East New Market train depot renovation supposedly on track

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EAST NEW MARKET — The old adage “all things come to those who wait” applied to some unfinished business at the June 14 East New Market commission meeting. Mayor Caroline Cline said she received an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) from the State Highway Administration (SHA) regarding financing for renovation of a train depot acquired by the town on the promise of grant money.

Ms. Cline said she was “Almost afraid to speak on this matter.” Presumably all is going forward after approximately 9 years. She added, “It would appear that it (agreement) is ironclad.” Town officials reviewed the MOU and passed it to the town attorney for his review and signature. The mayor said the document must still pass through the hands of several other entities before it is finalized. However, she called it the “big news of June – maybe of 2016.”

State police traffic monitoring, promised at last month’s meeting, took effect with 15 troopers used throughout the rotation. The first month’s report said a trooper was assigned to conduct random, focused traffic enforcement at MD Rts. 16 and 14 for at least one hour during daytime patrols. Among the over 20 stops, officers issued 7 citations, 14 warnings, and one repair order. The largest enforcement opportunity resulted in 3 citations in 1 ½ hours: One for speeding, one failure to stop, and one for a registration violation.

Vice Mayor David Tolley stated he has seen some improvement in morning traffic but noted “Chesapeake Waste goes through here like a ball of fire.” While normal vehicular traffic has slowed down, he “worries about the children now that they are out of school.”
Mayor Cline expressed her “appreciation” of the troopers’ help.

A no parking ordinance will be drawn up by Attorney Robert Thornton prohibiting, “dusk to dawn” parking on Railroad Avenue.
Monthly meetings with residents of the senior apartments are now slated for 2 pm every 4th Thursday. At the first meeting, Mayor Cline said one of the larger complaints concerned weeds in the shrubbery. The problem has since been addressed. In a cost-saving effort, the commission voted to change the apartments’ current auditors to George Diehl, the town auditor. The change will save the town about $2,400 over 3 years.

More rot was found in the historic Trading Post/town museum than was originally anticipated and is being removed and replaced by Scott Freeman. The commission approved a $5,524 proposal to re-paint the building from Ryan Mowbray of Mowbray’s Painting that included stripping the wood before painting. The decision was made in an attempt to maintain the building for an additional year or two prior to the potential need for siding replacement.

Code enforcer Nancy Jackson reported 4 violation notices for overgrowth and damage to property of which 3 were abated and 1 assumed by the state Department of the Environment. There were 4 re-inspections of which one received a monetary citation of $100 daily up to a $1,000 maximum.

County Councilman Rick Price said the council voted 4-1 to approve and proceed with amendments to the county’s solid waste management plan that include the vertical expansion of the Beulah landfill up to another 68’. Mr. Price noted the plan would only solve the problem for 5 years when the county must seek another plan for solid waste disposal.

He explained, “I voted against the passage of that amendment. There have been about half a dozen citizens who live the area coming (to meetings) quite regularly and I felt strongly that we should work on horizontal options and recycling until we can work something else out.”

Mayor Cline thanked the councilman for his “support of our ideas,” and said, “Who knows? In five years there may be a scientific breakthrough. But this is a legitimate concern for people in the north county.”

The commission unanimously passed the draft FY2017 budget ordinance as read at the May 10 meeting.

Homeowners workshop
On July 16, a second homeowners workshop, “Lawn and Garden,” will discuss the Maryland state fertilizer use law, composting, native plants, and how to use the soil test kit gifted to participants.

The free sessions, held in the Municipal Building, are capped at 20 families for a total of about 30 participants.
The next regular commission meeting is slated for July 12, 7 pm.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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