Liberty Township trustees have approved a plan to save money the township needs for capital improvements.

Liberty Township trustees have approved a plan to save money the township needs for capital improvements.

Over the past couple of months fiscal officer Mark Gerber asked department heads to list equipment and facility needs they will have in coming years.

Using those lists, Gerber developed savings schedules for the road and fire departments which township trustees approved Feb. 16.

Gerber said each department will annually set aside funds to buy items such as lawn mowers and dump trucks and to fund building upgrades or remodeling. The practice will help the township plan its capital expenses as well as provide level funding for operating expenses, he said.

Previously, department heads would purchase needed equipment with funds remaining after determining what their operating expenses -- such as wages and utilities -- would be, he said.

Over the next 10 years, the road department annually would deposit on average $238,000 into its capital fund. That amount is about 15 percent of the department's annual revenue, Gerber said. In 2009, the road department's revenues brought in $1.1-million.

The fire department has two capital funds, one for equipment and upgrades for the two existing fire stations and one to save for building a third station.

Beginning in 2012, the capital fund for the new station annually will deposit on average $636,480. After five years, $3.2-million will be saved, which is the estimated amount for building a new station. That amount is about 10 percent of the department's annual revenue, Gerber said. In 2009, the fire department's revenues brought in $6.1-million.

Over the next six years, the fire department annually will deposit on average $267,833 into its capital fund for the existing two stations. That amount is about 5 percent of the department's annual revenue.

In other business at the meeting trustees:

Moved David Patterson from part-time to full-time park employment. Trustees left his wage at the part-time rate of $10 per hour. Full-time wages are around $13 per hour. Last year, park, zoning and road department full-time employees joined a union that will enter negotiations soon, trustees said, noting that Patterson's increase for full-time compensation would follow the outcome of the contract negotiations.

Agreed to buy two John Deere Gator utility vehicles for $16,839. The vehicles are used by the park department for daily upkeep of the parks, such as picking up trash and monitoring trails. The department's current Gator will be used as a trade-in.

Agreed to buy a John Deere wide-area front mower for $45,546 to replace an eight-year-old mower that will be traded in. Mowers are typically used 60 hours a week during the growing season.

Agreed to spend $5,500 for new computer equipment and software, including a personal computer (PC) for the zoning department, a PC and monitor for the park department and a laptop for the road department. Township administrator Dave Anderson said the township tries to replace a few older computers every year, incrementally keeping the systems updated.

Agreed to pay the $5,330 annual fee to the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, which is funded through local government contributions and grant money. The fee is 40 cents for each of the township's estimated 13,327 residents.

Agreed to install on Creighton Drive solar-powered computerized speed-limit signs that post the legal speed, display the speed of an approaching vehicle and keep a record of the number of vehicles that have passed and at what speed. Residents of Wedgewood Park Estates will pay for the signs and to maintain them.

Designated as minor two zoning variance requests: one for a resident on Waltham Court who wants to put in a paver patio that will extend about 11 feet into the rear-yard setback; another for a resident on Daryn Court whose existing landscape walls are about three-and-half feet into the front yard and side yard setback. Minor designations can be approved by the trustees.