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 February 19, 2008

 

The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 in the meeting room at the Newtown Borough Fire Hall.

Members present were Robert Dieterle, Elaine Gibbs, Brian Wilson, Glenn Beasley, Mike Gallagher and Jim McCrane. Excused were John Stranford, John Nejman, Philip Newmuis and Michelle Goldberg.

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Beasley called the meeting to order at 7:02 P.M.

MINUTES OF JANUARY 24, 2008:

Mr. Dieterle moved to approve the minutes of January 24, 2008. The motion was seconded by Mr. McCrane and passed unanimously (6-0).

NEW BUSINESS

Develop the proposed 2008 goals for the Financial Planning Committee

Mr. Gallagher updated the Committee on discussions at the last Board of Supervisors Work Session with regards to the Budget. He advised that one suggestion was that the Financial Planning Committee would look into how the budget is developed. He commented on the Committee reviewing how the budget is prepared, the steps to prepare it and if it is the best process.

Ms. Gibbs advised on the budget process that she follows.

Mr. Beasley advised on the budget process when he was on FIMTAF.

The members agreed to research the budget process and advise the Board of Supervisors by the end of the year.

The members agreed that one of the Committee’s goals for 2008 would be to develop a complete understanding of the current budget process and develop recommendations for ways to improve the process by December 31, 2008. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would email information regarding the budget preparation to the members by the end of February 2008.

Mr. Wilson commented on what the members would be comparing to.

The members agreed that another 2008 goal for the Committee would be the Municipal Complex expansion. The members agreed to be prepared to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors at the first meeting in May. The members discussed the wording of the recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

The members discussed the Woll Tract. Mr. Gallagher advised that the Township has the money in the bank to put in fields for the Woll Tract.

The members discussed Capital Planning and Open Space/Land Preservation.

The members agreed that the main focus of the Committee on capital planning should be the proposed Municipal Complex expansion.

The members discussed enhance revenue/increase revenue. Ms. Gibbs suggested that once the Committee has finished with the Municipal Complex to review the Budget looking for areas where the revenue can be increased.

Mr. Wilson commented with regards to Parks & Recreation revenue. Ms. Gibbs advised that Parks & Recreation revenue is separate from the General Fund.

Mr. Wilson commented on ways for the Township to earn revenue.

The members discussed possible zoning changes and a Hotel Tax.

The members discussed revenue enhancement and cost reduction.

The members discussed ways for the Township to increase revenue.

The members agreed that another 2008 goal for the Committee would be to develop a set of recommendations for ways to enhance or increase revenue streams by December 31, 2008.

The members agreed that another 2008 goal for the Committee would be to define ways for the Township to improve efficiencies by December 31, 2008.

The Committee discussed having a member make a presentation at the Board of Supervisors meeting on February 20, 2008. Mr. Wilson advised that he would make the presentation.

Mr. Gallagher reviewed the Committee goals for 2008.

  • Develop an understanding of the current budget process and develop recommendations on the process by the end of the year.
  • By the first Board of Supervisors meeting in May develop a recommendation for the Board of Supervisors consideration regarding the Municipal Complex.
  • By the end of the year develop a set of recommendations for ways to enhance and or increase revenue streams for the Township.
  • By the end of the year develop recommendations on ways to make the Township more efficient.

OLD BUSINESS

Discuss Municipal Complex Expansion

Mr. Beasley updated the members with regards to the task undertaken by Mr. Dieterle and Mr. McCrane.

Mr. Dieterle discussed the estimate summary that Ms. Gibbs provided to the Committee from Construction Cost Management dated November 14, 2007. He commented on cost issues.

Ms. Gibbs discussed the reduction on the cost estimate summary from George J. Donovan AIA & Associates dated November 8, 2007. She advised that she would try to gather more information for the Committee’s review. She also advised that with regards to financing, Mr. Czajkowski is meeting with Michael Wolf, a representative from Boenning & Scattergood Inc., an investment firm.

Mr. Dieterle discussed the Committee making the recommendation regarding the Municipal Complex expansion to the Supervisors. He advised on his concerns regarding construction cost.

The members discussed the construction management cost.

The members discussed having an independent construction manager.

Mr. McCrane commented on the documents Ms. Gibbs provided the Committee from The PFM Group. He advised on his concerns. He discussed the bond issuers with regards to built in cost. He discussed the Township needing to know what the minimum charge will be.

The members discussed the fixed fee and the funds being in escrow until needed.

Mr. McCrane discussed funding alternatives. Ms. Gibbs advised on discussions that the Township has had with The First National Bank and Trust Company of Newtown.

The members discussed how to structure the bond and the underlying cost.

Ms. Gibbs advised on the past Boards’ revising the plan with regards to design.

The members discussed the cost to Township with regards to delaying the project.

The members discussed the LEEDS certification.

The members discussed the operating cost for the existing and new buildings.

Mr. Beasley questioned the estimates on operating cost. Ms. Gibbs advised that she was unaware of any estimates.

The members discussed calculating the cost increase and savings into the operating cost.

The members discussed the current buildings and their future uses and the removal of the trailers.

Ms. Gibbs advised on the spaces rented by the Township for Parks & Recreation programs.

Ms. Gibbs advised that she would provide the members with the yearly operating cost figures.

Mr. Beasley suggested outlining the areas affected by cost increase. Ms. Gibbs discussed the Budget, she reference page 9 (Government Building/Plants) with regards to the General Fund and expenditures.

The members discussed the square footage of the Municipal Complex doubling.

The members discussed the cost savings from the Township building a green building.

The members discussed the amount that the Budget will need to reflect with regards to the maintenance cost.

The members discussed the Martindale House with regards to future use and the utility cost.

Ms. Gibbs advised on the maintenance that has been done to the current Municipal Building.

The members discussed future hiring as the Township grows.

Mr. Beasley commented on the cost with regards to capital and the operating cost. He suggested meeting offline with Ms. Gibbs to discuss the budget and meeting with Mr. Czajkowski and Mr. Boyle to discuss where the Township is.

Ms. Gibbs suggested meeting with Mr. Czajkowski and Mr. Boyle first.

Mr. McCrane and Mr. Dieterle advised on their availability with regards to attending a special meeting.

The Committee discussed Mr. Dieterle and Mr. McCrane’s expertise and suggested that they be members of the subcommittee.

Mr. Dieterle suggested setting up an early meeting.

Mr. Beasley suggested setting up two (2) possible meeting dates. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would update Mr. Czajkowski and Mr. Boyle. Mr. Beasley advised that he would send a note to Mr. Czajkowski and Mr. Boyle to discuss possible dates for a meeting with the subcommittee to discuss various topics including the scope of the building, why cost have changed and the LEEDS Certification.

Mr. Wilson suggested having an agenda for the special meeting. Mr. Beasley advised that he would have one prepared.

The members discussed the current Boards’ position with regards to the proposed Municipal Complex expansion.

The members discussed the Board with regards to the cost of the proposed Municipal Complex expansion.

The members discussed the Committee making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

The members discussed the cost paid to the architects.

The members discussed having Township services in various locations within the Township.

Mr. McCrane advised that he has concerns with regards to making recommendations and the plan changing.

Mr. Beasley commented with regards to the Committee laying the groundwork now even if changes to the plan happen.

The members discussed the research done on other local municipalities. Ms. Gibbs advised the members on what information she could; she suggested checking with Mr. Czajkowski.

Ms. Gibbs advised that she feels it is a good idea to meet with Mr. Czajkowski and Mr. Boyle.

Mr. Beasley requested Mr. Dieterle and Mr. McCrane to draft a proposed agenda for the meeting with Mr. Czajkowski and Mr. Boyle. He advised that he would send an email requesting availability for a meeting date.

The members discussed contacting Mr. Pellegrino. Mr. Dieterle advised that he would contact Mr. Pellegrino.

The members discussed advising the Board of Supervisors that delaying the project is only increasing the cost.

The members discussed the time to go out to bid and getting a municipal bond.

The members discussed the return time involved with receiving bids.

The members discussed the time frames for the processes.

The members discussed construction with regards to the weather.

The members discussed the construction schedule. Ms. Gibbs advised that there were schedules in 2006, she suggested discussing them with the Township Manager.

The members discussed doing the construction in phases.

Ms. Gibbs advised that it is the Township Manager’s intent to start with the Administration and Public Works buildings.

Mr. Beasley advised that he would send an email to the subcommittee requesting possible dates for a meeting.

Mr. Beasley commented on the Board of Supervisors making a decision within the next few weeks. Mr. Gallagher advised with regards to the Board of Supervisors making a decision.

The members discussed the cost involved with phasing the job.

Mr. Beasley discussed meeting with Mr. Czajkowski and Mr. Boyle, the Committee’s next meeting and making a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors in April 2008.

Discuss Budget

Ms. Gibbs advised the members that the Budget has not been updated yet and that they should have the revised copy by the next meeting.

Ms. Gibbs advised the members that she was not feeling well and excused herself from the meeting.

Discuss MuniCast Software

Mr. Gallagher updated the members with regards to MuniCast software; he made a presentation to the Committee.

The members discussed the Township’s current analysis software.

The members discussed developing revenue forecasting.

Mr. Gallagher advised that MuniCast would customize the software for the Township.

The members discussed how far out to forecast.

Mr. Gallagher advised that the cost for the software is $5,000.00 for all funds or $2,000.00 for only the general fund; he advised on what is included in the cost.

The members discussed other municipalities using this software and getting references. Mr. Gallagher advised that Orange County, California and the City of San Francisco are using the software; he also advised that he would get references.

The members discussed the limitations. Mr. Gallagher advised that it was recommended that the Township upgrade to Excel 2007; he also discussed the compatibility with Power Point.

Mr. Gallagher advised that he would like to see this Committee recommend the software to the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Beasley commented on gathering more information before making a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. He suggested discussing the software further at the March meeting.

The members discussed the Committee’s involvement with regards to the use of the software.

The members discussed the future uses of the software.

The members discussed scenarios for generating information.

Mr. McCrane advised that he feels that the Township needs a forecasting and scenario tool.

The members discussed other municipalities forecasting. Mr. Gallagher advised on what information he had with regards to other municipalities forecasting.

The members discussed possible grants available to purchase the software.

Mr. McCrane advised that he is in favor of recommending the software to the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Beasley advised that he feels the software would be a good investment for the Township.

Mr. Wilson advised that he is in favor of recommending the software to the Board of Supervisors.

The members discussed Mr. Gallagher having discussions with the Board of Supervisors regarding the recommendation from the Committee.

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR

ADJOURMENT:

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

The next meeting is scheduled for March 27, 2008 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