Newtown News Update


Welcome to the February 17, 2019, issue of Newtown News Update. Back issues and subscribing information can be found here.  If you do not wish to receive further updates, please use the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email.

The opinions expressed here are solely the those of John Mack and do not reflect the opinions of any other person or entity.

2019 Roadway Rehabitation

Newtown Township plans to perform roadway rehabilitation along several Township roads in 2019. A major portion of the funding for this project will be provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Municipal Liquid Fuels Program Definition.

Newtown Township will utilize the PennBid electronic bidding to receive sealed bids for this program. PennBid efficiently matches buyers and sellers of goods and services. It is hoped that by soliciting bids early, that the Township will receive competitive bids and get a good deal.

The project includes 11 roads (2.34 miles) in the “Base Bid” and 8 “Alternate Roads,” one or more of which will be included in the project if the chosen lowest acceptable base bid comes in below the budgeted amount of $710,000 ($640,000 of which will come from the Liquid Fuels Program).

BASE BIDS will cover the following 11 roads (a total of 2.34 miles):

  1. Merion Drive: full length including intersections with E. and W. Burns Lane;
  2. Burns Lane: full length;
  3. Burns Lane: full length;
  4. Hillside Road and Clearview Drive: full length;
  5. Cliveden Drive: Cliveden Drive to Brookdale Place, including the intersection with Brookdale Place.
  6. Eldrigde Road: full length;
  7. Linton Hill Road: full length from Stoopville Road to the culvert over the tributary to Newtown Creek, including intersections with Waterford Place, Wrights Road, and Winding Lane
  8. Hershey Court: full length, including cul-de-sac;
  9. Hickory Court: full length, including cul-de-sac;
  10. Gettysburg Lane: full length, including cul-de-sac;
  11. Cherry Lane: full length, including cul-de-sac

(Maps show locations of roads.)

ALTERNATE BIDS will also be accepted for the following 8 roads:

  1. Primrose Court: full length, including cul-de-sac;
  2. Terry Drive: from Pheasant Run Road to Blacksmith Road, including the intersection with Blacksmith Road;
  3. Blacksmith Road: from Terry Drive to the cul-de-sac approximately 1,000 feet east of the intersection with Terry Drive;
  4. Sycamore Street: from the Newtown Bypass (Route 332) to Durham Road;
  5. Bedford Lane: full length, including both culs-de-sac;
  6. Hampton Circle: full length, including cul-de-sac;
  7. Brighton Place: full length, including cul-de-sac;
  8. Chatham Place: full length.

PFAS Detected in Newtown Water

By now, Newtown Township, Newtown Borough, and some Middletown residents have received a letter from the Newtown Artesian Water Company (NAWCO) alerting customers that “a recent round of [water source] samples have shown detectable limits” of Perfluorinated Compounds (i.e., PFOS and PFOA Definition).

Previously, at the August 8, 2018, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting, Dan Angove, the NAWCO’s Assistant General Manager, reported that the levels of these compounds in Newtown’s drinking water was “nondectable”; i.e., below 5 parts per trillion (ppt).

The letter does not mention the exact amounts of these contaminants in recent samples but refers residents to the NAWCO website ( to find the results of measurements. The following chart is based on that data.

Read More About This in Newtown Patch

Saying Pennsylvanians "can't wait" for the EPA to act on setting national standards for PFAS, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will begin the process of setting its own lower health limits for two of these chemicals: "Pennsylvania Launches Its Own Plan to Set Lower Health Limits for PFOA and PFOS"

How Does Newtown Township’s Website Stack Up?

A recent analysis of municipal websites and their social media pages by Bucks County Courier Times (BCCT) found that most sites succeed as “one-stop shops for information — budgets, agendas and minutes, videos of meetings and planning documents — that residents can access,” but others offer the “bare minimum.”

Where does the Newtown Township website sit on this “spectrum?”

According to data published by the BCCT, the NT Township’s site compares very well regarding what I would call basic content for a municipal informational website.

Table 1: Content Available on Selected Local Municipal Websites

Some Questions

Of concern to me is how easy it is for visitors to the website to find the information they are looking for. Is it easy to search minutes of BOS meetings for votes on particular issues? What about viewing the streaming video of BOS meetings - can visitors easily jump to the section of the video that corresponds to an agenda item? 

Is it possible to determine the number of total website page views and visitors, and to identify poorly performing as well as top performing web pages, where visitors come from (referrers), which pages they land on, how long they stay on the website, what time of day do they access the site, and visitor demographics such as age, gender, and where they are located geographically? This information is critical for making improvements to the site and ensuring easy access to important information.

Find More Information and the Answers to Those Questions Here

Got a Smashed Mailbox?

Recently, a resident informed me that her mailbox post was destroyed by a plow truck hired by Newtown Township with the plow up – chopped it right off!

Of course, I suggested that she contact Newtown Township Public Works Department via email at within 48 hours after the snow event is over. In the email I told her to make sure to specify if she required a temporary mailbox, so that her mail service is not impacted.

Following notification, the Public Works Director will do an inspection of to determine if the mailbox came in direct contact with a Township/Contractor plow truck. Do not discard the damaged mailbox before an inspection is done.

If it is determined at this time that a Township/Contractor plow truck came in contact with your mailbox causing damage, then reimbursement will be processed.

Reasons that your mailbox would not qualify for reimbursement:

  • Placement or location of the mailbox does not meet the United States Postal Service guidelines. See attached diagram, and visit the USPS website for more details.
  • Damaged, rusted or rotted post/support arm.
  • Leaning over the curb line into the drive lane.
  • Damaged from thrown or heavy snow accumulated during a winter event.
  • If it is determined that contact with a Township/Contractor plow did not occur.

How Much Money Can You Get?

As per the 26-Apr-2017 BOS meeting minutes: “the township has a policy of reimbursing residents for mailboxes destroyed during snowstorms by plows or damaged by the weight of the snow being pushed to the curb and ... to provide reimbursement for a replacement box. It is the policy to reimburse a total of $150 to cover the cost of an average post and mailbox but [reimbursement] does not include labor [costs] if residents are unable to do the work themselves and need a contractor.”

First Meeting of the Newtown Human Relations Commission

Weds, Feb 20, 2019, 7 pm, Newtown Township Public Meeting Room, 100 Municipal Drive. This meeting is to select a chair, secretary, and if the Commission has a mind to, select up to 3 non-voting members. Other items for discussion are TBD. 

The Newtown Township Human Relations Commission was established by the Board of Supervisors of Newtown Township on November 28, 2018, by the enactment of the Newtown Township Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, in order to ensure that all persons, regardless of actual or perceived race, color, gender, religion, ancestry, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, familial status, marital status, age, mental or physical disability, use of guide or support animals and/or mechanical aids enjoy the full benefits of citizenship and are afforded equal opportunities for employment, housing and the use of public accommodations, and to have equal access to postsecondary educational institutions.

Learm More About Commission Members Here

Follow me on Facebook to see updates from me in your Facebook News Feed.

John Mack