NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE
100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940
Minutes for the meeting held on November 25, 2008
The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 in the meeting room at the Newtown Township Fire Hall.
Members present were Glenn Beasley, Andy Salvucci, Ronald Kaizar, Mike Gallagher, John Stranford, Robert Dieterle, Elaine Gibbs and Jim McCrane. Excused was Brian Wilson.
CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Beasley called the meeting to order at 7:04 P.M.
MINUTES OF OCTOBER 23, 2008:
Mr. Kaizar moved to approve the minutes of October 23, 2008. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dieterle and passed unanimously (7-0).
Mr. Stranford was not present for the approval of the minutes.
Discuss the December meeting date
The members discussed the December meeting date and agreed to cancel the December meeting.
Mr. Beasley made a motion to cancel the December meeting. The motion was seconded by Ms. Gibbs and passed unanimously (7-0).
Report on the meeting with the Board of Supervisors regarding 2009 Budget
The members discussed the meeting that took place on October 29, 2009 between the Board of Supervisors and members from the Financial Planning Committee.
Discuss 2009 Budget
Mr. Gallagher reported that the budget has been hung based on the preliminary numbers that the Supervisors have received. He discussed the process that would need to happen if there were any substantial changes to the budget.
Ms. Gibbs reported on items that have been cut from the 2009 Budget and changes to the medical and disability insurance.
Mr. Gallagher advised that the Supervisors would like to keep at least $2,000,000.00 in the Reserve Fund.
Mr. Kaizar commented with regards to the American Legion Rescue Squad and their fuel cost. Mr. Gallagher advised with regards to the fuel used by the ALRS, allocating funds from the Local Services Tax and contributions from other local municipalities who are also using the services. Ms. Gibbs reported that in 2009 the ALRS would be receiving a check from the Township for $93,000.00 and that the Township will bill them for their fuel usage; she suggested members to review the ALRS’s Budget (Schedule W).
Mr. Stranford arrived.
The members discussed the current economic conditions.
Mr. Gallagher commented on the work regarding the budget done by the Committee and thanked the members.
The members discussed a possible reduction to the Reserve Fund.
The members discussed past budgets being very conservative with regards to the numbers and that this budget is more accurate to the actual numbers.
The members discussed the bids the Township has received for the expansion of the Municipal Complex and the development of the Woll Tract.
The members discussed the development cost for the Woll Tract, the funds that have been set-aside for development and a shortfall in funding.
The members discussed the expected funds received from Recreation Impact Fees in 2009. Ms. Gibbs advised on fees that were not collected in 2008, due to projects being postponed.
To recap on tonight’s discussions Mr. Beasley summarized that on the income side, the Supervisors increased income from what the Committee had suggested at the meeting on October 29, 2008 and the expenses are rising by 3%. Ms. Gibbs advised that there are plans to go into the reserves.
The members discussed the minimum amount allowed in the Reserve Fund. Ms. Gibbs reported that the Township’s policy is that it must be at least 5% of expenditures. The members reviewed Schedule V.
The members discussed the possibility of a tax increase in 2010.
The members discussed scenarios that could effect the Township’s tax revenue.
Ms. Gibbs reported on Recreation Impact Fees and Traffic Impact Fees and how they can be used.
The members discussed the Melsky Tract and fees that are expected to be received in 2009. Ms. Gibbs reported on the RIF and TIF funds that are expected in 2009 (Schedule C). The members discussed the effects to the budget if the project does not happen in 2009.
The members discussed funds being shown on the budget that may not be received. Ms. Gibbs reported that if the money were not received it would not be spent; she advised that the budget is just an estimate. Mr. McCrane suggested that the Supervisors should be questioned as to if they want that type of information shown on the budget. Mr. Gallagher advised that the Township is not spending money on projects before the funds can be collected.
The members discussed the projected permit income from the Melsky Tract. Ms. Gibbs advised members to review Schedule D and that she would request more information from the Codes Department.
The members discussed areas still available to be developed in the Township.
Mr. Kaizar questioned if an auditor reviews the budget. Ms. Gibbs commented on the auditor’s review of the budget.
The members discussed the hotel being built in the Township.
Ms. Gibbs advised that the budget the members are receiving tonight has revisions from the draft copy that they received previously.
Mr. Kaizar reported that he had some questions with regards to the draft copy of the budget that he received and that he would review the revised copy and email any of his concerns to Mr. Gallagher and the Committee members.
NEW BUSINESS (CONTINUED):
Discuss possible goals for 2009
The members discussed possible goals for 2009. Mr. Beasley reviewed the Committee’s goals for 2008 and suggested keeping the goals that where not completed on the list for 2009.
- Develop an understanding of the current budget process and develop recommendations on the process by the end of the year. Ms. Gibbs reported that the process is guided by State law and on the past preparation processes used.
- Develop a set of recommendations for ways to enhance and or increase revenue streams for the Township.
- Develop recommendations on ways to make the Township more efficient.
Additional suggestions included the following:
- Working with the MuniCast software and developing indicators. Ms. Gibbs will email information to the members. The members discussed having a conference call with the MuniCast representative.
- Discuss options with regards to Capital projects and money that may or may not be received (upsides/downsides).
- Discussions with regards to the Woll Tract.
Mr. Gallagher had to excuse himself from the meeting, so that he could attend the Technology Committee meeting.
Mr. Dieterle commented on the Committee’s involvement with the 2009 budget process and involvement in past years.
Mr. Kaizar suggested that next year the Committee have subgroups to help concentrate on certain areas of the budget.
Ms. Gibbs reported on how the various Township Department’s are driven.
The members discussed the Committee focusing more on the revenue verses expenditures.
Ms. Gibbs suggested that the Committee focus on Parks & Recreation Funds.
The members discussed needing direction from the Supervisors as to what they would like to see the Committee focusing on.
Ms. Gibbs suggested that the members have discussions with the Township Manager and to review the letter of transmittal.
The members discussed the services provided by the Township and how the Township responds to requests made by elected officials, residents or customers.
The members agreed to finalize the list of proposed 2009 goals at the January meeting.
Ms. Gibbs discussed the financial report that she does monthly and advised that she would email a copy to the members for their review.
The members discussed requesting the Township Manager to attend the Committee meetings. Mr. Beasley advised that he would invite the Manager to the January meeting.
Ms. Gibbs advised that she would email the members information with regards to the budget and State guidelines.
Mr. McCrane made a recommendation to provide the Supervisors with an executive summary of the budget.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:
The members discussed the Committee’s length of term being increased. Mr. Gallagher advised that the Supervisors would be discussing that matter at one of their December meetings.
The members discussed there being two open positions on the Committee.
The members reviewed the Committee’s Mission Statement.
The members discussed the possibility that Mr. Gallagher may not be the Supervisors’ Liaison to the Committee next year. Ms. Gibbs advised that the Supervisors appointed Treasurer is the Committee’s Liaison.
Mr. Beasley thanked the Committee members for all their work over the past year.
Mr. Dieterle commented with regards to his past involvement with the Committee and on the items that the Committee focused on this past year. He advised that it is his feeling that this has been the Committee’s best year.
The members thanked Ms. Gibbs and Ms. Holley on their work over the past year.
There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:12 P.M.
The Committee voted to cancel the December meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for January 22, 2009 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