The agenda meeting of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors took place virtually using the Zoom platform. The virtual meeting was called to order at 6:15 pm.
Dr. Kimberly Rose
Agenda items were reviewed and discussed.
The regular business meeting of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors took place virtually using the Zoom platform. The virtual meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.
Members of the Board present were:
Dr. Kimberly Rose
Others present were:
Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager
Amanda Fuller, Township Engineer
Joseph Pizzo, Township Solicitor
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Chairman Selisker led the Pledge of Allegiance and held a moment of silence in support of military and emergency services personnel.
Chairman Selisker explained the procedures for public comment and how to email questions to be read and answered. Chairman Selisker also provided an update on the status of the Township and its operations.
None was heard.
The Board meeting minutes of June 24, 2020, were approved by unanimous consent.
The accounts payable of July 8, 2020, for $821,897.78 and, of July 22, 2020, for $689,521.02, were approved by unanimous consent.
Consideration of Preliminary/Final Plan of Land Development, SLD 19-8, 1321 Spencer Road Subdivision
Mr. Moore briefly outlined the Preliminary/Final Plan of Land Development Plan and opened the floor to the representatives and ask that they introduce themselves. The following will be participating in the meeting, John Richardson, Project Engineer from Dumack Engineering, Joseph Blackburn, Esq., of Wisler, Pearlstine LLC., Attorney for the applicant, and Joseph Deluca Jr. of Deluca Homes, applicant.
Mr. Blackburn outlined the project as follows:
At the east corner of Temperance Lane and Spencer Roads, the subject application is to subdivide 287,834 square feet into four single-family detached lots of 77,583 (Lot 1), 51,213 (Lot 2), 45,033 (Lot 3), and 82,828 (Lot 4) square feet. An existing dwelling on Lot 1 is to remain. On-lot water and sewage disposal are proposed.
The subject site is located in the A-R – Agricultural Residential District, which permits single-family dwellings on lots having a minimum area of 43,560 square feet and a minimum lot width of 150 feet.
Requested waivers are identified in the Dumack Engineering Waiver Request letter. The majority of the requests are technical related to stormwater management and showing features near the site. Major items for consideration include the following:
- To not require widening and curbing along Spencer Road & Temperance Lane. Based on existing conditions, the Township Planning Commission and consultants had no objection to this waiver request.
- To not require sidewalks along Spencer Road and Temperance Lane. It was the recommendation of the Planning Commission for a fee-in-lieu of sidewalks, which has been incorporated into your draft motion. The applicant, however, has questioned the amount of the fee, which is reviewed in greater detail in the attached correspondence from Gilmore.
- Regarding the waiver request to allow less than three (3) feet of cover over storm pipes, Gilmore Associates recommended a partial waiver.
Other Items for Consideration
- Based on the discussion during the Planning Commission meeting, it was recommended that the Police Department evaluate the feasibility of a street light at the intersection of Spencer Road and Temperance Lane. As a result of this evaluation, they determined that the street light be required.
- Resurfacing of Temperance Lane in the vicinity of the site was recommended by the Township traffic engineer. Upon further review by staff and consultants, it was determined that the condition is currently existing and not the responsibility of the applicant.
The following was provided for review:
1. Dumack Engineering – Waiver Request Letter – January 28, 2020;
2. Gilmore & Associates, Inc. – Review Letter – June 9, 2020;
3. Gilmore & Associates, Inc. – Sidewalk Fee Review – April 20, 2020;
4. Pennoni Associates - Review letter – January 29, 2020;
5. McMahon Associates – Review Letter – March 12, 2020;
6. Township Planning Commission Memo – February 12, 2020;
7. Bucks County Planning Commission – Review letter – October 25, 2019;
8. Municipal Authority – Correspondence – September 20, 2019; and,
9. Copy of the Plan
A motion was made and seconded (Moore-Silver) for approval of the 1321 Spencer Road Subdivision, SLD 19-8, subject to compliance with the Township Engineer’s review letter dated June 9, 2020, the Township Planner’s review letter dated January 29, 2020, and the Township Traffic Engineer’s review letter dated January 28, 2020, except for resurfacing of Temperance Lane, which is not required. Also, it is recommended that the requested waivers be granted except as noted below. Approval is also under the following conditions:
- The applicant shall enter into a land development agreement and escrow agreement in a form acceptable to the Township solicitor and engineer. This shall include a stormwater management maintenance and operations agreement.
- A fee-in-lieu of sidewalks is required for all road frontages, which totals $46,822.30 based upon calculation by the Township engineer.
- A fee-in-lieu of recreation/open space shall be submitted for $6,206.86 for each new lot per the terms of the land development agreement. This shall not apply to the existing house.
- The applicant is responsible for obtaining any outside approvals that may be necessary, including, but not limited to DEP and PennDOT.
- An easement/maintenance agreement is required for the shared driveway in a form acceptable to the Township Solicitor.
- Approval of the Bucks County Health Department is required for the on-lot sewage and water facilities.
- A partial waiver concerning storm pipe cover is approved subject to the approval of the Township Engineer.
- A street light is required at the intersection of Spencer Road and Temperance Lane.
- All conditions and recommendations incorporated within the motion and the minutes are subject to the Township Solicitor’s approval letter.
Chairman Selisker called for Board comment.
Mrs. Silver questioned the three (3) separate driveways and if the impervious surface was incorporated. It was determined it was incorporated.
Mrs. Silver questioned the three driveways that will enter onto Temperance Lane and if traffic is going to be an issue. Mr. Pellegrino assured her there is not a lot of traffic on Temperance and this should not be an issue.
Chairman Selisker called for public comment. None was heard.
Motion Passed 5-0.
Consider Resolution Authorizing Reimbursement of Certain Expenditures for the Construction of Fire Stations from Future Bond Proceeds
Mr. O’Donnell stated the Township has begun the process of developing concept plans and budgets for the construction of new fire stations in Richboro and Holland. The existing stations were constructed in the 1960s. At that time Northampton while changing was still a rural farming community with less than 15,000 residents. It was well served by its total volunteer fire company.
Today, Northampton is a suburban community with approximately 40,000 residents. Over the years there have been significant changes in staffing, training, and equipment requirements that we struggle to accommodate in the existing buildings. The new stations would be designed to meet the needs of our volunteer firefighters and our growing complement of full-time firefighters and ultimately house 24 hours per day, seven days a week operations.
As the Township begins to incur design costs, the Board needs to adopt a resolution to allow these expenses to be charged against the future bond issue that will be necessary to fund the construction and design of the new facilities. In the resolution, the Township states its official intent that a portion of the bond proceeds will be used to reimburse itself for Reimbursement Expenditures. That declaration of intent does not bind the Township to make any expenditure, incur and indebtedness, or proceed with the project.
The Township recently hired D’Huy Engineering to complete concept plans and preliminary budgets. They estimate the total project costs at this early date, to be between $21 and $24 million. These estimates will be refined as we move thru the design phase. The Township expects to incur soft costs for site engineering, architectural design as well as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design to exceed $500,000 before issuing bonds. These expenses would be reimbursable from the bond proceeds when bonds are issued for the project.
As of this date, the Township is committed to an expenditure of $8,500 for concept planning and budget development.
A motion was made and seconded (O’Donnell-Moore) to approve Resolution R-20-18 to allow fire station project costs incurred before issuing bonds to be reimbursed from bond proceeds when bonds are issued for this project.
Chairman Selisker called for Board comment.
Mrs. Silver stated the need is great for two (2) new fire companies.
Chairman Selisker agreed, adding one building was built in 1964 and the other 1966, they were built for rural fire service. These new buildings will ensure the safety and wellbeing of our firefighters. With the hiring of paid firefighters and moving towards a combination fire department, it is important to modernize for the future.
Motion Passed 5-0.
Dr. Rose made the following announcements:
- A letter was received regarding the outstanding job performed by Jen Fean, Program Coordinator. Employees like Mrs. Fean help to make Northampton Township’s one of the best Parks and Recreation departments around.
- The Parks and Recreation Departments are providing virtual classes, and programs. Go to northamptonpa.myrec.com for current information on the various classes, activities, and programs being offered
- All Recreation facilities are open with restrictions, take the appropriate precautions and the Parks Crew are working to keep the Parks safe and clean.
- The Northampton Senior Center’s staff are working by calling members to check in and see if they need assistance, should you require anything feel free to call 215-357-8199 and leave a message if no one answers they will get back to you.
- The Senior Center is also staying in touch and is providing virtual activities. If you have a suggestion reach out to Sheila or Kathy at 215-357-8199
Mr. O’Donnell made the following announcements:
- The Tax office and the Municipal Authority will be following the Township’s schedule for reopening to the public.
- The Library is available although not open to the public you can still call them at 215-357-3050. If you wish to check out any books, call the Library from home they are available M-T from 1 pm until 7 pm and Saturday from 1 pm until 5 pm. They will bring what you need right out to your car.
- The Library is also hosting online programs to see what is available go to their website at www.northamptontownshiplibrary.orgfor further information.
Mr. Moore made the following announcements:
- The Planning Commission is expecting to have a Planning Meeting in August via the Zoom meeting platform. For information see the Township website at www.northamptontownship.com.
Mrs. Silver made the following announcements:
- The Council Rock School Board will be holding a meeting on July 23, 2020, via the Zoom platform to discuss the re-opening of school and what that may look like or entail.
Chairman Selisker made the following announcements:
- In April Dr. Luber was hired as the Township’s Medical Director and has proven to be invaluable these last 3-4 months. His input has made decision making a comfortable process.
- New digital signs have been installed at each of the three fire stations, another one will be installed at the Municipal Park next week and a few more over the next couple of years. This will be a great help under the public safety venue and gives the ability to get information out quickly to the public.
- The Northampton Country Club Golf Course is up and running and is complying with the Governor’s orders and recommendations. Booking for future events is starting to increase.
- Provided a review of the Township’s financial standing. Nothing much has changed from May’s report. Mr. Pellegrino stated fee-based services are suffering but the Township is finding ways to offset the lack of revenues by deferring projects, and not hiring any new personnel. The Township will not have a true understanding until at least the end of July since the tax deadline was extended from April 15 until June 15th. There has been an increase in the food and beverage portion of the Country Club mostly due to the golf portion of the club. Banquets will start again on July 15th.
- All information and announcements can be found on the Township website at www.northamptontownship.com.
Mr. Pizzo announced the Board met in an executive session immediately before tonight's Board meeting and lasted approximately 30 minutes. All the members of the Board, Mr. Pellegrino, Mr. Wert, and Mr. Pizzo himself were in attendance. The topic discussed was a matter of pending litigation involving the Township. No official action was taken by the Board during that executive session. No official action was taken then and no official action is required at tonight's meeting.
None was heard.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Frank O’Donnell, Secretary