NEWTOWN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
LUNCHEON MEETING AT GOODNOE FARM DAIRY BAR
THURSDAY, MARCH 4, 2004
Approval of the Minutes: Ms. Frederick moved to approve the minutes of the March 4, 2004 meeting as presented. Mr. Salvatore seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
Present: Thomas Harwood, Sue Britsch, Doug Terry, Lisa Kruse, Linda Mitchell, Jim Worthington, Margaret Chleboski, Miguel Sison, Denise Walsh and Robert Greenberg.
Call to Order: Thomas Harwood, acting as Chairman, called the meeting to order at 12:10PM.
Public Comment: None
Codes Department Business Development Report
Mr. Harwood distributed and reviewed the report dated March 1, 2004.
Mr. Worthington asked if the Stockberger Sketch Plan is new. Mr. Harwood said that he had not reviewed it but believed that it was a restructuring of some previously presented plans. He noted that Stockberger had submitted two plans, for the property on the Rte 413 By-pass and for the Sycamore Street property.
Mr. Terry noted that Stonehouse Bistro is listed for the Zoning Hearing Board, and questioned if the matter had been resolved. Mr. Harwood said that Stonehouse Bistro would like to expand the business to eliminate the need for the tent. They have agreed with the Township to host some events that had been booked in advance and are necessary for the business to remain fiscally solvent, after which the tent is to be removed. The owners are working within the newly adopted noise ordinances.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Terry moved to accept the minutes of Thursday, February 5, 2004. Mr. Worthington seconded and the motion passed 10-0.
Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce
Lisa Kruse distributed the calendar of upcoming events for the Chamber of Commerce. She noted that the Business Card Exchange would be held on Wednesday, March 24 at Kings Caterers in Bristol at 4:30 PM. There will be a “career Women on The Move” event at the Radisson Hotel on Tuesday, May 4 from 8:30 AM to 1:30PM, and a golf outing on June 11 at the Middletown Country Club.
Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation
Mr. Terry reported that the JDNC was near to having funding for the Main Street Manager project. They expect to begin the selection process for a Main Street Manager very shortly. He also said that the JDNC is working on a project to provide bicycles to be borrowed, with bicycle racks located near businesses in the Borough and possibly through the Newtown Business Commons, for employees to go to lunch and to shop around town. They have been investigating the success of such programs in other municipalities.
Ms. Mitchell said that the JDNC had hosted an event at the Temperance House on Tuesday evening. The Main Street Manager for West Chester was present to talk about the project’s success. He said that the Main Street Manager is funded for five years by State funds, after which it is up to the local businesses to support the program. Ms. Mitchell said that in West Chester the Main Street Manager has been able to contact businesses interested in re-locating and has partnered with other resources to bring business to the area. Since the start of the program real estate values have gone up 70%.
Ms. Mitchell said that Newtown’s Main Street Manager would market the Borough and Township together, and would work toward uniting the various business, retail and professional organizations to share resources and attain common goals. She said that they had not discussed combining HARB’s, but that this should be discussed.
Economic Development Committee
Mr. Terry reported that the Economic Development Committee had met on February 19, 2004. They have submitted recommendations for changes in the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance, which have been reviewed by the Planning Commission. He said that they expect the Board of Supervisors to vote on the changes soon. He said that Mr. Weaver feels that the committee should continue to work, with a smaller committee membership, toward marketing the Business Commons and working with the other business and professional organizations in the Township and Borough.
Mr. Worthington said that the EDC would be hosting an event at the Zeuner property on Terry Drive on March 25. He said that he believes it will be at 5:30 PM, but this has not been confirmed. The architect who is renovating the space will make a presentation and former Governor Mark Schweiker will speak. The event is sponsored by Newtown Township and four businesses in the Newtown Business Commons: Newtown Athletic and Aquatic Club, Doug Terry/Remax, Law School Admissions Council and First National Bank and Trust of Newtown, each contributing $1000.
Ms. Mitchell asked who would be invited to attend, and suggested that business owners from the Borough be included in the guest list, to foster a closer relationship between these business owners and their customers in the Business Commons.
Community Map Project
Linda Mitchell presented a sample of the map project for review. She has gotten bids for the printing and distribution of 10,000 and 15,000 maps. She said that the maps should be mailed to every home in the Township and Borough, and some extra copies should be available for distribution by businesses and for new homeowners. She has estimated the total cost for printing and mailing the four-color maps at $6,000. She said that the map would be a real map, not a caricature, with the Borough broken out and printed to the side of the Township, to make it more legible. The map will be smaller than the map distributed in 1999, to make it easier to handle and refer to. She has estimated that the map will have 42 blocks for advertising, each to be sold for $300. This should produce a return of $12,600.
Mr. Worthington suggested that his business cover the initial outlay of funds for the printing and distribution, and be reimbursed from the sale of advertising blocks. Ms. Kruse and Mr. Greenberg offered to help with the sale of the advertising space. Ms. Kruse asked if the printers had given a non-profit bid. Ms. Mitchell said that she had not asked that, but noted that the lowest bidder, NS Printing had offered to reduce the price by $500 or purchase that amount in advertising. She said that she would approach the other bidders to request a non-profit price.
Mr. Harwood suggested that the Township and Borough should be asked for comment, input and approval before the map project gets underway. He also suggested tabling any discussion of what to do with any profit from the sale of advertising until the next meeting, when the chairman is present.
Mr. Terry moved to recommend that the Business Development Council send a proposal and sample map to the Newtown Borough Council and the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors for input, comment and approval. Ms. Kruse seconded and the motion passed 10-0.
Ms. Mitchell reported that the Newtown Business and Professional Association (NBPA) is planning a Welcome Day on May 15. It will be called “The Street Fair with Flair”, and will be located on State Street between Washington and Jefferson Streets. She said that they expect between 2000 and 3000 people to attend. Membership in NBPA is necessary to exhibit at the fair. The NBPA will also sponsor a Business Education Forum in the fall, and a golf outing at Middletown Country Club for the benefit of the Neighborhood Outreach Foundation in September.
The NBPA will sponsor its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 3 at Pickering Field. D’Youville Manor residents will help fill 1000 eggs with candy. Local businesses will provide child appropriate prizes in some of the eggs. The businesses write their names and the name of the prize on a piece of paper inside the egg.
Mr. Terry moved to adjourn at 1:05 PM. Mr. Harwood seconded and the motion passed 10-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary