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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
March 5, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, March 5, 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 Borough Finance Director Bartley. 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. Ms. Lustgarten added a motion to add the title of “Treasurer” to the Finance Director’s title;
  2. Mr. Wagner will make action item #4 instead of Ms. Silzle;
  3. Mr. Wagner asked to move the Classic Towns Resolution from Committee items to New Business;
  4. Ms. Coleman will be making action item #2 instead of Ms. Lustgarten;
  5. Mayor Young asked that the Boys and Girls Club request to use the Highland Avenue parking lot for their May 3rd event be put under New Business.


Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the February 6, 2008 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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


Lia DeStefano – Resident of Lansdowne – Ms. DeStefano commented that she and her friend noticed the number of empty buildings in the business district and suggested the following ideas for utilizing these buildings: show old movies once a month at the Lansdowne Theater, show movies or hold a teen event once a month or once a year at the Twentieth Century Club, put in an old fashioned arcade next to the Lansdowne Theater, build an organic smoothies bar in an empty building along Lansdowne Avenue (address unknown) and hold a winter farmers market at the old bank building. President Wayne indicated that the Education/Recreation Committee will be looking at these ideas. Mr. Wagner commented that Lia’s ideas were all excellent and that various groups in the Borough are already researching the feasibility of movie showings and a winter farmers market. The organic smoothies bar also fits in with the LEDC’s food shopping ideas to bring economic gain to the Borough. Mr. Urban added that the Parks and Recreation Board holds a Movie Night each year and this year’s movie, “Ratatouille”, will be held in Hoffman Park on June 7th.

Rachel Washington – Resident of Lansdowne – Ms. Washington thanked and commended Borough Council for the recent enhancements to the Borough.

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


A. Finance Director/Treasurer, Joseph Bartley – Mr. Bartley had no formal report and asked if there was a motion for approving the check register for the period February 20, 2008 through March 5, 2008. President Wayne indicated this would be covered under action item #1.

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

C. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott mentioned that he met with Lee Senior today regarding final comments to the Zoning Ordinance and is hoping to have them available for a vote at the next General meeting. The changes are not substantive, just technical.Ms. Coleman indicated there were a lot of signage issues. President Wayne asked that the “wrapped car” or rolling automobile billboard issue be addressed.

D. Borough Manager Craig Totaro – Mr. Totaro reported that the Borough’s GIS computer system is partially useful for daily miscellaneous jobs but cannot be connected to the main network.Ms. Lustgarten asked if the earmark request had been sent out. Mr. Totaro responded “yes”.

E. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that one officer recently sustained a hand injury the Civil Service written test will be administered on April 3rd at the Twentieth Century Club. Approximately 25 applications were picked up and two have been received so far in the recruitment process for a new police officer.

F. Fire Company 1st Vice President – Marsh Miller reported that a fireman was killed today in the line of duty from Station 39 in Lower Chichester. Mr. Miller will be working with the County Association in the coming months and will be attending the Fallen Firefighters Foundation next October.


1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman reported that the next meeting will be held on March 11th at 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. At the last meeting the Committee discussed changing the oral testing process for police officers so that greater diversity can be realized for the Lansdowne police force.

2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Finance Committee met on March 3rd. The first Police Pension meeting will be held on April 7th at 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Representatives from Independent Advisors will be present to discuss the first quarter returns. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that adding the title of Treasurer to the Finance Director position was prompted by Police Pension Fund requirements. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that Celebration Theater is trying to cut costs. To that extent its President is asking if the Borough could look at adding a rider to the Borough’s liability coverage that would provide the same coverage to the theater but for a lesser premium. Celebration Theater would reimburse the Borough for the added cost. The Finance Committee is also reviewing a letter from Michael Schleigh regarding Delcora issues. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that the codes fee schedule was also discussed. It was suggested that different colored permits be given to differentiate whether the work was being done by a contractor or if the owner was making the application. Ms. Lustgarten asked that a motion be put on the table for the next meeting to eliminate the permit fee to owners for projects under $1000. Mr. Wagner asked that this first be brought to his Committee for review.

3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner reported that their next Committee meeting will be held on March 18th at 7:00 p.m. in Borough Hall. Mr. Wagner mentioned the various volunteer requests being made through the LEDC’s Main Street Program: ongoing help for the Farmers Market that starts May 24th and help for the new business recruiting efforts. Interested parties should contact the Main Street Manager at 484-461-7001.

4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle reported that their next Committee meeting will be held on March 12th at 9:30 a.m. in Borough Hall. This meeting will focus on the Borough’s recycling efforts and will be the first step in developing an overall recycling plan to assure that it is the most effective program for Lansdowne. To this extent the Committee will gather information on the Borough’s current recycling practices, polices, successes and recommendations going forward. The Committee will meet with Public Works Director Bill Johnson, Assistant to the Borough Manager Betsy Riffert, Borough Manager Craig Totaro and Mayor Jayne Young.Ms. Silzle gave an update on the previously tabled motion regarding the DEP recycling grant. The grant was not requiring the purchase of a new trash truck. A portion of the cost of the truck purchased in 2006 will go toward the Borough’s match, which is required. The $93,900 grant is for the purchase of large containers and promotional signage on the trucks to enable more single stream recycling. The deadline for accepting this grant is July 7th. If accepted, the Borough has 6 months to make the purchases. A meeting is scheduled later this month with the DEP to discuss the parameters and logistics of the grant. It will be brought to Council for action at a later date. Ms. Coleman indicated that the aforementioned March 12th meeting was not on the schedule and asked for confirmation that it was advertised. Mr. Lee added that bulk trash recycling issues also be discussed at this meeting. Mayor Young indicated that Ms. Riffert already redirects bulk trash items if a better use for them is found.Ms. Silzle mentioned that she recently attended the 3rd annual Delaware County Environmental Summit at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. This forum discussed how the environment can be protected through local, state and federal government interaction. There was also a discussion of House Bill 2200. This Bill focuses on smart metering, components to encourage solar, wind, bio diesel fuel energy and a Fund that provides rebates for appliances.

5. Education – Mr. Urban reported that the Committee will meet on March 18th at 7:30 p.m. At
their February 25th meeting, the Parks and Recreation Board discussed the following items:

  1. Movie Night will be June 7th at Hoffman Park; and
  2. an aspiring Eagle Scout wants to make signs with flower boxes for Shrigley Woods and Pennock Park as part of his project.

Mr. Urban mentioned that an Easter Egg Hunt will be held at noon in Hoffman Park on March 15th. Mr. Urban asked for feedback in having a Name the Creek contest for the Marlyn Park tributary and other unnamed nature areas. President Wayne pointed out that the thinking behind making significant contributions for the parks and streams may change if these areas become named. The Parks and Recreation Board also discussed the trash issue along the apartments near Sycamore Park and suggested putting in a shrubbery barrier. Mr. Urban mentioned that the Belmont Park road needs refilling. The Parks and Recreation Board also discussed the Interboro Park toy and felt it was impractical to have an engineer’s report, as Bob Bartmann’s letter indicated the water was not a problem.A lengthy discussion followed regarding Interboro Park issues. Mr. Lee felt that the money could be better spent on a variety of uses for a larger segment of the Borough population, as was previously outlined in the park’s plan. Ms. Silzle requested a copy of the plan. After further discussion, President Wayne asked that the Education Committee look at and determine the highest priority. Mr. Urban indicated the highest priority is not affordable (Hoffman Park) but will bring the issues back to the Parks and Recreation Board. Ms. Coleman suggested having Mr. Lee attend the next Board meeting to clarify the intent of the toy and the other priorities. Mr. Lee stated that the Borough needs to deal with the parks and suggested getting earmarks or grants instead of doing piecemeal efforts.

6. Infrastructure – Mr. Lee reported that Lenni Lighting Company will be getting a quote for an inventory of Borough lighting. The Infrastructure Committee is also looking at a Borough wide sidewalk replacement program. Also discussed was doing an inventory of and replacing Borough street signs. Mr. Lee indicated that more information was just received on the Scottdale Road Sewer Project and this issue will be revisited at the next Infrastructure Committee meeting, as the cost has jumped from $250,000 to $525,000 in a short time.

Comments from Mayor: Mayor Young asked that all newsletter items be submitted as soon as possible. Mayor Young received an e-mail from a Park Board member asking that Paypal be used as a payment method for Borough recreational programs. Mr. Lee indicated he would send Mayor Young a list of other sites that do not charge for this service.


1.20 Lansdowne Court – Mr. Wagner passed out a brochure that will be available for any interested residents who have ideas for potential uses for the building. Mayor Young suggested having it also redesigned in another format for insertion in the newsletter. President Wayne suggested getting the widest distribution, using the newsletter as an additional means of communication and also holding a separate public hearing at the Twentieth Century Club. Ms. Coleman suggested having a separate temporary e-mail address for responses. Mr. Totaro will handle the e-mail issue.


1. Classic Towns Resolution – Mr. Wagner indicated he had not attended the meeting on this subject and asked Mr. Totaro to report on the issue. Mr. Totaro mentioned that the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is embarking on marketing efforts to have certain towns as part of its web site profiling attractive classic towns as desirable places to live. Lansdowne has been asked to participate and is being asked for a list of assets that focus on its desirability as a classic town i.e., historical cultural organizations, schools, premiere destinations, opportunities for empty nesters and young families, etc. The kickoff meeting is May 15th. The Borough cost is $2500 for the first 12-15 months and an additional $5000 for the next 1-1/2 to 3 years. Ms. Coleman asked about potential benefits for the Borough and whether there was a positive track record for other communities that had participated. Mr. Totaro indicated it was a new undertaking and participation could expand Lansdowne’s eligibility for obtaining more grant money. Mr. Wagner indicated a verbal commitment was needed to meet tonight’s midnight commitment deadline. This matter will be voted on under action item #4.
2. Boys and Girls Club – Mayor Young indicated the Club wants to use the Highland Avenue parking lot for their
annual May 3rd flea market/bake sale. Mr. Lee moved to allow the Lansdowne Boys and Girls Club use of the Highland Avenue parking lot to hold their Flea Market/Bake Sale on the day of the Town Wide Yard Sale, May 3, 2008. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


1. Shade Tree Ordinance – The review of this ordinance will be referred to the Environment Committee, who will come back to Council with a recommendation.


1. Human Relations Commission’s Fair Housing Brochure – Mr. Totaro indicated this will be going out with rental inspection notices beginning in two weeks.


1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of the bills for period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
2. Ms. Coleman moved to adopt 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.
3. Ms. Lustgarten moved to hire a Property Maintenance Inspector I in the Code Department. Mr. Lee seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
4. Mr. Wagner moved to adopt Resolution 2008-6, a Resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne regarding consideration for participation in the “Classic Towns Program” through the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Ms. Silzle
seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to appoint Joseph Bartley as Lansdowne Borough Treasurer. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session – Mr. Lee moved to adjourn to Executive Session, seconded by Ms. Lustgarten. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:20 p.m.

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

Adjourn – Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Lee. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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