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Monthly Town Meeting - March 2001

Moratorium on building towers

The Emmitsburg Town Council, at their February 4 meeting, voted in favor of a nine-month moratorium on the building of communication towers within the town limits. The council felt a need to become more familiar with matters of microwave towers in order to draft an effective ordinance. To date two requests have been made to install towers within town limits.

Water/Sewer Ordinance revised

The commissioners voted 4-0 to amend the water and sewer ordinance to require that out-of-town users of the sewer system must use both water and sewer services. Sewer use is billed by the amount of water used and those who do not use town water (but have their own well) are billed a flat rate of 6,000 gallons of water per quarter. The town has no way of knowing the actual number of gallons used in that situation. They could be costing the town money or paying for more than they use. In the future, parties wishing to use just one or the other will be required to pay for both.

Water discount given to schools

The council considered changes to the water and sewer allocation chart and voted 3 - 1 to grant a 70% discount to schools being serviced by the local system. Town Manager Dave Haller said this action follows similar action taken by the county.

The Town uses a fixture chart to calculate how many sewer and water taps are needed for commericial buildings. Prior to this code amendment, fixture charges to the schools were based on fixture count. A count of 15 would equal one sewer and water tap each. The revised code allows schools to have a fixture count of 60 to equal one sewer and water tap each. Example, a school with a fixture count of 172 would cost about $72,798. The revision to the code will reduce the charge to about $18,198.

"I hope this will be seen as a support and courtesy extended to our schools," said Mayor Carr. According to Haller this change to the allocation chart would create a more favorable circumstance for any school to be built in the future on a site within the town limits rather than on county land.

Commissioner Hoover cast the negative vote, citing that in his view this action extends a discount to private schools and will burden the town taxpayers as resident tax dollars would subsidize out-of-town or out-of-state residents who attend the school.

"I feel that this offer should only go to public schools," Hoover told the Dispatch. "Private schools are bringing students in from other counties and states. It is unfair to our residents to have the Town subsidize a private school with taxpayers dollars.

"In the example giving at the meeting the 172 fixture count is the estimated fixture count needed for Mother Seton School’s renovation project. Mother Seton School pays no taxes to the Town, and now we just reduce their cost by $54,000. Back in the fall the Town also gave a $5,000 donation to Mother Seton School.

" I believe Mother Seton School is a great school. But, I also believe the school should be treated like the private endeavor that it is. Of the 400-450 student population at Mother Seton School very few of them are from the corporate limits of Emmitsburg."

Contributions to youths

In other actions the council donated $100 in support of Courtney Tasker a 9th grade student at Catoctin High School who lives in Emmitsburg, who will participate in the People to People Program in Australia this summer.

The council voted to contribute $500 to the new Emmitsburg Endowment Fund to be administered by the Community Foundation of Frederick County. As the fund matures, 80% of the dividends will go to scholarships for Emmitsburg high school students and 20% will be directed toward youth services and activities in Emmitsburg. The town joins several other private donors in raising the $5,000 minimum to open the Fund which was organized by the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association.

No more penny/nickel parking

Commissioner Boyle announced that all of the town’s parking meters are now 10- and 25-cent meters. There will be no more penny or nickel parking.

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government