August 2016 Meeting Minutes

August 17, 2016, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM        Borough Hall       Recorded by: Steve Maakestad

Members in Attendance:  
Stephen Maakestad, Chair of EAC
Susan Johnsson,
Ben Bergman
Mary-Margaret Monser
(Quorum)

Absent Members:
Karen Polesir
(Two Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:
Susan Curry
Chris Raines
Jill Sanchez
Brooke Marshall

Next Meeting Date:  September 21st, 2016 at 7:00PM – Borough Hall
Action Items by Person:

  • Steve Maakestad – Meeting minutes, lawn chemical campaign article, poster on lawn chemicals.
  • Susan Johnsson – Finalize 2017 budget.
  • Mary-Margaret Monser – Lead rain garden (DIY/Contracted) program.
  • Ben Bergman – develop list of questions on social media goals for the EAC, lawn chemical campaign article, poster on lawn chemicals.
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site.
  • Susan Curry – Follow-up with John Ferro on Restoration Plan for Edgewoods Preserve and Borough Park; revise TMDL lay person summary – include what property owners can do; collaborate with Karen on supervision of Red Tail in Borough Park

Agenda Topics:

  1. Ben Bergman gave an excellent presentation on Social Media and Online Engagement including best practices and methods for getting the most followers.
    1. Social media can include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as well as email newsletters.
    2. EAC goal is to inform interested parties on what the EAC does and educate the community on environmental issues.
    3. EAC currently uses MailChimp for mailing list. The group discussed having a monthly newsletter.
  1. Council/Committee Updates:
    1. The monopole was discussed at the last meeting. They are still trying to find a location but it may not be needed.
    2. The Riparian Buffer ordinance was repealed against the Planning Commission’s wishes.
    3. The Borough in conjunction with several other municipalities has applied for a 2017 grant from the Army Corp of Engineers to provide education through workshops and direct visits to properties regarding stormwater management.
    4. It was noted that a Shade Tree Commission cannot be formed without the passing of a Borough ordinance. Instead, a Shade Tree Citizens group may function to play an advisory role to the Parks and Recreation Committee.  It was recommended that one of the Public Works supervisors gain expertise in trees by taking the Tree Tenders training and going to the day-long Oct. 13 course at Haverford College for municipal tree managers.  Tree voids were discussed at the council meeting.
    5. The TreeVitalize grant for Fall bare root trees is due 9/12. The EAC can put in an order at $25/tree.  This should be factored into the EAC budget for 2016.
    6. It was noted that Trees of Heaven should be taken down in Borough Park.
    7. The PECO open space grant for $10,000 was not awarded to Ambler.
    8. The proposed sidewalk along Bethlehem Pike will not be installed due to lack of grant
  1. Announcement and Opportunities:
    1. It was noted that Whitpain Township is proposing a Boys and Girls Club on the park parcel (north end of the Borit site). Lot of impervious surface — paved over.
    2. Mary-Margaret will attend the next FWBA meeting.
    3. The rain gardens tour will most like be postponed until the spring. Mary Margaret proposed an alternate rain garden program that would streamline the process for the EAC.  It would follow the Philadelphia raincheck model providing property owners with list of installers.
  1. 2017 EAC Budget
    1. The group discussed the remaining budget for 2016 and the proposed budget for 2017.
    2. The 2017 budget will resemble the 2016 budget with a few changes. The EAC will add a $200 budget for social media.  The EAC will propose to increase the rain garden budget from $1,200.00 to $2,500.00 to support new installations with more of the costs.
  1. Ambler’s TMDL strategy
    1. Susan Curry and Mary Margaret will finalize the TMDL summary and send to Mary Aversa for review before posting to the website/social media.
    2. The EAC will play an educational role for the TMDL strategy and will inform homeowners on how they can contribute.
  1. Ambler Borough Park Maintenance
    1. Mary Margaret will obtain and update from Raija? John Ferro will provided an updated maintenance plan for the Edgewood Preserve and Park restoration.
  1. Google Docs – anyone that has questions can reach out to Ben Bergman for help.
  1. Lawn Chemicals
    1. Steve and Ben will draft an article for the hometown news and develop a poster/display for the upcoming Farmers Market in September.
  1. PennDOT – It was noted that PennDOT and the Borough use Roundup regularly. The EAC will propose alternative herbicides to Elizabeth Russell that they could use.
  1. Hometown News Articles are due September 7th.

The meeting was adjourned around 9:00pm.

Next Meeting Date:  September 21st, 2016 at 7:00PM (3rd Wednesday)

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