Tag Archives: TMDL

October 2016 Meeting Minutes

Recorded by: Ben Bergman

Members in Attendance

  • Ben Bergman
  • Mary-Margaret Monser
  • Stephen Maakestad
  • (No Quorum)

 Absent Members:

  • Karen Polesir, Susan Johnsson
  • (Two Vacancies)

Associate and Visitors in Attendance

  • Jill Sanchez
  • David Morgan

Next Meeting Date – November 16th – 7 – 8:15 pm at Ambler Borough Hall – 131 Rosemary Ave

Agenda Topics

  1. Tree Vitalize – Find an Arborist – Perhaps Julianne Schieffer from the Penn State Extension

EAC General Updates

Council/Planning Commission – No One Went

Announcements and Opportunities:

  1. Washington Business Alliance – No one went
  2. EAC Coming to Farmers’ Market on the last day of the season
  3. Two People in the Borough want Rain Gardens – Kate Henry? How to get them involved.
  4. Tree Planting – November 17th – 19th
    1. Borough is investing in 17 trees
    2. 4 on Borough Land
    3. 3 in Ricciardi Park
    4. 1 on South Main Street by State Farm
  5. Borough Has excavated space on Main Street by Decks
  1. Ambler’s TMDL Strategy – lay version was presented to the group by Susan for discussion and by in from the Borough. It was agreed that all members must review.

Carried Over New Business:

  1. EAC Mission and wish list products

Meeting Adjourned

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

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