by James Rada, Jr.
Police Join LEOPS Pension Program
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently voted to move the Thurmont Police Department to the Law Enforcement Officers Pension System. They have discussed the move for years, and it is considered a more appropriate program for the police officers. The advantage is that it offers an earlier retirement age and enhanced benefits over the State of Maryland Pension System. The cost to move the current officers to the program is $45,000 a year for 20 years.
Parking Allowed on Park Lane
Given the controversy that allowing no parking along Park Lane caused among residents in the neighborhood, the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners decided to return to the previous signage along the street that allowed for some parking. This was also the recommendation of Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler. The parking restriction had been a pro-active action to avoid possible problems with getting emergency vehicles into the area. However, since such a problem never occurred and the solution created anger among some residents, it was decided to revert to what had been working and deal with any problems if they arise.
Sewer Improvements Approved
The Guyer Brothers will perform sewer replacements along North Church Street, from the center of town to the high school. The cost of the project is $4,396,887. Most of this will be paid for using American Rescue Plan funds. The remaining $954,317 will be paid for using unrestricted funds from the town budget.
Construction Trade Services will make sewer repairs and replacement throughout town along Apples Church Road, Eyler Road, Roddy Road, and Vista Drive. The cost of these repairs is $85,000 and will be paid for with unspent FY21 capital project savings.
Town Considering FY24 Budget
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners are considering the proposed budget for fiscal year 2024, which begins on July 1. The proposed $5,016,075 budget is $247,557 greater than the current budget. No increase in the tax rate is currently proposed.
The general fund includes $1,605,200 for public safety; $359,171 for parks and recreation; and $767,400 for streets. The enterprise funds are proposed to be $1,060,300 in the water fund; $1,752,800 in the wastewater fund; and $1,827,260 in the electric fund.
Creamery Road Pump Station Bid and Change Orders Approved
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a bid of $4,391,422 from Conewago Enterprises to construct the Creamery Road Pump Station. The project, which was started in 2018, is funded through sewer fees, USDA loans, grants, and a town match.
The board also approved two engineering change orders: one for $267,059 and the second for $13,704.
Board Considering FY2024 Budget
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners has started considering the FY2024 town budget, which will take effect on July 1. The general fund is projected to increase 6 percent to $2,181,496.
The water fund is expected to decrease 8 percent this year to $680,801. The sewer fund is expected to increase by 7 percent to $1,018,155. A new stormwater management business fund is expected to be $15,000.
The property tax rate is proposed to remain at 34.64 cents per $100 of assessed value. A 4 percent COLA is also proposed for employee salaries.
Board Makes Budget Transfers
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved transfers to capital projects using $357,977 in excess revenues from the FY22 budget. Of this amount, $122,000 needs to be transferred to the FY2023 general fund. The remainder will go to streets ($75,000), streetlights ($72,000), pool ($5,300), Rainbow Lake ($37,850), grant matches ($24,327), and general projects ($21,500).
Parking Permit Options Added
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved changing the types of parking permits offered in town. The new permits will be $20 for one month, $57 for three months, $108 for 6 months, and $204 for 12 months.