Su­per­vi­sors de­bate whether to waive parade fees

The Advance of Bucks County - - NEWTOWN AREA - By D.E. Sch­lat­ter

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.

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