by James Rada, Jr.
May 2019 Meeting
$1.9 Million Budget Approved
The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved a $1,930,323 town budget for Fiscal Year 2020. This is a 5.4 percent increase over the current year’s budget.
In addition, the current town property tax rate of 36 cents per $100 of assessed value will remain the same. Because the tax rate remained constant, the town had more money to work with because property assessments increased.
The budget was helped by increased revenues from the Frederick County Tax Equity Program and Maryland Highway Users Revenue.
The budget also included a 2 percent COLA for town staff, along with any step increases.
Other funds in the budget that were also approved include a $248,171 in capital projects, $583,910 in the water fund, and $735,613 in the sewer fund.
The new budget goes into effect on July 1.
Relining Appears to be Working
Emmitsburg Town Manager Cathy Willets informed the town commissioners that early signs show the town’s efforts to reline its sewer lines is paying off.
According to Willets, the town received two inches of rain on January 19. During the two days afterward, 4.5 million gallons of water were treated at the wastewater treatment plant. When a similar rainfall fell on April 19, only 2.5 million gallons were treated during the next two days.
“If we continue to make these improvements, I think we’ll see a lot of changes,” Willets said.
Two relining projects that will hopefully occur in the next year include relining the pipes from Irishtown Road to Creekside Drive and from the Post Office to Mother Seton School.
The relining seals cracks and holes in the pipes, keeping outside water from flowing into the sewer system where it can overtax the system and increase costs because it needs to be treated.
Boys & Girls Club Coming to Emmitsburg
Thanks to a $110,000 grant through Frederick County and $10,000 from the Town of Emmitsburg, the Boys & Girls Club will be coming to Emmitsburg. The club will run an afterschool program for 40 children next school year.
Community Deputy Contract Approved
The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved the FY2020 with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office to continue having two community deputies working in Emmitsburg. The cost will be $288,824, which is a 2.89 percent increase. This is due to salary merit increases and changes in the benefits costs for the deputies.
Town Purchases All-Electric Vehicle
The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners voted to purchase a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt from Wantz Chevrolet for $35,746. This new car will replace that current 2002 town car. Although the town now has charging stations for electric vehicles, town staff did not want an all-electric vehicle because it can be difficult to find charging stations.
The original motion to purchase a Chevrolet Volt failed 2-3. Commissioner Tim O’Donnell then made a motion to purchase the Bolt, which passed 4-1.