SECTION 5 OF THE VILLAGE OF CHEVY CHASE
ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES
Date: April 3, 2012
Time: 7:30 PM
Place: 5906 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase Village Hall
Present: Peter Gray; Tim Hanlon; Frances L. Higgins; 4 Section 5 residents
Agenda Item: Minutes
Tim moved that the March 13, 2012, Council meeting minutes be approved as revised; there was a second and the motion passed unanimously.
Introduction of Council Members
Peter introduced the Council members.
Section 5 applied for and obtained a full exemption from the new State Ethics Law. The law would have imposed an onerous compliance burden on the Section, and created opportunities for breaches of individual privacy.
Certain Section 5 ordinances, including the tree ordinance and the building regulations, were amended or corrected.
The Council passed a resolution which allowed Section 5 residents, rather than the Council, to make decisions to which charities they would contribute money and also the amount of money to donate to each one. The Council revoked its previous resolution which allowed it to contribute public funds to charities. In the case of national or local disasters the Council will still be able to donate funds to charities.
The Council amended the police contract for supplemental police patrols to focus increased police attention to enforcing compliance with traffic laws, particularly on cut-through streets between Connecticut Avenue and Brookville Road during rush hours
The Council made an exception to residents' general opposition to installing speed humps on Section 5 streets, and approved the installation of a single speed hump on Leland Street. This exception was based on a petition from Leland St. residents requesting a speed hump.
A resident asked how the Council might use the funds in the substantial reserve fund which Section 5 presently has. The manager said that if Section 5 had to repair its storm drains, it could use a substantial portion of the reserve funds.
It was suggested that the manager contact a civil engineering firm about the cost of an inspection of the storm drains to determine their need for repair.
Tim said that Section 5 has received more revenue than had been expected and that the town has not as yet received the final check from the State for income tax. That payment will come the last week of May. At that time the Council will decide if it will provide a real estate tax rebate to the residents and the amount of that rebate. Tim noted that Section 5's revenues as well as expenses in each of the last four (4) years are similar. He also said that the financial health of Section 5 is excellent.
Residents Vote on Tax Rate
Tim asked if someone would move to set the real estate rate for FY 2012-13. John Higgins moved that Section 5's real estate tax rate for FY 2013 be set at $0.00 per $100 of assessed property value for FY 2013. There was a second to the motion and it passed unanimously. The real estate tax rate for Section 5 for FY 2013 is $0.00 per $100 of assessed property value.
Citizen Concerns and Suggestions
A resident expressed his concern about the budget item for capital improvements. This year this item has $11,000 in it. The manager explained that Section 5's auditor suggested this amount so that when the roads need to be repaved in twenty years, there will be sufficient funds in that account.
A resident has contacted a Council member and asked for the Council to pay to install additional liriope plants in the public strip in front of her house. There was some discussion about whose responsibility it is to maintain the public strips. It was suggested and agreed upon that the Council will pay to install liriope in public strips and add some plants to replace those damaged by winter weather; however, the cutting back, mulching, and fertilizing of liriope will be the responsibility of the resident. The manager will write an article for the June newsletter stating the Council's policy concerning the maintenance of the public strips.
Building permits issued:
6 Leland St. - back yard swimming pool
The manager said that the retaining wall at 3600 Underwood St. that was damaged by an automobile in early January has been replaced by a stone wall. The present owner of the wall was given money to repair the wall which was damaged by a police car. The present owner has now given this money from the insurance company to Section 5 to help defray the cost of the new wall. The present owner of the wall has agreed to assume the ongoing maintenance of the wall in exchange for Section 5 paying for a portion of the cost of the new wall.
Section 5's case before the Maryland Public Service Commission concerning Pepco' current tree pruning policy is still pending. Section 5 has asked Pepco to prune its trees every two years rather every four years. Pepco has refused to do this and Section 5 has asked the Maryland Public Service Commission to mediate this dispute with Pepco. The Commission has agreed to mediate the dispute.
The manager will publish a new telephone directory some time this fall. There are several houses for sale in Section 5 and it was suggested that she wait to publish the new directory until these houses are sold and the new owners have moved into Section 5. She has agreed to wait for the new directory. Peter suggested that the present directory map be made larger; it may be necessary to use a larger map that will be a fold out. The present map is small and difficult to read because of its size.
The manager will call the residents who have allowed their hedges to infringe on the public sidewalk.
Peter adjourned the meeting. The next meeting will be Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at 7:30 PM at the Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Ave. There is handicapped access to the building and everyone is welcome.