TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

MINUTES – JULY 18, 2007

 

 

The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on July 18, 2007.  Chairman Smith called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Mr. Santarsiero called the roll.

 

Those present:

 

Board of Supervisors:             Ron Smith, Chairman

                                                Greg Caiola, Vice Chairman

                                                Steve Santarsiero, Secretary/Treasurer

                                                Grace Godshalk, Supervisor

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor

 

Others:                                    David Truelove, Township Solicitor

                                                Brian McCloskey, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police

 

RECOGNITION OF JAMES COYNE’S SERVICE AS PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR

 

Mr. Smith stated that many of Mr. Coyne’s friends, family and co-workers have joined with the Board of Supervisors tonight to recognize his dedication to the Township.  On behalf of the Township, Mr. Smith presented a plaque and proclamation to Mr. Coyne’s family which he read aloud.

 

Mr. Smith commented on knowing Mr. Coyne for the last few years and how Mr. Coyne believed that Lower Makefield was his home and took such good care of the Township and citizens.   

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she knew Mr. Coyne for as many years as she has been a Supervisor and he served the Township with dignity and pride.  He served the people, knew what the Township always needed and made good decisions.   He was responsible for the Committee to design the equipment for the Fire Trucks to improve them.  Mrs. Godshalk extended her deepest sympathy to Mr. Coyne’s family.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated that Mr. Coyne embodied what it is to be a public employee and we will miss him.  Mr. Caiola shared Mr. Stainthorpe’s sentiments.

 

Mr. Santarsiero extended his sympathy to Mr. Coyne’s family.  He told stories of how Mr. Coyne always did his job above and beyond of what was asked of him and he would be missed.

 

 

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PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Mrs. Debbie Wachspress, 926 Morgan Drive, Yardley Hunt stated she had a question she would like to pose to Mr. Stainthorpe and Mrs. Godshalk.  She said we have extended through the League of Women Voters an invitation to participate in a Candidates Forum and as of last week she was contacted by the League that there was no response from the two of you. Mrs. Wachspress stated she would like to follow-up on that correspondence and ask if you have had a chance to review the Guidelines provided by the Bucks County League of Women Voters and if you plan on participating in Candidates Forum in October.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated he would definitely participate in a Candidates Forum of some type.  He stated that he held off on committing to this one and there are some questions he has about this being televised and about the appropriateness of that.  He stated that he would probably participate but he will wait to make that decision until the rules are clearer and has answers about televising the forum.  He stated his opinion is that these television cameras are here to broadcast our meetings.  This is not a television studio for the public and even though he would stand to benefit from the exposure, he does not think we should set a precedent for anyone that wants to get their face on television to use these facilities.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated there is a question about who would pay for this if televised, and it should not come out of the taxpayers funds and should be paid for by the candidates.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated that she has not received any guidelines from the League of Women Voters or any official letter about this and has been away at her summer home.  She stated that it is interesting that all of a sudden that people think the Lower Makefield Township Board of Supervisors race is more important than the Congressional election or County Commissioners race.  The fact that anyone would want to televise the debate surprises her.  Mrs. Godshalk stated that she is willing to debate people and is working on having some groups holding debates. She does not think the Board of Supervisors meeting tonight is the proper forum for Mrs. Wachspress to bring this up.

 

Mrs. Wachspress stated with all due respect, the reason she brought this up is because there were several emails that were distributed and went un-responded to and given that you are here she brought this up.  In response to a couple of questions, Mr. Stainthorpe Mrs. Wachspress stated she agreed with him that the taxpayers should not pay to televise the forum and it is appropriate for the parties pick up the tab.  With regard to your observation Mrs. Godshalk about the Congressional Election being important, there is not a congressional nor a gubernatorial election or presidential election this coming year so we are not competing with other races except for the County level.  She is sure the voters would absolutely benefit from an open debate with the County Candidates; an issues forum so that people can see the issues that are facing the town and hear a very open give-and-take of the issues.  Mrs. Wachspress stated she thinks that the residents of this town absolutely deserve to hear all of the full blown issues that affect them and that affect

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their tax dollars.   She couldn’t disagree more that this is an insignificant level of government for people to be attuned to the issues and aware of the individuals serving in elected office.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she thinks even at this meeting tonight that the taxpayers are paying for we don’t talk politics at our meetings.  We are serving all the public and all people that are registered here to vote.  She has been serving for many years and has never brought up anything political so she thinks this whole conversation is out of place this evening.  Mrs. Godshalk stated that she has not received a letter spelling out any Guidelines and if they want to send it to her she will read it.

 

Mrs. Wachspress stated that she will make sure the League does send the information to her although she has several e-mails that were sent and assumes did not bounce back saying that there is no response.  She will make sure the League gets you the guidelines so that you can inform yourself of the non-partisan League’s Guidelines and can review them.  Mrs. Godshalk stated that she knows about the League, she has been a member.  Mrs. Wachspress stated that she is not quite sure what the issue is in terms of the lack of a response.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated not as a candidate in this race, but a candidate for another office, about the whole point whether our television cameras should be used for a debate like this, he agrees with Mrs. Wachspress.  While it is true that we would have to draw the line for the use of our television cameras, this is an important public service.  Every election that we have in this country is important and to allow voters to get a better sense of what the candidates stand for and what their positions are on the different issues is very important.  What better way to do that than to televise it on the Cable Access Channel.  One thing we have learned since this television has been put in is that it is widely viewed.  Mr. Santarsiero stated back in 2004 when he got on the board and he called for televising meetings a lot of the “naysayers” said no one would ever watch it and everyone would be grandstanding.  First of all, a lot of people watch the meetings and there hasn’t been any grandstanding.  He thinks this is an important service and as a member of this Board when it comes before us to decide whether we should open this building and have the television cameras available for the use in such a debate, would be in favor of it.  Mr. Santarsiero agreed that any expense involved should be borne by the campaigns of the political parties, but thinks this is an important public service.  What better use than to have an open and full discussion of the issues that is in front of this Township

 

Mrs. Wachspress said she thought they were on the same page and thanked the Board for their time.

 

Mr. Bernie Goldberg, 1304 University Drive, Sandy Run III.  About ten years ago the Board was very helpful as Mrs. Godshalk may recall, in an issue we brought before them concerning cable boxes being constructed in the right-of-way along the carriageway.  The

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Township fought a wonderful battle with the cable companies and past resolutions that require building permits for anything to be constructed in the right-of-way that as it stands today.  Mr. Goldberg stated last week we found the cable companies were up to their same old ways and have constructed three cable boxes in Sandy Run III already.  The residents approached the Township, Terry Fedorchak and Nancy Frick and they were very helpful and scheduled a meeting with the cable company to discuss how that happened.  Mr. Goldberg just wanted to bring to the attention of the Board that we have not gone away on how we feel about this issue.  Sandy Run is a unique community, not unique perhaps throughout the Township but what makes our community so different is that we have very wide carriageways and sidewalks along the carriageway.  If you put anything in the right-of-way it is very obtrusive and dangerous. Mr. Goldberg stated he sent each Board member an e-mail with pictures of these boxes as they look right now and would hope that the Board would do something.  

 

Mr. Truelove stated to Mr. Goldberg that he has not spoken about this but he has dealt with Ms. Frick frequently about this issue in the last week.  There is a meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9 a.m., which he will be in attendance at and one of things they will be discussing is the permitting requirements and other things that have not been done which they will talk with Comcast very specifically about.  Mr. Truelove stated the agreement that was entered into years ago between Comcast’s predecessor, Levittown Cablevision and the Township expired in February 2005.  What are in place now are different parts of the ordinance that require permitting. 

 

Mr. Goldberg stated just so you are aware and may not be he has pictures that he will give to Mr. Truelove showing what is going on.  We just went through an upgrade in our community for fiber optic.  Mr. Goldberg stated that is a more advanced technology than cable and they completely did it underground.  They were very sensitive to our environment and to the neighborhood and are very good neighbors.  The cable company is a very bad neighbor.  When they do construct something they come in helter skelter without much care to what is going on.  If you look at what they have done, the cable boxes are not level; they don’t worry about how they look or where they put them.  Mr. Goldberg stated in once case they put a cable box in-between two driveways and someone will hit it.  He stated whatever they say to us they have to be aware that the other utilities do honor and live within our rules.

 

Mr. Truelove asked Mr. Goldberg to e-mail photos to him tonight and he will download them to have with him for his meeting.  Mrs. Godshalk stated the ordinance should prevail over the contract.  The ordinance is in place forever until it is changed.  Mr. Truelove agreed.  Mr. Goldberg stated when this came up and he called Ms. Frick, he asked for a copy of the agreement and resolution that we agreed to, she said as you just

indicated and he asked was there a time limit on it.  Ms. Frick stated it was an extension of their contract so they did it within the contract, but the ordinance prevails no matter what and she would never issue a permit. 

 

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Mr. Smith stated this is on our radar and we are going to be vigilant and we promise.  He asked that Mr. Goldberg keep the Board abreast of whatever is going on in Sandy Run.  Mr. Goldberg stated that would be true.  Mrs. Godshalk stated if Comcast is out there we should put a stop to their work which we can do.  Mr. Truelove stated depending on what happens tomorrow, if that is one of the options we will certainly discuss that with Ms. Frick and Mr. Habgood.  Mr. Goldberg stated this happened last week before Mr. Fedorchak went on vacation and Regina Gepkin and he both contacted Mr. Fedorchak and Comcast stopped construction, so he doesn’t think they have done anything further awaiting this meeting.  He stated it is wonderful to listen to the lines that they present to us when you consider what Verizon has done in the exact same area and one of those pictures will show you the Verizon solution compared to what Comcast did next to it and it shows that Comcast does not care about us.   

 

Mr. Scott Burgess 15 Glen Drive asked there was any feedback from what the DCNR is doing on the canal right now.  He stated he sent a couple of e-mails out recently over the last few weeks and have not heard anything.  Mr. Majewski stated that he has not heard anything back either.  Today he called the Larson Design Group who will be doing the design for the canal replacement and they did not get back to him.  As soon as he hears something he will let Mr. Burgess know.  Mr. Burgess asked if that is the small one or big one.   Mr. Majewski stated it is the big one.  He stated the small one is out to bid and we will be opening bids in two weeks.

 

Mr. Burgess stated the Bucks County Flood Task Force asked that each of that members of the Task Force have an alternate and he was not sure if the Board would like to assign an alternate such as Mr. Majewski, Mr. Fedorchak or someone else or if you would like him to pick someone from RAFT that could be an alternate.   Mr. Smith appreciated his suggestion and kindness and if there are a few individuals that have your commitment and time, you may want to suggest their names to us.  Otherwise, we will meet as a group and select somebody and will discuss it with your group to make sure we are all on the same page and have somebody that will be vigilant on that issue. Mr. Caiola asked when the Flood Task Force needs the name by.  Mr. Burgess stated probably by the August meeting.  Mr. Smith asked Mr. Burgess to suggest a few names to Mr. Fedorchak when he returns from vacation. 

 

Ms. Virginia Torbert stated on behalf of the Citizens Traffic Commission, Mr. Coyne was very helpful to us in our work and she did have the privilege of going on the last road tour and he was very gracious and informative.  The citizens of Lower Makefield were always on his mind and particularly the children of Lower Makefield that day.  He was concerned about the children playing in the street, particularly the folks leaving their basketball hoops in the street and in Mr. Coyne’s memory; she would like urge everyone to get the basketball hoops out of the street and into the driveways. She stated she thought a child was killed in Lower Makefield.  Mrs. Godshalk stated a child was killed on a skateboard. 

 

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Ms. Torbert stated the Traffic Commission has been dealing with the residents in Hillside Terrace area, Hilltop Road on the cut through issue.  They have been asking us and she wanted to know if we heard anything back from the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission about the sound barrier issue.  Mr. Smith stated on behalf of the Board we have not heard but would have Mr. Fedorchak and Mr. Truelove follow-up at the next meeting.  Mr. Truelove stated that he was not dealing with that specific issue and could look at his notes and if he needs to follow-up he will.  He stated that Mr. Fedorchak was also looking into it.  Mr. Smith stated the DRJTBC were kind enough to come here and make a presentation and gave us lip service and will follow-up on it on Monday or Tuesday.

 

Ms. Torbert stated she didn’t get the opportunity to ask the DRJTBC when they were here, but she believes there was a serious accident on the bridge yesterday or the day before and did not see it in the paper and asked if there were any fatalities. Chief Coluzzi stated there were no fatalities but the person had to be extracted from the car and it was a serious accident.  Ms. Torbert stated she has been trying unsuccessfully to get accident information out of the Commission, but several years ago when the Commission first started having these meetings, they had said they would contract a group that would put together interim measures to try to make the current bridge a little safer.  She would like to see us follow-up with them somehow because it is looking like between the sound barrier and New Jersey round-a-bout issue that the actual construction of this bigger and better bridge is getting pushed back further and further.  Ms. Torbert stated in the meantime, we are having al least once a week, serious accidents on that bridge and we need to do something to make the approach to that bridge a little safer because she doesn’t think we will have a new bridge until 2012 or 2013.  Please follow-up with what they said they would do five years ago and do some interim measures.

 

Mr. Smith asked Ms. Torbert if she would be in contact with Mr. Fedorchak on Monday or should we.  Ms. Torbert stated she would contact Mr. Fedorchak. Mr. Smith stated we would work it from both sides. He asked when the Board could expect the Citizens Traffic Commission to make a presentation to the Board.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he would report on that when we get to the Supervisors Reports because they are going to have a special meeting of the Commission to talk about the prioritization and would talk about that later.

 

Mr. Zach Rubin, 1661 Covington Road stated he is a member of the Cable T.V. Advisory Board and Mr. Stainthorpe is our liaison and he is aware that we’ve had discussions about Comcast’s lack of televising public affairs.   He stated Comcast as you know has a studio on Trenton Road but they laid off all the personnel and do not have the equipment although they have the studio to televise League of Women Voters Meet the Candidates night. He stated he believes an informed electorate is the most important hallmark of a democracy.  There is not a better way to reach the voters than television.  Why do we have a public access channel to begin with?  It is to inform our electorate. Our neighboring township, Northampton has televised Supervisor meetings and they do

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televise the Meet the Candidates nights for the 178th legislative District.  Our neighbor in Middletown Township televises debates or Meet the Candidates.   Mr. Rubin stated he does not think it is partisan to educate the people of this Township, the issues, the candidates and thinks there is not a better reason to use a public access television channel than to get the issues to the public.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated that Comcast has facilities because she participated in a debate there at that studio.  Mr. Rubin stated they don’t have the personnel.  Mrs. Godshalk stated the League of Women Voters did that about ten years ago. Mr. Rubin stated the League of Women Voters two years ago contacted Comcast to televise the last Supervisors contest.  Comcast stated yes we have a studio but we do not have the means nor the personnel to so and will not do it.

 

Mr. Smith closed public comment.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the June 20, 2007 Minutes as written.

 

APPROVAL OF JULY 2, 2007 AND JULY 16, 2007 WARRANT LISTS AND JUNE, 2007 PAYROLL

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated to Mr. McCloskey that included in the Board’s packet is a report on legal and engineering fees and he asked that the reports be in larger print.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated he read the reports and noted the Township is on budget and the pool has taken in more money in June than it has since opening. 

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the July 2, and July 16, 2007 Warrant Lists and June, 2007 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.

 

UPDATE ON RAILROAD TRAIN QUIET ZONES – Jim Majewski

 

Mr. Majewski stated the Township sent letters requesting a partial quiet zone from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the railroad crossings at Stony Hill Road, Edgewood Road and Big Oak Road to CSX, PennDot, the Federal Rail Administration, PA Operation Lifesaver and the local Police.  He stated that he heard from CSX and they would need to perform a diagnostic review to determine what crossing upgrades are needed.  Mr. Majewski stated the estimated initial costs are to be paid by Lower Makefield upfront.  He stated after that is done, the Township must decide how it wants to proceed.  He stated that he has some estimated costs that range from $70,000 up to $242,000 per crossing to upgrade. 

 

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Mr. Majewski stated the first step would be to upgrade the gate circuitry to adjust the speed of the oncoming trains, next upgrade supplemental safety measures, permitting and administration.   Mr. Stainthorpe asked if installing the safety measures is included in the costs and Mr. Majewski replied yes.  Mr. Santarsiero asked how the numbers relate to Mr. Fedorchak’s prior estimates.  Mr. Majewski stated the estimates he is presenting tonight are per crossing.  Mr. Smith stated the upgrade to all three crossings would cost the Township approximately $250,000 total.  Mr. Santarsiero asked if the costs at each crossing could vary considerably.  Mr. Majewski stated he couldn’t get an answer to that question.

 

Mr. Smith asked how old the circuitry is at the crossings.  Mr. Majewski stated he doesn’t know but it is safe.  Mrs. Godshalk stated the Big Oak crossing is only one lane and the other crossings are two lanes.  What would happen if there was an emergency at the Big Oak crossing, the road gets backed up and someone needs to get through but there are medians.   Mr. Majewski stated the median barriers can be driven over in an emergency.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe asked what the upfront cost to CSX is.  Mr. Majewski stated he does not know that yet.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated ultimately the Federal Rail Administration makes the decision if the Township is permitted quiet zones.  If CSX says they do not want the quiet zones does the process end there?  Mr. Majewski stated that CSX did not have any objections to the Township’s original plan.  Mr. Smith asked what the next step is.  Mr. Majewski stated that CSX will contact the Township to schedule a diagnostic review.

 

Mrs. Godshalk asked if there are other towns that we could look at as a model for quiet zones.  Mr. Majewski stated those towns are not close by.

 

Mr. Majewski stated if the Township continues to move forward, a construction agreement would need to be signed. The installations recommended are warning system upgrades, install supplemental safety measures at each crossing then lastly provide a 21-day notice of the date of the horns ceasing.

 

Mr. Majewski stated the Township is also considering Wayside Horns which are horns mounted on the crossings directed towards traffic and pedestrians instead of horns on the trains.  He explained where the horns can be used and noted it is the simplest way to reduce train horn noise.  Mr. Majewski stated the estimated costs of the Wayside Horns range from $155,000 to $365,000 per crossing but the Township could have a 24 hour quiet zone.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe asked when the Board first considered quiet zones, wasn’t the cost a lot less?  Mr. Santarsiero replied yes.  Mr. Caiola stated he is concerned about the huge gap in estimates.

 

Mr. George Schott, 652 Leslie Lane thanked the Board and Mr. Fedorchak for keeping this issue moving.  He asked if the next step would be to obtain an estimate from CSX. 

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He stated he is representing many people in his neighborhood who could not attend the meeting tonight.  He read an e-mail from his neighbor, Mr. Lee Polski stating that Wayside Horns would not be the better solution.

 

Mr. Schott stated there is only one manufacturer of Wayside Horns in Texas.  He asked if the Township could test the horns before considering.  Mr. Majewski stated there are no Wayside Horns installed in the Northeast.  Mr. Schott read a letter from his neighbor complaining the horns are so loud that he and his children could not sleep in their backyard while camping recently.  Mr. Schott asked when the next update would be.  Mr. Majewski stated he would have an update at the meeting in August.

 

Mr. Zach Rubin stated he supports quiet zones.  Recently in Florida, he observed a quiet zone at an intersection which worked very well.

 

Ms. Patty Young 502 Gail Drive stated her house and windows vibrate from the trains and she is concerned about the long term affects on her house.  She asked the Board to continue the momentum on quiet zones within the Township.

 

James Woods, Heritage Oaks asked if the quiet zone time of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. is debatable and how was it determined.  Mr. Santarsiero stated the Board discussed the times at length and determined those times would be the safest.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Federal Rail Administration mandates either a 24 hour quiet zone or from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

 

Ms. Torbert stated the Department of Transportation web-site has the mandated requirements for a partial or complete quiet zone and the hours cannot be chosen.  The web-site also has a list of quiet zones.  Ms. Torbert stated that if chosen, Lower Makefield will be one of only three quiet zones in Pennsylvania.  If we don’t get approved the Township needs a backup plan and suggested the residents keep records of the length and frequency of train horns and we should discuss the horns not being so loud.

 

Mr. Pat Frain, 16 Delaware Rim Road stated that he doesn’t want this to turn into a witch hunt against train engineers.  He stated rail crossings are the number one problem in the train industry for safety.  He explained the difference between the Commuter Train horns and Freight Train horns.

 

Mr. Schott stated that CSX asked that residents get the train numbers and stated that is difficult to do in the middle of the night.

 

Mr. Scott Finder, Ashley Estates stated when we talk about something that affects safety we need to determine if the quiet zone will be safe during that limited period first then we should implement a 24-hour quiet zone.  Mr. Santarsiero stated there is a difference

 

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between the number of cars driving during the day versus the night and residents were more concerned about the nighttime horns.

 

APPROVAL OF ORDINANCE NO. 371 CREATING A SPECIAL OVERLAY ZONING DISTRICT FOR OFF-PREMISES ADVERTISING

 

Mr. Truelove stated they were requested by the Board earlier in the year to draft an Ordinance with regard to billboards as a result of litigation in other Townships and at the Supreme Court level in Pennsylvania.  The Courts have indicated that if Municipalities do not take some action to set aside an area where billboards would be approved, the possibility would exist that they could proliferate in areas where the Municipalities would not like them to be.

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to enact Ordinance No. 371.

 

INTENT TO AWARD BID FOR 2007 ROAD PAVING PROJECT TO GENERAL ASPHALT COMPANY AT $158,850

 

Mr. Truelove stated this matter would be postponed because the DEP is reviewing the matter and he is waiting for their comments but notice of intent to award the bid could be granted by the Board tonight.  This matter has been advertised.

 

Mr. Majewski stated the Township received 9 bids for paving off of Edgewood Road and General Asphalt was the lowest.  He stated there is a 30-day public notice period for the Responsible Contractor Policy and he is asking for a 14-day period because this matter is being postponed.  He recommends the Board grant notice of intent to award the bid to General Asphalt Company until the comments are received from the DEP.

 

Mr. Caiola asked if the paving project is on budget.  Mr. McCloskey stated the bid is under budget.  Mrs. Godshalk asked when the paving would start.  Mr. Majewski stated the paving would start as soon as possible.  Mrs. Godshalk stated it would be best if the paving began before school starts and asked when the residents would be notified.  Mr. Majewski stated the residents would be notified with door hangers about a week before paving starts.

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to give notice of intent to award the 2007 Road Paving Program to General Asphalt Company in the amount of $158,850.

 

 

 

 

 

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DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED GOLF COURSE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS – Frank Draper

 

Mr. Draper and Mr. Frain were present at the meeting.  Mr. Draper informed the Board of the upcoming events at the golf course such as the mass mailing that was sent out to the announcing the 1st annual Ladies tournament in August.  The Ladies tournament is an all day event following an outing format and so far 50 women have signed up.  Mr. Draper stated the Committee recently met and talked about implementing a recycling program at the golf course.  Mr. Draper also contacted Kemper Sports to ask if they would be a sponsor at Community Pride Day and they responded that would do something.  Lastly, a very positive article about Makefield Highlands will appear in the August issue of Golf Styles publication.  Mr. Draper read the article to the Board.

 

Mr. Draper said included in the Board’s meeting packet is a list of proposed Capital Projects for the golf course.  He went over the priority of and described each Capital Project on the list.  The list in priority order included permanent bathroom facilities on the golf course; paving of expansion areas; tee expansions on the side of the 1st and 4th white tees; curbing; backup generators; footbridges for 15,16 and 18; re-carpeting the Clubhouse; new entrance signs and landscape modifications; and a long range 5-year Master Landscape Plan.

 

Mr. Smith asked how much competition is there in the area.  Mr. Draper stated there is a lot of competition, but look at what is offered at Makefield Highlands.  Mr. Smith mentioned Mountainview in New Jersey and noted they have made improvements and asked if they compete with Makefield Highlands.  Mr. Draper stated their golf course does not compare to Makefield Highlands.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated he suggested the Golf Committee appear before the Board at this time with the Capital Improvements list to get some of these items on the 2008 budget especially the bathrooms.  He stated that we may not be able to do all of the improvements at once but over the next few years.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated there could be a chance to bring public water and sewer to the golf course for the bathrooms through the Chanticleer development for a minimal cost.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated that people enjoy our golf course and they come back time after time.  We should listen to what the golfers want and need.

 

Mr. Draper suggested the Township put a certain amount of money aside each year from the surplus to allow the Superintendent and the General Manager the ability to make these Capital Improvements as needed.

 

Mr. Caiola stated he is concerned how the fee schedule is set at the golf course and if we ever alter the fee schedule for any organization for outings.  Mr. Draper stated the golf course has a policy for outings and events.  He stated that outings and events generate a

 

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great percentage of revenue for the golf course.  A policy in the form of a contract was implemented 2-years ago with a per person fee with add-ons such as the type of food and liquor.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated the average outing fee per golfer is $110 and on an average day the fee is $63 per golfer.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated that we have charged Kemper to find the most profitable outings for the golf course to generate income.  Mr. Caiola asked if the outing business is increasing or decreasing since opening the course a few years ago.  Mr. Draper stated the quality and price of the outings is increasing.

 

Mr. Santarsiero asked for an explanation of the range of the cost per person for an outing or event.  Mr. Draper stated the cost per person varies by the type of food and standard of liquor chosen.  He stated there is one exception to the standard policy and that is the Garden of Reflection outing because they bring in their own food and liquor.  Mr. Caiola asked by allowing an exception does that open the Township up to other groups challenging the outing and event policy.  Mr. Draper stated the Golf Committee is presently discussing this issue concerning the Garden of Reflection outing and whether it should be grandfathered in. 

 

Mr. Frain stated any Capital Improvements that are made would please the customers who would continue to return to play the golf course.  Mr. Frain stated that Mr. Collins

approached the Golf Committee for guidance because he was concerned about groups approaching him for special rates and exceptions and he had to turn them away.  Mr. Santarsiero asked where the Committee was on a decision regarding the exception for the Garden of Reflection outing.  Mr. Draper stated that the Golf Committee would present their recommendation to the Board sometime at the end of August.

 

ZONING HEARING BOARD

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant approval of the Development and Financial Security Agreements associated with the Minehart Subdivision.

 

With regard to the Studio Gourmet, 635 Heacock Road, approval was granted for the Certificate of Appropriateness for the sign at that location subject to conditions at stated by the Solicitor.

 

With regard to the Gatherings at Yardley, located next to Octagon, a proposed 55+ community an extension of time was granted until November 3, 2007. 

 

Mr. Smith asked for an update on the Matrix.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated he spoke with Ms. Frick and they have not applied for any permits.  Mr. Santarsiero stated that he spoke with Russ Tepper and things have been held up because they are talking with Middletown

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Township about what they can build in that portion of the property.  Matrix wants to build 55+ homes and Middletown is objecting because they already have a large 55+ community within their Township.  Mr. Santarsiero stated that Matrix is offering single family housing instead and there is an issue with the entrance into and out that portion of the development because it would connect with the 55+ housing in Lower Makefield and both do not mix well.  The extension was granted until November 3, 2007.

 

SUPERVISORS REPORTS

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated that Mr. Fedorchak recently asked if one of the Historical Commission members would serve on the Historical Commission and on HARB to fill a vacancy.  She suggested that Doreen Albaharry be appointed tonight.  Mrs. Godshalk stated the Township is in discussions with Yardley Borough about the sewer upgrades.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated the Park & Recreation road tour will be Tuesday and they will discuss needed improvements for the future.  The Citizens Traffic Committee will have a working session on July 30th to prioritize issues brought up by residents over the last few months to later present to the Board.  The Committee will invite Hilltop Road residents regarding the cut through. 

 

Mr. Smith stated that people have approached him about the conditions of the tennis courts in the Township and asked that they be discussed on the road tour.  Mr. Santarsiero

stated in planning for the Samost tract, tennis courts have been considered.  He stated that rough plans were done to show tennis courts and softball fields.  Mrs. Godshalk stated we are bound to keep what we have in good condition before adding new tennis courts.  Mr. Santarsiero stated we are doing yearly maintenance on the existing tennis courts.  We need to determine should we build new courts if it is too cost prohibitive to maintain the existing tennis courts.

 

Mr. Caiola stated that HARB met and approved the McCaffrey’s Studio Gourmet sign.  He stated that Southeastern Bucks League of Municipalities will meet this month.  The Citizens Budget Committee met on July 9th and they were presented with a packet including the 2006 budget results and the mid-2007 report.   The Committee discussed the Township’s owned facilities, the golf course, pool and sewer.  Mr. Smith asked when the Citizens Budget Committee would like to make a presentation to the Board.  Mr. McCloskey replied maybe sometime in October.

 

Mr. Smith stated the Regional Traffic Task Force would meet on July 31, 2007.  Mr. Smith asked if Ms. Herman would like to update the Board about what will be reported at that meeting.  Ms. Herman stated the DVRBC consultant is giving their draft recommendations at the July 31, 2007 meeting.  Mr. Smith asked Ms. Herman if Newtown is doing anything with the traffic lights on Route 332.  Ms. Herman replied yes, the traffic responsive system is being implemented on the lights.

 

 

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Mr. Smith stated there were many concerned residents at the Zoning Hearing Board meeting last night regarding the Marrazzo Appeal.  The Marrazzo Appeal was continued until August 21, 2007.  Mr. Smith stated the community has several events coming up such as Community Pride Day and the Veterans Day Parade.

 

Mr. Smith stated there are several openings on Township Boards and Commissions.  There are 2 openings on the Cable Board, 4 openings on Elm Lowne, 3 openings on HARB and 1 opening on the Zoning Hearing Board.  He asked that any interested persons send their resumes to Mr. Fedorchak at the Township Building.  Mr. Smith also noted the Township needs volunteers for Community Pride Day.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Smith stated the Citizens Traffic Commission requested that the Township send a letter to Newtown Township requesting that Lower Makefield Township be involved in the synchronization of the lights on Route 332.  Mr. Smith stated that he would draft the letter on behalf of the Township and the Board agreed.

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded to appoint Doreen Albaharry to the Historical Architectural and Review Board while also serving on the Historical Commission.  The motion unanimously carried.

 

There being no further business, Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 p.m.

 

 

                                                            Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                            Steve Santarsiero, Secretary