TUESDAY MAY 14, 2002

Minutes of the meeting held on May 14, 2002 were approved  by motion of member Gibbs, seconded by member Fidler,  with one correction on page 3:  GASB   (not GATSBY). 

The regular monthly meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Commission met on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 in the meeting room of the Township Municipal Building.

Members present were Chairman Richard “Dick” Weaver; James A. Bowe, III; Allen R. Fidler, III; Finance Director Elaine M. Gibbs; Robert A. Dieterle; Richard Fusco; Phil Vance, and Township Manger Robert Pellegrino. Also attending were Bernard “Bernie” P. Bires, representing the Recreation Director Bill Wert and Ronald Weaver, Technology Department.

Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 8:30 A. M.

Minutes of the meeting held on April 9, 2002 were approved by motion of member Dieterle, seconded by member Fidler and approved by all present.

New Business

Technology Department Head, Ronald Weaver, presented future financial plans which he suggested be considered for inclusion in the Year 2003 Township Budget and for five years into the future, after he reviewed the current projects: Emergency Vehicle Preemption program presently underway explaining that PaDOT is paying for four and Newtown Township paying for three units; replacing some items in the computer hardware components of the Township and additional GIS layers of that system.

Mr. Fidler asked if some equipment at certain intersections might be re-used? There will be a unit installed at Eagle Road at Durham Road and one at Washington Avenue at Sycamore Street. Note; TSA Impact Fees which are “undesignated” may be used to cover some units, as agreed.

Mr. Weaver stated that 1/3rd of the Township computer hardware is scheduled for replacement annually, with $16,000. budgeted for these units in the Year 2002 budget.

A brief discussion was held on the disposition of replaced items.

Mr. Weaver explained that the GIS System is being developed for communal use of the Newtown Artesian Water Company and Engineers Gannett-Fleming is cooperating.

He stated that important information such as fire hydrants, road designations by name and signs are specified in the system, making it extremely helpful to departments.

Mr. Weaver interpreted the information distributed indicating a one-to-five year projection plan:

1. Complete Emergency Vehicle Preemption.

2. Replace 1/3 of present computer hardware annually.

3. Add GIS layers and map updates as changes occur.

4. Replace and add equipment to new video booth when building remodeling occurs.

5. Upgrade traffic signal bulbs to LED bulbs (providing greater efficiency).

Parks & Recreation Future Financial Plans

Mr. Bires distributed a packet and interpreted same….”2003 & Beyond! Financial Planning Presentation”, prepared to review and project the Newtown Parks & Recreation Department plans.

The presentation compared revenues and enrollment in programs from 1997 thru the present.

Mr. Bires reviewed Goals which call for an increase in the variety of programs offered, limited only by available space-for-use in the Township and/or Schools or other public arenas.

He stated the Department’s frustrations related to available space and the encouragement for relief if and when the Township expands or develops new facilities on Open Space areas presently owned. Included were matters related to consideration of a Township-owned Community Center and the effect it would have on the Recreation Department Programming and Planning.

Questions asked by members of the Financial Planning Commission referenced consideration of using “The Heston Barn”; planning for a “multi-purpose room” included in renovations of the Township Municipal Site.

Member Fidler suggested “ building bridges” with facilities in the township and enlisting support of businesses.

Mr. Bires interpreted the future uses of presently-owned Park lands, making them desirable for public use. He told of plans being developed currently for a musical program and other activities in Roberts Ridge Park, Frost Lane. Supervisor Weaver stated that playground equipment for installation at Roberts Ridge Park is currently in the bidding process with hopes of it being in place for summer use.

A brief discussion followed relating to bikes, roller-bladers, etc., using the present walking trail and the hazards to walkers using the same paths. The Trail is designed for walkers, only.

Member Fidler suggested the Park & Recreation Board should address the present “use by golfers” of Roberts Ridge. A sign prohibiting this activity was suggested.

Chairman Weaver noted that Commission members should visit each recreation/open space site. He related that several residents and Supervisors had visited Hidden Lake, and discussion is on-going with County Park & Recreation Director Mitchell. Newtown Township owns about 43 acres and the County owns the easement on the earthen dam.

Many young people are trespassing and abusing the property and discussion is currently focusing on ways to curb this practice. Liability is the primary concern and discussion in this regard is being discussed with Police Chief Duffy. However, the County is selling permits allowing canoes to use the Lake.

Silver Lake Park

A major problem at Silver Lake Park is the duck and geese population and their “droppings”, which are a concern on the surrounding grounds and the potential clogging of the water flow.

Member Fidler suggested the Township Supervisors request of some builders/developers who are planning for projects in the areas near-by aid in the support of necessary measures there. (i.e., Brandywine Development Corporation).

Woll & Wiggins Tracts

Future dreams of the two Tracts were aired. They are both included in The Master Recreation Plan for the Township.

Additional township staff must be a consideration as development and increased usage of these areas materialize.

Capitalization Policy of Fixed Assets

Finance Director Gibbs distributed a paper: “Capitalization Policy of Fixed Assets” which was a West Goshen Township document, and compared how Newtown Township would be developing a similar document. She had discussed at previous meetings the requirement to implement a “GASB 34” system and related costs.

Old Business:

Manager Pellegrino reported that the remodeling plans for the Township Municipal Complex are being developed. Department Heads have visited several facilities and will continue to do so. Site lay-out plans may be available in 2+ months.

Mr. Pellegrino noted that an extremely capable Summer Intern is expected to develop a “Factor Summary Sheet”, which will track items over the past ten years so that trends might be studied and show: cash solvency, generation of revenue, budgetary solvency and might help to avoid deficit budgeting.

The document will be most helpful at budget-development times.

Computer Imaging System

Member Bowe and Finance Director Gibbs saw the AMS System for Computer Imaging which is a “paper-less system”. The high cost must be considered.

Sycamore Street Project

Member Bowe reported on the current status of the Sycamore Street Reconstruction Project, the involvement of PaDOT and Pennoni Engineering Firm. The procedure for securing State funding was discussed. Will PaDOT be billed directly or will the Township be required to provide paid invoices for re-imbursement? This could cause a cash flow problem of serious consequence.

HARB will be making suggestions for certain amenities along the street (benches, street lights and trash receptacles).

The majority of work which needs completing will be done in the summer of 2003. Manager Pellegrino interpreted the process of the work to be completed.


There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10:30 A. M.


Respectfully submitted,


Ethel K. Hibbs, Secretary