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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday — July 5, 2006

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday,
July 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 Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan, and Planning Commission Chair Patton. Fire Chief Young was absent.

Minutes — Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the June 7, 2006 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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


Len Wert 221 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert commented that he was offended by
Councilman Wagner’s remarks in response to his comment about a stolen car inquiry
made at last month’s general meeting. Mr. Wagner stated that the newspaper article citing
his comments may have been taken out of context and offered to discuss the matter with Dr.
Wert at the end of the meeting but Dr. Wert left shortly thereafter.

Mr. Lee moved to Reinstate the Rules of Order. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried


A. Treasurer Bill Smith – Mr. Smith reported that the Tax Anticipation Note was paid off on
June 29th.

B. Engineer Richard Bevilacqua – Mr. Bevilacqua reported on the following items:

  1. 2006 Road Program – bids have been received and the low bidder is A F. Damon with a base bid of $84,098.35 plus add alternates of $8,900.00 for a total low bid of $92,998.35 (this includes the add on amounts). Mayor Young questioned the paving of the tie ins that are not part of any state highway program. Mr. Forrest will investigate. Mr. Bevilacqua mentioned that the cost to the Borough was only $45,000 for approximately $98,000 worth of work.
  2. Stewart Avenue Sewer project – work is completed and total costs are about $35,000-$37,000 over contract. Since there was a $20,000 savings realized on the Stewart Avenue football field project, the additional amount is actually $15,000-$17,000. The question of the yellow traffic line placement was brought up. Chief Kortan stated that the parking lane on the south side of Stewart Avenue had not yet created any issues or problems but he will continue to monitor the situation.
  3. HVAC project – the VAV boxes are scheduled for delivery in a few days. Roof top unit was installed this morning. Final duct work connections and the control wiring will follow after VAV installation and work is on schedule for completion the 3rd week in July. Mayor Young brought up the lost phone service experienced over the weekend. Chief Kortan stated that the circuit boards needed replacing and the problem may have been due to the excessive heat.

C. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott discussed the following items:

  1. 172 Berkley Avenue subdivision – the Borough and County planning departments have approved the application for subdividing this property into 3 lots. The current house will exist on 1/3 of the site and the remaining 2 lots are expected to be sold. Mr. Scott stated that all legal requirements had been met and recommended approving the application.Ms. Coleman moved to approve the subdivision proposal for 172 Berkley Avenue conditioned upon adding a 24" monument to be shown at the property line. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried 6-1.
  2. 131 Nyack Avenue Buddhist Temple – application has been approved by the Zoning Hearing Board and plans have been submitted to the Borough Planning Commission. They are currently awaiting approval is pending from the County planning department.

D. Manager David R. Forrest – Mr. Forrest discussed the following items:

  1. Personnel manual – this draft updates the 1998 manual and covers non-contract Borough employees. Chief Kortan questioned which manual will take precedence if a problem arises, citing that the FOP collective bargaining agreement manual is already in place for the police department.After further discussion, there arrived a consensus to maintain two manuals. The Public Safety Committee will look at the manual for clarification of any overlapping issues. President Wayne suggested changing the sexual harassment policy language to reflect the reporting of offenses to any supervisor, not just the department supervisor. Additionally, a section should be put in for disclaimers. President Wayne commented that as currently written, the manual could be construed as a contract. Ms. Coleman moved to approve the Personnel manual, subject to the aforementioned changes. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Sidewalk Signs – complaints have been received by residents. A discussion followed regarding the illegality of these signs due to their size. Section H of the Borough Code clearly cites this illegality. Ms. Coleman suggested taking another look at the ordinance to fine tune and see if it still makes sense. President Wayne commented that issues of discriminatory enforcement may arise and the ordinance either needs to be 100% enforced or changed. After further discussion it was decided that the Codes Department will check for violations but give it a low priority. President Wayne stated that a new Ad Hoc Committee will be formed to investigate this issue and asked that Ms. Coleman be the Chair with Mayor Young, Mr. Wagner and Mr. Lee as members.

E. Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan stated that a polygraph test is scheduled for the new applicant and if all goes well, he will recommend the hiring at the August business meeting. Chief Kortan stated that the July 4th festivities went off without problems. Chief Kortan mentioned that the recent Aqua Water Company project has created problems with the placement of the fire hydrants, citing that some hydrants have now been placed in the middle of some sidewalks. Mr. Forrest will look into the matter. Mr. Lee suggested looking into ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) issues as well.

F. Fire Chief Young – Fire Company Vice President Marsh Miller had no formal report in Chief Young’s absence.

G. Planning Commission Chair Chris Patton – Mr. Patton mentioned that the Planning Commission now has 7 members. Borough Manager Forrest is the new recording secretary.

H. Comments from Council Members and Mayor:

  1. Mayor Young – commented that the lights in Hayes Park are being left on all night and neighbors are complaining about the noise from children playing there late at night. Chief Kortan suggested changing the timer. Removing the offending parties can still be enforced and leaving the lights on will lessen the chance of any illegal activity. A new "Get to Know a Resident Program" has been established among the police force. The Chair of the Recycling Ad Hoc Committee will be making a trip on July 13th to research the cost sense of the Borough recycling program. Mayor Young stated that she recently accepted the deed for the Bartram Avenue property. Mayor Young brought up the question of simple permit fees and being charged twice for the same project. Mayor Young mentioned that the street light at 86 E. Greenwood Avenue is still inoperable.
  2. Ms. Lustgarten – The Finance and Administration Committee will be combining the August and September meetings; the new meeting date will be August 28th at 7:00 p.m. Topics to be discussed will include the 20th Century Club fee schedules and the Code fee schedules.
  3. Ms. Hill – efforts are still underway to identify a historian for Lansdowne and the Borough’s history needs to be collected and archived. Neil Ronk and Marsh Miller have expressed interest in this project. Ms. Hill felt that the Borough newsletter is not being utilized to its fullest extent and asked that Council members give Mayor Young more information in order to make the newsletter a more positive tool for residents.
  4. Mr. Lee – a Human Relations Commission needs to be formed and he expressed his desire to head this Commission. Mr. Lee questioned the status of the Historical Architectural Review Board. President Wayne stated that the Steering Committee has reviewed the information and is now awaiting a response from the state commission. Members of the steering committee include Mayor Young, Bill Brown and Bob Bartmann.
  5. Mr. Wagner – The Lighting Ad Hoc Committee has not yet set their next meeting date. The next Liquor Committee meeting will be held on July 31st.
  6. President Wayne – mentioned that the recent House of Representatives proposed amendment to the Constitution regarding the definition of marriage has been proposed for a future agenda item for action by the Borough. Mr. Lee suggested that this issue not be brought up as it has been defeated in both the House and Senate.

Old Business

  1. Tax Increment Financing – still awaiting input from the School Board. President Wayne asked that the Finance and Administration Committee research the cost of establishing a TIF district in the Borough and possible avenues of funding.
  2. Community Safety newsletter – Mayor Young suggested enlarging the font size.

New Business

  1. Zoning Hearings –
    a) 23 E. Baltimore Avenue – an appeal has been filed with the Zoning Hearing Board for a July 20th hearing regarding a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts at this site. President Wayne mentioned that the owners are being very helpful and will be presenting a facade drawing, an interior space plan and a plot plan for parking and landscaping. In the event more discussions are necessary in this regard, the July hearing may be postponed until August.

    b) 76 Nyack Avenue – Mr. Scott reported that a special exceptions application has been submitted for a family daycare center at this site, which is a single family home. A discussion followed regarding potential issues and whether the Zoning Hearing Board should make their decision without input from Borough Council. Opinion was divided about supporting or ignoring the application. Mr. Urban moved to ignore the application, seconded by Mr. Lee. After further discussion, Ms. Hill moved to amend Mr. Urban’s motion, seconded by Ms. Lustgarten. This motion carried 3-2. Mr. Urban objected to voting on an issue where no information is available upon which to base a vote and felt the Zoning Hearing Board should be left to make their own decision.
    Ms. Hill moved to support the special exceptions application for a daycare center at 76 Nyack Avenue and to notify the Zoning Hearing Board of said decision. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 4-3 with Mr. Lee, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner voting "nay".

  2. Use of Municipal Parking Lot on July 15 – Ms. Coleman stated that PNC Bank wants to hold an event from 11-4 to present their various savings programs in the municipal parking lot adjacent to the bank. A discussion followed wherein the presiding feeling was that this was really a promotion/commercial for the bank and that a fee should be levied for the use of the lot. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to reject PNC’s request and Mr. Forrest will be sending a letter to that effect.

Action Items

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for the period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to submit to the Local and County Planning Commissions Ordinance No. 1214, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending the Zoning Ordinance to regulate the placement of communications towers and antennas. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  3. Ms. Hill moved to appoint Wendy E. Chmielewski to the Library Board, filling the position left vacant when Betty Merlino’s term expired. This is a three-year term, ending 3/31/09. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  4. Ms. Lustgarten moved to award the 2006 Road Program to A. F. Damon Company, for a total base bid of $84,098.35, as well as Alternate 1 in the amount of $8,900.00. Total bid: $92,998.35. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session: Ms. Hill moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a real estatematter, seconded by Ms. Coleman. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:50 p.m.

Public Session – Upon reconvening to Public Session the following motion was made:

Ms. Hill moved to approve the settlement agreement for 231 N. Lansdowne Avenuesubject to the terms and conditions of said agreement, including dismissing allcitations against the owner in exchange for his donating the property in lieu of beingsubjected to the tax process. Mr. Lee seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motioncarried unanimously.

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Lee. The motion carriedunanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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