Meeting Notes – June 7, 2016

Neighbors present: Joe McCarthy, Evelyn Wells, Nate Wells, Dwight Suber,

Ormie Jackon, Lindsay Stolkey, Rick Bechtel

Invited guest: Steve Horton of Philadelphia Streets Department and Community Marketing Concepts. Contact info: 215-871-0900, steve@communitymarketingconcepts.com

 

Topics:

Organizing to solve streets issues, Rufe St.

Recycling

Other concerns

Getting more neighbors involved

 

This meeting was focused on how to organize as neighbors to solve problems related to the streets, special emphasis on Rufe Street.

Steve Horton of the Streets Department shared many resources:

  • Dumped tires
    • Annual Tire Round Up every July/August
      • Sign up until the end of June
      • There is a financial incentive from the City if you bring in dumped tires
    • At other times of year, you can always bring tires to Convenience Centers, 300 block of Domino Lane near Umbria St., many neighbors are already doing this frequently. Hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Saturday. (215) 685-2502
  • When there is a problem, it’s best to come at it from as many angles as possible. The more people who know about it, the more likely the problem will be solved.
  • Persistence is important, as is getting organized as neighbors, building alliances. Petitions are an option
  • Call the Streets Department at 311 to report problems. Tip: call later in the day, they’re open til 8pm and everyone else calls in the morning…
  • If you catch someone illegally dumping, call 911, try to get a picture or video, and their license plate number

 

Other notes about Rufe Street and the illegal dumping:

  • It’s been going on for yearrrrs!
  • When kids used to play around there back in the day, and when someone lived in the house there, there was regular activity, and so the dumping wasn’t happening
  • Wondering who owns the land there
  • Problem solving ideas:
    • Cameras– Who would monitor? Where does the info go? The role of SEPTA, Streets Dept., Police?
    • Add a curb or sidewalk to make it look like a street
    • Contact Cindy Bass’ office, make this a priority for their budget– Joe going to work on setting this up, will include interested folks

 

Other concerns brought up:

  • Penn Street didn’t get a fair street cleaning after all the work was done, Joe and Dwight have taken steps to try to get the city to do what they should
  • How to hold property owners accountable? When they don’t keep up their rentals responsibly, have troublesome tenants, other issues that affect their neighbors. L & I is slow to take action.
  • Some neighbors expressed feeling like nobody on their block cares about the issues or about keeping up their property.
  • Neighbors not familiar with who their block captains are. Think some may have passed. How do we track down a block captain list? Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee?

 

Steve also shared updates and important info about recycling:

  • Of note, styrofoam and plastic bags are NOT recyclable
  • Check philadelphiastreets.com for hazardous waste materials pickup dates
  • Trash and recycle gets picked up on Thursday
  • You can put your trash at the curb no earlier than 7pm the night before a pickup
  • Items like mattresses or couches need to be wrapped in plastic to prevent bug and other problems

 

Getting more neighbors involved with the group:

  • Interest in having a block party, but let’s start working on the Rufe Street issue first.
  • Lindsay shared a draft of a survey for neighbors, including a welcoming note to join in, and make note of topics they are interested in
    • Suggestions to make it available in email and in person
    • Some at the meeting offered to help distribute the surveys to their neighbors
    • Have people return survey to the next meeting
  • Evelyn suggested that we move meetings to a later time so that people have more time to get there after work. 7pm might work better.

 

NEXT MEETING: TUESDAY, AUGUST 2ND 7:00PM AT GERMANTOWN FRIENDS SCHOOL