Burgess Heath Barnes

Our October 11th town meeting was a busy one. The council voted to replace the current outdated water-meter-reading system. The project is slated to tentatively begin in early April. One challenge with this is that each home will have to have a piece in their water meter replaced inside their homes; so, this could take a while, as the crew would need to enter each person’s home to replace the reader. This will also allow electronic readings to be tied to electronic-payment processing, which allows residents to pay their water bills via cards. We will be able to use with ARPA funds that the town received to pay for it.

The decision was also made to hold a public hearing on January 10, 2023, at the monthly town meeting to discuss the possibility of allowing chickens in town. We cannot do this at the November meeting as town codes require a 30-day notice, and there were not 30 days between meetings. We chose not to have it at the December meeting. We invite anyone with an opinion either way to attend on January 10. After the hearing portion, the council will vote to proceed with allowing chickens or not. If the vote is yes, it will move to the planning and zoning committee in February to determine the stipulations around allowing them.

A developer attended the meeting with plans to develop 58 townhomes and 12,000 square feet of commercial property on the acreage between the cemetery and the park and ride. This is in the early stage of planning and more to come on this in the next few months.

We also had a proposal brought forth to build a skate park in the park. After hearing it, the council voted to approve it based on grant funding. We will be applying for a grant for it through Program Open Space funding next spring when it becomes available again. If the grant is approved, we will move forward. This grant would pay 75 percent of the project cost, and the other 25 percent would need to be paid by the town or by fundraising. Plans will be put in place to raise the 25 percent once we get to the point of moving forward with the project.

Our annual Woodsboro Days festival that was held on October 15 and 16 was a great success. We were also blessed with perfect weather. The Lutheran Church had a great turnout for food sales and yard sales. In addition, the Woodsboro Historical Society saw a record number of participants in their annual 5K fundraiser run. On the 16th, we had a record crowd attend the music festival in the park, where we saw 28 vendors, multiple food trucks, face painting for the kids, a beer and wine garden, three amazing bands, a display of fire engines for the kids, and hundreds of people ascending on the park for a great day of fun. I am already planning for next year. I can assure you I listened to you all about the parking issues, and we will have a shuttle service next year to get people up to the east side of the park who are not able to walk that far.

The old hut—aka JR’s bar and grill—should be gone by the time this goes to print. We are so happy to have been able to allow multiple fire departments from the county to use the building for drills before it was demolished and hauled away to prepare the lot to build our town offices.

Our monthly town meeting which is typically on the second Tuesday of each month, will be moved to Wednesday, November 9 for this month due to election day. I encourage everyone to get out and vote.

I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving holiday spent with family and friends. Always remember that not everyone is fortunate enough to have someone for the holidays or the funds to celebrate. Always look out for your neighbor and do something kind for someone, and always be thankful for what you have.

As always, I encourage everyone to support Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) if you have clothes or food donations, as they are always in need of items for members of the community. For more information, please contact GVCS by email at gvcs.inc@verizon.net or call 301-845-0213.

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments please feel free to reach out to me at hbarnes@woodsboro.org or by phone at 301-401-7164.

The current location for town meetings is the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

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