NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940
Meeting held on October 26, 2009
The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, October 26, 2009 in the Township Building. In attendance and voting were Co-chairmen Aliya Aslam (briefly) and Jay McGuigan and members Dennis Annarelli, Pam Fitzpatrick, Walt Leck and Autumn Thomas. Also present was Planning Commission Liaison Dennis Fisher.
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. McGuigan moved to accept the minutes of September 28, 2009. Dr. Annarelli seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Planning Commission: Mr. Fisher reported that the Planning Commission had recently recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve the preliminary/final plan for the Promenade at Sycamore Street. The Commission has also focused much of its time in recent months on review of permitted uses and performance standards for the TC Town Commercial Zoning District, which is located on Sycamore Street.
Wildlife Management: Mr. McGuigan reported that his report to the Board of Supervisors on wildlife management had been well received. For that presentation he had updated the deer/vehicle collision data through 2008. The Board was receptive to possibly proceeding with proposals from some of the management companies who have been presenting to the EAC. He said that White Buffalo will give a presentation in November or December. He provided the members with copies of the maps.
Dr. Annarelli noted that all of the major roadways have had clusters of accidents. He suggested that the companies be presented with the Township owned properties along these roadways so that the EAC can create a comparison when estimates come in. He noted that the wildlife management companies who have already been to the EAC have indicated that a contract would need to be in place in the spring for a fall hunt to take place.
Mr. Leck said that he favors the use of bow hunters, who can get closer than sharpshooters. There are fewer deer surviving with injuries than with sharpshooters, and the guns frequently warn off deer and bother nearby residents.
Ecostar: The members discussed a more aggressive attempt to find applicants for the award for next year. A few local businesses and organizations had expressed some interest but had not submitted applications. They discussed placing information in the Township newsletter and directly reaching out to the Newtown Business Commons Association and Newtown Business and Professional Association. If a deadline were set for applications of February 15, 2010, an award could be given in conjunction with Earth Day/Arbor day. The recording secretary suggested providing some information on the award at the January quarterly Newtown Corporation/Newtown Business Commons Association luncheon. That meeting is slated to focus on energy efficiency in the workplace.
Energy Conservation: Ms. Aslam said that she has not yet heard whether a grant has been received for a wind turbine for the public works building.
Ms. Aslam provided copies of an e-mail from Newtown Borough EAC member Henry DeSilva on green construction and energy conservation. (Ms. Aslam left the meeting at this point)
Green Corner: Ms. Thomas reported that for the winter Township Newsletter she would include some winter energy efficiency tips, Ecostar information and some deer information, highlighting the locations of frequent accidents and offering tips on avoiding accidents.
Mr. McGuigan reported that Park and Recreation Board Chairman Andy Levine had sent a letter thanking the EAC for its wildlife management efforts and offering to work jointly on a public education program on wildlife management and controlled hunts. Mr. Levine said that perhaps the EAC and PRB could work with the DCNR on an effort to join the Tyler hunt with a hunt on the Township owned parks that adjoin Tyler.
Mr. McGuigan reported that he had received correspondence from John Frey of Pennsylvania Transit Expansion Coalition (PA-TEC), asking for support from the EAC on reactivating the SEPTA R-8 line. He would like to attend an upcoming meeting.
The recording secretary said that Mr. Frey and other representatives of PA-TEC had attended a recent Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss this. The Board was very supportive of their efforts. Mr. Frey presented the Board with a draft resolution of support which other Boards and the EAC’s in Abington, Jenkintown and Cheltenham have already adopted.
The members were eager to learn more about the proposal to reactivate the train line and agreed to invite Mr. Frey to the January meeting.
Mr. Leck reported that there have been complaints that recycling information, including pertinent phone numbers, are illegible on the Township television channel. He asked the secretary to report this to the Technology Department.
The members agreed to cancel the December meeting because of the holiday season.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.
Respectfully submitted by:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary