November 2023      

103rd Edition              


As I sit writing this the leaves are slowly starting to turn and you can see the colors of autumn on the mountains. Once again the year seems to have flown by. It certainly has been nice to get some rain lately and hopefully the coming months will help us with the drought situation we have been dealing with for most of 2023.

I know I’ve said this before, but this has always been one of my favorite times of the year. Whether it’s looking at the many colors on the mountains, the taste of Pumpkin Spice everything, or enjoying the smell of a wood fire during a brisk evening walk, there is always something about fall that just brings a smile to my face. And ever since we took down the large pear tree in our front yard, I don’t even mind what is sure to happen this time of year. Whether the leaves turn a beautiful color, or fall to the ground green, it’s a sure thing that we will be 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 (540) 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.

While the leaves and the temperatures continue to fall, we also know what might not be too far behind, SNOW! The Edinburg Town Maintenance crew is gearing up for the coming of winter.   

I keep hearing that we are going to have a tough winter with lots of snow. At this point it is still anyone’s guess with the weather never seeming to do what we thought it would this year. Whatever happens, the Town will be assisting VDOT here in Town again this year as well as taking care of Rt.11.

As always, the Town Crew will continue to help as much as possible with sidewalk snow removal, especially on Main Street. 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, or know someone, interested in being hired to shovel snow you should give contact information to the Town Office.  This will allow us to give people a list of names and numbers if they are seeking assistance.

Work has progressed a little slower than we expected on the required updates at the wastewater treatment plant. We have finally reached the point where we will begin running flow through the new treatment process. We will be adding sludge from another nearby facility to “seed” the new Plant. While we will begin by operating only half of the new Plant, it is important to get started with sludge from another source so we do not impact the operation of the old existing plant that will also be running alongside the new one. We will be watching and adjusting the new treatment process to get exactly the results we need while making sure all of the new equipment is working properly. When everything is as it should be in the first half, we will repeat the process on the second half. We will be pumping everything from the new treatment process back through the old plant to make sure that everything we discharge from our Plant is treated properly while we fine tune the new process.

We finally received Virginia Health Department approval to resume work on the 200,000-gallon water tank’s pump station. We recently completed the ceiling and painting of the building’s interior in preparation of equipment installation. We have also been talking to contractors about the project. It’s been a little discouraging to hear how busy they all are; it could be a while before we can actually get started on the next phase of connecting everything to the water tank.                                                                       

The Town recently completed the codification and update on the Town Code. This allowed us to clean-up any amendments that might have happened plus to make sure we are in line with all of the changes that the State has imposed over the years. In case you aren’t aware, Virginia is a Dillon Rule state. This means that Edinburg only has the rights and powers granted by the state. So, every year we must look at what the state legislature decides the new rules will be going forward; no matter how much they might go against how we think something should work in our town. 

We are a member of the Virginia Municipal League, and each year the League lobbies the state legislators to make changes that will benefit local government. But it is pretty much a one size fits all situation. Something might work well in a large city but be a real burden for a small town like Edinburg. We found a number of areas that we needed to change in our Ordinances to bring them in line with the state Code. Thankfully none of them were something we will struggle with doing.

Something that we did discover needed some attention was the increase in short term rentals here in Edinburg. What is a short term rental? Think “Airbnb” where someone might rent a house on your street for a weekend getaway.  You might have heard about changes happening within the County with how short term rental oversight and taxing will be handled.  We now have a number of these in Edinburg and we realized we had no actual requirements for how they should be run. This goes from zoning issues to the actual safety of those that rent them. The Town Office is currently reaching out to owners of known short term rentals making them aware of the new requirements. If we have missed you or you have plans to operate a short term rental, please make sure to contact the Town Office to learn what is required. You can also now go on the Town’s website, www.townofedinburg.com to look at all sections of the Town Code.           

No matter how much we went through the Town Code to make the necessary and relevant changes, we realized quickly that additional changes will come up. You might have recently seen notices for Public Hearings about a proposed Zoning change for Supplemental Sign Regulations. This came up due to the new electronic information sign that the Edinburg Fire Department installed. We have had requests for these types of signs before and always said they are not permitted. No signs with intermittent, flashing or animated lighting are currently permitted.

Under the proposed Ordinance changes these types of signs will be permitted if the message remains in place for at least five (5) seconds and the message does not move or appear to move. We also used this time to address a few other types of signs that we did not fully cover in our Ordinance. You can review the complete amendment at the Town Office if you are interested. The Town Council will be holding a Public Hearing at 7:15 pm on Tuesday November 14th and hopes to consider the proposed amendment at that night’s regular meeting. We had hoped to not need to amend the Town Code this soon, but we must handle these types of things when they come up. A nice feature of having the Code on the website now is that it will be kept up to date as these types of changes might occur.

One thing that never changes is that nothing brightens up Edinburg like when the Christmas decorations are lit; whether it’s the lights on the Town tree or a single strand along someone’s front porch.  Edinburg always shines brightly during the holiday season with the lights wrapping our light poles, decorations on the Gazebo and the outlining of the Town Hall welcoming visitors coming in on Stony Creek Blvd. And each year we see more folks around town adding to the holiday glow everywhere you look. 

We will once again be recognizing all of this effort with the Edinburg “Outdoor Decorating Contest”. Each year we see more and more folks decorating and the Judges will be out this year during the week of December 11-15. We are hoping we can count on even more folks this year to decorate and hopefully claim one of Edinburg’s coveted outdoor decoration awards. I have always decorated for my own pleasure and the joy of when lights come on when the switch is thrown; that is all the award I have ever needed. Although, there is always something cool about hearing you are the best decorations on your block.

The Official start to Christmas in Edinburg will be on Thursday, November 30th with our annual Christmas Parade. Vice Mayor Steve Wood is organizing the Christmas Parade again with the Line-up starting at 5:00 pm and everything getting underway at 6:00 pm. The Town Office, (540) 984-8521, has registration forms and information for anyone interested in participating in the Parade.

Then plan on sticking around for the Tree lighting right after the Parade.  We are planning on the High School Bands joining us as in years past. They will be in the middle of the parade line-up to give them some extra time to set up at the Gazebo to perform your favorite holiday songs right after the last float crosses the finish line. This is always a popular part of the evening and we hope you can be there to enjoy it.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be near the middle of the line-up this year. This will give them time to join the elves over in the Edinburg Fire Department for the annual Children’s Christmas party. We are finally getting back to the full-blown affair with Hot Dogs, Hot Chocolate, Games and Crafts. Santa’s elves will be handing out gifts while he and Mrs. Claus hear all of the children’s Christmas wishes.

If you are interested in helping with this popular event, please contact the Town Office, (540) 984-8521. We need help with the Crafts and Games, Cookie Donations, and Monetary Help if you are so inclined.

On behalf of the Town Council and Staff, I wish you and yours the very best of this Holiday Season.  

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.

Please stay safe; and let the bells of peace ring loud and clear throughout the world, keeping those far from home in our thoughts and prayers that they will soon be safe at home.

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