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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
Wednesday – October 20, 2004

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, October 20, 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 and Police Chief Kortan. Fire Chief Young was absent.

President Council stated that the meeting was being taped by Comcast and will be shown on October 25th at 7:30 PM on Channel 10.

Minutes – Mr. Smith moved to approve the minutes of the September 15, 2004 Borough Council General Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young read a letter of commendation from Walter Senkow, Clifton Height Chief of Police, praising Lansdowne Officers Mark McGinnis, Kenneth Rutherford and Sgt. Eidell for their help in the search and arrest of three armed robbers.

Mayor Young recognized two members of the Eastern Delco Business & Professional Women’s Club, who gave a brief overview of the organization. Mayor Young introduced Judy Schultz and Geoffrey Berwind of Celebration Theater. Mr. Berwind thanked Borough Council and Gerry Staiber for their continued support of the theater during the past four years. Mrs. Schultz announced that the fund raiser, “Broadway Goes Batty”, will be held at the Twentieth Century Club on October 30th, 7:30 to 10:00 PM.
Mayor Young announced the following calendar items:

  1. 10/3 – The Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary hoagie sale (9-2 PM).
  2. 10/28 – Lansdowne Folk Club presents “Jive Five Minus Two”.
  3. 11/6 – 7 St. Philomena’s Craft Fair
  4. 11/6 – Garden Church presents an Italian opera, 8:00 PM.
  5. 11/8 – Poetry readings at the Lansdowne Library.
  6. 11/13 – Christmas Bazaar at St. John’s, the Lansdowne Methodist Church and the Lansdowne Baptist Church.
  7. 11/14 – International pot luck dinner of the Lansdowne Cultural Alliance at Lansdowne Friends Meeting House, 4-7 PM.
  8. 11/18 – Lansdowne Folk Club presents Robin and Linda Williams.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto reported that total General Fund revenues for September, 2004 amounted to $121,435.86; total General Fund expenditures for September, 2004 amounted to $473,795.93. Mr. Asciutto reported that the ending balance of all funds amounted to $8,800,024.96. Mr. Asciutto reported the ending balance for the Police Pension Fund was $5,408,061.56 and the ending balance for the Non-Uniformed Pension Fund was $610,665.04.

Mr. Smith moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report as read. Mr. Borgman 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.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

A. President’s Report – President Council stated he would be thanking approximately 100 individuals at next month’s meeting for their help with the Arts Festival.

President Council thanked all those who helped coordinate the No Place For Hate candlelight vigil.

President Council stated that anyone interested in serving as a Borough Council member should forward their letter and resume to Mr. Smith.

B. Economic Development – Mr. Wayne thanked all the organizers of the No Place For Hate candlelight vigil.

Mr. Wayne stated that no date has yet been set for the public meetings on the Redevelopment Plan.

Mr. Wayne stated that a preliminary copy of the Main Street Program application has been forwarded to the Department of Community and Economic Development for their review.

Mr. Wayne stated that the Delaware County Planning Department has submitted a grant application for assistance in making amendments to the zoning ordinances necessary to implement Lansdowne’s Comprehensive plan. Mr. Wayne stated that conversion plans for the Lansdowne Center appear to be consistent with the Redevelopment Plan.

Mr. Wayne reported that there are plans to coordinate redevelopment planning, zoning overlays and design concepts in the Baltimore Avenue corridor project. Mr. Wayne stated that an award of $70,000 has been received from the County and $55,000 from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (“DVRPC”) for this project. Mr. Wayne reported that an additional $64,000 grant has been awarded by the DVRPC to work on the design concept plan and an additional $16,000 grant is still pending on that grant application.

Mr. Wayne reported that an application is still pending for the Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program for a revitalization plan.

Mr. Wayne stated that the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation and the Greater Lansdowne Civic Association have received grant award letters for several Borough projects. Mr. Wayne stated that the next Economic Development Committee meeting will be held on October 26th.

C. Finance and Administration – Mr. Smith stated he had attended the 100th anniversary dinner for the Union AA on October 9th and urged anyone interested and/or available to volunteer some time to this organization.
Mr. Smith reported that six budget meetings have been held so far and the next one is scheduled for October 16th, 6:30 PM in Borough Hall. Mr. Smith stated that the Borough Code is now available on the Borough web site.

Mr. Smith reported that Alper Enterprises is requesting a final payment for their work on the Twentieth Century Club. Mr. Bevilacqua recommends making a third payment of $7,834.84 and holding a 5% retainage until punch list items are completed.

Mr. Smith reported that application has been made for $1.2 million to the Delaware Valley Regional Finance Authority to obtain capital improvements funds.

Mr. Smith stated that the Finance and Administration Committee hopes to have a recommendation regarding the open records policy at the November 3rd meeting.

Mr. Smith stated that a Planning Commission meeting will be held on October 21st, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall.

Mr. Smith reported that a second draft of the Joint Comprehensive Plan will be submitted to Borough Council on November 3rd and to E. Lansdowne Borough Council on November 8th. After a 45 day review period, a joint public hearing will be held on January 6, 2005 to approve the plan in February, 2005.

Mr. Smith urged everyone to vote on November 2nd.

D. Municipal Services – Mrs. Fryer reported that a pre construction meeting was held on October 15th regarding the Clover Avenue sewer project and that Geyer Construction will begin this work on November 1st . Anticipated completion time is two months.

Mrs. Fryer stated that a final payment for the 2004 Road Program is being requested by the contractor.

Mrs. Fryer encouraged residents to become active members of the UAA.

Mrs. Fryer thanked those who helped coordinate the No Place For Hate candlelight vigil.

E. Public Safety – Ms. Hill reported that she recently attended a revitalization of older suburbs workshop sponsored by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.
Ms. Hill gave the September Police Department report: 628 incidents, 631 parking tickets, 7,260 miles traveled

Ms. Hill gave the September Fire Company report: 27 alarms, 21 hours, 51 minutes time in service, 415 fire fighters responding.

Ms. Hill reported that the Lansdowne Library has now completed their long range strategic plan and the Board of Directors will be developing a task force to implement this plan. Ms. Hill stated that the library wants to become a community center and the task force will be identifying fund raising methods.

F. Community Development – Mr. Borgman stated that a special meeting of the
Community Development Committee will be held on October 25th, 6:00 PM to discuss the property maintenance code.

Mr. Borgman reported that demolition is complete for 56 S. Union Avenue and a payment of approximately $47,000 is being recommended, holding a 5% retainage amounting to $2,493.90.

Mr. Borgman reported that demolition is complete for 132 Bartram Avenue and a payment of $19,600 is being recommended, holding a 10% retainage.

Mr. Borgman reported that a sapling offshoot of the historic Sycamore tree has been planted in Sycamore Park.

Mr. Borgman stated that two William Penn American elm trees have been placed at the entrance of the Twentieth Century Club.

Mr. Borgman reported that the Tree Advisory Board would like to expand their mission to include giving advice to residents regarding trees on public lands.

Mr. Borgman stated that the next regular meeting of the Community Development Committee will be held on October 26th.

G. Parks and Recreation – Mr. Lee reported that Reservoir Park is now open and will be kept as a green space.

Mr. Lee reported that some weather related damage had been sustained in Hoffman Park and thanked a variety of individuals for their help in restoring the park.

Mr. Lee reported that a tentative town hall meeting will be held on November 16th, 7:00 PM at the Twentieth Century Club to discuss Interboro Park issues.

Mr. Lee stated that a Christmas Radio City Music Hall trip is scheduled for December 12th that will include a back stage tour, the show and dinner.

Mr. Smith moved to approve Resolution No. 2004-25, a resolution providing additional regulation of Borough Council meetings. Mr. Wayne seconded. President Council asked the Secretary to read the Resolution in its entirety. The Resolution was read and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with Mr. Smith casting the dissenting vote.

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

Visitors

Jim Murphy 266 W. Greenwood – Mr. Murphy criticized Resolution No. 2004-25, stating that the actions of one person is now hindering residents from making their points at Borough Council meetings. Mr. Murphy felt that residents should have been given an opportunity to discuss passing this resolution. President Council stated that the expression of opinions is not being limited for anyone, except to adhere to the 7 minute limitation.

Charles Jeffers 13 Willowbrook – Mr. Jeffers stated that motorists are still running the red light at Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues. President Council reiterated that PennDOT has to monitor the situation.

Mr. Jeffers stated that the recent Cancer Walk was very successful.

Mr. Jeffers complained that an apartment house on Windermere Avenue was in disgraceful condition.

Several members of the Lansdowne Boys/Girls Club raised the issue of the William Penn School Board limiting access to the School District’s recreational facilities. The School Board’s decision will affect all six communities in the William Penn School District. President Council stated that Borough Council had drafted Resolution 2004-26 regarding this matter and expressed his hope that School Board members and Borough Council members could meet and problem solve the matter.

Mike McGee 107 McKinley Avenue – Mr. McGee in his capacity as President of the Lansdowne Boys/Girls Club stated the need for keeping the recreational facilities open on Saturday, stating that 400 students will be affected if the gym is closed and that their programs will be severely curtailed.

Joe Urban 49 W. Albemarle Avenue – Mr. Urban, a Board member of the Lansdowne Boys/Girls Club, stated that the peewee program will be especially hard hit by the closing of gym facilities as it is more difficult for smaller children to play at night.

Ralph Vitalli 192 Berkley Avenue – Mr. Vitalli, who works with the Lansdowne Boys/Girls Club basketball team, stated that the issue is not about supervision but rather about janitors being paid on Saturday.

Jack Covert 232 Jackson Avenue – Mr. Covert stated that the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra will open its season on October 24th and that youth and adult subscriptions are available for a very reasonable price.

Mr. Covert stated his confusion over the two resolutions regarding the fire truck and asked if it was being leased or bought. Mr. Smith stated that one resolution accepts the lease terms and the other resolution accepts the bids. Mr. Smith stated that initially the truck will be leased with the option to purchase it after the lease period.

Mr. Covert asked that some consideration be given to supporting the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra when discussing the 2005 budget.

Mr. Covert asked if the resolution regarding the matter of Mr. McKelligott’s resignation was put on the web site. President Council stated that it had been posted on the Borough web site.

Mr. Covert asked that Borough Council reconsider Resolution 2004-25 regarding time restrictions for visitors at Council meetings.

Edith Bassie 70 Sayers Avenue – Mrs. Bassie stated that Tax Collector Dale Nupp had been very helpful in answering a tax question regarding the conversion of her duplex into a single family unit.

John Callaghan 13 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Callaghan asked if Simpson Gardens was on the tax records. President Council stated that it was a for profit organization that pays taxes.Mr. Callaghan voiced his objection regarding the time restrictions at Council meetings.Mr. Callaghan voiced his objection regarding Celebration Theater being allowed to operate rent free for one year and felt that the issue should have been made public. President Council stated that Borough Council uses their discretion to waive fees when a hardship is presented and stated that fees were also waived for the recent UAA anniversary dinner. President Council stated that supporting the arts is vital to the community and is an important benefit to the community. Mr. Smith stated that the resolution regarding the free rent had been publicly discussed several times and put into the minutes.

Mr. Callaghan asked why the parade ordinance was withdrawn first and then tabled. President Council stated that action had to be taken by Borough Council to resolve the issue in the business meeting and that it could be brought up again by virtue of it being tabled.

Joe Heath 55 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Heath expressed his dissatisfaction with the time limit resolution.

Mr. Heath asked if the Sanitation Department has problems with overtime. President Council stated that some issues necessitate the Sanitation Department working overtime. Mr. Heath stated that some areas of the Borough are littered with bulk trash. President Council stated that it is an ongoing problem that is being investigated.

Mike Robinson 319 N. Maple Avenue – Mr. Robinson, a regional representative of PHEAA, spoke of their new service called Education Planner that helps middle school to adult age students plan and prepare for college and career choices. Mr. Robinson left informational brochures with Borough Council and stated that he could be contacted at 215-284-3265.

Gerry Staiber 199 W. Albemarle Avenue – Mrs. Staiber stated that the Borough did not lose any rental fees due to Celebration Theater’s one year free rent because she was able to rent the Twentieth Century Club for dates normally held by the theater.

Borough Council’s Response to Visitors:
Mr. Lee stated that the issue of restricting time limits for visitors had been a very difficult decision for Borough Council but that change is at times inevitable and necessary.

Old Business – None.

New Business – Mr. Borgman moved to reappoint Peter Driscoll to the Planning Commission for a four year term expiring on 10/31/08. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Borgman moved to reappoint Suzanne McElroy to the Planning Commission for a four year term expiring on 10/31/08. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Borgman moved to appoint Robert E. Bartman to the Planning Commission for a four year term expiring on 10/31/08. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Borgman moved to appoint Christopher G. Patton to the Planning Commission for a four year term expiring on 10/31/08. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Smith moved to approve Resolution No. 2004-23 authorizing the execution and delivery of a master lease agreement for one (1) 2005 force 100′ aerial stainless steel cab and body and related instruments and determining other matters in connection therewith. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Smith moved to award Contract Fire-1, manufacture and delivery of one 100′ aerial ladder with a stainless steel cab and body, to Seagrave Fire Apparatus for $628,581.00 subject to approval of financing. Mr. Wayne seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Lee moved to approve Resolution No. 2004-24 acknowledging certain terms and conditions for the receipt of a grant from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and authorizing the Borough Manager to execute the grant agreement signature page. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Lee moved to read and approve Resolution No. 2004-26, a Resolution Encouraging the William Penn School District to Make Its Facilities Within the Borough of Lansdowne Available For Use By The Lansdowne Boys/Girls Club and Other Community Groups in the William Penn School District. Mrs. Fryer seconded. Mr. Scott then read the resolution in its entirety. Mr. Wayne asked that a provision be included to give Borough Council members the opportunity to problem solve with William Penn School Board members. It was agreed that Mr. Scott would include this provision. A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.

Communications – Letter from the Finn/Cusack family re: tax obligation and taxes in William Penn School District.

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

Mr. Smith moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss one litigation and one personnel issue. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:31 PM.
There were no motions made upon reconvening into Public Session.

Mr. Smith moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Borgman. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 10:16 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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