Approval of Minutes:

Minutes of the meeting held on March 18, 2003 were approved as submitted on motion of Phil Vance, seconded by member Robert Dieterle and approved by all present. 

The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 in the meeting room of the Township Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, Pa.

Members present were Richard Weaver, Elaine Gibbs, Phil Vance, Philip Newmuis, Sarita Tripak, Robert Dieterle and Ryan O’Keefe. Also attending was Township Manager Robert Pellegrino, Linda Major, Auditor representative from Stanley N. Booz & Co., Lynn Forsythe, representing American Appraisers, Inc., and Gerry Smith representing Pennoni Associates, Inc.

Call to Order

Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 8:00 A. M. and introduced new member Sarita Tripak to the Committee.

Approval of Minutes

On motion of member Vance, seconded by member Dieterle and approved by all members present, minutes of the meeting held on February 18, 2003 were approved as presented.

Old Business:

A general discussion on the Capitalization of Fixed Assets focused on compliance with GASB 34, the differences between improvements and capital assets, considerations of vehicles, equipment, furnishings, useful and expected life of belongings, etc.

Ms. Gibbs noted that the Auditors would review evaluations at audit time, that the Public Works Department had done an inventory of township-owned roads during the summer of 2002. Engineer Smith will use this information for projections and will review and include storm-water systems appropriately.

Ms. Forsythe noted the importance of providing present inventories, using estimates from records at hand and establishing a Capitalization Policy to recommend to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Pellegrino stated that a policy would be an agenda item for the April 15th meeting, which he and Mr. Weaver would develop.

Ms. Forsythe stated she could provide a soft-ware system: BEST, which would be most helpful for tracking.

New Business:

Ms. Gibbs presented a schedule of meeting dates and presentations by Department Heads which was distributed to members.

Chairman Weaver noted that a policy which had been discussed at the October, 2002 meeting would require approval: On motion approved by all members present, he was authorized to present to the Board of Supervisors the following recommendations:

1. Maintain a minimum of 15% of General fund appropriations as a reserve fund from year to year.

2. Transfer any reserve funds in excess of 20% of General Fund appropriations to the Capital Improvement Fund to fund capital projects beginning with the 2003 budget.

3. Reserve funds between 15% and 20% could be appropriated to balance the annual budget.

4. Appropriations from the 15% reserve fund should only be authorized by a unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors and should be for emergency or for expenditures of a non-recurring nature.

5. The policy should be re-evaluated every two years.

A considered recommendation was discussed: Board of Supervisors policy would be to purchase additional Open space as a priority. Secondly, to use the money for building/expansion on the present or a new site or to use funds as a base to borrow additional monies for building purposes.

Discussed were matters relating to using reserves or borrowing, including interest payments; increasing millage as would be necessary; and developing a firm recommendation in these matters for the Board of Supervisors. Borrowing funds during the 2003 year should be a consideration as plans are set in place.

Manager Pellegrino distributed a document: “Capital Improvements Planning: A Neglected Priority” and urged members to review it.


There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting was duly adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,


Ethel K. Hibbs, Secretary



Attending were Linda Major, representing Auditors Stanley N. Booz & Co.,

                        Lynn Forsythe , representing  American Appraisal Associates

                        Gerald Smith, representing Pennoni  Engineering Firm

     Each one dialogued with Committee members about Capitalization Policy  of   Fixed Asset Inventory and   gave in-put on developing a Policy in 
     relation to the GASB 34 Requirements.

     Starting in April, Department Heads are scheduled to present projected needs and related expenditures to Committee. 

     Policy approved as recommendation to Board of Supervisors relating to transfer of funds into Capital Improvement/Reserve Accounts.