News Archive

expand Chamber to hold New Years Eve Party
posted: Oct 16, 2014


 Please join the Snow Hill Area Chamber of Commerce for the 2nd annual New Year's Eve Bash!

Enjoy great music from local band THE ABSOLUTE, good food and a cash bar!

Tickets will go on sale 11/1/2014 - $25/person ($30 after 12/1/14). Limited to 250 tickets so don't delay!

Please call (410)632-0809 or email jlmoyer212@comcast.net for more information!


*Must be 21 to attend - ID's will be checked!
*Please drink responsibly!

 

expand Town Hall Closes for Veteran's Day
posted: Oct 14, 2014

The offices in Town Hall will be closed on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 in observance of the Veterans Day. Regular hours resume on Wednesday, November 12 at 8:30 am. 

expand FiberFest at Purnell Museum
posted: Oct 1, 2014

FiberFest!: Purnell Museum Presents Annual Textile Arts Festival
 
Snow Hill, MD—The Julia A. Purnell Museum is pleased to present FiberFest!, its annual textile arts festival, to take place on the museum ground on Market Street in downtown Snow Hill on Saturday, October 18 from 10am-4pm. Area fiber artists, including knitters, crocheters, quilters, weavers and spinners will find a wide array of specialty supplies. Those who love to wear, display, or collect beautiful, handcrafted items will also find plenty to enjoy, with vendors offering art pieces, clothing, home décor, and baby items perfect for holiday shopping. “The annual event is a destination for artisans and art lovers across the region,” says Dr. Cindy Byrd, the Purnell Museum's executive director. “They look forward to seeing old friends and learning new techniques each year.”
 
Featured vendors and demonstrators include Jen Nock, Rosalyn Fradel, Quilters by the Sea, The Wool Farm, Ladybird Studios, The Fine Needle, Dawn Macke's Dolls, Nancy Ferguson's Wool & Natural Dyes, Woven Dreams Studio, and the Society for Creative Anachronism. Activities throughout the day will feature the history and techniques associated the fiber arts. From basketweaving and dyeing demonstrations to period costumes worn and displayed by the Society for Creative Anachronism. Face painting, live animals, and free craft activities for children round out a full day of fun. The museum's annual textile art exhibit, the Delmarva Needle Art Show & Competition will be on display at the museum during FiberFest, and the winners of the competition will be announced at an afternoon Ribbon Ceremony during the festival.
 
FiberFest! will take place at the Julia A. Purnell Museum in downtown Snow Hill, Maryland, from 10 am to 4 pm on October 18. Festival admission is free. For more information, find us on Facebook or contact the museum at 410-632-0515.

expand Local Artist opens show in Ocean City
posted: Sep 22, 2014

Art League Announces “Sisters” Exhibit at Ocean City Arts Center

The bond between siblings can be a strong, enduring and, sometimes, mysterious affair. To showcase such a bond on an artistic level can be a thing of beauty.

In the Art League of Ocean City’s October special exhibit, “Symbiosis: Sisters, Muses, Mentors,” Deb Rolig of Snow Hill and Diane (Dee) Gray of Lewes, Delaware, are joining forces to share with us their familial artistic sensibilities – the ties and talent that bind them together.

The event is the first shared exhibition for the sisters, although both have been working artists for more than 20 years. Rolig’s fine art work is familiar to many on the Eastern Shore, while Gray is a nationally distributed graphic design artist. While each has a distinctive style, an undeniably reflective thread runs through their paintings, as the two closely collaborate while conceptualizing and creating.

“We are both inspired by each other’s work,” said Gray. “We always have collaborated and encouraged each other through almost every painting – over the phone and in photo texts. We are always open and honest, and cheerleaders for each other to keep pressing on. We both ‘get’ each other when it comes to our art and  . . . without our mutual support, creatively and psychologically, we might not still be at it.”

Rolig’s paintings have a narrative quality, juxtaposing bits of realism on abstract fields with rich textures and layers of color while Gray’s work incorporates a unique illustrative style combined with vintage papers, a touch of charcoal pencil, affirming messages, acrylics and glazes.

Rolig graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing. Her recent work is represented by several Shore galleries including Bishop’s Stock in Snow Hill, Nest in Berlin, and two Rehoboth Galleries – Philip Morton Gallery and Gallery 50.

Gray is a graduate of the former Maryland College of Art and Design. She is founder and president of Boomerang Studios, a graphic design and illustration firm, and has designed many award-winning projects for high-profile clients. Her licensing venture, Green Street Garden Party, introduces sustainable living to children through vividly illustrated characters. Under the signature label Gathered Curiosities, she creates mixed-media items using found objects and upcycled art, which can be purchased at several area shops including The Green Doors and The Serenity Shoppe in Snow Hill and Nest in Berlin. 

Gray and Rolig are also partners in ShaDeeLa Creative Workshops, periodic classes that provide participants with meaningful personal explorations through art. They are the daughters of Severna Park artist Richard H. Harryman, whose own work is known for its evocative scenes of the Chesapeake Bay region.

The opening reception is Friday, Oct. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street and is free and open to the public. “Symbiosis” runs through the month of October.

For more information about the offerings at the OC Center for the Arts, contact the Art League at 410-524-9433 or visitwww.ArtLeagueofOceanCity.org

expand Worcester Co Health Dept Issues Advisory
posted: Sep 22, 2014

First mosquito pool positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Snow Hill, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department received notification from the State of Maryland that a mosquito pool in southern Worcester County tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).  The pool sampled is in a remote, low lying area of the county, usually known to have standing water year-round. This is the first positive pool reported in Maryland for the year.

Arboviruses, such as the EEE virus, are most common during the summer and fall months. The viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, the recent rain may have attracted more mosquitoes.  Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior.

The Worcester County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection:

  • Stay indoors at dawn and dusk.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent and follow package instructions.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites.
    • Remove all discarded tires from property.
    • Dispose of water-holding containers.
    • Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.
    • Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
    • Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they are not in use.

People with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks. In more severe cases, patients need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment. Signs and symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis include fever, headache, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, cyanosis, convulsions, and coma. Anyone who has symptoms that cause concern should contact a health care provider.

For more tips and information about Eastern Equine Encephalitis, please visit our website at http://worcesterhealth.org.

expand Be advised:
posted: Sep 17, 2014

Worcester County Health Department advises rabid cat found at the Pocomoke River State Park - Milburn Landing Area Campground

Snow Hill, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department has confirmed that an adult was bitten by a rabid cat at the Pocomoke River State Park - Milburn Landing campground area on Monday, September 15, 2014.  The cat was located, euthanized and sent for rabies testing. Rabies was confirmed by the State Laboratories Administration Rabies Lab. The cat was described as a medium adult male, dark gray with white under its chin and belly with four white feet.

Health department officials warn that any person, pet or other animal that may have had contact with this cat could be at risk for rabies exposure. To report any contact with or exposure to the cat, call the Worcester County Health Department immediately at410-641-9559. If you call after hours or on the weekend, call Worcester County Emergency Services at 410-632-1311 to reach health department on-call staff.

If a person has been bitten or scratched, he or she should seek immediate medical care. Post-exposure treatment is necessary to prevent rabies.  If not treated, rabies is fatal.  If a pet has had contact with this cat, contact your veterinarian.

For general rabies information, please visit http://www.worcesterhealth.org.

expand Local Group Needs $75k to move Schoolhouse
posted: Sep 15, 2014

Read Bryce Stump's article in the Daily Times Monday, September 15th edition about the Worcester County Historical Society's project to move the Mt. Zion One Room Schoolhouse to Furnace Town.  Check out this story on delmarvanow.com: http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2014/09/14/old-snow-hill-school/15532985/

expand Excursion Railroad may come to Worcester
posted: Sep 15, 2014

Snow Hill has participated in a study that would bring the Strasburg Scenic Railroad to Worcester County.

Check out this story on delmarvanow.com: http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2014/09/05/excursion-railroad-moving-forward/15161643/

expand Volleyball net in Byrd park
posted: Aug 27, 2014

A volleyball net has been installed in Byrd Park for residents to use for volleyball or badminton. Make use of it while it is up and have fun!

expand Town Hall Closes for Election Day
posted: Aug 18, 2014

The offices in Town Hall will be closed on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 in observance of the Statewide General Election. Regular hours resume on Wednesday, November 5th at 8:30 am. 

expand Strategic Revitalization Plan
posted: Jul 30, 2014

The draft of the Strategic Revitalization Plan is available for download. The file is large and may not work with some email programs. Contact Town Hall to have a copy downloaded to your Dropbox account. Paper copies will be available in Town Hall for review. At the meeting on August 20th, 2014 Consultant Chris Jakubiak was in the Old Firehouse at 7:00 pm to present his draft and to hear public comments on the plan. Residents are stongly encouraged read the draft and to send their comments to Town Hall during the week of September 1, 2014. 

expand Snow Hill is Added to MDE Site
posted: Jul 22, 2014

The state of Maryland maintains a Green Registry of businesses and localities that conform to certain environmental friendly standards as part of its Smart, Green, and Growing initiative. By highlighting its sustainable and green practices in an application, the Town of Snow Hill was recently named to the Maryland Green Registry. While most of the entries on it are individual businesses, the Town is one of four municipalities that have completed its profile for the Maryland Department Environment (MDE) site.  Maryland Green Registry members are saving over $79 million annually through environmental best practices.

Go to the Green Registry at mde.maryland.gov/marylandgreen/Pages/GreenMembersList.aspx and click on Snow Hill to see its profile and profiles of others to learn more about how these practical, proven practices can save money and put your business or organization on the path to sustainability. 

expand Town wide Rezoning Begins
posted: Jun 24, 2014

Comprehensive Zoning 

The Town of Snow Hill’s Department of Planning will begin its townwide rezoning process and will be accepting proposals for zoning map and regulation amendments between June 16 and August 16, 2014. 

In order to achieve the goals and objectives of the 2010 Snow Hill Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2010, the Snow Hill Planning Commission has initiated a comprehensive zoning of all properties located in the incorporated area of Snow Hill.  As part of the Comprehensive Rezoning process, new zoning maps, a new Zoning Ordinance, and new Subdivision Regulations will be submitted to Mayor and Council for approval.  

Any property owner may request a zoning map change on their property.  For example if a parcel is zoned for residential use, but the owner wants the property zoned for business use, a request may be submitted. 

Requests for zoning regulation changes, also known as text amendments, may also be made by anyone.  Beginning on June 16th, proposals for both types of zoning changes should be made via the official request forms available by following the links above or you may pick up a copy of application(s) at Town Hall at 103 Bank St., Snow Hill MD. Requests not submitted by the deadline will not be considered in the Planning Commission’s preparation of the Comprehensive Zoning Plan.

The 2014 Comprehensive Zoning will include the following steps:

1.      The Planning Department accepts requests for zoning map and regulation changes.

2.      Planning staff shall compile and evaluate all requests. Then submit recommendations on all requests to the Planning Commission. Planning board reviews staff recommendation and makes recommendation.

3.      Staff recommendations will be reviewed with the Planning Commission and a written notice (time/date/location) of public hearing will be issued to all property owners whose property is subject of a proposed rezoning and to adjoining property owners.

4.      The Planning Commission shall submit recommended actions to the Mayor and Council.

5.      Mayor and Council receive proposal as legislation for consideration and hold public hearing.

6.      Mayor and Council will vote on recommendations.

As part of the public review and public hearing process involved in the Comprehensive Rezoning process, information will be posted and updated on the town website.  Questions can be directed to Karen Houtman, Planner (houtman@snowhillmd.com) or Kelly Brewington, Town Manager (brewington@snowhillmd.com).

expand Snow Hill WWTP receives Award
posted: May 7, 2014

MARYLAND’S “WASTEWATER SYSTEM OF THE YEAR”.

Maryland Rural Water Association and the State of Maryland have named the Town of Snow Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant: Wastewater System of the Year. The plant now has a capacity of 0.5 million gallons per day, and is considered to be among the 66 “major” treatment plants in the State of Maryland, as identified by the Maryland Department of the Environment.  As such, the BNR/ENR Upgrade Project was a primary goal for the State of Maryland and EPA and should serve the needs of the town for the next twenty years.

In order to support Chesapeake Bay Restoration efforts, the Town of Snow Hill considered a wastewater treatment plant upgrade for two decades.  The Town of Snow Hill continuously attempted to secure funding to make the upgrade affordable.  Finally, in September of 2010 the funding possibilities were improving and the project was becoming viable.  The Town contracted with David, Bowen, & Friedel, Inc. for the completion of the planning, design, contract administration and inspection.  The $12 million project construction was completed by Howard Robson, Inc. in 2013.

The Mayor and Town Council considered this plant upgrade as one of the Town priorities.  Kelly Brewington, Town Manager; Frank Daniels, Plant Superintendent; and other Town staff members took great interest in the project and worked closely with Davis, Bowen & Friedel as the project design progressed.  This high level of interest and attention remained throughout the construction of the facility upgrade. Frank Daniels is to be commended for keeping the existing operations functional throughout the period of construction.  As a result of this impressive effort, the upgrade project was fully operational on schedule and below budget.  The upgraded treatment facility is far exceeding the difficult ENR treatment level required by MDE.  In fact, the quality of effluent from the Snow Hill plant is about half of what the permit requires. 

All funding agency staff members went above and beyond the call of duty for the project. Funding agencies that made this upgrade possible include the Maryland Department of the Environment, United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Block Grant Program. 

 

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expand Facade Grant Program 2014
posted: Apr 28, 2014

The State of Maryland Community Legacy Program has awarded the Town of Snow Hill another grant to be used toward funding facade improvements of commercial buildings. This program is to assist business owners who seek to improve the facade of their buildings.

Applications are due in Town Hall on Thursday, June 5, 2014 by 4:30pm.

Click here for the  Façade Grant Overview document

Click here for the Façade Grant Application for 2014

 Call Ann Gibb or Kelly Brewington at 410-632-2080 for further information

expand SH PD Warns of Scam
posted: Mar 14, 2014

Phone Scam Targets Ocean Pines Computer Owners

Written by Charlene Sharpe , Staff Writer

OCEAN PINES — An apparent phone scam is targeting computer owners in Ocean Pines.

Several residents say they’ve been contacted via telephone by someone claiming to be with Microsoft. The caller offers to help them straighten their computer out and then asks for a fee. If the computer owner gets suspicious or refuses to pay, the person on the other end of the line locks their computer.

“If and when the person realizes something isn’t right and tells ‘Microsoft’ that they don’t have to give any more information or they tell them they don’t want them to have access to the computer anymore,” Robert Hutton, a field specialist with Worldwide Tech Services, said, “the people on the phone lock up their hard drive.”

“There’s no telling whether or not the customer’s files are being tampered with since the only thing visible now is a blank screen with a little window requiring a password,” he added.

Hutton said he’s fixed two computers in recent weeks for residents that have fallen victim to the scam. Once the caller locks the computer, nothing is visible but a blank screen. Most people are forced to take the machine to a repair shop or call a repairman like Hutton.­

“The only resort is to reinstall the operating system,” he said. “It’s like wiping the hard drive.”

Pines resident Iris Carey said she was targeted by the scammers. For a period of about two weeks, someone claiming to be Microsoft called her home. When she picked up, the caller said Windows on her computer wasn’t working properly and offered to help her straighten it out.

Because she rarely uses her computer, she declined.

“I right away was suspicious,” she said. “I wouldn’t do it. I thought they wanted to get control of the computer.”

One of her friends, however, was more trusting. She let the caller walk her through the so-called “fix” and ended up with a blacked-out screen. She said she had to spend $85 to get her computer repaired.­

“He froze her computer,” Carey said.

Hutton wants area residents to be aware of the scam so they don’t fall victim to it. He said if an individual does have a computer problem, they should deal with the computer maker, such as Dell or HP, and not a company like Microsoft.­

“Microsoft would never call and say there’s something wrong with your computer,” he said.

Ocean Pines Police say they haven’t had any reports of the Microsoft scam but that the community has its share of phone scams circulating. Lt. Leo Ehrisman warns residents to be wary, as things that sound too good to be true usually are.

“We get some solicitation via email and phone,” he said. “We get the normal. If someone calls and says you’ve won a contest, think— did you enter the contest?”

He also said it’s very important to be careful with debit card numbers.­

“If it’s a credit card, most are insured for fraud,” he said. “If they get your credit card number it’s not as bad. If it’s your debit card, that money is taken from your account. That money’s gone.”

 

cxsharpe@dmg.gannett.com
On Twitter @SharpeCharlene

If anyone receives calls of this nature, they are urged to contact the Snow Hill Police Department at 410-632-2447.

expand Town joins Shore Power Project
posted: Jan 22, 2014

Town joins Shore Power Project

Snow Hill and four other towns have joined together to take advantage of the Easton –based Town Creek Foundation’s $150,000 grant to examine energy use by municipalities on the Eastern Shore. An article by Jamie Smith Hopkins in the Baltimore Sun on January 21, 2014 highlights the partnership to ultimately save energy on the Shore. The Shore Power Energy Project will be led by Washington College Center for Environment and Society (CES) and is designed to help community leaders on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to track energy and reduce energy expenditures and green house gas emissions..

The Eastern Shore has always been environmentally sensitive. It is believed that the alliance between Cambridge, Snow Hill, Easton, and Salisbury which replicates the previous study for Chestertown may be the first of its kind in the state to study energy use and to conserve energy regionally. The Department of the Environment in Maryland is very excited to see the cooperative effort by the towns. The Department sees the project’s potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 25% by the year 2020.

As each town conducts an energy audit, it will find ways to reduce energy use and to save money by making changes to its energy consumption. The municipalities shall assist CES with energy usage data with regard to its municipal buildings, municipal fleet, landscaping, recycling, etc.

Snow Hill Planner, Karen Houtman says” we are excited to get some assistance tracking energy usage and determining the most economically sustainable options to reduce energy usage.”

To read the full article go to www.baltimoresun.com.

 

 

expand Community Emergency Response Training (CERT)
posted: Oct 23, 2013

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

For more information about upcoming CERT Classes, contact Tom Kane at Worcester County Department of Emergency Services at 410-632-1311 or by email tkane@co.worcester. md.us

expand Article about15th Blessing of the Combines Festival
posted: Jun 14, 2013

SNOW HILL, MD.  Even as farm fields are being planted in corn and soybeans, farmers are preparing their combines for the summer and fall harvests.   Several Worcester County farmers - including George Lee Clayville, Bill Figgs, Byron Hauck, Lee Holloway, Buster Powell, Roger Richardson, David Shockley and Virgil Shockley - are  readying their machines for The Blessing of the Combines on August 3, 2013.   Festivities in downtown Snow Hill  begin at 11:00 and conclude at 3:00.

A Parade of Combines - led by Antique Tractors and by Mr. Orem Perdue’s horse-drawn combine - moves slowly south on MD RT 12, across the drawbridge over the Pocomoke River, and west onto Green Street.  Parade directors lead each combine to its stopping place and, with turn-on-a-dime accuracy, position each at the perfect angle.  A growing hum of engines culminates with a throttle thrust - and then silence.  But not for long!

Music, (including Too Far Gone), food, vendors, crafts, a Petting Barnyard, activities for children, hay rides, carriage and pony rides, Scales and Tales are ongoing.  The Program, directed by Master of Ceremonies Steve Hales, includes welcomes, introductions, and a keynote address by Jim Perdue, and preceeds the Blessing of the Combines by Snow Hill Ministerial Association member, Rev. Seth Nelson.

The Wheels that Heal Car Club’s show sets up in Sturgis Park along The Pocomoke River from 11:00 - 3:00

For details contact Becky Payne at 443-783-1715, or email kfisher44@verizon.net .

expand Town Hall Newsletter Published
posted: Jun 5, 2013

The Mayor and Council of Snow Hill has published its third newsletter to keep residents abreast of local government news. River Current, Vol 2/Issue 1 is available at various locations in the town or on the website in PDF format. The Town plans to publish its newsletter twice a year. If you missed back issues, you may download them

 The First Issue of River Currents, Vol 1 Issue1 Summer 2013 

River Currents , Vol 1 Issue 2 , Fall/Winter 2013

Please call 410-632-2080 with any questions

expand Great article about Snow Hill
posted: Jun 3, 2013

This is the first in a series of commentaries submitted by the four volunteer community members of The Daily Times Editorial Board as their six-month term comes to an end. — Editor
 
When my husband and I decided to look for property to start a bed and breakfast back in 1990, we knew we wanted to be on the Eastern Shore. We had kept our sailboat at Kent Narrows, and loved sailing the Chesapeake Bay.
The “Land of Pleasant Living” certainly fit the ticket for two people who had had enough of corporate life and
needed to find calm and control over our time and resources.
As we searched through all the by-ways we finally found a home in the town called Snow Hill. I had reservations
about small town living; it can be difficult to integrate into the social system when you are an outsider. But not in
Snow Hill. We were treated as welcome new members of the community. I had a small sign that I would point to
when our guests asked if we were natives. It said “I wasn’t born here but I got here as soon as I could.” And that’s exactly how I feel about the place that has embraced us.
We have moved a lot and I often thought about where I would go if I had to choose any of those places. The first
Sunday we were here, we took a break from renovations and went to church. After the kind greetings of the
congregants, and the warm atmosphere of acceptance I turned to my husband and said “Honey, we’re home.”
Part of being accepted is a willingness to pitch in, to be someone who is happy to give back to others. It can be
contagious, and others will catch the spirit. The common theme you will hear in this town is how much we love this
town. We can’t imagine living anywhere else.
My neighbors all keep track of each other, to care about and help when needed. My husband had a severe accident that had him in Shock Trauma and then bed-bound for three months. He received a paper grocery bag full of get well cards to cheer him up. People came and sat just to visit.
That’s kindness and caring. When I had to call an ambulance when he was ill, our Chief of Police came to make sure everything went well. How wonderful to see a concerned face in times of stress.

We have friends who have moved to retirement communities, giving up friends and neighbors of many years. They urge us to do likewise, which is a puzzle. Small towns have a sense of place, where you go out in the evening or sit on your porch to greet your friends. I walk our standard poodles around town almost every day. There is always someone out and about, even some who I don’t really know except we always cross paths and say good morning. Being in a small town means you can walk almost anywhere you want to go. It’s small town life for us.
Here is where our hearts are, and here we will stay.

Susanne Knudsen is a former Mayor of Snow Hill.

expand Snow Hill Farmers Market Begins on May 1
posted: Jan 23, 2013

The Snow Hill Farmer's Market is making a move! The Market will be held on Thursdays beginning on Thursday, May 1, 2014. It will move down Green Street to the Town's parking lot in front of the Old Firehouse. The hours will be from noon to 5:00 pm. Mark your calendars! See you at the market in May!

If you are a vendor, you are asked to register with the Town by filling our the Farmers Market Contract. There is no charge to participate in the Snow Hill Farmers Market. 

expand Holiday Closings for 2014
posted: Dec 5, 2012

The offices in Town Hall will be closed for 12 holidays during 2014. The Holiday Closings Schedule for Calendar Year 2014 will be available here.

 Call Town Hall at 410-632-2080 for more information

expand Panel to decide Future of Opera House
posted: Nov 1, 2012

Originally published in the Salisbury Daily Times

Eight have been named to the blue ribbon panel that will help decide the future of the old Mason’s Opera House.

Mayor Charlie Dorman personally appointed the members of The Raley Building Blue Ribbon Panel. All either live or work in Snow Hill and have volunteered for the position.

The Opera House, also called the Raley building after current owner Robert Raley, is being donated to the town by Raley after sitting vacant for more than 14 years. The building is prominently located at the corner of Market and Washington Sts. at the town’s only traffic light.

Panel members are:

• Pastor Elbert Davis, founder of Free Indeed Ministries;

• Pastor Joe Poe of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church;

• T.J. Patel, owner of the Snow Hill Foodrite and Town Market Basket;

• Todd Crosby, board member of the Worcester Co. Children’s Theater Workshop and professional singer;

• Gary King, retired school principal and sign language instructor;

• Wendy Myers, social worker and program manager of the Cricket Center;

• Shawn Johnson, owner of the Snow Hill Auto Mart;

• Christina Welch, assistant principal at Snow Hill Middle School.

“In my heart,” said Dorman, “I felt these were the best suited people in town.”

“I’m interested, because I’m a Snow Hill native, a Snow Hillian. I just want to see progress in our community. I was honored to be chosen as part of this because the building can be a resource for civic groups and youth programming. I look at this as a great opportunity to have your voice heard,” Panel member Shawn Johnson said.

Todd Crosby, also a panel member, said, “Because I’m involved with so many people here, in theater and Little League, people talk to me about what we need in the area. My background is in not-for-profit work and in old buildings. I spent 20 years in New York City getting projects like this done.”

Michele Ennis-Benn, director of mediation at The Center for Conflict Resolution at Salisbury University, will facilitate panel meetings.

According to Dorman, Ennis-Benn will set up meetings for the panel with the Snow Hill Historic Commission, the town’s Arts and Entertainment District, and the town planner to see how the opera house fits in with Snow Hill’s comprehensive and strategic plans.

The town government will then step aside, and allow the panel of citizens to meet and discuss options for the old building. The panel will report back with their recommendations.

The mayor is hoping for a report sometime in January, as the next round for grant applications is in early spring.

“Whatever we end up doing with the building,” said Crosby, “it will nice to have it come back to life.”

expand Old Opera House Receives an Encore
posted: Nov 1, 2012

Originally printed in the Salisbury Daily Times

SNOW HILL — After more than 14 years of vacancy, the old opera house at the corner of Market and Washington streets finally has a chance for new life.

For years, the empty building has been greeting visitors to Snow Hill as they stop at the town’s only traffic light.

Knowing what a landmark the building is, the Town Council has decided to take possession of the long-abandoned property; owner Robert Raley of Lewes has verbally agreed to turn the property over to the town at no cost.

“During my (mayoral) campaign, one of my priorities was to have something done with the Raley building,” said Snow Hill Mayor Charlie Dorman. “Once I took office, we made an appointment and I met Raley at his vineyard. I asked if he would like to give (the building) to me.”

According to Dorman, Raley developed a donation proposal, which the Town Council has accepted; details of the agreement are not being released as paperwork has not been finalized. Final property settlement is expected before the end of the year, one of Raley’s stipulations.

The corner property has been for sale for years, listed privately by Raley for $850,000, according to Snow Hill Realtor Gary Weber.

Weber, an agent with Newport Bay Realty and owner of the Blue Dog Café in Snow Hill, said the building is in desperate need of improvements.

“When people come to town to pay a parking ticket or go to jury duty or head east to Assateague, it faces them,” he said. “It’s been a sad sign for Snow Hill to have such a prominent building vacant. It sends a false message that nothing’s happening in Snow Hill.”

According to the city’s website, the old Mason’s Opera House was built in 1908. It showed movies, minstrel shows, vaudeville acts and plays. It also hosted high school graduations and public meetings.

The original design with three stories and a distinctive metal cornice was deemed “aesthetically obsolete” in the 1930s by new owner W. Outten, who removed the third floor and gave the building a modern appearance. Brimer’s Restaurant occupied the first floor, and a movie theater showed films on the second floor.

After a fire in the early 1940s, the building was once again remodeled and used as a movie theater and Brimer’s Soda Fountain. The Outten Theater became the town’s social center for more than three decades before losing popularity.

According to ongoing research by town grant writer Ann Gibb, the building was purchased in 1981 by John T. Bell of Rockville, Md., for $55,000. The new owner agreed to renovate and restore the building “to its old Victorian beauty.” Bell never fulfilled the conditions of the sale. The roof collapsed, and plywood covered the windows.

The town repossessed the building in 1993 and sold it to Robert Raley and Mike Makowski in early 1994. Raley operated an antiques center there until 1998, when the building was finally shut down. The marquee and interior were removed, and the building has been a vacant shell ever since.

Now, the Town Council hopes to breathe new life into the structure.

“We discussed the pros and cons (of the building). People were cautious and questioning structural integrity. We know it needs a new roof,” Dorman said. “In the end, they all came around and said, ‘OK, we’ll take the building.’ ”

“Once the town owns the building, we can ask for help,” Dorman said. “This is our first baby step. Now we go out and look for grants.”

Weber said the acquisition of the building is important for Snow Hill as it will help with the revitalization of downtown.

“Pocomoke got millions to renovate their theater and build a restaurant,” he said. “Now it’s our turn.”

expand Speed Cameras Are in Snow Hill
posted: Mar 15, 2012

Speed Cameras are in Snow Hill. In an effort to increase driver compliance with the posted School Zone speed limits surrounding Cedar Chapel School and Snow Hill Elementary, Middle and High Schools, the Town has launched an Automated Speed Enforcement Camera Program Similar programs are being utilized in Delmar, Princess Anne and Fruitland, and are viewed as an effective means of positively changing driver behavior and improving safety for both pedestrians and motorists.

According to Chief Kirk Daugherty, “Our main objective is to protect the children and residents of Snow Hill from drivers who are choosing to disobey the posted speed limit and break the law”. 

If you receive a citation through the Speed Camera Enforcement  program you may pay it online at secure.SpeedViolation.com. You will need to provide the Citation Number and the License Plate Number of the vehicle. There is a $3.50 processing fee to pay online. 

If you receive a citation for a speed camera violation in error, you may be able to use an Affidavit to Transfer Liability. 

 

 

expand Help for Snow Hill Businesses
posted: Jul 12, 2011

Are you thinking about locating a business in Snow Hill or do you want to expand the business you now have? Town Hall is here to help. Come in and meet with the Town Manager, Kelly Brewington, or others officers in Town Hall to discuss your plans and to learn about the Town’s code, and financing opportunities that the Town has to offer.
 
Through a grant, The Town has small business loans available for new and existing business owners in the town. Business owners can borrow up to $10,000 at a 3% interest rate for 5 years. Applications are available in Town Hall at 103 Bank Street.
 
So come to Town Hall where you will find people who are eager to assist small businesses and to help others to enjoy our charming and unique small town. 

expand Snow Hill Historic District Guidelines
posted: Feb 23, 2011

The Mayor and Council approved the Historic District Guidelines for Property Owners in December of 2010. A copy of The Snow Hill Historic District, A Reference Guide for Property Owners is available here in PDF format.

It is also available in hard copy at Town Hall for $5.00 per copy.

Call Karen Houtman at 410-632-2080 for more information

expand Water Meter Leaks
posted: Jul 29, 2010

Water Meter Leaks
The Town of Snow Hill Water and Wastewater Department has installed new meters that report any water leaks detected. Water leaks, such as a running toilet can cause your water bill to drastically increase. 
If a leak has been found, you will see notification on your quarterly water/sewer bill. Please review your bill thoroughly for any communication from the Town about potential problems.
If you have any questions regarding your water/sewer bill please contact Town Hall at 410-632-2080.

 
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