Residents Having Trouble With Mount Students
A group of Emmitsburg residents spoke to the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners during their June meeting about the continuing problems they are having with unruly Mount St. Mary’s students. Some students party too hard and create disturbances in town, including urinating on private property, breaking fences, exposing themselves to residents, and driving through closed alleys to get onto Main Street.
“They are treating Emmitsburg like a frat house and frat row,” Paul McKinley said.
Wayne Green, Mount St. Mary’s vice president and chief of staff, pointed out that the problems are being caused by a handful of students.
“I’m sorry to all of you that had to put up with that,” Green said.
To have any impact on the problem, the town and university would need to continue open communications about it. Green also urged the residents to communicate directly with him to get a quicker response to problems when they arise.
The town and university will work to develop a plan during the summer that can be instituted when the new school year starts in the fall.
New Planner Hired
As Emmitsburg Town Planner Sue Cipperly plans her retirement, the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners approved her replacement.
Zach Gulden was approved by the commissioners during their June meeting. He is one of thirty-eight people who applied for the position, and one of three who were interviewed by Town Manager Cathy Willets and Mayor Don Briggs.
Gulden is currently the Freedom Township manager and Upper Allen Township planner. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
He will start in his new position in July, allowing some overlap between his start and Cipperly’s retirement so that she can get him up to speed on the on-going projects. His annual salary is $55,303.88.
Town Cleanup Day Approved
The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners approved a plan by resident Wayne Slaughter to hold the first Volunteer Community Cleanup Day in Emmitsburg on July 14. This initial cleanup will focus on the parks and community west of Seton Avenue.
Slaughter will also present a plan to create a botanical garden and walk within one of the town parks. The area he has in mind will have to be cleared of an invasive vine species and then replanted with native plants.
The commissioners said that they would be interested in hearing more about his idea.
Salary Schedule Approved
The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners approved the town employee salary chart for the upcoming year. They also approved changes to when employees can receive their accrued benefits when they leave employment with the town. Employees will have to give two weeks’ notice when they leave to be eligible to receive the accrued benefits.
Town to Get Electric Car Charging Stations
The Town of Emmitsburg will receive a grant from the Electric Vehicle Institute that will fund four charging stations. The stations will be placed in the rear parking lot at the Town Community Center.
The town was required to sign a five-year agreement with the Electric Vehicle Institute. The stations will not cost the town anything. Electric consumption used by the charging station will be paid for by the driver charging the vehicle.
The commissioners also had to approve an addendum to their lease with Frederick County, which is the owner of the community center. The addendum change allows the charging stations to be installed.
Catoctin Heights Gets LED Streetlights
The Town of Thurmont has installed LED streetlights in Catoctin Heights. The lights were paid for with a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration. The lights will help reduce the town’s energy costs as the town moves toward becoming greens and sustainable.
Senior Center and Food Bank for CDBG Grants
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners are seeking a Community Development Block Grant to purchase a digital messaging sign for the Thurmont Senior Citizens Center and interior upgrades to the Thurmont Food Bank, including the air conditioning system.
Thurmont Approves Budget with 2-cent Property Tax Increase
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved their Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget with a 2-cent increase to the property tax rate. The new tax rate is 30.41 cents per $100 of assessed value. With this increase, the budget is expected to have a $91,320 surplus of revenues over expenditures.
During the discussions, Commissioner Marty Burns had heated discussions with the other commissioners and Mayor John Kinnaird over past financial errors, funding for the Thurmont Addictions Commission, employee health costs, and employee raises.
“There are a lot of good things in this budget, but I don’t feel comfortable supporting any tax increase because we haven’t sat down and analyzed exactly what happened from three years ago to where we are today,” Burns said.
The tax increase passed 3-1, with Burns voting in opposition.
The $3.8 million general fund budget also passed 3-1, with Burns voting in opposition.
Remember to Maintain Your Property
The Thurmont Police Department released a message to the community that town ordinance forbids blowing cut grass, weeds, and leaves into town streets and gutters.
If yard waste is blown into a street, it must be removed within four hours. Yard waste also cannot be thrown into a storm sewer. Violators of this ordinance can be fined $50.