TOWN COUNCIL NEWS
Next meeting: Monday, May 23, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This is the Annual Organizational Meeting where new Council members take their oath of office. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the April meeting included:
- enactment of Ordinance 2016-02; Granting a Non-Exclusive Cable Franchise Agreement to Comcast of Potomac, LLC
- introduction of Ordinance 2016-04; Adoption of FY2017 Budget
- introduction and adoption of Resolution 2016-05; Approving An Agreement with Montgomery County Concerning the Comcast Cable Franchise
- introduction and adoption of Resolution 2016-06; Approving An Amended Agreement with Montgomery County Concerning the Verizon Cable Franchise
- introduction of Ordinance 2016-07; Ordinance Modifying Business Hours Specified in the Town’s Commercial Regulations by 30 Minutes to Allow Businesses to Remain Open Until 9:30 PM
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 23, 2016 at 7:30 pm in McCathran Hall. The purpose of this hearing is to take public comment on proposed Ordinance No. 2016-04. This ordinance would adopt the Town Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, 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. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available for inspection upon request to the Town of Washington Grove, P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, MD 20880 or 301-926-2256.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 23, 2016 at 7:30 pm in McCathran Hall. The purpose of this hearing is to take public comment on proposed Ordinance 2016-07. This ordinance would modify the business hours at the Commercial Corner by 30 minutes to allow businesses to remain open until 9:30 pm. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available for inspection upon request to the Town of Washington Grove, P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, MD 20880 or 301-926-2256.
80th Annual Town Meeting
The Annual Town Meeting is set for Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 8:00 pm in McCathran Hall with refreshments following the meeting.
Town Elections Saturday, May 14, 2016
Nominations for the Mayor and Council are closed. The nominees are as follows:
Mayor (1-year term) Joli A. McCathran
There are two (2) Council positions open and three (3) people running:
Vote at McCathran Hall in the Council Room from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.
Residents who wish to vote by absentee ballot must call Meredith Horan to arrange for this. Only ballots that are received by 7:00 pm on May 14th will be counted. Meredith can be reached at 301-926-1054.
From the Mayor…
Volunteerism appears to be at an all-time high in Washington Grove!
Besides the volunteer members of the Town Council, Planning Commission, and Historic Preservation Commission, other groups such as the Board of Zoning Appeals, Supervisors of Elections, Maple Lake Committee, Recreation Committee, *Road Safety Committee, *Vacant House Task Force, *Emergency Preparedness Task Force, Woods Group, and the *Ivy Out Team, the Refuse Removal Team, *Tennis Court Committee, Washington Grove Marginal Thespian Ensemble, Neighborhood Watch, Forestry & Beautification, Memorials Committee, *McCathran Hall Sound Committee, Labor Day volunteers and any I may have missed, the Town is feeling the effects of all this dedicated work. Our Town is a special place and I salute and thank all of our dedicated residents who make our Town a better place to live. Many thanks to each of you who share your time and talents for the benefit of all!
*Group, task force, or committee formed within the past two years.
This is also an invitation and to encourage you to join any of these groups. (You do not have to become a member if you wish to participate.) But volunteerism is a major part of how Washington Grove works and this is what make the Town such a special place.
House Bill 1101 Municipal Corporations-Open Swimming Lakes was signed in to law. It is now Chapter 131 of the Annotated Code of Maryland (Environmental). Many hands went into making this bill become a law. Special thanks to Senator Nancy King, Aquatic Expert Nate Simpson, John Hutchinson, and to our attorney Suellen Ferguson. This law allows the Town to monitor our own Maple Lake and not be subject to Montgomery County inspections. Thank you for a job well done!
The Town office is the main connection between Town government and residents. Our Clerk, Kathy Lehman is ready and able to help residents during open office hours. They are:
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri. 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Wednesday 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Joli A. McCathran
Your Money Working for You! Town Council Recommends FY 2017 Budget
Hardworking, collaborative, and thoughtful – this describes the dedicated volunteers who hammered out a budget for the coming year at the March 21 work session. The Mayor and Council, with audience participation, considered a number of priorities including implementation of the 2015 Forest Stewardship Plan, a multi-year Playground Master Plan to include new equipment, surfacing, and drainage improvements, and the not-sexy but necessary, road resurfacing and storm water control projects.
The Town Council has approved a recommended budget and tax rate for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016. Anticipated income and recommended expenditures for the coming year (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017) are shown on the attached Town budget summary. The Town Council recommends the Town property tax rate decrease from $0.2860 to $0.27/$100 assessed valuation. The dwelling unit charge, which is tied to the cost of trash and recycling collection, is proposed to remain at $108 per dwelling per year. Copies of the budget detail will be available at Town Elections and at Town Meeting on May 14, and are available now at the Town Office.
Questions may be directed to Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498 or Mayor Joli McCathran at 301-869-5358. Votes to adopt the proposed budget and tax rate will be taken by qualified voters assembled at the annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 14. See you there!
Planning Commission News…
Next meeting: Wed., May 4, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
If you are considering any renovation or building project at your house, be sure to get a copy of the revised procedures to apply for a Town Building Permit which will help you through the Town’s process. The procedures are available from the Town Clerk or from the Town’s website. In addition, the house files in the Town Hall, another resource when planning home modifications, may have some helpful information on your property. The Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission are here to help you with your project.
Permits approved on April 6, 2016:
- 204 Ridge Road Porch Screening
Historic Preservation Commission News…
Next meeting: Tuesday, May 17, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.
If you are considering changes to your home, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you, most preferably early in your planning process, at one of our monthly meetings, which are scheduled on the third Tuesday of each month, at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
FROM THE TOWN ARCHIVES
By Patricia Patula, Town Archivist
“The Town’s First, Fastest and Cheapest Building Permit”
Note to reader. The original minutes of this portion of the Town Council’s meeting are a fun read. Special effort was made by the writer to retain as much of the original order of the text as possible. If you feel a little confused, don’t be alarmed.
It was July 13, 1938, barely a year after the Town had cast off its Camp Meeting Association cloak to take on the trappings of a municipality. That evening, the fledgling Town Council–Mayor Irving McCathran, Councilmen Teepe, Felt, Heil, Christie, Billhimer, and Hiller–conducted a “special meeting” to review a long list of concerns.
There was a variety of topics on the agenda. Look at some of them: a new letterhead with the officers’ names; a petition for a new deed for Oak Grove Lodge No.150; a tax levy for the Methodist Parsonage; the location and details of the “Dollar Lots;” the upcoming visit of the Chorus of the Agricultural Department (should they seat them? serve ice cream? pass the collection plate?); the purchase of damask for curtains for the hall; and the conducting of road surveys and hiring engineers.
Perhaps it was this long list that inadvertently stimulated the granting of the Town’s first, fastest and cheapest building permit!
It all happened right in the middle of the meeting. Clerk/Councilman Hiller told the Council that Mr. and Mrs. Carroll C. Ware had called upon him “just before he came to the meeting relative to the reconstruction of the house on the Craig property.” Mr. Hiller had given Mr. Ware the ordinance pertaining to building and reconstruction permits. Probably a little taken off guard with this spur of the moment request, the Council quickly established a Building Committee “with Councilman Christie as Chairman and Mayor McCathran appointed as the other [sic],” and Councilmen Heil, Billheimer, and Teepe as the members of the committee. (That left two–Hiller and Felt–to serve as the Council?) It was voted that the Committee be given “power to act in this case without referring the petition back to the Council, and that the Mayor sign the permit.” (From here on it gets a little hazy.)
The newly appointed Building Committee (aka a large portion of the Council) invited Mr. and Mrs. Ware to come in. The Wares brought a cardboard model of the house plan and explained what they wanted to do.
The minutes continue:“An informal recess was taken while the Building Committee met.” So the Council went into recess (did they recuse themselves?). Then the Committee recommended to the Council (the Council was back in action again) that the “permit requested be granted subject to inspection after completion of the changes.” (At this point, the taker of the minutes probably had trouble deciding which meeting had the floor.) “On motion by Councilman Christie, seconded by Councilman Heil, the recommendation of the Committee was unanimously adopted. (Heil and Christie are at this point presumed to still be part of the Building Committee even though their titles of Councilman are used.) Minutes again: “It was unanimously voted that no charge be made this fiscal year for building permits or the inspection of the building when completed.” This is surely the Council’s action this time, and thus, the discussion on the building permit was concluded.
Then all members of the Council went back to being the Council again, most likely feeling relieved that they finally knew which hat they were wearing and proceeded to discuss the many topics that night. It was indeed a “special” meeting.
More on Mr. and Mrs. Ware’s house in a later issue.
Recreation Committee News…
Next Meeting: Wed., May 11, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
Shake It Up!
Our adult exercise classes with certified fitness instructor Mark Rosenfeld have proved so popular that he has agreed to conduct an extra class on Thursday, May 5th. The session, which will be held in McCathran Hall from 4-5 pm, requires no advance registration or special equipment, although a bottle of water is a good idea. Mark mixes up aerobics, strength training, and stretching, but his exercises can be adapted to all experience and/or age levels. The class costs $5 at the door, either cash or a check made out to the Town of Washington Grove. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music Weekend’s Heating Up!
It all kicks off Friday, June 17, at the Gazebo with returning R&B faves Jr. Cline and the Recliners! Lawn chairs, blankets and BYOB! Saturday morning at 10, the Grove’s kids and teens show off their musical and dancing chops; more details to come. Contact Tad Stahnke at email@example.com. On Saturday at 8 p.m. it’s the “grown-ups” turn, with or without younger sidekicks. Contact Emily Cavey for information firstname.lastname@example.org.
And then we take an international turn on Sunday at the Gazebo, with Humberto Guzman y su Mariachi Los Mensajeros del Sur, who’ve been serving up contemporary and traditional mariachi music in the Washington area for over 30 years. Pull out your favorite Mexican brunch recipes for the potluck brunch, and make enough to feed your family and friends and hopefully to share. Don’t forget a blanket or a chair. Paper products and beverages provided.
Summer Plans? Don’t let those kids get BORED! Visit our online forms & get ready for a season of happy times!
SITP Campers (DUE June 1st)
Weekdays 9-12pm, July 5-29th McCathran Hall
Emily Brown email@example.com
Junior Tennis (DUE June 25th)
8-9:30am (see time slots in form) July 7(Th), 11(M), 13(W), 15(F), 19(T), 21(Th) Tennis Courts
Linda Baim firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer ADULT TENNIS in the Grove 2016
Season opener: Friday, May 6 at 6:30 pm
Beginner/Intermediate Tune Up:
Tuesdays: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
May 10, 17, 24, 31
Fee: $20 payable to the Town of Washington Grove
Sign up: email@example.com; 301-997-1701 (h); 240-998-1701(c)
Maple Lake News…
Next Meeting: Thurs., May 19, 2016; 7:30 p.m.; Council Room.
Maple Lake Party Permits
Make sure your party is official! Complete the online registration form and inquire at the Town Hall for an alcohol permit.
Emily Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
Geese Visitors at Maple Lake
We are using the Humane Society’s protocol again to humanely prevent eggs from hatching this spring. In the past several years a pair of geese has nested in an area easily accessible to our egg-oiling team. They drive away the other geese during nesting season and then leave when their eggs do not hatch. Please do not feed or harass the nesting pair or disturb the nest. If you see a nest built, please call Ann Philips or John Hutchinson. We encourage visitors to the lake to take along a plastic bag and scoop droppings. THANKS!
Forestry & Beautification News…
Next Meeting: Wed., May 25, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.
Trees, Trees, Trees!
Have you noticed the five new trees planted in Morgan Park? We’ve had some sad losses of our large mature trees as they reached the end of their life span. To help ensure our Town entrance still represents the Town Within a Forest we love so much, we have invested in several larger trees to replace ones lost to age. We now have three Pin Oaks close to 30 feet in height, and two Black Gum at around 20-25 feet tall. The Black Gum especially will add wonderful color in the fall. The trees will have mulch around their base to conserve moisture until they are established (about one year).
Woman’s Club News…
Get your entries ready for A Symphony of Flowers on May 22nd
Next on our summer events schedule is the Annual Flower Show. This year’s theme is A Symphony of Flowers. You will soon be receiving more information about this always popular event, so be sure to put it on your calendar for Sunday, May 22nd. If you can, please volunteer to help us make this the best flower show yet, by contacting Georgette Cole at email@example.com.
Many thanks to all who helped make this year’s Birthday Bags and Treasure Chest Gifts a great success. This truly is a Little Town with a Big Heart!
As you enjoy your summer travels, please remember that we’ll be collecting those nice little bottles of shampoo, soap and lotion that your hotels provide. Our fall Outreach Program will be filling bags with such items for the Gude Men’s Shelter. Last year, they were so grateful for the items we provided.
Saturday, June 25th is the date for our Annual Progressive Porch Party. Once again, we need volunteers to host this event on your porches. If you can help us with this, please contact Sylvia Appleby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-926-9064.
In July, we will be holding a fundraiser to repair and refinish the Clubhouse benches. According to The History of the Woman’s Club of Washington Grove, by Sylvia Tate Horan, these benches were donated by a Church to the original Camp Meeting. After that, the Club was designated as their custodians, with the understanding that they would be preserved and could not be sold. These benches have been woven throughout the history of our Town, often being carried back and forth to the Auditorium for various events, but they are now badly in need of repairs and refinishing.
Next Meeting: Monday, May 2, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
Of note: the Woods Group, in coordination with Nicho’s Trees Fund (Meghan O’Connell), is in the process of planting new trees in the East Woods along the Maple Avenue walking trail (fire lane) extension. This is to restore the tree canopy following the removal of mile-a-minute invasive plants from that section last year. Six trees were planted during the week of April 18th.
Unfortunately, the soil has remained very wet along this section making tree planting work amidst rainy days very challenging. The tree company worked in earnest to plant the trees in advance of the weather forecast and bucked several dead tree trunks to protect the new trees from harm.
The Woods Group will be diligent to evaluate the tree plantings and address any temporary disturbance to the area. In the past months, some additional pre-existing dead tree trunks had been cut to drop to the ground for both public safety (along the walking trail) and to promote natural decomposition which will replenish soil health.
“Service in the Garden” – Mother’s Day (May 8, 2016) at 11:00 am. Celebrating womanhood and nature’s beauty. Hors d’euvres after the service.
Vacant Homes Task Force
The next meeting of this Task Force will be on MAY 16, 2016, at 7:30 PM in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.
Emergency Preparedness Committee
The Washington Grove Emergency Preparedness Task Force will meet in the Town Council Room at McCathran Hall on Thursday, May 5 at 7:00 pm and Thursday, May 12 at 7:00 pm. All are welcome to attend the meetings.
Meet The Candidates!
Please come to a candidate forum on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. The event will feature the candidates for Mayor and Town Council in the elections the following Saturday. Our current Mayor and Councilors will be there also. This is an opportunity to meet those willing to take on official duties for the good of the Grove and those who currently hold these responsibilities. Come with your questions, get a feel for Town government, put a face to a name and enjoy light refreshments! This event is sponsored by Town residents.
Drive 15, enjoy the scene……….