New Britain Borough
October 9, 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 except Mr. Joseph Cangelosi and Mr. Peter LaMontagne. Also present were Mr. Mark Hintenlang, Mr. J. Thomas Yatsky, Ms Robin Trymbiski, Mayor David Holewinski and Solicitor Michael Goodwin. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve the minutes of the September 11, 2012 council meeting as written; seconded by Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore and approved. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve the minutes of the special council meeting held October 2, 2012 as written; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
The first business of the evening was the opening of the snow removal bids. There was only one bid from our current snow plowing contractor, Shiefer Contractors. Borough Engineer Mark Hintenlang opened and read the bid information. The bid was approximately a 3% raise in costs over last year. Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to accept the bid from Shiefer Contractor for snow removal for the 2012-2013 winter season; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and accepted. Mr. Hintenlang will review and have the contract signed.
American Heritage Federal Credit Union came before Council with a waiver request. AHFCU had been to the Planning Commission for a field change. The Planning Commission sent them to Council since it involved a waiver. AHFCU would like Council to approve a waiver for installing curbing along Route 202. PennDot does not want the curbing in that location because of drainage issues. There is plenty of room between the sidewalk and the edge of the road so the lack of curbing is not a safety issue. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve the waiver for curbing along Route 202 requested by AHFCU; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Correspondence: for the month was reviewed.
September Treasurer’s Report: for the month was reviewed.
Fire, Building, Zoning, Road and Phone/Visitor Reports: for the month were reviewed.
Administration: The Borough newsletter has been prepared and will be distributed in the next couple of weeks.
We also have been working on a new Borough Map. Each residential property will receive one. There will be copies available in the Borough Office.
Bucks County Planning Commission has a new program – Municipal Economic Development Initiative. They are offering a variety of opportunities for the Borough to take advantage of to expand economic prosperity. It is a voluntary program and there is no obligation except to participate and provide support. Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to participate in the Bucks County Planning Commission’s Municipal Economic Development Initiative; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Ms. Trymbiski, along with the manager of Chalfont Borough, met with Mr. Chris May from PennDot. Mr. May explained the Video Sharing Agreement (which was tabled last month). PennDot will be funding all the necessary cable and wiring into the Borough. The only responsibility of the Borough will be to provide a workstation and to keep everything up and running (approx. $200/year). After a short discussion Council decided to ask Mr. Mark Hintenlang and Mr. Michael Goodwin to look into all aspects of the agreement. Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to table the signing of the Video Agreement; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and approved.
The Borough has received a proposal from Mr. Dan Kintner for $3200-$3600 to update the website at the request of Mayor Holewinski and Peter LaMontagne. After a brief discussion it was decided to ask Mr. Kintner to come to the next Council meeting to discuss what changes Council would like to make.
Finance: Mr. Vansant and Ms. Trymbiski have been working on the 2013 Budget. It was decided that a work session will be held on November 5, 2012 at 7:00.
Economy Roofing and Siding has requested an escrow release in the amount of $15,552.75. Mr. Mark Hintenlang has reviewed and recommends that escrow release be reduced to $13,052.72 and retain $2500 to complete the list of items he requires in his letter dated October 3, 2012. Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to approve an escrow release for Economy Roofing and Siding in the amount of $13,052.72 as recommended by Borough Engineer Mark Hintenlang; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and approved.
A copy of the 2011 Financial Statements for both the New Britain Borough Police and Non-Uniform Pension Plans was made available for review.
Police: Both Plumstead Township and Doylestown Township have withdrawn from the Police Regionalization. New Britain Borough and Doylestown Borough will move forward.
The Police Contract for 2013-2014 is ready for approval with all issues discussed last month agreed to by the PBA. Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore has some questions concerning unused sick time and how this will impact the Borough if the proposed merger goes through. This discussion brought up questions about the cost of the merger now that it was only two boroughs. In order to answer Mr. Gilmore, Mr. Craig Sturza motioned to table the contract until next month; seconded by Ms. Margaret Remmey and tabled.
Zoning: The sign company for Club Metro is seeking relief from the Zoning Hearing Board to allow a 179.9 square foot side elevation sign. The zoning ordinance allows 132 sq. ft. A hearing will be held November 15, 2012. Zoning Officer J. Thomas Yatsky is unable to attend. BCO Dan Jenkins will be asked to appear in his place. The impact of the new sign was discussed. Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore motioned to have a letter written to The ZHB expressing Council’s disapproval of enlarging the sign. It was decided that Solicitor Michael Goodwin does not need to attend.
Nature Preserve: Mr. LaMontagne has requested approval for the expenditures for signage and benches for the nature preserve in the amount of $8,325.00. Mr. Robert Binkley and Mr. Jim Chant spoke about the plans for the Nature Preserve. Mr. Chant recommended a bench for approximately $580 and Mr. Binkley said there may be the addition of a wooden ramp or bridge over a drainage pipe to the plan. In Mr. LaMontagne’s absence and the fact that the Nature Preserve Committee was unable to meet on Monday October 8th, President Robert Belchic asked Council and the Nature Preserve Committee members present to take a look at what benches and their cost would be appropriate for the Nature Preserve. Also Mr. Binkley will make any additions necessary. Mr. Binkley also added that the benches Mr. LaMontagne prefers can be seen in front of the Bucks County Library. He added that this plan is part of the matching grant the committee was awarded. Mr. Craig Sturza motioned to table the request; seconded by Mr. Jeffrey Gilmore and tabled.
Expenditures: Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to approve the monthly expenditures; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and approved.
Mayor’s Report: In addition to Ms. Trymbiski’s report, Mayor Holewinski also added that financial numbers (for the two boroughs) which deal with the police merger will be available to both Council and the public.
Thanks to the Mayor’s persistence and Bucks County Commissioner Charles Martin the New Britain Railroad Station has been reallocated as a weekend flag stop which started September 28, 2012. Resident Mr. Jim Chant asked if anything could be done about the length and volume of the train whistle. Ms. Trymbiski will send SEPTA a letter addressing the complaint.
Old Business: There was nothing to report for the Bike and Hike Committee at this time. Opening date of the “Parkway” has not been released.
Mr. Mark Hintenlang reported on traffic calming on Lenape Drive. Mr. Hintenlang submitted a proposal to AH Cornell (the paving company who recently paved Lanape Dr.) for traffic calming striping for Lenape Drive. He received an estimate of $10,000 additional to the amount in the contract for striping. When asking for the same proposal done in paint it was $4,000. Mr. Hintenlang met with Cox Striping and is waiting for a quote from them. Ms. Margaret Remmey motioned to allow Mr. Hintenlang to agree to up to $3,000 additional for the new striping on Lenape Drive; seconded by Mr Craig Sturza and approved.
Resident’s Remarks: Mr. Doug Fisher publically thanked Mayor Holewinski for getting the station changed back to a weekend flag stop.
Mr. Jim Chant stated that he is expanding his building. He has gotten a low interest loan through the Sellersville’s Industrial Development Authority. As a result of his business the Borough of Sellersville receives $18,000. Mr. Chant was wondering why New Britain Borough does not have a Development Authority. Mr. Goodwin will look into it.
Mr. Jim Chant feels that Matthews Avenue is getting narrower, because of vegetation. Mr. Yatsky will look in to this and send letters to the residents who are in violation.
Mr. Chant asked if there can be draft minutes available to the public before the Council Meeting in which they will be approved. This was not recommended by Solicitor Michael Goodwin.
Mayor David Holewinski added that on his “safe walk to school” many mothers complained about the speed of traffic on Sioux Road. The Mayor noticed this himself. The Chief was asked to put the electronic speed detection sign on Sioux Road and was reminded to put it on lamppost as a result of a recent complaint.
Ms. Trymbiski was asked to see if the ARLE Grant is still available.
It was announced that an executive session will follow to discuss open space and employment issues.
Ms. Mary Pat Holewinski motioned to adjourn; seconded by Mr. Craig Sturza and the meeting ended at 8:53 PM.