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Set the Record Straight
The City of Frederick strives to provide accurate information to the public in many ways.  We often use the assistance of the media to communicate our messages.   On occasion, we request to correct or clarify a story that may contain a factual error.

On this page we hope to "set the record straight" by providing factual information directly to the public, and we will post any corrections or clarifications that we have requested from the media. 
Article Topic

Proposed city budget: Water and sewer rates, staff pay increase

Article Date
March 26, 2015

Article Link

City Clarification

The following is from the FNP article on the City budget:


City of Frederick residents and property owners would pay more for water and sewer services and property taxes next budget year under Mayor Randy McClement’s proposed budget. 


The property tax rate is half a cent more under the proposal, not because the city is increasing its tax rate, but because of the way the county and city calculate tax rates for city property owners.


City Clarification:

The possibility of the County raising property taxes for City residents is not part of the Mayor’s proposed budget. The City does not control what tax rate is imposed on City residents by the County nor does this tax rate have any effect on the City budget. While the City will continue to advocate for fair taxation of our residents, taxes levied by the County are at their sole discretion and are used entirely to fund the County’s budget.

Watershed committee moves forward on long-standing issues

Article Date
December 4, 2014

Article Link

City Clarification
The Frederick Police Department has NO jurisdiction on that land. The City is the property owner of the land in the County's jurisdiction, as was stated in the meeting, The Frederick County Sheriff's Office is responsible for enforcement in the Watershed.
There will be ongoing conversations with the FCSO to learn how they have been engaged in enforcement on the land previously, and how we can work to improve police presence and compliance with the laws that govern the land as we move into the future.

Article Topic
Burning Ban in Frederick County

Article Date
June 2, 2014

Article Link

City Clarification
The City of Frederick follows the Frederick County Health Department "Open Burning Regulations" as  stated below:
May 30, 2014:

The Frederick County Health Department (FCHD) reminds county property owners that there is a ban on open burning in effect from June 1st through August 31st.  No open burning permits can be used during this time period.  This ban does not apply to small recreational fires such as campfires, the use of barbeques, or gas grills.

The annual ban, which is prescribed by the Maryland State Air Quality regulations, first went into effect in June 1995.  The ban extends throughout the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Region and is designed to reduce the high ozone levels that affect the region during the summer months.

The FCHD would also like to advise that an open burning permit is required from the Health Department for all other times of the year when burning is allowed.  Permits can be obtained by visiting the FCHD, Environmental Health office located at 350 Montevue Lane, Entrance A.

Violation of the Open Burning Ban or open burning without a permit is subject to a fine of up to $500 under the Frederick County Code and under Maryland State Regulations, a penalty up to $25,000.  For additional information, contact Community Services of the Frederick County Health Department at 301-600-1717.


Article Topic
East Church Street Land

Article Date


City Clarification
The City of Frederick did not pay for the land for East Church Street, the land was given to the City at no cost by the owners of the Renn property.  The agreement to accept the land at no cost was item #9 on Thursday nights M&B meeting.  The City is only paying the developer of the Nicodemus property to have their contractor construct the road because this portion of the road does not front the developers project and it is not required to be constructed by them.  The City opted to ask the developer to have their contractor construct it in order to realize a cost savings due to economies of scale and the fact their contractor was already mobilized to do the work.  Additionally, this option will minimize impact to the public by completing the improvements to East Church Street all as one project. 

Article Topic
310 Committee Report  

Article Date


City Clarification

While the status of the pending litigation regarding the Worman’s Mill Master Plan was considered by the Mayor and Board of Alderman at their workshop on July 17th, the Board concluded that pursuing amendments to the Land Management Code (LMC) which clarify and improve the master plan amendment process will not have a negative impact on the pending court case and should advance through the proper processes established for amendments to the LMC.  This process involves the review of the draft text amendment by the Planning Commission at both a workshop and regular meeting at which time they will render a recommendation to the Mayor and Board of Alderman who will also review the proposed amendment at a workshop and subsequent hearing.   

Article Topic
TransIT Rates and Taxicab Rates

Article Date


City Clarification
The Board of Aldermen only raised taxicab rates one time this year.  The rates were raised at the June 7, 2012 Mayor and Board of Aldermen Public Meeting with a vote of 5-0. 

1. Article Topic
Business Friendly Governments

Article Date


City Clarification
The City of Frederick strived to be business friendly on this matter before the Frederick County launched their initiative. 

The City of Frederick led the way in 2011 for both the City and County to amend water and sewer impact fee payments systems to be more business friendly by allowing payments over time.  The City payment plan which was approved by the City Aldermen in November, 2011 allows for 4 equal payments.  The City program has already been used and is being strongly supported by the development community. To date, two businesses have taken advantage of the payment plan

In pursuing this program change seven months ago, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen clearly want to do their part to spur continued investment in Frederick and are fully aware of the challenges that many small businesses encounter when they open their doors to the community.  It has become apparent that the full payment of water and sewer impact fees for certain types of high water use businesses at the time building permit issuance can place a heavy financial burden on start-up companies.  Some of the most affected businesses are restaurants, laboratories, manufacturing, hair salons, gyms, and others,

With input from the community the Mayor and Board of Aldermen launched the City water and sewer impact fee payment plan which allows businesses to pay City water and sewer impact fees over time.  Under the City ordinance (which is attached), the fees are paid over a three year period.  The property owner and / or the business owner must pay 25% when the building permit is issues, followed by a 25% payment at the end of years one, two and three.  The City also requires a commercial property owner and / or business owner provide a letter of credit to the City which mitigates the risk of a business and / or a property owners inability to pay the fees. 

There are some distinctions between the County and City’s payment plans.  The County limits the plan to a small business with up to 15 fixture units whereas the city plan allows any business of any size to participate.  The County plan allows for the creation of a Capacity Fee Payment Plan within the water & sewer enterprise fund while allowing payments to go out for ten years whereas the city plan is restricted to three years (four payments).  The City of Frederick will continue to monitor the business needs and modify the system as necessary to help the business community thrive and keep the water and sewer fund healthy. 

2. Article Topic

Mayor Sells Bagel Shop After 12 Years in Business

Article Date


City Clarification
Mayor Randy McClement said that he always knew being Mayor of The City of Frederick is a 24/7 job and would always take priority over the The Market Bagel and Deli, his former downtown business.

3. Article Topic
Worman Mills Center

Article Date


City Clarification
In the article published on January 10, 2012 regarding the Worman’s Mill development, the Planning Commission’s action on the proposed master plan amendments was mistakenly characterized as a recommendation to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen when in fact, the action taken by the Planning Commission was for approval of the changes to the master plan.   Additional approval from the Mayor and Board of Aldermen is not applicable based on the type of application.  At the January 9, 2012 meeting, the Commission also took action to continue  the final site plan, preliminary subdivision plat,  and preliminary forest conservation plans for the development to the January 23, 2012 hearing.  A revised agenda for that meeting will be published no later than January 11, 2012 at   A Planning Commission workshop on these items will be held prior to that hearing at the Municipal Annex Office Building, 140 W Patrick Street, on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm.Additional questions, please contact Gabrielle Dunn, Division Manager of Current Planning (301) 600-1883 or  

4. Articles Topic
Water Treatment Plant Spill

Articles Dates

12/14/2011, 12/16/2011


City Clarification

Waste Water Treatment Plant Spill

Timeline of Events and Response

Sunday, December 11, 2011

  • 5:30 pm – Waste Water Treatment Plant lost utility power
    • NOTE: The plant has three emergency generators that are tested weekly.  When utility power is lost, there are controls that start the generators automatically.  When this loss of power happened the generators tried to start as controlled.  The operator on duty found the generators to be having issues running correctly and as mandated in a Department of Public Works (DPW) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) called the City Maintenance superintendent.
  • 5:50 pm – The operator called the Jason Michael, Superintendent Facilities Maintenance
  • 6:05 pm - Jason Michael, Superintendent of Facilities Maintenance, came and started the generators but was unable to switch the plant load to them. He went directly to the control substation and found the visible damage that was fatal to the system. Calls went out immediately to Allegheny power to come on site and stop the power feed so the equipment could be opened and investigated without someone losing their life.
  • 6:10 pm– Stona Cosner, Superintendent of Wastewater, was called and headed into the plant
  • 6:15 pm – Jason Michael, Superintendent Facilities Maintenance,  called Chip Stitley, Superintendent of Sewer Maintenance, to advise of the potential for a backup in the collection system and requested response from his department
  • 6:19 pm – Jason Michael called Marc Stachowski, Deputy Director of Public Works, to advise him of the situation
  • 6:35 pm – Marc Stachowski notified Mayor Randy McClement
  • 7:00 pm -The wastewater flow that would normally enter the treatment plant backed up because of the power outage and forcibly pushed the main influent manhole off on its own. Stona Cosner and DPW staff moved them out of the way and barricaded the area for safety.  No other manholes were removed by staff.
  • 7:44 pm– Stona Cosner called Susan Harding, Public Information Officer (PIO),  to alert the public via press release, Nixle, Facebook, Twitter
  • 7:50 pm – Stona Cosner called MDE to report the bypass
  • 8:30 pm– Potomac Edison made it safe for DPW staff to open the utility and generator switchgear equipment.  Again, for DPW staff to handle this medium voltage equipment without personal injury or loss of life we had to make it safe.
  • 9:00 pm– Staff completed an initial inspection of the equipment to assess the damage and found signs of an underground cable fault that caused water and carbon debris all through the switch gear and control equipment.  The cause is still under investigation.
    • Note - From 9:00 pm on 12.11.11 to approx. 3:00 am on 12.12.11 – The switch gear and control equipment had to be disassembled, cleaned and tested before starting the generators because again, personnel safety and equipment safety had to be confirmed.
  • Susan Harding, PIO, received the first call from Stona Cosner at 7:44 PM on 12.11.11 requesting the issuance of a press release and to call the County Health Department.  The PIO was on the highway enroute home and called Josh Russin, Executive Assistance to the Mayor, to see if he could contact Dr. Brookmyer which was the first he was informed of the incident.
  • Susan Harding received a second call from Keith Brown at 8:16 pm with the same information.  Susan Harding called Dr. Brookmyer and left a message.
  • At 8:38 pm, Dr. Brookmyer sent Susan Harding an email stating that she had received Susan’s message as well as a call from Josh Russin. 
  • At 8:45pm Susan Harding sent the initial press release out
  • At approx. 8:47 pm an alert went up on the website, the press release went up on the website, Facebook, Twitter and was sent via Nixle (the City’s online alert notification system).
  • In trying to initially reach Dr. Brookmyer, Susan Harding called the off hours/emergency numbers the Frederick County Health Department.  Susan Harding reached the staff on call for the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), which is covered by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on the weekends.  He said he would communicate to the proper channels.
  • At approximately 11:00 pm, Susan Harding received a call from Mr. George Keller, Frederick County Health Department (FCHD) Director of Environmental Health.  He offered any support and said he had been in touch with City DPW.  He stated that he spoke to Stona Cosner earlier that evening.
  • At 11:18 pm, Susan Harding, PIO sent the following to Mayor McClement, Marc Stachowski, Jason Michael, Josh Russin, Keith Brown, and Eva Cosner regarding my conversation with Mr. Keller:
  • Mr. Keller has given me one additional sentence to put into my next press release “Frederick County Health Department cautions citizens to avoid water contact downstream of the point of overflow which is at Carroll Creek and the Monocacy River on Gas House Pike.”
  • Mr. Keller will call Stona when the City enters the recovery mode and ask that water samples be taken upstream and downstream over a period of time  from the point of the overflow – this is for comparison
  • Mr. Keller notified the MDE Duty Officer
  • MDE and Frederick County offers assistance in any way even if it is for moral support
  • Mr. Keller’s cell phone number is 240.405.2293

Monday, December 12, 2011

  • At approximately 3:30 am on 12.12.11, Susan Harding, PIO, received a call from Dispatch and was asked to send out a press release stating that the WWTP was on generator power and GAS House Pike was open for traffic. A press release went out at 4:01 AM, (on website, Nixle, Twitter, & Facebook)
  • At 4:58 am,  after getting all processes running, Stona Cosner called MDE back to report the bypass had stopped at 3:00 am 12/12/11.
  • 9:00 am, Stona Cosner had operators clean up any debris from the spill for disposal and spread 200 lbs. of lime over the area.
  • At 10:56 am, Susan Harding sent an update press release to Dr. Brookmyer, Mayor McClement and Marc Stachowski outlining the issue using information received from Marc Stachowski and asked for additional information and review of content.
  • At 11:34 am, Susan Harding received the following email from Dr. Brookmyer

Susan –

Thank you for your call asking if there was any additional content or additional public notifications needed from the local health department perspective.  You have done a good job covering the critical information.  Since there are no actions for the public to take other than the simple message to avoid contact with water along the route (it would be good to provide updated information as to how far the contamination is present so people will have better information about the location above which should be avoided).  MDE usually requires that the waterways be posted until testing determines that background [contamination] levels have been achieved.  I forgot to ask you if that has been done already.  Extra signage is usually posted near parks and other areas where people take their pets and children. 

My staff are following-up with MDE to confirm that MDE will be preparing or perhaps already issued a press release regarding information relevant any contamination that may be present outside of Frederick County’s boundaries.  – Barbara

Barbara A. Brookmyer, MD, MPH

Health Officer

Frederick County Health Department

350 Montevue Lane

Frederick, Maryland 21702

Tel: 301-600-2509

Fax: 301-600-3111

E-mail: <>

  • On 12.12.2011 at 2:12 pm – Marc Stachowski sent an email to Mr. Keller asking for direction regarding sampling.
  • On 12.13.2011 – Stone Cosner also left a voice mail for Mr. Keller
  • On 12.14.2011 – Mr. Keller returned Stona’s call ( Mr. Keller was on leave 12.13.11)
  • On 12.14.2011 – Marc Stachowski sent Mr. Keller an email stating that Dan Seal, Supervisor of Water Quality, will be taking water samples until further notice.  Mr. Stachowski will keep Mr. Keller updated.