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Funkstown briefs - April 11

April 11, 2011

Property tax rate expected to stay the same

FUNKSTOWN — After Monday night’s Funkstown Town Council meeting, Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said he expected the town’s property tax rate of 28 cents per $100 of assessed property value to stay the same for the coming fiscal year.

Information about recent property reassessments and homestead tax credits was presented at the meeting at Town Hall. Crampton told the council to review it for future budget discussions. The town still has to approve a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

To keep property tax revenue the same as the current year, the tax rate would be a little lower, at 27.74 cents per $100 of assessed value, according to a town handout.

The assessed value of property in town went down, from $63.8 million for 2009-10 to $52.1 million for 2010-11, according to Crampton and the handout. But the amount of homestead tax credit, which reduces the assessed property base for tax purposes, also decreased, Crampton said. The credit was $13.7 million for 2009-10 and was $4 million for 2010-11.

Spring cleanup set for May 6, 7

FUNKSTOWN — Funkstown’s spring cleanup has been set for May 6 and 7.

Household trash can be taken to Funkstown Community Park, off Maple Street, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, May 6, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 7, town officials said.

Residents need to show proof of town residency, such as a driver’s license or utility bill, Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said.

Items such as tires, batteries and computers will not be accepted.

Joker’s privacy fence project progressing

FUNKSTOWN — The process for Joker’s Pub & Grill to install a privacy fence around a side entrance, creating an enclosed area for its smoking patrons, is progressing, pub officials said Monday night.

Joker’s owner Josette Gustavus and Manager Brian Binkley attended Monday night’s mayor and Town Council meeting at Town Hall.

Binkley said the matter had been taken to other agencies, such as the liquor board and fire marshal.

Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said last June that pub officials were considering installing a fence, which would address some complaints town officials received regarding people standing along the street smoking and yelling at passing motorists.

The issue, brought up about a year ago, must be approved by the town’s planning and zoning administrator and the Funkstown Planning Commission, Crampton said.

Binkley said the enclosed area will probably have a couple picnic tables, but there will not be an outdoor bar.

The pub is at 2 W. Baltimore St. in Funkstown.

Council members to vote on changes to animal-control law

FUNKSTOWN — Funkstown Town Council members are expected to vote on adopting changes that were made to Washington County’s animal-control law during the town’s June meeting.

They were going to vote in May, but Assistant Mayor Sharon Chirgott asked to have Paul Miller, executive director of the Humane Society of Washington County, attend the May 9 meeting to explain the changes in the policy.

The new policy is rather lengthy and there’s nothing that highlights the differences, Chirgott said.

The town usually follows the county’s animal-control policy, Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said after the meeting.

Permit fee for tent being waived

FUNKSTOWN — Funkstown resident Barry Warrenfeltz told Funkstown’s mayor and Town Council on Monday night that the county is going to waive the permit fee for an event tent that a traveling summer theater group will use in Funkstown Community Park in June.

Warrenfeltz complained to the Washington County Commissioners last week about the cost of the permit, several hundred dollars, to have an event tent up for less than 24 hours. The commissioners were at Town Hall last Tuesday as part of their effort to visit each of the county’s towns once a year.

The Washington County Coalition of Lutheran Churches is bringing the theater group to town.

Water bill appealed

FUNKSTOWN — Funkstown resident Peggy Shank appealed her water bill, with her brother’s help, during Monday night’s Funkstown Town Council meeting.

Shank told the mayor and council that her water usage this past winter was 25,000 gallons more than usual.

Her brother, Jim Monahan, who has worked for Smithsburg Public Works, explained how the freezing and thawing of the ground could have affected the connection to the water meter. The customer does not have access to the meter, he said.

Monahan said no water leaks could be found in his sister’s home.

Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said he would talk to the town’s maintenance employee, who has checked the meter. If they can determine the leak was at the water meter, Shank will get a rebate for sewer usage above normal usage.

Crampton said the town has never given a rebate for the water bill in such a case.

Water main leak discovered

FUNKSTOWN — A water main on Hebb Road was leaking 1,000 gallons of water a day, but town officials don’t know how long it was leaking because the leak never surfaced, Town Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Haynes said during Monday night’s Town Council meeting.

The leak was discovered as another leak in a service line was being checked out, Haynes said in a phone interview after the meeting.

The town paid Henson & Son $2,835 on March 15 to help with repairs, according to a copy of the town’s bills.

State dropping mosquito-control program

FUNKSTOWN — The Maryland Department of Agriculture is scrapping its mosquito-control program, which Funkstown had taken advantage of in the past, Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said during Monday night’s Town Council meeting.

The program cost $400 for the town, but would probably cost three times that without the state’s assistance because several towns would share in the cost, Crampton said.

Town officials will monitor the mosquito situation this spring, Crampton said. If there’s a problem, a private contractor could be hired, he said.

Town news available via email

FUNKSTOWN — Funkstown residents can sign up to receive town news via email, Town Councilman Richard Gaver said during Monday night’s council meeting.

Gaver said he used the email list to send town residents a notice about the Washington County Commissioners meeting at Funkstown Town Hall last week.

Go to www.funkstown.com and click on one of the secondary pages. The sign-up for the town news list will be on the right, Gaver said.


— Julie E. Greene

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