How May We Help You?  |  Citizen Action Forms  |  Contact Us  |  Sign up for E-newsletter
The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
December 3, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, December 3, 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 and Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley. Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young were absent.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following changes/additions: (1) 2009 budget discussion will be held under Old Business.

Minutes

Mr. Lee moved to approve the minutes of the November 5, 2008 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Silzle moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear visitor comments. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Public CommentMolly Olshefsky – 59 West Greenwood Avenue – Mrs. Olshefsky indicated that having both trash and recycling pickup at the back of residences once a week would better serve the Borough and questioned
if any counter arguments had been proposed on this idea. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the EnvironmentalCommittee is considering this proposal and the recent recycling survey results showed support for the idea of picking up recycling every week.

Borough Council comments: There were no comments. Ms. Lustgarten moved to reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

REPORTS AND DISCUSSION

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 had no formal report.

C.Borough Manager Craig Totaro – Mr. Totaro had no formal report.

D.Police Chief Dan Kortan – No report was given in Chief Kortan’s absence. E.Fire Chief Tom Young – No report was given in Chief Young’s absence.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young mentioned that the 9th Lansdowne Gives Program is ongoing and donations can be dropped off at Borough Hall. Jennifer Hoff is spearheading the effort. Mayor Young asked for any newsletter ideas before publication in January. Mayor Young mentioned that the resident at 194 Berkley keeps getting their vehicle hit due to no lighting in that area. Mr. Totaro will follow up.

President’s Report – President Wayne reported on the following:

  1. Elm Street Program – meeting yet to be set up with Yeadon’s Borough Council President to discuss final issues related to the program. Mr. Coleman mentioned that the Borough can reapply for an additional five years of funding.
  2. Revitalization Plan – Borough Council will provide a list of priorities to Mr. Totaro by December 10th for recommendation to County Council.
  3. Celebration Theater – meeting was held with Mary Kay Bowden. Past debts have been paid
    off and productions are still being held but the Theater is still struggling to break even and they are requesting free rent in 2009 for the Twentieth Century Club. The current rental is $4500 per year for three productions of three weekends each. In this regard Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that the Lansdowne
    Friends School had requested a fundraising rate reduction for this year. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that
    a fee schedule has been developed and asked what determines whether or not an organization is deemed
    a community center. President Wayne felt it would be appropriate to give Celebration Theater a $4500
    grant but also collect rent and provide a line item for this. Ms. Silzle mentioned that a $1500 grant was awarded to the Theater in August and future bookings information was to have been forthcoming for analysis. After further discussion it was decided to have the Finance Committee hold further discussions after the booking information is received and bring recommendations back to Borough Council.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

  1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman had no formal report. Ms. Coleman mentioned that the Fire Company will be holding their Christmas Party on December 13th from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Polish American Club. Borough Council members are invited.
  2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Finance Committee met on December 1st. Regarding the Friends School request for a reduced fee, the Committee decided to charge the usual fee of $700 for a non profit organization. Regarding the 2009 trash collection fees, Ms. Lustgarten indicated that with the County imposed additional trash fee, it would amount to an additional $25 per household. This additional $25 charge will be included in the Borough’s trash fee for a total of $224. In this regard Mr. Totaro is developing a mailer to be inserted with the Borough real estate tax bills. Mr. Totaro is also drafting an ordinance for free usage of Borough lots for one time use events.
  3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner had no formal report.
  4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle had no formal report. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on December 11th at 7:00 p.m.
  5. Education – Mr. Urban had no formal report. The next Education Committee meeting will be held on December 16th.
  6. Infrastructure – Mr. Lee had no formal report and indicated there may not be a December Infrastructure Committee meeting.

OLD BUSINESS

  1. CDBG. – Mr. Totaro presented a list of proposed priorities for this grant money as follows: (1) Schappett Terrace Sewer and Laterals; (2) demolition of a residence; (3) other sewer repairs; (4) sidewalks and lighting (2007 and 2008 applications not awarded); (5) municipal lot repairs; (6) downtown sidewalks; and (7) pedestrian crosswalks. Mr. Scott pointed out that item 2, demolition, does not have to be in a grant application. Ms. Coleman asked if there could be any help for the Union Avenue flooding issues. President Wayne indicated there is no ability to control this problem due to insufficient capacity of the storm sewers. Mr. Lee suggested using the grant for sidewalks and anything that affects pedestrians. Mr. Totaro indicated that approximately $100,000-$125,000 is the Schappett Terrace project cost. Mr. Wagner asked if plans for bike paths along the Scottdale Road creek could be considered. President Wayne indicated the County Greenway Plan could fund this with non-CDBG money. Mr. Wagner felt that supplemental lighting on East and West Windermere Terrace, antique lighting fixtures in Gladstone Manor and signage for the Highland Avenue lot should be considered as well. After further discussion there arrived a consensus on the two priorities: (1) Schappett Terrace sewer and laterals and any other sewer repairs that can be made, and (2) municipal lot repairs (plus add improved signage for the Highland Avenue lot).
  2. PennDot Grant – Mr. Totaro reported that he had met with some transportation planners and he is currently working on a narrative for pedestrian connections between the municipal lots as well as an engineering study for a pedestrian bridge. Two projects can be requested. Application deadline is December 15, 2008.
  3. Revitalization Program – Mr. Totaro indicated that the County needs the Borough’s 50 generic rankings by December 12, 2008.There will be 10 priority rankings in each of the 5 topic areas: economic development, transportation, housing, public safety and infrastructure. Ms. Coleman asked if the rankings would be determined by a majority. President Wayne indicated he and Mr. Totaro would compile the list based on what appears to be the consensus of Council. Ms. Silzle and Ms. Lustgarten indicated they would like to see the input calculations that will be used to determine the rankings.
  4. 2009 Budget – Ms. Lustgarten gave an update on the budget based on additional information. The General Fund ending balance will be $187,000 with a 3.75% increase. The health insurance rates are still being negotiated. Additionally, the Delcora numbers have increased to $906,000, up $13,000. The projected Sewer Fund balance is now $127,000 instead of $121,000. There were no changes in the Liquid Fuels fund. The end result after all changes is a 3.75% tax increase, a 2% sewer fee increase, no Borough trash fee increase and $130,000 left in the Capital Reserves fund. This translates to approximately a $35 per household tax increase, $5.77 increased sewer fee per household and the additional Delaware County Council trash tax of $25.00 per household. Ms. Lustgarten indicated preliminary 2010 budget findings of an ending balance of $11,000 with a 2% tax increase.

NEW BUSINESS

  1. Carbon Monoxide – Mr. Wagner reported that currently there is no requirement for a carbon
    monoxide detector test when properties transfer. The discussion centered on whether or not to amend the property transfer inspection ordinance to require the purchaser of a property to sign an acknowledgement of risk certification if there were no carbon monoxide detectors on the premises as a condition to the issuance of a final or provisional property transfer certificate. Mr. Scott indicated that the Borough is prohibited from amending the Property Maintenance Code requiring carbon monoxide detectors in homes and that a state L & I approval would be necessary if enforcing an ordinance for such a test. Mayor Young questioned whether this was a crisis in the Borough. Mr. Totaro indicated that large numbers of activated carbon monoxide alarms have been reported. President Wayne mentioned that the Commonwealth has deemed it a non issue and prohibits the Borough from enforcing it. Also, the Borough has no legal liability in this regard. After further discussion it was decided to vote on the issue later on in the meeting.
  2. Street Opening Fees – Mr. Totaro indicated an ordinance would be required as the language
    changes the amount of fees charged for larger projects. Instead of the current square footage number that is used, it would instead be the number of weeks of a project. This gives the Codes Department a
    more accurate method for charging utilities companies for street openings. Mr. Scott and Mr. Totaro
    will further investigate the issue.

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Mr. Lee seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution No. 2008-18, a resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne amending the Non-Uniform Pension Plan and the eligibility for participation. Mr. Lee seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  3. Mr. Wagner moved to enact Ordinance No. 1237, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne increasing number of members of Zoning Hearing Board from three (3) to five (5). Ms. Coleman seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  4. Mr. Wagner moved to adopt Resolution No. 2008-22, a resolution appointing Ginny Perrine-Wilson to the Zoning Hearing Board, for a three year term expiring 12/31/11. Ms. Silzle seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to advertise Ordinance 1238, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne fixing the tax rate for 2009 at 10.178 mills with a 3.75% increase. Ms. Silzle seconded. A roll vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Lustgarten moved to advertise Ordinance 1239, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne to estimate the number of gallons of water which will be consumed by persons whose properties are connected to the public sewers of the Borough for the year 2009 at a 2% increase and to fix the amount of sewer rental or charge to be made to each property connected to the sewers at the rate of $5.70 per 1000 gallons. Ms. Coleman seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  7. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve tax assessment appeals for 160 East Plumstead Avenue and 52 East Stratford Avenue on the terms negotiated by the William Penn School District. The motion failed for lack of a second. Mr. Wagner then made the motion.Mr. Lee seconded. The motion carried with a voice vote.
  8. Mr. Wagner moved to advertise Ordinance 1240, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending the property transfer inspection ordinance to require the purchaser of a property not containing carbon monoxide detectors to sign an acknowledgement of risk certification as a condition to the issuance of a final or provisional property transfer certificate. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-2 (Aye – Coleman, Lustgarten, Silzle, Urban and Wagner; Nay – Wayne and Lee).

Executive Session

Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss several matters. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:30 p.m.

Public Session

The following motion was made upon reconvening to Public Session:
Ms. Lustgarten moved to grant a $50 Christmas bonus to Borough employees as has been done each year in the past. Mr. Lee seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Adjourn

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Lustgarten. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

Classic Towns

Storm Water
Borough Pics