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 27, 2008

 

The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Thursday, March 27, 2008 in the meeting room at the Newtown Township Municipal Building.

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

CALL TO ORDER

Mr. Beasley called the meeting to order at 7:10 P.M.

MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 19, 2008

Mr. Gallagher moved to approve the minutes of February 19, 2008. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dieterle and passed unanimously (6-0).

OLD BUSINESS

Discuss Municipal Complex Expansion

Mr. Gallagher updated the Committee with regards to the proposed Municipal Complex Expansion. He reported on discussions that the Board of Supervisors has had with regards to making a decision and that they’ve agreed that they would like the Committee to make recommendations to them. He advised that there has been discussion to postpone the renovations of the current Public Works building, which future use would be for Parks & Recreation programs. He advised on areas that the Supervisors would like reviewed further.

The members discussed the penalties of not moving forward. Mr. Dieterle reported on time delays, cost increases and that not making a decision is costing the Township approximately $50,000.00 per month.

The members discussed the time it would take if the architect were requested to redesign the plans.

Mr. Dieterle discussed the timeline for the current plans showing the bid process to start around June 2, 2008 and that if the Supervisors change the plan that would delay the bid process.

Ms. Gibbs reported on the history of the proposed expansion of the Municipal Complex.

The members discussed the current plans showing the total cost of the project to be approximately $14,300,000.00.

The members discussed the cost involved with shrinking the overall size of the buildings and the savings.

Mr. Beasley reported that the Supervisors want the Committee to review the plans proactively and make recommendations to them.

The members discussed feeling uncomfortable making a decision on the overall size of the building.

Mr. Gallagher suggested that the members review the email he sent them today and advise the Supervisors if that information looks right and to report on the effects of changing the plan.

Ms. Gibbs reported on the prior research work that has been done with regards to expanding the Municipal Complex and the study done by the architect with regards to the square footage per person.

Mr. McCrane suggested contacting Mr. Czajkowski and Mr. Boyle to request the research information that has already been collected.

The members discussed the political issues involved with the proposed expansion and the increase of property taxes.

Mr. Beasley commented on the cost involved with delaying the project, the ongoing vetting/review of the project for the past ten years. He suggested that the Committee review all the documents available and make comparisons to similar municipalities before making a recommendation to the Supervisors.

Ms. Gibbs advised that she feels that the architect would be the best resource for the information that the Committee is looking for.

Mr. Dieterle suggested that the Committee get the plans from three similar municipalities and doing the calculations with regards to square footage.

Mr. Gallagher reported that the Supervisors are looking to make a decision in April.

The members discussed the proposed Police building. Ms. Gibbs advised that there are approximately 28 officers and 5 support staff.

The members discussed the minimum recommended standards with regards to square footage.

Mr. Gallagher questioned who should be doing the research that is needed for the Committee to make a recommendation.

The members discussed the architect being a source for the information that the Committee is looking for.

Mr. Gallagher requested Mr. Beasley to contact Mr. Czajkowski and request the information that the Committee needs to review before making a recommendation.

Mr. Beasley reported on discussions he has had with Mr. Jirele regarding the proposed expansion.

Ms. Gibbs recommended having a meeting with Joe Phillips from George J. Donovan AIA & Associates.

Mr. Beasley suggested having the Committee meet with Joe Phillips prior to the Supervisors’ April Work Session and to have their questions prepared ahead of time.

The members requested copies of the current plans being proposed for the expansion. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would mail them hard copies. Mr. Beasley advised that he would request Joe Phillips to email the plans to the Committee.

The members discussed the questions for the architect, below are a few them:

  • The history on how the plan evolved.
  • Square Footage with regards to the recommended guidelines and national standards (per person, cell sizes).
  • Other municipal complex facilities that George J. Donovan AIA & Associates has designed and how they compare to Newtown Township.

The members discussed possible dates to schedule the special meeting with Joe Phillips.

Ms. Gibbs recommended that the members email each other their questions, giving enough time to get them to Joe Phillips for his review prior to the meeting.

Mr. Beasley requested that the questions be emailed to the Recording Secretary and that she forwards a copy of the questions to himself by Monday, March 31, 2008.

Mr. Beasley reported that he would invite Mr. Czajkowski to attend the special meeting with Joe Phillips.

The members agreed that the special meeting would be scheduled for April 8, 2008 at 6 P.M. (alternate date April 10, 2008). Mr. Beasley requested the Recording Secretary to schedule a meeting room.

Mr. Gallagher reported that the Supervisors’ issues are the work out room in the Police building, the number of offices in the Police building, if anything should be done to the current Public Works building at this time and the two conference/meeting rooms and kitchenette located in the Administration building.

The members discussed getting the history of the project from the Supervisors, the architect, John Boyle and Bob Pellegrino. Mr. Beasley advised that he would contact Mr. Boyle and Mr. Pellegrino to discuss the history of the project and email the Supervisors requesting their issues.

The members discussed identifying possible spaces that could be removed from the plans.

Develop the proposed 2008 goals for the Financial Planning Committee

Mr. Beasley advised that the Committee would discuss the goals at the April meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR

Mr. Gallagher reported on Mr. Nejman’s resignation from the Committee. Ms. Gibbs advised that she has requested Mr. Nejman to write the Township a letter advising of his resignation formally.

The members discussed the Committee having an open position once Mr. Nejman’s resignation has been finalized.

The members discussed the Township’s policy with regards to members’ attendance at meetings.

Mr. Gallagher reported that when Ms. Goldberg applied for the Committee she advised that due to scheduling conflicts she would miss the first few meetings of the year, the Supervisors agreed to excuse the absences.

Mr. McCrane reported on discussions at the last Parks & Recreation Board meeting with regards to revenue enhancement.

Ms. Gibbs reported on the Department’s Capital Budget presentations. She advised that in the past the presentations have taken place at the Committee’s May and June meetings and on the types of items requested.

The members discussed the Township appointing a new police chief.

Ms. Gibbs commented with regards to the Committee’s meeting night remaining the fourth Thursday of the month. The members agreed to continue to meet on the fourth Thursday of the month.

ADJOURMENT

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

The next meeting is scheduled for April 24, 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