NEWTOWN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
MINUTES OF MEETING AT GOODNOE FARM DAIRY BAR
THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2006
Present: Dick Weaver, Tom Harwood, Wayne Bishop, Mary Ann Broderick, Lud Worsham, Chip Bromley, Doug Terry, Linda Mitchell, Don Harris, Mary Africa, Patrice Martin, Chris Ortwein, Riki Brennan
Call to Order: Mr. Weaver called the meeting to order.
Codes Department Business Development Report
Mr. Harwood presented his report, covering April 2006. He noted that Carlucci’s Express Café had been recommended disapproval by the Planning Commission and is scheduled for the May 10th Supervisors meeting. He noted that Petsmart was a new application; Rockfactory, that would give music lessons, on Cambridge was approved; and that the Sloan School was approved and would be housed in an old Law School building.
Approval of the Minutes
Ms. Broderick moved to approve the minutes of the April 6, 2006 meeting as presented. Mr. Worsham seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Harwood, a member of the transportation committee, said that the Chamber would be sponsoring a Safety Day on May 20th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, to be held at Sesame Place; there will be many booths and activities for children. He noted the upcoming new member luncheon on May 24th. 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 first quarter had been quite successful: four vacancies were filled, netting 12 new jobs; the façade program provided $4257 of public funds against $7350 private funds for a total of $1,700,000 of private investment. Ms. Ortwein reported a total of 502 hours, an approximate value of $8564.
Ms. Ortwein said that a major project is communication with shareholders and committee members; the electronic newsletter will keep financial supporters, committee members, boards, and community members informed; she distributed forms to be filled out by those interested in receiving the AHA! newsletters. Ms. Ortwein reported on the new newsletter for business owners on State and Sycamore Streets; she can provide a PDF copy for those interested.
Ms. Ortwein announced the upcoming AHA! Friday on May 5th, which will feature the Welcome Day Art Walk highlighting some of the artists who will be at Welcome Day; exhibits will be at various venues along the street. The JDNC/Main Streets website is: www.newtownpa.us
Newtown Business and Professional Association
Ms. Mitchell noted that Welcome Day would be held on May 13th; business will advertise and provide activities; all the booths are booked. She noted the upcoming the car show on July 23rd. Ms. Mitchell said the 2nd annual NBPA Community Guide/membership directory would be ready soon; it has grown from 48 to 62 pages this year. The Guide will be available at Welcome Day, and approximately 10,000 will be mailed to all Newtown residents and businesses; additional copies will be mailed throughout the year to new members and given to businesses for distribution. Information about the association and its events is available at the NBPA website: www.newtownbpa.org.
Ms. Mitchell said that the website is being redesigned to target the public, potential members and current members. She announced the next membership breakfast meeting at the Temperance House at 7:30 am on May 23rd, and noted that details of the upcoming business card exchange could be found on the website. Ms. Mitchell said that NBPA had participated last night in a regional business card exchange that included Northampton, Newtown, Southampton, Feasterville and the Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce; approximately 100 people attended the event held at Johnny Apples in Holland.
Economic Development Commission
Mr. Weaver reported that a reception sponsored by Elliot Building Group would be held at the old Acme site this evening. He noted other current projects: Chris Messick’s building on Blacksmith Drive next to UltraSound; Brandywine is under agreement to be developed by McGrath into age restricted homes; the owners of TJ’s have purchased the Township House on Sycamore Street. He said a pharmaceutical company is looking to move from Exton, PA and is considering consolidating its locations in Newtown.
Newtown Business Commons Association
Mr. Terry said their second general membership meeting would be held later this month; they are working on expanding participation and membership. He said they recently took a stand to support Carlucci’s requested hours of operation. Mr. Weaver said the EDC felt an eating establishment was acceptable in the business commons; he noted that an older restriction in the Industrial Park said only park members could use such an establishment. Mr. Weaver said the Planning Commission was concerned with a restaurant being open until 10 pm. Mr. Bishop said he didn’t understand the objection, as it seemed logical that people staying at the hotel would need a place to eat. Mr. Weaver said the hotel would have a small dining area for breakfast and snacks and would facilitate the banquet facilities at the hotel.
Ms. Dunleavy presented a draft of an updated BDC brochure. Ms. Martin suggested that the brochure be distributed in the area to bring in more meeting attendees. Ms. Mitchell said the brochure was more informational, and that it advertised the access to township officials at the monthly meetings. Ms. Dunleavy will email a draft of the brochure for members to review and respond to.
The next scheduled BDC meeting will be Thursday, June 1, 2006, at Dolce Carini Restaurant on South Eagle Road.
Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.
Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary