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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
Wednesday – September 15, 2004

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday,
September 15, 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, Treasurer Asciutto, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Manager Forrest, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young.
President Council stated that the meeting was being taped by Comcast and will be shown on September 20th. at 7:30 PM on Channel 10.

Minutes – Mr. Borgman moved to approve the minutes of the August 18, 2004 Borough Council General Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously with Mr. Smith’s corrections.
Announcements and Presentations

Mayor’s Report – Fire Chief Young presented Chief Kortan with an advanced Taser Gun
M – 26 to better facilitate the police department.
Mayor Young announced that the newly published Seedlings art and poetry book is available for sale at the Lansdowne Library, Before Our Time Antiques and the Lansdowne Book Works for $15.00.
Mayor Young announced that the Secret Garden Unique Gifts shop in Lansdowne is now open as of September 15th.
Mayor Young announced that a Flea Market will be held at the Presbyterian Church on September 18th.
Mayor Young announced that the dedication of Simpson Gardens will be held on September 19th. at 3:00 PM.

Mayor Young announced that the local American Legion Post will be holding meetings the fourth Tuesday of every month, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall.
Mayor Young announced that the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra starts its season on October 24th.
Mayor Young announced that a fund raiser for Celebration Theater will be held on October 30th.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto reported that total General Fund revenues for August, 2004 amounted to $131,932.36; total General Fund expenditures for August, 2004 amounted to $353,750.08. Mr. Asciutto reported that the ending balance of all funds amounted to $9,350,119.28. Mr. Asciutto reported the ending balance for the Police Pension Fund was $5,417,742.46 and the ending balance for the Non-Uniformed Pension Fund was $613,150.91.

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 he had one Executive Session item. Mr. Scott stated that notice letters for the 2002/2003 delinquent trash and sewer fees have been mailed out.
COMMITTEE REPORTS

A. President’s Report – President Council thanked a large number of individuals for
their efforts in helping with the Arts Festival.
President Council announced that he and his wife will be moving from Lansdowne in order for her to pursue a career opportunity in Connecticut. President Council then stated that he will be resigning as Borough Council President effective December 15, 2004.

B. Economic Development – Mr. Wayne reported that the Economic Development
Committee has submitted a grant application to the Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program (LUPTAP) for assistance in making amendments to the zoning ordinances to implement Lansdowne’s new Comprehensive Plan. The scope of work will also include an historic preservation component. Mr. Wayne stated that the next Economic Development Committee meetings will be held on September 28th. and October 26th. Mr. Wayne reported that the proposed development plans for the Lansdowne Center are consistent with the Borough’s Redevelopment Plan. Mr. Wayne stated that other developers are also interested in projects in Lansdowne because the Redevelopment Plan exists.
Mr. Wayne stated that Wachovia Bank has a Foundation that can provide a variety of programs to assist Lansdowne’s development activities. Mr. Wayne stated that applications are still pending with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program.
Mr. Wayne stated that previous meetings with the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services were interesting and productive. Mr. Wayne stated that this group will be establishing a community action team to assist municipalities in navigating the Commonwealth bureaucracy. This team will consist of a strategic investment officer and a community project coordinating committee. Mr. Wayne also reported that establishing a tax increment financing district will be studied. Mr. Wayne stated that in this program bonds are issued to finance development projects; increased property tax revenues pay the debt service and it is a revenue neutral way to provide financial assistance for development.
Mr. Wayne reported that the Main Street application will soon be submitted.
Mr. Wayne reported that the LEDC and GLCA have applied for and received award letters for several grants for projects in the Borough. These projects include a gateway park at Scottdale Road and Baltimore Avenue, support for renovation and reuse of the Lansdowne Theater and renovations to the Twentieth Century Club.

C. Finance and Administration -Mr. Smith stated that the 2005 budget process has begun and the next budget meeting is scheduled for September 20th. at 7:00 PM. Subsequent meetings are scheduled for September 27th. , October 4th. and October 14th. , all at 7:00 PM. Mr. Smith stated that the next Finance and Administration Committee meeting will be held on October 4th. at 7:00 PM. This meeting will coincide with the 2005 budget meeting scheduled for the same night and same time. Mr. Smith stated that lien filings for the upcoming deadline will be discussed. Mr. Smith stated that progress is being made with the fire vehicle leasing and capital project financing.
Mr. Smith reported that Alper Enterprises has completed their work at the Twentieth Century Club with the exception of sod restoration work. Mr. Smith stated that 5% retainage is being held amounting to $3,621.34.
Mr. Smith stated that the Planning Commission will hold two meetings to discuss the joint Comprehensive Plan project. The first meeting is on September 30th., 7:00 PM and the second meeting will be held on October 7th., 7:00 PM. Mr. Smith stated that both meetings will be held in the East Lansdowne Municipal Building (Borough Hall) and both meetings will be a joint meeting between the East Lansdowne and Lansdowne Planning Commissions.

Mr. Smith reminded residents that the voter registration deadline is October 4th.

D. Municipal Services– Mrs. Fryer stated that the next Municipal Services Committee
meeting will be held on October 4th. at 6:30 PM.
Mrs. Fryer reported that the TV camera sewer inspection work has started in the southern part of Lansdowne.
Mrs. Fryer reported that the 2004 Road Program is complete on Green Avenue and Union Avenue.
Mrs. Fryer reported that the Clover venue sewer project has been advertised and bids will be received on September 28th. at 10:00 AM in Borough Hall. Mrs. Fryer stated that two inlets are being repaired at the Green and Essex Avenues intersection.

E. Public Safety -Ms. Hill read two letters of commendation for three police officers. One
letter from James Gillespie of N. Lansdowne Avenue commended officers Mark McGinnis and Richard Schiazza for their professionalism and help with his daughter’s moving van. The second letter from Lenore Greenburg of Drexel Avenue commended officer Mark Mugler for his help in a recent civil conflict and additional assistance in a follow up meeting to support Ms. Greenburg’s position. Ms. Greenburg also commended Chief Kortan for overseeing her situation and exhibiting excellent leadership.

Ms. Hill reported that the fire siren is now programmed and operating.
Ms. Hill gave the August Police report: 580 incidents, 935 parking tickets, 7,889 miles traveled.
Ms. Hill gave the August Fire report: 39 alarms, 19 hours, 55minutes time in service, 461 responders.
Ms. Hill stated that the Fire Company will hold their Open House on October 3rd , 1:30 – 4:00 PM and they hope to recruit additional cadets and volunteers.
Ms. Hill stated that the talking crosswalk signal at Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenues is now installed.
Mr. Borgman questioned the fire siren tones and changeability function. Ms. Hill stated that the Borough Council approved fire siren sounds and programming are now in place.

F. Community Development– Mr. Borgman reported that demolition of 56 S. Union is
complete. The final site restoration of 132 Bartram Avenue will be completed next week.
Mr. Borgman stated that the Borough now has an improved vacant property list as well as an improved monthly codes report. Mr. Borgman reported that the next two houses scheduled for demolition are 98 and 134 Nyack Avenue.
Mr. Borgman stated that the Lansdowne Theater owner has not provided a structural engineering report and citations will again be issued against him. Mr. Borgman stated that due to certain provisions of Act 45, a local Board of Appeals needs to be appointed for codes and new construction in the Borough.
Mr. Borgman reported that the Zoning Hearing Board will be meeting on September 23rd to discuss having a church in the Barksdale building (50 E. Baltimore Avenue) and a catering/banquet hall business and second floor apartments at the Virginia Donuts site (55 E. Baltimore Avenue). Mr. Borgman stated that the Community Development Committee had agreed to deny the variance for 50 E. Baltimore Avenue. Mr. Borgman moved to have Borough Council inform the Zoning Hearing Board to deny the variance for 50 E. Baltimore Avenue. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.After some discussion regarding 55 Baltimore Avenue, President Council suggested that Borough Council not make any recommendations to the Zoning Hearing Board regarding this property. Mr. Smith moved to have Borough Council not make any recommendations to the Zoning Hearing Board for 55 E. Baltimore Avenue. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Wayne will be informing the Zoning Hearing Board of these decisions.

Mr. Borgman reported that a tax forgiveness was being sought for 231 N. Lansdowne Avenue. Mr. Borgman stated that if the forgiveness is not granted, creating a local redevelopment authority in the Borough would be considered in order to more rapidly deal with properties in Lansdowne.
Mr. Borgman recognized several members of the Tree Advisory Board for their
continuing hard work.
Mr. Borgman stated that the next Community Development Committee meeting will be held on October 12th. at 7:00 PM.

G. Parks and Recreation – Mr. Lee reported that Park Day will be held in Hoffman Park on
September 25th. , 12-8 PM.
Mr. Lee reported that the revised ordinance regarding parades and local gatherings will not be reintroduced tonight.
Mr. Wayne moved to Suspend the Rules of Order. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Visitors

Bertha Phillips 80 W. Baltimore Avenue – Ms. Phillips expressed her concern regarding what effect the new taser gun would have on people who may have a medical ailment that requires the use of special drugs for treatment. Ms. Phillips thanked Chief Kortan for the new chirping walk signal at Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues.
Maureen Franklin 164 W. Essex Avenue – Ms. Franklin stated that she was appalled at the attempts to pass Ordinance 1199 regarding public assembly, stating that it was archaic and that no problems had existed in the past regarding these types of gatherings.

James Ryan 152 Owen Avenue – Mr. Ryan stated that he had never encountered anything like Ordinance 1199. Mr. Ryan asked if a cost analysis could be provided regarding what liability the Borough may undergo if this ordinance is passed.

Jim Gillespie 58 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Mr. Gillespie asked what the motivation was for developing Ordinance 1199 and how the legislative history would be written for the ordinance. Mr. Gillespie stated that Lansdowne has one of the finest police departments in the area that can readily handle any trouble makers without benefit of an ordinance.

Jack Covert 232 Jackson Avenue – Mr. Covert stated that the Borough’s creation of a Bill of Rights Protection Zone is in direct conflict with Ordinance 1199.

Mr. Covert announced the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra’s new season with performance dates on October 24th , December 5th. , February 13th. and March 20th. Mr. Covert asked why Stefano’s is not used as a main vendor for gas in the Borough. President Council stated this would be referred to the Public Safety Committee.
Mr. Covert stated that Borough Council’s Resolution to seek School Board President John McKelligott’s resignation was ill conceived, political and based on misinformation.
President Council stated that a lengthy former discussion was held regarding this matter, many individuals felt betrayed by Mr. McKelligott’s actions and that the Borough Council’s decision was not based on misinformation.

Charles Jeffers 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers asked if a left hand turn signal will be established at Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenues. President Council stated that Penndot will be addressing this matter in their Baltimore Avenue Corridor study.

James Murphy 266 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Murphy asked if he could obtain the audit papers as previously requested. Mr. Scott suggested that Mr. Murphy call Borough Hall to arrange for an appointment.

Robert Choate 3 Scottdale Road – Mr. Choate thanked Borough Council for electing Kevin Lee but disagreed with Ordinance 1199, stating that problem individuals can be dealt with in other ways.

Mr. Choate stated that speed traps are needed on Scottdale Road during rush hour to catch the biggest offenders. Mr. Choate stated that the truck traffic is excessive on Scottdale Road. President Council stated that other alternatives will be investigated.

Judy Zaras 21 Legion Terrace – Ms. Zaras stated that the issues of protecting residents’ First Amendment rights and the Borough’s responsibility to residents should be more balanced if Ordinance 1199 is passed and suggested that the ordinance be reviewed by the ACLU or a judge.

Roberta Eisenberg 113 E. Greenwood Avenue – Ms. Eisenberg asked if ordinances were already in place to address assembly issues. President Council stated that rules are in place for block party street closures but not for permit requirements to close streets for protests or parades.

Claire Touey 222 Congress Avenue – Ms. Touey stated she did not understand the "dueling events" and "content neutral" sections of Ordinance 1199. President Council stated that two people could not simultaneously apply for a permit for the same street closure on the same day. Ms. Touey also asked if the Borough is financially prepared if any litigation suits should arise due to the Ordinance.

Dorothy Flanigan 22 Linden Avenue – Ms. Flanigan stated her problem with Ordinance 1199 and that the Borough needs to come up with a solution that better fits Lansdowne’s lifestyle and diffuses difficult situations without going into lengthy legal processes.

John Callaghan 13 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Callaghan asked the legal costs of writing Ordinance 1199. Mr. Scott stated he had not separately itemized the bill. Mr. Callaghan asked that the ordinance be put on a ballot. President Council stated that it is the duty of elected officials to make these kinds of decisions regarding ordinances and that the general public should not have to deal with it.

Joan Rivage Marlyn Avenue – Ms. Rivage thanked Mr. Lee for addressing her questions and concerns about Ordinance 1199 and expressed her pride in Lansdowne for grappling with a difficult problem. Ms. Rivage felt that other solutions to the problem exist and that the Borough should continue to be diverse in their ideas and culture.

Carrie Dietzl 9 Martin Drive – Ms. Dietzl asked how a spontaneous gathering can be handled as outlined in Ordinance 1199. Chief Kortan stated that the police department is able to handle the crowds issue. Ms. Dietzl asked how you can determine that only 20 people had gathered at a demonstration/protest if others have already joined the fringe. President Council stated that the person requiring the permit is only asked to give an estimate of how many attendees are expected at the event.

Borough Council’s Response to Visitors: Mr. Lee stated that since Ordinance 1199 no longer exists, the aforementioned concerns and comments are moot at this point.
Mr. Borgman stated that there was never any intent by any Borough Council member to restrict First Amendment rights and Ordinance 1199 was only an attempt to provide some order and conditions for parades and for regulating certain behavior.
President Council stated that regardless of the outcome of Ordinance 1199, he was gratified with the number of residents who turned out to express their concerns and thanked all who came.
Ms. Hill thanked the residents for their patience, courtesy and civility during the drafting and discussion of Ordinance 1199.

Old Business – None.

New BusinessMr. Smith moved to accept the 2005 Uniform and Non-Uniform Pension Plan minimum municipal obligations. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Smith moved to approve Resolution 2004-1, A Resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne Relative to the Implementation of the Extended Amortization Period for Investment Losses During 2001 and 2002 based on the Voluntary Election Option of Act 81 of 2004. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Smith moved to reject all bids for contract TCC-1, Furnish and Install Boiler at the Twentieth Century Club. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Smith moved to transfer funds from Comcast grant in support of the Lansdowne Arts Festival to the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Borgman moved to advertise Ordinance 1200: An Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending provisions of the Lansdowne Borough Code for the purpose of increasing the number of members of the Planning Commission from five (5) to seven (7). Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Communications -Letter from the Finn/Cusack family re: tax obligation and taxes in William Penn School District. The letter is attached hereto and made part of the minutes.

Bills – Mr. Smith moved to authorize payment of bills for the period. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Smith moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a litigation issue. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:36 PM.

There was one motion made upon reconvening into Public Session:
Mr. Borgman moved to authorize the Borough Solicitor to initiate proceedings to get an emergency Court injunction on the owner of the Ath Dara Apartments and an injunction on the owner of the Lansdowne Theater. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Smith moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Borgman. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 10:02 PM.
Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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