BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES – DECEMBER 6, 2006
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the
Board of Supervisors: Steve Santarsiero, Chairman
Ron Smith, Vice Chairman
Greg Caiola, Secretary
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor
Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor
Others: Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
David Truelove, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police
Mr. Zack Cohen, a Seventh Grade Student at Charles Boehm,
stated he is organizing a project to help Soldiers serving in
Mr. Sam Conti, representing the Farmland Preservation Corporation, stated the increase in deer and geese populations have had a significant impact on the farmers who are losing as much as 35% of their crop to the deer and geese. He stated in 2004 they heard of a program whereby the State would provide fencing for the control of deer. He has obtained information on this program which is administered by the Gaming Association. He stated they would provide a five foot high, electrified fence. The farmers would have to allow the land to be available for hunters during the hunting season. After discussion, it was agreed that they would not proceed with this program because of the danger
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 2 of 21
involved with the electrified fence and use of
firearms. He stated at the last Board of
Supervisors meeting, Mr. Joe Ardin provided information on his program
involving culling of deer and geese. Mr.
Conti stated he discussed this program with the farmers involved, and they are
all interested in the program. He stated
Mr. Ardin will be making a presentation to the Farmland Preservation
Corporation at their meeting Tuesday. He
stated if they are in agreement, he would propose that all 344 acres of
Farmland as well as 130 acres of land adjacent to
Mr. Santarsiero asked that they wait until they hear back from Mr. Shissler who was asked at the last meeting to come back with a proposal to hire him to address the deer issue throughout the Township. Mr. Santarsiero stated he would like to have a plan that is applied uniformly throughout the Township. He stated if they proceed with retention of Mr. Shissler, he would develop a plan for the entire Township. He would prefer not doing this on a piecemeal basis before getting the input from Mr. Shissler who is the expert.
Mr. Conti stated he would like to proceed with the presentation by Mr. Ardin since the arrangements have already been made, but they would not proceed with anything further until they hear back from the Board of Superviosrs.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she does not have a problem with Mr. Ardin making a presentation, but noted the Farmland Preservation Corporation does not have the authority to permit any hunting. She stated she is concerned with hunting on these properties because of the proximity to residential areas. Mr. Conti stated it would be bow and arrow hunting.
Mrs. Godshalk stated this would still be under the regulations.
Mr. Smith stated Mr. Conti discussed geese, and this was not considered when they had their discussions with Mr. Shissler; and they were only discussing the deer problem.
Mr. Conti stated Mr. Ardin indicated he would take care of geese as well. Mr. Stainthorpe stated there was a problem with geese at the Golf Course; and it has been handled very effectively with their border collie, Max, who while he does not hurt the geese, his presence causes them to go elsewhere. He stated this is a modest investment that works.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of November 15, 2006 as written.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 3 of 21
PRESENTATION OF PROCLAMATIONS TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT OFFICERS
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Pennsbury Elementary Schools recently held their Elections for Student Government Officers, and since he knows one of the students recently elected personally, he felt it would be good to acknowledge the service these young people are doing. He stated he hopes that this is just the first of what will be many experiences for them in public service. He stated Proclamations will be issued this evening acknowledging their service to their Schools and thanking them on behalf of the Township.
Proclamations were presented to the students present this evening (names attached to the Minutes.)
Mr. Caiola acknowledged the
Mrs. Godshalk stated present tonight are sixteen girls and ten boys and she encouraged everyone, but particularly the girls, to continue to be involved in Government. Mr. Smith
stated as an attorney he frequently sees a different type of young person so it is encouraging to see this group of young people. He stated he has also been involved in soccer for seventeen years and it is good to see leadership on the soccer field and in the Schools as well.
Mr. Santarsiero invited the children and their parents to remain to see how local Government works and see how people make their voices heard at the level which is closest to the people.
REPORT ON BRAMM FUND RAISING EFFORTS
Mr. Paul Krupp and Ms. Holly Bussey were present. Mr. Krupp stated a Petition was filed in June challenging the validity of the FONSI. A mediation Hearing was scheduled in October and an additional Hearing will be held late January. In the interim, BRRAM has been involved in a fundraising campaign to assist the Township in paying the legal bills.
Ms. Bussey stated in late August, the Board of Supervisors requested that they help raise funds to help pay for the litigation. They had booths at Lower Makefield Community
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 4 of 21
Day and Yardley Harvest Day.
They have also had a letter-writing campaign targeting key impact
neighborhoods first, and they have written over one thousand letters. She stated they will present tonight a check
to the Township which includes a challenge gift which they were able to
exceed. Ms. Bussey thanked the
Mr. Santarsiero thanked BRRAM for the contribution. He stated he was very impressed with their efforts in fundraising. He stated he received today an acknowledgement for the contribution he made, and it was very professionally done. He added this is an investment in the Township since if the Airport is ever expanded, it will have a real impact on property values and the quality of life which is why they continue to support BRRAM.
Mr. Krupp thanked the Board of Supervisors for taking this approach. He stated they also have information on this matter on the Township Website.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he will be contacting Congressman-Elect Murphy and requesting his support in this effort as the previous Congressmen have supported BRRAM.
Mrs. Godshalk thanked Mr. Krupp and Ms. Bussey for their dedication working for our quality of life. Mr. Caiola agreed that the work they are doing is critical, and it is important to keep this issue in the forefront.
UPDATE ON DECEMBER 5 MEETING WITH GOVERNOR RENDELL REGARDING FUNDING FOR SPECIAL PROJECTS
Mr. Santarsiero stated he and Mr. Truelove along with
Representative Steil met in
After a series of phone calls and e-mails, the meeting was held yesterday. Mr. Santarsiero stated he provided the Governor an overview of the various ideas they are considering to help mitigate the flooding problems and also discussed the need to have the work done on the Canal and the culvert. He stated the Governor advised that they would get the work
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 5 of 21
done. He stated there is some question as to how the funding will take place whether it will all come from the State or partly from FEMA. Mr. Santarsiero stated he has been asked to be the point of contact for the Township, and he will call the Governor’s Chief of Staff after the New Year to discuss getting the funding finalized so that hopefully the work will be done in 2007. Although this will not solve all the flooding problems in this part of the Township, it will help this area. He stated they are appreciative of the Governor’s support as well as the work done by Mr. Truelove and Mr. Steil.
Mr. Santarsiero stated at the meeting with the Governor he
also raised the issue of the proposed work on
Mr. Truelove noted that the monies that were allocated for
the work on the
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 6 of 21
Mrs. Godshalk stated the Trenton Times had an extensive article on Monday about the Bridge widening and noted the Bridge Commission President indicated it will be five lanes going north and four lanes going south. She stated this will be a new Bridge, not just a widening of the existing Bridge. Mr. Santarsiero stated they decided relatively early on that they would have to construct a new Bridge, and not simply widen the existing Bridge. Mr. Caiola stated they are also discussing a walking/bikepath on the Bridge. Mr. Smith stated at the meeting he attended on the Bridge, they indicated it would cost $1 million a mile for the sound barriers. He stated there was strong public support at that meeting for the sound barriers. Mr. Caiola thanked Mr. Santarsiero,
Mr. Steil, Mr. Truelove, and the members of RAFT who have been encouraging the Board to move forward on these projects.
Mr. Scott Burgess thanked Mr. Steil, Mr. Santarsiero, and
the rest of the Board for what they have done.
He stated five months ago when they started working on this problem,
they were not sure what the outcome would be and so far they have gotten more
than they anticipated. He stated RAFT recently
had an Executive meeting; and in 2007, they will try to reach out to other
communities up and down the Delaware River since the problem goes beyond
Mr. Santarsiero stated there are stormwater issues they have in the Township aside from the flood events that must be worked out from an engineering standpoint. He stated during one of the Road Tours, Mr. Majewski advised that they need to obtain Permits from the Township before the work can be done, so this does give the Township some leverage. He stated they will also have to take into consideration how the expansion of the highway will impact the floodplain. He stated early in the new year, he feels they may need to ask that the representatives from the Bridge Commission come in to give an update and what they are looking at in terms of engineering; and the Township engineer could then review this and provide feedback.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated when I-95 was built the stormwater management practices put in place were disastrous. He stated at one of the meetings with the Bridge Commission representatives, they discussed correcting and improving a lot of these issues.
Mr. Burgess stated as they get into release of the funds to
the DCNR, he hopes they will continue to keep in contact to see what can be
done to insure that
Mr. Zachary Rubin,
currently being contemplated as part of the Bridge Commission project.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 7 of 21
Mr. Santarsiero stated when this project was first being discussed, he indicated that it did not make sense to add lanes to the highway north of 332 and there remain a stretch of highway for approximately five miles that would remain two lanes in each direction as this would result in bottlenecks. He stated they do not seem to be interested in this probably because the Bridge Commission sees that as too far away from their jurisdiction. He stated the Bridge Commission is doing the work under a Memorandum of Agreement with PennDOT and NJDOT. Mr. Santarsiero stated any work south of 332 would have to be done through PennDOT. He stated while the noise is an issue for the entire length of the highway, their immediate concern was where they were widening the road. He stated the Bridge Commission indicated that this is the stretch that would be the most heavily-traveled stretch according to their projections. Mr. Rubin asked if it was arbitrarily decided that 332 northward was the Bridge Commission’s territory, and
Mr. Santarsiero stated it had to do with proximity to the Bridge and because they saw this as a major feeder onto I-95 going north.
Ms. Holly Bussey,
Mr. Santarsiero stated 2008 was the original date, but they feel this will be moved back.
Mr. Santarsiero stated they previously indicated they would have the final design selected in the fall of 2005, and they now hear it will be selected in the spring of 2007. He does not feel they will be in a position to begin construction in 2008 or even 2009, and they will have to follow up with them on this. Ms. Bussey stated she is concerned that there will be an extensive length of time when traffic patterns will change. Mr. Santarsiero stated the Bridge Commission is mindful of the impact of their crossings on the communities in which they exist. He stated the last two years they have floated two bond issues totaling approximately $30 million and they have welcomed Applications for funding from Townships that are in the vicinity of the Bridge. The Township has in the past submitted Applications for funding; and they will be sending out Applications again as there is a chance that some of those which were denied last year, might now be approved. Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Township did receive a Grant. Mr. Santarsiero agreed noting this was for the traffic light at Creamery and 332. He stated many of the other projects they submitted were turned down, and they will re-submit.
Ms. Virginia Torbert congratulated Mr. Truelove and Mr.
Santarsiero for the work they did getting funds released. Ms. Torbert stated she had a discussion with
a representative from the Joint Toll Bridge Commission to get an update for the
Citizens Traffic Commission. She stated
she advised that the current hold up is the round-about issue in
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 8 of 21
DISCUSSION OF PROCESS TO CREATE A MASTER PLAN FOR THE PATTERSON FARM
Mr. Jeff Marshall was present. He stated a study was done of all existing sites in the Township and they were then asked to focus on the Patterson Farm. He stated over the next few months they would like to put together a Special Committee to look at the issues with regard to Patterson Farm. He stated in this way they can present all the possibilities for the site. He would then within six months like to come back and suggest uses for the property. He stated they would first have a brainstorming session, identify specific implications of all the possible functions and potential conflicts, identify key priorities, and make recommendations.
Mr. Marshall stated he has drafted a Mission Statement so the Committee has a starting point. He stated he feels they want to preserve the cultural and historic landscapes of the property, consider agricultural sustainability, provide for the environmental and social well-being of present and future generations, establish and reaffirm the strong connection between farmland, food, and community, have a strong concern for the economic implications of any decision the Board and community comes up with, and that at this time recreational use of the property will probably be secondary to the agricultural use for the immediate future. Mr. Marshall stated the broad options include farmland preservation. He stated there are funding possibilities, and they could look to the County for funding to purchase the development rights from the Township and noted
Mr. Fedorchak has met with the head of the County Ag Preservation Program to get preliminary input. He stated he feels they should have a vision for the property before they apply for funding through sale of development rights. He stated they must also look to the farmers of the community as to what farming will be in the 21st Century.
Mr. Marshall stated they must also consider the historic sites, and they are pursuing National Register listing for the properties. The deadline is December 12 and this will open the door for potential funding and protection, although it may also have some restraints as to what can be done in the future. He stated they are also looking into the use of non-agricultural open space if it is not viable for farming at some point in the future. He stated they could also consider linkages to other open space. They also need to consider the impact any of these uses would have on the adjoining neighborhoods. He stated they should also consider future potential use for active recreation although this is not being considered in the very near future.
Mr. Marshall stated the Board needs to consider who they would want to have on this visioning Committee. Mr. Santarsiero asked if he feels this Committee would be a stakeholders committee and if so how “stakeholder” would be defined. Mr. Marshall stated he does feel it should be stakeholders and this could include those who have an interest in historic preservation, recreation, and farmland preservation.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 9 of 21
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he is in favor of the open-minded approach even if it is involves discussion of items they may ultimately decide not to do. He stated since it is a short-term Committee, it should include a representative from the Historic Commission, Planning Commission, Park & Recreation, Environmental Advisory Council and citizens at large - possibly neighbors to the property. He assumes they would have public meetings so that there would be ample opportunity for others to provide input.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he also feels there should be representatives from the farming community as well. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels they could have a plan for the next ten to fifteen years and then a long-term plan in the event that there are not farmers in the area in the future. Mr. Smith stated he feels someone from the Farmland Preservation Corporation should also be on the Committee. Mr. Smith asked that Mr. Marshall read the Mission Statement he prepared.
Mr. Marshall stated the Mission Statement he has drafted
reads as follows: “The Patterson Farm
will be a permanently protected, sustainable resource that will provide
agricultural, open space, historic, education, and other benefits to the
Mrs. Godshalk stated she was involved in acquiring the property and is aware of the feelings of the community at that time; and she feels it was acquired as open space, historic preservation, and farming for as long as someone was available to farm it with ownership by the Township whose citizens are paying for it. She stated there has been discussion on use of the buildings and there was discussion about subdividing one of the houses off and selling it to someone who would restore it and use it as a family home. She stated shortly after the Township spent the $7.5 million on this property, the Township also went out on a Referendum for $7.5 million to purchase additional land. This Referendum was worded for “farmland preservation, open space, and historic preservation.” Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels these are the three uses which are most important to those who are paying for the Patterson Farm and the other parcels bought under the Referendum. She is concerned that people on the Committee may have other interests apart from these three uses.
Mr. Marshall stated while he does not disagree with Mrs. Godshalk, he stated this would provide an opportunity to reaffirm that this is the case. He stated situations have changed, and the people who are paying for this may have other opinions. He stated his goal is permanently protected open space, but he does not want to presume that he knows what is best for the Township’s greater goals.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 10 of 21
Mr. Smith stated he does not feel they should pre-judge the report and its findings before they even appoint a Committee. He suggested they appoint the Committee, have them do the work, and then make comments on the report once it is presented. Mr. Stainthorpe stated once the report comes back, the Board of Supervisors can accept or reject whatever they choose in the report. Mrs. Godshalk stated there are Plans for Memorial Park but they do not have the money to proceed with them. She stated she feels it is safest to just keep the Patterson Farm as open space.
Mr. Marshall stated the Bucks County Commissioners have appointed a second Bucks County Open Space Task Force of which he is a member and they have been meeting on a regular basis. He stated the next Bond Issue will include more funds for projects that enhance already preserved open space. Mrs. Godshalk stated they also need more money
to purchase additional land.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels if ultimately a Plan is made for the short and long-term of the farm, and the Township was then able to make Application to the County for the purchase of the development rights to the Farm in a way that is consistent with the Township’s Plan, this would be a revenue stream that the Township could use for the preservation of the Farm. He suggested that they put this back on the Agenda for the next meeting and decide how the Committee will be set up.
Mr. Stainthorpe asked the cost for Mr. Marshall’s services for this, and Mr. Marshall stated it is included in the project they already have underway.
Mrs. Godshalk asked why the County would purchase development rights for land that has already been preserved. Mr. Marshall stated it is his understanding that the restrictions on the use ended with the passing of the Pattersons. He stated the Township owns this and he did not see anything that indicated it was only for open space. He stated the prior attorney had looked into this issue, and the current attorney could do so as well.
Mr. Marshall stated the reason he brought up the idea of the County’s purchase of the Development Rights would be that it would take the decision away from the Township alone and make sure that the goal of keeping it open forever is backed by the Township as well as the County. Mr. Santarsiero stated approximately seventy acres that was purchased with County funds is already protected, but he understands that the rest of the Farm is not so protected.
Mrs. Godshalk asked if the County might overturn this fifty years from now.
Mr. Marshall stated it would be an additional level of
protection as currently it is only the Township protecting it, and if the
County purchased Development rights it would be subject to a
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 11 of 21
Mr. Stainthorpe stated if the County at some point in the future chose to sell the Development Rights, the Township would have the option to buy them but the Township would also not be forced or required to sell the underlying land.
Mr. Marshall stated it would actually be three Boards since when he is discussing the County, it is actually the County and the State.
Mr. Smith stated he would like to be sure that the Committee is in place no later than January, 2007; and Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels they can appoint the Committee in two weeks.
Mr. Smith asked the status of the Satterthwaite House. Mr. Fedorchak stated they received a $19,000 Community Development Block Grant, and they just recently contracted out for painting the house. The work had begun approximately one and a half months ago but the contractor has discovered a few additional problems particularly with the porch. They are looking into this. They do not anticipate that they will be able to complete the painting this year, and it will be done in the spring. There are structural matters that need attention.
There was no public comment.
UPDATE ON BLACK ROCK ROAD BIKEPATH STUDY
Mr. Santarsiero stated they had asked the traffic engineer to report back to the Board in thirty days as to the status of the feasibility study for the construction of a bikepath on Black Rock Road from Westover Road to Glen Drive; and the engineer felt the meeting was next week rather than this week. This matter will be on the Agenda for the Board’s meeting of December 20.
DISCUSSION AND MOTION TO APPROVE PURCHASE OF NEW AMBULANCE FOR THE YARDLEY-MAKEFIELD EMERGENCY SQUAD
Mr. James McCaffrey was present with Mr. Hank Lawrence. Mr. McCaffrey stated last year the Rescue Squad responded to 1,411 calls; and this year they have responded to 1,203 through October. He stated the Squad was in service 99.9% of the time last year, which is commendable and was not done in the past. He thanked Mr. Lawrence for his leadership. Mr. McCaffrey stated the Squad employs nine full-time people, eleven part-time people, and they have a budget of $875,000. He included in a packet presented this evening the Profit and Loss Statement for 2005 as well as the Financial Statement through October, 2006. He stated of the $875,000, $120,000 comes from the Township,
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 12 of 21
$15,000 from Yardley Borough, the public supports the Squad through donations in the amount of $135,000, and the balance comes from billings for those who use their services.
Mr. McCaffrey stated of the 1,411 calls last year, 66% of them were dispatched as Advanced Life Support (ALS) and 70% actually were ALS transport. He stated this is why they are requesting a new ambulance. He stated currently they have three vehicles – a 1999 van that is not an ALS vehicle, a 1998 box vehicle and a 2001 box vehicle. He stated the 1998 vehicle has 84,000 miles on it, and they would like to keep it as it has no value to anyone else. He stated the 2001 vehicle, which the Township purchased for the Squad, has 55,000 miles on it and does get a lot of use. They intend to sell the van for which they feel they could get between $18,000 and $20,000. They still owe approximately $14,000 on the 1998 van.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he understands the cost for this would come out of the Bond Issue that was passed last spring, and Mr. Fedorchak agreed. Mr. Fedorchak stated when they put the Bond Issue together, they were going to spend the funds on sewer rehabilitation, a new fire truck, and the emergency vehicle now under discussion.
Mr. Stainthorpe asked how much was put in the Bond Issue, and Mr. Fedorchak stated it was $100,000. Mr. Stainthorpe asked if they would take advantage of the $50,000 loan from FEMA, and Mr. McCaffrey stated it would be advantageous for them to do so.
Mr. Stainthorpe asked if this vehicle would be basically the same as the 2001 vehicle, and Mr. McCaffrey agreed. Mr. Lawrence stated it is still basically state-of-the art, although there have been some minor improvements having to do with the electrical systems.
Mr. Santarsiero thanked the Emergency Squad for the work they do. He stated this past year his family did need to avail themselves of their services for their son, and it was comforting to know that they were there so quickly and so well trained. Mr. Smith stated they also provide EMT personnel for the Soccer Tournaments at reduced cost for which YMS is very appreciative.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated the van they have is not suitable for the ALS service, and this will give them the capability that any vehicle that goes out would meet their needs; and
Mr. McCaffrey agreed.
There was no public comment.
Mr. Fedorchak asked if they intend to purchase the ambulance through the State bid program, and Mr. Lawrence stated this was not their intention and he does not know any organizations in the area that do this. Mr. McCaffrey stated they do intend to get a number of bids.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 13 of 21
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the purchase of a new ambulance in an amount not to exceed $100,000 of Township money.
Mr. Lawrence stated in March they will be having a CPR Marathon in conjunction with Bucks County Realtors, and he invited the Board to be trained in CPR. All proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity.
MAKEFIELD HIGHLANDS GOLF COURSE PROGRESS UPDATE AND OVERVIEW
Mr. Frank Draper, Golf Course Committee Chairman, was present. He stated the new General Manager this year was Mike Collins who was the golf pro at the Course for three years prior to this promotion. He stated he has transitioned into the position extremely well and made an immediate impact on a number of operational and personnel issues.
Mr. Draper stated the Course is maturing nicely. He stated they will have some maintenance challenges to face, and he has had discussions with the Superintendent who has the situation well in hand. Mr. Draper stated the look and feel of the Golf Course is similar to that of a private facility, which is a difficult process when you have over 41,000 rounds of golf. Mr. Draper stated all operations are at or ahead of Budget including the Pro Shop, Food and Beverage, and Practice Facility. He stated they are supported by the community at large as well. He stated the Practice Facility is an incredible facility, and he has seen members of private Clubs practicing at the facility. He stated the revenues and expenses are on course, and they were able to reduce the Operating Budget this year by 5%.
Mr. Draper stated the Golf Committee is now working with the
Sales and Marketing team at Makefield Highlands in an effort to attract higher
end and more profitable outings as well as additional non-golf activities to
make use of the facility. Mr. Draper
reviewed some of the repairs done in 2006.
He stated the Golf Committee has
been exploring an opportunity with the Philadelphia Section of the PGA which is
considering having their headquarters at the Manor House, and they will
continue to work on this. He stated they
have developed an Action Plan for making Makefield Highlands an
Audubon-sanctioned facility, have been heavily involved in planning the VIP
Outing, are in the process of developing a landscape Plan for the long-range
future of the Golf Course, and have established a Friends of Makefield
Highlands team of volunteers who devote time on the course, greeting the
golfers, thanking them for their business, helping to raise awareness, repairing
divots, etc. They have had a good
response from the golfers who indicated it was nice to be thanked for their
business. They have also become active with
a number of local organizations and businesses to raise awareness of
Generate funds and increase the profit margins.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 14 of 21
Mr. Draper stated Kemper Sports sends out a survey every year, and this year over 90% of those responding indicated that they considered customer service and the condition of the Golf Course to be excellent.
Mr. Draper stated the size of the kitchen and equipment cannot adequately accommodate more than four tables if they come in at the same time, and they have asked the Director of Food and Beverage to put together a proposal for improvements. Mr. Draper stated he feels it would be good to provide an oven and extra griddle in the kitchen. This would help them accommodate the normal day-to-day activities and also put them in a better position to eliminate caterers from coming in as they could do their own cooking for functions coming to the Course which would increase their bottom line. Mr. Draper provided information on the costs for these items for the Township’s consideration.
He feels they would be able to cover their costs within the first year based on the Tournaments alone.
Mr. Draper thanked the Board of Supervisors for their continuing support as they go into a successful 2007. He stated the Golf Committee asked that he let the Board know that the Golf Committee and the entire staff at Makefield Highlands is committed to living up to their motto of “Redefining Public Golf.”
M. Stainthorpe stated Mr. Draper’s support has been invaluable and added he has brought real leadership to the Golf Committee. Mr. Smith stated during the Budget meetings
there was discussion about the Junior program. Mr. Draper stated the program sells out months in advance, and they will continue to offer this. He stated it is a resource issue as to how much the program can be expanded. Mr. Smith asked about more involvement of women at the course, and Mr. Draper stated this has been discussed, but they would need a volunteer to lead this charge. Mr. Smith stated he is concerned about the ability of the Course to handle certain functions. He asked if it would be possible to enclose a portion of the facility to maximize non-golf use. Mr. Draper stated they have had extensive discussions on this; and while they could build out, they would need to look at the cost for the expansion versus their return on investment. He stated they do have room to expand available. Mr. Smith asked that they continue to look into this. Mrs. Godshalk stated they did discuss this during the Budget sessions; and she feels the existing patio section could be glassed in, and they could make a new patio area. Mr. Santarsiero stated they have discussed this in the past and while he would be supportive of an expansion in the future, he wants to make sure that the Course over a five to six year period is meeting the projections they anticipated.
Mr. Caiola asked if they have seen any recurring concerns by golfers. Mr. Draper stated the main thing they initially saw was the pace of play was longer than they would like to see. He stated the average time last year was four and a half hours which is very acceptable and is much better than it was during their initial year.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 15 of 21
Mrs. Godshalk stated Mike Collins, the new General Manager, has done an excellent job and has a wonderful personality. She stated the groundskeeper, Jeff Dancott, is also doing an excellent job. Mrs. Godshalk stated a number of her friends from out of State have played on the Course and have compared it to a private course.
Mr. Smith asked the advantages for
Mr. Draper stated a discount is offered to all
Mr. Sam Conti stated the financials year-to-date are significantly different than the Feasibility Study that was done, and he feels it may be appropriate to have a new five-year study done taking into consideration the experience to date.
DISCUSSION AND DIRECTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL TO PERFORM AN INVENTORY OF REMAINING OPEN SPACE
Mr. James Bray was present. Mr. Santarsiero stated the Township has done a good job of preserving open space, but there is still land that could be preserved. He stated while there are not necessarily large tracts of land which are subject to potential development, there are a lot of smaller parcels of land throughout the Township that could be subject to development. He stated the Board is concerned that if those tracts are developed, they will have an impact on the Township including an impact on stormwater and the environment and changing the character of the Township. Mr. Santarsiero stated they have discussed the idea of putting together an inventory of all the property that could be subject to development so that the Board would be able to look at this list and prioritize what they may want to save. He stated they heard this evening that the County is in the process of putting together an Open Space Bond. He stated the Township also still has $2 million that they could borrow under the prior Referendum. In order for the Township to be prepared, he feels it is necessary not only to identify the properties, but to identify whether there are development issues on these properties that make them not as good candidates as others for development such as existence of water courses and other issues.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Environmental Advisory Council is uniquely qualified to do this inventory and identify the issues on the properties as their members have experience in these areas. He stated if the EAC does this job, it would also help save the Township money as they would be serving as volunteers. He stated the Township engineer could then be asked to review this work. Mr. Santarsiero stated the EAC could draw on existing information in the Township.
Mrs. Godshalk stated they should also consider the types of soils on these properties and noted this information is available in the Township.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 16 of 21
Mr. Caiola moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to direct the Environmental Advisory Council to perform an inventory of the remaining open space.
Mr. Bray stated the EAC is well positioned to do this because
two months ago, he was appointed to the Open Space Review Board for the County,
and he has a good relation with the County.
He has already received the Open Space Plan for
AUTHORIZE ADVERTISEMENT OF NATIVE PLANT ORDINANCE
Mr. Bray stated in late 2005, he was instructed to draft an Ordinance for the Township mandating the use of native plants in developmental buffers and for street trees that developers are required to install. In addition, the Township indicated that it would be willing to use native plants in all its facilities. This would be through a Resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Bray stated he is seeking authority to first send the Ordinance to the Bucks County Planning Commission and then to advertise the Ordinance. He stated if it comes back from the Bucks County Planning Commission essentially unchanged, they would advertise it immediately; however if there are significant changes from the Bucks County Planning Commission, it would have to come back to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. He stated this has gone to the Planning Commission already and it was well received. All suggestions made by the Planning Commission and Mr. Majewski have been incorporated into the Ordinance.
Mr. Bray stated the Ordinance will require developers to use native vegetation in the development buffers. He stated it has nothing to do with grasses or what individual homeowners plant on their properties. He stated there are many benefits to the use of native plants, and information on this was provided to the Board of Supervisors previously. Mr. Bray noted the many people who worked on the Ordinance.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated when they were discussing plants for the Memorial, there was a type of tree that was not considered a native plant, but had been growing in the U.S for 250 years and was not an invasive species. He asked when a plant becomes a native plant. Mr. Bray stated this is a judgment call. He stated native vegetation is defined as vegetation that was here at the time of European settlement. He stated with other plants they are not certain what might happen as the years go by. Mr. Stainthorpe stated initially he felt this was for any plantings in a new development including residential yards, etc. that are planted by the developer, but Mr. Bray has indicated this evening that it would only be for buffers. Mr. Bray stated when he discussed with the attorney requiring developers to put in native plants throughout the development, Mr. Closser felt
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 17 of 21
there could be legal problems associated with this. He stated there is no guarantee that the homeowners would continue with the plantings.
Mr. Smith asked if there were any downsides discussed by the EAC. Mr. Bray stated he does not feel there were any downsides.
Mrs. Godshalk stated at Memorial Park they are planning on
having an arboretum and there are some trees which were brought to the Country
many years ago, and she asked if this would be a problem. She stated she felt the major problems were
with invasive plants which impacted small areas such as gardens and not with
trees. Mr. Bray stated there are a lot
of trees which have become invasive such as
There was no public comment
Mr. Bray stated while he would like approval to advertise, he feels it would be based upon what the Bucks County Planning Commission does. He stated if there are significant changes, they would come back to the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize advertisement of the Native Plant Ordinance.
Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was
unanimously carried to approve the request for extension for
Mr. Pat Frain,
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 18 of 21
APPROVE GRANT OF CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously
carried to approve Certificate of Appropriateness for
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Certificate of Appropriateness for 705-B Stony Hill Road (Tomlinson Store) Y-Knot Knit Sign.
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve
Certificate of Appropriateness for 1666
SIGNING OF MYLARS FOR CHANTICLEER AMENDED FINAL SUBDIVISION AND KIMBLES FIELD MINOR SUBDIVISION LOT LINE CHANGE WICK, SICHEL & GOLDBERG
Mylars for the above were signed following the meeting.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 2128 AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO THE DEP GRANT AGREEMENT INCREASING THE CONSTRUCTION LINE ITEM BY $50,000 FROM $65,987 TO $115, 987 FOR THE BROCK CREEK STREAM RESTORATION PROJECT
Mr. Fedorchak stated a few years ago the Township received a $65,987 Grant for a stream bank stabilization project for a portion of Brock Creek. This summer the project went out to bid, and the lowest bid was $125,000. He discussed this with Mr. Majewski who reviewed the scope of work with the intent of trying to reduce the project costs.
Mr. Majewski came back with a cost of $100,000. The Township then went to the DEP and explained the situation, and the DEP has now provided the Township with an additional $50,000.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 2128.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 19 of 21
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 2129 AUTHORIZING THE TOWNSHIP MANAGER TO EXECUTE ALL DOCUMENTS AND APPLICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THE HAZARD MITIGATION GRANT PROGRAM
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 2129.
AUTHORIZE EXECUTION OF A NO-COST CONTRACT WITH DCED FOR THE
PURPOSE OF EXTENDING
Mr. Fedorchak stated the Township received a $250,000 grant and the State has already given the Township the money. He stated they would like to extend the Contract completion date to June 30, 2007.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to extend the date as outlined by the Township Manager.
ZONING HEARING BOARD MATTERS
It was agreed with regard to the Liberty Property Limited
Partnership Variance request for the property located at
It was agreed with regard to the Frank Stillitano Variance
requests to permit elevation of an existing structure at
Mr. Santarsiero stated the League of Municipalities met last week and discussed various mutual issues. Their next meeting will be in January. He stated the Newsletter is proceeding, and they hope to have a draft of articles out to the Board in the next few weeks. He stated Mr. Stainthorpe will be contacted about alternative energy issues.
Mr. Santarsiero stated they do not feel the Newsletter will be coming out until after the new year. Mrs. Godshalk stated she would like to see something in the Newsletter about what homeowners can do about multi-flora rose and other invasive plants.
Mr. Smith stated the Historic Commission is having a problem getting a quorum and they need a few new members. He stated they are going to review the attendance of members.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 20 of 21
They have indicated they would like alternates so that there is not a problem getting a quorum. Mr. Stainthorpe stated while he does not have a problem with alternates, if there is a consistent problem with certain individuals, they may need to consider whether the correct appointments were made. Mr. Santarsiero stated this is one of the few Boards that meets in the morning, and it may be better to have them meet in the evening.
Mr. Smith stated he is the Liaison and this is an issue for
him although he does try to make as many meetings as he can. He agreed they may want to consider changing
their meeting to a more convenient time.
He noted they are continuing their work on
Mrs. Godshalk stated the Bucks County Community College Course schedule has been released, and they have included the Elm Lowne springhouse as one of their historic preservation courses. She stated people can get credit for working on those repairs.
APPROVE REQUEST FOR EXTENDED HOURS DURING HOLIDAY SEASON FOR
Mr. Caiola moved and Mr. Stainthorpe seconded to approve
extended hours for the stores at
Mr. Matt Malone,
Mr. Stainthorpe stated it is because it is for Holiday
shopping and the supermarket’s business would not substantially change during
Motion carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 2126 – BROOKSHIRE ESTATES (FORMERLY
FLOWERS MADANY SUBDIVISION) SEWER PLANNING MODULES
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 2126.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 2127 – MINEHART TRACT SEWER PLANNING MODULES
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 2127.
December 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 21 of 21
Mr. Santarsiero stated Laura Brandt has been serving as an Alternate to the Environmental Advisory Council for some time. He stated they have also had this position advertised for some time as well. Mr. Bray has expressed his support of
Ms. Brandt being a permanent member. Mr. Santarsiero stated he is the Liaison to the EAC and Ms. Brandt has done a tremendous amount of work.
Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Laura Brandt to the Environmental Advisory Council.
There being no further business, Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:30 p.m.
Greg Caiola, Secretary