12 September 2016 | Approved: 10 October 2016
Mayor Joli McCathran called the meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Council Members Georgette Cole, Audrey Maskery, John McClelland, Greg Silber and Shelley Winkler. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts, residents Charlie Challstrom, Joan Mahaffey, Bud O’Connor, Carolyn O’Connor, Bruce Rothrock and property owner Dennis Kane. Ken Miller from the Saybrooke neighborhood was also present. Town Councilor Patrice Klein attended via telephone.
Closed Meeting Statement:
Mayor McCathran read the following closed meeting statement:
The 8 August 2016 meeting of the Town Council in the Council Room in McCathran Hall went to a closed session at 9:55 PM. The meeting was closed under General Provisions Article 3-305(b), (1) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom this public body has jurisdiction or any other personnel matter that affects one (1) or more specific individuals. Georgette Cole, Audrey Maskery, John McClelland, Greg Silber and Shelley Winkler voted to close the meeting. The Mayor and Town Council attended the closed session. This was a discussion about employee training. No action was taken. There was no recorded vote.
Approval of Agenda:
Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Mayor McCathran added Liability & Release forms and updated language for request for proposals (RFP). Vote: 5-0, as amended.
There were no public appearances.
Approval of Minutes:
Georgette Cole moved to approve the minutes of the Town Council meeting on August 8, 2016 and post them to the website. John McClelland seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0, as amended.
Treasurers Report 2016-August pdf
John McClelland moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report for August 2016. Shelley Winkler seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
John McClelland moved to transfer $5,000 from savings to checking to pay bills. Shelley Winkler seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Application for Permanent Easement, 409 5th Avenue:
John McClelland reported the application was sent to the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) for a review some time ago. He understood pictures were taken and the structure was examined. The review stopped when the residents withdrew their easement application in October 2015. The application has been reactivated. After the HPC review is completed, the package will go to the Town Attorney. The application will be up for approval at the October Town Council meeting upon receipt of the documents from the attorney. The Council reviewed the requirements listed in Ordinance 2015-03.
Applicant Bud O’Connor (409 5th Ave.) requested receipt of the attorney’s language ASAP so he can forward same to their attorney. Mayor McCathran will send the information for the Town Attorney to draft the easement. John McClelland offered to contact HPC Chair Bob Booher to review the requirements listed in Ordinance 2015-03.
Zoning Text Amendment – Special Exception Commercial Corner:
Both the purpose and the rational for proposing the change was presented. The Council discussed the new language and the process.
John McClelland moved to initiate change procedures regarding Article VII, Section 8.21 as presented by the Planning Commission. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. The public hearing date was set for October 10, 2016. Advertisements will appear in The Sentinel newspaper as required by the Town Charter. Vote: 5-0.
Request for Proposal/Boundary Survey:
Mayor McCathran presented, and the Council reviewed, specific changes in the Town’s Request for Proposals (RFP) boiler plate language, which was provided by the Town attorney. The Council discussed:
- Bid & Proposal Form/Contract
- Commercial General Liability
The Mayor and Council will discuss additional changes to the language in the RFP at the next meeting of the Town Council. John McClelland moved to approve the RFP for Re-subdivision and Marking Boundary of East Woods as amended. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
West Woods Boundaries/Kelley Park & Saybrooke:
Mayor McCathran read an e-mail from Ken Miller (11 St. Ives Place in the Saybrooke neighborhood) asking for reconsideration of the Town’s request for the removal of a rock wall and plantings from Town land behind his house. Mr. Miller explained the landscaping installation has been there for a long time. Council Members explained the boundary demarcation action as part of a bigger picture for the Town. It has become necessary to delineate Town boundaries because of the numerous encroachments in both the East and West Woods. Mr. Miller said he would remove the landscaping which exists there now. Mayor McCathran thanked him for attending the meeting. Mayor McCathran will write letters to all who use parts of the Town woods for yard waste and dumping in this area and ask they respect the boundaries.
Debris/Dumping in East Woods:
Mayor McCathran reported she and others visited the area in the woods near 300 Ridge Road where brush piles have been dumped. The debris piles are substantial. Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts talked with the person allegedly responsible for the piles. The dumping will cease. Steve will get a chipper and chip the brush into the woods. Mayor McCathran will address encroachments in the area with Town residents and residents of the Amity Community along the eastern boundaries once they are clearly marked.
Liability & Releases:
Mayor McCathran reported she and Shelley Winkler obtained the form of the following three (3) documents from the Town attorney:
- Waiver & Release – Town Sponsored Events
- Waiver & Release – Permit Activities
- Waiver & Release – Summer in the Parks
The Clerk will put the first two (2) forms on letterhead, get them ready for use. She will send the third one to Shelley Winkler. Shelley will share the Summer in the Parks form with the adult volunteers for the 2017 camp before the Clerk puts the form on letterhead.
John McClelland asked Pat Klein about the status of the defibrillator purchase. She thought the decision to purchase was made and has done no more with this. John McClelland believes the purchase should be made now.
Georgette Cole moved to approve the Council Reports for posting on the web. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. The Council discussed:
- Letter from our refuse collection company concerning a minimum wage increase. Greg Silber will call Rick Levine from Potomac Disposal and ask for specifics concerning the amount of the increase and our contract requirements.
- The status of the letter extending the leaf contract for another year was discussed. It was determined the letter was awaiting approval and signature from the Mayor. Mayor McCathran approved the letter and asked the Clerk to sign on her behalf. The letter will be sent out this week.
Mayor McCathran read a letter sent from Maggie Range (#8 The Circle) to the Mayor and Planning Commission members concerning the stairs on Town property. The stairs have been removed.
Audrey Maskery reminded the Council of an approval for the construction of a set of steps for the Woman’s Club on the incline at Chestnut Road. The Council approved the project two (2) years ago. Town Maintenance is ready to build them. Audrey Maskery moved to approve the construction of steps to access the Woman’s Club yard from the Chestnut Road side of the building. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. The steps will be much like those built for access to the Town Office. Vote: 5-0.
The Council discussed training for the Clerk.
Mayor McCathran presented a pen in a shadow box which was used to sign House Bill 1101.
There being no further new business, the meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.
TC REPORTS – October 2016
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION – Georgette Cole
Review Session: Ann Briggs (203 Grove Ave) made an appearance to discuss improvements to her basement entrance. She provided pictures of the current location and steps for review.
409 5th Avenue: The Commission discussed the history of the O’Connor’s permanent easement application for the existing front porch. The original application was first discussed at the HPC meeting in July 2015, however, it was withdrawn in August and again in October 2015. The O’Connors are now moving forward with the easement application and the role of the HPC is to document the character defining elements of the front porch for future reference. The recommendations will include a description of any historic integrity features identified by the HPC for any portion of the structure that is on Town-owned land and its relation to the subject property and compatibility with the neighborhood. Bob has already provided photo documentation that will be included in the HPC review, and, Gail has volunteered to work on the project organizing and preparing the document in a PDF format. Once the review is completed at the October HPC meeting, it will be submitted to the Town Council.
The Commission also discussed problems with retrieving old information from the current website. Georgette will email Bill Saar (copy to Mayor McCathran and the Town Clerk) to advise him that it is imperative that a disk with a mirror of the old website be given to Pat Patula, Town Archivist.
Clare Kelly Presentation: Notification will appear in the October Town bulletin to remind residents of the Friday, October 21 talk. There will be refreshments.
PLAYGROUNDS – Georgette Cole
The new playground equipment has been delivered. Steve Werts has installed the individual pieces which are currently roped off until the board edges and bark-surround are completed. Once the new equipment area conforms to safety regulations it will be open for play.
WASHINGTON GROVE MEADOW CONSERVATION PARK – Georgette Cole
Nothing to report.
SHADY GROVE CROSSING – Georgette Cole
Nothing to report
MAPLE LAKE – Patrice Klein
The Lake Committee prepared to close up for the season with a clean-up and inventory of shed contents, removal of video surveillance equipment, changing gate and shed combination locks, and minor repair of lake driveway drainage.
Several activities are planned over the winter to include draining the lake in October to inspect any underwater hazards off the dock where the buoy is located and remove the fallen tree at the grassy area in the far end of the lake.
Preparations for next season include selecting swim instructor and life guards, observing for presence of any Canada geese, renewing contract with NatureWorks CWA for algal control, scheduling monthly coliforms water testing, and add “No Parking” sign on outer gate. The Committee decided to place a cap of 40 people for private lake parties and guidelines will be revised accordingly. Lake updates on needed on the Town website (pending) and some capital improvements (sand) will be requested in the next budget.
The final meeting of this season will be on Thursday, October 20th.
SAFETY/EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS– Patrice Klein
The Mayor has extended her request for town volunteers with interest to join and participate in this new Committee. Responses are pending.
FORESTRY & BEAUTIFICATION – Audrey Maskery
F&B meeting held in Old Council Room 15th September; Georgette Cole, Audrey Maskery, and Joan Mahaffey were in attendance. Plans for fall tree planting, list of possible planting sites and tree variety discussed.
Deb Mehlferber, and Audrey Maskery selected native trees from Stadlers Nursery for late October early November planting.
The annual pruning of trees on Town property by contractor will take place 10th October through 14th October (weather permitting).
MAINTENANCE – Audrey Maskery
Diving board removed and stored in maintenance shed. Grass around lake, tennis courts, and ball field cut in preparation for Labor Day events.
Old playground equipment removed and taken for disposal to dump and site prepared for new playground equipment.
New wood steps for Gazebo covering concrete steps that had become worn and unsightly; area prepared for private wedding.
New steps from Chestnut Road providing safe entrance to the Woman’s Club yard.
Purchased a backhoe attachment for the Bobcat. The backhoe will be required for installation of the new playground equipment and other drainage projects.
Grass cutting, brush removal and start of the fall leaf pick up.
MEMORIALS – Audrey Maskery
Nothing to report.
PLANNING COMMISSION – John McClelland
Building Permit Applications:
- 203 2nd Ave – Fence approved
- 400 Center St – Renovation/Addition approved (enclosed screen porch to be moved back behind the 25 foot set back).
- 112 Chestnut Ave – The mayor will issue a stop work order for a fence construction project (facing Hickory Rd). A building permit was not filed and the fence appears to exceed the four (4) foot height limitation.
17050 Railroad St (Cator Property):
- Forest Conservation Plan approved with condition of performance bond receipt
- Cluster Subdivision Plan approved with conditions. Bond for utilities (water, sewer, electric and communication) and common driveway required. A signed legal disclosure/acknowledgement, presenting the approved house locations, gravel walkway easements etc., will be required of all potential lot purchases.
Block Corner Survey: East Woods border and deplatting still awaiting bids.
Border Committee: Volunteers headed by Peter Nagrod will pursue viable improvements to the gateways of Washington Grove.
House Files – 74 properties have been completed.
- Non-residents using the MARC train station have begun parking primarily on Brown St and Grove Rd. No parking signs and/or a Town parking policy are needed.
- 201 Washington Grove Ln – Reports of five (5) to ten (10) regularly parked vehicles in violation of Article VII Section 7.2e of the Town’s code of ordinances as well as inappropriate/illegal use of the fire lane (by removing posts and barriers) to enter/leave WG have been received. Steve Werts to address post/barrier anchoring.
MCCATHRAN HALL – John McClelland
- Maintenance and clean up continue according to standard schedules.
- Defibrillator purchase process still under review.
WOODS COMMITTEE – Greg Silber
A survey of the western boundary of the West Woods has been completed and markers have been established along the boundary. The Woods Committee and Planning Commission generated a request for proposals (RFP) to survey and mark the eastern boundary of the East Woods and associated areas. This RFP has been distributed and incoming bids will be reviewed by the Council at its November 14 meeting.
A draft RFP is also being developed for a large-scale and multi-year project for removal and control of non-native, invasive plant species in the East Woods. The Committee expects to provide the RFP to the Council for review/approval at its October meeting with distribution of the RFP not long after that. It is hoped work to remove non-native vegetation can begin in the spring.
Plans are underway to acquire and plant trees of various sizes/ages throughout the woods this winter and spring. This may include a call for volunteers to help with planting. The Committee has begun discussion of a “deer exclosure” project to enhance plant diversity and forest health in certain locations in the woods. More on this in the coming months.
The Committee will meet next on Monday, 7 November at 7:30.
CONTRACTS – Greg Silber
Refuse/Recycling: Our contractor, Potomac Disposal, has notified the Town of a 6% increase in its services due to incremental increases in minimum wage. The Council will need to discuss and plan for the increase. Bulk trash pick-up has been scheduled for Saturday 22 October.
Leaf Collection: Service from GREEN EARTH, Inc. begins 31 October and continues through early January.
RECREATION – Shelley Winkler
Events coming which have not previously been reported include an Irish Ceili on October 28 in McCathran Hall, free to Grove residents. Judy Mroczka has volunteered to coordinate the 2016 holiday show, with the theme of Saturday Night Grove — planning is underway and lighting volunteers are needed. Note that BluestoberFest will be held on October 15, from 6-10, at the Gazebo (McCathran Hall if it rains), and Halloween Trick-or-Treating in the Grove will be on October 31, from 6-8pm.
ROADS & WALKWAYS – Shelley Winkler
Steve Werts will be working on repairing the walkways at Cherry Avenue and Oak Street.
WEBSITE – Shelley Winkler
Please review, or ask commissions you work with to review, portions of the website relating to your areas and send to me any items that need correction or changes. It would be helpful to do this in the next few months so we can gradually update any areas needed.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL – Joli A. McCathran
Nothing to report.