11 November 2013 | Approved: 9 December 2013
Mayor Cole called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Audrey Maskery, Joli McCathran, Carolyn Rapkievian, Bill Robertson, Greg Silber and David Young. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts, residents Tom Carter, Birgit Henninger, Wendy Harris, Bruce Rothrock, John Tomlin, Judy Young and property owners Dennis & Donna Shriner. Betsy and John Klinger arrived at 8:05PM.
Approval of Agenda
David Young moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the agenda be approved. Vote: 6-0.
Judy Young announced that the Washington Grove United Methodist Church will hold an Anniversary Service this Sunday (11/17/13) which will include a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new storage method for their historic documents. She also announced the date of the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Nov. 26, 2013 at 7:30 PM.
Wendy Harris stated that although she came to hear the report on the Roberts Oxygen property, she wished to express her concerns about light trespass from the County Salt Barn (EMTOC). During the planning phase, the Town requested some architectural detail (windows) on the back of the building. The unanticipated consequence of our request has caused light trespass on the Brown Street extended properties. She stated that the interior lights are on all night and doesn’t know why they need to be. She suggested the Committee that advocated for Town concerns with the development of this property be reconstituted. There was a discussion about who could contact Montgomery County about any problems with this property, how to file a complaint, who in the County to copy with a complaint and the placement of blue tanks (brine storage) that did not appear on the plan that was presented to the Town. Mayor Cole offered to get the appropriate County contacts for residents to use when necessary.
Approval of Minutes
Bill Robertson moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the meeting minutes for October 14, 2013 be approved. Changes were discussed and made. Vote: 6-0; as amended.
- Greg Silber moved, David Young seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for October 2013 be accepted.
- Treasurer Mary Challstrom fielded question about consulting fees and tree work.
- Bill Robertson asked for a more detailed breakdown of the expenses for the clay tennis courts. Mary will do this on the next report. Vote: 6-0.
- Joli McCathran moved, Carolyn Rapkievian seconded the motion to transfer $10,000 from savings to checking in order to pay bills. Vote: 6-0.
- Treasurers Report 2013-11pdf
Resolution 2013-09: Adopt Hazard Mitigation Report
Mayor Cole explained that adopting the Montgomery County Hazard Mitigation plan allows the Town to qualify for FEMA funding.
Carolyn Rapkievian moved to introduce Resolution 2013-09. Joli McCathran seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Joli McCathran moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that Resolution 2013-09; Resolution Approving and Adopting the Montgomery County Hazard Mitigation Plan 2013 be adopted. Vote: 6-0. Treasurer Mary Challstrom thanked Bill Robertson and Steve Werts for attending a meeting on this topic in her absence.
Tennis Committee Report
Joli McCathran summarized the draft report completed by the Clay Court Committee noting the budget amounts for this year and next. Mayor Cole gave a brief history of the Committee. The results of the Committee’s work are as follows;
- Town Maintenance will do some heavy rolling on the courts on 11/14 or 11/15 in order to create a surface that is much harder than the Town players have experienced.
- A Grove Alert encouraging residents to try the courts after the heavy rolling will go out on the 14th.
- In the spring of 2014 regular heavy rolling will be done and another assessment of the viability of the clay courts will be done in the fall.
Carolyn Rapkievian asked about future work and if it would be done by Town Maintenance, volunteers or both. Joli McCathran stated that a plan for maintenance will be developed after the test year. For now, Town Maintenance will do the rolling and the drainage. Someone asked if there is money in the current budget for the drainage. A discussion about drainage ensued. Drainage can be done with money from this year’s budget. Mayor Cole thanked the Committee for their work on this issue.
- David Young moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the October Council Reports be approved for posting on the website. Vote: 6-0.
Greg Silber presented an update on the snow removal contract. He distributed a one-page handout titled "(Proposed) Town Policy for Snow Removal – 2014-2015" that summarized the new policy and needs for the Town. He presented cost figures from our current contractor, Lion Contractors, Inc., and from R.J. Landscaping. For the record, R.J. Landscaping was one of several employers Town Maintenance Supervisor, Steve Werts, worked for prior to becoming a Town employee. Because of this experience he could speak to the quality of their work. The cost figures are as follows:
LION CONTRACTORS R.J. LANDSCAPING Plowing – $97.00/hour Plowing – $85.00/hour (7′ – 8′ plow) Loader – $195.00/hour Plowing – $90.00/hour (8′ – 10′ plow) Salt – $31.00/100 lbs. Loader – $125.00/hour Sand – $18.00/100 lbs. Salt/Sand – $85.00/hour incl. materials
A discussion ensued. Town Maintenance expects to handle snow removal for most snows with Town equipment. This contract is primarily for "on-call" services. Greg Silber moved to accept the proposal from R.J. Landscaping for the Town’s back up snow needs. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
- Carolyn Rapkievian made note of the fact that the Lake Committee has decided to table the idea of a change in the Maple Lake regulations that would address inconsistencies in the "No Dogs Allowed" policy. Mayor Cole made note of the inclusion of The Woods Group activities to the Forestry and Beautification reports.
- Town Council Reports – November 2013pdf
- Roberts Oxygen Update – Mayor Cole reported that she, Ann Briggs and Charlie Challstrom met with Roberts Oxygen on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. Roberts Oxygen will be expanding their use in to the property that once housed the Asplundh Tree Service. They will be expanding truck parking, adding gravel, installing new black metal fencing and consolidating their operations. Robert Carter (3 Ridge Rd.) brought forth his concerns about hours, lights, truck noise (loading and unloading) and the storage of flammable material directly adjacent to a residential zone. Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts reported that his conversation with management indicated that the area closest to Town may be used for employee parking in order to give the trucks more space to turn around. Mayor Cole stated that the drivers are being encouraged to use the new back entrance for the property to eliminate use of the at-grade crossing. Some drivers will still have to use the current entrance because it makes more sense to go out that way. Carolyn Rapkievian thanked Mayor Cole and the group for bringing up the light trespass from that property. She stated that the flood lights are very bright. There was a discussion about lighting. Mayor Cole indicated that she was fairly sure future lighting on the property would address the issue of trespass but was not too optimistic about any retroactive fixes to existing lights. The idea of relocating the fence along Railroad Street back about 15 feet and installing some raised beds and suitable plantings to soften the area was discussed. Roberts Oxygen representatives will take that idea to their Board. Charlie Challstrom brought up the County-wide re-zoning effort; ZTA 13-04 & District Map Amendment G-956. He stated a letter that supported this project and reinforced compatibility standards and Master Plan adherence should be sent to the County Council. He also gave a history of the zoning of the Roberts Oxygen property.
- Deer Park Bridge Update – Mayor Cole reported that not much was happening and she anticipated a quiet time through the end of the year. The Town must watch the County permitting process for the area.
- Open Meetings Act Training – Mayor Cole reported that this training was a new requirement for municipalities. She stated that the Mayor and the Town Clerk will be the Town designees for this training and encouraged anyone else to do it as well. She explained that the training is part of efforts to promote the importance of keeping the general public informed about government actions. Some of the topics covered are; giving adequate notice of meetings, quorums, how to properly/legally close a meeting, access to meetings and taking proper minutes. There was a brief discussion about e-mail conversations.
There was no further business.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.