James Rada, Jr.
Emmitsburg News Journal
(August, 2011) Emmitsburg is considered one of "Maryland’s Coolest Small Towns," according to the Baltimore Sun. The newspaper ran a large article on August 11 that looked at the state’s small towns (under 10,000 residents) to find the ones that were the "standouts for their compact size, unhurried pace and unique attractions."
The Sun ran short profiles on its five favorites, which included Thurmont at no. 4. Rock Hall in Kent County was chosen as the coolest small town in Maryland. Following the profiles, the Sun listed 10 more cool small towns. Within this list, Emmitsburg ranked at no. 5. Maryland has 157 municipalities.
Sewer and water surcharge removed
The Emmitsburg town commissioners unanimously voted to remove a $7,000 surcharge for water and sewer connections charged to new home builders in addition to the town’s regular connection fees.
The change will not affect water and sewer rates. The surcharges were used to pay for line repair but were no longer considered necessary. It is hoped that dropping the surcharge will encourage builders to build new homes within the town. If so, each unit will still be charged $4,000 for a water system connection and $8,000 for a sewer
Drought affecting water supply
Area drought conditions are reducing Emmitsburg’s water availability. Town Manager Dave Haller told the Emmitsburg town commissioners in his monthly water report a deficit of rain and increased water consumption in town is causing a drop in the town’s water table. Rainbow Lake is now 8.5 inches below the spillway, which is 2.5 inches more
than it had been in July. The town wells are also down an average of 7.25 feet, which is 1.75 more than they had been in July.
Revised trailer ordinance passed
The Emmitsburg town commissioners passed a revised trailer ordinance in August that defines trailers and where they can be parked in town. The previous ordinance was determined to be both outdated and unenforced. In addition, the town had started receiving complaints about trailers parked on town streets. An investigation showed that
trailers were also parked on driveways and in front yards. Though on private property, it was still a violation of the old ordinance.
The revised ordinance allows trailers to be parked on private property if the trailer is not being used for permanent living space. The trailer must also have a valid registration in the name of the property owner.
Visitors can park a trailer in a driveway for up to seven consecutive days and 14 days in a six-month period. Trailers can only be parked on public streest for emergency reasons up to two hours.
A first-time violation is a written warning, but each violation thereafter will be fined $75 a day.
Commission President Chris Staiger noted that, "These changes won’t help anyone in a homeowner’s association where the HOA has more-restrictive requirements."
Election judges selected
The Emmitsburg town commissioners unanimously appointed the town election judges for the September 27, 2011, town election. The judges will be Ruth Ann Carroll, Lisa Mazaleski Charlotte Mazaleski, and Sharon Hane. The town’s polling place is at 22 East Main Street and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Hiking-biking trail cleared
Work continues on Emmitsburg’s multi-use trail west of Rainbow Lake. The trail, which is designed by the Trail Conservancy, has been cleared of vegetation. No heavy equipment was used. Instead volunteers cut back the vegetation.
The next stage will be to lay down a natural trail surface tread.
The beginner’s loop of the trail is a little more than a mile long. Less than 10 miles of trails will be developed when the trail is complete.
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