/* The Divi child theme test */ Town Council Meeting Minutes March 2014a | Town of Washington Grove
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10 March 2013 | Approved: 14 April 2013

Mayor Cole called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Audrey Maskery, Joli McCathran, Carolyn Rapkievian, Bill Robertson, Greg Silber and David Young. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts, Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom, Pastor Judy Young and property owners Dennis Kane and Donna Shriner.

Approval of Agenda

Bill Robertson moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the agenda be approved. Mayor Cole added a discussion about the recent letter concerning new Montgomery County Consumer Protection legislation and the Town Attorney’s draft ordinance concerning rebuilding on Town property. Vote: 6-0.

Public Appearances

Pastor Judy Young stated that it is a real joy to minister in a town where good deeds are so easy to get accomplished. She was referring to a recent resident’s last minute need for an airport shuttle and how easy it was to get someone to help.

Approval of Minutes

David Young moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the meeting minutes for February 10, 2014 be approved. A few changes were made. Vote: 6-0, as amended.

Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Joli McCathran seconded that the minutes from the joint work session on January 27th be approved. Vote: 6-0.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Bill Robertson moved, Greg Silber seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for February 2014 be accepted. There was a brief discussion. The first draft of the new budget will be delivered on Friday, March 14th. Vote: 6-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2014-03 pdf

Confirmation of Mayor’s appointments to the Board of Supervisors of Elections and the Historic Preservation Commission

Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Joli McCathran seconded that the Mayor’s appointment of Meredith Horan to the Board of Supervisors of Elections be approved. The term will run through 2015. Vote: 6-0.

Joli McCathran moved, Greg Silber seconded that the Mayor’s appointment of Mimi Styles to the Historic Preservation Commission be approved. The term will run through 2016. Vote: 6-0.

Use of Metal Detectors on Town Land – continued

Mayor Cole distributed a document titled "Where is it Legal to Metal Detect?" written by Lee Wiese. The bottom line is, per Federal law, use of metal detectors is strictly prohibited on land that is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Town is on the Register. From this point forward, anyone asking for permission to relic hunt with a metal detector will be denied. Mayor Cole will write something for the April Bulletin.

Opening of Lower Ridge Road Repaving Bids

Mayor Cole opened the two (2) bids.

  • A.B. Veirs – $57,400.00
  • JM Kelley Paving – $55,575.00

Mayor Cole stated that both bids were comparable with the exception of a significant difference in square yardage used by JM Kelley for the tar & chip areas. A.B. Veirs measured 634 square yards. JM Kelley measured 367 square yards. A discussion ensued.

Joli McCathran moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the bid from A.B. Veirs for asphalt work on Ridge Road and tar & chip work on Ridge and Center be accepted. Vote: 6-0.

Opening of Leaf Contract Bids

Mayor Cole opened the three (3) bids.

  • U.S. Lawns – $18,600.00
  • R.J. Landscape Contractors – $34,500.00
  • Mumford Landscaping – $19,500.00

Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts expressed concerns about the information used in our request for bids stating he thought more details such as our average number of loads per year and the type of equipment used should be included next time.

Joli McCathran moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the bid from U.S. Lawns for leaf collection in be accepted. Vote: 6-0. This contract is a 5-year contract renewable each year.

Letter about Montgomery County Consumer Protection Legislation – Discussion

The Mayor and Council discussed the letter from the Montgomery County Consumer Protection group and the adoption of the new County Code Chapter 31.C legislation. This matter will be turned over to the Planning Commission for discussion as well. Charlie Challstrom explained that language in the Town Article XIII, Section 2 that refers to adoption and enactment of future amendments has come in to question and suggested that perhaps an annual review of the article would be in order. This issue will also be reviewed by Town Attorney Suellen Ferguson.

Draft Ordinance to Authorize Issuance of a Revocable License for Reconstruction of Buildings Initially Constructed in Part on Town Land: Mayor Cole asked the Council to review the draft ordinance, review Chairman Challstrom’s questions and add their own concerns by March 20, 2014. All three (3) bodies (TC, PC, HPC) will comment and information will be sent on to Town Attorney Suellen Ferguson. Suellen will then send a 2nd draft in time for comments and discussion at the March 27th Planning Commission work session.

Council Reports

  • Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Greg Silber seconded that the February Council Reports be approved for posting on the Town website. Mayor Cole referenced a letter from Betty Knight (313 Grove Ave.) concerning snow removal on Locust Lane. She then directed the Council to Bill Robertson’s report about snow removal and Charlie Challstrom’s e-mail concerning paving Locust Lane extended and part of 6th Avenue (both local access roads only). Mayor Cole stated if a walkway is going to be considered for paving, the subject would need to go to the public for comment. Charlie noted that Locust Lane and 6th Avenue have been included in the snow removal contract as areas to be plowed since the early 1980’s. Mayor Cole stated that an erroneous impression from a former Mayor lead her to believe that gravel areas were not to be plowed. A lengthy discussion about historical precedents, the difficulties in plowing gravel areas and the difficulties in plowing those particular areas ensued. Carolyn Rapkievian concluded that the sticking point here seems to be what constitutes a driveway and what constitutes a local access road. Steve Werts suggested that since gravel areas are plowed high anyway, perhaps an accumulating amount over four (4) inches could be the threshold for plowing the two (2) aforementioned local access roads. Most cars can drive over that amount of snow and he would tear up the area trying to clear it. Carolyn Rapkievian stated that she would recommend using the historical precedent for plowing the two (2) areas. Locust Lane extended and 6th Avenue will be put back on the list for Town Maintenance to plow when four (4) or more inches of snow falls.
  • Greg Silber brought up the request by Potomac Disposal for the addition of a fuel surcharge to the current refuse/recycling contract. The request was made because of recent fluctuations in the price of diesel fuel. Potomac Disposal will adjust or eliminate this surcharge if/when market corrections occur. This increase will be $225.00 this year and $540.00 next year. The Council agreed that both the request and amount were reasonable.
  • There were questions and brief discussions about the proposed changes to the placement of the HPC Review in the permitting process, aquatic plants in the lake, the Railroad Street Improvements Master Plan, and the recent problem with Aitcheson Crossing. Carolyn Rapkievian gave “kudos” to the Woods Group for the two (2) great presentations about the health of the Town woods.
  • Town Council Reports – March 2014 pdf

Vote: 6-0.

Mayor’s Announcements

  • Roberts Oxygen Update – Mayor Cole stated that there was nothing new to report.
  • Aitcheson Crossing Update – Mayor Cole reported that the County has not yet been given information from CSX on the schedule to reopen the Crossing. In reference to the original sign placements, she reported that the County approved the poorly planned traffic control plan created by CSX. There was a brief discussion.

New Business

Joli McCathran reported the TreeMendous Maryland program made an error in purchasing and has far too many trees. They are giving away trees and the Town could have as many as it wants. Audrey Maskery will look into this. Joli McCathran will tell Woods Group Chair Ann Briggs.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:03 p.m.

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