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Mayor's Report

Posted on: February 17, 2021

February 2021 Mayor's Report

February 2021 Mayors Report

Hello February and welcome to Winter!  That darn groundhog saw his shadow so it looks like we are not out of the woods yet! Our Public Works department has been hard at work keeping our town roads clear!  As a reminder, residents are responsible for clearing their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snow fall and our Public Works Department asks that you not throw the snow back into the street. This helps keep our pedestrians safe and allows our children to safely get to their bus stops. I'd like to thank those in the community who chip in to clear the bus stops which are frequently plowed in when streets are cleared. We appreciate those who give this extra effort.  Also, to help protect you and your neighbors, the town asks those with a fire hydrant in their yard to please keep them clear of snow so they can be located as quickly as possible.  If covered with snow, fire and rescue workers could be delayed in locating and clearing hydrants - and in a fire emergency, seconds count!  Having the hydrants clear can make a huge difference.  If a snow emergency is declared, as per Town Code, please ensure all vehicles are removed from town streets. To make it easy to voice your concerns about snow removal, a new online form has been created and can be found at www.mountairymd.gov/snow..


With the new vaccine out, we are beginning to make plans to return to normal again!  We are hoping our big events like Oktoberfest will resume this year.  In the meantime, the Simpson-Baker-Bowlus pop up park is available for holding outdoor events with warm bonfires (please complete the fire pit permission form for safe usage). We also hope to use this amazing community space to expand our traditional events. More details to come! To reserve the space, please visit www.mountairymd.gov/facilities..


Although COVID brought many challenges, it also brought some wonderful events that we plan on continuing.  The Class of 2020 graduation recognition was so successful, that we plan on doing a similar recognition again for the Class of 2021!   It was a great way to honor our graduating seniors in a safe way…and what a fun time!  Stay tuned for more details. 


Mount Airy Town Elections – As you may know, the Town of Mount Airy has an election every two years.   This year the mayoral position and two councilmembers will be up for re-election.  COVID is bringing a new dimension to the voting. As we value every vote and want everyone to feel safe and heard, our Board of Elections is regularly meeting and making a plan to make the voting process as easy and fair as possible.  Stay tuned for updates here in the Messenger as well as our email newsletters, website and social media.  The elections will be held May 3 from 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM.  If you are interested in being a Poll Worker, please contact Holly McCleary at hmccleary@mountairymd.gov or 301-829-1424.

COVID Updates in Mount Airy - Governor Hogan lifted the 10:00 PM ban for food services establishments, but Frederick County decided to keep the ban in place and recently only opened up to midnight and alcohol sales ending at 10 p.m. In an effort to provide consistency within the municipal corporate limits of the Town, I issued an Executive Order that lifted the ban on Mount Airy restaurants located within Frederick County.  Every little action may be the one that keeps our local businesses alive! 

Business Relief Loan Program - Another effort to help relieve the burden of COVID on our local businesses, our Economic Development Manager, Melissa Thorn, with the backing of myself, Town Council and the Loan Program Relief Committee, have created a 2-year, interest-free loan for businesses. The loan requests may be made in amounts of $5,000-10,000 and may be used for inventory, technology, operating expenses, interior building improvements, and/or exterior building improvements.  See www.mountairymd.gov for more details.


Senior Citizen COVID Reminders – The local health departments are targeting the Priority Group 1B and 1C which includes adults 65 years and older.  If you have completed an interest form with your county, you should have received an email to sign up for a vaccination appointment.  Both Carroll and Frederick County have set up local vaccination sites right here in Mount Airy! If you need help completing the form, or transportation to a vaccination site, please call Town Hall at 301-829-1424 ext 0 for assistance.


I Mount Airy Show – Hope you had a chance to see Mount Airy's innovative new way to reach our community. The I Mount Airy interview with Carroll County's Health Officer, Ed Singer, can be seen at www.mountairymd.gov/iheart or on the Town's YouTube channel.


Exciting News – Concetta’s Returns! After surviving many months of COVID restrictions, Concetta’s Main Street Bistro received a devastating blow – a fire destroyed the interior of a favorite downtown restaurant.  Rising from the ashes, Concetta’s now has a brand-new interior…everything has been replaced except for your favorite menu items!  The re-opening will be February 17th! Get those taste buds salivating!


Mount Airy Restaurant Week – Mark your calendar for Mount Airy’s Restaurant Week April 19th – 25th!   Make sure your visit your favorites or try something new!  You can expect to enjoy a memorable meal at a fixed price. Visit www.mountairymd.gov/restaurantweek for more details.


Budget - Understanding the process. Our Town operates on a fiscal year that goes from July 1st to June 30th. We begin preparing for the next budget cycle in December of each year. Staff is tasked with preparing departmental budgets, with input from Commissions and Council Liaisons, for the Mayor to consider. Currently the departments are finalizing their budget requests and have submitted them to the budget departments. Now the number crunching begins! The result is the Mayor’s Draft of the budget.  This is a starting point for the Town Council’s consideration. Then the Town Council Members consider what to approve or not in public workshops. The final budget is returned to the Mayor to be implemented on a day-to-day basis. 

 

If I were Mayor Contest - If I were Mayor Contest – We are once again kicking off this annual contest and I look forward to visiting 4th graders (virtually this year!) from both Carroll and Frederick Counties this month. This year's theme to inspire creativity is, “If I Were Mayor, I Would_________.”


Master Plan – John Breeding, Director of Planning, has initiated the 2023 Master Plan process, which will utilize YOUR input from the Town Survey completed last year. The master plan is used as a blueprint for the town’s future, guiding regulatory changes, land use policies, budget decisions, etc. The public is invited to listen in on the monthly Master Plan Workshops held the first Thursday of every month.  The meetings are currently virtual via a Zoom Webinar.  For more information, email 2023masterplan@mountairymd.gov or visit the webpage at www.mountairymd.gov/2023masterplan

 

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