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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
February 6, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, February 6, 2008, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lustgarten, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan and Interim Borough Treasurer Smith. Borough Engineer Bevilacqua and Fire Chief Young were absent. Fire Company first vice president Marsh Miller sat in for Chief Young.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following additions/changes: (1) Addition of President’s report; (2) only 2 items for litigation under Executive Session with addition of lease negotiation discussion; and (3) Ms. Lustgarten will be making the motion for action item #6.

Minutes

Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the January 7, 2008 Reorganization Meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Wagner moved to approve the minutes of the January 8, 2008 Business Meeting.
Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously with one correction by Ms. Coleman.

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

Visitors

Maryanne Surla – Resident of Lansdowne – Ms. Surla asked that the Borough meeting notification sign on the Borough Green be changed as some people only have one watch. Ms. Surla mentioned her concern about the Marshall and Windermere light and asked why the light was blinking for five days.

Chris DiMaio – Mr. DiMaio indicated that he had been told there were concerns about the construction at the State Farm office site along Baltimore Avenue. He indicated that he was awaiting approval from Borough Council for signage and construction issues and that things had not proceeded for eight months. President Wayne commented that he would be happy to talk about the issues in a separate meeting and offer help. Mr. Urban and Ms. Lustgarten indicated this was the first time they had heard anything about any problems and lost paperwork. Mr. Lee asked Mr. DiMaio who had come to him with these concerns but he declined to answer.

Nick DiMaio – Mr. DiMaio requested that Planning Commission Chair William Smith be present at the planned meeting.

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

REPORTS AND DISCUSSION

A.Treasurer, William T. Smith – Mr. Smith indicated that the Borough audit was progressing. Mr. Smith asked Mr. Scott if he should send a legal confirmation letter to Wendy McClain and Mr. Scott indicated he should.

B.Engineer Rich Bevilacqua – No report was given in Mr. Bevilacqua’s absence.

C.Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott mentioned that a police grievance was filed regarding unused vacation and any further discussion should be held in Executive Session.

D.Mr. Craig Totaro – Mr. Totaro mentioned that Aqua will be doing infrastructure work along a portion of Owen Avenue and Marshall Road to Greenwood Avenue. This work will start in mid-February through May. Additional trenching work will be done along Albemarle, Plumstead and Drexel Avenues to replace water mains. Mr. Totaro mentioned that the submitted problem property report is meant to be a working document between Borough Council and the Codes department and will provide the tools necessary to move these properties along. Any suggestions or ideas are to be submitted to Mr. Totaro. Mr. Wagner mentioned that the Economic Development Committee will be looking at this report every month. Mr. Totaro indicated it would be available at any time.

E.Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan mentioned that officer Larry Smalley is now retired after 37 years of distinguished service. Chief Kortan questioned who should be involved in the process for replacing him. President Wayne asked that this matter go through the Public Safety Committee.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

  1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman reported that the first meeting will be held on February 12. The regularly scheduled meetings starting in April will be held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Work will start on the agenda as outlined in the Reorganization meeting.
  2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported the Committee met on February 4th. The Borough total debt service was discussed and Mr. Totaro has provided a loan schedule that indicates two loans will be paid off in 2008 that will lessen the debut service by $170,000. Ms. Lustgarten asked that any ideas for the capital projects priority list be submitted to Mr. Totaro by mid February. The Committee is also looking at revising the codes fee schedule and is recommending that for jobs $1,000 or less the permit fee be waived for residents and a 50% reduction in the permit fee be given to contractors. This would have an approximate impact of $7,000 in revenues. Another recommendation is to purchase a backhoe versus leasing. Approximately $15,000 has already been spent on leasing a backhoe and if purchased, this amount would be applied to the $65,000 purchase price with the resulting $50,000 balance being paid out of the Capital Reserve Fund. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that the next Committee meeting will be held on March 3rd. President Wayne suggested more clearly defining the resolution language regarding the permit fee reduction, citing that an individual could obtain the permit and then use a contractor. President Wayne wanted to know the ultimate plan and other projects involved regarding the backhoe issue. Ms. Lustgarten indicated it would be used for tree plantings, parking lot issues, snow removal, the Fire Company parking lot completion and inlet repair on Windermere Avenue as well being an avenue for other in house projects. Mr. Totaro indicated it costs about $10,000-$15,000 per year or $800/$900 per week to lease. President Wayne indicated he would like more information and to defer the discussion until the next meeting. After further discussion Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize the purchase of a backhoe, seconded by Mr. Wagner. Mr. Urban asked if there was any maintenance contract or urgency to purchase the backhoe now. After further discussion Mr. Urban moved to table the original motion, seconded by Mr. Wagner. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 4-3 with Ms. Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten and Mr. Lee voting nay.
  3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner reported the Committee met on January 29th. Topics of discussion included the different groups and boards in town that the Committee would be interfacing with i.e., the HARB, Main Street Program, LEDC, and Planning Commission. Also discussed was Property Maintenance Code adjustments and increasing the Zoning Hearing Board seats from 3 to 5 and asked that the pertinent motion be put back on the agenda. Mr. Wagner also mentioned that on April 9th a Developers Fair will be held at the Clifton Fire House from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The South Lansdowne Neighborhood Revitalization Plan was also discussed, particularly the multi unit conversion funds. These funds have not been fully utilized and marketing efforts will start immediately. Mr. Wagner also mentioned the idea of developing an Arts Board/Commission and looking into the feasibility of a collegiate level institution (performing arts) coming to Lansdowne. The regularly scheduled Economic Development Committee meetings will be held the 3rd Tuesday of every month, 7:00 p.m. in the Auditor’s Room. Ms. Coleman reiterated that the April 9th Developers Fair stems from the Baltimore Avenue revitalization strategy that was started two years ago and will provide design guidelines to new contractors.
  4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle reported that the first meeting was held this morning and indicated that tasks would be split into four segments: Land, Recycling, Environment/Green issues and Sewers. There will be some overlap with other Committees and various Board and Committee members will be invited to discuss their plans and give further recommendations and information. Ms. Silzle indicated that the Committee will also be looking at marketing/education issues for residents and businesses to be used as an external marketing piece for the Borough. The regularly scheduled meetings will be held the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. in Borough Hall.
  5. Education – Mr. Urban reported that first meeting will be held on February 19th at 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall with subsequent meetings being held the 3rd Tuesday of each month.
  6. Infrastructure – Mr. Lee reported the first meeting will be held on February 26th, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall with subsequent meetings to be held the 4th Tuesday of each month. There had been some previous correspondence regarding the urgency of the Scottdale Road sewer project. Mr. Lee indicated he wanted more time to analyze this sewer project given the $400,000-$600,000 project cost but again cited the urgency of the project. President Wayne stated he would not vote for this project until he was given recommendations by the Committee. Mr. Totaro will see that Ms. Silzle and Mr. Lee be put on the team distribution list regarding MS4 letters for requirements, plans and issues related to the management of sewage outflows.

Comments from Mayor:
Mayor Young indicated that all Committee meeting dates will be put on the website indicating times and the various individual tasks being performed.

President’s Report

President Wayne indicated he had received a letter from Michael Schleigh, Esq., the representative to Delcora, indicating several issues and questions regarding whether the counts of sewage outflow are consistent and how the charges are allocated. This matter will be referred to the Infrastructure Committee. President Wayne mentioned that someone has established an Interboro Recreation and Community Center Steering Committee and is looking for participation from Yeadon, Lansdowne, Darby, Colwyn, Sharon Hill, Collingdale and East Lansdowne. This matter will be referred to the Education Committee. President Wayne stated that the Financial Disclosure Statements must be filed with the Borough prior to May 1st. Ms. Silzle mentioned that Marcella Melot should also be put on the distribution list.

Fire Company

Marsh Miller asked that any RSVP’s be received by the end of this week for the March 1st annual fire company banquet at the Embassy Suites.

OLD BUSINESS

  1. Zoning Ordinance – Mr. Scott is reviewing for final presentation at the next Council meeting. Mr. Wagner questioned the procedure. Mr. Scott indicated it is sent to the County and Town/Borough Planning authorities for a 30 day review period, a hearing that has been advertised twice is held after that 30 day period and then the ordinance is advertised and adopted.
  2. 20 Lansdowne Court – President Wayne asked what process Borough Council would like to establish regarding proposed uses for this property. There was a brief discussion about forming an Ad Hoc committee but President Wayne indicated he would like a different forum involving not only Council members but any interested residents. Mr. Wagner, Ms. Lustgarten and Ms. Silzle will gather information in this regard.

NEW BUSINESS

President Wayne mentioned that in working within the new Committee structure, issues will be referred to the appropriate committee for review with a report to be given with any recommended actions.

ITEMS TO BE REFERRED TO COMMITTEE:

  1. LEDC’s use of Municipal Lot 2 for their May 3rd Arts and Crafts Festival – Requested from Jennifer Hoff – to be referred to the Economic Development Committee.
  2. Shed in Borough lot for Farmers Market tools – Requested from Jennifer Hoff – to be referred to the Economic Development Committee.
  3. Sub-Division Land Development Ordinance amendment for underground utility lines – Mr. Wagner felt this would be appropriate in Lansdowne. Mr. Scott indicated this governs any commercial development, any lot line changes and any development of 2 or more residential properties. The Economic Development Committee will be looking into this.
  4. Amending Health Ordinance to include itinerant public eating and drinking places and outdoor markets – to be referred to the Public Safety Committee.
  5. Ordinance regarding feral cats and animal welfare/cruelty – to be referred to the Public Safety Committee.

OTHER:

  1. Delaware County Consortium of Governments – there was no discussion on this item.
  2. Verizon Franchise Agreement – Mr. Totaro will be meeting again with representatives to begin negotiations. Mr. Totaro is investigating whether other Boroughs would be interested in working through the franchise agreements to save on costs. Mr. Scott indicated that in the past the Borough has retained separate counsel for franchise agreements.
  3. 123 S. Lansdowne Avenue – A first application has been submitted to deconvert from 5 to 3 units within the multi unit conversion program. This will be deferred for action until the next Council meeting.

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Mr. Wagner moved to approve the HARB’s recommendation for the Certificate of Appropriateness for State Farm Insurance, 69 E. Baltimore Avenue, regarding new signage. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Mr. Wagner moved to approve the HARB’s recommendation for the Certificate of Appropriateness for Lansdowne Barber Shop, 8 N. Lansdowne Avenue, regarding exterior painting, awning installation and barber pole. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  3. Mr. Wagner moved to approve the HARB’s recommendation for the Certificate of Appropriateness for PNC Bank, 38 N. Lansdowne Avenue, regarding exterior painting, walk-up ATM installation and replace exterior column covers. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. President Wayne wanted more information on the location of the ATM machine. Mr. Wagner moved to suspend the Rules of Order to discuss. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously. PNC Bank representative Joe Hanley indicated the ATM will be installed next to the night deposit box on Lansdowne Avenue. The current drive up ATM will remain. Ms. Silzle then moved to reinstate the Rules of Order, seconded by Mr. Wagner. The motion carried unanimously. By voice vote the original motion carried unanimously.
  4. Mr. Wagner moved to approve the HARB’s recommendation for the Certificate of Appropriateness for World Class Auto Exchange, 59 E. Baltimore Avenue, regarding new signage on corner lot. Mr. Urban seconded. There was some discussion regarding the HARB’s signage requirements and Mr. Wagner felt that there was not enough information on this particular issue. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with Mr. Wagner voting “nay”.
  5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of the bills for period. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution 2008-4, a resolution regarding the bonding of the Borough Officials and Employees. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  7. Mr. Wagner moved to increase the number of Zoning Hearing Board members from 3 to 5. Ms. Coleman seconded. Mr. Scott indicated this should not be enacted until enough candidates are available to fill the two vacancies. Mr. Lee moved to table the motion. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  8. Ms. Lustgarten moved to advertise Ordinance 1230, an ordinance authorizing intergovernmental cooperation by establishing membership of the Borough of Lansdowne in the Delaware County Council of Governments, and establishing the conditions of said membership pursuant to the requirements of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 53, Sections 2301 through 2315, commonly known and referred to as Act 180, Intergovernmental Cooperation Law, as amended, of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  9. Ms. Silzle moved to approve execution of DEP grant agreement for new trash truck and recycling receptacles. Mr. Wagner seconded. Mayor Young pointed out that the grant agreement called for new receptacles and signs, not the purchase of a new trash truck. Ms. Coleman moved to table the motion, seconded by Mr. Wagner. The motion carried unanimously. This matter will be referred back to the Environmental Committee with assistance from Mayor Young.

Executive Session

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn to Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Wagner. The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.

Adjourn

Ms. Coleman moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Lustgarten. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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