NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940
Meeting held on Febraury 25, 2013
The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, February 25, 2013 at the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were Autumn Thomas and Shannon Escalante, co-chairmen, Eric Korn, Vice Chairman and Pam Fitzpatrick, Perry Katz and Steven Jenks. Also in attendance was Dennis Fisher, Planning Commission liaison.
Call to Order: Ms. Thomas called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
Approval of Minutes: Ms. Thomas moved to accept the minutes of January 26, 2013. Mr. Katz seconded and the motion passed 6-0.
Ms. Thomas reported that the EAC has been invited to the Council Rock School District’s Green Team meeting on Tuesday, February 26 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. She volunteered to attend and represent the EAC.
The recording secretary reported that she has been contacted by Tina Leck of Leck & Son about an electronic recycling event to be held at the public works building on March 30 from 8:00 AM until noon. Ms. Leck has asked for EAC to partner with Leck on this effort. She would use the EAC name in all promotional materials and would ask that EAC members volunteer to work at the sign in table. They would be free to distribute any materials on their upcoming events and speak to attendees about EAC initiatives or upcoming events. At a recent event held in Lower Makefield their EAC helped at the check-in table and found it a very useful community outreach method.
The members agreed to partner with Leck on this. Mr. Korn said he would contact Ms. Leck for details. The other members each agreed to cover an hour at the sign in table, working in pairs. Ms. Thomas said that she would gather some literature on Bird Town for distribution. Mr. Katz said that he would try to have something firm to distribute about the June quarterly event.
Mr. Jenks said that he has spoken to EAC members in other municipalities which get funding for their initiatives from their municipalities. These EAC’s have documented the benefits of having active EAC’s in their communities, such as increased recycling grants. He would research this further.
Mr. Korn said that he would like to prepare an article for the Newtown Gazette promoting the EAC’s efforts on different projects, particularly the ongoing quarterly forums.
Planning Commission: Mr. Fisher reported that at its most recent meeting the Planning Commission only reviewed some conditional use applications for restaurants in the commercial districts.
Discussion of Projects
Stormwater Pamphlet: Mr. Korn said that he spoke to Ms. Fountain, the Township Engineer, about the brochure. She had some concerns about recent changes to the Ordinance and wanted to be sure any pamphlet given to residents would not advocate stormwater mitigation which would not comply with Ordinance requirements.
Mr. Fisher said that he agreed with Ms. Fountain for projects requiring stormwater mitigation, however some small residential projects will not have specific requirements to control run-off. The pamphlet could offer ideas and suggestions for addressing any concerns about possible additional run-off.
Mr. Korn said that he will attempt to incorporate Ms. Fountain’s specific suggestions, translated into laymen’s terms and then share his draft with other EAC members.
Bird Town: The members reviewed plans for Saturday’s Bird Town Backyard Stewardship class. Ms. Thomas reported that 38 people have registered. She will need a screen and projector for the event. Room set-up should be with rows of chairs facing the dais, with a few tables around the perimeter.
Mr. Katz said that he would order lunch and Ms. Escalante would bring breakfast.
Ms. Thomas said that the Audubon Society is sponsoring a children’s art contest. She would get additional information at next Saturday’s forum, then share it with CRSD art teachers.
Quarterly Forums/June Meeting: Mr. Katz said that he spoke to State Representative Steve Santarsiero about speaking on “fracking.” He will confirm a date as soon as possible then try to coordinate with other possible speakers to discuss the procedure itself, the pros and cons of natural gas as an energy source and the political and economic aspects of gas drilling in Pennsylvania. He will circulate a draft agenda once he has confirmed the panel of speakers.
Mr. Jenks said that he knows an expert on the economic benefits of natural gas energy who might be willing to participate. He would approach him about possibly participating in the panel.
Ms. Thomas said that she would share some of the press contacts that she used for the Bird Town forum so that the group can begin promoting the event.
Green Corner: Ms. Escalante said that she has a few things prepared on composting and on environmentally friendly household cleaners. She would also like to promote the June event if details can be firmed up by the deadline date of March 25.
Correspondence: Ms. Thomas said that a resident has written asking about the use of pesticides and herbicides in the Township, particularly in the commons grounds of developments and on public property. She said that she knew the writer personally and would respond to the letter directly.
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.
Respectfully submitted by:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary