NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940

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

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Meeting held on July 28, 2008

 

The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, July 28, 2008 in the Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Donald McEachron, Chairman; Jay McGuigan, Vice Chairman; Aliya Aslam, Michael Kaner, Walter Leck, and Autumn Thomas, members. Also in attendance was Dennis Fisher, Planning Commission Liaison and Henry DeSilva, Newtown Borough EAC Liaison.

Call To Order

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

Approval of Minutes

Ms. Aslam moved to accept the minutes of May 12, 2008. Dr. McEachron seconded and the motion passed 3-0-3, with Ms. Thomas, Dr. Kaner and Mr. McGuigan abstaining.

Dr. Kaner, Mr. McGuigan and Ms. Thomas agreed that the notes presented from the meeting of June 23, 2008 were accurate.

Chairman's Report

Dr. McEachron reported that the Board of Supervisors had approved use of $1000 of the EAC budget to hire two Drexel University students to complete the open space inventory.

Ms. Aslam offered to help prepare final maps to present to the Board when the inventory is complete.

EAC Project Updates

Wildlife Management

Mr. McGuigan said that there have been reports of West Nile Virus in birds in Tyler State Park. He will follow up on this.

The Council reviewed the purposes for wildlife management:

  • Prevention of accidents
  • Control of disease
  • Protection of animals
  • Maintaining open space with ecological balance

Mr. Leck noted that standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which carry disease. He expressed some concern about the detention basin in Village at Newtown Shopping Center.

Mr. Fisher suggested that the Code Enforcement Officer be contacted about this and other areas of standing water.

The Council discussed concerns about mosquito breeding. Dr. McEachron noted that this should be considered as the Township’s open space program investigates preservation of wetland areas.

Mr. McGuigan said that the Centers for Disease Control, and both the State and County track instances of West Nile Virus, but there has not been similar tracking of Lyme Disease. It will begin this year.

Mr. McGuigan reported that he has spoken to Gary Crossland of the Public Works Department about placing signage along roads where there are frequent deer/car accidents. Mr. Crossland will investigate whether signage will be permitted by PennDOT on State roads. It was noted that the signage could also serve as traffic calming.

Open Space Inventory

Dr. McEachron reported that the inventory has become a priority, as it will be used by the Open Space Committee to identify parcels to be preserved under the County Open Space program. Once the inventory is completed, parcels identified as open space will need to be verified, as some of the maps are out of date. Parcels will then have to be evaluated.

Ms. Aslam said that students at the Council Rock High School North environmental club might be interested in volunteering to help with the on-site evaluations.

Mr. Leck asked whether the Open Space Committee is considering the PECO rights of way.

Dr. McEachron said that it is his understanding that the rights of way might be considered for linking parks and trails both in Newtown and Wrightstown.

Other Business

Ms. Aslam provided information on “Smart Power” , a program of the Pennsylvania Clean Energy Communities Campaign. She talked about efforts being made in Lower Makefield to become a Clean Energy Community. She asked the members to read about this program, as it might be something Newtown Township would want to espouse.

Dr. McEachron agreed to provide members with some recent research into the impact of wind power and its effects on local weather patterns.

Dr. McEachron asked members to update their biographies on the Township Web site.

Mr. McGuigan moved to adjourn at 8:50 PM. Mr. Leck seconded and the motion passed 6-0.

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary