Present: Katherine Farquhar, Buck Bartley, and Sue Daley
Quorum present? Yes
Present during all or portions of the meeting:
Town Clerk Cate McDonald.
Town Residents: Barbara Ray, Harry Montgomery, Karen Montgomery, Michael Acierno, Margaret Kay, Miche Booz, and Andy Spagnolo
Others: Terri Hogan, Greater Olney News
Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Commissioner President Farquhar
The Park & Planning Mandatory Referral Hearing is scheduled for Thursday June 16th at 2pm. The Town will have approximately 7 minutes for testimony. The Commissioners selected Michael Acierno, Maggie Kay and Miche Booz to testify for Town. There was a discussion about each speaker’s plans to testimony.
Michael Acierno, the first speaker, will give a brief history of ByPass
Maggie Kay will testify of the perils of living in Brookeville without a ByPass
Miche Booz will represent the BPC
Commissioner Bartley talked with SHA today and Commissioner Amy Presley, Montgomery Parks and Planning: essentially, Parks and Planning has accepted Alt. 7 M Modified for the ByPass and will leave Brookeville Road open. There are still a lot of items that Parks and Planning want to be completed before they will issue final permits because the ByPass will be built on their land. It is up to SHA to decide if they will accept what Parks and Planning wants.
Harry Montgomery: The ByPass that is being built, will I be able to drive out of my driveway, turn right and get onto Georgia Ave? You will have to get onto the roundabout to access Georgia Ave. Mr. Montgomery – the road will still run right through Town
Karen Montgomery: I will still have to drive to the Valley House, I won’t be able to walk, I would still need to take a car. I can’t walk down to take a basket of goodies, I would have to get in my car and drive 5 house down the street.
Commissioner Bartley said after the ByPass it is estimated that 300 cars will access the Town from the northern roundabout. Mrs. Montgomery – I still will not be able to walk because of the 300 cars and I will be carring a basket of food.
There was a discussion that less cars coming through Town will make it safer for pedestrians and would make crossing the street safer.
Commissioner Farquhar stated that sidewalks for the western portion of Market Street are a priority.
Mrs. Montgomery stated that sidewalks will take people’s property where the property is very short, where by if the road was closed you would not need sidewalks.
It was agreed that closing the road would be perfect but that is not an option
Mrs. Montgomery wants to have the option back to have the road closed.
The Commissioners said that trying to bring back the option of closing the road and having a dead end at the western portion of Market Street would delay the ByPass.
Mrs. Montgomery wants to stop the whole project. She wants to stop the illegal procedures. She has been for 13 years talking about open government – we no longer have it. She does not approve of government decisions being made privately. That is what is being done in Brookeville.
Commissioner Bartley stated that stalling the ByPass is not going to happen. The Town has worked long and hard … Mrs. Montgomery: but not effectively. Commissioner Bartley states that this is the same plan we accepted back in September. Mrs. Montgomery states that she did not agree and a number of people did not agree to keep Market Street open. Commissioner Daley stated that was option was not on the table back in September. Commissioner Farquhar stated that plan came from Cornelius Barber (SHA) as a suggestion – none of us had heard of this option before. Most people, not everyone, liked that plan and that was relayed back to SHA. SHA put that into their plan. At the Consulting party meeting, the Section 106 approval, and the historic community persuaded the State that closing Brookeville Road and Georgia Ave (closing Georgia Ave was always the plan) would cause serious historic adverse impact. SHA choose the plan that keeps Brookeville road open.
Barbara Ray: she has read the entire Staff report from Park and Planning and feel it is a compromise. She can see the lobbying of the historic community – it is very obvious; did not said want Brookeville Road closed. There is a huge issue with the historic people about wanting to preserve Newlin Mill raceway but compromised with Park and Planning about its preservation. Ms. Ray feels this is the best we can do for the ByPass and we should take it or we will get nothing.
Commissioners Bartley: this plan is what we fought for the whole time. Closing Brookeville Road was not presented as an option until late Nov. / early Dec. Mrs. Montgomery: which many people wanted. It was agreed that many people wanted the road closed.
Commissioner Farquhar: SHA made a mistake; they had a plan that was not fully vetted. SHA did not vet it with the historic community and the historic community said you can’t have a cul-de-sac there. The issue is how we get the most gain from an unfavorable situation.
There was a discussion about through traffic staying on the ByPass instead of coming through Town. It is more logical to stay on the ByPass. That is about 10,000 cars a day. It will be convenient for cars that want to go west to take Bordly Drive to Brighton Dam Rd.
Mrs. Montgomery suggested, for the third time, that part of the plan, if we are to go with this ByPass, is to at the same time that we get this undesirable ByPass to put a sign up at Brookeville Road and our little street here that says “local traffic only”. If that is not part of the plan she will do her best to derail the whole thing. It needs to be a condition of this proposed plan. The signs need to be at Brookeville Road and Bordly Drive. She does not want this to be addressed after the ByPass; it must be part of the contract.
Commissioner Farquhar says SHA is starting to work on sign placements as part of the ByPass plan and traffic calming measures for Brookeville Road. We are not allowed, by law, to say you can’t come through Brookeville. Mrs. Montgomery said she worked on laws for 13 years and laws can be changed.
Commissioner Farquhar: if we deviate from the current ByPass plan, it will take 2-3 years of replanning and design and hears. The Commissioners have made a choice to work to get a ByPass.
Mrs. Montgomery: you are working to your best but you were torpedoed elsewhere. It is time to deflect the torpedoing to help the Town get…. Commissioner Bartley: I can tell you what we torpedoed – if we kick this thing back, Park and Planning will choose Alt. 8. It would be horrible because we will have over 2000 cars a day coming through Town – what’s the point in having a ByPass?
Mrs. Montgomery: She counted cars going East / West traffic = 80 cars in 2 hours. Must deal with east / west traffic now. Put up a sign that says “local traffic only” and enforce it.
Commissioner Bartley: as a representative of this Town, I will accept Alt. 7 Modified because it is good for the Town and the right way to go.
There was another lengthy discussion about the pros / cons of the Alt. 7 Modified, the long history that led to where we are at today( prepping for the Mandatory Referral Meeting), ways East / West traffic was eased through Town due to Bordley Drive. Alt. 7 M was a plan that most everyone was happy with back in September 2015.
Mrs. Montgomery states that not everyone was ok with that plan and she would rather not have a ByPass.
There was a spirited discussion regarding life in current day Brookeville and what life would be like without a ByPass in the coming years. Having Alt. 7 M is better than having 4000 cars coming through Town.
There was a discussion of the Post ByPass era: narrowing Market St. to one lane
The SHA still holds the ROW for High St and western Market St and they would like to transfer the ROW to another entity after the ByPass is constructed. The Town will work with SHA on ways to reconstruct the roads for a rural setting before transferring ownership. The Commissioner’s position is they want a sidewalk which will narrow the road. There are no formal plans yet.
Mrs. Montgomery wants to know if property owners can do their own construction; move their properties onto Western Market St. – have obstacles into the road.
Commissioner Farquhar talked about SHA’s plan to build a sidewalk along High St and ways SHA can help slow traffic through Town similar to what SHA proposed for in Sandy Spring.
Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery want to know has the Town asked SHA what conditions they have for the Town to take back High and western Market; did the Town ask, say for $250K to take over the ROW. To change to a rural/rustic road before the ByPass not after the ByPass.
The answer is the Town Commissioners are working with SHA for the Beyond the ByPass era and they want SHA to proceed with the ByPass as soon as possible.
Mrs. Montgomery states if the Town does not add all these codicils now they will never get done. Why do we want a ByPass if we cannot walk 4 houses away?
Commissioner Farquahr: The Commissioners see this as a multi-stage process and Mrs. Montgomery sees it all in one. Mrs. Montgomery says this is the way things are done with other projects in the County; if it is not in the plan, it will not happen. It is not a plan for Brookeville, it is just a road. Need to have everything in writing. The Town is being cowed by SHA.
There was a spirited conversation about what Mrs. Montgomery feels happened in recent months – private meetings.
It was agreed that walkability is a good point for discussion.
Commissioner Bartley said he does not want to make this too complicated and it is very complicated now. He is worried it will take 2-3 years with Park and Planning to get the permits for current ByPass design unless we can get Park and Planning to compromise on what they are asking.
There was a lengthy conversation about what Park and Planning may or may not be interested in hearing at the upcoming meeting. Park and Planning wants what they want or they will not issue permits. The Staff report lists issues with environmental, historic, and road design issues. Walkability in Town is not Park and Planning issue. Park and Planning’s role is limited to the HAWP and not a sidewalk issue. If the Town were to have a sidewalk installed, the SHA would need HPC and MHT approvals and Park and Planning.
Park and Planning issues with the ByPass are in the Staff Report to be discussed at the Mandatory Referral Meeting.
Review of testimony to avoid overlapping:
Michael Acierno: he emailed the Commissioners a draft of his testimony. He will talk about the Town’s history, why we need a ByPass – fundamental goals we are trying to accomplish. At the end, make the point that this project is far more complicated than people first thought, that there a great number of agencies with competing interests who are working hard to get what they want. No matter what design, will not get 100% compliance. Park and Planning, on page 24, did come to some compromises. The goal is to protect a unique historic resource that traffic is destroying. The traffic has to move.
Miche Booz: will start out stating that he supports the Alt. 7 M option and recognizes that it is a compromise. Alt. 8 – the High Bridge option – would be unwelcome, incompatible with the Town, and ruin the viewscape. Cars will still have to travel through Town with Alt. 8 to go west on Brookeville Road.
Commissioner Bartley suggested that he not spend a lot of time discussing Alt. 8. He feels Park and Planning is throwing a lot of “land mines” in our way. For example, SHA will leave the bridge in place by Yinger’s property because they do not want to deal with environmental issue, FEMA, and hydraulic issues. However, Park and Planning wants it gone because they feel in a few years it will fall down and Park and Planning will have to fix it. If SHA has to go back to FEMA, it may delay the project for several years. All the changes Park and Planning propose change the design, which could delay the project. If the High Bridge option is chosen, it would delay the project for about 5 years because there is no current design for that option.
Commissioner Bartley will send Miche a list of what items that may delay the ByPass
Barbara Ray commended Michael Acierno and his point that not everyone can get what they want. He has a very gentle way to make that point. Perfection stands in the way of progress.
Margaret Kay: will be the 3rd person giving testimony for the Town. She came to the meeting to get ideas and be consistent in message. She will talk about the urgent need for the ByPass and personal stories of living without the ByPass: damage to personal property and safety issues. She will add personal stories: her car being t-boned while parked in her driveway; the physical damage her 200 plus old house has suffered in the 17 years she has owned the home.
Commissioner Farquhar: giving a few high point examples; the message will be now is the time to build the ByPass.
Michael suggested using Park and Planning’s own words: the ByPass has been a very long term project and SHA needs to move forward on a timely design in order to get this going in the near term.
Focus on the positive.
Barbara Ray: is anyone worried about the Corp of Engineering report?
Commissioner Daley said we do not know and it is out of our hands.
Mandatory Referral Meeting set for 2:30pm – Plan to be at the meeting by 1:30pm.
ROUTINE TOWN BUSINESS:
Sandra Heiler presentation on the proposed educational use of Schoolhouse has been postponed
Minutes: The May Commissioners Meeting and Semi-Annual Town Meeting Minutes were approved as edited.
Financial: no new updates.
FY ’16-’17 Budget: The draft FY ’16-’17 budget was uploaded to the Town’s website on May 12th. The Town Clerk requested funds for a dumpster for large trash. The Commissioners agreed to increase line 6242 by $7500 for a one time dumpster. With that modification, the Commissioners vote on the FY ’16-’17 budget
Vote: 3 yeas – unanimous.
Academy update: Academy Manager was out of Town and emailed her reports prior to this meeting.
$335 plumbing repair was made to the men’s urinal.
Barbara Ray reported that Academy renters were parking in front of her house. She would like renters to be told not to park there. The Commissioners will ask the BPC about erecting a “no park” sign in front of her house.
Schoolhouse: Andrea Scanlon, Chris Scanlon, Buck Bartley, Jorge Chacon met at Schoolhouse on 5/28 to review remaining mold/water remediation issues. Dehumidification system working well, no signs of new water infiltration or other issues.
- It is likely that spots on drywall ceiling caused by mice infestation (nesting & peeing), rather than water leaks. Andrea called AT&R trapping service to set up appointment (date TBD) to review what needs to be done to remove or reduce mice. After mice are removed, Town to hire contractor to remove/replace damaged drywall and insulation. Schoolhouse should then be re-tested for mold spores.
- Possible dampness in chimney, evidenced by effervescence in mortar. Andrea to have chimney cap installed.
- Chris suggested asking Montgomery’s for permission to remove 2 trees that are overhanging Schoolhouse roof and gutters to prevent gutter clogging and give building a better chance to dry out when it rains; Buck to review with Montgomery’s.
- Buck, Miche, Chris to meet again to review re-grading and prepare design for HAWP; plan to include: removing brick gutter, sloping grade away from building in all directions, adding a culvert to carry water under entrance ramp away from building.
- Threshold at entrance and small section of wood flooring are rotted and need to be replaced.
- Some siding and trim also needs to be replaced, and caulk should be cut out from between ship-lap siding joints.
• MML MoCo Chapter asks for host for meetings: Oct. 20, Jan. 19, and April 20. Commissioner Farquhar would like to Town to host one of these meetings. It was agreed to offer the Jan. or April date. Town Clerk will email the MML contact to confirm a date.
• Social Media Communication: nothing new to report
• Park & Planning Mandatory Referral Hearing at P&P HQ: 2:00 Thursday the 16th. Michael Acierno, Maggie Kay and Miche Booz are testifying for Town.
• Who attends next Partnering Meeting at SHA, Baltimore? No announcement yet regarding next meeting date.
Academy Update (via emailed report):
• We will place business card sized ads in Chabad of Olney Calendar again, $160/ea either 3 or 6 months depending on availability.
• Fire Alarm training provided by Sean Bogan (Bogan Service) to Andrea Scanlon, Cate McDonald, Katherine Farquhar on 6/2.
• Academy post lantern has been repaired and returned; waiting on landscaping plan for re-installation.
• Automatic opener for entrance door has been ordered; waiting on installation date from supplier.
• Phones, voicemail and alarm monitoring are working. We are still having issues with fax line (not sure if it is fax machine or Verizon) and will have them come back now that strike is over.
Academy Metal Roof: HAWP will need Miche Booz’s input. If a metal roof, will need to work on acoustics to help with rain on the metal roof.
Academy Grounds: Commissioner Farquhar is working on RFP
Academy Interior: nothing new to report
Visits soon to historic public buildings: time to visit is being coordinated.
Dessert Wall: Karen Montgomery will give ideas about this project after her trip. Academy Manager feels a wall of Brookeville history in the main floor hallway will detract from events. After discussion, it was agreed that the wall outside the Town’s office may be a more appropriate place to display pictures and awards.
Academy Marketing: Commissioner Farquhar will schedule Luca Casareto for photos. She will ask the Academy Manager about any upcoming events that might have a photographer and getting permission to use their photos.
Mrs. Montgomery wanted to know if there was money to put a picture rail instead of making holes in the walls.
Yes – there is money in the budget; can do something a little more upscale, like lit display cases.
Miche Booz has agreed to help with the proposal for grading at north side of Schoolhouse.
Public Works (sidewalks, streets, lights)
CPH: Commissioner Bartley said that Josh has the final report for topographic. CPH is working on the final report to the Town. Commissioner Bartley will ask Josh to attend the July Commissioners meeting to gave an update.
North Street “Children at Play” sign: HAWP has been approved. The Town Clerk reports that the BPC is not in favor of having another sign – they feel the Town is over signed and since there is a “Slow: Children at Play” sign at the beginning of North St., a 2nd sign is not needed. The BPC discussed speeding and if speeding is the issue, it was determined that it would be fair to discuss speeding with the offender; if the offender is a company, file a complaint with the company. Commissioner Farquhar will take to BPC Chair Scanlon.
MML Convention: Commissioner Farquhar and Bartley will attend. Town Clerk will contact the MoCo MML Chair to make arrangement for both Commissioners to attend the Tuesday night chapter dinner and make payment.
Next SHA Partnering Meeting is Weds. June??
Commissioners will attend on behalf of Town.
Next BPC Meeting – Tuesday July 5. 7:30 PM Academy
Next Commish Meeting – Mon. July 11th (7:00 PM)
Reminder of Town Picnic: Sun. Sept. 11 4-7 PM
Reminder of Charrette Date: Sat. Sept. 17 (Time TBD)
Commissioner Bartley and Town Clerk will not be able to attend the July 11th Commissioners Meeting. The July meeting was moved to July 25th. The July 25th meeting will be a combination for the July and August Commissioners Meeting.
Question from Barbara Ray: is there a packet for new comers? There used to be – the new comer letter needs to be updated and be distributed the first time to all Residents. Barbara Ray will draft a letter for review.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45p.m.