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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Newsletter – Winter 2006

Jump to: Mayor’s Column, Thank You For Your Years of Service, Newly Elected Officials, News From Your Borough Offices, Many Thanks from Bill Smith, Thank You Lansdowne from Laura FryerBorough Council Proclaims Mississippi Town as Sister City, Message From Our New Poet Laureate, Why We Need New Year’s Day and the Passage of Seasons, Committee Appointments, Need a Tree – Call the Borough, Upcoming Events and Reminders, Borough Meeting Dates 2006, Important Phone Numbers

Mayor’s Column By Jayne Young

As most of you know I love our borough and it’s residents. Here’s one more reason why.

Recently Clare Touey called and asked what we should do for the communities hit by Hurricane Katrina. She wanted to do something quickly yet meaningful. Conversations with other residents led us to the Presbyterian Church and their Katrina relief effort. As it turns out several members of that church had been traveling to Gautier, Mississippi and helping them to rebuild.

Gautier is a small town, for the region, with a similar demographic as ours. In conversations with the town employees I learned that they have an excellent system set up to accept donations from outside organizations.

With little promotion but a lot of word of mouth we have collected computers, bikes, folding tables, small appliances, gift cards, kitchen items, sports equipment, the list goes on. Your generosity is over whelming. You can read more about the Sister City Project in this newsletter.

It’s activities like this one, along with other giving projects and our active civic groups, that remind me just how wonderful Lansdowne residents are. Thank you for all you do both in town and out.

So if you, are not yet but, want to get involved in your community check the web site for more opportunities or e-mail me at I love to hear from you.

Thank You For Your Years of Service

December’s meeting was the last for Bill Smith, Laura Fryer and Elliot Borgman. Thank you so much for your years of service to Lansdowne Borough.

Newly Elected Officials

Congratulations to the following newly –
elected or re-elected officials in Lansdowne

Mayor — Jayne Young
Council Members — Joseph Urban, Kevin Lee, Sharon Coleman, Ellen Lustgarten,
Stephen Wagner

Tax Collector — Dale Nupp
Auditor — Carol Withers, Marcella Melot
William Penn School Board— Charlotte K. Hummel

News From Your Borough Offices

Borough Council Joins Residents to Improve Neighborhood

Borough Council is working with residents of South Lansdowne to identify potential improvements needed to their neighborhood. In October the first public meeting was held at the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church to gather input from the neighbors. A large number of participants shared their concerns and ideas for improving the neighborhood.

Among the chief concerns expressed by the community is the chronic flooding on Union Avenue and the poor condition of South Lansdowne streets. Participants also conveyed a desire to improve the appearance of Union Avenue. Several people indicated that the industrial uses on Union Avenue, including Lansdowne’s borough yard and the old factory building across the street in Upper Darby, were an eyesore. The number of deteriorated and vacant houses in the neighborhood were also mentioned.

Leading the $63,000 planning effort is a team of consultants who, over the course of the next several months, will gather public input,
review and analyze key community characteristics, and compile this
information into a strategic plan for neighborhood revitalization.

The project is funded primarily through grants from the state and county and includes an adjacent portion of Yeadon Borough. When complete, Borough Council intends
to work closely with residents to implement the plan.

Lansdowne to Start Pilot Housing Conversion Program

Lansdowne recently received a $100,000 renaissance grant from Delaware County to develop a pilot housing conversion program. The funds will be targeted at single family homes that were converted to multi-unit buildings.

Like other older communities, Lansdowne has a relatively large number of older homes that have been converted to separate apartments. Some of these apartment buildings are a positive asset for the community. But in some instances they have fallen into disrepair, were converted illegally so that they don’t meet current standards, or create parking and other neighborhood density problems. The idea is to provide the funds to current or prospective buyers as an incentive to convert these homes back to single -family dwellings.

Lansdowne has partnered with Yeadon Borough on this initiative, and the funds will be targeted at the South Lansdowne/Yeadon community. The two communities will work out the details of the program over the next several months. If successful, the pilot program might be replicated in other communities across the county.

Borough Receives Grant to Correct Streambank Erosion

Lansdowne recently received a $14,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to correct the severe stream bank erosion problem at Hoffman Park. Working with the County Conservation District and neighboring municipalities, the funds will be used to develop detailed plans including the construction of in-stream facilities to channel the water away from stream bank. The project also includes the removal and/ or control of invasive plant species along the stream bank that contribute to the erosion problem. Work on the project is expected to begin in January, 2006.

Multi-Municipal Park Plan Nears Completion

Lansdowne has been working with the boroughs of Aldan, Colwy Darby, East Lansdowne and Yeadon and the William Penn School District on a multi-municipal park, recreation and open space plan.

Since the spring of 2005, a team of consultants has been evaluating the condition of parks, ball fields and playgrounds (both school district-owned and municipal-owned) in each community, reviewing current park and recreation programs, and examining how recreation programs are enhanced and administered.

The final report, which is due in February, 2006 will provide a series of recommendations for

The consultants are also looking at the Darby and Cobbs creeks with a view toward developing a greenway along the stream bank.

The proposed greenway will consist of a walking trail or other passive recreation areas linked together along the length of creeks. For urban areas like Lansdowne, where land for new parks is scarce, greenways can provide new recreation opportunities and allow people to enjoy access to creeks and streams.

A second special feature of the study will focus on trees. Over the past several decades, communities in eastern Delaware County have been losing trees to disease and old age.
Unfortunately, trees are not being replaced as quickly as they are lost. The result is that in many communities there are not enough shade trees. The study will estimate the current tree stock in each of the participating communities and will make recommendations for planting new trees, and for care and maintenance of our existing trees.

Though the plan is not yet complete, the communities have already begun work on implementation. Grant funds are being sought to do one "master site plan" in each participating community. A master site plan is a detailed plan for a single park. Park features like ball fields, picnic areas, concession stands and similar improvements are carefully integrated into an overall design for the park. When complete, the plan serves as the basis for new construction. Should funding become available, Hoffman Park, Lansdowne’s busiest recreation area, will be the focus of master site planning.

Improvements to Interboro Park on the Horizon

Using a $60,000 grant from Representative Nick Micozzie, Lansdowne is set to begin
improvements to Interboro Park. Bob Bartmann, a professional planner and resident of the borough, presented his design to residents neighboring the park at a November 29th meeting at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.

The initial improvements focus on the western edge of the park near Walnut Avenue. The first order of business is to improve the drainage. This has always been problematic for this park. The plan calls for changing the grades to improve drainage without creating water problems elsewhere.

Once debris and dead vegetation are cleared from the site, a short walking trail will be constructed. A formal parking area will be constructed as part of the improvements so that park users will not compete for parking spaces with residents. Finally, a formal walkway into the park will be constructed to enhance pedestrian access.

Residents attending the meeting asked that lighting and new playground equipment be added to the plan. Due to the limited budget, Mr. Bartmann explained that these additional improvements would not be possible in the short run. However, Council member Ann Hill assured the residents that the borough would explore ways to incorporate these additional improvements to the park in the future.

Work at Interboro Park is expected to begin in late March or early April, 2006 and will be completed in about sixty days.

We Need Your Help! Please Don’t Throw Snow in Your Street

Each year, borough crews work to get Lansdowne’s streets back in shape after a snow storm. The work can be particularly challenging.

Some residents, while clearing snow from sidewalks, cars and driveways, move that snow onto borough streets. The result is that sections of street that were plowed are once again full of snow.

On narrow roads, plows cannot get too close to parked cars without the risk of hitting a vehicle.

Some times the best we can do safely is to clear a lane down the center of the road.

We understand that the plows sometimes push snow back around parked cars and onto cleared
sidewalks. You may want to consider letting the plow go through your neighborhood before shoveling your sidewalk. The highway department tries to do an efficient job in a timely manner.

We need your help to keep the streets clear of snow. Here are a few tips:

  1. If your car is parked on the street, please take the snow from around and on top of your car and place it onto your property.
  2. If you are clearing your sidewalk or driveway, please keep the snow on your property. Don’t put it in the street.

Thank you for your cooperation.

New No-Fee Building Permit

Borough Council recently adopted a new no-fee building permit. If you are a home-owner doing the work yourself, and you plan to do up to $350 in improvements for which a permit is required, there will be no charge for the permit. (However, you will still need to come into the borough hall for a permit.) If you have questions about this or other building issues, call the Code Enforcement Department at 610-623-7300 x210

Many Thanks from Bill Smith

By the time you read this, I will actually be a former member of Borough Council. However, I appreciate the Mayor and staff allowing me this opportunity to very publicly extend some thanks and acknowledgements.

I first want to thank the citizens and voters of Lansdowne for allowing me the privilege, honor and pleasure of serving the Lansdowne community on Borough Council for twelve years (1992 —1999 and 2002 —2005). When I first ran for office in 1989, I had no idea that the voters would afford me the opportunity of serving for as long as I have; for that I am truly grateful. Also, many thanks to the employees and staff of the Borough over my twelve years. Their efforts and hard work made my job much easier, and the Borough a better place in which to live and work.

Although it required a fair amount of personal time and effort, serving the community we all call home has been a very rewarding and gratifying experience for me. I feel that positive and progressive initiatives were enacted or put into process during my tenure; for that I am thankful to my colleagues on Council for their work and dedication to our community. Through our collective efforts, I believe that as I depart Borough Council our town is a better place with a strong foundation for future success and progress. I trust that the people elected in November 2005 and those continuing on Council will work diligently to ensure a solid future for our town.

Although leaving Council, you will certainly still see me around town. I am a member of the Planning Commission until October 31, 2006 (and beyond hopefully). I let the incoming members of Council know that I am available to assist them if called upon and if needed. I plan to also continue to be very active in my political party’s endeavors.

Lastly, I want to again express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve our community and for the confidence placed in me by the residents and voters. I am truly humbled and honored to have had the voters’ trust for past 12 years. Thanks again.

Thank You Lansdowne from Laura Fryer

Recently Mayor Young asked me in an email if I would like to submit an article to this newsletter and perhaps "bid a fond farewell" to the residents of Lansdowne. I told her that I had been considering writing something, but it is certainly not a "farewell".

After eight years on Borough Council, I chose not to run for re-election this fall. But I am not leaving Lansdowne, I am only leaving my position on borough council. I intend to stay here in Lansdowne for many years and remain active in this wonderful community.

So rather than saying farewell, I do want to say "Thank You" Thank you — to all of the voters in Lansdowne who supported me, worked for my election and voted for me. I hope that I never disappointed you or let you down. I always felt humbled by your faith in me and your trust was always foremost in my mind.

Thank you – to all of Lansdowne’s incredible volunteers without whom nothing would get done in this community. The Fire Company, the various boards, and so many community organizations that are staffed by volunteers are the lifeblood of this community. Thank you for making all of us on Council look good.

Thank you — to the staff and employees of the borough. So many of you go so far beyond what is required by your job description. Our administrative staff in borough hall has grown and provides incredible services that did not even exist eight years ago. The highway and sanitation workers who are some of the most trusted members of the community, work evenings and weekends, in heat and in blizzards whenever there is a problem or emergency so that we can go about our lives with as little disruption as possible. And they do it with a smile and a friendly wave for any of us who notice as we go by.

A special thank you — to the Lansdowne Police Department. Serving as Chair of the Public Safety Committee for six years was an educational and exciting task. Their patience with my ignorance and their willingness to share their expertise with me was an incredibly generous gift. I had the unique honor of working with both Chief Lausch and Chief Kortan and will never forget either of them.

Finally, thank you to my family. No one could possibly have a more supportive, understanding and loving family. They never complained about the number of cold suppers that they had to endure, or the number of community events that I dragged them to. They always stood beside me and let me know that they were proud of me and of my service to the borough.

This past eight years on Lansdowne Borough Council has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. Thank you, Lansdowne.

Lansdowne Borough Council Officially Proclaims
Mississippi Town as Our Sister City

On December 21, 2005, Borough Council officially declared Gautier, Mississippi our Sister City. Four months after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Port States, people are still suffering from its aftermath. In the small town of Gautier, people are working to getting back into their homes, rebuild their city, and recover from the terrible trauma they suffered.

Gautier took a direct hit from Katrina. Because so many businesses were affected by the storm, many residents are without jobs. One of its elementary schools was completely destroyed. All of the city government and most of its services operate out of trailers. Many homes were lost. Over 80 percent of their population was impacted by the storm.

We are proud to report that Lansdowne has already sent two volunteer work crews down to Gautier and its neighboring towns to help ordinary citizens clean out their homes and rebuild. Two more groups are going to Mississippi in January; one on the third and one on the twentieth. These groups are from the local Presbyterian and Methodist churches, but have not restricted themselves to church members. The residents in Gautier tell us that the only people helping them to clean out and rebuild homes right now are volunteer groups like ours, that sleep on basement floors in local churches and spend all their time cleaning and rebuilding homes. Eighteen computers, monitors and printers and other supplies were sent down with the group thatleft on January 3. Anyone interested in future trips should get in touch with Jim Klingler at 610-623-5161.

Lansdowne residents can help right now:

The people in Gautier would appreciate gift cards at Lowes, Sears or Penneys to help them buy needed supplies to repair and refurnish their homes. You can be sure that they will get to the citizens themselves.

Gift cards can be dropped off at Borough Hall in an envelope addressed to Mayor
Jayne Young. Please include your name with the card so that we can acknowledge your gift. We do not want cards sent through the mail since these cards can be used by anyone who might intercept them. If you prefer, someone will pick them up at your home. Please call Jayne Young at 610-623-7300 or Clare Touey at 610-622-3534 for a pick up. We would like to send the cards down with the group leaving on the 20th, so we will need them by the 19th.

This is an on-going project and we will be happy to see that any cards sent after that date reach the people of Gautier.

We have contacted many organizations and schools in Gautier and are setting them up with sister groups in our town so that our library, schools, churches, etc. can explore ways of helping Gautier. We will keep you informed of news of Gautier in the future.

If you would like to get more involved with the Sister City
Project, please contact Clare Touey at 610-622-3534.

Remember, "Think Go-shay" your sister-city!

Message From Our New Poet Laureate

Dear Readers,

I am writing this brief letter while in the throes of preparing for Christmas. By the time you get this, the holiday season will have receded and we will be attempting to return to some kind of normalcy (whatever that is).

Molly Connors, the previous Poet Laureate of Lansdowne, and I have been thinking about events that will bring people and poetry together in Lansdowne. We believe that poetry belongs to everyone, and we want to do something that will give everyone a chance to deepen their relationship with it. Which, if any, of the readings and workshops listed below would you find most enticing? What suggestions do you have for additional events? What times would work best for you (week nights? Weekend afternoons?)

  • A Reading by the Poet Laureate. I’d like to give a reading of my own work, probably in late March, as a way of introducing myself to you and getting us primed for National Poetry Month.
  • A Festival of Writing by Lansdowne Residents. Using National Poetry Month (April) as an excuse, we will celebrate work by local writers of both poetry and prose.
  • Lansdowne’s Favorite Poems. Following former United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s model, we will invite anyone who wants to read a favorite poem to do so and to provide a brief comment on why they chose that poem.
  • Ending Writer’s Block Forever. This workshop will focus on keeping a journal in a way that will free you from intimidation by the blank page.
  • How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry. Taking its name from a book by the poet Edward Hirsch, this workshop will help participants learn to read poems from the inside out.
  • Poetry Writing Workshop.
  • Poets of all levels of experience will have an opportunity to receive feedback on their work in a nurturing, cooperative environment.

If you have comments or questions, or if you Would like to be on an e-mail list to receive notification of these events, please send me an E-mail at Otherwise please be on the Look out for more information via the borough’s web site, the next edition of the Borough Newsletter, and flyers in the Lansdowne Library. I look forward to Hearing from you and to seeing you at future events.

Yours Truly,
Dan Simpson
Poet Laureate of Lansdowne

Why We Need New Year’s Day and the Passage of Seasons

by Daniel Simpson

Because some of us are slow to learn renewal, getting up too grumpy or fogged most mornings to notice our hearts still surging blood to every point along the body’s map, our minds still what computers emulate.

Because we are iron in a smithy world which heats and hammers us beyond self-recognition. Because even monks with no other life cannot harness themselves to awareness every second.

And yet, a garbage collector I know carries his life like a diamond, and an exhausted mother immersed in four-child babble all day hitches her mind to a book each night, if only for five minutes.

Praise, then, to the policeman who paints portraits, and to the bank teller who keeps a journal.

Praise to the frustrated laborer who keeps his standing appointment to play catch with his child.

Praise to the heartbroken social worker who subscribes to the symphony.

Praise to the math teacher who photographs nature, and to the roofer who, hoping for hope, believes that next year his team will do better.

Praise the new-born and the hospice-dweller as they stumble in new passages.

Praise all who breathe.

Praise all who once breathed and now nourish the ground.

Praise all whose stories have already been written, and all those who still have at least one more chance. ("Seventy time seven," says Jesus, are the chances we each should have.)

Let the fireman remember his own life as he chops with the axe.

Let neither the minister neglect his wife, nor the doctor, her husband.

Let none of us simply swallow our lives whole.

But if the minister, the doctor, and we should fail, let us have new years and new seasons.

Let us have seventy times seven chances.


      Term expiration date
CODE APPEALS BOARD ** Yandell William 1 yr 11/30/2006
  Moreland James 2 yrs 11/30/2007
  Bowden Bill 3 yrs 11/30/2008
BOARD OF HEALTH Them Al 5 yrs 12/31/2009
  McCall Mike 5 yrs 12/31/2010
CIVIL SERVICE COMMITTEE Moore Edward 6 yrs 6/30/2011
LIBRARY BOARD Kenyon Andrea Lee 3 yrs 3/31/2008
  Fry Donald 3 yrs 3/31/2008
RECREATION & PARK BOARD DeAngelo Dave 3 yrs 12/31/2008
  Sumbler Karen 3 yrs 12/31/2006
  Mills Michael 3 yrs 12/31/2007
TREE ADVISORY BOARD Jennings Marylou 3 yrs 4/30/2008

Need a Tree— Call the Borough

Residents who would like more trees on their block may have their wishes fulfilled in the coming year.

They are urged to call the Parks and Recreation Department to nominate their neighborhoods for tree plantings next spring. Fifty trees will be given to the borough to be planted in various Lansdowne neighborhoods in the second phase of the Pennsylvania Tree Vitalize program. They are designated for front lawns.

The deadline for these calls is January 31. Contact Jerry Staiber, 610-284-1493 and mention you wish your street included in the Tree Vitalize spring project and to get more information.

The first phase of Tree Vitalize was the highly successful November tree planting of 50 trees in Interboro and Hayes Parks, in front of the Highland Avenue parking lot and at the Twentieth Century Club. Volunteers, who represented a gamut of age groups, got the balled trees into auger-dug holes at the locations.

State officials will not accommodate requests for specific species but only for
categories of small, medium or large trees. They need this information by January 31.

In Lansdowne, the Tree Vitalize endeavor is the cooperative effort of Lansdowne’s Tree Advisory Board and Parks and Recreation Department.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Christmas Tree Pick Up

Christmas trees will be picked up from your CURB between Wednesday, January 11 and
Friday January 13. This is for trees ONLY. All ornaments and stands must be off the tree, please. If you miss collection just place your tree on your curb and it will be collected with regular trash.

Snow and Ice Removal

Please remember that ice and snow MUST be removed from the full width of your sidewalk within 24 hours of the end of the snowfall. Cleaning your walk will help prevent slips and falls, and is just the right thing to do. Non compliance with removal can result In citations being issued.
Don’t forget to help out those who need it, like the elderly or those who live alone.
Thank You.

4th Annual No Place For Hate Gathering

February 17th 7:00PM
Twentieth Century Club
Join us for Casual conversation and family entertainment.

Lansdowne Folk Club presents…

Joseph ParsonsJanuary 26, 2006
Harmonious WailThursday, February 23
TanglefootThursday, April 20
MinasThursday, May 25
Doors open 7:00 PMShow time 7:30 PM
Tickets: $13 in advance,$15 at door
All Shows at the Twentieth Century Club

Newly revised Property Maintenance Code available for review on the


Valentine’s Day Concert

Sunday, February 12, 2006, at 3PM
Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, Upper Darby High School
Accordion Soloist:Joseph Soprani

Borough Meeting Dates 2006

January February March
Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
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

Classic Towns
No Place for Hate
Storm Water
Borough Pics