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State Ďfindsí $55,000 for Town Square

Richard D. L. Fulton

(11/12) The Emmitsburg Town Square project has tens of thousands of more dollars in its coffers as the result of a recent state allocation of funding.

Town Manager David Haller told the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners at their November 4 meeting that the state decided to divvy up some funding that had accrued among state funds.

"The state legislature, as an after-thought as they were wrapping-up their session in Annapolis, took a little bit (of unspent, accrued money) and divided it up between the counties," Haller stated.

As a result, Haller said the town had receive a check in the amount of $55,000 to use as the municipality saw fit, with certain restrictions.

The money came from accrued State Highway Administration revenue, and has to be expended on projects would could be viewed as road related."

The town manager told the board that Mayor Donald Briggs suggested the funds could be applied towards the work proposed on improvements of the Town Square, since state highways were involved.

The board of commissioners approved the mayorís request to earmark the $55,000 for use on Town Square-related projects.

If any of the money remains unused after two years, the funds can be allocated for other projects in the town.

Plans to revitalize the Emmitsburg Town Square has been well received overall by area businesses, town residents, and local commissioners.

The town Board of Commissioners voted unanimously almost a year ago to date to approve a contract that could lead to improving the appearance of Town Square.

Commission Christopher Staiger said at the November 4 meeting he was still concerned about the lack of a more definitive time-line for the entire Town Square project.

The project has been getting state grants for some of the work, and the town administration is considering setting-up a 501C to accept donations to help finance improvements.

But, Staiger said, "We (still) donít have an overall budget for the project. My biggest concern is funding this (complete) project, or how we are going to get there."

"Iím worried we will get so deep-in with town funds, we donít have a choice (but to fund the project through with whatever money can be amassed, including local revenue)."

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