Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
January 18, 2006
Present: Mayor James Hoover; Commissioners Art Elder, Glenn Blanchard, William O’Neil
and Christopher Staiger, President. Also present were Vickie Felix, and Dave Haller, Town
Call to Order Commissioner Christopher Staiger, President of the Board of Commissioners, called the January 18, 2006 Town Meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the December 5, 2005 and January 3, 2006 Town Meeting were before the Council for approval. The December 5, 2005 Town minutes were approved as presented. There was a correction to the January 3, 2006 Town minutes on page 2 under first agenda item
second paragraph instead of most municipalities use twelve municipalities.
Motion: to pass the January 3, 2005 minutes as corrected
Motion made by Commissioner Elder and second by Commissioner Blanchard.
Vote 5-0 in favor
Commissioner Elder reported that they had the water meeting last night and it went very
well. He will report more next month when minutes are submitted. Commissioner
Blanchard enumerated on the different meetings he attended, to include attending the
annual banquet of the Vigilant Hose Co. along with the Mayor and Commissioner Staiger.
He thanked Vigilant hose company for the invitation and hospitality.
Mayor Hoover reported that he along with Dave Haller met with County staff as far as
planning and zoning and what they can and can not do. He also made a request for a
municipal visit with Lieutenant Governor Steele who will be here on January 30, 2006.
Town Manager Report - Mr. Haller highlighted some of the items on his report: pursuant to a citizen comment at a recent town meeting staff has reviewed the matter and the backflow preventer in Commissioner Elder’s car wash was inspected in August, 2005 and is in
compliance. In a recent newspaper article it was mentioned that Commissioner Elder and Commissioner O’Neil would be up for re-election this year. This is correct for Commissioner Elder but Commissioner O’Neil will not be up for re-election until next year
in October. There are some difficulties with the operation of the water plant and in the long term the town may have to look at enhancing the processing of the water. The funds for this would come out of one of the enterprise funds.
Planning and Zoning Report - This department issued 4 permits for the month. Parking
revenues and other statistics are listed on the report.
Police Report - Deputy Duman presented the police report, detailed report at Exhibit B.
There is a new deputy on board, John Bartlett who took Deputy Moxley’s place. He has 12 years experience.
Water Committee Appointment
Mayor Hoover made a request to appoint Jena Ott to the water committee.
Motion: To approve Jena Ott to water committee
Motion by Commissioner Elder and second by Commissioner O’Neil
Vote: 5-0 in favor
Second Entrance for Northgate Development
This item is discussion only and relates to adding a second entrance for Northgate
Development. Mr. Haller presented the Board with a vicinity map that will aid evaluation.
Northgate was originally developed as an independent subdivision and at that time there
was no second entrance ever planned. At a later period in time Emmit Ridge subdivision
was developed and there was a second entrance planned. That subdivision, over a course of time, developed one section that now exists. As things went on and the owner failed to perform, the planning commission, about 5 years ago, canceled their preliminary plan
approval because the developer didn’t perform. That property presently has no development approval for the other three sections. It might come back under new ownership for approval, at which time the Town again will require a second entrance to
that whole complex that will come off of Irisithtown Road. Presently he can’t think of any
means to force a second entrance, it is privately owned and they’re not requesting any
approval for development.
Commissioner O’Neil commented that he requested this item be put on agenda because at
the streets committee the Home Owners Association representative Sabrina Paxton-Daily
made an excellent presentation to the committee with an excellent case for reasons why
there should be a second entrance to Northgate. On a number of occasions the main entrance is flooded and on some occasions has been frozen. It has presented a number of problems not only to the residents but people worry about emergency services. The
community has been contacted by those who are from emergency services, saying that
indeed it is a problem. He respectfully disagrees with Mr. Haller- -he believes there are
means by which a community and municipality can exercise certain actions. He feels more research is needed.
Public comment: Sabrina Paxton Daily, 12 Zanella Dr., as president of the home owners
association for Northgate. - The entrance is in a flood plan. Concerned about emergency
services being able to get in when needed. Spoke in favor of supplying a emergency road. Gave the Board copies of signatures from the community in support of this matter. Gary Pozzoulli, 11 Zannela Drive - in support of a second entrance, has lived there for 8
Dave Wilt, 4 Adams Ave. - in support of the 2nd entrance to Northgate.
Frank Potts, 6 Provincial Pkwy. - lived there for 16 years. Three times were flooded and emergency vehicles could not get through and the schools were cut off from getting the children home.
Gerald Sloan, 19 Provincial Parkway - has family members with health problems, supports
Betsey Forrence, 17247 Annanadale Rd. - when approved should have known this entrance would flood. In support of a second entrance that needs to always be open.
William Steo, 8 Zanella Dr. - lived there for 10 years. In support of another way to get into the development.
William Mechan - here for 6 months, in support of second entrance to Northgate. What do Emergency vehicles do?
Discussion of the Board: Commissioner Staiger commended the streets committee for
bringing this back to the Board, feels is it worthy to look at it. Mr. Elder stated that if the town would have to put a lien on someone’s property to put in a road he would like to see a nice blacktop road, not a gravel road. Commissioner Blanchard concurred that
this is a serious problem, flooding as well as safety issues. Mayor Hoover, wanting clarification on what was said about putting liens on property questioned, asked whose property, and are we asking for a special tax or assessment fee that the homeowners would be
expected to pay for that cost? Commissioner Staiger stated there is unanimous consent to investigate this further. Commissioner Staiger asked if there is a potential access route on property that is already part of Northgate subdivision. Mr. Haller responded
that access could be made outside the flood plane across the open space. The attempt to condemn would take 5 to 10 years. Mr. Staiger commented he is just trying to investigate options at this point. The other option would be to go through the remaining Emmit
Ridge property. This property is still privately held and it’s still within the Town limit, with no public rights-of-way. Some sort of eminent domain is another option .
Mr. O’Neil stated to do it properly the town would have to do an asphalt road versus a
gravel road. The other concern is that he really doesn’t want to see a lien, believes the
town failed at some point in this matter, should have made sure there was ingress and
egress in more than one area particularly being in a flooding area. Mr. O’Neil reports that
the town needs to collect information, like a engineering survey etc.
Commissioner Staiger recommended staff to see whether it is possible to connect across
the open space property. There was some discussion on the open space. Mr. Haller
reported that it will be very difficult to get SHA to approve two entrances less than 100 ft. apart for the same subdivision on the same road. Maybe the entrance could be reconstructed out of the flood plane. Mr. O’Neil made a request for town staff to pursue an
engineering survey. Mr. Staiger stated that perhaps it would be a better solution if the town can identify if the road can be reoriented and be outside of flood plane. Mayor Hoover made a recommendation for staff to get an estimate cost on an engineering study to
create new entrance but also find out if the other property is on the market. Mr. Haller can come back by the next meeting with the followup information.
Reconsider DNR Resolution 2005-015r
This resolution is a request by the Mayor and Council to have the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) prepare a resource management plan for the Town’s watershed lands. The resource management plan will include a proposed trail system. This plan will be
reviewed and considered by the Mayor and Council. The Mayor and Council will have the possibility of modification. Mr. Haller gave the board a letter from Mr. Clapp with some proposed provisions to meet some of the concerns he had.
Public Comment: Betsey Forrence, 17247Annandale Rd. - reasonable to find out price
before you sign a contract, was concerned about the copy for the citizens to review, that there is not an amended, corrected copy for the public.
William Steo, 8 Zanella Dr. - it would invite other people not from the town to use the trails, in favor of the recreational facility.
Tim O’Donnell, 4105 Carrick Court - representing the parks and recreations committee, the committee did endorse this issue, hopes that the town would pursue to use DNR to evaluate the land and move along with the process. He also read a letter from Mt. Saint Mary’s.
Personally he would love to see this happen, enhancing the Town.
Discussion: Commissioner Staiger reported basically that Mr. Clapp addressed the issue.
It was his understanding that the DNR might be compelled by their own requirements to
charge the Town for this service. Some of the presentations indicated that perhaps that
would be done free of charge. If the Board is interested in pursuing this, the Board should pass this resolution as reviewed by Mr. Clapp. Mr. Blanchard expressed his support of the multi user trail, believes it would be an asset to the town. Also for the
record, hunting and fishing has precedence over any new recreational activity in the water shed. Urged fellow commissioners to approve the resolution concerning the DNR and land management plan. Mayor Hoover stated as far as the DNR resolution, he sees no issue,
it meets Mr. Clapps concerns. He is comfortable with going ahead with it. He is a little concerned at the pace that this is going. Feels it is the Board’s best interest to throughly research this and investigate to make sure this is the right thing. He
requested that a task force be created, with Mr. Haller, Mr. O’Donnell and Mt. Saint Mary’s Joe Lebherz. Have them come back to the Board with a report with recommendations for the trail. He suggested that Mr. O’Donnell be the liaison for the task force, and give
them 12 to 18 months to get back to the Board. Commissioner Elder is not in support of the trails, should be left alone as is. The water committee does not support this
Motion: To approve resolution 2005-15R as revised by Town Attorney John Clapp
in his letter of December 27, 2005. Motion was amended by Commission Staiger to
state that in the second “whereas” to follow Mr. Clapp’s recommendation and
remove the words “desires to”, so it reads “Whereas, the Town of Emmitsburg ‘may’
allow approved public uses on public lands.”
Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard, seconded and amended by Commissioner
Vote 4-1 Commissioner Elder opposed.
Resolution 2006-01R, Sections 1, 5 & 6
This resolution is to amend article II; sections one, five and six of the Emmitsburg Town
Charter. Section one refers to adding the 5th commissioner. Section five refers to the
Mayor not voting on the passage of any resolution or ordinance. Section six refers to the
number of Board members necessary to expel.
Public comments: Sister Eleanor Casey, 333 S. Seton Ave.- opposed to the resolution.
Betsey Forrence, 17247 Annandale Rd. - in support of 5 commissioners.
Wiliam Steo, 8 Zanella Drive - need 5 commissioners to get business done, in favor of resolution. Mayor should be able to vote to break a tie in the board. Mayor Marty Burns of Thurmont - Does agree that separation of powers is paramount, but it does depend on
what the charter says. Agrees with adding another Commissioner to help with work load.
Mayor Hoover stated this has been discussed many times, no problem with going to 5th
commissioner. He expressed his concern that in doing this, he sees the town separating
the Mayor’s legislative powers but retaining the legislative body’s executive powers. Was
hoping that there would be a full separation or much clearer separation and understanding. He doesn’t see that actually happening at this time and feels it will get
more confusing as we go on with this. Interested in hearing what the Council’s thoughts
and opinions on how they few this action. In their opinion, what is the Mayor’s role and
responsibilities and how does the Mayor, over the next several years, act with the Council? It doesn’t appear that the Council is going to remove a lot of executive powers, if any. Commissioner O’Neil fully supports the final resolution. There was some
discussion on when advertisement needs to take place.
Motion: To approve resolution 2006-01R which provides for a 5th commissioner.
Motion by Commissioner O’Neil second by Commissioner Elder. Vote: 4-0-1 in favor Mayor Hoover abstaining
Resolution 2006-02R - Amending Charter Article III
This resolution will clarify calendar versus business days used when approving or vetoing
Motion: To approve resolution 2006-02R which clarifies calendar days when approving or vetoing.
Motion by Commissioner O’Neil second by Commissioner Elder.
Vote: 5-0 in favor
Consider Planning & Zoning Consultant
This is a discussion item and relates to the advertising and possible hiring of a planning
and zoning consultant. Mayor Hoover reported the he, along with Dave Haller, met with
Frederick County Planning Commission. At this time they are not staffed to take on municipalities. They would certainly be willing to assist the Town in any way that they can. There is a meeting with a consulting firm next Wednesday. The Board will
then be briefed on what the firms can offer the Town.
Public Comment: Christopher Jakubiak, president of Jakubiak and Associates. They
provide planning services to Mt. Airy. His firm is a member of MML and has had a good
working relationship over the years. They do town planning work assisting zoning administration and site plans specializing in helping small to mid-size towns.
Discussion: Commissioner Staiger in favor of a consultant. Commissioner O’Neil stated
that having a consultant on hand would be beneficial. There was a brief discussion on
what the consultant would be required to do. The Board is comfortable with pursuing with the meetings and see what they can offer.
Set Agenda Items for February 6th Town Meeting
Presentation on New high school graduation projects and requirements 5-0
Staff report on Northgate subdivision - further discussion. 5-0
Ordinance for Ethic procedures discussion item 5-0
Proposed review of snow emergency routes - action inventory of streets included 5-0
Resolution for South Seton sewer and water lines - action 5-0
Set agenda items for February 20, 2006 Town Meeting.
Approved ordinances, policies and/or resolutions were signed.
Mayor Burns, Mayor of Thurmont - as president of the Frederick County Chapter of MML he encouraged every commissioner to attend the monthly meetings held on the 3rd Thursday of every month. MML conventions have some of the best training. He also reported favorably of
Chris Jaubiak, would be a good investment for to look at those types of professional services.
With no further Business and upon unanimous vote, the January 18, 2006 Town
Meeting was adjourned at 9:24 p.m.
Date Approved: February 6, 2006