November 2018      

85th Edition              


Recently I was driving home from a night meeting and got my first whiff of a wood fire in the air. I put the windows of my Jeep down to enjoy the cool crisp evening air and the wonderful smell of the smoke from a wood fire heating someone’s home.  It appears that we aren’t going to see much color this year with many of the trees dropping green leaves to the ground; my understanding is that this is being caused by the excessive rain we had this year. 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. Hopefully we won’t see snow come in the same quantity as the rains of this year.

But before we rush right into winter and snow we need to enjoy all the sights and smells of the fall.  Whether the leaves turn colors or fall to the ground green, we all know it 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.

Whether we get more rain, an early cold snap or abundant 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 including the plowing and treating on Rt.11. This has worked well during the past years, although it didn’t amount to much during the past two winters.

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.  We will also be adding a 4-wheel drive backhoe to our equipment arsenal with the purchase of a “new to us” backhoe from the Town of Woodstock. We will be selling our current backhoe that we bought from Woodstock 10 years ago and replacing it with the newer 4-wheel drive unit. We are lucky to have a neighbor who takes good care of their equipment and let’s us know when something becomes available that Edinburg can use.

As in years past the Town Crew will try 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 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.

Last winter saw many of us waking up to a cold house and no lights on a bitter cold morning. There is not much the Town can do to assist in a situation like that; however, there are other emergency situations where we have a need to communicate with residents as quickly as possible. Our water supply problems this past year called for us to request water conservation a number of times. During that time we were able to contact many of you by email to get the word out and keep you updated. Doing one announcement and hitting “send” can’t be beat for getting the word out fast to a large group.

With that in mind, we are asking you all to consider providing the Town with an email address. If email is not your thing, please consider giving us a phone number that we can reach you with. Also consider contacting a neighbor about what is going on if you know of someone who isn’t interested in providing a way to easily contact them. We plan to start requesting email addresses from all new water customers; and be assured that this contact information will not be shared with anyone.

This time last year I reported that Edinburg’s application for a Business District Revitalization Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) had not been successful. Staffing issues at the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Planning District did not allow them to assist us again with a resubmission of the Application in March 2018. Since that time we have been able to make progress with the “Branding” portion of the Application which was something the CDBG reviewers felt was missing on our first attempt.

We have also decided to scale back the project area to only include what we consider the commercial area of the Town. The CDBG review team suggested this last year; and additional work is also being done to the revitalization portion of the application.

An important part of submitting 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 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 are interested in signing another Letter of Interest for the application to be submitted in March 2019. We have copies of the letter for this round of the Application at the Town Office if you are still interested in participating.

Part of our CDBG Application talked about the recruiting and retention of businesses for Edinburg; we are looking into recruiting strategies, but 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.

As you are contemplating where to do your holiday shopping, or looking for something to entertain visitors this holiday season, please keep the Edinburg Mill in mind.  This effort by the Town and the Edinburg Heritage Foundation continues to improve and impress the many visitors coming to Edinburg. It’s sure to be a hit with your out of town family and other holiday visitors to our area. 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. Please 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, make sure to stop in and see what all the visitors are talking about. It’s also a great place to shop during the holidays with all the profits going to support the operation of the Mill.

As always, Edinburg has some special events planned to kick off the Holiday Season. The Parade this year will be on Thursday, November 29th.  Vice Mayor Steve Wood is again organizing the parade 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 again this year; followed by 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 has been very well attended in years past 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 has a great time and we hope you can join us.

Don’t forget the “Outdoor Decorating Contest”. The Mt. Jackson-Edinburg Rotary Club will be doing the judging this year during the week of December 10-14; 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 again blessed in that we did not have 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 will all soon be safe at home.

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