NEWTOWN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
LUNCHEON MEETING AT GOODNOE FARM DAIRY BAR
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2003
Approval of the Minutes: Ms. Frederick moved to approve the minutes of the September 4, 2003 meeting as presented. Mr. Roberts seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
Present: Richard Weaver, Chairman; Belinda Buras, Tom Harwood, Hal Roberts, Denise Walsh, Jim Worthington, Doug Terry, Bill Messick, Mark Byelich.
Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 12:05 PM.
Public Comment – None
Codes Department Business Development Report
Mr. Harwood distributed and reviewed the report for August 2003.
Approval of the Minutes
Mr. Terry moved to approve the minutes of the July 3, 2003 meeting as presented. Ms. Walsh seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce
Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation
Ms. Dunleavy, recording secretary for JDNC, reported that Mark Craig and Mr. Goodnoe had met with Joe Yarbrough from DECD regarding the Main Street Manager grant application. She and Mr. Craig are working on finalizing the application, which they hope to have ready for submission in mid October.
Newtown Business and Professional Association
Economic Development Task Force
Mr. Weaver reported that the Task Force has recommended raising the allowance for impervious surface in the LI and OLI districts to 65%, which is similar to surrounding communities. He said that the planner has recommended that 75% of the parking spaces be reduced to 9’ x 18’, and that the remaining spaces remain 10’ x 20’, thus effectively reducing the amount of impervious surface required for parking. Mr. Terry added that there was a proviso requiring that all storm water issues and other requirements must be met. Mr. Harwood said that smaller parking spaces have to this point been authorized by a variance, usually for all day parking situations, and that in medical and retail businesses areas the additional in-and-out traffic was thought to make smaller parking spaces more problematic.
Mr. Weaver said that the task force would be discussing medical use in the LI and OLI districts, as well as other issues such as the possibility of a hotel/conference center in the Commons.
Mr. Weaver said that the design and location of a sign for the newly renamed Newtown Business Commons is being finalized. It was clarified that there is a 50’ building height limit in the Business Commons. Mr. Weaver complimented the group on their work and presentation of good ideas. The next meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for Thursday, September 18, 2003 at 8:30 am in the lower level meeting room at the Municipal Building.
Mr. Worthington said that Ms. Mitchell is continuing her work on the map.
Speaker: Tom Hough - President, Hough Associates
Mr. Hough said that the recycling law came into effect in Pennsylvania in 1990, and explained he has been working for Newtown Township gathering data for application to the state for reimbursement based on the amount of collected recyclables. He distributed a flyer explaining the formula applied for reimbursement. He said that any municipality with a population greater than 5000 is required to recycle - both residentially and commercially; the municipality is responsible for disseminating information to its residents regarding the collection and packaging of recyclables.
Mr. Hough reported that this year the township would be receiving approximately $74,000 back from the state; two years ago Newtown received $20,000 and last year $25,000 was reimbursed. He explained that the increase was due to phone calls and letters he has sent to residential and commercial property owners, adding that response was good. Mr. Hough said that the state’s goal for recycling is 35% of the recycling calculated based on the expected recyclable materials generated by the township’s population; Newtown recycling figure is 20%. He said that the state uses a 5% reduction in their computations to account for those items that end up in recycling that cannot be recycled and therefore are sent to a landfill. Mr. Hough noted that reporting recycling figures is voluntary. He said that the money collected by the township goes into the general fund, and that some municipalities have dedicated the collected funds for environmental projects.
Mr. Hough further detailed what is subject to recycling, and said that the state’s Recycling Fund, which is collected from land fills and waste hauler fees, pays for reimbursement awards, education and collection equipment. He distributed a flyer he had prepared for Pottstown’s recycling program. He detailed some of the items that businesses are required, by state law, to recycle, including office paper, aluminum cans, corrugated cardboard, and leaf and yard waste; local municipalities can add items to the required list. Mr. Harwood noted that there are no exceptions for churches, schools or large companies.
The next luncheon meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 2, 2003 at the Goodnoe Farm Dairy Bar at 12:00PM. The cost is $10.00; please RSVP by September 29, 2003 to the recording secretary (contact information is included on the attached agenda)
Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1:15 pm.
Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary