Melrose Park Improvement Association

Meeting Notes, General meeting held February 2, 1999

7 - 8:30 p.m., Elkins Park Library

Special thanks to Tom Petersen, who took these notes!


Albert Fried-Cassorla introduced the association and gave brief history of the group (Melrose Park Improvement Association).

There was an organizing committee who met earlier.

Mill run was described. Andy - biologist described the level of contamination. Swimming was made illegal. Where does the sewage come from. Raw sewage dumped into the stream. There is some work being done. A petition was passed around. Since Oct. only 28 houses have been corrected. There were comments from Tom and others that the web site needs improvement regarding the sewage. Most of the problem is from Philladelphia.

The politics of Philly may slow the process down. There was a signed agreement as of June 28, but work didn't start until Oct. There are possibly as many as 2,000 potential tie-ins. It is not known how many are actually tied in. The info from the Water Department is difficult to interpret. The coliform count has gone up because of the recent work.

Forms were available for people to complete which ask for input of interest.

Open ended discussion was decided on.

Some ideas: Neighborhood film festival.

Signs saying welcome to Melrose Park.

There were two previous incarnations of the group.

Want to improve Melrose Park for current and future residents. MP train station should be improved.

Strong desire expressed for construction of a fence to keep people from walking on the tracks of SEPTA - especially on Mill Road between Asbury and Melrose.

Fiberglass train bridge should be replaced by a chain link.

Clean out the garbage at the RR tracks.

The gaps in the tracks cause noise and are a train wreck danger.

Mike Swobola introduced himself – Commissioner of Melrose Park. Wants two minutes to go over issues. The SEPTA issue is being addressed – all of the ailments in MRP, EP and further down. The shopping center has had the grocery store repurchased by Warrens and Kelso – there is an agreement of sale.

Last month there was a RFP for economic development for Glenside, Chelt. Village, and Elkins Park. Chelt. Ave. was gotten on the second RFP. There will be some trees added to that area.

There is a boarded up house at 7315 Chestnut which is owned by an out of state bank. There is no ordinance that says you cannot board up a home. How about putting it up for sale? Mike Swavola to check up on it.

Could designate people to attend the Township meetings and report back. Mike to forward the SEPTA letter to Albert. The Phil. Water Dept. reports to the DEP by end of Jan.


Traffic flow at Valley and Cheltenham should be reversed. – Valley and Crest is a major school bus stop.

There may be a good opportunity to interface with the High School Park group to get resources. Howard Sitron organized Earth Day activities in Mill Creek and some people got sick. There was debris down there. There are large quantities of cans dumped in the Creek. The Township helped collect the cans and disposed them.

Bob Tabak said there was a town watch for East Melrose Park, but it died out. Dave Isaacson was also active in the town watch – was president. Flea Market (profits went to Town Watch) and Block Party is held each year in MRP East.

Al puts out a Melrose Park News by e-mail and maybe by mail. Cheltenham Ave. can be improved if group works on it. The Chelt. Main Street Manager (Joel Johnston) is talking to Phil. for working together. Allison Schwartz is a good contact since she covers Phil and Chelt. Is there an East Oak Lane association which could be contacted.

The lighting at Coventry House is bright because of car theft and a mugging. Someone suggested improving (adding) guard rails at the bridges at Cov House.

Additional 4-way stop signs were requested at Spring and Mill. Speeding at Coventry in the morning.

Put together a list of all of the good things about living here – need a PR campaign.

The Apartment House on Woodlawn and Ashbourne (Brookview Apts.) was fought by the last MRP Impr. Assoc., but lost.

One day a month have a cleanup day.

Major concerns should be focused on: SEPTA issues…How to attract new people to the township – Narberth is a good example.

Economic dev. comm. for the township has a monthly meeting.

What about a restaurant in the MRP train station.

Major categories need to be summarized.

Racial and religious diversity is important for the neighborhood.

Apartment dwellers don’t have a vested interest and won’t be as likely to participate since they are more transient.

Shelly Schwartz is running for township commissioner in the fall. She suggested breaking down into smaller groups. Much of these issues can be addressed to the Township Commissioners.

The group will rely on the surveys to group the issues.

Andy Rudin will be chair of the stream pollution subcommittee.

Irene Craig volunteered for trash cleanup.

Ivan Horn will head up SEPTA-related work.

Meeting date: Several weeks from now

Place: EP Square, or to be decided.

Becky Mazen 635-5352. There is an organization called Strive at the High School which would volunteer for cleanups – she needs advance notice to get that (at least two weeks).

Ivan volunteered for the SEPTA issues and will coordinate with the Township – Tom Steigerwald will work with him.