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Maryland State Agencies Participate in Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference Exhibit Hall

For immediate release: August 16, 2017
Hannah Marr
Shareese Churchill

Maryland State Agencies Participate in Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference Exhibit Hall

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The following Maryland State Agencies will participate in the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Summer Conference Exhibit Hall at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City from August 16 – August 18, 2017:

Department of Agriculture:

  • The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will jointly display with the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts. The title of this year’s display is “There’s No Better Time to Get a Soil & Water Conservation Plan,” and will focus on the importance of soil health. The department will also offer information on Zika virus awareness and prevention, farmers markets, the Maryland Ice Cream Trail and more.

Department of Assessments & Taxation:

  • The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) is responsible for assessing all property in the state, and county finance offices rely upon those values when determining property taxes. SDAT also administers the homeowners’, renters’, and homestead property tax credits, and registers and maintains all business filings. SDAT’s booth will have materials related to these responsibilities, and will be staffed by program managers to answer any questions visitors may have.

Department of Commerce:

  • The Maryland Department of Commerce booth will feature an “Open for Business” theme. Commerce will highlight the More Jobs for Marylanders program to encourage manufacturers to expand and create jobs in Maryland.

Department of Education:

  • The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) provides leadership, support, and accountability for the state’s 1,430 public schools, and offers rehabilitation service to nearly 100,000 state residents with disabilities. MSDE’s booth will spotlight the state’s educational success — record-setting graduation rate, strong national assessment scores, and innovative programs.

Maryland Emergency Management Agency:

  • The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will be promoting an all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness. Information will be available on individual and household preparedness, the National Flood Insurance Program, MEMA’s Private Sector Integration Program, and pet preparedness.

Maryland Energy Administration:

  • Visitors to the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) booth can test their energy efficiency knowledge and learn how counties and other organizations can benefit from MEA’s energy grant programs.

Department of the Environment:

  • Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) booth, “What to Expect in Phase III,” will offer visitors a chance to learn about Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Program (WIP). Handouts will offer advice on practices, such as Dig Once, and Best Practices for implementation projects. The exhibit will also promote the Friday, 8/18 session with Secretary Grumbles that will offer more information on the WIP.

Department of General Services:

  • The Department of General Services will be promoting services provided by the agency including statewide procurement, programs for small businesses, contracting opportunities, and surplus property for sale on GovDeals. Visitors to the booth also will be able to learn important facts about what the agency does by participating in our trivia contest; winners will receive a custom DGS notebook.

Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement:

  • The Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement (GOPI) will have an exhibit booth on Wednesday only during the MACo Tech Expo. The office will demonstrate how counties can use the Maryland Open Data Portal to make projections and estimates about population growth, economic development, education, and the environment.

Higher Education Commission:

  • The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) will be providing information covering all of the various scholarship and loan assistance repayment programs that are currently available to Maryland students. In addition the booth will have information on applying for federal tuition grants.

Department of Housing and Community Development:

  • New this year, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is providing the opportunity for conference attendees to schedule a discussion session with a program expert via convenient online registration. DHCD’s proven housing and community development programs can assist with downtown revitalization and redevelopment, small business lending, energy efficiency, home improvement initiatives, homeownership and affordable rental housing.

Department of Human Services:

  • The Department of Human Services will have a team of experienced staff who will be providing information on the agency’s programs and services that assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. This includes information on Maryland’s Food Supplement Program (SNAP), foster care and adoption and energy assistance, and more.

Maryland Insurance Administration:

  • The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), a state regulatory agency, will offer a variety of consumer materials on all types of insurance products, from annuities to title insurance and health, auto and homeowners insurance.

Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems

  • The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) booth will be targeted to educate visitors about EMS services throughout Maryland. MIEMMS be providing emergency care information on time-sensitive conditions where quick intervention by the public can save lives including opioid overdose cards with hotline information and what to do in the event of an overdose; magnets that show the steps to take for performing Hands Only CPR in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest; and information on the “Stop the Bleed” program, a national training to teach the citizens to stop bleeding in emergency situations until medical help arrives.

Department of Information Technology:

  • Maryland recently ranked #1 in Enabling Key Technology Platforms, #3 in Broadband, #1 in Open Data Portals and #2 in Data-Science Job Listings. The Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT) will have representatives and demonstrators from its Geographic Information System department who can expound on the agency’s efforts to create and maintain open data portals. Additionally, members of the Maryland FiRST Statewide Radio System team will be on hand to explain how interoperable communication allows public safety officials to coordinate with one another, providing a consolidated response across multiple jurisdictions.

Department of Juvenile Services:

  • The Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) will offer visitors information about the department’s work and resources for youth and families. The booth will provide giveaways and brochures to guests. Secretary Sam Abed will be on hand in addition to other members of the department’s leadership.

Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation:

  • The Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation (DLLR) will be putting the HIRE in YOU’RE HIRED! by promoting job search assistance and re-employment services, as well as youth and registered apprenticeship programs that carve pathways to new careers. Attendees will also learn about FREE workplace safety consultation services from Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH), and how to change Maryland for the better by serving on one of the agency’s 23 boards, commissions, and advisory councils.

Lottery & Gaming Control Agency:

  • Visitors will learn about the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency’s (MLGCA) record-breaking Fiscal Year 2017 numbers. In addition, attendees will have the chance to spin a prize wheel for Lottery prizes as they learn about current Lottery products and promotions.

Department of Natural Resources:

  • The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will showcase its Coastal Atlas and mobile app displays during the Tech Expo, and will have experienced staff on-hand in the main hall to discuss the department’s available services and grant opportunities for Program Open Space and Watershed Assistance. Visitors can enter to win a 2017 State Parks and Trails Passport, which provides unlimited day-use admission, unlimited boat launching, and a 10 percent discount on state-operated concessions.

Department of Planning:

  • The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) will be presenting the Maryland State Data Center’s work on creating Work Area Profiles by synthesizing and analyzing data to produce an employment outlook for areas of the state, as well as Planning Services’ work on new ways of looking at preservation and investment through transferable development rights programs. The department will also feature its resource availability during the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA), which is the beginning of the 2020 Census efforts. All of this leads to economic development and community revitalization.

Department of Transportation:

  • The Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) One MDOT booth will be featuring a One-Stop Shop Brochure to show how Marylanders can access their travel needs on one website, This site allows users to access several services including car registration renewal, EZPass purchases, and checking BWI flight information all from one website. In addition, the booth will have information on BaltimoreLink, MARC and other transit options; information on Cruise Maryland from the Maryland Port Administration; general information on Maryland highways and state maps from the State Highway Administration; information promoting online driver services and motorcycle safety tips from the Motor Vehicle Administration; and information about Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport from the Maryland Aviation Administration, as well as a flight simulator where visitors can practice their skills at landing an airplane at the Ocean City Airport.


Maryland Announces Two New Sustainable Communities

A burgeoning community inside the Capital Beltway and a Cecil County town that served as a supply depot for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War are the latest communities to receive designations under the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Sustainable Communities Program. Program designations are approved by Maryland’s Smart Growth Subcabinet, and there are now 105 approved Sustainable Communities statewide with at least one designated Sustainable Community in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.

Sustainable Communities receive access to a comprehensive package of resources and technical expertise that supports holistic, “big picture” strategies for revitalization. The Sustainable Communities designation provides local governments with a framework for planning and promoting growth and redevelopment in existing older communities that is environmentally, economically and socially responsible.

Historic properties in Charlestown

Historic properties in Charlestown

Cecil County – Town of Charlestown

Established in 1742, the Town of Charlestown was a supply depot for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and features a historical district with approximately 150 buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, including a rare ice house and a house once visited by George Washington. Boasting a waterfront location on the North East River, Charlestown aims to protect its precious natural attractions by reducing the amount of unfiltered stormwater flowing into the river, planting rain gardens, and expanding the use of rain barrels and bio-roofs. The town also seeks to capitalize on its colonial charm by installing brick sidewalks, adding commercial businesses to its historic district, and hosting community events that celebrate its history.

Ofrecemos Comedas is a business in the Greater Chillum area

Ofrecemos Comedas is a business in the Greater Chillum area

Prince George’s County – Greater Chillum

Located inside the Capital Beltway, Greater Chillum is a densely populated and diverse community that serves as a connecting corridor between Maryland and Washington, D.C. The community is currently transitioning from an auto-centric suburb to a more urbanized area, with a significant percentage of residents reliant upon public transportation. Greater Chillum seeks to improve walkability for pedestrians and encourage more bicycle use by incorporating protected bike lanes and new crosswalks in the area. The community also hopes to become more environmentally friendly by reducing impervious surfaces and to create local economic opportunities by establishing a small business incubator to support entrepreneurs and start-ups.

To learn more about the Sustainable Communities program and the application process, visit

Governor Larry Hogan Announces Response Efforts for Severe Weather

For immediate release:
July 24, 2017
Hannah Marr
Shareese Churchill

Governor Larry Hogan Announces Response Efforts for Severe Weather
State Agencies Provide Assistance to Kent Island Community Following Storm Damage in Stevensville

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland state agencies are assisting local officials in Queen Anne’s County after a severe storm cell struck the Bay City and Stevensville area of Kent Island early Monday morning. State personnel were at the scene of the storms’ impact throughout the day, and remain on the scene to assist with the damage assessment and to determine any resources the state can provide to area residents. Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford visited Stevensville Monday morning, where he met with local leaders and residents, and toured the impacted area.

“Lt. Governor Rutherford and I extend our support to the Kent Island community in the wake of last night’s severe weather, which caused damage to multiple homes and buildings and left thousands of residents without power,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The state stands ready to assist in any way needed as the community works to rebuild.”

“On behalf of Governor Hogan and our entire administration, I want to offer our sincerest thanks to our first responders for their tremendous work helping to get this community back on its feet,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford.

State and local personnel will continue assessing damage, clearing debris, and assisting displaced residents throughout the day. Utility crews will be working to restore power and repair downed power lines. All those in the area, or attempting to travel through the area, are urged to use caution and heed any warnings from local officials.

Statewide actions include the following:

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

  • Increased State Response Activation level to Enhanced to facilitate resource support. Coordinating all requests for state support and tasks conducted by state agencies.
  • Coordinating with Queen Anne’s County since early Monday morning to provide assistance to local emergency managers.
  • Staffing regional liaison officers in Queen Anne’s County Emergency Operations Center to facilitate State-to-local support.
  • Monitoring approximately 6,600 power outages statewide as of 2:15 PM, down from a peak of 14,805 outages statewide.
  • Establishing contact with federal Small Business Administration to determine any federal assistance that can be sought following damage assessments.

Maryland State Police

  • Assumed lead as law enforcement coordination with assistance from Queen Anne’s Sheriff, Maryland Transportation Authority Police, and Maryland Natural Resources Police
  • Established Command Post at Mowbray Park, 629 Romancoke Road, Stevensville, Maryland
  • Deployed 25 sworn and civilian personnel to assist with manning traffic posts, patrolling residential and business areas, conducting welfare checks and escorting utility vehicles into the impacted areas.
  • Provided aerial surveillance to assist in damage assessment.
  • Resources utilized include: Special Operations Command, Aviation, Motor Unit, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and barrack personnel from the Eastern Troop.

Maryland Department of Transportation

  • More than 70 State Highway Administration (SHA) and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) crews and 35 SHA trucks (front-end loaders, dump trucks, heavy equipment) responded to US 50, MD 8, MD 18 and other areas to provide assistance.
  • SHA provided response from three SHA maintenance shops in Centreville, Easton and Chestertown, as well as CHART personnel from the Statewide Operations Center.
  • MDTA Police provided traffic direction and MDTA maintenance crews provided an additional portable message sign on MD 8.
  • MDOT will continue to support cleanup efforts into the night.

Maryland Department of Human Services

  • Queen  Anne’s County Department of Social Services staff on hand to manage Friends and Family Reunification Centers at Centreville Middle School (231 Ruthsburg Road, Centreville, MD 21617) and Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department (1610 Main Street, Chester, MD 21619).
  • Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles are on location and are providing mobile feeding and water distribution to the affected communities.
  • Impacted residents who need transportation to one of the Emergency Shelters may call 410-758-2357 to receive transportation.

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

  • Coordinating with the Department of Human Services to assess need of rental assistance for displaced residents.
  • Will activate disaster recovery loan and grant programs as needed to assist small businesses, homeowners and renters.


Main Attractions: Sykesville Brings Past and Present Together for the Coolest Small Town

Sykesville might not be Maryland’s biggest town, but it’s one of its most distinctive. In fact, in 2016, the small Carroll County town, separated from neighboring Howard County by just a length of historic railroad, was named America’s Coolest Small Town by Budget Travel.

Since becoming a Main Street Maryland community in 2011, the town has used associated funds from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to keep improving. Most recently, in FY17 the Main Street Association was the recipient of a $2,000 Keep Maryland Beautiful Clean Up & Green Up grant for expansion of a community garden. In FY16, the town used $50,000 in Community Legacy funds for façade improvements along Main Street. Another $7,500 from the Main Street Improvement Program was used for historic exhibits outside the Town House, which serves as Sykesville’s Town Hall, and Baldwin’s Station, a restaurant located inside the town’s former train station.

For Julie Della-Maria, the Sykesville Main Street Economic Director, one of the best things about the town is its sense of community. A mix of businesses and nonprofit organizations have come together and make the town unique.  “They can relate to what we’re doing. They feel that sense of community, and there’s pride in it,” she said. According to Della-Maria, the camaraderie among Sykesville’s residents is evident in the makeup of the people who run its Main Street program. With herself as the only exception, it is entirely volunteer-run.

Sykesville is a town rich in history, which attracts many of its visitors. Baldwin’s Station was a stop on the B&O Railroad’s Old Main Line, the country’s oldest railway. Festivals are also a big draw for the town. In November,  the town will host the Sykesville Craft Beer festival. A similar event last year had 34 breweries on site, and it is expected to draw even more this year. These events give residents “a chance to meet their neighbors and establish new connections,” said Della-Maria. Main Street is also home to a diverse selection of businesses, ranging from the recently opened Patapsco Distilling Company to antique stores, restaurants, and even a country-western store.

Having access to resources through the Main Street Maryland program has been invaluable for the town, Della-Maria said. As one of these communities, they receive “access to the coolest tools and training,”, along with the chance to network with representatives from other Main Street communities across the country. “We get to compare with other Main Streets to see what works, and make new contacts,” Della-Maria added. The annual conference in particular “is a way to learn new things. It’s a good way to see if our initiatives are in line with the trends and get to see what’s best, and get new ideas for new projects.” After these conferences, Della-Maria said the Main Street team works hard to implement what they learn to keep improving the town. From what she sees at community events and while out around town, it works: “It’s a sea of smiling faces.”

“Main Attractions” is a regular series highlighting Main Street Maryland communities. Main Street Maryland is a comprehensive downtown revitalization program created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. These communities receive assistance for improving the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts. For more information on Main Street Maryland, visit

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford Hosts Project C.O.R.E. Community Forum in West Baltimore

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford Hosts Project C.O.R.E. Community Forum in West Baltimore
State, City Officials Highlight Partnership, Future Plans to Remove Urban Blight

ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 11, 2017) – Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford today hosted a community forum at Coppin State University in West Baltimore focused on Project C.O.R.E. – Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise – a multi-year, multi-hundred-million dollar initiative launched by Governor Larry Hogan in partnership with Baltimore City to demolish vacant and derelict buildings and replace them with green space or the foundation for redevelopment. The lieutenant governor was joined by Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, and Maryland Stadium Authority Senior Vice President Gary A. McGuigan, as well as Baltimore City officials and community partners.

“Community engagement is a key element of Project C.O.R.E.,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “I wanted to hold this forum with stakeholders and community members to highlight the progress our administration, along with our partners in the city, have made under Project C.O.R.E., and hear directly from people in the community about how we can continue to do even more to eliminate blight in Baltimore City. The feedback we have received tonight and throughout this process has been invaluable, and I look forward to holding another forum in East Baltimore later this year.”

The Hogan-Rutherford administration launched Project C.O.R.E. in 2016 as a partnership between the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore. The Maryland Stadium Authority is the project manager responsible for overseeing the vacant structures jointly identified for removal by Baltimore City and state authorities. Total estimated funding for the demolition portion of the project includes $75 million from the state and in-kind administrative services from the City of Baltimore, equivalent to $1 for every $4 allocated by the state. In addition, the elimination of blighted portions of the city are being supported by more than $600 million in financing opportunities through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Since the launch of the initiative, 968 blighted units have been removed and 1,303 units are planned to be rehabbed or developed through Project C.O.R.E. Request for Applications. As of January 1, 2016, over $18.6 million has been awarded to 41 projects, which will serve as a catalyst for an additional $299 million investment from public, private, and nonprofit community development corporations.

“Project C.O.R.E. has enhanced the blight elimination and revitalization efforts underway in Baltimore, helping to spur new investment throughout the City,” said Mayor Pugh. “Baltimore’s next renaissance will include historic corridors like Baltimore’s West Side, and it is through coordinated efforts, such as this, that we can transform neighborhoods into thriving redeveloped communities that offer safe and healthy housing for Baltimore families.”

In addition to remarks from the lieutenant governor and mayor, Secretary Holt provided an overview of several redevelopments taking advantage of Project C.O.R.E. funding, such as Walbrook Mill, which will create a new multifamily housing, retail, and office space where an abandoned lumberyard once stood, just across the street from the Coppin State campus. A panel featuring Lt. Governor Rutherford, Mayor Pugh, Secretary Holt, and Senior Vice President McGuigan answered questions related to the project. In addition, Lt. Governor Rutherford announced the awardees of the Keep Maryland Beautiful clean-up sponsorships. Keep Maryland Beautiful is a multi-agency state program that focuses on neighborhood beautification statewide through increasing urban greening, citizen stewardship, community education, and litter removal activities. In Baltimore City, the program complements Project C.O.R.E. activities by ensuring that lots cleared of blight remain clean and green.

“What we’ve accomplished with Project C.O.R.E. in such a short time is extremely encouraging,” said Secretary Holt. “Under Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford’s leadership, we are creating new opportunities in areas that have seen significant disinvestment. This achieves creative and innovative redevelopment.”

Through Project C.O.R.E, the state is investing $75 million supported by an $18.5 million investment from Baltimore City for demolition and stabilization of blighted properties. After the demolition phase, Project C.O.R.E. will be supported by more than $600 million in financing opportunities through existing DHCD programs that help revitalize and redevelop Maryland’s cities and towns. For more information about Project C.O.R.E., visit:


Legal Notice – Updating Maryland’s Annual Plan

Under the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), notice is hereby given that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will hold a series of public hearings to develop its new draft Annual Plan update of the State’s Consolidated Plan.

The Consolidated Plan is a five-year planning document required by HUD that sets out overall Statewide goals and priorities for housing, community development, and economic development activities. Special emphasis is given under the Plan to provide assistance for extremely low, low, and moderate-income persons. In addition to being a planning document, the Consolidated Plan also serves as the State’s application to HUD for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), Housing Opportunity With AIDS (HOPWA) and the Housing Trust Fund (HTF). These funds are used primarily in the State’s rural areas (with the exception of HTF), as many communities, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties, as well as the Cities of Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hagerstown and Salisbury receive their own funding directly from HUD. DHCD will receive about $4.1 million in HOME funding, $7.1 million in CDBG funding, $1 million in ESG funding, $3 million in HTF funding and $1.8 million in HOPWA funding in FFY 2017.

In addition to the above, it should also be noted that the Consolidated Plan also makes it possible for DHCD, public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, community action agencies and others to apply for funding under HUD’s competitive grant programs. Local public housing authority Plans must be consistent with the State’s Consolidated Plan, and USDA Farmer’s Home housing programs and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are also coordinated with the Plan. Lastly, while not directly covered by the Consolidated Plan, HUD funding allocations for the Section 8 Certificate and Voucher programs may be made in a way that enables jurisdictions to carry out their Consolidated Plan.

In developing its five-year Plan, the State determined it would focus its resources on four main priorities: Revitalizing Communities, Expanding the Supply of Decent Affordable Housing, Providing Homeownership Opportunities and Reducing Homelessness. The Annual Plan update (which will be for the third year of the current Five Year Plan) will establish one-year goals for these priorities. It is for this purpose that we are holding public hearings – to gain input regarding how to carry out these goals in the coming year.

The draft Annual Plan has been written. It should be noted that HUD has changed the Annual Plan from a written document to a largely online tool using pre-filled data. DHCD has written a draft Annual Plan, using the new online system using the data that HUD has provided, and has opened a 14 day public comment period beginning Monday, July 10, 2017. A second set of hearings will be held beginning the third week in July. Written comments (by both email and standard mail) will also be accepted at the hearings, or may be submitted in writing through COB Sunday, July 23, 2017 (at the address listed below). The final version of the Annual Plan will be submitted to HUD on or around August 16, 2017.

The draft Annual Plan is available on-line on DHCD’s website at It can be found under the “Publications” heading at the bottom of the website. In addition, copies of the draft Annual Plan are available at the following libraries: the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, the Blackwell Library in Salisbury, the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, the Lewis J. Ort Library in Frostburg, the Frederick Douglas Library in Princess Anne, and the Southern Maryland Regional Library in Charlotte Hall. A large print version is available at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Baltimore. Free copies of the draft Annual Plan are also available by calling, writing, or e-mailing the address and phone numbers listed below.

The second set of hearings on the draft Annual Plan will be held at the following dates, times, and places:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Towson Library
320 York Road
Wilson Room
Towson, Maryland 21204

Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 10:30 AM
Fairview Branch Library
Small Meeting Room
Rt. 4 and Chaneyville Road
Owings, Maryland 20736

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM
Town of Denton
4 N. Second Street
Second Floor Training Room
Denton, Maryland 21629

Friday, July 21, 2017 at 1:30 PM
Allegany County Office Complex
701 Kelly Road
Potomac Room 230
Cumberland, Maryland 21502

All of the hearing rooms are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons requiring a translator should request one at least three days prior to the hearing they plan to attend. Any questions or comments should be directed to me at the address, phone numbers, or e-mail listed below:

Mrs. Ja’Nai C. Streat
Senior Housing Policy Analyst
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
7800 Harkins Road
Lanham, Maryland 20706
(301) 429-7445 or Maryland Relay for the Deaf at 1 (800) 735-2258.

A New Canvas For Baltimore: Southwest Partnership Working to Expand Traci Atkins Park, Make Way for New Growth

With $350,000 in Project C.O.R.E. funds, Southwest Partnership, a nonprofit serving seven Baltimore City neighborhoods, will soon begin work on demolition of blighted properties in southwest Baltimore. This will allow more recreational space for city residents, and will clear new parcels for future development.

The three areas this project focuses on are in Hollins and Mount Clare. The Hollins sites, which are the 1200 block of Hollins Street and 1100 block of W. Baltimore Street, will create development parcels for new construction mixed use buildings. In the New Southwest/Mount Clare neighborhood, the demolition of the blighted properties will allow for an expansion of Traci Atkins community park.

This project came about through community meetings that allowed those living in the area to voice their concerns, thus creating a project tailored specifically to the needs they identified. Community members participating in these planning sessions identified vacant houses as detrimental to the quality of life in the neighborhood. The consultants brought in through the planning process emphasized the role that groupings of vacant houses did present a liability, but were simultaneously an asset, as some of the vacant houses also provide development opportunities.

Once completed, Southwest Partnership expects these changes to the area will attract more people to the neighborhoods, both to live and play. By demolishing the vacant houses abutting the park and expanding it, its recreational uses and capacity will increase. This also serves to remove dangerous buildings and illegal dumping. The removal of these properties will make the area more attractive for prospective tenants while also enhancing the quality of life for its current residents.

“A New Canvas for Baltimore” is a regular series covering Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise). Project C.O.R.E. will clear the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for small business owners in Baltimore City. The initiative will generate jobs, strengthen the partnership between the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and lead to safer, healthier and more attractive communities. For more information on Project C.O.R.E., visit


Local Project Connects the Riverfront of West Denton with Denton’s East Side

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 28, 2017)– Governor Larry Hogan today joined local and state officials and elected representatives to officially open the new $2.1 million Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center in Denton. The visitor and heritage center has been long sought after by the Town of Denton to support tourism and attract visitors to the Daniel Crouse Memorial Park on the bank of the Choptank River.

“I am proud to celebrate this important, long-anticipated achievement for the Town of Denton, for Caroline County, and for the State of Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “In addition to supporting our vital tourism industry, this center will also be an important boon for the local economy by encouraging more people to visit this region.”

The visitor and heritage center is a 2,500-square foot wooden building that provides a vital link between two riverfronts and offers a unique tourism destination for motorists and recreational boaters. The Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center was partially funded by the Federal Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) via the federal transportation authorization bill SAFETEA-LU. This program provides funding for non-traditional transportation projects, including a broad range of eligible activities from community improvements to environmental mitigation initiatives.

The Maryland Department of Transportation distributes the funding at the discretion of the transportation secretary.

“I personally have been involved with this project for over ten years,” said Denton Mayor Abagail McNinch. “It has been amazing to see this come to fruition.”

Additional state funding was provided through the Community Legacy program, administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center received two program awards totaling $310,000 that assisted with architectural, predevelopment, and construction costs. The visitor center is the second DHCD-funded project in Denton to celebrate its opening this month following the grand opening of Riverwoods at Denton, an 84-unit affordable rental housing community that received nearly $3.5 million from the department.

“Projects like the Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center and Riverwoods at Denton exemplify the Hogan administration’s commitment to support communities on the Eastern Shore and throughout rural Maryland,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “By working in partnership with local stakeholders, we are ensuring that redevelopment in these areas is responsive to local needs and contributes to positive economic growth.”

The project encompasses nearly 1,000 feet of Choptank riverfront, including over 30 acres, two sites on the National Register of Historic Places, an adjacent National Register Historic District, three National Register Vessels and access to the region’s most extensive water trail, the Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers Trail.

“The next phase of this project will be the fun part,” said McNinch. “It is now time for tourists and members of our community to enjoy this beautiful center.”


Main Attractions: After Flood, A New Ellicott City Is Born

When strolling through Ellicott City’s Main Street, it’s hard to tell that anything as serious as the flood of July 2016 ever took place. On a sunny Thursday this June, people were milling up and down enjoying the weather, perhaps taking time to pop in one of the many independent stores that line the street or savoring a bite to eat at one of the town’s restaurants. There were virtually no signs to the untrained eye that on July 30, 2016, this historic destination in Howard County was hammered by six inches of rain in two hours. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development was there to assist displaced business owners and residents alike.

Maureen Smith, the executive director of the Ellicott City Partnership, can tell you down to the day how long it has been since the flood. While walking along Main Street, she often stops to point out areas where the flood damage was particularly severe or sites of stores that may have moved to a different spot on the street or that did not come back after the storm. The combination of the amount of rain and the short time span over which it fell created a flash flood on Main Street, causing significant damage and costing two people their lives.

“It was absolutely devastating,” Smith said. “It was just awful. There was absolutely nothing good about the flood.” But now, she is optimistic. “We’re getting a whole brand new town. Almost every building was affected. Everybody had to renovate…so we’re going to end up with really nice all-new stores, a whole new attitude, a new culture, new everything. It’s really exciting.”

As a result of the flood and the damage caused, 17 stores ultimately ended up being unable to resume operations due to the high costs associated. However, Smith said, the town has  attracted 17 new businesses, and three more are expected to open in the near future.

With the help of a retail expert who had been working with Ellicott City business owners before the flood, things were already looking up in Ellicott City. Many have established online presences that they did not have before, and have the inviting brick and mortar storefronts to match.

For many businesses affected by the storm, loans offered through the Maryland Business Recovery Loan Program were instrumental. The program has provided 28 loans since the flood. The department still has available funds and is accepting additional applications from businesses in Ellicott City.* Housing assistance was also offered to residents displaced by the flood. Through the Maryland Disaster Housing Assistance Program, the department assisted 27 families and offered nearly $86,000 in emergency rental assistance. Additionally, through the Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program, $307,657 was issued to Ellicott City residents for home repairs.

Jason Barnes, the owner of All Time Toys, had only taken over ownership of the store two months before the flood hit. Everything from fixtures in the store to items available for purchase were completely destroyed, and Barnes was left in a tight spot.

“It basically saved me,” Barnes said of the Maryland Business Recovery Loan he received from the department. “I put every cent I had in, and then…the flood happened, and that completely wiped me. The loan basically allowed me to wade out, do the repairs, and restore my inventory. It gave me a fighting chance to come back.”

All told, Barnes said it took “just shy of six months” to get back up and running completely. He was fortunate to have most of the damage limited to the basement: the area where customers shop was in need of some repairs, but not nearly as many. Now that business as usual has resumed, Barnes said he’s noticed his sales have been “better than ever.”

“It’s definitely a success story so far,” Barnes said.

*For Ellicott City businesses interested in participating in the Maryland Business Recovery Loan Program, contact Aisha Taylor, Loan Underwriter, at or 301-429-7721.

“Main Attractions” is a regular series highlighting Main Street Maryland communities. Main Street Maryland is a comprehensive downtown revitalization program created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. These communities receive assistance for improving the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts. For more information on Main Street Maryland, visit

A New Canvas for Baltimore: Hoen Lithograph Building Renovations Will Bring Jobs, Business

One of Baltimore City’s most historic buildings is receiving a facelift that will allow it to serve Baltimoreans of all ages. With $400,000 in Project C.O.R.E. funding awarded during the program’s FY16 round, Strong City Baltimore is working to repurpose the Hoen Lithograph Building, a vacant property located along E. Biddle Street in the Collington Square neighborhood.

The building has been vacant for more than 35 years. Its primary tenant, Hoen & Company, was known as the oldest continuously operating lithographer in the United States, and occupied the building from 1902-1981, when the company filed for bankruptcy. The renovation will be undertaken by Cross Street Partners and City Life. As one of the anchor tenants in the building, Strong City Baltimore will use the awarded funding to help subsidize the necessary project costs, making rental rates affordable for the nonprofits and other organizations they hope to attract.

The offerings in the Hoen Lithograph Building, once all necessary work is complete, will be diverse and directly beneficial to the community. Among the businesses and services present will be a cafe, event space, an adult literacy center, and a bookstore, along with a workforce incubator that will offer job training and employment opportunities for community members.  Additionally, the partners anticipate that the building will come to serve as a gathering place for the community, offering safe and productive outlets for Collington Square and beyond.

“A New Canvas for Baltimore” is a regular series covering Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise). Project C.O.R.E. will clear the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for small business owners in Baltimore City. The initiative will generate jobs, strengthen the partnership between the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and lead to safer, healthier and more attractive communities. For more information on Project C.O.R.E., visit

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