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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday – June 5, 2002

The Business Meeting of the Lansdowne Borough Council was held on Wednesday, June 5th, 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, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Fire Chief Herre, Police Chief Kortan, Treasurer Asciutto, Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer Leggoe and Borough Secretary Henry. President Campuzano asked for a moment of silence in memory of Bob Farrell. Mr. Klingler moved to approve the minutes of the May 1, 2002 Business Meeting of Borough Council as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Bech introduced attorney Greg Rowe who has been assisting Mr. Bech in Borough matters.

Edith Bassie 70 Sayers Avenue – Mrs. Bassie requested more police protection and patrols in Hays
Mrs. Bassie requested updated signage on Sayers Avenue regarding parking times and additional stop signs.

Reports and Discussions
A. Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto reported that as of the end of May, 2002, 72% of the real estate taxes had been collected, 85% of solid waste collection and sewer fees had been collected and $36,300 in delinquent per capita taxes had been received.
Mr. Asciutto reported that the $500,000 loan borrowed for the sewer project had been paid back. Mr. Klingler stated that efforts are also underway to pay back the tax anticipation note.

Mr. Borgman stated he was still awaiting the rollover money for the Park and Recreation Board. Mr. Klingler stated that this money was a line item in the budget under Capital Purchases.
Mr. Council moved to return to the Visitor’s section. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Kathleen Nixon 8 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Ms. Nixon, owner of The Skate Shop, stated interest in sponsoring a skateboard competition and asked if the Highland Avenue parking lot could be used for that function. The event would be held the end of July and no fees would be involved. A discussion followed regarding liability issues. Mr. Bech stated that a one day rider would be possible for insurance purposes. The matter may be discussed further at next month’s general meeting.

B. Engineer’s Report – Mr. Bevilacqua reported on the following projects:

  • Wycombe Avenue Sewer Project – punch list items are being completed. The Addison property lateral connection is a major problem and the easiest solution would involve cutting into Jim Meloney’s property. The matter is pending until Mr. Meloney’s return to Lansdowne next week to discuss the project. A discussion followed concerning another alternative that would eliminate disrupting the Meloney property.
  • E. Plumstead Avenue Sewer Project – a preconstruction meeting was held on June 4th. Contracts have been signed and the project is expected to start around June 17th. It is anticipated the project will take about 60 days.
  • Concrete Repairs – Pizzi’s costs for completed concrete repairs – $2,224.00; Mike Neeley’s costs – $704.00; Mike Trout’s costs – $9,200.00 plus an additional fee of $1,020.00. Mr. Burke moved to pay all the concrete repair bills, including the additional Trout expense. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  • 2002 Road Program – two additional streets will be added to the general contract price estimated to be near $140,000. Bids will be received in August and paving will start in September.

Mr. Burke presented some of his agenda items for discussion with Mr. Bevilacqua as follows:

49-51 W. Albemarle Avenue – a storm line problem exists wherein the line is dead and an inlet will need replacing. Mr. Bevilacqua will write up proposals. Mr. Council stated that a base line study should be done to avoid possible future litigation regarding drainage issues.

51 Nyack Avenue – the issue of whether or not the Borough hooked up the wrong lateral to this property was discussed. The owner wants a $2,500 payment from the Borough for his excavation costs. Mr. Burke stated that the Borough should not pay this bill based upon Mr. Bevilacqua’s findings. Mr. Bevilacqua will have further talks with the owner about this issue.
Mr. Smith questioned the status of 55 E. Baltimore Avenue. Mr. Bevilacqua reported that a structural inspection had been made and Mr. Leggoe will give the findings to Judge Perfetti on June 10th. Mr. Bech stated that the legal determination of the property being blighted was final because the owner did not appeal the matter. Mr. Council stated that the other structural engineer’s report should not impact the Borough’s plan to refer the property to the Redevelopment Authority for demolition.
Mr. Bevilacqua is working on applications to the Redevelopment Authority for the following seven properties: 116 W. Marshall Road, 125 Austin Avenue, 69 Bryn Mawr Avenue, 141 Walsh Road, 55 E. Baltimore Avenue, 66 Drexel Avenue and 288 W. Greenwood Avenue. These applications need to be submitted by June 15th. Two pending properties are 113. E. Stewart and 96 McKinley Avenues.
Mr. Smith stated that the Vacant Property Review Committee will meet on June 26th to discuss another 5 or 6 properties. Mr. Smith stated that due to the early submission of the applications, it is likely that funding will be received. Mr. Smith stated that at the June 26th meeting the following properties will be reviewed: 75-77-79 E. LaCrosse Avenue, 234 Owen Avenue and 141 Walsh Road.
Mr. Council questioned the budget for repainting and replacing the glass in Gladstone Manor’s street lights. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that he will obtain three bids for this project.
Mr. Bevilacqua stated that regarding payment #14, PENNVest would start holding 5% retainage from the money being paid to the Borough until the project is final.

C. Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young reported that the Borough web site was evolving and asked if civic organizations were still being solicited for space. A discussion followed concerning "space" versus "links". Mr. Council stated that if links are to be provided, it will need to be put in the budget. Mr. Klingler stated that it would be appropriate for the Borough to provide a calendar and links to sites for interested organizations and suggested having a trial period to see what costs are involved for providing space.
Mayor Young reported that Channel 10 News had contacted her regarding a Borough hosted Volunteer Firefighter Day Parade on August 17th. Chief Kortan felt that logistics could be a problem and would need information concerning the cost, route, length of parade, etc. Mayor Young stated that she would contact the news station concerning this matter.
Mayor Young reported that Elise Dellacova would be the 2002 Helms Award recipient.

D. President’s Report – President Campuzano stated that there were two outstanding invoices totaling approximately $500 for the library exit signs and bathroom repairs. President Campuzano stated that Vitetta Architects would be paying the invoices. The Borough still owes Vitetta $500 and will pay this amount at the next meeting with Vitetta.
President Campuzano stated that the Borough flags bought after the September 11th tragedy were not holding up as expected and suggested that the Borough purchase new flags from Home Depot for approximately $20 apiece. These new flags would be placed along the 4th of July parade route and used for future parades. Mr. Klingler moved to have the Borough purchase approximately 40-60 new flags. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
President Campuzano questioned the grass cutting and ordinance updates. Mr. Smith stated that the Borough crew maintains the grass cutting for vacant properties and the property owners are then liened for the costs. Mr. Burke moved to cancel the July Business Meeting. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
A discussion followed with the owners of The Skate Shop concerning their proposed sponsoring of a Borough skateboarding event. Some of the liability issues discussed included declaring the Highland Avenue parking lot a park for one day, buying a rider and restricting the number of registrants. The date for the event is July 27th. Mr. Klingler moved to support The Skate Shop’s proposal for a day of skateboarding at the Highland Avenue parking lot, contingent upon the approval of the waiver form, the securing of a rider and the investigation of whether the Borough can declare the Highland Avenue parking lot a park for one day, all at no cost to the Borough. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

E. Fire Chief Bob Herre – Chief Herre stated that he received a call from a dealer offering $520 for the fire truck. Mrs. Fryer stated that no further information had been received about the other offer.
Chief Herre stated that property is being destroyed on Fire Company grounds by those using the parking lot as a skateboarding area. Mr. Council stated that the issues of enforcing private property rights and the lack of facilities for skateboarding need to be addressed. Mr. Council suggested that adults should take over the responsibility for establishing this facility and that placing an adolescent on the Parks and Recreation Board might be beneficial. Chief Kortan stated that if a park situation is created, the Borough will have some liability for the safety of any apparatus created and left in the park. Mr. Council and Mr. Borgman will talk to the owners of The Skate Shop for further input on resolving the problem.

F. Economic Development – Mr. Council stated that both the Economic Development and Finance and Administration Committees discussed having Lansdowne sponsor a Fine Arts festival in September in order to promote Lansdowne as a community of arts. The festival would be restricted to Lansdowne artists and anyone having a historical connection to Lansdowne. Mr. Council stated that with Borough Council’s approval, corporate sponsors will be sought.
Mr. Council reported that the LEDC received $9,300 from the Department of Economic Development to fund the market study. Additional funding has been received from other entities and the total cost will be $14,000. Mr. Council moved to authorize a Borough contribution o f $1,000.00 toward funding the economic development marketing study. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Council stated that an individual had asked him if Borough Council would be interested in purchasing all or some of the Burkholder property as a gateway park into the Borough. Mr. Council stated that the property would be taken off the tax roles if purchased by the Borough.
Mr. Council stated that he will be talking to a broker about potential tenants for the 7-11 store on Baltimore Avenue. The lease expires in November.
Mr. Council reported that Library Director Adeline Ciannella had tendered her resignation and would be leaving in August. The Library Board will begin the search process next week.

G. Finance and Administration –
Mr. Klingler reported that the auditor’s report had been filed.
Mr. Klingler stated that taxes for the Burkholder property amounted to $488.89.
Mr. Klingler reported that the issue of collecting delinquent sewer fees had been raised by Tax Collector Dale Nupp. These fees have not been collected for 10 years, none of the properties have been liened and a significant amount of money could be realized if these fees are collected. Mr. Klingler stated that two items need clarification: the total amount of delinquent fees and whether the Tax Collector will be personally responsible for collecting the fees. Mr. Klingler also stated that Mr. Nupp should be collecting a fee for preparing tax certifications as he is currently not charging fees for this service. Mr. Bech stated that an alternative to liening a property, used primarily in extreme cases, is that the owners can be sued in District Justice Court.
Mr. Klingler reported that there had been some discussions about acquiring a new sound system.

H. Municipal Services – Mr. Burke reported that a new truck would be purchased through the State program. Mr. Burke stated that he was also looking into the cost of an electric sewer cleaner.
Mr. Burke stated that Mr. Bevilacqua was compiling a list of miscellaneous repairs for various manholes and sewer indentations throughout the Borough.
Mr. Burke reported that the owners of 132 E. Essex Avenue wanted reimbursement of approximately $2,500.00 for sewer repairs. Mr. Burke moved that the Borough reimburse Pat and Susan Butler for expenses caused by the Borough in the amount of $2,747.27. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously. This reimbursement will come out of the Sewer Fund.
Mr. Burke reported that Anna DiAnnunzio of Woodland Avenue wanted a $175 reimbursement from the Borough for the raw sewage backup in her garage. The question of whose responsibility it is for payment was discussed and Mr. Burke will talk to Mike McCall about the situation.

I. Public Safety – Mrs. Fryer passed out materials from the School District forum held on May 22nd regarding school funding.
Mrs. Fryer stated that she would be unable to attend the Board of Health meeting on June 11th.
Mayor Young asked if some provisions could be made for parking accommodations when attending School Board meetings. Mrs. Fryer stated that parking was available at various sites and that school personnel will be directing traffic in the future.

J. Parks and Recreation – Mr. Borgman reported that the Reservoir Park study was an excellent one but did not fully provide funding resources. Mr. Borgman stated he had hoped to receive more financial assistance. Mr. Council stated that the State funding cycle begins in July and that Keystone conservation grants might be available. Mr. Klingler asked that some of the budgeted money be spent on concrete sidewalk repairs.
Mr. Borgman stated that a proposed basketball league to be run at Hoffman Park had been suggested by Tom Overton. President Campuzano stated that more detailed plans would be necessary and that Mr. Overton should be informed that nothing will be done without Borough Council approval.
Mr. Borgman reported that the GLCA wants clarification on Sycamore Park maintenance. The issue will be raised at the June 18th Committee meeting.
Mr. Borgman stated his concern over the continuing vandalism at Hoffman Park and asked Chief Kortan to attend the June 18th Committee meeting.
Mr. Borgman stated that the next Park and Recreation Board meeting will be held on July 1st at Hoffman Park.

K. Zoning, Planning and Code Enforcement – Mr. Smith stated that the Vacant Property Review Committee will meet on June 26th to discuss 110 S. Wycombe Avenue.
Mr. Smith stated that the Lutz reverse subdivision was done on May 1st.
Mr. Smith reported that new Borough Manager David Forrest had sent him information regarding updates needed for the Borough zoning ordinances.
Mr. Smith stated that he will give a written update at the June General meeting regarding U&O’s.
Mr. Smith stated that vacant properties are becoming an increasing problem and that expanding code and property maintenance enforcement is critical. Mr. Smith suggested increasing the code enforcement budget.
President Campuzano asked Mr. Leggoe the status of the nail business moving into the Lansdowne Center. Mr. Leggoe stated that six items were needed for permits and he would check into the matter.

L. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan had no report.

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

Old Business – Mrs. Fryer moved for a Second reading and approving of Ordinance No. 1180; Ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1173 regarding the indebtedness through the issuance of a general obligation note, concerning the purchase of a 2001 pumper truck. Mr. Burke seconded. Mr. Burke moved to dispense with the reading of Ordinance No. 1173. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

New Business – Mrs. Fryer moved to have the Secretary read Resolution No. 2002-11 regarding the disposition of police radio equipment. Mr. Burke seconded and the Resolution was read. Mrs. Fryer moved to pass Resolution no. 2002-11. Mr. Burke seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried with all Council members voting "aye".
Mr. Burke moved to approve Resolution No. 2002-10 regarding the Master Casting Agreement without a reading. Mr. Smith seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried with all Council members voting "aye".
Mr. Klingler moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel issues. Mr. Burke seconded and the meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 11:28 PM.
Upon reconvening from Executive Session, Mr. Burke moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Council seconded and the meeting adjourned at 11:58 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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