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From the Desk of Emmitsburg
 Mayor Don Briggs

(10/2014) By the time this paper reaches your hands, the election for Mayor will have been decided. The decision to run again was not a hard one. I want to add to and finish what was started during my first term. My overriding goal is still firmly intact, always to the future to assure that Emmitsburg stays the best place to live and grows from there. To that point, where did we get to in the first term?

Youth: 1) for the first time a local Boy Scout troop used town land for camping, expanded gym use; 3) for the second year "Team Emmitsburg" youth group has picked up sidewalk trash downtown.

Financially: 1) worked within the town budget every year; 2) lowered the town electricity bill 13% with replacement of street light bulbs with LED lights. Because of the timeliness of our installation we received a $53,000+ rebate to complement a State grant of $25,000+/-, the project was close to or entirely paid for by other sources and not from town funds. We installed 1 mW $2.2 million solar panel array system that was financed by investors. The array was "plugged in" last March. Besides realizing savings the town now uses renewable energy for nearly 100% of its electricity needs. In terms of what the state has requested to be at 15% less reliant on grid electricity by 2020 we are there or near six years ahead of time. In total during the last two years we have received over $110,000 in grants and rebates for energy conservation accomplishments; 3) We refinanced a loan that had cost the town over $85,000 needlessly with sensible line of credit financing; 4) For the first time the town began annually to set aside fixed amounts for road repairs and equipment/vehicle replacements; 5) The town negotiated the extension of the lease of the town office space from the County for additional 15 years for the same rate of $1 a year. Yes, $1. The expiration date of the lease is now 2044.

Square rejuvenation - something from nothing to creating a plan and raising the money was the task: 1) Development of a professionally designed concept plan with strong resident input was accomplished and approved by town commissioners. Received approval from the State Highway Administration for a significant financing package. Now SHA is working on the design and an outline for their funding of the project - $600,000 - $800,000; 2) We applied for and were awarded State recognition as a Sustainable Community. With the award the town became eligible for Community Legacy grant funds for downtown properties for exterior property restoration and/or repair work. To date we have received two grants totaling $100,000 and have applied for an additional grant of $150,000. The grants are used on a 50-50 basis with downtown property owners. To date fourteen properties are in various stages of participating in the program ranging from applying to completion. With $200,000 of work in the pipeline the goal is to have a total of $500,000 completed during my two terms. Worked with the broker and developer to bring General Dollar to town, hopefully they will start construction this fall.

Town connectivity: Opened Brookfield Drive onto Irishtown Road, completed and/or added new sidewalk connections from Northgate to the town, along West Lincoln Avenue and completed sidewalk into Community Park.

For the second term I hope to: 1) Be ambitious, but continue to work within approved budget; 2) See more youth and community involvement; 2) Complete State Sustainable Community Certification which picks up our streetlight replacement and renewable energy achievements and takes the effort further for more assistance possibilities; 3) Complete the Square revitalization project; 4) Install the $2.3 million phase II solar array project that is necessary to offset some of the expenses related to operating the new $15.5 million wastewater treatment plant scheduled for completion in early to midsummer 2015; 5) More sidewalk connections in Community Park, along east Lincoln and along East and West Main Street; 6) Next summer the East Main Street bridge replacement project is scheduled to start. This will bring with it traffic inconvenience. We will all have to be patient and accepting.

Finally, connecting the town and the Mount with a path trail way. Not only as a tribute to the historic pathway of Mother Seton, but also because a safe connection for walkers, joggers, and bicyclers is long overdue. The town, the Mount, the County and State have already met on this project. There is 80% federal funding available and the County has already earmarked funds for its share. Nothing that has been done or will be done is possible without an industrious staff and residents who are willing to get involved. Humbly looking forward to serving you again.

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