10 April 2006 | Approved: 8 May 2006
Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:40 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Linda Baim, Georgette Cole, Betsy Klinger, and David Stopak. Also present were; Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Charlie Challstrom, Jean Myers, Shirl Harrison, Kathi Kershaw, Ann Briggs, Audrey Maskery, Karen Lanier & her son and a representative from Montgomery County Sanitation & Recycling.
Approval of Minutes
Darrell Anderson moved, Linda Baim seconded that the Town Council minutes of March 13, 2006 be approved as amended. Vote: 5-0.
Georgette Cole moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for March be accepted. Vote: 5-0.
David Stopak moved, Darrell Anderson seconded a motion to transfer funds. Vote: 5-0.
Jim Fletcher gave the maintenance report and asked for guidance concerning his annual trip to Hagerstown to purchase greenstone for the clay tennis courts. It was decided that Linda Baim will help to determine the quantity and Jim will pick it up in late April or early May. Jim also presented the Mayor and Council with a detailed report of needed road repairs. Discussion… In order to get a rough idea of the costs, Jim will do a walk-through with Jennifer Gallasch from paving contractor AB Veirs.
Jean Myers was thanked for her trash removal efforts all over Town. It was decided that all trash bags from the “Trash Brigade” will be taken to the Maintenance Shop and Jim will take them to the transfer station. Jim will also get a wheeled container for easier pickup of recyclables. The Clerk will put an announcement calling for volunteers for the “Trash Brigade” in the next Bulletin.
Ann Briggs asked the Council for approval of funds for the upgrades to the bus stops including the one at the MARC train station. She explained that she and Charlie Challstrom met with a County representative to show them a plan that would net approximately 15 more parking spaces for MARC train riders. The spaces are in the parking lot at Hershey’s Restaurant, part of which is on County property.
David Stopak moved to approve an FY 07 expenditure of $1,000.00 towards bus stop improvements. Linda Baim seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Open Trash/Recycling Bids
The Town received bids for refuse and recycling collection from three companies; Allied/BFI ($81,732.00 annually, Unity ($44,880.00 annually) and Montgomery County Sanitation ($48,372.00 annually). Waste Management, our current contract holder, failed to meet the deadline. A discussion about Waste Management ensued. It was decided that a phone call to Waste Management was in order. Because of cost, the Mayor and Council immediately rejected the bid from Allied/BFI. A representative from Montgomery County Sanitation expressed concern that the bids had been opened yet the Mayor and Council were considering accepting a bid from the current contractor. The Mayor expressed regret but stated that he still wanted to see a bid from the current contractor before awarding the contract. The Clerk will call WM in the morning and report to the Mayor and Council immediately.
Code Enforcement Officer
Darrell Anderson suggested that the Town try to find and ex or retired County inspector to serve as a Code Enforcement Officer. This person could be used on an on-call basis just as we use the Town Forester. A discussion about budget implications, contracts, scope of work, and qualifications occurred.
Ordinance 2005-07; General Revisions
Because there were material changes in this ordinance revision, the Mayor and Council decided to hold a second public hearing. The hearing will be May 22, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall.
- Development Update: Mayor Compton reported that the proposed Phase One Site Plan has problems with grading and density, among other things. The project is currently on hold because of the State Highway’s requirement for a storm water management area. Toll Brothers must reconfigure some of the lots to accommodate for the loss of land. Mayor Compton also reported that the Town could expect a request for annexation of the property behind the 4 new homes on upper Ridge Road (former WSSC property).
- Condemnation Update: Mayor Compton reported that the condemnation proceedings have become further complicated by a change in legal counsel for M-NCPPC. This has also affected drafting of a management agreement incorporating land use restrictions and maintenance parameters intended to give M-NCPPC and the Town certain responsibilities for the field. The property owner wants the Phase One Site Plan approved before the condemnation is settled. Mayor Compton believes that if we don’t buy the property, we may be able to protect ourselves with strong, detailed language to keep the field open and passive.
- Deer Park Bridge: Mayor Compton reported that Montgomery County finally provided the comparative numbers concerning cost of a new bridge vs. maintaining the old bridge. A meeting with representatives from Gaithersburg and Montgomery County will occur in May. Mayor Compton will attend.
- Annexation Update: Mayor Compton reported that a change in Land use would present a big problem for this property. Law requires the annexed land to retain its current zoning for 5 years after annexation. The property owners do want to proceed with an annexation to Washington Grove. A proposal for annexation must be presented to the Town. The Mayor and Council hope to have more definitive information for prospective buyers by May 22, 2006. This process could take 3-6 months.
see Maintenance Report.
Historic Preservation Commission
David Stopak reported that the HPC met on March 21st and again on March 26th. He also reported that a sub-committee was formed to develop an approach for reviewing Town Ordinances. This committee met on April 3rd and is scheduled to meet again on April 10th. The HPC reviewed plans for an addition at 406 Grove Avenue.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Planning Commission is in favor of
a beautification effort proposed for the Town land at the corner of Grove Road and Center Street
near 301 1st Avenue. This will be turned over to Forestry & Beautification. A fence bordering 352 and 348 Ridge Road was removed without a permit. A letter notifying the property owners at 352 should be sent. The PC recommends that the fence behind 301 Maple Avenue be placed on the list of ordinance violations that must be corrected within 18 months. The owner of 500 Brown Street requested approval to build a shed in the forest conservation area of his property. The PC believes that the requirements on the original deed must be met before any further discussion should occur. The following permit action took place:
- 206 Chestnut Ave. Fence » Approved
- 207 Maple Ave. Screening » Approved
- 415 Center St. Gazebo » Denied/Incomplete Information
- 415 Center St. Fence » Approved
- 406 Grove Ave. Addition » Approved
Darrell Anderson reported that he was unable to attend the March 14th MML dinner. The next scheduled meeting is April 20, 2006.
Linda Baim reported that Bill Saar sends "thank you’s" to Town officials and committee chairs for sending him information for the website.
Linda Baim reported that a playground committee will be formed to make recommendations for purchasing new playground equipment and removing old equipment based on safety, need, and expense.
Forestry & Beautification
Georgette Cole reported that new trees purchased in March would be planted on April 17, 2006. Jim and Georgette will meet on the 10th to discuss planting plans for the new trees and for The Circle. Georgette also reported that the Forestry Committee will meet on April 12th were plans for Arbor Day (4/22) will be finalized along with a discussion of the draft Urban Forest Management Plan. The site for the SITP butterfly garden has yet to be determined.
Roads & Walkways
see maintenance report.
Betsy Klinger reported that the Recreation Committee met on March 22nd and will meet again on May 24th. Betsy also reported that the St. Patrick’s Day dance was well attended (over 40 Town residents), a Hawk Talk is scheduled for April 23rd, 13 Town residents are signed up for the T’ai Chi lessons and that plans for Music Weekend are nearly finalized.
Betsy Klinger reported that the Town Hall Needs Committee met on Tuesday, April 4th where almost all project cost estimates planned for next year were finalized and ready to appear in the new proposed budget. There was a brief discussion about the removal of the light pole in front of McCathran Hall and about cracks in the Council Room walls. The costs for AC in the octagon are still being researched.
Betsy Klinger reported that she has put in a call to the County in order to discuss placing pedestrian crosswalk paddle-signs at the entrance to Maple Lake. Betsy also reported that Neighborhood Watch incident reports for publication in the Town Bulletin will include race or even ages of perpetrators only when identification of a suspect is important either because the crime is of a very serious nature or because identification may help prevent further incidents or when race is relevant to the nature of the incident, such as a hate crime. There were 2 incidents reported to Neighborhood Watch; items stolen from an unlocked car on W.G. Lane and two silver mountain bikes stolen from a garage on Chestnut Road.
Mayor Compton reminded the Council about the deadline for Mayor’s Service Award nominations. Mayor Compton also reported that Betsy Klinger and Georgette Cole would help with the employee review process. This should happen in the next two weeks.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:09 p.m.