LOWER MAKEFIELD >> After 25 years, Bucks County’s “Dean of Township Managers” is retiring.
Lower Makefield’s Terry Fedorchak, who will hand over the job to Kurt Ferguson in mid-July, attended his final board of supervisors meeting in June.
“I am so very lucky to have served as your township manager,” he told the community as the meeting came to a close. “I am proud to have helped lead the community, which is truly a great place to work, to live, to have raised my three children - all Pennsbury graduates.”
Fedorchak was working as a city manager in Hermitage on the Pennsylvania-Ohio border when he accepted the Lower Makefield job in 1993. He instantly found commonality with then supervisor Frank Fazzalore, who himself had relocated here from Sharon, a community that shares a border with Hermitage.
Fedorchak began his new job at a time of rapid growth in the township. Developers were gobbling up farmland and flooding the township’s offices with land development plans and reviews of housing projects frequently lasted late into the night at township meetings.
Working under the direction of the board of supervisors, Fedorchak and his staff helped guide the planned development of the township, striving for a balance of housing, recreational amenities and preserved farmland and open space.
Under Fedorchak’s administrative leadership, the township developed the Makefield Highlands Golf Club, Memorial Park, Veterans Park, the Community Center and the dog park; created an extensive bikepath system; made improvements to Macclesfield Park; expanded the township pool and the ball fields on Edgewood and Oxford Valley roads; and began planning for the development of the Snipes tract for recreational fields.
Fedorchak also worked closely with the 9-11 families to build the Garden of Reflection following the terror attacks in 2001 in New York City that claimed the lives of nine township residents.
During his tenure, the township led the way on farmland preservation, saving hundreds of acres of rolling agricultural lands while boosting property values and saving township taxpayers untold dollars.
Also during his tenure, the supervisors acquired the sprawling Patterson Farm at a key gateway to the township. And the township brought sewers to the sleepy historic village of Edgewood opening the door to its redevelopment, including the recent addition of DeLorenzo’s and Flowers Fields.
“I want to thank this board and all the boards I have had the privilege of working under for your dedicated and unselfish service to our community and your commitment to making a highly ethical and professionally-run government,” said Fedorchak.
“And I want to recognize the township’s administrative staff, Chief Kenneth Coluzzi, our police department, our fire department, public works, recreation, zoning and planning, finance, all our employees, solicitor David Truelove and solicitors past whose skillful and efficient performance has brought a high level of service to the taxpayers of the township.
“I can’t say enough how thankful, how very thankful I am for having been given this opportunity 25 years ago. Thank you, Lower Makefield,” he said.
Attorney Tim Duffy, who attended the meeting to discuss a cell tower deal, took a moment to publicly wish Fedorchak well in his retirement.
“I first worked with him about 20 years ago as a very young attorney,” he said. “He has always been an incredible, classy guy - a true dean of township managers.”
Fedorchak will be replaced by Newtown Township Manager Kurt Ferguson who will join Lower Makefield’s staff on July 16 as manager.
Ferguson, who attended the June 20 meeting, publicly thanked the board for his selection as the next township manager and commended Fedorchak on his accomplishments.
“It was rigorous, interesting and fun,” said Ferguson, of the interview process. “What excited me most ... was the level of interest and engagement the five of you had,” he told the supervisors. “It’s inspiring to come into a town where during those discussions we got down very deep into the full scope of a municipal operation. I truly appreciated that.
“During the process, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with the professional staff and I look very much forward to working with them,” Ferguson continued. “I do want to personally thank Chief Coluzzi who was accommodating and friendly during the process. Since I’ve been hired he has made me feel welcomed. It’s a nice feeling to have. He is certainly a first class Chief and more importantly, a first class individual.”
Ferguson added, “It is truly an honor to follow Terry Fedorchak. If you ask any manager in the area Terry Fedorchak is not just Lower Makefield. Terry Fedorchak is Bucks County. I will do my very best to follow the tremendous example that he set for all the managers in Bucks County and for this town. I wish you a lot of fun in retirement. You have certainly earned it,” he told Fedorchak.
“Most managers aspire to land in a place that has committed volunteers, professional staff, engaged board members and amenities that are desirable,” Ferguson continued. “For me, I’ve landed and I could not be more thrilled,” he said. “I’m looking forward on July 16 in getting started and playing at least a minor role in helping Lower Makefield move forward.”