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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Newsletter – Winter 2011

Click here to download the newsletter in PDF format.

Mayor’s Column
Jeri Staiber Retires
Overnight Parking Permits
News From Your Borough Offices
The Latest News From HRC
Letter From Borough Council
Critter Corner
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Read a good book lately?
NPFH in Lansdowne in 2010
Where do borough tax dollars go?
Meeting Dates 2011
TREE

Mayor’s Column

By Jayne Young

Last month one of my favorite residents passed away. Bill was a great guy, always had an opinion on how things could be better in Lansdowne . When I first met him he shared that I may be his borough mayor but, the mayor after his heart is the former mayor of Nashville, a “Real Mayor”, his son. So I attended the viewing anticipating meeting the real mayor.

As what often happens, at funerals, I ran into a lot of local folk. When I entered the building the first thing the funeral director shared was that I had been the topic of conversation with the son, the real mayor. He told Bill Jr. that I had helped him with of a couple of problems of his. Bill Jr. then gave me credit for having taken care of a concern of his mother’s.

These problems and concerns had to do with scaffolding on the corner of Baltimore and Lansdowne, a big dirt pile on Baltimore and a forgotten port-apotty at the bottom of Willowbrook Ave.

When I introduced my self to Bill Jr. he told me of the earlier conversation and thanked me for doing a nice thing for his mother. It’s interesting that I get thanked for taking care of these things. It’s as though I hauled the port-a-potty or the dirt pile away myself. While I would love to take all the credit I have to be honest here. Nothing happens in this borough without a team effort. Whether it is the codes department enforcing the ordinance requiring a clear path on the sidewalk, or the borough manager making the call to the forgetful construction company. We all, elected volunteer or paid staff work together for our town. Your requests and the resulting service are part of a collaborative effort of all the stakeholders..

I may be the person that receives the original request for a stop sign or the call about trash left behind at a house, but what starts with me listening often ends with another person’s action. One of the joys of living in a small town is the ease with which you can converse with an elected official,. Most problems are addressed quickly. Oh I can hear you now. “I called for weeks to get the light on my street fixed and my neighbors and I remain in the dark”. Sure that happens, but not because we aren’t trying to find the fix. Rest assured we are as concerned about these quality of life things as you are.

My point, in this column, is to encourage borough residents to continue to call or stop me to share concerns and problems. I appreciate your noticing the damaged sidewalk or missing man hole cover, or the broken play equipment. Yes, that hanging tree branch is an accident waiting to happen and the bent street sign is a hazard. It takes a lot to run a borough and without your calls these problems risk going unnoticed.

This past year I have lost too many favorite residents. I go to their funerals and see friends and neighbors. While there, I invariably take notes about a pot hole or a fallen sign. Or field a question about a roofer or a fence. That is the nature of the job. It works for me. Accessible government is good government. My attention can be had at the farmer’s market or the play. It’s great to have a chat at the NPFH movie or the Arts Festival. Or just call and leave a message on the borough phone 610-623-7300 ext 6. I try to return every call with in a few days or pass the information on to the appropriate council or staff person. Your call is step one on the path to solving a problem. The sign is fixed, the trash is collected, the port-a-potty retrieved, the dirt pile removed, the pool emptied, and the scaffolding is taken down, Hopefully the question is answered or a solution found.

This is a benefit of living in a small town. All residents can have the ear of their elected officials. Trust me, we want to hear from our neighbors. Lansdowne is a great place to live and we all want to insure it stays that way.

Jeri Staiber Retires

Thank you for your years of service.

Our own Jeri Staiber retied this year. Her enthusiasm for the Recreation Department and her devotion to the historic Twentieth Century Club, our parks and our residents will be missed. From marbles, to Tot-Lot, to tennis lessons, to Pony Camp the youth of the borough have been well served by a consistently successful Rec. Department. Jeri is seen here , with Mayor Jayne Young, accepting a small token of esteem from the borough.

News From Your Borough Offices

Big Changes in Trash and Recycling.
Beginning with the new year the Lansdowne sanitation department will change their trash and recycling pick up schedule. Your recycling pick ups will increase to once a week from twice a month and your trash pick ups will happen once a week instead of the twice a week pick up currently scheduled.

We hope this change will encourage recycling ( much better for the environment) and help us control our trash expenses that we pay directly to Delaware County.

By this time you have received your borough magnet with the complete calendar of all borough sanitation services.


Beginning January 1st, 2011 Recycle like you’ve never recycled before.
An exciting new collection program has begun in Lansdowne. You can now put cans, glass, plastic 1,2,4,5,7 and mixed paper out at the curb in the same recycling bin. The great thing about the increased plastic numbers is it now includes food containers ( just wash them out). If one recycling bin isn’t enough to hold everything, just add another container of your choice. ( no bags please)

We should all be diverting at least 30% of our trash to the recycling bin. By doing so we can:

  • Reduce the trash fees Delaware County Council now charges us based on trash tonnage
  • Increase the Borough’s recycling grant income from the state
  • Provide additional income to the Borough through the sale of recyclables
  • Do the right thing for the environment and our pocketbooks

Lansdowne’s average diversion rate is 15.2%. If we do better, we save $$
and the environment.

If you have any questions about trash or recycling please call the borough yard at 610-622-6318 Whether you’re a regular recycler or a first-timer, keep this new information handy:

Recycling Materials Include:
Metal: Tin and aluminum cans, empty aerosol cans, empty paint cans

Glass: Jars and bottles all colors.

Mixed Paper: Newspaper, magazines, mail (junk and personal), phone books, paperboard (cereal boxes, beer cartons), computer paper, flyers, soda and beer cartons (no food-soiled paper, please!)

Plastic Containers: Recycle
#1 ,2,4,5,7 plastics ONLY
Look for one of these numbers on the bottom of the container to see if it’s acceptable.

Cardboard: Empty and flattened

And now for the Don’ts:
Don’t bag material., No food waste, No windows, mirrors, light bulbs or glass ware, No foam or Styrofoam.

We will continue to pick up, curbside, properly packaged yard waste in the new year.

Waste must be tied in 4 foot bundles, placed directly into your trash cans or disposed of in brown paper bags. Please note that the borough crew will not pick up yard waste in plastic bags.


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.


Message from the Lansdowne Code Department
The Code Department would like to remind everyone that this is the time to look for any broken, loose and hanging tree branches that havent fallen yet. With the tree bare of leaves it should give you a clear view of your tree and branches. Some branches may be loose and entangled in other tree branches. With the winter season approaching snow and ice loads may cause these branches to fall, possibly causing property damage and bodily harm or injury.

Also, if your starting up your fire place, when was the last time you had your chimney cleaned and inspected? Chimney fires can occur when chimneys are not cleaned. Clogged or obstructed chimneys can cause fires. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected before lighting your fireplace. Lets all enjoy the Holiday season and be safe!


Storm water and Sanitary Sewer Reminders for Residents
This is just a winter reminder for residents regarding the use of salt as a deicing agent. Since most “runoff” will not percolate into the soil due to frost, please use the minimum amounts, or about a handful per square yard (rock salt) as an application rate. For calcium chloride pellets, a handful for every 3 square yards is adequate. Doing this helps reduce polluted runoff to our waterways, and makes for a healthier habitat for aquatic life.

The borough has seen an increase in sewer blockages caused by grease lately. We cannot stress enough to all residents and business that this is a preventable problem. The best way to dispose of grease is to pour it, while hot, into disposable container and toss it in the trash. Another option would be to let the grease harden and wipe clean with a paper towel. Washing grease down the drain with hot water does not work, this only allows the grease to travel a little farther into the system and begin to solidify the moment it hits the colder water in the mains. Not only does this cause a problem in the mains but blockages and backups in the lateral as well. It is worth noting that in Lansdowne Borough, the property owner is responsible for maintaining the entire length of the lateral from the property to the connection at the main. Properly maintaining the laterals serves the residents, the borough and the environment.


Borough News via E-Mail
Each household in Lansdowne receives a newsletter three time per year thorough the U.S. Mail. Its a great way of publicizing borough business and the recreation departments many fine programs. The Borough will continue this way of communicating the essentials of whats up in the Borough.

But in between newsletters things worth knowing happen. Wouldnt it be great if you could learn about those things just by checking your e-mail? So we added a feature on the borough web site. If you would like to receive regular information on all things Lansdowne via e-mail, go to the Borough website www.lansdowneborough.com click on “NEWS VIA EMAIL” at the top of the page and complete the very short form.


News from the Lansdowne Arts Board
And The Arts Survey Raffle Winners Were…

Don Verlenden won cds by Minas, featuring Lansdowne’s very own talented musicians Orlando Haddad and Patricia King and Nadia Loury landed the painting by Lansdowne’s painter extraordinaire Rick Prigg.

The Lansdowne Arts Board survey… thanks to everyone who filled it out…provided great information to guide the Lansdowne Arts Board’s planning. So stay tuned as the arts become more front and center right here in our very own creative community.

The Latest News From Lansdowne Human Relations Commission


The Lansdowne Human Relations Commission, a branch of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, has been actively creating alliances with even more community organizations recently. Our goal is to ensure that everyone who works and lives and enjoys the businesses in Lansdowne knows about their right to be free from illegal discrimination.

Tracy Collins Boyle, MSN, APN, CSN, Coordinator and Facilitator of Gay/Straight Alliance at William Penn School District recently informed us of the progress, achievements and activities of the Gay/Straight Alliance. The GSA has shared information with students throughout the school on sexual health, dating violence, tobacco companies targeting the LGBT community, pregnancy prevention, and smoking cessation. Students have held a health fair and met with legislators. Lansdowne HRC looks forward to having a liaison from the Commission serving as a resource and support to the organization, students and staff.

Members of the commission are partnering with each of the various faith communities in Lansdowne to support immigrant members and newcomers. We believe it is important that everyone is aware of the rights we all have here in Lansdowne. The commission has plans to create an informational display case in the coming year. The Human Relations Commission is available any time to work toward resolving complaints for people who feel they’ve experienced illegal discrimination. We’re happy to be of service and welcome your questions and requests for more information. Find us on Lansdowne’s website at www.lansdowneborough.com/hrc.

A Letter to our Residents From Lansdowne Borough Council

Every two years, the Borough Code requires that a reorganization takes place of your Borough Government. Included in the events of 2010 was an evaluation of our committee structure and their goals and objectives. At the conclusion of this exercise, in January 2010, six committees were named and a 2 year plan, that spans 2010 & 2011, was adopted.

The six committees are: Finance and Administration, Public Health and Safety, Environment, Economic Develop and Code Enforcement, Infrastructure and Public Works and Community Relations. In addition to Borough Council and its committees, the Mayor and Borough staff are important partners in carrying out the vision of these committees.

As we are halfway through the two year plan, we thought that you would like to know the mission of each committee, some highlights on the progress that has been made to date and some of the efforts that are on the horizon.

Finance and Administration – To ensure fiscal responsibility and stewardship of tax dollars through budget management and increasing alternative revenue streams. To ensure the appropriate staffing and management of borough employees.

  • Improved borough cash flow by working with the tax collector and an outside vendor on changes to the collection process, and reviewing vendor contracts, including the borough’s insurance coverage, realizing a reduction in rates
  • Collaborated with State Representative Micozzie and State Senator Williams and a number of organizations to secure grant funding for special projects such as street lighting throughout the borough, police cars, and upgrades to borough buildings, such as the Library and the 2oth Century Club, that are used by our residents.
  • Continued to monitor Borough expenditures and pursue cost cutting measures
  • Passed a budget for 2011 with a modest 2.5% tax increase, no increased trash fee and 4.5% increase in sewer fee- an average annual increase of $42.01 per household.

Public Health and Safety – To develop and implement strategies to monitor police protection and health and safety activities for our residents.

  • Implemented a Neighborhood Watch Program that includes a Liaison from the Police Department.
  • Collaborated with a variety of community organizations and Boards to provide activities such as child safety seat checks, crime prevention seminars, and cross walk and traffic control support during events such as the Farmer’s Market.
  • Facilitated debrief discussions aimed at continuing to enhance our emergency response activities which was tested with a few events earlier this year.

Environment – To develop and implement environmental systems, services, goals and measures, including waste, energy, green spaces and trees.

  • Took a positive position on the importance of the environment by: Joining Local Governments for Sustainability, passing a clean energy resolution and the Mayor signing onto the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.
  • Secured state grant to conduct comprehensive waste program study which led to change to waste collection for 2011
  • Realized savings for borough by increasing recycling and yard waste disposal efforts through increased communication, collaboration with organizations throughout the borough and the expansion of types of products, e.g., plastic, that is accepted by our vendor.
  • Continued to execute the multi municipality Baltimore Avenue plan by planting trees along the Baltimore Avenue corridor.

Infrastructure and Public Works – To develop and execute sewer and road maintenance priorities, utilizing inhouse personnel for public works projects to realize cost savings.

  • Continued Road Program that identifies and prioritizes roads requiring paving.
  • Supported several sewer repairs and maintenance projects “in house” leading to savings in engineering and other outsourcing fees.
  • Coordinated with utility companies on road paving programs in order to maximize efficiencies and reduce Borough costs

Community Relations – To develop and implement programs that leverage and maximize borough resources. Develop strategies that highlight and positively position what Lansdowne has to offer.

  • Developed a policy for content of Borough Web site.
  • Redesigned the website to make it more resident friendly by facilitating communication about borough services and events.

These are some of the highlights for 2010. Many of these activities will continue into 2011. In addition, 2011 will also include:

  • The development of a resident packet for new and existing residents which will highlight Borough services and other items of interest,
  • Adding content on the Borough TV station, and
  • Developing systems and policies to reduce the borough’s carbon footprint

Feel free to visit our website at lansdowneborough.com for additional information about your town. Stay tuned…

Critter Corner

The latest animal news from around the Borough
By Fran Wayne

2010 has been the busiest year in history for Animal Friends of Lansdowne. Our foster homes are fullto- bursting with rescued cats, our vet bills are soaring, and there is no end in sight. Why? There are numerous reasons, starting with the economy. As people face unemployment and struggle to afford food and housing for their families, more area pets are cruelly discarded or left behind. The sad result is that stray and feral cats are increasing dramatically in numbers. Add to this the ongoing problem of people who allow their cats to roam outdoors, and those who further compound this problem by failing to spay and neuter them, and it’s easy to see how things can get out of hand.

So what can we do about it? Actually, plenty. First, please, please keep your owned family pets and others safe. By law in Lansdowne, dogs are not permitted to run offleash in the borough, and cats are not to roam freely outdoors. The only exception is if they are strictly supervised, preferably in your own secure yard and on a leash–yes, cats can be trained to walk on a harness and leash if you insist they go outside, though they will walk you, not the other way around! This is not as easy as it sounds and not at all like walking a dog. Please contact AFL if you would like to learn how to walk a cat safely, and an experienced person will speak with you personally.

If you must move, find a place that will allow your pet to stay with you; there are many. If you absolutely must surrender a pet, make every effort to find a loving home or at least a no-kill shelter. While Animal Friends is not equipped to take owner surrenders, we can help you find a good home for your pet if you allow enough time.

Next and most importantly, it is not sufficient just to give an animal a home; to be responsible owners, we must spay and neuter all of our pets. Not only does this help curb runaway population growth; it makes cats, dogs and rabbits better pets and can even prevent serious disease, such as some cancers. Just one unsterilized cat can quickly result in hundreds more.

Here is one example of what Animal Friends sees as a result of the unchecked birth of cats outdoors. We recently rescued two young, feral kittens. In addition to the usual medical issues of ferals such as fleas and worms (kittens can die from anemia caused by fleas), one kitten has very serious neurological problems. This is most likely due to trauma from her having been caught and injured by a predator, though it could also result from her ingesting a toxin. Although she is a feral baby who is impaired, she is very sweet natured. She even tries to play despite her inability to walk and difficulty seeing. Whether or not she will survive and be able to have a life of any quality is unknown at the time of this writing. Her determination to function and survive is both inspiring and heartbreaking.

Here are the facts in a nutshell. Domestic cats are not equipped to fend for themselves outdoors. They need shelter, proper food, and fresh water to survive. Even if a cat is feral, these are basic needs that must be met, and they can also be spayed or neutered to prevent the birth of more feral cats.

Winter is upon us. Keep your cats safely indoors. Spay and neuter them. Provide basic vet care. There is extremely affordable spay/ neuter surgery and even wellness care available at The Spayed Club, just down the road in Sharon Hill.

Want to do more to help? Animal Friends of Lansdowne is always in need of volunteers and foster families. There is serious work to be done, but also plenty of fun to be had in the doing, when you work side-by-side with other wonderful animal lovers. Volunteer opportunities can be tailored to fit your interests, your talents, and your schedule. We’ll even assign you a seasoned mentor to show you the ropes. No time to volunteer? AFL welcomes your membership and your donations. If you are already a member, you’ll be receiving a request to renew your membership very soon. Please join us and please be as generous as you can be. Animals in our community are depending on you.

Resources:
Animal Friends of Lansdowne
P.O. Box 869
Lansdowne, PA 19050
484-463-1277
www.animalfriendsoflansdowne.org
“Like” us on Facebook and get all the latest news!

The Spayed Club
800 Chester Pike
Sharon Hill, PA 19079
484-540-8436
www.thespayedclubclinic.org

Alley Cat Allies, national resource for feral cats: www.alleycat.org


Mia, who is less than a year old and once someone’s pet, was abandoned at an apartment complex in Lansdowne. This beautiful girl will thrive with lots of one -on-one attention.

Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra

Valentine’s Day Concert
Sunday, February 13, 2011, at 3PM

F. MENDELSSOHN: “Fingal’s Cave” Overture, Op. 26
W.A. MOZART: Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major, K. 313
F. SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759, “Unfinished”

Spring Concert
Sunday, March 20, 2011, at 3PM

R. WAGNER: Prelude und Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
J. BRAHMS: Hungarian Dances 17 – 21, arranged for orchestra by A. Dvorak
DVORAK: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, B. 178, “From the New World”

All performances at the Upper Darby performing Arts Center.

Read a good book lately?

The Lansdowne Library librarians want residents to know that the Library is a great place to go on a cold winter’s day or, any day for that matter. If you visit their web site you will see that there are numerous book clubs and programs for all ages. If it’s a mystery for you, the Monday Night Mystery group is a great choice. Or try the Thursday Night Book Club, which takes on all genres. While on the web site check out the list of most popular books. It’s never a bad time to get lost in a really good book. Find one at the Lansdowne Library.

Also on the calendar is the History Forum. This year the schedule focuses on the 1920’s

January 21
Palmer Raids

America’s response to the Russian Revolution was fear
and paranoia exemplified by Attorney General Palmer’s
controversial raids on suspected American communists.

February 25
Ku Klux Klan

The 20’s marked the greatest resurgence of the Klan in
American history as they wedded their hatred of blacks
with anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism and xenophobia.

March 18
Prohibition

Speakeasies, Al Capone and a reckless decade.

April 15
Henry Ford and the World the Automobile Made

The automobile, mass production, the assembly line and the rise of industrial giants.

2010 was a busy year for No Place for Hate in Lansdowne.


Four film screenings at the Lansdowne Public Library. Boothsat both Community Days at the Lansdowne Farmers Market. Participation in Martin Luther King Day of Service. A table at Wm. Penn School District Home and School Assoc. Flea Market.Plus we walked in the Memorial Day Parade.

Our goal is a year round presence of NPFH in Lansdowneand plenty of opportunity for you to get involved.What a pleasure it has been to take part in all these events. Ihave met many new and longtime residents, (and they havemet each other), not only from Lansdowne, but the surrounding communities as well.

Lansdowne is the only community in Eastern Delaware County that participates in the NPFH program. So folks from Yeadon,Darby, East Lansdowne, Drexel Hill, etc. regularly attend our events.

Ourmembership list is now at 130 households and growing. If youwould like to add your name and email in support of this worthycause, and receive notice of coming events, please go tothe Borough website www.lansdowneborough.com and clickon the yellow NPFH icon, to enter our page. Then follow theprompts.

Coming up in 2011 are all of the 2010 events, plus expandingthe film series to at least 6 screenings. Also look for are -certification ceremony by the Philadelphia NPFH office inrecognition of Lansdowne’s continuedparticipation.

Donald Verlenden
Lansdowne NPFH chairperson

Where do your borough tax dollars go?????

The Borough’s 2011 budget has passed with only a 2.5 % increase andbelow is a chart that describes how the money for operating the Boroughis spent. These expenses are paid for through tax dollars, grants, andvarious fees paid to the Borough. To learn more about the borough financescome to a borough council meeting.

All borough council meetings are listed on the borough calendar and open to the public.

2011 General Fund Expenses

Borough Information Meeting Dates 2011

January
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

February
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

March
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

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