Smithsburg Town Council briefs

June 07, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

Water, sewer rates to increase 10 percent

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Town Council raised water and sewer rates by 10 percent Tuesday.

Smithsburg residents who live in town will pay $27.17 per quarter. Out-of-town customers will pay $35.93 per quarter. The new rates take effect June 26.

Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said the higher rates were needed to cover increased costs. The city of Hagerstown, Smithsburg's water supplier, increased the town's water rates by 12.6 percent last year.

Meanwhile, town officials are bracing for sharp electricity rate increases expected to sweep the state this summer. The town will see a 51 percent electricity rate hike, town officials said Tuesday.


Meeting scheduled on flood plain issues

SMITHSBURG - Town officials plan to meet with Whispering Hills residents June 20 to discuss how they might be affected by changes to the development's flood plain.

Town officials announced the 7 p.m. meeting, which will be at Town Hall, during the town's monthly meeting Tuesday.

Whispering Hills, one of the town's largest developments, suffers from flooding and has several drainage issues, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

In order to correct the problems, the town will have to hire contractors to fix the flood plain, readjusting dirt so that groundwater will channel elsewhere, Myers said. Otherwise, Myers said, several homes in the development would be at risk in the event of a catastrophic flood, also known as a 100-year flood.

Town officials have said they hope to correct the issues within the year.

Yard waste pickup will start next month

SMITHSBURG - Yard waste pickup will begin July 5, town officials announced Tuesday.

Collections will be the first and third Wednesday of the month for Smithsburg residents.

Betsy Martin, the town's clerk/treasurer/manager, reminded residents to place yard debris in biodegradable bags such as paper grocery bags. The waste also can be placed loosely in trash containers. Businesses are not eligible for yard waste services, Martin said.

Changes in the trash schedule will be announced in The Trumpet, the town's newsletter.

The decision to collect yard waste followed contentious debate among the town's residents and council members during the town's May council meeting. The council ultimately decided to include the twice-monthly pickups in the town's 2007 budget.

Grants to be used for road, park upgrades

SMITHSBURG - The town received two separate federal grants, totaling nearly $68,000, officials announced Tuesday.

The town received about $10,000 from the U.S. Highway Department, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said. That money would be used to repair roads.

The town also received a $58,000 federal grant for playground equipment and park upkeep, Myers said.

Essay contest winner honored at meeting

SMITHSBURG - Town officials honored 9-year-old essay contest winner Lindsey Mowbray on Tuesday.

Lindsey, a fourth-grader at Smithsburg Elementary School, won the "If I Were Mayor" essay contest, co-sponsored by the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors' Association.

In her speech, she urged residents to plant trees and said she would fine people who didn't recycle if she were mayor.

"I think she hit on a lot of the issues we talked about here," Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said. "I think she's very deserving."

"She's going to be mayor one day," Myers said. "She lives in the city limits, so watch out."

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