NEWTOWN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
LUNCHEON MEETING AT GOODNOE FARM DAIRY BAR
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2005
Approval of the Minutes: Ms. Frederick moved to approve the minutes of the September 1, 2005 meeting as presented. Ms. Broderick seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
Present: Dick Weaver, Mary Ann Broderick, Marge Frederick, Wayne Bishop, Bob Michaud, Kent Lufkin, Dan McCloskey, Chris Ortwein, Sue Britsch, Don Harris, William Kolar, Linda Mitchell, Mark Byelich, Robert M. Pellegrino, Doug Terry, Paul Salvatore, Morgan O’Brien.
Call to Order: Mr. Weaver called the meeting to order.
Codes Department Business Development Report
Approval of the Minutes
Ms. Frederick moved to approve the minutes of the July 7, 2005 meeting as presented. Mr. Salvatore seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce
No report. Information and further detail about all LBCCC events is available on the website:www.lbccc.org.
Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation
Main Streets Manager Chris Ortwein reported that The Nest, a new interior design business on State Street, was welcomed at the last Aha! Friday. She noted that there are two new businesses opening, Computer Tymes on State Street, offering computer training for kids, and Tasteful Teas, on Swamp Street in the old Sparkles building. Ms. Ortwein said they hope to have a grand opening for Tasteful Teas in the near future, since it is the first new business on Sycamore Street.
Ms. Ortwein said that the first Main Streets electronic email newsletter had been sent out announcing the September 2nd aha! Friday; BDC members who did not receive a copy should give Ms. Dunleavy their email address to be added to the mailing list. She noted that the Main Streets program had completed its first year, which was a great success; an annual report will be issued soon. Ms. Ortwein said she is available to speak to organizations and would happy to provide any additional information regarding the Main Streets program. She noted that the program works on a 5 year strategy plan, and asked BDC members to let her know if there are any issues not being addressed so they can be included in the strategy plan.
Newtown Business and Professional Association
Mr. Salvatore announced that the annual golf outing held last week had been quite successful. He noted that the guest speaker for the October 25th NPBA membership meeting will be former governor Mark Schweiker; he will speak on a regional strategy for business development. The breakfast meeting will be at Chandler Hall beginning at 7:30 a.m.; the cost is $12.00 for breakfast. Ms. Mitchell said everyone in the BDC should receive an invitation. She noted that the Community Guidebook should be published soon. Ms. Mitchell reported that the July 24th NPBA Auto Show/NBRA Summer Festival was quite successful; both organizations were pleased with the results. She said they are working on ideas for promoting business during the holiday season. More information about the association is available at the NBPA website: www.newtownbpa.org.
Economic Development Commission
Mr. Weaver noted that Mr. Terry’s building looked good and said the fence was a good idea. He said that the first tenants are moving into the Newtown Yardley Office Park, and that construction of offices at the old France building site were underway; initial plans for the Hilton Homewood Suites have been submitted. The hotel will have 120 suites, a conference room, and eating facilities. Mr. Weaver said that the sign issue had been resolved; the dark green sign will be installed between the 3rd and 4th floors. He said that developer Cam Troila had agreed to pay for two monument signs in the Business Commons, one at Penns Trail and a second at Newtown Yardley Road.; Mr. Terry will speak with PennDOT regarding the monument signs. Mr. Weaver noted that there is a parcel for sale on the corner of Newtown Yardley Road and the Bypass that could be developed.
Mr. Weaver said that there would be a ribbon cutting for a new shuttle service, the Newtown RUSH, on October 3rd. He said that Bill Ricketts from the TMA would be appearing on the new local cable show “Let’s Talk Newtown”. Mr. Weaver said that seniors will be able to ride free and that business member employees could also ride free of charge. The Newtown RUSH public shuttle will provide peak-hour connections between SEPTA R-3 trains (from Philadelphia and West Trenton) at Woodbourne Station and the Newtown Business Commons, Holy Family University, LaSalle University, and ICT Group, Newtown. Buses will connect with SEPTA Route 130 buses to Newtown Borough and Bucks County Community College. Mr. Pellegrino noted that the TMA is putting together a brochure that will be available when completed.
Mr. Weaver said that the new Channel 23 cable program “Let’s Talk Newtown” would be recorded monthly; Mr. Pellegrino said they are looking for sponsors for the shows ($250/show). The show will be moderated by radio talk show host Pat Waddling. Mr. Salvatore said the NBPA would be happy to participate in a future program.
Ms. Mitchell said that anyone interested in assisting with ad sales, which cost $300 a spot, should contact her. She said that 12 businesses have committed and there are 30 spots remaining; sponsors can purchase multiple spots.
Business Commons Association
Mr. Terry, President of the association, said they have had initial monthly meetings, and are in the process of setting up nonprofit status and contacting businesses in the Commons for memberships. He noted that one of the association’s goals is monument signs, and said that the township has given the NBCA a voicemail extension to field phone calls. Mr. Terry said that one difference between the former Commons association and the newly formed organization is that the township is involved this time; Mr. Weaver and Mr. Pellegrino serve as liaisons to the Board. Mr. Weaver said they hope to meet with realtors in New Jersey to help bring businesses into Newtown; the governor has a program that provides financial benefit for bringing businesses from NJ to PA.
Sycamore Street Project
Mr. Pellegrino noted that the project contract completion date has been extended to October 10, to give the contractor time to install the new plastic crosswalks, replace dead trees, install street signs, and complete the sidewalk at the Kurtz property. He said the township does not want to accept the street until the construction was complete. Mr. Pellegrino said a punch list will go to the engineers. He said that the traffic light at Jefferson Street should be activated next week; it will flash for 7 days before becoming fully operational.
Mr. Pellegrino reported that Elliot had purchased the property yesterday, and that they would be putting a sign and looking for tenants. He said the building site should total 80,000 square feet, with retail on the first floor, Elliot Building offices on the second floor, and residential condos on the third floor. He noted there would be two-tiered parking in the rear, with direct access to the second floor; preliminary plans for the site should be submitted in early October.
South Eagle Road
Mr. Pellegrino said they have identified approximately $250,000 worth of work that needs to be done; there is no incentive for the township to take back the road until repairs are complete. He noted there is an enforceable speed limit on the road.
Closed Loop System/PennDOT
Mr. Pellegrino said that PennDOT has agreed to pay for the upgrade of the system, and that they will work on the right turn lanes at Buck Road and Sycamore Street next year.
The next scheduled BDC meeting will be Thursday, October 6, 2005.
Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.
Leslie Dunleavy, Recording Secretary