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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday – April 2, 2003

The Business Meeting of the Lansdowne Borough Council was held on April 2, 2003 at 7:30 PM at Borough Hall. In attendance were President Campuzano, Mr. Council, Mr. Borgman, Mr. Burke, Mrs. Fryer, and Mr. Klingler. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Solicitor Bech, Borough Manager Forrest, Police Chief Kortan, Treasurer Asciutto, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, and Fire Chief Young. Mr. Smith and Secretary Barbara Henry were absent.
President Campuzano called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, President Campuzano asked for a moment of silence to remember the members of the armed forces who are serving in the current war with Iraq.
Mr. Klinger moved to appoint David Forrest Secretary for the purposes of the April 3, 2003 Council Meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Council and the motion carried.
Mr. Council moved to approve the minutes of the March 5, 2003 Business Meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Borgman and the motion carried. Mr. Klingler and Mr. Burke abstained.
Mr. Klingler moved to suspend the Rules of Order. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Visitors

Edith Bassie
70 Sayers Avenue
— Mrs. Bassie expressed concern regarding the large amount of copy in the Borough Newsletter and the impact this would have on the cost of printing and mailing the document. Mayor Young stated that she felt the expense was justified considering that the newsletter is an important source of information for Borough residents who may not learn of Borough activities any other way. Mrs. Bassie also expressed concern about getting enough copies of the newsletter for residents in the multiple-unit buildings on Sayers Avenue and suggested that they could be hand-delivered. Mayor Young did not think that hand-delivery would be a practical option. Mrs. Bassie complimented the police on a recent response to an incident on Nyack Avenue.

Mr. Joseph Heath
55 West Greenwood Avenue
— Mr. Heath asked if property that is selling "as is" would still need a code inspection. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that the code officers do inspect properties even if they are being sold "as is." Solicitor Bech indicated that state law requires that the sale of the property go through, but that the new owner of the property be given a conditional Use and Occupancy permit in these situations and be allowed 18 months to correct the violations so long as the violations do not pose a serious health or safety issue.

Reports and Discussions

  1. Treasurer’s Report — Mr. Asciutto reported that he is continuing to work with the auditors who should be completing their work in another two weeks. He also stated that the PENNVEST closing was complete but that funds would not be transferred to the Borough any sooner than the next two weeks. Mr. Klingler asked if the Tax Collector has been transferring funds to the Borough. Mr. Asciutto responsed that the Borough is current with transfers, with approximately $1 Million received to date.
  2. Engineer’s Report — Mr. Bevilacqua stated that there had been a preconstruction meeting for the West Albermarle Avenue sewer project on April 1 and that work is expected to begin by April 14, with completion anticipated in three weeks. President Campuzano asked if notices would go out to the residents informing them of the impending construction activity. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that the contractor would prepare a draft notice for review before distribution to the neighbors. Mr. Bevilacqua asked Mr. Forrest if the borough will no longer be demolishing 96 McKinley Avenue. Mr. Forrest indicated that was the case and that the County was being asked to consider transferring the demolition funds intended for 96 McKinley to 132 Bartram Avenue instead. Mr. Forrest stated further that Mr. Bevilacqua should not do demolition specifications for 132 Bartram Avenue until the Borough is sure that the County will support that project. Mr. Klingler stated that the property at 96 McKinley Avenue has significant code violations still. Mr. Forrest stated that permit application and drawings had been received by the Code Department and that the staff would stay on top of the situation. He also indicated that this property was no longer eligible for demolition using County funds because the County will not condemn the property under the more liberal State Redevelopment Act. Instead, the borough must condemn the property under local building code which requires a higher standard for demolitions than the Redevelopment Act. Mr. Council and Solicitor Bech stated that the County did not want to get involved in condemnation and ultimately become the owner of the property. Mrs. Fryer asked about some excavation at the Ardmore Avenue Field. Mr. Bevilacqua indicated that it was for dug outs. Mr. Burke also indicated batting cages.
  3. Solicitor’s Report — Mr. Bech had no report.
  4. Borough Manager’s Report — Mr. Forrest indicated that the state and federal governments were making funds available to municipalities to compensate them for the snow storm over President’s Day weekend. He indicated the motion on the agenda to authorize Steve Travers, the Code Enforcement Officer, to make application and be the Borough’s representative through the process. Mr. Klingler indicated that this was a similar process to previous years. Mr. Forrest stated that the Borough is expecting approximately $10,000 back from the state. Mr. Forrest stated that he had been contacted by people who produce the community map, which the borough had previously done, and also suppliers of a community calendar. After much discussion, the consensus was to have another community map produced. There was concern about making sure that the map was produced timely. Mr. Forrest indicated the engagement would require the company to produce the map in 120 days from the time they received the copy from the Borough. He also indicated that it would be wise to produce the map after the new Council comes on board in January. Mr. Forrest indicated that the Yeadon and Lansdowne staff were interested in having a formal signing ceremony to execute the inter-municipal agreement for joint code enforcement. Mr. Forrest asked when Council members might be available. The consensus was for evening hours, preferably in conjunction with a council meeting. Mr. Forrest indicated that he would contact Yeadon staff and come up with a few options for Council’s consideration.
  5. Police Chief Dan Kortan — Chief Kortan discussed a meeting he had the residents of the Nyack Avenue neighborhood, specifically their concerns regarding lighting. He indicated that the residents were pleased with the outcome of the meeting and that improvements would be investigated. The Chief also stated that he would be joining Bill Johnson and Mark Marchetti on Friday, April 4 to review streets for the 2003 overlay program. Mr. Klingler asked how much the improvements to the lights might cost. Chief Kortan stated that he would not know until he had more fully explored the issue. Mayor Young complimented the Chief on the promptness with which he responds to residents’ concerns.
  6. Fire Chief Tom Young — Chief Young discussed the recent damage to the fire engine as a result of the collapse of the parking area adjacent to the fire station. He indicated that repairs totaled approximately $500. Mr. Forrest indicated that Rich Bevilacqua was coordinating the repairs to the area. Chief Young stated that to ensure that this would not happen again trucks of any kind would be restricted from parking there. Mr. Burke stated that the source of the problem was that the parking area was built on an area that had not been properly filled and compacted. He further stated that it would be a good idea to do some borings at locations throughout the property do see if there are any other potential problems. Chief Young stated that he would delay work on the garage floor until some testing was done to the subsurface. Chief Young complimented the Code Enforcement Officers on their work and cooperation with the Fire Department. Chief Young discussed an opportunity to secure a grant through FEMA to acquire fire turnout gear and protective clothing for the firefighters. Mr. Kingler asked Chief Young to be cognizant of any grant match or other role the Borough might play. Chief Young did not think that there would be a role for Council. He also stated that the applications are due April 11. Mrs. Fryer asked if pagers might be eligible. Chief Young stated that he would look into this. Chief Young indicated that he and Mr. Forrest are working together on the siren study. Mayor Young asked if the members of the department all had received their Hepititus B series. Chief Young stated that everyone was current. President Campuzano expressed regrets that he would not be available for the fire company banquet. He also asked Chief Young for guidance on making a contribution toward the fire company trading cards. Chief Young stated that the fire company’s fundraising activities were about 50% complete.
  7. Mayor Young — Mayor Young stated that she is asking for nominations for the Helms Award. The Mayor noted upcoming presentations and recognitions: April, Lee Jones of the Lansdowne Folk Club in honor of ten years of existence; May, the high school Hi-Q team; and June, the Brownies will be recognized for 25 years of existence. The Mayor asked that questions or concerns about the newsletter should be directed to her. There was discussion about cost issues. Mr. Klingler indicated that there were cost-savings because park and recreation information is part of the same mailing as the newsletter.
  8. President’s Report — President Campuzano discussed the possibility of purchasing additional flags for Baltimore Avenue and Lansdowne Avenue and asking for support from the business association and Union Athletic Association. He stated that 100 additional flags would be required to place a flag at every potential location along both streets. Council reached a consensus to purchase an additional 50 flags and place them only at lighted positions. President Campuzano discussed getting agenda items in to office staff before the meeting. He stressed that, from his perspective, the only items that are truly important to get to the office staff are motions so that they can ensure that the language is accurate prior to the meeting.
  9. Economic Development — Mr. Council discussed the presentation of the Renaissance Plan on March 22. He also indicated that the presentation of the plan to the County Council will be a closed meeting. Mr. Klingler stated that he thought the plan was excellent. Mr. Council indicated that $1 Million dollars has been allocated county-wide for implementation of projects listed in the various regional plans. Mr. Council also indicated that there would potentially be significant state funding for economic development.
  10. Finance and Administration — Mr. Klingler indicated that at his next committee meeting the members would consider the fees that can be charged as part of the rental inspection ordinance that is being drafted. His concerns stemmed from a recent court ruling concerning the rental inspection program in West Chester Borough.
  11. Municipal Services — Mr. Burke mentioned his upcoming municipal services committee meeting. Mr. Klingler mentioned that Mr. Forrest was working on an equipment inventory and procurement schedule that should be considered by both the municipal services and finance committees. Mr. Burke stated that he would like to see the street sweeper out. Mr. Forrest stated that the sweeper had been broken down and that he would check on its status. Mr. Klingler also discussed a standard operating procedure for snow plowing. Mr. Forrest stated that he would have a draft for the Municipal Services Committee to review over the weekend. Mr. Klingler indicated that the procedure included no longer plowing state roads. Mr. Burke indicated that he was aware of this and was supportive. President Campuzano asked that West Stewart Avenue be considered as part of the 2003 road overlay program. Mr. Burke stated that he would look at it, but that he was primarily concerned with the most heavily trafficked streets. Mr. Council suggested that it be included as an alternate. Mr. Klingler also indicated that several blocks of East Greenwood should also be considered.
  12. Public Safety — Mrs. Fryer discussed the time table for the school budget process and a summary of Governor Rendell’s proposal for school funding. She indicated that the school district is studying the proposal in light of their budget process and will be holding an informational meeting to discuss with elected officials. Mr. Burke and Mr. Council expressed concern about the school budget and various capital projects including school expansion. The conversation turned the teachers’ contract. Mrs. Fryer stated that indications were that the teachers may not seek an increase next year. Mr. Klingler indicated that they may be waiting to see if the Governor’s budget will provide a generous increase. The conversation turned to the issue of bussing and neighborhood schools. Mrs. Fryer explained that the district would always need bussing because the middle school and high school draw students from throughout the district. There were various comments from Council members regarding the virtues of neighborhood schools.
  13. Zoning, Planning and Code Enforcement — Mr. Forrest read a list of items for Mr. Smith who could not attend the Council meeting. He explained current code enforcement actions regarding 52-54 East Stratford Avenue. The property, an apartment building, has been declared unfit and uninhabitable and was ordered vacated. The property has been vacated as of April 1, and the tenants found alternative living arrangements. There are significant safety violations which the Code Officers are addressing with the property owners. Mr. Forrest explained that the owner did appeal the Officers’ ruling and a code appeal board meeting was held prior to the Council meeting. The appeal meeting is continued until April 16 at 6:15. Mr. Council stated that the most disturbing part of the issue is that several of the units are "Section 8" and had been approved by county officials despite the fact that there were serious code violations. Mr. Forrest discussed the agenda for the upcoming codes committee meeting on April 8. Included on the agenda is the rental inspection program, the initiation of the joint code arrangement with Yeadon, pending demolition projects, and updating the vacant property list. Mr. Forrest indicated that the McGuiness Zoning Hearing has been continued until April 24.
  14. Parks and Recreation — Mr. Borgman indicated that the next Recreation and Park board meeting will be held April 7. The next Tree Advisory Board meeting will be held on April 9. The next Park and Recreation Committee meeting will be held on April 15. Mr. Borgman indicated that the last teen concert at the Twentieth Century Club was successful. He also stated that the Skate Park Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for April 30.

Old Business — None.

New Business — Mr. Klingler moved to approve payment of the bills for the period. Mr. Council seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Council moved to approve Ordinance 1187, an Odinance amending the Property Maintenance Code. Mr. Burke seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Council moved to accept Patricia Grandstaff’s resignation from the Planning Commission and appoint Carl Candeloro to fill her vacancy, the position to run until 10/31/03. Mr. Borgman seconded, the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Klingler made a motion to approve Resolution 2003-6, a Resolution authorizing Steve Travers, Code Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector to act on behalf of the Borough to obtain financial assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burke moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Council. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
David Forrest
Borough Manager

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