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Department of Housing and Community Development

State of Maryland Announces Three New Sustainable Communities

November 1st, 2022

State of Maryland Announces Three New Sustainable Communities

Towns of Boonsboro, Pittsville and Smithsburg Receive Designation

NEW CARROLLTON, MD (November 1, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced today two towns in Washington County and one town in Wicomico County have been named Maryland’s newest Sustainable Communities. With the addition of Boonsboro, Pittsville, and Smithsburg, the State of Maryland’s Smart Growth Subcabinet has designated 126 Sustainable Communities across Maryland since the creation of the program in 2010. The Sustainable Communities program provides local governments with access to state programs, loans, grants and tax credits that can support brick and mortar community projects, small business development, job creation and tourism.

“Sustainable Community designations help Maryland’s diverse urban, suburban and rural communities connect with resources to support redevelopment and economic growth,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The program fosters partnerships that guide comprehensive strategies for environmentally, economically and socially responsible revitalization that responds to local needs.”

Town of Boonsboro (Washington County)

Located between Hagerstown and Frederick at the foot of South Mountain, the Town of Boonsboro was founded in 1792 by George and William Boone, cousins of Daniel Boone. Nearby sites including the National Road, Washington Monument State Park, South Mountain and Antietam National Battlefield, the town is a gateway to regional heritage tourism. Moments away from the C&O Canal Towpath, Harpers Ferry Historical Park and the Appalachian Trail, Boonsboro is also a popular rest spot for hikers. Local goals include implementing plans for stormwater management and park preservation, encouraging commercial growth and home rehabilitation, improving sidewalk connectivity, and providing more community activities and social service programming.

Town of Pittsville (Wicomico County)

Originally known as Derrickson’s Cross Roads and boasting a rich agricultural history, Pittsville is located just east of Salisbury in the heartland of Delmarva. The town was eventually named for Hilary R. Pitts, a local doctor and owner of the Wicomico & Pocomoke Railroad that transformed the community in the mid-19th century by linking freight and passengers to Salisbury and Ocean City. Local goals include upgrading stormwater management and wastewater treatment, expanding and improving green space, rehabilitating homes and providing façade improvements, and repairing and connecting sidewalks.

Town of Smithsburg (Washington County)

The town of Smithsburg was founded in 1813 by Christopher “Stuffle” Smith and incorporated in 1846. Smithsburg played a small but important role during the Civil War acting as a hospital town in 1862, treating wounded soldiers from nearby battles at South Mountain and Antietam, and, in the summer of 1863, it was the site of a minor battle in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg. With history influenced by factors such as migration paths, the arrival of the railroad, and advances in agricultural technology, much of the existing village was erected by 1923 and still retains its mid-19th- to early 20th-century architectural character. Local goals include rehabilitation of commercial properties and housing stock, upgrading sidewalks, improving parks, and amending local zoning to allow new activities and uses for the town center.

To date, 126 Sustainable Communities have been designated. This includes four county-level designations, 118 municipalities and 59 unincorporated areas. They are as diverse as Frostburg in western Maryland, the Town of Ocean City on the Eastern Shore, unincorporated areas of Calvert County and large urban jurisdictions in central Maryland. For more information, visit our Sustainable Communities webpage

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WALKTOBER Trails Part Three

October 31st, 2022

Welcome back to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Walktober blog series. For the month of October, we are featuring awesome trails in the great state of Maryland. Previously, we explored the Canal Place Heritage Park located in Cumberland, Maryland. This week we want to share with you the BWI Trail in Anne Arundel County and the Gwynns Fall Trail in Baltimore City.

View of Airport plane take-off while being on trail safely accross. The Gwynns Falls Trail has a partnership with Baltimore City, the Maryland Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Housing and Community Development. The BWI Trail in Anne Arundel County and Gwynns Falls Trail in Baltimore City are a part of communities that are designated through DHCD’s Sustainable Communities Program. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provided funding toward the design to connect the two trails. 

The BWI Trail was completed in 1994 and maintained by the Anne Arundel Department of Recreation and Parks. This trail offers pedestrians many opportunities to walk, run, hike, bike and skate. This trail is 12.5 miles long and about 10 to 12-feet-wide with asphalt that makes it an easily accessible trail. There are several scenic views along the BWI Trail, which circles the BWI Airport and extends for an additional 12 miles. The trail runs through Linthicum, Hanover, Ferndale and Glen Burnie, which has a Sustainable Communities designation. The Sustainable Communities program provides local governments with a framework for promoting environmentally, economically and socially responsible growth and development in existing older communities.The view of riding a bike on trail would be like.

The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks is responsible for the operation and maintenance of Gwynns Falls Trail, which is 15 miles long connecting over 30 unique neighborhoods located southwest of Baltimore City. Baltimore City provides programs for residents and visitors to learn about the urban environment, plants and more. Along the trail they conduct canoe, kayak, and bike trips for visitors to explore. These activities give people more to do and learn about in their local area.

If you and family are looking for a long, scenic, and open trail to travel this weekend visit The BWI Trail and Gwynns Falls Trail. Also, you can visit the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development news website to learn more about our previous Walktober trails. 


Hogan Administration Announces $5 Million Committed to Biopharmaceutical Company through State Small Business Credit Initiative

October 31st, 2022

Hogan Administration Announces $5 Million Committed to Biopharmaceutical Company through State Small Business Credit Initiative

Clene Nanomedicine to Match Funds from the Department of Housing and Community Development for Ongoing Clinical Trials and Manufacturing Operations in Elkton

NEW CARROLLTON, MD (October 31, 2022) The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) today announced $5 million of its State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds have been committed to Clene Nanomedicine, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company with manufacturing operations in Elkton that is dedicated to improving the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The commitment is the state’s second from the $198 million in SSBCI funds announced earlier this year, and the first from DHCD, one of three state agencies administering SSBCI programs.

“The commitment to Clene Nanomedicine demonstrates the importance of working with the private sector to improve the lives of Marylanders,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “I congratulate Clene Nanomedicine and look forward to the creation of pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs thanks to the SSBCI programs.”

As part of the program, Clene Nanomedicine investors will match the $5 million, using the investment to advance its clinical research to treat neurodegenerative diseases. The investment is through the SSBCI Venture Funds Program, which is a loan program designed to assist businesses with high potential job growth that have already raised equity from early-stage investors and are seeking new investors.

“These funds, along with existing cash-on-hand, enable Clene to advance its pipeline in difficult-to-treat neurodegenerative diseases, focusing immediately on ALS,” said Rob Etherington, CEO and President of Clene.

Created by Congress in 2010, SSBCI received a $10 billion allocation as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Maryland was the first state in the nation to submit its SSBCI deployment plan to the United States Treasury Department and was one of the first five states to be approved. The nine programs funded by SSBCI support businesses with limited opportunities for growth whether due to the pandemic or historic disinvestment. Maryland’s statewide SSBCI initiatives target communities and areas with a high concentration of small, micro, and Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual (SEDI) businesses to support ongoing state investments in underserved communities.

“DHCD’s first SSBCI commitment not only helps a business expand in Maryland, but advances Clene Nanomedicine’s mission to improve lives through its research,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. Through the state’s aggressive pursuit of these federal funds and administration of the SSBCI program, the department is able to leverage its partnerships and processes to assist new and expanding businesses across Maryland, like Clene Nanomedicine.”

In addition to the SSBCI Venture Funds Program, the Department of Housing and Community Development has two other SSBCI programs it is administering. Through DHCD’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks program, the Loan to Lender initiative directly supports Community Development Financial Institution revitalization and investment efforts, providing funds for them to re-lend to local small businesses. Through the Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan Participation Program, eligible businesses can get assistance with working capital, and investment in equipment and other assets, including the real estate used for business operations.

The Maryland Department of Commerce and TEDCO also received SSBCI funding to administer through their programs. For more information about the nine Maryland business assistance programs supported by SSBCI and how to apply, visit http://open.maryland.gov/ssbci.

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LEGAL NOTICE: Notice of Public Hearing – Residential Rental Housing Projects

October 31st, 2022

Notice of Public Hearing Concerning Issuance of Bonds or Other Obligations to Finance Residential Rental Housing Projects

Notice is hereby given that the Community Development Administration (the “Administration”), a unit of the Division of Development Finance of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, will conduct a public hearing from 11:00 am to 11:15 am, on Wednesday November 9, 2022.

THIS PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE CONDUCTED SOLELY VIA TELECONFERENCE. PARTIES INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE PUBLIC HEARING SHOULD CALL (toll free) 1-800-201-5203 PIN: 891244 DURING THE PUBLIC HEARING TIME.

For more information, visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Documents/TEFRA/2022/Notice-10-31.pdf.


Maryland to Celebrate Weatherization Day on October 30

October 27th, 2022

Maryland to Celebrate Weatherization Day on October 30

Department of Housing and Community Development Marks 46th Year of Successful Program to Improve Energy Efficiency

New Carrollton, Md. (October 27, 2022) – As Maryland marks Weatherization Day on October 30, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is marking the 46th year for its Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps predominantly limited-income households make important repairs and upgrades to their homes. Last year, Governor Larry Hogan issued a proclamation that October 30 is Weatherization Day in Maryland to celebrate the successful Weatherization Assistance Program.

The Weatherization Assistance Program was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1976. The program is a federal, state, and local partnership that serves low- to moderate-income households in every county in the United States, including all local jurisdictions in Maryland.

“As utility costs increase and inflation rises, programs such as the Weatherization Assistance Program help lower bills for Maryland households,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.

The program leads to an average decrease of $514 in annual out-of-pocket expenses and a healthy home. Participation in the program helps reduce hospital visits, and decrease sinus infections, asthma, colds, allergies, and hypertension. Data analysis suggests that the program has caused a 48% reduction in the number of days participating residents reported poor mental health.

The Weatherization Assistance Program is one of an array of energy efficiency programs administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The department also administers the EmPOWER program, which helps limited income households with installation of materials and equipment to reduce energy costs and increase efficiency. Between both programs, the department has weatherized more than 20,000 households since 2016. 

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WALKTOBER Trails Part Two

October 26th, 2022

Let’s resume the Walktober blog series for the month of October. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other Maryland agencies have a great opportunity to support many wonderful walking trails in the state. Previously we introduced St. Michaels Nature Trail located in St. Michaels, Maryland. This week we are exploring the Canal Place Heritage Park located in Cumberland, Maryland. Front entrance of Canal Heritage Park

Canal Place Heritage Park is on the western end of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. The canal was originally built in the 19th century which provided jobs and opportunities for people around the Potomac River Valley during the 20th century. The canal stretches from Washington D.C. to Western Maryland. The expansion of the canal created more opportunities for growth in transportation, engineering,  immigration, and commerce. People go to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal to learn more about their role in American history. Canal Place Heritage Park has scenic rail excursions, boat replica tours, festival grounds for events and entertainment and local shops at Canal Place retail plaza. The Canal Place Heritage Park is one of the many beautiful places to enjoy nature and recreation along the C&O Canal. 

The canal also has a trail, called the C&O Towpath, that runs along it and is about 184.5 miles long and can take about 4 hours to drive to the end but visitors can rest on the trip through the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park at two optional campsites: Primitive Campsites for people who like to hike and bike, and Scenic View along Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Parkthe Reservable Campgrounds for individuals and groups. 

Cumberland is a Main Street Maryland Community, a program through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Through our program, business corridors such as Cumberland’s are given an opportunity to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. The program is designated to Main Street Maryland communities who have made a commitment to improve the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts. The Canal Place Heritage Park offers a wide variety of activities and opportunities to be with family and friends to enjoy a great walk. Visit Canal Place Heritage Park  for more information.




Connect Maryland: Board of Public Works Approves $30 Million for Laptops to Improve Internet Access For Underserved Households

October 26th, 2022

Connect Maryland: Board of Public Works Approves $30 Million for Laptops to Improve Internet Access For Underserved Households

State Will Purchase Devices For Distribution Through Local Governments, Community Partners

ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 26, 2022) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the Maryland Board of Public Works approved a contract of up to $30 million for the Office of Statewide Broadband to provide  laptops to underserved households in order to help address the digital divide. The contract will provide internet capable devices for an estimated 150,000 Maryland households.

“This transformative initiative will provide more Marylanders with the technology they need to have reliable, high-speed internet,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “Through the Office of Statewide Broadband and our Connect Maryland initiative, we have been able to increase access to broadband for tens of thousands of households through infrastructure improvements and digital equity initiatives.”

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), where the Office of Statewide Broadband is housed, will partner with local governments and their community partners to distribute the devices in accordance with specific criteria. Jurisdictions will be able to apply in early November at https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Broadband/.

“Maryland has implemented innovative programs to supercharge its investment to address the lack of universal access to digital services and technology,” DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt said. “By working with local jurisdictions and stakeholders throughout the state, we will be able to deliver these devices to those who need it most in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

Connect Maryland. Last year, the governor announced the Connect Maryland initiative to ensure universal broadband statewide, with a total new investment of $400 million.

Office of Statewide Broadband. Created by an executive order in 2017, the Office of Rural Broadband was established to expand broadband capabilities statewide in underserved, rural areas of Maryland. Recognizing that there are different needs beyond rural areas and that different solutions may be needed, it was re-codified as the Office of Statewide Broadband in 2021.  To date, the Office has invested approximately $200 million dollars into broadband infrastructure and access projects and programs, and those efforts have provided high-speed internet access to an estimated 30,000 unserved households statewide.

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Governor Hogan Announces Nearly $72 Million For State Revitalization Program Awards

October 21st, 2022

Governor Hogan Announces Nearly $72 Million For State Revitalization Program Awards

Will Support 224 Projects and Activities Across the State, Including Ongoing Redevelopment of Lexington Market, Maryland Technology Center in Indian Head, Reconstruction of Harriet Tubman’s Father’s Cabin in Cambridge, Affordable Homes in Downtown Frederick

ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 21, 2022) — Governor Larry Hogan today announced new awardees for six state revitalization programs administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Nearly $72 million was awarded to 224 projects and activities that promote community development and economic growth. Counties and jurisdictions across the state received awards through one or more of the six programs.

“The partnerships that drive these projects across our state are crucial to spurring economic growth in Maryland’s diverse and vibrant communities,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state revitalization programs are a shining example of how we can work together to create impactful change and improve the quality of life for residents.”

The six programs will support revitalization and redevelopment projects and activities including: business expansion and retention; streetscape improvements; homeownership and home rehabilitation incentives; commercial improvement programs; community facilities; mixed-use development, and demolition activities. For a full list of awards, visit: FY23 State Revitalization Program Awards.

Strategic Demolition Fund. The Strategic Demolition Fund, a statewide program aimed at catalyzing activities that accelerate economic development and job production in existing Maryland communities, awarded $7.5 million to 22 projects, including:

  • Reconstruction of the cabin of Harriet Tubman’s Father, Ben Ross, to support the economic, cultural, and historic trades workforce development in Cambridge (Dorchester County)
  • Stabilization and exterior rehabilitation of the 1913 Union Railway Station building on Railroad Avenue, to allow for future development, culminating ultimately in the creation of a hub along the Salisbury Rail Trail (Wicomico County)
  • Ongoing rehabilitation of a vacant property in Indian Head (Charles County) to continue the Maryland Technology Center

Project C.O.R.E. Governor Hogan’s signature Project C.O.R.E., or Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise is an initiative to eliminate blight in Baltimore City and make way for green space, affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for businesses. The initiative has removed or stabilized more than 5,200 vacant units in Baltimore. Project C.O.R.E. awarded $21.25 million to 26 projects, including:

  • Creation of a mixed-use project at the former auto service center in Remington to become a hub for service and connected urban living and anchored by Wide Angle Youth Media
  • Revitalization of the historic Mayfair Theater, including retention and stabilization of façade, as well as building new units, a parking garage and retail space
  • Improvement to infrastructure related to the Perkins Somerset Oldtown transformation plan

Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative. The Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative (BRNI) is designed to support redevelopment in communities within the Baltimore Beltway. More than $14 million was awarded to 66 projects, including:

  • Ongoing redevelopment of the historic Lexington Market
  • Stabilization of a 6,000-square-foot building in Upton’s Marble Hill that was featured in the 1953 Green Book as a food hall and coworking space
  • Numerous awards to community organizations for neighborhood clean-up and façade improvement activities 

National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund. Similar to BRNI, the National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund (NED) provided $11.2 million in funding for 29 projects in communities in and around the Capital Beltway, including:

  • Rehabilitation of the Town of Brentwood’s fire station into the new town center
  • Demolition and pre-development for a new mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented, intergenerational community in Silver Spring that will include affordable housing units
  • Demolition and infrastructure improvements for the redevelopment of the former hospital site in Landover to create a mixed-use community that includes quality commercial, retail and residential buildings

Community Legacy. Community Legacy awarded $8 million to 64 projects in designated Sustainable Communities throughout Maryland. Some of these projects include:

  • Rehabilitation of the historic State Theater in Havre de Grace (Harford County), including the installation of a comprehensive fire suppression system to reduce fire risk and provide benefits for the arts and entertainment focus of the city
  • Continuation of the renovation and construction of 12 affordable, for-sale condos in historic downtown Frederick to be sold to Habitat for Humanity-qualified, first-time homebuyers
  • Rehabilitation of a building in Cascade (Washington County) on the former Fort Ritchie property to preserve a historic Japanese Nisei mural and to turn the dilapidated historic structure into an artisan village

Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund. Another $10 million in grants and loans were provided to higher education institutions and hospitals by the Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund (SEED) for community development projects in disinvested areas of the state. The funds supported 17 projects, including:

  • Rebuild the Mens and Families Workforce Community Center into a community hub for employment, health, and violence reduction services to the East Baltimore community in partnership with Johns Hopkins University
  • Design and construction of a public pedestrian/bike pathway linking Gwynns Falls Trail at MedStar Harbor Hospital to Nursery Road Light Rail Station
  • Rehabilitation of the Old Ellicott City Jail (Howard County) as a Center for Climate, Heritage and Preservation Studies in partnership with the University of Maryland

“Over the last seven years, we’ve expanded our state revitalization programs, including the addition of Project C.O.R.E, allowing even more opportunity for investment across the state,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Working with our partners to bring these projects to life also stimulates other public, private and nonprofit investment to revitalize communities, and spurs other programs that go hand in hand with revitalization efforts.”

For more information about DHCD and its revitalization programs, visit its website.

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WALKTOBER 2022

October 13th, 2022

WALKTOBER is back! Walktober is an opportunity to spotlight trails in Maryland that allow pedestrians to learn and participate in walking. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other Maryland agencies have provided funding to support some amazing trails throughout the state. For the month of October, we will share some fun trails that you or your family can take advantage of simply by walking. This week, St Michaels Bridge we are focusing on a trail located in St. Michaels, Maryland, called St. Michaels Nature Trail. 

St. Michaels Nature Trail was originally built in the 17th century on the Anglican Church land. The Anglican Church named the trail after the town, St. Michaels, and was rebuilt in 2010. This beautiful nature trail is located in Talbot County and the path starts on Bradley Park off Railroad Avenue. St Michaels trail is paved with black asphalt which makes it wheelchair accessible and provides a smooth walk or run. The trail is about 1.3 miles, which can take approximately 30-45 mins to walk. The trail’s path passes through a bridge that is over the San Domingo Tidal Creek, which is a popular place for people to go fishing. The path also passes a horse farm and cemetery before ending across Bay Hundred Swimming Pool Center. 

View of San Domingo Tidal Creek

St. Michaels has many beautiful sites and activities and is designated as one of the state’s Sustainable Communities, a program administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Neighborhood Revitalization Division to support holistic strategies for community development, revitalization and sustainability. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Neighborhood Revitalization created the Sustainable Communities Program to offer multiple resources for local governments to promote a better environment, develop an economical approach for the community and to bring people together socially in existing older communities. The sustainability designation was awarded to St. Michaels in 2010, which ultimately allows it an opportunity to develop a better community for all. Visit St. Michaels Nature Trail to check out the map view and more in St. Michaels. 


Hogan Administration Announces $15 million Available for Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit

October 11th, 2022

Hogan Administration Announces $15 million Available for Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit

Program Fills Financing Gaps for Redevelopment of Properties Formerly Owned by State or Federal Government

NEW CARROLLTON, MD (October 11, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced today the second application round of the Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit program, designed to rehabilitate properties formerly owned by the government for economic and community development purposes. Eligible applicants can apply for the up to $15 million tax credit starting on Monday, October 17.

“By bridging the funding gap to redevelop these properties that have often been sitting vacant for a long time, the program allows these large redevelopment projects to bring new life to properties, and in turn serve the communities that surround them,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The adaptive reuse of buildings is one of many tools the department deploys to revitalize areas and foster economic growth.”

One project will be chosen to receive the state tax credit, which provides up to 20% of total eligible project costs, with a maximum credit of $15 million for costs in excess of $75 million. Credits may be claimed each year for the first five years after the project has been put into service.

Eligible projects must be a redevelopment of a property or building formerly owned by the state or federal government, including colleges or universities, K-12 schools, hospitals, mental health facilities, or military facilities or institutions, and is no longer in service.

Passed in the 2021 General Assembly session and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, Senate Bill 885 created the Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit. The applicable properties usually have been vacant for a significant time and often require mitigation of a variety of environmental and health hazards.

The tax credit was a recommendation of a study conducted by the Maryland Department of Planning. It is designed to fill financing gaps between the cost of rehabilitation and the market-rate value of the redeveloped property. Proposed revitalization projects related to the rehabilitation of these government-owned properties must foster economic growth, job creation, affordable housing, or other community improvements and services.

The first credit was awarded to redevelop Warfield at Historic Sykesville, a historic mental health facility, and the surrounding area into a mixed-use community.

For more information about the Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit, visit  https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/Misc/CRTC-NOFA.aspx.

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