Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
June 7, 2004
TOWN MANGER REPORT- Mr. Haller reported on the public works department monthly activities to include the replacement of the pump in well No.1, water production and consumption analysis, and street services and seasonal parks
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 permit applications, three were for new homes. Several new policies were outlined. Other activities included preparation of the opening of the municipal pool, development of a Farmers
Market and review of the AT&T easement on Creamery Road and Lincoln Avenue. See attached detailed report, Exhibit A.
Following Mr. Lucas' report the Town's new hires were introduced; Jennifer Joy, Planning Tech; Vickie Felix, Financial and Accounting Tech. Absent - Julie Sager, Front Desk Receptionist.
Committee Reports - Mr. Staiger reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended that Armstrong Lane not be closed but that aggressive speed control measures, signage and additional enforcement be taken at all three
alleys in that location. Free standing signs–no recommendation made. Saturday, Jun 12 meeting scheduled for Comp Plan. Representing the Parks Committee, Commissioner Rosensteel — no meeting scheduled. Flyers will be out starting next week regarding concerts and children's
shows for the months of July and August.
President O'Neil mentioned a recent joint meeting between the staff of Senators Mikulski and Sabranes and the Town regarding sewer rehab study. Their staff will try to look into areas which may be of help to fund this endeavor.
Commissioner Elder stated that he is still getting complaints about the trash company not taking clippings and would like to see a town designated spot for this. Mayor spoke w/county, conflict between what landfill and contractor are reporting....still researching A
solution/alternative will be announced on channel 99 within about a week. Commissioner Walbrecker stated the importance of chapter four of the comprehensive plan and encouraged people to attend the special meeting for land use. Commissioner Walbrecker also suggested that the
June 30 agenda meeting be changed to another date so that the Weight Lifting Championship can be attended.
MOTION: To change the June 30 agenda meeting to June 29. The motion was made by Commissioner Walbrecker and seconded by Commissioner Elder. Motion amendment to hold the agenda meeting on July 1 in order that the VIP session of the
weight lifting championship could be attended. Commissioner O'Neil made the motion and Commissioner Elder seconded the motion. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of motion.
County Commissioner Cady - recapped information regarding the world weightlifting championship to be held at Mt. Saint Mary's. Starting date will be Wednesday, June 30. Actual competition dates are July 1, 2 and 3.
Commissioner O'Neil asked for a moment of silence to reflect on the passing away of President Reagan.
MAYOR'S COMMENTS - Mayor Hoover announced the opening of the Farmer's Market to begin on Friday June 25. He also commented that for the past 18-20 months they have been working with Army Corp of Engineers in regards to Flat Run.
Received report back stating that the project falls under their cost ratio analysis for their help. Will still work with them in case ratio should ever exceed their minimum so as to obtain federal government assistance.
President O'Neil informed the Board and the audience of a parliamentary procedure that has not been used prior to this time - the unanimous consent request. He stated this procedure will be utilized during this meeting and other
meetings to follow for items that are not contentious in nature.
TOWN SQUARE TRAFFIC IMPROVEMENTS
SHA District No. 7 - Neil Parrot and John Kincannon, assistant engineer for traffic, gave a presentation as to possible modifications to the town square (the intersection of MD 140 and MD Rte 15/bus) that could improve traffic flow
at that intersection. Recommendations were as follows; change traffic signal phasing to allow north and south bound traffic to move separately- also known as "split phasing", install near side loop detectors on MD 140, install pedestrian push buttons, and implement left turn
lanes on MD 140 which could take away parking spaces. Mayor Hoover mentioned that plans for alternate parking on W. Lincoln Ave are being formulated. Commissioner Walbrecker confirmed with Mayor Hoover that funding will be available within the next two years and that no
parking would be lost without replacement. Green space for the square beautification was also mentioned as a benefit of removing parking spaces. Following Commissioner Rosensteel's comment, all board members agreed that they did not favor any modifications that would delete
PUBLIC COMMENTS: Susan Glass 239 N Seton Avenue against taking away parking on the square–recommended a study to be done on what will happen to businesses if parking is taken away. Also the impact of available parking on future
business development. Harold Craig 103 W. Main St. - favored the first 3 options, opposed the left turns and objects to even one parking spot being taken away. Pat Boyle 339 East Main St. - spoke to needed bypass, was on Board last time this was up and it was voted out. Would
right turn on red help? Against any loss of parking. Mr. Ted Brennan 333 East Main Street - confirmed a need to redirect traffic, whatever we come up with has to be carefully thought out so as not to take traffic away from the businesses. Chris Staiger 1230 Brookfield -
addressed also the benefit of parking spaces and one lane traffic in each direction. Betsey Forrence 17247 Annandale Rd. - agreed with not taking away the parking, suggested to move the pedestrian crossing back to the corners as they were before.
MOTION: To support those traffic enhancements which will not remove parking spaces for the core of town but will assist in moving traffic at this point. The motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner
Walbrecker. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.
At this time President O'Neil made a motion to suspend this meeting to call to order a Tax Hearing by which the tax rate will be set. Commissioner Elder seconded the motion. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.
PUBLIC HEARING -ORDINANCE 2004-07R/TAX RATE
Mr. Haller explained that we are one of the few municipalities that have not increased the tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, 2004.
MOTION: To accept Ordinance 2004-07/R enacting a tax rate of .36 per $100 of assessed value. The motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.
President O'Neil moved to adjourn the public hearing and reconvene the Town Meeting. Commissioner Elder seconded the motion. VOTE : 4-0 in favor of the motion.
TOWN MEETING RESUMED
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM - (DISCUSSION)
Mr. Haller explained that Frederick County will not provide support or funding to continue the after school program by Frederick County Department of Parks & Recreation. As discussed at a previous meeting, the town wants to have a
line item in budget for youth activities. Mr. Haller met with Bill Derbyshire and is working to develop some program and asked the Board to "keep the doors open" on this activity. Tutor and homework assistance were discussed as an important objective of a variety of
PUBLIC COMMENTS: Pat Boyle 339 East Main St. - this program was slow getting started but the numbers increased in recent years, and proved beneficial for the town.
MOTION: Have staff move forward on the proposals that will replace the after school program. The motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.
PEMBROKE WOODS BLOCK PARTY REQUEST
President O'Neil suggested this item be approved by unanimous consent.
MOTION: To approve under unanimous consent. No objection. Motion carried.
At this time Mayor Hoover asked to move up agenda item number 10, Riparian Buffer Request. Board consented unanimously.
RIPARIAN BUFFER REQUEST
President O'Neil commented this item is related to the review and/or approval of a riparian buffer request which has now been properly submitted and reviewed by staff. Mr. Lucas reported that they did receive an amended application
which now meets all the requirements of the ordinance and staff is very pleased to recommend approval.
MOTION: To approve the Riparian Buffer for Saint Joseph's Provincial House. Commissioner Walbrecker made the motion which was seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE 4-0 in favor of the motion.
SWM SWALES - PEMBROOK WOODS - (DISCUSSION)
Mr. Lucas commented that town staff were still getting recurring concerns of residents in regards to proper functioning of the dry swales system of storm water management, particularly sections one and two. This matter has been
referred to Frederick County. This is of importance since the developer has a letter of credit dependent upon acceptance and compliance. All relative correspondence has been provided to the Board. Mr. Lucas stated he did request that Mr. Crabel, who is responsible for the
oversight and review, attend tonight's meeting but he declined. Mr. Lucas reiterated the town's position in regards to what is its regulatory responsibility. Mr. Lucas added that no money has been released from the letter of credit agreement with Buckeye Development regarding
the trails, and the town is still holding 15% contingency on sections one and two until everything is complete.
President O'Neil expressed his displeasure that county staff turned down a request to appear to address this matter. Commissioner Walbrecker commented that all Frederick County correspondence emphasizes that issues regarding drainage
complaints should be resolved before the letter of credit is released. She also questioned if the 15% contingency is enough for a third- party contractor to come in and repair any of the complaints that have not been addressed with either the roads or swale system. Mr. Lucas
responded that he was not qualified to give an estimate. Mr. Lucas also communicated that Mr. Crabel said he made numerous visits to the site during periods of hard rain and said that the swale system is functioning correctly. He said his observations were that some of the
concerns of the residents had to do with aesthetics rather than function. Mr. Lucas also reported that there are issues in regards to driveways. Town has no objection to people putting tiles under their driveway but if it alters the functioning of the swale system they'll
have to clear that with Frederick County. Mr. Haller suggested that a simple meeting between each homeowner with a complaint and the County would be a good idea. Town could provide a copy of the plan of the individual lot. Commissioner O'Neil stated that perhaps a form letter
could also be provided.
Mr. Lucas responded to Commissioner O'Neil's inquiry re resolution of the problem, that we do have a memorandum from Frederick County stating those "as builts" have been approved and that the swales are functioning properly. That
suggests that the developer has complied. We do recognize there is that dicta in the back of the memo that we received that says "all things be resolved", which suggest if there are outstanding issues that staff might wish to hold a portion of those monies, not all of the
monies. Commissioner O'Neil took issue with the county's reference of the problems being considered aesthetics. Mr. Lucas commented that the Town has every intent in making sure that the residents of all the developments get the best possible public improvements, but at the
same time where we have intentionally deferred regulatory responsibility to another agency. Mr. Haller explained that the decision to defer to the county, instead of hiring our own engineers, goes back to over 30 years ago. He also made mention of the mixture of materials
Commissioner Rosensteel suggested to coordinate a meeting between developer, County & Homeowners Assoc. Mr. Lucas agreed to make those arrangements. Mr. Fitzgerald, upon request by President O'Neil, agreed to participate.
At this time, the meeting recessed at 9:55 p.m. and reconvened at 10:05 p.m..
PUBLIC COMMENTS: Hugh McElroy 2080 Pembrook Court, Chris Staiger 1230 Brookfield, Rich Kapriva 3230 Stonehurst Ct. and Jen Staiger 1230 Brookfield addressed their concerns to the Board not to release letter of credit. Fran Denmark of
Buckeye Development -cited several instances regarding homeowner complaints. Feels that basically, they just don't like the system, it works and meets state requirements.
MOTION: To reaffirm the Board's previous action to hold LOC funds until the Town, Homeowners Association and Frederick County meet and come to an agreement. Commissioner Rosensteel made the motion, seconded by Commissioner
Commissioner Walbrecker pointed out that this motion expanded on the prior instruction in regard to the meeting requirement. VOTE - 3-0-1 Commissioner O'Neil abstained, being an affected homeowner, pending advice of counsel.
ALL PURPOSE FIELD - (DISCUSSION)
Mr. Haller stated this item is related to the previously proposed "All Purpose Field" and the associated Program Open Space funding. He reported basic scenario: request for money, money has been received, money does not have to be
spent in any set period of time, there are surveying and engineering services requests, some of which have been entered into, and there is a site map itself which shows location. Next, Mr. Lucas reported he received an inquiry from a citizen wanting to know why town has not
yet commenced construction on this project. She had an understanding that the town would forfeit monies that have been awarded to the town if
project was not started. Mr. Lucas informed the Board that after reviewing the grant award he could find nothing that puts a sunset provision on these monies requiring town to spend them by a certain date or lose them.
Mr. Lucas also stated that the project involves an approximate $30,000 match from the town but added that, staff feels that the approximation of the match is low. President O'Neil commented that he is thinking more long term and
feels the town is lacking in the area of multi-generational activities (pathways or walkways with instructional activities.) He questioned if designated funds could be used for such a project, and is it possible to convert or seek use of these funds in other ways than
previously designated. Mr. Lucas responded that would have to be taken up with the State. Mr. Lucas added that the Comprehensive Plan does call for a network of trail and bike paths.
Commissioner Walbrecker mentioned prior meeting discussion about a community garden, she believes a survey of the recreational needs of the Town is an excellent idea.
Commissioner Elder asked what overrun was on last ballfield built. Mr. Haller responded 20-30% - cost over $60,000.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: Harold Craig 103 W. Main Street, Pat Boyle 339 East Main, Betsey Forrence 17247 Annadale Road voiced their comments and ideas for the All Purpose Field.
President O'Neil stated at this point they need to ask staff to take a look at materials, perhaps look for more historic record, see if there's anything in writing. Mr. Haller responded no presentations in the last six years.
Commissioner O'Neil suggested to move forward and consider putting this item on the agenda for next town meeting.
MOTION: To consider this agenda item at the next town meeting. The motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner Walbrecker. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.
REQUEST FOR SPEED BUMP
Discussion ensued regarding a previous request to assess 3 locations for a speed bump. Mr. Lucas added that Commissioner Walbrecker made a recommendation at the planning and zoning meeting to take a comprehensive look at all three
lanes because of the concern of unattended consequences if a speed bump is only placed in one of the lanes. Mr. Lucas explained that the planning and zoning commission made proposal for this lane only. The others weren't brought to the streets committee.
MOTION: To approve speed bump on Armstrong Lane. The motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE: 3-1 in favor of the motion. Walbrecker opposed.
SIGN ORDINANCE- ( DISCUSSION)
President O'Neil stated that the existing sign ordinance was completely rewritten just two years ago and is up for discussion to make sure that new business is given consideration. Mr. Haller introduced that if several inquiries from
businesses are made regarding the sign ordinance, it
might be wise to reconsider portions of the ordinance. President O'Neil asked why sign ordinances are being referred to planning and zoning. Mr. Lucas explained that the Town code gives the planning commission the authority of
administering the sign ordinance. He also said that the Board needs to determine what is considered adequate, not the business. Mr. Lucas feels the issues are with free standing signs. Commissioner O'Neil expressed that he would like to see this ordinance reviewed, especially
in light of desiring business development. Commissioner Walbrecker cautioned that if the Board is going to amend what they want in the village zone it should be done with care. Commissioner Elder stated he would like to see this move along as fast as possible, have a special
meeting or whatever to get it done. Commissioner O'Neil suggested to put it as an action item on the agenda.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: Harold Craig 103 W. Main -objects only to the 35 foot setback - would agree to amend ordinance to permit free standing signs. Lisa Elder - President of Chronicle Press located at
107 S. Seton Ave, stated that her business has been operating in that building since 1925, sign was grandfathered in but, through a property change, lost that status and now is unable to have a free standing sign. She believes the ordinance is not working for businesses.
Chris Staiger 1230 Brookfield -recommends if any future applicants are not compliant with the Town's regulations they need to be brought up for discussion and added to the Town Council's agenda. Thelma Richardson 400 W Main Street -commented that the ordinance is not working,
feels it is not fair to drill into old bricks to put a sign on the building. Will work on any committee to see what is best for each new business.
Commissioner Walbrecker invited specific suggestions for changes. President O'Neil suggested that town staff look to other communities as to design guidelines that could be tastefully incorporated.
PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALKS (DISCUSSION)
Mayor Hoover reported that he talked with deputies about enforcing and monitoring the crosswalks in town. President O'Neil commented that it might be helpful to put it on channel 99 to remind people that they need to stop at
crosswalks and that action has been taken to enforce crosswalks.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: Harold Craig 103 W. Main St. - mainly concerned about School Lane, children use lane to go to school, no crossing guard, since ordinance to close School Lane has never been enforced, suggest putting a crosswalk there
as an indication for traffic to stop there.
Betsey Forrence 17247 Annandale Rd. - suggest that crosswalks be added closer to each end of the town.
STAFF ANNUAL COST OF LIVING INCREASE
President O'Neil reports this item is related to the setting of the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) given to Town employees, 3% has been suggested and used in budget projections.
MOTION: To adopt 3% COLA for the 2005 fiscal year. The motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.
Ted Brennan 333 East Main St. --drafted models have been submitted to draft ordinance for residential water sprinklers- where are they, and why have they not been acted on yet? Also, concerned about water usage and why comprehensive
water use plan has not been developed. Finally, on election day, he received a number of complaints that a candidate was loitering around polling place. He feels that changes are needed to the ordinance for elections. President O'Neil assured that these items would be dealt
with in due time. Pat Boyle 339 East Main St. Re-Emmitsburg Carwash -letter was sent to appropriate people, concerned about backflow into community water system.