7 December 2022 BOS Meeting Summary
2023 Budget Adopted, Comprehensive Plan "Wish List," Newtown-Yardley Rd Traffic Study, Lower Dolington Rd Trail Update, More…
This is my personal summary of the December 7, 2022, meeting of Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS). This is not a complete nor an official summary.
Access the 2022 BOS Chronicle for a more detailed summary of this meeting plus an updated BOS voting record (UNOFFICIAL) for 2022.
- 2023 Budget Adopted
- Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions
- Mack's Report: Comprehensive Plan Update - "Wish List" of Projects
- Engineer's Report
- Old Business
- Official Video
The 2023 Budget was approved by a 4-1 vote (Kyle Davis voted “No”)
Although the tax increase is 19% over the previous 8.49 mills, it works out to be about $65 more per year for the average Newtown homeowner assessed at $40,000. That’s about $5.42 per month. Even with this increase, NT real estate taxes will only be about 6% of total real estate taxes paid by NT residents – 79% goes to schools and 15% goes to the county.
At the December 1, 2022, JZC meeting, it was agreed that each township may append to the Comprehensive Plan its own “wish list” of recommended projects. The Newtown Planning Commission met on December 6, 2022, and continued to discuss the Comprehensive Plan. Most of the discussion was a review of an appendix to the plan. For the Newtown Township appendix, here are a few projects that I asked the Planning Commission to consider:
- Converting street lights to LED (read "LED Street Light Feasibility Study Approved”)
- Implement an ordinance banning single-use plastics by businesses (read “Newtown Approves Single-Use Plastics Resolution: Is Your Business Ahead of the Curve?”). The Environmental Advisory Council has this on its things to do list. View this video: "Elaine McCarron Speaks Before the Newtown BOS in Support of Single-Use Plastics Resolution"
- Set up a solar panel farm so that the town center can be run by 100% solar power (read "West Rockhill is the First in PA to Use Solar for 100% of Its Municipal Electricity Needs”)
- Build a new modern police facility (the 2022 and 2023 includes $20,000 for a Police Building Facility Study; view comments by Chief Hearn)
- Build a pedestrian bridge across the Newtown Creek (see below).
See my 5 December 2022 Meet Mack Monday Meeting Notes for more details.
Richard Rezer, a traffic engineer at RVE, the Newtown Township engineering firm, presented field measurements for site distance and has collected speed data from the intersection of Newtown-Yardley Rd and Tara Blvd from 11/17 to 11/22.
Recall that Newtown Walk residents want more safety measures - such as lowering the speed limit to 25 MPH - to be implemented at the crosswalk on Newtown-Yardley Rd and Tara Blvd, which is the entrance to their community.
I and other supervisors had some questions about this study (see video below).
Although the engineer and Township Solicitor were of the opinion that changing the speed limit of Newtown-Yardley Rd from Elm St to Lower Dolington Rd would require permission from PennDOT, supervisor questioned that and there is some evidence that the existing factors regarding pedestrian safety are sufficient to lower the speed limit from 35 to 25 mph and that PennDOT permission is NOT required. Merely by documenting that the walkway into the Borough at the crosswalk is on the opposite side of the road from Newtown Walk, and that a 25-mph speed limit is a continuation of the speed limit from the Borough, a PennDOT official indicated those facts alone would be sufficient to justify the reduction of the speed limit.
Newtown Walk residents agreed and also had some other comments:
After hearing comments form the residents, the Board approved a motion (not shown in these videos) to have the engineers prepare plans to (1) lower the speed limit on NT-Yardley Rd to 25 MPH from Elm St in the Borough to Lower Dolington Rd (at Rick Steele's) and (2) install an overhead pedestrian-activated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) at the crosswalk.
The Lumens contractor is currently performing the relocation work. It is anticipated that it will take one month to do the job.
Only after that work is completed can work on the trail restart. Of course, by then it may be the middle of winter when laying down asphalt is impossible. Supply chain and manpower problems may further delay the restart. Consequently, the trail may not be completed until at least the summer of 2023.
Meanwhile, RVE has instructed the Township contractor to backfill and remove all protective traffic devices until the relocation work is complete and construction can resume. The charge for “Backfilling of Curb and Sidewalk”: $800