Woodsboro, a town of just over 1,200 people in the central part of the county, is getting the first town hall in its history.
Burgess Bill Rittelmeyer said town officials are buying a lot at 503 S. Main St. for the building for $90,000, in news first reported by the Woodsboro-Walkersville Times. Rittelmeyer added that the town is scheduled to close on the property on Aug. 28.
The closing date was delayed from this Friday due to misspelled names on liens associated with the sale, he said.
Closing costs shouldn’t be more than $5,000, Rittelmeyer added. The money for the lot will come out of the town’s general reserves, he said.
Property records indicate the current owner as Victor Dreschler, and the lot size as 15,561 square feet. The grass lot sits across from Hartzler Funeral Home, and currently has an L-shaped red fence lining some of the property.
Currently, town officials are operating in a trailer near the town’s wastewater plant on Council Drive. They have been there since last October, as the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Co. asked them to vacate part of the company’s building on Third Street to expand its kitchen, The Frederick News-Post previously reported.
Rittelmeyer said the town office will be used for office and meeting space. Currently, the town commissioners meet monthly at St. John’s United Church of Christ.
He said a group will be organized to decide what to build at 503 S. Main St. That group will include Commissioner Jason Boyer, Town Administrator Mary Rice, town Planning and Zoning Administrator Susan Hauver and a few residents, he said.
Designs for the building still need to be completed, Rittelmeyer added. The town will also need to go through the permitting process with county officials, he said.
“We want to have a nice facility, but we don’t need a Taj Mahal,” Rittelmeyer said of the town hall.
He hopes town officials can break ground on the project by early next year. In a meeting with the commissioners Tuesday night, he said he didn’t have a budget in mind, but added that town officials probably didn’t want to spend more than half a million dollars on construction.
Woodsboro commissioners were receptive to that Tuesday. Both John Cutshall and Jason Boyer said after the meeting that a reasonable construction cost would be $200,000 to $300,000, but added that discussions are preliminary.
John Cutshall suggested that the town sell bonds to help finance the hall, given bond rates are currently low and the town’s financial health.
“I would think there’s enough interest in this small-town community that’s solvent to get some local banks or even some private investors,” Cutshall said, adding that those bonds could be exempt from state or federal taxes.
Both he and Boyer, who grew up in Woodsboro, said the town hall will be a great addition to the community.
“I’m excited about it. ... It really is going to be the face of Woodsboro,” Boyer said. “We’ve been in a fire hall and a church, and so the fact we now have a face of the town, it’s awesome.”