by James Rada, Jr.
Town Approves Bond Issue
After a public hearing, the Thurmont Commissioners voted for the ability to issue infrastructure bonds up to $6 million. The proceeds from the bond sale will be used to complete the Thurmont Boulevard project and the wetlands mitigation. The town does not necessarily need to issue the bonds, but the hearing and vote were necessary in order for the town to pursue other sources of funding for the project. Most of the people who spoke were not in favor of the town issuing bonds. The vote was 4-1 in favor, with Commissioner Bill Blakeslee voting against the motion.
State Funding for Park Projects
The Town of Thurmont was recently approved for state grant funding of four park projects in town:
$220,083 for the Gateway Trail Pedestrian Bridge over Hunting Creek.
$256,000 for the replacement of the Community Park Tennis Courts.
$10,000 for the East End Dog Park watering stations.
$20,000 for the Trolley Trail Interpretive Sign Project.
These project grants will require no match from the town.
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to make Juneteenth a town holiday to be celebrated on June 19 each year. The holiday represents the date of the emancipation of the last slaves in the Confederate States. It became a federal holiday in 2021.
Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird recently swore in Kirby Delauter to serve on the Thurmont Board of Appeals and Ed Hutson to serve on the Thurmont Police Commission.
Sewer and Water Rate Increases Coming
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners is still considering how to implement the new water and sewer rates that will allow the system to be sustainable. The discussion has been going on since last October.
The recommended increases that it appears the commissioners will hold a hearing on this month are: (1) Increase sewer rates 3 percent a year; and (2) Increase water rates 36 percent a year for five years and then 3 percent a year, thereafter.
Water rates haven’t increased since 2013, and sewer rates haven’t increased since 2006.
New Park Grant
The Town of Emmitsburg was recently awarded a Program Open Space grant for $70,000. It will require a $37,500 match from the town. The grant is for a stormwater management plan to pave a 10- to 12-space parking lot at Rainbow Lake.
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners recently made the following appointments to town commissions:
Scott Frager was reappointed to the Board of Appeals with a term of February 17, 2023, to February 17, 2026.
Carolyn Miller was reappointed to the Parks and Committee with a term of March 13, 2023, to March 13, 2025.
Martin Miller was reappointed to the Parks and Committee with a term of March 13, 2023, to March 13, 2025.
Mark Walkers’ resignation from the Citizens Advisory Committee was accepted.
Valerie Turnquist was appointed to the Planning Commission with a term of March 13, 2023, to March 13, 2026.