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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
October 7, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Smith and Mr. Urban. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Manager Totaro and Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley. Councilman Wagner, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young were absent. Fire Company President Jay Young sat in for Chief Young.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following change: Mr. Wagner’s motion under action items will be made by Ms. Lustgarten.


Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the September 2, 2009 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Schleigh moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear visitor comments. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment:

1. Mary Ann Surla – Resident of Lansdowne. Ms. Surla felt that she had been discriminated against regarding her dispute with a neighbor about fence encroachment and building permit issues. Ms. Surla indicated that no one will pay attention to the “Please Slow Down” signs. Ms. Surla indicated that there is a problem with the signal at the intersection of Marshall Road and Lansdowne Avenue.

Ms. Silzle moved to reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

President Coleman changed the agenda’s order to discuss Mr. Gavin’s proposed curb bump out on East Baltimore Avenue (Noel Schmidt property). Mr. Gavin is proposing to PennDot that a cutout be created at this site that would create handicapped access at grade for the proposed future businesses at this site. The cut out would also calm traffic on Baltimore at Highland Avenue. Two parking spaces would be eliminated with one space remaining. Mr. Smith indicated that PennDot typically likes the idea of curb cutouts. The cut out would also contribute to a more pedestrian friendly throughway. There would be a negligible loss of meter revenues. Mr. Gavin asked for Borough’s Council written support in this regard. Ms. Lustgarten moved to provide a letter to PennDot in support of creating a curb bump-out at the Noel Schmidt property. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Gavin also mentioned that he would like to have a metal trellis erected behind the Highland Avenue buildings with a fully graded driveway and sidewalk to aid in pedestrian traffic.


A. Finance Director/Treasurer Joe Bartley – Mr. Bartley had no formal report and indicated there were sufficient funds on hand to meet current obligations.

B. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott had one item for Executive Session.

C. Borough Manager Craig Totaro – Mr. Totaro gave updates on the following:

a) Cleaning of Borough Hall ventilation system – cost information is currently being gathered. Some cleaning will also be done on the first floor. Mayor Young felt that the carpet should be replaced in the Centennial Room. Ms. Silzle asked that the entryway area and open space on the first floor be cleaned as well.

b) Sestak Earmark 2011 – due end of February. The range of some of the projects are wide and Mr. Totaro suggested that Borough Council focus on one or two items. Multi municipal projects generally fare better than single focus projects. Mr. Totaro will talk with the COG for ideas and will take the recommendations to the Finance Committee for further discussion.

c) Reservoir Park – a separate investigation by David Williams of the Delaware River Keeper Network resulted in the same findings as had previously been discussed by Mr. Bartmann. The primary focus is on redirecting the stream and stream bank stabilization with the use of large boulders. Mr. Williams’ findings indicated a somewhat lower cost range and shorter time line than had been proposed by Mr. Bartmann.

d) Hoffman Park invasive remediation day – October 24th. State contracts are starting to come in. Volunteers are needed for the October 24th cleanup. Also being considered is a weekday cleanup using the community service workers. Walter Omlor will be contacted in this regard. e) Classic Towns banner – there was a brief discussion about the best site for hanging the banner. It will be displayed outside the Borough Hall building.

f) Antenna zoning case – Cricket Communications is requesting approval for a panel type and one GPS antenna and related equipment to be placed on top of the Lansdowne Theater. This is a permitted use by special exception. Mr. Totaro indicated that the Zoning Board will probably approve the antenna. Mr. Scott indicated this was a much better situation than having a monopole erected.

D. Police Chief Dan Kortan – No report was given in Chief Kortan’s absence.

E. Fire Chief Tom Young – Fire Company President Jay Young mentioned that the Fire House Open House will be held on October 8th from 6 to 9 p.m.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Young had no formal report.

President’s Report

President Coleman reported that she and Mr. Totaro recently attended the Delaware County Council briefing regarding the H1N1 virus. Common sense preventive measures were discussed but a larger plan for moving forward is still unclear and concrete information for various scenarios is limited in this regard. The County has a web site wherein schools can register their location as a vaccination site. The County indicated that they have been running drills for six years regarding having a vaccination process in place within a short period of time. Mr. Young indicated that children would be vaccinated first with emergency medical personnel to follow.


1. Public Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that the next meeting will be held on October 14th. Agenda discussion items will include animal control, emergency evacuation plans, comprehensive crime prevention plan, and traffic complaints regarding Shadeland Avenue.

2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten reported the Finance Committee met on October 5th. A fund balance of $180,000 for 2009 has been projected. Ms. Lustgarten indicated that there is $285,000 more in expenses than revenues for the preliminary 2010 budget. Potential revenue increases and potential expense cuts were also discussed. A meeting is to be held with Senator Anthony Williams’ staff in this regard. Ms. Lustgarten reported that the Committee decided to leave the $571,000 in the MMO using the 2009 valuations. Also discussed was holding an orientation for newly elected Borough Council members to provide an overview of the various Boards, Committees, etc. The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on November 2nd. The Pension Committee meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m.

3. Economic Development – No report was given in Mr. Wagner’s absence. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that a Farmers Market Community Day will be held on October 17th. In addition, the historic Lansdowne Theater will be holding a volunteer signup for a cleanup on October 17th at 10 a.m.

4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle gave the September recycling numbers: diversion rate is 15.2%, the highest since last February. It is .2% more than last September. Year to date collection increased by 11 tons this year over 2009.

5. Education – Mr. Urban reported that the Hoffman Park Day was a huge success. Mr. Urban reported that Don Verlanden has resigned from the Park and Recreation Board. The next Park and Recreation Board meeting will be held on October 19th. The next Education Committee meeting will be held on October 20th.

6. Infrastructure – Mr. Smith reported that the Infrastructure Committee met on September 27th. Discussion items included the continuing attempt to install air conditioning in the Twentieth Century Club, road paving update, library roof bid and the theater crosswalk. Mr. Totaro indicated that the DVRPC had been conducting car counts in front of the theater. The next Infrastructure Committee will be held on October 27th. Mayor Young mentioned that a section of Crawford Avenue is sinking between Essex and Plumstead Avenues.

Old Business:

1. Recreation Plan – Mr. Urban presented Borough Council with a list of proposals for next summer’s recreation programs. President Coleman felt that a more comprehensive plan was necessary in terms of age groups, various locations, time of year, available resources, etc. Ms. Silzle felt that some type of arts program would be suitable. Mr. Urban indicated that discussions had already been held with the Recreation Department in this regard. Mr. Schleigh indicated that a definitive time line should be given to Mrs. Staiber for the proposed programs. Mr. Totaro will follow up with Mrs. Staiber in this regard and indicated information will be forthcoming by year’s end.

New Business:

1. Street restoration – Mr. Smith reported that the Infrastructure Committee had recently discussed a creative approach to saving Borough money with respect to Aqua’s restoration of Borough streets after their work is completed. One idea was to have Aqua pay only for the retrenching of designated streets. The Borough would then take the funds used to pave to the midline and shift that money to streets that need more immediate attention. Aqua would give the Borough the difference for what the company would pay for a particular street. Mr. Smith felt it was worth exploring at least in the short term. Mr. Totaro indicated that in the past Aqua has restored the trenches to the midline as required by Borough ordinance or has contributed to the Borough’s paving program. Under the proposed plan Aqua would fill in and restore the trench as opposed to repaving the street. Mr. Schleigh was concerned with integrity and safety issues. Mr. Scott mentioned that as part of the opening permit process, Aqua’s restoration work would be inspected by the Borough to insure that all safety issues were addressed satisfactorily. Mr. Urban felt there would be aesthetic issues if a street is not paved to the midline. The Infrastructure Committee will check with the Borough Engineer about any potential structural and integrity concerns.


1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
2. Mr. Smith moved to proceed with reverse subdivision of Lansdowne Court / 20 CC property. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
3. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for 20 East Baltimore Avenue. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
4. Mr. Schleigh moved to reappoint Joan Reivich to the Human Relations Committee, for a term of five years expiring on 9/30/2014. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
5. Mr. Smith moved to execute 2009 sewer contract with JJD Contractors for work not to exceed $125,000. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss various issues. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9:12 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to public session.


Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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