Lehigh Valley Health Network officials would like to build an 80-acre health care campus in Richland Township, Bucks County, for a broad array of health care services.
Scott Pidcock, of the engineering firm The Pidcock Company, presented the concept of the health care facility to the Richland Township supervisors on behalf of LVHN Monday night.
The “21st century Health Care” facility, which would be located on the west side of Route 309, south of West Pumping Station Road, would be “very different from the large monolithic hospital I think we’re all more accustomed to,” said Pidcock. “It will bear little resemblance to those.”
Pidcock described the campus as having buildings two- to three-stories tall with a limited number of structures no taller than five stores near the middle of the campus. He implied the campus would require 500 jobs to operate and the facilities would largely be outpatient oriented.
Pidcock targeted a major concern of supervisors when he mentioned his firm’s plans to improve traffic conditions in the area.
“Extensive roadway improvement will represent a sea change compared to what you experience today," Pidcock said.
Noting that blasting is a problem for many residents of Richland Township, Board Chairman Timothy Ritter asked whether dynamite will be involved in adjusting slopes on the property. Pidcock said he was aware of the concern but said the company was simply not there yet and could not comment on whether blasting was necessary.
While no motion was necessary, the board of supervisors agreed that it was appropriate to explore the concept with LVH and The Pidcock Company.
Officials from European Grocer Lidl would also like to build in Richland Township. The company is proposing a 36,000-square-foot store on the existing site of ORE Equipment Rentals on Route 309. ORE would still be on the site and would lease the land and move to the rear of the property.
Scott Logan, Development Manager with Lidl, US, presented the initial plans to the board calling the Lidl brand store a “good fit for the community.”
No action was taken as Lidl was simply presenting the concept to the board. Lidl currently has no stores in the United States and is beginning its U.S. expansion with proposals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other Mid-Atlantic States.
Finally, township Manager Paul Stepanoff presented a “State of the Township” report outlining several initiatives he said he hoped would improve township operations.
First, noting several upcoming retirements, Stepanoff outlined some changes to staff and pay that would reduce payroll by approximately $34,000 for 2017. The staff changes and salaries were approved.
The board agreed to take the initial steps on the following initiatives:
Stepanoff called for a more efficient filing system for the township, which currently has documents spread across both paper and electric sources. Stepanoff recommending seeking a consultant to consolidate the file system, focusing on digital versions with current hard copies archived.
Stepanoff also recommended going paperless for board of supervisors meetings, posting agendas, minutes and attachments for meetings online.
Suggesting to get away from a “Government Knows Best” policy, Stepanoff requested the board change its philosophy on adopting ordinances and reviewing some ordinances that may no longer make sense. An "Ordinance Review Board" would be required to weed out some problematic ordinances.