Bucks County Herald

Upper Makefield passes audit with flying colors

STUART LEE FRIEDMAN

Edward Furman, a partner with the CPA firm Maillie LLP, gave good grades to the operation of Upper Makefield Township.

Furman presented the 2016 Upper Makefield audit to the township supervisors at their Oct. 23 meeting, characterizing the year with a “very strong balance sheet” with a favorable debt-to-equity ratio that has placed the township in a “very solid net position.”

Stating a small decrease in capital assets due to depreciation expenses, which outran capital additions, Furman said that cash was comparable to the previous year. He stated that bonds and notes payable continued to decrease, and the township’s net equity was a little over $50 million.

Adding to a favorable picture, Furman informed the township that pension plans were over-funded, recorded in the full accrual as a pension asset, something Furman described as a rarity among the approximately 30 municipalities his firm audits. He added that many similar municipalities accrue significant liabilities, stating that school pension liabilities were particularly substantial.

While the real estate tax dropped because of decreased millage, a strong increase in earned income tax resulted in a net 2016 surplus of almost $2.4 million in tax revenue.

Addressing the fund financials, Furman said the general fund finished the year at almost $3.5 million, equating to 54 percent of general fund revenues and putting the township well above the 8 to 10 percent bond rating agency targets. Proprietary funds were also strong.

A motion to approve the audit report was made and passed without dissent.

Planning and zoning Director David Kuhns announced a recognition by the National Parks Service of Upper Makefield as a certified local government partner in the Federal Preservation Program. Kuhns stated that the recognition has been given to only 45 of the 534 communities within the state.

Historical Advisory Commission member Diana Kelly presented plans for metallic gold-lettered burgundy aluminum historic markers mounted on ten-foot posts painted to match the signs.

Supervisor Mary Ryan said that since the signs will be placed in the right-of-ways, PennDOT approval will be required for proper conformity to required standards.

Included on the signs are the names of the villages and the years they were established. They were created by Francesca Ferrazzi, a professional artist with ties to the community who is working for the township on a pro bono basis. The purchase of three signs was approved for the initial effort for an amount not to exceed $5,000.

Interim Township Manager David Nyman asked the board for approval to bring on a temporary employee to cover the public works department retirement of Bob Johnson. The approval was granted unanimously.

Nyman requested approval for revised municipal obligation projections for 2018, including for police at $134,610 and for non-uniformed personnel at $69,232. Bids for a 2011 Dodge Charger and a 2009 Chevy Impala for $4,500 and $1,500 respectively were approved without dissent.

A bid for the second phase of the 2017 road improvement project was approved for Pipersville-based Passerini and Sons Inc. for $64,261. The work will focus on drainage improvements to Thompson Mill Road. Passerini was the lowest of six public bids ranging up to $120,000. The budgeted amount was over $80,000.

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