Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
February 17, 2010
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley and Police Chief Kortan. Councilman Smith and Fire Chief Young were absent.
President Coleman stated that the meeting would air on February 22nd at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 10 and RCN channel 52.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved with the following changes: (1) Ms. Silzle will make action item #3 in Mr. Smith’s absence; (2) Ms. Lustgarten had on real estate item for Executive Session; and (3) President Coleman had one real estate item for Executive Session.
Mr. Wagner moved to approve the minutes of the January 20, 2010 General Meeting of Council as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements and Presentations
Mayor Young had no announcements or presentations.
Mr. Bartley gave the December, 2009 Treasurer’s report as follows: General Fund beginning balance – $71,974; ending balance – $127,136. Sewer Fund beginning balance – $347,836; ending balance $432,616. Liquid Fuels Fund beginning balance – $107,495; ending balance – $217,741. Capital Reserve Fund beginning balance – $118,854; ending balance – $172,232. Non-uniformed Pension Plan beginning balance – $1,050,650; ending balance – $1,473,304 (increase in portfolio was $439,784). Police Pension Fund beginning balance – $4,717,359; ending balance – $5,537,650 (increase in portfolio value was $1,080,706). Beginning balance for all funds – $6,414,167; ending balance of all funds – $7,960,679. Ms. Lustgarten noted that year end revenues came in $350,000 less than budgeted. Among the contributing factors for the deficit included $130,000 less in real estate taxes collected, $20,000 less in transfer taxes, $35,000 less in interest earnings, $25,000 less in recyclables and $10,000 less in state aid to the police pension. However, year end expenses were reduced by $360,000 than had been budgeted.
Mr. Scott had no formal report and one Executive Session item.
Mayor Young announced that she recently attended a census breakfast and reminded residents to fill out the form. Deadline is April 1, 2010. It is important to complete the forms as the count is considered for the $300,000,000 annual government funding for community critical services throughout the country. Mayor Young reported on the 1st Suburbs Project accomplishments for 2009: (1) held a public accountability forum on the Federal stimulus package with over 200 attendees; (2) hosted a week-long leadership training program for over 100 leaders from six states; (3), helped to plan the Building on America of national conference on regional equity in Washington, D.C. that included 600 leaders from 20 states, including 42 from 1st Suburbs, demonstrating bi-partisan grass roots support for Federal policies for strengthening communities; (4) initiated the first regional housing study to examine the location, condition and affordability of housing in the region; (5) secured the commitment of Gov. Edward Rendell’s Secretary of Policy re: developing an equitable financing system for water infrastructure repairs; and (6) cultivated support from legislators for a new education finance system to prioritize state funding to financially overtaxed school districts.
Mayor Young mentioned that mail carriers will not deliver mail to residences if the property has not been cleared of snow and ice.
Mayor Young mentioned that Penn Wood boy’s basketball team has qualified for the #2 seat in the district championship.
Mayor Young announced that the UAA is looking for volunteers.
President Coleman reiterated the importance of filling out the census forms.
Council President’s Report
President Coleman reported that Debbie Lamborn of the LEDC will give a progress update on the Elm Street Program at the March Business meeting. President Coleman mentioned that she had attended a session with Congressman Sestak’s representatives on January 23rd regarding grants and funding resources. President Coleman mentioned that due to Borough Council’s sending a letter in support of Bill 3007, Congressman Joe Sestak co-sponsored the Bill that would allow Lansdowne to apply directly to the Federal government for funding.
Public Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that officer Tina Silimis will be promoted to Class B patrolman effective 1/21/2010. Officer Kevin McDermott will be promoted to Class C patrolman effective 2/6/2010. Mr. Schleigh indicated that the recent snow removal efforts went well. Commercial properties will be cited as of today for non-snow removal. Mr. Schleigh reminded residents that snow needs to be removed from their properties within 24 hours. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that fire department member Arnold Moore will be recognized by the Fire Company on March 10th for his efforts in saving the life of a fireman last year.
Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Finance Committee met on February 1st. Many of the 2010 goals will center on looking for ways to increase revenue streams. The police pension fund increased by 2.5% in 2009. Ms. Lustgarten questioned if a pension actuarial report needed to be approved. Mr. Bartley indicated this would need to be done by March 31st. The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on March 1st at 7:00 p.m.
Economic Development – Mr. Wagner reported that the most recent meeting was held last night. District Court Judge Perfetti attended as he hears many of the Borough’s code cases and is very proactive in getting positive results. Mr. Wagner indicated that a recently passed new state law now mandates that contractors now have to register with the state instead of with the Borough’s Codes Department. The negative impact of this will result in lower revenues for the Borough and loss of quality assurance. Mr. Wagner strongly encouraged residents to write their state Congressmen and Senators to change the control back to municipalities. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that Judge Perfetti had highly praised the knowledge and expertise of Lansdowne’s Codes Department at last night’s meeting. Mr. Schleigh asked if the Economic Development Committee had considered putting together a Resolution regarding the contractor license. Mayor Young asked if the COG is supporting the state law. Mr. Wagner indicated that a resolution will be discussed. Mr. Totaro indicated that the Borough could introduce this concern to the COG, asking them to join in the effort or write their own resolution.
Environment – Ms. Silzle reported that the January 2010 recycling diversion rate was 23.6%, the highest recycling rate ever for Lansdowne. The average diversion rate for January 2009 was 15.6%. Yard waste pickup starts March 10th and will continue until December. Ms. Silzle reported that Keep Lansdowne Beautiful Day will be held on April 17th, rain date April 18th. The Marlyn Park Master Site Plan is moving forward. The next Environment Committee meeting will be held on March 11th at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Silzle mentioned that residents can turn down their hot water heaters if away for a period of time to save energy. Some models also have a ‘vacation’ knob for this purpose.
Community Relations – Mrs. English reported that the Community Relations Committee met on February 8th . The Committee reviewed area Borough and Township literature samples that will be used for the New Resident package. A format has been agreed upon and more information will follow regarding pricing.
Library Liaison Report – Mrs. English mentioned that Laura Morton has been hired as the new Lansdowne Library Director and will start on February 22nd. There will be an opening on the Board of Trustees. The School Board is reviewing scholarship information that was forwarded to them by Mrs. English.
Infrastructure – No report was given in Mr. Smith’s absence.
Communications – letter from the Delaware County Chapter of the PA Society of Professional Engineers asking the borough to adopt an ordinance declaring February 14th to February 22nd as “Engineers Week”.
Mr. Wagner moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
- MaryAnn Surla – Resident of Lansdowne. Ms. Surla indicated that Borough Council needs to give the owner of the Lansdowne Diner property an ultimatum regarding the poor condition of the building. Ms. Surla also expressed her anger and dissatisfaction with the digging up of Borough streets.
- Charlie Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers questioned who would be a qualified contractor to do roof repairs. Mr. Jeffers mentioned that the Borough Hall walkway is usually not cleared for people waiting for buses along Baltimore Avenue and the snow and ice pose a safety problem. Mr. Jeffers indicated he had received a parking ticket even though he has a permit for overnight parking. Chief Kortan will investigate. Mr. Jeffers mentioned that a white line needs to be painted at the corner of Wycombe and Baltimore Avenue. Mr. Schleigh will investigate.
Mr. Wagner noted that this is a commercial property, the Codes Department is well aware of all issues and they continue to work with the owners. Work is proceeding on a daily basis.
Ms. Silzle moved to reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
No items for Old Business.
- S. B. 1227 – Mr. Totaro indicated this was sent to Lansdowne and read the introduction of the bill. The bill is being presented as a request for support at the state level regarding how municipal pensions are funded. There is also a report to be prepared that would quantify the changes regarding individual and state wide municipal pensions. Ms. Lustgarten suggested having the Borough actuary look at the document before voting on it.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mayor Young appointed Tony Campuzano to the RDA for a three year term expiring on
- Mr. Wagner moved to confirm the mayor’s appointment of Tony Campuzano to the RDA for a three year term expiring on 7/31/2012.
- Ms. Silzle moved to award Twentieth Century Club climate control bid to Premier Mechanical Contractors in the amount of $57,870. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution 2010 _____ declaring that Lansdowne joins the nation in honoring and celebrating the achievements of engineers during Engineers Week to be held February 11, 2010 through February 22, 2010. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn to Executive Session. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting convened to executive session at 9:20 p.m.
The following motion was made upon reconvening to public session:
Mr. Wagner moved to accept the settlement agreement and right of way use agreement with Next G. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried with Mrs. English abstaining from the vote. Mrs. English abstained as she is a Verizon employee and Verizon may have a business relationship with Next G.
Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry