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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Environmental Committee

June 10, 2010

Present: Barbara Silzle (chair); Ellen Lustgarten, Michael Schleigh.
Bill Johnson, director of public works, was present for much of the meeting.

There were no visitor comments.

Aaron Colsher, borough intern, reported on the energy consumption data he has collected for the ICLEI project intended to reduce both greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions throughout the borough. He has collected municipal data; the next step is to conduct a community-at-large inventory so that the borough can establish a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and develop and implement an action plan. He will check with ICLEI about models/methods to do so. Mr. Colsher provided preliminary recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas in the borough, based on his review of what Chicago and Philadelphia are doing.

The committee heard from Liz Feinberg, Collaborative coordinator for the SE PA Resource Conservation and Development Council, a 2-year multi-municipal collaboration funded by the William Penn Foundation to address storm water management issues on a larger scale. The collaboration includes Upper Darby and about 10-12 other municipalities. She wanted to find out if Lansdowne might be interested in pursuing the collaboration after the grant period. She mentioned two reasons to pursue this collaboration: the immediate cost savings related to complying with MS-4 education/outreach requirements, such as newsletter/flyers to residents, and leveraging resources for the group (such as grant $). She mentioned that street sweeping helps keep pollutants from going into creeks and causing build-up in the pipes, thus limiting their capacity to carry water. Bill Johnson stated that the borough crew sweeps the streets throughout the borough twice a week. Ms. Feinberg will inform Mr. Totaro of an effective, less damaging, alternative to salt in the winter.

Once elements of the plan are approved by Council, the GGCA will seek funding opportunities other than the borough to make the improvements possible; they will also seek nonprofit status.

Immediate Improvements:
Two benches donated by Giant were previously approved by council to be placed on the island with the provision that the signage be changed/removed; this would be overseen by the borough manager. The GGCA requested that they be allowed to replace/cover the current Giant plaque with brass plate; the committee approved the request.

Longer Term Improvements:

  1. Improved Electric Service. The committee will recommend the proposed changes.
  2. Access to the Island. The committee reviewed the site analysis provided by the borough staff with input from the borough engineer that pertains to curb ramp access points to the island. The committee agreed with the borough’s recommendation and will recommend one curb ramp on one side of the island that will lead to an access ramp across Gladstone Road, at the narrowest point. In addition, the committee agreed that a curb cut on the other side of the island – to Walsh – is not feasible because it’s mid-block.
  3. Installation of a Plaza. The GGCA will be asked to submit redrawn plans for the plaza that are to scale and that indicate the width of the path, the size of the plaza area, the materials they are proposing, etc., and that includes the curb cut as recommended above.
  4. Low-Maintenance Hardscape Borders. Bill Johnson indicated that these would present to problem to the Public Works crew that maintain the area; the committee will recommend as described.
  5. Placement of Additional Seating
    • a. The committee will recommend allowing one additional bench to be placed at the Baltimore/Walsh point for use by those waiting for the bus. To be ADA compliant, the bench will need to be placed on the grass area, not on the sidewalk. The borough staff will be required to be involved in the placement to assure compliance.
    • b. The committee will not recommend a bench be placed on the parklet at the juncture of Gladstone/Walsh/Mansfield Roads as it would be too close to private homes.

The committee expects to generate recommendations for the borough’s waste collection program at the July cmte meeting.

The Committee will seek clarification from Chief Kortan on the policy Council recently adopted regarding background checks.

Recreation & Park Board
The committee will recommend amending Ordinance 966, Chapter 77, sections 4 and 5. The changes are being made in an effort to clarify what the Board is entitled to do on its own and what matters the Board must bring to Council for final approval.

Pending the Chief’s input, the committee will recommend the appointment of Eugene Dixon to the Recreation & Park Board at the July Council Business Meeting.

Tree Advisory Board
Council had issues with past drafts of a proposed Tree Commission ordinance, which seemed burdensome and overly restrictive for property owners. Barbara is collecting additional Tree Commission samples for the committee’s consideration.


  1. Yard Waste clarification. The borough’s vendor, HAK, does allow grass clippings and leaves; there had been confusion on this issue in the past. The committee and the borough will work to educate the public accordingly.
  2. DEP Recycling Grant. The borough is ordering 100 20-gallon residential recycling cans with lids that will spend down the remaining $1400 of the grant which is due to expire in July.
  3. Earth Saturday @ Farmers Market, June 5, 2010. Barbara and Ellen staffed a table with literature about the borough’s environmental services, coloring books provided by the EPA, etc. 14 residential emails were added to Barbara’s Environmental email blast list.
  4. May GGCA meeting. Barbara attended a meeting of the community group to describe the borough’s environmental services and the financial and environmental value of residential participation; 11 emails were added to Barbara’s Environmental email blast list.

The July 8th committee meeting will be rescheduled. The committee will not meet in August.

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