Emmitsburg Town Office
March 24, 2003
Commissioner Sweeney expressed his concerns about the lack of an approved growth plan for the Town, that perhaps if they had heeded Staff's advise in this regard, the State of Maryland might have given approval for more than 20 water taps per
year for 3 years. Comments were made regarding the lack of proper time to peruse the Consent Order brought to Board members from Staff. Mr. Haller addressed these concerns, saying that while he understood the Order was difficult to read in just a few minutes and was probably
not quite ready for presentation, Staff had been involved in intense negotiations with a number of State agencies which resulted in a preliminary document he believed to be clear enough to bring to the Board. He also assured the Board that all deadlines were met to the
State's satisfaction. Commissioner Rosensteel informed the Board that while she had no knowledge of the Consent Order until tonight, she had received a telephone call from the newspaper the day before asking her about the Order and to make a comment. Mr. Haller stated only
three people knew of the document: Mike Lucas, Mayor Hoover and himself, that he had no idea how news of the Consent Order had leaked out to the media. Staff intent was to be able to bring a document to the Board that would more clearly communicate the content of all 37
issues stated in the Order, hopefully avoiding any misinterpretation and confusion.
SCOTT ROAD FARM HOUSE ROOF BID
Staff requested approval to enter into a contract with Coldsmith Roofing, Inc. to replace the roof on the Scott Road Farm House. A few months before, the Board received 3 bids for this job and the contract was awarded to the low bidder,
Coldsmith Roofing. After reviewing the details of their bid and the proposed contract, Staff realized the bid fell short of the needs of the project. Coldsmith Roofing agreed to revisit the proposed contract, altering the bid to include additional items required to finish the
project in a satisfactory manner. This increased the amount of the original bid from $9,800.00 to $12,895.00 but was still well under the approximate $18,000.00 offered by the other two bidders. Mr. Haller requested that the Board accept the amended contract with Coldsmith
Roofing Inc., which now includes the new specifications for the project.
MOTION: To approve the amended contract with the same bidder, Coldsmith Roofing, Inc., in the amount of $12,895.00. The motion was made by Commissioner Boyle and seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.
TAP FEE ALLOCATION
In a discussion with Mr. Haller, Mayor Hoover had asked if it was appropriate to put the entire $1,000.00 tap fee increase to the sewer treatment side only. Mr. Haller stated that it could be very reasonable because the treatment of sewage
constitutes approximately 78% of the total cost of increased water and sewer capacity. If the Council agrees, Staff could draft a text amendment for their consideration and/or approval and possibly have it ready at the May meeting. Mr. Lucas stated that the sewer costs to the
Town is at least 5 to 6 times the amount of the water, as is common in many municipalities and he also thought the emphasis should be placed on the sewer costs. Commissioner Boyle questioned, if the fees are going into the Enterprise Fund, all in the same pot, why does the
Council need to consider a text amendment allocating the increased fees to the sewer only? Mayor Hoover explained that the Town needed to show that the emphasis of the sewer was the problem related to the Consent Order. Something needed to be done to indicate to the State of
Maryland that the Town was making headway on this specific issue. It would also indicate an effort to show a true allocation, a true usage of the funding. In an attempt to further explain the Mayor's comments, Mr. Haller stated that they anticipated that the State may look
more favorably on the Board's request for adjustments or leniency related to the Consent Order. The Board can say they raised sewer rates $1,000.00 per tap. No further comments were forthcoming. Because this was only a discussion item, Commissioner Boyle moved on to the next
order of business with no further action taken at this time.
Mr. Haller presented a request for additional staffing. Since 1998, the workload of Staff's office has doubled. In that time, the Town has increased its field staff (water, sewer, streets and parks departments) by 40%. However, in that same
period of time, the office staff has not experienced an increase at all. The new office space can now accommodate the much needed support staff to handle the ever-increasing billing tasks as well as increased infrastructure repair projects and financial management needs.
Staff requested authorization to increase their personnel by adding an Accounting Tech (30 hours weekly) to assist the Town Clerk with billing and accounting tasks and a Clerical Assistant (30 hours weekly) to assist the Town Manager with project and financial management
tasks. Commissioner Boyle agreed that Donna, the Clerk, and the Receptionist are obviously overworked and needed more help.
MOTION: To accept the Staff's proposed increased personnel request for an Accounting Tech and Clerical Assistant to work 30 hours each week. The motion was made by Commissioner Rosensteel and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney. VOTE: 4-0 in
favor of the motion
Mr. Lucas addressed the Board to explain the history of Annexation Resolution 2004-04-R, reading his memo dated March 24, 2004, which included Bollinger Properties' request to revisit Item I, Section 3, originally approved by the Board on
February 2, 2004. This item states that no dwelling may be constructed on this property until such time as the Emmitsburg Sewage Treatment Plant operates for 180 consecutive days without exceeding design capacity of 800,000 gallons per day. This condition was inserted into
the Annexation Agreement in anticipation of passage of the Moratorium Ordinance proposal, which failed later that night. In evaluating this condition, the applicant contends, and the Staff concurs that if this 3-year moratorium was found to be unreasonable, this Board could
lift it. There's no such provision under state law that would allow the Commissioners to lift this condition that was placed on Mr. Bollinger as a condition of his annexation. However, Item I, Section 3, has the same effect of being a Covenant that runs with the land. In
other words, if this annexation goes through as originally written, it would be something that could not be lifted by this or any other future Board. The applicant feels that it's unlikely that this condition of 180 consecutive days without exceeding design capacity, could
ever be met or it's unlikely it will be met in the foreseeable future, and Mr. Bruce Dean (Bollinger Properties representative), he asked that this condition be revisited by the Board. Town Attorney, John Clapp, determined that in order to amend this condition, the entire
process of a public hearing, as required by Article 66B in the Maryland Code, would have to be followed, including advertising of a scheduled hearing as required by that statute. Under the statute, because it's under 25 acres, the Board is required to advertise at least twice
on weekly intervals in a paper of general circulation and then are required to hold that public hearing within 15 days after the final publication. After much discussion about proper advertising and clarification of the annexation process and specific wording of the public
notice by Mr. Clapp, it was determined that the hearing should be held on April 19, 2004.
MOTION: To reconsider Item I, Section 3, of Annexation Resolution 2004-04-R at the Public Hearing on April 19, 2004. The motion was made by Commissioner Boyle and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney. VOTE: 3-1 in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Elder opposed.
MOUNTAIN VIEW ROAD WATER LINE REPLACEMENT
Staff requested that the Board tentatively confirm the award of the contract to DeLauter & Sons for the work required for the Mountain View Road water line.
MOTION: To approve the replacement of the Mountain View Road water line by DeLauter & Sons at the contracted amount of $402,937.25. The motion was made by Commissioner Elder and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the
Mr. Haller stated that Town Staff received a draft of a Consent Order from MDE that limits the number of sanitary sewer connections to 20 equivalent dwelling units per year starting this month. It sets standards and limits for the wastewater
treatment plant for this period of time and sets the monetary fine schedule for violations of the Consent Order, imposing an immediate $7,000 fee. It mandates that the Town immediately repair or replace the flat run sewer main as well. The Board has committed to allow 57
connections, however, the MDE as previously stated, the Town is only being allowed 20 taps per year for 3 years. Mr. Haller requested that the Board issue no more taps until Staff has a chance to meet with MDE to work out the details. Mr. Lucas suggested that the Board should
temporarily suspend issuing taps while they come up with at least a study of an allocation formula.
MOTION: To put a temporary restraint on issuing permits until MDE gives the Board a final allocation of taps. The motion was made by Commissioner Boyle and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.