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Emmitsburg Town News

Emily Salmon
The Gazette

(2/10/2001)

Council bans tower installation for nine months

The Emmitsburg Town Council voted unanimously for a nine-month moratorium on the installation of communication towers within the town limits.

Town Manager David Haller proposed the vote, based on a similar action taken by Frederick County, he said. In May 1999, the Board of County Commissioners approved a six-month moratorium on the construction of new communications towers to enable county officials to study the potential impact and propose legislation. In November 1999, the BOCC passed an ordinance regulating the construction of the towers.

Haller said Emmitsburg does not have an ordinance regulating the construction of communication towers. He said he wanted to allow time for the town attorney and the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission to review existing federal laws and county legislation on the issue.

Mayor William Carr said that at least two companies had indicated interest in constructing towers in the Emmitsburg area. He declined to identify them. 

Future users must connect to both water and sewer

The Emmitsburg town commissioners voted 4-0 for a text amendment requiring that all future users of the Emmitsburg water or sewer system must be connected to both.

Currently, some residences that are not annexed to the town and are connected to the sewer system have their own wells for water.

Since sewer use is billed by the amount of water used, this has created a billing problem for the town. Sewer billing is based on water use, which is readily determined by meters. Those households with only sewer service are billed with a flat rate that assumes they use 6,000 gallons of water per quarter.

"We're charging them for 6,000 gallons," Commissioner James Hoover said Tuesday. "We don't know that they're actually dumping 6,000 gallons in the system or 100,000 gallons in the system. We don't know if they're costing us money or if they town's billing them for more than they're using." Raising rates was not discussed.  

Water fees for school taps reduced

In an effort to attract more schools to the town, the Emmitsburg council voted 3-1 to give both public and private schools a 70 percent discount on their water tap fees.

Town Manager David Haller based the ordinance on a county ordinance that provides a similar discount.

Commission James Hoover dissented, saying that he believed private schools are businesses and should be excluded from the motion.

"People that are paying toward our tax base are subsidizing those individuals," he said Tuesday. Hoover noted that many students at private schools come from outside Emmitsburg.

"It just doesn't seem fair that the outside community is going to come in and not pay toward our tax base, and our existing residents are going to pay that tax base for that water system." 

Town gives start-up money to endowment fund

The Emmitsburg town council approved a $500 contribution to the Emmitsburg Endowment Fund, a project of the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association.

Administered by the Community Foundation of Frederick, the fund will endow college scholarships for Emmitsburg high school students and will help youth programs in Emmitsburg.

The town's donation joins $1,000 from the EBPA's general membership and several $500 contributions from other members.

Don Briggs, president of the EBPA, said Tuesday, "We are extremely pleased that the town is again, as it has done so many times in the past, supporting the effort."  

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government