Annual Town Meeting Minutes – May 22, 2017

Town of Brookeville
Annual Town Meeting Minutes
May 22, 2017

Present:  Sue Daley and Jeff Johnson
Absent:  Buck Bartley
Quorum present? Yes

Present during all or portions of the meeting:
Town Clerk Cate McDonald, Property Manager Andrea Scanlon, Events Manager Brooke Curley, and Treasurer Susan Johnson
Town Residents: Andy & MaryKay Spagnolo, Sandy & Duane Heiler, Harry & Karen Montgomery, Debbie Wagner,  Micole Haris,  Maggie Kay, Marti Andress, Michael Acierno, Stefan Syski, Miche Booz, Katherine Farquhar, and Roland & Shirley Bowker
Others: Terri Hogan, Greater Olney News;

 Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Commissioner President Daley

Commissioner Daley opened the meeting with the introduction of the new Events Manager and Commissioner Jeff Johnson.  Each Resident introduced themselves.    Commissioner Bartley was unable to attend tonight’ meeting.

Updates on the main topics/priorities:

Brookeville Bypass

Commissioner Daley states that the ByPass project is still moving forward.   Both Commissioner Daley and Bartley attended the May 10th SHA Partners meeting where the 100% design plan were available.  The FEMA report and approval are still pending.  There was a set-back:  the SHA’s contractor bid came back too high; the projects needs to go out for bid after the FEMA permits is obtained.  A new bid / contractor is expected to be announced by the end of 2017.    Commissioners Daley and Bartley plan to attend any upcoming SHA Partner’s meetings.  Another change:  the ByPass will be asphalt and not concrete.

 Town Maintained Street / Property

The Property Manager gave an overview of her job description.

  • The Town now owns 75 good quality Windsor chairs; 2 chairs are at the painters.  The old Dining Rooms chairs will be used upstairs in the Lecture Hall; some of the chairs were given away.  The old armchairs were donated to Our House.  Huge Thank You to Sandy & Duane Heiler for all their hard work and time procuring the Windsor chairs.
  • Academy roof:  project is out for bid.   Once all the bids are received the Commissioners will review the options for metal, cedar shakes, and a combination of metal / cedar.
  • Kitchen upgrade;  the kitchen needs a new refrigerator and microwave; there is money the budget for this items.
  • Academy lawn:  the lawn area will be leveled.  The pine tree and flag pole will be moved.  There will be screening around the trash area.  The process will start one the topological maps are received.
  • Schoolhouse: Work that needs to be completed:  rotted wood removal, structure and wood floor repair, replace some exterior trim and remaking the handicap accessible stairs.
  • Gravel Roads:  Water and North Streets had some work performed recently that seems to have fixed some drainage issues.  North Street will have pothole repairs soon and work on the gravel surface in certain areas – these repairs are temporary fixes.  Commissioner Bartley is expecting grading drawings for North Street.  Once the drawings are received and reviewed, the bid process can start.
  • Market Street:  there will some asphalt repair but not a major overhaul of Eastern Market Street.
  • Tree work:  there will be some tree work, especially to the Ash trees on North and South Streets

Comment: Debbie Wagner would a speed bump installed from her driveway to WSSC to slow speeding cars.

Comment:  Water Street is regrading and water run-off?  Where is the water being directed?  The plan is to get the water to run down the street and off into the woods.

Comment: North Street trees – has the HPC permit been filed?  How many trees are being removed as part of the Schoolhouse project?  Potentially there are 5 dead or dying trees on the schoolhouse lot; there will be some pruning of trees in the Town’s ROW along North Street.

Comment: 2nd Debbie’s request for a speed bump in front of her house.

Comment:  Harry Montgomery has a comment about Water St.  There is a lot of water in front of his garage – why lower part of Water Street but not the portion in front of his garage?  Maybe a better ditch from his garage down the hill along Water Street will help drain the water.  Mrs. Montgomery does not want a ditch where she parks their cars.

The Town can take a look and see how much gravel is in the drain.  The Town plans on engaging CPH for design plan for all of Water Street

Comment: Market Street work:  will the speed bumps be made more visible?  The lower speedbump will be totally replaced; the upper-speed bump was recently redone by WSSC.  The Town is not sure about the painting of the speed bumps.  The Town needs to think of what image it would like to project.

FY’ 16-17 Budget:

The Town’s main revenue is taxes.  The Comptroller of Maryland claims the Town was overpaid an average of $55K every year.  The Town tax revenue stream will be reduced for future years.  The Town can expect $60K total in tax revenue next fiscal year.

Comment: Did the Town takes steps to end the tax increase enacted 2 years? Yes, the tax increase will expire in June 2017

Comment: The Comptroller of Maryland office made a mistake but does not want to admit it made a mistake with the tax revenue over the past several years.  The Town was not negligent with the tax issue, it a competence issue the Office of the Comptroller.

The Town would like the Comptroller of Maryland to justify their numbers.  Commissioner Bartley will continue to work on the issue.

Comment:  what is the current income from the state per household?  Not sure

 Draft FY’ 17-18 Budget

The draft Fiscal Year 2017-2018 was reviewed.

Comment:  Line 6185 – what services fall under Professional Services?  Services such as the Town’s lawyer, and CPH for surveys and drawings.

  • There have been cutbacks for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 due to tax shortfall.  The Town’s reserves are in good shape.
  • Line 6025: Local Income Tax:  The Town needs to figure out how the State figures out the amount they pay the Town.  The revenue needs to be stable from year to year to keep the Town sustainable.

Open Discussion

Comment:  Ownership of High Street post Bypass. The SHA cannot make the Town take ownership. The Town does not have the resources to maintain the road. SHA is open to working with the Town to reconfigure the road into a small town streetscape.  The sidewalk project along High Street is on hold.

Comment:    Any update on the new owners for the Inn at Brookeville Farms?  The new owners came to one BPC meeting but have not contacted the Town since.

Comment:  There is a property in Town the needs some major clean-up.  The plumbing shop is a chemical dump and the Town will probably need to clean it up since the owner is not in good health.  What will happen to that property? The Commissioners can work with MoCo help with problem properties.    MoCo has standards for properties; they can force the property to clean-up or clean it up and put a lien on the property.

Comment: any update on 309 / 311 Market?  The process has started with MoCo again.  The inspector came out and met with the Commissioners and started the process again.  It is a long process, and more action should take place at the end of the year.

Are there specification criteria to clean up the property?   The County has a very specific standard.  The next step after this is the Town will consult the lawyer:  the Town can clean-up the property and put a lien on the property.  The MoCo inspector could not step on the property but could take pictures from afar.

An adjacent property own has concerns about flammable items possibly being stored on the property and the possibility of another fire.

Comment:  There was a discussion of Bob & Dee Heritage declining health.   Their children are helping to take care of them and having groceries delivered.

 The meeting adjourned at 8:09 p.m.
Cate McDonald
Town Clerk