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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting

August 18, 2010

The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, August 18 21, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle and Mr. Smith. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer Bartley and Borough Solicitor Scott. Councilman Wagner, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young were absent.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following changes: (1) the Lansdowne Market/RBS Development issue under Old business will be moved for discussion before the Solicitor’s report; (2) a motion to approve the July 7, 2010 business meeting was added to Approval of Minutes.

Approval of Minutes

Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the July 7, 2010 Business Meeting of Council. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the July 21, 2010 General Meeting of Council. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Announcements and Presentations

Mayor Young had no announcements or presentations.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Bartley presented the July report as follows: Beginning balance in General Fund – $127,136; ending balance $2,018,375. Beginning balance in Sewer Fund – $465,433; ending balance $1,027,094. Beginning balance in Liquid Fuels Fund – $217,741; ending balance $353,506. Beginning balance in Capital Reserve Fund $139,415; ending balance $57,402. Beginning balance in Non-uniformed Pension Plan – $1,473,304; ending balance $1,515,100. Beginning balance in Police Pension Plan – $5,537,650; ending balance $5,328,453. Year to date totals for all funds: beginning balance of $7,960,679, revenues of $7,751,352, expenses of $5,412,102; surplus of $2,339,250, ending balance of $10,299,929.

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Scott reported that with the passage of the state budget, all land use applications accepted and approved as of 1/1/09 have been extended to year end 2013. Also, House Bill 2431has been proposed for the Pennsylvania Constitution to abolish all local governments and make the County the basic unit of government in Pennsylvania.

Discussion of Lansdowne Market/RBS Development

Attorney Clint Allen of Archer & Greiner, representing RBS Development in connection with their applications before various approval and consulting bodies in the borough. Also present were Matthew Kinzel of Pennoni Engineering, Mr. Joseph Riggs, landowner and Brandon Graham, a representation of RBS. Mr. Allen presented an overview of the proposed development. The Zoning Hearing Board approved on July 1, 2010 the construction of a Bottom Dollar food store at 2448 W. Baltimore Avenue. Mr. Allen presented the footprint which will develop the rear building in excess of 20,000 sq. ft. Highlights of improvements include:

  • Promotion of small footprint shops that will welcome shoppers
  • Antique lighting styles throughout the area and in parking lot
  • Intensive landscaping with trees
  • Alignment of Baltimore Avenue driveway with Owen Avenue
  • 5′ wide concrete sidewalk with a crossover to the store
  • 5′ wide concrete sidewalk along the Nova Care building
  • Bike racks
  • Streetscaping with 124 parking spots
  • Brick facade consistent throughout all buildings

Mr. Allen indicated that the Planning Commission had agreed to and signed the site plan. The HARB has also given their input. Projected time frame for completion of the project is one year for the approvals (from July 2010) and 2 years for completion of project. Construction time frame is 120-170 days. Mr. Allen indicated that the store will have a limited selection of goods. Mr. Scott suggested that Borough Council act on the HARB recommendations for a Certificate of Appropriateness tonight and approve the land development application at the September business meeting.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Young reported that there was a storm related fire at Simpson Gardens on June 24th. In this regard the residents gave Council a certificate recognizing the borough for its outstanding community service. There was also a fire at Wildman Arms Apartments on July 25th. One resident wrote a letter of appreciation for the various assistance organizations and residents that helped in this matter. Philabundance is providing a monthly box of food products for senior citizens in need. The Farmers Market will hold its 2nd annual Community Day on August 28th. The Arts Festival will be held on September 10, 11 and 12. The Pennsylvania Resources Council will hold a ‘green energy’ free workshop on September 16th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the 20th Century Club.

Council President’s Report

President Coleman reported that Congressman Sestak’s office will hold a Job Fair on September 1st, 1-5 PM at 201 N. Lynn Blvd. in Upper Darby.


Public Health and Safety

Mr. Schleigh reported that the Public Health and Safety Committee met on August 11th. Discussions centered on a variety of issues as follows:

  • Noise complaints by neighbors – a noise ordinance has been under consideration. Persistent noise problems should be reported to the police. A disorderly house ordinance does exist only for rental properties.
  • The Infrastructure Committee needs to address the exposed rusty nails on the column in front of Borough Hall.
  • The Fire House may need a lightning rod, having been struck twice over the summer.
    Roadway painting is scheduled to begin this month.
  • A representative from the Human Relations Commission was present to discuss a liaison program with the police department.
  • Grants for new police cars have been submitted through Congressman Micozzie and Senator Williams.
  • Crossing guard training for the school year has begun.
  • The Highland Avenue parking lot still has debris that needs to be cleaned out.
  • The neighborhood watch and outreach programs are doing well. Officer Crescent Brown was well received at a recent meeting of the Sycamore Park area residents.
  • Emergency response programs will be reviewed next month after feedback is received.
  • Grant money is coming in to replace the street lights that were destroyed in the storm.

Finance and Administration

Ms. Lustgarten reported the Committee met on August 2nd. Charlotte Hummel, School Board President and Joe Otto, Finance Officer, were present to discuss the Ardmore Avenue Elementary School expansion. Also discussed was a letter of support for the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation’s RCAP grant application. Bids have been solicited for commercial liability insurance and the current provider will be retained at a lower premium rate. The actuarial report for the Police Pension Fund indicates a Minimum Reduced Municipal Obligation (per Act 44), which will be voted on at the September Council meeting. The 2011 budget will reflect an MMO based on the market value of assets.

Ms. Lustgarten requested that all priorities for the 2011 budget be submitted by the September business meeting.

There will be no meeting held in September. The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on October 4th.

Economic Development and Code Enforcement

No report was given in Mr. Wagner’s absence.


Ms. Silzle reported the Environment Committee met on July 28th. Two main topics were discussed:

Solid Waste Program/SWANA report – the Environment Committee has reviewed the SWANA report and will bring recommendations for Council’s consideration. Ms. Silzle provided some of the recommendations and will discuss the final report more fully at the September business meeting. The Greater Gladstone Civic Association has one outstanding issue regarding the island. Recommendations regarding this issue will also be brought to the September business meeting.

July recycling numbers have improved. The diversion rate was 15.8%. The Borough received $1,100 in July for the sale of recyclables in July. Ms. Silzle indicated that Blue Mountain is looking at expanding their plastic recycling program before the end of the year.

Park and Recreation Board Liaison Report

No further comments regarding the Marlyn Park Site Plan had been received from the Park and Recreation Board and the Plan was approved. Park Day will be September 25th, 1 to 4 pm in Hoffman Park. The next Environment Committee meeting will be held on September 9th. Regarding the new school year, Ms. Silzle mentioned that the EPA has tips for saving money: if buying new electronics, buy a two sided printer. Also, e-cycle old electronics. Additional information on e-cycling can be found at Students can also eat lunch from reusable containers and drink from an insulated water bottle instead of using disposable cartons. Rose Tree Park will be holding a hazardous waste program on September 16th.

Community Relations

Mrs. English reported the Committee met on August 9th. Jennifer Hoff and the Mayor were present to provide information on the web site. It has been viewed 84,000 times. The main page has been viewed 21,000 times with the Codes Department also being looked at in large numbers. The new web policy will be brought before Council at the September business meeting.

Library Liaison Report

In June 7,793 people used the library; in July 12,092 people used the library.

Infrastructure and Public Works

Mr. Smith reported the Committee met on July 27th. Highlights of the meeting included a letter to PennDot to inspect the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Scottdale Road damage. The resurfacing of the basketball courts is being discussed but some residents in the area do not want this to take place. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Park and Recreation Board is working on the basketball court issue for Hays and Interboro Parks. The next Infrastructure Committee will be held on August 24th. President Coleman questioned whether the Committee has discussed the pavement issue. Mr. Scott indicated that this is a Codes Department issue.


There were no communications.

Ms. Silzle moved to Suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear public comments. Mr. Schleigh seconded. The motion carried unanimously.


  1. Mary Ann Surla – resident of Lansdowne – Ms. Surla indicated that there is a speeding problem along Marshall Road. Ms. Surla thanked Chief Kortan for the work he is doing with PennDot regarding new signage along Marshall Road. Mr. Surla mentioned that drivers continue to run the light at Marshall Road and Lansdowne Avenue, stating that 16 drivers ran the red light in 1/2 hour, and from 5-5:30 PM an additional 16 drivers ran the light. Ms. Surla equated this to be 32 lights being run every 1.87 minutes. Chief Kortan has put in a new stop sign at Owen and Marshall but Ms. Surla felt this remains a blind intersection. Also, a pedestrian painted walkway is needed at Windermere and Marshall. Ms. Surla would like a visible demarcation at Owen and Marshall. President Coleman indicated that Chief Kortan will be given this information for his recommendations.
  2. Charles Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers mentioned that driver continue to run the light at Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenues. The Delaware County Hospital will be holding a Cancer Walk the last Saturday in September.
  3. Kevin Tustin – Resident of Sharon Hill. Mr. Tustin commended Borough Council for doing a great job in all borough matters.
  4. Ms. Lustgarten moved to Reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Smith seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

    President Coleman indicated there had been a request to vote on the RBS issue at this time.
    Ms. Silzle moved to approve Certificate of Appropriateness for RBS Development/Lansdowne Market, consistent with the presented plans. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Old Business

There were no items for Old Business.

New Business

  1. WPSD Ardmore Avenue School – Mr. Totaro reported on the School District and Finance Committee’s priority list for this project as follows:
    • Curb cuts (8) on the district
    • Sidewalk relocation or reconfiguration of trash area/system
    • Completely regraded and refurbished playground with new and state of the art equipment for use by both school children and neighborhood families
    • Landscape upgrade around the entire building for both view, sound and aesthetic value
    • Upgrades to the playing fields (beyond simple restoration)

    After further discussion there arrived a consensus to approve the priority list, noting that the $250,000 grant will not provide for all five items.

    Ms. Lustgarten moved to accept the priority list of enhancements as provided by the WPSD for the Ardmore Elementary School project. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

  2. RACAP #2 – a letter was drafted in support of pursuing an RCAP grant under Sen. Williams in the amount of $2 million in relation to the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation.

    Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve sending the attached letter to Senator Williams in support of an RCAP grant for the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation, for a total project cost of $4 million ($2 million – RCAP; $2 million – local match). Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

  3. HB 2431 – President Coleman indicated this Bill would give the County control over all local municipalities and abolish all powers of local government. Council decided to send a letter in opposition.

    Mr. Schleigh moved to approve sending a letter in opposition to House Bill 2431 on behalf of Lansdowne Borough. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Action Items

  • Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  • Ms. Silzle moved to approve subdivision plans for 110 South Wycombe Avenue subject to revisions identified by the Borough Engineer memo of 7/21/10 and the Planning Commission’s landscape comments. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  • Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution 2010-07, a Resolution of the Borough of Lansdowne to destroy certain documents. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Mrs. English moved to adjourn to executive session to discuss litigation and personnel matters. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:37 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.


Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting. Mrs. English seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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