TOWN COUNCIL NEWS
Next meeting: Monday, May 20, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is the organizational meeting for the Mayor and Council. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the April meeting include:
- Introduction of Ordinance 2019-05; FY 2020 Budget
- Approval of Resolution 2019-06; Name of the Washington Grove Dog Park. The new name is “The Dog Spot”
- Approval to transmit 2018 Town Planning Commission Annual Report to the Maryland Department of Planning
- Enactment of Ordinance 2019-04; Permitting Deer Management Hunting with Conditions
- Adoption of Resolution 2019-07; Procedures for Absentee Balloting
- Awarding of Audit Services RFP to Lindsey & Associates, LLC
Notice of Public Hearing on Budget Ordinance
The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 20, 2019 at 7:30 pm in McCathran Hall.
The purpose of this hearing is to take public comment on proposed Ordinance No. 2019-05. This ordinance would adopt the Town Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, and levy an ad valorem tax on all assessable property within the Town of Washington Grove. Action on this ordinance would comply with State requirements to adopt the budget via an ordinance, and follow up presentation and voting on the budget at the Town Meeting. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available for inspection upon request to the Town of Washington Grove, P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, MD 20880 or 301-926-2256.
Town Council Recommends FY 2020 Budget
Mayor John Compton presented a draft budget to the Council for their March 26, 2019 work session. Priorities include road resurfacing, development of a comprehensive plan for storm water remediation in the West Woods, continued implementation of the 2015 Forest Stewardship Plan, as well as funds to plant larger trees less susceptible to deer browsing.
The Town Council has recommended a budget and tax rate for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019.
Anticipated income and recommended expenditures for the coming year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) are shown on the attached Town budget summary. The Council recommends a slight decrease in the Town property tax rate from $0.262 to the constant yield tax rate $0.2603/$100 assessed valuation. The constant yield tax rate represents the real property tax rate for the next tax year that will generate the same amount of revenue as generated during the current tax year. The dwelling unit charge, which is tied to the cost of trash and recycling collection, is proposed to remain at $130 per dwelling per year. Copies of the budget detail will be available at Town Elections and at Town Meeting on May 11. The proposed budget may also be viewed on the Town website and hard copies are available at the Town Office.
Questions may be directed to Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498 or Mayor John Compton at 301-330-8264. 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!
Candidates and Town Officials Forum
To be held Saturday, May 4, one week before the Town elections in McCathran Hall at 3:00 P.M.
Please join us! This is your chance to meet the candidates as well as officeholders not currently up for re-election. Come with your questions, talk to the Mayor and Council members, put a face to a name and enjoy light refreshments.
This event is sponsored by Town residents.
Town Elections and the Annual Town Meeting
Municipal Election Day is Saturday, May 11, per our Town Charter.
Polls are open from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Town Office. The annual Town Meeting is at 8:00 p.m.
Absentee ballots may be obtained up to 10 days before by submitting an application, available from the Town Office and from the Town website. Applications should be hand delivered in person to a designated election clerk, or mailed via the U.S. Postal Service to the Town Office.
Emergency Ballots may be obtained from the Board of Elections Supervisors within 10 days up to 4:00 pm Election Day.
NOMINEES FOR OFFICE ARE:
Mayor (1 year term):
Town Council (3 year term), 2 seats:
Our gratitude to those willing to serve the Town in this way.
All residents are encouraged to vote and attend the Town Meeting. To be an eligible voter, a Town resident must be registered to vote in Montgomery County at a Town address. You can check your current voter registration at https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch
If you find your registration does not list your current residence in Town, you will find instructions for updating the registration at https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/OnlineVoterRegistration/InstructionsStep1
This year’s Annual Town Meeting is set for May 11, 2019 in McCathran Hall at 8:00 p.m.
RECYCLING CHANGE! EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY !!
Because of China’s refusal to accept material from the U.S. or any other world markets, we must STOP mixing paper with our other recyclables. Residents are asked to separate the cardboard/mixed paper from the glass, plastic, aluminum and tin. Our Contractor uses split-body trucks so they can load one side with clean cardboard/mixed paper and the other with glass, plastic, aluminum and tin. Do not put ANY recyclables in plastic bags. Plastic bags go in the trash. Residents are encouraged to take their plastic bags to the Giant Food Store or other establishment where bins are provided for recycling. Please make a note of this change and help us comply with our new normal.
Bulk Trash Pickup Saturday, June 15, 2019
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 items.
ITEMS SHOULD BE PLACED “CURBSIDE” BY 7:00 A.M
Planning Commission News…
Next meeting: Wednesday, May 1, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
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.
2019 Master Plan Work Session
On Wednesday May 15 there will be a Planning Commission work session at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. We will be reviewing/revising the 2019 Master Plan Working Draft. We expect to be working on Sections 5 (Recreation and Parks) and 6 (Environmental Concerns). The latter covers our Town forests, the residential area and the two 40-acre woods as well as Maple Lake. Residents are welcome to attend, everyone’s input is valuable!
A copy of the latest 2019 Master Plan Working Draft and the draft minutes from each work session is available as well as other information from the Master Plan page.
Historic Preservation Commission News…
Next meeting: Tuesday, May 21, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.
The HPC welcomes and encourages residents to come for an early consultation when considering an addition or renovation/changes to the exterior of their home. HPC can offer valuable advice early in the planning process and provide guidance with designs that are compatible with the character of the existing house and the Town. Please consider coming to the HPC as your first stop when contemplating options for your home improvement.
Recreation Committee News…
Next Meeting: Wed., July 17, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Open to the public.
Anyone interested in joining should come to the next meeting!
Summer In The Parks
It’s that time of year when the Town of Washington Grove announces plans for yet another exciting July full of fun and adventure! For decades, Washington Grove’s SITP program has been a unique, unparalleled camp for children to spend their summer in a healthy, wholesome, outdoor environment. Come play games, make arts and crafts, spend time at Maple Lake, star in a Grove-worthy entertainment production, and best of all, make new friends. It all happens in the bucolic setting of Washington Grove, known best as the Town within a Forest.
Mindfulness & Meditation in The Grove
Family friendly events scheduled once a month on a Saturday for the next two (2) months; May 4th, and June 22, 2019. The events will go from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. in McCathran Hall. All are welcome. Contact Eleni Khan for further details, [email protected].
Film Society News…
Former resident Adam Booher will be returning to the Grove for a special presentation of his recently released documentary film, Give Us This Day. Following the lives of three (3) police officers and three (3) residents, the film depicts the gritty reality and hopes of East St. Louis, Illinois, the city with America’s highest murder rate.
Adam, the cinematographer, faced no small danger himself in closely shadowing the subjects over the period of a year. Adam will discuss his experiences and answer questions after the film.
The film, written and directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, is 120 minutes.
Join us for this free event at McCathran Hall, Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m.
Woman’s Club News…
This Year’s Flower Show is Sunday, May 19th at the Clubhouse
“A Garden of Kindness” is the theme for our 2019 Flower Show
The Clubhouse will be opened to drop off entries from 8:15 to 10:15 a.m.
Bring as many entries as you want, because there’s no such thing as too many flowers! The judging will be from 10:15 to 12:30 p.m., and there is no admission during the judging.
The Clubhouse will be opened for everyone to come enjoy the entries from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Admission is free and there will be door prizes and refreshments. Awards will be presented at 3:45 p.m., and then all entries should be removed at 4:00 p.m. Any remaining entries will be left on the porch for pick-up after 4:30 p.m.
Joining the Woman’s Club is easy
Our dues are a modest $15 per year and can be paid at any event, or by sending a check to The Woman’s Club of Washington Grove, to PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880. These dues make it possible for us to host our many popular events and support Town projects.
We’ve completed 10 fleece blankets, which will be given to children in foster care or who are seriously ill or traumatized, to provide them with some warmth, security and comfort. If you’d like to help with this project, let us know and we’ll get you the instructions for making throws from fleece, knitting or crocheting. Contact Wendy Weisbard ([email protected] or 301-758-1097) and Marilynn Frey ([email protected] 301-357-4784). We also have patterns for knitted and crocheted throws, if that’s what you’d like to do.
Working with Interfaith Works
While the less fortunate children of our County need essentials, they also need occasional treats in their lives, and we help provide these by collecting Birthday Presents and small Treasure Chest items to be distributed through Interfaith Works. There’s also an ongoing need for new underwear for boys and girls from toddlers to teens. Last year our Town provided over 250 pair. We have developed sources for purchasing the underwear, so the easiest way to help with this need is through money donations.
The Washington Grove Elementary School’s Teachers Closet
We collect school supplies to help keep the Teachers Closet filled with things like glue sticks, pencils and sharpeners, paper, hand sanitizers and tissues, and other supplies. Without our help, teachers will all too often buy these things out of their own pockets.
White Socks for the Gude Men’s Shelter
Winter is hard enough for the homeless without going without socks! We are continuing to collect new white socks for the men at the Shelter.
Where to Bring Your Donations
Whatever pulls at your heart strings, we have a need you can fulfill. We have bins on the porch to collect for our Community Outreach Programs, or you can drop off your contributions in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road. You bring them and we’ll sort where they go! Checks are always appreciated too, just put in the memo field if you want your donation to go to a specific project and mail to The Woman’s Club, PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880.
Forestry & Beautification News…
Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 8, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. We will finalize plans for the spring tree planting. We’d love to have you join us! If you can’t make the meeting but have a suggestion for where a new tree is needed, please contact F&B Chair Georgette Cole ([email protected]) or Council Liaison Audrey Maskery ([email protected]).
The Forest and Beautification Committee (F&B) wishes to bring to the attention of Town residents the variety of trees and shrubs that can be found in Washington Grove. We will highlight native plants of seasonal interest and where to find them in Town. We will also discuss specific non-native invasive plants and why they are of concern. Soon, on the Town web-site and in the Town Bulletins, will be found links to photos of the highlighted plants. For example…
Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a native understory tree with shiny, dark green palmate leaves (leaflets whose stems emanate from a single central point) that are attractive in spring and early summer. Its most striking feature is its red, tubular flowers that bloom in May. The flowers attract ruby-throated hummingbirds and bloom about the same time that the hummingbirds return to the area in spring migration. Buckeyes are the name for the shiny seeds that ripen in the fall. F&B planted a red buckeye on the edge of Woodward Park at the northwest corner of Oak Street and Maple Avenue in spring of 2018. Please take a look at its flowery display.
Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maacki) is a non-native invasive bush honeysuckle shrub or small tree noted for its tubular white-yellow flowers and bright red paired berries that are popular with birds, but which provide little nutritional value. When not flowering or producing fruit, Amur honeysuckle is still easy to identify by its vertically ridged and furrowed bark, hollow terminal stems, and opposite 2-3 inch long leaves. Amur honeysuckle thrives in our yards, along our streets and avenues, and in our parks and woods. Among the numerous ecological concerns with bush honeysuckles, those that are most significant for Washington Grove are that it impedes reforestation of cut or disturbed areas and prevents reestablishment of native plants, forms dense thickets too shady for most native species, and attracts deer, which increase the abundance of ticks that can spread Lyme disease and other illnesses. By law, in the State of Maryland, one cannot propagate, import, transfer, sell, purchase, or transport this plant. We have a policy to remove Amur honeysuckle from town property and replace with similar sized, more suitable plants.
Washington Grove UMC News…
Our joyful family worship services are Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m., at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-947-0532).
Woods Committee News…
Next Meeting: Monday, May 6, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Meetings are on the 1st Monday of each month. Our June meeting will be Monday, June 3rd. All are welcome to attend.
The Woods and Maple Lake Committees held our annual joint spring clean-up in the West Woods and at the Lake on Saturday, April 27th. Thanks to all who participated to help remove trash and manually remove some non-native invasive plants (garlic mustard and Japanese barberry) in the woods. The Woods Committee is continuing discussion with the Town Council to present our recommendations on deer population control plans in our East and West woods. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Woods Committee Co-chairs Pat Klein or Joan Mahaffey.
Emergency Preparedness & Safety News…
Next Meeting: Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm in the Town Council Room at McCathran Hall. All are welcome to attend! We are always looking for interested people to join our committee, which now includes discussion on safety-related items.
Things to notice this month: the Town Hall emergency generator has been operational, and now has a visual screen to improve aesthetics; there is now a new streetlight at the crosswalk near the train station. We are continuing to discuss safety-related issues around Town, such as the need for crosswalks at bus stops and Washington Grove Lane/Railroad street intersection.
Maple Lake News…
Next Meeting: Thursday, June 20, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Old Council Room. This is the first meeting of the new season. All are welcome to attend!
Lake Committee Meetings are on the Third Thursday of the month (except for May when Hutch will be away). We need to plan for swim lessons, life guards, and making the lake even better for this summer. New members welcome and encouraged! Call John Hutchinson if you have any questions or suggestions. Maple Lake opens week-ends on Memorial Day and full-time when Montgomery County schools let out on June 13, 2019.
LIFEGUARDS NEEDED FOR MAPLE LAKE THIS SUMMER!!
We have a couple of applicants, but need one or two more lifeguards. Hours are from 12-6, seven days a week. Lifeguards must be certified in Lifesaving, CPR, and First Aid. Pay is $12.50 per hour. (We can help you pay for the training.) Call John Hutchinson for details.
Swim instructor needed for Maple Lake for the month of July M-F afternoons. Pay is $19/hour. Call John Hutchinson for details.
Washington Grove Cares…
Washington Grove Cares has coordinated meals and rides for residents in recent weeks. If you’re going through a rough patch or would like some skilled help from a neighbor, don’t be shy. Give us a call at 240-813-3316, drop us a line at [email protected], or fill out a request form online at washingtongrovecares.org.
We’ve been using the Yahoo listserv to spread the word about needed assistance. If you don’t read the listserv but want to receive these notices by email, please let us know and include your email address.
COMING EVENTS CALENDAR
May 1 2019 » Planning Commission 7:30 p.m. Council Room
May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 2019 » Youth Dance Class 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Town Hall
May 4 2019 » Mindfulness & Meditation 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Town Hall
May 4 2019 » Candidates and a Town Official Forum 3:00 p.m. Town Hall
May 5 2019 » Film; Give Us This Day 3:00 p.m. Town Hall
May 6 2019 » Woods Committee 7:30 p.m. Council Room
May 6, 20 2019 » Square Dance 7:30p.m. Town Hall
May 7, 14, 21, 28 » Yoga 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Town Hall
May 8 2019 » Forestry & Beautification Council Room
May 11 2019 » Town Elections 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Council Room
May 11 2019 » Annual Town Meeting 8:00 p.m. Town Hall
May 15 2019 » 2019 Master Plan Work Session 7:30 p.m. Council Room
May 19 2019 » Flower Show Women’s Clubhouse
May 20 2019 » Organizational Meeting of Town Council 7:30 p.m. Council Room
May 21 2019 » Historic Preservation Commission 7:30 p.m. Council Room
May 23 2019 » Emergency Prep. & Safety Committee Council Room
NOTABLE DEADLINES !!
May 1 2019 » Last day to request an Absentee Ballot.
May 25 2019 » May Bulletin submissions due.