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

Public Workshop
Emmitsburg Town Office
May 26, 2004


Commissioner Walbrecker related a family incident for which she apologized and expressed embarrassment.

Commissioner Rosensteel apologized for acting on a non-agenda item (riparian buffer) during the previous meeting. She reported that she attended meetings at Mt St Mary's regarding the weight lifting competition and that she will participate in the flag bearing ceremony during the MML convention on June 25, 2004.



Town Manager Dave Haller informed the Board that after the water rehab line design had been completed the subdivision to the northwest of town were under construction and there is a significant elevation differential between the main part of town and its highest points and Brookfield and Pembrook. Since water pressure is related to elevation this causes less then ideal pressure under certain conditions in those subdivision. This was reviewed and it was determined that a 2nd pressure zone is needed in town, and the best solution would be to tap off the main feedline. The new pressure reduction valve would need to be placed in Brookfield subdivision but additional piping would be needed. A bid of $40,520 was received to accomplish this additional piping. This would also improve the fire safety issues in this area.

He responded to commissioners' inquiries that that it is done in the realm of a change order (to the current rehab contract) and that any outside bid apart from the original contractor would exceed the $40,520 bid, and that a lump-sum figure is usually bid vs. a unit cost. Mr. Haller added, "5 years ago I stated that this would be a problem."

PUBLIC COMMENT: Patrick Boyle, 300 East Main Street, stated that this has been going on for 5 years, "If you don't approve this thing, this is the town's expense it won't be paid for by the Mountain View Road people who are sharing the water line replacement cost. Approve this thing and get it done."

Upon procedural comment, Mr. O'Neil stated that the standards for public discussion are in this order: agenda item review, Board discussion, speakers speak, item before the Board is restated, call for a motion, then move on the motion by vote.

Dianne Walbrecker asked if any consideration was given to asking Brookfield developer to cover any part of the fee? To the answer of "No", it was asked, "Why not?" then answered "I don't know." Upon further query, it was stated that Brookfield connections were paid at the standard $6000 cost.

MOTION: To approve the $40,520 bid for additional piping to install the northwest pressure zone.  The motion was made by Commissioner Elder and seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel.VOTE: 4-0 in favor

ORDINANCE 2004-05 -- to establish a temporary moratorium on the issuing of zoning permits for new constructions which would result in new connection to the town's sewer system

Commissioner Walbrecker: seems like it's the only thing we can do at this time--showing MDE we are attempting to address the situation.

PUBLIC COMMENT Patrick Boyle, 339 East Main Street; Tom Carolan, 11913 Millersville Drive, owner of Appletree Homes; Sarah Palmer; Dennis Carolan, Walkersville; Randy Whittenberger, attorney for Appletree Homes; and Robert Palmer, New Windsor spoke in opposition to any delay in the planned new home construction. Conflicting information regarding permit issuance was discussed. Mr. Lucas outlined the permitting procedure between Frederick County and Emmitsburg, explaining that the procedure has not changed, that it's always been a dual process.

Mr. Haller explained that this ordinance is presenting a good faith effort to MDE in response to the "consent order"-- setting a time schedule to complete the trunk line. He has requested for reduction of fine and limit future connections equivalent to 20 per year. MDE has not yet responded.

Mayor Hoover added that this temporary moratorium will allow time for the staff to develop a plan to mete out those 20 connections. In response to a speaker's accusations, "You did some planning before this went on the books, you knew this was coming, you should have done the advance planning on it. When you said you could build the development, that's where this should have come up", Mr. Haller informed everyone that both Brookfield and Southgate subdivisions were approved up to 8 years ago and that no one presently sitting on the Board was involved.

MOTION: Commissioner O'Neil called for a motion to establish a temporary moratorium on the issuing of zoning permits for new constructions which would result in new connection to the town's sewer system. Commissioner Walbrecker made a motion to consider this agenda item at the June 7 Town Meeting.

There being no second, the motion died.

MOTION: To approve Ordinance 2004-5 enacting a temporary moratorium on the issuance of zoning certificates for new construction. The motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner Elder. VOTE: 2-2 Commissioners Walbrecker and Rosensteel opposed.

MOTION: To reconsider the zoning certificate temporary moratorium at the next available town meeting. The motion was made by Commissioner Walbrecker.

The Town Manager addressed the Board stating, "Since you've walked away from this, staff would like direction...should we continue the policy put into place?"

Commissioner Rosensteel then seconded Ms. Walbrecker's motion.

Commissioner O'Neil stated his understanding is if the ordinance did pass the Board working with the staff would have to come up with a fair and open objective process by which the town would award permits, but the Board cannot do that today. Mr. Haller explained that if the Board would suspend the issuance of certificates, then a whole other process would need to start in order to be fair.

President O'Neil called for a vote to the open motion. Motion failed.

President O'Neil read the ordinance aloud.

MOTION: To adopt Ordinand 2004-5 as proposed by staff 2004-05. The motion was made by Bill O'Neil and seconded by Art Elder.

Upon inquiry by Ms. Walbrecker, Dave responded to reputed comments that MDE was not involved in any discussion about a moratorium, saying that he cannot speak for what they say but "I did all those things". He added that Mr. Lucas, the Mayor and himself attended meetings with MDE's director of their enforcement (consent order) division. The Mayor interjected that there is an ongoing investigation by MDE. Mr. Haller clarified that this (temporary suspension time) is a timeout to do the real work. Mayor Hoover stated that section 2 of the proposed ordinance is all about the timeframe–that there is a definite timeframe enacted. Commissioner O'Neil commented that once this ordinance is adopted a time would be set up that the Board and Staff would meet to discuss possible options for developing a policy to provide permits in consideration of MDE requirements. At that time there will be full opportunity for public comment and input. Mr. Haller stated that everyone here tonight would have to be in that mix.

The Board President called the vote. VOTE: 4-0


Town Planner Michael Lucas presented, by memo, introducing new rate schedules with more categories. He stated that he believes this to be a fair and equitable rate structure. In stating the percentage increases, commenting negatively on the in-town increases, Mr. O'Neil asked as to how much costs have increased over the previous year. Mr. Lucas responded, "Generally 10-15% a year...we lose $25-30k year–for every $1 received, we spend $4." Mr. Haller questioned back that with the very high rate of elderly in Emmitsburg, is it fair for the pool to be heavily subsidized by taxes? Mr. Lucas stated that his department took surveys of other municipalities, "$3 is pretty cheap daycare". He continued, that given the economies of scale, probably these other municipalities can deliver better than Emmitsburg can. He tried to mitigate against anyone by adding a single parent category. Mayor Hoover agreed, stating that he had no problem with the daily rate, in and out, that his only concern is the family rate, that he's not so sure about doing a single parent rate and would like to see the difference split between family and single parent. Statistics of attendance was discussed by all. It was mentioned that attendance by age records should be obtained and kept.

MOTION - To accept the out-of-town rates, in-town adult, child and senior rates as presented but change the family in-town membership to $225/year and eliminate the single parent category altogether.

The motion was made by Commissioner Walbrecker and seconded by Commissioner Elder. VOTE: 4-0 IN FAVOR


Based on increased refuse service contract costs for fiscal years 2004-2006, an increase to the customers is needed.

MOTION - To establish a trash service charge rate of $31 quarterly.

The motion made by Commissioner O'Neil was seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE: 4-0 IN FAVOR


Town Manager Dave Haller informed the Board that the town has found a qualified applicant for a water/wastewater plant operator. He reviewed that currently 2 operator positions are held by contract personnel. Mayor Hoover added that outside contracting allowed the staff time to get qualified personnel. Upon query by the Mayor, Mr. Haller said that the employee is required to become licensed within one year. He also responded to Commissioner Walbrecker that the contract cost was within 1% of in-house employment costs. Commissioner Elder expressed his favor in having "our own employees."

MOTION - To approve the hiring of Peter Bocheck for water and wastewater operator. The motion was made by Commissioner Walbrecker and seconded by Commissioner Elder. VOTE: 4-0 IN FAVOR

MOTION: To recess for 5 minutes before proceeding to set the agenda items.

The motion was made by Mr O'Neil and seconded by Mrs. Rosensteel. VOTE: 4-0 IN FAVOR

The meeting reconvened.


The following items were selected to appear on the June 7 Town Meeting:

  1. Town square improvements, presentation by SHA and discussion

  2. Ordinance 2004-07R, tax rate for fiscal year 2004-2005

  3. after school program funding

  4. Pembrook Woods block party-details and Board support

  5. Pembrook Woods: swales and walking paths and other problems of the development

This agenda item proposal brought up the question of the letter of credit still being held by the town.

MOTION: To not release Letter of credit monies until such time that swales and walking paths are addressed.  The motion was made by Mr. O'Neil and seconded by Mr. Elder.

Mr. Lucas asked for direction. The Mayor commented that then the agenda item should be whether to release the Letter of credit. As mayor, he has instructed to hold the release. Mr. Lucas asked again, requesting direction on whether to release it, that he would still like to have Board direction. The Mayor reiterated, " I already gave direction."

MOTION - To withhold the release of the Buckeye Letter of credit until the item in question has been dispensed with at the next town meeting.  The motion was restated by Commissioner O'Neil, originally seconded by Commissioner Elder. VOTE: 4-0 IN FAVOR

  1. All-purpose ballfield status -discussion only

  2. Committee membership, briefing by Dianne, discussion only

  3. Armstrong Alley speed bump

  4. Sign ordinances: review of it as it exists –discussion only

  5. riparian buffer acceptance

  6. set cola increase, formal adoption of salary chart

  7. closed session for personnel


Commissioner Elder proposed to set aside funds for equipment i.e., new mower, bobcat, street sweeper, etc. The Mayor informed the Board that several new mowers were just bought 2 years ago and that contracting a street sweeper is much more cost effective than spending $50,000 or more. He suggested that the public works staff come to the Board or provide information on what they need, to have that department justify that expense request.

Concerning the proposed $30,000 cost share of police protection allotted to the water and sewer fund, the Board made a recommendation that 100% of police protection be absorbed by the general fund. Miscellaneous and donation expenses were explained. The budgeted rehab expenses for the mountain property was discussed and it was advised to spend a portion of it for an engineering study as to what extent the town should rehab or perhaps turn the property over to some benevolent group who can use the property. Upon Mr. Haller's request, the Board clarified that staff is to adjust the $30,000 police protection item as discussed, and make a CIP transfer for a general equipment contribution.