WALKERSVILLE BURGESS & COMMISSIONERS TOWN MEETING
April 24, 2013
The Town meeting of the Walkersville Burgess & Commissioners was called to order on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. Those in attendance included Burgess Ralph Whitmore, Commissioners Gary Baker, Donald Schildt, Chad Weddle, Russell Winch, and Debbie Zimmerman, Town Manager Gloria Long Rollins, Planning and Zoning Administrator Susan Hauver, Public Works Director Bob DePaola, 20 citizens, Senior Trooper Ramona Miller, Kelsi Loos of the Frederick News-Post, Sherry Greenfield of the Gazette.
The meeting was called to order with the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer offered by Commissioner Chad Weddle. He asked for a moment of silence to remember those who were injured or killed in the Boston Marathon bombings and those suffering from the explosions in Texas. He asked that we remember our military service people and our police, as we honor our hometown hero, Ramona Miller, as she retires from service to the town.
Commissioner Debbie Zimmerman made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Russell Winch, to approve the Town meeting minutes of April 10, 2013. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
2. PUBLIC HEARING ON ORDINANCE 2013-02 - CHAPTER 53 – ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
Commissioner Russell Winch reviewed the proposed Chapter 53 that creates a Walkersville Economic Development Commission.
Commissioner Russell Winch made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Chad Weddle, to adopt Ordinance 2013-02 Chapter 53 – Economic Development Commission, as revised by the Town Attorney. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
3. DR. TERRY ALBAN, SUPERINTENDENT, FREDERICK COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Dr. Terry Alban noted in reference to the previous discussion that education is an integral part of economic development and business in the County. She notified Commissioners in her presentation that FCPS is #1 in the State! Walkersville community is supportive of the schools. We have incredible teachers and support staff. Of 40,000 students in our schools, 25% live in poverty and FCPS is working hard to offer support to these students. There are great changes coming with more rigorous standards to the curriculum and common core. Nine of Frederick County high schools have made the America’s Best High Schools list and are within the top 100 high schools across the nation with the lowest drop-out rate in the State. When asked about raises for the teachers this year, Ms. Alban reported that it is contingent upon the funding received for the fiscal year. They support getting a pay increase for the teachers. FCPS is requesting $15 million dollars above the maintenance of effort required amount from Frederick County. They are working hard to reduce their request and teachers’ salaries are a priority. FCPS ranks #22 out of 24 for starting teacher salaries L When asked about increasing class size she reported that would help save $4 million. When asked if programs will be cut, i.e. sports, music, arts, she noted that sports program is no longer self sustaining. They do not want to eliminate these programs and need to work to become sustainable. Some items may need to be revisited to help with the budget.
4. AT&T EXPANSION ON CRUM TOWER DISCUSSION WITH TOM GODWIN
Tom Godwin, site acquisition manager, working on behalf of AT&T, came to discuss proposed rate increase with Commissioners. He asked them to explain how they came up with their request for revenue for 3 more antennae. Commissioner Winch explained that our calculations were fair and equitable based on their expanded band width. After lots of discussion and some disagreements, Commission Russell Winch made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Gary Baker, to stay with the Town’s original request for revenue for 3 new antennae. The motion was withdrawn.
Commissioner Chad Weddle made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Russell Winch, to hold a closed legal meeting to discuss a contractual agreement and emergency services. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
5. DRAFT BUDGET DISCUSSIONS
Burgess Whitmore and Ms. Rollins reviewed the General Fund and Water Fund budgets. Commissioner Winch asked that $15,000 be added to the General Fund budget for the establishment of the Economic Development Commission. Several other questions and corrections were discussed.
Commissioner Chad Weddle made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Debbie Zimmerman, to pay the Ethics Commission members $40 each per meeting, the same as the Parks, Planning and Zoning, and Board of Appeals members. The motion passed by a vote of 4-0-1, with Commissioner Russell Winch abstaining.
The budgets will be formally introduced at the May 8th town meeting.
6. TRASH COLLECTION CONTRACT RENEWAL
Commissioners reviewed staff memo summarizing bid information for trash collection renewal. Staff recommendation is to renew our contract with Ecology Services, the low bidder, in the amount of $85,056.
Commissioner Chad Weddle made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Donald Schildt, to award the trash collection contract to Ecology Services in the amount of $85,056. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
7. APPROVAL OF AD FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MEMBERS
Commissioner Chad Weddle made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Russell Winch, to run the proposed newspaper ad for members of the Economic Development Commission. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
8. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AND MARCH 2013 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Commissioner Chad Weddle made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Russell Winch, to pay the attached bills and approve the March 2013 financial statements for the General Fund and Water Fund. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
9. COMMISSIONERS’ CONCERNS
Commissioner Donald Schildt requested that the Town participate in the MML compensation survey.
Commissioner Chad Weddle made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Russell Winch, to pay $100 for the compensation survey from MML. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
Burgess Whitmore announced that the new water line project down Frederick Street will be commencing shortly and citizens should prepare for backups and problems.
Ms. Rollins reminded commissioners that the Frederick County Commissioners would be discussing the Walkersville library project at their Thursday, 4/25 meeting at 10:00 a.m.
10. CITIZENS’ QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS
Citizen John Poole asked what we are currently receiving from AT&T.
Sherrie Levings and Erin Waller of Ginger and Spice, 21 West Pennsylvania Avenue, came to discuss a code enforcement citation they have received regarding the area encompassing their storefront décor. They were cited under the Old Town Mixed Use section of Chapter 88 of the Walkersville Town Code. Upon further discussion, it was noticed that the store probably falls within the B1 district, so the citation may be irrelevant at this time.
Commissioner Chad Weddle made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Russell Winch, to hold off on discussion of the citation until it is determined for certain if the correct section of the code is cited. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
John Poole commented that the area is riddled with double parked cars and is a big mess.
Andrew Toms, 8500-C Fountain Rock Road, noted that there had been no trash pickup at 8516 Woodsboro Pike. The tenant, Josh Eppley, entered the meeting room and concurred with Mr. Toms that trash pickup is needed. Upon review of the office records, it is noted trash pickup was never stopped at the property.
Ms. Suzan Thompson reviewed her qualifications and history of living in the Town and noted that she had sent an email in response to the request for letters of interest in the alternate Ethics Commission member position.
11. RESOLUTION 2013-01 RECOGNITION OF SERVICE OF RAMONA MILLER ON HER RETIREMENT
Commissioner Chad Weddle read the resolution thanking Trooper Miller for her outstanding service to the Town as a Maryland State Resident Trooper. Refreshments and celebration commenced.
The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Gloria Long Rollins