Lansdowne Borough Council Reorganization Meeting
March 3, 2010
The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, 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. Fire Chief Young was absent.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved with the following changes: (1) The Elm Street discussion will be moved from Old Business to the President’s Report; (2) a personnel item will be added to Executive Session.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Schleigh moved to approve the minutes of the January 4th Reorganization meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the February 4th Business meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to Suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear public comment. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
There was no public comment.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to Reinstate Roberts of Order. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Bartley had no formal report and indicated there were sufficient funds on hand to meet the current obligations.
Mr. Scott had no formal report.
Mr. Totaro provided an outline for review regarding 20 Lansdowne Court that quantifies both the time line and costs for moving along with the project. President Coleman asked that this discussion be deferred to Old Business. Mr. Schleigh asked for an update on the issue of commercial properties timely clearing snow. Mr. Totaro indicated that there was no update regarding the warnings but that 50 citations had been issued.
Police Chief Kortan
Chief Kortan reported he had received an e-mail from a Gladstone Manor resident regarding street lights not working. Chief Kortan indicated he had spoken with PECO and that it was not a Borough problem. Underground repairs are scheduled to be completed by PECO once the snow clears.
Fire Chief Young
No report was given in Chief Young’s absence.
Mayor Young mentioned that she attended the 1st Suburbs Summit held last week. E-mails will follow regarding a Pennsylvania summit to be held on July 16th. Their three areas of interest have not changed: school funding, infrastructure issues around the Commonwealth and housing issues. Mayor Young also did some lobbying in Washington, DC yesterday re: the three above issues. The newsletter will soon be published and there will be a wide variety of items. President Coleman asked if any items would be inserted regarding the recent snow damage regarding potholes, downed limbs, etc. Mayor Young will insert these.
President Coleman mentioned that dialogues have been positive with Yeadon Borough regarding a unified front for block grants and other collaborative efforts. President Coleman then invited Debbie Lamborn of the CAC (Community Action Committee) to give an update on the Elm Street Program. Dialogue with Yeadon has begun in this matter resulting in changes to the role of her organization and the pursuit of another lead organization. Budgetary matters were also discussed.
The highlights of the Elm Street Program were as follows:
- Change in lead agency – it was decided that a neutral third party would be better. As such, the LEDC will now lead with the CAC still being involved. The LEDC will have legal responsibility to the DECD. If Plan is approved, the contract for administering the Elm Street Program will be between the LEDC and the state.
- Budget changes – the previous plan called for $5,000 for a five year Borough match. It will now be increased to $10,000 with the first year being considered a planning year followed by the four years.
- A Multi Municipal Cooperation Agreement will be needed.
- The State is recommending that 12 people be on the Review Committee as 6 are needed from each municipality. It was proposed that President Coleman, Craig Totaro and Mike Jozwiak be on this committee and other members will be discussed.
Ms. Lustgarten expressed some LEDC concerns regarding the workload, clarifying that it is a Lansdowne, not Yeadon, committee and does their mission statement support going into neighborhoods not in the central business district. President Coleman reiterated that the current needs include LEDC support, budget support and who will review the plan.
- Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that the last meeting was cancelled due to the snow storm. The carryover agenda items also included some new items as follows: (1) public safety issues surrounding Make Lansdowne Beautiful Day; (2) a report will be given at the next business meeting regarding regulations of home based businesses for food safety; (3) Civil Service applications will be discussed: (4) the Health Board will be working with the Library and the Borough regarding policies and procedures regarding mental health and homeless issues.; (5) Officer Brown will talk about the neighborhood watch program at the May 6th UAA meeting.
- Finance & Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported results from the Police Pension meeting. The portfolio had a 25% increase. Two bond issues are coming due in 2010 that will be cashed out. The asset allocation is 69% equities and 31% cash and bonds as of the end of February. There was an inflow of $403,000 in 2009 and $637,000 paid out to retirees. The F&A Committee prioritized goals for 2010: (1) the budget will be reviewed with each department head to discuss increasing revenues and decreasing expenses; (2) Mrs. English and Ms. Lustgarten will meet with Laura Martin, Library Director, to review library staff salaries; (3) the LEDC requested that the Borough split the cost of supplying additional electricity at the Farmers Market.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the Borough’s expenditure for the installation of additional electricity at the Farmers Market parking lot not to exceed $1,250. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Chief Kortan questioned safety issues regarding the placement of the additional six live outlets. The Codes Department will install municipal grade outlets.
The Committee also rejected a resident’s request to forego trash fees for a 3 unit apartment building and retain a private hauler. The benefits opt out program will soon be implemented for borough staff. It was decided that the rebate for opting out should be allowed for those who had previously opted out.
Ms. Lustgarten gave an update on grant request. A request was sent to Congressman Joe Sestak for $1 million for a joint project with the HLTC that would cover firehouse repairs, HVAC at the 20th Century Club, storm sewer work on Union Avenue and repairs to 20 Lansdowne Court. The Finance Committee supported the idea of taking DCED money for these projects. This would be a $12 million project with $6 million in the grant and $6 million in matching funds. After meeting with Representative Micozzie, it was suggested that only one $3 million project be proposed that he would support. The Borough would receive $750,000. Ms. Lustgarten presented different options for Borough Council to consider: (1) submit application for one combined grant, (2) apply for funding for two projects, (3) take $50,000 in DCED money. Chief Kortan mentioned that recent conversations with Representative Micozzie indicated that by July there would be three new cars for the police department. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to support a joint grant.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to submit an RCAP grant to Representative Micozzie on behalf of the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation and the Borough of Lansdowne. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to request $50,000 from Senator Anthony Williams for climate control at the 20th Century Club through the DCED. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Economic Development & Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner indicated that another resident has questioned chicken ownership legislation. Mr. Wagner mentioned that the Neighborhood Revitalization Program meeting held with the Codes Department went well and some of the residents in that area want to rename their neighborhood. Another meeting will be scheduled in about a month.
- Environment– Ms. Silzle mentioned that she recently attended the 5th annual Delaware County Environmental Summit and some of their ideas and information will be discussed at the next Environment Committee meeting. Yard waste begins March 3rd. Keep Lansdowne Beautiful Day is scheduled for April 17th, rain date April 18th. Pat Arone of the LBPA will communicate with several downtown business owners to encourage them to clean up their properties. Ms. Silzle will also be visiting other businesses that are not part of the PBPA. Mayor Young questioned which Committee handled the question of churches paying trash fees to the Borough for their pickup. Ms. Silzle stated this would be further discussed in her committee.
- Community Relations – Mrs. English had no formal report. The next Community Relations Committee meeting will be held on March 8th at 7:00 p.m.
- Infrastructure and Public Works – Mr. Smith had no formal report. The next Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held on March 9th. Mr. Smith mentioned that a resident has a sidewalk issue that is not a Borough issue. Mr. Totaro added that the resident was trying to put the responsibility on the Borough. Mr. Smith and Mr. Totaro suggested sending an advance of the diagnosis type of letter that would not hold the Borough responsible. Mr. Smith mentioned that pothole problems will be discussed as well as a potential crosswalk at the Lansdowne Theater. President Coleman suggested bringing up the flooding issue for Yeadon’s benefit.
- Bed and Breakfast Ordinances – Mr. Wagner indicated this ordinance amends the zoning to allow certain B&B’s by special exception. Some of the points in question included trash fees for a residential property. Mr. Scott indicated the trash fee resolution could be amended to address B&Bs. Chief Kortan questioned if the disorderly property ordinance be affected due to the transient nature of a B&B. Mr. Scott felt the language could be left in but will look at the current ordinance. Mayor Young questioned the sign ordinance that allows sign advertising vehicles while not allowing wrapped cars. Mr. Scott stated you cannot regulate the streets with the zoning ordinance and that the wrapped vehicle must be parked behind the house. Mr. Schleigh questioned if an attached restaurant would be allowed. Mr. Scott felt it would be an annoyance to residents to have dinner traffic. It would not be allowed unless the Zoning Board reviewed the matter. Mr. Scott will follow through with changing the language items discussed.
- Recreation Programs – Mr. Totaro presented a list of various recreational programs compiled by Gerry Staiber and asked Borough Council’s direction in determining which would be put into place before summer. Mr. Totaro will let Mrs. Staiber know that the first three ideas are well thought out and she should proceed with how to implement them. Ms. Silzle questioned whether Mrs. Staiber would want to directly interface with the Arts Board regarding the other proposed arts classes. President Coleman felt that the first three programs deal directly with the arts and that other types of recreation programs should be investigated that would appeal to a variety of youth and ethnicities. Mr. Smith added that if the programs are too expensive they will not get off the ground, given the current hard economic times. Mr. Schleigh suggesting investigating scholarship and grants funding.
- 20 Lansdowne Court – Mr. Totaro reported that the Arts Board had toured the building and a budget was drawn up for the first set of repairs. The cost would be $50,000 and the time involved would be 16 weeks. Mr. Scott mentioned that this would have to be bid out unless part time borough employees were utilized. There is also the issue of prevailing wage if using a contractor. When a more concrete proposal is in place, the borough needs to make sure that bidding requirements are in place. President Coleman suggested continuing the dialogue and absorbing all details, possibly using part time to avoid prevailing wage and have Mr. Scott look at the chosen options for legal compliance.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Silzle moved to appoint Kathryn J. Baranackie to the Park and recreation Board for a three year term, expiring 12/31/2012. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Silzle moved to appoint James J. Simmons to the Park and Recreation Board, filling the unexpired term left vacant after Mr. Malone’s resignation. This term will expire 12/31/2011. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Smith moved to advertise for bids of the PA Conservation works pursuant to review by the Borough Solicitor. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn to executive session to discuss a personnel matter. Mr. Smith seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:20.
No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.
Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Smith seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:50 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry