January 4, 2016
Emmitsburg Town Office
Present: Mayor Donald Briggs;
Commissioners Clifford Sweeney, Joseph Ritz III, Glenn
Blanchard and Tim O’Donnell, President.
present were Sue Cipperly, Town Planner; Cole Tabler, Town
Accountant; Cathy Willets, Town Clerk; and Dave Haller, Town
Jennifer Mellor with prior notice
Call to Order
Tim O’Donnell, President of the Board of Commissioners,
called the January 4, 2016 Town Meeting to order at 7:30
p.m. Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the December 8, 2015 Town Meeting
were approved as presented/corrected.
Motion by Commissioner Ritz III second by
Vote 4 to 0 in favor Commissioner Mellor absent.
Commissioner(s) cited attendances, recognitions
and announcements. Commissioner Ritz III thanked the Mayor,
volunteers and Red Cross for distributing the new smoke
detectors with the lithium batteries.
Commissioner Blanchard mentioned the upcoming
Vigilant Hose Annual banquet and encouraged all to attend to
recognize their service to the Community. Commissioner
O'Donnell congratulated Eagle Scout candidate Paul
Slotwinski for being recognized by the Frederick News Post
as an All County Cross County runner.
Mayor Briggs stated he
attended the 2015 award ceremony, Eagle Court of Honor
Program, Troop 727 on December 26th.
Mayor Briggs advised Paul Slotwinski, Keegan X.
Wright, Andrew Neibecker, Brendan P. Isaacson, and Stephen
M. Lowe all received their Eagle Scout designation. He also
noted that the Town was awarded its 4th Community
Legacy grant for $50,000.
This should take us close to $400,000 in investment
Briggs also mentioned that Emmitsburg was named as one of
the Ten Most Beautiful and Charming small towns in Maryland
Administrative Business - Commissioner O'Donnell asked if there was any
follow-up on the drive through of Pembrook.
Mr. Haller advised a drive-through has been completed
but staff has not completed their review.
Consent Agenda - none
Treasurer’s Report – Commissioner Blanchard reviewed the cash activity report as of
December 21, 2015.
Planning Commission Report - no report given.
II. Agenda Items
Budget Transfers – Mr.
Haller advised the Board that in the past staff waited until
the end of the year to make all the budget transfers.
He stated the auditors did not like or recommend that
Haller and Mr. Tabler have worked together to bundle them
and bring to the Board as needed.
Mr. Haller advised that this is simply moving a
designated amount of money from one line item to another.
It does not mean the budget is not balanced but keeps
it more organized. Mr.
Tabler explained the transfers will go to line items where
expenses were incurred this fiscal year, i.e. in Dept. 10
Legislative $16,815.00 was spent on updating the video
broadcast equipment for the Town Meetings.
This was an unexpected expense so a budget transfer
is needed to bring that amount to 0.
Mr. Tabler reviewed the transfers that were needed,
in addition to the $16,815 in legislative: $10,796 Dept. 15
Buildings & Activity 333 Solar Field Project; $5,020
Dept. 60 Parks & Activity 352 Park/Rec Equipment
Upgrades; $3,162 Dept. 60 Parks & Activity 391 Trail
Walk Comm Park; and $14,207 Dept. 60 Parks & Activity
999 General. Mr.
Tabler advised that a $50,000 transfer will be needed from
the following line items where we have excess:
$15,000 from Dept 30 Streets & Acitivity 374 LED
upgrade; $11,000 from Dept. 30 Streets & Activity 383 E.
Lincoln Ave. reserve; and $24,000 from Dept. 30 Streets
& Activity 999 General.
Commissioner O’Donnell reviewed the following line
items: LED Upgrade, E. Lincoln Ave., Park and Rec Equipment
Upgrade, Trail Walk Comm Park, as well as the General Fund
in Dept. 30 and Dept. 60.
Commissioner Ritz III asked about the need for a
$50,000 transfer when the requested/needed amount is only
Tabler explained that under the General Fund in Dept. 60
(999) there was an extra amount added of $2,888 to bring the
transfer to total $50,000.
He advised it makes the accounting work a little
Ritz III inquired as to the Solar Project expenses.
Mr. Haller advised that most of the expense was
incurred pre-construction, such as site work.
To approve the $50,000 budget transfers as presented
in Item 1.
Motion by Commissioner Sweeney second by Commissioner Ritz III
Vote: 4-0 in favor Commissioner
Discussion of how many Town Council meetings are held yearly
Briggs reviewed the Charter which states that Town Council
is required to have one meeting a month.
He stated that it costs approx. $300-$400 per meeting
to pay staff and travel. Mayor Briggs stated in 2003 it
changed to two per month.
Mayor Briggs advised there are currently 22 meetings
per year and it may be time to reduce the number of meetings
based on the number of agenda items currently being
Haller advised per code two Commissioners or the Mayor can
call an additional meeting at any time.
Commissioner Blanchard suggested reducing the
meetings to 18 a year.
Commissioner O'Donnell was not opposed to
a reduction as long as the Council meets their goals by
providing accessibility of “ourselves” to the Town
through a formal setting, providing transparency of the
process through which the Town moves forwards and acts, and
we have accountability and are the stewards to what Town
Staff does. Commissioner Sweeney was not opposed to reducing
the meetings. Commissioner
Ritz III’s only concern would be around budget time. Mr.
Haller advised it would be beneficial to keep the extra
meetings the third Monday of the month as historically done.
was unanimous consent from the Board to direct staff to
develop a meetings policy to incorporate one meeting a month
and as necessary two meetings a month (additional meetings
can be added as needed).
The second meeting will remain the third Monday of
Vote to change Open Space zone title to Institutional zone
Cipperly advised when the Town adopted the 2015
Comprehensive Plan there was a change to the land use
designation for the area that includes the school, town
office, Daughter of Charity property, Seton School and
anything with institutional uses. Those areas were
previously called Open Space Use because it also included
all the parks and stream corridors.
After the 2009 Comprehensive Plan, changes to the
zoning occurred to separate off all the recreational use and
Open Space. There
was never a change to the title of the land use designation
or the zoning. In
the most recent 2015 Comprehensive Plan, following a
recommendation from Frederick County, a change was made to
the land use designation to Institutional for this area that
has public or non-profit uses in it.
Therefore, there are four ordinances that need to be
adopted to make the necessary title and definition changes.
Ms. Cipperly advised that these ordinances need to be
sent to the Planning Commission.
She also advised that there needs to be an advertised
public hearing which could be set for the February 1, 2016
Town Council meeting. Commissioner
Ritz III requested that the definitions in Ordinance 16-04,
16-05 and 16-06 match. He
stated as they are written the definitions are different in
the respective ordinances.
Ms. Cipperly advised that the Planning Commission
should discuss this issue.
To send Ordinances, as modified, 15-03, 04, 05 and 06
to the Planning Commission for review.
Motion by Commissioner Ritz III second by Commissioner Blanchard
Vote: 4-0 in favor Commissioner
consent to set public hearing to consider for final approval
at the February 1, 2016 Town Council meeting.
Set Agenda Items for January 20, 2016 Town Meeting
For consideration and possible final vote –
Meetings Policy related to number of monthly Town
Public Comments - none
SIGN APPROVED TEXT AMENDMENTS AND/OR RESOLUTIONS