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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting Wednesday — December 6, 2006

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, December 6, 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 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 and Borough Engineer Bevilacqua were absent.
Minutes — Ms. Hill moved to approve the minutes of the November 1, 2006 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Presentations:

I. Hoffman Park Stream Bank Restoration – Dave Williams of Delaware Riverkeeper gave a brief overview of this project. Problem areas were cited as having compacted soil, lack of a riparian buffer, surface drainage issues, stream bank erosion at stream access areas and storm water outfall issues. Additionally, a variety of invasive plants have contributed to the stream bank problems. Part of the conceptual design to rectify the problems areas will include planting wildflowers, shrubbery and flowering trees and rock structures to direct flow away from the bank, defining access area for fishermen, establishing vegetative stabilization measures and removing a portion of gravel bar as well as roto-tilling other areas.
Estimated cost of project will be $35,000-$40,000. Ms. Hill asked if the areas where grass does not grow can be corrected. Mr. Williams mentioned that deep tilling and soil amendment measures can be taken but are not always successful.

Visitors:

There were no visitors.

REPORTS AND DISCUSSION

A. Treasurer Bill Smith – Mr. Smith had no formal report.
B. Engineer Richard Bevilacqua – No report was given in Mr. Bevilacqua’s absence.
C. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott reported on the Delinquent Realty Transfer Tax Ordinance. The State law was amended last year to allow the Department of Revenue to collect delinquent transfer taxes on behalf of municipalities.This ordinance deals with the collection of delinquent realty transfer taxes and authorizes the State to collect these taxes on the Borough’s behalf.
D. Manager David R. Forrest – Mr. Forrest reported on the following topics:

  1. Ratification of Sanitation Employee Replacement – On agenda for approval.
  2. CDBG applications – due by early January, 2007. Mr. Forrest will also explore applying for additional CDBG funds of approximately $100,000 for the Gateway Park and Pedestrian Bike Trail.

E. Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan mentioned that he recently attended a meeting regarding the Strategic National Stockpile wherein mass inoculations are available in the event of a pandemic. PennWood High School has been designated as one of the pod sites for distributions of the inoculations if such an event should occur and approximately 100-125 volunteers are needed to man one pod site. On December 12th the County is holding a meeting between 3-5 p.m. at Wawa University on Route 1 regarding this issue and each municipality is strongly urged to send at least one representative.
Chief Kortan mentioned that an officer was injured last week as a result of a fall and his condition will be re-evaluated on December 18th.
Chief Kortan stated that the keyless entry system bids will be discussed at a later meeting. Mr. Wagner mentioned that the outside emergency phone wire is loose.

F. Fire Chief Young – Mr. Miller mentioned that some recently mailed in Fire Company Fund Drive donations are missing and the matter is under investigation.

G. Planning Commission Chair Patton – Mr. Patton commented on the Borough’s budgetary process and stated that he would like to look over the 2007 budget and provide a projects breakdown. Mr. Patton felt that it would be helpful if an explanation was provided of how the tax increases will be utilized.

H. Committee Reports:
a) Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten stated that the next F&A Committee meeting will be held on February 5th. Ms. Lustgarten give a brief summary of the revised 2007 budget projections, mentioning that the biggest cuts had been made in the workers compensation and health insurance areas. The 2007 Tax/Fee Increase is as follows:

Real Estate Tax 3% increase ($27.19 additional per household)
Trash Fee 5.3% increase ($10.00 additional per household)
Sewer Fee 15.8% increase ($45.56 additional per household)
Total tax increase = 6% or $82.75 additional per household

Mr. Urban stated that the new budget line item (451-373) for the Park and Recreation Board maintenance is less than their operating budget and they will not be able to budget even normal repairs and maintenance. Mr. Urban asked if $15,000 can be taken from the surplus to increase the total maintenance budget to $30,000. A discussion followed regarding Capital Reserves funding and President Wayne expressed his concern with there being no expenditure authority in the Borough at the present time. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to put an additional $15,000 back into the budget for the Park and Recreation Board maintenance issue.

b) Public Safety – Ms. Hill had no formal report but mentioned that Fire Chief Young will be collecting volunteer names with emergency service experience. Ms. Hill mentioned that she hoped to attend the December 12th County meeting.

c) Ad Hoc Lighting – Mr. Wagner stated that the next meeting date will be determined at a future time.

d) Planning Commission – Mr. Patton stated that he is looking over the plans for the property across from Rite-Aid and the parking issues are also being discussed.

H. Comments from Council Members and Mayor:

  1. Mayor Young – the newsletter will be going out a bit later in January and articles will include Animal Friends of Lansdowne, the recycling program and English as a second language.
  2. Ann Hill – would like the budget information disseminated to the public.
  3. Gene Wayne – thanked everyone for their efforts on the budget process and stated his pleasure with the pay as you go basis that is now becoming a closer reality for the Borough.

Old Business

1. Historic District – Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB). Needs to be established fairly soon. Two candidates will be circulating their resumes. President Wayne mentioned that the HARB is looking for registered architects and a code enforcement person. Ms. Hill felt that a standing nominating committee is necessary to review resumes for future appointments.
2. State Farm Insurance Land Development Application – Mr. Scott stated that the DiMaio brothers have submitted two different proposals and are looking for direction on whether or not to set back their office. They will also need to go through the land development process, obtain a PennDot curb cut permit and go through the HARB process. After some discussion there arrived a consensus to save the trees that were planted when President Kennedy was assassinated, to move the handicapped parking to the east side, put grass on the current handicapped parking spots and plant more grass on the front of the property. President Wayne expressed his concern with the illuminated signage currently being proposed. Mr. Scott indicated that the Borough has leverage with facade issues but not the placement of signs. After further discussion it was decided that further meetings will be held with the owners regarding code compliance and facade issues and that Mr. Patton and the Planning Commission will handle most of the work involved.
3. Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Borough of Lansdowne and the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, Local 473. Mr. Forrest indicated that the Borough is in a position to approve the agreement.
4. Ordinance 1219, Conversion of Single Family Residences into Multi Family Units – on the agenda for advertising on December 20th.
5. Dunkin Donuts – the current proposal is not in agreement with what was originally presented to Borough Council and the Zoning Hearing Board in that the interior layout is changed and does not show the layout of furniture. After some discussion there arrived a consensus to have President Wayne, Ms. Coleman and Mayor Young meet with the owner to obtain additional visuals with the proposed changes.

New Business

1. BPI health insurance coverage. A presentation was recently given by BPI to the Finance and Administration Committee regarding a health care affiliation that has been formed of all Delaware County municipal and sewer authorities for the purpose of obtaining cheaper policies with Independence Blue Cross as long as a minimum of 2200 employees are covered. The coverage would be the same as is in the collective bargaining agreement. It is a two year contract and the F&A Committee is recommending that the Borough join BPI.
2. School District – President Wayne expressed his grave concern over certain School District issues and School Board actions, citing the proposed Earned Income Tax or Personal Income Tax question scheduled for the 2007 ballot. President Wayne felt that residents may not be given the appropriate information on this issue and may not be able to make an informed decision in next year’s primary election. There is a $500 limit on the proposed property tax relief. Additionally, the School Board is proposing that a new high school be built at a cost of $55 million. After further discussion it was decided to form an Ad Hoc Committee on School District Taxation. Mr. Urban will be the Chair and Ms. Hill and Ms. Lustgarten will serve as members.

Action Items

1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for the period. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to advertise Ordinance No. 1221, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne, County of Delaware, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, fixing the tax rate for the year 2007. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
3. Ms. Lustgarten moved to advertise Ordinance No. 1222, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne to estimate the number of gallons of water which will be consumed by persons whose properties are connected to the public sewers of the Borough for the year 2007 and to fix the amount of sewer rental or charge be made to each property connected to the sewers. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
4. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve 2007 Celebration Theater Lease. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to advertise Ordinance No. 1223, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne authorizing the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue to collect delinquent realty transfer tax on behalf of the Borough. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
6. Ms. Lustgarten moved to execute Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Borough of Lansdowne and the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, local 473. Ms. Hill seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
7. Ms. Lustgarten moved to ratify hiring of a replacement sanitation employees. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
8. Ms. Coleman moved to advertise hearing for December 20, 2006 to receive public comment on Ordinance No. 1219, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending the Borough Zoning Code by repealing provisions thereof permitting the conversion of single family residences into multi family dwellings by special exception. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
9. Ms. Hill moved to reappoint Bill Smith to the Lansdowne Planning Commission for a four year term ending 10/31/2010. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
10. Ms. Hill moved to reappoint William Yandell to the Code Appeals Board for a three year term ending 11/30/2009. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session – Ms. Coleman moved to adjourn to Executive Session seconded by Mr. Wagner. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:55 p.m.

Public Session – No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.

Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Coleman. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:02 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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