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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting Wednesday
January 21, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday,January 21, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President 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, Police Chief Kortan and Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley. Mr. Wayne and Fire Chief Young were absent.

President Coleman stated that the meeting would air on January 26th 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 December 17, 2008 Council General Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor Young invited Tree Advisory Board Chair Mary Lou Jennings to present Certificates of Appreciation to the Dollar Tree, Dunkin Donuts and Wawa stores for their help in providing refreshments to the volunteers who recently planted 60 trees along Baltimore Avenue. Mrs. Jennings mentioned that another 50 trees will be arriving in mid-March for any residents who wish to plant one on their front lawn. Cost is free.

Mayor Young presented the annual Jingle Judge awards for Best Use of White Lights to residents of the following properties: 102 Madison, 170 and 232 Glentay, 279 North Highland, 199 West Plumstead, 204 Wayne, 123 East Plumstead, 170 Blackburn, 234 West Plumstead, 16 Gladstone Road, 145 Bryn Mawr, 269 Highland and 40 West Albemarle. Mayor Young mentioned that several properties would have been awarded but their house numbers were not visible from the street. Mayor Young reminded residents that Borough code requires that house numbers be 4 inches high and be visible from the street.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Bartley had no formal report and stated that the December 31st financial statements are still in progress pending the collection of tax collection accruals through February. Final figures will be available for the February general meeting. Mr. Bartley indicated the 2008 audit is underway and that there are sufficient funds available to meet current obligations.

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Scott had no formal report and an item for Executive Session.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Young read various calendar items. Mayor Young mentioned that the Lansdowne Ministerium provides food for those in need and asked residents to donate any items to either Borough Hall or the Lansdowne Presbyterian Church. Mayor Young asked that residents leave their phone number when calling her so that further communication is possible to discuss any issues. Mayor Young mentioned that the Animal Friends of Lansdowne is declaring February as “Love Your Pets Month” and a display and movie will be shown at the Lansdowne library. Mayor Young mentioned that low cost refurbished computers are available to families in the Borough and information will soon be available on the Borough website.

Council President’s Report

President Coleman had no formal report.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

  1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman reported the Public Safety Committee met on January 14th and discussed the following: (1) the emergency vehicle access parking restriction results on West and East Windermere Place were polled with positive results and the program will move forward to start including other streets as well; (2) the emergency response plan was reviewed, the county and local level plans were distributed and the changes that reflect Lansdowne’s needs have been incorporated. Public Safety Committee members will also be taking the National Incident Management Systems tests to be ready to assist in the event of an emergency. The Committee will also be looking at how to conduct emergency drills. Ms. Coleman mentioned that there will be two action items regarding the filling of a police officer position as well as the Fire Marshall position.
  2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten recognized Jennifer Hoff for her efforts in handling this year’s Lansdowne Cares Program and Betsy Riffert, who suggested that Borough staff donate their Christmas bonuses to the needy. Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Finance Committee continues to focus on ways to increase revenues and decrease expenses. In this regard the Committee is looking into lowering interest rates on existing loans and has renegotiated a $10,000 reduction in health care costs. Price quotes are being researched with the Delaware Valley Health Insurance Trust for health insurance as well. Ideas for additional revenue sources include “factoring”, i.e., selling old, overdue taxes that the County has not been able to collect as well as other grant program availability. The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on February 2nd at 7:00 p.m. The Police Pension meeting will be held on the same date at 6:00 p.m. Ms. Silzle recognized Anthony Campuzano for spearheading the original Lansdowne Gives Program.
  3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner had no formal report. The next Economic Development Committee meeting will be held on February 22nd.
  4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle had no formal report. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on January 22nd at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Silzle presented environmental information on plastic water bottles: In 2007 $16 billion was spent on bottled water; in 2006 Americans drank about 167 bottles of bottled water each but only recycled 23% of those bottles, leaving 38 billion water bottles in landfills. It takes 700 years to decompose plastic bottles and over 1.5 million barrels of oil to manufacture a year’s supply of bottled water. Ms. Silzle mentioned that Mayor Young recycles her water from a dehumidifier and uses it in her washing machine. Ms. Silzle mentioned that plastic caps from water bottles are a different type of plastic and should not be recycled.
  5. Education – Mr. Urban reported the Education Committee met on January 20th. Mr. Urban reported that the Marlyn Park Bridge has been removed and master site plans for the Borough parks are moving forward with information being gathered from various sources. Mr. Urban mentioned that the Park and Recreation Board is looking for members. Mr. Urban indicated the Committee is moving forward with ways to increase and improve recreational offerings through the help of a recreation consultant. A consultant will be invited to the next Education Committee meeting on February 17th at 7:30 p.m.
  6. Infrastructure – Mr. Lee mentioned that the next Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held on January 27th at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Lee reported that the cured in place pipeline project has started on Scottdale Road and the road program priorities are being set for paving and infrastructure issues. A Borough wide sidewalk replacement program is also being investigated.

Liaison Reports

  1. Park and Recreation Board – Mr. Urban mentioned that the Park and Recreation Board will be meeting on January 26th at 7:00 p.m. and the meeting is open to the public.
  2. Library Board – Ms. Silzle mentioned that the library is partnering with Pathways PA, a non-profit organization that advocates for women, children and families. They will be offering free one on one tax preparation assistance on March 25th at the library. Registration is required. Ms. Silzle mentioned that a monthly movie night has started and is called “Coffee with the Classics”. The library has also begun planning for the “Big Read Program” for which a grant was received. Various tolerance based organizations will be involved with this program as well. The library will also be offering a weekly superheroes club in February aimed for children ages 7 to 11. The program will allow children to create their own super heroes and comic strips. Comic book artist Bob McCloud will be appearing for a visit.

Communications

There were no communications.

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

Visitors

  1. Jack Covert – Resident of Lansdowne – Mr. Covert mentioned that the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra will be holding their Valentine Concert on February 8th. Mr. Covert suggested that Ms. Silzle comment on solar clothes dryers at a future meeting. Mr. Covert asked if Plumstead Avenue between Lansdowne and Marshall is the Borough’s responsibility for paving issues. Mr. Totaro indicated it was the Borough’s responsibility. Mr. Covert mentioned that Anthony Campuzano’s son is holding a showing of his art at the University of Pennsylvania through March, 2009.
  2. Charles Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers asked that cigarette smokers in the Borough be considerate and recycle the butts and packages. Mr. Jeffers asked if Penndot was doing anything about the turn arrow at Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues. Mr. Jeffers felt that more residents should attend the Council meetings. Mr. Jeffers indicated that the Septa buses block traffic when stopping at the corners of Lansdowne and Baltimore and asked if signs could be put up in this regard.
  3. Anthony Campuzano – 40 West Albemarle Avenue – In his capacity as Chairman of the Lansdowne Democratic Committee, Mr. Campuzano congratulated President Coleman and Vice President Lee. Mr. Campuzano also thanked Mr. Wayne for his past work as Borough Council President. Mr. Campuzano thanked the Roads and Sanitation Departments for their hard work during the cold months.

Borough Council Member Responses

  1. Mr. Wagner indicated that a left hand turn signal is needed at Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenues but both are state roads and there is no guarantee that any work performed by Lansdowne would be looked at favorably by Penndot. Mr. Wagner indicated the cost to hang new hardware with turn lights would cost about $40,000. Mr. Wagner mentioned that letters are frequently written to Penndot in this regard and a Penndot project to address this issue is in the works for some future date. Ms. Silzle mentioned that for safety’s sake the push buttons can be used to cross the intersection but the “safe to walk” voice is only given after all the traffic has flowed through Lansdowne Avenue.

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

OLD BUSINESS

  1. Revitalization Program Priorities – Mr. Totaro reported that the County is collapsing all the Area 5 Boroughs into the COG and their multi municipality priorities have not yet been received from the County Planning office. The Borough priorities have not yet been circulated to the County. Mr. Totaro indicated that the Area 5 Planning Book will be rewritten and presumably there will be a pool of money in the designated categories for which the Borough can apply.
  2. Baltimore Avenue Trees – a first meeting will be held on January 23rd to discuss having East Lansdowne, Upper Darby and Yeadon to carry on the plan farther down Baltimore Avenue.

NEW BUSINESS

There were no items for New Business.

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Mr. Lee seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Silzle moved to adopt Resolution 2009-2, a resolution designating the provision of library service and facilities in the Borough of Lansdowne for 30 years. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. Discussion: As long as library service is provided for 30 years it does not matter which building is used. Mr. Wagner mentioned that the resolution states 50 years, not 30. Mr. Totaro indicated the resolution would be corrected to read 30 years.
  3. Ms. Silzle moved to appoint Tom Young as Fire Marshall. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. Discussion: Ms. Lustgarten stated that this motion meets the needs of the Borough for a lesser cost as in the past a Borough employee had been shared with Yeadon for a higher cost for this duty.
  4. Ms. Silzle moved to offer Kevin McDermott the Patrolman full time position with the Lansdowne Police Department. Mr. Lee seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.
  5. Mr. Urban moved to approve amending the DCNR-Lansdowne Borough Master Site Planning Grant agreement. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Discussion: Mr. Totaro indicated the amendment to the grant agreement reduces the number of participants in the grant and changes the park from Hoffman to Marlyn. Mr. Urban mentioned that this will enable the Borough to use a portion of the $125,000 budgeted amount to institute master site plans for parks only within Lansdowne. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Mr. Lee moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel and litigation issues. Mr. Wagner 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

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Lee. The
motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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