NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP >> From new trail connections to parking lot enhancements, more improvements are coming this year to the township’s Civic Center on the Newtown-Richboro Road.
On May 22, the board of supervisors voted to award bids totaling close to $1 million for the grading and seeding of two soccer fields, the installation of new trail connections to Tyler State Park and the installation of bleacher pads for ADA compliance.
Also included in the bids is the paving of the access drive, the reconfiguration, enlargement and paving of the middle parking lot, reconstruction and paving of the rear parking lot, installation of parking lot lighting and stormwater management.
The supervisors awarded the base bid, alternate bid one and deduct bid one in the amount of $867,196.10 to Ankiewicz Enterprises of Tamaqua and the base and alternate two electrical bids totaling $66,687 to Bonavitacola Electrical Inc. of Huntingdon Valley.
Five bids ranging from $905,532 to $1.451 million were submitted for the site improvement work while three bids were submitted for the electrical work associated with parking lot lighting.
The bids, according to Supervisor Dr. Kimberly Rose, came in $90,115.20 under budget.
“Anyone who uses the Civic Center knows how much these improvements are needed. This is going to be great for the community,” said Rose, who made the motion to award the bids.
“This is only going to make our Civic Center better and safer,” added Supervisor Eileen Silver.
Work is expected to begin on the project in July.
In other action, the supervisors approved a resolution authorizing the township manager to file a grant application for $212,500 with the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Watershed Restoration Protection Program.
The money would be used to naturalize the Eagle Valley detention basin on Jennifer Lane and remove sediment build up in Norton Pond.
The basin will be retrofitted with new plantings to reduce runoff, bio-retention areas will be installed to improve water quality and stormwater management improvements will be made to reduce sediment. The project will also restore Norton Pond to its original depth.
“Once established, the native vegetation is low maintenance and eliminates the need for mowing. The vegetation can also provide habitat for wildlife attracting birds and butterflies to the area,” said Silver. “Planting native vegetation will also improve the aesthetic value.”
The project also utilizes bio-retention, a process in which contaminants and sedimentation are removed from the stormwater runoff, said Silver.
“Stormwater is collected into the treatment area, which consists of a grass buffer strip, sand bed, ponding area, organic or mulch layer and planting soils and plants,” said Silver. “The water is actually cleaned by going through the bottom of the basin before going back into the aquifer.”
The project is intended to protect the Ironworks Watershed and will be used as credit toward the township’s MS4 requirements and its efforts to reduce sediment and phosphorous pollution in its water runoff.
The total cost of the project is $250,000, including the $212,500 grant and the township’s 15 percent match of $37,500.
“This kind of project is happening across the state and the country,” said Moore, and will gradually be taking place at the 80 detention facilities located throughout the township.
“As opposed to just cutting grass, we will be bringing them back to their native state,” he said. “And Norton Pond is a little fishing pond for many adults, children, grandparents and grandchildren. By making it a little deeper it’s going to improve the fishing there.”
Moore, who formerly lived across the street from the pond, said he used to drive up to the Poconos every summer, catch a couple hundred fish and then bring them home and release them into the pond.
“A lot of parents were shocked at how big the fish - perch and large mouth bass - were they were getting out of this little pond,” he said.
Speaking of fishing, the township’s annual fishing derby takes place on Saturday, announced Supervisor Eileen Silver.
The event, organized by the township’s recreation department, takes place June 1 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Tyler State Park Causeway.
Prizes for largest fish will be awarded in the following age group categories: Ages 5 years and under, ages 6 to 8, ages 9 to 12 and ages 13 to 15.
Children under 16 do not need a license. All anglers 16 years of age and older are required to have a valid fishing license. Bring a bucket to carry the fish to the weigh station where they will be measured and recorded for prizes.
Expert fisherman from the Langhorne Rod and Gun Club will be on hand to provide tips for fishing success.
No experience is needed. Each child will receive an official fishing derby kit, cups of bait, soda and a soft pretzel.