MINUTES - MAY 15, 2000

The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on May 15, 2000. Chairman Hackman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session prior to the meeting to discuss legal and personnel matters.

Those present:

Board of Supervisors: Wesley Hackman, Chairman
Frank Fazzalore, Vice Chairman
Scott Fegley, Secretary/Treasurer
Fred Allan, Member
Grace Godshalk, Member
Others: Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
John Koopman, Township Solicitor
Jan Gouza, Township Engineer
Joseph Bainbridge, Acting Chief of Police


Mr. Len Franckowiak stated he understands traffic counts were done relating to the petition to PennDOT for traffic lights. He stated Stoopville Road was under construction during that time, and he does not therefore feel the counts were accurate. Mrs. Godshalk stated she discussed this with Mr. Doherty at the last meeting, and he indicated he was going to coordinate this. Mr. Gouza agreed to look into when counts were actually taken and if it was impacted by Stoopville Road.

Mr. Franckowiak reported that the Newtown Township Board of Bainbridge stated they have been in the area; and in a three hour time frame, they found nine cars were speeding. Mrs. Godshalk asked if stop signs were not added on W. Ferry Road some years ago, but Acting Chief Bainbridge did not recall any. Mr. Hamilton stated there is one stop sign on Wood coming onto W. Ferry, but not on W. Ferry itself. Acting Chief Bainbridge and Mr. Gouza agreed to look into this situation. Mr. Hamilton stated he would be willing to permit the Police Department to use his driveway.

Ms. Sue Herman stated at the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors meeting a representative from CAU asked for permission to start earth moving. She asked the status of the PennDOT Hearing, and Mr. Hackman stated they have heard nothing additional on this. He stated later on in the Agenda, the Board will discuss the Newtown Office Commons project. Ms. Herman asked if they can still proceed with CAU, and Mr. Koopman stated the Appeal does not act as a stay so they can proceed at their own risk.

Ms. Herman asked how the discussions are proceeding with Newtown Township, and Mr. Hackman stated although they have stalled, he hopes they will pick up again shortly. He stated the Newtown Office Commons project is very much involved in the discussions, and he hopes this will stimulate discussions again.

Ms. Sally Conlon stated they are doing a lot of work on Edgewood Road, and she asked that the adjoining residents be given notice so they can get their cars out of their driveways. Mr. Gouza stated this work is part of the State contract. Mr. Hackman stated he understood that they usually notify the residents. Mr. Fedorchak stated he will find out who the Project Manager is and have them contact Ms. Conlon. He feels they will start paving within one week.

Ms. Joan Weigand of 2807 Brookhaven asked about the Matrix project and asked if there was a possibility that the Township could purchase some of this property. Mr. Hackman stated this was formerly the Bellemead project, and the Township entered into a Master Plan Agreement with them in 1989. Matrix is trying to proceed under that Agreement although they are asking for some relief which would change some of the use from office to retail. Mr. Fegley stated a portion of this tract is protected area. Mr. Fegley stated all improvements are tied into the Master Plan.

Mr. Murray Weigand stated coming north on Route 1 at the Oxford Valley Road exit results in serious back ups onto Route 1 when Sesame Place is open. He stated there is a slow curve in this area and you come onto the line of traffic in such a way that he is concerned about the possibility of accidents. Mr. Hackman stated this is a State highway and the Township has no direct involvement.


Mr. Hackman stated the Board is searching for a replacement for Chief Ronaldo. They were waiting for a study from the Department of Community and Economic Development and they have completed the Management review of the Police Department. For the most part they have given a good review with some recommendations. Mr. Hackman stated there was previously discussion about the possibility of hiring a Director of Public Safety instead of a Police Chief, but the Board has decided they will proceed with a more traditional Police Chief position. The Professional Services Agreement with Jersey Professional Management is in the amount of $9500. Finalists for the position will include members of the current Police Department.

Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to approve the Professional Services Agreement with Jersey Professional Management.

Mr. Fegley stated any individual who applies from the Lower Makefield Township Police Department, assuming they have the requisite level of supervisory experience, will automatically be among the finalists.

Motion to approve carried unanimously.

Mr. Hackman stated they expect the process will take ninety days.


Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of May 1, 2000 as amended.


Mr. Art Coleman was present and provided information to the Board of Supervisors regarding the Tournament. He noted particularly the second page regarding parking. Mr. Coleman stated he established this plan because of comments he heard last year about some of the Pool members being unable to find parking places when they went to use the Pool. He stated only 24 of the 72 teams in the Tournament are scheduled to play at either the Pool field or the two school fields in the area. He stated he plans to have adult volunteers posted at all times checking the cars to make sure they have the proper identification to park in this area which would be either a Tournament Committee Vehicle identification or a Pool membership.

Mr. Hackman stated he also heard that some people were parking in this area overnight and showing up in campers, etc. Mr. Coleman stated he will make sure that this does not happen.

Mr. Hackman stated they can get some assistance from the Police Department if they feel it is necessary. He suggested Mr. Coleman contact the Police Department if they need help. It was noted the dates of the Tournament are June 16, 17, and 18. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated the Police Explorers have refrained from helping out in these situations because it was not very successful in the past. Mr. Hackman stated they would then have to hire Police Officers. Mr. Coleman stated he does not feel this will be necessary this year and would like to be given the opportunity to use their adult male volunteers. He stated he will also get in touch with the Pool Manager and advise him of the dates so he can advise the Pool members that they should be able to show their Pool cards to the volunteers in order to be permitted to park. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated there is also use by people at Kids Kingdom, the basketball courts, and the tennis courts. He suggested he meet with Mr. Coleman so they can discuss the parking situation in further detail.

Mrs. Godshalk expressed concern with the fact that the parking identification Mr. Coleman showed could be photocopied and suggested the use of some distinctive color. Mr. Coleman stated the parking passes have already gone out. He stated they will have a list of which team is playing at each location and at what time. He stated they will only be able to park in this area when their team is scheduled to play.

Mr. Allen stated without Mr. Coleman the girls’ softball program would not be where it is today. He stated the Board of Supervisors dedicated this evening three fields for use by the girls’ softball program, and he thanked Mr. Coleman and the Board of Supervisors for providing these fields for the girls.


Mr. James Yeager was present. Mr. Hackman stated originally all traffic for Newtown Office Commons was to come in off Lindenhurst road. The Plan he saw last week does show a right-in, right-out off of the By-Pass.

Mr. Yeager stated last year they started reviewing the Plan that McMann had submitted for 100,000 square feet of office space with two buildings to be built on the northwest corner of Lindenhurst Road and the By-Pass. Originally they did propose a single driveway from Lindenhurst Road 650’ north of the By-Pass intersection. They quickly came back with a proposal that sought PennDOT approve to add a second driveway. This will help reduce some of the reliance on Lindenhurst Road. Mr. Yeager stated 100,000 square feet of office space is approximately 400 employees generating 1200 to 1300 trips per day. They reviewed McMann’s analysis and agreed for the most part with their approach. He stated the conclusion of their study was that the new development would not make things worse than if they did not develop the site, and they do not agree with this premise. They feel the best way to keep development traffic out of the neighborhood streets and onto the By-Pass and I-95 is to have the By-Pass work as good as it can. They feel as soon as there is a failure on the By-Pass, people will look for alternate routes and they feel turning left on Lindenhurst Road and proceeding North toward I-95 is going to be the alternate people will pick if they are faced with sitting through several lights at the By-Pass.

Mr. Yeager stated he had a discussion with a PennDOT representative last week and he was not sure if an access permit had been granted at this time. He did express their concerns with the intersection and was advised that the Township should make a request to PennDOT that they add this to the 12 Year Plan.

Mr. Hackman stated they have asked Mr. Garton to petition PennDOT for CAU, and he feels they should do the same in this instance as well and strongly object to this development because of the traffic impact. Mr. Hackman stated he has been discussing with Newtown Township that the driveway should become a roadway which would then give access in and out to both Brandywine and CAU and handle other developments as they come in.

Mr. Yeager stated they have looked at the idea of cross access that would serve the access to the CAU site. He stated there may be a wetlands issue because of Core Creek. He stated they were also concerned that if they established a linkage between these two parcels, the idea of Concept Way continuing to the west may be more palatable. Mr. Hackman stated if they put in a new interchange with a light, this would relieve Lindenhurst Road.

Mrs. Godshalk stated she was on the Newtown Joint Committee two to three years ago, and they were discussing the possibility of an intersection of Lindenhurst at the Brandywine property with a jughandle. She stated she is concerned that there is no land left to make the improvements and questions how they can allow the development to proceed. Mr. Hackman stated Newtown Township feels they have a right to develop the land. Mr. Hackman stated the current plan is for a single cloverleaf. Mr. Allan stated they need to alleviate the traffic backing up from Scudders Falls Bridge. Mrs. Godshalk stated what is slowing it up is the turn at Lindenhurst Road. She stated she does not feel they should allow all the land to be taken in by these two developments and it is being shortsighted to allow them to be so close to the corner. Mr. Fazzalore stated he does not feel Lower Makefield Township can do any more than what they are already doing.

Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to direct the Township Solicitor to appeal to PennDOT that the circulation plan is not satisfactory.

Mr. Franckowiak stated Newtown Township owns one half acre on this side of Lindenhurst Road by the Wright Farm. He stated if no provision is made for the improvements to the intersection, there will then have to be improvements on Lower Makefield Township property, which he feels will be the Wright Farm. He stated Newtown Township will get the ratables and Lower Makefield Township will lose open space. Mr. Hackman stated Lower Makefield will also get all the traffic.

Motion to approve carried unanimously.


Mr. Koopman stated this was on the previous Agenda and the Board of Supervisors had concerns with the condition of a barricade and a stub road, and trees which needed to be cleared from a sewer easement. He has been advised that all items have been resolved to the satisfaction of the Township engineer.

Mr. Edward Murphy was present and stated the barricade is on the adjacent property and not within the limits of this subdivision. The plantings have been removed and the Township engineer and Mr. Coyne indicated this was satisfactory. Mr. Gouza agreed.

Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve dedication of Winterfield.


Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to deny the request for dedication.

Mr. Murphy stated now that he is involved he is going to make sure that requests for dedication are not made until they are actually ready for dedication.

Mr. Fazzalore stated he is particularly concerned with the basin.

Mr. Allen Houpt, Chairman of the Farmland Preservation Corporation, stated they have been due to take title to 30+ acres for some time and have been continually calling to everyone’s attention debris and unsafe conditions at the farm site. They still have two cisterns on the property and a debris field including cars and trees that need to be removed. He stated they are to get clean, tillable soil; and this will not be the case if there are trees on the property.

Motion to deny carried unanimously.


Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve granting an extension of time to Brumbaugh and Inverso to August 30, 2000.


Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve granting an extension of time to Loberg Tract (revised) Preliminary Plan to August 20, 2000.


Mr. Edward Murphy was present and stated this matter came to light as a result of the Loberg property. He stated some years ago the Township re-located the road but never vacated the portion that was re-located. If it were vacated, it could be added to one of their lots, and this would provide a more uniform building envelope. He stated it is approximately 6,000 square feet. A Plan does accompany the petition.

Mr. Koopman stated it appears the property line is on the Loberg side of the road and asked if a portion will go to Loberg and a portion to the tract where the pipeline is located. Mr. Murphy stated he feels the property is owned by the Township. Mr. Hackman stated he feels a determination must be made as to who owns the land. Mr. Gouza stated he felt the State owned it. Mr. Murphy stated he will go back to the title company and check this out.

Mr. Allan moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to table.


Mrs. Godshalk stated she received a call from residents on Sunnyside Lane concerned about flooding in their area. The residents also advised her a tree line was going to be taken out so that a fence could be installed by the Farmland Preservation Corporation. She stated she feels the residents should have been invited to the Farmland Preservation Corporation meeting to advise them what would be done. Mr. Houpt stated these residences abut the Farmland Preservation land and the intention is to fence off the property so that the residents stop going onto the Farmland Preservation land. They plan to install the same type of fence they installed at Longshore. He stated they will not intrude on private property. He stated one of the residents has installed a significant amount of plantings on the Farmland Preservation Corporation property. Mr. Houpt stated they want to clear out the clutter and debris that the adjoining residents have thrown onto the Farmland Preservation Corporation land over the years so that the property can be farmed. He stated there was a serious water problem and they have worked on this problem by changing the swales and contours and adding haybales.

Mrs. Godshalk suggested they invite the residents to the next Farmland Preservation Corporation meeting, and Mr. Houpt agreed to do so.

Mr. Hackman asked if all the farmland is being farmed this year, and Mr. Houpt stated it is.


Mr. Gouza stated they had a list of streets and they were authorized to continue until they reached approximately $350,000.

Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the bid for the 2000 Paving Program Contact No. 1 to J. D. Morrissey, Inc. at a cost of $296,715.00


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the bid for the 2000 Paving Program Contract No. 2 to Gorman Brothers, PA, LLC at a cost of $59,523.75.


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the bid for the 2000 Curb Ramp Program to Vincent Bruno, Inc. at a cost of $23,134.00.


Mr. Gouza stated this is for a second wood shelter identical in style to the existing shelter although this is a slightly smaller shelter. The low bidder is not the contractor who built the existing shelter. Mr. Fazzalore stated this item came in under budget. This will have a concrete floor.

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the bid for the Macclesfield Park wood shelter to Harry Krevolin Co., LLC for $23,900.00.


Mr. Gouza stated bids were accepted for the rehabilitation of the pistol range. Mr. Fazzalore stated only $50,000 was budgeted for this project. Mr. Hackman stated $83,000 is considerably more than they planned to spend.

Mr. Allan moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to reject the bids.

Mr. Gouza stated they plan to revisit this and see how it can be reduced. He stated he would suggest they separate this into several contracts rather than just one such as fencing, concrete, etc. and they may be able to bring the numbers down. Mr. Hackman stated there were only two bidders; and if it is split, they may get a better response.

Motion to approve rejection of bids carried unanimously.


Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve May 1 and May 15, 2000 Warrant Lists and April, 2000 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.

Mr. Fazzalore stated in reviewing the financial statements he noted that one third of the year has passed and a number of Departments are over budget. He stated this is a tight year, and he would request that the Manager and Finance Director get together with those Departments that are over budget to make sure that they do not go over budget for the year.


Mr. Fedorchak stated there was an error discovered in the calculations for the Bucks County Consortium 2000 Fuel Bid previously approved, and in fact Farm & Home Oil was the low bidder and not Petron. Mrs. Godshalk asked about the calculations and stated she would not want to take responsibility for this since they could be liable. Mr. Hackman stated it would appear the previous Consortium bid was wrong.

Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to rescind the Petron approval. Motion carried with Mrs. Godshalk abstained. Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to award the bid to Farm and Home Oil. Motion carried with Mrs. Godshalk abstained.


Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Bucks County Consortium 2000 Traffic Paint Bid.


Mr. Fegley stated the Grant received was in the amount of $110,000. The project under discussion will cost $62,000 and does not include the implementation portion. Mr. Fegley stated he is concerned that the assessment portion will take almost one and a half years since this would prevent them from going out for any additional projects in the meantime. Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels they anticipate the implementation portion will start in May of 2001 so they should know before then what they are going to do and they would then be in line to apply for additional funds. Mr. Fegley asked if they need Yardley and Middletown’s approval, and Mr. Fedorchak stated they do not.

Mr. Fegley moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Professional Services Agreement with Skelly & Loy for the Brock Creek Watershed Assessment Project in the amount of $62,200.


First Baptist Church of Newtown

There was discussion on the First Baptist Church of Newtown request for a variance to permit construction resulting in greater than the permitted impervious surface and to permit a place of worship.

Mr. Fazzalore moved that the Township Solicitor attend and advise that the Township takes exception to the 10% increase in impervious surface.

Mr. Fazzalore stated some years ago they came in for a review and were going to sell land to the Water Company. The question was raised if this would impact their compliance with the impervious surface requirements, and they indicated it would not and they did not need this land. They also gave land to the State. Mr. Fazzalore also noted this is a high water area at the present time. Mrs. Godshalk stated they did not have much choice with regard to the land for the State. Mr. Gouza stated he feels this was only a minimal amount.

Mr. Koopman stated the larger portion was for the Water Company. Mr. Hackman stated he feels they were Civic-minded in allowing roads to be improved and providing a location for a water tank so that this end of the Township has sufficient water pressure. He does not feel they should be penalized. Mr. Fegley stated he would agree with Mr. Fazzalore that 10% is excessive for this area.

Mr. Fegley seconded the Motion.

Mr. Gunkel stated the discussion before the Planning Commission included the fact that they have now increased the proposed size of the building and the parking over what they had proposed in 1992 which was a conceptual Plan.

Motion carried with Mr. Allan, Mr. Fazzalore and Mr. Fegley in favor and Mrs. Godshalk and Mr. Hackman opposed.

J & J Miller

There was discussion on the J & J Miller, 7 Ivy Lane, request for a variance to erect an above-ground swimming pool in the 100 year flood plain. Mrs. Godshalk noted this is in the 100% resource protection land adjacent to the Canal. Mr. Koopman noted they have provided very little information in the Application.

Mr. Allan moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to take exception.

William Ehrlich Appeal

Mr. Koopman noted Mr. Ehrlich is appealing the actions of the Code Enforcement Officer.

Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to have the Township Solicitor appear in support of the Code Enforcement Officer’s actions.


Mr. Hackman stated the heaters have been installed at the Community Pool. The pools are being repainted. Membership is slightly up from this time last year and years before.

Mr. Fazzalore stated he had a discussion with Mr. Hoffmeister who advised him that the Robinson Place project is proceeding well.

Mrs. Godshalk stated last Tuesday night the Park & Recreation Board walked the Samost property and will provide a recommendation on its use.

Mrs. Godshalk noted there will be an Antique Show at Elm Lowne this weekend as a fund-raiser and the Explorers will be on hand for support. They hope to have the floors refinished this summer with the funds raised. Mr. Hackman stated he did not feel this was the best use for the funds. Mr. Fegley stated the Township is paying a great deal of money for upkeep of this property. Mrs. Godshalk stated funds have been raised through various fund-raising activities. Mr. Fazzalore stated the Board allocated $16,000 for Elm Lowne and this year they have already spent $27,000. Mr. Fegley stated he feels the Board of Supervisors must decide how the money is to be spent and not a Committee. Mrs. Godshalk stated they are recommending that the floors be refinished since people walking on them is ruining the floors. Mr. Fegley stated he feels the Committee can make a recommendation but the final decision should be made by the Board of Supervisors as to how the funds are to be spent. Mr. Hackman stated he feels work must be done on the trees first and money should be put toward the trees rather than the floors. Mrs. Godshalk stated if they want to get money from people to use the house, they need to fix up the house. She stated the floors should be done so they are protected. Mr. Hackman asked if the committee has set up a "Wish List." Mrs. Godshalk stated they feel the floors should be refinished, painting needs to be done, and some molding needs to be repaired.

Mr. Fazzalore stated the taxpayers need to be advised how much is being spent on this project. Mrs. Godshalk stated they are getting $1,000 a month rent.

Mr. Allan stated he expressed to the Planning Commission his concern with what was written in the Courier Times about the Commerce Bank, and he feels the Township treated the Commerce Bank fairly. He stated every time the Bank was present before the Planning Commission, they were told to go before the Board of Supervisors with their conceptual design and each time the Bank came back to the Planning Commission with a new plan. Mr. Gunkel stated the Bank wanted a recommendation from the Planning Commission before they went to the Board of Supervisors. Mrs. Godshalk stated she reviewed the Minutes when Commerce Bank appeared and they were present at three meetings, not six as their attorney indicated; and at every meeting they had a different plan. The Planning Commission continually told them to go to the Board of Supervisors since the Planning Commission is only a recommending body and cannot grant a Zoning change.


Mr. Fedorchak stated there are three computers that Ms. Cecchine would not have an objection donating. The Washington Crossing Christian School would like to have the computers. Mr. Hackman asked if this would be permitted legally, and Mr. Koopman stated this is not a problem provided it is a non-profit organization.

Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to donate three computers to the Washington Crossing Christian School.


The date of the Spring Road Inspection Tour will be Tuesday, May 23 at 8:00 a.m.


Mr. Fazzalore, Mr. Fegley, and Mrs. Godshalk indicated they would participate in the Memorial Day Parade. Mr. Allan indicated he may be able to attend. Mr. Hackman stated he would not be able to attend.

There being no further business, Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:35 p.m.