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Posted on: October 13, 2020

October 12 Letter From President Benjamin Hover

Dear Neighbors,

This autumn on Council promises to be a busy time for Lansdowne Borough Council. We will be working on the budget for next year and plan to retain the excellent services in Lansdowne in our Sanitation department and Police Department and continue with investment in projects to continue the economic development and improvements in quality of life issues for all residents in Lansdowne Borough.

In the coming months, please note that Lansdowne Borough Council will be considering the following issues as highlights:

Public Safety:

First, I would like to introduce Sgt. Kenny Rutherford to Lansdowne Borough as our Interim Chief of Police. Sgt. Rutherford has served on the Lansdowne Police Department in various capacities from Patrol Officer to Detective and will be serving as our Interim Chief as Lansdowne Borough Council conducts the search process for a permanent Chief. I want to thank Sgt. Rutherford for taking on this responsibility. 

On September 25th, we hosted a sendoff to Chief Dan Donegan who I wish well on his retirement. 

In Public Safety, Chair Sinoe Naji-Taylor and the committee will continue the discussion of any necessary reforms in policies and complete the process of procurement for body cams with the construction of policies for their usage.

Community Relations:

At the Business Meeting of Council on October 7th, Council voted 6-1 to charge the Community Relations Committee to work with Union Athletic Association in producing the Fireworks in 2021. Sadly, the Union Athletic Association approached Council with the news that as an organization they will be unable to continue with the Fireworks due to lack of volunteer participation and fundraising. To all community members, please be aware that 2021 may be the last Fireworks without more community participation and payment for the Fireworks.  

Also, please see the information about Halloween. As a Borough, we have no right to ban a cultural holiday like Halloween. However, we do encourage all residents to follow the CDC guidelines to remain safe during Trick-or-Treating.

Environment, Parks, and Recreation:

Several projects in Lansdowne Borough are in the process of completion to augment the Parks throughout Lansdowne. 

Reservior ParkFirst, the Streambank Restoration Project at Reservoir Park commenced the week of October 16th. Through a combination of grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Delaware County Greenways Program, Lansdowne Borough Council secured approximately $400,000 for the improvement of Reservoir Park. We look forward to the completion of this project and the enhancements to Reservoir Park.

Read More Here...

Next, Lansdowne Borough Council learned that we were successful in a grant application to the Department of Conservation of Natural Resources for $138,900 for the McKinley Lot Playground Plan. Combined with the recent award of $195,000 from the Community Development and Building Grant to the development of McKinley Lot Tot Playground, this allows Lansdowne Borough to create a great space for families and kids to play and creates a new park in the Northeast quadrant of Lansdowne. Currently, we are in the planning stage of this project.

Read More Here...

The Gateway Slope project on Baltimore Avenue and Scottsdale Road is completely planned and paid for through grant money and will currently be going out to bid for requests for proposals. Our hope is to break ground this winter or early next spring to complete this project.

Many residents have asked about the status of Hoffman Park. Currently, the Borough is working with contractors to develop the repairs after Tropical Storm Isaias. Unfortunately, contractors have been extremely busy through the summer and fall, which has extended timelines on all projects.

Lansdowne Borough Council would like to invite our fellow neighbors in Lansdowne to join us for a clean up event co-hosted with the Darby Creek Valley Association. On October 24th, a clean up at Hoffman Park will occur from 9-12.

Read More Here...

Phase II: Lansdowne Landing and Veteran’s Park Revision

Due to the success of the pilot program with the Lansdowne Landing. Lansdowne Borough Council is in preliminary discussions to work towards the creation of a permanent space that incorporates the Landing and Veteran’s Park into a unified space. Please find the Walkshed Plan to see the past design. 

Economic Development: Bicycle Facilities:

On September 30th, 2020 Lansdowne Borough hosted the presentation of the Bicycle Facilities Plan created by Pennoni Engineering on September 30, 2020. If you missed the meeting, please review the plan here: https://www.lansdowneborough.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09302020-23

Lansdowne Borough Council would like to once again thank the following panelists for taking time out of their schedules to share their experiences with our community:

  • County Council Member Elaine Schaefer
  • Friends of Haverford Trails Rich Kerr
  • Delaware County Planning Department Steve Beckley
  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Cassidy Boulen
  • DELCO Bicycle Coalition: Eric Hartmann

The meeting on September 30 was part of the process established last year unanimously by Lansdowne Borough Council to contract with Pennoni a design for Bicycle Facilities in Lansdowne based upon a plan developed by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. In all of the discussions and votes, Lansdowne Borough Council was unanimous in moving this plan forward. The plan supports the Delaware County Bicycle Plan and links into regional planning for a bike friendly and pedestrian friendly Lansdowne Borough 

View the Delaware County Bike Plan

View the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's Bike-Friendly Resurfacing Program  

To give background and context Last Spring, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission provided a plan as a result of a Transportation and Community Development Initiative grant—a grant received by Lansdowne to assess safety issues and transportation needs as part of our future development. Currently, Lansdowne Borough is the lead recipient of another TCDI grant received this past spring in partnership with Upper Darby, East Lansdowne, and Yeadon Borough to build our Bicycle network to extend through Eastern Delaware County into Philadelphia.

Definition from DVRPC:

“The Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) is an opportunity for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) to support growth in the individual municipalities of the Delaware Valley through initiatives that implement the region’s long-range plan, Connections 2040. Begun in 2002, TCDI provides a mechanism for local governments to undertake locally-directed actions to improve their communities, which in turn implements their local and county comprehensive plans and supports the goals and vision of Connections 2040.”

In this, Lansdowne is investing in 21st Century transportation needs to create a green infrastructure that supports public safety and economic investment in our neighborhoods. Just as past Borough Councils had to accommodate the transition from cowpaths to paved roads with the adoption of the automobile and trolley lines in Lansdowne. So too, do we need to address the current transformation of transportation needs and planning in the Philadelphia region.

In conjunction with the County, the Region, and State initiatives, Lansdowne Borough Council is moving forward with our plans to be  bike friendly, pedestrian friendly and connected Borough. We are not planning for 2025, but for 2030 and 2040.

Through the dedication of resources, we: 

  • work towards the goals of Ready for 100 as advocated by the Environmental Advisory Council in creating green infrastructure in our town
  • establish safer road conditions through the traffic calming measures provided in the plans.
  • invest in our community through providing more amenities as a bike-able, walkable community and encourage the economic development provided by quality of life issues is already attracting investment in Lansdowne.
  • provide the connectivity to a regional network of bike pathways that provides more recreational opportunities in Lansdowne.

As mentioned in the meeting, we are now in the Revision stage of the plan where concerns and comment are taken into consideration to then present to Council for adoption.

Above all, we appreciate the input and participation of all of Lansdowne residents in this important planning stage for Bicycle Facilities. 

Although there will be changes that occur with implementation of the plan, all members of Council are receptive to the comments and want to be sure the final revisions to the plan address the concerns of the residents. Also, all members of Council take seriously the changes that this will require and are receptive to all community concerns. We understand that change is not easy and affects residents in different parts of the Borough differently.

Ultimately, members of Lansdowne Borough Council are working with our Mayor to ensure that Lansdowne is a green place to grow in.

To all of my friends and neighbors, I hope to see you around the town.

                                    Sincerely,                               

                                    Benjamin Hover

                                    President

                                    Lansdowne Borough Council

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