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2002-04 Council Minutes

 

Minutes
 
Town Council Meeting - April 3, 2002
 
Present: Mayor Sam Pierce, Council Members Neal Roop, Ed Palsgrove, Terry Petry and Jay Gullo, Town Attorney Michelle Ostrander and Acting Town Clerk Cindy Welker. There were 35 people in attendance. Councilman Blacksten was absent.
 
Call to Order: Mayor Pierce called the April 3, 2002 Town Meeting to order at 7:05 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 March 6, 2002 minutes with the amendments made by Councilman Gullo and Councilman Palsgrove was made by Councilman Petry and seconded by Councilman Roop. Motion passed 4-0.
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
Presentation of FY03 Budget: Mayor Pierce presented the FY03 budget to the Council and residents present. He stated that there would be a Public Hearing on the Budget on April 24, 2002 at 7:00 p.m. in the New Windsor Fire Hall. Then at the May 1, 2002 Town Council Meeting it would be brought back to the Council for adoption. He stated that some of the categories from last year were changed to coincide with categories added and titles being changed, but the totals from last year’s budget do match. He began with the General Fund Budget stating one increase was the Council’s salaries due to more meetings they are attending, also was the telephone category because telephone was split in the previous year among several main categories, now it is being combined under one (Town Hall Building). Mayor Pierce stated that one new category added was Grant Administrator to help the Town with researching any grants that would be beneficial to the Town. Another increase was in the Public Works Labor category. This was an increase due to the Town hopefully hiring a full-time/part-time person. Mayor Pierce went on to explain why yard waste and bulk trash collection was broken out from trash collection. He stated that the Town would be tracking these as two separate items. The Mayor’s last item of increase was the insurance category. He stated that the Town has been advised by their insurance carrier that due to everything that has happen within the last year, the Town should expect a substantial increase in their insurance. He than mentioned the items that are in the Capital Budget for this year, which was an Open Space Grant match and Street Resurfacing. The Mayor went on to the Revenues for the General Fund Budget. He stated that the main increase was for Real Estate Taxes, which has a $ .02 increase. He stated that all other items had little or now changes. Mayor Pierce then went on to the Enterprise Fund Budget. He stated that there were several new categories added to this budget. He first mentioned that the U 8c 0 fees have come down a good bit due to slowing of construction. Some new items were the Water Task Force, Highway Contractor, Local Labor, Lab/Sampling Services, Postage and Mileage. Mayor Pierce stated that the County last year put the Town on a five-year payout program, which is being reflected in the budget. He then brought up the Capital Budget for the Enterprise Fund Budget, which consisted of Emergency Generators, Evaluation W/S for High and Main Streets (Main Street Revitalization) and Main Street W/S line replacement. His last statement was that water and sewer rates are very low and have not been increased since 1995 and the Town is looking into increasing these rates in the near future. Mayor Pierce suggested that the Council and Residents take the budget home and examine it and bring their comments and concerns to the April 24, 2002 Public Hearing.
 
Main Street Revitalization Presentation: Mr. Kevin Null gave the Council an update on the Main Street Revitalization Project. He stated that the committee met on February 25, 2002 where they reviewed and unanimously adopted the Main Street Revitalization concept plans. He would like the Council to vote to go forward and accept the concept plans. If the Council would vote to go forward with this plan, each property owner who would be effective would receive a letter and be required to sign an authorization form. He also recommended the extension of High Street as it was presented at the Public Hearing in January 2002 and option #3 for the roundabout at the intersection of Main and Church Street by the 7-11.
 
Ned Cueman stated that the Town should go to the district engineer in Frederick to have him help with the corner of Main and High Street. Mr. Cueman stated that there was money there for this project. Mrs. Jeanne Laudermilch felt that the extension of High Street would help some with the corner problem. A motion to accept the recommendation on the Main Street Revitalization concept plans and pursue Mr. Ned Cueman’s suggestion concerning the corner was made by Councilman Palsgrove and seconded by Councilman Roop. Motion passed 4-0.
 
Dennings Pump Station: Mayor Pierce stated that he received a recommendation from the Water Task Force that the design specifications and drawings that have been prepared for the Town by ARRO Engineering for the New Dennings Well be permitted to be placed out for bids. The bid process would be handled by ARRO. This project has been approved by the State. Mayor Pierce asked for a motion to approve the putting out of the bids for the Dennings Well Project. This motion was made by Councilman Petry and seconded by Councilman Roop. Motion passed 4-0.
 
Contract with BGE: Mayor Pierce stated that in conjunction with the Dennings Well project the Town needed to contract with BGE to have electric power line run into the site. The Mayor had a proposal from BGE to do this at a cost of approximately $4,700.00. The Mayor then asked to have a motion to proceed with the paper work to have this electric line put in. That motion was made by Councilman Petry and seconded by Councilman Palsgrove. Motion passed 4-0.
 
Change of Meeting Dates: Mayor Pierce stated that he would like approval to change June and July’s Monthly Town Council Meeting. He wanted to change June’s meeting because it fell on the night of the New Windsor Fireman’s Parade. He would like the meeting changed to June 12, 2002. There is no Lions Club meeting this night. He wanted to change July’s meeting because it fell on July 3 and he felt that people might want to go away for a long Holiday weekend. He wanted this meeting moved to July 2, 2002. A motion to change these two meetings was made by Councilman Roop and seconded by Councilman Palsgrove. Motion passed 4-0.
 
Council Pays: Mayor Pierce stated that he would like to get a clarification of payment to the Council that was raised by Councilman Gullo. The Mayor asked for clarification from the Council as to what is the criterion for meetings. It is known that Town Meetings and Work Sessions are paid meetings. Councilman Gullo stated that the normal policy was that if there is a meeting with a quorum of the members to discuss Town business this is how the Council got paid. He referred to Ordinance 23, dated October 7, 1980; this is when the Council salaries were set. This is uncodified in the new Codebook. In 1993, under Mayor Carlisle, this was amended to increase the salaries. Councilman Gullo’s feeling was if the Council gets together to discuss Town business, it is an official meeting because the citizens have the right to know what is discussed and minutes should be kept. There were three meeting in question; 1. The joint meeting with Union Bridge Council to hear the Sheriffs presentation on the Sheriff Deputy Program. 2. Strategic Planning Meetings. 3. Joint meeting with the New Windsor Fire Company. Mayor Pierce suggested that there would be an official sign in sheet for future meetings. He instructed the Acting Town Clerk to go back and pick up the missed meetings. It was requested, by Councilman Gullo that a notation on a sticky note be placed on the checks indicating what meetings the check is for.
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS
 
Resident Trooper/Sheriff Deputy Program: Mayor Pierce stated that at February 6, 2002’s Council Meeting there was a presentation by Lt. Terry Katz, from the Maryland State Police Department, and by Sheriff Ken Tregoning. They presented to the Council and residents what each of their programs had to offer the Town of New Windsor. He stated that the Council had the figures that were presented at that time. Mayor Pierce stated that he received a telephone call from Mr. Steve Powell stating that the County Commissioners agreed to fund the 25 % for the next year. Also the County will allow the Sheriff s Department to hire another person to be the Sheriff Deputy for the two towns if that is how they wish to go. Mayor Pierce stated that he wrote a letter to Lt. Katz asking for final figures on the proposed cost from the Maryland State Police. Lt. Katz stated that these figures would not be available until the General Assembly passed the budget. Mayor Pierce addressed the liability question that was raised at the last meeting. He stated that he had spoke with the County Attorney and also talked with LGIT, who is the Town’s insurer, and they both stated that the Sheriff Deputy would be an employee of the County and would be defended by the County Attorney and/or LGIT and they are insured by LGIT. Councilman Palsgrove stated that at the last meeting it was suggested to obtain a contract from the Sheriffs Department. Mayor Pierce stated that Steve Powell stated that they would write a contract with the Town, but he did not have it because they have not prepared it at this time. Mayor Pierce informed the Council that the numbers in front of them were the correct numbers according to Steve Powell. Mayor Pierce stated that which ever program the town went with would become effective July 1, 2002. Mayor Pierce suggested to the Council that he felt the Town should go with the Sheriff Deputy Program. Councilman Petry stated that his son works for the Sheriff s Department as a correctional officer and is not on the road. He felt that this would not effect his decision when it came to a vote. Councilman Petry asked that the 25’/o the County was kicking in would be kicked in no matter which way New Windsor voted. Mayor Pierce informed him that is what he was told for FY03. Councilman Gullo wanted it noted for the record that Councilman Blacksten was a direct employee of the Sheriffs Department. Mayor Pierce stated that both programs would provide the same services.
 
Some residents voiced their concerns and opinions as to what the Council should do. The first one was Mr. Dale Allen Lowman who stated that he felt the Maryland State Police had better trained officers than the Sheriffs Department. Councilman Roop asked the Mayor if he had heard Union Bridge’s decision. He stated that Mayor Perry Jones and the Council President told him that Union Bridge chose the Sheriffs Deputy Program. Councilman Roop then asked that if New Windsor went with the Resident Trooper Program, what would happen? Mayor Pierce stated that he did not know, because the Town of New Windsor could not afford their own Resident Trooper. Next was Mr. Kevin Null stated that he felt the town was selling the Sheriffs Department short. He felt that since the citizens of the County elected the Sheriff that he is responsible to the citizens of the County. He felt the money issue should be secondary. Mr. Patrick Burke was next with his few questions and comments; 1. He wanted to know what would happen if the two towns voted different. 2. He did not feel comfortable having each organization telling the residents what services they could provide; he would like to see it in writing. 3. He felt the Town would be better served if they had the General Attorney’s office defending them. Councilman Roop stated that he felt the New Windsor Council should once again meet with the Union Bridge Council to discuss this matter further. He directed this comment to Attorney Michelle Ostrander. She informed him that this could be done with no conflict. Each Town would have to come to their own conclusion. Councilman Gullo stated that every year there is a problem with Union Bridge deciding whether they would be getting rid of the Resident Trooper Program of whether they would be staying with it. Next Mrs. Sharon Nobles asked the question; ”Why is the Town of New Windsor quivering over a few thousand dollars for safety”. Mr. Dave LaFleur stated that he agreed with Kevin Null’s point that the Town would get flexibility from the Sheriffs Department and that the Town should go with that program. Councilman Petry still had a problem with the liability issue. He was reassured that the Town would not wreak anything that the County and LGIT would be liable. Councilman Gullo stated that the Town had a contract with the Maryland State Police and it is all lined up. The Town knows what the details are. He felt the Town would be better off not fixing something that’s not broken. Councilman Petry stated that he agreed with Councilman Roop on having a joint session with Union Bridge, this would give the Maryland State Police time to get their figures to the two Towns. Councilman Roop stated that he would like to have something in writing from the County Attorney as to what would be the County’s responsibility and what would be the Town’s responsibility if there would be a lawsuit. This matter was tabled until the two Town Councils could have another joint meeting.
 
Michelle Ostrander stated that she would put together a letter to the County Attorney with the questions that the Council raised. Michelle would like to request specific information from Ms. Millender, County Attorney, and Mr. Steve Powell to find the answers. Michelle wanted assurances from the insurance company, not from the County Attorney’s office.
 
Mayor Pierce stated that he would try to arrange a joint meeting after the questions are answered from the County and State. This meeting could take place at the next New Windsor Monthly Town Council Meeting on May 1, 2002.
 
Blue Ridge Pump Station: Mayor Pierce stated that the Schneider’s made a request to be put on the agenda. Mayor Pierce refreshed the memory of the Council that at the last meeting is was decided that ARRO engineering would prepare specifications for the pump station. They were prepared and delivered about a month ago to the Schneiders and they came to a Water Task Force meeting about two weeks ago and this is a follow up to that meeting. The Town wrote to the Schneiders asking them if they have things to address or that they don’t agree with. They sent a letter back to the Town that didn’t really answer all the questions. Mr. Erich Boner, Vice President of Mason-Dixon Builders began the presentation. He had two topics to discuss with the Council; 1. Booster Pump Station. 2. Blue Ridge Manor Section II, Phase B concerning the issues that need to be discussed.
 
Mr. Boner gave a handout to the Council and Mayor outlining their proposal for the booster pump. Mr. Boner went through this proposal for the Council. He felt that this proposal would help Blue Ridge Manor, New Windsor Heights and the Town. He stated that they would like the Town to do the review and inspection work and pay for this service and they would do the engineering with the plans going to ARRO for review and ARRO would have someone on the job while construction is being done. Mr. Keller, a Town resident who lives in Blue Ridge Manor Development, would like to see the County get involved with making sure the standards are met since Chester Engineering screwed up. Councilman Gullo felt that after the booster pump is designed, inspected and put out there, there needs to be some type of test of some magnitude to determine if it works in reality. Joe Moss, from ARRO, stated that they had done a Master Plan for the Town to determine what the Town needed for adequate pressure to the homes in Blue Ridge Manor and in the proposed New Windsor Heights Development.
 
Mayor Pierce had two questions; 1. Was regarding the line that ran from existing tank site to Murphy Court. He felt that the idea of this line was to tie into the existing line on Murphy Court. This was suggested that it should be the Town’s responsibility. Mayor Pierce had a problem with that. Joe Moss stated that this hook up was in the Master Plan for the Town. His proposal was that there was a 6” line that needed to be put in immediately, and the 8” line could wait if the Town chose to do so. Joe recommended that the Town not wait since the trench will already be dug so the Schneiders can put in their 6” line. A question was raised to Joe Moss if he could give the Town some type of figure as to how much it would cost to do this project.
 
Councilman Palsgrove asked Mr. Joe Moss to explain to the Council what would be involved from his standpoint in terms as what they are asking the Council to do for review and inspections dollar wise and then he felt someone else could tell the Council what would be involved if the Town needs to do some piping work. Councilman Palsgrove felt that these two issues is what the Town needs to know dollar and cents wise if New Windsor Heights wanted the Council to make a decision on this matter. Joe stated to the Council that the construction management would not exceed $10,000.00; to review the drawings would not exceed $2,000.00. These were ballpark figures. The next question asked by Councilman Palsgrove was what the cost would be to run the 8” pipe. Joe stated that he had budgeted $10,000.00.
 
Michelle read the Memorandum of Understanding to the Mayor, Council and the few residents that were left at the meeting. It was suggested that the Memorandum of Understanding be finalized by April 15, 2002 for the Town Council Work Session. A motion to have a Memorandum of Understanding stating the guidelines that were discussed and have everyone to review and be prepared to execute it at the next meeting on April 15, 2002 was made by Councilman Palsgrove and seconded by Councilman Petry. Motion passed 4-0.
 
RESIDENT’S CONCERNS
 
Mr. Bill Geelhaar: Mr. Geelhaar questioned why the Town was using the old code for junked cars. Mayor Pierce stated that the code that was being used was the one in the Town Codebook in Town Hall.
 
Mrs. Sharon Nobles: Mrs. Nobles stated that the entrance to Atlee Ridge Development has lots of trash there. She was informed that this matter would be looked into and taken care of. She questioned as to why the Town had not paid the $15.00 for her court cost. She was under the understanding that this would be taken care of. Michelle informed her that her office took a check to the courthouse to clear up this matter; however, the check was returned to her stating that the fee had already been paid. Mrs. Nobles informed her that she paid this cost because the court informed Mrs. Nobles that there would be a lien put on her property. Michelle asked her to see her after the meeting that Michelle had a check for her.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Water Concern – Mayor Pierce stated that he hoped people were still conserving water.
 
Sprint Contract – Mayor Pierce stated that back on August 1, 2001, the Council voted and authorized an agreement with Sprint. This was passed at that time and forwarded to Sprint. After discussing the painting of the tank, Sprint backed off. They are now once again interested. Mr. McQuire stopped by Town Hall today and dropped off a signed agreement with a check for $ 1,000.00, which is for the signing fee. This would be a 10- year contract. They also committed to $3,000.00 for any engineering fees that would be involved. Council Petry asked that since the Council approved the agreement, the Town received a letter from Mr. John McQuire stating that this issue was dead, that they were no longer pursing this interest. So Councilman Petry felt that the signed agreement was no good.
 
Yard Waste – Mayor Pierce stated that yard waste was this coming Saturday. Yard waste needed to be placed out before S:00 a.m. They have secured the area at the barn and would have someone supervising dumping of yard waste.
 
Adjournment: With no other business to be brought before the Town Council, Councilman Roop made a motion to adjourn and Councilman Palsgrove seconded. Motion passed 4-0.
 
Next Town Meeting: The next New Windsor Town Council Meeting will be held May 1, 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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