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– prepared by the Mayor and Town Council

Friends and Neighbors,

We hope you find helpful this mid-year update on Town Government accomplishments in improving our community and addressing issues of concern. We could not have achieved any of this without the tireless commitment of our resident volunteers and committees who get things done! You are also responsible for many other events and happenings in our community that are not in the scope of this report.

Community Interest by the Town Council:

  • Passed a Resolution, “A Call for Humane and Sensible Immigration Policies,” in response to the President’s harsh and unjustified treatment of children and asylum seekers.
  • Passed a Resolution renaming the soccer and ball fields in Woodward Park the “Joseph Craig English Recreational Field” in recognition of Craig’s contributions to the Grove, including years establishing and organizing the Labor Day competitions.
  • Issued a Proclamation honoring Joli McCathran for her many years of service to the Town in many volunteer capacities, including Mayor and Town Councilor.

Communications and Transparency:

  • Draft Town Council meeting Minutes are now posted on the website within days of the meeting. Finalized Minutes replace these following Town Council approval in open meeting.
  • An ad hoc Communications Group has formed and is developing ways to improve awareness and access to Town government activities.

Election Law Improvements:

  • Largely as recommended by the Elections Modernization Committee, Ordinance revisions were passed to make absentee balloting easier and clarifying election official conflict of interest.

Dog Park:

  • Following the “sense of the Town” vote last May, the Town Council passed a Resolution providing for the establishment of the Dog Park in the West Woods site.
  • A Dog Park Committee was formed by residents to advise the Council and Mayor on building and operating the Dog Park.
  • A Resolution establishing Dog Park Rules and Regulations has been passed.
  • The Dog Park site in the West Woods has been cleared, and an RFP for fence construction has been issued.
  • The opening of the Dog Park is expected in the spring.

Forest Restoration:

  • Supported by the Mayor and Town Council, the Woods Committee continues a three-pronged program of forest health restoration. An Informational meeting was held featuring presentations by experts on deer management and non-native invasive plant control. Recordings may be viewed on the Town web site.
  • A survey soliciting resident input on forest restoration plans and ongoing development of a deer control plan was distributed.
  • Town Infrastructure:
  • The “Jim Fletcher” Street Sign Restoration project to improve sign visibility and reflectivity, and to preserve Jim’s wonderful artwork, is nearing completion (fewer than 40 wooden signs remaining).
  • A backup generator for McCathran Hall, recommended by the Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC)) has been purchased and installed.
  • Fire hydrants in Town have been marked with reflective tapes by EPC volunteers to facilitate location in the dark.
  • The culvert and bridge to Maple Lake has been replaced and improved by Steve Werts (and well under budget!).
  • A stormwater management consultant has been engaged to recommend options for mitigating increasing damage in the Town’s woods from stormwater runoff and/or stagnation.
  • A speed bump trial on Chestnut has reduced the frequency of excessive speed and increased safety. Further trials using speed humps are planned.
  • Bids to repave multiple segments of Town roads have been obtained, and a 3-year plan to complete the work is under consideration, beginning this year with $50,000 of projects.

Long Term Planning:

  • The periodic ten-year revision of the Town’s Master Plan, a formidable task that is critical for protecting, improving, and guiding Washington Grove into the future, continues on track for completion in 2019.
  • Significant progress towards submitting the Town’s application to expand our designation on the National Registry of Historic Places has been made by the Historic Preservation Commission and our consultants.

Oversight and Regulations:

  • A new Ordinance enables sale of Town land under nine structures to property owners affected by recent Town surveys that accurately defined public right of ways of the Circle and nearby avenues.
  • Two Ordinances that originated with the Planning Commission were passed that modify rules for fences and carports, clarify accessory building setbacks and alter requirements for building permits.
  • A Code Enforcement officer has been engaged.
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