Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird
Winter has arrived! Please keep an eye on your elderly or disabled neighbors during this time of the year. With the recent cold weather, they may not be able to get out for groceries or to clear their walkways. I also ask that everyone helps the Thurmont Food Bank with donations of nonperishable food, toiletries, diapers, or cash. The Thurmont Clothes Closet is in need of warm clothing for all ages. Also, keep your pets indoors if possible during the brutally cold days and nights; if you can’t bring them indoors, be sure to provide them with shelter, clean bedding, plenty of water, and fresh food.
With the recent snow, our plow crews have been hard at work clearing the streets. When snow is in the forecast, please move your vehicle off the road if possible. This will allow our plows to clear the streets from curb to curb. This is especially important in our residential cul-de-sacs. I also recommend not cleaning the end of your driveway until our trucks have cleared the roadway; this way, the trucks will not plow your driveway shut every time they pass. When driving around Thurmont and on other roads, please give the snow plows ample room as they do their job.
You may have noticed the work being done on the Rt. 15 bridge over Rt. 77 at the west end of Thurmont. This State Highway project will replace the deck on the northbound Rt. 15 bridge. There will be lane closures on Rt. 15, and you may experience lane closures on Rt. 77 during construction. There will be flagmen directing traffic on West Main Street (Rt. 77) when there are closures. Be sure to follow their directions.
The Thurmont Planning and Zoning Commission is continuing the Master Plan and Comprehensive Zoning update. If you are interested in this process, be sure to attend the meetings in person or tune in live on Cable 99 or online at Thurmont.com. The P&Z meets the third Thursday of each month in the Town Office Meeting Room at 7:00 p.m.
New playground equipment has been installed in Woodland Park. There is a large piece with rope ladders, bridges, and three slides. There are also several smaller exercise pieces, new benches, and covers for shade. Be sure to stop at Woodland Park and check out the new playground equipment.
The Board of Commissioners recently approved the purchase of right of ways that will allow a connection from the Thurmont Community Park from West Main Street. This will eventually incorporate a pedestrian/bike bridge over Hunting Creek, allowing a connection between Community Park, residents on West Main Street, and the Gateway Trail. The Gateway Trail is a cooperative effort between the Federal and State Parks and the Town of Thurmont. This will allow hikers and bikers to access the trails in both parks and our Trolley Trail. We are working to get the Trolley Trail extended to Catoctin Furnace as part of a loop trail from Thurmont to Catoctin Furnace, across Rt. 15 and up Catoctin Hollow Road to the State and Federal Parks and then back to Thurmont.
The Maryland Board of Public Works recently approved Project Open Space funding for several park projects in the Town of Thurmont. These projects include a new baseball/softball field at East End Park. This will include the design and construction of a new regulation-sized baseball/softball field to include fencing, backstops, dugouts, a gravel driveway, and a parking lot. The project will also include a stormwater management system and an ADA-compliant walkway. A second project will install new athletic field lights for the new baseball/softball field. The proposed outdoor recreational lighting system is designed to perform its intended function, be energy efficient, and minimize light pollution. The third project will see the construction of an ADA-compliant asphalt walking trail at East End Park.
Please contact me at 301-606-9458 or by email at [email protected] with any questions or comments about these projects or anything else to do with the Town of Thurmont.
Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs
Here we are, a new year, 2022, duly anointed there to enfold, there onto judgment, hopefully, a blissful repletion be ours. To that goal, we seem to be tracking well. A “big snow” event is now behind us. It has been a dry fall into winter period. Snow is good for replenishment of the water table, as its tendency when melting is to slow seepage into the ground and less is lost to runoff. Irishtown Road is complete enough to accommodate two-way traffic on and off Brookfield Drive, a decade after opening to one-way out. From permit applications and conversations, with the 19 proposed houses along Irishtown Road, 10 homes have been placed under contract.
To the questions of no masks, masks, shots, boosters, variants, what is medicine, the role of science, and discovery. Why the back and forth? From Stephen Hawking’s, The Brief History of Time, “…redefining the goal of science: our aim is to formulate a set of laws that enables us to predict events only up to the limit set by the uncertainty principle… On many occasions we have increased the sensitivity of our measurements or made a new class of observations, only to discover new phenomena that were not predicted by existing theory and to account for these we have had to develop a more advanced theory.” Knowledge is frustrating, as it is a never-ending progression. With every question comes more questions. This adds credence to the old axiom, “When you think you know, you don’t know.”
At the town’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting, Deputy Ben Whitehouse was honored for his six years of service to the town as a resident deputy. He is moving on to other responsibilities within the sheriff’s department. Ben once went into a building fire and led people out to safety. Thank you, Ben, for your service. Also announced at the meeting were several changes on the planning commission. Joyce Rosensteel stepped away from her 20 years of public service as an elected member of the town council and later as an appointed member of the planning commission. Thank you, Joyce. Well done. It has been a pleasure to work with you over the years. Lured by a fellowship grant at Harvard, Dr. Bernard Franklin is relocating to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has resigned from his appointment to the planning commission.
To the two vacancies on the commission, Kevin Hagan moved from being the alternate to a regular member, and Amy Boehman-Pollitt is a new member. Terri Ray, a former employee of the town, has accepted the invitation to be an alternate on the commission. Terri Ray is an exceptional person. Her warm voice greeted us all as the former receptionist and office manager. After over six years with the town, Terri has accepted a position in the accounting field with one of our local organizations. Thank you, Terri, for your service to the community and best to you for the bright future that lies ahead for you.
Now on to Lent and budget preparation for the upcoming 2022-2023 town fiscal year.