NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE
100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940
Minutes for the meeting held on August 24, 2010
The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at the Newtown Township Administration Building.
Members present were Joe Barkley, Warren Dallas, Robert Daries, Robert Dieterle, Ian Franklin, Ryan Gallagher, and Brian Wilson. Excused were Jim McCrane and Gaylord Swaby.
Also present were Supervisors Jerry Schenkman and Matt Benchener; Elaine Gibbs, Finance Director; Joe Czajkowski, Township Manager; Kathy Pawlenko, Director of Parks & Recreation; Don Harris, Director of Emergency Services; Gary Crossland, Director of Public Works; Residents Joel Grosso and Chris Janzen.
CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Gallagher called the meeting to order at 7:20 P.M.
MINUTES OF JUNE 22, 2010:
The members reviewed the minutes from June 22, 2010.
Mr. Dallas moved to approve the minutes of June 22, 2010, as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Wilson and passed unanimously with three members abstaining (3-0-3).
NEW BUSINESS:2011 Department Capital Budget Presentations Newtown Township Emergency Services Department
Mr. Harris, Emergency Services Director introduced himself to the Committee. The Committee was provided a memorandum dated July 26, 2010 showing the Department’s Capital request for the next four (4) years. He advised that the requests for 2011 and 2013 should be reversed.
Mr. Harris requested that in 2011 the Township budget approximately $33,000 to replace the special service vehicle. The current vehicle is a 2006 Expedition (approximate miles 50,000 – 60,000) and would become the backup vehicle. The current backup vehicle is a 2000 Blazer. He would like the Department to begin a ten (10) year vehicle rotation. The proposed vehicle is an Expedition and would be purchased through state bid. Supervisor Benchener suggested that the Township look into purchasing certified pre-owned vehicles or year-end models. Mr. Czajkowski reported on the state bid process and the vehicles being specially equipped. Supervisor Benchener suggested the Township directly contact dealers to get prices. Mr. Czajkowski and Mrs. Gibbs advised that that could be done, but the Township would have to go to bid. There would be various cost associated with the Township’s bidding process. Mr. Crossland reported that it has been his experience that the state bid is the lowest cost.
Mr. Harris requested that in 2012 the Township budget approximately $90,000 to replace six (6) mobile radio’s and six (6) portable radio’s when the County changes over to the 700mhz radio system.
Mr. Harris requested that in 2013 the Township budget approximately $35,000 to replace the Fire Marshal’s vehicle. He reported that this item was requested in 2010, but the FPC suggested the purchase be delayed until 2011.
Mr. Harris requested that in 2014 the Township budget approximately $10,500 to purchase a fire prevention trailer with accessories.
The members thanked Mr. Harris for his presentation.Newtown Township Parks & Recreation Department
Ms. Pawlenko, Parks & Recreation Director made her presentation to the Financial Planning Committee regarding the Newtown Township Parks & Recreation Department and their 2011 Capital request. The members were provided a memorandum dated August 13, 2010 with regards to the Parks & Recreation Department’s 2011 – 2016 Capital Improvement Program and a memorandum dated August 24, 2010 with regards to requests from the Council Rock Newtown Athletic Association. Also present was Mr. Grosso, Vice Chairman of the Parks & Recreation Board and representative of Council Rock Newtown Athletic Association.
Chandler Fields - Ms. Pawlenko requested that in 2013 the Township budget approximately $30,000 to pave the stone parking area (parking is inadequate and resurface existing lot). This request was marked as – would like to have.
Clark Nature Center – Ms. Pawlenko requested that in 2011 the Township budget approximately $33,000 - $38,000 for the installation of a septic tank ($8,000) and painting the house ($25,000 - $30,000). The costs for the requests are listed in the Public Works Capital Budget request. These request were marked as – must have. Ms. Pawlenko and Mr. Crossland reported on the condition of the septic tank and the work that has been done to the interior of the house, advising that painting the outside of the house is strongly recommended. Ms. Pawlenko advised that the Township is looking into a grant to help fund the cost of the septic tank. Mr. Crossland advised that the septic tank is for the residence, a port-a-potty would still need to remain on the site. Supervisor Schenkman commented on the Township renting the residence and the need to be up to code. Mr. Gallagher commented on the house being renovated so that it can be rented. Mr. Czajkowski reported that the house was previously rented out. He advised that structurally the house is in good shape, it just needs the exterior painted for preventive maintenance. Mr. Crossland reported that the exterior has not been painted in the last eight (8) years.
Helen Randle Park – Ms. Pawlenko requested that in 2011 the Township budget approximately $22,000 for Phase II of the water line ($10,000) and seal and recoat basketball courts ($12,000). The cost for the basketball courts is listed in the Public Works Capital Budget request. These requests were marked as – must have. Also requested for the park was in 2012 to budget approximately $10,000 - $30,000 for a parking lot expansion. This request was marked as – would like to have.
Roberts Ridge Park – Ms. Pawlenko requested that in 2011 the Township budget for solar lighting at the park to prevent nighttime vandalism; there have been a few incidences. The cost would be determined by the design. The request was marked as – must have. She reported on the work that has been done to the park over the past years. Mr. Czajkowski reported that the reason solar is being requested is due to there being no electric at the site. Mr. Gallagher inquired on the vandalism that has taken place. Ms. Pawlenko and Mr. Crossland reported that there have been at least three (3) incidences and that the Township has received complaints from residents. Supervisor Schenkman suggested having Chief Pasqualini submit a recommendation regarding lighting.
Veterans Park (Woll Tract) – Ms. Pawlenko requested that in 2011 the Township budget approximately $57,000 for a sub structure and four (4) ten-foot doors ($40,000), 12’ X 16’ storage unit ($6,000) and safety netting ($11,000). She reported that currently the park has a large three-sided utility building with open bays, the sub structure and doors are needed to protect equipment/supplies from theft or vandalism, and with no doors this is a liability. Mr. Crossland and Mr. Grosso commented on the need to secure the building. Ms. Pawlenko advised that the leagues are very involved with helping to maintain the Township’s fields. She also commented on the poor conditions of the fields due to the harsh winter and summer. The request for the sub structure/four (4) ten-foot doors was marked as – must have. Ms. Pawlenko and Mr. Grosso advised on the League’s request for a 12’ X 16’ storage unit closer to the ball fields and safety netting along the right line of the 90’ field. The requests for the small storage unit and safety netting were marked as – would like to have. Ms. Pawlenko also reported that the Parks & Recreation Board is working with the Cohen family to raise funds for a playground. Supervisor Benchener advised that he did not feel that the sheds are a necessity. He commented on the Township’s budget situation. He suggested that there be a match between the Township and League. Ms. Pawlenko commented on the safety issue and advised that she would forward the Committee information from the Insurance Representative. Mr. Gallagher inquired on the cost of the 12’ X 16’ shed. Ms. Pawlenko advised that she and Mr. Crossland had discussed the shed and estimated the cost to be $6,000.00. Mr. Grosso reported that the paperwork Ms. Pawlenko provided the Committee tonight had a price of 4,000.00 from an Amish builder.
Ms. Pawlenko report on the Risk Control Survey Reports received from Delaware Valley Trusts and requested the following items for consideration:
(Priority A – DVIT)
(Priority C – DVIT)
The above requests were mark as – must have for 2011.
Ms. Pawlenko reported that she is aware of the Township’s economic situation and is just alerting the Committee to the Township’s needs. Her prioritizes are listed in the order of importance below:
* Are listed in the Public Works Department’s Capital Budget Proposal
Mr. Grosso reported that the League’s biggest concerns for Veterans Park are storage, a sprinkler system and dugouts. He advised on the request to purchase two (2) storage sheds. 14’ X 32’ storage shed/concrete pad – used for storing equipment, approximately $8,500. 12’ X 16’ storage shed – located near fields, used to store game day supplies, approximately $4,000. He discussed the need for a sprinkler system and a proposal for an underground sprinkler system dated August 16, 2010 for $43,625. He commented on the current condition of the fields. He advised on the request to purchase six (6) dugouts for $37,200. He reported that the League is aware of the Township’s financial position, they just wanted the Township to know what’s on their mind. He also discussed the money and time the League invests into the fields.
The Committee thanked Ms. Pawlenko and Mr. Grosso for their presentation.Newtown Township Public Works Department
Mr. Crossland, Public Works Director made his presentation to the Financial Planning Committee regarding the Newtown Township Publics Works Department and their 2011 Capital request. The members were provided a memorandum with regards to the Public Works Department’s 2011 – 2016 Capital Improvement Program.
Roads – Mr. Crossland reported that next year the Township excepts to receive $386,000 from Liquid Fuel taxes, which is approximately $17,000 less than last year. Twenty percent of those funds are used to purchase road related equipment. With last year’s carry over balance of $247,000, the overall balance for road maintenance will be $556,000 and the work being proposed will leave a balance of $6000 for 2011. He discussed the current condition of the Township roads and suggested that the Township look into additional funding to help maintain the roads. He reported that the proposed roads for 2011 would be Wrights Road from Durham to Eagle and Eagle Road from Durham to Wrights Road. The approximate cost is $500,000, which includes milling and resurfacing along with the needed curb repairs. He reported on the deteriorating condition of the drainage inlets, the time involved with repairing the inlets and suggested that the Township contract out the worst ones. The approximate cost is $50,000, which would repair ten (10) – twenty (20) structures.
Curbing – Mr. Crossland advised that curbing is not covered under the Liquid Fuels fund, that funding comes out of the General Fund. He suggested that the Township re-establish the curb and gutter replacement fund. He is requesting the Township to budget $20,000 for curbing repairs in 2011.
Equipment – Mr. Crossland advised the Committee that due to FCC regulations and mandates, the Township Police and Public Works radios must be updated. The Township started over eight (8) years ago preparing for the change over. He is requesting the Township to budget $13,000, which includes the relocation and repeater costs ($7,000) and the purchase of six (6) radios ($6,000). He reported that at this time no equipment requests are proposed for Parks & Recreation. He advised on the proposed Equipment Replacement Schedule for 2011 – 2016 as follows:
Currently the carry over fund from this year will be $50,000 towards next year’s budget request to purchase a new medium size dump truck. A new truck has not been added in over ten (10) years. Replacements of the larger trucks are needed due to age and the parts soon to become obsolete. Last year during one of the snowstorms, an engine was lost at the cost of over $16,000 and two (2) weeks down time.
Recreation Buildings and Grounds – Mr. Crossland discussed the need to take care of the painting and septic tank replacement at the Clark Nature Preserve for approximately $33,000 - $38,000 and the request to budget approximately $11,000 - $13,000 for the maintenance of the basketball courts at Helen Randle Park. Both items were discussed under the Parks & Recreation Department’s presentation.
Supervisor Benchener asked what funds are used for Mr. Crossland’s requests. Mr. Crossland reported that the cost of curbing and the radios would come from the General fund. The cost for resurfacing, drainage and purchasing a new dump truck would come from the Liquids Fuel Fund. Mrs. Gibbs advised that as of the end of July 2010 there is a balance of $805,000 in the Liquid Fuels Fund.
The members discussed the future of the roads and agreed that there could be a funding problem after 2011. Mr. Crossland reported on how he is trying to prolong the life of the Township’s roadways. Supervisor Benchener suggested prioritizing for 2012 due to a shortfall in funding. Mr. Crossland discussed the options of crack sealing and micro surfacing (slurry seal). Supervisor Benchener questioned if the Township should delay the purchase of a dump truck in 2011, so that there is more money for the road program in 2012. Mr. Crossland reported either way there will be an impact. The members discussed the use of TIP money. Mrs. Gibbs suggested that Mr. Crossland update his twenty (20) year road maintenance plan and forward it to the members.
The member thanked Mr. Crossland for his time.Administration/Finance Departments
Mr. Czajkowski reported that there are no requests from the Administration/Finance Departments for 2011. .
Update on Variance/Executive Summary Report
Mr. Barkley updated the members with regards to the Variance/Executive Summary Report. He provided the members with a draft report for their review. He discussed the need to get the Manager and Supervisors’ perspective. The members discussed the data shown on the report with regards to revenue and expenses and things the reader needs to know in order to process the information correctly. Mrs. Gibbs advised that the Treasurer’s Report gives more detailed information if the reader is interested. Mr. Czajkowski commented on the report being a great snap shot tool. He suggested highlighting some items of the revenues and expenses in more depth (Example – State Shared Revenue). Mr. Gallagher advised that he feels the report looks great, he suggested getting input from the Supervisors and having sub notes for some items. The members discussed what other information should be including in the report and implementing the report. Supervisor Schenkman suggested that the Supervisors be included in any questions/responses with regards to the report. Mr. Barkley suggested that Mr. Czajkowski and Mrs. Gibbs sit down with the Supervisors prior to the work beginning on the 2011 Budget, to explain the process on how the budget is done. Then have another meeting to discuss implementing the Variance/Executive Summary Report. The members discussed presenting the report to the Supervisors on September 22, 2010. Mrs. Gibbs reported that she would send Mr. Barkley the information needed once the month is closed. The members discussed getting the report to the Supervisors for review prior to September 22, 2010 meeting and the ability to forecast with the MuniCast software. The members discussed the Y-T-D income received from taxes. Supervisor Benchener suggested removing small items and breaking out the local tax in to three (3) categories – Non-Resident Earned Income Tax, Resident Earned Income Tax and Transfer Tax. Mrs. Gibbs reported that line item also includes the Local Services Tax, which is a payroll tax. Mr. Barkley reported that he didn’t feel adding that information would be a problem. Supervisor Benchener suggested that there be a presentation to educate the reader on the categories.
Update on MuniCast
Mrs. Gibbs commented on the email that Mr. Swaby sent, regarding MuniCast needing more information with regards to revenue and key indicators. She reported on how the Township’s revenue is not dedicated to Departments; in government the money is allocated as needed. She also discussed the request for providing the key indicators; the members were provided a form listing possible key indicators (the information was also sent to the members via email). She requested the members to review the form and suggest categories that they feel the Township would be interested in seeing. Mr. Gallagher requested the members to review the form and email their responses to him; he will compile them into one list. He reported on the work done by Mr. Swaby regarding MuniCast and suggested having Mr. Swaby update the members further at the next meeting.
Update on Budget Presentation Process
Mr. Gallagher reported that there was no updated with regards to the budget presentation process.
The members agreed to discuss the Department’s Capital Budget requests at the September meeting. It was agreed that the Committee should put together an advisory recommendation to be presented to the Supervisors. The recommendations should be forwarded to the Supervisors by October. Supervisor Schenkman suggested for the Committee members to be present at Supervisor meetings where the 2011 Budget is discussed. Mr. Gallagher suggested for the members to begin prioritizing the Department’s Capital requests. The requests will be discussed at the Committee’s September meeting.
Mrs. Gibbs reported that she would email “Schedule J” to the members.
Mr. Wilson requested Mrs. Gibbs to provide the Committee with what the Departments’ Capital items that were requested previously and not received.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:
There being no further business the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:35 P.M.
The next meeting is scheduled for September 28, 2010 at 7:15 P.M.