CAPITAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

TUESDAY JULY 10, 2001


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes of the meeting held on July 10, 2001 were approved, noting that Robert Dieterle was absent and the last paragraph will show a name change to James Bowe who seconded the motion to adjourn.


In Attendance: Thomas Harwood, Interim-Manager, Elaine M. Gibbs, Finance Director, Allen Fidler, III, Phil Vance, Robert A. Dieterle Richard Fusco, James A. Bowe, III,  and Philip Newmuis, Jr., was absent. Chairman Scott R. Harp was delayed on a business matter until later in the meeting, as noted.

CALL TO ORDER:  

Elaine Gibbs called the meeting to order in the absence of the Chairman.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

On motion of Mr. Vance, seconded by Mr. Fidler, with all members voting approval, the minutes of the June 12, 2001 were approved with one minor spelling correction.

NEW BUSINESS:  

Finance Director Gibbs reviewed the Capital Planning Committee/Administration and Finance memorandum which had been distributed to members for review. She detailed information about each line item in a section entitled Current Requirements relating to the Document Retrieval System, the Proposed Storage Building Expansion and utilization of the facility; expenses allocated for the Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation and monies which are designated to the the Firehouse Fund. She reviewed for the members the various techniques of preserving vital records and the estimated costs both of preservation and personnel expenses.

Ms. Gibbs stated personnel costs were estimated for a full-time document manager in the storage facility, stating that one person would be needed to prepare/sort and start the "imaging" process, becoming a part-time position later on.

Carroll Engineering Corporation could file the linens/plans and certain other pertinent Township records such as contracts, agreements and ordinances (including history of certain properties &/or complaints, spills, etc., which would be necessary to maintain as vital history.

Finance Director Gibbs discussed the two-to-five year estimate of expenses relating to:

Expansion of Administration Building: $2.5 - 3 Million Dollars, 

Computer Hardware Replacement Program: $16,000. Per year,

Accounting Program Upgrade: $20,000.

Main Street Manager Project: $80,000. (Jt. Downtown Ntn. Corp.)

A4-year commitment

The Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation commitment by the Board of Supervisors has been allocated at $100,000. over a five-year program, stating the 2002 allocation is projected to be 20,000.
She stated the expansion of the administration building has been held in abayance pending the employment of a new manager in the year 2002.

Regarding the computer hardware replacement program: one-third of the current units are planned to be replaced annually.

NEWTOWN FIRE ASSOCIATION

Discussion focused on the $80,000. contribution to the Newtown Fire Association and the possibility of raising the millage in addressing the equipment replacement program.

SPECIAL PROJECTS FUNDS

Ms. Gibbs stated that there are currently no excess dollars in the Special Projects Funds since other projects this year drained the account.

SYCAMORE STREET PROJECT

In the year 2000, the Township budgeted $751,000. For the Sycamore Street Project Fund; to date $250,000 has been spent on plans/designs, etc., from the General Fund.
Ms. Gibbs will review the 2000 budget projections from the General Fund and report at the next meeting of the Capital Planning Committee.

2-5 YEAR PROJECTIONS

The Capital Planning Committee had made proposals for the expansion of storage and the urgency remains. Ms. Gibbs stated the Budget for the 2002 year will include input from the Capital Planning Committee. Additionally, Mr. Fidler reported that he had made a presentation to the Board of Supervisors regarding a proposed Community Center acquisition which would affect the budget. 
Interim Acting Manager Harwood stated he had reviewed the proposed storage facility expansion plans as well as cost-estimates and had a conversation with the Board of Supervisors about the matters of proceeding with an Expansion/Storage Facility one month ago. The real need for personnel will be addressed again.

The issue of need is the responsibility of the Capital Planning Committee and will continue to be addressed with urgency.
Mr. Harwood stated the need to borrow money for anticipated expenses is a certainty and the need to increase millage is a certainty, as well. The Board of Supervisors will make these decisions; however the Capital Planning Commission should reiterate need.

Mr. Harwood agreed plans should be set in the 2002 Operating Budget; $400,000. For planning/engineering/design for a storage building, with funds designated from the General Fund. Finance Director Gibbs suggested recommending a budget figure of $100,000 in the 2002 budget, reminding members that two new board members would become a part of the Board in 2002. Mr. Vance suggested including $400,000.00 in the 2002 budget, noting the need to borrow monies as a priority.

Mr. Harwood stated the Code Department working in the School House is "Nice but not acceptable" as the air quality and wiring are unsatisfactory. The Public Works garage is not acceptable as the township grows and expansion of work escalates. He compared the facilities with those in Buckingham and Doylestown Townships.

9:10 AM Chairman Harp arrived and assumed responsibility as Chair of the meeting.

Finance Director Gibbs urged consideration of the $20,000, in the 2-5 year projections designated for an Accounting Program Upgrade.
She stated the $80,000. included for the Main Street Manager Project was  4-year commitment with $20,000. expended in 2001.

CLOSED LOOP SIGNAL SYSTEM PROJECT

There is a pre-construction meeting scheduled for PaDot today (7/10/2001) for the Pre-Exemption System of traffic signals on the by-pass. Funding might be expected for the lights at the intersection of Middletown Township at the Durham Road intersection and the three lights in Lower Makefield Township territory along the by-pass.

Technology Director Ronald Weaver stated that Newtown Township is committed to install the closed-loop system on Township signals on the Bypass from TSA Funds and undesignated township funds.

Chairman Harp suggested that Middletown Township Manager John Burke should communicate with Newtown Township thru Mr. Harwood after the PaDOT meeting today. If PaDOT agrees to the project expenditures, then the cost of maintenance in the future will be borne by Newtown Township, as agreed.

Signal lights at Scully's Hill (Route 532 and Linton Hill Road)
Cost of installing signal lights at this intersection is expected to be $3500. Mr. Fidler noted that a bureaucrat in PaDOT could object to the installation and delay the project.

Mr. Fidler questioned the possibility of working on all the intersections and retrocharge Middletown & Lower Makefield Townships for their areas? Might we negotiate the costs of equipment and installation?

Mr. Weaver stated the signals at Sycamore Street, Washington Avenue, Centre Avenue and State Street (intersections) closed loop systems could come at a later year. 

Mr. Weaver noted the police department and Fire Marshall vehicles would be equipped with sensors, (one per vehicle) at a cost of $800. Each for the preempt system. 

The Newtown American Legion Ambulance Squad is seeking funding for the same, noting that they need to include equipment for 6 ambulances and one chief vehicle. The plan is for them to budget for this in their 2002 budget. Supervisor Harp will speak to Joseph Swerk of the Ambulance Squad about the costs. Mr. Weaver stated that Ford vehicles will require special equipment at an extra cost of $100.00 each.

There are presently seven pieces of fire equipment and four chief vehicles.

Chairman Harp thanked Mr. Weaver for his input and expertise in these matters.

PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT

Mr. Fidler reported on the committee recommendations regarding the proposed Community Center at the present Acme Market site; funding for capital projects has been used for the purchase of the Preston Property which was exchanged with the Council Rock School District in consideration of parking areas at Roberts Ridge and the transfer of a parcel on Wrights Road to the Township. He stated the present lease on the Acme parcel will extend until 2006. The Capital Planning Committee might consider planning a new facility beyond that time period. Note: The Board of Supervisors is giving consideration to purchasing the ground of the Acme Markets in the future, and are currently weighing the status of the structure on the ground and its' condition.

Mr. Vance questioned the wisdom of spending on an old building contrasted to spending on the serious and immediate need of the administration.
Mr. Fidler advised that all costs should be considered; that the ground around the present Acme Markets is land-locked and parking is extremely limited.

Mr. Harwood noted the township may only get four years of use from a 5 - 6 year lease and this should be carefully weighed. Conversion costs would be significant. He advised that consideration should be in the different standards set by the Department of Licenses & Inspections for the different uses.

The next meeting of the Capital Planning Committee, August 14, 2001 would include a discussion on the up-coming budget preparation. Budget spread sheets will be provided and specific assignments given. The Finance Director and Chairman Harp will divide portions of the budget for members to assume. Scheduling at the August meeting will be an agenda item. Entries will be updated by Ms. Gibbs in various departments.

ADJOURNMENT:

By motion of Mr. Fusco, seconded by Mr. Dieterle, approved by all present, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10 A.M.

 

Respectfully submitted: __________________________
                                              Ethel K. Hibbs