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



March 5, 2014

Emmitsburg Town Office



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

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

Tardy: Commissioner Blanchard with prior notice, arrived at 7:50 p.m.


I.       Call to Order

Commissioner Tim O’Donnell, President of the Board of Commissioners, called the March 5, 2014 Town Meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the February 17, 2014 Town Meeting were approved as presented.


Commissioner Comments

Commissioner O’Donnell reported that the SHA sponsored a meeting in regards to pedestrian fund sources.  Commissioner Blanchard announced that he will be unable to attend the March 17, 2014 Town Meeting.   


Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Briggs commented on an article in the Frederick News Post about the National Parks in Maryland which attract many visitors, quoting that the dollars brought in support many jobs.  Commissioner O’Donnell added to this, reporting on the Great Allegheny Passage, stating that there is a lot to be said about the tourist dollar.   


Administrative Business

·         Sewer inspection notifications – scheduling difficulties

·         Irishtown Road ditch – Suggestion to put up reflector poles.  Board approved, staff will move forward.

·         SHA responded favorably to putting turn lane along Route 140 westbound, prior to Timbermill Run.  Commissioner Staiger will forward to the Citizens Advisory Committee. 

·         West Lincoln Avenue – proposed one-way on South Seton and School Lane.   Stakeholders in the block do not support the traffic change.  Staff recommends that it remains as is.

·         Requested investigation on reducing glare on street lights – With Board consensus, Commissioner Staiger and Mr. Haller will work together to selectively test some different ways and report back to the Board.  Temporary No Parking – requesting additional signage to note the times, etc., as in the format recently used for snow removal.  Commissioner Staiger and Mr. Haller will work together to come up with how the signage should appear.  The Board approved for them to move forward. 

·         Update on Parks Committee Meetings – received Board’s approval to have From the Hills as one of the concerts this summer in Community Park.   Emmit Gardens Tot Lot – need to see if the community as a whole wants it. 

·         Water treatment building – brief discussion brought on by Tot Lot mention:  the wells are in place and lines are run to property. 

·         Snow plowing - many town residents expressed appreciation of staff’s hard work to get roads cleaned. 

·         Drug Awareness seminar - phase 2 of 3 parts.  The third phase will be an ordinance  by commissioners. 

·         Energy grant update

·         Sustainable Maryland Certificate Program – this will help with grant money

·         Flat Run – working with DNR and going through grants to see if there is something that can be done in regard to the flooding issue.

·         Town grant funding update – three properties represent $98,000; fund $24,800. 

·         Un-decoration of Christmas tree in front of the Community Building – Staff will take care of it. 

  • Position for Accountant – Mayor Briggs would like to hire Cole L. Tabler at a grade 11, step 4; the Board was in dispute over the process taken to introduce this item to them but, they approved unanimously.


Consent Agenda - none



Treasurer’s Report - Commissioner Blanchard reported on February 2014 cash activity.  Detailed report at Exhibit A. 

Planning Commission Report - Commissioner Sweeney reported that the Planning Commission did not meet in February.   He did report that at the March 31, 2014 Planning Commission meeting there will be the Dollar General presentation. 



II.       Agenda Items


Audit Report

This item was postponed until the 2nd meeting in April 2014. 


New Accountant Position – discussion

Donna Despres, Town Clerk began by stating that there is no additional hiring; the number of personnel will remain as before.  She pointed out that the job description title is being changed from Town Clerk to Accountant and the duties related to the Town Clerk were stricken from the job description because they will now be done by the Administrative Assistant.  Commissioner Staiger wanted to clarify that the accountant position would remain a pay grade 11 position and Town Clerk will be removed from the pay grade 11 description on the chart; and, that the Accountant title will replace it.  He also clarified that the current Administrative Assistant II is a pay grade 7 which will now be titled Administrative Assistant/Town Clerk and will stay at a pay grade 7.    Mr. Haller interjected that many Town Clerk duties were already being done by the Administrative Assistant except for the elections which have always been done by the Town Clerk.  Mrs. DesPres added that the grant requisition reimbursements and the accounting of grants that are currently being done by the Administrative Assistant will return to the accounting department, but not the application for grants.  Mrs. DesPres stated there has always been an accountant position; this is not new.  There was also a brief discussion that in the future the Board would like to approve the salary structure chart which needs to be updated.                                                                  

         Motion: - To except the Accountant job description as presented by town staff. 

Motion by Commissioner Sweeney, second by Commissioner Blanchard    

                                     Vote: 5-0 in favor


Code Change Related to Town Clerk Position

Donna DesPres, Town Clerk stated this enacts what was just approved by the Board in the previous agenda item.  Commissioner Staiger proposed adding a line item D to Ordinance 14-01 stating that this is a pay grade 7 position on the Town of Emmitsburg salary structure sheet.  A brief discussion ensued and Commissioner Staiger withdrew his motion.                                            

Motion: - To approve Ordinance 14-01, Administration and Personnel. 

Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard, second by Commissioner Mellor.      

                                     Vote: 5-0 in favor

Commissioner O’Donnell questioned line D of Ordinance 14-02 related to the clerk being struck out of the budget review process.  Mr. Haller replied that the Town Clerk is no longer required to have accounting or budget skills.        

         Motion:  to approve Ordinance 14-02, Revenue and Finance as presented. 

            Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard, second by Commissioner Mellor.

                                     Vote: 5-0 in favor


At this time the Commissioners acknowledged Mrs. DesPres and her hard work and service for the town over the years.   


Consideration for Late Charge Related to Utility Billing

Mrs. DesPres presented to the Board a proposal to increase the late fee for utility billing.  The incentive for this is to have customers pay their bills before they get to the point of late fees and water shut-offs.  A survey of other municipalities was done with Smithsburg being the highest at 10%.  The average amount of past due customers is approximately 250.              

Motion: - To accept staff’s proposal to increase the late fee related to utility billing from 2% to a flat 5%. 

         Motion made by Commissioner Sweeney, second by Commissioner Blanchard. 

                                     Vote: 5-0 in favor


Code Change to Consider Written Minutes For Town Meetings

Donna Despres presented for the board’s consideration the state legislation that, as of 2010, written minutes are no longer required if electronic recordings are made or actions are posted on a town’s website.  She also presented a sample of a recap version that the Board could receive as an alternative to the current written minutes.   Mr. Haller addressed the Board and stated that this never came by his office and that he and the Mayor are opposed to this recommendation.  He does not feel this is cost effective for the Town.   Mrs. DesPres clarified that minutes are not what was said, but what was done.  Commissioner Staiger commented on the recap sample and understands what is being suggested and that the minutes could just state the motions, but at this time he is in agreement to maintain written minutes.  It was agreed upon that the Board at this time is ok with the minutes as they are being presented now. 


Trail Property Clarification

Mr. Haller referred to the Emmitsburg Trail System Proposal map and suggested that the Board approve to expand the trails to the South Side of Hampton Valley Road which is indicated by the purple line on the map.  He also clarified that the parcel marked with an “x” is town-owned property and has a deed reference number.  Commissioner O’Donnell will get the trail flagged at which time the Board members can inspect for future support of the trail.   

Motion: - To accept the proposal as presented to expand the trails to the south side of Hampton Valley Road which is indicated by the purple line on the map. 

         Motion made by Commissioner Staiger, second by Commissioner Sweeney. 

                                     Vote: 5-0 in favor


Trail Signage

Mr. Haller stated that he has no problem with the 3 bids for trail signage presented by Commissioner O’Donnell but requested that he obtain a few more bids.   He also stated that he has tracked down a balance of funds remaining from a previous SHA grant for exercise equipment on the trails which can be transferred to fund the trail signage.  This can be done as soon as the additional bids are received. 


Set Agenda Items for March 17, 2014 Town Meeting

  1. Update of Town Forestation Ordinance


Note:  The Audit report will be brought back at the April 21, 2014 Town Meeting. 



III.      Public Comments - none 







V.        Adjournment

         With no further business, the March 5, 2014 Town Meeting was adjourned at 9:08 p.m.