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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
March 19, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lustgarten, Ms. Silzle and Mr. Urban. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley and Police Chief Kortan. Councilman Wagner, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua and Fire Chief Young were absent.

President Wayne stated that the meeting would air on March 24th at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 10.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following addition:Ms. Coleman will give an update on the Baltimore Avenue Revitalization Strategy under Old Business.

Minutes

Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the February 20, 2008 Council General Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor Young introduced Joan Reivich (Chair) and Fran Wayne (Vice Chair) of the Human Relations Commission, who announced the winners of the Commission’s recent logo contest: Kelly Bliss-1st winner and Andrew Holloway-2nd winner.
Mayor Young presented retired Lansdowne police officer Larry Smalley with a plaque commemorating his almost 37 years of service.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Bartley reported that a full Treasurer’s report will be given at the next general meeting. Mr. Bartley provided a General Fund statement of revenues and expenditures for Council members. Mr. Bartley indicated that the first installment of real estates taxes had been received from the Tax Collector.

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Scott had no formal report and indicated he had one item under Old Business.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Young reminded residents to vote on April 22nd. Mayor Young mentioned that free mulch is available at Hoffman Park. Mayor Young then read a variety of calendar items:

  • April 25th – Arbor Day
  • April 26th – Lansdowne Folk Club’s benefit fundraiser
  • April 27th – Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra performance
  • April 27th – Lansdowne Poet Laureate reads Lansdowne’s favorite poems at the Twentieth Century Club
  • May 3rd – Town Wide Yard Sale, Boys’ and Girls’ Club Flea Market, LEDC Arts and Craft Sale, Ladies Auxiliary Hoagie Sale
  • May 26th – Memorial Day Parade and 5K run

Council President’s Report

President Wayne had no formal report.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Public Safety – Ms. Coleman recognized Fire Chief Tom Young and the Lansdowne Fire Company and thanked them for their recent support to the Lower Chichester Fire Company, who recently lost a firefighter in the line of duty.
Ms. Coleman reported that the Public Safety Committee met on March 11th. Topics of discussion included a review of the health ordinance and provision amendments regarding public eating and drinking places and outdoor markets. The Committee also discussed the police department’s hiring process and changes will be made in the area of advertisement placement. Ms. Coleman indicated that changes will also be made to the oral examination part of the process, whereby a few residents will be added to the panel to facilitate attracting and employing a police force that is more representative of the community.

Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Auditor General’s office is doing a routine audit of the Borough’s pension plan. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that Portnoff Law Associates has received the delinquent tax report from the Tax Collector. The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on April 7th, 7:00 p.m. in Borough Hall.

Economic Development – Ms. Silzle reported in Mr. Wagner’s absence: there will be a grand opening and ribbon cutting on March 30th for a new store in town, “Life, More Abundant”. The store features health conscious products such as bulk grains, health food, vegetarian food and spiritual products and is located next to Doyle’s Deli. Ms. Silzle indicated that the Committee is endeavoring to spread the word about the multi-unit deconversion grants available to residents in the South Lansdowne neighborhood. These grants are $25,000 forgiveable loans used to reduce the number of units in a residential building. Ms. Silzle also mentioned that a brochure about the 20 Lansdowne Court property will be in the upcoming Spring newsletter.

Environmental – Ms. Silzle reported that the Environmental Committee last met on March 12th. Regarding recycling, Ms. Silzle indicated that the borough is getting serious about increasing recycling, not only with residences but also apartment buildings, businesses, schools and public spaces. The Committee recently met with Borough staff members Bill Johnson, Craig Totaro, Mayor Young and Betsy Riffert to discuss how recycling efforts can be maximized in the Borough. Efforts are also underway to establish a comprehensive recycling plan for Lansdowne. The upcoming Spring newsletter will include a recycling survey so that residents can give input regarding their recycling habits and preferences that will facilitate this plan. Ms. Silzle indicated that a $93,900 DEP grant was recently awarded to the Borough and she and Mr. Totaro will be meeting with the DEP on March 24th to review the grant.
Mr. Totaro added that the Borough also received a DEP reimbursement of $14,000 for processing work regarding the stream bank restoration in Hoffman Park. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Committee would like a copy of the master plan for all the Borough parks. Mr. Urban indicated that at present there is no master plan for the Borough parks.
Ms. Silzle gave an environmental show and tell on how long it takes the following items to biodegrade:

  • cigarette butts and filters – 12 years
  • brown paper bag – 1 to 5 months
  • plastic bags, caps and lids – decades
  • aluminum cans – 2 to 5 centuries
  • Styrofoam peanuts – virtually forever

Education – Mr. Urban reported that the Education Committee met last night and the first order of business was to identify all the arts and cultural groups in town that provide services to our residents. The Committee hopes to increase the visibility of the various educational and recreational activities by compiling a comprehensive list for circulation among these groups. Mr. Urban reported that School Board member Charlotte Hummel was also present at the meeting and discussions centered on how communications can be improved with the School District. One topic that will be referred to the Environmental Committee for discussion concerns the District’s recycling practices. The next scheduled Education Committee meeting will be held on April 15th.

Infrastructure – Mr. Lee reported that discussions were held regarding the Scottdale Road sewer project issues at last month’s Infrastructure Committee meeting. Other topics of discussion included a Borough wide sidewalk replacement program, doing inventories of the Borough’s street signs and street lighting and working through the Borough’s Delcora issues.

Liaison Reports

  1. Park and Recreation Board – Mr. Urban reported on the following:
    • The Board has prepared a pamphlet to be mailed in the Spring ’08 newsletter that advertises all Borough parks and park facilities.
    • The annual Easter egg hunt was well attended and a big success.
    • Movie Night: Date has been changed to Mary 31st. “Ratatouille” will be the featured movie. Sponsors are wanted.
    • A potential Eagle Scout wants to prepare signs as part of his project for Shrigley Park and Pennock Woods.
    • The Board approved a survey in an area of Reservoir Park across the street due to a tree being in questionable
      condition. Cost is $2300 for the survey. The Board decided not to approve a $4800 survey for a similar situation in an area of Hoffman Park.
    • The Board gave approval for the Lansdowne Boys’ and Girls’ Club to turn a field near the Hoffman Park pavilion into a softball field. The Club will incur the costs for this project.
    • A graffiti offender was apprehended in Marlyn Park. Additionally, there have been problems with downed trees in Marlyn Park and Jeri Staiber will be meeting with an arborist to discuss related issues in this regard.
  2. Library Board – Ms. Silzle reported that a large variety of programs for all age groups are available at the library and residents can log onto www.lansdownepubliclibrary.com for more information. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Delaware County Library System is holding its annual Legislative Breakfast on April 11th.

Communications

There were no communications.

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

Visitors:

James Jackson Resident of Lansdowne – Mr. Jackson mentioned he could not obtain the December 2007 Borough Council general meeting televised tape and asked if the library was no longer getting copies. President Wayne indicated there had been a delay due to changes in taping the meetings and the tapes will soon be available at the library. Mr. Jackson asked if copies of the financial reports will still be available for general distribution at Council meetings. President Wayne stated they would be available.

Dorothy O’Frankel 87 East Stewart Avenue – Mrs. O’Frankel related that her husband had recently been severely beaten by a gang of teenagers near her home at 10:00 p.m. and asked what is being done in terms of raising community awareness regarding crime in the Borough. President Wayne indicated that the Public Safety Committee is in the process of developing a comprehensive plan for Borough public safety and the plan will be discussed at the next Public Safety Committee meeting on April 12th. Ms. Coleman indicated the plan will be implemented very soon after that meeting.

Andrea Kenyon Resident of Lansdowne – Ms. Kenyon in her capacity as a member of the Lansdowne Library Board mentioned that the LBPA has pledged $250 per year for the next four years to the Lansdowne library in recognition of the important services the library provides to residents and to further enhance these services.

Charlie Jeffers 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers mentioned that the Lansdowne library has great buys on used books. Mr. Jeffers mentioned that there is no recycling bin outside the Lansdowne Diner and felt that such a busy intersection should have a container there. Mr. Jeffers again mentioned the street hole that is getting worse near Marlyn Park. Mr. Jeffers indicated he would not pay his recent $62 parking ticket as he felt he was being unfairly treated and never saw the original ticket. President Wayne suggested that Mr. Jeffers and Chief Kortan discuss this matter after the meeting. Mr. Jeffers stated that more residents should attend the Council meetings.

Fran Wayne Resident of Lansdowne – Mrs. Wayne in her capacity as President of Animal Friends of Lansdowne thanked Borough Council for adopting the revised animal ordinance that will help with Lansdowne’s feral cat problem in a more humane manner. Mrs. Wayne mentioned that Paws for Kindness Day has been postponed until September.

Kelly Bliss Resident of Lansdowne – Ms. Bliss mentioned that the Lansdowne Announce website is an e-mail that lists all Borough events and interested residents can log onto www.ShopLansdowne.com to sign up for receiving the e-mails. Ms. Bliss asked that the Infrastructure Committee look into installing rubber sidewalks made from recycled tires that prevent sidewalks from cracking.

Comments from Borough Council Members: There were no comments.

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

Old Business

1.Zoning Ordinance – President Wayne asked if there were any concerns or questions regarding the recent revisions, as the next step is to forward this to the County Planning Department for their review. Ms. Silzle asked if there would be an opportunity for the newly formed Economic Development Committee to look at the document after the County’s review. President Wayne mentioned that could not be done at this time as the ordinance had been dealt with as a committee of the whole last year. However, modifications could be made at a later date after its adoption. Ms. Coleman indicated that last year’s Steering Committee had worked with the County for quite awhile and felt the current version was sound at this point. Mr. Scott pointed out that the historic resources survey portion of this ordinance needs a date filled in when the formal resolution is adopted and suggested that Borough Council approve this resolution at the next Council meeting. President Wayne indicated this matter is on the agenda for the next Business meeting.
Ms. Coleman moved to authorize forwarding the Zoning Ordinance to the County Planning Commission for their review. Mr. Lee seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

2. Baltimore Avenue Revitalization Strategy – Ms. Coleman indicated this is a six municipality effort that deals with making the Baltimore Avenue corridor from the Philadelphia line to Bishop Avenue more pedestrian friendly and business enhancing. The plan is now in place and on April 9th an event will be held at the Clifton Heights fire house from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This event is for potential property developers to get an idea of what the different boroughs envision for their communities. Ms. Coleman indicated this would also be a good opportunity to market Lansdowne.

New Business

There were no items for new business.

Action Items:

1.Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
2.Ms. Coleman moved to advertise Ordinance 1232, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending provisions of the Lansdowne Borough code for the purpose of adding health regulations for itinerant public eating and drinking places and outdoor market. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
3.Ms. Coleman moved to promote Officer Christopher Craig to a Class C Patrol Officer, per the Lansdowne Civil Service Rules and Regulations. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
4.Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution 2008-7, amending Resolution 2006-10, a resolution establishing a schedule of fees and deposits to be paid to the Borough of Lansdowne for applications and for petitions for hearings before the Borough Council, Zoning Hearing Board and the Planning Commission, and for fees and costs for licenses, permits, inspection, agreements, services and materials. Mr. Lee seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
5.Ms. Lustgarten moved to waive the fee associated with the building permit presented in March 2008, by the Lansdowne Boys’ and Girls’ Club. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
6.Mr. Urban moved to approve a Recreation and Park Board approved brochure to be included with the Spring, 2008 newsletter at a cost of $730. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

There were no items for executive session.

Adjourn

Ms. Coleman moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Lustgarten. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:06 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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