by James Rada, Jr.


Town Considering Adjusting Water and Sewer Rates

Chris Simms with Smart Utilities Management talked with the commissioners about the need to raise water and sewer rates in town.

The town’s water rates haven’t been adjusted since 2012, and the water system is starting to run at a deficit as the capital reserves in the enterprise fund have been used. In 2023, the fund just covered costs, and this year, it will have a $200,000 deficit.

Increasing costs due to inflation are the reason that the need to adjust the rate is happening.

Simms suggested increasing the rate by 15 percent for the fiscal year 2025, with possible increases of 15 percent in the next two years, if needed, to bring the budget back into line with where it needs to be.

A 15 percent increase to rates would increase the average home’s water bill by $10 a quarter and a $15 per quarter increase in the average sewer bill. This means that the average homeowner’s bill will increase by a total of $100 a year.

New Police And Commission Members Sworn In

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently swore in new Thurmont Police Officer Kevin Eyler. They also swore in new planning and zoning commission members, Grant Johnson, as a regular member, and Vincent Cover as the alternate member. Their term will end on March 5, 2029.

Town Approves New Bonds

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted recently to allow the town to issue bonds not to exceed $2.4 million to pay for needed infrastructure improvements.


. Water Treatment Plant Clarifier and Dam Engineering Bids Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a bid for the construction of a water clarifier at the water treatment plant on Crystal Fountain Road. Conewago submitted the low bid of $2,329,561. It was 7 percent lower than the town engineer’s estimate and 6.07 percent lower than the second-lowest bid.

In a somewhat related action, the commissioners also approved a bid for engineering services on the Emmitsburg dam, which is required by the Maryland Department of the Environment. After two inspections of the dam, MDE required six things that the town needed to do to bring the dam into compliance. CPJ of Silver Spring won the contract with a bid of $72,426 and will perform all the compliance items MDE requires. Town staff was impressed by the depth of the inspection that CPJ’s performed.

Two-hour Time Limit on Parking Removed and Meter Fees Increased

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted to remove the two-hour parking limit on Main Street, which will now allow vehicles to park for 48 hours on the street without needing to be moved.

The commissioners also voiced to increase the parking meter fee to 25 cents for a half hour and 50 cents for an hour.

Citation Box Removed

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted to remove the red citation box at the old town office on East Main Street. According to town staff, the box is not being used, and there are alternate ways for citations to be paid, such as using the black citation box at the town office or mailing the payment to the office.

Rainbow Lake Pump House Bridge Replacement Approved

The bridge at the Rainbow Lake pump house has been found to be structurally flawed and hazardous. According to a safety report, it is no longer straight and shakes when walked upon. This will hinder work at the pump house because it can’t be used, especially to carry heavy items across.

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted to hire PlasTech in Baltimore to replace the bridge with a new one made of a Fiberglass material and has a life expectancy of more than 50 years. It will also be fitted to the valve house and concrete structure of the dam. The cost of the contract is $160,959.

New Bid Approved for Depaul St. Water Line

Although the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a bid to replace 2,340 feet of an 8-inch iron water line, that contractor withdrew its bid. This required the commissioners to award the bid a second time. Besides the water line, fire hydrants will be replaced, the pavement and side will be replaced, and traffic will need to be managed.

Huntsberry Brothers was awarded the contract for $1,217,250. It will be paid for with funds from three different grants.

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