Town of Brookeville
Annual Town Meeting Minutes
June 2, 2015
Commissioner President Katherine Farquhar, Commissioner Buck Bartley, Commissioner Sue Daley, Interim Town Clerk Cate McDonald, Academy Manager Andrea Scanlon, Treasurer Susan Johnson.
Present during all or portions of the meeting were Town Residents Duane Heiler, Sandy Heiler, Stefan Syski, L. Syski, Karen Montgomery, Harry Montgomery, Barbara Ray, Debbie Wagner, Fred Teal, Marti Andress, Jeff Johnson, Miche Booz, Diane Teague, MaryKay Spagnolo, Andy Spagnolo, Mark Davis, Garrett Anderson, Chris Haris and Commissioner President emeritus Michael Acierno.
The meeting was called to order at 7:40pm to allow extra time for Residents to arrive in the pouring rain.
Thank you to staff & volunteers who serve Brookeville this past year:
Staff: Susan Johnson (Treasurer); Andrea Scanlon (Academy Manager); Diane Teague (Town Clerk)
Brookeville Planning Commission: Chris Scanlon (Chair), Miche Booz, Bruce Evans, Fred Teal, Debbie Wagner [+ departing member Mark Friis]
Board of Election Supervisors: Debbie Wagner (Chair), Marti Andress, Carmen Harding
Bicentennial Commission Chair: Sandy Heiler
Beyond the ByPass Group Chair: Don Moore
Commissioners: Sue Daley, Buck Bartley, Katherine Farquhar, and Michael Acierno, emeritus
First meeting for the Beyond the ByPass, Chaired by Don Moore, will be held Thursday, June 11, 7:30pm at the Academy.
Bicentennial Commemorative Summary Accounting (2013-2015)
Big Thanks to Sandy Heiler for running the Bicentennial and keeping it within budget. The event was in the red by $2806.43.
House Tour Registration
1814 Commemoration Sales
1814 Commemoration Grants
1814 Commemoration Donations
Awards & Grants (event expenses)
Town Funded Expenses (budgeted)
Madison Supper Expenses
Town contribution up the difference between the total income and total expenses:
$322,922.33 – $255,115.90 = $67,806.43 subtract: Town budgeted amounts:
+ $15,000 (2015)
Extra paid by the Town = ($ 2,806.43)
Question was asked: Where did the $180K in grants come from?
Sandy Heiler explained there were various grants: DAR; Maryland grants; Maryland Heritage Trust.
Barbara Ray gave thanks for figuring all this out and having the information available tonight.
Commissioner Bartley gave thanks to everyone in the Town who helped to support the Bicentennial
Brookeville won the MML Municipal Achievement Award for Town Spirit for the Bicentennial.
Summary, FY 2015
• New Commissioner Buck Bartley was elected to fill departing Commission President Michael Acierno’s seat. Katherine Farquhar was elected President. Sue Daley continued as Commissioner. Mark Friis completed his service as a BPC member and is thanked for his years of work on that Commission.
• Brookeville’s attention and fiscal planning were targeted to conserve resources and focus on improvements/repairs for the US Capital for a Day event in August 2014.
• Numerous meetings, workshops, events, and planning sessions were held regarding the US Capital for a Day weekend. Large numbers of Residents participated in the event and built their plans around the logistical requirements for that weekend. Numerous awards have been received by the Town and the Heilers of Madison House for this successful event. On June 29, 2015 Brookeville receives the Maryland Municipal League 2014 award for “Town Spirit” in the small town division.
• The Town focused as well on renewed progress toward the long-planned Brookeville By-Pass. The Commissioners and the Brookeville Planning Commission appointed members to attend and monitor the multi-party planning meetings hosted by the State Highway Administration and lobbied politicians on behalf of the ByPass at every possible event.
• The Town held events: the Town Picnic, the Holiday Party, 3 “walk the ByPass” tours and 3 “Town Conversations” to debrief the US Capital event and share feedback on a SurveyMonkey on Town Priorities completed by 75% of our households. The 2016 Priorities reflect those findings.
• Brookeville Academy was the venue for numerous rentals ranging from weddings and rehearsal dinners, to funerals, reunions, and private social events. Cub Scouts, American Legion and other nonprofit community groups held events there. Much of the Bicentennial planning happened at the Academy.
• Necessary repairs were made to Town properties and sidewalks during the year.
• Our paid staff of 3 talented and dedicated Residents served the Town as Clerk, Treasurer and Academy Manager, carrying immense overloads in their work during the year. We cannot thank them enough for all that they have taken on and do so well.
• Our summary figures for the FY 2015 budget are not yet available (FY 2015 ends June 31) – here is where we stand:
Budgeted FY 2015: $224,460
Expended to date: $138,096
Committed but unspent: $86,528
Town Reserves are currently approx. $485,000
Note that these figures are not final because June 2015 and year-end expenses have not been accounted for.
• However, the Town now faces a burden of deferred capital expenses, first and foremost for the Schoolhouse, then the Academy & its grounds, and Market Street.
Comment was raised about the term “reserves”. Any budgeted items, like a new roof, that was budgeted but not completed, the fund are placed in the reserved fund. It should be termed planned but not spend.
PROPOSED PRIORITIES: BROOKEVILLE FY2016
• By-Pass & High Street Sidewalk: Monitor progress on By-Pass by attending hearings/meetings, contacting officials, taking necessary steps to ensure that project is built according to the approved plan (Alternative 7 amended). The Town has engaged an attorney to support us in understanding the legal processes & dynamics and helping us to successfully represent the Town’s interests. The Town engaged the services of Jody Kline of Miller, Miller & Canby this past week.
Monitor the planning/construction by SHA of sidewalk on the West side of High Street.
• Town Properties
Exterior: Complete major repairs & deferred maintenance: exterior light & post, install ADA-approved access door at side, re-set brick walkway, complete replacement of alarm systems, research roofing alternatives [& replace Academy roof as needed].
Interior: With input from design/venue expert, ready the Academy to produce more rental income to the Town in 2nd half of FY 2016. Upgrade furnishings (our chairs, tables, furniture date from 1996) & selected fixtures (lights, etc.) in the Academy; replace microwave in kitchen; produce professional marketing materials; expand advertising; improve Academy page on the Town Website; install Town of Brookeville exhibit on the “dessert wall” leading to the kitchen wing.
• Schoolhouse: Goal is to stabilize the Schoolhouse. Finish the mold remediation currently underway; apply for HAWP and complete the re-grading of the site to route water away from foundation; repair the roof, gutter system & rotted siding; repaint where needed; upgrade electric wiring & install an effective dehumidification system.
Beyond the ByPass group will make recommendations about future uses.
Question was raised to why the Schoolhouse destabilized so fast.
Miche Booz replied that the drainage system did not work very well.
Also, the Schoolhouse is only used once a year, which added to the deterioration.
Comment made that the water runoff issue and Schoolhouse drainage issue needs to be done at the same time.
The Town will wait until Beyond the Bypass makes recommendation before repaving Market St. Will add speed bumps, signs, and stabilize for now.
Comment made about the Town’s lack of considering drainage in planning. Any engineer knows that drainage needs to be a priority. The roads do not need any more gravel.
The Town does have a line item in FY2016 budget for an engineering survey.
• Town Streets & Sidewalks:
Fund and complete necessary repairs to Market Street from High St. intersection to Brighton Dam Road. These include: rebuilding and repainting the speed bumps; patching potholes and cracks; ensuring that WSSC completes the repairs they are required to do; erecting sign(s) to slow traffic coming in from Brighton Dam Road.
Fund and complete necessary annual repairs to Water and North Streets, with attention as needed to South Street.
Repair brick sidewalk along thefrontof#209E.MarketStreet.
Secure engineering input regarding drainages systems, storm-water run-off and erosion on Water & North Streets, and assess merits of repaving North Street in tar/stone composite.
• Town Services:
No changes. Will be delivered as in past years: trash and recycling, snow & leaf removal, periodic cleanups, essential road maintenance & tree care, maintenance/upkeep of town properties, sidewalks, plantings. The Brookeville Times will continue as a high priority means of communication within Town, as we no longer have coverage in the Gazette. The 2 annual Town parties (Holiday and Picnic) will continue. We will now have 2 Town Meetings per year: May (June) to review the proposed Fiscal Year budget, and late fall (October/November) for matters including progress on the year’s priorities.
• Town Charter: Revise and update the Brookeville Town Charter, which has been the same since the 1970’s. The process will examine the structure and functions of Town Government, make shifts in regulations and responsibilities, etc., and will go through Town approval according to State Guidelines that direct this process. The Charter is our incorporation document on file with the State of Maryland. Involvement of Residents is essential.
• Brookeville Comprehensive (Master) Plan: The Plan (provisionally updated in 2010) will be revised over the coming 2 years. As Brookeville goes through processes and consults with experts to determine how the Town will look and operate when the ByPass is complete and we have different opportunities in front of us, the Plan (which the Brookeville Planning Commission is responsible for) will support us in carrying this vision into reality. Involvement of Residents is essential.
The update to the BCP will be a 2 year process and the Beyond the Bypass Committee will look at what needs to get done, give feedback to the Brookeville Planning Commission, who will update the BCP.
There was a discussion of the progress of the Bypass. At the last SHA meeting, the Town Representatives felt they were blindsided: there was a discussion of a bridge over Brookeville Rd (due to environmental concerns) and a traffic circle that would funnel traffic through Town. Both SHA and the Town do not want this as it does not service the purpose of a ByPass.
Barbara Ray said that there would be challenges to the ByPass and the Town needs to be more vigilant and need more people to attend these meetings. She would like the Town to send out notices of these meetings.
The Commissioners replied they usually do not get sufficient notice for these meetings.
There was a discussion about challenges to the ByPass and Karen Montgomery stated that a very powerful laywer was lobbying against the ByPass. She stated that the Town was divided about the ByPass being build and the Town needs to be united for the ByPass to be built.
A question was asked about archeology survey. The archeology survey was completed 8 years ago and does not need to be done again. The State does not release what items are found during a survey.
Questions / Comments
• The budget needs to be reorganized to make it easier to understand.
Buck responded that the Town is putting together a budget committee next year with a goal to make the budget easier to understand; also to incorporate some best practices for small towns.
• Where is the attorney fee in the budget? Under professional services
• Why isn’t the CPA audit from last year on the website? It was recently added.
• What is the net profit for the Academy? The Academy operates at a loss but is where the Town has offices and where meetings are held and historical maintenance is expensive. The Town has never differential what value the Academy has to the Town as a town hall vs. rental income. If the Town puts more money into the Academy (hire a designer, new furniture, upgrade kitchen), how much money will the Town make? The Academy is a Town resource and the Town needs to maintain it. Suggestion to turn the Academy into a museum and stop renting it – renting causes too much damage. Question was raised about liability to the Town by having people use the parking lot at SUMC and have them cross the street. The Town pays $750 a year to SUMC to use the parking lot.
• What happens to High St after the ByPass? Beyond the ByPass will discuss this issue.
• How are Brookeville Planning Commission appointed? And for how long? Members are appointed. The Commissioners are working on a charter for the Brookeville Planning Commission and phasing in 2-3 year terms.
• What are the Zoning differences between MoCo and Brookeville? Brookeville wrote the zoning code to meet the needs of Brookeville. If we followed MoCo, there would be too many variances due to lot sizes. MoCo zoning law too complicated, even with the recent rewriting of the zoning and we would be a different Town. In-law and accessory dwellings would not be permitted if we followed MoCO zoning.
• Why doesn’t the County enforce the zoning code in Brookeville? Many Towns use MoCo zoning. Sometimes there are issues. There seems to be an issue with BPC enforcing the zoning code because we are all neighbors and who want to be the “bad guy” to your neighbors.
• Why is there $250 in the budget for the Brookeville Angel? Working on a plan with Pogo to remove the Angel from his property.
Next Commissioners Meeting is June 8th.
Commissioner President Katherine Farquhar brought the following budget line item up:
6185 – Professional Services (engineer, lawyer, consulting support)
6200 – Salary (Town employees received a raise)
6255 – New computer for Town and website enhancements
6147 – Capital Expense (capital investment in Town)
$45K for Brookeville Academy: contracting for an interior designer, which the majority in attendance felt was unnecessary and too expensive.
Beyond the Bypass Committee will consider a new roof; walkway and handicap access; and investment to return.
Question was raised about how to get more people involved. It seems to be the same folks at each meeting. Need to get new residents involved.
The meeting adjourned at 9:10p.m.
Interim Town Clerk