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



March 4, 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; and Dave Haller, Town Manager.


I.       Call to Order

Commissioner Tim O’Donnell, President pro tem of the Board of Commissioners, called the March 4, 2013 Town Meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the February 11, 2013 Special Meeting were minutes were approved as corrected.  The February 18, 2013 meeting minutes were also approved as revised.   


Commissioner Comments

Commissioner's cited announcements to include upcoming Easter egg hunt at Community Park; fish fry at St. Joseph’s; Heritage/Community Day meeting on March 20th; flagging has been underway on the mountain for intermediate trails.  Trail work date this weekend; future plans to bring 800 cyclists through town in 2014.  The attendances included dinner for the MOR organization; Heritage/Community Day meeting.  Relayed were some concerns expressed from citizens: timing of chicken related ordinance; alley traffic; the square; the water line to North Seton Avenue; and fire hydrants.  Also, Commissioner O’Donnell was contacted by Emmitsburg Vet Hospital related to the fence and he also received praise from a store owner outside of town for Commissioner Sweeney and the work he is doing for the Community/Heritage Days.   Commissioner Hoover will tentatively not be here for the April 1, 2013 Town Meeting. 


Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Briggs welcomed Pastor John who was attending the meeting.  The Mayor attended the following meetings: along with Town Manger, met with Director of baseball league and police officers in relation to the upcoming baseball tournament; met with the Mason Dixon Tourist Center.  He also attended a two day solar energy course in preparation to possibly offset some of the operating expenses at the new wastewater treatment plant.  Mayor Briggs also commented on a letter of support for the town square design from the Frederick County Division of Community Development.


Administrative Business

·         Little League request for replacement of outfield fence

·         Easement survey to cross the Fitzgerald property; trails on the mountain

·         Passport to Wealth sponsored by the Seton Center

·         Fire hydrants on North Seton Avenue

·         Revitalization on the square

·         Splash park update

·         Town Manager and Mayor meeting with builder of Brookfield


Consent Agenda - none



Treasurer’s Report – Commissioner Sweeney reported on February 2013 cash activity.  Detailed report at Exhibit A.


Planning Commission Report – Commissioner Joy reported there was no meeting in February. 

Citizen Advisory Committee – Commissioner Staiger reported that the Advisory Committee met on February 26, 2013.  They recapped a couple of issues from last year to include crosswalk at Patterson and crossing guards for Federal and Main Streets, which the sheriff’s department controls--they budgeted two positions might get a possible third.  There were a few things approved for new business to include to contact the Mount to see if they could work a business study into part of their curriculum as part of the town housing study/community development efforts to get objective data to use in decision making.  There was a proposal to make Lincoln Avenue one-way west bound between North Seton and School Lane.  There was a proposal for HOA-type guidelines for the town in terms of standards for building maintenance and properties.

 Parks and Recreation Report – Commissioner O’Donnell reported that the Parks and Recreation Committee met on February 19, 2013.  They discussed the summer pool party schedule; concert in the parks schedule; possible second running event in town; field use and modifications and updates; community garden and chalk walk on the sidewalks. 



II.       Agenda Items


Reorganization of the Board

Mayor Briggs made these recommendations for the Board of Commissioners reorganization due to resignation of Commissioner Blanchard:  Commissioner O’Donnell as President and liaison for Parks and Recreation, Commissioner Hoover Vice President and official MML representative.  And status quo for the remaining Board: Commissioner Sweeney as Treasurer, Commissioner Joy as liaison for Planning Commission and Commissioner Staiger liaison for the Advisory Committee.                                                                                                                         

Motion:  To approve the Mayor’s recommendations as presented.

Motion by Commissioner Joy, second by Commissioner Hoover

                                     Vote: 5-0 in favor


Alley traffic plan discussion

Mayor Briggs stated there is a lot of cut-through traffic on the alleys in the early hours on the south side of East Main Street cutting over to East Lincoln Street and feels that the current two-way is unsafe.   Staff has spoken with the sheriff’s office, Vigilant Hose and SHA and they all would be in support of a change.  Staff has been looking at this since last April.  Mr. Haller reported these alleys are presently two-way, however the paving is not wide enough to support two-way traffic.  Therefore, staff believes they are unsafe and should be changed to one-way as noted on plan presented to the Board.  The four noted for change are noted because they can support signage without attaching to anyone’s home.  In the discussion, there was comment that this was more of an administrative decision.  The ordinance to effect the change may already be in place; the Mayor then could enforce.  Mayor Briggs can get public feedback.   


Ordinance to implement Section 8 of Town Charter

Commissioner Joy drafted a proposed ordinance to address a Board resignation.  He stated it should be by town election; let citizens decide who represents them.  Staff brought forth the existing ordinance with wordage added to say “within thirty days.”  Commissioner Joy stated that the agenda item was to bring forth an ordinance to implement, not change existing ordinance by staff.  Commissioner O’Donnell chose to look at Commissioner Joy’s proposal as stated on agenda item.  Commissioner Hoover states the proposal has a direct conflict with the Charter.  Commissioner Staiger stated that to create an ordinance, they need to change the Charter.  Board ensued in a lengthy discussion on the several options: appointment by the Board, having a special election, or waiting until the next general election.   Commissioner Joy will bring back a Charter change to fix Section 8 to state vacancy will be filled at the next general election. 


Bay Restoration Fee exemption policy that is now required by the State

Donna Despres explained the original bay restoration fee rules.  When the fee first started town did not have to come up with an exemption policy.  Since rates went up, town now needs to make an exemption policy for those who can demonstrate substantial financial hardship.   Board reviewed the proposal policy included in the packet.  Citizens can be notified through the quarterly water billing of the hardship exemption application.                                                                                                                                              

Motion: - To accept staff recommendation on the bay restoration fee hardship exemption application.

         Motion by Commissioner Hoover, second by Commissioner Staiger

                                     Vote: 5-0 in favor


Set Agenda Items for March 18, 2013 Town Meeting

  1. Water rate modification

  2. Funding for replacement of Little League fence

  3. Funding to identify survey easement on Fitzgerald property right-of-way

  4. Staff recommendations on backyard poultry zoning

  5. Discussion of fence area usage at Emmitsburg Vet Hospital and potential zoning modifications


Consent Agenda

Open pool for free on Community/Heritage Day


III.     Public Comments- none




V.        Adjournment

With no further business, the March 4, 2013 Town Meeting was adjourned at 9:28 p.m.