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Supervisors Approve “In-person” Meeting….Sort of…

There will be an “in person” Board of Supervisors’ Meeting on Thursday, October 15, because supervisors have decided that it’s safe for citizens to show up at the township building to ask questions and make comments. Unfortunately, the board has also decided that it’s not safe enough for the board or the professional staff to attend in person. What this means is that if you want to address the board, you’ll have to do so virtually from the township building, and the supervisors will respond to you from the comfort and safety of their homes. Of course, there will still be an option to submit questions via e-mail.

Speaking of the meeting, the agenda been released. It includes, among other items, the following:

  1. Warminster Community Park Project. There are two parts to this project, covered by separate state grants. The expectation is that both projects will be awarded to the highest bidder because the other bidders will fail the “Responsible Contractor Ordinance” requirement because they do not have an apprentice program. The difference in cost is expected to be in the neighborhood of $400,000, which means some park features will be completed later and financed by the township (taxpayers). See the financing notes below.

  2. Shenandoah Woods Purchase. There are two parts to this item as well. The first part is to authorize the township staff and professionals to work with the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority to facilitate the closing on this property. The second part is to approve a settlement with the Aldi Foundation. The Aldie Foundation filed a lawsuit over the sale because they claim they were promised the right to purchase a portion of the property. This settlement, which is rumored to be in excess of $100,000, will ensure that Aldie will drop their lawsuit.

  3. Financing – The board will authorize debt in the amount of $8.5 million to purchase Shenandoah Woods. During the September meeting, it was noted that this debt would include the purchase and remdiation of Shenandoah Woods, as well as any features of the Community Park project not covered by grants, as well as any additional feature that was removed from the project due to cost.

  4. Pension Obligation Bond – The expectation here is that the township will issue a 20 year Pension Obligation Bond (POB) to pay off some of the unfunded pension liability that has been growing over the years. Many in the finane world, including the Government Finance Officers Assocation (GFOA) consider this a risky undertaking. The GFOA actually includes an advisory notice on their website that “State and local governments should not issue POBs.

What all of this means is that the supervisors are financing much of the township’s future and is putting our ability to finance future capital projects at risk.

Finally, there will be a 2021 budget presentation at this meeting.

Please attend this meeting if you have questions/comments for the supervisors. If you cannot attend but would like to ask questions and/or make comments, you can still send an e-mail to publiccomments@warminsterpa.org. Please include your name and address in the body of your e-mail.

Check back later this week for a recap of this meeting.

Thank you.

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