11 January 1999 | Approved: 8 March 1999
The meeting was called to order at 7:40 p.m. by Mayor Ann Briggs. In attendance were Councilors John Compton, Dave Gumula, Chris Pacchione, Nick Suzich (delayed arrival), and Carol Uhlendorf. Town residents Bruce Crise, Ralph Hurst, Reggi Norton and Diana Talbert also were present to discuss gas service to the Grove.
Approval of Minutes
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Chris Pacchione seconded, that the Town Council minutes of December 14, 1998 be approved. Vote: 4-0.
Carol Uhlendorf moved, John Compton seconded, acceptance of the Treasurer’s report. Vote: 5-0. Carol Uhlendorf moved, Nick Suzich seconded, that the Treasurer be authorized to transfer funds, if necessary, to pay bills. Vote: 5-0. The following budget-related topics were discussed:
- process continues to hire archives worker, advertisement and interviews in January; position descriptions drafted for custodian and clerk-treasurer; meeting will be held with custodian to clarify job responsibilities and to determine need for additional work hours.
- budget estimate sought on new fencing for hard tennis court and purchase of additional recreation equipment.
- hiring a second lifeguard for safety was discussed; with some reservations about effectiveness, the Council authorized the Lake Committee to hire two lifeguards for the season which begins Memorial Day weekend.
- Council authorized Recreation Committee to engage band for the New Years celebration on December 31, 1999. The special millennium event is planned to be a formal adult dinner dance. The pros and cons of a family-oriented party where children would be welcome was discussed. It was suggested that it might be possible to merge two separate events before midnight.
- Washington Grove Nature Trail – Mayor Briggs described the proposal for a nature trail presented by Tagg Hutchinson at the December Council meeting and reported that there had been no significant concerns raised as a result of an article about the proposed trail in the December Town Bulletin. The Mayor further stated that creating a nature trail is in keeping with the Town’s Forest Policy. The Council concurred, saying that Tagg should be sent a letter giving the project formal approval.
Washington Grove Web Site
Mayor Briggs reported that Allan Janus has agreed to take on a limited role as Webmaster under specific guidelines. Councilors stated that the Web site structure should include a core group of members willing to help maintain the site. The Council will review the site after a six-month period. It was suggested that the site include Council meeting minutes and a question and answer section.
Gas Service to Washington Grove
John Compton reported that the Planning Commission recommends that a survey of the Town be conducted to determine if there is sufficient interest to extend gas service. The Commission asked the Council to authorize a committee to conduct the survey. The Council agreed and Reggi Norton and Diana Talbert offered to work on the committee. The survey will be included in the Town Bulletin and participants will be asked to return their surveys to the Town Office. The committee will also organize an informational meeting.
Mayor Briggs announced the following:
- Maintenance Shop Addition groundbreaking ceremony a success.
- City of Gaithersburg will conduct a vehicle traffic survey for speed and volume on Washington Grove Lane this week.
- Railroad Park dedication is scheduled for Saturday, May 15.
- Commercial Corner meat market has closed. Property-owner representative Steve Beck has asked if a seafood market would be permitted. Town Attorney Bill Roberts will respond by letter to Mr. Beck’s inquiry.
- Pancake breakfast to welcome newcomers scheduled for Saturday, March 20 at 8:30 a.m.
- National Trust for Historic Preservation interested in featuring Old Towne, Kentlands and Washington Grove at their October conference. Council approved the Grove’s participation.
John Compton suggested that the Town consider ending fall leaf collection on January 1 next year. It was suggested that short barrels of sand be put at critical Town intersections for volunteers to sand the intersections in icy conditions.
John Compton reported that Anne Marie Murphy, 203 2nd Avenue, was denied a permit to build a chimney.
Dave Gumula clarified that, under the Town’s Personnel Policy, performance appraisals shall be written for full-time employees only.
125th Anniversary Committee
Dave Gumula reported that meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, February 3 and Wednesday, March 3. An old-time ball game is being planned for July.
Carol Uhlendorf reported that the Montgomery Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League will hold its annual Legislative Dinner in Annapolis on Tuesday, January 26. Municipal Government Week is April 19-23, 1999. League members are working to add county and municipal government material to the school curriculum.
Carol Uhlendorf reported that opera singers will perform on February 13. Mayor Briggs gave a status report on the search for a choir director to replace Kathy Lehman.
Mayor Briggs stated that the ground needs to be built up along the edge of the asphalt tennis court and graded to eliminate the drop off.
Mayor Briggs reported that estimates of $12,000 to $16,000 have been received for replacing the crushed stone paths around McCathran Hall with man-made pavers. Town maintenance staff have installed low-level lights along the path from the main hall to the Town office.
Mary Challstrom reported a vehicle break-in. Mary also reported that the sand filter, built to filter stormwater run-off at the end of the 500 block of Brown Street, is being monitored because the water pools and does not drain quickly. Montgomery County stormwater management inspectors have been called to assess the drainage.
Photographs of the Maintenance Shop Addition ground breaking on January 3 were circulated.
Mayor Briggs asked Chris Pacchione and the Memorials Committee to address the issue of standardized small nametags for memorial plantings.
Mary Challstrom reported that she had attended Montgomery County’s Y2K Exercise on December 21. The Town will need to upgrade its financial software which is not Y2K compliant. Battery-operated emergency lighting and radio at the Town Hall would be prudent steps to take in preparation for entering the year 2000.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 p.m.