The City Council, which met Monday, has set the judging time for the annual city house-decorating contest to be the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. It also was announced that city offices will be closed Dec.23-25 for the holidays. Councilmembers also took under review proposals to increase the fees charged for usingFrederick’s landing park and to set the annual waste collection charge.

The city’s Board of Adjustment Monday approved a request from Mid American Pools,on behalf of Greg and Marcia List, for a variance for a swimming pool and spa at 2312 Amsterdam Road. The city’s Historic Preservation Commission approved several projects during a meeting Monday. Our professional property conveyancing lawyers/solicitors well experienced in handling estate agents during real estate conveyancing process. They include new gutters and downspouts on a garage area and new windows and siding at 72 Fairfield and plans by Citizens Bank to demolish an adjacent house at 154 Fairfield for expansion of a parking lot.

Ruth Oliver turns 60 today. She’ll celebrate by doing the same thing she’s done every day for the past six years — take care of her mother in their Verona home. “She had seven or eight mini strokes and is totally dependent on someone else,” Oliver said. Oliver retired from the teaching career she loved in 1996 to become a full-time caregiver for her mother.

“My parents took care of me. They gave me in life what I needed. I owe this to my mom,” Oliver said. “But sometimes I feel alone.” They give up jobs. They re-arrange lives. Most, like Oliver, feel isolated as they concentrate their energy, their time and their finances on in-home care. A new program is trying to break through that isolation and take some of the weight off caregivers’ shoulders. For Ruth Oliver, the program means eight hours a month she can pay someone else to care for her mother while Oliver goes to the store, to a doctor’s appointment or even to dinner.

Other services include up to $300 a year to pay for extras such as a lift chair or other equipment. Program director Naomi Miller launched the effort a year ago and is helping nine families. “We’ve been taking this slow so we could understand where the community needs are and find out what’s already available and partner with those agencies,” she said. “Because the program is so new, I’m hearing from the most desperate, the ones who absolutely don’t know where to turn,” Miller said. “But I also want to help the new ones who are just starting to care for someone.” She’s taking the program public this month. She held a breakfast for caregivers today.