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

Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
March 1st, 2004



Mr. Haller presented data containing information related to the "cost" and "comparable fee" methods of evaluation of assessing water and sewer tap fees. He explained that tap fees are not for repairs and operations, but for the added capacity to the system to include well exploration, development, storage, and treatment. He asked the Board to review this information. Commissioner Rosensteel asked what did staff recommend. Staying by the cost method was recommended by the Town Manager.

MOTION: To recommend an increased tap fee to $8000 ($4000 each for water and sewer).  VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.


Town Planner Michael Lucas informed the Board that impact fees are used towards the impact of increased development on service areas such as roads, sidewalks, parks other facilities. Mr. Haller reminded the Board that they were the first Board to assess and collect an impact fee that was allowed by Charter.

MOTION: To not increase the impact fee but bring this back for review next year. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion


Mr. Haller presented that the town has always maintained the position that the town's maintenance responsibility of the sewer lines lies only within the town's rights-of-way -- only the sewer main. He stated that he is presenting this item of discussion to get a clarification from the Board as to the interpretation of the Code in this matter. President Boyle expressed to maintain that same policy/interpretation--no change in the Code.

MOTION: To support the staff's interpretation of private sewer lines in public rights-of-way. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.


Mountain View Road water line rehab: The town manager recommended accepting DeLauter & Sons' bid-- tentatively (subject to MDE approval).

MOTION: To tentatively accept the $402,937 bid from DeLauter & Sons for rehab of the Mountain View Road water line, pending MDE approval. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

Little Run sewer rehab: After review of the bids and consultation with the design engineers, Mr. Haller recommended that the Town reject all bids. He added that staff wants to look into this a little more and maybe modify the requirements to maybe garner more competitive bids. He will bring back to the Board whatever adjustments and recommendations result.

MOTION: To reject all bids submitted for the Little Run sewer rehab project. VOTE: 3-0-1 in favor of the motion.  Commissioner Sweeney abstaining because of conflict


Town Planner Michael Lucas presented the question of reestablishing this committee. He explained that it does not exist now, and requested that the Board should address its future, whether to take it out of the Town Code or resurrect it. Mayor Hoover added that this committee was brought on at that time when there was no professional planning staff during the County composing the Comprehensive Plan.


  • Chris Staiger, 1230 Brookfield Drive: Minimum of public involvement, not a bad idea, having an organized group to help in this plan

  • Diane Walbrecker, West Main Street: Was the one to bring it back, they divided up parts of the plan with which they went out and got input from the community, "worked on a vision for the town", they took the opportunity to ask residents which gave them a participation in the plan.

  • Commissioner Boyle commented that in 1998 he recalled doing the Comp Plan, about 10 people participated. There was a conflict with the planning commission, couldn't get enough support. His advice was to lower the number of people.

  • Mr. Lucas spoke to the suggestion, although appreciating Ms. Walbrecker's efforts, but in terms of the legislation, all authorization is with the Planning Commission. The Commission is fully acceptable to receive such public input in the forms of public meetings, etc to effect this public participation. Interested in a marketing plan. As it's defined in the ordinance now, with its component membership, recommends that it undergoes some alterations.

  • Mr. Haller added comments about its delegation to the planning commission. Commissioner Elder acquiesced his agreement with the Mayor. Commissioner Sweeney stated that it was good for public input, but since the ordinance conflicts with the planning commission, take it out of the Code.

  • Commissioner Rosensteel agreed, stating that Mr. Sweeney has a good point.

  • Mr. Lucas asked for a motion to bring back an amendment to the Code, deleting the ERC as an authorized, functioning committee.

MOTION: To support the composition of an ordinance deleting the Economic Renewal Committee. REVIEW ECONOMIC RENEWAL COMMITTEE VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

ORDINANCE 04-05 - Purchase of the .87 acre lot

This item is an ordinance to approve the purchase of the .87 acre lot located at 302 South Seton Avenue (known as the ambulance company property) because of its proximity to the Town's current new location for the next 25 years, to be able to control that property. Commissioner Elder commented that the property could be used for many things -- go ahead. Commissioners Rosensteel and Sweeney agreed.

MOTION: To approve ordinance 04-05 authorizing purchase of the .87 acre lot located at 302 South Seton Avenue.  VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.


In response to an inquiry from Frederick County Health Department, they were informed that the Town Code does not allow sewer and water connections of properties outside the corporate limits without annexation. The County then inquired if the town would object to the approval of well and septic development within the town's future growth limits. Mr. Haller presented this matter to the Board with the information that once development is established, it is difficult to annex the properties and questions whose responsibility would it be whenever those systems may fail (as the town now has connections without annexation or taxation).


  • Harold Craig, West Main Street - opposed

  • William O'Neil, Stonehurst Drive - agreed with Mr. Haller, Town would have to pay, Took issue with information listed as agenda item, not enough specificity to allow public consideration, "The least you could do is provide same materials available to the Board."

  • Katherine Forrence, West Main Street: also opposed, would set a precedent.

  • Chris Staiger, Brookfield Drive - also why didn't Board come to Planning and Zoning Commission as they did with the sprinkler system, for recommendation, also agrees with Mr. O'Neil on his comments regarding the listing of agenda items, that it's difficult to know if the item is one that a resident should wish to comment to.

  • Diane Walbrecker, West Main Street - agreed that it's hard to determine what is being talked about, agree that these matters should be refereed to Planning and Zoning, a big issue, to study carefully, and take more time.

  • Mr. Lucas, in addressing issues raised tonight, stated that many items are mandatorily refereed to planning and zoning, and that staff agrees with Mr Haller's advice and also in light of public comment heard here tonight.

MOTION: To object to potential development for well and septic within our designated future growth area. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.


Parks Committee: Mayor Hoover recommended Glen Blanchard as a member for the Parks Committee.

MOTION: To accept Glen Blanchard as a regular member of the Parks Committee. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

Planning and Zoning Commission: The Mayor announced application from Rich Kapriva and Katherine Forrence's change of her request to serve on the Parks Committee to apply as alternate for the Planning and Zoning Commission. Commissioner Elder stated that they both are excellent candidates, that Ms. Forrence is the first to apply and would be the only woman on the committee.


  • Katherine Forrence Spoke on behalf of her application as alternate on zoning

  • Chris Staiger 1230 Brookfield Drive - re committee appointments, would like to see the Council address the recent decision of nonparticipation of an alternate. He stated that, as chairman, he would allow anyone to participate.

  • Mr. Haller offered that staff does have capabilities to get advice from the MML and the state for direction as to the level of participation as is customary in the state for non-sitting appointees. Mr. Lucas added that MD Planning could also add to that research. Other towns' practices were provided at that time to the Board. President Boyle asked the Board how they wanted to proceed with the resumes received, "Do you want to interview, etc.?" Mr. Elder answered to just elect the alternate tonight.

MOTION: To nominate Katherine Forrence as alternate to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

There being no second, motion died.

Commissioner Boyle remarked that he would like to first do the recommended research on the practices of alternates' participation. Mr. Lucas also suggested to conduct an interview both for enlightening the applicant as well as considering the applicant. David Haller suggested to include Mr. Lucas in the evaluation of the applicants. Mrs. Rosensteel stressed wanting to find out the legality of limiting participation of an alternate. Mr. Haller added to Mr. Lucas' comments on the importance of a Planning and Zoning appointee that they are quasi-independent from the Board by law. Commissioner Sweeney also expressed to wait. It was decided to address the rights of participation, to meet with each candidate to tell them what's expected of them and the Board will make recommendation. Wednesday, March 10 was set to interview candidates

The Mayor, on advise of the Ethics Committee and per the attorney, offered that all committee meetings are open to the public. If a sensitive personnel issue is presented, they are allowed to close into private session.