Ambulance Response Times Should Improve
Faster emergency response times, especially with ambulances equipped and staffed to Advance Life Support (ALS) standards, are believed to improve medical outcomes. With this in mind, Upper Makefield's leaders have been looking to shave time off the current average emergency response time of 17-25 minutes by stationing an ALS ambulance within the township.
Now Upper Makefield's Board of Supervisors and St. Mary Medical Center's administrators have crafted what they believe is a new service model for the township-with no taxpayer outlay.
24/7 Station within Upper Makefield
St. Mary Medical Center, of Langhorne, Pa., has agreed to station an ALS ambulance in Upper Makefield Township, staffed 24/7, for three years, at no cost to taxpayers.
If St. Mary needs backup, the township's current providers, Newtown Ambulance Squad and the Yardley-Makefield and Central Bucks rescue squads, will continue to provide service. These squads are stationed outside the township and have heavy service loads that make it hard to respond quickly in Upper Makefield, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Rattigan.
In addition, St. Mary will conduct community wellness programs in Upper Makefield, according the St. Mary proposal. The launch date for ambulance service and community wellness programs has yet to be announced.
No New Taxes Projected as 2014 Budget Process Gets Underway
New revenue projected at $255,000 and budgetary savings of about $250,000 mean no new taxes are planned to fund Upper Makefield's 2014 budget.
The roughly $16 million budget has been reviewed in public workshops with the Upper Makefield Board of Supervisors that were held October 10 and 14, 2013.
5-year plan for Administration, Police, Public Works
After receiving direction and input from the Board of Supervisors, Township Manager Sally Slook also prepared a 5-year Capital Improvement Plan for the departments of Administration, Police, and Public Works. With a $727,000 transfer recently approved by the Board of Supervisors, the 5-year plan will be fully funded with a $1.1 million balance.
5-Year plan for Public Water and Sewer
A 5-year Capital Improvement Plan for the public water and sewage system, presented by township engineering consultant Thomas Zarko from CKS Engineers, is also now funded at 80 percent with $1.5 million to be transferred to a newly designated Water and Sewer Capital Fund before the end of this year.
Budget presentation November 7 at 7:30 p.m.
The 2014 Preliminary Budget will be presented to the Board of Supervisors at a public meeting on Thursday, November 7, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building on 1076 Eagle Road.
Final budget adoption is slated for the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
The 2014 budget follows the calendar year. Supervisors must adopt the budget, with any agreed-upon changes, by the last day of December 2013.
2014 Employee Healthcare Costs Reduced
Upper Makefield's 10 non-union employees will begin cost sharing for health insurance coverage, effective January 1, 2014. The employees will begin to contribute 5 percent toward the cost of their medical premiums.
Township savings $45,000
The township projects savings of $45,000 by switching from a Preferred Provider Organization Plan (PPO) to a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plan. The HMO Plan has higher out-of-pocket costs and requires a referral for specialist services.
Cost sharing will be part of union contract negotiations with the four-member Public Works Department, whose contract expires at the end of 2013, and the 15-member police force, whose contract expires at the end of 2015, according to Township Manager Sally Slook.
Township Seeks Volunteers for 2014 Appointments
What do you value in local government service? Upper Makefield's elected officials welcome the volunteer efforts of dozens of individuals who review plans for development, parks and recreation, historical preservation, and more throughout each year.
Appointments are typically made and reconfirmed by the Board of Supervisors at the beginning of the year. Please consider applying for one of these volunteer positions!
Brief Application Online
Details about the boards and commissions and an optional application form are online. If you have professional experience or an interest in serving on a volunteer board, please email your application form or letter of interest to Judy Caporicco, Assistant Township Manager, or mail it to 1076 Eagle Road, Newtown, PA 18940.
Prepare Now for Safe Winter Driving
Upper Makefield police officers are on the road no matter the weather. Our officers wish you a safe and happy holiday season and New Year. To make your winter driving season safer, we offer these time-proven safety tips for you to consider when traveling our roads.
Put together a winter driving package and carry it in your vehicle. Keep a bag of salt or sand in your trunk to assist with traction should you get stuck. Collect also: A flashlight, shovel, ice scraper, snow brush, blankets, a pair of boots, and an extra pair of gloves.
Prepare your car by following this winter maintenance checklist: Car battery and charging system, cooling system, defrosters, heater, windshield wipers, windshield washer fluid, and properly inflated tires. Are all in good condition?
During bad weather, ask yourself whether it is absolutely necessary to travel. Can you reschedule or meet with someone online instead?
If you do go out during inclement weather, know the route you are traveling and check the weather and road conditions. If you don't usually carry a cell phone, bring one that is fully charged and keep it turned on.
Clear all snow from the top of your car. Snow flying from rooftops is a danger to other drivers. Once you are driving, snow can also shift and land on your windows, suddenly blocking your view. If it takes a longer snow brush handle or standing on tip-toes, please clear all snow from your car or SUV before driving off.
Fine-tune your focus while driving
- Some vehicles and drivers handle slippery conditions better than others. Know your own driving skills and the limitations of your vehicle.
- Drive slowly and give yourself extra space between other moving vehicles.
- As you drive, anticipate slippery roads and sudden stops by other vehicles.
If you do get stuck, make sure there is no ice or snow blocking your tailpipe. A blockage could cause carbon monoxide to build up in the cabin of the vehicle.
This is Our Official Newsletter
Forward this to your neighbors!
We work hard to communicate well. Our Upper Makefield Township website is updated several times a week. This is the fifth and final eNews for 2013. We do not publish a print newsletter, so we encourage you to forward this eNews with the recommendation for others to sign up!
By request, we will mail a printout of this eNews to people without computer access.