CAPITAL PLANNING COMMITTEE
TUESDAY APRIL 10, 2001
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting May 8, 2001: Minutes of the previous meeting were approved with minor spelling and grammar corrections. Mr. Harp and Mr. Dieterle abstained as they were not present at the April meeting.
In Attendance: Cornell Hopkins, Township Manager, Donald Harris, Fire Marshal, Ronald Weaver, Technology Manager, James A. Bowe, III, Allen Fidler, III, Richard Fusco, Philip Newmuis, Jr., Phil Vance
CALL TO ORDER:
In the absence of and at the request of the Chairman, Mr. Fusco called the meeting to order at 8:30 am.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Mr. Vance moved to approve the March 13, 2001 minutes. The motion was seconded by Mr. Fidler and passed unanimously.
Capital Plan Proposal Review, Emergency Services Department – Don Harris, Fire Marshal presented a department proposal (copy attached). Following are highlights.
Radios - Five additional radios are requested for the Emergency Operations Center. The approximate cost is $18,000.
Training Building - This request has been moved forward from the 10-15 year proposal. The requested facility would be utilized by firefighter, police (SERT) and EMS personnel. Mr. Harris has spoken with the Newtown Township Police Department and Newtown Fire Association, and they are in agreement to bringing training for personnel on site. Prices for modular units, which can provide for fire suppression, have been requested.
Fire Inspectors are currently training in Doylestown, with no fee. Training is limited, due to staff having to be removed from services to train at another location. Requirements should be to train once a month; however, it occurs about once every three months. Mr. Harris advised interaction training between paid staff and volunteers is necessary.
Approximate cost is $150,000, to sky is the limit. Grant monies are a possibility.
Fire Marshal Vehicle Replacement – The department currently has two vehicles. The Fire Marshal’s vehicle will be 10 years old in 2005. Approximate cost to replace is $28,000-$30,000.
Pumper – The Emergency Services Department is currently utilizing the Pumper, which belongs to Newtown Fire Association. Mr. Harris is requesting a Pumper for use by the day staff. To operate more effectively and efficiently, the day staff requires apparatus to be equipped differently. Approximate cost is $300,000. Grant monies are a possibility.
Turn Out Gear (Protective Clothing) – This includes replacement of coats, helmets, boots, pants and gloves. Approximate cost is $2,500/ person. Grant monies are a possibility.
Mobile Command Vehicle – The “bus” is currently utilized by SERT and for DUI checkpoints. It is functional and serves the purpose; however, Mr. Harris would like to propose replacing the current vehicle in the future.
The Emergency Services Department proposal for 2002 is requesting five additional radios for the Emergency Operations Center. Mr. Fusco thanked Mr. Harris for his presentation.
Capital Plan Proposal Review, Technology Department – Ron Weaver, Technology Manager presented a department proposal (copy attached). Following are highlights.
Telephone and Voicemail System – Upgrade is expected to take place in April or May, 2001. An equipment savings of $5,000 has been incurred.
Emergency Vehicle Preemption, Testing – Testing is in progress with a siren system. The only cost incurred for the testing units was for installation. The system stops traffic three ways when a siren is activated. A meeting has been scheduled to evaluate the system.
Emergency Vehicle Preemption, Phase 1 – The proposed plan is to add four intersections to the two testing sites. Mr. Weaver will advise more detail after the meeting scheduled to discuss and evaluate. The system is not working as expected. Items to be discussed include adding microphones and remote mounting.
Mr. Newmuis questioned whether a different system would work better since light travels faster than sound. Mr. Weaver agreed; however, he advised strobe lights active the system and they can be purchased by anyone. He advised many municipalities are changing from strobe to audible.
Mr. Hopkins thought it was admirable of Mr. Weaver to admit the audible system is not working well, and that the involved parties are willing to pursue it until it is right.
Computer Hardware Replacement – One third of the hardware will be replaced summer of 2001. This represents phase one of the replacement schedule.
Mobile Data Terminals, Police – Ten vehicles, and one unit in the station, will be outfitted in 2001. The units are working better than had been expected. Mr. Weaver reminded the Committee the units for the Police vehicles were purchased with grant monies.
Current – 2002
Emergency Vehicle Preemption, Phase 2 – Mr. Weaver advised the Committee the cost to outfit an intersection is $4,200 for the audible system or $8,500 for the strobe light system.
GIS layers – Staff will be adding a firebox system layer this year. Approximate cost is $30,000. Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority and Newtown Sewer Authority have been cooperating with Newtown Township in establishing the shared layers.
Mr. Weaver advised the 1-5 year proposal continues with the continued phases of Emergency Vehicle Preemption and computer hardware replacement. He would like to return to the Committee to discuss the results of the Emergency Vehicle Preemption evaluation meeting.
Mr. Newmuis requested the Committee consider Mr. Weaver’s return to give an update on the Emergency Vehicle Preemption.
Mr. Newmuis questioned the schedule of the computer hardware replacement. At the completion of the final phase, does the schedule begin again? Mr. Weaver advised computer hardware has a three-year life span.
Mr. Weaver advised the Committee Mr. Harwood’s software issues, as discussed at the March 13 Capital Planning Committee meeting, have been addressed and resolved with Applied Micro Systems (AMS).
Open Discussion Items – Mr. Fusco requested Mr. Hopkins update the Committee.
Newtown Community Center – Mr. Hopkins advised the offer to assume Acme’s lease is currently in the hands of Albertson’s. When the documents are returned to the Board of Supervisors, there will be a 60-day due diligence period.
If the Township chooses to lease, all rights and liabilities of Albertson’s will be assumed.
Municipal Building Expansion – At their March work session, the Board of Supervisors recommended this matter be placed on hold until new management is sought.
Park Development – The Township is talking with Council Rock School District regarding Preston property.
Mr. Hopkins informed the Committee Ms. Wood has resigned her employment with Newtown Township effective April 12, 2001 and that he has resigned his employment as well with his last day of employment to be announced. Mr. Bowe thanked Mr. Hopkins of his many contributions to Newtown Township. The Committee wished Mr. Hopkins and Ms. Wood the best in their new endeavors.
Mr. Newmuis moved to adjourn. With no objections, the meeting adjourned at 9:35 am.
The next scheduled meeting is May 8, 2001 and will include discussion regarding Capital Plan Proposal Review of the Police Department. The Committee will meet in the Municipal Building, Lower Level Meeting Room.
Respectfully submitted: __________________________
Robyn M. Wood