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Posted on: December 17, 2021

December 19, 2021: Letter from Council President, Benjamin Hover

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Dear Lansdowne neighbors,

As we end the year, I want to take a moment, on behalf of Lansdowne Borough Council, to thank the many people in the Lansdowne community for the hard work throughout the year. I am grateful to be in a community where the many people in our community volunteer, work, and support their neighbors—the Lansdowne Fire Company, the EMS squad, the police officers, the many community volunteers who serve on the Boards and Commissions to make decisions within the community, the many volunteers in nonprofits and community organizations who volunteer to serve their neighbors, and also any neighbors who spontaneously took a moment to do a small act of kindness for a neighbor or a stranger. All of you build our community and make us stronger together.

Also, we want to thank the employees of the Borough—the Library staff, the sanitation and Public Works workers, the crossing guards, the clerks in the Police Department, the Parks and Recreation Director, the Code Enforcement Officers, the Borough Staff, our Borough Manager and Chief of Police. Through your daily work, our community works like a well-oiled machine.

Thank you all for your service throughout this past year. Because of your efforts, the community remained strong during a year of uncertainty and came back to life stronger than ever after a year of quarantine in COVID.

Council Acknowledgment:

At the last council of the year, Lansdowne Borough Council recognized the Councilmember Michael Schleigh, Councilmember Janet English, Councilmember Wardell Holt, and Vice President Magda Byrne for their years on Council. Lansdowne Borough Council also recognized Nhaomi Lartey who served this past year as a Junior Councilmember and did an outstanding job.

Lansdowne Borough Council made a special note to honor the 20 years of service to the Borough for Barbara Henry, long-time Lansdowne Borough Secretary.

Finally, Lansdowne Borough honored Mayor Campuzano who has served the Borough as a community volunteer, Councilmember, Council President, elected Constable and for the last eight years the Mayor of Lansdowne. Thank you, Mayor Tony for your years of contributions and service to the Borough. Learn more here.

Council News:

Lansdowne Borough Council voted unanimously to adopt the 2022 budget that invests even more in our community—our parks, our streets, our arts, our culture, and our human resources: with raises for all of our Borough Personnel.  

Lansdowne Borough Council also voted to lower real estate taxes by 5%. Lansdowne Borough Council is dedicated to bringing quality services to Lansdowne and also maximizing the investment into the Lansdowne community. 

Please read through the list of accomplishments from the last year on Council. In the coming New Year, Lansdowne Borough Council is dedicated to continuing our investments in green spaces, arts places, and a community that values our neighbors.

My wish for all of you is that you are able to enjoy time with your families this season and you have blessings in the new year.

                            Sincerely,

                            Benjamin Hover

                            Council President

 I. Commitment to good Finance/ Administration:

  • Developed Professional Human Resources system for recruitment, hiring, and evaluation of staff.
  • Intervened, investigated, and managed sewer fund overcharges and rebates to thousands of overcharged property owners.
  • Developed specifications for audits of current and prior years tax and fee collections for Quarter 1 2022.
  • Installed customer-service counter work station for walk-in applications and customers. 
  • Developed a budget for 2022, which provides more investments in arts, culture, economic development, public safety, and infrastructure.
  • Managed finances to provide a healthy fund balance to cover expenses while investing in projects.
  • Reduced Real Estate Taxes by 5%.
  • Hired a new Treasurer/ Finance Director, code enforcement officer, and parks maintenance technician.

II. Commitment to Technological Upgrades:

  • Creation and implementation of on-line permitting for the Police Department and Code Enforcement.
  • Migrated accounting software to online accounts and deployed remote work operations throughout the pandemic.
  • Scanned, indexed, migrated 80000 hard copy property file document to digital format through online subscription service.
  • Migrated all “house” files to online/ cloud and decommissioned in-house server.
  • Development of online newsletter and social media strategy.
  • Development of meeting capabilities to allow for Zoom meetings and recordings for Lansdowne Borough Council and Committee meetings.
  • Investigated and developed specifications to create Council chambers into a Zoom room to allow for recording of public meetings.

III. Commitment to Infrastructure:

  • Continuation of the Sanitation Modernization Project: Through COVID, there were no disruptions of schedule to sanitation, recycling.
  • Leaf pickup continued as normal.
  • Major Sewer work at Pennock, Union, Strafford-Windermere, and Bryn Mawr Avenues.
  • Receipt of Department of Environmental Protection Grant to offset $173,000 for a Recycling Truck.
  • Major sanitary sewer project to remove and replace over 2500 feet of  conveyance pipe and 25 manholes.
  • Paving on: Essex, Shadeland to Eldon; Windsor, Wabash to Crawford; Jackson, Plumstead to Essex; Plumstead, Jackson, to Maple; Windsor Wabash to Maple; Essex Lansdowne to Owen; Berkley, Windermere to Ardmore; Drexel, Windermere to Ardmore.

IV. Commitment to Public Safety:

  • Development of a Human Resources Process for hiring a Police Chief.
  • Hiring of a new Police Chief.
  • Hiring of two full-time officers.
  • Increased social media presence.
  • Successfully provided a safe and secure atmosphere for multiple community events (Arts on the Avenue, Tree Lighting, Holiday Parade, LGBTQIA Parade, etc.)
  • Complete staffing of the Police Department.
  • Hiring of new Parking Enforcement Officers.
  • Development and implementation of an online Parking Permit process.
  • Purchase of a new ladder truck for the Lansdowne Fire Department.
  • Completion of the Lansdowne Avenue Crosswalk (Infrastructure).
  • Development and Implementation of a Use of Force policy.
  • Purchase and implementation of body cameras.
  • Development and implementation of a body camera policy.
  • Receipt of a $10000 grant from Senator Anthony Hardy Williams to assist in the purchase of body cameras.
  • Purchase of a police car for the K-9 unit.
  • Updated traffic signage throughout  the Borough in response to safety concerns expressed by residents.
  • Passage of Complete Streets Policy to develop traffic calming for pedestrian and bicycle safety.
  • Introduced Lansdowne Community Day in conjunction with the Lansdowne Fire Department.

V. Commitment to Environment,  Parks, and Recreation:

  • Completion of design work for the McKinley Avenue Tot Lot.
  • Completion of the Reservoir Park stream bank restoration project. (Infrastructure).
  • Completion of repair work on the masonry at the entryway to Interboro Park.
  • Development of the design work for the Bicycle Facilities Plan on Greenwood Avenue and Scottdale Road.
  • Receipt of $100,000 in  a Delco Greenways grant for a feasibility study of a pedestrian and bikeway bridge across Darby Creek into Clifton Heights.
  • Masonry repair of the pillars at Lansdowne Court and the parklet, The Island, in Gladstone Manor.
  • Repairs of the chimney and house repairs at the 2020 House.
  • Installation of the entryway sign, walls, and paving into Lansdowne at Gateway Slope.
  • Repairs to fences and courts at Hoffman Park after Tropical Storm damage.
  • Receipt of $20,000 for Solar tables at Hays Park from the Community Building Development grant from Delaware County.
  • PennDot installation of bicycle lanes on Lansdowne Avenue at low to no-cost to the Borough.

VI. Commitment to Economic and Community Development

  • Receipt of the Transportation and Community Development Initiative Grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to develop an Eastern Delco Bikeway in collaboration with Upper Darby, Yeadon, and East Lansdowne
  • CGI Marketing Strategy: Video marketing for the Borough
  • New Businesses opening:  Franklin Fountain, Sycamore Studios, Crisp Chick’n, Autsome Brushes, Scrappy Cat, Lansdowne Urban Farms
  • Building Development: Callahan Ward developments
  • Comprehensive Plan: Connect the Dots and Urban Research Design
  • $50,000 grant and in kind and administrative support to the Lansdowne Economic Development to not only support the Lansdowne Farmer’s Market, A Bit of the Arts Festival, and Arts on the Avenue Festival, but also to assist in the preliminary development of a Business Improvement District.
  • Receipt of a $200, 000 Blight Remediation Grant from the Department of Economic and Community Development to assist the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation in remediating asbestos.
  • Forgiveness of the $10,000 easement fee to the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation for placement of the Stormwater Management System and use of ingress to the Highland Avenue Lot.
  • Letters of Support for the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation to apply for State and Federal funding. 
  • Purchase of property on North Lansdowne Avenue to allow for access to the Highland Avenue Lot for patrons and performers of the theater.
  • Creation of Site plan from NV5 Design to upgrade the Owen Avenue, Highland Avenue parking lots and develop The Walkshed Plan to upgrade The Landing and Veteran’s Park.
  • Purchase of property on South Lansdowne Avenue to allow for future development of The Lansdowne Public Library.
  • Continuation of the marketing strategy with Dandelion Digital to provide regular social media posts promoting Lansdowne and Lansdowne events and development of the monthly newsletter.

VII. Commitment to Community Events/ Celebrations:

Supported numerous community events and organizations, either through financial, administrative, or in kind support of Lansdowne Borough Council and staff, including the following.

  • Increased Borough of Lansdowne’s social media presence with good news and celebration of community events.
  • Lunar New Year Resolution
  • St. Patrick’s Day Flag Raising and Ceremony
  • Fourth of July Parade
  • Advocacy for Juneteenth to become a national holiday and celebration of Juneteenth
  • Juneteenth Flag Raising and Ceremony.
  • Legion Post 65: Installation of Hometown Heroes banners in collaboration with the American Legion.
  • Liberia Day Flag Raising and Ceremony
  • Lansdowne Arts Festival 
  • Lansdowne Arts Board Shows
  • LBPA Winter Parade
  • A Bit of the Arts
  • Asian/ Pacific Heritage Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • African-American History Month
  • LGBTQIA+ Month Flag Raising and Parade
  • POW/ MIA Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra/ Lansdowne Folk Club
  • Gladstone Manor Civic Association
  • Senior Community Services

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