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Smithsburg briefs

September 04, 2008

Longtime employees honored by council

The Smithsburg Mayor and Council honored longtime town employees Randy Dick, Betsy Martin and William Loughridge on Tuesday for their years of service to the town.

Dick, the town's planning and zoning administrator, was presented with a 30-year service award. Martin, the town's clerk/treasurer, was presented with a 21-year service award. Loughridge, the town's director of public works, was presented with a 10-year service award.

All three jobs have changed drastically during the employees' tenure as the town has grown, Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

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"I'm very proud of all these employees," Myers said.

Safety day set for Sept. 20

Plans have been finalized for a safety day Sept. 20 from noon to 4 p.m. at Veterans Park, said Smithsburg Citizens Police Advisory Commission Chairman Charles "Bud" Lucassen.

The safety day will include information, demonstrations and freebies, Councilman Tom Chiarizia said. The commission is seeking volunteers to help set up for the event, Councilman Donnie Souders Jr. said.

Water to be turned off at park on Oct. 31

The water will be turned off and the bathrooms will be closed Oct. 31 at Smithsburg's Veterans Park and Lions Park, Public Works Director William Loughridge said. In addition, the trash bin will be removed from Lions Park, he said. The parks will remain otherwise accessible throughout the winter.

Town donates $50 to Hospice

The town of Smithsburg made a $50 donation to Hospice of Washington County in memory of former Smithsburg Election Board Chairwoman Frances Kaye Duncan, who died Aug. 7, town clerk/treasurer Betsy Martin said.

The Smithsburg Mayor and Council expressed their sympathies for Duncan's family. Though the election board chairmanship is a paid position, Duncan often refused pay for her work, Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

Nuisance properties might face fines

Properties to which police are called more than 20 times in a six-month period would be put on a "probationary nuisance" list and their owners would be fined under an ordinance introduced Tuesday by the Smithsburg Town Council.

The ordinance would add a section to the town code titled "excessive use of police forces" and is intended to compensate for the cost of police services. Qualifying calls would include incidents of drug activity, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, liquor law violations, littering, noise complaints, loitering, prostitution, public urination or indecent exposure, or undesirable, intoxicated or suspicious persons. Fines of $100 to $750 per offense would be assessed against the owner of the property.

Smithsburg Police Chief Charles R. Stanford said that until July, there were two properties in town that would have qualified as nuisances, but they have been addressed. He said he hoped the ordinance would encourage absent landlords to exercise more control over activity by their tenants.

The town is scheduled to vote at its October meeting on whether to enact the ordinance.

- Heather Keels

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