John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

8 December 2021 BOS Meeting Summary

2022 Budget Approved, Joint Zoning Council Report, LED Street Lights Update, November 2021 Police Report, North Sycamore Street Pedestrian Safety, More...

This is my personal summary of the December 8, 2021, meeting of Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS). This is not a complete nor an official summary.

Access the 2021 BOS Voting Record (UNOFFICIAL).

Agenda items:

2022 Budget Approved

The 2022 Budget was approved unanimously by the BOS in a 4-0 vote (Mr. Oxley was absent). The only change from the Preliminary Budget was an adjustment of tax revenue projections: increasing the year end projection by $18,000 for Delinquent EIT tax and increasing the year end projection for Real Estate Transfer tax by $165,560. These amendments resulted in a 2022 year end fund balance figure of $1,504,615 which equates to 10.09% of total budgeted expenditures.

Download the Approved 2022 Budget (PDF file.

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Public Comment

Frank McCarron on Proper Budgeting Process

Resident Frank McCarron gave the Township Manager a lesson in how to properly develop the township budget based on actual numbers rather than essentially cutting and pasting from previous budgets with pie-in-the-sky projections. Mr. McCarron didn't use that language, but as a Supervisor that's how I see the current process.

In his comments. Mr. McCarron frequently cited the recommendations made by eCounsult - the firm the Township hired to prepare a 5-year budgeting plan.

Mr. McCarron suggested that the 2022 budget be revised mid-year to get a better idea on what the 2023 budget should look like. That's where "real numbers" come into play. He also had some ideas regarding what "big items" need to be prioritized. High on his list was adequate funding of Emergency Services (paid firefighters) in order to get 7-day fire coverage. He suggested that the township needs to get help from a certified grant writer and other townships to obtain a Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from FEMA. To date, Newtown has failed 2X to get such a grant (read "The Future of Newtown Township's Paid Fire Services").

View this short video clip from the meeting:

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Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Joint Zoning Council

DAS Ordinance: The JZC met on Thursday, December 2, 2021. There was continued discussion regarding details of the “Small Wireless Facilities” – aka Distributed Antennae Systems or DAS – ordinance. Much of the discussion had to due with the appearance/design and location of small poles within neighborhoods, especially in underground districts in which all utility installations are required to by installed underground. Read my notes for more details.

Residential Development Analysis by BCPC: Bucks County Planning Commission representatives Jeremy Stoff and Lisa Wolff presented an analysis of new dwelling units demand through 2030 versus the supply on land potentially suitable for development. Listen to the podcast: "BCPC RDA Analysis Overview for Newtown Area Jointure" and read my notes for more details.

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Reports of Officials

Engineer’s Report

LED Lighting Program Status Update

Kickoff Meeting: On November 22, 2021, Township Engineer Leanna Colubriale met with Michael Fuller of Keystone Lighting Solutions (KLS) regarding the Township’s Letter of Intent for the Phase 3 of the DVRPC Regional Streetlight Program. Read my notes for more details about this meeting. This matter was put off until the new year.

Police Report

November 2021 Police Report

The November 2021 Police Report includes 1,532 total incidents, 20 car v. deer crashes, 137 traffic citations, 65 crashes, 2 fraud incidents reported (241 YTD vs 156 for all of 2020), 4 DUI arrests, and 3 narcotics possessions.

North Sycamore Street Pedestrian Safety: At the last BOS meeting, Chief Hearn mentioned that he would be meeting with someone at the Bucks County Traffic Agency to come up with ideas/suggestions for mitigating the traffic/safety issues in the area. He gave a brief summary of suggested enhancements:

  • ALL crosswalks be re-stripped (From Durham to Chandler Hall) as many of the white lines have deteriorated and are no longer visible.
  • The double yellow line be re-stripped (same locations) for the same reasons. The PW Department November 19, 2021, Weekly Report states “Sycamore St, finished crosswalk remarking at Sycamore St and Silo Dr as requested.” This work will be continued at other intersections.
  • The discolored paving from previous repairs to be top coated (if possible) to match the color of the roadway. (Between Durham & Silo)
  • Repair of small pothole at the Durham Street south crosswalk.
  • Lighting and metal signs were sufficient to keep the desired aesthetics and warn operators of pedestrian crosswalks

The Chief said he was working on getting a donation of several crosswalk signs from PennDOT.

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Bills List

December 8, 2021, Bills List - Bills total $354,465.25. Some highlights/questions:

  • Page 4: PECO for STREET LIGHTS OCT21: $ 12,372.57

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My Detailed Notes

Embedded below are my notes from the meeting. You can also download the PDF file.

(c) 2022. This site is paid for and approved by John Mack:
The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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