The following are some notable accomplishments of the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) in 2019. I am proud to have been involved in these decisions along with my fellow BOS members. I look forward to a prosperous and safe New Year!
Enhanced the Health & Safety of Residents & Employees
Approved the Employment Agreement for a new Police Chief: Chief John Hearn came on board in March 2019. [Read "Meet Newtown Township's New Police Chief"]
Awarded 2019 Liquid Fuels Road Program to Harris Blacktopping, Inc. in the amount of $706,596.20 for resurfacing of 2.73 miles of roadways. [Read "Newtown Accepts $706K Bid to Pave 2.7 Miles of Township-owned Roads This Year"]
Advocated a Lower Speed Limit on Swamp Road. In a May 2, 2019, letter, Ashwin Patel, Senior Manager of PennDOT's Traffic Engineering and Safety Division, notified Newtown Township that PennDOT will be lowering the speed limit on Swamp Road between the Twining Bridge intersection and the intersection of Pennswood Dr. [Read "PennDOT to Lower Speed Limit on Section of Swamp Road"]
Renewed Agreement with Newtown Fire Association (NFA). The 2020 Budget includes $175,100 to support the all-volunteer NFA.
Authorized Newtown Township Complex Emergency Action Plan (EAP). The purpose of the EAP is to ensure staff is trained and prepared for any critical incidents that may occur.
Approved the purchase of emergency vehicle equipment: Ford F-250 from HAVIS, Inc. through COSTARs in the amount of $21,382.57.
Authorized purchase of an F-550 dump truck and an F 350 pick-up truck equipped with lights, snow plows and salt spreaders through the Co-Stars program at a cost of $130,320.
Protected & Improved Our Environment
Approved Pollution Reduction Plan: After extensive public comment, the Township submitted a revised Pollution Reduction Plan to the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP required a reduction in 10% in sediment runoff over 5 years in order to qualify for a renewal of its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4 Definition) permit. [Read "Newtown Township Revises Pollution Reduction Plan After Hearing Resident Comments"]
Passed a Native Plant Resolution: Affirming that native plants are better adapted to local soils and climate, the board of supervisors unanimously passed a resolution at the August 14, 2019, meeting saying that "every reasonable effort" will be made to plant native species on township-owned property. The measure also states that the township's Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) will do everything "to educate and empower" the public to help transition private properties to include native plants. [Read the resolution here.]
Approved Planting of Native Trees in Roberts Ridge Park: Township Manager Micah Lewis – who was trained as a landscape architect – endorsed the plan, which the supervisors voted unanimously in favor of. [For details, read "Newtown Township Approves Residents' Plan to Plant Native Trees in Roberts Ridge Park"]
Supported Sensible Development
Supported the Revitalization of the Newtown Village Shopping Center: Approved several new restaurants including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Bomba Tacos & Rum, Iron Hill Brewery, MOD Super Fast Pizza, and Solstice Restaurant. [See details here and read "Parking & Traffic in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center".]
Authorized Update to Comprehensive Plan: Approved Bucks County Planning Commission to undertake the Joint Comprehensive Plan Update. The township also passed a resolution that authorizes the submission of an application to the Municipal Assistance Program (MAP Definition) for a matching grant available via the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to be used for the purpose of updating the Plan.[For background, read "It’s Time for Newtown Township to Update Its Comprehensive Plan!" and See details here]
Opposed Durham Road Development: For the first time in a long time - maybe the first time ever! - the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors voted to send the Township Solicitor to a Zoning Hearing Board meeting to oppose the awarding of variances to a developer. [Read "Supervisors Oppose Variances for 27 Townhouses on Durham Road".]
Practiced Fiscal Responsibility
Passed a 2020 Budget Without Raising Taxes
Supported BCATO Definition resolution to lobby state lawmakers to restore municipalities' ability to adopt and collect a mercantile or business privilege tax in Townships that specifically elect to adopt such tax.
Advanced the Well-Being of Citizens
Supported BCATO Definition resolution to lobby state lawmakers to require licensed real estate agents to disclose municipal zoning and what is allowed within 1000 feet to a prospective purchaser.
Applied for a Grant for a Lower Dolington Road Multi-use Trail. [Read more about that here.] Subsequently, Newtown Township was awarded $125,000 from DCED ($0 match requirement), and $250,000 from DCNR Definition(50% match required) for a total of $375,000. The award amounts do not equal the requested amounts, however the Twp may be able to supplement the amount with additional grants - or alter the scope of work to stay consistent with the awards. [More here].
Took a Step Toward Building a Newtown Creek Bridge: Supervisors passed a resolution in support of exploring the feasibility of building a footbridge over Newtown Creek at the location of the historic trolley bridge between Frost Lane and Durham Road.
Posted on 04 Jan 2020, 01:29 - Category: Governance