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2002-03 Council Minutes

 

Minutes
 
Town Council Meeting - March 6, 2002
Amended Minutes
 
Present: Mayor Sam Pierce, Council Members Ronnie Blacksten, Neal Roop, Ed Palsgrove, Terry Petry and Jay Gullo, Town Attorney Michelle Ostrander and Acting Town Clerk Cindy Welker. There were 40 people in attendance.
 
Call to Order: Mayor Pierce called the March 6, 2002 Town Meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Mayor Pierce then led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance.
 
 Recording and Agenda Policies: Mayor Pierce stated that the Town Meeting is recorded by electronic means, and that the meeting will follow an Agenda. Anyone who wishes to have a matter placed on the Agenda needs to submit the topic to the Mayor in writing by the last Wednesday of the month.
 
Previous Meeting Minutes: A motion to accept the February 6, 2002 minutes was made by Councilman Roop and seconded by Councilman Blacksten. Motion passed 5-0.
 
 
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
Presentation from State Police and Sheriff Department: Mayor Pierce welcomed Union Bridge’s Mayor, Perry Jones and a Council Member, who came to hear the presentation from the Maryland State Police Department on the Resident Trooper Program. Mayor Pierce introduced Lt. Terry Katz, from the Maryland State Police Department, to give a presentation on the Resident Trooper Program. Lt. Katz stated that the County has a contract with the State Police Department where the County pays 25% of the yearly fee. He stated that for a Resident State Trooper it would cost $35,176.50, and a projected cost for a Deputy was $28,139.00. He broke down the difference of $7,037.50 per year down to $135.34 per week, $19.34 per day or $2.42 per hour. With the State contract, it covers everything. If there were any claims against the Resident Trooper, the case would be handled by the Attorney General’s office where if the Town went with the Sheriff’s department, the County Attorney would handle the claim. Lt. Katz stated that with the State Police contract covered liability auto coverage where as the Sheriff does not. Lt. Katz stated that the Town would be provided with specialized services at no addition cost. Lt. Katz then gave some background on the Town’s current resident Trooper, Frank Childress. Lt. Katz recommended to the Council to compare contract to contract. Mrs. Sharon Nobles asked to whether the Town was changing from the Resident Trooper Program. Mayor Pierce stated that the Town is looking at both the Resident Trooper Program and the Resident Sheriff Program.
 
Mayor Pierce than introduced Sheriff Tregoning to give his presentation of the Resident Sheriff Program. Sheriff Tregoning stated that the 25% paid by the County for the Resident Trooper Program would be applied to the Resident Sheriff Program if the two Towns decided to change. The proposals given to the two Towns reflected the 25% paid by the County. He stated that any resource that the State Police had would be available to the Sheriff s Department. He stated that there were approximately 66 municipalities throughout the state who switched from the Resident Trooper Program to the Resident Sheriff Program because of cost. Sheriff Tregoning stated that the Sheriff s Department does assist the State Police on different occasions. They have filled in when a resident trooper was unavailable. Sheriff Tregoning felt with being a local law enforcement agency that they could give the Town more local service and attention. As of May 10, 2001 the Sheriff s Department has been 24/7, joined with the State Police in the criminal investigation unit and reinstituted the Drug Task Force.
 
Mayor Perry Jones informed the residents present and the New Windsor Mayor and Town Council that he was the one that pursued Sheriff Tregoning, that Sheriff Tregoning did not initiate this matter. The Town of Union Bridge voted to go with the Sheriff Resident Trooper program because of the cost factor.
 
If the Towns went with the Sheriff Resident Program, the candidates would come before the two Mayors and Councils for their selection where as the State Trooper Program, the State Police would assign a trooper.
 
Mr. Burke stated that he felt that there was not much difference in the two programs. He suggested getting a proposal from each agency and comparing them line-by-line. Councilman Roop had a few questions for Sheriff Tregoning: 1. What was the Commissioners position on the Sheriff Resident Program since it was new? Sheriff Tregoning stated that he could not speak for the Commissioners. 2. Where does the revenue from tickets handed out by the Deputy go? Sheriff Tregoning stated that if it were a state citation then it would go to the State of Maryland for support of the court system. If it would be a local ordinance violation, than it would go to the Town. 3. Deputy liability? The liability is handled by the County Attorney’s office through LGIT. Mayor Pierce asked Lt. Katz about the figures the State Police submitted. Lt. Katz stated that they were the 2001-2002 figures, not the 2002-2003 figures. The 2002-2003 figures would not be available until the General Assembly was over. The County’s 2002-2003 figure included an estimate of 5% increase.
 
Sheriff Tregoning introduced his Chief Deputy, Col. Keefer.
 
Councilman Gullo had a few ideas: 1. To talk to LGIT about whether the Town would have to buy a policy for police coverage. 2. Get a contract from the Sheriff s Department. 3. What would be the involvement of the County Commissioners? Whether they would approve the 25% for the Sheriff Deputy and the use of the County Attorney’s office to defend certain things. Who would pay for the services? Councilman Roop asked to get the final figures from the State Police. Councilman Gullo asked to have the Town of Union Bridge send the Town of New Windsor a confirmation in writing as to what they voted to go with. Councilman Blacksten thought it might be necessary to have another joint meeting with Union Bridge after the questions raised tonight got answered. Mr. Wiley suggested that the Town contact others town that have implemented the Resident Sheriff Program to see how they like it. Mrs. Nobles asked when the Council would be voting on which program to go with. Mayor Pierce informed her before July 1, 2002.
 
Water Ban: Mayor Pierce stated that there was a consideration for a water ban for New Windsor. He stated that there has been very little rain for the past nine months. The water supply is holding up for now. Monitoring devices were put in place in the wells and springs. He asked the Council to consider a resolution to place a water ban on outside watering. Mayor Pierce made the residents present aware that there were handouts with some tips and information on conserving water available on the side table tonight or they could go to Town Hall and get the information. Mayor Pierce stated that the Town is about 10” behind on rainfall this year. Councilman Roop stated that in the past the Town had a voluntary water ban and that seemed to work well. Councilman Petry made the comment that this was done during the summer months when people were using more water and it worked well. It was suggested that the Town could issue a voluntary water ban for a few months and if things did not improve by April, than issue a water ban at that time. Mayor Pierce stated that he would like to send out a flier expressing this concern and asking the residents to conserve water and tell them some things that they can do to conserve and see if the Town can get the water usage down to get through this period. Michelle Ostrander read the resolution to the Mayor and Council and the residents present. Councilman Blacksten asked the Mayor if he had gotten any feedback from the Water Task Force as to what the Town should do. Mayor Pierce stated that he had not. Councilman Gullo suggested to have ”no one shall” be changed to ”people shall be encouraged to or should be encouraged not to”. After Michelle made the correction, she reread the resolution and Councilman Roop made a motion to accept the amended resolution and seconded by Council Palsgrove. Motion passed 5-0.
 
Summer Concerts: Mayor Pierce asked to have input from the residents on how they felt about continuing with the Summer Concerts. He stated that there were sponsorships for these concerts from local businesses. Mrs. LaFleur definitely felt that the Town should continue with these concerts, Mr. Fitschen agreed. Mayor Pierce stated that the Town would begin working on getting groups to perform.
 
Yard Waste and Bulk Trash Pick-Ups: Mayor Pierce brought to the attention of the Council and residents about the yard waste and bulk trash pick-ups. He stated the schedule for yard waste pick-ups. He stated the cost for yard waste pick-up was approximately $6,100 with $3,300 being for the dumpsters and the rest for labor and trucks. He suggested having only one pick-up a month still with curbside pick-up. Councilman Roop suggested that maybe the Town could still keep twice a month with the citizens bringing it to the dumpster instead of the Town employees picking it up. The Town could have one guy down at the dumpster to ensure that only Town residents were taking advantage of this service. Councilman Petry stated that the older residents in Town would not be able to get their trash to the dumpsters. Mrs. Nobles asked if it was any additional cost to have the dumpsters come in and out on the same day. There was no additional cost for the hauler to bring the dumpsters in and remove the dumpsters the same day.
 
Mayor Pierce stated that the cost of bulk trash pick-up was $3,900.00 per year with $3,100.00 being for the dumpsters and tipping fees and the rest for labor and trucks. He stated the schedule for bulk trash pick-up. The only problem with this service is that some people set out a lot of items on these pick-up days and that outside people are coming in and using the dumpsters. Mayor Pierce stated that the City of Taneytown only has bulk trash pick-up in the spring and fall and the citizens have to take their items to the dumpster. Another Town only allows five items per house. Councilman Blacksten felt that Town residents were abusing this service. Councilman Petry felt that the bulk trash pick-up was more important than the yard waste pick-ups. Mr. Brian May would like this service to continue. Mrs. Charlotte Hollenbeck asked what happens when a person gets evicted. Who is responsible for removing the contents? Mayor Pierce stated that it was the Town’s and then the Town billed the owners for the service.
 
Appointment to Planning Commission: Mayor Pierce stated that Mr. Bob Dixon’s term on the Planning Commission has expired in February 2002. He would like to reappoint Mr. Dixon for another term. Councilman Petry made a motion to reappoint Mr. Dixon to the Planning Commission for another term and seconded by Councilman Blacksten. Motion passed 5-0.
 
 
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS
 
Low Water Pressure in Blue Ridge Manor Development: Mayor Pierce gave an update on the low water pressure problem in the Blue Ridge Manor Development Mayor Pierce stated that at the last Town Council Meeting there was a motion made by Councilman Gullo as to the exact process of what was going to happen
 
as far as the booster system was concerned in Blue Ridge Manor. A copy of this motion was sent to the Schneiders and Council Members. Mayor Pierce talked with the Town engineer today and by the early part of next week the specifications for the contractor to proceed with the design by his engineer will be in the hands of the developer. Than it will be up to the developer to have his engineer develop the plans and specifications. The detail plans will come back to the Town for their engineer to review the plans before construction can begin.
 
 
 
RESIDENT’S CONCERNS
 
Mrs. Sharon Nobles: Mrs. Nobles stated that the Mayor and herself have reached an agreement to settle the lawsuit. She stated that she was never reimbursed the $15.00 for court costs. Attorney Michelle Ostrander informed her that she contacted the court and was told that there were no court costs. She asked Mrs. Nobles to give her the information and she would take care of the matter. Her second concern was that she questioned when Mrs. Cindy Welker was appointed Town Clerk. Michelle stated that Mrs. Welker was not technically appointed. Michelle advised the Mayor that he and the Council technically needed to appoint Mrs. Welker retroactive May 24, 2001. Councilman Roop made a motion to approve Mrs. Welker as Town Clerk, but Councilman Gullo felt that the Council needed to discuss her salary according to the charter. Councilman Roop than withdrew his motion.
 
 
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Youth Council – Councilman Roop announced that the Youth Council would be meeting on Thursday, March 14, 2002, at the New Windsor Fire Hall from 7-8:30 p.m. This Council is for students from sixth through twelfth grade.
 
Adjournment With no other business to be brought before the Town Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
 
Next Town Meeting: The next New Windsor Town Council Meeting will be held April 3, 2002 at 7:00 p.m. in the New Windsor Fire Hall, 209 High Street.
 
Cindy L. Welker
Acting Town Clerk
 
 
 

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