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

Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
March 3, 2003


A closed Executive Session was held at the Emmitsburg Town Office on February 3, 2003 at 7:30 p.m. for the selection/approval of a water/sewer plant operator. Those present were Commissioners Boyle, Brennan, Rosensteel, Sweeney; Mayor Hoover and Dave Haller. The motion to hold an Executive Session as permitted by the Annotated Code of Maryland, State Government Article: Section 10-508 (a) Closed Meetings, Item 1, was made by Commissioner Rosensteel and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney and carried 4-0 in favor.


Commissioner Boyle directed comments to the Mayor regarding selection/advertisement for election judges. The Mayor answered that there were advertisements in the papers for election judges, as well as fliers put throughout Town. Pat Boyle also affronted the Mayor regarding the ethics committee members appointment denial letters and the memo sent to the Little League without Commissioners’ signatures . The Mayor explained to Commissioner Boyle that the Board requested Dave Haller to draft an agreement between the Little League and the Town which Mr. Haller did as the commissioners requested. Commissioner Boyle stated that there was a lot of stuff in there he didn’t agree to. The Mayor explained that it was a first draft agreement, that nothing had been agreed to by anyone yet. The Mayor also explained that the ethics committee denial letters were sent because this Board decided not to accept his recommendation in a previous meeting because Mr. Boyle and the commissioners requested that the Town advertise to fill the committee.

Commissioner Brennan stated that he still needs 2 members for water committee and that March 20 is the next meeting. He also announced that March 27 at 7:30 at the Ambulance building is the first meeting of coalition to fight drugs in Emmitsburg. A representative from the National Drug Control and Policy at the White House, John Walker, is trying to clear his schedule to be present.

He is very anxious to come up and do retail work as he calls it. He also made these comments: I would like to point out something that appeared in the Washington Times last Wednesday. Cumberland has experienced several deaths in the last few weeks due to heroin overdoses. I have recognized several items of controversy, where citizens are not directly communicating with their Town Council representatives. It’s better to talk to me or some other official than to rely on the newspaper or getting the "rumor mill" started.

Commissioner Sweeney stated that he still was in need of a member for his streets committee.


Town Manager Report - Reported on the public works department monthly activities to include a water production and consumption analysis. Staff performed a water/well analysis. He also enumerated the parking violation statistics and 5 building permits were issued.

Mayor’s Report - Complimented Town employees for snow removal.

Committee reports - Commissioner Brennan, Planning and Zoning Commission: there were 2 items on the agenda. One, a public briefing on residential use of fire sprinklers plan to present an amendment concerning same. And second, we agreed to approve a site plan for a car wash. Representing the Streets & Transportation Committee, Commissioner Cliff Sweeney reported they held no meeting because of the weather. Commissioner Joyce Rosensteel stated that the Parks Committee did not meet due to weather and that the next meeting will be March 11. Commissioner Brennan stated that the Water Committee meeting was also canceled due to the weather. Commissioner Boyle also reported that there was nothing for the Board of Appeals.



Ms. Mann was unable to attend.


This ordinance is introduced as a proposed modification to clarify by what means streets within the corporate limits of Emmitsburg are designated as a part of the "snow emergency route". MOTION: To accept ordinance 03-002 amending Section 10.12.120, Title 10 of the Code of Emmitsburg, Vehicles and Traffic adding the clarification that snow routes will be designated by street signs.

The motion was made by Commissioner Rosensteel and seconded by Commissioner Brennan.  VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion


Per Sections 13.04.040 and 13.08.090 of the Emmitsburg Code, large users may be permitted to negotiate their water and sewer tap fees. Related to the FEMA proposed facility expansion, $675,000 has been proposed in a lump sum payment as part of their construction contract, paid to the town at the time the permits are issued. This expansion is for a 297 student capacity. Dave Haller added that they were never charged tap fees with any of their prior expansions. It was also discussed that if standard fees were increased before this payment, that it would not affect this amount.

MOTION: To accept $675,000 as water and sewer tap fees for the 297 student capacity addition to the FEMA/NETC facility with the payment to be made in one lump-sum when application for taps is requested. The motion was made by Commissioner Boyle and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.


For additional services rendered, outside the original contract, on the new water plant to include the installation of a contact tank. A retainage of original invoices is still being held as agreed.

MOTION: To approve the change order payment of $38,580.84 to Arro for engineering services for the installation of a contact tank at the new water plant. The motion was made by Commissioner Sweeney and seconded by Commissioner Brennan. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.


The Town Manager made the following proposal: On Monday February 17, due to large snowfall, the office was closed. According to employee handbook, employees were paid 8 hours that day. He requested the same 8 hour pay be paid to the public works employees who did snow removal in addition to the hours they did work.

MOTION: To pay the 8 hour adjustment to those who worked on snow removal. The motion was made by Commissioner Rosensteel and seconded by Commissioner Boyle. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion


The Town Manager introduced this matter that came before the Council at the February meeting and was then tabled without setting a date for further consideration. It is being brought back to the table to act upon or set a date for revisiting.

Commissioner Brennan stated that, as alluded to during comments, there is still much information to consider the founding date as interpreted. The only determination that can be considered from a Town government’s standpoint is the date of incorporation,1825–the date that the government was established. He recommend that the item be tabled until April 4, the founding date to be left to the historians, an issue that has politicized and polarized the Town. "Whatever comes out, the curiosity of the Town remains alive, and I ask people to keep looking, and to keep the learning process."

Commissioner Boyle expressed his views, "In all the material, my feeling is it is ‘either black or white’, all 5 packs are wrong, I will not accept any stuff that you put in the first part. My views are: 1757 as the 1st date the Town was established, 1785 the Town was laid out, and 1825 the Town was incorporated." He also stated that he "takes issue" with Michael Hillman for not accepting oral history. Commissioner Boyle admonished Michael Hillman in the audience for presenting additional material from Gettysburg College and Hood College. Commissioner Boyle added, "One last thing Mike, you lambasted the Town in an underground newspaper, you changed the records, and you knew you were wrong".

Commissioner Sweeney stated that he had talked to the residents, and that the consensus was that the commissioners are not qualified to change anything. He commented that he has no problem if the seal is changed using 1825 as when the government was established, adding that the commissioners have acknowledged that there were people here in a community that goes back even before 1757, "I support1757 as the founding date."

Commissioner Rosensteel stated that she was still considering the issue, although, "I am not at liberty to change something of that importance to the historical community."

Commissioner Boyle asked if the "historical society" was just a group of people who met and discussed local history, or do they have a charter, officers, collect dues or are they just a "fly-by-night" group. "I have very little faith in your historical society now." Mayor Hoover stated he would take no action, and that Sam Emmit should get credit for founding the Town of Emmitsburg. Commissioner Boyle asked, "Then you’re saying to use 1825 for the Town government being incorporated?" Mayor Hoover stated the signs are what is in question and that they don’t even belong to the Town, "So we’re not changing them."

Commissioner Boyle stated that, personally, he doesn’t think the issue will die if no action is taken. Mayor Hoover then said there was no way to satisfy everyone. Commissioner Brennan stated, "It is not our role to have a great debate, as long as it’s done with academic integrity, compilations of oral history have to be verified, to allow the debate to continue, as to what we should do as a town government, if brought back, is have all the documentation set out. I don’t think that any one person is trying to deceive us." Commissioner Rosensteel agreed, "However the only thing we should take action on is changing the date to 1825 as incorporated on the seal".

PUBLIC COMMENT: Dave Martin, 10414 Welty Road, expressed that he liked the direction this was going --to use the incorporated date.

Town Manager Dave Haller called the question back to the table to be either decided on or tabled.

MOTION: To leave the founding date determination as it is...

When interrupted by the Town Manager as to the question before the Council,

Mr. Sweeney amended his motion:

MOTION AMENDMENT: To deal with the incorporation date in April--to table it.

When questioned by President Boyle as to what about the founding date, Commissioner Sweeney replied that he doesn’t want to address the founding date at all. After Council discussion of his intent, he amended the motion to clarify:

MOTION AMENDMENT: To take no action on the founding date and to bring consideration of the 1825 incorporation date back for discussion in April.

This motion was seconded by Pat Boyle. Commissioner Brennan amended the motion to delete tabling consideration of the incorporation date until April. Pat Boyle withdrew his second of Mr. Sweeney’s motion. Mr. Sweeney withdrew his motion.

MOTION: To change the Town flag and Town seal to reflect the incorporation date of 1825.**

The motion was made by Commissioner Brennan and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney. VOTE: 3-0-1 in favor of the motion

(Commissioner Rosensteel abstained)

**This motion was amended by vote on April 7, 2003 to read: "To add the Town flag and Town seal to reflect the incorporation date of 1825." (sic)


Dave Haller explained that the Town has never participated in this before. It is to be a dinner and auction. Commissioner Brennan thought it should be an individual participation. Mayor Hoover agreed. Commissioner Boyle expressed that for all they (UpCounty) do for the Town, that "in his personal view," the Council should support them.


Emergency Sewer Main Repair - Engineering

Dave Haller explained that due to time restraints, the Town was unable to do multiple bids –that accepting this bid is allowed due to the emergency situation being faced. $26,120 is the price received from Fox.

Swimming Pool Repair Bids

For the required, extensive pool repairs approved at the February meeting, Dave Haller presented bids as follows:

  • Pearl $40,011
  • American $53,798
  • Wilcox $56,648

He explained that an additional $8,700 will be added to the bids if the Council wants to put new filters in. Pearl is also the low bidder on filters.

MOTION: To accept the $40,011 bid by Pearl for the required repairs, plus $8,700 for filters for a total of $48,700. The motion was made by Commissioner Brennan and seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of motion

MOTION: To accept the proposal by Fox and Associates of $26,120 for surveying and engineering services and to provide a bid package for the emergency repair of the sanitary sewer line reconstruction. The motion was made by Commissioner Brennan and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.


Dot Davis, 60 Second Avenue expressed thanks to the outstanding job for snow plowing.

Dean Torgerson, Thurmont, Maryland, spoke to the girls’ softball field and Little League agreement matters.

Harold Craig, 101 West Main Street expressed support for the proposed carwash location.

The following spoke in opposition to the B-2 zoning language change approved at the February town meeting:

Art Elder, 703 East Main Street

Mike Stouter, 6 Robindale Drive

Several others who were not signed up also spoke in opposition to same. Commissioner Brennan commented that he would have been pleased to have the car wash issues as an item for the newly formed water committee to discuss and make recommendation, since the quality and quantity of town water is a major item of importance.