CAPITAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 13, 2001


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting March 13, 2001: Approval of minutes: Mr. Vance moved to approve the February 13, 2001 minutes. The motion was seconded by Mr. Fusco and passed unanimously, with Mr. Dieterle abstaining.


Scott R. Harp, Chairman, Elaine M. Gibbs, Finance Director, Cornell Hopkins, Township Manager, James A. Bowe, III, Allen Fidler, III, Richard Fusco, Phil Vance

CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Harp called the meeting to order at 8:30 am. At this time he complimented the talented volunteers serving the Committee, and advised he would be willing to defer Chairmanship to anyone who might be interested.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Mr. Vance requested the minutes be corrected. The second paragraph, New Business – Fire Association Proposal, third sentence should read as follows: The Fire Association will continue to receive 3 mils, and is requesting the Township continue the $80,000 annual contribution.

Mr. Fusco moved to approve the December 12, 2000 minutes as corrected.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Vance and passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS: Mr. Hopkins presented the proposed Capital Plan Proposal Review schedule for each of the departments. The schedule was approved by the Committee as presented on the February 13, 2001 agenda.

Mr. James Bowe introduced himself to the Committee.

OLD BUSINESS: Future Equipment Needs, Newtown Fire Association: Chairman Harp asked that the Committee update himself and Mr. Bowe. Mr. Hopkins explained the Township is currently committed for an annual contribution of $80,000 through 2002. These funds are designated to purchase equipment for Newtown Fire Association. The Association has committed to an equal contribution, which will be used to expand Station 55. Newtown Fire Association has presented an apparatus replacement plan through 2012.

Mr. Hopkins advised a decision needs to be made, as early as this fall but not later than mid 2002, whether the Township will:

a) commit to the appeal of the Association for a continued annual contribution from the General Fund

b) advise the Association to present a milage increase as a referendum in Spring 2002 or

c) do nothing.

Mr. Hopkins explained the Township’s contribution is provided through General Fund revenues. The referendum is outside of the municipal budget and a guaranteed stream of revenue designated for the Newtown Fire Association. Mr. Vance stated he favors the referendum of 1 mil, to avoid continued use of General Fund revenues.

Mr. Bowe inquired as to where/how the Association receives funding. Explanation was given as follows:

a) Fireman’s Relief – which is dictated to be used only for consumables

b) A trust fund – which only the interest earnings can be used, not the principle

c) 3 mils received from Newtown Township.

Mr. Hopkins further explained the Association does a door-to-door fundraiser within Newtown Borough, and the Borough pays for the Association’s insurance.

Mr. Harp suggested the Committee revisit this issue at a later date. Mr. Hopkins advised the Emergency Services Department would discuss the Association further on May 8, 2001.

DISCUSSION: Department Capital Needs 2002: Chairman Harp stated each of the departments will appear before the Capital Planning Committee to present their Capital Plan Proposal Review as previously presented.

Mr. Hopkins updated the Committee regarding the status of the building expansion. Renovations to the existing maintenance facility to a records storage facility and construction of a new 64,000 sq ft maintenance building is expected to cost $825,000. Capital budget has been designated in the amount of $400,000, consultant expenses are available in the budget in the amount of $60,000, and the remaining $365,000 is available in the fund balance forward.

Mr. Melchiondo, Superintendent of Road and Public Facilities, has been requested to join the Board at their February work session to discuss particulars.

Phase II would include expansion of the Administration building and renovation of the schoolhouse. Plans have been received and mark-ups have occurred; however, there are no details. Mr. Vance inquired as to an expected timeframe for Phase II; Mr. Hopkins advised it was unknown.

Chairman Harp advised he would like to discuss the following items in 2001:

a) Phase II of the municipal building expansion

b) Parks development – Woll Tract, Clark Nature Preserve, Roberts Ridge and Silver Lake Park

c) Newtown Community Center.

Mr. Hopkins reminded the Committee, the Recreation Impact funds might not be sufficient for all of the current capital needs. It is important the Committee recognizes that some of the funds are committed for scheduled payments for prior purchases; however, revenues and expenses have been projected for the fund.

An additional $400,000 is needed to pay existing obligations in the next four years. It is likely that the Recreation Impact Fund will have revenue in excess of $1,000,000 during that time.

It is a possibility to borrow $300,000 for Preston property, storm water on Roberts Ridge and related expenses with payments due in 2002, 2003 and 2004; with certainty that the planned revenues (of near term projects) to the fund would pay principle and interest.

REPORTS: Ms. Gibbs presented and reviewed the debt schedule (copy attached) at the request of the Chairman. Following are highlights:

a) if no additional debt is incurred, the current schedule can be paid off in 2008

b) Clark Nature Preserve is scheduled to be paid off in 2001

c) principle payments begin on the Wiggins property in 2004, and is scheduled to be paid off in 2008

d) Silver Lake Park is an interest free loan from the County, and is scheduled to be paid off in 2007; and

e) Clark Nature Preserve, Wiggins property and Silver Lake Park payments are from Municipal Impact Recreation Fees.

Chairman Harp advised the audit is scheduled to begin the week of February 19. He further advised the next meeting of the Capital Planning Committee would meet to discuss the Capital Plan Proposal Review of the Codes/Public Works departments. He requested the members advise if there are any other issues they wish to add to the agenda.

ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Fusco moved to adjourn. With no objections, the meeting adjourned at 9:30 am.

The next scheduled meeting is March 13, 2001 and will include discussion regarding Capital Plan Proposal Review of the Codes/Public Works departments. The Committee will meet in the Municipal Building, Lower Level Meeting Room.

 

Respectfully submitted: _______________________________
                                                    Robyn M. Wood