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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Newsletter – Spring 2010

Jump to: Mayor’s Column, New Library Director, Notes From The Tree Advisory Board, LAF Show, Arbor Day Celebration, First Suburbs of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Recycling News, Mark your calendars!, Yard Waste, Memorial Day Parade, Plant Exchange, Rain Gardens, Lansdowne Folk Club, No Place for Hate, Upcoming Events, 2010 Meeting Dates


Mayor’s Column

By Jayne Young

Lansdowne is a member of the First Suburbs Project of Southeastern Pa., a nonpartisan group, whose mission is to organize regional stakeholders including municipal governments, civic and community organizations, churches and schools, around common concerns. We have joined together to harness our communities’ power by directly engaging citizens to affect policies and practices that will lead to the stabilization and revitalization of our vibrant but often financially stressed communities.

After many meetings, forums, round tables and summits, three main areas of regional concern were identified: inequitable public school funding, inadequate infrastructure (road and sewer) programs and inappropriate housing policies. First Suburbs formed committees to research and investigate these concerns. Policy has been written that addresses each one of them and identifies legislative solutions. These policies have been presented at our events with invited stakeholders and elected officials present.

I have participated in some way at all of these events. Everything from a coordinator’s role at the summit in Bryn Mawr, to a policy speech at a convention in Norristown, to a panel discussion at the Building One America conference in D.C. These events have all been designed to get the attention of decision makers and encourage them to take positive action in support of the communities they represent. Recently I made my third trip to Washington to lobby our federal officials.

First Suburbs successful partnership with Good Schools Pa. resulted in an argument so compelling for public school funding reform that the “Costing Out Study” was funded. This is the first time that Pennsylvania’s Senators and Representatives have a defined formula for how much money it takes to create successful schools. This awareness challenges the idea that local tax dollars are enough for school districts to properly educate our youth.

One key to First Suburbs success is the ability of their organizers to fill a room. Elected officials, my self included, are impressed by numbers. Empty chairs look weak. In the coming months there will be several regional gatherings of the different First Suburbs Caucuses where we will be inviting key decision makers from each legislative district. These are in preparation for a Summit in July. I’m asking borough residents to get involved. As dates and locations are decided I will have them posted on the borough’s web site. You can always e-mail me at and I will have your name added to the groups’ e-mail list.

People are busy these days. But I know that your lack of free time to join a board or committee doesn’t mean you aren’t interested in helping your community. So, know this, sometimes the biggest help you can provide is to be present at an event where numbers count. In the coming months First Suburbs Project of Southeastern PA and its member partner Lansdowne Borough will need you to be present. It may take an hour or two. It may require a drive to another town. It may entice you to get more involved. Whether your contribution of time is short or long term, please consider making it.

Lansdowne and our neighbors are worth your effort. We are among the most open, diverse and attractive communities in the commonwealth. Our pedestrian friendly communities have parks, trees, churches, downtown business districts, and public transit access. These assets must be enriched and strengthened.

I hope you will join me in this important effort.

(included in this newsletter is the First Suburbs Policy information on Clean water infrastructure)

Welcome our new Library Director, Laura Martin, to Lansdowne

Laura Martin’s enthusiasm for her new job is evident within moments of meeting her. She is literally thrilled to be here and excited about taking the helm of one of the borough’s most prized possessions, our public library.

Here is what I learned during our conversation: Laura is originally from Canada. After earning her degree from University of W. Ontario she went to work for the New York City Public Library System. Her next stop was Scarsdale, New York. There she was Head of Children’s Services for their public library.

Her love of children’s literature was immediately apparent, heck her love of books in general. As often happens when readers get together, book titles and authors were thrown out right and left. Her favorite author is Anne McCaffrey, her favorite genre, science fiction, her favorite children’s book “Harry the Dirty Dog”, her favorite series “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon. Did she ever find a book she didn’t like? “Little Women”.

But today’s library services don’t stop with book distribution. Laura recognizes the need to expand new media. More computers are coming and expect a growing list of books on compact disc and in downloadable format. Many titles are available for download through the Delaware County Library System. Just like a song to your MPS player, books can be temporarily added to your player .

Laura is eager to work with the Lansdowne Library Board and the Friends of the Lansdowne Library. Her immediate goal is to implement current improvement plans, but she has her own ideas for future enhancements.

Laura is enthusiastic about her new job, the library ,and it’s patrons. Her experience has taught her how important a strong public library is to the health of a community. So, stop in and welcome Laura to Lansdowne.

Notes From The Tree Advisory Board

Lansdowne’s Tree Advisory Board plants trees throughout the borough to retain beauty, protect residents’ health and enhance property value. Mary Lou Jennings, Board President, announced, “More trees will be available this Spring to residents ( pre-ordered) for planting in front yards.” Oh, and by the way they are FREE.

As part of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Tree Tender program, a limited number of bare root trees will be provided for residential planting.

Later, street tree planting will continue along Baltimore Avenue as part of the Tree Vitalize program. Volunteers planted the lovely trees you see there already and volunteers are needed April 24th to complete the project.

The Tree Board is dedicated to their mission of bringing more trees to the community. Trees clean the air by absorbing many air pollutants and release oxygen for our breathing. They reduce storm water runoff and erosion; leafy canopies catch precipitation allowing it to drip down gently. Planted in sunny locations, trees will reduce air-conditioning costs. Trees enhance home and business environments, are known to relieve stress and provide wildlife habitat. WOW.

Any one interested in receiving a free tree or volunteering to plant them, please call, Marylou @ 610-622-0162

3rd Annual Lansdowne Arts and Crafts Show

May 1, 2009 (Rain date May 2rd)
Lansdowne Municipal Parking lot

Sponsored by the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation

features the talents of local artists and crafters

Arbor Day Celebration

Friday, April 30th

Sycamore Park
All welcome

First Suburbs of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Clean Water Infrastructure Action Group

I. Background:
Communities across Pennsylvania face a looming water infrastructure crisis. Given the age of their water infrastructure and their high tax burden, the older suburbs of Southeastern Pennsylvania are in the front lines of this crisis. Many of our sanitary sewer and storm water systems were built over a hundred years ago.

For instance, Delaware County’s Lansdowne Borough, with a population of 11,000 estimates that repairing its ten miles of sanitary sewer lines will cost $50 million and Montgomery County’s Jenkintown Borough estimates that replacing one segment of its sewer line would require raising municipal taxes by 40%.

The magnitude and systemic nature of the problem can be summarized by the four facts:

First, water runs down hill where most of the older communities are located. As development sprawls upstream, the run off created by new roads, driveways, parking lots and development runs down, into the oldest sanitary and storm water sewer lines. Flooding that overwhelms storm water control systems ends up leaking into sanitary sewer systems, threatening sewage treatment facilities and ultimately the quality of our water supply and rivers.

Second, the problem is now. Any time it rains more than a half an inch, the intersection of Washington Lane and Greenwood Avenue in Jenkintown no longer covers the stream beneath it. That intersection becomes a swimming hole. The story is the same in parts of Lansdowne, Upper Darby, and Yeadon. And sometimes it isn’t just the streets. Basement flooding and sewer backups are common throughout the older first suburban communities.

Third, the problem is bigger than our communities can solve. The first suburbs communities can’t afford to raise peoples’ taxes to fix these problems. Taxes are already higher then in the surrounding communities and increases would cause more residents to pack up and leave. And the older cities and towns shouldn’t bear all of the costs anyway. Although the problems start up stream in communities where new development has taken place, local governments and local tax-payers in older communities are responsible for 100% of the costs of problems that take place within their borders.

Finally, the governmental response at the county, state and federal level is inadequate both in terms of oversight and funding.

Currently there is no regional or county-wide oversight to ensure that infrastructure funding is strategic and that all communities are responsible for paying their fair share. Department of Environmental Protection is the agency which provides what oversight there is, and their regulations do not take into account the bigger picture of how land is being used in our region.

Funding resources to bring systems up to a state of good repair are inadequate. In Pennsylvania, there are two main funding sources available to communities for clean water infrastructure: PennVest and the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

PennVest is an authority created to administer money annually. Projects which get funding generally get grants and are evaluated by various sets of criteria which often disadvantage older communities unless they are facing problems that are a threat to public health.

The Commonwealth Financing Agency (CFA) is an authority largely under control of the legislative caucuses who along with the governor appoint the board members. The structure of the board creates the risk of political influence in project funding.

II. Clean Water Infrastructure Action Group Goal Statement:
The goal of the clean water infrastructure action group is to reduce the financial burden on First Suburbs municipalities who are facing massive infrastructure upgrades. In order to do this, it will be necessary to take action to secure financial investments in Southeastern Pennsylvania’s water infrastructure in a manner that is efficient, sustainable, equitable and coordinated throughout the region.

Recycling News

The mandatory trash tipping fee that Delaware County has passed on to municipalities (and appears in your tax bills) went up in 2010. Lansdowne residents now pay a per-ton fee of $23.45 for disposing of trash, up from $15.90 in 2009. This rate will be in place through 2012, when Delaware County Council could increase the fee again. By diverting your trash to recycling, and reducing the tonnage of trash we generate, we can reduce this charge. In addition, when the commodities markets pick up, we have an opportunity to earn some revenue for the borough as well.

Lansdowne Recycling Diversion Rate History:
2007: 12.5%
2008: 14.3%
2009: 15.6%

Our Diversion Rate Goals:
2010: 20%
2012: 25%

Mark your calendars!

The Union Athletic Association
Independence Day Celebration
Saturday July 3, 2010.

A full mile long parade with marching bands, antique cars, children’s decorated bikes and floats will begin at 9:00AM.

In the evening there will be a great fireworks program with live music beginning at 7:00PM.

This year we are in search of a theme. Present your suggestions for our July 4th THEME and win a gift certificate. Contact Helen Bowes, 610-284-1433 with theme suggestions or if you would like to volunteer.

Come out for one of the best days the borough has to offer.

Yard Waste Pick-up has begun

Every other Wednesday leave yard waste at the curb .

Place yard debris directly in trash cans or large brown paper yard waste bags sold at hardware and grocery stores.

Branches and sticks must be bundled together and tied with string.

No plastic bags, please!

Memorial Day Parade

The Lansdowne Business Association invites all to gather along the parade route on May 31, 2010 and to join in remembering and honoring those who went to war and gave their lives to protect and preserve our country’s freedom.

The parade will begin at 10AM, led by our veterans, starting at the corner of Lansdowne & LaCrosse Avenues. It will proceed north on Lansdowne Ave. for 5 blocks to Essex Ave., then 3 blocks east on Essex and onto the Penn Wood High School field, where there will be a flag salute and then a wreath presentation at the WW I and WWII memorials.

Plant Exchange

Saturday, May 15th
10:30-12 noon.

Main Parking Lot on Lansdowne Ave.
(across from the movie theater)

Sponsored by the GLFL

Spring is a great time to divide your overgrown plants.

Bring a plant to exchange for another. If you don’t have any plants to give, pay $1.00 for available plants.

Rain Gardens

What is a rain garden? It is a natural or man made shallow depression designed to capture and soak up storm water runoff from your roof or other impervious area’s around your property. Rain gardens are planted with water loving trees, shrubs, or other plants to allow water runoff to soak into the ground and protect ground water quality.

In addition to adding beauty to your home’s landscape, rain gardens reduce storm water runoff from your property. Storm water runoff is considered one of the main sources of water pollution nation-wide. Storm water runoff can cause a reduction in groundwater recharge, the lowering of water tables, increased erosion, and flash flooding.

There are several benefits to rain gardens. In addition to reducing and filtering storm water runoff, rain gardens provide other benefits. They provide a habitat for wildlife and an attractive alternative to a traditional lawn. Other benefits are less lawn maintenance, since mowing is not needed, and a reduction in storm drain overload.

So, do your part to keep or local waterways healthy, build a rain garden.

Lansdowne Folk Club

4/22/2010 7:30 PM
Buskin and Batteau w/ guest Abi Tapia

Twentieth Century Club
84 S. Lansdowne Ave.

Cost: $15/18

For more information call, 610-622-7250

No Place for Hate

Donald Verlenden
Lansdowne No Place for Hate Chairperson

Are you aware that Lansdowne is one of the few communities in the Philadelphia metropolitan area that has a No Place for Hate program? Just one more reason to be proud of our small town. Several residents have related to me that they chose to move here because they saw our NPFH street signs when they were house hunting. A small point, perhaps, but a positive one that has helped to contribute to the rich cultural diversity that we now enjoy.

Since being appointed chairperson of NPFH last summer, I have attempted to retain and initiate some programs that keep NPFH in the public consciousness throughout the year. Participation in our Parades, Farmers Market Community Days, Quarterly screenings of thought provoking films at the Lansdowne Public Library, and other Special Events are a seasonal framework that can be expanded upon as time goes by.

Coming up in May is the screening of the 1984 Academy Award winning documentary “The Times of Harvey Milk”, at the Lansdowne Public Library. Check the Library or NPFH web sites for specific date and time. You’ve seen the dramatic version with Sean Penn in the title role. Now meet the real characters, captured in riveting archival footage. Afterward, there will be a discussion of the film. Also during May, NPFH will have a month long exhibit in the display cases in the Library entrance. NPFH will be proudly marching in this year’s annual Memorial Day Parade. Please consider walking all or part of the parade route with us to show your support. We will be returning six weeks later for the 4th of July Parade. So, if you can’t make it in May, join us in July.

Lansdowne NPFH is always looking for dedicated volunteers. Planning and executing our events takes time and effort. Please think about becoming more involved in this program that has become increasingly vital to our town identity. At the very least, add your name to the NPFH member list located on the NPFH page of the Borough web site. You will be kept informed and up to date with our current events.

Upcoming Events

Lansdowne Farmers Market
Every Saturday, May 29 to October 30, 9:00 to 1:00
Rain or Shine
Lansdowne Avenue Parking Lot

Primary Election Day
May 18th
Don’t Forget To Vote

Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
All Russian Program
Sunday, April 25, 2010, at 3PM

Michael Ludwig, Violin Soloist

P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

All concerts at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center at the Upper Darby High School

The Friends of the Lansdowne Public Library
Really Big Book Sale
June 11, 12, 13
10:00AM to 2:00 PM at the Lansdowne Public Library.
The proceeds from this sale will benefit our Library.
For more information call, Helen Bowes 610-284-1433.

Straight No Chaser to perform at Lansdowne Theater Benefit

The Lansdowne Theater to open for a public event for the first time in 22 years!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Doors open at 2:00, Concert at 3:00
Tickets on sale at
Regency Café and Cinema 16:9
Ticket prices are $48, $38 and $28— all seating is reserved. Limited Preferred Seating is also available.

Straight No Chaser is a ten-member a cappella group that got its start a dozen years ago at Indiana University. The all-male group reconvened in 2008 to release the album Holiday Spirits, which reached number 1 on iTunes, led to TV and radio appearances, and ultimately changed the young men’s lives. They’ve given up their day jobs, are working on a pop album, and are in the midst of an expansive cross-country tour, which now includes The Lansdowne!

Keep Lansdowne Beautiful Day!
When: Saturday, April 17, 2010 (Rain date: Sunday, April 18, 2010) 9:30 am – 1:00 pm
Where: Borough Green (corner of Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenues)

It’s time for spring cleaning!

Join us at the Borough Green where we will launch our clean up of
the Central Business District up and down Lansdowne and Baltimore
Avenues. The businesses in the district will be joining other volunteers
to remove trash, sweep the sidewalks and generally beautify
our home. Help spruce up the downtown just before folks come to
visit us for the Town-wide Yard Sale on May 9th and the Farmers
Market starting on May 29th.

Gloves, bags for trash and recycling, brooms and other necessities
will be provided so just bring yourself and your friends, neighbors
and family for this great community day!

Prizes awarded throughout the day!!!

Red, White and Bluesy Social
Lansdowne’s Union Athletic Association invites you to join them at a fundraiser to support the Lansdowne July 4th Parade and Fireworks celebrations.

Please join your friends and neighbors

May 1, 2010 7:00PM, at the Twentieth Century Club in Lansdowne for a wonderful evening of fine food, beverages, door prizes a fifty-fifty and music performed by Joe Stevenson Trio!!!!

Tickets are $30.00 per person and all proceeds go directly towards the 2010 July Fourth activities. Please contact Tony Campuzano at 610-259-0543 or Charlie Bowes 610-284-1433 for tickets and additional information.

Lansdowne’s 9th Annual Town-Wide Yard Sale Day
Saturday May 8, 2010

Join the fun!

Call Betsy at Borough Hall, 610-623-7300, by April 24 to add your address to the map! Fun and Free for the whole community!

Lansdowne Fire Company Ladies’ Auxiliary Hoagie Sale
In conjunction with the Town Wide Yard Sale Saturday May 8th from
11:00am to 2:00pm at the Lansdowne Fire House (Lacrosse and Highland Avenue)

All Hoagies are $6.00 / Only Pre-orders are guaranteed. Limited supply for walk-in’s.

For more information or to place an order please call 610- 485-4526
or 610-622-1995

All proceeds benefit the Volunteer Fire Company of Lansdowne

Borough Information Meeting Dates 2010

Wednesday, Aril 7, 2010
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, April 21 , 2010
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, June 2 , 2010
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, July 21 , 2010
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

Classic Towns
No Place for Hate
Storm Water
Borough Pics