Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
August 19, 2009
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle and Mr. Smith. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry and Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley. Councilmen Urban and Wagner, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young were absent.
President Coleman stated that the meeting would air on August 24th 7:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 10 and RCN channel 52.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved with one change: Mr. Schleigh indicated he had one item for Executive Session.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the July 15, 2009 General Meeting of Council as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements and Presentations
Mayor Young recognized Fred Mirarchi for his 8 years of volunteer service on the Park and Recreation Board. Mr. Mirarchi continues to serve in a variety of Borough volunteer organizations.
Mayor Young awarded the 2009 Helms Award to Robert C. Herre, Jr. for his many years of volunteer service and achievements in an extensive list of Borough organizations. Mr. Herre was also the past Lansdowne Fire Chief and served with the Lansdowne Fire Company for 50 years. He continues to participate in a wide variety of Borough and neighboring community activities.
Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Bartley presented the July, 2009 report. The General Fund reflected a beginning balance of. $71,974 and an ending balance of $1,682,113. The Sewer Fund reflected a beginning balance of $347,836 and an ending balance of $665,143. The Liquid Fuels Fund reflected a beginning balance of $107,495 and an ending balance of $293,893. The Capital Reserve Fund reflected a beginning balance of $118,854 and an ending balance of $180,614. The Non-Uniform Pension Plan had a beginning balance of $1,050,650 and an ending balance of $1,210,371. Beginning balance in the Police Pension was $4,717,359 and the ending balance was 4,948,534. Mr. Bartley indicated there were sufficient funds on hand to meet current obligations.
Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Scott had no formal report.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young mentioned she had received a letter Michael Chitwood, Superintendent of the Upper Darby Police Department, thanking the Lansdowne police force for their recent assistance on July 10, 2009 on Wingate Road. Mayor Young cautioned residents not to drive while talking on a cell phone in light of today’s accident involving a Lansdowne resident.
Mayor Young indicated that new hours will be in effect for the William Penn School District as follows: Penn Wood High School, 7:30 a.m. – 2:05 p.m.; Middle School, 8:00 a.m. – 2:35 p.m.; Elementary School, 8:35 a.m. – 3:05 p.m.
The Hoffman Park cleanup day is scheduled for September 13th.
Council President’s Report – President Coleman reported on the Group Work Camp, indicating the completion of their third consecutive year in revitalizing housing efforts in Lansdowne. This was a cooperative effort with Yeadon. Over the past three year period, 31 houses have been revitalized by the youth group. The 40-50 volunteers who take over after the departure of the Group Work Camp revitalized 113 houses during the last three years. President Coleman mentioned that decisions regarding future recipients of this program are decided by a community based committee.
Public Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that information about setting up neighborhood watches will be available at the August 29th Community Day at the Farmers Market. The Public Safety Committee is also working with the Lansdowne Business Association to set up training with police officers and business leaders in crime prevention measures. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that Borough police will also come out to a resident’s home to point out security issues.
Finance -Ms. Lustgarten reported that the State audit for the Liquid Fuels Fund has been completed. The commercial liability quote was received and came in $6,000 less than the prior year. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that the 2010 budget meetings will be held at 7:00 p.m. and are scheduled as follows: September 21st with the Codes, Police and Public Works departments, September 28th with the Library and Park and Recreation heads as well as the Fire Chief. The Finance Committee will hold meetings on October 5th and November 2nd. The millage rate will be set at the December 2nd meeting and the budget will be adopted at the December 16th Council meeting. Ms. Lustgarten asked that additional time be set aside for the September 2nd business meeting to discuss Borough Council budget priorities.
Economic Development – No report was given in Mr. Wagner’s absence.
Environmental – Ms. Silzle reported that the June recycling diversion rate was 13.5% and the July rate was 13.6%. Ms. Silzle reiterated that the County is now charging for the weight of trash and she encouraged residents to recycle as much as possible to reduce this cost. The Environmental Committee met on August 13th. The Planning Commission’s Bike Plan Subcommittee is developing a plan for a bike loop around the Borough and will include community input. The Marlyn Park Master Site Plan is underway. The Borough is exploring procuring a large recycling collection bin for paper that businesses and residents could utilize. Ms. Silzle reported that the Committee decided to replace the dead tree on Baltimore Avenue in front of the hearing aid store with another tree in order to keep the Baltimore Avenue strategic plan consistent. The Committee also discussed establishing a Borough wide street cleanup program. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on September 10th at 7:00 p.m.
Ms. Silzle indicated that plastic bags from newspaper deliveries can be recycled at most grocery stores.
Education – No report was given in Mr. Urban’s absence.
Infrastructure – Mr. Smith had no formal report but mentioned that he had received a communication from a resident regarding the infrastructure. Mr. Smith indicated that the Borough is at a disadvantage as an inner ring suburb regarding the preservation and rehabilitation of the infrastructure. Mr. Smith added that he was endeavoring to work on solutions rather than just reporting on problems.
Liaison Reports –
- Library – Ms. Silzle reported that from July 15th to August 15th of this year there had been 12,886 visitors to the library. Additionally, circulation is up almost 2% and Internet use is up 15% from this time last year. The Lansdowne library has also joined with Celebration Theater to offer a 6 week informal theater youth mentoring program. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that Celebration Theater is now working under the auspices of the LEDC. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the library hopes to again offer the Purses to Portfolios free financial program for women in the fall. There were 120 participants at the last program.
- Park Board – Mr. Schleigh reported that plans for Park Day (September 26th) are underway. The Marlyn Park rights of way were also discussed. There have been some graffiti issues in Belmont Park and Mr. Schleigh encouraged resident to contact the police if they see anything suspicious.
Communications – President Coleman mentioned that a formal letter of resignation had been received from Mr. Schleigh from his post on the Darby Creek Joint Authority.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
1. Jack Covert – Resident of Lansdowne. Mr. Covert mentioned that the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra will be presenting Handel’s Messiah on the Saturday before Christmas this year. The autumn concert will be held on November 8th and the Youth concert will be held on December 6th. Mr. Covert congratulated Bob Herre on his Helms Award.
2. Betty Bird Smith – 82 S. Union Avenue. Ms. Smith reported that flash flooding occurred on August 2nd and August 9th at Bartram and Union Avenues and indicated that a remedy is critical. Councilman Smith mentioned that he had received an e-mail from Ms. Smith and Senator Anthony Williams and hopes that bringing attention to this matter can help resolve it. President Coleman indicated that collaboration efforts are very important and the Borough will be working with Upper Darby in this regard.
3. Tracy Fowler – 84 S. Union Avenue. Ms. Fowler also mentioned the flash flooding problem and expressed concern with the potential damage to her home. Ms. Fowler indicated the biggest fear of the neighbors is that a fire truck will not be able to access a house in case of an emergency due to the flooding problem. Ms. Fowler also stated that leaves and trash are not being removed from the sewer grates and asked for a solution. Ms. Fowler suggested sending a letter to Michael Chitwood asking for additional help. Councilman Smith thanked Ms. Fowler for attending tonight’s meeting and indicated he would sign a communication to Supt. Chitwood. Ms. Fowler added that in her 42 years of being a Lansdowne resident, no one has addressed the concerns in this target area. President Coleman reiterated that the matter will be further investigated and Ms. Fowler will be contacted.
4. Anthony Campuzano – 40 S. Albemarle Avenue. Mr. Campuzano congratulated Fred Mirarchi and Bob Herre. In his capacity as UUA President, Mr. Campuzano reported on the July 4th activities and thanked various individuals and businesses (including Eagle Bank) for their donations. Mr. Campuzano also thanked all the volunteers who contributed to the effort.
5. Charlie Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue. Mr. Jeffers mentioned that Dunkin Donuts does not give away any leftover food at the end of the business day and questioned the practice. Mr. Jeffers indicated that in one week two of his cats went missing and questioned if someone was targeting cats and dogs. Mr. Schleigh suggested that Mr. Jeffers check with the Springfield Animal Shelter regarding this matter. Mr. Jeffers reminded residents to teach young children how to swim to avoid a tragedy.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Schleigh seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Accurate Recycling – Mr. Totaro gave an update on the application of Accurate regarding the Union Avenue site and the existing Baltimore Avenue site. The Union Avenue site application continues to be withdrawn. The Baltimore Avenue application will be for expansion of the construction site, not a single stream recycling plant.
- Signature Template – President Coleman indicated that the template was being put together to facilitate submission of time sensitive communications that had already received Borough Council approval requiring signatures of all Borough Council members. Only authorized personnel will be able to access this information and execute signatures as needed.
- Tuition and training policy – Mr. Totaro indicated this is an addition to the personnel policy that puts controls on course work approval and gives incentives for employee training. Up to $1500 per year will be forgiven for cumulative encumbrance. If an employee leaves of their own volition during the calendar year, a prorated portion would have to be repaid to the Borough. Ms. Lustgarten suggested adding “or quits” without cause in the fourth paragraph and “laid off” without cause instead of “fired” in the second sentence. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt the personnel policy with the recommended changes. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- 2010 Budget – Mr. Totaro asked that Borough Council bring budget issues to the September business meeting.
- Population 10,680 – Mr. Totaro indicated that since 2000 Lansdowne’s population was actually 11,044. For some programs driven by population mandates, such as the Redevelopment Authority, 10,000 is the minimum threshold number.
1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
2.Mr. Schleigh moved to promote officer Tina Selimis to Class C Patrol Officer. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
3.Mr. Smith moved to award FY2009 Ordinary Sewer Maintenance program to JJD Contractors. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Totaro clarified that the prices in each individual line item are being approved.
4.Mr. Smith moved to execute H2OPA – Water & Sewer grant agreement. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
5.Ms. Smith moved to execute contract for the FY2009 Ordinary Street Maintenance program to A. F. Damon. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
6.Ms. Silzle moved to sign Amendment #1 with the DCNR concerning Marlyn Park Master Site Plan. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
7.Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Preserve America Resolution 2009-18. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
8.Mr. Schleigh moved to authorize civil service exam for Sergeant’s Test. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
9.Mr. Schleigh moved to promote Officer K. McDermott to Class D Patrol Officer. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
10.Mr. Schleigh moved to appoint Wardell Holt to the Darby Creek Joint Authority filling the unexpired term left vacant with Mr. Schleigh’s resignation. This term will expire on 12/31/12. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel and litigation issues. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:05 p.m.
No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Schleigh seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry