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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday — September 7, 2005

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday,
September 7, 2005, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Mrs. Fryer, Mr. Borgman, Ms. Coleman, Ms. Hill, Mr. Lee and Mr. Smith. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Manager Forrest, Borough Secretary Henry and Police Chief Kortan. Borough Treasurer Asciutto and Fire Chief Young were absent.

Minutes — Mr. Smith moved to approve the minutes of the August 3, 2005 Borough Council Business meeting. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously with two points of clarification noted by Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith moved to suspend the Rules of Order, seconded by Ms. Coleman. The motion carried unanimously.

Visitors

Len Wert 221 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert questioned the status of 231 N. Lansdowne Avenue. Chief Kortan stated that the owner, Mr. Smith, had been arrested today and a hearing date was upcoming.

Dr. Wert stated that a rusted white van has not yet been removed from Marshall Road. Chief Kortan stated that the police cannot move the vehicle if the registration and inspection status is current.

Dr. Wert again brought up the issue of forgotten pole signs and suggested that the ordinance be more strictly enforced.

Borough Council comments to Visitors: None.

Mr. Lee moved to resume the Rules of Order, seconded by Mr. Smith. The motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS AND DISCUSSIONS

A. Borough Treasurer — There was no report given in Mr. Asciutto’s absence.

B. Borough Engineer — Mr. Bevilacqua reported on the following projects:

  • 2005 Road Program — milling and prep work will start this week and paving is scheduled for next Tuesday. All notices to residents have been sent. Chief Kortan questioned the parking issue. Mr. Bevilacqua confirmed that residents can park in driveways and streets overnight but not during the day when the work is being done.
  • Football Field Sanitary Sewer Replacement — bids were received last week and the low bidder was A. Gargiule & Sons for $101,931.00. President Wayne requested that this project be referred to as the James T. Stewart Field Sewer project.
  • Stewart Avenue Sewer Project — bids will be received on September 13th at 10:00 AM in Borough Hall. The projected cost will be in the $200,000-$220,000 range.
  • Wabash and Essex Avenues manhole project — Two manholes were repaired at Greenwood and Owen Avenues. Due to two additional buried manholes being discovered at other sites, the cost of the project increased from $6,900 to $11,400. Mr. Smith questioned why the work at Greenwood and Owen Avenues took so long. Mr. Bevilacqua stated he was not aware of this and asked that if this happens in the future to please call either him or Chief Kortan.

President Wayne questioned the Borough HVAC project. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that bids had been rejected and plans are for a respection and rebid in February.

C. Borough Solicitor — Mr. Scott stated he had items for Executive Session.

D. Borough Manager — Mr. Forrest stated that September 15th was the deadline for ticket
requests to the September 29th Boroughs’ Association social function.

E. Police Chief — Chief Kortan stated that Septa is preparing to do prep work on the Highland Avenue lot that they will be leasing.

Chief Kortan stated that there will be police presence at the forthcoming Arts Festival and Park Day.

Mr. Borgman asked if police bike patrols were still in effect. Chief Kortan stated yes.

F. Fire Chief — No report was given in Chief Young’s absence. Mr. Borgman requested
that a representative of the Fire Company be present at forthcoming Borough Council meetings.

G. Mayor Young — Mayor Young asked if a Red Cross banner could be put as a direct link to the Red Cross organization on the Borough web site regarding Hurricane Katrina efforts. Mayor Young stated that Dan Simpson will be named as the new Poet Laureate at the next general meeting.Mayor Young stated that Tim Jones will be making a presentation of an authentic Iraqi ballot at the next general meeting. Mayor Young stated that a 12 page Borough newsletter will be forthcoming.

H. President Wayne — President Wayne had no formal report.

I. Municipal Services — Mrs. Fryer stated that a Delcora representative will be speaking to members of the Municipal Services Committee regarding the metering program on September 14th at 6:00 PM.

J. Finance and Administration — Mr. Smith stated that the next Finance and Administration Committee will be held on September 12th at 7:00 PM and the 2006 budget will be an item for discussion. Mr. Smith stated that the William Penn School District has asked for help in identifying delinquent real estate tax properties that are tenant occupied to begin the process of collecting delinquent property taxes through the Tax Claims Bureau. Mr. Smith stated that Pete Driscoll is resigning as Chair of the Lansdowne Planning Commission effective 90 days from August 18th. Mr. Smith stated that Bob Bartmann and Chris Patton had expressed an interest in the Chair position. Mr. Smith stated that at the last Planning Commission meeting, some members expressed dissatisfaction with not yet having seen any plans for 167 Owen Avenue and Interboro Park. Mr. Smith asked for clarification on the flow on information to the Planning Commission. Mr. Smith also stated that Commission members would like to see the final draft of the Comprehensive Plan in a written format rather than on a CD-rom. Mr. Smith stated that at the August 18th meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board, residents complained about not being given enough notice regarding the zoning meeting for the Sampson Furniture Company.

K. Zoning, Planning and Code Enforcement — Mr. Borgman stated that the appeal of Mrs. Wiggfall had been rescheduled. Mr. Borgman stated that the draft joint Comprehensive Plan will be reviewed at the next ZP&CE Committee meeting. Mr. Borgman reported that plantings will now be permitted between sidewalks and curbs. Mr. Borgman stated that tax abatement appeals had been heard for 18 Martin Drive and 47 W. LaCrosse Avenue. There is to be another meeting set for 18 Martin Drive but abatement was recommended for 47 W. LaCrosse Avenue. Mr. Borgman reported that the Zoning Hearing Board had approved the modified antenna plans for the Lansdowne Theater. Mr. Borgman stated that the Tree Advisory Board will meet on September 14th. Mr. Borgman stated that the Zoning Planning Committee will next meet on September 13th at 7:00 PM.

Ms. Hill questioned the number of volunteers for the October Borough tree plantings. Mr. Lee indicated that about 12 volunteers were currently available.

A discussion then followed regarding concerns/questions on the Property Maintenance Code:

  • Chapter 1, Section 104.5 – Mr. Smith questioned the term "illegal act" and "conduct" language.
  • Chapter 1, Section 107.3 — Mr. Smith questioned the "periodic meetings" of the Appeals Board and asked how the meetings would be advertised.
  • Chapter 3, Section 318 — Mr. Smith questioned the issue of referencing fencing specifications and felt it would be easier for residents to obtain this from one document rather than two documents.
  • Chapter 3, Section 319 — Mayor Young stated that no frame of reference had been given for addressing ponds or water features.
  • Chapter 3, Section 321.19 — Mr. Smith stated there is no Section 414.3 as referenced.
  • Chapter 3, Section 324.2 — Mr. Smith questioned commercial vehicle parking exceptions and asked if all vehicles were being prohibited or just those over one ton. Chief Kortan stated that one ton or above commercial vehicles cannot be parked in the Borough and suggested that some additional modifying language be used.
  • Chapter 3, Section 305.2 — Mrs. Fryer expressed concern about safety issues in allowing "street trees" between the curb and sidewalk and felt that a provision for height limitation should be included.
  • Chapter 4, Section 403.1 – Mr. Smith questioned whether the funding procedure for dilapidated properties would remain the same.
  • Chapter 4, Section 411 — Mr. Smith questioned the approved fire alarm systems. Mr. Forrest indicated that any new construction or extensive renovation would require a smoke detector and a hard wired fire alarm.
  • Chapter 4, Section 414 — Ms. Hill questioned exterior cooking devices. President Wayne stated that exceptions exist for owner occupied one and two family dwellings as well as buildings with fire sprinklers.

President Wayne then recapped the substantive comments:

  • Clean up section numbers and make sure they all correspond with each other.
  • Cross reference the section on fence sizing.
  • Address regulation of ponds and water features.
  • Address the commercial vehicle parking of up to one ton issue.
  • Limit the height limitations of curb/sidewalk plantings and street trees.

It was the consensus of Borough Council that before voting on the motion to advertise Ordinance 1207, the following revisions would be incorporated:

  • allow for parking of commercial vehicles up to one ton,
  • impose height limitation of 18 inches for plantings between curb and sidewalk,
  • allow for planting of street trees from an approved list provided by the Tree Advisory Board, and
  • reference the zoning code regarding fence height.

A discussion then followed regarding the 2005 Agreement and Amendment with Yeadon for Code Enforcement:

  • Page 2, item II — Mr. Smith questioned the joint funding issue. Mr. Forrest stated that the base agreement is retroactive to January 1 and the amendment refers to July 1st.
  • Page 3, item B — Mr. Smith questioned the time being tracked for Yeadon employees.
  • Page 8 — Mr. Smith stated that Bob Scott’s address needs updating.

L. Public Safety — Ms. Hill had no formal report and one item for Executive Session. Mr. Borgman questioned when the emergency response plan involving the County had last been tested in Lansdowne. Ms. Hill stated that she had been meeting with Chief Kortan and Chief Young regarding this issue and hoped to have a report by the next General meeting.

Chief Kortan affirmed that the Borough has the appropriate training, plan and equipment to deal with this issue and that a multi-jurisdictional disaster drill will be held at the Upper Darby High School on November 11th.

M. Parks and Recreation — Mr. Lee stated that the Multi Municipal Parks Open Space Steering Committee will be meeting on October 20th. Mr. Lee stated that the Friends of Lansdowne Parks will be kicking off a fundraiser at the upcoming Arts Festival. Mr. Forrest stated that the deadline for Master Site Plan applications is September 30th.

N. Economic Development — Ms. Coleman reported that the new Main Street manager started his duties on September 1st. Ms. Coleman stated that a proposal regarding the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy has been approved by Yeadon and a steering committee is to be formed. Ms. Coleman stated that the Baltimore Avenue Revitalization Project is now in Phase II. Ms. Coleman reported that one of the current focuses of the Economic Development Committee involves looking at the Redevelopment Plan and prioritizing properties based on the interest of buyers in order to beautify Lansdowne and increase property values.

Mr. Borgman stated that the basis for a $10 million proposal is now ready for presentation to Governor Rendell regarding revitalization of inner ring suburbs.

Old Business — None.

New Business — Mr. Smith moved to approve bills for the period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Fryer moved to award Contract #113, James Stewart Field’s Sanitary Sewer Replacement to A. Garguile & Son, Inc. for the bid of $101,931.00. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Smith moved to award the janitorial contract to Jani-King Cleaning Services, local franchise owner Wm. G. Samuels-Bey, for a two year period starting September 12, 2005, subject to receipt of insurance certificate acceptable to the Borough. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Borgman moved to advertise Ordinance 1207, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne establishing and adopting a revised Property Maintenance Code incorporating the four changes as previously discussed. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session — Mr. Smith moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss two items: (1) Real Estate and (2) Personnel. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:45 PM.

Upon reconvening to Public Session, the following motions were made:

  • Mr. Borgman moved to execute 2005 Agreement and Amendment with Yeadon Borough for code enforcement. Mr. Lee seconded and roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with Mr. Smith voting "nay".
  • Mr. Borgman moved to send a letter to the William Penn School District recommending that delinquent real estate taxes on 47 W. LaCrosse Avenue be abated on the terms proposed at the Committee meeting and to be enacted by the end of 2005. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 4-3 with Ms. Hill, Mr. Lee and Mr. Smith voting "nay".
  • Mr. Lee moved to authorize the Borough to appear at the judicial sale for 132 Bartram Avenue and bid up to the amount authorized in Executive Session. Mr. Borgman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-2 with Mrs. Fryer and Ms. Hill voting "nay".

Mr. Smith moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Borgman. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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