by James Rada, Jr.
Free Parking for the Holidays
The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved not charging for metered parking in town from December 13, 2019, to January 2, 2020. Because some people still put money in the meters during this time, any money collected will be donated to the Emmitsburg Food Bank (50 percent), Lions Club Community Day fireworks (25 percent), and the Friends of the Emmitsburg Library youth programs (25 percent).
Dunkin’ Donuts Moving Forward
A plan for a Dunkin’ Donuts on the site of the Silo Hill Car Wash has been conditionally approved by the Emmitsburg Planning Commission. The commission put 26 conditions on their plan approval.
According to Town Planner Zach Gulden, most of the conditions aren’t major and are generally small items that are in the town code but were missed when the plan was put together.
More Sewer Relining Approved
The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved having Mr. Rehab, Inc., of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to reline sections of the town’s sewer system to decrease incidents of inflow and infiltration. Mr. Rehab was the lowest price among three bidders, and the company relined the sewer lines on East Main Street earlier this year. Mr. Rehab is charging $35.35 per linear foot for 8-inch pipe and $37.80 per linear foot for 10-inch pipe, and the approval locks in this price for three years.
For 2020, the relining projects are West North Ave. through Creekside Dr. to the creek, and from behind the post office to behind the school at manhole 33. This portion of the project is expected to cost around $107,419, which will be paid from the town’s sewer fund.
Town Approves Social Media Management Policy
The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved a policy guiding how the town’s social media accounts are managed. The town website remains Emmitsburg’s primary means of digital communication, but the town also has Facebook and Twitter accounts.
A policy was needed because public officials and government bodies have been running into problems recently over what can be posted on their sites, who can be blocked, and what is considered a public document. The policy also includes an attachment that outlines what visitors to the town’s social media accounts can say in a posted comment.
Long Appointed to Sustainable Communities Board
The Emmitsburg Commissioners unanimously appointed Mark Long to the Sustainable Communities Board. He is also a current member of the Emmitsburg Planning Commission.
Don Ely is Volunteer of the Year
The Thurmont Lions Club announced its Thurmont Volunteer of the Year during a recent meeting of the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners. The club received five nominees who were selflessly serving the Thurmont community. They are: Renae Coolidge, Paul Echard, Don Ely, Kyra Fry, and Rachel Mosiychuk.
“It is people like our five nominees who keep our community strong,” said Julie El-Tahir with the Lions Club.
Ely was selected as the 2019 Volunteer of the Year for his work helping the Thurmont Food Bank. He received a Shamrock Restaurant gift certificate, his name on a plaque listing volunteers of the year, and designating where a $400 donation from the Lions Club will go. Eli chose to have the Thurmont Food Bank get the donation.
The Lions Club has been recognizing Thurmont’s Volunteer of the Year since 2006.
Commissioners Sworn In
Mayor John Kinnaird swore in Commissioners Wes Hamrick and Bill Buehrer to serve new terms on the Thurmont Board of Commissioners. Hamrick and Buehrer were re-elected on October 29. Thurmont’s voter turnout for its municipal election was 11 percent, with 531 people casting 1,022 ballots. These numbers include 14 absentee votes.
Hamrick thanked the other candidates who ran for election and added, “It’s a very humbling privilege to be up here.”
Buehrer echoed those comments and said, “I am disappointed that only 11 percent of the people that are registered to vote in this community thought it as worthwhile to come out that day.”
Town to Acquire Moser Road Property
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to purchase a 10-acre parcel next to the town’s wastewater treatment plant. The town will use Program Open Space fund for the $150,000 purchase. This property will allow the Thurmont Trolley Trail to be extended outside of the town to the south. The commissioners’ hope is that the trail can become a much larger trail, extending to Frederick.
Electric Department Purchasing a Wire Trailer
The Thurmont Electric Department will purchase a specialized trailer that allows town staff to make temporary aboveground connections during an electrical service outage. Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick told the commissioners that using the trailer allows the town to get customers’ service back quicker, while also allowing town staff to work on the problem in safer conditions.
The town received two bids for the trailer. It awarded the bid for the trailer to Comstar Supply in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, for $13,147. The cost of the wire for the trailer is $2,000. The town has allocated $23,000 for the trailer and wire, so the equipment is costing $7,853 under budget.
Town Sponsors Model Train Display
Thurmont is sponsoring a free model train display at 12 East Main Street in Thurmont every weekend through December 22. The display is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays. The Frederick County Society of Model Engineers and the Town of Thurmont are sponsoring the display.