News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
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Newtown Township Will Receive $611K In State Liquid Fuels Payments

Newtown Township Will Receive $611K In State Liquid Fuels Payments | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Newtown-area municipalities are slated to get more than $1 million in PennDOT liquid fuels payments this year.

According to PennDOT data from late January, the state has pledged $500.7 million in payments around the Keystone state this year. Checks were sent to towns this month.

Below is how much local towns will get: 

Newtown Borough – $73,602.84
Newtown Township – $611,209.38
Upper Makefield – $345,770.57
Wrightstown – $130,414.28


The liquid fuels payments can only be used for work on certain locally-maintained roadways.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Newtown Township will use the funds to "rehabilitate" (i.e., repave) 2.3 miles of roads in 2019. More about that here: http://bit.ly/2019roadprg 

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News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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Doylestown Voted the Best Small Town Based on Cultural Offerings in Art, Entertainment, and History

Doylestown Voted the Best Small Town Based on Cultural Offerings in Art, Entertainment, and History | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

USA Today on Friday declared the borough the winner of a nationwide contest ranking towns with a population of less than 30,000 based on their offerings of the arts, entertainment and history.

 

Cory Amsler, vice president of collections and interpretation at the Mercer Museum, said he wasn’t surprised by the news that Doylestown came out on top.

 

“Over the years, Doylestown has really transformed from what was once a fairly sleepy community into a cultural destination. And we are excited to be a part of it,” he added in an email Friday.

 

After 20 finalists, also including Media and Manayunk, were selected by a panel of experts gathered by USA Today, the top 10 were chosen by online voting from the public.

 

 

The top 10 winners in the category Best Small Town Cultural Scene are as follows:

 

  1. Doylestown, Pennsylvania
  2. Point Pleasant, West Virginia
  3. Tarpon Springs, Florida
  4. Staunton, Virginia
  5. Media, Pennsylvania
  6. Paducah, Kentucky
  7. Easton, Maryland
  8. Traverse City, Michigan
  9. Guthrie, Oklahoma
  10. York, South Carolina
johnmacknewtown's insight:

How about a new name for Newtown's "Village at Newtown Shopping Center"? I like: Newtown Dining & Culture Center?.The new amphitheater next to soon to be opened Iron Hill Brewery could be a cultural center  offering live music, art, poetry readings, etc.

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Contribute to Build a Wall Around Trump! Newtown Supervisor Candidates Fisher & Mack Seek Your Support.

Contribute to Build a Wall Around Trump! Newtown Supervisor Candidates Fisher & Mack Seek Your Support. | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Keep the Democratic Majority Going in Newtown!


Two years ago, propelled by unprecedented turnout by township Democrats, the Democratic party achieved a majority on the Board of Supervisors for the first time in township history. As a result,  significant progress toward a number of goals to improve the health and safety of Newtown residents has been made, including:

 

  • More miles of paved roads
  • Increased support for EMS and Fire services
  • More transparency to keep residents informed about important issues
  • Long-range budgetary planning to be sure our future revenue and expenses are in balance
  • Standing up for sensible gun control, protection of human rights, and protection of our local environment

 

It’s only by the return of Dennis Fisher and John Mack to the Board of Supervisors that we can continue that progress. That is why The Friends of Fisher & Mack are asking for your financial support.

Your contribution can also help "Build a Wall Around Trump." Democratic victories this fall are essential to growing the foundation for putting a Democrat in the White House and sending a Democrat to represent the First Congressional District in the House of Representatives. Strengthening the Blue Wave at the local and county levels is the only way to make that happen.

Select your brick NOW!

 

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Newtown Residents Comment on Roberts Ridge Park Meadow Plan

Newtown Residents Comment on Roberts Ridge Park Meadow Plan | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

At the May 8, 2019, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors public meeting, several residents and watershed experts spoke out against the establishment of a "meadow" in Roberts Ridge Park as part of the township's Pollution Reduction Plan. Several objections were raised. The discussion resulted in the Township rethinking the plan for the park and mowing the meadow in the meantime. Other ideas were put forward to comply with PA Department of Environmental Protection regarding reduction of pollution of watersheds.

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Guest Opinion: Liller, VanderKam and Yeager the Best Judge Candidates

Guest Opinion: Liller, VanderKam and Yeager the Best Judge Candidates | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Democrats, on Tuesday, May 21, you have the opportunity to select three experienced lifelong Democrats to run for three vacant judicial positions in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. Are you sick of Mitch McConnell and Trump appointing conservative judges? Well here is your chance to elect judges right here in Bucks County who reflect our Democratic values. Don’t waste this opportunity.

Democrats are usually independent thinkers and don’t like to follow their party line. They usually don’t like following orders from on high and are more concerned with doing what’s right. I too am often guilty of that and frankly, some say that is why Democrats lose so many close elections. But this time, the Bucks County Democratic Party leaders got it right. The rank and file committee people reviewed candidate qualifications and voted to endorse the three best candidates: Charissa Liller, Jessica VanderKam and Jordan Yeager.

So I am wholeheartedly supporting these three BCDC-endorsed candidates. We need to ensure they get chosen in the May 21 primary and go on to win in November.

Charissa already has two decades of experience as a prosecutor in the Court of Common Pleas, including over 40 successful jury trials. Her former work as a social worker helping families in crisis and her 16 years of family law experience make her eminently qualified for this judicial position and demonstrates a compassion and commitment to family values which is essential for this judicial position.

Jessica also has over 11 years of direct experience in Family, Civil and Orphan’s Court and will use her youthful fresh perspective to introduce innovation and improvement into the judicial arena. She has already argued cases before the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme courts and has received a Rising Star award.

Jordan has a stellar career fighting for civil rights and representing women facing employment discrimination and sexual harassment. But he is best known for his outstanding work on behalf of environmental issues which has gained him national recognition and the endorsement of many environmental organizations. Locally he has protected Bucks County from the fracking industry and has won the first case in Pennsylvania history to recognize our constitutional right to a healthy environment. I call him an environmental rock star.

A bonus for voting for Charissa and Jessica is that it will help create gender parity on a court that is 85 percent male. And electing three lifelong Democrats will create political parity on a court that is now 85 percent Republican. Please make sure you vote on May 21, especially for these three talented, compassionate and fair-minded lifelong Democrats.

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Investigators Seek Person Who Painted Swastikas Along Tyler State Park Trail in Newtown

Investigators Seek Person Who Painted Swastikas Along Tyler State Park Trail in Newtown | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Officials from Tyler State Park in Newtown say that while graffiti has been a problem over the years, graffiti that is hateful, racist or anti-Semitic is unusual.

That is why Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub says the people who reported finding swastikas painted along a park trail there did the right thing by reporting it. [Read “Swastikas Spray Painted On Tyler State Park Trail”.] 

"If you feel that you are a victim of antisemitism in particular or a hate crime in general please contact your local police. We do take it very seriously. We will investigate it and run it down and if somebody is guilty of a crime we will prosecute them," Weintraub says.

This comes on the heels of what officials from the New Hope-Solebury School District are only describing as a minor anti-Semitic incident at one of its schools.

An incident followed by a letter sent to parents making sure they are aware of the case, and that steps were being taken to make sure it does not happen again.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic behavior is on the rise across Pennsylvania over the past five years going from 43 reported incidents in 2015 and peaking in 2017 with 96 reported cases.

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Newtown Business Association Welcomes Top Cleaners and Turning Point to Town With Ribbon Cuttings

Newtown Business Association Welcomes Top Cleaners and Turning Point to Town With Ribbon Cuttings | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Newtown Business Association officially welcomed two new businesses to the township on April 27 with a pair of ribbon cutting ceremonies.

 

Members of the NBA, along with state and local officials, were on hand to celebrate the recent opening of the Newtown Cleaners at the Newtown Shopping Center on West Road and Turning Point Restaurant at the Village of Newtown Shopping Center.

 

Minah Yu and her family, who ran Top Cleaners at 208 South State Street in Newtown Borough for more than a decade, have relocated their business to 42 West Road (next to the Acme).

 

While the business has changed its name and location, the service and quality of work remain five stars and Minah is still at the front counter welcoming customers with a smile.

 

“We’ve been in Newtown a long time,” said Minah, who operates the Newtown store. “We’ve gotten to know a lot of Newtown Borough people. But the location wasn’t visible. People only found out about us through word of mouth and online reviews.

 

“When we had the opportunity to relocate to a bigger shopping center, we made the move,” said Minah.

 

The NBA and the public officials also stopped by Turning Point to cut the ribbon on one of the township’s newest eateries.

 

Located next door to the Newtown Bookstore, the restaurant has quickly become a favorite among the area’s breakfast and lunch crowds.

 

“Were extremely happy to be in Newtown,” said Kirk Ruoff, who co-owns Turning Point with his wife, Pam. “The customers are fantastic. The workers are hard working people. We’re extremely pleased with how we have started here.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

The Newtown Board of Supervisors approved the conditional use for the application of Turning Point of Newtown d/b/a Turning Point Breakfast, Lunch & Brunch, 2841 South Eagle Road (E-5 Eating Place) at the April 25, 2018 public meeting. Before the ribbon was cut, my wife and I had breakfast there. I liked the DIU French coffee press at our table.

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PennDOT to Lower Speed Limit on Section of Swamp Road

PennDOT to Lower Speed Limit on Section of Swamp Road | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

In a May 2, 2019, letter, Ashwin Patel, Senior Manager of PennDOT's Traffic Engineering and Safety Division, notified Newtown Township that PennDOT will be lowering the speed limit on Swamp Road between the Twining Bridge intersection and the intersection of Pennswood Dr. (entrance to Knob Hill) to 40 MPH from 45 MPH (see map).

 

But no all-way stop sign. Find out why not here.

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Developer Wants Plumstead to Change Its Zoning to Allow More Gas Pumps to Fit the Business Plan of a Super Wawa - A Lesson for Newtown

Until now Tom Verricchia chose to remain on the sidelines of his proposed Super Wawa development in Plumstead Township because as he says, “ I don’t like to air my business in public.”

 

On April 15, 2019 township supervisors appealed a court ruling on the project in favor of site-specific relief allowing the zoning changes so the Super Wawa could be built. Then Verricchia contacted local newspapers and released a publication “to inform the public of our frustration and fairly express the situation.”

 

In 2017 Plumstead’s zoning hearing board denied the requested variances to allow a 4,700-square-foot convenience store with 10 gas pumps in the Commercial I district at Ferry and Swamp roads.

 

Verricchia responded with the appeal to Bucks County Court of Common Pleas which was decided by Chester County Judge Robert Shenkin, who had been appointed to avoid a possible conflict of interest because Bucks County Judge Jeffery Trauger owned a property included in the plan.

 

In March 2019, Shenkin decided that the township zoning “unconstitutionally excludes a legitimate land use” and that the developer is entitled to site-specific relief to have gas pumps at this location.

 

Instead, Verricchia proposes “Plumstead change its zoning to include the modern day convenience store with gas pumps, with a size convenience store that is economically viable.” He said that his development company tries to fit into township zoning but Plumstead goes too far in limiting use by size restrictions.

 

“We are not carrying the flag of the modern convenience store industry,” said Verricchia.

 

“Most of the development industry wants us to go to Commonwealth Court to open this up to the state of Pennsylvania,” he continued.

 

Supervisor Dan Hilferty said recently at a township meeting, “A township does not have to change their zoning to fit the business plan of a Super Wawa.” Pennsylvania zoning law requires uses to be provided for but gives townships the legal authority to zone for size and intensity of uses.

 

“Plumstead has provided zoning for convenience stores with gas pumps in Commercial II zones, in other locations in the township. Just because a Super Wawa of 4,700 square feet and 10 gas pumps does not fit into the site’s size and intensity constraints does not mean that the zoning is unconstitutional or exclusionary,” explained Reiss, in a phone interview.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

The Super Wawa proposed for the Newtown Bypass would have 16 gas pumps (as opposed to the 10 in Plumstead). So if Newtown were to change its OR zoning to allow a convenience store plus fueling station, Wawa would demand 16 pumps even if the new zoning only allowed  for fewer pumps. 

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Newtown Fire Association is Well-Trained & Qualified

Newtown Fire Association is Well-Trained & Qualified | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The PA Office of the State Fire Commissioner recently recognized the Newtown Fire Association (NFA) for successfully attaining the 75% recognition level as part of the Participating Department Recognition Program.

The Participating Department Recognition Program recognizes those departments that support promote and encourage their emergency response personnel to voluntarily certify at various levels in accordance with nationally recognized and sanctioned Professional Qualification Standards.

"Your organization has accomplished an important goal and should be proud of this achievement," said Bruce Trego, State Fire Commissioner, in an April 18, 2019, letter to NFA Chief Matthew Gerhard. "With this recognition, you have demonstrated that your organization is competent and capable in providing quality services to the residents and visitors of the Commonwealth," said Trego.

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Victory! Falls Supervisors Reject Elcon Plan

Victory! Falls Supervisors Reject Elcon Plan | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Four years of controversy over a proposed hazardous waste treatment facility in Falls culminated in a dramatic denial vote by the township board of supervisors Tuesday night, eliciting a rousing applause by an audience of hundreds who stayed until just before 10 p.m. to witness the moment.

 

It was apparent early in the more than three-hour meeting that the supervisors were not keen to the plan, brought by Elcon Recycling Services, as their questioning of the company’s representatives was sharp and critical. Supervisor Jeffrey Dence led questioning late in the exchange, expressing concerns there wasn’t enough room to put in an additional fire lane for emergency access.

 

Questioning from Falls supervisors and the township’s professional staff made it clear they took specific issues with Elcon’s presented plans. The plans call for the processing of between 150,000 to 210,000 tons of chemicals and pharmaceutical waste each year, according to the company’s past filings. The company aims to build the facility on a 23-acre site in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex, an approximately 3,000-acre industrial park encompassing the former footprint of U.S. Steel’s Fairless Works operation.

 

Elcon representatives say its facility would be state of the art and create up to 120 short-term construction jobs and about 50 full-time operations jobs. The company has said the plant would produce little pollution and adhere to all environmental regulations. [Video rebuttal: “John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit”]

Opponents, primarily made up of local residents and backed by local environmental groups [In 2016, Newtown Township - among others - passed a resolution opposing this plant due to "danger" to drinking water. See here for more information about that.], are skeptical.

 

Falls officials also raised concerns over access for emergency vehicles, exit routes for workers in the event of an emergency, potential pitfalls in the facility’s spill containment measures, and other issues. One of the more pointed critiques was that Elcon would need to bring in about 5,000 trucks with 70,000 cubic yards of soil fill to raise the footprint of the facility above the floodplain, something they suggested that the zoning code discourages.

 

After the vote to deny, supervisor chairman Robert Harvie, Jr. noted the Department of Environmental Protection still has its own review of Elcon’s applications and doesn’t have to take into account the township’s decision, although he said he hoped it would [read “A Crowded Meeting Pits Citizens Against the PA DEP Regarding the Elcon Proposal”]. It also remains to be seen whether Elcon will appeal the township’s decision; representatives left the room before the conclusion of the full meeting, which closed with other township business.

 

John Brodowski, deputy mayor of Bordentown City in New Jersey, which has also opposed the plan, used his public comment to discourage the company from doing so.

 

“Respect the decision,” Brodowski said. “Let’s not drag this out with lawsuit after lawsuit.”

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Study Results: The Closer You Live to PFAS Contaminated Wells and the Longer You Live There, The Higher The Level of PFAS In Your Blood!

Study Results: The Closer You Live to PFAS Contaminated Wells and the Longer You Live There, The Higher The Level of PFAS In Your Blood! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Pennsylvania health official provided more details on a chemical blood testing study conducted last year near military bases in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

 

Long-term residents, men, and those living closest to military bases in Bucks and Montgomery counties have the highest levels of firefighting chemicals in their blood, according to a presentation given by Pennsylvania Department of Health officials at the Horsham Township Library on Monday night (April 29. 2019).

 

The presentation offered the latest details on a blood testing program the department conducted last year. The test enlisted 235 residents of Horsham, Warrington, and Warminster to have their blood drawn. While the department previously made public that residents of all three towns had elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in their blood, officials Monday presented more complex analysis.

 

Sharon Watkins, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology, said scientists found that in addition to higher levels of PFAS being found in those groups, those who used private wells as opposed to public water supplies, those who drank more tap water, and those with a higher body mass index had elevated PFAS levels. But after putting the data for statistical rigors, some stuck out more than others.

 

“When we did that, one of the primary findings was that the average serum levels ... were positively associated with drinking water source and total length of residence in the study area,” Watkins said. “If you lived in the area more than 10 years, you generally had higher levels of PFAS.”

 

Township-by-township results showed that Horsham residents had the highest levels of the four PFAS that were tested for: PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA. The first chemical is the one most closely associated with firefighting foam use, and testing results showed the 69 people tested in Horsham had an average of 12.38 parts per billion (ppb) in their blood, compared to a national average of about 4.72 ppb.

 

PFOS levels in Warminster averaged 10.06 ppb, and Warrington was split: a 11.47 ppb average in a district that used groundwater for the public system, and 5.65 ppb in a system that traditionally purchased water from the North Wales Water Authority.

 

Since the contamination was discovered, the water systems in all three towns have implemented zero-tolerance plans to remove the chemicals down to nondetectable levels.

 

Read more to learn about plans to study if there is a link between PFAS in blood to increased cahnce of developing cancer.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related stories:

 

  • “PA Senator Maria Collett Introduces Two PFAS Bills - Classifying PFAS as Hazardous Substances & Lowering "Safe" Limits in Drinking Water to 10 ppt vs EPA's 70 ppt”; http://sco.lt/78eJrk
  • “Editorial: EPA Spins Its Wheels on Setting Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS”; http://sco.lt/5uSirA
  • “As EPA Launches National PFAS Plan, Pennsylvania Says Its People “Can’t Wait” for Federal Government & Launches Its Own Plan to Set Lower Health Limits for PFOA and PFOS”; http://sco.lt/7EkKRc
  • “PFAS From Tainted Water on Military Bases My Be Spreading to Other Towns in Bucks, Montco”; http://sco.lt/7Lill
  • “Perfluorinated Compounds Detected in Newtown Township's Water Supply”; http://sco.lt/70ujU9
  • “Senators From BOTH Parties Press EPA to Develop Enforceable Standards Limiting PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water”; http://sco.lt/8NQUwz
  • “U.S. House Launches Bipartisan PFAS Task Force That Promises to Set Formal Drinking Water Standard for PFAS”; http://sco.lt/6JjI4P
  • “NJ Department of Environmental Protection Set to Regulate PFOS, PFOA in Drinking Water. Safe Limits Will Be Much Lower Than Recommended by the PA DEP.”; http://sco.lt/63DJ8T
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Newtown Township's Pollution Reduction Plan: How Will It Impact Our Parks?

Newtown Township's Pollution Reduction Plan: How Will It Impact Our Parks? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

At the April 10, 2019, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, Township Engineer Owen Hyne told Supervisors that the PA Department of Environmental Protect (DEP) requires that the township reduce pollutants (sediment and/or nutrients) from entering its watersheds by 10%. This is part of Newtown’s “MS4” program.

 

Three “impaired watersheds” were identified by the EPA for pollution reduction:

 

  1. Neshaminy Creek – Nutrients and Sediments
  2. Lake Luxembourg – Nutrients and Sediments
  3. Core Creek - Sediments

 

To meet DEP requirements, Newtown must reduce a total of 202,252 lbs. of sedimentation per year entering these watersheds for five years.

 

As late as 2017, it was thought that the Township would not be able to find enough project areas to meet the 10% reduction requirement, which could result in penalties to the Township. Also, it was anticipated that the cost would be “astronomical” – as much as $850,000!

 

After many discussions with the DEP, the Township has put forward a Pollution Reduction Plan (PRP) that details the scheduled implementation of a series of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) necessary for the reduction of pollutants in the waterways of the municipality. Specifically, the plan proposes to implement storm basin and meadow conversions, inlet cleaning and stream restoration projects.

 

At the April 12 BOS meeting, Supervisor Calabro asked if the Township has enough township basins that can be converted to meadows to meet the 10% reduction requirement. Township Manager, Micah Lewis clarified that the seven township owned basins will be converted to meadows along with under-utilized park areas. The manicured grass areas will be transformed into meadow areas (wild flowers, etc.), which will also reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs.

 

Included in the list of potential "meadow conversions" is 6.21 acres of the 22.8 acre Roberts Ridge Park located on Lower Dolington Road at Frost Lane. The area that the Township is considering for conversion to a meadow appears to be the grassy area where the Newtown Parks & Recreation Department hosts its “Super Soccer Stars” educational program for children ages 2-3

 

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Just as Residents Expected, Plumstead Supervisors in "Closed Door" Discussions to Settle Wawa Dispute!

Just as Residents Expected, Plumstead Supervisors in "Closed Door" Discussions to Settle Wawa Dispute! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Thumbs Down to Plumstead supervisors for telling residents they were committed to fighting the legal battle against the developer of a proposed Wawa in Fountainville while taking part in settlement discussions behind the scenes.

 

Thumbs Down to Plumstead supervisors for telling residents they were committed to fighting the legal battle against the developer of a proposed Wawa in Fountainville while taking part in settlement discussions behind the scenes.

 

Wawa has wanted to build a location at Route 313 and Ferry Road since at least 2013. The latest incarnation of the project calls for a 4,700-square-foot convenience store with 10 gas pumps on the Plumstead portion of the intersection where Plumstead, Doylestown and New Britain townships meet.

 

In September 2017, the township’s zoning hearing board denied plans for the store, following six months of testimony and deliberations. The developer, a Verrichia Co. partnership, successfully appealed the ruling to the court of common pleas. Plumstead responded, last month, by appealing that ruling to Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court.

 

Whenever residents opposed to the Wawa asked about it at public meetings, officials assured them that Plumstead would continue to fight. Now comes word that supervisors have been meeting on and off with Verrichia officials for more than a year in an effort to settle the litigation, which would pave the way for the Wawa to be approved.

 

It’s not unusual for settlement agreements to come out of the clear blue sky, since negotiations take place in closed-door sessions. And it doesn’t appear that Plumstead violated any Sunshine Laws along the way. But what gets us is that officials seemed to be saying one thing publicly and doing something else when no one was looking.

 

[It’s not like the residents didn’t expect this! Read “Plumstead Residents Wary of “Closed Door” Deal to Settle Wawa Case and Urge Supervisors to Continue the Fight”; http://sco.lt/6IHTXN]

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related:

  • “Facing $130,000 in Legal Expenses, Plumstead Chooses to Challenge Wawa Ruling”; http://sco.lt/7SJVzc
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Dennis Fisher and John Mack Are Ready to Continue Serving as Newtown Supervisors

Dennis Fisher and John Mack Are Ready to Continue Serving as Newtown Supervisors | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Mack won a two-year seat in the 2017 election drawing the most votes among all candidates running for three open positions on the board. Fisher was appointed to the board in July 2018 to fill the remaining term of Democrat Jen Dix who moved with her family to New Hampshire.

 

Visit the campaign website to learn more about the candidates, volunteer, and donate money to help finance the campaign!

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Newtown Township is Now Accepting Applications for a Full-time Accountant in the Township Finance Department

Newtown Township is Now Accepting Applications for a Full-time Accountant in the Township Finance Department | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

 

Applicants should possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Accounting, Business or related field. Experience in a municipal setting is preferred. Applicants should be comfortable interacting with fellow staff members, the public, businesses, and management. Starting salary is $46,072.00 per year, with excellent benefits. The position is a non-exempt position.

 

Applicants must be 18 years of age at the time of application, with a valid PA driver's license, and must successfully pass a background check, physical evaluation, and drug screen. Applications are available at the Newtown Township Administration Offices, or online at www.newtownpa.gov.

 

Applications and resumes may be submitted in person, by US Mail, by email at oliviak@newtownpa.gov, or by fax to 215-968-5368. All submissions are due by 4:30 PM on Friday, May 24, 2019.

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Kim Allen from Sister Sledge to help judge Welcome Day's Rising Star competition in Newtown

Kim Allen from Sister Sledge to help judge Welcome Day's Rising Star competition in Newtown | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Visitors to this year’s Welcome Day on Sunday, May 5 are in for a special musical treat.

The Newtown Business Association, which organizes the spring “street fair with flair,” has announced that Kim Sledge Allen, who rose to fame with the 1970s vocal group, Sister Sledge, will not only be joining a guest panel of judges for this year’s Rising Star Talent competition, she also will be taking to the stage herself.

To conclude the competition, Sledge will join the contestants on stage to sing “We Are Family,” the song that rocketed Sister Sledge to the top of the charts in 1979 and won the group a Grammy nomination.

The performance will take place at the end of the competition, but organizers suggest arriving early just in case the contest wraps up earlier than expected.

“You don’t want to miss this. It’s going to be memorable,” said Bill Sheffer, president of the Newtown Business Association, adding that Kim is excited to be a part of this year’s Welcome Day.

According to Sheffer, between 18 and 19 contestants are signed up for the event’s Rising Star competition, which gives up-and-coming local vocal talent a chance to perform for the community.

The contest begins at 12:15 p.m. at the entertainment stage located in front of Fred Beans Family of Dealerships on Sycamore Street.

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Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting - Apr 24: Pollution Reduction Plan, Approval of Purchases of Police Motorcycles, DCED Contract for EIP Grant

Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting - Apr 24: Pollution Reduction Plan, Approval of Purchases of Police Motorcycles, DCED Contract for EIP Grant | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

BOS Meeting Agenda (partial):

 

Pollution Reduction Plan - Public Comment Review Period (access the plan here: http://bit.ly/NT_PRPtext).

 

In accordance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements, Newtown Township has prepared a Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP). The plan details the scheduled implementation of a series of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) necessary for the reduction of pollutants (sediment and/or nutrients) in the waterways of the municipality. Newtown Township is required to reduce pollutants to the Neshaminy Creek watershed.

 

Public comment should be submitted, in writing, to the Newtown Township Manager at the address listed above, no later than May 20, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.

 

Public Hearing: La Maison LLC - application for Conditional Use Approval for a proposed D-2 Medical Use (Medical Spa). The property is located at 250 and 254 North

Sycamore Street, within the Shoppes at Sycamore Street (Goodnoe's Corner) Development at the corner of Durham Road and Sycamore Street. The use will be in Building #2A and #2B in the former Marisa - The Art of Apparel and Papillon Cafe shops.

 

Consideration to authorize the execution of contract with DCED re: EIP Grant (http://bit.ly/patchEIParticle)

 

Consideration to approve the fence replacement proposal for Field No. 1 at Helen Randle Park with County Line Fence, Inc. in the amount of $9,900.00

 

Consideration to award the bid for the purchase of two police motorcycles to Brian's Harley Davidson in the amount of $30,958.00.

 

Consideration to sell two police Harley Davidson motorcycles to Brian's Harley Davidson for $12,000.00.

 

Consideration to purchase a Ford F-250 Truck from Koch 33 Ford through COSTARs in the amount of $32,607.00

 

Consideration to approve the purchase of emergency vehicle equipment for the Ford F-250 from HAVIS, Inc. through COSTARs in the amount of $21,382.57

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Proposed Council Rock Budget Has 2.3 Percent Tax Hike - $110 More in Taxes for Average Newtown Homeowner

Proposed Council Rock Budget Has 2.3 Percent Tax Hike - $110 More in Taxes for Average Newtown Homeowner | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A proposed final Council Rock School District budget for 2019-20 maintains staffing and educational programs at current levels, allocates about $2 million for technology and continues to fund extensive improvements at schools around the district.

The $246.26 million spending plan will be considered by the school board at its April 25 meeting and a vote on a final budget is scheduled for the May 30 meeting, school district Business Administration Director William Stone said.

The proposed final budget has a 2.3 percent property tax increase and recommends taking $4.12 million from the district’s $21.4 million fund balance, or savings account, to close the current gap of $242.14 million in projected revenue and $246.26 million in projected expenses for next school year, he added.

A 2.3 percent tax increase equates to 2.843 mills, or $110 more in taxes for a landowner with a property assessed at the school district average of $38,520.

The tax hike would increase total millage in the district to 126.45, or $4,871 in annual taxes for a landowner with a property assessed at the school district average.

Many working residents also pay a 1 percent earned income tax that is split with the district’s five municipalities of Newtown Borough, Newtown Township, Northampton, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown.

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Supervisors Give Iron Hill Brewery the Go-ahead to Open a Brewpub/Restaurant in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center

Supervisors Give Iron Hill Brewery the Go-ahead to Open a Brewpub/Restaurant in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The board of supervisors gave conditional use approval for a Wilmington, Del.-based microbrewery and eatery chain to set up shop in the newest under-construction section of the Village at Newtown Shopping Center at Eagle and Durham roads.

However, concerned that the proposed size of the outdoor seating area and recorded music would create excessive noise for nearby residential areas, the supervisors restricted the number of outside seats and prohibited the restaurant from installing any audio speakers in that dining area.

After a public hearing lasting a little more than an hour at the April 10 supervisors’ meeting, the board voted 4-0 to allow Iron Hill Brewery LLC to operate a roughly 7,200 square-foot G-1 manufacturing facility for the brewing of beers, as well as an E-5 zoning exception to run a full-service sit-down indoor and outdoor restaurant.

Voting for the conditional-use approval were: Chairman Phil Calabro, along with Supervisors John Mack, Dennis Fisher and Linda Bobrin. Supervisor Kyle Davis did not attend the meeting.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Also Read:

  • “The Newtown Township Planning Commission Votes to Recommend Iron Hill Brewery Application” http://sco.lt/93N5Y8
  • “Craft Beer Brewery, Food Trucks and Fun Coming to Newtown Commons This Summer”; http://sco.lt/5m3Hqz
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What Can Be Done to Attract New Businesses and New High-Paying Jobs to Newtown Township?

What Can Be Done to Attract New Businesses and New High-Paying Jobs to Newtown Township? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

This is an important question because to maintain a low 4.5 mill property tax while providing the excellent services our residents have come to expect, the Township depends on business-related sources of income such as the Earned Income Tax (EIT), which accounts for nearly 80% of its tax revenue!

 

Read my answer to this question...

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Doylestown, Media, Manayunk up for USA Today's "Best Small Town Cultural Scene"

Doylestown, Media, Manayunk up for USA Today's "Best Small Town Cultural Scene" | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Some Philadelphia-area locales are topping a nationwide contest for "Best Small Town Cultural Scene."

Here's how USA Today describes the choices:

"Bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to these 20 small towns, each with a population of fewer than 30,000 people (as of the last census). What each lacks in size it makes up for with a big cultural punch - museums, art galleries, performing arts and busy event calendars."

Doylestown, Bucks County is currently No. 1. You can vote here.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

What about Newtown? We have to do more to get some recognition and respect - perhaps after the Village at Newtown "Shopping" [Fine Dining?] Center is complete the Township can help promote it as part of a New Newtown - A Great Place to Live, Work, Worship and Have a Great Time Out! And let's work with the Borough too in a coordinated campaign! We won't get listed in such contests without a planned, coordinated community effort. I'll have to talk to our local business associations about this.

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Democrats endorse Mack and Fisher for seats on the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors

Democrats endorse Mack and Fisher for seats on the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

John Mack and Dennis Fisher, both incumbents on the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors, have been endorsed by the Newtown Democrats in their election bids for six-year terms. They are running unopposed in the May 21 Democratic Party primary for the only two upcoming openings on the township’s governing body. The general election will be held on November 5.

Mack won a two-year seat in the 2017 election drawing the most votes among all candidates running for three open positions on the board. Fisher was appointed to the board in July 2018 to fill the remaining term of Democrat Jen Dix who moved with her family to New Hampshire.

“We’re very fortunate to have two highly capable and dedicated candidates who have already proven themselves on the Board of Supervisors as advocates for responsible government,” said George Skladany, chairperson of the Newtown Democrats. “The municipal election this fall will be about who has the best long-range interests of the township and its residents in mind.”

Mack and his wife, Debbie, have been township residents since 1995. In a statement to the Newtown Democrats, Mack cited his background -- degrees in chemistry and biochemistry and publisher of a pharmaceutical industry newsletter that advocates for ethical industry practices -- for his focus on protecting the environment and combatting the opioid crisis.

“Through my efforts, the township now offers a 24/7 drop-off program for unused prescription and other drugs,” he said. [Read “John Mack Proposes 24/7 Drug Drop-Off Box for Newtown” and “My Case for a 24/7 Drug Drop-Off Box”] He also noted his strong support for the anti-fracking resolution enacted by the Board of Supervisors last year, and his introduction of the 2018 anti-discrimination ordinance that established the township’s Human Relations Commission [Read “Newtown Township Appoints Members of the Newly Created Human Relations Commission”]

 

A township resident for 27 years, Fisher has been active in local affairs since being appointed to the township Planning Commission in 2006 and serving as its liaison to the township Environmental Advisory Council. In 2017, he was elected to the post of Township Auditor, from which he stepped down to assume his place on the Board of Supervisors. Recently retired after a 42-year career as a mental health professional, Fisher is active in church affairs, is chairperson of the non-profit Liberia Education Project, and is the former vice chair and chairperson of the Newtown Democrats.

In his appeal for the support of the Newtown Democrats, Fisher cited his years of experience in township governmental and political affairs, and his open-minded listening skills honed in his professional career. “I see the role of Supervisor as one of public service, and I have a heart for it,” he told the group. “My only ambition is to keep this township a great place to live, work and raise our families.“

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit”; http://sco.lt/8qcY8e
  • “Newtown Becomes the FIRST Township in Bucks County to Pass an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance That Protects the Rights of the LGBTQ Community”; http://sco.lt/7EQgdN
  • “Democrat Dennis Fisher Appointed to Fill Vacancy on Newtown Board of Supervisors”; http://sco.lt/5Fu6e9
  • “DRBC "Swamped" by Over 9,000 Comments (Including Comments from Newtown Township) on Proposed Fracking Ban”; http://sco.lt/6doXFR
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Fresh from a Victory in Court Case Against Plumstead, Wawa’s Attorney Convinces the Newtown Planning Commission to Support Amending Zoning Ordinance to Allow Wawa on the Bypass

Fresh from a Victory in Court Case Against Plumstead, Wawa’s Attorney Convinces the Newtown Planning Commission to Support Amending Zoning Ordinance to Allow Wawa on the Bypass | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A proposal to build a Wawa in an office-research zone on the Newtown Bypass took a step forward Tuesday [April 2, 2019] night in what is expected to be a long road to a final up or down vote.

 

In a consensus decision, the township’s Planning Commission recommended that the board of supervisors support the concept and to ask the jointure to consider amending the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance (JMZO) to include a new use - motor vehicle fueling center - in the office research zone.

 

Five planners - Paul Cohen, Mary Donaldson, Jerry Festa, Craig Deutsch and Kierstyn Zolfo - said they support the concept. Weighing in against the concept were planners Allen Fidler, Peggy Driscoll and Andrew Jacobs.

 

Wawa has been pressing for an amendment to the JMZO, which would allow it to build a convenience store and fueling station at Lower Silver Lake Road and the Newtown Bypass across from Crossing Community Church. [Read “Developer and Attorney Present Their Case for a Wawa Superstore on the Newtown Bypass”].

 

The sale of gasoline as an accessory use to a retail operation is currently not permitted in the office-research zone, or for that matter anywhere in the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance (JMZO) making the ordinance challengeable, Wawa’s land use attorney John VanLuvanee told planners Tuesday night.

 

VanLuvanee opened the latest discussion with the planners by pointing out the exclusion and raising a recent court decision regarding a proposal for a Wawa in Plumstead Township.

 

In that case Wawa brought a substantive challenge to the validity of the ordinance. “We contended the ordinance was exclusionary because it did not provide a motor vehicle fueling center,” said VanLuvanee.

 

“The point that is made by that decision is that things change. New uses evolve. This is a legitimate land use at this point. This case may be appealed, but you have at least one judge who has said that,” said VanLuvanee. [Read “Facing $130,000 in Legal Expenses, Plumstead Chooses to Challenge Wawa Ruling”]

 

The JMZO, said VanLuvanee, was written at a time when petroleum was sold by gas stations and doesn’t take into account today’s modern convenience stores that sell petroleum as a product.

 

“The entire jointure is lacking any provision allowing modern fueling centers, in this particular case a Wawa,” said VanLuvanee. “If you assume that a retail use selling gasoline as a product is a legitimate land use then your entire jointure is vulnerable,” he told the planners.

 

The question, he said, is whether the JMZO has a hole in it. “You have the ability to control it by enacting an amendment that provides the use in a particular zoning district,” he said. “Or you have the option of sitting back until someone takes a challenge and you may end up with something Upper Makefield, Wrightstown or Newtown may not want.”

 

“This is a fundamental change from OR to a commercial gas station,” said [former supervisor Gerry Couch]. “It’s not what can we do to make it pretty or more palatable. This is taking OR and putting in a commercial gas station. How many of those do we want on the bypass?”

 

Resident Norm Seeger, who lives near the proposed location, said if the Wawa is built the name of the Newtown Bypass will have to be changed “because it won’t be a bypass anymore. The bypass was built to eliminate stopping at places like this. Once this is built, others will develop as well. You need to listen to ‘We the people’ and not ‘We the Wawa,” he told the planners.

 

Still others, including Shelley Howland, said they’re excited by the prospect of a Wawa coming into the township.

 

Read the full article for more comments from residents.

 

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Neshaminy School Student Art on Display on "Middletown M" Outdoor Electronic "Billboard"

Neshaminy School Student Art on Display on "Middletown M" Outdoor Electronic "Billboard" | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Art crafted by students at all district schools will be on display over the next several months on the Middletown M monument, a large electronic advertising structure that replaced a vacant transmission shop at the corner of Business Route 1 and Bristol Oxford Valley Road in Middletown.

The visual art show will be shown several times a day and is a cooperative effort between Neshaminy and the M’s owner, Catalyst Experiential.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “Catalyst Outdoor Advertising Paid Kickback to Lower Southhampton Solicitor. The Same Company Made Two Pitches to the Newtown BOS in 2016”; http://sco.lt/8AlwYL
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Apr 4 | Newtown Zoning Hearing Board Meeting

Apr 4 | Newtown Zoning Hearing Board Meeting | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

On the agenda: The Iron Hill Brewery LLC, applicant/lesee, 2920 S. Eagle Road, Unit 41, Building 9, Village at Newtown Shopping Center, Newtown Township, Newtown, PA, tax map parcel 29-3-24-3 is seeking a variance to permit the operation of a G-1, manufacturing use, for the onsite brewing of beer in a 7,500 sq.ft. tenant space where 6,500 sq.ft. will be devoted to the operation of a full service restaurant (E-5, eating place) and the remaining 1,000 sq.ft. will be devoted to the on-site brewery. The G-1, manufacturing use, component is subordinate and accessory to the E-5, Eating Place use, though it is not a permitted use in the PC District as per the 2007 Newtown Township Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance, as amended.

For more information, read "The Newtown Township Planning Commission Votes to Recommend Iron Hill Brewery Application".

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Curated by johnmacknewtown
I am a retired small businessman who has lived in Newtown Township PA since 1995. The opinions expressed here are solely mine and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Other Topics
Good Government
A good government is an open government where transparency reigns supreme. These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Human Relations
This board is dedicated to promoting the value of diversity and addressing discrimination based on age, race, color, gender, religion, creed, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin and disability. These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Public Health & Safety
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. They focus on public health issues such as opioid addiction, water and air quality, emergency services, traffic, crime, etc. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Summaries of Newtown Board of Supervisors Meetings
These summaries are based on official minutes and/or audio and video recordings of public meetings.