by James Rada, Jr.
Seeking Farmer’s Market Vendors
The Town of Emmitsburg is currently looking for vendors who want to offer their food items at the town’s Farmer’s Market this year. For more information, call 301-600-6303 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Seton Sidewalk Replacement
The replacement of the sidewalks on South Seton Avenue is expected to begin in March or April. Emmitsburg town staff also expects to be able to construct sidewalk from South Seton Avenue to Creamery Road, which will make it safer for students walking to Mother Seton School. The necessary rights of way have been obtained, and town staff is waiting for a memorandum of understanding with the State of Maryland, which could bring with it a total of $45,000 to go towards the project. A start date is not yet known.
Citizens Advisory Committee Appointment
The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners unanimously appointed Wendy Walsh to be a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee on February 1.
Commissioners Get Overview of Town Audit
The Town of Emmitsburg received an unmodified opinion (good) in its annual audit of town finances, conducted by Draper and McGinley of Frederick. Last year, the town had assets of $42,112,883, up 11.6 percent from 2014. Water and sewer assets made up 86 percent of this amount. The town’s liabilities were $8,978,003, up 10 percent from 2014, and 91 percent were from the water and sewer accounts. The town’s net position increased 12 percent over 2014, showing that the town’s financial stability increased.
The audit is required of all municipalities to be conducted annually to make sure that they are following the best financial practices and, if they are not, to alert them to changes that need to be made.
For more information on the Town of Emmitsburg, visit www.emmitsburgmd.gov or call 301-600-6300.
From the Mayor
According to the National Weather Service, the massive snowstorm in January was the worst three-day snowstorm in the history of Frederick County. Thank you to our town staff and subcontractors for their tireless efforts. The cooperation between all levels of government was over-the-top to the benefit of the town. Fortunately, we experienced limited drifting and no power outages. Cost of the snow removal: $49,133.
Town Zoning Administrator Jerry Muir and I attended the County-sponsored solid waste management public forum on February 9 at the Thurmont Town Office. As the last of several countywide public forums, it was well attended. The Frederick County landfill has eighteen years remaining before it is full. Based on 2013 figures, the county generated 271,000 tons of material, of which 134,000 tons was diverted from landfill (49.5 percent) through recycling and composting. Of the balance, 90 percent of the material was trucked to neighboring states. Foreseeing many “ifs and buts” concerning the cost and availability of out-of-state options, County Executive Gardner selected community members to serve on a County Solid Waste Steering Committee last spring.
Libby and I, along with Councilman Glenn Blanchard and his wife, Maggie, attended the 27th Annual Emmitsburg Ambulance Company Banquet and Awards Ceremony dinner. What a wonderful dinner. Congratulations to all the award winners.
Things are moving ahead on having a “dog park” in Community Park by late spring. The facility will have separate enclosed areas for large dogs and small dogs.
The State Highway Administration (SHA) – Town Square revitalization project has formally expanded to incorporate replacement of the sidewalks along Main Street, MD 140 (Main Street), from East North Avenue to Timbermill Run. The project was initiated by the town to enhance pedestrian safety (pedestrian, cyclists, and vehicular) at the square and along main thoroughfares. The improvements will be made under the State Urban Reconstruction Program (URP). Though it may seem like a long period of time from the inception and start of design in 2013, to the first meeting with the State Highway Administration (SHA) in October 2014, it has taken less than three years. Final review of plans is scheduled for June 2016, advertising (out for bid) in December 2016, and notice to proceed in late spring 2017. The estimated cost is $2.6 million. Thank you to town staff and the community for supporting this project. A special thank you goes out to former Secretary of Transportation, James Lighthizer, for visiting the square in 2013 and giving his support to the project.
Under another SHA program, work on replacing sidewalks along South Seton Avenue will start this spring. The East Main Street bridge replacement project is scheduled to start this fall.
Libby and I attended the 2016 Mount St. Mary’s University Athletic Hall of Fame luncheon. Congratulations to all the new inductees.
The Community Center gym is once again abuzz with activity; the gym is a wonderful complement to what is provided for our community activities.
Happy 80th birthday to Father Charlie Kreig.
Update: Stavros has completed its hiring and is scheduled to open in early March. More commercial activity is in the works.
Cpl. Dave Armstrong Promoted
Dave Armstrong of the Thurmont Police Department was promoted to the rank of corporal on January 15. His promotion was recognized at a ceremony during the Thurmont town meeting on January 19.
Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler also recognized Officer Kyle Minnick for saving the life of a woman who had overdosed on an unknown substance by administering Narcan. He was awarded a lifesaving commendation.
Officer Torres was awarded a lifesaving commendation for saving the life of the same woman on a different date. She had again overdosed on an unknown substance and was saved with a dose of Narcan.
Officer Brian Donovan saved the life of a person who was in cardiac arrest and showing no vital signs. The patient was safely transported to Frederick Memorial Hospital, but he later died after suffering another cardiac arrest. Officer Donovan also received a lifesaving commendation.
Help the Thurmont Green Team
The Thurmont Green Team is looking for community input about sustainability in Thurmont. Please help by taking a short survey for the team at www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2491994/Thurmont-Green-Team-Community-Survey.
Work Begins Toward Handicapped-Accessible Playground
The Thurmont mayor and commissioners voted to support a proposal by the Thurmont Civitan Club to build a handicapped-accessible playground in Thurmont. The playground will replace the existing playground behind the Thurmont Senior Center.
The new playground will have a rubberized surface so that wheelchairs can roll around the playground. It will have pieces of equipment that will be able to be used by any child.
“We’re going to use what we can that’s already out there,” said Ginger Malone with the Civitan Club.
The projected cost of the playground is around $250,000, and will be completed in three stages.
Preliminary Costs from the Blizzard
Chief Administrative Officer James Humerick gave the Thurmont mayor and commissioners the initial costs to the town of the January blizzard that dumped around thirty inches of snow in the region.
The storm began at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, January 22, and staff was in to prepare for it at 7:00 a.m. that morning. Staff overtime ended at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 24. Fifteen public works employees worked 508 hours of overtime, and salaried staff worked an additional 128 hours of overtime. Fifteen pieces of equipment (twelve trucks, two backhoes, and a skid loader) were used in the snow removal. Overtime costs for the event are estimated at $15,423.
Chief Financial Officer Appointed
The Thurmont mayor and commissioners unanimously appointed Linda Joyce as the Thurmont Chief Financial Officer on February 9. She has twenty years of accounting experience, including fifteen years in municipal government accounting with Sykesville and Taneytown.
View the Town of Thurmont’s website at www.thurmont.com or call the town office at 301-271-7313 for more information.