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Walbrecker and O'Neil sworn in as
 new commissioners

Tara E. Buck
Frederick News Post

Two new members of the town commission were sworn in Monday night and received a bit of good news in the announcement that AT&T will pay $103,641 in permit fees to lay fiberoptic cable through a portion of town.

Just before outgoing board members Pat Boyle and Cliff Sweeney said their goodbyes to the town's employees and others they've worked with, town planner Michael Lucas relayed the "good news" about AT&T.

The company will pay the hefty permit fee in exchange for easements where the cable is to be placed, but also for moving utility poles on East Lincoln Avenue and installing a fence at Mother Seton School.

"The staff believes this is an unprecedented permit fee for the town and will ultimately allow for the widening of East Lincoln Avenue, which could help alleviate traffic concerns at the square," Mr. Lucas said, adding that AT&T's lawyers are now drafting a proposal that will eventually be presented to the council for their approval.

Newly elected board members Dianne Walbrecker and Bill O'Neil were then sworn in for three-year terms.

Mayor Jim Hoover also reorganized the members onto the various town committees and recommended Mr. O'Neil be made the commissioners' president.

Ms. Walbrecker questioned why Mr. O'Neil should become the president when past boards opted to "promote" the longest-serving member.

Mr. Hoover said tradition did not dictate that the longest-serving member be president, although Mr. Boyle, sitting in the back of the meeting room, said it did.

However, the board ultimately concurred with the mayor's recommendations. New committee assignments are: Joyce Rosen-steel to the parks committee; Art Elder to the water and sewer committee and as treasurer; Ms. Walbrecker to the planning and zoning committee; and Mr. O'Neil to the streets committee, in addition to the board's presidency.

In other business, the council awarded a contract for solid waste disposal to Key Sanitation Inc., which will charge $6.99 per article.

The town's current trash hauler, Waste Management Inc., put in a higher `bid that would have charged $8.75 per article.

Ms. Walbrecker voted against awarding the contract to Key Sanitation, stating that she didn't have enough back-up information on the matter.

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