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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting Wednesday – August 1, 2007

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, August 1, 2007, 8:15 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Ms. Hill, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lustgarten and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer/Planning Commission Chair Smith and Police Chief Kortan. Councilman Urban and Fire Chief Young were absent.

Minutes – Mr. Lee moved to approve the minutes of the July 18, 2007 Council meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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


Len Wert 221 North Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert asked Borough Council to consider making English the official language of Lansdowne.
Dr. Wert asked Borough Council to consider adopting an ordinance to protect the Borough from undocumented immigrants.
Dr. Wert expressed his concern about the recent news of home invasions throughout the country and felt that a Neighborhood Watch would be more effective than a Town Watch for Lansdowne.

Mr. Lee moved to reinstate the Rules of Order, seconded by Mr. Wagner. The motion carried unanimously.


A. Treasurer Bill Smith – Mr. Smith reported that the liability insurance had been renewed today for slightly under $109,00 a savings of about $11,000 over last year’s amount. Mr. Smith will also be investigating whether further discounts can be provided for the Borough’s automobile insurance policy by offering employees who drive Borough vehicles a defensive driving course. Mr. Smith is also working on the worker’s compensation insurance that renews on January 1, 2008.

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

  1. Drexel Avenue Sewer – A pre-construction meeting was held on July 31st. Starting schedule on construction will be some time in September, weather permitting, for a bid cost of $163,670.00.
  2. 2007 Seal Coating – Low bidder was R. E. Rowles for two streets: Highland between Greenwood and Clover and Essex Avenue between Congress and Crawford, for a bid cost of $8,357.50.
  3. 2007 Grouting, Eldon Avenue – Eastern was low bidder for $37,653.00 which was $6,000 lower than a previous bid.
  4. 2007 Road Paving – A. F. Damon was low bidder for $133,668.00. Aqua Water’s portion paid to the Borough is $52,150.00 leaving a balance of $81,518.00. Sections of two streets between Albemarle and Drexel will have overlay and a section between Glentay and Plumstead on Eldon will have concrete repairs.

Mr. Bevilacqua also reported a starting date of approximately August 20th for the Dunkin’ Donuts concrete access work if the award is granted tonight.

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

D. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that PennDot has granted sign changes reflecting reduced speeds from 35 mph to 25 mph on S. Lansdowne Avenue from Fairview to Nyack Avenues. It will be the Borough’s responsibility for maintaining these signs. Chief Kortan mentioned that Sgt. McCaughan is back on duty and officer Smalley is expected back on duty some time in August.

E. Fire Chief Tom Young – No report was given in Chief Young’s absence.

F. Planning Commission Chair Smith – Mr. Smith stated that a meeting will be held on August 9th to continue discussing changes in the Zoning Ordinance.

Committee Reports:

a)Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported that after much research the police fund pension committee is recommending that the fund’s management be changed to Independence Advisors. Ms. Lustgarten reported that the accounting software is being changed to Quickbooks. Also, tentative 2008 budget meetings have been scheduled for September 18th and September 26th.Ms. Lustgarten reported that the 2007 actuarial valuation report reflects a $40,000 increase for next year’s MMO. A refund of approximately $11,000 was received for the non-uniform pension plan. The next F&A Committee meeting is scheduled for August 29th.

b) Public Safety – Ms. Hill had no formal report.

c) Nominations – Ms. Coleman mentioned that an opening exists on the Darby Creek joint Sewer Authority for any interested Lansdowne resident. Ms. Hill stated she would provide a name. Ms. Coleman mentioned that the bulk of upcoming openings on various committees will occur December 31st. Mr. Wagner mentioned that he will resubmit Ed Cayco’s resume for a Planning Commission vacancy should one arise.

Comments from Council Members and Mayor:

1. Ms. Coleman asked Steve Travers for a Work Camp update. Mr. Travers reported that the campers arrived on July 29th and efforts are going so well that additional houses have been added to the repair list. Mr. Travers anticipates that approximately 400 young people are expected for next year and there are about 100 adult volunteers in line for next week. Mr. Travers mentioned that this event had also received a lot of press coverage.
Ms. Coleman mentioned that about two pages in the upcoming newsletter will be devoted to this endeavor.
Ms. Hill thanked Mr. Travers for a job well done.

2.Mr. Lee mentioned that a property at Wycombe and Linden Avenues is in deplorable condition. This matter will be further discussed in Executive Session.

3.Mayor Young mentioned that newsletter items are due by August 14th and a DVD commercial on Lansdowne has been completed.

4.Mr. Wagner mentioned that a new committee has now been formed out of the LEDC called ‘Lansdowne Loves Movies’, dedicated to bring repertory film to Lansdowne. Additional volunteers are welcome and a meeting will be held on August 13th.

Discussion Updates and Issues:

1.Dunkin’ Donuts –

  • (a) Site improvement development agreement: prepared by Mr. Scott wherein an easement has been given the Borough to maintain a portion of the western side of the property and the owners will maintain the rest of the lot. If not maintained by the owners, the agreement gives the Borough the right to go onto their property to remedy any maintenance issues.
  • (b) Bids for parking access: J&J Concrete was low bidder. President Wayne indicated that $90,000 has been received from the Commonwealth that is to be used for site improvements only, not engineering fees. It will cost $82,678.50 for the base bid items. If desired, additional money can be added. A discussion then followed regarding the base and add alternate items, the sitting walls and pavers and trees/foliage plantings. Ms. Hill expressed concern with the high maintenance plants that had been chosen for the site. After further discussion there was agreement to do the base bid items plus the sitting wall ($7,455.00) leaving a balance of $133.50 to be paid by the Borough.

2. Shade Tree Ordinance – President Wayne explained that this ordinance basically eliminates the Tree Advisory Board and creates a Shade Tree Commission with responsibility for managing and enforcing the shade tree ordinance. President Wayne expressed concern with certain provisions of the proposed ordinance, specifically the street tree corridor of 15 feet from the street curb line into the private property whereby any pruning, planting or removal of any tree within that 15 foot area would require a permit from the Codes Department. A discussion followed regarding amending the ordinance. Mayor Young will meet with the Tree Advisory Board to rework the ordinance and address Borough Council’s concerns, i.e., the 15′ foot restriction, what actually constitutes a shade tree (saplings?), the $150 fee for replacing each tree, the permit process and requisite fees and the burden that will be placed on the Codes Department.

3. Meter Box and Verizon phone booth near lot #1 – President Wayne indicated he would like the new solar powered meter box to be placed next to a business directory and have the existing phone booth removed. Mr. Wagner mentioned that the phone booth could be turned into a form of public art. After further discussion it was decided to remove the phone booth, install the meter as far south as possible and reserve the remaining area for public art, a directory bulletin board, etc. Chief Kortan mentioned the need for purchasing 19 parking bumpers and additional signage along the side of Todaro’s.

4. Borough Green and Parks – the Parks and Recreation Board will be providing recommendations regarding the Borough Green, Gladstone Manor triangle and Sycamore Park.

5. Cleaning Club for Borough Hall and Twentieth Century Club – The current cleaning company is to be changed for about $200 more per month. Ms. Coleman asked if the separate cleaning company for the library could be utilized and the contracts consolidated. Mr. Smith explained that a one man operation would not be able to handle all three buildings with the amount of cleaning that is needed. Ms. Hill asked when the engineering firm would be completing the scope of work at the library. President Wayne stated that if they have not completed the scope of work by next week someone else will be chosen to do the work.

Action Items

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Ms. Coleman stated that from a process standpoint, Mr. Smith should not be the sole signer on checks made payable to him.
  2. Ms. Coleman moved to approve the Site Improvement Development Agreement. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  3. Ms. Lustgarten moved to award contract no. 119, 2007 Roadway Improvements to A. F. Damon, for the total bid amount of $133,668.00. Mr. Lee seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  4. Ms. Lustgarten moved to award contract no. 121-REBID, Road Grouting, Eldon Avenue (Marshall to Drexel), to Eastern Gunite Company, in the amount of $37,653.00. Mr. Wagner seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to award contract no. 122, 2007 Seal Coating, to R. E. Rowles Asphalt & Sealing Company, in the amount of $8,357.50. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Lustgarten moved to award contract no. 123, Highland Avenue Parking Access, to J & J Concrete & Paving, for the base bid amount of $82,678.50, conditioned upon the Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee executing the Site Improvement Development Agreement for the base bid amount plus add alternate A-19 in the amount of $7,455.00 for a total of $90,133.50.Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  7. Ms. Coleman moved to hire replacement CDL driver for the Sanitation Department. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  8. Ms. Hill moved to promote Officer Kenneth Rutherford to the position of Sergeant. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  9. Ms. Hill moved to hire replacement Parking Enforcement Officer. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  10. Ms. Lustgarten moved to appoint Independence Advisors to manage the Police Pension Fund. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session – Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn to executive session to discuss: (a) tax assessment appeal, and (b) property maintenance. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 10:20 p.m.

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

Mr. Wagner moved to approve the tax settlement agreement for 84 North Lansdowne Avenue (Simpson Gardens) subject to the terms and conditions approved by the William Penn School District. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Hill. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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