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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Council General Meeting
Wednesday – December 18th, 2002

The General Meeting of the Lansdowne Borough Council was held on Wednesday,

December 18, 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 Manager Forrest, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Fire Chief Herre, Treasurer Asciutto, Police Chief Kortan and Secretary Henry.

President Campuzano announced that the meeting was being taped by Comcast and would air on Monday, December 23rd, 7:00 PM on Cable Channel 10.

Minutes – Mr. Klingler moved to approve the minutes of the November 20, 2002 Borough Council General meeting. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Presentations and Announcements – Mayor Young presented Beautification Awards to Barbara Yuknick of 15 E. Greenwood Avenue and Jennifer Hoff of 72 Windermere Avenue.

Mayor Young presented certificates of appreciation to Sandy Takacs and Betsy Riffert.

Mayor Young presented a retirement plaque to Leroy Church in recognition of his 34 years of service as Borough Sanitation Department Supervisor.

Mayor Young presented a retirement plaque to Bob Herre, Jr. in recognition of his 43 years of service as Borough Fire Chief.

Mayor Young gave her annual report with her duties and activities summarized as follows:

  • visited many community groups in her capacity as Mayor to further Borough interests.
  • met with the Park and Recreation Board to discuss plans for a potential skateboard park.
  • worked with Hoff Communications to develop the Borough web site.
  • created the 1st annual town wide Garage Day Sale.
  • developed three projects for and participated in the No Place For Hate Program sponsored by the Anti Defamation League to promote respect for racial differences throughout the community.
  • attended meetings, events, parades, luncheons and dinners.

President Campuzano thanked Leroy Church and Bob Herre, Jr. for their dedication to the Borough.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto reported that for November, total revenues amounted to $197,892.21 and total expenditures amounted to $459,684.20.

Mr. Asciutto reported that total fund balances amounted to $8,309,117.95.

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

Engineer’s Report – Mr. Bevilacqua reported that his items would be covered under

Committee reports.

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

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Council President’s Report – President Campuzano reported on three follow up items from last month’s meeting: (1) the Lansdowne Plaza dumpsters will now have a gates installed on the front; (2) Mr. Forrest will meet with Edith Bassie regarding the tree branch situation in Hayes Park; (3) Chief Kortan will be holding a future meeting with Jane Shore regarding the drug traffic problem on Nyack Avenue. Many positive steps have been taken to curtail this problem, including arrests and increased surveillance.

President Campuzano stated that the Gift Givers Program ends on December 20th. President Campuzano thanked a variety of individuals for all their help on this project.

President Campuzano reported that due to the holiday, next month’s Business Meeting will be held on Monday, January 6th at 7:30 PM. A community block grant hearing will also be held during this meeting.

President Campuzano reported that his yearly activities included the following:

  • attended EPA settlement meetings with Mr. Bevilacqua and Mr. Bech resulting in a $225,000 settlement.
  • worked closely with the Borough office employees on daily issues while the search for a new Borough Manager was ongoing.
  • organized and ran the 3rd annual Borough Halloween Party.
  • worked with Mayor Young on the No Place For Hate Program to complete the three required events for this year.
  • attended weekly meetings with the Borough Manager.
  • served as liaison for the Allied Youth Organization.
  • organized the Borough holiday decorating with the help of Borough staff.
  • organized and supervised the 3rd Annual Gift Givers Program.

Economic Development – Mr. Council read his annual report as submitted and it is summarized as follows:

  1. Met with the Economic Development Committee to develop a Borough brochure, continued to work with potential investors and buyers of the Lansdowne Theater to facilitate the sale of that property, received funding for the joint comprehensive planning and discussed continuing economic development ideas for the Borough.
  2. As liaison and board member for the Lansdowne Economic Development Committee:
    1. assisted the Board with developing a market study for primary and secondary markets in Lansdowne as well as guiding economic development in the Borough.
    2. organized a meeting with a restaurant developer to discuss potential restaurant development in the Borough.
    3. will sponsor an Open House tour of Historic Lansdowne on May 13, 2003 in partnership with the Greater Lansdowne Civic Association and the Friends of Independence Historical National Park.
    4. will develop a Fine Arts Festival in partnership with local civic and arts groups scheduled for September 19-21, 2003. Former mayor Mollie Repetto will serve as coordinator.
  3. As liaison and secretary to the Eastern Delaware County Council of Governments:
    1. developed and submitted an application for $50,000 to the Dept. Of Economic Development to fund a market study for the Baltimore Avenue Corridor.
    2. developed and presented a review of the issues/problems faced by COG municipalities to the President and members of the County Council and the Executive Director of the Delaware County Economic Development Center.
    3. assisted by Representative Micozzie, the EDCCOG has expanded to 7 participating municipalities.
  4. As liaison to the Library Board, assisted in the selection of a new Library Director and developed a budget that included the addition of two full time employees.
  5. As liaison to the Lansdowne Business and Professional Association, attended monthly meetings and provided information about Council initiatives related to Borough economic and commercial development.
  6. As liaison to the Task Force for Area 5 in the Delaware County Renaissance Project, attended meetings to develop mission goals and objectives for a five year plan for economic development in the region and drafted a letter to County Council urging closer involvement of Council Members in this process.
  7. Mr. Council stated that he would be inviting Congressmen Weldon and Williams to the Borough to discuss economic revitalization.

Finance and Administration – Mr. Klingler reported that the Borough will be reviewing their relationship with Comcast.

Mr. Klingler reported that there will be NO tax increases in property, sewer and trash fees.

Mr. Klingler read his annual report as submitted and it is summarized as follows:

  • James Asciutto was appointed as new Borough Treasurer.
  • David Forrest was hired as new Borough Manager.
  • Suni Best was hired as a regular Borough employee rather than a part-time contract employee.
  • Two new administrative employees were hired for the Codes Department: Stephen Travers and Edward Middleman.
  • The PENNVEST loan funded sewer project was completed in the construction area. The total borrowed was $3,437,532.00. Of that amount, $1,552,295.00 was allocated for storm sewer repairs and $1,885,237.00 was allocated for wastewater repairs.
  • The library renovations were completed and additional repairs were done behind the library to remedy water runoff problems.
  • The 20th Century Club study was completed in June by Frens and Frens LLP, funded in large part by a CDBG grant. Deemed to be in good shape for its age, the building nevertheless needs immediate repairs in the amount of $200,000.00. The overall cost for all necessary renovations would be over $600,000.00.
  • The Borough had two large monetary windfalls: the $225,000.00 EPA settlement and a DELCORA refund of $228,534.00. These funds will remain in the Sewer Fund to be applied to future major repair projects.
  • The police and non-uniformed pension funds fell victim to the worsening economy but remain solvent and capable of meeting all obligations.
  • The 2003 budget will allow for all contractual obligations to be met, for continued services to Borough residents and for needed repairs to be made.

Mr. Klingler recognized five individuals for their exemplary performance: Betsy Riffert, Sandy Takacs, Suni Best, Gerry Steiber and Dale Nupp.

Municipal Services – Mr. Burke read his annual report as submitted and it is summarized as follows:

  • The recycling program initiated in January of 2001 proved very successful due to the cooperation of residents and Borough employees.
  • The Municipal Services Committee met six times during 2002 and also held additional meetings with the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company regarding the water main replacement project on Lansdowne Avenue.
  • The Wycombe Avenue sewer project was completed by N. Abbonizio in March, 2002.
  • Bulk trash pickup was completed in three weeks and came in under budget due to the efforts of Borough employees.
  • Additional sewer projects included line repairs at Drexel and E. Greenwood Avenues as well as a major replacement of a six inch sewer line at E. Plumstead Avenue.
  • Bids were accepted for the 2002 street program and the project was awarded to Joe Sucher and Son in the amount of $100,686.00 to repave nine streets and install handicap ramps at two locations.
  • The normal six week leaf removal process was curtailed due to the breakdown of the leaf machine.

Public Safety – Mrs. Fryer read her annual report and it is summarized as follows:

  • Attended numerous School Board and Board of Health meetings throughout the year.
  • Final reports were not available from the Fire and Police Departments but Mrs. Fryer thanked Chief Herre for all his support and wished him well upon his retirement.
  • The Police Department had several new hires with increased professionalism in all duties.
  • Mr. Forrest helped with establishing more signage throughout the Borough and improving safety concerns.
  • Public attendance increased at the Committee meetings.
  • Mr. Council thanked Chief Kortan and the police force for apprehending the vandals who painted racial slurs at the Gladstone train station.

Zoning, Planning and Code Enforcement – Mr. Smith reported that 39 building permits had been issued for November.

Mr. Smith reported that two new code enforcement officers started work on December 2nd. Thirty two citations were issued for snow removal violations on December 5th.

Mr. Smith reported that the demolition review process is now complete for 96 McKinley and 288 W. Greenwood Avenues and Pennoni Associates will begin preparing bid specifications for the demolition process.

Mr. Smith stated that the next Zoning Committee meeting will take place on January 14, 2003 at 7:00 P.M. in Borough Hall. The major focus of this meeting will be on the potential joint venture with Yeadon Borough for sharing code enforcement department services.

Mr. Smith read his annual report and it is summarized as follows:

  • Final building permit, contractor’s license data and U&O data will be reported at the January meeting upon receipt of final numbers.
  • The Committee met 11 out of 12 months during 2002.
  • The Code Department was successfully expanded with the hiring of two new code officers and converting Sandy Takacs to full time codes administration work.
  • The revision and updating of code department policies and procedures has begun.
  • Discussions with Yeadon Borough have begun regarding shared code department services and should be finalized in early 2003.
  • Met with representatives of DCED regarding statewide building code information to be effective mid-2003. The Borough will be in compliance with this program at the outset.
  • The Planning Commission reviewed the proposed rental property expansions on Runnemede Avenue and the pending Simpson House project on N. Lansdowne Avenue.
  • The Zoning Hearing Board dealt with several items during the year, most notably the approval of the Paul Revere Pizza expansion on Shadeland Avenue and the denial of a zoning change for a proposed rental property on E. Stewart Avenue.
  • The Vacant Property Review Committee met four times during the year and dealt with 20 vacant properties. Of those 20 properties, demolition funding has been received for two, owners have been evicted from one and the home secured, four have had significant repairs done (notably 66 Drexel and 55 E. Baltimore Avenues) and five other properties are to be put up for sale based upon the owners’ indications.
  • The VPRC will continue to hold its regularly scheduled meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 P.M. in Borough Hall for 2003.

Parks and Recreation – Mr. Borgman read his annual report and it is summarized as follows:

  • The playing fields at Hoffman Park opened on time for the season. Watering of the fields continued throughout the drought and some turf will need repairs in the Spring of 2003 due to some damage by recreational users.
  • Proactive measures will be increased regarding vandalism when schools let out for summer.
  • The Reservoir Park plan was presented in May, 2002. The main disappointment was lack of study for funding but some money is expected. This will tie in to the anticipated sewer work in 2003.
  • Acquisition of Pennock Woods and Shrigley Park was discussed several times and formal letters were sent to the County. A response is still pending.
  • Letters were sent to all residents with overhanging tree limbs.
  • Several successful Teen Concerts were held during 2002 and the first one of 2003 will be held on January 10th.
  • Benches were placed in Interboro Park. The Park and Recreation Board is hopeful of receiving CDBG money for removal of toy from swampy area to a better location in the park. An ad-hoc committee will be formed for grant writing.
  • The DAR donated a historical marker in Sycamore Park. Arbor Day was celebrated there and a composting workshop was held with Master Gardeners.
  • A committee was formed in September to discuss the skate board park issue. This will be a priority in 2003 and a possible partnership with the YMCA will be discussed.
  • The Belmont Park basketball court was resurfaced.
  • There were 20 trees planted in Hayes Park.

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

Visitors

Len Wert

221 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert asked if any families in town were having financial hardships separate from the Gift Givers Program list so that he could offer some assistance. Mr. Klingler suggested he contact Pastor Nancy Holt of the Lansdowne Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Wert asked who was repaving N. Lansdowne Avenue. Mr. Burke stated that workers for Belmont were working with the Phila. Suburban Company on this project.

Dr. Wert asked whether the Lansdowne police officers who handled the detouring of traffic did so during regular police hours. Chief Kortan stated they worked on an overtime basis and the Borough was reimbursed by the water company. Dr. Wert asked if Mayor Young was familiar with the Borough Code regarding her control of the Police Department, citing correspondence exchanged between himself and Mayor Young. Both Mayor Young and Mr. Bech stated that Dr. Wert had taken the cited Section 1121 of the Borough Code out of context and that she did not have full control over the police in certain situations.Mr. Bech stated that Borough Council, however, does have complete control over appointment and removal of officers subject to the Civil Service rules and regulations and the Civil Service Commission. President Campuzano then read the two letters in question. Mayor Young stated that Chief Kortan handled the incident in question in an appropriate manner.

Edith Bassie

70 Sayers Avenue- Mrs. Bassie asked if the water fountain in Hayes Park could be turned back on the provide water to the newly planted trees. Mrs. Bassie stated that Jean Troyan, a former member of St. Philomena’s Single Parents Society had recently died.

John Callaghan

13 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Callaghan asked about the disposition of the EPA settlement money. Mr. Klingler stated it was being put into a separate account to pay the interest expense on the debt. Mr. Klingler stated that the DELCORA refund would probably be used in the Ardmore Avenue field project.

Mr. Callaghan stated that voters should have been given the opportunity to decide whether or not to join Yeadon Borough in the code enforcement partnership. Mr. Smith stated that Lansdowne Borough will benefit from the extensive experience that Yeadon Borough has in the code enforcement area. Additionally, Lansdowne Borough will soon be in compliance with the new State code compliance issue. President Campuzano stated that Lansdowne Borough is willing to take the necessary measures to help alleviate the vacant housing problem here. Mr. Council stated that the Borough is empowered to enter into contracts with other entities in this matter and is not required to provide a referendum.

Mr. Callaghan stated he was disappointed with the recent snow plowing efforts because several streets were not fully plowed. Mr. Burke stated that overall the Highway Department did an excellent job of clearing the snow, working 18 hours straight through the first day, and that the extensive leaf pileup hampered some snow removal efforts on the smaller streets.

Joe Heath

55 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Heath asked if any more leaf pickup work would be done. Mr. Forrest stated that leaves would be picked up until the end of this week and leaves are to be put into trash bags thereafter.

Mr. Heath asked if the old fire truck was still being stored outside. Mrs. Fryer stated it was now under cover.

Bob Herre, Jr.

242 Crawford Avenue- Chief Herre thanked Borough Council for his retirement plaque and thanked his wife for her support.

Old Business – None.

New Business – Mr. Klingler moved to adopt the 2003 Budget, seconded by Mr. Council. A roll call vote was taken and with all Council members voting “aye”, the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to have the Secretary read an abridged version of Ordinance 1183, fixing the tax rate for the year 2003, seconded by Mr. Burke. The Ordinance was read. Mr. Klingler moved to pass Ordinance 1183, seconded by Mr. Council. A roll call vote was taken and with all Council members voting “aye”, the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to have the Secretary read an abridged version of Ordinance 1184, fixing the sewer rate for the year 2003, seconded by Mr. Council. The Ordinance was read. Mr. Klingler moved to pass Ordinance 1184, seconded by Mr. Council. A roll call vote was taken and with all Council members voting “aye”, the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to have the Secretary read Resolution 2002-21, fixing the refuse collection fee for the year 2003, seconded by Mr. Burke. The Resolution was read. Mr. Klingler moved to adopt Resolution 2002-21, seconded by Mr. Burke. A roll call vote was taken and with all Council members voting “aye”, the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to award a two year contract to Interior Maintenance Company, Lansdowne, PA to provide janitorial services to the Twentieth Century Club and Borough Hall, subject to changes to Borough personnel complement. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved award the 2003 Tax Anticipation Note to Commerce Bank for a 1.67% rate. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to approve the 2003 meeting schedule and authorizing its advertisement. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to execute the PennVest Amended Commitment Letter, subject to review by special counsel. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to approve Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Borough of Lansdowne and the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, Local 473, for the period of 1/1/03 through 12/31/06, seconded by Mr. Burke. A roll call vote was taken and with all Council members voting “aye”, the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Klingler moved to approve the revised 2003 Minimum Municipal Obligation for the Police Pension Plan. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Smith moved to re-appoint Thomas McGuinness to the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Communications: –

  • Letter from William Penn School District acknowledging donation of chairs.
  • Letter from the Rev. Dr. Nancy W. Holt, First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne, regarding the “No Place for Hate Celebration”.

Bills – Mr. Klingler moved to authorize payment of the bills. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Burke moved to adjourn into Executive Session to discuss:

  • Potential litigation against Comcast;
  • Personnel issues; and
  • A real estate issue.

Mr. Council seconded and the motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:42 PM.

Upon reconvening from Executive Session, two motions were made:

  • Mr. Klingler moved to engage the Cohen Telecommunications Law Group to negotiate a new agreement with Comcast, subject to the Borough Manager receiving favorable recommendations. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  • Mr. Klingler moved to eliminate the janitorial position. Mr. Burke seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Burke moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Council. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 10:35 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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