by James Rada, Jr.
Town Square Improvements Will Begin this Month
Maryland State Highway officials told the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners that the $3.5 million improvements to the town square and Main Street will begin this month.
The project will focus on Main Street, from Creamery Road to Timbermill Run, and a block north and south from the Seton Avenue intersection with Main Street. This includes two weekends when the Seton Avenue – Main Street intersection will be closed for waterline work.
The project will build new brick sidewalks that have curb ramps, to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. New crosswalks and resurfacing of the town square intersection are also included in the project. Parking on the Square will be reconfigured. Other improvements include gutters, the traffic signal, and landscaping. The Bradford Pear trees along Main Street will be replaced with either snowgoose cherry, scarlet oak, or rotundiloba sweetgum trees.
There will be temporary road and sidewalk closures and restrictions of on-street parking while the project is ongoing. Officials will work with property owners to minimize their inconveniences.
- Romano Construction will be in charge of the project, which should be completed next summer.
Dog Park Fundraising Approved
The location for the new Emmitsburg dog park has been staked out west of the tennis courts in town. The location is relatively flat. It is an 80-foot by 200-foot site that will include a park for large dogs and one for small dogs.
The town has a $13,000 Project Open Space (POS) grant to use for construction, but the commissioners also approved a brochure that will be used to solicit donations to help fund the park amenities, such as benches, signage, water fountains, trash cans, and pick-up bags. These are things that the POS grant won’t pay for.
New Algae-control System Being Installed
The new algae-control system that the Town of Emmitsburg purchased last month will be installed at Rainbow Lake this month. The new system is expected to save the town money by making the filtration of the water easier.
The LG Sonic system uses ultrasound to destroy the algae, causing it to sink to the bottom of the lake. The cost of the system is $38,650, which not only pays for the system but gets it up and running. After that, the town will pay $13,000 a year for calibration, interactive monitoring to adjust the sonic waves for the different types of algae, and on-site servicing.
Pavilion Rental Fee Modified
Responding to concerns from citizens, the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners modified their pavilion rental policy to waive the rental fee for non-profit organizations.
Boys and Girls Club for Emmitsburg?
Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs has been talking with the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County to get a branch open in Emmitsburg that would complement the after-school program at Emmitsburg Elementary School.
Town Enters into Mutual Aid Agreement
The Town of Thurmont entered into a mutual aid agreement recommended by the Maryland Municipal League and the Department of Homeland Security. The agreement is a formal recognition that if any municipality experiences an emergency or catastrophic event, other municipalities will respond with help as needed.
“Honestly, we probably would do that now, but this just really kind of formalizes the agreement,” Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick told the commissioners.
The agreement does not force the town to respond to another municipality’s emergency. It is left to the town to determine how to provide aid. The municipality is also indemnified from liability under the agreement.
Gene Long Week
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners proclaimed that March 5-11, 2017, was Gene Long Week in Thurmont. The proclamation recognized the many contributions that Long has made as a life-long resident of Thurmont. He has encouraged the preservation of agriculture in the county, volunteered with many Lions Club projects, helped create the Thurmont Trolley Trail, and proven himself a friend of Thurmont.
Program Open Space projects
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners are in the process of deciding on what their priorities will be as they seek Program Open Space funding this year. The state funding for parks is highly sought after among municipalities.
The commissioners decided that their two major projects will be getting additional funding for the East End Park special-needs playground, and converting the concession stand there to an ADA-compliant bathroom. The second project will be to get solar-powered lighting for the Thurmont Trolley Trail.
Another two or three projects will be added to the list before it is submitted on May 5. The representatives from the different county municipalities will meet to decide how to divide the pot of money that Frederick County gets from the state.
They do not expect to get money for all of their projects or even all of the funding for the projects that do get POS money. However, the projects that do get funding will be greatly helped.