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




October 21, 2013

Emmitsburg Town Office



Present:  Mayor Donald Briggs; Commissioners Christopher Staiger, Jennifer Mellor, Glenn Blanchard and Tim O’Donnell, President. 

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

Tardy:  Clifford Sweeney arrived 8:50p.m.


Call to Order

Commissioner Tim O’Donnell, President of the Board of Commissioners, called the October 21, 2013 Town Meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the October 7, 2013 Town Meeting were approved as presented.

Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard, second by Commissioner Mellor.

                                     Vote:  3-1 in favor

                                     Commissioner Staiger opposed. 


President O’Donnell welcomed David Dunn of Frederick County who was present in the audience.  Commissioner Staiger asked Mr. Dunn about administration of the field behind the community center.  Mr. Haller stated that Mr. Dunn helped greatly in dealing with the Board of Education; the contract has been received and is ready for the Mayor’s signature. 


Commissioner Comments

Commissioner Mellor thanked the town staff for being so accommodating and helping her get paperwork together during her orientation period as new commissioner.  Commissioner Blanchard announced that the annual MML conference that occurs every year was changed to the first week of June because of the primary being in June this year.  Food bank is doing well-- thanks for all who donate but they do need more toiletries.  Other announcements included Halloween which will be celebrated on October 31st, trick or treat is between 5pm and 7pm with parade starting at 7pm and the party to follow at the fire hall at 7:30pm.  The fall fun run sponsored by Mother Seton will occur on November 16th; the wattle waddle will occur on November 28th; the Christ Community Church will be having a community party on November 1st and Sunday, October 27th will be a trail work day.        


Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Briggs cited attendances to include the Fall MML conference.   He attended the open meetings class and passed on information to the Board in regard to statutory authority to close a session, a compliance checklist and closed meetings.  He also announced that Christ Community Church will be having a family event in the park on November 1st; this year at the Thanksgiving Day run there will be a light breakfast between the walk and run with the funds going to the Seton Center; and that the Seton 5k is coming up.  He also thanked Mr. Dunn for his help with the Board of Education to get the fence replaced. 


Administrative Business - none


Consent Agenda - none



Town Manager Report - reported on the public works department monthly activities to include a water production and consumption analysis and reported on rain and water levels.  Staff and Frederick County Paving installed a new asphalt walkway to connect Lincoln Avenue to Community Park and Kelco Plumbing installed 150 feet of pipe and one yard hydrant at the little league field in Memorial Park.  Town Planner Report – Ms. Cipperly highlighted that staff is still working on the town square project with state highway.  As part of the MS-4 storm water permit, staff has placed discs by each storm drain that say “Don’t Dump”, which hopefully will help keep some of the pollutants out of the storm sewer.  Staff is still progressing on the retail project.  Detailed report at Exhibit A.   Police Report - Deputy Rohrer presented the September 2013 Police Report.  Detailed report at Exhibit B.



II.       Agenda Items


Parks Use Policy

Mr. Haller stated there was interest in expanding the use of the parks after dark.  Staff prepared the policy using the same structure as the Alcohol Use Policy and included the recommended change and correction made from the last town meeting.  Commissioner O’Donnell expressed his concern with procedure number 1 that the nonprofit group has been in existence for at least 18 months.  He also asked for clarification on the insurance coverage requirement.  Brief discussion ensued.   

Motion:  to accept policy series 2013 Policy No P13-04 After Hours Use in the Parks as written.

Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard, second by Commissioner O’Donnell.                                             Vote:  2-2 motion failed

                                   Commissioners O’Donnell and Mellor opposed


Motion:  to bring the policy back at the next meeting for reconsideration after checking with the town attorney. 

Motion made by Commissioner Staiger, second by Commissioner Mellor.  Motion retracted.   


Motion:  to approve policy series 2013 Policy No P13-04 After Hours Use in Parks as written.

Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard, second by Commissioner Mellor.

                                   Vote: 3-1 in favor

                            Commissioner O’Donnell opposed


The basis for the reconsideration of the motion was due to some confusion over the provisions of the policy, once that was explained and understood, the Board moved forward to reconsider the motion. 


Sign Ordinance Amendment

Ms. Cipperly stated the temporary sign changes are primarily to the temporary sign parts of the sign ordinance.  This first came before the Board in January 2013.  As recommended by the Board, Ms. Cipperly went to the EBPA to get their input and they concurred with the policy.  The real issue with temporary signs was that it didn’t meet the needs of businesses and was hard for staff to keep track of the time issue.  Square footage limitation and permitting requirements were amended.  She noted that there are changes to 15.16.100, paragraphs C and G since the last meeting.  Commissioner Staiger noted that for some businesses 32 square feet could potentially be the amount of their store frontage.                                          

Motion: - To approve ordinance series 2013 Ordinance 13-01- Buildings and Construction.        

Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard, second by Commissioner Mellor.      

                                        Vote: 4-0 in favor


Reconsider helmet ordinance – discussion

Ms. Cipperly stated that this ordinance affects all ages and has been very problematic to enforce.  Mr. Haller added that it is unenforceable as written.  If the town would adopt the State code, it would be enforceable.  Staff reported that Attorney Clapp stated that the person who witnesses the events should be giving the ticket.  In the Maryland state code anyone under 16 must wear a helmet.  There was some discussion to eliminate the ordinance entirely or reword the ordinance.  Mayor Briggs would like to see the town have something enforceable.  Commissioner O’Donnell expressed his concerns and went over some statistics.  Commissioner Blanchard commented that he is in favor of adopting the state code.  Commissioner Mellor questioned what the town is doing to promote helmet safety--that the town needs to become creative.  Mr. Haller reported that the town could find funding to help support someone to provide an activity on bike helmet safety.  Ms. Cipperly would like some guidance from the Board.  Board recommends to bring this back as a future agenda item to pull the ordinance and adopt the state regulations. 


At this time Commissioner Sweeney arrived at the meeting at 8:50p.m. 


Town website – discussion

Commissioner O’Donnell brought this to the board for discussion based on his past attendance at the MML conference.  The one speaker at the MML conference put forward the idea of “what does your town look like online”?  The majority of people are now getting their information on a regular basis on handheld devices.  Does our website translate well to a handheld device?   He would like to see the town enhance what we now offer on the website.  Commissioners Mellor and Blanchard stated that a more connected website with links would be great.  Commissioner Mellor would like to see more town forms available on website i.e., pool passes and permits.  Commissioner Staiger stated that the current website is adequate and has improved; to broaden the website would probably not cost more money, just time for someone in-house to put information into the current structure.  Mayor Briggs commented that the calendar is available but it does not get utilized by many.   It was discussed that social media is the current thing but it is time consuming and someone needs to know how to do it.  Mr. Hillman was present and addressed the Board and gave information based on his past experience.  He also noted that the town staff does an excellent job on the website and the Board should direct their resources to them.  Staff recommends that Commissioner O’Donnell give them something in writing and they will see what they can do. 


Set Agenda Items for November 4, 2013 Town Meeting

1.    Quarterly project update on the WWTP construction

2.    Registration of trail users – discussion
Consent Agenda:

1.    Recommendation to reappoint Joe Ritz, Amy Myles and Conrad Weaver to the Citizens Advisory Committee


III.      Public CommentsPastor John Talcott303 W Lincoln Avenue - thanked the town staff and the community for their help for the upcoming “Light the Park” event on November 1st from 6pm to 9pm. 




V.        Adjournment


With no further business, the October 21, 2013 Town Meeting was adjourned at 9:30p.m.