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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
Wednesday – December 17, 2008

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday,
December 17, 2008, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lustgarten and Ms. Silzle. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Police Chief Kortan and Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley. Councilmen Urban and Wagner were absent as well as Fire Chief Young.

President Wayne stated that the meeting would air on December 22nd at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 10 and RCN channel 52.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with no additions/changes.

Minutes

Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the November 19, 2008 Council General Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor Young had no presentations or announcements.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Bartley presented the November 30, 2008 report as follows: The General Fund reflected a beginning balance of $243,675, ytd revenues of $5,417,689, ytd expenditures of $5,395,475 and an ending balance of $265,889. The Sewer Fund reflected a beginning balance of $134,134, revenues of $1,311,605, expenditures of $1,201,949 and an ending balance of $243,790, reflecting a surplus of $109,656. The Liquid Fuels Fund reflected a beginning balance of $175,301, revenues of $235,542, expenditures of $104,012, ending balance of $306,831 and a surplus of $131,530. In December a $200,000 payment will be made to R. F. Damon for the 2009 Road Program. The Capital Reserves Fund reflected a beginning balance of $275,410, ytd revenues of $5,456.67, expenditures of $105,800 and an ending balance of $175,067. The Non-Uniform Pension Plan reflected a beginning balance of $1,233,215, revenues of $145,945, expenditures and decrease in portfolio value of $375,465, a year to date deficit of $229,520 and an ending balance of $1,003,699. The Police Pension Fund reflected a beginning balance of $6,639,162, revenues and contributions of $459,751, expenditures and decrease in portfolio value of $2,708,806, year to date deficit of $2,249,055 and an ending balance of $4,390,107.
The beginning balance for all funds was $8,700,898 with revenues of $7,575,989, expenditures of $9,891,507, year to date deficit of $2,315,517 and an ending balance of $6,385,380. President Wayne asked if the $2,700,000 disbursements in the Police Pension Fund also reflected the portfolio value loss. Mr. Bartley affirmed it was the unrealized loss. President Wayne indicated this loss would impact the amount of Borough payments made to the pension fund in future years.

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Scott had no formal report.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Young mentioned that the Jingle Judges will be out to judge holiday decorations the week between Christmas and New Year. Mayor Young also mentioned that she received an e-mail from the Borough sewer technician, Kevin Lafferty, regarding ways to save money in the area of waste water management. Additional information will be posted on the Borough web site about a cleanout cap that can deflect storm water from the sewer lines when installed on the sewer cleanout access. Mayor Young indicated that based on recent Borough police reports, there have been more incidents of fraud and cautioned residents against falling victim to unsolicited offers. Mayor Young mentioned that the upcoming January newsletter will be full of information on a variety of Borough issues.

Council President’s Report

President Wayne had no formal report and thanked Borough Council and the Borough employees for all their efforts throughout the year.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Public Safety

Ms. Coleman reported that the Public Safety met on December 10th and continues to work on the comprehensive crime prevention plan in terms of its mission, approach and enhancements to improve the quality of life for Lansdowne residents. The Committee also looked at the width of the pedestrian crosswalk in front of the Lansdowne Theater. Any widening would have to be approved by Penn Dot, as Lansdowne Avenue is a state road. The issue of pedestrian traffic patterns will be revisited in spring of 2009. Ms. Coleman also reported that emergency response drills will be planned for 2009.

Finance

Ms. Lustgarten reported that the 2009 budget will reflect a 3.75% tax increase with no cut in services. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that the Borough is in good shape financially in spite of a reduction in revenues. The Borough’s portion of the trash fee remains at the same level for the third year in a row but there will be an additional $25 charge being levied by the County. Mayor Young mentioned that the County Council chose to levy the additional tax only to homeowners, that the increase was inequitable
and the County’s reason for implementing the tax and shifting it to the municipalities was not trash specific but rather chosen as an easy way to cut their expenses.
The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on January 5, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Economic Development

No report was given in Mr. Wagner’s absence.

Environmental

Ms. Silzle reported that recycling tonnage decreased over last year by 14% but the diversion rate has been almost 15% for the past three months. The total diversion rate for Delaware County in 2007 was 29% with some municipalities diverting as much as 55% of their solid waste to recycling. Lansdowne’s overall rate was 22% and the residential rate was 17%, which indicates that very little recycling is happening throughout the Borough besides at the curbside of homes. Ms. Silzle also mentioned that Borough codes officer Martyn Murray had a good discussion with the Committee regarding his perspective on trash pickup and recycling throughout the Borough. Ms. Silzle reported that Blue Mountain will be meeting with the borough to review a new pricing strategy in light of the deteriorated commodities market. The Committee is also exploring the purchase of recycling bins with the remaining DEP recycling grant funds, including having side by side recycling and trash cans throughout the business districts.

Ms. Silzle stressed that there is a great motivation to recycle because that will reduce the trash fees that the Delaware County Council is imposing on all Delaware County residents in 2009. Ms. Silzle reminded residents to recycle their Christmas wrapping paper and Christmas trees.
The Environmental Committee will continue to meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. although the January meeting will need to be rescheduled.

Education

No report was given in Mr. Urban’s absence.

Infrastructure

Mr. Lee had no formal report.

Liaison Reports

  1. Library Board – Ms. Silzle reported that the library will have holiday programming through the month including holiday films and story times. The Lansdowne library will also waive the fine (until December 20th) for overdue books that were borrowed from the Lansdowne library only.

Communications

There were no communications.

Ms. Lustgarten moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Visitors:

  1. Jack Covert – Resident of Lansdowne – Mr. Covert mentioned that the next Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra concert will be held in February. Mr. Covert thanked Borough Council for letting the Orchestra Board use the conference room at Borough Hall. Mr. Covert asked if the Borough was using windmill power. President Wayne said a response would be available by the next Council meeting. Mr. Covert questioned whether the trash fee would be $25 per household. Ms. Lustgarten clarified that the trash fee remains at $199 with the additional $25 County Council fee, making the total trash fee for Lansdowne residents $224 for the face amount. Mayor Young reiterated that the County Council could have spread the tax base more equitably to include commercial and industrial businesses but instead chose to levy the tax only on homeowners. Mr. Covert felt the County Council increase was justified given that residents use the services. President Wayne expressed a difference of opinion but thanked Mr. Covert for his comments. Mr. Covert mentioned that PECO offers a $20 energy saving kit. Mr. Covert asked if it would be legal to have local banks collect all taxes instead of the tax collector. Mr. Scott indicated that the Borough Tax Collector has to be an elected official with an office and method for collecting taxes. Mr. Covert indicated that Lansdowne has two items of unfound money in excess of $100 that is owed through the PA Treasury Department and will pass the information on to Mr. Bartley for investigation.

Borough Council Member Responses:

Regarding the County Council imposed trash fee, Ms. Coleman mentioned that the borough cannot bid out for another trash collection service and is mandated to use the County’s facility.

Ms. Silzle moved to reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Old Business

There were no items for Old Business.

New Business

  1. 2009 Committee/Board meeting schedule – Mr. Totaro indicated that he needs to hear from Committee/Board members by January 1st if their meeting schedules will be changed for 2009. The schedule will be advertised once early in January.
  2. Marlyn Park Master Site Plan – Mr. Totaro mentioned that there is a 50% grant for this program and asked if there was still interest for doing this plan. It would include a bridge, pathways and new entrance work. Borough Council is in favor of exploring the plan.

Action Items

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt the 2009 budget. Mr. Lee seconded. A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to enact Ordinance 1238, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne fixing the tax rate for the year 2009. Ms. Silzle seconded. A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
  3. Ms. Lustgarten moved to enact 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 and to fix the amount of sewer rental or charge to be made to each property connected to the sewers. Ms. Coleman seconded. A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
  4. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution No. 2008-21, a resolution regarding the refuse collection fee for 2009. Ms. Coleman seconded. A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
  5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to award the 2009 Tax Anticipation Note to PNC Bank for $500,000 at 3.06% with a 6/30/09 payoff. Mr. Lee seconded. Discussion: Mr. Scott indicated that the bids came in today and the ones to be awarded are contingent upon closing on 1/2/09. To do that a note resolution needs to be filed and adopted tonight for submission to the State. Mr. Bartley indicated the higher bid was for 3.5%. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution No. 2008-24, a resolution to implement the issuance of the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note to PNC Bank. Ms. Coleman seconded. A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
  7. Ms. Lustgarten moved to renew the Borough’s Fiduciary Liability Coverage for 2009 with the Travelers Casualty and Insurance Company. Ms. Coleman seconded. A roll vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
  8. Ms. Coleman moved to enact 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. Silzle seconded. Discussion: Mr. Lee felt enforcement should be applicable whether or not there is a detector on the premises and to amend the motion to eliminate ‘not containing carbon monoxide detectors’. Mr. Scott stated that if language is removed, the ordinance needs to be rewritten. President Wayne stated that he felt carbon monoxide detectors were important and the Borough should require their installation, as had recently been done in Philadelphia. Mr. Scott opined that Philadelphia’s success in obtaining approval from the Commonwealth’s L&I Department may make it easier for Lansdowne to get the necessary approvals to make this a requirement in the Borough’s building code. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to refer the pursuit of the appropriate approvals to the Economic Development/Code Committees and to table the motion. Mr. Lee moved to table the motion. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  9. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  10. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution No. 2008-23, Amending Resolution No. 2008-07; previously revised by Resolution No. 2005-21 and Resolution No. 2006-10, establishing a schedule of fees. Ms. Silzle seconded. Discussion: the significant changes cover street opening fees and the new fees that align with the Open Records Act requirements. A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
  11. Ms. Coleman moved to appoint Beth Roeder to the Historic and Architectural Review Board, filling the unexpired term left vacant after Mr. Chapman’s resignation. This position’s term expires 12/20/2010. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel and litigation issues. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 8:40 p.m.

Public Session

There were no motions upon reconvening to Public Session.

Adjourn

Ms. Silzle moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Lee. The
motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, 
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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