2007-06-12 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council   –   Minutes of Tuesday, June 12, 2007   FINAL


Attendance:     Members:     Jeremiah Couey, Chair

Susan Curry

Kimberly Koczan-Flory  [Absent – Conflict]

Peg Williams  [Leave of Absence, accidental injuries]

David Morgan

Rich Palumbo  [Absent – Conflict]

Charles Stewart

Associates:   Judy Baigis (Planning Commission)  [Absent]

Ron Ayres (Shade Tree Committee)

Visitors:       Susan Johnsson, Ambler Resident (Rose Valley Creek)

Ryan McFarlan, Edgewood Drive

Next Meeting:     Tuesday, July 10, 2007,  7:00 – 9:00, at Borough Hall  (usually 2nd Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 PM)

                           Note:  Later Adjusted:  Next Meeting Tuesday July 31, 2007 (Combined July/Aug) 

1.  Introduction to Ambler EAC:  Jeremiah Couey and members introduced the visitors to the EAC and explored their interest thereof.  Susan Curry passed out the former “What is the Ambler EAC” (to be revised).

 2.  Jeremiah Couey Resignation:  Jeremiah announced that, due to his impending move outside of the Borough, he will be resigning from the EAC at the end of August.  Although he will be staying active in Ambler, this was sad news to all.  An EAC vacancy will therefore exist after August.

3.  Borough Meeting Reports:  P/C:  Through Jeremiah, Kimberly Koczan-Flory reported that the Planning Commission has received a request from the Borough to consider a change in zoning for the block of Butler Avenue east of Race (opposite the Acme) from non-compliant Residential to Commercial, to match current use (former Del’s/pizza parlor, now Mexican grocery store, cleaners, etc.).  A lighting ordinance for developments will also be considered.

Council:  Jeremiah reports that no major environmental issues arose in Borough Council.

4.  Butler Avenue Trees:  Susan reported that the Borough has set aside $1,000 to replace four (4) failing street trees in now empty tree pits (3′ x 3′) along Butler.  David Morgan inquired about the delay in planting the tree on Butler required by the development of the new liquor store;  Susan will look into this with the Borough.  Proposed Tree Care Guidelines, targeting Butler Avenue trees in particular, will be developed by the EAC via email exchanges.  Formal training on proper pruning, to be given by qualified arborists (e.g. DCNR foresters), will be a component. NOTE:  Trees were planted the following day.

5.  Meetings and Borough Liaison Calendar (& Coverage):

∙  Monday, June 18, 8:00 pm – Borough Council Meeting  (Ryan McFarland)

∙  Tuesday, June 26, 7:30 pm – Planning Commission  (Jeremiah)

∙  Monday, July 2, 7:30 pm – Borough Council Committees  (Ryan, Susan)

∙  Tuesday, July 10, 7 pm, – EAC Meeting (later changed to Tuesday, July 31, 7pm)

6.  WREN Grant:  Susan Curry announced that fifteen (15) house appointments have been arranged, with five (5) completed.  The consultants are:  (arborists) Mike Burke, John Urban, Bill Craig, and Pete Williams;  (horticulturalists) Nancy Minich, Judy Simpson, Eva Monheim, and Chris Dartley.  The current fees offered are $75 for the arborist and $50 for the horticulturalist per house visit, whereas an amount of $75 per property was originally planned.  It was suggested that Susan ask consultants if they would accept a lower fee.  As a backup to cover costs, at Jeremiah’s suggestion, the EAC authorized that the remaining Tree Tenders Grant revenues of $842, now on deposit with the Borough, be transferred to the WREN Grant to support the riparian buffer strategy, which likely will include future grants.

7.  Riverkeepers Grant:  Susan Curry expects to seek funds to support a riparian buffer strategy in the Borough, especially focusing on Borough Park.  Adherence to the original Temple Ambler plan continues to be an issue, including enforcing mowing restrictions to encourage woodland growth.  Susan would like to have Nancy Minnick evaluate Borough Park and its borders as a basis for a grant proposal in 2008 or 2009.

8.  EAC Budget:  The budget has about $190 remaining, with a projected $100 for the Knight Park Ash tree branch assessment tentatively set aside.  $50 is projected for an Octoberfest table.

9.  Stormwater Financing Initiative Conference:  Anita Pieri has assured Susan that someone from the Borough will attend the conference detailing the requirements for participating in the Stormwater Financing Initiative originated by the PEC (Pa. Environmental Council).  Ryan will follow-up with Anita to learn who will be participating.

10.  Ambler Tree Tenders:   A pruning workshop and picnic in the park is planned for the Fall.

11.  Minutes of May 8, 2007 (R. Ayres, 06/11/07) were distributed and approved with a minor change (Item 13 – consultations expecting to take up to 1 hour (replacing “surveys”)

12.  Asbestos Site Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) Update:  (Susan Curry)  Sharon McCormick’s involvement with the asbestos issue has prompted the EPA to initiate creation of a CAG.  The EPA has arranged for a facilitator, Melinda Holland of South Carolina, to become involved in establishing the CAG.  She will be hosting a public information meeting on June 28, at which point she will also be interviewing attendees as prospective members of the CAG.  Rich Palumbo and Charles Stewart have expressed interest in participating.

13.  Recycling at Ambler Downtown Events:  David Morgan proposed that recycling (of beverage containers, etc.) become a part of events held in Ambler’s downtown (e.g. Auto Show, Octoberfest), to demonstrate Ambler’s commitment to recycling.  This concept will be explored further.


[End]                                                                                                                                    [R. Ayres +EAC,  07/31/07 ]