The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Thursday, June 26, 2008 in the meeting room at the Newtown Township Municipal Building.
Members present were Glenn Beasley, Robert Dieterle, Elaine Gibbs, Jim McCrane, John Stranford, Brian Wilson and Ronald Kaizar. Excused was Mike Gallagher.
Also present were Township employees Joseph Czajkowski, Township Manager; John Boyle, Assistant Township Manager/Director of Technology; Chief Henry Pasqualini, Lieutenant Glenn Forsyth; Jean Tanner and Gary Crossland, Director of Public Works.
Mr. Beasley called the meeting to order at 7:07 P.M.
Ronald Kaizar introduced himself to the members. He advised that he has lived in the Township for twenty-six years and that his work experience has been in the financial sector.
Mr. McCrane commented on a statement made by Mr. Gallagher (last sentence on page 5), he suggested adding that the approved level sited by the Supervisors is $2.6 Million.
Department Capital Budget Presentations
Chief Pasqualini introduced himself to the Committee. He advised on his past employment history. He introduced Ms. Tanner and Lieutenant Forsyth.
The Committee welcomed Chief Pasqualini to the Township.
Chief Pasqualini discussed the proposed Municipal Complex expansion and advised on the current working conditions in the Police Department. He commented on the need for some type of time line for the project. Mr. McCrane advised the Chief on the Committee’s role with regards to the proposed Municipal Complex expansion. Mr. Beasley advised that this Committee is only a recommending body to the Supervisors.
Chief Pasqualini made his presentation to the Financial Planning Committee regarding the Newtown Township Police Department and their 2009 Capital request. The Committee members reviewed the memorandum received from the Police Department.
Chief Pasqualini advised the Committee with regards to the current Police vehicle situation. He discussed his request to purchase four (4) Chevrolet Impalas in 2009 for an estimate cost of $120,000.00. He commented that he would like the Department to have ten (10) front line cars. He discussed the need to maintain the fleet and his future plans for the fleet. He advised that currently the fleet consist of twenty-five (25) vehicles. He plans to immediately eliminate four (4) vehicles, leaving a total of twenty-one (21) vehicles of which two (2) are County owned.
Lieutenant Forsyth advised that the term “front line” refer to marked units.
Mr. Stranford arrived.
Mr. Wilson commented with regards to the procedure for ordering vehicles. Mr. Czajkowski and Ms. Gibbs advised with regards to the process for ordering vehicles.
Mr. McCrane questioned the Impala’s performance. Chief Pasqualini advised with regards to the vehicle’s performance.
Mr. McCrane commented on the number of vehicles purchased in 2008. Mr. Czajkowski advised that originally three (3) vehicles were approved for purchase in 2008, but when the Budget was reopened in January the purchase of one (1) vehicle was cancelled. Ms. Gibbs advised that in the past the Department has always purchased three (3) vehicles.
Mr. Kaizar commented with regards to the Township salvaging vehicles. Mr. Crossland reported with regards to the auctioning of Township vehicles and a company called Munibay.
Mr. Beasley suggested that the spreadsheet provided for the Committee’s review should show $90,000.00 per year for patrol vehicles.
Chief Pasqualini reported on the request to purchase ten (10) video cameras for the patrol vehicles at an estimated cost of $53,000.00. The cameras would be purchased through the state bid process
Mr. McCrane questioned the Chief’s prior use of video cameras. Chief Pasqualini advised on his past experiences with regards to the use of video cameras.
The Committee discussed how the video camera equipment would work.
The Committee discussed how the officers feel with regards to using the video camera equipment.
Mr. McCrane questioned the life expectancy of the video camera equipment. Chief Pasqualini advised on what information he could with regards to the life expectancy.
The Committee discussed being able to download the video.
The Committee discussed the possibility of going with a cheaper model.
The Committee reviewed handouts showing various models and accessories from Martel Electronics, the model that Chief Pasqualini is proposing is approximately $5,295.00 per setup.
Ms. Gibbs questioned if grant money is available to purchase the video cameras. Ms. Tanner advised that grant money is not available to purchase the video cameras.
Chief Pasqualini advised with regards to his request to purchase nine (9) additional AEDs for an estimated cost of $11,000.00. He discussed the possibility of grant money.
Mr. Czajkowski advised on his experiences in Upper Makefield and Warwick with regards to vehicles having an AED.
The members discussed the life expectancy and maintenance involved with an AED.
Chief Pasqualini advised with regards to his request to purchase five (5) Data 911 computers for an estimated cost of $25,000.00. He reported that the Department currently has five (5). He discussed future technology changes within the Department.
The Committee discussed connecting the video cameras into the Data 911 computers. Ms. Tanner advised that she would work closely with the Technology Department.
The Committee discussed the life expectancy of the Data 911 computers.
Chief Pasqualini reported on the Department’s vest program, the vest needing to be replace every five (5) years and his request that $5,000.00 be allotted every year for the purchase of new vests.
Ms. Tanner advised on the Federal Grant Vest Program.
Chief Pasqualini advised that the vests are purchased through the state bidding process.
Chief Pasqualini reported on his 2010 request to purchase rifles and mounting equipment for an estimated cost of $37,500.00. He discussed the need for the ten (10) front line vehicles to be prepared. He advised that currently the Department has five (5) rifles.
Chief Pasqualini reported on his recommendation that the uniformed weapon for the Department be the Glock. The estimated cost would be $10,000.00.
Chief Pasqualini advised on his history with regards to SERT.
Mr. McCrane questioned how this year’s Budget request is different from last year’s request. Ms. Gibbs advised on the differences and similarities with regards to the Police Department’s requests.
Ms. Tanner reported that in January 2008 the Department was budgeted approximately $150,000.00.
Ms. Gibbs advised with regards to the Budget request and what items are paid for out of the General and Capital Funds.
Mr. Beasley summarized the request for the Department.
Mr. Wilson questioned if the force expects to increase or decrease. Chief Pasqualini reported on the reorganization of the Department’s structure and that he expects to increase the force by at least one (1) more officer.
The members thanked the representatives from the Police Department for their time.
Mr. Beasley suggested that the Department update their spreadsheet to show tonight’s changes.
Ms. Gibbs advised the Committee on her process with regards to preparing the Budget request from the various Departments.
Newtown Township Public Works Department
Mr. Crossland made his presentation to the Financial Planning Committee regarding the Newtown Township Public Works Department and their 2009 Capital request. The Committee members reviewed the memorandum received from Gary Crossland dated June 23, 2008 with regards to the Public Works Department’s 2009 – 2014 Capital Planning Proposals.
Mr. Crossland reported on the condition of the Township’s roadways. He advised on ways to extend the life of the roadways. He discussed the maintenance cost involved with maintaining the road. He advised that additional funding is needed.
The members discussed the State allocation with regards to Liquid Fuel Taxes.
The members discussed the cost for maintaining the roadways.
Mr. Crossland advised on the roads that are being resurfaced in 2008.
The members discussed the roads that are proposed for resurfacing in 2009 for an estimated cost of $400,000.00 to $500,000.00.
The members discussed the dedicated and private roadways within the Township. The Township is responsible for the dedicated roadways.
Mr. Crossland advised the members on what micro surfacing is.
The members discussed how to keep ahead when it comes to the condition of the roads. Mr. Crossland advised that if the Township wants to get ahead of the problem, three (3) to four (4) miles of roadway should be resurfaced per year. The members discussed spending some money now to save in later years.
Ms. Gibbs advised that the money from the Liquid Fuel tax is used to purchase new equipment and maintain the roadways.
The members discussed making a recommendation to the Supervisors with regards to funding the roadway maintenance program.
The members discussed the life expectancy of a road. Mr. Crossland advised that the average life of the roadway surface is approximately ten (10) to fifteen (15) years depending on the usage.
The members discussed how many more miles of roadway the Township expects to be maintaining in the future; currently the Township maintains approximately eighty (80) miles of roadway.
The members discussed budgeting per mile. A suggestion was made to have Mr. Crossland map out the area needing resurfacing.
Mr. McCrane suggested scoring the condition of the roadway. Mr. Crossland advised with regards to scoring and training. He advised on how he gages the condition of the roadway.
The Committee discussed meeting with Mr. Crossland again to have more detailed meetings with the Committee to discuss the Department’s five (5) year plan.
Mr. Dieterle suggested that Mr. Crossland identify when roadways were last addressed.
A suggestion was made to prepare a color-coded map to identify areas.
The members discussed the urgency of taking care of the roadways.
The members discussed the effects to the roadways from salt. Mr. Crossland advised on the effects of salt and that the biggest damage to a road is oxidation.
The Committee agreed to meet with Mr. Crossland again in September to discuss the 2009 – 2014 Capital Planning.
The members discussed creating a long-term plan with regards to maintaining the roadways.
Mr. Crossland advised that currently the Township has forty-four (44) developments and his Department has eight (8) full time employees.
Mr. Beasley commented with regards to estimating the growth of miles needing to be maintained over the next ten (10) years. Mr. Crossland and Mr. Czajkowski advised with regards to the future growth of miles to be maintained.
Mr. Beasley recapped on what the Committee will expect from Mr. Crossland at the September meeting.
- Information showing the Township roads and their conditions.
- The needs for maintaining the roads over the next twenty (20) years.
- The capital required for replacing equipment.
- Information showing the cost to the Township.
Ms. Gibbs suggested that Mr. Crossland use the GIS maps to help with his roadway project.
Mr. Stranford suggested that too much detail could be bad. He recommended having three (3) roadway condition certifications.
Mr. Crossland commented with regards to grading developments.
Mr. Beasley commented on their being two (2) different issues; what the Committee needs and the presentation to the Supervisors.
Mr. Beasley commented on Mr. Crossland grading the roads. Mr. Crossland advised on the process that he uses to maintain the roads.
Mr. Czajkowski advised the members on public comments/complaints the Township receives with regards to the roads.
Mr. Crossland advised that currently the Township roads are in good shape.
Mr. McCrane discussed the RCN settlement that the Township received and the possibility of using some of that money on the roads.
The Committee agreed that the Township needs a twenty (20) year road maintenance plan.
The members discussed the use of MuniCast to help gather the information needing to be reviewed by the Committee. Ms. Gibbs reported on her discussions with the MuniCast representative.
Ms. Gibbs reported on the use of Liquid Fuels Funds and the funds taken out of the Reserve Fund. She advised that currently there is three million dollars in the Reserve Fund. The Committee discussed municipalities draining their Reserve Funds and the Township’s policy with regards to the Reserve Fund.
Mr. Crossland will advise the Committee on the equipment being requested for purchase over the next five (5) years at the September meeting.
Mr. Beasley requested that the Committee be provided an inventory of the Department’s current equipment. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would provide that information to the Committee.
The members thanked Mr. Crossland for his time.
Newtown Township Administration/Finance Department
Mr. Czajkowski updated the Committee members that the Administration and Finance Departments currently have no Capital request with the exception of the new Municipal Building.
The members thanked Mr. Czajkowski for his time.
Mr. McCrane commented with regards to the first quarter tax revenues received so far this year compared to what the Township had expected. Ms. Gibbs advised that the amount received is above what was expected; as of the end of April it was at least $100,000.00 over.
The members discussed the revenue received from Real Estate Taxes.
Mr. McCrane commented on the revenue received from Income Taxes and advised on his concerns. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would not see anything until September.
The members discussed received revenue with regards to short falls.
The members discussed planning ahead with regards to revenue.
Mr. Beasley suggested that Ms. Gibbs provide the Committee with a revenue summary when they get more into the Budget review process.
Mr. Beasley suggested that the Committee cancel the July meeting.
Mr. Beasley thanked the members for their work.
Mr. Boyle thanked the Committee for their work with regards to the proposed Municipal Complex expansion.
There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:13 P.M.
The next meeting is scheduled for August 28, 2008 at 7 P.M. The meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Township Municipal Building.