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

Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
August 2, 2004


TOWN MANAGER'S REPORT - Mr. Haller reported on the public works department monthly activities to include water production and consumption analysis. He also stated that the main storage tank is off line for repairs as of July 22, 2004 and Staff has brought the Mount Saint Mary's Water System on-line until main storage tank rehab is complete. The Little Run sewer line replacement advertising is complete, pre-bid meeting is scheduled August 17 and bid openings are scheduled for August 31. Mr. Haller reported on monthly meetings attended.

TOWN PLANNER'S REPORT - Mr. Lucas reported on the Planning and Zoning department monthly activities. Among the items mentioned in Michael Lucas' report were Codes Enforcement information which included parking violations and related revenues. There were a total of 26 permits issued. Mr. Lucas also reported on monthly meetings attended. See attached report Exhibit A.

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS - Commissioner Rosensteel reported on Saturday, August 7 at 6:00 p.m. there will be storytelling in Memorial Park presented by Blue Sky Puppet Theater. There was a concert on July 18, 2004 the attendance was low but the performance was well done. The Emmitsburg Community Chorus will be presenting a concert in Memorial Park. She also reported that she attended the UpCounty Meeting and they would like to make a presentation at the September Town Meeting to get more support from the Town for their establishment.

Commissioner Walbrecker announced that the next Planning and Zoning Comprehensive Plan Workshop will be Saturday, August 14, 2004 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. She also commented that she appreciated the crosswalk warning signs.

Commissioner Elder reported there have been more jake brake signs put up over Town. Hopefully this will help the trucks be more quiet for the Town citizens.

Commissioner O'Neil commented that he also appreciated the cross walk warning signs and thanked the Mayor and Staff for following through on this matter. He also thanked Catherine Forrence for bringing this matter to his attention. Mr. O'Neil also stated that the reports from Senator Sarbanes and Mikulski's office have been very encouraging and hopefully there will be good news for Emmitsburg citizens in regards to the sewer systems. At this time Commissioner O'Neil added that Raymond Buchheister, publisher of Emmitsburg Dispatch was involved in a motorcycle accident and asked everyone to keep him in their thoughts.

COMMITTEE REPORTS - Chris Staiger reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting was held on July 26, 2004. Agenda items discussed were a request for on street parking in Pembrook Woods subdivision review and a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners, also a motion was made to determine the process for changing the existing Pembrook Woods subdivision plat prior to investigating a regulated special event parking process for the Town. Another item on the agenda was a request for free standing sign in the village zone review and recommendation to the Mayor and Board of Commissioners, due to the absence of any applicant at the meeting a motion was made recommending no change at this time. Representing the Water Committee, Commissioner Elder reported that due to the fact that there has been plenty of rain they are working on conservation things right now.

Police Report - Deputy Eyler outlined police activity for the month of June 2004. Detailed report at Exhibit C.


Mayor Hoover reported that he met with the Staff and one of the Commissioners from the Town of Thurmont to discuss different issues, the biggest outcome of the meeting was that the Town might be able to establish a joint Council Meeting with Thurmont and possibly do some future projects together.



This item is related to the re-organization of the "After School Program" for the 2004-2005 school year. This re-organized program will be financed by the Town of Emmitsburg. This program is proposed for the same room in the Emmitsburg Community Center as last year's program with basically the same staff and program format. There will be the addition of organized "homework" assistance.

Mr. Haller commented that he has been researching the possibility of continuing this program since the County lost their funding. There is a line item in the Town budget to hopefully continue this program. Mr. Haller stated that Erma Tressler, Program Coordinator and Debbie Swiderski, Local CASS Coordinator have agreed to work with the Town to put back together the "After School Program". Mike Lucas reported that the budget that was presented was about $10,000 therefore the Town would be asked to pick up $10,000 worth of funding. Mr. Lucas reported that the Town budget line item is approximately $15,000 for this type of activity. He also stated that this could be a better program by increasing the funding with the help of corporate sponsors. Mr. Lucas has already secured verbal commitment from five corporate sponsors. Debbie Swiderski stated that last year 32 children participated in the program by the end of the year. She also commented that another component they would like to add to the program is "Homework" assistance. They are looking at having students from Mt. Saint Mary's come to assist the children with their homework. Erma Tressler reported that she has been with this program since it started and believes it would be good for the Town and the citizens.

PUBLIC COMMENTS- Jody Julian 814 W Main St. - commented that her twins have been part of the program and it has been very beneficial. She also appreciates the past funding and would encourage any kind of present funding as well as parental involvement.

Mr. Haller interjected at this time that Staff recommends approval to fund this project and proceed. Staff is ready and prepared to begin this upcoming school year. Staff will report back to Board on a monthly basis of how the program is doing.

MOTION: To approve the funding of $10,000 for the "After School Program" and allow Staff to continue working on project to get it ready for this school year.  VOTE: 4-0 in favor


The honorable Mr. Michael Cady - Vice President of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners reported that he is here to address any issues that the Town might have, but also to give thanks to the Town for their support of the Weight Lifting Competition. He stated that there were 138 athletes and 30 registered countries. There were no injuries. No hostility. Commissioner Cady received a thank you from the Prime Minister of Israel. The event was carried live on the web. There were three (3) world records set here in Emmitsburg. Mr. Cady reported that he was presented with an original medal from the 1896 Olympic Games and it disappeared, he was greatly saddened, however a housekeeper from the Cozy found the medal while cleaning and just returned it to him today. Commissioner Cady also commented on ethics issues.

Several of the Commissioners expressed their thanks to different individuals that worked hard in making the Weight Lifting Competition and Taste of Emmitsburg a success. Mr. Haller added that Commissioner Cady has aided the Town at staff level many times to get things accomplished and the Town owes him a great thanks. Commissioner O'Neil feels the Board should commend publicly in a certificate form or some fashion the employee who returned the medal to Commissioner Cady.


Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation - gave a presentation detailing some of the activities planned for the upcoming Fallen Firefighters Memorial observation. The memorial service is provided the first weekend of October. This year it will be October 1, 2, 3. At that time they will be honoring 110 Firefighters that died in the line of duty in our country. Families will be traveling in from all over the United States. The candle light vigil service will be on Saturday night and Sunday morning starting at 10:00 a.m. will be the national tribute. This event will be televised on cable networks, this will give the Foundation exposure as well as the Town of Emmitsburg. Mr. Siarnicki added that he would like to congratulate Mayor Hoover for his participation with the Foundation. He stated that this is the first time the Foundation had anybody representing the Town of Emmitsburg. He feels this is a great partnership and they are excited to have that relationship. Mr. Siarnicki also reported that the memorial site is undergoing a complete renovation. All the renovations should be done for the upcoming memorial service in October. Another long time goal is to do a complete renovation of the chapel at the National Fire Academy. Their attempt is to restore it back to the 1800's era. They will be using all local business personnel to do the work. The Foundation is raising all the funds to accomplish the renovation. He also added that the Foundation has been working to develop a flag for the memorial, with that he presented a National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Flag to the Town in hopes to see it fly at Town Hall on the weekend of the events.

Mr. O'Neil commented that he would like to see the relationship between the Town and the National Firefighters Foundation grow and encouraged the Commissioners to take a tour of the facility and get to know the organization better.


This item is related to a council action to remove Mr. Larry Pavek and Mr. Kevin North from the "Water Committee". Mr. Haller reported that Commissioner Elder has informed the Town that these two members have not been attending the meetings.

MOTION: To approve removal of Mr. Larry Pavek and Mr. Kevin North from the "Water Committee".  VOTE: 4-0 in favor

PUBLIC HEARING REQUEST - To amend Resolution 90-2, Section II (annexation of 10.026 acres)

Mr. Lucas gave a presentation stating that in 1990 the town annexed 10.2 acres into the corporate limits of Emmitsburg. One of the conditions of that annexation was that if that property should be developed, each developer would be responsible for paying a certain portion of a bridge across Flat Run Creek. Mr. Dan Reaver now has a contract to purchase that property of Emmitsburg Glass, it is where he would like to locate his new facility. Mr. Lucas reported that in his discussions with Mr. Reaver he stated that the condition may be burdensome and may preclude his relocation there, he would like to ask the Board to consider a public hearing to consider amending that one section of the annexation resolution. Staff is recommending Board to schedule a public hearing and consider amending that one section of the annexation resolution. Mr. Lucas added since it does involve annexation he would like the Board to do a courtesy referral to the Planning Commission for their recommendation.
MOTION: to approve the request for a public hearing on the annexation of 10.02 acres, first being referred to Planning and Zoning Commission and their recommendations to the Board.   VOTE: 4-0 in favor


Mr. Haller stated this is an item requested by Council for discussion. A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the Town Web Site. Some of the issues addressed were web site name/address display, accuracy and timeliness. Commissioner O'Neil expressed the need for exploring alternative avenues, such as training staff or hiring a professional to administer its own web site. Commissioner Elder stated he believes Town should have own web site. Commissioner Rosensteel and Commissioner Walbrecker supported the current web site. Mayor Hoover added that currently two staff members are being trained in web site management.

Public Comments - Harold Craig 103 W Main St.- favors that the Town have their own web site. Catherine Forrence 404 W Main St. - enumerated on errors on current web site. Thinks that Town staff should be trained so information would be timely and accurate.  Betsey Forrence 17247 Annandale Rd. - finds it frustrating that information is not posted in a timely manner and believes the Town needs to control the web site.


This item is to discuss and consider possible staffing of 2 crossing guards - West Main St at School Lane and South Seton Ave. at Lincoln Ave. Mr. Haller stated that the Town did try a similar program several years ago and it was not very successful. Commissioner O'Neil commented that several municipalities were contacted to see what they did, and all of them employ crossing guards. He believes that the younger children will need assistance during the school year because of all the traffic increasing and would like to see at least two crossing guards to help protect children. Mayor Hoover added that if the Town would employ crossing guards for it to be successful one crossing guard should be placed at Patterson Street at the crosswalk, as well as the square and at S. Seton and there should be one or two people for backup. There was some discussion on the rate of pay and hours of employment. Commissioner Elder added he believes staff should do a study and go from there. Mr. Haller interjected that Staff could come back to the Board with a memo making a recommendation of hours, locations and rates within two weeks to be approved at the next agenda meeting. Mayor Hoover stated that if Council is considering approval of the crossing guard positions the Town should start advertising pending approval.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: Harold Craig 103 W Main St - in favor of having crossing guards. Catherine Forrence 404 W Main St- commented on the benefits to having crossing guards. She also presented the Board with accident report statistics and suggested that Town develop safe routes to school. Betsey Forrence 17247 Annandale Rd -expressed her concerns of trying to cross the streets with small children.

MOTION: to have Town Staff develop its criteria and recommendations as well as various cost scenarios, place an ad pending approval. Board will explore the potential of hiring three (3) crossing guards and vote on it in two weeks.  VOTE: 4-0 in favor 

At this time the Town meeting recessed at 9:24p.m. and reconvened at 9:35p.m.

President O'Neil made a motion to table agenda items #8 and #9 to another meeting due to time constraints. Motion was approved by unanimous consent.


This item is related to a Staff recommendation that the water & sewer tap surcharge be increased from $3,500 to $7,000. With the Town looking at approximately $900,000 in immediately needed repairs to its sanitary sewer collection system, increased funding is necessary. By increasing the surcharge to $7,000 in addition to the base tap fee of $8,000 the Town will be able to raise $900,000 over the next three (3) years even though only sixty (60) residential taps can be issued.  Mr. Haller stated the funds will be allocated only to sewer repairs. President O'Neil added that the costs are increasing rapidly and the Town does not want to negatively impact current residents.  
MOTION: To approve Ordinance 04-10 to increase sewer tap fee surcharge as recommended by Town Staff.   VOTE: 4-0 in favor 


This item is related to the consideration, modification and/or adoption of the "Residential Sanitary Sewer Tap System Connection Allocation Plan". Mr. Haller stated that the draft was presented at last months meeting and requested that it be voted on tonight. Mr. Lucas suggested the plan should be done in a form of an ordinance for approval. Mr. Haller suggested to approve the plan as to content and hold a meeting later to approve the ordinance and address the two tabled items.

Mr. O'Neil reported the Board reviewed the material and believes the plan is fair and balanced and he supports the recommendations in the plan. He suggest Mr. Haller come forward with specific ordinance after consultation with Attorney Clapp and then the Board can vote on it. Mayor Hoover stated if a motion is made tonight it should be pending on Attorney's review.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Chuck Karfonta 2815 Country Lane, - here on behalf of RJD development, developer of Brookfield - asked the Board to exempt Brookfield from the moratorium, and not default on the agreement that was entered into June 29, 2001.  Mary Ann Gilliman 306 Mountaineers Way - expressed her views on the moratorium and sewer taps imposed by the Town on her builder (Apple Tree Homes) which she feels is very unjust.  Barbara L. Strauser 18809 Sparlking Water Dr. - commented that she has a contract at Southgate and asked the Board to exempt Southgate from the moratorium.  Richard Demmitt PO Box 728 Clarksville, MD - asked the Board to exempt Brookfield and honor the agreement made in June 2001, where he granted the Town an easement through his property in exchange for a guarantee of 100 permits to start Brookfield.  Tom Carolan owner of Apple Tree Homes - Invested a tremendous amount in the Town with an understanding that they had an agreement with the Town to be able to pursue building and finish their project. He believes Southgate should be exempt from the moratorium. Feels allocation process is flawed. The way the allocation is set up means they could not finish their project in a timely matter. He stated that some consideration should be made for those who were first in line. Respectfully asked the Town to consider Southgate as a special consideration.

Mayor Hoover interjected that this project has been going on for approximately a year now and it is not an attempt to discourage growth but to repair serious sewer problems. Therefore he doesn't see that there would be any way possible to exempt any project. Mr.O'Neil commented on the problems of the Towns sewer and the Towns growth rate. He also stated it is critical that the town work on the sewer system and support the allocation plan. Commissioner Elder stated that the problem is a lot more complicated then what the builders and home buyers understand and urged the public to call the Commissioners or Mr. Lucas if they have any questions.

MOTION: To approve the "Sanitary Sewer Tap System Connection Allocation Plan" as presented as a recommended draft to the Town Attorney for his review and recommendations and to develop in a legal form of an ordinance that the Board can review and consider for adoption or amend accordingly by August 23, 2004.   VOTE: 4-0 in favor 

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENTS  Harold Craig 103 West Main Street- speaking on behalf of Joan Boyle- interested in the Town honoring Monseigneur Phillips who died recently - he contributed to the Town and was instrumental in getting the tourism center here.