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Minutes of August 6, 2001

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Town of Riverdale Park

Mayor and Council Legislative Session

Call To Order

The legislative session of the Mayor and Council was called to order. Present were Councilmember's Feldberg, Blaschke, Tiberio, Davis, Almirez, and Scott. Also present were Police Chief Evans, and Administrator Prangley.

Pledge Of Allegiance And Moment of Silence

Approval Of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda was made by CM Tiberio. Seconded by CM Davis. Item 9a, Approval of nonconforming fence at 4808 Nicholson St was added by the Mayor. There was no council discussion and no public comment.

Correspondence Summary

A request was made that letter 16 of the correspondence summary be read aloud. CM Davis read the letter from Charlie K. Watkins, District engineer, State Highway Administration.

Town Administrator and Treasurer's Report

Administrator Prangley provided the Town Administrator's report announcing that Riverdale Park is the recipient of a $365,000 State of Maryland Neighborhood Conservation Grant. The grant completes the funding source for the Riverdale Rd project, bringing the total to $805,000. WSSC continues work on their water main replacement program and the Neighborhood Conservation Project should begin shortly.

The Town applied for a grant under the Community Legacy Program that is intended to cover the cost to hire an Economic Development Coordinator for the Town who would focus specifically on the Town Center project. The grant money would also be used to pursue work on the Kenilworth Ave corridor, specifically the Alamo shopping center, Riverdale Plaza, and the business corridor along Kenilworth Ave.

A $300,000 redevelopment grant was applied for to assist with redevelopment of the newly acquired Town Center. The grant will reimburse the Town's treasury for monies spent in acquisition of the properties. The goal is to get back the $270,000 the Town spent to purchase the buildings and cover the cost to have someone look at restoration of, and development of the Town Center. The total costs for repairs are estimated at $600,000 and will be a joint venture.

Mr. Prangley read aloud the Treasurer's Report figures. Following a question by CM Scott, it was noted that July is historically the slowest revenue month for the Town.

The motion to accept the report was made by CM Tiberio. Seconded by CM Scott. The motion passed unanimously.

Mayor's Report

In follow-up to Mr. Prangley's report about the Town Center and the Legacy Grant Application, the Mayor noted that the Town has put out a request for bids for structural engineering assessment for the properties. The Town's Legacy Grant Application was extremely well received due to an intense interest in tying work we're doing at Town Center in with other projects being done in the area. An answer is expected within the month and would provide an additional $250,000 to $300,000 for redevelopment.

At last week's work session the Alamo Center redevelopment was proposed by Mr. and Mrs. Shee, owners of the Alamo Mexican Restaurant. The project would affect the west side of the 5500 block of Kenilworth Ave . The Mayor noted that this is the first part of what is hoped to be a long term redevelopment project and series of projects related to the Town.

Milling operations by the State Highway Administration have begun on Kenilworth Ave. Contractors have completed cement work that was to be done. Paving operations are expected to commence in two weeks.

Regarding the WSSC Project, effective 3 weeks ago, a third crew began the lateral hookups on the 8 blocks of Riverdale Rd slated for work. Completion of all the WSSC work is on target for October 15th. A list of WSSC improvements discussed at previous meetings is available.

The Mayor thanked Debbie Murphy of Public Works and Dave Sutton of the Fire Dept for assisting the Town in its character generator work on channel B10.

The first quarterly Town Hall meeting with police Chief Evans and the new Community Policing Officer, Officer Phelps, will be held Tuesday evening at 7:00pm. The purpose of the meetings is to allow citizens to discuss crime and crime prevention issues, or police and police operations within the town.

Public Comments

Water main replacement question related to leads (or lateral extensions) going to houses in Ward 4 was asked. Microphone was not on to note citizens name and question.

ACTION ITEMS

Approval of Minutes

Approval of minutes of the July 30th, Special Legislative meeting was made by CM Tiberio. Seconded by Davis. All approved

Approval of minutes of the July 2nd regular legislative meeting was made by CM Davis. Seconded by CM Blaschke. Spelling corrections were noted. All approved.

CM Scott asked about providing an electronic copy of minutes on the website. Discussion of electronic minutes and other items were proposed for discussion at the August work session.

Approval of nonconforming fence at 4808 Nicholson Street

CM Tiberio made a motion to approve a special exemption for the front property line fence at 4808 Nicholson St. CM Feldberg seconded the motion. CM Tiberio explained that the special exemption is for the ornamental wrought iron fence that originally exceeded the 42" standard. The residents reduced the front property line height of the fence to 42" as requested it meets the requirements of Town Ordinance 66.1.

There was no public comment

The motion passed unanimously.

Structural assessment of Town Center

CM Davis made the motion to extend the Town Center Structural Engineer bid date closing from August 3rd to close of business on August 17th. CM Tiberio seconded the motion. It was explained that the Town requested estimates through a multi page doc related to a structural assessment of the Town Center properties and only one bid had been received to date. It was known that other engineers wanted to submit bids but needed additional time. CM Davis noted her concern that there should be more than one bid considering this is the first time the Town had done such a project.

There was no public comment.

The motion passed unanimously.

Paper Bag Purchase and Distribution Policy

Mayor Herman noted that this was the third meeting at which the full Council was discussing the paper bags purchase and distribution policy following the adoption of the budget. He reviewed the bag shortage situation that raised the issue and explained that the lowest price from S&O Corp (bag manufacturer) was $12,000 for 30,000 bags with delivery and bundling. Mayor Herman stated that absent a motion to find approval for funding in the budget, the bag policy is essentially discontinued, effective immediately. Regardless, the Town will continue to sell the bags to its citizens at the Town's cost of $17 for 50 bags or 35 cent apiece. Non-residents may purchase them at a slightly higher cost.

CM Davis made a motion to untable the motion made at the previous meeting to discontinue delivery of free paper bags to residents of the Town unless they are on the senior citizens, or disabled citizens trash list. CM Tiberio seconded the motion.

CM Feldberg added that the Town should be certain that the list they were referring to was accurate and up to date. CM Davis stated she would consider the suggestion a friendly amendment to the motion.

Discussion followed about the two lists people were referring to. One being the senior citizens and disabled residents in need of trash pick up assistance - which CM Davis noted only had 30 names on it. The other was the list of 516 homes presently receiving bag distribution. CM Davis clarified that her intention was to protect the residents who received a higher level of public works service due to their age or inability to deal with trash the way others can. She noted that she was not interested in continuing the discriminatory policy that existed where some were on a list to received bags because of time lived in the Town. Discussion continued about whether delivery of the bags should happen based on economic need or because of age or disability.

CM Almirez stated that almost none of his constituents in Ward 5 would need them because there were only 5 single family homes out of nearly 900 - 1000 people in that Ward. It was noted that a similar situation existed in Ward 6. CM Scott said she believed the question was whether we were willing to let all the residents subsidize provision of the bags for a subset of residents.

CM Tiberio offered an amendment to the motion that the 516 homes presently on the paper bag distribution list be given the same allotment of bags for the remainder of the current fiscal year, with an understanding that these bags could only be used for garbage and trash (i.e.: not for leaf collection). He recommended that the Council look at the issue in light of a completely new survey of the Town on the matter between now and the end of fiscal year. CM Davis stated that she did not consider CM Tiberio's addition as a friendly amendment to her motion since it changed the character of what she intended. There was no second to CM Tiberio's proposed amendment to the motion so the motion died. The Council returned to the original motion that began the discussion.

CM Tiberio noted that he agreed with CM Scott's suggestion that the current distribution policy is discriminatory if it's only provided to some residents.

Following Council discussion, CM Davis withdrew her motion. The Mayor asked that CM Davis delay withdrawal of her motion until public comment was made.

Public Comment

Deborah Funkhouser, 4701 Tuckerman St, said she'd found approximately $14,000. increases in the budget that would provide money for the bags; trees, special projects, mosquitoes (Town doesn't spray), Farmers Market and Economic Development.

Gerard Kiernan, 5309 Riverdale Road, addressed incorrect cost calculations quoted. Mr. Kiernan and the Mayor discussed other numbers to see if there was a way to afford them.

Charlene Hoffman, 5907 Cleveland Ave, said she was disturbed that the discussion was about trash bags instead of the latest property tax increase. She believes if everyone can't have them no one should, and she'd buy them at Home Depot if she wanted them. If there were ways to reduce the budget they should so taxes go down.

Robert Haughton, 5601 Silk Tree Dr, expressed concern about a sense of equity as a resident of Madison Hill. Everyone should be eligible for trees or bags, or no one should get them to avoid discriminatory practices. Mr. Haughton thinks the residents of Madison Hills pay higher property taxes than anyone in Town. In looking around he thinks there are other needs and encouraged everyone to do their part.

Mayor Herman addressed Ms. Funkhouser's comments about the budget increases she'd addressed. He said that trees were increased because tree planting had not equaled tree removal in the Town and the tree canopy is being lost. Riverdale Parks tree budge pales by most community standards and control of pollution and smog, as well as the cooling provided by shade trees in residential areas is very beneficial to all. Monies from special projects covers emergency situations and repairs such as what had been done to Tuckerman St. The Farmers Market fund increased to support the approximately 400 people who attend the farmers market and adds to the .0001% of the budget that the Town contributes. It was agreed that the mosquito money was available. He expressed appreciation for the efforts she took looking into the budget to find monies.

CM Scott said since she and several other CM's were turning their Council salaries back into the Town for improvements in their wards she would be willing to contribute some of her funds for any senior or handicapped citizens who would like the bags delivered.

CM Davis withdrew her motion.

The Mayor stated that there is no longer a trash bag purchase or distribution policy in effect for the current fiscal year. The Town will make a nominal purchase to allow for the continued sale of the bags. He further stated that this is no longer a public works function, rather a general government function since the revenues will be coming from residents and going into and expenses being born by general government. He said there will need to be a budget reallocation for that budget category at the next work session.

Approval of Curb Cut at 5410 Powhatan Rd

CM Scott made the motion to approve the curb cut requested at 5410 Powhatan Rd on the western portion of the property. CM Tiberio seconded the motion. CM Scott explained that the gravel part of the drive has existed in some disrepair for several years because the resident was told that the road would be repaved and in preparation, he repaved the driveway and began to use it. In the interim he has encountered difficulty from the Town because of the ordinance that prevents an individual from driving over a curb. To resolve those issues the resident is requesting the curb cut.

Public Comment

Mark Wolf, 5410 Powhatan Rd said that the curb is bad because a the Town planted a tree next to the curb years ago. The Town had to remove the tree and stump. He said there were several other driveways nearby without curb cuts. CM Feldberg asked if his neighbors approved of the curb cuts. He hadn't asked neighbors specifically but didn't have any complaints. He raised the issue of another property on Powhatan where the Town agreed to pay for the curb cut. He discussed price but the Mayor said the motion only addressed approval of the curb cut.

The motion passed unanimously.

Break 9:09 - 9:14pm

Amendment to Town Charter re: Town Borrowing Authority

CM Blaschke made a motion to amend the Town's charter concerning the Town's borrowing authority. She explained that the legislative committee had drafted a resolution for a charter amendment increasing borrowing authority for the Town of Riverdale Park to 0.7% from 0.4%. She stated the revision would enable the Town to compete for available grant monies and pay for the improvements prior to reimbursement by federal, state and county programs. She read the legislation aloud - Resolution 2001-CR-2 - An Amendment to Article 6, section 619, Limit of Indebtedness of the Charter of Riverdale Park. The resolution was published in the July 2001 Town Crier, introduced at the July 30th special legislative meeting, and reported in the August 2nd Gazette. CM Feldberg seconded the motion.

CM Davis asked if there was a sunset on the legislation and was told there wasn't.

CM Tiberio announced withdrawal of his co-sponsorship of the legislation because he'd based his good faith support of the legislation on conditions he'd asked for but which hadn't been met. The first was that a sunset provision be added until the end of the next fiscal year, but it hadn't. The second condition was that the county and state be contacted to find out if they could pay quicker on invoices submitted. Mr. Prangley contacted them and learned that under the Community Development Block Grant, they'd do as they always had and pay whenever they did within a few months of receipt of invoice. The state indicated they would pay upon presentation of the invoice. CM Tiberio expressed concern that the Council wasn't informed of all that was learned about the matter ahead of time. He'd also asked that the hiring restriction placed on public works due to the current fiscal situation be imposed on all departments but it had not been imposed on the police department CM Tiberio said he wasn't speaking against the motion itself and because of the unique circumstances with the multiple projects, grants and contractors, the Town may need to increase their line of credit to cover the situation, but he believed the proposed legislation stretched beyond that. The voters opposed increasing the spending cap every time it came to a vote so if the legislation was necessary it needed to be for a limited time only. CM Tiberio said he would support the increase if a sunset provision was added effective until June 30, 2002.

The Mayor explained the payment information hadn't all come in prior to drafting the legislation. The Council needed to move quickly for the drafting and adoption of the legislation because of the grants presently approved related to the multiple projects and contractors involved and subsequent timeframes.

Mayor Herman reminded the Council that the $350,000 state legacy grant was still pending. He said the same limitations presently on the town with regard to the borrowing authority would create further problems for the Town should the Council opt for the sunset provision, particularly if the monies would be utilized beyond the stretch of the fiscal year under that grant. The Mayor asked that the sunset provision not be added to the legislation because of the limits it would impose on the council and on the Town's ability to make grant applications related to the Town's urban redevelopment.

CM Blaschke was asked if she considered CM Tiberio's sunset provision a friendly amendment to her motion. She said she'd like more discussion before deciding. Following her answer, the Mayor noted that it was not considered a friendly amendment. CM Scott seconded CM Tiberio's motion to add a sunset provision to the original motion.

CM Davis asked if the problem was the date of the sunset provision or if the borrowing authority increase was too low to contend with additional grants the town would be applying for in the future. Extensive discussion about current unencumbered debt relating to short term interest on smaller amounts borrowed and money paid out of reserves prior to reimbursement followed. The Mayor explained that the Town would not be able to apply for any grant applications in excess of $100,000 unless the charter is amended.

CM Scott asked CM Blaschke about the legislation noting that she's on the committee but hadn't worked on the legislation and had only seen it at the last work session around midnight on their way out. CM Blaschke said she drafted the legislation herself but was speaking on behalf of the legislative committee when she introduced it. CM Scott said she would have appreciated having more background information and Council discussion to learn if there were other options prior to a vote. She asked that the council convene and discuss such serious matters ahead of time in the future. The Mayor agreed but explained his belief that CM Blaschke had taken the necessary steps due to the Town's extenuating circumstances with expenses from three different contractors coming due causing the Town to be without sufficient assets to go after other potential grant monies available to continue it's urban renewal projects.

Mr. Prangley was asked about prior reimbursement situations. He reiterated the unusual situation with the three contractors, projects and grants - CDBG grant, Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation, all totaling $805,000. He reviewed past arrangements, some that aren't allowed anymore and some occasional exceptions, but most all requiring payment up front with grant reimbursement to the Town following sometime after actual payment to contractors is made. He noted that the Town of Riverdale Park has the lowest borrowing authority of any municipality in the state and stated that borrowing authority is the key to the short term credit arrangements needed.

The Mayor explained that absent the legislation tonight, the Town cannot begin projects already contracted for, and would likely be subject to lawsuit by contractors involved.

CM Feldberg declared her support for CM Blaschke's motion and said she did not support the sunset provision. She said there was a long way to go before the Town's infrastructure was up to standard.

CM Davis explained that it was her job as Economic Development Committee Chair to find grants to deal with the Town Center project and pursue others thereafter. She said these efforts are severely hindered by the Town's financial situation noting that many believe it will be resolved in this fiscal year. The need for the increase and the improvements around Town are a unique situation. CM Davis acknowledged that the Council is asking the voters to trust them to increase the borrowing authority when they recently voted against it. She said she was very conflicted because the sunset provision hampers her abilities to pursue grants but thinks the Council needs to consider the residents of Riverdale Park and take care of this particular legislation with the sunset provision on it and if need be go back and revisit it after the Council proves to it's residents they can deal with the situation responsibly.

Public Comment (on the sunset provision only)

Mark Smith, 5703 47th Ave, said he agreed with the need for a short term borrowing capacity but not a long-term indebtedness and supported the sunset provision. He reiterated that the citizens had repeatedly voted no to increasing the borrowing authority and felt the sunset provision was a fair compromise to address the financial needs created by the unique situation the Town is in with multiple contractors, projects and grants. He agreed that the issue can be revisited later if needed. He voiced appreciation for comments spoken by CM Tiberio, CM Davis and CM Scott on the matter.

Gerard Kiernan, 5309 Riverdale Road said he has a problem with the main amendment, the motion and the way it was presented. He disagreed with a sunset provision on charter amendment. He expressed concern with changing the charter and the possibility that it could become a yearly event.

The Mayor called for a vote on the sunset provision amendment - Councilmember's Blaschke, Tiberio, Davis, Almirez, and Scott voted in favor of the amendment. CM Feldberg opposed it. The amendment, to have a sunset provision which would revert the legislation back to .4% effective June 30, 2002, was approved.

The Mayor asked if there was Council discussion on the main motion to increase borrowing authority from .4% to .7%. There was no council discussion.

Public comment

Gerard Kiernan, 5309 Riverdale Road listed mistakes in the "whereas" portion of the resolution that CM Blaschke read. Discussion between the Mayor and Mr. Kiernan followed related to the interest on a loan that the Town would pay if borrowing authority were increased. Mr. Kiernan voiced concern about tax increases following an increase in borrowing authority if the sunset provision weren't attached. He said he was in favor of the motion with grave reservation without a sunset provision but thinks it's a joke with it. He and the Mayor disagreed about whether there had been a public meeting on the matter. The Mayor noted it's introduction at the work session to which Mr. Kiernan had made comment. Mr. Kiernan said that no official public discourse had occurred. He reiterated that there could be tax implications if the money was borrowed for other projects and noted the current tax increase residents were experiencing. Further comments were made about indebtedness and violation of state laws related to the Town's situation.

The Mayor summarized the motion: The words 1.0% actually reduced to 0.4% by act of the MD General Assembly effective October 1, 2000, shall be replaced with the words 0.7%. This provision will revert back to 0.4% effective June 30, 2002. The Council voted and adopted the charter amendment provision unanimously.

Break 10:06 - 10:10pm

The Mayor noted that Mr. Almirez had to leave but a quorum was present

Authorization for sidewalks, aprons and regrading on the 4800 Block of Somerset Rd

CM Feldberg made a motion that the Town pay for grading to bring the driveways to match curb cuts on the 4800 Block of Somerset Road. The Mayor noted that the Town Engineer provided a document for approval of a project that encompassed 6 properties on the 4800 block of Somerset Road that included sidewalks, aprons and regrading on the properties at an estimated cost of $7,180.25. CM Feldberg noted that the cost did not include 2 extra driveways and amended the motion to authorize not more than $8,180 to complete the work on the 4800 block of Somerset Road. CM Davis seconded the motion.

CM Davis asked what budget line item the expense would be drawn from. The Mayor noted that there was approximately $250,000 in the phase 2 redevelopment/roadwork fund. CM Blaschke asked about the two extra homes CM Feldberg noted. Discussion and explanation followed about the project which affected the additional two residences.

The motion passed unanimously. Vote was 5 - 0 as CM Almirez was no longer present.

The Mayor instructed Mr. Prangley to notify the Town engineer that $8,180 was authorized and the amount was to include regrading, in addition to going out for contracting. He instructed that the Town needs to execute hold harmless agreements with owners for work done on private properties.

Authorization for 57th Ave construction

CM Scott made the motion to authorize no more than $27,162.50 for 57th Avenue construction and improvements (roadway, curb, storm drain and sidewalk). The area under construction would be 57th Avenue from Riverdale Road going north to the terminus. CM Davis seconded the motion. It was noted that funds for the work are being drawn from Phase 2 monies in the budget.

CM Tiberio asked about the 50% engineering fee noted on the document. Mr. Prangley said the range is usually only from 10% - 15%.

To clarify the situation, the Mayor asked if CM Scott would consider making a friendly amendment to the first motion and actually to have two separate motions following. He suggested the second motion would be to approve G&C Consultants as engineer on a sole source contract but to reduce it to no more than 20% of the subtotal. Then create two separate motions: one for no more than $18,162.50, and another figure for no more than 20% of that figure for G&C Consultants.

The Mayor summarized the amended main motion to be $18,162.50 for actual construction costs associated with the project as a cap to authorize for construction itself. CM Davis seconded the motion. No Council discussion. No public comment. Motion passed 5 - 0.

With regard to an engineering contract motion, CM Scott made a motion to approve the amount of 20% of the $18,162.50 (later stated as $3,600) for engineering costs for the road construction to terminus with storm drains at 57th Avenue in Riverdale Park from Riverdale Rd north, and to grant this as a sole source contract to G&C Construction. CM Davis seconded the motion.

CM Tiberio noticed that the notation "storm drain study is not included in this cost estimate" was not noted on two projects. He wondered if the figure on the one under discussion was so high because the study cost for several is in this one, explaining the high figure of $9,000 for the storm drain study. The Mayor stated if the sole source engineer indicates the amount approved is insufficient, the Council could revisit the matter but their actions will at least get the ball rolling. No public comment. The motion passed 5 - 0.

Recreation Board Appointments

No additional rec board appointments

Committee and Ward Reports

Ward 6

Police Report

Chief Evans provided the Police report. New officer, Kelly Lawson started work last week.. The first Police Town Hall meeting is tomorrow evening. A speed trailer is showing up around town as a traffic calming device. The police department is soliciting the business community in hopes of raising the funds to buy the speed trailer. The department received a block grant for 2002 for $14,000 for technology. They are also the recipients of an anti handgun gun violence grant for $31,000 which will be implemented in the fall.

CM Scott has not issued Ward 6 notes as she's done in the past because they're being published in the Town Crier. Residents were asked to please note the August issue where a break in, thwarted by an alert neighbor and the quick response of the police department was reported. The thief and someone waiting in a getaway car were apprehended.

CM Scott reported that she was pleased to attend an open house event in the new Riverdale Chiropractic Center on 57th Avenue. Dr Kadini is responsible for the beautiful renovations to the building. Residents are encouraged to visit. The address is 6105 57th Avenue. The phone number is 301- 779- BACK.

Fire Department Report

Mr. Sutton reported that barbeques are a concern to the department, particularly for apartments, but also for homes. Grills should be 25 ft from buildings and never on balconies.

Vince Harrison was recently approved by the County Fire Department as volunteer Deputy Chief. His primary goal is to enhance recruitment and a new program will focus on recruiting college students from UM and surrounding colleges. As a result, the department will soon approach the Town for interior modification funds to support that program as required by the University for live in students.

Mr. Sutton noted that 1/3 of the Town is not serviced by Riverdale Fire Department, but by the Riverdale Heights Fire Department. They've recently taken possession of a new rescue squad that should go into service in the next week or two in service to the town and surrounding areas.

Ward 5

Councilmember Almirez had to leave before the end of themeeting but had asked the Mayor to report that he is continuing to work on Ward 5 parking problems with Poretsky Management and other property owners to provide designated parking for residents there. Mr. Almirez is also working with Ms. Tuscano on Riverdale Park Day details and events which will be held October 6th. He regrets having to leave before the end of the meeting.

Ward 4

CM Davis noted that the bulk of her Economic Development Committee report was summarized by the Mayor in his report. She has a few additional ideas on marketing the Town Center that she will raise at the August work session now that the Council has voted on the borrowing authority issue.

A Traffic Study meeting will be held August 16 at 7:30. A petition has been received from residents of Hyattsville and Riverdale for a traffic calming device on 43rd Ave. Mayor Herman contacted the Mayor of Hyattsville to make certain they're working on what they need to do to get approval of the device (signatures, public hearing and funding) while our traffic study is being conducted.

WSSC work on sewer and water line replacements will be done in Ward 4. It is expected that whatever is under two years old that is damaged by construction will be restored to the condition it was in prior to WSSC work being done.

CM Davis will be temporarily relocating her residence for 3 - 4 weeks while repairs to her home's foundation is done (following someone driving into her home). She's working to have her phone forwarded. In the interim, please call the town office and they will forward messages to her. She will be living close by with a relative in Ward 1 until work on her home is completed. She also thanked well wishers who have inquired about her husband's health, noting that he is progressing slowly, but she is optimistic that he will recover.

Ward 3

CM Tiberio noted that the MD Municipal League will be holding their Fall conference in College Park. Each year cities submit legislation they'd like the general assembly to consider the following January. This year the Town has submitted two legislative action requests to the MML legislative committee, both dealing with financial matters. One deals with our income tax (60% piggy back tax in PG Co), a share of which comes back to the town, usually 17%. The legislation is asking that the formula be changed to a minimum of 20% returned to the municipalities. CM Tiberio stated that the formula hasn't been changed in a long time. Election year is coming for the legislature and a 3 or 4% increase is significant.

The other legislation regards the assessment of tangible properties of Businesses and Corporations. He explained that the Town estimates, but never knows how much they will get since it is not known what amount businesses are reporting. The catch is that businesses have up to3 years to reassess what they originally reported and paid. The legislation is asking for a statute of limitation to address this problem so that municipalities aren't asked to refund tax monies from prior years that was collected and usually spent by the municipalities.

CM Tiberio explained the process for these legislations is that they would need to be passed at the MML conference, but if they aren't, we will go to the MD General Assembly with the legislation.

Finance Committee

The amount of revenues that came in for July was $25,000. $250,000 was spent. As was reported earlier, July is the lowest revenue month of the year.

CM Tiberio noted that there were 5 cars stolen in Ward 3 which was unusual. CM Tiberio thanked Chief Evans for work regarding the 26 traffic stops on Taylor Road noting that people are bypassing Kenilworth Avenue due to construction which is making the situation on Taylor out of control.

CM Tiberio asked if the police town hall meeting would be broadcast for residents who were unable to attend. He reported that Mr. Dinka, the video technician said he was available. The Mayor said though it wasn't scheduled to be, the meeting will be broadcast if arrangements can be made.

CM Tiberio reported that he'd received another 6 ft fence request. The Mayor referred the matter to Mr. Prangley to review and cover under new business.

Ward 2

CM Blaschke thanked residents for inviting council members to the dedication of the new tot lot in Madison Hill during their community day on July 21st. She attended with former council member Mary Donaldson, Mayor Herman and Tom Hendershot, along with about 50 Madison Hill residents.

The Town engineer confirmed that construction will begin on the 54th Avenue and Quesada extension this week

There will be a block party August 11th from noon to 5pm for children of the community in the 5000 block of Tuckerman. The event is sponsored by Joseph Mayfield, President of Family Marketing (a resident of Tuckerman St). Food, games, dancing and music will be provided for the kids.

CM Blaschke said she hadn't heard from anyone about the proposed new access entrance to the park on 51st Ave and she will contact MNCPPC to relay that information to them.

A legislative meeting is scheduled for August 30th at 7:00pm. The Mayor asked Mr. Prangley to post the scheduled meeting.

CM Blaschke reported that the 2000 federal census is complete. Riverdale Park will be required to redraw ward boundaries prior to the next election and she is looking at preliminary data for the wards and redistricting. The Mayor suggested that Mr. Tiberio work with her between now and August 30th to begin work and get block by block data on redrawing districts.

Ward 1

Public Works

CM Feldberg reported on some items from her article in the last issue of the Town Crier. Heavy metal trash will be picked up on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. Weekly pick up is discontinued to avoid taking a truck out of service each week that is needed for other purposes. Rubber tires need to be taken off of bicycles that are put out for pick-up. They cannot be processed with the recycled metal. Residents are urged to separate yard waste from regular trash. Yard waste is disposed of by another vendor at lesser cost, does not occupy landfill space and it's recyclable. Also, trash that is put out in front of a resident's home should only be trash generated in the home. The Town and it's resident's cannot afford to dispose of trash generated by businesses and contractors and put in front of a home for pick-up.

CM Feldberg encouraged Ward 1 citizens to contact her with any suggestions or solutions to problems in Ward 1. Traffic on Lafayette Avenue in particular has become a shortcut for those outside of the community. Residents on Lafayette, especially children, are greatly affected by this problem.

Residents with dogs who can jump fences are urged to restrain them. Animals who can escape and strays are a concern and a possible danger. CM Feldberg also expressed interest in establishing dog exercise areas.

The Mayor suggested that CM Feldberg make suggestions about ordinance code and enforcement related to the trash issue at the August 30th meeting.

Unfinished Business

None

New Business

Mayor Herman said that a schedule for designated elected officials to attend the farmers market is forming and council designations are only scheduled through August 2nd. CM Blaschke volunteered for August 9th, CM Feldberg for August 16th, CM Davis for August 23rd, and CM Tiberio for August 30th. CM Almirez was volunteered for September 6th, Mayor Herman volunteered for September 13th and CM Scott for September 20th. Dates following will be determined at a future meeting.

The Mayor asked that the Town staff put together a box of materials for distribution at the Farmers Market. Officer Phelps was asked to bring the box with the box he brings from the police department.

Chief Evans clarified CM Tiberio's comment about stolen vehicles; 7 were stolen in town but only 2 were in Ward 3. CM Tiberio said there was a discrepancy between the reports they were both looking at. Chief Evans will look into it.

CM Tiberio asked that public works pick up trash dumped in front of a house north of Boston Market on Kenilworth Avenue. He reported that it had been sitting there for over a month and although it wasn't the Town's responsibility, it looked bad for the Town. Mayor Herman approved and asked Mr. Prangley to arrange with public works for a pick-up.

CM Feldberg asked about the feasibility and designation of funds to clean up a small piece of land near the river next to Calvert Apartments (ward 3 park). She said she'd discussed use of a backhoe with public works and described plans to clean up and beautify the area. The Mayor suggested discussing the matter with Ward 3 Councilmember and then bringing the matter up at the August 27th work session.

The Mayor noted that papers were submitted for approval of the Elks Lodge communications tower. No one has heard of any broad base community opposition to it. CM Blaschke reported that the issue still under discussion at the County level and a note was published in the PG section of the Washington Post last Thurs. No description or background information is presently available.

Public Comments

Gerard Kiernan, 5309 Riverdale Road, asked if CM Feldberg's suggested plans for removal of topsoil opened the Town to needing grading permit and who would prepare grading and drainage plans to meet county requirements if the idea is implemented. The Mayor said if they consider the proposal someone will find out from the county if they need such permit approval and at present there is no one on staff who could and they'd have to contract that out. Mr. Kiernan asked if the public works supervisor salary had been eliminated from the budget following the Mayors comments in the Town Crier. The Mayor noted that presently a salary is earmarked in the budget for someone who meets the qualifications for assistant supervisor with a commercial driver's license so authority is there in event they go forward with that position.

Mark Wolf, 5410 Powhatan Road, presented pictures and continued earlier comments about tree damage to the sidewalk in front of his home. He believes that every sidewalk damaged in his block was caused by trees pushing them up and reminded the Council that a lot of them had to be removed and all were Bradford Pears. He warned the Council about putting them in sidewalk right of way on Riverdale Road. Mr. Wolf was also upset that he'd received notice 2 - 3 weeks ago that he couldn't park in his driveway but that there had been a car on the end of his block with no tags for 9 months that no one had done anything about. He also reported that one of his neighbors who doesn't speak English well has an air conditioner and a refrigerator out front for pick-up. He was told to call 864-1803 and they'll give a number to call to pick up those items.

Janet Bond, 4605 Oliver Street, expressed concern about the group home on Cleveland Ave. She was upset that none of her calls to Council members had been returned. She felt the jist of it was to butt out in spite of her efforts to keep them informed about matters they may not know about otherwise. She's concerned about the unwanted youth coming to this home. Neighbors are hostile to them coming and the State doesn't even care. She said the youth need a place to go if it can be run properly.

Ms. Bond also expressed concern about dogs as CM Feldberg had. She suggested the Town post signs - if your dog poops you scoop. She reported that animals have been allowed to run free and have littered areas on Rhode Island Avenue and that residents should be ashamed. She's lived here 27 years and thinks the area is falling apart.

CM Tiberio reported on a buck and two does seen across from a neighbor's house on Taylor Road. Residents were reminded that deer hunting is prohibited in Riverdale Park.

Motion to adjourn was made by CM Tiberio. CM Davis seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The Mayor announced a 5 minute recess prior to the Council moving into Executive Session on a personnel matter.

Meeting adjourned at 11:28pm.

Minutes prepared from videotape by Mary Paradiso

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