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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting Wednesday – November 1, 2006

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, November 1, 2006, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Ms. Hill, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Treasurer Smith, Borough Manager Forrest, Borough Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan and Planning Commission Chair Patton. Fire Company Vice President Marsh Miller sat in for Fire Chief Young. Councilman Lee was absent.

Minutes – Ms. Coleman moved to approve the minutes of the October 4, 2006 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


I. Gateway Park and Pedestrian/Bike Trail – Dave Stauffer gave a brief overview of this project. This project would create a park plan for the Southeast corner of the intersection of Baltimore Pike and Scottdale Road as well as provide an off-road bicycle trail along Scottdale Road. The proposed improvements would include a low seat wall; signage; plantings, site furnishings, storm water management, removing the dam to provide better access for fishing and providing a 1500 foot long lighted trail. The approximate cost is $578,000 and the time frame to start construction is 18-24 months. The plan as presented is a draft plan and Mr. Stauffer will be back at the December meeting with a final plan. President Wayne asked that a map be provided to assure that removing the dam will not impact the fishing quality. Mr. Forrest mentioned that an agency representative will be present at a future meeting to discuss all concerns/suggestions, etc.

II. 10 W. Baltimore Avenue Development – Joe Riggs, owner of the Lansdowne Center, presented his proposal to Borough Council regarding tenants for the Bank Building. One proposed tenant is a business/trade school that will need 60-70 parking places and wants assurance that this will happen before agreeing to a lease. The Highland Avenue and Owen Avenue municipal parking lots were discussed as viable parking areas. Mr. Forrest asked that the lease agreement stipulate the number of parking spaces, enforcement rights and hours of operation. When asked the identity of the tenant, Mr Riggs stated he had signed a confidentiality agreement and could not disclose the tenant’s name. The Public Safety Committee will be discussing this matter at their next meeting.

III. State Farm Insurance – Chris and Pete DiMaio of State Farm Insurance Co. asked Borough Council’s permission to temporarily set up their insurance business in the vacant house at the corner of Lansdowne and W. Greenwood Avenues before building their permanent business office at the Johnson Funeral Home site on Baltimore Avenue. President Wayne expressed objection to this proposal, citing signage, parking and zoning exceptions as well as significant encroachments on the historic properties in the vicinity. Additionally, insurance agents are excluded from R-1 districts where home businesses are in operation. President Wayne offered to help the DiMaio brothers find alternate business sites in the Borough. Mr. Wagner made a motion to not approve the DiMaio’s Zoning Hearing Board variance request. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Mr. Urban then made a motion to table the original motion and revisit the matter at a later date. Ms. Hill seconded. President Wayne opposed tabling the motion and asked for a roll call vote. The motion carried 4-2 to table the original motion and discuss the matter at the next business meeting.

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


There were no comments from visitors.

Ms. Hill moved to reinstate the Rules of Order, seconded by Ms. Coleman. The motion carried unanimously.


A. Treasurer Bill Smith – Mr. Smith had no formal report.

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

  1. 2006 Road Program – A release of the retainage to the contractor in the amount of $8,711.71 is recommended.
  2. HVAC – the additional work items have been completed and installed at a cost of $14,772.54 over the original $29,000. Final adjustments will be made to the HVAC unit next week.

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 asked that the resolution for free meter parking in December in the municipal parking lots be put on the agenda for the next Borough Council meeting.

F. Fire Chief Young – Mr. Miller had no formal report.

G. Planning Commission Chair Patton – Mr. Patton had previously left the meeting and no report was given.

H. Comments from Council Members and Mayor:

  1. Mayor Young – mentioned that a meeting has been requested with School Superintendent Dana Bedden regarding security issues in the schools.
  2. Steve Wagner – asked Chief Kortan for some clarification on recent concerns about drug trafficking/drug houses in the Borough. Chief Kortan stated that he relies on County help with situations that most likely will result in arrests but that being a small community can be detrimental to making such arrests due to familiarity with police identities on the part of the drug dealers. Chief Kortan also stated that County support is hard to come by due to manpower being spread thin with other more problematic areas throughout Delaware County. The Public Safety Committee will be discussing this matter.

    Mr. Wagner also mentioned that business lawn signs are increasingly becoming a problem and needs to be handled. Mr. Scott mentioned that some signs are constitutionally protected under commercial free speech. After further discussion on various business signs, it was decided to enforce the Borough Code but leave the Bonnie’s Wonder gardens sign in place until the start of the Gateway Park project.

  3. Ellen Lustgarten – reported that a preliminary budget has the trash fee increasing $33.00 a year per household and the sewer fee increasing to $.65 per 1000 gallons per household. The budget is to be advertised next month.
  4. Marsh Miller – stated that the budget line item 300 should be designated as a straight dollar for dollar item rather than listed as two items: income from fire foreign tax and a donation to the Firemen’s Relief Association.
  5. Ann Hill – questioned if a holiday party/reception would be given for all Borough employees, independent of the police department/Borough staff party. Mayor Young felt that all the Board and Committee members should be included as well. After further discussion a motion was made by Ms. Hill to sponsor a reception for all Borough employees to be funded by the Borough, not the police department. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Chief Kortan questioned the necessity, citing that all employees are already invited to the police department party. Mayor Young felt it unfair to put the burden on Mr. Forrest to handle the planning. Ms. Hill took her original motion off the table and made another motion as follows: Ms. Hill moved to have a holiday reception for all Borough employees during the first week of January preferably on a payday. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  6. Sharon Coleman – The Ad Hoc Signage Committee has completed all tasks and is disbanding. The ordinance is also being reviewed.

Old Business

  1. Recycling – Mayor Young led a discussion regarding the proposals for recycling, the issues being the management of refuse and ordinance enforcement. Mr. Urban felt the present system works well but residents need to be more informed about recycling in general. The general feeling was that recycling once a week would not be an advantage in that not enough recyclables could be generated in one week. Mayor Young felt that twice a week regular pickup with co-mingled or single stream recycling every other week at curbside would be a better alternative. Mr. Forrest will be discussing this particular proposal with the Sanitation Department Head.
  2. Ordinance No. 1218 (disorderly properties) – President Wayne voiced his concerns with the new draft, stating that it does not achieve the intended objectives and the landlord should be held responsible for running any business that is detrimental to the Borough. Mr. Scott stated that Darby Township is having success with this type of ordinance, as currently written. After further discussion a motion was made to advertise the ordinance as drafted.

    Ms. Hill moved to advertise Ordinance No. 1218, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne regulating disorderly properties, imposing a duty on landlords or owners of disorderly house conditions and imposing penalties for violations thereof. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-1 with President Wayne voting "nay".

New Business

  1. Celebration Theater Lease – President Wayne asked that the phrase "exclusive use" be changed to "non-exclusive use " on non performance nights. President Wayne also asked to see the Theater’s financial statements before voting on this matter. Agenda action item 4 regarding the approval of the lease was tabled.
  2. Delaware County Hazard Vulnerability Assessment and Hazard Mitigation Plan – Mr. Forrest stated that this Plan needs to be adopted so the Borough is not disqualified from obtaining Federal disaster funding.
  3. Street tree trimming – proposals have been gathered and Bartlett Tree Services will be starting the tree work in January, 2007. Ms. Hill asked that North Maple Avenue between Marshall and Plumstead Avenues be put on the list. Mr. Wagner asked that sites where trees are obscuring lighting also be considered.
  4. Bid for dump truck – A bid has been received for $1,501.00.

Action Items

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of the bills for period. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to sell the 1994 Ford Dump Truck (H-3) to Mark McGinnis in the amount of $1,501.00. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  3. Ms. Hill moved to approve Resolution No. 2006-26 Delaware County Hazard Vulnerability Assessment and Hazard Mitigation Plan. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  4. Ms. Hill moved to award the street tree trimming to Bartlett Tree Experts for a total bid of $4,050.00. Mr. Wagner seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-1 with Mr. Urban voting "nay".

Executive Session – Ms. Coleman moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a personnel and a litigation issue. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 11:26 p.m.

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

Ms. Coleman moved to enter into the grant agreement with the County for the demolition of 231 N. Lansdowne Avenue. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Coleman moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Wagner. The motion carried

unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 12:35 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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