Fern leaves

July 2016 Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance:

  • Mary-Margaret Monser
  • Susan Johnson
  • Ben Bergman
  • Karen Polesir
  • (Quorum)

Absent Members:

  • Stephen Maakestad

Vacancies:

  • Two

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:

  • Raija Suomelar

Next Meeting Date: August 17 at 7:00 PM – 131 Rosemary Ave

Action Items by Person:

Steve: Compile information for mini-campaign poster/video, etc.; lead next meeting discussion on EAC mission and wish list

Susan J: Report on budget status.

Mary Margaret: Draft EAC minutes. Present program at Farmers Market on July 23. Meet with Raija on Ambler Borough Park Maintenance. Check on meeting dates for Fort Washington Business Alliance. Maintain Ambler EAC FB with Chris. Bring computer, arrange projector, use of Council Chambers and key, on TMDL best practices for a meeting. With Susan C to finalize draft lay-version of Ambler TMDL Strategy.

Ben:  Meet with Susan Johnsson in regards to google docs. With Steve: develop poster/video on Lawn Chemical mini campaign. Prepare an overall short and long-term EAC Social Media strategy for August meeting discussion. Prepare EAC Kit On Wheels for Farmer’s Market. Collect email database/EAC membership list. Research Monthly newsletter.

Susan C:   TMDL projects–existing funded and planned unfunded and eventual maybe, update on due date for Detailed TMDL Strategy, citizen participation.  With Chris: Adopt-a-tree Agreements, posting for approval on Google docs, clarify process for implementation. Arrange tour of Gwynedd Creek. Meet with David re Shade Tree Committee. To Steve: VMLCC materials on lawn chemicals. To Rick Collier to nudge Restoration plan from WVWA. Coordinate with Mary-Margaret to finalize draft lay version of Ambler TMDL Strategy

Brooke: Review Ambler TMDL Strategy – write fuller letter of concerns about inadequacies. Research and capture information on alternatives to using toxic herbicides.

Karen: With MM craft for Farmer’s Market program. With Raija, Ambler Borough park Maintenance.

Raija: Red Tail operations handoff. Help with planning Farmer’s Market program. Contact borough re mowing lines in Ambler borough Park.

Agenda Topics

  • Council/Planning Commission Updates:
  • Council voted on repealing the Riparian Buffer Ordinance. Nancy Deininger was absent. Jonathan Sheward and  Sara Hertz voted against repealing the ordinance, all others voted in favor of repealing the ordinance that was passed in May of 2016. The Ambler Planning Commission and Montgomery County Planning Commission wrote letters of recommendation AGAINST REPEALING the previously passed Riparian Buffer Ordinance. The Montgomery County Planning Commission noted that such standards would further several water quality and stormwater management objectives in Ambler’s comprehensive plans including:  Montco 2040: A Shared Vision (2015), Ambler Borough’s Comprehensive Plan Update (2013), and Ambler Borough’s Comprehensive Plan (2001). Several residents who live along the upper portion of Rose Valley Creek had voiced concerns about their property rights. Glenn Kucher, Code Enforcement Officer, issued a memorandum to clarify their misconceptions of the intent of the Riparian  Buffer Ordinance.
  • After Repealing the Riparian Buffer Ordinance, the Council voted to adopt the Intergovernmental Agreement for the completion of the Alternative TMDL Plan for the Wissahickon.  The WVWA is spearheading a campaign to come up with an alternative that has all 16 municipalities in the Wissahickon Valley Watershed working together to improve the health of the Wissahickon watershed.
  • Much discussion centered around the location of the Verizon Monopole. The garage like base with very tall pole was slated to be voted on for it’s building at Ambler Borough Hall. Much concern for it’s size, safety, and aesthetics led to another search for alternative placement. Per Joe Bresnan, Verizon has the right to place the pole somewhere, via a communications act.
  • Discussion about turning Mattison into a one way street and restricting traffic on EUclid Avenue to local traffic during certain hours insued. There was some confusion, as it was noted in some paperwork that the wrong way indicated. Upon clarification, Ambler Borough Council majority voted favorably in regards to this. The intent being to minimize future traffic cut through as development in our region continues to ramp up.
  • Renovation options and estimates for renovation at Borough Hall were touched upon.
  • Ambler Borough will renew agreement for Septa lot for the Farmer’s Market.
  • The purchase of the Edgewood property is complete, the deed restriction is being filed, this land will be held for passive use only.
  • Announcements and Opportunities
  • Fort Washington Business Alliance – No representation
  • Open invitation to visit Wastewater Management Plant.
  • Rain Garden Tours –On hold.
  • Susan Johnson will have a budget update.
  • Farmer’s Market programming: Ambler EAC will continue to create programming.
  • Ambler’sTMDL Strategy
  • Layman’s version of the TMDL strategy has been undertaken. See attached.
  • Discussion about the role of the EAC in regards to the TMDL strategy was initiated. The EAC’s role is:
    • Identify environmental issues and recommend plans and programs to the appropriate municipal agencies for the promotion and conservation of natural resources and for the protection and improvement of the quality of the environment within its territorial limits.
    • Make recommendations for the use of open land areas.
    • Promote a community environmental program.
    • Keep an index of all open space, publicly or privately owned, including flood prone areas, swamps and other unique areas, for the purpose of obtaining information on the proper use of those areas.
    • Advise the appropriate local government agencies, including the planning commission and the elected governing body, on the acquisition of property, both real and personal.
  • Continue to look at key BMP’s that the EAC can educate the public on.
  • Borough Park Maintenance

 

  • A 10,000 grant from PECO has not been finalized.
  • Adopt-a-Tree Program – May be better served with the Shade Tree Committee
  • Raija has championed and is unfortunately moving to Maine the end of the summer.
  • Red Tail:
    • Hasn’t tackled knotweed and clematis as much
    • He is 90% through last years treated areas. Not as effective when treated in the fall ( Fall of 2015), will hit again, check for late fall regrowth.
    • Need to hold standards.
    • Lesser Celandine, stiltgrass, garlic mustard all need to be addressed.
    • Meeting arranged for Karen and Mary-Margaret to walk Ambler Borough Park.
  • Tree tags done.
  • Chris Raines may still have small white pines.
  • Ambler Borough not responding to request for changing the mowing line at Ambler Borough Park.
  • Share Documents via Google Docs
  • Ben will teach Google Docs to Susan Johnsson
  • Shade Tree Committee
    • David Morgan present to discuss
    • Susan Curry Advisor
    • Looking for members
    • Once a month meetings
  • Recycling at Music Festival
    • Distribution could be better
    • Better recycling could be encouraged.
    • Opportunity for maximizing recycling at other event. Beer Gardens.
    • Label containers.
  • Farmers Market
    • EAC kit on wheels suggested, clipboard with sign up.
    • Recommended two people to man a table.
    • Prepare event for July 23. Attracting butterflies and the importance of trees and plants and maintaining a healthy ecosystem for them.
  • Newsletter
    • Monthly newsletter for EAC
    • Ben to present social media strategy
    • Regular update of EAC website
  • Carried Over New Business
    • EAC wish list projects.
  • Fall Mini Campaign – Maybe a poster. Give people an alternative to minimize lawn chemicals. Relate it to bee colony collapse.

The Recycling Plant is no longer offering tours. The EAC is worried that is due to so much being contaminated and not being recycled. It is suggested that the EAC is more aggressive in asking for a tour of the plant.

Upcoming Meetings

Next meeting is August 17 at 7pm at Ambler Borough Hall

The meeting was adjourned around 8:15 PM