Lans­dale coun­cil OKS set­tle­ment with for­mer LCPA em­ployee

North Penn Life - - NEWS - By Dan Sokil dsokil@jour­nal­reg­is­

On a night Lans­dale Bor­ough Coun­cil ap­proved a grant ap­pli­ca­tion for A500,000 to help re­build its arts cen­ter at 311 W. Main St., coun­cil also ap­proved a A12,000 set­tle­ment with a for­mer em­ployee of that cen­ter’s pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tion.

That agree­ment was de­scribed by bor­ough So­lic­i­tor Mark Hoster­man as a deal reached be­tween Anne M. Yannarella, the for­mer em­ployee, and lawyers for both the bor­ough and two other board mem­bers for the for­mer Lans­dale Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts.

Hoster­man ex­plained to the pub­OLF WKDW YDn­nDUHOOD’V VuLW wDV fiOHG “seek­ing wages that were ac­crued while the Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter was still open, and the wages that were claimed af­ter it was shut GRwn DnG WKH GRRUV wHUH ORFNHG.”

The 311 W. Main St. prop­erty is still owned by the bor­ough and was op­er­ated as the Lans­dale Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts in 2009 and 2010 un­der the over­sight of the North Penn Re­gional Coun­cil of the Arts, which was named along with its four board mem­bers — bor­ough coun­cil Pres­i­dent Matt West, Bor­ough Man­ager Timi Kirch­ner, Robert Kerns and Dale Mur­phy — in the suit by Yannarella.

That suit sought a to­tal of A16,750 in un­paid wages along with dam­ages and le­gal fees, and Hoster­man said April 17 that both par­ties have agreed on a to­tal sum of A18,000, which he termed “a good set­tle­ment ... be­ing split by the de­fen­dants Kerns, 0uUSKy, :HVW DnG .LUFKnHU.”

The bor­ough is pay­ing the A12,000 share for West and Kirch­ner be­cause “they were on the board of di­rec­tors xof the NPRCA] as a re­sult of the lease be­tween the bor­ough of Lans­dale and the NPRCA, so for that rea­son the bor­ough SURYLGHG FRYHUDJH IRU WKHP” DnG will pay their share of the set­tle­ment cost.

That pay­ment will likely come from the bor­ough’s gen­eral fund and Yannarella will likely re­ceive “two checks, one from the borRuJK” DnG RnH IURP .HUnV DnG Mur­phy, Hoster­man said.

Still out­stand­ing is an­other suit fiOHG Ey IRUPHU LC3$ E[HFuWLYH Di­rec­tor Marja Kaisla al­leg­ing defama­tion of char­ac­ter against West, Kirch­ner and sev­eral oth­ers, in­clud­ing Lans­dale’s news­pa­per The Re­porter. Hoster­man said April 17 that that suit re­mains on hold due to a stay is­sued in fed­eral bankruptcy court for Good­son Hold­ing Co., par­ent com­pany of The Re­porter.

The set­tle­ment with Yannarella was ap­proved af­ter a roughly 15-minute ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion at the start of the April 17 meet­ing, with the only pub­lic comment VHHNLnJ FODUL­fiFDWLRn Rn wKHWKHU the A12,000 pay­ment from the bor­ough was part of the over­all A18,000 set­tle­ment.

Prior to that vote, Lans­dale’s coun­cil also held a pub­lic hear­ing re­lated to 311. The bor­ough is seek­ing A500,000 in state grant money from the Key­stone Com­mu­ni­ties Pro­gram and part of that process re­quires that a pub­lic hear­ing be held, Hoster­man said.

“The po­ten­tial im­prove­ments that this grant can be used for are fa­cade im­prove­ments to the struc­ture it­self, streetscape im­prove­ments in the area of the struc­ture and po­ten­tial in­te­rior ren­o­va­tions; those are the three that our grant writ­ers have their HyH Rn ULJKW nRw,” KH VDLG.

A sim­i­lar meet­ing for an­other Key­stone grant ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing funds for pub­lic im­prove­ments re­lated to the Madi­son Park­ing Lot re­de­vel­op­ment pro­ject was held by the bor­ough’s park­ing au­thor­ity last week, ac­cord­ing to Hoster­man, and the only com­ments in that hear­ing were to de­scribe the basics of the planned re­de­vel­op­ment.

Dur­ing the 311 hear­ing, coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent Mary Fuller said she “cer­tainly will go on record say­ing I ob­vi­ously think this is a great thing to do. I am be­hind it 100 per­cent for the bor­ough to seek the A500,000 Key­stone JUDnW.”

Coun­cil­man Mike So­bel, who chaired the bor­ough’s 311 W. Main St. task force, which rec­om­mended a re­build of the cen­ter last year, echoed that sen­ti­ment: “Let’s go af­ter the PRnHy.”

Both the grant ap­pli­ca­tion and the set­tle­ment agree­ment were ap­proved by unan­i­mous votes, as were sev­eral other ac­tions taken dur­ing the April 17 meet­ing: coun­cil ap­proved au­tho­riza­tion for the Fair­mount Fire Com­pany to pur­chase a new res­cue pumper, au­tho­rized street clo­sures for the rest of 2013’s First Fri­days, ap­proved pay­ments for road re­con­struc­tion on West Fourth Street and adopted an an­nual up­date to its Equal Rights and Op­por­tu­ni­ties Pol­icy.

West and Kirch­ner both de­clined to comment on the Yannarella set­tle­ment.

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