May 2018      

83rd Edition              


I think it’s spring, I think it’s spring; and hopefully by the time you are reading this it is actually here to stay. The Valley was blessed again this year to have not experienced the severe weather we heard about in other parts of the Country; although it was certainly colder and the wind was blowing harder than I think any of us cared for. I’m hoping any hint of a final frost is behind us now and we will soon be enjoying spring’s colorful reawakening everywhere you look.  Recent rains should help get things green again fast and the sound of lawn mowers will soon be a regular occurrence.

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 that your dog has left in the grass with a string-trimmer…well let’s just say “it ain’t pretty”. Please be considerate of others and clean up after pets.

With the warmer temperatures you will also soon be seeing the flower planters on Main Street again. Judy Beachy does a great job every year of working with the Town to brighten up Edinburg with the potted flowers that adorn our sidewalks. In past years the funding for this has come from the Edinburg Heritage Foundation, Edinburg Ole Time Festival Committee, Farmers and Merchants Bank and the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce. This year we are hoping that these organizations will continue their support and have also reached out to our local businesses in the hope of growing the program. The pots that the Town purchased a number of years ago are starting to breakdown and the search is underway for a replacement. Our narrow sidewalks make finding just the right container a real challenge. If any of you are interested in assisting with a donation toward this year’s flowers or the purchase of new pots it will be greatly appreciated. We also are interested in any ideas about what type of containers might work on our narrow sidewalks. Donations and container suggestions may be dropped off at the Town Office; Judy plans to start this year on May 11th, weather permitting.

Warmer weather also turns our thoughts to the Town Park and Pool. The official opening date will be Saturday, May 26th; although we have a number of Shelter rentals scheduled before that date. We are still working out the schedule for the pool season and hope to have it posted prior to the official opening. The changes in the school schedule greatly impacted pool attendance last season and changes are being looked at to improve the use of the facility as we move into the 2018 season.

One event that always draws visitors to the Town Park is the Skyline Street Rods Car Show; It will be held this year on Sunday, June 24th from 9:00 am-3:00 pm. The Show features a wide array of antique and classic cars along with street rods of all types and sizes. The owners are on hand to talk about their prized possession and are always more than happy to hear your oohs and aahs about the cars. Mark your calendars for a fun day at the Town Park.

Also mark your calendars for the next Neighborhood Watch meeting to be held on July 26 at 6:30 pm; and it will be a Covered Dish Picnic and Meeting at the Town Park in the Big Shelter. It’s sure to be a fun and informative evening.

The Town Council will be holding a Public Hearing on Tuesday, May 8 at 7:00 pm in the meeting room of the Town Hall. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the amending of the 2017-2018 Budget to reflect actual numbers and the proposed 2018-2019 Budget. The proposed Budget that will take effect July 1, 2018 includes a few changes that are being considered. The Town is proposing the adoption of a $0.25 per pack Cigarette Tax. Edinburg is the only town in Shenandoah County that does not currently have such a tax. It has not been considered before because the Town did not appear to have enough cigarette sales to amount to much in the way of taxes. Toms Brook adopted this form of tax in their 2017-2018 Budget affecting cigarette sales at two local gas stations-convenience stores and their Dollar General. The Edinburg Town Council recently learned what Toms Brook’s projected revenues for this budget year were and it was much more than any of us would have imagined.  Based on Toms Brook’s numbers we are estimating that a $0.25 per pack tax will bring in $35,000 per Budget cycle. We haven’t checked, but it is hard to believe that Edinburg customers are currently paying any less for cigarettes in our town than any of the other towns that already have the tax.

The Council is not proposing any Tax increases for the new Budget; they are proposing an increase in Water, Sewer and Trash Pick-up totaling $5.00 per month. This breaks down as:

  • A $0.25 increase in Trash Pick-up to cover an increase in the Trash Contract.
  • Water Minimum monthly increase of $0.75 for in Town customers, (out of Town at $1.12)
  • Sewer Minimum monthly increase of $4 for in Town customers, (out of Town customers at $6)

The first two items above are needed to cover the ever increasing cost of providing these services. The Sewer increase is a result of the upcoming Sewer Plant improvements. The estimate to complete the required improvement is $4,000,000; and will probably be more once all of the details are worked out. The funding for this project will ultimately be in the form of long term financing through Rural Development and hopefully Grants from both Rural Development and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Edinburg is a prime candidate for grant funding and the DEQ looks favorably on projects like ours. The Town is required to secure a bridge loan to fund the Engineering and Design portion of our project prior to securing the long term financing and/or grants. The Engineering is estimated at $280,000 and the increase in the Sewer Rate is needed to cover this new Debt Service. The bridge loan will ultimately be rolled into the long term 40 year loan and the increase in monthly fees will go toward paying down the 40 year loan. We know that nobody likes increases in fees; but sometimes they are unavoidable as we do our best to meet the challenge of new regulations.

We are in need of 2 members for the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). We recently lost a member with the passing of Ron Crabtree and we have been looking for a fifth member for the past year. 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 consider serving.

The Planning Commission is also looking for additional members. Long time member, Bill Roller is now in a nursing home and his input will be missed. Town Council Candidate, Bill Boone currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Commission and current Council Member, Steve Van Stee is the Chairman. Assuming Bill will be joining the Town Council on July 1, 2018 will result in another vacancy on the Commission since only one Town Council representative is permitted by State Law. The Commission may have up to 15 members and will have only 6 after July 1. Please contact the Town Office, 984-8521, if you have an interest in serving. 

The relocation of the State Inspection Sticker is causing issues with the placement of the Town Vehicle Sticker. We have learned that Inspection Stations have been removing the Town Sticker when relocating the State Sticker. If this happens to you, please stop at the Town Office to pick-up a replacement Town Sticker at no charge. Place this new Sticker in the far right corner of your windshield. (The opposite side of the windshield from the side where your new State Inspection is now located.)  Please do not get upset if you receive a ticket for not having a Town Sticker because your current Sticker was removed. Just bring the ticket to the Town Office and we will have a record of your purchasing a 2018 Sticker.

The Community Development Implementation Grant application is still on hold while we wait for the Regional Planning District to assist us. The plan is to get things rolling again sometime this summer with the required meetings and planning to have us ready to resubmit in March 2019. In the meantime we have been working on the new "Branding" effort that the Grant reviewers said we should have in place prior to our resubmittal.  The Town Council decided that we had the skills in house to accomplish this without hiring an expensive consultant.  We used the idea of incorporating three of our well known Edinburg landmarks to create a Brand to be used on our signage and other promotions.  Working with local graphic artist Lynne Crumpacker, we combined the Edinburg Gap, Stony Creek and the Edinburg Mill to come up with the brand.  

Something else you will be seeing around town soon will be a new LED version of our Historic Style Streetlights. Main Street Homes, the developer doing Phase 2 of Edinburg Square will be installing 12 LED streetlights in that section of the subdivision. In addition to those lights, Clyde and Judy Beachy are donating 3 LED fixtures and poles to be installed along Massie Farm Lane as you pull into the Mill parking lot. We have been discussing the change to LED fixtures for a number of years and these two projects will give us a chance to see how they compare to our existing lights.

September 21st-23rd will be the 38th Edinburg Ole Time Festival. If you would like to get involved in the oldest and largest festival in Shenandoah County, please contact Eric Estep at (540) 325-9632.

That’s it for now; have a great spring! Your Mayor, Dan Harshman