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10-5-15 Budget Minutes

Board of Commissioners
10-5-15 Budget Minutes


BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS                                                                                       LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP

BUDGET MEETING                                                                                                                       OCTOBER 5, 2014

The following were in ATTENDANCE:

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS                                       TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
H. Edward Black, President                                           Thomas G. Vernau Jr., Township Manager
Peddrick Young, Vice President                                    Erin Trone, Assistant Manager 
Richard F. Schin                                                           Frank Williamson, Chief of Police                                        
John T. Titzel                                                                Richard Grove, Finance Director
Lloyd W. Bucher                                                            Dan Flint, Community Development
                                                                                      Leon Crone, Police Department
                                                                                      Greg Thomas, Police Department
                                                                                      Christopher Yohn, EMS
                                                                                      Rodney Mumma, Fire Company
                                                                                      Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary


President Black called the October 5, 2015 Budget Meeting of the Board of Commissioners to order at 6:00 pm. He announced Proof of Publication was available for review.

President Black inquired if anyone in the audience would like to address the Commissioners regarding any business pertinent to the Township. There was no response.

Mr. Grove discussed budget preparation. He stated that there are a few revenues missing and hopes to have it finalized by the next budget meeting. He discussed the assumptions he made for the budget, including a 2.7% raise for non-uniform employees. He discussed some of the unknowns, including a decision on the medics, third ambulance, and healthcare/worker’s compensation/insurance increases. Mr. Vernau discussed the performance reviews that started in June 2015. He discussed the way the reviews were done in the past versus the new way. Mr. Grove discussed the police contract and the contracted raises. Discussion ensued.

Fire Services – Lower Allen Fire                                          Chief Williamson discussed this section.
Account            Description Details
411.232             Fuel – Unleaded & Diesel, Williamson highlighted the $3,300 increase in this expenditure. He discussed the increase in                                  vehicles with three chief’s cars. He also discussed the fuel used on driver training and small equipment.
411.245             Operating Expenses ,He spoke about the 55 gallon drums of Class A Foam. He discussed the replacement of five gallon                               drums needed this year along with a UPS.
411.321             Communication Expense, He spoke about the communication needs for the fire company including wireless and internet                             access. These needs will help with mapping to fires and communication with the County. He spoke about how the silent                               dispatch works for responses.
411.373             Maint & Repair Building, He spoke about the signage for Station 2.
411.375             Maint & Repair Vehicle, He discussed the need for chassis services and A/C compressors for the upcoming year. He stated                           there is an increase in unanticipated needs of $1,000 added for 2016.

Public Safety                                         Chief Williamson discussed this section.
Account            Description Details
415-132             Salaries – PS Officers He indicated a new PSO is being added for 2016.
415-191             Uniform Purchase, This expense is for the new PSO. In addition, Class A uniforms were budgeted for the PSO officers for                             events such as funerals.
415.242             Emergency Management, He discussed the need to replace the dry erase wall. This was in the budget for 2015 and not                                   purchased and moved to 2016.
415.260             Minor Equipment, He discussed the need for bang sticks, which detect electric fields, in order to avoid injuries to staff.
415-318             Other Professional, He discussed the need to add licenses for the new employees being added in 2016.
415.422             Public Relations, National Night Out has been added for 2016.
415.730             Mach. Equip & Vehicles, He spoke about adding preemptive devices for intersections.

The Budget meeting recessed at 7:00 pm.

The budget meeting reconvened at 7:10 pm.

Police                                                            Chief Williamson discussed this section.
Account            Description Details
410.123             Salary Captain, A police captain salary has been added for 2016.
410.126             Salary Corporals, He spoke about the decrease in corporal salaries as five extra months were built into the 2015 budget                                  which are not needed for 2016.
410.132             Salary Patrolmen, He spoke about the increase in patrolmen salaries with additional personnel coming on in 2016.

Chief Williamson discussed the current officer level and desired level of 21 officers for 2016. He spoke about the potential for internal promotions and how it would affect the officers and patrols. He discussed the increased development taking place in the Township, which will create additional calls. He spoke about outside incidents, such as accidents and traffic issues they are called on to assist. He spoke about the retail thefts and the increased manpower associated with these calls. He stated with Walmart retail thefts alone are taking up approximately .4 of an FTE with processing, transporting, fingerprinting, and hearings. He believes the additional officers are needed. Lieutenant Thomas spoke about the drug overdoses and arrests increasing in the Township. Lieutenant Crone confirmed the time and additional manpower needed with Walmart arrests. Chief Williamson spoke about the additional public safety calls at Walmart in addition to the shoplifting. He stated some of the budgeted number for additional officers may vary depending upon their academy graduation or requiring the academy.

Police                                                              Chief Williamson discussed this section.
Account             Description Details
410.144               Overtime, reimbursed He stated this would be for CLA, The Mall, and football games where the Township is reimbursed for                           services.
410.145               Overtime, not reimbursed This overtime is not reimbursed and includes occasions when there is court time.
410                     Retiree health benefits, The decrease in this account is because of the creation of the OPEB trust fund.
410.156               Health insurance, This would increase with the additional patrolmen. Exact numbers for rates haven’t been received and                               are estimated for 2016.
410-191              Uniform Purchases, This is for vests for the anticipated hiring of three new officers.
410-242              Ammunition & Targets, Shotgun ammunition is needed for 2016.
410-245              Operating Supplies, They would like to add Tasers each year so that each officer can carry one versus exchanging at shift                             change. He stated they can be used versus deadly force in an incident. Discussion ensued.
410-260               Minor Equipment, CI camera which has different lends and modes to help with evidence collecting. Video capture will help                           clean up images to be able to search databases.
410-312               Service Bureau, Increased due to new juvenile petitions.
410-318              Other Professional, CALEA conference will be held in Baltimore this year and travel expenses will be less.
410.421               Training Tuition, reimbursement increased for 2016 for the officers. Discussion ensued.
410.730               Mach. Equip & Vehicles, Chief spoke about the need to replace 2 cars with Ford SUVs. He spoke about the back seat room                           issue and need for a larger vehicle for transporting.

Chief Williamson discussed the first year with Community Life Team. The contract ends on 2/1/2017, and he stated there are three options:
    1. Begin to transition the Township to an ALS program.
         • Would need to begin buying equipment and hiring staffing in 2016. By 4th quarter 2016 hire an ALS Coordinator, one medic, and                  contract for a Medical Director.
         • By January 2017 – hire an additional two full-time and several part-time medics.

    2. Extend the contract with Community Life Team.
         • Current Contract is $258,420 with one medic 24/7. This includes all supplies and the Township billing all BLS and ALS calls.

    3. Turn the entire EMS over to Community Life Team.

Chief Williamson discussed the following call volumes for the Township:
     • As of August 2015 – third highest call volume for Cumberland County.
     • 2014=2,269 EMS calls total = Average of 189 per month.
     • As of September 2015 total calls = 2,240 or an average of 249 calls per month.

Mr. Yohn stated he likes having the medics on the ambulance. President Black stated he is leaning toward having our own medics on the ambulance, and continuing talks with Life Team to negotiate and work toward something. Vice President Young believes the Township is growing and thinks it is time to move forward on the Township having its own ALS. Commissioner Bucher would like to see a combination where we keep the contract and hire our own medics. Discussion ensued. The consensus of the Board was to negotiate the contract with Community Life Team and budget an ALS and our own medics in 2016.

Chief Williamson discussed the results of the increased calls on the ambulances. He stated mechanics are coming in over the weekend sometimes to work on the ambulances. He stated if there were an accident with the ambulance, it could be out for four weeks. He discussed an option of adding an additional ambulance. Mr. Grove discussed the revenue impact of an ambulance being out of service. Chief Williamson spoke about the advantages of adding of adding an ambulance is it would be an insurance and would extend life expectancy of the current ambulances by an additional 2-4 years. He stated the cost of an additional ambulance would be approximately $236,000. He stated the annual cost would be $10,000 with the rest being debt services. Discussion ensued. Commissioner Titzel left and returned during this discussion.

EMS                                              Chief Williamson discussed this section.
Account                  Description Details
412-141                    Salary PT–Labor
412-148                    Overtime – F/T He discussed the changes with PT and FT and overtime budgeting for 2016.
412-191                    Uniform Purchase, 5 Ballistic vests were put into the budget for new personnel.
412-231                    Gasoline, Ambulances are running more so additional gasoline costs are budgeted.
412-243                    Medical Supplies, ALS supplies are budgeted for 2016. He stated these are disposable billable supplies.
412-260                    Minor Equipment, He discussed the additional equipment needed for the third ambulance. Also, two bang sticks were                                   budgeted for EMS.
412-318                    Other Professional, He stated the ALS paramedic could be reduced by $20,000 in the last quarter if the Township’s ALS                                 is up and running.
412-321                    Communication, Exp He spoke about the additional expense for the cellular service for the tablets.
412-730                    Mach, Equip & Vehicle, The third ambulance and ALS equipment was budgeted for 2016.

The Board thanked Staff for all their work on the budget.

The Budget Meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 9:07 p.m.