Board of Supervisors
Minutes of February 26, 2014
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Vice Chairman Ryan Gallagher and Philip Calabro and Jennifer Dix, 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. R. Gallagher called the meeting to order with a moment of silence followed by an Invocation by Reverend Gerry Newswanger of First Baptist Church of Wycombe and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions
Historical Architectural Review Board: Chairman William Mahler reported that at its February 12, 2014 meeting, HARB reviewed the application of College Nannies and Tutors, 277 North Sycamore Street and recommended that the applicant find colors from an approved historic color palette for his proposed sign before appearing before the Supervisors, but did vote to recommend approval of the sign shape and size and the gooseneck lights. Corey Reef of College Nannies and Tutors has presented an acceptable alternate color palette which the HARB members have agreed via e-mail to recommend that the Supervisors approve.
Mr. Reef said that HARB had suggested that he use a white sign with California Colors Concord Grape lettering and Bonnet Green accent. His franchise signs are typically purple with white writing and he does not yet know which sign will be chosen.
Mr. Mahler asked the Board to approve either arrangement with the understanding that the application will be amended and color numbers be inserted once a decision is made.
Ms. Dix asked the location of the business.
Mr. Reef said that his business is opposite Goodnoe Corner near Sycamore Grill.
Mr. Calabro moved to grant a certificate of appropriateness for a sign with gooseneck lights for College Nannies and Tutors at 277 North Sycamore Street, with California Colors Concord Grape and Bonnet Green lettering on a white background or in the alternative white and Bonnet Green lettering on a Concord Grape background. Mrs. Dix seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Planning Commission: Secretary Peggy Driscoll reported that at its February 18, 2014 meeting, the Planning Commission reviewed four Zoning Hearing Board applications.
Board of Supervisors: Mr. Gallagher reminded residents that the deadline for early summer camp registration is approaching. He also announced a Park and Recreation Leprechaun Hunt at Clark Nature Center. Information on these and all Recreation programs can be found at newtownfun.com.
Mr. Gallagher announced that Council Rock School District has won a green ribbon for its environmental and conservation efforts.
Mr. Gallagher suggested that the Township should plan a presentation to honor our two local Olympians, Jamie Gruebel and Nathan Bartholomay.
Mr. Gallagher announced that there is an opening on the Township Zoning Hearing Board. He asked Mr. Ferguson to advertise for someone to finish the unexpired term of a resigning member. Resumes and letters of interest will be accepted until March 14.
Mr. Garton reminded the Board that applicants must be residents of Newtown Township.
Reports of Officials
Newtown Athletic Club, Pool and Baseball Academy, Certificate of Completion #4: Mr. Calabro moved to authorize escrow release in the amount of $97,311 to Newtown Athletic Club. Mr. Gallagher seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mrs. Dix asked what has been completed and whether any escrow remains.
Ms. Fountain reviewed the list attached to her report, noting that the completion list does not include any landscaping items. The initial escrow was $1.9 million, and with this release, $845,071.96 will remain.
The motion passed 3-0.
Manager’s Report: Mr. Ferguson reported that the current cash on hand equals $2,898,162. The February earned income tax collected equals $937,200. The Township is on track to meet its budgeted revenue amount.
Mr. Ferguson said that the weather has prevented some pothole repairs, but will be updating the road program as soon as the weather permits. The Township had increased its roadway program spending to $500,000 from the liquid fuels fund. Rock salt is paid from this same fund and some money must be saved to pay for rock salt which may be needed in November and December of 2014. 200 tons of salt were delivered this week and an additional 200 tons is expected shortly. He has authorized overtime for cold patching of some of the roads but the roadway program must be re-evaluated after the winter, as some roads have been badly damaged and the program might need to address patching and repairing rather than complete repaving on some roads.
Mrs. Dix asked about increased state funds to be released.
Mr. Ferguson said that the funds will be released on an emergency basis to some small municipalities which do not have any available funds to pay for salt. Otherwise the increased allocation will not be distributed until 2015.
Mr. Calabro asked whether the pothole reporting on the Web site is being used.
Mr. Ferguson said that residents have been reporting potholes to the site every day and the Public Works Department is trying to repair them as quickly as possible.
Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports
Minutes: Mr. Calabro moved to accept the minutes of the special meeting of February 10, 2014. Mrs. Dix seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Mr. Calabro moved to accept the minutes of the regular meeting of February 12, 2014. Mrs. Dix seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Bills: Mr. Calabro moved to approve bills totaling $207,988.16. Mrs. Dix seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Mr. Calabro moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $185,000. Mrs. Dix seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Mr. Calabro announced that the Newtown Bypass is to be renamed in honor of Officer Brian Gregg, a Newtown Borough Police Officer tragically killed in the line of duty. The dedication will be at Borough Hall on March 4, 2014 at 11:00 AM/
Mr. Gallagher said that the Board would remain for an executive session to discuss labor contract matters.
The meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary