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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
February 20, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Manager Totaro, Interim Borough Treasurer Smith, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Finance Director Bartley and Police Chief Kortan. Councilman Lee, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua and Fire Chief Young were absent.

President Wayne stated that the meeting would air on February 25th at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 10.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following additions/changes: (1) Ms. Coleman will be making the motions for action items 4 and 5; (2) Mr. Wagner will be making a motion under action items regarding a loan for a multi unit conversion at 123 S. Lansdowne Avenue; and (3) purchase of backhoe discussion is added under Old Business.

Minutes

Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the January 16, 2008 Council General Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor Young introduced Mary Lou Jennings, Chair of the Tree Advisory Board. Mrs. Jennings indicated that the PA Horticultural Society will be donating a number of bare root trees to Lansdowne residents. The trees are appropriate for this area and are free but homeowners will be responsible for planting them.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Young indicated that Police Chief Kortan was recently named as the President of Police Chiefs for Delaware County. Mayor Young then read the list of police personnel with cumulative years of no sick time: Jocanda Pannell (12), Bobbie Harris (10), Officer Dan Donegan (8), Officer CJ Schiazza (8), Officer Dave Schiazza (6), Officer Mark McGinnis (5) and Officer Crescent Brown (4). Mayor Young mentioned that the Lansdowne Folk Club is celebrating its 15th year in Lansdowne.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Smith reported an ending balance of $8,503,465.71 for all funds. The Tax Anticipation Note of $500,000 was received in the General Fund. Amounts for the Non-Uniform Pension Plan are as of December 31st. Mr. Smith reported a $221,000 loss in value in January for the Police Pension Fund. General Fund disbursements included $221,000 payroll, $57,000 in principal and interest and $7,000 for insurance premiums.

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Scott had no formal report.

Council President’s Report

President Wayne had no formal report.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Public Safety

Ms. Coleman stated the Public Safety Committee met on February 19th. Topics included a review of recommendations for ordinances. The Animal Friends of Lansdowne submitted an ordinance regarding feral cats and animal welfare. The hiring process for police force was also discussed. There will be some future recognition for retired officer Smalley’s years of service. Ms. Coleman identified three areas regarding the Committee’s charge:

  1. Developing a comprehensive crime prevention plan to better the quality of life for residents. Ms. Coleman mentioned a 20% decrease in serious crimes from 2006 to 2007 and a 10% decrease in overall crimes for the same period.
  2. Developing alternatives/plans for emergency equipment access on a case by case basis.
  3. Updating the emergency response plan. Ms. Coleman mentioned that Borough officials should participate in the national incident management training program. The Public Safety Committee will also be having testing strategies and have begun collaboration discussions with Yeadon Borough regarding the drills.

Finance

Ms. Lustgarten reported the Finance Committee met on February 4th. The annual audit is ongoing and is due to the State by April 1st. The Finance Committee is also working on a resolution to change the codes fee schedule. Mr. Totaro is finalizing the Borough’s appropriations request to Congressman Sestak for a variety of large capital items. The purchase of a backhoe was also discussed. The next scheduled meeting will be March 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in Borough Hall.

Economic Development

Mr. Wagner reported the Economic Development Committee met on February 19th. This Committee also met with a local contractor regarding his plans for redevelopment. Other issues concerned getting permission (in conjunction with the LEDC) to use the Lansdowne Avenue parking lot for a tentatively scheduled Arts Festival on May 3rd. Mr. Totaro is following up on one property on the problem property report. Issues regarding the Committee’s meeting schedule was discussed and it was decided that every 3rd month the meeting will be held on the 4th Wednesday. Mr. Wagner reported that the 20 Lansdowne Court Ad Hoc Committee met on February 13th with Borough code officials to discuss use and occupancy issues and proposed uses for this property. The next Economic Committee meeting has not yet been scheduled but will be advertised. President Wayne underscored the desire for broad community input regarding the uses of this property.

Environmental

Ms. Silzle reported that the Environmental Committee agenda for the next two years will deal with four areas: land, parks and trees, recycling and sewers. The Environmental Committee will be meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. in Borough Hall. Ms. Silzle reported that recycling tonnage increased 21.2 tons for January 2008, total tonnage for this same period was 59.13 tons and the diversion rate for January 2008 was 16.27%. Ms. Silzle indicated the diversion rate will increase as more residents recycle and the benefit to Lansdowne is more revenue. Approximately $1500 was received for January’s recycling revenues. Ms. Silzle mentioned that she plans to attend the 3rd annual Delaware County Environmental Summit to be held on February 23rd, 8:30 a.m. to noon at the John Heinz National Wildlife Preserve in Tinicum. President Wayne clarified for the public that the Environmental Committee is responsible for managing the storm water and storm water outfalls and the Infrastructure Committee deals with the actual pipe systems that carry this water.

Education

Mr. Urban was expected later in the meeting and Ms. Lustgarten reported in his absence. The first meeting of this Committee was held on February 19th. The agenda for the year includes looking at topics regarding the relationship between the Borough and School District and taking an inventory of the Borough’s recreational programs. The next scheduled meeting is March 18th. This Committee meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall.

Infrastructure

No report was given in Mr. Lee’s absence.

Liaison Reports

  1. Mr. Wagner, as liaison to the LEDC, announced they are recruiting for volunteers for the Farmers Market that will start in May. Additionally, artisans and crafters as well as volunteers are wanted for the upcoming May 3rd Arts Festival. Mr. Wagner mentioned that volunteers are needed for a new business showcase program being compiled for new entrepreneurs to the business district. Interested parties may call Gary Chilutti, the Main Street Manager, at 484-461-7001 or go online at www.Lansdownesfuture.org.
  2. Ms. Silzle, as liaison to the Library Board, mentioned she had attended their monthly meeting where David Belanger was a special guest. Mr. Belanger is the System Administrator for the Delaware County Library System. The meeting focused on how library personnel, Board members, the Council and the Council’s Liaison could work together most effectively for the benefit of the community. Mr. Belanger was helpful in providing information on how different municipalities operate.
  3. Ms. Coleman indicated that the Public Safety Committee is the liaison to the Civil Service Commission and is working closely with its Chair, Joe Stevenson, regarding how to enhance the hiring process. The Public Safety Committee is also liaison to the Board of Health and in that regard is reviewing an ordinance concerning eating establishments and the handling of food in the Farmers Market.

Communications

There were no communications.

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

Visitors:

Jack Covert 232 Jackson Avenue – Mr. Covert mentioned that the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra will dedicate its next concert on March 16th to the memory of Elise Delacova. Mr. Covert asked that some consideration be given to creating a link to RCN so that more residents can view the televised meetings. Mr. Totaro clarified that meetings have been held in the past regarding this matter and another meeting will be held next month about installing a splitter.
Mr. Covert asked that consideration be given to free parking on Saturday and Sunday in the Borough business district.
Mr. Covert felt that the new William Penn School District superintendent was doing a good job.
Mr. Covert asked how one gets a recycling bin and was told to call the Borough Hall’s main number.
Mr. Covert questioned the term “feral domesticated cats” that appears in the proposed ordinance.

Charlie Jeffers 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers encouraged residents to increase their recycling efforts.
Mr. Jeffers mentioned that one pedestrian crosswalk sign is missing from in front of Wildman Arms Apartments and the other sign is on the pavement in front of Wachovia Bank.
Mr. Jeffers mentioned that he did not appreciate the comments he received from a Borough police officer regarding some parking tickets.

Maria Thompson 119 Lansdowne Court – Ms. Thompson mentioned that an old, decaying tree is lying in the creek near her property.
Mary Lou Jennings indicated she would talk with her about this after the meeting.

Comments from Borough Council Members:

Ms. Coleman indicated that the Public Safety Committee felt it was not prudent at this time to allow free parking on Saturday in the business district but mentioned free parking is available in the back municipal parking lot during the Farmers Market hours of operation on Saturday.
Parking is free, however, on Sundays.

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

Old Business

  1. Review of Zoning Ordinance – Mr. Scott indicated that he and Lee Senior have reviewed the final form of this ordinance and no substantive changes are being made at this time. This ordinance will be presented to Borough Council in two weeks.
  2. Purchase of Backhoe – Ms. Lustgarten moved to take up the previously tabled motion regarding the acquisition of a backhoe. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. A discussion followed wherein Ms. Lustgarten indicated that the final purchase price would be approximately $49,000. A roll call vote to acquire the backhoe was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

New Business

There were no items for New Business.

Action Items

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution 2008-5, a resolution regarding bank accounts. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously. This motion adds Mr. Bartley and removes Mr. Smith, with all other signatories remaining the same.
  3. Mr. Wagner moved to enact Ordinance 1230, an ordinance regarding the Borough’s participation in the Delaware County Consortium of Governments. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  4. Ms. Coleman moved to advertise Ordinance 1231, an ordinance concerning the release of wild animals in the Borough to allow the capture, sterilization and return of feral domesticated cats and to enact regulations to prevent animal cruelty. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  5. Ms. Coleman moved to approve the LEDC’s use of municipal lot #1 for an Arts and Crafts Fair on May 3, 2008. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Coleman moved to approve the initiation of the hiring process for a full time police officer. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  7. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve hiring an employee in the Sanitation Department to fill the vacant position of sanitation driver. Mr. Wagner seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  8. Mr. Wagner moved to approve a multi unit de-conversion loan to Dana Yard, owner of 123 South Lansdowne Avenue, in the amount of $25,000 for the de-conversion of 5 units to 3 units. Ms. Silzle seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a litigation matter. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 8:50 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.

Adjourn

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Silzle. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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