The Capon Bridge Revitalization Group’s Project Coordinator Mary Billings presented updated plans for Capon School Street at last week’s Capon Bridge Town Council meeting, securing the council’s support for a new grant application.
The council also briefly discussed revenue from the new sales tax that began last July. The tax is collected along with the state sales tax, and the revenue sent to the town on a quarterly basis.
The ordinance imposing the tax earmarked the revenue for “streets, capital improvements and other issues,” which is likely to include settlement of the McDonald-Brinker case over the collapsed bridge on Duff Lane.
Mayor Laura Turner reported that the 2 payments the town has received so far were about $15,000 and about $25,000, saying the revenue is “nice to have - though it looks as if it is already spent.”
The design Billings presented had been developed by the Thrasher Group, based on previous input from the town and other stakeholders.
It met with the council’s approval except for concerns about the town’s responsibility for maintaining green areas that council members believed might be grass lawns requiring mowing.
They seemed satisfied by Billings’ explanation that the areas would be filled with native grasses and shrubs rather than lawn grass, and would require “low to zero maintenance.”
Billings also reported that the Thrasher Group’s evaluation of the area had revealed the drainpipe running beneath Capon School Street has been leaking in several places, affecting the pavement subbase.
The pipe will have to be replaced, requiring digging up the street and repaving it, and this will add to the expense of the project.
Mayor Turner added that Potomac Edison had been contacted about installing underground electric service, but she thinks this is “not an option.”
Thrasher is currently working on the necessary documents for the revitalization group to apply for a “Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns” grant for completion of the project. The grant program is funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the EPA, with support from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
In other business, bids for the town sewer system upgrade have come in high, and the town will seek a grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund to make up the shortfall in funding. There will be a public meeting on the grant application at 7 p.m. March 9 at Town Hall.
Business licenses were approved for Sherrard’s Pre-Owned Auto Sales, to be located in front of the auction house, and for Page Parker to have a station at Shear Magic.
Upcoming events announced included a Freedom House Ride on May 8 and an Imaginarium “Tattoo Extravaganza” beginning at 11 a.m. on May 16, with $100 tattoos offered on a 1st-come 1st-served basis.
After reviewing options for improving internet speed, the town opted for upgrading their Frontier service, after being promised a bonded line and speeds 6 times faster. Mayor Turner said they might consider HardyNet if the result is still unsatisfactory.
Mayor Turner announced the town’s new web site is in progress but has “kind of been put on the back burner” waiting for a domain.
She added that “if anyone would be interested in finishing it, that would be great.” The town is also still seeking citizens willing to serve on the town council, or as the town recorder.
Responding to a water system customer complaint about being charged a $25 returned check fee, Mayor Turner explained the town is required to charge the fee.
The check had been returned when the town deposited it because the customer had put a stop payment order on it. “Don’t do that,” the mayor advised. A dropbox is available at the town hall, allowing customers to make payments without relying on the mails.
The meeting ended with an executive session to discuss “a potential police officer.”