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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
February 4, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Ms. Silzle and Mr. Urban.Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley and Police Chief Kortan. Councilmen Lee, Wagner and Wayne were absent as well as Fire Chief Young.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following changes/additions:
The agenda was approved with the following changes/additions: (1) Debbie Lamborn will give an overview of the Elm Street Program after visitor comments instead of under New Business; and (2) a discussion of open positions on the Park and Recreation Board and how they should be handled will be added under New Business.

Minutes

Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the January 7, 2009 Reorganization/Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Urban seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Public Comment – There were no comments.

Borough Council comments: There were no comments.

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

Elm Street Program Overview – Debbie Lamborn of the Community Action Agency of Delaware County spoke of the Elm Street Program regarding its goals, mission statement, background and future project ideas. Ms. Lamborn indicated that the goal of the CAA is to help families become self-sufficient and to revitalize targeted neighborhoods. The idea for the Elm Street Program came about after the Agency’s original revitalization plan was completed in November of 2006. The Elm Street Program’s aim is to revitalize the neighboring areas that are near the Main Street Program areas to build up a base of residents and consumers who would benefit from the Main Street revitalization. Ms. Lamborn indicated that the State had reviewed the preliminary Elm Street Plan but several elements had been missing i.e., more detail was needed regarding a detailed budget and a list of everything that would be done for the five year span of the program. The human needs of the community are a huge part of the plan that also needs addressing. Ms. Lamborn stated that the grant has been received for the plan but a committee is needed to review the plan and at least one Borough Council member should be on that committee. If approved, the Borough would receive $50,000 to pay for an Elm Street manager and administrative costs and $250,000 per year for five years to help implement the plan. This $250,000 would have to be matched dollar for dollar but the CAA has access to various funding sources that could be used to match dollars toward the $250,000.Ms. Lamborn indicated that Lansdowne would have to commit $5,000 that would increase incrementally for a total of a bit over $30,000 but the realized gain would be almost $3 million invested for one neighborhood.

Ms. Lustgarten asked what the role of the LEDC would be in this endeavor. Ms. Lamborn indicated that the LEDC’s role is still up for discussion but the hope is that it could get involved in the grant application process as well as maintaining receipts before turning them over to the CAA. Mayor Young felt that the Main Street Program should be our match since the Borough funds that endeavor and asked if Lansdowne would be still eligible for the Elm Street Program if the Main Street Program ended. Ms. Lamborn indicated that Lansdowne would be still eligible for Elm Street but that it needs to be separate from the Main Street Program. Ms. Lamborn also indicated that the Elm Street Program focuses on what is needed for a neighborhood and is not based on equity. Mr. Scott questioned whether the Borough would have to pay the $250,000 every year or if Borough projects could count as a match. Ms. Lamborn mentioned that the State is very flexible in this regard and that several Borough endeavors could be matched without having to pay the $250,000.

After further discussion there arrived a consensus to move forward with the plan with Mr. Urban requesting more specific information. Mr. Urban asked if funding of master site plans for the borough’s parks could be included and Ms. Lamborn indicated it could.

Mr. Urban moved to appoint Craig Totaro and Mike Jozwiak to represent Lansdowne on the Planning Committee for the Elm Street Program grant. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. 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 – Chief Kortan reported that he and Mayor Young had recently met with Police Commissioner Ramsay regarding ideas for the Borough’s comprehensive crime prevention plan. Chief Kortan mentioned that the newest full time police officer will be sworn in this week and the public ceremony will follow at a future date.

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

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young mentioned that the recent snow removal efforts were well done. Mayor Young indicated that the most recent Borough newsletter and web site has been submitted to the Borough Association’s contest for municipal newsletters.

President’s Report – President Coleman had no formal report.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

  1. Public Safety – Ms. Coleman had no formal report. Ms. Coleman mentioned the Fire Company annual banquet will be held on February 21st.
  2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Finance Committee met on February 2nd and discussed a variety of items:
    a)Penn Vest loan interest rates cannot be changed and more information will follow regarding the DVRA loan.
    b) Borough audit is ongoing.
    c) Factoring receivables – there were only about 5 residents who owed taxes from much earlier years and it was decided that the amount in question did not warrant pursuing ongoing collection actions.
    d) Two landlords have not yet paid their taxes in the amount of $180,000 and $70,000 in sewer fees. Mr. Scott indicated that a few years ago the school district started sequestering rents from delinquent landlords. Mr. Totaro will contact Joe Otto in this regard.
    e)20th Century Club rentals – The Committee discussed changing the Twentieth Century Club’s rental policy to allow non-profit community groups to use the Club at no charge. The Committee will make a formal recommendation to the full Council.
    Ms. Lustgarten recognized Betsy Riffert and Mike Taylor for their work in saving the Borough thousands of dollars.
  3. Economic Development – No report was given in Mr. Wagner’s absence.
  4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle reported that the Environmental Committee met on January 22nd and discussed several items:
    a) Reducing the carbon footprint of Lansdowne on the municipal level by exploring the implementation of a climate action analysis/audit.
    b) Recycling enforcement – apartments and businesses either are not recycling or doing very little of it. Enforcement will begin with apartment complexes. Letters were sent to apartments and condominiums notifying them that they are required to recycle. Written documentation must be provided as to the type and weight of materials recycled annually. Reports are due to Borough staff by January 31st.
    c) Floodplain map review – Darby Creek and Falls Run areas have decreased while Lansdowne Court areas have increased. Residents will receive notification from the codes department by letter and a meeting will be held tomorrow night.
    c) Master site plan for Marlyn Park – encroachment issues in the Walsh Road and Baltimore Avenue area have been discussed and Mr. Totaro is working on the RFP to go out by March 1st.
    d) Baltimore Avenue trees – Mr. Totaro is working with the COG to get more trees planted along Baltimore Avenue from Rigby to Union.
    e) Recycling numbers for December show the highest diversion rate ever of 18.2%. November ’08 diversion rate was 14.8% and the overall rate for 2008 was 14.3%.
    f) The 4th annual Delaware County Environment Summit will be held on February 21, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Congressman Joe Sestak and State Representative Greg Vitali are expected.

    The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on February 12th at 7:00 p.m. in Borough Hall.

    Mr. Urban questioned the status of the recycling pilot program for the Ardmore Avenue School. Mayor Young indicated there had been an issue with the placement of the dumpsters and offered to contact Joe Otto.

  5. Education – Mr. Urban reported that the Education Committee did not meet last month. In his capacity as Park and Recreation Board liaison, Mr. Urban indicated that encroachment issues had been discussed as well as the master site plan for Marlyn Park. Mr. Urban felt that the process for filling vacant Park and Recreation Board positions needs to be restated in writing and asked what the process would be going forward. Mr. Urban also indicated that more communication is necessary and Ms. Silzle will forward the Environmental Committee minutes to the Park and Recreation Board to better facilitate this matter.Mr. Urban announced the new Park and Recreation Board members: Sherry Spinraker, Chair; Mike Mills, Vice Chair; Dawn Hausler, Secretary. Mr. Urban indicated there were openings that need to be filled on the Park and Recreation Board and two letters of interest had been received.
  6. Infrastructure – Mr. Totaro reported in Mr. Lee’s absence. The $400 million bond issue voted on in November’s election would cover water systems, storm water and sewer projects. Mr. Totaro will be putting together an application for matching money that would be retroactive to July 31, 2007. Mr. Lee will be setting up a meeting to investigate stimulus money. Mr. Totaro reported that there are gaps in the street lighting for East and West Windermere Terrace and current plans are to install six lights in that area. The Committee also discussed the future of LED lights in the Borough. Mr. Totaro suggested holding off on any large lighting projects at present until we consider how LEDs will impact the Borough. Ms. Lustgarten asked the status of the PECO refund. Mr. Totaro indicated he had not yet received any response. Mr. Scott will file a demand letter.

OLD BUSINESS

  1. 20 Lansdowne Court – Mr. Totaro presented an overview of two proposed interior site plans. One major change is the elimination of the kitchen at the back of the building and installing an elevator shaft that will reach the third floor. Bathrooms will be on every floor and the staircase and fireplace will remain. Cost for the elevator would be approximately $60,000. The deadline for the grant application is this regard is July 1, 2009. President Coleman questioned whether Borough Council’s former recommended uses had been eliminated. Mr. Totaro felt most had been retained but President Coleman and Ms. Lustgarten will look at the original list of suggested uses. Regarding the two scenarios for outside egress and parking, one calls for keeping the green space in front of the Club while providing 19 extra parking spaces with two handicapped spaces. The other option is to have 11 parking spaces, 2 handicapped spaces and having two walkways connect the house with the 20th Century Club. The rear outbuilding would remain. Mr. Urban felt that it would be detrimental to the 20th Century Club if the driveway was eliminated as access to the Club is necessary for wedding caterers and Celebration Theater performances. Mr. Urban felt another access could be put in further down Lansdowne Court. After some discussion there was a consensus to keep the green space along the side and front of the 20th Century Club. Mr. Totaro will provide further details on the desired plan.
  2. LEDC/Farmers Market 2009 Agreement – The only change is that the LEDC will be allowed to keep the shed up year round. Mayor Young questioned whether the whole lot would be given up during the hours of 1 to 4 p.m. Chief Kortan suggested amending the free parking hours to coincide with the hours of the event.
    Ms. Lustgarten moved to approved the amended and restated Non-Exclusive License Agreement between the LEDC and the Lansdowne Borough Farmers Market. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

  1. Committee Assignments – President Coleman indicated that Mr. Wayne has not yet rendered an opinion on the proposed assignments. President Coleman indicated that until all opinions are heard, voting should be suspended. Mr. Scott suggested postponing the discussion until the next Council meeting but indicated that changes can be made without obtaining unanimous approval.
  2. Open Nominations – President Coleman questioned whether Borough Council’s former recommended uses still make sense based on the additional information received from the Planning Committee. President Coleman indicated that when Borough Council reorganized from a committee standpoint, the Nomination Committee was eliminated since there was no longer a committee as a wholestructure. Each Committee has oversight for certain Boards and some Boards have liaisons. President Coleman indicated that a Board liaison or Council Committee Chair can bring nomination recommendations directly to the Committee for review. In this regard, Mr. Urban will bring his Park and Recreation Board member recommendations to his committee for review and will reportat a later date to Borough Council.

    On a separate note, Mr. Urban mentioned that several residents have complained about the audio quality of the televised meetings. Mr. Totaro will look into the cost of new audio equipment.

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve Resolution 2009-3, a resolution to apply for H2O PA Grant monies. Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  3. Ms. Silzle moved to promote Officer Selimis to Class D Patrolman. Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

There were no items for Executive Session.

Adjourn

Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Silzle. The motion carried
unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:48 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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