The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, November 1, 2006, in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Andrew Levine, Chairman; Joel Grosso, Vice Chairman; Michael Clancy, John Davis, Kathy Kelly, Buck O’Neill and Susan Sutton, members. Also in attendance were Bill Wert, Park and Recreation Director and Philip Calabro, Township Supervisor.

Call to Order

Mr. Levine called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Clancy moved to accept the minutes of October 4, 2006. Mrs. Sutton seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Subcommittee Reports

Park Development

Mr. Levine reported that the Roberts Ridge playground work would be completed this week. Allowing a week for sod to take root, the playground would be open in one more week.

The members discussed thanking the many volunteers who participated in the project. A plaque will be placed at the site, recognizing the unions and foundations that have donated time and money for the playground. Individual volunteers would also be recognized by a special action at a Board of Supervisors meeting.

Mr. Levine said that because the Pennsylvania Growing Greener fund has contributed $100,000 to the project, the Governor would like to come to a ribbon cutting event. A date for this has not been set yet, but members of the Board agreed that they do not want to delay opening of the playground for use by children until a formal ribbon cutting ceremony. It was agreed that the fence would be removed as soon as work was completed and the sod has taken root.

Open Space

Mr. Levine reported that the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) has begun to investigate preparing an inventory of open space. This inventory would include all open space, public and private. Toward that end the Council is preparing an evaluation form.

Mr. Wert said that he had attended the last EAC meeting, and provided members with some maps and information from the last inventory. He said that the County had done a natural area inventory not long ago, and no points in Newtown Township were identified. The Bucks County Open Space Task Force is beginning to look at stewardship. The EAC’s evaluation form could point out how Newtown’s open space is being maintained.

Senior/Adult Recreation

Ms. Sutton reported that Ethel Hibbs has offered to help with a re-evaluation of Carl Sedia Park. Ms. Sutton said that she would also like to include Chandler Hall in discussion of this park.

Mr. Wert reported that Kathy Pawlenko, Program Director for the Park and Rec Department, is examining the feasibility of a senior price rate for Township programs. She has also been asked to serve on the Senior Games committee.

New Business

The members reviewed the priorities for 2007:

  • The Woll tract
  • Completion of Roberts Ridge Park, including restrooms
  • Possible acquisition of the Preston house for use as a recreation/community center
  • Opening two to four soccer fields for the fall 2007 season
  • Completion of the restoring of Helen Randle ballfields
  • Upgrading the Helen Randle playground
  • Carl Sedia Park exercise stations

In discussing the Woll Tract, Mr. Levine suggested holding some meetings with the public to gauge continued interest in a skate park.

Mr. O’Neill said that the sub-committee of high school students working on plans for the park would be ready to give a presentation for a park that would be about the size of two tennis courts. The members agreed to schedule a meeting in either February or March to review the proposal.

The members briefly reviewed the timeline for the Woll tract, noting that engineering would take six to eight months. If Planning Commission review went smoothly, it is conceivable that construction could begin in Spring of 2008, with park opening in 2010.

Mr. Calabro said that the Township budget would be presented in draft form at the next Supervisors meeting. There has been some discussion of a possible bond issue for the park and municipal expansion.

Mr. Wert said that the unfunded 2006 park projects would be included in 2007’s budget, including the forest management project for Clark, restrooms for Roberts Ridge and improvements to baseball and softball fields.

Mrs. Sutton asked about fishing in Silver Lake Park. She said that some residents have expressed concern about whether fish in the lake are edible.

Board of Supervisors

Mr. Calabro reported that he has participated in meetings with the School District about possible acquisition of the house next to Goodnoe School, now that the alternative high school has moved out. Possible uses for the property are restrooms for Roberts Ridge, community rooms and classroom space for Park and Recreation programs. No agreements have been reached with the District, which continues to have some daytime use for the building.

Mr. Calabro said that he has also had informal discussion with the District about community sports organizations’ use of the playing fields near Goodnoe School.

Park and Recreation Director’s Report

Mr. Wert reviewed the small tasks to be completed before opening of Roberts Ridge Playground. He reported that a portion of the trail is being extended from Jonquil Drive to Amy Circle.

Mr. Wert reported that the new brochure has been very successful. There has been an increase in revenue of 4.5% over last year.

Mrs. Sutton moved to adjourn at 8:30 PM. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary