Borough Newsletter – Fall 2009
Jump To: Mayor’s Column, Seventh Annual Arts Festival, Borough Receives Grant for Sewer Rehabilitation, Upcoming Events, Bunnicula The Musical, Free Trees, Hire crossing guards, WPSD new school hours, Please Slow Down!!!, Leave Grass Clippings On Lawn, Rain Barrel Benefits, Household Hazardous Waste Collections, 2009 Leaf and Yard waste Collection Schedule, NPFH Update, First Suburbs Project Update Purpose, Friendship Circle Senior Center, To Market To Market, Borough Information Meeting Dates 2009
I have been receiving many calls and e-mails lately about the Yard Waste Pick Up. Honestly I believe we are providing a great service for our residents. It makes sense environmentally and financially. With the county’s newly imposed trash tax, our cost to deal with waste and trash has increased enormously. Instead of the $500 previously charged per year to deliver trash to the transfer station we are now paying $90,000. This is, I’m guessing, about a bazillion percent increase. So we are making a real effort to reduce the amount of solid waste by encouraging recycling. This includes yard waste because this collection is delivered to a company that turns organic matter to mulch and compost.
There are a few rules:
- Only use brown organic waste bags.
- Tie branches together with twine.
- Never, ever throw trash or rocks in with your yard waste.
This program is not mandatory. We certainly understand the issues around small properties and storing yard waste. We went from a once a month to twice a month pick up for just that reason. We are asking that you seriously consider taking advantage of this program.
Last month the Public Works Director reported a pick up of nearly 4 tons. But this is not your only option. For more ideas for handling yard waste read about grass clippings in this newsletter. So join the program, and think globally while you act locally.
The LansdowneArts Festival is a weekend-long event featuring an array of creative and performing arts, including painting, crafts, sculpture, jewelry, live music, drama, poetry, and children’s events. The 2009 edition of the festival has grown to include more than 32 artists and 15 performers.All festival events are FREE to the public and will be held at the historic Twentieth Century Club at 84 S. LansdowneAve. For details visit www.lansdowneartsfestival.com.
ARTS FESTIVAL EXHIBITORS & PERFORMERS
Caroline K. Hall
Marty Von Rosenstiel
Sisters’ Art – Robyn & Melannie Huber
DRAMA AND POETRY
In the past several years there has been a great deal of public advocacy work focused on marshalling resources for aging underground utilities and other infrastructure including stream bank restoration, paving, bridges, rail lines, and schools. In order to reduce the number of costly emergent repairs the Borough has advocated for state support and assistance to maintain the aging sewer system. Local leaders, including our state representatives crafted the 2008/2009 State Budget to include new investment for infrastructure. In 2008 the General Assembly of PA approved Senate Bill 2 (Act 63-2008), also known as the H2O PA Act, authorizing the Commonwealth Financing Agency (“CFA”) to incur indebtedness for grants for water or sewer projects using money in the PA Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund (PA GEDTF) to pay the debt service. Beginning in 2009/2010, the CFA was authorized to utilize this revenue to incur indebtedness of up to $800 million for a term not to exceed 30 years.
Accordingly, in the winter of 2009 the Borough of Lansdowne crafted and submitted an application for grant funding that would match the annual investment it makes in its sanitary sewer system each year. In July of 2009 the Borough was awarded $300,000 to support its annual maintenance and rehabilitation program. This amount will help the Borough springboard its program 1-2 years in advance of what it could afford to do otherwise. This advance and each households cooperation with reducing the amount of flow whenever possible will help maintain Lansdowne as an affordable high quality place to live.
Each year the Borough pays the sewage treatment facility based on how much water each household uses. You know this as your sewer fee. The sewer fee is different for each resident based on the number of gallons the water company tells the Borough you used in the prior year. For example: if your sewer fee is $400 in 2009 you used about 70,000 gallons in 2008. Water coming in is purchased from Aqua PA. Waste water leaving your property goes through the sewer system the borough owns and maintains and then to the treatment facility down near the Philadelphia airport.
So what does the Borough do with your sewer fee each year? Most goes to pay Philadelphia where the sewage is treated, purified, and directed into the Delaware River. Just like your household sewer fee, the Borough pays a fee for the volume of sewage leaving the Borough the prior year. The cost to treat the sewage constitutes about 70% of the sewer fee. The remaining portion of the sewer fee is used to maintain the collector system of sewer mains under each street and debt service for major repair projects. There are about 25 miles of sewer-main in the entire 1.2 square miles of the Borough. Each year the Borough plans for and undertakes 1-2 major projects and handles 1-2 emergent projects.
Because the sewer system was constructed so long ago most of the system is due for replacement or heavy rehabilitation in the coming years. Other utilities confront the same issues in other aging parts of the region and Aqua PA has been doing a significant amount of maintenance in Lansdowne and has a lot planned for 2010.
Anthony da Costa plus
Wissahickon Chicken Shack
Zoe Mulford w/ guest
The Angel Band with guest
Brian Ashley Jones
We offer the finest in folk, acoustic, and blues music in the 20th Century Club, a Victorian-era jewel. It’s also a great night out – and, like many of our regulars, you’ll make new friends at these special Thursday nights. Most important, the artists we book are just fantastic. All folk club concerts take place in Lansdowne’s 20th Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance $18 at the door.
Lansdowne Symphony Concert Schedule:
November 8, 2009 at 3 p.m.
Brahms Tragic Overture
Mahler Adagietto from Sym. #5
Smetena Ma Vlast (3 mov’ts.)
December 6, 2009 at 3 p.m.
Beethoven Piano Concerto #3
Suppe Morning, Noon & Night
Humperdinck Song of the Sandman,
Evening Prayer & Dream Pantomime
Strauss Blue Danube Waltz
All shows performed at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, Upper Darby High School
Spoken Word at the Lansdowne Arts Festival
September 12 (at noon) and 13 (at 1 p.m.) at the
Twentieth Century Club
- Poetry readings by local authors
- Performance by the Lansdowne Arts Players
“Imagining” and “The Body that Spoiled Vicar’s Tea”, by Albert Them
This year’s cast includes: Terry Baraldi, Donya Coldwell, Ed Hemschoot, Barb Kimmelman, Sherri Serbin, and
A dancing cat, a howling dog, and a vampire bunny. The perfect pet combination for any family. It’s a dark and stormy night and Chester (the family cat) and Harold (the family dog) sit waiting for their owners to return home from the movies. Chester and Harold are more than just pets, they’re good friends too. When the Monroes finally get home, they come bearing a surprise: they’ve found a bunny in the movie theater. But this is no ordinary rabbit… this is the extraordinary Bunnicula. When the family’s produce starts losing its juice, Chester thinks he knows what’s causing the fantastic phenomenon. Bunnicula is a vampire! Or maybe Chester’s imagination is getting the better of him. Singing and dancing their way through this hilarious mystery, the furry friends find room in their hearts, and in their home, for one very unique bunny.
“This semi-musical is a fanciful, non-scary Halloween treat for the kid inside all of us.” -Talkin’ Broadway
Show Dates – Friday-Sunday, Oct. 9-11, 16-18, 23-25
Show Times- Friday and Saturday @ 7:30 & Sunday @ 2PM
Tickets- $15.00 Adults, $12 Seniors & Students, $10 Kids 10 and under.
Bare root trees are available to interested residents. These trees must be planted in front yards. Call Mary Lou from the Tree Advisory Board (610) 622-0162.
Purify the air, reduce pollutants in streams, cools and provides shade, save energy costs, increase property values, provide wildlife habitat and add beauty to the community.
Lansdowne would like to hire crossing guards for the Saturday Farmer’s Market and the Arts Festival weekend. This part time job is perfect for any one 18 years and older looking for a little extra cash and a connection with community. Training will be provided. Interested? Call Nancy in the police department office 610-623-0700
7:30 am to 2:05 pm – Penn Wood High School
8:00 am to 2:35 pm – Penn Wood Middle School
8:35 am to 3:05 pm – Elementary Schools
School Begins for Students on September 8th
Public Safety is exploring many ways to encourage slower driving speeds around the borough.
Neighboring towns, Upper Darby, Havertown and Media to name a few, use temporary lawn signs to encourage safe and slow driving. These signs carry the message to “Please Slow Down”.
The Public safety committee is considering offering these signs to residents who live on our busier streets. If you have any interest in having one of these signs placed on your yard to encourage safer driving please contact the Chair of Public Safety, Michael Schleigh. He can be reached by calling the borough and leaving a message with the Borough Manager or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org If there is a lot of interest shown in these signs we can put them in the budget for next year.
1. You don’t want me to put my grass clippings in the garbage, and you’re suggesting I leave them on the lawn. Why?
Grass clippings contain valuable nutrients that your lawn needs to grow. Throwing them in a landfill was expensive and a waste of landfill space. Unfortunately, about half the yard trimmings set out for collection are grass clippings. That means we spend tax dollars every year just collecting grass clippings – grass clippings that could enrich our lawns.
2. Is it good for the grass to leave the clippings on the lawn?
Yes. Remember, your lawn is a garden of grass plants, not a rug, and it needs nutrients to grow. Grass clippings left on the lawn will eventually decompose and recycle nutrients back into the soil. Leaving the clippings on the lawn for a whole year is equal to about one annual fertilizer application. In addition, leaving the grass clippings on the lawn also helps shade the soil, keeping the roots cooler and reducing moisture loss.
3. Won’t my lawn be drowning in grass clippings after a while?
Not if you mow often enough. Short grass clippings – an inch or less in length – decompose quickly. During the spring and early summer you will probably have to mow more than once a week. Your grass will also benefit from more frequent mowing. Removing more than one-third of the grass plant when you mow leaves the grass less resistant to disease and the stress of hot summer weather.
4. Doesn’t this mean I’m going to have to spend more time mowing?
Not necessarily, you might even spend less time mowing. Lawns mowed at the proper height with a sharp blade will mow quickly and easily, and you won’t be stopping to empty the bagger into plastic bags and hauling the bags to your curb or alley. Consider the time you will save by not bagging. Plus you will save money on plastic bags and fertilizer.
5. That sounds fine except in spring when I fertilize and the lawn grows like crazy. What do I do then?
Over fertilizing in the spring can result in rapid grass growth and a less healthy lawn. Apply about 1/3 of your annual fertilizer in the spring and 2/3 in the late summer and fall. Fertilizing in the late summer and fall will help build up the roots for a healthier lawn and reduce the rapid spring growth. Using a fertilizer which releases nitrogen more slowly can also reduce rapid spring growth.
6. Don’t I need one of the new mulching mowers I heard about?
The new mulching mowers do a nice job of chopping up the grass clippings, but you don’t need a new mower, just follow the instructions in #3 above.
7. Should I ever collect my grass clippings?
In some situations collecting the clippings makes sense:
- If the grass is too long or wet, the grass clippings can clump and damage the lawn.
- If your lawn is diseased, removing the clippings may help reduce the level of disease.
- If your mower is unsafe to use without a bagger, collect the clippings.
8. What else can I do with my grass clippings if I have to collect them?
Grass clippings used as mulch can control weeds. Place a layer of grass clippings one to two inches deep on top of the soil around garden plants, flowers, shrubs or trees. Not only will mulching hold down weeds, but it will also keep moisture in the soil. Don’t use more than an inch or two because you’ll reduce the flow of air and water to the soil. As the grass clippings decompose, they will enrich the soil.
Grass clippings can also be used in composting. Grass clippings added to other garden plants or leaves will help speed up the composting process. Adding a large amount of grass clippings to your compost bin at one time may require more frequent turning to prevent odor problems.
9. What if I have been spraying my lawn with a broadleaf weed killer?
The best choice is to leave the grass clippings on the lawn. A second choice would be to compost the clippings. In a properly managed compost pile, herbicide residues should break down during the composting process. To avoid harm to your plants, wait 3 to 4 weeks after applying a weed killer before using grass clippings as mulch.
Before you use a weed killer, consider that weeds are opportunists. A weak, thin growing lawn is an open door for weedy plants to move in and get established. Healthy grass that is properly mowed, fertilized, and watered will out compete many of our common lawn weeds.
The borough recently participated in a youth group work camp in and around the borough. One of the tasks that were performed for some of those that participated was the installation of a rain barrel. The purpose of this was two fold: 1. to introduce and promote rain barrels to those who are unaware of their purpose and 2. reduce stormwater runoff.
First off rain barrels are a low cost way to minimize the use of domestic water. With ever increasing utility bills it makes no sense to waste our natural resources by not capturing the rain and saving it for a later use. Since the water is naturally softened it is ideal for delicate houseplants as well as organic vegetable gardens. Who does not like free water?
Secondly since Lansdowne is for the most part built out, we do not have much in the way of impervious surfaces. Due to this fact I am sure most residents are aware of the area’s in town that are prone to flooding during heavy rain storms, by installing rain barrels you can help eliminate SOME of the constant runoff that we see during these events. This also helps keep the Darby/ Cobbs Creeks healthier which in turn benefits all of us.
If you have any questions about setting up your own rain barrel please email me at KevinL@borough.lansdowne.pa.us.
P.S For those who have a swimming pool to drain this fall, please remember to test the water and drain it after your test kit reveals all chlorine is dissipated. You should allow the water to discharge to a pervious surface, NOT to the street or sanitary sewer line.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
2nd & Harwick St.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Rose Tree Park *
1521 N. Providence Rd.
*Computers, printers, fax machines, TVs collected at this site.
Events run 9am to 3pm.
Call the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority @ 610-892-9627 if you have any questions.
Route 1 10/20, 11/4, 11/17, 12/1
Route 2 10/23, 11/6, 11/20, 12/4
Route 3 10/30, 11/13, 11/27, 12/11
Route 4 10/26, 11/9, 11/23, 12/7
Route 5 10/29, 11/12, 11/25, 12/10
Route 6 10/22, 11/5, 11/19, 12/3
Route 7 10/27, 11/9, 11/23, 12/8
Route 8 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 11/30
Yard Waste (each date is a Wednesday)
September 16th and 30th
October 14th and 28th
The schedule is weather and leaf volume dependent. To participate, you are requested to rake leaves ONLY into the street next to the curb. Please do not park on the leaf piles, as we’ll need access to them. Feel free to bag your leaves, in paper bags, if you prefer and place them on the curb for pick up. Don’t forget…leaves only. Rocks and sticks will damage the leaf machine. We greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation with leaf pick up.
In 2002, Lansdowne Borough Council issued a proclamation declaring Lansdowne as a No Place For Hate community. In the seven years since then, there have been numerous public events to reiterate and demonstrate the values which NPFH promotes.
The need for this work continues in 2009 and will do so in the coming years. Its kind of like dirty laundry. No matter how often you wash it, there’s always more to come.
Unfortunately, bigotry and hatred in all it’s forms continues to exist. Perhaps even here in our borough. No matter how well planned and attended NPFH events may be, there will be a need for them tomorrow.
I encourage you to visit the updated NPFH page on the Borough Web Site to keep abreast of current events. There are links to see the proclamation, join our email list, read current Phila. NPFH newsletters, and view archived photos of past NPFH events.
In the coming year, look for a new partnership with Lansdowne YMCA that will expand our event list. The traditional events such as 4th of July parade and Library exhibits will continue. A new line of promotional products advertising that “LANSDOWNE IS NO PLACE FOR HATE” in in the works.
There are also volunteer opportunities as well, should you choose to become more involved. And, if any Lansdowne organization already runs a program that espouses NPFH values, please contact me about receiving NPFH endorsement. Lets all come together to keep this vital campaign on track.
Lansdowne NPFH chair
The Southeastern Pennsylvania First Suburbs Project, a Pennsylvania not for profit corporation, is a regional organization of municipal, faith and community leaders from the older, developed suburbs of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. These leaders have joined together to harness their communities’ power by directly engaging citizens to affect policies and practices that will lead to their communities’ stabilization and revitalization.
The Project’s name is taken from a Brookings Institution study, “One-Fifth of America: A Comprehensive Guide to America’s First Suburbs.” That study explained that “first” suburbs across the country face common challenges: high taxes, crumbling infrastructure, declining schools, changing demographics, and inadequate aging housing stock. The leaders of the First Suburbs Project recognize their communities cannot address these common challenges on their own.
In just two years, the First Suburbs Project has already begun to have an impact on state and regional policies. To date, the Project has: Won legislative support for 2008’s state education budget that not only substantially increased funding for education statewide, but also allocated the state funds in a more equal manner to benefit first suburb school districts like William Penn and Upper Darby.
Initiated the first regional housing study to examine the current location, condition and affordability of housing in the region by obtaining the commitment of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to perform the work and state funding from the PA’s Department of Community and Economic Development to finance the work.
Secured the commitment of Governor Ed Rendell’s Secretary of Policy to work with first suburb leaders to develop a more equitable manner for paying for water infrastructure costs, like sewers and water lines.
Each of these victories came about because first suburb leaders came together across municipal and county lines, educated their fellow citizens, and then spoke with one voice to regional and state leaders to demand the policy changes that will benefit their communities.
Lansdowne is a proud sponsor of the First Suburbs Project. Our mayor is an active member of the steering committee. Cooperation and engagement with our neighboring communities will affect positive change in the region through legislative initiatives. For more information on First Suburbs vist their web site www.sepafsp.org , add you name to their mailing list to stay informed about upcoming events.
**Exercise Classes (Mondays and Wednesdays)
**Tap Class (Fridays)
**Bible Class (Thursdays)
**Book Club (monthly)
**Line Dancing (Thursdays)
**Wii Bowling and Darts (Wednesdays)
**Bridge Club (Tuesdays)
**Kitchen Table Stories (3rd Thursday)
**Spanish Club (Wednesdays)
**Breakfast Club (Mondays)
**Coffee Club and Current Events (1st Wednesday)
**Garden Classes with Master Gardeners (Wednesdays)
**Water Aerobics (with Mercy Health)
** Piano Classes (by appointment)
**continuous throughout the year
Water Color painting (Mondays)
Bird Cradling & Picnic
Avoiding Debt Collectors
Birding for Beginners
Communicating with an Alzheimer’s Patient
Cremation, Plots, Vaults – helping you choose
Cell Phone Assistance
Medicare D in 2010
Pencil Drawing (Fridays)
Yoga Stretch (Thursdays)
Fire Safety and Your Local Fire Departments
Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home/Assisted Living
Musical Discussion Group
Civil War Re-enactment
Tuskegee Airmen Presentation
Understanding Challenging Behaviors
A complete listing of classes will be in our fall Center for Life Long Learning catalogue available after Labor Day.
The Lansdowne Farmers Market is in the midst of its third season, and things are getting better all the time. After a rainy few weeks in June that slowed down foot traffic, the weather has largely cooperated and attendance and sales have been good to great. In August, a new meat vendor joined the Market, offering a huge selection of pasture-raised beef, heritage pork, freerange organic poultry and eggs, and raw milk cheeses. These additions nicely round out the multitude of vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, plants, cow and goat dairy products, pantry items, jams, honeys, breads, muffins, pastries, cookies, soups, prepared breakfast and lunches, beverages, and dog treats already available from the other 12 Market vendors. In keeping with the rallying cry of farmers markets all over the country — “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” — all products are locally grown, raised, or made, usually within 100 miles and sometimes right across the street (the Regency Café has a popular Market booth). This attention to proximity even extends to the works of a different featured artist each week, most of whom are from Delaware County if not Lansdowne proper.
If the Farmers Market is a shopping zone first, it is surely a social hub second. Borough residents and citizens from Drexel Hill, Upper Darby, Yeadon, Havertown, Aldan, Media, and all around flock to the Market each week, both to shop and to see and be seen. (Tip: if you have a bone to pick with Mayor Young, you can usually find and corral her for a few minutes at the Market.) Because a musician or group performs live each week – from folk singers to members of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra – the Farmers Market always has a block party-like vibe, and the multiple umbrella tables near the musician tent offer a place to eat, rest, visit, or just take in the show. Young families seem to find the Market an especially good place to bring little children, and a bucket of sidewalk chalk is always at the ready.
As if this weren’t enough, the Lansdowne Farmers Market sponsors a series of special events (an average of one a month) to add an extra element of fun, education, or participation to the proceedings. Three times a season, additional spaces are made available to the public for promotion, fundraising, sales, or other outreach. These Community Days attract participants as varied as a chiropractor, a bird rescue, and a group that buys gift cards for kids with cancer; schools, churches, and small businesses find them a great way to get exposure. The final 2009 Community Day is October 24. Still to come this year is September 26’s Dog Day, when canine companions become the center of attention, special guests offer goods and services keyed to them, and the highlight of the day is a dog parade and photo op. Finally, the 2009 season culminates in the Fall Festival on October 24, the next-to-last Market. (This season ends on October 31, Halloween.) Pumpkin decorating and the second annual Sweet Endings dessert contest will be the big draws that day.
Because this is the 21st century, the Farmers Market of course has a professionally designed and maintained website, LansdowneFarmersMarket.com, that’s loaded with information about schedules, vendors, frequently asked questions, and the Market’s origins. One page highlights businesses and groups around town that outsiders might not know about but should. Best of all, the website has a page of Market photos that are usually updated weekly and that can be downloaded for free. There’s even a video from the 2008 Dog Day parade. And don’t visit the website without checking out the blog, which recaps each Saturday’s Market and dishes on some of Lansdowne’s most notable residents, all from the blogger’s quirky perspective. Like the Lansdowne Farmers Market itself, the blog quickly becomes an enjoyable habit that’s hard to break.
Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009
Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009
Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009
Please Vote November 3rd
Important Phone Numbers
Police Department – 610-623-0700
Borough Office – 610-623-7300
(Fax): 610-623 -5533
Overnight Parking – 610-623-7677
Tax Collector – 610-623-2357