by James Rada, Jr.


Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Approved

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners adopted the budget for Fiscal Year 2025 by adopting the constant yield real estate tax rate of 29.87 cents per $100 of assessed value of the property. The constant yield rate is the rate needed so that the town collects the same amount in taxes as the previous year, even if the assessments increase.

The new budget amounts to $5,311,658 in the general fund.

Also, although property taxes will remain flat, water and sewer rates will drastically increase in July, and electric rates will begin to fluctuate in January 2025 as the town moves to month-to-month rates that will hopefully net a lower overall rate for customers.

Commissioners’ Priorities for POS Money

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently reviewed their priorities for Fiscal Year 2025 Program Open Space funds. Mayor John Kinnaird noted that the fund pool is smaller this year. This could make it more difficult to get needed funding, depending on what the other municipalities in the county are seeking.

The Town of Thurmont is seeking:

$10,000 for a new pavilion, tables, and grills at Carroll Street Park.

$7,500 for a new scoreboard for the new East End Park softball field.

Solar lighting for the Eyler Road Park walkway—$13,000 for the front loop only or $26,000 for the entire loop.

If fully funded, these projects, under the current 90/10 match requirements, would need $4,350 in town funding.

Sewer and Water Rates Could Increase

After a review of the adequacy of water and sewer rates to generate the funds needed to operate, it has been recommended that the rates need to increase by at least 11 percent. The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners plan on holding a workshop about the rates and investigating the situation further.

Town Makes Annual Contributions

The Town of Thurmont recently presented checks to different organizations in town that provide needed services to town residents. The donations were:

•   Guardian Hose Co. – $30,000

•   Thurmont Community Ambulance – $30,000

•   Thurmont Food Bank – $6,000

•   Thurmont Ministerium – $1,000

Appointments Made

The Thurmont Police Department recently welcomed its newest police officer, Eduardo Alfonso Ballesteros, whom Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird swore into the department.

New members were also appointed to the Thurmont Parks and Recreation Commission with staggered terms to avoid having to appoint the entire commission at once. The new members of the commission are:

•   Amie McDaniels (term expires May 7, 2028).

•   Jim Robbins (term expires May 7, 2028).

•   Keith Myers (term expires May 7, 2028).

•   Carl Weber (term expires May 7, 2026).

•   Wes Hamrick (term expires May 7, 2026).


New Soccer League Proposed

A group of citizens approached the Emmitsburg Mayor and Board of Commissioners with a proposal for a new municipal soccer league. Andy Crum, who spoke to the board of commissioners, said that having a sports program in town is something the town has been missing. They submitted a proposal to the town for how the league could be established. It is still in the early stages with the organizers looking for town input and support for the league.

Town Approves Deputy Contract

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2025 contract for law enforcement services with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. The new contract is for $349,806, which is 18.22 percent higher than the previous contract. This includes a 6 percent increase to the deputy pay scale, along with the associated benefits. There is also an increase to the vehicle maintenance rates and fuel costs.

New Park Bathroom/Concession Stand Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners had to approve a new contract with South-Midland for a new pre-fabricated bathroom/concession stand in the E. Eugene Myers Park that will be located near the disc golf course and the ball field. The building is 23’4” x 19’-4” x 9’ high and is precast. The cost includes the delivery to the site.

The board previously approved a cost of $217,124 at the March 4, 2024, town meeting. However, it turned out that cost was no longer valid. The new estimate was for $239,531, which the board approved.

Budget Transfers Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved the transfer of excess general fund money from the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. The town had a surplus of $446,287 that was transferred to capital improvement projects.

Excess revenue of $243,104 in FY 2023 with interest generated $110,000 additional revenue, and real estate taxes/local income taxes generated at $88,000 additional revenue.

The expenses for FY 2023 were also $203,182 less than anticipated.

Commissioners Get a First Look at the Budget

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners got their initial look at the Fiscal Year 2025 budget. The real estate tax will remain the same at 34 cents per $100 assessed value. Highway User Funds are up, but State Aid to Police will be decreasing. The budget also includes a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for employees, which is below average. It also includes two potential new positions: a town operations specialist and a water and sewer operator.

The proposed general fund budget is $2,525,468, a 16 percent increase over the current year. The proposed general fund capital projects budget is $143,347 with $889,944 to remain in balance.

The proposed stormwater management fund is $26,889, a 459 percent increase over the current year.

The proposed water fund is $215,570, a 1,945 percent increase. It should be noted that this fund will lose money this fiscal year.

The proposed sewer fund is $215,146, a 395 percent increase. It should be noted that this fund will lose money this fiscal year.

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