October 11, 2004
ATTENDING: President Richard Allan, Commissioners Robert Heritage and Michael Acierno, and Clerk-Treasurer Susan Johnson. Terri Hogan from the Olney Gazette was also in attendance. The meeting began at 8:00 p.m. at the Brookeville Academy.
MINUTES: The minutes for September were approved. President Allan suggested that it might be useful and more informative to adopt a less formal approach to the way the minutes are currently structured (for example by “regular order of business, old business, etc.). He noted that a number of other municipalities use a less formal style and it seems to enable a more natural flow of information.
FINANCIAL REPORT: The financial report was reviewed and accepted.
REGULAR ORDER OF BUSINESS:
1. Operations and Maintenance – Public Spaces – Ms. Johnson will be getting a contractor to clean the gutters on the Academy building. She spoke to Leary Trucking about replenishing gravel for North and South Streets. Leary indicated he was waiting on Crane Homes to have him do Water Street. At that time, he would also do the other streets named. However, if he doesn’t hear from Crane within the next two weeks, he will go ahead and do North and South Streets. The leaf pick-ups are scheduled with Greenskeeper Landscaping for November 20th and December 11th. Ms. Johnson received a new contract for snow removal. The rates did not increase. President Allan noted that Water Street needed to be added to the contract.
2. Sidewalks. President Allan and Commissioner Acierno met with four State Highway representatives to discuss the latest status on efforts to get the sidewalk construction/enhancement project that has been sought by the town for many years moving forward. SHA reported that it is continuing its review of the hydraulic study that pertains to water runoff problems affecting several residents along Rt. 97 at the southern entrance to High Street on the west side. Those issues must be dealt with before sidewalks can be built on that side. Also discussed was replacement sidewalk running from the old Post Office past the Brookeville Academy. The Town will seek to replace the deteriorated concrete sidewalk in front of the Salem Methodist Church and Manse as well. Adequate funding continues to be a problem but the Town is hopeful it can be resolved by leveraging as many resources as possible.
3. Signs. Susan Soderberg of MNNCP informed Ms. Johnson that the Civil War roadside signs were not purchased through the company that the town has been working with. President Allan expressed his disappointment in the revised design prototype and the apparent lack of interest by the vendor. He asked Ms. Johnson to contact the company that did the Civil War signs to get an estimate. He also asked her to review the contract that was signed with the current company to see if the Town can get out of it with minimal to no expense.
4. Schoolhouse Restoration. The building permit for Phase I of the restoration had expired and has just been renewed. Contractor work for Phase II, the final phase, has commenced.
5. Market/High Streets Intersection – Traffic Light.
President Allan and State Delegate Karen Montgomery (District 14) met with District 3 Engineer Charlie Watkins and Traffic Engineer Pete Campanides in a meeting arranged and hosted through Council member Nancy Floreen to discuss the traffic signal being evaluated for installation at the
High and Market Street intersection. Mr. Watkins and Mr. Capanides explained that the light would basically operate in a cycle mode from 4:00 to 7:00 in the PM (Monday-Friday) and in a flashing mode in the AM. SHA believes the light would achieve more efficient traffic flow and provide for a safer intersection. While President Allan and Delegate Montgomery agreed that safety was a paramount issue, they expressed an overall concern that Town interests had not to date been taken into account. SHA then agreed that an informational meeting with town residents would be very useful in explaining how the light would work and in getting resident feedback. President Allan will call Mr. Watkins with several dates and notices will be sent to all residents. A question also was raised as to whether traffic flow improvements that the traffic light might generate would further delay construction of the Brookeville Bypass. In responding that there was no connection between the two projects, Mr. Watkins mentioned that another town seeking a bypass had asked that roundabouts associated with its project be considered by SHA as a separate project phase. President Allan sent a letter to Mr. Watkins requesting a similar study of the proposed roundabouts that are part of the bypass plan as a potential initial phase.
6. Miscellaneous Management Improvement Issues. Commissioner Acierno heard from Solutions IC on maintaining the task management program. He said that for them to have it up on their server for us, they would have to do many months of testing, etc. The other option is for the town to lease a server from them at $275 per month. This would be a dedicated server only for the town. It would also be maintained by Solutions. Commissioner Acierno said that he thought the price was very reasonable and that there are other programs that we could use it for such as an interactive calendar. It was decided that Commissioner Acierno would install the task manager program on the town computer for now. The commissioners and Ms. Johnson will be able to use it at the office and will evaluate again after use.
7. Montgomery County Chapter MML Meeting
The September meeting was held at the Rockville City Hall and was attended by President Allan. The major topic was the formula used by the County to determine payments to municipalities paid for services otherwise provided by the County such as solid waste services, police, road maintenance, parks, etc. The Chapter made a decision to form a task force of local mayors to quickly study in cooperation with the County how the formula has been working and recommend any changes to ensure that the municipalities are not financially shorted in the process.
8. Mayors’ Day in Washington
President Allan attended County Executive Doug Duncan’s annual Maryland Mayors’ Day in Washington. A close-up presentation of rare documents and briefing on the new and very impressive National Archives interactive research capability took place in the morning followed by a lunch with most of the Maryland congressional delegation. Remarks were delivered by Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes and by Representatives Al Wynn, Chris Van Hollen, Ben Cardin, Dutch Rupplesberger, Steny Hoyer, and Roscoe Bartlett. The day concluded with a tour of the new World War II memorial.
The Commissioner’s decided on December 11 for the Holiday party.
The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for November 8, 2004 at 8:00 p.m. at the Brookeville Academy.