The Newtown Township Supervisors voted unanimously July 11, to approve a settlement with Adams Bickle Associates, a Royersford contractor the township hired to install turf at Veterans Park in 2012.


Back then, township inspectors became unsatisfied with the work that was done at the park and subsequently withheld $158,000 in payments to the contractor.


In the settlement with Adams Bickle, the contractor agreed to accept $122,000 as payment in full and both parties agreed to pay their own legal fees. According to outgoing Township Manager Kurt Ferguson, the township spent the difference paying another contractor to finish the work not completed by Adams Bickle.


In other news, the supervisors voted 3-1 to spend more than $21,000 to replace the microphone system at the Public Administration Building’s meeting room. Board member Kyle Davis voted against the plan that would see more than $13,000 paid to Horizon Information Services for new mics and over $8,000 to Video Gold Productions for installation.


The supervisors also voted 4-0 to appoint Micah Lewis as interim township manager after Ferguson’s departure on July 13. Lewis has been the township’s assistant manager since 2015. While Ferguson accepted a job as township manager in Lower Makefield, he has agreed to work as a consultant to Newtown, at least through the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year.


Meanwhile, Secretary/Assistant Treasurer John Mack wants residents to be aware of a public meeting being hosted by the EPA at Hatboro-Horsham High School from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 25. Workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with discussion to follow.


The subject matter is perfluorinated compounds or PFAs.


“Our neighbors in Horsham, Warminster and Warrington had some of the highest levels, nationwide, of PFAs – which have been found to be toxic – in their drinking water.


“Newtown Artesian Water Company says it follows state and federal guidelines for acceptable levels of these chemicals. But there’s controversy over what is and what is not an acceptable level and the role that the EPA plays in determining that level.”


Mack is also pressing the board to draft an anti-discrimination ordinance that would extend protections against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation regardless of race, color, gender, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status and mental or physical disability.


Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast that does not extend those protections based on sexual orientation and gender identification. Yardley recently became the fifth municipality in Bucks County to approve such legislation. Doylestown, New Hope and Bristol also have passed anti-discrimination bills.