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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Council Meeting Minutes
May 1st 2002

The Business Meeting of the Lansdowne Borough Council was held on Wednesday, May 1st, 2002 at 7:30 PM at Borough Hall. In attendance were President Campuzano, Mr. Council, Mr. Borgman, Mr. Burke, Mrs. Fryer, Mr. Klingler and Mr. Smith. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Solicitor Bech, Fire Chief Herre, Police Chief Kortan, Treasurer Asciutto, Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer Leggoe and Borough Secretary Henry. Borough Engineer Bevilacqua was absent.

Mr. Burke moved to approve the minutes of the April 3, 2002 Business Meeting of Borough Council as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Visitors

John Callaghan 13 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Callaghan questioned the status of Simpson House. Mr. Klingler stated that he had spoken with Reverend Flaherty and that Pennsylvania State confirmation was needed for determining tax credits. Mr. Klingler stated that they will receive funding with the next submission of their application.

Mr. Callaghan questioned who would be taking over the empty Dollar Land store site. President Campuzano stated that Dollar Tree had bought most of the franchises and would be opening in Lansdowne by May.

Mr. Callaghan asked what the lawyers’ fees were in the EPA lawsuit. Mr. Bech stated that fees and costs amounted to $32,000-$33,000. Mr. Bech stated that it would cost approximately $660,000 for all sewer lines to be repaired. Due to some lines having varying amounts of grout in them, the disposition of the award is as yet undetermined.

Reports and Discussions

A. Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto had no report. President Campuzano asked Mr. Asciutto to give periodic updates on the Police Pension Fund.

B. Engineer’s Report – President Campuzano read Mr. Bevilacqua’s report with major points highlighted as follows:

  • Wycombe Avenue Sewer Project – the last of the concrete work will be done tomorrow. Punch list items will be completed over the next two weeks. Mr. Burke showed photographs depicting a resident’s driveway as no longer sloping to the street because of the new elevation. Mr. Burke stated that a 4″ difference will now exist between their sidewalk and the street and that Abbonizio will not put in curb cuts. President Campuzano stated that Borough Council will approve any necessary repair work.
  • E. Plumstead Avenue Sewer Project – Bids were received on April 23, 2002. A. Gargiule & Sons was the low bidder and was awarded the bid of $126,185 for the total job, full mill and overlay. After the award is granted, contracts will be sent out for bonds, insurance and execution. Work is anticipated to start the beginning of June. Mr. Burke moved to award A. Gargiule & Sons a contract of $126,185.00 for the total job in the E. Plumstead Avenue Sewer Project. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  • Concrete Repairs – Pizzi Contractors will do the repairs at W. Greenwood Avenue for $2,204.00. Trout Construction will do the Borough Yard repairs starting next week for $9,220.00. Miele contractors will do the Highland Avenue repairs starting next week for $704.00.
  • 2002 Road Program – The road survey results have been given to the Municipal Services Committee and once the roads are chosen, a preliminary cost analysis will be done. Mr. Burke stated that three major streets need repair. Mr. Burke questioned if blacktopping should be done now on South Union Avenue toward Yeadon if further sewer work is anticipated in this area. Mr. Burke suggested blacktopping Union Avenue only to the railroad tracks and revisiting the situation at some future date. Mr. Burke stated that Sayers Avenue was not on the list for paving repairs.

C. Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young asked if the Borough website banner could be hung during the general meetings. Borough Council stated this was acceptable. Hoff Communications will be sending out 70 press releases describing the new website.

Mayor Young stated that the recent Yard Sale was a great success. Mayor Young reported that SEPTA had given cigarette butt receptacles for use at bus stops to the Borough.

Mayor Young reported there were five participants at the April 27th Darby Creek Cleanup at Hoffman Park.

Mayor Young asked if Borough Yard personnel can be used to clean up around the railroad tracks. Chief Kortan stated that SEPTA would not allow anyone on their private property.

Mayor Young asked for nominations for the Helms Award to be given in June.

D. President’s Report – President Campuzano had no report.

E. Economic Development – Mr. Council passed out booklets showing the areas under consideration in the Baltimore Avenue Corridor Study. These improvements were mainly to generate an easier traffic flow and public access to public transportation. Mr. Council stated that six curb cuts would be eliminated between Highland and Lansdowne Avenues. Mr. Council stated that the major costs would involve the installation of pedestrian crosswalks, excessive curb cut removal, creation of pedestrian buffers and sidewalk improvements. Mr. Borgman stated that more and better signage was needed in the municipal parking lots.

Mr. Council reported that the new CVS contruction was nearing completion. Joe D’Amico will be contacting some residents regarding privacy barriers.

Mr. Council stated that Mollie Repetto had expressed interest in being considered for the Library Board.

Mr. Council stated that he had spoken with Martin Ezra concerning his code enforcement records request. Mr. Council stated that he told Mr. Ezra that the Borough does not have to bear the costs of producing records and has an obligation to protect the privacy of individuals being cited. Mr. Council stated that Mr. Ezra will be contacting him with the scope of his request and will have to make a deposit for the entire projected costs prior to the Borough performing the work.

F. Finance and Administration – Mr. Klingler reported that a new air conditioner compressor is needed for the library. Mr. Klingler reported that approximately $47,000 was left over from the library renovation project and is to be moved into a separate account. Mr. Klingler stated that the estimated job would cost between $5,000 and $10,000 and that Addie will be getting 3 quotes for the job. Mr. Klingler stated that the bulk of the project would be funded from library, not Borough, funds.

Mr. Klingler reported that a preliminary report had been received from the Tax Collector. Mr. Asciutto stated that out of the $2.7 million billed in real estate taxes, approximately $2.2 million had already been received.

Mr. Klingler stated that Mockenhaupt had sent a letter to the Borough regarding major changes in the Police Pension Fund. These changes involve Act 30 and Act 600 regarding surviving spouse and disability benefits, childrens’ service benefits and employee contributions. Mr. Klingler stated that this may have a significant effect on the amount of money that the General Fund will have to pay out. Mr. Klingler stated that further details will be sent from Mockenhaupt who will also plan to meet with the Finance Committee. Mr. Klingler stated that other investment groups should be contacted regarding this situation and that alternative providers need to be contacted regarding the Non-Uniform Pension Plan.

Mr. Smith questioned a Fire Company reimbursement bill dated April 17, 2002 concerning activity in 2001 and asked if further 2001 bills were going to be put against the 2002 budget. Mr. Klingler stated he would further investigate the matter.

G. Municipal Services – Mr. Burke read a letter from Mr. Bevilacqua regarding a sewer line backup at 51 Nyack Avenue that started in November of 2001. The cost to the owner, Clarence Smith, was approximately $2,875.00 for Megan Mechanical Plumbers to excavate the stoppage. It was Mr. Burke’s understanding from Mr. Smith that Abbonizio had hooked up a curb line to an existing sanitary line that was actually an abandoned lateral line. Mr. Burke stated that he will be conferring with Mr. Bevilacqua regarding the error and will get back to Mr. Smith and Borough Council on the matter.

Mr. Burke reported depression holes from storm pipes at 49-51 W. Albermarle Avenue. Mr. Burke stated that he met with the owners of 51 W. Albermarle Avenue on April 16, 2002 to inspect the property. Mr. Burke suggested that the storm pipe on W. Albermarle Avenue be TV inspected to verify that the storm pipe was discontinued and Borough Council agreed.

Mr. Burke stated that an extension would be granted to Mr. Charles McKelvey.

H. Public Safety – Mrs. Fryer reported that the Civil Service Commission recommended appointing two candidates for Class E patrolman: Thomas Murphy and Mark Mugler. Mr. Council asked if there were any female candidates and Chief Kortan stated that there was one possible female candidate who placed 8th or 9th on the list. Mrs. Fryer moved to have Borough Council offer Thomas Murphy and Mark Mugler the position of Class E patrolman, effective May 20, 2002. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mrs. Fryer asked Chief Kortan to check into proper signage at the site of the new CVS store on Union Avenue.

Mrs. Fryer reported that nothing has been heard from the Hacks Point Volunteer Fire Company regarding the sale of the pumper truck.

Mrs. Fryer questioned the delay in receiving the loan for the new fire truck. Mr. Bech stated that approval from two separate state agencies for the loan was needed but that the loan was not in jeopardy. The original paper work did not specify a sinking fund even though one was not needed in this situation. Mr. Bech will redo the paper work if a waiver is received.

Mrs. Fryer moved to have Borough Council endorse the proposal for school funding reform. Mr. Burke seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mrs. Fryer asked if the next Public Safety Committee meeting could be cancelled due to scheduling conflicts and President Campuzano stated that this was acceptable. The June meeting date will also need to be changed and next week’s cancellation will be advertised.

I. Parks and Recreation – Mr. Borgman moved to nominate Tom Butler to the Recreation and Park Board for a 3 year term. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Borgman moved to nominate Mike McGee to the Recreation and Park Board for a 3 year term. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Borgman reported that a final presentation for the Reservoir Park project will be given to the Tree Advisory Board by the Drexel University students involved in the study. Mr. Borgman asked that certificates of appreciation be given to these students.

Mr. Borgman reported that the Lansdowne Police 5K run is scheduled for September 7th. Mr. Borgman presented the following requests from Mollie Repetto, Jim McCaughan and Bob McIlhenny concerning this event: (1) provide a one day rider on the Borough insurance policy, and (2) fund the race with the remaining money left in the balance from the 2000 Memorial Day Run. Mr. Smith stated that $474.33 remained in a capital reserve account and an additional $469.16 was in an agreement reserve account.

Mr. Borgman reported that the Hoffman Park opening day festivities was a success. President Campuzano stated that Caramenico damaged two pads and six sprinkler heads and that $600 was to be paid to Sharkey.

Mr. Borgman reported that Lansdowne has once again been designated as a tree city and that the Arbor Day celebration was a success.

J. Zoning, Planning and Code Enforcement – Mr. Smith moved to have Borough Council approve reverse subdivision/lot line changes for 13-15 S. Highland Avenue. Mr. Burke seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Smith stated that Mr. Council drafted policy/procedures for the Code Enforcement department to be discussed at the next Committee meeting. Mr. Smith stated that proposed revisions to the sign ordinance will also be discussed.

Mr. Smith reported that five properties were reviewed by the Vacant Property Review Committee at their last meeting: 66 Drexel, 113 E. Stewart, 125 Austin, 96 McKinley, 288 W. Greenwood and 55 E. Baltimore Avenues. Mr. Smith stated that 66 Drexel, 125 Austin and 288 W. Greenwood Avenues will be considered blighted and abandoned and the Committee will seek demolition funding.

Mr. Smith stated that the owner of 125 Austin Avenue will be at the May 29th VPRC meeting. Other properties to be discussed at this meeting are: 69 Bryn Mawr Avenue, 116 W. Marshall Road, 110 S. Wycombe Avenue, 125 Austin Avenue, 141 Walsh Road and 113 E. Stewart Avenue.

Mr. Council asked if the $750 Zoning Hearing Board fee could be waived regarding a fencing problem at Drexel and Windermere Avenues. Mr. Bech stated that he would check into the matter.

President Campuzano asked Mr. Leggoe to check into the Boys Club trash problem in the alley.

Mr. Smith stated that neighbors are concerned that the new owners of 32 E. Greenwood Avenue, a property designed by Frank Furness, may not maintain the residence as a historical property.

Mr. Klingler stated that Rose Glotfelty needs a letter from the Borough Manager stating that she paid her taxes on time. The bank had not deposited her original tax check, causing her property to be liened. In the absence of a Borough Manager, the letter will be sent from a representative of Borough Council.

K. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan presented a quick synopsis of several letters received that had already been responded to and reviewed:

  • 116 E. Stratford Avenue re: Acme and one way traffic. Chief Kortan stated that additional signage will be forthcoming.
  • 128 E. Greenwood Avenue re: a basketball goal blocking driveway at the rear of 100 E. Greenwood. Chief Kortan stated that there is no blockage and the goal is on private property.
  • 2 Balfour Circle re: cars parked in the Fire Zone at the Wawa store. Chief Kortan stated that the police department will continue ticketing offenders.
  • Gwen Wright of Wildman Arms Apartments re: police leaving doors propped open when responding to emergency calls. Chief Kortan stated that the Fire Company will now use a master key to open the doors. Mrs. Fryer stated that Darryl Harris would like an ordinance requiring that knock boxes be put on all fire trucks.

Chief Kortan stated that plans are underway for the upcoming Police Appreciation Day to be held on May 19th, 2-4 PM.

Chief Kortan stated that a retirement dinner for two recently retired officers will be held on May 9th and tickets are available.

L. Fire Chief Bob Herre – Chief Herre had no report.

M. Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Bech had no report.

Old Business – None.

New Business – None.

Mrs. Fryer moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss the following matters:

  • Borough Manager Recruiting
  • Correspondence to John Marcarelli

Mr. Council seconded. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 10:05 P.M.

Upon reconvening from Executive Session, Mrs. Fryer moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Council seconded and the meeting adjourned at 10:25 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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