Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
September 16, 2009
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday,
September 16, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Smith, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. 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 September 21st 7:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 10 and RCN channel 52.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved with no changes.
Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the August 19, 2009 General Meeting of Council as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements and Presentations
Mayor Young swore in newly appointed part time officer Leo Doyle.
Mayor Young recognized Lansdowne Police Squad No. 14 for their apprehension of a suspect in connection with a local pizza shop robbery. Those recognized included Sgt. Eisenhart and officers D. Schiazza and Albertoli, officer Meehan (East Lansdowne PD) and officer Burns (Yeadon PD).
Mayor Young introduced Christine Helmandollar, Director of the Friendship Circle. Ms. Helmandollar gave an overview of the many programs offered by the Circle (open to individuals age 50 and older). Those programs include a variety of lifelong learning classes, meals on wheels and health programs. The Circle serves 96 people weekly in Lansdowne and has 853 members. Friendship Circle won the state award for the Health Passport program. Ms. Helmandollar mentioned that a series of lectures will be held every other week on a variety of health issues. The Medicare Program will have an open enrollment from November 15th to December 31st and relevant questions will be addressed.
Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Bartley presented the August, 2009 report. The General Fund reflected a beginning balance of. $71,974 and an ending balance of $1,342,107. The Sewer Fund reflected a beginning balance of $347,836 and an ending balance of $654,857. A credit of $50,000 was issued in connection with the Darby Creek Joint Sewer Authority. The Liquid Fuels Fund reflected a beginning balance of $107,495 and an ending balance of $293,921. The Capital Reserve Fund reflected a beginning balance of $118,854 and an ending balance of $170,826. The Non-Uniform Pension Plan had a beginning balance of $1,050,650 and an ending balance of $1,271,413. Beginning balance in the Police Pension was $4,717,359 and the ending balance was $5,055,687. Mr. Bartley indicated there were sufficient funds on hand to meet current obligations.
Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Scott had no formal report.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young mentioned she had received a letter from a Lansdowne resident praising officer McCaughan for being an exceptional officer after providing assistance to same resident. Mayor Young thanked the Arts Festival Committee for their efforts in making the Arts Festival a success.
Mayor Young mentioned that Park Day will be held on September 26th. Some calendar items include a Save the Lansdowne Historical Theater rally on October 3rd, Garden Church Lansdowne Games Day on October 3rd, Lansdowne Parks Appreciation Day on October 11th and the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra concert on November 8th.
Council President’s Report – President Coleman also thanked the Arts Festival Committee for a job well done. President Coleman mentioned that she and Mr. Totaro will be attending a Delaware County briefing hosted by the County Council regarding preparation and preventive measures regarding the H1N1 virus.
Public Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that the Committee will be developing a news list for a Neighborhood Watch program on the town website and will soon be contacting interested residents. Members of the police force are having a training session with members of the Lansdowne business community regarding public safety issues. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that new signs are being installed in various parts of the Borough warning motorists to come to a complete stop at stop signs. The Public Safety Committee is also considering ordering ‘Please Slow Down’ signs and public input is invited. The next Public Safety Committee meeting will be held on October 14th.
Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Finance Committee will be meeting on September 21st with the Codes, Police and Public Departments and on September 28th with the Park and Recreation Board and Library regarding budget issues.
Economic Development – Mr. Wagner presented some highlights of last night’s Economic Development Committee meeting. The intern is progressing on the informational work for the TV channel. Nominees for the Arts Board are being identified. The Economic Development Committee will be working with the Recreation department regarding winter programs, specifically playwriting and improvisation classes for adults.
Environmental – Ms. Silzle gave the August recycling numbers: diversion rate is 14.5%, up 1% from August, 2008. The Environmental Committee met on September 10th and continues to explore options for increasing recycling among businesses and churches. Ms. Silzle reminded residents that no plastic is to be included with yard waste and twice monthly yard waste pickups have started. As a first step in the ICLEI initiative, the Borough is conducting a green house gas emissions inventory and will develop an action plan to reduce these gas emissions. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the 40th anniversary of Earth Day is April 25, 2010 and the Committee has discussed having a Borough wide beautification day. Ms. Silzle reported that West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes have been found in several communities and reminded residents to dispose of any standing water. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on October 8th at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Silzle also mentioned that each year thousands of fish and animals choke or strangle on litter. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in America and around the world. Cigarette butts and filters take 12 years to biodegrade.
Education – Mr. Urban reported that the Education and Recreation Committee met last night with the Greater Gladstone Civic Association regarding their plans for the island. The information will be given
to the Codes Department first and more information will be brought to Council. The Marlyn Park Steering Committee held its first meeting with neighboring residents of Marlyn Park and it was a very informative and positive meeting. The next meeting is yet to be determined.
Park and Recreation Liaison Report: Mr. Urban indicated that Park Day will be held on September 26th at 3:00 in Hoffman Park and the movie “Bolt” will be shown as dusk. Mr. Urban asked Council for any ideas or questions regarding the summer program for teens and adults.
Infrastructure – Mr. Smith reported that due diligence continues regarding the flooding issue on Union Avenue. The next Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held on September 22nd at 7:00 p.m. Some agenda items to be discussed will include HVAC in the 20th Century Club, the road paving program, the library roof, the Lansdowne Avenue to Highland Avenue pedestrian throughway, the Baltimore Avenue Phase II tree program and the sewer lateral program. Mr. Smith encouraged residents to take advantage of the Borough website to contact Council members with any problems so that Borough staff can timely address the issues. Mayor Young mentioned that many residents do not leave their names when calling with problems. President Coleman reminded residents that all Committee meetings are open to the public.
Liaison Reports –
- Library – s. Silzle reported that from August 15th to September 14th of this year there had been 9,354 visitors to the library. The Library is working with a local financial planning firm to offer free seminars on financial planning for college. Dates and times are still being determined. The library has also joined with the Celebration Theater in offering an informal theater mentoring 10 week program for after school hours. Ms. Silzle mentioned that a free financial planning program for women will most likely be offered in the fall.
Communications – There were no communications.
Mr. Schleigh moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
1. James Jackson – Resident of Lansdowne. Mr. Jackson indicated that recycling numbers will not increase until more enforcement is in place. Mr. Jackson mentioned there is a speeding problem along Wycombe Avenue. Mr. Jackson also mentioned that the Council meetings are not being televised by Comcast on the specified Monday night. Mayor Young mentioned that the meetings have been airing and suggested that Mr. Jackson call Comcast regarding a possible signal routing problem. Mr. Jackson mentioned that no meeting tapes have been available at the library. Mr. Totaro indicated that they are now available.
2. Charlie Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue. Mr. Jeffers felt that any residents who have complaints should attend the Council meetings. Mr. Jeffers said the roof repairs over the Lansdowne Diner are an eyesore and asked when it would be completed. Mr. Jeffers mentioned that motorists continue to run the red light at Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues. Mr. Jeffers thanked the police for apprehending the suspects who had been committing robberies in the area.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Schleigh seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
2009 Paving Program – Mr. Totaro presented the list of streets scheduled for repair. The total cost will be $172,330. Mr. Schleigh asked if any grading could be done to repair the damage along a section of Baltimore Avenue from Wycombe to the Lansdowne Avenue intersection. Mr. Totaro will apprise PennDot of the problem.
- County tax collection committee -Mr. Totaro indicated that a letter was issued by the County Treasurer to municipalities who have an Act 32 EIT tax. Lansdowne does not have an Earned Income Tax but Lansdowne could designate a non-voting delegate to attend the meetings. Mr. Scott mentioned that the state law was recently changed to now require a county wide collection of earned income taxes. The County Committee is being formed to select the County wide tax collector of wage taxes. Borough Council decided that Lansdowne does not need to delegate a non-voting member to attend the meetings in this regard.
1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to accept the 2010 Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) for the Police Pension Plan and the Non Uniform Retirement Plan. Mr. Wagner seconded. Discussion: this is a preliminary MMO for this year with the option to accept the valuation for 2007 or 2009. $500,000 is already in the preliminary 2010 budget. Ms. Lustgarten suggested accepting a preliminary MMO using the 2007 valuation that can be changed by December 31, 2009. Mr. Scott indicated the amounts should be reflected in the motion. Ms. Lustgarten moved to amend the motion to accept the 2010 Minimum Municipal Obligation (MM) for the Police Pension Plan in the amount of $341,034 and the Non Uniform Retirement Plan in the amount of $121,901. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
3. Ms. Silzle moved to award the bid for the Library Roof and Gutter System Replacement tot Martin J. Burke, Inc., Dover Delaware. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel and litigation issues. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:00 p.m.
No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.
Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:32 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry