22 March 2023 BOS Meeting Summary
Arcadia/Mayfield Contract Violations, Single-use Plastics Ban Plans, Bid Awarded for 2023 Road Paving Program, Consortium vs Sale of Public Sewer System, NESD Report, more…
This is my personal summary of the March 22, 2023, meeting of Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS). This is not a complete nor an official summary.
Access the 2023 BOS Chronicle for detailed summaries of all 2023 BOS meetings plus the BOS voting record (UNOFFICIAL) for 2023.
- Public Comment – Andrea Ahern
- Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) - Single-Use Plastic Ban Plans
- Engineer’s Report - 2023 Liquid Fuels Road Program – Recommendation to Award Bid
- Solicitor’s Report: Resolution to Join Consortium Opposing Sale of Public Water and Sewer Systems to Private For-Profit Companies
- Manager’s Report - NESD Report
- Official Video
- Video Transcript
Ms. Andrea Ahern reminded the BOS of questions posed by J. Mcguigan regarding Arcadia/Mayfield Contract Violations – specifically work hours and building heights. She felt that the answers to the questions posed by Mr. Mcguigan at a previous meeting were not adequately answered. Listen to her comments:
Peter Gilles, member of the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC), presented plans for a special meeting of the EAC on April 3, 2023, to educated local businesses and the public on its proposed ordinance to ban the use of single-use plastic by local businesses:
- The EAC has a scheduled meeting on April 3 at 7pm, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, PA, to introduce a plastic Ordinance to businesses and residents.
- Over 100 businesses were sent the invitation
- The EAC prepared a sample Ordinance that will be provided to the businesses prior to the April 3rd meeting
- It will be an In-Person meeting where businesses and residents are invited to join and we value their feedback
- We will have a guest speaker, Faran Savitz from PennEnvironment. He has assisted and advised all the Pennsylvania Municipalities, including Philadelphia and Pittsburg when writing their Ordinance. He will be available to answer any questions along with the EAC members
- There will be an Informational sheet provided with Frequently Asked Questions
- There will also be an Informational board with recent articles from various News Organizations and Science articles
Remington & Vernick Engineers (RVE) has reviewed the bids received on March 15, 2023 for the 2023 Liquid Fuels Road Program, and has found no discrepancies in the bid submitted by the apparent low bidder, Harris Blacktopping Inc. (hereafter referred to as "Contractor"). A total of two bids were received for this project ranging from $755,049.10 to $793,069.95 for the Base Bid.
The Contractor submitted their bid for the Base Bid work in the amount of $755,049.10, and for the various Alternate Bids as follows.
- Alternate Bid No. 3 – Eagle Road $72,016.00
- Alternate Bid No. 4 – Lafayette Street $13,088.50
- Alternate Bid No. 8 – Valley Court $32,836.00
- Alternate Bid No. 9 – Rosefield Drive $100,446.80
RVE therefore recommends award of the Base Bid, Alternate Bid No. 3, Alternate Bid No. 4, Alternate Bid No. 8, and Alternate Bid No. 9 in the total amount of $973,436.40, contingent upon funds being available and upon receiving authorization to award from all funding agencies. This totals 3.08 miles of township roadways at a cost estimate of $316,051 per mile!
The BOS approved awarding the bid by a 5-0 vote.
Resolution to Join Consortium Opposing Sale of Public Water and Sewer Systems to Private For-Profit Companies
Q: Why are we voting on this without adequate time to review and discuss? I haven’t been able to find much information about this consortium online, including the BCATO site.
Q: Is this a binding legal agreement? Can we quit the Consortium at any time?
Q: What other municipalities - if any – have signed on? I was only able to find Bensalem’s resolution – see below.
Q: I an concerned about the fees. Action and fees can be approved by simple majority votes of members in attendance at meetings, not ALL members. This is fraught with problems, possibly putting Newtown Township at a disadvantage – i.e., subject to the will of less than the ACTUAL MAJORITY of members.
I note that BENSALEM RESOLUTION NO. 2022-10 states: “Each member municipality of the Consortium will deposit the sum of Five Thousand ($5,000.00) Dollars into an account established by the Executive Director of BCA TO for the payment of the aforementioned costs as may be incurred by the Consortium.” THIS IS ANOTHER “JOINTURE” TYPE ORGANIZATION THAT MAY NOT HAVE THE BEST INTERESTS OF NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP AS A TOP CONCERN.
Q: Why are the terms of Bensalem’s resolution different from the one before us?
ALSO, “Upon the approval of a majority of the members of the Consortium [NOT specifically members present at a meeting], legal counsel retained by the Consortium shall have the authority to institute such complaints, injunction actions or engage in other legal actions …”
I am concerned about the legal costs that fighting private ownership would entail, especially if the sale does NOT specifically involve the Newtown Sewer System. This consortium may not act in the best interests of Newtown, specifically.
NO ACTION WAS TAKEN – RESOLUTION NOT ADOPTED!
- Fire Calls – 17 Township (11) Borough (1) Mutual Aid (5)
- EMS Calls – 19 Township (17) Borough (2) Mutual Aid (0)
Monday March 13 - The SAFER Grant was submitted to FEMA for the hiring of 4 firefighters. We have requested $1,556,953.88 over three years. See: “#NewtownPA Township Will Reapply For Federal SAFER Grant To Fund New Firefighters. Will 4th Time Be The Charm?”
Wednesday March 15, - Asst. Chief Weaver and I met with President Warren Dallas to discuss the future of the fire service. Several issued were discuss for the increase in staffing and the needs of a new fire station.
According to a 2018 Fire Study commissioned by the township, “the station on Municipal Drive is poorly located with regard to the township and the borough,” said the author. “The Borough station is also poorly located for its role in the protection of the township,” he added. The report recommends that consideration be given to developing plans for a new fire station in the area of Sycamore Street.
Download the unedited time-stamped transcript of this meeting prepared by Youtube from the video: Download PDF file.