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




May 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; Sue Cipperly, Town Planner and Dave Haller, Town Manager.

_________________________________________________________________________I. Call to Order

Commissioner Cliff Sweeney, Vice-President of the Board of Commissioners, called the May 5, 2014 Town Meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Commissioner O’Donnell, President arrived at the meeting at 7:35 p.m. with prior notice.


Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the April 21, 2014 Town Meeting were approved as presented.


Commissioner Comments

Commissioner(s) cited attendances, recognitions and announcements to include: upcoming Frederick County Library event with the town for the community gardens; should be able to have bike ride this year on Heritage Days, just need to work out schedule; birthday wishes to Gracie Blanchard.


Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Briggs cited attendances, recognitions and announcements to include: the completion of the sidewalk on West Lincoln has made it nice for walking through town and to the trails; attended the Athletics Advisory meeting at Mt. Saint Mary’s, the men’s rugby team placed 4th in the nation; attended the College of Liberal Arts advisory meeting; The Grotto advisory board meeting; nine people attended the senior tax seminar.


Administrative Business

·         No parking signs – Replace the words No Parking with Reserved Parking and put from and until dates on notice.

·         LED lights – painting the inside of the domes to reduce glare from LED lights. Staff will do a sample and will follow up with Commissioner Staiger.

·         Meeting with David V. Cotton, Regional Planner of the Maryland Department of Planning in regards to comp plan.


Consent Agenda

Appoint Keith Suerdieck to Planning Commission – Board approved the proposed appointment unanimously.



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


Planning Commission Report - Commissioner Sweeney reported that the Planning Commission did not meet in April 2014. The next meeting will be May 27, 2014. They will be having the continuation of the site plan for the General Dollar Store.

II.        Agenda Items


Phase II Solar Presentation

Mr. Haller presented some bullet points for the proposed Phase II Solar Project. He highlighted that the size of the project will be approximately 6 acres; 1.289 mega watts; rate structure at .079 per KWH…2% annual escalator for the term of the contract. The proposed completion date is the end of September 2014. Standard Solar will pay the utility bills from UGI from October, 2014 up to the end of June, 2015 (when the new wastewater treatment plant goes online). The town should receive a lump sum payment for the value of the excess energy generated from Phase II (during the noted period). This is calculated at the wholesale rate for electricity and should be about $40,000.00. A graphic map was also included in the packet for the board to review.  About half of the field will be dedicated to solar arrays. Standard Solar will come the first meeting in June for a more formal presentation. Mr. Haller entertained some questions from the Board and encouraged the board to bring their questions to the formal presentation in June.  He stated that town will receive energy grants to help reimburse for cost.  Commissioner O’Donnell directed Mr. Haller to advise Standard Solar that the board has some questions in regards to the rate so they can address them during the formal presentation.


Budget and Tax Rate Presentation

Mayor Briggs presented the proposed 2014-2015 budget for the Board to review for the next meetings in June. He proposed to maintain the constant yield tax rate at $.36 per $100 of assessed value and proposed a 2% COLA for employees. He would like to build up the underfunded CIP reserves especially in the area of street repairs and vehicle replacements as earlier agreed by the council. The CIP transfers have increased by $57,000 due to the governor’s one time HUR allotment to the town. Increased sewer revenue reflects phase II of the previously approved rate increase to cover operating cost expectations of the new sewer plant. There is provision for a possible launch of a new town website and monies set aside for painting of crosswalks. He also highlighted some of last year’s budget items


Cluster Development Ordinance – discussion

Ms. Cipperly gave a power point presentation on Open Space/Cluster subdivisions; this was recommended in the 2009 comp plan. She stated these are more prudent for the town and have beneficial impact for residents and the environment. A cluster development maintains a significant portion of a development site as common open space by minimizing individual lot sizes, while still allowing the overall density of the development as specified in the zoning ordinance. Ms. Cipperly presented some examples of a conventional subdivision compared to open space/cluster subdivision and highlighted the cluster advantages. She said you go about this process by doing an inventory of the land, identify areas to preserve and then figure out where it would be good to put the streets and lots. There are no cluster subdivisions in the town at this time. Some concerns brought up during board discussion were narrower streets for rescue services; flow of neighborhoods and unaffordable housing. Staff has a partial draft at this time and would like to review some things with the town attorney before moving forward. She just wanted to present it this evening as an overview to educate the council.


Trail Route Presentation

Commissioner O’Donnell reported that he is still waiting for the trail map to be finished and was not able to make a route presentation. He was able to hike the route and stated it is user friendly. There is also some concern of a parcel of property that was identified to be town property but is actually owned by a private owner. He has since spoken with the property owner and they were amenable to having the trail on their property; this is being reviewed. The trail has been flagged to the property. He updated the council on the recent trail work day.  This agenda item will be brought back at the next town meeting.



Set Agenda Items for May 19, 2014 Town Meeting

1.    FY 2015 Budget review

2.    Trail Route presentation 


At this time Mayor Briggs announced that there is a need for an alternate on the planning commission for anyone interested; some education is needed.


III.      Public Comments- none




V.        Adjournment

          With no further business, the May 5, 2014 Town Meeting was adjourned at 8:26 p.m.