May 21, 2018 Annual Town Meeting Minutes

Town of Brookeville
Annual Town Meeting Minutes
May 21, 2018
7:00pm

Commissioner:
Present: Sue Daley, Jeff Johnson, and Bill Gaskill
Absent: none
Quorum present? Yes

Present during all or portions of the meeting:
Town Staff: Town Clerk Cate McDonald, Property Manager Andrea Scanlon, Treasurer Susan Johnson, and Events Manager Brooke Curley
Town Residents: Dave Yinger, Janet Taylor, Karen & Harry Montgomery, Roland & Shirley Bowker, Sandy & Duane Heiler, Debbie Wagner, Micole Haris, Marti Andress, Michael Acierno, Harper Pryor, Stefan Syski, Buck Bartley, Barbara Ray, Garrett Anderson, Miche Booz, and Fred Teal.
Others: Terry Hogan, Greater Olney News
Proceedings:
Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Commissioner President Daley, who welcomed everyone and gave an overview of the meeting.
Draft Budget & Priorities for FY ’18-19:
Commissioner Gaskill handed out the proposed budget for FY ’18-’19, with a review of tax revenue received from the State over the past 5 years, with a projected loss of $15,423. Capital Expenses is expected to be a net loss of $90K. Income tax revenue was steeply decreased due to the States previous overpayment to the Town of income tax funds. The Town is estimated to receive between $54K – $60K per year, instead of the $100K – $193K it has been receiving.

Budget Priorities:
Roads: The Commissions are working on grant funding with State Senator Zucker.
Town Services: trash, recycle, Town sponsored events, dumpster for bulk trash

Questions:
• What is the size of the Town’s reserve funds; and how long will the reserves last if the Town continues to run a deficit? The Town has approximately $500K in reserves. The Town Commissioner will be having a discussion on what would be an appropriate amount of the budget to set aside each year in reserves.
• Why the sudden drop in State income? The State overpaid the Town approximal $274K in tax revenues between 2010-2014 due to errors in calculations by the State Comptroller’s office. The State performed an audit of address and will pay the correct amount to the Town – about $50K – $60K per year. The Town does not have to repay the State the amount it was overpaid.

Town Property Update
Academy:
• Roof: MHT grant has been applied that, if awarded, would cover 50% of the Academy’s roof replacement.
• Lawn: The lawn area will be upgraded if the budget allows.
• Kitchen: There is a new refrigerator
• Acoustics – Acoustical testing but due to budget constraints, no work will be done

Schoolhouse:
• Lot improvements: a grant from Heritage Montgomery was awarded to install a wooden fence along the existing fence line. Another Heritage Montgomery grant is being sought for a brick patio, landscaping, portable toilet enclosure and some interior work.
• Scouts Project – an Eagle Scout project installed a mulch path on the lot at no cost to the Town.

Town Streets:
• North Street – was regraded and a new surface layer of gravel was laid.
• Water Street – Pothole repairs will start soon.
• Market Street – contractors are being sought for pothole and speedbump repairs to start this summer.

Also, more woodchips will be added to the walking path between North St and Water St.

Questions:
• What is the projected cost of tar & chip and the timeline? The estimated price for North St for tar & chip is $15K – $20K. The Town may not opt for tar & chip as it may not be the best solution for the Town’s gravel roads – for example – does not hold up well after each season, especially with snow plows. There were comments about lowering the road surface to reduce issues
• What was suggested to improve the acoustics at the Academy? sound absorption measures such as acoustical panels and acoustical plaster to help minimize noise vibration. Grant funding will be sought for acoustical work.

Brookeville ByPass Update
Progress with the Brookeville ByPass is slowly moving forward. The construction bids will be opened in early June

Additional Updates:
• 309/311 Market Street: Commissioner Johnson is consulting with MoCo Housing Code Enforcement. The property’s owner was sent an official notice to clean up the properties and get rid of parked cars in the first week of May with a completion date of the first week of June. If he does not comply at that time, the property will be condemned, and the county will initiate car towing and property cleaning, placing a lien against the property. Commissioner Johnson will follow up in early June with the Code Inspector about MoCo cleaning up the property. There have been complaints from neighbors about seeing rats on the properties. A separate complaint has been filed to DPS about demolition by neglect of a historic property. DPS and Code Enforcement will work together.
• 1 High Street: is for sale again
• 15 High Street: property has been sold. New owners are in preliminary consultations about proposed commercial uses of the property.

Questions & Comments
• Budget: The Town reduced expenses during the recession; income from the State is 2/3 less than it has been. The Town will need to reduce annual expenses or find new funding. How will the Town accomplish this? Will projects need to be prioritized? The Commissioners agree the numbers are not good and will start with a strategic budget plan to manage expenditures. The Commissioners will analyze the budget over the next several Commissioners Meetings and will utilize a forecast budget to determine how much is needed to cut the budget.
• Stephen Syski is looking for volunteers to help with the flags on Memorial Day.

The meeting adjourned at 7:55pm p.m.
Cate McDonald
Town Clerk