New Britain Borough
April 9, 2013
The monthly meeting of the New Britain Borough Council was called to order by President Robert Belchic at 7:30 PM. All council members were present. Also present were Mr. Mark Hintenlang, Mr. Lloyd Vansant, Ms. Robin Trymbiski, Mr. J. Thomas Yatsky, Mayor David Holewinski and Solicitor Michael Goodwin. Mr. Craig Sturza motioned to approve the minutes of the March 12, 2013 council meeting as written; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and approved.
The first guest of the evening was Officer Edward Kraft. Officer Kraft was before Council to receive a certificate of Commendation for Bravery. Chief Donnelly and Mayor Holewinski presented the certificate to Officer Kraft. On June 17, 2012 Officer Kraft responded to assist with an armed, barricaded subject in a residence. Office Kraft responded without hesitation. His actions that day protected life and property, were done without regard to his personal safety and reflects the highest traditions of police service. Officer Kraft received a warm round of applause and thank you from both Council and those in attendance.
Resident’s Remarks for Agenda Items: Attorney Martin King, who is representing several borough residents who live adjacent to or across the street from Delaware Valley College, addressed Council. Mr. King’s clients have concerns about the college’s stadium renovations. Mr. King feels the application to the Zoning Hearing Board by Delaware Valley College should be amended. He feels they did not consider multiple variances including noise and accessory use, besides the variance from buffering and height of light poles they have in their application. Mr. King also spoke about the discrepancy as to the College’s boundaries. Mr. Goodwin asked for proof as to the present status of the “Old State Rd” as to whether it is abandoned or vacated. Mark Mayhew, engineer for Taylor, Wiseman and Taylor, representing Delaware Valley College gave Council a summary of the proposed plan to renovate the stadium. Several residents spoke including Lorraine Moxey, David Landis and Michael Stanislaw. They asked several questions of the College including: if the college had considered an alternate site for the stadium, taken into consideration the effect on the neighbors with the lights, noise and increased use and nighttime use and does the College have a vision of what the stadium and surrounding area will look like in the future. Mr. Art Glass, Vice President of Finance and Administration commented that much of the college’s land is restricted to agricultural use, that the College is moving the track and that they are doing a master plan for the College in moving toward University status. President Belchic encouraged open communication between the residents and the College. They will be appearing before the Zoning Hearing Board on April 18, 2013.
President’s Report: President Belchic reported on improving communication. There will now be copies of resolutions and ordinances being considered at all council meetings and the same will be posted on the website before the council meetings. Council has also added the previous item on the agenda “Resident’s Remarks for Agenda Items”. President Belchic also wanted to make it clear that Council is always available to meet to discuss any concerns or ideas of borough residents. “The mayor and I are frequently around,” added President Belchic. “We are passionate about the community and are trying to make it better. Sometimes we make mistakes and we really appreciate your input. The only thing I really require is that we keep it civil.” President Belchic explained what some of the things he sees on the horizon for the Borough:
- Purchasing street lights and converting to LED. This is revenue neutral in the beginning, but then you will see the savings he added.
- What to do with the Borough Hall after the police merger. He feels there is not much you would get for selling it so maybe it is better used for community events. It would have to be updated. Hopefully there will be grants to help with this.
- Where funding will come from is a concern with every project you want to do. Considering hiring a grant writing consultant may help obtain grants for borough projects. Robin will be attending the PSAB Conference at which there is a session on grants. Robin will be gathering information for future borough projects and will be the voting delegate at the conference.
- The Community & Business Committee meets and discusses how to help businesses and improve the borough. The Design 5 Partnership May 2nd Town Hall Meeting will be held at Delaware Valley College. The students’ designs to beautify the Butler Avenue corridor will be discussed.
Administration: The Borough Newsletter will be distributed this month.
Finance: The state auditors report has been submitted for the Borough’s finances for 2012.
Police: The Intergovernmental Agreement for the Regional Police Department for Doylestown Borough and New Britain Borough to join police departments has been reviewed by Solicitor Michael Goodwin and an ordinance has been prepared for advertisement. Ms. Margaret Remmey motioned to advertise the ordinance providing for a joint municipal agreement for police services between Doylestown Borough and New Britain Borough, establishing a police commission and police district comprising the geographic extent of the two boroughs; seconded by Mr. Joseph Cangelosi and approved.
Emergency Management: Interviews were held for the position of Deputy Emergency Manager. It was discussed that it would be beneficial to have a team to help with Emergency Management. Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to appoint Dawn Marciante as the Deputy Manager, Tracy Doherty as an Emergency Management Team member and Dan Kinter as Public Information Officer; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Nature Preserve: Mr. Peter LaMontagne reported on the work being done at the Nature Preserve. Work has been done around the front entrance to the preserve and the new sign will be erected. The benches will be installed in a couple of weeks. If anyone is available, volunteers are needed to help move timbers etc. this Thursday evening. The Nature Preserve Committee has asked for the approval of a $925 expenditure for work on the Groner house property consisting of rake and seed, pruning, and removal of dead shrubs etc. Mr. Peter LaMontagne motioned to approve the above referenced expenditure; seconded by Mr. Joseph Cangelosi and approved.
Mayor’s Report: The mayor let everyone know that the Borough is moving forward on the plan for a community garden. The committee will be contactingDel Val College to see if they can plow, rake and disc the area which will contain 18 to 20 plots. A woman’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity will be contacted to see if anyone is interested in practicing their skills and helping to build the garden.
The Mayor also reported that on May 2nd there will be a meeting “Reinventing the Butler Avenue Corridor”. New Britain Borough and student design teams form Delaware Valley College will be presenting their plans for the Butler Avenue corridor. It will be held at 7:30 PM in the student center Coffee House at Del Val. The public is invited.
May 8, 2013 there will be a public meeting at 7:00 PM in the Doylestown Borough Hall. At this meeting the Police Regionalization will be discussed along with the Intergovernmental Agreement. Resident Dan O’Leary asked if his job as Civil Service member is dissolved with the regionalization, where else would the Borough need help. He was told to contact the office so he can be put on the Appointment Advisory Committee list of interested volunteers
Expenditures: Mr. Joseph Cangelosi motioned to approve the monthly expenditures; seconded by Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore and approved.
Doylestown Bike and Hike: The Doylestown Bike and Hike committee is still working on “Destination Peace Valley”. Mr. Peter LaMontagne read an article about discussions in Harrisburg about funds for bike and hike trails. He encouraged everyone to be supportive.
Parkway: Ms. Holewinski attended the Route 202 Task Force meeting where signage, accidents, fencing, adjustment of lights and no turn on red were discussed. They will make some changes and meet again in a few months. Also National Clean Up Day will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Volunteers will be meeting at the Bike and Hike Trail Head and working along the bike and hike trail on the parkway. Vests will be provided.
Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve Resolution 2013-6 whereas the New Britain Borough Council wishes to amend the fee schedule for Residential Land Development and Subdivision; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Resident’s Remarks: Ms. Linda Strong of Unami Trail spoke about her disagreement with the Mathews Avenue closure. Stating that it is a public road and that she pays taxes and should be able to use the road. She felt that the business employees in the area must be upset. She did not understand how a small group of people can demand a private road. She was informed that the Borough engineer has come up with an idea to connect Spring Lake Drive and New Britain Drive. Council feels this would help the business owners and employees that are concerned about the closure.
Ms. June Bair thanked the Mayor and Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski for going to the fire company banquet. Mayor Holewinski asked Council to be supportive of the Chalfont Fire Company, who works so hard to keep the Borough safe.
Mr. Richard Moxey asked if anyone knew what the surveyors were doing on Butler Avenue near the intersection of Tamenend Avenue. He was informed that they were part of the CMAQ Grant work to put a path to the New Britain Train Station.
Ms Margaret Remmey motioned to adjourn; seconded by Mr. Joseph Cangelosi and the meeting ended at 9:00 PM.