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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting, Wednesday – December 19, 2007

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 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 Totaro, Borough Treasurer Smith, Borough Secretary Henry and Police Chief Kortan. Borough Engineer Bevilacqua and Fire Chief Young were absent.
President Wayne asked for a moment of silence in honor of Elise Delacova, the 2002 Helms Award recipient.
President Wayne stated that the meeting would air on December 24th at 7:00 p.m. on channel 10.

Approval of Agenda

Agenda was approved with no changes or additions.


Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the November 21, 2007 Council General Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor Young presented a plaque and read a proclamation honoring Councilwoman Ann Hill for her years of outstanding service to the community. Ms. Hill’s term as a Borough Council member expires 12/31/07.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Smith gave the ending balances of the funds as follows: General Fund: $407698.79; Sewer Fund: $313,460.00; Liquid Fuels Fund: $94,111.13; Capital Reserve Fund: $303,923.31; Capital Projects Fund: $197,135.46; No-Uniformed Pension Fund: $1,236,063.27 (as of October 31st); and Police Pension Fund: $6,766,254.29 (as of November 30th). Additionally, Mr. Smith reported taxes collected of $22,087, $21,438 in delinquent tax claims and a $40,000 Main Street grant allocation. General Fund disbursements included $56,000 for trash truck lease and $40,000 to LEDC.

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Scott had no formal report.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Young spoke briefly about Elise Delacova’s many contributions to the Borough. Mayor Young reminded residents that sidewalks need to be cleared of snow within 24 hours. Pickup for disposal of Christmas trees will take place on January 11th. Mayor Young mentioned that she was recently appointed a member of the local Government Advisory Committee, a group that makes recommendations to the Governor of the needs of local communities. Mayor Young is the first and only member representing Delaware County and this part of Pennsylvania.

Council President’s Report

President Wayne thanked Ms. Hill for all her efforts as a Borough Council member.

Committee Reports

I. Finance and Administration

Ms. Lustgarten reported that a variety of items were discussed at the December 3rd Committee meeting: (1) developing a list of priorities for 2008; (2) potential changes to the Codes Department fee schedule with Mr. Totaro investigating the budgetary ramifications of these changes. Ms. Lustgarten reported that the State audit of the Liquid Fuels Fund proceeded smoothly. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that Mr. Totaro is looking into alternate companies for commercial liability and workers’ compensation rates. The next Finance and Administration Committee meeting will be held on January 9th.

II. Public Safety

Ms. Hill reported that there will be a Lansdowne Historical Commission established in the near future. Mr. Wagner has agreed to present the ordinance and will work with the Commission in this endeavor.
Ms. Hill gave the Police Report for November: 1095 incidents, 31 motor vehicle accidents, 10 injuries, 16 adult arrests, 5 juvenile arrests, 699 parking tickets issued, 111 motor vehicle violations and 6056 miles traveled. There was no Fire Company report.

III. Nominations

Ms. Coleman had no formal report but mentioned that during there will be a full complement for all Boards with many appointments being made at the January 7, 2008 Reorganization meeting. Ms. Coleman thanked Ms. Hill for her service.

Members of Council:

The remaining Borough Council members recognized Ms. Hill for her commitment and service to the Borough.


There were no communications.

Mr. Wagner moved to suspend the Rules of Order. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Barbara Silzle 24 Eldon Road

Ms. Silzle indicated she will be replacing Ms. Hill as a Borough Council member and thanked Ms. Hill for her contributions.

Anthony Campuzano 40 W. Albemarle Avenue

Mr. Campuzano presented Ms. Hill with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of the Lansdowne Democratic Committee and thanked Ms. Hill for all her work. Mr. Campuzano also publicly thanked outgoing auditors Marcella Melot and Linda Walker for their service to the community.

Jack Covert 232 Jackson Avenue

Mr. Covert asked if the stop sign problem at Highland and Essex Avenues had been repaired. Chief Kortan thought the Highway Department had looked into the matter and will again check into the matter. Mr. Covert mentioned that the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra hopes to honor Elise Delacova at their Valentine’s concert.

Amy Gillespie Resident of Aldan

Mrs. Gillespie thanked Ms. Hill for her work as the Library liaison. Mrs. Gillespie also thanked Borough Council for their continued support of the library. As the Lansdowne Library Public Director, Mrs. Gillespie gave an overview of the library’s 2007 accomplishments: 70,000 items are now in the library’s collection; 98,520 total circulation (80% books, 6% audio books-up 1.5% from ’06 and 7% DVDs); 15,120 patrons used the Internet, 1,813 patrons used the Office Microsoft; 5,079 interlibrary loans processed; 4,404 requests from other libraries; 1,329 new cards were issued and 7,476 Lansdowne residents have library cards (over 70% of the Borough population); audio books can now be downloaded to computers. Additionally, the library now services 4 homebound patrons, hosts 3 adult book clubs and hosts several other groups in the Community Room. 500 programs were offered this year, 320 of which were children’s programs. The History Forum is now in its 21st year and continues to hold lectures at the library. Mrs. Gillespie then gave Borough Council members shirts with the library logo.

Mr. Wagner moved to reinstate the Rules of Order. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Old Business

1. 20 Lansdowne Court. Settlement is scheduled for December 21st.
2. Videographer. Deferred to Executive Session.
3. Interboro Park Toy Acquisition. Mr. Urban opened the discussion indicating that Bob Bartmann addressed the water issue in his 12/12/07 letter and indicated that the water problem has been resolved. The water issue has now been resolved and Mr. Urban indicated that Borough Council approved the project on June 15, 2005. The discussion then focused on the equipment, future ultimate designs, strategic plans for all parks and prior engineering reports about placement of equipment and drainage options. Mr. Lee gave an overview of the past engineering report, indicating that the last engineering report was done in 2005. Ms. Hill expressed concern that the area could handle the equipment and that drainage is no longer an issue.
Mr. Urban indicated that the Park and Recreation Board is only trying to implement the approved 2005 plan. Mr. Urban indicated there would be an additional $2500 cost for installation of the toy and the entire package will increase $2000 if done after January, 2008. Mr. Wagner asked if the toy could be stored if a water problem persists and Mr. Urban indicated it could. After further discussion Mr. Lee indicated that the original plan was not for a toy but alternatives for the surface only and the current plan shows a play area, not a toy. Mr. Lee also mentioned that neighbors wanted to see things in the park that addressed older groups, such as walking trails, a pavilion, etc. Ms. Coleman asked if any narrative was available to go with the plan. Mr. Wagner indicated there should be further due diligence.

New Business

1. Employee Bonuses – deferred to Executive Session.

Action Items

1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt the 2008 budget. Mr. Wagner seconded. Ms. Lustgarten indicated a 2% real estate tax increase or $18.79 per average household, trash fee remains the same at $199 and the sewer increase is 16.7% or $55.62 per average household. Mr. Urban asked for clarification on the motion. President Wayne indicated this motion was for the overall budget approval. After further discussion, Ms. Coleman moved to table the original motion until the sewer and tax rate ordinances are discussed. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to enact Ordinance 1228, 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 2008, and to fix the amount of sewer rental or charge to be made to each property connected to the sewers. Mr. Lee seconded. A discussion followed regarding the 16.7% sewer increase and projected increases with differing ending fund balances: $100,000 ending fund balance = $42.00 increase for average household or 12.7% tax increase. $75,000 ending fund balance = $35.00 increase for average household or 10.5% tax increase. $50,000 ending fund balance = $27.69 increase for average household or 8.3% tax increase. Mr. Wagner pointed out that the goal of the tax increase is to have enough revenue to offset the anticipated expenses and to have a responsible fund balance for emergencies and repairs. Mr. Urban indicated he did not favor the increase. Mr. Lee felt that the State and Federal governments should help support infrastructure issues. President Wayne indicated that about $250,000 in repairs was the basis for generating the 16.7% increase. President Wayne also expressed concern with future additional expenses, citing the $500,000 repairs that will need to be done in the area of the proposed Gateway Park. After further discussion about debt service, borrowing and real estate tax increases for next year, Mr. Scott pointed out that the budget has already been advertised and the increase cannot be higher than what was advertised. Ms. Lustgarten clarified for Mr. Urban that the motion was for a 16.7% increase with a $130,000 ending fund balance. Mr. Scott indicated that 3% of the budget is a recommended guideline for ending fund balances. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with Mr. Urban voting "nay".
3. Ms. Lustgarten moved to enact Ordinance 1227, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne fixing the tax rate for the year 2008 (2% tax increase). Ms. Hill seconded and a roll vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
4. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve Resolution 2007-15, a resolution regarding the refuse collection fee for 2008 ($199.00). Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
5. Mr. Wagner moved to take up the previously tabled motion regarding the 2008 budget adoption. Ms. Coleman seconded. The motion carried unanimously. Ms. Lustgarten then moved to adopt the 2008 budget, seconded by Mr. Wagner. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with Mr. Urban voting "nay". (Mr. Urban indicated he was voting no only to the sewer increase portion).
6. Ms. Lustgarten moved to award the 2008 Tax Anticipation Note to Commerce Bank for $500,000 at 3.25% with a 6/30/08 payoff. Ms. Hill seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
7. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorized payment of the bills for the period. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
8. Ms. Lustgarten moved to renew the Borough’s Fiduciary Liability Coverage for 2008 with the Travelers Casualty and Insurance Company. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
The motion regarding approval of the playground toy for Interboro Park was removed. Executive Session – Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel issues. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

The meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:17 p.m.

Public Session

Upon reconvening to Public Session, the following motions were made:
1. Mr. Wagner moved to award the Borough staff a $50.00 Christmas bonus. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
2. Ms. Coleman moved to enter into a one year agreement with the Borough and Warren Thomas for videography services. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Coleman. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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