by James Rada, Jr.
Town Increases Tax Rate
The Thurmont Board of Commissioners voted to increase the town’s property tax rate from $0.2992 to $0.3206 per $100 of assessment. Because of growing assessment of real property in town, this will generate an additional $129,291 in tax revenue that will help offset the rising inflation costs and their effect on costs to run the town. Even with the increase, the town will continue to have one of the lowest tax rates in Frederick County.
Town Maintains Its Tree City USA Status
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has named Thurmont a Tree City USA for the sixth year in a row. Towns can earn this designation by having a board or department that cares for trees, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and a proclamation and observation of Arbor Day.
Mayor John Kinnaird said in a news release, “I am very pleased that we have achieved this level of tree care here in Thurmont. Our staff and volunteers have done a great job planting trees, maintaining them, and working hard to ensure that our trees remain healthy for future generations.”
Thurmont also received the Growth Award for the second year in a row. It recognizes the work Thurmont has done to build a sustainable community forestry program.
Town Has Board of Appeals Vacancy
The Town of Thurmont has a vacancy on the board of appeals. If you are a town resident and would like to serve, submit your interest in writing to Becky Long at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also drop off the letter at the town office.
Town Approves New Trash Contract
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to continue using Ecology Services Refuse and Recycling as the town’s trash hauler. The contract is a lump-sum bid of $339,199 for a two-year agreement.
Town Maintains Tax Rate
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted to maintain the town’s property tax rate at $0.3464 per $100 of assessment. Because of growing assessments of real property in town, this will generate an additional $26,414 that will help offset the rising inflation costs and their effect on costs to run the town.
License Plate Readers Coming to Emmitsburg
License plate readers are coming to Emmitsburg to assist police with investigations.
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted Monday 4-1 to approve a contract with Applied Technology Services of Middle River for advanced license plate readers. The contract is for $42,140.
The recommendation is supported by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, who believes the readers will help with investigations, according to Town Manager Cathy Willets.
Madeline Shaw, town grant administrator, noted these are not speed cameras.
The proposed locations for the plate readers are East Main Street (near East North Avenue), West Main Street (near Warthens Court), and South Seton Avenue (near Pizza Hut). However, the police will be consulted before the readers are placed.
Commissioner Joseph Ritz III voted against the contract, saying he was unsure how beneficial it would be.
Town Participates in Water Assistance Program
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the town’s participation in the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program during the April town meeting.
Maryland was allocated more than $14 million through the program, which is funded through December of 2023. Eligibility requirements include submitting a current water and/or wastewater bill, showing accrued past-due bills of at least $100. Total household income cannot exceed 60 percent of the state median income. One bill account per service address per utility is eligible. Applicants must provide proof of residency and live in Maryland.
Eligible residents will receive a one-time grant ranging from $100 to $2,000. The money can be put toward residential water and/or wastewater accounts with past-due bills. It is paid directly to the utility supplier.
Visit dhs.maryland.gov, click “home energy/water,” then “apply for energy assistance” to reach the application.
Brookfield Parcel Rezoned
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a zoning map amendment that will allow for the construction on seven new houses on the west side of town.
They will be added to the Brookfield subdivision. The subdivision has about 117 houses already. The rezoned property is 2.85 acres on Timbermill Run.