9:03 PM EST, February 6, 2013
Town considers changes in trash, recycling pickups
BOONSBORO — Boonsboro Town Council members are considering the possibility of increasing the frequency of the town’s curbside recycling service.
The town currently has twice-a-week trash pick-up and curbside recycling every other week.
The town is pondering having curbside recycling once a week and trash pick-up once a week.
The town’s current one-year trash contract with Allied Waste is up for renewal at the end of June, town officials said.
Council members decided during a regular town council meeting Monday night to seek bids from trash haulers for a new contract. Council members decided to seek bids on two types of service, one of which would keep the current set-up. Council members also decided to seek bids on once a week recycling and once a week trash pick-up.
Council member Barbara Wetzel said she thinks Boonsboro can save money by having trash pick-up only once a week. Council member Janeen Solberg said it a great opportunity to save money “and do the right thing.”
Curbside recycling started last July. Trash collection costs town residents about $15 a quarter.
Police vacancy filled
BOONSBORO — Boonsboro Town Council members Monday night approved hiring a school resource officer to fill a vacant position in the Boonsboro Police Department.
Martin Pitsnogle, who is a school resource officer at North Hagerstown High School, would fill the position created when Chuck Stanford moved from an officer’s position in the department to chief.
Stanford said Pitsnogle has worked for the Hagerstown Police Department, has been a firearms and taser instructor, has special response team experience, is a sniper expert and has worked on the Washington County Narcotics Task Force.
Council member Kevin Chambers raised a couple of concerns, one of which was that Pitsnogle’s pay was still being negotiated. Council members were told that Pitsnogle’s salary would be between $35,000 and $36,000.
Town officials said the reason Pitsnogle’s pay is still being negotiated is because he had not been formally hired as of Monday night.
Chambers said he believes council members should have a copy of Pitsnogle’s resume so they are knowledgeable about his background when residents ask about him.
Traffic problems on Cemetery Lane discussed
BOONSBORO — Concerns about traffic problems on narrow, two-way Cemetery Lane in Boonsboro were discussed during a Boonsboro Town Council meeting Monday night but there was no decision to make changes.
One of the problems with the lane is that cars turning onto it from Main Street are sometimes quickly met by cars traveling down the lane toward Main Street.
Council member Sean Haardt, who is a member of the council’s police and public safety committee, said there have been no accidents on the lane but there have been some “near misses.”
Among the issues brought up Monday night is that many vehicles take up most of the room in the alley and there was discussion about putting a stripe down the middle of the alley to emphasize to motorists that it is two-way. Another idea has been making the lane one-way going away from Main Street.
Haardt said the police and public safety committee has studied the problems extensively but it has been difficult to come up with solutions. Haardt said the committee has decided not to make any traffic changes to the lane for now and the emphasis is to continue to search for a permanent solution.
The committee is recommending that two parking spots along Main Street near the intersection of the lane be eliminated to create better visibility at the intersection.
The council would have to approve eliminating the parking spots and the proposal would have to then be submitted to the Maryland State Highways Administration for consideration.
Town might approach county commissioners about water problem
BOONSBORO — The ongoing problem of water runoff in the area of Lakin Avenue is an issue that town officials might have to discuss with the Washington County Board of Commissioners, Boonsboro Town Manager Debra Smith said during a Boonsboro Town Council meeting.
The water runoff in that area, which has been an ongoing problem, comes from a mountain area behind St. Paul Street, Smith said previously.
The mountain area is outside the town in the county.
Water has run into streets, including Orchard Drive and Lakin and Ford avenues, over the years. To help correct the situation, the Boonsboro council decided to install a storm drain on St. Paul Street between Orchard Drive and Ford Avenue.
There still is a problem on Lakin Avenue Extended that is within the county’s jurisdiction, Smith has said.
Smith said Monday night that she has been in contact with county Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth III, who said he does not have the authority to make expenditures to address Lakin Avenue problems. That leaves town officials with the possibility of discussing the issues with the commissioners, Smith said.
Solutions sought for water and sewage backups
BOONSBORO — Boonsboro town officials continue to look at possible solutions to water and sewage backups in the area of Stouffer Lane and Della Lane.
Several Boonsboro residents complained during a Boonsboro Town Council meeting in November about water and sewage backups in and around their homes following heavy rains associated with the aftereffects of Superstorm Sandy last year.
Richard Toms, who lives on Stouffer Avenue, said up to 6 inches of sewage backed up in his basement.
Boonsboro Town Manager Debra Smith said town officials believe connecting the sewage line from Toms’ house to a different manhole will correct Toms’ problem. Town officials are looking into the cost of that work, Smith said.
Smith said town officials are also looking into replacing two sewer lines to address the back-up problems.
Billie Swailes, senior engineer for Triad Engineering in Hagerstown, said in a telephone interview he believes the sewage back-ups are due to water flowing into the town’s sewage system.
Fire insurance reductions expected
BOONSBORO — Home owners in Boonsboro should see reductions in the cost of their fire insurance now that the town’s ISO rating has improved, said Boonsboro Town Manager Debra Smith.
Periodically, an examination of a fire department’s equipment must be conducted to determine what is called an ISO rating, Smith said. ISO is the property/casualty insurance industry's leading supplier of statistical, actuarial, underwriting, and claims data, according to the company’s website.
The First Hose Company of Boonsboro was inspected last year as a part of the review, Smith said. The town’s infrastructure is also reviewed in the process.
Boonsboro’s ISO rating improved as a result of the review, which should cause insurance rates in town to decrease, Smith said during a Monday night council meeting.
— Dave McMillion
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