NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940

Internet: http://www.twp.newtown.pa.us

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Minutes for the meeting held on August 17, 2006

 

The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Thursday, August 17, 2006 in the meeting room of the Township Municipal Building.

Members present were Jerry Schenkman, Elaine Gibbs, Allen Fidler, Phil Vance, Robert Dieterle, Jennifer Dix and John Stranford. Excused were Philip Newmuis and Township Manager Bob Pellegrino.

Also present was Township employee Gary Crossland, Public Works Director.

Call To Order:

Mr. Schenkman called the meeting to order at 7:05 P.M.

Minutes of June 15, 2006:

Mr. Vance moved to approve the minutes of June 15, 2006. The motion was seconded by Mr. Fidler and passed unanimously with one member abstaining.

Mr. Stranford and Ms. Dix arrived after the approval of the June minutes.

New Business:

2007 Capital Budget Presentations

Newtown Township Public Works Department

Mr. Crossland made his presentation to the Financial Planning Committee regarding the Newtown Township Public Works Department and their 2007 Capital request. The Committee members discussed the memorandum received from Mr. Crossland dated June 15, 2006.

Mr. Crossland advised the Committee with regards to the condition of the Township’s road. He discussed the Township having newer roadways, the need to keep up with the crack filling of the Township roads and the delay in the 2006 resurfacing program due to the high bids. He advised that the 2006 resurfacing and 2007 resurfacing programs would be combined.

The Committee members discussed the roads currently proposed for the 2007 resurfacing program for approximately $500,000.00 - $600,000.00 of funding from Liquid Fuels. Mr. Crossland advised that some of the roads might be changed depending on the conditions of the roadways.

Mr. Crossland discussed the Township’s equipment and the addition of developments within the Township needing to be reflected not only in manpower but also in the equipment.

Mr. Crossland updated the Committee members on the request for the Township to purchase a tar kettle/crack filler unit for approximately $22,000.00 (life expectancy –15 years), having the unit would allow the Township to fill the cracks in the spring and fall, currently the Township rents a unit for approximately $4,000.00/monthly.

The Committee members discussed the possibility of subletting the unit to other Townships.

Mr. Crossland updated the Committee members on the request for the Township to purchase automotive and equipment testing units for approximately $10,000.00, which would save the Township over $3,000.00 per year by doing the work in house. He discussed cross-training employees.

The Committee members discussed the possibility of servicing other municipalities’ equipment.

Mr. Schenkman requested that Mr. Crossland provide the Committee with a cost analysis of the equipment that the Township has purchased over the past three (3) years. Mr. Crossland advised that he would provide that information to the Committee.

The Committee members discussed the maintenance of the Township’s 75 miles of roadways and the cost involved with re-paving the roads. Mr. Crossland advised on the increasing cost of asphalt. The Committee members discussed the funding from Liquid Fuels and Recreation Impact Fees. Ms. Gibbs advised that the funds from Recreation Impact Fees could not be used for roads only intersections.

Mr. Vance discussed the possibility of the Township someday needing to borrow money to keep the roads maintained. Ms. Gibbs and Mr. Crossland advised that the Township has a good maintenance plan. Mr. Crossland advised that his only problem has been with trash trucks tearing up the roadways in some developments.

Mr. Crossland advised on the types of materials now being used for resurfacing.

Mr. Crossland updated the Committee members on the request for the Township to purchase radio equipment for approximately $6,000.00. He updated the Committee members on the need to raise the radio antenna to approximately 100 ft. high and on discussions with Comcast to possibly install a Comcast tower. He advised that currently the department has approximately 16 radios and several pieces of equipment need to be upgraded. He discussed the need for more radio equipment.

Mr. Crossland updated the Committee members on the request for the Township to purchase a new trimming mower deck for approximately $5,200.00 (under state bid) and discussed the down time of the current trimming mower deck. He advised that the current mower deck would be used as a backup to the new mower deck.

Mr. Vance questioned if this item would go under Recreation Capital. Ms. Gibbs advised that this item could go under Recreation Capital.

Mr. Schenkman questioned the cost to rent a mower. Mr. Crossland advised that a weekly rental is approximately $560.00.

Mr. Fidler advised the Committee members on his experiences with trimming mowers and decks, approximately three (3) decks to the life of one (1) trimming mower/tractor.

Mr. Crossland updated the Committee members on the request for the Township to purchase a walk behind mower for approximately $8,500.00.

Mr. Crossland advised that he would like the Township to purchase a small pickup truck for the mechanic to use.

Mr. Crossland advised the Committee members on the department’s equipment replacement schedule for 2006 – 2011.

Mr. Crossland advised that he would like the Township to finalize the master plan with regards to the proposed Municipal Complex expansion, so that a new fueling station system can be installed for approximately $90,000.00 - $110,000.00 and that the current fueling station needs to be certified by the DEP by the end of the month.

The Committee members discussed the Township paying into the State’s Indemnity Fund for having an underground tank.

The Committee members discussed the current fueling tanks being located underground and the need to relocate above ground. Mr. Crossland advised that the tanks are monitored.

Mr. Fidler advised the Committee members on his concerns with having the tanks located underground.

Mr. Crossland advised that as of today the bid is going out to paint the exterior of the Township Building, the Police Trailer and the School House. He discussed the preparation involved with the project and expects the cost to be approximately $15,000.00 – $18,000.00.

Mr. Crossland updated the Committee members on the renovation work that has been done to the current interior of the Police Department.

Mr. Crossland discussed the need to purchase a new generator and advised on problems with recent electrical outages.

The Committee members discussed the possibility of applying for grants to purchase a new generator.

Mr. Crossland updated the Committee members on the request for a salt shed and a salt brine building. He discussed the available funding in the 2006 Budget for expanding the salt barn and advised on the advantages of salt brine.

Mr. Crossland updated the Committee members on the improvements to the Clark Nature Preserve being done with Community Grant funds. He advised that the residing of the barn is 75% complete. He updated the Committee members on what projects are still remaining. He discussed upgrading the septic system, advising that the system currently holds 300 gallons and should hold between 1,000 – 1,500 gallons. He advised that there is currently no money left in the Community Grant funds. He discussed the buildings needing to comply with the Township codes once complete and advised that currently the Boy Scouts are using the barn.

The Committee members discussed the preservation of the barn, the improvements to the property and the need to meet all safety codes when the improvements are complete.

Mr. Crossland updated the Committee members on the request for the Staples playing field, he advised that it would cost approximately $10,000.00 - $12,000.00 for additional fencing. He discussed the condition of the Staples playing field. He advised on discussions with the local sports organizations and the Council Rock School District.

The Committee members discussed the Wiggins field. Mr. Crossland advised that the soils are not the best and there are some wet areas.

The Committee members discussed the Silver Lake Park and Roberts Ridge Park.

The Committee members discussed what the Township has done to improve the equipment and the services provided to the community.

The Committee members discussed the growth in the community.

The Committee members thanked Mr. Crossland for his time.

The Committee members discussed some of the items being requested would come out of the Operating Budget.

Ms. Gibbs advised that the Committee’s purpose is really to review purchases over $25,000.00, but that it is very informative to know what the departments are requesting. She advised that any items related to the roads would come from the Liquid Fuel Funds, any items related to Parks & Recreation would come out of the Parks & Recreation Capital and any other items approved would come out of the Operating Budget.

Old Business

Municipal Complex Expansion

The Committee members discussed the cost being incurred by not moving forward with the Municipal Complex expansion.

The Committee members discussed purchasing the land from the Archdiocese. Mr. Schenkman advised on the progress being made.

The Committee members discussed the Township complying with the land development requirements.

The Committee members reviewed the proposed plan for the Municipal Complex expansion and the initial cost estimates from October 2005.

The Committee members discussed the need to educate the public.

Mr. Vance suggested that when the Township talks about raising taxes they use dollars verses percentages.

The Committee members discussed developing a video to educate the public on the current Municipal Building. The program would be shown on the Township’s Public Access Channel.

The Committee members discussed the number of people who are watching the local Township Public Access Channels.

The Committee members discussed recommending to the Board of Supervisors to take the first step to educate the public on the need for the Municipal Complex expansion allocating funds for the development of the video.

The Committee members discussed getting the Township’s Telecommunications Committee involved. Mr. Schenkman advised the Committee members with regards to the Newtown Area Telecommunications Advisory Committee and the parties who attend the meetings.

The Committee members discussed how other municipalities are dealing with space issues.

The Committee members discussed the current number of Supervisors who would be for the Municipal Complex expansion.

The Committee members discussed the possibility of borrowing the money for the Municipal Complex expansion now and putting into an account until the Township is ready to use.

The Committee members discussed building the complex in phases.

The Committee members discussed the possibility of needing to rent additional space to house the Township.

Mr. Fidler made a motion to recommend to the Board of Supervisors to authorize the exploration of an educational component to enlighten the constituents of the need and necessity for the Municipal Complex expansion and to involve the Newtown Area Telecommunications Advisory Committee with the production. The motion was seconded by Mr. Vance and passed unanimously.

The Committee members discussed the presentation to the Board of Supervisors.

The Committee members discussed contacting Mr. Pellegrino to acquire the current cost estimates and updated proposed plans.

Ms. Dix questioned why the Newtown Area Telecommunications Advisory Committee would be involved. Mr. Schenkman advised on the representatives who attend the meeting and the possible contributions from Comcast and Verizon.

The Committee members discussed various videos that have run on the Township’s Public Access Channel and who produced the videos.

Reorganization: Nominate Chairperson/Vice-Chairperson

Mr. Schenkman advised the Committee members that at this time there will be no reorganization of the Committee.

Privelege of the Floor

The Committee members discussed the loss of Recreation Impact Fees.

The Committee members discussed raising taxes.

The Committee members discussed the land within the township still waiting to be developed and the projected incoming Recreation Impact Fees.

The Committee members the cost involved with the Township providing the residents with the services they have come to expect.

The Committee members discussed the Verizon Franchise Agreement.

The Committee members discussed the number of parking variances that are being approved by the Township and how to address the parking problem.

The Committee members discussed forming a parking authority and building a Township run parking garage.

The Committee members discussed the proposed parking for the old Acme site.

The Committee members discussed establishing a parking area in the Business Park and offering a trolley service within the Township/Borough for a small fee.

The Committee members discussed the traffic within the Township.

The Committee members discussed the past history of the Financial Planning Committee.

The Committee members discussed recommending to the Board of Supervisors to have the Committee’s Liaison serve for a two or three year term.

The Committee members discussed the Committee’s involvement with the 2007 Budget presentation.

The Committee members discussed the possibility of the Township raising taxes for debt services.

The Committee members discussed the past mismanagement of the Township and the progress made.

Adjournment

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

The next meeting is scheduled for September 21, 2006 at 7 P.M.

Ms. Dix advised that she would be unable to attend the September meeting.

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

Christy Holley, Recording Secretary