The regular business meeting of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors was called to order at 7:30 p.m.
Members of the Board present were:
Dr. Kimberly Rose
Others present were:
Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager
Kurt Schroeder, Township Engineer
Joseph Pizzo, Township Solicitor
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Chairman Moore led the Pledge of Allegiance and held a moment of silence in support of military and emergency services personnel.
Chairman Moore called forward Pete Palestina to outline the flag program. Mr. Palestina called forward Mike and Molly Sypek attending on behalf of their son United States Army Specialist Austin Sypek who served in Afghanistan from August 2016 to February 2017. Chairman Moore escorted Mike and Molly to the flag display to replace their sons Army flag with an American Flag to symbolize his safe return home. Also, on hand to recognize Army Specialists Sypek’ s service was U. S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who, presented his parents with a flag flown in his honor over the U.S. Capital in Washington, D.C. In addition, his parents accepted recognitions on his behalf from State Representative Petri, presented by Supervisor Weinstein, and Senator Tommy Tomlinson, presented by Supervisor O’Donnell. Supervisor Weinstein also acknowledged Molly for her passion and dedication to the military and because of her lobbying efforts this year at Council Rock High School South graduation, it was the first year that students had enlisted in the military were formally recognized.
Mr. Palestina also formally thanked Chris Munz of Munz Construction for his donation of building the first display and are looking to reach out to Chris again to see about expanding it to meet the growing needs of our military personnel serving overseas.
Update of Northampton Community Day
Mr. Steve Bryer, Chairman of the Northampton Community Day formerly known as Northampton Days provided background on the community event and explained the focus of this revamped Community Day which included a movement in the date, and combines a mixture of old and new events.
Mr. Bryer highlighted the following:
- Moved from September 10, 2017 to May 6, 2018
- Begin as usual at 10:00 AM and Continue until 4:00 PM
- Council Rock School students will present their talents in such areas as the arts, sciences as well as athletics
- Present exhibits from the Churchville Nature Center,
- Showcasing our local farming community as well as many new businesses within Northampton.
- Interactive entertainment
- A new event that will take place from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on the grounds of the Northampton Library. “Northampton after Dusk” will include local Northampton restaurants showcasing their favorite dishes so that you can taste their culinary delights while listening to music and visiting a beer garden. The proceeds from this special event will go directly to the Northampton Public Library for the purpose of increasing their reach to children’s projects and education. Please note: “Northampton After Dusk” is for those of us who are age 21 and older.
Mr. Bryer stated the desperate need for volunteers and noted the committee is actively seeking new ideas as well as volunteers for this event as many of the volunteers who have worked the past 20 years have earned a much deserved break. Mr. Bryer recognized them for their dedication. Mr. Bryer stated now is a great time to jump in and help mold the future of the Northampton Day Festival as new blood brings new ideas and new energy. Mr. Bryer can be contacted at 215.407.7411 or northamptondayfestivaL@gmail.com with ideas or if you would like to join the committee. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 6th at 7:00 PM in the Community Room at the Northampton Public Library. The meetings do not last more than an hour and a quarter, so anyone attending can plan on being home early.
PUBLIC COMMENT – (Agenda Items Only)
None was heard.
The Board meeting minutes of July 26, 2017 were approved by unanimous consent.
The accounts payable for August 9, 2017, in the amount of $601,136.65, and August 23, 2017 in the amount of $567,779.24. The accounts payable for August 9 and August 23, 2017 were approved by unanimous consent.
Consider Lot Line Change – Northampton Municipal Authority Property, 111 Township Road
Mr. O’Donnell explained in order to facilitate the addition to the Municipal Authority building for a new police station, a lot line change is needed between the Township and the Authority.
Mr. O’Donnell noted as part of the plan, approximately 1. 5 acres will be conveyed with the property that currently contains the existing Municipal Authority building which will then be conveyed to the Township. The Township Planning Commission reviewed the application and recommended approval at their meeting of August 8, 2017.
A motion was made and seconded (O’Donnell-Silver) for approval of the Northampton Township and Municipal Authority Lot Line Change Plan, LL 17-3.
Chairman Moore called for Board comment.
Mr. Moore and Mr. Pellegrino explained at this time there are two separate parcels by facilitating a lot line change it creates one large lot or parcel. Mrs. Silver further explained the structure is staying within the footprint. Discussion ensued among the Board and the Engineer is clarifying the proposed police station, the addition and the reason for the lot line change.
Chairman Moore called for public comment.
Steve Souder, 79 Titus Avenue, stated the Municipal Authority has a monitoring well on the lot, Mr. Schroeder, the Township Engineer stated the well will still be in use. Mr. Souder questioned what will the next phase of the police addition look like years down the road, when the Police Department decides that access to Township Road is not sufficient and they will need another access point. Mr. Pellegrino stated there is no need now or in the future to use any of the roads other than Township Road as an access road for the Police Department.
Motion passed 5-0.
Consider Resolution in Support of Pennsylvania Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program (TAP) Grant Application for Sidewalk Connections on Second Street Pike from Tanyard Road over Iron Works Creek
Mrs. Silver explained McMahon Associates prepared a Richboro Sidewalk Improvement Plan that provides for sidewalk connections throughout Richboro, including the section over Iron Works Creek along Second Street Pike from Tanyard Road to the WAWA convenience store and Jim’s Pretzels. McMahon anticipates that this portion of the project to be very costly due to constraints in the existing roadway and the creek.
Mrs. Silver stated in an effort to continually track down alternative funding for Township initiatives, the Administration, working with the McMahon Associates, identified the PennDOT Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program (TAP) which provides funding for projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation, and enhanced mobility. The TAP Program funds 100% of construction cost with the Township funding all the design work associated with the improvement.
McMahon Associates are developing cost estimates for the total project cost as well as reviewing options that needed to be discussed with PennDOT in the coming weeks. The grant application deadline is September 22, 2017, which is before the next Board of Supervisors meeting. Once the application is finalized, the Administration will share the total cost of the project with the Board.
A motion was made and seconded (Silver-Rose) to adopt Resolution R-17-13 requesting funding assistance from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation TAP Set-Aside Program to be used for the construction of sidewalks along Second Street Pike from Tanyard Road to the existing WAWA convenience store and over the Iron Works Creek, and designating the Township Manager as the Township official authorized to execute all required documents to facilitate obtaining the requested grant.
Chairman Moore called for Board discussion.
Discussion ensued among the Board with each member commenting on the benefit of the funding assistance to increase mobility, and improve the safety of our residents for a more walkable community.
Motion Passed 5-0.
Consider Resolution in Support of Keeping Rolling Hills Elementary School from being Closed by the Council Rock School District as Part of a Master Redistricting Plan
Chairman Moore prefaced the beginning the discussion of the Resolution by stating the Township acknowledges it has no authority over the closure of schools, the Township Supervisors feel compelled to speak out by passing this resolution. Mr. Moore noted the Board has always respected the rules and responsibility of the Township vs the rules and responsibility of the School Board and the legislature in Harrisburg. But, Mr. Moore noted every once in a while an issue becomes so important that it compels us as a Board to pass a resolution. Mr. Moore further stated the decision to close Rolling Hills is going to have a very significant impact on the Township and the neighborhoods that’s why we as a Board are crossing boundaries not usually crossed.
Mr. Weinstein concurred with Mr. Moore and noted the Board takes responsibility for protecting our residents.
Mr. Weinstein read the following Resolution into the record:
WHEREAS, the Board of School Directors of Council Rock School District (the District), at its public meeting convened on July 20, 2017, adopted a motion authorizing preparation of a plan to close Rolling Hills Elementary School, located in Northampton Township, and to commence the process for said closure; and
WHEREAS, while the District's decision to close Rolling Hills Elementary School is based, in part, on the projected fiscal savings of both the annual operation costs of Rolling Hills Elementary and the elimination of projected renovation and construction costs associated with an addition to Rolling Hills Elementary School, the District's projections also demonstrate that another elementary school within the District has a smaller population of students and, if closed instead of Rolling Hills Elementary, will yield similar operating, renovation and construction savings to the District; and
WHEREAS, the costs of renovations to Rolling Hills are comparable to the projected costs of the additions and renovations to two other elementary schools proposed as part of the plan for closure of Rolling Hills Elementary; and
WHEREAS, the redistricting of Rolling Hills students, caused by the closure of the school, is the most complex redistricting plan, impacting 1,663 elementary school students, the largest number of students in any proposed redistricting plan, as opposed to the plan for closing another elementary school, which impacts 830 elementary school students; and
WHEREAS, the Rolling Hills students who walk to school comprise over 40% of all students who walk to school within the entire District, and the closure of the school will significantly increase the number of students requiring busing, costing the District over $200,000 annually in increased busing costs, and negatively impacting traffic within the densely populated Holland area of the Township; and
WHEREAS, those students who currently walk to school at Rolling Hills may lose the ability to participate in before and after school programs due to the need for busing; and
WHEREAS, the District's own projections indicate that Rolling Hills has the lowest projected population decline of all of the District's elementary schools: and
WHEREAS, closure of Rolling Hills Elementary may result in splitting the local community among up to three separate elementary schools; and
WHEREAS, the current Rolling Hills sending area encompasses higher housing density and therefore has a denser population than other elementary schools; and
WHEREAS, the expansion of the Hillcrest Elementary School proposed in the District's plan, together with the expansion and renovation of the Holland Middle School currently underway will create a combined campus of approximately 1,600 students in grades K-8 at that location, exacerbating existing traffic congestion and creating new traffic problems in that area, all of which will negatively affect the health, safety and welfare of the students attending those two schools as well as the residents of Northampton Township in general; and
WHEREAS, the majority of Northampton Township residents anticipates their children attending schools within Northampton Township when purchasing a home; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors desires the Council Rock Board of School Directors to establish a redistricting plan that keeps as many Northampton Township students as possible in schools located within the Township;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors of Northampton Township, as individuals, and as representatives of the Northampton Community, urgently request a reconsideration of the Council Rock School District plan to close Rolling Hills Elementary School.
A motion was made and seconded (Weinstein-Rose) to approve Resolution R-17-14 as read into the record.
Chairman Moore called for Board comment.
Discussion ensued among the Board with each member voicing their decision to support a resolution requesting the Council Rock School District reconsider their decision and keep Rolling Hills Elementary School open.
Chairman Moore called for public comment.
Le Shepard, Durham Road, thanked the Board for standing up to the School Board and passing a resolution, and for asking them to represent and serve all the taxpayers.
Jeff Gold, 57 Grant Drive, stated with the renovations and expansion at Holland Middle and a ten room addition planned at Hillcrest Elementary the shared school campus would essentially become home to four schools. Congestion in and around the schools would become extremely unmanageable. A traffic signal would need to be installed at Holland and East Holland Road. Buck Road, East Holland, and Old Jordan will become a parking lot. Hillcrest should remain at its current size.
Gina Yarnall, 28 Treeline Drive, expressed her gratitude for the Boards support. Ms. Yarnall stated she is glad is someone is finally listening the demographics are not supporting what is being shown, also raised concern over traffic congestion and what happens if there is a Police or Fire Emergency how will they be able to get thru to where they need to be.
Bernadette Heenan, Northampton Township resident, thanked the Board for being an advocate for the residents and especially the children. Mrs. Heenan also noted Ms. Mullholland a Council Rock School Board member is in the audience tonight. She thanked Ms. Yarnell for keeping the community apprised of what is happening at the school. Mrs. Heenan stated Rolling Hills is the nucleus, the heart and soul of the community, and she expressed concern if it does close the Township will then have two empty buildings with no potential use for either of them.
Albina Schweidler, 5 Joyce Kilmer Drive, raised concerns with the expansion of both schools the district will be creating a mega campus, which will become home to approximately 1600 students, why do this when there are other options, this is shortsighted, this will also double the traffic, alternatives need to be sought and considered.
Bruce Stamm, Jericho Road, gave an example of traffic congestion due to a field day at Hillcrest, this could cause a potential safety hazard for emergency vehicles. Mr. Stamm stated this is an ill-conceived plan from the School District.
Chairman Moore asked the Solicitor to add an additional Whereas clause to the Resolution to address the traffic congestion concerns on the resolution.
Mrs. Silver stated when the Board first looked at the expansion of the Holland Middle School and remembers discussions being held about the safety of the intersection at Buck and East Holland at that same time homes were being built in East Holland on the other side of Buck Road. The Board was hoping once the Development was built the kids would be able to walk from the Hills and the new development to Hillcrest and Holland Middle. With the School District proposing these expansions, it is creating an even greater safety issue to have children walk even with sidewalks in place because of the increased traffic and congestion.
Mrs. Silver questioned what is going to be done at that intersection and Mr. Pellegrino stated the intersection will be upgraded as part of the Holland Middle School expansion.
Andrew Gannon, 500 Bustleton Pike, commended the Board on adding the language to the Resolution relating to traffic congestion at Hillcrest Elementary that road just can’t handle the extra traffic.
Mr. Pizzo has suggested the following whereas clause be added to the resolution, Chairman Moore and Mr. Weinstein will need to amend their motion and second if it is agreeable to the both of them.
Whereas, the proposed expansion of Hillcrest Elementary School together with the expansion and renovation of Holland Middle School currently underway will create a campus of approximately 1600 students at that location exacerbating existing traffic and creating new traffic issues in that area all of which will negatively affect the health, safety, and welfare of the students attending those schools and the residents of Northampton Township in general.
A motion was made and seconded (Weinstein-Moore) to accept the amended motion as originally presented with the additional Whereas, clause included.
Motion passed 5-0.
Report on 2018 Minimum Municipal Obligation for Police and Non-Uniformed Employee Pension Plans
Dr. Rose stated that the law requires the Administration to submit a report by September 30 of each year to the Board of Supervisors on the Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) for each of the employee pension plans for the forthcoming year. The MMO represents the funding level required from the Township to maintain the actuarial soundness of each pension plan.
Dr. Rose read the calculations from the Township Actuary for the record showing the required contribution amounts for the 2018 year. These amounts must be budgeted as expenditures in the 2018 budget. The MMO’s for each plan in 2018 are:
Police Pension Plan $853, 433
Non-Uniformed Employees Plan $761, 231
The total MMO for 2018 is an increase of $25,307 over the 2017 MMO. The MMO also decreased in 2017 by about $40,000. The MMO also decreased in 2016 by about $68,000
The Township implemented a Defined Contribution Pension Plan (Money Purchase Plan) for new hires in 2016 and the above MMO is an estimated contribution to the plan rather than a required contribution. The Township contributes 5% of payroll for participants in this plan and members contribute 5% of their annual compensation.
The Township expects to receive about $650,000 in Municipal Pension System State Aid to help offset the required contributions. The balance of $982,679 will be budgeted in the General Fund. A vote to approve the MMO’s is not required, but this information must be included in the meeting minutes.
Dr. Rose made the following announcements:
- The Senior Center is holding their annual Boscov’s Shopping Day on Tuesday, October 17th, the cost is $5.00 and you will receive a 25% off Shopping Pass.
- The New Bags n’ Bling Bingo will be held at the Senior Center on Friday, October 20th, get your tickets early as this is a very popular event.
- Michael Tomkins the Chairman of the Historical Commission and his wife Clare Tomkins the Historical Archivist for Northampton Township have both resigned their positions. They both were assets to the Township, the Community and the Historical Commission and will be greatly missed.
Mr. O’Donnell made the following announcement:
- The Northampton Bucks County Municipal Authority will be refunding the payment of fees for late payments to any residents that paid them from February 1, 2017 through July 31, 2017. The Municipal Authority Board felt this was the right thing to do considering the circumstances with all the implemented changes that occurred at one time.
- The Northampton Bucks County Municipal Authority issued a press release on August 1, 2017 on a national report published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on the quality of drinking water in Northampton Township and was published in the “PATCH” a local online paper. Mr. O’Donnell read the press release for the benefit of those in the audience and at home.
The Northampton Bucks County Municipal Authority (NBCMA) fully stands by the quality of water we provide to our customers. Our water is safe to drink. It is not getting anyone sick and is not causing cancer. NBCMA purchases 79% of its water from a state of the art modern water treatment facility. The other 21% of our water comes from 15 municipal wells located throughout our community. Our team of water professionals is highly trained. They are certified within their field and work every day to make sure that NBCMA water meets or exceeds all federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) water quality standards.
The database of actual readings that EWG has published is a compilation of results that NBCMA publishes through our Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), which is published in June of each year for the previous year. We send our CCR notices to all water customers of NBCMA in addition to the regulatory agencies. Reports are also available on our website for viewing anytime, day or night.
The “Health Guideline” that EWG is using as their guideline for healthy water is a number that the State of California uses as their “Maximum Containment Level Goal” or MCLG. It is extremely important to note that an MCLG is NOT an enforceable standard or regulation that any water supplier, even those in California, are required to meet.
The numerical values reported for NBCMA by EWG for certain contaminants are so infinitesimally small that it should not cause anyone any concern. The EWG’s characterization of this data as being harmful to the public is completely misleading, and an attempt to destabilize the good work we do. The EWG report is NOT in the best interest of the public.
In America, freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, but with freedom comes responsibility. EWG’s negative portrayal of our drinking water supply is unsettling and contrary to the values, mission and goals of this Authority. NBCMA adheres to strict EPA and PA DEP regulations and standards as we test our water routinely to ensure the safety and quality of our water. As expected by our customers, NBCMA would inform our customers if we ever had a violation of the strict standards of the EPA and PA DEP.
If you are a Northampton Bucks County Municipal Authority water customer and would like to view our CCR (Water Quality Report), you can access it on our website:
Our CRR Reports are posted on our website for years 2008 to the present time.
If you would like a physical copy of the report, please contact the Authority administrative office @ 215-357-8515 and we will be happy to mail you a copy.
- Approximately 650 people attended a Solar Eclipse party sponsored by The Northampton Township Library, in preparation for the eclipse the Library was able to obtain 200 pairs of glasses at no charge, in the spirit of cooperation, patrons of the event shared the glasses at the event to make sure everyone was safe and was able to enjoy this amazing experience.
- Tickets are still available for the Art Gala to be held at the Library on Friday, October 13, 2017 for $50.00
- The Library has many programs available for children and adults check out their website for a full list
- Great job! To the Public Works Department on the Paving of the Hilltop Drive Area. Although residents would like to see all the roads get paved right away, the Public Works will be paving about 5.7 miles of road this summer. In the fall other roads will be evaluated and it will be determined which roads will be done next summer. The Northampton Township Public Works Department crew does a spectacular job and the quality of the work looks excellent.
Mr. Weinstein made the following announcements:
The Planning Commission
- Met on August 8, and heard a presentation from the Bucks County Planning Commission on the Richboro Master Plan
- At the September 12 meeting , Joe DeSantis the Township Traffic Engineer, of McMahon and Associates, will be discussing traffic improvements as part of the Richboro Master Plan
- The WAWA in the Addisville Commons is scheduled to open on December 15,
The Zoning Hearing Board
- August meeting was cancelled due to lack of agenda items
- Will meet on September 11th to hear an application for an In-Law Suite and an expanded driveway on Andrea Drive and;
- A detached shed and garage on St. Leonard’s Road
Council Rock School District
- School starts for K-7 on September 5th and all grades on September 6th
- Facilities Committee meets September 7, 2017 630PM
- Finance committee following facilities committee meeting
- Academic Standards Committee Meeting September 14, 2017 7PM
- Board of School Directors MeetingSeptember 19, 2017 7PM
Location: The Chancellor Center - 30 N. Chancellor St., Newtown, PA 18940
- Policy committee meeting October 5, 2017 7PM
- The Council Rock School Board and the District as a whole have been in discussions should Rolling Hills close and Wrightstown Elementary would then need to be expanded, it has been suggested possibly around the 2018-2019 school year to move the Wrightstown Elementary students to Richboro Middle School while Wrightstown goes through an approximate 14 million to 18 million dollar expansion. The District has stated by moving students to Richboro Middle they may save about a half million dollars, this is still under discussion and no decision has been made yet.
- The District is looking into the redistricting plan and this plan would affect the elementary students in the 2020 school year and middle school students in the 2021 year.
- At the August School Board Meeting it was unanimously decided to hire Susan O’Grady as the District Community Relations Specialist. Ms. O’Grady will be in charge of writing press and news releases for the district, she will be the social media editor, Right-to-Know Officer, e-mail updates, and drafting the annual report.
- According to Niche.com list of the best school district in Pennsylvania Council Rock is listed as #18, this is determined by academic, vocational, testing scores, and ratings from niche.com users.
- Hearty congratulations to Barbara Simons and Lou Spiewak, who were named Council Rock Education Foundation 2017 Partners of the Year. Miss Simons for her work at the Peace Center in Langhorne and Mr. Spiewak as the Executive Director for Council Rock United Soccer Association (CRUSA). Mr. Spiewak is devoted to the kids and what he does. A dinner is being held in their honor on October 11, at 6:30 pm at the Fuge in Warminster, to purchase tickets call 215-944-1023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Beth Lynch a Council Rock School Teach has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association outstanding Elementary Art Educator of the year.
- The School District has sent a mailer out to all parents of children in the district notifying them the Pennsylvania Department of Education are reducing the test time by 20% on the PSSA’s for 3rd thru 8th grade students.
- The 34th Annual Fire Safety in the Home Contest for 2017 will be held October 8 through October 14, 2017. Students can submit an essay, a poster or an essay and a poster. Thanked Peter Palestina for being such an advocate for this program all these years and for his help and guidance in keeping the program going.
- Also concurred with Dr. Rose and is very saddened by the loss of Michael and Clare Tomkins and their resignations. They provided outstanding service to this Township and they will be missed
Mrs. Silver made the following announcements:
- Still openings in the preschool, filling up quickly.
- August 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Richboro Swim Club a fundraiser will be held to raise money for the Wreath Laying project, in conjunction with Kids Can Make a Change to honor Vietnam Vets in Northampton Township
- The Veterans Advisory Commission is doing a Walkway of Honor in front of the Township Building at the Veterans Memorial details can be found on the Township website or by contacting Lisa Russo at the Township Administration Department. 28 bricks have been purchased so far
- Come out to the Municipal Park on Thursday nights for the concert series, summer, sights and sounds. Check the Township Parks and Recreation website for further information. River of Dreams a Billy Joel Tribute will be held at the Municipal Park on Sunday, September 24, 2017.
- The Parks and Recreation Department are hosting a variety of classes and trips, full information can be found in the Parks and Recreation brochure or by visiting their website.
- The Miracle League will be holding a Beef & Beer on October 27, 2017
- Churchville Nature Center is doing guided tours and is involved with the Monarch Butterflies in their Butterfly garden very informative, interesting time, look at their website for information
- A committee is being formed for the Wall of Honor at the Municipal Park. If you are a resident and are interested send in your application to the Township Administration.
- Thanked Michael and Clare Tomkins for their dedication and their time to the Historical Commission.
Chairman Moore made the following announcements:
- The Addisville Commons WAWA will be the 50th built this year and that should make for quite the Grand Opening.
- Residents should be aware that the Administration and the Board is actively meeting with Business’s in Richboro and Holland to discuss ways to revitalize and make improvements in these areas.
- The Manager is working very closely on the Mill Race Inn project in Holland.
- Residential Land Development is moving with 100 new homes being approved, and another 5 new homes on New Road
Bruce Stamm, Jericho Road, spoke of the reality of stranger danger and a report from Warwick of a man approaching people on a trail. Mr. Stamm stated he would like the Board to protest the unjustified wants and stick to the needs of the Township.
David Lauer, 49 Cornell Avenue, commented on some statements made are fear mongering when made relating to trails. Mr. Lauer commented on the traffic pattern and the use of the drums. Mr. Pellegrino stated the drums were placed along the side due to the increase of accidents, people were speeding up the side to get to the light, since the drums were placed there, the accidents have stopped. Mr. Pellegrino stated the goal is to have the road widened by where the Courier Times Building is, and our Traffic Engineers are looking at a few other options to alleviate some of the backup and traffic congestion in that area.
Ralph Soren, 50 Jericho, stated trails are not free, grants are not free nor are they guaranteed this Board voted to protect all residents and should not let the rails to trails discussion come back in front of the Board again.
Jeff Gold, 57 Grant Drive, stated he is against the Rails to Trails, and against raising taxes to support it, go to the website; stoprailstotrails.com. He asked the Board to honor the residents and not open up the Rails to Trails for any more discussion.
Joe Johnson III, 41 Grant Avenue, thanked the Board for the work on trying to save Rolling Hills Elementary gave his perspective from when he was a Parks and Recreation camp counselor and looking at things through the eyes of a child and how it relates to the Rails to Trails and being afraid in their own backyard.
Joe Johnson, 41 Grant Avenue, stated his reasons for being against the rails to trails plan. Mr. Johnson stated its not fear mongering, but good parenting. He explained how SEPTA will always own the right of way. Feasibility study isn’t supported, the burden will fall on taxpayers. No one gives a 100% for grants, they all look for a match and maintenance will also come out of the pockets of the taxpayers as well. Thanked Board for the Rolling Hills Elementary Resolution.
David Lauer, 49 Cornell Avenue, stated he has spoken to many of the residents that back up to the trails and the majority of Township residents support it. The Board does a great job, Dr. Rose is exemplary in dealing with these issues.
Joe Johnson, 41 Grant Drive, some comments made tonight by residents during public comment are based on hearsay. Mr. Johnson thanked Mrs. Silver, Mr. Weinstein, and Mr. O’Donnell for staying consistent and not wavering on their opinion or vote regarding the Rails to Trails.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.
Frank O’Donnell, Secretary