12 October 2020 | Approved: 9 November 2020
TC REPORT – October 2020 – Approved: 12 October 2020
The unprecedented emergency health crisis poses a challenge to all – individually and collectively. To protect ourselves and do our part to impede the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19 disease, the Regular Meeting of the Town Council was held remotely via ZOOM Video Conferencing. The meeting was recorded.
Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Charlie Challstrom, David Cosson, Marida Hines, Patty Klein, and Gray Yachup. Also in attendance were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, HPC Chair Bob Booher, and residents Georgette Cole, Marc Hansen, Ned Helme, Robert Johnson, Joan Mahaffey, Audrey Maskery, and David Stopak.
Approval of Agenda:
Charlie Challstrom moved to approve and amend the agenda. Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. Charlie requested item #8 be split in to two (2) items. Patty Klein supported Charlie’s amendment. Vote: 6-0, as amended.
There were none.
Approval of Minutes:
Darrell Anderson moved to approve the September minutes of the Town Council. Gray Yachup seconded the motion.
Vote: 5-0; approved. Patty Klein recused herself as she was not in attendance for part of the meeting.
Mayor’s Appointment to the Historic Preservation Commission:
Mayor Compton announced Jeff McCrehan answered the call for an HPC Alternate, and his appointment is supported by HPC members. This is a three-year appointment for the term beginning of July 2020 and running through June 2023. Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Jeff McCrehan as the Alternate on the HPC. Patty Klein seconded the motion.
- Kudos: To the HPC upon successful culmination of the Town’s application for expansion of our National Historic Register boundaries. Mayor Compton thanked all the dedicated volunteers and professionals who helped with this long, formidable process.
- WSSC Sewer Project Status – WSSC is nearly finished with the sewer repairs on Ridge Road but the road surface still needs additional work. Grove Avenue is in the thick of the repairs.
- Update 201 Chestnut Avenue Request to Remove Restrictive Covenants – John discussed this with Town attorney Suellen Ferguson. The 1950 covenants will likely require a revised deed. Alteration to the 1978 restriction should get a Planning Commission evaluation and a modified recording process. The Town attorney will write up a memo and send it this week.
- Appointment of Dave Cosson as Council Liaison to the Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee – Mayor Compton reported that Dave Cosson has agreed to serve as liaison. Patty Klein asked for clarification on the purpose of the Committee as it relates to the Town and whether a Town Council liaison was necessary at this time. Mayor Compton explained this Workgroup or ad hoc Committee has been formed by concerned residents to improve racial and ethnic understanding in the Grove through various actions both private and public and including possible recommendations to the Council for official consideration.
- Follow-up Letter to MCDOT on their response to EPSC/Town Safety Concerns on Washington Grove Lane – Mayor Compton reported several letters have gone back and forth between the Town and DOT. The County responded to all points. EPSC has recommended a rebuttal on several matters and a draft has been provided to him.
- Salt Barn Update – Nothing to report.
- Washington Grove Bikeways Connector Study Update – Nothing to report.
- MML 2021 Legislative Priority, Highway User Revenue Restoration – The Maryland Municipal League will again place Highway User Revenue payments to municipalities at the top of their priority list.
- Montgomery County Mayors Meetings and Thrive 2050 (Montgomery County’s update of the General Plan) – Mayor Compton reported these meetings have been happening for some months. The County is working on updates of the General Plan (Thrive 2050). The plan is before the Planning Board with the timeline for County Council adoption in mid-Spring. This is an important guidance plan for the County. Public input is being sought by the Planning Board and a Public Hearing is scheduled for November 19th.
Treasurers Report 2020-September
Darrell Anderson moved acceptance of the September 2020 Treasurer’s Report. Marida Hines seconded the motion.
Vote: 6-0, accepted.
Comprehensive Plan Update:
Georgette Cole explained the change in the name of the plan. Use of the term “master” in the title is felt to have derogatory. Comprehensive Plan is the new name. Georgette reported receiving information from the HPC for the new Housing element being added to the Plan. The Racial Equity Work Group will send input for this update as well. Another new Section 13, Sustainability, is under review.
Proposed Community Solar Project:
Bob Booher and the Sustainability workgroup believe part of the answer to the current climate crisis could be solar power. Montgomery County has set the goal of a zero-carbon footprint by 2035 and Washington Grove should contribute by incorporating recommendations into the Town’s Comprehensive Plan now. In this regard, a potential for solar panel installation exists in the field below the Washington Grove Conservation Meadow. This land is owned by Park and Planning (M-NCPPC) and its planned use is for ball fields. Use of the property as a community solar field would require their agreement.
Ned Helme explained the County’s goals are quite aggressive with the goal of getting off fossil fuel completely. Solar power could replace oil and gas and the cost could be 5-15% lower. Ned also talked about a local company (Standard Solar) with connections to other County solar power installations, and they have provided estimates of potential output from a solar panel array on the lower field. A necessary study to address specifics for an application was estimated at about $2,000. The workgroup would like approval (in the form a sense of the Town Council) to pursue discussions with Park and Planning and the County. Charlie Challstrom moved for the Town Council to provide initial authorization for this Sustainability Work Group to pursue discussions with Montgomery County. Marida Hines seconded the motion. Mayor Compton agreed it would be in the best interest of the Town and County to explore use of the property and will work with the group to lend the Town’s name to the effort. Vote: 6-0, approved.
Ordinance 2020-11 Zoning Text Amendment Modifying Front Setback Requirements for Accessory Buildings – Introduction and Set Date for Public Hearing
Charlie Challstrom reported the Planning Commission accepted this ZTA ordinance at their last meeting. A shed installed at 412 4th Avenue uncovered a deficiency in the Town Zoning Code for accessory buildings. Front setback restrictions in the RR-2 zone and for some RR-1 zone properties can make it impossible to place an accessory building in a compliant spot. The proposed ordinance retains the 50-foot front setback requirement for all zones, but for lots less than 50 feet deep allows a lesser setback to the middle of the lot. Charlie Challstrom moved to introduce Ordinance 2020-11 and set a public hearing date for November 9th at 7:30 p.m. Town Clerk Kathy Lehman noted the lack of a local newspaper of general circulation in which to advertise a Zoning Text Amendment as required by State law. The only newspaper that fits the bill is the Washington Post and advertising in the Post is expensive.
Vote 6-0 for Introduction and the Public Hearing on November 9th.
Action: Mayor Compton will ask the Town attorney for any recommendation for placing legal notices and the Clerk will ask the City of Gaithersburg how they are handling this.
Draft Ordinance to Amend Article I, Adding Section 15 (Vehicle Use in Town Woods), Section 16 (Archaeological and Cultural Artifacts and Fossils) and Section 17 (Removal of Trees, Plants or Minerals)
Patty Klein explained this ordinance would address human disturbance in the woods, including ruts and damage to trails caused by bikes, damage due to metal detector use, and removal of objects of potential historical value. She went on to say the enactment of prohibition of these activities in the Town’s Ordinances is needed to provide a framework for enforcement. New signage and trail numbering are other items mentioned to help with protection of the woods. The Council discussed the following:
- The National Preservation Act of 1966.
- Use of the woods by outsiders.
- The ordinance process.
- Use of an ordinance vs. use of a resolution.
- Ordinances that already exist covering the proposed issues.
- Municipal infractions and fines.
Action: The Woods Committee will revise the draft to be certain the goals of the proposed legislation are met, and present to the Mayor and Council for introduction at the November Council meeting.
Town Council Reports:
- Halloween Plans by the Recreation Committee – Mayor Compton noted a virtual celebration is planned by the Recreation Committee and Chair Emily Cavey.
- Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee – Gray Yachup thanked Dave Cosson for taking over as Council Liaison to the committee.
- Leaf Collection Contract Annual Renewal – Mayor Compton reported the renewal for this year’s leaf collection has been sent out.
- Stormwater Management: – Charlie Challstrom inquired into the stormwater management report regarding issues on private land, and what was being asked of the Planning Commission. A lengthy discussion ensued. The Stormwater Management Committee (SMC) was originally formed by volunteers to help address the inadequate systems on Town land with the hope that the group could make recommendations to the Planning Commission and the Council. The group also tried to include in their scope of work addressing stormwater management issues on private properties. Subsequently it became apparent that problems on private land brought to the SMC by residents exceeded the work and time commitment of Committee members. Robert Johnson (chair) and Virginia Quesada (secretary) have resigned from their positions, and Robert expressed his frustration with the fact that the Town has no Stormwater Plan/Policy. He suggested the Planning Commission contribute to stormwater management by looking closely at Building Permit and Public Ways & Property Permit Applications for potential drainage problems, including culverts. There was additional discussion about the following:
- Town’s authority on private property.
- Remedies on public land that could help with drainage on private land.
- Maintenance of culverts.
- Finding new leadership for the committee.
- Center Street culverts.
Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the Council Reports and post them on the website. Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. Approval: 6-0.
Amendment of the August 10, 2020 Town Council Minutes: An amended version of the August Minutes was discussed. Patty Klein thanked the Mayor and Council for re-visiting these minutes, and noted the proposed amended version still states that only eE. coli measurement, and not Eenterococci, is allowed for freshwater testing. She stated that based on her knowledge and information from speaking with the state and county authorities, that the 2012 EPA recommendations allow for either E.coli or Enterococci to be used for freshwater water quality testing, and that she noted that the 2012 EPA recommendations includes thresholds for the presence of either bacteria, and that the State of Maryland Deptpartment of the Environment (MDE) has recommended that either or both may be used., with e. coli testing being the most relevant. Darrell Anderson clarified that the EPA regulations represented guidance for states, and that Maryland MDE allows local public health officials to adopt eE. coli or Enterococcus as a sufficient safety measurment. It was proposed to state in the amended minutes that “Both eE. coli and Eenterococcusi can be used as freshwater indicators.”
Patty Klein moved to accept the amended version of the August 10, 2020 minutes. Dave Cosson seconded the motion.
Vote: 5-0, Minutes amended. Gray Yachup abstained.
Patty Klein brought to the Council’s attention an e-mail received from John Tomlin (358 Ridge Road) with concerns about safety on lower Ridge Road. Patty committed to talking to John this week.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.
Kathryn L. Lehman
TC REPORTS – October 2020
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION – Darrell Anderson
The HPC held a virtual meeting on September 15; the next meeting will be held on October 20 at 7:30 pm by virtual means.
The HPC had no reviews of building permits to discuss.
The HPC discussed the ongoing development of the Woods Committee’s regulations for the woods. A list of those things that are relevant to the HPC, such as the taking of artifacts or fossils from the woods or the use of metal detectors except by permission of the Town, will be developed and sent to the Woods Committee.
The HPC is pleased that the Planning Commission has accepted recommendations for the Public Ways Permit Application. Further revisions will be considered.
The HPC continues to work with the Planning Commission on revisions to the Accessory Dwelling Units ordinance(s) for a new Master Plan (Comprehensive Plan) section directed by the State to cover housing. The Chair asked that a further review of ordinances and examples from other localities be studied by members so the HPC can take this up at the next meeting.
Regarding orphan resources, the HC will request a history tab on the Town website to more accurately signify these resources. Gail Littlefield will write up a proposal and include archived information.
[Very good news after the HPC meeting came in on October 2. Our submission for requesting the Town’s continued placement on the list of Historic Places was approved and published in the National Register, the Town’s submission on two fronts was approved. The town was notified by Peter Kurtz, Administrator, Evaluation and Registration, Maryland Historical Trust, that the National Park Service approved the following: (1) the request of the Washington Grove Historic District boundary increase, and (2) the request of the Washington Grove Historic District for additional documentation. This is a monumental decision for the Town. Copies reside in the Town office.]
LIGHTING COMMITTEE – Darrell Anderson
The Lighting Committee (LC) did not hold a meeting in September and will not meet again until January 2021 unless pressing business comes forward.
PEPCO has begun replacing our 95 induction street lamps with LED street lamps. We still will have some sodium vapors lights that need to be converted, but these will have to have changes to the light fixtures.
MAINTENANCE – Darrell Anderson
Regularly string-trimmed and cut grass around Town, including the field. Cut brush along Railroad Street and other areas of Town. Made trips to the County dump when necessary. Purchased gas when needed. Completed paperwork as required. Worked in the maintenance shop if needed.
Picked up trash in the park and fallen branches around Town after a storm.
For the Woods Committee, cut a fallen tree across the path in the East Woods
Took down flags.
Installed an emergency light and installed batteries in two emergency lights in Town Hall.
Went to Home Depot Hall. Picked up parts for mower at Rippeon Equipment.
Met Hutch and Bruce at the lake. Built a berm to direct water downstream inside the lake gate.
Met with the WSSC Contractor on Ridge Road and Grove Ave. Checked on WSSC Contractor on Grove Ave. Cut limbs for the WSSC contractor on Grove Ave
Worked in the playground replenishing wood chips around equipment Weeded flower bed at the front entrance.
Picked up load of stone (for the Lake Committee) and dumped it at the lake.
Worked on the clay tennis courts and in the flower bed at Town Hall. Cleaned the gutters at Town Hall.
Met with John Compton (along with several members of the Storm Water Management committee) at 12 Center Street to discuss drainage issues. Went to Ernest Maier to get prices on drainage material.
Met with Myers and Laws to go over tree work.
Met with Gray Yachup to go over drainage issues discussed at meeting on 9/27/20.
Met with Audrey to discuss issues with bamboo on Grove Ave and Maple Ave.
Met with A.B. Veirs to go over drainage issues on Chestnut Road, Hickory and Oak, and Hickory and Center.
Went to Seasons Nursery to pick up two loads of topsoil for Maple Ave.
PLANNING COMMISSION – Charlie Challstrom
Building Permit Activity –
- 106 Ridge Road – PC approved the new handicap ramp
- 118 Ridge Road – PC approved the new deck
- 412 Fourth Ave – PC deferred discussion of the new shed until the next PC meeting
- 414 Brown Street – PC discussed the new porch, no permit application submitted yet, owner will be contacted again
Public Ways and Property (PW&P) Activity –
- 3 Ridge Road – PC approved a PW&P permit for the new driveway apron
- 101 Center St – application for proposed driveway apron for gravel driveway from Chestnut Road reviewed by the PC. One PC member expressed concern for proposed removal of large forsythia bush on Town property. Another member noted no evidence was submitted to support the need for a second driveway, as required by the evaluation criteria for driveways. Most PC members expressed concern this proposed driveway would result in parking of more than four vehicles on the property in violation of the Zoning Ordinance, and the PC voted to deny the PW&P permit for the driveway apron.
Zoning Text Amendment for Accessory Buildings – The PC accepted an application for a zoning text amendment to modify setback requirements for accessory buildings in the residential zones to specify the front minimum setback to be 50 feet or one half the distance between the front and rear lot lines, whichever is less. Next step in the amendment process is “introduction” of the proposed Ordinance 2020-11 by the Council.
Hansen Request re Deed Covenants – The PC discussed the August request from Marc and Peggy Hansen to terminate four restrictive covenants associated with their property located at 201 Chestnut Avenue. These covenants resulted from 1950 and 1978 conveyances of this property that once belonged to Peggy’s father, Philip H. Winter. The PC deferred further evaluation, awaiting review and comments from the HPC, and advice from Town Attorney Suellen Ferguson.
Comprehensive Plan 2020 Work Session – During a work session on September 18, the PC continued work on the draft Housing Element, reviewing edits recommended by the HPC. The draft Housing Element proposes Town commitments to expand the diversity of the Town’s residents, sustain the Town’s historic integrity and support retention of historic structures, reduce the number of long-term vacant homes, support expansion of licensed room and home rentals, encourage compatible infill subdivisions, reform parking requirements with linkages to rentals and subdivisions, and introduce a residential component in the commercial zone. The PC members agreed a renewed call for resident feedback in the October Bulletin would be appropriate. The next PC work session is scheduled for October 21.
MCCATHRAN HALL – Charlie Challstrom
McCathran Hall will not be used for voting in November. To avoid lines, residents should request an Absentee Ballot (the same as a “Mail-In Ballot”) and then vote by Mail or Ballot Drop Box. The closest Drop Box is near the Water Park at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park. Bohrer Park is the closest Early Voting Center for voting from October 26 thru November 2. There will also be Election Day Vote Centers for voting on November 3, and the closest is Gaithersburg High School.
McCathran Hall will be used for limited video recording sessions as part of a virtual Holiday Show. We are fortunate that a group of residents, led by Judy Mroczka and Marilynn Frey, and assisted by Montgomery Municipal Cable, will carry this Town tradition forward despite the current COVID conditions. The October Town Bulletin included a call for musicians, singers, and others to be a part of the show, on-screen or behind the scenes.
MONTGOMERY MUNICIPAL CABLE (MMC) – Charlie Challstrom
MMC’s The Creative Side, continues to explore and celebrate the talent in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. Episode 3 of this new program features the band LERD. LERD is a group of college students/recent grads with a passion for music. Will (guitar), Gray (bass), and Logan (drums) have lived in Washington Grove for most of their lives, and grew up playing music together. Cameron (vocals) joined recently as a vocalist for their COVID jam sessions. Program host, Albert Myers, says he is inspired not only by their sound, but also their ability to record such high-quality audio while at home. For this episode, LERD performs “Walden Pond” by Atta Boy, and “Vegas” by Big Thief. You can find MMC on Channel 16 on Comcast, Verizon and RCN every evening, and on YouTube for streaming from MMC video archives. MMC is able to provide programming due to the continued support from the municipalities within the county.
CENSUS – Charlie Challstrom
Census Update – As a result of court orders, the Census data collection operations will continue through October 31, 2020. After 85 % of Washington Grove households self-responded, Census enumerators have been visiting the remaining households. If anyone has been missed, please respond online at 2020census.gov or by phone at 844 330 2020.
CONTRACTS – Dave Cosson
The leaf removal contract with Green Earth will be renewed for the 2020-2021 season.
WOODS – Dave Cosson
The Woods Committee met on October 5, 2020 by Zoom and discussed the following:
Deer Bow hunt: BHFFMD harvested two does in the West Woods during September.
East Woods Trail Name: The Committee voted for “Dogwood” as the name for the currently unnamed trail in the East Woods that extends northeastward from Ridge Road to intersect with the Challstrom trail.
Woods Preservation Ordinance: The draft ordinance was circulated to the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), which suggested several revisions. The Committee discussed that version with a few additional edits. An HPC member suggested an additional revision but was unable to participate in the meeting. The Committee concluded that the revised draft should be forwarded to the Town Council to be introduced for discussion and approval process. Recognizing that wording amendments are possible during the process, the revised draft Ordinance is attached.
In parallel with the ordinance discussion, the Committee also considered suggestions from members that it develop a comprehensive list of permissible and restricted activities in the East and West Woods and discussed the type of signs that could be posted at trail entrances, perhaps using as a model the wooden post with international symbols that is at one entrance to the Washington Grove Meadows. Estimates of sign costs are being obtained.
A question was raised whether the East and West Woods should be closed to the public to prevent vandalism. Knowing the long town cultural history of openness, this idea was not accepted by the Committee. Members noted concern that such restriction would serve to reinforce an adverse perception of neighboring communities of the Town. However, there are concerns with unsafe and threatening events by non-residents in the West Woods which need to be addressed.
Stormwater management in the West Woods was discussed, noting the effective coordination with the Stormwater Management Committee. In particular the need to involve the County in the problems created by runoff from Town Crest, Washington Grove Lane and other surrounding areas.
Further discussion on trail maintenance and trail signage will continue at the next meeting.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT – Dave Cosson
The Committee met on September 8, 2020 by Zoom and discussed the following:
Update to In-town drainage issues list.
- Discussion of need to ensure drainage swales don’t become hazards to pedestrians and bicyclists.
- The drainage map is largely complete and is available.
- The removal of deadfall and other work in the West Woods has substantially mitigated the erosion there.
- Center Street and Washington Grove Lane: Steve Werts reported he has begun the approved work by taking out excess curbing.
- Railroad Street culvert. Response to the Mayor’s letter indicated question forwarded to another department; waiting for response
- Volunteer projects. Work is proceeding at Center and Maple to route water away from tree and across Maple.
- FEMA Grants. Available under resilient community program and hazard mitigation. Discussion of whether town should hire a grant writer to explore. Possible uses include Railroad Street culvert and the Town Crest discharge pipe.
- Crushed Kelly Park culvert. A representative of the City of Gaithersburg replied to the Committee Chair that it was aware of the problem and would expedite repair if damage was occurring on Town land.
- WSSC work on Grove Ave. The swales and pitches adjoin Grove Ave. were documented so that they can be reestablished on completion of the work.
On September 29, Committee Chairman Robert Johnson and Secretary Virginia Quesada advised Mayor Compton that they were resigning as Chair and Secretary, but will stay on the Committee and offered to help with the transition to new leadership. The next scheduled meeting of the Committee is October 13, 2020. The Committee expects to discuss whether it should be involved with individual residents’ issues, or whether that task is better handled by the Planning Commission.
On October 5, AB Viers submitted a proposal for storm drainage improvement work.
COMMUNICATIONS WORK GROUP – Marida Hines
Christine Dibble was sidetracked by the Crematorium issue, but will be calling a meeting of the Communications Working Group shortly.
DOG PARK – Marida Hines
Nothing has happened since the yearly meeting in August. Of note – the 2020 meeting finalized the charter and by-laws which are on the website at https://washingtongrovemd.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/DPC-Charter-Bylaws-Rules-Governance.pdf .
RECREATION – Marida Hines
There is no meeting currently scheduled.
Halloween: The Rec Committee is organizing a Pumpkin Carving contest – residents are encouraged to carve pumpkins and leave them on doorsteps so people can view them. rizes will be awarded for the best design. There will also be an online costume parade where residents will provide photos of costumes, to be shown in a Zoom meeting on Halloween day. Currently, traditional Trick or Treating is not scheduled due to Covid restrictions.
Winter holidays: The Holiday Show is proceeding with the boundless energy and creativity of Judy Mroczka, Marilynn Frey, and friends. The show this year will be virtual, with Montgomery Municipal Cable producing the show, available on livestream on December 12 at 7:30.
The show will feature clips from residents, who are requested to submit videos. There are several themes, ranging from mask modeling to the pandemic lifestyle, working in times of Covid (impromptu home office, etc.), and a family choral contribution.
WEBSITE – Marida Hines
No changes of note.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS & SAFETY COMMITTEE – Pat Klein
The EPSC met on September 24th with the vice Chair leading discussions.
Committee members were pleased to see the Town website includes a new, prominent banner display, “What to do if you test positive for COVID-19.” Several formatting issues (text superimposed over the banner due to a text-wrapping error) need to be addressed and the banner link does not appear to be consistent across different web browsers. The EPSC advises the Mayor/Town Council to seek volunteers or other expertise to assist the Communications Committee on website improvements. The EPSC can provide input on emergency preparedness and safety content and communicating emergency notices.
The EPSC considered MCDOT’s July 24 response to Mayor Compton about the county’s assessment and planned actions to address some of our traffic safety concerns. Committee members decided to draft a follow-up letter for the Mayor to send back to MCDOT. It states we disagree with the county citing low bus ridership and light pedestrian activity as the main reason to not make safety improvements. The current dangerous conditions deter such activity which could increase if improvements were made. The EPSC recommends the county reconsider its decision because the benefits of adding crosswalks and signage at the bus stop locations outweigh the costs. We support the county to relocate one bus stop and to conduct a study on walkability between Washington Grove and Olde Town. The draft letter was emailed to the Mayor for his review.
EPSC is seeking new committee members and also ideas future activities and goals. We posted a message in the October Town Bulletin asking interested residents to join the committee.
The next meeting is scheduled on October 22, 2020.
ADDENDUM: On October 2, a graduate student partnering with the Maryland Municipal League requested that a Town representative complete a brief online survey about how local governments communicate disaster information to residents and stakeholders. The EPSC will work with the Communications Committee to complete the survey on behalf of the Town. The researcher anticipates sharing the final results of her project with Maryland Municipal League members in mid-December with the goal of helping cities and towns improve their emergency communications.
MAPLE LAKE – Pat Klein
The Lake Committee held its final meeting of the 2020 season on September 24, 2020. The following summarizes seasonal lake closure.
The last water quality test report was within acceptable Beach Action Values (BAV) levels for both Enterococcus and E. coli bacterial indicators. Next year’s testing schedule will follow MDE guidelines and include twice before the Lake opens on Memorial Day, monthly on routine basis, and biweekly if BAV levels exceed threshold. Some consideration was given to finding a closer approved testing lab in the Montgomery County area for more efficient service. A sanitary survey was drafted and will be finalized in time for use prior to the Lake opening next season.
The snapping turtle incident with a town resident exercising near the far lake bank who sustained a lower leg bite wound is considered to be accidental. The consensus of lake users is that without the diving board and due to decreased swimming activities, the water turtles have found a larger, quieter lake area to explore and “call their own.” Next season, lake use and activities should resume which will encourage turtles to keep their distance from people. Removal of the snapping turtle is not possible due to state wildlife agency restrictions and prohibitions on capture, relocation, and lethal removal.
Several maintenance tasks to be completed include some fence repairs, filling lake berm perimeter ground holes with gravel, and grading the parking area to prevent stormwater runoff. The COVID19 advisory signs remain posted at the Lake. The lifeguards and lake guards completed their seasonal employment on Labor Day. The Lake was closed on September 8th.
No additional Lake Committee meetings are scheduled for this calendar year.
FORESTRY & BEAUTIFICATION (Including Memorials) – Gray Yachup
The Forestry and Beautification Committee decided the full list of trees to be planted in Town during the Fall season. 11 of those trees will be installed on the 9th, with the remainders going in shortly thereafter. There will also be a meeting on Wednesday the 14th to discuss the planting and other business for the season.
PLAYGROUNDS – Gray Yachup
Nothing to report.
ROADS & WALKWAYS – Gray Yachup
I discussed the proposals put forward by Center Street residents with Steve and Mayor Compton and will be moving forward with the actions the Council deems amenable. There will also be some work done near the top of Oak near the Meadow to replace the silver maples with barriers to prevent car traffic.
MEMORIALS – Gray Yachup
Heather Hoerle has requested a memorial bench be placed in Town for her late husband, Rich. The Committee is currently corresponding with Ms. Hoerle to determine the best location and style for this memorial.
WASHINGTON GROVE MEADOW CONSERVATION PARK – Gray Yachup
Nothing to report.
SHADY GROVE CROSSING – Gray Yachup
I will be following up soon on the boundary path discussion with the SGXC board to start the ball rolling on future plans.