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Posted on: March 18, 2022

March 18, 2022: Letter from Council President, Benjamin Hover

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To all of our Lansdowne Friends and Neighbors, Happy Spring!

As we move into Spring and the flowers begin to blossom and the birds begin to sing, Lansdowne Borough has many reasons to celebrate. 

Over two years ago, the Mayor and Council were deliberating over the hard choices caused by COVID—closing buildings, suspending programs, and worried that the rejuvenation of Lansdowne would be stalled by the losses of revenues and possible hardships caused by the shutdown of our communities. 

Because of the decrease in COVID numbers,  Lansdowne Borough is opening back up with events and we are fully opening buildings with a return to in person meetings.

Likewise, several events are occurring in Lansdowne that are the realization of long-term visions and teamwork between numerous community leaders in Lansdowne.

Economic Development:

First of all, Lansdowne Borough Council would like to congratulate Board of the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation and Executive Director Matt Schultz on the receipt of $2,000,000 of ARPA Funds from Delaware County Council and the $1,500,000 of Appropriations secured with the assistance of Senator Bob Casey and U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon. This money in combination with the $200,000 Blight Remediation Grant and the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grant for $4,000,000 secured by Lansdowne Borough for the Theater Project puts the Theater within reach of their final financial goals to begin building this year. Thank you to all of the members of the community who have supported through hopes, dreams, and financial contributions this great public/ private endeavor. Borough Council looks forward to continuing to work with the Theater in developing a thriving entertainment center for the whole community. Learn more about theTheater here. 

Next, Lansdowne Borough Council congratulates the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation and Executive Director Deb Brodeur in the opening of the Launchbox Maker Space Collaboration with Penn State on Friday, March 18th. This collaboration supports the work of artists in Lansdowne and continues the growth of businesses in our downtown. Lansdowne Borough’s partnership with the LEDC in growing the businesses in the downtown and throughout the Borough continues unabated. Learn more about Launchbox Maker Space here. 

Finally, Lansdowne Borough Council is committed to the development and upgrade of the Lansdowne Landing and Veteran’s Park areas to develop community gathering space and upgrade the parking lots in Lansdowne Borough. On Thursday, February 24, 2022, Lansdowne Borough Council held a stakeholder meeting to discuss the revisions to the Lansdowne Landing and Veteran’s Park. At Council on March 16th, Lansdowne Borough Council voted to accept the revisions to the initial design and will hold another stakeholder meeting to listen to recommendations to the revised concept plan before the engineering design begins. Please see revised plan here

Environment, Parks, and Recreation:

April will be a busy month in Lansdowne. With April showers and flowers come April activities. In a few short weeks, Lansdowne Borough Council will celebrate the opening of Gateway Slope on April 8th with several elected officials from the county and State. This opening also serves as a dedication ceremony for Marty Council, former Borough Council President, who was instrumental in the vision of creating this entrance park into Lansdowne.  The Lansdowne community is invited to join in the celebration at the Gateway Slope Park at 4:00 on April 8th, 2022. View all of the Gateway Slope Notes here.

Likewise, we will also celebrate in the coming weeks with a groundbreaking ceremony for the Tot Lot being installed at McKinley Avenue. This continued development demonstrates our commitment to investments in our neighborhoods and our Parks. Also, Lansdowne Borough Council believes in investing in places for our children and families to grow and play. View the Tot Lot plans here. 

On April 23rd, Lansdowne Borough and several of Lansdowne Boards including the Environmental Advisory Council, Parks and Recreation Board, Shade Tree Commission will celebrate with numerous community partners including the Nile Swim Club, such as the Boy Scouts of America (and Cub), Girl Scouts, Nile Swim Club, Bethel AME, Habitat for Humanity, Lansdowne Public Library, State Senator Anthony Williams and our State Representative Gina Hackett Curry in planting pollinator plants and trees at Interboro Park and creating bird boxes and celebrating Birdtown status. Click here to learn more.

On April 20th, the Shade Tree Commission will be delivering and planting trees for Arbor Day and Earth Day. Every year Lansdowne Borough Council dedicates several thousand dollars for the purchase of trees to keep our community green and the Shade Tree Commission organizes the free distribution of trees. Please take advantage of this great program! Click here to learn more.

If you would like to volunteer to help keep our parks clean, please join the clean ups at various locations around Lansdowne with the DCVA or with the Parks and Recreation Board. Learn more here.

On May 21st, Lansdowne Borough will revive the STEAM Festival with activities for kids from all ages. Stay tuned for more information

Many thanks to the great appointed officials and volunteers at the Parks and Recreation Board, Shade Tree Commission, and Environmental Advisory Council for the hard work in planning for the events! 

Public Safety:

Lansdowne Borough Council is also happy to report progress in working with the Lansdowne Police Department, and the Mayor in working towards reforms within the Police Department. By working with the wonderful professionals in the Police Department and Police Chief Kenny Rutherford, Lansdowne Borough Council will finalize the use of force policy that includes both a duty to intervene and a ban on chokeholds except in the most extreme circumstances. Lansdowne Borough Council is also exploring the necessary steps to develop our Police Department as an accredited agency. We appreciate the hard work of our Police Officers and recognize their dedication and service to our community.

 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Lansdowne Borough Council celebrated Irish-American Heritage Month and Women’s History Month in March. View the Resolutions here. Several members of the Lansdowne community submitted artwork to the Lansdowne Arts Board in honor of Women’s History Month. View the artwork here. Also, several residents have shared stories of Women in Lansdowne who have made an impact. Click here to read their stories. 

Lansdowne Borough Council continued the commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with passage of the Diversity Month Resolution for April. Click here to view the Resolution.

Also, Lansdowne Borough Council continues our commitment to fulfilling equity in ensuring fidelity to the spirit and provisions of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Lansdowne Borough Council passed a resolution honoring April as Fair Housing Month and committing to further training in Fair Housing for Councilmembers, staff members, and appointed officials of our Boards and Commissions. Click here to view the Resolution.

On April 2, 2022, Lansdowne Borough Council  and Mayor Magda Byrne will join with Autsome Brushes and Sharon Coleman to raise the Flag for Autism Awareness and we invite all of Lansdowne Borough to join In this event. View the Resolution here. 

 Despite the hardships of 2020 and 2021, our community is strong and continues to grow stronger  through the hard work of this council and the many leaders within the community.

 Lansdowne Borough Council and the Mayor are working together with businesses, community partners, and leveraging our resources to build in 2022 and continue to develop this great town

 We invite all residents to come to Council meetings and Committee meetings to make your voice heard.

 Hope to see you around the neighborhood.

 

 

Benjamin Hover 

Council President



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