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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
July 2, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, July 2, 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, Borough Manager Totaro, Police Chief Kortan and Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley. Fire Company First Vice President Marsh Miller sat in for Chief Young. Borough Engineer Bevilacqua was absent.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following changes/additions:

  1. Ms. Lustgarten asked to move action item #3 until after Executive Session;
  2. President Wayne will be discussing the August Council meeting schedule under New Business.

Minutes

Ms. Coleman moved to approve the minutes of the June 4, 2008 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Visitors:

Dale Nupp 107 Eldon Avenue – Mr. Nupp asked for clarification of the current Borough Zoning Ordinance, Section 330-9(e)(2) regarding the number of employees allowed in home based businesses in Lansdowne. This specific section regulates the number of employees in a defined professional office to two full or part time employees. Mr. Nupp pointed out that there has been a radical shift in businesses with the growing number of telecommuting employees and business owners working out of their homes. In this regard Mr. Nupp asked if a third employee is allowed on the premises if the first or second employee is absent on any given day. Mr. Nupp asked the Solicitor for guidance on the literal meaning of the ordinance and asked that consideration be given to changing the ordinance, if necessary, to allow more home based businesses that could conceivably stimulate Lansdowne’s economic base. Mr. Lee indicated the need to restrict home businesses. Mr. Scott will research the new Zoning ordinance provisions in this regard and will report back to Borough Council.

Sharmin Bryant Resident of Yeadon – Ms. Bryant mentioned she had received a parking violation ticket in the municipal parking lot near PNC Bank and wanted to contest it, stating that there is poor signage about parking regulations. President Wayne stated that there are two signs at either entrance of the parking lot that provide parking instructions. Chief Kortan added that an additional parking sign has also been installed at the back entrance to the PNC lot indicating the location of the pay station. Mr. Lee indicated that the signs are clear and spaces are numbered.

Susan Warrington Resident of Lansdowne – Ms. Warrington mentioned that the current noise ordinance in Lansdowne seems to favor the violator rather than the reporter, citing loud rap music and barking dogs at all times during the day and night while her children are trying to sleep. Chief Kortan mentioned that there is an acceptable level of decibel noise but any nuisance situations are always investigated by the police. Ms. Warrington indicated she would like to be more involved in Borough business. President Wayne suggested she look at the Borough website for information about the various volunteer opportunities. Mayor Young and Mr. Lee affirmed that Ms. Warrington should not hesitate to call the police. Ms. Warrington questioned whether a moving pod is allowed on a property. Mr. Totaro will refer this matter to the Codes Department.

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

REPORTS AND DISCUSSION

A. Finance Director/Treasurer, Joseph Bartley – Mr. Bartley had no formal report. Mr. Bartley mentioned that the Tax Anticipation Note was paid on June 30th and there are sufficient funds on hand to pay all current obligations.

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 RCN channel is now on and will broadcast simultaneously with the Comcast airing.
  2. A meeting was held today with a contractor who can provide cured in place pipe work for the Scottdale Road sewer project.

Ms. Silzle mentioned that several residents have complained to her about the sound quality of the televised General meetings. Mr. Totaro indicated that he was in the process of drafting a response to Verizon’s franchise agreement that would include the recommended audio equipment at a cost of approximately $2,300. President Wayne asked that this matter be referred to the Finance and Administration Committee. Mr. Lee asked that closed captioning be investigated. Mayor Young asked whether 24 hour programming of Borough events could be shown. Mr. Totaro indicated they could.

E. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that preparations are in place for the July 4th parade. Chief Kortan indicated that the prospective full time police officer has completed more testing and a formal swearing in will take place at the August Council meeting. Chief Kortan indicated he would be unable to attend the August general meeting.

F. Fire Company Marsh Miller – Mr. Miller mentioned that a barbecue will be held at the Fire House on July 20th at 1:00 p.m. This is a company activity, not a public activity.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young mentioned that The Taming of the Shrew will be shown at the Twentieth Century Club on July 10th, 7:00 p.m. Admission is free.

President’s Report – President Wayne had no formal report.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman reported that the Public Safety Committee continues to work on the emergency vehicle access matter. A meeting was held with residents of East and West Windermere Terrace on June 19th and various options were discussed. Several options will be presented to the residents for consideration.

2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that Mr. Bartley and Mr. Totaro are looking at the Borough’s costs for commercial liability and Workers’ Compensation to look at specific coverages and rates. The Finance Committee is also exploring another PennVest loan. In addition, PennVest has grants and this funding option is also being explored. The next application for the grants is due by mid-August.

3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner had no formal report. The next Economic Development Committee meeting will be held on July 23rd. Mr. Wagner mentioned that he would like to host the Working Artists Forum at his home. Mr. Wagner indicated that a new version of the Redevelopment Authority ordinance will be submitted at the next Business meeting.

4. Education – Mr. Urban had no formal report. The next scheduled meeting will be July 15th at 7:30 p.m. In his capacity as Park and Recreation Board liaison, Mr. Urban mentioned that his role is somewhat compromised due to overlapping issues with the Environmental Committee and felt it may be more appropriate for an Environmental Committee member to take on his current liaison role. Mr. Urban indicated that Ms. Silzle would discuss the matter in further detail during her report.

5. Environmental – Ms. Silzle reported that the Environmental Committee met with Barry Malone on June 26th to more fully understand the Park and Recreation Board’s role and responsibilities to the Borough’s green spaces and parks, to aid communication and coordination and not duplicate efforts among the various entities that are dealing with the parks and green spaces. In this regard the Committee wants to determine which plans guide their strategies to reflect the Borough’s priorities and impact Borough spending. Mr. Malone indicated that the current Multi Municipality Plan and the Gateway Park Plan are reviewed for potential projects and it was suggested that the Borough’s Comprehensive Plan also be utilized. Ms. Silzle reported that they also discussed the Pavilion at Hoffman Park, the Park and Recreation Board’s concern about the periodic flooding issue there in the bathrooms and the possibility that the pavilion may be removed. If the current stream bank restoration helps stop the flooding, the necessity of replacing the pavilion will have to be rethought. Mr. Totaro had informed them of a $125,000 matching planning grant from the DCNR and the release of this money to initiate planning would require matching funds from the 5 participating municipalities for a total of $250,000. Once released, the Borough would use its grant money for planning at Hoffman Park.
Ms. Silzle indicated that Shade Tree Board Chair Mary Lou Jennings was also present at the meeting and disclosed that Jack Kelly of the Park and Recreation Board is a liaison to this committee. In this regard there was a discussion concerning who was responsible for the periodic assessments of the trees, plants and vegetation in the Borough’s parks and green spaces. Quarterly meetings will be held in the future with both Mrs. Jennings and Mr. Malone.
Ms. Silzle indicated that another draft of the Shade Tree Ordinance was reviewed and the latest draft will be presented to Borough Council at the next Business Meeting.
Ms. Silzle reported that the Greater Gladstone Civic Association sent a funding request to the Borough for a variety of issues, one of which is providing electricity and water to the Gladstone Manor Island. The Environmental Committee is recommending installing only the water access for a cost of $800-$1000.
The last topic for discussion was recycling issues and ideas were presented about how to increase recycling at residences.
Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Library Board and Lansdowne Library will be hosting a patron thank you party for departing Director Amy Gillespie on July 31, 1 to 4 p.m.
The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on July 9th at 9:30 a.m.
Mr. Wagner questioned the electricity costs proposed for the Gladstone Manor island. Mr. Totaro will further investigate any potential cost savings.
Mr. Lee questioned whether the Environmental Committee would be overseeing the Parks and Recreation Board and if an Ad Hoc Committee might be necessary to discuss the issues. Ms. Silzle felt that the Committee’s relationship in this regard is more symbiotic in nature. President Wayne asked that any further discussion be postponed until more information is received from Mr. Urban and Ms. Silzle about the exact issues. Mr. Urban reiterated that his giving information to the Park and Recreation Board doesn’t make sense, as it is not coming from the Committee in charge and that particular issue needs to be resolved.

6. Infrastructure – Mr. Lee had no formal report.

Old Business

1. Update on New Zoning Ordinance – Ms. Coleman reported that approval was granted by the County.
Mr. Scott indicated that all the procedural issues have been completed but that a hearing needs to be held at the first Council meeting in August regarding the Zoning Ordinance. Once that meeting is held, the ordinance can be adopted if there are no changes. President Wayne questioned whether Borough Council has to accept the Delaware County Planning Commission’s recommendations. Mr. Scott indicated it was not necessary.

New Business – President Wayne opened a discussion about Council meeting dates in August. After some discussion there arrived a consensus to cancel the general meeting.
Mr. Wagner moved to cancel the August Lansdowne Borough Council General meeting. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

ACTION ITEMS

1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for the period. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

2. Ms. Silzle moved to advertise Ordinance No. 1229, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending Chapter 305 of the Lansdowne Code entitled “Trees” to exempt Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues from the prohibition against planting trees between the sidewalk and the cart way of any street within the Borough. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. A discussion ensued. Mr. Wagner wanted assurance that the trees would not become a visibility barrier in the business district. Mr. Scott indicated this is not an ordinance issue but is rather an implementation issue. President Wayne indicated that this current version now applies to all residents and no longer includes the original Baltimore Avenue corridor restrictive areas. President Wayne asked whether Council wanted to make the ordinance exemption specific to the Borough so that control can be retained. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to table the original motion until all issues are resolved. Mr. Wagner moved to table the original motion. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

3. This motion will be made after Executive Session.

4. Mr. Wagner moved to execute “First Amendment Non-Exclusive License Agreement”, between the LEDC and the Borough. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize the Borough Manager to hire two (2) temporary part-time employees for maintenance and grounds keeping. Mr. Urban seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

6. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize the spending of up to $1,000 for a water connection to the island at Gladstone Manor. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Ms. Coleman moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a personnel and a real estate matter. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:02 p.m.

Public Session

Upon reconvening to Public Session, the following motions were made:

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to hire a full time temporary employee in the Sanitation Department, to temporarily fill a vacant position. Mr. Lee seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  2. Mr. Wagner moved to retain Eric Messner of Wegman Properties to consult with the Borough on development projects at a rate of $125 per hour, not to exceed a maximum of $3,000. Mr. Urban seconded. Ms. Lustgarten moved to amend the original motion to reset the maximum from $3,000 to $625. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. Ms. Lustgarten moved to retain Eric Messner at a rate of $125 per hour, not to exceed $625. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Adjourn

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Silzle. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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