Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting Wednesday — October 4, 2006
The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, October 4, 2006, 7:30 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 Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Manager Forrest, Borough Secretary Henry and Police Chief Kortan. Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Smith, Fire Chief Young and Planning Commission Chair Patton were absent.
President Wayne asked for a moment of silence for the victims of the Amish school shooting this week.
Minutes – Ms. Coleman moved to approve the minutes of the September 6, 2006 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Wagner moved to suspend the Rules of Order, seconded by Mr. Lee . The motion carried unanimously.
Presentation: Multi Municipal Park Recreation and Open Space Plan – Representatives of CH Planning gave their final plan presentation regarding the Open Space Plan. The purpose of the plan as presented is to efficiently deliver recreation, park and open space opportunities in the community, including residents and visitors, through coordination of resources among the boroughs. Recommendation has been based upon detailed analysis of the entire study area. Some of the cited recommendations include updating and maintaining all park facilities, exploring the potential for creating a regional park and recreation department, completing master site plans, engaging in education and outreach activities that will teach the benefits of a greenway system, developing and implementing strategies for removing/mitigating hazardous trees and caring for new tree planting, increasing available planting sites, recruiting volunteers to assist with forestry objectives and tasks and developing a community based tree education program. A question and answer period followed. It was mentioned that the William Penn School District is participating and there may be potential funding for a regional arborist. President Wayne asked for the more detailed final report for review by Borough Council members.
Visitors: There were no comments from visitors.
Ms. Coleman moved to reinstate the Rules of Order, seconded by Mr. Lee. The motion carried unanimously.
REPORTS AND DISCUSSION
A. Treasurer Bill Smith – There was no report given in Mr. Smith’s absence.
B. Engineer Richard Bevilacqua – Mr. Bevilacqua reported on the following items:
- 2006 Road Program – Work is completed and a meeting will be held tomorrow with the contractor to review contractor pay requests.The contract is right on budget at approximately $93,000.
- HVAC – Borough staff was trained last week in use of equipment. Notice has been issued to proceed with the demolition and replacement of the boiler (approximate cost: $29,000). Additional maintenance and improvements items that were presented for consideration included:
a) replace expansion tank, gauges, thermometers and air separator (approximate cost: $10,000).
b) add water filter system (approximate cost $4,500).
c) add control valves and 18 radiators tied into D.D.C. to eliminate manual changes to radiators that cause false temperature readings in some zones (approximate cost: $23,800).
President Wayne felt the $10,000 cost for the expansion tanks, etc. was excessive. After further discussion, there arrived a consensus to add a water filtration system.
Mr. Lee moved to authorize the installation of a water filtration system, the cost of which is not to exceed $5,000. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
A discussion then followed regarding the drainage problem at 171 N. Lansdowne Avenue that was mentioned during the visitor session at last month’s business meeting.The major problem concerns the sump pump condition and the costs associated with connecting to the Borough’s sewer system in order to remedy the problem ($8,000). Mr. Scott mentioned that the owner of record for this property is without the financial means to pay for the repairs. Mr. Lee asked if the Borough could pick up some of the costs but Mr. Urban felt this would set a bad precedent. Further discussion centered around health and safety issues and having School Board representatives meet with this owner and the other three property owners who are also experiencing drainage issues. After further discussion, there arrived a consensus to have Code Enforcement Officer Travers continue citing the owner for code issues. President Wayne stated that the issue is really a private matter between the homeowners and the Borough has no responsibility in this matter.
C. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott had no formal report.
D. Manager David R. Forrest – Mr. Forrest had no formal report.
E. Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that he, Mayor Young and Ms. Hill had met with residents of the 300 block of Maple Avenue regarding a recent shooting incident that occurred after an attempted car jacking. Changes to be implemented will include heightened police presence and zero tolerance for loitering. The Public Safety Committee will also be reviewing other areas in the Borough for loitering issues. ChiefKortan reported that 15 unlocked cars were broken into last night in the vicinity of Rose Lane and Richards Avenue.
F. Fire Chief Young – No report was given in Chief Young’s absence.
G. Planning Commission Chair Patton – No report was given in Mr. Patton’s absence.
H. Comments from Council Members and Mayor:
- Mr. Urban – Park Day was cancelled due to bad weather and will not be rescheduled for this year.
- Ms. Coleman – recently attended a meeting with Mr. Forrest and received a draft of the implementation plan for the Baltimore Avenue Revitalization Strategy.
- Mr. Wagner – the Ad Hoc Lighting Committee met last night to discuss a pilot program in Lansdowne for lighting safety upgrades, identifying areas that need better lighting and updating a scheme for safety and aesthetic issues.
- Verizon Cell Tower Proposal – President Wayne reported that Verizon is proposing a 5 year lease for $20,000/year to put a cell tower in Lansdowne. Opinion was divided whether or not to accept this proposal but the final consensus was to not pursue the issue.
- Historic District Planning – President Wayne reported that the Historic District Steering Committee has made several recommendations, one of which is included as action item #4. These recommendations include (a) creating a demolition delay ordinance for the entire Borough of Lansdowne, (b) creating an initial historic district to include the central business district and the commercial corridor down Baltimore Avenue and to heavily regulate these areas regarding the appearance of buildings, ©) establishing an Historical Architectural Review Board to create design standards to review projects for compliance and make recommendations to Borough Council, (d) create a second historical district that would include residential areas surrounding the first district, subject to much less regulation than would be implemented in the commercial district, and (e) begin the process of getting a new historic district on the National Register of Historic Places that carries no regulatory implications.
- Ordinance 1218, regarding disorderly properties. Ms. Hill moved to reinstate this previously tabled motion, seconded by Mr. Urban. The motion carried unanimously. Ms. Hill stated that the Public Safety Committee was satisfied with the revised ordinance as written. Mr. Lee again raised his concerns with ambiguities in the wording and Chief Kortan’s role/options in enforcing the ordinance. Ms. Hill stated that the intent of the ordinance is to address both property owners and landlords and give the police a tool to handle incidents. Mayor Young and Mr. Urban concurred with Ms. Hill. President Wayne expressed his uneasiness in having Chief Kortan acting as judge in this matter as the Borough already has established precedents for other situations regarding the number of police calls. After further discussion there was no consensus on the issues. Mr. Lee made a motion to table the ordinance indefinitely but the motion failed for lack of a second. After further discussion, a motion was made to amend the ordinance incorporating the following changes:
(1) under the definitions section under frequent requests for police services it shall read "more than 5 police responses that result in a citation or arrest",
(2) Section 4, change "satisfaction of the Borough of Lansdowne" to "satisfaction of the Lansdowne Borough Public Safety Committee", and (3) Section 4: change "resident" to "owner".
Mr. Wagner moved to amend Ordinance 1218 pursuant to the changes as discussed by
Borough Council. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried
Mr. Wagner moved to advertise Ordinance 1218. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote
was taken. The motion carried 4-2 with President Wayne and Mr. Lee voting "nay".
- Committee Structure – Mr. Lee opened a discussion regarding reinstating the standing committees and eliminating the current Committee setup. Mr. Lee stated that residents don’t know who to go to for specific issues and that poor communication is also a problem. Other Borough Council members concurred with Mr. Lee’s concerns. President Wayne and Ms. Hill felt that the Ad Hoc committees are more effective and allow Mr. Forrest more flexibility in dealing with other Borough concerns and issues.
- 1. Ms. Coleman moved to authorize payment of the bills for period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
- 2. Ms. Coleman moved to ratify emergency bid award for the Borough Hall boiler to Allstates Mechanical, Ltd. For Option 1 in the amount of $29,000. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Coleman moved to adopt Resolution 2006-24, a resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne authorizing the execution of the amendment to the Darby Creek Joint Authority agreement dated October 15, 1952. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Hill moved to advertise Ordinance 1220, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne creating a historic district, defining its limits, requiring that persons apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness prior to commencing certain work within the historic district, providing for the appointment of a Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) to give recommendations to the Borough Council regarding the issuance of Certificates of Appropriateness in connection with the granting or refusal of permits for the erection, alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition of razing of any building within the District and for appeals from such refusals and providing for the notification to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) of the adoption of this ordinance and obtaining from PHMC a certificate as to the historical significance of the historic district. Mr. Lee seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Coleman moved to adopt Resolution 2006-35, a resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne declaring its intent to destroy records. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Hill moved to execute Intermunicipal agreement with Yeadon Borough for the establishment of the multi unit conversion Advisory committee. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Executive Session: There were no items for Executive Session.
Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Urban. The motion carried
unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry