Supervisors debate whether to waive parade fees
NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP - The supervisors on Aug. 22 discussed, without action, whether the township’s parade fees should be waived. At issue is the hefty cost of police overtime to provide security at these events.
“We should have a policy of at what point does the township charge for police overtime and not,” said Supervisor Chairman Mike Gallagher.
He noted that one hour of RvHUWLPH IRU D sLnJOH RIfiFHU costs A75. Gallagher said that for First Night, the township paid A450 for six hours of overWLPH IRU RnH RIfiFHU whR wRUNHG the event.
According to the chairman, the Memorial Day Parade had sHvHn RIfiFHUs IRU 28 hRuUs DnG the First Fourth Parade had six RIfiFHUs IRU D 28 hRuUs, FRsWLnJ the township a total of around A27,300 just for those two events.
“We discussed this two years ago ... everybody should pay for police overtime because we knew it was getting into the thousands and it was affecting our budget,” claimed Supervisor Rob Ciervo.
But Ciervo questioned whethHU sRPH nRn-SURfiW JURuSs, OLNH the American iegion, which hosts the Memorial Day Parade, should be charged for these type RI nRn-SURfiW HvHnW.
“$W fiUsW EOush , ORRN DW sRPHthing like the Memorial Day Parade put on by the veterans ... there I think that’s something where Newtown Township could waive that police presence,” he explained. “I don’t want to see changes to the American iegion.”
However, Supervisor Matthew Benchener said that he struggles with crafting a single parade fee policy.”
“I think the best approach is taking it each on a case by case basis,” he recommended.
Unlike other municipalities, Newtown Township does not hDvH fiUH SROLFH, whR DUH swRUn RIfiFHUs WhDW FDn EH usHG IRU suFh events.
“It works well in Doylestown,” said solicitor geffrey Garton, noting that it costs PuFh OHss WR hLUH WhHsH RIfiFHUs for security.
“One thing that should be clear is that nobody should waive [parade or event] fees except the board of supervisors,” Garton advised.
On another matter, the supervisors considered a request for a zoning variance so that Frank Agabiti can convert his cafeteria at 100 Brandywine Boulevard into a catering business. Agabiti, who has owned the eatery for 2 1/2 years, is restricted to operating a cafeteria at the site, which Ls ]RnHG IRU RIfiFH/UHsHDUFh (OR) use.
The cafeteria, which has 52 seats, serves the Brandywine offiFH FRPSOH[ RII RI /LnGHnhuUsW Road and the Newtown Bypass.
Agabiti asked the supervisors for permission to extend his hours of operations from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, until 5 p.m. weekdays, so he can offer take home dinnHUs WR WhH RIfiFH wRUNHUs. HH also wants to operate a catering business to make off-site breakfast and lunch deliveries to the surrounding area.
Without the zoning change, Agabiti claimed he cannot operDWH hLs FDIHWHULD DW D SURfiW.
However, the supervisors voiced reluctance to extend such cafeteria use to include catering. “Once we allow this then we’re going to see things proliferate in the OR district,” said Supervisor Ciervo.
To which solicitor Garton agreed. “Once you grant such a variance we could eventually have a McDonald’s there, even though it wasn’t the original intent.”
After a lengthy discussion, the supervisors advised Agabiti’s solicitor, Newtown attorney Don Marshall, to meet with the Garton, to determine if a zoning solution could be worked out which is acceptable to the supervisors.