14 April 2014 | Approved: 19 May 2014
Mayor Cole called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Audrey Maskery, Joli McCathran, Carolyn Rapkievian, Bill Robertson, Greg Silber and David Young. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom, residents David Hix, Bud O’Connor and property owner Dennis Kane.
Approval of Agenda
Bill Robertson moved, David Young seconded that the agenda be approved. Mayor Cole added acceptance of David Young’s resignation letter to New Business and a brief discussion about the draft ordinance concerning rebuilding on Town property under Mayor’s Announcements. Vote: 6-0, as amended.
Resident David Hix asked about unlocking the public bathrooms in Woodward Park. Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts locked the bathrooms to the public a month or so ago after severe vandalism (stopping up toilets & sinks with gravel, turning on the water and letting it run all weekend) which caused the Town to incur a $1,600.00 water bill. David expressed concern that the bamboo patch near the Town Garage could turn in to a cesspool if the bathrooms were not re-opened to the public. A discussion ensued. The Mayor and Council decided to have a keypad door lock installed on the door and use the same combination as the lock on the gate at Maple Lake. Residents/parents will be told to call the Town Office for the combination. Parents and children will be encouraged to keep this number to themselves. If further vandalism occurs, the bathrooms will again be closed to the public.
Approval of Minutes
Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the meeting minutes for March 10, 2014 be approved. Audrey Maskery pointed out a formatting problem, Greg Silber presented changes to the wording about the Potomac Disposal request for an increase and Joli McCathran had a spelling correction. Vote: 6-0, as amended.
Bill Robertson moved, David Young seconded that the minutes from the March 24th Budget Work Session be approved. Vote: 6-0.
- Greg Silber moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for March 2014 be accepted. Vote: 6-0.
- Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Joli McCathran seconded the motion to transfer $10,000 from checking to savings in order to pay bills. Vote: 6-0.
- Treasurers Report 2014-04 pdf
Finalize Proposed FY2015 Budget
Mayor Cole asked if there were any further additions or changes to the proposed budget. There were none. She then thanked Treasurer Mary Challstrom for her excellent work on the budget for FY 2015. She also thanked the Council for their input.
Joli McCathran moved, Greg Silber seconded that the proposed FY 2015 budget be approved for presentation at the Annual Town Meeting on May 10, 2014. Vote: 6-0.
Introduction of Ordinance 2014-01 for Adoption of FY2015 Budget
Audrey Maskery moved, Greg Silber seconded that Ordinance 2014-01; Ordinance Adopting the Town Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, and Levying and Ad Valorem Tax on All Assessable Property within the Town of Washington Grove, Maryland be introduced. Mayor Cole explained the State requirement for budgets to be approved by ordinance rather than resolution. Vote: 6-0. The public hearing will be on May 19, 2014. At the public hearing, the Council will also review the input and votes on the budget from the Town Meeting on May 10.
Introduction of Ordinance 2014-02 for Article XIII "Application of County Code"
David Young moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that Ordinance 2014-02; Ordinance to Amend Article XIII, “Application of County Legislation”, Section 1, “Exemption from County Legislation” to Exempt the Town of Washington Grove from the Application of Certain Provisions of County Code Chapter 8 and Chapter 29, to add Chapter 31C “New Home Warranty and Builder Licensing” as a County Law Applicable in the Town, and to Revise Certain References to the County Code. Mayor Cole explained this was in response to changes in County Code that we must either accept in our Town Code or exempt from our Town Code. Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom has recommended a periodic review of Town Article XIII in order to clarify our relationship with County Law. Vote: 6-0.
Approval of the Annual Planning Commission Report to the Maryland Department of Planning
Charlie Challstrom reported that this was a new format and is now done per calendar year not our fiscal year. There was a brief discussion about the Railroad Street Corridor Master Plan. Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Greg Silber seconded that this report be accepted and sent on to the Maryland Department of Planning. Vote: 6-0.
- Carolyn Rapkievian moved, David Young seconded that the March Council Reports be approved for posting on the Town website. Mayor Cole brought the improvements to Political Hill in Wade Park to the Council’s attention. A few changes were made to these reports. Carolyn Rapkievian announced that the website questionnaire will go out via Grove Alert shortly. Bill Robertson announced that the lower Ridge Road repaving project is scheduled for May 5 & 6. Vote: 6-0.
- Town Council Reports – April 2014 pdf
In light of this being Georgette Cole’s last Council meeting as Mayor, she took a moment to thank all Council members and Staff for their support, help and competence. Carolyn Rapkievian thanked Mayor Cole for her service and there was a round of applause.
- Roberts Oxygen Update – Mayor Cole stated that Roberts Oxygen is in compliance and up-to-date with all fire code requirements and County permits (Occupancy, Hazardous Waste, Use). The parking of the large tanker trucks near Town homes is not a violation. A discussion ensued. The Clerk reported that resident Robert Carter (3 Ridge Road) had complained that Roberts Oxygen was not being a good neighbor in terms of noise. Mr. Carter told the Clerk that significant truck noise was happening long before the allowed start time of 7:00 a.m. Mayor Cole will try to verify the complaint. Joli McCathran wondered if there was any prohibition as to how far away from a residence hazardous materials can safely be stored.
- CSX Permit Process – Mayor Cole reported that things seem to be moving along smoothly. The 100% plan to reconstruct the Deer Park Bridge submission arrived today. Charlie Challstrom added that he would be having a conference call with CSX representative Sean Markey on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 where he will inquire about the status of the Montgomery County permit. There was a brief discussion about traffic during the bridge closure.
- May Bulletin Deadline – Mayor Cole asked members to get their information for the May Bulletin to the Town Clerk by April 22nd this month. This deadline is firm because of a budget notification requirement in our Town Charter.
- Draft Ordinance about Reconstruction on Town Land – Mayor Cole reported that the permanent easement seemed to be a more favorable way of dealing with the problem of encroachments of the main building/porches on Town land. It is a bit complicated and will require more time to review before coming to the Town Council. Charlie Challstrom reminded Mayor Cole of the Planning Commission’s concerns for equal treatment of all. Historic Preservation Commission stated his belief that historical integrity can be accomplished without rebuilding on the exact footprint.
Mayor Cole accepted David Young’s resignation with appreciation and a round of applause. The Mayor and Council wished David and Judy well in their new life in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:34 p.m.