Mayor Don Briggs
With April comes traces of lengthening days, milder weather, and once again, the increasing choruses of activity in our parks. In addition to the hardy Emmitsburg Walking Club members (Look them up; they have a Facebook page), comes baseball and softball pushing the edges of each day for practice times.
Earth Day will be celebrated this year on Saturday, April 22. Planned events start at 9:00 a.m. with a three-hour cleanup around town, fueled by the efforts of the town Citizens Advisory Committee members, families, and friends. For the second year, Stream Links will be planting trees at the wastewater treatment plant. More children-directed activities of plantings, games, music, and an ice cream truck are planned from noon to 2:00 p.m. behind the community center.
Once a year, it’s good to pay tribute to the original Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA)-sponsored scholarship fund, which now brims over $28,000. Thank you to all the businesses that made the educational opportunities possible. Also, the EBPA “Change for Food” program has now raised over $52,000 for the Emmitsburg Food Bank. Thank you to old-guard EBPA members, Allen Knott for accounting and Bob Rosensteel for the idea and collection of donations at different business locations in town. It is my understanding that Bob will be stepping back from collections, and Phyllis Kelley of the food bank will be taking over for him. Thank you to Bob and Allen for many years of service.
In mid-March, I toured the three construction projects underway at the Daughters of Charity St. Joseph House, of which the Basilica is a part. The former main entrance area off the Porto Concierge is being renovated into three museum exhibit areas and a gift store. Completion is scheduled for this August. In the northeast corner of the building, the “C” wing’s first and second floors, that were previously the nursing home, are being repurposed to house up to 40 pre-seminarians for the Mount seminary. Completed construction and use is also scheduled for August of this year. The third project entails the terrace and the first floor of the “E” wing, adjacent to the new museum, being renovated for use by the new Mount Saint Mary’s School of Health Professions, scheduled to open August 2024.
On Saturday, March 25, Emmitsburg Walking Club member, Melissa McKinney, walked a marathon, 26.2 miles around the Myers Community Park exercise trail loop that was inspired, in part, by a similar event held annually, now in its 34th year in Los Cruses, New Mexico, that commemorates the WWII 1942 Bataan Death March in the Philippines. Melissa walked the 51 laps, toting a 15-pound rucksack for her cherished causes for Veterans, Team Red, White and Blue, and Soldiers Angels.
At an event I attended and spoke at, County Executive Jessica Fitzwater announced Emmitsburg and Thurmont will soon have more access to County Transit services, with a pilot program to launch as of Saturday, April 1. Added to the existing service will be a late-morning optional trip available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Every Saturday, there will be two round trips between Frederick to the benefit of all, including Mount students. Improved bus stops and updated signage are part of the new services. To learn more about Transit Services, visit FrederickCountyMD.gov/Transit, @TransITServicesFrederick on Facebook, and @TransitServices on Twitter.
Our sister city Lutsk in Ukraine is being hit with Russian missiles. Thank you, Cathy Bodine, Nathalie Raymond, and Dr. Bonnie Portier for the clothing collection for Ukraine. Take care and pray for our Ukrainian friends.
Hoping you have a wonderful Easter and its magnificent Sunday sunrise.
Mayor John Kinnaird
Spring is here, the flowers are blooming, there are buds on the trees, and many of us are experiencing stuffy noses due to the pollen in the air. While Mother Nature has gotten this done, the town crews have been working hard at getting the baseball and softball fields in good order. They have also been cleaning up the parks and reopening the restroom facilities. The next couple of months will bring several changes to our parks facilities. The East End Park will be getting a new pavilion next to the all-access playground, replacing the aging pavilion. The dog park will be getting dog-watering fountains to help keep your four-legged friends cool in the summer and well-hydrated while they play. The Community Park will be getting a new tennis court, nets, and fencing; this is to replace the existing court. I expect that the tennis court will be unavailable for at least a month while this work is being completed, so your patience will be appreciated as this work moves forward. The Community Park will also get a pedestrian bridge at the rear of the park over Hunting Creek. This bridge will allow easy access to the park for residents on West Main Street, and it will provide a connection to the Gateway Trail from within the Community Park. The Gateway Trail is a trail leading from Thurmont into the Catoctin Mountain National Park.
I am proud to say that the water main project on Old Pryor Road has now been completed. This project is providing much-needed improvements to the water service for residents on Old Pryor; it has also provided a loop through the Hillside subdivision that will improve service there as well. Thanks goes to Guyer Brothers for completing this project on time, with as little disruption as possible.
You may notice some work has started on improvements to Frederick Road. The contractor has begun refurbishing the stormwater basins on both sides of the road. This is the first part of a project that will see sidewalks repaired, the roadway milled and repaved, and traffic lines reapplied. This project will take several months to complete. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, with flaggers directing the flow while the roadway is being repaired. These improvements will eliminate several sections of damaged sidewalks and result in a much smoother road for traffic. As always, once the road work begins, please drive slowly through the area and obey the traffic control devices and the flaggers. They are there to protect you and the workers.
There has been much talk recently about the forever chemicals in our drinking water. The EPA recently established 4ppt (Parts Per Trillion) as an acceptable level for drinking water. The Town of Thurmont has been working with our engineers and manufacturers to design filtration systems that will bring PFAS to an undetectable level. These filtration units will be installed at each of our water treatment facilities. The installation will require the construction of new buildings to house the units and the necessary plumbing to connect them to our system. I want to assure our residents that we are following the guidance of the MDE as we move forward with this effort and that we are investigating all funding sources available to get this project completed.
Burgess Heath Barnes
I am happy to report on some great developments at our March 14 meeting.
Our planning and zoning committee presented to the council an updated drawing of the plans for our new town hall. The council unanimously approved the plans, and now I can happily report that they will be going to the county for the permit approvals. I am going to work as hard as I can to get it through the process quickly, because once those come back, we can break ground. This has been a long time coming, with the previous attempts to build on a smaller lot etc., but there is now light at the end of the tunnel. I have high hopes that we will be breaking ground by summer; once again, those are my hopes, not the set timeline.
We have a couple of things coming up in town and more details will follow. The community Easter Egg hunt, in partnership with the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department, will be April 1. The rain date will be April 8.
Reminder: Woodsboro has elections coming up on May 13. There will be two town commissioners up for election. To be eligible to run, you must be 18 years old and a resident residing in the town limits for a minimum of one year before the election. If you have an interest in running, please reach out to Mary in the town office. To be placed on the ballot, you will need to either attend the April 8 meeting and announce your intention to run or reach out to the town office prior to April 8 to appear on the ballot.
Just a reminder that there will be a public hearing at 7:00 p.m. on April 8 directly preceeding the monthly town council meeting. The two items up for discussion will be changing the town code to allow chickens, based on the parameters voted on in February, and to change the town’s grass height code from the current 18 inches to 8 inches.
As always, I encourage everyone to support Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) if you have clothes or food donations, as they are always in need of items for members of the community. For more information, please contact GVCS by email at [email protected] or call 301-845-0213.
If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or by phone at 301-401-7164.