January 10, 2011 Commissioners Meeting Minutes

January 10, 2011
8:00 p.m.

Commissioner President Michael Acierno, Commissioner Robert Heritage, Commissioner Katherine Farquhar, Town Clerk Cate McDonald, Treasurer Susan Johnson, Academy Manager Andrea Scanlon.  Present during all or portions of the meeting were Town Residents Barbara Ray, Sandy Heiler, Fred Teal and Gazette Reporter Terri Hogan.

Minutes: The December Commissioners Meeting Minutes were approved with one amendment.

Financial:  The November financial report was emailed to the Commissioners prior to the meeting.   No questions were raised about finances.

Academy Update:  the Academy reports were reviewed.   There are more inquiries for rentals.  The FDA is interested in renting the Academy for a meeting but they want to put the deposit on a credit card as it is difficult to procure a check.  FDA could be a long term renter and approval was given to waive the security fee in this instance.  The Academy does not accept credit cards because of the fees involved; the Town would need to raise rates or charge a fee for renters wanting to use a credit card or allow a discount for renters paying by cash or check.  The Academy Manager will look at the fee structure for allowing credit cards.

War of 1812 Committee:

Sandy Heiler said the committee had a brainstorming session and came up with 2 general ideas:

Research project and a celebration on the bicentennial (parade).  The research project would be to organize an interdisciplinary academic conference.  The Town would need to apply for a grant with matching funds from MD Historic Trust or the State’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission once it has grant funds.  The Town would need to partner with a University’s History Dept. for any academic work.

Barbara Ray attended an informational grant meeting with Heritage Montgomery, whose mission is to increase tourism in Montgomery County.  Non-capital grant for celebration event, which should be called a festival.    The deadline to file for the grants is January 17 and would require matching funds from the Town.  Capital grant ideas would be for sidewalk renovations to make the Town walkable and restore the Mill Race.

Town Meeting: Monday, January 17th, the Commissioners will host a Town Meeting to discuss the short and long plans for 2014 and beyond.   Topics will include looking into grants; Town pledging matching grant funds; sidewalk repairs; Mill Race trail possible connecting to Oakley Cabin.  The plans for the Bypass construction to start in 2015 and what do Residents want to turn this Town into once the Bypass is constructed.  Commissioner President Acierno talked with a SHA District Engineer about a new water management plan and sidewalk made with permeable materials along High St.  Commissioner Farquhar requested postcards be sent to Residents to remind them of the meeting.

GOCA Award:  The Commissioners approved submitting a nomination for Town Residents Fred Teal and Debbie Wagner for individual notable contribution to the greater Olney community for their “green” efforts.

 Emergency Preparedness:    Town Resident Fred Teal stated that 9 people responded to his survey.  He will bring printed copies of the survey to the Jan. 17th Town Meeting.  He wants the Commissioners to send an official request for Residents to fill out the survey.

Solar Power Installation:  Commissioner Farquhar wants clearer guidelines from the Brookeville Planning Commission (BPC).  The question raised is what other Historic Districts do regarding solar installations; the BPC should research and make guidelines, especially since the Town wants to encourage Residents to use solar power.

Sandy Heiler stated that the opinion of MoCo HPC is if it is not visible from the public roadway, than a solar panel installation is ok.

The solar panel installation at 9 North Street is visible from Market St.  Non-adjoining property owners are complaining because they were not advised about the solar panel installation and they can now see the panels.  HPC approval was given because the application submitted stated you would not see the panels from the public roadways and now the panels are in violation.  HPC does not have clear guidelines on solar installations.

Open Discussion:  none

The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Cate McDonald
Town Clerk