Town of Emmitsburg
300A S. Seton Ave Emmitsburg, Maryland

October 2002

Referendum, It's not a bad thing!

Passing the annexation resolution gives residents an opportunity to petition the Town for a referendum to overturn or support the commissioners vote. If 20 percent of the registered voters sign a referendum petition, the Town must hold an election for residents to vote Yes or No for the annexation. This vote may take place at a special election or at an annual Town election. The Town will pay all reasonable cost for a referendum.

Some other thoughts on passing the resolution: N. Seton Ave.'s water main should have been replaced when Northgate was developed. The proposed developer is required to pay the total up-front cost to replace the 60+-year-old inadequate water main on N. Seton Ave. and for the design cost to replace DePaul Street's water main. To avoid paying any out-of-pocket expenses, the Town will pay it's share of the cost through tap fee credits. Every house built in Emmitsburg is charged $7,000 (tap fee) to connect to Town sewer and water. As the developer builds homes the Town will credit the developer's tap fees until the Town's 50 percent is paid.

The developer is also required to supply the Town with additional water with a treatment facility and all of the needed treatment equipment at no cost to the Town. It is a fact that Emmitsburg residents use an average of 135 gallons of water per day per house. I recommended this developer be required to supply a minimum of 200 gallons of water per day per house. I am certain that the 200-gallon minimum will supply the Town with more water then this development will use. The developer is also required to donate to the Town the land and infrastructures for the Town to drill additional wells and build a water tower within the development in the future.

The resolution requires the developer to replace N. Seton Ave.'s water main and provide the Town with 26,000 gallons of additional water per day prior to homes being built. The 26,000 gallons of water is equal to 200 gallons per day for 130 homes. The maximum number of homes allowed on this property is 130 homes. This means the developer must improve the Town's current situation prior to the construction of homes.

The resolution has many other requirements; copies are available at the Town office. One of the most important is the replacement of the water line in N. Seton Ave.. Without delaying the replacement of other water lines in Town, this requirement will replace the water lines in N. Seton Ave. and DePaul Street in the very near future. The need to replace as many old inadequate water mains as soon as possible is very important.

The conditions of these lines cause residents to not receive the best quality of water and cause several fire hydrants to be inadequate for fire protection. Town officials have put off the importance of updating the Town's infrastructure for too long. In addition to the Town just recently acquiring approximately an $800,000 dollar debt (not including the million dollars of grant money) to replace the old water plant, we still have approximately two million dollars worth of other needed repairs to sewer and water mains. Now, the Town must take serious measures to guarantee funding will be in place to update the Town's infrastructure.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the town office, or e-mail me at

Jim Hoover

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