TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

SPECIAL BUDGET MEETING

MINUTES - NOVEMBER 8, 2001

 

 

A Special Budget Meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on November 8, 2001.  Chairman Fazzalore called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. noting that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss the 2002 Budget.

 

Those present:

 

Board of Supervisors

Frank Fazzalore, Chairman

 

Scott Fegley, Vice Chairman (joined meeting in progress)

 

Grace Godshalk, Secretary/Treasurer

 

Fred Allan, Supervisor

 

Wes Hackman, Supervisor

 

 

Others:          

Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

 

William Taylor, Finance Manager

 

Heidi Sheridan, Finance Department

 

Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Elect (joined meeting in progress)

 

George Schrader, Resident

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he and Mr. Hackman went through the Budget page by page with the Finance Department and have come up with some changes.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he was concerned with the original Budget since they were proposing to take $955,000 out of the beginning balance (Reserve) and leave it at $520,933.  They were able to raise this so that the beginning balance will be $891,724.  Mr. Fazzalore stated in the future they will need to determine how they are going to be able to finance the Township.  He stated they are at 19 mills for the General Fund which is the maximum.  He stated he feels they should consider a change to their form of Government so that they could raise taxes or should consider an earned income tax. Mr. Fazzalore stated the millage increase is 1 mill which is basically Debt Service.

 

Mr. Allan asked about General Obligation Bonds.  Mr. Taylor stated almost all of the old debt is finished in 2009.  Mr. Taylor stated this would not do anything for the General Fund and would come off the taxpayer’s bill.  Mr. Fazzalore stated there is a good possibility that they would have other Bonds.  Mr. Hackman stated the problem is with the General Fund and not that the Township has no funds.  He stated there were some discussions on how the debt was classified, and Mr. Taylor stated he has this information available for the Board.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe joined the meeting at this time.

 

There was discussion on the possibility of Home rule, and Mr. Fedorchak noted this is a very long, tedious process.  He stated by having Home Rule they would be able to shed the Second Class Code maximum of 19 mills and decide what an appropriate ceiling would be.

 

There was discussion on the Transfer Taxes, and Mr. Taylor stated they are at $1,028,000.  Mr. Hackman stated historically this has come in better than budgeted.

 

Mr. Fegley joined the meeting at this time.

 

Mr. Taylor stated in the General Fund Summary they have taken whatever they could and applied to it Liquid Fuels to reduce it and virtually all Capital has been transferred from the General Fund to Capital Reserve which is permitted.  Mr. Taylor noted the items in bold print mean it is coming from Liquid Fuels.

 

There was discussion on the use of the tub grinder.  Mr. Fegley asked how much they get from other Townships to use this, and Mr. Taylor stated budgeted for this year is $5,000 and budgeted for 2002 is $25,000.  Mr. Fedorchak stated as long as they continue to get the Grant, this is a good deal.  Mr. Allan stated it seems that this program is paying for itself.  Mr. Hackman stated the piece of equipment they are now considering purchasing is heavier than the old machine.  Mr. Fedorchak stated they are providing a service, recycling, and essentially breaking even. 

 

There was discussion on the program in effect where Township residents can bring material to the Township to be ground for the mulch pile.  Mr. Hackman stated he is suggesting that they charge $5 per load in order to generate some revenue.  Mr. Allan stated he feels they should charge landscape companies even more.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he and Mr. Coyne will work on a fee structure to be presented to the Board of Supervisors.

 

There was discussion on the Park & Recreation Budget.  Mr. Taylor stated they feel there is the need for upgrades at Macclesfield Park to satisfy Board of Health concerns at the concession stand and to provide additional power. 

 

There was discussion on the proposed fencing at the Pool Tennis Courts.  Mr. Hackman stated there have been discussions in the past about expanding the basketball courts and installing roller hockey in this area.  He feels the best location for basketball courts in the Township is at the current location in Community Park.  He noted there were plans to provide tennis courts at Roelofs Park and now that they have acquired the Samost Tract, he feels they should install tennis courts at this location.  Mr. Fazzalore stated the problem is the tennis courts near the Community Pool are lighted courts.  Mrs. Godshalk stated they are also very much used in the summer.  Mr. Fazzalore asked if lower lights could be used to light tennis courts.  Mrs. Godshalk stated they have to be fairly intense to cover the court.  Mr. Hackman stated if they put the courts back at the Samost property half way between Roelofs Road and the homes in the rear, they could have lights.  Mr. Allan stated he feels the residents in the area would have a problem with lights at that location. 

 

Mr. Fazzalore noted the $75,000 for bikepath construction.  Mr. Fedorchak stated they are planning to re-surface fifteen year old bikepaths.  Mr. Hackman stated there are also areas where there are relatively small gaps in the bikepath, and he would like to see them work on these as well.  Mr. Fazzalore noted one at Woodside Road near Longshore Estates.

Mr. Hackman noted a location on Big Oak Road near St. John’s Church.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels this has already been approved. 

 

There was discussion on the Pool Budget.  Mr. Fazzalore questioned the interactive water feature.  Mr. Allan stated they are trying to compete with other area facilities and this feature would be something for young children similar to facilities at Sesame Place. 

 

Mr. Allan stated he also feels there is a need for a permanent storage facility at the Pool so they can remove the temporary storage buildings.  There was also discussion on the proposed conversion from gas to liquid chlorine.  Mr. Fedorchak stated this is a safety issue.  He noted if there were to be a gas chlorine leak, it would be a very serious problem.

Mr. Hackman stated this would be for the old pools.  Mr. Allan stated they also discussed underground sprinklers, but they do not want to proceed with anything until the report comes in from Wallover.  Mr. Allan noted they are also still considering the handicap accessible ramp.

 

There was discussion on the Sewer Department Budget.  Mr. Fazzalore stated Spring Lane and Hillside Lane are  listed along with Morrisville Treatment Plant capital improvements. 

Mr. Hackman stated there is a question as to whether they should consider raising the sewer rates. If they do raise them this year it would be a small rate increase, but if they wait it will have to be a larger rate increase. 

 

Capital Reserve items were reviewed.  There was discussion on the telephone system, and Mr. Hackman stated the current system is antiquated.  $1.5 million has been included for the new Fire Station.  Mr. Taylor stated they have also budgeted for two Police vehicles. 

 

Mr. Fedorchak stated the Board hired Donavan and Associates to consider Police Department renovations.  The first draft called for $1 million and the Chief turned this down. They are now in the process of coming up with a more realistic recommendation.  They are showing $250,000 in the Budget although nothing is firm at this time. 

Mr. Hackman stated there is a room that was left unfinished when the Building was constructed and it had been decided it would be finished off when necessary.  It was determined at some point that it would take $50,000 to renovate this room.  He feels the project has gone from renovation of a room to something much more.   Mr. Hackman stated he is concerned that if $250,000 is included in the Budget, they will decide to spend it.  Mr. Fazzalore and Mr. Hackman were in favor of reducing this figure to $50,000. 

Mr. Fazzalore stated if something came back that they felt was reasonable, they could then decide to spend additional money.  This was acceptable to Mrs. Godshalk and Mr. Fegley as well.

 

There was discussion on the Administrative renovations.   Mr. Fedorchak stated they are proposing landscaping the front of the Building, installing new sidewalks, and new signage.  Mr. Fegley asked if they have given any thought to the construction of a new Administrative Building, and Mr. Fedorchak stated he has been asking about this for two years.  Mr. Fegley noted the funds proposed for a new Senior Center of $2 million.  He asked if a new Municipal Building could be constructed for $2 million.  He suggested that they have an analysis of space usage and determine how much they have been spending for renovations to the Administrative Building in the past and how much they anticipate in the future.  Mr. Fedorchak asked if he could talk to a few architects to see how much a study would cost.  Mr. Hackman stated they would still own the Municipal Building so there would not really be any savings.  Mr. Hackman stated with regard to the growth of Municipal Services, they are only proposing to replace one person this year in the Finance Department and there are no plans to increase personnel in the Police Department. 

Mr. Fazzalore noted Mr. Coyne did come in for an additional employee, but they took this out of the Budget and asked that they hire contractors so that they would not have to hire a new employee who would require benefits.  Mr. Allan stated they could build a Building that could be a combination Township Building/Senior Citizen Center and sell the current Municipal Building.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels the Seniors should be away from the Township Administration Building.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels they should make it convenient for the residents to receive services and this is not the case with the existing Building.  He feels they should have a Building where the public comes in to a main lobby with everything on the first floor.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels the Township does have the worst General Meeting room in the entire area.  Mr. Hackman stated they can keep taxes under control since the Municipal Building is paid off.  Mr. Fedorchak asked if they should not consider spending $3 million for a Municipal Building and lay it out in a way that is more convenient for the taxpayers and house the Senior Citizens in the existing Municipal Building.  It was decided no action would be taken in this regard next year.

 

There was discussion on Afton Avenue, and Mr. Hackman stated he feels this $150,00 should be put off until the following year.

 

There was discussion on the clean up work to be done at Macclesfield Park to clean out the toxic area.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels this is a liability and cleaning this out will bring closure to this four acres.  Mr. Fegley stated they can then turn it into something that they can use.  Mrs. Godshalk stated it is a heavily wooded area. Mr. Fegley stated they will have to clear this area in order to clean it out.  Mr. Fedorchak stated they have received verbal approval for the first phase of the clean up project.  It was agreed to leave this item in.

 

There was discussion on the work needed to Channel 16.  Mr. Taylor stated they had three failures last year, and it was very difficult to get it back up.  There was discussion on televising the Board of Supervisors meetings but no decision was made this evening.

 

There was discussion n the Spring Lane/Hill Road project, and Mr. Hackman stated this item includes everything but the sanitary sewer portion which is in the Sewer Budget.

 

Mr. Fazzalore asked the status of the Fire Station.  Mr. Allan stated he did discuss this with the Fire Department personnel and they are in the process of picking an architect.

 

There was discussion on the Patterson Farm roof, and Mr. Taylor stated he did add this.  He stated there is deterioration in the under support of the barn, but he is not sure exactly what will have to be done.

 

There was discussion on the Brock Creek restoration project.  Mr. Taylor stated Skelly & Loy has asked for $30,000 more and they are asking the State for this additional money but they have not received an answer on this yet.  Mr. Fegley stated he felt they already had the Grant.  Mr. Taylor stated they asked for $130,000 to do the project and it was cut back to $100,000.  They are now asking for the additional $30,000. 

 

There was discussion on the street projects.  Mrs. Godshalk noted Stony Hill/Heacock to Oxford Valley Road.  Mr. Taylor stated the State is doing the work, but the Township is responsible for the right-of-way acquisition and the engineering costs. Mr. Hackman stated this relates to the Park & Ride Agreement. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk noted Stony Hill/Big Oak to Bluestone culvert.  She stated this should be a State project and she does not feel this is the Township’s responsibility.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he also feels they should take Quarry Road out so that it is not so easy for people to drive on.  Mrs. Godshalk also noted the project on Big Oak Road west of Stony Hill Road and she stated this is also a State Road.  It was the consensus that these three items should be taken out.

 

Makefield Manor Drive was noted and Mr. Taylor stated he feels this relates to the drainage project.  Mr. Fedorchak stated several years ago they began a program and he feels this is the third phase of the project.  Mr. Fedorchak agreed to look into this item further.  It was agreed to leave this in at this time.

 

The Sandy Run bridge was noted, and Mr. Fedorchak stated he would like to continue to work on this.  He stated Parsons-Brinckerhoff is coming in next week with an estimate on a total re-design and to look into working within the existing bid as a change order.  He hopes to give a complete report at the next Executive Session. 

 

The Mt. Eyre/Taylorsville Road project was noted.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels the boundary line goes down the middle of the road.  It was agreed to take this item out.

 

Stormwater Management was noted. Mr. Taylor stated this includes the culverts at Esther Lane and some drainage problems on University Drive.

 

Pine Grove/Sutphin was noted and Mr. Taylor stated he feels this is the net cost since the Township did receive a Grant.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he would like to see them paint the curbs with reflective paint in the future.

 

Mr. Hackman stated in 2003 Taylorsville and Woodside Road is noted and he does not feel they should be doing this.  It was agreed to take this out.  Mr. Fegley stated there is a sight distance problem coming down the hill; however, Mr. Hackman noted there is a light.

 

Mr. Fazzalore noted the re-surfacing to be done and stated they should get a list of the streets involved. 

 

Mr. Allan thanked Mr. Hackman and Mr. Fazzalore for working on the Budget. 

Mr. Hackman thanked Mr. Taylor and Ms. Sheridan for putting the Budget together.

 

Mr. Fegley noted $2 million has been shown for the Senior Center and $3 million for North Park.  He stated since there are no definite plans for either, he feels they should be taken out; and this was agreed to by the Supervisors. 

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated they should look into how Fee-In-Lieu is now coming in.

Mr. Taylor stated the Traffic Impact Fee can only be used for certain identified projects. 

 

Mr. Hackman noted there are some items that still need to be handled in Executive Session.

 

Mr. Fazzalore noted the Board of Supervisors will consider the Budget at their meeting on November 19, 2001.

 

There being no further business, Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m.

 

                                                                                    Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

                                                                                   

                                                                                    Grace Godshalk, Secretary