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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday — May 3, 2006

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday,
May 3, 2006, 8:15 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Ms. Hill, Mr. Lee, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Manager Forrest, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan, Planning Commission Chair Patton and Fire President Young. Councilwoman Lustgarten and Treasurer Smith were absent.

President Wayne announced that an Executive Session had been held prior to the meeting to interview 5 firms for Borough Engineering services.

Minutes — Ms. Coleman moved to approve the minutes of the April 5, 2006 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Abatement Appeal for 18 Martin Drive:

F. D. Hennessy, Jr., Esq. 55 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Mr. Hennessy presented his appeal for abatement of delinquent taxes for 18 Martin Drive. Mr. Hennessy explained that he represented the owner of the property and the purchaser and asked Borough Council to remove the property from the pending list of properties scheduled for Judicial Sale on May 10th. Patrick Twilley, the prospective purchaser, stated he could do the renovations for $125,621. The current appraised value of the property is $110,000 as is. After a lengthy discussion, there arrived a consensus to have Mr. Hennessey and Solicitor Scott develop a proposal conditional upon Mr. Twilley performing certain tasks that the Codes Department deems specific to the situation.

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

Visitors:

Carol Ha 175 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Ms. Ha expressed her concerns about the continuing
drainage problems on her property. Mr. Forrest and Mr. Bevilacqua agreed to do a proposal to
reassess the condition and will present their findings at the next Borough Council meeting.

Len Wert 221 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert asked for updates on the status of the
Smith property, the Owen Avenue property and the Linden Avenue property. The updates were given and Mr. Scott mentioned that the Linden Avenue property is scheduled for the May 10th Judicial Sale.
Dr. Wert brought up the No Place For Hate comment made by Mayor Young. The Mayor stated that she would not respond to a report of an overheard private conversation.

Ms. Coleman moved to Reinstate the Rules of Order. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion
carried unanimously.

REPORTS AND DISCUSSION

A. Treasurer Bill Smith – No report was given in Mr. Smith’s absence.

B. Engineer Richard Bevilacqua – Mr. Bevilacqua reported that the laterals are expected to be completed by the 3rd week in May for the Stewart Avenue sewer project. In the Stewart Avenue football field project, contract work is almost complete and the job is coming in at approximately $20,000 less than originally estimated. Mr. Bevilacqua reported that in the 2006 Road Program, it will take an additional $12,000-$14,000 to complete the Wycombe Avenue portion and an additional $21,000-$24,000 to complete the Bartram Avenue portion. Additionally, approximately $22,500 has been paid to Yeadon for paving Fairview Avenue.
Mr. Bevilacqua stated that the HVAC units are expected to be delivered by the 3rd week in June.

C. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott had no formal report.

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

  1. Gateway Park and Pedestrian/Bike Trail – proposals have been received and a short list has been developed.
  2. Code Department Director – 7 applications have been received and preliminary telephone interviews are being conducted.
  3. Code Enforcement Officer – to be discussed in Executive Session.
  4. Historic District – first phase has been completed. A meeting will be held on May 24th, 3:30 p.m.
  5. Interboro Park Improvements – A pre-construction meeting will be held on May 4th at 3:00 p.m.

E. Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan stated that the Aqua PA project has been cancelled for Baltimore Avenue; the alternate route to now be completed is from S. Lansdowne Avenue from Scottdale Road to Providence Road. During this project there will be no parking from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on this portion of Lansdowne Avenue. This project could take until mid-August for completion. Mayor Young suggested putting the detour routes on the Borough web site.

F. Fire President Jay Young – President Young mentioned that the Fire Company parade is scheduled for May 20th.

G. Planning Commission Chair Chris Patton – Mr. Patton stated that ordinances for the transmission towers will soon be forthcoming. Mr. Patton mentioned that he has had no success in recruiting a previously recommended candidate for the Planning Commission but that other residents have expressed an interest. Mr. Patton stated that the Planning Commission will be discussing design standards and reviewing sign codes at their next meeting.

H. Council Members and Mayor

  1. Mayor – Mayor Young mentioned that Hoff Communications has offered to train her on immediate updates to the web calendar. Mayor Young also mentioned that she has completed one IS700 course for emergency training responders.
  2. President – President Wayne stated that a contract has been received from John Bowie Associates regarding the design and engineering of the Air Conditioning system for the20th Century Club. Cost is $19,750.00. Mr. Urban questioned the fixed fee amount. President Wayne mentioned it would be $15,850 for design and bid specs and asked that Borough Council engage Bowie to design the air conditioning system. President Wayne will talk with John Bowie to get the correct fixed amount.
  3. Finance Committee Chair – No report was given in Ms. Lustgarten’s absence.
  4. Public Safety Committee Chair – Ms. Hill has no formal report. Mr. Wagner brought up the issue of including more detailed information in the crime reports. Chief Kortan stated he would be providing more detailed information and Borough Council will decide how they want to handle disseminating this information to the public.
  5. Recreation and Parks Liaison – Mr. Urban stated that June 10th has been scheduled as "Movie Night" in Hoffman Park. The next scheduled meeting will be on May 15th, 7:00 p.m. at Interboro Park. Ms. Hill asked that residents of Scottdale Road be given notice of the June 10th movie night.
  6. Ad Hoc Committee on Trash Collection, Chair – Ms. Coleman mentioned that a meeting will be held on May 9th, 7:00 p.m. at the Clifton Heights Fire Company regarding the Baltimore Avenue revitalization strategy. There will also be a meeting held on May 16th, 6:30 p.m. where the draft plan on the neighborhood revitalization strategy will be presented. Ms. Coleman brought up a point of order for disbanding ad hoc committees when their initial purpose has been fulfilled. After some discussion, a consensus was reached to follow through with this idea. Ms. Coleman moved to disband the Trash Collection Ad Hoc Committee for having fulfilled its original purpose of the trash truck lease and privatization issues. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Ms. Coleman felt that a new committee should be formed regarding recycling issues. Ms. Hill moved to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on Recycling. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Mayor Young will be Chair and members will include Mr. Lee and Ms. Lustgarten.
  7. Ad Hoc Committee on Liquor, Chair – Mr. Wagner reported that based on previous meetings, the Committee was recommending that the liquor sale question not be put on the ballot for May 2007. Additionally, Mr. Wagner stated that Borough Council’s input was desired regarding the question of a performing arts venue being established. Mr. Urban voiced his objection to the liquor sale recommendation, stating that not enough information had been gathered after only two meetings and additional community input was necessary. A lengthy discussion followed whether or not to accept the Committee’s recommendation and whether further consideration should be given to this issue. Mr. Wagner felt that sufficient information was available and no empirical evidence existed to prove that liquor sales would be a viable economic development tool for the Borough. After further discussion, there arrived a consensus to postpone discussing this matter as well as the performing arts issue until a later date.

Old Business — No old business.

New Business —

  1. Zoning Hearing – Mr. Scott reported that an agreement of sale has been submitted for the property at Plumstead and Wayne Avenues and the prospective buyer wants to use it as a church. A discussion followed regarding special exceptions, zoning, etc. Mr. Lee moved to oppose the request, citing parking and traffic congestion issues and to authorize Mr. Forrest to inform the Zoning Commission of this decision on behalf of Borough Council. Ms. Hill seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  2. Mr. Scott brought up a Bartram Avenue property issue wherein a twin house had been torn down in the mid-1990’s. The vacant lot has recently been purchased and the owner wants to erect a single house. Code requirements dictate more side footage than is being proposed by the new owner. (Eight feet is required and 5 feet is being proposed). A discussion followed regarding hardship, entitlement and land use issues. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to support the proposition (with conditions attached) to be presented to the Zoning Hearing Board for their approval.
    Mr. Lee moved to support the application with the conditions discussed and to have Mr. Forrest communicate with the Zoning Hearing Board regarding the special exceptions. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  3. There was a discussion regarding Darby Township’s ordinance that pulls the rental licenses of units having an excessive number of police calls. President Wayne asked if Borough Council should take up the issue. After some discussion it was decided to revisit the matter at a later date.

Action Items

  1. Mr. Lee moved to authorize payment of the bills for the period. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Mr. Lee moved to approve the proposal from John Bowie Associates for additional professional services regarding the Twentieth Century Club improvements, not to exceed $20,000. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session: – Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a personnel issue. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 11:07 p.m.

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

  1. Ms. Coleman moved to hire Steve Travers as the Lansdowne Codes Director at a salary of $60,000. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-1 with Mr. Lee voting "nay".
  2. Mr. Wagner moved to award Steve Travers a $1000.00 bonus. Ms. Hill seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 4-2 with President Wayne and Mr. Lee voting "nay".
  3. Ms. Hill moved to appoint Michael Jozwiak as the Lansdowne Code Enforcement Officer at a salary of $45,000. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-1 with Mr. Lee voting "nay".

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Hill. The motion carried
unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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