May 24, 2010 Annual Town Meeting Minutes

May 24, 2010
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 Harry and Karen Montgomery, Andrew and Mary Kay Spagnola, Debbie Wagner, Fred Teal, Teresa Meeks, Don and Sue Moore, Buck Bartley, Rev. Sue Shorb-Sterling, Les Unglesbee, and Gazette Reporter Terri Hogan

Moment of silence to honor 2 Town Resident who passed away since last year’s Annual Meeting: Sid Rotter and Andrea Barr.

Delegate Karen Montgomery: Town Resident and Dist. 14 State Delegate addressed the assembled crowd and announced she is running for the District 14 Senate seat against Sen. Rona Kramer. Delegate Montgomery stated her reasoning behind running for State Senate is she feels the current Senator does not reflect our values, specifically on the environment and family issues. The District 14 State Senate campaign will be a campaign of issues and not personalities. Key points of her campaign are: tax structure that puts an undue burden on poor and have tax loopholes for the wealthy 1%; corporate reporting that enables large corporations to form DE holding companies while small business pay MD taxes; environment – clean air, work with the Federal Government on a multi-state effort to clean up the Bay, help farmers with tax credits, find alternative forms of energy; lobbyists have undue influence at the State Capital.

Commissioner President Acierno asked Delegate Montgomery about the State budget. Del. Montgomery responded that this year’s budget is bad but not as bad as last years; that there is not more that can be cut from the budget.

Elections results: Commissioners Michael Acierno won re-election to another 2 year term.

Summary of the past 12 months:

  • Winter 2009-2010: this past winter was one of the worst on record and demonstrated how special a town Brookeville is. The Town hopes to recoup some of its February snow storms expenses from Maryland Emergency Management Agency. The Town spent around $9000 on snow removal when there was $1200 budgeted. This year’s upcoming budget will be $1200.

  • Clean Up Day: Commissioner Farquhar asked how many people were present for Clean Up day – 6 people in the room raised their hands. She remarked that April 24th was a remarkable day and it was wonderful to see people come out and help. It was announced that the Town will donate $500 to Our House for their help with Clean Up day. A special thank you for Pogo for donating 30 cubic yards of mulch. The landscaping contact was eliminated from the upcoming fiscal budget.

  • Brookeville Academy: a new tankless water heater was installed; a new supplier of propane is being used at a lower cost.

  • Renewable Energy Contract: Contract was renewed with Clean Current for a 1 year, June ‘10 to June ‘11 at $.09396, 100% wind for the Brookeville Academy. The cost is lower than last year $ .10127/kWh rate

  • Energy Conservation: Fred Teal and Deborah Wagner are involved with Clean Currents Green Neighborhood Challenge and have signed up 18 homes and will continue to recruit homes until October 10th. The Town will receive $10 per home signed up to use on a green project.

  • Schoolhouse: The gutter installation is now complete and hopefully will help the moisture issue. The Town will hold off any more work on the Schoolhouse.

  • MEA grant: the Town is eligible to receive $5000 from an EmPOWERing Clean Energy Communities grant. The Town had hoped to use this grant money for the tankless water heater but will have to explore new opportunities at the Academy.

  • Light post: the cast iron light post that needs to be replaced in front of 308 Market Street will have a liteshield that throws the light out the sides of the fixture like an oval. This will help reduce light pollution.

  • Trees: The some of the newly planted trees the Town purchased and had planted did not survive the storm. The trees were purchased from the Tree-Mendous Maryland program.

  • Gravel Roads: the repairs / yearly maintenance will start soon. There will be no work on the eastern portion of Market Street.

  • 309 Market Street: June 15th is the next scheduled court hearing. Commissioner President Acierno attended the May 18th hearing which found the owner of 309 Market Street in contempt of Court. The owner asked the court for another 30 day extension to complete 4 tasks he submitted to the Court. The Judge ordered him to have the tasked completed by June 15th or she will have him confined.

Master Plan: an extension request was granted to allow the Town to address comments from MDP and Town Residents. The Master Plan should be completed sometime this Fall. Commissioner President Acierno thanks the BPC for all hard work on the Master Plan. Commissioner President Acierno also announced there is an opening on the BPC and all Town Residents that are interested should contact a Town Commissioner.

Brookeville Bypass: The Maryland SHA gave a presentation to the State and Montgomery County officials of the need for a special exemption to Smart Growth law for the Bypass. A special exemption is needed to obtain funding and to move to next phase in construction. SHA has requested to retain the Bypass’s right-of-way from the Town to reduce potential legal issues. Several Residents express frustration about the slow progress but Commissioner President Acierno stated that there has been more progress in the past 2 years then there has been for decades.

FY 2010-2011 Budget: The Town spent less this fiscal year than budgeted and increased our reserves by 15%. The Town is in good financial shape thanks to the cost cutting that was taken this past year. The budget has not increases in cost; the landscaping contract was deleted and there will be no large trash collection this year. Question was asked about the Angle maintenance – this is a onetime expense that is carry year to year until there is a consensus about what to do with the Angle. Commissioner President Acierno stated that there is a lot more communication happening and keeping the lines of communication open are helpful in tough financial times.

Annual Picnic: the Town’s Annual Picnic will be Sunday, August 24th at 4:00pm.

Open Discussion

  • Buck Bartley, 5 Church Street, requested the Town help with a serious storm water issue across his property, across SUMC parking lot to 310 Market Street. The SUMC parking lot caused the problem but the majority of the water comes from High Street. Former Commissioner Rick Allen proposed a rain garden to solve this drainage issue but the storm water drainage that ends up at 310 Market is so severe that a rain garden will not solve the issue. Mr. Bartley, as part of his construction company, has an excavation division that has survey the drainage issue and has designed a drainage plan which will consist of a drainage swale and retaining chamber. The estimate cost of the drainage plan is $17,000. The residents at 310 Market cannot afford to pay for the drainage plan, even with financial help from SUMC. Many years back, there was a curb in front of SUMC that is no longer there that might have helped with the drainage issue. A few years ago, SHA tried to build a sidewalk along High St, but the Residents did not approve the plans, which could have mitigated some of the drainage issue. Commissioner President Acierno promised to contact SHA and request they come out to survey the storm water drainage issue and work with them on a solution. Del. Montgomery stated she will be happy to with SHA as well. High Street crests at 18 High Street and perhaps a curb from 18 High Street that continues along western Market Street will help with storm water drainage.

  • The uncapped water well and sheds at 301 Market Street was raised as an issue. The family members don’t have the house listed for sale and the house sits in an unattended state. Commissioner President Acierno advised that 301 Market was an agenda item at the preceding Commissioners Meeting and that he will give notice as required under the General Powers section of the Town Charter and request the water well be capped and removal of the sheds via certified mail.
  • Don Moore, 3 High Street, wanted to know what he should do with the ever increasing stick pile he has in his backyard. This winter’s severe weather caused a lot of limbs to fall. The Town does not have a yard waste program. Several solutions were proposed by those in attendance including have a contractor come with a chipper and make mulch. It was noted that a resident was burning trash in his yard, which is illegal in MoCo. Commissioner President Acierno thanked everyone for offering suggestions and stated this is the type of feedback the Commissioners needed when budget cuts are called for. Buck Bartley will contact a business associate with a chipper and find out his rates; the mulch will be used along the walking path in Town.
  • Fred Teal, 9 North Street, wanted to comment that we should expect more rain due to global warming and storm water management will become more of an issue in the coming years. It was also noted that this past winter weather may become more typical due to the El Nino weather pattern.

  • Les Unglesbee, 308 Market Street, wanted to say WSSC patch repair in front of 313 Market Street is not acceptable. Commissioner President Acierno stated this issue was discussed at the preceding Commissioners Meeting and the Town will contact WSSC to speed up the road repairs.

  • Andrew Spagnola, 14 High Street, stated that the pole and sign that were run down at 15 High Street in April has not been repaired. The appropriate agencies will be contact to repair their property.

The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Cate McDonald
Town Clerk