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8 October 2012 | Approved: 12 November 2012

Mayor Pro Tempore McCathran called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Joe Clark, Audrey Maskery, Bill Robertson, Greg Silber and David Young. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chairman Charlie Challstrom, M-NCPPC representatives Brenda Sandberg & Mike Jones, Delegate Shane Robinson and residents Darrell Anderson, Meredith Horan, John Hutchinson, Barbara Leng, Jenny Long, Marty Long, Paula Puglisi, Carolyn Rapkievian, John Tomlin and former resident Jean Myers.

Approval of Agenda

Joe Clark moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the agenda be approved. Vote: 5-0.

Public Appearances

  • Charlie Challstrom presented the Mayor and Council with background documents for Maple Road as a 50-foot Wide Right of Way and suggested that it be placed on the agenda for November.
  • Judy Young handed out flyers for the WGUMC Fall Festival which takes place on October 20, 2012. She also announced that the church would like to do a blood drive on November 28, 2012 but needs 30 people to sign up before the date can be confirmed. So far, 18 people have signed up.

Approval of Minutes

Joe Clark moved, David Young seconded that the Town Council minutes for September 10, 2012 be approved. Vote: 5-0.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Greg Silber moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for September 2012 be accepted. Vote: 5-0.
  • Joe Clark moved, Bill Robertson seconded the motion to transfer $10,000 from savings to checking in order to pay bills. Vote: 5-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2012-10 pdf

What is Fracking and how does it affect Washington Grove? A presentation by our District 39 Delegate Shane Robinson

Joli McCathran introduced Delegate Shane Robinson. Del. Robinson presented two (2) handouts; “Fracking in Maryland?” and “The Case for a Ban on Gas Fracking”. He explained the environmental issues with the natural gas fracking process; air pollution, surface water contamination and well contamination. He also stated that the transport of fracking fluid is done by train. The Town’s proximity to the railroad tracks is also a concern. Del. Robinson explained that the proposed resolution would support a ban on fracking in Maryland and he is hoping for representation from all 157 municipalities in the State. He then fielded questions from the Mayor and Council. The discussion included; permits, cost, regulations, % of natural gas that we export, the dangers of shipping liquid natural gas, support of other municipalities, fracking areas, burning gas vs. burning coal and recent articles in the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. The Town Council elected to delay approval of the draft resolution until after they have reviewed the documents presented and done some research of their own. This will be on the November agenda.

Washington Grove Meadow Conservation Park Operation and Use Plan

M-NCPPC representatives Brenda Sandberg and Mike Jones did a Power Point presentation called, “Washington Grove Meadow Conservation Park – Developing a Vision”. The document is divided into sections; Site Background, Operation and Use Plan Process, Vision and Policy Framework, Operation and Use Plan Content, Natural Areas Objectives, Natural Areas Recommendations, Cultural Resources Objectives, Natural Surface Trails Objectives, Supporting Features Examples and Moving Forward. Brenda and Mike spoke about each section and then answered questions. Items discussed were; the requirement for signs and kiosks, problems with boundary lines, level of sensitivity necessary when dealing with residents on Brown Street extended and on Ridge Road, potential maintenance problems with proposed peninsulas and islands, letting the natural cedars and hollies create peninsulas and islands, illegal hunting on the property, stepping up patrols by M-NCPPC Police, posting “No Hunting Signs”, the definition of the word “meadow” and the possibility of asking Town residents to help with invasive species removal by keeping their own under control. Wisteria was specifically addressed.

Appointment of Planning Commission Alternate

Joe Clark moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the Mayor’s appointment of Freda Temple as the Planning Commission alternate be approved. Vote: 5-0.

Council Reports:

Mayor’s Announcements

  • Towne Crest Update – It was announced that the hearing before the Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearing Board was postponed. Joe Clark asked if the Council should send comments as a whole rather than individually. Charlie Challstrom stated that he thought that action would be premature but should be considered after changes are submitted.
  • MARC Update – Mayor Cole and Joli McCathran attended a MARC open house in Gaithersburg and spoke to MARC officials. They asked for a review of the current cuts to the number of stops in Washington Grove. MARC is still accepting public comments but surveys soliciting opinions have only been sent to those who actually ride the train. MARC officials stated that the recent changes would be reviewed in three (3) rather than six (6) months as originally proposed.

New Business

Bill Robertson reported that the Town Hall had a large crack in one of the walls. Steve Werts has looked at it and gotten some advice but it needs the expertise of a structural engineer. There was a brief discussion about the budget.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

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