PARK AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF MARCH 6, 2002
Approval of the Minutes of March 6, 2002: Mr. Bires moved to accept the minutes of March 6, 2002. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on March 6, 2002. In attendance and voting were: Bernard Bires, Chairman; Andrew Levine, Vice-Chairman; John Davis; Joel Grosso; Kathy Kelly; Buck O'Neill; Russell G. Strover; and Susan Sutton, members. Also in attendance were Bill Wert, Park and Recreation Director and Richard Weaver and Scott Harp, Supervisors.
Mr. Bires called the meeting to Order at 8:00PM.
Mr. Wert was very pleased to announce that Russell G. Strover of the Park and Recreation Board has been selected as the winner of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society Lay Honor Award, its highest honor for community Park and Recreation volunteers. The award will be presented at the PRPS Annual Conference and Awards Banquet at the Adams Mark Hotel on Tuesday, March 26, 2002. Mr. Wert was also proud to announce that the Park and Recreation Department Brochure won the PRPS award for Community Program Publication.
Mr. Bires extended the heartfelt congratulations of the Park and Recreation Board to Mr. Strover.
Approval of the Minutes of February 6, 2002
Mr. Strover noted that the Shade Tree Commission Report should read that "labels are to be ordered".
Mrs. Sutton moved to accept the minutes as amended. Mr. Strover seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Tudor Square Phase III – Preliminary Plan
Mr. Bill Messick of Tudor Square explained to the Board that his firm intended to add a third building to its office complex in Newtown Commons. The footprint of the building will be 15,152 square feet. The new building will be next to Sovereign Bank, backing up to the cemetery and the Law School Admissions Council Building. There is very little open space available in this commercial area, and Mr. Messick hopes that the Board will recommend accepting a fee of approximately $19,365.00. The exact amount of the fee is determined by the code department.
Mr. Levine moved to accept a fee in lieu of Open Space from Tudor Square. Mr. Strover seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Durham Road Associates – Preliminary Plan
Mr. David Pinchuk of Durham Road Associates presented his firm's plan to develop property on Durham Road as three office buildings. The project will be built in phases, the first building having a 19,000 square foot footprint. The total square footage for the project will be 87,000 square feet. Mr. Pinchuk said that it was his understanding that if the Board were to recommend a fee in lieu of Open Space, that he would pay the fee at the time each building permit was issued.
Mrs. Sutton moved to accept a fee in lieu of Open Space from Durham Road Associates. Mr. Grosso seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Bires noted that nobody had appeared representing the Hoffa Tract and that it would be continued to the April meeting.
Playground Sub-Committee Report
Mr. Levine reported that he, Mr. Grosso and Mr. O'Neill had met with the representatives of Landscape Structures and Boyce Associates. Mr. Levine said that the sub-committee referred to the guidelines originally given to the playground contractors by the Park and Open Space Committee, and with that in mind, felt that Boyce Associates/Little Tykes met all of the criteria in an aesthetically pleasing way. The sub-committee recommended that the Board consider a pre-packaged playground featuring a ship theme play area for 5 to 12 year olds, and a smaller structure for 2 to 5 year olds. The structure will meet all of the requirements set forth by the Open Space Committee and this Board, including theme play, climbing events, some roof covered areas for shade, all in natural colors of brown, tan and green.
Mr. Wert said that the mini-play area for smaller children is not under State Contract at this time, but that Boyce expects that it will be on April 1, 2002. This is not definite, however.
Mr. Levine said that the sub-committee had discussed safety surfacing at length with the representatives. They thought that mulch would be much less expensive than tile or poured in place surfacing. They were, however, considering using the tile under the small children's equipment and mulch for the rest of the playground.
Mr. Wert said that Boyce had told him that Rubbermaid/Little Tykes had developed a poured in place safety surface that could be delivered pre-mixed, rather than mixed on site, and that this is a big improvement. The new surface meets all Federal and State safety standards and has been tested and approved for use in children's playgrounds. Rubbermaid is looking for a demonstration playground in the Philadelphia area for this new product. Boyce is working to have Roberts Ridge Park chosen as the demonstration site, and if chosen, there may be a substantial discount for the surface. It could mean a savings of as much as $4500.00.
Mr. Levine said that the cost for this playground including equipment, safety surface and installation is estimated at $100,772.95. This does not include site preparations such as drainage and grading.
Mr. Weaver questioned if the sub-committee had considered installation by a committee of volunteers.
Mr. Levine said that the sub-committee discussed this with representatives from Morrisville's and Doylestown's playground committees and had decided that for reasons of safety and liability, professional installation was the better choice.
Mr. Wert said that once a plan is chosen by the Board and submitted to the Supervisors for approval, he can show it to the Township Engineers to begin planning site preparation, such as grading, drainage and fall zones. There will be additional costs involved with this. Mr. Wert said that the Board of Supervisors must approve the plan, then he would work with Boyce Associates and the Engineers to plan the site and order the equipment. If the order is placed by April 1, 2002, there may be an additional discount.
Mr. Harp invited the sub-committee to present the plan to the Board of Supervisors at the work session to be held on March 18, 2002, and then at the televised Township Meeting on March 27, 2002.
Mrs. Sutton moved to recommend the large playground plan, with an estimated cost of $100,772.95, to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Grosso seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Capital Planning – there was no report
Planning Commission – there was no report
Board of Supervisors – Mr. Harp reported that the Board is eager to have park plans underway, and thanked the sub-committee for the work they have done.
Shade Tree Commission – Mr. Strover suggested that in the future, the Shade Tree Commission appear as "Old Business" on the agenda.
Mr. Strover reported that he was participating in a seminar with the Pennsylvania Cooperative Extension and other organizations on public tree planting, pruning and maintenance at Bucks County Community College. The seminar will use trees in Swamp Road Park for this seminar. He is also conducting a class on tree planting, pruning and maintenance with the park and Recreation Department on March 23 at Roberts Ridge Park.
There are six trees that have yet to be planted at Roberts Ridge Park form last fall. One will be planted as part of the Planting class. There is a $3000.00 grant outstanding for trees to form a grove along the site of the proposed gazebo in Roberts Ridge Park.
Mrs. Sutton reported that she is working with Goodnoe Elementary School and Newtown Borough to participate in an Arbor Day program. Fifth Grade Cub Scouts will plant trees in Roberts Ridge Park, then walk to Linton Peaceable Kingdom Park on Lincoln Avenue to the activities the Borough is sponsoring, including games and crafts. Mr. Harp will be participating in the ceremony, and has donated a tree that will be planted along Municipal Drive.
Park and Recreation Director's Report
Mr. Wert reported that participation in the Winter 2002 programs has increased 16% over last year in enrollment, and 11% in revenue.
Summer Day Camp registration is March 20, 2002 at 5:30PM. He asked if some committee members would volunteer to help with the sign-up. He anticipated that all programs would fill up quickly. He explained that he had added a pre-teen program at Goodnoe Elementary School for children completing sixth through eighth grades, and had eliminated the regular day camp at Goodnoe. He said that last year had seen an increase in the older children and he felt that by adding this program, he could still accommodate the first through fifth graders at Newtown Elementary camp. The Camp Beechtree half day program for 4 to 5 year olds will still meet at Goodnoe School.
Mr. Wert provided the Board members with catalogs for the PRPS Conference at the Adams Mark Hotel and suggested that the members interested should attend the Tuesday, March 26th program which would feature a Citizen Board Symposium and the awards banquet at which Mr. Strover would be honored.
Mr. Wert reported that the softball and baseball leagues had applied for permits to use the Township fields for the Spring. Public Works will begin preparing the fields. New home plates and fence toppers are to be added this year.
Mr. Wert is continuing to meet with the Township Engineers on bringing electricity to Roberts Ridge Park. He hopes to have more information at the next meeting.
The Park and Recreation Department will advertise for the NFL flag football program in the Spring Brochure, and with flyers sent to children through the schools for this fall activity. Mr. O'Neill will work with Mr. Wert to recruit coaches, form teams and organize the league. Mr. O'Neill suggested that the Township and the newly formed Newtown Athletic Association discuss working together on the flag football league.
Mr. O'Neill said that he would like to attend the Supervisors work session to discuss the Little League batting cage and a proposed storage shed at Chandler Field.
Mr. Grosso moved to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they approve the shed.
Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Harp announced that the First Fourth celebration is in the process of seeking approval for use of the High School, and he hopes that the Park and Recreation Board would work on this committee.
Mr. Levine moved to adjourn at 10:15. Mrs. Sutton seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary