The Town currently has two outdated policies regarding the purpose and responsibilities of the Ethics Commission. Due to the fact that both are out of date, Town Attorney Skip Cornbrooks is looking at current state requirements and will be drafting new policies and should submit them to the council for review by January. When the new policies are approved the council will be putting out a call for members. We will be continuing the policy of having one member from each ward and will likely have a seventh member as the chair. We will also be looking to formalize the procedure to submit a question and make it more obvious/easier for the community to know about the commission and to submit questions and concerns to the commission.
Please stay tuned and come to our meetings in January when we will hopefully have a draft policy to review. If you would like to see the outdated policies let me know and I'll share them with you.
Are you creative? Did you know that Cheverly is filled with talented creative folks and they are convening on facebook! Check it out at Cheverly Artists Collective Group!
Town community groups are eligible to receive small grants of $2,000 per year (July-June). At this most recent session we were approved grant requests from the Boys and Girls Club and the Green Infrastructure Committee. The Boys and Girls club recieved a $2,000 to help subsidize registration fees for families that could use the assistance, leftover funds will be used to update the Boys and Girls Club Website.
The Green Infrastructure Committee received a $600 grant to hire Lincoln Smith of Forested, LLC. to help design the Food Forest at 6301 Kilmer St. This will include looking into making the handicap parking spaces as close to the plantings to make it easy for all people to enjoy the property. They will also look into ways to secure accessibility between Spellman and the property.
So many of us in town heard the loud boom at 8:19 on Nov 19th. The next morning Mr. Smith confirmed it came from his property and that an industrial sized (!) propane tank slipped (?) through the inspection processes that he promised to put into place. He has promised to study this issue and figure out how to keep it from happening again. He has reported that there are some structures that have worked at stopping the sound problems in the Midwest. He has also promised to give Mayor Callahan a weekly update until the new year when he will have a plan. The council is considering an operations agreement that would include penalties if the conditions are violated. In the meantime, the Cheverly Police may add the Smith Property to their routes to check to see if they are operating the shredder after hours. In the meantime, please keep reporting any booms you experience here.
One of Interim Town Administrator David Deutsch's duties is to look at how the town does things and suggest ways to improve/streamline things. One of Deutsch's first suggestions is to move from the informal RFP process that has been used to a sealed bid process that will go through e-bids to be able to gather more bids to see if we can get better prices. In addition to adding this process Interim Town Administrator asked for the minimum contract price for the sealed bid to be $10.000 up from the $5,000 currently required. The sealed bid process will also include a conflict of interest disclusure requirement. The Town Clerk, Barbara Bannister did a survey of other municipalities and most require sealed bids at or above the $10,000 limit.
The Council asked for a monthly report of contracts signed between $5,000 and $9,999 to get a sense of what is being spent and which contractors we are paying.
Mr. Deutsch also mentioned that most municipalities contract with a different auditor about every 5 years and so the town will begin the process so seeking bids for our next audit.
Variance Request-Woodway Place
The residents at 2902 Woodway Place have submitted a variance application to construct an addition to their house and a new deck. The current county zoning law restructslot coverage to 30%, and the proposal would increase coverage to 32.1%. However, the addition would all be above ground and no trees will be removed so the impact would be minimal. The Town requests that residents asking for a variance of this nature install stormwater remediation and the residents have agreed to install rain barrels. The Town will send a letter with our support to the county zoning board.
Coffee for Cheverly?!
The thing I hear most from residents is a need for a coffee shop in town. While we are not yet in a place to get a local coffee shop here. I have been working with Anna Smith from Greenleaf Fitness and others to come up with a way to make a coffee shop right here in the community center. One neighbor has already donated a Keurig and I've talk to two business owners who have agreed to donate some pods and other assorted needs. We are finalizing the location and hours of the Keurig but once we get it settled we'll make an announcement and share it with the community!
Air Quality Monitoring Proposal
Back in September at the Smith Air Quality Meeting the County told us that the county air monitors are in Beltsville and Upper Marlboro. We were understandably concerned that there were no monitors inside the beltway and so Mayor Callahan reached out to University of Maryland Professor Sacoby Wilson to discuss installing a number of monitors in and around our Town and other industrial parks in the area. The council discussed sharing the proposal with other municipalities and the county to help share the costs.
Liquor Board Application-De'Ranch Restaurant
Last year De'Rach was granted a liquor license and now the owner is requesting a Special Entertainment Permit from the Liquor Board. During the liquor license board approval process last year the town opposed the liquor license but asked for the following conditions
-No Special Entertainment Permit (no live bands, DJs etc)
-A maximum of one third of monthly income from alcohol
-full menu dining services until closing
-Do not allow the service of alcohol after 11 pm
It is not known by the Town if any of these conditions were adopted.
The Board has delayed discussion of the Special Entertainment permit until January and the council has asked for it to be pushed until February.
63rd Ave Drainage Concern
Concerns were brought forward by a resident on 63rd Ave that directly abuts the 6301 property. As some of you may know that part of 63rd is in unincorporated Prince George's County. These individuals shared concerns with water runoff on their property. Public Works Director Torres and Mr. Deutsch have examined the 6301 property for water runnoff culprits and couldn't identify any but we have discussed installing rain barrells off of the storage shed. The residents concerns were sent to our newly inaugurated County Council Member Jolene Ivey to help look into.
I have heard from a number of residents regarding concerns with water. There are still incentives to be had for installing rain gardens. If anyone would like more information about this contact me and I'll get you the information you are looking for.
1. The Council approved a $100 donation to the MML Golf Tournament (funds will go to scholarship fund)
2. The Council approved a $250 donation to the MML Legislative Opening Day Cocktail hour
3. The Council is hosting the tree lighting starting at 6:30pm on Friday December 7th at the Community Center
4. The Council will be judging the holiday lights around town on Monday December 17th-so you still have time to get your decorations up and ready!
This email is the personal work of Beth MacKenzie and is not an official Town Communication.