NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE

A Reconstruction Project of Newtown Township

100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2004

8:00 PM


Approval of Minutes: Mr. Merjeski made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 12, 2004 meeting, with the following correction: under New Business, replace “in on the side” with “into the site.” Mr. McLean seconded; the motion carried unanimously.


Members Present: Chairman Vince Lombardi; Members Shannon Wilson, Melva Vittoriano, John Nejman, Joe Merjeski, Frank Tyrol; HARB representative Terry McLean; Planning Commission Liaison Michael Piazza;

Members Not Present: Member David Burns, Jr.; Rand Jaslow, Borough Liaison; Barry Dinneen, Borough Representative; Planning Commission Liaisons Beth Sanderlin, Shawn Ward, Esq., Supervisor Tom Jirele.

Also present: Nelson Shaffer representing Pennoni Associates Inc.; Tom McLearnon representing Chandler Hall; John Hunter representing Pennoni Associates; Dennis Hullmann representing Haines & Kibblehouse; township resident James Kravitz; Robert Bebon representing Newtown Presbyterian Church; business owner Robert Thomas.

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 September 14, 2004 with the following corrections:

Mr. Piazza seconded; the motion carried, with abstention by Mr. McLean.

Construction Site Tour Discussion

Present for the walk on October 9, 2004 were: Mr. Lombardi, Ms. Dunleavy, Mr. Burns, Mr. Shaffer, Sandi and Bob Thomas, and a reporter from the Advance. Mr. Thomas said everything looked great, including the gardens and stamped concrete. Mr. Shaffer noted that the apron access had been adjusted at the CITGO property; he said the remaining problem of ponding did not seem to be a Sycamore Street issue. Mr. Merjeski noted that there was a lower level of blacktop along the curb near Barclay; Mr. Shaffer said he would look into the issue. Mr. McLearnon said there were not enough brackets to secure the benches; Mr. Shaffer said that the existing brackets were temporary. Mr. Shaffer noted that the trash receptacles were already being utilized, and that the township was glad they were large. He said that the receptacle lids had been changed from steel to plastic and noted that the plastic lids would not chip the baskets and would not rust; the lids are tethered to the receptacles.

OLD BUSINESS

Status Reports

  1. Bypass Left Turn Lane Project – Nelson Shaffer
    Mr. Shaffer reported that the project is about two weeks behind, but should be mostly completed, except for minor items, by the second week in November. He said that some utility lines needed to be relocated, and that they should be paving and landscaping soon. Mr. McLearnon noted that there was still some pole relocation to be completed.
  2. Newtown Creek Restoration – Update – Nelson Shaffer
    Mr. Shaffer said reported that two of the three remaining easements had been signed; hopefully work should be starting soon. He said that parking would be put in along the side as part of the project, saving money from the Sycamore project. Mr. Shaffer said that, barring bad rainy weather, the creek project should wrap up by the end of November. Mr. Piazza asked about the effect of cold on the project; Mr. Shaffer said that weather is always a factor and that they hope to get the creek bank project done and the parking in across from the Presbyterian Church before the cold sets in.
  3. Community Relations Committee Report – Joe Merjeski
    Mr. Merjeski reported that the Community Relations Committee had met with H & K on September 29, 2004, and discussed finishing up Phases 1 and 2, up to Washington Street, before proceeding to Phase 3. He said their concern was the timing of work in Phase 3 falling in the holiday season, which would greatly impact retail business in the area, as up to 70% of retail profits are earned during that period.

    Mr. Lombardi noted that the Community Relations Sub-Committee has worked hard to communicate and work with both residents and H & K.
  4. Haines & Kibblehouse – update/look ahead
    Mr. Hullmann said that they are currently getting ready for paving in Phase 1 C, and should be paving in Phase 2 B & C soon thereafter; paving would be done in a 24 hour period, as in Stages A & B in Phase 1. Mr. Hullmann said they have been working with the township and Pennoni on little glitches, and said things had been going well. Mr. Shaffer said they would support another continuous run of paving as before. Mr. Merjeski noted that curbing still needed to be completed in Phase 1 Stage C; Mr. Hullmann said it should be completed soon. Mr. Hullmann said that the transplanting of trees would not take place until the first frost, when the sap goes to the roots, probably around November 1st; some trees could be planted now.

    Mr. Hullmann said they are attempting to finish Phases 1 & 2 by mid-November. He said they are reluctant to install the streetlights early, due to the possibility of breakage and/or vandalism or if the township doesn’t take ownership of the street until spring; there are several outstanding issues with the streetlights, including banner arms. Mr. McLean asked if lights would be operable if there is substantial completion in Phases 1 and 2; Mr. Hullmann said the electrician told him that they have the capacity to energize the lights in Phase 1 and 2 separately from those in Phase 3.

    Mr. Lombardi said he had spoken with Robert M. Pellegrino about speaking to the Board of Supervisors concerning the township taking over the completed part of the street, and noted that the contract calls for a continuous final coat of paving. Mr. Hullmann noted that crosswalk construction would interrupt paving. He said they are proposing completion of Phases 1 and 2, with the township taking over the street, and have applied for an extension of paving time. Mr. Merjeski suggested that completion of Phases 1 and 2 would be good for the public to see, and asked how soon the BOS could act on this issue. Mr. Shaffer said it may be just a schedule change and might not require a vote; he will take the issue to Mr. Pellegrino. Mr. Lombardi asked Mr. Shaffer to draft a memo for Mr. Pellegrino to take to the Supervisors.

    Mr. Piazza moved that the committee recommend to the Board of Supervisors to authorize a modification to the specifications to allow completion of Phases 1 & 2, Stages A, B, and C, to be completed in total before proceeding to Phase 3, and that the completed portion of the road be accepted by the township subject to final punch list items as appropriate. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously by the Committee.

    Mr. Shaffer noted that the project would need to be done to the township’s satisfaction before the road was accepted. Mr. Piazza asked if there would be any restrictions on traffic on the road, such as truck traffic; Mr. Shaffer said no, unless specific justification could be proved. He said that any unsanctioned restrictions could affect the township’s qualification for liquid fuel funds. Mr. Shaffer said that the bump outs along the street might serve to calm traffic; Mr. Lombardi said that they would try to keep the speed limit at 35 mph. Mr. Merjeski noted that most trucks used the Bypass during the day. Mr. McLearnon expressed concern for heavy truck traffic.

    Mr. Wilson moved to allow H & K to do a continuous paving of Phases 1 & 2, Stages B & C in a period covering Monday evening through Tuesday night and Wednesday might through Thursday morning. Mr. Piazza seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously by the committee.

    There was extensive discussion regarding a construction moratorium between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mr. Lombardi reported that retailers liked the idea of a holiday construction moratorium.

    Mr. Hullmann noted that Stage 3 would look as it does now through the end of the year of there were a moratorium. He noted that the November/December construction window would be lost, and perhaps the ability to pave for the season since the blacktop plant closes until March at the end of the year. He said they had planned to do as much of the storm sewers, curbing and paving as they could before December 20th. He said they could begin sewer and curb work in February to be ready for paving in the spring after the blacktop plants opened. He noted that there would be limitations to paving, concrete and sidewalk work in January and February, depending upon the cold/weather. Mr. Hullmann said they originally were looking at project completion in January or February; Mr. Shaffer noted that the ETA for project completion was June 2005 in the contract. Mr. Hullmann felt there would be sufficient time to complete the project, even with a moratorium. He noted that curbing work would need to be completed before traffic signals could be installed.

    The consensus of the Committee was in favor of a construction moratorium and of working with H & K regarding cost and time issues. Mr. Lombardi said that further discussion needed to take place with the Community Relations Sub-Committee and hoped the issue would be resolved by November 9th.

NEW BUSINESS

Acme Site

Mr. Wilson asked about provisions for the clean up of the Acme site. Mr. Shaffer said H & K would return the site to its original condition, including removal of the fence and clean up; escrow would be held up until this was done. Mr. Shaffer said that issues at the Acme site involved water and sewer. Mr. Lombardi noted that the plan was to bring in water and sewer in on the side with connections coming out in the back of the site; Mr. Bebon said water and sewer issues at the Presbyterian Church were resolved. He said he would try to review PECO pole locations with Mr. Pellegrino and PECO.

Mr. Lombardi asked that Acme Site Update be added to the agenda under Old Business.

PUBLIC COMMENT

None.

Next Meetings: The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 9, 2004.

Adjournment

On motion by Mr. Wilson, and without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:34 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

______________________________
Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary