NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940

Internet: http://www.twp.newtown.pa.us

******************************************************************************************************

Minutes for the meeting held on July 26, 2011

The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at the Newtown Township Administration Building.

Members present were Joe Barkley, Warren Dallas, Robert Daries, Tom Dye, Ryan Gallagher and Scott Rosenberg. Excused were Aaron Borstein, Gaylord Swaby and Brian Wilson.

Also present were Elaine Gibbs, Financial Director and Gary Crossland, Director of Public Works.

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Gallagher called the meeting to order at 7:37 P.M.

Mrs. Gibbs provided the members with a copy of the Township’s 2010 Financial Statements and Supplementary Information.

MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 23, 2010:

Mr. Dallas made a motion to approve the minutes from November 23, 2010 as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Barkley and passed unanimously with three members abstaining (3-0-3).

MINUTES OF JUNE 28, 2011:

Mr. Dye made a motion to approve the minutes from June 28, 2011 as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dallas and passed unanimously with three members abstaining (3-0-3).

NEW BUSINESS:

2012 Capital Budget Request

Newtown Township Public Works Department

Mr. Crossland, Public Works Director introduced himself to the Committee. The members were provided the department’s capital budget request form in advance of the meeting for their review.

The members discussed the request to purchase a Ford F-550 for approximately $50,000. This request is listed as must have in 2012. Mr. Crossland reported that the vehicle should be delivered to the Township this year in late November/early December and that the cost is for outfitting the cab and chassis. Payment is due in January 2012 and the funds are allocated from Liquid Fuels.

The members discussed the request to replace three (3) dump trucks for approximately $360,000 ($130,000 per vehicle). This request is listed as should have for 2012 and must have for 2013. Mr. Crossland suggested that the vehicles be leased or a lease purchase. He discussed the condition of the three (3) trucks he would like to replace and the possibility of selling the trucks for an estimated $35,000 per vehicle. Mr. Dallas questioned if a lease purchase qualifies as a capital or general fund purchase. Mrs. Gibbs advised that lease purchases are funded through the General Fund. Mr. Crossland discussed the possibility of using some of the money in the Liquid Fuels Fund.

The members discussed the request for retroflective metal for approximately $12,000. This request is listed as should have for 2012 and must have in 2013. Mr. Crossland explained that the Township must check the reflectivity of street signs every five (5) years to meet federal mandates. Currently no companies offer this service. He feels the cost will come down in time.

The members discussed the request for sign software for approximately $10,000 to $15,000. The request is listed as must have for 2012. Mr. Crossland explained that this is another federal mandate. The software would allow the Township to inventory/track all signs. This is a liquid fuels demand and will effect Township funding.

The members discussed the radio, antenna and repeater request for approximately $14,000. This request is listed as must have for 2012. Mr. Crossland explained that the due to the FCC mandate, the radios must be upgraded. He discussed the relocation of the base unit and antenna to a higher point on the antenna site and the importance of communication within the Township. Implementation must happen prior to January 2013, due to the deletion of the current license band. The cost for relocating the new antenna and repeater is approximately $7,500. The cost to purchase six (6) radios is approximately $6,600. The new equipment would be on a new frequency.

The members discussed the request to purchase an ExMark mower for approximately $11,000. This request is listed as must have for 2012. Mr. Crossland advised that a new mower is needed due to the addition of Veterans Field.

The member discussed the request to purchase a mower trailer for approximately $8,000. This request is listed as must have for 2013. Mr. Crossland advised on the need to upgrade to a larger and enclosed trailer to allow for two (2) crews.

The members discussed the request for maintenance to the basketball courts at Helen Randle Park for approximately $11,000 to $13,000. This request is listed as should have for 2013. Mr. Crossland reported that the courts need to be crack filled and recoated to maintain longevity.

Mr. Crossland discussed the Martindale House. He reported that the building is not being used and that a decision needs to be made regarding its future. He also discussed the recent maintenance to the building.

Mr. Crossland invited members of the Committee to go out on a snow plowing tour.

The members discussed snow storms and how the weather affects the budget.

Mr. Crossland updated the members on the benefits of salt brine and suggested that the Township may want to invest in a brine spraying vehicle sometime in the future.

The members thanked Mr. Crossland for his time.

Review/evaluation of the Departments’ 2012 Capital Budget Requests

The members discussed the Committee’s goal. Mr. Gallagher explained that the members would review the requests submitted by the departments and make a decision on what items would be supported/recommended to the Board of Supervisors.

Newtown Township Technology Department

The members discussed the department’s 2012 requests to purchase software licenses, pc replacement and the document management system.

  • software licenses – approximately $12,000
  • pc replacement program – approximately $10,000
  • document management system – approximately $10,000

Members agreed that an inventory of software licenses is needed.

Mrs. Gibbs reported that pc replacement is funded from the Operating Budget.

The members agreed to support the pc replacement program and software licenses purchases, but feel that an accurate inventory of software licenses is needed.

Members discussed the current document imaging system and questioned if there is an outside backup. Mrs. Gibbs reported that an employee is responsible for backing up the system. The members discussed if the current system should be upgraded or replaced. It was agreed that more information is needed before making a recommendation.

The members discussed the need for Technology to have a five (5) year plan.

It was agreed that the Committee would recommend that the Township purchase the necessary software licenses, but an accurate inventory should be completed, to continue with the current pc/server replacement program and to continue maintaining the current document imaging system while looking into an upgrade or replacement.

Newtown Township Parks & Recreation Department

The members discussed the requests for Helen Randle Park to install the phase II water line for approximately $10,000 and the expansion of the parking lot, cost to be determined. Members discussed the possibility of using tournament fees to fund these projects. Mr. Gallagher reported that the Committee’s 2010 recommendation included the installation of the water line.

Mrs. Gibbs advised the members that Recreation Capital Projects are funded through Development Fees.

The members agreed to support the installation of the phase II water line at Helen Randle Park if there is funding available. All other requests would be re-evaluated if there is a surplus.

The members discussed the Skate Park with regards to fencing. Mrs. Gibbs reported that it is the Township’s intention to install a fence; she advised that Bucks County Community College has donated $5,000.

The members discussed the recent vandalism to one of the Township’s parks.

Newtown Township Emergency Services Department

The members discussed the request for vehicle replacement at a cost of approximately $38,000. It was agreed not to replace this vehicle at this time.

The members discussed the request for radio replacement due to the mandate at an approximate cost of $48,000 and questioned if this cost is included with the Police Department’s request. Mrs. Gibbs reported that she would check to see if this cost is included with the Police’s request. Members agreed to support the radio replacement. They discussed the possibility of the County floating a bond.

The members agreed to support the radio replacement, but do not support replacing the vehicle at this time.

Newtown Township Public Works Department

The members discussed the maintenance of Township roads. Mrs. Gibbs advised that maintenance is funded through the Liquid Fuels Fund and that 20% of those funds can be used for vehicle purchases.

The members discussed the request to purchase a Ford F-550 for approximately $50,000. Members agreed to support this purchase.

The members discussed the request to replace three (3) dump trucks for approximately $360,000 ($130,000 per vehicle). Mrs. Gibbs suggested getting more information from Mr. Crossland. The members questioned if this expense would be funded through Liquid Fuels or the General Fund. They also discussed if the Township should lease or buy the vehicles outright. It was noted that this request was not listed as a priority for this year.

The members discussed the request for retroflective metal for approximately $12,000. It was noted that this request was not listed as a priority for this year.

The members discussed the request for sign software for approximately $10,000 to $15,000. The members felt that this request was not needed this year and that more information is needed.

The members discussed the radio, antenna and repeater request for approximately $14,000. It was agreed to support this request.

The members discussed the request to purchase an ExMark mower for approximately $11,000, the request to purchase a mower trailer for approximately $8,000 and the request for maintenance to the basketball courts at Helen Randle Park for approximately $11,000 to $13,000. It was suggested that the Township look into hiring an outside source to help maintain Township property. Members agreed that these requests are discretionary and should only be funded if there is a surplus.

Newtown Township Police Department

The members discussed the request for radio replacement at an annual cost of approximately $43,000 for the years 2012 through 2016 (approximate total cost - $300,000). It was agreed to support this request and to verify if this includes Emergency Services.

The members discussed the request to purchase five (5) ballistic vests for approximately $5,000. It was agreed to support this request.

The members discussed the request to purchase three (3) vehicles for approximately $96,000. Mrs. Gibbs reported that in the past the Township has budgeted for three (3) vehicles, purchased two (2) and that a third could be purchased if there is enough money; these vehicle purchases are funded through the General Fund. It was agreed to support the purchase of two (2) vehicles and that the third vehicle be purchased if funding is available.

The members discussed the request for in-car cameras at an annual cost of approximately $30,000 for 2012 and 2013 (approximate total cost - $60,000). It was agreed that this is a good idea, but not supported unless funding is available.

The members discussed the request for park surveillance cameras at an annual cost of approximately $4,000 for the next four years (2012 – 2016); approximate total cost - $16,000. Members discussed possible options with regards to surveillance cameras and the ongoing costs. It was agreed not to support this request at this time.

The members discussed the request for park lighting at an annual cost of approximately $5,500 for the next four years (2012 – 2016); approximate total cost - $22,000. It was agreed to support this request.

OLD BUSINESS:

Update on Variance/Executive Summary Report (Financial Management Report)

Mr. Barkley reported that he had no update regarding the Variance/Executive Summary Report.

Update on Alternative Accounting Software Packages

Mr. Gallagher updated the members on the request made by the Technology Committee to research the Township’s accounting software needs. It was agreed that Mr. Barkley would head up this project.

Update on Road Analysis and Forecasting Project

The members agreed to defer discussion on the road analysis and forecasting project until the next meeting.

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:

The members discussed cancelling the August meeting.

Mr. Rosenberg made a motion to cancel the August 23, 2011 meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Daries and passed unanimously (6-0).

The members discussed changing the start time of the meetings. It was agreed to discuss the matter further at the next meeting.

 ADJOURMENT:

There being no further business the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:40 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for September 27, 2011 at 7:15 P.M.

 

Respectfully submitted,


Christy Holley-Flahrty, Recording Secretary