Lansdowne Borough Council Reorganization Meeting
April 7, 2010
The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, Ms. Lustgarten, Ms. Silzle and Mr. Smith. Mr. Wagner arrived later in the meeting. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer Bartley, Borough Solicitor Scott, Codes Director Jozwiak and Fire Chief Young. Councilman Schleigh and Police Chief Kortan were absent.
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 changes:
(1) The Marlyn Park discussion under Old Business will be held after public comment;
(2) Mayor Young will lead the home based business ruling discussion under New Business in Mr. Schleigh’s absence.
Approval of Minutes
Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the March 3, 2010 Business Meeting. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the March 25, 2010 special meeting of council as submitted by the Borough Manager. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously with two changes notes by President Coleman.
Ms. Silzle moved to Suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear public comment. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Kenneth Terrell – 93 Fairview Avenue. Mr. Terrell mentioned that stagnant water is a continuing problem in Interboro Park, citing that it is not draining properly and residents are getting water in their basements. Mr. Terrell mentioned concern with the possibility of West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes.
- Joyce Morgan – 42 Rose Lane. Ms. Morgan indicated that her neighbor’s leaves are blowing onto her property and she is unable to rake them due to health problems. Ms. Morgan asked who is responsible for raking up the leaves. Mr. Smith suggested that Ms. Morgan talk with her neighbor to reach an amicable solution but it was her responsibility to clean up the leaves on her property.
- Edith Ferabee – 322 Maple Avenue. Ms. Ferabee indicated she had a similar problem as Ms. Morgan wherein a neighbor’s diseased tree is causing damage to her car with falling branches. Mr. Smith suggested that she have her insurance company contact the neighbor’s insurance company. Mr. Smith indicated that if the tree is hanging over Ms. Ferabee’s property, she has the right to trim the tree only on her side of the property.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to Reinstate Roberts of Order. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Marlyn Park Site Plan Presentation
Robert Thomas of the Campbell Thomas & Co. and Peter Golding, architect of the Plan, were present to summarize the most important points of this Plan. The main focus of the Site Plan is to preserve a passive nature green space and enhance the park service to the community. Mr. Thomas indicated that some items of concern included encroachment issues, park boundaries and entrance sites. Recommendations include providing for a new entrance from Eldon Road using the Bryn Mawr Avenue right of way and existing paving; rehabilitating the main entrance off Stratford Avenue into a gated accessible entry with new fencing and stabilized turf, developing easements agreements with interested residents, reaching an agreement with the Swim Club to allow Borough use and maintenance of the stream bed area this is now in private ownership and providing a link via the Avery Run bridge to allow better access to the area. Lighting was also a concern and recommendations include removing the existing lighting and poles, providing underground electrical feeds for lighting system, installing timed motion sensors to monitor off-hours human presence in the park and using long lasting, energy efficient LED lamps to lower energy and replacements costs. Stream bank stabilization using native noninvasive plant material was suggested for the pathway from Willowbrook Avenue, using stone and earth as well. It was also suggested that stone furniture be put into the hillside to avoid vandalism and to install more appropriate fencing. The report also includes a list of potential federal, state, local and private grant sources, with the specific item(s) of the plan that it might fund. The plan is organized into six phases with cost estimates identifying each item of the plan. The plan also identifies the cost estimates for work done one, three or five years from now. After further discussion, there arrived a consensus to adopt the Master Site Plan.
Ms. Silzle moved to adopt the Marlyn Park Master Site Plan subject to the inclusion of any comments from the Park and Recreation Board. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Bartley had no formal report and indicated there were sufficient funds on hand to meet the current obligations. Tax revenues of approximately $4.2 million were received from the Tax Collector.
Mr. Scott had no formal report.
Mr. Totaro gave status reports as follows:
- Air conditioning bids have been received for the 20th Century Club. Some details are still being worked out and completion of the project is expected within 120 days.
- Rental notice letters have been sent out to apartment owners and the fees and inspections process has begun. Ms. Silzle mentioned that in this regard, more recycling bins are being requested for apartment units.
- The electricity issues for the Farmers Market are being resolved.
- Bids for the LED traffic lights will be opened April 29th.
- Obtaining some FEMA money for emergency services is being investigated by the Borough. Mr. Totaro will work with Chief Young regarding grant writing for obtaining fire air packs.
Police Chief Kortan
No report was given in Chief Kortan’s absence.
Fire Chief Young
Chief Young reported that Aqua PA will be installing 8″ water mains throughout various locations in the Borough. Additionally, the fire hydrant on Highland Avenue will be moved closer to the Fire House. During this work the fire trucks will need to be parked in the Highland Avenue parking lot. The work is expected to take one day.
Mayor Young reported that only 59% of Lansdowne residents have returned the census forms. The Animal Friends of Lansdowne is sponsoring a low cost cat spay program and is requesting that the carriers be stored at Borough Hall. Mayor Young mentioned that a number of residents have not been receiving the newsletter. In that regard Mayor Young spoke to the Postmaster, who indicated that about 300 had been returned and destroyed. Mayor Young indicated that a policy needs to be adopted as to the Borough’s Web site content i.e., what is posted and who is occupying the space. The Community Relations Committee will look into the matter for future discussion. Mayor Young felt that the televised meetings should be shown more than once on the public access station.
President Coleman reported that she will be attending a breakfast meeting sponsored by the William Penn School District on April 24th regarding an open agenda of issues. President Coleman asked that any additional topics for discussion be submitted to her by April 9th.
- Public Health and Safety – No report was given in Mr. Schleigh’s absence.
- Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Committee will be meeting with the Codes Department regarding fee schedules and whether or not the fee structure should be changed. The Capital Reserve Fund has just under $140,000 that can be utilized for Borough repairs. After some miscellaneous repairs/purchases are completed, approximately $60,000 remains for either 20 Lansdowne Court repairs or other needs. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that the Sanitation Department is requesting a new trash truck for $130,000. Mr. Bartley will report back to the Committee what has been spent in maintenance costs in the past. Mr. Totaro will investigate costs for a used truck. Ms. Lustgarten also reported that regarding the bed and breakfast ordinance trash fee, only one fee will be charged for the present time. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that she had met with the new Library Director regarding staffing, job descriptions, salaries, etc. The Director will do an analysis of these items.
- Economic Development & Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner had no formal report. The next ED&CE Committee meeting will be held on April 20th.
- Environment – Ms. Silzle had no formal report. Keep Lansdowne Beautiful Day will be held on April 17th starting at 9:30 a.m. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Environment Committee will be working with a technical assistance grant to do a waste analysis and increase the Borough’s recycling. The next Environment Committee meeting will be held on April 8th.
- Community Relations – Mrs. English had no formal report. The next Community Relations Committee meeting will be held on April 12th.
- Infrastructure and Public Works – Mr. Smith had no formal report. The next Infrastructure & Public Works Committee meeting will be held on April 27th.
- Elm Street – President Coleman reported that the LEDC will now be the lead agency. Debbie Lamborn is preparing the information for the state and it should be ready for submission by the end of this month. Ms. Lamborn had mentioned that Lansdowne could do an in-kind contribution for about $5,000. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that the LEDC is paying the rent, not the Borough, and therefore should not be called an in kind contribution.
- 20 Lansdowne Court – President Coleman indicated that the Borough has a good chance of receiving $750,000 next year for this project. Due to this increase in projected funding, the prior plans and goals can now be changed to include more concepts and ideas. President Coleman indicated that it made more sense to create an Ad Hoc Committee to deal with the enhanced goals and objectives rather than handling the issues as a committee of the whole. Members of the Ad Hoc Committee will include President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wagner.
- 111 S. Wycombe Avenue Development – Mr. Jozwiak stated that land development applications have been received for this site and 110 S. Wycombe. Applicants are seeking approval of a subdivision for erecting twin houses. Council approval is necessary in this regard. Mr. Scott indicated that Council needs to decide whether they comply with the applicable zoning and County subdivision ordinances. Conditions can be put on the approval and be approved subject to any conditions suggested by the County Planning Commission and the Borough Engineer.
Regarding 110 S. Wycombe, there was one ordinance requirement not met regarding the placement of a driveway. After a discussion regarding line of sight safety issues, visual appeal and placement of buffers, Mr. Scott felt that a waiver should not be granted and further discussion should be postponed until more information is available at the next Council meeting.
Mr. Wagner moved to approve the land development plans for 111 S. Wycombe Avenue subject to the conditions upon compliance of the County Planning Commission and Borough Engineer’s comments. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
President Coleman asked that Council adjourn early to executive session to discuss several issues.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn to Executive Session early to discuss real estate, personnel and litigation issues. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 10:00 p.m.
Borough Council reconvened to public session with a motion by Mr. Wagner and a second from Ms. Lustgarten. The motion carried unanimously.
- RCN Buyout – Mr. Scott reported that RCN has been bought by Yankee Cable and disclosure documents have been provided to the Borough with disclosure documents. Yankee Cable will assume the franchise agreement already in place.
- Home based food businesses – Mayor Young deferred this discussion until the next Council meeting.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Wagner moved to forward B&B ordinance to County Planning Commission. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Wagner moved to authorize the advertisement of the ordinance amending chapter 265 of the code entitled “Rental Properties”. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Wagner moved to have the Borough Solicitor send a letter of opposition to the Zoning Hearing Board for the proposed grocery store in the Lansdowne Center. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Silzle moved to award a $200 bonus to Rachee Fagg in recognition of her work during the interim library directorship. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:15 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry