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



February 18, 2013

Emmitsburg Town Office




Present:  Mayor Donald Briggs; Commissioners Clifford Sweeney, Christopher Staiger, Patrick Joy, and Tim O’Donnell, President Pro Tem

Staff present were Vickie Felix; Donna DesPres, Town Clerk; Sue Cipperly, Town Planner and Dave Haller, Town Manager.


I.       Call to Order

Commissioner Tim O’Donnell, President Pro Tem of the Board of Commissioners, called the February 18, 2013 Town Meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


 SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the February 4, 2013 Town Meeting were approved as presented.


Commissioner Comments

After the special meeting that took place on February 11, 2013 to elect a replacement commissioner, Commissioner O’Donnell received a lot of feedback supporting the modification of the Charter for the process of replacing a commissioner.  He cited attendances to include the stop, swap and save event.


Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Briggs cited attendances to include the Emmitsburg Osteopathic Care Center dinner; the opening service for the Christ Community Church which now leases from the town at 303 West Lincoln Avenue; they have a lot of children’s programs lined up.  He attended the Mount St. Mary’s Athletic Advisory Board.


Oath of Office of Succeeding Commissioner

Mayor Briggs administered the oath of office of James Hoover, Succeeding Town Commissioner, to replace Town Commissioner Glenn Blanchard for a 7-month term. 


Administrative Business – none


At this time Commissioner O’Donnell welcomed Frederick County Commissioner Kirby Delauter and Commissioner Liaison David Dunn to the Town Meeting. 


Consent Agenda

Approve Resolution for Sr. Salvatrice Murphy on Financial Literacy April 6 through April 13.  Unanimous consent. 



Town Manager Report - reported on the public works department monthly activities to include a water production and consumption analysis.  He highlighted the well levels have increased.  Town had a precipitation surplus of 5.4 over the last six months and one spill of untreated sewerage.  Town Planner Report – Ms. Cipperly gave an overview of the January 2013 report.  She announced that staff hired a new zoning technician.   Detailed report at Exhibit A.


Police Report - Deputy Eyler gave the January 2013 police report.  Detailed report at Exhibit B.



II.       Agenda Items


Rebid of the LED street light conversion

Mr. Haller stated this process was rebid. There are two phases; one is to supply the actual lights, and the other is to supply the installation.  There were five bidders.  Staff recommends to except option one from Capital Tristate in Hagerstown, MD and option two for Dixie Electric in Frederick; for a combined price of $76,976.   Staff also proposes that the Board install a resolution to fund this endeavor by borrowing money from the enterprise depreciation fund making payments over the next 4 years to begin on the first day of December 2013, and payable thereafter on the first days of December 2014, 2015, and 2016.  There was concern expressed of borrowing money from the enterprise fund.  It was suggested that it should be taken from general fund balance and transferred to the CIP-- that tax money and enterprise money should be kept separate.  It was commented that the project itself is worthwhile.                                                                         

Motion:  to accept staff recommendation for Capital Tristate for $62,896 and for Dixie Electric for $14,080 to conduct the LED upgrade project and fund that amount with a transfer from the fund balance to the CIP creating a line item for the LED upgrade project.    

Motion made by Commissioner Staiger, second by Commissioner Hoover. 

                                            Vote: 5-0 in favor


Water rate discussion

Mr. Haller stated the town has under-funded depreciation in the water fund for the last three years.  Staff is suggested rates be increased about $100,000 per year.   After discussion, the Board preferred to assess the rate increase on a tier structure versus a flat rate increase.  It was decided that losses from the previous two years would not be included into the rate. 


Financial aspects of square project

Ms. Cipperly gave a power point presentation describing the importance of the square improvements.  The cost estimate for the square area only is roughly $425,000 - $450,000 depending on what elements are involved.  The grant application is due by February 28, 2013.  The town will not know if it gets the grant until July.  It was suggested that the town get something in writing from SHA in what they will allow because that will impact the scope of the project.  Public Comment: Bonnie Portier, 114 E Main Street; Dora Connelly, 20 East Main Street; Karen Adelsberger, 110 E Main Street; Lisa Elder and Chris Price of Emmitsburg all support the proposed improvements to the town square.  Commissioner Staiger commented that it is up to town staff and the Mayor on how this project is going to be funded.  Commissioner Hoover questioned where the seed money is coming from for the construction.   Ms. Cipperly was given support to move forward to apply for a capital grant including way-finding signage.                                                                                                                

Motion: - To transfer $23,900 from the fund balance to CIP and under town square improvements, create a line item for construction drawings for town square development.

Motion made by Commissioner Staiger, second by Commissioner Hoover.     

                                                Vote: 5-0 in favor


Motion: - that all expenditures related to the town square redevelopment be managed through the capital improvements program. 

Motion made by Commissioner Staiger, second by Commissioner Sweeney. 

                                     Vote: 5-0 in favor



Scott Road farm management

Commissioner Staiger stated that over the last month Mr. Haller shared some information with the Board on the Scott Road property; there have been some questions concerning this property.  Mr. Haller reported how the property is divided and managed.  The Town has owned it for approximately ten years.   Public Comment:  Catherine Forrence, 404 W. Main Street – hopes the town invests more planning and thinking into this property.  It is a historical piece of property; would like to see it maintained.  The Board discussed to possibly solicit and get ideas on how to maintain property.  Maybe it can be revitalized with someone who is open to a partnership.  It was suggested that income from property should be earmarked to maintain property.  Commissioner Hoover questioned if it could it be  designated as a park and request POS money.  Commissioner O’Donnell stated he would like to see natural surface trails in future consideration.  Town Manager will look at what the options would be and bring back to the town council.   


Discussion:  Town Code section 17.08 - Prohibited Uses

Commissioner Staiger reported that there has been a request to look at this section for prohibited uses to allow chickens in urban areas.  A lot of new subdivisions would not be allowed because of HOA restrictions.  Public Comments:  Adam Leverette, 404 W. Main Street – Suggested that the town allow 3-5 hens in backyard.  Catherine Forrence, 404 W. Main Street  – make this easy and not try to regulate so much.   Mr. Leverette also provided the council with a signed petition.  Commissioners O’Donnell and Hoover along with Mayor Briggs were in support of the request for hens but not roosters.  It was stated that this is a big 4H area.  This item would also have to go through planning and zoning initially because it is in the zoning ordinance.  Sue Cipperly, Town Planner will bring back to the Board recommendations at the mid-March meeting that would be best for the town to then go to the planning commission.  Commissioner Staiger stated that the Board will need to look at “both sides of the coin”. 


Set Agenda Items for Date Town Meeting

  1. Reorganization of the Board

  2. Alley traffic plan discussion 

  3. Ordinance to implement Section 8 of Town Charter

  4. Bay Restoration Fee exemption policy that is now required by the state


III.     General Public Comments - none       




V.        Adjournment

With no further business, the February 18, 2013 Town Meeting was adjourned at 10:22p.m.