EDINBURG NEWSLETTER      

August 2019      

88th Edition              

GREETINGS FROM THE MAYOR
AND TOWN COUNCIL

I hope this finds you enjoying the summer weather and all the activities of this time of year. As you look at the crazy weather happening all around the Country we have been very lucky so far. Hopefully that luck has still held up as you are reading this newsletter. Hurricane season is upon us and you never know what might happen when a storm moves ashore.

August kicks off the start of a series of events leading right up to the Ole Time Festival in September. First up is the Fireman’s Lawn Party that starts Thursday, August 1st with BBQ Chicken available at 10:00 am at the VFW pit and the Food Stands at the Edinburg Town Park open for business at 5:00 pm.

The Annual Firemen’s Parade will be on Saturday this year at 7:00 pm on and after the Parade, plan on heading back up to the Park to enjoy some good food, live entertainment and lots of fun for folks of all ages. There will be Live Entertainment every night at the Park with the food stands opening at 5:00 pm and live entertainment starts at 7:00. On Saturday, August 3rd you will have another chance to enjoy BBQ Chicken; it will be available at 10:00 am at the VFW. Everything else gets underway again at the Town Park at 5:00 pm.

We will be gearing up for the Route 11 Yard Crawl the following weekend. Things will be getting started in Edinburg on Friday, August 9th and be in full swing on Saturday the 10th.  Vendors will be setup at the Edinburg Mill again this year and this will be the place to come if you are looking for an official Yard Crawl T-shirt. In addition to the bargains you might find in the parking lot, make sure to check out the Special Sale prices in the Edinburg Mill Shops. They will be having 10-50% off on the unique items they sell starting Friday August 9th through Sunday August 11th. Edinburg Mill Restaurant and Heritage Mill Wines will also be open if you need to take a moment to recover from the craziness of the Crawl. And don’t forget that the Museum has the only Air Conditioned Rest Rooms you will probably find anywhere during the Yard Crawl.

Attention all dog owners, Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation will be holding “Paws in the Pool” on Saturday September 7th at the Edinburg Pool. The event will be held from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm and is always a fun time for our four legged friends and their owners. Even if you don’t have a furry friend of your own you can come out to see some Olympic level doggy paddling.

We had a great turn out for the Movie in the Park on June 8th with the showing of the Jungle Book.  The event was sponsored by Sprint and we want to thank them as well as Kelly Day for being on hand with his delicious Smoothies and other treats. We are hoping that Sprint will be able to do another Movie Night later this year at the Park. Make sure to watch for future announcements. .

We also had a great response at the Bike Virginia Rest Stop on June 22nd at the Edinburg Mill. Volunteers from the Edinburg Heritage Foundation and the Town Staff worked the event which attracted 400 bike riders. The riders had just finished 95 miles of riding that took them through the Fort Valley, so they were very appreciative of the ice cold water and snacks that were on hand for them.  Kaleb Day was also on hand selling coffee drinks, lemonade and fruit smoothies that were very popular on what proved to be a perfect day weather-wise. The rest stop was actually a fundraising event for the Foundation since Bike Virginia paid for all of the snacks and even reimbursed all incidental expenses. The Town also received $700 for the day that went toward the operation of the Edinburg Mill. It was fun to talk to all of the riders and I want to thank all of our volunteers and staff that made the day a great success.

Our last newsletter mentioned the monthly meetings of the Mt. Jackson-Edinburg Rotary and we hope that some of you have been able to attend. They meet 8:00 am every Tuesday morning at the Mt. Jackson Denny’s. Every meeting features an interesting program and speaker as well as an update of what is happening with the Mt. Jackson-Edinburg Rotary. Additional Rotary information is available at www.rotaryinternational.org

I also reported last time about the necessary increases in our monthly Water, Sewer and Trash fees.  All of you will have noticed the extra $5 on your minimum this month for water and sewer along with the additional $0.50 for trash in Town. If you are someone that uses more than the 3,000 gallon minimum you will also notice a increase on the over minimum usage. The Trash Fees for Apartments and Townhouses that have dumpsters remains at the lower rate of $5.75 which covers the cost of curbside recycling which is available to all Edinburg residents.

Sewer treatment upgrades remain the driving force behind higher monthly utility rates. The Treatment Plant Upgrade is taking much longer than any of us expected. For the most part the preliminary engineering report has been completed and turned over to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and USDA Rural Development for review. The DEQ is reviewing the project to assure that it will correct our current treatment issues as well as meet our needs in the future. Rural Development is also looking at the report with this in mind, and they are determining how they might be able to assist us in funding the project.

It is our understanding that the Town is eligible for 50-75% in grant funding for the $4 million project.  To get this assistance requires that the project be presented in a certain format with all of the “T”s crossed and “I”s dotted. This has been a real challenge that we are still working through to solve all the environmental document requirements. The engineers hope to have resolved any outstanding issues and resubmitted by August. While we are waiting for things to get started on the sewer project we are working on a few other projects around Town.

We have ordered a number of replacement parts for the large playground structure at the Town Park. It has taken us awhile to track down the exact parts for the unit as it was purchased a number of years ago. Earlier this year we also replaced one of the skimmers on the Town Pool that had been leaking. We have also scheduled the replacement of a number of other skimmers this fall after pool season is over. The Town Park and Pool are one of the things run by the Town that always cost more than the amount of fees we collect each year. We usually bring in around a third of what it costs us to operate the Park and Pool every year. Edinburg is not unique in this and all of the other towns will agree that you don’t get into the business of a park and pool to make money. It is one of the things we do as a quality of life service for our residents.

Another quality of life activity that goes hand in hand with our Park is the Edinburg Mill. With the help of the Edinburg Heritage Foundation the Mill does slightly better than the Park in covering overall expenses. But unlike the Park, the Mill has more potential to grow financially and have a greater impact on the Town’s economic base. The historic building is owned by the Town and houses a Visitor Center, Museum, Theater, Gift Shops, Restaurant and Wine Shop. All of these things help attract locals and tourists to our town; and while here these folks also visit our other businesses, buying gas, eating at Sal’s, visiting Harry Murray’s Fly Shop and the Shop on Main Street. It serves as the anchor to our business district like the grocery store in a shopping center.

The Park and the Mill are both services that we can all enjoy and identify as making our town unique.  Edinburg also has one other activity that makes it unique compared to other towns; we own Cedarwood Cemetery. While it is hard to say that any of us look forward to enjoying this particular activity, it is one that takes a great deal of time, effort and funding to maintain.  Like the Park and the Mill, it is a function of the Town that does not currently cover its expenses; and like the Park it probably never will. With limited space and the never ending perpetual care, we must look for ways to serve the needs of our residents while offsetting growing expenses wherever possible. 

If you have been by the Cemetery recently you might have noticed a new addition along Massey Farm Lane. We have installed a Columbarium, a Cremation Memorial, in the lower level of the cemetery that contains 64 niches sized for individual/dual cremations. These are now on sale at $750 for in town residents and $1,200 for out of town. These are also the current rates for a burial lot, but unlike a burial there is no additional opening or closing charge with the Columbarium. More information is available at the Town Office.

When we talk about the impact of the Edinburg Mill on our town we can’t help but remember that it was the driving force behind the Ole Time Festival. When Jim and Becky Ellis converted the Mill into a restaurant back in 1979 the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce recognized its impact on the Town.

To build on that, and to promote the Town, the Chamber created what they called “the biggest small town celebration in Shenandoah County” with the first Ole Time Festival being held in October 1981.  That first Festival was a cold one and the group moved to the third weekend in September the next year.

This year will mark the 39th annual Ole Time Festival on September 20, 21, 22. The Festival has certainly grown over the years to encompass more than our local history and traditions recognized by the preservation of the Mill. We still get to enjoy the Antique Tractors, Apple Butter Boiling and Arts & Crafts, along with Living History Demonstrations; and who doesn’t enjoy the “March Through Town”, Entertainment everywhere you look, or a Bed Race. Add to all that: the Pioneer Breakfast, Fun Run, a bunch of local Authors signing their books, the distinction of being one of the lucky ones to purchase a Festival Crock, Old Timers Baseball and Basketball, tasting local Wines, Square Dancing, and cheering on your Duck as it navigates down Stony Creek. And don’t forget enjoying something from the many food vendors or meeting your friends at one of our great restaurants for dinner.

No matter what you like to do, there is sure to be something at this year’s Ole Time Festival for you to enjoy.   That’s it for now; see you around Town. Your Mayor, Dan Harshman