Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
September 2, 2009
The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, September 2, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Smith, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved with the following changes: Union Avenue Flooding under Old Business and Reservoir Park – Master Site Plan under New Business will be discussed under the Borough Manager’s report.
Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the July 1, 2009 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Urban moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear visitor comments. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
1. Mary Ann Surla – Resident of Lansdowne – Ms. Surla thanked the Borough Council for progressing positively regarding increased recycling. Ms. Surla thanked Chief Kortan for overseeing the amber flashing lights and infrastructure work area signs and the repainting of crosswalks. Ms. Surla read a letter from Senator Anthony Harding regarding the Route 13 safety improvement project that PennDot sees as needing to be more pedestrian friendly. Ms. Surla indicated that drivers in Lansdowne have to wait a long time at intersections for light changes. Ms. Surla also thanked Chief Kortan for e-mailing her about the 4 way stop sign at Marshall and Owen. Even though it cannot be done and Ms. Surla asked if some type of flashing amber light could be installed, citing that it is a dangerous intersection. Ms. Surla also asked if Lansdowne could be considered a mural arts town, whereby murals could be painted on business front windows. Ms. Surla presented two concrete paintings by Ralph Prada, indicating that she might have to sell them, perhaps at the Farmers Market. Ms. Surla felt that space planning is a problem in Lansdowne.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Ms. Silzle seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
REPORTS AND DISCUSSION
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 reported that the Borough had been served with an appeal from the Next G Zoning application. Next G has appealed to the Federal Court, citing a violation of the Telecommunications Act.
C. Borough Manager Craig Totaro – Mr. Totaro gave updates on the following:
a) Marlyn Park – a new row of 25 bushes have been realigned along the property line.
b) Library Bids – early estimates have been received and due diligence is being done on the contractors. Ms. Lustgarten questioned the disparity in the bids. The Borough Engineer suggested having the low bidder confirm his pricing. Mr. Totaro and the Engineer will follow up on this matter and obtain more information.
c) House Bill 1828 – this will have significant impact on municipalities and Dave Forrest, former Lansdowne Borough Manager, has forwarded a letter to Borough Council in opposition to this bill. Further discussion will be held in Executive Session.
d) Union Avenue Flooding – the site was reviewed by several Borough personnel. Mr. Totaro indicated that in 2005 as part of the Revitalization Plan, there had been a plan to alleviate the flooding along Union Avenue that included a series of connections intoYeadon. However, the cost was prohibitive. The Borough Engineer explained that inlets could be added at Nyack, running the lines to Bartram and continuing to run pipe to the park. At the present time underground chambers could be installed under Yeadon’s Community Park as a storage facility. This would control the rate of discharge into the existing system and the aim would be for a 25 year storm plan. Total estimate would be $1.5 million. Phase I cost would be $150,000 and the Liquid Fuels Fund could be used in this regard. Chief Kortan indicated that the heaviest flooding involves a two block area around Nyack and Fairview with the highest point being about knee deep. Also discussed were cost efficiency, infiltration rates and funding sources were also discussed. The time frame for doing Phase I with engineering, bidding and negotiations with Yeadon would take about 5 months. Going forward, the Borough Engineer will put the information into writing, the Infrastructure Committee will further discuss the issue and the Finance Committee will look into financing sources.
e) Reservoir Park Master Site Plan – Mr. Bob Bartmann of the Park and Recreation Board gave a presentation and history of the park and enumerated the Plan’s highlights. Current problems include some erosion near the reservoir wall. Stream stabilization and realignment would be foremost as a remedy. After further discussion, it was proposed to rim the creek with trees to make more visually appealing, take advantage of overlook areas by installing benches, put a through pathway near the park entrance, change the direction of the stream to slow the energy and have it run into smaller pools, lower the retainer wall so that flooding will be kept to a maximum of 2-3 feet unless there is a flash flood and install boulders and natural stones along the stream banks. Cost would be $300,000-$400,000 under a grant. If done piecemeal, the cost would be about $200,000-$250,000. Mr. Urban posed the question of how to adopt the Site Plan while still addressing the immediate concerns and if getting a grant would be a better way to accomplish this. Mr. Bartmann felt that a solution should be pursued first, then the grant. Mr. Urban and President Coleman suggested getting community reaction and asked if there is approval to move forward for the long term with the other sections of the Plan. Mr. Bartmann felt that grants are not always the remedy and the estimates would be similar. Ms. Silzle questioned whether the other sections of the site plan were the formal recommendations of the Park and Recreation Board and indicated that the financial impact and recommendations of the other park site plans are currently unknown. Mr. Urban indicated that the plans will not be the same for every park and that Section A of Reservoir Park’s site plan was the immediate concern to be addressed. Ms. Silzle asked if the Borough would be obligated to a five year plan if this Plan was adopted. Mr. Scott indicated there would be no obligation. Mr. Schleigh questioned whether this is a line item of the Borough budget or part of the general Park and Recreation budget. Mr. Urban indicated that doing Section A would be a maintenance line item in the Park and Recreation budget. After further discussion, President Coleman suggested moving forward with the stabilization issue now, hold a public neighborhood meeting regarding the other Plan sections, remove existing dates in the current Plan, review the Plan again based on public comment and have the Borough Engineer look at the Plan for grant purposes. Mr. Scott questioned whether a DEP permit would be required. Mr. Bartmann indicated that no permits are necessary in most cases but that outside heavier equipment would be necessary in this instance. Due to this factor, Mr. Scott added that it would have to be bid out as this would require a contractor.
Mr. Urban moved to direct the Borough staff to prepare bids for Phase I (Section A) of the Reservoir Park Master Site Plan. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
D. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan reported preparations are underway to complete street painting at crosswalks and to have safety signs regarding buses and one way streets in place near the high school and Ardmore school. Police personnel are also in place for the upcoming Arts Festival. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that a letter needs to be sent to the Fire Chief regarding liability assumed by the Borough. Chief Kortan mentioned that the sergeant exam process is moving along and part time officer Leo Doyle will be sworn in at the next General meeting.
E. Fire Chief Tom Young – Chief Young mentioned that Senator Micozzie had sent him a letter stating that no funds were available for the Fire House repairs. Chief Young mentioned that the water company project regarding mains replacement was moving along more quickly than anticipated. Chief Young reported that the fire alarms at the high school and Ardmore school are not being monitored by outside help and the matter is being corrected before school opens Chief Young mentioned that the Fire Company is being sued over a minor accident but Lansdowne was not a party to the incident.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young mentioned that the St. Francis Country House thanked Borough Council for the Campuzano memorial contribution.
President’s Report – President Coleman had no formal report.
1. Public Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that about 25 people had signed up for the proposed Neighborhood Watch program at the last Farmers Market gathering. The Public Safety Committee plans to work on the Glentay Avenue narrowness issues impacting emergency vehicles. Mr. Schleigh mentioned that a Sestak meeting would be held on September 4th, 4-7 p.m. regarding health care initiatives.
2. Finance – Ms. Lustgarten had no formal report. The following dates are set for the 2010 budget meetings: September 21st with Codes, Police and Public Works; September 28th with the Fire Department, Park and Recreation Board and the Library.
3. Economic Development – Mr. Wagner reported that Matt Schultz is now Executive Director of the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation. Mr. Schultz was able to have the theater considered as part of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s projects. Mr. Wagner mentioned that plans are underway to schedule a kickoff meeting of the Redevelopment Authority.
4. Environmental – Ms. Silzle had no formal report. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on September 10th at 7:00 p.m.
5. Education – Mr. Urban reported that no meeting was held last month. The next Education Committee meeting will be held on September 15th at 7:00 p.m. Due to the time change because of a scheduled Gladstone Manor presentation, this meeting will need to be re-advertised. Mr. Urban mentioned that volunteers are needed for Park Day, scheduled for September 26th. Mr. Urban mentioned that the William Penn School District Superintendent would be invited to the October general meeting.
6. Infrastructure – Mr. Smith had no formal report. There was no meeting held last month. Then next meeting will be held on September 22nd.
1. Borough Council budget items. Ms. Lustgarten opened the discussion opened with a variety of priorities as follows:
Mr. Smith – install HVAC system at the Twentieth Century Club.
Ms. Lustgarten – purchase a new trash truck.
Mr. Scott mentioned that the Zoning Ordinance needs to be part of the Codified book and the online information should be in one place and with any changes being tracked.
Mr. Wagner – set up budget guidelines for the Arts Council ($15,000 proposed).
President Coleman – establish a line item for 20 Lansdowne Court ($25,000 proposed. Mr. Totaro will follow up with additional information).
Mr. Schleigh – questioned whether there would be a continuing line item for a Youth Program.
Mr. Scott felt that the Elm Street program would be eliminated from the budget.
Mayor Young – funds for the Sidewalk Plan.
Ms. Silzle – execute the Marlyn Park Master Site Plan.
Mr. Wagner questioned what needs to be spent on the crosswalk plans. Mr. Totaro felt that engineering amounts would need to be increased with $3,000-$5,000 per segment.
Mr. Wagner mentioned that the Planning Commission is doing the bike path project. Mr. Wagner also mentioned that a line item would be needed for improving street lighting.
2. Multi-unit conversion grant application for 231 S. Lansdowne Avenue. Mr. Scott reported that the owners have converted it from 5 to 3 units. At the time of the grant application, the property ownership was conveyed to the father but at present the title is conveyed to both the father and daughter. Only one party lives in the residence. Mr. Scott mentioned there may be a possible issue with the County because of this but he will meet with a County representative. If there are no County issues Mr. Scott will proceed with preparing a five year forgivable loan document.
1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Mr. Schleigh seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Schleigh moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel and litigation issues. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 10:05 p.m.
The following motion was made upon reconvening to public session: Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize the Borough Manager to submit a letter in opposition to House Bill No. 1828. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Silzle moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:50 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry