News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
Northampton Resolution is a Setback for Newtown Ambulance
Today, 7:08 AM
At the November 14, 2018, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting, Evan Resnikoff, Chief of Operations of the Newtown Ambulance Squad (NAS), made a pitch for subscriptions (view video here).
In his comments, Resnikoff mentioned that as of September 1, 2018, NAS is no longer the primary provider of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for the East Holland section of Northampton Township after nearly 50 years of providing that service. This was the result of a 3-0 vote in August, 2018, by the Northampton supervisors to support Resolution Definition #2018-R-14 authorizing the Tri-Hampton Rescue Squad to be the primary provider of emergency medical and rescue services within the boundaries of Northampton Township.
Chief Resnikoff warned that this change could result in longer response times in the eastern end of Northampton Township, potentially putting lives at risk and opening the township to potential litigation. In addition, Chief Resnikoff noted that Newtown Ambulance stands to lose $16,000 in subscription drive revenue and $93,000 in NET billing revenue, or about 40 dispatched calls per month, of which 71% are billable calls.
Does Newtown Need a Mobile-Enabled Emergency Notification System? Take This Short Survey.
November 13, 11:27 AM
Recently, there have been several emergency or near emergency situations in Newtown Township. On March 7, 2018, during a snow emergency power failure, the Township Building was open as a “warming center,” but before any township residents were made aware of this, power was restored; on October 5, 2018, the Bucks County Community College was locked down due to a supposed terrorist threat, but residents did not get immediate alerts sent to their cell phones; on October 24, 2018, Swamp Road and Route 413 experienced significant traffic delays due to an accident, but many residents were unaware of the problem.
The list goes on. And although the Newtown Police Department and/or the Township Manager were able to post information about some of these events on Twitter and Facebook or via email homeowner association management companies, these notices reached a limited number of residents, reached them too late, or never reached them at all.
Would you opt-in to receive Emergency Alerts, Advisories (less urgent need-to-know information), Community Information (day-to-day neighborhood to community-level information), Traffic (very localized traffic information), etc., via mobile phone, email or hard line phone?
TAKE THIS SHORT SURVEY!
Glossary of Municipal Terms
Today, 6:59 AM
MS4, PRD, LST, EIT, SALDO, Liquid Fuels Program, Impervious Surface, Sketch Plan, Conditional Use, Spot-Zoning, etc. These are just some of the acronyms and terms a Newtown Township Supervisor Definition has to learn to do his or her job.Perhaps more importantly, township residents must understand these terms if they are expected to participate in local government.To that end, I have put together a Glossary of Municipal Terms on my website (here).This is my personal glossary of terms that I believe are relevant to Newtown residents. Hopefully, it will help residents when they read the minutes of meetings or watch Board of Supervisors meetings on Cable TV.This Glossary is more than a simple list of terms and definitions. It also includes links to related information and resources on this and other websites such as news summaries, blog posts, videos, podcasts, newsletter articles, etc. Therefore, it can also be used as an index to information on this site.
Third time not the charm for Arcadia Green development in Newtown Township
November 15, 2:20 PM
Newtown Township supervisors rejected the third iteration of Arcadia at Newtown Holdings’ proposal for 76 residences at the intersection of Buck Road and the Newtown Bypass.A Philadelphia-based developer’s third attempt to develop homes on a Newtown Township tract has fallen short.Township supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday evening to deny Arcadia at Newtown Holdings’ proposal for a walkable 76-residence community, with 23 single-family detached homes and 53 townhomes on 21.47 acres off the intersection of Buck Road and the Newtown Bypass.Though Wednesday’s meeting did not attract much turnout, larger numbers of residents, including those living in the Newtown Crossing and Eagle Ridge communities near the proposed Arcadia Green site, spoke out against the project at four public hearings since August. Some suggested the township move to preserve the land, sometimes known as the Wynmere/Karr tract, as open space.Arcadia made adjustments to its proposed development from its last submission in attempts to address concerns at the time, like abandoning plans to demolish a nearby home to incorporate a one-way exit road from the community.But new plan features also received a frosty reception, including a proposed traffic improvement to allow cars, but not buses or large trucks, access to the bypass via left U-turns at nearby Mill Pond Road.Supervisor John Mack said in a statement before voting that, after reviewing experts’ testimony and reports on Arcadia Green and listening to nearby residents, he believed the development would be unsafe for residents driving in and out.In addition, Mack said, the proposed U-turn was “totally impractical” and could cause major traffic delays.
Listen to my comments here.
Water Damage from Bad Construction Destroys Homes and Dreams and PA is the "Epicenter" of the Epidemic
November 18, 8:10 AM
Experts have labeled Pennsylvania the epicenter of an industrywide epidemic that has affected sprawling suburban houses, starter homes, and luxury Philadelphia townhouses alike. Properties constructed with materials other than stucco had problems, too. Some houses with water damage were built by billion-dollar public companies. Others, by small, local firms. Some are 10 or 20 years old. Others are brand-new.
Toll [Brothers, “America’s Luxury Home Builder”] declined to say how many water-intrusion claims it has received in Southeastern Pennsylvania in the last few years.
Even as builders have combated claims, nearly two dozen homeowners said that they were never notified of any potential problem — even as some building executives knew of its extent. Toll’s vice president of construction, Anthony Geonnotti, for example, testified in 2017 that, within slightly more than two years, he had inspected 300 to 350 homes in the region for water intrusion — with roughly 85 percent needing repairs, according to an arbitration hearing transcript filed in court.
But arbitration testimony for the Mulnix case offers some clues. Geonnotti, vice president of construction at Toll, testified in October 2017 that one subcontractor for Toll had remediated "around a hundred" homes, including those in Buckingham Forest, Upper Mountain Estates, Overlook at Newtown, Plumstead Chase, Highlands at Chapman’s Corner, and Regency at Northampton — all developments built since the early 2000s in Bucks County.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office in 2016 filed a lawsuit against the David Cutler Group, based in Montgomery County, and launched a “review” into Toll this spring, financial filings show. According to a spokesperson, the Attorney General’s Office has received about 200 complaints from homeowners about water intrusion in the last five years. She declined to name specific builders or comment further.
In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Toll and had requested information about the company’s estimated costs to repair water-intrusion claims — which, as of September filings, was around $324 million. Neither Toll nor the SEC would comment on the status of the investigation.
Toll Brothers wants to build in Newtown. Read “Toll Brothers Twining Bridge Road Proposal”.
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