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Newsletter

Posted on: November 17, 2020

November 17 Letter from Council President Benjamin Hover

Dear Neighbors, 

The Holiday Season has arrived and Lansdowne Borough Council wishes everyone in the Borough a safe and healthy Holiday Season. Although we are forced to celebrate differently this year, we want to be sure to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Finance/ Budget:

In December, Lansdowne Borough Council will be finalizing the budget. Our goal for next year’s budget is 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. Through fiscal oversight and planning, Lansdowne Borough Council projects NO real estate tax increases for the second year in a row.

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

Public Safety: 

Lansdowne Borough Council is in the process of selecting a new Police Chief in Lansdowne. As reported before, Chief Dan Donegan retired and Sgt. Kenny Rutherford is now serving as the Interim Chief. Also, the Public Safety Committee in collaboration with the Mayor and Police Chief are continuing a review of the policy manual and finalizing the policy and plans to procure Bodycams for the department.

Community Relations: 

Lansdowne Borough Council continues to work with the Union Athletic Association to develop a 4th of July Program. In addition, Lansdowne Borough Council is currently exploring in Committee and with its Boards and Commissions a possible restructuring to incorporate a Lansdowne Arts and Culture Commission.

Environment, Parks, and Recreation 

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

The Streambank Restoration Project at Reservoir Park is underway. The final touches of landscaping will include beautification such as landscaping and pedestrian amenities. 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. 

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The Gateway Slope project is recently awaiting contractor bids. Upon securing a suitable bid, Lansdowne Borough will award the contract and will begin construction this winter to complete next Spring.

As part of Lansdowne Borough’s commitment to Green infrastructure and developing resources in our parks, Lansdowne Borough will be submitting a CDBG application to develop an outdoor environmental solar workstation facility area.

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 developing a work plan towards the creation of a permanent space that incorporates the Landing and Veteran’s Park into a unified space. Lansdowne Borough Council will continue to plan for the revised Memorial and outdoor recreational place. Please find the Walkshed Plan to see the past design. 

Economic Development: 

Bicycle Facilities 

On November 18, 2020 Lansdowne Borough Council voted to move forward on the Bicycle Facilities Plan that has been in development in Lansdowne in conjunction with the economic development planning of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Delaware County Planning Department . Through public comment received at the Public Meeting on September 30, public comment received by email, and at Borough Council, Lansdowne Borough Council revised the initial plan with the following revisions.

Lansdowne Borough Council revised the initial plan to preserve Parking on the South Side of Greenwood Avenue and to develop the dedicated Bike Lane on the North Side of Greenwood Ave.

Lansdowne Borough Council also revised the initial plan to preserve parking on the West side of Highland Avenue and retain a dedicated Bike lane on the East Side of Highland Avenue.

The rest of the Bicycle Facilities Plan was approved.

The next steps will be to move the General Plan back to Infrastructure and Public Safety Committees to work towards the changes in signage and implementation of the plan. Also, the Borough will be fundraising through grant applications to develop the plan to limit any costs to the residents of the Borough.

Development in Lansdowne

Lansdowne Borough Council moved forward with plans to support the project of Ranger Properties in creating a bridge that will connect a Pedestrian and Bicycle Pathway from Clifton Heights into Lansdowne on Scottdale Road. Ranger Properties is currently developing the Woolen Mill Property in Clifton Heights into an apartment complex with many amenities including a Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail.

Also, Lansdowne Borough Council is working through a private developer's plans for new construction of market-rate housing on two sites in the Central Business District and one commercial redevelopment site. If realized, any on of these projects would be the first market-rate residential, multifamily construction in Lansdowne in decades. All together 65 unites of new market-rate housing are proposed.

In the Fall of 2020, the Borough's sanitation service commissioned two new 20-ton collection vehicles. In October the borough completed its work with local utility company and secured final restoration of Windermere Avenue between Marshall and Greenwood Avenue. And in November the Borough removed and replaced the rear portion of Borough Hall and 20 Lansdowne Court roofs which had reached the end of their useful life. The borough will also be removing and replacing portions of deteriorated sidewalk around the north side of Borough Green. 

Lansdowne Borough Council is committed to continue the development of our community by providing amenities in the community to continue our movement into a Bicycle and Pedestrian friendly community with great parks and great services. Through strategic investments and procurement of grants, Lansdowne continues to be a community where neighbors can meet in Art Places and Green Spaces.

Thanksgiving 

With Thanksgiving upon us, I am thankful for a community of neighbors who I meet in the street and talk with as friends—who love our community and work for the betterment of our town. 

Thank you to the volunteers, the community groups, the members of our Boards and Commissions, our Police and Fire Department, all Borough employees, and for my fellow Council members and Mayor who have worked through a pandemic, a tropical storm, social unrest, and a contentious election to continue to build our community. Even in debate—especially through debate and discussion, our community works because our neighbors are engaged. Thank you for your engagement and work in the community.

Thank you,

Benjamin Hover

Council President

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