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Funkstown briefs

March 09, 2009

Constant yield tax rate to stay the same

FUNKSTOWN -- For at least the past 20 years, property owners in Funkstown haven't seen an increase in the constant yield tax rate. They won't be seeing one this year, either.

Currently, the rate is 22 cents per $100 of assessed value, according to Town Clerk Brenda Haynes.

"Are we expecting any shortfalls in the budget?" asked Councilman Jerry Walker.

Haynes said "no" but offered to make a spreadsheet of what other towns in Washington County pay should the council want to compare.

With two members of the council absent Monday night, there was a suggestion that a vote wait until Vice Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. and Councilwoman Sharon Chirgott were in attendance.

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"I don't see the need to change it now," Walker said, making a motion to keep it the same. The motion passed.

Town notified it has to start testing water

FUNKSTOWN -- Despite the fact that Funkstown buys its water from Hagerstown, the Maryland Department of the Environment has notified the town that starting April 1, that water must be tested independently after it passes through the town's water pipes.

"We have three weeks to do two tests," Town Clerk Brenda Haynes told the stunned council Monday night.

Councilman Kim Ramer said he feels the state agency needs to be told that Funkstown doesn't have the money to do such testing on such short notice.

A suggestion was made to check on how much the testing will cost and also to ask the Washington County delegation about why the rules changed after so many years when the testing done by Hagerstown used to be sufficient.

Days in the Park being planned

FUNKSTOWN -- Plans for the July 10 to 12 Days in the Park and re-enactment of the Battle of Funkstown are well under way.

With Funkstown's share of recent hotel/motel tax dividends fueling the tourism efforts, there will be battles in the streets and in the park, food of all kinds, events for children, a Civil War band and fireworks at the end of the events on July 11.

"A big plus is getting the 97th Regimental String Band to perform all three days," said Councilman John Phillips III, one of the organizers of the event.

The council voted unanimously Monday night to secure the band's services.

The Volunteer Fire Co. of Funkstown and the Lions Club will provide much of the food for the three days.

Union and Confederate troops will battle through Funkstown on the morning of July 11.

Full field battles are scheduled for 2 p.m. July 11 and 12.

For more information, go to the town's Web site at www.funkstown.com.

-- Marlo Barnhart

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