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Home»Board of Commissioner Minutes»Board of Commissioners
11-6-17 Budget Minutes

Board of Commissioners
11-6-17 Budget Minutes



                 BUDGET MEETING                                               NOVEMBER 6, 2017                           


The following were in ATTENDANCE:


H. Edward Black, President Thomas G. Vernau Jr., Township Manager
Richard F. Schin Erin Trone, Assistant Township Manager
Jack R. Simpson, Jr.

Carolyn E. Holtzman

Richard Grove, Finance

Leon Crone, Captain, Police Department

  Greg Thomas, Lieutenant Police Department
  Frank Wirth, Fire Captain
  Josh Keller, Chief Lisburn Fire
  Rodney Mumma, Chief Lower Allen Fire
   David Murdoch, Chief Lower Allen Fire
  Christopher Yohn, EMS Captain
  Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary

President Black called the November 6, 2017 Budget Meeting of the Board of Commissioners to order at 6:03 pm.  He announced that Proof of Publication was available for review.  He noted that Vice President Young was in the hospital.


There was no response. 


Mr. Vernau discussed the two versions of the budget that was included in the packets.  One has all the budgeted requests included and has an $800,000 deficit, and the second with all the new requests excluded and a $150,000 deficit.  He provided copies of the discretionary items with consensus of the Board.   The budget would have a $338,000 deficit if the items the Board agreed upon in the survey were added back.  He stated that Mr. Grove suggested the maximum deficit for the Fund Balance to take this year should be under $300,000.  Commissioner Holtzman arrived during this discussion at 6:14 pm.




Budget Impact

400-318 Other Professional – Branding Consultant:

Commissioner Schin believes Mrs. Trone can do the job and was hired for this purpose of Economic Development.  President Black believes it is necessary for redevelopment.  Commissioner Simpson believes the Township is a leader with the new businesses coming into the Mall.  Discussion ensued.


Leave In: 3


Municipal Building: 

409-141 Salaries, Part-time. Summer labor


Leave In: 5




409-250 Bldg. Maint. Supply. Motion-sense faucets

Mr. Vernau is rethinking this item based on comments received.

Leave In: 3

Delete: 2

409-260 Minor Equipment.  Exhaust Fan, Storage Bldg Leave In: 3

Delete: 2

409-231 Gasoline & 409-352 Auto Insurance:

Mr. Vernau explained that this is for a pickup truck that would be transferred from Public Safety to Facilities Maintenance.

Leave In: 3

Delete: 1


409-700 Land & Improvements.  Landscaping Leave In: 4

Delete: 1


Police 410-130 Salary, Office Personnel-Compliance Coordinator

Captain Crone spoke about the importance of this position and CALEA.  Commissioner Simpson doesn’t believe we should be CALEA, as there are only 10 others in the state.  Commissioner Schin believes we should go with PLEAC versus CALEA.  President Black spoke about the processes CALEA provides to the officers and agrees with part-time help.  Extensive discussion ensued.  Mr. Vernau suggested talking with Director Holl before deciding about CALEA.  The Board agreed to add the part-time help in the budget but not full-time.

Delete: 5


410-133 Salary, CSO. Add 18 hours of CSO coverage

Captain Crone spoke of how they help by doing things that sworn officers should not be doing.  President Black asked what is being lost and Captain Crone spoke of being reactive versus proactive.  Commissioner Simpson asked about the drug task force and Captain Crone stated that it hasn’t yet been a year for the program.


Delete: 4

Leave In: 1


410-195 OPEB Funding.  Post-employment health funding:

Mr. Vernau stated that this should be revisited each year as prefunding is the less expensive option.

Delete: 3

Postpone: 1

Leave In: 1


410-312 Service Bureau. Crimewatch software:

This will not be included in the 2018 budget

Postpone: 2

Delete: 1

Leave In: 2

410-318 Other Professional. Trafficcloud software

Captain Crone discussed how important this software is for speed sign data.  Commissioner Schin was willing to move his postpone vote to leave in as long as the Northwestern Police Management training was done in 2017 not in the 2018 budget.

Postpone: 2 1

Delete: 1

Leave In: 2 3


410-421 Training.  Northwestern Police Management

Captain Crone believes there are monies in the training in 2017 for this to be done versus the 2018 budget.  See Commissioner Schin’s note above.

Leave In: 3

Delete: 2


410-730 Equipment.  TRACs e-ticketing & reporting Leave In: 3

Delete: 2


412-421 Training.  JEMS Conference for 2 people


Leave In: 3

Delete: 2

412-730 Equipment.  RAD-57 CO Oximeters Leave In: 3

Delete: 1

Postpone: 1


415-132 Salary, Public Safety. 2 additional PSOs

Mr. Vernau discussed how the additional PSOs would be available to drive the fire trucks at night.  He stated that approximately 18% of their costs could be covered by the fire tax.  Captain Crone stated that the daylight PSOs drive the fire trucks during the day.  Captain Wirth and Chief Murdoch discussed how important the PSOs are and how the PSOs and live-in stipends are a package deal to help with firefighting.  Discussion ensued.  Commissioner Schin and Simpson moved their votes from delete to leave in.


Leave In: 1 3

Delete: 4 2


415-149 Stipends. Live-in firefighter stipend Leave In: 3

Postpone: 2

415-242 Emergency Management.  Smartboard for the EOC

Director Holl is working on another option.

Postpone: 2

Delete: 1

Leave In: 2

415-730 Equipment.   Traffic signal pre-emption device Leave In: 3

Postpone: 2

415-710 Building & Improvement.  Fire bay floors Leave In: 5



434-145 Salary, Mechanic. Additional mechanic:


Leave In: 5


440-710 Bldg. Improvements.   Building expansion study


Leave In: 4

Delete: 1

440-710 Bldg. Improvements.  Gas island manhole Leave In: 5 $2,100
440-710 Bldg. Improvements. Shed replacement Leave In: 4

Delete: 1


452-373 Maintenance of Buildings. Water fountain-Pete’s Field Leave In: 4

Delete: 1

452-700 Land Improvements.   Allendale Park fence Leave In: 5 $1,575
Lower Allen Community Park:

454-710 Bldg. Improvements.  HVAC upgrade for the Barn

Leave In: 4

Postpone: 1

454-700 Land & Improvements. Fun Fort replacement

Mr. Vernau noted this would only occur if the grant was approved based on the Board’s vote and comments.  He noted that if the old section isn’t replaced it would need to be closed for safety issues.  They will look for corporate sponsors.

Leave In: 3

Postpone: 2



Mr. Vernau stated that the items the Board would like back in will be added.  Mr. Grove estimates the deficit would be about $417,000 with the add-backs discussed.  He noted that the option of a tax increase just to cover the 2018 budget would be .25 mills.  Mr. Vernau stated that for inflation and salary increases over the next few years, the Board should consider a .39 mill increase that would carry us for about 5 years.  He stated that the proposal could be a .39 mill increase for the general fund and a .19 mill for the fire tax.  This would amount to approximately a $96 increase a year for the average household.

Commissioner Schin stated that the Authority pay raise is 2%, however they don’t pay premiums for their health insurance.  Mr. Vernau stated that Township employees pay 12% of their healthcare premiums.  Commissioner Schin discussed his opposition to a 3.4% increase for employees this year with a potential tax increase.  Commissioner Simpson spoke about industries giving less than 2.5%.  Commissioner Holtzman discussed her concern about EMS salaries.  Discussion ensued. 

Mr. Vernau stated that the budget needs some work from tonight’s decisions.  It will be ready for action on November 27th.  

Mr. Vernau mentioned the grand openings of Sears and the Fine Wine and Spirits store in the Capital City Mall.

Commissioner Holtzman spoke about concerns with the school crossing at Allen Middle School and the close call for a CSO.  Captain Crone will follow-up with her tomorrow.


The Budget Meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 7:47 pm.