TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - AUGUST 20, 2001
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on August 20, 2001. Chairman Fazzalore called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:00 p.m. to conduct interviews and discuss legal and personnel matters.
Board of Supervisors:
Frank Fazzalore, Chairman
Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Ms. Lisa Kardo, Arborlea Avenue, stated in the past year they have had a number of speeders on their street who are going well above twenty-five miles per hour. She stated there are a number of children in the area. She stated in order to avoid the stop sign on West Ferry, drivers are now using their street. They currently have a stop sign on Juniper at Arborlea and she asked that the Board switch this from Juniper to Arborlea. She stated the area residents feel this may help deter the speeders. Mr. Fazzalore asked that Officer Roche look into this matter and provide a recommendation to the Board at their next meeting. A petition from the area residents was provided to Mr. Fedorchak this evening.
Mr. Andrew Newbon, 4 Berkley Drive, stated he previously discussed the issue of a safe passage from his neighborhood to connecting neighborhoods through use of a bike trail from Berkley to Robin Hood Drive. He stated subsequent to his meeting with the Board of Supervisors, he had discussed the matter further with Mr. Fedorchak and Mr. Doherty to find out what it would take to cut a trail through the woods, and he felt that they provided favorable feedback. Mr. Doherty stated they could get through the woods with a small bulldozer and since it is through a floodplain, he feels they should only put down stone.
Mr. Fazzalore asked if this is something Mr. Coyne could do, and Mr. Fedorchak stated he will discuss this matter with him.
Ms. Karen Freedman stated there is a Citizens Advisory Committee scheduled for tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Bucks County Community College where they will discuss the Swamp Road study. She asked that someone from the Township attend this meeting, and Mr. Fedorchak agreed to attend.
Ms. Dana Wyrick, 1512 Brock Creek Drive, stated RAM signs are being removed from private property and asked if the Township can do anything about this. Mr. Fazzalore stated this happens frequently in the Township with political and other signs. Ms. Wyrick estimated that approximately fifty signs have been stolen. Mr. Fazzalore noted they recently learned that graffiti was put on Matrix signs.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of the July 31, 2001 Special Meeting as written.
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of August 6, 2001 as written.
VOTE ON I-95 LOOP RAMP
Mr. Fazzalore stated he put this item on the Agenda because it came to his attention that by September 15, PennDOT will be meeting to allocate monies for this year and this project is in that allocation. After discussing this with some of the officials Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels PennDOT is interested in pursuing this project, and he is not sure that they do not already have the authority to proceed since they did receive approval from the Township twelve years ago. They were interested in having Lower Makefield indicate if they were still in favor of this project.
Mr. Hackman stated at the special meeting they heard from a number of citizens about the problems with traffic and roads. Much of the emphasis was on Swamp Road; however, he feels under the best of circumstances that situation will not be resolved for a number of years. He stated the loop at I-95 is very important and is part of a regional solution. They have been trying to get cooperation from Newtown Township to try to address some other issues and Newtown has agreed to improve roads on their side including setting up a new intersection on the By-Pass. He therefore feels they should proceed with the loop ramp.
Mr. Allan stated this is one of the most difficult decisions he has had to decide. He feels they are at a point at this intersection where there are constant accidents and it is a serious problem. He would like to commend the Supervisors who worked with Newtown Township to try to resolve some of these issues. He stated he feels they should try to make things better at this intersection for the benefit of Lower Makefield Township residents.
Mr. Fegley stated this is an important safety issue for Lower Makefield Township residents and is part of a regional agreement that they have worked out with Newtown Township through Representative Steil which involved a number of meetings. He stated both Townships have put a lot of time and effort into regional issues; and he is concerned that if Lower Makefield balks now, other Townships will not be willing to work with Lower Makefield in the future. He feels it is important to continue to address the quarry trucks issue. He also encourages all the Townships in the area to step up their enforcement with regard to quarry trucks. He also supports the opening of Swamp Road at some time in the future. He stated he feels Lower Makefield Township gains quite a bit through the Inter-Municipal Agreement.
Mrs. Godshalk stated at the last meeting she specifically asked whether the loop ramp could be made smaller so that they would take in less property and Mr. Doherty had agreed to look into this matter. She stated today she received a fax at her office from Parsons Brinckerhoff who has reviewed the proposal and has cited in their review some very serious problems. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels the design should have been in front of the Board while they were discussing this matter. She stated she is also not in favor of the design for a raised ramp which will create excessive noise for surrounding residents. She stated she will vote "no" at this time until she is shown some substantial design changes.
Mr. Hackman moved and Mr. Allan seconded that the Lower Makefield Township Supervisors affirm their support to PennDOT for the construction of a loop at I-95 and Route 332 with the following provisos:
The loop should be designed to allow the construction of loops in the other two unimproved quadrants;
PennDOT will approve a Newtown Township proposal to establish a full intersection into their O.R. District just west of Lindenhurst Road intersection;
PennDOT will work with Lower Makefield Township, Newtown Township, and Upper Makefield Township to "turn back" Lindenhurst Road to local status and support a "No Trucks" restriction, therefore requiring truck traffic to use the 332 Bypass to travel west and north.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he had a discussion with Mr. Steil today and he feels that the funds will be withdrawn for the synchronization of the lights on the By-Pass if the loop project is not approved, since they would not then serve a purpose.
Mr. George Vanderhorn, Newtown Township, stated he is on the Citizens Advisory Committee for Swamp Road. He stated he feels it is encouraging to hear some of the comments this evening and feels it is very important to make these safety improvements.
He stated he is opposed to those who only want to push the truck traffic somewhere else.
Ms. Maureen Friedman asked if anyone has addressed the question if they open up Swamp Road what will happen to Bucks County Community College. Mr. Fazzalore agreed it will add traffic which will conflict with student traffic. Ms. Friedman asked if they are working with outdated traffic studies. Mrs. Godshalk stated the latest study was done in 1997.
Mr. Doherty stated they did project the figures ahead ten years. Mr. Fazzalore stated if this area was a problem twelve years ago, it is a bigger problem today. Ms. Friedman stated she still feels the plans are inadequate. She asked if environmental studies have been done, and Mr. Fazzalore stated PennDOT does these and also does the historical studies.
Ms. Friedman asked if there is someone she can contact about these studies, and Mr. Fedorchak stated he will contact the Project Manager and advise them of Ms. Friedman’s requests.
Mr. Barry Huret stated he feels there is a need for the ramp and this should not be tied to other projects. He stated there have been numerous accidents in this area, and he feels if they do not proceed at this time, they will not get the funds.
Mr. John Torbert stated if the other loops are installed, they will wipe out two of the remaining farms in the Township. Mr. Hackman stated the Motion states that the one loop being considered at this time should be designed so that the other two loops could be constructed at some future time. Mr. Torbert stated he is concerned that this proposal will not help the situation since no changes have been made to the Scudders Falls Bridge.
Mr. Fazzalore stated the Bridge Commission has contacted the Township and indicated that they are doing a study on five bridges including the Scudders Falls Bridge. Mr. Torbert stated there is no final plan for the project they are discussing. He feels this will impact his farm and his driveway. He stated on the last plan he was shown, it was 400’ from his driveway. Mrs. Godshalk stated one of the latest plans she saw moved the ramp further east and this would bring it much closer to the Torbert driveway than 400’. Mr. Fegley stated they are not voting tonight on a final design. They are only voting to give PennDOT approval to proceed with a design. He stated construction will probably not begin for another two to three years. In that time there will be several public meetings where the details will be discussed at length.
Mr. Albert Roeper stated at the Planning Commission meeting last week, they discussed the situation; and the Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the Board of Supervisors consider approval of this proposal so that the Township does not lose the funds. He stated while it is not the ultimate solution, it is an important first step. He stated they are also aware of the problem on Lindenhurst Road and would recommend that the Board of Supervisors continue to work on this matter. Mr. Roeper stated by indicating their good will in this area, it will encourage participation by Newtown Township as well.
Ms. Virginia Torbert stated she does not feel the loop will solve the problem of safety and suggested changing the lights on the top of the bridge. She stated the reason there is a back up at the left hand light is because the lights are holding people up. She stated she has looked at the drawings for the ramp, and it does not start until after they go over the bridge.
She stated if they extend the time that people can make the left turn, this will cut down on the number of accidents. She stated extending the green light for those going to I-95 North will also cut down on the number of people making U-turns. Ms. Torbert stated the ramp will not help the people sitting on I-95 trying to get home to Newtown Township.
Mr. Hackman stated because of Newtown and Lower Makefield O/R development and the number of additional homes being built in the area, he feels the traffic volume will double. He stated probably they could do something with the timing of the lights as well in the near future.
Mrs. Godshalk stated two years ago they signed the Agreement for the synchronization project, and it continues to get delayed.
Ms. Sue Dengler, 494 Gayle Drive, stated she does not feel the light synchronization should be that difficult to do as opposed to the construction of a ramp. She stated she also feels the solution is not one ramp but several ramps, although she does not feel the agricultural issue can be dismissed.
Mr. Jim Ott, Stoopville Road, Newtown Township, stated he is a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Swamp Road Study. He stated he feels it would be a mistake to hold the loop ramp hostage for the Swamp Road culvert. He noted the culvert is in Wrightstown Township, not Newtown Township; and he does feel it will be fixed eventually. He stated they are considering the impact this will have on the Bucks County Community College, and there is discussion to take place on the entrance to the College.
Mr. Ott stated he does feel Mr. Torbert should be involved in the design.
Ms. Claire Neiman, 26 Crown Terrace, stated she feels they are not considering what is good for the community and are instead considering PennDOT and developers only.
Mr. Fazzalore stated the Township does not have the right to stop anyone from selling their land, and many of the farmers have sold to developers in the past.
Ms. Michele Minotor, 831 Combine, asked where she could get a copy of the Plans.
Mr. Fazzalore stated PennDOT is in the design stage at the current time. Ms. Minotor expressed concern with how this will effect her property values.
Ms. Karen Freedman stated she understands they are concerned with the safety of the residents. She stated she is offended that Mr. Steil has threatened taking away funding of the synchronization of the lights if they do not proceed with the loop ramp. She also feels it is suspicious that they are now forcing Lower Makefield Township to take action at this time. Ms. Freedman stated she also feels they should not approve this if they do not know what the ramp will look like. Mr. Fegley stated they have seen some Sketch Plans. The original plan was to take eighteen acres, and the most recent plan takes eleven acres, six of which would come from the Patterson Farm property. All final details in terms of buffers, elevations, etc. have not yet been finally designed and there will be a number of public meetings before there is any earth moving.
Mr. Jim Bow, Newtown Township, stated he is a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee and an Adjunct at Bucks County Community College. He encouraged the Board to approve the loop on I-95. He stated this is a regional issue and this is an important component in solving some of the problems. He also believes Swamp Road is important, but before they can open it, they need to make it safe for students to travel.
Mr. John Cowlie, 2000 Silverwood Drive, stated he appreciates the proviso Mr. Hackman has included which he feels makes the best of a difficult situation. He asked that they consider including Wrightstown Township in the Motion as well since they are an important part of this.
Mr. Hans Ganderbush, 711 Jade Road, stated he agrees there is a need for three ramps but the funds are not available for this at the current time. He feels they should proceed with the one ramp and make sure that it is the ramp they want and meets their vision for what this should look like in the future.
Ms. Torbert asked the harm in trying her light proposal and seeing if this will help the situation. She stated she does not feel it is true that funds will not be available in the future if they decide not to proceed at this time with the ramp. Mr. Hackman stated he feels there is too much traffic and it would not be accommodated only by changing the timing of the lights.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she has been in the area and cars are held up at the Lindenhurst Road light and the Stony Hill Road light. She stated Lindenhurst Road is a major back up.
Ms. Maureen Friedman stated she does not feel there will be any solution without widening the Scudders Falls Bridge. Mr. Fazzalore stated with the installation of the ramp, it will back up on the ramp and I-95 rather than on 332. Ms. Friedman stated she does not feel what is proposed will alleviate the problem.
Motion carried with Mrs. Godshalk opposed.
APPROVE AWARD OF BID FOR SANITARY MANHOLE WORK PRIOR TO PAVING
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve award of bid for sanitary manhole work prior to paving to W.L. Cadwallader, Jr. Contractors, Inc. in the amount of $34,850.00.
TABLE APPROVAL OF AGREEMENT WITH YARDLEY-MAKEFIELD EMERGENCY UNIT
Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to table approval of the Agreement with Yardley-Makefield Emergency Unit.
APPROVAL OF AGREEMENT WITH RICK JABOBSON TO PROVIDE GOLF COURSE DESIGN SERVICES
Mr. Hackman moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to approve the Agreement with Rick Jacobson to provide Golf Course design services.
Mr. Barry Huret provided information on the number of golf courses going bankrupt. He questions how the Township can afford a bond for a Golf Course when they cannot afford to construct a Senior Center. He stated he has not seen the cost analysis. Mr. Fazzalore stated the cost analysis is under review at the current time and will be available for review in September. Mr. Hackman stated part of the initial design is necessary so that they can do the cost analysis Mr. Hackman stated five years ago they did have a cost analysis done which indicated it would be profitable, and they are now updating this.
Ms. Sue Dengler stated at a previous meeting, the Golf Course Committee discussed hiring this architect and the Agreement was tabled. Mr. Hackman stated Mr. Jacobson had provided the Agreement which was reviewed by the Township solicitor who made some changes. These changes then had to be reviewed and agreed to by Mr. Jacobson.
Mr. Hackman noted the Agreement has been available for review at the Township office. Ms. Dengler questioned how a Golf Course could be constructed if the taxpayers have not voted in favor of it. Mr. Hackman stated in Pennsylvania the Board of Supervisors are responsible for making these decisions and nothing has to be voted on by the public. In the past, the Board has put some items out for a Referendum. Mr. Hackman stated the funds to construct the Golf Course will not be part of the Open Space Referendum funds.
Mr. Fegley stated the Golf Course will be paid for by the users of the Golf Course similar to how the Community Pool is run.
Motion carried with Mr. Allan, Mrs. Godshalk, and Mr. Hackman in favor. Mr. Fegley abstained. Mr. Fazzalore was not present for the vote.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 1091 AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF TOWNSHIP EXPENSES FROM THE BOND ISSUE RELATED TO THE GOLF COURSE
Mr. Allan moved and Mr. Hackman seconded approval of Resolution No. 1091 authorizing reimbursement of Township expenses from the Bond Issue related to the Golf Course.
Mr. Hackman stated this is instructing the Finance Director to accumulate the monies spent so far on the Golf Course and set up accounts for a Golf Course so those costs are included in the Golf Course project. Mr. Fegley stated this will not involve taxpayer funds.
Ms. Ada Derr asked if they can get an accounting as to how much has been spent so far.
Mr. Hackman stated the Finance Director has rough numbers, and he feels it is approximately $25,000. He stated this information is available from the Township Manger.
Motion carried with Mr. Fegley abstained.
Mr. Fazzalore noted Mr. Fegley has excused himself from every single vote on the Golf Course because his property is close to the proposed Golf Course.
APPROVAL OF EDGEWOOD POINTE DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT
Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present. Mr. Koopman stated the Agreement is ready for approval by the Board.
Mr. Allan moved and Mr. Hackman seconded approval of the Edgewood Pointe Development Agreement.
Mrs. Godshalk stated in their discussions on the architectural design, they made a decision that they would have paving block for the paths. Mr. Murphy stated this was reflected in the Plan detail. Mrs. Godshalk stated the $30,000 that was saved was to be used for improvements to Edgewood Village. Mr. Murphy stated the Agreement indicates that the funds are to go to the Township and the decision as to where the funds are to be spent is up to the Township. Mrs. Godshalk stated she would like the Agreement to state that the money is be used in Edgewood Village. Mr. Fazzalore stated this should not be part of the Agreement.
Motion carried with Mrs. Godshalk opposed.
APPROVE GRANTING AN EXTENSION OF TIME TO QUAKER GROUP BUILDERS II FOR THE VALLEY DAY SCHOOL SUBDIVISION
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an extension of time to Quaker Group Builders II for the Valley Day School Subdivision to November 22, 2001.
Mr. Fazzalore asked that the Board carefully review these plans once they are provided. He particularly noted the storm water management issues.
APPROVE GRANTING EXTENSION OF TIME TO MC FADDEN MINOR SUBDIVISION
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve granting extension of time to McFadden Minor Subdivision to November 30, 2001.
Mrs. Godshalk asked if they are getting any determination on what they are proposing.
Mr. Doherty stated it has not come back into the Township.
APPROVE GRANTING EXTENSION OF TIME TO MISKIEL/DARRAH
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant extension of time to Miskiel/Darrah Preliminary Plan to October 15, 2001.
WOODFIELD ESTATES DENY REQUEST FOR DEDICATION
Mr. Hackman moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to deny the request for dedication for Woodfield Estates based on outstanding items in the PCS letter dated 8/8/1 and lack of Final Certificates of Occupancy for seven properties.
Mr. Doherty asked if the Board of Supervisors can authorize funds to be taken out of the developer’s fund to pay bills. He stated he has outstanding bills which are owed his firm for over two years. Mr. Koopman was asked to look into this matter.
Mr. Allan stated he is also concerned that many of these improvements are still outstanding for this length of time. Mr. Koopman stated over the winter there was some damage done to the improvements and the Township engineer did advise the developer of these problems.
Motion to deny carried unanimously.
PEAKE FARM DISCUSSION
Mrs. Godshalk noted the Peake Farm which was denied dedication some time ago.
Mr. Doherty stated during the spring the developer did replace some of the trees. He stated they are still working on the punch list items. Mrs. Godshalk stated she is still concerned with trees and clearing to be done along Oxford Valley Road.
APPROVAL OF AUGUST 6 AND AUGUST 20 WARRANT LISTS AND JULY PAYROLL
Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve August 6, 2001 and August 20, 2001 Warrant Lists and July, 2001 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he met with Ms. Langtry and Mr. Fedorchak on the Newsletter which they propose to send out in December.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she would like to re-visit the Agreement on Edgewood Pointe. She stated the Historic Commission members spent a considerable amount of time on working with this developer, and she feels Mr. Troilo should be asked to reiterate that these funds should be dedicated to Edgewood Village which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mr. Hackman stated the Golf Course architect has been putting together some sketches of routing plans and these will be used for discussion with the Committee and to estimate construction costs which will be included in the financial analysis. He stated the land is being surveyed.
Mr. Allan stated the Pool season is coming to an end. They are moving forward with hiring the consultant. They had a good season and the membership numbers were where they should be. He feels it is working out well having Ms. Liney in charge of the Pool. Mr. Fazzalore noted they also did well with regard to their Budget. Mr. Hackman stated they have a balance in their account of over $300,000 to be used toward maintenance and improvements. Mr. Allan stated they will probably be spending approximately $100,000 to install the handicap access. Ms. Sue Dengler commended the Township on the Pool. A gentleman thanked the Board for changing the time that Senior Citizen members are permitted to enter the Pool to 4:00 p.m.
APPROVAL OF RESTROOMS AT EDGEWOOD FIELDS
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Agreement with DeLuca Enterprises to proceed with construction of restroom/concession facility at Edgewood Field in the estimated amount of $163,000 to be paid with Fee-In-Lieu funds.
Ms. Sue Herman suggested hiring Mr. Jim Yeager to do a traffic study on the Intersection at the By-Pass that Newtown Township is considering installing. Mr. Fazzalore stated he is not in favor of spending any more money on traffic studies. Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Allan seconded to employ Parsons-Brinckerhoff to review the intersection since it will be beneficial to Lower Makefield Township. Mr. Hackman stated he is not in favor of this since it is in Newtown Township and will be designed by the developer of the land with approval from PennDOT. Mr. Fegley stated there is no final design to review at this time.
Motion did not carry as Mr. Allan and Mrs. Godshalk voted in favor and Mr. Fazzalore,
Mr. Fegley, and Mr. Hackman were opposed.
Mr. Fazzalore noted the letter from Mr. Steil regarding the next Twelve Year Plan. He stated they have been asked to forward any recommended projects. Mr. Fazzalore stated the Board should forward their recommendations to Mr. Fedorchak who will forward them to Mr. Steil. Mr. Fegley stated he feels the Board should consider a number of projects and then prioritize them as a Board rather than have each individual Supervisor send a letter. Mr. Fegley asked that this matter be put on the Agenda for the next meeting.
APPROVAL OF INDUSTRIAL SITES REUSE PROGRAM FUNDING
Mr. Fedorchak stated this is a Grant application which will help the Township clean up the four acre disposal site in Macclesfield Park. Mr. Fedorchak reviewed the history of the project and stated the Board at the time of the purchase erected an eight foot high metal fence around this site so that no one could go into the area. Approximately one year ago they became aware of this program which provides funds to help Townships clean up sites such as this and put the sites back into use. Mr. Fedorchak stated the total cost of the project would be $900,000. The first phase is the development of a remedial action plan and securing all necessary permits. The second phase would be construction and waste disposal. There are approved sites where the items are disposed of.
Mr. Fazzalore stated the Township’s portion of this would be approximately $225,000. He asked where the funds would come from, and Mr. Fedorchak stated he would recommend that the Board look at this for next year with funds to come from Capital Reserve. Mr. Fedorchak stated this will put closure on this issue as well as put the four acres into use.
Mr. Hackman moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to direct the Township Manager to proceed with the Program and commit the Township to the 25% share and appoint Shore DePalma to provide engineering services in accordance with the Grant.
Mr. Fedorchak noted this site is right next to the Canal and is not far away from the Water Company’s intake.
Ms. Sue Dengler asked if there has been delineation in terms of soil and groundwater contamination. Mr. Fedorchak stated the Plan does include these features. He stated much of this had been done in the mid-1980’s. Ms. Dengler stated she feels this work should be confirmed or re-done. Mr. Fedorchak stated this will be done.
Motion carried unanimously.
GOLF COURSE DISCUSSION AND MOTION REGARDING FUNDS
Mr. Hackman stated as part of getting the financial analysis for the Golf Course, there are several items that should be done to provide a better handle on construction costs, etc.
Mr. Hackman moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded that the Board approve spending up to $20,000 to handle such things as surveys, reimbursing the farmer for the corn, test borings, etc. with funds to be part of the Golf Course Bond Fund. Motion carried with Mr. Fegley abstained.
Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint MaryJo Barbie and Barbara Sullivan to the Elm Lowne Committee.
There being no further business, Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 p.m.