November 2017      

81st Edition              


It is hard to imagine that we have already reached the time of cooler mornings and falling leaves; I’m not sure where the year has gone.  Our fall seasons during recent years continue to give us many summer like days through October that cause the leaves to take their time coloring the Valley; and the lack of rain this year has surely impacted the color display.  Hopefully we will have had some rain by the time you are reading this to help the situation and some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of this wonderful season.  As the leaves start to fall we are reminded of what is coming next; WINTER! It is always a challenge to guess what the winter months might bring our way here in the Valley.

But before we rush right into winter and snow we need to enjoy all the sights and smells of the fall.  As for sights, nothing is more beautiful than the fall colors in the Shenandoah Valley.  And just like the coming of winter, we all know what the lovely colors will lead to; raking leaves. The Town’s leaf vacuum might have already started making its rounds as you are reading this.  Please contact the Town Office at 984-8521 when you have your leaves out to the street for pickup and we will schedule the truck to come by. This is always a popular service every year and a great help to us all.

The lack of rain has prompted the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to issue a Drought Watch Advisory across many parts of Virginia including our area. The Advisory is asking all of us to take voluntary steps to minimize nonessential water use to help protect water supplies. We are monitoring the conditions as they pertain to our water supply and hope that it will not require us to impose water use restrictions during the coming months.

Whether we get rain, an early cold snap or even snow, you know that the Edinburg Town Maintenance crew is gearing up for the coming of winter.  The Town will be assisting VDOT again this year with plowing and treating on Rt.11. This has worked well during the past 4 years, although it didn’t amount to much work last year.

We will still be plowing and chipping the Town’s other streets and VDOT is once again giving us more latitude in deciding when we should be out plowing. We will be able to decide when to start based on the conditions right here in Edinburg.  This really helps by allowing us to keep up with snow removal within the Town and we will again have two snow plows and a chipper for use in Town while our large truck is working on Rt. 11.

The Town Crew will once again try to help as much as possible with sidewalk snow removal; however, please keep in mind that the sidewalk in front of your home or business is actually your responsibility.  So if you are able to, get out there and enjoy some fresh air and exercise, or consider hiring someone to help you out. And if you are someone interested in being hired to shovel snow you should give your contact information to the Town Office.  This will allow us to give people a list of names and numbers if they are seeking assistance.

I’m sure most of you have already heard that Edinburg’s application for a Business District Revitalization Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) was not successful. The Town Staff, members of the Management Team, and the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Planning District worked hard to put together the best application possible.  We talked to a number of other small towns around the State as we worked on our application.  Every one of them said that they were not successful on their first submission; some of them had to apply as many as 10 times before being awarded any funding.

Obviously we had hoped that would not be the case with Edinburg and we came very close to that goal. The Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) uses a 1,000 point rating system for the grant applications and you must receive at least 746 points to be awarded a grant. Edinburg got to within 59 points of this with a score of 687 on our first attempt.  We are waiting to hear back from DHCD staff on their comments of where we fell short and what might be done to move our application’s rating up if we decide to submit again next year.

An important part of us deciding to submit a second time will be the interest of our property owners in signing up again for the Façade Improvement phase of the grant application. I know it was very disappointing for many of those that signed letters of interest to participate in the Façade Improvement Project when we heard that the application was not successful. Many of them were ready to jump right in to begin work on their property.

The Town is very interested in hearing from all of you about your continued interest in participating if a second application is submitted. Keep in mind that the cost of any work you can’t hold off doing will be eligible as part of your match for future Façade Improvement funds. Make sure to keep your receipts and records over the next 12 months and let us know if you think we should submit again in 2018.

Part of our CDBG Application talked about the recruiting and retention of businesses for Edinburg; a great way to help retain businesses is for all of you to support our existing local businesses in the coming Holiday Season. We have a number of great shops in Town for your holiday shopping as well as some great restaurants for your holiday get together or when you are just too tired to cook after a hectic day.

And you can’t talk about business in Edinburg and not mention the 800 pound gorilla in the corner; the Edinburg Mill. This effort by the Town and the Edinburg Heritage Foundation continues to improve and impress visitors coming to Edinburg.  As we have said before, this has been a huge undertaking for a town the size of Edinburg and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Foundation and our local residents. The Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation and all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Consider including them in any end of year donation planning if you can; or perhaps purchase a granite brick for yourself or a loved one on the Mill’s Memory Walk.  All donations, large or small, are greatly appreciated and will go to support the continued operation of the Edinburg Mill.  If you haven’t been to the Mill lately, please stop in and see what all the visitors are talking about. Make sure to put it on your list of places to shop during the holidays.

The Mill will also be serving as the starting point for this year’s Shenandoah County Annual Holiday Homes Tour on Friday December 8th -5:00pm-8:00pm & Saturday December 9th-1pm-5:00pm.  $20 Tickets, good for both days, can be purchased at the Mill and Edinburg Town Office as well as other locations throughout the County. There are 9 homes on the Tour including the Mill; and if you have ever wondered what the Mayor’s house looks like during the holidays, here is a chance to check it out. Other homes on the Tour are: Clyde and Judy Beachy (The Mill House)-218 S. Main St, Bill and Donna Smith (Edinburg Renaissance B&B)-212 N. Main St. Byron and Karen Wightman-508 Stony Creek Blvd. Robin Layman-204 Piccadilly St. Donnie and Heather Holsinger-212 Center St. Eric and Dawn Estep-213 Center St. Emory and Joan Riestetter-214 Center St. and Dan and Sue Harshman-216 Center St. Proceeds from the Home Tours will benefit the Edinburg Heritage Foundation and Response.

Edinburg also has some special events planned to kick off the Holiday Season. The Parade this year will be on Thursday, November 30th.  Vice Mayor Steve Wood is organizing this year’s parade again with the Line-up starting at 5:00 PM and the Parade beginning at 6:00 PM. The Town Office, 984-8521, has registration forms and information for anyone interested in participating in the Parade.

After the parade everyone is invited to gather at the Town Gazebo to hear the Central High School Band perform holiday favorites, and to join us in the official lighting of the tallest lit tree in Shenandoah County, Edinburg’s Christmas Tree. 

Once we have lit the Tree we will move into the Edinburg Volunteer Fire Department for the Children’s Party.  This was a very well attended event last year and is sure to be even better this year. There will be Hot Chocolate, Hot Dogs, Cookies, and more again this year and Santa will be there to hear those last minute requests from children large and small. Consider stopping by even if you do not have kids waiting in line to see Santa; you’re sure to have a great time.

Santa will have gifts of his own for all of the kids, as well as Crafts and Games for the Children; everyone had a great time last year and we hope you can join us.

Don’t forget the “Outdoor Decorating Contest”. The VFW Ladies Auxiliary will be judging again this year on Thursday, December 14th; so get busy decorating and claim one of Edinburg’s coveted outdoor decoration awards. 

On behalf of the Town Council and Staff, I wish you and yours the very best of this Holiday Season.  As another year comes to an end, we all reflect on the past twelve months. We were blessed in that we have not had to experience the devastation and heartbreak felt by so much of the Country this year.  May all your dreams and wishes come true during this most joyous time of year; may all paths lead to home and may you be filled with a child’s wonder and awe of the Holiday Season.

Let the bells of peace ring loud and clear throughout the world and keep those far from home in your thoughts and prayers that they are all soon safe at home.

Have a Great Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!  Your Mayor, Dan Harshman