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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Reorganization/Business Meeting
January 7, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough Council Reorganization/Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were 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 Police Chief Kortan. Councilman Wayne, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley and Fire Chief Young were absent. Fire Company President Jay Young presided for Fire Chief Young.

Ms. Coleman announced that Gene Wayne had submitted his letter of resignation as Lansdowne Borough Council President effective January 6, 2009. Ms. Coleman thanked Mr. Wayne for his years of service as Borough Council President.

Ms. Silzle moved to accept Mr. Wayne’s resignation as Lansdowne Borough Council President. Mr. Urban seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Coleman called for a motion to nominate the Lansdowne Borough Council President.Ms. Silzle moved to nominate Sharon Coleman as President of the Lansdowne Borough Council. Mr. Lee seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

President Coleman called for a motion to nominate the Lansdowne Borough Council Vice President.Mr. Urban moved to nominate Kevin Lee as Vice President of Lansdowne Borough Council. Mr. Wagner seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following changes/additions:
(1) Mr. Lee asked to have the Fire House discussion held under New Business; (2) Mr. Scott asked that the minimum lot area ordinance under Action Items be held as a public hearing item after the approval of the minutes and before public comment; (3) Ms. Coleman indicated there would be no Planning Commission Chair report and under New Business there will be a discussion on Board and Commission reports.

Minutes

Mr. Lee moved to approve the minutes of the December 3, 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.

Minimum Lot Ordinance Public Hearing

President Coleman indicated that the new Zoning Ordinance did not specify the minimum size designated for a lot and that information needs to be carried forward in an amended ordinance. Mr. Scott stated that the new ordinance establishes criteria for new lots based on existing conditions in the neighborhood. One unidentified visitor asked for more clarification regarding intent and lot size. Mr. Scott reiterated that the new ordinance is carrying over the minimum lot size set forth in the old ordinance based on historic preservation criteria, among other factors, in order to be consistent The lot size will be based on aggregate square feet.

This concluded the Public Hearing on the Minimum Lot Ordinance.

Mr. Lee moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear visitor comments. Mr. Urban
seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment

1. Virginia Marone 184 Marlyn Road – Ms. Marone expressed her concerns as well as her neighbor’s concerns regarding the newly erected Marlyn Park bridge. Ms. Marone voice several concerns: construction had started early in the morning, no one knew of this project in advance, no one could ascertain whether there had been any authority to proceed with the bridge construction, the land around the drainage ditch has been disrupted, the drainage ditch has been made deeper, more vegetation has been withdrawn and there is now more activity in what used to be a ‘passive park’. Ms. Marone asked that Borough Council remove the bridge, make the land more whole and require the designated individual(s) responsible for Marlyn Park to have more oversight.

2. Janet Trang 186 Windermere – Ms. Trang also asked for the removal of the Marlyn Park bridge,indicating that there was also a danger that children could fall into the deeper ditch now that a bush hadbeen removed that had acted as a natural barrier. Ms. Trang also indicated that the ditch could be aharbinger of West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes when filled with rainwater and could pose a drowning threat if a child fell in.

Borough Council comments:

  1. Mr. Urban apologized to the residents and indicated that Borough Council and the Park andRecreation Board knew nothing about the incident. Mr. Urban expressed that when the Master SitePlan more fully progresses for Marlyn Park he would like all residents to be engaged regarding anyadditions to the park. Mr. Urban indicated he would like to add a motion to have the bridge removed.
  2. Mr. Lee indicated that the person responsible will be spoken to and apologized for theincident.
  3. Ms. Silzle indicated there would be a discussion later in the meeting regarding what to do with the bridge.

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

REPORTS AND DISCUSSION

A.Finance Director/Treasurer Joe Bartley – No report was given in Mr. Bartley’s absence.

B.Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott had no formal report.

C.Borough Manager Craig Totaro – Mr. Totaro gave updates on the following items:
1) Zoning pipeline report – a church will be moving into the property at 120 East Baltimore Avenue.
2) Keystone Library Grant – the cost to remove the existing roof will now be less than was originally anticipated. In addition, the resolution language will now be crafted to allow library service in the Borough for 50 years or the useful life of the roof (30 years). More details will be available at the next Council meeting.
3) Joe Sestak’s technical assistance meeting will be held on January 17th.

D.Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that the number of service calls for 2008 versus 2007 did not much differ in numbers but the nature of the calls had changed. In 2007 the year ended with 704 offenses calls (those calls requiring additional investigation) and 875 offenses calls at year end 2008. President Coleman asked for more detailed information on the nature of those calls. Chief Kortan asked Borough Council to act quickly in replacing Sgt. Christians who is going out on permanent disability retirement after 20 years of service.

E.Fire Chief Tom Young – Fire Company President Jay Young had no formal report.Mr. Lee thanked the Fire Company for all their help in handling a New Year’s Eve fire in Lansdowne.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young mentioned that the upcoming newsletter will contain the tax information insert but it will not reflect all the changes that were later made.

President’s Report -President Coleman had no formal report and thanked Borough Council members for their vote of confidence in naming her Borough Council President.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

  1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman had no formal report.
  2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported indicated that the Finance Committee met on January 5, 2009 and the following items were discussed:
    a) Fee revenues for 20th Century Club – 75%-80% of revenues come from private parties. The issue of installing air conditioning to increase rental revenues during the summer months was raised and the Infrastructure Committee will be investigating options in this regard.
    b) Options are being explored regarding reimbursement for health care insurance for those who opt out of using the Borough’s health insurance policy. Ms. Lustgarten asked that Borough Council approve moving ahead with this project.
    c) Requests for use of municipal lots will be treated the same way as the Recreation Department processes park use permits.
    d) Tax revenues are down $180,000 and the Committee is looking into ‘factoring’, i.e., selling accounts receivables for approximately 91% of the face value but receiving no monies from penalties and interest amounts. More information will follow in this regard.
    e)The Police Pension Committee will be meeting on February 2nd to review the plan.
    f)The Fire Company is requesting a waiver of U&O and permit fees for the building they are buying on Union Avenue.
  3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner reported on the following items:
    a) Wildman Arms request for rooftop cell antennas – updated drawings are to be re-submitted. The Borough’s zoning will need to be updated to allow these antennas by special exception.
    b)Regulation of the size of dumpsters and storage pods and the duration of time allowed on property. Final language is being prepared.
    c)Prohibited use in commercial district from using retail space as storage – this is proactively being discussed to implement in the future.
    d)Intern program in Lansdowne. Mr. Wagner asked whether there would be an interest in this for special projects to be shown on the cable channel. The Finance Committee will further look into this matter.

    Mr. Lee asked for an update on the “wrapped car” advertisement issue. Mr. Scott indicated it had been added to the final Zoning ordinance that was adopted. Mr. Lee asked if Wildman Arms would be reassessed if the new antennas were installed. Mr. Scott indicated they would be reassessed. Ms. Silzle questioned when the ‘wrapped car’ language had been adopted. Mr. Scott said he would provide the specific ordinance language to Ms. Silzle.

  4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle had no formal report. Ms. Silzle indicated that the 2009 Environmental Committee meeting schedule remains the same for the 2nd Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. and all meetings are open to the public. However, the January meeting has been scheduled for January 22nd.
  5. Education – Mr. Urban had no formal report. The next Education Committee is tentatively scheduled for January 20th at 7:30 p.m. but may change due to the Martin Luther King holiday
  6. Infrastructure – Mr. Lee reported that preliminary work on the cured in place pipeline project has begun on Scottdale Road. The next Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held on January 27th at 7:30 p.m.

OLD BUSINESS

  1. 20 Lansdowne Court – Mr. Totaro reported that the property is to be surveyed as well as the 20th Century Club for site development purposes. After speaking with Senator Williams, Mr. Totaro indicated that there may be a “Capital Assistance Redevelopment Program” grant that would allow the assessment of both properties to be treated as one property, thereby raising the value of the match. Mr. Totaro asked that Borough Council commence with the reverse subdivision of 20 Lansdowne Court and the 20th Century Club through a motion.
  2. Library Roof – Mr. Totaro clarified that a resolution will be crafted that either provides for the library service for 50 years or the roof for 30 years or both.

NEW BUSINESS

  1. Marlyn Park Bridge – Mr. Urban will be making a future motion to have the Marlyn Park bridge removed. The scout master will be contacted regarding its disposal and whether the group wouldwant any portion of it retained. Ms. Silzle expressed concerns with environmental issues and preferred having the Borough handle the matter to protect the space. Ms. Lustgarten expressed concerns with insurance liability and timing issues. Mr. Lee questioned what would be done to rectify the environmental damage. After further discussion it was decided to have the Borough crew dismantle thebridge as one piece, the Parks and Recreation Board will monitor the situation and Ms. Silzle will bekept apprised of the situation. Mr. Urban indicated that the Eagle Scouts thought they had done the project in a proper manner through the proper channels. Mayor Young asked that the integrity of the project not be diminished.
  2. Recycling Contract – Blue Mountain. Mr. Totaro indicated that a meeting had been called with three other Boroughs and Blue Mountain wants to reopen their contract with Lansdowne that would result in a higher cost per ton. The current fee is $10 per ton and would increase to approximately $50 per ton under the new contract. Mr. Totaro indicated that Blue Mountain cannot compel the Borough to accept the new contract for the higher fee. Mr. Scott indicated the Boroughshould have a contingency plan. Mr. Totaro will get pricing information for Allied Service.
  3. Floodplain Map – Mr. Totaro indicated the map was last updated in 1983. This is a map that looks at rainfall and elevation issues. A final version will be received from FEMA in 7-10 months. Before then the Borough will be adopting a new ordinance that will incorporate the new flood lines intothe Borough’s zoning.
  4. Fire House – Mr. Lee reported there had been a meeting earlier tonight regarding issues at the Fire House regarding the sinkhole and surrounding property. Two engineering companies have recommended using ground penetrating radar to ascertain the underground problems. Mr. Lee moved to approve authorizing the Borough engineer to do the electronic ground penetrating radar and other investigation of structural issues at the Fire House for a cost of up to $6,000. Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  5. Board Commission Report – President Coleman opened a discussion on whether or not the Planning Commission Chair should attend the monthly Council business meetings or if the other Boards and Committees should rotate and attend a few business meetings throughout the year, based on the amount of activity. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to have various Boards or Committees attend the Council meetings periodically if there is a lot of activity that needs to be reported on. The Boards would also submit their minutes to Borough Council to ascertain the level of activity and interest. Mr. Scott indicated that the Zoning Hearing Board should not be included as they are required to be an independent body.

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of the bills for period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Mr. Wagner moved to approve Resolution 2009-1, a resolution regarding application for FY2009 CDBG funds. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  3. Ms. Silzle moved to reappoint Betsy Riffert to he Board of Health, for a five year term expiring 12/31/2013. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  4. Mr. Wagner moved to reappoint Gloria Carpenter to the HARB board for a three year term expiring 12/20/2011. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  5. Mr. Wagner moved to reappoint Kathleen Lambert to the Zoning Hearing Board for a five year term expiring 12/31/2013. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  6. Mr. Wagner moved to reappoint James Jackson to the Multi-Unit Conversion Committee for a three year term expiring 12/20/2011. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  7. Mr. Urban moved to reappoint Sherry Spinnraker to the Park and Recreation Board for a three year term expiring 12/31/2011. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  8. Mr. Urban moved to reappoint Barry Malone to the Park and Recreation Board for a three year term expiring 12/31/2011. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  9. Mr. Wagner moved to enact Ordinance 1236, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending the Zoning Code of the Borough of Lansdowne to add a minimum lot area requirement for each zoning district in the Borough. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  10. Mr. Wagner moved to reappoint Bertha Phillips to the Vacancy Board for a one-year term expiring on 12/31/2009. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  11. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt policy providing a payment in lieu of medical insurance benefits to employees. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  12. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize the Borough to file a reverse subdivision application for the Twentieth Century Club and 20 Lansdowne Court. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Mr. Lee moved to adjourn to Executive Session. Mr. Wagner seconded. Themotion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:10 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.

Adjourn

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Lee. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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