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






January 5, 2015

Emmitsburg Town office



Present: Mayor Donald Briggs; Commissioners Joseph Ritz III, Clifford Sweeney, Glenn Blanchard and Tim O’Donnell, President.

Staff present were Vickie Felix, and Dave Haller, Town Manager.

Absent: Commissioner Mellor with prior notice.

I.  Call to Order

Commissioner Tim O’Donnell, President of the Board of Commissioners, called the January 5, 2015 Town meeting to order at 7:30p.m.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the December 2, 2014 Town Meeting were approved as corrected.


Mayor Briggs welcomed the attendance of Mr. Roger Wilson who is the new Government Affairs and Policy Director for the new County Executive. Mr. Wilson stated he is looking forward to working with the town.


Commissioners Comments

Commissioners’ cited attendances to include the Vigilant Hose Company banquet and the St. Joseph Parish Council dinner. Town staff was thanked for all the work done with the Christmas decorations and decorating the tree; there has also been a lot of positive feedback from residents concerning customer service from staff. The Lions club gave out over 55 baskets to families for the holiday. It was announced that the food bank could use donations.  Commissioner Blanchard had opportunity to speak with Commissioner Delauter and President of the Board, Bud Otis in regards to municipal meetings to continue as a feedback to municipalities. Some complaints received were speeding on Main Street and crosswalk safety enforcement and illegal left turns on Irishtown Rd onto Brookfield Rd. during rush hour. Commissioner O’Donnell has been invited to attend Brunswick town meeting to give the positive and negatives in regards to the trails as they are considering creating multi-user trails in their town too. Commissioner Blanchard announced that he will be late for the January 21, 2015 town meeting.



Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Briggs cited that his attendances to include the EBPA annual awards dinner; the Green Team Meeting; the Mother Seton School Christmas pageant. Meetings cited were with Ron Siarnecki, Executive of the Fallen Firefighters; residents in Community Park on thoughts for a site for a dog park; staff in regards to new technology on saving more money on electric, will meet with company for the project.  Activities cited were speaking with the 4th graders at Mother Seton School; decorating of Christmas tree in front of the community building with the Emmitsburg Elementary School students; distributed Christmas food baskets along with his wife Libby and grandson Tyler. He received notice that town has been approved for a third Community Legacy grant and announced that the final touches have been made to the improvements at 22 E. Main St. Improvements were funded through Community Legacy grants and energy grants.

Administrative Business - none

Consent Agenda – none



Town Mangers Report –  reported on the public works department monthly activities to include a water production and consumption analysis. Mr. Haller highlighted that Rainbow Lake is at the spillway level and the wells are low but stabilized. The town has a precipitation surplus of 7.8” over the last six months. There were no spills of untreated sewerage in the month of November and the plants design capacity was exceeded on three days in November.   

Town Planners Report – Mr. Haller highlighted staff started to intensify efforts in the comp plan update. Staff will have that in outline form for a presentation by March 1, 2015. Staff is looking into a cluster zoning; water and sewer capacity will stay fairly unchanged and staff will be looking into recommendations for minor zoning changes. Detailed report at Exhibit A.


Treasurer’s Report – Commissioner Blanchard reported on December 2014 cash activity. The Board would like an updated report on the savings for the electric, Mr. Haller interjected it is about 15%. Detailed report at Exhibit B. 


Planning Commission Report – Commissioner Sweeney reported that there was no meeting in December 2014.


II. Agenda Items


Fire Fighters Heritage Museum Water & Sewer Service

Mr. Haller stated that the Town is very fortunate to have the Fire Fighters Heritage Museum in Emmitsburg. The Town has a gratis program for water and sewer and at the present time the Vigilant Hose Company and the Ambulance Company are on the program. Mr. Haller has reviewed the usage for the Fire Fighters Museum and would like to suggest that the Town include the museum in the gratis program and set a limit up to $1,200 dollars in a year. Staff feels it would be a benefit to the Town and is asking for the Boards support. Mr. Frank Schmersal spoke on behalf of the Fire Fighters Museum stating that the museum doesn’t come near the minimum each quarter and that this would be a benefit for the museum, they run on a $9,000 budget. They rely entirely on donations.  Discussion took place on what the qualifiers were for the gratis program. 


Motion: To approve the request for the Fire Fighters Heritage Museum to be put on the Town gratis program for their water and sewer service up to $1,200 per year.

          Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard and second by Commissioner Ritz.

                                                Vote: 4-0 in favor


Demolition of Barn at Scott Road Farm

Mr. Haller reported that a windstorm a couple of months ago really started to deteriorate the barn. Staff checked with County and there is no historical value to the barn. Staff talked with the County and the Town can obtain a demolition permit for approximately $80 to $100 to have the barn removed.  Due to the condition of the barn and the risk of it falling, staff is asking for permission to investigate cost of having the barn removed and timber salvaged.  A RFP would be solicited and brought back to the Board.


Motion: To take a 2 minute recess from the scheduled meeting to get clarification on a procedural item at 8:34 p.m.

Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard and second by Commissioner Ritz.

                                                Vote: 4-0 in favor


Meeting was called back to order at 8:36 p.m.


Motion:  To approve staff to move forward with the bid process for the Scott Road Farm barn demolition and bring back to Board.

          Motion made by Commissioner Blanchard and second by Commissioner    Sweeney.

                                                Vote 4-0 in favor


Transportation access in town – discussion

Commissioner O’Donnell presented that he is looking to the future for the Town and would like to enhance transportation options in Emmitsburg. He went over the concept of sharrows. Shared lane markings (also referred to as sharrows) help convey to motorists and bicyclists that they must share the roads on which they are operating. The purpose of the markings is to create improved conditions for bicyclists by clarifying where they are expected to ride and to remind motorists to expect bicyclists on the road. Commissioner O’Donnell read from the bicycle policy and design guidelines for shared lane design. He would like to see sharrows in Emmitsburg. Mr. Haller directed the Board to look at page 26 of 28 of the packet where some of the town streets were listed where “shared lanes” would work in the town. A lengthy discussion pursued. Mayor Briggs expressed the concern for the Towns liability on Lincoln Ave; his focus is on safety. Board discussed signs versus markings and connectivity in the town.


Set Agenda Items for January 21, 2015 Town Meeting

  1. Audit report


III.         Public Comments – Vernon French, 104 E. Main St. – asking for a variance on two sheds on his property. Mr. Haller reported under the Maryland state law you can’t grant a variance. Mr. French asked for 6 months to liquidate his possessions. Commissioner O’Donnell will follow up with Mr. Haller.




V.           Adjournment

With no further business, the January 5, 2015 Town Meeting was adjourned at 9:14 p.m.