Town Council News
Next meeting: Monday » 05.19.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
Actions at the April Council meeting included:
- approval of FY 2015 budget for presentation at the Annual Town Meeting.
- introduction of Ordinance 2014-01 for Adoption of FY2015 Budget.
- introduction of Ordinance 2014-02 for Article XIII “Application of County Code”.
- approval of Annual Planning Commission report to be sent to the Maryland Department of Planning.
- accepted David Young’s resignation from the Town Council effective April 14, 2014.
Annual Town Meeting is set for May 10, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. with refreshments following the meeting.
Nominations for Mayor and Council are closed. The nominees are;
- Mayor (1-year term) » Joli McCathran
- Council (3-year term) » Georgette Cole
- Council (3-year term) » Audrey Maskery
- Council (1-year term) » David Hix
» John McClelland
» Ed Roberts
Town Elections will be May 10, 2014 in the Council Chambers between 4-7 p.m.
Residents who wish to vote by absentee ballot must call Meredith Horan to arrange for this. Only ballots that are received by 7:00 p.m. on the 10th will be counted. Meredith can be reached at 301-926-1054.
Council Recommends FY 2015 Budget
The Town Council has approved the Mayor’s submitted budget and tax rate for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014. Anticipated income and recommended expenditures for the coming year (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015) are shown on the attached Town budget summary. The Town Council recommends that the Town property tax rate remain at $0.30/$100 assessed valuation, the constant yield tax rate. The dwelling unit charge, which is tied to the cost of trash and recycling collection, is proposed to remain at $97 per dwelling. Copies of the budget detail will be available at Town Elections and at Town Meeting on May 10, but if you would like the budget detail in advance, the recommended FY 2015 budget is available on the Town website or at the Town Office.
State highway user revenues and County municipal tax duplication payments are expected to remain the same as last year. Maryland income tax revenue, however, fluctuates greatly from year to year. A conservative estimate of this income has been made.
Questions may be directed to Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498 or Mayor Georgette Cole at 301-330-6740. Votes to adopt the proposed budget and tax rate will be taken by qualified voters assembled at the annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 10. See you there!
Notice of Public Hearings
The Town Council will hold public hearings on Monday, May 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm in McCathran Hall. The purpose of these hearings is to take public comment on proposed Ordinance No. 2014 01 and proposed Ordinance No. 2014 02.
Ordinance No. 2014-01 would adopt the Town Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, and levy an ad valorem tax on all assessable property within the Town of Washington Grove. Action on this ordinance would comply with State requirements to adopt the budget via an ordinance, and follow up presentation and voting on the budget at the Town Meeting.
Ordinance No. 2014-02 would amend Washington Grove Article XIII, "Application of County Legislation", Section 1, "Exemption from County Legislation" to exempt the Town of Washington Grove from the application of certain provisions of County Code Chapter 8, "Buildings", and Chapter 19, "Erosion, Sediment Control, and Storm Water Management"; add Chapter 31C, "New Home Warranty and Builder Licensing" as a County law applicable in the Town; and revise certain references to the County Code.
Deer Park Bridge Update
CSX has now submitted the 100% Plans for renovating the Deer Park Humpback Bridge to both the Town and Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services. The paperwork has been reviewed by both the Washington Grove Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission. The work will begin after school ends June 13 and finish before school starts again on August 25.
Planning Commission News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 05.07.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.The public is invited to attend.
PLEASE READ!! Change to the Building Permit Application Process to begin June 1st
Prior to submitting a building permit application to the PC, the applicant must obtain a formal advisory review of the project by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). Currently, a copy of the building permit application is submitted to the HPC immediately after receipt by the PC. This rule change would provide the HPC review at an earlier stage in the design process where it can be more effective in preservation of architectural features, compatibility with neighboring structures, and preservation of the visual character of the Town of Washington Grove. The HPC review (when applicable) must accompany the building permit application. The HPC’s process will be amended to reflect this change.
If you are going to erect a building or structure (including fences), make structural alterations to, or move any existing building or other structure, you must first obtain a building permit from the Washington Grove Planning Commission. All permit applications must be received in the Town Office fourteen (14) days prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which they will receive their initial review. The applicant must post a "Notice To Neighbors" sign within seven (7) days of receiving it from the Town Clerk. The Planning Commission will not act on an application unless the Notice To Neighbors sign was posted in a timely fashion as confirmed by the Commission. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256) or email@example.com, or see permits for more details. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.
Historic Preservation News
Next meeting: Tuesday » 05.20.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public. Please read the important announcement about a change in the HPC review process under the Planning Commission News.
From The Town Archives
by Patricia Patula, Town Archivist
Aitchison Crossing. . . and the Bridge
The agenda for the Town Council meeting of October 15, 1964, is an interesting combination of formal, politically correct titles of topics, such as Minutes, Treasurer’s Report, Old Business, etc., with an informal, chatty style reflecting a closely knit group. Instead of a more predictable listing, such as "Report from the County Council on the Railroad Crossing," the author of the agenda launches into this:
"County Council has directed B & O to construct both lights and gate at Aitchison Crossing. Should we send letter expressing our appreciation for this action and renew our request for actions on the bridge?"
And yes, while the minutes of that evening do not refer to the letter question at all, the archives do contain a letter dated October 21, 1964, from Mayor George A. Pughe, to President Wilson and Members of the County Council. In it, the Town expresses its appreciation for the County’s action "making certain that human life and property are safeguarded at Aitchison Crossing."
And yes, the rest of that letter, which is three times as long as the first portion on the Crossing, goes into detail on the bridge, its hazardous nature, asking for an engineering study, offering cooperation, and hopes for funding.
Recreation Committee News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 07.16.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!
Farewell Party for the Young’s
Join us for a party to celebrate the contributions of Pastor Judy Young and David Young to the Town and wish them good luck as they leave Washington Grove to embark on the next phase of their life. The party will be on May 4, 4 PM to 7 PM at the Town Hall. We’ll all share a good, old-fashioned Grove pot luck dinner with the main course and soft drinks provided. Contributions of side dishes and desserts will be appreciated. Please let us know what you plan to bring and if you would like to help with the party–contact Emily Cavey (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sylvie Favret (email@example.com), or Freda
May Day, May Day!! The Animals are Coming!
Meet us at the playground on May 4th, 11-1pm where an assortment of animals will be milling about for your petting pleasure! There will be pony rides for the kids (or adults under 80 lbs). Friends are welcome, but please leave your pets at home that day. Following the petting farm, please join us for an attempt at resurrecting the old Grove tradition of weaving on a May Pole! Should be a lovely day!
Music Weekend…a bit early
Music Weekend is June 13, 14, 15 2014 so mark your calendars.
- June 13 – Swing Time Big Band, Pizza & Beer!
- June 14 – Children’s Concert (morning)
- June 14 – Critton Hollow String Band
- June 15 – Baroque Breakfast; music provided by the Homewood Brass.
Woman’s Club News
Plan to join us on May 18, 2014 for the Woman’s Club’s Annual Flower Show
We had a beautiful day for this year’s Easter Egg Hunt! Many hands helped make this its usual fun event, but special thanks go to Barbara Engle for organizing it and her wonderful crafts contributions; to the Appleby family for setting up and bringing toys, games and crafts; to everyone who helped fill the eggs with candy; and to those who helped hide them. One of the many great things about living here is is watching, from year to year, as the kids grow from the little ones finding the eggs, to the teenagers hiding them, to the parents bringing their kids to find the eggs.
This is a reminder to those who haven’t yet paid your annual $15 dues, and an invitation to those who haven’t yet joined the Woman’s Club. Our Club sponsors many of the Town’s favorite events, such as the White Elephant Sale, the Chili Supper, the Pot Luck Dinner, the Easter Egg Hunt, the Progressive Porch Party, the Flower Show, and other fun times. We also maintain the Clubhouse, which is available to Town residents to rent; we give an annual contribution to help defray the costs of Summer in the Parks (SITP); and this fall we will be organizing a Winter Coat and School Supplies Drive to benefit the Washington Grove Elementary School children.
To join the Woman’s Club, contact Sylvia Appleby at 301-926-9094 or e-mail the Club at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get in touch with you. We’re a fun group who help make Washington Grove such a nice place to live.
We’re also currently working on the 2014-2016 Town Directory, and volunteers are needed to help contact residents, proof read and distribute the books. If you would like to help, please contact Marilynn Frey at 301-926-0867, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You will soon be receiving your update form, so please fill it out and return it as soon as possible
Maple Lake News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 07.21.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!
WG Meadow Park News
Last summer, residents noticed a striking absence of Monarch butterflies in the Grove. This brought home for many the fact that Monarchs are in a serious decline across North America – a decline that has been linked to the steady and dramatic loss of milkweeds over the past 15 years. Now Grove residents have taken action to re-establish milkweed in the conservation meadow bordering Ridge Road. The Montgomery County Parks Department responded to us with unequivocal support. The Department promised to deliver 75 -100 milkweed plants to the meadow from their own Pope Farm Nursery and two staff people, including field botanist Carole Bergmann, came out to the site to give advice on planting and growing the milkweed.
Of about thirty townspeople who had expressed interest in the project sixteen managed to be available at very short notice the Friday and Saturday before Easter. They planted 77 Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) and Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed), scattering them within 10 yards or so on either side of the path that crosses the field.
Montgomery County Parks will provide more plants as needed. They mow the meadow only once a year now, in late March, so we expect the milkweeds to spread both from root and from seed. Carole Bergmann has advised us that in the fall volunteers can help Nature along by collecting seeds from the ripe pods and sowing them lightly into the soil with a hand cultivator. If you want to help with the project please contact Betsy Klinger or Ann Philips. This summer we hope to see Monarchs return to Washington Grove!
- May 4th;10am -1 pm: “Bikes for the World” used bikes collection, in church parking lot at 303 Chestnut Rd. Bikes are refurbished by volunteers and channeled to health workers to reach patients, students to get to school, and workers to get to work, in communities around the world. Donations to Bikes for the World are needed too, it costs $25 to prep and ship each bike. Children’s and adult bikes needed. Info at: http://www.bikesfortheworld.org/ . Contact Logan Epperly for more info on the May 4th collection, at 301-633-5205, or email@example.com .
- May 24th;8am to 1pm: Yard Sale at the parsonage, 101 Center St, to benefit the church. Y’all come!
- June 8th;11am: All welcome for Judy’s farewell sermon! Potluck lunch follows in the church fellowship hall at 12:15 p.m.
I’m happy to say that EunJoung Joo, or EJ, a friend and colleague of mine, will be the new pastor at WGUMC starting on July 1st. EunJoung will enjoy living in the parsonage with her husband MyungHa Baek and their 2-yr old daughter, Abigail. Originally from South Korea, EunJoung has a degree in English as well as an MDiv, and her English is fluent. After being helped and befriended in ministry myself by EunJoung, I am delighted to know that she will be here to serve the Grove, and to enjoy the warmth of a Grove welcome!
Vandalism at Woodward Park
The public restrooms attached to the Maintenance Garage were vandalized this winter. The sink and toilet drains were filled with gravel and all sources of water were left running. This WSSC bill for this "prank" was $1,600.00!! The decision was made to close the bathrooms to the public. With the arrival of nice weather, we will open the bathrooms to the public again, this time, with a keypad lock on the door. Please call the Town Office for this number and do not give it out to others. If there is this type of vandalism again, the restrooms will be closed to the public.
Lower Ridge Road Scheduled for Repaving
At the March 10th regular meeting of the Town Council, a bid for repair and repaving Ridge Road just North of the driveway at #326 and ending just North of the driveway at #358 was accepted. A.B.
Veirs is the contractor who will be doing the work which will be May 5th & 6th, 2014. A.B. Veirs will do patchwork, milling and preparation on
May 5th. On May 6th, the entire road will be repaved. Access will be limited during this time and the affected residents have been advised of alternate parking possibilities. This project has been pending for several years, but was postponed until the new Shady Grove Crossing development was near completion.
Residents who have keys to McCathran Hall are asked to let someone know before you borrow something from the building. That way we can track it down when we need it. Please & Thank-you!
Bulk Trash Pick Up on a THURSDAY
The Town has scheduled a bulk trash collection for THURSDAY, May 15, 2014. Materials may include furniture, appliances (nothing with freon like air conditioning units), rugs, large toys, small auto parts, etc. Material may NOT include construction by-products from your renovation projects, large automotive parts or tires. Items should not contain gasoline or motor oil. Please keep your metal separate from the rest of your trash. Items should be placed “curbside” by 7:00 a.m.
Use of metal detectors on Town land
Questions have been raised over the use of metal detectors on Town land and usually in our Parks. In 1966 the Federal Government passed the National Historic Preservation Act to ensure the preservation of historic properties. The 1966 act is the mechanism by which historical sites can be preserved and protected by adding them to the National Register of Historic Places. Once historical sites are placed on the National Register, the sites are no longer available for metal detecting. As Washington Grove is on the National Register, we can no longer permit metal detector use on Town-owned land. Metal detector enthusiasts who ask permission will be told that, and those who do not will be politely informed of the ban and asked to desist. This does not affect the right of residents to use a metal detector on their own property