Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
May 19, 2010
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, 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 Silzle and Fire Chief Young were absent.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved with no changes.
Approval of Minutes
Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the April 21, 2010 General meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements and Presentations
Mayor Young recognized Bob Bartmann and Barry Malone as past members of the Recreation and Park Board. Mr. Malone had 4-5 years of service and Mr. Bartmann served 2 years with many additional years of volunteer service on other park matters.
Larry Smalley of American Legion Post 65 recognized Richard Lyon as the recipient of a $250 award for the Penn Wood High School essay contest.
Mr. Bartley presented the April report as follows: Beginning balance in General Fund – $127,136; ending balance $3,458,802. Beginning balance in Sewer Fund – $465,433; ending balance $1,251,034. Beginning balance in Liquid Fuels Fund – $217,741; ending balance $391,856. Beginning balance in Capital Reserve Fund $139,415; ending balance $97,722. 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 $5,641,642. Year to date totals for all funds: beginning balance of $7,960,679; revenues of $7,084,004; expenses of $2,631,851; surplus of $4,452,153; ending balance of $12,412,832. Mr. Bartley reported that the Borough is still in the process of pursuing FEMA money for the winter snow storm. President Coleman questioned if the TAN would be paid early. Mr. Bartley mentioned that the principal of $700,000 was paid off last week and 31% in total interest was saved by paying it off early.
Mr. Scott indicated that the Borough is close to finalizing the first multi-unit conversion grant for the South Lansdowne area. In that regard the application for 123 S. Lansdowne Avenue is expected to be completed in a few weeks.
Mayor Young thanked Mr. Bartmann and Mr. Malone for all their efforts during the past several years. Mayor Young read a list of calendar items.
Council President’s Report
President Coleman reported that the application is almost ready for submission to the State regarding the Elm Street Program. The Borough is making a $10,000 contribution (cash or in-kind).
President Coleman reported that a grant may be received in 2011 for the 20th Century Club and 20 Lansdowne Court. An Ad Hoc Committee has been instituted to determine the uses for 20 Lansdowne Court and more information will follow.
- Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh reminded homeowners that hedges/vegetation should not protrude onto the pavements and the ordinance calls for a clearance of 8 feet.
Mr. Schleigh mentioned that the Delaware County District Attorney and the Sheriff ‘s office will be conducting a joint program called “Delaware County’s Most Wanted” to be televised on the public access channel; additional information will be provided on the web site.
Mr. Schleigh indicated that motorists are ignoring the ‘yield to pedestrians’ sign in the vicinity of the Farmers Market and asked residents to report any violators.
Mr. Schleigh reported that the Public Health and Safety Committee continues to investigate tenant/landlord rights and accountability issues and is considering having an on-site property manager in the Borough.
- Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Finance Committee continues to focus on all department expenses and revenues. In that regard a comparison of rental rates for the 20th Century Club is being investigated as well as the HVAC system. The Committee is also looking at staffing issues at the library and salary inequities. Chief Kortan and Ms. Lustgarten have been investigating revenue sources for the police department. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that Portnoff Law Associates will be available at the next Committee meeting to discuss delinquent real estate taxes. The next Finance and Administration Committee will be held on June 7th at 7:00 p.m.
Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that $4300 was saved by paying off the TAN early. The original budgeted amount was $9800.
- Economic Development and Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner reported that the Sycamore Village community will again meet on June 24th, 7:00 p.m. in Sycamore Park. The most recent Committee meeting was held last night and realtor Gloria Carpenter was on hand to give a sense of how the economy has affected the Borough. More first time home buyers were indicated but fewer people are making investments in properties or relocating. There is a trend in University City residents migrating to Lansdowne. The first quarter of 2010 is promising over last year and foreclosure rates are not as high in this area.
Mr. Wagner reported that the Planning Commission will be reduced to 5 members instead of 7.
- Environment – Ms. Lustgarten reported in Ms. Silzle’s absence. The Environment Committee met on May 13th with the Greater Gladstone Civic Association regarding green spaces and placement of park benches. Additionally, the Committee reviewed the Swana report and questions will be presented to Gannett Corp. regarding solid waste collection.
- Community Relations – Mrs. English reported that the next Community Relations Committee meeting will be held on June 14th. The Committee has almost completed their policy for web site posting.
- Library Liaison Report – There will be a 3 day book sale to be held June 11, 12 and 13. Information on book donations can be found on the web site.
- Infrastructure and Public Works – Mr. Smith reported that the Infrastructure Committee met on April 27th. Highlights included discussions regarding the restoration of the East Essex Avenue sewer. The contractor will perform a base restoration immediately under the current contract and there will be a winning Liquid Fuels bidder to perform the final restoration. The County will be undertaking a mapping project regarding all manholes and underground sewers to identify the exact locations. Mr. Smith indicated that a missing manhole was found at Bryn Mawr and Eldon Avenues by Mr. Laverty. It could not initially be found due to a dumping issue in that area. Mr. Smith mentioned that Chief Kortan had submitted the priority list for paving to Mr. Totaro. Mr. Smith reported that four lights have been repaired in Gladstone Manor due to reporting by residents. Mr. Smith indicated that PECO cost changes to electric bills will soon be implemented and residents should take steps to prepare for the increase in rates. Mayor Young indicated that Scottdale Road near Hilldale Road is in bad shape but Chief Kortan indicated it was not on the paving priority list. Regarding lighting, Mr. Schleigh mentioned that the Borough has a contract to fix the photosensitive detectors or light bulbs. Any wiring problems are handled by PECO.
There were no communications.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to Suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear public comments. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Elizabeth Owens – 167 Glentay Avenue – Ms. Owens indicated that she is part owner of 305 West Essex Avenue. Regarding the Essex Avenue property, Ms. Owens indicated that there is supposed to be no parking to the left of the driveway but because the regulating sign is too far away, residents park there and cause a visual safety problem. Ms. Owens gathered signatures from other residents requesting that a sign be placed before the driveway. The Public Safety Committee will look into the matter.
- Janice Small – 77 Nyack Avenue – Ms. Small mentioned that she has reported twice on a pothole at Nyack and Sayers Avenues and it is getting much larger. Ms. Small indicated that speeding is a problem along Nyack Avenue from Wycombe to Schappet and requested that a “Please Slow Down” sign or another calming device be placed in that area. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that only 15 residents had requested the signage and would require another 10 or 15 requests in order to obtain the signs.
- Mary Ann Surla – Resident of Lansdowne. Ms. Surla felt that recycling should be kept separate, not single stream. Ms. Surla mentioned that an iron rod protruding from a pavement at Wayne and Albemarle was finally cut but it took 3-1/2 weeks for this action. Ms. Surla expressed her disgust with the trash site at Simpson House and felt the owner should be held more accountable.
- Charles Jeffers – 13 Willowbrook Avenue – Mr. Jeffers congratulated all veterans currently in the service. Mr. Jeffers mentioned that a tree branch is hanging too low near the bank along Baltimore Avenue and is creating a nuisance. Mr. Totaro will look into the matter. Mr. Jeffers reminded residents to wash their glassware before placing in the recycling bins.
- Charles Kuhleisen – 837 Woodlyn Avenue, Sharon Hill. Mr. Kuhleisen felt that the Upper Darby High School principal should have one class per day to police areas for trash and to clean it up. Mr. Kuhleisen felt that many people do not care about keeping a clean community and indicated everyone should pick up their own litter and use recycling cans.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to Reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Schleigh seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
There were no items for Old Business.
- Farmers Market Community Day/Community Relations – the LEDC has requested a site at the Farmers Market for events. Mrs. English indicated that presently only June 6th is available. Mayor Young indicated that the No Place for Hate group is willing to share their space on June 26th, August 28th and October 23rd.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Wagner moved to submit a letter to DCED committing a match for the Elm Street Program in the amount of $10,000. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the installation of two park benches in the Gladstone Manor Island, the placement of which would be contingent upon the Borough Manager devising a solution for the “Giant” sign on the benches. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Wagner moved to advertise ordinance reducing the number of members on the Planning Commission from seven to five members. Mr. Smith seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss real estate, personnel and real estate issues. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 8:55 p.m.
Upon reconvening to public session, the following motion was made:
- Mr. Wagner moved to withdraw the letter in opposition regarding the RBS Development application before the Zoning Hearing Board, giving him the authority to represent the Borough’s interests and the Zoning Hearing Board Committee pending additional research into the project and the development of an appropriate set of conditions. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:22 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry