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

Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
May 5, 2003


Treasurer's Report - Commissioner Clifford Sweeney. See attached report, Exhibit A. Town Manager Report - reported on the public works department monthly activities to include a water production and consumption analysis. He mentioned the drilling of wells on the 2 properties on Annandale Road. Staff is trying to find 30 single family homes, built between 1983-88 to use as water sampling sites to perform the MDE mandated lead and copper content water quality testing. The Town is working with Fox Associates regarding the North Seton Avenue sewer line repair–the line which most contributes to the "wild-water" problem. Pool repairs should be completed before the opening day. He also enumerated the parking violation statistics. Sixteen building permits were issued.

Police Report - Deputy Moxley. He introduced the plans to conduct rocket building workshops and shooting contest. He stated that the biggest concern is that there is nothing for the kids to do. Plans are for meeting once a week to include ages 10-17. It will include some science and math in the learning experience. Two or three launch dates are planned for the summer. Registration is requested by May 23 for meeting on the 29th. Dave Haller spoke that the staff is checking that the insurance covers this activity.

Mayor's Report -He met with Congressman Bartlett and the Corps of Engineers about the flooding caused by Flat Run. Plans and construction may take up to three years with a possible 65-35% cost assistance.

Committee reports - Dave Haller reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission met on a couple of issues to include a proposed requested variance to rear building restriction lines. This item was passed to the Board without recommendation. He is getting legal advice first.

Streets & Transportation Committee, Commissioner Cliff Sweeney reported that they met April 16 and that the committee is still in need of another committee member. Committee would like street lights at Armstrong, Stoner and Hoffman Lanes. They would also like contract median strip at Exxon and McDonald's and repaving at Frailey Road, Chesapeake Avenue, Potomac Street, Federal Avenue. DePaul Street at North Seton, South School Lane, Elder Lane, St Joseph Lane and West North Alley. Would like to continue holiday decorating contest from Gauss and would like to see it put in the budget. They would like a sidewalk maintenance line in the budget. Also wanted: speed bumps installed on Hoffman, Stoner and Armstrong Lanes, 2 signs on Frailey Rd– at Mountainview and Annandale Roads. Next meeting: May 28, 7:30 pm.

Commissioner Joyce Rosensteel stated that the Parks Committee met April 15 and organized a president. Projects discussed were: Little League dugout repairs are in effect and the girls softball field is being taken care of , 5 concerts are being planned, looking into story-telling programs and want to investigate a previously planned walking path and perhaps installing additional memorial benches. Pat Boyle reported that no items were occurring that required a Board of Appeals meeting.

Agenda Items

Swearing-in of New Commissioner

Art Elder successful candidate for the commissioner vacancy, was sworn into office by Mayor Hoover.

Reorganization of Board of Commissioners

Commissioner Pat Boyle stated that he wants the position of Board President. Mayor Hoover made the following recommendations for Board positions for the 2003-4 year: New Commissioner Elder be appointed to be the Board liaison to the water committee, Commissioner Sweeney will remain Treasurer and go to the planning commission in place of the outgoing Commissioner Brennan, Joyce Rosensteel will remain Board liaison to the parks committee and serve on the Board of Appeals.

Motion: To continue with Pat Boyle as President of the Board and accept the Mayor's recommendations for committee/commission liaison positions. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the motion

Mayor Hoover then discussed the nomination of Treasurer. Commissioners Boyle and Sweeney expressed that it should remain a commissioner. Mayor Hoover pointed out that the Code outlines this position as one that performs most financial functions whereas the Commissioner who holds that office does nothing more than sign checks. MOTION: To update the current charter with a text amendment to assign the Treasurer's duties to a commissioner.

Riparian Buffer - Willow Rill

Kenneth Favorite of Department of Natural Resources presented to the Board and audience the Conservation Reserve Program, specifically "riparian buffer" and what types of plantings are recommended for same President Boyle asked, "What does our Code allow?" Mr. Haller recommended a text amendment to set some limitations on the proposed stream buffers. Such an amendment would make these buffers an exemption from the restrictions of the "garbage and weeds" violation of the town Code. The Mayor recommend a text amendment and approval on a case-by-case basis. Pat Boyle stated that he would like to see us go forward. Mr. Haller will prepare a skeletal draft of such a text amendment for the Board's consideration and work-up. Art Elder stated that this matter has been going on way too long and this Board should work with the system and help out the Sisters of Charity. MOTION: To create a text amendment which will allow the riparian buffer as outlined to be Voted on at the next meeting. And have staff construct one. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

Adoption of Ordinance 03-03

This is a text amendment which changes the notice requirements for abandoned property. MOTION: To approve Ordinance 03-03 amending Title 8 entitled Public Services, Sections 8.04.010, 020 and 030 which changes the removal requirements from within fifteen days to within 7 days. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

Ordinance 03-04

This ordinance enacts the September 14, 1998 approval by the Board to disallow any water and sewer connections outside town limits unless annexed. MOTION: To approve Ordinance 03-04 amending Title 13, Sections 13.04.090, 13.04.100, 13.08.070, 13.08.120 disallowing any water and/or sewer connections to property outside of town limits unless annexed. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

New Billing Frequency for Sewer and Garbage Minimums

The Mayor explained that the water and sewer charges have in the last two years gone from 5 bills to 6 bills to 4 bills. It is being proposed to change the sewer minimum and garbage contract charge billing frequency from semi-annual (previously annual) to quarterly. An advertised ordinance will be presented at the June meeting for adoption upon Board approval at this meeting. MOTION: To approve changing the billing frequency of minimum sewer and contract garbage from semi-annual to quarterly. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

Water and Sewer Maintenance and Service Charges

Staff requested Board approval of intent for a $5 quarterly maintenance fee to finance replacement and retrofitting of water meters. Also, a $25 charge for unscheduled meter reads (property transfers, tenant changes) and $50 charge for resident-requested meter checks (if the meter is found to be functioning properly). This will be formally approved in ordinance form at the June meeting. MOTION: To approval a quarterly maintenance fee and per-instance service charges to water/sewer accounts. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the motion

Resolution of USDA Loan

This agenda item is to approve the loan resolution for replacing the Mountainview Road water line.

MOTION: To approve loan resolution herein attached authorizing the issuance of bonds to finance the replacement of the Mountainview Road water line. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the Motion

Partial Release and Abandonment of Deed of Right-of-way

Motion: To approve the partial release and abandonment of deed or right-of-way and easement for between the town and the Board of Education of Frederick County to release the right-of-way for Cedar Street Vote: 4-0 in favor of the Motion

Committee Appointments

The Mayor has received letters of interest to fill committee vacancies. Motion: To accept Thelma Richardson and Sabrina Daley for appointment to the water committee and Diane Walbrecker to the parks committee. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the Motion

Mountain Land Hunting

Last year there was some confusion as to who could hunt (on the town's mountain property) and what parts could be hunted. The Mayor explained that the Board needed to verify how the town could properly post the property before allowing hunting on this area. Pat Boyle would like to see the town manager come up with the revised maps identifying the safety zones and requirements to Vote on at the next meeting. Motion: To have the staff prepare the new map and have the property marked. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the Motion

Well j

President Boyle stated that this well has been discussed in excess of the five years that he has been active with Emmitsburg government. He expressed his thanks to Dave Haller for the material presented–that it's the first time that he's seen the details written with costs. The information offered was that although this well produces a good volume, this water supply is loaded with manganese and contaminated and it will be costly to purify it. In response to Mr. Boyle's inquiry, Mr. Haller stated that the tests were performed during a long period of time–not just hours but 36 to 72 days. Pat Boyle expressed, "I can't see doing away with this well, just because it's going to cost us $800,000," in case something happens to our other water sources, "we're totally dependent on mountain water and need this valley source." He and Commissioner Elder expressed if something happens to the reservoir, this would be a back-up. "Bring it online," stated Commissioner Boyle. Other comments: Sweeney: looking at $1,000,000 need the water bad, agree for a second back-up. Mayor: agreed shouldn't be cemented, keep it in reserve for future use. Haller: a well without a tank won't do it–you need the pressure, the storage and capacity of a tank is well needed at this end of town. The MDE allocation is more than twice our demand. Haller, in response to Boyle's inquiry: after Brookfield and new building for FEMA, it won't be 3/4 of the allocation. Also in response: Emmit gardens would be the least desirable place for a tank. Boyle: would like to see staff look around for a tank site and get costs for a tank site. Mayor: Jef has preached tanks for a long time. Don't abandon it entirely–leave it for future use.

Election Candidacy Registration Deadline

This change will allow ample time to make ballots available (and return of same) for absentee Voters. It would also preclude anyone who is out of town during the prior allowed 7 day period from being able to request, receive and return a ballot. It will coincide with the last day for Voter registration.

Motion: To accept a candidacy registration deadline change from 7 days to 21 days. The Motion was made by Commissioner Boyle and seconded by Commissioner Elder. The Mayor commented that he still favors changing the election time. He noted, "Here we are in the middle of formulating the budget and there's a change of commissioners". He suggested that the commissioners consider and maybe proceed with a change of the election month. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the Motion

Emmitsburg Drug Coalition

The Mayor and commissioners expressed that the formation of this coalition is great but should be maintained privately–the town does not need that responsibility now–the Board already has difficulty filling commissions now.

Motion: Although the Mayor and Commissioners of Emmitsburg applaud the actions and endeavors of the Emmitsburg Drug Coalition, that it should remain a citizens' activity– not a town-sponsored group Vote: 4-0 in favor of the Motion

April's Motion to Change March Minutes

President Boyle read from a letter he received in response to his inquiry to a parliamentarian regarding his action on the March minutes. He stated that his action does constitute a legal Vote. The Mayor retorted, "But the question is that it is not proper to change what actually happened at the meeting. It needs to be brought back to the Council." President Boyle stated that according to the Code, a Mayor has no bearing or input on any consideration of the Council, he is present only to constitute a quorum. He insisted that he did bring the matter back to Council as reconsideration– that it didn't have to be brought back up as a new item, that the way he did it was legal. Pat Boyle asked, "Does the Council want to do anything to the minutes?" Cliff Sweeney responded, " I don't." Commissioner Rosensteel added, "I don't." Pat Boyle then announced, "Stand approved as amended." (at the April 7, 2003 meeting). Ambulance Company Parking.

Public Comments

Regarding the proposed parking spaces at the old ambulance company building: Comments: The proposed plan was going to be a public/county parking facility and the ambulance company does not want to pay for a parking lot for other people to use. Haller corrected the ambulance company's impression that it will cost the town to do away with the old building . Other comments: Act now or the motivation will be gone. When the building is torn down to put in the 7 parking spaces–still public–they haven't paid for it. If they need 7, put them there. If the town gives you 7, they aren't exclusively yours (to the ambulance company representative).

We have to require it now or we'll never get it. We'll support you with the County–will allow the minimum.

Motion: The Board of Commissioners will support the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company's action for minimum amount of parking spaces (as required by Frederick County) needed to be built on the existing building property. Vote: 4-0 in favor of the Motion.