 30 minute overlap in the peak morning traffic.
In response to Mr. Gallagher’s questions, Ms. Walsh said that she did not include 7-Eleven traffic or its entrances specifically in the study, but 7-Eleven’s traffic would come through the intersection, which was included in the count. The 7-Eleven access point is not at the intersection.
In response to Mr. Lare’s question, Ms. Walsh said that PennDOT criteria do not limit the hours to be included in the count. She did not do a count of pedestrian, only vehicular traffic.
Ms. McGowan rested her case.
Mr. Lare entered as Exhibit P-1 affidavits from three members of the Sycamore Street Committee, Vincent Lombardi, 125 North Sycamore Street, Frank Tyrol and Shawn Ward, members of the Sycamore Street community Association, authorizing Mr. Lare to represent them and the Association in this hearing as parties.
Ms. McGowan asked the distance from Mr. Lombardi’s property to the subject property.
Mr. Lare said that it is about 200 feet. Mr. Lare said that the Association is incorporated as a civic association.
Frank Tyrol was sworn in. Mr. Tyrol said that his business, property and casualty insurance and risk management studies, is located at 223 North Sycamore Street, about 1000 feet from the subject property. He has been at this location since 1994, and is a member and past chairman of the Sycamore Street Association. The Association was formed among residents and business owners on Sycamore Street after the improvements to the street were completed.
Ms. McGowan asked for an offer of proof; she asked that the Sycamore Street documentation be made part of the record. She objected to the party status of the Association.
In response to Mr. Lare’s questions, Mr. Tyrol said that the Sycamore Street improvement plan was to redevelop the streetscape with sidewalks, crosswalks and new construction built closer to the sidewalks. The drive-through lanes for the bank were not part of the vision. There is only a six foot barrier between the drive through lanes and the sidewalk as shown on Exhibit A-5-a. This could be dangerous. He is also concerned about headlight glare from the drive-through impacting pedestrian safety. Traffic from the Borough and 7-Eleven should have been considered in the plan. He is familiar with the plans for the Promenade and has concerns about that project’s impact on the traffic counts near the bank, as the new residents and the retail customers will add to the traffic at the intersection. He said that he has been part of the Sycamore Street Community Association since 1999. There are currently 40 members, who have discussed the plans at their meetings.
In response to Ms. McGowan’s questions, Mr. Tyrol said that he believed the Sycamore Street visioning plan is a written document. None of the recommended standards have been adopted into the Zoning Ordinance. He did not know if any of the standards are incorporated into the SALDO. He has no training in traffic planning.
Vincent Lombardi was sworn in. Mr. Lombardi said that he has been a member of the Sycamore Street Community Association since it was founded, immediately after the ribbon cutting ceremony for the completed Sycamore Street Improvement Project on June 14, 2006. This ended the Township’s Sycamore Street Committee; business owners and residents decided to continue to meet informally. The charter members were himself, Shawn Ward, Frank Tyrol, David Burns and Melba Vittoriano. The group has since received 501(C) 3 status. Mr. Lombardi’s residence is at 125 North Sycamore Street and he owns some commercial properties as well. His properties are closer to the subject property than Mr. Tyrol’s business. The planning for creating a pedestrian area downtown began in 1985. The Township sought and received redevelopment grants from the State. At one time the plan had been to close the street to vehicles, creating a pedestrian mall. The Township Planner did a feasibility study in 1992, considering the street from Durham Road through to the Newtown Bypass. The plan which was developed from the study included a 66 foot cartway with sidewalks and 100 parking spaces. The plan was developed in 1999 by McMahon Associates. The Township received a $4.5 million grant in 1999 to make Sycamore Street pedestrian friendly, economically viable and traffic safe. An additional $1.2 million grant was received for pedestrian enhancements including sidewalks, plant containers, benches and crosswalks for safe pedestrian access. This application will bring a drive-through to the busiest corner in the Township.
Ms. McGowan objected to the relevance of Mr. Lombardi’s statements.
Mr. Lare said that it was his intention to present Traffic Engineer Philip Wursta to discuss Section 1301 (5) but the traffic documentation has only been presented this evening and Mr. Wursta has not had an opportunity to review it. He asked that the record remain open and the application be continued to December 7, 2011.
Ms. McGowan had no objection to the continuance.
Mr. Garton suggested that the Township continue to take testimony on December 7, and that the parties submit findings of fact before December 21, 2011. He suggested that the Board should conclude this application and render a decision while the same Board members are still in office.
Mr. Gallagher moved to continue the application of Beneficial Bank, 34 South Sycamore Street, to December 7, 2011. Mr. Benchener seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman asked whether there would be any other agenda items on December 21.
Mr. Czajkowski said that this time there are no other items.
Ms. Kaminski asked for copies of all traffic documents offered this evening in advance of the December 7 meeting.
The motion passed 5-0.
Julie Laughlin, 420 Eagle Road: Mr. Garton explained that Julie Laughlin had been granted variances by the Zoning Hearing Board to remove an existing house and build a new house on a non-conforming lot in June, 2011. Those variances are set to expire. Ms. Laughlin has been unable to sell her home due to the current economic climate, so is not able to begin construction on the new home. She is asking for a one year extension of the variances.
Mr. Benchener moved to grant a one year extension to variances granted by the Zoning Hearing Board on June 2, 2011. Dr. Ciervo seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Gallagher said that one year seems a long time for an extension.
Mr. Garton said that the applicant does not want to have to return if her old house has not sold.
Mr. Gallagher said that he would prefer to grant a six month extension.
Mr. Schenkman agreed; he said it would not be difficult to vote again if necessary.
Mr. Benchener amended his motion to grant a six month extension. Dr. Ciervo amended his second and the motion passed 5-0.
Hang Budget: Mr. Garton explained that the Township must adopt a budget by December 31, 2011. The budget may not be adopted until it has been made available to the public for twenty days. The adopted budget cannot vary from the preliminary budget more than 10% up or down or any one category cannot be changed up by more than 25%.
Mr. Garton and Ms. Fountain left the meeting at this point.
Mr. Czajkowski said that the proposed budget has no tax increase. Revenues are $10,674,998; operating expenditures are $10,670,527. Overall expenditures, including transfers of 120,000 for debt service, $32,392 for capital projects (police radios) are $10,822,292. The reserve fund balance at the end of 2012 is projected as $804,746.
Dr. Ciervo said that he would like the budget to comply with the policy of leaving 10% of the budget in the reserve fund. To meet that goal, an additional $263,000 is needed, either in savings or revenue.
Mr. Benchener said that the budget has been thinned out over the past three years and the line has been held on expenses. On the revenue side, transfer taxes are still very low, but income tax receipts are beginning to pick up. The Township will have an opportunity to look at its labor contracts in the coming year. He also pointed out that utilities have been 20% below budget this year; perhaps the budget for next year could reduce this to $100,000.
Mr. Czajkowski said that he expected this year’s final amount for utilities to be about $95,000. The Township did sign a three year agreement with an electricity provider.
Dr. Ciervo suggested that the Board consider the following adjustments to the budget:
Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Calabro said that they would prefer to phase in the pension contributions; the raises will not cover the contributions and the employees will see a decrease in their disposable income with a 5% contribution.
Dr. Ciervo said that he wants the non-union employees to begin their contributions right away and will be asking for a similar contribution from the union employees, so that all are making the same contribution as the police. With the savings he has outlined, plus the reduction in the utilities budget, there is a total reduction in expenditures of $83,000. This still leaves the need to borrow from the reserve for the debt service unless a tax increase is considered.
Mr. Schenkman said that he would prefer to discuss personnel matters in executive session. He is concerned that these conversations could undercut the Manager’s position in contract negotiations.
Dr. Ciervo moved change the budget to show no raise for CWA workers. Mr. Benchener seconded.
Discussion of motion: Dr. Ciervo said that if a new contract is not signed, the workers will continue to work at the current salary and will continue to use the current health insurance plan. If the CWA workers change health policies to the one used by police and fire, there should be some savings.
The motion passed 3-2, with Messrs. Calabro and Schenkman voting nay.
Dr. Ciervo moved to change the non-union employees’ pension to a 5% contribution, the same as the police and firefighters’ contributions. Newly hired non-union employees would receive a defined contribution retirement benefit. Mr. Benchener seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Benchener said that he supports this concept as it brings parity to all of the Township employees. While the contribution might be difficult for some, he does not think it should wait.
Mr. Calabro said that he would favor phasing in the contribution over two years. The employees are at different pay scales and it will have a different impact on some.
The motion failed 203, with Messrs. Calabro, Gallagher and Schenkman voting nay.
Mr. Benchener said that he thought Mr. Calabro made a fair argument in favor of phasing in the contribution.
Mr. Benchener moved to change the non-union employees’ pension contribution to 5%, phased in over two years, with 2.5% this year and the full 5% in 2012. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Benchener noted that this results in an $18,000 savings this year.
Mr. Benchener said that the Park and Recreation Department staff spends most of its time on recreation programs. In 2011, the programs made a profit of 61% before considering the overhead for the department. For the department to cover the costs of employees, it would have to show a profit of 95% on programs. It is not the role of government to provide recreation programs, especially those that compete with the private sector and that serve non-residents and that run at a loss to the Township of $64,000. This should be discussed in the coming year.
Dr. Ciervo said that the discussions tonight have reduced the budget by $68,000. There is still $200,000 to be made up to keep the reserve at 10%.
Mr. Calabro said that he would prefer the budget to show $500,000 in real estate transfer tax revenue, rather than $650,000. This number seems unrealistic in the current economy and he does not want to balance the budget on speculative figures that seem far-fetched.
Mr. Czajkowski said he is not sure exactly what the current real estate transfer tax revenue is for 2011; he thought the Township might see an increase in earned income tax.
Dr. Ciervo agreed with Mr. Calabro and asked that these numbers be further refined.
Mr. Gallagher asked whether these changes will be permitted after the budget is advertised.
Mr. Czajkowski said that the changes will not move the percentages.
The members discussed the changes in the earned income tax. It was agreed that the changes in the amounts for residents vs. non-residents could be the result of the reporting methods of the new tax collector.
Mr. Schenkman said that he has seen through his involvement as liaison to some of the Township’s business groups, that there have been a number of new professional businesses opening in and around the Business Commons. These are contributing to the increase in earned income tax.
Dr. Ciervo noted that the debt service millage does not cover the debt service. The Boards have always anticipated an increase in the debt service millage at some point to cover the municipal expansion’s bond. He asked whether an additional ¾ mill would cover the debt service.
Mr. Czajkowski said that one mill generates about $325,000. An additional ¾ mill would cover the debt service. This would be an approximately $20 increase for the average homeowner.
Dr. Ciervo asked whether this could be added later; either a tax increase is needed or a change in the reserve fund policy.
Mr. Czajkowski said that the addition to the debt service millage would be a change of more than 25% in one category, so would not be permitted after the budget has been advertised. It could be advertised with the change and later removed, however.
Mr. Benchener said that in 2012, revenues will exceed expenses. This Board has been extremely effective in reducing the operating budget, meanwhile, we are beginning to see revenues come back. In addition to increases in revenues, the Township has been offered opportunities to sell assets. Newtown Artesian has offered up to $200,000 to drill wells in parks; we have been offered $500,000 for the cell tower. In addition we could see some savings on staffing. The state recommends a 5% reserve; our 10% policy is arbitrary and this budget shows a 9% reserve. We have made it through the tough time and there is no reason for a tax increase. Mr. Benchener said that he favors changing the reserve policy rather than increase taxes to cover the 10% reserve.
Mr. Benchener moved to hang the 2012 budget with the changes to utilities and contributions by non-union employees to the pensions and no raise for CWA workers. Mr. Gallagher seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman said that he disagrees with Mr. Benchener’s assessment. The actual reserve fund is much lower and the Township’s financial condition is much worse that it appears. He cannot support this budget. He thought that some of the revenue projections are unrealistic, particularly the real estate transfer tax. A revenue increase should be part of the discussion.
Mr. Calabro agreed with Mr. Schenkman. He disagreed with the idea of selling off Township assets; this would be a quick but temporary fix. Some of the gains we have seen have been funded through lay-offs.
Mr. Schenkman noted that the evaluation of the EMS department could reveal possible savings opportunities which could change the budget. He reminded the Board that it had always been the intention to raise the debt service tax to fund the bond; this had been part of the evaluation by the bond rating agencies.
Mr. Gallagher reminded the Board that if they postpone hanging the budget this evening, it would mean that the Board would have to meet again on December 28.
Dr. Ciervo said that our current millage is for debt service, EMS and general fund. We could increase either the debt service or the general fund millage.
Mr. Benchener again stressed that there is no real reason to keep the reserve at 10%; this is a philosophy, not a requirement. We are considering a tax increase to keep the reserve at 10%, not to balance the budget.
Mr. Czajkowski confirmed that the policy to keep the reserve at 10% is a resolution; it can be changed.
Dr. Ciervo disagreed. He said that the debt service tax does not cover the debt service. While the Township has saved some money on contracts, there will be increases in the future. The MMO will continue to increase. We have already cut to the bone; we cannot continue to reduce the number of employees. We will not see the kinds of revenue increases we had seen in the past and we are dipping into the reserve to pay the debt while the annual expenses continue to rise.
Mr. Benchener disagreed and said that the operating expenses are covered by the revenues. We have reduced expenditures while we are beginning to see a rise in revenues.
Mr. Calabro disagreed, noting that a large portion of the reductions had been from layoffs, but the expenses will continue to go up every year.
Mr. Benchener disagreed; our revenues will go up keeping pace with the rate of inflation as residents’ salaries increase.
Dr. Ciervo said that he was less confident that the Township will continue to see rising earned income tax revenue. Our current revenues will not outpace current costs.
Mr. Benchener said that he would be willing to have this discussion again next year. He said that he has some ideas for cost savings for the future.
The motion failed 2-2-1, with Messrs. Calabro and Schenkman voting nay and Mr. Gallagher abstaining.
Mr. Benchener moved to hang the 2012 budget with the changes to utilities and contributions by non-union employees to the pensions and no raise for CWA workers. Dr. Ciervo seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Benchener confirmed for the recording secretary that he had restated his original motion.
The motion passed 3-2, with Messrs. Calabro and Schenkman voting nay.
Dr. Ciervo said that he has been speaking to Newtown Elementary’s art teacher about providing children’s art to decorate the hallway near the Park and Recreation and Tax Departments. Ten works would be chosen and framed, Perhaps some sponsors could be found among local businesses.
Mr. Gallagher said that he is not supportive of seeking sponsorships from our business community for this project.
Mr. Schenkman said that he would like to include the high school in the program as well. The program could begin with Newtown Elementary then be expanded.
Mr. Schenkman reported that he had met with the project engineer at Veterans Park to review field conditions. They are seeking full payment of the outstanding balance. He did see some improvements in the fields, but they are not yet playable. The fields should be re-evaluated in the spring. This will require some further discussion.
The meeting adjourned at 11:50 PM
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary