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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
July 1, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, July 1, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Smith and Mr. Urban. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young. Councilman Wagner was absent.


A public hearing was held regarding Ordinance 1245: An Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending the Zoning Code of the Borough of Lansdowne to correct a typographical error and to prohibit the use of the first floor of properties in the Central Business District for warehousing. President Coleman invited public comment. There was no public comment.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following change: Ms. Lustgarten will make Mr. Wagner’s motions in his absence.


Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the June 3, 2009 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Appointment of Borough Council Vice President: Ms. Lustgarten moved to appoint Barbara Silzle as Vice-President of Borough Council. Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

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

Public Comment: There was no public comment.

Ms. Silzle 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 were sufficient funds to meet current obligations.

B. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott reported that the Open Records Act amendments of last year broadened what documents had to be disclosed and the obligation of a municipality to preserve certain documents. The State Office of Open Records interpretation now indicates that any e-mail from any elected official relating to the Borough is a document that needs to be preserved and archived. The public can request disclosure of these e-mails. Mr. Scott indicated this matter has not been put before the Courts and became effective January 1, 2009. Investigative reports are not required to be disclosed. Mayor Young mentioned that e-mails do not have to be forwarded to each Council member’s personal address and can be retrieved from the Borough server. Mr. Scott felt that no major changes had to be made with respect to personal e-mail accounts. Additionally, video and audio tapes of meetings cannot be destroyed, absent a policy that permits them to be destroyed. Chief Kortan indicated that suits are being filed against the State Office by the Pennsylvania State Police because some of the rulings are compromising state police investigative matters.

C. Borough Manager Craig Totaro – Mr. Totaro gave updates as follows:
1) 20 Lansdowne Court – demolition work and cleanup has begun with summer help.
2) Next G Application – The Zoning Hearing Board did not approve the application and it is expected they may appeal to the County.
3) Union Avenue Sewer Project – the NDI engineer gave the following update: 4 laterals were uncovered, two from Lansdowne and two from Upper Darby. Dye tests revealed that the Upper Darby laterals were broken and there may be issues with the Lansdowne laterals. The condition of the main is to be checked. If the laterals are bad back to the curb line and beyond the connections to the main, the repair costs are the homeowner’s responsibility. Mr. Scott indicated that most municipalities have ordinances that require residents to repair their laterals and can be liened if they refuse to do so. Mr. Smith brought up the possibility of an insurance plan to mitigate costs of sewer lateral repairs and will discuss the matter further with the Infrastructure Committee. Mr. Scott indicated there may be a requirement under a Borough ordinance to provide notice to a property owner if the property is to be liened or billed. Mr. Schleigh questioned whether there was an intergovernmental agreement in this regard. Mr. Totaro indicated there was no agreement of this nature but there is a maintenance agreement for the trucks.

D. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that the police department is ready for the July 4th festivities. An order has been placed for a new police car, pending approval by the Finance Committee. Chief Kortan mentioned that a conditional offer of employment will be made to Leo Doyle, III for a part time police officer, pending Borough Council’s approval and Mr. Doyle passing the requisite tests. Chief Kortan indicated Mr. Doyle would be ready for duty at the end of July or beginning of August. Mr. Schleigh moved to approve the conditional offer of employment for a part time police officer to Leo Doyle, III. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

E. Fire Chief Tom Young – Chief Young had no formal report. Mr. Totaro indicated that the Borough Engineer will be interpreting the Fire House underground conditions when they tour the site next week.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young mentioned that the Borough web site is currently undergoing an overhaul. The No Place For Hate group is being reinvented with the help of Don Verlunden and Mayor Young hoped that the Borough could invest some funding by year’s end. Mayor Young mentioned that the 1st Suburbs Project is requesting their annual membership fee. Ms. Lustgarten moved to maintain the Borough’s annual membership in the First Suburbs Project at a cost of $500. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

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


1. Public Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that next week’s agenda discussion will include traffic complaints on McKinley Avenue and traffic advisory committees. President Coleman questioned whether vehicle cell phone usage would be prohibited in the Borough. Mr. Scott indicated that the Vehicle Code prohibits municipalities from regulating the operation of a vehicle and it would have to be a State wide ruling. Mayor Young asked that ‘Please Don’t Speed’ signs should be added to the agenda for discussion. Mr. Schleigh indicated that there has been an improvement in traffic patterns near the Farmers Market during peak hours on Saturday.

2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten had no formal report. The next Finance Committee meeting has been changed to July 13th.

3. Economic Development – No report was given in Mr. Wagner’s absence.

4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle reported that work continues in trying to place recycling bins at the Ardmore Avenue ball field. Effectively June 11th, the Codes Department will incorporate recycling compliance into apartment rental inspections. The Environmental Committee confirmed that the Park and Recreation Board will be overseeing the parklets and green spaces in the Borough. Also confirmed was the prohibition of grilling fires in all Borough parks except Hoffman Park, where a permit is required for the designated areas. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Borough is still working with Gladstone Manor regarding funding for the island’s water needs. The Marlyn Park Master Site Plan was discussed and all groups and individuals associated with this will have ample opportunity to voice their opinions as the plan progresses. Lansdowne is now a member of ICLEI and intern Ross Gerson has started gathering the data base input to establish the Borough’s energy consumption baseline. Elliot Borgman of the Resource Network will provide some oversight. Ms. Silzle gave the May recycling numbers: diversion rate is 13.3% and has steadily been decreasing since January, 2009. Ms. Silzle expressed concern about the lower numbers and the Environmental Committee will continue to investigate the matter. Several sites were mentioned to place the Earth Saturday handout that details the Borough’s recycling program. Ms. Silzle mentioned that very few residents know about the Yard Waste program and the Committee is actively promoting it. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on July 9th at 7:00 p.m.

5. Education – Mr. Urban had no formal report but mentioned that the prospect of a summer program has been put on hold. Mr. Urban felt that having someone already in place to move the program along would be more beneficial than just outlining the duties in writing. The next steps will be discussed at the July 21st meeting. Mr. Urban stated that Fred Mirarchi had resigned from the Park and Recreation Board. Mr. Urban is awaiting a response from another interested resident. Mr. Urban felt that going forward, communication between the Park and Recreation Board and Borough Council could be improved.

6. Infrastructure – Mr. Smith had no formal report but indicated he had met with Mr. Schleigh and Mr. Totaro to better familiarize himself with Borough issues. The emergency project discussion has been completed. Mr. Schleigh indicated he had not yet heard from the potential candidate for replacement on the Darby Creek Authority and the position needs to be filled. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that the overhead street light at Windermere and Stratford Avenues is out. Mr. Totaro indicated that for the present the light will remain out based on the priority of major repairs.

Old Business

1. Bed and Breakfast Ordinance – Ms. Lustgarten reported in Mr. Wagner’s absence. The draft ordinance highlights some of the parameters for establishing a B&B as follows: owner would have to reside in the B&B, only two B&B’s are permitted per block, parking issues would have to beaddressed, the duration of the stay would be limited, facade requirements need to be compliant with zoning issues and the owner has to be licensed. Also discussed was police calls related to guest conduct. Mr. Urban was not in favor of having a B&B in a residential area and felt it should be limited to thebusiness district. Chief Kortan questioned the number of police calls, indicating that the B&B ownerwould be put into a difficult position with only being allowed two calls per year. Mr. Schleigh felt theduration of the stay should be increased to two weeks. Ms. Lustgarten will bring all areas of concernto the Economic Development Committee for further discussion. Chief Kortan questioned if the status would be changed under zoning or the fire code. The Codes Department will investigate.

New Business:

1. Use of 20 Lansdowne Court Parking Lots for Arts Festival Tents – Arts related classes are planned for younger children and teens and permission is being requested to use the parking lot for the Festival tents.

Mr. Schleigh moved to grant permission to use 20 Lansdowne Court Parking Lots for the Arts Festival Tents. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

2. 2009 Road Program and Streets Maintenance Contract Award. – Mr. Totaro indicated that two bids were received for paving and no bids for sewer. A. F. Damon was the low bidder at $12 per yard.Mr. Totaro indicated there is approximately $150,000 in the budget for the roads project and this amountneeds to be increased to $200,000. Mr. Totaro will have recommendations of what streets are to be paved by the next Council meeting. Ms. Lustgarten confirmed there is actually $160,000 available in thebudget with a beginning fund balance of $107,000.

Mr. Smith moved to award A. F. Damon the contract for the 2009 paving program for Lansdowne Borough Lot 1 through 5 for $200,000. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.


1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
2.Ms. Silzle moved to adopt Resolution 2009-16, a Resolution regarding application by the eastern Delaware County Council of Governments for a grant through the PA DEP’s PA conservation Works! Recovery Grant Program. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
3.Ms. Lustgarten moved to advertise Ordinance 1246: An Ordinance defining the staffing of the Vacant Property Review Committee that will also include a representative designated by the Director of the Delaware County Planning Department (which representative may be an employee of either the Delaware County Planning Department or the Delaware County Office of Housing and Community Development). Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
4.Mr. Smith moved to readvertise the 2009 sanitary sewer maintenance bid. Mr. Schleigh seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
5.Mr. Smith moved to ratify the use of Gargiule for sewer emergency work on Union Avenue. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
6.Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Ordinance 1245: An Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending the Zoning Code of the Borough of Lansdowne to correct a typographical error and to prohibit the use of the first floor of properties in the Central Business District for warehousing. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried with a voice vote and one dissension by Mr. Urban.

Executive Session

Ms. Silzle moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel and real estate issues. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:35 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.


Ms. Silzle moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:02 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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