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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Parks and Recreation Board
Regular Meeting Minutes

January 26, 2009

The meeting began at 7:05pm. Present were Barry Malone, Jack Kelly, Khalil Shearlds, Dawn Haussler, Mike Mills, Fred Mirarchi, and Sherry Spinnraker. Also present: Jeri Staiber, Lansdowne’s Recreation Director, Joe Urban, Council Liaison, and a group of neighbors from around Marlyn Park.

Minutes from December were accepted.

Marlyn Park Issues
Nine residents from around Marlyn Park voiced a number of concerns about recent activity in the park:

1. Bridge – residents asked whether the bridge that was recently removed by the borough was approved before it was built. It had not been approved before the Boyscout built it. There was also concern that the bridge was built with pressure-treated lumber, which is not supposed to be used near water. The issue was raised as to whether the area where the bridge was removed would be restored.

2. Removal of thicket by stream – there was concern as to whether the brush/thicket that was removed by the stream would be replaced as the lack of vegetation might cause the stream banks to erode. It was noted that the plant material that was removed was invasive. It was also noted that there are no present plans in place to plant more shrubs or other non-invasives along the stream bed.

3. Two topped trees – concern was raised about the two trees that were partially taken down. Joe Urban noted that the arts project of possibly utilizing dead tree trunks for sculpture has yet to be approved for any park. Jeri noted that the company that was to complete the work had yet to finish taking the trees down and that they would be contacted and told to complete the work.

4. Green marking tags – residents asked whether the vegetation that is marked with green tags is to be removed. They are concerned that removing more vegetation will negatively affect the park and the residences around the park. The board had no knowledge of the purpose of the tags and let the residents know that we had not approved the removal of that marked vegetation.

5. Trail through park – residents had heard that a trail might be created though the park. At this time, no plans for a trail have been approved.

6. Fence at entrance to park – residents asked why the fence at the entry to the park was not tended. Joe Urban let them know that the solution to this issue would be part of Marlyn Park’s master site plan and that obtaining grants for Marlyn’s master site plan are under way.

7. Park designated as ‘passive park’ – residents were under the understanding that Marlyn Park is designated as a ‘passive park’ and that some of the activities that they had heard of in relation to the park did not seem to fit with the ‘passive’ designation. Joe stated that this designation, as well as many of the issues noted above would be reviewed under Marlyn’s master site plan, which will study all possible uses of the park. It may also require that solutions be worked out with property owners for some of the properties that are encroaching on Borough property.

Park Reassignments
The Board voted and accepted the proposed park reassignments: Belmont Park – Dawn Haussler, Sycamore Park -Barry Malone, Hays Park – Mike Mills, InterBoro Park – Fred Mirarchi, Marlyn Park – Jack Kelly, Hoffman Park – Kahlil Shearlds, Reservoir Park – Bob Bartmann.

Nomination / Election of Board Officers
The nominated Board members accepted and the Board elected the following Officers: Sherry Spinnraker – Chairman, Mike Mills – Vice Chairman, Dawn Haussler – Secretary.

The Secretary will distribute Meeting Minutes to all board members, the Borough Manager, the Recreation Director, the Borough Council Liaison, and other appropriate members of Council, such as the head of the Environmental Committee.

Joe Urban, Council Liaison report
Joe thanked Barry Malone for his service as Chairman. To date he has received one letter for the open position on the Board (Martha Peachy, a former Board member), and he urged some of the neighbors of Marlyn Park to forward letters of intent if they were interested as well.

Jeri Staiber, Recreation Director and finance report
Jeri distributed the financial reports. Money was taken out of the Rec. & Parks Board budget for the trees for the Baltimore Pike corridor planting. Joe said that he would forward any info he had about this from Borough Council to the Rec. & Parks Board. Also discussed was the approval process for specific park projects versus routine maintenance – routine maintenance does not need to be approved by the Board, it is just scheduled for completion by Jeri.

Park Usage Request
The Board continued discussions about whether the proposed use of Hoffman Park by the Pop-Warner’s Youth Football League is feasible due to the heavy use of the field. At the December meeting this issue was discussed with the two organizers and they said that they would check out Interboro Park as a possible alternative and get back to us. The Board is in general agreement that the Pop-Warner football program would be beneficial to the community, but it is unclear how the issues of scheduling at Hoffman, maintenance for additional wear and tear, and usage of the Boys & Girl’s Club snack stand will be resolved. The Lansdowne Longhorns would like to play 3-4 games at Hoffman during the peak season of use. The Board also discussed possible long-term plans for configuring Interboro Park for Pop-Warner’s usage, which could include cutting down trees, etc. Mike Mills offered to contact the two organizers and discuss viability of use of Interboro Park.

Next Board Meeting
Monday, February 23, 7:00 p.m. at Borough Hall

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