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 October 25, 2010

 

The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, October 25, 2010 in the Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Jay McGuigan, Vice Chairman Pam Fitzpatrick, Walt Leck and Autumn Thomas, members. Also in attendance was Planning Commission Liaison Dennis Fisher.

Call to Order

Chairman McGuigan called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

Liaison Reports

Newtown Creek Coalition: Mrs. Fitzpatrick reported that the Coalition has hired an attorney to file for non-profit status. Bylaws re being drafted as part of this effort. A fall creek clean-up has been rescheduled for November 6, 2010.

Planning Commission: Mr. Fisher reported that the Planning Commission has reviewed three sketch plans, for a dental office at the lot next to the Swim Club, a McDonalds at Village at Newtown and an assisted living facility on Durham Road near Eagle Road.

Park and Recreation Board: Ms. Thomas reported that Tree Tenders had a three session program at the Township, co-sponsored by the Park and Recreation Department and Board. The well attended session taught residents about planting, pruning and trimming trees. The group will be working on a Clark Nature Center clean up day.

Projects

Wildlife Management: Mr. McGuigan reported that the Board of Supervisors had voted to approve Eccologix’ proposal for the archery component of its wildlife management plan. Because sharpshooting cannot be done until after the new year, consideration of that portion of the proposal was tabled until after the budget for 2011 has been presented.

Energy Conservation: The recording secretary reported that the Township had received a grant for a wind turbine for the new public works garage. It is to be installed shortly.

Green Corner: Ms. Thomas said that she will be drafting an article for the winter newsletter. One topic she is considering is holiday decorations. She would include information on LED lights, natural decorations and disposal of decorations at the end of the season.

Member Comments: Mr. Leck reminded the members that as winter approaches he has concerns about the damage brine spreaders do to automobiles. He would like the EAC to learn more about the environmental impact of the use of brine on the roads.

Mr. Leck said that he has concerns about the pruning PECO does to trees in the right-of-way along power lines.

Ms. Thomas said that she would research this; it is her understanding that PECO has the right to prune the trees along the lines, even if they have been planted by residents, but there might be some guidelines for residents to be sure the pruning is done to preserve the trees.

The members briefly discussed the Township’s requirements for street trees, the specific trees required and their location. Ms. Thomas said that she will further research the Ordinance, as she has some concerns that the list of approved trees might not be appropriate.

The members briefly discussed whether the EAC should be involved in reviews of land development plans for landscaping.

The recording secretary reminded the members that when the EAC was first formed, under a different Board of Supervisors, there had been reluctance to put an additional layer of review on the land development process. The Supervisors could require an EAC review if there is concern about development on environmentally sensitive property, as had been done at the Rockbridge property.

As none of the current members had been on the EAC when it began, the recording secretary explained that at the beginning, the members discussed various environmental issues of concern and each member “championed” a particular topic. When the EAC had discussed and researched a topic to formulate some ideas, the chairman brought this to the Board of Supervisors to approval to continue. This had been done on wildlife management and on the open space inventory.

Mr. McGuigan moved to adjourn at 9:00 PM. Ms. Fitzpatrick seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary