by James Rada, Jr.
For more information on the Town of Emmitsburg, visit www.emmitsburgmd.gov or call 301-600-6300.
Parking Discussions Get Heated
Parking became a hot topic during the July meeting of the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners. As town staff looks to replace old and outdated parking meters with digital ones, the topic of increasing parking ticket fines, meter fees, and permits came up. Any increase in parking ticket fines would seem to affect out-of-town residents the most. Town Planner Zach Gulden reported that 90 percent of the tickets issued were to non-town residents.
The fees have not been reviewed since 2018, but the commissioners appeared reluctant to raise any fees. In particular, Commissioner Frank Davis took issue with meters that were not calibrated to give the proper time paid for and quick ticketing when meters ran out. He said what put him over the edge was when a funeral home vehicle was ticketed during a funeral for facing the wrong way when it was something the business had been doing for years without any issue.
Mayor Don Briggs noted that town staff was only enforcing the ordinances on the books and that if the commissioners wanted it handled a different way, the commissioners needed to change the code.
For now, it appears no changes will be made until the new meters are installed and calibrated.
Crime Comments Get Corrected
Although the Emmitsburg Community Deputies reported an increase in crime across the board during their June report to the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners, they revised their opinion during the July meeting. They told the commissioners they were seeing no statistical difference in most crimes in the town over previous reports. The only difference was with property crimes and that could be attributed to construction site thefts.
Municipal Charges Will Become Property Liens
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a new ordinance that will allow any charges, taxes, or assessments issued by the town against town property owners to become property liens. They will then be able to be collected in the same way town taxes are collected.
Two More Historic Waysides Approved
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved two new waysides for the town’s historic walking trail. These exhibits will be for St. Joseph College and Emmitsburg High School. The Emmitsburg High School wayside will be placed in front of the community center, since the building once served as the high school. The St. Joseph College wayside will be placed along the sidewalk outside of the National Emergency Training Center. These two waysides bring the total number of exhibits on the walking tour to 14. This is currently all the waysides the town has planned. They will be installed and unveiled in September.
For more information on the Town of Thurmont, visit www.thurmont.com or call 301-271-7313.
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners did not meet between June 28 and July 26, so we do not have any meeting briefs for August.
Burgess Heath Barnes
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying cool and hydrated. This is my favorite time of the year, but the heat can also be dangerous, so please take precautions.
At our July 12 meeting, I announced that a new code enforcer had started work on July 11. With this addition to town employees, we now have three full-time employees and one part-time employee who are employed with the town.
The town put out a request for bids last month to demolish the property at 605 S. Main Street where the new town hall is to be built. We received four bids and the council voted unanimously to accept one for $16,500. The demolition will begin shortly after Potomac Edison can come and remove the overhead power lines.
The council also voted to approve listing the lot at 503 S. Main Street with Realtor Melanie Cooley. The lot was listed for sale for $148,000 and within 72 hours we received an offer for the full asking price. The offer has been accepted, and we are tentatively closing the deal on July 29. This was a great profit for the town, as we paid $90,000 for it in 2018. This amount will help us to pay down the loan that was taken out to purchase the new lot.
We had a town resident attend the meeting with the proposal of raising funds for a possible skate park like the one that Thurmont built. The council and I were very open to hearing more on this idea. We invited them to attend the August town meeting with their proposal. More details to come in next month’s column if this project will move forward. Many people have asked for the town to clean up and mow the ice-skating pond to prepare it for winter. The pond has been mowed and cleaned up and will be maintained so that when winter arrives the skating pond will be able to be used if we have cold enough days for it to freeze.
Mark your calendars for October 15 and 16, as Woodsboro Days will once again be a two-day festival, instead of just the one day as had been for the last several decades. I have lined up three bands for the festival on Sunday the 16th at the stage in the park, along with several vendors and food trucks that will be set up there also. Last year’s music festival in the park was well attended and successful, and we are looking forward to this year’s event. If you are a vendor or operate a food truck and are interested in attending, please reach out to me.
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.
Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are at 6:00 p.m. on the first Monday of the month as needed.
If you have an item for the agenda, it needs to be submitted 14 days before the P&Z meeting. The current location for meetings is the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.