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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
June 4, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, June 4, 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, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley and Fire Chief Young. Borough Engineer Bevilacqua was absent.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following changes/additions:
(1) Mr. Wagner asked that item 5 under Discussion Issues be discussed first;
(2) Ms. Coleman will be making action item number 2.


Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the May 7, 2008 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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


Melissa England Gladstone Road – Ms. England asked when residents should come to the next Public Safety Committee meeting to get clarification on the issues regarding emergency vehicle access and street safety. The meeting dates had been incorrectly listed and Ms. England wanted to know how the public would have been made aware of any Committee decisions if they had attended on the wrong date. Ms. Coleman clarified that the next Committee meeting will be held on June 11th, 7:00 p.m. in Borough Hall and that all Public Safety Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. Ms. Coleman added that no changes would be ever made without first informing the community.

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


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 reported on the following items:

  1. The Darlington Arts Center field trip is scheduled for June 25th at 10:00 a.m.
  2. The Planning Commission Chair has submitted recommendations to Borough Council to adopt the Zoning Ordinance and to include the historic resources survey.
  3. The Lansdowne library is now wireless.
  4. RCN has put in their return line and Lansdowne RCN subscribers will soon be able to view the Borough Council televised meetings.
  5. The Council of Governments met last week regarding the tree project on Baltimore Avenue and 60 trees have been committed for delivery in the Fall.
  6. Drexel Avenue sewer project is completed. Cost of project is $32,000 less the $7,000 received from Aqua Water Company.
  7. The recycling grant has been preliminarily approved.

E. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that the Memorial Day parade and 5K run went well and preparations are now underway for the July 4th parade and fireworks display. Chief Kortan indicated that street markings and stop sign issues at Walsh and Gladstone Roads will be addressed after Aqua Water Company has vacated the area.

F. Fire Company Chief Young – Chief Young asked for an update on the side lot near the Fire Company. Mr. Totaro indicated that the project is almost ready to be closed up. The road and sidewalk portion will be finished this week and a future meeting will be held regarding the Lansdowne Theater water runoff problem.


1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman had no formal report.

2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Finance Committee had reviewed a landlord complaint regarding the cost of rental inspections and request for a reduction. After further discussion the Committee decided that rental inspection fees would not be reduced at this time. The Committee is also looking into an objective evaluation system for standardizing the pay scale for Borough employees. The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on July 7th.

3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner had no formal report. The next Economic Development Committee meeting will be held on June 17th at 7:00 p.m. in Borough Hall.

4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle had no formal report. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on June 26th at 7:00 p.m. in Borough Hall. It is anticipated that Barry Malone, Chair of the Recreation and Parks Board, will be attending this meeting.

5. Education – Mr. Urban had no formal report. The next Education and Recreation Committee meeting will be held on June 17th at 7:30. In his capacity as Park and Recreation liaison, Mr. Urban indicated that Movie Night in the park had been cancelled and may be rescheduled for some time in September.

6. Infrastructure – Mr. Lee reported that the Scottdale Road sewer lines will be videoed on June 16th. The Committee has referred the replacing of traffic lights with LED lights to the Finance Committee. Mr. Lee mentioned that Celebration Theater is having financial difficulties and he will continue to meet with their representatives for possible solutions. President Wayne asked that Ms. Lustgarten and Mr. Urban be apprised of any decisions in this regard.


1. Farmers Market Shed – Mr. Wagner and Jennifer Hoff presented their plan for putting a 6×8 foot shed on the Lansdowne Avenue municipal parking lot to accommodate tents, tables and market supplies for the vendors. No food or flammable material will be stored in the shed. After a lengthy discussion regarding a variety of issues, Mr. Scott recommended doing an amendment to the existing agreement between the Borough and the LEDC to address the issues, such as a hold harmless agreement, HARB restrictions, etc. Mr. Totaro will arrange for a meeting with the HARB.

2. Redevelopment Authority – Mr. Wagner opened a discussion on the proposed ordinance for establishing a Redevelopment Authority in Lansdowne. Mr. Wagner indicated that the ordinance had been discussed with the Codes and Economic Development Committees and members were in favor of it. A variety of concerns were voiced by Borough Council members such as who would pay the Authority’s personnel, the structure of ordinance language and whether it can be changed, any potential cost to the Borough and liability issues surrounding bad investments, eminent domain issues and funding. Mr. Lee and Mr. Urban expressed concern with the existing ordinance language and wanted more information regarding potential costs to the Borough. President Wayne mentioned that a Redevelopment Authority provides the mechanism for accumulating properties and redeveloping built up areas and would be an independent entity appointed by the Mayor. The Authority cannot bind the Borough to fund their attorney and staff. Mr. Scott indicated that the Authority can control where a property goes and can block undesirable owners and projects. Ms. Coleman mentioned that funding would be easier to obtain with the Authority in place. President Wayne indicated that any Redevelopment Authority Board would have to go through many avenues i.e., the HARB, the Zoning Hearing Board, etc. After further discussion it was decided that Mr. Scott will look into the language concerns and issues.

3. 2008 Paving Program – Mr. Lee reported that the Infrastructure Committee had recommended the following five roads for repairs:

  1. Wycombe Avenue near Marshall Road;
  2. Ardmore Avenue;
  3. Willowbrook Avenue;
  4. Essex Avenue near the school; and
  5. Stratford and Willowbrook Avenue intersection.

The entire roads budget will be spent on these roads. Mr. Bevilacqua will provide bid specifications with and without the prevailing wages information. Mr. Totaro indicated that the costs based on prevailing wage is $2,500 to $3,000 per paving day with 5 days of paving; without prevailingwage the cost would be $12,500 to $15,000 per project depending upon the contractor, or 5-6% of the project.

4. 20 Lansdowne Court – Grant has been approved by the Community Design Collaborative for a team of five members whose pro bono professional services range between $8,000 to $15,000. The Borough will send the LEDC $500 to start the process.

5. Library Air Conditioning – Ms. Silzle reported that currently there is no air conditioning in the library. The coming heat wave may force shutting down the library for the next several days. Mr. Totaro reported one bid was received for $24,400 to replace the core components of both units. Mr. Lee indicated that the Infrastructure Committee in prior discussions had recommended replacing the entire system instead of continually doing patch repairs. Mr. Lee indicated that temporary cooling units should be put into place immediately. Mr. Lee also mentioned that various Keystone grants are available but have a June 30th application deadline and are a 50/50 match. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that in the future the debt service will be going down enough to allow the Borough to borrow up to $1.2 million. After further discussion it was decided to install temporary cooling units and to pursue the grant paperwork for doing all necessary repairs to the heating and cooling systems as well as the roof. Mr. Lee then made the following motions:

Mr. Lee moved to authorize the installation of temporary cooling units in the library for an indefinite period of time. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Lee moved to replace the entire HVAC system in the library for a cost up to $200,000. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with President Wayne abstaining from the vote.

Mr. Lee moved to assist the Library Board with submitting the Keystone Grant Program application by June 30th to replace the existing HVAC system in the library and explore adding the roof repairs to the grant for a cost up to $150,000. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Lee indicated he would pursue seeking grant help from Senator Williams.

6. Darlington Arts Center Field Trip – Mr. Totaro indicated only one response had been received for the June 25th proposed trip and asked for alternative dates.


1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of the bills for period. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
2. Ms. Coleman moved to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission to forward the New Zoning Ordinance to the County Planning Department. Mr. Wagner seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
3. Ms. Lustgarten moved to release $500 to the LEDC for design services grant related to 20 Lansdowne Court. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Ms. Coleman moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 10:15 p.m.

Public Session

Upon reconvening to Public Session, the following motion was made:

Ms. Coleman moved to authorize Chief Kortan to institute a pilot program for the hiring of four part time police officers. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.


Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Silzle. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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