May 16, 2005 Commissioners Meeting Minutes

May 16, 2005

Present: Susan Johnson, Bob Heritage, Michael Acierno, Rick Allan, Diane Allan

Minutes: Mr. Heritage made a motion to accept the Minutes. The minutes for April were approved as submitted.

Financial Report: Mr. Allan asked if there were recent numbers on the money market accounts in preparation for the Town Meeting tomorrow evening, 5/17/05. Ms. Johnson reported that one account had $11,500, the other had $74,300 in it. Mr. Heritage made a motion to accept the financial report.

Miscellaneous business: Derek Berlage letter re land swap on Water and North STs. The Planning Board has an executive session this week. They may or may not have a public hearing on the land swap as opposed to the connection of Water and North Sts. They are only being asked to rule on the land swap, not the Water and North Sts connection. Mr. Allan said he will be meeting with Mr. Berlage and will suggest that the Planning Board should not be ruling about Town of Brookeville issues. Ms. Johnson noted that the public hearing for the connection must be advertised in the Gazette. Pepco has new decorative street lights available. Pepco would like to know of the Town of Brookeville’s interest. Garrett Park converted all their lights and it cost over $ 250,000, however, it was noted that they would clash with the existing decorative lights. Mr. Allan suggested that perhaps the lights could be used at the Town of Brookeville gateways. Ms. Johnson raised the issue of expense in general. Mr. Allan asked if this information should be made available at the town meeting. Mr. Heritage noted that the comm..s don’t have much info on costs. The Comm.s will take this under advisement. Regarding grants: The Town of Brookeville received a Heritage Montgomery Grant for the schoolhouse, but did not receive any money from the Carl Freeman Co. The Heritage grant will be used for schoolhouse furniture and other furnishings. Sidewalks: Charlie Watkins was asked about where the sidewalk project was. Neil Peterson responded by saying that the General Assembly cut the sidewalk program back and so that funding source was lost. It doesn’t look especially promising in the near term; however, they still support it. The three Commissioners spoke with our delegates in Annapolis, but funding was cut, after years of planning, as noted by Comm. Acierno. A letter will go out to all three delegates to asked them to lobby for the project. Mr. Acierno suggested that the money saved by not erecting a traffic light might go to sidewalks, not to mention consultants. The schoolhouse floors are done and beautiful; the pot bellied stove is sandblasted, painted, and installed. Hardware, latches are in. Weatherstripping and seals need to be done. Mr. Allan asked Walter Blank for an estimate to construct four schoolhouse benches for the building. Mr. Blank needs to contact the painter to finish the roof. The electrician will be coming back to install the electric fixtures. Mr. Allan will contact David Yinger to lay a brick path to the schoolhouse.

Separating the Clerk/Treasurer position: Ms. Johnson and Ms. Allan presented their thinking in this area. They each will be working in areas that they enjoy and are proficient in. The Commissioners wondered whether there were charter issues involved. Mr. Acierno did not have any issues with the proposition, nor did Mr. Heritage. Mr. Allan brought out budget concerns and getting this in the budget. Visa Card in the name of the Town of Brookeville was raised. Ms. Johnson is unsure how to reflect the various categories. Mr. Acierno suggested that each member get a card in his/her name that would be in a town account. Mr. Heritage added that the Treasurer would know immediately who had charged what.

Select President of Commissioners: Mr. Acierno made a motion that Mr. Allan continue as President; Mr. Heritage seconded.

Budget: Mr. Allan said that revenues coming in this year should be around $93,00. Property tax should generate $24,000. State income tax will be about $50,000. Federal reports were way up in April so more money may be coming in. Highway user funds may be up. Brookeville Academy is budgeted for $5,000. $85,000 plus will be carried over and $93,000 should be coming in. This does not include the Town of Brookeville checking account. Inflation of 3% has been factored in. $1,000 has been added for legal fees. Insurance costs will be approximately $6,000. New to this budget is the Planning Commission Staff salary: $175.00 times 12. Trash collection will increase 3%. Everything else is the same. Snow removal is $1,000. Tree care/ removal/planting has been included to encourage residents’ planting native species, have an arborist consult about tree care. Caring for and monitoring our streams, planting trees will be encouraged. The Reddy Branch Stream Valley Park will be an opportunity for residents to have an impact on our local environment. The Paxton’s sycamore tree that fell at Brookeville Road should be removed. Brookeville Road is deteriorating badly and needs rehabilitation. Mr. Allan noted that Chris Scanlon has a company that is doing some tree work for him that the Town of Brookeville might investigate. Mr. Allan mentioned that Loretta Murphy had spoken to him about some locust trees that need attention. There was discussion about the schoolhouse electrical usage which seemed high to the Commissioners. The Brookeville Angel needs attention and $2,000 has been added to the budget for restoration. Jim Batchellor (sp?), who is a wood worker and has experience gilding, will be meeting Mr. Allan. Loretta Murphy has a wood worker who she has confidence in so he will be contacted also. For capital expenses, the Commissioners will go up to $20,000. State partnership on curbing was discussed.

Town Meeting Agenda: Handouts were discussed: Revenue stream, capital expenses were suggested. Mr. Acierno added that the entire budget should be available. Mr. Heritage agreed. Mr. Allan said that this will be characterized as preliminary and that the Comm.s are not asking for a vote or approval on the budget. The Brookeville Bypass Petition will be out on a table as well for residents to sign. A format for the meeting was discussed. Andrea Barr suggested that the Bypass Video be shown. Mr. Allan agreed that it is a good idea, especially for new residents. Residents will be thanked for turning out for the election, as will Margaret Van Gelder for acting as Election Supervisor. Mr. McDonald and Mr. Heritage will be thanked for running for office, which is never an easy thing to do. (Mr. Allan mentioned that Al Gardner had had a serious stroke. He suggested that the Town of Brookeville send flowers or a plant from The Only Olney Flower Shop.) Mr. Heritage suggested an indoor plant. The Planning Commission will be thanked as well, naming each individual. The Town of Brookeville is very fortunate to have so many talented people: Dave Yinger, Rick Chandler, Buck Bartley, Pam Chandler, Suzanne Friis, Eric Van Gelder, Les and Clyde Unglesbee, Dee Heritage, Renee Moneyhun, Wayne Harding will be thanked for their contributions to the Town of Brookeville. Salem Methodist Church will be thanked, along with Lilian Geib and the Church Trustees, for their support to the Town of Brookeville. Volunteers for the Greening Initiative will be sought. Residents will be asked if they are interested in acting on a Bypass Committee. If Delegate Montgomery is present, she will be asked about the sidewalk projects.

Building Permits (2):
There was an extended discussion about building permits and their timely submission to the town comm., coordinating with the planning commission and HPC; perhaps the planning comm. secretary should send copies of building permits directly to the town commissioners. Mr. Heritage felt that the Commissioners need the time to peruse building permits; there was additional discussion about accessory buildings in the Town of Brookeville, since one of the building permits contain an accessory building. Mr. Acierno pointed out that the new owners of the Lang property will be changing the use of the accessory building. Associated issues as trash collection and recycling services were raised by Mr. Allan. Mr. Allan wondered if a family with children lived in an accessory building, would they be liable for taxes and usage fees; would the Town of Brookeville have to provide trash, recycling services? The Commissioners decided to approve the permits, but with the understanding that they will have to improve their process for accepting building permits.

Lastly, there was discussion about several false alarms at the Brookeville Academy last week, caused by a spider in the smoke detector in the archives room.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:28 pm.