KSQ Council takes close look at finances

By Eliza Mohler, Staff Writer, The Times

Borough council members review maps regarding a zoning change request from the Delaware Valley Development Corporation at the former NVF site.

KENNETT SQUARE – Monday night’s meeting of the Kennett Square Borough Council was in the money as the finance committee presented a report on reserve funds and account trends over the past six years.

“As part of our strategic planning, we had tried to set our goal for as of 2020 to fully fund our reserves and our accounts,” Borough Manager Joe Scalise said, noting that the general fund reserve has increased by $557,085 since 2014, when there was $52,000 in the reserve. He added that despite the steady increase, the general fund reserve will be approximately $35,000 short of the committee’s target goal of $646,000 for 2017. There have also been increases over the past three years in the reserves for the solid waste, water, sewer, and parking funds.

Vice President and finance committee member Geoffrey Bosley commented on the positive change in the Borough’s finances over the past six years.

“We set these reserve policies in 2011,” he said. “At that time, funds were tight, and it was a situation where we had big gaps in our payments and we had debt payments. Managing the money and making payroll was a challenge, and obviously we’re in a different boat now, which is terrific.”

Bosley also noted that the increase in development in the borough has helped with growth.

Council President Danilo Maffei praised the committee’s efforts.

“I think it’s just a testament to the hard work that’s been going on for a number of years, and we’re finally seeing the fruits of our labor, and the hard work and the vision is paying off, so thanks to everyone involved,” he said.

After Maffei opened the meeting, Mayor Matthew Fetick requested that a moment of silence be observed in honor of retired police chief Ed Zunino, who passed away on May 12. Before the meeting, the council had held a private executive session regarding personnel matters relative to the borough manager, and Maffei announced that another executive session regarding plans for the new Kennett Library and community center building would take place immediately after the meeting.

The council discussed some zoning changes, including two requests from Codes Officer Rusty Drumheller to proposed changes in the Creamery area of the OI1 district and the flood plain to the Planning Commission, which the council agreed with. They also approved moving forward with a requested zoning map change after Drumheller explained that the Delaware Valley Development Corporation had filed an application with the borough for a map change at the former NVF site for a portion that needs to be subdivided and changed from OI1 to R-3.

Fire chief Chris Plumley gave the fire department report, which included 28 fire calls, 3 fires, 5 rescues, 4 service calls, 4 false alarms, and 101 EMS calls in the month of April. He noted that the company’s new truck tower, the design of which has gained interest from other departments around the country, will be on display at the Pennsylvania Fire Expo in Harrisburg this weekend.

The police department report was delivered by Fetick in police chief William Holdsworth’s absence. In the month of April, there were 11 felony arrests and six felony incidents: one robbery, one assault, three thefts, and one motor vehicle theft. There were 29 minor offense incidents: two vandalism, one drug abuse, six domestic violence, three DUIs, three public drunkenness, nine misconducts, and five miscellaneous offenses. There were also 141 traffic citations and 47 traffic warnings.

Fetick also mentioned that the public safety committee will be focusing on transportation, traffic safety, and parking issues in the Borough at their upcoming meetings, which are open to the public. The next meeting will be about traffic safety and will be held on Tuesday, June 6 at 7:30 a.m. at the police station on 115 North Broad Street.

Special event applications for three events were approved: the Wheelman Founders Tour on Saturday, July 1; the Kennett Brewfest on Saturday, September 30; and Third Thursdays and First Fridays, which will run from June through September.

Maffei listed current board and commission vacancies: three on the Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, two on the civil service commission, one on the HARB, one on the Kennett area park and recreation board, three on the Kennett Square human relations commission, and one on the property maintenance appeals board.

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