New Britain Borough
November 13, 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. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve the minutes of the October 9, 2012 council meeting as written; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
The first guest of the evening was Mr. Joseph Philips an architect from George Donovan Assoc. Mr. Philips was before council to present the proposed addition to the Doylestown Borough Police Station. The purpose of his visit was to keep New Britain Borough abreast of what Doylestown Borough is planning for the extension of the Borough Police Station. The addition will be of concern to New Britain Borough if the proposed merger between the two Borough Police Departments is confirmed. Mayor Holewinski asked if this new building will meet all state regulations. Chief Donnelly answered that the building will comply and will also help in pursuing state accreditation for the proposed merged department. Mr. Peter LaMontagne asked what the advantages of the accreditation would be and questioned the fitness room. The Chief answered that it will help in lowering insurance, make the department more professional, raise the rankings state wide and the fitness room, which will be used by officers after hours is part of that accreditation.
The second guest of the evening was Mr. Dan Kinter. Mr. Kinter has been asked to give council a proposal on revamping the Borough website. Several people spoke to what they would like to see on the website. These suggestions along with Borough requests will be considered. Some ideas were: links to facebook and twitter, frequently asked questions and a place to ask questions, Borough forms and permits, electronic newsletter and a subscription news feed. A list will be developed and an estimate will be asked of Mr. Kinter.
Correspondence: for the month was reviewed.
October Treasurer’s Report: for the month was reviewed
September and October Tax Collector’s Reports: were reviewed.
Fire, Building, Zoning, Road & Phone/Visitor Reports: were reviewed
Administration: The newsletter and the new Borough Map were distributed last month.
The Borough has been awarded $169,600 for the Intersection Improvements and Walking Path to New Britain Train Station project. The DVRPC expects that funds awarded through this program be federally obligated by September 30, 2015, which is considered the deadline for the project completion. A kick off meeting will be held in the next few weeks.
The Borough has been awarded $5, 421.00 for the 2010 Recycling Grant.
Finance: The work session for the preliminary budget was held last week and the final budget will be prepared and ready for adoption December 11, 2012.
Everyone has a copy of the 2013 Tax Ordinance showing a 2.5 tax millage increase which is being considered tonight for advertisement for adoption in December. Mr. Joseph Cangelosi motioned to advertise the 2013 Tax Ordinance; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Police: The DCED Study for the merger of Doylestown Borough and New Britain Borough Police Departments will be presented at the Public Safety Meeting on Wednesday evening December 12, 2012 at 7:00 at Doylestown Borough Hall.
The police contract is completed as previously discussed and signed by the police. Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to approve the two year PBA Contract; seconded by Mr. Joseph Cangelosi and approved
Planning Commission: the Planning Commission reviewed the proposal from Mr. L’Amoreaux outlining the various feasibility study quotes. They recommended to put on hold #1 Southbound approach of Tamenend Avenue to Butler Avenue, #2 Westbound Butler Avenue approach to Tamenend Avenue, #5 Butler Avenue and the Delaware Valley College driveway, opposite Iron Hill Road; remove #3 Francis Meyers Road and Tamenend Avenue and proceed with #4 which is the investigation of existing left-turn advance green arrows on Butler Avenue at Sand Road for modification or removal. Ms. Margaret Remmey motioned to approve $875 for the investigation of # 4 the existing left-turn advance green arrows on Butler Avenue at Sand Road; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Nature Preserve: Mr. Peter LaMontagne submitted a budget of $16,000 for Nature Preserve improvements. $8,000 will be paid by the PECO Grant the Nature Preserve Committee has been awarded. Mr. LaMontagne motioned to approve the spending of $8,000 matching funds to complete the grant requirements; seconded by Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski and approved.
Open Space: The Borough is in negotiations to purchase a portion of the apple orchard on Keeley Avenue. This will be discussed in Executive Session.
Bike & Hike: Mangar Industries has submitted a list of concerns for the proposed bike and hike path from Britain Drive through to Spring Lake Drive. Mr. Goodwin has answered their concerns and the Planning Commission will be reviewing the matter at their November meeting. The office has not been able to reach John Jester the adjacent property owner although they have tried several times and will continue to try and make contact.
Community and Business Committee – Ms. Marie Coia reported for the committee. Several members of the Community and Business Committee have been working hard to compile the information they gathered on their business survey. Council will receive a copy of the summary when it has been refined. The committee met with Dr. Michael Fleischacker fromDel Val College about beautification of the Butler Avenue corridor. Dr. Fleischacker will be putting a design project together for his spring semester students. Ms. Lynn Bush of the Bucks County Planning Commission added that the commission will be supportive of the project. Mr. Peter LaMontagne mentioned that many municipalities have a “Shade Tree Commission” and that maybe the Borough would like to consider a “Streetscape Committee” to work along with the students. He also mentioned that the Borough does have a tree fund that may be useful in this situation.
The Community and Business Committee also discussed having an event in the spring which might be called the “Founders Day Event”. David Joss, of Federal Realty, offered to hold the event at the shopping center as long as it did not interfere with the businesses. The committee will need someone to spear head the event.
New Britain Historic Preservation Committee: Ms. Coia reported on the committee’s Wreaths Across America project. They have raised enough money to purchase all the wreaths needed for the cemetery at the New Britain Baptist Church.
Appointment Advisory Committee: Ms. Coia reported that the volunteers who manned a table at the poles on Election Day had 18 people sign up as being interested in serving the community in some capacity.
Ms. Coia added that all three of the committees she reported on tonight will be interested in some presence on the new website.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor David Holewinski thanked everyone for their understanding and patience during Hurricane Sandy. The mayor stated that he is committed to having the Borough better prepared if another emergency should occur. The Mayor publically thanked Mr. Ambrose Randa for his help with the tree on Route 202. President Belchic also thanked those involved in helping the Borough during the emergency, including Mr. J. Thomas Yatsky, Borough Zoning Officer, who spent time helping Borough residents with water and cell phone use and also with the removal of the tree on Route 202. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to confirm the Declaration of Disaster Emergency; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and confirmed.
Expenditures: Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to pay the monthly expenditures; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Doylestown Bike and Hike: Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski reported that the Bike and Hike Committee is continuing to look at existing paths and trying to make connections.
Route 202 Parkway: Ms Holewinski reported that the Parkway opening will be in early December. She asked that when a date is confirmed that it be posted on the Borough Website. This was the last Task Force meeting. Ms. Holewinski has been attending these meetings for the last eight years. She was met with a round of applause.
Tamenend Avenue PCE Site. Mr. Mark Hintenlang reported that the DEP is continuing to install the filtration systems for residents in the contaminated area. Ms. Jackie D’Agostinso added that the DEP has done another round of testing, that they are checking the existing filtration systems and they are continuing to install new systems.
Video Sharing Agreement: Mr. Goodwin and Mr. Hintenlang spoke to Mr. Chris May, PennDot representative, about all aspects of video sharing. It was mentioned that most municipalities have the computers located in their police stations. The Chief agreed that it would make more sense to have the computers in the police station rather than the administration office. Mr. Goodwin and Chief Donnelly will look into whether or not there is a reason to not have the computers in New Britain (charge for removal etc.) because of the possibility of duplication with the proposed merger. Mr. Gilmore asked the Chief the benefits of having the video sharing. Chief Donnelly explained that it is useful in accident and emergency situations where roads may be closed and the rerouting of traffic might be necessary.
Resident’ Remarks: Resident Doug Fisher thanked those involved in clearing Route 202 of the tree which originated on his property.
Resident Robert Binkley asked that there be a written explanation of the tax increase made available to the residents.
Resident Al Marciante, 99 Matthews Avenue, wanted to discuss “speed tables” for Matthews Avenue to help with increased speeding. It was decided that Ms. Trymbiski will set up a meeting with all the interested neighbors, Mr. Hintenlang and available council members to discuss. It will be held in the evening at 7:00, hopefully during the week of December 3, 2012.
Ms. Marie Coia asked about a previous discussion, tractor trailers coming up S. Tamenend Ave. to the light at Route 202 and having difficulty in making the turn. She asked if anything had been decided. After a short discussion, Mr. Hintenlang said there is potential to put a no left turn sign on Spring Lake Drive, but that the ramifications of where you are routing the trucks must be investigated.
Ms. Maria Gimbel and the other residents of Matthews Avenue brought up a concern about a tree on their street. The tree is on the property of Ms. Sara Kwong, who is presently in the hospital in CA. The tree lost a large limb which is across her driveway and the remainder of the tree is tangled in the wires and in very bad shape. The neighborhood is concerned that it is a safety issue. Mr. Hintenlang and Ms. Trymbiski will asses the situation and see what can be done.
Peter LaMontagne wanted to make sure the $500 balance for meadow improvements can still be used next year since it was approved for plant purchase in 2012. Council agreed that it can be used.
Mr. Joseph Cangelosi motioned to adjourn; second by Ms. Margaret Remmey and the Council adjourned at 8:53 to Executive Session.
Council reconvened at 9:27. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to accept the negotiated price of $198,000 for the purchase of the 4 plus acre lot, part of the Apple Orchard on Keeley Avenue, as open space.; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to accept the resignation of Mr. Robert Bair as the New Britain Emergency Management Coordinator; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and accepted.
Mr. Joseph Cangelosi motioned to hire Keystone Municipal Services as the interim Emergency Management Coordinator for New Britain Borough; seconded by Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore and approved.
Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to adjourn; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and the meeting ended at 9:29 PM.