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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
April 2, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lustgarten, Ms. Silzle and Mr. Wagner. Councilman Urban arrived at the beginning of Executive Session. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan and Borough Finance Director/Treasurer 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 addition: President Wayne requested that the Fire Chief report be added to the list of reports when preparing the business meeting agenda.

Minutes

Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the March 5, 2008 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously with two modifications noted by Ms. Silzle.
Ms. Coleman moved to suspend the Rules of Order. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Visitors

David Bennett 21 Pennock Terrace – Mr. Bennett mentioned that he would be speaking tomorrow night at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 7:30 regarding the Darby Creek Greenway pilot plan and how it relates to Lansdowne. Mr. Bennett indicated that any initiatives arising from this plan will be put before Borough Council and he invited Council members to attend the meeting. Mr. Bennett mentioned there is a recurring problem with commercial vehicles parking on the sidewalks in front of the Wawa store on Lansdowne Avenue that severely hinders wheelchair bound individuals trying to gain access to the store. President Wayne mentioned that the Public Safety Committee will look into possible line striping in front of the store and asked that the police step up parking enforcement.
Marsh Miller Resident of Lansdowne – Mr. Miller stated that the Delaware County Literacy Council has closed its branch at 50 Plumstead Avenue.
Mr. Lee moved to reinstate the Rules of Order. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

REPORTS AND DISCUSSION

A. Finance Director/Treasurer, Joseph Bartley – Mr. Bartley had no formal report.
B. Engineer Rich Bevilacqua – No report was given in Mr. Bevilacqua’s absence.
C. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott had no formal report.
D. Borough Manager Craig Totaro – Mr. Totaro had no formal report.
E. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that the speed humps have been reinstalled on Scottdale Road. Chief Kortan reported that the officer who sustained a hand injury in the line of duty will be out of work for at least another two weeks. Chief Kortan stated that the written civil service exam for recruiting police officers will be held on April 3rd at 6:00 p.m. at the Twentieth Century Club. Chief Kortan mentioned there were 38 applicants and indicated the current typical applicant pool runs between 40 to 60 applicants.
F. Fire Company First Vice President – Marsh Miller reported that Fire Company member Arnold Moore was instrumental through CPR in saving the life of another fire company member who suffered a cardiac arrest. Mr. Miller indicated that the Fire Company is looking into a valor award for Mr. Moore and will provide more details at a later date.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young indicated the spring newsletter will soon be distributed with a variety of brochure inserts regarding the Human Relations Commission, the Park and Recreation Board, a recycling questionnaire and 20 Lansdowne Court. Mayor Young indicated she will be attending a Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission meeting tomorrow regarding the impact that the housing crisis will have on communities.
President’s Report – President Wayne stated he had received correspondence from PECO petitioning for a rate increase and asked Mr. Scott if Borough Council had any veto power over this increase. Mr. Scott indicated Borough Council had no veto power but Council members could give testimony at the PUC as to why the increase should or should not be given.President Wayne mentioned that PECO’s intent is to use part of the rate increase to help fund additional programs for low income residents and to “increase flow to portions of the service territory experiencing growth”.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman reported that the next Public Safety Committee meeting will be held on April 9th at a new time, 7:00 p.m. The new time will be in effect for all future meetings. The draft of the comprehensive crime prevention plan will be discussed. Ms. Coleman mentioned that a few residents had expressed interest in serving on the panel for the oral examination portion of the police hiring process. Ms. Coleman mentioned that she had recently met the new William Penn School District Superintendent and suggested that Borough Council members and the Education Committee in particular start forging a relationship with him.
2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that Mr. Bartley has investigated bank reconciliations and has now reconciled all the funds for the past 12 months. The beginning balance for all funds is $16,000 more than was anticipated but there is $32,000 less in the Sewer Fund. The auditors have asked for an extension to April 30th but it is anticipated that the report will be filed with the state sooner than April 30th. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that money can be taken out of the Capital Reserves Fund and put into the Sewer Fund to cover the deficit.
3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner reported that the next meeting will be held on April 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Borough Hall.Mr. Wagner reported the grand opening of the Life More Abundant health food store on April 20th. Mr. Wagner mentioned that a group called Cinema 169 run by Dave Titus will be showing a reel of coffee themed movies/commercials at the Regency Café tomorrow night.
4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle reported the next meeting will be held on April 9th at 9:30 a.m.The focus will be on how to remove the many free standing plastic newspaper holder containers primarily in the business district along Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues.
5. Education – No report was given in Mr. Urban’s absence.
6. Infrastructure – Mr. Lee stated he would reserve the majority of his report for the next general meeting. Mr. Lee reported that more information is being requested regarding the Scottdale Road sewer project. The worst area is under a portion of Baltimore Avenue and this will need to be videoed. The next scheduled meeting for April 22nd is to be rescheduled due to primary election day.

OLD BUSINESS

1. Zoning – Commercial Vehicles. President Wayne opened a discussion related to “wrapped vehicles” (billboards on wheels). The current zoning code prohibits any sign outside the general business district (except church or civic signs) that advertises an activity or business not conducted on the premises. Mayor Young indicated that a lot of residents park their business vehicles in their driveways and this could be problematic in light of the zoning code. President Wayne indicated that several residents feel wrapped vehicles are inappropriate and detract from the residential nature of the neighborhood. After further discussion it was suggested that Mr. Scott craft ordinance language to exempt those vehicles with low impact signage but have those with high impact signage kept under cover or in a garage. Mr. Scott suggested doing this as an amendment to the zoning code.
2. 20 Lansdowne Court – Mr. Totaro reported that he will be meeting with a community cooperative representative to tour 20 Lansdowne Court and discuss the possibility of awarding a service grant to provide preliminary architectural engineering for integration of this property and the Twentieth Century Club. There will be a public meeting on April 28th in this regard.
3. Historic Resources Survey – Mr. Scott reported that part of the zoning ordinance provides protection against demolition to historic properties that are on this survey. This needs to be adopted as part of the Borough’s comprehensive plan and Mr. Scott indicated that materials will be forthcoming regarding the process.

NEW BUSINESS

1. DCNR Grant application – Mr. Totaro indicated that April 25th is the deadline for submitting the 2008 DCNR grant. PennDot was unable to qualify some of the elements that were approved by Borough Council in last year’s master plan and this application is for receiving a grant that would fund those previously unqualified elements.
2. Borough Conference – President Wayne relayed the importance of having better communication between Borough Council and the various Borough Boards and Commissions. President Wayne suggested setting up an informal dinner with the Chairs and Vice Chairs of each Board and Commission either at the Twentieth Century Club or the Lansdowne Library.This will provide an opportunity for informal dialogue, not policy discussions or deliberations.
3. Proposal in State Senate – Mr. Lee indicated this proposal would change the PA Constitution to forbid same sex marriage, not recognize common law marriage and also put restrictions on recognizing any kind of adult relationship other than a marriage between a man and woman. Mr. Lee indicated this proposal would also force Lansdowne to eliminate its domestic partner benefits for Borough employees. Mr. Lee will introduce a resolution to lobby against this proposal at the next general meeting. President Wayne indicated that the PA constitution has numerous provisions about what an individual can do but this proposal would be the first of its kind to say what an individual cannot do.
4. Library Board Term Expirations – Ms. Silzle mentioned that terms are expiring for three Library Board members and as the Library Board liaison, she will be recommending that Borough Council approve their reappointments at the next general meeting.

ACTION ITEMS

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 enact 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 markets. Mr. Lee seconded. Mr. Wagner moved to amend the motion to approve Ordinance 1232, as follows: under Section 2, item 2, the word “refrigerated” should be changed to “kept”. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion to enact Ordinance 1232 as amended carried unanimously.
3. Ms. Silzle moved to advertise for public hearing for DCNR grant application for “Gateway Enhancements” related to the Gateway Park Pedestrian/Bicycle Trail at Baltimore Avenue and Scottdale Road, for Wednesday, April 16th, 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Mr. Lee moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a possible litigation issue.Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 8:51 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.

Adjourn

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Urban. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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