16 August 2004 | Approved: 13 September 2004
Mayor John Compton called the meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:38 p.m.. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Linda Baim, Betsy Klinger, Tom Land, David Stopak, John Tomlin, and Treasurer Mary Challstrom. Town residents Charles Horan, Sylvia Horan, Ann Briggs, Joli & Ken McCathran, and Satoshi Amagai also were present.
Charles Horan read a statement first thanking the Mayor and Council for lowering the Town speed limit to 15 mph and then addressing a safety issue for pedestrians at the Commercial Corner. Drivers who are trying to avoid the traffic light at Washington Grove Lane and Railroad Street are cutting through the parking lot at an alarming rate of speed. A discussion ensued. Mayor Compton agreed that something should be done and that we should start with asking the County to check the timing of the light and then calling the property owner.
Ann Briggs gave a Chair Committee report stating that the purchase of a dolly for chair storage and the shipping costs will put us over budget. Ann asked for a sense of the Council about this. The opinion was that if we were close enough, the Town could swing the overage. Ann also brought up the idea of having visual art at the Mousetrap Concerts that would not be for sale but for show. With the help of Glen Perry, Ann will research the purchase of molding-style hangers for the Hall. The Mayor and Council thought it was a great idea.
Approval of Minutes
Darrell Anderson moved, John Tomlin seconded, that the Town Council minutes of July 19, 2004 be approved. Vote: 6-0.
David Stopak moved, John Tomlin seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for July be accepted. Vote: 6-0.
Restoration of Ridge Road (Big Bend) by Alexander Builders
Mayor Compton reviewed the issue. Alexander Builders does intend to re-do the corner. We do have recourse by way of the insurance bond. Mayor Compton will be tough with Mr. Tobing and this will be remedied by the next Council meeting.
Linda Baim reported that the parking lot at the playground near the tennis courts still needs work. According to Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, the only way to keep the holes from coming back is to pave the area. Linda suggested that rather than spending the money on the excavation of that area, why not put CR-6 gravel in the holes and roll that area a couple of times per year and see what happens. The Council agreed. Linda also reported that the weeding at Clapperton Courts has been great. A discussion about using the weed killer Round-Up ensued. The idea of filling the tire-climber with foam is not working and the area still has hornets around it. We should get rid of the tire-climber altogether and find something else.
Betsy Klinger asked about posting the Town Council Agenda on the Town Website. One of the problems is that we can’t count on a same-day posting when the Website is being handled by a volunteer. A discussion ensued.
Betsy Klinger reported that she noticed that the beds in front of McCathran Hall were in need of weeding. She asked if Forestry could do this. Safety – Betsy Klinger reported that the Yachup garage was burglarized. The police were called and nothing was taken. Suzanne Cottrell has volunteered to do a database for the reported NW incidents. Betsy also reported that George Paine has only volunteered to fill in as NW Coordinator temporarily. We still need to find a new person. Betsy mentioned a new street crossing style using orange flags and suggested it for the Maple Lake crossing. Recreation – Betsy Klinger reported that the response about an Art Show for Town artists was good and that Doris Gordon will be in charge of this Recreation Committee sponsored event. Betsy also reported that the Summer-In-The-Parks program may be expanded to include a program for middle school-aged children as well.
Tom Land reported that recycling and refuse collection by Waste Management is getting much better. Tom would like to put a piece in the Town Bulletin about calling in the misses by Waste Management in a timelier manner. Tom will write the piece and forward it to the Clerk.
Tom Land reported that the Canada geese are gone.
David Stopak reported that staining & painting of the tennis shed will be done this week. Jim Fletcher asked for guidance about clearing some of Morgan Park. Darrell Anderson will meet with Jim about this. David reported that the broken drain in The Circle has been temporarily fixed but Jim thinks that we need to look into a permanent repair. Historic Preservation Commission – David Stopak reported that the HPC has question about the Heritage Committee and their duties. David also reported that the HPC would like to know if they could share in the Heritage Committee budget. Mayor Compton stated that the money in the Heritage budget is for archival activity not the HPC work. If a change needs to be made, the Mayor and Council would like a procedure and criteria in writing from the HPC. David also reported that the HPC would like to meet with Town attorney Bill Roberts about the responsibilities of the Commission.
Roads & Walkways
John Tomlin reported that the silt barriers for 346 & 348 Ridge Road were a problem again. He will call Montgomery County about this. Because Potomac Electric Power Company has postponed their work along Brown Street until next year, John proposed that we put posts on the corners where Pine Road meets Brown Street to warn people of the deterioration of the road. Intergovernmental – John Tomlin reported that he attended the July meeting of the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League where PEPCO did a presentation about their new and improved services.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Planning Commission passed a resolution stating that new construction and/or demolition should be required to post a minimum $10K road bond. The use of a dumpster should require a minimum $5K road bond for reconstruction above 20% of the assessed value or reconstruction that uses a dump truck for an in-ground pool as well. A discussion ensued during which time Mayor Compton brought up the need for a mechanism to control the size and weight of vehicles that come into Washington Grove. Darrell also reported that, in keeping with Montgomery County guidelines, the Planning Commission recommends that a fee of $125.00 be charged to residents/property owners who request a variance. More discussion.
- Mayor Compton announced that a Stop Work Order had been issued to Bill Miller (107 Pine Rd.) in reference to his new fence. We will hold any fines in abeyance until after the Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on September 11, 2004.
- Re-forestation along Ridge Rd. – Mayor Compton reported that he is still having discussions with developer Bob Ellis’ landscaper about the size of the new trees.
- Casey Field Update – Mayor Compton reported that the Planning Board will review the revised Oxbridge Development plan on September 9, 2004. The Town will object to the density on the Legacy Open Space field, encroachment on the tree line, and the large retaining walls that will be necessary on lots 42, 43, 44, and 45. Mayor Compton will present the Town’s objections at the meeting. Mayor Compton will also request that the official deed to the Legacy Open Space field contain language that will keep the use passive forever.
- Nagem Update – Mayor Compton reported that a hearing was set for September 9, 2004.
Deer Park Bridge – Mayor Compton will write a letter stating that all residents and property owners should be receiving notices concerning the Deer Park Bridge project.
Montgomery County Recreation Tax – Collection of a recreation tax from the Town of Washington Grove and other municipalities that provide their own facilities has been proposed by Montgomery County. They will then reimburse the Town. The Mayor believes that the Town should object to this.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:32 p.m.