Board of Supervisors 5/7/19 Meeting Update

Hello everyone.  Dan Wood here. I’m writing this on behalf of myself and my running mate, Connor OHanlon.  As we both run to be your next 2 supervisors, one of the key issues we want to address is improving the communication and transparency between Doylestown’s Board of Supervisors and our residents.  

As part of our push, Connor and I want to get that started now by writing up a summary of this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting and our thoughts and concerns on some of the issues discussed.

Doylestown Township Municipal Authority Update

This week I attended the Board of Supervisors on May 7th, 2019.  The meeting started with presentations from the Doylestown Municipal Authority (DTMA) and the Public Water and Sewer Advisory Board.  Both were annual presentations on the state of those groups in the past year.

DTMA is responsible for the public water provided to the residents of Doylestown.  Keith Hass, the executive director of DTMA, provided the board with some statistics about DTMA’s service.  DTMA currently operates 12 ground wells across Doylestown and serves between 10,000-15,000 people in the area.  Some of the projects completed in the last year included upgrading the Ridge Lane well, expanding water lines to the Furlong area to help residents who have contaminated private wells and the extension of water lines into New Britain Borough to begin serving parts of our neighboring municipality.  

The part I was most interested was Mr Hass’ discussion of PFAs and how they’re impacting the water supply here in Doylestown.  As many of you know, the nearby areas of Warrington, Warminster and Horsham have been struggling with large amounts of the fire fighting chemicals known collectively as PFAs in their water supply.  In Doylestown, our wells contain small amounts of PFAs, currently at levels considered safe by the EPA. DTMA has set up a PFA subcommittee to monitor the levels of PFAs in our area and help to educate our citizens.  

Connor and I take the safety of water very seriously and we both look forward to working with the DTMA to make sure our water is safe and that we are taking measures to make sure it stays that way.

Public Water and Sewer Board Update

The other update this evening was from the Public Water and Sewer and Advisory Board.  I am currently a member of this board and have been attending meetings since 2017. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to answer them as best I can or find you the answers.  Our vice chair John Canterbury gave the presentation.

Mr Canterbury discussed how we monitor septic runoff and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors based on that information.  He also discussed the Pebble Ridge/Woodridge sewer project currently underway right now. Also discussed was the 537 plan currently being created.  The 537 plan is a septic management plan that the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority creates for the Township, with input from Doylestown’s Sewer board and feedback from our residents.  We expect to have this done in 18 months to 2 years and I look forward to discussing the results with the public to find solutions that work best for our residents.

Parks and Recreation Community Outreach

Other topics discussed included a proposal from our Parks and Recreation department to hold a public participation forum with our residents to gather their feedback for how we should proceed with our parks system.  The suggestions were this or an online survey. I personally prefer the public participation forum because it gives us a chance to have a real dialogue with our residents and ask follow up questions to concerns they care about.

New Environmental Ordinances Proposed

We also had a couple on environmental topics that were presented, both of which I’ve been a part of helping with through our Environmental Advisory Council (EAC).  The first was Supervisor Jen Herring’s proposed Green Points ordinance. If passed, this ordinance would offer a fee waiver to anyone in Doylestown that uses environmentally friendly building methods or energy efficient construction.  The board voted to advertise this to the public before the final vote in June.

In addition, the EAC also proposed updates to our subdivision land development ordinance.  It adds several native plants to the list of approved plants and removes several invasive species.  There are some truly dedicated members of the EAC that helped put this together with more plant knowledge than I’ll ever have.  The board also voted to advertise this to the public as well before a final vote.

Doylestown Walk Trail Plan

The last topic discussed was about the construction of bike/hike trails in the proposed Doylestown Walk development, along Bristol and Lower State Roads.  Our Planning Commission suggested the addition of a trail to the plans. After some spirited debate with the Toll Brother’s representative, it was agreed that Toll Brothers would build the trail in exchange for waiving part of the the parks and rec fees they would be paying on the site.  I approve of the Board’s decision here. Future residents will enjoy having access to the those trails in their neighborhood and it would be more expensive in the future to construct the trail ourselves rather than waive some of the fees now.

That’s all I have for now.  Please let us know if you have any additional thoughts and concerns.  And if you want to watch the whole meeting for yourself, you can find it on the township website: http://doylestownpa.iqm2.com/Citizens/Calendar.aspx