A Reconstruction Project of Newtown Township




8:00 PM

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Merjeski made a motion to approve the minutes of April 13, 2004 with the following corrections: 

Ø      Michael Piazza was present, and David Burns, Jr. was not present.

Ø      Old Business, Item B:  change “water” to “rain”

Ø      New Business, #2:   change “cold” to “could”

Ø      New Business, last paragraph:  change “from Tri-State” to “to Tri-State”; and change “Mr. Jirele suggested he” to “Mr. Jirele suggested the Committee”

Mr. Tyrol seconded; the motion carried unanimously.

Members Present:  Chairman Vince Lombardi; Members John Nejman, Frank Tyrol, Melva Vittoriano, Shannon Wilson, Joe Merjeski; HARB representative Terry McLean; Planning Commission Liaisons Beth Sanderlin, Michael Piazza and Shawn Ward, Esq., Supervisor Tom Jirele 

Members Not Present:  Member David Burns, Jr.; Rand Jaslow, Borough Liaison; Barry Dinneen, Borough Representative.  

Also present:  Nelson Shaffer representing Pennoni Associates Inc.; John Paul Lautenschlager, Focus on Newtown - Courier Times; Robert Bebon, Newtown Presbyterian Church; George Stockburger IV; George Stockburger V; Tom McLearnon representing Chandler Hall. 

Call to Order:  Chairman Lombardi called the meeting to order at 8:04 PM. 

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Merjeski made a motion to approve the minutes of March 9, 2004 with the following corrections: 

Ø      at the bottom of page 2, change “contractor” to “consultant”

Ø      change “stream bed” to “stream bank”. 

Mr. Nejman seconded; the motion carried unanimously.

 Special Announcements

Special Announcements - None 


Status Reports 

A.     Negotiations between township and JD Morrissey

Mr. Shaffer distributed the minutes from the recent meeting that included representatives from the township, Sycamore Street Committee, JD Morrissey, Pennoni and PennDOT, to discuss Bypass intersection construction.  He said that they are close to coming to an agreement with Morrissey regarding road closings and that it looked like the road would not be closed during construction at the Richboro/Sycamore/Bypass intersections.  He said they might have the means to maintain traffic both ways.  Mr. Shaffer said the issue might be settled by the next committee meeting, and that a final sign off would be needed from PennDOT.   

B.     Progress of Newtown Artesian Water Company

Mr. Shaffer said that there was an unforeseen utility conflict, and that the water company was relocating approximately 900 feet of water line; about 240 feet has been relocated thus far.  He said that any road closures so far have been quite brief; Mr. Merjeski noted that traffic seemed to be moving satisfactorily during the construction.  Mr. Shaffer said that rain and rock has been slowing down the work a little, but that the water company hopes to be finished by Friday, April 17th. 

C.     Progress of Haines & Kibblehouse

Mr. Shaffer said that H & K is ready to begin; they will probably start at the Bypass end, even if the water pipe installation was not quite completed.   He said they have working with H & K on other issues, and have discussed the possibility of two work shifts, night and day.  Mr. Lombardi distributed a picture of possible designs for the stone wall on Sycamore Street near the Historic Presbyterian Church.  Mr. McLean said that HARB liked the darker stone wall pictured, but preferred darker mortar that would match the stones and de-emphasize the joints; the Committee agreed.  Mr. McLean said that HARB recommended slightly raised mortar joints, also known as “buttered joints.” 

Mr. Ward moved to accept HARB’s recommendation for the stone wall design, as delineated above by Mr. McLean.  Mr. Merjeski seconded; the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS: Presentation by James Tambourino, Tri-State Engineers, re: stream bank restoration

James Tambourino and John Biano were present from Tri-State.  Mr. Biano said they had completed the survey work and were beginning work on the design.  He presented a PhotoPlan and schematic for the Newtown Creek Stream Bank Restoration Project dated 4/13/04.   

Mr. Biano presented two wall systems and distributed illustrations of each: 

1.       “MPC Block Wall System”:  This gravity wall would be comprised of large concrete blocks laid in with a crane, each prefab block weighing approximately 2500 lb. each.  The exposed wall would be 8’ high, with a slope up to a guardrail before the sidewalk, and would sit 4’ deep into the embankment.    Mr. Biano said that color could be added to the stone and noted that the wall should require no maintenance. 

  1. “Geoweb”:  Each vinyl piece would be 3’ x 4’, and would act like a mesh, containing crushed stone infill and some stone backfill; the “web” could be green or black.  There would be more slope to this wall than to the gravity wall system, and vegetation could grow in the web. 


The Committee consensus was to use the MPC Block Wall System.  Mr. Tambourino said there were several sized stones available but he felt the larger blocks would withstand higher water velocity; Mr. Wilson said he had worked with the larger blocks and felt they worked better and lasted longer than the smaller blocks.  Mr. Biano said that there were a variety of available stone colors and textures; he will send information to Mr. Shaffer to relay to Mr. McLean for HARB review and recommendations; available stone textures are illustrated on the website  

Mr. Biano said they were still considering how best to deflect water with no negative effect, and they were attempting to keep the wall within two parcels.  Mr. Biano said that they intend to move a gravel bar in the creek and install flow deflectors in order to help keep the water flowing down the middle of the stream, thus reducing bank erosion.  Mr. Jirele asked if there was any concern with sediment at the flow deflectors.  Mr. Biano said that the deflectors were quite low and should allow for a natural source of constant water flow.  He said they could install larger deflector stones so kids could not relocate them.  Mr. Tambourino noted that the stone wall shouldn’t sink, as it would be installed on footings.  Mr. Biano said there should be room for trees/greenery, as long as tree root systems were not too extensive.  Mr. Wilson will investigate for appropriate trees and shrubs; Tri-State will develop a landscape plan and bid. 

Mr. Biano estimated the cost of the block wall system at approximately $80,000, including the materials, installation and footing for the wall, and not including any additional elements or the removal of the gravel bar.  Mr. Lombardi said there should be enough grant funding to cover these costs.  Mr. Shaffer asked Tri-State to schedule a meeting to discuss details and options. 

Mr. Shaffer said he would get the fence detail to Tri-State.  Mr. Lombardi said he would update the Board of Supervisors on the project and the committee’s decisions; Mr. Jirele suggested the committee put together the final plans and details before presenting to the Board for their sign-off. 

Public Comment:  None. 

Next Meeting:  The next meeting is scheduled for May 11, 2004.  


On motion by Mr. Ward and without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.


Respectfully submitted,


Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary