Dear Lansdowne Neighbors,
As we end the summer and head into the fall, I want to extend my gratitude to live with you in a community of friends where neighbors take care of neighbors. The last few months have been challenging for us as a community and the relationships in our town will help us pull through. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic and more recently the Tropical Storm Isaias, Lansdowne Borough Council and Mayor Campuzano have worked diligently to guide the Borough through the various challenges.
To begin, Lansdowne Borough Council transitioned under new guidelines from the PA State Legislature allowing for meetings to proceed virtually and move Borough operations into a virtual world. Currently, the Borough is working to make the website more accessible through better navigation and upgrades. Our employees are working through the transition to best serve the community. To ease this transition, Council member Wardell Holt will be heading a Technology Committee to provide the guidance and oversight of this transition. While our meetings are not in person, please attend virtually or watch the past meetings on the Borough website.
Public Safety Forum Update
Next, we on Lansdowne Borough Council have been working to address community concerns about accountability and oversight with our Police Department. Working with Chief Donegan and the Officers in the department, Mayor Campuzano and Public Safety Chair Since Naji-Taylor currently are working on a policy review and exploring the new implementation of body-cams. Last month, on July 29th, Chief Donegan, Solicitor Bob Scott, Borough Manager Craig Totaro, and District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, participated in a Public Safety Forum addressing many questions and concerns presented by residents. The event facilitated by Mayor Campuzano, Councilmember Sinoe Naji-Taylor, and myself provided detailed answers about the budget, training, hiring, and policies of the Lansdowne Police Department. If you were unable to attend, please view the video here.
Thank you to all of the residents who attended and to the members of our Police Department, Chief Donegan, Solicitor Bob Scott, and Borough Manager Craig Totaro for their answers and service to the community.
Tropical Storm Isaias Update
On behalf of the residents of Lansdowne, I would like to thank both the Lansdowne Police Department and Fire Department as they demonstrated their dedication this past week during Tropical Storm Isaias in rescuing several people from flooded cars and working with the Highway crew to keep our roads clear and prevent further distress. Although our community escaped serious damage, both Hoffman Park and Gateway Slope were both affected by serious flooding and will require work to clean the courts, clear debris, repair fences, and repave the walkway. Both the Borough Council and Lansdowne Parks and Recreation Board are working towards this goal. If you are interested in viewing pictures or video of the flood, please view here.
As we end the Summer, I also want to highlight and thank the Sanitation department for working efficiently and clearing the garbage and recycling from our streets. Early in the pandemic, Council procured the necessary PPE equipment to help keep our workers safe, but we have been lucky no one has become ill with COVID. Even during the Tropical Storm, our Sanitation team was out collecting on their normal routes in the torrential downpour. If you see them out, please thank them for their service.
Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Lansdowne Borough keeps our commitment to being a community that celebrates all residents of all cultures. This past August 10th, we celebrated Ecuador Day and, we will continue to honor the cultures of Lansdowne through our dedication of September as Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino culture to Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, and the United States.
Honoring Representative Nick Micozzie
Lansdowne Borough Council passed a resolution to honor former State Representative Nick Micozzie. In his role as a dedicated public servant and friend of Lansdowne, Nick Micozzie worked tirelessly to secure funding and support the projects of Lansdowne Borough. The lived community of Lansdowne still bears the impact of Nick Micozzie’s efforts. The Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation, Sycamore Park, Hoffman Park, 2020 House and The Twentieth Century Club, the World War II and Great War Memorials are just a few of the many projects that Representative Nick Micozzie helped to support. Our community will miss his presence.
Economic Development and Grants Update
Over the next few months, Lansdowne Borough Council will be working to implement the strategy to develop Lansdowne is a more walkable and bike able community with quality community green spaces and playgrounds available in all sectors of Lansdowne. To this end, Delaware County Council announced that Lansdowne Borough secured a Community Development Block Grant for $198,500 for the development of McKinley Lot into a Tot playground. The Borough is continuing work on Reservoir Park, Gateway Slope, the Lansdowne Avenue Crosswalk. In addition, Lansdowne Borough applied to the Department of Community Economic Development for a grant to assist the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation with Blight Remediation. In an effort to maintain the services and infrastructure of the Borough, Lansdowne Borough also secured funding from the Community Development Block Grant program ($100,000) as well as a grant recently announced by Representative Margo Davidson for $500,000 from the Department of Community and Economic Development Corporation both for rehabilitation of the Borough sewer systems.
Lansdowne Borough Council and Mayor Campuzano are working to preserve the Borough and emerge from the current challenges stronger than before. Lansdowne is a great place to live with great services, great parks, and above all else great neighbors.
As always, please let us know on council if you have concerns, want to serve on a Board or Commission, or want to volunteer in any other capacity in Lansdowne.
Your friend and neighbor,