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Grease, oil law debated

Chris Patterson
The Gazette

(10/13/2004) Thurmont's board of commissioners opened the floor to public comments on the proposed grease, fats and oils ordinance Tuesday, but no residents or business owners came forward to comment.

Board members are seeking comments on the ordinance, which is designed to control the flow of fats, oil and grease into the town's sewage system.

Because the town is facing more than $1 million in work to update its sewage collection system, preventing a recurrence of blockages and overflowing sewers is high on the board's priority list.

Commissioner Bill Blakeslee urged both residents and business owners to be a part of the process of planning the ordinance.

Muth said he has only heard from one business owner about the proposed ordinance, but did not say what that business owner said. He agreed business owners should be involved.

"We are not trying to hurt any business," Muth said. "We are trying to help them."

The ordinance includes language requiring that the grease traps or interceptors will be required to meet Frederick County plumbing code. All institution or businesses that have food preparation, automobile dealers or service providers that deal with oil products, or any other business that uses fats, oils or grease will be affected by the ordinance.

Comments on the proposed ordinance are still being solicited. The next meeting on the draft will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Volunteers may live outside limits

Due to difficulties getting enough volunteers for committees that act in an advisory capacity to town commissioners, the board agreed to consider accepting volunteers for those committees who live outside town limits.

Mayor Martin Burns said he couldn't disagree more with that decision. He said he felt the representatives on the commissions should be residents.

Muth said preference should be given to residents, but outside residents could be considered.

Commissioner Wayne Hooper said he would put together a formal policy regarding members of committees coming from outside of the town limits.

In other related business, Commissioner Ron Terpko announced the town is in need of three volunteers to work on the Police Commission. Anyone interested should send a letter of interest to the town.

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