2009-01-09 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council DRAFT 2
Minutes of Thursday, January 8, 2009 6:45 to 8:30 pm

Attendance: Members:
Susan Curry, Chair
Susan Johnsson
David Morgan
Sigi Koko

Visitors: Daniel Brouse
Andrew Salvadore
Judy Baigis
Hildy Richelson (trying to form a Whitpain EAC)

Next Meeting: February 12, 2009 — Thursday
(usually 2nd Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 PM)

1. Meeting time – changed to start at 6:30 pm until further notice

2. Plastic Bag Free Ambler initiative: The best course of action is to hold a contest for school kids to design graphics for canvass/polymer bags. Encourage them to sell the bags with a portion of sales back to the EAC to use to buy parking lot stanchions and store window stickers that say something like: “Did you remember to bring your bags?”; with the other portion benefiting the school or club.
• ACTION: Sigi will draw up an implementation plan to present next meeting with a hoped for celebration around April22 (Earth Day).
• ACTION: Susan C will contact CVS to see if they will open with a plastic bag free policy. Also, she will contact the state to learn the source and price of their recycling bags. Susan will send the EAC logo to Sigi for creating letterhead.
• ACTION: The Green Committee will highlight the Ambler businesses that already avoid plastic bags. (website and other media)

3. Bike Racks/Routes – DVRPC and PennDOT encourage biking. PennDOT may fund projects if the bike is going to school or to a transportation mode. The schools have been discouraging biking; we should inquire why.
• ACTION: Daniel will continue to seek a basic street map where we can indicate batter biking roads, and locations where bikers can lock their bikes. We will copy the language in the Bike Coalition map where the word “safe” is not used. Maps will eventually be posted at www.philanet.com/green and the Borough website, as well as on signs at each bike lock post.
• ACTION: Susan C. will ask Anita where the two racks are in the parks so we can add them to the map
• ACTION: Sigi will resend the simple 2-bike post design around to the committee with costs. Idea is to place one every other block on alternate sides of Butler at the diagonal corner of a cutout for parking (to avoid conflict with car doors)
• ACTION: Susan C. will up date Terri Alderfer about the initiative and that we are “Looking for vendors to partner with in a cooperative fabrication program to make/advertise on the bike posts.”

4. EACs of Wissahickon JOINT CONCERTED ACTION: January 21, 7:00 pm at the Wissahickon Watershed Association. All 7 EACs and the group from Whitpain will be there. An agenda will be sent out shortly.
• ACTION: Susan C will send Susan J the list of attendees to call on Monday and Tuesday before the meeting to reconfirm.

5. ACME – A letter or article will be coming in the Ambler Gazette about what we know about ACME closing and CVS coming in, stating where people can get groceries until a new store can be attracted to open in another spot. There will be environmental impacts to the new travel routes required for Amblerites to get food.

6. Energy Audit – A new draft was promised, but has not yet arrived. Errors fixed and information will be explained and ranked.
• ACTION: Susan C. to ask for an assessment of current conditions to be included and the recommendations to be on the first page. She will circulate to Sigi as soon as it arrives. Goal is to have a satisfying, useful report for the next Council meeting January 20

7. Compact Fluorescent bulbs: Decks and Denney boxes are not filling fast. Concern about publicity causing too much demand when the cost of continuing the recycling is prohibitive. The Ambler Gazette will mention it slightly in their article.

8. Solar Power: Borough is seeking the most energy efficient panels so that the property size will allow enough panels to power 100% of the Waste Water Treatment Plant and maybe some of the Borough. A concern gave us pause about how having solar arrays instead of scenery would affect the sales of Station Square (or Westrum Station Crossing). Might people accept the erector set view knowing that their energy costs are low as a result?
• ACTION: Check out the orientation of the sun and whether evergreen trees could provide adequate visual screening.

TIP: Creeping thyme is a good to plant in the cells of pervious concrete or geocell surfaces. It is hardy and will stand up to car traffic and parking