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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
Wednesday – August 18, 2004

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 at 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Council, Mrs. Fryer, Mr. Borgman, Mr. Lee, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wayne. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Treasurer Asciutto, Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan and Code Enforcement Officer Steve Travers. Ms. Hill, Mr. Bevilacqua, Mr. Forrest and Fire Chief Young were absent. President Council stated that the meeting was being taped by Comcast and will be shown on August 23rd at 7:00 PM on Channel 10.

Minutes – Mr. Wayne moved to approve the minutes of the July 21, 2004 Borough Council General Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously with one correction noted by Mr. Smith.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor’s Report – Bob Fuhrman announced that the August voter registration sites will be at the Mar-Wyn supermarket, CVS, the Drexel Market, the various WaWa stores and the Dollar Store next to Block Buster. Registration at these sites will be on Fridays from 3-6 PM and on Saturdays from 10-1 PM. Mr. Fuhrman announced that Lansdowne Day for registration is September 11 at the Borough Green from 12-2 PM. Mr. Fuhrman stated that registration must be done 30 days before the vote.
Mayor Young then presented Mr. Fuhrman a proclamation declaring September as Voter Registration Month in Lansdowne.
Mayor Young announced that the newsletter will be available in early September.
Mayor Young announced that the Lansdowne Folk Club will present “Girly Man” on September 23rd.
Mayor Young stated that copies of the Arts Festival poetry book will be available for sale at the Lansdowne Library and at the Arts Festival.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto reported that total General Fund revenues for July, 2004 amounted to $315,460.82; total General Fund expenditures for July, 2004 amounted to $520,969.07. Mr. Asciutto reported that the ending balance of all funds amounted to $9,717,038.21. The ending balance for the Police Pension Fund was $5,553,328.87 and the ending balance for the Non-Uniformed Pension Fund was $605,240.98.
Mrs. Fryer moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report as read. Mr. Lee 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 item would be covered in Executive Session.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

A. President’s Report – President Council reported that the Lansdowne Arts Festival will be held on September 17, 18 and 19.
President Council stated that in light of the recent press coverage regarding an incident at last month’s General Council meeting wherein an individual was asked to stop reading from the Bible, the public comment portion of Borough Council meetings is not intended as an open forum for personal agendas. It should be a comment on the business before or relating to the Borough Council. President Council reiterated that there is no agenda on the part of Borough Council to restrict First Amendment rights but in the context of Borough Council meetings, these rights need to be observed as they relate to the business of Borough Council. President Council stated that Borough Council’s sole agenda is now and always will be to address the group welfare of Lansdowne residents who live in this No Place for Hate community.
President Council thanked Representative Micozzie for his help in securing various grant funding throughout the year for Lansdowne.

B. Economic Development – Mr. Wayne reported that no date has yet been set for another public hearing on the Redevelopment Plan.
Mr. Wayne reported that the COG has applied for grants to complete redevelopment plans, design standards and zoning overlays for all communities in the Baltimore Avenue corridor. The COG is also discussing vacant properties.
Mr. Wayne stated that Yeadon and Lansdowne have applied for a grant under the Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program to develop a revitalization program south of the railroad tracks in Lansdowne and continuing into Yeadon.
Mr. Wayne reported that the LEDC will apply for a Main Street Program grant in either September or October.
Mr. Wayne reported that the Economic Development Committee will reopen the topic of establishing a historical district and Review Board.
Mr. Wayne stated that a meeting will be held on August 26th with representatives to discuss making the Redevelopment Plan a reality.
Mr. Wayne stated that a meeting will be held in August with Wachovia Bank representatives to discuss their support of the Redevelopment Plan.
Mr. Wayne stated that at a recent meeting with the developer of the Lansdowne Center, the new owner of the Center appeared to be in agreement with the proposed Redevelopment Plan.

C. Finance and Administration – Mr. Smith addressed several questions that were raised at last month’s General Meeting regarding the 2003 audit report:

  1. The ending balance at year’s end was $391,408.00 (page 1).
  2. The $6,507,117.00 amount represents the year end Police Pension Fund and the Municipal Pension Plan Fund (page 3).
  3. The $513,396.00 amount represents 2003 disbursements from both the Police Pension Fund and the Municipal Pension Fund (page 14-15).
  4. The second 2001 line item regarding PennVest – there is no principal paid number reflected because additional funds were drawn down from that particular loan in that year (page 16).
  5. Net collectible taxes of $375,000,000 (page 17) is the total assessed value of all properties in the Borough and the $2,186,000 amount represents total employee compensation for the year.

Mr. Smith reported that all work on the Twentieth Century Club is complete except for some minor punch list items. The heater/boiler replacement issue will be addressed at the September business meeting.
Mr. Smith reported that all lines of Borough insurance had been renewed with the exception of the workers compensation insurance and that more competitive rates for this insurance will be investigated.
Mr. Smith stated that he will again meet with Smith Barney representatives on September 7th to discuss the Police Pension Fund.
Mr. Smith stated that the fire truck lease and capital financing initiatives are moving forward.
Mr. Smith stated that the Finance and Administrative Committee and Borough Council are opting to take the 30 year spread for reporting out downturns in pension funds.
Mr. Smith stated that the code book will be updated at a future date and be made web accessible.
Mr. Smith reported that the next F&A Committee meeting will be on September 7th at 7:00 PM.
Mr. Smith announced the tentative budget meeting schedule as follows:

  • August 26
  • September 7, 13, 20, 27
  • October 4, 14

These meetings will start at 7:00 PM.
Mr. Smith reported that the F&A Committee is working on a damage list for PEMA or FEMA reimbursement from recent storm damage to the Borough Hall roof, Hoffman Park and Clover Avenue.

D. Municipal Services – Mrs. Fryer stated that the scope of the 2004 Road Program has been reduced to sewer repair work on Clover Avenue. This repair work will be done between 3-11 PM.

E. Public Safety – Mrs. Fryer gave Ms. Hill’s report as follows:

  • New signage will be placed throughout several sites in the Borough. Specifically, Stratford Avenue will be marked as continuous one way from Highland to Lansdowne Avenue; a “cross traffic does not stop” sign will be placed at the Lacrosse and Runnemede Avenue intersection as well as the E. Lacrosse and Maple Avenue intersection; and a “no turn on red” sign will be placed at Marshall Road and Wycombe Avenue.

Mrs. Fryer stated that the Public Safety Committee decided not to eliminate the two parking spaces at the Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenue intersection. The Committee also felt it would not be wise to implement the suggestion of certain free parking spaces within the business community.
Mrs. Fryer reported that the Public Safety Committee is working on a Scottdale Road presentation for Borough Council’s perusal.

F. Community Development – Mr. Borgman reported that the Community Development Committee met on August 10th and is continuing to work on property maintenance codes.
Mr. Borgman stated that options for 231 N. Lansdowne Avenue are being investigated.
Mr. Borgman stated that cleanup at the former 7-11 is complete.
Mr. Borgman reported that demolition of 56 S. Union Avenue will start the week of August 23rd as well as work on 132 Bartram Avenue.
Mr. Borgman reported that an improved vacant property list is now available.
Mr. Borgman stated that Borough Council will need to appoint a Board of Appeals regarding Act 45 comprised of 3-5 members for a five year term with two possible alternates. Suggested qualifications include a design professional e.g., architect, engineer, contractor or builder, master plumber or electrician and a historical property person.
Mr. Borgman stated that the next Community Development Committee will be on September 14th at 7:00 PM.

G. Parks and Recreation – Mr. Lee stated that the cleanup at Hoffman Park is almost complete.
Mr. Lee stated that Jeff Hayden will be the front person for the proposed Marlyn Park dog park. Mr. Lee reported that the ramp repairs are complete at Reservoir Park and the park is scheduled to be open in about a month. Mr. Lee stated that the eventual objective is to remove most of the fence except at the dangerous areas where someone could fall from the street level.
Mr. Lee stated that new guidelines were sent to Mrs. Staiber regarding safety of park equipment and there is a lot of outdated equipment that will need replacing.
Mr. Lee reported that moving the two toys in Interboro Park to another area would not be feasible due to the water problems there. He stated that Mr. Forrest will be investigating changing the grant wording for Reservoir Park funding so that the area can be built up, some of the water problems can be dealt with and the toys can be replaced with something else.
Mr. Lee reported that the Parks and Recreation Committee is discussing potential fund raising events and investigating some grants that could be used for equipment and programming.
Mr. Lee reported that Park Day will be held on September 25th in Hoffman Park from 1-5 PM.
Mr. Lee stated that the next Recreation and Park Board meeting will be held on September 20th.

Mr. Wayne moved to Suspend the Rules of Order. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
President Council reiterated the following: (1) public visitor comments are to limited to 10 minutes; (2) Borough Council members will answer any questions after the public comment segment that need clarification without any rebuttal from the public; and (3) Borough Council members will no longer answer questions regarding their personal lives.

Mr. Wayne moved to suspend the Rules of Order. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Visitors

Jim Murphy 266 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Murphy questioned the different General Fund amounts listed in this month’s budget report on the front and last pages. Mr. Murphy also questioned the differing amounts in the General Fund listed in last month’s budget report. Mr. Ascuitto stated that there is often a difference because not all disbursements are expenditures and not all receipts are revenues. Mr. Smith stated that the financial reports are reported monthly on a cash basis whereas at the end of the year they are reported on a modified accrual method.
Mr. Scott stated he would look into whether Mr. Murphy could obtain a copy of the auditors’ work papers.

Jim Rupert 228 W. Marshall Road – Mr. Rupert thanked various Borough Council members for timely addressing the safety hazard at the entrance of Belmont Park and for alleviating the abandoned cars problem.
Kristina Wuirtz 247 W. Plumstead Avenue – Ms. Wuirtz presented information packets to Borough Council regarding local and nationwide practices for establishing dog parks that address everyone’s concerns about this issue. Ms. Wuirtz asked that the Borough seriously consider establishing such a park and give the interested parties a fair hearing on the issue.

Charles Jeffers 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers stated that a tree in front of the Wachovia Bank is hanging too low and asked that someone look into the matter.
Mr. Jeffers asked if any ordinance exists for loud music being played in moving vehicles. President Council stated that enforcing a fine would be difficult for a moving vehicle.
Mr. Jeffers stated that a gas cap needs a cover near the Papa John’s pizza store.
Mr. Jeffers asked if a left hand turn arrow would be erected at Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenue intersection. President Council stated that PennDot would be looking into the dedicated left hand turn matter.
Mr. Jeffers stated that a Delaware County memorial 5K walk will be held on October 2nd at 10:00 AM.

Edith Bassie 72 Sayers Avenue – Mrs. Bassie stated that a railing is supposed to be installed on any residence with three or more steps.

John Callaghan 13 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Callaghan asked if there was an easier way to get older residents to a district judge hearing on code issues. President Council stated that the Borough tries to use compassion in their enforcement of codes but sometimes the only way to have residents comply is to cite them and have them appear before the District Justice. Mr. Callaghan questioned Simpson Gardens property tax payments. Mr. Scott stated that they are not on the delinquent tax list.
Dr. Len Wert 221 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert suggested that it was now politically expedient for Borough Council to pass an ordinance calling for the resignation of the School Board President.
Dr. Wert stated that the sidewalks on the east side of Lansdowne Avenue from Essex Avenue to his property are in deplorable condition.
Joe Heath 55 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Heath asked if homeowners pay a fee for having a dumpster on their property. President Council stated that no fee is charged for this.
Mr. Heath stated that why an ordinance exists for addressing overhanging foliage issues if the problem still occurs at some properties in the Borough. President Council stated that this is a discretion issue for the code enforcement officer.
Mr. Heath congratulated Borough Council on the new siren but felt it has a strange tone.
Mr. Wayne spoke on why Lansdowne is a wonderful community of diversity and read various statistics from the 2000 census supporting that diversity. Mr. Wayne further stated that Lansdowne’s diversity is extraordinary, given a population of only 11,000. Mr. Wayne then read the 2000 proclamation that declared Lansdowne a No Place for Hate community. Mr. Wayne stated that this diversity is a source of strength and pride and the community will rise or fall based upon the collective efforts of its citizens. Mr. Wayne cautioned against slipping into issues of division that can cloud one’s judgment and defended Mr. Lee’s appointment to Borough Council.

Old Business – Mr. Wayne asked if subsequent inspection or information reports could be obtained in order to make a decision on the Twentieth Century Club boiler issue.

New Business
Mr. Lee moved to advertise Ordinance 1199, an ordinance setting forth permit requirements for persons conducting parades, demonstrations or protests, regulating the time, place and manner of picketing activity and establishing penalties for violations thereof. Mr. Borgman seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-0 with one absence. A lengthy discussion followed. Mr. Borgman suggesting changing the number of protesters to 8 instead of 5. Mrs. Fryer felt that the ordinance was still unnecessary. Mr. Lee then read the purpose and intent of the ordinance stating that it was not a tool to crush free speech but rather it provides protection against targeted picketing and provides safety to residents. Mr. Wayne stated that a process is necessary for an individual to apply for and receive a permit for exclusive use of a spaces. Mr. Wayne also stated that he did not have enough information regarding statutes that govern when free speech crosses over into harassment. Mr. Wayne stated he felt ill equipped to analyze the ordinance and make a judgment. Mr. Smith reiterated Mr. Wayne’s concerns and stated he would like to know what current law is regarding harassment. President Council felt that State law adequately covers the harassment issue and that what one township uses as an ordinance relative to this issue may not necessarily be good for Lansdowne. President Council further stated that good changes have happened in this country because one group has made another group uncomfortable but felt that this ordinance will have a chilling effect on public protest in Lansdowne.
In spite of the various feelings among Borough Council members, the consensus was to support advertising the ordinance.

Mr. Wayne moved to advertise Ordinance 1199, as amended with Mr. Borgman’s suggestion. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
President Council suggested voting on this ordinance at the next General Meeting and thanked Mr. Lee and Mr. Scott for their efforts in researching this ordinance.

Mr. Smith moved to approve Resolution 2004-19, a resolution regarding application to the County Council Members of Delaware County for an allocation of county liquid fuel tax funds. Mr. Wayne seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Smith moved to assist the LBPA with purchasing banner bracket hardware, at a cost of $2,272.50, payable to the Metropolitan Flag Company. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Mrs. Fryer moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss one personnel issue and one litigation issue. Mr. Wayne seconded and the meeting adjourned into Executive Session at 9:28 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 9:53 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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