Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

September 19, 2005


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting October 26, 2005. Minutes of work session meeting of September 19, 2005:Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the work session of September 19, 2005. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


Members Present: Richard Weaver, Chairman; Scott R. Harp, Vice Chairman; Anne Goren, Secretary/Treasurer; Raymond “Skip” Goodnoe, Member; Tom Jirele, Member; Steve Harris, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Chris Walker, Engineer.

Also Present: Don Marshall, Esq.; James Linske, George J. Donovan AIA & Associates; Joseph Phillips, George J. Donovan AIA & Associates; Don Harris, Newtown Emergency Services; Township employees John Boyle, Bill Wert, Ron Weaver, Tom Harwood, Elaine Gibbs, Gary Crossland, Jean Tanner and Chief Duffy; Various Newtown Township residents including Ethel Hibbs, Nancy Crescenzo Emil J. Matchyshyn and Walt Iwaskiw.

Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 8:04 P.M. This was followed with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Department Budget Presentations

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the proposed 2006 Department Budgets. The Supervisors were provided information from Mr. Pellegrino dated September 16, 2005 with regards to the proposed 2006 Department Budgets. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the information provided shows only the expense side and is in the preliminary stages. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Department heads were at tonight’s meeting to answer any questions that the Supervisors may have.

Mr. Goodnoe commented with regards to the projections on revenues. Mr. Pellegrino advised that revenue projections were not available at this time. Mr. Goodnoe commented that it is difficult to discussed expenditures when you are unsure of the revenues. Mr. Pellegrino agreed and explained what he has done in the past years. The Supervisors discussed the Township’s past revenues.

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the changes in the Finance and Codes Departments; he advised that the change is a result in an employee move.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that the information provided tonight does not include the Department’s Capital Budget Request for 2006.

Mr. Harp commented with regards to fuel cost. Mr. Pellegrino advised with regards to fuel cost and discussed then increase in cost for natural gas and electric. He also advised that the Township’s current fuel contract would expire on May 1, 2006.

Mr. Jirele suggested that Mr. Pellegrino double check the percentages for the proposed 2006 Department Budgets. He advised on a percentage error on page 1, under Legislative Body.

Mr. Weaver questioned how the Board would like to proceed.

Mr. Harp commented with regards to the third quarter ending projections. Ms. Gibbs advised with regards to the third quarter ending projections and the difficulty to estimate next year’s Insurance cost. She also commented with regards to next year’s fuel cost, the increase in delivery cost and the increase in the cost of supplies due to the fuel cost increase.

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to keeping expenses in line, he suggested that the Township review past year’s expenses and try to cut down on cost. He commented on the increase in training cost.

Ms. Gibbs explained the proposed 2006 budget projections.

The Supervisors discussed the amount of money the Township makes towards contributions.

The Supervisors discussed the amount of money the Township is spending for training cost.

Ms. Gibbs advised the Supervisors with regards to the financial reduction in Professional Services.

Mr. Weaver suggested that the Supervisors table the discussion of the proposed 2006 Department Budgets until they receive the Township’s revenue information.

Mr. Jirele commented that this was a good start to begin planning for the 2006 Department Budgets, he feels the Board should be able to give Mr. Pellegrino and his staff some general guidance on how to proceed and would like to review the revenue side of the budget.

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors that he would provide them with the Township’s revenue information by November 4, 2005.

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the Supervisors having preliminary revenue estimates for the October 17, 2005 Work Session.

Ms. Goren discussed Act 72. Ms. Gibbs advised the Supervisors with regards to Township’s Earned Income Tax. The Supervisors discussed the passing of Act 72, the enactment and the effects to the Township.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that the percentages on the proposed 2006 Department Budgets represent the 2005 – 2006 Budget.

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the expense for Technology Contractor Services. Mr. Pellegrino advised that expense is for the Township’s GIS System. Ms. Gibbs advised that expense also includes the cost for a storm water map. Mr. Weaver advised on the work done by Pennoni and Carroll Engineers.

Mr. Pellegrino advised on how the proposed 2006 Budget projections were compiled.

The Supervisors agreed to review the information further and discuss at the next Work Session. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors that he would provide them with preliminary revenue information.

Municipal Complex Expansion

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the last presentation regarding the Municipal Complex expansion. He advised that he is looking for the Supervisors to advise him with any changes or suggestions. The Supervisors were provided copies of the proposed plan, Mr. Pellegrino advised that the plan they were reviewing was the same plan reviewed at the August Work Session.

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the cost of the project. He suggested that the Supervisors provided Mr. Pellegrino with a dollar figure that the Township is willing to spend and Mr. Pellegrino will build what he can for that price.

Mr. Pellegrino discussed the cost of the project in January 2005, the Bond Issue and the cost of furniture.

Mr. Harris commented with regards to the construction cost. Mr. Phillips advised on how the construction cost was calculated.

Mr. Weaver expressed concerns with not building an adequate facility. He discussed the need to provide the citizens with quality services. He commented that the cost of the project is only going to increase. He suggested that the Supervisors make a decision or scrap the project.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to purchasing the land from the Archdiocese. Mr. Pellegrino advised that Township should have final approval by December 16, 2005. He discussed the appraisal of the property and advised that the Township has budgeted $400,000.00 for the purchase of the land.

Mr. Pellegrino discussed notes if the Township borrows 9.5 million. He advised that the money will not be spent all at once and the money will be earning interest.

Mr. Phillips advised that the project is a three (3) year construction plan.

Ms. Goren suggested waiting to make any decisions until the land purchase is finalized.

Mr. Harris commented with regards to the construction cost for the project. Mr. Phillips discussed the construction cost calculated in April 2003.

The Supervisors agreed to discuss the matter at the October 17, 2005 Work Session.

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to there being no changes to the plan, he suggested that the Supervisors scrap the project.

Ms. Crescenzo commented with regards to the construction cost, furniture cost, past articles regarding the project and residents not wanting to spend the money. She suggested that the Supervisors scrap the plan, commenting that the plan is out dated. She questioned what the Township could afford to spend with regards to the Municipal Complex expansion. She commented with regards to the cost to pay Donovan to present the same plan, the 1998 vision for the Township and the possible use of an empty building in the Business Commons. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township did look into using a building in the Business Commons and the cost to purchase the property. He discussed the location of the Fire Station and the property at this location. Ms. Crescenzo commented with regards to the Municipal Complex expansion always being discussed at a Work Session. Mr. Pellegrino advised that once the Supervisors are comfortable with a plan that a public presentation would be made. Mr. Weaver advised on the thought process and time involved in planning the proposed Municipal Complex. Mr. Weaver commented with regards to the Boards responsibility to the Township and advised that once the Supervisors have a plan they can agree to, they will make a public presentation.

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to the Township being fiscally responsible.

The representatives from George J. Donovan AIA & Associates advised that they would provide the Township with an update regarding the construction cost.

Mr. Weaver thanked the representatives from George J. Donovan AIA & Associates for their time.

Appointments to Economic Development Commission

Mr. Weaver advised the Supervisors that the Township has received four (4) resumes with regards to the Economic Development Commission. He suggested that the Board choose someone at this time to appoint to the Economic Development Commission and appoint others in January 2006.

Mr. Jirele questioned how long the term is for the appointment. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the appointments would run annually.

The Supervisors discussed the number of openings on the Economic Development Commission at this time.

Mr. Goodnoe made a motion to appoint Mr. Tom Profy to the Economic Development Commission. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed 3-2, with Ms. Goren and Mr. Harp voting “nay”.

Community Comments

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to the curb cut along Wrights Road. Mr. Weaver advised that the curb cut was made to provide easier access for the equipment use by the Public Works Department. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township would be allowing the St Andrews Church to use the area for parking.

Ms. Crescenzo commented with regards to how the lawn was mowed in the past, the cost to the Township to make the curb cut, the area being designated as open space and the area being used as parking for St. Andrews. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the curb cut was made to provide the Public Works Department easier access to the property. Ms. Crescenzo commented with regards to the public parking in this area.

Ms. Crescenzo commented with regards to the differences in providing services in a $600,000.00 building verses as $800,000.00 building. Mr. Weaver advised with regards to the design of the buildings and discussions with local municipalities.

Ms. Crescenzo advised that she is disappointed with regards to the use of open space on Eagle Road by St. Andrews Church.

Ms. Crescenzo commented with regards to the Winery having a car show on Saturday. She questioned the Township allowing the event to happen in an area that is supposed to be protected by Conservation Management and if there were services provided by the Police Department.

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to the Winery having a permit for the car show. Mr. Pellegrino advised he did not believe a permit was retained or needed. He advised on the decision made by the Zoning Hearing Board with regards to use of the tent.

Ms. Crescenzo advised that the car show was not under the tent.

Mr. Harris advised on the decision made by the Zoning Hearing Board with regards to the Winery and that the Township is appealing the Zoning Hearing Board’s decision.

One resident commented with regards to discussions at the September 14, 2005 Board of Supervisors meeting regarding the Brandywine Complex and diverting traffic. He also discussed the local road closures. Mr. Jirele advised that Upper Silver Lake Road was closed due to the backup at the intersection and discussed the traffic on Penns Trail.

Mr. Weaver thanked the public for their input.

Other Business

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the Library Tract and the Supervisors plan for the property. He advised that he would prefer the area be kept as open space. He suggested that if the Supervisors agree to leave the area as open space they should have the Environmental Advisory Council review the property to recommend possible uses of the open space.

Mr. Goodnoe advised that he is in agreement with Mr. Jirele with regards to keeping the Library Tract as open space.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to how the Township would pay for the recommendation made by the EAC. The Supervisors agreed to discuss further after hearing the recommendations from the EAC.

Mr. Jirele made a motion to have the Environmental Advisory Council review the property to recommend possible uses of the open space. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously (5-0).

Mr. Jirele discussed Mr. Fleming using the Township’s property and the relocation of his fence. Mr. Pellegrino advised that Mr. Fleming has agreed to remove and relocate his fence.

The Supervisors discussed the Woll Tract property.

Mr. Harris commented with regards to the Wrights Road Tract (Library Tract) and reviewing the deed restrictions. The Supervisors discussed the deed restrictions.

The Supervisors discussed vacant buildings in the Business Commons.

The Supervisors discussed the Brandywine Complex.

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 P.M.

After the meeting adjourned the Supervisors met in Executive Session

 

Respectfully Submitted by:

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary