Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
April 21, 2010
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer Bartley, Borough Solicitor Scott and Police Chief Kortan. Fire Chief Young was absent.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved with no changes.
Approval of Minutes
Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the March 17, 2010 General meeting. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements and Presentations
The mayor had no presentations or announcements.
Mr. Bartley read revised figures for the February report as follows: Beginning balance in General Fund – $71,0974; ending balance $115,043. Beginning balance in Sewer Fund – $347,836; ending balance $346,716. Beginning balance in Liquid Fuels Fund – $107,495; ending balance 100,028. Beginning balance in Capital Reserve Fund $118,854; ending balance $118,866. Beginning balance in Non-uniformed Pension Plan – $1,050,650; ending balance $1,051,047. Beginning balance in Police Pension Plan – $4,717,359; ending balance $4,601,934. Year to date totals for all funds: beginning balance of $6,414,167; revenues of $1,117,891; expenses of $1,198,425; deficit of $80,534; ending balance of $6,333,633.
Mr. Bartley presented the March report as follows: Beginning balance in the General Fund – $71,974; ending balance $3,365,254. Beginning balance in the Sewer Fund – $347,836; ending balance $1,005,717. Beginning balance in Liquid Fuels Fund – $107,495; ending balance $284,378. Beginning balance in Capital Reserve Fund – $118,854; ending balance $114,816. Non-Uniform Pension beginning balance is $1,050,650; ending balance of $1,051,047. Police Pension Fund beginning balance is $4,717,359; ending balance $4,787,253. Mr. Bartley reported that approximately $4.5 million in tax revenues had been collected as of March 31st.
Mr. Scott had no formal report.
Mayor Young announced that the Lansdowne Fire Company is currently holding its annual fund drive and mentioned that four volunteer Lansdowne fire fighters were recently trapped in a Yeadon building fire but escaped unharmed. Mayor Young gave data on the 2010 census return rates: 71% on the national level, 75% for Pennsylvania, 74% for Delaware County and 69% for Lansdowne. President Coleman urged residents to complete and send in the census form as $400 billion in grant money is allocated throughout the country and is based on the count of each municipality.
Council President’s Report
President Coleman reported that she recently attended the 2010 Delaware County and Delaware County library system legislative breakfast and library awards program wherein Ronnie Hawkins was awarded the outstanding library employee award. Mrs. Hawkins has been a long time employee of the Lansdowne Library and has volunteered extensively for the Borough.
President Coleman mentioned that on April 24th she will be attending a School Board meeting being held for all municipalities in the William Penn School District. Topics will include recycling efforts with the schools, safety issues, taxes and other collaborations.
President Coleman reported that the Elm Street Program is going forward. The grant application was targeted to be sent by the end of April.
- Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that the Neighborhood Watch Program now has an active Borough website. Mr. Schleigh reported that a variety of issues were discussed at the last public Health and Safety Committee meeting:
(a) Tenant rights – input from landlords is welcome.
(b) Animal control.
(c) Idling buses at the Ardmore Elementary School – the Committee is monitoring this situation.
(d) Health Board – mental health issues were discussed and the Board will be collaborating with the Human Relations Commission in this regard. The Commission is also looking into mediation training for members.
(e) Civil Service Commission – recommendations have been received for the vacant position.
- Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the F&A Committee is evaluating the Code Department fees and how they compare to other neighborhoods. The Committee is also working with the Lansdowne library regarding staffing patterns. Ms. Lustgarten reported that a new sanitation truck is needed and cost information is being investigated. A new truck would cost approximately $130,000. The next F&A Committee meeting will be held on May 3rd at 7:00 p.m.
LEDC Liaison Report: Ms. Lustgarten reported that Rachel Van Tosh has been named the new Main Street manager.
- Economic Development and Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner reported that the ED&CE Committee met on April 20th and were debriefed on the recent neighborhood meeting regarding the 8 block area near Sycamore Park. Residents of that area want to rename their neighborhood “Sycamore Village”. The next neighborhood meeting will be held on June 24th at Sycamore Park, 7:00 p.m. Mr. Wagner reported that his Committee is also reviewing the active codes case report and indicated that the number of problem properties is decreasing. Residents can call the Committee if there are any concerns about a particular property. Mr. Wagner mentioned that they are interviewing candidates for the Planning Commission vacancies as well as the Zoning Hearing Board and Codes Board of Appeals vacancies. Mr. Wagner mentioned that the Committee recently met with the new owner of Ardmore Court Apartments, who is rehabbing several of the apartments with a corresponding
- Environment – Ms. Silzle reported that the recently held Make Lansdowne Beautiful Day was a big success with over 30 volunteers and several Borough businesses participating in the event. Ms. Silzle gave the recycling rates for March: 2010 March diversion rate was 18% as compared to a 14.5% diversion rate for March 2009. The average diversion rate is 19.6% with an overall goal of 20%. Ms. Silzle mentioned that a Pennsylvania rebate program has been created wherein residents could receive a $100 to $500 rebate for upgrading home heating equipment. More information can be found at www.PAheatingrebate.com. Ms. Silzle reported that the Environment Committee met on April 8th and is reviewing the recycling ordinance regarding apartments. The Committee is also looking at a Technical Assistance Study and will develop questions for follow up before the May 13th Committee meeting. This study looks at waste management as a whole. Ms. Silzle mentioned there is a vacancy on the Park and Recreation Board. On April 24th the Darby Creek cleanup will be held.
- Community Relations – Mrs. English reported the Community Relations Committee met last week to discuss the Borough web site and access to the Borough cable television channel. Mrs. English mentioned that there is one opening on the Library Board.
- Infrastructure and Public Works – Mr. Smith reported that the next Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held on April 27th. Mr. Smith mentioned that he receives a variety of e-mails from residents with infrastructure concerns and pointed out that he is quite aware of the Borough personnel who properly carry out their responsibilities in this regard. Mr. Smith indicated that residents should be mindful of the sewers and not put lawn clippings in the road. The Borough sewage fees are very high and the outflow adds to this expense.
There were no communications.
Mr. Schleigh moved to Suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear public comments. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Anthony Campuzano – 40 West Albemarle – In his capacity as UAA President, Mr. Campuzano mentioned that a fundraiser will be held for the UAA on May 1st at the 20th century club, 7 to 11 p.m. Cost is $30 per person. Mr. Campuzano urged residents to vote in the May 18th primary. Mayor Young added that residents in the 3rd and 4th precincts should call in as to where to vote, now that St. John’s Episcopal Church is closed as a polling place.
Jack Covert – Resident of Lansdowne – Mr. Covert mentioned that the last LSO concert of the season will be held on April 25th. Mr. Covert stated that free parking should be allowed on Saturdays as this is a big day for the Borough in terms of special events and the Farmers Market. Mr. Covert mentioned that not a lot of revenue would be lost if the parking fee was eliminated for one day. Mr. Covert questioned whether Pennock Woods would be part of the Darby Creek cleanup. It will be included. President Coleman mentioned that the Public Safety Committee had discussed and was satisfied with not having free Saturday parking. Mr. Smith mentioned that the Borough is advantageous for businesses because there is no business privilege tax.
Melissa England – 124 Gladstone Manor – Ms. England, in her capacity as President of the Gladstone Civic Association, mentioned that the permit process has been initiated to keep two benches donated by Giant Food Markets. The benches had been removed by the Borough and Ms. England asked if the benches could be returned and kept in place during the permit process. President Coleman indicated the benches were removed due to being put on Borough property without permission. The Environment Committee will further discuss the matter.
Charles Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers mentioned that street lines have not yet been painted to assist buses turning at the Union and Baltimore Avenue intersection. Mr. Jeffers also mentioned that the ‘stop here’ sign is blocked by a tree at the intersection of Wycombe and Baltimore Avenues.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to Reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- SPCA special advertisement – Mr. Schleigh indicated that Lansdowne will be looking at Springfield Township’s model letter regarding the SPCA’s increased fees for bringing in stray animals. Chief Kortan indicated that the fees have increased 400%, from $25 to $116. If a Lansdowne resident brings in a stray to the SPCA, the Borough will be billed. All Council members were in agreement with the letter and it will be put on the Borough website for feedback.
- Free parking on Yard Sale Day – Mr. Schleigh moved to authorized free parking in the Borough on Yard Sale Day. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Home based food businesses – the issue concerns inspections by the Borough. The state also has a certification process. The proposed draft ordinance incorporates one inspection charge and one certification. Mr. Scott will review it and bring a recommendation to Council by the next general Council meeting.
- LEDC data request – Mr. Totaro indicated that the LEDC will be having a fund raiser. Information is to be sent to multi family property owners.
- HARB Certificate of Appropriateness – Mr. Wagner indicated the certificate is for facade improvements for two buildings at 92-98 East Baltimore Avenue.
- Designation of Agent Resolution – Mr. Smith moved to adopt the Resolution for Designation of Agent contingent upon insertion of actual resolution number. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Wagner moved to approve Certificate of Appropriateness 2010-002 for the property at 92-98 East Baltimore Avenue. Mr. Smith seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Silzle moved to advertise Ordinance 1252, an Ordinance amending Chapter 280 of the Code of the Borough of Lansdowne, entitled “Recycling”, to amend ordinance 1097. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Wagner moved to adopt Ordinance 1251, an ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne, amending Chapter 265 of the Code of the Borough of Lansdowne, entitled “Rental Properties” to provide that an applicant for a rental property license may elect to either (1) submit a certification from a Pennsylvania licenses architect or engineer that the property is in compliance with all codes or (2) submit to an inspection by the Borough Code Department to determine if the property complies with all codes. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss real estate and personnel issues. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:19 p.m.
Upon reconvening to public session, the following motions were made:
- Mr. Wagner moved to award Ronnie Hawkins a $300 bonus. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried with one ‘nay’ from Mrs. English.
- Mr. Schleigh moved to appoint Richard H. Smalley to the Civil Service Commission to fill vacant position left by Mollie Repetto with term ending 6/2015. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:22 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry