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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Newsletter – Winter 2008

Jump to: Mayor’s Column, Thank You, Newly Elected Officials, Christmas Tree Pick Up, Snow and Ice Removal, New Borough Manager, Police Department Notes, Recycling Report, Lansdowne’s Revitalization, Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, Celebration Theater, Tree Delivery

TREEMayor’s Column 

By Jayne Young

I met with our engineer, our codes director and our sewer technician to discuss the fascinating subject of sewers. What I learned can help you have happy healthy sewers with less clogs and faster drains and save a little money as well. They gave me ideas on how to reduce water usage and diagnose problems. After you read this article you will know what parts of the system you are responsible for, better ways to manage storm water, and have some ideas for water preservation.

First things first. There are two kinds of sewers in the borough: Sanitary lines which take household water out of the house from toilets, sinks, drains and washing machines to the water treatment center and Storm water lines which carry rain water to the creek. Both lines use gravity to move water along. These two lines are always separate and there should never be flow between the two. Anytime storm water is found in a sanitary line or waste water is found in a storm water line that is an indication of Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) which is bad because it can lead to contamination of our waterways and extra water flowing into the treatment center.

Contributing to the poor health of many of your household sanitary lines is the inappropriate items flushed and poured down your drains. The list of do not flush items includes feminine products, clumping cat litter, Q-tips, diapers, baby wipes and (I’m blushing) condoms. Kitchen drains should never see grease. If you want to maintain fast flowing drains it is a huge no, no. It doesn’t matter how much hot water follows hot grease by the time it travels a few yards it is cooling off and getting harder and thicker.

FAUCETBut it’s not just what goes down the drains that contributes to slow moving waste water. Out side your home those lovely trees lining our streets have roots that can grow into the hairline age cracks that occur over time in our sewer pipes. What ever you flush or pour has the potential to get caught up on those roots. Overtime solid waste builds up until the back ups in your home cause huge plumbing bills. A pint of prevention is worth a gallon of cure so be careful with what you send down your drains.

According to borough code homeowners are responsible for their lines from the house to the street. This line is called the lateral. Laterals connect to the main. There are ways to find out if you have a problem with inflow and infiltration from the lateral. If you suspect a problem the simplest test utilizes dye. If your system is intact then flushed dye down the sanitary line will never appear in the storm water sewer. Our sewer guy is happy to perform this test for you. E-mail him at

PLUMBERAs of 1/1/2008 Delcora, our water authority, is changing the way it meters water usage which could have a significant impact on your sewer bill. In 2007 they billed based on water coming into your home through your tap. Your sewer fee covers the cost of water treatment. Delcora believes that there are more gallons of water entering the treatment plant than our homes. This suggests inflow from storm lines and storm water inappropriately directed down sanitary lines. This year they will begin charging for the water flowing into the treatment plant from our borough. Water run off from roofs, gutters, down spouts, floor drains and sump pumps should never be directed to sanitary lines. This water should be routed to the pervious surface around your home or to the closest storm water inlet. Grass areas and gravel allow for correct water drainage. Another access point for storm water to the sanitary line is the sewer clean out or vent, your exterior opening for cleanout. These should be higher than the ground surface to prevent water running in.

If Lansdowne residents need ideas for better storm water management they can call the codes department for a water consultation. There is no risk of penalty. The more storm water redirected away from the sanitary line into the storm water line means lower costs to the borough which in turn helps with our finances and controls sewer fee increases.

These guys also had ideas for saving water. Leaking toilets and dripping faucets cost you way more than you can imagine in your water bill. Aqua PA. Just announced their request for a 14% increase in water fees. If you suspect a leaking toilet put a little dye in the tank and wait to see if the color ends up in the bowl. Broken plumbing should be repaired ASAP.

Our borough staff can offer advise on many water issues and our codes department can provide you with a list of registered plumbers should you need to find one for hire. Take advantage of our borough staff’s knowledge of sewers and plumbing. They are here to work with residents and believe me are happy to be of service.

ANNHILLThank You ForYour Years of Service

December’s meeting was the last one for Councilwoman Ann Hill.

Thank you so much for your years of service to Lansdowne Borough,
for your enthusiasm, creativity and dedication.

Newly Elected Officials 

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

Council Members Gene Wayne, Barbara Silzle, Stephen Wagner

Auditor Bob Raddich

William Penn School Board Jennifer Hoff

Christmas Tree Pick Up 

Christmas trees will be picked up from your CURB on Wednesday, January 9.

This is for trees ONLY. All ornaments and stands must be off the tree, please. We will be delivering these trees to the county compost farm for chipping. If you miss collection just place your tree on your curb and it will be collected with regular trash.

SNOWTREESnow 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 the right thing to do.

Non compliance with removal can result in citations being issued.

Don’t forget to help out those who need help, the elderly or those who live alone.

Thank You.

Say ‘hello’ to our New Borough Manager 

CRAIGCraig Totaro, our new borough manager, has taken a rather circuitous route to Lansdowne.

His first job out of college was as an insurance adjuster which involved meeting with people, usually at their homes. While performing this job he began to notice trends in and around the Philadelphia region. He observed not just demographic consistencies but also similarities in attitudes and values. He wanted to learn more about such trends and returned to school to earn a Masters Degree in Urban Studies. While in this program Craig developed an interest in Geographic Informational Systems; mapping. He worked for two years with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission where he enjoyed making maps and participating in work for various departments throughout the city. He then took a job with The Reinvestment Fund where he enjoyed working on lots of regional issues such as affordable housing, land use, government issues and of course, mapping. After 6 years with this non profit company he took some time to reassess his path.

Should he continue to plan or was implementation more his thing?

While debating his long-range goals he entered Drexel University’s accelerated nursing program. His first job after completion was as an operating room supervisor. That is what he was doing when he heard about the borough manager’s position.

If this seems like a strange career move consider this, an OR nurse is constantly making decisions, coordinating effort and directing outcome one operation at a time. When comparing this to the borough’s job of making decisions, directing personnel and managing projects your council saw that there was not a huge leap from one career to the other.

After only a few months on the job Craig is doing well here. His energetic and creative approach to the job has earned rave reviews by both staff and council. He in turn is impressed with the quality of his staff and excited by the generosity of time and effort our residents contribute to Lansdowne. Here he expects to find opportunities for planning and for implementation. Craig is excited to play a part in Lansdowne’s future.

Notes from the Lansdowne Police Department 

By Chief Daniel Kortan

POLICEI hope that the holidays were pleasant for everyone and that the New Year finds you healthy and safe. In this edition of the Newsletter I wanted to address two issues.

Crime: Lansdowne continues to remain a safe place to live and work. Unfortunately no place is absolutely crime free but we continue to notice that a lot of our lesser crimes are crimes of opportunity. Many thefts occur from unlocked vehicles, open garages and similar circumstances. The past few months we have been experiencing numerous thefts from vehicles. Sometimes the thief actually breaks in but on many occasions the vehicle has been left unlocked and valuables are left in plain view. The hot item this year are mobile GPS systems which are both expensive and extremely easy to carry off. You can greatly assist the police department by keeping your car, home, garage, etc. locked and not leaving items of interest to thieves in plain view. By taking away the temptation, we can reduce these crimes of opportunity.

Parking Permits and Overnight Parking: Overnight parking permits are available for 2008 at the Lansdowne Police Station. You need a permit to park on all streets in the Borough between 2AM and 6AM except holidays. The 2008 permit fee before March 2008 fee is $40. Permits purchased after that date will be charged $4 a month for each month remaining in the year.

Permits remain a yearly purchase. We will not sell a permit to anyone for a portion of any year. You must purchase a permit through the end of the calendar year.

You can pick up an application for an Overnight Parking Permit between the hours of 8AM and 10PM, Monday through Friday at the Lansdowne Police Station. You will need your vehicle registration card and drivers license when you complete the application along with cash, check or money order. (The Police Dept. does not accept credit cards).

A Parking Permit is only valid for the vehicle for which it was registered. PERMITS ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE. If you sell or replace your vehicle, you can obtain a replacement permit for the remainder of the current year for free. In order to qualify for the free replacement permit you must remove the old permit and bring it to the police station when you apply for the replacement permit. You must also bring in the registration for the new vehicle and fill out a new application form. Without the old permit, you will be required to purchase a new permit at a prorated fee for the remainder of the current year.

Permits should only be displayed as indicated on the application form. If you do not display the permit as advised and receive a ticket, you will be responsible for the fine incurred.

Any resident who has guests that stay overnight can get permission for those guests to park overnight on the street. The Lansdowne Police Dept. has a message center for Overnight Parking. Simply call 610-623-7677 to register the vehicle. There are some restrictions: no vehicle may be placed on the Overnight Parking List for more than five days in any 30 day period. When calling, you must provide the Make, Model, Color, License plate number and location (address) where the car will be parked. You must also call before 1AM of the morning in which the car will be parked on the street. Failure to provide ALL the information, or call before 1AM could result in a parking ticket being issued.

In emergency situations where a car needs to be placed on the list after 1AM, you should dial 911 and ask for an officer to call you so you can report the vehicle directly to an officer. The officer will insure that your car is placed on the list and will note the time of your call. If you place the call to the Parking Permission List after 1AM, you will risk being ticketed.

Finally, remember together we make Lansdowne a safe place. If you see something that makes you uncomfortable please call 911. It’s better to make the call and be wrong than to not make the call and be right.

Recycling Report 

RECYCLEI spent the day at the Delaware County Resource Recovery Facility which turns trash to steam to produce energy. It is quite an operation. The waste comes in by the truck load and is passed along on a huge conveyor belt towards a giant combustor that turns our trash into steam which then becomes saleable energy.

It is a modern marvel and one that I can barely comprehend. What I do understand though is how important waste management is in a country that produces almost 250 million tons of municipal solid waste. Here in Lansdowne our volume of trash is not nearly as impressive but it must be addressed in the most cost effective manner. That means a combination of waste management approaches.

Last year we began single stream recycling. Your participation in the new program has been solid. We have seen everything from a high of 45% per month increase to a low of just over 20% increase. The borough needs your cooperation in boosting these numbers. Lansdowne earns income for your recycling. This is thousands of dollars a year. The more we recycle the more we earn. Unlike some sources of revenue this money has no restrictions on how it is spent. It can enhance parks, pave roads or reduce tax dependency.

So please, please recycle. At the trash to steam plant I saw a lot of recyclables heading to the combustor instead of to the recycling plant. This represents lost dollars for the community that fails to capture this resource.

Here in Lansdowne all glass, small neck plastic containers, metal cans and paper can all be mixed together in one recycling container. If you need an official borough can, please call borough hall and we will have one dropped off. Feel free to use you own can if your recycling volume exceeds the borough’s container.

RememberIt ALL goes in together:

  • Newspapers, Magazines, Catalogs
  • Telephone/Soft Cover Books
  • Junk Mail/Envelopes (all types)
  • Paper (all colors, staples/paperclips are okay)
  • Paperboard (cereal boxes – remove plastic liner, beer & soda carriers)
  • Cardboard/Brown Paper Bags
  • Plastic narrow neck bottles numbered #1-2 (Soda/Juice/Water Bottles, Milk Jugs, Bleach/Detergent, Shampoo Bottles)
  • Glass Bottles/Jars (any color)
  • Metal Cans (tin/steel/aluminum) Please remove all lids and rinse…

What NOT to include:

  • No Plastic Bags
  • No Unmarked Plastics (laundry baskets/chairs/toys)
  • No Windows/Light Bulbs
  • No Dishes, No Pyrex, No Ceramics
  • No Foam Packaging, No Styrofoam
  • No Recyclables Containing Food Waste

Lansdowne’s Revitalization… Something for Everyone 

By Main Street Manager Gary Chiluti

"Farm Fresh in Lansdowne", " Old Community. New Life", "Arts Abound in Lansdowne" , "Another New Business In Lansdowne", "Lansdowne Opens its Doors", "Sprucing Up a Gem", "Lansdowne: Up and Coming"…

These are some of the many headlines recounting the efforts of our two year old Main Street program, part of our comprehensive community revitalization effort. When the State evaluated Lansdowne’s application for this program, a few key assets stood out: a quaint community with a traditional downtown, proximity to both suburbs and city, excellent access to regional and international transportation, and an enormous appetite for arts, culture and craft.

Community competition is fierce for Main Street funding. Lansdowne’s success is a reflection of our single biggest asset YOU, it’s caring, engaged, talented and committed residents. YOU are what make sustainable revitalization possible.

Frequently, we’re asked, "But what can I do…I’m not a planner, an architect or an artist. How can I contribute?" The answer is that, regardless of interest or talent, there is an opportunity for every community resident and stakeholder to have their say, roll up their sleeves and make their mark on their community. Whether young or old, formally skilled or simply committed, your community wants YOU.

Do you enjoy the events held in our community such as the Arts Festival, the 5k Race, the Farmers Market, the House Tours, or Sidewalk Sales? Main Street always needs help with planning and implementation. Do you have the gift of gab? Help us spread the word about the program to your neighbors. If fund raising is your thing there is always a need for money and in-kind donations of goods and services.

Do you like fresh food and hanging out downtown on Saturdays in spring and summer? The wildly successful Lansdowne Farmers Market is the place for you. There is a committee that meets every month throughout the year to plan. Do you have business sense—marketing, business planning, financials, and interior design? Then our local businesses need you to help them grow and expand. If you have architectural skills, our central business district is undergoing a facelift, one storefront at a time. Sketching, rendering, estimating skills are in high demand there. If research or writing are your passions, grant writing is an on going effort. Work from home or join a committee. Whether you are employed or retired, whatever time you have we will be happy to consume it freely.

So pick a project, "Lansdowne Loves Movies", our emerging monthly clean-up campaign, or on the Design Committee you can help lay out a vision for a clean, inviting downtown with places to gather, engaging signage and storefronts. Do you have marketing, public relations, or web skills? Well, someone’s gotta crank out those lovely flyers, newsletters, brochures, press releases, media advisories and community marketing materials!

Your Lansdowne Main Street Program and the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation are only here for the purpose of giving community residents the opportunity to express their commitment to their community through an organized vehicle, capable of providing context and continuity.

This has been a large volunteer effort with one paid staff person, the Main Street Manager me, Gary Chilutti. You have quite a special little community here with enormous assets–beginning with YOU. Please consider giving your community the gift of your time and talent in the New Year. Contact my office at: (484) 461-7001 or via e-mail at: Or visit me in the office at 12 S. Lansdowne Avenue.

Lansdowne… Discover the Treasure… YOU.

MUSICLansdowne Symphony Orchestra Valentine’s Day Concert

Sunday, February 10, 2008, at 3PM
Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, Upper Darby High School

Cassandra Lambros, Soprano

  • * M. RAVEL: Le Tombeau De Couperin Suite
  • * G.F. HANDEL: Piangero, Piangero from Julius Caesar
  • * G. PUCCINI: Musetta’s Aria
  • * G. VERDI: Addio del passato
  • * J. BRAHMS: Serenade No. 2 in A, Op. 16

THEATERCelebration Theater 

Fools, by Neil Simon – March 7-22, 2008

Leon Tolchinsky has landed what should be an ideal job teaching in an idyllic Russian hamlet. But when he arrives, he finds people sweeping dust from the stoops back into their houses and milking their cows upside down. He also finds Sophia, the village doctor’s remarkably dumb daughter, who immediately captures his heart. When the villagers tell him they were cursed to perpetual stupidity 200 years ago, he resolves to free them all from their idiotic fate. And he has no time to lose: If he cannot break the curse within 24 hours, he will also turn stupid.

Will Tolchinsky break the curse? Will he win the girl? Will the girl ever figure out how to sit down?

These questions and more are answered in this swift-footed fairy-tale farce.

TREETree Delivery 

Mary Lou Jennings , Chair of the Tree Advisory Board and our liaison to the Governor’s Treevitalize program informed me that there may be another tree delivery to Lansdowne in March.

We have been the happy recipient of trees through the Treevitalize program in the past. Trees were planted in our parks and made available to residents to enhance their properties.

Even though its cold right now we all know Spring will return – prime tree planting season. SO don’t forget trees do much to enhance quality of life including:

  • Increase Property Values
  • Promote Sales in Commercial Districts
  • Save energy, cut heating and air conditioning costs
  • Improve health, reduce stress
  • Reduce crime and violence
  • Clean pollutants out of the air and water
  • Reduce storm water runoff
  • Buffer and reduce noise
  • Provide habitat for birds and wildlife
  • Bring beauty and character to neighborhoods
  • Promote community interaction
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