Town of Brookeville
Commissioners Meeting Minutes
July 25, 2016
Present: Katherine Farquhar, Buck Bartley, and Sue Daley
Quorum present? Yes
Present during all or portions of the meeting:
Town Clerk Cate McDonald. Academy Manager Andrea Scanlon
Town Residents: Barbara Ray, Miche Booz, Chris Scanlon, Duane Heiler, and Sandy Heiler
Others: Terri Hogan, Greater Olney News; Josh Bryant, CPH
Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Commissioner President Farquhar
Residents’ questions and comments:
• a recent inquiry about suspicious late night activity around the Academy was discussed. The unusual midnight activity has stopped and was determined to be Pokémon related.
• Resident Sandy Heiler: rocks around and underneath the boulder on the hill outside her home have been washed away. This happened a few years ago. Commissioner Bartley will take a look and see about stabilizing the rock.
Brookeville one-room Schoolhouse proposal: Sandy Heiler gave a presentation to the Commissioners for a plan to utilize the Brookeville one-room schoolhouse in partnership with Heritage Montgomery. This proposed plan was presented to the Brookeville Planning Commission (BPC) and has the support of the BPC.
Mrs. Heiler brought copies of the deeds, plats, grants awarded to the Town for the restoration, and newspaper articles written about the renovations.
Summary: This proposal from Heritage Montgomery would provide an educational program for the schoolhouse, focused on the early 1800s history of the town’s Quakers, especially as it relates to slavery, the anti-slavery movement, and the free black population. The program would be an integral part of a larger effort involving Woodlawn’s (stone barn) Visitor Center and Oakley Cabin and geared to educating school groups. Heritage Montgomery would develop the program, materials, and signage; provide funding for making the schoolhouse lot attractive; and assist with recruiting volunteers and collaborators as needed.
The concept is to make the approach to the schoolhouse park-like and have a bird sanctuary – no pesticides will be used — and provide a bench.
There will be a small sign for the schoolhouse at the corner of North Street.
Parking will be at SUMC; handicapped visitor parking at the schoolhouse lot.
Mrs. Heiler outlined benefits for the Town:
• Reopens and reuses the carefully rehabilitated historic building: acknowledges the town’s substantial investment (funding, pro bono services from Miche Booz, and resident volunteers)
• Helps preserve the building Provides an educational program geared to local history
• Establishes an attractive park-like setting and bird sanctuary
• Makes available a restored building for other town purposes or rental
• Is consistent with town’s intention to open the building and use it for educational purposes (commitment to state and county grant organizations and building and lot donors)
The program will establish a parklike setting and bird sanctuary that can be used for other purposes.
The schoolhouse will need a portable toilet with handicapped facilities.
Question posed to Mrs. Heiler in regards to the proposal:
Frequency of use? About the same as Oakley Cabin – 1 a week during the school year
Is it open to general public?: not sure until there is an agreement from the Town for use.
Will the Town need to recruit / retain volunteers to run the program? Heritage Montgomery will organize a program with the schools and will maintain a calendar, which the Town will be able to control.
Would schoolhouse groups use the building in winter? School groups are year round and it would be up to the Town if they want the schoolhouse open during January.
What are the Town’s responsibilities? Maintain the building; advise Heritage Montgomery when the schoolhouse is available to be open, Heritage Montgomery will advertise the program (delete: when the schoolhouse is open for use).
Who will coordinate volunteers? Would need to ask Heritage Montgomery. Heritage Montgomery runs a number of programs so we will see how the program works
What items will the Town need to budget for? Repair / maintenance of the fence; maintenance of the site, estimated to be 2400 sq. ft. from the schoolhouse to Market Street. It was suggested that certain community groups be used to maintain the site (Master Gardeners. Scouts, Audubon Society, etc.)
The Town would need to keep the schoolhouse maintained and presentable.
Heritage Montgomery wants to see the building maintained and preserved; they will assist the Town with this goal but the Town would be in charge of all aspects of this program. Heritage Montgomery wants to make the Quaker Quarter history known.
What are the expectations for the interior? Will there be a need for more period furniture? The building will not be interpreted as a one-room schoolhouse; the building will be repurposed as an interpretive program. The current furniture may not be used – it would depend on the exhibition.
Miche Booz: The Town made a commitment and wants the building used; this proposed use would line up with the agreement the Town made with the Howard family. How frequent would be the use?; ask Heritage Montgomery about the content of this program because it sounds a lot like what Woodland Manor will be doing.
Heritage Montgomery’s intention is to compliment the stories being told at Woodlawn and Oakley Cabin. The Town’s intention in applying for grants for the restoration of the building was to open up the building for educational purposes; to make it accessible to the public
Mrs, Heilers answers questions posed by the BPC:
Why is the schoolhouse not being interpreted as a one-room schoolhouse? 2 reasons: it does not have the integrity as a schoolhouse because it was used as a residence for 40 years and then abandoned; there are already 2 restored schoolhouses in MoCo being interpreted as one-room schoolhouses, and both building continually used as schoolhouses.
How long would the program last? It up to Heritage Montgomery and the Town.
How long to implement this program? Not sure. The Commissioners need to approve the plan first before a program is designed and implemented.
This plan is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the Town’s intentions for use of the schoolhouse when they acquired the schoolhouse, applied for the grants, and renovated it.
Have you talked to North Street Residents? Yes, but not all of them. Mrs. Heiler spoke to 209 Market (supportive), 9 North attended the BPC meeting, and 17 North (supportive). Has not spoken to all of the residents of 1, or to 2, 4, and 13 North St.
Commissioner Farquhar thanked Mrs. Heiler for her presentation. She feels the Commissioners need to talk with the Residents of North Street and the BPC. She advised the Commissioners are reserving residents’ comments for another forum; tonight is just the presentation.
BPC Chair advised that the BPC is supportive of this proposal; they would like to hear more about the logistics of the program, volunteer commitment from Heritage Montgomery; the proposed portapotty location.
Next steps for the Town in regards to this proposal: Commissioners need to talk with the BPC; Town will need to support the change on North St – maintain the Schoolhouse, the foot path, fence, trash / recycle collection, and the washroom facilities.
The Commissioners will hear public comment on this proposal at the September 12th Commissioners Meeting; a budget would need to be prepared for the Town’s responsibility and maintenance of the Schoolhouse, and prepare questions for Heritage Montgomery.
Liability? The Town would consult with LGIT prior to any change use of the Schoolhouse.
Update on the topological survey progress and test borings: Josh Bryant, CPH
Geotechnical report: borings were taken from South, North, and Water Streets. These are the unpaved roads considered for a sealing and repair.
South St: the foundation is in a good condition. The report indicated that indicated there was some type of pavement or rock under South Street.
Water St: somewhat in the middle, relatively solid foundation.
North St: in the worst shape foundationally probably due to more traffic.
Recommendation for paving is to identify areas that are more deteriorated than most, excavate, fill-in with a solid (i.e. crushed stone or recycled material), compact it – to make a new foundation – and top it with tar and chip.
North Street would need the most work; Water Street not as much; South Street would need the least amount of work.
Drainage: 2 primary areas that were problematic: the end of Water St and the beginning of North Street.
North Street: west side of the street, the area funnels to one spot, water hits one spot and has nowhere to go, builds up in the middle. Over the years the rutting, due to cars, the standing water deteriorates the foundation. The problem gets worst every year – a vicious circle. The plan would be to come in to cover the road with sealant, to regrade the road and make a positive slope so waters runs off. This will return the road to the natural flow pattern of water.
Water Street: has a similar but different situation. A ridge along the center line has developed; the natural movement of water has been disrupted – the road is crowned; the water is collecting and flowing to the lowest spot towards the driveway of 108 Water. The natural flow of water on the street has been disruptive. Would need to make sure the street is regraded to remove crown and allow the water to flow naturally. You can’t just correct one area because you will cause a problem somewhere else.
Questions / Concerns:
North St at the corner of the Montgomery’s property near the Schoolhouse: water runs off the Montgomery’s property crevices in the Davis’s yard and crevice down the hill. Answer: Steeper the slope, the faster the water runs. Sounds like a concentrated flow = watered forced onto a very narrow spot. In this situation, you must disrupt the energy, slow it down, and spread it out. Re-grading the landscape around the schoolhouse might be a solution; planting with good root systems so soil does not erode.
There have been numerous Resident complaints that Town roads have been widening over time. Would the proposal narrow roads back down the paved area to channel rain / water? Roads should be 18ft but are currently around 19ft wide. The Town needs to investigate if tar and chip would be acceptable to BPC and HPC.
Next steps: The Town needs to decide what they want the roads to be; have a conversation with BPC and Town Residents and come up with a plan compatible with Comprehensive Plan and funds. Commissioners Bartley envisions a 12 ft. wide tar and chip lane with 2 foots of gravel on each side; Estimated cost for North Street would be $36K.
CPH will design (Phase 2), with the Town’s input, a road design using the results from the Geotechnical report. Suggestion to consult with Montgomery County’s Rustic and Rural Road program.
There will still be erosion if the road is not entirely paved; the gravel on the side would need to be maintained. Would need to keep the same amount of pervious surface.
The Commissioners will need to investigate funds for road repair with the help of MML. The proposed tar and chip road work would be done in stages based on priorities.
ROUTINE TOWN BUSINESS:
Minutes: The June Commissioners Meeting were approved as edited.
Financial: Commissioner are holding this topic for the arrival of the Treasurer
• Question: Commissioner Farquhar asked about the increased electricity usage at the Schoolhouse – due to 2nd dehumidifier being used.
• Photos: Commissioner Farquhar and Academy Manager will talk in the next few days about a photo shoot of the Academy.
SHA Partnering meeting: scheduled for Wednesday, Aug 10th from 1p – 3p. Commissioner Farquhar will be available to attend.
Army Corp of Engineers ByPass Meeting: scheduled August 4, 6p-8p at Rosa Parks MS. This will be a public discussion about how waterways will be effected by the ByPass. Commissioners will attend.
MML Annual Convention: Commissioners Bartley and Farquhar attended MML Annual Convention in June.
They talked with CivicPlus regarding a new website – Town Clerk will follow up with CivicPlus.
Record support: Commissioner Bartley attended a seminar regarding Town Charters and Codes – he is concerned that there is no database of ordnances. Estimate will be between $7k – $9K to codify the Town’s ordnances. The Town Clerk will follow-up. The Town would look for grants to help mitigate any costs associated with this endeavor.
Academy Lawn RFP: will be forwarded to the BPC for review.
The Commissioners will talk to MHT about the possibility of moving the Schoolhouse to the Academy grounds. The Commissioners are in agreement that the landscaping design plans for the Academy need to move from the discussion phase to the planning phase. They want to strengthen the Academy grounds; make the Academy more attractive to become a revenue stream. The goal is to create a more attractive venue.
Academy Accessable Door System: is scheduled for installation tomorrow.
• Luca Casareto will be taking photos through a collaborative arrangement with brides, other renters (exchange of permission for use images for actual photos for the bridal party, event sponsors, etc. Town will pay Luca a fee for the images that are ok’d and would work well on our website) ; the website will be updated to feature the Academy.
• Olney’s NNO – will feature the Academy. Commissioner Farquhar would like to highlight the ByPass and the Academy. All three Commissioners plan to attend.
Schoolhouse: a proposal was reviewed to trap and remove mice and to mitigate any future infestation.
• A T&R Trapping proposal for $1,490 was unanimously approved.
• Grading: a HAWP will be needed to change the grading around the Schoolhouse. Academy Manager, Commissioner Bartley, BPC Chair, and Miche Booz need to meet to discussion what steps need to be taken to get the HAWP application submitted.
• The Schoolhouse needs a chimney cap to prevent further deterioration; an emergency HAWP will be submitted for the chimney.
• Academy Manager will work on a budget for the Schoolhouse if the plan that Mrs. Heiler outlined is approved. She will develop a list for several scenarios in addition to the Heritage Montgomery proposal.
• The Commissioners are concerned about how the North Street Residents feel regarding the proposed used of the Schoolhouse. They have not attended any public meetings about this subject or sent any written letters. Commissioner Farquhar suggest hosting a private meeting at her house for North Street Residents to discuss the proposal.
• Information regarding the proposal will be added to the Brookeville Times and the proposal will be uploaded to the Town’s website
Public Works (sidewalks, streets, lights)
Pothole: Market Street potholes will be filled; also the potholes on the gravel roads
Proposal from Donna Will: Teas and School Field trips. The Commissioners have reviewed the proposal and expressed 2 comments: 1 – no discounted rate will be offered; 2 – no items will be stored on Town property.
After discussion with the Academy Manager, it was agreed to offer a discounted rate of $125 for the school groups. Academy Manager will develop a response to Donna Will’s proposal for the Commissioners to review.
Picnic: scheduled for Sept. 11. Items needed to be done for the picnic will be worked out via email.
The meeting adjourned at 9:46p.m.