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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
July 16, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, July 16, 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 Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry and Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley. Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young were absent. Borough Engineer Bevilacqua was excused.

President Wayne stated that the meeting would air on July 21st at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 10 and RCN channel 52.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following additions/changes: (1) Ms. Silzle is adding a motion to advertise revisions to the Tree Ordinance, Section 305 of the Borough Code.

Minutes

Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the June 18, 2008 Council General Meeting, as modified and submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried with one abstention by Mr. Lee.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor Young had no announcements or presentations.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Bartley presented the June 30, 2008 report as follows: The General Fund sustained a deficit of $743,000 in June due to cyclical variations in revenues and expenses but has a year to date surplus of $1,518,000; June revenues were $4,268,000 and expenditures were $2,750,000. The Sewer Fund reflected a deficit of $169,000 for June due to the payment of $223,000 in sewer fees but the year to date surplus is $577,438; total June revenues of $1,195,000 and expenditures of $117,000. The Liquid Fuels Fund sustained a deficit of $30,000 in June, attributable to the payout of $30,000 retainage for the Drexel Avenue work; $199,000 was received by the County in liquid fuels funds. The Capital Reserve Fund had little activity in June; year to date deficit was $101,753 with an ending balance of $173,656.92. The Non Uniform Pension Plan reflected a year to date surplus of $11,730.55 (as of May 30th) with an ending balance of $1,244,946.02, total revenues of $81,975 and expenditures of $70,745. The Police Pension Fund sustained a year to date (as of June) deficit of $609,000 with an ending balance of $6,029,406.

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Scott had no formal report.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Young reported that this year’s Arts Festival will be held on September 13th and 14th at the Twentieth Century Club. Mayor Young reminded residents to not overstuff their trash cans as this places undue burden on the sanitation workers. Yard waste is picked up the last Wednesday of the month. Mayor Young reported that Lansdowne resident Marcus McIlhenney is the coxswain for the U.S. Rowing Team and will be participating in the Beijing Olympics.

Council President’s Report

President Wayne had no formal report.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Public Safety

Ms. Coleman reported that the Committee met on July 9th and focused on the development and content of the comprehensive crime prevention plan. In addition, the emergency vehicle access program was discussed and one additional street has been added. A June 19th meeting was held with residents of East and West Windermere Terrace and four alternatives were presented to them. An additional meeting will be held next week to discuss what will be done from an implementation standpoint. The next Public Safety Committee meeting will be held on September 10th with the possibility of an additional September meeting to discuss the comprehensive crime prevention plan.

Finance

Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Committee met on July 7th to continue the evaluation of non-union employees’ salaries. An annual salary increase based on performance is also being discussed. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that the Infrastructure Committee presented a recommendation to change traffic signal bulbs to LED bulbs for a cost of $13,000 that would realize a $9,000 per year savings. An additional $5,000 will be realized when PennDot replaces the lights on Baltimore Avenue. The savings would then be used to change Borough street lighting. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that the budget schedule is still being reviewed and residents are welcome to attend the public budget meetings when scheduled. Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Police Pension Fund performance through June 30th is a negative 5.7%. The Committee is looking at ways to reduce overall large administration costs. A police pension meeting will be held on August 27th at 5:30.

Economic Development

Mr. Wagner had no formal report. The next Economic Development Committee meeting will be held on July 23rd at 7:00 p.m. Mr. Wagner mentioned that the last Sofa Cinema show for the summer will be held on July 26th. Mr. Wagner announced that the Farmers Market is held on Saturdays from 9-1.

Environmental

Ms. Silzle reported a 4% increase in June’s recycling from June of last year with a diversion rate of 12.6%.The ideal diversion rate is 20%. At this morning’s Environmental Committee meeting, Sanitation Department Head Bill Johnson and 4 long term sanitation employees met with the Environmental Committee to express a variety of concerns regarding trash pickup. In that regard, Ms. Silzle reminded residents that all trash should be put into bags, no yard waste is to be intermingled with regular trash, large items go out in bulk trash, cars should not be parked in driveways or elsewhere that could obstruct the pickup efforts and more than a normal amount of trash should be put curbside. Ms. Silzle indicated that the Mayor and the Environmental Committee are seeking ways to educate the public about the trash restrictions and the rules now in place will be enforced.Another meeting is to be held with the Public Works Department and the findings will be presented at the September business meeting.

Also discussed was the system now in place for using the portable recycling units that have been procured for public events in the Borough.

Ms. Silzle indicated that any issues regarding the parks will be deferred until the Committee structure is resolved. Mr. Urban and Ms. Silzle will present their findings at the August business meeting. The next Environmental Committee will be held on August 13th at 9:30 a.m.

Ms. Silzle mentioned that unsolicited flyers can be recycled and delivery can be stopped by calling the number on the plastic sleeve.

Education and Recreation

Mr. Urban reported that at last night’s Education Committee meeting, Jennifer Hoff gave an update on the schools and discussed ways to pool resources to help with the educational and recreational opportunities for all residents. Also discussed was the possibility of hiring a consultant or part time help to assist with recreational programs. The next Education and Recreation Committee meeting will be held on September 16th at 7:30 p.m.

Infrastructure

Mr. Lee reported that the Infrastructure Committee met last night and that Mr. Totaro has done extensive research into money saving methods for sewer work. Bids will open on July 29th on the paving projects that include Wycombe between Plumstead and East Essex, East Essex between Congress and Lansdowne, West Essex between Windermere and Ardmore, Ardmore Avenue from Baltimore to Stratford and Willowbrook from Stratford to Baltimore. The next Infrastructure Committee will be held on July 22nd at 7:30 p.m.

Liaison Reports

  1. Library Board – Ms. Silzle mentioned that Amy Gillespie will be leaving her position as Library Director and a Patron Appreciation Party will be held at the library on July 31st between 1 – 4 p.m. Ms. Silzle reported that the second air conditioning unit is installed and the amp power will be upgraded.
  2. Park and Recreation Board – Mr. Urban had no formal report but mentioned that a Board meeting will be held on July 31st in Hayes Park.

Communications

There were no communications.

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

Visitors:

Charles Jeffers 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers mentioned that the pedestrian crossing signs are still scattered throughout the Borough. Mr. Jeffers mentioned that a recycling can is needed at the Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenue intersection. Mr. Jeffers asked if there is any information available regarding utilities/mortgage assistance. Mayor Young indicated that the Borough website has information in this regard at lansdowneborough.com. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Environmental Committee is looking into placing recycling cans throughout various business district sites in Lansdowne.
Wendy Chmielewski 34 Pennock Terrace – Ms. Chmielewski in her capacity as a Library Board member questioned what kinds of general responsibilities does Borough Council envision in the search for a new Library Director. Ms. Chmielewski indicated that a mid to lower pay scale range may make it harder to find a qualified director that can best serve the Borough’s needs given the present economic climate. President Wayne indicated that this matter will be referred to the Library liaison.

Comments from Borough Council Members:

Ms. Silzle thanked Ms.Chmielewski and the Library Board for their efforts in moving the Director search forward.

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

Old Business

No items for old business.

New Business

No items for new business.

Action Items

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Mr. Wagner moved to allow expanded Parking Lot usage for the Farmer’s Market on the following dates: 7/26 Volkswagen Club event and 8/2 Farmer’s Market Community Day. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  3. Ms. Coleman moved to offer employment to Tina Selimis, to fill Patrolman vacancy in the Police Department. Mr. Lee seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 6-1 with Mr. Urban abstaining from the vote.
  4. Mr. Lee moved to upgrade traffic signals to LED lights at a cost of approximately $13,000. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  5. Ms. Silzle moved to advertise to fill Library Director position, which will be left vacant upon Director’s resignation on August 12, 2008. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Silzle moved to advertise an amendment to the Sidewalk Ordinance permitting the planting of trees between the sidewalk and curb in the Redevelopment District portion of the Borough. Mr. Lee seconded. A discussion followed. Ms. Silzle indicated that the installation of trees in sidewalks of the central business district area, specifically those locations defined and called for in the Downtown Redevelopment Plan, shall be exempt from the restrictions contained in this subsection provided approval from the Borough Council is obtained. Mr. Totaro indicated the areas in question include the Baltimore Corridor to Union Avenue and one block into the intersecting streets. Ms. Coleman questioned whether this references the Baltimore Avenue revitalization strategy. Mr. Totaro indicated that it does reference the trees in a contextual planning sense but this amendment designates specific sites. Mr. Scott mentioned that a schematic of what is being planted and where will be presented for Borough Council’s approval. Mr. Lee asked if there was a list of approved trees and wanted an idea of the process before voting to approve this motion. Ms. Silzle indicated that the proposed change only refers to placement of trees (Section 305.10 of the Borough Code). President Wayne clarified that the Environmental Committee was looking to structure an appropriate exception to the Borough sponsored plan to plant 60 trees along Baltimore Avenue and that individual property owners who wished to plant trees in front of their property would have to come before Borough Council for approval if this motion passes. The motion to advertise the change carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Ms. Coleman moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a personnel and a real estate issue. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 8:45 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.

Adjourn

Mr. Lee moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Silzle. The motion carried unanimously.The meeting adjourned at 10:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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