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12 November 2001 | Approved: 10 December 2001

Mayor John Compton called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Dave Gumula, Tricia Knox, Peggy Odick, Nick Suzich, and Dodie Tippens. Town residents Charlie Challstrom and David Neumann were present, as was Chris Kirtz, owner of the house at 102 Center Street.

Approval of Minutes

Peggy Odick moved, Tricia Knox seconded, that the Town Council minutes of October 8, 2001 be approved. Vote: 6-0.

Treasurer’s Report

Nick Suzich moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for October be accepted. Vote: 6-0. Nick Suzich moved, Dave Gumula seconded, that the Treasurer be authorized to transfer funds, if necessary, to pay bills in November. Vote: 6-0.

Mayor’s Announcements

Mayor Compton announced the following:

  • Speed hump on Washington Grove Lane has been removed with concern about consequences. The County will deploy a radar vehicle speed monitor/display on Washington Grove Lane and Railroad Street in January, weather permitting.
  • An agreement confirming the transfer of jurisdiction over Ridge Road from Montgomery County to the Town was executed on October 1.
  • Planning Commissioner Irene Carrato has resigned. The Town Council will discuss changing from a seven-member Commission to a five-member commission plus an alternate to improve the opportunities for a quorum.
  • The Town has been invited to participate in an initial team meeting to share specific ideas, concerns and background knowledge about the Deer Park Bridge Master Plan alignment. This is a long-time plan for a new bridge over the railroad tracks to replace the "humpback" bridge. The first meeting is planned for December or early January.
  • Clare Cavicchi’s book on historic sites and districts in the County has been published.
  • Kudos to volunteers who cleaned trash from Washington Grove Lane and from the woods behind Towne Crest apartments.
  • The Town’s website has received praise from other government officials. Congratulations to website coordinator Diana Talbert.


Peggy Odick moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of Christine Dibble to the Washington Grove Board of Zoning Appeals. Vote: 6-0.

Dave Gumula moved, Peggy Odick seconded, to confirm the appointment of the following Town residents to the Historic Preservation Commission: Bob Booher (two-year term), Clare Cavicchi (one-year term), Larry French (three-year term), Chris Kirtz (two-year term), and David Neumann (three-year term). Vote: 6-0. A resolution directing the Historic Preservation Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of the Code of Ordinances will be introduced at the December Council meeting.

Casey Fields/KSI Development Issues/Status Report

Mayor Compton reported that KSI Services, Inc. has applied for a special exception from the County Board of Zoning Appeals to build 904 housing units on the Casey industrial parcel. A public hearing on the special exception will likely be held before the Hearing Examiner early next year. Oxbridge Development has filed a revised preliminary subdivision plan for the Casey Fields property showing 125 single family detached dwellings and 67 townhouses and featuring a wide swath of active recreation area along Ridge Road.

Maple Lake Dock Replacement

Dave Gumula moved, Tricia Knox seconded, that a contract for replacing the Maple Lake dock be awarded to A-J Marine, Inc., selecting Option 2 calling for a 12’x 24′ platform consisting of greenheart pilings and ACQ lumber for the superstructure and deck. The Lake Committee recommended Option 2 after reviewing the lake budget and available funds. The total cost for Option 2 is $14,780, which includes demolition and removal of the existing dock. A discussion followed about the cost of using untreated lumber and replacing the dock more frequently. The Lake Committee strongly urged the use of environmentally safer though more costly materials for a long-life replacement. Mayor Compton asked if the drainpipe or dredging would be disturbed adding cost to the project. Dodie Tippens reported that A-J Marine had been asked about these issues and they replied that neither the drainage system nor the dredging should be affected. A new ladder is not included in the project. The Town will need a permit from Montgomery County. Vote: 6-0.

McCathran Hall Floor Refinishing

Peggy Odick reported that four proposals had been received for refinishing the Town Hall floor:

Company Bid
Calmar Floors $5,832
Jack Carter $2,890
Hawkins Floor Company, Inc. $4,324
Universal Floors, Inc. $5,858

Nick Suzich moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the proposal by low bidder Jack Carter be accepted pending a reference check and clarification of whether repairing broken boards and staining are included in the proposal. Vote: 6-0.

Council Reports

Planning Commission

Darrell Anderson reported that prior to the November Planning Commission meeting, the subdivision plat and the forest conservation plan for the former WSSC property were signed. A building permit application for the Kirtz/Shoemaker residence at 102 Center Street is under review.

Master Plan Review

Darrell reported that the Commission plans to complete a draft review by the December meeting. The draft will express continued support for all stated goals of the 1995 Plan with the exception of Section 7 (Commercial Corner). This section will be reviewed separately by a small working group who will submit recommendations based on decisions made over the past six years. The draft will also include an appreciation section thanking those responsible for helping to complete Plan elements. Standing Committee and Town Council members will be asked to review specific changes and comment to the Commission by the December Commission meeting. With the exception of Section 7., the draft plan will be presented to the Town Council in January and a public hearing scheduled for March 2002. Mayor Compton asked how the Planning Commission would address both Roberts Oxygen and the Cator property in the Master Plan review.

Survey Project

David Neumann reported that a letter would be sent to Joe Snider of Snider & Associates asking him to clarify a few items under his scope of proposed work. Once these items are satisfactorily cleared up, the Town will be able to accept their proposal to survey Block 17.

Public Safety

Tricia Knox reported that Montgomery County would soon send a brochure on bioterrorism to every County resident. She discussed the threat of a train derailment to the Grove because of our proximity to the tracks with Bob Nemchin. Mr. Nemchin, director of the County Office of Emergency Management, said that the County has held exercises to prepare for that event. Tricia suggested that the Town find out more about this.


Mayor Compton showed the house address number signs crafted by Jim Fletcher. To improve public safety, funds were included in this year’s budget to provide house numbers for those residents who do not have them. Mayor Compton suggested framing “WALKWAY ONLY” and “STOP” signs as a winter maintenance project. A discussion ensued about possible maintenance projects and the best way to convey maintenance requests to staff.

Recreation Facilities

Nick Suzich announced that he has found a volunteer to chair the Playground Improvements Committee.


Nick Suzich reported that he plans to alter the Town’s snow policy this year to see if earlier or more frequent plowing might improve road conditions following a snow event.

Recreation Events

Dodie Tippens reminded everyone about the tango and salsa lesson on Saturday night and the Mousetrap Concert on Sunday featuring tenor Zurab Ninua. Recreation Committee members will decorate the Gazebo and McCathran Hall before the Holiday Concert on December 15. A didjeridoo workshop for children is being considered for spring.

Other Business

Dodie Tippens announced that Shelley Winkler has agreed to distribute welcome packets to new residents for the Woman’s Club.

Nick Suzich asked if the Town charter could be changed to allow appropriations to continue from year to year. At present, all appropriations lapse at the end of the budget year to the extent that they have not been expended or encumbered. Unexpended funds are considered surplus and are held in the Town’s reserve fund or they are reflected in the budget for the next year. It was suggested that the Capital Improvements Program show all projects for which funds should be accumulated.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:26 p.m.

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