2010-10-11 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council

Date: Monday, Oct. 11, 2010     6:45 to 8:30 PM


Member Attendance:

Susan Curry, Susan Johnsson, David Morgan

No Quorum


Visitor Attendance:

Estelle Wynn Dolan, Karen Salvadore


Members Absent:

Candace Kanaplue, Skip Kershner, Sigi Koko, Dan McCormick


Next Meeting Date: Monday, November 8, 2010     6:45 to 8:30 PM


  1. 1.      Ordinances –The Wetlands Ordinance from Clean Water was rejected by the Planning Commission based on legal concerns that property owners would sue regarding a “regulatory taking” of not being able to develop a portion of their property.  Notable in the audience opposing the ordinance were Dave Caddick and the Betts family, two of the three Ambler properties with known wetlands.
  • Doylestown has a program where developers are granted lower permit costs for saving and planting trees. We should acquire copies of Lower Gwynedd and Upper Dublin tree ordinances.

ACTION ITEM: SusanC will shelf 3 proposed ordinances likely to raise the same issues (flood plains, steep slopes, riparian buffers), and forward the proposed Woodlands Ordinance to EAC members to review and indicate approval or amendment before passing on to the Borough Council. SusanC will contact Ron Myers to inquire what permits the new construction on Forest Ave needed.

Susan C will contact Upper Dublin and Lower Gwynedd about their tree ordinances.


  1. 2.      EAC Budget –Purchase of one Dumor permanent street recycling container with Recycled Lid for a Butler Ave location (Public Works department’s choice) at $720 plus $150 shipping was approved. No word on the proposed 2011 budget.

ACTION ITEMS: SusanC will order the recycling container and contact Tom Kenney about 2011 budget prospects. (Left over):  Sigi will map proposed locations on Butler and Main streets for future recycling containers; the map will show existing trash cans, existing trees, existing bollards, and proposed bike rack locations. Dan McCormick will request SEPT placing their recycling containers at the Ambler station and all along the “Lansdale line” (formerly R5).


  1. Rose Valley Creek Riparian Buffer – Ambler Borough Manager is working with EPA to support Merck in allowing us to substitute a new milestone for an approved one. Borough prefers to fix the Rose Valley Creek flooding problem at the 5 points intersection of Tennis and Reiffs Mill. Borough is simultaneously costing out doing a re-grade of the 30’ stream bank in Boro Park. Eleven sites along Rose Valley Creek need regrading. A Rain Garden will be installed in April. EAC members requested multi-season colorful plantings

A volunteer workday has been organized on October 23, 9:00 to 12:00 to winterize the planted trees. Expecting 20-25 volunteers.

ACTION ITEM: SusanC will find a mulch source and arrange for delivery of a half-truck load of mulch to the park.  (Left over) SusanC will seek approval of purchase of a trash pump and cart through CoStars as a Merck expense.


  1. Plastic Bag Free Ambler  — We have approximately 30 canvas bags left to sell.

ACTION ITEMS: SusanC will email David the order forms. (Left over) David will inquire whether the newly opened Ambler Library will sell bags. Sigi will check with Twisters.


  1. Downtown Trees —   4 will be planted in 3 empty pits along Butler Ave and one on Race Street.  Ron Ayres will go with the Public Highway Dept to pick up and over see the planting of the trees.  Pits need to be widened further, ground wood removed, new top soil added and mulch laid properly at time of planting.

ACTION ITEMS: SusanC will work with Estelle on moving the Downtown Tree Management Policy forward. SusanC will stay in touch with Mary Aversa about pit widening, and with Ron Ayres about tree planting. Post Meeting note:  Trees were planted on October 20 with Ron Ayres help.


  1. Electrical Deregulation in 2011 – Project to save Borough money by turning off unnecessary street lights.
  • · Karen Salvadore has put all but Dan McCormick’s section on a master map which indicates which lights we suggest be turned off.  The Fire Department and Police Department will need time to review the suggested turn-offs before the plan goes to Council

ACTION ITEM:  Karen will connect with Dan to finish marking his area.  SusanC and Karen will present the map with our suggested process to Mary Aversa as soon as it is ready.


  1. Council Meetings —  EAC members will observe and comment where appropriate, then report at the following EAC meeting.

ACTION ITEMS: Observation commitments: October 19 (Estelle); Nov. 2 (Skip?); Nov. 16 (Susan J); Dec. 7 (Sigi); Dec. 21 (Dan).

  1. Website – www.AmblerEAC.org   — no report.

ACTION ITEM: (left over) Sigi Koko will resend requests to EAC members to write up accomplishments they were involved in, and circulate a “to do” list in order for the website to be completely up-and-running.

  1. Projects on hold –RecycleBank would be too expensive to purchase the trash containers. The bid for a new trash hauling contract will require “single stream” recycling in hopes to boost Ambler tonnage diverted from the incinerator.

ACTION ITEMS:  (left over) Sigi and SusanC will seek a meeting with Mary Aversa to present organized information on Green Building Incentives, and Cool Roofs of Ambler.

  • Discussion of backyard composting, and possibly organizing a workshop next year.
  • Discussion about no visible ClearStream recycling containers at Oktoberfest. Bobby Rocco may not be aware of them. EAC need to be proactive to alert public works to get the containers out for use at Butler Ave events.  EAC had purchased a two-year supply of replacement trash bags. At least one Clearstream stand was lost.
  • SusanC will compose an article for HTN about the asbestos piles
  • SusanC will email David the multi-unit recycling initiative from the state
  • SusanC will deliver the Act 167 forms folder to Mary Aversa
  • Estelle mentioned at her former residence in Philadelphia, they got recycling stickers from RecycleBank with bar codes to place on any container they wanted to use for recycling. Post meeting note:  It is the only city where this is done – the streets are narrow not allowing big containers and the city does its own hauling.
  • Discussion of having only 10 EAC meetings a year – omitting August, and December.