Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting
November 17, 2010
The Lansdowne Borough Council General Meeting was held on Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall. Present were 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. President Coleman and Fire Chief Young were absent.
Vice President Silzle asked for a moment of silence in memory of Ronnie Hawkins.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved with no changes.
Approval of Minutes
Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the October 20, 2010 Business Meeting of Council. Mr. Smith seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements and Presentations
Mayor Young had no presentations. Announcements will be made under the Mayor’s report.
Mr. Bartley presented the October report as follows: Beginning balance in General Fund – $127,136; ending balance $1,144,545. Beginning balance in Sewer Fund – $465,433; ending balance $751,158. Beginning balance in Liquid Fuels Fund – $217,741; ending balance $330,123. Beginning balance in Capital Reserve Fund $139,415; ending balance $61,068. Beginning balance in Non-uniformed Pension Plan – $1,473,304; ending balance $1,671,912. Beginning balance in Police Pension Plan – $5,537,650; ending balance $5,775,443. Year to date totals for all funds: beginning balance of $7,960,679, revenues of $9,291,594, expenses of $7,518,025, surplus of $1,773,569, ending balance of $9,734,248.
Mr. Scott reported that recent state law changes have been adopted regarding civil service policies and promotions of police officers. The “rule of 3” regarding testing requirements is being restored. Mr. Scott and Chief Kortan are in the process of determining if anything further needs to be done on the borough level in this regard.
Mayor Young announced that the 1st Suburbs organization will be holding a fundraiser at the 20th Century Club on December 2nd. Mayor Young reminded residents to purchase parking permits earlier rather than later in the year.
Council President’s Report
No report was given in President Coleman’s absence.
Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that a grant has been received to replace the street and traffic lights with new LED lights, with priority being given to those damaged during the summer storms. Recommendations for a new part time officer will be presented by January, 2011. Next spring the Committee will also be reviewing tree coverage blocking issues along Baltimore Avenue.
A neighborhood watch meeting will be held on November 27th at the Buddhist Temple on Nyack Avenue from 1-3 p.m. The meeting will include training and safety tips for block captains and will provide an open forum for neighborhood safety issues. Mr. Schleigh noted that residents can help emergency responders by clearing snow from the borough fire hydrants during the winter.
Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported on the preliminary 2011 budget as follows:
- Real estate tax increase of 2.5%, or $28 per household.
- No increase in trash fee.
- Sewer fee increase of 5.5%, or $25 per household.
The budget will be adopted at the December 15th general council meeting.
Economic Development and Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner reported that the Committee met on November 16th. Topics of discussion included the following:
- Airport overlay plan – no structures over 200′.
- Noise ordinance is being reviewed in order to more clearly define hours of construction.
- Lansdowne Center market – progress is being made and the developer will be pulling construction permits within the next two months. Approval was granted for moving the curb cut 15′ further west to align better with Owen Avenue.
- Sycamore Village neighborhood – the next meeting is tentatively scheduled for January 6, 2011.
- Chickens – ordinance language is being developed that will allow residents to keep hens only in their yard.
Mayor Young questioned how long the Lansdowne restaurant scaffolding would be in place. Mr. Totaro indicated that the court looks into the matter every 30 days and monitors the progress. Chief Kortan indicated that the stucco work needs to be done before cold weather and work is being performed on a daily basis. If certain progress benchmarks are not met, the court fines will be severe. Mayor Young questioned whether a Windermere Avenue property formerly proposed as a bed and breakfast was now being turned into apartments. Mr. Wagner indicated that he had heard nothing in this regard and there were also no proposals for establishing a bed and breakfast.
Environment – Ms. Silzle reported that Blue Mountain Recycling will now accept additional plastics (nos. 4, 5 and 7 – no 3 or 6) for recycling. Styrofoam is not allowed. Starting in January, the waste collection changes to once per week for trash and recycling. The County igloos in the Highland Avenue parking lot now accept cans, #1 and #2 plastics and glass. No paper is allowed. Ms. Silzle indicated that the October diversion rate was 21.3%. Year to date diversion rate is 17.2% and the goal for 2011 is 25%. The October recyclables earned $1,100 with a year to date earned amount of $8,700. The next Environment Committee meeting will be held on November 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Ms. Silzle presented additional recycling information as follows: (1) if everyone recycled their newspaper just one day per week, 36,000 million trees per year would be saved; (2) production of recycled paper uses 80% less water, 65% less energy and produces 95% less air pollution than virgin paper; (3) recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours.
Community Relations -Mrs. English reported that the Committee has investigated a vendor quote for the new resident’s package. Input from the other committees is welcome and additional information will be forthcoming.
Infrastructure and Public Works – Mr. Smith reported that the next Infrastructure Committee meeting will be held on November 23rd. Some items to be discussed at that meeting will include (1) new lighting in the Borough; (2) 2010 road program – residents should continue to send e-mails regarding problem streets; (3) Marlyn Park sewer relining project.
Mr. Smith indicated that Lansdowne is an old town and sewer service and repairs will always be needed. As such, the resulting higher taxes and sewer fees are necessary to adequately handle an aging infrastructure system.
There were no visitors.
- Elm Street – Mr. Totaro invited questions regarding the proposed agreement approval. Ms. Lustgarten questioned whether or not the grant should be received before the agreement was entered into and Mr. Totaro indicated it had been done to expedite the process. Mr. Totaro mentioned one alternate to the agreement, wherein the LEDC could modify the composition of the Board (paragraph 3). In this regard, the Elm Street Manager would be exchanged for a property owner in the Elm Street neighborhood who would also be a newly appointed member of the LEDC. Mr. Scott clarified that this would be the LEDC’s representative who is their own Board member. Mayor Young pointed out that the ordinance does not specifically state that two citizens from Lansdowne are being appointed. Ms. Lustgarten will bring this to the attention of the LEDC at tomorrow night’s meeting. Mr. Scott indicated that the ordinance adopts the agreement and the discussed changes will be approved and made part of the agreement. It will clarify who will be the LEDC representative and add that the citizens representatives are residents of the neighborhood revitalization area.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Mrs. English seconded. Vote: unanimous.
- Mr. Wagner moved to advertise Ordinance 1257, an ordinance authorizing intergovernmental cooperation pursuant to the requirements of Pennsylvania consolidated statutes, title 53, sections 2301 through 2315, commonly known and referred to as Act 180, intergovernmental cooperation law, as amended, of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, whereby the Borough of Lansdowne, the Borough of Yeadon and the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation shall enter into an elm street program administration agreement for purposes applying to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for administrative and implementation grants to establish an Elm Street Program in a residential neighborhood which sits partially in the Borough of Lansdowne and partially in the Borough of Yeadon. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote: unanimous.
- Mr. Wagner moved to reappoint Mr. Bill Smith to the Planning Commission for a four year term expiring 10/31/2014. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote: unanimous.
- Mr. Wagner moved to enter into the three party agreement (Lansdowne, Yeadon, LEDC), incorporating the change that the citizen appointees be residents of the neighborhood revitalization area and that the LEDC’s appointee could either be the Elm Street Manager or a Board member of their choosing (who is also a property owner of the target area), for purposes of establishing an Elm Street Program. Ms. Silzle seconded. Vote: unanimous.
- Mr. Schleigh moved to suspend meter parking enforcement for the month of December. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote: unanimous.
- Mr. Wagner moved to submit to the County Planning Commission and to advertise Ordinance 1258, an ordinance setting forth an “airport district overlay” to include: purposes of the district, definitions, airport zones, airport zone height limitations; permits required; use restrictions; nonconforming uses; variances; conflicting regulations; and amending the official zoning map by the adoption of an official supplementary airport overlay zoning map. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. Vote: unanimous.
The motion regarding certificate of appropriateness for 16 S. Lansdowne Avenue signage was tabled until the size and placement of the signage is clarified.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn to executive session to discuss a litigation matter. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 8:32 p.m.
No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.
Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry