TUESDAY MAY 25, 2004

Approval of Minutes

On motion of member Fidler, seconded by member Vance and approved by all members present, minutes of the meeting held on May 25, 2004 were approved with one minor spelling correction. Members O'Keefe and Newmuis abstain from voting due to absence on May 25, 2004.

The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 in the meeting room of the Township Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown Pa.

Members present were Allen R. Fidler, III,  Elaine M. Gibbs, Bob Dieterle, Phil Vance, Sarita Tirpak, Ann Goren and Robert Pellegrino. Also attending were Board of Supervisor Chairman Dick Weaver, Emergency Services Director Don Harris, Park & Recreation Director Bill Wert, Technology Department Chair Ron Weaver and John Boyle, Assistant to the Manager.

Call To Order

Chairman Ann Goren called the meeting to order at 8:09 AM.

Approval of Minutes

On motion of member Dieterle, seconded by member Tirpak and approval by all present, minutes of the meeting held on February 17, 2004 were approved. On motion of member Fidler, seconded by member Vance and approved by all present, minutes of the meeting held on January 20, 2004 were approved. Members Dieterle and Tirpak abstained due to absence in January.

Budget Proposals for 2005 Budget Year

Emergency Services Director Don Harris distributed a document listing six items proposed for consideration in the 2005 Budget. A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.

He reviewed each item:

1. Five additional radios' for Emergency Operations Center in the amount of $18,500. and explained plans for emergencies which would be handled in cooperation with other municipal departments, should a serious emergency arise. 
2. The Portable Rescue Equipment for Daytime Crew in the amount of $18,000.
3. The replacement of Special Service Vehicle in the amount of $35,000. Mr. Harris explained that the 2000 Blazer presently shows 50,000 miles, thus meriting replacement by the conclusion of the year 2004.
4. 24-hour, 7-day per week staffing, indicating 8 additional Firefighters/EMT's for the years 2006 - 2007 based on 2003 costs: salary & benefits... $416,000.
5. Purchase used Pumper for daytime staff in the year 2007: $75,000. - $100,000.
6. Emergency Management Mobile Command Vehicle: Year 2010 (now vehicle is bus)

Mr. Harris explained that presently there is one room in the reconstructed fire house designated for a Command Center and the "bus" is designated for a mobile Command Center. (On site).

After discussion, the Committee concurred that the Newtown Fire Association should be asked to share certain items of equipment with the Emergency Services Department when needed. Manager Pellegrino was directed to compose and send a letter to the NFA, first asking the Board of Supervisors for support and authority.

Director Harris explained the Policies & Procedures of the Department and related how the employees respond to incidents, fire calls, inspections, etc., as part of the Department activities.

Technology Department

Technology Department Chair Ron Weaver described the up-dated Pre-Emption System to the traffic signals during the 2004 up-grades and replacements is attached to the original of these minutes.

Mr. Weaver reviewed the Proposal for 1 - 5 Year Replacement/additions to the Technology Data within the Township.

1. Replace 1/3 of the computer hardware annually.
2. Procure Additional GIS layers with map updates.
3. Replaces and add equipment to the video booth (When new facility is built).
4. Upgrade traffic signals: changing bulbs to LED units.
5. Upgrade vehicle loop detection to video detection.

A brief discussion focused on the disposition of replaced computer equipment. Mr. Weaver detailed how the increased information relating to the GIS System is beneficial to departments within the Township. Conditional Uses &/or Special Exceptions which are approved will be inter-faced with present information and be helpful in reviews of properties within the Township, thus becoming valuable information about each property as it is relates to various Departments.

Ms. Gibbs stated that summer interns will be most helpful in inserting information into the GIS system.

Park & Recreation Department

Director Wert distributed documents entitled: 2004-2009 Parks & Recreation Capital Improvement Program. (Copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

He reviewed activities and plans for projects in each of the township-owned parks. He stated that the Park & Recreation Board has determined that the Woll Tract will be a #1 priority during the up-coming year. The #2 priority would be the Silver Lake Parking Lot. He related to the committee that the Roberts Ridge ADA Accessible Play Structure would cost about $40,000.

Mr. Wert reported  on improvements being made presently to the Clark House and the barn restoration budgeted for 2005 in the amount of $50,000.

Chairman Goren suggested inquiring about the purchase of a wheel chair with "balloon" type wheels which make travel on ADA trails possible. One could be secured and kept in a location for use on request.

Mr. Wert stated a 9-year development proposed would phase in all fields planned for the Woll Tract and that grant monies might be sought to aid in financing. he stated that recommendations coincide with the Master Plan. 

Director Wert related how the Newtown Trail Extension would progress from the Clark Property to Green Lane to Tyler Park to West Hanover Street in Newtown Crossing. Ms. Goren suggested it might continue from Tyler Park to the Bucks County Community College is the College would consider financial support. This might see students walking to the College who otherwise would drive vehicles which add to the transportation problems (clogging the roads).

Director Wert noted that Staples Fields would be completed when Comcast installs a driveway from the Shopping Center area which will be followed by the installation of a safety fence.

Director Wert stated that the quotes were high for improvements to Field #4 at Chandler Ball Fields, as well as a field at Helen Randle Park.

Director Wert reported that programs already planned for the Newtown Junior High School would be re-assigned due to asbestos work at the School during the summer. He was referred to the Chancellor Center or the Newtown United Methodist Church for possible sites.

New Business

The Police Department, Code Department and Administration & Finance Department will present Capital Budgets at the next meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, June 15th at 8 A.M.

Member Vance asked about the recommendation made to the Board of Supervisors requesting transfers during the 2003 Year. Transfers did not occur and this matter will be discussed during the Administration & Finance Department presentation to the Financial Planning Committee.


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


Respectfully submitted,


Ethel K. Hibbs, Secretary