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Thurmont officials hear potential budget items

Ed Waters Jr.
Frederick News-Post

(4/3) Town officials heard from department heads Tuesday night about potential budget items.

The presentations were given with the idea that when the formal budget is completed, items could be eliminated due to revenue restrictions.

The electrical department's list totaled $1.9 million and included a secondary line from the Potomac Edison substation to the town and a smart grid system to monitor demand loads and loss of power.

Most of the departments noted the need for new trucks for plowing snow and those with "buckets" to reach power lines. In many cases, the budget lists included funds in escrow for future needs. One example is $25,000 the town puts into a fund to repair the bridge at Moser Road, should it ever need to be replaced or needs major repairs.

"We should have a display of all of the equipment the town has and show the residents what they are paying for and how well they are maintained," said Mayor Martin Burns. He added that residents should be given a tour of the upgraded wastewater treatment plant, a $2 million project, and commended the town's crew on their hard work in keeping the town operating.

Town Commissioner Bill Buehrer said it is important to keep town parks in good condition as the parks are "the face of the community" to those who use them.

The items will be reviewed as part of the formal budget to be presented later this year.

Also Tuesday, Town Chief Administrative Officer Bill Blakeslee said he had been approached by a television production, "Communities of Distinction," to do a film about Thurmont. The production would be narrated by Terry Bradshaw and appear on ABC and Fox.

Town Commissioner John-- Kinnaird said the town's revenue share of the production would be $24,800. "That's the stumbling block to me," Kinnaird said. Blakeslee said the show's producer would be calling back on Thursday for more discussion.

The officials briefly discussed hiring a Main Street manager. Salary and specifics would be negotiated with the person hired, but the main focus would be working with and promoting businesses in the main part of the town. A four-person board of directors will be established to oversee Main Street activities.

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