by James Rada, Jr.
Annexation Comings and Goings
The town suspended the Simmers Property 16.7-acre annexation, which the Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners had approved last year.
Thurmont residents submitted a petition with 1,154 verified signatures. The group, Envision Thurmont, collected the signatures and submitted them to the town office. Only 906 verified signatures (20 percent of Thurmont’s registered voters) were required to put the annexation to a referendum vote.
Now that the annexation has been suspended, a special referendum vote will need to be set to put the issue before the town.
In November, the town also introduced two more annexation requests. Apples Church United Church of Christ and a portion of town-owned property comprising 4.881 acres is requesting annexation. Thurmont United Methodist Church, a 4.3135-acre parcel, is also requesting to be annexed. Both of these properties will be zoned institutional if the annexations are approved.
East End Park Picnic Pavilion to be Replaced
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to replace the East End Park picnic pavilion with a new 30-foot by 30-foot pavilion to be built by Playground Specialists. The cost is $89,999 and will be paid for with a Program Open Space grant. The town will be required to pay $22,500 of the amount, which has already been budgeted.
Town Receives a Clean Audit
Mike Samson and Alison Burke with Zlenkofske & Axelrod, LLC, presented the results of the annual independent audit of Thurmont’s financial statements for Fiscal Year 2022. Samson gave the town an unmodified or clean opinion, which is the highest rating that can be given. The auditors had no difficulties performing the audit or had any disagreements with the management.
Town Makes Gateway to the Cure Donation
Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder recently told the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners about the town’s 9th Annual Gateway to the Cure efforts for 2022. This year’s events generated $22,174 for the Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund, which is more than $4,000 above what the town raised last year. The money will stay within Frederick County and go toward direct patient care.
Developer Wants Frailey Farm Annexed
Water and Sewer Rate Increases Postponed
Reluctant to drastically raise the town’s water rate for residents, the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners postponed making a decision on the increases. Instead, they asked staff to prepare some additional scenarios in the hopes of finding one that isn’t so drastic. They arrived at the decision after hearing from town residents and discussing it among themselves.
Rates are expected to rise. The question is just how much. The new rates are expected to be approved by the end of March so that they can be in effect for the following billing cycle.
Sewer Relining Bid Approved
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a three-year sewer relining bid of $5,992 from Guyer Brothers in New Enterprise, Pennsylvania. The company utilizes a new technology that uses steam to thermo-cure the lining. It does not involve the use of chemicals like current technology, and the work is guaranteed for 10 years.
Meeting Time Changes
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted to change the meeting time for its monthly town meetings from 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This should provide the board with a little extra time each month since the meetings have tended to run around three hours each month and sometimes longer.
Moving and Expanding the Community Garden
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners is considering moving the present community garden to a location next to where the Farmer’s Market sets up. This would also allow the garden to be expanded.
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners made the following appointments and reappointment during its December meeting.
• Dianne Walbrecker to the Emmitsburg Board of Appeals, with a term of December 15, 2022 – December 15, 2024.
• Jack Pollitt to the Emmitsburg Parks and Recreation Committee, with a term of December 6, 2022 – December 2, 2024.
• Valerie Turnquist as an alternate member to the Emmitsburg Planning Commission, with a term of December 6, 2022 – December 6, 2027.
• Mark Walker to the Emmitsburg Citizen’s Advisory Committee, with a term of November 7, 2022 – November 7, 2024.