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Thurmont business is postponed after town official is hospitalized

Jeremy Hauck
The Gazette

(3/20) Thurmont commissioners on Monday were scheduled to discuss the town's ongoing pursuit of a biomass-fueled power plant, but that item and others on the agenda were postponed after a key town employee was rushed to a hospital that evening.

Bill Blakeslee, Thurmont's chief administrative officer, will be unable to work "probably for an extended period of time," according to Thurmont's Webmaster John Kinnaird, who visited Blakeslee at a Gettysburg hospital Monday.

"I really can't say much further than that," Kinnaird said Tuesday.

Thurmont Commissioner Ronald A. Terpko reported on Blakeslee's status on Monday night, and said he planned to visit him on Tuesday. Blakeslee was taken to the hospital at about 5:30 p.m., Terpko said.

"Just keep him in your thoughts and prayers," Terpko told the town meeting audience. "He needs them."

Senior center talks postponed

A discussion on the Thurmont Senior Center was postponed Monday, to the chagrin of several people in the audience hoping for a status update.

Commissioner Wayne A. Hooper, chairing the meeting in the absence of Mayor Martin A. Burns, made the announcement to postpone the item's discussion more than an hour into the meeting. The item will be discussed next Monday.

Bill Buehrer, chairman of the Thurmont Seniors Commission, said after the meeting he was hoping to hear more details on the terms of the town's memorandum of understanding with the Frederick County Department of Aging.

"There's nothing set in stone yet," Buehrer said.

Agreement on the memorandum of understanding is a crucial step toward revamping the center. More than 100 senior citizens use the center every week.

The memorandum of understanding would give the county's Department of Aging a bigger presence in the Thurmont Senior Center.

Thurmont owns the building at 806 E. Main St. The town leases it to the Thurmont Senior Citizens, a nonprofit that has historically run programming for senior citizens in Thurmont, for $1 per year.

The Frederick County Department of Aging pays for utilities and staffs the building.

Commissioners discuss Thurmont's growth boundaries

Thurmont commissioners consulted with Denis Superczynski, a principal planner in Frederick County's comprehensive planning department, on the town's comprehensive plan update.

The plan lays out Thurmont's vision of growth over a 20-year period.

Commissioners discussed projecting the town's growth boundary out significant distances from the town's core in a bid to establish a buffer of farmland around the town.

"I'm hearing what Walkersville has been allowed to get away with," Commissioner Glenn D. Muth said, adding that he may support a plan that would establish a Walkersville-like, "big green ring around town."

Town officials are discussing the comprehensive plan in 30-minute segments during each town meeting.

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