New Britain Borough Financial Advisory Committee

Meeting Notes

April 25, 2017, 7:30pm

  1. Call to order
  1. The meeting was called to order at 7:30PM by Chairman Mr. Frank Lombardo.
  1. Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Roll call
  1. Members present were Frank Lombardo, Art Conover, Joseph Borek, John Wolff, Jr.  Council Liaison Jeff Gilmore and Sam Bryant (Borough Manager) were also present.  Member Danielle Young was not present.
  1. Approval of Minutes
  1. Mr. Wolff motioned to approve the minutes.  Mr. Lombardo seconded the motion and it was approved by all members present.
  1. Unfinished Business
  1. Road Loan and PFM
  1. Mr. Bryant updated the committee on the status of the RFP for road fund borrowing.  The Borough will receive bids by the end of the week, which Mr. Bryant will forward to members for individual review/comment.  Mr. Bryant will then provide that feedback to Council at its meeting on May 9th.  
  2. Mr. Wolff asked if the Borough had considered a loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank.  Mr. Bryant said he would speak with the debt consultant and Borough Solicitor regarding that option.
  3. Mr. Bryant reviewed the results of the core sampling, which varied in some cases from the initial estimate from the Borough Roadmaster.  Mr. Bryant will work with the Borough Roadmaster and Borough Council to complete an estimate of costs for road work and implement a plan to complete some of it in 2017 and finish the project in 2018.
  1. Five Year Plan Update - Committee Outreach
  1. Mr. Bryant noted that Mr. Conover and Ms. Young had reached out to their committees but had received no response yet.  Mr. Gilmore noted he had mentioned this to Parks and Recreation but had not had a formal discussion yet.
  2. Mr. Bryant also noted that someone from the Committee should reach out to the newly formed Shade Tree Commission.  Mr. Gilmore volunteered to handle that matter.
  3. Mr. Lombardo requested that members have this outreach completed.
  1. New Business
  1. Police Captain
  1. Mr. Wolff mentioned that Captain Penecale had recently retired, and asked Mr. Bryant what plans the Regional Police had for the position.  Mr. Bryant responded that Mayor Holewinski and he had discussed eliminating the position with the Chief.  Mr. Bryant noted he would be in attendance at the Police Commission meeting on Thursday to weigh in on the financial impacts of any decision, which the members of the Committee supported.
  1. Council Request – Monthly Budgeting
  1. Mr. Bryant and Mr. Gilmore explained Mr. Gilmore’s request at the last Borough Council meeting that the financial reporting be changed to be more useful for Council in regards to budget versus actual statements.
  2. Mr. Conover suggested that a report be prepared each quarter that shows the budget vs. actual for the current quarter, a comparison to the previous year quarter, and a listing of any budget items that were significantly above or below expectations.
  3. Mr. Bryant stated he would attempt to create such a report and would notify the committee if he needed assistance.
  1. Council Request – Groner Investment
  1. Mr. Bryant updated the committee on the status of the possible property acquisition and of the current investment of Groner funds.  He explained that the Borough Solicitor recently informed Council that these funds could be invested as the Borough saw fit, without Orphan’s Court approval.
  2. Mr. Conover and Mr. Borek noted that since it is now likely that interest rates will rise, the borough should avoid locking the money up into a long-term investment, such as a 5 year CD.
  3. Mr. Lombardo asked if the Committee would be willing to recommend to Council investments such as Vanguard ETFs?  Mr. Conover stated that we should likely be risk averse, and that any investment should be a minimum of AA quality.  Mr. Lombardo recommended that Mr. Bryant contact the investment managers that bid on the Borough pension for quotes and advice.
  1. Adjournment
  1. Mr. Wolff motioned to adjourn.  Mr. Lombardo seconded the motion and approved by all members present.  The meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM.