March 19, 2012
Emmitsburg Town Office
Mayor Donald N. Briggs; Commissioners Clifford
Sweeney, Glenn Blanchard, Patrick Joy, Tim O’Donnell
and Christopher Staiger, President.
Staff present were Vickie Felix; Sue Cipperly, Town
Planner and Dave Haller, Town Manager.
Call to Order
Commissioner Christopher Staiger, President of the
Board of Commissioners, called the March 19, 2012
Town Meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Pledge of
Allegiance was recited.
Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the March 5, 2012 Town Meeting were
approved as presented.
Commissioners cited attendances, recognitions and
announcements to include St. Patrick’s Day concert,
mountain trail work above the lake, meet-and-greet
with Congressman Chris Van Holen, annual Easter egg
hunt, signage in the parks about smoking, Lion’s
Club 50’s and 60’s dance, Mother Seton School health
fair, summer basketball league, Celebrity Bartender
event at Red’s Tavern, Financial Literacy Awareness
Week, St. Joseph’s craft fair and Maryland’s 8th
district candidate forum.
Mayor Briggs announced that Jim Hoover is running
for one of the openings on the school board and
encouraged citizens to check out his web site.
Congressman Chris Van Holen visited some of the
businesses in Emmitsburg and met town office staff.
Mayor Briggs recognized the work that Ms. Cipperly
is doing on the Sustainable Communities activity.
Unauthorized use of the Babe Ruth ball field
Summer basketball league
Community Garden plots
Time frame of splash park construction at the
Little League controlling the use of ball fields
Use and occupancy permitting
Mason and Dixon Discovery Center update at
Catoctin Mountain Orchard
Consent Agenda- No items
Town Manager Report
- reported on the public works department monthly
activities to include a water production and
consumption analysis. Manhole-32 was checked and the
flow was only 1/3 of the pipe and was not
discolored. Town has a precipitation surplus of
10.2” over the last six months. Mr. Haller will
check on the concern of gravel being pushed into the
intersection of Brookfield Drive and Irishtown Rd.
Town Planner Report – Ms. Cipperly
highlighted that she finished and delivered Heart
of the Civil War Heritage grant application, worked
on the June 30 encampment event and the Sustainable
Communities application which is due April 10, and
worked with Frederick County GIS on water/sewer line
mapping project. Detailed report at Exhibit A.
- Deputy Riffle reported on the February 2012 police
report. Detailed report at Exhibit B. He also
addressed staff on status of additional lights on
II. Agenda Items
Rezoning – 303 West Lincoln Avenue
Sue Cipperly stated the property located at 303 West
Lincoln Ave is owned by the town and is zoned R2.
This is what the zoning was when the town became the
owners in 1996. It was used to build a non
residential structure that housed social services
offices and facilities. The R2 zone doesn’t allow
the uses that the building was put to. This is a
matter that should have been addressed during the
Comp plan but was overlooked. According to Article
66B of the Maryland Code, a local legislative body
may grant a change to a zoning classification if
they find that there is either a substantial change
to the neighborhood character, or if it appears that
there was a mistake in establishing the existing
zoning classification. Staff’s recommendation is to
change the zoning to Village Zone which would allow
the variety of land uses for which the building
would be suitable. The Planning Commission reviewed
this and recommended approval of the rezoning
to approve rezoning request of 303 West Lincoln Ave
from the current R2 classification to Village Zone.
Motion by Commissioner Joy, second by Commissioner
Vote: 5-0 in
Review of Constant Yield Tax Rate Calculation
Provided by the State of Maryland
Mr. Haller stated that, basically, what has taken
place are appraisals and assessments in the
Emmitsburg area and Frederick County have gone down
15 to 17 percent. Consequently when the State
computes constant yield they determine the tax rate
threshold the town would need to charge in order to
yield the same amount of dollars received the
previous year. In order for the Town to yield
$716,000 in property tax as they did last year, the
rate would have to be set at a $.4265 rate of
assessed value. Staff is looking to Board for
direction. Discussion took place among the Board.
Commissioner Joy recommended keeping the rate at
$.36. Mayor Briggs challenged the Board on how they
are going to do everything that has been approved
and produce a balanced budget without increasing the
tax rate. The reality is that there needs to be
revenue or cut services back. Commissioner Staiger
commented that staff needs to find solutions for the
elected officials to balance the budget. Board
directed staff to run the budget on the current tax
rate, this year’s carry over will be treated as
income going into 2013 budget as opposed to what it
usually does and goes to the “rainy day” fund.
Commissioner Staiger stated he will make a
commitment not to cut town staff and Mr. Haller can
go ahead and prepare the budget on that basis as
Emmitsburg Multi-user Trail Expansion Update
Commissioner O’Donnell reported that he is
requesting approval to allow Mr. Steo to flag the
intermediate trail and referred to the map marked in
the meeting packet. The flagging would be
appropriate at this time of year because the site
lines are better to recognize what the features are,
and it would be easier for town staff to hike
because there would be less undergrowth to manage.
Regarding the update of the existing beginner trail,
they have made significant progress since last
August. This past weekend they had a trail work day
and 30 volunteers participated. Next trail workday
will be April 22, 2012.The goal is to have a clear
trail by June or July 2012. Public Comment:
Bob Mellor, 3 University Drive – in favor of
flagging the trail. Mike Hakkarinen, 342
Mountaineers Way – in favor of the flagging of
the trail. Commissioner O’Donnell stated that the
flagging could be done within the next 30 to 45
days. No opposition to flagging the intermediate
trail. Unanimous consent to proceed with the
flagging of the intermediate trail as discussed.
Water Tap Fee Assessment
At the request of the Mayor, Mr. Haller and Mayor
Briggs reviewed the possibility of building the
already designed, but not permitted, proposed Emmit
Gardens Water Treatment plant. Mr. Haller presented
the Board with a report of the allocations listed
for the wells and computations and also a
preliminary construction cost sheet. He went over
the options which would be to raise the water tap
fee to $8,000 so that it can be built within the
governing regulations which say the enterprise fund
must pay for itself or don’t build the water plant
and only have the 200 taps available. There would be
no grant money for this project. Ms. Cipperly
mentioned that she has gotten an increased amount of
inquiries about commercial projects which could
easily use up the taps. It would take roughly three
years to build the plant. The plant was sized at 476
taps so that the sewer and water capacity balanced.
- To proceed with implementing the $8,200 per tap as
the Town’s new water tap fee.
Motion by Commissioner Staiger, second by
Vote: 4-1 in
favor of motion
Commissioner Joy opposed
Mr. Haller will bring it back as a text amendment.
Architectural Guidelines Resolution
This item was brought to the Board at their request
for Staff to develop a resolution to adopt the
architectural guidelines as an advisory document for
the town. This also has been reviewed and approved
by the Planning Commission. The guidelines were
developed to support and implement the Town’s goal
which will result in preserving the Town’s heritage,
protecting property values, and encouraging civic
pride. They are not mandatory but need to be
considered. It would be a useful tool for the
planning commission and town planner.
to modify resolution 2012-04R on page 24 0f 28 in
first paragraph, after Architectural Guidelines
be adopted add the language as an advisory
Motion made by Commissioner Joy.
Motion: - To approve
2012-04R, a resolution to adopt Architectural
Guidelines in Emmitsburg’s historic district,
without any modifications
Motion by Commissioner O’Donnell, second by
Vote: 4-1 in
Commissioner Joy opposed
At this time Commissioner Staiger addressed Ms.
Cipperly that he would like to see someone work on
developing residential guidelines.
Set Agenda Items for April 2, 2012 Town Meeting
Presentation by Dr. Alban, Superintendent of
Frederick County Schools
Sustainable Communities application resolution
Community Garden program review
Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball contracts.
III Public Comments - none
IV SIGN APPROVED TEXT AMENDMENTS AND/OR
With no further business, the March 19, 2012 Town
Meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.