CAPITAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

TUESDAY AUGUST 14, 2001


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes of the meeting of August 14, 2001 were approved with a minor correction regarding the attendance and subsequent approval of a member who was inadvertently considered present and was not. The original record will be so corrected.


The Newtown Township Capital Planning Committee met on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 8:30 A.M. in the meeting room of the Township Administration Building.

Members present were: James A. Bowe, III; Allen R. Fidler, III; Philip Newmuis, Jr.; Elaine M. Gibbs; Robert A. Dieterle and Phil Vance. Chairman Scott Harp was excused since he was out of town on business, and Richard Fusco had announced his absence for August and September meetings.

CALL TO ORDER:  

Vice Chair James A. Bowe, III presided and called the meeting to order.

Grant writing information was added to the agenda and will be distributed to absentees via mail.

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.

NEW BUSINESS:  

Financial spread sheets had been prepared and distributed by Finance Director Gibbs.

Discussion focused on the explanation of information contained therein, with Mr. Vance asking for a report which would show the balance owed for work being done on the Sycamore Street project and the financial status at the present time. Ms. Gibbs stated that Chairman Lombardi was to meet with the township engineer this day and that she had met last week to review the finances. Ms. Gibbs stated she believed that the project would not require additional funds designated for the 2002 budget.

A memo will be prepared by the Finance Department showing sources of funds for the Committee's interpretation. Ms. Gibbs stated funds will come from tax revenue or a borrowing program.

Mr. Gibbs noted that no funding is available for Special Funds for projects other than Sycamore Street. Too, she noted that budgeted funds in the 2001 Township Budget were consumed entirely by the Preston Property/Council Rock School District agreements.

The Clark Property balance will be paid entirely by the close of the 2001 year. 

Up-coming projects and departmental requests will need to be addressed by the Capital Planning Committee in preparation for the 2002 Budget.

Interim-Manager Tom Harwood arrived at 8:45 A.M., having been detained by a business matter.

Mr. Harwood stated that if projects/land acquisition were to be realized... bond indebtedness would be a must in the future. Developers have been a substantial support over the years of outstanding growth and development but sources in the future are questionable.

Mr. Harwood and Ms. Gibbs detailed expansion plans and priorities of operational programs: move public works to new site so as to free the present location for a necessary storage facility. Mr. Harwood noted the Board of Supervisors had agreed to an expenditure of $400,000. plus engineering costs in the 2001 year. He noted the funds are for modifications to the building only and no physical or furnishing costs were included. These costs must be reviewed again. Mr. Harwood suggested that accurately defined figures would be required of the architect.

Member Dieterle suggested that the 2002 Budget should include extra monies designated to complete all projects proposed, and member Vance asked if expenses for the 2002 Budget were expected to increase by about 3%? Mr. Gibbs stated that a $900,000. reserve should not be touched to cover the 2001 general expenses. Ms. Gibbs and Manager Harwood noted that in their reviews and projections of expenses related to income for the 2001 year line items looked realistic at the present time. 

Mr. Harwood stated that the present location of the Code Department (school house) may be required to move immediately to a trailer site due to a poor air quality report.

Mr. Fidler asked that the budget review should indicate what funds are committed for projects from the general fund... then show what is the net funding for future projects. 

Mention was made of the revenue via the earned income tax and the occupational privilege tax which might be impacted by the School District and tax assessment. Mr. Harwood related that the General Fund has been very supportive of township desires but the income in the future is uncertain.

Ms. Gibbs expects that recommendations from departments for the 2002 budget can be prioritized delineating needs/wish lists, since sources of revenue may not be reliable.

LIQUID FUELS AND TRAFFIC IMPACT FEES

2001 Projects may move into the 2002 budget since they have not been completed at the present time. Example: Twining Bridge Road... Linton Hill Road bridge/culvert reconstruction.

Equipment purchases have been extensive and valuable in order to ensure that work/projects might be completed.

Liquid Fuels traffic signal projects planned for 2001: Durham Road and North Drive
                                                                               Sycamore and Jefferson Streets
                                                                               Twining Bridge and Swamp Road

Mr. Fidler indicated the Board of Supervisors might determine that funds could be shifted from project to project, as they deem necessary.

A brief discussion centered on the priorities/images as perceived by taxpayers compared to the decisions of Supervisors in matters of project funding, to which Mr. Harwood reminded the group that this has been addressed via meetings with homeowners associations in the past.

The Capital Planning Committee should be the educators of the community in order to support programs and interpret needs and growth to the public.

The September meeting of the Capital Planning Committee will discuss how the committee might impress the Board of Supervisors of priorities. Mr. Fidler suggested showing the reality of the General Fund shrinking as the list of NEEDS advances; as well as the cost of the same needs and their postponement being detrimental to the future needs of the community. He impressed upon the Committee that the operations/maintenance of township owned land must be considered as property development.

Ms. Gibbs might project how funds have been used over the past three years and the sources from which they were generated. Mr. Fidler noted that the function of the Capital Planning Committee has changed in three years' time... that capital budgeting is not the same as capital planning.

Mr. Harwood cautioned the committee so that is does not become political. He suggested there might be a need to conduct nightly meetings to review the structure/progress of developing a budget with department heads and Supervisors.

The procedure might be: 1. develop a list by years/amounts projected
                                      2. project income
                                      3. prepare for 10/01 presentation to BOS.

The September meeting of the Capital Planning Committee will discuss the Newtown Fire Association capital plans and the tax revenue of $80,000. in the year 2002. Will the Supervisors need to consider a 1% fire tax increase?

GRANT WRITING

Ms. Gibbs had distributed a packet of information about grant writing and asked for members to review the information so that grant funding might be explored and applications completed. She suggested some one person should be contracted to perform this task on a full time basis. (perhaps a resident with supervision or a committee). Note: Recreation Director Wert has a volume which categorizes grants available. Bob Dieterle and Phil Newmuis would be available for night meetings to review possibilities. 

Ms. Gibbs was asked to prepare information showing: revenue comparison and projections in recent history of finances of township. Also sources, projects and funds designated at this time with commitments and balances. She will concentrate on General Fund Projects and needs which would be expended from the General Fund. (also to base projections on needs and priorities of projects not yet completed.?).

A meeting was scheduled for the review of these figures for August 27, 2001 at 7:30 P.M. in the Township Building. Advance information will be e-mailed so that members would be prepared for definitive discussion and suggestions. 

ADJOURNMENT

On motion of member Newmuis, seconded by member Dieterle, with all members voting approval, the meeting was adjourned at 10 A.M.

 

Respectfully submitted: __________________________
                                              Ethel K. Hibbs