Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
April 6, 2011
The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 7:30 pm in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh and Mr. Smith. Council members Wagner and Silzle were absent. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer Bartley, Borough Solicitor Scott, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young.
Call to Order: President Coleman called the meeting to order.
Pledge of Allegiance: Mayor Young opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Approval of Agenda: The agenda was approved with the following change: Ms. Lustgarten added an item regarding library staff under Old Business.
Approval of Minutes: Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the March 2, 2011 Business Meeting as submitted by the Borough Secretary. Mrs. English seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to Suspend Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Schleigh seconded. Vote: unanimous.
- Dr. Len Wert – 221 N. Lansdowne Avenue. Dr. Wert stated that he was confused about the proper procedures for yard waste pickup, indicating that his yard waste had not been picked up in three weeks. President Coleman mentioned that all organic waste is to be put into paper bags in an open container, not in plastic bags. Dr. Wert indicated that the borough crew only takes one trash bag off the top of his container and leaves the rest. Mr. Totaro indicated he would follow up on this matter. Dr. Wert was concerned about security on his property, mentioning that a car had been parked in his driveway with the occupants engaging in questionable activity. Chief Kortan asked if Dr. Wert could provide the tag number and assured Dr. Wert that police car patrols would be on the alert for any unidentified vehicles on his property.
- Mary Ann Surla – Resident of Lansdowne. Ms. Surla expressed concern over the lack of future businesses in the borough and felt that the Farmers Market did not meet the needs of several borough residents. Ms. Surla thought that the recent spate of crimes in Lansdowne were hate crimes and more preventive measures should be taken to protect children from pedophiles. Ms. Surla felt that children should be more included in borough community affairs and indicated that the music played at the Farmers Market could occasionally be more attuned to a younger crowd.
Mr. Smith moved to Resume Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Schleigh seconded. Vote: unanimous.
Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Bartley had no formal report and indicated there were sufficient funds on hand to meet the current obligations. President Coleman asked about the status of the audit. Mr. Bartley stated that the audit was submitted earlier and had been completed.
Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Scott had no formal report and one Executive Session item.
Manager’s Report – Mr. Totaro gave updates on the following:
- Plumstead Avenue tree planting. Thirteen trees are to be planted this Saturday.
- A kick off meeting is being held today regarding the Delaware County Energy and Environmental Action Plan.
- The Bottom Dollar construction project is expected to be completed by July 22nd.
- Ardmore Avenue School Construction Project – representatives will be meeting with the winning bidders on Monday, April 11th. The contract award for this school district project is $13.28 million.
Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that he is awaiting the certification number and some additional information regarding the new part time police officer. Chief Kortan expressed confidence that he will be an excellent addition to the force.
Chief Kortan mentioned that Sgt. Kienzle is now back on duty. Due to the efforts of Sen. Anthony Williams, grant money is being processed for a third police car, due to arrive soon. The National Take Back initiative will be held on April 30th, wherein out of date or unwanted prescription medicines can be brought to the Borough Hall for proper disposal. Mr. Schleigh had a question about civil service testing procedures. Chief Kortan indicated that changes need to be made to the existing ordinance. Even though there is no current active list of candidates, Chief Kortan indicated that no violations existed in this regard. Chief Kortan suggested having a joint meeting with the Civil Service Commission and Public Safety Committee to discuss guidelines. Mr. Schleigh indicated the issue would be on the agenda for the next Public Safety Committee meeting.
Fire Chief Young – Fire Chief Young reported that so far this year there had been 179 emergency responses were received so far this year, an increase of about 40 from last year. Chief Young reported that 70 East Stewart Avenue has been condemned. Ms. Lustgarten requested that the Health Department put this matter on their next agenda. Chief Young questioned some fire house roof repair costs and stated that he would like to be informed of any matters related to fire house roof repairs.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young stated that some items were missing from the current newsletter due to time constraints and will appear in the next newsletter. Mayor Young mentioned that she receives several calls about borough business matters for which there is no appropriate extension at Borough Hall. She felt that “any other questions” should be forwarded to Craig or Betsy. Mr. Totaro will look further into this issue.
President’s Report – President Coleman reminded everyone that a public meeting of the First Suburbs will be held regarding more equitable affordable housing. The meeting will be held on April 14th and will be attended by residents, HUD officials and WPSD members. President Coleman, Mrs. English and Mr. Totaro plan to attend to represent Lansdowne’s interests. Regarding the Schappet Terrace sewer project, President Coleman mentioned that the borough has been listed for funding and a public meeting will be held by Delaware County Council on April 19th in this regard.
- Firehouse roof update – President Coleman asked the Borough Engineer to discuss her analysis and evaluation of the roof. Mr. Totaro indicated that given the Infrastructure Committee recommendation, everything had been prepared except for signing the contract but there had been some confusion about some issues. Mayor Young indicated that she had requested actual roof estimates and that Chief Young did his report based on his knowledge of the fire house. Eileen was asked to prepare an estimate for a full roof replacement. During the inspection Mike Taylor provided estimates that were lower than what Eileen felt it would take to repair the roof. After further inspection, Eileen felt that if the leaks could effectively be reduced for less money, the life of the roof would be 5 years. In order to get an installation warranty, the full roof deck would need to be replaced. Eileen mentioned that with municipal bidding, the prevailing wages adds 40% to the labor rate and bonding adds 3.5-4%. Additionally, certification of payroll and administration costs is also added. Eileen felt that both approaches have merit but it would be difficult to replace the entire roof in the middle of a budget year. Mrs. English asked if the pitch was correct for that type of building. Eileen indicated it was but would have to be changed if replacing the entire roof. Chief Young mentioned that the air conditioning unit was only about 7 years old. Eileen recommended looking into its age factor in that they should be replaced before a new roof is installed. The maintenance approach would remedy the existing installation problems by patching at a cost of about $5,000 for a 5 year period. Mayor Young indicated that the roof has been an issue since 1999 with continual leaks. Chief Young mentioned that because of all the patching, the repairs do not hold and the leaks cause more damage. Eileen indicated that what is being proposed for $20,000 is a complete and comprehensive maintenance program to correct deficiencies, not just mask them. Eileen mentioned that even a new roof could have problems and that residential roofs (wood) are much different than commercial roofs (metal).
Mr. Schleigh asked what the projected remaining annual cost would be for the useful life of the roof. Eileen said it depends on who does the work. Chief Young stated that consistently there are 12 leaks with 3 new leaks as of today. Eileen mentioned that there needs to be an investigation of what repairs have already been done and its impact since December, 2010. After further discussion, Mayor Young asked for a recommendation if money was not an issue. Eileen replied that she would do the maintenance as long as the leaks are being reduced. If they are not being reduced, another approach would be necessary. President Coleman asked that Eileen come back in two weeks with her recommendations. Mr. Schleigh suggested starting a budget for this project in the Capital Reserves Fund.
- Storm water Collaborative – Ms. Lustgarten reported that 7 areas need to be addressed to comply with MS4 permitting. The collaborative cost would be $30,300 for 2012 and $26,600 for 2014. With 10 members in the collaborative, 1/10th would be Lansdowne’s share. Mayor Young indicated that the MS4 requirements are satisfied for less than $3,000. Ms. Lustgarten that the main focus would be an educational endeavor. Mr. Scott mentioned that at least 7 municipalities have to join in order to effect this process. It is a five year agreement that does not obligate the municipality unless it decides to terminate it per the terms of the agreement. Eileen indicated that professional liability insurance would be beneficial. Mr. Scott felt that there would not be much of a benefit for joining. Mr. Totaro indicated that it was more or less insurance for more stringent measures that might come in the future. After further discussion, the feeling among Council members was lukewarm but agreeable to it. Mr. Scott said that the agreement should stipulate that it will not go into effect until 7 municipalities join. Mr. Scott will look over the agreement, make the appropriate changes and send back for Council review.
- Sidewalks – President Coleman asked if there was any interest in this program for residents. Mr. Smith mentioned that the issue is how to enforce it equitably but it is not the Borough’s place to act on it. He felt that violators only should be cited and fined if the sidewalks are bad. President Coleman and Mayor Young indicated that the intent is to get lower bulk rates for residents who want it, to help them in a difficult economy. Mr. Smith took issue with the execution of the agreement, not the intent, and felt that the borough would be set up for a lawsuit if the work became problematic in the future. Mr. Smith indicated he would accept the concept if grant money was available for it. Mr. Scott pointed out that the borough can get sued for hazardous walkways if the borough is aware of a hazardous situation. Swarthmore did a similar program years ago and Jane Billings, the Township Manager, was very negative about it. Mr. Scott further added that anytime you steer a business to a private entity, repercussions could happen and it would be better to just mark bad sidewalks with an “x” as had been done in the past. Mr. Totaro will contact Ms. Billings for more information.
- Library Staff – Ms. Lustgarten reported that during budget sessions, the Library Board had come forward with requests for more money to fix the equity in pay issues and hire a director. The library has set up a new structure that includes a second office manager, the hiring of an adult services person and having a head of children’s’ services. This has all been done within budget and it will be retroactive from January 1, 2011.
- Craft Fair – request has been made for use of the Highland Avenue parking lot on May 7th. Mayor Young mentioned that the craft fair is always held in the municipal lot. Mr. Totaro indicated that the Highland Avenue lot will be used for a craft fair on April 30th. Mr. Schleigh asked that the Highland lot be cleaned and made safe. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the use of the Highland Avenue parking lot for a craft fair on April 30th. Mr. Schleigh seconded. Vote: unanimous. Mayor Young indicated that two parking spaces would be needed for a May 21st plant swap in the municipal lot. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize the use of two parking spaces for two hours for a plant swap in the municipal parking lot on May 21st. Mr. Schleigh seconded. Vote: unanimous.
- Parking Ordinance changes – Chief Kortan reported that over the years there have been amendments to the ordinance that negated other sections of the ordinance. Chief Kortan has checked signage around town and some sections are listed that need changes. Nothing is a change to what is already in existence, it is just more clearly defining the language. The Chief mentioned that a fine schedule for running a traffic light is a state function and is limited to $25. Chief Kortan and Mr. Scott will meet to draft the ordinance to bring back to Council.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for the period. Mr. Smith seconded. The vote passed with one abstention by Mrs. English. Mrs. English recused herself because the bills contain a reimbursement to her husband.
Executive Session – Mrs. English moved to adjourn to executive session. Mr. Schleigh seconded. Vote: unanimous. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 10:00 p.m.
Public Session – No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.
Adjourn – Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting. Mrs. English seconded. Vote: unanimous. The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry