2008-05-08 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Notes EAC Meeting May 10, 2008

Present:  Members: Susan Curry, David Morgan (no quorum). Associate: Jill Eichelberger. Visitor: Andrew Salvadore. Susan Curry took notes.

  1. Wissahickon Stream Clean-up was successful. Over 30 volunteers came to clean-up Ambler tributaries (forgot to have them sign-in on a clipboard).  Found less volume of “stuff” to pull out than in prior years, also more wildlife– including a huge bullfrog and a school of fish!
  1. Recycling florescent tubes/bulbs:  Melissa Brooks’ article in Ambler Gazette raised a call from Harrisburg. (NOTE:  Susan forgot to report that she learned from Art Feltes, County Recycling coordinator, that for $300 to $800 per year, we could institute a CFL bulb collection and recycling program.  He has a $75 bucket to get us started).
  1. Grease trap oils:  David recalled Judy shared last month that occasionally manholes have popped up on Tennis Avenue with sewage backed up into homes. An article from Susquehanna Township on how they are addressing this problem was circulated. Andrew challenged whether this or even a new ordinance is best approach.  He offered to share ideas with Judy or the Council.  Susan will connect Judy and Andrew to talk about it.
  1. CAG report:  the committee of 25 broke down into five working groups.  The CAG has been selected to benefit from the first TASC (independent Technical Assistance). A “Removal Action to end immediate threats” has been published. Susan needs to name an alternative for EAC representation on the committee. Andrew was invited; he possesses a great deal of technical safety expertise – he needs to check.  Susan will send pertinent information on the CAG to Andrew.
  1. Rain GardenAmbler was selected to receive a free design for a garden for Ricciardi Park.  A free workshop on Rain Gardens is now scheduled for June 28, 9:00 to 11:30 AM at Borough Hall and at the park.  Upper Dublin EPAB will help publicize. David suggested we ask Lower Gwynedd to publicize it. We’ll ask for a $5 donation toward installation costs of the rain garden.
  1. Recycling Containers:  David and Jimmy Wack agreed to obtain 9 recycling containers to have at each of the parks.  The two borrowed from Upper Dublin for Pickering Field Jr. League baseball practices showed that recycled content was fortunately pretty well separated. Susan will explore a 902 grant (lengthy timeline). David will encourage Paul Dooley to ask Mascaro to donate the cans.
  1.  Trees:  Downtown Tree Management Policy Ron Ayres and Edgar David, former prof. of Temple Ambler, are negotiating a contract to assess the “downtown trees” (which include all street trees and parking lot trees, that is: Lindenwold, Butler, Race, Main, and parking lots – Cavalier, Ambler Savings, and Ambler Coffee (Lot 3).  Not the park trees.  His assessment will summarize:  immediate liability hazards; intermediate and long-term care needs for tree longevity; and opportunity spots to plant more shade trees.  We want to have about $1,000 to actually plant 3-4 trees before the grant runs out.
  1. Energy use reduction —The EAC’s fairly simple “energy audit” of the Borough Hall has expanded into a professional audit of all borough operations (borough hall, highway dept, water dept, and wastewater dept.).  Bruce, Phil and Jimmy have promised information for the simple Pre-Assessment form. If submitted quickly, the audit could happen before the end of the month of May.  We expect to find savings.
  1. Green Committee:  Organizing a single point waste hauler for commercial businesses: Andrew offered the language to business owners:  “Equivalent trash disposal system as efficient and effective as the one you have now” possibly less costly; you won’t have to pay attention to managing them; maybe fewer or one hauler instead of 13.”
  1. Merck & stream restoration grant:   Due to a series of releases a couple of years ago, Merck has committed to spend $1,200,000 to help the Wissahickon Creek.  Susan will attend a meeting on the grant process on May 15.  Nancy Minich, landscaping consultant for our WREN streamside best management practices project will submit a one page outline to create a model property and reduce the “bowl” at the end of the utility road off Tennis, near where flooding occurs.  We expect to ask for $20,000 to $30,000.  Louis Boggs has a contact at Temple Ambler from whom we may request plants for either the rain garden or the stream restoration project.