Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
June 16, 2010
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh and Ms. Silzle. Councilmen Smith and Wagner were absent. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer Bartley, Borough Solicitor Scott and Police Chief Kortan. Fire Chief Young was absent.
President Coleman announced that tonight’s meeting would not be televised.
Approval of Agenda: The agenda was approved with the following changes: (1) The action item for certificate of appropriateness for 14 S. Lansdowne Avenue is removed; (2) Ms. Lustgarten will make Mr. Wagner’s motion in his absence.
Approval of Minutes: Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the May 19, 2010 General Meeting of Council. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the June 3, 2010 Special Meeting of Council. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements and Presentations: Mayor Young had no announcements or presentations. Mayor Young did mention that the UAA is celebrating its 106th year and needs volunteers.
Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Bartley presented the May report as follows: Beginning balance in General Fund – $127,136; ending balance $2,371,533. Beginning balance in Sewer Fund – $465,433; ending balance $1,169,219. Beginning balance in Liquid Fuels Fund – $217,741; ending balance $391,904. Beginning balance in Capital Reserve Fund $139,415; ending balance $97,733. Beginning balance in Non-uniformed Pension Plan – $1,473,304; ending balance $1,561,776. Beginning balance in Police Pension Plan – $5,537,650; ending balance $5,254,721. Year to date totals for all funds: beginning balance of $7,960,679; revenues of $6,873,242; expenses of $3,987,034; surplus of $2,886,208; ending balance of $10,846,887.
Mayor Young questioned whether the weight of yard waste/brush affects the County tipping fee. Ms. Silzle indicated that the trucks are not weighed but there is a $50 per drop off load for a 6 wheel truck. Mr. Bartley will get a breakdown of the rates and information for yard waste collection. Chief Kortan mentioned that Accurate Recycling has a weigh station. Ms. Lustgarten questioned if the cable franchise payments were made quarterly. Mr. Bartley indicated they were. Ms. Lustgarten questioned the property maintenance abatement numbers and asked how current is the money paid out to date. Mr. Totaro indicated no large numbers are currently in process.
Solicitor’s Report: Mr. Scott reported that the zoning hearing has been extended to August 15, 2010 regarding 110 S. Wycombe Avenue. The applicant has not submitted new plans.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Young mentioned that the Farmers Market is encouraging visitors to cast their vote for America’s favorite/best Farmers Market.
Council President’s Report: President Coleman had no formal report. President Coleman indicated she would be asking Ms. Silzle to make the motion regarding the August business meeting recess.
Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh read a letter of recognition from Upper Darby Police Chief Michael Chitwood, commending Lansdowne police for their assistance in apprehending a suspect in a police officer shooting in Upper Darby.
Mr. Schleigh reported that the Public Safety Committee had a number of items that were discussed at the last Committee meeting:
- Marshall Road traffic problems – responsibility is divided between the borough and the state. A public meeting will also be held regarding traffic problems on Nyack Avenue near the Buddhist Temple.
- There is now additional signage on Shadeland Avenue.
- Sgt. Rutherford was very involved in the arrest of a Wachovia Bank robber. Mr. Schleigh indicated that the neighborhood watch in that area was able to provide information leading to the arrest.
- Parking lot permit issue – this was formerly available to business owners for $25 per month. Since overnight parking permits are $40 per year, the Committee is recommending that the Finance Committee look into an appropriate permit fee amount but keep the practice of offering the permits. The permits could also be made available to business employees. Chief Kortan suggested that the LBPA could reacquaint business owners with the permit policy.
- The Civil Service Commission has been reorganized.
- Noise control regulations. Ms. Lustgarten questioned the practice of utility companies starting work too early in the morning.
- Car seat safety requirements are being reviewed, given the recent recall of certain brands.
- Crossing guards will be installed at the Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Finance Committee met on June 7th. Portnoff Law Associates was present to discuss collection of delinquent real estate taxes that would operate under a different statute than the County’s. The advantages include not having to pay monthly commissions, offering payment plans, paying the borough on a monthly basis and charging a $40 fee. Mr. Scott indicated that a Form of Engagement agreement and an Ordinance from Portnoff would be required in this regard.
Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Committee continues to work with the Library Board on staffing issues.
The Committee is recommending paying $2000 for part time summer help.
The Committee reviewed the 20th Century Club’s rental fees that have not been changed since 2007. Ms. Silzle questioned the set weekend fees versus the hourly weekday fees. Mayor Young questioned whether the former $15 non profit organization fee would be included. Mr. Totaro indicated it would not be included. Ms. Lustgarten suggested that the fee schedule be adopted for the general public and the Finance Committee will look into the issue of non profit organization fees. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to adopt the fee schedule.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the revised 20th Century Club fee schedule. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that funding for a new fire house roof is being investigated. The next Finance and Administration Committee meeting will be held on July 12th.
Economic Development and Code Enforcement – No report was given in Mr. Wagner’s absence.
Environment – Ms. Silzle reported that the Environment Committee met on June 10th. Liz Feinberg was present to discuss a two year multi municipality collaboration. Ms. Feinberg stated that it would be advantageous for the borough to pursue a continuation of the collaboration because there would be a cost savings due to operating on a larger scale, and it would leverage resources for the participating municipalities.
Ms. Silzle mentioned that the ICLEI intern has been taking inventory of municipal green house gas emissions and is now collecting data for community gas emissions. The Environment Committee also reviewed the Greater Gladstone Civic Association plan for the island as well as the SWANA report regarding a waste management plan to increase recycling.
Ms. Silzle gave the May recycling numbers: diversion rate was 15.5%. Changes need to be made to improve the diversion rate. Ms. Silzle indicated there has been some confusion about yard waste collectibles and will address this matter via the borough website, the borough newsletter, etc.
Ms. Silzle mentioned there is some remaining DEP grant funding that will be used to purchase 20 gallon recycling cans with plastic lids.
No date has been set for the next Environment Committee meeting.
Community Relations – Mrs. English reported that the Community Relations Committee met on June 14th. Donald Verlanden was present. Mr. Verlanden mentioned that the No Place for Hate group will have an information table at the Farmers Market on August 28th and September 23rd.
Mrs. English mentioned that the final version of the Committee’s web policy will soon be submitted to Mr. Scott.
Mrs. English will be attending the next Arts Board meeting to gather feedback on various community related matters.
Infrastructure and Public Works – No report was given in Mr. Smith’s absence.
Communications: There were two communications:
- Notice of workshop regarding protecting public water at Pottstown Middle School on June 22nd.
- County letter of denial for block grant application.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to Suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear public comments. Mr. Schleigh seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Charles Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers mentioned that there are some bad potholes on Ardmore Avenue. Also, he indicated that the pocket park at the corner of Scottdale Road and Baltimore Avenue is litter strewn. Mr. Jeffers felt that signs should be erected stating that littering will be fined. Mr. Jeffers asked Chief Kortan if passing a bus on the left is illegal. Chief Kortan indicated that it was not unlawful.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to Reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Old Business: There were no items for Old Business.
- Recommended job description for Director of Parks and Recreation position. This is being reviewed by the Finance and Administration Committee. Mr. Totaro indicated he would like a part timer until someone is hired for the full time position. Mr. Totaro indicated that the Borough was seeking a level of expertise in a variety of pertinent areas that was previously lacking. Ms. Silzle indicated that the description also needs to include the management and overseeing of party planning at the 20th Century Club.
- Summer Schedule – Mr. Totaro mentioned that the August 4th business council meeting will be cancelled by a motion under action items.
Mr. Totaro mentioned that a request by Laura Maxwell had been received to hold a blood drive at the 20th Century Club in August.
Mr. Totaro indicated that he had met with Henkels and McCoy regarding working with the state regarding work camp programs, indicating that the borough could use 3 summer workers for six weeks. Mr. Scott mentioned that their agreement was not clear regarding payroll and workers compensation issues. The agreement should also indicate that the borough is not displacing another borough employee by using these workers. A discussion followed regarding issues of the amount of supervision required, perceived benefits for the borough and whether there would be an additional workers compensation risk. Mr. Taylor would be supervising the workers. After further discussion, there arrived a consensus that the compensation risk would be low for 6 weeks and to move forward with the hiring.
Mrs. English moved to enter into an agreement with Henkels and McCoy to employ up to three student workers for a period of six weeks. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried by voice vote with one dissension by Mr. Schleigh.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to amend term length of newly appointed Zoning Hearing Board member, Jason McLaughlin, to a five year term expiring on 12/31/14. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Silzle moved to cancel the August business meeting of Council. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Schleigh moved to provide an appropriation of $1000 to the LEDC to support crossing guards at the theater crosswalk for the 2010 Farmers Market season provided guards are trained by Lansdowne Police Department and the balance of unused funds are returned. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Executive Session – Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn to executive session to discuss a litigation matter. Mrs. English seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:40 p.m.
Public Session – No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.
Adjourn – Ms. Silzle moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry