FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

THURSDAY MAY 19, 2005


DRAFT - SUBJECT TO AMENDMENT BY FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE UNTIL APPROVED


The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Thursday, May 19, 2005 in the meeting room of the Township Municipal Building.

Members present were Anne Goren, Robert Dieterle, Elaine Gibbs, Phil Vance and Township Manager Bob Pellegrino. Excused were Sarita Tirpak, Ryan O’Keefe, Philip Newmuis and Allen Fidler.

Also present were Ron Weaver, Technology Department, Bill Wert, Parks & Recreation Department, Chief Duffy, Captain Moorhead and Jean Tanner.

Chairman Goren called the meeting to order at 7:05 P.M.

MINUTES OF APRIL 21, 2005:

Mr. Vance moved to approve the minutes of April 21, 2005. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dieterle and passed unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS

Departments 2006 Capital Request

Ms. Gibbs updated the Committee members with regards to the delay for The Emergency Services presentation.

Newtown Township Police Department

The Newtown Township Police Department made their presentation to the Financial Planning Committee with regards to their 2006 Capital request. The Committee members discussed the memorandum received from Chief Duffy dated May 19, 2005. Chief Duffy advised that the Police Department has twenty-nine (29) portable radios and they are used 24/7. He advised that there have been no major problems with the portable radios to date. He advised that it will cost approximately $80,000.00 to replace the portable radios within the next two (2) years.

Ms. Goren questioned the Police Officers carrying cell phones and needing portable radios. Chief Duffy explained why the officers need portable radios and cell phones. Ms. Tanner also advised why the portable radios are needed.

Chief Duffy advised the Committee members on the new computer system in the Police vehicles. He commented that the system is working well and that the Police Department is where it should be with regards to technology and he thanked Mr. Weaver for his help with regards to technology.

The Committee members discussed the memorandums received from Chief Duffy dated May 16, 2005 and May 19, 2005 with regards to the cost increase for the portable radios. Chief Duffy advised that the error was due to a miscalculation.

Mr. Vance questioned the number of new positions the Police Department expects to develop over the next five (5) years. Chief Duffy advised that he feels that the Police Department is in good shape and will not have any new positions within the next five (5) years. He commented with regards to the Police Departments future.

The Committee members discussed the police presence in Wrightstown. Ms. Tanner advised that the Police force was increase by two (2) officers to help with the patrol of Wrightstown. Chief Duffy advised that one (1) officer is assigned to patrol Wrightstown.

Ms. Gibbs questioned the number of portable radios purchased per year. Chief Duffy explained the process for purchasing the new portable radios.

The Committee members discussed the use of the portable radios.

The Committee members discussed the use of Police vehicles. Chief Duffy advised that the Police vehicles are on a three (3) vehicle rotation for 2006. Chief Duffy advised that the used vehicles are sold at auction.

The Committee members discussed the truck scales. Chief Duffy advised that at this time there have been no problems with the Township’s truck scales. He advised that it will cost the Township approximately $3,500.00 for two (2) sets of truck scales.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that the purchase of the truck scales would not be classified as a capital item.

Mr. Dieterle questioned the fines received from the trucking details. Chief Duffy advised on the funds received due to trucking detail fines. The Committee members discussed the benefits to the Township.

Chief Duffy advised that the Police Department recently purchased two (2) mobile radios which go into the Police vehicles. He also advised the Committee members on the use of funds received from the Police Departments help with the DEA.

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Committee members that the Township has designed the new municipal complex with the intent that the Police Department will hire four (4) new officers by the time the Township has reached full build out in approximately fifteen (15) years.

The Committee members thanked the representatives from the Police Department for their time.

Newtown Township Technology Department

Mr. Weaver made his presentation to the Financial Planning Committee regarding the Technology Department and their 2006 Capital request. The Committee members reviewed memorandums from the Technology Department dated May 11, 2005.

The Committee members discussed the funds requested for the replacement of 1/3 of the Township’s computer hardware. Mr. Weaver advised that the Township currently have over forty (40) work stations.

Ms. Goren questioned what is happening at the intersection of Lindenhurst and the Bypass. Mr. Weaver advised that the first stage of the battery backup for the traffic signals has started today.

The Committee members discussed how the battery backup system for the traffic lights works. Mr. Weaver advised that the battery last approximately four (4) to six (6) hours. The Committee members discussed the recharging system for the battery backup. Mr. Weaver advised that the battery backup has a counter on it to display the number of times the power has been lost and the battery backup has activated. He also advised that the battery backup displays a red light on the cabinet when the battery backup system is activated. The Committee members discussed the benefits and concerns regarding the battery backup system. The Committee members discussed the power flux. Mr. Weaver advised that the cost to upgrade a four (4) way intersection is $16,000.00, $4,000.00 per signal approach. The Committee members discussed the current loop detection system.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the memorandum discussing the traffic signal upgrade. Mr. Weaver advised that he was trying to give the committee members an understanding of what the video detection does. Ms. Goren had concerns regarding prior work done at the intersections of Rt. 532 and the Bypass and Rt. 332 and the Bypass. Mr. Weaver advised on prior work done at the two (2) intersections.

Mr. Vance commented with regards to the traffic signal when exiting the Acme Shopping Center. Mr. Weaver advised that the Township is currently discussing that intersection with the Township Traffic Engineer.

Ms. Goren questioned the life expectancy of the video cameras. Mr. Weaver advised he did not have that information. Mr. Weaver advised how the video detection system works and the many possible uses.

The Committee members discussed the funds requested for additional GIS layers and map updates. Mr. Weaver advised.

The Committee members discussed the funds requested to upgrade the vehicle loop detection system to a video detection system Mr. Weaver advised that the requested funds would pay for two (2) intersections to be upgraded in 2006, helping to eliminate problem areas.

The Committee members discussed the funds requested to replace the live feed CG for Channel 23. Mr. Weaver advised that the Township must replace the live feed CG for Channel 23 in 2006. He explained that the computer used for the televised meetings needs to be replaced.

Mr. Vance commented with regards to the new complex and the Township’s current equipment. Mr. Weaver advised that regarding the video booth any new equipment the Township has purchased will be moved into the new building. He advised that the new public meeting room needs to be designed for televised meetings.

The Committee members discussed the Franchise Agreement with Comcast.

The Committee members thanked Mr. Weaver for his time.

Newtown Township Parks & Recreation Department

The Committee members discussed the new web page for the Parks & Recreation Department. The Committee members discussed residents having the ability to sign up and pay for programs online. Members discussed residents paying with credit cards with no additional expense to the resident. Members discussed the fees that would be charged to the Township from organizations like Pay Pal and E-Bay. Ms. Gibbs advised on the changes she has seen since she has been with the Township regarding the Township paying bank fees for credit card charges. She also discussed when she negotiated with Commerce Bank for the Township banking. Mr. Wert advised that approximately 75% of the program registration is done by credit card.

Ms. Gibbs advised that at this time the Township and public do not incur any expense from the credit card registration. She advised that registration can be done by telephone or mailed in. Mr. Wert advised the Committee members that if the Township had the ability for the public to register online and pay with a credit card there would be fees charged to the Township and the person registering for the program. The Committee members discussed the average cost for the Township program. Mr. Weaver advised that the Township would have to pay a registration/startup fee, an annual contract fee and a fee for every transaction. The Committee members discussed having the online registration/credit card payment at a later date once the Parks & Recreation Department is generating more revenue. Mr. Wert advised he would keep investigating.

Mr. Wert made his presentation to the Financial Planning Committee regarding the Parks & Recreation Department and their 2006 Capital request. The Committee members reviewed a memorandum from the Mr. Wert dated May 13, 2005. Mr. Wert advised the Committee members that the two (2) main properties that the Parks & Recreation Department would like to concentrate on are the Woll Tract and Helen Randle Park. The Committee members discussed the improvements to the Township’s sports fields at Helen Randle Park and Chandler Fields.

The Committee members discussed the construction of a handicap playground at Roberts Ridge Park. Mr. Wert advised the Committee members on discussions of possibly re-diverting funds from the Woll Tract to the Roberts Ridge Park. He advised that the Parks & Recreation Committee would discuss at their next meeting.

The Committee members discussed expanding the parking area at the Roberts Ridge Park. Mr. Wert advised on his discussions with Mr. Jirele and CRSD. Ms. Goren suggested having a parking area located off of Lower Dolington Road. The members discussed traffic concerns. Mr. Vance questioned if the park is used by the CRSD. Mr. Wert advised.

The Committee members discussed the number of disabled children in the CRSD. Mr. Wert advised the members on a discussion he had with Mr. Klein.

The Committee members discussed the current parking area at Roberts Ridge Park. Mr. Wert updated the Committee members on the expansion project at the Sloan School. Mr. Wert advised that if the expansion project is approved by the Township, that CRSD would allow the Township to have use of the restrooms and one (1) classroom during after school hours. In exchange CRSD request that the Township pay for the construction of the parking area. The members discussed the size of the classroom. Mr. Wert advised that the expansion project at the Sloan School would be discussed at the May 23, 2005, Board of Supervisors Work Session.

Mr. Vance questioned the funds received for Capital and number of buildings being constructed within the Township over the next five (5) years. Mr. Pellegrino advised that information is not available at this time. Mr. Wert advised the Committee members on the Parks & Recreation Department’s revenue budget numbers. Mr. Pellegrino advised that there is no guarantee at any time that a project will move forward and that it is difficult to plan a five (5) year budget. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Committee members on how he plans the budget.

Mr. Vance questioned the number of employees the Parks & Recreation Department has now and the approximate number of employees in five (5) years. Mr. Wert advised.

The Committee members discussed millage for the parks. The members agreed that the recreation programs pay for themselves.

The Committee members discussed the cost involved to maintain the Woll Tract.

Mr. Wert advised the Committee members that one (1) item not listed on 2005 – 2009 Capital Improvement Program is the consideration in 2008 – 2009 to convert the barn located at the Clark Nature Center into a nature center. He advised the members on his vision for the property. He also commented with regards to the 4-H Club. He advised that the roof and siding need to be replaced this year. The Committee members discussed possible uses for the property. The members discussed different programs that are held at the Clark Nature Center.

The Committee members discussed the funds requested for the 2006 Budget. Mr. Wert advised that the 2006 Budget is to be determined. Mr. Pellegrino advised Mr. Wert to focus on the Township’s existing parks and that the Parks & Recreation Committee needs to start discussing their goals for 2006 now, so he will know by September/October to begin preparing the 2006 Budget.

The Committee members thanked Mr. Wert for his time.

NEW BUSINESS

OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Pellegrino discussed the new Municipal Complex. He discussed the number of employees the Township expects to have at full build out.

Ms. Gibbs advised that at the June meeting the following departments would make their presentations for their 2006 Capital request – Administration/Finance, Codes, Public Works and Emergency Services.

ADJOURNMENT

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary