September 12, 2005
Present: President of Commissioners Richard Allan, Commissioner Robert Heritage, Commissioner Michael Acierno, Tom Hanlon, Jack Hanlon, Clerk Diane Allan, Treasurer Susan Johnson
Minutes: Commissioner Heritage moved to approve the minutes; Commissioner Acierno seconded and the motion carried.
Financial Report: The commissioners discussed ways by which interest income on town back accounts at Sandy Spring and Chevy Chase Banks could be enhanced through the consideration of a different mix of various money market accounts or certificates of deposit. Commissioner Allan asked whether the MGLIP was worth considering as an institution to bank interest-bearing funds and preserve liquidity. The commissioners also expressed their agreement that it was important to place significant funds in Sandy Spring Bank given that bank’s support for Brookeville in the past. The commissioners asked that every effort be made to keep as low a checking account balance as is operationally practical. Ms. Johnson indicated that she will provide information to the commissioners on current bank rates and products for their consideration. Commissioner Allan asked Ms. Johnson to ascertain what the auditors need regarding the GASBY Rule and the budget. There were no questions regarding the financial report.
Announcements: Commissioner Allan reported that the Salem United Methodist Church/Town of Brookeville picnic on September 11th was a big success. Many town residents attended along with two State District 14 Delegates. Commissioner Allan spoke with the church’s Paul Geib and suggested that the picnic be made an annual event. Commissioner Allan announced that on Sept. 24th Friends of Oakley Cabin are sponsoring a family sing-a-long. He also announced the annual MML legislative dinner on November 30, 2005, and asked that all commissioners should plan to attend to lobby for the Town’s agenda, particularly the bypass. All commissioners and the Clerk and Treasurer have received Visa Business Cards for use in conducting town business.
Previously, purchases were often made with the personal checks of commissioners and this was deemed a very unsatisfactory situation. Ms. Johnson asked that any purchases made with the VISA cards result in prompt submission of purchase receipts to her attention.
Planning Commission/Building Permits Recommendations: The commissioners discussed a draft memorandum to the Planning Commission prepared by Commissioner Acierno that reiterated the legal necessity of minutes-taking and formal approval of such minutes by the Planning Commission. The draft also requested that a copy of the minutes shall go to the commissioners following their reading and approval each month and that they be posted on the Brookeville website. With Regard to building permits, the draft called for additional time to be allocated for consideration by the Town Commissioners and that affected residents should get additional time as well. The Town Commissioners should see all pertinent staff reports and related material before any final decisions are made. Commissioner Allan recommended that any building project that may result in water drainage or run-off problems should be identified and mitigated beforehand. He indicated that there was draft County legislation being considered to deal with these sorts of problems and that the town would be well served to take similar action. The commissioners all agreed to the items stipulated in the draft memorandum.
Brookeville Academy Rentals: Upon the suggestion of Commissioner Allan, the commissioners agreed to modify special Academy rental fees for residents (property owners) to allow for the extension of discounts to resident renters. It was pointed out that there will be a number of accessory apartments constructed in town that suggests the need for a 2 tier rental fee system. The commissioners agreed that the new rental fee for renters will be set at one hundred twenty-five dollars.
Website contract: There was a discussion about a new website contract proposal that has been received by the town from the existing vendor. Commissioner Allan said he would make some inquiries at the MML meeting on Thursday, September 15th, as to what other small towns do to administer their sites. Ms. Johnson noted that there were no pictures on the website of the completed schoolhouse. Ms. Johnson asked what she should do with the unapproved minutes on the website.
Residential Front Yard Debris/Nuisance Issue (Deeds Wells): Commissioner Allan stated there were a couple of options as to next steps to be considered in the absence of resident Deeds Wells to respond to the commissioners’ request to clean up his driveway of assorted debris and deal with his apparently abandoned vehicles that are visible from Market Street (Rte 97). In 1984 the commissioners sent out a “dear resident” letter to deal with issues like unleashed dogs, junk and dismantled vehicles and general nuisances. He suggested that the references in that letter be invoked again. It is possible to declare the refuse, debris and vehicles as public nuisances and order that they be removed or the town will do so and charge the resident accordingly. The same approach would be applied to a nearby property where there is debris on Water Street. Under the various provisions applicable in the Code of Ordinances, the Town of Brookeville can remove the material and a lien can be placed on the property. Commissioner Heritage was asked to take pictures of the properties. The commissioners agreed that these are priority items and should be taken care of before the end of the year.
Special Fall Pickup: The weekend of October 8, 9, and 10th (Columbus Day) were designated by the commissioners as the refuse pick-up weekend. The Clerk was directed to prepare a letter to townspeople with details as to when the large item pick-up was to take place, what items could be disposed of, and what could not be dumped. The Commissioners agreed that Water Street was the best location for placement of the 30 foot bin for accepting the refuse.
Greener Brookeville Initiative: Commissioner Allan proposed an initiative to encourage the planting of native species trees in Brookeville. It would allow for reimbursement to a maximum of $25 for planting native trees on their property. Commissioners Heritage and Acierno agreed with the idea. Commissioner Allan will draft appropriate protocols and conditions for the reimbursements and will investigate whether any local nurseries would be willing to support the program with discounts on their own.
Water runoff problem at Steph and Hannah Kerrs’ property: Commissioner Allan reported that there was a severe water run-off problem that originated in the Salem United Methodist Church’s parking lot that caused flooding on a property owner’s house. Commissioner Allan spoke with Buck Bartley, President of the church trustees, about a church, town, and possibly a Sandy Spring Friends School or Boy Scout partnership in abating this problem by planting a rain garden. Buck was very agreeable to this idea. Commissioner Allan offered the pro bono services of a consulting firm he is associated with, Citergy LLC, to organize the collaboration and to identify any public or private resources available so that the rain garden can be expertly installed at no or minimal cost to the collaboration.
Academy Maintenance and Painting: Commissioner Acierno indicated he would contact Marco Regulado (Colors Enterprises) about the painting needed for the exterior trim and windows of the Academy. He would also get an estimate regarding the cleaning and repainting of the Town’s decorative lampposts.
North Street Development Street Lights: Commissioner Allan reported that the Mayor of New Market was interested in Brookeville’s cast iron Spring City lamps for New Market’s new streetscape project. In discussions with New Market’s Town Clerk, Commissioner Allan became familiar with New Market’s current post lights. He felt they would be quite nice for use in the new North Street subdivision and will recommend consideration for their use to the Planning Commission and developer Richard Kirby.
The Brookeville Angel: Commissioner Allan reported that prospective angel restorer, Jim Batchelder, said we would need about 10 gallons of Abatron to stabilize the Angel’s wood base. He proposed sealing the wings and head and coating the entire sculpture with linseed oil. The Commissioners took this proposal under advisement.
Schoolhouse: Colors Enterprises was asked by Commissioner Allan to paint the new exterior light fixtures the same green as the trim on the building. Once that is done, they can be installed along with the rest of the interior fixtures. The entrance walks front and back will be the next project to be done. Commissioner Heritage will speak with David Yinger to ascertain whether he will do that work. Buck Bartley will be asked to do the foundation. Commissioner Allan suggested that an appropriate wooden fence can be used to screen the existing anchor fence from view.
Water Street Garbage Cans: Commissioner Allan will ask Miche Booz if he would design a simple screening fence to shield the garbage cans on the corner of Water Street and Market Street.
The meeting adjourned at 10:55.
Respectfully submitted by,
Diane Burr Allan