May 2017      

79th Edition              


AH, SPRING IS HERE! Although we certainly didn’t have a bad winter; the longer days, blooming trees and warmer temperatures always bring a smile to my face. The Valley has been blessed to have not experienced the severe weather we hear about in other parts of the Country every day. I’m hoping any hint of a final frost is behind us and we will soon be enjoying colorful blooms everywhere you look.  The recent rain is certainly going to help get things green again.

And with the warmer weather comes the fun of cutting the grass. The Town Crew has already begun trimming and cutting all over Town and the way that weeds are popping up everywhere, it looks like it could be a busy season. I’m sure you have noticed the signs around Town instructing dog owners to clean up after their pets; as the signs point out, it is the Law. All of us, especially the Town Crew, are very appreciative of the pet owners that follow this law as we begin another mowing season. Finding a present your dog has left in the grass with a string-trimmer…well let’s just say “it ain’t pretty”.

There is another thing I’ve been asked to mention about dogs. The Town Ordinance states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to allow any animal or bird except farm animals in agricultural districts to create noise that is plainly audible at least once a minute for 10 consecutive minutes (1) inside the confines of the dwelling unit, house or apartment of another; or (2) at fifty (50) or more feet from the animal or bird.”  A barking dog, or any other animal or bird that disturbs your neighbors is not a good thing.  Often your neighbors don’t say anything because we all want to be good neighbors and not complain; however, the good neighbor thing goes both ways and we all need to be aware of how our pets are affecting others.

This is turning into a tutorial on the Town Ordinances but let’s talk trash. We all at some point end up with stuff that we don’t need any more or just don’t have anywhere to put. Leaving it sitting in the yard or on the front porch might be an easy solution; however, it is not the right one. I must once again quote the legalese of the Town Code which states, “No person, firm or corporation shall allow any  junk or any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer as such as defined in §46.2-100 of the Code of Virginia of 1950, as amended, which is inoperative, to be kept on any property zoned for residential or commercial or agricultural purposes, except when such junk or any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, which is inoperative, shall be kept within a fully enclosed building or structure or otherwise shielded or screened from view.”

When it comes to inoperative vehicles it is fairly easy to identify them; junk is a little more difficult. We have all heard the expression that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. I recently had to contact a property owner about complaints on his property and he asked what makes something junk. My answer was that if the item would not normally be seen sitting on a porch or in a yard for an extended period of time it should not be there. The Ordinance defines Junk and Debris as any worn out, cast off or discarded article or material, including vehicles of all kinds, with or without motors, either self-propelled or not. Regrettably, this still doesn’t answer the question of Junk or Treasure.  Although, if you look around the neighborhood and you seem to be the only property with a collection of stuff sitting in plain view, it probably shouldn’t be there.  If it truly is a personal treasure, you need to find it a place to be stored inside.

One more Town Ordinance item that has come up recently is the purchasing of Town Vehicle Stickers; I promise this will be the last one. As most of you know Edinburg requires the purchase of a Town License Decal every year. These go on sale February 1 and must be displayed by March 1st. Last year the Town Council adopted an amendment that places a $10 late fee for any decal purchased after the March 1 deadline.  This late fee does not impact those moving to Edinburg after March 1 or those that go south for the winter months. New residents have 30 days to purchase an Edinburg Decal; and if they provide proof of payment for a vehicle license from another Shenandoah County locality, they will pay only $5 for the decal.  Snowbirds that have notified the Town Office of their plans to winter down south need only pay the normal fee once they are back in town.

The $10 Late Fee is charged for all Decals purchased for the first 30 days after the March 1 deadline; those not buying the required Decal after that time may also be fined.  A list of those residents that did not purchase a Decal as of April 1st  has been turned over to the Sheriff’s Department. Deputies will be on the lookout for these vehicles and can issue a citation of $25 in addition to the $10 Late Fee.  The Town would prefer to not need to go this extra step; however sometimes it is needed to get the attention of some individuals.  The Vehicle License is a fee that everyone in Shenandoah County is required to pay. It is only fair that the Town take steps to assure that everyone has complied.

The Town Council has been busy working out the details of the 2017-2018 Edinburg Town Budget.  No tax or fee increases are proposed for this year and the Budget is being proposed at $979,847 for the General Fund and $661,925 for the Enterprise Fund. A public hearing will be held at 7:00 pm on Tuesday May 9th to receive comments on the proposed budget.

We are still in need of members for the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).  Michael Franklin has filled one of the vacancies; thanks Michael, we truly appreciate your willingness to serve.  We have two more positions to fill because of one member moving out of Edinburg and a second one’s term has expired.  Once we have a full membership we plan to hold an organizational meeting.  As I have said before, we have not had that many instances where the BZA has needed to meet in the past; however, it is still important to have all of the positions filled. Please contact the Town Office if you are interested in serving.

Someone else that is looking to recruit some residents to serve is Barbara Strong. Some of you will remember Barbara from her involvement with Theater Shenandoah years ago. She moved away for a few years, but is back living in Edinburg now. She has been given the task of directing the revival of the “Legend of Stony Creek” at the 2017 Edinburg Ole Time Festival.  The original play written by MaryAnn Williamson has been rewritten with an emphasis on the history and saving of the Edinburg Mill plus interesting facts about local townspeople, business of the past and more. There will be 2 performances during the Festival; one on Saturday, September 16th at 11:00 am and a second one on Sunday, September 17th at 2:00 pm.

Auditions for “Legend of Stony Creek” will be held in mid July. Characters needed are: Indians, 5 or 6 children-ages 8-12, Townspeople (must be willing and able to sing) Union Soldiers, Confederate Soldiers, Preacher, and others. Most parts will require speaking lines and Rehearsals will begin the first week of August.  For more information contact Barbara at 765-242-7477, email: busybee7053@att.net

Something to watch for a little earlier this year is the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on June 7th. The Woodstock Police Department and Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office will begin the Run at 8:00 am at the DMV in Woodstock. The Torch Run will arrive in Edinburg around 9am on its way to New Market where the Torch will be handed off to the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office at the SunTrust Bank.  This is the second decade of the Torch Run and the Community is encouraged to come out and show their support by waving and cheering on the torch run participants. You can expect to see extra Law Enforcement out along the torch run’s route for safety; as well as some traffic delays on Route 11 during the run.

Speaking of the Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Carter will be hosting the Neighborhood Watch Annual Banquet on Thursday May 4th.  The covered dish meal and Neighborhood Watch meeting will be held at Valley Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 408 Stony Creek Road, Edinburg  at 6:30 pm on May 4th. There will be a brief meeting and time for questions followed by a covered dish meal. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy a time of fellowship with other Neighborhood Watch members and learn what is happening in other parts of the County. Bring a covered dish and a guest.

The next Edinburg Neighborhood Watch Meeting will be Thursday June 29th at 7:00 pm at the Edinburg Town Hall. Make sure to mark your calendars.

The Community Development Implementation Grant application was submitted on March 29th.  The title of the Grant Document was “A Vibrant Edinburg” and we had 28 property owners submit Letters of Interest to participate in the Façade Improvement Program as part of the grant. If we are successful there will be a total of $420,000 ($15,000 each) available to assist property owners with much needed improvements to their buildings. They will be required to spend a matching amount, but who can’t use $15,000 in free money to help fix up their building.  Funding will also be provided for design work by Staunton Architect Kathy Frazier to get just the right look for each building.

Grant funding was also requested for a number of Public Improvements. Additional Crosswalks and 8,000 square feet of Sidewalk Replacement were included; as well as additional Historic Style Streetlights and attractive Street Furniture.  Wayfinding (directional signs within the Town) Signs including a new Town Map based on the Historic Walking Tour for the Christmas Tree Lot are also planned. 

The Application requests funding for a very interesting project planned for the concrete wall along Stony Creek Blvd. A Mural depicting historic buildings, people and events will be created using digital photographs printed on a vinyl material that will be applied directly to the wall. At 300 feet long, the collage of photographs will be an impressive sight as travelers enter Edinburg from Interstate 81. It is sure to attract attention as a great photo op for all those folks running around taking pictures with their phones.  It will be one more thing that makes our great little town unique.

Have a great spring! Your Mayor, Dan Harshman.