Page 5 - March Banner 2018_Neat
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Published by                                  The Catoctin Banner Newspaper                                         March 2018             Page 5

                      Emmitsburg                     F r o m  the                                   Thurmont                    F r o m  the

                        Mayor Don Briggs                M a y o r                                  Mayor John Kinnaird              M a y o r

               My February calendar started off with the Maryland Municipal League         The Maryland Legislature is currently in session, and I recently attended
            Winter Mayors Conference. Featured speakers included Thomas V. “Mike”      a House Hearing on a bill that would restore the Highway User Revenue
            Miller, Jr., President of the Senate; Michael E. Busch, Speaker of the House   (HUR) funding to our municipalities. Simply stated, HUR funding is
            of Delegates; Secretary Mark J. Belton, Department of Natural Resources;   collected by the state through gasoline and diesel taxes, tag renewals,
            and, Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, Department of Housing & Community          and other sources related directly to the use of our streets and roads.
            Development. Though I did not attend all of the events this year, I did attend   These funds are then distributed to Baltimore City, the counties, and
            grant programs and small group discussions. On everybody’s mind was the    municipalities. In 2008, almost $45 Million in HUR funds were distributed
            status of the state giving back to the municipalities its earned share of the   statewide; it fell to $1.6 Million in 2010. This year, we are expecting to
            highway user revenue.                                                      receive $27 million, almost 50 percent short of the funding from 2008! The
               Like most months, February comes with opportunities and, oh yes, often   HUR funds help us repair and improve our streets and are an important
            obstacles to those opportunities. The foremost obstacle, understandably, has   source of funding for our community. Since 2008, Thurmont has seen as
            been the intractable cold, damp weather affecting everything, in particular,   much as $1 million in reduced HUR funding. This has caused us to delay
            delays and inconvenience to all with regards to the sidewalk – square      the repair and maintenance on our streets. The funds are being collected at
            revitalization project. I know, ‘tis the season, and we come into it disarmed   the state level, but are not being returned to our communities to help repair
            and lulled by the mild late fall weather, but the state contractors cannot do   our streets. I hope that this year the Legislature will correct this issue and
            concrete work when the temperature is below 32 degrees and cannot lay bricks   restore the HUR funding we need.
            when there is high moisture content in the air, as it affects the application sand   There are some great events coming up soon in Thurmont. Be on the
            seam bonding material. Patience. We are doing something special for the town.   lookout for the Annual Business Showcase and A Taste of Thurmont,
            The town “scape” is improving.                                             featuring many local restaurants. The Thurmont Green Team will be hosting
               But, spring is out there, and the first gate to it has been Lent. My Lent   the Thurmont Green Fest on Saturday April 21, 2018, at the Thurmont
            this year, besides the usual girth/related abstinence issues, will include a   Regional Library. This event will feature over twenty-five exhibitors and
            commitment to visit the aged and a ramp-up in seasonal-related readings and   vendors, as well as music, tree planting, live demonstrations, kid-friendly
            gatherings. Lent always reminds me that, if I have worries, get above them and   activities, and more. The Green Fest is the place to learn about living
            in front of them through giving, caring, and prayer for others.            sustainably while having fun. It will soon be Farmer Market season. The
               The Mount Relay for Life, sponsored by Mount St. Mary’s University,     Thurmont Main Street Farmers Market is the place to be for fresh, locally
            in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, will be held on March     grown fruits and vegetables, fresh cut flowers, jams, fresh eggs, and other
            23, 2018. To donate or enter a team, go to the Mount St. Mary’s University   goodies!
            website, then to “Mount Relay Page.” Great time, great event, and great cause.   As the weather improves and we get back outdoors, you will notice that
               The second to the gate is St. Patrick’s Day. And what is St. Patrick’s Day   more of the damaged ash trees in the Community Park have been removed.
            without Irish poetry?  To that, here are a couple Irish quotes/poems:      The town has successfully been treating a number of the ash trees, and we
                                                                                       will continue this program in an effort to retain as much of the mature
                                                                                       canopy in the park as is possible. As you walk through the park, you will
                “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met.”       notice the large number of new trees that have been planted. There are a
                          — W.B. Yeats                                                 wide variety of trees, including flowering trees and others, that will replace
                                                                                       the ash trees. The trees are being planted with the help of the Thurmont
                “I composed habits for those acres                                     Green Team and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
                                                                                          As always, I can be reached via email at [email protected] and by
                So that my last look would be                                          phone at 301-606-9458. I hope everyone has a great month.
                Neither gluttonous nor starved.
                I was ready to go anywhere.”
                                                                                                Go to page 9 to play the  Where Am I? and  Hidden
                          — “Land” Seamus Heaney                                                Object games! You could be the next winner
                                From Ireland: Failte and Slainte                                of a gift certificate to one of our advertisers!
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