Middletown Township  
   July 2016
Thank you for reading this July edition of Middletown Township's monthly E-News! Please enjoy and share with your friends and neighbors. And remember to follow the Township and Police Department on Twitter  and like our Parks & Recreation Department and Police Department on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest news, events, safety concerns, and other happenings in the Township!
National Night Out

On August 2nd, join the Township Police Department for National Night Out, an annual event that promotes the partnership between police and the community. To observe this nationally celebrated event, Middletown will host a block party in the parking lot of the Municipal Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Families and community members are encouraged to meet officers and staff while enjoying the festivities set up by the Police Department and several business partners. Every table at the event will have games and activities for the whole family. Highlights include a mural painting and a LEGO table sponsored by the Langhorne Council for the Arts. Habitat for Humanity will be on hand collecting donations as well. More than 15 businesses and organizations have partnered with the Police Department for this event, so many activities and demonstrations will occur throughout the evening. Children will also have an opportunity to see police and emergency vehicles up close as several trucks will be on hand.

The Police Department is excited to see you on August 2nd to help strengthen their partnership with the community!

Emeral Ash Borer Damage
Invasive insects are killing Middletown trees. Township staff have identified trees throughout the community that have been infested or killed by Emerald Ash Borers. This foreign species of insect leaves its larva within ash trees, starving it of nutrients. Additional information about the spread of Emerald Ash Borers and how to identify ash trees can be found in the   August 2015 E-News.

At this time, the Township has identified more than 400 ash trees on public property that show signs of an infestation, more than half of which are already dead. These trees have been designated with white and orange markings, which you may have already seen around the community. White markings, as seen in the picture above, indicate trees that will eventually be removed by Township staff, while orange ones note trees that, based on size or location, must be removed by a contractor. The Township is currently determining which trees need to be removed most urgently. The next step is creating a plan to remove all of the dead ash trees and eventually replace them with a different species of tree.

Residents who have ash trees on their property should have them evaluated by a certified arborist. Additionally, residents should avoid using a tree service to top their trees - trimming away the tops of infected trees to make them smaller. "Topping your tree does not remove the damage or prevent further damage," noted Parks and Recreation Director Debby Lamanna. "The damage is in the trunk of the tree." It is far better to discuss treatment options with a certified arborist who can determine if and how your tree can be saved. Additional information on Emerald Ash Borer infestation can be found through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Finance Director Joins the Township

Middletown Township is excited to welcome Brian Shapiro as the new Finance Director! After a two-month search process which included over thirty candidates, Shapiro was selected to oversee the direction of the Finance Department and the Township's $36 million budget.

Brian brings to the Township 13 years of experience in local government. His previous positions include spending the past eight years as Director of Finance and Human Resources for the Borough of Lansdale as well as Finance Director for Northampton Township and municipal manager of Dublin Borough and West Rockhill Township. Shapiro holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration with a Certificate of City Management from Villanova University.

"Mr. Shapiro brings strong financial and management skills to this position.  I believe he will be an asset to the Middletown Township team," commented Board of Supervisors Chairman George Leonhauser. Township Manager Stephanie Teoli Kuhls added that he will bring strong leadership to the Finance Department.

"I'm looking forward to beginning a new chapter in my municipal career," Shapiro said.  "Middletown Township is a great community, and I cannot wait to get started working with the team, residents, and businesses."

New Police Officers Sworn In

Two new police officers have joined the Middletown Township Police Department (MTPD). Megan Freer and Jeff Wagner were sworn in at the July 11th Board of Supervisors meeting as their peers and the community looked on. Both bring prior experience to the Township.

Megan Freer joins the Township from the City of Philadelphia. After growing up in Northeast Philadelphia and graduating from St. Hubert High School, she attended Immaculata University where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology. She joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 2008, serving in Southwest Philadelphia. Later transferred in 2011 to North Philadelphia, Megan joined the East Task Force, a specialized unit that targets areas with particularly high crime rates. Freer also served as a bike patrol officer and can bring her skills to Middletown's Bike Patrol Unit.

Born and raised in Bristol Township, Jeff Wagner graduated from the Bucks County Technical High School with a certification in cabinetmaking and fine woodworking. After graduating high school, he joined the United States Navy where he was stationed in Atsugi, Japan, and regularly deployed aboard the USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier. Additionally, Wagner participated in several community service and disaster relief programs in Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. After serving the Navy, he later attended the Montgomery County Police Academy and joined the Tullytown Borough Police Department where he served for eight months before coming to Middletown.

Please join us in welcoming the newest members to the MTPD and the Middletown community!

Teen Self-Defense Class
Officer Melissa Robison Explains the Importance of Awareness

On July 20th, seventeen teenage residents attended a self-defense clinic at the Municipal Center. The Parks and Recreation Department organized a program, at the request of residents, for teens to learn about awareness, confidence in difficult situations, and defense against common attacks.

The course was taught by Community Relations Officer Melissa Robison and Assistant to the Township Manager Scott Sadowsky, who is also a martial arts instructor. Robison and Sadowsky offered demonstrations and opportunities for participants to practice defending themselves from attacks and grabs while also learning ways to avoid or seek help during potential assaults.

arks and Recreation Program Coordinator Paul Kopera praised the program as a positive experience for the community. "It's great when we can draw on the talents of Township employees to offer a valuable program that enhances the safety of our residents and, in this case, our teens," he said of bringing Robison's and Sadowsky's outside experiences to the program. "We look forward to continuing this program and expanding it to college-age residents in the future."

Keep Your Pets Safe This Summer

It may only be July, but it has already been one of the hottest summers this community has seen. While many try to keep cool, it is important to remember that pets are also at risk from exposure to heat. The following recommendations from Animal Control Officer Katie Brennan will help keep your pets safe during the hot summer months:

  • Do not leave pets in the car. If you cannot bring them inside when you are away from home, then leave them in at home. Simply having car windows rolled down may not stop heat stroke when temperatures are high
  • Try to keep your pet indoors in the air conditioning as much as possible
  • If your pet is outside, provide a constant supply of fresh, clean water
  • Do not keep pet food outside. Other, unwanted animals take this as an invitation to hang around
  • Walking dogs is best in the morning or after dusk when temperatures are lower
  • Keep pets indoors during any fireworks
Please stay cool and keep your pets safe this summer!
Middletown Officers Visit Dallas

In the wake of recent tragedies, three Middletown Police Officers visited Dallas to attend a memorial for their fallen officers. Sergeant Pete Feeney, Officer Mike Stum, and Officer Glenn McPherson took their own time, without being asked, to pay their respects to the victims in Dallas. These members of the Middletown Township Police Department represented the Township in showing their connection to the larger, national community. The Township and the Police Department would like to thank them for taking the time to support their colleagues in Dallas.
Frequently Asked Question

Every day, the Building & Zoning Department fields calls from residents asking the same question: Are there Use & Occupancy Permits required for resale of residential properties. The short answer is no. Some inspections, however, are required.

All homes in Middletown must have a Level 2 chimney inspection performed by a certified chimney sweep. The certification must be forwarded to the Office of the Fire Marshal prior to settlement. A list of certified chimney sweeps can be found online.

Homes in Levittown are also required to have a heater inspection. This inspection is scheduled through the Office of the Fire Marshal, which can be reached at 215-750-3812.

Upcoming Events

July 29  - Family Movie Night: Star Wars The Force Awakens, at dusk at the Middletown Community Park
August 2 - National Night Out, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the parking lot of the Municipal Center
August 3  - Planning Commission meeting, 7 p.m. in the second floor conference room of the Municipal Center

August 8 -  Zoning Hearing Board meeting, 7 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center

August 15  -  Board of Supervisors meeting, 7:30 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center

August 24  - Zoning Hearing Board meeting, 7 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center

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Middletown Township
3 Municipal Way,  Langhorne, PA  19047