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Around Town

(Nov 2010) During the Oct. 4 Emmitsburg town meeting, Frederick County Commissioner Blaine Young swore in Glenn Blanchard and Patrick Joy. Blanchard and Joy won the open seats on the Emmitsburg town council after the election on Sept. 28. Blanchard won the leading amount of votes with 191 and newcomer Joy received 136 votes. Incumbent Denise Etris and former commissioner Joyce Rosensteel lost their bids for re-election with 107 votes and 82 votes, respectively.

Voter turnout for the election was under 16 percent of the 1,676 registered voters in town.

During the same meeting, Mayor James Hoover made recommendations for the new organization of the board. The only change recommended and made was that Joy took over the duties that outgoing commissioner Denise Etris had performed by the board.

Chris Staiger is the president of the board. Cliff Sweeney is the vice president. Blanchard is the liaison to the Parks and Recreation Committee. Tim O’Donnell is the liaison to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Joy will serve as the liaison to the Citizens Advisory Committee.

Rain has done little to help water table

Despite the fact that the town received 7.3 inches of rain last month (when the average is 4.3 inches), the rain has done little to raise the town’s water table. Town Manager Dave Haller said the recent rain put the town’s rainfall in a surplus over the previous four months.

What the rain did do was cause another record intake at the town’s wastewater treatment plant. The plant handled more than 5 million gallons without a spill.

Though the rain has increased the water level at Rainbow Lake, Haller said the town needs steady rain and moderate snows this winter to replenish the water table.

Haller also told the commissioners that water consumption in town has continued to increase more than 10,000 gallons a day in spite of the fact that the town has a temporary outdoor water ban in place.

"I guess it didn’t have a lot of effect," Haller said.

Funding secured for new treatment plant

Emmitsburg has secured a 40-year, 2.37-percent loan to pay for the town’s portion of a new wastewater treatment plant. The loan is for $5.4 million and will be added to more than $14 million in grant funding the town has to build the plant. Emmitsburg is required to build the plant by the State of Maryland in order to meet tougher nutrient regulations established by the state.

"Our plant can’t be technically upgraded to meet the new regulations," Haller said.

Construction is expected to be complete in 2014 and it can be operational four months after construction is complete.

Commissioners reviewing holiday party plans

Last year, the Emmitsburg commissioners cancelled the town’s annual holiday party. It saved the town about $4,500 to pay for dinner, the venue and a DJ for about 100 people.

Joy suggested that the attendees pay a small cost to attend. "I just don’t think we should be paying it out of tax dollars."

Staiger reminded the commissioners that the party is not only for employees, but it is the town’s way of thanking the many volunteers to serve on committees and commissions. About three-quarters of the attendees are volunteers.

The commissioners agreed to put the holiday party on the agenda to discuss at a future meeting.

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