NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE

A Reconstruction Project of Newtown Township

100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2002

8:00 PM


Minutes of 5-14-02: Mr. Merjeski moved to approve the minutes.  Mr. McLean advised the committee on one change to the minutes, on page 4, item #2 HARB would like the street lighting to resemble Yardley’s street lighting not Doylestown’s. The motion was seconded by Mr. Wilson and passed unanimously, with 3 members abstaining. 


The Sycamore Street Committee met on Tuesday, May 14, 2002, in the Newtown Township Municipal Building at 8:00 p.m.  In attendance were Chairman Vince Lombardi, Vice Chairman Frank Tyrol, Members Joe Merjeski, Jerry DeYoung and Shannon Wilson.  Planning Commission Member Karen Doorley.  Newtown Borough Liaison Barry Dinneen and Terry McLean representing HARB.  Not in attendance were Members David Burns and Daniel Faust and Planning Commission Members James Bowe and James Ott.

Also present were Supervisor Tom Jirele, Tom McLearnon representing Chandler Hall, Nelson Shaffer representing Pennoni Associates Inc., Resident James Kurtz, Bob Bebon representing Newtown Presbyterian Church and staff writer Jean-Paul Lautenschlager representing Focus on Newtown.

The Meeting was called to order at 8:02 PM.

Special Announcements: 

Mr. Lombardi advised the committee that the T-21 grant has been awarded.

Minutes of 4-9-02: Mr. DeYoung moved to approve the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Mr. McLean and passed unanimously, with 1 member abstaining. 

Additions to the Minutes of 4-9-02:

The committee discussed the Sycamore Street Project Schedule. 

March 22, 2002        Submit Right-of-Way Plats and Legal Descriptions to Township – Mr. Lombardi advised the committee that the Legal Descriptions have been submitted.  He should be receiving the Plats by this weekend.  Mr. Shaffer advised the committee he has told McMahon to give him the plans, as they are ready, not to wait until all of them are complete.  He also told them to do the same for the plats.  Mr. Lombardi agreed that would also work for the plats. 

March 29, 2002        Submit Pavement design to Department - Has been submitted – Mr. Shaffer advised he would track McMahon’s progress.  Mr. Lombardi advised he would also track.          

April 15, 2002          Preliminary PS&E (Plan Specification & Estimates) Submission to Department.  Mr. Shaffer advised the committee to have McMahon submit the Preliminary PS&E now to get it into the PennDot system.  Any final changes would be made between now and the final PS&E submission.  This would help keep the project going.  Mr. Shaffer felt the date might change to April 30, 2002.  Mr. Merjeski asked when would be a good time to schedule a meeting for the township residents and business owners to review the plan.  Mr. Shaffer suggested some time in April or May.  Mr. Lombardi advised he wanted to wait until after meeting the April 15th date to schedule a public meeting.           

April 19, 2002          Submission to Bucks County Conservation District – Mr. Shaffer advised the committee he felt if there were any problems there would be enough time to resolve them.  This date might also be pushed back to April 30, 2002.   

Apr 15 to July 31, 2002  Coordination with Utility Companies – Mr. Lombardi advised he has spoken with the Sewer Authority and they are ready to sign off on the D-419.  The committee discussed the status of the other utility companies.  Mr. Shaffer explained the process and expressed concern with meeting the July 31st deadline.  Mr. Shaffer advised he would push McMahon to meet the July 31st deadline. 

May 17 to Sept. 1, 2002        Plan Revisions per PennDot review comments – Mr. Faust asked what would be happening during this time period.  Mr. Shaffer advised this work was to be completed by McMahon.  The reason for the big time gap is PennDot comments probably won’t be received until some time in June or July.  That would give McMahon approximately one-month turn around to complete the comments. 

July 31, 2002           Project Utility Clearance (Form D-419) – Mr. Shaffer expressed concerns with meeting this deadline.  He advised he would push McMahon.  He reassured the committee that the D-419’s would be signed for the Final PS&E Submission. 

Sept. 1, 2002            Final PS&E Submission (includes easement and R/W Acquisition Documentation) – Mr. Shaffer advised the committee this is the drop-dead date.  The project needs to be at this point or it may not meet the PennDot Letting date of January 15, 2003.  Mr. Lombardi advised he was told at a PennDot meeting if this date is not met, they will give the money to someone else and move our project to the back of the line.  

Sept. to Dec. 31, 2002 Final revisions to quantities and special revisions – Mr. Faust asked what would be happening during this time period.  Mr. Shaffer advised this is when PennDot would be putting together the package to go to bid.  McMahon would be assisting PennDot. 

Jan. 15, 2003           PennDot Letting – Mr. Merjeski asked how long after the Letting until construction would begin.  Mr. Shaffer suggested construction possibly starting mid March/April 2003. 

Approvals Needed Prior to PS&E Submission

1.              Pavement Design – Mr. Shaffer advised the committee it has been submitted.

2.              Hydraulic Design (Project Manager may not submit to Hydraulics Unit) – Mr. Shaffer felt it would need to be reviewed again.

3.              Traffic Signal Plans – Have been submitted – Jefferson has been approved, Silo Dr. is still pending.

4.              Traffic Control Plans – Have been submitted – still have one more review – Mr. Shaffer advised the committee to make any changes to the roadway opening documents now, so it can be submitted at the next review.  Mr. Shaffer advised a meeting with PennDot would be requested.

5.              Pavement Marking and Signing Plans – Have been reviewed – but committee has made changes.  Mr. Shaffer advised a meeting with PennDot would be requested.

6.              Construction Drawings Approval from Brian Harle – Mr. Shaffer advised the committee on how the process works.

7.              Erosion Control Adequacy Letter and NPDES Permit (from BCCD and DEP) – Mr. Shaffer advised the committee on how these processes work.                                             

Mr. Lombardi moved to approve the additions to the minutes of April 9, 2002.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Merjeski and passed unanimously, with 1 member abstaining. 

Subcommittee and Liaison Reports: 

A.             Traffic & Safety: Mr. Merjeski updated the committee on the status of the road-opening document.  Mr. Merjeski advised the committee the current document is a work in progress.  The committee reviewed the memo and discussed changes.  The committee agreed the road could be closed from midnight to 5 AM with the exception of local and emergency traffic.  Members also felt the road must be open from 6 AM until 11 PM.  The Traffic & Safety committee will make revisions to the road-opening document and bring back to committee for final review. 

The committee discussed the condition of the roadway surface.  Members agreed some patching needs to be done.  Members will speak with Tom Harwood.  

B.             Planning: None 

C.             Grants: None 

D.             Community Relations:  

Mr. DeYoung reported that he and Mr. Burns have started meeting with the residents to review and sign the temporary construction easements.  He advised the committee he felt things were going well. 

Correspondence: 

Mr. Lombardi advised the committee on correspondence received from the owner of Avalon Café in reference to a recent automobile accident at that location.  He advised that the correspondence would be forwarded to PennDot along with other documentation for reevaluation in reference to a traffic signal at the Intersection of Sycamore & Silo.  The committee discussed other possibilities if the traffic signal is not approved.   

Old Business: 

New Business: 

The committee discussed the enhancements.  Mr. Lombardi advised the committee he wanted them to review the enhancement items making recommendations to HARB.  HARB would have the final decision.  The committee members and public present ranked the priority of each enhancement from 1 to 7 - 1 being the most important.  Mr. Lombardi would review ranking at a later time.  Mr. Lombardi advised he welcomed any comments. 

1.     Attractive Sidewalks – The committee discussed the possibility of pressed concrete.  Members discussed using different patterns.  Mr. Shaffer advised the committee they have until July 2002 to make a decision.

2.     Period Street Lighting – Mr. Shaffer advised he would review McMahon’s design for the street lighting.  Mr. McLean advised that HARB would like the street lighting to resemble the Doylestown street lighting.  Mr. McLean provided Mr. Shaffer with paperwork showing what fixtures HARB recommends.  Mr. McLean advised the committee that the poles have a ballard light, which lights the sidewalk at 180°.  The committee liked the idea of lighting the sidewalk.  Mr. Lombardi provided Mr. Shaffer with paperwork showing what fixtures where recommended through the grant.

3.     Well Defined Crosswalks – Mr. Lombardi advised that every crosswalk would be marked with a signal light.  The crosswalks would also be pressed concrete.  Mr. Shaffer suggested using a different pattern or color than what would be used on the sidewalks.

4.     Pedestrian Signals – The committee agreed the signals are an important item.

5.     Street Trees – The committee discussed the ups and downs of street trees.  Members discussed what areas of the street the trees could cause problems.  Mr. Shaffer asked if the committee preferred a specific tree.  Mr. Lombardi advised the township has a shade tree group for the Dept. of Parks & Rec. and he would like to speak further with them.  Mr. Jirele advised he would speak to the shade tree group.  Mr. Shaffer advised he needed an answer by July 2002.  Members agreed they would have an answer by the next meeting.

6.     Other Landscaping (Hanging Baskets, Sidewalk Planters, Banners) – The committee discussed where the above items would be located.  Mr. Shaffer advised the committee they should know what size banners would be used.  Ms. Doorley recommended having the banners at the intersections.

7.     Street Furniture (Benches, Trash Containers, Bike Racks) – Mr. McLean gave Mr. Shaffer paperwork showing where HARB recommends above items. 

The committee discussed meeting with the Department of Parks & Recreation in reference to Carl Sedia Park/Chandler Fields.  

Mr. Lombardi advised the members that a maintenance fund would be set up to pay someone to water plants and maintain trash collection. 

Mr. Merjeski suggested having something to identify the north and south entrances of Sycamore Street. 

General Discussion: 

The committee discussed the possibility of using the ACME site as a staging area during the construction project. 

The committee discussed other areas that could be used as a staging area. 

The committee discussed prior traffic counts for the roadway.  Mr. Lombardi asked Mr. Shaffer to review prior traffic counts. 

The committee reviewed a rendering provided by Pennoni Associates.  Mr. Lombardi advised he would like to commission Simone Jaffe Collins to do a rendering of an area on Sycamore Street to be displayed at the township building.  Members discussed the possibility of putting it on the web site. 

Mr. Lombardi advised the committee he is a member on the board of directors with the Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation.  He has spoken with them in reference to setting up a Sycamore Street Committee that would go out and seek grant money.  He advised he would discuss further at their next meeting.   

Mr. Lombardi advised that Simone Jaffe Collins and Pennoni Associates recommend setting up a 501C3 Corporation to collect contributions for the maintenance fund.  This would allow residents and business owners to make a contribution that is tax deductible. 

Mr. Shaffer advised the committee they needed to start making some decisions in reference to the enhancements. 

The committee discussed the different grants that have been applied for. 

The committee discussed the status of the creek. 

The committee discussed the possibility of a scenic overlook along the creek. 

Mr. Lombardi thanked the committee for a productive meeting. 

Adjournment: 

The meeting adjourned at 9:32 PM.

 

The next scheduled meeting is June 11th

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary