Police log

November 07, 1998

Town urges drug crackdown

SHARPSBURG - If Sharpsburg has a problem with illegal drugs, Town Councilman Ralph Hammond said he wants to deal with it immediately.

"If we have a substance abuse problem, let's go after it," Hammond said during Monday night's mayor and Town Council meeting.

The matter came up after Vice Mayor Sidney Gale said a teenager speeding down an alley almost ran down two children.


Councilman Russ Weaver said he had seen kids pull up in front of the home of a teenager in town and leave 15 minutes later.

Weaver said he alerted the Washington County Sheriff's Department and Maryland State Police of the suspicious activity, but nothing had been done as of Monday.

If nothing is being done by the local state police barrack, Hammond said town officials should talk to officials at state police headquarters in Pikesville, Md., about the matter.

Restaurant to stay open after all

SHARPSBURG - The New Central Restaurant will remain open after all.

Owner Paul Carson said on Friday he is only shutting down the restaurant on Mondays and Tuesdays this fall. He said he may close the store down two more days during the winter.

Tired of battling with town officials over the legality of his restaurant signs, Carson said in July that he would close the restaurant for good at the end of the tourism season in October.

The absence of a sign on Main Street to encourage drivers to turn onto South Mechanic Street to reach the restaurant during last year's tourism season hurt the business, he has said.

Carson said town residents and Town Council members are no longer bothering him about his signs.

Town Attorney Charles Wagaman said he is working with Carson and his wife, JoAnn, to make sure their sandwich board sign in front of the 104 S. Mechanic St. restaurant meets town requirements.

Wagaman also will let the Carsons know what requirements need to be met if they want a new sign.

"It seems at this point they're willing to work with us," Wagaman said.

Town gets good financial report

SHARPSBURG - The Town of Sharpsburg's finances got a clean opinion from its auditor this week.

The town has $309,000 in fund equity, or accumulated surpluses over the years, said Michael P. Manspeaker, a certified public accountant with Smith Elliott Kearns & Co.

That's enough savings to operate the town for two years, Manspeaker told the mayor and Town Council during their regular monthly meeting on Monday night.

The town ended the fiscal year on June 30 with a $2,500 surplus, Manspeaker said. The town's budget was about $127,000, he said.

The town is in a "pretty healthy financial situation," he said.

Manspeaker said he only had a few minor recommendations for the town's treasurer concerning record keeping.

Tax refunds under $3 won't be sent

SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg property owners due tax refunds less than $3 won't be getting them for fiscal 1998-1999, the town's tax collector said Friday.

In the past, refunds for property and personal property taxes worth less than $1 weren't given out, but the new tax collector mailed them out for fiscal 1997-1998 because of a miscommunication.

Since Washington County doesn't send out refunds for less than $3, the town is changing its limit to be the same, Tax Collector Debra Jamison said.

The cost of processing and mailing the tax refunds is more than $3, she said.

Jamison said last year she mailed a 32-cent refund.

Town may maintain Main Street trees

SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg officials are considering taking over maintenance of trees on Main Street.

Vice Mayor Sidney Gale said the council is considering taking over maintenance costs since the town restricts what kinds of trees can be planted.

Town officials discussed the matter during Monday's mayor and Town Council meeting.

Hearing to be held on zoning laws

SHARPSBURG - The Sharpsburg Planning Commission will meet on Nov. 19 to discuss creating zoning laws for the construction of new homes, Vice Mayor Sidney Gale said.

The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at Town Hall.

Last spring Town Council members discussed creating architectural guidelines to protect residents from extremes.

For example, under current law there is no way to prevent someone from building an A-frame house next to a house with a more historical design.

-Julie E. Greene

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