TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
BUDGET WORK SESSION - MINUTES - OCTOBER 10, 2000
A special meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield to discuss the 2001 Budget was held at the Municipal Building on October 10, 2000. Chairman Hackman called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. He noted that while this is a public meeting, it is a work session of the Board; and there will be no public comment.
Board of Supervisors:
Wesley Hackman, Chairman
Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Mr. Hackman stated the Budget proposed at this time is for 40.17 mills which is a 3.54 mill increase over the current budget. Total expenditures proposed for 2001 are $19 million and there is $18 million worth of revenue.
DISCUSSION ON PERSONNEL
There was discussion on the Personnel Section. Mr. Hackman asked for the proposed increase for the Police Department, and Mr. Taylor stated it is 3.75%. Mr. Hackman noted the Highway Department and asked what they used. Mr. Taylor stated there were some changes to categories but they used what is in the process now. There was discussion on changes made to the Planning and Zoning Department. Mr. Taylor was asked to update the list of personnel in this Department. He was also asked to update the salary numbers for that Department. There was discussion on the position of Code Enforcement Office and other changes in personnel in the Planning & Zoning Department. It was decided that this matter should be discussion in Executive Session. With regard to Pool personnel, Mr. Hackman noted Ms. Sherron is no longer working for the Pool, and he would like to have accurate numbers for Donna Samosen’s position and the hours she is working for the Pool. Mr. Taylor stated Mr. Fedorchak is working on this matter. Mr. Hackman stated the Budget proposes that Ms. Liney will be working for the Park & Recreation Department full time. With regard to the Road Department it was noted an error is shown with regard to Mr. Coyne’s salary which Mr. Taylor agreed to correct.
There was discussion on the Police Department personnel. Mr. Fazzalore stated he would like there to be a review of the work being done by the Police Administration personnel. Mrs. Godshalk stated she would like to see the Intern position taken out. Mr. Hackman stated he would like to wait until they can discuss these matters with the new Police Chief.
Mr. Hackman noted the Lieutenant position is being shown in the Budget, and he would like to discuss this matter with the new Chief as well. It is proposed in 2001 to replace Officer Ray who retired in 1999. Mr. Fazzalore questioned whether this replacement is necessary since they did not fill this opening in 2000. There was discussion on whether or not this would increase overtime. Mr. Taylor noted no one has indicated that they will be retiring from the Police Department in 2001. Mr. Fedorchak noted they will be negotiating a new contract, and they could offer early retirement incentives if they so desire. Mr. Fazzalore noted out of twenty-nine officers in the Police Department, fourteen are non-patrolmen. Mr. Fedorchak stated there is one commanding officer for every two patrolmen in the Department.
There was discussion on employee benefits. Mr. Taylor stated hospitalization is proposed to go up 5% for 2001, although this is only an estimate. Mr. Taylor stated the rates are not changing. Mr. Fedorchak stated the Township is self-insured. Workman’s compensation is up 8%. Mr. Taylor stated this relates to the salaries plus they do not know what the modifications will be. Mr. Hackman noted many of these items are Contract items. Mr. Hackman questioned why the Tuition Assistance went to $10,000 for 2001 from $1,000 for 2000, and Mr. Taylor stated this is a clerical error which will be corrected.
DISCUSSION OF POOL BUDGET
Mr. Hackman stated he feels interest earnings are being proposed as too low. Mr. Taylor stated they based this on this year and tried to estimate what it would be next year. Mr. Hackman stated Actual was $15,000 for six months. Mr. Taylor stated they will have less money the second half of the year, so they will not get the same interest return.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he would like to have a figure for total interest for the entire Budget, and Mr. Taylor agreed to provide this.
Mr. Hackman stated they have assumed membership figures will be the same for next year and membership rates are proposed to remain the same.
Mr. Sharp stated they will need to replace the roof on the old building. Mr. Fedorchak stated they also need to replace roofs on the small sheds. They plan to open bids on November 15.
Mr. Allan asked if they are including in the Budget what is to be done in the parking lot. Mr. Hackman stated this will change from $17,500 to $25,000 as a majority of the Board voted that the Pool should pay 3/4 of this cost. Mr. Sharp asked if the Pool Board was aware of this, and it was noted they were not.
Mr. Allan stated he has received a number of calls from residents of Yardley Borough asking about joining the Pool if there were openings. Mr. Fazzalore stated this has been discussed in the past, and it was decided it should not be opened to people living outside of the Township.
Mr. Fegley joined the meeting at this time.
Mr. Hackman noted Page 20 with regard to gas expense. He stated one of the concerns with the heaters was how much gas would cost, and this year they paid $5,000 which was much lower than they anticipated. He noted it was also a rather cool summer.
Mr. Fazzalore noted the gas rates will continue to rise. It was suggested to increase the Budgeted amount for 2001 to $7,000. Mrs. Godshalk asked at what temperature they keep the pools, and Mr. Sharp stated initially they kept it at 76 degrees but they later raised it to 78 degrees.
Mr. Allan asked about a Senior Citizen Membership category other than what is currently offered to Seniors which is $25 a year membership for admission to the Pool from 5:00 p.m. to close. Mr. Sharp stated the Pool Board discussed this in the past but voted to keep it as it currently exists. Mr. Fazzalore stated he would not be in favor of any other Senior Citizen Membership category. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels they could extend the time from 4:00 p.m. to close. Mr. Sharp stated the Pool is still relatively crowded at 4:00 p.m. Mr. Sharp agreed to discuss this matter with the Pool Board.
Mr. Hackman noted Page 23 of the Budget. He stated there have been discussions in the past about underground sprinklers since if there is a dry season, they get dry grass in the pool. Mr. Sharp stated this also results in maintenance problems because it also can impact the filters, and it is more difficult to maintain the quality of the water.
Mr. Hackman stated the Pool membership has accumulated a balance, and they should spend some of this to make improvements to the Pool. He feels each year they should have a project to improve the Pool. Mr. Fazzalore stated as long as they have a balance, and it does not involve tax money, he does not have a problem with this. Mr. Sharp stated in a few years the debt on the new pool will be paid off. Mr. Allan asked how much money will be saved when the bond is paid off in 2003, and Mr. Taylor stated they will save $67,000.
Mr. Hackman noted Page 24 - Capital Improvements. He stated this includes fencing, replacing tables and chairs, etc. It was noted that a handicap pool lift is being shown.
There was discussion on the impeller, and Mr. Taylor agreed that this should be shown under maintenance.
Mr. Hackman noted the $47,000 charge, and Mr. Taylor stated this is the rent part of data processing and part of the salaries of Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Fedorchak.
There was further discussion on the roof repairs proposed, and Mr. Allan stated he feels all roofs should be put on by hand and not by gun. He also stated if the project cannot be completed by the end of December, he does not feel it should be done until the spring. Mr. Taylor stated if this is going to be done, they should shift the money into next year’s Budget. Mr. Hoffmeister stated they could award the bid at the Board’s second meeting in November and still get the project done before the end of the year. Mr. Allan stated he did not feel this was likely. Mr. Fedorchak agreed to postpone this project until February.
DISCUSSION OF PARK & RECREATION BUDGET
Mr. Hackman stated this year they budgeted that 1 mill would equal $120,000 and it came in at $119,000. Next year they are anticipating $121,000. Mr. Taylor stated as of September 28 the number is $121,100 from the Board of Assessments. The Budget is based on $121,874. Mr. Hackman stated they have indicated that they only collect 97% of this, but some delinquents come in which brings it close.
Mr. Allan asked about the transfer taxes, and Mr. Taylor stated they will most likely hit $1,000,000 although this cannot be determined exactly at this time. The Budget for next year is $980,000. Mr. Taylor stated he has not anticipated Matrix in this Budget.
Mr. Hackman noted the 6.4 mills number shown and asked if this is needed to pay for this Budget, and Mr. Taylor stated it is. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels they should take out the $2 million for North Park and the bond debt.
Interest earnings were noted, and Mr. Hackman stated he feels these are low. Mr. Taylor stated they are getting close to 6.5%.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she would like to see money included for the engineering piece for North Park. Mr. Fazzalore stated he does not feel they can do the engineering unless they have a plan showing what they will do each year and how they will pay for it. Mr. Fegley stated there is a plan for North Park. Mr. Fegley stated he does not want to see taxes increase. He added he feels the seniors have a point, and it is the time for the Board to look at doing something for them. He stated he feels that with what has been done at Macclesfield Park and Oxford Valley/Roelofs, that North Park can wait for a few years and they should go forward with something for the seniors at this point in time. He stated he feels this must be done without a substantial tax increase.
Mrs. Godshalk stated the reason she mentioned the engineering for North Park is that she has been hearing talk about what can be done at Samost and Snipes, and she feels they should first start on North Park where they have a plan in place. Mr. Fegley stated he does not feel waiting one or two years to start North Park will present a problem. He stated he does feel it is time to do something for the seniors although he is concerned about constructing a new building. Mr. Hackman stated he voted against the plan for North Park because he did not feel it had enough active recreation. He stated the Snipes property could be set up for more active recreation since it is level property and will not impact on many residences. Mr. Hackman stated he is concerned about spending $4 million for North Park and not solving some of the active recreation problems. He would prefer to build out the Snipes property and do that first and would prefer land-banking North Park for open space. He would also propose developing Samost for active recreation. Mr. Fegley stated the plan for North Park was approved four to one, and he feels that plan will be implemented, although he does not feel it has to be implemented immediately. He stated if there is $2 million, he feels it should be for used for something for the seniors since the majority of recreation dollars has been spent over the years for youth recreation.
Mr. Hackman stated at this point it appears there will be a 10% tax increase. Mr. Taylor stated there is $2 million in the Budget for open space. Mr. Fazzalore asked where it is located in the Budget, and Mr. Taylor stated it is debt service or capital reserve.
Mr. Allan stated if the $2 million for Park & Recreation is going to create a tax increase, he feels they should back off from this and address the senior citizen problem and come up with a plan with the seniors to find out what they can do and where they can find the money to do it.
Mr. Fazzalore stated there is already a tax increase proposed for the Emergency Squad and the taxpayers previously agreed to a tax increase for the $7.5 million in open space acquisition.
Mr. Hackman stated he feels they should take the $2 million out so they know where they are starting from and they can put things back in later.
Mrs. Godshalk stated there are already discussions about spending Park money in other places. She stated there is a plan for North Park and they made a commitment to the residents in that area. She stated she feels they should start with something small at North Park since something completely different may be put in if they wait five to ten years. Mr. Hackman stated he would prefer to see Snipes or Samost developed. Mr. Allan stated he would prefer to put North Park on the back burner at this time. Mr. Fegley stated if they do not do North Park, he wants to do something for the seniors. He added they could put conservation easements on North Park so that it could never be developed into homes in the future. Mr. Allan stated he would not agree to vote to increase taxes in order to build North Park.
Mr. Fazzalore noted Park & Recreation has $200,000 proposed for capital construction. A majority of the Board was in favor of taking the $2 million out at this time.
Page #2 was noted and Mr. Taylor was asked to take the $2 million out from this page and Page #4 as well.
Mr. Hackman stated the numbers will change as the millage changes. He noted again his concern that the interest earnings are being shown as too low.
Page #12 was noted, and Mr. Hackman stated the Sports Programs currently pay almost $48,000 to the Township. Mr. Fazzalore stated these programs also cost the Township money, and he feels they should consider increasing their fees. Mr. Fegley agreed that they should consider increasing the user fees. Ms. Liney stated it has been five years since there was an increase in the user fees. Mr. Fegley asked that the Park & Recreation Board make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors what they feel would be a reasonable increase in user fees.
There was discussion on Page #21 - Personnel. Mr. Hackman stated there has been discussion on the need for an additional person to mow fields. Ms. Liney stated there is 15% more park land that they are now maintaining.
Page #26 was noted and Mr. Taylor stated he needs to add another $600 which was left out for T-shirts and uniforms which is part of the contract.
Page #29 - Dedication for Oxford Valley/Roelofs - $100 will be taken out.
Page #32 was noted. Mr. Taylor stated the Golf Course Feasibility Study should go from Projected to 2001 since it will not be done this year. Mr. Hackman stated he does not feel it should be $20,000, and suggested it be $10,000. Mr. Taylor stated he did not feel this would be sufficient. After discussion it was agreed to use $15,000 rather than $20,000.
There was discussion on Education and Training. Mr. Allan stated he would like to send Bob Copson to a course on field maintenance and this was agreed to by the Supervisors.
Mr. Hackman noted Page #39 and asked about re-grading Community Park for $9,500. Ms. Liney stated she feels that work was done in 1999 and not 2000. Mr. Taylor agreed to look into this matter further.
Page #40 was noted regarding the Performing Arts. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels since the Performing Arts Group has money, the Board should not make the contribution this year. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels they should match the Grant. Mr. Fedorchak stated for the last four to five years, there have been incremental increases that were requested of the Board which were approved. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels they should raise their ticket prices. Mr. Fegley stated he feels this is an important program in the Township and he does not feel the contribution should be withheld. Mr. Taylor stated they receive $2500 from the Grant and the Township then gives the Performing Arts $7,000 so the net amount from the Township is approximately $5,000. It was agreed that the contribution will remain as shown in the Budget.
Page #41 - Capital Construction was noted. Resurfacing the parking lot will go down to $9,272 since the Board required the Pool to pay more for this project.
The proposed pavilion at Kids Kingdom was noted, and Ms. Liney stated she feels this is important since it is a very busy place. She stated this would be a picnic pavilion under roof. She stated they are recommending that it be located between the two existing picnic tables. Mrs. Godshalk stated this location was denied by the Board of Supervisors since they did not feel there was sufficient space. She stated she felt they could have something where the kennels were previously located. Ms. Liney stated March Associates looked at this area as a favor to the Township and indicated the pavilion should be located between the two picnic tables. Mr. Allan noted an area where there are picnic tables and suggested they construct a lean-to in this area. Ms. Liney stated people are going to this area to eat lunch. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels it is too small an area to build a pavilion. The Board agreed to take the pavilion out of the Budget.
There was discussion regarding the on-deck circle protection area proposed to be constructed. Ms. Liney stated nothing has been spent this year for this project. She stated this is a safety issue. Mr. Allan suggested they pass this item on to next year’s budget. Ms. Liney stated this is a 4’ by 8’ fenced-in area. There was discussion on whether these installations were necessary or not. It was agreed to review this matter further in the future. Ms. Liney was asked to get a per-field price for the on-deck circles.
There was discussion on bikepath reconstruction. Ms. Liney stated there is a contract out currently for $35,000 and another portion in the $20,000 range. Mr. Taylor agreed to review the numbers and get the exact figures to be included in the projected 2000.
Landscaping at Kids Kingdom was taken out.
Dug-out improvements were noted. This would be roofing and flooring for six to seven fields. A majority of the Supervisors were in favor of dug-out improvements.
Restrooms for Stoddart Field were noted. Mr. Allan stated he feels nothing in the community looks worse than the portable restroom facilities on Edgewood Road. He also expressed concern with the mulch pile in this area. Mr. Allan stated he feels they can provide a restroom facility for approximately $80,000. He stated the sewer and water are already in the area and they will only have to run the lines down the street. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels it cost $25,000 to build the restroom at Kids Kingdom ten years ago. Mr. Allan stated this is the type of facility they would be interested in. Mrs. Godshalk noted Edgewood Road is much busier than it was years ago and it is dangerous for people to cross the street in this area. Mr. Allan suggested constructing the restroom facility behind Field #2. Mr. Fegley asked if PAA would make a contribution. Mr. Allan asked that they budget $50,000 for this project, and he will try to raise funds for the rest of the cost. Mr. Hackman stated $50,000 may be sufficient for the entire project. It was agreed to budget $50,000 for this project.
Electricity for batting cages was taken out.
Capital Purchases on Page #42 were noted. The mower was left in but the sod cutter was taken out.
Page #46 was noted and Professional Services for North Park was taken out.
Page #49 was eliminated.
Page #53 was noted with regard to the lights at Macclesfield Park. $68,500 was projected for 2000. Mr. Fazzalore asked why the Township is paying for this. Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels the Township is going to have to spend the money and will then attempt to recoup some of the funds spent. Mr. Fegley stated he felt they were going to give an ultimatum. Mr. Fedorchak suggested that this matter be discussed at the next Executive Session. Mr. Fegley stated if there was a breech of contract, the Township can repair it now and litigate at a later time.
Page #54 was noted and it was agreed the projected number for 2000 will be $8,000.
Page #55 was noted, and Mr. Hackman asked the cost of the water line at Macclesfield Park. Mr. Taylor agreed to look up this figure. Mr. Allan asked who hit the line.
Ms. Liney stated the fence contractor hit the water and sewer line. He repaired it and it collapsed again. She stated they do have several leaks but they do not know where they are. She stated the notation on the page is probably a carry-over from 1998. Ms. Liney was asked to find out what it will cost to fix this and whether the contractor was at fault and should be required to pay for it. Mr. Hackman stated they tried to find the leak but were unable to do so. Mr. Fazzalore stated the Township engineer advised it would be less expensive to put in a new line. Ms. Liney was asked to reconstruct the history of this matter. Mrs. Godshalk stated when the new line is put in, she would like to make sure that it is marked on prints so this problem does not happen again.
Digital back-up lights were discussed, and Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels they should get a good timer for the basketball lights as well. He stated the lights are remaining on very late into the night.
Page #56 was noted. Ms. Liney stated it will cost $8,000 to add a stall at both the men’s and women’s restroom facilities. Currently there are only three in each for the entire Park.
Page #60 - Oxford Valley/Roelofs was noted. It was agreed to take out $2,000 for 2001 for portable restroom facilities.
Page #63 was noted, and it was agreed to take out the bocce court roof. Mr. Hackman stated he is not sure that the courts will remain at this location so there is no reason to add more improvements. Mr. Allan asked about the possibility of a portable type roof. Mr. Hackman stated possibly they could purchase a portable gazebo to provide some shade.
Mr. Hackman noted the Board’s intention to complete this evening’s meeting by 9:00 p.m. and that they would not be able to review the Sewer Budget. Mr. Hoffmeister was excused from the meeting and left at this time.
Page #64 was noted and it was agreed to take out the playground pieces.
Page #65 - Samost Tract was noted. Mr. Hackman asked if they leased this property out to a farmer, and Ms. Liney stated they did not. It was suggested that they try to have someone farm this property again. Mr. Hackman stated he is concerned about erosion, but Mr. Allan stated there are weeds growing, and he does not feel erosion will be a problem. All costs relating to Samost were taken out.
Page #77 was noted and Mr. Hackman stated this is to be taken out at this time.
There was discussion on Fee-In-Lieu. Mr. Fazzalore stated it appears they will take in $231,000. Details of where the funds are coming from were shown.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Board to discuss the Budget will be Thursday, October 19, 2000 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.