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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
Wednesday – July 21, 2004

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 at 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Council, Mrs. Fryer, Mr. Borgman, Ms. Hill, Mr. Lee, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wayne. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Treasurer Asciutto, Borough Manager Forrest, Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Tom Young.
President Council stated that the meeting was being taped by Comcast and will be shown on July 26th at 7:00 PM on Channel 10.
President Council asked for a moment of silence in memory of Garth Shoner.

Minutes – Mr. Smith moved to approve the minutes of the June 16, 2004 Borough Council General Meeting. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously with two corrections noted by Mr. Smith.
Announcements and Presentations

Mayor’s Report – Fire Chief Young announced that Dave Hughes has been named Top Ambulance Responder as well as Officer of the Year. Timmy Moore, Jr. has been named Jr. Officer of the Year. Chief Young then read the names of those who were being recognized with a certificate of recognition as the ten top performers in the Fire and Ambulance companies: Dave Hughes, Natalie Hughes, Timmy Moore, Jr., Art MacMillan, Martin Murray, Pat Creed, Dan Burns, Nicole Burns, Steve Revelle, Dennis English, Dan Hagerty, Wayne Worley, Ed Hagerty and Rich Russell.
Mayor Young presented Beautification Awards to:

  1. Dennis and Marilyn Campbell, 23 E. Greenwood Avenue
  2. Peter and Lisa Photopoulos, 133 Mansfield Avenue

Mayor Young reminded residents to clear the area of weeds between the sidewalk and street when cleaning their property.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto reported that total General Fund revenues for June, 2004 amounted to $216,824.93; total General Fund expenditures for June 2004 amounted to $817,038.59. Mr. Asciutto reported that the ending balance of all funds amounted to $9,724,565.91. The ending balance for the Police Pension Fund was $5,333,143.79 and the ending balance for the Non-Uniformed Pension Fund was $581,847.14.
Mr. Smith moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report as read. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Engineer’s Report – Mr. Bevilacqua stated that his items would be covered in the Committee reports.

Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Scott stated that his items would be covered in Executive Session.


A. President’s Report – President Council reported that he presented a draft of the joint Comprehensive Plan between Lansdowne and Yeadon to the Planning Commission on July 8th. After their review and two subsequent public meetings, the Plan will be adopted in January, 2005 if approved.

B. Economic Development – Mr. Wayne stated that the next Economic Development Committee meeting will be held on August 24th at 7:30 PM. Future dates are still undetermined and will be advertised when finalized.
Mr. Wayne reported that the Redevelopment Plan was approved by the Delaware County Planning Commission and has been forwarded to the Delaware County Council. Mr. Wayne stated he expects approval in September, 2004. Mr. Wayne stated a meeting will be held on July 22nd with representatives from various economic development agencies to discuss commercial development in the area. Mr. Wayne stated that the next COG meeting will be held on July 23rd. Mr. Wayne stated that applications for grant money have been submitted to accomplish redevelopment plans and design standards of zoning overlays for the entire Baltimore Avenue corridor.
Mr. Wayne reported that the Revitalization Plan will be coordinated with Yeadon to develop a neighborhood revitalization strategy for the area south of the railroad tracks between Union and Lansdowne Avenues and south of Fairview Avenue.
Mr. Wayne reported that the application for the Elm Street Program was unsuccessful and therefore an application will be submitted to the Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program for a grant.
Mr. Wayne reported that the Economic Development Committee is proceeding with the Main Street application to be submitted some time in the Fall. Mr. Wayne stated that a grant application will also be submitted to assist in the redevelopment of the Bank Building.
President Council stated that the aforesaid Plans will soon be posted on the Borough’s web site.

C. Finance and Administration – Mr. Smith commended Mayor Young for her efforts in
bringing Senator John Kerry to Lansdowne last week. Mr. Smith thanked the Bowden family for opening their home to him for this visit.
Mr. Smith commended the UAA for a safe July 4th celebration.
Mr. Smith reported that work is nearing completion with the Twentieth Century Club repairs. Mr. Smith stated that the contractor will be submitting a 2nd payment request next week; the first payment is being paid by the County.
Mr. Smith reported that at the July 7th Finance and Administration Committee meeting, it was decided to proceed with the ordering and leasing of a new ladder truck for the Fire Company. Alternatives for capital financing were also discussed at this meeting. Mr. Smith reported that further discussions on the capital financing alternatives will be held at the next Finance and Administration Committee meeting on August 2nd at 7:00 PM. Mr. Smith stated that representatives of Smith Barney will also be present at that meeting.
Mr. Smith asked Mayor Young and Borough Council members to develop their needs/wishes list for the upcoming 2005 budget process.

D. Municipal Services – Mrs. Fryer reported that the next Municipal Services Committee meeting will be held on August 2nd at 6:30 PM.
Mrs. Fryer stated that the final retainage for the North Lansdowne Avenue project is included in the bills this month for payment.

E. Public Safety – Ms. Hill reported that no Public Safety meeting was held this month.
Ms. Hill gave the Police Department report for the month: 585 incidents, 956 parking tickets, 7,277 miles traveled and 42,959 miles traveled from January 2004 through June 2004.
Ms. Hill gave the Fire Company report for the month: 29 alarms, 13 hours, 17 minutes time in service; 101 miles traveled, 383 firefighters responding and $21,000 in total loss and damages.

F. Community Development – Mr. Borgman reported that interviews are now being held for a new Code Officer.
Mr. Borgman stated that he is studying Act 45 qualifications to require for any impact on the Borough. Mr. Borgman reported that the newly revised property maintenance codes may be ready for adoption by September.
Mr. Borgman gave a status report on the following properties:

  • Vacant 7-11 lot – Cleanup is due for next week
  • 56 S. Union Avenue – Demolition is being rebid by the County’s request
  • 91 and 109 W. Greenwood Avenue – Inspections have been performed

Mr. Borgman stated that a long awaited meeting is being scheduled with the Lansdowne Theater owner and a structural/electrical engineer.
Mr. Borgman stated that he is promoting a community outreach component regarding code issues that will be developed by Calvin Bonenberger so that residents can be informed why significant Borough resources are being budgeted for code issues.
Mr. Borgman reported that he heard of a volunteer program run by a civic organization that pairs needy/elderly homeowners with qualified contractors.
Mr. Borgman stated that the next Community Development meeting will be held on August 10th at 7:00 PM.

G. Parks and Recreation – Mr. Lee reported that no Committee meeting was held this month. Mr. Lee reported that no quorum was met for the Recreation and Parks Board meeting this month but an impromptu meeting was instead held for the 10 residents who came to express concerns about Marlyn Park being made into a dog park.
Mr. Lee reported that these same residents are concerned about the water problems in Interboro Park. Mr. Lee stated that a future town meeting in that area will be held to discuss these concerns.
Mayor Young asked about the basketball court in Hoffman Park. Mr. Lee stated that the cyclone fence was vandalized and had to be taken down. Mr. Lee stated that members of the Recreation and Park Board want a resolution of vandalism issues before repairing the fence and basketball poles.
Mr. Wayne moved to suspend the Rules of Order. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Len Wert 221 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert asked the status of 231 N. Lansdowne Avenue stating he had seen an overpopulation of pigeons flying into the upper floors. Mr. Borgman stated that the property has been condemned and developers have expressed an interest in repairing the property. Dr. Wert stated that 266/268 N. Lansdowne Avenue property is also in severe disrepair.

Jim Rupert 228 W. Marshall Road – Mr. Rupert stated that several junk and vacant cars covered with plastic have been situated on various properties throughout the Borough for about 4 years. Mr. Rupert also stated that the registrations have expired and asked why these cars cannot be removed. Chief Kortan stated that as long as the vehicles are on private property, only a Borough ordinance can govern the disposition of these vehicles. Chief Kortan stated that as long as the vehicles are in a garage or under an approved cover and the intention to repair them is indicated by the owner, nothing can be done to remove them. Mr. Rupert stated that some of the vehicles are garaged and it is apparent that the owners have no intention of repairing them. President Council stated he would refer the matter to the Community Development Committee to see if the owners are in compliance with the code ordinance. Chief Kortan stated that he will also investigate the matter.
Mr. Rupert stated that a walkway to Belmont Park located at 242 and 250 W. Marshall Road is overgrown with trees and expressed a safety concern over one collapsed dead tree. President Council stated the Park and Recreation Committee will assess the ownership of the area in question to determine who should remove the trees in question.

Markees Halligan 163 Essex Avenue – Master Halligan asked why there were no recreational facilities in the Borough. President Council stated that the Lansdowne Girls and Boys Club has basketball, soccer and baseball. President Council stated that organized sports activities are not sponsored by the Borough but by the Boys and Girls Club. President Council suggested that Master Halligan use the library computer to find out what activities are available in Lansdowne. Mr. Borgman stated that the Recreation Department also sponsors different activities for various age groups.

Debbie Smith 33 E. LaCrosse Avenue – Ms. Smith stated that the new fire siren is too disruptive and a detriment to the peace of the neighborhood. President Council stated that the siren at the moment is newly installed and changes to its volume, signal and number of blasts will be addressed. Ms. Smith asked if any other options were available in the future, such as beepers and cell phones. President Council stated that the expectation is to keep the equipment in place now and that beepers are used as a siren backup.

Michael Marcavage 62 E. Stewart Avenue – Mr. Marcavage asked if it was the desire of Borough Council to encourage more gay and lesbian individuals to live in Lansdowne. President Council stated that it was his desire to have anybody who wants to come to Lansdowne to live should be able to come to Lansdowne to live. Mr. Marcavage then started to read from scripture regarding homosexuality. President Council told Mr. Marcavage that he would not allow him to come before Borough Council to use the meeting as a vehicle for his hate speech. Mr. Marcavage then proceeded to read from the bible whereupon the meeting was adjourned. Mr. Lee moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Smith. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.
The meeting reconvened at 8:35 PM.

Jim Murphy 266 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Murphy asked Mr. Borgman if Act 45 relates to Senate Bill 1139. Mr. Borgman stated he was unfamiliar with Bill 1139. President Council stated that Bill 1139 changes the enforcement codes around certain issues but also empowers Boroughs to pass ordinances to replace those pieces of the UCC that S.B.1139 took out.
Mr. Murphy asked why the beginning budget for the General Fund posted on the Borough web site was different than what appeared in the Borough audit. Mr. Smith stated that he would have to obtain a copy of the report to give a correct answer. Mr. Murphy asked if the Police Pension Fund had any liabilities. Mr. Smith stated that no carryover liabilities occur because they are paid out every month and in a cash basis accounting system, such as the Borough utilizes, liabilities would be an accruable item and therefore not shown. Mr. Murphy asked several other questions pertaining to the audit. Mr. Smith stated that without a copy of the report, he would have to get back to Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy asked if the audit was done as a group and President Council stated that it had been a group effort. Mr. Murphy asked if he could get a copy of the auditors’ work papers. Mr. Scott stated that the papers would be voluminous and Mr. Murphy would have to bear the copying charges. Mr. Smith stated he would check into the matter.

Kevin Kissling 11 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Kissling asked why he was charged $10 to remove a refrigerator that had no Freon. Mr. Forrest took Mr. Kissling’s telephone number and stated he would get back to him.

Charles Jeffers 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers stated that trash problems are more evident where the bus stops in front of eating establishments. Mr. Jeffers asked that residents cut the bands from newspaper bundles to avoid anyone from tripping over them.
Mr. Jeffers stated that too many people are running the red light at Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues and asked that a police presence be put there to investigate the matter.

MaryKay Bowden 151 Glentay Avenue – Mrs. Bowden thanked everyone for awarding her the 2004 Helms Award.
Mrs. Bowden expressed her frustration and anger regarding Mr. Marcavage’s harassment activities in the Borough and stated that her own family has now been targeted by him for legal action against them. Mrs. Bowden stated that the situation has become intolerable and has allowed Mr. Marcavage to have all the control. Mrs. Bowden asked if Borough Council would find a way to legally stop any future disruptions from Mr. Marcavage and to find out what is and what is not “freedom of speech”. Mrs. Bowden also stated that Mr. Marcavage needs to be held accountable for his actions and finds his using Christianity as a justification for his actions a disgrace. President Council cautioned residents not to take matters into their own hands in any dealings with Mr. Marcavage while the problem is being investigated.

Charlotte Hummel 55 W. Stewart Avenue – Ms. Hummel thanked Borough Council for choosing Kevin Lee as a Council member.
In her capacity as a William Penn School Board director, Ms. Hummel stated that the school taxes were going up 3.3% over an already outrageous tax bill. Mr. Hummel stated that if the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) legislation were fully funded and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was funded 40% as legislated instead of the current 17%, the community would have been able to support their schools. Additionally, Ms. Hummel stated that on July 9th the School Board took drastic measures to keep a zero budget base even though a $2.5 million gap had to be closed from last year and increased costs were incurred as part of the typical school costs. In doing this, they took out real educational services for the children, i.e., cut teachers, special education teachers, psychological counselors, etc. Ms. Hummel stated that School Board President John McKelligott, without any discussion, cut $1.8 million from the budget on the eve before the budget vote. This $1.8 million proposal was originally agreed to by Mr. McKelligott, other Board members and the teachers. Ms. Hummel stated that it was morally unconscionable that School Board members are unable to explain what the various cuts involve and that they are morally bankrupt and have financially and educationally devastated the community. Ms. Hummel stated that a change in leadership is essential.

Edith Bassie 72 Sayers Avenue – Mrs. Bassie stated that three new houses were recently sold on Sayers Avenue and the going price of a duplex there is approximately $85,000 per dwelling.
Mrs. Bassie stated that Sayers Avenue is being used as a bypass from Union to Lansdowne Avenues and asked if signage could be installed.

Old Business – None.

New Business – Mrs. Fryer moved to have the Secretary read Resolution 2004-16, a resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne requesting that Mr. McKelligott step down as President and that he immediately resign his seat on the Board of Directors of the William Penn School District. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The resolution was then read by the Secretary. Mrs. Fryer moved to approve Resolution 2004-16, seconded by Mr. Smith. Mr. Lee stated that he supports Mr. McKelligott’s resignation but disagrees with a Resolution taking this action. He encouraged residents to attend the School Board meeting on July 26th and voice their discontent with Mr. McKelligott’s actions and to personally ask for his resignation. A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried 5-2 with Mr. Lee and Ms. Hill casting the dissenting votes.
Mr. Wayne moved to have the Secretary read Resolution 2004-17, a resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne requesting certain actions be taken by the William Penn School District and their Board. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The resolution was then read by the Secretary. Mr. Wayne moved to approve the adoption of Resolution 2004-17, seconded by Mrs. Fryer. A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Wayne moved to have the Secretary read Resolution 2004-18, a resolution of the Borough Authorizing the Borough of Yeadon to make application for a Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program Grant for a Joint Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The Resolution was then read by the Secretary. Mr. Wayne moved to approve Resolution 2004-18. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Bills – Mr. Smith moved to authorize payment of bills for the period. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Fryer moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss three litigation matters. Mr. Smith seconded and the meeting adjourned into Executive Session at 9:25 PM.
There were no motions made upon reconvening to Public Session.
Mr. Smith moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Borgman. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 10:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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