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Smithsburg Community Activities Commission ratified

Panel to focus on tourism, recreational activities, economic development and town-sponsored events

Panel to focus on tourism, recreational activities, economic development and town-sponsored events

November 03, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

SMITHSBURG -- A group of Smithsburg residents is working to promote the town and its businesses as part of a new town commission, said Donnie Souders Jr., vice president of the Smithsburg Town Council.

The Smithsburg Community Activities Commission formed in August with the goal of focusing on tourism, recreational activities, economic development and town-sponsored events, Souders said. The commission was ratified in September.

Around the same time, the Citizens Police Advisory Commission of Smithsburg disbanded, morphing into the new commission, Souders said. The police advisory commission didn't have much to do other than organizing the town's Christmas party, he said. The new group will take over planning that event, which is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12, at the fire hall.

The new commission also stems from a business owner approaching the mayor and Town Council last February, asking for more to be done to market the town's attractions, Souders and Town Manager Betsy Martin said.

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The community activities commission meets the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. The group has four members and two council liaisons, Souders and Charles "Bud" Lucassen.

Souders said commission members are Chairwoman Tuyna Pack; Bonnie Renard, who owns Smithsburg Market; Angela Kershner, program director at Fort Ritchie Community Center; and Lisa Linthicum, who has spearheaded an effort to create a community center for Smithsburg youths.

At Tuesday night's mayor and Town Council meeting, the council was expected to add a fifth member.

Anyone interested in joining the commission may pick up an application at Town Hall or stop by one of the commission's meetings.

In early 2010, the commission will start working on publications to promote the town, possibly a brochure and mini magazine to put in hotels, and at recreation and tourism spots, Souders said. How often they will be published has not been determined. The publications will be paid for with revenue from the hotel-motel tax, Souders said.

The group also organized a health and safety day in October at Veterans Park, but the event was canceled due to rain. It will be held in May 2010, Souders said.

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