The meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 in the meeting room of the Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, Pa.

Members present were Ann Goren, Ryan O'Keefe, Sarita Tirpak, Phil Vance, Phil Newmuis, Elaine Gibbs, Allen Fidler, III. Member Bob Dieterle was excused due to a work related commitment. Township Manager Bob Pellegrino and Assistant to the Manager John Boyle and board of Supervisor Raymond W. (Skip) Goodnoe were present. Department Chairs Police Chief Martin C. Duffy and Business Manager Jean Tanner; Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Harwood and Public Works Director Gary Crossland were also present. 

Call to Order

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

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.

Presentation of Capital Budget Proposals

Police Chief Duffy stated he had no prepared Proposal Requests since the imperative need in the Police Department was space. Physical expansion will occur at the time of reconstruction of the Complex and he noted that additional personnel could not be hired due to locker room needs.

Chief Duffy stated that the automatic replacement of three vehicles was an on-going Budget item having been previously requested and acknowledged.

Discussion centered on the possible added expense should a security/safety incident occur in the Township; there would be no additional expense for facility space as the Emergency Service Department "bus" would be used off-site and offices used for on-site directives.

Chief Duffy urged persons to support the request for use of radar by local Police Officers via contact to State Representatives. he noted that the VASCAR system is difficult to operate in the confines of developments, which are prevalent in the Township.

Manager Pellegrino stated he would send a letter to Representative Steil since the Board of Supervisors were supportive of the radar request. Supervisors Goodnoe and Goren concurred that BCATO supported the radar requests of Police Departments and Mr. Goodnoe will investigate the stand of PSATS in the matter. (The use of radar would be endorsed by Ordinance of the local municipality after state-wide approval would be granted).

Chairman Goren stated the Board of Supervisors would discuss the expansion of the Complex at the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 28, 2004 and would relate to other Supervisors that the Evidence Vault in the Police Department is beyond capacity, according to Business Manager of the Police Department Jean Tanner.

Code and Public Works Department

Department Head Harwood stated that space is critical in both Departments. He spoke about daily operations, the new Digital Scanner, work being done by summer interns and the future of information on the Township website.

Member O'Keefe offered the volunteer services of persons to help complete the scanning process if necessary. He stated the Bucks County website is quite accessible and encouraged use of same.

Public Works Director Crossland said that he is planning a "Pavement Management Program" township-wide as being a wise plan. It would note times of installation, condition of same after inspections and help in the development of schedules for replacement.

The 2006 replacement plan cites Twining Bridge Road and Cherry Lane (in Newtown Crossing) as being priorities. He stated that the new building/expansion plans, when approved, call for fuel tank replacement above ground, expansion of the salt storage shed (s), which storm season. 

The School House and Public Works Buildings are planned for repainting, including railings, as summer projects. He interpreted the schedules for grounds maintenance and work to municipal parks and buildings and discussed the years of certain pieces of equipment which will require replacement.

Attached to the original of these minutes is a Capital Planning Proposal for Public Works which included equipment replacement.

Administration and Finance

Manager Pellegrino and Finance Director Gibbs reported on the urgent need for space, particularly storage of files. Manager Pellegrino reported having rented storage space in Wrightstown Township Storage Complex: shelving has been installed and boxes have been moved to the space there.

Manager Pellegrino stated that plans are being made to use the School House for files and storage only, including the Scanner but maintain the trailer as office space for employee of the Code Department. The green trailer, used for storage, will be removed when all documents are stored elsewhere.

He noted that the purchase of additional land from the Philadelphia Diocese is incomplete at the present time. He stated that there are not substitute plans for building expansion should the purchase of additional land be denied. Continued discussion of building plans will be an Agenda item for the Board of Supervisors Work Session meeting on June 28th.

An property inventory has been completed and the report will be distributed by Finance Director Gibbs. A brief discussion centered on the disposition of computer parts/elements belonging to the Township which have been replaced recently. Finance Director Gibbs was requested to inquire of Solicitor Harris about ways in which the Township is permitted to dispose of these items appropriately.

Other Business

Future meetings of the Committee will review all recommendations from Department Heads and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors as they begin to develop the 2005 Budget.

Finance Director Gibbs reported on the Earned Income Tax Revenue and its affect on future budgets. She will circulate reports from Berkheimer Associates as received to members. Chairman Goren will review revenue sources which might aid in the anticipated one million dollar revenue loss due to neighboring municipalities adopting EIT programs.

Member Fidler spoke about the need to re-address ways in which the Township might add to the Capital Reserve Fund while Operational Costs continue to rise. The discussion will continue at the next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, July 20, 2004.

Finance Director Gibbs was asked to invite Berkheimer Director of Sales and Client Services, Jim Hunt, to attend the July meeting.


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


Respectfully submitted,


Ethel K. Hibbs, Secretary