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501C Town Square nonprofit proposed

(9/12) The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners learned at their August 19 meeting that a 501C nonprofit is being pursued by the mayor to help support improvements proposed on the Town Square.

The revelation came about during a discussion between the mayor and board members regarding the board’s need of a "road map" of where the Town Square project was heading, along with target dates and timelines.

As the issue came up, when asked if the board could see a project timeline regarding the Town Square project, Mayor Donald N. Briggs stated, "We’re getting the drawings done, getting some prices (and) ,there will be a 501C so people can make donations to help here."

Briggs further commented, "We potentially already have $500,000 going into it (the proposed 501C).

Commissioner Tim O’Donnell asked the mayor if the town is investigating establishing a 501C to which the mayor responded, "We’re doing that (working to set one up)."

Briggs said, "We went through the (Maryland) Community Foundation and asked them (about having a 501C to amass donation or Town Square improvements). They’re open to it. They have a program for towns to do that."

As far as potential donors, the mayor told the commissioners, "A lot of people said they would like to (donate money). We have had somebody say they would pay for the fountain. We got someone said they would pay for the clock. But they need a vehicle to maybe get a tax benefit."

Briggs subsequently told the News-Journal that establishing a 501C is, at this point in time, "a concept, (but) we have many things going on right now."

He said the establishment of the 501C "may be something that would unfold maybe next year. We would have to line-up the stewardship of it and a foundation (to manage it)."

But before launching a 501C to help raise funds for the Town Square, other milestones have to be met first. "We have to do the final drawings (for the square project), which have to go out to bid," and the project is still awaiting approval by the State Highway Administration, which could take another month or more.

"We’ve had a lot of inquiry into how to memorialize family names," Briggs stated. "It (the 501C) would answer the question for residents who would like to put money into this (project) in memory of the family."

The mayor said, "I definitely do think it is doable. The vehicle is there (through the state Community Foundation). It’s (the service) available. We just have to really precisely setting it up so it is what the citizens want before we accept a dime."

"It’s a wonderful tool (to help raise funds)," Briggs said. "We just have some milestones (other project objectives) to get over."

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