10 July 2006 | Approved: 14 August 2006
Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:37 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Georgette Cole, Kathie Evans, Betsy Klinger, and David Stopak. Also present were; Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Charlie Challstrom, Audrey Maskery, Jean Myers, John Hutchinson, Bruce Rothrock, Ken McCathran, and Bud O’Connor.
Bud O’Connor brought a parking issue in the 300 block of Grove Road to the Mayor and Council’s attention. Someone is regularly parking in Zoe Wadsworth Park behind 301 1st Avenue. This started happening after a barrier that once stood there was demolished by a car and removed by maintenance. Discussion…no resolution.
Ken McCathran stated that driving on 2nd Avenue by Ed Roberts had increased again and that recently his property sustained some damage. A propane tank, a bush and some plants were hit by an automobile driven by Mr. Roberts. Ken stated that Ed told the police that he had special permission to drive on the walkway and Ken asked if that was true. Ken asked for enforcement of the Town Ordinances that restrict driving on the walkways. Mayor Compton stated that Ed’s house is landlocked, he is an old man with heart problems and that he doesn’t need the Mayor’s permission to use the walkway. The Mayor also stated that the Town couldn’t arbitrate a dispute between neighbors. He then suggested that a metal pole in the ground might protect the tank. Mayor Compton stated that Ed’s access can’t be impeded and that he had the right to drive to his property to unload items. A discussion about pruning on 2nd Avenue and methods of protection for the propane tank ensued. It was decided that “Safety on 2nd Avenue” would be placed on the agenda for August.
Ned Helme came to speak about the brush pickup. He wants the Town to continue doing this valuable, helpful service and suggested that residents pay a “user fee” for it. On another subject, Ned said that the options for street lighting are huge now and would be willing to do some research to help with the cost-cutting efforts in this area. Audrey Maskery suggested that pruning be done around the street lights to make them more effective. Discussion…
Approval of Minutes
Darrell Anderson moved, Georgette Cole seconded that the Town Council minutes of May 8, 2006 be approved. Vote: 5-0.
Georgette Cole moved, Betsy Klinger seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for May be accepted. Vote: 5-0.
Jim Fletcher gave the maintenance report. Kathie Evans asked about the drainage ditch that runs through Morgan Park between Brown Street and Railroad Street. A discussion about drainage all over Town ensued. It was decided that a good fall project for Maintenance would be the restoration of the drainage ditches throughout the Town. Kathie Evans suggested that perhaps and enterprising college student might make this project his/her internship.
BZA Authority re: 115 Chestnut Ave. Deed Language
Mayor Compton gave the background for this issue. Charlie Challstrom helped with the historical explanation. Discussion… The Board of Zoning Appeals doesn’t have the authority to change the language in a deed between the Town and a resident. The Council is the body that would take care of this. For now, the Planning Commission should respond to the resident’s letter and the Mayor and Council will deal with it later.
Maintenance Supervision & Brush Pickup Discussion
Mary Challstrom reported that 17% of the maintenance budget was spent on brush pickup. Jim Fletcher reminded the Mayor and Council that the yard waste part of the transfer station was moving to Gude Drive and that would raise our cost as well. A discussion about charging a fee, re-educating residents, phasing out pickup over 3 years, contracting out the pickup, calling the Town Office for a pickup, using forms and using flags to indicate that the pile was too big (including and explanation) ensued. Mary noted that this is a valuable service that many appreciate. She also stated that part of the re-education of residents must include the benefits brought about by freeing up Jim and Bruce. Jim Fletcher brought up the issue of Maintenance supervision. Bruce Rothrock suggested that the Town Council be more involved in the priority setting. Discussion… Residents should be reminded to call David Stopak when Maintenance issues arise.
Appointments to Planning Commission & Board of Zoning Appeals
David Stopak moved, Georgette Cole seconded that the follow appointments by Mayor Compton be approved. Vote: 5-0.
- Charles Challstrom Board of Zoning Appeals
- Robert Evans Planning Commission
- Robert Booher Historic Preservation Commission
- Charles Kirtz Historic Preservation Commission
- Mayor Compton called the meeting into Executive Session at 10:15 PM.
Kathie Evans moved, David Stopak seconded the motion to end the Executive Session at 10:52 PM. Vote: 5-0.
- Annexation Update: Mayor Compton stated that feedback from the Planning Commission about the new zone option presented by Town Attorney Bill Roberts was needed.
Maintenance – see Maintenance Report.
Historic Preservation Commission
David Stopak reported that the HPC was unable to review a permit application for 206 Grove Avenue because of inadequate documents. He also reported that Bob updated the committee on the noise study, communications with the State Highway Administration, and the latest information on the progress of the highway. The HPC also had a brief discussion about the Cator property annexation but chose to table a full discussion until materials from Town Attorney Bill Roberts could be reviewed.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Planning Commission will recommend that all outstanding building permits, past and present, will be subject to the new start and completion date constraints that were introduced in ZTA2005-07. It was recommended that the Mayor highlight the deadline in the Town Bulletin and its application to those with preexisting permits. Darrell also reported that the Commission discussed the need for a procedure for handling ordinance violations in a consistent manner, a complaint about the new business in the Commercial Corner, Town Master Plan revisions, and considerations for the Cator Property Annexation. A building permit for 206 Grove Avenue was reviewed.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Maryland Municipal League Convention took place in Ocean City during the last week of June. He will give a more detailed report next month.
Forestry & Beautification
Georgette Cole reported that the Committee will meet in late July. She also reported that the heavy rains in late June caused a black walnut tree on the Town land in front of her house (217 Ridge Rd.) to fall over. Jim Fletcher took care of it. Georgette also reported that Meredith Horan was spear-heading a move to beautify the areas around the new bus stops. New hydrangeas will be planted near the tennis courts and lilies will be used at the bus stops.
Roads & Walkways
Georgette Cole reported that E&J Asphalt has given a very reasonable verbal bid for the construction of 4 new speed humps. They will also modify the 2 speed humps on Ridge Road to bring them back to their pre-road work configuration. Georgette reported that she and Jim Fletcher have come up with a tentative plan for the location of the new humps.
Betsy Klinger reported that the Recreation Committee met on May 24th. Recent events ran successfully with no notable problem.
Safety – Betsy Klinger gave a Neighborhood Watch incident report that covered 2 months.
Kathie Evans reported that negotiations with MCSR went well and that trash and recycling pickup will occur on Thursdays. The first week went well with only 2 misses reported.