Mayor John Kinnaird

It is hard to believe that we are halfway through 2024! It seems like just lastmonth it was cold and wet, and now here we are in one of the hottest summers on record. Please be careful when we see temperatures in the mid and upper 90s and high humidity. Young children and the elderly are especially susceptible to heat induced issues, including heat stroke. Be sure to keep hydrated, stay indoors if possible, and do not over-exert yourself. Also, keep in mind, our four-legged friends are also suffering when the temps get above 90 degrees.

Summertime also means that our children are on summer break. Kids will be out on their bikes, skateboards, or running and playing. Please be on the lookout for children as you drive, as they may not always be aware of their surroundings and cars as they are playing. Driving the speed limit and watching for our younger residents will keep everyone safer this summer.

Major changes are being made at the Community Park Tennis Courts. The old courts have served us well and are in the process of being replaced with entirelynew court surfaces, nets, fences, lights, and markings. Please be patient as this work progresses.

A major remodeling is underway at the Thurmont Bank Building on the Square! This work will include the creation of new commercial spaces on the first floor and several apartments on the second and third floors. This project has been a long time coming, and we have all watched as several proposals were made but never materialized. The Thurmont Bank Building is the centerpiece of our community, having stood on the corner of West Main and Water Street since 1891. The bank was established by Samuel Birely and Van Osler in 1889 and served our community for several generations. During the time since 1891, the bank became a National Bank and actually issued its own currency for a short time. Many will remember the apartment on the upper floors and the people that occupied them, including our beloved teacher, Ethel Crawford. The bank remained in local hands for most of its life, but in later years, it changed hands several times, eventually becoming a branch of the Bank of America. Eventually, Bank of America closed smaller, less productive branches, and our bank was closed. The property sat vacant for several years and was eventually auctioned. I tried to get our Board of Commissioners to purchase the building at auction and it sold to an investment firm in Florida for a little over $200,000.00, which was a true bargain for such a substantial and historic building. They, in turn, sold it to a couple that had ideas of opening an ever-changing list of small businesses in the property. The building was completely gutted, making the renovation a major project. Everyone remembers the anticipation, then let down, as plans were revealed and then scrapped several times due to the cost of remodeling. The building is now owned by a local company, and they are getting ready to completely rebuild the interior. As I noted, the first floor will have commercial space and the upper floors will once again be apartments. I look forward to the completion of the long-awaited renewal of this Thurmont landmark. Karen and I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer.

Do you have and questions, comments, or suggestions? I can be reached by cell phone at 301-606-9458 or by email at


Mayor Frank Davis

Town Approves Parking Lot Bid

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a bid for the construction of a 10-space parking lot at Rainbow Lake. The work also includes a stormwater management bioretention facility, asphalt pavement, site restoration, landscaping, and other related items. Superior Facilities Management was the low bidder and won the contract for $125,558.69. Funding comes from Program Open Space and LPPI grants that require a 25 percent town match.

Multi-user Trail Bid Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a bid to build a multiuser trail on town property. It will be in the Rainbow Lake watershed area. The proposed red loop trail will be 2.8 miles long. The trail needs 1.5 miles redesigning and 1.3 miles of damaged trail relocated. The relocation will also add .2 miles to the trail, bringing the total length to 3 miles. Greenstone Trailcraft of Frederick won the contract for $89,620. Funding comes from a Program Open Space grant that requires a 10 percent match.

Sitework Approved for New Restroom/Concession Stand

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a bid for the sitework for the new pre-fabricated restroom/concession stand in E. Eugene Myers Park. Ox Construction of New Windsor won the bid for $79,950.

Grant Awarded

The Town of Emmitsburg was recently awarded at $3,179.33 TRIPP grant. The grant requires a $1,589.67 match and will allow the town to advertise itself as a tourism destination in the 2025 Destination Gettysburg and 2025 Visit Frederick guides.


Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy Independence Day, aka 4th of July. I hope each of you has a safe holiday with family and friends. If you celebrate with fireworks , please use caution, as the weather has been hot and things can be dry.

At our June 11th meeting, we had more town residents in attendance than we have had at a meeting in my tenure as burgess. This was to be expected with the voting for the budget, but it was also nice to have that many people in attendance, as we were to be voting on moving forward with the town hall

building or not. The meeting started with a discussion about the town hall.

Initially, when we sent it out for bids several months ago, the lowest bid came in

at $1.6 million, and the builder we chose came in at about $1.8 million. This was out of our price range, so we sent it back to the builder and asked for cuts. The new proposal came in at $1.4 million. With the $400,000 that I secured in grants from the state during Governor Larry Hogan’s last year in office and taking out

$200,000 from town reserves. This would require us to take out an $800,000 loan from Woodsboro Bank, with about a $4,500-$4,700 per month mortgage payment. After a lively discussion, it was tabled until the end of the meeting, as a few council members were not comfortable with the cost. When we restarted

the discussion, the council was still at a standstill. I gave my opinion that the longer we waited, the more expensive it would become. Several comments came in from the public, and one said let’s poll the audience. At that point, we asked, and 17 of the 22 in the audience raised their hands in favor. At that point, Commissioner Eckenrode made a motion to move forward. Commissioner Rittelmeyer seconded the motion. Commissioner Cutshall and Commissioner Case voted no. At that point, it was a 2-2 vote. Per town code, the burgess would

break the tie. I voted yes, and the town hall project was approved. The builder has told us we should be in the building by late spring 2025.

At the monthly meeting, we also discussed some issues we are having with the wastewater plant. We have plans in place to fix some issues that are happening; however, we have also been hit with a surprise resignation of our town water and sewage plant operator, with his last day being August 31, 2024.

We are currently actively seeking his replacement. We are running a 20-year wastewater plant that was put in 22 years ago. Unfortunately, the town did not have a strategic plan in place for the replacement of it in 20 years, which is, unfortunately, why we had no choice but to increase water and sewage rates.

If we had not received $974,000 in the American Rescue Plan funds, where $750,000 of it went to the water plant, we would be in worse shape than we are. With the additional funds, we should hopefully be able to get all things completed in the next 12 months.

On July 4th, there will be a free event in the park with amateur singers, open to the public to sing along, with food trucks and activities. This is put on by town resident Joe Williams. This is not an event that is put on by the town, but it is nice to see the park bandshell being used for events. All are welcome to


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 or call 301-845-0213.

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

Woodsboro town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings ar e at 6:00 p.m. on the first Monday of the month, as needed. If you have an item for the agenda, it needs to be submitted 14 days before the P&Z meeting. The current location for meetings is St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD21798. The public is always invited to attend.

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