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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
June 3, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley and Police Chief Kortan. Councilman Lee and Fire Chief Young were absent.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following changes/additions: (1) Ms. Silzle will give the Library liaison report after the Environmental Committee report; (2) Ms. Lustgarten will give the LEDC liaison report after the Finance Committee report.


Mr. Wagner moved to approve the minutes of the May 6, 2009 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.Mr. Wagner moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear visitor comments. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment:

1. Elliot Borgman 85 West Lacrosse Avenue – Mr. Borgman commented that the Resolution being adopted tonight regarding the Borough’s ICLEI membership was an important first step in environmental issues. Mr. Borgman encouraged the Borough to get behind global warming and environmental matters and felt that this was a great opportunity for Lansdowne to become known as one of the greenest towns in Delaware County.

2. Mary Ann Surla – Resident of Lansdowne – Ms. Surla asked if Mr. Schleigh could put the issue of stop signs on Marshall Road on the Public Safety Committee’s agenda to write a letter to PennDot.Ms. Surla hopes that there will be a green turn light at Plumstead and Marshall to make it more user friendly. Ms. Surla indicated she did not want the red light removed from Marshall and Windermere and mentioned the light is not visible. Chief Kortan will investigate and make any needed repairs; this is the Borough’s responsibility, not PennDot’s.

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


A. Finance Director/Treasurer Joe Bartley – Mr. Bartley had no formal report and indicated 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
gave updates as follows:

  1. One Borough TV intern is now helping to develop a content and outline for the Borough TV channel.
  2. The Baltimore Avenue tree pits are now completed.
  3. TRID Project – after more research it was decided that this would not be the best fit for Lansdowne as it would not generate additional income for the indicated projects. Other funding mechanisms will be investigated.
  4. The first yard waste pickup of the season was held last week and some confusion existed about separation of waste due to the holiday multiple scheduling. Mr. Totaro has discussed this with the Borough crew to avoid another occurrence of this sort.
  5. Lists for stimulus projects regarding paving -PennDot has upgraded the crosswalk in front of the Lansdowne Theater to a higher priority and more information should be available by early August. Curb cuts are planned as well as installing walls along the Veterans section to define the lot area.
  6. 2009 Paving Program – more information will be available by the next Business meeting to determine prioritization and how much work can be completed. Mayor Young indicated that sections of Ardmore Avenue were in bad shape. An Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held in this regard to discuss other priorities for paving.
  7. The sound quality of the televised meeting is now improved.
  8. Marlyn Park Master Planning Consultant. motion – there was a tie between 2 of 3 entities and the steering committee will interview the two. Tonight’s motion will be deferred.

D. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that progress continues in the part time officer process and recommendations for hire are expected by the next Council meeting. However, due to the June 22nd graduation date the candidates will not be available for service until July and will be taking the July 9th MOPEC certification test. Chief Kortan mentioned that the police department is gearing up for the July 4th festivities and officers are trying to increase their visibility in the Borough. Chief Kortan indicated that all officers are MOPEC certified through 2011 provided they continue to take the training courses next year.

E. Fire Chief Tom Young – No report was given in Chief Young’s absence. Mr. Scott mentioned that the Fire Company has been served with a Notice of Claim.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young stated that June 14th is Flag Day and the celebration will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Borough Green.

President’s Report – President Coleman questioned the PECO refund status. Mr. Totaro indicated that $9,600 should be received by July. Savings per year will be approximately $4,500.President Coleman stated that Mr. Lee was resigning from Borough Council, citing personal reasons. President Coleman thanked Mr. Lee for his many contributions. Ms. Lustgarten moved to accept Mr. Lee’s resignation from Lansdowne Borough Council, effective immediately. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.


1. Public Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that Septa is scheduling a safety blitz for June 17th, 7-9 a.m. at the Gladstone station to increase public safety and awareness. The next Public Safety Committee meeting will be held on June 10th. Topics of discussion will include the School speed limit signs on Shadeland Avenue, Board of Health candidate, public outreach, communications with PennDot regarding Marshall Road, impact of parking by Gladstone station from 8-10 p.m., police presence at the Farmers Market and volunteer training regarding the crosswalk.Mr. Schleigh mentioned that residents can sign up for the Delaware County Alert System and more information can be seen at

2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported on the Police Pension Plan meeting. Independence Advisors gave the quarterly report, indicating that the plan is 8.2% down for the first quarter but realized a 5.63% gain through May with a total increase of 28% since March, 2009. No changes are recommended at this time on asset allocations.

The Finance Committee then met. Mr. Totaro indicated a third quote had been received regarding health insurance. Interest savings of over $700 was realized by paying off the Tax Anticipation Note earlier rather than later. There was also an extensive review of the April 30th Treasurer’s report to determine preliminary projections for the year. The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on July 13th.

LEDC Liaison Report – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the LEDC Board held a meeting regarding whether to keep Celebration Theater as a separate entity or bring into the LEDC as another program or subcommittee. Reaction was positive on both sides and more information will follow.

3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner reported the Economic Development Committee met on May 27th and gave a follow up on the following issues:

  1. A resident is interested in raising chickens on his property. Mr. Wagner indicated that more information is needed but the Committee felt the resident should at least be heard. Mr. Urban felt that the matter should not even be considered. Chief Kortan mentioned that the Penn State main campus has an agriculture and farm division that could be used as a resource.
  2. Mr. Wagner praised the Codes Department for making sure that properties do not deteriorate. Mayor Young asked if the problem property list was still being generated. Mr. Wagner indicated it was still active.

4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle indicated that the Environmental Committee met on May 14th. The April recycling numbers indicated 53 tons and a diversion rate of 13.8%. Ms. Silzle mentioned that a recycling bin has been installed in Hoffman Park and plans are
to also have recycling bins at the Ardmore Avenue school ball field. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the PennWood High School Global Warming conference was held last week. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on June 11th at 7:00 p.m.

Library Liaison Report – Ms. Silzle reported that the proposed Senate Bill 850 cuts the state library subsidy in half, a move that would drastically cut services, resources, library staffing and the subsidy’s buying power. Ms. Silzle presented a letter regarding how to contact the legislators to encourage them not to pass the budget. President Coleman mentioned that the same format and distribution regarding the Main Street program cuts could be used in this regard.

5. Education – Mr. Urban reported that the library Summer offerings are quite impressive. Mr. Urban mentioned that he could not attend the Park and Recreation Board meeting and the discussion about the summer programs did not take place. The next Education Committee meeting will be held on June 16th at 7:30 pm. The next Park and Recreation Board meeting will be held on June 15th.

6. Infrastructure – No report was given in Mr. Lee’s absence.

Old Business

1. Vacant Property Review Board – Mr. Wagner reported that this Board determines what properties meet a blighted status for the purpose of taking over those that are scattered rather than in the redevelopment district. The Urban Redevelopment Authority law describes what the minimum requirement is for putting people on this Board and recommends that the members have certain affiliations with certain groups, boards, etc. in the Borough and County. The Borough’s current vacant property review board is out of date and Mr. Wagner wanted to amend the ordinance to have these delegated individuals in place. The Redevelopment Authority would work in tandem with the Vacant Property Review Board.Mr. Wagner moved to direct the Borough Solicitor to amend the local Ordinance to reflect that the Vacant Property Review Board would consist of the following: a representative of the Lansdowne Redevelopment Authority, a representative appointed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Branch of the municipal government, a representative of the Lansdowne Planning Commission, a representative of the Delaware County Planning Commission and the Chair of the Borough Council Committee that oversees zoning issues. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

2. RDA Nominations – Mr. Wagner reported that four out of five names have been recommended to the Mayor. Resumes will be sent to Borough Council members. The nominees will have staggered terms.

3. 20 Lansdowne Court / 20th Century Club – President Coleman presented some options based upon the previous brainstorming meeting regarding usage. Option 1 would include ADA changes that would demand a commitment to the blueprint for public usage. Option 2 addresses whether there should be an exit strategy if some parking was eliminated. Option 3 includes other miscellaneous items.

President Coleman then opened a discussion for next steps. Mr. Schleigh asked if just the first floor could be implemented with ADA remedies. Mr. Urban pointed out that it could be done piecemeal without having to add ADA requirements all at once. Mr. Scott felt that a community group could not rent space or use the second floor as their address if it was not ADA compliant. He suggested that Mr. Gould could look into the ADA issues. Mr. Schleigh would like to have the storage use versus public space differentiated to gain a framework of reference. Mr. Urban asked what was necessary to get the first floor ready. Mr. Totaro indicated that a new bathroom, refurbishing the floor and carpet and new paint would be sufficient with additional input regarding ADA ramp placement. The consensus was in favor of option #1. Ms. Silzle questioned the going forward process.President Coleman indicated that several proposals for use could be utilized using the same first floor rooms with other ideas progressing from that point.

New Business:

1. ICLEI – President Coleman then asked for a discussion of the ICLEI New Business item. Ms. Silzle mentioned that Lansdowne will be joining ICLEI in order to reduce the Borough’s energy consumption and lower its energy costs. ICLEI is made up of 1,078 local governments representing over 400 million people worldwide that provides technical consulting, training and information to guide municipalities through a process to prioritize, identify and work through ways to reduce energy costs and consumption. The Environmental Committee’s research showed that by joining this endeavor, annual savings of approximately $7,000-$8,000 in electricity costs and the maintenance contract could be realized.

Joining in the ICLEI process will increase Lansdowne’s eligibility for grants. Membership is $600 annually and would be paid from the Borough’s recycling budget line. Haverford, Narberth, Philadelphia, West Chester, Nether Providence, Pittsburgh and Radnor are some local municipalities that would join Lansdowne in this regard. Ms. Silzle stated that the process would also be an ongoing one that would help Lansdowne take a comprehensive and strategic approach that would be recognized in obtaining grants. Mr. Borgman initially brought this initiative to the Environmental Committee and will continue to provide assistance in this endeavor.Ms. Silzle moved to adopt Resolution 2009-14, a resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne regarding ICLEI Membership and Cities for Climate Protection Campaign Participation. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

2. Summer council meeting schedule – Ms. Lustgarten moved to cancel the August Borough Council Business meeting. Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

3. Arts Plan – Mr. Wagner presented a document outlining the overview and concept of an Arts Plan with tangible projects to make Lansdowne an “Arts Destination Community”. At the Borough level there would be an adoption of a resolution to this effect and the establishment of an Arts Board.

Concept outlines include intern programs, an artist in residence program, recruitment of an arts-based educational institution, rules requiring development project allowance for arts project and the development of community black box theater and rehearsal flex space. Mr. Urban questioned some of the language and felt there should be no hint of censorship in this regard. Borough Council was in support of the proposed resolution.


1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
2. Mr. Wagner moved to advertise a public hearing on the warehouse ordinance. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

The motion regarding the Marlyn Park Master Site Plan was previously tabled.

Executive Session

There were no items for Executive Session.


Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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