How to Bake a Town Hall CARROLL COUNTY

November 05, 1993

We have heard of using bake sales to finance the purchase of team uniforms, band trips and computers for classrooms, but Union Bridge has taken this trend into uncharted waters: It is paying for its new town hall with sales of apple pie, devil's food cake and chocolate chip cookies. While most of the $171,000 construction cost is being financed through traditional borrowing, more than $19,000 has been raised by residents contributing their money, time and effort, not to mention baking skills.

The process of building the new town hall started two years ago. Union Bridge lost its lease on a 180-square-foot (yes, 180) former living room in a house at 1 West Broadway that served as the town hall for 70 years. Employees could not move around the office without bumping into one another or the filing cabinets.

Early last year, a search committee identified the 90-year old Pump House on Locust Street as the best possible building for a new town center, and estimated the project would cost $160,000. Mayor Perry L. Jones and the council decided that Union Bridge would not raise its tax rate of 71 cents per $100 of assessed value to finance the construction.

Instead, residents purchased tickets to picnics and breakfasts, baked hundreds of pies and flipped thousands of pancakes. Half of this year's loan payment will be covered by these donations.

Everyone in the community seems to have taken part: Lehigh Portland Cement, the town's largest employer, donated all the cement for the project. Farmers and Mechanics National Bank donated furniture, as did the Westminster Police Department. Union Bridge residents sewed curtains and wallpapered offices. Paying off the 20-year note ensures that Union Bridge residents will be baking, cooking and contributing for years to come.

____________ DO-GOODER REWARDED: The Carroll County commissioners have decided to give Ted Fringer's company -- A. Roy Fringer and Son -- all of the county's septic pumping business in recognition of the fact he is the only Carroll hauler who obeys the law and uses the county's septic-waste treatment plant. It is a just reward.

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