October 10, 2005 Commissioners Meeting Minutes

October 10, 2005

Present:  President of Commissioners Richard Allan, Commissioner Michael Acierno, Commissioner Robert Heritage, Treasurer Susan Johnson, Clerk Diane Allan, and Terri Hogan of the Gazette

Minutes:  Following a review of the September Minutes, the Minutes were accepted as presented.

Financial Report:  Commissioner Allan questioned the apparent reduction in the monthly mortgage payment for the Academy to Sandy Spring Bank.  He said the payment following the new note consummated with the bank was supposed to reflect in effect a doubling of principal equating to the total amount paid under the previous note.    Ms. Johnson indicated that the mortgage payment of $1400.00 is debited automatically from the Commissioners Checking Account and had not reflected the additional amount the commissioners had wanted paid.  Commissioner Acierno suggested that to correct the problem, the Treasurer should write a separate check each month in the agreed upon amount toward the principal and write “for principal reduction” on the account memo.  Ms. Johnson indicated that she would do that.  Commissioner Heritage then moved to approve the financial report.

Announcements and Reports: 

Commissioner Allan reported that the three Commissioners had a constructive meeting with County Councilperson Nancy Floreen, Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee, to discuss moving the Brookeville Bypass to a higher priority on the Montgomery County Transportation Priorities List for this year. At that meeting, Commissioner Allan pointed out that Georgia Avenue is specified in the DC Emergency Preparedness Plan as one of thirteen evacuation routes from Washington, DC.  He indicated that Brookeville would certainly be a serious bottleneck in the event of a mass evacuation of DC and Montgomery County.  The Commissioners agreed that building the Bypass would not only improve routine and emergency North/South traffic flow, it would enhance the operation of the proposed ICC.  Commissioner Allan said that Howard County elected officials also should be contacted and their help elicited in lobbying for the Bypass, as their commuters could benefit from the construction of a bypass.

Commissioner Allan reported that Lt. Governor Michael Steele will be visiting Brookeville tomorrow and that the Town Commissioners, the Clerk, and the Treasurer would welcome him and his party at the Academy. The Lt. Governor has made a commitment to visit all incorporated towns in the state of Maryland – Brookeville would be the 54th he has visited.  Commissioner Allan stated that a representative from the State Highway Administration (SHA) will accompany the Lt. Governor as well as possibly the Secretary of Housing and Community Development and other key officials.  The format for the meeting would include introductions of attendees and short presentations, a presentation by the Town, and then conclude with a walking tour with the Lt. Governor.   The event should take approximately 11/2 hours and will end at the point where the Brookeville Bypass would originate.  Mr. Adam Rich, the proprietor of the Inn at Brookeville Farms, has generously offered to provide refreshments for the group at the conclusion of the tour.

Commissioner Allan reported that the Waste Management dumpster provided by the Town for a Fall Clean-Up Week-End was filled with dramatic speed and the contents are spilling over the top.  Commissioner Allan reported that this dumpster will be removed and asked the clerk to order another one to be placed on Water Street at the same location.

Commissioner Allan reported that Commissioner Heritage has acquired a schoolteacher’s desk for use in the restored Brookeville Schoolhouse.  The cost of the desk will come from funds made available through the Heritage Tourism Alliance grant that had been awarded to the Town earlier in the year.  Part of that grant is to go toward producing a small brochure on the history and restoration of the schoolhouse.

Commissioner Allan reported that he has sent a letter from the Town Commissioners to the Planning Commission (PC) containing protocols for keeping and approving minutes and new turn around times for accepting and approving building permits.  This letter is based on discussions held by the Town Commissioners on a draft prepared by Commissioner Acierno at the last meeting. The letter recommends that when a building permit comes to the Town Commissioners for action, it come complete with all PC and HPC (Historic Preservation Commission) recommendations so the Commissioners can make a decision with full background.  Commissioner Allan suggested that a note be put into the next Brookeville Times informing town residents of this new time provision for submission and that the building permit application go to Planning Commission Secretary Margaret Van Gelder.

Holiday Party:  Treasurer Susan Johnson suggested that a date be set for the Holiday Party.  The Commissioners agreed that Saturday, December 10, 2005, should be the date of the Annual Brookeville Holiday Party.  Volunteers would also be solicited.

Leaf Pickup:  The Commissioners decided that leaf pickups this year should be on November 19th and December 3, 2005.

Academy Maintenance:  Commissioner Acierno reported that he had met with Marco Regulado (Colors Enterprises), about painting the Brookeville Academy exterior trim, with emphasis on the badly mildewed fascia and soffits.  Marco stated that the trim would have to be treated with bleach to kill the mildew before any painting could be done.  Commissioner Heritage asked whether the painter would use Kilz or a product like that.  Commissioner Acierno reported that Mr Regulado said that Kilz didn’t work.  Marco will also reglaze several window panes that have been cracked and broken.  Commissioner Allan asked if Marco could get Bendheim restoration glass that had been used in the  windows of the Academy.  Commissioner Heritage volunteered that a former student of his has a glass business and he will try to find out about acquiring Bendheim glass for the repairs.  The Commissioners also agreed that a painting maintenance “log” be created so that there is a record of what has been painted, when, and which paints and colors were used.

Energy:  Commissioner Allan noted that some of our contractors are assessing the Town fuel surcharges as a result of the sharp increase in fuel costs.  He asked if Commissioners Heritage and Acierno felt the Town should charge a fuel surcharge to renters of the Brookeville Academy.  Commissioner Heritage said $10 or $20 for each rental seemed reasonable to him.   Commissioner Acierno suggested $20, effective November 1 and lasting through March 30, 2006.  Commissioner Acierno suggested that the surcharge funds be put into an account to pay for the modification of the existing gas hot water heater to an on demand type of hot water heater such as a tankless heater.

Kerr property storm water runoff problem:  Commissioner Allan reported that last weekend Steph Kerr had to pump 6-8 inches out of his basement, a result of the torrential rains experienced here in Brookeville and runoff originating from the church parking lot and High Street.  This matter has been previously discussed and Commissioner Allan suggested that it could be broached tomorrow with the SHA representatives should some assistance be possible to help mitigate the problem.  Commissioner Allan indicated that he would be meeting with the Executive Director of the Low Impact Development Center and the President of Citergy LLC to discuss innovative solutions to the flooding problem, particularly use of rain gardens and related methods.

Commissioner Allan reported that there will be a meeting called by Montgomery County on Emergency Preparedness on October 19, 2005, from 10a.m.-12p.m and that all commissioners were invited to attend.

Moving Trash Toters to the curb at the Brookeville Academy:  It was agreed that Commissioner Heritage would move them to the curb for pickup in October; Commissioner Acierno would handle November, and Commissioner Allan would handle December.

Gravel:  Neil Leary has been contacted by the Clerk and will complete last year’s maintenance contract by checking the condition of Water, North and South Streets.  He will grade and level North and South Streets, and leave a pile of gravel for repairs at the head of North Street.

Schoolhouse status regarding electrical installation of lights:  Commissioner Heritage will ask resident David Yinger whether he wants to construct the walkway in front of the schoolhouse.  The job may require Buck Bartley’s assistance in doing some concrete foundation work.  Commissioner Allan suggested the installation of a picket fence about 150 feet long to shield the schoolhouse from the chain link fence adjacent to the building on the west.  He suggested that the commissioners identify design options for fencing ideas by the next meeting. Commissioner Heritage thought a Tom Sawyer type fence might be appropriate.  Commissioner Acierno mentioned a fence having staggered slats, one that looks finished on both sides.  Commissioner Allan reported that both doors at the schoolhouse still needed to have weatherseal installed.

The Commissioners agreed to continue to consider ways of aesthetically screening the  garbage toters at the entrance to Water Street.

Commissioner Allan indicated he would try to get a Brookeville Times out in the next 15 days.

CGI Status:  The draft video welcoming script for the Town website that Commissioner Allan received from CGI Communications needs to be completely rewritten.  Commissioner Allan indicated he would rewrite the script.

Brookeville Angel Maintenance Status:  Commissioner Heritage asked whether maintenance work on the Angel had been scheduled.  Commissioner Allan replied that the stabilization could  proceed should the Commissioners wish to accept the approach suggested by Jim Batchelder, a preservation contractor, who would coat the Angel with boiled linseed oil and use Abatron to reconstitute the decay in the wood base.   He said an alternative would be to write a grant proposal to the Montgomery Arts Commission for funding for the project.  Repainting might also be necessary.  Commissioner Allan will report back to the Commissioners at the next meeting.

Adjournment:  Commissioner Heritage moved the meeting be adjourned.  All agreed.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by

Diane Burr Allan