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 March 8, 2007

 

The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Thursday, March 8, 2007 in the conference room of the Newtown Township Fire House.

Members present were Jerry Schenkman, Elaine Gibbs, Philip Newmuis, Jennifer Dix, Robert Dieterle, John Stranford, John Nejman, and Wade F. Suthard. Excused were Allen Fidler and Angela Evans.

Call To Order

Mr. Stranford called the meeting to order at 7:15 P.M.

MINUTES OF JANUARY 18, 2007:

Mr. Dieterle advised he had one change to the January minutes. The change is on page three, the third to last paragraph, Mr. Fidler was speaking not Mr. Roberts.

Mr. Dieterle moved to approve the minutes of January 18, 2007. The motion was seconded by Mr. Nejman and passed unanimously (7-0).

Mr. Newmuis arrived after the minutes were approved.

New Business

Department Capital Budget Presentations – Set Dates

Ms. Gibbs advised the members when the Township departments will be presenting their Capital Budgets to the Committee. She updated the new members on the process involved with regards to the department’s presentations. She advised the members on what the Financial Planning Committee does with regards to the department’s presentations and the Committee’s recommendations to the Board of Supervisors. She suggested that the members review the Schedule J in their Budget packets.

The Committee members discussed items requested from prior years.

The Committee members discussed the dollar value for Capital Budget request. Ms. Gibbs advised that Capital request include anything $25,000.00 and up.

Mr. Newmuis discussed how the review process has evolved for the Committee.

The Committee members discussed if the dollar value for Capital request needs to be increased.

The Committee members discussed possible meeting dates for the department’s to make their presentations. The first date would be May 24 and the second date would be June 28. Ms. Gibbs advised that the Committee members would be notified by email once she has scheduled the presentation dates.

Mr. Schenkman requested the Committee members to attend the Budget presentations before the Board of Supervisors in the Fall.

Mr. Stranford questioned how much recognition the Financial Planning Committee receives from the Board of Supervisors with regards to the Budget. Mr. Schenkman advised with regards to the Committee’s recognition and how he benefits as the Township Treasurer from the Committee’s review of the Budget presentations.

Ms. Gibbs will advise the Committee further once she has confirmed the presentation dates.

Discussions at the Newtown Area Telecommunications Advisory Committee Meeting

Mr. Schenkman updated the Committee members on discussions that took place at the March meeting for the Newtown Area Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

Mr. Schenkman advised the members on a company called CGI Communications, Inc. and on their services being offered to the Township. He advised that the Township would sign a three (3) year contract and that there would be no cost to the Township. He advised that CGI Communications, Inc. would find local sponsors to cover the cost of the service. He advised that the Township is requesting VETO power with regards to sponsors and that after the three (3) year contact the Township is requesting to renewal annually. He advised the Committee members that the Newtown Area Telecommunications Advisory Committee will recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the Township signs the contract with CGI Communications, Inc.

Mr. Schenkman advised the members on a company called TelVue and on their services being offered to the Township. He discussed the presentation that TelVue made to the Township. He advised the Committee members that the Newtown Area Telecommunications Advisory Committee will recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the Township signs the contract with TelVue.

Mr. Schenkman advised that both CGI Communications, Inc. and TelVue are servicing local communities.

Mr. Schenkman discussed the savings to the Township with regards to the IT department.

The Committee members discussed CGI Communications, Inc. and TelVue going after the same sponsors.

Mr. Schenkman advised that both services are web based. TelVue information would be shown on the local channel and CGI Communications, Inc. would produce four (4) two (2) to three (3) minutes videos.

Old Business

Update on the Municipal Complex Expansion

Ms. Gibbs updated the members with regards to the Municipal Complex Expansion. She advised that the Township is in the final stages of purchasing the property needed from the Archdiocese. She advised that the property purchase should be complete by April and the cost of the property is approximately $700,000.00. She also discussed the Township’s subdivision plans. She advised that the final plan for subdivision would be discussed at the March 14, 2007 Board of Supervisors meeting and once the plan is approved by the Board of Supervisors the property would go to settlement. She advised that the Township is in the process of looking for a bridge loan to help cover the cost of the property. She advised that the design work would begin right after settlement. She advised that George J. Donovan AIA & Associates would be the architect for the project. She advised that the Township expects that by the end of the year the Township should have the final plan and the project would go out to bid.

The Committee members discussed the bridge loan. Ms. Gibbs advised that the bridge loan would be for $1.5 Million, which would cover the cost of the land and the design work.

The Committee members discussed the Township’s debt service.

Mr. Newmuis questioned the term of the bridge loan. Ms. Gibbs advised with regards to the term of the bridge loan.

The Committee discussed the process of the project being approved by the Board of Supervisors. Ms. Gibbs advised that the Township does not expect to move into the new building until 2010.

The Committee members discussed their involvement with regards to the project.

Ms. Gibbs advised that the Township is using Public Financial Management for the funding of the project.

Mr. Newmuis discussed The PFM Group, the RFP and the Committee’s involvement with the process. He advised that he feels that the Committee is doing the right thing with regards to the process of the project.

Mr. Stranford advised that he also feels that the Committee is doing the right thing.

Mr. Dieterle questioned how much money George J. Donovan AIA & Associates has been approved to spend. Mr. Schenkman advised that he has not seen any documentation with regards to how much money George J. Donovan AIA & Associates has been approved to spend.

Ms. Gibbs advised that the $1.5 Million is a line of credit and that the Township will not use it, if it is not needed.

The Committee members discussed The PFM Group.

Ms. Gibbs advised that The PFM Group works specifically with government agencies.

Mr. Schenkman updated the members on meetings with The PFM Group.

Mr. Dieterle commented on how much and how long the Township should get the Bond for.

Mr. Schenkman advised that the Bond would be used for the expansion of the Municipal Complex and the development of the Woll Tract.

The Committee members discussed the funds set aside for the development of the Woll Tract. Ms. Gibbs advised that the Township currently has $1.2 Million for the development of the Woll Tract.

Mr. Schenkman advised with regards to prior discussions that had Mr. Pellegrino managing the construction of the Municipal Complex expansion. He advised that Mr. Pellegrino is leaving the Township.

Mr. Schenkman advised the members on his meetings with George J. Donovan AIA & Associates. He advised that he would like the new Municipal Building to be a green building. He discussed possible grant money that would be available. He commented with regards to wind and solar power.

Mr. Dieterle discussed the up front cost involved with wind and solar power and the future savings.

Mr. Schenkman advised that he is still working on the video to educate the public with regards to the need for the Municipal Complex expansion.

The Committee members discussed the possibility of having Video Gold produce the Municipal Complex video.

The Committee members discussed the cost involved with regards to the Municipal Complex video and the need for a tour guide.

Ms. Gibbs advised the Committee members that in 2008 the Township’s debt would be settled

The Committee members discussed the Township raising taxes. At this time, it is not known the amount of the tax increase. The architect will be determining this after the plans are finalized.

Privelege of the Floor

Mr. Schenkman updated the Committee members that Mr. Pellegrino is leaving the Township to work for Northampton Township. He advised that the Board of Supervisors would discuss the matter at their March 14, 2007 meeting in executive session. He discussed the input/recommendations from Mr. Pellegrino with regards to a possible replacement. He advised that Mr. Boyle and Ms. Gibbs would help to pick up the slack in the absence of a Township Manager.

Mr. Newmuis questioned Mr. Schenkman with regards to the status of the grant writer he had discussed at prior meetings. Mr. Schenkman advised that he would contact Kim Bennett (grant writer) and try to arrange a meeting with Ms. Bennett, Ms. Gibbs, Mr. Stranford and himself.

Adjournment

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

The next meeting is scheduled for May 24, 2007 at 7 P.M. The meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Township Municipal Building.

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

Christy Holley, Recording Secretary