A Reconstruction Project of Newtown Township




8:00 PM


Members Present:  Chairman Vince Lombardi; Members Melva Vittoriano, John Nejman, Frank Tyrol, and Shannon Wilson; HARB representative Terry McLean. 

Members Not Present:  Members David Burns and Joe Merjeski; Borough Liaison Rand Jaslow (due to meeting conflict with Borough Council meeting); Planning Commission Liaisons Shawn Ward, Esq., Michael Piazza and Beth Sanderlin; Township Supervisor Tom Jirele

Also present:  Nelson Shaffer representing Pennoni Associates Inc. 

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

Approval of the Minutes: Mr. Nejman made a motion to approve the December 13, 2005 minutes, with the following changes: 

¨      Under Old Business, end of the 3rd paragraph:  “… monument files to Mr. Lombardi for Main Streets Manager …”. 

¨      Under Old Business, last sentence in the 4th paragraph:  Mr. Wilson said he would speak to Ron Fesmire …”

Mr. Tyrol seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously by the Committee. 


Mr. Lombardi distributed a list of project topics for members to rank from 1 to 7, with seven being the highest.  He clarified that the open spaces referred to the large planting area at Washington Avenue and Sycamore Street, the area between Bill Marsh Ford and the Presbyterian Church, and the area across from Tyrol Insurance above the Acme site.

Mr. Lombardi said he had received compliments for the flags along State Street from Jewish veterans, who said they wished to give the committee a plaque for the patriotic gesture.  Mr. Lombardi said the Legion had told Mr. Lombardi to ask them about funding for flag replacement, but he said he would like to pursue private funding.  Mr. Lombardi said he would like to continue the Community Relations Committee.

Mr. Shaffer said that a few trees had been replanted, but that they were not accepting any trees this time of year.  Mr. Lombardi reported that he had been reappointed to the Board of Directors of the Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation at Anne Goren’s request.  He said that before the enhancement funding was received from the state a Sycamore Street subcommittee had been formed to raise money; he will meet with Chris Ortwein to discuss the Main Streets program.  Mr. Lombardi said he wished to speak with Allan Smith about possible JDNC Design Committee members with knowledge of landscape planning and design who might assist with design of the open space areas.  Ms. Vittoriano noted that there was some interest in the open spaces at a recent JDNC Design Committee meeting.  Mr. Wilson offered to design the open space areas; Mr. Lombardi will wait to approach Mr. Smith.

Ms. Vittoriano said that Ms. Ortwein was bringing the wayfinding project to the Borough and Township HARB’s, and that previously submitted signage designs would be reviewed to see if they were acceptable; grant funding for construction drawings ($35,000) had not been accepted.  Ms. Vittoriano said that an acceptable design could proceed on a design/build basis, with someone finishing the preliminary drawings and constructing the signs, thus skipping the construction drawing phase and cost.  Mr. Shaffer suggested that the committee would want to have control and/or be involved in the final design decisions if the signage went to a design/build scenario. 

The snow removal issue was discussed; several committee members had experienced multiple shovelings after the township plows deposited salty snow back onto the sidewalks.  It was suggested that the township should not hold people responsible for clearing their sidewalks if township plowing was depositing snow onto those sidewalks.  It was noted that parking spaces had not been completely cleared during the last storm and there were problems with the bump-outs.  It was suggested that extra snow be deposited into the parking spaces to open up the cartways, since there was no immediate need for parking after a storm.  Mr. Shaffer said that the plows needed to move more slowly in order to efficiently move the snow and avoid sending the snow far up onto the sidewalks, and suggested that more environmentally friendly salt could be used.  He said that in Merion the snow was initially deposited into parking spaces, along with snow that residents shoveled into the spaces, and front end loaders removed the snow.  Mr. Lombardi suggested submitting a plan in writing to the township. 

Mr. Lombardi said he would like a committee to write a proposal for the maintenance of the planting beds, to include numbering of the beds and design of the signs to indicate sponsors, as well as a procedure for the assignment of beds for maintenance.  Mr. Shaffer suggested that the committee should decide if they wanted a consistent or individual look to the beds.  Mr. Wilson said that fertilization, pre-emergence application and other such treatments should be applied uniformly; a certified company needed to put down chemical applications.  He offered to write up guidelines and cost estimates for such lawn services.  Mr. Shaffer suggested that there could be an “adopt a bed” program to solicit sponsors to fund maintenance rather than maintain the beds.

It was agreed that the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the end of the project should take place in April or May to take advantage of the presence of flowering plants.

Mr. McLean said he would get his research, information and drawings of the monument to Mr. Lombardi.  It was noted that the initial location suggested was in the large planting bed near Tasteful Teas, at the corner of Swamp Road and Sycamore Street.

Mr. Lombardi reported the results of the priority ranking of issues:  planting beds and flags ranked highest, the punch list and snow removal next, followed by open space and ribbon cutting, and finally the monument.  Mr. Lombardi asked for volunteers to work on each topic.

¨      Mr. Wilson and Mr. Nejman will work on the planting beds.

¨      Mr. Wilson will work on open space design.  He will contact Mr. Lombardi to walk the street and look at the open space areas.

¨      Mr. Lombardi and Mr. Shaffer will meet with Mr. Pellegrino to discuss snow removal.

¨      The Community Relations Committee will address the punch list and suggest additional concerns.  Mr. Nejman will join the committee.  The next committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18 at 8:00 am at Bill Marsh Ford.

Mr. Shaffer suggested the committee might want to consider historical markers; Ms. Vittoriano noted that they were included in the JDNC wayfinding project. 



Next Meeting:   The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14, 2006 at Chandler Hall. 


Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary