nature photo

November 18, 2015 EAC Meeting Minutes

7:00PM to 9:30PM

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

Absent Members:
Charles Charlesworth

(One Vacancy)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:
Susan Curry
Chris Raines

Action Items by Person:

  • Steve Maakestad –   .Meet with Mary Aversa. Give presentation to Borough Council in December. Contact prospective EAC members. Check with Gail about carryover process for unused budget funds. Attend BoRit Cag Meeting. Move tools from Susan Johnsson’s house to the EAC storage area in the borough building. Monitor EAC email.
  • Susan Johnsson – Send application to the Fort Washington Business Alliance. Contact Raija about invoices from Greg Gagliano.
  • Susan Curry – Work on Edgewood Forest Preserve Project. Send letter to the editor about the EAC and need for new members.
  • Mary-Margaret Monser – Mary Margaret will contact Charles Charlesworth to encourage him to attend the next EAC meeting. Plan Edgewood Preserve Beef and Beer Fundraiser with Chris Raines and others.
  • Charles Charlesworth – Attend BoRit Cag Meeting.
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site.
    Post updates to Facebook page. Work with Mary-Margaret Monser on Edgewood Preserve Beef and Beer Fundraiser.
  • Rachel Rosenfeld – Participate in organization, planning and support of EAC projects.
  • Raija Suomela – Communicate with park maintenance contractors to begin work in Borough Park.
  • Matt Cooley – Attend Fort Washington Business Alliance Meeting in January, if work schedule allows. Participate in organization, planning and support of EAC projects schedule permits.

Agenda Topics:

  1. Council Meeting:

The Riparian buffer ordinance is being pursued. The Steep Slope ordinance has been postponed.

Rose Valley Creek Conservation District Ordinances were received. A letter submitted by Joseph Catuzzi, Esquire representing Mr. and Mrs. Quinn was also received. The Solicitor scheduled a meeting to discuss the letter and proposed language in the Riparian Buffer ordinance. Two clauses in the ordinance have been agreed on and two are being rewritten. One of the Quinn’s buildings is within 17 feet of the banks edge. This building has been grand fathered. Mr. Quinn would like to use his property as a business.

There was a discussion about the health of local creeks. Raking of leaves into creeks is not a good practice. An education program was discussed.

The EAC will consider reintroducing the woodlands ordinance after the Riparian buffer ordinance is completed.

  1. Protecting Green Spaces in Ambler (Library Presentation)

Mary-Margaret gave an excellent presentation with the help of Rachel Rosenfeld. Chris presented a certificate of appreciation to Rachel. Attendance was outstanding with standing room only. The audience was engaged and responsive to the subject.

The borough has written a MS4 TMDL Strategy (link at –http://www.boroughofambler.com/assets/MS4-TMDL-Strategy-2015-10-23.pdf) and is accepting comments during a 30-day public comment period (verbal and written comments). A public meeting date was advertised and comments were accepted at the November Committee meeting.

  1. 2016 Budget:

Public Meetings are scheduled for November 17, at 6:00pm, November 24, at 10:00am and December 1, at 6:00pm. This budget includes funding the EAC and Edgewood Preserve.

Donations of remaining budget funds for allocation to the Edgewood Preserve was voted on and affirmed by EAC members. At this time, there is $913.03 available. Susan Curry suggested purchasing sturdy shelving to hold EAC supplies at a store such as Staples or Quill for approximately $100. Edgewoods Preserve vote – Restricted account for open space. Susan Johnsson will give all to give to Gail by next week.

  1. Edgewood Preserve:

A total of $30,000 has been raised for the Edgewood Preserve and $45,000 is needed by February 2016. The fundraising committee is formulating an agreement of sale. A letter of intent was submitted with a $10,000 nonrefundable deposit. Attorney, Joe Breslin is in discussion with Mr. Retowski to extend date to April 2016. There is no agreement of sale yet. The EAC is also considering purchasing property from Tim Alexi as well. Sarah Hertz has done quite a bit of fundraising and the EAC will encourage her to join the fundraising committee.

  1. EAC Membership Availabilities:

Environmental Advisory Council (3 year term) –two seats. Susan Curry will send a letter to the editor to seek new members.

  1. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program:

The program provides communities with resources to address community development needs. Susan will pursue a grant from the CDBG to purchase open space in the Edgewood Preserve.

  1. Ambler Borough Park Maintenance:

Greg Gagliano of Red Tail Restoration and Land Management LLC. has completed 8 hours of park maintenance. He will continue work within the next few weeks and the total cost should be $800 when complete.

  1. Mini Campaigns:

Showing Health of Wissahickon film (WVWA) at the borough building was suggested with an attendance goal of 35 or 45 people. Refreshments of wine and cheese is being considered.

A new mini campaign on trees is beginning. An information page called, “10 Reasons Why We Save Trees,” was posted on the EAC Facebook page. The Treevitalize program will start in Spring 2016. The EAC will hold a tree planting event in April on Edgewood Drive.

Treevitalize needs tree orders two months in advance. All trees are native and 12 to 15 feet tall. The list of available trees changes from year to year and is sent out in February. Municipalities from all over state order trees which are delivered to the Naval Yard in South Philadelphia. Trees are picked up there by municipalities representatives. Ambler borough will send a truck and EAC members must meet to choose the trees. The trees must be planted with in 2 days.

  1. CAG Meeting:

The Next BoRit CAG meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec 2nd. – Steve Maakestad or Charles Charlesworth will attend. The BoRit cleanup at the reservoir will be finished by early spring. Meetings are held at the Upper Dublin Township Building.

  1. Fort Washington Business Alliance:

The EAC is joining the Fort Washington Business Allliance to help gain support for environmental projects. FWBA luncheon meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month with networking from 11:30am to 12:00, followed by introductions and presentations. Up to two EAC members can attend each meeting.

  1. Other items:
  • Tools will be moved from Susan Curry’s house to borough building.
  • Susan Curry will ask the borough manager if a spare file cabinet is available. Otherwise Susan Johnsson will purchase one.
  • The December EAC meeting will be held at the Lucky Well –
  • There are 144 likes on the EAC Facebook page.
  • EAC – 2015 EAC Accomplishments Report and 2016 Plans to Council Dec. 1 (Maakestad)
  • Steve will talk to Mary about her ideas for 2016. Education for TMDL. January talk about the value of trees.
  • Earth Day is April 22nd, 2016.
  • Wissahickon Watershed Stream cleanup is scheduled for the last Saturday in April. The EAC will participate.

Items Postponed Until The Next Meeting:

Inventory of tools, signs, banners, flyers, info, etc.
The meeting was adjourned around 9:45pm.

Next Meeting Date: December 16th at Lucky Well at 6:30pm.