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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Council General Meeting
Wednesday – February 19, 2003

The General Meeting of the Lansdowne Borough Council was held on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 at 7:30 PM at Borough Hall. In attendance were President Campuzano, Mr. Council, Mr. Borgman, Mr. Burke, 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, Code Enforcement Officers Travers and Middleman and Borough Secretary Henry. Mrs. Fryer was absent.
President Campuzano announced that the meeting was being taped by Comcast and would air on Monday, January 20th, 7:00 PM on Cable Channel 10.

Minutes – Mr. Klingler moved to approve the minutes of the January 15, 2003 Borough Council General meeting. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto reported that for January, total revenues amounted to $59,765.75 and total expenditures amounted to $308,738.72.
Mr. Asciutto reported that total fund balances for January, 2003 amounted to $7,474,238.28.
Mr. Asciutto reported that the January, 2003 fund balance for the Police Pension Fund was $6,505,728.47. The January, 2003 balance for the Non-Uniform Pension Plan was $628,414.33.
Mr. Burke asked when the $31,500 would be paid back to the Sewer Fund. Mr. Asciutto stated the money would be deposited when the tax money comes in at the end of this month. Mr. Burke questioned the correct balance figure for the Sewer Fund. Mr. Asciutto stated the figure was $184,400.00. Mr. Klingler reported that this figure would be over $200,000.00 once the repayment was made to the Sewer Fund. Mr. Burke questioned the release of a Highway Department employee due to budgetary constraints. Mr. Klingler stated that the employee was not released. The budgetary decision was to have one less employee for 2003 and this matter was discussed at several Committee and Council meetings. Mr. Burke stated it was never discussed. President Campuzano reiterated that discussions were held and the decision had been made to promote Bill Johnson to Supervisor of the Sanitation Department and not to fill Bill Johnson’s prior position.
Mr. Klingler moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report as read. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously

Presentations and Announcements – Mayor Young announced that the Folk Club was holding a concert featuring FitzGerald and Beach and also the Philadelphia Jug Band on February 27th at the Twentieth Century Club.
Mayor Young announced that the GLCA would be holding their annual meeting on February 27th at the Trinity Methodist Church, 7:30 PM.
Mayor Young announced that the next performance of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra is on March 23rd at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center.
Mayor Young announced that a Blood Drive would be held on February 28th, 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM in Borough Hall. Please call Betsy Riffert at the Borough Hall to schedule appointments.
Mayor Young announced that the recycling magnets are available and will soon be delivered.
Mayor Young announced Perfect Attendance certificates would be sent to the following individuals: Officers Tom Murphy, David Schiazza, Mark McGinnis, C. J. Schiazza, Ken Rutherford, Jim McCaughan, Richard Schiazza and Larry Smalley, Chief Kortan, Bobbi Harris, Jocanda Pennell. Additional Borough employees named were Walter Peachey, Zane Powell and Betsy Riffert.
Mayor Young stated that diagrams of the proposed skate parks are on display in Borough Hall.
Mayor Young presented commendations to Lansdowne firefighters Pat Krieg, Kevin Haggerty and Pete Bochansky for their bravery in rescuing Mr. Krieg from a burning building. Mike Kugler of the Stonehurst Fire Company also assisted in the rescue.

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

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

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Council President’s Report – President Campuzano congratulated the fire fights for their bravery. President Campuzano had two follow-up items from last month’s General meeting:

  1. Circular distributions throughout the Borough. The company has been contacted and anyone not wishing delivery should call 1-800-540-0810.
  2. Police Pension ordinance. Mr. Bech will be looking into this matter.

President Campuzano thanked Mr. Forrest, Bill Johnson and the Highway and Sanitation Department crews for their help during the recent snowstorm. Mr. Forrest also thanked the Sanitation and Highway crews for their long hours of help. President Campuzano then read the snow storm report that identified other individuals who helped clear Borough streets and the hours spent in this regard. Mr. Burke questioned why the snow was dumped onto the Swim Club’s private property without permission. Mr. Council stated that he had been contacted by Mr. Forrest for authorization on where to put the snow because it was his understanding that both Mr. Burke and President Campuzano were out of town over the weekend. Mr. Forrest apologized to Mr. Burke for the miscommunication and stated that he did not act irresponsibly in this matter. Mr. Burke stated that a lane had to be cleared for access into the swim club. Mr. Forrest will take care of the matter.
Mr. Burke stated that additional manpower should have been available during the snowstorm and questioned the firing of one of the crew members. Mr. Klingler stated that no one had been fired and reiterated that it had been publicly discussed in previous Committee meetings that Billy Johnson was replacing Leroy Church on a try out basis and that his position as Highway Foreman would be held open in the event he wanted to return to it. President Campuzano stated that this situation could be re-evaluated.
Mr. Burke questioned why $59,250 had to be paid to Yeadon Borough through an Ordinance for code enforcement issues. Mr. Council stated that an Ordinance was necessary in order to get the grant money for the cost of supplies and equipment to support the code enforcement process. President Campuzano stated that he previously asked Mr. Burke to read the snow report and Mr. Burke declined.

Economic Development – Mr. Council reported that the Economic Development Committee will hold its quarterly meeting on February 25th, 7:30 PM in Council chambers to discuss the disposition of the fire siren.
Mr. Council reported that the Eastern Delaware County of Governments will meet on February 20th, 9:00 AM in Clifton Heights Borough Hall.
Mr. Council reported that the Area Five Renaissance Program task force held its final meeting on February 13th to discuss the list and priorities of the proposed projects. A meeting will be held on March 22nd to discuss the final draft of the consultants report to the County, location to be as yet decided. All Lansdowne Borough Council members and other Council members of Area 5 are invited to this meeting.
Mr. Council stated that two press releases will be issued by the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation regarding two issues: (1) the Lansdowne Market Analysis Study to be presented on March 18th, 7:15 PM at the Twentieth Century Club. This study analyzes Lansdowne’s market position, spending patterns and business opportunities; and (2) the guided motorcoach tour of Victorian Lansdowne scheduled for May 13th at 12:30 PM. This event is co-sponsored with the Lansdowne Civic Association and is part of the Friends of Independence National Historic Park’s Philadelphia Open House Tour series. Cost is $60 per person and will include a reception at the Twentieth Century Club where furniture and woodcarvings of John H. Elliott will be displayed. Call 215-928-1188 for reservations.

Finance and Administration – Mr. Klingler apologized for underestimating certain budgeted fund balances that appeared in the recent issue of the Lansdowne Leader.
Mr. Klingler reported that a meeting will be held with PNC Bank officials to discuss the decreasing funds in the Police Pension Fund. This matter will be discussed at the March 3rd Finance Committee meeting at 7:15 PM.
Mr. Klingler stated that an additional $82,349.00 of additional borrowing was needed for the PENNVEST storm water project.
Mr. Klingler stated that Comcast, not the Borough, was raising a number of its fees.

Municipal Services – Mr. Burke reported that plans and specifications in the Albemarle Avenue sewer project will be completed by the end of this month. Bids should be received in March and awarding of the project should take place in April. Once these costs are known, additional projects such as the Florence Avenue and Ardmore Avenue sewer repairs will be discussed at the next Municipal Services Committee meeting.
Mr. Burke reported that Bulk Trash Day will start the week of April 28th and continue into the first two weeks of May.
Mr. Burke reported that trash and recycling pickup has been suspended until Monday, February 24th.
Mr. Burke gave no recycling report for January.
Mr. Burke thanked Mr. Forrest for his help during the snow storm. President Campuzano asked residents to not shovel snow back onto the streets when clearing their residences of snow.
Mr. Burke gave no recycling report for January.

Public Safety – Mrs. Fryer stated the last Public Safety Committee meeting had been cancelled. The next meeting will be held on March 12th at 7:30 PM.
Mrs. Fryer gave the Police Report for January: 514 incidents, 711 parking tickets and 8,473 miles traveled.
Mrs. Fryer gave the Fire Company report for January: 41 alarms, 30 hours worked with 446 firefighters responding.
Mrs. Fryer stated that $50.00 had been contributed by Borough Council to Officer McCaughan for his World Fire and Police Games trip and that additional fundraisers would be held.
Mrs. Fryer reported that the old fire truck had been sold to the Lakeview Fire Department in Tennessee.

Zoning, Planning and Code Enforcement – Mr. Smith reported that the Planning Commission met on February 13th to give final approval to the Simpson Gardens plans. These plans were approved by Borough Council at a special meeting on February 17th.
Mr. Smith reported that bids are being received and reviewed for vacant property demolition at 96 McKinley and 288 W. Greenwood Avenues.
Mr. Smith reported that a draft proposal to share joint code enforcement services with Yeadon Borough was sent to Borough Council members on February 14th. Finalizing this item will hopefully take place at the March 5th Council Business Meeting.
Mr. Smith stated that a Vacant Property Review Committee meeting will be scheduled for either March or April, 2003. Information on suspect commercial or residential properties is being accumulated by the Code enforcement staff. A Zoning Hearing meeting is scheduled for February 27th, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall to discuss the following two items: (1) Mark McGinnis’ application for 62 E. Stratford Avenue requesting relief from Section 330-7 relating to the definition of accessory building and 330-49(c)(1)(2) relating to height restrictions of accessory buildings; and (2) William Penn School District, 161 Ardmore Avenue for special exception under Section 330-13(b)(1) relating to the continued use of modular classrooms.
Mr. Smith gave the Code Enforcement Department report for January: 59 permit applications issued for $4,430.00, 18 street opening permits for $630.00, 33 U&O inspections and 9 General inspections for a total of $1,750.00.
Mr. Smith stated the next Zoning Committee meeting will be held on March 11th, 7:00 in Council chambers.
Mr. Burke stated he would not be present at March’s Business meeting to vote on Ordinance 1186 and as the Ordinance is presented now, he will vote no. Mr. Smith stated that tonight’s motion only concerned advertising the Ordinance.
Mr. Klingler asked Mr. Smith to reiterate the Borough’s requirements regarding shoveling sidewalks. Mr. Burke stated it had to be done 24 hours within the first snowfall. Mr. Klingler stated that several business and residential owners had not shoveled within the prescribed time period and asked that citations be issued. Mayor Young stated that some students of St. Philomena’s will shovel snow for those residents needing assistance.

Parks and Recreation – Mr. Borgman reported that last night’s Park and Recreation Board meeting was cancelled due to the snowstorm.
Mr. Borgman reported that the Tree Advisory Board will be planting 6 trees in Hoffman Park.
Mr. Borgman stated that a defunct water supply line at Hays Park will be checked for possible reactivation.
Mr. Borgman reported that several seedlings from the Sycamore Park historical tree may be transplanted at various locations.
Mr. Burke moved to suspend the Rules of Order. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Visitors

John Callaghan
13 W. Greenwood Avenue
– Mr. Callaghan questioned why the meeting started early. President Campuzano stated the Council chambers clock is incorrect.
Mr. Callaghan stated that if business owners want to move out of Lansdowne they will do so whether or not the fire siren is turned on or off.
Mr. Callaghan asked why three men were on the recycling truck last week. Mr. Forrest will look into the matter.
Mr. Callaghan questioned the appeal process regarding the decrease in the assessment for the property on Fairview Avenue next to the Borough Yard. Mr. Bech stated he would look into the matter.
Mr. Callaghan asked why the McGinnis zoning issue was being discussed in Executive Session rather than during public session. Mr. Bech stated that this matter involved a zoning application for a variance and is a form of litigation covered under the Sunshine Act that allows executive sessions to be held before the hearing.
Mr. Callaghan asked why Lansdowne was joining Yeadon in the code enforcement area, stating gross inadequacies in Yeadon’s code enforcement department. Mr. Smith stated that Lansdowne hopes to gain from the Code Director’s 25 years of experience for the upcoming State compliance matter and also in the technical and computer areas of code enforcement. Mr. Council stated that unified Code procedures will be an asset for the Borough and lending issues will also be discussed. Mr. Callaghan asked why Lansdowne residents couldn’t vote on the issue. President Campuzano stated that this issue is not mandated by State law and is only a working agreement that can be terminated at any time.

Joe Heath
55 W. Greenwood Avenue
– Mr. Heath stated that the Highway crew did a good job of plowing the streets during the snow storm but pushed the snow back onto the sidewalk. Mr. Burke will tell the crew to clean off sidewalks in the future if snow is dumped back onto the property.
Mr. Heath stated that it is hard to hear some of the Council members speaking into the microphones.
Mr. Heath questioned that status of the barn on Owen Avenue. Mr. Smith stated the Code officers had visited the property but nothing further had been done.
Mr. Heath questioned if emergency procedures were in place for the Borough and who was in charge. President Campuzano stated that Mrs. Fryer works with the County on these matters and is looking into upgrading the existing emergency plan.

Dave Lindsay
290 W. Greenwood Avenue
– Mr. Lindsay stated his concerns over the demolition of the 288 W. Greenwood Avenue property. His primary concern was the danger of getting water in his basement if the adjoining property is turned completely into grass as mentioned in the demolition specifications. Mr. Lindsay also expressed concern about the common driveway being destroyed and asked if it could be salvaged. Mr. Bevilacqua answered that the common driveway and the access area behind Mr. Lindsay’s house would be maintained. Mr. Lindsay expressed concerns about the water drainage over grass instead of concrete. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that water drainage would not be a problem once the grass is re-established. Mr. Lindsay asked about overnight parking if his driveway could not be used. Chief Kortan stated he would issue an overnight parking permit for him during the demolition process. Mr. Burke suggested that Mr. Lindsay take pictures of his property before the demolition process in the event of any damage done to his property during demolition.

Bob Burke
286 W. Greenwood Avenue
– Mr. Burke expressed his concerns about the demolition of 288 W. Greenwood Avenue, citing that acetylene tanks are either in the garage or the house. Mr. Burke also felt that the area residents should be informed about the demolition procedures. Mr. Burke asked if the bid process was an open meeting. Mr. Smith stated it was an open meeting to be held at 10:00 AM on February 25th and that residents would be given notice prior to the demolition. Mr. Bevilacqua stated he would like photographs taken of the inside of Mr. Burke’s house prior to the demolition.

Old Business – None.

New Business – Mr. Klingler moved to approve Ordinance No. 1185: An Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance by the Borough of Lansdowne, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, of its General obligation Note in the Aggregate Principal Amount of $82,349.00, for the Purpose of Financing or Refinancing Certain Costs Related to Storm water Improvements; Authorizing and Approving, Among Other Things, the Substantial Form of an Amendment to Loan Agreement and General Obligation Note, Rates of Interest, and Maturity Thereof; Approving the Amendment to Commitment Letter for the Purchase of the General Obligation Note Making A Covenant for the Payment of the Debt Service on the General Obligation Note; Authorizing the Preparation of a Debt Statement and a Transcript of Proceedings to be Filed with the Department of Community and Economic Development; Confirming the Appointment of a Sinking Fund Depository for the General Obligation Note; and Authorizing Other Necessary Action. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Smith moved to authorize the Borough Manager to advertise Ordinance 1186: An Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne Regarding Intergovernmental Cooperation with the Borough of Yeadon for the Purposes of Joint Code Enforcement Activities. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Communications:

  • Letter from a resident on W. Essex Avenue thanking the Borough crew for removing the snow that had been plowed into his driveway.

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

Executive Session – None.
Mr. Klingler moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Council. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 9:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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