/* The Divi child theme test */ Town Council Meeting Minutes September 2014 | Town of Washington Grove
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8 September 2014 | Approved: 13 October 2014

Mayor Joli McCathran called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Georgette Cole, Audrey Maskery, John McClelland, Bill Robertson and Greg Silber. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom, resident Ann Briggs and property owner Dennis Kane.

Approval of Agenda

Mayor McCathran asked for approval of the agenda by general consensus. She added a lake security update and an insurance discussion. Vote: 5-0, as amended.

Public Appearances

There were no public appearances.

Approval of Minutes

Georgette Cole moved to approve the meeting minutes for August 11, 2014. Bill Robertson seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Georgette Cole moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report for August 2014. Bill Robertson seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2014-09 pdf

Forest Management Plan – Bid Award

After the August Town Council meeting, Mayor McCathran and Woods Group Chair Ann Briggs met to review the two (2) bids. It was decided a legal opinion from Suellen Ferguson would be helpful. Suellen confirmed both bids to be credible and responsive even though the dollar amounts differ greatly.

Charlie Challstrom stated the guidance governing the acceptance of bids comes from the Town Charter and it says "lowest or best bid." He went on to say he thought the LOTUS Design and Consulting bid covered more than the Town requested. Greg Silber asked if it might be possible – in future contract considerations and given constraints on Town contracting process – to negotiate estimated costs with bidders, and wondered if the differing dollar amounts on this bid could be a sign this request for proposal was not sufficiently clear. Audrey Maskery stated, for the record, she could not justify spending $23,500.00 for another expert opinion and plan. Funds would be better spent on implementation using ideas and information we already have from the expert sources.

Greg Silber moved to accept the bid for $6,150.00 from Parkton Woodland Services. Bill Robertson seconded the motion. There was a discussion about the scope of work, how the bids could be so different and the best way to choose. Ann Briggs ended the discussion by stating the end result would be a forest management plan that would be a “guide for years to come.”
Vote: 5-0.

There was an additional discussion about the role Town Maintenance could play in the implementation of the forest management plan. There was also a mention of the Nicho’s Trees fund. Meghan O’Connell, Nicho’s mother, has expressed her opinion that the funds in the account should go towards trees and the sustainability of the wood’s ecosystem as well. It was noted the timing of all of this is good in terms of budget planning for the coming year. With the report from Parkton Woodland Services expected to arrive in January, there will be plenty of time to work this into the FY-2016 budget.

Council Reports

  • Georgette Cole moved to approve the August Council Reports for posting on the Town website. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. A few changes were made to the Council Reports. Greg Silber had questions about the Traffic Calming Committee, Maple Lake maintenance and also asked for advice about a problem on Ridge Road. Potomac Disposal is using the private driveway which provides access to 336, 338 and 340 Ridge Road as a turnaround spot causing ruts alongside the driveway. Resident Rico Sturniolo sent Greg an e-mail about his concerns. Greg will ask Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts if he has any suggestions for repairing and protecting the area.
  • There was a brief discussion about the need for a proper sidewalk to provide access to a crosswalk on Washington Grove Lane for use by the residents on Daylily Lane. It was recognized this is a challenging area.
  • Charlie Challstrom brought the on-going Town survey project to the Mayor and Council’s attention asking for Council approval. The Planning Commission decided to have Snider & Associates do some additional work in Block 11 in order to clearly mark all points for a proper identification of Town land in that area. Vote: 5-0.
  • Town Council Reports – September 2014 pdf

Mayor’s Announcements

  • Deer Park Bridge Update – Mayor McCathran reported the County inspection will take place on Thursday (9/11/14) and the bridge could open as early as Saturday. However, Monday is more likely the day it will re-open.
  • Playground Committee Update – Mayor McCathran deferred to Greg Silber for this report. Greg reported the meeting on August 18th resulted in a handful of conclusions about ongoing work by Town Maintenance and some short-term fixes that can improve the safety of some playground equipment. Steve Werts attended the meeting and explained he thought drainage could be improved in a number of the play areas that would increase accessibility. He suggested ways drainage could be improved which he thought could be addressed during the winter with minimal cost. The Committee will continue to meet in order to develop a long-range plan for the playground.
  • Traffic Calming Committee Update – discussed during Council Reports.
  • Parking on East side of Grove Road – Mayor McCathran reported that a letter was mailed to residents who live along Grove Road (113 – 215) asking them not to use the east side of Grove Road as a regular parking area. So far, she has only heard from one (1) resident. She asked for voluntary compliance from that household. Charlie Challstrom distributed copies of a Resolution (5-78) from 1978 which prohibits parking in Woodward Park from sunset to sunrise. Mayor McCathran will contact the resident regarding this resolution.
  • Lake Security Update – Mayor McCathran reported Suellen Ferguson is working on this issue but has not been able to get the confirmation from the State’s Attorney General’s office she is seeking. There is still some confusion on that level, however, a phone call from the A.G. to MCPD seems to have helped. Something in writing is on the way. MCPD has assured Mayor McCathran services will be rendered at Maple Lake should we need them.
  • Employee Insurance – Treasurer Mary Challstrom reported the current health insurance went up a bit over 9%. She is gathering information about other options but thinks a discussion tonight would be premature.

New Business

none.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 p.m.

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