14 August 2000 | Approved: 11 September 2000
Mayor Pro Tem Paris Pacchione called the meeting to order at 8:17 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Dave Gumula, Nick Suzich, Dodie Tippens and Allen Winter.
Prior to the meeting, Assistant State’s Attorneys Tom DeGonia and Alex Foster made a presentation on the Community Prosecution program, stressing the value of writing a community impact letter when a serious Town crime occurs. They said that this letter could be important to the prosecution of a case, making everyone aware of the crime’s impact on the entire community. The Council alerted the prosecutors to the vandalism problems at Maple Lake. Alex Foster said that he would follow up to see if additional police presence at the lake could deter some of these crimes. Making the parking lot appear less secluded was discussed.
Approval of Minutes
Dave Gumula moved, Nick Suzich seconded, that the Town Council minutes of July 10, 2000 be approved. Vote: 6-0.
It was moved and seconded that the Treasurer’s reports for June and July be accepted. Vote: 6-0. Nick Suzich moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the Treasurer be authorized to transfer funds to pay bills in August. Vote: 6-0.
Mayor Pro Tem Pacchione announced the following:
- Letters were received from Don Gallagher and Tom Clifford about the continuing truck traffic on Washington Grove Lane and the house shaking which results from trucks going over the speed humps. Concern was expressed that "No Thru Trucks" signs had not been erected in all locations necessary to notify trucks, e.g. trucks coming from Oakmont Avenue and trucks coming from Midcounty Highway.
- Burnt out street lamps on walkways are going unreplaced for long periods after being reported and some have not been repaired at all. It is possible to contract privately with Michael Yoder who has street lighting contracts with Rockville and Gaithersburg, and to have PEPCO deduct the service charge for the lamps.
Allen Winter reported that the Commission met twice in July to work on the details of the WSSC-Bailey-Thompson development. He reported that a checklist was prepared for the project to track approval of development documents. Because Town legal costs for this project have been high, the Town should consider requiring future developers seeking conditional zoning to bear the Town’s legal costs as one of the conditions. With the annexation of Washington Grove Hills and the adjacent Ridge Road right-of-way, the Town will now request transfer of ownership from Montgomery County to the Town for the entire length of Ridge Road.
Dodie Tippens reported that an invitation to bid on drainage repairs and dock replacement has been put in three Gazette newspapers. The phone at Maple Lake is not working again and there have been at least three cars vandalized during the day in the lake parking lot.
Several reports have been received about trash truck drivers driving too fast.
Paris Pacchione reported that maintenance staff would soon paint the restrooms in Woodward Park. Maintenance staff is looking into using motion sensors to operate restroom lights. It was suggested that further brush trimming along Railroad Street is required to improve visibility at the Grove Road/Railroad Street intersection.
Paris Pacchione reported on nighttime vandalism at Maple Lake. He also reported that County traffic safety planner Dave Loughery has been contacted to ask that the crosswalk on Railroad Street from the end of Grove Road to the railroad platform be re-striped.
Roads and Walkways
Dave Gumula reported that a number of walkways near the Circle had been graveled as well as a portion of Oak Street. Several ideas about how to expand parking for Woodward Park were discussed.
Darrell Anderson reported that a Forestry Committee meeting has been scheduled for August 17. Daffodil bulbs have been purchased for McCathran Hall and a workday will be planned for late September. Jim Fletcher and Carol Uhlendorf have started to select trees for the next phase of the reforestation effort replacing many mature trees lost in the last several years. Darrell said that grants are available to communities conducting forestry education projects.
Allen Winter, in response to letters received from Margaret Voigt and Mike Voigt opposing annexation of their properties, asked the Council to consider abatement of property taxes for those two homeowners. Allen said that the Town’s relationship with the Voigt family had been good prior to the annexation and that he would like to have the Town continue a good relationship with them. Paris Pacchione suggested that the Town Attorney be consulted about the legality of offering tax abatement to those property owners who oppose an annexation.
Mary Challstrom said that formal action should be taken on the proposed Town Memorials Policy at the September Council meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:34 p.m.