Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of July 24, 2013

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on July 24, 2013 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Vice Chairman Matthew Benchener, Secretary Ryan W. Gallagher and Philip Calabro and Robert Ciervo, members. Also in attendance were: Kurt Ferguson, Township Manager, Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor and Michele Fountain, Township Engineer.

Call to Order : Acting as Chairman, Mr. Benchener called the meeting to order with a moment of silence followed by an invocation by Reverend Fred Milligan of Newtown Presbyterian Church and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Special Action

Police Chief Henry Pasqualini announced that Detective Jason Harris, a member of the Department since 2004, would be promoted to the rank of Corporal. Detective Harris had been a member of Newtown Borough’s Police Department for twelve years before coming to the Township. He is a Township resident and has volunteered with our fire department for many years, lending his expertise in arson investigations.

Judge Donald Nasshorn administered the oath of office to Corporal Harris. The Board extended its congratulations.

Public Comment

Newtown Borough Councilman Bob King said that at Borough Council’s most recent meeting a number of concerned residents came forward asking the Borough to lend support to efforts to keep Newtown Swim Club open. The Club is a valuable asset to the entire Newtown community, providing wholesome outdoor recreation as well as employment to many teens. He is in agreement with the residents’ concerns and has volunteered to work on behalf of the Borough to see if, with the Township, some effort could be made to preserve the Club rather than see it developed as townhouses.

Newtown Borough resident Michele Lemagne said that she would like to see the Newtown Swim Club remain open and asked the Board to support community efforts and to help explore ways to form public/private partnerships to purchase the swim club. This is an asset to the entire community.

Newtown Borough resident Mike Waldinger said that he would like to see the Swim Club remain open. It is a valuable community asset and has provided summer employment to hundreds of area teens. In addition to the pools and swimming, the club offers fitness programs, tennis, basketball and a summer camp for children.

Newtown Borough resident Andrea de Giovanni said that Mr. and Mrs. Platt have been valuable assets to our community and are entitled to adequate financial compensation for the Swim Club. She would like to see the Club saved by efforts from the Borough and Township working together.

New Jersey resident Chris Rogers said that she has been a member of Newtown Swim Club since 1964 and considers it an asset to the community. She urged the Supervisors to support efforts to preserve the Swim Club and its competitive swim team, noting the Club’s unique recreational offerings.

Resident Mark Joseph asked for an update on Veterans Park’s playing fields.

Mr. Ferguson said that this past spring the Board contracted with Superior Turf to bring the fields into playable condition for fall of 2013 play. Superior was highly recommended by Newtown Little League. Superior first added a layer of organic material to improve the quality of the soil, then began a program of seeding, watering and fertilizing. A three year maintenance contract with Superior is also in place to keep the fields playable.

Mr. Joseph asked what the contingency plan is if Superior does not deliver playable fields as promised.

Mr. Ferguson said that the original contractor has been taken off the project and Superior has been at work since early spring. Weekly visits to the park show that the playing fields are improving and every indication is that the rectangular fields will be ready for fall play and the baseball fields will be ready for spring 2013. Superior is keeping him informed of work done and progress made and he will continue to provide the Board with weekly updates.

Mr. Joseph asked whether the snack shed is operational and whether there are plans to install dugouts.

Mr. Ferguson said that no funds are budgeted this year for amenities at the park. He will speak to department heads about whether they will include park amenities in the next years’ budgets.

Dr. Ciervo noted that the snack shed has been built and can be used by the leagues.

Mr. Joseph said that including dugouts will allow the leagues to host tournaments, which bring revenue to the Township in field fees and bring business to our local restaurants, hotels and shops.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Board’s focus has been on getting the fields into playable condition as soon as possible. The Board has relied on the Little League’s suggestions and recommendations toward that end.

Mr. Ferguson said that he has confirmed with Superior that the fields are still on schedule to be ready for fall play on the rectangular fields for soccer and spring baseball play.

Newtown Borough resident Marybeth Dillione said that she would like the Borough and Township and interested residents to work together to keep the Swim Club open for the benefit of the Club’s many members, employees and the 145 children on its swim team. This is one of the last places where “kids can be kids” and enjoy unstructured play.

Resident Mary Ann Ault said that she would like to see an effort made by the Township and Borough to keep the Swim Club open. She noted that nearby Lower Makefield Township owns and runs a pool which makes a profit. She urged Newtown to look to Lower Makefield’s example.

Christine (no last name or residence given) age 9, said that she is part of the Swim Club’s swim team and she along with her teammates are very unhappy that the Club will be closing; she urged the Board to work toward a solution to keep the club open.

Resident Joanne Hillbrand, mother of Christine, agreed with her daughter. She noted that her son is a lifeguard at the Club. She urged the Board to find a way to keep the Swim Club open.

Resident Peggy Kennedy said that she would like to keep the Swim Club open. It is unique to the area and offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation for adults and children.

Ms. Rogers, said that she believes that a former Swim Club member has won an Olympic diving medal. This is a training ground for top athletes.

Resident Jim Ott asked the Board to address the ongoing drainage problems on Stoopville Road that have flooded his property for more than twelve years, since the road has been widened. He said that past roadwork has crushed the drainage pipe which runs under his driveway causing flooding on his property and sheet flow across the road. When the road freezes in winter, cars skid out of control, landing on his lawn. He is no longer able to grow grass on his property and has large patches of watercress which he is unable to mow.

Mr. Ferguson said that he had been unaware of Mr. Ott’s problems but has some direct contacts with PennDOT and would arrange for a meeting at Mr. Ott’s property with himself, Mr. Ott, Ms. Fountain and PennDOT representatives to seek a way to address Mr. Ott’s ongoing concerns.

Mr. Ott thanked Mr. Ferguson and also commented that he agreed with Dr. Ciervo that the plantings in the medians are inadequate.

Mr. Gallagher thanked Mr. Ott for coming to the meeting to discuss his ongoing issues and asked to be included in the meeting with PennDOT and the Township Engineer.

Resident Nitin Batra, representing Wiltshire Walk’s Homeowners Association, asked whether it is at all possible to change the plans already in place for the sale of the Swim Club. He was under the impression that the land has already been sold to a developer.

Mr. Benchener said that this is private property; the owner has already agreed to a private sale to a developer. The Township is not privy to the details of the sale at this time. The Township will be holding hearings shortly on the land development plans already submitted for the property. Interested residents are free to approach the owner with a counter-offer, however there may be penalties to the owner if he backs out of his commitment with the developer.

Mr. Gallagher said that he has met with some of the residents who have appeared this evening. He advised them that the property owners would need to be fairly compensated for any sale. He suggested that residents first speak to Mr. Platt to determine if he is willing to consider any other offers and what price is involved. Research would need to be done on the price and then whether the business could continue to operate at a profit. He expressed surprise that it has taken residents so long to come forward, as plans were first submitted more than a year ago. He agreed that it is a beautiful facility and a shame to lose it. He stressed that the interested residents would need to act quickly. He suggested investigating ways that such an undertaking could be financed, either through a private investor or some kind of public/private partnership.

Mr. Calabro noted that the Township has seen many other projects stopped because of resident involvement. There are ways to fund a purchase; the Township had once before voted to raise taxes to preserve open space. The Township could have floated a bond. This should have been investigated months ago. He noted that Mr. Platt had never approached the Township prior to entering an agreement to develop his property.

Mr. Batra asked whether Mr. Platt could back out of his contract or whether there is the possibility of taking the land by eminent domain.

Mr. Calabro said that the developer is the equitable owner but Mr. Platt does to have ownership. He suggested that interested residents should approach Mr. Platt. He did not know whether Mr. Platt is legally obligated to go through with the sale.

Dr. Ciervo said that some years ago he had spoken to Mr. Platt, who at that time indicated that he would sell his property to a developer to build townhouses. Mr. Platt had at one time owned the Wiltshire Walk land. Mr. Platt is on the County Planning Commission and is aware of the value of land which can be developed as townhouses; the property is worth more for its potential for development as 56 townhomes. While he would like to see this work out, it would require a willing seller. At no time did Mr. Platt approach the Township or Borough about keeping the Club open.

Resident John D’Aprile said that he lives in Newtown Grant, which has its own pool. Many of the developments in Newtown do have their own pools. The plan to develop townhomes on this property has been the subject of discussion for more than a year. He would not want to see his tax dollars going toward buying the Swim Club nor going toward legal costs to acquire the property through eminent domain.

Ms. Kennedy said that she has spoken to the Platts and would like to see the Club remain. The property is not 100% built out; there is a lot of room to further expand the facility.

Resident Amy Caldwell said that she had heard there is a moratorium on new construction because of the sewer system but she sees a lot of construction going on in town.

Mr. Ferguson explained that the DEP has halted the issuance of new EDU’s in Bucks County because it has concerns about infiltration into the stormwater systems by overtaxed surcharge tanks in the sanitary sewer system. Any projects which do not increase flow are able to continue. New projects are now required to submit a full planning module to the Township Planning Commission, Newtown Sewer Authority, Bucks County Sewer Authority, The City of Philadelphia and to the Board of Supervisors before being forwarded to DEP for approval. Some projects under construction, including Delancey Court and The Birches, were included in projections made earlier, predating the DEP action stopping issuance of EDU’s.

Mr. Garton confirmed that DEP is asking for new projections and any new development must go through a DEP approval process of a full planning module.

Police Report

Chief Pasqualini presented the Supervisors with a certificate showing that the Department has completed the Accreditation process and is now an accredited department. It was an arduous process and he thanked everyone for the work done to complete it.

Chief Pasqualini reported that Sergeant Bell has gotten a donation of a new motorcycle for the fleet from Bryan’s Harley Davidson in Langhorne. The fleet now includes four motorcycles.

The Chief thanked Lieutenant Matthews for his work as acting chief during Chief Pasqualini’s recent medical leave. Lieutenant Matthews did an excellent job.

During the past month the Department responded to 1279 calls, including 48 traffic accidents, 102 false alarms and 17 domestic disputes.

Mr. Calabro asked what the procedure is when someone is stopped for a DUI.

Chief Pasqualini explained that the DA’s office is asking for blood tests to confirm intoxication, so if an officer pulls someone over and suspects DUI, that person is transferred by patrol car to St. Mary’s for the test, then released to a responsible party. Once the test results come back confirming intoxication, the person is charged with DUI.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Historic Architectural Review Board: HARB Chairman Bill Mahler reported that HARB had reviewed and recommended approval of a sign for Farmer’s Insurance at 213 North Sycamore Street.

Dr. Ciervo moved to approve a Certificate of Appropriateness for a sign for Farmers Insurance at 213 North Sycamore Street, as outlined in a memo dated July 17, 2013. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Michael Lelli of Farmers Insurance thanked the Board for the approval and said that he looks forward to doing business in Newtown. His offices will be open Monday through Friday.

Park and Recreation Board: Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko introduced Eagle Scout Blake Zimmerman, who is planning a project to clean and restore the rhododendron garden at Clark Nature Center. His plan has been reviewed by the Park and Recreation Board which recommended that the Supervisors approve the plan. Blake’s plan will nicely compliment the recently completed herb garden built by Eagle Scout Brian Coccetti.

Mr. Zimmerman explained that former owner Lyman Clark had collected some very rare and unusual rhododendrons. They have become overgrown by invasive species; some of the trees have died or lost limbs. He intends to remove about eight dead trees and all of the invasive plants and trim the remaining 30 trees. He has sent soil samples to Penn State’s Cooperative Extension for analysis and plans to fertilize the remaining trees and label them. The adult troop leaders will use the electric tools and he and his troop will use hand tools. He plans to raise funds to pay for fertilizers, mulch and any other supplies needed. He will also clear the area around the existing springhouse.

Mrs. Pawlenko noted that Blake has consulted with Master Gardener Russell Strover on which trees should be removed and how to trim the remaining trees to preserve them.

Mr. Gallagher thanked Blake for undertaking this task to help preserve the garden.

Mr. Gallagher moved to approve Blake Zimmerman’s Eagle Scout project to restore the rhododendron garden at Clark Nature Center. Dr. Ciervo seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Planning Commission: Chairman Allen Fidler reported that at its July 2, 2013 meeting, the Commission reviewed the Preliminary as Final Plan for Land Development for Beneficial Bank, 42 South Sycamore Street for a 3186 square foot bank building on a 1.829 acre lot in the TC Town Commercial Zoning District. The Commission recommended approval subject to compliance with the recently signed stipulation agreement and the review letters of the Township professionals. Mr. Fidler noted that the Commission had recommended that the Bank’s earlier plan be denied, but was very pleased with the Bank’s attempts to compromise on the Township’s vision for Sycamore Street.

At this meeting the Commission alsoreviewed a proposed amendment to the fence ordinance to allow 5 foot and 6 foot fences and recommends that fences be removed as an accessory residential use and instead create a new fence use, H-19, with the new height, which would be permitted in all zoning districts. The members agreed that walls should be left as accessory residential uses with a limit of 3 feet.

At its July 16, 2013 meeting the Commission reviewed three Zoning Hearing Board applications.

S& H Security, 74 Richboro Road is seeking variances for use E-9, Entertainment and a number of parking variances for a seasonal haunted house attraction in the CC - Convenience Commercial Zoning District. The applicants have made a number changes to their earlier application, removing the attraction from the dwelling unit to outdoor tents on the property. The members had some concerns about traffic, safety and the impact on neighbors, but recommend that the Board of Supervisors not oppose the application if the applicants are able to show that the venue will comply with all safety codes, noise and light ordinances and that they have security in place to direct traffic and parking and they can show support of surrounding neighbors. The Commission recommends that hours of operation and days permitted be clearly stated in any variance granted, as the variance will run with the land.

The Commission reviewed the application of Newtown Racquetball Association, 120 Pheasant Run, for a 116 square foot wall mounted sign where only 16 square foot signs are permitted. The members were dismayed that the sign is already in place and that the application only references the “Newtown Athletic Club” sign on the retaining wall, when members have seen other new signs visible from the street throughout the complex. The Commission members were in agreement that the Township should oppose this application if the applicant and the Board of Supervisors cannot come to a satisfactory compromise on the full signage package for the entire athletic club complex, including the field house, the pool and entrance signage at the new Pheasant Run entrance.

The Commission reviewed the application of Dr. Denise Chranowski, 121 Friends Lane, for a service business use E-3 in the Light Industrial Zoning District to add an aesthetician to the health, fitness and chiropractic business at the site. The members recommend that the Supervisors not oppose this application, as the addition of the aesthetician is in keeping with the other permitted uses at the site and will enhance the business.

The Planning Commission reviewed the Newtown Townhouse PRD, 761 Newtown Yardley Road tentative plan for a 56 unit townhouse development on 16.61 acres in the R-2 residential zoning district according to MPC guidelines and recommend that the Board approve the tentative plan subject to certain conditions including compliance with the review letters of our professional staff. The Commission recommends that the Board grant the modifications outlined in those review letters and supports the waivers requested. Representatives of Headley’s and Wiltshire Walk’s Homeowners Associations were in attendance and confirmed their developments’ support for the plans. It is the Commission’s understanding that fully engineered plans will be reviewed in more detail at final land development.

The Commission reviewed Newtown Place, Cambridge Lane’s plan for revised final PRD to construct a pool and clubhouse within an existing 4.71 acre parking field in the R-2 residential zoning district. The Newtown Place PRD consists of 60.2 acres with 63 single family homes and 110 rental townhomes and 40 rental garden apartments. The proposed pool and clubhouse are amenities for the rental units’ tenants. The Commission recommends that the Supervisors approve this plan subject to a number of conditions including compliance with our professionals’ review letters. We recommend that no traffic study be required if the facilities are limited to use by tenants and their guests.

Mr. Calabro asked why Newtown Place is adding a pool now.

Mr. Fidler said that the rental units were recently purchased by new owners who are trying to make the complex more desirable.

Mr. Calabro asked whether the developers of 761 Newtown Yardley Road had agreed to a condition prohibiting residents from converting their garages to additional living space.

Mr. Fidler said that he is not sure whether the garage is included in the calculation of parking spaces available. He did think the developer would agree to such a condition.

Ms. Fountain confirmed that the developer must supply three parking spaces per unit; two are on the driveways and one additional space per unit is also on the plan. The garage is not included in the parking calculation.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether the Planning Commission had reviewed the letters of CKS and Boucher and James dated May 30, 3013.

Mr. Fidler said that CKS’s review dated June 12 and Boucher & James’ letter dated June 10 were included in the Planning Commission packets. These were discussed at the meeting.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Township’s SALDO requires a more detailed review of tentative plans and the earlier letters addressed the SALDO requirements. The tentative PRD should have had a review similar to that of a preliminary plan for land development.

Mr. Fidler said that no preliminary plans were presented to the Commission. The plans were prepared and reviewed in accordance with the MPC.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether a statement of finance, a traffic study or a landscaping plan were presented.

Mr. Fidler said that the Commission was only provided the reviews of Boucher & James, CKS and the Bucks County Planning Commission.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Commission should have been provided copies of the earlier, more detailed reviews as well as a traffic study and a review by our traffic engineer. This is what is required in our municipal ordinance.

Mr. Fidler reminded the Board that the Commission has rarely been asked to review a PRD. It is a unique process which provides the Supervisors with some flexibility. The more detailed review is to take place at final land development when fully engineered plans are presented.

Dr. Ciervo said that our SALDO requires the detailed reviews as were done by our consultants in May and these should have been reviewed by the Planning Commission. He would like the applicant to return to the Planning Commission for this type of review before appearing at the Supervisors meeting for tentative approval.

Mr. Garton said that PRD’s are unique and the tentative approval process, as described in the MPC, is more like a sketch plan review. Tentative approval can be conditioned on compliance with all of the requirements Dr. Ciervo has mentioned as part of the SALDO before final approval is granted.

Dr. Ciervo asked Ms. Fountain whether she thought the review done on June 12 was in compliance with the SALDO.

Ms. Fountain said that the conditions of the MPC for tentative approval were reviewed against our JMZO and SALDO.

Mr. Garton explained that the MPC provides an enumerated list of issues to be addressed for tentative approval of a PRD. This list differs from the SALDO requirements; the MPC supersedes the SALDO.

Mr. Gallagher said that it was his understanding that tentative approval can be conditioned on providing all that the SALDO requires before final plan approval is granted.

Dr. Ciervo said that the community impact and traffic study should be provided before tentative approval is granted.

Dr. Ciervo moved to direct the applicant for the Newtown Townhouse PRD at 761 Newtown Yardley Road to submit all the items required in Section 803.8C of the SALDO to the Planning Commission before tentative approval is considered. Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: Dr. Ciervo said that this proposed development will have a major impact on the Township and the community. He would like the Planning Commission’s recommendation to be based on all pertinent information, including a traffic study.

Mr. Calabro said that this is a way to protect the community. He would like the builder to go through the proper review procedures.

Mr. Garton confirmed that if the Board does not grant tentative approval because the applicant has not provided information listed in the SALDO, it could face a challenge. The applicant has provided the information required by the MPC.

Mr. Benchener said he is concerned that the Township would not be successful in such a challenge.

Mr. Gallagher said that this action is setting the Township up for costly litigation. All of the information Dr. Ciervo is asking for must be provided before final land development approval is granted.

Dr. Ciervo said that he would not mind going to court on this matter; he feels the Township would be successful as the plans do not comply with our standards.

Resident John D’Aprile said that with every development, the main concern has been traffic. He would like the applicant to provide a traffic study early in the process.

The motion failed 2-2, with Messrs. Benchener and Gallagher voting nay.

Environmental Advisory Council Appointment: Mr. Ferguson reported that EAC member Perry Katz has moved from the Township leaving his place on the EAC open. Amy Easterly, who was appointed alternate in January has been attending meetings and participating in EAC activities.

Mr. Gallagher moved to appoint Amy Easterly to the EAC to complete Perry Katz’s unexpired term (2013). Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Board Member Reports: Mr. Gallagher reported that the Newtown Corporation has been working on an economic development report which should be ready to be presented to the Board in August.

Conditional Use Hearing

KVK Tech, Inc. 114 Pheasant Run: Mr. Garton opened the conditional use hearing for KVK Tech, 114 Pheasant Run. The hearing has been duly advertised. The applicant is seeking conditional use for use G-1 manufacturing at the site. Uses G-2 and G-3, research and warehousing are permitted by right in the LI- Light industrial Zoning District.

Mr. Garton asked if anyone present wished to be party to the application. There was no response.

Attorney Ed Murphy represented the applicant. Mr. Murphy explained that KVK Tech is a generic drug manufacturing company with offices at 110 Terry Drive. They are expanding their facilities at 114 Pheasant Run, which is currently used for research, to include manufacturing of liquid pharmaceuticals. The application has been reviewed by the Planning Commission and the applicant has agreed to all of the recommended conditions of approval.

Frank Ripp, Jr., president of KVK Tech, was sworn in. Mr. Ripp confirmed Mr. Murphy’s statements. He said that the company will be expanding the facility to install large vats for the manufacture of liquid pharmaceuticals. This is an automated process; no additional employees will be on the site.

Mr. Benchener asked what the proposed number of employees is.

Mr. Ripp said that there are currently 15 employees on site. This should remain the same. The maximum would be 20 employees.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether the parking is adequate.

Mr. Murphy said that there are 49 parking spaces on site. A variance was granted for the 49 spaces. The applicant currently uses only 15 spaces.

Mr. Calabro asked whether there are multiple shifts at the site.

Mr. Ripp said that there is only one shift. The machinery is shut down at night and on weekends. This is a high security DEA approved site with security personnel, multiple cameras, gates and fences.

Mr. Calabro moved to grant Conditional Use approval for KVK Tech, Inc. (114 Pheasant Run, LLC) 114 Pheasant Run, Tax Map Parcel 29-10-141, in the LI Light Industrial Zoning District for Use G-1, Light Manufacturing, subject to the following conditions:

  1. That the applicant comply with the Boucher and James review letter dated May 29, 2013,
  2. The applicant shall comply with all applicable codes, ordinances, laws and regulations of the Township.
  3. That the average number of employees will be 15 with a maximum of 20;
  4. No hazardous, flammable or explosive material which require special handling shall be stored or used in the building,
  5. The applicant shall comply with any conditions of any Zoning Hearing Board,
  6. Parking is deemed adequate for this use,
  7. No noxious, hazardous or offensive impact upon surrounding areas be created by the proposed use by reason of dust, odor, smoke, gas, vibration, illumination or noise, or which constitutes a public hazard by fire, explosion or otherwise.
  8. No loud music shall be generated on site and no music shall be audible from the premises .
  9. Hours of operation shall be 7:00AM to 6:00PM, Monday through Friday;
  10. The premises shall be ADA compliant.
  11. That the proposed use satisfies the specific requirements applicable to the proposed use under Section 1301.B of the JMZO;
  12. All review, legal, engineering, administrative and other review fees shall be paid to the Township;
  13. The applicant shall provide proof of equitable ownership or lease agreement as required under Section 1302.B of the JMZO shall be provided to the Township.
  14. All signage shall comply with Township Ordinances,
  15. The plans shall be revised to show a 52,850 square foot building,
  16. Deliveries are restricted to 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM by box trucks.

Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Engineer’s Report

Weglos Certificate of Completion #5: Mr. Calabro moved to authorize escrow release #5 in the amount of $24,880 to Weglos Dental. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Newtown Athletic Club Certificate of Completion #3: Mr. Calabro moved to authorize escrow release #3 in the amount of $345,826 to Newtown Athletic Club. Dr. Ciervo seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Rosebank Winery Certificate of Completion #1: Mr. Calabro moved to authorize escrow release #1 in the amount of $91,905 to Rosebank Winery. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0

Manager’s Report

Treasury Report: Mr. Ferguson said that the current general fund balance is $2,697,096. He would like to begin planning the 2014 budget and would like to schedule a budget discussion at the work session scheduled for October 15.

Goodnoe Elementary Permit Fees: Dr. Ciervo moved to table the discussion of permit fees for the Goodnoe Elementary School building project. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Water Reel for Veterans Park: Mr. Ferguson asked the Board to authorize purchase of a Kifko self-retracting above ground irrigation system with auto shut-off and a turbine drive, with hoses and sprinklers. This will be needed to keep the fields at the park irrigated. Superior Turf has recommended one inch of water every four days to encourage healthy growth on the six playing fields.

Mr. Gallagher moved to authorize purchase of a water reel for Veterans Park from Storr Tractor Company at a cost of $12,845. Dr. Ciervo seconded.

Discussion of motion: Dr. Ciervo said that this is a very good idea since we have experienced very strange weather patterns in recent years and our fields have suffered as a result. He suggested that this cost not be forgotten when negotiating settlement with the original Veterans Park contractor.

Mr. Calabro asked whether this purchase had required a bidding process.

Mr. Ferguson said that it did not require a bidding process, however the Public Works Director did get quotes from a number of vendors before making his recommendation.

Mr. Calabro asked whether the system requires any particular expertise to use and whether it will require constant monitoring.

Mr. Ferguson said that included in the price is set-up and training of public works personnel. It will not require continuous monitoring when in use.

The motion passed 4-0.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mr. Gallagher moved to accept the minutes of June 26, 2013. Dr. Ciervo seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Bills: Mr. Gallagher moved to approve payment of bills totaling $127,593.23 for the bills list dated July 10, 2013. Mr. Benchener seconded. The motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Gallagher moved to approve payment of bills totaling 337,825.77 for the bills list dated July 24, 2013. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Gallagher moved to approve interfund transfers totaling $387,720.47. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Old Business

Dr. Ciervo announced that Council Rock School Board has passed a resolution to put a referendum on the ballot to eliminate the per capita and occupation taxes and increase the earned income tax to 1.17%, of which 0.67% goes to the District and 0.50% goes to the Township. He said that this has been presented as a revenue neutral decision, however his research shows that since 1998 the earned income tax revenue has increased 75%. This change in the tax structure will only be revenue neutral for this year. Going forward, although the per capita and occupation taxes remain the same, the earned income tax will increase as incomes increase. Almost half of the District’s EIT comes from those who live or work in Newtown Township.

The meeting adjourned at 11:00 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary



Kurt Ferguson, Township Manager

Michael Gallagher, Chairman

Matthew Benchener, Vice-Chairman

Ryan Gallagher, Esq., Secretary

Philip Calabro, Member

Robert Ciervo, Member