TUESDAY JUNE 11, 2002
Approval of Minutes: On motion of member Fidler, seconded by member Fusco and approved by all present, except members Dieterle & Bowe who had been absent, minutes of the meeting held on May 14, 2002 were approved.
The Newtown Township Financial Planning Commission met on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 in the meeting room of the Township Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, Pa.
Members present were Chairman Richard Weaver, Phil Vance, Elaine M. Gibbs, and Allen R. Fidler, III. In attendance were Township Manager Robert Pellegrino, Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Harwood and Gary Crossland, Public Works Director.
Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order and Code Enforcement Officer Harwood introduced the newly-hired Director of Public Works, Gary Crossland to all present.
Minutes of the meeting held on May 14, 2002 were approved by motion of member Gibbs, seconded by member Fidler, with one correction on page 3: GASB (not GATSBY).
Codes & Public Works Future Plans (report attached)
Public Works Director & Code Enforcement Officer Harwood reported that the Computer System documents the Roadway Systems in the Township. The year in which each roadway has been improved is an important part of the documentation. Data will be reviewed by the engineering firm of the Township for accuracy. Most roads in developments are included, and will be added as dedicated.
The inclusion of Sycamore Street, as a gift to the Township or a grant will be determined by the auditors for inclusion when final consideration is noted as a (value) asset. Assets are computed at such time as the Township borrows funds. The electronic based system has been completed by the Public Works Department.
Mr. Harwood answered queries about certain roads: Twining Bridge Road was not built for the heavy use to which it is now travelled, due to developments along the road and thru-traffic. Mr. Harwood asked for the Commission to include major repairs to all or certain areas to be given serious consideration, citing liability of the Township. In particular, he asked for drainage and shoulder improvements as soon as possible (and not necessarily straightening). This will require engineering and design plans. Mr. Harwood recommended doing one section at a time, but doing the job WELL. Again, he strongly urged serious consideration of Twining Bridge Road.
Mr. Harwood defended the narrow cartway : noted the curve is tangible evidence of the poor condition of shoulders. Recommended speed limits should be 35 – 45 mph.
Member Fidler questioned whether the engineer had prioritized roads, cartways and/or shoulder conditions?
Mr. Harwood centered attention to Page 2, Section 2 of the report: bridge repair and shoulder improvements are needed at the Linton Hill Road Bridge, expected to begin construction on June 19th. Stone will be re-used to help maintain the historic appearance of the walled structures on each side.
Road Resurfacing should become a capital part of this phase of annual repair work. Member Fidler asked if a developer’s traffic study report which should be submitted with development plans might be added to the GIS Information System? This would show a present use as well as impending/future travel. Question: does the Township have a “trip-counter?” Could the “Speed Calibrator” make counts? Might the Township “re-seal” rather than “re-surface”? Presently there are products on the market which allow “re-sealing at a depth of ½”.
Note: Municipal Drive needs a street light at the curve for increased visibility. A planned traffic light when development is finalized opposite the Drive may improve illumination.
Mr. Harwood urged replacement of the 1987 Johnston Sweeper this year: the level of service demanded of it by residents has increased. The new goal is to sweep streets every ten (10) days on both sides. Employees have considered three machines; recommending Elgin as the best and would be expected to serve for 10 years.
Mr. Pellegrino suggested bids through the Consortium could be investigated. Reilly Sweeping had done the streets about 3 – 4 years ago for $6,000. for a one-time only sweep.
Member Fidler noted that one employee dedicated to the job would be a costly budget item.
Township Manager Pellegrino agreed to seek approval of purchase from the Board of Supervisors presently. Liquid Fuels funds are available for the purchase. Mr. Harwood recommended purchase and implementation of the suggested program as soon as possible.
Mr. Harwood reported that expansion plans are progressing: at the proposed site of the Public Works Garage, the fuel tanks should be put above ground.
Code Department Storage is presently contained in the Code Department Building, making for congestion. However, papers are more accessible for research. Paper/document storage must be a primary consideration and part of the plan for all departments.
Wrights Road (page 4 of documents)
Widening of the cartway if necessary, but securing rights-of-ways have been issues which have prevented widening.
Currently, the Township mows 80 acres weekly. Contract the mowing outside employees? Has not been considered. Should it be?
Road signs, street sweeping, culvert work, each might be contracted outside items since demands in the future for other services and tasks to employees will increase as residents come into the Township from areas where services were rendered. Mr. Harwood noted that demand as the changes in the culture of the Township change will mean addressing the demands forthcoming.
Summary: the number one (1) priority must be the recommendation about the Johnston Sweeper….along with certain road improvements as noted on page 2.
Suggestion: develop a comprehensive plan to follow. Encourage the Board of Supervisors to have the engineer process priorities/cost projections. (Carroll Engineering Corporation had begun projections earlier). Use some of the data at the present time and plan phases appropriately but do projects thoroughly and well.
Member Fidler suggested the Engineer be asked to make assessments from the prior proposals (of Carroll Enginerring Corp.) and up-date to present time. Perhaps a traffic count on certain roadways and a review of accident reports would be helpful in prioritizing projects. Costs and risks to residents must be reviewed with vision.
Chairman Weaver thanked Mr. Harwood and Mr. Crossland for their interpretation and in-put into the report, promising careful consideration by the Board of Supervisors.
Member & Finance Director Gibbs discussed the process used in listing inventory in the Township. At the August meeting she will present a policy to expedite the accuracy of listing, in consideration of the GASB requirements.
There being no further business, the meeting was duly adjourned.
Ethel K. Hibbs, Secretary