Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Council continues to remain busy this autumn working for the goals of building the Lansdowne Community.
This November and December, we will continue to work on a budget for next year and plan to retain the excellent services in Lansdowne in our sanitation department, police department and code enforcement while continuing with investment in projects to continue the economic development and improvements in quality of life issues for all residents in Lansdowne Borough.
In the coming months, please note that Lansdowne Borough Council will be considering the following issues as highlights:
First, I would like to thank Chief Ken Rutherford for his service as Police Chief to Lansdowne Borough and our police officers for the professionalism within our community. Over the past year, as our Chief of Police, Chief Rutherford has worked with Council and the Mayor to earn certification for the Lansdowne Police Department and continues to work with our department to develop practical policies for the department and public safety solutions within the community.
At the Council meeting on October 19th, Lansdowne Borough Council moved to advertise a change in the ordinances to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Individuals found to be in possession will receive a citation to be handled as a fine.
Also, the consensus with Lansdowne Borough Council and the Mayor was to compose a letter to the William Penn School Board to support the advocacy by Chief Rutherford in hiring a School Resource Officer to assist in supporting the safety needs at the High School.
In addition, Lansdowne Borough Council is working with Mayor Byrne and Chief Rutherford to develop the job description and budgeting for a Deputy Chief and the hiring of another full-time officer.
Finally, Lansdowne Borough Council voted on 6-0 to distribute a portion of American Rescue Plan to provide an employment bonus for all of our full and part time employees.
On October 22nd, Lansdowne Borough hosted Minas in performing Beatles in Bossa at the 20th Century Club. The concert was well attended and the musicians performed magnificently in the autumnal glow of the courtyard at the Twentieth Century Club. Lansdowne Borough Council wishes the group and local Lansdowne residents, Patricia King Haddad and Orlando Haddad much success! See photos from the concert HERE.
Environment, Parks, and Recreation
Several projects in Lansdowne Borough are in the process of completion to augment the parks throughout Lansdowne.
First of all, the Gateway Slope Project, which creates an entryway into Lansdowne Borough is nearly complete with the staining of the walls. The last items will be an inventory and replacement of plants lost during the summer drought and the placement of the dedicatory plaque.
Next, work on the McKinley Tot Lot Playground is nearly complete. Lansdowne Borough Council along with the Parks and Recreation Board is soliciting names for the playground from students who live in Lansdowne. If your child is an elementary age child in Lansdowne, please encourage them to think of and submit a name for the Tot Lot. Stay tuned for the ribbon cutting in November.
The McKinley Tot Lot is paid for with a grant from the Department of Conservation of Natural Resources for $138,900 for the McKinley Lot Playground Plan; combined with the award of $195,000 from the Community Development and Building Grant to the development of McKinley Lot Tot Playground, this allows Lansdowne Borough to create a great space for families and kids to play and creates a new park in the Northeast quadrant of Lansdowne. Currently, we are in the planning stage of this project.
On October 19th, Lansdowne Borough Council and Mayor Byrne hosted representatives from Birdtown, PA to receive new signage for our Birdtown status. EAC member Christine DuBois-Buxbaum and Environment, Parks, and Recreation Chair received the signage and presented the signs to Mayor Magda Byrne and Council President Hover. See the press release HERE.
At the October 19th meeting, Lansdowne Borough Council voted to appropriate an additional $3,500 to support the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation due to the losses incurred by the cancellation of the Arts on the Avenue Festival.
Lansdowne Borough Council recognized Camellia Coffee at the October 5th Council meeting. And honored Kia’s Cakes on the 5th Anniversary at her current location at the October 19th meeting. At the November 2nd Meeting, Lansdowne Borough Council will host Sweet Gardenia to discuss the new bakery in Lansdowne.
Lansdowne Borough Council continues to work on the budget for 2023. On November 30th, Lansdowne Borough Council will hold a Special Meeting to discuss the budget for 2023.
Lansdowne Borough Council is also discussing the possibility of creating a position of Assistant Borough Manager. Over the next few meetings, we will be refining the job descriptions and reviewing the budget considerations.
Currently, Council is projecting a budget with no tax increases while retaining the quality services throughout our departments and continued investments in our parks and infrastructure.
Lansdowne Borough Council is currently working to implement new street signs throughout Lansdowne that provide neon visibility at night.
The development of the Bicycle Facilities Plan is near completion. Currently, all of the segments are completely painted except for the segment connecting Greenwood Avenue to Burmont Road and Scottdale Road.
To give background and context, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission provided a plan in 2019 as a result of a Transportation and Community Development Initiative grant—a grant received by Lansdowne to assess safety issues and transportation needs as part of our future development. Currently, Lansdowne Borough is the lead recipient of another TCDI grant received this past spring in partnership with Upper Darby, East Lansdowne, and Yeadon Borough to build our Bicycle network to extend through Eastern Delaware County into Philadelphia.
On September 30th, 2020 Lansdowne Borough hosted the presentation of the Bicycle Facilities Plan created by Pennoni Engineering on September 30, 2020. Through the process of public input, Lansdowne Borough Council revised the initial plan to provide a dedicated bike lane through the Lansdowne Loop and to restrict traffic to one way on the portion of Scottsdale Road between The Knoll and the Hoffman Park tennis courts.
The meeting on September 30 was part of the process established in the fall of 2019 voted on unanimously by Lansdowne Borough Council to contract with Pennoni for a design for Bicycle Facilities in Lansdowne based upon a plan developed by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. The plan expands upon the previously established 2011 bicycle route voted on by the Council. In all of the discussions and votes, Lansdowne Borough Council was unanimous or near unanimous in moving this plan forward. The plan supports the Delaware County Bicycle Plan and links into regional planning for a bike friendly and pedestrian friendly Lansdowne Borough. Read more on the Delco Bike Plan HERE.
Definition from DVRPC:
“The Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) is an opportunity for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) to support growth in the individual municipalities of the Delaware Valley through initiatives that implement the region’s long-range plan, Connections 2040. Begun in 2002, TCDI provides a mechanism for local governments to undertake locally-directed actions to improve their communities, which in turn implements their local and county comprehensive plans and supports the goals and vision of Connections 2040.”
In this, Lansdowne is investing in 21st Century transportation needs to create a green infrastructure that supports public safety and economic investment in our neighborhoods. Just as past Borough Councils had to accommodate the transition from cowpaths to paved roads with the adoption of the automobile and trolley lines in Lansdowne. So too, do we need to address the current transformation of transportation needs and planning in the Philadelphia region.
In conjunction with the County, the Region, and State initiatives, Lansdowne Borough Council is moving forward with our plans to be a bike friendly, pedestrian friendly and connected Borough. We are not planning for 2025, but for 2030 and 2040.
Through the dedication of resources, we:
Work towards the goals of Ready for 100 as advocated by the Environmental Advisory Council in creating green infrastructure in our town
Establish safer road conditions through the traffic calming measures provided in the plans
Invest in our community by providing more amenities as a bike-able, walkable community and encouraging the economic development provided by quality of life issues is already attracting investment in Lansdowne.
Provide the connectivity to a regional network of bike pathways that provides more recreational opportunities in Lansdowne
Ultimately, members of Lansdowne Borough Council are working with our Mayor to ensure that Lansdowne is a green place to grow in with pedestrian and bike friendly pathways throughout the town.
At the October 19th meeting, Councilmember Kellie Bowker indicated her intention to resign from Council. At the November 2nd meeting, Lansdowne Borough Council will vote to accept the resignation. At this point, Lansdowne Borough Council will consider applicants to fill the position until the next election in 2023. If you are interested in serving on Council please send a letter of interest and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To all of my friends and neighbors, I hope to see you around the town.
Lansdowne Borough Council