May 13, 2013 – Commissioner Meeting Minutes

Annual Town Meeting
May 13th 2013
7:30 pm
Present:
Michael Acierno President of the Commission
Commissioners: Katherine Farquhar and Susan Daley,
Treasurer: Susan Johnson
Clerk: Diane Teague
Academy Manager: Andrea Scanlon
Introductory Remarks
Election Results: Congratulations to Sue and Catherine on their re-election and thanks for continuing to serve.
Staff changes: Cate McDonald has stepped down as Town Clerk and has been replaced by Diane Teague. Thanks to Cate for her excellent service. Cate is continuing as assistant to the Chair of the 2014 Celebration Commission Sandy Heiler. Thanks to Margaret VanGelder for serving as Planning Commission Secretary. The job was added to the responsibilities of the clerk. Thanks also for serving as the Election Supervisor.
Welcome new neighbors Matt and Teresa Pollack.
Budget and Finances:
General: The town is slowly seeing revenues come back to 2007 levels. There is an increase in state highway user funds bringing it up to slightly over one-half 2007 levels. In addition the academy mortgage has been paid off. This will save the town $27,000.00 per year
Budget: A Preliminary Budget was distributed and is based on income and expenses projected out to end of the fiscal year June 30, 2013. There are many expenditures coming up and these will be distributed over this and next FY. A large part of the expenditures are for the 2014 Celebration. Sandy Heiler is getting a lot of grant money. The town is holding $50,000.00 in reserve as matching funds, $10,000.00 are town funds and the remaining $40,000.00 is from previous grants. Additionally there will be expenditures for sidewalk repair and resuming landscaping services for maintenance and weeding. This service had been dropped to save money after the financial collapse which caused a drastic drop in revenues coming from the state.
WSSC Sanitary Sewage Discharge update: The commissioners sent a letter to Jerry Johnson, General Manager of WSSC with specific questions about the spill. Michael Acierno summarizes his responses: WSSC will inspect the entire Reddy Branch force main by the end summer 2013. WSSC agrees to keep Brookeville informed about the progress of the clean-up. WSSC complied with SSD protocols. Brookeville was not informed because there is not requirement to inform municipalities. New bill requiring WSSC to inform municipalities takes effect Oct 1, 2013. Michael Acierno will ask about what testing has been done and whether it is safe to walk in the area.
Historic Area Tax Credits
Scott Whipple: Historic Preservation Supervisor of the Urban Design and Preservation Division Montgomery County Planning Department.
Brookeville was designated a Montgomery County Historic District in 1986. It was designated a National Historic District in 1980. This means that the buildings within the town limits are protected. This protection requires review and approval for new construction, demolition and alterations to all structures. It also means that expenditures for these improvements are eligible for Historic Area Tax Credits. There are two types of tax credits available: county and state.
County Tax Credits are for owner occupied residences. The requirement for review and approval applies to all properties within the town limits whether they are historic or not. The county tax credit is also available to all properties within the town limit whether they are historic or not. The county tax credit is 10% of a minimum expenditure of $1000. The credit is applied directly to your property bill. If the credit exceeds your annual property tax the balance can be carried forward for five years. Eligible work includes: exterior alterations, roof work, siding, windows/doors/storms, gutters, downspouts and snow eagles, painting, rehab of masonry, carpentry any cyclical maintenance and any work requiring a HAWP. Accessory structures are included. Work that is not qualified is new construction, interior work and landscaping. How to apply: Download the application from the county’s website: montgomeryplanning.org/historic. There is a link on the right hand side for tax credits. The work must be done by licensed contractors. Save all your invoices and receipts. If an owner has expertise to perform the work they can submit for materials but not labor. Submit your application after the work is complete. For work completed in 2013 the deadline for applications is April 1, 2014. In the last five years the county has gotten 35 applications for HAWPs and five applications for tax credits.
State Tax Credits are for owner occupied residences. The State Tax Credit applies to historic buildings only. Both interior and exterior work is eligible for the credit. Eligible exterior work is the same as the county but verify before you apply. Eligible interior work would include things like new plumbing, a new furnace or plaster repair. The credit is 20% of eligible costs applied directly to your state income tax. Costs must be in excess of $5000 spent over two years. If the credit exceeds your state tax liability the balance is refunded by check. How to apply: From the tax credit page for the county application there is a link to the state application. Applications including scope of work must be submitted and approved before the work is done. The state legislature recently passed a law allowing localities to increase their credits to
25%. Montgomery County is set to make this change for 2014. Additional information: It is worth a call to the state in an emergency if you have something like tree damage to your roof that needs immediate repair. You would have to call the state or county to find out about retroactive applications. Historic walls might qualify if they are considered a historic feature but generally the credits are for buildings. Michael Acierno will discuss the Town’s eligibility for these credits at a later date. Hopefully the council will vote for the rate increase by June. Letters from residents supporting the rate increase will be helpful later but not now. For state credits anything built after 1979 would not qualify.
2014 Commemoration
Brookeville 2014 Commemoration Planning Commission is chaired by Sandy Heiler. Michael Yeshenko is the grants manager. The commission is planning events, doing research and writing grants to fund these activities. The commission has come up with a three part plan for the celebration.
Part 1. Series of small events to educate people about evens in 1814 in Brookeville.
a. History Symposium: Presentation of papers from historians at the MD State Archive and Sandy Heiler.
b. Children’s play produced by the White House Historical Society to be presented in Brookeville with Brookeville kids.
c. Musical expert of the period David Hildebrandt will lecture and perform.
d. Group presenting 19th century entertainment.
Part 2. Two day event with many things happening at once.
a. Living history reenactments: People in period costumes representing all the professions and activities of town life in 1814.
b. Archeological Dig at Miller Site. Various parts of the current dig will be open and a special pit seeded with artifacts will be open.
c. Reenactment of major events including influx of refugees, bank silver and senate documents hidden in the PO; quartering of troops and arrival of the president and his entourage.
d. Large Dinner to reenact Brookeville feeding those fleeing the fighting.
Part 3. Documentary Video to be finished late fall of 2014
General: The commission needs lots of volunteers to be re-enactors, costume makers, artisans e.g. weavers etc. Publicity will be provided through a grant plus various organizations including the White House Historical Society, the County’s Heritage Tourism office, the state’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Brookeville is now part of Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. The commissions will hire a professional event planner experienced in heritage style events. Sandy is working on additional grants to provide: public toilets, shuttle service to and from parking in local elementary schools, crossing guards etc. Research supported by grants and supporting organizations about Brookeville will eventually¬†be linked through the town website. White House Historical Association will have a blog beginning June 2014.
Open Discussion
Inn at Brookeville Farms update:
The Brookeville Planning Commission and the Brookeville Commissioners have voted not to approve a zoning change to allow the proposed 79 room expansion of the inn. The project’s possible impact on the completion of the Brookeville Bypass and long term risks associated with future uses were cited as reasons for the refusal. The property is zoned for four houses.
State Senator Karen Montgomery comments.
Brookeville Bypass has been funded. In general it was a tough legislative session covering difficult issues such as guns, compounding pharmacies and the death penalty.
Letter from Rick Alan – Michael Acierno reads a letter sent by Rick Alan who was president of the commission when the academy was purchased and renovated.
Burning of the Mortgage: Treasurer Susan Johnson and Commissioners burn the mortgage in a small fire in the academy yard.
Adjourn 10 pm
Respectfully submitted by:
Diane Teague