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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
October 1, 2008

TThe Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, October 1, 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, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley and Police Chief Kortan. Fire Chief Young was absent.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following changes/additions: (1) President Wayne added an item for discussion under Executive Session and an item regarding the Zoning Ordinance amendment under New Business.


Ms. Coleman moved to approve the minutes of the September 3, 2008 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Public Comment

  1. Joan Reivich – Resident of Lansdowne – In her capacity as Chair of the Lansdowne Human Relations Commission, Ms. Reivich invited public officials and the public to attend a free seminar on conflict resolution to be held October 16th, 7-9 p.m. at the Twentieth Century Club. Pam Whitney, Esq., member of the Human Relations Commission, will facilitate the seminar.
  2. Mary Ann Surla – Resident of Lansdowne – Ms. Surla indicated that directional arrows are necessary at the Baltimore and Lansdowne intersection due to the difficulty in crossing by foot or car. Ms. Surla felt that Lansdowne is not a high crime area and thought it was unnecessary to keep mentioning guns. Ms. Surla indicated that a Lansdowne police officer had used a taser gun on her friend without giving adequate warning.

Borough Council comments:

There were no comments from Borough Council.

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


A.Finance Director/Treasurer Joe Bartley – Mr. Bartley had no formal report but mentioned that there are sufficient funds to meet current obligations.

B.Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott indicated he had one item for Executive Session.

C.Borough Manager Craig Totaro – Mr. Totaro gave updates on the following:

  1. A grant portal is now available through the LEDC to search for grant opportunities and LEDC volunteers will be available to assist.
  2. Fire House work is ongoing.
  3. Mr. Totaro and Mayor Young met with Senator Williams on September 29th regarding help with grant opportunities and how local municipalities can work together through some kind of mutual organization of public works.
  4. Mr. Totaro met last week with the National Historic Resources District. Additional research will take another 6-9 months regarding qualifying Lansdowne as a national historic district.
  5. 20 Lansdowne Court – Approximately $3,000 of work completed on roofing and contractors are lined up for painting.
  6. Baltimore Avenue Revitalization Project – Trees will be arriving on September 13th.
  7. Facility Maintenance – two employees have been hired. One will be a facility maintenance technician and the other will be a property maintenance inspector.

D.Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that recruiting efforts continue regarding part time police officers and he is working toward testing to create a Part-Time only list of applicants. Chief Kortan mentioned there has been a rash of car entries (most of the cars were unlocked) that occurred primarily on the east side of town. Enforcement efforts will be stepped up and Chief Kortan is following up on a few leads.

E.Fire Chief Tom Young – No report was given in Chief Young’s absence.

Mayor’s Report

ayor Young reported that Senator Williams had been outraged over the tipping fee situation. Mayor Young indicated that the first Suburbs Forum was held on September 28th and had been successful.

President’s Report

President Wayne had no formal report.


  1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman reported that her Committee continues to move forward with the emergency access program and a resolution will be adopted tonight regarding parking restrictions on East and West Windermere Terrace. President Wayne asked for an update on the comprehensive crime prevention plan. Ms. Coleman indicated a meeting was held on September 22nd to focus on the best approach. The use of a consultant to help gain a different perspective is also being considered. Mr. Scott mentioned that the Department of Community and Economic Development will do police department audits to help in this regard. President Wayne asked whether the recent enforcement measures taken for the speeding issue on South Lansdowne Avenue had been successful. Chief Kortan indicated that speed had been monitored for two weeks and felt that violations had not increased during the stepped up enforcement. The possibility of night time enforcement may be considered. Mayor Young suggested using unmarked cars. President Wayne asked that the Public Safety Committee and Chief Kortan make this a priority issue.
  2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the first three budget requests have been received. The tipping fees have been reduced to $92,000 and Ms. Lustgarten asked if this issue can still be fought. Mayor Young will call Senator Williams in this regard. Ms. Lustgarten reported that liability insurance costs will be $27,000 less for 2009 and workman’s compensation will be $17,000 less for 2009. The Police Pension MMO is down $21,000. The Liquid Fuels amount for 2009 is down $6,000. President Wayne questioned why there has been so little press coverage on the tipping fee issue. Mr. Scott mentioned that the Delaware County Association of Boroughs is considering suing the County in this matter.
  3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner had no formal report. The next Economic Development Committee will be held on October 22nd at 7:00 p.m. President Wayne asked for the status of the 3 to 5 member increase on the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Wagner indicated there has been some interest and recommendations will soon be forthcoming. In addition, there are some residents interested in the two Planning Commission vacancies. President Wayne asked for an update on the storage pod regulation issue. Mr. Scott is looking at Marple Township’s model and the matter will be discussed at the Economic Development Committee’s October meeting.
  4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle had no formal report and indicated that future Committee meetings will now be held on the second Thursday of each month. The next scheduled meeting is October 9th at 7:00 p.m. President Wayne questioned whether the issue of physical parks management had been resolved. Ms. Silzle indicated that all green space issues will first be presented to the Education and Recreation Committee, then move through to the Environmental Committee, with some possible overlap in some areas. Mr. Urban mentioned that if there is a plan for a park, the Education and Recreation Committee will determine if any particular use is under consideration before passing it to the Environmental Committee. President Wayne brought up three issues and asked how that current plan of action would apply to: (1) Hoffman Park Pavilion; (2) encroachment issues, and (3) Master Site Plan monetary restrictions.

    Regarding the pavilion issue, Mr. Urban indicated it would be a joint effort with the Park and Recreation Board as well as the Environmental Committee. Mr. Urban indicated that the pavilion issue had already been discussed by the Park and Recreation Board with the recommendation that it be torn down. The next steps would involve funding sources. The possibility of an engineering study was also discussed and if deemed necessary would be part of the cost of the project. President Wayne questioned whose committee would bring it to Borough Council to discuss budgeting issues. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to have the Infrastructure Committee report to Borough Council on the various pavilion issues at the appropriate time.

    Regarding the encroachment issues, Mr. Urban indicated that the Education and Recreation Committee will first look at the issue before turning it over to the Environmental Committee, if necessary. President Wayne mentioned that there appear to be encroachments into the lawn on the south side of the Twentieth Century Club. There was some discussion whether to deal with this issue as a committee of the whole. Mr. Urban felt there were too many issues to follow this method. Mr. Lee suggested having Mr. Scott look into a policy that may deal with this issue in other municipalities. President Wayne indicated that any policy should be comprehensive. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to have the Park and Recreation Board first make a recommendation before handing it to the Education Committee, who would bring it to Borough Council.

    Regarding the master site plan restrictions, President Wayne indicated there is $125,000 currently available for parks that requires matching money and that no DCNR applications have been made to date. Mr. Totaro clarified that Lansdowne had been awarded grant money but the County matching grant was never received. After further discussion it was decided to have the Education Committee look into the matter.

    Library Liaison Report: Ms. Silzle reported that Traci Rauck will be the new Library Director, starting October 6th. On November 2nd the Library Board will hold a welcoming event for Traci at the library. No time has yet been set. Ms. Silzle indicated that Ms. Rauck would be publicly welcomed at the November Borough Council general meeting.

  5. Education – Mr. Urban reported that the Education Committee met last week and discussed using a consultant to give a comprehensive recreation program analysis. Mr. Urban indicated that Park Day and Movie Night were well attended and a huge success. The Marlyn Park walk conducted by Bob Bartmann was also well attended and there are plans to conduct another walk next year in the spring. Mr. Urban reported that the Park and Recreation Board suggested naming the stream in Marlyn Park that runs into Falls Run “Avery Run”.
  6. Infrastructure – Mr. Lee had no formal report. The next Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held on October 28th at 7:30 p.m. in Council chambers. President Wayne asked which Committee is looking into the street lighting issue. Mr. Lee indicated his committee is doing the research and reported there are issues in Gladstone Manor. The Infrastructure Committee is also looking into replacing approximately 622 Borough street lights with more energy efficient LED lights. Ms. Coleman asked that the Infrastructure Committee prioritize the Manor lighting problems.


  1. Verizon Franchise Agreement – President Wayne raised his four issues regarding the agreement: (1) Section 3.3 regarding cable service to municipal buildings – school buildings will now be included; (2) Section 6.2 regarding “EG Grant” – President Wayne felt that the $20,000 grant Verizon is providing to the Borough should not be restricted and the agreement has been amended; (3) Map of franchise agreement (Exhibit B) excluded a section of Lansdowne that will now be restored; and (4) Verizon should provide the Borough with free internet access but Verizon is not willing to do so and the agreement remains unchanged in this regard.
  2. American Rivers – Mr. Totaro provided more information related to this proposal to provide technical assistance to the Borough in submitting a grant to NOAA for storm water management. The grant would provide resources to assess and prioritize run off hot spots, design remediation projects that are shovel ready and a second round application would select a priority and construct a remediation priority. President Wayne clarified that the final report has to include recommendations and a plan for Union Avenue and address the downspout issues. Mr. Totaro indicated it could not be promised, as a list of prioritized hot spots are first required and these two items could not just be inserted as priorities. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that there is $5,000 budgeted for storm water engineering in 2007/08 and $4,000 budgeted for storm water management in 2007/08. Only $2,200 was spent in 2007 of that total $9,000 amount and only $98 spent in 2008. Ms. Lustgarten suggested using the remaining $7,500 for this project in 2009. It was President Wayne’s understanding that part of the tasks that the grant will pay for is the review and prioritization of which issues should be developed and the Borough will have no control over it. President Wayne indicated that Wabash Avenue is one area where drains run into the sewer line. Mr. Totaro mentioned that the grant will include Wabash Avenue. Mr. Totaro gave the leverage amounts: Claniel is committing $15,000 for two years. The first phase would include NOAA’s $50,000 and the Borough’s $7,5000.
  3. 2Scottdale Road Sewer Bids – Mr. Lee reported that the bids are coming in cheaper than originally thought and three qualifying bids have been received that are good for 45 days.
  4. Redevelopment Authority – Mr. Wagner mentioned some minor changes, specifically Section 10 – designation of Powers of Authority. President Wayne indicated that he and several other Council members previously had issues with the degree of their agency powers and this change satisfied him but might not go far enough to address the issue for other Council members. Mr. Scott indicated that the Redevelopment Authority cannot bind the Federal or State government or the Borough unless there is a delegation of agency. President Wayne felt that the proposed ordinance did not address far enough the issue of disowning the authority if they overstep their boundaries regardless of the written agency agreement.


  1. Trash Recycling – Ms. Silzle asked for Borough Council’s input regarding the proposed Environmental Committee proposals regarding trash/recycling procedures as follows:

    TRASH pickup for Homes – Pickups continue behind the house; there will now be a 3 can limit (additional trash will need to be put curbside by resident with cans moved by resident to back of house after pickup is made); pickup will now be once a week instead of twice a week.

    TRASH pickup for Apartment Houses less than 6 units – All house trash pickup policies will be in effect and in accordance with the trash fees that apartments pay to the Borough.

    RECYCLING – Change to once a week pickup (currently is once every 2 weeks); pickups continue at curb (no change).

    Ms. Silzle indicated the changes were necessary to divert more trash to recycling which benefits the Borough with income streams and will reduce tipping fees. In addition, educational strategy and implementation plans will be developed after policies are determined. These plans will address access to cans/blocked by cars, separation of bulk trash, not accepting contractor waste and placing yard waste in lawn/garden paper bags or trash cans, not plastic bags. Enforcing these strategies and implementation plans will be developed after polices are determined. Currently the crew will not pick up bulk items behind the house with regular trash. The Borough is committed creating an environment of support and appreciation for the public works crew.
    A discussion followed regarding the ramifications of the changes. Mr. Urban indicated he was not in favor of once per week pickup and the 3 can limit unless there were huge budget cuts in this regard. Mr. Lee stated that increased recycling is necessary to reduce tipping fees and that education will be necessary to inform residents of just how much trash can be recycled. Mr. Wagner favored the once per week pickup behind the house and the 3 can limit. Ms. Silzle indicated the changes would also help better utilize the crew to help eliminate the hiring of temporary workers for trash pickup. Mayor Young mentioned the Pay to Throw programs that some towns have utilized wherein no trash fees are incurred but residents pay a fee for each bag of trash that is picked up. Ms. Coleman felt that state mandates have to be followed and the updated policy would be a good start. President Wayne mentioned that under the proposed changes there would be a 30% workload reduction and was concerned about the service cuts. He asked where the savings would be applied and what services would be compromised if the streets and highway crew get pulled off their regular duties. President Wayne asked if any other relief had been provided to the Borough crew. Ms. Silzle indicated that relief was not the impetus and that education, issues and priorities were the main focus of the discussions. President Wayne questioned the issue of what defines contractor waste and whether leaves are to be considered yard waste. Ms. Coleman questioned the time frame for educating the public. Ms Silzle indicated it would begin in 2009.

  2. Zoning Ordinance Amendment – Mr. Scott indicated that the new ordinance dispenses with traditional setbacks of a set number and now requires finding the averages. Mr. Scott mentioned that the minimum lot size was omitted in the old zoning ordinance and will need to be reinserted into the new ordinance. Minimum lot sizes have also been added to the central business district.


  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Mr. Wagner moved to adopt Ordinance No. 1234, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne creating the Redevelopment Authority of the Borough of Lansdowne. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-2. (Vote: AYE – Wayne, Coleman, Lustgarten, Silzle, Wagner; NAY – Lee, Urban)
  3. Ms. Coleman moved to adopt Ordinance No. 1235, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne prohibiting parking on the west side of the street on East and West Windermere Terraces. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  4. Mr. Lee moved to designate NDI Engineering Borough Engineer. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-2. (Vote: AYE – Wayne, Lee, Lustgarten, Silzle, Wagner; NAY – Coleman, Urban) Discussion: Engineering services will not be limited to NDI. Mr. Urban felt this would be an inefficient and more expensive process. Ms. Coleman felt NDI had not offered viable solutions in the past and did not trust their engineering capacity.
  5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution 2008-15, a Resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne, authorizing the entering into of a cable franchise agreement granting a nonexclusive franchise to Verizon Pennsylvania Inc., to construct, install, maintain, extend and operate a cable communications system in Lansdowne Borough, subject to the three changes earlier discussed by President Wayne. Mr. Urban seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Silzle moved to authorize the Borough Manager to submit a grant application to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and to commit $15,000 of Borough money in the event the grant is awarded (over 2009/2010). Mr. Lee seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  7. Mr. Wagner moved to submit a minimum lot area ordinance to the County and Borough planning agencies and to advertise a hearing on such ordinance. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Ms. Silzle moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a litigation issue. Ms.
Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at
10:45 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.


Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Urban. The motion carried
unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:06 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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