Homes Taken Off Town’s Water System
Town staff had to do an emergency fix to the town’s water lines. Four homes outside of town limits, but on the town water system, received their water through a water line that was installed in the 1930s. Over the decades, 200 feet of the 8-inch line has been exposed to the elements. Because of the extended subzero temperatures that the region had this winter, a major break occurred in the line on January 8. Temporary fixes to the line could not be maintained.
In one instance, a temporary pump placed on the water line malfunctioned, and one home’s basement was flooded.
Town staff evaluated the situation and determined that the old water line was unrepairable. It would need to be replaced, which would cost $1 million to restore service to the four homes.
Since this would be too expensive, an alternative solution was sought. It was discovered that one of the homes could be connected to an existing 10-inch water line. The other three homes were too far away for this solution to work for them. For these homes, the town reached an agreement with the homeowners to drill wells that could service the homes and take them off the town’s water system. The estimated cost for this solution is $50,000 per connection or $150,000.
Transfers to Capital Projects
When fiscal year 2017 ended, the Town of Emmitsburg had excess money in its general fund. The excess needed to be transferred to capital projects per audit requirements. Town staff put together a list of projects and amounts that they recommended be funded with the excess.
- $66,300 towards the Community Park Pool and its grounds. (Unanimously approved.)
- $17,245 for the dog park. The commissioners modified the dog park plan to include no leash stations (for now) and four benches instead of seven. (Approved with modification.)
- $15,000 for the general streets fund. (Unanimously approved.)
- $14,000 for curbs, gutters, sidewalks, roads. The commissioners asked that the St. Joseph’s Lane pedestrian walkway become a future agenda item. (Unanimously approved.)
- $10,000 for the general planning fund. (Unanimously approved.)
- $6,526 for building maintenance at 140 South Seton Avenue. (Unanimously approved.)
- $4,500 for building maintenance at 22 East Main Street. (Unanimously approved.)
The total transfer amount was $133,571.
Town Starts Monthly Street Sweeping
Emmitsburg Town Manager Cathy Willetts announced that town staff will now perform monthly street-sweeping in Emmitsburg, which is required for the MS-4 permit that the town is seeking.
Community Day Race
The Emmitsburg Commissioners unanimously approved a 6K race on Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day, June 30, 2018. The Catoctin-Ettes will run the event as a fundraiser.
Conrad Weaver was appointed to the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for a two-year term, from November 4, 2017, to November 4, 2019.
Wendy Walsh was reappointed to serve on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee, from February 20, 2018, to February 20, 2020.
Town Gets Grant for LED Lighting
As the Town of Thurmont moved to increase its sustainability and reduce costs, one of the changes it has been working on is switching over to LED street lights downtown and in subdivisions. The Maryland Energy Administration recently awarded the town $34,650 for this project. The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted unanimously to spend $28,035 of that amount to have Catoctin Lighting replace the street lights in Catoctin Heights. The remaining balance will be used to purchase additional lighting fixtures for a yet-to-be-determined location.
Curb Side Grass and Leaf Pickup
Curb side grass and leaf pickup will resume in Thurmont on April 2. Residents should have received notice of all the pertinent information and dates with their utility bills.
Work Continues on Employee Manual
Town staff has been crafting an employee policy manual for town employees for the past few months. “It’s something that would be able to assist our supervisors and managers, assist our employees, and assist in the overall management of our staff here,” Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick told the mayor and commissioners.
A draft of the manual was presented to the mayor and commissioners during a workshop meeting, where they went through the document to address any questions and concerns. These will then be used to make changes to the final manual.
Mid-year Budget Review
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners received a mid-year budget review in January to see how close they were staying to the approved fiscal year 2018 budget. According to Chief Financial Officer Linda Joyce, at the halfway point in its budget, the town was 15 percent under budget.
Thurmont Addiction Commission
The Thurmont Addiction Commission is now up and running. The group has a Facebook page, where interested parties can be kept up to date on meeting times and topics. One topic that has been discussed between the commission and Frederick County Health Department is a needle exchange program. Commissioner Marty Burns pointed out that this was a presentation being made by the Health Department to gather input. It did not mean the program would happen.