2008-08-14 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council   –   Notes of Thursday, August 14 2008

Attendance:   Members:       Susan Curry, Chair

Susan Johnsson      NO QUORUM – David in Europe, Sigi absent

Visitor:           Judy Baigis

Next Meeting:            Sept. 9, 2008 — TUESDAY

(usually 2nd Thursdays, 6:45-8:00 PM)                     

  1. Minutes Review:  July 10 meeting notes reviewed.
    Secretary Rotation:  Susan Curry took minutes.  The group agreed that future minutes would use the format of ACTION ITEM introduced when Andrew Salvadore took notes.  However, more detail about discussion as in previous notes is desired.  Appreciation for Ron Ayres note-taking was expressed.
  • ACTION ITEM:  All minutes will include the Action Item(s) that result along with some points of the discussion and will be reviewed and approved by the attending committee before releasing to others.
  1. Events:  August 21 – Business workshop “Talking Trash” hosted at Ambler Theater

           Expected attendees:  ACME, Artman, Brighten, Decks, LTK and Ambler Manor

  • ACTION ITEM:  Make a reminder call on Wed. to those that have committed to come

Sept. 28 – International Oktoberfest
EAC will take $35 out of our EAC budget for a booth; purpose to sign-up people who might be        interested in serving on the EAC.

  • ACTION ITEM: Susan will research the hours and invite EAC members to man the booth.

Sept 30Green Futures Open Space workshop 4:00 to 9:00, Perkiomen School, Pennsburg, PA RSVP Lisa Hancock, Montgomery County Lands Trust , 215-513-0100  by Sept. 26

  • ACTION ITEM: Susan will call Daniel, Sigi, Andrew and David to see if they want to attend.
  1. C.   Reports:
  • Borough Council: meetings moved back to Tuesdays; Sigi made an impressive presentation about biofuels to the Public Utilities Committee. Susan helped Anita submit a request of technical assistance to establish a Parks & Recreation Department.
  • Planning Committee – no report
  • Zoning—one variance denied due to “lack of hardship” for a home near Ricciardi Park to waive lot set-back requirements to allow a new “family room” extension.  Impervious surfaces would be increased.  A gap in impervious surface ordinance for that area of borough was discovered.
  • CAG – ASTDR, a national health group reported that the asbestos site was not a threat to health as long as it is not disturbed. EPA has begun disturbance work to prepare the site for the approved actions. Weekly conference calls on Friday at 3:00 pm are open to public participation. The CAG is seeking technical assistance experts.    EPA has scheduled a Public Hearing on Wed. Aug. 20 at 6:00 and 7:00 pm, location TBA.  Ambler, through the Council needs to take a more proactive involvement in the CAG process.  Can’t tell what Bud Wahl and Steve Ware do outside the meeting, but very little is heard from them during the meeting. Mary Aversa attended the last meeting.
  • TRID – no report

D. Budget review

The EAC 2009 budget proposal was reviewed:  $1970 requested.  A lot is accomplished by the EAC members that leverages funds and in-kind services, especially professional volunteer service.  Judy inquired whether Council had made a formal thanks to the Tree Tenders – Susan C. did not recall one, just the annual year-end luncheon to which volunteers are invited as acknowledgement. If items need to be dropped from the proposed budget, then 15 new park trees, and the public workshop can be eliminated.

ACTION ITEM: Submit 2009 Proposed EAC Budget as presented. Susan C. to check with Bernie about whether the $5,000 DCED grant check has arrived.


  1. A.   Merck grant for $59,000 for stream riparian restoration –ours passed to second phase, pendin
  1. B.   Borough Energy Audit

The PENN-TAP professionals have completed their walk-through.  The next step is to provide the team with the last twelve months of PECO bills on 17 accounts.  Seeing these bills will support the team in being able to project savings and pay-back periods if key recommendations are followed.  For example, installing programmable thermostat is one recommendation.  Evidently the boiler and air-conditioning BOTH run 24/7 all year round due to an air conditioning unit that is 3 times the size of what is needed.  Mary Aversa inquired if the borough could get solar panels to run the HVAC system.  It would be ideal to get the PennTAP report in time to submit an Energy Harvest Grant to the state due on Aug. 29

  • ACTION ITEM:  Susan to accomplish getting the PECO bills to the PennTAP professionals
  1. Recycling containers for parks/streets; fluorescent bulbs –on hold until David returns from Europe

H.  Green Committee

The business survey process is finished; about 75 businesses surveyed.  New explorations include: does Ambler permit the haulers every year – if it does we have some leverage if they are not offering recycled pick-up; approaching ACME about having them accept and bail flattened cardboard from other businesses; seeking locations and a hauler for 1 to 3 dumpsters dedicated to recycling bottles, cans, and plastics that businesses can share as drop-off sites.

  • ACTION ITEM: Susan will reconnect with RECYCLEBANK for Ambler.

I.  Locations for recycling use motor oil —  Susan Johnsson submitted a list of four local places that accept used motor oil.  The oil needs to be pure; not contaminated with anti-freeze or water.

  • ACTION ITEM:  Include list in the next Home Town News, and send to Lou Orehek for posting on the borough web site.

J.  Downtown Tree Management Policy – Ron Ayres developed an RFP.  Five arborists responded; three have been interviewed so far.

  • ACTION ITEM: Susan and Ron will select an arborist consultant and set up an introductory meeting with Mary Aversa and Jimmy Wack to present his plan of action and time-line.


  1. “Shred Event” – Judy Baigis proposed that the EAC organize a shred event where homeowners could bring files that they want to see shredded.
  • ACTION ITEM:  Susan C. suggested that one could be held in conjunction with the compact fluorescent bulb recycling, that we hope to have at Ambler Savings parking lot
  1. Letter to Mayor Wahl on Carbon Footprint of Borough – In response to a request from Mayor Wahl, Susan Johnsson found websites with information on the Conference of Mayors’ resolution to reduce municipal carbon footprints.  Susan J. was impressed that Montgomery County ranked 3rd in the country for its proactive renewable energy initiatives.
  •   ACTION ITEM: Susan J. will forward the 12 step program to all. We’ll ask Lou Orehek to

post it on the borough website; Mayor Wahl can decide what he wants to propose to the                                       Council.

  1. Fats, Oil, and Grease Ordinance—Available for review at borough office. It was modeled after one of our neighbor municipalities.
  1. Scrap Metal Recycling – Judy exclaimed her satisfaction with the drop off site for metals on 7th Street (west of Broad) in Lansdale. They take many varieties of metal.

[End of Notes]