2008-06-12 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Meeting Notes – EAC Meeting June 12, 2008

Notes by Sigi Koko.

Members Attending:  Susan Curry, Sigi Koko, David Morgan,

Visitors: Daniel Brouse, Judy Baigis

  1. Minutes approved from May meeting.
  2. EAC is hosting a Rain Garden workshop on June 28th between 9 and 11:30 AM.  Susan and David will assist with registration and logistics.  We will ask DMK from Ambler Main Street to forward the announcement.  Question was raised whether neighbors need to be notified somehow.  The announcement of the workshop appeared in both the Enterprise and the Ambler Gazette.
  3. Household hazardous waste drop-off @ MCCC between 9AM and 3PM on 14 June.  Notice is on Borough Bulletin Board.  Judy Baigis inquired what happens to collected materials.
  4. Discussion on how better to educate the general public about recycling opportunities and practices.
  5. Borough Council Meeting:  RE: over-crowding of some homes in South Ambler, Code officer is monitoring and enforcing what is feasible to enforce.  There was a public meeting, but hardly any one stood up with comments.  Handicap sidewalk access is now required to be 48” wide.  This may mean existing tree pits would not be able to be widened.  The grease trap ordinance has not yet been reviewed by Borough Council.  Sigi Koko will coordinate with Judy Baigis about a date when Sigi can present information about biodiesel production to PUC.
  6. Report on TRID – no one from the EAC meeting was in attendance, so no report available.  Judy Baigis will coordinate with Bernadette Dougherty (who was in attendance) to get meeting notes.
  7. Judy Baigis presented the SEPTA planting plan to be reviewed at the next Planning Commission Meeting on 24 June.  Plans modify sidewalk so platform entry is at train platform height for ADA compliant accessibility.
  8. Susan Curry and Nancy Minick have written a proposal for a Merck grant to remove invasive plants and create a riparian buffer in Borough Park.  Susan is negotiating with Mary Aversa on whether to submit the grant.  The grant will cover all costs (no financial obligation on the Borough).  The start date for the project is 2009.
  9. Bo-Rit site NPL listing by the EPA:  EPA has opened an office with limited public visiting hours on W. Maple.  EPA will make a public announcement in September regarding listing.  Their decision is final.  Over 5000 residents signed a petition to have the site listed.
  10. Borough Energy Conservation Audit.  Susan sent in information gathered from the Borough.  Ambler was accepted as the 4th municipality to have the audit completed.
  11. Recycling containers for parks.  David Morgan has someone willing to paint free bins (red ones from Mascaro) and place information stickers on them.  David will follow up with Jimmy and/or Paul Dooley.  Susan indicated that there is money in the EAC budget for purchasing containers.
  12. We planned $370 in EAC budget for a rain garden workshop, which is now being provided at no cost.  So this amount could be applied for collection and mailing boxes for compact fluorescent recycling.  Excess bulbs can go to Ikea.  David Morgan raised question of where to have a once-monthly drop-off location for public to bring fluorescent bulbs.  Someone needs to volunteer to monitor during drop-off period so bulbs are not broken.  Ideally the location is outside, easy to see and find, and covered in case of rain.  Idea is to start slowly and see how it goes, then increase or adjust as necessary to make fluorescent bulb recycling a success.  David suggested having the drop-off location on a Saturday behind Borough Hall (in the parking lot).  A sign would be placed on Butler Pike.  We need permission from Police Department for this location.  Perhaps need Borough Council to approve.  Susan will go to the next Council meeting and David will write up the proposed bulb drop-off operation.  Suggested alternate location is the public library, though the question of liability was raised for this location.
  13. Ambler Green Committee:  Daniel Rouse’s son has expressed interest in volunteering for the Ambler Green Committee.  Susan has been assigning volunteers to survey Ambler businesses for the One Commercial Waste Hauler initiative.  Daniel, David, Sigi, Amy, Bernadette, and Denine have all volunteered to conduct business surveys so far.  Daniel Rouse has begun to update the Ambler Green Committee website and is currently posting information.  Any additional information for posting should be sent to him.
  14. Downtown Tree Management Policy: Ron is not present to update, but has an RFP for tree arborists to provide a cursory inventory of existing trees on downtown streets, and assess locations and recommendations for new trees.  We have a $5000 DCED grant through Rick Taylor to cover the consulting and planting of 3 or 4 trees.  Ambler will then have a management strategy for moving forward with additional tree planting.  David Morgan suggested that it would be advisable to include training for highway staff on proper pruning.
  15. Jill is not present to report on bike and walking trails.
  16. David Morgan will draft an email to send to DMK to send out notice about ABITIBI recycling containers.
  17. Doylestown Planning Department’s “Green Points” Green Building Incentive Program: Sigi Koko will contact Phil from Doylestown to get additional information about their program.  She will draft a similar version for Ambler for EAC to brainstorm and explore ways to create recognition and incentives.
  18. Susan Curry proposed to explore with the school district using “ClearStream” recycling containers to increase recycling practices throughout the school and raise education and awareness about recycling.  David Morgan presented idea to have an informational video on high school’s TV system (in each room).
  19. Susan announced that “End of Suburbia” and “Escape from Suburbia” videos are showing locally.
  20. EAC is looking for pro-active suggestions for how to implement “eco” strategies in Ambler, including funding options, specific applications for “green” technologies, examples, and how to involve community.  Susan reported that Jill is willing to research 2 “green” topics.  Jill’s shortlist is currently: cool pavements, cool roofs/green roofs, e-waste, and pay-as-you-throw.  Daniel expressed interest in pursuing a “roadmap for climate change”.
  21. Next EAC meeting is 10 July (2nd Thursday in July); 6:45 to 8:15 PM at Boro Hall.