11 February 2013 | Approved: 11 March 2013
Mayor Cole called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:31 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Joe Clark, Audrey Maskery, Joli McCathran, Bill Robertson, Greg Silber and David Young. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chairman Charlie Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts, Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Bob Booher, Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee Chair Carolyn Rapkievian and residents Wendy Harris, Sandy Klingenberg and Bruce Rothrock.
Approval of Agenda
Joe Clark moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the agenda be approved. There were no additions. Vote: 6-0.
Bruce Rothrock – stated that his reason for coming was to ask the Council for authorization to go forward with a plan to create another area in Woodward Park for additional types of play which could include volleyball, softball, croquet and horseshoes. He would like to create horseshoe pits behind the big backstop and away from the fireplace. He went on to say that this project would be far easier than the famous failed ice rink. He asked for approval of his concept tonight and said that he would return to the March meeting with a plan showing the placement of the pits and rules of use (including seasonal restrictions and hours of use). He suggested that the pits could be open for use from April 1st – October 31st from the hours of 10AM to 8PM. The Council discussed the possibility of tree root problems, liability, use of 4×4 edging to contain the sand and the idea that participants would bring their own equipment just like they do when playing softball etc… Bruce asked for permission to go ahead with Phase 1; stake out the area, discuss any root problems with Forestry and consult with both Recreation and Playgrounds councilors. The Mayor and Town Council voiced approval for Phase 1.
Wendy Harris came to ask the Town for a change in its snow removal policy for snows of two (2) inches or less. She read a statement where she explained the recent difficulties getting up the hill on Brown Street extended and asked if that area could be routinely sanded when we get snows of less than two (2) inches. She requested that funding be put in next year’s budget for this. The Mayor and Council discussed the current method of in-house sanding, use of salt vs. sand, equality for all residents, proper equipment, spot treatment, pre-treating, use of our contractor vs. use of Town Maintenance, containers of frozen sand on the roadside and the idea that it is time to be forward-thinking and obtain the proper equipment to possibly do snow removal in-house. This issue will be re-visited during upcoming budget discussions.
Sandy Klingenberg explained that a light on Grove Avenue in Morgan Park once had a shield but now it does not. Consequently, it shines into her bedroom and is very annoying. She stated that it has been a year since she requested a shield and her patience had run out. She wants the original shield back. A discussion ensued. Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee Chair Carolyn Rapkievian stated that she thought that the Council was going to research the cost of shields. She went on to say that people who didn’t wish to wait for the leaves to come down in the fall should be the priority. She also said that the Committee didn’t want the lack of an evaluation of the demonstration shields to stop the process. She then asked for clarity concerning who was supposed to research the cost of shields. It was determined that Steve Werts, Joe Clark and Greg Silber would do this. The hope is to have this all settled by May 2013.
Approval of Minutes
Joe Clark moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the Town Council minutes for January 14, 2013 be approved. Vote: 6-0.
- Audrey Maskery moved, David Young seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for January 2013 be accepted. The Treasurer fielded questions from the Council. Vote: 6-0.
- Greg Silber moved, Joe Clark seconded that $15K be transferred from savings to checking in order to pay bills. Vote: 6-0.
- Treasurers Report 2013-02 pdf
McCathran Hall Report
Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts reported that Structural Engineer David Wallace sent the names of three (3) contractors to include on the Town’s RFP (request for proposal) list. Steve also said that he expected to receive Mr. Wallace’s RFP work by Wednesday or Thursday of this week. He suggested that since the roof on the octagon was going to have to be replaced, that the lower Council Room roof be included in that as well. There has been a long-time leak in that roof and with no access to the area replacement seems to be the best option. The Council asked a few questions. Bob Booher asked if the Historic Trust folks needed to be contacted. There was no agreement on the answer to his question.
Town Crest Development Update
Mayor Cole reported that the process was going well. Attorney David Brown submitted a pre-hearing statement. All Town documents have been submitted and five (5) people will be testifying. The Town also hired expert witness and former M-NCPPC employee Joe Davis to testify on our behalf. Mayor Cole mentioned a letter written by M-NCPPC Chair Francoise Carrier to Hearing Examiner Lynn Robeson stating that the change made by the developer in going from a PD44 to PD35 plan still does not conform to the recommendations of the 1985 Gaithersburg Master Plan and thus does not require another review by the Planning Board. There was a discussion about what the Town would consider acceptable. Mayor Cole said the Town has been consistent; reduce the overall density to the level stated in the Gaithersburg Vicinity Master Plan, meet the 100 ft. setbacks from Daylily Lane, and eliminate the impact on our West Woods trees preferably by moving the retaining wall currently planned next to the West Woods.
- Mayor Cole asked for questions or discussion. The group discussed being consistent with the use of last names in the report, the cost of the proposed tree spading ($1,225.00), website issues and gypsy moth spraying.
- Greg Silber moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the January Council Reports be approved for posting on the Town website. Vote: 6-0.
- Town Council Reports – February 2013 pdf
- Deer Park Bridge Update – Mayor Cole reported that talks with CSX continue. The most recent meeting included a representative from MARC who discussed potential improvements around the station. Bill Robertson asked about the on-going drainage problem in that area. Charlie Challstrom reported that CSX VP Sharon Daboin promised that it would be cleaned out. There was a discussion about drainage.
- Comcast Franchise Renewal: Charlie Challstrom volunteered to attend the upcoming franchise renewal meeting.
- Greater Shady Grove Civic Alliance: Mayor Cole informed the Council that this group meets only eight (8) times per year and that she would like a representative from the Town to attend every meeting, if at all possible. She will send around a calendar noting the meetings and Council members will sign up.
- WGCMP Update: Mayor Cole reported that feedback went to M-NCPPC representative Brenda Sandberg on January 31, 2013. Ms. Sandberg will be in touch about the revisions and then go to upper management. There were not many changes.
- Greg Silber asked about the Oakmont Grand Hall rental events. Charlie Challstrom explained that the only permitted use of this space is adult day care and the rental events have ceased.
There was no new business.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:37 p.m.