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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Council, Mrs. Fryer, Mr. Borgman, Mrs. Hill, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wayne. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Treasurer Asciutto, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Manager Forrest, Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young. Ms. Madden was absent.

Minutes – Mr. Wayne moved to approve the minutes of the February 4, 2004 Business Meeting of Borough Council as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


John CallaghanW. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Callaghan asked the definition of "household trash". Mr. Forrest stated it was a variety of articles, i.e., food waste, glass, plates, flatware, clothing, small appliances, etc. Mr. Callaghan stated that rugs were not being collected at 79 Sayers Avenue. Mr. Forrest will investigate the matter.
Mr. Callaghan asked when the pothole repairs would begin. Mrs. Fryer stated that a list was presently being compiled and residents should call Borough Hall to report serious pothole damage.

Reports and Discussions

A. Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto stated his items would be covered under Committee reports.

B. Borough Engineer’s Report – Mr. Bevilacqua reported that verbal approval has been given by the County for the Twentieth Century Club repairs.
Mr. Bevilacqua stated that bid specifications were presently being done for the N. Lansdowne Avenue sewer repairs. Advertising will occur on March 22nd and March 26th with bids being received on April 6th.Estimated cost of the project is $85,000-90,000. Mr. Wayne asked if the bid could instead be done based on cost materials, overhead and profit instead of a flat price. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that this cost plus basis method would cost more money versus a fixed linear foot basis. The lump sum bid process was tried two years ago with no success. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that unforseen circumstances almost always occur in construction thereby raising project costs. If no line item exists, contractors won’t assume the financial risk.

Mr. Bevilacqua stated that the structural engineer has concerns about the stand alone capacity of the adjacent property at 56 S. Union Avenue. A report that factually states why it won’t work is required and the two owners need to resolve the matter. Mr. Travers will try to schedule an inspection of the adjacent property with the engineers.

C. Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Scott had no formal report.

D. Borough Manager’s Report – Mr. Forrest had no formal report.

E. Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan stated that Michael Baldassarre is officially released from the police force. Officer Kenneth Rutherford will begin day shift work on March 8th. Officer Tom Murphy will be leaving the force on March 5th. The written examination for new police officers will be held on April 5th, 7:00 PM at the Twentieth Century Club.

F. Fire Chief Young – Chief Young thanked Borough Council for passing the no parking ordinance on Highland Avenue. Chief Young stated that Pete Bochansky and Kevin Haggerty were awarded the Hero Award and Tim Moore was elected as Junior of the Year for the County.

Mr. Borgman asked the status of the fire siren. Chief Young stated that Frank Catania is drawing up an agreement as part of the lease agreement stating that the siren cost will be maintained by both the Fire Company and Lansdowne Borough. Mrs. Fryer stated that April 15th is the dead line. Mr. Forrest stated that he is awaiting a proposal for a cell tower. Mrs. Fryer cautioned that the Borough should continue to own the tower.

G. Mayor Young – Mayor Young asked for Borough Council’s decision on whether Paul Del Rossi and the Media State Street Orchestra would be holding swing dances at the Twentieth Century Club. Mr. Smith mentioned insurance concerns. President Council stated he felt comfortable with the Borough insuring the event. Future discussions may be held to decide whether the venture will be considered a start up one or an operational one and the insurance concerns will be reopened at that point. Mr. Forrest stated that Mr. Del Rossi desired a more simple lease agreement. The first performance is scheduled for March 23rd.

Mayor Young stated that March 5th is the submission deadline for newsletter articles.

Mayor Young stated that the Borough Yard Sale will be held on May 1st.


H. President’s Report – President Council stated that a joint meeting was necessary with Yeadon and Lansdowne’s Community Development Committee regarding correct code policies.An amended agreement has been sent to Yeadon about this matter and the meeting will address Yeadon’s miscellaneous concerns.
President Council stated that Senator Williams wants to hold a redevelopment conference in eastern Delaware County to address economic and community development in eastern Delaware County. The tentative date will be late September or early October, 2004.

I. Municipal Services – Mrs. Fryer presented a newly designed parking lot sign for Council’s opinion. A discussion followed with miscellaneous suggestions for change. Mr. Forrest stated that he will continue to work on the matter. Mrs. Fryer thanked Betsy Riffert for her efforts in designing the sign.

Mrs. Fryer presented a draft of the bulk trash flyer. She suggested that the phone number be put on the front page. Mr. Wayne suggested putting in language about the fees covering the Borough’s cost to dispose of the trash so that no misunderstanding arises about this being a revenue generator. President Council suggested that mention be made of the pickup being an ongoing annual process instead of a one time event. Examples of what type of trash can be picked up will also be included.

Mrs. Fryer reported that original bids were rejected on the sewer cleaning project due to insurance issues. New bids will now be due on March 23rd.

J. Finance and Administration – Mr. Smith raised some questions about the lease agreement period for Celebration Theater. Mr. Smith asked why the lease goes to March 2005 instead of covering a calendar year. President Council stated that the Finance Committee agreed to this in principle last year and the agreement was to only cover fiscal year 2004. Mayor Young stated that Gerry Staiber had expressed some concerns about her budget and expenses for the building. Mr. Smith stated that he would like to see how solvent the theater is at the end of 2004. Mayor Young felt that some consideration should be given for the expenses involved in their use of the building. Mr. Wayne stated that a copy of Form 990 had been requested. President Council stated that the pertinent issues that need to be addressed over the next year are: (1) how to support Celebration Theater as well as the arts community, and (2) will the Twentieth Century Club be used as a community center or a profit center.

Mr. Smith reported that the Police Pension Fund has earned approximately 2% from 12/24/03 to 2/21/04. Another meeting with Smith Barney will be held on May 3rd.

Mr. Smith stated that the audit is going well. Also, a pension smoothing approach at a cost of $133,000 by the end of 2005 was discussed.

Mr. Smith moved to approve the asset smoothing approach to the pension fund as outlined in Dave Forrest’s 2/18/04 memo. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Forrest will be investigating a rental conversion program as well as bank funding for streamlining the rehabilitation of housing in the Borough.

A Planning Commission meeting with Urban Partners will be held on March 11th at 7:30 PM.

K. Community Development – Mr. Borgman reported that a third Code officer has been hired and would like to have this in place before the April 9th State guidelines are in place.

Mr. Borgman stated that he is awaiting a new date for the Zoning Hearing Board meeting.

Mr. Borgman stated that the Committee has produced the new zoning overlay ordinance.It identifies sit down restaurants as C1 and C2 and excludes adult entertainment uses, porn, massage and tattoo shops and fast food restaurants. Also excluded are nail salons, government offices, community centers, institutional uses of buildings, motels and hotels. Parking will not be allowed in front of C1 businesses. Mrs. Hill expressed concerns about the adoption of this overlay, citing the possible creation of adverse environmental issues in residential neighborhoods and the exclusion of certain businesses in certain areas. Mr. Wayne clarified that the vote to pass the ordinance only means that it will go before the local and County Planning Commissions for review. Mr. Scott stated that the County comments should be taken seriously to avoid potential litigation. Mr. Scott stated that it would take approximately 4-6 months for this process. Mr. Borgman stated that the ordinance is only a guiding document and dissenters can go to court or the Zoning Hearing Board hearings. President Council stated that the ordinance expressly determines what businesses are eligible for the central business district. After more discussion, Mr. Borgman moved to approve the Business District Zoning Amendment as presented to be sent to the Zoning Planning Commission. Mrs. Fryer seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-1 with Mrs. Hill abstaining from the vote.

Mr. Borgman stated that East Lansdowne wants to join the Borough’s code effort on a “pay in cash” basis. Mr. Bonenberger will look into whether we have sufficient manpower to do this.
Mr. Borgman reported that ownership of the Lansdowne Center will soon be transferred.
Mr. Borgman stated that the next Community Development Committee meeting will be held on March 9th at 7:00 PM.

L.Public Safety – Mrs. Hill had no formal report.

M.Parks and Recreation – There was no report given in Ms. Madden’s absence.

Mr. Borgman mentioned that grant money was given to the Boys and Girls Club to erect a score board in Hoffman Park and back stops for Ardmore Avenue and Hoffman Park. No approval was given by Borough Council to build on Borough property.

N.Economic Development – Mr. Wayne reported that the COG met on February 27th to discuss2 applications for the Renaissance Program grants. One application will be for a redevelopment area plan for each community along Baltimore Avenue from Clifton Heights to Philadelphia. Another application will be for a zoning overlay for Baltimore Avenue to control design standards of new developments coming into the corridor.
Mr. Forrest stated that 3 other Lansdowne projects are also being considered: (1) the hiring of consultants to survey the Borough for historical designations, (2) doing a neighborhood revitalization for the area south of the railroad tracks and east of Lansdowne Avenue, and (3) developing a brochure designed to attract people to live in the Borough. The grant proposals are due on March 19th.
Mr. Wayne stated that the Economic Development Committee may consider the possibility of a LERTA (Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act) district and asked Mr. Scott to determine whether a tax abatement program is possible.
The next scheduled Committee meetings are March 23rd and April 28th at 7:30 PM.

Old Business – None

New Business – Mr. Smith moved to approve bills for the period. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Borgman moved to approve the hiring of John Gould for the position of Code Officer II, dependent on the outcome of pre-employment drug screening and physical. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session – Mrs. Fryer moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a personnel issue and a FOP grievance. Mr. Borgman seconded and the meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 10:12 PM.

There were no motions made upon reconvening into Public Session. Mr. Wayne moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mrs. Fryer. The meeting adjourned at 10:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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