FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 15, 2005


MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 15, 2005: Ms. Gibbs moved to approve the minutes of February 15, 2005. The motion was seconded by Mr. Newmuis and passed unanimously with one member abstaining.


The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 in the meeting room of the Township Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, Pa.

Members present were Ann Goren, Elaine Gibbs, Phil Vance, Phil Newmuis, Robert Pellegrino. Excused were Allen Fidler, III and Bob Dieterle. Also attending was Supervisor Richard Weaver and Emergency Services Director Donald Harris.

Chairman Goren called the meeting to order, noting that a quorum was not present at 8 A. M. (Member Newmuis arrived later). Therefore, minutes of the meeting held on January 18, 2005 will be approved at the next meeting.

Old Business:   Emergency Services Director Harris distributed copies of "Residential Use & Occupancy Permit Applications and Inspection Sheets" for Committee to review.

He presented an overview of the documents; stated that his primary interest in the program is safety of the residents of Newtown Township. Since many newly-built homes in the township are almost 25 years old, primary concerns are safety issues of 'more than a first buyer.'

Issues of age and construction would be primary focuses of the re-inspections; many homeowners hire contractors or complete repairs/remodeling independently and the Township has little knowledge of structural integrity.

Mr. Harris stated that, should the Township adopt the Re-inspection process, sellers would be required to arrange for the re-inspection prior to the final re-sale, and inspection would occur when any request for a Deed change was made.

Numerous hazards need investigating to insure residential safety:  dryer vents, electrical systems, (Including replaced outlets), solid garage doors (interior) to prevent fumes leaking into dwelling areas from vehicles; latch-turns rather that key locks on doors for instant egress. He noted that many residents remove roof trusses to expand storage in attics. Verifying that chimneys are lined all the way to the roof lines is imperative to prevent chimney fires. There should be a "disconnect" at outside air conditioning units.  he noted that many owners complete work/repairs without permits  (thus, final inspection of work) and this would be determined upon inspection of properties. Many decks, basements, attic improvements are made without benefit of permits and/or inspections.

He stated that it would probably take an inspector 1/2 hour per dwelling to complete the survey sheet and that employees of the Emergency Services Department were trained adequately to complete the inspections.

Ms. Gibbs stated that the Township should provide a booklet which would make buyers aware of the process. She stated that the proposal would be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval.  (Wrightstown Township has a re-inspection program in place).

Mrs. Goren asked Mr. Harris if he could attend an evening meeting of the Financial Planning Committee and/or a Work Session to make a presentation prior to the consideration of adopting an Ordinance.

Financial Planning Committee Meeting Schedule

A brief discussion focused on the meeting schedule:  It was determined that the March meeting would be held on Thursday evening, March 17, 2005 at 7 P. M. In the meeting room of the Township Building.

Financial Up-Date...2004 Budget Review

The up-dated 2004 Budget review will be provided following journal entries to be made by Finance Director Gibbs. It will include a 2004 Financial Report of General and Park & Recreation Fund expenditures compared to budget for analysis. Ms. Gibbs explained the entries would include items and/or adjustments from the 'end-of-the-year 2004'.

Member Vance inquired about the recently-adopted revised Fee Schedule. Manager Pellegrino will provide an interpretive document to be mailed to members. Manager Pellegrino stated that the Fee Schedule should be considered for review/up-dates on a 3-year interim.

Adjournment

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

____________________
Ethel K. Hibbs, Secretary

 

THE NEXT MEETING OF THE FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE
WILL BE HELD ON  THURSDAY, MARCH 17TH AT 7 P.M.

If you are unable to attend this important meeting, please notify Chairman Goren.