FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE
TUESDAY MAY 20, 2003
DRAFT - SUBJECT TO AMENDMENT BY FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE UNTIL APPROVED
The Newtown Township Financial Planning Commission met on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 8:00 A. M. in the Meeting Room of The Township Building.
Members present were Supervisor Richard Weaver; Allen R. Fidler, III; Elaine M. Gibbs; Phil Vance, Sarita Tirpak, and Ryan O’Keefe. Robert A. Dieterle was excused.
Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order..
Approval of Minutes
On motion of member Vance, seconded by member Fidler and approved by all present minutes of the meeting held on April 15, 2003 were approved.
Emergency Services Department Presentation
Emergency Services Department Chair, Donald A. Harris, distributed a hand-out noting suggested items of equipment needed and costs, including year of proposed purchase through 2010.
Mr. Harris explained the use of Knox-Boxes by the Newtown Fire Association and Emergency Services employees to gain entrance to businesses via a master-key arrangement.
Police Department Presentation
Police Chief Martin C. Duffy and Business Administrator for the Police Department Jean Tanner distributed a proposal to members listing 2004 capital Budget Projects and estimated costs.
Chief Duffy reminded Committee members that when the new building is completed there will be additional costs to upgrade equipment, appropriately. Too, he discussed the values in acquiring an AFFIS Fingerprint Scanning Equipment item and an Evidence Dryer (de-hydrator) which might be purchased with the help of grant money.
Ms. Tanner stated a projection of four (4) new officers are possibilities in the next 5 – 10 years with a maximum of thirty-two (32) in all. There are presently four (4) clerical-type employees and two (2) part-time week-end employees in the Department.
Manager Pellegrino reported that computers/licenses of software are items included in the general fund budget annually. Grant monies are in hand for the purchase during the year 2003 for a Document Imaging System.
Manager Pelegrino stated that a grant in the amount of $400,000. designated for Stream Embankment Protection has been put on temporary hold by Governor Rendell.
Ms. Gibbs reported on the Capitalization Policy of Fixed Assets, which document had been previously mailed to all members. It was compiled with the advice of Linda Major, auditor from Stanley N. Booz & Co., and Lynn Forsythe, of the American Appraisal Associates.
On motion of member O’Keefe, seconded by member Vance and approved by all members present, the Financial Planning Commission recommends to the Board of Supervisors adoption of:
1. Newtown Township Capitalization of Fixed Assets
2. Newtown Township Fixed Asset Control Inventory
3. Comprehensive Proposal for Implementing GASB 34 Capital Asset Reporting
(with accompanying Technical Proposal and Fee Terms & Conditions,
developed with the recommendations of Lynne Forsythe of American
Appraisals, Inc., including the expenditure of $12,000. as described on
The above recommendations will be presented by Chairman Weaver at the meeting of the Board of Supervisors at its May 28th meeting.
A brief discussion centered on the Reserve Fund Policy, which had been adopted by the Board of Supervisors (noted above as 2003-R-13). Comments centered on the State recommendations of funding levels in reserve accounts; estimated construction costs when building plans are approved; paying off present debt and re-financing the Wiggins Tract.
Manager Pellegrino stated the purchase of about 10 acres of land from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is estimated to cost one million dollars.
Chairman Weaver stated the Board of Supervisors is requesting answers/suggestions from the Financial Planning Committee regarding:
Recommendation of dollars to be spent on land acquisition
Wisdom of acquiring parcels A, B &/or C.
Additional information and directives will be suggested by Manager Pellegrino regarding building plans and the movement of funds at land-purchase time or budget (2004) time.
GASB 34 Funding
On motion of member Vance, seconded by member Tirpak and approved by all members present, the Committee recommends the Board of Supervisors approve the funding of $12,000. for the Comprehensive Proposal for Implementing GASB 34 Capital Asset Reporting.
There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting was duly adjourned.
Ethel K. Hibbs, Secretary
Tuesday, June 17, 2003 Newtown Township
8 A. M. Municipal Building
Members: Richard D. Weaver Elaine M. Gibbs
Allen R. Fidler, III Robert A. Dieterle
Philip Newmuis Phil Vance
Sarita Tirpak Ryan O’Keefe
A G E N D A
1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Minutes: May 20, 2003
4. New Business:
Public Works/ Park & Recreation Departments Presentations.
4. Old Business:
Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 15, 2003
5. Privilege of The Floor
If you are unable to attend this meeting, please notify Chairman Weaver.
Notes &/or statements made at the Financial Planning Commission: August 13, 2002
Finance Director Gibbs had circulated a compilation/summary of major items which had been reported to the Financial Planning Commission at presentations by Department Heads earlier in the year via monthly meetings, as planned and requested.
Ms. Gibbs stated that, in discussions with Manager Pellegrino, no 2003 major financial needs would be requested if there is no expansion program.
She stated that the summary sheet indicated between 5 – 8 Million dollars would be needed if expansion of the administration building would begin: however, underground piping, electrical and other utility lines had been installed to the east of the municipal building, negating expansion in that direction. It is possible to expand towards the Martindell House, which is presently under consideration.
Discussions are under-way with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to purchase ground on both sides of Municipal Drive as entry into the complex is made off Route 413.
There are new ideas about the possible re-location of the Public Works garage; relocation of the firing range.
Ms. Gibbs stated the 2002 Budget allocations are for “plans” only in expansion details.
Supervisor Weaver stated he understood that the Melsky Tract would be available in the future with conversations on-going with the Council Rock School Board. He noted that an “out-of-state” buyer is interested in purchasing the Tract. The Board of Supervisors has discussed ‘what to do’ in light of the current low rate of interest .
Member Fidler stated: “If the Archdiocese is willing to sell, good!… and weigh the purchase of the Melsky Tract.”
He noted the Board should continue to evaluate plans and circumstances, but would need proper and accurate documentations of “as-builts” which should be a priority to have on hand prior to making any decisions about location/expansion of buildings. He further stated the wisdom of using resources (funds) to develop “as-builts” as a very valuable investment.
Member Dieterle stated: “Five years of discussion by the Capital/Financial Planning Commission has taken place and the Commission is calling for Board of Supervisor direction!”
He stipulated three categories of need: 1. tax/income potential.
3. monies available to use in
considerations and re-financing comparisons.
Member Vance asked how the Board is planning finances and the pay-down of debt in the future?
Ms. Gibbs stated the debt had been paid-down considerably. She noted about one million dollars is in the “pot” and Manager Pellegrino and she are waiting for firm plans from the Board prior to making any recommendations.
She stated that the Board of Supervisors have stated that they do not plan to increase taxes.
The Fire Association will be requesting an increase in millage to add revenue to their budget as a serious need, which had been discussed in the NFA presentation to the Commission.
She noted that the Earned Income Tax Revenue is not a problem, but that the Real Estate Tax Revenue does not grow significantly.
Member Fidler stated the Township should educate the residents re: expenses/revenue and future needs of the Township; how costs of operation in terms of salaries/programs impact the budget; and should describe potential increases and rationales for these impact funds. He noted that there has been no significant budget increase for 10 years.
Ms. Gibbs stated the public demands for development of recreational facilities have been addressed by developing Roberts Ridge with equipment and that the trail on that property would be completed in 2002.
The Clark Nature Preserve improvements will be completed by the Public Works Department and that the maintenance of the buildings, including the house, are now entirely the Township responsibility.
The proposed recreational area behind Staples at the Newtown Shopping Center will be delayed as the School District is negotiating use of the area for additional parking due to the unexpected and immediate needs for additional parking due to the District plans for split-shifts and parking demands.
Member Fidler suggested the Board of Supervisors should consider professional help in marketing/purchasing/expansion/future services and promoting and relating these to the residents as they will impact millage and tax revenue necessary to complete.
He urged the suggestion be passed along as a professional marketing individual would be an extremely wise investment in many ways.
Member Dieterle noted that needs of each Department are immediate; Codes and Police Department employees are working in trailers, which is costly. He agrees totally with the proposal of Mr. Fidler about professional services as promotional methods.
A question was asked about the YMCA report? The Township is waiting for this.
A question: “What to do about the Acme site”?
Member Vance stated the Township might cooperate with neighboring Townships for demanded skate-board facilities since the School District needs the planned site.
Ms. Gibbs said that two weeks ago there had been three plans presented to the Board: but the main question remained: “where to locate?” The planner had suggested furnishings, computers & cables & utilities, but location of these is a major problem.
Sycamore Street expenditures are principally supported by a Grant, with a 20% matching requirement by the Township for improvements. The design and engineering costs may require using General Fund monies. She stated PaDOT changes are frequent and sometimes complicated.
Ms. Gibbs asked who on the Financial Planning Commission would be presenting the 2003 Proposed Budget to the Board of Supervisors during the September-October time-span? She noted Manager Pellegrino and she are working on a financial formatting system; capital fund budget items; debt restructuring and road maintenance evaluations.
She stated the two summer interns have developed spread sheets which are an invaluable tool in these plans. She noted they will complete their time with the Township on August 2nd and would be encouraged to return.
In the Public Works Budget presentation, Code Enforcement Officer Tom Harwood had pleaded for work on Twining Bridge Road Drainage & Widening (particularly at the “S” curves) but that it would be put on “the back burner” due to excessive costs.
Parking Lot lighting has been up-graded; Linton Hill Road culvert/bridge is almost completed; Wrights Road needs will be addressed at a later time.
Replacing the fuel tanks and moving them above-ground is planned for a different location than present, also at a later time. Public Works and road-work are suggested for 2003 budgeting and beyond, although needy at the present.
Ms. Gibbs stated that GIS monies are in the operating budget for this year.
The Financial Planning Commission suggests to the Board of Supervisors:
1. buy additional land from Diocese.
2. develop expanded use of present resources.
Members emphasized the immediate need to secure “as-builts” as a top priority as they consider expansion plans.
Member Dieterle asked: Will the 2002 Budget show a deficit? “Yes”
Is revenue as high as projected? “No”
Will the deficit be addressed &/or reduced?
Ms. Gibbs noted that, as in the past years when development has soared, windfalls from developers will be significantly reduced in the future, as build-out occurs.
Member Dieterle asked Chairman Weaver to give direction to the Financial Planning Commission as to what the mind-set of the Board of Supervisors is as the FPC needs direction from them about how to recommend and plan for expenditures and tax increases.
In questioning about the time frame for the planned Brandywine Trust Complex, which will be five buildings, the reply was that the completion may take five years. Increased tax revenue of a variety of sources, (EIC, OPT etc.,) cannot be relied upon at the present time.
NEWTOWN BOROUGH August 27, 2002
23 N. State Street,
Newtown, Pa., 18940
July 26, 2002 Agenda preparation/conversation with
Chairman O’Neill/distribution 1 ½ Hours $17.25
August 9, 2002 Copy/distribute Walsh interpretation 1 ½ Hours 17.25
August 15, 2002 Copy/distribute information to Comm. 1 ½ Hours 17.25
relating to 8/19/02 meeting
August 19, 2002 Set up meeting room area for presentations:
necessary information on dias 1 Hour 11.50
August 19, 2002 Attend meeting: 7 P. M. – 10:45 P. M. 3 ¾ Hours 25.00
August 26, 2002 Minutes 4 Hours 46.00
27, 2002 Minutes completed, copied, mailed
& 9/9/02 Agenda 4 Hours 46.00
Payable to: Ethel K. Hibbs
1101 Society Place,
Newtown, Pa., 18940