301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday, February 14, 2022, 7:30 pm
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM at bit.ly/WGCouncilMeeting
Meeting ID: 297 850 640
Password: 074385
Or dial-in to 301-715-8592

Actions at the January meeting included:

  • Appointed Jeff McCrehan as a regular member of the Historic Preservation Commission.
  • Authorized the Mayor to negotiate an agreement with PEPCO to install up to four stations, with the agreement to bring back to the Council for approval of the agreement and of the location(s) of the charger.
  • Approved the concise format for Town Council Minutes and recommended making recordings and transcripts available as supplementary material on the website.

ATTENTION ALL RESIDENTS—INFORMATION SESSION to be held on Public Electric Vehicle Chargers in Washington Grove.  Tuesday, February 8th at 7:30 pm by Zoom videoconference

The Town Council has been discussing licensing installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargers by Pepco in several locations on Town property to address climate change, sustainability and encourage the use of electric vehicles in the Grove. Residents interested in learning all there is to know about the proposal to take advantage of a no-cost installation program offered by PEPCO will want to attend this information session being led by the Sustainability Group. Following a presentation, a Q and A will be held.  You may find it informative to review the FAQ prepared by the Sustainability Group. It addresses many questions raised by the proposal.

To attend the meeting, use the following internet link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688
Or dial in to 301 715 8592, using meeting ID 228 942 2486.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING—Planning Commission’s Draft 2022 Washington Grove Comprehensive Plan.  Wednesday, February 16th at 7:30 pm by Zoom videoconference

The Planning Commission’s Draft 2022 Comprehensive Plan is based on feedback gathered throughout the Comprehensive Plan process which included numerous work sessions and other meetings, as well as analysis and discussion by the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission is holding this Public Hearing before recommending adoption of a 2022 Comprehensive Plan by the Washington Grove Mayor and Council. If a 2022 Comprehensive Plan is adopted by the Mayor and Council, it will replace the Town of Washington Grove 2009 Master Plan.

To attend the hearing, use the following internet link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2289422486
Or dial in to 301 715 8592, using meeting ID 228 942 2486.

The purpose of this meeting is to take public comment on the Planning Commission’s Draft 2022 Comprehensive Plan.

Town Elections

Election Day in Washington Grove will be Saturday, May 14. Voting will be held in McCathran Hall from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm. Elections are followed by the annual Town Meeting (we are hopeful to have it in person after two years of Zooming). Open this year will be two seats on the Town Council (three-year terms) and the office of Mayor (one-year term).  Candidates for Council and Mayor must be qualified voters of the Town.  Council nominees must have resided in Town for at least one year immediately preceding their election, and nominees for Mayor, two years.

Nominations must be submitted in writing to the Board of Supervisors of Elections. This is most easily done through the Town Office. Nominations require the signature of two qualified voters as nominators, as well as an acceptance by the nominee. The deadline for nominations is Monday, April 11.

Qualified voters are registered to vote in Montgomery County at a Town address. You can check your current voter registration here.  If you find your registration does not list your current residence in Town, you can find instructions on how to update your registration here.

Washington Grove is a self-governing municipality and a member of the Maryland Municipal League. Elected officials serve on a volunteer basis. Kudos to those who step forward and serve the Town in this way!

Maryland State Income Tax

Washington Grove Subdivision Code: 1612

Every year the Town of Washington Grove receives a portion of the Maryland State income tax paid by Town residents. Because most residents do not have mail delivered to street addresses, this presents a challenge for the State Comptroller’s office when attributing the taxes collected to Washington Grove. It is critical that all Washington Grove residents (including renters) designate “1612” and “Washington Grove” on the tax form. For those filing electronically or using software, there should be a drop-down menu to select Washington Grove. Please share this information with your renters and your tax preparer if appropriate. This DOES NOT increase your taxes but DOES help ensure the Town receives its proper share of income tax revenue. Thanks for your help! Questions? Call Treasurer Jean Moyer at 301-775-1168.

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News from Grove Commissions

Historic Preservation Commission News

Next meeting: Tuesday, February 15, 2022, 7:30 pm.
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. For a copy of the Agenda, email Chairman Bob Booher ([email protected]).

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688
Meeting ID: 344 019 9688

Looking For A Historic Preservation Commission Alternate

The Town Council and Historic Preservation Commission are looking for a volunteer to serve as the Alternate member. If you have an interest in historic preservation in Washington Grove or would like to become more knowledgeable, and are ready to get more involved and help your Town, please contact the Town Office or one of the current HPC members. As the Alternate, you participate in HPC meetings (3rd Tuesday of the month) and vote when a full member is absent.

Farmers’ Market Three Days a Week in Washington Grove??

At the height of the camp meeting era, the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad served Washington Grove with as many as 20 excursion trains a day. (One Sunday in the summer of 1882 saw camp meeting attendance swell to some 12,000 people.) So, how were the physical needs of the camp-goers met?

West of the Circle, along Broadway (now the north end of Grove Avenue) was a small group of commercial structures, including a store, a market stand, and a hotel (built around 1881). These buildings were clustered within a public park that was sometimes referred to as Hotel Park (encompassing what is today Howard Park and Chapel Park), setting them apart from the residential area.

The August 16, 1893 edition of The Washington Post notes, “At the junction of Grove avenue and Broadway stands the market-house. It is not a very pretentious one, to be sure, consisting of a shed about 20 by 40 feet, with an open space around it, but it is a lively spot on three mornings of the week. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday during the summer fifteen or twenty farmers visit the camp with wagonloads of vegetables, fruit, chickens, mutton, beef and general farm produce, which they display in the market.”

Nearby stood the furniture warehouse operated by Washington B. Williams, which was located in the small, triangular park known as Knott Park. Later, this building was repurposed as the Young People’s Hall.

At one point, Washington Grove supported four dining tents on the grounds, exclusive of the hotel, to feed the hundreds of excursionists who attended camp meetings. Other amenities included maintenance and storage buildings and stables. Although the specific locations of these facilities are unknown, they were mostly likely located on the fringes of the residential cluster and/or near the railroad depot.

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Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. As part of the Town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, this Planning Commission Meeting will be conducted online, rather than in person.

Residents and the public can joining the Zoom videoconference at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2289422486, or dial in to 301-715-8592, meeting ID: 228 942 2486 and following the audio instructions.  Please make sure your name is associated with your zoom device in order to be admitted from the Waiting Room.

Building Permit Submission Deadline

The deadline to submit a building permit application for approval by the Planning Commission and review by the Historic Preservation Commission is the 2nd Wednesday of the month prior to the PC meeting at which the permit will be reviewed (this will be in the following month). This timing ensures the HPC will be able to complete a formal review before the PC meeting as this review is required for the PC to approve the permit in a timely fashion. If you are considering any renovation or building project at your house, be sure to get a copy of the procedures to apply for a Town Building Permit which will help you through the Town’s process.

Building Permits Approved in January

  • None

Public Ways & Property Permits (PW&PP) Approved in January

  • None

PC Guidance to the 2022 Comprehensive Plan

Our 2022 Comprehensive Plan (CP) is based on the 2009 Master Plan (MP).  We are posting the current final and formatted version.  To get an idea of what has changed the most, go to Section 16, Implementation. In this section, all the recommendations in the CP have been compiled in a single list. This is a good overview of what is in the CP and you can look back into the body of the document for details when something catches your interest.

The 2009 Master Plan has 10 sections and a total of 66 pages. The current draft CP has 16 sections and 172 pages. This would not have been possible without a great deal of work on the part of the Planning Commission in collaboration with the Historic Preservation Commission and the many Town Committees and workgroups who worked to assemble the current draft.

The Planning Commission started with the 2009 MP in August of 2018 slowly working through rewriting outdated sections relating to the Maryland Land Use Code which we were particularly interested in. Two significant sections are Section 8, Commercial Corner and the new Section 12, Housing. Both of these reflect the “vision” of the State of Maryland to increase affordable housing opportunities and diversity of housing occupants. These are reflected in recommendations for a possible residential component at the Commercial Corner and the change to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the residential zones.

Over time many sections were substantially rewritten by other town volunteers. The Forestry & Beautification Committee and the Woods Committee, for example, rewrote much of Sections 5 and 6, which cover the history and protection/management of the residential and East/West Woods canopies. The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) formatted and added historic material from the National Register Nomination to most of the existing 10 sections of the 2009 plan. The HPC also rewrote most of Section 9, Preservation and Development Strategies. Two completely new sections were added:  Section 11, Emergency Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation by the Emergency Preparedness and Safety Committee and Section 13, Sustainability by the Sustainability Group. Contributors have been acknowledged in the introductory pages of this plan.

On June 23, 2021, we submitted the Plan to the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) for the required 60-day review period, expecting to have a public hearing in late August. However, the editorial comments returned to us by MDP required a serious rewrite of the plan to add elements required by Maryland law which had changed since the 2009 plan. The resulting Draft 2022 Comprehensive Plan will be presented at the public hearing via Zoom on February 16. Use this link for connection instructions: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2289422486

Hope to see you there!

The 2022 Planning Commission: Peter Nagrod, Chair. Georgette Cole, Jon Cohen, Christine Dibble, Robert Johnson (Alternate), and Deborah Mehlferber.

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News from Grove Committees

Border Committee News

Next Meeting: Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81915606459.

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Emergency Preparedness and Safety Committee News

Next Meeting: Thursday, Thursday, February 24, 2022  at 7:30 p.m.
Join the Zoom meeting by videoconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89199207143?pwd=aUVsTUpCbTRMWjdMdnZ1aEhLdGwrZz09
By Phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 852 4037 9231
Passcode: 000528

Winter safety: Know what to do before, during, and after snowstorms and extreme cold. Get winter weather safety tips at https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.

We are actively seeking new committee members. One committee goal is to promote a shared sense of preparedness, vigilance, and resilience to help strengthen our community. We welcome your input and ideas on how to achieve this and any other goals related to preparedness and safety. Please join us at our next meeting.

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Forestry & Beautification Committee (F&B) News

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 9, 2022, 7:30 p.m. Via ZOOM Videoconference.
The Forestry & Beautification Committee is now on break for the winter. Our next meeting will be Wednesday March 9, 2022. We look forward to seeing you then.

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Lake Committee News

Next Meeting: Thursday, February 17, 2022, 7:30 pm via Zoom until we can meet at the Town Hall

We need to plan for swim lessons, lifeguards, and make the lake even better for this summer. New members are welcome and encouraged! Call John Hutchinson if you have any questions or suggestions.

Geese:  We are using the Humane Society’s protocol again to humanely prevent eggs from hatching this spring. In the past several years a pair of geese has nested in an area easily accessible to our egg-oiling team. They drive away the other geese during nesting season and then leave when their eggs do not hatch. Please do not feed or harass the nesting pair or disturb the nest. If you see a nest built, please call John Hutchinson. We encourage visitors to the lake to take along a plastic bag and scoop droppings. THANKS!

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Lighting Committee News

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
We meet the fourth Wednesday of every month. All are welcome to attend!

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81961146148?pwd=bkpRQ0pRL1lhblZaUE5lZlJWNW0wdz09
Meeting ID: 819 6114 6148
Passcode: 522301

State Delegate Al Carr is introducing new legislation that could benefit Maryland municipalities in controlling the cost and design of their streetlight fixtures and maintenance.

Questions, ideas or concerns? Please contact Virginia Quesada at 301-706-7933 (cell) or [email protected], or Robert N. Johnson at [email protected].

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Racial and Social Equity Committee News

Next meeting: Sunday, February 13, 2022, 2:00 p.m.

All are welcome! Folks who would like to attend should email [email protected] to get the Zoom link.

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Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

Join via Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86523142961?pwd=OGNQMjVqRy8yc0ljendrdnBQUWN2Zz09

Meeting ID: 865 2314 2961
Passcode: 101150

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Woods Committee News

Next meeting: Monday, February 7, 2022, 7:30 p.m. via Zoom Video Conference.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87546789952?pwd=Z0kyR0xQZkFpczgxYy9nSjA0MU4zQT09
By Phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 875 4678 9952
Passcode: 147547

Please be aware of several fallen trees in the East and West Woods that are blocking the walking trails.

  • In the East Woods – Maple Ave trail and the Frankland trail near the Cherry Ave trail.
  • In the West Woods – the main trail to Kelley Park and the Ironwood trail between Daylily Lane and the lake parking area.

The Woods Committee is working with a tree service company to cut these trees and re-open the trails.

A reminder to please stay on the walking trails to protect understory native plant vegetation. Do not walk or bike on trails that are too wet and muddy to avoid rutting and soil erosion.

Our volunteer Bow Hunter Fire Fighters of Maryland (BHFFMD) continued their bow hunting at sunrise and sunset in our East and West Woods. No deer have yet been harvested in January. The archery season ended on January 31, 2022. Please contact Joan Mahaffey or Pat Klein if you have any questions.

We hope the New Year brings you many opportunities to enjoy the seasonal beauty of our East and West Woods.

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News From Other Grove Organizations

Film Society News

First Cow

Discussion on Sunday evening, February 20
Stream First Cow, then join your neighbors to discuss it on Sunday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom.  Stream it on fubo, Showtime, and Direct TV; for rent, $3.99 on Amazon Prime, and on Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu.
Zoom link for discussion:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85780860902?pwd=elBpYUtWQTBnMEF4aUdtMkRXeVZWZz09
Meeting ID: 857 8086 0902
Passcode: 965374

In the untamed forests and riverbanks of the Oregon Territory of 1820, a loner cook and a Chinese immigrant seeking his fortune meet and become fast friends. When the first cow is introduced into the Territory by a wealthy landowner, the two see a business opportunity in creating baked delicacies using stolen milk. This slow-moving, deceptively simple narrative is brought alive through beautiful photography, terrific yet understated acting, and suspense which builds as the stakes get higher for the two entrepreneurs. Directed by Kelly Reichardt, 2019, U.S., 122 minutes, English.

“First Cow is a masterwork of indie cinema—a tale that’s both charming and unsparing, suffused with equal measures of wonder and dread.”
—David Sims, The Atlantic

“It is touching, tender, original, entrancing, definitely the best cow film of the year. Plus it’s also a quietly masterful thriller where a clafoutis (blueberry) will have you on the edge of your seat.”
—Deborah Ross, The Spectator

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Sustainability Group: Climate Action News 

Next meetings: Tuesday, Tuesday, February 1, and Tuesday, March 1, 2022, via Zoom.
Join Zoom Meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688
Meeting ID: 344 019 9688

Electric Vehicle Chargers Proposed for Washington Grove

A year ago, the Town renewed its commitment to support the Paris Climate goals that require substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Key to meeting the goals is the conversion of vehicles from reliance on petroleum-based fuels to electricity produced from renewable forms of energy. For that reason, the Town is in discussion with Pepco to participate in a program that offers the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on Town property.

Pepco’s plan will provide the Town with level 2 chargers (240V hook-ups) at no cost to Washington Grove and will include the engineering, design and construction of one or more sites for 4 vehicles; purchase of all required equipment and network software; ongoing operation of the charging stations including any required maintenance; and ownership of all equipment and costs related to the energy delivery to the charging stations. Drivers will pay for purchased electricity by credit card.

For more information about issues of concern relating to the installation of the chargers; proposed location sites; and design goals of the charging stations, see the summary of issues presented to the Town Council and plan to attend the info meeting in early February.

The Sustainability Group feels that making EV chargers available in Washington Grove is an important benefit that will help the town stay up to date both with developing technology and our climate goals.

Sustainability on the Town Website

Have you read interesting items from the Sustainability Group that you want to revisit but can’t find? Good news! We’ve published them on our web pages on the Town’s website. Visit the Sustainability pages to learn how to make sustainability part of our everyday lives.

🧛‍♀️ Are you afraid your appliances may be harboring vampire energy?
Look here: Banish the Vampire from Your Home

🌳 Thinking about spring and wishing you could get a free tree?
Look here: Plant Free Trees to Fight Global Warming

🏠 Are you considering doing a home energy audit?
Look here: Schedule a Home Energy Audit
And here: Save Energy and Money at Home with These Pepco Programs

👧👦 Want to talk to young people about sustainability or help them on a school project related to energy usage?
Go to the Kids’ Climate Corner

Much more is available, and we add new content often.

Navigation Tip: On the Town website, click on “Government,” and then, under “Current Issues & Initiatives,” click on “Sustainability.”

We appreciate your feedback.  Was something you found on the Sustainability web pages helpful to you?  Would you like the Sustainability Group to cover other topics?  Email us at: [email protected]

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Washington Grove Cares News

No news this month!

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WG United Methodist Church (WGUMC) News

Washington Grove United Methodist Church…Please join us at 11:00 AM Sundays

Due to the recent increase in Covid infections that are currently so widespread, we have decided that at least until January 16th, we will be resuming Zoom services. After that, a decision will be made based on circumstances at the time. We hope you will join us at 11:00 AM Sunday mornings over Zoom.  Join us by using this link https://zoom.us/j/4353137794 or meeting ID 435 313 7794.

We continue to collect non-perishable food donations to support the St. Martin’s food bank. Your contributions can be dropped off on the screened-in porch at Peggy Hansen’s house, 201 Chestnut Avenue, or bring them when you join us on Sunday morning.

Washington Grove United Methodist Church is a Reconciling Congregation, which means we believe that each person is a precious creation of God and is of sacred worth. We welcome and celebrate persons of every gender identity, racial or ethnic background, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability into full participation in the life of this faith community. We celebrate the gift of love and affirm all loving relations and marriages.

Our mission is to follow Jesus, worship God, and provide loving service to our community and the world.

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Woman’s Club News

2022 Woman’s Club Dues Are Due

The Woman’s Club’s modest $15 annual dues are due now. Most of us are used to paying them at the White Elephant Auction, however that is going to be delayed this year, so please take a minute and make a check out to The Woman’s Club, with “2022 Dues” in the memo line, and mail it to Cynthia Werts, Box 232, Washington Grove, MD 20880. New members are always welcome and despite the name, men also belong 😊.

We’re planning a great schedule of events and fundraisers for this year, but we don’t know yet when we’ll be able to hold them, so keep an eye out for more information. In the meantime, would you consider rounding up to $20 or more to help support our Outreach Programs?

Your yearly dues go towards our Club’s donations to the Acorn Library, the Holiday Show, Summer in the Parks, and the Washington Grove Elementary Field Trip Fund.

They also enable us to brighten the lives of people who have so little. Last year we provided a graduation ice cream party for the residents of Seneca Heights Family Shelter, a pizza party for the men of the County Shelter and a Mother’s Day brunch for the women’s shelters at Becky’s House and Priscilla’s House.

Our Small Town with the Big Heart!

In a year of many needs, our Town stepped up to answer every call. We’ve been able to keep the children of Washington Grove Elementary in warm coats, hats, and scarves thanks to everyone who donated winter wear.

Your donations provide the MCCH Archway families with monthly care packages of non-SNAP items such as laundry detergent and bath soap, books and treats for the kids, toilet paper and paper towels, diapers, and other generously donated items. We’ve also been able to pass along to them your donations of children’s toys, baby seats, bathtubs, furniture, and clothes that your children have outgrown. There’s almost nothing that can’t be used by others with less.

Thanks to your donations of leftover Halloween candy, we were able to make hundreds of bags of sweet treats for our surrounding shelters. These are things they almost never get.

Your donations of school supplies helped keep the WGES’ Teacher’s Closet stocked, so teachers didn’t have to buy so much from their own pockets.

Our two most successful drives in 2021 were both for the Washington Grove Elementary School. Our Club sponsored a book drive, where we hoped to collect 100 books. Thanks to our generous Town we collected over 300 books!

With your help, we also raised money for the School’s Music Program to replace their damaged violin bows. Working bows are the difference between success and failure for a young student and replacing those bows will benefit at least 70 students over the next few years. Our goal was to raise at least $180. You opened their hearts and your wallets and we raised over $900, enough so that in addition to the bows, we were able to help provide for the needs of the rest of the Music Program!

Where to Drop Off Your Donations

Monetary donation checks should be made out to the Woman’s Club with a notation in the Memo field if you want them to go towards a specific project, such as:

  • Archways or Shelter Projects
  • School Supplies
  • Snap Plus
  • White Socks

Wendy’s can

All donations can be dropped off either on the Clubhouse porch or in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road.

You can now follow The Woman’s Club of Washington Grove on Facebook, at Instagram at @wgwomansclub, and our special events on this website.

 

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Other Notices

Recyclable Yard Waste Collection Ended

Please note that December 30, 2021 was the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal this year. This service will resume in early March.

Leaf Collection by Green Earth Ends

Bulk leaf collection by our contractor Green Earth ended for the Winter on January 4, 2022. There will be a final collection in the Spring. Stay tuned…

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February Coming Events Calendar

(All meetings via ZOOM Conference unless otherwise indicated)

February 1 Sustainability Group 7:30 pm
February 2 Planning Commission 7:30 pm
February 3 Swing Time Big Band 7:00 pm Town Hall
February 7 Woods Committee 7:30 pm
February 8 EV Charger Information Meeting 7:30 pm
February 9 Forestry & Beautification 7:30 pm
February 9 BUILDING PERMIT SUBMISSION DEADLINE
February 10 Border Committee 7:30 pm
February 13 Racial Equity Committee 2:00 pm
February 14 Town Council 7:30 pm
February 15 Historic Preservation Commission 7:30 pm
February 16 Comprehensive Plan PUBLIC HEARING 7:30 pm 
February 17 Swing Time Big Band 7:00 pm Town Hall
February 17 Lake Committee 7:30 pm
February 17 Woman’s Club Meeting 7:30 pm
February 23 Lighting Committee 7:30 pm
February 24 Emergency Prep. & Safety Committee 7:30 pm

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