NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940

Internet: http://www.twp.newtown.pa.us

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Minutes for the meeting held on March 26, 2007

 

The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, February 26, 2007 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Donald McEachron, Chairman; Susan Sciarratta, Vice Chairman; Michael Kaner, and Secretary. Also in attendance was Dennis Fisher, Planning Commission liaison.

Call To Order

Dr. McEachron called the meeting to order at 7:30PM.

Approval of Minutes

Dr. Kaner moved to approve the minutes of February 26, 2007. Ms. Sciarratta seconded and the motion passed 2-0-1, with Dr. McEachron abstaining.

Chairman's Report

Dr. McEachron reported that he had asked the Board of Supervisors for approval to purchase maps as outlined in a letter from the Natural Lands Trust. The Supervisors suggested that, before making such a purchase he consult with Ronald Weaver, a Township employee familiar with GIS mapping already in the Township’s possession. Mr. Weaver has not yet confirmed that he can provide the mapping. He will also attempt to contact Township Planner Judith Stern Goldstein about the maps.

Ongoing Projects

Newtown Creek

Ms. Sciarratta presented an application to “Growing Greener” for the creek restoration in the area of Carl Sedia Park. The members approved the application, with some very minor corrections. Their only other comment was in reference to the grant narrative’s goals paragraph, which states in part, “primary environmental benefit of the project will be the opportunity it presents to the Newtown Environmental Advisory Committee to get project experience…” There was some concern that referring to the opportunity to gain experience should not be a “primary” benefit. Dr. Kaner suggested that Ms. Sciarratta investigate whether this phrase had been included because first time applicants are being sought. Ms. Sciarratta agreed to contact Delaware Riverkeepers to discuss this question.

Ms. Sciarratta said that she would seek letters of support for the project from Riverkeepers, the Township and Newtown Borough. She also suggested that the Council begin to investigate availability of volunteer workers for the project.

Dr. McEachron agreed to contact the science coordinator for Council Rock School District for volunteers.

Wildlife Management

Dr. Kaner reported that he had not completed his research into tick borne diseases. He said that his initial investigation seems to indicate that there is not a dramatic reduction in Lyme disease with control of a deer population. It could be that the deer ticks adapt to other host animals. He expects to have more detailed information for the April meeting.

Liaison Reports

Newtown Creek Coalition

Dr. McEachron reported that the Newtown Creek Coalition has decided to remain an unofficial committee. The Coalition has divided the creek into five sections for review. He has been researching the dam near Hidden Lake and has learned that it is maintained and inspected by Carroll Engineering. He is attempting to get additional information about the dam and about the emergency evacuation plan in the event that the dam fails. The EAC’s will be asked to survey the creek in the spring There has been some concern among residents who live along the creek that the plan is to put trails through their yards; this is not the case. The coalition is looking at ways to make the creek an asset to the community.

Planning Commission

Mr. Fisher reported that the Planning Commission is scheduling some special meetings to review the revised comprehensive plan. Natural Resource Protection is addressed in chapter 7, so would probably not be reviewed at the first meeting. He would keep the Commission informed as the review continues.

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary