by James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Volunteer of the Year Named
The Thurmont Lions Club recently announced at a Thurmont town meeting that Bernie and Joanne Ricketts had been named recipients of the annual Thurmont Volunteer of the Year Award. They are volunteers at the Thurmont Food Bank and help with a variety of jobs that need to be done to have food ready for area families in need.
They received a certificate of appreciation, a gift card to a restaurant, and a $400 donation to a charity of their choice, which, not surprisingly, was the Thurmont Food Bank.
Thurmont Police Officer of the Year Named
Thurmont Police Det. Gerald Bowen was recently named as the Thurmont Police Officer of the Year. He has served with the department since 2013, and his investigations were called “thorough and meticulous.”
Bowen received a certificate of appreciation, a gift card to a restaurant, and a $400 donation to a charity of his choice, which was St. Jude’s Children Hospital.
Town Restricts the Types of Animals in the Town
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners amended the town ordinance to restrict the type of animals that are allowed within the town limits. The changes allow the code enforcement officer the ability to issue citations and take other actions to correct a problem in town of people having what many people would consider livestock in their backyards. In recent months, some people with an abundance of animals in their yards have caused problems for their neighbors that include smells, mosquitos, noise, and rats.
Contract Awarded for Frederick Road Repaving
The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners awarded Pleasant’s Construction, Inc. to repave Frederick Road, from Tippin Drive to the Hunting Creek Bridge. There are also sections of curb and gutter that will be removed and replaced. The contract was for $191,470 and will be paid for with Highway User Revenues.
Sweeney’s Town Service Recognized
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners issued a proclamation recognizing Commissioner Cliff Sweeney’s service to the Emmitsburg Lions Club. He has been a member for 15 years and served as president of the club since 2010. During much of the time, he also served as an Emmitsburg town commissioner. The proclamation recognized not only his service but the fact that he is a resource to the community.
Discussion on Enterprise Fund Allocations Continue
The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners continue to discuss how staff salaries and other expenses are allocated to the town’s enterprise funds for water and sewer. Commissioner Amy Boehman – Pollitt has been the driving force behind an effort to find out how much of employee salaries are allocated to the enterprise funds and to determine whether this could be instead allocated to the general fund.
While such a change would make the enterprise fund smaller, it would increase the general fund, so that overall, the taxpayer would see no difference in what they pay. In fact, it could actually increase town residents’ total tax bills from the town.
During the July meeting of the commissioners, it was pointed out that some of the largest users on the town water system are not within the town limits. These large users also pay the highest rates. Because of this, anything charged to the water enterprise fund is spread over more users who pay greater water rates. This actually reduces the impact on town residents’ overall tax burden because non-residents are paying part of the water fund.
Anything the commissioners move from the water fund to the general fund will be paid for by residents alone.
Public Works Agreements Signed for Development Projects
The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved and authorized the mayor to sign public works agreements between the town and Federal Stone and the town and Silo Hill Plaza.
Newly Awarded Grant
The Town of Emmitsburg recently received $2,255,552 in loans and grants from the MWIFA for water projects. North Seton Avenue waterline replacement will receive $1,145,552 ($859,164 from a loan and a $286,388 grant). DePaul Street waterline replacement will receive $1,110,000 ($832,500 from a loan and a $277,500 grant).
Board of Commissioners to Look Different in the Fall
With Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs’ announcement that he won’t seek a fifth term as mayor, the make-up of the board of commissioners and mayor will look different after this fall’s election to elect a mayor and town commissioner.
There will be a new mayor, and the two announced candidates are commissioners Frank Davis and Tim O’Donnell. If one of them wins the mayor election, a new commissioner will need to be appointed to fill the unexpired term.
In addition, Commissioner Joseph Ritz, III will not be seeking re-election. This means another commissioner seat will be filled with a new face.
The Emmitsburg town election will be held on Tuesday, September 26, at 22 East Main Street. Any potential candidates must file an application with the Emmitsburg town clerk by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 25. Financial disclosures are also due for each candidate at that time.