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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting

October 6, 2010

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, October 6, 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, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young.

Call to Order: President Coleman called the meeting to order.

Pledge of Allegiance: Mayor Young opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Approval of Agenda: The agenda was approved with the following changes: (1) The Septa bridge discussion is moved to executive session.

Approval of Minutes: Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the September 1, 2010 Business Meeting as submitted by Acting Borough Secretary Totaro. 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.

Public Comment:

  1. Mary Ann Surla – Resident of Lansdowne. Ms. Surla stated that she would no longer attend borough council meetings as they were too wearing for her. Ms. Surla gave Chief Kortan written public safety comments regarding Marshall Road.
  2. Theresa Robinson – 13 year resident of Lansdowne. Ms. Robinson mentioned that the concrete in the back alley of her property is being cracked repeatedly by the borough trash trucks. Estimated cost to replace the concrete blocks was $1200. The current ordinance prohibits putting a pole or structure at the edge of the walkway to deter the truck traffic. Mr. Totaro will look into whether the Borough is responsible for the repairs and will speak to the Sanitation Department head about navigating the corner area.

Ms. Lustgarten moved to Reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Bartley had no formal report and indicated there were sufficient funds on hand to meet the current obligations. The Auditor General’s office has completed the 2008 and 2009 audits with only minor findings regarding inconsistent wording in three of the Police Pension Fund documents. Verbal observations included the preparation of certain written procedures and municipalities are no longer responsible to carry ‘killed in service’ policies under Act 30. The borough needs to repeal this issue.

Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Scott had no formal report and one executive session item.

Manager’s Report – Mr. Totaro had no formal report.

Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that he recently met with representatives of the WPSD to discuss various public issues. Student behavior at the Essex and Windermere bus stop has recently been a concern for area residents and it will be moved to a different location. Chief Kortan reported that there are fewer enforcement problems in the school district than in the past.

Fire Chief Young – Chief Young reported that the fire house will hold a Ladies Auxiliary barbecue on October 28th, 3-7 p.m. The fire company recently received a valor award for assisting in the September 1st Scully Welding Co. explosion in Collingdale. Approximately $3000 has been received for the recent hail damage to the fire house roof. Chief Young reported on several budget items for 2011: (1) emergency generator is failing and pricing for repairs is being investigated;( 2) 10 new tires are needed for the fire truck at a cost of $30,000; (3) the pump packing needs replacing on two engines and one engine will need to be replaced soon. A new engine will cost $400,000-$500,000 and the fire house is currently eligible for a 2% loan.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young reported that Philabundance is trying to recruit the Lansdowne Ministerium to support their effort. The Director of the Friendship Circle in Lansdowne will attend the next general meeting to give an overview of the organization’s services.

President’s Report – President Coleman reported that the Friendship Circle will be holding a fundraiser on November 14th from 1-5 p.m. The organization has requested the borough’s annual contribution of $2,000 for 2011. There will also be a 1st Suburbs fundraiser on December 2nd at the 20th Century Club. President Coleman indicated that the borough will become more proactive in determining a comprehensive list of projects that can be assigned to interns. The goal is to develop a program that will have interns work on selected projects for experience that can be added to their resume or for classroom credit. President Coleman will be meeting over the next month to discuss the various Committees’ overall results, structure etc. The goal is to create a score card of how each committee is performing and to ascertain whether any changes in structure or objectives are necessary.


1. Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that Fran Wayne will be reappointed to the Human Relations Commission at tonight’s meeting. There is also a need to advertise for a part time officer vacancy. Mr. Schleigh indicated that a meeting will be scheduled with Animal Control after receiving complaints from the Delaware County SPCA regarding removal of squirrels. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that there is a timing problem regarding the lights coming on in the early a.m. hours in the Highland Avenue parking lot. The timer will need to be checked and after a brief discussion, it was decided that the Public Safety Committee will investigate other technology if the timer issue cannot be resolved. Chief Kortan suggested that a programmable timer could be installed with multiple times for operating the lights.

Ms. Lustgarten asked Chief Kortan for an analysis of overtime savings regarding part time officers and asked that the new hire be delayed until this information is available. Mr. Wagner felt there is a compelling need to manage the short and long term planning for paying officers as it will turn into an unsustainable situation in the future.

2. Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten had no formal report. The first budget meeting was held on October 4th and the second budget meeting will be held on October 13th. The next Finance and Administration committee meeting will be held on November 1st.

3. Economic Development & Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner reported that the ED&CE committee met on September 21st. There was a zoning update wherein Kevin Lafferty will report on lateral vents throughout the borough and look into bringing them up to grade when a property transfers.

The committee is also working with the Buddhist Temple regarding the establishment of orchards. The Austin Avenue property may be a good site for this project.

4. Environment– Ms. Silzle reported that the Environment committee met on September 9th. The August recycling diversion rate was 15.1%. The annual average was 16.6% for Lansdowne. Income received for recyclables in August was $760 with a year to date total of $6,800. Ms. Silzle mentioned that an extra yard waste day would be held on October 13th.

5. Community Relations – Mrs. English had no formal report. The next Community Relations committee meeting will be held on November 8th.

6. Infrastructure and Public Works – Mr. Smith reported that the Infrastructure committee met on September 28th. The paving list for 2011 will soon be finalized. An analysis and survey information is being compiled regarding street lights. Mr. Smith also reported that bollard samples are being looked at for the Lansdowne Theater crosswalk. Mrs. English questioned whether the paving was warrantied, citing a sinking problem on Essex Avenue. Chief Kortan mentioned that the base will be filled in before the final paving and restoration is done.

Mr. Wagner asked if the Local hiring policy under New Business could be discussed next. Mr. Wagner indicated that a third party agency could be used to recruit employees for the new Bottom Dollar food store opening in Lansdowne. Local businesses would be encouraged to participate and job opportunities would be made available for local residents. Tax credits would be available for those receiving government subsidies. These would be free of charge agreements between the borough and community. Mr. Wagner indicated that the idea is to have a model agreement in place for the next time a project such as this presents itself. The Economic Committee will look further into this matter. The next Economic Development committee meeting is scheduled for October 19th at 7:00 p.m.

Old Business:

  1. Baltimore Avenue Tree Planting – Phase 4. Mr. Totaro indicated that volunteers are needed for this project. The 4th phase will start November 20th, encompassing Lewis Avenue to Church Road. 60 trees in all will be planted – 40 new ones and 20 replacements.
  2. Landscape and Maintenance Manual – Mr. Totaro reported that he was circulating a guide for field and class training for the highway staff.
  3. Gladstone Manor Island Plan – Mr. Totaro indicated that the only change involved redacting some items and funding issues.
  4. Sanitation schedule changes update – Mr. Totaro reported that effective January 1, 2011, trash pickup would be changed from twice per week to once per week for trash and once per week for recycling. It was suggested that the “Police Non Emergencies” notice on the magnets be changed to “Police Administration”.

New Business:

  1. Library rain garden – Mr. Smith reported that rainwater would now be collected and a garden established in front of the library. Mayor Young questioned who would be responsible for maintenance and suggested that no perennials be planted. Mr. Totaro indicated that the chosen plantings would include mostly those of the succulent variety. Training will also be provided as part of the grant process and Lansdowne would receive credit points for doing this project. Proposed installation date is October 12th.
  2. Belmont Avenue at Belmont Park – Mr. Smith opened the discussion concerning whether or not the road adjacent to Belmont Park is a dedicated road. Currently it is a safety hazard and the Infrastructure Committee has suggested paving one half for access and holding a public meeting for residents in that area. Chief Kortan pointed out that paving one half would mandate that the ordinance be changed regarding parking issues and the area would have to become a no parking area from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Chief Kortan indicated there may be some liability issue but the benefit would be less speeding in front of the playground area. Mr. Schleigh pointed out that it is an open street and Liquid Fuels money could finance the paving. The Borough Engineer will look into the costs and any viable alternatives regarding this issue.
  3. Website – Mr. Totaro mentioned that content can now be updated by Borough personnel and some pictures can also be added.
  4. Energy Supplier – Mr. Totaro recommended that a three year contract be considered and not to execute an agreement for the short term, citing the cost savings benefits. Borough Council needs to act now on this because the price can increase tomorrow. The supplier in question is Constellation in conjunction with the PA League of Municipalities and cost would be $.97 per kilowatt hour. There would be no delivery charge on top of this price. PECO is expected to have a 4% increase for maintenance but no huge increase is expected current for usage.

Action Items:

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Silzle moved to adopt the Plan for the Gladstone Manor Island. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  3. Mr. Schleigh moved to reappoint Fran Wayne to the Human Relations Commission for a three year term expiring on 9/30/2013. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  4. Mr. Schleigh moved to advertise for a part time police officer. Mrs. English seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  5. Ms. Silzle moved to advertise Ordinance 1256, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending Chapter 235 of the Code of the Borough of Lansdowne, entitled “Parks and Recreation”, to clarify certain restrictions relating to firearms in public parks and amending Chapter 326 of the Code of the Borough of Lansdowne, entitled “Weapons”, to clarify certain restrictions relating to firearms. Mrs. English seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Silzle moved to execute contract with Energy Supplier Constellation for three years. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session – Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn to Executive Session early to discuss personnel issues. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 10:07 p.m.

Public Session – Upon reconvening to public session, the following motion was made:

Mr. Wagner moved to accept the settlement of Lansdowne Borough versus John Godsey in the amount of $25,000 with Mr. Godsey being given the use of his property. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Adjourn – Mrs. English moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Ann Henry

Borough Secretary

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