Town Council News
Next meeting: Monday » 06.10.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
Actions at the April Council meeting included:
- approval of the Mayor’s appointments of Wendy Harris to the HPC and of Betty Knight and Kristin Perry to the Board of Supervisors of Elections.
- denial of a change of address request by the resident at 201 Maple Rd.
- introduction of Ordinance 2013-12; To Amend Art. IV, “Building Permit Regulations” to Modify List of Structures for which Building Permits are not Required.
- approval of the FY 2014 budget for presentation at the Annual Town Meeting.
FROM MAYOR COLE
Council Recommends FY 2014 Budget. The Town Council has approved the Mayor’s submitted budget and tax rate for the 2014 Fiscal Year (FY). The Town’s anticipated income and recommended expenditures for the coming fiscal year (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014) are shown on the attached Town budget summary. The Town Council recommends that the Town property tax rate decrease to $0.285/$100 assessed valuation. Under this rate $0.01 of tax rate generates $8,029. The total property tax revenue for the Town in FY 2014 should be the same as what was proposed for FY2013 (line 1A-1.1). If you want to review the budget details before you pick them up at the Town office or on Election Day, they are posted on the Town web site. The dwelling unit charge, which is tied to the cost of trash and recycling collection, will remain at $97 per dwelling this year. Our share of State highway user revenue has improved. County municipal tax duplication revenues will remain fairly steady. We will probably see the Town’s share of State income tax revenue decrease in FY2014 due to the economic recession. However, we experienced a one-time bump-up in State tax revenue this year because the Town Treasurer persuaded the Comptroller’s office to audit the 2010 and 2011 tax receipts which added $38,000 to our income. We once again remind residents to correctly identify the Town on their income tax returns—otherwise the State will keep taxes that would otherwise be used to support the Grove! The Treasurer has warned me that the State will not routinely do these types of audits.
Questions may be directed to Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498 or Mayor Georgette Cole at 301-330-6740. Votes to adopt the proposed budget and tax rate will be taken by qualified voters assembled at the annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 11. See you there!
Annual Town Meeting is set for May 11, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. with refreshments to follow the meeting.
Nominations for Mayor and Council are closed.
The nominees are;
- Mayor (1-year term) » Georgette Cole
- Council (3-year term) » Carolyn Rapkievian
- Council (3-year term) » Bill Robertson
Town elections will be May 11 in the Council Chamber between 4-7 PM. This will be a second term for Bill Robertson. Carolyn Rapkievian has been a Town resident since 1998, has organized and been active in both educational and recreational Town events. Carolyn is Assistant Director for Education & Museum Programs at the Smithsonian’s American Indian Museum and previously held leadership positions at nature centers, historic sites, science centers, and cultural museums around the country.
Residents who wish to vote by absentee ballot must call Meredith Horan to arrange for this. Only ballots that are received by 7:00 p.m. on the 11th will be counted. Meredith can be reached at 301-926-1054.
Organizational Meeting and Legislator’s Visit
Monday, May 20, 2013; 7:30 pm; Council Room
Come and meet with Senator Nancy King and Delegates Barkley, Reznik and Robinson as they discuss the most recent legislative session.
PEPCO Lighting Update
Over the past several years the Town has sought to stay current with emerging lighting technologies and to reduce the cost of the lighting while also ensuring the safety of our streets and walkways. To these ends, the Town set out to replace old lights with energy-efficient induction bulbs thereby reducing our energy consumption and ultimately the Town’s utility costs. Pepco owns and operates the poles and lighting for the Town and has been a helpful partner in the upgrading of lighting in our community.
The first set of new lights replaced over a year ago was chosen to be as similar as possible to our original incandescent bulbs. However, the induction bulbs we received turned out to have far more lumens (“amount” of visible light) per watt (power rating) than our old incandescent bulbs resulting in brighter lighting throughout the Town than we expected. Pepco accepted responsibility for the mistake and reordered induction bulbs at a lumen level slightly lower than our old bulbs (and a much lower wattage).
While this process was underway, efforts were made to moderate particularly bright lighting situations by providing shields for those fixtures and the Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee (OLAC), an ad hoc committee formed with the approval of the Council, received requests for additional shielding. However, we have since learned Pepco does not allow retrofitting of shields. Pepco representatives have made it clear the Town is not authorized to make modifications because the Town does not own the poles and lights. Thus no additional shields will be allowed by Pepco and it is not possible for the Town to grant shield requests. We apologize for the confusion or inconvenience this has caused.
Conversion of the Town lighting to induction bulbs is now complete. Because these bulbs are lower lumen and lower wattage than the bulbs the Town had for many years, this change-over is expected to provide annual cost-savings of over $5,000. It is our hope that future technology, such as LED lighting, will provide more directional light, but at this time it is not economically feasible for the Town. The use and affordability of emerging lighting technologies, best lighting scenarios for the Town, and reducing unwanted radiated light where possible are matters that the OLAC will be exploring in the coming months. All interested residents are welcome to join the work of this Committee.
McCathran Hall Repairs Update
Repairs of the Hall have been scheduled for August. The center pole installed as temporary safety "fix" will remain in place. At this time, use of the Hall will continue to be limited to Town events until the final repairs are completed.
The Clay Tennis Courts; To Pave or Not to Pave
The Town has one asphalt tennis court and two "clay" courts. In actuality, our clay courts are really what is called a "dirt court". This is a court where a thin (about ¼ inch) layer of clay is added annually to allow for playing tennis on the surface. These courts need to be watered and rolled regularly during the tennis season and the boundary lines re-marked in chalk before each day of play. The daily labor is done by volunteers who wish to use the clay courts. For the annual clay and other labor, the town pays about $4,000 per year to maintain these two courts. This compares to about $1,000 per year to color coat and re-mark the asphalt court (done about every 5 years). Due to the higher cost and greater need for volunteers, it has been proposed that the courts be converted from their current dirt/clay status to asphalt. This would be a significant change of a long-time (historic) feature. As such, we need Town input before deciding what should be done. There are many options from continuing as we do now to replacing the courts with asphalt and many options in between. We now have a small committee chaired by Council members Greg Silber and Joli McCathran. If you are interested in serving on this committee please submit your name to the Mayor at [email protected]. The committee meetings will be well publicized so residents have ample opportunity to participate in this discussion and help inform the final decision of the Town Council.
Planning Commission News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 05.01.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
If you are going to erect a building or structure (including fences), make structural alterations to, or move any existing building or other structure, you must first obtain a building permit from the Washington Grove Planning Commission. All permit applications must be received in the Town Office fourteen (14) days prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which they will receive their initial review. The applicant must post a "Notice To Neighbors" sign within seven (7) days of receiving it from the Town Clerk. The Planning Commission will not act on an application unless the Notice To Neighbors sign was posted in a timely fashion as confirmed by the Commission. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256) or [email protected], or see permits for more details. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.
Permits approved on April 3:
- 315 Brown St. » Garage
Historic Preservation News
Next meeting: Tuesday » 05.21.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Regarding the history of tennis in the Grove, the following letter was written by Mr. F. L. Hiller, Secretary of the WG Association to resident John Pheobus on August 23, 1933:
My dear Sir:
The question of Sunday tennis playing on the public courts maintained by the Washington Grove Association is an old and vexing one. However until this year the Board of Trustees has been able to keep it at a minimum. This year however, despite all requests those who are determined to play on Sunday have to be almost ordered off the courts so that we may be undisturbed during religious services and they are waiting on the sidelines with their equipment to resume playing before the worshippers have dispersed.
The Board of Trustees directed at its last meeting that the nets be removed from the public courts on Saturday evening and replaced on Monday morning and requested me to find out if you would take down and replace the nets for one dollar per month for the next two months. Please let me know immediately whether you will perform this service for us.
F. L. L. Hiller
Note: Please say nothing about this to anyone at present.
Woman’s Club News
Next meeting: Thursday » 05.19.13 @ 7:30 p.m. the Annual Flower Show at the Club House.
In anticipation of the annual Woman’s Club Flower Show, our April meeting featured Peg Musser Welborn, of Flowers by Peg, giving us some fantastic tips about flower arranging.
Did you know you should always pinch off the stamen from lilies to prevent their yellow pollen from staining your table cloths? After a quick demonstration, we all had fun helping her with the stamen pinching!
A few of her tips for keeping cut flowers alive longer are to always cut away the foliage from the stems going into the water, and change the water every other day. Dead foliage in the water shortens the life of the flowers, and makes the water start to smell foul.
Annual Woman’s Club Flower Show, "Enchanted Spring," on May 19 in the Woman’s Club House. Your mailbox will sprout a pamphlet blooming with more details the week before the show. Entries may be submitted from 8:15-10:15 a.m. The show is open to the public from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served during the show and great door prizes will be awarded at 3:45 p.m. All are invited to attend.
Contact information: Joli McCathran: 301-869-5358 or via e-mail at [email protected]. Thanks in advance to all the volunteers who make this such a special event!
The Woman’s Club tries to do something fun and interesting every month. This year we are adding the first annual October Talent Show! We want the whole Town to get involved, so get out your dancing shoes, start practicing your vocals, and think about what you might like to do!
May 1, 8, 15, 2013; 7:30 PM: What Is The Bible?
Come to 101 Center St. for a discussion about the spiritual, historical, scientific and anthropological perspectives concerning The Bible. Check with Judy Young for more information, 240-912-9895.
Grove Relief Projects:
- May 5: Gaithersburg, MD; home rebuild with Rebuilding Together & 2 local synagogues.
- May 26 – 29: Crisfield, MD; rebuilding from hurricane Sandy
Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee
Next meeting: Monday » 05.00.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
Join us as we work to develop a long-term lighting plan for the Town. All are welcome. ?’s, call Tom Land; 301-869-4334.
Lake Committee News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 05.15.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Regular meetings will be on the 3rd Wednesday of the month through September.
Lake Clean-up Day
Our annual Lake clean-up was a great success. Thanks to all who helped make Maple Lake beautiful for the new season!
New sand for the beach was delivered and then spread by John & Jared Lottes on 4/19/13. Many thanks to John & Jared!!
Maple Lake Opens
The Lake opens on weekends starting Memorial Day and full-time when school is out.
Life Guard Needed!
We are still looking for another lifeguard. They must be 17 years old and hold a valid Red Cross certification. Applications are available at the Town Office, [email protected]; 301-926-2256. Questions may be directed to John Hutchinson (301-926-8767) or David Harmon (301-972-1417)
Swim Instructor Needed!
We are looking for a Swim Instructor for swimming lessons in July (dates same as S.I.T.P). Please contact Tom Land (301-869-4334) for details or to apply.
Gate Combo Changed
The gate combo was changed on April 21st. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256), John Hutchinson (see above), or Bruce Rothrock, (301-330-5165) for the new number.
Bulk Trash Pick Up Scheduled
The Town has scheduled a bulk trash collection for May 11, 2013. Materials may include furniture, appliances (nothing with freon like air conditioning units), rugs, large toys, small auto parts, etc. Material may NOT include construction by-products from your renovation projects, large automotive parts or tires. Items should not contain gasoline or motor oil. Please keep your metal separate from the rest of your trash. Items should be placed "curbside" by 7:00 a.m.
Residents both new and old are reminded that the walkways are for walking, not for driving or parking. Residents are permitted to have deliveries on the walkway side of their homes but only when absolutely necessary. Please tell your contractors, yard companies etc… that they may only use the walkway for delivery. Once finished, they must move their vehicles. Thank you!