8 September 2008 | Approved: 13 October 2008
Mayor Anderson called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:35 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Charlie Challstrom, Joe Clark, John Compton, Kathie Evans and Marida Hines. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Reverend Judy Young and Town residents Don Henninger and Ed Roberts.
Approval of the Agenda
Joe Clark moved, Charlie Challstrom seconded that the Agenda for August 11, 2008 be approved. Vote: 5-0.
Judy Young announced the various programs available at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church this fall. She also said that Doris Gordon would be starting a children’s choir at the church. Ed Roberts came to say thank you for the work on 2nd Avenue. He went on to say that the process is not simple. He will send some follow-up information in writing approximately a week before the public hearing on September 22, 2008 in order to give the Town Council sufficient time to review.
Approval of Minutes
Charlie Challstrom moved, John Compton seconded that the Town Council minutes of August 11, 2008 be approved as amended. Vote: 5-0.
John Compton moved, Kathie Evans seconded that the Town Council minutes of August 25, 2008 be approved as amended. Vote: 5-0.
Charlie Challstrom applauded Town Maintenance for the work done on 5th Avenue. Marida added kudos for the Ridge Road trimming as well.
Jim Fletcher asked if he could continue his trimming efforts and start doing 6th Avenue. The Council gave Jim the “go-ahead”. A letter will go out to residents along 6th Avenue.
Kathie Evans asked about watering trees and why the new trees in Woodward Park did not have gators. Jim explained that the trees in question may look new but that they are a couple of years old. In general, the Town doesn’t put gators on trees that are over a year old.
There was a brief discussion about the Town insurance for trees that fall on private property and about liability insurance if someone were to be injured by a Town tree.
Jim Fletcher announced that he would like to take off the rest of the week and that Bruce Rothrock would be working on Friday, September 12 and available during the week in case of an emergency.
Mary Challstrom reported that no August legal bills had been received yet. She also reported that the Municipal Tax Duplication funds were received last week. Kathie Evans asked about the legal expenses and how the Council should deal with the fact that the expenses were already at 100% of the budgeted amount. There was a discussion about the trial date, estimates from our attorneys, unreal numbers, unexpected expenses and budget areas from which money could be transferred in order to pay bills. There was further discussion about getting estimates of expenses from both attorneys in order to present something to Town residents. Mayor Anderson will send an e-mail to both attorneys asking for estimates using worst case and best case scenarios.
Joe Clark moved, Marida Hines seconded that the Treasurer’s report for August 2008 be accepted. Vote: 5-0.
Town Garden Plots
Mayor Anderson reviewed the two current issues; should it revert to forest or should fruit trees be planted there. There was a brief discussion about the problems with the garden as it stands now. Darrell thought that, perhaps, this should be handled by the Forestry Committee. Jim Fletcher stated that the shed should be torn down but that there were still tools and other gardening items stored there that needed to be claimed. It was suggested that a work day be scheduled at which time the items and the shed would be removed. Charlie Challstrom suggested that the Forestry Committee prepare a report to the Town Council. An announcement will be put in the Bulletin.
Further Clarification of Woodward Park Athletic Field Resolution – Discussion
Kathie Evans reviewed what was going well and what problems had come up. To date, no real problems have been reported since the tournament on the 4th of July. A discussion about the number of permits that could be issued on a Sunday ensued. Charlie Challstrom stated that the ordinance and the resolution need to be clearer about the maximum time for any one permit. Joe Clark stated that he would like to see only one permit issued on Sundays because of two important factors; the wear and tear on the field and the tranquility of the neighborhood. John Compton stated that the Town should give the two (2) permit idea a try. Jim Fletcher stated that the posted signs do say that the Town reserves the right to close the field if it appears to be in distress from over-use. Don Henninger asked how non-permitted use by groups of more than 10 was being handled. These groups are still using the field despite the new procedures and posted signs. Kathie Evans told Don to call her, Bill Robertson, or the Mayor for enforcement if he wasn’t comfortable approaching the group himself. The question of when to close the field for maintenance came up. It was decided to close the field on November 3, 2008.
Ed Roberts brought up the unrelated subject of dogs at Maple Lake. He firmly stated that dogs were not allowed at the lake and went on to say that the rules should be enforced or the rules should be changed. Mayor Anderson stated that this activity couldn’t easily be monitored. Ed stated that the rules should be handed out to the offenders. There was a brief discussion about the problem of stray fish hooks, fishing lines and signage.
- Casey 6 & 7: Mayor Anderson reported that M-NCPPC wants to purchase the property know as Piedmont Crossing Park. It would be used for sports fields. A more definitive plan should be coming soon.
- Deer Park Bridge: Copies of the Montgomery County inspection reports that the Town requested will be received shortly.
- Legacy Open Space Field: Charlie Challstrom announced that the Maryland Municipal League will file the Amicus Brief (Friend of the Court) supporting the Town’s legal action concerning this property. This is very good news! A discussion about how this could affect other municipalities in the State ensued.
- John Compton brought up the revised Toll Brothers Landscaping Plan for lower Ridge Road. M-NCPPC wants a letter of agreement from the Town, but the Town has yet to receive the revised plan.
- Mayor Anderson asked about the recent e-mail discussions concerning tax breaks for people who own the old cottages that are damaged by falling trees. A discussion about the State Rehabilitation Tax Program, Historic vs. non-Historic, and the feasibility of Town tax credits ensued. The Council would like to Historic Preservation Commission to do more research on this subject.
- John Compton brought up re-installing the split rail fence behind the property know as 104 Maple Road to prevent any Cherry Avenue access problems that may come up with new tenants. The Council agreed that this was a good idea and Jim Fletcher will be asked to put it up again.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.