8 February 1999 | Approved: 8 March 1999
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Mayor Ann Briggs. In attendance were Councilors John Compton, Dave Gumula, Paris Pacchione, Nick Suzich, Carol Uhlendorf and Allen Winter. Town Attorney Bill Roberts and Gaithersburg Gazette reporter Lori Launi were present, as were Town residents Charlie Challstrom, Allan Janus and George Paine.
Pursuant to Section 10-508(a)8., State Government Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, at 7:31 p.m. in the McCathran Hall Council Room, by motion of Carol Uhlendorf, seconded by Paris Pacchione, the Town Council voted to meet in closed session to consult with counsel about potential litigation. The closed session ended at 8:22 p.m. The regular meeting was reopened at 8:25 p.m.
Washington Grove Web Site Update
Allan Janus and George Paine announced that they would share Webmaster responsibilities. The Council applauded their effort. The web site may be reached at www.sailor.lib.md.us/washgrov and is up and running. Discussion items included publication of home phone numbers and adding Council and Planning Commission minutes to the web site.
Nick Suzich moved, Carol Uhlendorf seconded, acceptance of the Treasurer’s report. Vote: 6-0. Nick Suzich moved, Dave Gumula seconded, that the Treasurer be authorized to transfer funds, if necessary, to pay bills in February. Vote: 6-0. Mayor Briggs asked Carol Uhlendorf to apply for Keep Montgomery County Beautiful funds to offset the Railroad Park project.
Mayor Briggs announced the following:
- Cost concerns dictate returning to the original sign plan for the rail shelter. A vertical sign will be attached to one end and a horizontal sign will be attached to the other.
- A coffee table book about Maryland’s municipalities is being published by the Maryland Municipal League with two pages on Washington Grove. Information on Town history, events, government, and photos must be sent to MML by June 1.
- For March 20 Pancake Breakfast to welcome newcomers, Carol will locate canopy, Nick will locate propane griddle, Paris will find out from church contacts about procedure. Ann will issue personal invitations and get Recreation Committee to assure attendance by long-time residents. Mayor Briggs requested photos of Committee activities by March 1.
- Wording has been resolved regarding transfer of Ridge Road maintenance.
- A letter has been sent to Ride-On asking if planned bus stop improvements to the Railroad Park Ride-On stop will be made before the May 15 park dedication.
- A Saybrooke homeowner, who backs up to the Town woods, has asked the Town to remove limbs from his yard. The Town has responded to the homeowner saying that he may trim Town limbs that overhang his property.
- Results of the Gaithersburg traffic survey show a dramatic decrease in vehicle speed because of the speed humps.
- Town is desperately seeking a choir director.
- Planning Commission Secretary Mary Kay DuBois has resigned. The Town is seeking a new Secretary to take minutes.
- Four candidates for the position of Archives Worker are being interviewed this week.
- Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer met with the McCathran Hall custodian to outline job duties and get budget information.
- Position descriptions are being developed for all employees and an employee evaluation form is being drafted for review by the Personnel and Finance Committee.
Carol Uhlendorf offered three plastic barrels from her yard to be cut off for sand barrels.
Planning CommissionJohn Compton reported that the Commission had failed to achieve a quorum and did not meet.
Roads and Walks
Paris Pacchione reported that he, along with Ann Briggs, Jim Fletcher and Dave Gumula, have surveyed the 4th Avenue and Wade Park area with regard to reclaiming the walkway and parkland. They have devised a plan to regravel 4th Avenue, widening it where safely possible. The plan also proposes to define the entrance to Wade Park and to plant shrubs to eliminate vehicular intrusion into the Park. The Council agreed with the plan as presented. Vicki Andrews reports that gravel is urgently needed along the walk connecting Daylily Lane with McCauley Street. The park is wet and muddy making pedestrian access to the rest of Town difficult. It was reported that the Center Street pavement between Ridge Road and Maple Road had deteriorated badly as a result of the January ice storm.
Carol Uhlendorf announced that a meeting of the Forestry Committee has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 16. Tagg Hutchinson has scheduled the following weekend workdays for the Washington Grove Nature Trail project: April 10 and 11 and April 17 and 18.
Carol Uhlendorf reported that she had invited County Councilmember Phil Andrews to speak to the Town Council in March, and that she will invite State Senator Hogan and our State delegates Barkley, Carlson and Stern, to speak to the Council in May after the legislative session.
A petting zoo for children has been scheduled for Woodward Park on Sunday, April 18. The Recreation Committee has located a band for the Millennium Party at much less cost than earlier proposed. The band will be engaged for $1,800 rather than $3,000.
Nick Suzich has received a ballpark estimate of $6,000 for replacing the fence surrounding the asphalt tennis court. This proposal would use vinyl netting on galvanized posts. Mayor Briggs suggested that Officer Joe Pelaia be invited to the April lake cleanup to increase awareness of Maple Lake and to foster improved communication for safety.
Allen Winter reported that a design for the pathway surfaces around McCathran Hall is being developed. The Committee proposes to present their plan to the Maryland Historical Trust in late February, send out invitations to bid in March, and award a contract for the pathways project on April 12. It is hoped that the paths could be resurfaced prior to heavy Hall use beginning in mid-May.
Allen Winter reported that he and Marion Brown will be the Hall Coordinators for March and April.
Paris Pacchione reported that the maintenance staff has devoted many hours to cleaning up after the tremendous ice storm of January 14 and 15. Jean Potmesil is to be commended for her litter pick-up efforts along Washington Grove Lane and Railroad Street.
Mayor Briggs reported that CSX has contacted the Town about repairing the railroad crossing. CSX would like to enlist the Town’s help in asking assistance from Montgomery County to close the road for two days. Dave Gumula will draft a letter to the County.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 p.m.