May 18, 2016 EAC Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance:

  • Karen Polesir
  • Susan Johnson   
  • (No Quorum)

Absent Members:

  • Stephen Maakestad
  • Mary-Margaret Monser  (3 vacant seats)

Associates and visitors in Attendance:

  • Brooke Marshall
  • Ben Bergman,
  • Jill (and Christian) Sanchez,
  • Susan Curry

Next EAC Meeting Date: June 15th at 7:00 PM – 131 Rosemary Ave, Council chambers

Action Items by Person:

Jill Sanchez – Meet with Mary-Margaret Monser and Chris Raines regarding tabling at the Ambler Farmers’ Market to discuss involving other organizations for presentations/education for children at the market.

Brooke Marshall:  Compose a statement outlining concerns about what is missing or not communicated well in the Ambler MS4 TMDL Strategy.

Ben Bergman: Apply for a vacant position on the EAC. Write up this meeting’s minutes.

Agenda Topics

  • Council/Planning Commission Updates:
  • The Riparian Buffer Ordinance was narrowly passed by Ambler Borough Council. With a tie vote, Mayor Jeanne Sorg voted in favor of the ordinance.  Two weeks later, amid controversy, the Council has requested an ordinance to be written by Borough Solicitor Joe Bresnan to rescind the Riparian Buffer ordinance. Like other ordinances, this ordinance will go to Planning Commission for their vote, and if passed by the Planning Commission, will come back to Ambler Borough Council. The ordinance to rescind the Riparian Buffer Ordinance would then be advertised and have a hearing before Council votes on it.
  • Council will not vote on the SALDO amendment regarding extra riparian plantings until after the Riparian Buffer Ordinance is settled.
  • Council voted to bridge the budget gap ($1,705 dollars) for Edgewood Preserve from the Park and Recreation funds.
  • Gym Rental budget was tabled.
  • Announcements and Opportunities
  • There is a Bux-Mont EAC Summit on Thursday June 16 in Doylestown from 7 to 9 pm. Summits are a good way to learn to be an effective EAC. It is suggested that Steve, Mary-Margaret and Susan might attend since one presentation is on land-conservation.
  • Rain Gardens Tour July 24
  • Susan Johnsson is allowed one volunteer day by her employer – she is seeking suggestions
  • Farmers’ Market Programming
  • Ben Bergman of the Ambler Farmers’ Market suggests that any presentations organized by the EAC at the Farmers’ Market should be geared toward very young children (tots and toddlers) as a means of educating them, along with their parents who are standing by on market days.
  • Jill Sanchez suggests co-presentations with like-minded organizations.
  • Plant swap has not started yet.
  • Borough Park Maintenance
  • Item is tabled until next meeting when Raija can be present.
  • Tutorial on Using One Drive
  • Members present thought that Google Drive instead of One Drive would be more accessible for sharing and collective editing of documents such as Minutes, Agendas, and EAC statements.  Some members cannot open One Drive on their phones.
  • TMDL Strategy
  • TRANSPARENCYissue:  Ambler Borough was tasked by PADEP to develop a strategy to use best practices for limiting its contributions to TMDL.
  • Susan and Mary-Margaret offered their participation early in the Borough’s TMDL Strategy process. Mary Aversa, Borough Manager, deflected public involvement at that time stating that it was premature to the multi-municipal consortium working out their mutual approach.
  • It is a shared opinion that the MS4 TMDL Strategy featured on the Ambler Borough website is unclear and could be worded and packaged in a way to reach more people.
  • Susan offered a drafted layman’s text version of the Strategy for the group to comment on.
  • Susan suggests that much more public involvement and education is important regarding TMDL strategies/ best management practices.
  • Brooke will look at the Borough Strategy, and offer edits of Susan’s document, as well as compose all her concerns in a statement.
  • It is suggested that EAC consider applying for another WREN Grant ($5,000) to support more public education.
  • COMPREHENSIVENESS issues: Further discussion of additional BMPs appropriate for Ambler to implement is tabled to the next meeting when: we can project information on the screen in the Council Chambers room and Steve and Mary-Margaret can participate.
  • New Business
  • The Recycling Plant transfer station is no longer offering tours. We wondered if too much contamination and the state of recycling economics was turning single-stream recycling into a bad idea.  Susan Johnsson will be more aggressive in asking for a tour of the plant to support our learning if single-stream is really a good idea. Brooke mentioned a connection to Veronica Harris, county recycling coordinator.
  • Fall mini-campaign on minimizing lawn chemicals is tabled to next meeting.

Upcoming Meetings

Jill Sanchez will get the key to the Council Room from Melissa on June 15 so we can review best management practices on the screen at the next EAC meeting.

The meeting was adjourned around 8:45 PM

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