Currently viewing the tag: "Woodsboro"

THURMONT

Mayor John Kinnaird

On Saturday, May 11, Karen and I attended the remembrance ceremony for Commissioner Bill Buehrer. The gathering was held at Stauffer’s Funeral Home on Opposumtown Pike in Frederick and was well attended. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people there that I knew. Since Bill and I were not social friends, I had the chance to meet many of his and Colleen’s relatives, personal friends, and business associates. Bill and I spent a considerable amount of time together at town meetings and municipal events. He was a true fan and great supporter of Thurmont, and he is missed dearly.

There was no formal service, but Colleen invited anyone to get up and talk about their experiences with Bill and share a humorous story about him. Several got up to speak and told us how Bill had befriended them and how nice a guy he was. After some thought, I got up to the microphone to share my amusing Bill story. But, first, I gave a little background on how Bill and I met. We met sitting in the back row at the town office while attending town meetings. As those who have been here long enough will remember, they were a pretty raucous and discouraging affair. We sat through some pretty bad meetings, and after an especially difficult stretch of meetings, we both told each other that we were going to run for office. There were several things we disagreed with, one being the effort to silence public comment during town meetings, and another was how residents were treated during the meetings. One of the biggest issues we saw was that there was a three-to-two vote on almost everything that came to a vote. Sadly, the majority vote was not always for the good of the community but rather was a vote to railroad something or as a spiteful or vindictive measure. Bill and I ran and were both successful in our campaigns. I proudly served with Bill for 12 years, every one of which was immensely productive for our community.

Now, to my funny story about Bill. We never agreed on everything, but we could each easily have a laugh at the other’s expense. One time, he was upset with me about something, and he couldn’t think of anything to say other than, “At least some of us know how to shine our shoes.” I remember looking at him and asking what the heck that meant! Then, I pointed out that I was dressed in my typical work attire of a workshirt, work pants, and work boots. I also pointed out that he was dressed in his work clothes: a suit, tie, and shiny shoes. I asked him what the difference was, and he couldn’t tell me! We parted good friends that evening, as we did every day we saw each other.

Some people thought Bill was tough or that he could be hard-headed. I know Bill was a real softy on the inside. I remember the evening when he announced that Governor Hogan had been diagnosed with cancer. Bill got all choked up just talking about it. Bill suffered from cancer, and we spoke about it often. One day, I bumped into him at the radiation therapy lab at Johns Hopkins, and we both spoke at length about our battles with cancer. Any doubt regarding the size of his heart should have been squashed if you paid any attention to how much of himself he poured into the Gateway to the Cure Cancer Fundraiser every year. We would not have been as successful without Bill’s unwavering support and hard work.

I, for one, miss Bill immensely.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Frank Davis

The month of May seems like a blur, but it gave me the opportunity to experience a different side of the mayor’s position.

On Saturday, May 4, I was honored to deliver the welcoming address to the families of 226 firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. Having the time to talk with the families and hear their stories was an experience that will stay in my heart. It also brought back the memories of 25 years ago when our town honored one of our own. Terry L. Myers, a 33-year member of the Vigilant Hose Company, died while battling a brush fire. His name is permanently etched in stone at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial on the campus of the National Emergency Training Center.

On May 21, I attended the graduation ceremony for the Catoctin High School (CHS) Class of 2024. As I watched each student receive their diploma, I could picture how each one will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world in the years to come. I am proud to be a CHS graduate and amazed by the teachers and staff who continue to mentor our students year after year. Success starts with great leadership, and Catoctin High has been blessed with Principal Jennifer Clements. I have personally witnessed her dedication to improving our school and her daily interaction with the students. GO COUGARS!!

A few months ago, I mentioned a new phone app that we would be launching to better communicate with you daily and, more importantly, in the event of an emergency. “My Emmitsburg” is up and running, and we will continue to add new features and information to keep you informed of the happenings of the town. This app can be downloaded from the Apple or Google store, or you can scan one of the many barcodes around town. If you need assistance, please contact the town office.

Some upcoming events for the month of June will include a youth baseball tournament held the first two weekends of the month. This will bring hundreds of players and spectators to town, so please graciously welcome them to our community. Flag Day is June 14, and the Francis X. Elder American Legion Post 121 will be holding a ceremony at 7:00 p.m. in Community Park off Chesapeake Avenue. To finish out the month is our Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day celebration on June 29. Please visit the website at emmitsburgevents.com for a list of events and activities.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns related to town business, please reach out to me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Greetings and welcome to summer. Summer is my favorite season. With summer, also comes children being out of school. I urge you to use caution as more children will be out and about enjoying their summer break and may not always be aware when they are crossing the street, etc.

At our May 2nd meeting—held earlier in the month so that we could meet the minimum of 30-day notice of giving out the budget before voting on it—we had a quiet meeting. I would like to thank the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department for accommodating us and allowing us to use the facilities at the last minute, as our regular meeting place was being used.

Our June 11th meeting will be busy; we will be voting on the upcoming budget. Although not a lot of changes were made, a few had to be made to accommodate the ever-changing rise in prices for our water and sewer. I am also happy to announce that we have received an adjusted building cost proposal for the town hall. I will be presenting that to the council, along with financing options from Woodsboro Bank to be voted on. The hope is that we can make this new proposal quote work, and we will finally be starting the much-anticipated town hall.

We had several exciting events in Woodsboro during May. The first was the celebration of Woodsboro Banks’ 125th anniversary. They are the oldest locally owned bank in the county, and the ceremony brought elected officials and members from government offices from across the county and state to Woodsboro for the celebration. In addition, long-time bank employee JR Delauter was able to secure a historic plaque for the building from the Frederick County Landmarks Association. It is very exciting. The building that houses the headquarters was built in 1901, and at one time, was the home of the opera house, the post office, and many other things, as well as the bank. The first artisan farmers market was held at Trout’s grocery store on May 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., moved due to rain. The annual Memorial Day parade, put on by the American Legion, will be held on Sunday, May 26. It is a wonderful event for our town. Thank you in advance to all who participate in the parade or come out to enjoy it.

We did sign a contract, as requested by multiple town residents, with a new street sweeper company. We are going to begin having them sweep four times a year, but we may increase to six times per year based on the need.

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 gladevalley.org@gmail.com 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.

Woodsboro town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

THURMONT

Mayor John Kinnaird

May is here, and nature is treating us to a spectacularly colorful show! I love seeing the mountain as the green leaves appear at the bottom and rise to the top over a few weeks. The amazing weather will also bring out bike riders, hikers, skateboarders, and runners. Be sure to give plenty of right-of-way for our neighbors and guests as they enjoy the great outdoors.

This month, I want to thank our community volunteers. Thurmont has several citizen commissions, including Planning & Zoning, Board of Appeals, Police Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Thurmont Addiction Commission, Ethics Commission, and Thurmont Green Team. Positions on these commissions are filled by community volunteers. Each and every one of these volunteers serves our community by sacrificing their free time to attend meetings and events, and they are deserving of our thanks and gratitude. Openings on all the commissions are advertised, and members are selected to serve for a term that averages four years. I encourage everyone to please consider applying for these positions as they are available. Being a volunteer not only helps our town, but the act of serving the community can be personally satisfying.

Recently, the Thurmont Police Commission, Woodsboro Bank, and Thurmont Police Department sponsored the Community Shred Event. The shred event is held twice a year at the Thurmont Police Department. Residents can bring as many as five boxes of personal, medical, business, financial, service, and other paper records to have securely shredded at no cost. Members of the Police Commission, Woodsboro Bank employees, and Police officers help by unloading boxes and placing the documents in the large bin before it is dumped into the shredder. Residents don’t even have to get out of their cars, but they are welcome to park and observe their papers being shredded if they desire to do so. As part of this biannual event, residents are encouraged to bring along a cash or nonperishable food donation for the Thurmont Food Bank. All the individuals helping with this event are also volunteers!

The Thurmont Green Team sponsored its annual Greenfest with the help of the Thurmont Regional Library. Last week’s Greenfest featured 28 tabletop displays, with crafts and educational material for various ecological and conservation topics. The Greenfest had over 600 attendees and was a great success. The Town of Thurmont received our eighth straight Tree City USA award during the Greenfest. A large part of this award comes from the hard work of volunteers who help plant trees and flowers in Thurmont. Several hundred trees have been planted by volunteers, including school children, Scouts, adults, and Green Team members. You may have noticed the beautiful daffodils that sprung up around town this spring, which were also planted by Green Team volunteers! The Green Team also helps with invasive plant control and flower gardens on our Trolley Trail. Thurmont has always enjoyed a beautiful green canopy; the efforts of these volunteers will help ensure our community has trees to enjoy well into the future.

Thurmont is fortunate to have several wonderful organizations that work hard to make our community the best possible place to live in Frederick County. The Thurmont Lions Club sponsored the Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Community Park. The Lions have held this spring event for more than 80 years! The Lions Club holds many events throughout the year to raise funds for its many community projects. I attended the Thurmont Grange #409 Annual Awards ceremony, where they recognized several residents for their continued support of agriculture in the community. The Grange named the Thurmont Kountry Kitchen as business of the year for their support of local children during the pandemic and their fundraising efforts for our neighbors in need. I also attend events sponsored by Thurmont Scouting. We have an amazing Scout organization that educates children in outdoor activities, sporting events, and valuable guidance so that the Scouts grow into productive, considerate, and well-rounded community members. The Scouts also hold a yearly drive to collect toys for Toys For Tots. This joint venture with the United States Marine Corps helps provide Christmas gifts for many less fortunate children in our region.

There are many other groups and associations that work selflessly to improve the lives of our residents and make our community the best it can be.

These volunteers have many reasons for doing what they do. Every one of them helps because of a deep-seated desire to improve the lives of others. They don’t expect much in return, but we, as a community, owe all of them a great deal of gratitude for their sacrifices. Again, I would like to thank the members of the town commissions and all the members of our many community organizations for all they do for our community. You may not always be thanked for your service—and, unfortunately, there are those who are critical—but each of you should be assured that the majority of our community appreciates your hard work and commitment.

I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful month of May. As always, I can be reached by phone at 301-606-9458 or by email at jkinnaird@thurmont.com.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Frank Davis

As we are halfway through the spring season, it is the time of year to work on your list of chores that have built up over the winter. You also need to take time and enjoy other activities, and May is full of things to do.

On May 3-5, we will, once again, host the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service. This will bring families from across the country to Emmitsburg as part of the healing process from losing a loved one in the line of duty. Please help me welcome our guests and make them feel at home during their visit.

The Emmitsburg Eagles PTO will be hosting a Spring Festival on May 4 at the E. Eugene Myers Community Park. There will be vendors and activities for the whole family.

The Emmitsburg Lions Club will hold a Chicken BBQ at the VHC Activities Building on Creamery Road on May 4.

The Vigilant Hose Company will hold its much-anticipated Annual Spring Fling at the Activities Building on Creamery Road on May 11.

Mount Saint Mary’s University will hold its 2024 graduation ceremony, which will bring family members of the graduates to celebrate this exciting event, on May 11.

Please check the organization’s social media sites for more details.

I am excited that we are kicking off our new Citizen Alert and Notification Application. Please visit the town website at www.emmitsburgmd.gov for more information.

Finally, I know many of you have experienced water issues during the last 30 days, and we appreciate your understanding. We have had several incidents that contributed to low pressure and brown water. The fire hydrant system was used for a fire incident, along with annual hydrant flushing and flow testing. We experienced two water main breaks and a malfunction with a pressure-reducing valve. We are taking steps to minimize these disruptions and will continue to upgrade our water system to reduce the effects to your homes and businesses.

I will be out and about walking the neighborhoods daily, and I hope to meet and chat with you to talk about your thoughts on our great little town.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Greetings and happy May. This is one of my favorite months as we transition into the summer. I always personally associate the Memorial Day Holiday with the beginning of the fun summer months.

At our April 9 meeting, we were joined by the builders who are going to build nine townhouses on Second Street. He informed us that construction will begin before the end of the year, and once started, will go up rather quickly. As far as the town hall update, we are awaiting the updated rate proposal from the builder to take a vote on it with the council. We are hoping that we will have these numbers to present at the next meeting.

Our May meeting will be held on Thursday, May 2, at 7:00 p.m., instead of the usual second Tuesday of the month. Due to scheduling conflicts with council members and the importance of the May meeting, we moved it to accommodate. We are hopeful that at the May meeting, we will have a town hall updated bid proposal to bid on. We will present our fiscal 2025 year budget proposal to the council, which will then be voted on for approval at the June 11 meeting. Per code, the budget has to be given to the council at least 30 days before taking a vote on it, so that is why the meeting was moved to earlier in May.

Some upcoming exciting happenings are going on in Woodsboro. The first will be the artisan farmers market to be held at Trout’s Grocery Store on May 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The second will be the annual Memorial Day parade that is put on by the American Legion and will take place on Sunday, May 26, at 1:00 p.m.

Mary, our town clerk, is in negotiations with another street sweeper company since the one that we were using disappeared without notice. We have heard the concerns from residents regarding the buildup along the streets and gutters.

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 by calling 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.

Woodsboro town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Frank Davis

 Every month brings new challenges, but each month also brings new opportunities to improve the day-to-day operations of the town. This past month was no exception. I had the opportunity to spend three days in Annapolis, meeting with fellow mayors at the Maryland Municipal League Mayors Conference. The time spent sharing information, comparing issues, and working together to find solutions was a rewarding experience. I learned that most municipalities struggle in the same areas of operations and are searching for that golden answer. So, we in Emmitsburg are not alone.

You may begin to see activity around Irishtown Road behind Northgate. The land has been purchased by a developer in hopes of completing Emmit Ridge II.

The town is close to releasing a new Citizens Notification and Alert Application. This will make it easy to communicate information on events, notices, and most importantly, emergency notifications. The app will be free to downland onto your phone and will add another means of communication with you, our citizens. Be on the lookout for the unveiling of the new system.

The flooding on Annandale Road has become a weekly occurrence and needs to be addressed. While the hazardous area is outside the town limits, it still affects our citizens, the Mount St. Mary’s community, and most importantly, our fire and police response. We are currently working with Frederick County and the Maryland Department of the Environment to correct the problem.

As the weather gets warmer, we encourage you to take a walk in our parks, take in a ballgame, try your hand at disc golf, or just get out and talk with your neighbors. Spring is a great time of year, and I look forward to seeing you out and about around town.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy spring! Warmer weather has arrived and, hopefully, all winter weather is now gone until next winter.

Our annual Easter egg hunt in town was quite successful. The Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department, along with the town of Woodsboro, outdid themselves again. The weather is always challenging, especially with Easter being so early this year, but we made it work.

The March 12th town meeting was quiet. Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen situation, I was not able to attend, but the meeting was in good hands and was run by Council President Bud Eckenrode. Thank you, Councilman Eckenrode, for stepping up last minute.

The main discussion was about the new building development that is coming to town. The nine townhouses that were approved several years ago are to be built on Second Street, and the project is starting to take place. The builders will begin the construction before too much longer. This will bring at least nine more families and homes to town.

It was also brought up that the town has stopped electronic payments for water bills. Electronic payments have been stopped at this time due to the revision of the fees that the processor is charging the town, along with the low utilization of this program. With those added fees, the council decided to stop them for now. We will research other options that the town can afford without taking a large loss each quarter.

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 by calling 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.

Woodsboro town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Frank Davis

As the winter months are flying by, we are starting to plan for warmer weather. We are in the planning stage for an improved farmers’ market. We are still looking for new vendors and are excited about the return of last year’s participants.

Softball and baseball will again fill our parks with regular league play, as well as several large weekend tournaments. This is not only good for our youths who participate, but it is a bonus for our local businesses. On any given weekend, hundreds of fans can be found walking our streets and patronizing local shops and eateries. Thank you to the Thurmont Little League for bringing baseball back to Emmitsburg.

Plans are shaping up for our community garden, which is located beside the Emmitsburg Community Center on Cedar Avenue. Local resident Jack Deathridge will again take the lead with his crew, willing to expand the footprint of last year’s garden to accommodate new gardeners of all ages.

Spring sports are in full swing at Mount St. Mary’s University, and it is worth the trip to check them out. Both men’s and women’s teams are going to be extremely competitive, so check out the Mount’s website for schedules.

Town staff is working hard on updating our comprehensive plan. Workshops have been held over the winter months, with the final gathering on March 25 at the town office. The workshop will begin at 7:00 p.m.

We have openings on several committees, and we need you to become part of our team. Please visit the town website at emmitsburgmd.gov for more information or contact the office at 301-600-6300.

Beginning March 11, the town office will extend its office hours. The office will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, for your convenience.

Finally, as I approach the end of my first six months in my new position, I want to thank you for your support. While we may have had different opinions and ideas on how to govern our town, everyone has been polite and respectful. Many of you have stepped forward to serve on committees and continue to be an important part of the success of the town. Please give me a call or visit me in the office to share your ideas or just for a chat.                              

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

Here we are in March already! Winter will soon be behind us, and things will start getting green. My favorite flowers are daffodils, and this spring, I think we will see daffodils popping up all around Thurmont, thanks to the Thurmont Green Team. I hope everyone enjoys the amazing range of colors that bloom in early spring.

The North Church Street project is coming along on schedule. As with every large public works project, there are traffic delays and some inconveniences for residents. We appreciate everyone’s patience! The work from Woodside Avenue to Rt. 15 is expected to be completed by late April, while the work from Rt. 15 to Catoctin High School (CHS) will be completed during summer vacation at CHS. This project is one of the largest single infrastructure projects we have done in several years and will address several issues. Most residents are unaware of the infrastructure buried beneath our streets and sidewalks. These systems, as with all others, have a working lifespan, and the water and wastewater lines are reaching their useful ends. Over the past several years, we have been addressing I&I (inflow and infiltration) issues in our wastewater system. Much of the pipes on North Church Street are terra-cotta, and over the years, the joints have separated. These pipes can let a lot of wild water into the system, and every gallon of that has to be treated. The new wastewater lines will help eliminate much of that water. The water lines also need to be replaced with new pipes with fewer changes in pipe size and the elimination of a few bottlenecks. This project is being funded with American Rescue Act Funds. Once this work is completed, the SHA will be repaving the entire roadway.

Work has been ongoing on the new softball field at East End Park. This project is funded through Program Open Space grants. The field features lights for night games and should be ready for regular play early this fall.

The tennis court at the Community Park is being removed and replaced with a new court, lights, and fencing. The court will feature tennis and pickleball markings. Work has commenced on the renovation of the playground at the entrance to Eyler Road Park. The new equipment will feature a Cougar theme! Both of these projects will be completed before Memorial Day. I want to thank our Parks Department for the amazing work they do maintaining our parks and getting them ready for spring!

Good weather will bring out lots of kids and adults walking, running, and riding bikes or skateboards on our sidewalks and trails. Please drive responsibly, and be aware of everyone sharing the road and using our trails and walkways.

On a personal note, I recently spent some time at Frederick Health Hospital. I want to thank all the doctors, nurses, and support staff whom I had the privilege of meeting while there. We are very fortunate to have such an outstanding medical facility at our doorstep.

As always, I can be reached at jkinnaird@thurmont.com or by phone at 301-606-9458.

I hope everyone has a wonderful March!

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy March! The first month of spring has arrived and, hopefully, this brings more sunshine and warmth. As they say, March winds and April showers will bring May flowers, and I am ready for them and warmer weather.

I attended the annual Maryland Mayors Conference last month in Annapolis. I always enjoy this conference, as we often hear details of how pending legislation in Annapolis will affect our municipalities, in either a positive or sometimes not-so-positive way. Last month, we had to change our monthly town meeting to February 20, instead of the typical second Tuesday of the month, due to some unforeseen circumstances.

The February meeting was quiet, as we are still awaiting the new bid proposal from the town hall builder to see if we can get the bid down to the amount the town can easily afford. We are very confident, with some cuts that we have made, that we will get it down to the dollar amount we are looking for. We also discussed the next event in town, which is the annual Easter Egg Hunt that is hosted by the Town of Woodsboro and the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department. The Easter Egg Hunt will be held this year on March 30 at 2:00 p.m. in the town park. All children are invited to attend this free community event.

There were some issues with the lights at the basketball and tennis courts, as the line was accidentally cut off when the lights for the skating park were installed. They have been repaired, and all is working well now. Thank you to the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department for adding water to the pond while it was frozen to smooth it out. It was so nice seeing the frozen pond and the sledding hill being used so much this winter with all the snowfalls we have had and the cold temperatures that froze the pond.

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.

Woodsboro town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Frank Davis

Welcome to the winter of 2024. Mother Nature has given us the opportunity to evaluate the recently enacted Snow Emergency Plan, and we are pleased with the results. We still encountered vehicles that failed to move from the streets, and with this, we ask for your help. If you have someone in your neighborhood who failed to move their vehicles, please offer them a friendly reminder. They can obtain the necessary information regarding the policy on the town webpage or give the office a call at 301-600-6300.

During our recent snow storms, a group of Mount Saint Mary’s University students were out in the community shoveling walks and driveways for our citizens. The students took it upon themselves to reach out to their neighbors and lend a helping hand. I want to thank the students for having a positive impact on our community.

The Emmitsburg Town Council voted to replace all existing parking meters on East and West Main Streets. After much consideration and dialog, a decision was made not to add additional meters in other areas of the town. I want to thank our citizens for their input and the town council for investing time in research and communicating with our constituents.

The council also approved a contract with a company to provide internet, video, and phone service to Emmitsburg. Shentel will begin designing their system to give you an option when it comes to phone and Internet service. This will in no way affect your current Comcast service. It now just gives you options. For more information on Shentel, please visit their website.

The installation of new streetlights in the downtown area should begin on January 28. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the town office.

Please feel free to contact me at mayordavis@emmitsburgmd.gov, and I will do my best to respond within the same business day.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

Mayor Kinnaird is out of the country and unavailable to write his Mayor’s message for this edition. His column will return next month.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Brrrrrr! It has been a cold new year so far with some actual snow for the first time in three years! I hope everyone has remained safe, and if you enjoy the snow, I hope you have had a good time in it. Personally, I am ready for spring, and it cannot get here quickly enough for me.

This last month was quiet in town. With the winter months, there has not been a lot going on, so it has given us some time to focus on a few projects. I will be attending the annual Maryland Mayors Association Conference from February 29 to March 1 in Annapolis. During this time, I hope to hear about the status of funds availability and different initiatives that may be coming out of this year’s state legislative session and budget.

On January 10, the town clerk and I met with the architect for the town building and the potential construction company representative from Sanbower Construction. We had a very productive meeting and discussed many things that could be removed from the original plans for the town hall. Several things can be modified, and I feel very optimistic that we will get the total cost down to the amount that we are comfortable with and able to afford to pay. The goal is to have a new number before March’s town meeting to present to the council. I was also able to get numbers for the loan from Woodsboro Bank, and the numbers came out in the range of the budget we have, so financing options are looking good if we get the total cost in the range with what we can comfortably afford. I also started the paperwork process for the $400,000 grant promise that we received from the state in 2022. Things are looking very promising, and exciting things are coming to our town.

We were able to get the lights, as well as the safety and trick rails, up around the skatepark. I have also been in conversation with the contractor to get the bathroom started, to be built on the disc golf/stage side of the park. We plan to get that underway this spring and, hopefully, have it completed sometime in late summer.

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 by calling 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.

Woodsboro town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Frank Davis

It is hard to believe the holiday season has passed by so quickly, and for the next month, I will still be dating documents 2023. With another year behind us, I hope we can all look back on our accomplishments and find the good in last year.

Things are changing in the town office. The biggest change is the hiring of two new employees. Joshua Snyder is our newest addition to our water and sewer department. Josh comes to us with over 10 years of experience in this field and will be a terrific addition to our talented crew. We would also like to welcome Kimberly Mondshour to our office staff. Kimberly has accepted a position as our accountant and brings a wealth of experience to this vital position. Please help welcome both of our new employees to Emmitsburg.

Construction is well underway for our new Sewer Lift Station on Creamery Road. This project is being tackled by Conewago Construction Company. Please be cautious while traveling around the construction site.

At times, the winter months can keep you searching for things to do with your family, so don’t forget about Mount Basketball. Both the women’s and men’s teams are playing at an extremely high level and are exciting to watch.

The town is exploring options pertaining to parking issues and meter upgrades. Conversations are running high, and there are many opinions, both positive and negative, regarding future needs. I can assure you, that the commissioners are listening, exploring options, and will decide what is best for our town—not only for now but also in the future.

There are two workshops scheduled for the town council in January and February. On January 22, we will review and discuss the financial status of the town. The February 12 workshop will be the start of identifying future projects and setting priorities. Citizens are invited to attend in person or watch on Channel 99.

Please remember that all streets in the town limits are now snow emergency routes. This means that when the snow emergency plan is enacted by the Maryland State Police, parking is prohibited on ALL streets. This will enable road crews to plow and open roads more quickly, efficiently, and most importantly, it will ensure access for emergency vehicles into your neighborhood. All town parking lots are available for off-street parking. Additional parking is also available in the 100 block of South Seton Avenue, next to Chronicle Press. If anyone has transportation issues with getting their vehicle to one of these locations, please contact the town office BEFORE the snow begins. Please be responsible and pre-plan for severe weather.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. We are open to suggestions to make Emmitsburg a great place to live.

Please feel free to contact me at mayordavis@emmitsburgmd.gov, and I will do my best to respond within the same business day.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

Welcome to the New Year! Karen and I hope that everyone has an amazing, healthy and happy year ahead. We are looking forward to another great year!

The new year brings with it the continuation of water and wastewater infrastructure replacement on North Church Street from Boundary Avenue to Catoctin High School. This project will upgrade all water, wastewater, and service lines on the entire stretch of road. Work started at the intersection of Sandy Spring Land and headed toward Catoctin High School. In the coming weeks and months workers will be addressing the other end of the project area. This effort will resolve many issues along the road caused by additions to the system and multiple upgrades.

Residents will also see wastewater line work to Rte. 77 from Old Pryor Road to Park Central Road beginning on Jan. 4th. This project is being completed by the State of Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Environmental Services. I’m The work will improve the wastewater lines first installed between Thurmont and the State Park back in the late 1960s into the early 1970s. There will be well marked detours set up during this project that will use Rte. 550 and Foxville Deerfield Road. Work should be completed by the end of May.

On a personal note, Karen and I will be travelling to Great Britain for a couple of weeks. We plan on visiting friends and family in London, and the city of my birth, Aberdeen, Scotland. The first part of our trip will see us visiting London, Lands End at the Southwest coast before heading north to John O’Groats at the northern most point on the British Isle. In between we will drive through Wales, visit Yorkshire, stop at the historic Auld Alloway Kirk made famous in Robert Burns’ Tam O’Shanter. We will be spending a couple of nights with friends on the Isle of Skye, a night in the wonderful North Seaside village of Pennan and then a few days in Aberdeen with cousins. Hopefully while in the Highlands we will get to see the Northern Lights! We will then return to London via Ripon and spend the last two days in Windsor.  You can follow our adventure on my Facebook page.

We will miss all our family and friends while on vacation, and we will be looking forward to returning to Thurmont.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe it’s 2024, but a new year has arrived. I hope it’s a happy and blessed year for all and that you all had a wonderful holiday season.

On December 16, the Town of Woodsboro teamed up with the Woodsboro and New Midway volunteer fire departments to participate in a Santa run that lasted several hours and covered many streets and roads in the town of Woodsboro and areas of New Midway. The response that we received from not only the young ones but people of all ages was wonderful, and we will be doing it again next year. Playing Santa is always rewarding and magical, seeing the joyous looks on the faces of the children.

At the town meeting on December 12, 2023, we reviewed the seven bids from contractors to build the town hall. We all were a little shocked, to be honest, and are back to making some changes. We have a budget of about $900,000, with the $400,000 that we were able to secure from the state for the building, but the bids came in between $1.7 million and $2.3 million. We are in talks about how we can make some changes and get the building into our price range. I also reached out to our county- and state-elected officials to request additional financial assistance. At the time of this article being written, I have not heard back. We are working diligently and going to get the building built; it just may not be the exact style we had planned.

Lights are going up around the new skate park that is being used by the community, and we are very pleased that this project was able to happen. I encourage parents to have their children wear helmets when utilizing the skate park to avoid unnecessary accidents.

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.

Woodsboro town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

by James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont

New Commissioners Sworn In

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird swore in newly elected commissioners Marty Burns and Bob Lookingbill during the November 4th town meeting to serve four-year terms.

Connection and Impact Fees Raised

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners raised impact fees for the town, and they are expected to increase the connection fees. Connection fees are the cost new development pays to connect to the town’s water and sewer systems. The impact fees are fees that new development pays based on the development’s impact on various things in town. The fees must be spent on the items they are paid for.

The new impact fees are:

Water — $3,935, up from $2,885.

Wastewater — $5,575, up from $2,275.

Sewer Pumping Station — $1,000, up from $250.

Roads — $2,760, up from $1,500.

Parks — $1,840, up from $1,000.

The proposed connection fees that the commissioners are expected to pass are:

Water — $4,145, up from $2,500.

Sewer — $5,065, up from $2,500.

Easements Released

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to release easements the town holds on two parcels because they are no longer needed for a public purpose. The easements were on a property on Clark Drive and the Mountain Gate Business Park. The property owners will now have the property with encumbrances.

Emmitsburg

Appointments Made

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners unanimously appointed former mayor and commissioner Jim Hoover to fill the unexpired term for the commissioner seat that was left vacant when Frank Davis was elected as Emmitsburg mayor during the recent town election.

The commissioners also appointed Patricia Galloway as a member of the Emmitsburg Planning Commission, with a term running from November 6, 2023, to March 1, 2026.

Board Reorganized

In a change from years past, rather than putting forth recommendations for which board members should serve in which positions, Mayor Frank Davis allowed the board to decide among themselves which roles the board members would serve.

President: Amy Boehman-Pollitt

Vice President: Jim Hoover

Treasurer: Valerie Turnquist

Parks and Recreation Committee Liaison: Tim O’Donnell

Planning Commission Liaison: Valerie Turnquist

Citizens’ Advisory Committee: Jim Hoover

Town Gets Some Water Fund Relief

Emmitsburg received almost $3.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act money in two payments in 2021 and 2022. It is money designated to help towns and states deal with losses due to the COVID pandemic. Town staff determined that it lost $300,000 from one of its largest water users, FEMA, during the COVID restrictions. Town staff proposed using $300,000 from the ARPA money to fund operating and maintenance costs in the water fund for fiscal year 2024. The hope is that it lessens the impact of the water rate increases the town needed to make recently.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Frank Davis

My first few months as mayor have passed quickly. It has been busy and I’m constantly learning something new. The behind-the-scenes operations that keep our town running are impressive. I have gained a new appreciation for the workload and time required to meet the needs of our citizens. Sometimes, it may seem like your concerns are not being heard, but I can assure you that is not the case. Our team, both employees and elected officials, are here to listen and will do our best to respond to these concerns promptly.

I would like to welcome Jim Hoover to the Emmitsburg Board of Town Commissioners. Mr. Hoover is a former mayor and town commissioner and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the council. Mr. Hoover will fill the remaining 11 months of my vacated commissioner term. I would also like to thank all the citizens who expressed an interest in the position; it is evident how many people truly care about making a difference.

Over the last month, I attended many meetings and met many new people, but two events stand out. I was invited to Emmitsburg Elementary School to take part in “Starts with Hello Week.” I was able to meet and speak with each student as they arrived to begin their school day. Their smiles and handshakes were a fantastic way to start the day. I also had the opportunity to speak with the fourth-grade class of Mother Seton School. I spent time speaking about what it was like to be mayor. As most of you know, kids of that age keep you on your toes, and you never know what the next question might be. My time spent interacting with those students gives me hope that the future is bright and there are good things to come.

Be on the lookout for a groundbreaking around Creamery Court. Federal Stone (currently located in Thurmont) is scheduled to begin construction of their new building in the first part of December. The construction process should take about six months, with hopes of moving into their new home in July of 2024. In addition, the remaining building lots on Creamery Court have been sold and are in various phases of pre-construction.

Please check the town website for holiday hours, as they may change in the month of December. Even with the reduced hours, know that we have staff on call, and I can be reached if there are emergency situations.

Let us cherish family and friends this holiday season. From my family to yours: Best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy New Year!

Please feel free to contact me at mayordavis@emmitsburgmd.gov, and I will do my best to respond within the same business day.

Thurmont

Mayor John Kinnaird

Christmas is upon us, and Karen and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years!

On December 1, Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler retired from the Thurmont Police Department. Chief Eyler served our community for 18 years and in those years, he brought the department from a small town force to a professional police department. Greg began his police career right here in Thurmont, under the guidance of Chief Herman Shook. He moved on to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department, where he came up through the ranks and retired as a Major before returning to the Thurmont Police Department. During his time here, our department has grown in size and moved into a new headquarters building. His leadership brought new technology, an increase in the number of sworn officers, and a new standard of community policing. One of the chief’s most recent accomplishments was instituting the switch to a dedicated retirement benefit for his officers. His service has created a police department that our community is very proud of, and we all thank him for his service. We wish Greg and Brenda all the best as they head off on a new adventure in life.

Please consider donations to the Thurmont Food Bank and Clothes Closet in the coming weeks and months. The winter months bring additional hardships to our friends, neighbors, and family members who are less fortunate than ourselves. Donations of non-perishable food, decent cold weather clothing, or cash to these organizations can make a real difference in the lives of many.

It is with great sadness that I talk about the death of former Thurmont Commissioner Bill Buehrer. Bill lost his battle with cancer last Wednesday. I have known Bill for about fourteen years, having met him while attending Thurmont Town meetings. We sat in the back row and shared our thoughts on the future of the town. Bill ran for office in 2011 and was elected as commissioner of the Town of Thurmont. Commissioner Buehrer was extremely proud to serve our community and would often state that Thurmont was the best municipality in Frederick County. He truly believed that we live in the best town possible and worked hard to make sure our residents received the best possible municipal service. As a commissioner, he was very supportive of all events in town and volunteered to help at many of them. He was proud of the sense of spirit in our community and was active in Economic Development, Main Street, and was an active supporter of the Gateway to the Cure fundraising. Bill was very supportive of all of our staff and police officers and helped ensure they got the equipment necessary to do their jobs professionally.

It was my pleasure to serve with Bill over the past 12 years. We did not always see eye to eye on every topic, but we worked to do what was best for our community. Bill and I found ourselves at the radiology department at Johns Hopkins, where we both underwent radiation therapy for our cancers. He was keenly aware of how impactful illness could be on families and was very considerate of those impacted by cancer. This is why he was such a dedicated supporter of the Gateway for the Cure campaign. We spoke often about our illnesses, and he had a very encouraging and positive outlook. I am sorry to see Bill pass, but I will be forever grateful to have known him. Karen and I send our deepest condolences to Bill’s wife Colleen and their family.

Here are some thoughts from others who served with Bill.

Former Commissioner Wes Hamrick:

“It was my honor and privilege to first meet Bill several years ago when I was hired as a staff member with Stauffer Funeral Home. He and his wife, Colleen, recently transferred from South Carolina to work the pre-needs and aftercare for the Stauffer Funeral Home. I instantly connected with both of them. Bill, along with prompting by Colleen, convinced me to run for commissioner. It was their encouragement, faith in my ability, and support that I made the decision to run.

For 10 years, I served with Bill. His personality and that of the other board members provided a nice balance on the dais. Although Bill could have a sometimes gruff and tough-minded exterior, underneath was a very kind and gentle spirit. He truly had the heart of servitude for his community and only wanted the best for Thurmont.”

“The next to the last time I saw Bill was at my last meeting as commissioner.  I went to each one and hugged and thanked them for their support and for the privilege of serving with them. Since Bill sat at the furthest end of the dais, he was the last one for me to thank. We hugged and he held on to me and we said I love you to each other. He truly was a gentle bear in the truest sense. He will be missed and my prayers are with Colleen and his family.”

May God keep you in His protective arms, my friend.”

Commissioner Wayne Hooper:

“Bill loved our community and served with the best interest of Thurmont at the heart of his work. He was always quick to say that Thurmont is the best municipality in Frederick County, and he truly believed it was.”

CAO Jim Humerick:

“I think Bill was a man of great integrity who loved Thurmont. I sincerely appreciate his support of the town employees and our endeavors to improve operations over the years.”

CFO Linda Joyce:

“I am sorry to hear about Bill. I would like to mention he was receptive to moving the town forward and embraced positive change.”

Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder:

“I will always remember and love Bill for his compassion and support for the Gateway to The Cure campaign. He was a driving force for the Gateway To The Cure Golf Classic, and was a huge reason for its success. Even when he wasn’t feeling his best, he was always there to help with the tournament, no matter the task he was given. Bill was also a huge supporter of all of our Thurmont small businesses and their owners and could be found patronizing them all. I will greatly miss him and his ambition to bring home a larger check each year for our Gateway to The Cure for the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund. I sure hope he is looking down and smiling because this year was the largest total collected in our 10-year history of the campaign. I will miss you, Bill.”

Comments, concerns, or compliments? I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or at jkinnaird@thurmont.com.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

I hope each of you had a very happy Thanksgiving with family and friends. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Blessed New Year. If you can volunteer at a place in the community or help with Christmas for a family that doesn’t have the resources, I encourage it. I promise you; it is very rewarding.

On November 4, 2023, we opened the bidding process for the new town hall. Within three days, we had six contractors reaching out with interest in bidding on the project. All prospective bids are due in the town office by noon on December 4, 2023. All received bids will be presented to the town council on December 12, 2023, and a vote to select the contractor will take place at the January 9, 2024, town meeting. We are all very excited about this next step in getting the construction of the town hall started soon.

As many noticed, water bills for this quarter went out late. This was due to 12 residents not having completed the water meter change upgrade. Billing could not be completed until all were updated. The town had to spend extra money and bring in a new plumber on October 20 to complete these final 12 upgrades, as the contractor’s time in town was only for September. We have finally completed the upgrade. This will make billing much smoother; in January, we will be able to start taking electronic payments, which has been a request for a long time now.

Santa Claus (aka the burgess) will make an appearance at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 17, riding around town with the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department. This year, we will be going down all the town streets and possibly up toward the New Midway area as well. After the Santa run, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Santa will be back at the firehouse for pictures until 4:00 p.m. All are welcome to come out and say hello.

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.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. Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Frank Davis

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be sitting here writing the “Mayor’s Column” for our local newspaper. I’m sure Mrs. Richards, my English teacher, would tell you the same thing. But here it goes.

My first few weeks in office have been very busy. I have spent a lot of time in the town office, learning the daily routines of our staff and working my way around the office. We held our first staff meeting with all town employees, and the meeting was recorded and sent to the town commissioners. Even though they were unable to attend in person, I felt it was important they heard the message I had for the staff. Transparency is my top priority. Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting with each staff member individually to learn more about their responsibilities and to gather ideas from them on how we can improve our operations.

While I will do my best to be available for you every day, Thursdays will be my designated “Office Day.” I will be available to meet with you to discuss concerns, listen to ideas, or just to have a cup of coffee. You are free to stop in anytime, but it would be great if you could call the office and schedule a designated time to meet.

The water rates are a major concern of many of our citizens and businesses. The town staff and commissioners are exploring options to relieve some of this financial burden from the taxpayers. One of Mayor Briggs’ last announcements in office was that funds have been found to assist with relief for the water fund. This will be discussed and, hopefully, passed by the commissioners at our November meeting.

There are several openings on committees and boards, and we need your help filling the open slots. I also plan to establish several new committees to gather more community input and to review many codes and ordinances that need updating. Please visit the town website and Facebook page to get vacancy announcements.

With winter just around the corner, it is important for you to remember that all town streets are now snow emergency routes. This means that when the Snow Emergency Plan is activated by the State of Maryland, all vehicles must be moved from roadways. We are working with area businesses and organizations to provide parking in their lots to assist citizens who don’t have off-street parking during snowstorms. More information will be forthcoming.

While there are several pressing issues that need attention, be assured we are working to resolve them. With that, I ask to please be courteous to our staff. If for some reason they are unable to help you with your concerns or problems, please ask to speak to me. If you need to vent to someone, let it be me. I have worked in a firehouse for years; I have thick skin and can handle it.

In closing, I want to thank the citizens for trusting me to lead our great town, and I will work hard every day not to disappoint you. Please feel free to contact me at mayordavis@emmitsburgmd.gov, and I will do my best to respond within the same business day.From Lib and me, thank you.

Thurmont
Mayor John Kinnaird

Fall is upon us, and with it, comes colder weather and changing daylight hours. I ask that everyone be extra careful when driving in and around Thurmont by watching out for school kids coming and going to school. Many of our kids are out before dawn to catch a bus or to walk to school. They are crossing our streets and may not take the time to look both ways before stepping off the curb. On streets without sidewalks and on rural county roads, many kids are forced to walk along the edges of the roads. Your extra attention will be greatly appreciated.

The water and wastewater infrastructure work on North Church Street is now underway. Traffic will be impacted Monday through Thursday as the crews replace water lines and wastewater lines from the railroad bridge out to near Catoctin High School. There are flaggers in place to direct traffic, with special attention being paid to school traffic in the mornings and afternoon. I would encourage you to take different routes if you need to get through the area. During the construction phase, one lane will be closed throughout the day. At the end of each day, the roadway will be patched and both lanes reopened. Occasionally, both lanes may be closed for short times, as equipment is moved or construction involves both lanes. Once this project is completed, the State Highway Administration will be replacing North Church Street.

Thanksgiving is coming on Thursday, November 23. Karen and I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with friends and family. On this day, our Pilgrim ancestors first enjoyed a communal meal as thanks for the well-being and success of their community. As part of our modern-day Thanksgiving, I ask everyone to consider others less fortunate than us and help support the Thurmont Food Bank and other organizations. By supporting the Thurmont Food Bank with a cash donation or with a donation of non-perishable foods, you can help guarantee a wholesome Thanksgiving meal for many of our families, friends, and neighbors. The food bank is always looking for volunteers to help—even just a few hours—with sorting donations or helping to distribute goods. It will give you a sense of making a positive difference in the lives of our neighbors.

Cold weather means we will be wearing jackets, hats, boots, gloves, and other cold-weather clothing. This year, when you start pulling out your cold-weather clothing, be sure to consider making a donation of extra jackets, sweaters, hats, gloves, and boots to the Thurmont Clothes Closet. The Clothes Closet will distribute your wearable warm clothing to those that may not be able to afford warm clothing. This is especially important for children; warm clothing helps kids enjoy school, outdoor play, and can let them be more comfortable at home if the thermostat needs to be set lower. Be on the lookout for opportunities to help schools fulfill the wishes of students for new clothing through anonymous Santa and Christmas present support. The kids will appreciate the warmth and love that warm clothes can bring them.

Thurmont just completed another Gateway to the Cure month-long event to help raise funds and awareness for Breast Cancer research and patient care. Our events support the Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Health. The funds raised are used locally to help provide research and patient support for Frederick Heath patients. Each of us knows a family member or a friend who has been impacted by breast cancer. We can make a difference by spreading the message of breast cancer awareness. Sadly, cancer in many forms touches too many families across our community, state, nation, and countries around the world. Sometimes, it seems like cancer can be overpowering, but today, new treatments and a better understanding of the causes of cancer have greatly improved the outlook for many patients.

November has just begun, and I am now going to remind you about upcoming Christmas events in Thurmont. We will be having our annual Christmas Tree Lighting event on Saturday, November 25, at the Mechanicstown Square Park. Then, on Saturday, December 2, we will be at the Guardian Hose Company for Christmas in Thurmont.

Comments, concerns, or compliments? I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or at jkinnaird@thurmont.com.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe that we are less than two months away from the end of the year. I hope you enjoy time with family and friends this Thanksgiving. Always remember the ones who do not have extra funds or family during this time. If you can volunteer at a place in the community providing Thanksgiving to the less fortunate, I encourage it. I can promise you it is very rewarding.

Our annual Woodsboro Days festival on October 14-15 was a great success. Saturday saw many yard sales around town, with the largest group of them being at the Woodsboro Lutheran Church, where they also had food sales. It was great seeing so many out in the community. The weather on Sunday was great for the 3rd annual music festival in the park on the band shell that we had built three years ago. It was also the first year we had electricity to the stage—the last two years, we ran on generators. All the bands, food trucks, and vendors were wonderful. Special thanks to Billie Fulmer and the local Boy Scouts, who, once again, helped with parking. We are already looking forward to next year’s event. 

Also on October 14, we held the grand opening of our skate park. This project was made possible by a suggestion from town resident Ben Marshall to the council last year. At the time, it seemed like a pipe dream, with the cost of the project and the lack of funds, but myself and former Commissioner Dana Crum (particularly) fought hard for the grant to complete the project and were successful. Now we have a wonderful skate park for the community. Thank you, Ben and Dana for your hard work, and Matt Arment from Arment Concrete for constructing it.

In addition, on October 14, the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department had an open house that several enjoyed going to.

As many noticed, water bills for this quarter went out late. This was due to 12 residents not having completed the water meter change upgrade yet. Billing could not be completed until all were updated. The town had to spend extra money and bring in a new plumber on October 20 to complete these final 12, as the contractor’s time in town was only for the month of September. We have finally completed the upgrade. This will make billing much smoother. In January, we will be able to start taking electronic payments, which has been a request for a long time now.

The latest town hall update is that the permits have all been approved by the county. Our architect has listed for the contractors to bid, and we must keep bids open by law for 30 days. Once the 30 days have expired, the council will select a contractor. We will open the bidding process any day now, and we are looking forward to the next step in finally building Woodsboro’s first town hall.

Halloween trick-or-treating was held on October 31 in town. It was nice seeing so many children and families out enjoying the evening.

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 by calling 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. Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

In early September, I had the honor of announcing the FFA Sweetheart winner at the opening ceremony of the 67th Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show at Catoctin High School. The winner was Caroline Clark. Caroline, who was raised and lives on her family farm in Rocky Ridge, among other things, is quite an accomplished tractor driver. Earlier this year, she won the Maryland State Fair tractor competition. She is the first female to do so. It does not stop there. She also competed in the New England Expo tractor event and placed sixth. The New England Expo is a five-state fair event. Congratulations, Caroline!

Before opening the envelope with the winner’s name, I looked across the stage at the seated contestants for the award. I was in awe after listening to what they love, what they have accomplished, giving us a glimpse of the trajectory of their lives going forward. It was something. These contestants are a sampling of the generations who will take care of our country. So often, younger generations are bundled into convenient characterizations as “Millennials,” “Generation X,” and so on. Every day we wake up, we are blessed by their presence and accomplishments. We often look back and say the greatest generation lived 80 some years ago. No, it is the younger generations and the generations to come that are the greatest generations. We must start there. They will have challenges and need to amass support now to be able to address those challenges. As one writer quipped, “The past is a different country, they do things differently there.”

To this topic, last summer I read an article in the weekend review section of the Wall Street Journal, “The New Rules of Success in the Post-Career World.” The present generations of a younger workforce, and seemingly those to come, are signaling new guardrails for career paths they are going to follow. The beacon for staying with one company has long been dimmed. Now, what the younger are looking for is more, “fulfillment over traditional priorities like income and status.” They will not live to work but work to live in a more balanced way.

As I leave office after four terms, 12 years, I would again like to say thank you to the residents of Emmitsburg for the honor of serving as your mayor of a top-10 small town in Maryland. I leave you, thanks to terrific staff and an understanding wife, with a sidewalk-connected town from Tract Road to Emmit Gardens; lots of new homes; a renovated square (whereas I write, a new exciting business is gobbling up the only vacant commercial space); an award-winning green town with an emphasis on reducing waste; and the Mount moving classes and administration in to the town.

From Lib and me, thank you.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

Fall has finally arrived and hopefully, we will get a month or more of decent temperatures and some regular rain. Central Maryland is currently under a drought watch, and residents are encouraged to conserve water wherever possible. Rains during the last week of September were helpful, but we still need more.

Colorfest is coming up and will be here before you know it. Permits are still available, and there are spaces still available around town. Colorfest will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 14 and 15. As usual, Thurmont will be a hotbed for yard sales almost the entire week leading up to Colorfest. Be careful while driving around town that week, and be sure to get out and support all of our local non-profits, churches, civic organizations, and first responders. I hope everyone has a very enjoyable Colorfest weekend!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we will be raising money in support of the Patty Hurwitz Fund at Frederick Health. Our community has an amazing record of support for this annual event, and we need to keep supporting this wonderful organization. We just had our Annual Gateway to the Cure Golf Classic, with over 100 individual golfers registered for a fun day at Maple Run Golf Course. The Gateway to Cure 5K Covered Bridge Run will be held at Eyler Road Park on Saturday, October 21. There is still time to register for this popular run through our beautiful countryside and across the Roddy Road Covered Bridge. The Gateway to Cure Zumbathon will be held at the American Legion on Sunday, October 22, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Pink light bulbs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, pinwheels, and other items are available at locations around town or at the municipal offices.

The Town of Thurmont will be holding an election for two commissioner seats on Tuesday, October 31, at the Guardian Hose Company Activity Building on 123 East Main Street. Voting opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 8:00 p.m. Those in line at 8:00 p.m. will be able to vote. October 3 is the last day to register to vote. Absentee Ballots will be available on October 18, and the last day to apply for an Absentee Ballot is close of business on October 24.

Be watchful of the water and waste water improvements starting on North Church Street in late October. Traffic will be restricted to one lane during work hours with flaggers on hand to provide direction. Accommodations will be made for bus traffic and for heavy trucks. I encourage everyone to take alternative routes during this six-month project. Residents and businesses on North Church Street have been informed of the plans and will be updated regularly as the project proceeds.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable October! As always, I can be reached at jkinnaird@thurmont.com or by phone at 301-606-9458.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy Fall! Before we know it, the leaves will start changing and the temperature will begin to drop. The smell of pumpkin will be in the air, and the pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted houses, and fall festivals will be in full swing. Enjoy time with family and friends at these fall happenings.

Our water meter update in town had a few hiccups, but I can happily say that all but about 5 percent has been completed, and the town will be working with these residents to get theirs completed ASAP. With the delay in getting these all completed, water bills will be going out a few weeks later than normal this quarter but should have the option to pay electronically beginning with this quarter’s bill. This is something that many residents have asked for, and we listened. Please do not be concerned if the bill comes to your home a few weeks later this quarter.

Electricity to the stage has been completed, and we will not have to use a generator for the bands this year at the Woodsboro Days Festival. Please see the advertisement on page 23 for details. Come out for all the fun on October 21-22!

The latest town hall update is that the permits have all been approved by the county. Our architect has listed for the contractors to bid, and we must keep bids open by law for 30 days. Once the 30 days have expired, the council will select a contractor. We have called for a tentative special meeting with the council for October 23, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the bids and decide, instead of waiting until the regular November meeting, so that we can get the building started as quickly as possible.

The construction of the new skate park has begun and should be completed by the end of October. The excitement around it is very high. It is being built between the concession stand and tennis courts. I am very excited to see this project happening.

Halloween trick-or-treating will be on October 31 between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. in town. Please be sure to watch out for children in the streets that night and leave your light on if you wish to participate.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

The school year has started, and we all need to be extra careful while driving on our local and county roads and state highways. First and foremost, we must be aware of the kids crossing our streets. There are crosswalks at all intersections in Thurmont, although they may not be marked. State law requires you to stop at any marked street crossing if people are in the crosswalk or stepping into the crosswalk. This rule should also apply to every intersection if children are crossing or entering the crossing area. As often as kids are told to look both ways before crossing, we all know they sometimes do not. Please keep in mind that kids will also cross streets at any point and can walk out from between parked cars. Be aware of speed zones near schools and slow down to the speed limit posted for traffic during school hours. We also need to be aware of kids getting on and off school buses. You are required to stop for all school buses headed in either direction when the red lights are flashing. School buses will flash their yellow lights as a warning that they are preparing to stop. Be sure to stop with plenty of room between you and the bus. The only exception is if you are traveling in the opposite direction on a multi-lane highway with the lanes separated by a barrier, grass, or paved median. Please keep an eye out for our children and make sure they get to and from school safely.

The 67th Annual Thurmont and Emmitsburg Community Show is being held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 8, 9, and 10. Be sure to come up and enjoy a weekend of great entertainment, agricultural displays, delicious food, amazing displays of art, photography, baking, canning, sewing, knitting, flower arranging, and other crafts. The show starts Friday evening, with the opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. followed by the baked goods auction at 7:30 p.m. All three days will feature agriculture displays of livestock and equipment. Saturday starts with the Beef, Sheep, and Swine Show and the Market Goat Fitting and Show. Come and see how much effort the young ladies and gentlemen of the FFA invest in their Ag displays. 

The Town of Thurmont will be holding an election to fill two Board of Commissioner seats on Tuesday, October 31. There are some important dates to keep in mind leading up to the election. The Nominating Convention will be held on September 26; this is when candidates will be nominated and begin their campaign. The last day you can register to vote is on October 3. If you are already registered for state and national elections, you are registered locally as well. You can register to vote at the Thurmont Town Office during regular business hours. Absentee Ballots will be available starting on October 18. Contact the Thurmont Town Office for Absentee Ballots. The last day to apply for an Absentee Ballot is October 24.

Colorfest is fast approaching and now is the time to get permits and secure a spot if you are setting up to sell items that weekend. This year, Colorfest will be held on Saturday, October 14, and Sunday, October 15.  As usual, there will be lots of activity going on the entire week leading up to Colorfest. Preparations will be getting underway for security, sanitation, and transportation, and vendors will be setting up. Thurmont is widely known for all of the yard sales that pop up Wednesday through Friday. So, be aware of cars stopping to visit yard sales throughout the week. There will be no parking signs posted on select roadways, and we ask that you honor those signs during the times noted.

The town is working to organize the upcoming construction project on North Church Street. This will entail the replacement of water and wastewater mains on North Church from the railway bridge to out past Sheetz. Residents and businesses on North Church Street have received notification about the project and what they should expect as the work progresses. During the majority of the construction, one lane of North Church will be open, with flaggers guiding traffic through the work area. The contractors will be notified regarding the times when school buses and vehicles will be coming from CHS, and they will attempt to accommodate the traffic patterns whenever possible. I encourage you to find alternate routes to your destinations during this construction. All businesses will be open during the construction of the North Church Street improvements. Once the infrastructure work is completed, the entire roadway will be repaved. This project will get underway in late October and should continue for six months.

As always, I can be reached at jkinnaird@thurmont.com or by phone at 301-606-9458 for any comments, questions, or concerns.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

As I write this, one of my last two monthly mayor articles in The Catoctin Banner, I want to thank the residents, businesses, and the town staff for the honor to work with you over my four terms—12 years—it has been my humble honor. The two-fold measure of the office is to serve and govern. Sometimes, we were at odds with the governing piece, but at the foundation of every discussion was always our town charter and town code.

Together, we have done a lot. We did “take back” the square, re-did it, as it is the “foyer” of all our homes. We filled the sidewalk gaps, so now the town is connected from Tract Road to Emmit Gardens, Northgate, FEMA, and Silo Hill. We now have basically a new pool and changing rooms, a dog park, a redone bandstand, all-accessible children’s playground, and paved gaps to the walking path in Community Park. Through begging and cajoling, we got Ryan Homes back to finish the remainder of Brookfield after they swore they’d never come back here after being rudely dismissed some 15 years ago. Being recognized by the state as a Sustainable Community, the initial step to becoming a Main Street town and the thousands of dollars in grants to downtown building owners that equates to over $1 million in improvements. The three corners of the downtown square buildings benefit from that program. Finally, the Mount is coming downtown with programs and classes. Our solar field provides 94 percent of the town’s energy accounts. Adding energy saving LED street lighting, electric charging stations, and a town electric car. The thousands of trees we planted. To wit: we have the town recognized as one of the top 10 most beautiful small towns in Maryland. We did all of this together.

August started out with still trying to assist in any way the sponsors of a new Catholic High School to find a home in Emmitsburg. They have the students, Maryland Educational approved time-tested G.K. Chesterton-shaped curriculum, and the teachers. Miraculously, it has been accomplished. Fall classes will first be held at St. Anthony’s and then come into Emmitsburg around the first of the year. Congratulations to the sponsors, the Crook family.

August for me started out with attending a presentation by members of the Frederick County Economic Development Office to a group of town businesspeople over a light breakfast at the Carriage House Inn. The topic was Emmitsburg progressing on being a Maryland Main Street affiliate to full participation in the program and many additional opportunities. It was an excellent presentation, adding to the groundwork that has been done to improve the setting of our wonderful town.

That same night, Lib and I attended the Emmitsburg’s Annual National Night Out tribute held in the Community Park; we had the honor of serving, along with the town staff, pizza donated by Tuscany’s Pizzeria, along with hamburgers and cheeseburgers donated by McDonald’s, water, popsicles, school bags, and more. The weather cooperated with a cooler, less humid evening to befittingly honor our guests, the Sheriff’s deputies, and members of the Vigilant Hose Company. An ice cream truck, local churches, vendors, and children amusements, all lent to a wonderful evening.

 On August 8, the County Historic Preservation Commission approved the expansion of the Emmitsburg National Register Historic District to include West Lincoln Avenue, Emmitsburg’s historic black neighborhood. Ever since writing 20 years ago a thesis paper on black education opportunities in Northern Frederick County, I have pursued including West Lincoln Avenue in the Emmitsburg National Registry of Historic Places. West Lincoln Avenue is a history-rich African American homestead area that was not included in the original district. Thank you to Joy Shaffer with the County Executive Office and Elizabeth Comer of the Catoctin Furnace Society for pushing and pulling through.

 In honor of our sister City Lutsk in Ukraine, a Ukrainian needlework exhibit was held in the Emmitsburg Library in August, honoring the Ukrainian Day of Independence. On August 19, the second annual jointly-sponsored town and Mount event welcomed the new freshmen class at the Mount with an array of music, swimming, food, and vendors. August 22 featured a ribbon-cutting for the Mount Seminary Blessed Stanley Rother House of Formation in a wing of the Basilica building. All of this in a quiet town. September 22 will be the Blessing and Dedication of the Seton Shrine Visitors Center and Museum. Don’t forget the 67th Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show on September 8-10 at Catoctin High School.

 Best wishes from Lib and me for a Happy Labor Day holiday! Don’t forget to vote in the town mayoral and commissioner election on Tuesday, September 22, at the deputy station on East Main Street. They are all really good people who love Emmitsburg.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Greetings and welcome back to school to all the students, teachers, and staff. My wish is that this is a safe and productive school year for you all.

As all residents should have seen on their last water bills, we are in the process of changing out the water meters. This will allow us to begin taking electronic payments; however, we cannot move forward until all meters are updated. It does require the tech to enter your home, as stated on the water bills. Please be sure to set up your appointment with them. The sooner we get them all changed out in town, the sooner we can move forward with the system that many of you have asked for regarding electronic payments for your water bills.

I am happy to announce that groundbreaking for the new bathrooms on the east side of the park will begin to take place soon. Electricity to the east side of the park has begun as well and will hopefully be completed and run to the stage before the Woodsboro Days festival that is scheduled for October 22. If you are a vendor and would like to participate, please reach out to me.

The latest town hall update is that I signed several documents for the county permits, and we should have the process to start the bidding to build the town hall out by mid-September. This is very exciting, as a groundbreaking will take place shortly after that. With a mild winter, we should be able to be in the building by mid-spring.

The construction of the new skate park should begin in early September. The excitement around it is very high. It will be built between the concession stand and tennis courts. I am very excited to see these projects happening.

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.

Woodsboro town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day and had the opportunity to spend time with your family. The Thurmont Main Street Farmers Market is now open on Saturday mornings at the Community Park. I encourage everyone to visit the market and any other community events we are having. Watch for upcoming Concerts in the Park and others.

You may have heard that the board of commissioners (BOC) has voted to join in a multi-jurisdictional law suit against manufacturers of PFOAs and related chemical compounds. These chemicals are known as forever compounds because they resist breaking down naturally. They were used in many products, including fire-fighting foam, waterproof clothing and boots, non-stick cookware, and even items like pizza boxes. These chemicals have managed to get into our drinking water sources, and recent changes in allowable levels from the Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of Environment will require that Thurmont and thousands of other communities across the USA take action to remove these chemical compounds from our water systems. We are currently working with our engineering firm to design the filtration systems needed to bring our levels down to a non-detectable level. This will require filtration units at each of our water treatment facilities. Not only will we need the filtration equipment, we will also need to build additions to our treatment facilities to house the filters and plumbing and electrical equipment to operate them. The initial costs will be high, but what is more troublesome is the unknown costs for the safe disposal and replacement of the filter elements or filtration materials. Looking ahead, the BOC has decided to participate in the legal action in an effort to help cover the associated costs. The cost for upgrading the systems will fall on the consumers, so any relief we can get in a settlement will help off-set the costs our residents will be paying. We are moving forward with the design, purchase, and installation of the required equipment. It is our hope that we get support from the MDE or EPA and a settlement from the legal action to help defray the costs. We do not expect to be made whole by a settlement but we hope that funds will be awarded to help defray the costs. While the design and installation process is moving forward, I want to reassure everyone that we are following the guidelines set forth by the EPA and MDE.

Work continues on Frederick Road leading up to milling and resurfacing later this summer. The Thurmont Water Department installed three new 8-inch gate valves at the Frederick Road and Thurmont Boulevard intersection. This will ensure that a planned commercial improvement on Thurmont Blvd. will not require cutting the new blacktop. They have also installed a new 8-inch gate valve on the Moser Road water main at Frederick Road. This new valve will allow the crew to isolate the water main if it needs to be shut down in an emergency. A private contractor has been working to upgrade the storm water collection basin on Frederick Road. These are all over 40 years of age and have been having issues. The new basins will help improve the flow of storm water off of the road surface. They are also upgrading the sidewalk and entrance to Community Park in advance of milling and repaving. These projects have caused some delays and slowed traffic, but in the end, the new road surface will be well worth the inconvenience. The Town has just put out an invitation to bid on the milling and blacktopping. The contract should be awarded within a month, and at that time we will have an approximate start date for the final phase of work.

The Town of Thurmont will also be starting a rebuild of North Church Street this fall. This project will include the complete rebuilding of the water and waste water infrastructure on the roadway. The infrastructure has been in place for many years and sections are failing. We will be removing existing terra-cotta pipe wastewater lines and wastewater laterals. We will also be removing an abandoned water pump installation beneath the Church Street and Emmitsburg Road intersection. This work will provide much-improved services for residents served by the lines we are replacing. During the work, one lane will be closed and flagmen will be onsite to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible. Once our work is finished the state will blacktop the roadway.

As always, please wear sunscreen, hats, and long sleeves when outdoors. Make sure your kids, family, and friends are also protected for their safety. I can be reached at jkinnaird@thurmont.com or by phone at 301-606-9458.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

Why should we protect our mountains, farms, and historic districts? Because it defines us. Recently, our daughter moved to Lexington, Kentucky. She had sold her horse farm in Virginia, spent a year traveling around the world, and then, surprisingly, extended her horse-related career in the horse capital of the world: the bluegrass state. In a recent visit, we drove by miles and miles of horse farms with new foals abounding; ate lunch at Keenland Racetrack; toured the Kentucky Horse Park, home of the Olympic equestrian team; and watched the world-renowned Rolex three-day competition event. Our daughter’s grandparents’ farm was named Houyhnhnm, a name taken from the Jonathan Swift novel, Gulliver’s Travels. Houyhnhnm (pronounced win-em) was a mythical country of superior intellect horses. Though our daughter will be traveling a lot in her new role in the horse world, it sure seems and feels like she lives in that special place, the Camelot of horse lovers, Houyhnhnm. We’ve got it special, too. Let’s protect our special setting that forms us. Something akin to the Irish bard’s description, Dinnshenchas, the embodiment of place and who we are.

I attended and gave the welcoming address at the 42nd National Firefighters Foundation Memorial Weekend held on the weekend of May 6-7. The commemoration was previously held annually the first weekend in October. As in previous years, thousands of guests visited Emmitsburg to honor those who gave their lives in fire service. The weather cooperated for a fitting tribute for those firefighters who were always there for us. Many people have asked what my message to our guests was, so here it is:

“Good evening. On behalf of the residents of Emmitsburg and Northern Frederick County, welcome.

Thank you for again sharing this solemn tradition with us, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service weekend, as today we honor these firefighters. 

Every year as mayor, I am given the honor to welcome you. And every year I have to call upon wisdom far greater than mine.

It is written that success in life is measured by whether we use the gifts/talents that we are given. It is also written, as if to answer that challenge, ‘Be not afraid.’

For your contributions to your communities across the county, responding to that call in the middle of the night, always that challenge is there and begs an answer.

As it was for these firefighters we honor today, the answer they gave was yes, and the answer they expect from you and all of us is: Be not afraid.

They were a success. They used their talents well. Welcome. Our town is yours.”

After many hours of preparation by a faithful group of volunteers led by the Lions Club and most of our civic groups, including the Knights of Columbus and Masons, the Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day will be Saturday, June 24. Great community event in Myers Community Park: vendors, games, multiple food choices, parade, and fireworks. 

Parks are alive with activities. People are enjoying the new bleachers for baseball and softball games in both Memorial and Myers parks. New covered places with grills are being used. More walkers are out and about now that the town is more connected with the sidewalk improvements throughout the town and missing connections in the parks that were made in the last decade. Again, we are becoming a well-connected pedestrian and bike-friendly town that is less car dependent and offers a diversity of both active and passive recreational opportunities.

The community pool opens on Memorial Day Weekend and will be open on weekends, then daily after schools let out. Pool party dates are set, one for each of the summer months. Check with the town office or social media sites for dates and times.

The Farmers Market, located on South Seton Avenue, opens on Friday, June 23, from 2:00-8:00 p.m., and is going to be spectacular. It’s our best one yet: lots of vendors, children’s activities, and an ice cream truck to boot.

Come on summer. Emmitsburg is here and ready for all to enjoy.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

On May 13, town elections were held for two council positions. Congratulations to Commissioner John Cutshall on his re-election and to former Burgess, Bill Rittelmeyer, on his election to serve as a council member. Thank you both for stepping up to serve our town.

At our May 9 town meeting, I informed the council that, unfortunately, our request for funding of $257,892.64 to be added into the county budget for a needed major electrical panel replacement at the water plant was not added. We discussed other ways to get it replaced. We will reconcile our records and see what is remaining from the ARPA funds we received as one option.

I also was informed that our request to have a grant issued under the Community Parks and Playgrounds to build a bathroom in the east side of the park was not approved. It appears, from what I can see, that out of the 70-plus projects that were awarded under this year’s governor’s budget, only one went to Frederick County.

On a bright note, we did receive the denial letter the day before the deadline for next year’s POS grant deadline, so we submitted the project under that, along with the request for funding the skate park. The meeting for that will be on June 6, along with the other municipality leaders in the county to determine the funding allocations; hopefully, we are successful.

Commissioner Dana Crum informed us that she has scheduled the company to paint the much-requested pickleball lines onto the tennis courts. That should happen in the next few weeks. The maintenance men have also removed the old playground equipment in one section of the park and the new equipment will be installed in July or August. I also gave an update on the town hall. A site plan has now officially been filed with the county and is going through the forestation and storm water management permitting process at this time. Once those are approved, the process will begin flowing through the permitting channel, hopefully, at a quick speed.

The FY2024 budget was presented to the council and several items were discussed and some changes made. At the June 13 town meeting, the budget will be voted upon during the first half of the meeting and the two new council members will be sworn in to continue the second half of the meeting.

 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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

On April 11, we held a public hearing before our regular meeting to discuss two proposed code changes and both passed. The first code change was to allow chickens in town, based upon the regulations that had been previously proposed and passed 4-0. An overview of the ordinance is that residents with lots less than one acre will be allowed up to five chickens. Residents with more than one acre will be allowed to have up to 12 chickens. Absolutely no roosters will be allowed. All wishing to have chickens can apply for their permit at the town office, beginning May 11, 2023. The second code amendment, which passed 3-1 from the council, with Commissioner Crum voting no, was to change the grass height allowed. Current code allows up to 18-inch-high grass. The new code will be changed to a maximum height of eight inches. Per town ordinance, both code changes will go into effect 30 days after the vote, which will be May 11, 2023. I thank the residents who came and spoke out about their concerns on either issue.

The town council was approached in March with a proposal to allow a third cellular phone company to rent space on our water tower. In the past, we have had three towers, but recently we have just had two. The council sent it back to the company for negotiations and our request was met, so it was unanimously voted on to allow them to rent the space, which will bring in more funds for the town.

This meeting was also the night to nominate candidates to run for the upcoming town election that will be held on May 13, 2023. Two of the four commissioner positions are open. Commissioner John Cutshall and Commissioner Dana Crum’s seats are both up for election. Commissioner Cutshall expressed interest in running again and was nominated to be on the ballot. Commissioner Crum has chosen not to run again and, unfortunately, no one else accepted a nomination to run. Although it is too late to appear on the ballot, if you are considering running, please do so as a write-in as we will have an empty council seat if no one runs. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the town limits for at least one year before assuming office. If you are not able to vote in person on Election Day, you may request an absentee ballot at the town office up until end of business on May 6, 2023.

On Sunday, May 28, the American Legion will host its annual Memorial Day parade. All are welcome to participate in the parade or just come out and enjoy watching. In addition, there will be a service pre-parade at the war memorial, along with a service in the American Legion post-parade to honor our military that we have lost. 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.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

With the last two weeks of February surprising us with amazing weather, I think we are all looking forward to the warmth of the spring and summer months.

Now is the time to plan to attend many of our amazing events in the coming year. Here is a listing of some of the events we have planned for this summer: 2023 Concerts in the Park at Memorial Park, Green Fest, Restaurant Week, Thurmont Business Showcase, Thurmont Farmers Market, Art and Wine Strolls, Plein Air, Colorfest, Gateway to the Cure, and Christmas in Thurmont.

Information on these and many other events are available at thurmontmainstreet.com.

Questions, comments, or suggestions? I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or jkinnaird@thurmont.com.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

So many good things happened in February. One good thing is the town has been approved, for the tenth year, with Community Legacy Grant (CLG) funds for facade improvements of properties located in the historic area. This began when the state approved Emmitsburg as a Sustainable Community during my first year in office. A gauntlet lies ahead for property owners who choose to apply, including the Maryland Historic Trust approval. From humble beginnings, more formalized protocols have developed. Currently, after advertising the availability of funds, a committee of residents with both technical construction knowledge and community service resumes beyond reproach review the applications. All members of the committee have been approved by commissioners over the years for services to the community and some on more than one occasion. To date $455,000 in 50/50 grants have been dispersed, resulting in $988,000 in improvements. Thank you to the committee members for setting aside the time for this commitment.

Another good thing, on the first Friday of February, Conrad Weaver, my grandson Tyler Myles, and I attended the 17th Annual Ukrainian National Prayer Breakfast, held at Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. This is an event I have looked forward to attending after two Zoom meetings with Mayor Ihor Poishchuk of Emmitsburg’s Ukrainian Sister City Lutsk. We joined well over 300 people for a breakfast that featured a Ukrainian chorale in traditional dress; other recognized Ukrainian singers; Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant clergy, and Evangelicals. Also in attendance were three U. S. ambassadors, as many as six congressmen, one governor, and at least one mayor. More than 10 countries were represented, including Israel. To me, the most special attendees I had the opportunity to meet included Veteran soldiers, some bearing noticeably serious injuries from the ongoing defense against the invasion by Russia, and 10 children who lost their fathers in the war. They were touring the U.S. as part of a healing process program sponsored by a Ukrainian-American group, UKRHELP Foundation, based in Bellevue, Washington; Yurii Bezpiatko, member of our Sister City Lutsk City Council; and Ukrainian Ambassador to U.S., Oksana Serhiyivna Markarova. The ambassador may visit us in Emmitsburg.

The town council discussion on water rates was postponed until the March 13 town meeting. This will be the fifth time over the last year this topic has come before the council. There have been hours of discussions that included selecting a consultant to study water rates and reviewing the consultants’ findings. A lot of information is floating about, but the facts are that water rates were not raised during the last 12 years because the council approved raising sewer rates significantly twice during that time to accommodate the new $19.5-million sewer plant the town was required to build by the state. To note, if the commissioners come to an agreement on an increase in the water rate, only the water rate will increase, not the combination of water and sewer rate.

Another President’s Day has come and gone. Not much recognition attached to it any more it seems, just a day off as a part of a three-day weekend. The roots of the holiday are worth remembering. President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is on February 12, and President George Washington’s birthday is on February 22. These two were amazing people who rose from very humble beginnings to be presidents. Their lives are worth learning more about and not forgetting.

Ash Wednesday fell on February 22 and marked the beginning of a 40-day Lenten period that leads up to Easter, which falls on April 9 this year. It’s a good time to do things for those in our community who are more in need, starting with, perhaps, being more respectful.

Take care and enjoy the off-and-on days of sun and warmth as we get ready for all the many spring youth events.

Woodsboro

Greetings to all! Our February 14 meeting was a busy, productive meeting.

The town commissioners and I went through the recommendations on an ordinance to allow chickens in town. Chickens are currently not permitted in town per the town code that was implemented in 1972. After several deliberations and changes, the vote was 3-1 to allow chickens in town. Yards less than one acre in size will be allowed up to five hens, and lots larger than an acre in size will be allowed up to 12 hens. No roosters will be allowed. This is the tentative approval. As per code, we are required to have a public hearing before amending the code. The public hearing meeting is scheduled for April 11 before our regular town meeting. At that point in time, unless the commissioners change their votes, the code change will be solidified, and all of the requirements will be codified. We will also be adding an additional code change proposal at the meeting, concerning residents’ grass height. The current code states grass can be 18 inches high. We will be proposing a change to a 9- or 12-inch height maximum.

Our planning and zoning committee sent the drawings back to the engineer for the site plan for our town hall building at their February meeting due to it not having enough green space up front to fit a sign and flagpoles. The engineer will have the revised plan back to P&Z for their March 6 meeting. If they approve it, then it will come to the town council at the March 14 meeting. If the commissioners approve the site plan, the next step is that it will be sent to the county for the permitting process to begin.

A reminder: Woodsboro has elections coming up on May 13. There will be two town commissioner seats up for election. To be eligible to run, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident within the town limits for a minimum of one year before the election. If you have an interest in running, please reach out to Mary in the town office.

We have started projects for grants that we have been approved for. Our three new flag poles have been installed at the Veterans Memorial where we will now be able to fly our American, Maryland, and Woodsboro flags all simultaneously on their own poles. In addition, construction will begin soon on the approved pavilion to be built in the upper side of the park by the disc golf course. I have also started the process of getting electricity run to the upper side of the park and will be working on getting the bathroom built up there as well. We were approved for a $214,000 grant for these projects so we will be beginning them soon. My goal is to have the electricity run before Woodsboro Days in October. In addition, we submitted a grant request to remodel the concession stand and upgrade the bathroom as well. We will have the answers for that when the governor’s FYI 2024 budget is approved.

 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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are at 6 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 the St. Johns United Church of Christ located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy February! We are over halfway through winter, with seven more weeks until spring. I am personally grateful for the mild winter we have had so far, and I am looking forward to spring.

At our January 10 meeting, we held a public hearing about whether to allow chickens in Woodsboro. The current town code, written in 1972, does not allow them. We opened the meeting up with this topic and allowed any town resident up to three minutes to speak on the issue. We had several town residents in attendance, and the majority present spoke in favor of allowing chickens. With the information that was provided, the council voted 3-1 not to take the vote that night but rather to let our planning and zoning committee who met on January 23 to put in place what the regulations would be: herd size, distance from property line for chicken coops, etc. The Woodsboro Town Council will vote on the measure at the February 14 meeting.

During the January 10th town meeting, I gave an update on the town hall progress. Our engineer and architect are working diligently on it, and our engineer feels that there is a good chance we could see shovels going into the ground by late spring. I, as well as many others, will be happy to see this progression happening.

This month has been very quiet in the town, so there isn’t much more to report on. Next month, there will be more.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 Planning and Zoning meeting. The current location for 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.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy and blessed New Year. Welcome to 2023! I hope this new year is a good one for all. I also hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Our December 13th meeting was rather quiet, with very few things on the agenda, so this month’s article will be rather short. We reminded the residents of the upcoming public hearing concerning allowing chickens in town that will be held on January 10, 2023, beginning at 7:00 p.m. All residents are welcome to attend to voice their opinions.

I gave an update on the town hall progress. We have signed a contract with an architect, and I have had a call with them and the engineer to begin the next steps. I have been asked, “Didn’t you have an architect?” The answer is, yes, and we had a drawing; however, with the now-larger lot that we have, we can build a larger and more sustainable building, as the lot is almost twice the size of the other lot. This means we must have new drawings, but the process is moving along.

We have had several issues of vandalism in the park over the last few weeks. The latest is that the port-o-potties that are placed in the park have been damaged beyond repair. We will need to buy those from the rental company and replace them with new ones. Due to the ongoing damage, the decision was made to remove them from the park and not to replace them. We will continue to have our permanent facilities open April 1 through November 30 of each year, but, unfortunately, the port-o-potties will no longer be available.

We had a great turnout of children and adults alike for our annual Santa run that was once again planned and implemented by the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department. We had a great time and look forward to next year.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings are 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 the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

At our November 8th meeting, we reminded everyone about the decision that was previously made at the monthly town meeting to hold a public hearing on January 10, 2023 to discuss the possibility of allowing chickens in town. We could not do this at the November meeting, as town codes require 30 days’ notice, and there was not 30 days between meetings. We chose not to have it at the December meeting to avoid the holidays. 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.

We had a resident at the meeting who proposed adding nets to baseball field two and distancing the bases to 90 feet. This is to attract a traveling team of 13-14 year-olds to the park beginning next season. This idea was met with a lot of optimism and would allow the second field to be used again. We also discussed the remodeling of the concession stand that will happen, which will make this nice for the games as well.

We have had several issues of vandalism in the park over the last few weeks, and a discussion took place to entertain the idea of security cameras being installed. I have also reached out to request additional patrol by the sheriff’s department. The vandalism included the breaking of several picnic tables, turning the port-o-potties on their sides, ripping the door off the men’s restroom, several cases of graffiti, and the cutting of the cables around the parking lots. Due to the damage to the restroom, we went ahead and closed the restrooms for the remainder of the year, a few weeks earlier than usual.

I have been told Santa (aka the burgess) will make a few appearances in Woodsboro this year. The first stop will be at the Woodsboro Lutheran Church at its Christmas Bazaar on December 3. Santa will be visiting from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. for pictures. Then, on December 11, Santa will ride around town with the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Santa will also be at the Children’s Christmas Party at 1:00 p.m. at the Woodsboro American Legion. Come out and see Santa at one of these events.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday, spent with family and friends. I would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas, A Happy Holiday Season, and a Blessed New Year. Always remember to look out for those around who may not have the resources or family to have a great holiday and lend a helping hand if you can.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings are 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 the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Woodsboro

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.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

Where did summer go? We are now looking forward to all the fun of fall. There are plenty of events to enjoy and places to visit during the fall season.

Let’s start with Colorfest on October 8-9. There will be plenty of crafts to see at the Community Park, GHC Carnival Grounds, the American Legion, and lots of other locations all over Thurmont. As always, there will be lots of great food available all over the Colorfest area. I will be enjoying tasty sausage gravy at the Thurmont Lions Club stand on Frederick Road. Be sure to visit Thurmont on the days leading up to Colorfest to take advantage of the many yard sales all over town. Please be careful while driving on Colorfest weekend; there will be street closures on Water Street, South Center Street, Park Lane, and Frederick Road. Be sure to observe the “no parking signs” and pay attention to our traffic control officers. If you are planning to sell crafts or food, get your permit from the Town Office before Colorfest. This year, yard sales can be held without a permit on Saturday and Sunday. Above all, visit local non-profits during Colorfest and help support our many organizations, churches, Scouts, school groups, and others. Many of these groups depend on Colorfest for a large part of their annual fundraising efforts. Remember that other communities will be holding events on Colorfest weekend: Rocky Ridge, Sabillasville, Graceham, Creagerstown, and others may have great events to visit and enjoy.

The state and federal parks always have programs on the weekends, and you should check them out. The cooler weather will also bring beautiful fall colors on Catoctin Mountain and on our rolling countryside. A nice slow drive on Park Central or Catoctin Hollow Road is a great way to enjoy all the amazing colors of fall. Our covered bridges also make for great afternoon drives and offer amazing scenery and beautiful picnic areas.

If you are looking for delicious fresh fruit, fall decorations, delicious jelly and jam, or fresh baked goodies, stop at any of our local orchards. Catoctin Mountain Orchard is on Rt. 15 (north of Thurmont), Pryor’s Orchard is on Pryor Road (off of Rt. 77, west of Thurmont), and Mountain View Orchard (on Rt. 550, north of Thurmont, close to Sabillasville). All three orchards raise their own fruit and are always fresh picked!

For great Halloween fun, join us at the Community Park, 19 Frederick Road, on October 29 at 7:30 p.m., for our Movie in the Park. This year, we are showing It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, followed by the main event, Hotel Transylvania! Bring chairs, blankets, or sit in your car just like at a drive-in. The Thurmont Lions Club will be serving free popcorn and hot chocolate.

Trick-or-treat in Thurmont will be held from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 31. Turn on your porch light if you are handing out treats to the ghouls and goblins. Drive carefully on Halloween and help make it a safe night for our children.

For family fun on the weekends through Halloween, check out the activities, entertainment, and great food at Magnolia Meadow Farms at 13001 Creagerstown Road. The amazing corn maze, Moonlit Maze kids games, gem mining, pedal cars, and other games and adventures are waiting for you to arrive and enjoy.

We are holding several events for the Gateway to the Cure Cancer research fundraiser. The Gateway to the Cure 5K Run will be held on Saturday, October 16, at the Eyler Road Park. Check-in starts at 7:30 a.m., and the walk/run kicks off at 8:30 a.m. You can register by phone through October 13 by calling 301-271-7313 & pressing 0. We also have pink light bulbs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other items for sale at the Town Office, Main Street Center, and several businesses in town.

Call me at 301-606-9458 or email me at jkinnaird@thurmont.com with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

Community, what is it?

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for more than 70 years, passed away on September 8, 2022. She became Queen at 25 years of age and shared most of her 96 years with us. Sadness, yes, in her passing, for the continuity of dignity and ease she brought to respect for the law, history, and traditions. On one of her visits to our country, she and Prince Phillip attended the Maryland – North Carolina football game at College Park on October 19, 1957, dubbed the “Queen’s Game.” It was a beautiful day, stands were packed, everybody was dressed up. Women with corsages, men in coats and ties. In attendance were my season ticket-holder father; my mother; my brother; president of the student government, whose responsibility it was to explain the game to the Australian ambassador; and me, sitting across the field with my CYO football coach. Coach and I had come after playing a CYO football game on the Ellipse behind the White House that morning. What a game. An upset 21-7 victory over a team coached by former Maryland coach Jim Tatum. A legendary game, a part of Maryland history.

On Sunday, September 11, I participated in the 9/11 commemoration at the Emmitsburg NETC campus chapel with students, instructors, and staff. The service began promptly at 8:46 a.m., the moment in time when the first plane of the attacks that day hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Eriks Gabliks, superintendent of National Fire Academy presided. A prayer was led by Rev. Timothy May. The tolling of the bell, three sets of five, 5-5-5, to commemorate the firefighters and first responders making their last call. After the service, everyone was invited to go up and light a candle. We all did.   

Community, what is it? With the town amidst its annual election cycle, this time for four candidates vying for two municipal commissioner seat openings, it’s as good a time as any to think about its meaning. What are the ideals, what are the expectations, what are the realities? I mention the “Queen’s Game” and the observance at FEMA Chapel for 9/11 because continuity and history are needed in the “Being” of a community.

To the topic of community, I started off my summer reading Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, an exposé of the exploitation of immigrants who came here following a dream, but only to be sucked under by the meat packing conglomerates in Chicago in the late nineteenth-early twentieth century. Hence, the expression, “you don’t want to know how the sausage is made.” I finished the summer by reading Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun. Again, the setting is Chicago. This time in the 1950’s. The role of nuclear family. Again, people separated from the dream.

Lutsk, Ukraine, our sister city, what is keeping those 200,000 people together? Barbaric times for them. Let’s stay committed to share our community with them.

What is a footprint for our community? As good a reference as any is from the Bible. Take the Book of Deuteronomy, it has more than met the test of time for its wisdom. We seek a community to live and raise our families, “A land flowing with milk and honey.” Choose wise, understanding people to lead and heed (cf 1:13), and “not be partial in judgments; the small and the great alike” (1:17). To possess that land as a community, like here, is a blessing that comes with commandments, statutes, and ordinances adhered to (4:14, 6:1, 7:1, 10:13, 11:1, 11:32, 12:1), and a curse if not adhered. 

To me, Emmitsburg is idyllic, very close to a land flowing with milk and honey. A community formed by centuries of generations developing statutes and ordinances to live under and rely on to live in peace and harmony. Where foundations are formed for seamless assimilations of generations that follow. Today, the town operates under a statute that has codes that have changed from time to time to maintain continuity. They are a work in progress. To keep to those blessings, a unity must be formed by acceptable commandments, statutes, and ordinances. From this book of the Bible, a community will not exist without laws, as over time, some laws develop flaws. Let’s do something about it and really take a close look at them. We need people to step forward.

To Dan Fissel, the town water and sewer facilities superintendent who is retiring after 28 years of service, “Thank you.” Have a wonderful retirement—you earned it.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

It’s now fall, and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air wherever you go it seems. I hope everyone had a great summer. To me, it seemed to go by way too fast. It was a busy summer for the town of Woodsboro, with projects and things in the works for the town.

At the September 13th town meeting, we discussed the progress of the demolition of the property that the town purchased at 605 S. Main St. The overhead power lines have now been removed, and the demolition will begin soon, as we were waiting for Potomac Edison to remove them. Before the building is demolished, we are allowing the Frederick County Fire Department to use the building for drills. This will be a good training activity for them also, and the town was happy to offer this up to them.

We also had some concerns from townspeople brought up at the meeting. The town code written in 1974 does not allow chickens or livestock in town limits. With the town not having a code enforcer until a few months ago, many things went under the radar. Since the code enforcer has started, chickens have become an issue. A few town residents plan to appeal to change the town code to planning and zoning and then ultimately the town council. If this takes place, it will be shared to the public for a public hearing before any action is taken. As of right now, there has not been any formal petition made to have the code changed, but I will keep the town up to date if things go forward on this.

Town Clerk Mary Rice and I made a proposal to the council about the possibility of replacing the water meter-reading system. We are still working on gathering final numbers for the cost, but this is a project that we must have done soon, as the system we currently are using has become obsolete and outdated. The challenge with this is that each home will have to have a piece in their water meter replaced; this could take a while, as the crew would need to enter each person’s home to replace the reader. One of the great things about this is that it will allow electronic readings to be tied to electronic payment processing that allows residents to pay their water bills via debit or credit cards, which has been asked a lot lately. We plan to present final numbers to the council at the October meeting for a vote. Thankfully, this project would fall under the approval to be used with ARPA funds that the town received.

Do not forget to mark your calendars for October 15 and 16, as Woodsboro Days will once again be a two-day festival instead of just the one day as it has been for the last several decades. We have lined up three bands for the festival on Sunday the 16th at the stage in the park, along with several vendors and food trucks that will be set up there also. On day one, Saturday October 15, there will be yard sales in town with a large sale at the Woodsboro Lutheran Church with food and bake sales. In addition, the Woodsboro Historical Society will have their 5K run at 9:00 a.m. Last year’s music festival in the park was well-attended and successful, and we are looking forward to this year’s event. If you are a vendor or food truck interested in attending, please reach out to me.

Trick-or-treating in town will be October 31, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. If you plan to participate, please turn on your porch light. Please also be careful that night driving around town, as children will be out and about.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning & Zoning meetings are 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 the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

Summer has come to an end, and our children have returned to school. Please be extra careful driving during school hours, and be watchful of kids crossing our streets and getting on and off school buses. As we all know, kids are not always aware of their surroundings and can dart out from between cars without looking both ways. I hope all our children have a great year at school. The teachers, administrative staff, and support staff at each of our schools are dedicated to providing the best education available in welcoming and secure schools. I am happy to see the renovations recently completed at the Thurmont Elementary School (TES). As many will remember, TES was remodeled many years ago to the open classroom design. The recent remodeling has returned our students to individual classrooms. I believe this will be a positive change for the students and teachers!

With fall on the horizon, we can look forward to cooler days, earlier evenings, and some great events in Thurmont. After a two-year break, the 66th Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show will be held at Catoctin High School on September 9-11. I want to thank Rodman Myers, his family, and all the volunteers for organizing and presenting the Community Show. A “thank you and best of luck” to the entrants in every category for making the show a success. You are guaranteed to have a great time at the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show!

Please be sure to attend the Art & Wine Stroll in downtown Thurmont on Friday, September 9, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., featuring great entertainment, food, and drink!

The Town of Thurmont will be hosting several Gateway to the Cure events in support of the Patty Hurwitz Cancer Fund at Frederick Health: the Golf Classic on Friday, September 23, and the Gateway to the Cure 5K on Saturday, October 16. Watch for more information about these and other opportunities to help us raise funds to support cancer patients and advancements in cancer treatment. To date, the residents of Thurmont have raised over $114,000 to support this worthwhile cause.

The 58th Annual Colorfest is on the way, and it’s never too early to start planning your weekend of yard sales, great food, and amazing crafts. On October 8-9, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Thurmont will welcome tens of thousands of guests, each and every one of whom is here to enjoy our hospitality, our spectacular scenery, and all the amazing offerings at Colorfest. Please be sure to visit local stands and support the Guardian Hose Co., Thurmont Community Ambulance Co., Thurmont Lions Club, Thurmont Scouts, and many of our churches and associations. Many of these organizations get a large portion of their operating funds from Colorfest weekend!  

The Thurmont Police Department and Woodsboro Bank will be hosting a Community Shred Event on Saturday, September 24, at the Police Station. To learn of the Shred Event and others, be sure to sign up for the Town of Thurmont Newsletter by emailing kschildt@thurmontstaff.com.  

I am available at 301-606-9458 or by email at jkinnaird@thurmont.com.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

A busy month to close yet another too brief a summer. To attest, here is a partial recap of my schedule for the month.

August 2, 1 p.m.: Meeting with 20 seniors from the community to give updates and address their concerns. Always productive. A recurring concern is transportation. We cannot provide more transportation alternatives to Frederick, but the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Frederick Health Center at the Mount will help. The ceremony was held on Tuesday August, 16. Urgent care, lab work, attending physician, and physical therapy are all now available here in Northern Frederick County. A first!

August 2, 6 p.m.: I attended National Night Out, held in Myers Park, with pony rides, pet-a-pet zoo, lots of vendors, and free food. A special tip of the hat to our deputies and first responders. I served food along with commissioners, O’Donnell, Sweeney, Ritz, and Davis.

August 3, Noon: Lunch with Woodsboro Bank President Steve Heine, Chief Retail Banking Officer Tom Ramsey, and Dynamic Automotive (Formerly His Place) owners Jose Bueso and Dwayne Myers. The owners have already rolled up their sleeves in volunteer work with the Seton Center. Welcome!  

August 9, 11 a.m.: Tour of Fallen Firefighters Memorial and National Fire Academy with Congressman Trone, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Tonya Hoover, and Tyler Myles. I had invited the congressman to tour the Homeland Security facility, and he took me up on it.

August 9, 1-2:30 p.m.: Sustainable Maryland Executive Committee Zoom meeting. It’s always interesting talking with people from across the state.

August 10, 10 a.m.: Ribbon cutting was held for St. Euphemia School wayside exhibit, DePaul Street. Lots of people turned out for this exhibit, a very special tribute that is close to my heart.

August 17, 10 a.m.: President Trainor’s Welcome Back State of the Mount address to the faculty and administrators. I was not able to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

August 19, 10 a.m.: Phone call with Ronald Jon Siarnicki, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s executive director.

August 19, 1 p.m.: Lunch with Kim Johnson, executive director of development, Mount St. Marys University, and Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Tonya Hoover, at the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). 

August 20, 1 p.m.: Bollinger Construction Inc.’s 30th year of business, 1 Creamery Road. Homespun company makes it big. Congratulations.

August 20, 6 p.m.: Welcoming event in Myers Park for incoming Mount freshmen. First-time event.

August 22, 10 a.m.: Meeting with Maddy Shaw, Emmitsburg grant administrator and wayside exhibit developers.

August 23, 10:30 a.m.: Things are moving along on Sister Cityhood with second Zoom meeting with myself, Conrad Weaver, Michael Zhovnir, Lutsk, Ukraine Mayor Igor Polishchuk, and President Anatlly Tsios of Lesya University, to introduce President Trainor of our very own Mount St. Mary’s University.

August 28, 10:30 a.m.: Mass and reception ending Vincentians Community of priests’ 170 years of service at St. Joseph’s Parish. Farewell to good servants to our community. Welcoming Father Alberto Barattero, IVE, and associate pastor Father Andres Ayala, IVE.

August 29, Noon: Lunch with Father Michael Roach, Mount St Mary’s University Seminary.

August 31, 11 a.m.: Meeting with planning consultant, Chris Jakubiak.

August 31, 3:30 p.m.: Dedication of John Donavan Room, Knott Academic Center, Mount St. Mary’s University. Wonderful tribute to a person who has impacted so many students’ lives.

And this is what I do in one month of being mayor in Emmitsburg.

Congratulations to our new Poet Laureate, Sister Anne Higgins. The good Sister Anne, a native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, has been a member of the Daughters of Charity for 44 years and taught at the Mount for 22 years. Nine of her poetry books have been published. More than 100 of her poems have appeared in journals and magazines. Several times her works have been featured in Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac.

Back to school “best wishes” to all.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

It has been a challenging month in Woodsboro as COVID hit the town employees and council members. Several things had to be postponed. The town offices were closed August 3-10, as three of our four town employees were out sick. With this, we also had to postpone our August 9 meeting to August 16. With the postponement, two council members were not able to make it. We had the meeting but didn’t have a quorum, so nothing could be voted on. Thankfully, all are recovered, and the town is up and running again. I want to send out a special thank you to Sean Williams from the town of Walkersville. Sean reached out to me and sent over two of their employees (Robbie Norwood and Ian Orndorff), who cleaned up our park for us since I was out of town for a work conference and both of our maintenance men were out with COVID. The town and I personally thank you all for your kindness.

At our August 16 meeting, I announced that we officially closed on and sold the lot at 503 S. Main Street. The town was able to net a profit of a little over $48,000 from the purchase price that was paid in 2018. I also announced that we are still waiting on Potomac Edison to remove the power lines to the building at 605 S. Main Street that the town purchased so that we can demolish it and start on the town hall project. I will be meeting with electricians to start the process of running electricity into the upper part of the park to the stage, large pavilion, and the spot where the new bathroom will be built.

Do not forget to mark your calendars for October 15-16, as Woodsboro Days will, once again, be a two-day festival instead of just the one day as it had been for the last several decades. I have lined up three bands for the festival on Sunday, October 16, at the stage in the park, along with several vendors and food trucks. Last year’s music festival in the park was well attended and successful, and we are looking forward to this year’s event. If you are a vendor or food truck owner/operator interested in attending, please reach out to me.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

Summer is here, and it came in quickly. I hope everyone is enjoying these hot summer days.

At our June 14 meeting, the Woodsboro Town Council voted on the fiscal year 2023 budget, and it was approved unanimously by the three commissioners in attendance. The budget did not change much from the fiscal year 2022 budget, as we have not had much growth as far as new homes in town. I am very happy to say that we kept the tax rate the same, as we are on the constant yield method. This is very good for our town residents, as they are seeing increases with their county taxes because inflation is causing home values to rise. In addition, we were able to keep our sewage and water rates the same without putting any more expenses on the town residents.

Earlier in the month, I interviewed a candidate for our code enforcer position that we have had open for a few weeks. After interviewing, the decision was made to bring in the candidate to meet the council. After the council heard from him, the decision was made unanimously to proceed with my recommendation of hiring him. He will begin on July 11, 2022, as a part-time code enforcer. We are excited to have been able to add this position, as it is much needed. This will now put the town to three full-time employees and one part-time employee.

I was impressed with how nice the Memorial Day parade was on May 29. I hear it was one of the largest ones in the estimated 150-year history of the parade. We have heard so many compliments, but this was not the town that put it on. The credit goes to Michael Strausbough and the American Legion Post 282 who organized it and did a great job. It was also nice to have WWII Battle of the Bulge Veteran James Derry in attendance in the parade.

On June 2, the town closed on the property at 605 S. Main Street. Bidding has begun for estimates to demolish the property. Demolition will be several weeks out, as we cannot move forward until the electric company can come and remove the overhead power lines. The town is excited about the next steps to come in getting a town office built.

The town was able to receive approval for a $240,000 grant that I applied for from the Maryland Community Parks and Playground Program. This grant will be used to build a restroom in the upper part of the park, close to where the stage has been built. In addition, the town was approved for grant funding through Playground Open Space to have new ADA-compliant playground equipment installed, a pavilion built at the disc golf field, and new flag poles at the monument, where we will be adding two more poles for a total of three so that we can fly the American flag, the Maryland State flag, and the Woodsboro flag.

Mark your calendars for October 15 and 16, as Woodsboro Days will once again be a two-day festival, instead of just the one day as had been for the last several decades. I have lined up three bands for the festival on Sunday October 16 at the stage in the park, along with several vendors and food trucks that will also be set up there. Last year’s music festival in the park was well attended and successful, and we are looking forward to this year’s event. If you are a vendor or food truck interested in attending, please reach out to me.

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. Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend

At the Woodsboro town meeting on May 10, we had a few topics on the agenda. The main one, of course, was the upcoming budget that will be voted on at our next meeting on June 14. There was not much discussion around it, as there wasn’t many changes from last years.

Another item that was on the agenda, which I was very excited about, was awarding the ARPA (COVID Relief Grant) to some of our town businesses. We had six businesses apply for the $5,000 grants, and all six were approved to receive the grants by our commission that viewed the applications. The following businesses received $5,000 grants: The Olde Towne Restaurant, Trout’s Market, Forestheart Studio, Affordable Pest Control, Gardner’s Garage, and Dynamic Graphics. The business owners were all in attendance to receive these funds. The town council and I were all happy to be able to assist our small businesses who are the backbone of our community.

After issuing the $30,000 in grants to the small businesses that applied, that left us with $20,000 in allocated funds towards grants remaining. I proposed to the town council, and it was voted on unanimously, to add in another $1,000 to the $20,000 dollar pool and divide it between our six nonprofits in town, which include four churches, the American Legion, and the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department. We will be issuing checks for $3,500 to each of them over the next couple of weeks.

Commissioner Crum reported on the items that she submitted for funding for the annual Program Open Space grant through the county. This year, she submitted for funding for some new ADA-compliant playground equipment, a pavilion to be built near the disc golf course, a message board at the disc golf course, lighting, and new flag poles at the memorial in town. We will know in early June what has been approved. Commissioner Crum and I will be attending the POS meeting on May 26, where we will get more information on what has been approved.

On June 2, the town will be going to closing on the purchase of the lot at 605 S. Main Street. This is where we will be building the new town offices. A large portion of that funding will be coming from the grant we were able to secure in Governor Hogan’s budget. Funding to purchase the lot was made possible through Woodsboro Bank.

I am also very happy to announce that the American Legion’s annual Memorial Day Parade will be back this year after a couple of years of hiatus due to the pandemic. The parade will take place on Main Street in Woodsboro on Sunday, May 29. The events of the day will begin at 12:00 p.m., with a memorial service taking place at the War Memorial on Main Street, followed by the parade at 1:30 p.m.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 fourteen days before the P&Z meeting. The current location for meetings is the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street in Woodsboro. The public is always invited to attend.

Woodsboro

Burgess Heath Barnes

I hope all of you had a Happy Easter, and all the children, teachers, and school staff enjoyed their spring break. I am excited to share with you all that the Town of Woodsboro and the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department were able to put on a very successful first Town of Woodsboro Easter Egg hunt on April 9. Volunteers stuffed and hid about 1,900 eggs, and we had around 150-200 children show up to hunt them. In addition, the fire department supplied nine grand prizes to be given out. I personally had a great time being one of the Easter bunnies and seeing the joy on so many children’s faces. This event would not have been made possible without donations from the following business: Gardner’s Garage, Rocky Hill Lutheran Church, Woodsboro Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Woodsboro Bank, as well as many donations from town and surrounding area residents. Thank you to all who supported this event.

At the April 12 town meeting, we had a few things on the agenda. The first one is that our ad for a part-time code enforcer/supervisor job will be posted beginning April 28, as we had a delay in getting it ready. Applications will be taken and interviews begin shortly after for qualified candidates until the right candidate is identified.

I announced that the town has received notification that the grant for the town office that I submitted through Senator Hough and Delegate Pippy was approved, and $400,000 dollars has been added in the governor’s budget toward our town hall. I am very excited about this development, as this will save the town a lot of money in its endeavor to build a much-needed town office. We are still having difficulties with the county in receiving permits, but hopefully things will start moving soon.

On April 25, the application process will end for businesses to apply for the COVID-19 grant that the town is giving out to qualified businesses. The grant is for up to $5,000 dollars per business. We plan to meet with the committee to make the determination of the award on April 28 and to distribute the funds at the following town meeting on May 10.

I am very happy to announce that the American Legion’s annual Memorial Day Parade will be back this year after a couple of years of hiatus due to the pandemic. The parade will take place on Main Street in Woodsboro on Sunday, May 29. The events of the day will begin at noon, with a memorial service taking place at the war memorial on Main Street, followed by the parade at 1:30 p.m. We invite you all to make plans to join us.

I also want to congratulate and mention Dalen Hahn, a Woodsboro resident who is a senior at Walkersville High School and was awarded the Winona “Winnie” Crum Rookie of the Year Award on April 18, 2022, during the annual Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association banquet. Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street in Woodsboro. The public is always invited to attend.

Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy spring! I always look forward to this time of the year, as it means that it is getting closer to the warm summer months and I can say goodbye to the bitter cold of winter. Hopefully this spring, we can be back to normal and see more activities and events happening and things coming to life.

At the March 8 town meeting, we only had a few things on the agenda. The first one is that our ad for a part-time code enforcer/supervisor will be posted beginning March 15, and applications will be taken and interviews begin shortly after for qualified candidates until the right candidate is identified.

On April 9 at 2:00 p.m. in the town park, the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department and the Town of Woodsboro will be hosting an Easter Egg Hunt. This event is made possible by donations from the Woodsboro Evangelical Lutheran Church, as well as by many other citizens in the town. If you would like to donate to a bag of individually wrapped candy to stuff the eggs with, it can be dropped off at the town office. If the weather does not cooperate on April 9, the event will be moved to Sunday, April 10, at 1:00 p.m. There will be three age-group areas for the hunt with three grand prizes in each age group. In addition, the Easter Bunny will be there for pictures.

We also discussed the status of the stage and new walking bridge that are being built in the park. I spoke with the contractor and was assured that both projects will be completed by the middle of May, in time to meet our deadline of June 1, 2022, for grant funding of the projects. We also discussed several upgrades to the park that are coming, as we are working on replacing and updating some outdated equipment.

We have opened the application process for the COVID-19 business relief fund grants, effective March 25, 2022. The application process will open on March 25 and will end on April 25 at 4:00 p.m. All applications must be received at the town office by 4:00 p.m. on April 25 to be considered for the grant. The application can be obtained off the town website or by visiting the town office. Each business is eligible for up to $5,000 in grant relief. To be eligible, you must be a business registered to do business in the town of Woodsboro, in good standing with the state, and be able to provide examples of how your business was affected by COVID-19. We encourage all business owners in the town limits to apply. Final decisions will be made by April 30, 2022, and funds will be distributed the first week of May 2022 to all businesses that are selected.

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.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are 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 the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N 2nd Street in Woodsboro. The public is always invited to attend.

Burgess Heath Barnes

As winter is hopefully ending soon, and spring gets closer, I would like to share some updates from our February meetings. We look forward to exciting things to come in the spring and summer for projects and events that we have in the works for the Town of Woodsboro.

The Woodsboro Planning and Zoning Committee held its first meeting of the year on February 7, 2022. The meeting was held to discuss a town resident’s request to make Arnold Alley an official town road so that they can possibly subdivide and build another home. At this time, the discussion is still in place, and the resident was asked to provide more documents and details about the request.

The town, in partnership the Woodsboro Fire Department, is moving forward with the plans to have a town Easter egg hunt. It will tentatively be held in the town park on Saturday, April 9 (the day before Easter). More details to come.

We continue to have an ongoing issue with cars speeding on Main Street and in front of the elementary school. Discussions were had about how we can get this ongoing problem solved and will be talked about more at next month’s meeting. I did speak with Sheriff Jenkins, and he is going to up the amount of patrol units in the area, particularly during the commuting hours to help curb this. I do request that everyone watch their speed in town, as we do have many residents that walk around town, as well as children out playing.

Town Manager Mary Rice announced that our new mower that was ordered in March 2021 has finally arrived. This will be a nice addition to have for the park area this spring and summer.

I would like to remind residents that town code prohibits any kind of livestock, such as chickens, goats, cattle, horses, etc. to be kept within town limits. We have had a couple of issues in the last few months with this, but have since been resolved.

Commissioner Dana Crum, myself, and the town employees will be meeting with a park equipment specialist this month to gather a list of new equipment needs to present to submit to the county’s Program Open Space grant for the upcoming budget year. We will also be requesting grant money to add in two new flag poles to the monument area and additional lighting where we can fly the USA, Maryland, and Woodsboro flags.

The town has begun to use its grant money that was received from the Federal Government on several of the water and sewage projects that were voted upon in the December 2021 meeting. In addition, I will be submitting the application for the small business grants to the council at the March 8 meeting. We will then start the 30-day application process. Please look for more details in next month’s article and the way to apply for the grants if you are interested.

As the weather begins to get better, the work on stage in the park will continue, as well as the building of new ADA-compliant walking bridge in the park. These projects will both need to be completed by June 1, 2022, to receive the grants that the town was approved for. The town hall building plans have been submitted to the county for review by their engineer. Once the plans are either approved or sent back to us for modifications, we can move forward with opening for bids, etc. to start the building.

The Town of Woodsboro will be hiring a part-time code enforcement officer. There will be employment ads being run in the next few weeks. As the town grows and different issues are coming up, the council has decided it is time to add a fourth employee to the town. This person will be responsible for helping to enforce town codes and working with our maintenance staff.

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.

Don’t forget to wear your green on March 17 for St. Patrick’s Day!

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.