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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Council General Meeting
Wednesday – May 21, 2003

The General Meeting of the Lansdowne Borough Council was held on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 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, Treasurer Asciutto, Police Chief Kortan and Borough Secretary Henry. Fire Chief Young was absent.
President Campuzano announced that the meeting was being taped by Comcast and would air on Monday, May 26th, 7:00 PM on Cable Channel 10.

Four members of Boy Scout Troop 333 briefly sat in for various members of Borough Council and presented short reports as part of their community service merit badge requirement.

Minutes – Mr. Klingler moved to approve the minutes of the April 16, 2003 Borough Council General meeting. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously with one correction noted by Mr. Borgman. President Campuzano abstained.

Presentations and Announcements – Mayor Young presented certificates of recognition to 8 members of the PennWood High School Hi-Q team.

Mayor Young presented the Eagle Scout award to Van Bond, Jr. of Troop 63.

Mayor Young announced that the 27th annual Hero Ball benefit will be held on May 30th at Garnet Valley High School.

Mayor Young announced that the LBPA Memorial Day Parade will be held on May 26th.

Mayor Young announced that the Lansdowne Folk Club will feature Full Frontal Folk at the Twentieth Century Club on June 5th.

Mayor Young announced that Flag Day services will be held on June 14th, 7:00 PM.

Mayor Young announced that St. John’s Strawberry Festival will be held on June 18th, 5-8 PM.

Mayor Young announced that Lansdowne will be recognized as a No Place for Hate community by the Anti-Defamation League at the next General meeting.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto reported that total General Fund revenues for April amounted to $813,619.32 and total expenditures amounted to $332,995.64.

Mr. Asciutto reported that total fund balances for April, 2003 amounted to $9,320,882.71.

Mr. Asciutto reported that the April ending balance for the Police Pension Fund was $5,496,253.12. The April ending balance for the Non-Uniform Pension Plan was $650,451.75.

Mr. Burke questioned why the funds were $330,000 less than last year at this time.

Mr. Asciutto stated that one payment had been received in May and was not reflected in the current balance. Mr. Smith asked if the Simpson House permit fee was reflected in the budget. Mr. Asciutto stated that the payment came in May and was not reflected in tonight’s budget.

Mr. Burke moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report as read. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Engineer’s Report – Mr. Bevilacqua reported that his items would be covered under Committee reports. Mr. Klingler questioned the results of the borings for the Fire House floor. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that there was no indication of void areas and the sub basement was solid. Approximately 3-1/2 to 5″ of concrete slab was installed.

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

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Council President’s Report – There were two follow up items from last month’s meeting:

  1. 1. There is no ordinance specifying hours for commercial sanitation pickup but the Borough Code prohibits excessive noise between 10 PM and 7 AM. Police will be called if the problem with early commercial trash pickup persists.
  2. 1. The Fire Company has sent out solicitation letters.

President Campuzano stated he attended a recent meeting of the Friendship Circle Senior Center and read a list of services they provide to community seniors.

President Campuzano thanked the GLCA volunteers for their Clean Up Day efforts.

President Campuzano thanked the Lansdowne Democrats for their Adopt A Highway pickup.

Economic Development – Mr. Council reported that his committee accepted a report from the Borough Manager and the Fire Chief that provides a factual rather than emotional basis for discussing the disposition of the fire siren.

Mr. Council reported that the Lansdowne Historic Tour took place on May 13th and was a resounding success. Lansdowne was given a rating of A+ by the 38 attendees.

Mr. Council stated the next Economic Development Committee meeting will be held on May 27th, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall.
Mr. Council stated the next meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Planning Committee is scheduled for May 22nd, 9:00 AM in East Lansdowne Borough Hall.

Mr. Council reported that he received a copy of the Delaware County Renaissance Plan for Area 5 with recommendations for the Baltimore Avenue corridor and the revitalization of the Lansdowne business district.

Mr. Forrest reported that the Borough received two grants from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission totaling approximately $75,000. The first grant is for a feasibility study with Upper Darby Borough to widen Union Avenue between Baltimore and Fairview Avenues. The second grant would be used to do a redevelopment area plan encompassing Baltimore Avenue between Lansdowne and Union Avenues and the main business district.

Finance and Administration – Mr. Klingler stated the next Finance and Administration Committee meeting will be held on June 2nd to evaluate the budget projections.

Mr. Klingler reported that the most pressing issue for using the $80,000 CDBG money for the Twentieth Century Club will be for roof repairs. A meeting will be held with the County to ensure that the use of this money will meet their criteria.
Municipal Services – Mr. Burke thanked the Borough Crew for their efforts during the Bulk Trash pickup. Mr. Burke stated that the transfer station did not accept the trash this year and Accurate Recycling had to handle it for an increased price.

Mr. Burke reported that the West Albemarle Avenue sewer project is now completed.

Mr. Burke reported that Pennoni Associates will investigate a sewer line problem at W. Stratford Avenue.

Mr. Burke gave the recycling report for April:

  • 3.94 tons – glass
  • 38.17 tons -paper
  • 2.52 tons – cans

Mr. Klingler reported a sink hole on W. Greenwood Avenue in front of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Burke had already been notified of this by Mr. Heath.

Public Safety – Mrs. Fryer gave the Police Report for April: 498 incidents, 920 parking tickets, 8,576 miles traveled.

Mrs. Fryer gave the Fire Report for April: 23 alarms, 85.5 hours time in service, 235 fire fighters responding with no loss or damage.

Mrs. Fryer reported that Chief Kortan will be investigating a school resource officer program.

Mrs. Fryer stated that officers Marc Mugler and Thomas Murphy have been promoted to Class C patrolmen effective yesterday.

Mrs. Fryer stated that a $10 bear will be sold as a Fire Company fund raising item between 7-8 PM on Thursday nights at the Fire House by the Women’s Auxiliary Company. Anyone interested in purchasing a bear can call Irene Rovane at 610-259-5671.

Mrs. Fryer stated that office James McCaughan will be participating in the World Police and Fire Games in July. Pizza kits will be available as a fund raiser item in June.

President Campuzano asked the status of the proposed Town Watch meeting regarding Nyack and Bartram Avenues. Chief Kortan stated that residents have been receptive to the idea and that some of the problems have already been eliminated in this area.

Zoning, Planning and Code Enforcement – Mr. Smith congratulated Van Bond, Jr. on his Eagle award.

Mr. Smith stated that Zoning Committee met on May 13th to discuss the demolition of Simpson Gardens, an approach to the annual rental inspection ordinance, vacant property items and the pending statewide building code.

Mr. Smith stated that demolition of Wesley House has begun. Approximately 1000 rental unit owners are being contacted before June 30th to initiate the inspection process.

Mr. Smith stated that bids will be accepted for demolition of 288 W. Greenwood Avenue on May 27th. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that a CDBG application will be submitted to fund the demolition of 132 Bartram Avenue.

Mr. Smith stated that the statewide building code is set for implementation on October 1, 2003.

Mr. Smith stated that the next Zoning Committee meeting will be held on June 10th, 7:00 PM in Borough Hall.

Mr. Smith gave the Code Department report for April: 94 permit applications for $8,235; 9 electrical permits for $480; subdivision fees of $6,206.15; 58 certificate of occupancy fees for $2,900; District Court fines collected – $2,331.37.

Parks and Recreation – Mr. Borgman reminded residents to cut tree limbs overhanging their sidewalks.

Mr. Borgman thanked the GLCA volunteers for the Clean Up Day efforts.

Mr. Borgman stated the next Parks and Recreation Committee meeting will be held on June 2nd in Interboro Park at 7:00 PM.

Mr. Borgman stated that if residents do not wish to receive circulars, they need to call the number listed and delivery will cease. Mr. Borgman thanked Mr. Heath for this suggestion.

President Campuzano stated that residents need to have any dead trees on their property cut down as they are a safety hazard.

President Campuzano stated that a public hearing to discuss the Comcast cable contract will be held at 7:00 PM on June 4th before the regularly scheduled Business Meeting.

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

Visitors

John McKelligott
107 Gladstone Road – Mr. McKelligott read his letter urging Borough Council not to pass Resolution 2003-08 regarding the Patriot Act. Mr. McKelligott felt that the resolution condones civil disobedience.

Edith Bassie
70 Sayers Avenue – Mrs. Bassie thanked the police for dispersing a group of unruly men at 32 S. Wycombe Avenue.
Mrs. Bassie complained that a resident on Sayers Avenue is feeding stray cats.
Mrs. Bassie stated that one of the trees at Hays Park had been damaged due to someone dumping bulk trash against it.

Jack Covert
232 Jackson Avenue – Mr. Covert read his letter protesting the passage of Resolution 2003-08. Mr. Covert asked that specific paragraphs be stricken from this resolution, citing the paragraph calling for the repeal of the entire Patriot Act and the paragraph invoking the names of those who died protecting our country.

Joe Heath
55 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Heath stated that bulk trash had been illegally dumped at Reservoir Park. Mr. Burke stated that the Municipal Services Committee will investigate the matter. Mr. Heath stated that Borough Council needs to rethink the bulk trash procedures and that a limit should be imposed on the amount of trash put out.
Mr. Heath stated that overhanging bushes are obscuring a 15 m.p.h. sign on Berkley Avenue.

President Campuzano then turned the meeting over to questions and comments regarding Resolution 2003-08. A lengthy discussion followed wherein a majority of Borough Council members gave their opinions in support of the resolution.
Mr. Council stated that 40 states have already passed similar resolutions. Mr. Council stated that there is nothing in the resolution that states Lansdowne is involved in hate crimes or racial profiling or encourages civil disobedience. Rather, the Department of Justice’s interpretation encourages racial profiling. Mr. Council stated that the resolution delivers a clear statement that the Patriot Act is a bad law and he has a right as a U.S. citizen to make that assertion. The Patriot Act gives the FBI and the Department of Justice the right to investigate people without their knowledge and for reasons that are not derived from probable cause. Mr. Council encouraged residents to educate themselves about what is in the Patriot Act.
Mr. Smith stated that large portions of the Patriot Act were written well before September 11th, 2001 and gives the Attorney General infallibility in declaring people as terrorists and detaining people who give food and shelter to those who may allegedly have been involved in a terrorist activity or group.
Mr. Bech stated that record retention is already law and profiling is already illegal. He stated there is no aspect of the employee policy language in the resolution that is contrary to Federal law. It is consistent with the obligation to obey the Federal Constitution.

Old Business – None.

New Business – Mr. Council moved to have the Secretary read Resolution 2003-08: A Resolution declaring Lansdowne a Bill of Rights Protection Zone’ providing a message to the citizens of the Borough and to the Borough employees that the Borough Government values civil rights and will work to protect them. Mr. Smith seconded and the Resolution was read by the Secretary. Mr. Council moved to approve Resolution 2003-08. Mr. Klingler seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with Mr. Burke voting nay.

Mr. Burke moved to approve Pennoni starting the 2003 Road Overlay Program and the 2003 Road maintenance Program. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mrs. Fryer moved to hire Crescent Brown as a probationary, Class E, police officer based on the recommendation of the Lansdowne Civil Service Commission, the Public Safety Committee and the Police Chief. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Communications –

  1. Letter from a resident regarding a yard trash pickup complaint.
  2. Three letters objecting to the recent Zoning Board decision regarding a garage on Wycombe Avenue.
  3. Letter from a resident supporting the passage of Resolution 2003-08.
  4. Letter from a resident thanking the Code Enforcement Officers for doing an exemplary job.
  5. Letter from American Legion Post 65 thanking Borough Council for their valued service and dedication and for putting up the flags along Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenues.

Mr. Council gave an overview of upcoming Library events:

  1. June 21 – Harry Potter’s latest book will be released. Mr. Malcolm will be telling Potter tales and the first three children to arrive will be given the latest Potter book.
  2. The Summer Reading Club and an Adult Reading Club will be starting soon.

Mr. Klingler moved to authorize payment of the bills for the period. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Burke moved to adjourn into Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Klingler to discuss litigation issues. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned into Executive Session at 9:50 PM.

Upon reconvening from Executive Session, Mr. Burke moved to have the Borough Manager send a letter to the County Tax Claims Bureau requesting that all penalties and interest on 46 South Maple Avenue be waived. Mr. Klingler seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Burke moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Klingler. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 10:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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