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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Newsletter – Spring 2005

Jump to: Mayor’s Column, Volunteers Needed To Plant Trees, Lansdowne Receives Grants to Continue Revitalization Efforts, Events & Reminders, Third Annual No Place For Hate Gathering, Lansdowne Allied Youth Council, Police Happenings, Poet Laureate Term Ends, Search for Next Laureate Begins, Parking Information, Lansdowne’s4th Annual Town-Wide Yard Sale Day, Trash Update, Code Enforcement Community Outreach, Borough Information Meeting Dates 2005

Mayor’s Column By Jayne C. Young

What a great time I had at the No Place For Hate event in February. Due to the hard work of the NPFH committee and the involvement of so many residents, a fun time was had by all. The participation was great and the entertainment stellar. Lansdowne’s association with the NPFH program is just one more thing I love about this town.

Hopefully winter will be over by the time you read this. It has been a tough season for snow removal. I want to go on the record and praise the hard work of our streets department. Despite the onslaught of bad weather, trash was picked up and the recycling schedule was maintained.

With spring comes a multitude of borough events. Arbor Day, and the Town Wide Yard Sale to name two. Check out lansdowneborough.com for all scheduled borough events.

This newsletter is chock full of information about all the many activities and projects going on with economic revitalization. I am so impressed by the hard work of our council and borough staff. Be sure to read the report about Grants and Revitalization. From main street to the parks many improvements are planned with the cooperation of our neighboring communities and our state and public officials.

So read on, learn what’s happening and I will see you at the next event.

Volunteers Needed To Plant Trees.

"The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is today".

Lansdowne is hoping to become a ‘greener’ place by participating in the start’s TreeVitalize Program. This new initiative, to plant trees in older urban communities like Lansdowne, is designed to restore the tree canopy to neighborhoods and other locations where more trees are needed.

We need your help! If you would like to get involved in the TreeVitalize program by planting and maintaining trees, contact the Lansdowne Parks and Recreation Department at 610-284-1493.

Lansdowne Receives Grants to Continue Revitalization Efforts

Main Street

With the approval in January of an $80,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Lansdowne became one of a select group of communities across Pennsylvania participating in the Commonwealth’s Main Street Program.

The Borough and the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) teamed up to secure the grant which will be focused on revitalizing the Borough’s downtown along Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues. The $80,000 grant represents only the first installment of a four-year commitment from the Commonwealth.

While the Borough was the recipient of the funds, the LEDC will administer the Main Street Program. The bulk of the money will be used to hire a full-time downtown manager, whose responsibilities will focus on attracting new businesses and helping existing businesses stay in Lansdowne. Funds were also approved to provide grants to downtown business owners to help spruce up their storefronts. Money will be available for painting, signs, lighting and other improvements.

The Borough and LEDC expect that the addition of full-time professional help with downtown revitalization will provide the kind of boost Lansdowne needs to remake our central business district. A June, 2005 hire date for the manager is anticipated.

Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy

The Borough isn’t just focused on improving our commercial and retail sections of town. At a recent ceremony at the Government Center in Media, Lansdowne and Yeadon were awarded a grant to improve the neighborhood that lies south of the SEPTA tracks and east of Lansdowne Avenue. Funds totaling over $63,000 will be used by the two Boroughs to work with residents to develop a neighborhood revitalization strategy. The plan will focus on many possible improvements including upgrades to homes and other buildings, repairs to streets and sidewalks, and improved street lighting. The majority of the funds for the project comes from state and county grants. Lansdowne and Yeadon will each provide a local match contribution. Officials expect the project to kick off in the late spring of 2005.

Zoning Update/Historic Preservation

For the past 18 months Lansdowne and East Lansdowne have worked with the Delaware County Planning Department to create a joint comprehensive plan. The plan creates the ‘blue print’ or vision for both communities, identifying challenges, opportunities and defining for both the kind of community each hopes to be. Finishing touches and final changes to the plan are still in progress. In the meantime, through state and county grants : as well as local match contributions – $51,000 has been made available to implement portions of the comprehensive plan.

A key element of the implementation project will be updating Lansdowne’s zoning ordinance. Local zoning laws help define how Lansdowne’s buildings, homes and neighborhoods will look in the future. For example, zoning controls such things as the height of buildings, the space between the building and the property line, where parking is located, and so on. They also control where certain kinds of uses, i.e., commercial, residential and industrial, can be located within the Borough. The goal is to reinforce Lansdowne’s traditional town character.

One of Lansdowne’s premier assets is the number and quality of its historic properties. For the second element of the project key sections of the Borough will be surveyed, with the goal to preserve and protect the historic character of Lansdowne.

Work on the project is expected to begin in late March or early April, 2005.

Look for more information on these projects in future newsletters and on the Borough website, www.lansdowneborough.com.

Lansdowne Joins Neighbors in Park Planning

East Lansdowne, Yeadon, Colwyn, Aldan, and Darby will be teaming with Lansdowne and the William Penn School District to develop a multi-municipal, park, recreation and open space plan. With $120,000 in funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Delaware County, the communities will be working together on a unique effort to chart a course for future park and recreation activities in every community.

The planning effort will examine ‘nuts and bolts’ issues such as the condition of playground equipment and ball fields. Recommendations for park upgrades will be included in a capital improvement program. Recreation administration will also be a focus, looking at ways the communities and school district can better work together to provide recreation activities. Opportunities to create new parkland will be examined, particularly along the Darby and Cobbs creeks where state, county and local efforts have been underway to explore the possibility of creating opportunities for the public to enjoy these hidden treasures. Finally, the plan will take a look at trees. Lansdowne has a wealth of beautiful trees, but even here there are sections of town that could use more.

The planning process is scheduled to kick off in late March of 2005 and will be completed in about 12 months. Throughout the process there will be plenty of opportunity for the public to provide input. Look for future information on the project on the Borough’s website: www.lansdowneborough.com.

Union Avenue Focus of Study

As anyone who lives near South Union Avenue or uses this road to get around can tell you, this well-traveled street has been a problem for a long time. Residents from the surrounding neighborhood attended a recent meeting to express their concerns about road conditions.

The meeting was held at the Twentieth Century Club on February 10th to kick off a study examining the feasibility of widening Union Avenue between Baltimore and Fairview Avenues. But the study will also examine the potential to address the chronic flooding problems we see in that area of Lansdowne during heavy rains.

Lansdowne and Upper Darby will be working together on the $45,000 study which is being funded through a $34,000 grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, with Lansdowne and Upper Darby providing the remaining funding.

About 15 residents from the neighborhood participated in this initial public meeting, with most expressing concerns about the flooding problem. A second public meeting will be scheduled once the initial data-gathering and analysis is complete and a draft plan is developed.

It is hoped that the feasibility plan will provide Lansdowne and Upper Darby with achievable recommendations to improve the conditions of this section of Union Avenue. However, the planning process does not provide funding for any necessary capital improvements that may be identified. Funding for capital improvements will most likely have to come from other grants sources. More information on the project, including the time, date and location of the next public meeting, will be posted on the Borough’s website, www.lansdowneborough.com.

Events & Reminders

4th Annual Town Wide Yard Sale

Saturday April 30th – 9am to ???

Pick up your Borough Maps at MarWin Shop & Bag, Stephanou’s Sunoco, Lansdowne Library, Doyle’s Deli or Borough Hall

Call Betsy at 610-623-7300 ext. 5 to add your address to the map.

Friendship Circle Senior Center Needs You

Volunteer as a Meal Driver or an Escort Meal Runner

You can help brighten up the life of a homebound older adult with a sunny smile and a nutritious meal! Call Dixie at 610-237-6222 ext. 26

Darby Creek Clean Up

Saturday April 30th, 2005
9 am – 1 pm

Sign in at Bonnies Wondergardens receive a T-shirt and get to work. Join your neighbors to clean up the creek.

Jazz in Sycamore Tree Park

Sponsored by the Greater
Lansdowne Civic Association.
June 12th 1 – 3pm

It’s a jazz brunch. Advance tickets will be available
at Before Our Time Antiques and Todaro’s Music. Music by Lansdowne’s own Joe Stevenson Trio.
Proceeds to benefit
Lansdowne’s parks.

Donate your old cell phones to the Domestic
Abuse Project
in Media. Drop them off at any Verizon store.
Primary Election Day

May 17th – Don’t Forget To Vote

Lansdowne Folk Club

April 28th – Dave’s True Story
May 26th – Fred’s Mobile Homes

Info call 610-622-7250

Arbor Day Celebration

Friday April 29th – 1 pm

Sycamore Park
All welcome

April is
National Poetry Month

Poetry Reading
April 11th at 7pm

Lansdowne
Public Library – Bring your favorite poem for a casual
reading

When
Union AA comes calling
for 4th of July
donations
please be generous

All Independence Day events
scheduled
for Monday July 4

1001 Arabian Nights

Sunday, May 1st at 3 pm

Upper Darby Performing Arts Center

Info visit Landownelso.org

Special Girl Scout Recycling Project

Plastic Bottles (Milk, Soda, Water)
Batteries (Alkaline Only)
Children’s Books: new or gently used (for Ardmore
Avenue Elementary)

Saturday April 9th & May 14th
8-11am
Highland Avenue Parking Lot

Third Annual No Place For Hate Gathering

Lansdowne Presbyterian’s own ‘First Light Team’ entertained at the 3rd No Place For Hate Gathering.

A special thank you to Wawa, Marwin Shop and Bag and My Old Place Bakery for donating delicious refreshments. We all had a wonderful time and look forward to next years event.

Lansdowne Allied Youth Council

We are happy to introduce the Lansdowne Allied Youth Council to those new Lansdowners not familiar with this sixty year old, proudly philanthropic organization.

This past year, your LAYC helped send six Lansdowne children to England, Spain, Australia, France, and Italy, funded the popular Friday Morning Live program, and helped buy pitching machines for the Boys and Girls Club.

You are welcome to contact us for more information about youth grants. Phone President Al Them, 610-626-0501, or Vice President and Grants Chairman Jim Gardner, 610-626-8158.

Help enrich the Lansdowne Allied Youth Council’s programs by sending your tax-deductible contribution to LAYC, PO Box 311, Lansdowne PA 19050. Lansdowne Borough’s youth will be glad you did!

Police Happenings

Spring is returning and with it we will see a lot of familiar activities returning to Lansdowne. There will be Baseball, Fishing, Bicycling and numerous other sports activities which have remained mostly dormant over the winter months. Unfortunately, the arrival of warmer weather usually brings with it a rise in criminal activity. Burglars, thieves and vandals all prefer the warmer months to practice their activities. Residents are reminded to keep their homes and vehicles locked at all times.

Over the winter months we saw numerous thefts from vehicles. In almost every case, the cars were left unlocked and items of interest to the thief were left in plain sight. This is a combination that is almost too good to pass up. Lansdowne is a safe community but we should make every effort to deter criminal activity by taking basic precautions to prevent crime.

The Lansdowne Police Department saw the retirement of police officers Richard Schiazza and Michael Baldassarre in 2004. Collectively they served the Borough for over 75 years. We wish both of them a happy, healthy and well deserved retirement.

Replacing these officers are the newest additions to our department, Officer Lawrence Albertoli and Officer Kevin Kienzle. Officer Albertoli was hired this past June and Officer Kienzle started with us this January. More about these officers and other PD happenings will be posted on the Police Department Web Page (www.lansdownepolice.com) in the near future.

Neighborhood Watch

Lansdowne has used Neighborhood Watch programs to prevent/ deter criminal activities in our neighborhoods for many years. Over the years, some groups have ceased operations as the old neighbors moved away and newer residents were not brought into the program. Neighborhood Watch is different from Town Watch, in that there is no formal patrol of the community by citizens. Participants are encouraged to
passively keep watch on their neighborhood and call police whenever they observe something suspicious or illegal.

According to their web site, ‘The Neighborhood Watch Program is a highly successful effort that has been in existence for more than thirty years in cities and counties across America. It provides a unique infrastructure that brings together local officials, law enforcement and citizens to protect our communities’.

Around the country, neighbors for three decades have banded together to create Neighborhood Watch programs. They understand that the active participation of neighborhood residents is a critical element in community safety – not through vigilantism, but simply through a willingness to look out for suspicious activity in their neighborhood, and report that activity to law enforcement and to each other. In doing so, residents take a major step toward reclaiming high-crime neighborhoods, as well as making people throughout a community feel more secure and less fearful.

Many neighborhoods already have established Neighborhood Watch programs that are vibrant and effective. If you are interested in bringing Neighborhood Watch to your neighborhood you can start by contacting the Lansdowne Police Department and requesting an informational meeting.

Remember, if you see or hear anything of a suspicious nature, report it promptly by dialing 911. Together we can make a difference in our community.

Poet Laureate Term Ends, Search for Next Laureate Begins

The first ever Poet Laureate of Lansdowne is Molly Connors . She was appointed in the spring of 2003 and has served two years. As Poet Laureate, Molly has been called upon to give poetry readings and workshops and to compose poems for special events. Her works can be read in ‘Seedling’ a collection of poetry and art from Lansdowne.

In the Spring of 2005 a committee of local readers will be assembled to choose a new poet laureate. If you are interested in the laureate’s position here is what you need to know.

To be considered for the position of
Poet Laureate, submit three pieces of poetry. Mail your submissions to Lansdowne Borough Hall 12 E. Baltimore Ave. The deadline is May 30th 2003. You may also e-mail them to MayorJayne@aol.com. For further information contact the Mayor via e-mail or call 610-623-7300.

Each year you may be asked to write a poem for different occasions in the borough. You should be willing to meet with school children and community groups. The Poet Laureate should feel free to develop and coordinate his or her own projects, to promote the literary arts in Lansdowne, with the support of Borough Council. The applicant must be a Lansdowne resident, have published works in any of the recognized literary forms, and be willing to hold the position for two years.

I asked Molly for a review of the job. Here is what she had to say, "As Poet Laureate, I was asked to create commissioned pieces for special events, and these challenges helped me grow as a writer. I have been introduced to a thriving community of writers and artists here in Lansdowne, and now count many of these fine and talented folks as friends as well as neighbors. Being the first Poet Laureate of Lansdowne has been a blast, and something of which I will long be proud. I envy the next guy or gal who steps up to the plate, and look forward to seeing what he or she makes of the opportunity".

Parking Information – from Chief Kortan

One of the biggest complaints we deal with in the Police Department is parking.

Either we write tickets and upset motorists or we fail to write enough tickets and then hear it from our citizens who have difficulty negotiating our streets due to illegally parked vehicles. Parking enforcement is never easy, nor is it pleasant. It is something that police officers must do and in Lansdowne our police officers take this portion of their job as seriously as all others. You should keep in mind that police officers do not create the parking restrictions that we are tasked with enforcing. All were created by either state statutes or Local Borough Ordinances after careful consideration of all circumstances and/or traffic and engineering studies. Likewise, they cannot be changed by the Police Department, only by changing the law or ordinance which created the restriction.

General rules to follow concerning parking include the following:

  • Overnight Parking restrictions exist on ALL streets in the Borough.

  • Municipal Parking Lots with meters are enforced 24 hrs/day except Sundays and national holidays.

  • Street parking meters are enforced from 8am to 6pm Sunday through Wednesday and from 6am to 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

A good rule to follow is when you find that perfect parking space you should look around for signs. If it appears too good to be true, it probably is. Also, if you notice an area where parking is restricted and you feel it is not properly posted, please feel free to contact the police department and we will make every effort to correct the problem.

Saturday April 30, 2005 Lansdowne’s 4th Annual Town-Wide Yard Sale Day

Join the fun!

Call Betsy at Borough Hall
610-623-7300, ext 5 by April 18 to add your address
to the map!

Fun and Free for the whole community!

Saturday April 30
Sales all over town
Maps available at:
Stephanou’s Sunoco
Mar-Win Shop and Bag
Doyle’s Deli
Lansdowne Library
Borough Hall

9:00 AM to ???? PM — Rain
or Shine

Trash Update

By Betsy Riffert

2005 Hazardous Waste Drop Offs:

Sat., 4/2
Rose Tree Park, Media
Sat., 5/7
Marple Transfer Station, Broomall
Sat., 6/4
Emergency Svcs. Training Ctr., Darby
Sat., 9/17
American Ref-Fuel, Chester
Fri., 9/ 30
Rose Tree Park, Media

*Computers, monitors, scanners, printers,
fax machines and PORTABLE tv’s will also be accepted during these dates.

Drop off paint, thinner, household chemicals etc. Directions or more information, visit their website, or call the PA DEP at 1-800-346-4242.

If you need a new recycling container call Betsy Ext.
211

BULK PICK UP:

2004 was a junky year…that is as far as bulk trash goes! We picked up approximately 23.75 tons (that’s right… TONS) of ovens, washers, dryers, refrigerators and freezers. We also picked up approximately six tons of ferrous metals such as bikes, metal cabinets, air conditions, water heaters and exercise equipment in addition to tons and tons of ‘waste’ (sofas, chairs, tables). Keep up the good work on keeping your house and yard free of debris. Please save all that metal for bulk pick up. It gets recycled and doesn’t go into a land fill.

Just schedule that bulk pick up today by clicking here. Or if you don’t have access to a computer, give me, Betsy, a call (610-623-7300 x211) . Your bulk pick up appointment is just a phone call or click away.

Code Enforcement Community Outreach

In a co-operative effort to educate our residents on the value of quality, effective efficient code enforcement, the Boroughs of Lansdowne and Yeadon are holding a series of educational seminars over the next few months. These seminars are designed to provide an educational overview of the role of code enforcement in our communities and will provide many useful tips on how to improve the value of your property. We will kick off this years Community Outreach Seminars by celebrating National Building Safety Week on Saturday May 14 in the Borough Hall at 10:00 PM. The theme of this seminar ‘Making our Homes, Schools and Workplaces Safer Together,’ reflects the importance of getting the general public more involved in the prevention of safety and security hazards. Sponsored by the Lansdowne Yeadon Consolidated Department of Code Enforcement, this seminar will include information and ideas on how the code department can serve as a pubic safety resource. We will discuss when a permit is needed for work, safety inspections, disaster preparedness, flood clean up and possible careers in code enforcement.

Our 2nd seminar is scheduled for Thursday June 29th at 7:00 PM. The theme of this seminar ‘How to Get Your Home Improvement Project Started Right’ will explore topics homeowners should be aware of before they start a home improvement project. Topics will include hiring a qualified contractor, common building code requirements, and what types of projects require a building permit.

Our 3rd seminar scheduled for Wednesday July 26 at 2:00 PM will be a round table discussion with community realtors and residents to discuss the process of selling and buying homes in the Borough of Lansdowne. We are making a concerted effort to enhance and improve upon the transfer of properties in the Borough of Lansdowne and are currently working several creative ideas to address some of the concerns raised by realtors without jeopardizing the good property values that have been achieved over the years by proactively enforcing the Borough’s Property Maintenance Codes.

We hope that you will come and join us and if you have any questions related to the maintenance, repair, renovation, sale or rental of your home, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 610-623-7300.ext. 2

Borough Information Meeting Dates 2005

May

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 – Borough
Council Business Meeting 7:30 PM
Wednesday, May 18, 2005 – Borough Council General
Meeting 7:30 PM

June

Wednesday, June 1,
2005 – Borough
Council Business Meeting 7:30 PM
Wednesday, June 15, 2005 – Borough Council General
Meeting 7:30 PM

July

Wednesday, July 6,
2005 – Borough
Council Business Meeting 7:30 PM
Wednesday, July 20, 2005 – Borough Council General
Meeting 7:30 PM

Important Phone Numbers

Emergency 911
Police Department – 610-623-0700
Borough Office – 610-623-7300 (Fax): 610-623-5533
Overnight Parking – 610-623-7677
Tax Collector – 610-623-2357

This is your Lansdowne Borough Newsletter

Borough of Lansdowne
12 E. Baltimore Avenue
Lansdowne, Pa. 19050

Jayne C. Young
Mayor

David Forrest
Borough Manager

Barbara A. Henry
Borough Secretary

Borough Council:

Gene Wayne President
Laura Fryer Vice President

Elliot Borgman
Ann Hill
Kevin Lee
William T. Smith
Sharon Coleman

Classic Towns

Storm Water
Borough Pics