June 19, 2006
Present: Commissioner Richard Allan, Commissioner Michael Acierno, Commissioner Robert Heritage, Treasurer Susan Johnson, Clerk Paul Geib
Welcome: The Commissioners welcomed the new Town Clerk and Brookeville Academy Business Manager, Paul Geib
Minutes: The May minutes were approved as recorded
Financial Report: The financial report was reviewed with no comment.
Town Budget: The Commissioners discussed finalizing the 2006-2007 town budget with the Treasurer. Commissioner Allan noted that our actual State income tax revenue for the current budget is coming in at around our projection of $74,000. Commissioner Allan also noted that Sandy Spring bank has been sending him payment statements regarding the balance on the Academy mortgage loan.
The Treasurer has been paying the normal required payment $1,405 each month along with $500 additional payment on the loan principal as directed by the Commissioners. The bank has continually had some difficulty properly recording that extra payment. The Treasurer has been following up with the bank regarding this matter. The Treasurer noted that the schoolhouse Pepco billing has been averaging only $12 per month following Commissioner inquiries and we now have a $120 credit with PEPCO after some initial apparent billing and/or meter errors. Treasurer Johnson noted that the only thing left to revise by the end of June in the new budget may be the figures for the reserve funds. Following discussion of the budget issues, Commissioner Acierno moved to approve the 2006-2007 Town of Brookeville budget. Commissioner Heritage seconded the motion and the budget was adopted.
Policy on Providing Residents E-Mail Addresses: The Commissioners discussed the need to clarify its policy regarding residents’ e-mail addresses it has and requests by residents from time to time to utilize these addresses. While they understood that the policy was not to give out the e-mail addresses, there appeared to be some confusion. It was noted that the town mailing address list has been provided occasionally to residents upon request but not the e-mail list. Following a brief discussion, the Commissioners restated its policy that The Town of Brookeville e-mail list, maintained by the Commissioners for efficient communication with residents, is for the exclusive use of the town for such communication. No further use of the email lists is authorized.
Town Website: Commissioner Acierno and Treasurer Johnson reported that the website designers are working on final edits to the website menu. Commissioner Allan requested that the watermark be removed from the bottom of the web pages. He would like to have the town address, telephone, and fax numbers on the first page. The Commissioners would like to have their telephone numbers and e-mail address, if available, on the home page of the site. Secretary Johnson suggested that we put photos and biographical sketches of the Commissioners and town employees on the website. The Commissioners thought that was a great idea.
Digitized Town Logo: Commissioner Allan requested that the digitized town logo on the website be made available to CGI Communications so they could use it for the new video welcome to the town they have produced for the town. Treasurer Johnson will follow up with the web page designer to obtain the logo.
Town Public Spaces and Grounds Maintenance: Commissioner Allan noted a recent Washington Post article that warned against the “mulch mounds” around trees that seem to be proliferating among landscapers and homeowners. They are bad for new trees. He said the new trees on Water Street should be remulched in recognition of this fact and also noted that the tree the commissioners contracted with Stadler’s is planted properly. The Town’s landscape contractor should be notified to correct the mulching of the trees on Water Street.
Maryland Municipal League Convention: Commissioner Allan indicated he will approach various vendors at the MML Convention regarding brick paver options and products for sidewalks in town. He will also explore public policy options regarding the administration of “Accessory Apartments” where they are allowed. Brookeville’s zoning ordinance provides for accessory apartments but there are no policies in place spelling out policy parameters or definitions.
The Commissioners also discussed the need to streamline and clarify Planning Commission procedures regarding the sub-division process.
Town of Brookeville Newsletter: The Commissioners discussed future articles for the town newsletter. Commissioner Allan suggested that mosquito control tips be added to the next issue at the suggestion of resident Carmen Harding. Clerk Geib will discuss the layout with Diane Allan.
PEPCO Emergency Contact: PEPCO has requested two emergency contacts from the town in case of prolonged absence of electrical power. Commissioner Allan will submit his name and Clerk Geib’s name to PEPCO as key contacts.
Brookeville Schoolhouse: The Brookeville Schoolhouse will be open from 12:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday for Heritage Day, sponsored by the Heritage Tourism Alliance. Commissioner Allan reported that David Yinger is doing brick walkways and a ramp and brick storm water runoff gutters at the schoolhouse. He has finished the main entrance walkway and is working on the front entrance. He may be finished with the work on the front steps by Friday the 23rd. Commissioner Heritage volunteered to get the schoolhouse sign frame repaired so that our new sign could be installed.
It was also noted that construction of two new houses on North Street and an addition to a third house will produce a lot of truck traffic and potential hazards to the schoolhouse as workers and vehicles use North Street as a construction road. The Commissioners discussed the need to address these issues and the need for warning signs and other safety measures that might be taken.
Brookeville Academy: The Commissioners discussed several maintenance issues regarding the BA. The Commissioners noted that the water hose to the new BA tree has been disconnected from time-to-time and not reconnected. The tree is being watered with a timer and when the hose is disconnected it disrupts the process and could potentially damage the tree. The Clerk was asked to mention this to the Town’s contractor, Liberty Lawns. He was also asked to have the weeds growing behind the HVAC condenser units removed.
The Commissioners reported that the lock to the archives room is not working. Commissioner Heritage suggested the name of a locksmith to BA Manger Geib to get this problem fixed.
The Commissioners also reported the need to repair a dislodged roof vent cap over the back stairs and the need to replace one of the lights in the elevator. The BA manager will look into getting those fixed.
Trees Along Georgia Avenue (High Street)
The Commissioners discussed several potentially dangerous trees along High Street outside the Salem UMC Cemetery. Commissioner Heritage noted that a limb from one recently damaged a car. The town wants the State SHA to remove them but the SHA is trying to determine if the trees are actually on State property. Clerk Geib noted that the Salem UMC Cemetery Board is also concerned about this and he will try to obtain more information from the board. The Commissioner are interested in whether the board wants to plant new trees or extend the side walk past the cemetery to meet the sidewalk to be constructed past the Inn at Brookeville Farms.
July Meeting: The will not be a July Commissioners Meeting. The decision on this issue was by consensus.
Meeting Adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Paul R. Geib, Jr.