James Rada, Jr.



Free Parking in Emmitsburg

Metered parking in Emmitsburg will be free from December 16, 2016, to January 2, 2017. However, since the parking meters are not covered during this time, visitors will still often feed the meters. Emmitsburg Commissioner Cliff Sweeney proposed splitting and donating the proceeds collected during this time between the Emmitsburg Food Bank and the Community Day fireworks show. The commissioners unanimously approved this measure.


Contract for Pool Repair Awarded

The Emmitsburg mayor and commissioners approved a total rehabilitation of the Emmitsburg town pool by Makin Waves, a company owned by a former Emmitsburg resident. The town will use a $217,000 grant to pay for complete renovation, which will also include a resurfacing of the pool. The contract was for $123,000.

Two items could not be priced yet—fixing any plumbing issues and repairing any structural damage to the pool. These will have to be identified and then bid out separately. Should there be any money remaining in the grant after all of these items are completed, the remainder will be put towards renovating the bath house.

All work is expected to be completed before June 1, 2017.


Town Approves Renting Wastewater Lagoon

The Emmitsburg mayor and commissioners voted unanimously to rent out an unused wastewater lagoon that the town owns to Enviro Organic Technologies (EOT). The lagoon has not been used since the new wastewater plant went into operation. EOT currently hauls the town’s sludge, but it is in need of a place to store food process residuals from mid-November until the beginning of March. The material comes out of a food-processing plant and is eventually applied to fields. New regulations in the state do not allow this to be applied during the winter, so it must be stored.

The $80,000 rental would offset some of the operating costs of the new waste-water treatment plant, at least for the first year.


Town Approves Employee Benefit Changes

The Emmitsburg mayor and commissioners are reviewing making changes to benefits for future full-time employees. The need for these changes was brought to the fore when former Town Manager Dave Haller retired. He had a lot of unpaid vacation time that he had accrued over the years and was paid out at his rate of pay when he retired. It was apparently a large expense for which the town hadn’t planned.

Under the proposal, unused vacation and sick time will be paid out at half the rate of pay at retirement. Also, the maximum amount of time that can be carried over from year to year will be 300 hours. Vacation time will be accrued to only 120 hours a year, which is a reduction from 160 hours.

Town Manager Cathy Willets pointed out that many long-time employees have accrued a substantial amount of time that would need to be paid for when they retire. One employee has 1,100 hours (nearly seven months), two have 900 hours, and others have accrued 500 hours.

The mayor and commissioners approved limiting the accrual of vacation time of new employees to 120 hours a year. They will address the other items in the future.


Further Water Restrictions a Possibility

Although the level at Rainbow Lake has stabilized somewhat, Emmitsburg Town Manager Cathy Willets told the mayor and commissioners that the water level is still two to three feet below the spillway. If the town doesn’t see significant rain, it is possible that voluntary water restrictions will need to be instituted.

“We are trying not to put a burden on residents for the holiday season,” Willets said.


Close Your Garage Doors and Lock Your Car Doors

Frederick County Sheriff’s Office community deputies in Emmitsburg continue to caution residents to lock their car doors and lower their garage doors. Both of these are invitation to thieves to take items with little effort. They also cautioned that once successful, a thief will continue to visit the area in the hopes of finding other opportunities.


Citizen’s Advisory Committee

During the Emmitsburg Citizen’s Advisory Committee discussed: 1) How to get information and activities to all persons in the town and decided to post news to every location people can in addition to the Town’s website; 2) Compiling a working list of all locations where citizens can volunteer and donate items. This information will be shared with schools, so students can contribute community service hours; 3) Compiling a list of organizations people can join, so more can be part of a group. This will be posted on the town website soon; 4) The idea of placing a memorial plaque in the park with four benches to commemorate some of Emmitsburg’s outstanding citizens was introduced. 5) Initiating a school incentive to decorate/design colorful fire hydrants throughout the town. The Eagle Scouts are painting some hydrants, but the remaining hydrants will be used for a school-wide competition. Drawings will be selected to decorate hydrants by one of the town organizations. The competition rules are still in the works, along with investigation of the legal issues; 6) Improving the lighting on the Christmas tree in the front of the library to make a statement for people who pass through. Members will look into making the lamps in town more decorative; and 7) Compiling a “Welcome to Emmitsburg” packet to new residents.

The next Citizens’ Advisory Committee meeting is January 15, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. in the town offices. Please get involved in making Emmitsburg great.



Town Bans Use of Crossbows and Bows in Town

The Thurmont mayor and commissioners, and also the town police, recently realized that it was legal to hunt with a crossbow or bow within town limits. Not only was it legal, but it was happening within fifty yards of the Thurmont Trolley Trail.

Mayor John Kinnaird presented an emergency ordinance to the commissioners on October 18 to address this issue. Kinnaird consulted with the town attorney and chief administrative officer to put together the ordinance. He also pointed out that Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler was also working on legislation to ban all hunting within town limits.

The emergency ordinance not only bans hunting within the town limits, but also prohibits the use of certain weapons, even for non-hunting purposes, such as air rifles and slingshots. The ordinance also outlined exceptions, such as police using their weapons in the line of duty, putting down a wounded animal, or use at a school event.

Depending on the type of weapon discharged, it may carry a penalty of up to six months in prison and/or a $50 or up to a $1,000 fine.

The commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance with the understanding that they needed to address the issue again in the near future to clarify some items.


Police Officers Recognized

Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler recognized the officers in his department who sprang into action after the August 3 pipe bomb explosion under one of the police cars. Det. J. Maybush, Cpl. Kyle Minnick, Officer Jim Donovan, Officer J. Morales, Officer Brian Donovan, Cpl. V. Testa, Officer G. Bowen, Officer D. Armstrong, and Officer Fair were recognized for the response to the detonation of a pipe bomb under the vehicle assigned to Officer Tim Duhan, and the following investigation. This led to an arrest of a suspect three days later. Eyler awarded each person a commendation award.

Brad Condon and Taylor Lee Cannon were also given certificates of appreciation for their assistance in the investigation.

Cpl. Kyle Minnick’s promotion to corporal was also recognized.


New Wastewater Treatment Plant Garage Approved

The Thurmont mayor and commissioners approved the construction of a 18 x 40 foot garage at the waste-water treatment plant. It will be attached to the existing garage and house the new Jet Vac truck. The item was budgeted in the current fiscal year for $38,000. The commissioners accepted a bid of $27,950 from CHA Pole Barns of Paradise, Pennsylvania.


New Power Supply Contract Approved

The Thurmont mayor and commissioners approved a new power supply contract with First Energy Solutions for $51.60 per megawatt hour. This is slightly lower than the current contract rate. This contract rate is good for five years, beginning next year.


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