by James Rada, Jr.


Parking Option Explored

Parking in downtown Thurmont has become a problem, with the municipal parking lot regularly filled to capacity. Thurmont Economic Development Director Vickie Grinder and Commissioner Bill Blakeslee investigated possible solutions to the problem and came up with a promising solution.

They reached an agreement in principle with the American Legion to turn the empty field beside the Legion hall into a parking lot. The town would develop and maintain the parking lot, which would create an additional 40 to 50 parking spaces. The Legion would still own the land and carry the liability insurance for the parking lot. The lots would then be available for both as a municipal lot and for Legion activities.

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners believe the solution is worth pursuing. They directed Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick to get estimates on what it would cost to build the parking lot.

Commissioners Take Action On Sidewalk Obstructions

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to revise the municipal code to stop homeowners from allowing the sidewalks on their property to be obstructed without a special permit from the town. Failure to do so will now result in a civil fine. The issue arose because a home in town kept scaffolding up for an extended period of time, forcing people, including school students, to walk in the street to get around the property.

The changes also make the property responsible for keeping the sidewalk in reasonable repair. Failure to do so will also be a civil infraction and fined.

YMCA Bringing Programs to Thurmont

Interest in bringing the Frederick County YMCA to Thurmont began in 2019, and it looked like it would happen in 2020, but then COVID hit and shut down just about everything. Since then, the YMCA has had to rethink how it delivers programming to underserved areas of the county. They developed a program called “Y on the Fly,” which is a mobile program that can bring equipment into an area and essentially create a pop-up YMCA.

In the coming months, the YMCA has a set of programs coming to Thurmont. A painting and drawing class will be held at the Thurmont Regional Library. A running club for children 7-12 years old will be held in the Community Park. A health class that talks about not only exercise, but also sleep and cardiovascular health, will be held in the library. In addition, the YMCA will also sponsor a one-day basketball skills clinic for children, ages 8-14.

The feedback from these classes will help the YMCA staff evaluate the need for and types of programming in Thurmont.

Sludge Pumps for the Wastewater Treatment Plant

Thurmont’s wastewater treatment plant has aging sludge pumps, one of which failed recently. At the request of Superintendent Randy Eyler, the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to authorize $30,000 for the purchase of two new pumps for the plant.

Contract Awarded

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners awarded a $147,500 contract to Clean Cuts Lawn Care of Cavetown to cut the grass on town property for 2024 and 2025.

They also awarded Superior Facilities Management Services in Gaithersburg a $141,898.25 contract to replace the Community Park tennis courts.


Town Receives Clean Audit

Michelle Mills and Addie Blickenstaff, CPAs with Deleon and Stang, presented the results of the annual independent audit of Emmitsburg’s financial statements for Fiscal Year 2023. They gave the town an unmodified or clean opinion, which is the highest rating that can be given.

However, the auditors did note some adjustments that needed to be done with the reports.

The material adjustments needed were in the capital projects, sewer, and water funds. This was because money paid with grant funds is not requested for reimbursement until the project is complete. Because of the time delay, it causes a mismatch sometimes between grant revenues and expenditures. The auditors recommended that the town review its policies to see if a more timely billing for grants can be done.

Two other adjustments were needed with the sewer fund that the auditors identified as an oversight during the financial close process.

Depaul Street Waterline Replacement Contract Awarded

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners awarded a contract to replace 2,340 feet of 8-inch waterline, replace the fire hydrants and copper water services, restore the asphalt pavement and concrete sidewalks, and traffic control along DePaul Street to W.F. Delauter & Son. Theirs was the low bid of $849,220.63. The project will be paid for with funds from three different grants.

Trash Contract Awarded

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners awarded a three-year trash service contract to Republic Services of Frederick. Republic will collect trash from approximately 1,142 units in town, weekly, and dispose of it in the landfill. In addition to curbside pick-up, Republic will also provide bulk-item curbside pickup twice a year and a roll-off dumpster for yard waste and discarded Christmas trees. The cost of the contract was $117,252, annually.

Change In Plan for New Park Restroom/Concession Stand

Upon recommendation from town staff, the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners rejected the bids received for building a pre-fab restroom/concession stand building at E. Eugene Myers Park. It was found that if the town purchased the building directly from Smith Midland, it could save the town around $70,000. Although the town still needs to bid for the site work, the submitted bids included a mark-up from the bidders. This is roughly the amount the town will save by working directly with the manufacturer.

The commissioners voted to spend $217,124 to purchase the building from Smith Midland. They also voted to request bids for the site work, which is expected to cost around $50,000.

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