17 January 2012 | Approved: 21 February 2012
Chairman Bob Booher, Members Gail Littlefield, David Stopak, Mimi Styles and Margot Bohan, Town Council Liaison Joli McCathran, Town Archivist Pat Patula, Neighbors Wendy Harris and David Neumann. The meeting began at 7:40 pm
Approval of Agenda and Adoption of Minutes
The proposed agenda was adopted unanimously with modifications. The minutes of the November HPC meeting, taken by Bob Booher, were read and approved. [Archived minutes from the last several months aren’t up on the Town website; Margot will contact Kathy/Town Clerk to see about remedying this.]
There were no projects to be reviewed.
Report by Council liaison.
Joli McCathran reported on the July-December 2011 Treasurer’s report and asked if there were figures the HPC wanted to add to the 2011 budget. The group discussed and provided new figures for the archivist salary archival equipment & supplies and archival services. Figures were also submitted for a secretarial hire and preservation-oriented workshops. For an itemized list, please refer to the FY12-13 HPC Budget Request on the following page.
Within the context of this budget discussion and in the interest of seeking economies, there was brief mention of the idea to eventually pursue matching grant funding to conduct archival digitization. This segued into mention of the Small Museum Association that may offer grants to assist historic preservation groups like ours with mission statement formulations. Apparently, many grant applications require applicants to provide mission statements to qualify for funding consideration.
PC Letter re: Permit Review Procedure
The letter was discussed, and it was suggested that the HPC engage PC members informally re: concerns with early HPC review. Specifically, Bob Booher will contact Charlie (and Brenda Gumula?) to get more insights into the issues/burdens alluded to broadly in the letter. David Stopak will contact John McClelland for his perspectives on this topic while serving as PC chair.
Town Archives & Archivist
David Neumann invited Pat Patula to participate in this meeting of the HPC. When Pat arrived, we discussed her written archives assessment. Essentially, she believes the physical archive is in really good shape. She also offered that the Washington Grove website is a great asset and crucial to research on town/historic information. Pat is currently trying to get Gaithersburg high school student volunteers to do some archive data entry. She also plans to contact the State archive to find a company to do the Town’s archival digitization and/or copying (for a fee), perhaps a reliable entity accustomed to dealing with fragile documents. When asked what should be the foremost direction to be headed in the archival world, Pat recommended both electronic and physical archival are important. Pat went on to suggest that, in the near term oral histories online would be a terrific goal to pursue with the ultimate plan for intersection with the Town website (PastPerfect has the ability to have files put online). Joli agreed to send an email to Mary Challstrom and Georgette Cole to request that purchase of PastPerfect 5 proceed in this fiscal year (by February 10, 2012, the current discount offer expires). Bob has agreed to serve as the HPC liaison to the Town Archivist. Gail suggested that Clare Cavicchi would be a good resource for Pat on town history; Pat has access, in the Town Archives, to all of Clare’s archived items (house histories).
There was discussion of eventual disposition of some original/fragile archival material to the State Archives, with digital and hard copies to be retained in the Town Archive.
It was suggested that we consider putting an announcement in the Town bulletin about the recent archivist hire and her willingness to work with the public on specific historic research interests. Still to be resolved are what provisions need to be put in place for making appointments for interested individuals.
Humpback Bridge Status
Bob reported on the progress of the Bridge Committee. The Committee met with CSX in December and discussed alternatives to raising the bridge. This was done with an interest in bringing something before the Town at the next Town meeting. The Committee’s focus is on impact mitigation (e,g., noise, traffic lights, and damage to the natural environment) and improvements to the “railroad zone” that could be made in the process of negotiations with CSX (e.g., fixing that which is wrong with the Railroad Street entrances to town). Gail suggested inputting signage to memorialize existing and past historic structures, such as the Washington Grove train depot, the existing bridge and crossing, as well as Hersheys/old Post Office-Store.
- EMOC – Roberts & Casey 6–going forward; in receipt of drawings soon.
- Towne Crest Development – Bob offered to send around the development proposal for HPC members’ review. Based on what Bob presented, one issue discussed was lack of adequate recreational space. What is M-NCPPC position on this? Can density be reduced and recreation space added? Is there any publically owned land nearby that the developer could build recreational options on? Or can the developer acquire recreation land? What is the County’s formula for additional public transportation/busses to accommodate the additional residents? Should there be a study of where the county wants to go via public transportation and/or traffic surveys to see about road and POV/public transportation impacts and needs.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.