Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
April 20, 2011
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle and Mr. Wagner. Councilman Smith and Fire Chief Young were absent. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer Bartley, Borough Solicitor Scott and Police Chief Kortan.
Approval of Agenda: The agenda was approved with the following changes: (1) Mrs. English has one Executive Session item; (2) President Coleman will move the Elm Street item from Old Business to after her report.
Approval of Minutes: Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the March 16, 2011 General Meeting of Council as submitted by the Secretary. Mr. Wagner seconded. Vote: unanimous.
Announcements and Presentations: Mayor Young introduced UAA President George Patouhas, who stated that a UAA fundraiser will be held at the 20th Century Club on April 30th at 7:00 pm. Mr. Patouhas indicated that the UAA is celebrating its 107th year, in operation since 1904. The organization is responsible for organizing the July 4th festivities and is funded entirely by private donations. The UAA meets the first Thursday of every month and is currently held at St. Pauls Church, 7:30 pm.
Mayor Young introduced Mary Lou Jennings, Tree Advisory Board President. Mrs. Jennings indicated that Arbor Day festivities will actually take place at night, so Arbor Night will be held on April 29th, 7:00 pm in Sycamore Park. Ms. Jennings noted that Lansdowne will once again receive the Tree Growth Award. Ms. Jennings stated that 29 trees were delivered: 13 on Plumstead Avenue and the remainder to residents.
Treasurers Report: Mr. Bartley presented the March 2011 report as follows: General Fund beginning balance $280,823, ending balance $3,722,165. Sewer Fund beginning balance: $604,313, ending balance $1,360,603. Liquid Fuels Fund beginning balance $326,727, ending balance $246,666. Capital Reserves Fund beginning balance $61,080, ending balance $53,472. Non Uniform Pension Fund beginning balance $1,837,274, ending balance $1,741,401. Police Pension fund beginning balance $6,323,468, ending balance of $6,438,908. Mr. Bartley indicated that there sufficient funds on hand to meet the current obligations.
Ms. Lustgarten asked if the Tax Anticipation Note would be paid off early, to which Mr. Bartley replied yes.
Solicitors Report: Mr. Scott had no formal report.
Mayors Report: Mayor Young reported that the recently held energy audit meeting was successful. The Animal Friends of Lansdowne will be holding their 2nd annual Spay event on April 21st. Mayor Young mentioned she had recently met with a Go Rail representative who has requested a letter of support regarding pending legislation that may have adverse results for the trucking industry.
Council Presidents Report: President Coleman reported that she recently attended a public meeting facilitated by 1st Suburbs regarding HUD policy changes. The focus was on affordable and equitable housing. Over 500 people were in attendance. 1st Suburbs will continue to be mindful of issues that affect the surrounding counties.
President Coleman reported that she had recently attended the 100th year celebration of the PA Association of Boroughs conference in Hershey, PA. President Coleman mentioned that a surplus website exists wherein municipalities can bid onmunicipality equipment as well as other supplies that are needed by the Borough. These items would translate into significant savings for Lansdowne.
Other seminar topics included: Risk Management,and a program for community policing called CIT which trains law enforcement officers on how todeal with special needs situations.Chief Kortan was a key speaker regarding technology in law enforcement.
President Coleman read the PA Association of Boroughs letter of thanks for the Chiefs participation.
President Coleman attended County Councils public meeting where she lobbied for and thanked them for block grant funding that is distributed through the County.
Lansdownes proposed project is the Schappet Terrace.The grant amount of $92,000 has the support of the County Council Chair.
ELM STREET PRESENTATION
Virginia Gavin, President of the LEDC, introduced the new Elm Street Manager, Imogen Wirth-Granlund, who presented an overview of the Elm Street Program. This program is a revitalization effort for the areas near the business corridors of Lansdowne and Yeadon. By way of history, the Elm Street Program is an offshoot of the Main Street Movement, established in 1980 for small borough and townships. Urban areas were included in 1990. Lansdownes Elm Street Program started in 2005 and is overseen by the LEDC. There are currently about 40 Elm Street programs in Pennsylvania and the concept is now entering the national policy realm. The Elm Street Program addresses five areas of a neighborhood: (1) Clean Safe & Green (develop rain barrel workshops, organize a block watch, enhance open spaces and parks); (2) Design (rehab building exteriors, enhance streetscapes); (3) Neighbors & Economy (provide social services and recreation opportunities, increase home ownership, make use of vacant and under utilized buildings; (4) Image and Identity (start websites, publish community newsletter, organize social events, develop marketing materials); and (5) Sustainable Organization (partner with stakeholders, secure long term funding).
Mrs. Wirth-Granlund reported that $249,500 has been received for implementation over four years. The next phase will be to establish a resident advisory committee. Ms. Gavin indicated that she expects more grants to become available for Lansdowne.
Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that the police bike patrols have started. Sgt. Albertoli recently participated in a Career Day program at the library. He not only spoke on the role of a policeman but also promoted the Neighborhood Watch Program. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that code provision changes regarding parking issues will be discussed at the May 4th business meeting. At the next Public Safety Committee meeting on May 11th, the discussion will center on crosswalks on Marshall Road, an intergovernmental cooperation request and street light maintenance responsibilities. On May 21st, Sgt. Albertoli will be heading a fingerprinting for children service at Travers Market. Mr. Schleigh questioned the status of the street lights program. Mr. Schleigh read a list of safety recommendations for residents who will be participating in the upcoming Town Yard Sale. On August 2nd the Neighborhood Watch Program will be sponsoring a fun filled event in partnership with Septa police at the Lansdowne train station, with free food, games for kids, etc.
Ms. Silzle clarified that there are two street light projects, one in Gladstone Manor and the other throughout the town. The Gladstone Manor light project will soon start.
Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported that in 2008 the borough had received a $300,000 H2O grant that will need to be audited per the requirements of the grant. During the April 4th Committee meeting, the storm water collaborative information was reviewed. The boroughs regular audit has been completed and was submitted on March 22, 2011. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that the NEA had invited the borough to submit a proposal for design services at the Lansdowne Theater. The grant is for $250,000 and will be submitted on behalf of the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation. Mr. Bartley will be gathering information for banking services. Library staffing changes have been completed.
Ms. Lustgarten reported that the borough received a letter from the Delaware County Planning Commission notifying us that Delcora has been in contract negotiations with the Phila. Water Company. As a result of these negotiations, there may be a doubling of sewer treatment costs to all municipalities in Delaware County. More information will follow.
The next F&A Committee meeting will be held on May 2nd at 7:00 pm.
Economic Development and Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner reported that the satellite dish ordinance will be discussed at the May 4th business meeting. This ordinance sets zoning regulations around the placement and size of dishes in the historic district. The downtown cleanup has been discussed and three days a week the highway department goes through the business district with a leaf collection truck and blower. Mr. Wagner reported that the codes department is trying to develop a strategy to make unattended properties water tight. Utilities that have not been turned off can cause severe water damage and the priority is to protect the infrastructure. Regarding the Arts Board, Mr. Wagner reported they are looking to put in a workable space at 20 Lansdowne Court for residencies designed for mid-career artists to create works that would be unique for the borough.
Environment – Ms. Silzle gave the 2011 diversion recycling rates as follows: January – 30%; February 33%; March – 27%. The average for Lansdowne is 30%, which is excellent. Ms. Silzle credited the enhanced Blue Mountain hard plastics recycling (all numbers except for 3 or 6) and the once a week pickup in the borough for the higher rates. Ms. Silzle indicated that hard plastic microwave trays are OK if it has the acceptable recycling number. Other items discussed are as follows:
- The Committee is in the process of developing a Shade Tree ordinance.
- Reviewed the need for downtown trash and recycling cans and design plans will be given to the HARB for approval. The Committee hopes to receive 5 sets.
- Vines are very harmful to trees and the Committee is trying to educate the public about this issue. The recent newsletter article regarding this matter can be viewed on the web site. The Park and Recreation Board have been asked to report any issues about any vines throughout the town.
- The Yard Waste program is now in operation. Refer to magnet for correct dates. Remember that NO plastic bags are to be used for yard waste.
- Approximately 10 Penn Wood students assisted with the Keep Lansdowne Beautiful Day cleanup. There was also a shredding event held the same day. Mayor Young mentioned that regarding the recent press articles about school funding, some people feel that the William Penn School District only has bad students. These students who helped out were trying to show that they are not a problem to the borough and not everyone should be regarded as bad students.
- The Darby Creek Cleanup will be held on April 30th and May 1st.
- Paint cans are now recyclable. The proper procedure is to pour the paint into a newspaper, let it dry, put dry paint can in recycling bins and the painted newspaper in put into the trash.
- PECO has a smart appliance rebate program that offers a variety of rebates on several types of appliances. Old appliances are recycled.
The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on May 12th at 7:00 pm.
Community Relations – Mrs. English reported that work continues on the new resident package and the map project. Mrs. English gave the recent statistics on the use of the Lansdowne library: in January 6,835 people used the library- out of that number, 2500 used the internet. In February, 6,948 people used the library and in March the library had 8,260 visitors. Mrs. English credits the high attendance to the wide variety of programs that are available on a continuing basis. Several events are scheduled for May, aimed at children and adults alike. More information can be found on the library and borough web sites.
Infrastructure and Public Works – No report was given in Mr. Smiths absence.
Communications: President Coleman read a letter from the Department of Human Services regarding the mental health needs of children and youth. Ms. Henry then read the Resolution proclaiming May 1st to May 7th as Childrens Mental Health Awareness Week. May 3rd will be the actual day of awareness.
Mr. Schleigh moved to adopt the Resolution proclaiming May 1 through May 7, 2011 as the Childrens Mental Health Awareness Week with the actual day of awareness being May 3, 201l. Mr. Wagner seconded. Vote: unanimous.
Mr. Schleigh moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear visitor comments. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote: unanimous.
Visitor Comments: There were no comments from visitors.
Mr. Schleigh moved to resume Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Wagner seconded.
- Fire House Roof – the Borough Engineer was present to give the results of her findings and recommendations. The roof is 28 years old and it was determined from the contract that a new roof had been requested but only one layer had been installed. The recommendation now is to replace the roof. The air conditioning unit is 6 years old. The Engineer recommended that a contractor remove the refrigerant, move the units to the other side of the roof, after roof is replaced move the units back into place and refill. The life expectancy for the air conditioning units is 7-12 years but another contractor felt that they could go 15 to 20 years. The recommendation is to keep the units. Solar panel installation was also discussed wherein credits can be given and sold back to the market. Ms. Lustgarten questioned whether grant money was available for this. The Engineer indicated that no much is available in Pennsylvania. Moving the units would be about $1800. Regarding solar panels, the cost is $5,000 per kilowatt. The roof would get about 30 kilowatts. The contractor recommends doing 10 panels at a time. The payback period is 7 years. PECO may give money back if changing the efficiency. Mr. Schleigh asked if the existing roof could support the load of solar panels and could the load capacity be increased in the future. The Engineer was not sure of future load capacity as it had not been an item for inspection. The Finance Committee will discuss funding alternatives.
- SPCA – Mr. Scott indicated that the packet materials contained information about a non-profit organization that wants to build a no kill shelter in Delaware County. Mayor Young mentioned that Mario Civera told her that Dinahs Way, a non profit organization, is interested in building a no kill shelter in Darby Township for a cost of about $500,000. Mr. Civera is currently working to find low interest loans to help support it. He believes that if an actual plan and site is in place, he may be able to negotiate with the SPCA to put off their plan to discontinue picking up animals. The cost per animal pick up would be $200-$300 per animal. Chief Kortan indicated that over the course of a year there could be close to 50 animals. The current cost for pickup is now $116 per animal.
New Business: There were no items.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. Vote: unanimous.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to accept bid of $4750 from Raymond Smith, for the 2001 International recycling truck. Ms. Silzle seconded. Vote: unanimous.
Executive Session – Ms. Silzle moved to adjourn to executive session. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote: unanimous. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:25 p.m.
Public Session – No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.
Adjourn – Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded. Vote: unanimous. The meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry