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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday — April 5, 2006

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 5, 2006, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Ms. Hill, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Manager Forrest, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Treasurer Smith, Borough Secretary Henry and Police Chief Kortan. Planning Commission Chair Chris Patton and Fire Chief Young were absent.

Minutes — Mr. Lee moved to approve the minutes of the March 1, 2006 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Visitors

Donna DiPiano 320 N. Maple Avenue – Ms. DiPiano stated that too much crime hasbeen occurring on her block, citing two recent arrests and indicating that drugs are being sold outside the Pantry One store. Ms. DiPiano also mentioned that drug paraphanalia and sex enhancement drugs are being sold in the store and felt that the outside pay phone should be removed. She asked for more police patrols and better lighting in this area. Chief Kortan stated that the items being sold in Pantry One are legal and the Borough has no control over the pay phone. Chief Kortan stated that neighbors need to make more calls to 911 to establish a pattern of drug use/sales and he will see that surveillance efforts are increased for awhile.

Lisa Milano 321 N. Maple Avenue – Ms. Milano reiterated Ms. DiPiano’s concerns andasked how they could come together as a community to help get rid of the problem. Ms. Hill asked Ms. Milano to set up a community meeting at once with the neighbors. Mayor Young, Chief Kortan and Ms. Hill will attend.Ms. Hill stated that the Public Safety Committee will be discussing the drug paraphanalia sales inside Pantry One to see what remedy can be had and stated that some businesses in Lansdowne need to be educated about their type of merchandise being sold. Mayor Young conceded that there are some darker areas in that neighborhood that need additional lighting; Ms. Hill and Mr. Forrest will investigate the street lighting issue. Mr. Lee indicated that residents in various Philadelphia neighborhoods have banded together to picket stores selling questionable items and suggested that residents do the same at Pantry One Mr. Wagner stated that neighbors should call 911 each and every time there is suspected drug dealing and doing this will eventually force the dealers to move elsewhere.

Len Wert 221 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert stated that the property at 231 N. Lansdowne Avenue is a safety hazard and suggested putting a fence around it as soon as possible before there is a possible lawsuit. Dr. Wert stated that the trees on the property at 219 N. Lansdowne Avenue are too large, snapping off and asked that the Borough top them. The Code Enforcement Department will look into this matter. Dr. Wert stated that no good restaurant will come into the Borough unless you allow liquor sales. President Wayne stated that the liquor question will be on the 2007 ballot and the Ad Hoc Committee in now in place to see whether the Borough should take a position and if so, what that position will be.

Dave DiAngeles 121 Windermere Avenue – Mr. DiAngeles mentioned the rash of break-ins that are occurring in this area and asked if a pattern was emerging and if a certain vehicle that has been seen in the area has been reported. Mr. Lee indicated he will be setting up a neighborhood meeting with Mr. DiAngles and neighbors.

Ms. Lustgarten moved to Reinstate the Rules of Order. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motioncarried unanimously.

REPORTS AND DISCUSSION

A. Treasurer Bill Smith – Mr. Smith stated that the Borough audit is complete and the report was submitted on April 3rd. Mr. Smith mentioned that on-line banking has been set up with PNC Bank. Estimated savings in fees per year will be $2,000. On line banking is also being set up with Wachovia Bank in the near future. Mr. Smith indicated that the Borough will soon be receiving the Liquid Fuels allocation check (to be cut on April 14th) in the amount of $174,051.78.Mr. Smith indicated he will be attending a seminar on April 28th regarding governmental accounting reporting requirements.

B. Engineer Richard Bevilacqua – Mr. Bevilacqua stated that the HVAC project will be starting in approximately 10 weeks and Borough Hall will be without air conditioning during the month of June. The Stewart Avenue sewer project is proceeding well and the sewer main connection is almost completed. A discussion of the 2006 Road Program followed. The primary area of concern lies in the southeast portion of the Borough, involving sections of Bartram, Maple, Austin, Nyack and Wycombe Avenues. PECO is to do half milling on these affected roads and their cost will be $53,850. Ms. Hill questioned why a section of Wycombe Avenue was being ignored. Mr. Forrest suggested taking the Borough’s portion of funds allocated for Maple & Austin Avenues and using them to pave all of Wycombe Avenue. There was further discussion on what areas are the worst and whether there was any merit to doing the priority review on a three year basis.A consensus followed to join with Yeadon to pave Fairview Avenue and take the $53,850 from PECO to pave other agreed upon areas.

C. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott mentioned he had two executive session items.

D. Manager David R. Forrest – Mr. Forrest gave updates on the following matters:

  • a. Feasibility Study – A public meeting will be held on April 25th, 7:00 pm at the 20th Century Club.
  • b.Storm water Resolution – Mr. Forrest is trying to get State officials to focus on the financial hardship being borne by the Borough regarding the new regulations. He asked that Borough Council support the Eastern Delaware County Council of Governments’ resolution in this matter and that Borough Council send their own resolution to the State as well.
  • c.Interboro Park improvements – The low bidder was Gessler Construction Co. for $73,200. The resulting $15,300 shortfall can be covered by the Capital Improvements Fund.
  • d.Code Officer vacancy – Michael Joswiak is being considered as a highly qualified candidate. Mr. Forrest asked that any motion in this regard include "subject to satisfactory references".
  • e.Borough Engineer Proposals – 12 proposals have been received with recommendations being suggested for 5, firms: Vollmer, Pennoni, MBI, Carroll Engineering and GAI. Presentations by the five firms will be made at the May business meeting, each presentation to be no longer than 20 minutes.
  • f. The annual Association of Boroughs dinner will be held on April 28th.
  • g.President Wayne will be attending the 5th annual Celebration of Regional Excellence event to be held on May 5th.
  • h.Proposals are due by April 15th for the 2007 American Planning Association National Conference to be held in Philadelphia if Lansdowne wants to be considered a mobile workshop site.

President Wayne asked whether the Borough was responsible for securing 231 N. Lansdowne Avenue. Mr. Scott said it was not but the Code Department will further investigate. President Wayne asked how to step up code enforcement on 234 Owen Avenue given that citations are being ignored. The Code Department will further investigate. Mayor Young and Chief Kortan are to discuss whether an arrest warrant should be issued to the owner of 112 S. Lansdowne Avenue. Ms. Hill asked that the Health inspector look at the dumpsters at the Pantry One store.

E. Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan asked Borough Council to consider replacing a part time parking enforcement officer. Chief Kortan mentioned that he and Mayor Young held a very productive meeting with the neighbors on N. Highland Avenue and many issues were settled. Chief Kortan stated he will be attending a seminar on Civil Service regulations on April 26th. Chief Kortan stated that the County has sent a letter to all municipalities regarding emergency management certifications that states in 2007, all grant applications will be based on emergency management compliance primarily affecting police and fire personnel and first responders.Borough police are fully compliant and the fire company is about 85% compliant. Starting in 2007 anyone representing the Borough who arrives on a disaster/emergency scene needs to have certified training that is unfunded. However, this certification will only take 2-3 on line computer hours to complete.

F. Fire Chief Tom Young – No report was given in Chief Young’s absence.

G. Planning Commission Chair Chris Patton – No report was given in Mr. Patton’s absence.

H. Council Members and Mayor

  1. Mayor – Mayor Young mentioned that the No Place for Hate organization will
    present the Borough’s designation banner at the May general meeting. Also to be recognized
    will be the PennWood HiQ team and past plumbing inspector Mike McCall.
    Mayor Young received an e-mail from 1234 S. Lansdowne Avenue regarding ongoing noise from 140 S.
    Lansdowne Avenue and she will investigate.
    Mayor Young mentioned that free meter parking would be needed for the annual town yard sale.
    Mayor Young mentioned that the owner of 28 Pennock Terrace is asking for financial help from the Borough regarding a $13,000 bill she incurred for sewer lateral repairs due to a possible connection oversight by Pennoni 15 years
    ago. Mr. Scott suggested she submit the bill to her personal insurance agent and both he and Mr.
    Forrest will further investigate the matter.
    Mayor Young questioned a proposed Darby Borough amendment that will permit landlords to evict tenants who call 911 more than 6 times in a given period. Mr. Scott will look into the matter.
  2. 2. President – President Wayne stated that the joint venture is still working on an
    agreement regarding the 20th Century Club renovations. Mr. Wagner asked what could be done
    to coordinate base line information among Borough Council members and how to use this
    information to guide volunteer activities in the Borough, citing that a property owner had
    questioned him about redevelopment plans for the Borough. It was suggested that Ms. Coleman,
    as liaison for the Economic Development Committee, will be the reference source for future
    questions that may arise in this regard.
  3. 3. Finance Committee Chair – Ms. Lustgarten reported that a quarterly meeting
    had been held with Smith Barney representatives. The Police Pension Fund is up 6.7% for the
    first quarter. The next meeting will be held on May 1st, 7:00 p.m. President Wayne questioned
    the asset reallocation and was concerned with possible market timing. He asked that any future
    changes made by the broker be formalized in a resolution.
  4. 4. Public Safety Committee Chair – Ms. Hill stated that Berry Merlino has
    resigned as head of the Library Board after 32 years and will be recognized in absentia at a
    future meeting. A discussion then followed regarding the motion for replacing Detective
    Murphy and police department vacancies.Ms. Hill explained that recruitment efforts would be
    more extended than had been done in the past. Chief Kortan stated that it would be late July
    before he would be doing any hiring for an entry level patrol officer.
    President Wayne voiced his concern about the growing number of visitor comments regarding rising crime rates in the Borough. A lengthy discussion followed regarding the statistics, geographic areas and Chief Kortan’s interpretation of the facts. Chief Kortan indicated that many of the crimes are being done by younger adults. A consensus followed to have Chief Kortan provide more narrative detail in his monthly report in addition to the statistical data on the types of crimes and geographical areas involved. Mr. Wagner suggested using the problem property reports from the Codes Department as a model. Chief Kortan will also be working with the Public Safety Committee and Mayor Young so that Borough Council has adequate information for responding to visitors. Mr. Lee asked that information in some format be provided to residents indicating that calling 911 does not in any way detract from other emergencies in the Borough.
  5. 5. Recreation and Parks Liaison – Mr. Urban reported that June 10th will be the probable date for Movie in the Park Night at Hoffman Park. Mr. Urban mentioned that the Recreation and ark Board was somewhat concerned about the $2000 taken out of capital reserves for the retaining fence at Gateway Park and the hope is that this expense will not occur next year.
    Mr. Urban mentioned that it would be worthwhile to go forward with the Interboro Park improvements even though $15,000 needs to be taken out of capital reserves. The next meeting is scheduled for April 17th, 7:00 pm at Hoffman Park.
  6. 6. Ad Hoc Committee on Trash Collection, Chair – Ms. Coleman opened a discussion regarding leasing trash trucks and recycling. A representative from Hough Associates previously met with the Committee regarding contracting for raising 2006/2007 recycling figures. They will be contacting business owners to find out who they use for private trash hauling and how much recycling is done.
    Ms. Coleman also mentioned that alternative fuel vehicles would be considered in the future as the later model trucks end their service life. Mr. Lee asked that OSHA safety issues also be investigated as part of the trash truck/recycling issue. President Wayne expressed concern with Hough Associates contacting business owners about their private trash hauling and recycling practices and felt clarification would also be needed regarding home based businesses in the Borough. After a lengthy discussion on this issue, it was decided to table the pertinent motion until more information is available from Hough Associates and the LBPA can meet with business owners first to give them an overview of the Hough plan.
    Ms. Coleman stated that a meeting will be held on May 9th at 7:00 p.m at the Clifton Heights Fire Hall regarding the Baltimore Avenue Revitalization Strategy. Six municipalities will be reviewing the plan.
  7. 7. Ad Hoc Committee on Code Enforcement, Chair – Mr. Lee reported that Yeadon Borough has agreed to the 2006 Interim Joint Code Enforcement agreement wherein the Fire Marshall will be shared. Mr. Forrest stated that this agreement will run for 9 months starting 1/1/06. President Wayne questioned the language in Section 5F regarding vacancies and the agreement between both municipalities and also the medical plans and hourly rate. Mr. Forrest clarified all issues. Mr. Lee indicated that he was tabling the motion regarding filling the Code Enforcement Department vacancy with the recommended candidate until further discussion.
  8. 8. Ad Hoc Committee on Liquor, Chair – Mr. Wagner reported that further research will be conducted regarding other communities who have adopted liquor sales. Mr. Wagner also mentioned that other ordinances in this regard would be discussed at the next meeting and he would look into how seeking changes in State liquor laws would benefit Lansdowne.
  9. Other Council Member Comments – None.

Old Business — Proposed Ordinance 1214, an ordinance amending the Borough of Lansdowne’s Zoning Ordinance to regulate the placement of communication towers and antennas is still underreview.

New Business — None.

Action Items –

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for the period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Coleman moved to procure two new trash trucks using the PACC Automotive and Equipment Contract Purchasing Specification. (The cost would be for two trucks at a cost of $56,452.76 each year for 5 years.) Mr. Wagner seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with Mr. Lee voting "nay".
  3. Ms. Coleman moved to enter into a lease agreement with Leasing 2 for the procurement of two new trash trucks, subject to review and approval of contract documents by the Borough Solicitor. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with Mr. Lee voting "nay".
  4. Mr. Lee moved to approve 2005 Joint Code Enforcement Agreement and Amendment. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  5. Mr. Lee moved to execute 2006 Joint Code Enforcement Agreement and Amendment. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize the Borough Engineer to proceed with the design and engineering of the 2006 Road Program. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  7. Ms. Lustgarten moved to coordinate with Yeadon Borough for the paving of Fairview Avenue. Mr. Lee seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  8. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve Resolution 2006-13, a resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne urging the Governor, the General Assembly and the PA Department of Environmental Protection to join local governments in a comprehensive review of the NPDES Phase II program. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  9. Motion tabled regarding Code Enforcement Department vacancy.
  10. Mr. Lee moved to appoint Marian E. Schaner to the Planning Commission, filling the position left vacant after Sandy Takacs’s term expired. This four year term will expire 10/31/09. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  11. Mr. Urban moved to appoint Barry Malone to the Recreation and Park Board, filing the position left vacant after chuck Cavanagh’s term expired. This three year term will expire 12/31/08. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  12. Ms. Hill moved to reappoint Christine DuBois-Buxbaum to the Library Board for a three year term expiring 3/31/09. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  13. Ms. Hill moved to reappoint Neil Ronk to the Library Board for a three year term expiring 3/31/09. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  14. Motion tabled. regarding Hough Associates.
  15. Mr. Urban moved to award Interboro Park Improvements contract in the amount of $67,500.00 to Gessler Construction Company Inc., Media, PA. This includes deducts for alternates 1 and 2. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  16. Ms. Hill moved to authorize Chief Kortan to begin the employee recruitment process for a full time entry level patrol officer position. Mr. Lee seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  17. Ms. Lustgarten moved to allocate the police pension plan as follows:

    a. Large Value 13.5%
    b. Large Growth 18.25%
    c. Small-Mid Value 6.9%
    d. Small Mid Growth 6.9%
    e. International 15%
    f. Bonds 35.95%
    g. Money Funds 3.5%
    h. Total Stock 60.55%
    I. Total Bonds 35.95%
    j. Money Funds 3.5%

    Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  18. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize free meter parking for the Town Yard Sale to be held on May 6th. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session – Mr. Lee moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss two items. Ms. Hill seconded and the meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 11:47 p.m.

Upon reconvening to Public Session, the following motion was made: Mr. Lee moved to authorize the Borough Solicitor to contact Portnoff Associates regarding proceeding with the sheriff sale for 231 N. Lansdowne Avenue. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Lee moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Hill. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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