Bucks County Herald

Newtown Township board member objects to police payment


Newtown Township Secretary-Treasurer John Mack is not happy with the amount of money that Newtown collects from Wrightstown when its police answer a complaint in the neighboring township.

Wrightstown does not have its own police and its people are billed just $259 per police call while Newtown taxpayers pay $376 per call.

“They are getting a pretty good deal,” stated Mack.

Mack wants to increase the fee that Newtown charges Wrightstown by 9 percent in order to cover expected 9 percent increases in Newtown police salaries.

“Even an increase of 9 percent wouldn’t bring their cost per call anywhere near what we’re paying in Newtown,” said Mack. “If you want to bring it up to par with that, they would have to pay over a million dollars to equal what we pay on cost per call.”

Manager Micah Lewis and Chairman Phil Calabro informed the secretary the town has a multi-year contract to provide Wrightstown with police services and that the yearly increase – 5 percent in 2019 – is dictated by the terms of that agreement.

According to Calabro, prior to its current agreement with Newtown, Wrightstown contracted with Buckingham and there‘s nothing to stop officials in the neighboring village from resuming its previous policing arrangement.

Newtown collected nearly $700,000 this year from Wrightstown for police services. That figure is expected to increase to over $730,000, according to the 2019 budget projections.

The supervisors gave permission to the operators of a Shula’s Steak House franchise to transfer a liquor license to its new location at 2948 South Eagle Road. Operator OMD Prospect LLC purchased the license from a Bertucci’s Restaurant that once operated at a site on Easton Road in Warrington but has since closed after some restructuring by the beleaguered chain.

The supervisors issued a Conditional Use Permit to a Melt Shop franchise, set to open in the Village at Newtown shopping center, at 2822 South Eagle Road. Purveyors of paninis and grilled cheese sandwiches, the Melt Shop has locations in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Minnesota.

The closest location to Newtown currently operates in King of Prussia.

The supervisors also:

- issued a Conditional Use Permit to Zimal Farich to operate a computer coding learning center at 15 Cambridge Lane, near the 7-11 at Richboro Road and Sycamore Avenue.

- issued a proclamation declaring 2018 the Year of the Bird in Newtown. Similar proclamations have recently been issue in Doylestown, Lower Makefield and Northampton.

Some approvals pertained mostly to the other townships within the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance (JMZO), more commonly known as the jointure.

- approved a measure that allows for the provision of medical marijuana dispensaries in the Village Commercial District in Upper Makefield and also for grower-processors of marijuana in the Light Industrial District which exists only in the Newtown Business Commons.

- approved a measure that creates a new usage (E-23: sale of consumer fireworks) and also an ordinance that creates a conservation easement overlay in the Quarry/Agricultural District (Wrightstown).



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