TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES – FEBRUARY 21, 2006

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on February 21, 2006.  Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board:        David Fritchey, Chairman

                                                Henry Carpenter, Vice Chairman

                                                Richard Jutkiewicz, Member

                                                Andrew Newbon, Member

 

Others:                                     Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                Greg Caiola, Supervisor Liaison

                                                Patricia Bunn

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Carpenter moved, Mr. Jutkiewicz seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the January 10, 2006 Minutes as written.

 

 

PRESENTATION BY YARDLEY MAKEFIELD SOCCER CLUB OF THEIR PROPOSAL TO INSTALL ALL WEATHER FIELD TURF

 

Mr. Mike DiMaio, YMS Facilities Director, was present and introduced Roger Deininger,

YMS President, and Dan Driscoll, Forever Green representative.  Mr. DiMaio stated

Forever Green is one of the companies they are looking at for the turf field.  He stated at

the January Park & Recreation Board meeting a number of questions were raised about

the proposed project.  Mr. DiMaio noted the letter he provided to the Park & Recreation

Board on the matter.  He stated they recognize that the project needs to be reviewed with

the Park & Recreation Board, the Board of Supervisors, and YMS general membership

because of the size of the project.  Mr. DiMaio stated he did discuss the project with the

Township Solicitor and the Township Manager and they considered what would need to

be included in a future possible Lease of the field as well as a number of other Township

and legal issues.  He stated both Mr. Fedorchak and Mr. Truelove indicated their

concerns could be satisfied in a legal document.  He also discussed the project with the

Township engineer, Mr. Majewski, and they discussed what Plans and Permits would be

needed.  Mr. DiMaio stated Mr. Driscoll can address installation, maintenance, and

warranty issues. 

 

February 21, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 2 of 14

 

 

Mr. Driscoll provided a cost analysis done by UCLA.  He stated the first page shows the

comparison of usage between sod and turf and shows a ten to one ratio.  They also show

a cost per use.  The sod field shows $1,000 on a sod field and $69 per use for a turf field. 

Mr. Newbon asked if there is a factor included for down-time to let the fields regenerate

as it relates to the sod.  Mr. Driscoll stated this is factored in which is why you get $70

per use versus $1,000.  Mr. Driscoll stated the new material is completely different from

the prior nylon fields.  Mr. Driscoll stated their firm does a 100% rubber product and is

the newest technology.  He stated they are the quality leaders.  He showed samples

including a 33 oz product which is a multi-purpose field for anything but football, a 55 oz

product, and a 50 oz product.  He stated this relates to the weight per square foot of the

fiber.  He showed the product which is currently used at the Truman High School field. 

 

Mr. Driscoll stated they should look for a fiber that will last eight to ten years.   He stated

they recommend that they choose something that is more than 48 ounces.  He also noted

that the quality can be judged by looking at the backing of the product.  Mr. Driscoll

stated the way they have designed their product, there is no rubber “fly-out” on the field.

Mr. Driscoll also noted the “G-Max” rating which is a safety rating.  He stated a

manicured sod field would have a rating of 140 and their fields are typically at 95 to 100.

This number relates to the amount of energy that is absorbed in the turf.  He stated 90 to

105 is optimum.  He stated they also use a drain mat that keeps the field dry.   He stated

you can use any aggregate provided they get a 95 compaction rate.  He stated they would

tie into the existing drainage.  He noted the drawing provided.  Mr. Newbon asked if they

would have to replace the drain mat if they have to replace the surface in ten to twelve

years, and Mr. Driscoll stated they would not as there is no wear and tear on the drain

mat.    Mr. Driscoll stated they should also look at the backing.  He stated a good backing

which will last twenty to thirty years, cannot be sewn and would have to be glued.  He

noted with the glue product used, they will not have any seam ruptures.   

 

Ms. Bunn asked the difference in cost between the two products being shown, and

Mr. Driscoll estimated it to be $.05.  Ms. Bunn asked which product they are proposing,

and Mr. DiMaio stated they are still discussing this and are considering ball roll, etc.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked about impact from temperatures, and Mr. Driscoll stated when it was

95 degrees in August at the Truman Football Camp, at the surface it was 103 degrees.

He stated it is important that the sub base is done correctly. 

 

Mr. Newbon noted the maintenance tool, and Mr. Driscoll stated they have a tool called a

groomer which can be pulled behind a tractor and it will work similar to a rake. 

Mr. Newbon asked if the field comes pre-lined; and Mr. Driscoll stated it does and most

lines will be done in the factory.  He stated the arc would have to be done on the field at

the time of installation. 

 

 

February 21, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 3 of 14

 

 

Mr. Caiola asked about water penetration, and Mr. Driscoll stated they perforate

approximately every three inches and anything up to 4” of rain will evacuate down

below.   

 

Mr. Driscoll was asked about installation time, and Mr. Driscoll stated it would take a

maximum of six weeks for a football field and five weeks for a soccer field.  He stated if

it is done in October it would take six weeks because of the weather.  If it is done in the

summer, it would take five weeks. 

 

Mr. Heilferty asked about water quality coming off the field.  Mr. Driscoll stated he has

not tested for this but does not feel there are any issues or they would have been

contacted by the environmental people.   He stated it is a polyethylene base with a rubber

base and they use recycled rubber.    He does not feel there are any environmental issues.

 

Mr. Bray asked about geese droppings.  Mr. Driscoll stated the geese do not tend to go

toward these fields. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated he feels this looks like a good product and if they can expand the

usage, this will be a win/win proposition for YMS and the Township.  He stated he

personally is uncomfortable with having a Lease as opposed to some kind of permitting

arrangement.  He stated he does not feel the residents of the Township as a whole will be

sympathetic to a Lease, as he feels the Township residents, if they are at a public park,

would feel they should be able to use a field if it is not being used since the Parks are

bought and paid for with tax dollars.  He does feel they could give YMS a 24/7 Permit so

that they could use it whenever they wanted; however, to have it leased to a private entity

even if it is a non-profit, he feels will be a public relations nightmare.  Mr. DiMaio stated

there are public park leases to youth organizations done all the time.  He stated one of the

issues YMS has is that they are going to finance part of this; and in order to get financing

for a field such as this, the Finance Company is going to want to know that they have it

tied up and would not want to give YMS an eight-year loan and know that the Township

could take the field off them at some point in time.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels that any

bank they are dealing with would want the Township to indemnify them in the event that

something catastrophic would happen with YMS.  Mr. DiMaio stated he does not feel

they will look to the Township since this is a private venture they are doing.  He stated

YMS would also get a better rate than the Township and the way to do this is to have a

Lease in place.  He stated he did not feel the Township wanted to indemnify the Club. 

Mr. Carpenter stated he feels there is a way to comply with the law without involving the

Township.  He stated he feels use of the turf will go a long way to clear up some of the

problems with field usage.  He stated he still feels the Township still needs to be

protected.    Ms. Bunn asked about the Lease.  Mr. Carpenter stated he agrees with

Mr. Fritchey and does not feel the Township, under Pennsylvania Law, can sign a Lease,

but feels they can insert wording that will satisfy everyone such as “License, Exclusive

 

February 21, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 4 of 14

 

 

Permitted Use.”  Mr. Fritchey stated he would prefer “Exclusive Permitted Use” as

opposed to “Lease.”  Mr. Newbon stated he feels the issue with a “Lease” is the

precedent being set.    Mr. DiMaio stated he feels they can work out some language such

as a “Ten Year Permit” that would be satisfactory to everyone.  He will discuss this with

Mr. Truelove.  Mr. Newbon stated by having the turf on a field with lights, they will be

able to use it much more often than currently.  Ms. Bunn stated the lights will still need to

go out at the pre-determined time.  Mr. Newbon stated this type of field will also help if

there are water restrictions in the future. 

 

Mr. Caiola stated they have discussed that utilizing this field will positively impact the

surrounding fields as they will not have to use those fields.  Mr. DiMaio stated they are

indicating that they will not be practicing on them seven days a week the way they are

now so that by the time they are playing a game, there is no grass left on the field which

is what has been happening.  Mr. Deininger stated there were problems with Fields C and

D because they were the two lighted fields and there were forty-eight travel teams and in-

house teams practicing every night.  Mr. Caiola asked if they foresee problems with

Lacrosse or other sports not wanting to use Boehm or Pennwood and wanting to use

Macclesfield because it is more convenient.    Mr. Deininger stated to this point there has

not been a scheduling issue between soccer, Lacrosse, and football although it has been

tight.  He stated they have worked with Ms. Liney and the other user groups to make sure

it works.  Mr. Fritchey stated Fields C and D have been basically soccer fields. 

Mr. Deininger stated football had such a huge turn-out that they used Fields E, G, and

part of F and YMS basically used Fields C and D for the fall under the lights; and

because of this the football fields and C and D are currently 60% dirt and they will need

to re-seed again in the spring.  Mr. Fritchey stated there are also earth compaction issues,

and Mr. Deininger agreed and stated they have purchased equipment to help with this

problem.  Mr. Fritchey stated he assumes that on the turf field they will not have this

problem even if there is more usage, and Mr. Deininger agreed.  He stated by being able

to use Field C all the time it will also take some usage off of the other fields.  He stated

they could practice only on the perimeter of Field D and let the grass grow so that it can

be a game field.  Mr. DiMaio stated they are not looking to give up fields as they will

need the other fields for games.  It will, however, help improve the quality of the other

fields as they can save them for the games which they are not able to do now.  He noted

their numbers are still growing.  Mr. Deininger stated they have to pay Mercer

Community College to practice on their turf.    Mr. Fritchey stated this proposal will also

save the Township money in terms of maintenance. 

 

Mr. Newbon asked if there is a way, if they wanted to share the space with lacrosse, that

they could put temporary lines over the existing lines, and Mr. Driscoll stated you can do

this similar to what is done with a regular turf field with paint that is water soluble.   

Mr. Newbon asked if Mercer Community College has the same product that is currently

being proposed, and it was noted while it is a turf field, it is older and not as good as the

quality of the Forever Green product. 

February 21, 2006                                                   Park & Recreation Board - page 5 of 14

 

 

Mr. DiMaio asked if the Park & Recreation Board would recommend that they go to the

Board of Supervisors with the proposal.  Mr. Carpenter suggested they look further into

the financial side and come back to the Park & Recreation Board with assurance that this

can be done financially.  He stated they would not necessarily have to have a

commitment from a bank but should be able to indicate that the banks are willing to work

with them.  Mr. DiMaio stated they feel that by the late March Board of Superviosrs

meeting, they would be ready to make that presentation with a measure of comfort. 

Ms. Bunn suggested that they also have the legal language worked out prior to going

before the Board of Superviosrs and suggested they not use the word “Lease.” 

Mr. Caiola agreed and suggested that they continue to work with Mr. Truelove to resolve

this issue.   Mr. DiMaio asked Mr. Caiola would recommend that they provide to the

Board of Supervisors a summary of all the issues a few weeks prior to the meeting, and

Mr. Caiola agreed and also suggested that they speak to Mr. Santarsiero to see if they can

come before them during an Agenda session as opposed to having a public meeting. 

 

Mr. Fritchey asked when they would like to do the installation, and Mr. DiMaio stated

they would like to do it in October.  He noted the turf companies are already booked for

this summer.  He stated they also feel they can get a better price in the fall.  Mr. Fritchey

stated while they have discussed installing a fence to keep out vehicles, he assumes

people would still be able to go onto the field when YMS is not using it.  Mr. DiMaio

agreed that other people will most likely use it at times where there is not a permitted use.

 

Ms. Bunn asked if it is an easy repair if the field is damaged in any way, and Mr. Driscoll

stated they would have to cut out the damaged portion and seam in the new turf.  He

stated because their firm is nearby, they could have someone readily available to replace

it.    Mr. Driscoll stated they have had vandalism situations in the past at other locations.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked that they come back at the March meeting of the Park & Recreation

Board to discuss the legal language on use and the financial issues.  Mr. Newbon stated

he feels they would be willing to make a recommendation to the Board of Superviosrs at

that time. 

 

Mr. Caiola asked if they have looked at other companies to insure the price is

competitive.  Mr. Driscoll stated they will be very competitive on the price.

Mr. DiMaio stated they have looked at other companies, but one of the reasons he was in

favor of Mr. Driscoll’s product was the fact that it is designed not to have “fly-up.” 

He stated they are also competitive on their quotes. 

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz asked about the insurance costs due to the proximity to the River.

Mr. DiMaio stated there is an industry eight year guarantee on the field.    Mr. DiMaio

stated the Club is covered through the Soccer Organization for their play, so as far as

liability, they should be covered.  He stated he feels the Bank may want some

comprehensive insurance for catastrophic situations – flood, lightening, etc. and they will

February 21, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 6 of 14

 

 

have to price out and pay for this.    Mr. Majewski stated the entire field is in the flood area although he understands that it did not flood.  Mr. Fritchey reminded the Board about Williamson Park in Morrisville which was under six feet of water a year ago, and they were playing by May. 

 

Mr. DiMaio stated they will return in March after researching some of the outstanding

financial and legal issues and then look for a recommendation to go to the Board of

Supervisors possibly the early April Agenda meeting.

 

Mr. Bray noted the water issue previously discussed when they indicated that no one had 

complained about the water quality in the past.  Mr. Driscoll stated he did not indicate

this, and had stated that no one had tested the water.  Mr. Bray stated the Environmental

Advisory Council is concerned with environmental matters and feels they will want to

see some kind of documentation regarding water flows and any contamination that might

take place.  He feels they should look into this if they want their project to proceed. 

 

 

FIVE MILE WOODS PRESERVE ANNUAL REPORT

 

Mr. John Heilferty, Manager, was present with John Lloyd, Chair, and Jan McFarland

from the Friends of the Five Mile Woods. 

 

Mr. Heilferty thanked Ms. Liney and her staff for their support of the Five Mile Woods. 

He stated last year they acquired an additional thirteen acres and the house which was on

that property has been demolished.     He will do a report for Mr. Fedorchak on this

property and initially feels they will try to maintain the grassed area in an “old field” state

that will not revert back to woods.  He does not, however, want it to be a maintenance

issue so that they need to mow it on a regular basis.  He feels an annual or bi-annual

mowing may be enough to keep it in the “old field” state and provide a different habitat

than what is currently at the Woods.  He stated some of it is forested wetlands and

approximately three to four acres is a combination of grass and ornamental shrubs.  He

stated possibly they can plant wildflowers in this area so that there is a different kind of

eco-system.  He does not want there to be any parking in this area which he feels would

be a maintenance/security problem.  He would like to install a sign at this location

announcing that this is the entrance of the Five Mile Woods Preserve.    He noted the

Foulds location next door which they would like to acquire.  While the property was put

up for sale, they did not come to the Township about acquiring it despite having worked

with them for many years on Eagle Scout projects.    He stated one of the members of the

Five Mile Woods was made aware of the property being put up for sale and they went to

Mr. Fedorchak and the Township Solicitor and they are currently in negotiations with the

property owner and hopefully this land will also be acquired.  This would add an

additional nine acres to the Five Mile Woods.   He stated it is not the volume that

concerns him, it is the option of what could be done if that property was developed into

February 21, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 7 of 14

 

 

one or two new homes.    Mr. Lloyd stated there is also another property contiguous to

the Woods which is back by the water tower owned by a developer in Newtown.  He

stated it is mostly wetlands.   The developer has tried to develop it and also put it up for

sale.   Mr. Heilferty stated this is a valuable piece of property which is wooded and it part

of the fall line.  He stated the Board of Supervisors know they are interested in preserving

as much property as possible. 

 

Mr. Heilferty summarized the past year’s activities.  He reviewed the on-going problem

with regeneration of native vegetation which is having an adverse impact on the animals

living in the Woods.  He stated the problem is with the deer as he has reported for a

number of years.  He stated in December, 2004, they did a survey and identified between

fifty and sixty deer on or immediately adjacent to the Five Mile Woods Preserve of 300

acres.  Assuming there is another 300 acres adjacent to the Woods, they have a patch of

land that is almost a square mile in size which can support less than twenty deer

according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other studies.  He stated this is

causing the destruction of native vegetation to a point where there are serious problems

with the vegetation which was the reason the Five Mile Woods was purchased.  He stated

the absence of vegetation is also having a negative impact on habitat for other animals

because of the large number of deer.   

 

Mr. Fritchey stated the bottom line is that the Township has spent upwards of $2 million

to buy and preserve one of the last pieces of Coastal Plain Forest in Pennsylvania and it is

being devoured by deer.

 

Mr. Heilferty stated he has done data collection on the site and educating himself about

the various deer management alternatives.  He stated he is prepared this year to go to the

Board of Supervisors with a recommendation after reviewing the various alternatives.

He provided documentation on the deer management alternatives.  He is also working

with a wildlife biologist from State College, PA who has been active in the area in terms

of deer management.  He will continue with an educational campaign and increase the

number of newspaper articles done on the subject.  He reminded the Board about the deer

exclosures previously constructed and noted the amazing plants which are now growing

in those areas.  They will do a formal survey of the plants inside the exclosures as

compared to the outside areas and will do an article on this information.  He has

continued to work with Mr. Fedorchak in making the public aware of the problem. 

He reviewed lethal and non-lethal options.  He feels he will be ready to make

recommendations to the Board of Supervisors by the end of this year or early next year.

 

Ms. Bunn stated some of these options are not accepted methods in Pennsylvania.  She

noted specifically sterilization. She also stated there is a program called “Harvest for the

Hunt” where the deer are shot in a controlled environment and the meat is harvested and

given to a soup kitchen. 

 

February 21, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 8 of 14

 

 

Mr. Heilferty stated whatever is done, they will require several layers of approval

including the Board of Supervisors and approval from the State.  He stated he feels he

will contract with a wildlife biologist who has done this in the past for other public

entities and is familiar with the process.  Mr. Heilferty stated not many of the sterilization

methods are approved although they are used in some cases as experimental situations. 

He noted one which was done in Princeton.  He stated there are some problems with the

drugs which are used as they are not FDA approve drugs; and if used, the deer must be

tagged so that it not consumed.    Mr. Heilferty stated in almost every instance where a

public entity was involved with a deer problem, they almost always choose some lethal

option such as a controlled hunt or use of a sharpshooter.

 

Ms. Bunn stated the Township and Mr. Heilferty are in a difficult position since if it is

State game land, the decision is handled by the Game Commission who comes in and

provides forty-eight hour notice that a sharp-shooting hunt will be undertaken.     In this

case, the decision is being made by the Township.  She noted the Township can call on

the Game Commission to handle this, and they may want to consider using their

expertise. 

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz stated there is a lack of recreational opportunities for sportsmen in the area because of the development; and as a sportsman, he would welcome the opportunity to participate in a controlled hunt.  He also noted the number of deer in the Township being struck by cars.  Mr. Heilferty stated while there are concerns about deer collisions and Lyme’s Disease, his job as the Naturalist of the Five Mile Woods is to focus on the needs of the Preserve; and this is the argument he will advance with the Board of Supervisors.  He stated the Supervisors may decide that the problem is larger than just the Five Mile Woods and may decide to do something Township wide.  Mr. Fritchey stated he agrees that this is a problem throughout the Township. 

 

Mr. Heilferty asked that they contact him with any more questions about this issue.  He

noted he did meet with the Environmental Advisory Council recently and feels they will

be helpful in educating the public as well.  He thanked the Park & Recreation Board and

the Board of Supervisors for their support.   Mr. Bunn thanked Mr. Heilferty for all the

work he and the volunteers do at the Five Mile Woods. 

 

Ms. McFarland stated they would like to invite the new Supervisors to come to the Five

Mile Woods.  Ms. Bunn stated she feels this should be on the Supervisors’ Road Tour. 

Mr. Lloyd stated they would also invite the Park & Recreation Board to include the Five

Mile Woods on their own Road Tour, and the Friends would be willing to give a guided

walk.  Mr. Heilferty stated when Mr. Santarsiero came on the Board of Supervisors, he

did meet with them informally at the Five Mile Woods.   Mr. Lloyd noted their Open

House events are also open to the public and the Supervisors are included in this.  The

next one is scheduled for Sunday, April 23 from Noon to 3:00 p.m.  Mr. Lloyd stated

they have applied for National Natural Landmark status.   

February 21, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 9 of 24

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL/NATIVE PLANT UPDATE

 

Mr. Jim Bray was present.  Mr. Fritchey thanked Mr. Bray for the information he

provided to the Board.  He stated he understands that the EAC has recommended that the

Board of Supervisors adopt an Ordinance to be drafted by the Solicitor.  Mr. Fritchey

stated he feels the practical effect of what has been proposed as Legislation is that the

Township will probably be the only group that will be bound by this.  While it does apply

to developers as well, he feels the developers will do whatever is the least expensive. 

 

Ms. Bunn disagreed and stated the developers will have to follow this if it is part of the

Ordinance.  She stated many of the developers do embrace this because it is good for the

land.  Mr. Fritchey stated once the houses are sold, the residents are free to do what they

want.  Ms. Bunn stated it is primarily for street trees and entrance plantings and is not for

plantings around the homes. 

 

 

Mr. Bray stated under the existing regulations, developers are required to cede a certain amount of property to the Township; and on the developmental areas, they are required to plant vegetation.  Under the terms of this proposed Ordinance, any vegetation to be planted must be native in origin.  In addition, the Native Plant Ordinance will also apply to all Township facilities.  This is done by a Resolution of the Board stating that it is their intention in all Township facilities to follow the dictates of the Native Vegetation Ordinance.  Ms. Bunn stated this would only be for new Township facilities, and

Mr. Bray agreed.  Mr. Bray stated this does not include grass.  He stated this would also

not apply to an individual homeowner who is free to plant whatever they want provided it

is not on the noxious weed list from the State of Pennsylvania as this is against the Law. 

He stated they do hope that by the Township following this procedure, the homeowners

in the Township will become aware of this and will see the obvious benefits associated

with planting native vegetation, and will then follow suit in the future.  To this end, they

have provided information on the Website regarding native vegetation.  He stated the

Ordinance has not yet been drafted because the Township has a new environmental

engineer and solicitor with whom Mr. Bray will be working.  He feels they will be able to

come up with a model Ordinance which other Townships will be looking toward.  He

feels this is the mark of a very progressive Township.     Mr. Bray reviewed his own

experience with plants; and noted while he is not an expert, he does know the experts to

go to.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated the principal land owned by the Township is park land so it does

constrain actions that the Park & Recreation Board may recommend with respect to park

land.  Mr. Fritchey stated the comment made by Mr. Bray that this does not pertain to

ground cover, does eliminate a major issue.  Ms. Bunn stated it does not apply to grass

and athletic fields.  She noted there are other groundcovers that it would apply to. 

Mr. Fritchey asked if this Ordinance would outlaw kudzu; and Mr. Bray stated it would

February 21, 2006                                                Park & Recreation Board – page 10 of 14

 

 

outlaw planting it; but noted kudzu and the issue of other invasives is another topic that

they may touch on in the Ordinance.  Mr. Fritchey stated it does not appear that it intends

to include grasses, and Mr. Bray stated it does not apply to lawn grasses.  Mr. Fritchey

stated that if they decided they wanted some bio-engineered grass that was particularly

durable and could withstand hard use, this would not be prohibited, and Mr. Bray agreed.

Ms. Bunn stated it would include street trees, ornamental plantings, and buffer zones. 

Mr. Fritchey stated he is also concerned that one of the principal components of the Plans

for Memorial Park has always been an arboretum, and he now understands that the only

trees that could be planted in that arboretum that would be trees that would have been

here prior to 1682.  Ms. Bunn stated there could still be a Class A arboretum using native

plants.  She stated by planting native plants, they will create a balance back in nature that

currently does not exist.  She stated this is done in many other communities. 

 

Mr. Carpenter asked how much vacant land is left in the Township that will be developed

for which this Ordinance would apply.  Mr. Majewski noted some large tracts of land

which could potentially be developed.  Mr. Fritchey asked if there are any restrictions on

what crops can be grown by farmers in the Ordinance, and Mr. Bray stated there are not. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated he has a problem because biomes are dynamic.  He stated there is a

constant change of flora and fauna because of migration patterns, climate change, etc.

Mr. Fritchey stated he feels it is warmer than it was 300 years ago so there are plants that

were in southern states 300 years ago that may actually be more suitable for this area

today.  Mr. Bray disagreed noting climate change is a very slow process.  He stated they

are not looking to do a restoration project.  He stated they would not be in favor of

destroying existing plants.  He stated the William Penn Foundation granted $26 million to

Fairmount Park, the largest urban park in the world, and are restoring native vegetation

throughout the Park.  He noted Yardley’s Buttonwood Park is also using native plants

and he provided a brochure listing the native plants being used.   He stated the plants they

are including in the Ordinance are localized and adapted the climate so that they tend to

be insect and disease resistant, and tend to need very little water when planted in the

appropriate places.  He stated a number of the introduced plants have not stood the test of

time and do not co-evolve with the other plants, insects, and wildlife in the area. 

Mr. Bray reviewed some of the downsides for introduced plants such as kudzu and multi-

flora rose include crowding out of native plants, and negative impact on wildlife. 

Mr. Bray stated they will include plant lists as part of the Ordinance, but the list will be

open-ended and cultivars are acceptable.   Mr. Fritchey stated his concern is that there are

things being excluded which he feels are probably harmless. 

 

Mr. Carpenter stated he does feel that conceptually this is an excellent idea and could

provide a resource for homeowners.  He does, however, have a problem with it as an

Ordinance because it will not apply to anyone except for a few remaining developments

and the Township.  He suggested they approach the Board of Supervisors with this as

either an Ordinance or as a Resolution which states that Lower Makefield encourages the

February 21, 2006                                                Park & Recreation Board – page 11 of 14

 

 

use of these types of plants and include the list of plantings.  Ms. Bunn stated unless it is

an Ordinance, they cannot enforce it.   She also noted that if the Township did have to

replace plantings at one of their properties, the Township would also have to adhere to

the guidelines in the Ordinance.  Mr. Majewski stated if it were an Ordinance, they could

request relief if there was something specific they wanted to plant.  Mr. Carpenter stated

this is why he has a problem because the only entity that will probably be asking for

relief is the Township as he assumes the developers will follow it and it does not apply to

the regular citizens.  Mr. Majewski stated he feels the developers would probably not

want to adhere to it but would do so if he were required.  Mr. Carpenter stated he feels

that if it is a Resolution, the developers will recognize that they will have to follow it.

 

Mr. Newbon stated while he commends Mr. Bray with the work he has done, and he does

not have a problem with guidelines, he is not in favor of an Ordinance which would

require him or anyone else in the Township to have to plant the plants that are indicative

to the area.   Mr. Majewski  stated there is already a list of trees from which developers

must choose and this would simply be changing list.    Ms. Bunn stated by approving this

list, they will actually be providing a much broader spectrum of plants.  Mr. Bray stated

in Pennsylvania there are at least 2000 native plants.  He stated guidelines do not work

and if the Ordinance is not mandated, it will not happen.  He stated the new Board of

Supervisors is committed to low-impact development for Lower Makefield Township and

the essential first step ingredient in low-impact development is a Native Plant Ordinance

because all responsible stormwater management new techniques embrace native plant

usage. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated one of the things they were interested in having in Memorial Park

which he is not sure is shown on the Final Plan, was to have a Japanese Garden; and he

assumes that under this Ordinance, they could not do this.  Mr. Caiola stated when they

made their presentation at the Board of Supervisors when the Memorial Garden was

discussed, those on the Committee had already decided on plantings, and he asked if that

plan still stands.  Mr. Bray stated he feels it does.  He stated he recognizes that they have

been working on that project for four years and they already had it planned out. 

Mr. Caiola stated at the end of the meeting, he felt that it was decided that this would

apply going forward, and Mr. Bray agreed.  Mr. Bray stated the architect has called him

on a number of occasions about some possible substitutions of native plants, and he did

provide some suggestions.  Mr. Caiola stated they have provided numerous choices so

that people can find comparable native plants to something they may be interested in.

Mr. Bray stated when they discuss native, you are talking more regional than State lines.

Mr. Bray stated with regard to the Japanese Garden, he personally would feel that for a

display garden, he could see this taking place even though the vegetation may not be

native if it is a small area for illustrative or educational purposes.  Mr. Fritchey stated that

this was the point of having an arboretum.  Mr. Heilferty stated that they could include in

the Ordinance that it exempts small, ornamental gardens for educational purposes. 

Mr. Bray stated there is some danger to this if this includes certain types of vegetation. 

February 21, 2006                                                Park & Recreation Board – page 12 of 14

 

 

He noted specifically Norway Maples which are notorious spreaders and choke out all the

vegetation beneath them.  He stated he feels the best way to accomplish this would be an

an exception Ordinance and they would go to the Board requesting an exception. 

Mr. Majewski stated at Memorial Park once it has gone through the Planning process,

they would not have to go back before the Board for approval to plant trees in the future. 

He stated they would want to be careful with what they plant.  Mr. Heilferty stated

whoever writes the Ordinance could possibly try to predict some of these situations and

include language that will not cause problems for the Township in the future.

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON REPORT

 

Mr. Caiola reported on the change of professionals and noted they are particularly

pleased that Mr. Majewski is now working for their new engineering firm as this will

provide continuity.  He stated they have also broken out some of the other work to

provide for firms with specific expertise working in those areas.    Mr. Caiola stated they

have been interviewing for various Board and Commission vacancies and have a number

of people interviewing for the open seats on the Park & Recreation Board.  They hope to

fill those vacancies by mid-March. 

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney stated the lighting project on Macclesfield Fields H and F continues to move

forward.  The poles are being fabricated and Musco anticipates shipping them to

Macclesfield for installation by mid-March.  She stated the electrical engineers are

investigating options for a wireless control system for the lights.  Currently the plans are

that the lights will be activated via the user’s cell phone or a computer.  An authorized

code will be required.  The lights will turn on within a matter of seconds.  The lights will

also be shut off in this way and it can be programmed to automatically shut off the lights.

You can also change the password on a regular basis.  There is no key pad at this time. 

As an additional enhancement, the engineers are studying an interface device which will

provide the ability to authorize swipe cards in the future as well.  The control link system

will also allow for future tying in of up to eight fields in the Park.  She stated they feel

that this plan will result in more efficient administration, lower costs, improved

community relations, and better control of the lighting in the Park. 

 

Ms. Liney stated Park and Recreation will begin preparing the facilities for spring use

shortly, depending on the weather.  Power raking infields, setting equipment such as

bases and netting, and reactivating the light and water systems will all be accomplished in

the next few weeks to bring the Parks online.  Spring permits will be issued effective

early March and they have already had some of the user groups requesting field space for

spring tournament play.  Ms. Liney stated it is always a challenge to satisfy field demand

February 21, 2006                                                Park & Recreation Board – page 13 of 14

 

 

and still perform the necessary slit seeding for turf recovery of the facilities.  She stated

they will continue to seek the optimum balance between facilities’ utilization and the

required maintenance.  The Township continues to receive multiple use requests for

fields this season, and they will continue to do their best in equitably allocating the fields

and meeting requests.

 

Ms. Liney stated Park and Recreation continues the pre-season preparations for the Pool

facility.  Pool staff for 2006 has been identified by the Pool Manager and Assistant

Managers, with over 90% of the staff choosing to return.  This year the Assistant

Managers will be obtaining advanced licenses required for swimming pool operation

which will provide more flexibility and safety for the Community Pool function.  She

showed samples of the Guest Passes for completion of the Survey and everyone who

returns the Survey will be getting two Guest Passes with their Membership information

mailed to them.  She stated the discount period ends March 3rd. 

 

Ms. Liney stated Mr. Majewski has submitted a preliminary Snipes Revision Plan. 

Mr. Majewski stated this addresses the Planning Commission’s concerns with the safety

of the entrance.  They have also made adjustments to the circulation route.  All but

seventy parking spaces are within the inner loop.    This Plan also leaves room for more

fields.  They have also made the location of the skate park more visible at the request of

the Planning Commission and the Police Department.  He stated this is not an official

Plan at this point.  He stated preliminary drainage designs have been done as well as

soils’ testing to look at feasibility of infiltration for stormwater.  Mr. Fritchey stated at the

last meeting the Park & Recreation Board did recommend that they get Chief Coluzzi’s

input on the traffic flow.  Mr. Majewski stated this will come back to the Park &

Recreation Board in an official form. 

 

 

LEAGUE LIAISON REPORTS

 

Lower Bucks Lacrosse

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz stated their woman’s program has requested that they permit Macclesfield

in the absence of the boy’s program permitting it.  Mr. Fritchey stated this is a problem

for the Park Board as the concept is that every organization that wants to be permitted has

to run a girls’ program and a boys’ program.  He stated if the boys’ program is deciding

that they are not going to pay user fees, it will impact the girls’ program.  He stated if there is going to be a succession from Lower Bucks Lacrosse, there should be an offering for a boys’ program.  Mr. Jutkiewicz stated it does not appear that this will happen this year but most likely will happen next year.  He noted their last Registration was in December and they cannot reformulate it.  He stated they are not seeking Board permission to do a woman’s only program this season if this is the rule.   He stated there is both a National and Regional body for Lacrosse.  He stated they are now the largest

February 21, 2006                                                Park & Recreation Board – page 14 of 14

 

 

Lacrosse organization in Pennsylvania because they are not split up by residential boundaries.  They are now being pressured to split up and this was the first year they did not accept any new Newtown residents and advised them they must join the Council Rock League.  He stated Neshaminy also has their own Program and as this evolves, they are planning to have a Lower Makefield only program.  He stated the girls saw an opportunity to make use of a field the boys were vacating based on cost and have requested this and indicated that if this means they will start their own organization, they are willing to do so.  He stated they would also have to have an equal boys program and while they cannot do that this year, this would be the direction next year.  Mr. Fritchey stated since they have decided they do not want to pay user fees and are going to another Township and taking all the boys, it is impacting the program.  Mr. Jutkiewicz stated the girls do have a place to play as they are playing at the Pennwood facility as they have in the past.  He stated they did indicate that if the boys were not going to play at Macclesfield, they would like to be able to use that facility.  Mr. Fritchey stated while he feels it would be good to have the girls playing at Macclesfield,  they cannot do that because no other organization is permitted to do this.  Mr. Jutkiewicz stated their fees to the Township without lights were approximately $9,000 and Middletown is providing full use of their facilities which is four lighted fields and are only asking that they pay for the maintenance of the fields which is $2,000.  He stated as this evolves, they are sure that they will have to break up their program because the Regional body is requiring this. 

Mr. Fritchey stated they were always lenient with the percentages with Lacrosse to try to help them get the program started.  He stated they will need to have a boys program next year, and Mr. Jutkiewicz stated this will be their goal.    

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Newbon moved, Mr. Carpenter seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:40 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        David Fritchey, Chairman