Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
July 21, 2010
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer Bartley, Borough Solicitor Scott and Police Chief Kortan. Councilwoman English and Fire Chief Young were absent.
Approval of Agenda: The agenda was approved with one change: (1) Mr. Schleigh added two motions under action items for police officer promotions.
Approval of Minutes: Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the June 16, 2010 General Meeting of Council. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements and Presentations: Mayor Young presented former Board of Health Chair Al Them with a plaque in recognition of his 11 years of service on the Health Board. In addition, Mr. Them gave a brief overview of the various programs sponsored by the Allied Youth Council.
Mayor Young presented Joseph F. Furia with the 2010 Helms Award. Mr. Furia served as a patrol officer during the 1950’s, was the Fire Department Secretary for 23 years, championed the idea of a new fire company building, was the first recipient of the President’s Award of the Fire Company, was a UUA member for many years, is involved with the Neighborhood Watch Program and was a personal friend of Bill Helms, the 1st mayor of Lansdowne.
Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Bartley presented the June report as follows: Beginning balance in General Fund – $127,136; ending balance $2,373,403. Beginning balance in Sewer Fund – $465,433; ending balance $1,025,904. Beginning balance in Liquid Fuels Fund – $217,741; ending balance $353,502. Beginning balance in Capital Reserve Fund $139,415; ending balance $62,011. Beginning balance in Non-uniformed Pension Plan – $1,473,304; ending balance $1,513,611. Beginning balance in Police Pension Plan – $5,537,650; ending balance $5,070,630. Year to date totals for all funds: beginning balance of $7,960,679; revenues of $7,254,170; expenses of $4,815,787; surplus of $2,438,383; ending balance of $10,399,062.
Solicitor’s Report: Mr. Scott had no formal report.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Young reported that she recently attended the annual breakfast of the Police Chiefs Association, wherein Chief Dan Kortan was named the 2010 President of the Police Chiefs Association.
Mayor Young indicated that a free “green energy” workshop will be held in September by the Pennsylvania Resources Council.
Council President’s Report: President Coleman gave an update on the Elm Street Program. Support is moving forward with the grant application and $8.9 million will now be available from the state for all of Pennsylvania. Regarding the 1st Suburbs project, President Coleman recently attended the Building I PA Summit in Lancaster, PA regarding infrastructure improvement policies. Over 600 people were present and discussions centered on how to prioritize commitments and get support from state representatives as well as other venues in the state.
President Coleman announced that the August 4th Borough Council business meeting will be cancelled due to vacation schedules.
Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that PECO will be replacing the downed light pole in Belmont Park. Additionally, complaints have been received regarding young adults using bad language in Belmont Park. Mr. Schleigh indicated that residents can either contact the parents of the offenders or call the police. Mr. Schleigh reminded residents that the Lansdowne police maintain a police house check program for residents away for extended periods of time. Mr. Schleigh indicated there was only one participant for the August 3rd National Night Out Program. Mr. Schleigh reported that the Health Board is aware of the mosquito problem in the area and certain areas have been sprayed. The Health Board continues to work with library staff regarding mental health issues and how to best serve mentally ill residents who frequent the library.
The next Public Health and Safety Committee meeting will be held on August 12th. Topics to be discussed will include animal control issues, the noise ordinance and a property manager ordinance.
Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Committee met on July 12th. Further reviews of the library staffing issue will be postponed until the 2011 budgetary process is underway. Also discussed were the actual costs associated with running each Borough department. The Finance Committee is also recommending that fees remain the same for non-profit use of the 20th Century Club. Ms. Lustgarten indicated the department Chairs should have their list of priorities ready by the September 1st business meeting. The auditor for the Commonwealth has requested front and back copies of checks regarding the Liquid Fuels fund. The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on August 2nd.
Economic Development and Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner reported that his committee met on July 20th. A neighborhood meeting is set for August 12th in Sycamore Park at7:00 p.m. for the residents in this area. Mr. Wagner indicated that more proactive measures need to be taken regarding littering issues with various food establishments in the borough. Mr. Wagner reported that the Zoning Hearing Board approved the Lancaster Center Market Project. Regarding the active codes case report, residents should feel free to report any problem properties to assist the Codes Department in this regard.
Environment – Ms. Silzle mentioned that tree debris from the recent spate of storms can be bagged for the trash can or put in with yard waste for collection. Trash cans are now in every borough park and recycling containers for the parks will soon be in place. Ms. Silzle indicated that the following items should not be put in for recycling: plastic lids or caps, plastic 6-pack holders, wax paper or waxed cardboard and plastic microwave trays under marked “1” of “2”. In addition to the usual items acceptable for recycling, residents can also include staples, paper clips, rubber bands, plastic tabs and spiral bindings. Ms. Silzle mentioned that President Obama’s “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative” is hosting radio listening sessions throughout the country and the next one is to be held on July 27th, 1-4:30 on WHYY radio.
Ms. Silzle indicated that June’s recycling numbers were the lowest since June of 2008: 12.8%. The sale of recyclables netted the borough $1400. The next Environment committee meeting will be held on July 28th at 7:00 p.m. There will be no August Environment committee meeting. Ms. Silzle gave a helpful recycling tip: water from dehumidifiers can be used to water plants and do laundry.
Community Relations – No report was given in Mrs. English’s absence.
Infrastructure and Public Works – Mr. Smith thanked Mr. Totaro for filling in for him at the last Infrastructure Committee meeting and for being proactive in infrastructure issues. Mr. Smith commended the residents of Lansdowne for pulling together and helping their neighbors clean up after the recent storms. The next Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held on July 27th.
Communications: There were no communications.
Mr. Schleigh moved to Suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear public comments. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Dr. Len Wert – 221 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Dr. Wert questioned the status of the Old Virginia Donuts site. Mr. Wagner indicated that the owner has not followed through with the various submitted proposals and multiple violations still exist. The District Court continues to work through the issues as well. Dr. Wert mentioned that two properties behind his are in disarray, with overgrown foliage and an in-ground pool that has not been properly maintained and cleaned. Dr. Wert commented that the Sanitation Department does not always dump his trash into the large borough containers as had been the previous practice and indicated that some trash is left remaining in the cans behind his residence.
- Charles Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers felt that people who litter at bus stops should be fined and encouraged residents to pick up litter.
Mr. Schleigh moved to Reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Old Business: There were no items for Old Business.
New Business: There were no items for New Business.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Ordinance 1254, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne by approving collection procedures and adopting interest and schedules of attorney fees to be added to the amount collected as part of the Real Estate taxes for delinquent accounts. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Silzle moved to adopt Ordinance 1255, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending Chapter 77 of the Code of the Borough of Lansdowne, entitled “Recreation and Park Board”, to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Recreation and Park Board. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to accept the HARB’s recommendation and issue the Certificate of Appropriateness to the Sycamore, 14 S. Lansdowne Avenue for facade improvements. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried by voice vote with Mr. Wagner abstaining from the vote, citing that he owns the property.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve renewing membership in the First Suburbs Project in the amount of $750.00. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Schleigh moved to promote officer Tina Selimas to Class A patrol officer effective 7/31/2010 and to include the appropriate salary adjustments. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Schleigh moved to promote officer Kevin McDermott to Class B patrolman effective 8/6/2010 and to include the appropriate salary adjustments. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Silzle moved to authorize the submission of a grant application for Gladstone Manor park improvements. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Discussion of the Gladstone Manor island grant:
Mr. Totaro mentioned that the Gladstone Manor legislative initiative issue was to have been a discussion item under New Business. Mr. Totaro reported that Gladstone Manor representatives had met with Senator Micozzie to discuss a grant for the park lit island. A draft descriptive narrative needs to be submitted with the grant application before the next Council meeting that would include the layout of the electricity, installation of ADA curb ramps, the creation of a patio area and landscaping improvements. The grant range is $35,000. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Environment Committee will further discuss the revised plan.
Executive Session – Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn to executive session to discuss a litigation matter. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:17 p.m.
Public Session – No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.
Adjourn – Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry