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10 August 2015 | Approved: 12 September 2015

Mayor Joli McCathran called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:30 pm. In attendance were Council Members Georgette Cole, Alison Faupel, Audrey Maskery, Bud O’Connor and Greg Silber. Also present were Planning Commission Chair Peter Nagrod, Town residents Charlie & Mary Challstrom, Marida Hines, Barbara Raimondo, Bruce Rothrock, and property owner Dennis Kane. Michelle Neary from Shady Grove Crossing was also present. Town resident Cynthia Werts volunteered to record the minutes for Town Clerk Kathy Lehman who was not in attendance

Approval of Agenda

One of the items under the Mayor’s Announcements (Bike Path Update) was moved up for discussion. No other changes were made; the agenda was then approved by general consensus.

Public Appearances

Council Member Georgette Cole introduced Michelle Neary, who was recently elected as the new president for the Shady Grove Crossing HOA.

Approval of Minutes

Georgette Cole moved to approve the minutes of the Town Council meeting on July 13, 2015. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. The minutes were approved, as amended; the motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Treasurer Mary Challstrom submitted the monthly treasurer’s reports for July 2014 through June 2015 and July 2015 to the Council for review. Both reports were accepted by general consensus. A motion was made by Georgette Cole to move $15,000.00 from the money-market account to checking in order to pay bills. Greg Silber seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
  • Treasurers Report 2015-August pdf

Permanent Easement Application (409 5th Avenue)

Mayor McCathran reported all of the paperwork was sent to the Town’s attorney for review. In order to provide the easement, a professional surveyor is needed to provide the “metes and bounds” legal description; therefore, documentation will need to be resubmitted.

Vacant Properties

The Mayor announced a committee of six (6) volunteers (including a representative from the Town Council, the Planning Commission and Historical Preservation Commission) is now in place. The committee will meet within the next few months and Mary Challstrom will provide an updated list of vacant properties for the committee to review. The Mayor will also prepare a document describing the charge to the group. Greg Silber will review the charge before it is presented to the committee.

Council Reports

  • A motion was made by Bud O’Connor to approve the August 2015 Town Council Reports to be posted to the Town website. Greg Silber seconded the motion. The Recreation report was amended to add that there were no details to report. Also, the Woods Group Report was amended to read that Audrey Maskery will step in and follow-up on the urgent issue of the mile-a-minute overgrowth in the East Woods. The motion carried, as amended, unanimously.
  • Town Council Reports – September 2015 pdf

Mayor’s Announcements

  • Shared Use Bike Bath Update: Mayor McCathran reported the onsite meeting with Montgomery County officials and Town representatives was held on July 27, 2015. At this time, there is much uncertainty as to when and how the path connection will evolve due to many challenges – proposed road location between Amity and Crabbs Branch, the area of wetlands, and potential field location. Also, there may be other alternative locations should improvements be made to Oakmont Avenue. County Officials stated any action on this project will not take place for another 4-5 years. Peter Nagrod will put this topic on the agenda for the next Planning Commission meeting to discuss and explore other possibilities on ways to engage the Town to become more proactive. Further discussion on this topic will take place at the next regular Council meeting.
  • Excessive Speeding: A report has been given to the police regarding a white van which is making an illegal left turn on McCauley and continuing down Chestnut Road at a high rate of speed. The incident has been occurring on a regular basis and a description (along with the tag number) of the vehicle, has been provided. The Mayor has not yet received a response from the police.
  • Maple Lake: Mayor McCathran reported that Kathleen Mallet, an inspector for Montgomery County Health & Human Services, made an unannounced visit to the lake on July 15, 2015. She returned with her supervisor, Kenneth Welsh, on Tuesday, July 22, 2015, and met with the Mayor, John Hutchinson and David Harmon regarding the state and county laws that need to be followed for a “Level 3 beach bathing area.” Our attorney is working with our State Senator to seek options as to whether some level of exemption from state regulations can be made for the Town of Washington Grove.
  • Hall Custodian: The Mayor has hired a new custodian to clean the Town Hall now that Haley McClelland has left for college. Charo Altagracia is a resident of the Town and she will start her new position on Monday August 17th.
  • Mayor’s United Against Anti-Semitism Petition: Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of the City of Baltimore, sent out an e-mail to encourage mayors and municipal leaders to sign a statement denouncing anti-Semitism in Europe. Mayor McCathran requested permission from the Council to add Washington Grove to the list of supporters. The request was approved by general consensus. The statement will be presented to the Global Parliament of Mayors this fall.

With no new business to discuss, Greg Silber made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion; the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

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