New Britain Borough
December 11, 2012
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, Mayor David Holewinski and Solicitor Michael Goodwin. Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to approve the minutes of the November 13, 2012 council meeting as written; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
The first guest of the evening was Mr. Dan Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins was before council to present the new Emergency Management Plan. He informed council that the paperwork had been sent to Harrisburg for the Governor’s approval of Mr. Jenkins as the new Emergency Management Coordinator. This was done after last months approval of New Britain Borough and Bucks County’s recommendation. Mr. Jenkins explained that the plan is an umbrella covering man made and natural disasters. Usually things can be handled by 3-4 people, but the framework is there if more people are needed. Councilman Joseph Cangelosi asked what happens in the case of a snow storm and people are unable to get to the command center (which is presently in the basement of the administration office). Mr. Jenkins answered that a lot of initial work is done when a potential disaster is predicted, including having people at the facility prior to the disaster. There will also be a trained deputy coordinator who lives in the Borough. Ms. Remmey asked how Mr. Jenkins plans on being the coordinator for both New Britain Borough and Chalfont Borough. Mr. Jenkins explained that both boroughs will have similar needs and be working with the same emergency organizations. He will also have a deputy and does not predict any problems or conflicts. Mr. Jenkins goal is to do table top training sessions. Also, President Belchic would like to see the Borough test the communication plan. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve Resolution 2012-10 Emergency Management Plan; seconded by Ms Margaret Remmey and approved.
Correspondence: for the month was reviewed.
November Treasurer’s Report: for the month was reviewed.
November Tax Collector’s Report: for the month was reviewed.
Fire, Building, Zoning, Road & Phone/Visitor Reports: for the month were reviewed.
Administration: Mr. Harrington, owner of lot 4 of the Bodden Subdivision, has asked for an extension on the land development of the property referenced above. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to grant the extension; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and the plan will be extended through December 21, 2013.
Last month Mr. Chant requested the Borough investigate Industrial Development Authorities. Mr. Goodwin has reported that a borough and an IDA are two completely different entities. An IDA cannot give funds to a borough. However, the borough does appoint the members of the IDA. The IDA can spend its money on important Borough projects. Mr. Goodwin can arrange to have an IDA solicitor meet with Council to provide more information. Council agreed to have someone come. Mr. Peter LaMontagne asked if informational material can be provided before a presentation. Mr. Goodwin said he would look into acquiring information and setting up a presentation.
Finance: There will be a tax increase of 2.5 mils for 2013. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve Ordinance 347, an ordinance of the Borough of New Britain, fixing the tax Rate for fiscal year 2013; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and approved.
The General Fund Budget for 2013 is $1,687,333.32. The Groner Budget for 2013 is $20,000.00. The Liquid Fuels Budget for 2013 is $58,000.00. The 2013 Public Safety Budget for 2013 is $122,260.00. Mr. Joseph Cangelosi motioned to approve the 2013 Budgets as listed above; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Police: The DCED Study for the merger between New Britain Borough and Doylestown Borough police departments will be presented at the Public Safety Meeting on December 12, 2012 at 7:00 PM at Doylestown Borough Town Hall.
Nature Preserve: Mr. Peter LaMontagne reported that the new sign for the Nature Preserve (part of the PECO Green Grant) has been ordered from McElhaney Signs. Possession of the new sign will be between March and April 1, 2013. The Nature Preserve Committee is in the process of getting bids for the other signs approved by Council using the grant and match monies.
Zoning: The ZHB denied the 179.9 sq. ft. side elevation sign for Club Metro in the Town Center Shopping Center.
Bike and Hike: The Jester Group of Spring Lake Drive and Mangar Industries on Britain Drive have both submitted their list of concerns for the bike and hike path. Mr. Hintenlang has written both letters answering their concerns. Mr. Hintenlang and Mr. LaMontagne will be meeting with Mr. Jester. Mr. LaMontagne asked Mr. Goodwin to have all liability questions answered before the meeting.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Holewinski also announced the meeting for the police merger to be held in Doylestown Borough on December 12, 2012. He urged anyone who is interested to attend.
Mr. La Montagne requested a draft Planning agenda be included in the packet of papers for the Council meetings.
Committee Reports: Ms. Marie Coia reported on the Appointment Advisory Committee. She sent each of the 20 volunteers who showed an interest in a position in the Borough a list of and description of the numerous boards and committees in the Borough and whether or not there were vacancies. She has received two responses to her mailing.
Ms. Marie Coia reported on the New Britain Historic Preservation Committee’s project “Wreaths Across America”. The ceremony will be at noon on Saturday, December 15, 2012, at the War Memorial on Tamenend Avenue. Ms. Coia asked the Chief if they can block Tamenend Avenue from 11:45 until 1:00.
Ms Marie Coia reported on the Community and Business Committee. She gave each member of Council a copy of the Business Survey Summary. The Committee will meet Thursday, December 13, 2012. It was suggested that on the sign renewal forms the businesses be asked for their email address in an attempt to enhance communication between the Borough and the businesses.
Expenditures: Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to pay the monthly expenditures; seconded by Mr. Joseph Cangelosi and approved.
Old Business: Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski reported on the Bike & Hike Committee (nothing new at this time) and the 202 Parkway. The 202 Parkway is open and working well. She was asked why there is an additional bike lane on the road, to which she answered, “it is for experienced (professional) bikers so they will not interfere with bikers and walkers on the Bike & Hike path”. Ms. Holewinski also reported that she found traffic on Butler Avenue in Chalfont reduced. Ms. Holewinski was again the recipient of a round of applause for her eight years of work on the Parkway Committee.
Mr. Peter LaMontagne asked to revisit the New Britain Borough Bike and Hike Report. He stated that the Borough will be looking at Bike & Hike projects next year. Since the Borough will have a balance of Open Space money after the purchase of the Apple Orchard lot, it would be a good idea to look into how Open Space money can be used to help complete the Bike & Hike projects. Mr. LaMontagne thought it might be a good idea to have Chris Stanford, who is working with the Borough on the path to the train station, be involved at this time. Mr. Goodwin will see if Open Space money can be used for preliminary planning and professional fees. Ms. Stephanie Mason has inquired as to whether the Borough has any Open Space Funds available to help with the trail that will be passing through the Covered Bridge Park.
President Belchic asked Ms. Trymbiski to report on the contaminated water issue. Ms. Trymbiski updated Council and informed them that the DEP had retested three filtration systems and everything is working well. The DEP will continue to monitor the test wells.
Resident’s Remarks: Ms. Jo Schuyler, a Borough resident of Aarons Avenue, informed Council of an on going drainage problem she and her husband have in their yard. They believe the water is coming from properties behind them on Matthews Avenue. Mark Hintenlang will visit with them at the site and see if there is anything that can be done.
Resident Joe McAteer of 23 Sioux came to Council to talk about the volume and speed of traffic on Sioux Road. Engineer Mark Hintenlang addressed his concerns. The idea of striping Sioux Road, like what was done on Lenape Drive, has been considered. Mr. Hintenlang let Mr. McAteer know that this is an active discussion and a decision will be made soon.
Ms. Marie Coia asked if all 202 signs have been removed from Butler Avenue since the opening of the parkway. At the time of the meeting they had not completed removing all the signs.
Mr. Harry Baum of Aarons Avenue was visited by his neighbors of Matthews Avenue with an opinion survey of options to correct the traffic concerns of Matthews Avenue. He first wanted verification that this was indeed a discussion of Council and if so for Council to please consider that whatever is done to Matthews Avenue will directly affect Aarons Avenue. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski explained that there had been a meeting with the Borough and interested residents of Matthews Avenue, to discuss traffic control and calming on their street. A meeting of both streets was suggested by Ms. Holewinski, mayor Holewinski and Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore, but a meeting date was not set. Mr. Baum was informed that the topic will be discussed at the January Council Meeting.
There was a short discussion of the importance of the Bristol Road Extension and how it would help traffic problems in the Borough. President Robert Belchic suggested contacting Kathy Watson’s office to see who would be appropriate to call or write for answers in this matter.
Mr. Craig Sturza motioned to adjourn; seconded by Mr. Joseph Cangelosi and the meeting ended at 8:33 PM.
Robert Belchic, President Robin E. Trymbiski, Manager
Jane E. Kinyon, Secretary