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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Council General Meeting
Wednesday – July 17th, 2002

The General Meeting of the Lansdowne Borough Council was held on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 at 7:30 PM at Borough Hall. In attendance were Mr. Council, Mr. Borgman, Mr. Burke, Mrs. Fryer, Mr. Klingler and Mr. Smith. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Solicitor Bech, Borough Manager Forrest, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Treasurer Asciutto, Police Chief Kortan, Fire Chief Herre, Code Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector Leggoe and Secretary Henry. President Campuzano was absent. Vice President Council chaired the meeting in President Campuzano’s absence.

Mr. Council announced that the meeting was being taped by Comcast and would air on Monday, July 22nd , 7:00 PM on Cable Channel 10.

Minutes – Mr. Burke moved to approve the minutes of the June 5, 2002 Borough Council Business Meeting and the June 19, 2002 Borough Council General meeting. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Presentations and Announcements – Mayor Young presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Library Director Addie Ciannella for her six years of service to the library.

Mayor Young presented a letter of commendation to Officer Christopher Schiazza for apprehending a suspect involved in stealing parking meter money.

Mayor Young announced that Home Depot is still offering a 5% discount to Lansdowne residents when they purchase house address numbers.

Mayor Young announced that Reverend Clyde Flaherty and other area churches are planning a September 11th candlelight memorial service.

Mayor Young welcomed David Forrest as the new Lansdowne Borough Manager.

Mr. Council thanked Addie Ciannella for her past service and contributions to the library.

Mr. Council also welcomed David Forrest to the Borough.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto reported that for June, total revenues for all funds were $903,672.84 and total expenditures were $338,708.86. Year to date expenditures were $2,310,834.00.

Mr. Asciutto stated that each month all receipts for the Non-Uniform Employees Pension Fund would be recorded even though statements are not received on a regular basis.

Mr. Burke moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report as read. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Engineer’s Report – Mr. Bevilacqua stated that his items would be covered under Committee reports.

Mr. Bevilacqua stated that while he was on vacation next week, the contact people would be Rich Hornberger or John Gillespie of Pennoni Associates.

Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Bech stated that most of his items would be covered under Committee reports.

Mr. Bech reported that all papers in the EPA settlement have been signed and filed.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Council President’s Report – Mr. Smith reported on one follow-up item regarding the driveways at 119 E. Stewart and 48 E. Stratford Avenues. Mr. Smith stated that the owners had been notified of the necessary code requirements and the owners of 48 E. Stratford had contacted him regarding compliance with proper zoning procedures.

Economic Development – Mr. Council stated that Hoff Communications was drafting a brochure for commercial developers as part of the economic development program.

Mr. Council reported that he and Mayor Young met last week with Delaware County Commerce Center representatives to gather preliminary information for the Renaissance Program. The focus of this Program will be on economic revitalization of the Eastern Delaware County Region.

Mr. Council stated that he met with Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation ("LEDC") president Bill Brown and other investors to research the possibility of bringing first run movies to the Lansdowne Theater. Mr. Council stated that the LEDC Board met on July 16th to review the findings of the consumer survey. The results will become part of a larger market study to be completed by S. Huffman & Associates by the end of September.

Mr. Council reported that the Eastern Delaware County Council of Governments ("EDCCOG") will meet on June 25th in Lansdowne to discuss Code Enforcement issues.

Mr. Council stated he would be nominating Donald Fry for appointment to the Lansdowne Library Board. Mr. Council reported that the replacement search for Addie Ciannella has begun.

Municipal Services – Mr. Burke reported that the Wycombe Avenue Sewer Project should be completed by the end of this month.

Mr. Burke reported that A. Garguile had completed 70% of the work on the E. Plumstead Avenue sewer replacement project. Project completion should be in early August.

Mr. Burke reported that bids for the 2002 Street Program were received on July 11th. The contract award was made to Joe Sucher & Sons with a low bid of $86,127.00. An alternate bid of an additional $14,559.00 was also awarded, bringing the contract total to $100.686.00.

Mr. Burke stated that he had been in discussions with the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company regarding replacing water lines on Lansdowne Avenue. Due to budget cuts, the project has been postponed indefinitely.

Mr. Burke had no recycling report for June.

Public Safety – Mrs. Fryer congratulated Officer C. J. Schiazza on his commendation.

Mrs. Fryer stated that the next Public Safety Committee meeting would be held on August 14th. Mrs. Fryer stated that an elderly Lansdowne man who lived alone had been found dead in his home last week and urged residents to look out for each other, especially the elderly and ill residents.

Mrs. Fryer gave the Police Report for June: 630 incidents, 980 parking tickets and 7,460 miles traveled.

Mrs. Fryer gave the Fire Company report for June: 42 total alarms for 12 hours 42 minutes in service, 51 firefighters responding, 339 miles traveled with no injuries to firefighters. Mrs. Fryer thanked the UAA, Dave Stanton, Fred Egner and other volunteers for their efforts in the July 4th festivities. Mrs. Fryer thanked the Fire Company for their work in keeping the holiday safe for everyone.

Mrs. Fryer stated that the Board of Health met on July 9th. Three licenses and 5 permits were issued to date.

Mrs. Fryer stated that water quality reports submitted by the Lansdowne Swim Club and the Wildman Arms Swimming Pool had met the State microbiological standards. Mrs. Fryer reported that the William Penn School District budget had been passed with a 15% increase.

Zoning, Planning and Code Enforcement – Mr. Smith welcomed David Forrest to the Borough.

Mr. Smith stated that the Zoning, Planning and Code Enforcement Committee ("Committee") met on July 9th to discuss property maintenance and code items, possible revisions to the Borough sign ordinance, activity to date of the Vacant Property Review Committee ("VPRC") and a draft Policy and Procedure manual for the Code Enforcement Department. Mr. Smith thanked Mr. Council for his help in preparing this manual. Mr. Smith stated that the next Committee meeting will be on August 13th, 7:00 PM to discuss sign ordinance revisions and 2003 budget items for the Code Enforcement Department.

Mr. Smith stated that replacements are being sought for three openings on the Lansdowne Planning Commission and that a nomination for one of the positions would be made later in the meeting.

Mr. Smith reported that the VPRC will not meet during July and August but will resume meetings in September. Mr. Smith stated that at the past three meetings, 15 properties were discussed. Of these 15 properties, three are priority demolition properties, 14 are vacant and all are considered blighted. Mr. Smith reported that plans for sale, rehabilitation or investors gaining interest have been expressed for 8 of the properties.

Mr. Smith reported that the Zoning Hearing Board is tentatively scheduled to meet on August 8th to review plans for 23 Runnemede Avenue. The Planning Commission is scheduled to meet on August 1st to discuss the same property.

Parks and Recreation – Mr. Borgman reported that the Recreation and Park Board met on July 1st with Chief Kortan to discuss vandalism in parks. Mr. Borgman urged residents to report any and all incidents regarding this matter.

Mr. Borgman reported that the Friday morning Live program is continuing at the Twentieth Century Club. Mr. Borgman stated that a Teen Concert would be held on July 19th at the Club and volunteer parents were welcome to attend as chaperones.

Mr. Borgman reported that the Recreation Department Fall Program would start in September. A Radio City Christmas Special bus trip is scheduled for December 15th.

Mr. Borgman reported that drought restrictions have now been lifted for Lansdowne.

Mr. Borgman stated that the Tree Advisory Committee did not meet this month.

Mr. Borgman stated that the first annual Bob Ferrell Tournament for baseball would be held this weekend with games being played at Hoffman Park and various other fields.

Finance and Administration – Mr. Council delivered Mr. Klingler’s report. Mr. Council reported on one follow up item from last month regarding the filing of the Borough auditor’s audit report. Mr. Council stated that the filing was submitted to the County Department of Community and Economic Development and there is no requirement to file with PennDOT. Mr. Council reported that Tax Collector Dale Nupp had submitted a summary report of the sewer and trash fee delinquencies from 1990 through 2001. The total outstanding debt is over $480,000. A meeting will be held soon to discuss a collection strategy.

Mr. Council stated that the Reverend Nancy Holt from the First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne is requesting that Council members consider having a columbarium placed in the church. Mr. Council stated that the next PENNVEST loan payment request should be the final one. Mr. Bevilacqua clarified that the next payment will reflect final figures but because a 5% retainage is held pending approval, the final payment request will be made after this payment.

Mrs. Fryer moved to suspend the Rules of Order. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Visitors

Donna Dipiano

320 N. Maple Avenue – Ms. Dipiano stated that bikes are being stolen and garages are being broken into on her street and expressed concern about increased vandalism and robberies in her area. Ms. Dipiano stated that some lawns on her block are not being taken care of and it is creating a dangerous visibility problem for drivers. Mr. Council asked Ms. Dipiano to give the addresses to Mr. Leggoe for further investigation. Mrs. Fryer stated that calling 911 in an emergency is the most effective way to handle troublesome situations. Chief Kortan stated that the Upper Darby police were also increasing their patrols in this area.

Edith Bassie

70 Sayers Avenue – Mrs. Bassie stated that she appreciated Dave Forrest taking on the role of new Borough Manager.

Mrs. Bassie stated that a neighbor and friend of hers who lived alone was found dead in his home from heat stroke and asked everyone for their prayers.

Frank Balacchio

89 E. LaCrosse Avenue – Mr. Balacchio asked Council members to consider issuing an overnight visitors parking permit that would eliminate the need to call in every night. Mrs. Fryer stated that this was a great idea and it would be considered.

Mr. Ballachio asked if there was a franchise agreement for public access telecommunications in the Borough. Mr. Bech stated that Lansdowne does have a franchise agreement but it doesn’t cover public access as this is governed by Federal law. Mr. Bech stated he would contact RCN regarding the matter.

Earl Moseley, Jr.

78 Cedar Avenue – Mr. Moseley expressed his concern over the growing drug problem in his neighborhood. Mr. Moseley asked for help because some incidents are resulting in physical violence. Mr. Council stated that the concerns will be brought before the Park and Recreation Board.

Vivian Harrison

131 Fairview Avenue – Ms. Harrison stated that the house next door to her has been vacant for over a year and asked what the Borough could do about cutting the grass and maintaining the property. Mr. Smith stated that the owner will be contacted and the grass will be cut. Ms. Harrison asked if road repairs could be done on Fairview Avenue and that parking violations were becoming a problem. Mr. Burke stated that Lansdowne can negotiate with Yeadon concerning the road repairs and Mr. Council will being up the matter at the next COG meeting.

Joanne Sumley

11 Fairview Avenue – Ms. Sumley expressed her concern over the vandalism and drug problems occurring in Interboro Park and suggested the following as deterrents to crime in that area: (1) post a curfew for the park, (2) install high beam lighting in the park, and (3) put cameras on neighbors’ doors for video surveillance. Ms. Sumley stated that the police can’t do everything and that neighbors need to band together for protection. Mr. Council stated that Ms. Sumley’s suggestions will be considered by the Park and Recreation Committee and Public Safety Committee and that a wide variety of considerations need to be taken into account.

Len Wert

221 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert asked that Borough Council consider forming a team of volunteers for a Neighborhood Watch program. Mrs. Fryer stated that this would be discussed at the next Public Safety Committee meeting. Chief Kortan stated that the current neighborhood watch signs should stay up and the issue should be revisited.

Dr. Wert questioned the status of the Bank Building. Mr. Council stated that the Code Enforcement Officer and the owner will be touring the building regarding code issues but that no serious offers have been made at this time.

Ed Milano

321 Maple Avenue – Mr. Milano stated that nighttime deliveries at the Plumstead and Maple Avenue Wawa store are quite noisy and the dumpsters smell bad. Chief Kortan will check into the ordinance agreement regarding the night deliveries and Mr. Forrest will follow up on the matter. Mr. Milano stated that the potholes in the alley behind his property are very bad and asked if anything could be done about it. Mr. Council stated that most alleys in Lansdowne are private and that the neighbors would have to correct the situation on their own.

Bob Herre

242 Crawford Avenue – Chief Herre thanked Mayor Young and Borough Council for choosing Elise de la Cova as the 2002 Helms Award recipient. Chief Herre thanked Fred Egner, Dave Stanton and the UAA for honoring the Police and Fire Companies at the July 4th parade.

Joe Heath

55 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Heath stated that a traffic hazard still exists at Marshall Road and Windermere Avenue due to delivery trucks parking outside the Mar-Win store and asked what could be done about it. Mr. Heath stated that Upper Darby township should enforce the "no parking" rule for stores across the street. Mrs. Fryer stated that signage could be improved but it would not be a guarantee. Mr. Heath asked if a no parking sign could be placed on the South side of Plumstead Avenue, West of Wycombe Avenue because during rush hour cars are backed up to Wabash Avenue.

Mr. Heath stated that overgrown trees at Wayne and Plumstead Avenues should be cut down to eliminate the visibility problem.

John Callaghan

13 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Callaghan asked what the $15,000 spent for recreation in the budget represented. Mr. Asciutto stated that most of that sum was for contract services with the remainder going to salaries, supplies and maintenance repairs. Mr. Callaghan asked the status of the Comcast audit. Mr. Council stated that due to some litigation issues, the Upper Darby Township audit has been stopped and he is waiting to hear that outcome before proceeding with Lansdowne’s audit.

Thelma Smith

137 Bartram Avenue – Ms. Smith stated that there was a big drug problem on Bartram Avenue. Ms. Smith stated that 139 Bartram Avenue has been empty for seven years and asked if anything could be done about maintaining the deteriorating property. Mr. Smith stated that 139 Bartram Avenue and 129 Fairview Avenue would be reviewed by the Vacant Property Review Committee in September.

Ms. Smith asked if Lansdowne had a noise ordinance stating that a Jamaican family on Nyack Avenue was being excessively noisy. Mr. Council suggested calling 911 if the problem persists and the police will evaluate the situation.

Ms. Smith asked if the 2 day per week trash collection could become one day a week during the winter to bring down taxes. Mr. Council stated that this would not have a significant impact on lowering taxes.

Irene Rovane

38 E. LaCross Avenue – Ms. Rovane suggested putting an article in the Borough newsletter informing new residents that Lansdowne has rear property trash pickup so that they do not continue to put it at the front curbs.

Old Business – None.

New Business – Mr. Burke moved to award bid for the 2002 Road Program to Joseph E. Sucher and Sons, Inc. of Eddystone, PA in the amount of $100,686.00. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Smith moved to appoint Matthew Schulz to the Lansdowne Planning Commission to replace Darryl Harris whose term expires October, 2004. Mr. Burked seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to appoint Donald Fry to the Library Board. Mr. Burke seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Communications: – None.

Bills – Mr. Klingler moved to have the list of bills read by the Secretary. Mr. Burke seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The list of bills was read by the Secretary. Mr. Klingler moved to authorize payment of the bills. Mr. Burke seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to authorize payment of the $8,750.00 invoice to A. Garguile & Sons, Inc. for emergency sewer repair work at Essex and Greenwood Avenues. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Council stated that anyone wishing more information on the Special Legislative Session on Property Tax Reform should contact Governor Mark Schweiker at 717-787-2500.

Mr. Klingler moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mrs. Fryer. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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