A Reconstruction Project of Newtown Township




8:00 PM

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Merjeski made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 13, 2005 meeting as presented. Mr. Nejman seconded; the motion carried, with abstention by Mr. Ward.

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

Members Not Present: Members David Burns, Jr., Borough Liaison Rand Jaslow (due to meeting conflict with Council meeting); Planning Commission Liaisons Shawn Ward, Esq. and Beth Sanderlin

Also present: Nelson Shaffer representing Pennoni Associates Inc.; Bob Bebon representing Newtown Presbyterian Church; Tom McLearnon representing Chandler Hall; Bob Thomas; Gerry DeYoung; Jay Kravitz

Call to Order: Chairman Lombardi called the meeting to order at 8:08 PM.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Piazza made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 9, 2005 meeting as presented. Mr. Merjeski seconded; the motion carried.


Mr. Lombardi distributed the walking inspection lists from the site walk on August 27, 2005, noting that the West Side list included problematic items and that the South End and North End lists were organized by properties. Mr. Merjeski said that 80% of the “punch list” items involved landscaping. Mr. Lombardi noted that some drop offs were dangerous, and were as big as 6-7”. Particular areas needing attention were noted:

Mr. Piazza asked how tar on the sidewalks should be dealt with; Mr. Shaffer said that the contractor should have something that will remove the tar and said that the best time to clean up was at the very end of the project. Mr. Shaffer said that the fence at the Dilks property was part of the project, and was ultimately the responsibility of Mr. Dilks to maintain. He said he asked the landscapers to weed the area at Dilks property; they are reluctant to weed now since only weeds are growing; the landscapers should return one last time. Mr. Lombardi noted that recent rains have washed away the soil, revealing a lot of rocks. Mr. Thomas noted that he needed more fill and a fence at his property; Mr. Shaffer said that the fence would extended further south there.

Mr. Shaffer noted that the fire hydrant near the Acme site should have been placed on the other side of the street; parking spaces there need to be striped out. Mr. DeYoung noted that additional marking was needed to indicate the last parking space in the row at Bill Marsh Ford. Mr. Merjeski said that stamped plastic, matching the crosswalks, will be installed for the loading zone at Bill Marsh Ford, and asked if funding was available for installation of the same material in the area in front of the fire hydrant; Mr. Shaffer said he would speak to Robert M. Pellegrino and that it would depend on how large the area was.

Mr. Lombardi said he would give the committee’s lists to the contractor tomorrow morning. Mr. Shaffer said they would be developing a punch list as well.

Ms. Vittoriano said that before the walk through she noticed puddles and suggested that committee members take a look after the next rain. Mr. Shaffer noted that there was a puddle at Bill Marsh Ford that is being addressed. Mr. Lombardi said he had seen Mr. Patel walking the street and taking notes, and that Monday Armour Electric had corrected the loose banner arms, redirecting them and putting in gaskets. Mr. Shaffer said that they are still working on streetlight photo cells and some other details, trying to have the streetlights light independently since some areas are darker than others. He noted that two lights will be installed at Stockburger’s. Mr. Lombardi said the lights were not lit over the weekend, but were on this week.

Mr. Merjeski noted that the traffic light at Jefferson Street was working well, moving traffic along. Mr. Shaffer said the fence company was waiting for the brick wall to be completed at Stockburger before installing the small fence on top and completing other portions of fencing needing attention. He said the brick wall was coming along slowly, and that they had discussed a change in the cap, as the proposed cap was not appropriate. Mr. Shaffer noted that they were waiting for the Belgian block to be installed at the Kurtz property before pouring the sidewalk there.

Mr. Piazza said that the right turn lane at Swamp Road and Sycamore Street was discussed at the recent Board of Supervisors meeting; Mr. Shaffer said its design was intentional and that buses could make the corner. He noted that the traffic light timings had not been finalized and the light at Washington Avenue and State Street was not yet included in the closed loop system, so traffic still gets caught up in the Borough.

Mr. Shaffer said that they would recount the traffic numbers at Silo Drive in the near future to determine if a traffic light was warranted there; conduit has already been installed under the street. Mr. Lombardi said he thought the traffic would pick up along Sycamore Street, especially in the holiday season. Mr. Shaffer clarified that the township would probably pay for a traffic signal at Silo Drive, unless PennDOT felt it was a safety issue; Mr. Jirele suggested it might be included in a site improvement by Elliot as part of the Acme site development. It was clarified that the projected completion date for the Acme site development was 2007. Mr. Jirele noted that it was fortunate that the Acme site had been available for staging of vehicles and equipment for the Sycamore Street project.

Mr. Shaffer said that street signs would be installed as soon as the black poles arrived. Mr. Merjeski suggested that a letter from the township should be distributed to home/business owners educating them about maintenance of the new sidewalks (such as what kind of de-icer should/should not be used in winter, etc.). Mr. Lombardi said he had been meeting with Mr. Pellegrino to discuss what information should be included in a letter to property owners. Mr. Jirele said he would speak to the Borough to get their feedback on the crosswalks and streetscape. Mr. Shaffer noted that he had seen an increased number of pedestrians along the Sycamore Street.

Mr. Merjeski asked Mr. Wilson for low plantings in the area in front of Bill Marsh, and said his employees would maintain the area.

Mr. Lombardi asked that committee members contact him with any additional concerns.

Ms. Vittoriano thanked Mr. Lombardi for all his work on the project, and noted the extensive coverage given to Sycamore Street in the recent “Destination Newtown” pamphlet published by the Advance, which is distributed widely.



Next Meetings: The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, 2005.


On motion by Mr. Piazzi and without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary