New Britain Borough
November 12, 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, Ms. Robin Trymbiski, Mr. J. Thomas Yatsky, Ms. Marie Coia, Solicitor Michael Goodwin and Mayor David Holewinski. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve the minutes of the October 8, 2013 meeting as written; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and approved.
President Belchic welcomed the audience and thanked them for coming. He reminded them that they are welcome to comment on agenda items as they are addressed and to please save other comments until “Resident’s Remarks”.
The first order of business was Resolution 2013-15. Mayor Holewinski read the resolution to the council and audience. It contained a short history of the Burkart family’s involvement in New Britain Borough’s history. Mr. Joseph Cangelosi motioned to approve the resolution which resolved by the New Britain Borough Council, that New Britain Borough Hall situated at 56 Keeley Avenue, shall hence forth be known as Burkart Hall; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved. It was a unanimous vote by council. Mr. Burkart (and his family past and present) was given a standing ovation. Both Mr. Burkart and his wife spoke, thanking the Borough Council for this honor.
The second order of business was the opening of the snow removal bids. There were three bids submitted: T. Schiefer, Greenscape Landscape Contractor and GRZ Contractors. After the bids were read aloud, Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to table the decision until Mr. Mark Hintenlang (Borough Roadmaster) was able to review and give Council a recommendation; seconded by Mr. Joseph Cangelosi and tabled. Resident Jim Chant suggested to Council that they have companies bid according to inches of snow, making comparison easier.
Correspondence: for the month was reviewed.
October Treasurer’s Report: for the month was reviewed. Ms. Marie Coia reported that she moved a matured CD in PLGIT to a PLGIT money market account #00003469046 in the amount of $249,746.00. On October 1, 2013 all Groner Funds in PLGIT were moved to Third Fed Bank acc. #2071968 Groner RE Maintenance Fund in the amount of $253,370.76. Ms. Coia has been searching for better interest rates for the Borough, but has not had any success. Ms. Coia also reported that she has closed the “Team” account since it is inactive. Next month she will discuss the expenditures for the Groner House and discuss the question about raising the rent.
October Tax Collector’s Report: for the month was reviewed.
Building, Zoning, Road & Phone/Visitor Reports: for the month were reviewed.
President’s Report: President Robert Belchic congratulated Ms. Robyne Kelemen and Ms. Lori Kesilman on their victories in the recent election. He told them there is honor in running and that they have gone beyond where most residents go. He hopes that the drama of the election will be put aside and that everyone will focus on working for the good of the people of the Borough. He wished everyone the best of luck.
Ms. Trymbiski gave thanks to Ms. Coia for all her hard work on the newsletter when reporting that the newsletter had been distributed.
Central Bucks School District has requested an escrow release. Mr. Mark Hintenlang has reviewed and approved the release. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve Central Bucks School District’s escrow release request in the amount of $608,626.84 for their parking lot improvements at Pine Run School; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Finance: The work session for the preliminary budget was held October 29th, and the final budget will be prepared and ready for adoption December 10, 2013. A copy of the budget will be available for inspection at the Administration Office, Mon.-Fri. from 9:00-3:00.
Included in the 2014 Tax Ordinance is a one mill increase for the general fund and a recreation tax has been created to help fund matches to grants the Borough has received for tails through the Borough. There are 2 mills included for the recreation tax. Mr. Craig Sturza motioned to advertise the 2014 Tax Ordinance which includes a 3 mill raise in taxes; seconded by Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore and approved.
Police: Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to approve Ordinance 353, an ordinance of New Britain Borough approving the first amendment of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement establishing a regional police department, entered into with Doylestown Borough on May 20, 2013, to change the name of the regional police department and the regional police commission to the “Central Bucks Regional Police”; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to advertise an ordinance of the Borough amending the existing police pension ordinance, number 256 as amended, by reducing the normal retirement age to age fifty and by adding provisions establishing a deferred retirement option program; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approve for advertisement.
Officer Moffett has submitted his letter of resignation effective November 1, 2013. Mr. Joseph Cangelosi motioned to accept Officer Moffett’s resignation; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and approved.
Roads: Chief Donnelly has conducted a speed and volume study for Sioux Road, from Lenape Drive to N. Tamenend Avenue in response to a borough resident’s concerns and Council’s request. Eighty five percent of eastbound drivers are going 34 mph or greater, while eighty five percent of westbound drivers are going 37 mph or greater. The average volume per day is 700 cars traveling eastbound and 695 cars traveling westbound. Chief Donnelly’s recommendation is that this situation can and should be handled by strict enforcement in the studied area. He has ordered a Directed Patrol Traffic Enforce Effort be made at this location.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Holewinski commented on how he has seen politics move down the scale in honesty and civility for the first time in his 31 years as a resident of New Britain Borough. He spoke about two flyers that were distributed on and before Election Day. He stated that both Council and Police Regionalization meetings are open to the public and everyone has an opportunity to express themselves on all issues. Mayor Holewinski listed the issues that the present council has dealt with over the past few years and said he would like to know what changes would have been suggested on these issues. He hopes that the new council will work together in achieving the goals that have been set in place by the current council and residents of New Britain Borough.
Committee Reports: Ms. Marie Coia reported on the Historic Preservation Committee’s “Wreaths across America” project. The deadline for donations is November 26, 2013 and there will be a ceremony on December 14, 2013.
Ms. Coia also reported on the Appointment Advisory Committee. The newly formed Park and Recreation Committee will have 7 members, including 1 from the civic association and 1 from council. Newly elected Lori Kesilman will hold the council position for the committee. There is also a newly formed Building Committee to oversee improvements to Burkart Hall. Members so far include Bruce Burkart, Peter LaMontagne, Robert Binkley and Marie Coia. The Appointment Advisory Committee is looking for volunteers for the two committee’s referenced above and volunteers with construction or trade experience for the Property Maintenance Appeal Board.
Expenditures: Mr. Craig Sturza motioned to pay the monthly expenditures; seconded by Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore and approved.
Old Business: Doylestown Bike and Hike: Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski reported on the Doylestown Bike and Hike Committee. The New Britain Borough residents along S. Tamenend Avenue that will be affected by that branch of the bike and hike trail were invited to the last meeting of the committee. The committee will be working with them on obtaining easements and on the drainage problem in that area. Mr. Peter LaMontagne asked which projects in the Borough have funding in place. He was informed of the following: 1. The trail through Covered Bridge Park, 2. The trail from Butler Avenue to the train station, and 3. The trail in front of the Delaware Valley College.
Mathews Avenue: Mr. Mark Hintenlang presented the two options for the Mathews Avenue Traffic Diversion Plan. 1. Low landscaping 2. Row of “city posts”. Mr. Hintenlang described both plans and explained the differences and similarities, also location of parking for the Nature Preserve, turn around area, new signage etc. Mr. Peter LaMontagne discussed the advantage of parking at the Nature Preserve on the east side of the barricade for volunteers working at the meadow and the preserve. Ms. Dawn Marciante, Mathews Avenue resident, talked about the disadvantage of the parking referenced above, stating that the plumbers will use them to park in and walk to Grove Supply. Resident Barry VanLuvanee commented that the blocking of Mathews Avenue has created a different traffic problem, causing increased volume of traffic on his street, Woodland Drive. He asked why Mathews Avenue was blocked. President Belchic answered, because of diminished quality of life caused by truck and commercial traffic. Mr. VanLuvanee felt this action was not fair. David Kirk’s legal representation added, that when a cul-de-sac is built there is enough room to turn around. In this case, when people come down Sand Road and onto Mathews, they will not turn around at the Nature Preserve because it is not improved, but will use the driveway of Mr. Kirk’s property creating a dangerous situation. Ms. Marsh of the west end of Mathews Avenue, asked if council should be pushing forward on the blockade with the current legal actions in place. President Belchic responded that at this time Council is just picking what type of traffic diverter to use and not scheduling installation. Ms. Mary Pat asked to look at the drawing on the plan. It was decided that a rendering of the street scape would help in making a decision. Mr. Craig Sturza motioned to table the decision on which plan to follow for the Mathews Avenue Traffic Diverter; seconded by Mr. Joseph Cangelosi and approved. Mr. Hintenlang will supply Council with a street scape rendering. Resident Peter Ulman asked if the pending preliminary injunction is open to the public. Mr. Goodwin responded that it is and will be held in courtroom #3 at 11:00 Friday November 22, 2013.
New Business: President Belchic discussed the hiring of Stephen Barth, business development consultant. Council met with Mr. Barth at a work session where he presented his proposal. Mr. Joseph Cangelosi motioned to hire Mr. Stephen Barth as a business development consultant, seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and approved. Mr. LaMontagne commented that he feels this is the best thing council has done in a long time and that Robert Belchic, David Holewinski and Marie Coia deserve recognition for their efforts in looking at the Butler Avenue corridor.
Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to advertise an ordinance establishing a parks committee, its membership, terms of office, structure and authority, to increase public awareness, access and enjoyment of Borough parklands and to secure the effective management and maintenance of Borough parks and recreation lands; seconded by Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore and approved.
Ms. Margaret Remmey motioned to approve Resolution 2013-16 that the Council approves the Cooperative Memorandum of Agreement concerning communications and technology with the Route 202 corridor (agreement # 161124) with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Resident’s Remarks: Mr. Peter Ulman asked if the light at Butler and Tamenend Avenues was permanent. Mr. Hintenlang confirmed that the light is permanent. Mr. Chant asked if the intersection will become four-way, making Tamenend Avenue two-way at the light. Mr. Hintenlang answered that most people questioned felt it should remain the same (one-way) and because of the added expense a decision is on hold.
Ms. Robyne Kelemen asked when will the intersection of Mathew’s Avenue and Tamenend Avenue site distance problem will be corrected. Mr. Hintenlang said it will be this year. The problem of weeds and plants in the line of site was also discussed and will be handled.
Mr. Chant asked for an update on the police regionalization. He was told that it will be effective January 1, 2014. The Chief added that there is a four year contract in place. Mr. Chant also inquired as to who is on the commission to which he was told David Holewinski, Robert Belchic, Margaret Remmey and alternate Joseph Cangelosi.
Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to adjourn; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and the meeting ended at 9:00PM.