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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting Wednesday
July 15, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday,
July 15, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wagner. Mr. Urban arrived later in the meeting. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley and Police Chief Kortan. Fire Chief Young was absent.

President Coleman stated that the meeting would air on July 20th at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 10 and RCN channel 52.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with no changes.

Minutes

Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the June 17, 2009 General Meeting of Council as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor Young introduced Joan and Jim Gardner of the Lansdowne Allied Youth Council who presented a Youth of the Year award to Alyssa Kaupas. Al Them, also of the Allied Youth Council, mentioned that a grant had been awarded to the Celebration Theater to support a youth project. In this regard, the youth oriented production of “Bunnicula” will be presented in October.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Bartley presented the June, 2009 report. The General Fund reflected a beginning balance of. $ 71,974 and an ending balance of $ 1,721,627.The Sewer Fund reflected a beginning balance of $ 347,836 and an ending balance of $ 620,280. The Liquid Fuels Fund reflected a beginning balance of $ 107,494 and an ending balance of $ 293,943. The Capital Reserves Fund reflected a beginning balance of $ 118,854 and an ending balance of $ 106,833. The Non-Uniform Pension Plan had a beginning balance of $ 1,050,649 and an ending balance of $ 1,187,931. Year to date value increase is $64,000 with a surplus of $137,281.The Police Pension Fund reflected a year to date deficit of $36,157 but had an overall portfolio value increase of $222,000. Mr. Bartley mentioned that $77,000 was received for recycling from the Commonwealth. The Finance Committee will decide in August whether to keep this amount in the Capital Reserves Fund or move it to the General Fund.

Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Scott mentioned that the tax reassessment appeal discussion will be postponed until the next Council meeting.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young recognized the Police Department for their good work on July 4th. Mayor Young mentioned that the First Suburbs group aired a documentary at the 20th Century Club on July 12th and encouraged residents to attend forthcoming viewings. Mayor Young indicated that poison ivy is rampant this summer and more information can be obtained by viewing the Borough website. Also, the DEP requested that information be posted on the Web about West Nile Virus. Mayor Young mentioned that a noon time Lansdowne Library book club discussion is held the last Wednesday of every month. Sycamore Park cleanup day is scheduled for August 9th.

Council President’s Report – President Coleman gave some highlights of the updated 2009 Committee structure and the various goals and objectives of each Committee. President Coleman mentioned that State Senator Anthony Williams recently hosted a meeting regarding the PA state budget and also to discuss Senate Bill 850. Senator Williams is against the Bill. S.B.850 will adversely affect educational institutions. If passed, the William Penn School District will suffer an approximate $2.2 million loss in funding. President Coleman encouraged residents to write or call their legislators and State senators about this matter. Mr. Totaro will draft a position letter on behalf of Borough Council. Mr. Wagner also indicated that the Main Street Program’s funding will be eliminated, thereby eliminating much of the cultural and social Borough offerings. Mayor Young indicated that libraries will also be seriously affected forcing the closing of many libraries.
President Coleman mentioned that the Group Work Camp will be starting its third year and 200 volunteers will be arriving in the Borough the week of July 27th. This Group helps with house repairs for those individuals who cannot afford repairs on their own. Local volunteers will complete some projects the week of August 3rd.
President Coleman reminded residents that there will be no business meeting in August.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Public Safety – Mr. Schleigh stated that the police presence was very much appreciated during the July 4th celebration and is grateful for their presence at the Farmers Market. A conditional offer of employment has been offered to a part time police officer. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that Fire Chief Young was recuperating from planned surgery. Mr. Schleigh and Mayor Young attend a meeting last week wherein Sgt. Donaghan gave a public update on the current Borough robberies. Mr. Schleigh indicated that in light of the recently enacted ordinance, some parking tickets have been given to commuters in the anti parking areas in Gladstone Manor. Should a resident get a ticket they can talk with Chief Kortan within 10 days of issuance. The Public Safety Committee is also looking into getting “Please Slow Down” signs for various Borough sites. Topics of discussion for the next Public Safety Committee meeting will include defining what constitutes a home based business for purposes of the Health Code, reviewing quote for parking lot signs, reviewing candidates for the Board of Health opening and investigating traffic advisory committees for various parts of the Borough.

Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that 2009 expenses are well in line with the budget but revenues are $70,000 less than the prior year in transfer taxes and $70,000 less in prior year taxes for a total of $140,000. The Finance Committee discussed remedies in light of state budget cuts and is looking at loan opportunities. Quotes obtained for the commercial liability policy were significantly higher than what is in place and the current policy will remain. The state audit of the Liquid Fuels Fund is proceeding with no observed concerns. The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on August 3rd at 7:00 pm.

Economic Development – Mr. Wagner reported the Economic Development met on June 16th to discuss streamlining the process wherein central business district owners can get approval permits for facade improvements via the HARB. Also discussed was the walking paths plan and estimates for cost of the work needed is being investigated. A first draft of the Bed & Breakfast ordinance will be presented to the Finance Committee. The Planning Committee is currently working on a comprehensive bike path plan for Lansdowne residents and is in line with the County Greenway program. Mr. Wagner mentioned that Sofa Cinema is changing its mission somewhat and will now be establishing the 5th Friday Film Festival (to be held quarterly).

Environmental – Ms. Silzle reported that the Environmental Committee met on July 9th with Bill Johnson from the Public Works department attending to discuss the Yard Waste Program. Pending Borough staff scheduling, the Committee is recommending that Council approve expanding yard waste pickup to twice a month. Ms. Silzle indicated that yard waste should be put into brown paper bags or trash cans, not plastic bags. Also discussed was ICLEI and intern Ross Gerson is working with the staff to conduct the greenhouse gas emission inventory. Ms. Silzle thanked Elliot Borgman for introducing this initiative to the Committee and being actively engaged in the process.
Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Committee learned about Cool Food, a campaign that educates people about the connection between food and global warming and provides the resources to reduce the impact on the environment. In addition, the Borough will apply for a $7500 DEP grant wherein consultants will assess the recycling program for Lansdowne. The Committee also discussed identifying a company that would conduct energy audits on homes that would provide a discount to residents.
The next meeting will be held on August 13th at 7:00 p.m.
Ms. Silzle reminded residents to eliminate any standing water on their property to prevent mosquito breeding and the spread of the West Nile Virus. It was also recommended that bird baths be cleaned out and refilled every day.

Education – Mr. Urban had no formal report.

Infrastructure – Mr. Smith reported that the Infrastructure Committee discussed six issues as follows:
1.Union Avenue sewer project – has been completed within three days without incident.
2.A meeting will be held on July 28th with the only candidate for the Darby Creek Sewer Authority. Mr. Smith asked if any other residents are interested to please contact him.
3.Public input is needed for infrastructure issues and if immediate attention is needed to please call the Borough Hall or contact someone through the Borough web site.
4.Aqua PA will be meeting with the Borough to discuss partnering with them to remedy various paving issues throughout the Borough. Residents should contact Borough Hall if they see something that requires immediate attention.
5.The Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenue turn signal work is still ongoing but progress is being made.
6.The Borough received a $303,544 H2O grant award for sanitary sewer rehabilitation.

The next Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held on July 28th.

Liaison Reports –

1.Library – Ms. Silzle reported that fiber optics was installed today that will increase the online speed of the computers. Ms. Silzle provided some library circulation statistics:

a) Circulation is down 5% from this time last year but internet use is up 15%.
b) Lansdowne ranks 8th in County circulation with 19 libraries in the County.
c) A “people counter” has been installed to monitor the amount of foot traffic in the library so that the correct numbers can be given to the State for funding.
d) Over 50 letters from patrons were sent to state legislators opposing the proposed budget cuts that will adversely affect libraries.

Communications – There were no communications.

Mr. Wagner moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Schleigh seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Visitors

1. Frank Napolitano – Owner of Lansdowne Hearing Aid store – Mr. Napolitano mentioned that his business is being adversely affected financially due to the store sign being blocked by a tree planted in front of the store. He would like the tree removed and replaced with a bush. Mayor Young indicated that she had asked Mr. Napolitano to attend tonight’s mention to get Borough Council’s input. Ms. Silzle mentioned that a huge sign exists on the side wall that is easily seen by traffic coming from Philadelphia along Baltimore Avenue. Ms. Silzle stated that the Environmental Committee will discuss the matter.

2. Charlie Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers mentioned that yard waste is being picked up with the regular trash. Ms. Silzle suggested that word of mouth is the best way to let the neighbors know of the yard waste program. Mr. Jeffers asked if any extra help can be given concerning a mold problem in his house. President Coleman suggested that he contact his insurance company for other options. Mr. Jeffers also asked if a contractor can do stucco work on his house for a reasonable price. Ms. Lustgarten suggested that he contact the Community Action Agency of Delaware County in Media for help. Mr. Jeffers mentioned that the DCCH Cancer Walk will be held on September 28th at 10:00 a.m.

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

Old Business

There were no items for old business.

New Business

There were no items for New Business.

Action Items

1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
2.Mr. Wagner moved to enact Ordinance 1246, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne, amending the requirements for membership on the Vacant Property Review Committee. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
3.Mr. Urban moved to appoint Jeanette Reinhart to the Park and Recreation Board to fill the term of Fred Mirarchi. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
4.Ms. Silzle moved to increase yard waste pick up to two times a month. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
5.Mr. Wagner moved to confirm the appointment of Sharon Coleman to the Lansdowne Redevelopment Authority to a one year term, expiring on 7/31/10. Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
6.Ms. Silzle moved to confirm the appointment of Stephen Wagner to the Lansdowne Redevelopment Authority to a two year term, expiring on 7/31/11. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
7.Mr. Wagner moved to confirm the appointment of Mark Gavin to the Lansdowne Redevelopment Authority to a three year term, expiring on 7/31/12. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
8.Mr. Wagner moved to confirm the appointment of Mary Radich to the Lansdowne Redevelopment Authority to a four year term, expiring on 7/31/13. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
9.Mr. Wagner moved to confirm the appointment of Martin Hackett to the Lansdowne Redevelopment Authority to a five year term, expiring on 7/31/14. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
10.Mr. Wagner moved to apply for designation under the Preserve America program. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
(There is no fee to the Borough).

Executive Session

Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn to Executive Session.Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:15 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.

Adjourn

Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting.Mr. Schleigh seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:03 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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