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 26, 2009

 

The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Thursday, March 26, 2009 in the meeting room at the Newtown Township Municipal Building .

Members present were Glenn Beasley, Robert Dieterle, Ronald Kaizar, Jim McCrane, Andy Salvucci, John Stranford, Brian Wilson, Matt Benchener and Elaine Gibbs. Excused were Tom Grace and Mike Gallagher.

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Beasley called the meeting to order at 7:17 P.M.

MINUTES OF MARCH 5, 2009:

The Recording Secretary advised on one change to the minutes – Robert Dieterle was absent from the March 5, 2009 meeting.

Mr. McCrane moved to approve the minutes from March 5, 2009, as corrected. The motion was seconded by Mr. Kaizar and passed unanimously with two members abstaining (5-0-2).

Mr. Benchener arrived after the minutes were approved.

NEW BUSINESS:

OLD BUSINESS:

Feedback from review of goals with Supervisors

Mr. Beasley updated the members on his presentation of the Committee’s proposed 2009 goals to the Supervisors on March 25, 2009. The Supervisors approved the goals that were proposed and requested the Committee to participate in quarterly budget reviews with the BOS (fourth Wednesday of the month).

With regards to goal #1, a request was made to incorporate housing trends into the variance reporting. Mr. Salvucci advised that he would work on that with Mr. Grace.

With regards to goal #3, it was advised that the Economic Development Committee is looking at ways to increase revenue and that Andy Levine is setting up a group called “Friends of the Skateboard Park” to help raise funds.

With regards to goal #4, discussed possible cost savings. A suggestion was made to have discussions with Gary Crossland regarding the new Public Works building and utility cost. The Supervisors also questioned the level of detail the Committee will be going into. Ms. Gibbs advised that she was unable to get information regarding cost analysis from the architect.

Mr. Kaizar commented on Supervisor Gallagher’s statement with regards to variance reporting. Ms. Gibbs advised that Supervisor Gallagher has requested the Committee to receive a copy of the Treasurer’s Report on a monthly basis, she would email the report.

Mr. Stranford commented on Supervisor Schenkman saying that he would like to be involved with the Committee’s review of ways to increase revenue.

Finalize 2009 goals

Mr. Beasley reported that the Committee goals for 2009 have been finalized.

  • Develop a variance reporting system and use it to track this year’s revenues/expenditures vs. 2009 budget.
  • Develop indicators for the MuniCast software.
  • Develop a set of recommendations for ways to enhance and/or increase revenue streams for the Township.
  • Estimate the Township’s increase in operating cost due to the Municipal Complex expansion.
  • Develop recommendations for vendor cost savings initiative.

Discuss variance reporting

The members agreed to table discussions regarding variance reporting due to Mr. Grace’s absence.

Discuss vendor cost savings

Mr. Kaizar updated the members with regards to vendor cost savings and his review of the vendor list provided by Ms. Gibbs.

The Committee discussed researching the vendors on the list, when the current Township contracts expire and the list needing to be edited.

Mr. Beasley reported that the end result of this goal is to make a recommendation to the Manager and the Supervisors with regards to vendor cost savings.

The Committee discussed the cost of employee insurance benefits. Ms. Gibbs suggested meeting with the Township Manager for further discussions.

Ms. Gibbs suggested that the Committee concentrate on the cost involved with architect and engineering fees. A suggestion was made to have the firms provide a budget/scope of work before any work is done.

The Committee discussed the review process of invoices for professional services.

The Committee discussed pension contributions and the cost to manage those funds.

The Committee agreed to reprint the list after removing items that can not be changed and that steps forward include prioritizing the vendor list.

Mr. Kaizar and Mr. McCrane agreed to update the members at the April meeting.

Mr. McCrane requested information on the fees associated with investment management cost. Mr. Stranford suggested contacting Supervisor Schenkman to see what information he could offer to the Committee. Mr. McCrane advised that he would contact Supervisor Schenkman.

Mr. Benchener offered his help to work with Mr. Kaizar and Mr. McCrane towards completing this goal.

Mr. Kaizar reported that he would like to review the Township’s insurance contracts. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would provide Mr. Kaizar with what information she could and suggested that he speak with Mr. Czajkowski. Mr. Kaizar advised that he would setup a meeting with Ms. Gibbs.

Discuss developing indicators for MuniCast

Mr. Beasley updated the members with regards to MuniCast. The members agreed to contact Mr. Swanson to see what other municipalities are using as indicators. Mr. Wilson advised that he would contact Mr. Swanson and update the members at the April meeting.

Mr. McCrane suggested requesting information from Berkheimer with regards to household income. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would look into Mr. McCrane’s request.

Discuss Estimating the Township’s increase in operating cost due to the Municipal Complex expansion

Mr. Dieterle suggested getting the square footage of all the buildings within the Municipal Complex and identifying the operating cost (electric, gas, water, telephone, insurance, cleaning).

Ms. Gibbs advised that she would provide Mr. Dieterle with what information she could.

The Committee discussed a prior review of information with regards to the facility’s square footage and the cost of the square footage provided by the architect.

Mr. Dieterle advised that he would review his records, work with Ms. Gibbs to identify the operating cost and update the members at the April meeting (may be out of town due to work).

The Committee discussed the current condition of the existing Municipal Building and the new buildings being “Green Buildings”.

Discuss developing a set of recommendations for ways to enhance and/or increase revenue streams for the Township

Mr. Beasley discussed goal #3, Develop a set of recommendations for ways to enhance and/or increase revenue streams for the Township.

Mr. Benchener advised on his review of the stimulus package and provided statistics on what Pennsylvania is receiving.

Mr. Beasley commented on a job well done by Mr. Benchener.

The Committee discussed what grants or funding that the Township is eligible for and what their next steps should be.

Ms. Gibbs reported that she would advise Mr. Harris with regards to the FEMA Fire Grants, Chief Pasqualini with regards to Rural Law Enforcement Grants and Ms. Ortwein with regards to the Main Street Community Development Grants.

Mr. Benchener advised that he would do more research and update the members via email.

Mr. Stranford reported that he had no information with regards to the Private sector.

Mr. Beasley and Mr. Salvucci reported that they had no information with regards to benchmarking.

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:

Ms. Gibbs advised the members that she would not be attending the April meeting, she would be out of the office from April 6, 2009 returning April 20, 2009.

The Committee discussed following the cost involved with the expansion of the Municipal Complex. Ms. Gibbs commented with regards to the draw down schedule. The members agreed that someone should be tracking the cost involved with the expansion of the Municipal Complex. The members discussed the Committee reviewing a monthly report provided by the Construction Manager. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would make sure that Mr. Dieterle receives a copy of that report for review.

The Committee discussed the operating cost involved with the Woll Tract and budgeting for the cost. Ms. Gibbs advised that work is expected to begin within the next week. The Committee discussed meeting with Mr. Crossland to discuss the cost involved with maintaining the Woll Tract. Mr. Beasley suggested tabling this matter for now and discussing it again in a few months.

Mr. Stranford thanked Mr. Beasley for his presentation of the Committee’s proposed goals to the Supervisors.

The members discussed the monthly packets that they receive and agreed that the packets were not necessary and that they could receive the information via email.

Mr. Beasley reported on items that would be discussed at the April 16, 2009 meeting.

  • Update from Mr. Kaizar and Mr. McCrane regarding vendor cost savings
  • Update from Mr. Wilson regarding MuniCast indicators
  • Update from Mr. Dieterle regarding the operating cost involved with the expansion of the Municipal Complex.

ADJOURMENT:

There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:09 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 16, 2009 at 7:15 P.M. The meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Newtown Township Fire Hall.

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

Christy Holley, Recording Secretary