After months of renovations, New Windsor’s mayor and Town Council took Thursday’s night meeting to not only spread information but to also commemorate their new meeting space.
It was about a year ago that the previous owners offered the space to the town, according to New Windsor Mayor Neal Roop, and the building has come a long way since then.
At December’s Town Council meeting, Roop anticipated that the first meeting of the year would be held in the new town hall. Thanks to final county approvals that went through just last Friday, according to Town Manager Gary Dye Jr., the space was ready to hold the Thursday meeting.
The new meeting space at 209 High Street included new features such as a television mounted on the wall behind where the council members sit, which in the future will display budgets, agendas and more.
“Everything that I see on my agenda, people will be able to see reports, people will be able to read and see so they’re not just sitting there listening,” said Roop. “I think it will make more sense that they see something, especially the budget. We could go line item by line item and even the PowerPoint over at the meeting.”
Along with the television, displaying information for the audience, the town will also add cameras to the meeting rooms for people to be able to watch later.
Members of the town staff also have their own offices in the new building, Roop included.
“Our police officer will have his own office, I’ll have an office here, which I didn’t before, so if I want to meet with someone, we have a small conference room, Gary has a dedicated office, Donna [Alban, town clerk] has a dedicated office, it’s all on one floor, it’s ADA accessible whereas next door wasn’t ADA accessible on the second floor," said Roop.
There are currently no concrete plans on what will happen to the previous Town Hall offices at 211 High St.
The only thing that came over from the previous meeting space at 1100 Green Valley Road, the Carroll County Public Library, were about 50 chairs for meeting attendees, which are on loan from the county. The town is still in search of about 50 chairs for their meeting space for when they need to return the chairs to the county. The tables and chairs for the council were donated by the city of Westminster as they plan their move to their new city hall.
Roop hopes that the new space will help increase citizen involvement.
“I think once people see that we have a nice town meeting hall, people will start to come,” said Roop. “The biggest thing is going to be hopefully, eventually we’ll have one to three cameras here that people will be able to watch every meeting.”
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The facility will have an open house and Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. for the public to take a look at the new space.