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Board of Supervisors
9/23/2020 7:30 PM

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.

 

Present were:

Adam Selisker

Eileen Silver

Dr. Kimberly Rose

Frank O’Donnell

Barry Moore

Robert Pellegrino

William Wert

Joseph Pizzo

Amanda Fuller

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:

Adam Selisker

Eileen Silver

Dr. Kimberly Rose

Frank O’Donnell

Barry Moore

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 ANNOUNCEMENTS

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.

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Frank Weckenman, 22 Renee Circle, stated he lives behind the area where the expansion of the Old Schoolhouse will occur and he stated he is in favor, provided certain items in his conversation with Mr. Dumack are captured in writing as follows:

  • No outdoor lighting behind the building
  • Planting of trees on the side of the hill before construction to provide privacy

 

Murray Zwickel, 26 Renee Circle stated  he wants to ensure the following is captured in writing as follows and promised by Mr. Dumack;

  • There are enough tree plantings all across the back including his property
  • Ensure that there is no lighting in the back
  • Intentions to use cameras for security

 

CONSENT ITEMS

The Board meeting minutes of August 26, 2020, were approved by unanimous consent.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

The accounts payable of September 9, 2020, for $586,840.01 and, of September 23, 2020, for $985,952.11, were approved by unanimous consent.

NEW BUSINESS

Presentation of Richboro Apartment Project Concept Plan

Mr. Moore explained this is a presentation only of an Apartment Concept Plan and no action will be taken at tonight's meeting. The following persons will be presenting the plan tonight:

Mr. Art Corsini, Principal of Fieldstone and Associates, and Mr. Victor Barr, Architect and Planner for the project.

Mr. Barr and Mr. Corsini provided an overview of two concept plans that are up for consideration. Each taking turns to provide information and concepts.

The plan is to construct a 180-unit apartment complex on the township-owned property along Township Road. Mr. Corsini stated he is a Bucks County resident and has developed similar projects in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  He owns and manages each of his projects, and is proposing a land lease for the property.  The projects he constructs and owns are high-end, one- and two-bedroom units with a clubhouse and pool for the residents.  Rents range from about $2,000 to $2,600 per month depending on the type of unit.  All residents undergo background checks and there is a no-tolerance policy for violation of complex rules.

 

The concept plan shows the proposed layout of the buildings on township property. Note that this is a concept and the actual location of the structures may change somewhat if the project moves forward. 

 

The elevation plans show two different concepts both showed the units and the clubhouse interiors.  The first is a more traditional design, Mr. Corsini stated he recently proposed an alternative that has more of a modern classical style.  The final elevation of the structures will be ultimately determined by the Township. 

 

Mr. Moore stated Mr. Corsini is seeking feedback on the concept but fully understands that no decisions will be made at the meeting. Mr. Moore also noted this presentation is for the benefit of the residents to have the opportunity to see the plans and provide feedback.

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board comment.

 

Mr. O’Donnell questioned since the project is not near any transportation what would be the draw for people to want to rent there and also where would the detention/retention basin be located?

 

Mr. Corsini stated this type of housing project would attract young professionals and empty nesters. The Warminster Train Station is very close and would make commuting very easy. The basin would be determined at a later date.

 

Consider Amendment to Stipulation Settlement Agreement for Expansion of Old Richboro Schoolhouse-1038 Second Street Pike, Richboro

Mr. Moore briefly provided the background on the Old Richboro Schoolhouse and how Mr. Dumack since purchasing the property through the Redevelopment Authority, has intended to expand the Old Schoolhouse building.  Since the development of this site was approved by a Court Order, an amended stipulation is required to allow expansion.

 

Mr. Moore stated procedurally, the process will be different in this case.  As opposed to going through the traditional land development process, including the Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board, the amended stipulation will approve the plan as attached.  As a condition, the plan will still be reviewed by the Township engineer as would be the case with any land development application.

 

Items for consideration on the plan include the following:

 

  1. A rear yard of 37.77 feet is proposed in lieu of the required 50 feet.  This is due to the location of the existing building and proposed design to maintain the prominence of the current Schoolhouse;
  2. To not require a loading space
  3. To allow the 67 spaces currently existing as opposed to 161 spaces;
  4. To not show existing features in the vicinity of the site, which is a common waiver request from the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

 

Major points of interest related to the amended stipulation include the following:

 

  1. The Township will approve the final rendering of the proposed facade;
  2. No retail uses are permitted;
  3. Due to the location of the building in the back of the site, signage will be permitted in front of the Schoolhouse as depicted on the plan;
  4. Additional buffer plantings will be added to the rear of the site.   

 

Mr. Dumack noted based on meetings at the site, he has incorporated additional landscaping in the rear of the property in addition to the basin area.  Also, as requested, Mr. Dumack has spoken with the resident most immediately impacted and all neighbors within 500 feet of the site were notified that this would be on tonight's agenda.

 

A motion was made and seconded (Moore-Rose) for approval of the Amended Stipulation between Northampton Township and Old Richboro, LLC, successor in interest to TD Bank, to allow for the expansion of the Old Schoolhouse at 1038 Second Street Pike in accordance with the terms contained within said Stipulation.   

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board comment.

 

Mrs. Silver questioned the lighting in the back and the signage on 2nd Street Pike. Mr. Dumack and Chairman Selisker answered her questions.

 

Dr. Rose questioned the sound on the bigger Air Conditioning Unit that is going to be installed. Mr. Dumack stated they have considered it and will elevate the existing, shield it, and provide a buffer to lessen the sound.

 

Dr. Rose also expressed the need to follow through with the landscaping that has been proposed.

 

Mr. Moore stated the landscaping must be included in the Site Plans with the neighbor's property documented.

 

Mr. Pellegrino noted a land development plan must still be filed and it is incumbent on the Township Staff and professionals that all items are completed.

 

Mr. O’Donnell questioned Iron Workers Creek and if any changes will take place with the Basins. Mr. Dumack and Mr. Pizzo responded explaining in detail the outfall structure that is proposed.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

Consider Resolution Condemning a Portion of the “Connector Road” between Almshouse Rod and Second Street Pike

 

Mrs. Silver stated the Richboro Master Plan contemplated an access road between Almshouse Road and Second Street Pike as a critical component of the Township’s economic development initiative, intended to improve traffic flow in and around the Village. 

 

With the final portion of the access road constructed as part of the Addisville Commons Land Development, it has become a significant alternative for motorists traveling southbound on Second Street Pike, or westbound on Almshouse Road.  To make sure that this important component of our road infrastructure remains open to the public, the Administration recommends the Board condemn the portion of the access road bordering the Addisville Commons Shopping Center.  The Township would then assume maintenance responsibility as a public street.

 

A resolution, site plan, and legal description for the proposed roadway easement was provided for reference to the Board.

 

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-O’Donnell) to adopt Resolution R-20-21 condemning a portion of tax map parcel 31-9-2-8 for use as a public street.

 

Mrs. Silver and Chairman Selisker noted that all parties are in agreement and this is a friendly condemnation.

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

Consider Resolution Authorizing an Application to the PennDOT Multi-Modal Transportation Fund Grant Program to Construct a Roundabout at Second Street Pike and Bustleton Pike

Mrs. Silver stated the Township is close to obtaining a PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permit (HOP) to construct an extension of Township Road and a Roundabout at Second Street Pike and Bustleton Pike and has an opportunity to apply for a Department of Community and Economic Development Grant (DCED) for its construction.  As you know we have been working to obtain the HOP for the past several years with the design being partially funded by a $350,000 grant from the same state agency.

The Township Road Extension and Roundabout project was conceived during the process of developing a Master Plan for Richboro and our Traffic Engineers, McMahon Associates, determined that this improvement would relieve congestion at the Second Street Pike and Almshouse Road intersection and generally improve traffic flow through the Village.  North and southbound traffic could travel through this road extension to the intersection of Township Road and Newtown-Richboro Road if the intended travel is eastbound towards Newtown or southbound towards Southampton.

McMahon estimates that total construction costs at $3.5 Million and the Administration recommends the Township file an application with the DCED Multi-Modal Grant Program to fund the construction. The application would request $3 Million for the construction with no matching fund requirement.  This is the maximum allowable grant.  DCED decided earlier this year to waive matching funds because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

A resolution is required by the DCED Multi-Modal Grant Program to authorize the filing of the application. If approved, the application will be filed by McMahon Associates on behalf of the Township.

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-Rose) to adopt Resolution R-20-22authorizing the Township Manager to file an application with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for a DCED Multi-Modal Transportation Fund Grant for $3 Million to construction an extension of Township Road Extension and a Roundabout at Bustleton Pike and Second Street Pike.

Chairman Selisker called for Board comment.

 

The Board agreed they are happy DCED has come forth with funds for this project.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

Consider Bids for Salt Contract

 

Mr. O’Donnell noted on behalf of the Bucks County Consortium, Doylestown Borough advertised for bids for rock salt in The Intelligencer on July 31st and August 5, 2020.

 

Proof of publication and bid tabulation sheet prepared by Doylestown Borough was included in the Board packets for verification.

 

The Public Works Director, Gary Crossland recommends a contract be awarded to Morton Salt, Inc., Chicago, IL at their bid price of $47.75 per ton delivered.  The Township is currently paying $48.50 per ton and used approximately 1,300 tons last year.  Due to good planning, our salt usage figure was low for this past winter season. Our salt shed was filled, saving the Township a considerable amount of money.  Morton Salt Inc. was our provider last year for the salt contract. 

 

A motion was made and seconded (O’Donnell-Silver) to award a contract for rock salt to Morton Salt Inc., Chicago, IL at the bid price of $47.75 per ton delivered to the Northampton Township Salt Shed, 150 Louise Drive, Ivyland, PA  18974.

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

Report on 2021 Minimum Municipal Obligation for Police and Non-Uniformed Employee Pension Plans

 

Dr. Rose explained the Administration is required by law to submit a report to the Board of Supervisors on the Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) for each of the employee pension plans by September 30 each year for the following fiscal year.  The MMO represents the funding level required by the Township to maintain the actuarial soundness of each plan.

 

The Township Actuary calculated the required contribution amounts for the 2021 plan year and these amounts must be budgeted as expenditures in the 2021 budget.  The MMO’s for each plan in 2021 are as follows:

            Police Pension Plan                                     $1,097,770

            Non-Uniformed Employees Plan                      973,771

            Money Purchase Pension Plan                         105,590

                                                                                $2,177,131

The total MMO for 2021 is an increase of $194,595 from the previous year. The MMO increased in 2019 by $274,089, and by $31,864 in 2018.  It decreased in 2017 by $40,000 and decreased by $68,000 in 2016.  The increase is attributed, in part, to the value of plan assets on January 1 each year.  Unfortunately, the market drop precipitously in December 2019, and plan assets were at a low point on January 1.  Since that time the market has recovered nicely and value of plan assets has significantly increased. 

 

The Township implemented a Defined Contribution Pension Plan (Money Purchase Plan) for new hires in 2016 and the above MMO for that plan is an estimated contribution to the plan rather than a required contribution.  The Township contributes 5% of base wages for each plan participant, and employees also contribute 5% as a match to the Township contribution. 

 

The Township expects to receive approximately $750,000 in Municipal Pension System State Aid that will reduce the required contributions.  The balance of $1,427,131 will be budgeted in the General Fund. 

 

Dr. Rose reminded the Board a vote to approve the MMO’s is NOT required but this information must be included in the meeting minutes for auditing purposes.

 

REPORTS

 

Dr. Rose made the following announcements:

 

  • The Senior Center will be holding a Flu Shot Clinic on September 24, 2020, at 10:00 am for 55 and over.
  • New lights at the Civic Center are installed and the contractor is working on installing lights in the basin for soccer.
  • 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
  • For information on Halloween Happenings check the Parks and Recreation brochure for full details and note pre-registration is required for some events.
  • 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 Library is will be reopening to the public on October 1, 2020 times will be limited and masks are required at all times. For detailed information go to the Library’s website at www.northamptontownshiplibrary.org or see the Library’s Facebook page.

Mrs. Silver made the following announcements:

  • The Council Rock School District will begin a Hybrid Schedule on September 29. 2020. Due to this schedule buses will be running at different times. Virtual classes are still being held as well.

 

Chairman Selisker made the following announcements:

  • The Annual Fire Company open houses will be canceled this year. Check out the Fire Company’s Facebook Page for further details
  • Starting September 24 the construction of the sanitary sewer improvements for the Waverly Development will begin. East Holland Road will be closed between Lawrence Avenue and Belmont Way for this work.  This is under the Traffic Control/Detour Plan for the Waverly Development.

Manager’s Report

  • The Township is seeing a reduction in misses with trash collection. Mascaro appears to be doing a better job, communication is better. Yard waste is still a problem.
  • The paving program is underway and is about 50% completed with the last phase starting September 28th and expected to be completed at the end of October.
  • September 30, 2020, is the last day to comply with the Census. Although about 80.5% have responded that leaves 16.5% that have not. 16.5% breaks down to approximately 6,400 people that equates to 13 million dollars in state and community resources we could potentially lose.
  • All information and announcements can be found on the Township website at www.northamptontownship.com.

Chairman Selisker stated the improvement in Trash collection came about because of the pro-active action the Board, Mr. Pellegrino, Mr. Wert, and Mr. Pizzo took.

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Pizzo announced the Board met in executive session three (3) times since the last meeting. September 9, September 21, and September 24 just before tonight's meeting. The members of the Board, Mr. Pellegrino, Mr. Wert, the Township Engineer, and Mr. Pizzo himself were in attendance. Two (2) matters of pending litigation and (2) matters of real estate involving the Township was discussed. No action was taken during any of the executive sessions and no action was taken tonight for any of the matters.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Chairman Selisker read into the record a question from the following resident and the resident was present to speak:

Joe Johnson, 41 Grant Drive, questioned the Apartment Concept Plan presented at tonight's meeting. He questioned if there were restrictions on children, parking, how many units, how many parking spaces per unit. Mr. Pellegrino stated there are approximately 180 units, 2 parking spaces per unit and some units will have garages as well. 

 

Mr Johnson stated the Board needs to receive public feedback on this property, questioned if the discussion tonight was lawful since the Board didn’t allow public comment. Mr. Johnson reminded residents the pre-agenda meeting is public.

 

Mr. Johnson questioned the Board when meetings are going to be in person again and what is the Administration doing to make attending the meetings safe? Chairman Selisker stated the biggest concern is for crowds, who would be allowed in. At this time the building is not set up to accommodate crowds. Mr. Pellegrino noted the meeting room is just not large enough. The Administration has put procedures and applications in place to protect the staff. The Library is opening with restrictions. Until a clearer vision is determined regarding the virus it just isn't safe to return to normal working conditions.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:23 p.m.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

______________________

Frank O’Donnell, Secretary

Government

Helpful & Related Pages

Northampton Township

Administration Building
55 Township Road
Richboro, PA 18954

Phone: (215) 357-6800
Fax: (215) 357-1251

Northampton Township Police
111 Township Road
Richboro, PA 18954

Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: (215) 357-8700
HQ Business: (215) 322-6111

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