NEWTOWN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
LUNCHEON MEETING AT GOODNOE FARM DAIRY BAR
THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2004
Approval of Minutes:† Ms. Frederick moved to approve the 4/1/04 minutes as circulated.† The motion was seconded by Mr. Terry and passed unanimously.
Present: Chairman Richard Weaver, Tom Harwood, Hal Roberts, Marge Frederick, Mark Byelich, Sue Britsch, Paul Salvatore, Linda Mitchell, Doug Terry, Joe Moffatt.
Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 12:05 PM.
Public Comment Ė Ms. Mitchell announced that the Newtown Athletic Club has purchased the Dunmore property, adding 10 acres to the NAC. She said that Mr. Worthington is looking for community input regarding the possible recreational use of this additional acreage. Ms. Mitchell said that soon an architect would begin studying and developing recommendations for projects that would work on the property architecturally; a few ideas suggested thus far are bubbled indoor tennis courts, a gymnastics school for kids, and an outdoor swim complex.
Codes Department Business Development Report
Mr. Harwood distributed and reviewed the report for March 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.
Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Frederick said that the Chamberís upcoming Business Card Exchange and Annual Expo was well attended, and noted that information about Chamber activities is available on the website: www.lbccc.org.
Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation
Ms. Dunleavy reported that the Main Street Program grant had been approved, and the search for the Main Street Manager has begun. The deadline date for applications is April 23rd. Ms. Mitchell complimented the presentation by Malcolm Johnstone from West Chester at the March JDNC event at the Temperance House, and said she was impressed by the brochures and directories he exhibited. She noted that he emphasized signage, particularly further out on routes approaching Newtown such as the Bypass and Turnpike. Mr. Harwood noted that presently signage is intended to indicate local attractions only. Mr. Byelich suggested that all the business and community groups in Newtown get together to develop a Newtown logo and tag line.
Ms. Dunleavy said that details and liability issues related to the bicycle project were being worked out. Mr. Roberts suggested an old fashioned trolley could facilitate travel in and around Newtown.
Newtown Business and Professional Association
Ms. Mitchell distributed the association membership list and flyer about upcoming NBPA events. She particularly noted Welcome Day, and said that any businesses wishing to donate prizes, such as gift certificates or coupons, should contact the NBPA.
Economic Development Commission
Mr. Weaver reported that the Committee is planning a marketing event, with the purpose of bringing together Business Commons tenants, property owners, realtors, business people and elected officials to network. The evening would include self guided tours and a welcome to new businesses. Mr. Weaver said that the new owner of the Zeuner building would bring 150 employees and hopes to expand to add an additional 100 employees. He noted that the workers are mostly highly educated professionals. Mr. Weaver said they have received positive feedback about the event.
Mr. Weaver said that the Commissionís recommendations for the Business Commons would go to the Jointure tonight, after which the solicitor would probably send the ordinance to the newspaper for advertisement. He emphasized that the ordinance notes that guidelines and zoning requirements must be met. Mr. Harwood noted that drainage issues would be countywide, as they must comply with federal mandates. Mr. Terry noted that the issuance of a building permit triggers reassessment of property.
Mr. Byelich expressed concern that Planning Commission members were giving personal opinion that was being perceived as that of the entire Commission. Mr. Terry said he had spoken with the solicitor who advised that statements made by the public for political purposes could be stopped, but that otherwise the public has the right to speak. Mr. Weaver said he told a reporter that the Planning Commission recommendations would be considered, but that the EDC had not seen anything that would make them amend their recommendations for the ordinance.
Mr. Terry asked what would happen after the ordinance is sanctioned by the Jointure and advertised. Mr. Weaver said that after the Jointure approves the ordinance, each township in the Jointure votes on the ordinance. He said that floodplain issues were moving along in the same manner. Mr. Weaver said that the word was out that the business climate in Newtown had improved.
Ms. Mitchell distributed handouts detailing ad prices, printer estimates, and action items. She said that NS Printing had given the lowest estimate for printing costs. Ms. Mitchell said that the Newtown Athletic Club was donating the map design, and the only costs would be for printing and mailing, totaling about $6000. If the cost of each ad block were $300, the total income from the sale of all 42 available ad blocks would be $12,600. Ms. Mitchell distributed a mock up design of the proposed map, which would encompass the township and borough with a blowup of the borough. She said the other side would consist of four panels with information about the borough and township, such as history and contact information. Ms. Mitchell said she had received permission from the township and borough for use of the municipal seals on the map. She said the Borough Retailers Association might be producing a map as well, but that Council was not concerned. Ms. Kruse and Ms. Frederick have volunteered to help sell ads.
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 4, 2004.
On motion by Mr. Roberts and without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1:15 pm.
Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary