CAPITAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

TUESDAY MAY 8, 2001


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting JUNE 12, 2001: Minutes of the meeting held on May 8, 2001 were approved on motion of Allen Fidler, seconded by Phil Vance and approved by all members present, with one minor spelling correction.


In Attendance: Scott Harp, Chairman, Thomas Harwood, Interim-Manager, Elaine M. Gibbs, Finance Director,  Allen Fidler III, Robert A. Dieterle, Phil Vance, Philip Newmuis, Jr., Martin C. Duffy, Police Chief, Excused were James A. Bowe. III and Richard Fusco

CALL TO ORDER:  

Chairman Harp called the meeting to order at 8:30 am and thanked Richard Fusco, in absentia, for conducting the April meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  

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.

NEW BUSINESS:  

Chairman Harp called on Police Chief Martin C. Duffy for a presentation of the Capital Plan Proposal for the Police Department. Chief Duffy stated that he believed there would be a "topping-off" of expected revenue within the next five years and the Department was making future plans and requests accordingly. He expressed the fact that the most crucial need was for additional space. Record storage should be a top priority of the Township officials, since research required a review of prior records, sometimes reaching back 40-60 years. He citied a recent request for a gun permit which had been requested of a Texas Police Department, noting the Department search was successful.

Chairman Harp directed Mr. Harwood to schedule the "record storage" considerations for the Work Session of the Board of Supervisors scheduled for May 21, 2001. The record storage situation has been noted by all Departments of the Township. Both a long-term and a short-term solution should be considered. A brief discussion was focused on storing records on micro-film and the advantages and disadvantages of same.

Chief Duffy strongly supported a requirement to have the record storage on-site for convenience and speed in reference, when needed.

Since projections for the cost of renovations to provide adequate and climate controlled storage in recent over-all renovations for the Municipal Complex have been estimated to exceed initial budget amounts, the Architect is presently developing a realistic cost-estimate for the Supervisors.

Chief Duffy estimated that the maximum number of officers could climb to thirty (30); there will be an increase in the budgeted need for equipment/vehicles/technology instruments as well as training.

Chief Duffy has had conversations with Solicitor Harris regarding the purchase and Department operation of securing truck-weighing scales from a supplier who is the only manufacturer of this type. A two-week intensive training program for officers is very intensive and plans are for two officers to attend during the year 2001. The purchase of these scales, as well as the purchase of low-speed rollover scales is budgeted in the amount of $16,000 in the 2001 Township budget.

Chief Duffy indicated the cost for new employees is estimated at $60,000 per year per officer, with a 6% cost-increase annually.

Mr. Fidler discussed the time indicated for completion of new accident reporting forms (2 hours time each incident) and Chief Duffy stated the forms were unpopular in other police departments in conversations with them.

Finance Director Elaine Gibbs noted the summer intern during 2000 reported that documentation in the Township computer systems was adequate and the cost of micro-filming is prohibitive. Paper work is available from the study and the investigation of the Township system. Both now and in the future, the greatest problem in manpower.

Chairman Harp asked Ms. Gibbs and Mr. Harwood to secure the Pennsylvania state requirements for the Capital Planning Committee.

Mr. Harwood stated that the Township is part of the secretarial process of the State and as such, can store records in the state facility, but location is a serious factor (the need for ready access might be a vital factor in some cases). He stated that historical records are absolutely vital to have on hand. 

Chairman Harp thanked Chief Duffy for his presentation and concerns.

OLD BUSINESS:  

Ms. Gibbs stated that Technology Department Ron Weaver would return to the Capital Planning Committee in July with an up-date on the optic system.

NEW BUSINESS:

Open Discussion Items: Newtown Community Center, report will be presented at the next meeting, following a Community Center Committee meeting scheduled for May 21.

The Municipal Building Expansion Committee will report at the next meeting.

The Parks & Recreation Department will make a presentation at the meeting of the Capital Planning Committee scheduled for June 12, 2001 at 8:30 am.

Mr. Phil Vance inquired about the Newtown Fire Association equipment needs, as well as financial contributions from tax revenue. Reference was made to minutes of the Capital Planning committee meeting of December 12, 2000 for clarification. Further discussion will be an agenda item at the September 11, 2001 meeting.

Announcement was made that the total paid for the Preston property from Newtown Township was finalized at $252,000.00. 

REPORTS:  

Chairman Harp noted that this was the initial attendance to the Capital Planning Committee for Mr. Harwood, as interim township manager, noting the ease with which Mr. Harwood had transitioned into the position.

ADJOURNMENT:  

There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting adjourned at 9:10 am.

The next scheduled meeting is July 10, 2001 

 

Respectfully submitted: __________________________
                                              Ethel K. Hibbs